Posts by TracyMac

  • Feed: Fulminating and fermenting,

    Sounds delicious. And just the thing to help wash down some nice whisky as well, if it's one of those sessions.

    I do like hoppy IPA/APA style beers, but totally agree that some go way too far. Some people must like them.

    Not fond of the bitter style in general myself, and I can't say I've ever had a lager I'd call "nice" (although some are good for lagers). Like a good pilsener, though. And stout.

    Funny how tastes vary. I'm sure one day we'll learn there is some genetic complement to how we taste things individually. Beyond the more obvious ones like "coriander = delicious" vs "coriander = soap/stink bugs" (I'm in the latter category, unfortunately).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 454 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dotcom: Further news of the unlikely, in reply to steven crawford,

    I would much rather that people vote for the IP than not at all. And personally, despite my thinking that Dotcom is just about creating his own publicity machine for his immigration woes, I actually have nothing against the aims of the party at all.

    You're right that they're aiming for a tranche of people that Labour is not seeming to reach at all. I just wish that Dotcom would keep his own head below the parapet, and if he has something important to release, then release it. A big fail for the big reveal would likely put off a lot of those voters who would consider the IP - if it's a big embarrassment, many would stay away in droves. That being said, if it's some Snowden-type revelations about what this govt has been up to - and not just about Dotcom's immigration woes and the disgraceful raid - I'd not be too inclined to shoot the messenger.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 454 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Te Reo Māori in schools:…, in reply to tim kong,

    Argh, don't get me started on the "kids should learn coding" crapola. I work in IT and occasionally write scripts. Does coding qua coding have much relevance to my daily work? Nope, not once I've knocked up that mailbox creation script, which I proceed to reuse a zillion times to create mailboxes. I might write a substantial script a few times a year. Did I need to do computer science or study programming to figure out how do so? Nope, just learned how to mash pre-baked scripts together with the assistance of Dr Google.

    Sure, there are jobs for professional coders, whether they be application/web/other. But not actually that many. There are going to be less in future with the refinement of machine-generated code, not to mention the programming bodyshops provided in places with cheap labour rates in South Asia.

    Learning coding will basically be irrelevant to most, including many who go into IT careers. Learning another language - especially one of the official languages of our own country - is more relevant to more people, even if you use it rarely.

    Coding is not like mathematics in terms of its use on a daily basis. Sure, it could be an optional course, but it's not something that teaches you how to run a computer system or network. What could be useful would be to build more into maths classes along the lines of Boolean logic. Since coding is based on those principles, that's a useful first step.

    Language studies merge into cultural/social studies, which I think is one of the core courses that should be taught after English and Maths. I wish schools went into explicitly teaching critical thinking - I learned a few scattered elements during history lessons, and perhaps they do it during media studies these days. But learning how to research and analyse and decide on the validity of an argument and the authority of the person making the argument are core skills for anyone. Coding, really not so much.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 454 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Over the paywall?, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    there are very strong incentives to get up a story as fast as possible... and then update it continuously. Once readers know a story will likely develop over the day they'll keep refreshing.

    Really? The only story I'll refresh on is the kind that specifically says "live updates". If I read something in the morning that was shittily written, or with a misleading clickbaity headline, I'm not going to bother with it again later in the day. Unless it was a compelling breaking story, and there's a big banner saying "updated". Which is far from the majority of stories.

    I have to agree that if I'm going to pay for something - yes, Guardian NZ, thank you - I do expect a professional level of writing and subediting. The technology avvailable now in the publishing sector - no idea what the Herald uses - makes it very easy and quick to have an article flow from one unit to another prior to publication. But you still need the "content creators" there to create quality output.

    Organs like the Herald have more that exceeded the benefits that technology brings to the publication workflow by losing too many skilled staff who actually know words and grammar. There is no commercial technology that can do a good grammar check in English yet. You simply need humans - and enough of them - to do certain kinds of writing and editing tasks.

    Finally, since a large chunk of the Herald is simply regurgitating the generic Fairfax content, and the majority of their op ed writers are shite, yup, I wouldn't fork out cash for the modicum of local news they publish.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 454 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Over the paywall?,

    rein in its paywall plans*

    (Sorry for the grammar nitpick – the idiom relates to runaway horses, not Her Maj)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 454 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dotcom: Further news of the unlikely, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    I think our entire New Zealand establishment is pretty much rotten to the core and no longer fit for purpose in a modern state.

    My alter ego is a socialist anarchist, so do away with "the state", and I'll be right with you. In reality, I'm a bit Churchillian about the idea of democracy.

    As to how rotten the NZ political establishment is, I'm afraid living in Australia has rather jaundiced me. Now, their system and most of their pols are rotten. The NZ circus is rather smaller potatoes (although definitely in the process if joining the same train).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 454 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dotcom: Further news of the unlikely, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    I loathe Key, but I think this buffoon anywhere near political power will be worse. In a different way, of course.

    It amazes me how people who rightly point out that running a company isn't like running the nation seem to be giving this circus any credence. I was hoping that Laila would keep her hands firmly on the reins, but if the clown with the chequebook keeps trying to hog centre ring with his fan dances (thanks, Craig), the party's attempts at gaining any political credibility will fail.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 454 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A wretched editorial, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    So they can get to relay any juicy details and innuendo, with a healthy side dish of "we told you so, already"?

    I can sure as hell guarantee there will be no mea culpa statements if the innuendo in this piece is unfounded.


    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 454 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Bits and pieces,

    I've got the White Album on original vinyl. I know it's heresy to the vinyl fans, but most of the tracks sound much better to me on the recentish remastered offerings.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 454 posts Report Reply

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

    I don't see the equivalence here. If you're a sole leaseholder in a shared house, you're not "receiving rents" for the asset you own. You're merely the channel for money that actually does end up in rents to the property owner.

    If anyone who actually is a property owner uses that as a justification for avoiding tax on their rented property, I hope IRD jumps all over them when they get audited.

    As for the original suggestion, I totally agree there should be a compulsory registration scheme before you can rent out a property. Especially, as George observes, there are likely to be areas where compliancy to certain standards are enforced.

    Of course, there will be much wailing and bitching from those who will insist naughty landlords will avoid registration, that the "good guys" will be penalised, and that there will be extra costs in creating such a scheme. Frankly, I think the cost of not doing it, and the ad hocery of what we do now, is much higher.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 454 posts Report Reply

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