Technology

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 »

This makes me angry

My opponents have successfully created a number of public perceptions about me.   One of them is that I laugh at dead babies.   Apart from showing what lengths my opponents will go through to undermine my reputation, it couldn’t be further from the truth.

This story, from Marty Sharpe, has got me seething with anger.

A computer gaming addict has admitted causing grievous injuries to his baby son while downloading and playing a game.

When the 5-week-old boy was taken to hospital, it was found he had 13 fractures to his ribs, and fractures to his skull, pelvis, both arms and legs, and a lacerated spleen.

Devon Bird, 21, was woken by his partner in their Waipukurau home at 6.30am on November 1 last year. She had been up with their newborn son for much of the night, and asked Bird to care for him while she slept. The baby was asleep in a bassinet.

Phone records showed that Bird – who, according to a summary of facts, describes himself as a “game freak” – downloaded a game called The Walking Dead shortly before 7am. Text messages he sent showed he texted a friend about his performance in the game about 7.30am.

At 10am he rang his mother-in-law and asked her to care for the baby while he went to class. The woman immediately noticed bruising beneath both the baby’s eyes and on the bridge of his nose, and pink spots on his cheeks.

Fearing he might have meningitis, she rang Healthline, which advised her to take him to a doctor.

The doctor suspected meningitis or septicaemia, and an ambulance took the baby to Hawke’s Bay Hospital. He was later flown to the intensive care unit at Starship hospital.

So far so good.  Then things started to cave in.  And the lies kept on coming.   Read more »

Even Google Engineers now say Renewable Energy ‘Simply won’t work’

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Google is one of the biggest investors in renewable technology. They have poured billions into research and now their top engineers say that renewable energy is hopelessly flawed.

Eric Worrell at WUWT explains:

A research effort by Google corporation to make renewable energy viable has been a complete failure, according to the scientists who led the programme. After 4 years of effort, their conclusion is that renewable energy “simply won’t work”.

According to an interview with the engineers, published in IEEE;

“At the start of RE<C, we had shared the attitude of many stalwart environmentalists: We felt that with steady improvements to today’s renewable energy technologies, our society could stave off catastrophic climate change. We now know that to be a false hope …
Renewable energy technologies simply won’t work; we need a fundamentally different approach.”
http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/renewables/what-it-would-really-take-to-reverse-climate-change Read more »

A word of warning for fools who hate on their former bosses and blab it all over social media

Some people have gone to town on social media, joining in on the kicking of Roger Sutton. You’d have to wonder they have remained silent for so long but only come out of the woodwork now one of their media pals is having a larrup. Probably because they were protecting lucrative troughing contracts at the taxpayers considerable expense flying in and out of Christchurch to share their pearls of PR wisdom.

That course of action though might well be fraught with danger after a recent Employment Court ruling.=

Employees are being warned not to air dirty laundry about their bosses on social media – even after leaving a job – after a former oil company employee was ordered to pay more than $2500 for making disparaging remarks on Facebook.

The case before the Employment Relations Authority has prompted a call for caution from a top Wellington employment law specialist.

The authority heard that in May last year Kristel McLeod received a “substantial” settlement during an employment dispute with Kea Petroleum Holdings Ltd.

In return, she signed an agreement that she would never speak disparagingly of the company or its officers, the authority said.

Kea is an oil and gas exploration company, which has offices in New Plymouth, Wellington and London.    Read more »

Do you have ‘Text Neck’?

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Have you heard of ‘text’ neck’?

I hadn’t until yesterday but apparently this is rife now and causing alarming injuries.

I wonder how long before ACC starts to record injuries as being caused by texting.

Resea​rchers at the National Library of Medicine have just found out that there is an epidemic sweeping America called—and this is possibly the best name for a medical condition since “micropenis”—”text neck”.

Text neck. Text. Neck. It’s when you look down at your phone too much—when walking down the street, perhaps, or when you’re sitting in front of me at the cinema, or at the bar instead of talking—and the weight of your big dumb head plus the Earth’s gravity puts unbearable strain on your neck and spine. The condition can cause muscle strain, pinched nerves, herniated discs, and, over time, even remove your neck’s natural curve. And all because you had to keep an eye on your group text message while someone went through a bad breakup. All because you were taking a screenshot of a fun interaction you had on Tinder.

