Bookmarks for February 27, 2015

Some of the more interesting (or odd) things I’ve read – or bookmarked to read – over the past few days.

A page we can call home… — Circa — Medium

A page we can call home… — Circa — Medium http://evlvgn.ws/1BjzCVO

A discussion of the Māori economy – its scope, opportunities and challenges | Productivity Commission of New Zealand

A discussion of the Māori economy; scope, opportunities & challenges–Productivity Commission Wed 11 Mar 10.30am-12. http://evlvgn.ws/1AdIlmV

Looking Up Symptoms Online? These Companies Are Tracking You | Motherboard

Far out… Looking Up Symptoms Online? These Companies Are Tracking You http://evlvgn.ws/182UIeW

[Weekly Review] | February 25, 2015, by Matthew Sherrill | Harper’s Magazine

Egypt launches airstrike in Libya; stampede kills 17 in Haiti; 15 NY towns threaten to secede | Harper’s Weekly wrap http://evlvgn.ws/1wlKbSn

[toread] The disappeared: Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden ‘black site’ | US news | The Guardian

The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked…

Google Now Offers Free DDoS Protection

Google Now Offers Free DDoS Protection… to help human rights and elections-related websites in vulnerable regions http://evlvgn.ws/1MVZGdY

Edelman trust barometer shows search engines are now more trusted than traditional media :: StopPress

Edelman trust barometer shows search engines more trusted than traditional media (some points in here need unpicking) http://evlvgn.ws/17BA85u

Ceres’ Mystery Bright Dots May Have Volcanic Origin : Discovery News

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft’s images of Ceres’ Mystery Bright Dots suggest they May Have Volcanic Origin: DNews http://evlvgn.ws/1JRwQfW

Photos: Inside Indonesia’s Ijen Volcano – The Atlantic

Photos: Two Days Inside An Active Indonesian Volcano photographing men who mine sulphur by hand | The Atlantic http://evlvgn.ws/1vD5MdG

How do owls fly so silently? – Natural World: Super Powered Owls Preview – BBC Two – YouTube

Programme website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b054fn09 A cutting edge experiment reveals how owls can sneak up on their prey.

The Rise and Fall of RedBook, the Site That Sex Workers Couldn’t Live Without | WIRED

The Rise and Fall of RedBook, the Site That Sex Workers Couldn’t Live Without | WIRED http://evlvgn.ws/182ygT9

Big data, public good and what RoZetta’s Ian Oppermann did next

Big data, public good and what Australia’s Ian Oppermann did next The Age http://evlvgn.ws/1Ev5Uhq

Etsy CEO: How Net Neutrality Shaped My Life — Backchannel — Medium

Etsy CEO: How Net Neutrality Shaped My Life [and how I represented our users in Net Neutrality discussions] | Medium http://evlvgn.ws/1DX4VGh

Internet slang meets American Sign Language — Hopes&Fears — flow “Internet”

Internet slang meets American Sign Language— trying out signs for ‘selfie’ ‘photo bomb’ ‘emoji’ | Hopes & Fears http://evlvgn.ws/1JRkVP6

RSS Bookmarks

The Week that Was in New Zealand: 23-27 February 2015

A links-summary of news arising out of Government (as in the Government) and government (as in ministries and such) in New Zealand for the week of 23-27 February 2015.

John Key’s post-cabinet press conference

The Prime Minister said details of New Zealand troops going to Iraq on a training mission would be clarified in a statement to Parliament on Tuesday (see below). Also mentioned arrival of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, cricket and proposed Anzac celebrations. Video is courtesy of scoop.co.nz.

 

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott & ministers visited New Zealand

During the visit we will hold our Annual Leaders’ meeting and discuss a range of political, economic, social and security issues, including advancing the single economic market, our engagement in regional trade initiatives and our cooperation on global defence and security issues.

The Government decided to send up to 134 NZ troops to help train Iraqi forces who are fighting against “Islamic State”

The Prime Minister made the announcement in a statement to the House of Representatives.

 

Opposition leaders replied in debate and you can see their speeches on inthehouse.co.nz.

