Posts by Russell Brown

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  • MySky strangeness?,

    I've had monthly lockups that have required unplugging from the wall since I got it in Jan, but there has been more some new bugs since just before Labour Weekend.

    That's about the time we started noticing misbehaviour. We've also had the wrong show being recorded, stuck-on-red, etc. It seems to have settled down now.

    And yes, AFAIK, the boxes can be, and are, upgraded over the air.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22537 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Uncapturing Content,

    Just as with the weather, the metservice will continue to provide the official word, but if you are like me, I have dozens of weather cams bookmarked that actually make my NZ weater picture, not the time delayed official picture.

    The weather one's a really interesting example. Rick Huntington had a lot of visits to when the big winds hit Auckland last week - ironically, as he pointed out, he was sheltered from the weather, so there was nothing exciting going on.

    There's a guide to NZ weather stations here

    I've used the Wellington webcams quite a few times, to look anxiously at whether the fog has cleared by the airport, or to just have a giggle about the weather in Wellington ...

    And I remember when Dave Winer turned Scripting News over to the unfolding events of the morning of 9/11, and readers started posted in NYC webcam links. I think it filled a need. (The New York Times, which performed poorly on the internet that day, the following year acknowledge Winer by become the first major newspaper website to publish RSS feeds.)

    Google Earth is an interesting case too. They rely a lot on their user community for content. The day I visited this year, the guy at Google had just noticed in one of the user forums that someone had done a 3D overlay showing all the lighthouses in New Zealand. I imagine it's bloody excellent if you're interested in lighthouses.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22537 posts Report Reply

  • Island Life: The One Minute Stadium,

    Stadium Australia's not a good comparison at all. It's about 15km (in a straight line) from the Sydney CBD and there's nothing there. It would be like going to, well, North Harbour Stadium. The firm promised to develop amenities around it and couldn't. The better comparison is with Melbourne.

    I don't think the American study is a good comparison either. A lot of US city stadia in recent years have basically been boondoggles for the benefit of sports franchises - ask G.W. Bush.

    I think this is a bit different: One, national stadium for the big jobs. I like the proposal that it will house the family-friendly counterpart to the Viaduct. I love the idea of big events down there, of town lighting up after a big game, special ferry services for test matches, after-work 20-20 games, concerts, ceremonies and, hell, even Papal visits. I don't expect it to make money, but I don't think it will be Stadium Australia either.

    Spending $400m on Eden Park is effectively a short-term investment - that location has no future, and any public money goes to enrich a private trust. Coming up with $1 billion for a big public asset that should last 40 years seems a better idea to me. If anything, I've firmed in my view: let's just build it.

    Ha, David, this is the first time I can recall us strongly disagreeing about anything ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22537 posts Report Reply

  • TVNZ's Freeview: how's it look?,

    My fear is that TVNZ again is moving behind the times. Sky has moved a long way ahead in terms of content and interactivity. TVNZ has yet to even start broadcasting in 16:9 ( or even 14:9). This feels like an attempt catch up, but what they will find when they finally get on air, is that the competition has moved on again, and are offering limited HD programming.

    They're certainly catching up, but they have the advantage of starting with newer technology, where Sky still has a lot of legacy boxes out there. There are still plenty of Sky decoders that don't handle widescreen.

    The thing to watch for on Sky will be boxes with some basic IP functionality - ie, the ability to download certain goodies via a broadband connection. It'll still be very walled-garden though.

    Where Sky has stolen something of a march is on Documentary Channel content - there's a minimum of 200 hours of factual content already sewn up there.

    Which reminds me: I must tell The Doctor to write another Doco Channel blog ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22537 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Aiming for mediocrity. Again.,

    If I do it wiggly brackets instead of square ones it's clearer:

    {{,2106,3862121a10,00.html|Bob Clarkson story}}

    Like that, only with square brackets.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22537 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Fisking for Asians,

    Oooh, yes please, send me overseas, somewhere European by preference ...

    Good god man, you're in Hamilton - what more could you want?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22537 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Uncapturing Content,

    All of this is so frustrating because geodata is among the most mash-up-able. The amount of productivity and creativity that could be unleashed if it were freely available is astonishing (mashing it up with ZoomIn or Google Maps to create your own demographic or social analyses, for example), and when you consider that the US has made their equivalent data freely available for years, it's a huge shame.

    I knew a little about this. That's fascinating. It also clarifies my mind about things that might be worth funding. How hard would is be to write a tool that converted LINZ data into a usable format?

    I'm wary about new content creation being publicly funded (what do you choose?), but content tools are a different matter, and they're explicitly (if vaguely) referred to in the discussion document. We discussed the content tools idea in the group I was on, but I don't really know enough to know what's useful.

    Anyway, I figured that I'd send this thread as a response to the discussion document (with all due credits, of course), so keep it coming.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22537 posts Report Reply

  • TVNZ's Freeview: how's it look?,

    The major issue I have with TV presently is the quality of so much of it - there are some gems out there (foreign and domestic) that are hidden a repeat of agenda at a more hospitable hour would be good, for example.

    That's one thing you will absolutely get out of this. Ditto for charter-friendly programming like 'The Market', which deserved a much better slot than it got, but wasn't as a good a sell to advertisers as something more mainstream was.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22537 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Aiming for mediocrity. Again.,

    Nick said:

    Where's the precedent? The MCG ...

    Exactly. The MCG and, not, as some people have suggested, Stadium Australia, which isn't in the CBD and is close to bugger-all.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22537 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Fisking for Asians,

    Steven said:

    Terrific post, Keith. I haven't checked, but I suspect that the most marked trends in crime will involve women, and white-collar (and white-skinned) criminals.

    Yes. The kind of crime that has most notably bucked the steady trend of decline since 1994 is indeed the white-collar variety. I'm still waiting for the Coddington cover story on that.

    Russell is a bit unfair on the Press Council: over the past five years it has been upholding 19.5% of complaints (and even more in recent months.)

    I stand corrected. That'll teach me to crib stuff from old Mediawatch comments ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22537 posts Report Reply

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