Posts by Andre Alessi

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  • Hard News: The Ides of Epsom, in reply to BenWilson,

    It most certainly can and does cause massive disharmony in families that have differing political opinions – to anyone that values harmony, they either don’t discuss it, or just adopt the family attitude.

    Interestingly, I think something that does tend to impact voters' views of what their vote is worth is the impact of policies on family members' workplaces. My sister has started working as a social worker in South Auckland, and at the family dinner last night I was pleasantly surprised to find that the stories she was bringing home* had converted most of the rest of the family (including our parents) from "agnostic-to-apathetic" to "raving social justice warriors". I know that most people in my industry lean right/libertarian, so it's nice to have a family environment that backs me up.

    *-Note that the stories themselves weren't nearly as pleasant as the change in political conviction.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Digital Natives,

    Guyon Espiner appears to know something, if his angle in the interview with Vikram this morning is anything to go by. The "Does this person have any interest in Māori issues?" questions would never get asked otherwise (although I'd like to see that question become commonplace.)

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Feed: Meals for Me,

    I can’t see anything in this thread worthy of the hilarious Dimly Lit Meals For One, thank goodness. (Some if my own attempts, however…)

    Recently, my go-to when I’m alone is the result of the years I spent manning the grill at BurgerFuel. Enormous cheeseburgers built (mostly) from scratch, particularly since the patties keep in the freezer for a few weeks so I can make them on the go. (The patties need to be defrosted before cooking because they’re so thick, but defrosting in a microwave for 5 minutes first works fine.)

    For four pretty massive patties, I’ll use about 0.8-1 kg of beef/lamb/pork mixed with an egg, about two tablespoons of olive oil, a teaspoon of wholegrain mustard, chopped parsley, half a medium onion diced, and a touch of salt and black pepper mixed together by hand. Fill up a 250 mL measuring cup with the mixture, drop it on a plate, and shape it into a 2-3 cm high, 5 cm diameter patty. You can let it rest for a while in the fridge for best results, or start frying it right away. Drop it in a frypan on a high heat with just a touch of oil (it really doesn’t need much) and let it cook for about 5 minutes until brown underneath. Flip it over, drop a slice of cheese on top, and let it cook until the slice is melted right the way through.

    The rest of the burger is personal preference, but I usually toast the inside of a bun, put tomato relish, onion rings, and lettuce on the bottom, mustard, aioli, pickles, and sliced tomatoes on top, then stick the patty between and we’re done. With a premade patty, I can be done in 20 minutes.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Snowden and New Zealand, in reply to TracyMac,

    Let’s not get too silly. A “telecommunications service” is about connectivity – the means to transfer the data bits. A website is as much a “telecommunications service” as a personal call

    Not to mention that the "service provider" and "network operator" definitions were developed in discussion with the industry. They're well-understood terms in that context. The reason they seem so broad is that wholesale service relationships (for example) are quite hard to explain in simple terms.

    For example, the TCF, in the context of the Customer Transfer Code, defines a Retail Service Provider as:

    ...means any person providing a Telecommunication Service to an End Customer that has the Billing Relationship with the End Customer for that service. The same person may be both an ASW and a RSP; or both a VW and a RSP; or both an ANP and a RSP (except in the case of Telecom NZ Limited).

    So, yeah.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Snowden and New Zealand, in reply to Stephen R,

    Discussing it at home last night, we decided that basically it was going to mean the GCSB mandating use of routers/Network configurations that were compromisable by the NSA or GCSB. I’d bet that if a network provider found a way to firewall off any command/control signals from outside their network, the GCSB would tell them to stop

    I'm confident that interception won't occur at that level, because it doesn't need to. There is a vast range of different equipment and protocols in use in NZ at the moment, and no way for any government to regulate it effectively. Interception will occur at someone's desk at your ISP, with your ISP's knowledge and agreement. This isn't a technology issue, it's a people issue.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Snowden and New Zealand,

    By coincidence, this week the GCSB and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) released their “guidance” for New Zealand network operators, which sets out the expectations under the Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Act, which passed last year.

    I'm interested in how this is going to work at a practical level. The guidelines themselves are quite broad, suggesting that if a network operator isn't sure whether a change is notifiable, they should contact the NCSC to check. This is going to result in a lot of notifications initially, at least until network operators iron out the process. (There is also no mention of timeframes, which could mean serious delays are on the cards for a while.)

    For traditional telcos, notifiable changes won't be terribly frequent, but with VOIP services becoming more common, and with the flexibility (and corresponding ad hoc nature) of VOIP setups, I think we'll see notifiable events skyrocket in the next few years. Some providers will be good at notifying these events, but others won't even realize they need to.

    I don't think exploitation of existing hardware/software exploits by agencies will increase under TICSA-if telcos are unaware of agencies using backdoors, there's nothing stopping them from fixing/patching them as soon as they become known in the industry, which is something that happens regularly. But installation of backdoors that network operators know about is the entire point of TICSA, so we'll see a lot more of that. Whether we see push back from network operators if they feel interception requests are too broad or too invasive...well, that's where things could get interesting.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Feed: My Life in Curry,

    By far the best (and best value) curry I've had in Auckland was at Pakwan in Belmont. Massive servings, lots of free extras and samosas to clamber over broken glass for. They'd have massive vats sitting on the stoves cooking all day until the meat was so tender it'd fall apart on your fork. Sadly, it was replaced by a fairly generic place late last year.

    I used to live around the corner from Sigdi in Devonport, and was a regular there for close to.a decade until I moved away. The mains are patchy in quality, but make up for it with variety, and if you eat in, try the green chilli and coriander naan-absolutely covered with both, and worth a visit on its own.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Internet Party, whatever happens,

    Then there’s the matter of the currently sitting MP who is apparently lined up to stand for the Internet Party.

    If this was a MP in the current government, that'd be huge news, which is why I don't believe it is. I saw references to this being "an electorate MP", which makes me think that they're talking about Hone and the Mana "partnership deal" in a typically vague way.

    Although I could see Brendan Horan leaping at the chance. On the other hand, let's face it, it is Asenati's time to shine.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Web,

    Olia Lialina and Dragan Espenschied have been documenting each cached GeoCities page via a Tumblr and a rather whimsical blog. It's startling to see the ways the web has changed (four-frame GIFs!) and the ways in which it hasn't ("This is my Def Leppard fan page!"]]

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Web,

    I don't think I realised the significance of this at the time, but my first experience on the internet was the result of a brief foray into journalism in 1995 or 1996. I had been hired by an indie radio station in Gisborne to be "news manager", responsible for the news bulletins, interviews, etc on the morning show. Essentially this involved going online to Yahoo and reading out their articles on air.

    Yes, I realise now this was a terrible idea, but none of us thought anything of it at the time. Having access to news stories before the printed copies of the newspapers even made it to our doorstep was a huge deal for us. (For the record, I did terribly at the job, with no background in journalism and no other characteristics to recommend me beyond a deep speaking voice.)

    Of course, I couldn't afford my own computer or internet connection, so I used to use a computer in a cafe where you'd pay $10 for 15 minutes access...

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

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