Archive for the ‘New Zealand’ Category

Week Note 3

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

(belated) Monday was a big day: I confirmed the hiring of my first employee, and gave a seminar at Auckland University on open research. The employee is my sister (getting back into the workforce after five years out with son; has been helping me out as book-keeper during that time), ...

Delayed Broadcast of International Programs

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

It's always seemed strange to me that local broadcasters would hold off broadcasting Dr Who, Mad Men, and other high-profile shows. Viewers chatter about it as soon as an episode airs in its country of origin, so regional fans either have the episode ruined by net spoilers or disconnect ...

Judge Harvey, Kim Dotcom, and The Press

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Judge David Harvey has stepped down from the Kim DotCom case. At NetHui last week, he led a discussion of copyright where opinions from the floor were variously thoughtful, passionate, and novel. He was careful to watch his words, at one point saying "I'd better not say anything about ...

Schools and Belief

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Most of us have a case of "you don't know what you don't know": we don't know the range of what's possible, so we continue doing things as we've seen them done before but with slight improvements. I think of it as being in a dark room: by looking at ...

Education and Technology

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

I've been in the position of being a geek talking with teachers for a while, and I've found it best to approach the whole area of education with humility. In education, as in business, you can't just thrust technology into a situation and magically get the best possible result. ...

Holiday Road Toll

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Every long weekend we hear how many people died, as though it means something, but there's never any analysis beyond whether it's more or less than last year's number. It doesn't help me know what's going on: are we better drivers or worse? What's the point of measuring if you ...

2011 in Books

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

I've been conscientiously using Goodreads to review every book I read. I've used the Goodreads API, some Perl, and some Javascript to boil down my year's reading. Without further ado, I present ... My Year in Books$(function() { $('.bookspermonth').sparkline('html', { type: 'bar' }); $('.starspermonth').sparkline('html', { type: 'bar' }); ...

National Standards, Charter Schools, and a Pint on the Future

Monday, December 5th, 2011

tl;dr: Charter schools aren't a panacea, they don't appear to be compatible with the emphasis on National Standards, and this seems like the top of a slippery slope which will result in us all being as stupid as Americans. Background New Zealand introduced "National Standards" last year. In the past, the curriculum ...

Libraries: Where It All Went Wrong

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

It was my pleasure to address the National and State Librarians of Australasia on the eve of their strategic planning meeting in Auckland at the start of November this year. I have been involved in libraries for a few years now, and am always humbled by the expertise, hard ...

Innovation is a Moral Good

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

Pondering the New Zealand fishing industry, I had an insight today. Forgive me if it's old news to you. You have three options to make more money: Lower costs. Sell more of the same stuff. Make new types of stuff to sell. In quota-limited systems such as fishing, you can't catch more fish because ...