Posts by Robert Urquhart

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  • Southerly: One Hundred and Thirty-one…, in reply to Fraserhead,

    Now, can I get you to help me out with a way to "Amsterdamize" the CBD???

    I was participating in one of the Share An Idea workshops on Sunday and although I wasn't working on the "Space" aspect I noticed that both groups that were came up with and highlighted "Stop calling it the C B D" in response to the question about how to encourage the use of the physical space in the city in the evenings.

    I noticed in all the materials it's being referenced as the "Central City", so I think the council may be already on to this.

    (link to my full writeup, why not?)

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2009 • 159 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Budget 2011: Now with 70% less wordiness!,

    I just let off in my LJ/blog about "Incentive" not being equal to "Opportunity" after something Bill English said in an interview today.

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2009 • 159 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Budget 2011: A Credible Path to…, in reply to SteveH,

    If there is a revolutionary application that requires massive bandwidth then why hasn’t it appeared already in the places which have massive bandwidth?

    I realise you’re talking more about indirect benefits, which are harder to point to. But FTTH is already available in many countries, so why haven’t we been shown the economic impacts from those countries?

    Because the “killer app” isn’t actually the end product.

    It’s like you’re saying “If there is a revolutionary application that requires electricity then why hasn’t it appeared already in the places which have electricity.” Substitute “telephone” if you like.

    As for collaboration, as someone who works from home in NZ for an office in Sydney I think it’s pretty practical now, even with the ridiculous 1Mbit upload limitation of ADSL2+. Yes, more bandwidth would be nice, but I’m not convinced it’s worth $1B of public money.

    Good for you. Much of the country can only dream of being able to connect at your ‘ridiculous’ 1Mbit. That’s the issue the broadband rollout is supposed to address. That’s the opportunity it’s supposed to give everyone, to do what you are doing.

    Tell me, do you get paid the same (converted to $AU) as your counterparts across the ditch? If so, congratulations, you’re actually achieving what National has completely failed to, catching us up with Australia. That’s one example the power of high speed internet and international collaboration, letting people earn on an international payscale here in little old NZ.

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2009 • 159 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Budget 2011: A Credible Path to…,

    I saw a quote somewhere - maybe it was in a cartoon - a little while ago.

    The person who invents a thing, is not necessarily the same person who discovers it's use.

    Or something like that.
    The internet (and services built on it), especially enabled by broadband, has proven to be one of those things in spades. High resolution videoconferencing in and of itself isn't going to bring money in. But our best and brightest being able to collaborate in real time with their counterparts around the world - without having to leave NZ - that just might lead to something that does*. And not just in the tech sector.
    Something does have to be done about that pipe though ...

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2009 • 159 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Budget 2011: While you wait,

    Except that student allowance eligibility was calculated on parental income, not value of assets held by your parents (or more likely the bank).

    And was of course gross income, which as we've seen is very high for farmers, which meant that, since my folks played it straight and didn't have the station's assets hidden away, that I could never get an allowance.

    But really it's a bit like Kiwisaver - if you're self/not employed it makes sense to put just enough in to get the maximum top up, and it made sense to use the trusts loophole to cut the amount of tax you were paying. I can see why so many people did it.

    See also 0 interest student loans, which came in just as I had to return to study. Borrow off the mortgage at whatever % it was then - or interest free. It didn't take very long to come to a decision.

    That said if I'd put it on the mortgage I might have paid it off by now. Might not have a few other things.

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2009 • 159 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: That CERA Rumour, in reply to Shulgin,

    In regards to retrofitting new foundations I think the costings are underestimated by the author.

    Oh, I think David is sadly intimately familiar with the cost of retrofitting new foundations to a riverside house in Christchurch.

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2009 • 159 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A welcome return - and pirates!,

    I serendipitously caught the 1pm re-run, I thought the chap did credibly given he was just a little out of his depth in front of the camera :D And both topics were very relevant to my current interests.

    ("Scrubbed up will", is that at all similar to "fire at Will"?)

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2009 • 159 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Asking for a Contribution,

    Done. And would be perfectly happy for it to be an annual thing with the "what you can/will" clause dispersing any guilt if there were less to squeeze out of the budget in any given year than the year preceding :)

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2009 • 159 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Any excuse for a party,

    I'm ignoring the royal wedding except as a historical footnote, but some quirk of fate has me tonight working on an (unrelated) wedding-focused website site based in the UK :-/

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2009 • 159 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Where You From?, in reply to Emma Hart,

    __Is there anything we can do to help?__

    I’ve been pondering this, because the immediate practical answer is, “Well, no, not really.”

    As a mostly unaffected person in Christchurch, I’ve been pondering the same question - is there anything I can do to help - and come to the conclusion that the best I can do is still stay off the roads, continue working (from home), have my spare space available if my friends in the east need to get out of it for a while, and flush conservatively. That’s it.

    Maybe I’m looking in all the wrong places for ways to help. I don’t know.

    It’s … just depressing :(

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2009 • 159 posts Report Reply

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