Technology

New Pacific cable now fully funded, no sign of Kim Dotcom’s cable though

During the 2014 election Kim Dotcom promised to build a second cable crossing of the Pacific. Like everything else he says or promises, nothing has come of it.

Meanwhile Hawaiki has managed to fully fund their proposal.

After trying to drum up funds since 2006, Hawaiki Cable says it has finally funded a $US350 million fibre cable that will link Australia-New Zealand and the US. It says the build will begin in mid-2018.

If the cable goes ahead, it will break the monopoly the 50% Spark-owned Southern Cross cable has enjoyed on the route since 2000. Southern Cross dividends account for around $60 million of Spark’s profit each year (including $26 million in the first half of 2016).

No one involved with Hawaiki Cable will comment on the funding in detail, but spokeswoman Michelle Boag says the project will turn on three sources of funding:

  • Customer pre-sales (all confirmed now that the project has turned “contract in force” with US company TE Subcom, which will build the cable)
  • Equity – all New Zealand based: Rich Listers Malcolm Dick and Sir Eion Edgar, plus Hawaiki founder and chief executive Remi Galasso
  • Debt provided by TE Subcom

All refuse to say how much they’ve chipped in, or what percentage of the project will be funded by TE Subcom’s vendor financing.

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Surely she was on the sauce last night?

This woman thinks she can be a senior minister in an alternative government.

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Guess why the FBI no longer need Apple to unlock the phone? Israel

You’ve got to hand it to them; they are cunning bastards. Not only did they invent encryption, they can uninvent it too.

Apple’s grandstanding is for naught as my Israeli mates actually know how bad terrorism is and have helped the FBI.

Israel’s Cellebrite, a mobile forensic software provider, is helping the FBI’s attempt to unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino, California shooters, the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper has reported.

If Cellebrite succeeds, then the FBI will no longer need the help of Apple Inc, the Israeli daily said, citing unnamed industry sources.

Cellebrite officials declined to comment on the matter.

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Labour’s Ten Big Bumper Sticker Slogans

It saps my will that all Grant Robertson, Jacinda Ardern and Vic Crone have come up with are “Ten Big Bumper Sticker Slogans“. You just know that Robbo was in charge of the colours.

Oh and a word cloud…full of corporate weasel words including one of Vic Crone’s favourites…”big data”.

Labour-coporate-weasel-words Read more »

New Internet cable, but no free broadband for all New Zealanders

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Work on a new trans-Tasman broadband cable is due to start in Raglan by March 29 after telecommunications companies Spark, Vodafone and Telstra jointly invested about $US70 million in the project.

About three kilometres of the cable would be buried under seabed from Ngarunui Beach in Raglan.

This first phase would take about a week to complete.

From there, a larger specialised ship would take over to connect the next section of cable across the Tasman and eventually to Australia.

I’m amazed we need another cable already. Didn’t Kim Dotcom gift one to New Zealand?  Read more »

UK set to start trials of driverless trucks

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Driverless technology is likely to improve traffic and transport far faster than billions spent on modes of transport stuck on rails.

The UK is advancing plans for driverless technology.

Groups of driverless lorries could soon be seen along Britain’s motorways as the government pushes ahead with bringing about next-generation transport.

George Osborne, the Chancellor, is expected to confirm funding for the initiative this week when he unveils the Budget.

A stretch of the M6 near Carlisle has reportedly been earmarked as a potential test route for the automated lorries.

During testing the vehicles would have drivers on board as a safety precaution to ensure there is someone on hand should the technology malfunction.

He said: “Convoys of driverless lorries and motorists will certainly be very nervous about the prospect and will need considerable reassurance that it will be safe.

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Some random thoughts about Auckland’s IT debacle

The more I think about Auckland’s IT debacle the angrier I get.

Let’s put some perspective on the more than $1 billion spend.

Total amount blown by the Auckland Council on IT = $1.24 billion. There is no revenue to the Council for that spend: it is gone, with more bills to continue. No profit either…just ongoing massive sunk costs.

In contrast the market capitalisation of a company like Xero is $2.03 billion, and they have revenue…$70.1 million in 2014 and $123.9 million in 2015.

New Zealand’s largest IT company is Datacom.

New Zealand head-quartered and owned information and technology organisation Datacom Group Ltd is pleased to report a strong year of progress and substantial lift in profit for the year ending 31 March 2014.

The total Group profit before tax totalled $64.7m compared to last year’s $50.9m, an increase of 27%.  Operating profit before gains on assets divested was in line with last year, with overall revenue up by 1.3% from $870m to $881m.

Datacom Group Chairman Craig Boyce says, “We’re pleased to report an excellent performance.  Overall the Group maintained a 10-year compound annual growth rate of 12.5% for revenue and 11% for profit; this result demonstrates the sound strategic direction of the company and the long-term financial stability of the Datacom Group.”

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Len’s looney legacy just got a billion bigger

The real truth is starting to seep out as Auckland Council starts to implode.

Over a billion bucks on an IT system that doesn’t work. Brilliant waste of money and heads should roll starting with IT manager Foley. Under his watch it’s been a monumental clusterstuffup.

The Super City has spent $1.24 billion on IT since it was formed in 2010 – enough money to pay for the council’s half share of the $2.5 billion city rail link.

Among the benefits, Aucklanders can now register dogs online and access nearly 100,000 e-books, but most online experiences with council are still a grind.

Libraries have also provided an e-magazine service called Zinio since 2013, peaking at 65,060 downloads last August. Popular titles include Woman’s Day, Cuisine andThe Economist.

Other improvements to the council’s IT system, such as booking a hall or swimming lesson online, are not far off, say council chief financial officer Sue Tindal and chief operating officer Dean Kimpton.

Figures provided to the Herald under the Official Information Act show Auckland Council has spent $902 million, Auckland Transport $209 million and Watercare $124 million on IT since 2010.   Read more »

Steve Joyce’s MBIE made an app that’s cost $1000+ per user so far

MBIE might have to rename themselves to Ministry of Waste soon.

It is becoming an avalanche of inappropriate spending out of Joyce’s pet ministry.

Steven Joyce’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is under attack after forking out $200,000 for a failed smart-phone app.

The New Zealand Regions application was developed for the Regional Economic Activity Report but has been downloaded less than 2000 times.

Opposition parties say the ministry paid far too much for the app.

“I think Steven Joyce’s image is becoming tarnished as more and more of this wasteful spending is exposed,” says Labour MP David Clark. “The Government seems to be happy to spend other people’s money on things that are really not in the regions’ interest.”

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Oh the outrage! Oh, hang on, the customer liked it

You’ve got to love the clickbait-hungry Media party who sit there hoovering up social media stories to create outrage…except in this one the customer rather enjoyed the exchange.

No matter, let’s publish it and see of we can generate some outrage anyway.

ASB Bank has taken customer service to extreme lengths by sexually propositioning a customer via its official Twitter account after she tweeted to say thanks for good service.

Auckland legal services worker Grace Hall tweeted the ASB, New Zealand’s fourth-largest bank, to say “you have some of the loveliest staff ever”. In the exchange of jokey tweets that followed, the bank asked “Netflix and chill 4eva? Or are we moving to fast ?”

“Netflix and chill” is widely understood to mean watching TV while having sex, but an ASB spokesman said the social media staffer operating the Twitter account didn’t realise the phrase had a sexual double-meaning.

The bank later deleted its tweets, but not before they had been screen-grabbed and reposted by a Twitter account that collects examples of corporate social-media embarrassments.   Read more »

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