Later the Government answered questions posed by opposition Members of Parliament. You can read the questions for the 24th, 25th and 26th and watch the answers on inthehouse.co.nz.

We are currently looking at options to base a diplomatic representative in Baghdad to serve as a conduit between the Iraqi government and the New Zealand military deployment, and assess how we can support better governance in Iraq.

This is likely to be a joint mission with the Australian Defence Force. “Up to 143 NZDF personnel have been approved by Cabinet to deploy on a training mission, with the main body likely to deploy in May,” Mr Brownlee says.

Up to 106 personnel will be based at the Taji Military Complex 30 km north of Baghdad, a number of staff officers will be at Coalition Headquarters in Baghdad, and additional personnel will be at coalition bases in the region.

As well as the up to 143-strong force, other personnel and Air Force assets will occasionally need to be deployed to the region to support the mission – for example in support of personnel rotations and resupply.

 

The Gambling Amendment and Parole Amendment Bills passed their third reading (one more stage until law)

Prof John Burrows, Rod Drury and Julie Christie among the 12 people appointed to the Flag Consideration Panel

The panel will oversee the first part of the process of New Zealanders voting in two referenda on whether or not to change the country’s flag. The panel are:

Prof John Burrows (Chair), ONZM, QC
Nicky Bell
Peter Chin, CNZM
Julie Christie, ONZM
Rod Drury
Beatrice Faumuina, ONZM
Kate de Goldi (Deputy Chair)
Lt Gen (Rtd) Rhys Jones, CNZM
Stephen Jones
Sir Brian Lochore, ONZ, KNZM, OBE
Malcolm Mulholland
Hana O’Regan

The timeline is:

  • Feb 2015 – Flag Consideration Panel appointed
  • Mid 2015 – Public engagement process (inc flag suggestions approx May – July)
  • Late 2015 – First referendum (to choose a preferred alternative design)
  • Early 2016 – 2nd referendum (to choose between winner of first referendum and current flag)

There’s a lot more information and background in Mr English’s unusually detailed press release.

Bill English, Craig Foss back Data Futures Forum recommendations, request progress report in March

The Government has directed officials to report back in March on progressing data catalyst projects and the Government’s Open Data initiative.

“Delivering better public services for New Zealanders means making better use of the information we have and lifting accountability to the public through transparency,” Mr English says.

These initiatives sit alongside a range of measures the Government is taking to improve data use, including Statistics New Zealand’s Integrated Data Infrastructure, the Ministry of Social Development’s investment view, and a pilot project between Land Information New Zealand and Wiki NZ.

MPs got a pay rise, PM “expressed disappointment”

“I wrote to the Authority expressing my view that there should be no increase,” says Mr Key.

“My view was that, given New Zealand is set to enjoy a low inflation environment for some time into the future, an increase in remuneration was neither appropriate nor necessary.”

The Remuneration Authority ruling increases the Prime Minister’s pay from $428,500 to $452,300 a year and senior ministers’ pay from $268,500 to $283,800.

The pay for an MP goes up from $147,800 to $156,000. The authority said the increase represented both a salary increase and also a percentage of MPs’ pay towards travel expenses…

The authority’s chair John Errington told Checkpoint the Prime Minister was not ignored.

“We are required under the Act to consult with the PM and the Speaker and other people, which we did. He expressed a view, which we took into account when we made our decision. Our Act requires us to have regard to jobs of a similar size.”

NZ and Australian Ministers met for the annual Closer Economic Relations Ministerial Meeting

New Zealand’s delegation was led by Minister of Trade and Minister for Climate Change Issues, Hon Tim Groser.  Australia’s delegation was led by Minister for Trade and Investment, the Hon Andrew Robb AO MP.

The annual meeting is a forum for ministerial oversight of the Australia New Zealand Closer Economic Relations (CER) Trade Agreement and its suite of over 80 related agreements and arrangements.

