Tuesday, April 27, 2010

IFPI’s child porn strategy

”Child pornography is great,” the speaker at the podium declared enthusiastically. ”It is great because politicians understand child pornography. By playing that card, we can get them to act, and start blocking sites. And once they have done that, we can get them to start blocking file sharing sites”.

Cynical, they call me cynical.

in reference to:

"the copyright lobby never gives up."
- http://christianengstrom.wordpress.com/2010/04/27/ifpis-child-porn-strategy/ (view on Google Sidewiki)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Mexican bishop blames ‘eroticism and internet porn’ for clerical child abuse

"With so much invasion of eroticism, sometimes it’s not easy to stay celibate or to respect children. If on television and on the Internet and in so many media outlets there is pornography, it is very difficult to stay pure and chaste.

He added:

Obviously when there is generalized sexual freedom it’s more likely there could be cases of pedophilia."

But this takes the cake, the biscuit and the entire trolley:

"Bishop Bernando Álvarez said that there were chil­dren who want­ed to be abused.

Bishop Bernando Álvarez

There are 13 year old ado­les­cents who are under age and who are per­fectly in agree­ment with, and what’s more want­ing it, and if you are care­less they will even pro­voke you."

in reference to:

"Bishop Bernando Álvarez said that there were chil­dren who want­ed to be abused. Bishop Bernando Álvarez There are 13 year old ado­les­cents who are under age and who are per­fectly in agree­ment with, and what’s more want­ing it, and if you are care­less they will even pro­voke you."
- Mexican bishop blames ‘eroticism and internet porn’ for clerical child abuse (view on Google Sidewiki)

Evidence based voting

"But more than anything, this election offers a new opportunity: beyond expecting our politicians to follow the evidence, we can be evidence based ourselves, in our voting decisions, and hold ourselves to the same high standards. VoteMatch can match your views against the party manifestoes. SkepticalVoter knows if your MP believes in the homeopaths’ magic beans. Using TheyWorkForYou I can see that my last MP (Andrew Smith, Labour, Oxford East) voted very strongly in favour of the Iraq war, very strongly against an inquiry into it, very strongly in favour of ID cards, and so on. It’s grim reading. PoliticsPosters will print that on a poster, so you can make sure your neighbours know too."

Science, evidence, and the Internet.

in reference to:

"What can science and evidence bring to an election?"
- Evidence based voting – Bad Science (view on Google Sidewiki)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Build Your Own Cellular Network

"The task of running a cellular network has usually been reserved for major carriers. But now an open-source project called OpenBTS is proving that almost anyone can cheaply run a network with parts from a home-­supply or auto-supply store. Cell-phone users within such a network can place calls to each other and--if the network is connected to the Internet--to people anywhere in the world.

The project's cofounder, David Burgess, hopes that OpenBTS will mean easier and cheaper access to cellular service in remote parts of the world, including hard-to-reach locations like oil rigs and poor areas without much infrastructure."

in reference to:

"Just about anybody can create an inexpensive cellular base station that routes calls all over the world."
- Technology Review: Build Your Own Cellular Network (view on Google Sidewiki)

Taxpayers' bill $200m for blockbusters

"The government's Large Budget Screen Production Grant offers a 15 per cent rebate on production spending in New Zealand above $15m. The Government grant scheme was set up in 2003, and since then movie and television makers have received grants of $199.4m from the Government, after spending about $1.49b, latest figures show.

The makers of science fiction blockbuster Avatar spent more than $307m in New Zealand and qualified for a grant back of almost $45m. Avatar created jobs for up to 900 people at the peak of production in New Zealand."

Versus $2B spent funding productions locally. Either they're both too large, or neither is.

in reference to:

"The Lord of the Rings was a huge money spinner for film-makers New Line Cinema and its parent firm Time Warner shareholders. It is the best-selling trilogy ever, grossing US$2.9b since the first film came out in 2001."
- Taxpayers' bill $200m for blockbusters | Stuff.co.nz (view on Google Sidewiki)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Climate sceptic wins landmark data victory

"Over the subsequent three years, the university has claimed that it did not have to supply the data because it would be too time-consuming; because the data does not amount to environmental information; because the research is unfinished; because the data is private property, commercially confidential and of "negligible" public interest – and because Keenan would not understand them.

But Smith says the university, one of the world's leading centres for tree-ring research, is wrong on each count."

