Random Rants

... in the aftermath of a terrible accident....

... which was entirely an idiot-drivers fault. Based on reports, the driver actually accellerated into a pack of cyclists.

I know i've copped flack from my readers in the past, because of my attitude to some cyclists who get uppity at drivers for being discourteous - and because i've experienced some pretty poor behavior on the part of cyclists too.

However in this case it has to be said; it appears the Driver was at fault.

It also needs to be said, though: In a situation where the vehicle drivers stupidity is the cause, a reduced speed limit would not have helped. Really. The road is only 50km/h limited now. They want to see it reduced to 40? 30? It takes long enough to get around there now :o And honestly, a driver at 50km/h should have plenty of opportunity to see, and appropriately avoid, a cyclist or even better, a large bunch of highly visible cyclists.

So whilst it's pretty clear that the police are on the right track with this one, I'm afraid I don't support the knee-jerkiness of the response from Cyclists.

The appropriate response should be to vastly improve driver education, and to visibly come down hard on those whos stupidity causes problems.

Should I be harsh?

Your Sister (may she rest in peace) was taking a horrendous risk. And paid the price.

Text-messaging while driving is stupid!!

Sad, so sad.

The story it tells is true enough.. A horrendous number of New Zealanders are actively pirating media - Movies and such in particular - and see nothing wrong with it.

The attitude is incredibly self serving, and smacks of ignorance. Quotes like "I never think about who I might be hurting when I'm downloading copyrighted material," and "I don't download New Zealand music or movies, because I know our industries struggle," ... "But internationally things are on such a big scale and it's so easy not to think about it." are blatantly selfish.

"If movie directors and actors got up and said 'I can't do this anymore, piracy now means it's too hard for me to make a living in this industry,' I'd stop downloading pirated material. If they gave up working because of it, I might start to feel accountable. But it's just not happening."

In other words, until it actually has a tangible effect on the individual, the consequences are irrelevant. Sounds a bit like early attitude about pollution and the environment. "Until it actually affects me, it's not my problem".


"Until then, while I'm not proud of it, I won't start paying for something I can so easily get for free."

The article probably explains the mentality very well. A shame I don't subscribe to it.

I can't claim to be perfect in this score - and I doubt there's many who can. However I do subscribe to the notion that the sheer number of people who're building media collections by copying, and not purchasing, digital works, are hitting the media hard.

There's a combination of factors, of course. If legitimate, commercial options were priced low enough, demand would fall. My own impressions are that iTunes has infact had an impact here; you can now find the majority of the music you want online, buy it legitimately and actually support the artist concerned.

Now, is $25 per DVD for your average movie fair priced? $30? What about boxed sets of TV series for $50-150?

Chicken and egg, right? The media companies cite their losses due to piracy and keep upping their prices. Thus more people pirate, less buy, chicken and egg.

The same logic here applies to (closed) software. The more expensive the title, the more likely it is to be pirated and used contrary to it's license terms.

I personally make an effort to support the artists by legitimately acquiring their work; this is across, film, TV and audio. Yes, I still buy (and listen to) CDs! I see this as an important thing - supporting the artists helps ensure they'll keep making my favourite shows, films and music!

I'd be interested to hear what people actually use as a rationale for any status which in the end, causes them to _not_ be supporting the artist aka, acquiring content for free when it does have a titular cost.

Nicely said by Dave Lane.

"$1.4 Million" is a lot of money. But when we're talking about them providing $140,000 (actual cost) of software (worth $1,400,000 retail) to a charity, it is indeed self serving when you think about it!

- Continues to lead people down the path of using the MS template.
- These packages use closed formats by default. What about interoperating with others - or working from home as Dave points out?

I do agree that if Microsoft wants to truly be seen as benevolent to charities, they should offer cash equivalent - even at the wholesale price equivalent. The Charity could then opt to use the Software - or do something else potentially more useful, with the funds.

It is on the surface a great deal for the charity concerned - but you do have to read between the lines, eh?

