Twitter as a political tool

Matthew Beveridge appeared on The Nation to discuss Twitter as a political tool.

He makes the follow extra observations:

1) If you are going to be on social media: Do it, do it properly or go home. There is no point starting a Twitter account and not doing anything with it. There are a number of MPs who are guilty of this, Ian McKelvie, David Parker, Mark Mitchell (though he is now making an effort), Eugenie Sage.  They all have accounts with very low numbers of Tweets. Some with as little as 1. To me, going to the effort of starting an account, adding a profile photo and the like, then not using it is the same as walking away from a conversation. It looks like you aren’t interested in hearing what people have to say. So if you are a political candidate or MP and you are thinking about starting a social media account, make sure you are willing to put in the effort to do it properly, or don’t come out to play.

Mostly they should not come out to play. Most are useless at it and I still don’t believe that any meaningful engagement occurs. ¬† Read more »

Is the IRD IT System Upgrade Going to Blow Up in Minister’s Faces?

The IRD IT system is a huge potential headache for the government, as the IRD has kept a very closed shop and is not really releasing any information about their proposed $1.5B spend.

The problems for the government are multiple. Being a bunch of technophobes they have been stitched up by a government department who has budgeted roughly double what the New Zealand industry thinks they should be spending on their system.

Then they have appointed a series of people who think industry engagement means repeatedly cancelling all engagement at short notice so no one in the industry knows what is going on.

Worse still is that IRD has spent $50m so far and yet doesn’t have a publicly available project plan.

IRD insiders are seriously concerned that a testing contract worth $30m has been awarded without anything for anyone to test.

There is more to this story but facts have to be checked and questions have to be asked.


A great app for Hamilton and Palmerston North to protect you from cupid’s measles

A new app has been launched which will be really useful for those on the pull in Hamilton and Palmerston North in order to avoid a dose of cupid’s measles.

A new dating app designed to provide proof someone is free from sexually transmitted diseases is drawing criticism from Native Hawaiians.

An online petition is asking for the “Hula” app to change its name.

Hula’s Facebook page includes a post apologising for offending the Hawaiian community: “We are in the process of learning more from your community, discussing internally and hope to address your concerns shortly.” Read more »

Ever wanted a career in New Media advertising and sponsorship sales?


Regan from Digitalads has been looking for someone that “gets” new media and new media promotion. ¬†There are hundreds of superb sales people out there, but few of them truly understand the huge opportunities that lie ahead.

With traditional advertising venues slated to disappear behind paywalls – where customers will have to pay to be exposed to advertising – the new breed of media, led by Whaleoil, but supported by other digital space such as Geekzone, Kiwiblog and Throng are already offering 6 million sponsored pageviews a month.

The person we’re looking for is going to understand new media and how it communicates. ¬† This person will not just see it as an extension of TV, radio or newspapers that place display ads on a web page.

Research continues to show that blogs and other non “main stream” web sites that have personal connections with their audience based on trust are now the most influential in shaping consumer opinion and demand.

In fact, they deliver campaigns that are 400% more effective than those provided by traditional news channels.


We want your ideas, your creativity and your drive to create a new industry on the ruins of the old one.  We have done it  here at Whaleoil for news and opinion.  Now we need someone who can do the same by turning digital advertising and promotion on its head.

All the hard work has been done.  The audiences already exist.  They are loyal, they are smart, and they trust our judgement.  Over the next 12 months, new digital properties will be created and added to ensure your target audience is in the hundreds of thousands.

All we need is someone to connect them with the right kind of campaigns.  We need you to inspire agencies and customers with ideas and solutions that allow them to stand out, to connect and to get tangible results.

This is exciting and new.  You get to set the rules.  You get to set the targets.  And you get to create a new kind of advertising and promotional industry.

Now that you’re interested, contact Regan and have a chat.

Regan Cunliffe
ph. 021.2999.364
e. [email protected]


Be careful what you wish for


Tarzan – the robot tree feller

The unions and Labour have been running a campaign against forestry companies over the numbers of deaths in this incredibly dangerous work environment.

It is a wonky jihad because the union also oppose random compulsory drug tests for the same industry.

But they should be careful what they wish for.

Because one way to make forestry safer is by removing humans…instead of 10 man cutting crews there would be two man crews. Technology could effectively cost 10,000 jobs.

A robot “Tarzan” has netted a group of Canterbury engineering students a national engineering award.

On Friday night the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand presented the Rey Meyer Medal to the design team for the tree-to-tree robot, which will eventually be used to fell trees on steep terrain. ¬† Read more »

One for the nerds: DDOS attacks, Cloudflare and Whaleoil

Ever since our Distributed Denial of Service attack, Whaleoil is using Cloudflare to protect itself from the majority of large scale attacks.  Cloudflare recently wrote an article about an attack that is exactly like the problems we are enduring.

On Monday we mitigated a large DDoS that targeted one of our customers. The attack peaked just shy of 400Gbps. We’ve seen a handful of other attacks at this scale, but this is the largest attack we’ve seen that uses NTP amplification. This style of attacks has grown dramatically over the last six months and poses a significant new threat to the web. Monday’s attack serves as a good case study to examine how these attacks work.

Before diving into the particular details of this attack, it’s important to understand the basic mechanics of how NTP amplification attacks work.

An NTP amplification attack begins with a server controlled by an attacker on a network that allows source IP address spoofing (e.g., it does not follow BCP38). The attacker generates a large number of UDP packets spoofing the source IP address to make it appear the packets are coming from the intended target. These UDP packets are sent to Network Time Protocol servers (port 123) that support the MONLIST command.

In English: ¬†You are at home sending out and email to a few thousand companies with a request for more information for their products and services. ¬†But because of “address spoofing” it looks like the email comes from the person you are targeting. ¬†All those companies respond and your target’s email system is now filling up quickly.¬† Read more »


This won’t make me popular, but

MH370 or ...?

MH370 or …?

When I saw those satellite images, my first reaction was… what makes them think that isn’t a whale…? ¬†Did we really send all those people in to search for a juvenile blue whale?




Half of US judges use social media

I wonder how many judges in New Zealand are very active on social media.

Nearly half of US judges are using social media – with most of them on Facebook and a minority venturing onto LinkedIn, according to the Legal Talk Network.

Research reveals that 46 per cent of judges are using social media but it presents a number of ethical dilemmas for them.

The Network gives the example of a judge in Georgia who stood down after it emerged that he had sent a friend request to someone who was on his future trail list as a litigant, ‚Äėlater releasing her on a personal recognisance bond‚Äô. Other judges and lawyers have also violated the Codes of Professional Conduct and of Judicial Conduct.

Source:Legal Talk News¬† Read more »

Political Social Media – the “before” picture

The left are gearing up to make social media a major component of their 2014 election strategy. ¬†We’ve already seen evidence of Labour and David Cunliffe crowd sourcing some fact checks, spell checks and audits, and it will only increase in volume over the next 6 months.

Matthew Beveridge has done an awesome job looking at the social media “standing” of David Cunliffe, Russel Norman and John Key. ¬†He’s come up with some stats that gives you a picture of what “Social Media Goodwill” these people have now.

For example, the most retweeted tweets are:

Credit:  Matthew Beveridge

Credit: Matthew Beveridge

Read more »

Cunliffe continues to focus on the things that matter…like trolls


David Cunliffe says he is going to focus ont he things that matter to the NZ voting public.

You’d think that this would be the economy, or perhaps jobs, maybe health…even education given the support of the teacher unions.

But no…when your entire election strategy revolves around poorly spelled, error ridden, tweets and Facebook posts on social media then you really have to focus on the things that really matter…like controlling trolls….and what John Key is doing on his Facebook page.

DC-FB Read more »