Posts by Mike Stead

  • Hard News: Little pieces of a big picture,

    Twitter was legend. Picked up on the quake here in Blighty about 15 minutes in via various RT's. Nothing on Herald/Stuff/TVNZ etc for ages - was their newsdesk asleep or what? (I guess so).

    Then we sat glued to the trendmap for hours, and to RNZ via web. What I'd love to know is how many of these on-the-ground tweets were via mobile. Russ, how about hitting up TNZ/Voda for some mobile data stats? The beauty of mobile is that if your local cell site goes down due to a cut data circuit, you probably have overlapping coverage (outdoors, anyway). And as we know, batteries last about 4hrs on urban sites.

    Hampshire, UK • Since Nov 2006 • 3 posts Report

  • Hard News: We also predicted the…,

    "There are two major differences between the local implementation of MusicStation and the British one. The first is that the local service is significantly cheaper: $2.50 a week versus £1.99."

    er....I'm no international finance guy, but those prices actually look more or less identical, in terms of how long the average schmoe in each country would have to work to buy a track.

    It would only be 'significantly cheaper' in NZ if I as a UK resident could pay pounds to access a NZ Musicstation account, therefore taking advantage of the exchange rate difference to buy my tracks for around 91p.

    And I don't think you can do that, unless I got a VFNZ SIM card and used it to download the tracks here in Blighty, in which case the international data charges would cost a fortune.

    Hampshire, UK • Since Nov 2006 • 3 posts Report

  • Island Life: Still not over it,

    Ants, (and anyone else thinking helmets make a jot of difference):

    I've smashed plenty of helmets as a cyclist over the last 20 years, since the woman dragged her paraplegic son round my secondary school and convinced everyone that cycling was so dangerous you needed a lid or you'd be dead. All this has proved is that a: I'm a piss-poor cyclist and b: that helmets are made to a woefully-inadequate standard. FYI, that "standard" involves decellerating a 5KG mass moving at 20kph. Most cyclists I know weight a tad more than 5kg, and go a bit quicker than 20kph. Cycle helmets started out as motorbike helmets, and probably did work, but they sold poorly because of weight,heat & expense. So the industry made them lighter, cheaper, cooler with vents. Great - a consumer-friendly product. Pity all the protection benefit evaporated....

    The ONLY thing a helmet might do is save you a few scratches / stitches. If you KNEW you were going to come off and hit the road, logically you'd want one on. The same thing applies to knowing you were going to trip on the stairs or slip in the bath (more likely to hapen, BTW) - but you don't see anyone caling for pedestrian or shower helmets, do you? On a population basis it makes no sense for cyclists to wear helmets, because there is only a tiny, infintessimally small chance of being in a situation where you need one, and even then the chances it would actually make a difference are sweet f.a.

    This woman has done the entire nation a huge disservice, and should be heartily ashamed of her legacy. Nevermind her son fell off his bike while stationary outside the shops...

    The truth is that cycling IS NOT DANGEROUS. Apologies for shouting, but this is the first and last word on the matter - it is no more dangerous than walking and far, far safer than driving. Yet we see no suggestion of helmets for drivers or pedestrians. The average cyclist in the UK needs to ride for 3,000 years before being statistically likely to be involved in a serious accident. Perspective please.

    What we absolutely know is that 1/3 of the population stop cycling when helmets are made compulsory, and many more decrease their frequency and importantly, that of their kids because, y'know, you need a helment so it must be dangerous. Bollocks.

    When/if we move back from the UK, where we cycle all over the place helmetless, we will NOT wear helmets, and will happily face the legal system head-on. NZ's helmet law is held up around the world as a classic case of how to discourage cycling while not saving a single life.


    Hampshire, UK • Since Nov 2006 • 3 posts Report