If the government changes something, and causes a corporate to lose income it expected to get, that corporate can sue for that lost income and get the change reversed. That's "Investor state clauses", which are within the Trans Pacific Partnership treaty New Zealand is negotiating.
They're shit. If our government makes a change to discourage smoking, the tobacco companies can get the change reversed, and a pay out for their lost profit. That's exactly the example of what Investor State Clauses are waiting to do in Australia: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/
But it's not just tobacco. Let's say we discover a chemical is killing kiwi birds - we can't do anything about it because the maker of that chemical can get it reversed. For a real world example we need only look at Canada, who signed up for Investor State Clauses in their free trade deal with the USA. Canada banned a toxic additive in petroleum. The makers of the additive sued under Investor State Clauses, got a payout for all their lost profit AND they got the ban lifted.
The possibilities are many. Changes to labour laws, safety regulations, copyright law, patents on software, restrictions on advertising vodka to 12 year olds: any of these changes could cause a corporation to lose profit it expected to get. Could we have ever banned lead paint in children's furniture if we'd had investor state clauses? No, the makers of lead paint can sue.( more )
* i went on an epic kayak trip with my girl down a flooded river and there were snakes in the trees
* and THOUSANDS of spiders
* the ones that could walk on the water would come at you at great speed when you went by to get in the kayak
* and when you touched a branch you would get covered in literally hundreds
* of them
* as the water rises, the spiders and other insects crawl up the trees
* until they are all eaten by the spiders
* then the spiders start to eat the other spiders
SEVERE WEATHER WARNING. Ref: OMS16-81625
SEVERE WEATHER WARNING.
ISSUED BY MetService AT 12:28pm 17-Jan-2011
URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST IN: Marlborough, Nelson, Buller,
Westland, Taranaki, Wanganui, Manawatu, Wairarapa, Wellington,
Waikato, Waitomo, Bay Of Plenty Rotorua, Taupo, Taumarunui, Gisborne,
PERIOD OF HEAVY RAIN AND NORTH TO NORTHWEST GALES OVER MUCH OF
NORTHERN AND CENTRAL NEW ZEALAND DEVELOPING ON TUESDAY AND LASTING
INTO WEDNESDAY MORNING
A low is forecast to move over the northern South Island on Tuesday
evening. Another low, currently Tropical Cyclone Zelia, south of New
Caledionia at 11am is accelerating. Although the exact track is not
certain it will probably pass west of Northland and Auckland tomorrow
afternoon and evening, move over the southern or central North Island
on Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning, and pass west of Chatham
Islands late on Wednesday. It will not be a tropical cyclone by the
time it reaches New Zealand but these lows are forecast to bring very
humid conditions and a period of heavy rain and north to northwest
gales over much of northern and central New Zealand from mid/late
Tuesday morning until Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. The
heaviest falls of 200 to 250mm are expected near the ranges of
Westland, Buller and Nelson north of about Franz Josef Glacier.
Expect 70 to 150mm about the Marlborough Sounds, in the southwest of
the North Island and in a belt from Taranaki to southern Waikato
across the central North Island to eastern Bay of Plenty and the
north of the Gisborne region, but up to 200mm on some ranges. Streams
and rivers are expected to rise quickly and there are likely to be
slips and surface flooding on some roads. The strongest winds will
depend mainly on the track of the second low. At this stage they are
likely to be from Taranaki and Taumarunui to Taihape and inland
Wanganui with gusts aound 130 km/h in exposed places on Tuesday
night. However, note that there is a watch for possible severe gales
in many other exposed North Island areas also Marlborough Sounds and
parts of Nelson. There is the potential for damage to trees,
powerlines and insecure roofs, and driving conditions could be
FOR THE LATEST WEATHER AND FORECAST CHARTS PLEASE GO TO
MORE DETAILED INFORMATION FOR EMERGENCY MANAGERS AND TECHNICAL USERS
HEAVY RAIN WARNING
AREA/S AFFECTED: WESTLAND NORTH OF ABOUT FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER, BULLER,
NELSON AND THE MARLBOROUGH SOUNDS
Rain is forecast to set in tomorrow morning. In the 15 to 18 hours
starting about 9am Tuesday expect 100 to 150mm of rain but 200 to
250mm near the main ranges. Peak intensities could reach 30 to 40mm
per hour in the ranges on Tuesday evening.
