Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Dead Elephant Frenzy

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  • Don Christie,

    Stick to FF NZ (not a Mac guy, sorry), it is clear from their rules that they are trust. Nothing more.

    They are not a society with members etc., they represent the trustees, all two (or is it four) of them. Not saying this is wrong, just that the media seems to present them as a political movement or society.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    And now - onto those damned Macs :-)

    I will share the contents of a message from a friend of mine (hope he won't mind).

    [thanks] for inspiring me to keep trying to get an open OS on my laptop -- as much as I don't mind mac os I had forgotten how nice it is to control the entire achine

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Not saying this is wrong, just that the media seems to present them as a political movement or society.

    As with many entities that get coverage disproportionate to their intellectual or popular heft, I feel that perhaps I should write a little Firefox plugin that replaces all occurences of "Family First" in news articles with "Secretive Bigots' Front Group", thus doing the work which editorial staff seem unable to.

    By the way, has anyone heard from the Maxim Institute recently? They must be very envious.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Brickley Paiste,

    It was Dead Elephant Frenzy.

    Was it that or was it the fact that the zoo was free for the day? It was wasn't it? Perhaps the lack of prohibitive prices got out masses. It's bloody expensive.

    Did else reading go? How was it?

    We thought about buckling to the constant refrain: go to zoo! Go to zoo! Sounds like it was good to have skipped it, though.

    I happened to eat breakfast the morning it was reported that the elephant was euthanised at a place with a television. Hearing John Banks talk about that elephant was certaintly entertaining. His oboe-like screech said that the elephant had qualities that many of us wish we could see more often in other people. I barely knew the guy sitting next to me but we were almost holding each other for support as tears streamed down our faces with laughter.

    Did you know the zoo rents out its property for corporate events? Sha-weet!

    Since Mar 2009 • 164 posts Report Reply

  • James W,

    Apropos McCroskie, I'd like to know why the hell he gets so much coverage.

    I asked the Herald exactly this question, how a one-man organisation gets into their paper so often, and is always called "Family First director Bob McCroskie". Their Social Issues reporter replied, saying he agreed McCroskie was a "one-man lobby group" but said it was democracy in action for him to have his voice heard, and suggested I do the same.

    Of course, this doesn't explain why he's referred to as a director of a non-existent body, but I assume it's to lend credence to the reporter's stories as much as to McCroskie. "Some Guy Who Keeps Sending Us Press Releases Bob McCroskie" doesn't have as much authenticity.

    It's a mixture of tight deadlines leading to reporters needing a quick rent-a-quote from both "sides", and the useless 'he says she says' reporting technique the media seems to love, that leads to people like McCroskie, Cameron Brewer, Garth McVicar et al. getting a disproportionate amount of press.

    Since Jul 2008 • 136 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    By the way, has anyone heard from the Maxim Institute recently? They must be very envious.

    Maybe they haven't fully recovered from that plagiarism incident.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    [thanks] for inspiring me to keep trying to get an open OS on my laptop -- as much as I don't mind mac os I had forgotten how nice it is to control the entire achine

    How long does he plan to keep trying to get an operating system installed on a computer?

    Sorry, had to ask;-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    It's a mixture of tight deadlines leading to reporters needing a quick rent-a-quote from both "sides", and the useless 'he says she says' reporting technique the media seems to love, that leads to people like McCroskie, Cameron Brewer, Garth McVicar et al. getting a disproportionate amount of press.

    That's it precisely.

    Also: where you or I might be unwilling to offer comment until we'd fully appraised ourselves of the facts, McCroskie and McVicar will happily comment immediately, even when they don't know what they're talking about. This is handy for journalists looking to file stories quickly.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Sorry, had to ask;-)

    Touche

    Actually it was more that I had to keep trying to get him to change. Helped when his machine blew a gasket though. Change became inevitable at that point and the issue was simply one of direction.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Lyth,

    Russ, did the PDF make it through to you (tried from two addresses), or could it have been trpped in spamfilter hell?

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 458 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    I asked the Herald exactly this question, how a one-man organisation gets into their paper so often, and is always called "Family First director Bob McCroskie".

    So you did. Part two of this Editing The Herald post, wasn't it?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    Kashin memories.

    Every kid at my primary school in the 1970's had an ASB kashin moneybox and ASB banking was a school activity. The cult of kashin started very young.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Drummond,

    Gods. Digipoll. I used to work for them. If you think it's bad taking a survey, try being the one reading the thing out.
    The "it'll only take 12 minutes" thing is a management-mandated lie that we had to tell. We know quite well that it'll take much longer, but people simply won't stay on the line that long. I got in trouble several times for being overheard (the supervisors are omnipresent bastards) telling people how long the survey would actually take. It was the worst job I've ever had, and I've also been a telemarketer. So that's saying something.

    Since Nov 2006 • 119 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Gods. Digipoll. I used to work for them. If you think it's bad taking a survey, try being the one reading the thing out.
    The "it'll only take 12 minutes" thing is a management-mandated lie that we had to tell.

    The surveys are long, banal and repetitive. I can't help but wonder how many busy people just get annoyed halfway through and put the phone down, which must have an impact on the sample.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Lyth,

    Digipoll

    And the rest, Colmar Brunton seem to have had me on high rotate over the last three months even though I tell them 'No thanks' every time they call with their '10 minute' telco survey.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 458 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Drummond,

    The surveys are long, banal and repetitive. I can't help but wonder how many busy people just get annoyed halfway through and put the phone down, which must have an impact on the sample.

    Lots do. It happened to me plenty of times. What's more common, though, is for people to get incredibly bored yet feel obliged to stay on the line out of politeness. When this happens, they stop taking the questions seriously and (say if you're asking for opinion of a certain service station on a scale of one to ten, with one meaning bad and ten meaning excellent - you know the drill) they start answering in all ones or tens. I'd say only around two in five surveys were any good as far as proper samples go. So many people game the system, and they all get entered as proper surveys. Generally the only people who don't bugger around are poor old folks who like to have someone to chat with and housewives with nothing better to do. Businesspeople are almost always too busy.
    And you know how they always say "now, on a scale of blah to blah with shit meaning crap" every bloody time? We HAD to do that, and we got in trouble if we didn't read the question out exactly, every time. As far as I could tell, the supervisors were chosen for their ability to be pedantic utter arseholes.
    Wow, long post. Sorry. I could vent about that job forever.

    Since Nov 2006 • 119 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Well done Russell, Elephants and Snow Leopards in one post.
    The events do have something in common. The Zoo attracted Elephant fans from all of Auckland and beyond by eliminating an Elephant. Whilst Apple attracted Leopard fans from... well, all Macland at least, by eliminating old and infirm code.
    How I will miss that buggy code, sigh.
    <runs and ducks for cover>
    ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Voicemail is the biggest pain in the arse ever. I'm almost at the point of changing my voicemail message to say that I don't use voicemail, so please don't leave a message.

    I'd rather get a text or an email or a tweet or a Facebook message. Anything but voicemail.

    I'm with Jackie on this, I too canned my voicemail as have most of the people I call. That maybe because they got sick of me complaining that it cost me 45c to find out they weren't answering their phone, I could blame caller ID for that I suppose.

    Then there's the land-line, it's free for local calls, that would be fine apart from the fact that every time I call someone up the phone's engaged cos they're taking to some marketing survey person for hours on end.

    I mean, if you go to all the bother of calling a cellphone it must be at least a little bit time sensitive? otherwise eMail's fine and costs nothing.
    Call me cheap then.
    ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    (say if you're asking for opinion of a certain service station on a scale of one to ten, with one meaning bad and ten meaning excellent - you know the drill) they start answering in all ones or tens.

    I find answering 5 for all the questions to be a splendid waste of everybody's time.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Mike Graham,

    I have been known to double-check with the survey caller the length of time that it will take. When the allotted time is up I just say "Well that's the x minutes, bye" and hang-up.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • Rik,

    How many hundred $ do you reckon the Windows 7 bug fix will set you back?

    Grrrr...you're starting to sound like that twit Mark Webster that writes that one-eyed and often ill-informed blog about Macs for the Herald!

    Take a good look around Windows 7: A First Look for IT Pros and tell me if you still view Windows 7 as a service pack?

    The day everyone views a computer as simply a box with CPU, memory, disk running one of several operating systems that all have their strengths and weaknesses....well, that's probably about the same time that we rid the world of bigotry and bring about world peace.

    Since Jun 2007 • 130 posts Report Reply

  • Rachel Prosser,

    Re overseas funding. Have you seen www.nsanz.org.nz? It's the newly formed National Shooters Association. No idea where they get the money from, but at first sight I wondered if it was an NRA offshoot.

    Their purposes include "taking such litigation in the Law Courts of New Zealand as may be necessary from time to time to challenge non-purposive and unlawful administration of arms control legislation by the administrative authority and the executive branch of government."

    I found them because they've got the web address we wanted to have as a redirect for the National Speakers Association of New Zealand (www.national-speakers.org.nz)

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2008 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    The Family Fist (in a velvet glove)...
    - Thumper says there's trouble in the forest...
    the other bunnies look worried...
    I see they have a full page ad in the Press today - headed "Your Govt has not listened.
    But we will" and then goes on to mention a "massive 88% No vote" - doesn't say 88% of what though - context and damned statistics...

    The elephant has left the room...
    Could we perhaps say Kashin has merely "Cashed Out" of life's casino - the chips are down after making many large deposits : ----- )

    Head her off at the pass...

    You can pass wind, pass an exam, pass another person on the street. But we all die.

    - Imagine passing an elephant!

    But while we are being meat-physical - death can be seen as the act of crossing the interstitial energy divide:

    Pass: a change from one state or condition to another

    This parrot is dead! a polly-gone,
    it's come to a pretty pass...
    Hannibal took elephants over the high alpine passes in the Punic war... no reports of Snow Leopard attacks though :- )

    yrs nasally
    George Tuska
    my brother's keeper...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    But the clincher has to be that it can't be a service pack because Mac OS doesn't have "service packs" ...

    Well, not free ones anyway.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    And you know how they always say "now, on a scale of blah to blah with shit meaning crap" every bloody time? We HAD to do that, and we got in trouble if we didn't read the question out exactly, every time. As far as I could tell, the supervisors were chosen for their ability to be pedantic utter arseholes.
    Wow, long post. Sorry. I could vent about that job forever.

    I've been behind the phones and had those experiences too. I wouldn't regard any form of phone polling as particularly reliable. It will give you a general indication of opinion on a particular subject, but expecting anything more than that is just silly.

    And of course, they're self selecting surveys, insomuch as you only get the people who want to talk to you. Which further invalidates the sample.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

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