A dairy-allergic baby was hospitalised after drinking 'Whole Water'.

This despite the ingredients list citing 'Milk Protien' in the ingredients list.

I feel for the parents involved, ... but surely checking the ingredients of things you feed your child - given the amount of dairy in our diets across the board - should be the rule, not the exception?

Milk protiens are pretty obviously dairy. Even if the ingredients are 'fine print'...

No excuse for not checking the ingredients yourself for -each thing- you give your child. Sorry but little sympathy here!

Sure, initial shops can be challenging, but you do adapt to a more restrictive menu over time. The best person to attest to this is probably my wife Liz - who has been the primary caregiver to our daughter, who shares the same allergy. We've not had to take her to the hospital yet, through careful management. (And even I have a good idea (now) what to look for, and what to avoid. It did take me a little longer to come to grips with, though.)

I do feel, sometimes, that people don't take allergies like Dairy seriously. You need to inspect the ingredients list of _everything_. There's often non-dairy substitutes. But you can't make assumptions... you must check.

The parents of the kids referenced in the article above, need to take a substantial shrae of the responsibility for the near-misses they've survived. Can't see any other conclusion there.

Party On, Dude!.

Good frigging grief.

Some choice quotes:

""My legs are fully damaged, like hard out," he said."

... yes... Third degree burns to a goodly portion of your legs, is 'fully damaged, like hard out'.

"Mr Dixon said he'd thrown petrol on fires "for years", but it had "never come fully back at me. I found out this time that it does."

Gee, when you pour an accellerant onto an open fire, dya THINK it might cause some risk to you?

As for his mates pouring Alcoholic Drinks on him to put out the flames...

Stunned, I am.

""It's just what I'm like. I love parties; drinking, smoking, everything, drifting and all that.""

Mate, if you survive to age 30, i'll be impressed.

(The only credit I can offer is that you actually thought to recognise the people who helped you survive your experience. I suppose that's better than being entirely oblivious to the stupidity of your actions - and perhaps your lifestyle?)

Okay so recent events in a single post...

Having returned from Brisbane (Photos on Facebook for those who can see them) i've been working like a bit of a maniac on several different projects at work... between that and other bits and pieces i've been very, very busy.

Other bits and pieces include having been 'officially confirmed' as a member of the NZOSS Council at their AGM last week. This after having been either a 'defacto' or 'coopted' member of the council since pretty much the inception of NZOSS.... somehow it's now more 'real' - and it feels good, to be honest. I do have to be careful not to overcommitt myself - but the Society seem to be happy with what I manage to contribute and i'm more than happy to continue supporting freedom of choice in the software world.

With that in mind I attended the Open Government Barcamp yesterday. Very interesting to get ~160 interested, enthusiastic and clooful people together to identify real issues that can be addressed - or at the very least, raised to the attention of people who can. Todays hackfest was the practical side - unfortunately due to personal committments (like actually needing to see my family! heh) I had to skip it. Still, the Barcamp was very useful. Of particular interest was NZGOAL - Government Open Access and Licensing initiative which is looking to greatly simplify the gotchas around making government information accessible and usable by the populace. A video helped paint a picture. Suprisingly I havnt found the video itself on Youtube yet...

In response to the overwhelming majority of people who think that a smack, as part of good parental correction, should NOT be illegal in NZ - the PM is leaving the law intact but then directing Police and CYFS not to prosecute on the obviously stupid cases.

Nice move - but the whole circumstance is stupid. How can you leave a law intact and then instruct people not to enforce it? Farcical!!

""I think it's a classic case of the Act tail wagging the National dog. He [Mr Hide] is worth 2 per cent and yet he is dictating to the Government that there should be no Maori representation in a city that will represent 1.4 million people. That's not right.""
A quote taken from the The Zealand Herald.

HANG ON. Maori - and everyone else - are represented by the same people!! Why do Maori need seperate representation?

I actually agree with Rodney on this particular, polarizing point.

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