AREA/S AFFECTED: TARANAKI, HEADWATERS OF THE WHANGANUI RIVER, TARARUA
RANGES AND ABOUT THE HILLS FROM HOROWHENUA TO WELLINGTON INCLUDING
Rain is forecast to set in on Tuesday. In the 15 to 18 hours from
about 10am Tuesday expect 70 to 100mm of rain but around 200mm on
upper slopes of the Tararua Ranges and Mt Taranaki where it is likely
to reach 20 to 30mm per hour at times on Tuesday night.
AREA/S AFFECTED: IN A BELT FROM TAUMARUNUI TO SOUTHERN WAIKATO ACROSS
THE CENTRAL NORTH ISLAND TO EASTERN BAY OF PLENTY AND GISBORNE NORTH
OF ABOUT RUATORIA
Rain is forecast to set in tomorrow. In the 18 hours from about 10am
Tuesday expect 70 to 100mm of rain but around 150mm about the high
ground where peak intensities could reach 20 to 30mm per hour on
STRONG WIND WARNING
AREA/S AFFECTED: IN EXPOSED AREAS OF TARANAKI, TAUMARUNUI, TAIHAPE
AND INLAND WANGANUI
Northerly winds are forecast to rise to gale force tomorow evening.
In the 6 hours from about 9pm Tuesday winds could average 75 km/h
gusts 130 km/h at times
NEXT SEVERE WEATHER WARNING WILL BE ISSUED AT OR BEFORE
9:00pm Monday 17-Jan-2011
each one said "do you have an offer! be quick! someone else is just about to buy it! it'll probably be sold by tomorrow"
of course. that's a freaky conincidence that all three places, which have been for sale for more than 6 months, have all suddenly got an offer coming tommorrow. All without any changes like banks easing lending criteria or anything.
I think we'll file that under standard real estate trickery.
2) I have music -- but not just that, i'm playing it over wireless bluetooth. tech from circa 2003 but it's still good.
3) there's a bug in android. When i press the "next" music track button on my headphones, it continues playing the current song, but also starts the next song. If i press Next again, it's now playing 3 songs. 4.. 5... This is pretty cool i think, as far as bugs go.
4) It's sunny and beautiful outside. and the airon is keeping up inside. And i intend to go outside at lunch time, this is because i'm keeping up with work.
5) i'm keeping up with work. mostly.
6) there's a cross eyed child's photo on the front cover of the spec for the project i'm working on. I really like this too.
Over in the UK - Record industry targets Google for linking to infringing songs
Let's say you were accused of copyright infringement. Let's also include that your ISP made a mistake. Their logging server had the clock wrong, or daylight savings not applied, or some other mistake. They matched up an IP to you, but they got it all wrong. they're a small ISP and they don't have much money to spend ensuring their system is correct, and there's no real incentive to make sure it is. they don't care.
You were home at the time, infact you were online chatting to your sick grandma on skype. You did not download the files you are accused of downloading.
Now, prove it wasn't you that downloaded 3 Lady Gaga albums?
Hard ask, isn't it? How do you prove you didn't? The copyright holder claims you did, the ISP claims it was you. The ISP doesn't, and shouldn't, record what you did online. How are you to prove it wasn't you?
Is the claim "it wasn't me, i didn't do it" enough? How does that hold up?
