Hard News by Russell Brown


Policy, finally

By all means, pile on over to No Right Turn for Idiot/Savant's preliminary analysis of the emissions trading scheme announced yesterday. I/S has been waiting for policy a long time, and he has already distilled the key points, as well as noting that our Kyoto liability has blown out, again.

If you feel you need to talk to someone afterwards, come back here. I/S had to suspend comments a little while ago after striking wingnut trouble, but I trust he can pop back here to discuss the policy too.

Me? Well, I drove a Prius around for a week last week. Loved the technology -- it feels very good to sit silently at the lights and not be belching fumes, and we used less than half the petrol we'd normally consume -- didn't dig the hatchback form factor of the Generation III model, which presented problems with visibility and reversing.

The car was a loaner from The Clean Green Car Company, which brings them in used from Japan. The main barrier with the Prius is still price: it not only performs like a V6 Camry (with a 1500cc petrol engine!), it costs like one too. Assuming that the price can be brought down as manufacturing scales up (and petrol becomes pricier), it's not hard to see a lot of people driving hybrid cars in five or 10 years' time. The company has a useful FAQ on exactly how the Prius works.

Campbell Live took an interview with visiting Arctic explorer Rod Stege as its angle on the announcement. (Check out the Pulp Sport promo at the end too -- it's priceless.)

Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to a preview this afternoon of what Throng is calling a unique world-first TV listings format. Rachel and Regan seem very excited about what they've got.

Stuff I've got that you haven't: a five-track sampler from the forthcoming Phoenix Foundation album, which includes a couple of standouts from their live shows in 'Bright Grey' and '40 Years' and suggests a more upbeat, live-band feel. And an advance copy of Paul Shannon's second novel, The Totem Hole. The style is quite different from that of Davey Darling -- well, obviously, given that the narrative isn't cast in the voice of a 12 year-old boy -- and the language more expansive and poetic. I'm enjoying it, not least because Paul has graduated to a big, tasty trade paperback format.

Peter M over at Dub Dot Dash has the worst New Zealand album cover of the year nominees for your consideration.

Spare Room notes a sequel to If Business Meetings Were Like Internet Comments: If Retirement Functions Were Like Internet Comments.

And, finally teh free stuff! Halo 3 is released next week, and I'm offering up a Halo 3 Collector's Edition (in swanky metal box) and Halo 3 sweatshirt. All you have to do (this is Leo's question) is click the reply button below and answer me this: What is Master Chief's real name? Put the answer in the subject line.

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