If the collection of data was paid for, we can lose the trudging over bogs and fields rubbish. For that they were paid and not under an exclusive arrangement AFAIK.

in reference to:

""a direct, and unpleasant, off-shoot of the information revolution. It now appears that research data can be demanded, and indeed obtained, by anyone.""
- http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/apr/20/climate-sceptic-wins-data-victory (view on Google Sidewiki)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How our leaders get to grips with a scare story

"Successful promotion of a scare requires that some interest group benefits. Sometimes this is the scare-promoters themselves. Scientists have learnt that exaggerated claims are a route to a media profile and research funding. There is little downside in predicting disaster: if it does not materialise they can claim to have been instrumental in staving it off. Scares that thrive, such as the millennium bug and swine flu, have commercial interests that benefit from their propagation. Naysayers in the credit boom, by contrast, were trampled in the rush to share the riches available to those who denied or disregarded the dangers."

In a nutshell.

in reference to:

"The political and regulatory incentives are either to downplay risks or exaggerate them – or to do each at different times."
- http://www.johnkay.com/2010/04/21/how-our-leaders-get-to-grips-with-a-scare-story/ (view on Google Sidewiki)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Greater transparency around government requests

"So it's no surprise that Google, like other technology and telecommunications companies, regularly receives demands from government agencies to remove content from our services. Of course many of these requests are entirely legitimate, such as requests for the removal of child pornography. We also regularly receive requests from law enforcement agencies to hand over private user data. Again, the vast majority of these requests are valid and the information needed is for legitimate criminal investigations. However, data about these activities historically has not been broadly available. We believe that greater transparency will lead to less censorship."

in reference to:

"a new Government Requests tool"
- http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/04/greater-transparency-around-government.html (view on Google Sidewiki)

Monday, April 19, 2010


"First, the taxpayer should secure New
Zealand rights in perpetuity. It may need
to trade part or all of the equity position
it currently takes but based on current
returns it will not be losing much. The
important benefit that is gained by this
change is that all programmes made with
taxpayer assistance would be preserved in
perpetuity for future generations of New
Zealanders. This is currently not the case
and there are a number of New Zealand
films that are now owned by offshore
entities with the result that they are no
longer readily available for screening
in New Zealand. It would also improve
future access to archival material. There
are a number of programmes in archives
(particularly the TVNZ archive) that are
not readily available to screen for various
reasons. It makes sense that the bottom
line for any taxpayer investment in a
programme is that the taxpayer owns in
perpetuity the New Zealand rights.
This works equally as well for NZFC and NZOA."

Who, as we all know, funds Radio NZ...

in reference to: http://www.filmarchive.org.nz/images/Site_PDF/naw_discussion-paper.pdf (view on Google Sidewiki)

Blur's collectable vinyl making some serious money online

"Interestingly, it wasn't the song itself that contained the value; the band released a free digital copy on its website. But the version pressed onto 7" vinyl became a desirable object, the desirability compounded because only 1,000 were released. Limited edition collectables aren't new, but this freemium to physical model is interesting. Is about exploiting that obsessive muso band loyalty and the status that comes with getting a rare and in this case lo-fi collectable."

So the serious money was not online, that's not scarce, it was in the real world.

in reference to:

"The band released 1,000 7" vinyl copies of Fools Day on Saturday, which was not coincidentally Record Store Day."
- http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/pda/2010/apr/19/blur-vinyl-freemium (view on Google Sidewiki)

FX Networks and Telecom Wholesale announce major breakthrough for all internet users

"FX Networks and Telecom Wholesale today confirmed their agreement for the exchange of local internet traffic at 19 of Telecom’s points of interconnection around the country. The agreement is the culmination of years of effort by Telecom, FX Networks and other industry players, to lay the groundwork for the most efficient routing of New Zealand’s growing volumes of Internet traffic. Local internet interconnection, or peering, is important as it provides more efficient routing of national traffic, allowing traffic to be exchanged on a local or regional basis rather than transported back and forth throughout the country to be exchanged in Auckland. With the Government’s $1.5bn ‘Ultra Fast Broadband’ and $300m ‘Rural Broadband initiatives both on the horizon, the agreement paves the way for a whole new range of competitive broadband packages to be developed by ISPs and other service providers."


in reference to:

"In the past when New Zealand only had one telecommunications network this was never an issue but with the rise of the internet over the last two decades and its underlying model of a network of networks a new approach was needed that is fair for users and network operators."
- http://www.fx.net.nz/FX%20Networks/News/FX%20Networks%20and%20Telecom%20Wholesale%20announce%20major%20breakthrough%20for%20all%20internet%20users (view on Google Sidewiki)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

FX Networks and Telecom Wholesale announce major breakthrough for all internet users

"FX Networks and Telecom Wholesale today confirmed their agreement for the exchange of local internet traffic at 19 of Telecom’s points of interconnection around the country. The agreement is the culmination of years of effort by Telecom, FX Networks and other industry players, to lay the groundwork for the most efficient routing of New Zealand’s growing volumes of Internet traffic."