Maybe the copyright holder made it up? Maybe they just put together big giant lists of random IPs - what's the stop them doing that? They then sit back and collect the money from damages, from people in countries that have streamlined automated copyright accusations like New Zealand is in the process of doing. Move over patent trolls, here come copyright trolls.
Let's complicate it further - you're living in a student flat with 5 other students. Your flat has been accused of downloading the last episode of Lost, illegally. Everyone says they didn't do it, and you know you didn't either. What do you, the account holder do? Do you start logging everything your flat mates do? Is it any of yoru business? It's not even possible because a simple use of SSL and you have no idea what your flatmates are doing. Do you refute the accusation with "everyone living here says they didn't do it" - does that hold up through the process of notice¬ice? Does that defence work in the copyright tribunal? You have no idea if the copyright holder's agency got it wrong - or your ISP got it wrong - or if one of your flatmates is lying - maybe it's your flatmate's boyfriend who did it? When the fine arrives, who pays it? Or does the whole flat get disconnected from the internet for 6 months. Try completing your assignments without internet access.
What is the end result of this? The Creative Freedom Association asserts this is bad for copyright, as it foster bad will and dislike for artists and copyright holders. Being punished for something you didn't do and being punished for the acts of your flatmate, or a visitor, or someone you kindly shared internet with, means yet more disrespect for creative works and copyright.
How do we prove or disprove accusations? Is privacy in citizen's private communications something worth giving up for the sake of protecting copyright? I personally support artists right to own works, and the rights of those who buy copyrights from artists. I don't however value that over citizen's privacy in their own homes.
Danah Boyd says "just because we can, doesn’t mean we should" http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/
"Being socially exposed is AOK when you hold a lot of privilege, when people cannot hold meaningful power over you, or when you can route around such efforts. Such is the life of most of the tech geeks living in Silicon Valley. But I spend all of my time with teenagers, one of the most vulnerable populations because of their lack of agency (let alone rights).
Of course, teens are only one of the populations that such exposure will effect. Think about whistle blowers, women or queer folk in repressive societies, journalists, etc. The privileged often argue that society will be changed if all of those oppressed are suddenly visible. Personally, I don’t think that risking people’s lives is a good way to test this philosophy. There’s a lot to be said for being “below the radar” when you’re a marginalized person wanting to make change.
How Cul-de-Sacs Are Killing Your Community
The theory behind cul-de-sacs was that they lessened traffic, since they change the primary function of local streets — rather than offering a way to get anywhere, now they simply provide access to private residences. The problem is that this design inherently encourages car use, even for the shortest trips. It also limits the growth of communities and transportation options...... The argument that cul-de-sacs increase safety because they limit traffic is also misguided — the more empty and desolate a suburban (and often affluent) street is, the more likely crime is to occur. Also, it’s much harder for emergency vehicles to reach these homes if they’re sequestered in the belly of a web of disconnected dead-ends.
How CNN turned me into a sex scold
And then, there it was. I was on-screen for the span of exactly one sentence -- a sentence used so entirely out of context it sounded like I had done the exact thing I had spent 20 minutes refusing to do:
Facebook's Gone Rogue; It's Time for an Open Alternative
Facebook has gone rogue, drunk on founder Mark Zuckerberg's dreams of world domination. It's time the rest of the web ecosystem recognizes this and works to replace it with something open and distributed.
Body scan got a little too personal
A TSA worker at Miami International Airport in Florida was arrested for allegedly assaulting a co-worker who had repeatedly teased him about the size of his genitals.
The insults stemmed from an X-ray of the accused captured during a training exercise with the airport's full-body scanning machines, the report said.
Canada to get a USA style DMCA yucky copyright act.
Color Survey Results from XKCD
So I was feeling pretty good about equality. Then I decided to calculate the ‘most masculine’ and ‘most feminine’ colors. I was looking for the color names most disproportionately popular among each group; that is, the names that the most women came up with compared to the fewest men (or vice versa).
