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Open mike 22/07/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 22nd, 2013 - 152 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

152 comments on “Open mike 22/07/2013 ”

  1. weka 1

    The Oil Drum site to close at the end of August (but archives will remain on the web).


    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      it’s very interesting…the peak oil “fast collapse” types have been proven wrong, as John Michael Greer predicted they would. But nevertheless the gradual grinding slowdown of the ‘long descent’ has caught up with The Oil Drum.

      The other aspect to this is: no one has come up with implementable solutions to what we are facing as a civilisation.

      • Lanthanide 1.1.1

        Hey, we haven’t passed October yet, there’s still a chance of a massive collapse this year.

  2. yeshe 2

    On Crosby Textor, who seem to own John Key — Guardian reporting on Lynton Crosby and ties to David Cameron .. and Crosby’s more than $10 million contract with British Tobacco and his ties to fracking industries and alcohol, all vital social issues upon which Cameron has unexpectedly back-tracked … see any similarities here ??

    This reader’s comment could have been on The Standard with just a small name change … amazing … but maybe Cameron will be called to account, unlike here … certainly it’s heating up …

    From reader Steve Ten:

    “Cameron should be honest, give back his Parliamentary salary and, like Crosby, become a paid lobbyist for multinational corporations – for that is what he is. His masquerading as a representative of the people is an insult to the intelligence, compounded by his taking money under false pretences.
    We need ministers who represent the public interest, not private corporations.”

    Here the several links :

    “David Cameron urged to probe claim that aide had £6m tobacco deal — Lynton Crosby comes under renewed fire over Philip Morris links as row over cigarette packaging rages on” July 20


    “David Cameron under attack over fracking firm links to Lynton Crosby” July 19


    “Lynton Crosby: David Cameron’s Lizard of Oz” ( love it !) July 20


    And in future, perhaps we all offer him this marvelous name, Crosby, Lizard of Oz !

    • yeshe 2.1

      Wanted to include this sample paragraph from the last link above …

      ‘ Will Crosby become roadkill, as David Cameron struggles to counter Labour claims that the lobbyist has improperly succeeded in having plain packaging for cigarettes dumped and restrictions on alcohol curbed? ‘

  3. Draco T Bastard 4

    Scheme a gamble

    For example, how you bypass the local community-based decision making-process, enshrined in the Resource Management Act, is to ask the relevant ministers to “call it in” on the basis that it is a project of national significance.

    Success in that has ensured it will now come under the auspices of the Environmental Protection Agency rather than the Environment Court.

    This is a project in a fragile part of the country so far accurately predicted to be hit first and hardest by climate change. It simply won’t stand up to further agricultural intensification.

    It does seem that this government set up the “Environmental Protection Agency” to screw over the environment and to bypass any democratic accountability.

  4. Santi 5

    Is it a joke? Has anyone seen this madness? http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10899996

    I presume Dr Bertram will be repaying the University rather a lot of money, if he is willing to follow these expressed principles.

    He was, when he finally retired, a senior lecturer and as such would have been on a salary of at least $100,00 per year. There are automatic pay-rises up to about this figure. No doubt he will return every dollar he received above $75,00 per year.

    He was a mediocre member of the academic fraternity from my memories of him.

    • alwyn 5.1

      At least Dr Bertram would realise that plagiarism is a mortal sin in the academic environment.
      Did you really come up with these words on your own or have you been reading Kiwiblog?

      • Santi 5.1.1

        The words are all mine.

        • alwyn

          That is truly amazing! Why is it that I find it rather hard to believe you?
          I posted those exact words on Kiwiblog at 11.22am. They turn up here, apart from a spelling mistake. at 11.27am.
          Isn’t it miraculous that two people can say, separately, exactly the same thing?

          • marty mars

            Classic catch lol and a double lie for Santi – first for saying he wrote it and second for saying that last line – hey Santi you are a very weak link indeed but please tell us more about your memories of Dr Bertram lol.

        • Te Reo Putake

          Santi caught lying! Boy, that’ll shock a lot of folks here.

          Alwyn, my apology for saying Santi was hopeless at maths and comprehension. It’s actually you with those failings.

    • Winston Smith 5.2

      Naah he begrudingly took the money (probably say it was in his contract) but believes everyone else should does as he says

    • Te Reo Putake 5.3

      Santi, if you were one of Bertram’s students, I reckon you probably failed in two areas; maths and comprehension. Firstly, you claim that the lowest paid Victoria University job is set at 33k pa, without offering any evidence to support your proposition. Secondly, you have completely missed the bit were Bertam talks about this ratio applying to CEO’s and other exec’s. He was neither, so the proposition would not apply to himself anyway.

      • alwyn 5.3.1

        If you look at the Collective agreement for general staff you will find some jobs, such a Library shelvers that pay about $25,000 per annum. I have no idea what a cleaner gets.
        As far as not applying to Dr Bertram I find it amazing that you appear to think that a University Senior Lecturer is apparently worth more than the CEO of Air New Zealand or Fletcher Building.

        • Te Reo Putake

          Yeah, nah bro. I’m pretty sure Vic doesn’t pay any staff below the adult minimum wage. So shall we move on to to addressing your comprehension difficulty? Any explanation for missing the relevant point of who the ratio was suggested for?

          • Chris

            You should probably read the things he is referring to before you write his maths off as wrong:


            They work 37.5 hours per week so the library shelvers on about $26,000 (was slightly off there) are paid above minimum wage.

            As for his reading comprehension – its a reasonable assumption he is talking about the gap between the highest paid person in the company (whether executive or not) and the lowest paid.

            • Te Reo Putake

              “As for his reading comprehension – its a reasonable assumption he is talking about the gap between the highest paid person in the company (whether executive or not) and the lowest paid.”

              No, it’s not a reasonable assumption. The first line of the article makes it plain: “The Government should stop giving contracts – and knighthoods – to companies that pay their bosses more than three times their lowest-paid workers, an economist has suggested.”

