Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Improving quality by cutting service

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  • Matthew Poole,

    But dimmers are toast. The end of civilisation is nigh.

    The open fire is already on the way out. Now dimmers. Before you know it, romantic evenings will be mere history.
    Of course the end is nigh!
    </TiC>

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    The open fire is already on the way out. Now dimmers. Before you know it, romantic evenings will be mere history.

    Maybe we'll all need to take up the violin.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    IMO, "they" should phase out anything over a certain wattage, regardless of what sort of bulb.

    About light. General consensus from acquaintances is the energy efficient ones many have changed to, has made it difficult to read. I discovered t'other day that a piece of art I made with a fluorescent light box (2 x 15w) was alot more efficient than the 75w bulb in the hall. It is now 2 things,my hall light and the art on the wall.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    IMO, "they" should phase out anything over a certain wattage, regardless of what sort of bulb.

    I'm no electrician, but I presume they need larger wattage bulbs for commercial etc use. Warehouses and whatnot.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Evan Yates,

    But dimmers are toast. The end of civilisation is nigh.

    You can get CFLs that work with dimmers (using a special ballast) BUT they will be more expensive.

    From the GE Lighting website :
    To use a compact fluorescent bulb on a dimmer switch, you must buy a bulb that's specifically made to work with dimmers (check the package). GE makes a dimming compact fluorescent light bulb (called the Energy Smart Dimming Spirals®) that is specially designed for use with dimming switches. We don't recommend using regular compact fluorescent bulbs with dimming switches, since this can shorten bulb life. (Using a regular compact fluorescent bulb with a dimmer will also nullify the bulb's warranty.)

    Hamiltron, Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Nov 2006 • 197 posts Report Reply

  • samuel walker,

    it IS the end time.

    But luckily we will have dimmers until our last guilt ridden gasp;

    ryness.co.uk

    aaaaaand

    varilight

    i dont think any are available here yet......but they soon will be i warrant. by the looks of it the tricky thing will be working out whether to call them dimmable or dimmerable.

    and the power savings are big:

    comsumer lightbulb energy savings calculator

    and yes, that herald article was well weird. I guess they just needed someone anyone to interview to add a bit of dimension to the piece. luckily all my chandeliers are candle driven, so I will be fine.

    Since Nov 2006 • 203 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Martin,

    Oooh, it appears that romance isn't quite dead...yet.

    One manufacturer's FAQs include this :

    Can I use a compact fluorescent light bulb with a dimmer switch?

    To use a compact fluorescent bulb on a dimmer switch, you must buy a bulb that's specifically made to work with dimmers (check the package). GE makes a dimming compact fluorescent light bulb (called the Energy Smart Dimming Spirals®) that is specially designed for use with dimming switches. We don't recommend using regular compact fluorescent bulbs with dimming switches, since this can shorten bulb life. (Using a regular compact fluorescent bulb with a dimmer will also nullify the bulb's warranty.)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 187 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Martin,

    *l*

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 187 posts Report Reply

  • samuel walker,

    thanks peter for covering my echo.


    :)

    Since Nov 2006 • 203 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Dowden,

    I replaced all the lights in my house with CFLs last year. The place was built in the 80s so I used the occasion to remove all the bloody dimmer switches too. Does anyone actually like them? I use candles sometimes, they actually are romantic. Unlike my pre-3rd Form violin playing.

    Canberra • Since Dec 2007 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • Rex Widerstrom,

    First off, bias isn't sloppy subbing, it's bias. Personally I'd be happier if the various news outlets who've abandoned any pretence of objectivity just admitted it. The UK has survived with the Independent obviously leaning left and the The Sun leaning right etc. People know what they're buying and filter what they're reading accordingly. Or not. But at least there's no pretence.

    But even if a tabloid stoops to running "Gotcha!" to 'celebrate' people's deaths it can at least respect its readers sufficiently to ensure that what follows is properly subbed.

    I've just been asked to fill in for the holidaying editor of a small, privately owned community newspaper. It employs four journalists, a sub, and the editor then checks and re-subs every page before it goes to press. And he was bemoaning the lack of a proof reader because the occasional small error was still getting through.

    That paper is bulging with advertising and makes a healthy profit, yet maintains a bigger staff-per-reader ratio than any similar newspaper I've edited or worked on. Clearly the readership, and advertisers, respect and respond to the product. It runs three editions covering different towns and its staff live locally and know the area. It was started, in fact, as a photocopied newsletter by a middle aged housewife with no journalism background, who still contributes.

    Interestingly, there's competition from another paper, part of a state-wide chain owned by the local daily. It survives by offering advertisers good prices on package deals covering different regions. If it wasn't part of a huge conglomerate it'd never survive on its own merits, as it has none.

    It's a replay of the mistakes made by radio, which they're only just realising. They too thought they could agglomerate operations in Auckland and no one listening in the fiercely parochial south-of-the-Bombays would care. They were wrong.

