Posts by Chris Waugh

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  • Hard News: Dotcom: Further news of the unlikely, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Would the Chinese conduct electronic surveillance on behalf of the US and share the results the way we did? Would the US allow the Chinese access to NSA tools, the way it did the GCSB?

    Fair enough. But, Hong Kong, not the Mainland. Different jurisdiction. And I'm sure both sides would've been very wary about just how much they shared with each other, I'm just as sure cooperation with Hong Kong on getting Dotcom could easily have been pitched in such a way that Hong Kong, the Mainland and the US could all see the mutual benefit, and run so as to limit exposure to each other. So yes, getting Dotcom in NZ was certainly easier, but "oh, look, he's got lots of money and a big, successful business" remains the simpler explanation for why he was awarded residency, and NZ does seem to have a record of governments overriding both common sense and the advice of their officials to give people residency on those grounds.

    ETA: It's my impression that USA and Mainland China do cooperate in law enforcement and that that cooperation is only going to increase, especially as the crackdown on corruption gathers steam (and that is getting mad, really mad). I still think Dotcom could've been easily got in Hong Kong, albeit slightly less easily, and getting Dotcom could've easily been pitched as win, win, win for the Mainland, Hong Kong and the USA.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 1959 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dotcom: Further news of the unlikely, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    as the Snowden affair seemed to illustrate

    Totally, totally different. Also, Hong Kong and Mainland China both have sizeable film and music industries who don't appreciate their IPR being stolen. Dotcom would've made a nice, big, fat, juicy rooster to kill to frighten other pirate monkeys. Him being German, and therefore not Chinese, makes him an even juicier target for Beijing. Next time Hollywood starts whingeing about Chinese pirates they could turn around and point at Dotcom and say, "Look! We're doing what we can to help!" I can't think of any reason why Hong Kong would've quietly suggested he make himself scarce before papers were filed, or why Beijing would've encouraged Hong Kong to let him slip out of the territory like Snowden did. Snowden, on the other hand, well, I can think of plenty of reasons why the paper work took just that little bit longer to file than it did for Snowden to board a flight to Moscow.

    So I, too, am struggling to see any sense in a supposed conspiracy to lure him Dotcom off to somewhere the FBI would be able to extradite him more easily from.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 1959 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: It was 30 years ago today,

    It was thirty years ago today,
    David Lange sent Piggy away.

    (where's Ian Dalziel when you need him?)

    I'm the same age as Ana. My memories of a political nature all start with David Lange and the 4th Labour Government. I suppose I have that to thank Lange for.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 1959 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Going solar?, in reply to Alfie,

    You mean the rest of the world has it wrong? Germany is going solar big time, the UK is heading for 10% of homes, AU is a very solar-friendly country and the US is putting up panels like there’s no tomorrow.

    Add China into the mix, where solar water heating is extremely popular, including in north China, where winters make Central Otago seem mild by comparison. There are even solar public bathhouses in the countryside.

    I can understand people debating the comparative merits of various set-ups and systems and their suitability to different households in different climates, but I don't get Stamper's objections. There are installation and maintenance costs, of course, but otherwise it is, as you say, free energy. What's not to like?

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 1959 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Going solar?, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    Don’t piss around put in one of these big boys

    They've been building something similar in Yanqing County in Beijing's northwestern corner (kinda to Beijing what Middlemarch is to Dunedin, I guess), except there hasn't been any visible progress on it for a while now, at least not to this layman's eyes. It was my impression that solar thermal was hideously inefficient, though. Still, they do look cool. Deeply, fundamentally, sci-fi comic-ly cool.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 1959 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Now win the argument,

    And while I'm at it.... I think John Key could learn a thing or two by choosing to spend his pre-election holiday in Montevideo instead of Hawai'i.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 1959 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Now win the argument,

    I'm sure there's a more appropriate thread for this that I'm just failing to find for whatever reason, but anyway, what to make of Rodney Hide's HoS column?

    And please note: I would not normally read anything written by Hide, but the headline just had me too intrigued. Sorry.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 1959 posts Report Reply

  • Capture: See Into the Trees,


    It's been an interesting day.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 1959 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Bits and pieces,

    This has been bugging me for a while now: Everywhere you've posted a Soundcloud track, all I see is a kind of apology from Soundcloud: "Oops, we couldn't find that track". If they're geoblocking me because I'm coming from a Mainland China IP address, then they should say so, or at least say that they don't serve the territory I'm in. Everybody else manages that much, at least. It can't be a GFW issue, first of all because almost every other block does some variation on the 404, secondly because that apology is coming from Soundcloud and not my friendly local internet censor.

    Anyway, sorry Russell, not your problem, certainly not your fault, and definitely nothing you can do about it. I was just wondering if Soundcloud was geoblocking me and didn't want to admit it, or if something is broken, or what...? Does anybody else have a similar issue with Soundcloud?

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 1959 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Why a renter died from turning…, in reply to izogi,

    Law enforcement is normally only applied after something goes wrong.

    Yeah, I dunno about that. They do education campaigns to try and persuade people to not drive drunk and/or slow down... Ideally the various government agencies should start with education/information campaigns, then administration designed to actually make it easy for people to go about their business lawfully (oh, stop laughing!), and resort to prosecution only as a last resort. Insert your favourite mix of cliches about fences at tops of cliffs, ambulances at the bottom, prevention being better than cure, etc. Of course, ideally prosecution should never be necessary, kind of an internal governance version of the Daoist ideal of a state having arms, but locked away where nobody can see them and never needing to use them.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 1959 posts Report Reply

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