              Bertram goes on to say: “Then the Government should say no Government contracting, no knighthoods, make them feel some tangible pain [if they exceed whatever limit is agreed].”

              He’s not talking about workers, but bosses.

              The maths is equally straightfoward. The lowest paid worker earns $13.826 per hour, significantly more than Alwyn’s suggested rate of $12.88.*

              *I’ve used the 37.5 hour week in that calculation. On a forty hour week Alwyn’s figure is $12.02.

              • Chris

                The point is there is too much wage inequality you can be picky and say that he is focussing on executives. However, that is likely because he is being realistic that that is where the highest paid people are grouped.

                You honestly think he would be fine with someone being paid 7 times more (as an example) than someone else in the company just because that higher paid person isn’t part of key management?

                So if the maths is straight forward and the lowest paid person gets $13.826 per hour how does that fit with your original argument that Alwyn’s maths was terrible because no-one would be below $33k.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  The $33 k came from Alwyn’s assumption that Bertram was on $100k. Not my figure, Alwyn’s.

                  And yes, I’m perfectly happy for some workers to be paid more than the boss. Indeed, I sincerely wish it happened more often.

                  • alwyn

                    Absolute rubbish.
                    Why do you even bother to waffle on about $33K?
                    You are the only one to mention it and it has absolutely nothing to do with my assumption that Bertram would have been on $100K.
                    What I said was that he had been, before he retired, a Senior Lecturer. He had been in that position for a number of years and I presumed therefore that he would have at least reached the bar of about $100K. Given that the minimum pay I found for anyone covered by the General Award was about $25K (and someone pointed out to me that the current award is about $26K, I suggested that he should not have accepted more that three times that figure.
                    If, in fact, the absolute minimum that the University paid any employee was $33K, a number you introduced it would be reasonable for Bertram to have received $100K.
                    He should however demand that NO-ONE employed by the University should get any more than that.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Yeah, not making much sense there, Alwyn. It was your figure, after all. And you don’t get to define Bertram’s idea, so demanding he demand a different thing altogether than his actual concept is a tad lame.

                  • Chris

                    That wasn’t my question I asked if he would be happy if some workers were paid 7 times more than the lowest paid employee not if you would be happy if some workers were paid more than the boss. I expect you know the answer and that’s why you decided to answer a question I didn’t ask instead.

                    I know where you got the $33k figure from but that doesn’t change the fact that his maths was correct if he was on $100k then he was being paid more than 3 times the lowest paid employee.

                    • McFlock

                      All based on

                      He did not advocate legislating any particular wage ratio between the highest and lowest-paid because that would always be a matter of debate.

                      “I’d settle for 3:1, others might settle for 10:1,” he said.

                      “Then the Government should say no Government contracting, no knighthoods, make them feel some tangible pain [if they exceed whatever limit is agreed].”

                      He doesn’t have a knighthood, does he?

                    • Chris

                      No he doesn’t but Im pretty sure while he was working at Victoria University he benefitted from government funding.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      What does Government funding of universities have to do with anything Bertram has suggested? Funding is not contracting. Funding does not involve knighthoods.

    • Murray Olsen 5.4

      Why should he give anything back? The lowest paid lecturer probably gets about $50k.

  5. Looks like the Great Barrier Reef it received a warning shot from the boys with the big, bad toys.

    Commander William Marks, spokesman for the 7th Fleet, said the emergency jettison was made in consultation with Australian officials.

    ”There is minimal environmental impact,” Marks said today.

    ”It is a safe situation for the environment, for shipping, for navigation.”

    The four bombs, weighing a total of 900 kilograms, were dropped into more than 50 metres of water away from coral to minimise possible damage to the reef, the statement said. None exploded.


    It is a known fact that that reef is struggling to pay its way because it has not accessed health benefits, and generally mooches around – it is in effect becoming a economic reefugee to the country and borders of Austrauntiedstateia. I hope the reef listens to this warning shot and starts paying its way instead of bludging and taking resources from real Austrauntiedstateians, as we all know – not everyone or thing can be saved and the measure of whether, is how much it pays.

    • Rosetinted 6.1

      marty m

    • Colonial Viper 6.2

      I understand that they are recovering the bombs. Must be some fibre optic cable down there to check out while they are in the neighbourhood.

  6. bad12 7

    Of interest from the previous Roy Morgan Poll is the Mana Party reaching 1% of polled Party vote support,

    Mana at present features in the Parliament by dint of Party leader Hone Harawira holding the electorate seat of Te Tai Tokerau and in my opinion has a 50/50 chance of securing the Waiariki seat in the 2014 election,

    The thresh-hold for the Mana Party to gain a further MP from it’s list is according to wisdom 1.2-1.5% of the Party Vote and if the polling for Mana stays above 1% leading into the election i for one will have to reconsider my Party Vote with a view to helping Mana gain that list MP, (hopefully John Minto)…

    • McFlock 7.1

      probably a bit of a boost from telling MP to get stuffed unless they ditch national.

  7. The NSA 8

    Peter…..we are not amused.

  8. captain hook 9

    Geoff Bertram was not mediocre and trying to belittle him only shows what sort of person you are.
    i.e. trying to put him down does not make you one up on him.
    the fact of the matter is that most university staff are not paid enough and universitys are trying to do everything on the cheap after the Business Round Table privatised all their money making activities in the 90’s.
    Other nutty ideas are things like nursing degrees where the job is vocational training and not the creating of new knowledge.
    Everybody in New Zealnd is continually trying to turn grapes inot oranges at the lowest possible cost and the results are heaps of sh*t.

    • Rosetinted 9.1

      captain hook
      Sounds true from what I’ve observed.

    • Murray Olsen 9.2

      Can’t argue with that. Universities seem to be turning more and more into places to get kids into debt and that’s about it.

      • Colonial Viper 9.2.1

        And plenty of people doing postgrad who have no intellectual business being there, but basically don’t have anything else to go and do.

