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31/05/05

Permalink 18:42:06, by matt Email , 344 words   English (NZ)
Categories: Social commentary, blog

Oh the joys of "the system"

Link: http://list.waikato.ac.nz/pipermail/nznog/2005-May/010084.html

In this brief thread on NZNOG, we discover that Sahil Gupta's cohort, name withheld - we'll call him X - due to legal concerns, is facing other charges. Several other charges. It seems that X managed to register a company of the same name as one that had recently been struck from the Companies Office register, and get some radio frequencies from that erstwhile company transferred to himself. He was then planning to sell them, for a pittance (around $8000). Of course, being 16, he's not legally allowed to be a company director. He's also not allowed to get another organisation's assets transferred to himself, and is lucky that fraud and use of a document aren't on that list.

Now, my gripe is that the system protects this little scroat. His name is supressed, as are any details that may identify him. That he's 16 and male doesn't narrow it down much. Of course, anyone who subscribes to NZNOG knows who he is, by name and reputation if not by personal acquaintance.
The point of supressing details of Youth Court hearings is so that the young dears don't have to go through their adult lives with the stigma of a youthful indiscretion hanging over them. But X has a long history of wrong-doing. He's a leopard whose spots are probably permanent, and were obvious to many at least a couple of years ago. All that keeping his name from the papers does is allow him to bullshit prospective future employers, the exact people who are most likely to need to know about his past.
Giving people a second chance is all well and good, but he's very obviously a devious little shit who has no qualms about lying, swindling and stealing. He blew his second chance when he started this little scam. He's already been implicated in the theft of bandwidth from an ISP (who were negligent, but that doesn't excuse his actions), and now this. No, he doesn't deserve a second chance and he certainly doesn't deserve to have the world kept in the dark about his activities.

30/05/05

Permalink 22:07:50, by matt Email , 139 words   English (NZ)
Categories: blog

Gotta love the users

Link: http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20050530

Ah yes, the ode of the helldesk worker.
Having just recently dealt with a particularly obnoxious customer, this cartoon is just so apt. Customer in question reacted, shall we say, badly, to an e-mail informing him of the need to change his domain's name servers. Much sarcastic e-mailing and ranting, the sum time total of which would've been far more than the time required to make the change.
Same customer was told last year, by the MD, following a particularly profane and abusive e-mail, that our support staff aren't there to take that kind of behaviour, and if he did it again we'd close his account.
Saw today that we're no longer the destination for hits to his website. I pity his new provider, and hope they realise what they're in for. It's his third hosting provider within 10 months.

29/05/05

Permalink 16:11:16, by matt Email , 567 words   English (NZ)
Categories: Social commentary, blog

Those damn NIMBY types!

Link: http://www.p00le.net/high_st_station.jpg

The NIMBY is definitely alive and well in Lower Hutt.

Hutt Fire Station, built on its current location in the 1950s, is due to be closed, the appliances currently occupying being farmed out to three new stations that are better-sited to serve the expanding city that is Lower Hutt.
One of the proposed sites for a new station, 955-957 High Street, Avalon, a petrol station until a year ago, has hit opposition from some of the neighbours. Nine submissions in opposition have been received by the Hutt City Council, with the points in opposition including:

  1. Heavy diesel engines causing vibrations
  2. The proximity to schools
  3. General noise from the tones

And, best of all...
The noise of the halyards on the flag pole keeping people awake.

Now, point 1 does have some merit, until you consider that High Street is the main bus route for buses going from Upper Hutt and Stokes Valley to Petone, and back. Based on timetables from the Greater Wellington Council website, that part of High Street gets no fewer than 67 buses per day (Sundays and public holidays), rising to 148 per day on weekdays. 148! The first one goes past about 6 in the morning, and the last goes past around 8 in the evening. On Fridays there are an extra four buses, runing until after 10 at night.
It is estimated that the new station will respond to 600-800 calls per year, which is somewhat below the 911 buses per week that pass in front of the planned site.
On point 2, the nearest schools are a high school and an intermediate. Not exactly ripe breeding grounds for children rushing in front of an appliance that's on the move. NZ has also had almost no incidents where children have been killed by a fire appliance - the only one I'm aware of so far was a child who went under the rear wheels while chasing lollies thrown by a Santa who was riding on said appliance. Not exactly a day-to-day risk.
Point 3 is also meritous, but the tones aren't terribly loud outside the station. They also only sound for 30 seconds, and start off very quiet.
Point 4 is probably the most ridiculous of the lot. "Why is a flagpole necessary?" ask the objectors. First, and foremost, a fire station is a Government installation. It is an arm of the State, and as such a flagpole is as obligatory as doors and windows. Secondly, when a fire fighter dies, be it line-of-duty or in their sleep, tradition has it that flags go to half-staff. That's rather difficult if there is no staff and no flag. How incredibly selfish these people are. I grew up in the approach path of Auckland International Airport. One adjusts to routine noises, and a flagpole halyard is definitely quieter than a 747 on final approach.

If I had my way, fire stations would be non-notified constructions. They are a social good, all the more so when the Fire Service frequently provide first-response medical care until ambulance can put in an appearance. They're good neighbours, and considerably better neighbours than one might encounter in this part of the Hutt - no loud parties, no throwing up over the back fence, and they'll be happy to help you get Fluffy down from that tree.

-- UPDATE 30/5 --
Just spoke to the MD, and she's happy for me to go along to the council hearing. "Provided you take notes and give me all the gos", she said.

28/05/05

Permalink 11:16:48, by matt Email , 102 words   English (NZ)
Categories: Politics, Social commentary

Another six dead on NZ's roads

Link: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?c_id=1&ObjectID=10127970

The road toll is now about 20 higher than this time last year.
If the strict enforcement of traffic laws is bringing the road toll down, how come it isn't? 15 people in two crashes might be abberant, but it's also the reality. Remove those and we're still five up.
How can LTNZ meet their target of no more than 300 deaths by 2010 when we're seeing decreases of only 10-15 per year? They have under six years to drop the road toll by 136 from the 2004 total, and that doesn't seem likely. Unless they work out what they did right in 2002 and go back to that formula.

26/05/05

Permalink 19:42:34, by matt Email , 116 words   English (NZ)
Categories: blog

Something approaching a real sentence

Link: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?c_id=1&ObjectID=10127651

10 years, against a maximum of 14 years for aggravated robbery, isn't too shabby. It's a shame that NZ doesn't use consecutive sentences more often, though. Scum like these should be inside for over a decade, at the minimum - GBH is also 14 years, I believe.
The prosecutor's call for 12-14 years was realistic, given the horrific nature of the attack. However, after some of the wimpy sentences given out historically, it's a difficult sell on the basis of precedent. It may be increased on appeal, but there's always the risk that it will be decreased and that is something the Crown will have to consider.
All in all, not a bad result. They're off the streets until at least 2011.

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Shocking as it may be, I think, and sometimes those thoughts are almost worthy of public contemplation. So, here are those some thoughts, with no guarantees as to their validity, worth, or utility to the cosmos. All thoughts are my own, representing only my thoughts, opinions and positions, unless explicitly otherwise stated. This blog is not an official or unofficial outlet for any company or government body, or for person other than myself.

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