Posts by Rich of Observationz

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  • Hard News: Stop acting like the law is…, in reply to mark taslov,

    I believe the smoke free environments law is enforced by the Ministry of Health primarily, rather than police, and applies to smoking anything in a public premise.

    But maybe the elders of your town prefer the challenged to be nicely stoned inside the community centre than wandering the streets annoying people.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5269 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Stop acting like the law is…, in reply to Moz,

    Some supporters are old school anti-smokers who wouldn’t smoke anything if their life depended on it

    I don't think anyone's suggesting compulsion (although maybe if the government thought that it could substitute weed for medical services, it'd legalise it in a flash).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5269 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…,

    Give us some credit. App development professionals start (with or without the involvement of business analysts) by talking to everyone involved, working out a solution and then refining it, usually nowadays, using a defined process of looking at how people use the app, where they go wrong, etc.

    Uber doesn't seem to have any technical problems for a passenger - indeed it removes the 'can't decide where to go issue' as the person paying has to enter a destination on their phone.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5269 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: Hidden Costs,

    It's a characteristic of a sifting system. Fortunately, in NZ, we still have mostly non-selective schools and universities, and a criterion-referenced assessment system, so the sifting mostly comes in at the post-undergraduate stage.

    In Britain, they have ranked, selective universities and an increasing number of selective schools => which result, obviously, in the vast majority of the population seeing themselves as some sort of failure. I think that explains a lot about their general attitudes and national mental health.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5269 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Voting in an STV election, in reply to Moz,

    *All* methods of directly electing a single candidate to an office such as mayor / president are disproportionate and undesirable -> a candidate can be elected on 51% of the votes and the 49% that didn't elect them will have no say.

    (and in the case of a council, the mayor won't have a majority behind them on many issues).

    There is a good reason why most countries (of those that bother with the voting thing at all) have an indirectly elected central government.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5269 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Voting in an STV election,

    I understand STV as the best method when (unfortunately) electing a single candidate to a position.

    What I don't understand are the ramifications of multi-member STV contests. In Wellington, we have two or three seats in each ward, and (some) parties choose to endorse candidates - but they only ever endorse one candidate in any ward.

    Is that because putting up more candidates would reduce the chances of any one of them winning?

    And it appears to limit the ability to change the alignment of councils - if there's a Green, Labour and National candidate with name recognition and good campaigns, they'll all get elected even though the Green might be on 40% and the Nat on 25%.

    (The same applies in FPP, only more so)

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5269 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: All right, then – take me to Rio,

    It's not really anomalous that they hold the Olympics in a corrupt, semi-dictatorship, it's a requirement. Big Sport is pretty much incompatible with a proper liberal democracy - look at the London Olympics with its Zil lanes, or closer to home the Major Events Act.

    Mind you, I'm looking forward to the push scooter racing - will the mighty Czech peloton win out?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5269 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…, in reply to goforit,

    Camera?

    The point is, it's not a taxi, it's a shared car. Similarly to when you rent a car from Hertz or Apex, they expect a credit card with enough available to cover them if you steal or wreck it.

    If somebody puked in a car, then the next renter would report it, the car would run off to the depot to be cleaned and the puker would be hit for a $500 bill on their card. It's a proven system (see also rent-a-bike schemes).

    Of course, it would raise the question of how people with no credit get transported. Maybe they won't be - cut down on the aggro and mess in places like Courtney Place, or at least we'll get a higher class of vomit.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5269 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…,

    The thing with driverless cars is that because they don’t need the owner to be driving, the paradigm where you always have a car with you parked at home or your destination goes away. One option is that the car takes you into town and then goes off to a parking area some way away until needed. But it makes more sense that it becomes available to others and thus either costs the owner less or doesn’t have a personal owner?

    And it’s not a one-for-one swap for a taxi or a normal car, any more than a car was a drop-in replacement for a horse. I’d imagine the mode of access would be much like an Uber – but the vehicle would turn up, you’d load your own bags, it would go to where the hirer instructed, and you’d disembark. If you trashed it, slept in it, or otherwise misbehaved, you’d get charged. (Just like if you rent a car and and abuse it).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5269 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: On the Clark candidacy,

    Doesn’t the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act basically reimplement the Foreshore and Seabed Act, except with a name partly in Te Reo, which is of course enough symbolism to keep the Maori Party happy? I don’t believe any iwi has acquired anything under this act.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5269 posts Report Reply

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