If you access this site using the kn.com.au URL you will shortly find that it doesn't work any more as the domain expires. From now on you will need to use http://www.keynet.co.nz
If you access this site using the kn.com.au URL you will shortly find that it doesn't work any more as the domain expires. From now on you will need to use http://www.keynet.co.nz
Another data point.
The head of private security giant G4S admitted the company's failure to provide enough guards for the Olympics was "a humiliating shambles" as he faced a grilling from British lawmakers on Tuesday.
Chief executive Nick Buckles said he expected the company would eventually be able to supply 7000 of the 10,000 staff it had promised. An extra 3500 troops have already been drafted in by the British government to plug the gap.
Day by day we started to realise that the pipeline and the people we thought we were going to be able to deliver we couldn't.
But he insisted he would not resign over the scandal and said G4S, one of the world's biggest security firms, would still claim its £57 million ($86.5 million) management fee for the Olympics contract.
Frankly, I don't think he should be in the gun for this. He is doing what he is paid to do, maximise his company's profits by minimising his costs. If that includes being paid for work that is not done, so what? His ONLY interest is to maximise profits. Nothing else. Even better if he can do it at public expense rather than actually having to compete to actually deliver on his agreements.
The people who need to be in the gun are those who let and supposedly oversee the contract, and those politicians and "economists" who mindlessly, endlessly, relentlessly assert that private enterprise is more effective, efficient and smart than any publicly owned entity is or could be.
We have had the fiascos of NZ Rail and Air NZ being privatised and rescued at public expense, SERCO's running of our prisons is a crime in itself, British water supplies in a mess from privatisation, the insane cost overruns in any number of Military supply contracts from the US to Australia to fiascos with the latest NZ navy vessels. Boeing's Dreamliner is a nightmare of delays and inefficiencies, the Airbus 380 still a mess; everywhere you look, scams, incompetence, greed, corruption and stupidity masquerading as innovation and private enterprise superiority.
It has taken 3 bastions of private enterprise to repair my compouter. It failed in November 2011; I STILL don't have it back.
Are public entities any better? Difficult to tell since so many of them are now being run as "Business units" with financial goals rather than service goals, ACC for example. But running to the rescue in the UK are the cops and the military. Organsiations that, apparently, actually train people for service and have them available when needed.
It would be nice to think that, some day, far in the future perhaps, that the evidence might lead to a conclusion that Private enterprise is not only NOT the answer to all things, it is barely the answer to anything. But I'd settle for all the private enterprise boosters to just STFU
Time to do some actual work that produces something useful, edible and tasty. cape gooseberry jam for example.
Dorothy Chou, Google's senior policy analyst, wrote: "Unfortunately, what we've seen over the past couple years has been troubling, and today is no different. When we started releasing this data, in 2010, we noticed that government agencies from different countries would sometimes ask us to remove political content that our users had posted on our services. We hoped this was an aberration. But now we know it's not.
"This is the fifth data set that we've released. Just like every other time, we've been asked to take down political speech. It's alarming not only because free expression is at risk, but because some of these requests come from countries you might not suspect – western democracies not typically associated with censorship."
Get used to it, there is so much to cover up already, and as the GFC plays out, there will be much, much more that TPTB don't want in the public domain.
€700 million was withdrawn from Greek banks on Monday, according to remarks made by Greek President Karolos Papoulias and reported in the Wall Street Journal. The Journal reports that between €2 and €3 billion in deposits have been withdrawn from the Greek banking system each month for the past two years. January was a high point, with €5 billion.
While the guys at DR can be pretty right wing, this piece has it on the nail. But what interests me even more is that the ordinary Greeks have been on to the game for a long time. back when the alternative thinkers were saying PIIGS are the problem, and being mocked or ignored by the terribly serious people who think they run the world, Greeks were steadily stashing away hard cash against the certainty that sometime within a reasonable frame, they would be screwed totally by their Government and the banking system.
I wonder how many of the rest of us are that far ahead of the game? Of course, people in NZ, Aus, the US and UK for example, have no history of their societies collapsing into chaos and anarchy. The Greeks have been there within the lifetime of many people still alive; they know the smell and they are taking action.
We expect the Americans to try and steal everything that is not nailed down, its the normal process of the empire to appropriate everything. But to find a New Zealand government ministry assisting the theft is a bloody disgrace.
A rural library in Horowhenua says a United States company has hijacked the computer system it invented and taken the trademark on its Maori name.
The Horowhenua Library Trust devised a software system called Koha 12 years ago to manage catalogues and lending information.
The system is free and widely used by other libraries, churches, schools and corporations around the world.
However, the trust's head of libraries, Joann Ransom, says the American company LibLimehas been granted provisional rights to the name Koha by the Ministry of Economic Development.
She says LibLime is trying to adapt the Koha system for its own private client base.
"We did something really good and we gave it away to the world and it's been a glorious thing globally for 12 years. And now this American corporate wants to take it," she says.
Ms Ransom says she is astounded an international company could trademark a Maori word.
The library has three months to object to the decision and Ms Ransom says it has little money to pay for a legal case.
We live in a world where only those things that are done for profit may be done and that anything being done without a desire for profit can be treated as optional until some way can be found to profit from it.
Those who have assets that are not being used for profit can have those assets expropriated for the benefit of anyone who seeks to profit from those assets.
Theft of IP, theft of living treasure in the form of the Maori language within which Koha is a significant cultural factor, theft of the value that has been created by a great product that enables libraries all over the world to conduct their business without paying excruciating fortunes to commercial interests.
And there is the crime that Koha has committed. Because we have now reached that stage where any task done for free is defined as theft of profits from someone trying to profit from that activity and that must be stopped.
The people in MED who have sanctioned this are complicit in the crime and at the very least need to be hauled into the street,tarred and feathered and dumped in Wellington harbour then charged with polluting the environment.
I will also give good odds that someone will, once the deal is done, get "head hunted" by an affiliate company for a nice lucrative job. No crass, brown-paper-bag-full-of-cash corruption is needed in this corrupted system, just a nod and a wink.
- Internet NZ needs to step into this and fund the case against this theft
- Tweet it, FB it, letter to the editor it, and for Kiwis 3 days out from an election, kick some pollieass.
What a disgrace.
With his announcement of his new cabinet for Italy, Mario Monti completes the bankers' takeover.
Monti, a respected economics professor and former European Commissioner, said he would take the crucial economy portfolio himself.
Corrado Passera, the CEO of Italy's biggest retail bank Intesa Sanpaolo, was given the infrastructure and industry portfolio.
But after disputes among the parties which complicated Monti's task, the new government contained no politicians, as he was reported to have wanted. Some analysts say this could make it more vulnerable to ambushes in parliament as it pushes through unpopular measures.
Monti said the lack of politicians would strengthen rather than weaken the government by enabling it to avoid political disputes and press ahead with vital reforms.
"The absence of political personalities in the government will help rather than hinder a solid base of support for the government in parliament and in the political parties because it will remove one ground for disagreement."
Yes, yes, it all has to go through Parliament but the reality will be that Italy now exists for the exclusive benefit of the banking fraternity. Its first, and only, task will be to ensure that people with too much money and no sense of responsibility continue to get paid their king's ransoms at the expense of everyone else.
Monti is an ex EU commissioner, it is exactly that cadre that has pushed Europe into its current situation, and his top finance guy is openly a banker. We know exactly where their loyalties will lie and who will suffer.
Given the competence the bankers have demonstrated in their own business, let alone everyone else's, I would expect the first italians to start dying of starvation within the year. As I said over on FB the other day, Sarkozy will be next, although according to this morning's Marketwatch, he may have to shove a bit to get to the top of the queue with holland, Finland and now Austria in the crosshairs.
Oh, and we have been to the well in Austria once before.
I've been a fan of JHK for about a decade now as he issued jeremiad after admonition that the world as we knew it in the late 90's was surely coming to an end within some reasonable expectation of my lifetime. He's taken some flak for a couple of fine-grained predictions that ignored the Keynes Dictum that "Markets can remain irrational a lot longer than you and I can remain solvent." but I have never doubted that on the medium to large scale he was right.
His starting point was Peak Oil but as the financial insanity that it precipitated became first main stream then mania then desperate clinging to a sinking lifeboat while singing uplifting songs about a better day he has merged the two into an ongoing series of check marks against the steps on the way to a much smaller future. After the last week, as you might imagine, he is pretty much incandescent; which means he has missed today's action.
I'll try to help: this is a compressive financial and economic contraction (one is money, the other is activity). Late-summer storm that it is, it looks to be intensifying. Everything that's super-big is going down sooner or later. The exact sequence of failures is unpredictable. But you can be sure Nature is telling you to get local, get smaller, get finer, downscale, solidify your friendships, and drop your stupid grandiose fantasies about running WalMart on algae. This is change you don't have to believe in, because it is about to jump up and bite you on the lips.
If you fancy a little less fire and brimstone and a few more charts and details, you might try my favourite, pretty much my only economist worth reading, Steve Keen who talked last week to mark Colvin of the ABC in Australia, this is his summary.
... assets have got three letters at the front ASS. I think we should take them importantly. Assets can collapse in value overnight, as we’ve seen today, you’re liabilities remain there, and it’s liabilities that are driving this debt crisis.
They’ve got totally out of hand, and you, mate there may not be a magical level of debt, but when you have it going from 45 per cent of GDP to 300 per cent that is a runaway exponential growth process that can’t be sustained. And when it broke that’s what caused the financial crisis.