  9. This minister woodhouse (never heard of him btw) is useless for demanding that the veterans provide proof before he will set up a study “into the effects of radiation on the health of naval frigate crews who witnessed nuclear tests at Mururoa Atoll in 1973.”

    Mururoa Veterans Society president Peter Mitchell said 180 men had died in the years after the tests and the number who had cancer was out of proportion to the population.

    This must be due to radiation exposure which declassified French documents said was higher than known at the time, said Mr Mitchell…

    “We want to turn it around and say, ‘we claim, believing that it is’. We even go to doctors to sign a medical certificate to say they believe, or know it is, related in order to receive the pension.

    “It’s time the Government believed us and proves that it is not radiation-related.”…

    Returned and Services Association national president Don McIver said he understood that veterans were concerned how long a study would take when time was running out.

    “The RSA has great sympathy for the nuclear veterans and I understand why they don’t feel they have been properly treated at this stage.”


    There should be a study and the Government should stop using the, waiting for everyone to die angle, to get out of it. The concerns are real as they say, “The most important question for the men was whether they had passed on the effects of radiation to their children and grandchildren and what help would be given to them.”

    I’d like the study done for personal reasons as my father was in the merchant marine and witnessed a few tests – he wrote me a letter once saying that he didn’t believe there were any hereditary effects, he’s dead now (cancer related in early 60’s) but his grandchildren are alive and they deserve to know.

  10. Santi 12

    This is the common sense that needs to be espoused for the ratings to go up:

    Well done, Shane Jones.

    • JK 12.1

      Not well done at all, Santi. Jones disses his own people in the north in that story – the ones who are opposed to gold mining in their rohe because of real concerns about water contamination. And as far as I can make out – in all his years in Parliament – he’s done very little to engender more jobs in the north for his people. IMO Jones is just a big I AM – and it looks to me like he’s making a play to be the Labour Leader !

  11. Draco T Bastard 13

    This is disturbing if true:

    Stuff.co.nz and Dominion Post publishers Fairfax Media have barred their reporters from covering lectures on inequality by visiting London School of Economics Professor Robert Wade.

    News staff were told early last week not to cover Wade’s visit, and to ignore press releases relating to it.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Fairfax has a blacklist of economists whom they will not talk to

      I wonder if the little altercation with English has had something to do with it

      If Fairfaxes ban is real, it is internationally newsworthy in of itself. What is required is a leaked email or memo from Fairfax.

    • David H 13.2

      Well I emailed them about this got a reply saying we don’t ban our jouno’s covering stories. So I replied back saying that I look forward to a critic of the lectures by a qualified in that stuff journo and not just the new boy. See what that brings

  12. Mary 14

    Not surprising but he knew all along what he’d do. Total slime. This time though he’s underestimated his electorate. Just signed his ticket out of there.


    • yeshe 15.1


      • RedBaronCV 15.1.1

        +10110 10
        And a knighthood too perhaps?

        • Colonial Viper

          And a directorship at a partially privatised power generator.

          • RedBaronCV

            No he was better than that. Director of Apple?

            • Colonial Viper

              Apple is likely to pay him good money to stay away…”non-executive director at large”

              • RedBaronCV

                Just the logo you reckon not the man. Anyway he’s someone who left a big mark, and although his wartime service tends to be what is focused on, isn’t it the maths behind it that really made the difference. Anyway I admire the man’s work.

                BTW weren’t the local police under instruction not to arrest him during the war?

                • Colonial Viper

                  I actually didn’t know that Turing, who was brilliant, a war hero and father of computer science, met such an unfortunate end. Great Britain robbed itself of genius.

                  • RedBaronCV

                    It was dreadful. He went in to advise police that one of his friends may have accessed top secret papers at his place and when the police understood the nature of the relationship it was “to hell with the theft of important documents let’s get on with persecuting you for something our brains comprehend.” Makes you wonder what discoveries have simply not been made.

                    • Rosetinted

                      One, was that after a dreadful war, being kind and loving to one another must be kept under strict control, just in case you may want to bash a protester, or invade another country etc. And that it’s not the nobility of Turing’s mind and the gift of his commitment of total brain and body excellence applied to assist the war effort and help save the country, it’s whether you look right, act according to Hoyle, are one of us.

                  • RedBaronCV

                    And whose maths lies behind the P vs NP mathematical problem-where “the answer knows the question”. It is easy to work back from the answer but difficult to work forward from the question. It fascinates me, I reckon when this is solved then we will be on our way to the stars because what is there is also here? Probaly not a mathematician’s view though.

                  • Rosetinted

                    GB’s history probably shows a trend to do that. I have a book written by Reginald Hill going into the large number of their own men they killed by edict for this or that. Probably would have served well in some other field. Cold-hearted so and sos for a supposedly developed nation.

  13. Molly Polly 16

    I am angry.

    Someone close to me was forced to work in Wellington’s CBD today against the directive of the Civil Defence and the Mayor of Wellington. This person was due to start work at 11am but the other worker, who was the key holder, had to open the shop at 9am. This person couldn’t get into the CBD by public transport to do this.

    However, this person managed to get into the city by mid afternoon. Both workers were told that if the shop didn’t open both of them would have to take annual leave.

    So here we have two young people on minimum wage forced to open a retail shop in the middle of the CBD at 3.00pm for 2 hours! This is after a severe earthquake when the advice from all and sundry was not to go into the CBD. Inspections of buildings needed to take place (and the shop is part of a high rise complex, including a car park) and to keep the public away as a safety precaution.

    The CBD is a ghost town today so there are little, if no people, shopping.

    I guess that if you were desperate for a pair of shoes, or an ouffit for a special occasion…this is the very day you would go shopping to get these vital items. Straight after an earthquake and continuing after shocks – and in defiance of the Civil Defence!

