Posts by Rob Coup

  • Speaker: Telling Our Own Tales, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    My uncle was in a central city hotel that night. A few lessons he took away: always have your phone charged; put your stuff IN the bedside drawers so you're not scrabbling around in the dark under the bed looking for your glasses & phone & wallet after they go walking all by themselves; and if you have to go stand outside in the street at 4:30am don't dress as if you'll be getting back inside quickly.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Telling Our Own Tales, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    The money men need to have the will to do it…
    …and they don’t see a return,
    not even as pro bono
    self publicity…
    their margins marginalise everyone else…

    I’m getting further & further away from my realm of expertise here, so bear with me. We’ve historically said the same about all sorts of things “too hard, will never happen” but with a few committed people we see Big Hard things can actually happen – some examples off the top of my head: Open Government Data, the Akl City Rail Link & Congestion Free Network, Media7 incarnations, cycleways, Harbour Bridge Skypath, mountain biking in National Parks. Which all started with "hahahaha. Let me think, NO."

    And the successes aren’t about saying “you should give me money and I’ll do X!” they’re about finding ways to prove X is a benefit for everyone and is cheaper, more efficient, sustainable, and a generally better investment compared to the status quo. Takes a huge amount of work and persistence and evidence to demonstrate you’re not a nutter and that it’ll work, but it will eventually resonate with the people who matter (because they’re people just like the rest of us).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Telling Our Own Tales,

    Twenty years ago publicly funded broadcasters TVNZ and the NZBC before them had over 300 staffers based in Christchurch. Each day a team of around 40 put together a five night a week, half hour show. It was made by us, about us and for us. From the middle of the city, journalists and camera crews produced daily in-depth stories about all manner of subjects.

    Seems puzzling to me with magnitudes better technology, and excess journalists and TV/film techs that it's not relatively cheap to produce local content today? Journalist/tech teams of two, low cost gear, pitch in and do what needs doing. Seems support from a network to broadcast it would be the biggest hurdle?

    What am I missing? (probably a lot)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: This time it's Syria, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    I would suggest the Brits had a fairly good idea of the communal tensions in India in ’47 too.

    Whether they did or not, there wasn’t much left of Britain after WW2. They were flat broke, their economy had been converted almost entirely to war effort, and they were dependent on US loans for everything. India wanted independence and the UK wasn’t in a position to say no, so it happened.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: This time it's Syria, in reply to Gareth Ward,

    Can't see any UN sanctions at - just a resolution to send in observers and some talk:

    The Security Council today condemned the widespread violation of human rights in Syria and the use of force against civilians by the country’s security forces, calling for an end to the violence and urging all sides to act with restraint and refrain from reprisals, including attacks against State institutions.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: This time it's Syria, in reply to Don Christie,

    I suspect the US is still remembering Rwanda when it stood idly by as 300,000 people got slaughtered – ‘Clinton’s biggest regret’. Obama clearly said that ‘chemical weapons are the line’ and that’s been crossed (not conclusively by Assad, but definitely crossed).

    The EU/UK and US already have sanctions against Syria. IIRC Russia veto’d UN sanctions.

    Still a mess.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The future: be careful what…, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    A recent series of articles by Ben Thompson discuss ESPN & AMC as examples of affiliate/ad revenue. Basically:

    The truth is that the current TV system is a great deal for everyone.

    * Networks earn much more per viewer than would be sustainable under a la carte pricing
    * Networks are incentivised to create (or in ESPN’s case, buy rights to) great programming; making your content “must-watch” lets you raise your affiliate fees
    * Viewers get access to multiple channels that are hyper-focused on specific niches. Sure, folks complain about paying for those niches, but only because they don’t realize others are subsidizing their particular interests
    * Cable companies know the cable TV business, and would prefer to put up with customer disgruntlement over rising prices than become dumb pipes

    Cable TV is socialism that works; subscribers pay equally for everything, and watch only what they want, to the benefit of everyone. Any “grand vision” Apple, or any other tech company, has for television is likely to sustain the current model, not disrupt it directly.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: The Source,

    MSD didn’t know what to do with his request, and it got slowly bumped up the food-chain. .... MSD called Ira back two days later. They told Ira that they don’t pay for vulnerability reports.

    I wonder if as it migrated up the food chain the message got reworded from "do we have a security vulnerability programme or ability to pay for reports?" to "some dude is trying to blackmail us for cash about some 'security' thing. We're not falling for that shit, right?".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: And so it begins, in reply to Sacha,

    But they’ve already asked each school to provide the data to them, so surely it’s all there in one place even if they haven’t ‘aggregated’ it?

    Ya, but I think "having it" in the form MoE got it from schools means the request should be passed off to them (since they created it). Even though (in this case) it would be several 1000 times easier...

    NZTA wouldn't expect Treasury to respond to an OIA request with an NZTA document - it could lead to nasty surprises for NZTA; and there might be other relevant info that should be included (to help the requester) as well.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: And so it begins, in reply to Sacha,

    Has anyone written about the Ministry forwarding the OIA request to boards of trustees instead of answering it themselves?

    It's pretty normal (see responses for some examples). I think the Ombudsmen/guidelines encourage the agency that is responsible for creating the information to be the ones to provide it... so in this case the schools. I guess MoE didn't provide aggregated data because they don't actually have it... otherwise they're just weaselling out.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 18 posts Report Reply

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