Teflon Toyoda

February 26, 2010

“New Toyotas will have non-stick accelerators” is the headline in the NZ Herald… I would put it as “Not much shit sticks to Toyota”.

“All new Toyotas will include an electronic device to stop their accelerators sticking, the company’s New Zealand boss said yesterday.
Chief executive Alistair Davis said the device, which cuts petrol to the throttle as soon as the brake is applied, would be introduced with the next new model, due for release next year.” ..NZ Herald

Is this the future of cars?
Much bowing and scrapping to appologise for cutting corners to remain competitive.
Cars are now brim full of electronics that hiccup and open throttles and delay brakes operating.
Car makers should adhere to the philosophy of “keep it simple,stupid”.
Don’t go adding more electronics as safety devices, ye gods!!

In electrical work there is a regulation that states no electronic device is to considered as an isolating device, there must always be a manually operated isolating switch.
A simple rule born from the realisation that electronic devices are inherently more prone to failure, something car makers should take on board when redesigning critical safety components in cars.


System Overload

February 20, 2010

Can you hear me Snow White?

NZ Telecom’s XT network has been falling over regularly, with some customers in the South Island failing to get service for 5 days or more.
Richard Hammond, a Top Gear host, fronted the ad campaign to herald the new XT network as the best thing since sliced bread.
Fairgo gave the ad series worst ad award for 2009.

Unfortunately XT has not lived up to the 4 foot Pom’s hype.
I guess that is what you get when you use the X word, X being an unknown quantity.

This what you get when a communications company uses turn key installation contracts, lowest tender etc.
Telecom admitted that there is not enough switch capacity, resulting in overloaded equipment and crashes.
To me that sounds like Telecom tried to build XT on the cheap.

Taking the High Ground on Dope

February 18, 2010

When asked about the Law Commission’s recommendation that a review needs to be taken at the status of Cannabis in the drug law statutes, Simon Power showed us why he is a member of NZ’s conservative party by answering the reporters in a fashion reminiscent of a Rob Muldoon glaring retort.

Not on his watch, was the interpretation; no discussion will be entered into.

Exactly the same approach has been taken by National over the super city, no discussion.

So National is content with the current Cannabis laws that punish growers of more than 9 plants with a complete stripping of property, based on feeble excuses such as tainted property, in lieu of any real evidence of wealth accumulation, certainly a punishment that outweighs the crime.

National’s 1991 proceeds of crime law was set up as a precedent for legalised robbery by the first case, a Hawkes Bay farmer who bought the property with Lotto winnings, the Cannabis had been cultivated by another party before the unwitting new owner took possession of the property.

Instead of dreaming up dumb fuck ideas like bicycle tracks to employ 5000 people to build, why not legalise Cannabis and place it on a taxable footing like any other activity?

We have a major tourist industry, tourists come here for a holiday, and that means relaxing, and some of those tourists like to smoke weed, in fact a lot of tourists like to. A principle of business is that you have to play to the market, we are missing out.

It is no use gazing negatively at a crystal ball and predicting great calamity over softening/legalising Cannabis laws.

There are always going to be idiots that over indulge, no matter what substance we are talking about.

The current laws do not work to stop Cannabis use; people have little or no regard for the law as it stands.

Police have suffered a negative perception for 38 years or more from enforcing Cannabis laws.

The more popular Cannabis became the inverse of popularity happens to Police.

We have got to take the bull by the horns and work through the issues of age limits, education about sensible use in a healthy and productive lifestyle, how smoking Cannabis fits in with the increasing restrictions on smoking in public places etc.

To be realistic we have to raise the drinking age back to 20 in anticipation for legalisation of Cannabis.

If you want an example of absurdity, look at work place drug testing.

Cannabis metabolite produces a fail test for up to 3 months, yet the intoxication wore of 89 days ago.

A commentator remarked that drug testing for Cannabis is Art masquerading as Science.

The 2010 Tax Tinkerer

February 10, 2010

It's all in the interpretation.

