web analytics

Open mike 27/12/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 27th, 2015 - 39 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

39 comments on “Open mike 27/12/2015 ”

  1. DH 1

    This is curious…..

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/75437596/mfat-warning-on-chinese-delegations

    My first thought was how did MFAT know the guy had just received electronic gifts. The narrative seems a little strange.

    • Anne 1.1

      Having glanced through the story it suggests the following:

      Chinese business visitors are being kept under 24hr surveillance from the moment they step off their plane until the moment they leave.

      Now, isn’t that ironic. Didn’t JK and co. call out Labour for being racist when they suggested Chinese immigrants were buying up properties at inflated prices thus contributing to market distortion? I venture to suggest this surveillance not only has racial overtones, it’s sinister.

      By all means, keep an eye on people who have form (or are associated with those who have form) in attempts to steal trade secrets from other countries but this, in my view, is a step too far!

    • alwyn 1.2

      It is possible, and from the wording about it being a delegation and a group of businessmen, that the arrangements for the group, and their hosts in New Zealand was MFAT itself.
      There would probably have been MFAT people present with the group and they would have observed the gift being made, Those gifts are made totally publicly as part of the aim is to highlight your generosity.
      MFAT would not have said anything at the time, as this could embarrass the Chinese group, but might have called the recipient later.
      I have no way of knowing this explanation to be a true one but it is quite a likely alternative to the more scary option Anne has proposed. It would also fit in with the way these delegation’s visits are routinely organised.

      • Paul 1.2.1

        That was insightful, alwyn

      • DH 1.2.2

        That certainly makes sense Alwyn. It’s still odd that they’d call the man though. Unknown USB devices are suspect no matter where they come from so why did they think this was important enough to call the guy ‘urgently’? It does suggest they’ve previously found spyware in similar circumstances (?)

        I also gained the impression the meeting occured in NZ, in which case you’d have to be mad to pass on gifts with spyware in them. That’s a criminal offence here and you can be easily caught in that type of scenario. Unless they’re using an unknown zero-day exploit the chances their spyware would be picked up by antivirus software is very high.

        The story still looks a bit contrived to me, or at least missing something.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.2.1

          That’s a criminal offence here…

          “Our” spies conspire to commit similar criminal offences in or against other nations on a daily basis. Pot, meet kettle.

        • alwyn 1.2.2.2

          “It’s still odd that they’d call the man though”

          I was only giving a relatively benign reason for how MFAT would know that he had just received some electronic gear in answer to your final sentence that “how did MFAT know the guy had just received electronic gifts”
          Why they had any reason to be suspicious of the items is a different matter, on which I have no ideas.

          There seems to be little doubt that the Chinese do carry out industrial espionage though. It is widely reported in reputable publications as this example of a story from Reuters illustrates.
          http://www.reuters.com/article/us-cybercrime-usa-china-idUSKCN0J42M520141120
          I have also seen stories fairly regularly in The Economist on the subject.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.2.2.2.1

            There seems to be little doubt that the Chinese do carry out industrial espionage though.

            Industrial espionage happens at all times from all countries:

            The U.S. continued to borrow from abroad for decades, refining and improving, and borrowing some more. Eventually, the laggard became the world’s biggest economy in the 1870s. Since then, the shoe has often been on the other foot, with entrepreneurs in other nations eager to take U.S. innovations to jumpstart their economies.

            The Cold War marked a departure from the usual dynamic: the Soviet Union and its allies coveted capitalist technologies to further their distinctly anti-capitalist ambitions. But the end of that era, and the rise of China, has brought a return to form as free-market economies vie against one another.

            The Chinese understand the futility of reinventing the wheel. Far better — and faster — to steal it from someone else.

            It would, of course, be better for all of us if that technology was freely shared as it would boost innovation rather than the present system that actively prevents it.

            And I wouldn’t be surprised if the US still carried out such industrial espionage so would MFAT be calling up the business if the gifts had come from US business people?

          • DH 1.2.2.2.2

            “There seems to be little doubt that the Chinese do carry out industrial espionage though.”

            They certainly do that and it’s no secret. Speaking technically I’m still a little surprised that a person would see fit to alert someone over a gift such as this unless there was more to it.

