Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: London's Burning

445 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 3 4 5 6 7 18 Newer→ Last

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Vaugely surprised that it's as popular as it seems to be in the UK. Hardly anyone in NZ seems to be using a blackberry now that smartphones are widely available.

    NZ missed the Blackberry buzz (in part) because we were early adopters of cheap SMS. Text messaging took a lot longer to catch on in other countries than here. (Season 2 of The Wire has a great sequence where supposedly tech-savvy detectives look on in confusion as the Bad Guys communicate with their phones without speaking at all.)

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 862 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich Lock,

    redacted as the attachment button appears to have stopped working.

    Try typing something in the comment box before doing the file upload. Crazy, I know.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    The US (and Canada) completely missed the boat on the first few iterations of mobile phones. Archaic CDMA technology, no SMS, no SIMs, billed as roaming if you moved outside your area code, and charges for incoming calls.

    That's what happens when you don't pay attention to what goes on in other countries...

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4484 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to BenWilson,

    The UK's got a big underclass that are outside any "social contract". They aren't materially poor in the sense of a third-world nation, or even New Zealand, but they exist outside the whole "legal" economic and social structure. When the cops threaten their livelihood, they'll fight back.

    Is that what's known as the Lumpenproletariat?

    No. Just that the UK has a far larger proportion of people who at least partly rely on, and exist within, a parallel shadow economy. Their cash income will be far more reliant on day-to-day cash-in-hand jobs, the proceeds of petty crime etc.

    Obviously, these things are hard to measure outside of a gut feel and anecdata, but my feeling is that Rich is correct that there are sizable numbers (proportionally far more than NZ), and that they exist outside of any implicit or explicit social contract. They simply don't buy into the idea of having a salaried job, paying taxes, educating and furthering themselves, or generally doing all that good citizen type stuff.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    As a blackberry user I suddenly feel very alone here in NZ. Lots of messaging apps but it was built on normal email that's all. Ironically London stockmarket traders were the big users initially. Of interest is all blackberry email ( except corporates) runs through the one server in Canada. Local ISPs don't control the email side.
    The well designed tactile keys would make it a lot easier to type as you are running from the cops - so ideal for riots then.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 507 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Rich Lock,

    They simply don’t buy into the idea of having a salaried job, paying taxes, educating and furthering themselves, or generally doing all that good citizen type stuff.

    What, because they don't aspire to you reckon?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7404 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to George Darroch,

    he deaths in custody thing reminds me of Australia, where hundreds of Aborigine men have died and not a single conviction has been found.

    A writer friend, now, aue, long dead, once tried to set up a support system for Aborigine men taken into custody - because, she said, they were either committing suicide, dying from overdoses (alcohol or other drugs), or something else was going on.

    She had willing helpers - but the problem was too large.

    Her name was Oogeroo Noonucal (also known as Kath Walker) and her son died
    in those circumstances...she also set up a camp for all disadvantaged youth at Moon Galba.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    proportionally far more than NZ

    Possibly. But also, in the UK (and most other countries) the underclass is urban. In NZ, a lot of the poorest people live out in the country. A lot of the central NI settlements are probably more disadvantaged than Hackney, but we don’t see them, right? Even the affluent (mainly white) people in the area don’t see them, apart from having to be sure to lock the Land Rover when going into Tokoroa for shopping.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4484 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    What, because they don't aspire to you reckon?

    No, they're just being realistic about their chances of ever achieving it by the conventional route.

    http://www.sunsetbar.co.uk/userimages/RatRace.jpg

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    NZ missed the Blackberry buzz (in part) because we were early adopters of cheap SMS.

    Not sure if the word cheap can placed alongside SMS in NZ, nor has it ever been so. I was shocked when I flew into Asia in the late 90s and the various nations were all paying less than a cent a txt - 20c was the standard on a plan in NZ at the time. It was costing me 80c to send a txt to NZ on my NZ plan, but 3c if I used a local SIM.

    And everyone, old & young, was txting on multiple handsets when it was still fairly niche in NZ.

    Blackberry penetration can be explained fairly easily - they were the first to provide a pre-smart-phone styled handset and ownership implied that you were both well off and an advanced user. I think that was a global perception, but it didn't really ever cross the Tasman.

    When the first smart-phone, from HTC (some years before the iPhone rushed in and tried to claim the credit), arrived, they were perceived as being targeted at wealthy kids and housewives. In much of Asia the smart-phone has never really lost that tag. The Blackberry remains the business phone of choice and the Apple / HTC / Samsung etc smart-phone has a slightly toy-tinge about it.

    Even in NYC last year, I was advised to take a BB into a meeting. They'll take you more seriously as a player I was told.

    I looked sorrowfully at my old Sony Ericsson and tucked it away in shame.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3209 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Those little keys allow for some wicked fast txting too.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2973 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to vangam,

    Oodgeroo's opinion was *that almost all the deaths of male Aborignes in custody, occurred within the 1st 24 hours.*

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Possibly. But also, in the UK (and most other countries) the underclass is urban. In NZ, a lot of the poorest people live out in the country. A lot of the central NI settlements are probably more disadvantaged than Hackney, but we don’t see them, right? Even the affluent (mainly white) people in the area don’t see them, apart from having to be sure to lock the Land Rover when going into Tokoroa for shopping.