Raising GST is taxing the poor, while Key and Co offers a tax cut and working welfare top up as a sweetener, it is striking out in the wrong direction, but a typical Torrie move to reward the wealthy.

I can safely predict the working welfare top ups won’t offset the GST increase.

What an arsehole concept, to be working for a living and having to rely on Government kick backs to make ends meet?

It puts the worker at the whim of bureaucrats who can wipe out the subsidy at the stroke of a pen, it creates public sector admin jobs to dole out the income top ups.

I think they have it all wrong, they need to take a hard look at Government spending.

Blowing money overseas on international aid, policing and playing war games with the Americans, when times are tough the deadshit countries just have to sort out their muck ups, charity begins at home.

To be fair National have inherited an albatross or two around their necks from Labour such as ETS, free trade deals with countries that dump slave wage goods on us, heavy UN commitments so Helen could have her world stage dream job.

But now we have ‘wood shavings for a brain’ Brownlee wanting to resurrect Think Big in the form of Big Dig, his plan to get us out of a hole.

If you dig a hole to get the country out of another hole, metaphorically speaking , you end up with two holes, in other words you just make a bigger mess.

My advice to Key is listen to the people, if they start making a loud noise, don’t persist in that typical Blinkered Torrie fashion we all know and hate from the past failed National Governments.
And yes, all their past administrations have run aground by suppressing wages, keeping interest rates too high, all for the benefit of the world bankers and their credit ratings.

The Elephant in the room has always been the housing and property market, someone allowed international speculators in the door with no capital gains tax or decent regulatory mechanism, this resulted in an inflated property and housing sector that is now threatening to wipe out the last vestiges of the ‘Kiwi Own your own home’ dream that we, in my life time, regarded as a right.

This government also have been told that property rates were too high.
No, they did not listen even to the notion of capping the present high rates, let alone putting a rocket up the arses of local councils as to why they are doubling rates every 12 years or so, way ahead of working income levels and forcing retirees out of their properties.

Judging from the forums, this government is living on borrowed time.

The NZ Flag

February 9, 2010

Silver Fern with Shadow, Southern Cross .

The Flag is the subject of change.
Good bye to the Union Jack, gone but never forgotten.
The Silver Fern with shadow replaces the Union Jack, the stars positioned slightly asymmetrical as they appear in the sky.
Now the real trick, both fern and stars to be made of low sheen reflective material.
This would have the NZ flag really standing out at sports events and International events, during evening illumination.

The removal of the Union Jack is an opportunity to create official flags to represent various organisations as belonging to New Zealand.


The NZ Green Party?


Norml's Flag !


The debate over flag change invariable boils down to weather or not we go for a strong Maori design component. The Tino design is good enough to replace the Union Jack.

A reasonable compromise between treaty partners ?


New Zealand Police ?


Government / Parliamentary Flag?

Unravel 010

February 3, 2010

Any takers for this Turkey ?

Well .. is it going to all unravel this year?
National is pinning one of its successes on National Standards.
Not hard to understand as the phrase contains the word ‘National”.

National’s Education Minister Anne Tolley is in charge of bulldozing that one onto the education sector.

If Key wants to win friends and influence people, he ought not describe 30% of teachers as being dead shits by way of gearing up public support for a scheme that has failed miserably overseas.

National Standards will simply snow teachers under with even more paper work.
The reason behind the fall in literacy was partly due to large class sizes and excessive paper work that kept teachers from doing what they do best, teach.
The other reason was the dumping of the rote learning system for meaningful learning, best described as meaningless learning.

Tolley needs reminding that rote learning was successful, and that it was the Education Ministry that ‘outlawed’ it in favour of meaningful learning.

Teachers who dare to use the rote method, do so by quietly huddling in the corner of the class room with the pupils, so as to not get busted.

I fear standards will fall even further, because national standards is not teaching, it is testing.
What is the hurry, why not trial the changes?

The benefits of their proposals will take years to show, which makes me think they are either keen to grandstand their speedy implementation in time for next election or there is a darker side to the changes.
Time will tell.