Good news. Customers have a right to expect their suppliers to be efficient in implementing the service they pay for.

in reference to:

"it’s a real sign of how we can operate a genuine wholesale market to everyone’s benefit."
- http://www.fx.net.nz/FX%20Networks/News/FX%20Networks%20and%20Telecom%20Wholesale%20announce%20major%20breakthrough%20for%20all%20internet%20users (view on Google Sidewiki)

How the brain evolves: the five ages of media

"The five ages

We have been through five main ages of media, each with its own unique characteristics. As we move from one age to another, the media environment alters, and the organism of our brain has to adapt to its new environment. It evolves. Not metaphorically – it actually changes. Our wiring is different in response to the different technological context we find ourselves in.

This isn’t complex, but it is important – in particular when it comes to everything I have to say about music and the internet… but also in general. It affects culture, society, law, politics, art, commerce and our own fragile psychologies.

I’ll take you through it."


in reference to:

"Internet radio, web newspapers and online television are similar misunderstandings and transitional phrases that reveal our ignorance."
- http://www.andrewdubber.com/2010/04/how-the-brain-evolves-the-five-ages-of-media/comment-page-1/#comment-3394 (view on Google Sidewiki)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

1 FTTH connection = 2 iPads

"What's the connection with the iPad, you ask? Well, here's how I see it: an iPad in itself allows you to do very little. Sure, it has some desktop substitution apps pre-loaded, but that's definitely not in itself a reason to buy it. It's expensive too, nearly $500. But the fact is that you're buying an enabler for future apps and services, online or offline, more than you're buying a self-contained device.

In that sense, it's not all that different from a super-high-speed broadband connection. In itself, it has no value, it's the huge potential of applications, services and content that it allows you to access or use that generates its value. And yet service providers around the world (Nordics excepted) seem convinced that there is no way end-users would be willing to pay a significant set-up fee.

And yet think about how better the business model would look if end-users were willing to pay $500 for the connection? In most dense urban areas (which are about the only areas potentially targeted, at least in the Western World) , that would cut the costs by half or more. Isn't that worth exploring different models of ownership or at least of usage?"

I wonder if there is any consideration of this in our UFB projects?

in reference to:

"end-users to pay part of the cost of deployment to their home as a set-up fee."
- Fiberevolution: 1 FTTH connection = 2 iPads (view on Google Sidewiki)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Trigger warnings don’t work. Here’s why

“To me, there is no better way to make someone think of the [trauma] than putting up a TRIGGER WARNING that will tell a person to avoid the post because it might make them think of what the TRIGGER WARNING invariably causes them to think about.”

in reference to:

"Trigger warnings, if you are not aware, are a cousin to “spoiler alerts,” a blog post label used to let readers know upcoming content may or may not be something they want to read."
- Trigger warnings don’t work. Here’s why - Susannah Breslin - Off the Record - True/Slant (view on Google Sidewiki)

Google: 3 Big Telcos Reach For Their Guns

"Earlier this week the Financial Times reported that Deutsche Telekom, Orange Group and Telefonica had mounted a joint assault on Google, accusing YouTube of taking ‘a free ride’ on telcos’ networks. The argument is that with the immense growth of video traffic on networks that the internet giant should be helping to alleviate the costs, and that this might in some way help the media industry too. Are they blindly pursuing self-interest, or are there more sophisticated business model options available to them in supporting online media?"

Forgive me, but a stupid question. The customers of these grasping incumbents are paying to receive, including Google/YouTube, and their suppliers should do their job. Suspicions about this confirmed by the "if we don't get more money we won't invest" malarkey.

PS. If any customer is getting their network service for free, please advise.

in reference to:

"“There is not a single Google service that is not reliant on network service… We cannot offer our networks for free.”"
- Telco 2.0: Google: 3 Big Telcos Reach For Their Guns (view on Google Sidewiki)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Economics may be dismal, but it is not a science

"The standard approach has the appearance of science in its ability to generate clear predictions from a small number of axioms. But only the appearance, since these predictions are mostly false. The environment actually faced by investors and economic policymakers is one in which actions do depend on beliefs and perceptions, must deal with uncertainty and are the product of a social context. There is no universal economic theory, and new economic thinking must necessarily be eclectic. That insight is Keynes’s greatest legacy."

in reference to:

"dynamic stochastic general equilibrium"
- http://www.johnkay.com/2010/04/14/economics-may-be-dismal-but-it-is-not-a-science/ (view on Google Sidewiki)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Terrorist Attacks and Comparable Risks, Part 2

"Cycling from A to B (I write as a London cyclist) is done with a diminished sense of control over one's fate. This sense is supported by statistics that show that per kilometre travelled a cyclist is 14 times more likely to die than someone in a car. This is a good example of the importance of distinguishing between relative and absolute risk. Although 14 times greater, the absolute risk of cycling is still small -- 1 fatality in 25 million kilometres cycled; not even Lance Armstrong can begin to cover that distance in a lifetime of cycling. And numerous studies have demonstrated that the extra relative risk is more than offset by the health benefits of regular cycling; regular cyclists live longer."

in reference to:

"our irrationality about comparative risks depends on the type of risk"
- http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2010/04/terrorist_attac_1.html (view on Google Sidewiki)

Vodafone "welcomes" MTAS regulation*

"Vodafone have now told us loud and clear that 6c per minute is now sufficient revenue for an on net call from one Vodafone customer to another Vodafone customer. One has to now ask the question - why do Vodafone believe that the rate for any other mobile network operator to terminate a call on the Vodafone network should exceed 6c per minute from today? If that 6c was split 50/50 between the revenue cost of the A party making the call and B party answering the call then that MTR cost should not exceed 3c per minute. What possible argument could Vodafone have for charging another network operator more to terminate a call on the Vodafone network than they "charge" themselves?"

in reference to:

"Thumbing your nose at both the Commission and Minister like Vodafone have done is not smart business."
- Vodafone welcomes MTAS regulation* (view on Google Sidewiki)

Terrorist Attacks and Comparable Risks, Part 1

"To border on becoming unacceptable by established risk conventions -- that is, to reach an annual fatality risk of 1 in 100,000 -- the number of fatalities from terrorist attacks in the United States and Canada would have to increase 35-fold; in Great Britain (excluding Northern Ireland), more than 50-fold; and in Australia, more than 70-fold. For the United States, this would mean experiencing attacks on the scale of 9/11 at least once a year, or 18 Oklahoma City bombings every year."

I'd say it was time to get a grip, but to be honest, that time has long come and gone.

in reference to:

"risks are deemed unacceptable if the annual fatality risk is higher than 1 in 10,000 or perhaps higher than 1 in 100,000 and acceptable if the figure is lower than 1 in 1 million or 1 in 2 million. Between these two ranges is an area in which risk might be considered "tolerable.""
- Schneier on Security: Terrorist Attacks and Comparable Risks, Part 1 (view on Google Sidewiki)

Monday, April 12, 2010

New $21 million food innovation network

"The Food Innovation Network New Zealand is a collaborative initiative between the government, industry, research and education providers, and local government. It’s designed to support the growth of New Zealand’s food industry by establishing a network of open access food development and commercialisation facilities across New Zealand, and aims to reduce barriers to new product development."

Open access food technology...

in reference to:

"The government will spend up to $21 million to establish a network of open-access food development facilities across the country"
- http://news.business.govt.nz/news/business/general/article/9797 (view on Google Sidewiki)

Sam Morgan on GM crops, conservation and broadband

"Will the Apple iPad save the print media?

I think the fundamental problem they have is that there is just so much more media you’ve got access to. And barriers to entry are very low, you don’t have to own a printing press or employ many journalists, if any. So I don’t think it’s fundamentally changing that. It might provide them some additional revenue stream but who is going to buy a thousand dollar device and use that to read their newspaper? They already do that with their computer. I don’t think it will turn up on the newspaper P&Ls in a hurry."

in reference to:

"Sam Morgan"
- http://sciblogs.co.nz/griffins-gadgets/2010/04/12/sam-morgan-on-gm-crops-conservation-and-broadband/ (view on Google Sidewiki)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Statute of Anne, 1710

"That nothing in this Act contained shall be
construed to extend to subject any Bookseller, Printer, or other Person whatsoever, to the Forfeitures or Penalties therein mentioned, for or by reason of the Printing or Reprinting of any Book or Books without such Consent, as aforesaid, unless the Title to the Copy of such Book or Books hereafter Published shall, before such Publication be Entred [sic], in the Register-Book of the Company of Stationers"

I don't think my argument for registration of intangible "property" is as weak as some suggested. Even the Statute of Anne got that right.

in reference to:

"the first copyright act in the world, the British Statute of Anne, from 1710"
- History of Copyright: Statute of Anne, 1710 (view on Google Sidewiki)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Surprising History of Copyright and The Promise of a Post-Copyright World

"Dissolution of the monopoly might have been good news for long-suppressed authors and independent printers, but it spelled disaster for the Stationers, and they quickly crafted a strategy to retain their position in the newly liberal political climate.

