Posts by Shaun Lott

  • Hard News: Earning Confidence,

    And remember that the margin of error is bigger than the changes in the numbers. Which makes the apparent changes rather more 'noise' than 'signal'.

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 49 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: UPDATED: Media Take: Election…,

    In 1970s Britain, the kid's TV show Mr Benn was removed during an election because Tony Benn was a candidate. So, nothing new under the sun.

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 49 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Going solar?,

    Yes, do it. We did the Nova energy deal and it is totally paying for itself. The cost of their power may be slightly more, but everytime the sun comes out, you use less of their power for the same amount of hot water. On balance, we're paying about the same in power bills, but part of that is paying off the cost of the system. The system seems very robust for us so far!

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 49 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Autism and celebrity,

    That doesn’t mean we in the media are absolved of responsibility for what they do with that airtime.

    Though the term has been much abused in the climate change 'debate', surely the onus is on the journalist to provide some sort of balance in the context of the show? A follow up from the RSNZ or whoever with the actual facts a few days later (or more likely, never) doesn't really cut it. So I guess Seven Sharp turns out not to be journalism. Oh, wait... that's not news.

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 49 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Going Large,

    Call me an old fart, but this is part of the reason I still like to buy CDs. You get the WAV file, in a permanent storage format. I can rip an MP3 or whatever lossless format I choose. And the files are demonstrably mine, not in limbo on someone else's server. And I like the little booklet :) (Though actually I'm still pining for the big booklet that was sometimes lurking within the gatefold sleeve...)

    Playback via airplay or ethernet cable to a speaker that probably was too expensive... but yes you can hear the difference!

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 49 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Making it up on smacking,

    Colin Craig often sounds like he's making up stuff as he goes along, or at least he sounds like he's forming his opinion about something as he is speaking. This morning I thought he sounded much better informed. Turns out he was in fact making stuff up as he went along. I am really hoping no-one takes him seriously...

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 49 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Lowering the Stakes,

    Getting on to the SH16 cycle path from the Te Atatu Peninsula is much better, but still not great. Of course, the city end of things is where the Russian roulette really starts. Is there any plan to say goodbye to the conceptually awful 'bus/bike' lane? Although it's axiomatic that the roading design needs many improvements, it still always amazes me just how many cyclists do act like the traffic lights are not for them, despite the high cost when something goes wrong.

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 49 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Climate, money and risk,

    If anyone is interested, I would recommend Nate Silver’s great book on the use of Bayesian statistics in prediction, ’The Signal and the Noise’. His chapter on climate change points out that the observations of global warming are clearly demonstrable facts, with a well understood causal mechanism. However, the models that predict the consequences of the warming have a lot of uncertainty in them. So the real challenge here is to respond to a certain prediction of a threat of uncertain magnitude. Will the sea level rise in my lifetime be 2cm, 20cm or 2m? Personally, I’d choose to build my house a little further up the hill…

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 49 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: How do you sleep?,

    Poor sleep is strongly correlated with anxiety and depression, but also it is just an age thing... Blue light from screens is something to be avoided and some form of specific relaxation technique is a good idea. But on the other hand, why do we expect to sleep through the night anyway?

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 49 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Everybody's Machiavelli,

    Brown doesn’t look bad just silly: another middle-aged man who should have bought a red MG.

    When the tabloid circus is done, isn't this the actual issue? Is there evidence of personal favour, conflict of interest etc. in his professional dealings with someone over whom he was clearly able to exert influence? Concrete evidence of such would make this cross the line from personal disaster to professional one.

    The whole spectacle has been so deeply unedifying in both its execution and reporting on all sides. The Herald's problem is that it seems to want to simultaneously be the News of the World and the Daily Telegraph...

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 49 posts Report Reply

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