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February 28, 2005

The digital divide is 'narrowing fast' -- apparently

Well, that digital divide between rich and poor nations is narrowing fast, the World Bank said on Thursday. Apparently, so says Reuters, in the New Zealand Herald.

February 27, 2005

Erebus appeal available

I've now published the Judgments of the Court of Appeal of New Zealand on Proceedings to Review Aspects of the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Mount Erebus Aircraft Disaster (1981). It may be pertinent to mention my disclaimer on the page, however:

Disclaimer: This judgment is published here as part of the proof of concept for this page. I do not necessarily endorse, approve of or otherwise make comment on it or the Royal Commission it discusses.

Not that it matters, I suppose, but yes. I've been paranoid. And, yes, this is the court judgment I've been scanning for some time, and yes, the abovementioned Royal Commission is the Mahon Report.

Have a great Sunday!

Where there are peers, now someone doesn't peer

TelstraClear: mutter. Further information is available from the NZNOG.

Hopefully the situation gets better. Soon.

February 25, 2005

Kakapo are breeding again!

It's not every day (or year) that one gets excited that kakapo are breeding, once again.

Another book finishes proofreading, sort of

My first solely public domain book that I've scanned, Ettie Annie Rout's Safe Marriage: A Return to Sanity (1922) has finished the DP proofreading rounds and is now In Post-Processing. It's not a S27(1) book, as I may have said earlier, but it is closely related to some of the books that are S27(1)-compliant that I have listed on my page.

February 20, 2005

Size doesn't matter...

...for brains, that is. Apparently.

Elsewhere at the BBC right now:

And yes, I did get one of the Gmail invitations in the abovementioned report.

February 18, 2005

Jelly bracelets

Something from Close Up tonight: an approximately four minute video clip on jelly bracelets and the sexual game behind the fashion items.

There's a potential point for discussion here -- is this another panic (like Mazengarb?), or is it a fashion that will fade, as the journalist implies it might?

It's ready!

I've checked everything and checked everything again, and it seemed ready, so I've done the deed: the SCMA website has now had its update unleashed, thanks to a nice little HTTP 307 redirection.

More redirections from older URIs will be put in place shortly, but all the bits that need to be working now work.

The site is available at http://www.scm.org.nz/.

February 17, 2005

Now you too can do it at home!

Now, you too may do it from the comfort of your own home! Presumably, though, not on yourself. (Surely that would be difficult while one has sudden heart trouble.)

That's right, folks! For roughly a couple thousand cool US Dollars, you too (if you can supply that pesky US address) may own a home defibrillator from Amazon.com!

For those too lazy, the page claims that the Philips HeartStart Home Automated External Defibrillator is a versatile beast.


  • The first and only defibrillator available over-the-counter that can be used by virtually anyone with the materials included
  • Easy to use with guided interactive voice instructions
  • Safely delivers a shock only if needed
  • Reliably runs daily self-tests for readiness

(The links are only provided for those interested. No way I'd try to sell one of these right now at the price they're being sold at. Alas. Cheaper would be better. But they certainly look like they might be useful.)

Incidentally, "home defibrillator" on Google NZ comes up with some interesting things. But Google ain't research, as we're always told. :)

February 16, 2005

Slicing fibre, again

Watch those wayward bits of fibre!

And, unfortunately, having a moko may not be a good idea. (The reporter paints it as a pretty difficult question to answer, as well, alas.)

February 15, 2005

Royal Commission report scanning temporarily suspended

I've temporarily suspended scanning on the Royal Commission report I was scanning. The page sizes are becoming an issue, unfortunately. And the minor issue that the scanners I were using seemed to have had the computers they were attached to changed, causing some 'interesting' issues. Oh dear.

Hopefully, however, I can have another go at it tomorrow. Here's hoping!

The scans of the Court of Appeal ruling will be made available, probably as early as next week. Chances are I will throw a login system to access it, however. Time (and changing thoughts) will tell.

Still, four books scanned, with three of them with scans posted isn't bad for a couple months here and there.

I have another finalist coming up after (or before, if my current scanning project falls apart). It's a short select committee report, to see how feasible a new scanning method might be.

New diary planet

Planet Apteryx: a new diary planet. Enough said.

February 12, 2005

Nameserver queries up markedly

For some odd reason, the queries on two different secondary nameserver providers for electric.gen.nz have been markedly up from a several thousand a month (September 2004) to either the high tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands (October 2004 to this month to date).

How odd -- and that's just for two of the providers. Maybe it's time to take a closer look at the site logs again.

I did have some maelstroms on the odd occasion of varying levels of annoyances, so perhaps it's something to do with that.

I wonder if I should do a graph of it?

Public domain-only book added to the Section 27(1) page

I've added a PD-only book, Ettie Annie Rout's Safe Marriage (1922) to a new section of PD-only books on the S27(1) page.

You may also wish to read this fine PD book in the S27(1) book shelf. A 'split page' version, courtesy of DP's OCR processes, is also available, and may be far more legible for you.

