World

Uh oh…there goes the Herald’s new revenue stream

The NZ Herald and Fairfax went all in on native advertising, hoodwinking readers into thinking that paid for articles were news.

But all that is about to come to a crashing halt. Software engineers have worked out how to block native advertising.

For publishers, ad blockers are the elephant in the room: Everybody sees them, no one talks about them. The common understanding is that the first to speak up will be dead—it will acknowledge that the volume of ads actually delivered can in fact be 30% to 50% smaller than claimed—and invoiced. Publishers fear retaliation from media buying agencies—even though the ad community is quick to forget that it dug its own grave by flooding the web with intolerable amounts of promotional formats.

A week ago, I was in Finland for the Google-sponsored conference Newsgeist. The gathering was setup by Richard Gingras and his Google News team, and by Google’s media team in London. Up there, in a  high-tech campus nested in a birch forest outside Helsinki, about 150 internet people from Europe and the United States were setting the  agenda for what is called an un-conference—as opposed to the usual PowerPoint-saturated format delivered in one-way mode. As expected, one session was devoted to the ad blocking issue. (I can’t quote anyone since discussions took place under the Chatham House Rule). Read more »

Stick Len’s rail loop, here come driverless cars

As I said earlier this month driverless cars are the future, not stupid stuck on rails trains.

Don’t get too attached to your steering wheel and brake pedal because self-driving cars could be hitting our roads sooner than you think.

The first privately-owned driverless vehicles could start appearing in New Zealand in as little as two years, once European manufacturers start bringing them to market, Transport Minister Simon Bridges says.

Bridges is in the German city of Leipzig to attend the International Transport Forum’s annual summit, where a lot of the talk has been about the rapid pace of driverless car technology and how it could dramatically reduce the number of vehicles clogging up our roads.

Alexander Dobrindt, the German Federal Minister of Transport, arrived at the summit on Wednesday in a self-driving BMW and predicted the technology would start rolling off German assembly lines as soon as 2017.   Read more »

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Hamas tortured their own citizens

Amnesty International, normally attacking Israel, has instead released a report on human rights violations in Gaza by Hamas, against their own citizens.

Amnesty International said in a report on Wednesday that Islamist Hamas committed war crimes against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip during last year’s war with Israel.

A ceasefire last August ended 50 days of fighting between Gaza militants and Israel in which health officials said more than 2,100 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed. Israel put the number of its dead at 67 soldiers and six civilians.

“Hamas forces carried out a brutal campaign of abductions, torture and unlawful killings against Palestinians accused of ‘collaborating’ with Israel and others during Israel’s military offensive against Gaza,” the human rights group’s report said.

A Hamas spokesman criticised the report as being unfair, unprofessional and not credible.

“The report is dedicated against Palestinian resistance and the Hamas movement … it deliberately exaggerated its descriptions without listening to all sides and without making an effort to check the truthfulness of details and information,” said Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman.

Read more »

The NRA should just give Obama a life membership

Barack Obama is the world’s greatest gun salesman, it is getting beyond a joke now.

Breitbart reports on the surge of concealed carry permits:

Concealed carry permit applications are surging in states like North Carolina, as they have been surging nationally under Obama, “amid safety fears.”

For example, in North Carolina’s Buncombe County, the number of permits issued in 2014 were up “101 percent” from 2010.  And this county-level jump is in line with a national jump under Obama, whereby the number of concealed carry permit holders rose “136 percent” across the United States between 1999 and 2014.

According to the Citizen-Times, the reasons behind the surge in NC are based on both politics and safety. While Republicans like state Representative Jacqueline Schaffer (Dist. 105) are pushing to lessen the restrictions on law-abiding gun owners in NC, Democrats keep fighting back, pressing to keep as much gun control in place as possible.   Read more »

Want your own FLOTUS? ISIS would sell you one for $60

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Michelle Obama would get about US$45 on the ISIS slave market, says Dabiq

The latest issue of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) propaganda magazine Dabiq promises that ISIS will bring its slave market to the West, but doubts that an enslaved First Lady Michelle Obama would fetch much.

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Did Scott Simpson help with the Libs campaign?

There has been a bit of proper “dirty politics” going on in New South Wales.

It sounds like my longest standing friend in caucus, Scott Simpson may have been moonlighting over in New South Wales. I learned all my best dirty politics tricks from him campaigning in Eden Electorate in the 80s and 90s.

This is the sort of stuff we might have got up to.

Liberal East Hills MP Glenn Brookes has been accused in Parliament of bringing the electoral process into disrepute after his rival Labor candidate was branded a “paedophile lover” during the NSW election campaign.

The claim comes as a video emerged apparently showing the victim of the alleged slurs, Labor candidate Cameron Murphy, angrily confronting Liberal staffer Jim Daniel during the campaign over the alleged theft of his campaign posters.

Just days before the March election, 300 of Mr Murphy’s posters were defaced with stickers declaring him a “paedophile lover”, a person who believes in the rights of child rapists or simply saying “stranger danger” or “our children are not safe”.

Mr Murphy was awarded the Order of Australia in 2014 for his contribution to human rights and is the son of former Labor federal attorney general and former High Court judge Lionel Murphy.

He narrowly lost East Hills to Mr Brookes, the Liberal incumbent, following the smear campaign.

