Posts by TracyMac

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  • Muse: Hooray for Wellywood (Really!),

    Yeah, all seconded re the ridiculously-sized scale and lack of any redeeming uniqueness whatsoever. Wonderful work with their brand analysts distastefully morphing a cute nickname into a leg-humping ugly "marketing" ploy.

    Let's not be disingenuous about why Jackson can get big movies there - cheap skilled labour. Somehow, I don't think a sign saying "The Bangalore of the South Pacific" would have quite the same cachet.

    And Craig, leaving aside the incitement to commit a crime (which I think can be legally actionable without said crime being committed), I am horrified by that homophobic Moa Beer ad! They're never going to see any of my frigging money. (Was considering checking the beer out on my next jaunt home.)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 450 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: People Take Drugs,

    And returning to the point about the P-user who was sticking a needle into his/herself without it actually having a payload, you do get an endorphin rush from having needles stuck into yourself in non-drug circumstances. This is why the kinky people like doing it. Not saying this is what they were getting out of it, but it doesn't strike me as being totally unlikely (obviously it won't have the same impact as a drug-drug, but it may have enough of an effect for it to be not just about ritualistic behaviour)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 450 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: People Take Drugs, in reply to JackElder,

    In all seriousness: isn't this the entire point behind mainstream chemists selling homeopathic remedies? As in, homeopathy is basically a way for people to self-administer placebos and thus obtain relief via the placebo effect?

    (Disclaimer: I am a qualified homeopath, and I think there's more to it than just placebo. Don't ask me what, precisely, and to be frank, I don't much care if it does turn out to be placebo.)

    HOWEVER, yes, exactly. And it amuses me this point has been made in the same forum where certain people have expressed their vociferous opinions against homeopathy, when at the very most, from a skeptic's perspective - barring outright fraud - you're spending money on something that supposedly does sweet F-A.

    Much like vitamins, because the people who buy vitamins the most (the middle-class "health-conscious") are certainly not suffering from any deficiency diseases. I certainly don't see the level of hysteria against that or, say, acupuncture. Or cosmetics, for that matter.

    The inconsistency bugs the hell out of me.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 450 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The witless on the pitiless,

    Belated thanks to Islander and others for chiming in on the pakeha vs tauiwi discussion. Hey, takata pora sounds excellent as well, both in terms of "ship people" and "white turnips". Sounds similar to my teasing certain English people of my acquaintance with their lovely "lobster look" in summer. :-)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 450 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The witless on the pitiless,

    Since we seem to have a few people knowledgeable about Te Reo here, can I have a bit of an explanation about the semantic differences between "pakeha" or (pākehā)and "tauiwi"?

    My understanding of the meaning of "tauiwi" was that it meant "foreigner", in the sense that you're fresh off the boat and do not belong to the country. At all. "Pākehā, in my understanding, refers to European-descended New Zealanders.

    To give it context, I've felt somewhat insulted in the past to be addressed as "tauiwi" when the majority of my family have been in NZ since the 1840s - I certainly would not consider myself to be a recent immigrant or foreigner or "alien", as the Americans quaintly put it.

    However, if it is a neutral way to say "non-Māori", I'll moderate my irritation. Although I have to say that the very few instances where I've personally been labelled as "tauiwi" did not seem to be neutral in context (but then again, any word can be turned into an insult given the right tone of voice).

    Anyway, not wanting to start another bun fight on the wider issues, but I am interested in the shadings of these words from the perspective of a speaker of Te Reo.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 450 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: And we may never meet again ...,

    Going way upstream to the discussion on download limits and large game files, Internode here in Oz act as a mirror for Steam (and other) game content, and it doesn't come off your download quota. I've only got a 30GB plan, and I've never exceeded it. It's certainly in their interests for you to download multiplayer-type games so that you can get your nice fat plan to play them. They also stream various internet radio offerings for free.

    I'm a bit surprised that ISPs like Orcon haven't got with that kind of programme yet - I have to say that it's going to be one of the slight annoyances about returning home to NZ.

    As for purchasing music, I'm one of those people whose CD purchases have increased mightily since being able to download samples. I just wish there were more than just the iTunes monopoly (since I am not an Apple fan, and nor do I think we should have to obtain horrible-on-Windows clunky software for the sole purpose of purchasing/playing music) for buying subscriptions to the various labels' offerings - I'm not going to sign up one-by-one to Sony Music, EMI, Universal, etc.

    I love Amplifier for what they do for NZ offerings, and think that's a model that could stand to be deployed more widely. Especially if you can re-download your subscriptions on demand (-ish - I'd certainly understand if there were limits to how frequently you can download previously-purchased music over a specified time period).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 450 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: And we may never meet again ..., in reply to Aidan,

    All those tracks - the Church, Midnight Oil, Icehouse, etc are awesome. And chalk me up for another who loved that Do Re Mi anthem. :-)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 450 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Any excuse for a party,

    Just to respond to Simon Grigg's diatribe against Prince Charles' more outre views up-thread (and no, I'm not endorsing the monarchy - I like the Irish model myself, if we can't have actual direct democracy, such as being able to recall elected MPs when we choose) ...As if "democratically elected" presidents of various countries (like the US) don't have their own bizarre views and seek to impose them where they can - quite directly in some cases; look at the abstinence-based "sex education" Bush and his ilk came up with.

    I have more respect for Charles discussing his views - fully knowing that he has absolutely no constitutional way of getting any of them implemented, even when he does become king - than the studied-but-unconvincing "neutrality" of Her Maj. One thing the Poms do well is harmless eccentricity - and if we put Charles in that category, fine. Just as valid as the mouthings of most of the slebs we hear from in the media. And quite often a lot less stridently assertive - he seems to be fully aware of the lack of actual power he has, other than that of celebrity in giving his opinions a greater audience in some areas.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 450 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Like being there,

    No thanks, I won't buy anything Apple-branded. Often way over-hyped for the actual feature set. I don't deny the design is often fabulous, but design is not everything (although it obviously helps raise the bar of how the technology is used).

    I don't know why more people aren't up in arms about the "milk you to you drop" approach that Apple have of drip-feeding sexy technology. There was no technical reason for the first iPad not to have USB or SD or HDMI slots, cameras of a reasonable resolution, etc etc right from the outset. But no, you buy the first device, and in a year or so, upgrade to the next with one or two new features, ad infinitum. This is not the same as technology being released with new features as they become available in general.

    If it's HTML-5 that has this functionality, then surely it's available to any class of device/media player with the right hooks? (I'm not going to delve into what "Airplay" does right now at work). But Apple have a habit of branding up common technologies in a certain way - for example, an Airport is not a better router, despite what many people seem to believe. Why should you have to jailbreak a device to enable a simple feature, such as playing the media content you want to?

    Certainly with you on the functionality this seems to give, but let's please make use of open or ubiquitous standards (I've given up on MP3) without the proprietary branding exercise. If your device doesn't have the "play and go" standard (or whatever the technology ends up being labelled as generically) available, then obviously the consumers can lobby for that, no matter what kind of device they own.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 450 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: About Arie,

    Whether it is consciously acknowledged or not, civilised society (i.e. the rule of law) absolutely requires such threats as police beatings and prison rape to function.

    Wow, I've totally missed the part in any court sentencing where "rape twice a day" and "get assaulted by cops 5 times before being incarcerated" are handed out as part of the penalty. That "rule of LAW" is an interesting thing, isn't it?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 450 posts Report Reply

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