Posts by Andre Alessi

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  • Hard News: Moving right along?, in reply to Carol Stewart,

    I don't have much time for Key as a general rule, but his restrained, mature reaction to this palaver has been exceptional, especially when every other person and their dog felt the need to snicker and snark. I don't know if the suggestions of shutting down a National party shitfight are even necessary: most people don't even register when party officials/boosters start sniping at each other, especially not on Facebook.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 846 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Moving right along?,

    Given how spectacularly this thing has blown up in everyone's face, I'd hope people think twice before trying this kind of crap in the future.

    I know I'm being overly generous to the humanity and capacity for learning of some of the participants, but I can hope.

    I imagine there have been some terse conversations between the two Slaters in the last week.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 846 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: An Outstanding Evening,

    Jean Grae, the South African/American MC has written a lovely tribute to her late mother, South African musician, Sathima Bea Benjamin (including a nice link to one of Sathima's songs at the end of the post.)

    Grae has also put up a new track of her own, titled FUCKERY LEVEL 3000, for free or for bucks as you like on Bandcamp:

    http://jeangrae.bandcamp.com/track/fuckery-level-3000

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 846 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Everybody's Machiavelli, in reply to Danielle,

    Or perhaps, "Speaking on behalf of all women.." to banish all doubt.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 846 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Everybody's Machiavelli, in reply to DeepRed,

    I'm still unconvinced that Lusk plays anything like a significant role in National Party politics anywhere other than his own mind (and the minds of those trying to justify having paid exorbitant fees to him.) He's certainly less influential than DPF or Slater, for contrast.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 846 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Everybody's Machiavelli,

    Attachment

    I was going to suggest that, if Slater truly wanted to embarrass Brown, he would post that video of him rapping, but then...

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 846 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Everybody's Machiavelli, in reply to Cam Slater,

    You guys were donkey deep in salivating over Richard Worth, commented about Alasdair Thompson and hounded Nick Smith...so did I for the record...at least I am consistent

    Worth was accused of committing a crime. Thompson used his role as an influential industry figure to actively excuse gender discrimination using made up "facts" he pulled out of his arse. Smith used his position as minister to influence ACC's supposedly independent decision-making processes. Brown had consensual sex with someone other than his wife.

    One of these things is not like the others. One of these things just isn't the same.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 846 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Everybody's Machiavelli,

    I've been trying to formulate a response with more value that just saying, "I don't want to hear about the private lives of our elected representatives", but really, that's all I can come up with right now. No one (other than the obvious) seems to have gained anything from this clusterbark.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 846 posts Report Reply

  • Cracker: Lundy and Me.,

    I know this is carrying on along an odd tangent to the main issues, but I can't help thinking of Meursault, convicted of murder because he didn't cry at his mother's funeral (even though he was guilty.) For the record, 13 year old me didn't cry at my father's funeral either, and I am certainly not a murderer.

    Anyway, I think the Lundy case interests the public, in part, for the same reason the Bain case does: not simply because of the nature of the crime, but because of the efforts of individuals to draw attention to the details of the cases in the years afterwards. I don't think it's a purely academic question to wonder how different our justice system would be if every criminal conviction (or even just every murder conviction) was given as much attention after the fact.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 846 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Strange Tax on Your Internet, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    There's just been no sense to the roll-out

    Absolutely. It's been a shambles. In the course of my day job, I've looked at the Chorus records of about 300 Auckland addresses in the last month to see which services (ADSL, VDSL, UFB) are available, and probably three quarters don't have the option to even order UFB yet. And don't get me started on the added complexity with CFH entities that aren't Chorus in Tauranga and Hamilton.

    Part of this has been caused by retailers, who were slow to offer fibre plans. Many of the smaller retailers don't buy services directly from Chorus, they buy from the wholesale departments of the big guys: Telecom, Vodafone, Call Plus, etc. These small providers couldn't offer anything UFB related until their wholesale provider developed and rolled out a UFB product for them to sell. Additionally, late last year and for the early part of this year, many ISPs had a big push on new ADSL plans with increased data caps , 24 month terms and large early termination charges, meaning that it just won't be economic for many people to make the switch to UFB until next year or the year after, even if this means they won't be included in the initial UFB rollout in each area.

    This is a definite problem, because Chorus' initial business plan included an expectation that most customers would sign up with a UFB product at the time Chorus rolled fibre out to their street. That's been one of the major causes of the low uptake Chorus is now using to justify increased UBA pricing.

    Then again, Chorus is also gaming the numbers themselves here. Earlier this year their costings for the UFB rollout skyrocketed by nearly $300 million IIRC (after they'd already won most of the contracts based on their lower initial costing, naturally.). Their justification for this-that "compliance costs" involved with digging up roads and footpaths and the requisite council consents-is absolute bullshit. There is no difference in the compliance cost of digging up a road to lay fibre than there is to lay copper, and they do the latter every day, so there's no conceivable way they could underestimate how much the process would cost to this degree.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 846 posts Report Reply

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