    Shame on this business owner for putting the company’s profits before anything else. Shame on this business owner for putting these two young people at risk. And shame on this business owner for forcing these two young people to work for 2 hours, or else.

    Other major companies such as Farmers and Kirks were closed, as were the majority of small retailers.

    And by the way – zilch purchases were made.

  14. Lloyd 17

    We need a new Prime Minister that doesn’t bring earthquakes.

  15. Rodel 18

    Just realized who Patrick Gower is on TV…. He has integrity and ethics comparable to those professional people at Fox news.Apart from John Campbell have we any real journalists in this country?

  16. weka 19

    Christ on a cross, now Bomber is championing Shearer to stay on.


    (no GoT spoilers please!)

    Thankfully Trotter says the opposite.


    Still no real solutions in sight.

    • Red Rosa 19.1

      Trotter has it wrapped up.

    • karol 19.2

      Just read those: two different but interesting perspectives.

      Trotter says Shearer, a right winger, had ambitions to be leader of the Labour caucus as soon as he was elected to parliament, and started courting key media figures on the right and left. He did this courting instead of, trying to learn about the Labour Party, its history, systems, etc.

      Mr Shearer possessed no long or strong connections with either the national or the local party organisation when he put himself forward as the candidate for Mount Albert. He still doesn’t. He was selected only because Phil Goff (his former boss) stood behind him. Such connections as have developed since he entered Parliament are largely the work of dedicated party workers and supporters.
      This is telling, because no sooner was he elected, than Mr Shearer began building a strong and extensive network of media contacts. He would, for example, get together on nearly a weekly basis with the Radio Live politicos John Tamihere, Willie Jackson, Matt McCarten and Matthew Hooton at a fashionable Ponsonby bar. Backbenchers host, Wallace Chapman, was wooed, and even the Daily Blog editor, Martyn “Bomber” Bradbury, found himself on the list of media figures to be courted by the new member for Mt Albert. Mr Shearer also acquired a regular spot on the UNITEC radio station during which he interviewed everyone from the war correspondent, Jon Stephenson, to the author of this posting.
      Mr Shearer’s rival for the Labour leadership, David Cunliffe, may have been a West Auckland MP since 1999, and served as a Cabinet Minister in the Labour Government led by Helen Clark, but during that 12 year career he had signally failed to construct a media network of Mr Shearer’s power and reach. Caucus voted for Mr Shearer.

      However, Trotter argues that Shearer is clearly not up to the job, is a “cuckoo” in Labour’s nest, and should go now.

      Bomber says he now has heard via his contacts and/or tipsters, that it is the ABC faction that is trying to get rid of Shearer, and they want to install another ABC candidate – not Robertson – as leader. Bomber concludes, it’d be better for Shearer to stay, than to have another lame duck ABC choice as leader – though Shearer may not be up to winning the election.

      Sheeessshhhh. What a miserable situation!

      • Anne 19.2.1

        Good summing up karol.

        I’ve been waiting for someone to out the leaker/ texter. We need to know who it is and then we can make an informed judgement whether Bomber is right. If he is, I suppose they are looking to replace Shearer with Shane Jones or Andrew Little. Shane Jones has been noticeably prominent in the public arena in recent times.

      • Alanz 19.2.2

        And paraphrasing from that 1940 House of Commons quote:

        Dear Shearer,

        “In the name of Go[ff], go!”

        And Robertson, before he loses any claim on his past initials H.3., should not let the ABCs fk it up with anointing another lame duck leader.

      • weka 19.3.1

        Is it really necessary to embed video on ts? Big blocks of blackness are hardly conducive to reading flow.


        • marty mars

          I did it too on the rudd thread – I was expecting just the link to show not the embedded video might need a tech explanation.

          • Draco T Bastard

            It’s the WordPress software being helpful. I certainly wasn’t expecting it to embed the way that it did.

            • weka

              ah ok, sorry. I saw Brett do it the other day and had to walk away from the computer 😉

            • lprent

              Tracked it down and turned it off. New “feature” in jetpack. What is irritating about it is that it is only meant to work in posts and pages – not comments.

    • McFlock 19.4

      So who does Bomber think is behind what (if it exists) must be the most incompetent leadership challenge Labour’s seen in a while, I wonder?

      If Shearer’s perceived as being to the right of the party (or, as Trotter calmly and subtly put it, “a huge and dangerous cuckoo in Labour’s nest”), who would be even worse? Jones? Mallard? Is Peter Dunne seeing an opportunity to reclaim a “party leader” pay grade? Will Chris Hipkins go all “stabby stabby stabby, cut cut cut”?

      And when can we buy the box set, or will next season simply be cancelled?

      • Colonial Viper 19.4.1

        Trotter is hilarious, having gone from being a vocal Shearer supporter to his opinion today.

        • McFlock

          He had me laughing when he sang the Internationale in 1999 just because labour got in. Went downhill from there.

    • Bill 19.5

      meh – Bomber is only suggesting Shearer should possibly stay if the alternative is another ABC jack-up.

      edit. oops. Should have read Karol’s comment before submitting that

    • Paul 19.6

      Solution is a grassroots revolt by Labour members.

      • McFlock 19.6.1

        I want to see the LEC “strike” suggested a while back. Sort this bollocks one way or t’other.

        • weka

          how would that work?

          • McFlock

            I think it was CV mentioned it – as I understand the idea, the LECs refuse to do any of their regular work (especially campaigning, but they’d want to threaten that before the actual campaign) unless caucus vote no confidence in shearer and force a leadership election under the new rules. I’m sure CV will correct me if I’m wrong on the details 🙂

            • Colonial Viper

              And refuse to pay their levies to head office. That’s the bit which really smarts.

              • JK

                That won’t work McFlock and CV. It only hits the Labour Party HO – not the MPs and certainly not the Leader. Plus the threat to not do the campaigning is a long way off – we’re talking 2014 and there’s still most of 2013 to get thru with a (non) Leader who says he’s going to lead Labour into the 2014 election (and presumably into sunset, or wherever it is that dead political parties end up).
                More drastic action is needed – and IMO its up to the rest of the Labour caucus to finally understand they have a rightwing rat in their midst, and its time to dump him !