The Stationers based their strategy on a crucial realization, one that has stayed with publishing conglomerates ever since: authors do not have the means to distribute their own works. Writing a book requires only pen, paper, and time. But distributing a book requires printing presses, transportation networks, and an up-front investment in materials and typesetting. Thus, the Stationers reasoned, people who write would always need a publisher's cooperation to make their work generally available. Their strategy used this fact to maximum advantage. They went before Parliament and offered the then-novel argument that authors had a natural and inherent right of ownership in what they wrote, and that furthermore, such ownership could be transferred to other parties by contract, like any other form of property.

Their argument succeeded in persuading Parliament. The Stationers had managed to avoid the odium of censorship, as the new copyrights would originate with the author, but they knew that authors would have little choice but to sign those rights back over to a publisher for distribution"

in reference to:

"copyright was never primarily about paying artists for their work, and that far from being designed to support creators, copyright was designed by and for distributors — that is, publishers, which today includes record companies."
- The Surprising History of Copyright and The Promise of a Post-Copyright World | QuestionCopyright.org (view on Google Sidewiki)

Ideas Into Execution: Giving Away An Idea To Make It Happen

"Another all around smart guy, Andrew Dubber, picked up on the idea and considered doing exactly as Sivers suggested above, and writing a book based on this concept. But, after sleeping on it, he decided to innovate and execute in a slightly different way. Instead of taking the "first follower" idea and preaching it, Dubber wanted to be a first follower of Siver's other concept: giving away ideas. He decided that he would give away 30 ideas in 30 days -- just like Sivers "gave away" his idea.

Starting March 3rd, Dubber did exactly that, giving away an idea a day.

On March 16th (day 14), Dubber's idea give away, was called I Made A Tape, and was based on the idea that, back in the old days, when people made mixtapes, they were usually for someone specifically. And while there are a bunch of "mixtape" services out there these days (though the RIAA likes to shut them down every so often), Dubber thought it would be cool to create one that allowed someone to be more personal:

So that's why my idea is an online music sharing site -- but one that can only be shared with one person. You craft a "tape" with a single person in mind, and then that mix is sent to that person with a unique URL that only they can access.

They can download or stream the mixtape, and it comes with the liner notes that you've written.

And then... on April 6th, some other guy, Ray Kuyvenhoven launched MixTapeForYou.com, based very much on Dubber's idea from just a few weeks earlier. "

Nice to see the notion of the lazy web, and ideas without chains, promoting the innovation patents and copyright preclude. There's an old saw about "You can accomplish much if you don't care who gets the credit." Or the cash. Thanks Andrew.

in reference to:

"Ideas Into Execution: Giving Away An Idea To Make It Happen"
- Techdirt. (view on Google Sidewiki)

Steve Gilmor Shifts To Salesforce

"Steve doesn’t bother much with details, he goes right at the big trends. And he’s usually right. Way before most other people are. Controversial? Yes. Long winded? Yep. Occasionally non linear in his thinking? Understatement. But he’s also brilliant, and he’s always guided me towards rightness."

in reference to:

"he’ll be on the senior team (senior as in high level, not as in old) at Salesforce. Founder Marc Benioff recruited him directly"
- http://techcrunch.com/2010/04/06/screw-you-benioff/ (view on Google Sidewiki)

The Power of Pull: how small moves, smartly made, can set big things in motion

“Push knows better than you do, and it’s not afraid to say, ‘Do this, not that!’”

Push was the right way to organize the fast growing industrial-age companies and economies in the past century. While all kinds of public and private institutions were experiencing major changes as a result of the Industrial Revolution, those changes were relatively incremental and predictable. The key challenge was to manage the growing means of production in the most efficient way possible. The hierarchically organized enterprise was the management model adopted by businesses to help them scale their production of goods and services.

This push economy served us well in a relatively deterministic world where the same actions yielded (more or less) the same results, and models could make (relatively) accurate predictions. It was a remarkable achievement of management and engineering.

But, the push economy is fading fast."

in reference to:

"Extraordinary performance generally comes not from people at the core, but from those at the edge"
- http://blog.irvingwb.com/blog/2010/04/the-power-of-pull.html (view on Google Sidewiki)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Copyright and wrong

"The moral case, although easy to sympathise with, is a way of trying to have one’s cake and eat it. Copyright was originally the grant of a temporary government-supported monopoly on copying a work, not a property right. From 1710 onwards, it has involved a deal in which the creator or publisher gives up any natural and perpetual claim in order to have the state protect an artificial and limited one. So it remains."

in reference to:

"Why the rules on copyright need to return to their roots"
- Protecting creativity: Copyright and wrong | The Economist (view on Google Sidewiki)

Frustration and Politics

"There are two aspects to this domino effect of absurd and retrograde internet law voting that I perceive to be at the source of our collective woes:

* there's a generational effect: most of the politicians we have elected are no more than casual users of internet, if they're not proud of saying that they never use it. They keep on viewing it as a weird thing that delivers leisure to teenagers. They're oblivious to the business and societal impacts, and clearly happy to stay oblivious.
* there's a corporate culture cause: our western societies, despite some superficial differences in appreciation, were built on the idea that everything should be done for businesses to thrive. Of course the rhetoric surrounding that was that if businesses thrive, citizens will too. Anyone looking at the news in the last ten years know this not to be true, but politicians are still operating under that paradigm. So when content industry lobbyists explain that this is the only way for them to thrive (don't tell me about survival, that bull- has long been debunked) politicians are only too happy to believe them: they're big business, this can only be in the benefit of the citizens.
* there's a technocatic overflow: politicians were never the best to actually understand what it is they are legislating about, and when it comes to technology, they neither understand what they are talking about, nor do they care to. Unfortunately, when it comes to technology, details matter. This is why they are happy to legislate counter-productively, not to say dangerously."

in reference to:

"The spark for this post is the current Digital Economy Bill debacle in the UK."
- Fiberevolution: Frustration and Politics (view on Google Sidewiki)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ashika report opens huge can of worms for Tonga

"Dalgety, Karalus and Jonesse were trusted by the most powerful men in Tonga. They were taken at their word. One could look back over Tongan history and trace an almost pathological mesmerisation with completely untrustworthy white men.

We could name it "the Shirley Baker syndrome" after the missionary who ended up as premier. Combined with a culture of deference and submission, blind trust in these men is a disaster waiting to happen; a fatal mistake."

in reference to:

"a veritable 629-page feast of power abuses: fraud, lies, misplaced trust, million-dollar debtors, misspent aid, overseas junkets, secret companies, law violations, egos and private interests."
- http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/opinion/3564133/Ashika-report-opens-huge-can-of-worms-for-Tonga (view on Google Sidewiki)

Could a telco exec become chair of TUANZ?

"Chairman elect Pat O’Connell says that TUANZ members are being asked to vote on changes which will enable representatives of carriers to stand for the board – and even be elected chairman. Currently carrier members such as Telecom are banned from occupying a seat at the board. (Tier one telcos TelstraClear and Vodafone are not members of TUANZ).

Other changes to the constitution include the chairman being voted in by the board – not by the general membership. So O’Connell says it’s unlikely a board would elect a telco executive as chairman."

in reference to:

"Proposed changes to the TUANZ constitution"
- http://www.techday.co.nz/telecommunicationsreview/news/could-a-telco-exec-become-chair-of-tuanz/16062/6 (view on Google Sidewiki)

The best kind of villain there is

"How would I like to be remembered? Loved by a few because he was hated by so many. I like that idea. I never wanted to be loved by everyone. You can't get anything done then."

in reference to:

"Malcolm McLaren, the former manager of the Sex Pistols, died overnight, aged 64"
- http://publicaddress.net/6561# (view on Google Sidewiki)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

One clown giveth and the other clown taketh away

"When I read about Gordon Brown's plan to give the UK more broadband, I couldn't restrain my laughter. Isn't this the same clown now busy circumventing democracy to take away broadband from Britons who already have it? And what good would broadband do them if they're punished for using it (or even being suspected of using it)?"

Richard Stallman.

in reference to: Digital economy bill: One clown giveth and the other clown taketh away | Richard Stallman | Technology | guardian.co.uk (view on Google Sidewiki)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

iPad [Media] App Pricing

"Looking at the iPad app rollout, you can easily separate the digital wheat from the chaff in the content industries, and you can see those who are developing digital businesses and those who are trying to protect print margins and who see the iPad as a vertical, closed model to control and monetise content.

There are those who believe that they sell content and that they should be compensated for it. Just as with the music industry, they couch this in terms of repaying content creators, when it really is more about wistfulness for the days of double-digit profit margins.

Those who view their primary business as selling content believe that not only can they charge for it but that they can actually charge the same or more for it, just because it is on the iPad. Time, for example, is charging $US4.99 a week for their iPad ‘magazine’."

And what do you get for that sum? "Unique interactivity including landscape and portrait mode, scroll navigation and customizable font size." LOL.

in reference to:

"A last act of insanity by delusional content companies"
- http://charman-anderson.com/2010/04/02/ipad-app-pricing-a-last-act-of-insanity-by-delusional-content-companies/ (view on Google Sidewiki)

The End of History (Books)

"Given that permission costs are already out of control for old-fashioned print, it’s fair to expect that they will rise even higher with e-books. After all, digital books will be in print forever (we assume); they can be downloaded, copied, shared and maybe even translated. We’ve all heard about the multimedia potential of the iPad, but how much will writers be charged for film clips and audio? Rights holders will demand a hefty premium for use in digital books — if they make their materials available in that format at all.

Seeing the clouds on the horizon, publishers painstakingly remove photos and even text extracts from print books as they are converted to e-books. So instead of providing a dazzling future, the e-world is forcing nonfiction to become drier, blander and denser."

Good old "Intellectual Property" fostering non-innovation and the guarantee for the incumbent.

in reference to:

"a system that is broken: getting permission to use copyrighted material in new work."
- http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/03/opinion/03aronson.html (view on Google Sidewiki)

NZ mobile termination to settle at SIX TIMES the British equivalent

"TUANZ's stand in favour of full regulation has gained impetus from the announcement that British regulator OFCOM plans to slash the rate for voice MTRs to 0.5 pence (about NZ 1 cent) a minute by 2015.

By contrast, the "Undertakings" that Telecom and Vodafone are offering in New Zealand - and that the Commerce Commission by a split recommendation wants the Government to accept - would leave the rates here at 6 cents by that date."

You pay to receive (on account indubitably) why should they get paid to deliver?

in reference to:

"MTRs transfer vast amounts of wealth from fixed line and small mobile operators, to dominant mobile operators."
- http://www.tuanz.org.nz/blog/e379f711-b2b6-4423-9e32-4a8bf9f301db/caf0fa60-2682-40d8-8998-9f483fcfa7de.html (view on Google Sidewiki)

Elegant Mathematical Models

"While there are many reasons why we failed to predict the crisis, one of the major ones is arguably that for the last several decades economic thinking was dominated by neoclassical economics, which some describe as an “idealized vision of an economy in which rational individuals interact in perfect markets.”

The financial crisis may have done for this idealized view of people and markets what the atomic spectrum and speed of light experiments did for classical mechanics at the end of the 19th century. They have both acted as kinds of turn of the century indicators that the world out there is far more complex than previously imagined, and new theories and models are now needed."

Social sciences with formulae are still non-deterministic.

in reference to:

"How do you then deal with these highly unpredictable complex systems in our midst?"
- http://blog.irvingwb.com/blog/2010/04/a-21st-century-magical-mystery-tour.html (view on Google Sidewiki)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Pigeons outperform humans at the Monty Hall Dilemma

"Why is the Monty Hall Dilemma so perplexing to humans, when mere pigeons seem to cope with it? Hebranson and Schroder think this is a case of our own vaunted intelligence working against us. When faced with a problem like this, we try to think it through, working out the best solution before we do anything. This would be fine, except we’re really quite bad at problems involving conditional probability (such as “if this happens, what are the odds of that happening?”). Despite our best attempts at reasoning, most of us arrive at the wrong answer."

Consonant with the fact that teenagers are at risk in some situations not because they don't think, but because they do. Experience is a great teacher, if you learn from it.

in reference to:

"Education, it seems, actually worsens our performance at the Monty Hall Dilemma."
- Pigeons outperform humans at the Monty Hall Dilemma | Not Exactly Rocket Science | Discover Magazine (view on Google Sidewiki)

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Myth of Mean Girls

"this panic is a hoax. We have examined every major index of crime on which the authorities rely. None show a recent increase in girls’ violence; in fact, every reliable measure shows that violence by girls has been plummeting for years. Major offenses like murder and robbery by girls are at their lowest levels in four decades. Fights, weapons possession, assaults and violent injuries by and toward girls have been plunging for at least a decade."

Aren't all moral panics?

in reference to:

"“troubling questions” about “teen violence” and “cyberspace wars.”"
- Op-Ed Contributors - The Myth of Mean Girls - NYTimes.com (view on Google Sidewiki)

Why I won't buy an iPad (and think you shouldn't, either)

"The model of interaction with the iPad is to be a "consumer," what William Gibson memorably described as "something the size of a baby hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It's covered with eyes and it sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes and makes them sting. It has no mouth... no genitals, and can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote."

Mothers ought to be enraged.

in reference to:

"Infantalizing hardware"
- Why I won't buy an iPad (and think you shouldn't, either) - Boing Boing (view on Google Sidewiki)

What Makes Chechen Women So Dangerous?

"This was the first Chechen suicide attack and showed the many advantages of female suicide bombers. They were deadly, as Chechen female attackers generally are, killing an average of 21 people per attack compared to 13 for males. Perhaps far more important, they could inspire others to follow in their footsteps, women and men alike.

Ms. Barayeva made a martyr video, as many suicide bombers do before their attacks. While warning Russia that she was attacking for Chechen independence, she also directed a powerful message clearly meant to provoke men to make similar sacrifices out of a sense of honor. She pleaded for Chechen men to “not take the woman’s role by staying at home”; so far, 32 men have answered her call."

in reference to:

"The majority are male, but a huge fraction — over 40 percent — are women."
- Op-Ed Contributors - What Makes Chechen Women So Dangerous? - NYTimes.com (view on Google Sidewiki)

Feedback du jour – from the mailbag

" Hello Andrew,

When the always welcome Bandcamp ‘Cha-Ching!’ email pops up in my inbox, it always pegs my mood up a notch (picture: ‘Oh the labour and struggle of the unsung artist, is it all worth it? *Cha-Ching!* Yes it is). But this time when I poised my typing fingers to shoot a quick reply to thank the purchaser for their impeccable taste, I recognised the name, and actually laughed out loud (there should be an acronym for that).

Not an evil or smug or nervous laugh, a joyous one, because I have absorbed your ebook and have been applying a fair amount of your advice in floating my band out into the virtual abyss, and I thought it thoroughly befitting (and the ultimate endorsement of your wisdom) that by practicing your lessons I have managed to sell a record to the teacher!

A handful of sales came through yesterday actually so I checked up on the bandcamp stats and sure enough there is a new alp on stat mountain that popped up on April 1st (April fools day, shit I better check it hasn’t disappeared!) So doing a some sluethy clicking I quickly attributed its creation to your blog post and endorsement on your new Bandcamp Du Jour page.

So thanks for everything. The music industry tends to petrify artists, and with your alternative logical forward thinking (and now direct cash investment!) it helps guys like me realise that it has never been better for new independent artists. I thoroughly believe that.

Aaron "

in reference to:

"great music on Bandcamp by Civil Civic,"
- Feedback du jour – from the mailbag by Andrew Dubber (view on Google Sidewiki)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Collapse of Complex Business Models

"In such systems, there is no way to make things a little bit simpler – the whole edifice becomes a huge, interlocking system not readily amenable to change. Tainter doesn’t regard the sudden decoherence of these societies as either a tragedy or a mistake—”[U]nder a situation of declining marginal returns collapse may be the most appropriate response”, to use his pitiless phrase. Furthermore, even when moderate adjustments could be made, they tend to be resisted, because any simplification discomfits elites.

When the value of complexity turns negative, a society plagued by an inability to react remains as complex as ever, right up to the moment where it becomes suddenly and dramatically simpler, which is to say right up to the moment of collapse. Collapse is simply the last remaining method of simplification."

Clay Shirky puts the needle right on it. Backs up the notion of let them fail fast as applied to telcos and financial institutions.

in reference to:

"When, they asked, would online video generate enough money to cover their current costs?"
- The Collapse of Complex Business Models « Clay Shirky (view on Google Sidewiki)

The Digital Economy Bill: The Power of Not Being Elected

"My mistake. I shouldn’t have said “elected officials”. Because when it comes down to it, many of the players in the Digital Economy Bill are anything but elected officials. Let’s take a look at who’s pushing the Bill and some of the key people involved in the debate.

Lord Mandelson. Unelected. Appointed. Powerful friend of the Powerful. Friends include Lucian Grainge (Universal) and David Geffen (Asylum, Warner, Dreamworks SKG). Lord Birt. Unelected. Appointed. On the Supervisory Board of EMI. Lord Triesman. Unelected. Appointed. Chairman of the FA. Lord Clement Jones. Unelected. Appointed. On the board of a company that makes its money on intellectual property law, and publicly showing himself to be of the opinion that civil breaches are similar to criminal offences."

Further: "So we have unelected officials. With clear and present bias. Driving a process that is as far removed from trust as it is from democracy. Hoping people won’t notice."

Sound familiar?

in reference to:

"People are noticing. And people will notice. There are many people who will make sure that people will notice."
- The Digital Economy Bill: The Power of Not Being Elected – confused of calcutta (view on Google Sidewiki)