    Unless David Kirk and his ilk wake up to this simple formula their cost-cutting will eventually see them become so small they disappear up their own fundament. The real damage will be to the profession of journalism, as working for a "Pagemasters" style operation, where you have no clue about the people or the places in the stories you're subbing, holds no appeal.

    Perth, Western Australia • Since Nov 2006 • 157 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    thanks peter for covering my echo.

    heh, I thought it must have been the new lightbulbs. ;)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Ashby,

    @ Donald Mathieson

    I wish them well, but hope they can broaden their efforts beyond just promoting scientists to also involving more people in scientific knowledge generation.

    What's stopping you? There are a number of people without institutional affiliations getting FoRST etc grants and doing research. If you have a research proposal then write it up and get it submitted.

    Of course it helps if you can persuade the funding committee that if they give you the money you will be competent to do the research. Which is why it helps if you have those pesky things like undergraduate and postgraduate university degrees. It's a basic competency bar and if you are doing group work it is a pain to have to hold someone's hand all the time. I know I have done it.

    So, get writing that research proposal. May I ask what area it will be in?

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite,

    But the big problem for the rest of us is too much 'science knows best' talk which feeds a spiral of disengagement from scientific knowledge.

    Agree and disagree, Donald. It's often a case of Feinman versus Lysenko, with Lysenko losing, or rather, as Richard Feinman put ti in the press conference announcing the Challenger enquiry findings, "nature cannot be fooled." Science doesn't necessarily know best, but it is a self-correcting system designed to find out what nature knows whereas the Stalinist geneticist Trofin Lysenko decided that nature must plainly suit ideological preconceptions. Guess who's in the history books as an infamous fuckwit?

    On the other hand, after his death, the scientific community is finding that it really misses Carl Sagan after he was denied a position in the American Academy of Sciences - he was a good planetary scientist in his own right, but above all he was a great communicator and right now they have to contend with W and his flat-earther and creationist followers when votes come up for funding...

    Scientists can, sometimes be their own worst enemies.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite,

    Erratum: Trofi**m** and Fe**y**nman for what its worth.

    Wiki entries for Lysenko here and Feynman over here.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Apparently Fairfax have already cut back on proofreading for their press releases:

    Fairfax Media, New Zealand's largest newspaper, magazine and web publisher, is again seeking the country's young journalism prospects for its journalism intern scheme and, after training at five leading journalism schools, to join publications or websites of their choice.

    The rest isn't what you'd call a model of style either.

    Not, I hasten to add that I should talk.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Ballantyne,

    The part about Fairfax's scheme to do away with numerous subs being accidentally leaked through Fairfax's intranet is wonderful -- where other organisations have been known to set up their intranets as portals to useful information, Fairfax's version is not much more than a corporate noticeboard coming between users and something useful like Google or Wikipedia or a decent on-line dictionary.
    And now it's a conduit for leaks? Goodness, these newspaper chaps really know how to manage information.
    "Sub-editors are a hugely valuable part of our newspapers and websites. They are responsible for quality and are our last line of defence against errors," Mr Thompson said. "We need the best sub-editors."
    Huh. They said that about proof readers once.
    Incidentally, I'm told Fairfax is also attempting to reduce staffing by introducing automated colour correction software into the plate-making department, which is fine until someone wants to run the traditional Christmas picture of Pohutakawa in bloom or any other scene with a large mass of a single colour, at which point automated colour systems generally choke. All part of Fairfax management's plan to remove human judgement from the news process, no doubt.
    That's one way to respond to the challenges of the information age -- when the public is turning to other means of obtaining information, hurry them on their way by reducing those qualities of your product that make it unique.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    More sub-standard-editing:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4605094a10.html

    Expert says: Migration will be an election issue.

    Headline says: Migration will increase.

    Two different things.

    See also Herald, TVNZ, also failing basic reading comprehension test.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Holly Johnson,

    "PM blocks pensioner's parking ..." You're exactly right, Stanley Pointen, that was an outrageously misleading and mischievous headline from the Herald. The Stuff site had an identical headline. I was going to mention them, but they disappeared quickly.
    And today, on Stuff, is this:

    Former RNZ boss admits using forged documents

    I'm sure I'm not the only person who thought this meant Radio New Zealand. Perhaps, like No Idea and other trash mags, this was their plan: to mislead, to get more readers. After all how newsworthy is this:

    Former Rowing boss admits using forged documents

    Just another sports administrator with fingers in the till, and just another case of journalism misleading intentionally, rather than just informing.

    Auckland • Since Jun 2008 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    We had end of season dinners in honor of the Civil Servant who built the rowing pontoons & course at Ruataniwha. He lost his job over it but his pragmatism gave NZ world class infrastructure (at no cost ;).

    There is a history of Rowing Officials dodgy dealing to 'get things done'.

    I hope it was for the sport rather than himself, that would have him damned rather than praised.

    RNZ changed their name a few years ago & my thoughts went initally went to Rail. maybe more unclear than missleading.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

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