Here are the color names most disproportionately popular among women:
Okay, pretty flowery, certainly. Kind of an incense-bomb-set-off-in-a-Bed-Bath-&-
Beyond vibe. Well, let’s take a look at the other list.
Here are the color names most disproportionately popular among men:
i don't have any problem with people who only want to know "press this button, it will do xyz", step on the accelerator and the car goes fast..... people who don't want to know how things work are welcome to continue their merry and ignorant* existence.
when those people feel they need to rant about how their way of using tech is better... that's annoying
but way beyond annoyance, is the few who claim we need to legislate to protect corporations from those evil tinkerers in our communities who do bad things, like reverse engineer something - or jail break their iphone - or inspect the bits and bytes in a file format.
The defence of the rights of companies to sell use some hardware and then restrict how we use is, I find that position abhorent.
By all means, live in your world of the appliance -- of not understanding how a toaster gets hot and makes your bread crispy - but don't outlaw people who do want to understand ohms law, change the input to their software - to people who want to be more than "consumers". I want to participate, i want to create - I AM NOT A PASSIVE CONSUMER, AND I'M PROUD OF IT.
* is there a more positive word than ignorant i could use???
The boy section has many very cute, very practical, outfits.
The girls section is a retina burn out zone of pink pink pink. There are even pink hipster pants so the nappies show. Sexualisation at 3 months old!
You don't find any pink in the boys section - nothing - not a single piece of pink to be found.
In NZ today, baby boys wear blue, baby girls wear pink.
Pink has only been associated with females since about the 1950s - any genetic or hormonal "girls like pink" claim is bollocks. It's a modern societal constraint.
In the 1900s pink was commonly considered a colour for boys, being a gentler version of the maculine bright red. Light blue was associated with virgin mary, female virgins and baby girls. It should be noted this wasn't nearly as ingrained as todays "pink for girls, and only for girls" culture.
It wasn't until the 1950s that the cololurs swapped. It's often attributed to the Nazi use of an inverted pink triangle to mark male homosexuals in concentration camps.
The colours swapped, slowly, so by the 1960s pink had become a feminine colour. It was also considered a communits colour (e.g. pinko).
Fast forward to today, and it's gone insane. It's so firmly ingrained in our culture we don't give a second thought to this bright labelling of girls in hot pink, and boys never ever daring to wear pink. (with the occasional exception of an enlightened parent or insistent child). The girls section in clothing or toys shops abound with pink pink pink pink pink!
Do we do this so we don't confuse boys and girls, and accidently treat a child in a way inappropiate for their gender?
Dress a baby in the wrong colour, and the child will be often assumed to be the opposite gender - correct the commenter and you'll be questioned: "but why are they wearing [pink|blue]?". It's a shock for some people to see a parent do something so awful as not label their child's gender for the world to see.
oh noes! If you dress a boy in pink they might turn out gay? how silly. everyone knows you can only suddenly become gay by drinking soymilk.
I have heard the claim "my daughter picked pink all on her own" - While it's possible they do indeed like pink, I'm confident it's usually more to it - unless the parent believes their daughter has no contact with the world, no contact with other children, or adults other than their parents.
We're going backwards. We're re-enforcing "Girls do this", "Boys do that", right from day one.
This is a normal sort of open source project. I’ll give you a minute to spot the women in the picture. Sorry, make that woman. She’s on the right. Can you see her? This is normal for open source.
I'm involved in a couple dozen projects (see my ohloh profile). in all but one i'd be the only women actively contributing
The project with lots of women: Drupal. What's lots? 10%. That's abnormally high. And the Drupal project a huge amount of fun too! I can't imagine one of those couch-db/rails style talks happening at a Drupalcon without being shut down immediately.
Another community of open sourcey women is linuxchix - i especially like the irc channel, partially becuase of one little attribute: It's normal to assume someone in the linuxchix irc channels is female.
Everywhere else (freenode, oftc, irc.perl.org) it's the opposite.