search engine

Face of the day

Before and after elevator girl

Before and after elevator girl

Today’s face of the day is the face captured by a technology called BriefCam which helped catch the Boston Marathon bombers.Thanks to this video search engine technology hours of footage can be condensed into minutes, enabling the good guys to catch the bad guys faster. People like Nicky Hager after a hard day pawing through other people’s hacked correspondence, will no doubt decry this technology as being controversial and ‘ shocking ‘ because it is taking away people’s privacy. I say, if you are in a public place expect to be under surveillance for both your protection and the protection of others. The crime solving capacity of this technology is exciting.

Films like “Minority Report” are no longer considered futuristic: video surveillance methods portrayed in this 2003 film are already in use. In fact, such methods have already helped in catching criminals and terrorists, albeit being controversial.

One of the most innovative technologies in this field was developed by Israeli company BriefCam, which helped in catching the Boston Marathon bombers. Using tracking algorithms, BriefCam enables users to track events caught on tape much more quickly, thus maximizing the potential of video surveillance.

A search engine for videos.

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Interesting Whaleoil searches

via voicable.org

via voicable.org

It is always interesting to have a look at what people were looking for when they use a search engine to visit Whaleoil.  The majority of the searches are obviously directly for the blog name, my name or some combination of it.

With about 60,000 searches being delivered to Whaleoil last month, the actual traffic from search engines is negligible to the 1,000,000+ pages that were served up, especially when half of those are looking for me or my blog by name.

But it still remains fun to have a look back.

Around the time of Sir Paul Holmes’ knighting and death, these searches actually outperformed searches for the man’s name itself   Read more »

Unmitigating in Falsifying Veracity

When Owen Glenn called Mike Williams “an unmitigated falsifier of veracity” who would have known that it would lead to a question in the house. yet there was Gerry Brownlee asking a question that used that very term. Gerry, I must say, impresses me more and more with his abilities in the house and his skills in getting hits, subtle hits on the stupid speaker.

Anyway read this question, it is a hoot. Best parts IMHO are bold.

5. GERRY BROWNLEE (National-Ilam) to the Minister of State Services: What qualities does he think are desirable in appointees to the boards of Crown-connected organisations?

Hon DAVID PARKER (Minister of State Services) : As section 29 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 records, appointees should have “the appropriate knowledge, skills, and experience to assist the statutory entity to achieve its objectives and performance functions;”.

Gerry Brownlee: Does the Minister think that a man who has been described as “an unmitigated falsifier of veracity” and who is “wrestling with the truth” would be a good person to have on the boards of important Crown entities like the New Zealand Transport Agency, the Auckland Regional Transport Authority, Genesis Power, GNS Science, and ONTRACK; if so, can he explain why the President of the Labour Party, Mr Mike Williams, who has indeed been described as “an unmitigated falsifier of veracity”, has been appointed to all those boards listed?

Hon DAVID PARKER: Although I do not accept for 1 second the assertions in the member’s comments, the appointment of Mr Williams to those boards was not my direct responsibility. It is something I am aware of. I make the point that we do not appoint duffers to the position of president of the Labour Party, and Mike Williams is a very able man. He has extensive business and management experience, and he brings those skills to bear in his roles.

Hon Dr Michael Cullen: Can the Minister confirm that those claims about Mr Williams were made by a man who claimed he was offered a place in Cabinet and subsequently withdrew that claim; who claimed that he gave money to the Labour Party to head off the Exclusive Brethren, when he gave the money before anybody other than the National Party knew about the Exclusive Brethren’s involvement; who claimed to have supplied a bribe to have large numbers of people eat at a KFC outlet; who claimed that Mike Williams had asked for a job, when in fact he had offered Mike Williams a job 2 years earlier; and who claimed that Mr Williams had turned up at his house uninvited, when Mr Williams was able to present an email showing that, in fact, he had been invited?

Hon DAVID PARKER: I do not have the Deputy Prime Minister’s grasp of the detail, but I certainly accept his word.

Gerry Brownlee: Maybe the poor old chap made a mistake when he wrote the cheque to the Labour Party. To the Minister-

Hon Dr Michael Cullen: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. I take it from that that someone who pays a cheque to the National Party is expected to support the party from thereon.

Madam SPEAKER: Supplementary question, the Rt Hon Winston Peters.

Gerry Brownlee: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. That would be two questions in a row from the Government.

Madam SPEAKER: You know that is not a point of order, Mr Brownlee.

Gerry Brownlee: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. It is a point of order.

Madam SPEAKER: I am sorry but I am keeping order here. National had the last question. If I give it to National, National would have two questions.

Gerry Brownlee: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. Dr Michael Cullen had the last question.

Madam SPEAKER: My apologies. I was interrupted by the point of order.

Gerry Brownlee: Does the Minister think that an important quality of Crown entity directors is that they should be honest and upfront; if so, does he think that Mike Williams was somewhat unmitigating in falsifying veracity when he earlier this year on the Agenda programme denied he had told delegates at the Labour Party conference that it would be “a damn good idea to use taxpayer-funded material to get around the Electoral Finance Act”, only to be found out later on Television One via an audio of his saying exactly that?

Hon DAVID PARKER: I repeat that the Government appoints on the basis of capability to do the job.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Why does the Minister think there is some reliance on the word of someone who claimed to give money to the Māori Party in that email, as well, which was demonstrably false, I understand; second, has a Karaka sales memory that four people are prepared by affidavit now to swear did not happen, and that he was not even at the same table; and claimed that he had offered $1 million to Howard Morrison to stand as an Independent, which would mean there would be $980,000 left over? How many times does someone have to say things like that before one starts to come to the conclusion that maybe his memory is not so good?

Gerry Brownlee: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. The Cabinet Manual makes it very clear that the Minister of State Services is responsible for Crown entities, and has a portfolio responsibility that includes the appointment process and guidelines for appointments to State entities. That question does not go anywhere near those responsibilities, whereas my questions do.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: With the greatest respect, there was an effort to malign Mr Williams by the use of those words, which I think are demonstrably unfair and not true. Simply, if Mr Brownlee wants to throw that into the arena, it becomes a questionable matter.

Madam SPEAKER: I thank the members. Certainly, the supplementary questions were going rather wide of the primary question and the ministerial responsibilities.

Gerry Brownlee: Were the self-proclaimed qualities of being “a good administrator” and “articulate” the main considerations when Mr Williams was appointed to the New Zealand Transport Agency, the Auckland Regional Transport Authority, Genesis Power, GNS Science, and ONTRACK, or was it that he “doesn’t take a breath without Helen’s say-so” or that “he’s a little too subservient”?

Hon DAVID PARKER: I think Mr Williams is a capable man, and I think he has acquitted himself well on those boards. I would note that we also appoint people to senior roles on boards who are clearly aligned to the National Party.

Gerry Brownlee: Can the Minister give the House an assurance that no taxpayer money was spent on or by Mike Williams when he went cap in hand to Monaco to ask Mr Glenn for more money?

Madam SPEAKER: There is no ministerial responsibility for that matter.

Gerry Brownlee: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. You have ruled out my supplementary question. Without our losing one of our supplementary questions, can I reword that question?

Madam SPEAKER: Yes, you may reword it.

Gerry Brownlee: Does he recall the repeated calls from Mike Williams on election night 2005 for commentators to wait until the South Auckland booths came in before calling a result, and does he think that that may have been because Mr Williams was confident that sooner or later the “Kentucky Fried Chickens” would all come home to roost?

Madam SPEAKER: I am sorry but that is right outside.