            The Chinese involved in industrial espionage are no fools, this is about the last vector of attack I’d expect them to use. It’s too risky, little chance of actually installing the spyware and with only small opportunity for reward. Most Chinese hacking is done through email.

            • alwyn 1.2.2.2.2.1

              In a reply to Anne, just below, I have proposed a reason why they might toss in a warning even if they neither knew, or even suspected, that the gear might be suspect.

              Open mike 27/12/2015


              Just butt covering.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.2.2.2.2.2

              Speaking technically I’m still a little surprised that a person would see fit to alert someone over a gift such as this unless there was more to it.

              It’s probably SOP for MFAT in such cases. The real problem is that the person warned then went to the MSM which published it.

      • Anne 1.2.3

        I won’t have a chance to read it more carefully until later today, but my impression was: MFAT rang the NZ businessman immediately after the visitors left. But I stand to be corrected if I have read it wrong.

        • alwyn 1.2.3.1

          They did report that Anne. I was only commenting on a way they would know without quite the extremes suggested in your comment. Perhaps MFAT are a bit more efficient than many of us sometimes suspect?

          • alwyn 1.2.3.1.1

            As an afterthought I would also add the following.
            If, as I have suggested, the trip and the visits including the one to this company, were arranged by MFAT they would be very likely to warn him even if they were only basing it on the Chinese being suspected of carrying out hacking type attacks elsewhere.
            It would be the old story. How would MFAT, and its political masters, feel if the story on the front page of the Herald a week later had a headline like “MFAT introduced spying activities into my firm” with a story about them asking the company to welcome the Chinese and that it is all the Government’s fault that malware was introduced into their computer systems?
            You wouldn’t need much of a reason to talk to the company would you, if you were an MFAT official? You’d just be covering your butt.

            • Anne 1.2.3.1.1.1

              alwyn @ 1.2.3.1.1
              You seem to have superior knowledge on this subject so I bow to your thesis as being entirely reasonable. However I have re-read the article and this excerpt might be relevant to MFAT’s most recent activity:

              Earlier this month, the Minister of Justice, Amy Adams and former Minister of Police, Michael Woodhouse, launched a cybercrime plan as part of the government’s “refreshed Cyber Security Strategy” after reports that cyber attacks were on the rise.

              Last year, the cost of online attacks in New Zealand cost more than $250 million, and about 856,000 New Zealanders were impacted by online crime.

              A recent report estimated the annual cost of cybercrime to the global economy at more than $600 billion.

              At the launch of the plan, Woodhouse said cybercrime could range from personal theft and attacks on businesses to extortion and fraud.

              “In a changing world where online security is an issue, we need to be on the front foot against cybercrime,” he said.

              Seems like there might be a bit of over-enthusiasm for Amy and Mike’s bran new Cyber Security Strategy.

              • Anne

                I left out the most important bit to back up my claim of over-enthusiasm:

                The plan included a computer emergency response team to handle computer security threats and provide information to help businesses and individuals to protect themselves online.

    • edit.

      scratched my comment – re-read the article and noticed a failure in reading comprehension; mine.

  2. h 2

    I’ve just been shown the Palestinian flag.
    Am I a bit slow or is it common knowledge its almost the same as Red Peak.

    • In that the flag has a ration of 1:2 and contains somewhere in its design a red triangle. Yes.

      It’s almost the same as the Canadian flag; that one has the same ratio and contains a red bit too.

      • H 2.1.1

        Yes but it doesn’t look like the Canadian flag because it doesn’t have a big fuck off maple leaf does it.
        Which looks nothing like a triangle.

        • Naturesong 2.1.1.1

          It’s a red bit though.

          Which is the same level of approximation you put forward as red peak = Palestinian flag.

          But, you may have the wrong audience.

          As someone who has lived and worked for several years in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Maale Adumim and Jericho. Who met and talked to hundreds if not thousands of Palestinians and Israelis while I was there I can tell you this: there is no shame in having a flag similar to the Palestinians.

