Author Archive

Did they jump or were they pushed?

Heads must roll… Fallout from last week’s blinding flash of the obvious, which I described as classic ‘provider capture’. Kneecapper and straightshooter Dame Margaret Bazley found that the Legal Services Agency was being routinely rorted by lawyers and that lawyers were effectively asserting control over the legal aid system. Four resign over scathing legal aid […]

I continue to find Twitter such a fascinating laboratory

I continue to find Twitter such a fascinating laboratory. It’s like fast-forwarding time, like those speeded up hot-house films, and exaggerating the human condition, in so many ways. Trends, memes, flame wars … cool! The sheer number of eyeballs involved (naturally) draws the whole spectrum of homosapiens — from the Valley Girl celebrity culture to […]

Unhappy BOTH ways?

German publishers criticize new Google Books deal   Frankfurt – German book publishers – angered at being included in the Google Books Settlement without being consulted – voiced concern Sunday that they had now been excluded.    The US search giant and US publishers announced Friday that the revolutionary plan to put every out-of-print book in the […]

Pun competition: Dubai’s financial woes

The puns are coming thick and fast in news reports and discussion about Dubai’s financial woes: “Dubai’s economic miracle built on foundations of sand.” “It was all a mirage.” “When the sh*t hits the sand” Any more?

Oh, this is funny…

Poor Simon Edhouse. If this isn’t viral yet, it will be. IMO. “If deal goes ahead there will be some good money in it for you.” — How many times have publishing and design professionals heard this line? “The project I am working on will be more successful than twitter within a year. When I […]

Blinding flash of the obvious

Well, who’da thunk it? Doh! A classic case of Chicago School of Economics ‘public choice theory’ or ‘provider capture’. Read the full story for tales of (shock, horror) crooked lawyers playing the system. (Never!) Breathless reportage from the NZ Herald: A damning review of legal aid says a sea change is needed to fix a […]

Why journalists shouldn’t be defending Fox News

I didn’t see this article at the time, but Dan Froomkin makes a good case. I dislike the hypocrisy of this ‘channel’ — the apparent willingness to distort, their naked manipulation of the ‘issues’ (far beyond a ‘slant’, Fox misleads … in short, like some people I know: a total lack of self-awareness Sure, Fox […]

The overblown role of religion in conflict

I heard a good radio interview today: Radio NZ’s Kathryn Ryan interviewing Rabbi David Rosen — a conversation which opened with the question whether the long running Israel/Palestine conflict is in any way a religious issue. In essence certainly not. It’s a territorial conflict … a conflict between two national liberation movements: The Jewish national […]

Microsoft helping ‘de-list’ news sites from Google?

Wow. Can this be the future? Microsoft paying News sites to BLOCK their content from Google? (… while, presumably, allowing it to show up on MS Bing)? OK, it’s still just a rumour. Here’s the CNN story and this quote from Lance Ulanoff in PC Mag‘s “online news ice age” what-are-they-thinking?’ reaction — which resonates […]

A discredited profession? — Financial advisors.
About time!

The backlash against the alarmingly greedy pigs on Wall St (“Bail Out People, Not Banks”) was long overdue. Self-inflicted wounds. We’re also familiar with the loathing of the corporate fat cats who showered excess on themselves even as the punctured airship foundered — and, more scandalously, even in receipt of taxpayer-funded bailouts. But now I […]

Nothing ‘new’ under the sun

Great minds think alike?

Plagiarism stigma …

‘Uni needs to address plagiarism’ | University dean of arts, Associate Professor Jan Crosthwaite, said while concerning, Ihimaera’s actions were not deliberate. Ihimaera said the offending passages amounted to less than half a per cent of the novel, but respected author CK Stead said that was beside the point. ‘It’s really like saying `well […]

Plagiarism looks like…

Link provided by Jolisa Gracewood in her blog post discussing her uncovering of Witi Ihimaera’s plagiarism. Our lawyers prepared a similarly convincing graphic display for our High Court copyright infringement action, which may have helped the plagiarists in our case decide to settle the case last year.

Building trust — through deceit?

There’s a ‘phoniness’ that plagues the internet. (Peter Steiner’s famous 1993 cartoon “On the internet nobody knows you’re a dog” has become axiomatic). Wikipedia suffers a scandal when it’s exposed that some phoney posing as a ‘learned academic’ has been pasting content into the wiki — which, I guess, compared to the fake surgeons that pop […]

Taylor Swift — self-aware, not self-absorbed megastar

I love the self-awareness this very talented singer/songwriter/megastar Taylor Swift displays with such apparent ease. (Of course she’s wildly talented and works hard.) She makes me smile. UPDATE: Watch the video at YouTube here. (Thanks to AK for the tip.) And an entertaining behind-the-scenes/making-of clip: