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Comment Re:Majority Rules (Score 4, Interesting) 92

You don't know much about NZ government, then. So much for those assumptions of yours.

The TICS legislation was introduced as an exercise in ass-covering along with another bill which made illegal electronic surveillance performed by the GCSB "lawful" ex post facto. Both bills were overwhelmingly unpopular and submissions from the public and interest groups were practically unanimous against.

Several opinion polls have indicated that the majority of the NZ population disagree (many vehemently) with their government on these laws, and when they passed it was only with a one-vote majority in the Parliament courtesy of an MP who is the sole representative of his minor party (who himself only got into office because of a pre-election backroom deal with the National party). The best part of all this is that this deciding MP was himself under suspicion of leaking internal documents about illegal conduct by the GCSB, and that his email and that of the journalist he was corresponding with were snooped on in the process.

For a tiny little island nation we sure do have more than our fair share of idiot politicians and inept law enforcement. Not to mention a system of government whose relationship with democracy grows more tenuous by the year and which resembles a bunch of nice ideas thrown together without any guarantees, such as an immutable and entrenched Bill of Rights. The GCSB and TICS legislation have done considerable harm to the notion of privacy as a basic human right in this country with dragnet surveillance and full feed-through to the NSA of whatever gets picked up.

Comment Re:Duh (Score 1) 818

We're on the verge of totalitarianism in NZ, and have been for a few years. Call back when we get the current bunch of neoliberal rent-seeking thugs out on their behinds. Hopefully we won't just replace them with a kinder, gentler bunch of neoliberals who love the Deep State as much as the present crew.

Comment Boundary effect (Score 2) 209

Given the fact that power generating wind turbines only poke up 30-50m from the surface, I fail to see how the effects are going to be as significant as Keith suggests. Surface winds are already moderated by friction and topographically generated turbulence, while the vast bulk of wind energy exists above the boundary layer. We're unlikely to deploy large wind farms in a linear sequence anyway, so atmospheric coupling means surface winds will only be affected for a finite distance downstream of a given facility.

Comment Re:I have an idea (Score 1) 165

Bang on. And our Prime Minister, who by law oversees the GCSB, has evaded, dissembled, obfuscated, changed stories and had "memory lapses" in his various explanations of what he knew and when regarding this case. The government is going to great lengths to avoid showing what a precarious position it's in and how easily its hold on power could vanish if some embarrassing revelations come to light.

Comment Oil? No. (Score 1) 498

Hmm. I'm in New Zealand too and you need to check your sources. More than half of our generation is hydro and the remainder comprises natural gas, geothermal, coal and wind. Oil doesn't even come into the picture unless the Whirinakl diesel plant gets fired up to cope with a massive shortage such as a cold snap during a winter when the South Island dams are abnormally low due to drought.

From the almighty Wikipedia:

"A total of 43,401 GWh was generated in New Zealand in 2010. Of the electricity generated, it composed of 56.4% hydroelectricity, 21.2% natural gas, 12.8% geothermal, 4.5% coal, 3.7% wind, 0.1% oil, and 1.4% other sources."

Comment Re:Legal Weight? (Score 4, Informative) 123

It's hardly reasonable. I'm also a Kiwi, and I'll tell you what's wrong with the law:

1) Infringement notices are deemed valid on their face and not subject to review of their methodology.

2) Presumption of guilt on the part of the alleged infringer, which runs counter to the established notion of common law which heretofore held sway in NZ.

3) The tribunal does not have the same procedures as a normal court of law, in spite of its ability to hand down punishment. Rules of evidence and testimony are cut down, and the accused does not have any right to counsel.

4) If and when the tribunal gains the power to order service termination, a wrongly accused individual could lose internet connectivity with no recourse available.

5) The manner in which it was passed (under urgency) was a flagrant abuse of parliamentary procedure, and only a handful of MPs voted against it. Wikileaks has published diplomatic cables which document the meddling input of the US Embassy in crafting and shepherding the legislation, making New Zealand look ever more like a sad little banana republic eager to turn a trick for the rich foreigners.

The law reeks, almost as much as the government which imposed it. God save WB.

Comment Re:Yea, I take his advice like I take Gores (Score 1) 722

Your kneejerk response hits you in the cognitive centers.

If you "life" up north and have sufficient ceiling insulation, then if you have a dark roof you will have a warmer attic on sunny days. All the rest of the time you will notice little effect on the amount of heat leaving your dwelling no matter what color your roof is. If your ceiling is not sufficiently insulated, then you have bigger problems to deal with.

If all roofs in urban areas were painted white, it would have a significant effect on the heat island effect. This would have positive implications for residents of multistory buildings at all levels...including when they are not even in their apartments. You could do a little exercise in thinking up other effects: e.g. businesses spending less on air conditioning.

Just because you have some insane, media-driven obsession with the dude who was turfed by a corrupt justice in the 2000 US presidential election doesn't mean you should ignore things like albedo.

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