          But back to my actual point; trying to create hazy and loose associations between flags because you wish to project your distaste of the Palestinians onto the Red Peak design is as weak as it is destructive (of goodwill, of reconciliation, of peace).
          My comparing the Red Peak to the Canadian flag was simply to point out the paucity of your argument.

  3. maui 4

    The US vs John Lennon doco was on Prime tv the other night. interesting to see snippets from Noam Chomsky and Tariq Ali in it, two people banished from mainstream media for telling the uncomfortable truth. The world would be in a much better place if these guys had made it onto our screens every week, sadly not.

    I had no idea that Lennon was so politically active either. The doco is dedinitely worth a watch, the whole thing is on youtube.

    • Whispering Kate 4.1

      I saw it too Maui and he certainly was an activist although he maintained he was a peacenik. Didn’t people have fire in their bellies in the 60’s and 70’s. Rallies were massive and they did make a difference. These days certainly here the crowds can be pretty big but the young people do not get out in the numbers they did then. I suppose conscription would bring out the crowds here – imagine all the rich kids actually having to face the conscription call up. Not all would be able to slide out of it like not all were able to do for Vietnam but you can betcha there would be a lot of A-listers whose sons wouldn’t be called up. It was a great documentary..

      • RedLogix 4.1.1

        Didn’t people have fire in their bellies in the 60’s and 70’s. Rallies were massive and they did make a difference.

        And then in 1980 there was this deep and pervasive shift. Something happened in that year (I believe Reagan and Thatcher were symptomatic, not causal) to change everything.

        I’ve often pondered this question, and while I have some ideas, I’ve never come up with a satisfying or complete answer.

  4. Draco T Bastard 5

    Overuse of pesticides is devastating China’s crops, study says

    In the early 2000s, the Chinese government decided to invest in chemical production facilities, which served them well on the international market until the global recession. Then, as exports plummeted, these facilities began to flood local markets with their products—including now-cheaper insecticides. Farmers began spraying their fields in earnest.

    But, according to a study published in Ecological Applications, this sudden surge in pesticide usage had an unusual effect: While helping to eliminate much of a one of the top 100 invasive species, a pest known as the whitefly, it appears to actually have driven the growth of a different subtype of the same species.
    This would all be fine and dandy, except for one enormous issue: This now-booming subtype of whitefly is an enormous plant disease carrier—and as of 2012, it had become dominant in all but two of the 28 provinces and territories examined.

    The Market Strikes Again.

    What we see here are the true ecological terrorists – corporations and the drive for profit.

  5. Whispering Kate 6

    Santa delivered a collection of old publications of NZ provinces and ports for my partner. They are extremely interesting and we have been browsing over some of them over the break. Thought this cartoon might interest some of our commentators – it seems Northland has been ignored for at least 100 years or so by successive governments, we don’t seem to progress much in this country and the provinces are bleeding slowly right now and were probably just as bad then. So the recent episode of bribing Northland with bridges hasn’t changed one jot – only the roads were stuffed back then … but of course, they are stuffed now as well.

    [lprent: added the image for WK. ]

    • Expat 6.1

      Kaitaia Hospital was completely rebuilt in 2007 after Nats threatened to close completely during their previous tenure, the Labour Coalition also made major extentions to ALL the local schools, the road to Cape Reinga was finally being sealed, more money was invested in the far north during that era than had been for a very long time, a shame some people don’t remember the historical low in unemployment for the area due to the investment.

  6. AsleepWhileWalking 7

    Okinawa objects to US military base and is suing Japanese government to stop it.

    More than a simple bureaucratic battle, the relocation issue reflects the decade-long demand by Okinawans to eject US military presence from the island entirely. The residents cite a long record of pollution, noise, public disorder and crime, including sexual abuse that comes from US base Futenma, located slap in the middle of residential blocks in the town of Ginowan.

    http://investmentwatchblog.com/okinawa-sue-japanese-govt-over-plans-for-new-us-military-base/

  7. Ecosse_Maidy 8

    Oh, I see the Slime Master General is to be awarded with a Knighthood by Cameron for services to fear & loathing in the UK….I just wonder how long it might be before Mr Keys feels left behind and awards his old mate some pompous baubles, like Order of The My Flagreferendum Star, 2nd Class.?