Dr Angela Wanhalla, Anna Blackman and Thomas Norcliffe were appointed to the Archives Council

13 appointments made to lotteries boards

 

What are these posts about?
1. I want to understand the context for the political news I see in New Zealand: who said what, where, when and in response to whom. Did the politician say that in a speech, press conference, Parliament, a report, policy document; at a public meeting; in response to a question posed by a journalist, something another politician said? News reports often omit this contextual detail so I’m trying to find it for myself.
2. News stories often have more of the ‘who said what about the thing’ than details about the ‘thing’ itself. I want to better understand the ‘things’. So I’m trying to track news stories back to where they started, and look at the source material for details or links thereto.
I’ve started by looking at press releases and reports coming out of Government (as in the Government) and government (as in ministries and such) because quite a lot of news stories arise from those sources each week.
I’m not linking to everything that’s published, just the releases/stories I come across that I think are interesting or representative or useful for future research or that I have time to do right now. If you find this post interesting and/or have suggestions for how it could be more useful for you, please let me know.

Impressive automated bicycle parking in Japan

Automated cycle parking in Japan: roll bike in, machine whips it underground and parks it. Come back later, tap your membership card, bike is retrieved and away you go. Genius.

Bike Enters EcoCycle

Danny Choo did a TV piece about these clever EcoCycle bike parking facilities a while back. He also did a great photo post of images shot during filming, which includes details on the machines’ workings (the bikes are parked in underground wells, each with the capacity for 200 bikes, for example) and instructions on where to find them in Tokyo.

If you want to take a look at Eco Cycle in action, you need to first get off at Shinagawa station and head towards Kounanhoshi Park [こうなん星の公園] at the location on the map below.
Or copy paste the following into your mobile device maps app.
東京都港区港南1丁目9

 

The company that created the EcoCycle, Giken, describes the technology on its website thus:

Eco-cycle is an anti-seismic mechanical underground parking lot. Giken aggregated own long term experience of press-in technologies and developed the Eco-cycle with the design concept of “Culture Aboveground, Function Underground”. If bicycle parking is available near final destination, people use the facility more often. It eventually eliminates nuisance parking at footpath. Such space at footpath can be utilised for cultural activities.

Quite so. Giken also does automated underground car parks.

 


Bookmarks for February 27, 2015

Some of the more interesting (or odd) things I’ve read – or bookmarked to read – over the past week or so.

Alice taking a breather to complete her turnaround | NZ Transport Agency

Alice, the tunnel boring machine at Waterview in Akld, is taking a 10-week breather to complete her turnaround | NZTA http://evlvgn.ws/1F5W1ol

Bryce Edwards: Is NZ being conned into war in Iraq? – Opinion – NZ Herald News

Political roundup: Is NZ being conned into war in Iraq? | Bryce Edwards | NZ Herald http://evlvgn.ws/1At1vbR

The seasteading movement is getting a reality TV show — Fusion

The seasteading movement is getting a reality TV show — Fusion http://evlvgn.ws/1CTNz9p

Old media foes need to work together in fragmented market, says APN chief – Business – NZ Herald News

Old media foes need to work together in fragmented market, says APN chief | NZ Herald http://evlvgn.ws/1F5oQBc

Toby Manhire: Free advice … invoice to follow – NZ Government – NZ Herald News

Toby Manhire: Free advice … invoice to follow. http://evlvgn.ws/188SpI3

New Technology Helps Surgeons Better Map The Brain | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

“Synaptive Medical is building a suite of tools it says will help it create the Google Maps of brain surgery.” | Fast http://evlvgn.ws/1F5b3ut

BBC News – The world’s most-trafficked mammal – and the scaliest

The world’s most-trafficked mammal is the pangolin (it’s like a scaly little artichoke on legs) Stop eating pangolin! http://evlvgn.ws/1ztJbN9

Ranked: A Washington Insider Grades the 10 Best TV Shows About D.C. | Foreign Policy

A Washington Insider Grades the 10 Best TV Shows About D.C. (Spoiler: Veep wins) | Foreign Policy http://evlvgn.ws/1vm4Qua

