Technology

Why self-driving cars and not rail is the solution

The Atlantic has been investigating California’s highly expensive and likely to be a white elephant project, the High Speed Rail solution.

As part of their investigation they have looked at the promise of self-driving cars…which in a direct comparison shows precisely why train-spotting projects like Len Brown’s rail loop and California’s HSP solution are nothing but boondoggles costing rate and taxpayers billions.

First, self-driving cars. I turn the floor over to a reader in California whose identity and background I know. He works in the advanced-research parts of the info-tech industry and did his bachelor’s and doctoral training at Caltech and MIT. He says:

Your series on High Speed Rail is under-emphasizing an important aspect of the big picture.

Should we invest in infrastructure? Absolutely!  But the right kind of infrastructure.

The technology and accompanying infrastructure creating the greatest impact today and over the past 30 years has been not just big scale physical stuff, but the brains coordinating and controlling physical stuff‚ÄĒspecifically, computing and communication. ¬†¬† Read more »

Renewable energy = death

The hipsters, the left-wing and the green taliban always bang on about “clean energy and renewables.

But it is very expensive and it won;t get any cheaper.

By insisting on abandonment of fossil fuels they are really insisting on removing cheap and viable fuels from those who most need them.

They are actually condemning poor nations and their populations to more poverty, more subsistence living and more disease by preventing them from accessing the very fuels that have enabled us to move into the first world.

This video focuses on the unintended consequences of marchers demanding an end to fossil fuels.

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Small cars are gay

Everyone know I drive a utes, a proper man sized vehicle that can load up burly blokes, their guns and dogs and travel in comfort.

Green taliban types will tell you that I am wasting the earths resources in owning and driving such a vehicle.

Turns out their preferences, gay little cars are actually the least fuel efficient.

Drivers looking for savings at the petrol pump could be making a mistake if they swap their estate or 4×4 for a smaller car, according to research which suggests that fuel economy estimates are biased against larger vehicles.

Motorists are usually advised that smaller cars can travel more miles per gallon (mpg) than those with larger engines, making them cheaper and more environmentally friendly to run. ¬† Read more »

Len Brown brings spying to Auckland and Fairfax shills for HP

Auckland is about to get super snooping capabilities with a multi-million dollar deal with Hewlett Packard that include Automatic Number Plate Recognition, Facial Recognition and video analytics.

Michael Field has taken a break from writing lies about Fiji and has turned his expert journalistic skills to touting for Hewlett Packard in what can really only be described as a native advertisement for them.

He has regurgitated large amounts of their press release in order to write his “story”.

To cap off the news article that is really an advertisement for Hewlett Packard they have even used HP’s own marketing video from Youtube.

Surveillance technology that uses high definition cameras and software that puts names to faces and owners to cars is coming to Auckland.

Surveillance will also include scanning social media and news websites.

Auckland Transport, the regional transport provider, has yet to announce the multi-million dollar deal, but California’s Hewlett-Packard Development Company said today it has the contract.

No dollar sum is given. ¬† Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Photo: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington. Photograph from the main eastern theater of war, Meade in Virginia, August-November 1863.

Photo: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington.
Photograph from the main eastern theater of war, Meade in Virginia, August-November 1863.

Communication during the American Civil War

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Photo Of The Day

Photograph: Sebastiao Salgado/Amazonas Images/nbpictures Greater Burhan Oil Field, Kuwait. Canadian firefighters in Kuwait battle to seal an oil well.

Photograph: Sebastiao Salgado/Amazonas Images/nbpictures
Greater Burhan Oil Field, Kuwait.
Canadian firefighters in Kuwait battle to seal an oil well.

Oil Well Burhan Kuwait

‘Sometimes they sat down and cried’ Read more »

Franks on engaging social media

Stephen Franks has written a LONG (but very considered) piece on why not only should lawyers not be afraid from engaging with social media, but arguably they are ethically obliged to, where using effective channels to get a message out there is in the interest of a client.
It’s a bit of a read, but for anyone interested in the media, politics and the law, it is an essential read.

A public voice for clients, and for views of what the law should be, does not shun effective platforms.

We have in the past, do now, and will in the future, write, publish, talk about and promote causes and interests in any medium that seems to us likely to be effective. Of course that includes social media. I have my own blog. I comment on the blog posts of others. Frequently the participation is on issues where I or the firm have a view, and our participation is a pro bono attempt to add expert correction or advice to the public discussion. Sometimes participation promotes the firm. Sometimes it is expressly to advance a client’s cause.

Like most people, we are probably more effective and more energetic on issues where our views coincide with those of the client. With their approval we’ll use as many channels as is practicable to ensure that the client position is communicated to the people who should have the information. We are public advocates. We do not eschew any lawful form of communication.

He then turns to the irony of the NBR reporting asking about using a media resource that calls on accountability and causes some offence. ¬† ¬† Read more »

Interesting ODT article

There was an interesting ODT article yesterday that quoted Julian Miles QC.

Ironically he represented Fairfax, I think, in opposition to my application for an injunction. He is one of the most qualified barristers in the land, especially in areas of defamation and also media law.

When he speaks people should listen.

A lawyer who prevented Cameron Slater from gagging traditional media says he expects the controversial Whale Oil blogger will soon enjoy the same legal protection as journalists.

Julian Miles QC represented three media organisations at a hearing in the High Court at Auckland on Friday and less than 24 hours later spoke at the World Bar Conference in Queenstown.

Mr Slater had sought an injunction stopping further publication of private emails hacked from his computer.

The emails have caused a storm of controversy during the past three weeks, leading to the resignation of Minister of Justice Judith Collins.

On Friday, Mr Slater won an interim injunction against ”unknown defendants” publishing his private emails – referring to the hacker known as Whaledump, or Rawshark, who obtained the information used as the basis for Nicky Hager’s controversial book, Dirty Politics. ¬†¬† Read more »

What is NEW Media?

What is New Media?

What is New Media?

We talk about the MSM ( Main Stream Media ) and the emergence of New Media quite often on this Blog but what exactly is this NEW Media?

What I think it is may be very different to what you think it is. When you hear about a New, exclusively online News organisation what image does that evoke for you?

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Death by E-mail

We have all experienced it. That moment when you read an e-mail and react emotionally to it. Some of us immediately send off a reply while still in the throes of anger. Others sit on it a while and carefully craft a reply. Very few of us pick up the phone or go to the person directly and ask them if our interpretation of what they were implying in the e-mail was correct.

Upsetting e-mail

Upsetting e-mail

The problem is tone, as we have no way of telling what it actually is from the words on the screen. It is left to us to add the tone and depending on our mood at the time and many other factors we can easily get it wrong. In my personal experience when that happens it is all down hill from there. People feel free to say things in an e-mail when they are angry that they would never ever have the balls to say to your face.

In the past I had a relationship seriously damaged because the only way the person would communicate with me was by e-mail. Once the flame war started there seemed to be no way to put it out. No matter how carefully I crafted my replies I was perceived as being hostile and to be fair I felt that the replies to me were incredibly hostile and nasty as well. Eventually I decided that I would only make matters worse by continuing so I just stopped.

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