February 11, 2005

'The following statement has been issued on behalf of the Queen'

The Duke of Edinburgh and I are very happy that The Prince of Wales and Mrs Parker Bowles are to marry. We have given them our warmest good wishes for their future together.

That's rather a short and terse press release from the Queen. More at the BBC, from 10 Downing Street, and the Church of England/Archbishop of Canterbury.

February 8, 2005

Mazengarb Report (1954) posted to Project Gutenberg

Thanks to Cori and several others, Oswald Mazengarb and friends' Report of the Special Committee on Moral Delinquency in Children and Adolescents is now available in a Project Gutenberg HTML edition! Other editions appear to be available, including archived files of the two plaintext editions on offer.

For some reason, book 14760 in the catalogue currently appears to point to a different book at the moment, but nonetheless the links go to Mazengarb's report. How odd. So, I guess chances are they might reassign numbers to the book at some point. But, it's there for now! :)

Thanks again go to Cori and other DP-related people for their help, and so on.

February 5, 2005


Here's an odd word I found in the OED today, while looking for Hansard, for those who get enamoured with them: Hansardise (or Hansardize in the dictionary itself), or to confront (a member of Parliament) with his former utterances as recorded in 'Hansard'; to prove (a person) to have formerly expressed a different view or opinion. (Alas, you may need, to view the full entry, an oed.com account, it seems, or a nice EZproxy server like VUW's to get it for you.)

Ooooh, I see that VUW have decided to buy a full subscription to the Oxford DNB. It would have been very much useful to have subscribed to Oxford Reference Online (and either subscription level there would have done nicely, too) as well, though.

February 4, 2005

Beans for (spent) toner

Well, I have a marketing e-mail from HP imploring me to recycle my toner cartridges, which had me thinking in stupid ways. Which (the recycling scheme) is a vaguely honourable thing (well, presumably they make money selling the recycled bits). Until you discover that they don't pay you to send it to them, though they do provide a FreePost number on their website to help do so.

The e-mail reads, however, if until the end of April I hand it in at somewhere called Esquires Coffee Houses, I get to a free medium coffee of some sort, and a chance to win a 1.35 kilogram bag of beans.

Somehow, methinks despite the allure of maybe winning beans, $10 is probably much more appetising for my printer's toner from another place. Though the latter appears to want to try to onsell the bits they recover to recondition cartridges, while HP, apart from presumably trying to prevent this (hey, if the margins don't supposedly come in on the printers, they got to get the profit somewhere, presumably), says that one doesn't get paid, because the objective of this programme is not to collect these products for remanufacturing, but to recycle them responsibly. Hmmm.

Besides, having a 'Swappacino' sounds like I'm about to have a 'swappa crate' (however one spells it) of beer instead. Even if they are referring to swapping a toner for a coffee, it sounds worringly odd to me.

Maybe I need to be examined somehow. I don't know.

Update: to keep up tph's banality when not thinking about S27(1) things, I need to mention that there's also one other problem for me. There's no Esquires Coffee joint anywhere in Wellington or the Hutt Valley at the moment. Guess there's no New Zealand outside of Auckland. Or, in this case, Christchurch as well. Sigh. Could have been worse, I suppose. I'm going to go for the $10 once my first/current toner in the printer finally decides shaking it around repeatedly isn't going to work any more (which I haven't even needed to do yet, either).

February 2, 2005


On the subject of hydroelectric power generation, or probably more appropriately, electricity prices, I've never mentioned the Consumers' Institute's Powerswitch site before.

They also have a section on broadband Internet providers and dialup Internet providers as well. It seems I can't tell currently when the dialup database was updated, but right now the broadband table appears to have last been updated before UBS was implemented.

The publicity effect

Seeing the Close Up story last night on TVNZ publicising the Mount Wave Cam as a place for voyeurs has me speechless a little. I'm not sure what to think. There is a video clip of their report that's around six-odd minutes long, if you can manage it.

Seems like whoever's controlling the Java applet at the moment is trying to find women to zoom in on (it's on full zooom right now, too). No such luck, really. It's obviously raining pretty heavily, by the looks of things.

Whatever one's views, it does look slightly alarmist but the report, whether or not it is indeed alarmist, does raise some privacy issues. It is a public place, on one hand. Maybe warning signs might be appropriate. Perhaps.

It's going to be a mine field to work through, no pun intended.

In other news, Gopher access is back on greta.electric.gen.nz on a pygopherd daemon, so it's also available once again in non-Gopher browsers. I need some content to put on there, though. I wonder if photographs from my trip to Hamilton would be of use?

My Jabber work should also continue, from late February, once my school timetable is finalised.

Mmmm, sleep

Mmmm, sleep. Come Tuesday morning I should be able to get more.

[Listening to: Santa Monica -- Savage Garden -- Savage Garden (Disc 1) (14:44)]

February 1, 2005

Rule: don't leave scrap paper behind

It might be analysed!