                • Colonial Viper

                  Labour list selection is just around the corner, mate. The party can apply a shit load of pressure on caucus.

                • McFlock

                  More drastic action is needed – and IMO its up to the rest of the Labour caucus to finally understand they have a rightwing rat in their midst, and its time to dump him !

                  While I disagree with that opinion, I also think the way it is expressed is part of the reason this is dragging on so long. Even if such an understanding were required, that is the outcome, not the mechanism by which it is achieved.

    • Draco T Bastard 19.7

      A short statement from David Shearer

      We are also working on ways to minimise the harm being caused to us by Duncan Garner and Patrick Gower and their constant speculation about my leadership. Some of my caucus members have been sharply critical of Garner and Gower, but I’m prepared to try a different tactic. Duncan, Paddy, all I ask is that you give me a fair go. Please. Please? Come on, I’m begging you. I’m on my knees here. I am literally on my knees as I write this, and the tears are streaming down my face. I’m a broken man. Please stop this. It hurts so much. The pain! Oh god, the pain…

    • Rosetinted 19.8

      Christ on a cross – is that the new expressive from of compressed frustration? Not just what the hell, but combining a query and a prayer all in one.

  17. Draco T Bastard 20

    Good article about temperatures:

    But if that’s true, where is this heat going?

    The answer is into the deep oceans. Here is a graphic showing where the heat is currently going:

    Simple enough that even the climate change deniers may be able to understand it.

    and this is good news too.

  18. Draco T Bastard 21

    And, as this government seems to be following the UK in so many things, there’s this:

    All new internet connections will have default “family-friendly” filters preventing access to porn, and all existing customers will be contacted and asked to choose between a porn and no-porn internet.

    • karol 21.1

      Well, I have no interest in porn…. but I don’t feel a need to have my access to it blocked – a non issue for me. Don’t want/need the filter, don’t want to be asked.

      My concern is whether other stuff will be inadvertently blocked.

      • Rosetinted 21.1.1

        Will words like breasts, penis etc. become transgressions that will be filtered out? In this modern age of prudish purity by those elevated in society and wanting to behave ‘nicely’ all the time, while at the same time we are surrounded by vulgarity, huge breasts featured on the front of women’s magazines, (‘huge melons’) and regular sexist and discriminatory language, it is possible.

        • Colonial Viper

          The pornography etc is irrelevant. UK is home of the page 3 girl and they aren’t suggesting getting rid of her.

          Its simply an angle allowing a first step to wider government censorship and control of the internet. Hadrians Firewall, as it were. The regulatory bodies and technical mechanisms will be set up, and then they will be applied to additional terms as required.

          Don’t forget, the UK Govt already knows the contents of each persons internet searches and emails.

          Also in the USA, Occupy found out that authorities could shut down txt and mobile phone coverage at will, to disrupt the organisation of activists and protestors.

          • weka

            Sorry mate, but people who can’t tell the difference between page 3 pornography and internet pornography probably shouldn’t be allowed to discuss the issue.

            • Colonial Viper

              The acceptance of government control, regulation and censorship of the internet is the objective. The porn angle is classic Crosby Textor style framing to wedge open the door to achieving that objective.

              I mean – would you really fall for this strategy? It’s actually well calculated. A lot of people will.

              Proponents of internet freedom and an unregulated internet will be framed as being “for child porn” etc. Its so bleeding obvious.

              Next step will then be to ban searches associated with the promotion of terrorism and Islamic radicalism. And so on and so forth. You don’t want your children to be exposed to extremist ideology, do you?

              • weka

                I’d like to see you prove that. Including how CT-type bods mamanged to dupe all those feminist anti-violence groups as well as the child-protection ones. Are you suggesting there is no real issue here and they got brainwashed?

                btw, it is possible to address important issues of govt surveillance and control without minimising sexual safety and violence issues. Just saying.

                • Colonial Viper

                  OK, sign away your own civil rights then, sheep to the NewSpeak slaughter I say.

              • weka

                “You don’t want your children to be exposed to extremist ideology, do you?”

                Like I said, it is possible to deal with the problems of internet porn AND the problems of govt control. They’re not mutually exclusive.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Yes it is possible in theory to address the problem of government control of the internet, but it won’t happen. You are talking about the home of the GCSB.

                  This is a government which infiltrated environmental groups with secret police and surveilled the family of a murdered boy in order to discredit them.

                  You have so much faith in these authorities to do the right thing after they have spit on you over and over and over again, it’s laughable.

                  • weka

                    “You have so much faith in these authorities to do the right thing”

                    [citation needed]

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Open mike 22/07/2013

                      Like I said, it is possible to deal with the problems of internet porn AND the problems of govt control. They’re not mutually exclusive.

                      That’s an expression of faith in the UK authorities. I laugh at that.

                    • weka

                      “That’s an expression of faith in the UK authorities”

                      Actually it’s not. Why not try having a conversation with me instead of jumping to a whole bunch of inaccurate conclusions?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Of course it is an expression of your trust in the authorities. More specifically, in their good faith to do the right thing and not attempt to over-reach in their control of the internet, its content, and their monitoring of your activities online.

                    • weka

                      [citation needed]

                      Go on, show me specifically where I’ve said that I trust the UK govt to act in good faith to do the right thing and not attempt to over-reach in their control of the internet, its content, and their monitoring of your activities online.

                      Honestly, I think you are making shit up, although you may not realise it. I don’t believe that about the UK govt.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Nah, I’m over this conversation. You implicitly accept government assurances regarding control of the internet. The last two months should have made you extremely wary of that, but it appears it hasn’t, so maybe you weren’t paying attention.

                      As you said, this conversation is going nowhere.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Like I said, it is possible to deal with the problems of internet porn

                  There aren’t any problems with internet porn.

