Posts by jon_knox

  • Hard News: Synthetic cannabis: it just…,

    There would still be a market, just like there is in garden vegetables. But it would certainly help with the criminality part.

    Russell has hit the nail on the head. Help, not "entirely eliminate" the criminality part. I suspect a similar ideas was used as part of the justification for implementing the Prostitution Reform Act 2003. Though I applaud the maturity of the intent, the problem of shady characters controlling "the game" remains, though at least the possibility exists of legitimate operators.

    In line with the pint of whiskey being more profitable than a pint of beer, the profit from a pint (volume) of pot/faux-pot, makes drugs sticky for those controlling distribution.

    Belgium • Since Nov 2006 • 464 posts Report

  • Hard News: The other kind of phone tapping, in reply to Tom Barker,

    Mid-late 90's there was certainly ongoing issues for BT with payphones. BT were working for a long time to rectify a problem with a particular variant of payphone, as it was rumoured that there were 4000 of the particular model payphone in London alone. I suspect this was merely a single instance in a list of problems for BT stretching all the way back to Rr Bell himself.

    The queues formed round the clock were generally the easiest way to identify an affected phone and invariably involved use of a single £1 (coin) for long distance calling,. The coin would be refunded at the end of the call which could only last as long as the credit pertaining to a single coin permitted. This wasn't very long if one was dialling NZ, certainly less than a minute, perhaps as little as 20 seconds.

    After trying it a couple of times, the pain threshold for me became too great to bother to call NZ, but for weeks (perhaps months) I continued to notice the queue at the local payphone. The use of these payphones was perhaps an alternative to the use of the operator assisted reverse charge calling at a predetermined time. The predetermined call would be refused to let people back in NZ that you were OK which seemed to be used by the mythical pub dwelling inhabitants of Earls Court in the decades preceding. Later I believe other variants of this costless-all-OK call were devised/used.

    Belgium • Since Nov 2006 • 464 posts Report

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Love Unknown Orchestra,

    Ideas on where or how the mashup source material is made/obtained?

    Belgium • Since Nov 2006 • 464 posts Report

  • Speaker: David Fisher: The OIA arms race,

    My thanks to Russell, David & his employer for making this available.
    Is it not a bit strange that the Herald hasn't made the transcript available themselves on what seems an important & newsworthy matter?

    Belgium • Since Nov 2006 • 464 posts Report

  • Legal Beagle: John Banks: what next?,

    I did some study of Behavioural Economics during the year. One of the very interesting topics was dishonesty. There were some pretty sneaky/clever experiments undertaken to gauge the levels of dishonesty around the world in an attempt to determine if there is a cultural element to dishonesty.

    Though there is some serious academic literature, the pop-sci version is snappily marketed here.

    The guts of the findings is that there is no significant difference in the levels of dishonesty across cultures, which I think confirms the comments from others regarding perception.

    Belgium • Since Nov 2006 • 464 posts Report

  • Legal Beagle: John Banks: what next?,

    I was having a chat with an Italian pal recently about the Berlusconi situation, more specifically the inability to efficiently eject elected officials upon criminal conviction. Whilst it may seem quite clear in Berlusconi's case, providing a path to remove political opponents via criminal conviction could be all too convenient. Similarly suspending a citizen's right to vote whilst imprisoned, or putting in place a good character constraint on media ownership/editorship could be similarly manipulative.

    How to provide balance competing needs?

    Belgium • Since Nov 2006 • 464 posts Report

  • C4 not picking up The Daily Show this year,

    1. The Tor Browser Bundle can be useful when attempting to overcome geographical bias. This may allow people to view content from the original source, rather than viewing content from less reputable secondary sources.

    2. Once installed learning to specify an exit node is helpful.

    3. To avoid the “you need to install Flash" message, without additionally downloading & installing Flash, for PC users copying your existing Flash files into the relevant Browser-Bundle directory in order watch videos . eg from C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash
    OSX users may find this step redundant.

    4. Remembering to enable “Flash” via “Aurora > Preferences > Manage Add-ons” also very useful for both PC and OSX. Something called “Noscript” may prevent scripts running automagically, but clicking on the beiged-out missing content should result in the appearance of a pop-up confirmation box with an appropriate option.

    Bandwidth permitting, you may now be able to stream video from elsewhere.

    Belgium • Since Nov 2006 • 464 posts Report

  • Pass the crisps: UK Election watch,

    Some of the billboards have been beyond my belief, such as National Service for 16 year olds and "I like their plans to help families". I can't recall seeing anyone other than the Tories advertising, other than the odd spoof in Central Londonistan.

    Belgium • Since Nov 2006 • 464 posts Report

  • Clarke and Bingle,

    Perhaps a week or 2 after the fact, but here's what you really needed to know. From John Clarke and Bryan Dawe.

    Belgium • Since Nov 2006 • 464 posts Report

  • OnPoint: Dear Gerry,

    America has Jon Stewart. Australia have Clarke & Dawe. Britain has Fry, Davies, Hislop, Merton & co. Does NZ's mainstream political satire still resemble an 1970's Electrolux in need of a bag change?

    Belgium • Since Nov 2006 • 464 posts Report

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