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December 31, 2005

Enron guilty plea

NZH: Former Enron chief accountant pleads guilty.

Before the plea deal, Causey would have faced 36 charges including conspiracy, fraud, insider trading, money laundering and making false statements on financial reports and could have gone to jail for life if convicted. Skilling and Lay will face 35 and 11 criminal counts, respectively.

Causey's sudden switch from a key member of the defence to a potential star witness for the prosecution could throw off the legal strategy for Skilling and Lay and force a delay in the trial now scheduled to start January 17 before Judge Lake.

[Listening to: History Repeated/All Night Programme -- National Radio (Radio New Zealand)]

(Mmmm, live public radio streams...)

December 19, 2005

Enron

I watched Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room on the plane into HK. Those new-fangled on-demand screens have pretty odd picture quality, but one is only really stuck in there for at worst 12 or so hours at a time, so they are a rather nice diversion if one is either (or if unluckily lucky, both) on a night flight or sitting in a non-window seat.

No particular opinions about the film, other than it was a good documentary for diversionary purposes while trying to figure out how to open the amenity kit us cattle classers were given. The interesting thing, however, is the conspiracy that is claimed to have occurred from within about Enron skimming profits off the Californian electricity market and how Ken Lay and other (corporate) relations championed deregulation for (from what the documentary made things out) their own ends.

Anyway, I'm still on leave. See y'all in a few weeks, with photographs of the place inbetween.

August 8, 2005

And it's...

...musical (dairy) chairs! Oh, and geothermal power might be a saviour. Right...

June 25, 2005

Rats! Lines Companies! Rodents! Telecom!

So, it was a rat, after all, and lines company contractors. And now it's time for Telecom to talk compensation for themselves. This will be fun for them.

And there's little demand for business DSL upstream speeds faster than 128? Someone tell me that Telecom are joking. Really. They must be.

June 21, 2005

Rat blamed

Um, a rat isn't exactly a road contractor, though a (possible) rat and a electricity contractor hitting a cable probably is. I don't even want to know the cost of the fibre cut. Things were a bit crazy around town, after all.

June 20, 2005

Sliced fibre, anyone?

All right, who smells that Xtra's and Telecom's problems today are thanks to someone (last time I remember something similar, it was a road contractor, but of course it doesn't mean it was them this time) slicing a little bit of Telecom fibre optic cable?

If it was just one cable, perhaps having a backup route might actually be a good idea...

I'm typing this over dialup. Helps having backup connectivity off a provider that avoids the telco that provides your usual network access. :)

June 8, 2005

Sexual behaviour in the playground

NZH: Sexual behaviour in the playground. Apparently children as young as four are engaging in adult sexual behaviour, but the agency involved does not know if the rise is because it is happening more, or if more parents are simply coming forward.

The general conclusion of the experts interviewed appears to be that early intervention -- including prevention measures -- appears to be the key.

June 4, 2005

Smoking banned in Indian films

From the ABC:

[Listening to: Radio New Zealand International]

May 30, 2005

Wind turbine

The wind turbine at Brooklyn, Wellington, New Zealand.

The wind turbine at Brooklyn, Wellington, New Zealand.

Originally uploaded by jesstherese.

So... the wind turbine's blades are taking a break. But it looks kind of 'naked' without the blades on the turbine. At least they're on the ground, and not too far away. This photo by someone else I found today on Flickr; I really should visit the Brooklyn windmill some time soon to take a look for myself.

May 29, 2005

You are getting sleepy...

View of Frank Kitts Park, Wellington.

View of Frank Kitts Park, Wellington.

Originally uploaded by Jonathan Ah Kit.

You are getting sleepy. You want to generate heaps of foreign exchange receipts for Wellington and the Hutt Valley by visiting. You are going online to some reputable online travel agent and booking a flight and accomodation to visit this place. Hmmm -- noone sleepy yet? Guess the bridge wasn't tempting enough, then.

(I wonder how much electricity this uses, come to think of it...)

[Listening to: some random radio station on my new transistor radio, purchased in an effort of apathy to be not to be getting around to buying an iPod.]

April 25, 2005

Roundup

In the absence of much time lately to write about exciting things, here's a roundup of new stories I found perhaps even just vaguely interesting. Most of them were from the NZH or the BBC. They're in no intentional or particular order.

As usual, I haven't included any items from Fairfax's Stuff site. And not until they have a reasonable archival policy, anyway.

[Listening to: Humour Australia]

March 29, 2005

And you thought New Zealand 'broadband' had issues?

Thought that, whatever you might call New Zealand's 'broadband' market, that it's having problems? Well, they're having broadly similar problems with the broadband market in the United States. However, the biggest problem seems to be whether one should have to pay for a phone line with one's DSL.

I suppose on first quick impressions, over in the United States, there's more of a problem due to the apparent popularity of cell phones and Internet telephony over the broadband lines that's a problem. I imagine it's quite possible this sort of thing might become an issue in New Zealand in the future, with cellphones starting to replace landlines.

Fibre to the front door of your home, anyone? There's probably still room on them electricity poles outside, unless the TelstraClear cables have taken all the room. Which is likely. The Telecom poles look decidedly sparse, though.

February 2, 2005

Powerswitch

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.

January 26, 2005

The Game of Life!

From the NZH: John Conway and his Game of Life!

I'm sure pointing out individual banner ads doesn't violate my new website host's request that one doesn't place banner ads on their pages. So, on the subject of sexuality education in NZ, here's yet another ad from a certain Microsoft instant messaging program. It's from the No Rubba, No Hubba Hubba campaign:

Here's that banner advertisement from the abovementioned Ministry of Health education campaign.

(And, this is one more reason to use Jabber. Virtually no banner advertisements in most clients, if at all. If it weren't for annoyed friends using Microsoft product that demand to be able to use all the nice little toys in the said products, I'd have switched all my accounts onto the appropriate Jabber transport ages ago. Which reminds me, I need to get my Jabber server back online. Soon.)

January 22, 2005

News feed at the Electricity Commission

I thought that seeing the power house officially says it's web news management for hydroelectric power stations, I'd better create a category/section about electricity policy and issues, even if it's now mainly a place to talk about books without copyright. So, here I go.

A quango that has an XML news feed on its front page. Now, let's see if in the new year the Electricity Commission maintains it. And its insurance policy.

On the subject of linking, Six Apart have put together a Q&A page on rel="nofollow".

In the area of S27(1) books, Venereal Diseases in New Zealand is now In Post-Processing in DP too, like the Mazengarb Report. My next document is currently sitting in the DP OCR pool, now. Alas, the next one to scan is going to be quite huge. Eeeek. I guess that I'd better have a good lunch before I start scanning, this next time.

And, last for now, I took some photographs of the Wellington Railway Station, Waterloo Quay, Parliament Building, Government Building and the Wellington Cenotaph late last night on a fifteen second exposure for most of them. At first impressions, I think that the seemingly (at first, at least) over-exposed photograph of the railway station actually looks good, with the blurred flags flapping and the large golden ball of light leaving the station could be interpreted in many ways as a static image. The album is currently offline, but hopefully not for much longer. I'll add the photographs when it's available again.