Labor MP Lynda Voltz this month named Mr Brookes’ staffer Jim Daniel as the man behind the campaign.    Read more »

Bludging Greek Ratbags Tell Creditors to “Get their Act Together”

Apparently it is all the creditors’ fault that the Greeks have a tax system that doesn’t work, have been on the bludge for years and cannot afford to pay it back.

Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister, said on Tuesday that the country’s creditors must “get their act together” as loan deadlines approach for the embattled country.

The government has until Friday to pay public sector salaries, a week before the first of a string of repayments to the International Monetary Fund, totalling around €1.6bn (£1.1bn) in June alone, must be paid.

Nikos Voutsis, the Greek minister of the interior, said on Sunday that “this money will not be given and is not there to be given”. But on Tuesday Mr Varoufakis insisted that “we will make the payment because I have no doubt that we will have an agreement”.

The euro slipped by more than 0.7pc against the dollar, as traders digested these conflicting messages from the country’s left-wing Syriza officials.

Kit Juckes, of Societe Generale, said: “The Greek government will need some form of deal in order to release further funds if it is to avoid missing payments to the IMF in June.”

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The poverty scam

What is poverty?

It’s a good question since the left-wing likes to claim that some number of children live in poverty. They constantly bang on about poverty and child poverty.

But the reality is that in New Zealand there is no real poverty. Poverty has simply been redefined to suit their agenda to control the narrative.

James Bartholomew looks at the same redefinition of poverty and what it is reality in the United Kingdom.

The word “poverty” is bandied about as never before. Labour politicians, columnists for The Guardian and The Independent, representatives of charities such as Oxfam, use the term repeatedly, suggesting that poverty in Britain is a major and even a growing problem. Very rarely does anyone on radio or television dare challenge this idea. But what do we mean by the word “poverty” today? And how does our idea of poverty compare with that of the past?

Flora Thompson experienced poverty in late 19th-century Britain and later described it in her famous trilogy of books known as Lark Rise to Candleford. She was brought up in a small village in rural Oxfordshire, the daughter of a labourer. In that village “some of the cottages had two bedrooms, others only one”. If there was only a single bedroom, a curtain or screen would separate the parents and the children. The cottages were often “a tight fit, for children swarmed, eight, ten, or even more in some families although they were seldom all at home together”. The only way to pack them all in was for “beds and shakedowns” to be “closely packed” so that the “inmates had to climb over one bed to get into another”.

There was no running water and, of course, no electricity. The only lavatory for each household was “either in a little beehive-shaped building at the bottom of the garden or in a corner of the wood and toolshed known as ‘the hovel’ ”. It was “a deep pit with a seat set over it”. Once every six months the pit would be emptied creating such a stench that it “caused every door and window in the vicinity to be sealed”. As for food, “fresh meat was a luxury only seen in a few of the cottages on a Sunday”. People mostly depended on bread and lard. “Fresh butter was too costly for general use” and “milk was a rare luxury”.

Shoes and boots were barely affordable, to the extent that “how to get a pair of new boots for ‘our young Ern or Alf ’ was a problem which kept many a mother awake at night”. Obtaining clothes was “an even more difficult matter” so that “it was difficult to keep decently covered”. Labourers sipped their beer slowly in the evening because they could only afford half a pint. The girls were sent out to be servants in richer households when they were between 11 and 13.

Going back further in time to the beginning of the 19th century, many ordinary people could not afford shoes at all and wore clogs instead. People died of starvation in 1846/47 in Scotland as well as in Ireland during the potato famine. Indeed, Britain was affected by more than 95 famines in the Middle Ages, such as the one in 1235 when about 20,000 Londoners died of starvation and many resorted to eating tree bark in an attempt to survive.

Read more »

Know thine enemy: 81% of Arabs support ISIS

People say that there are good muslims and bad muslims and ISIS are bad ones…but their actions should not be ascribed to the rest.

But what if ISIS has widespread support amongst Arabs in the region?

Al Jazeera has a recent poll which suggests that the barbarity of ISIS is well supported.

Breitbart reports:

In a recent survey conducted by AlJazeera.net, the website for the Al Jazeera Arabic television channel, respondents overwhelmingly support the Islamic State terrorist group, with 81% voting “YES” on whether they approved of ISIS’s conquests in the region.

The poll, which asked in Arabic, “Do you support the organizing victories of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)?” has generated over 38,000 responses thus far, with only 19% of respondents voting “NO” to supporting ISIS.   Read more »

Another from the science wasn’t really settled after all files

For years we have been told the science is settled…in climate change. In every other scientific discipline the science is constantly changing. But for climate change we are told the science is settled.

it is also ironic because the warmists who insist that also refuse to accept other science out there like genetic modification, despite that being settled too.

Another area where we are constantly told the science is settled and we should listen to people, especially if they are trying to ban something or prevent us from using it because they know best is in the food industry.

For years we have been told that salt is bad for us (it isn’t, doctors use saline solution after all), butter is bad, eggs are bad, sugar is bad…everything is bad for us and must be controlled, managed and more importantly taxed.

Except it was all wrong…the science wasn’t settled.

For decades they have been blacklisted as foods to avoid, the cause of deadly thickening of the arteries, heart disease and strokes.

But the science which warned us off eating eggs – along with other high-cholesterol foods such as butter, shellfish, bacon and liver – could have been flawed, a key report in the US has found.

Foods high in cholesterol have been branded a danger to human health since the 1970s – a warning that has long divided the medical establishment.    Read more »

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