And we’re now in a permanent stage of deleveraging until we get back down to similar levels, about 100 per cent of GDP.[...] I think it’s permanent until the debt levels are paid down. We’re in a debt deflation where deleveraging by the private sector is going to reduce aggregate demand below aggregate supply and will slowly grind down.
MARK COLVIN: And the question of what we do about it?
STEVE KEEN: We have to abolish the debt. The debt should never have been issued in the first place and the financial institution that issued should go bankrupt.
We had our chance to sacrifice the banks in the attempt to save the economies of the world, but we chose instead to leave our economies for slaughter on the altar of Milton Friedman and now we are seeing where that leads. The reason we have no inflation despite a couple of Trillion being pumped into the world's economies in the last 4 years is that all that money is trivial on the scale of the debt. We LOST more value from the world's stock markets last Friday than all the pump priming by all the governments of the world in 4 years. And we lost about twice that much today.
And we will keep on losing that much day after day until all the unjustifiable debt is ground out of the system. It wont necessarily happen on consecutive days, there will be moments when things pause, flatten out, maybe even struggle upwards to pull in a last few idiot optimists who see a "buying opportunity". They'll be accopmanied by some fools being led to the slaughterhouse by ignoramuses like a so-called financial adviser my wife had some years back who was a "dollar cost averaging" believer. They'll be hanging in their a while yet. But then the process will resume.
Nicole Foss talks about debt being the creation of multiple, and mutually exclusive claims to underlying real wealth. Her point is that, necessarily, most of those claims wont be able to be met and the debt will be repudiated, defaulted or in some other way extinguished without repayment. And those whose personal financial and economic survival is locked into those superfluous claims will find themselves in serious poverty.
Actually, she's worth quoting in some detail. This from an interview in September last year but her shtick goes a lot further back than that.
People say "Oh, well they'll simply print." If you try and print your way out of deflation, what will happen is the bond market, which is in control of interest rates, will jack those interest rates up to the point where debt-junky governments will not be able to pay their debts at all. This will precipitate a wave of debt default, which is deflation by definition. So if you try and print your way out of deflation, you just get there even faster. There really is no way out, once you've had the creation of excess claims to underlying real wealth. And that's all that credit is.
It's quite different from a currency inflation where you actually have enormous amounts of physical currency created. This is not extra currency, it's not taking the underlying real wealth pie and dividing it into smaller pieces like a currency hyperinflation. This is the creation of credit, which is the creation of multiple and mutually exclusive claims to the same pieces of underlying real wealth pie. And when people realize that they've, these excess claims exist, there will be an almighty resource grab, underlying real wealth grab, and that is deflation. So that is vey much what we are looking at.
Her advice, and Kunstler's, for the last decade has been
Another guy who has had a long handle on this stuff is Rob Paterson who was giving me the lowdown on his take just on 2 years ago. To quote that piece,
Not only did he tell us about the deep sixing of his portfolio, but at one stage he pulled a handful of notes from his pocket and said, essentially, that he didn't even trust that. Another check off.
Like Rob I am turning any spare cash into real things, supplies like gravel, timber and screws (plus a nudge for my wife to stock up on needles for her sewing machine) and tools.
When people claim that they could not have seen this coming, that they really, really believed that they could make it work this time, there is one thing only to do and that is very quietly and unobtrusively to move away from them and get some serious distance between you and them. They are either seriously delusional or living in an ignorance so deep that when they realise how far below water they actually are, they will be pretty unsafe to be around.
OK, back to the garden.
I've been a huge fan of Larry lessig since I first found the net back in 1995. So when he was booked for NetHui I was a lot more determined to turn up on the Friday than I would otherwise have been.
While I expected most of what he had to say, albeit updated, the last 10 minutes were seriously unexpected.
I never expected to hear a guy with such a huge reputation who comes from the heart of the online world to stand up in Auckland and beg us to help rescue his nation from its evolving disaster driven by systemic corruption. Watch it.
At last week's excellent NetHui, run by Internet NZ, I was asked to plug in 5 minutes worth on Digital Literacy. As usual, I tried to give it a bit of a spin. (starts at 41.12 and runs 6 minutes - the cut [poor sync] is Download Nethui_digital-literacy)
Here's the full version that probably takes a bit more than 5 minutes.
As one of the other presenters suggested, Digital Literacy means different things to different people and I want to pick up on some points raised by Mike Dickison and maybe be push them out a little, perhaps just shove them off the cliff.
The reason for this is simple; in Miami Beach on Memorial Day this year, a bunch of out-of-control cops pumped over 100 shots into a private car in a public place, killing an unarmed black man inside (now there's a surprise) and wounded some bystanders.