Read more »

What is happening with CRISP?

Josh Forman at Slightly Left of Centre has another ripper of a yarn, and what I am enjoying seeing is his willingness to call minister’s offices, and SOE CEOs for comment.

He also looks like he is working some very good sources. He should be encouraged because he is actually running stories without any vitriol and just looking at facts.

His latest post looks at the rumours floating around about CRISP.

Slightly Left of Centre can reveal this afternoon, again as a result of another National caucus leak, that the Health Minister Jonathan Coleman is set to cut yet another Tony Ryall initiative.

CRISP, which stands Central Region Information Systems Plan is an initiative of Central Technical Advisory Services Ltd (TAS), which according to its website “is a joint venture company, established in 2001 and owned by the six Central Region District Health Boards (DHBs) to provide support and services, undertaking:regional planning; implementing regional programmes of work; hosting regional groups and forums; and ensuring the compliance of contracted health service providers.”

The CRISP initiative has the following stated goal:

One Portal,
One Password,
One Patient Record
For every Clinician
At Every Facility
Across the Central Region

This initiative, in the words of those who have been employed to set it up, was meant to provide a shared database of all information relevant to every Clinician at every facility across the entire situation.    Read more »

UFB passes 10% uptake

The fibre rollout is progressing and uptake is growing, passing 10%.

Now if only Chorus would turn on the dark fibre in my street!

Broadband connections have increased nearly 40% over the past quarter according to the latest quarterly figures of the Government’s ultrafast broadband and rural broadband initiative.

The figures, released yesterday by Communications Minister Amy Adams, show around 536,000 end-users are now able to connect to UFB, though only 55,000 are connected. However, 15,500 of those connected to UFB in the three months to September, a 39% increase on last quarter.

The figures indicate a 10% uptake nationally, compared with a national uptake rate of 7% the previous quarter, with the project now 6% ahead of build schedule.

According to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, as of September, the UFB deployment progress was 100% complete for Northland. Waikato and Taranaki were sitting at 71% and 62% completed respectively, while Auckland was 26% complete, with Wellington at 29% and Canterbury at 36%.    Read more »

Balclutha’s WiFi Luddites David and Julia Hunter have been at it for a while – in more ways than one

Yesterday’s Julia Hunter WiFi story is but the culmination of years of concern/harassment/activism from the Hunters.  This, from 2010:

The Rosebank Primary School in Balclutha has assured parents there are no safety issues about electromagnetic radiation levels emitted by the school’s Wi-Fi computer network, installed last September.

Two families are known to have withdrawn their children from the school in February and a third family joined them this week, citing concern about health risks.

But in a four-page newsletter, issued to parents by the school’s Board of Trustees on Thursday, the school insists the results of a National Radiation Laboratory test of equipment, carried out on January 20, prove the equipment complies with the relevant regulations and operates at “very safe levels of electromagnetic radiation”.

Principal Chris Morris confirmed six children had been withdrawn from the school over this issue so far.

“The school respects the rights of parents to make decisions.

“We are sad and disappointed, but we respect people’s right to choose. We’ve spent a considerable amount of time and money [$4410] investigating the process.”

Parent Kim Cruse said she would like the school to be more receptive to hearing parents’ concerns, and to look at all the evidence presented from both sides.

The Wi-Fi equipment was installed at the school last September, following recommendations in the Rosebank ERO report to upgrade the Information and Communications Technology system.

David and Julia Hunter, who removed their child at the beginning of the school term, are seeking legal advice over being publicly named by the school in this week’s newsletter.

It appears the Hunters continued to send their child to secondary school knowing that the school has WiFi, and then started campaigning for WiFi to be taken out of the school.  That makes no sense.  Knowing their strong feelings about it all.

All this is even more remarkable when you know that the Hunters run an Internet provider company in Balclutha called Rivernet   Read more »