                  • weka

                    Yes there are.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Such as?

                    • weka

                      Child porn
                      Rape porn
                      Easy access of porn for children
                      The amount of porn promoting degradation of women
                      How porn socialises many men, esp young men, into unhealthy ways of relating with women sexually, and in power relations.
                      The connections between porn and rape

                      That’s just a short list off the top of my head.

                      Like I said, I don’t have a problem with porn per se (in the sense of portraying sexual acts for other people’s pleasure). I do have a problem with how the porn industries operate, many of the kinds of porn that exist, and that the porn industry doesn’t want to address child porn in any meaningful way.

                    • felix

                      None of those are “problems with internet porn” though.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Weka may also have no idea that 99% of what is on the internet is not search engine findable.

            • RedBaronCV

              I’ll look into it or at it or something….

      • Draco T Bastard 21.1.2

        Well, I have no interest in porn…. but I don’t feel a need to have my access to it blocked – a non issue for me.

        Same here – got bored with porn last century – but also don’t want my name on a database saying that I watch porn which will happen if such comes in.

        My concern is whether other stuff will be inadvertently blocked.

        Always have been before and indications were that it wasn’t inadvertent. Free sexual health sites, especially ones that deal with LGBT, seem to get blocked quite regularly and as the blocking software uses a blacklist which nobody can see or appeal legitimate sites that have been blocked don’t have any way to get themselves removed. I’ve heard here and there that such blacklists have actually resulted in the bankruptcy of some small businesses that didn’t have anything to do with porn or sex.

        • weka

          So lobby for better filtering.

          • Draco T Bastard

            There’s no such thing and besides, the filtering doesn’t work as there’s too many ways around it.

            If you don’t want to watch porn then don’t watch porn. Don’t penalise those who do just because you don’t want to.

            • weka

              It’s not about me wanting or not wanting to watch porn*. It’s about the access that children have to porn, how that changes them and society.

              How is someone being penalised by turning off a family filter?

              *but I’m glad you brought that up, because I suspect that part of the motivation in this conversation is the freedom to watch porn. I don’t have a problem with porn per se, and as soon as the porn industry chooses to clean it’s act up, so to speak, and separate out healthy porn from porn that degrades people (esp women) and promotes violence and damages children, then we won’t need to have laws around it.

              • Draco T Bastard

                It’s about the access that children have to porn, how that changes them and society.

                The problem you mention is socialisation, not the porn.

                BTW, you can buy filters that go on your PC and thus not have your morality forced upon others.

                How is someone being penalised by turning off a family filter?

                Because they’d have to put in extra effort and be put on a database for porn watchers. (and that’s what they will be called if they have the filter turned off)

                because I suspect that part of the motivation in this conversation is the freedom to watch porn.

                You can suspect whatever you like. I’m quite open about the fact that I’ve watched porn and I’m also open about the fact that I now find it boring and thus don’t bother with it.

                and separate out healthy porn from porn that degrades people (esp women) and promotes violence and damages children, then we won’t need to have laws around it.

                Well, the laws banning child pornography are quite strict and they’re laws that will never be rescinded because there’s some real sick fucks out there. Having a government sponsored filter won’t stop these people because they don’t use public sites and often the only way you can get to the site is by word of mouth and having the encryption key. Same goes for the really violent porn as well.

                As for the industry cleaning itself up? Well, some parts of the industry are already doing that.

                As for the violence? Well, there you run into complications because of BDSM porn. Of course, the BDSM community is probably more aware that what they do could be misconstrued than anybody and do stress the need for consent and set limits. That said, there’s more violence on the nightly news than what I’ve ever seen in porn.

    • weka 21.2

      Following the links

      The new measures will apply to both existing and new customers.

      Family-friendly filters will be automatically selected for all new customers – though they can choose to switch them off.

      And millions of existing computer users will be contacted by their internet providers and told they must decide whether to activate “family friendly filters” to restrict adult material.

      Customers who do not click on either option – accepting or declining – will have filters activated by default, Tory MP Claire Perry, Mr Cameron’s adviser on the sexualisation and commercialisation of childhood, told the BBC.


      That doesn’t sound totally unreasonable to me.

      This is good too –

      In addition, Mr Cameron will say possessing online pornography depicting rape will be illegal, bringing England and Wales in line with Scotland.

      • Draco T Bastard 21.2.1

        Every single person in the country who wants to access pornography will have to tell some unknown stranger on the telephone, “Yes, give me the sexual deviant special, please.” You don’t just get to quietly do your business without anyone knowing anymore. As you can imagine, that’s uncomfortable. But that’s only the temporary, fleeting effect.

        The bigger effect is that you’re keeping privately-held databases of every single person in the country that you can blackmail with “YOU WATCH PORN AND THAT’S DIRTY.” The government will have this information, the ISPs will have this information, and any hacker or scammer who gains access to their database through technical skills or social engineering will have this information.

        That sounds totally unreasonable to me and yet this is what such a law will do.

        This is information that doesn’t need to be gathered and can cause untold harm to someone if the wrong people get a hold of it.

        • weka

          The first quoted paragraph isn’t at all what is being suggested and strikes me as a somewhat reactionary response. From what I can tell the filter will be an electronic opt in/out kind of thing that comes from the ISP.

          I agree the second point is an issue, but I’d like to see some discussion on it. It doesn’t appear to be cataloguing content, just whether someone ticked a no filter option. There are so many people watching porn online, and there will be others who will refuse the filter because of the reasons Karol suggested, that I think being on such a list will be not that relevant. I might not choose the filter, as I don’t let kids have access to my computer, and I’m happy enough with the level of filtering I get with from my browsers. So I end up on a list of people who turned off a family filter, so what? I expect that there will be much discussion about the range of reasons people turn the filter off. To say that anyone who turns the filter off will be labelled DIRTY PORN LOVER is a bit hysterical to be honest. I’d like to see some discussion about this from Civil Liberties groups though, and more information on the technology used.

