Posts by Russell Brown

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  • Hard News: Friday Music: Record Store…, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    A couple of years ago I threw out all my CDs, earlier this year I deleted all my mp3s. Now I’m 100% streaming, either Spotify or YouTube. It works.

    There’s a lot to stream now – not just Soundcloud but great BBC and NPR playlists, even whole preview albums on the NPR site.

    But I do still have an old-fashioned desire to own things, even files. I’m sure lossless files sound better when I hook up the subwoofer on the deck and my new ($88) car stereo has a USB port in the front. I can just fill a flash drive up with songs and it starts playing music whenever I start the car.

    And it was nice putting on the original 1987 12” of Prince’s ‘Sign o the Times’ this morning (I got it at a record fair recently), just hearing how it sounded.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19525 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Record Store…, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Me too – I’m putting the above two vinyl treasures on Trade Me later today!

    Ooh. Post the the link when they're up and I'll let some people know.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19525 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Somewhere* it's National…, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    By all means house it amongst other sociology books within a tertiary library system, but there’s something that makes me twitch about it being “endorsed” by ratepayers; and don’t try to tell me that nobody considers the presence of a book within a library system to be an endorsement of the book.

    That last part troubles me too. Do its instructions for assaulting and torturing children gain authority from the book's place in a public library?

    I'm basically uncomfortable with every position I've considered on this issue, but the one I'm least uncomfortable with is the placing of some kind of warning on the book, noting that it is linked to the deaths of at least three children.

    And, of course, that most of the actions it advises are illegal in New Zealand. I'm generally of the opinion that crime manuals shouldn't be banned, but this one comes pretty close for me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19525 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: About Campbell Live,

    Last night's lead on Campbell Live: Burger King has joined the companies who have scrapped zero hour contracts.

    This Campbell campaign has changed a pretty big chunk of the employment landscape. Amazing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19525 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: About Campbell Live,

    Breaking: John Key tells Newstalk ZB that Campbell Live plays no role in holding the government to account, and is purely for entertainment.

    Neither of those claims is a direct quote, so maybe he said something slightly different, but ... wow.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19525 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: What would a harm reduction…, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    One small blessing of the Psychoactive Substances Act is in its penalty provisions.

    Possession remains illegal, but incurs only a $500 "infringement fee". (Labour's Iain Lees-Galloway unsuccessfully argued for a zero penalty.) Even possession of large quantities for supply incurs a maximum two years imprisonment.

    By contrast, drugs listed under the Misuse of Drugs Act (or their analogues, which is an open question) still incur much heavier penalties – even though they may be demonstrably less harmful. Yes, it is a silly and irrational situation.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19525 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: What would a harm reduction…, in reply to BenWilson,

    Should partygoers be able to safely test their pills before popping them?

    Well that’s a bit impractical unless we’re talking about giving them all chemistry degrees and access to testing kit suites.

    I mean testing services at dance parties and festivals. It would help, even with retail testing kits.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19525 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: What would a harm reduction…, in reply to Sandy Mulqueen,

    Legislative approval of these other substances, and calling them “legal highs”, looked like cynical profiteering, at the expense of cannabis users, by everyone involved. That they were subsequently, effectively banned has only made matters worse, as you rightly pointed out on The Nation, Russell.

    It's important to recognise what actually went on here. These products were banned and banned and banned and banned. Peter Dunne would put out press releases saying how many he'd banned that week. Eventually, it became clear that this just wasn't working. Enter the Psychoactive Substances Act.

    The problem was, it now seems clear, that by that point, the best candidates for product regulation had already been banned in the whack-a-mole years. THse for sale when the Act was passed were much less desirable. But still, the PSA radically reduced the number of products available and the number of outlets that could sell them. It wasn't an opening up of the market, it was a sharp curtailing.

    Well, that's one of the things that went wrong with the Act ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19525 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: A conversation from belief, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Yes. Telling people what they are doesn't generally help any discussion.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19525 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: We don’t make the rules, we're…, in reply to Sacha,

    it’s a bug in how Supermodel *auto-converts* plain text to a URL.

    No, Supermodel can't know what characters are meant to be in a URL. If you pasted the same string into a browser, that would be broken too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19525 posts Report Reply

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