    NZ’s criminal gangs are rurally-based than most, too. But, without minimising poverty in the Hokianga, I’d rather grow up there than in, say, Big Wendover in Peckham.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Rich Lock,

    No, they’re just being realistic about their chances of ever achieving it by the conventional route.

    Thank you for the clarification. [Man, I hope that didn't sound sarcastic. Wasn't mean to.]

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7404 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Islander,

    O, sorry about differing spellings of ON's name - I have 4 different spellings in books & letters. The difficulty of translating from a language with different sound values into English-

    apropos, Maori deaths in custody -uncommon, like other groups' deaths in custody here.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    But also, in the UK (and most other countries) the underclass is urban. In NZ, a lot of the poorest people live out in the country.

    There are still plenty of urban poor in New Zealand, unfortunately. And the shared characteristics stretch across borders: first or second generation immigrants/refugees with few employment or educational prospects and a high degree of vilification/Other-ing in the prevailing culture. Rural poverty is a whole different kettle of fish-even the Mongrel Mob and Black Power provide a level of social anchoring that urban youth don't have access to.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 862 posts Report Reply

  • Sam Vilain, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Thank you for the clarification.

    There are others that would put other clarifications as to why the poor can’t possibly climb out of their class recession: I’ve certainly been inspired by reading this book: http://hot-topic.co.nz/the-great-disruption/

    And also this essay: http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2009/03/08/203784/ponzi-scheme-madoff-friedman-natural-capital-renewable-resources/

    I'm being a bit of a sandwich board for this stuff, but every shock we've been having - the food crisis, the credit crunch, the oil crunch, CO2 crunch, all point to this happening soon. Gilding makes the case very well (and even he is just repeating the well-reasoned words of others)

    San Francisco (was Wellin… • Since Jun 2007 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    Not sure if the word cheap can placed alongside SMS in NZ, nor has it ever been so. I was shocked when I flew into Asia in the late 90s and the various nations were all paying less than a cent a txt – 20c was the standard on a plan in NZ at the time. It was costing me 80c to send a txt to NZ on my NZ plan, but 3c if I used a local SIM.

    Compared to Asia’s deals, you’re right, the SMS charges were appalling. But compared to the US for example (which is where our telcos took their lead on which technologies to implement) we had it pretty good. SMS usage didn’t really kick off in the US until 2007. Prior to that most providers were still charging per SMS, at anything up to 50-80 c per text (and charged for both outgoing and incoming texts.)

    Compare that with NZ, where Telecom and Vodafone started rolling out text bundles a couple of years earlier, and were charging 20c a text from the early 2000s.

    ETA: International texting has always been hideously expensive in New Zealand, though, and doesn't show any real sign of getting cheaper.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 862 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich Lock,

    No. Just that the UK has a far larger proportion of people who at least partly rely on, and exist within, a parallel shadow economy. Their cash income will be far more reliant on day-to-day cash-in-hand jobs, the proceeds of petty crime etc.

    So what was the difference to the lumpenproletariat?

    I don't see it as a pejorative term quite so much as Marx did, btw. They're still people, making choices that are a likely consequence of the system they find themselves in. They have to be accounted for in a fair society. They're also quite a rich seam of the most important people society ever produces - the various idle intellectuals and artists whose contributions simply aren't valued, and don't have a rich patron to keep them going.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8675 posts Report Reply

  • vangam, in reply to Islander,

    Maori deaths in custody -uncommon, like other groups’ deaths in custody here.

    It still happens too often, especially since most of the deaths in custody here in recent years have been young people. Any death in custody is inexcusable, let alone 300-odd in 12 years.

    Rangiora • Since Jun 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Try typing something in the comment box before doing the file upload. Crazy, I know.

    'K, try three.

    Does anyone else find this photo...odd?

    ETA: Oh, FFS.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Describe it to us.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7404 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to vangam,

    Yes.
    Oogeroo’s response was the right one – problem: she was also dealing with sidelined dysfunctional communities for her volunteers (she *needed* Aborigine women, because – urm? A white female or male turning up?? Urm, no.)

    Here, we have functional families most of the time, even when some young person turns into a hazard. And we have organisational backups (from tribal organisations to the Maori Wardens.)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    Prior to that most providers were still charging per SMS, at anything up to 50-80 c per text (and charged for both outgoing and incoming texts.)

    This post, from 2008 seems to indicate that it wasn't until 2007 that AT&T hiked their costs (with the end of Cingular) to those levels, and indeed, in 2002 it was around US$0.10 to send a text - about the same it was in NZ.

    But, yes, the idea that you needed to pay when you were sent a txt was a massive barrier and just plain commercially stupid. It effectively stymied the culture for most of a decade (and likely cost the US companies billions I guess).

    ETA: International texting has always been hideously expensive in New Zealand, though, and doesn't show any real sign of getting cheaper.

    I just swapped to my Thai provider if I needed to send an SMS offshore in NZ. Way cheaper ($0.06). If I was at all smart I'd pick up a dual-SIM machine for return trips.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3209 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    the idea that you needed to pay when you were sent a txt was a massive barrier

    They still charge to receive an overseas text - something I discovered when I used my NZ phone to text Americans last December. Pffffft. Sorry rellies.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3663 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 3 4 5 6 7 18 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.