          The thing I would be more concerned about is the relationship between the ISPs and the govt (legal ones, we know about the others already), and the precedent setting, thin end of the wedge stuff that CV is referring to.

          • Colonial Viper

            To say that anyone who turns the filter off will be labelled DIRTY PORN LOVER is a bit hysterical to be honest.

            You’re expressing even more faith in the authorities to do the right thing? Perhaps you should look up the scope and reach of the TEMPORA system. Trying to claim that people are being paranoid or hysterical about government internet monitoring and control is to admit that you’ve been snoozing for the last several weeks.

            • weka

              Show me how the UK govt intends to monitor people more than it already is, and specifically how it will monitor which people turn off the family filter and what it will do with that data.

              “Trying to claim that people are being paranoid or hysterical about government internet monitoring and control is to admit that you’ve been snoozing for the last several weeks”

              I’m not claiming that. I’m saying that I’d like to see some credible discussion about how being labelled as someone who turned off the family filter could cause harm. Rather than just having blanket accusations of evil govt surveillance thrown down (and yes, I do believe the govt does evil surveillance, and no I haven’t been asleep in the last month).

              What I’m failing to see is how this particular scheme is as bad as you say, and I remain unconvinced that this discussion isn’t largely about protecting rights to watch porn (not that those are being challenged) or being anti controlling the internet (I think the internet is already controlled, and some of that is for the good).

              • Draco T Bastard

                I’m not claiming that. I’m saying that I’d like to see some credible discussion about how being labelled as someone who turned off the family filter could cause harm.

                That was in the bit I quoted and you ignored it.

                Think of a politician running for office who had the porn filter turned off. Someone hacks the ISPs database and then sells that information to the politician’s opponents who then have a way to attack them. And don’t say it won’t happen as all we have to do is point to that politician a few years ago who hired a few videos. That made headline news and resulted in the politician resigning. I very much doubt that would have happened if they hadn’t been porn.

        • Colonial Viper

          Snowden has already relayed what he thought about the ability to reveal peoples online activities, txts, emails etc. “that is the power to change peoples fates”.

          • weka

            Weak CV. I think we would need to know technical detail about the filter, and how data will be collected and used.

            Then put it on a scale comparing say google’s collection of data on searches at one end, and the GCSB’s collection of data on everything at the other.

            • RedBaronCV

              Kep the kids on dial up -narrow band- those pictures take ages to load.

            • Colonial Viper

              “Weak”? Sheeple to the slaughter. Creeping government control over the internet. As if Cameron gives a shit about children, in a country where child poverty is projected to climb from 2.4M to 3.4M in the next few years, and a couple of thousand children die in avoidable medical deaths per annum.

              But yeah, the big danger to kids is internet porn thats where the real gutsy action and leadership in child wellbeing has to be taken.

              Oh yeah weka, I know, they aren’t mutually exclusive etc.

              I think we would need to know technical detail about the filter, and how data will be collected and used.

              FFS you really love and trust the authorities don’t you?

              • weka

                What I’m finding interesting is your overreaction to what I am saying, and your insistence that I trust the authorities, when you haven’t even bothered to ask me what I actually think about that. You ARE misinterpreting what I am saying, or you simply can’t manage a coherent response to the issues I’ve started to raise around sexual violence and the internet

                So keep throwing out incorrect assertions about what I think and believe, ignore the points I raise, and the conversation will go nowhere.

                “As if Cameron gives a shit about children, in a country where child poverty is projected to climb from 2.4M to 3.4M in the next few years, and a couple of thousand children die in avoidable medical deaths per annum.”

                Hyperbole much?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Hyperbole much?

                  You really have no idea of the actual scale of child poverty, child harm and child mortality issues in the UK do you? Why don’t you do some reading up.

                  The Tories pretend to be all lovey dovey caring about family values and child wellbeing. What a joke. They are single handedly breaking up families and impoverishing children on a massive scale.

                  You probably think that is “hyperbole” too.

                  What I’m finding interesting is your overreaction to what I am saying, and your insistence that I trust the authorities, when you haven’t even bothered to ask me what I actually think about that.

                  I already understand your mentality. It’s embedded again here:

                  I think we would need to know technical detail about the filter, and how data will be collected and used.

                  You want to believe in their assurances about how data will be collected and used. You think that investigating those details will make a difference. It shows that you have been completely asleep for the last 2 months. Look up TEMPORA.

                  • weka

                    Dude, I know what TEMPORA is. And until you get off your high horse and start discussing with me instead of dictating what I believe, you’re just being an arse.

                    The hyperbole is in saying that no Tory cares about children at all, not even a jot. It’s a black and white view of the world that means we should line all the Tory’s up against the wall now. In the world I live in, people are rarely wholly evil.

                    “You want to believe in their assurances about how data will be collected and used.”

                    I haven’t read their assurances, so no, that’s not what I believe. I was wanting independant views on the technology. Duh.

                    I do however believe in being informed, and when you can show me something credible about this particular scheme that demonstrates its evil, or even potential evil, and allows rational discussion of it (rather than “it’s the govt, it’s evil, make the aversion sign”) then I’ll stop being so critical of your knee jerk reaction.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      then I’ll stop being so critical of your knee jerk reaction.

                      NZ will only be 2-3 years behind the UK in bringing in additional government controls and monitoring over the internet. I hope you are consistent and cheer for it then as well.

                • Colonial Viper

                  UK child poverty to hit 3.4M by 2020

                  According to an new report by David Hirsch of Loughborough University’s Centre for Social Policy, the estimated minimum cost of child poverty in the UK today stands at £29bn £4bn higher than in 2008 when the last calculations were carried out.

                  These costs are set to rise – the Joseph Rowntree Foundation predicts that the number of children living in poverty will increase to 3.4m by 2020, a rise of 700,000. This could cost the UK an estimated £35bn in today’s terms unless action is taken to reverse the upward trend.


                  so is that “hyperbole”, weka?