Germany’s ‘Dr. Death’ opens corpse museum in Berlin | The Japan Times

Germany’s ‘Dr. Death’ opens corpse museum in Berlin | The Japan Times http://evlvgn.ws/1LkiksB

800,000 Using HealthCare.gov Were Sent Incorrect Tax Data | nytimes.com

800,000 Using HealthCare.gov Were Sent Incorrect Tax Data | NY Times http://evlvgn.ws/1LmNDot

Investigative Reporting Pulitzer entries up 50 percent since magazines were allowed in – Prismatic

Investigative Reporting Pulitzer entries up 50 percent since magazines were allowed in | Prismatic http://evlvgn.ws/19LsfLW

The ladies – Aeon Video

In a tiny couture shop, two bickering 90-something sisters reveal glimpses of colourful past lives | Aeon Video http://evlvgn.ws/1vm0dAh

These Beautiful Photos Show The Last Residents Of A Sinking Island | Co.Exist | ideas + impact

Photos Show Last Residents Of A Sinking Island,Ghoramara, in India, where 2/3rds have already left | Co.Exist http://evlvgn.ws/1CTyXGZ

www.nytimes.com

Greece Reaches Accord With European Officials to Extend Bailout | NY Times http://evlvgn.ws/1Adrkhi

Why I have resigned from the Telegraph | openDemocracy

A must-read, if you haven’t yet. Peter Oborne: Why I have resigned from the Telegraph | openDemocracy http://evlvgn.ws/1DFhfea

IABNZ results show record digital ad spend for 2014, but display advertising category dips :: StopPress

Mobile is 2.4% of digital advertising spend in NZ, says IABNZ, small compared to Australia’s 17.4% (but growing) http://evlvgn.ws/1DwUU3M

Auckland Council reins in runaway IT system – Technology – NZ Herald News

Auckland’s NewCore IT project that soared in cost from $71m to $157m is back on track, say council officials | NZH http://evlvgn.ws/1z3NJIR

Fairfax Media NZ ad revenues down, digital up | Stuff.co.nz

Fairfax H2 2015: strength in real estate & motoring ads “more than cancelled out” by weak retail and employment ads http://evlvgn.ws/1z3ogzi

Bill English: Data analytics gets top seat at government table – CIO New Zealand

“Data and analytics are now an intrinsic part of policy making” – Bill English at SUNZ (SAS Users of New Zealand) http://evlvgn.ws/1z3kXbu

 

RSS Bookmarks


 

The Week in Parliament: 23-27 February 2015

Members of New Zealand’s Parliament meet again in the House of Representatives to discuss proposed laws, petitions and other business. Ministers will also answer questions posed by their own and opposition party members during question time. Select Committees, which consider public submissions and advice on proposed laws, petitions and other matters, will also meet again this week.

Outline for the week

Tuesday

Parliament sits 2pm-6pm and 7.30pm to 10pm.

The day started with a statement from the Prime Minister John Key on the deployment of troops to Iraq.

Introduction of bills: The Weathertight Homes Resolution Services Amendment Bill was introduced.

Question Time, when MPs can ask ministers questions:

  1. ANDREW LITTLE to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement with regard to the deployment of troops to the warzone in Iraq that “I don’t think that’s a matter for a Parliamentary vote”?
  2. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement “Just passing everything by the barest of majorities isn’t the right way to govern a country”; if so, why?
  3. PAUL FOSTER-BELL to the Minister of Finance: What recent reports has he received on trends in Government revenue and how does this compare with forecasts in the Half-Year Update in December?
  4. GRANT ROBERTSON to the Minister of Finance: What is the additional amount of gross debt that the Crown has taken on since the Government was elected in November 2008?
  5. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his statements?
  6. EUGENIE SAGE to the Minister for the Environment: Does he agree with the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment that a 30 centimetre rise in sea level “may not sound much” but “will be significant at a national level” in New Zealand?
  7. STUART SMITH to the Minister for Social Housing: How will the Ministry of Social Development’s social housing purchasing strategy lead to better outcomes for tenants?
  8. Hon PHIL GOFF to the Minister of Defence: What is the level of risk assessed by the New Zealand Defence Force if its personnel are deployed to Iraq and what force protection would be provided for them?
  9. MELISSA LEE to the Minister for Small Business: What steps is the Government taking to support growth for small business?
  10. Hon DAMIEN O’CONNOR to the Minister for Primary Industries: Does he consider that cuts the Government has made to biosecurity have contributed to the current fruit fly outbreak?
  11. KANWALJIT SINGH BAKSHI to the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs: What actions is the Government taking to limit the powers of repossession agents?
  12. CLAYTON MITCHELL to the Minister for Social Development: Does she stand by all her statements?