    Lynton Crosby……. What a low life bastard!

    • Marie 8.1

      Everything is going to be fine. I was in the same position just like you – it will make you strong.

      There is no-one more beautiful than you, I have been ‘everywhere’ and there is no-one more beautiful than you.

      You’re the only one who could ‘break my heart’.

      No-one else has that ability.

    • Wensleydale 8.2

      Can’t say I’m really surprised by this latest development. First Peter Talley, now Lynton Crosby. I’m just waiting for Genghis Khan and Josef Mengele to be awarded posthumous knighthoods. I wonder if Sir Peter Jackson is considering handing his back, given the dubious nature of his “peers”.

      Don’t accept it, Richie McCaw! Just say no!

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Put our most vulnerable first
    Don’t forget whānau and communities most at risk, says the Green Party, as the Government lays out its three-phase plan for Omicron. ...
    2 days ago
  • Boosting our immunity against Omicron
    With Omicron in the community, it’s vital we all do our bit to help to slow the spread, keep each other safe and protect our health system. One of the most important ways we can reduce the risk of Omicron is to get a booster dose as soon as we’re ...
    2 days ago
  • Equitable response to Omicron vital
    The Green Party supports the Government’s decision to move Aotearoa New Zealand to traffic light level Red at 11.59pm tonight, but says its success will depend on the support that is made available to the most vulnerable. ...
    5 days ago
  • How we’re preparing for Omicron
    As countries around the world experience Omicron outbreaks, we’re taking steps now to ensure we’re as prepared as possible and our communities are protected. ...
    1 week ago
  • What’s Labour achieved so far?
    Quite a bit! This Government was elected to take on the toughest issues facing Aotearoa – and that’s what we’re doing. Since the start of the pandemic, protecting lives and livelihoods has been a priority, but we’ve also made progress on long-term challenges, to deliver a future the next generation ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tackling the big issues in 2022
    This year, keeping Kiwis safe from COVID will remain a key priority of the Government – but we’re also pushing ahead on some of New Zealand’s biggest long-term challenges. In 2022, we’re working to get more Kiwis into homes, reduce emissions, lift children out of poverty, and ensure people get ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Penguin rehab and native forest restoration get helping hand
    A long-running penguin rehab facility which has been hard hit by the tourism downturn, and work to restore native forest habitats in the Catlins are being supported through Jobs for Nature funding, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Otago’s Penguin Place and The Hokonui Rūnanga Catlins Biodiversity Project will receive combined ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Resilient economy reflected in Crown accounts
    The Government’s financial accounts continue to reflect a resilient economy that has performed better than expected and puts the country in a strong position to respond to Omicron, Grant Robertson said. The Crown Accounts for the five months to the end of November were more favourable than forecast in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Government announces three phase public health response to Omicron
    Reducing isolation period for cases and close contacts at Phase Two and Three to 10 and seven days Definition of close contact required to isolate changes to household or household like contacts at Phase Three Increased use of rapid antigen tests with test to return policy put in place for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Ambassador to Thailand announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Jonathan Kings as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Thailand. “Aotearoa New Zealand has a long-standing relationship with Thailand, celebrating the 65th anniversary of diplomatic representation between our countries in 2021. We also share much in common at regional and multilateral levels ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government’s Family Package continues to deliver for New Zealanders
    The Families Package helped around 330,000 families in its first year - more than half of all families with children in NZ These families received an estimated $55 per week more from Families Package payments in 2018/19 than in 2017/18, on average Families Package increases to the maximum possible Accommodation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand retains top spot in global anti-corruption rankings
    Justice Minister Kris Faafoi has welcomed news of New Zealand’s ongoing position as top in the world anti-corruption rankings. The 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index released by global anti-corruption organisation, Transparency International, ranks New Zealand first equal with Denmark and Finland, with a score of 88 out of 100. “This is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Testing improvements see New Zealand well prepared for Omicron
    New Zealand’s PCR testing capacity can be increased by nearly 20,000 tests per day to deal with a surge in cases as part of our wider COVID-19 testing strategy, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall said. “We have continued to adapt our public health response to safeguard the health ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 5,000 portable air cleaners for schools on their way
    As schools are preparing to return, Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 5,000 air cleaners have been ordered for New Zealand schools. “As we know, along with vaccination, testing, good hygiene and physical distancing, good ventilation is important in minimising the risk of airborne transmission of the virus that causes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand to move to Red from 11.59pm today
