Hard News by Russell Brown

Real numbers

I'm delighted to see that Tracey Nelson's ability to analyse rugby in a way that actually means something has earned her a story in The Listener. Her stats from the All Black-Springbok game on Saturday are online now. Haka founder and top bloke Paul Waite also has a happy thinkpiece on the game.

Idiot/Savant from NoRightTurn is collecting political coordinates in an attempt to map the New Zealand blogosphere. Bloggers, you take The Political Compass Test and then you tell him your scores. For what it's worth - the test is calibrated on American cultural assumptions - I got a -4.62 on both axes, placing me snugly on the libertarian left.

Margaret Wilson appeared to have pacified her critics for now by drawing our first Supreme Court bench directly from the existing Appeal Court. There still lingers the impression that Wilson typically not only fails to heed oppositional blather - and by golly there's been a lot of that on the issue of ending appeals to the Privy Council - but reasonable criticism and concern. As Gavin Ellis pointed out last month, for many people the issue is less cutting the ties with the Privy Council (long overdue in my book) but the means of selection of our new highest court. The attorney general has failed to engender enough confidence in the new system. On the other hand, Parliament as a whole has been notably unconstructive through the whole thing. Sigh …

Feedback from Nick Turner on yesterday's stuff about Deborah Coddington and Alister Taylor:

Instead of writing a book about yellow ducks, wouldn't Deborah be doing NZers a real service by writing another book similar to her paedophile index - this time an index of people who (whether deliberately or through culpable incompetence) rip off their customers, an index of serial scamsters. This would be very much in line with Act's ethically clean principles.

Couldn't possibly comment. Anyway, even Stephen Franks seems a bit rattled by the Act party's current problems. His comment yesterday on the government's plans to review the rules on foreign ownership of prime coastal land - that Act would rather see New Zealanders become wealthy enough to buy their own multi-million dollar coastal properties - was positively obtuse in the face of the reality of what's actually happening in places like Nelson. After all Stephen, with house prices spiralling in unlovely 'burbs like Stoke, where will all the servants live?

Life Sciences Network has the NZPA story on the pine tree non-scandal that unaccountably failed to make the major papers last week.

Most amusing protest in a while: waxing for peace. A campaign in underway in Britain (well, Brighton for now) urging women to join in on National Get Rid of That Bush Day. The posters say "Wax 'em off, put 'em in an envelope and send 'em to Tony Blair with a message stating ... 'I got rid of my Bush now you get rid of yours."

I installed MacOS X 10.3 Panther yesterday, after doing the usual backup of my home directory (I think next time I'll take my music files out before I back it up) and sundry maintenance. First impressions? It's good enough, but not really the massive leap forward it's been greeted as. Best feature? Expose, the most dashing use yet of the system's 2D drawing layer, which flips every open window into a flat-plan and back. When you tend to have multiple windows open in multiple apps the way I do, it's incredibly useful. And it looks so cool. Worst feature? It looks like 500MB of RAM just isn't enough any more …

PS: Ars Technica has just posted what's reckoned to be a typically perceptive Panther review, but it's currently Slashdotted up the wazoo …