Jack Yan
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The Persuader

My personal blog, started in 2006.



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04.07.2011

Why do the major parties insist on holding us back?

In 2002, I did something really stupid. I bought a brand-new, 750 Mbyte Zip drive.
   After all, I had had three years of use out of my 100 Mbyte one, and since 750s looked like the way of the future, I had one installed.
   I can still count the number of times I used it on one hand, because CD-ROMs became common currency and replaced the Zips.
   So when I see we’re building more roads, it reminds me of the Zip drive. Investing in a 20th-century technology in the 21st century.
   When, in fact, we can grow a city and a country more effectively by ensuring its technology is up to speed with the rest of the world.
   If we’re going to attract the best and brightest minds to our shores—and many of them are in the IT world, and software is a frictionless export that overcomes the tyranny of distance—we need to have an infrastructure that isn’t stuck in the previous century, either.
   A forward-looking technological investment for better internet speeds or a real wifi network is better value—and potentially generates more jobs for this nation.
   Which makes me wonder just how clued up the major parties are in this year’s General Election.
   The disappointment I’ve seen in business-damaging legislation, from the Copyright Act to what potentially exists in the TPPA, suggests that neither major party understands what it takes to grow business sustainably in this nation.
   And now to see a sudden change of heart from certain members of the government and the Opposition when the UN has published a report calling internet disconnection a violation of human rights shows they never understood the law in the first place.
   From Ars Technica (emphasis added):

Michael Geist notes that on Friday, Sweden made remarks at the UN Human Rights Council that endorsed many of the report’s findings, including the criticism of “three strikes” rules. The statement was signed by 40 other nations, including the United States and Canada. The United Kingdom and France, two nations that have enacted “three strikes” regimes, did not sign the statement.
   “All users should have greatest possible access to Internet-based content, applications and services,” the statement said, adding that “cutting off users from access to the Internet is generally not a proportionate sanction.” It also called network neutrality and Internet openness “important objectives.”
   Interestingly, the report is signed by New Zealand, which enacted legislation in April that sets up a special Copyright Tribunal for expediting file-sharing cases. The penalties available to the New Zealand government include Internet disconnections of up to six months.

   That’s pretty worrying, when lawmakers don’t understand law. Would you have a mechanic who didn’t understand the mechanics of your car? A dentist who didn’t understand teeth? Or, for that matter, political party leaders whose opinion of their nation is so low that they might consider locking their nation in to backward industries?
   That doesn’t sound like understanding New Zealand, and its ingenuity and pride, to me.
   At least I learned from my Zip drive moment. You do when you spend your own money, outside the political world.

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4 Responses to ‘Why do the major parties insist on holding us back?’

  1. Paul Spence says:

    Politicians have a very poor track record so far when it comes to meddling in Internet infrastructure and legislation. That includes city councils.

    One doesn’t need to look too far to find dodgy goings on with assets that were originally ratepayer funded.

    http://computerworld.co.nz/news.nsf/news/torotoro-waea-rescues-publicly-funded-network

    …speaking of white elephants.

  2. Jack Yan says:

    It’s an incredible shame. Here is the one industry that can take us out of the reliance on primary products, and we have too few people in positions of power who even understand it. They should not meddle in things they, and clearly their staffs, do not understand. And they should not allow foreign lobbyists to put things into their heads without decent input from the people who put them in power.

  3. Jay Best says:

    A couple of points:
    While I have had some success with staff working from home, some studies have shown that on average home workers are 40% less productive so this can be a factor to be aware of. Maybe moving to a payment on output rather than time.

    The current Dsl network despite all the media bleating is one of the best in the world, though fibre will bring more reliability.

    I remember a retail org suggesting retailers move to a 10am-6pm model which would move 20% of the load off peak..Never heard of it again.

    Written on my iPod so ignore any typos

  4. Jack Yan says:

    Jay, excellent points. An output contract payment works for me, and businesses will have to adjust.
       I have been on fibre as soon as it became affordable (1999); whatever the case, we need more support and speed.
       Great idea on the 10 to 6 model. We actually do that here as our office hours. Works very well for my team as they can escape rush hour. If businesses who can shift do so, with the encouragement of the city, then it shouldn’t take folks long to adapt. It’s an immediate solution.

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