    All of New Zealand will move to the Red setting of the Covid Protection Framework (CPF) at 11:59pm today as Omicron is potentially now transmitting in the community, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. “Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region are now confirmed as Omicron, and a further ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Mandatory boosters for key workforces progressing well
    More than 5,785 (82%) border workers eligible for a booster vaccination at 6 months have received it so far, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “That’s a really strong uptake considering we announced the requirement the week before Christmas, but we need to continue this momentum,” Chris Hipkins said. “We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ to move to Red
    Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region have now been confirmed as the Omicron variant, and a further case from the same household was confirmed late yesterday. These cases are in a single family that flew to Auckland on 13 January to attend a wedding and other events ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand to provide further help for Tonga
    Aotearoa New Zealand is giving an additional $2 million in humanitarian funding for Tonga as the country recovers from a volcanic eruption and tsunami last weekend, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. This brings Aotearoa New Zealand’s contribution to $3 million. “This support will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Quarterly benefit numbers show highest number of exits into work
    The Government’s strong focus on supporting more people into work is reflected in benefit figures released today which show a year-on-year fall of around 21,300 people receiving a main benefit in the December 2021 quarter, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said. “Our response to COVID has helped ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Northland to move to Orange, NZ prepared for Omicron 
    Northland to move to Orange Rest of New Zealand stays at Orange in preparedness for Omicron All of New Zealand to move into Red in the event of Omicron community outbreak – no use of lockdowns Govt planning well advanced – new case management, close contact definition and testing rules ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • RNZAF C-130 Hercules flight departs for Tonga as Navy vessels draw nearer to Tongatapu
    A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules has departed Base Auckland Whenuapai for Tonga carrying aid supplies, as the New Zealand aid effort ramps up, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “The aircraft is carrying humanitarian aid and disaster relief supplies, including water ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand prepared to send support to Tonga
    New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “Following the successful surveillance and reconnaissance flight of a New Zealand P-3K2 Orion on Monday, imagery and details have been sent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand stands ready to assist people of Tonga
    The thoughts of New Zealanders are with the people of Tonga following yesterday’s undersea volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami waves, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says. “Damage assessments are under way and New Zealand has formally offered to provide assistance to Tonga,” said Nanaia Mahuta. New Zealand has made an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Record high of new homes consented continues
    In the year ended November 2021, 48,522 new homes were consented, up 26 per cent from the November 2020 year. In November 2021, 4,688 new dwellings were consented. Auckland’s new homes consented numbers rose 25 per cent in the last year. Annual figures for the last nine months show more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Report trumpets scope for ice cream exports
    Latest research into our premium ice cream industry suggests exporters could find new buyers in valuable overseas markets as consumers increasingly look for tip top quality in food. Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash has released a new report for the Food and Beverage Information Project. The project is run by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Honouring the legacy of legendary kaumātua Muriwai Ihakara
    Associate Minister for Arts, Culture, and Heritage Kiri Allan expressed her great sadness and deepest condolences at the passing of esteemed kaumātua, Muriwai Ihakara. “Muriwai’s passing is not only a loss for the wider creative sector but for all of Aotearoa New Zealand. The country has lost a much beloved ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Have your say on proposed changes to make drinking water safer
    Associate Minister for the Environment Kiri Allan is urging all New Zealanders to give feedback on proposed changes aimed at making drinking water safer. “The current regulations are not fit for purpose and don’t offer enough protection, particularly for those whose water comes from smaller supplies,” Kiri Allan said. “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Planting the seeds for rewarding careers
    A boost in funding for a number of Jobs for Nature initiatives across Canterbury will provide sustainable employment opportunities for more than 70 people, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The six projects are diverse, ranging from establishing coastline trapping in Kaikōura, to setting up a native plant nursery, restoration planting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago