Technology

A reader emails about Auckland Council’s IT blow out

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A reader emails their thoughts on the Auckland Council IT debacle and predicts that it won’t be the last we hear about the wasteful and idiotic IT spend.


 

“An Auckland Council IT project originally budgeted to cost $71 million should be delivered for the new cost of $172 million”, says a senior council executive.

I just love how committed they sound…

This is absolutely bloody disgusting.  That is an overrun of $65 for every man woman and child in Auckland.

The council only has staff of 8000, meaning the number is $12,500 for every employee.  You could almost build a brand new infrastructure for that in the private sector, in fact it is basically the baseline average private sector IT cost per employee per annum gone out the window in one project overrun; this is $13164USD in a recent Gartner study.

Perversely over here one of the main guy’s responsible for it is being lauded as the next top future CIO:

“To try and achieve a world class IS transformation with a limited budget is of course a new challenge for me,” says Holtzhauzen.”

Quite.   Read more »

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You may still be dreaming of a hoverboard, but drones are now a retail item

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It is estimated that more than 30,000 drones will have been bought by British consumers by the end of the year — a high proportion of them as Christmas presents. The electronics chain Maplin says that sales within its stores are up 300 per cent on 2013.

But as drones move from the battlefield into our back gardens and parks, serious questions are increasingly being asked about their safety.

This week, it emerged that a passenger jet was involved in a near miss with a drone near Heathrow airport in July. The pilot was flying at an altitude of 700ft when he saw the unauthorised machine, which was invisible to radar, flying near his plane.

There was a similar incident at Southend Airport two months earlier — and more recently a Virgin Atlantic pilot reported seeing a drone as he came in to land at New York’s JFK airport.

Frightening stuff, given that if a drone were sucked into a jet plane’s engine, it could have the same effect as a bird strike, which might prove catastrophic on take-off or landing.

Drones have been put to other dangerous uses, too. In October, a European Championship football match between Serbia and Albania descended into a riot after a drone was deliberately flown inside the stadium in Belgrade trailing an Albanian flag, much to the fury of the Serbs.

And sometimes they simply end up causing accidents. In New York this week, a TGI Friday’s restaurant used a hovering drone dangling a piece of mistletoe to encourage dining couples to kiss each other. Unfortunately, after colliding with one woman’s hand, it took a lump out of her nose.

I can see licensing not being too far away in the future.    Read more »

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Hacking and Double Standards in the media

Everyone know that I was hacked but a gutless coward who skulks in the shadows.

Our media as a result of the hack treated the conduit, Nicky Hager as a hero, pursued me, my friends and hounded people out of jobs.

We had done noting wrong, nothing illegal and yet they pursued us. We were vilified in the media, in social media and yet the fact remains that we did nothing wrong.

Our only ‘crime’ was to have differing political views to the hacker, to Nicky Hager and to the haters who vilified us.

Those same investigative journalists have never once attempted to investigate who the hacker was, who was involved or why they did it. There was zero balance., it was just a feeding frenzy in an attempt to unseat a popular government.

Now they are speaking at hacking conferences making themselves complicit in the hack.

Simon Brew at Den of Geek talks about the Sony hack and the lack of ethics from news outlets and journalists who have revelled in the hack.

Then, we’re at the Sony hack. This wasn’t a leak of a set picture, or a tip off from a source. This was people hacking into a company’s servers, stealing private information, and making it available without their consent. Thus, not only have certain films leaked, but so have documents relating to an assortment of Sony projects. These involve major franchises and a lot of human beings.

The major news outlets couldn’t wait to delve through them and run the stories.

Let’s make no bones about this either: there were some juicy, major stories in there. Huge ones in some instances. However, I can’t shake the feeling that they were obtained by theft. That outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Variety and The Hollywood Reporter – to name just a handful – are, ultimately, benefitting from stolen property, and feeding on the spoils of it. Some are reporting it as a leak. But it’s not a leak. It’s an illegal hack. Bluntly, a theft.  Read more »

Russell Brand is a complete douche

Russell Brand is a sanctimonious liberal elite douchebag.

And he is trouble.

Russell Brand could be banned from Twitter, after he tweeted the contact details of a journalist to his 8.7 million followers.

The comedian tweeted a photograph of the business card of a senior Daily Mail reporter that  included his work phone number, mobile number, and work email address.

In the since-deleted tweet, Brand, 39, alleged the newspaper and its owner, Lord Rothermere, were avoiding tax.

“Lord Rothermere and @DailyMailUK avoid tax. One of their senior reporters wants to talk about it,” Brand tweeted, with a photograph of reporter Neil Sears’ business card attached.

Read more »

Global corporates and taxation – a discussion worth having

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Facebook ‘refused to listen to the voice’ of the British public by channelling profits through Ireland to avoid the taxman in the UK, an MP said last night.

The move by the social network meant it paid just £1.8million in Irish tax on more than £2.3billion of global sales, but none in Britain.   Read more »

Cyber terrorism will replace bombers and decapitators

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If it can carry a camera, why not carry high explosives and take it to the airport?

Cyber attacks and commercial drones pose a growing risk of commercial aeroplane crashes, a major insurer has said.

Technical advances in aircraft design and navigation systems have reduced the chance of dying in a plane crash, but the reliance on computers poses new types of risks. Read more »

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Dodgy socialist Argies using drones to catch out rich tax dodgers

The Argie government is using drones to catch out dodgy rich pricks who are rorting taxpayers on their tax returns.

The Argentine government has used drones to catch out wealthy tax evaders who had not declared mansions and swimming pools.

Unmanned aircraft were dispatched over an upper class area of Buenos Aires and discovered 200 homes and 100 pools that had not been detailed on returns.

Tax officials said the drones took pictures of luxury houses standing on lots registered as empty.

The evasions found by the drones amounted to missing tax payments of more than $2 million and owners of the properties have been warned they now face large fines.    Read more »

How many more failed IT projects is the government concealing?

Government and IT systems.  It’s a big hole that you  just keep pouring money into.

A major government IT project is three years late and nearly $30 million over budget.

The first stage of the Joint Border Management System (JBMS) – merging the computer systems of Customs and the Ministry for Primary Industries – was supposed to be finished by the end of 2012 at a cost of $75.9 million.

Secrecy has shrouded the problems which beset the project, but the Herald can reveal the budget has soared to $104.1 million, and the system is now expected to be operating by the end of next year.

Projected savings of $535 million over 10 years will now take 15 years to achieve according to papers released under the Official Information Act.

Crisis talks were held weekly between the chief executives of the agencies and IBM, the documents show, and high-powered legal advice was obtained from Crown Law and the Chapman Tripp firm.

Ministers of relevant departments, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the State Services Commission were also briefed on the problems with JBMS.

A court case was avoided after 10 months of negotiations.

10 months of basically no progress, and 10 months of reworking the specs, 10 months of increasing the scope.

10 months of justifying more money.

Read more »

The left will probably want these to stop people from having legitimate right wing views

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The left wing thinks that alternate views to their wonky view of the world should be silenced.

They will probably want these to stop people from having legitimate right wing views.

An American company has produced a wristband that aims to instill good habits in people – by giving them an electric shock when they stray.

The Pavlok is worn like a FitBit bracelet, and can be activated manually or automatically through an app. Inspired by Pavlov’s theory – who trained his dogs to expect food every time a bell was rang – the app wearer is supposed to learn to avoid certain behaviour, or else an electric shock will be sent out from the band.

“The idea is everybody has these things they know they shouldn’t do,” said Maneesh Sethi, who created Pavlok. “If you start to add a small amount of shock when you do stupid things, you can mostly just increase the awareness of your activity in your daily routine. I like to say that for the last 1,000 years, we’ve tamed environment, but we haven’t tamed ourselves.”

Mr Sethi explained that, for instance, those looking to lose weight could shock themselves when their plate was half finished, to encourage themselves to stop eating. Or if you knew that you wasted too much time on social media, you could shock yourself to snap your attention away from the device.

He told The Daily Dot website that while activating the Pavlok manually might sound counterproductive to the aim of the device, his team’s research showed that self-applied shock is as – or more – effective than automated shock. Having the Pavlok on your wrist “opens up the awareness of your habits,” he claimed.

“It makes you ask yourself, wait, why am I hungry again?”

The shock is delivered at two milliamperes, which the manufacturers claim is neither dangerous nor excessively painful. The device goes on sale next year for $244 (£155).

 

– The Telegraph

Spot the Green Taliban hypocrites

So, a short summary…  The Green Party are

– AGAINST Five Eyes

– AGAINST the GCSB, for the most part

– AGAINST the SIS, for the most part

They are also

– FOR hackers stealing private information for political purposes

– FOR using hacked private information for political purposes

and now, instead of supporting data privacy, they want the PM to stop deleting his TXTs  Read more »