A young man called Narces Benoit saw what was happening and whipped out his cellphone to record the scene. One of the cops noticed what he was doing, broke off his shooting gallery duties and came charging at Benoit, waving his gun and screaming at him to get out of his car and hand over the cellphone, which he did.
The cop them smashed the cellphone under his boot and arrested Benoit. Nevertheless, within a few hours, the video of the event was going viral on Youtube because, when he saw the cop rushing at him, Benoit had the presence of mind to take out of the phone his digital media storage card and put it in his mouth.
The difference between Benoit and the cop is what I call Digital Literacy.
A few months ago in the Australian Navy, a female recruit was having a sexual relationship with another recruit. The guy in question thought it would be terribly cool to capture the "action" with his webcam and broadcast it to his mates. She was not happy and complained to her commander about the breach of trust and privacy. He essentially told her not to be a spoilsport and swept the matter under the rug.
The young woman became even less happy and shared her experience on facebook. Within days her commander and his boss and his boss and HIS boss were all publicly on the mat, caps in hand, staring at their shoes and explaining HOW they were going to solve the problem of their appalling leadership.
The difference between the young woman and the Australian Navy is what I call Digital Literacy.
About the same time, footballer Ryan Giggs was having an affair with model Imogen Thomas and when it was discovered he sought the help of the UK Supreme Court which obligingly issued a "super injunction" forbidding the publication of the facts.
Within hours, over 70,000 Twitter users had turned the super injunction into a legal fiction.
The difference between the Supreme Court and Ryan Giggs fan base is what I call Digital Literacy.
And all over the Middle east and North Africa this year, people have risen up, trying to throw off a generation of oppression, corruption and violence against them. Now we have had revolutions for a long time, but in the past they have needed a core of intellectual, philosophical and operational leadership, surrounded by a cadre of activists willing to take the message into the community.
Those roles are now being taken over by the whole community using social media tools. It is that takeover and the loss of the privileged position of leadership that I call Digital Literacy.
In Christchurch's major earthquakes, at risk of their lives and while their buildings and their city crumbled around them people grabbed their cellphones and videoed the event as a way to record their own experience to share with others and possibly to provide evidence of what happened to them if they didn't make it out.
That too I call Digital Literacy.
Literacy of any kind is not just being able to read and write the words, it is understanding the meaning, the significance and the context of the communication, then knowing how to manipulate them.
The best example I can think of is the advent of film to entertainment. The first films were little more than stage plays with a camera placed in front of them to record the action. But it wasn't long before we saw the appearance of film literacy, using the unique language of the cinema to tell the story in its own way. The language includes backgorund music, closeups, tracking and pan shots, framing and the million other ways to use a camera that are not available to stage plays.
So we cannot expect that Digital Literacy will look in any but the most superficial ways, like hard copy literacy. In fact, by my definition Digital Literacy is happening all around us, all the time, with increasing frequency.
For 20 years we have talked about the ICT Revolution, blithely ignoring the fact that all revolutions break stuff, and the thing they break first and most irreparably, is the status quo, to expect the revolutionaries to restore the powers of the old guard is nonsense.
Digital Literacy does not consist in being able to write a CV in a word processor nor manage our accounts with a spreadsheet, they are far too often, a way for the old guard to try and force the revolution into a mould with which they feel comfortable.
Our problem is that digital illiteracy is rife in Government, business, education, health, justice and the NFP sectior, very often among those who are pushing hardest for solutions.
The real digital literacy challenge that we have is to shift the old guard into actual digital literacy so that our organisations, which have real, and vital, work to do, can engage with, communicate with, work with an increasingly digitally literate community; so that they can swim in that literacy instead of drowning in it as they are doing right now.
MY problem is that I have no idea how the hell we are going to do that.
Digital Literacy does not consist in being able to write a CV in a word processor nor manage our accounts with a spreadsheet, they are far too oftten, a way for the old guard to try and force the revolution into a mould with which they feel comfortable.
Just woken up from the redeye back from Connecting Up in Melbourne #CU11. Serious props to the CU team for a great event.
But some interesting gaps showed up in the IT landscape that we promote so heavily in just that time.
The big problem with these things is that its not the BIG things that gets our goat, like, "why can't we solve world hunger and find universal peace?" Its the little things that finally drive us up the wall. Things like;
Actually, lets see your listOK, your turn, what tech niggles frost your weenie?
She let me login to Skype on their machine but because the history is on MY machine it didn't help me find the phone number (Skype REALLY needs an offline mode) XX
I haven't bought any music for a decade now, I haven't been to a movie for god knows how long as well. I contribute nothing to this pack of thugs and idiots and i'm pretty sure I wont bother any time soon. Net piracy: prove innocence or face fine
People who breach copyright through illegal file-sharing could be fined up to $15,000 or have their internet connection cut off - and the onus will be on them to prove they are not guilty.