  19. Rosetinted 22

    I was interested in the comment about Hannah Tamaki from yesterday on – http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-21072013/#comment-665718

    Tonight on Radionz there has been an interesting piece on prosperity church movement. It started in the USA in the 1950s and then was taken to Nigeria and Nigerians in Britain have very large congregations now.

    One pastor was said to have spent 80,000 pounds on his brithday, or the church did. His CEO said that it was okay because all the people of the church wanted the pastor to have the money for his birthday. Were they given a vote he was asked. But he didn’t like that and his voice started to rise. The people are okay with everything that’s all we ned to know, and also for the pastor to have a time share in Florida.

    That’s where the Bee Gees went to live and no doubt all celebrity pastors like to show their success in similar opportunities. After all if God blesses you with money for being good, you deserve it. Some who have found the positive messages and the expectation that they will become comfortably off church members with good jobs keep them believing in themselves and they have followed their dreams and are quite happy with their 10% tithing.

  20. lprent 23

    /rant begins

    I had an irritating day today at work. Made me reflect on that saying about inevitability – only three things are certain in life – death, taxes and hard disk failure. The latter should be joined with the inevitable wasting of precious time waiting for data to copy (which I have done entirely too much of over the years).

    Needless to say, my work workstation decided that it wasn’t cooperating when I waved the mouse at it this morning. I tend to leave it running most of the time as waking it up each day takes rather a long time and I use it to monitor various systems related to work. It just shuts down most of the CPU’s, drops its clock rates, and shuts off the screen and most peripheral devices – but leaves the hard disk running. The HDD has had less than 250 starts in the last 3 years, and most of those would have been from the occasional spin-downs from the “green” features built into the drive.

    Rebooted the system in case it was stray cosmic ray and found a pile of console warning about ata5. Looked at the SMART diagnostics and found that the 3 year old 1TB Hitachi HDD had nearly 400 remapped sectors and 40 tagged for checking when next written to. The hard disk was also making the system run like a wet week as it kept re-trying suspect sectors.

    Even worse the HDD at my work workstation is not obsessively RAID mirrored like my home systems because all of the strange laptop people around couldn’t see the value. They tend to replace their laptops with lowspeed hard drives faster than the hard disks failed. Instead they seem to prefer complaining about the small disk space of a 300GB drive.

    While it had backups of all of the critical configuration, it’d take a day or maybe two to reinstall from scratch because it simply isn’t worth imaging a system that mostly has old branch copies of code and the binaries generated from them. A linux programmers hard disk mostly consists of stuff that is held elsewhere on version control systems, and software that is downloadable from the online distributions. There is exactly one bit of paid software on the system – my personal linux copy of my favourite editor – also available online from my server at home.

    So after a long design session related to issues identified over the weekend, it was off to PBTech to pick up a new ITB drive, and off home to get my external dual HDD dock. Because there is an easier way than reinstalling – cloning. And these days I clone in external hardware rather than trying to boot systems up and doing it through clonezilla and the like.

    Back to work to extract the failing drive and pop it and the new drive in the dock and then press the “Clone” button …. Doesn’t have to be connected to a computer – it copies direct from one drive to the other. Have I mentioned how often this frigging device has saved my arse before? I’d mention the model but I suspect someone (Whale, PG) will start whining that I’m being paid to do it.

    But while the device is great at getting a really good copy of the data across accurately, it has one big problem. It can only move data as fast as the electronics and software allow. And since this device is designed for a 5Gbps USB3 connection, that probably equates to a maximum throughput of something in the order of 0.6 mega bytes per second not counting the delays due to head-seeking, rereading, verifying and errors etc etc. And of course all of those things slow it down. Slow it down quite a lot. Rather than taking about half an hour, it took almost 2 and half hours of unadulterated boredom reading the Androif SDK on my tablet.

    While I was doing that, I was reflecting on the ever increasing size of HDD’s, their short lives, and that I have (I counted them) 12 drives in my home system for a total of ~6.6TB of available storage. Most are in 2TB mirrored HDD pairs and some hot spares. But there are now just over 600GB of boot and scratch/working solid state drives that just run backups onto the HDD’s. And that is just at home… Now a lot of that data are just backups either as mirrors, or as backups of the unmirrored drives or offsite data. For instance there are almost 60GB of encrypted backups of this site sitting in a directory.

    But really we need something a damn sight faster to copy data with. Because I’m spending far too much time just copying it between disks to keep ahead of the storage systems failure rates 😈

    /rant over

    • McFlock 23.1

      I accidentally overwrote half a day’s work with a garbage set. Ended up redoing it because it was quicker (what with already knowing the road to travel down) than getting a restore from IT support (their job queue is quite long and seems to involve a random weighting of “what the techs feel like doing”).
      There but for the grace of god, I guess 🙂

      • lprent 23.1.1

        I eventually managed to get some code written – between 1630 and 1930. It was just starting to get interesting and produce results when I realised that I had to get home to cook dinner* Drat.

        I haven’t been around IT “support” since I was at Clear in 1995 – not that I used it then. Since then I’ve usually been the backing IT support if it comes to software and usually for swapping out component hardware simply because I’ve usually done everything at least a few times on my own systems already. This current job is nice because there are electron pushers there, which tends to make the diagnosis side of my “support jobs” a whole lot easier.

        * I can’t be bothered doing dishes or cleaning up – as in dirt and mess doesn’t concern me much. However I can make a variety of good simple meals from scratch very fast provided I shop for them and have them pre-programmed in my head. And if something is pre-programmed I don’t get bored with doing it because I can think about code or blogs or politics while my hands do their thing. The division of labour in our household is quite delineated but based on personal preferences/phobias rather than any traditional roles. It does however mean that I have to get home and serve food in what Lyn deems to be an acceptable time rather than indulge in extended work sessions 🙂

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