You’ll be able to watch video of these questions and answers a little later in the day on inthehouse.co.nz. There are also written questions submitted today for written answers (due by 4 March 2015).

Next comes the Government orders of the day, which are outlined in the Order Paper (embedded below).

The Government has indicated it aims to focus particularly this week on:

You’ll be able to watch video of these debates a little later in the day on inthehouse.co.nz.

Introduction>First reading>Select Committee>Second Reading>Committee of Whole House>Third reading>Royal AssentThe Business Select Committee is meeting from 4.30pm to 5pm in the Speaker’s Office. (Not open to public.) A full list of this week’s Select Committees is embedded below.

Wednesday

Parliament sits from 2pm to 6pm and 7.30pm to 10pm:

  1. Petitions, papers and select committee reports
  2. Question Time
  3. General Debate – The debate consists of five-minute speeches by 12 MPs on any subject they choose.
  4. Members’ Day – The rest of the day is given to the consideration of private, local and members’ bills

On Wednesday, 25 February the House will debate the second reading of the Manukau City Council (Regulation of Prostitution in Specified Places) Bill, which is a local bill. Local bills only affect one locality and are promoted by the council for that area.

Along with private bills, local bills are always dealt with ahead of Members’ bills, but there are only a few such bills each year. The House will then consider the following Members’ bills:

  1. Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave) Amendment Bill—third reading
  2. Register of Pecuniary Interests of Judges Bill—second reading
  3. Social Security (Clothing Allowances for Orphans and Unsupported Children) Amendment Bill—second reading.

Parliament.nz: This week in Parliament: 23 to 27 February 2015

Select Committees meeting:

  • Education and Science
  • Finance and Expenditure
  • Government Administration
  • Health
  • Law and Order
  • Māori Affairs
  • Social Services

Thursday

Parliament is sitting.

Select Committees meeting:

  • Commerce
  • Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
  • Justice and Electoral
  • Local Government and Environment
  • Primary Production
  • Regulations Review
  • Transport and Industrial Relations

Friday

House is not sitting and no select committee meetings.

Order Papers

1. Order Paper for Tuesday 24 March 2015 (published on parliament.nz)

Download (PDF, 198KB)

Select Committee Schedule

Select Committee Schedule for week starting Monday 23 March 2015 (published on parliament.nz)

Download (PDF, 229KB)

Watch. Listen. Read.

Most sitting days Parliament sits from: 2pm to 6pm and 7.30pm to 10pm. You’ll likely see some of what happens in the House on news sites and TV but there’s a lot more you can see for yourself.
• Watch Parliament live on parliament.nz or on TV at  Freeview 22, Igloo 25, Sky 86, Vodafone 90 
• Listen to Radio NZ’s Today in Parliament broadcasts on Parliament’s sitting days in the 6pm-7pm hour of Checkpoint (or a slightly longer version the following morning at 5.45am)
• Read what happened on parliamenttoday.co.nz and watch video highlights on inthehouse.co.nz
• Watch question time from the public gallery (usually starts at 2pm)
• Read what happened last time the House was sitting in the Journals of the House
• Read a transcript of debates in the Hansard
• Find Order Papers, advice on How to Read an Order Paper and subscribe to email alerts on the parliament.nz website
• Find Bills on legislation.govt.nz
• See a brief summary of progress made on the day’s business on parliament.nz and another on Parliamenttoday.co.nz, which also has a useful 5-minute podcast on the day’s events.