Hard News by Russell Brown

What would Jesus have on his iPod?

After all the fuss about George Bush's iPod, this handsomely entitled newspaper column, Thoughts For The New Pope: Condoms. Female priests. Stop gay bashing. And dammit, do something about Christian rock got me thinking - c'mon, it's Friday - about what Jesus might have on his iPod.

My hunch is that the Saviour would be a singer-songwriter man, but open-minded with it. So we're talking Beck, lots of Beck (yeah, okay, not Midnight Vultures then). His social activism might lead him towards your classic Bob Dylan, and perhaps even Bob Marley. I think Jesus would like Bic Runga. No nu metal, no Lloyd-Webber - even the Devil doesn't like that rubbish - but he would, if I'm to be honest, probably like U2 quite a lot. And you could round out the holy hitlist with Al Green, Billie Holliday and Patsy Cline.

I am, of course, open to other suggestions.

Meanwhile, police in porn scandal. I can hardly believe this. Policemen are as human as the rest of us, but surely the 300-odd officers in trouble would have realised that police computers and networks are particularly sensitive places. And why did it take the inquiry into police culture sparked by historical rape allegations to discover this? There are a number of products that quite effectively govern acceptable use policies, but if they were being used they clearly weren't being used properly. This all has the effect of further lowering already declining public confidence in the police force. And worse, it gives Tony Ryall an opportunity to go on the broadcast media and be sanctimonious. That's just cruel.

UPDATE: from PA reader Dave:

I've got a couple of friends who are constables in Wellington (and who I am sure aren't involved in this thing - well, one's a female), and what intrigues me is that they don't have access to the internet from their work computers. Presumably this privilege is reserved for the more senior officers, or for those who need to use the net for crime-busting purposes. And presumably, the restricted access is precisely because the police don't want any scandals.

This leads me to wonder whether it might be a case, therefore, of the 'busted' police officers simply being internet ingenues; excited just to receive anything via e-mail with some sort of multimedia content, and not really the seedy lot they're being made out to be. I'm thinking that if they had wider access to the net, they would soon bore of filthy stuff much like the rest of us did in about 1995.

I went along last night to the TUANZ After Fives presentation on Internet peering by CityLink's Carl Penwarden. It didn't turn into a revival meeting like the one in Wellington apparently did, but it was a nice demonstration of why the Internet should work like the Big Geeks say it should - and not the way that the ticket-clipping wholesale departments at TelstraClear and Telecom would like it to.

It's looking like some pressure is going to go on the two big telcos. Radio New Zealand will be placing audio content servers on the existing Internet exchanges in Wellington, Auckland, and Palmerston North, and the coming ones in Hamilton, Christchurch, Dunedin and Southland. TVNZ is apparently going to do something similar. So if your service provider also peers at the exchanges, it'll work really well. And if you're a customer of Xtra, Paradise or any ISP downstream from Telecom or TelstraClear, it won't be very good at all.

Furthermore, the e-government unit is becoming unhappy with one of the implications of de-peering - that sensitive government data is going out of the country and back in again because of the inefficient routing created by telco de-peering. It's quite possible that future RFPs for public agencies will actually mandate peering at the exchanges.

On a similar topic, Jim Cathcart reported from Japan with some observations of the Foreign Affairs story on broadband that I linked to yesterday.

I don't know where your man got his info but it's a little sketchy: "The telecommunications ministry came up with one of the most competitive regimes in the world: it compelled regional telephone companies to grant outside competitors access to all their residential telephone lines in exchange for a modest fee (about $2 per line a month)."

There are no "regional telephone companies." There's only one behemoth divided into regions: East and West. There is no competition. You still have to use NTT's lines regardless. All they opened up to was internet providers.

"The antitrust authorities also ensured that these companies did not create obstacles for their competitors..."

So what. To connect a phone costs the equivalent of $NZ900. They don't need to create any obstacles. They're making a killing.

Anyhow, even though Japan is well hung with fibre, you don't need fibre. All you need is power lines. The American network's already in place and the technology exists to do it.

Also, most Japanese don't use fibre-carried broadband service; they use ADSL services carried over their telephone line. Mind you, the fibreoptic service is the best option in the major centres.

And finally on the geek front, TelstraClear's decision to go to the Telecommunications Commissioner for a better deal on DSL wholesaling than Telecom was prepared to offer commercially appears to have paid off.

Ukraine? Or The Ukraine? A lawyer writes:

In respect of the use of the definite article with Ukraine, the Russian language has no definite or indefinite article and therefore the explanation given does not make much sense.

And, for your Friday afternoon waste of the boss's bandwidth (no porn links, guaranteed), Norm at OneGoodMove has provided clips of The Daily Show on the whole Pope thing, Bush's fake Town Hall tour and not-wildly-funny TV comedian Dennis Miller. The Pope clip had me laughing out loud more than once.