Thursday, March 29, 2012

double-speak explained

At present we are witnessing the wharfies at the Port of Auckland in a bitter fight against casualisation of their jobs.
The National Government term for "casualisation" is "flexible" - they put a spin on the concept making out that it will benefit the workers, when in fact this is the thin end of the casualisation wedge - what it will mean is that this system will give the employer the right to tell people when they can work. Workers will no longer be assured of a 40-hour a week job.

This in the NZ Herald gotta admire the spin the Nats put on it - but it's bullshit no matter which way you read it.

"A law allowing some workers the right to request flexible working hours is to be extended to all employees.
The Employment Relations (Flexible Working Arrangements) Amendment Act, which came into force in 2008, gave employees who also had caregiving responsibilities the right to request flexible working arrangements, including changes to their hours of work, days of work, or place of work.
The Government has signalled plans to extend the law, and a Department of Labour review presented to Parliament today supported that move.
Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson said the review found flexibility delivered positive business benefits, including improved retention and recruitment of staff, and improved employee motivation and loyalty.
"At present the right to request flexible working arrangements is only available to employees who are caregivers. We will be extending this right to all workers which should improve work-life balance, benefit the community and boost productivity in the workplace," she said.
"This change to the Act allows employees to reach agreements that both they and their employers are happy with.
It's about trusting them to reach agreement first without having to go through a formal process."
Ms Wilkinson said the changes to the current law were likely to come into effect later this year.
The review also found there were some groups of workers who currently had little or no access to flexible work due to both perceived and real barriers, including limited bargaining power, workplace culture, and operational constraints within some workplaces.
"These workers are more likely to be low-income employees, employees with no qualifications, and Pacific workers," the review said.
It recommended that if the law was extended to all employees, it should be accompanied by awareness-raising measures among employers and employees about the benefits of flexible work."

Monday, March 12, 2012

the perils of social media

Fairfax bought into social media in a big way - they are now finding out that the beast bites as well as feeds. This from the NZ Herald:
"The $92 tickets for the three April shows in Auckland and Wellington sold out in minutes but within hours some had been listed on Trade Me. The bids have sky-rocketed as more tickets were listed. Last night there were almost 40 listings, with pairs of tickets costing as much as $735.

In the last week, 224 auctions for One Direction tickets have been listed on Trade Me. The One Direction concerts weren't one of the Ministry of Economic Development's events under the Major Events Management Act so it was legal to on-sell tickets"
- Trade Me spokesman Mr Ford said.

May I suggest that if just one of the disaffected teenagers makes a video of their problem re this issue & posts it to youtube, it will go viral - & cause Fairfax one hell of a problem....that's all it takes....I've tried it with LG & Orcon when I had problems & no joy from customer support.....& I can tell you it works!!

read the article:

And check this article out on the same subject from the Sydney Morning Herald:
"The power of social media is far greater than any single message. And it will be used for misinformation as well as information, for ill as well as good."

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

business chinese-style

 Sunday Star Times 11 Dec 2011:

 Those touting increased business links with China and the sale of NZ farmland to Chinese businessmen may find this article an interesting read. Dubious business schemes in China have evidently "seen many people flee".

"A decade of soaring economic growth has also fuelled a fraud boom that Chinese academics say has seen more than US$130 billion spirited out of the country by corrupt officials....foreign governments had been asked to help repatriate some company owners, preferably with the money they took......A Bank of China report recently found that almost half of the country's millionaires were considering leaving."

NZ seems to be a destination of choice.

I had planned to post a link to the article, but at
the Star Times wants readers to pay to read last year's news online - somehow I don't think so.
Where I come from it's an old custom to use even yesterday's papers to wrap fish and chips in.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

taking notes for essays

Many of you writing essays will be as annoyed as I am to find that previous readers of library books have underlined or highlighted text.
To facilitate the taking of notes for essay-writing, I have devised the following strategy: as I read the book, I make notes on a sheet of paper of relevant quotes/sections which I wish to use, in brief form eg in the pictured example:
"xiii/2" means "page xiii paragraph two". The "6" below the line indicates that the words begin on the sixth line from the bottom of the paragraph (a number above the line = the # of lines from the beginning of the paragraph). I add a few keywords here: "moves from serious, silly, grotesque-pathetic" tell me that this passage is to do with the form of the film.
The quotes are from a book by Kezich.
 Using this method means that I can read all day & take notes, then sit down at the keyboard and type them out.
I can sort the notes from different books into groups - eg for my Fellini essay headings include "sound', "cutting", "recurrent images, & "themes".

When I come to put it all together I can then easily cut'n'paste in the masterdraft - keeping an eye on the word-count.

Sometimes I print the notes out & cut the most relevant paragraphs out with scissors and arrange them on sheets of paper....that's because I used to use a typewriter to write my essays way back last century.

big brother

 There are an increasing number of media reports pointing out the perils of online activities. Basically everything we do online is logged, and the information is sold to the highest bidder.
The notion of "privacy" is fast-becoming a quaint,  old-fashioned 20th century notion.

Weekend Herald Sat March 3 2012:
"Smartphone apps can gain access to your phone contacts, quietly make calls, read and send text messages, record your exact location and take photos.
And many of your actions are tracked and analysed for advertisers or app developers - even a game of Angry Birds.......
Telecommunications Users Association chief executive Paul Brislen said".......' all too often we are very quick to give [up] all kinds of data without really thinking of the implications, about where the company is based and about just what is happening with your data once you hand it over'..."

read the full article here

Sunday, March 04, 2012

30 days hath september..........

If you have faith in computers & IT devices have a look at this photo - taken at the local branch of my bank last week:

Saturday, March 03, 2012

there is no app for imagination

Steve Robs Kids: despite all the hype, & the jokes ("there's an app for that") - apps are basically revenue-gathering, data-collating in old hippie terms: bullshit.
Remember - there is no app for imagination.
Steve has robbed an entire generation of their imaginations...we see not gen-y nor gen-z...we experience gen-Dumbed-down....we thought Disney was bad - this Apple is rotten.

"Apple customers downloaded more than 15 billion applications in the past three years, the company said on Thursday, releasing figures that suggest the rate of downloads is sharply accelerating.
The latest figures from Apple show that customers have downloaded around 5 billion apps so far this year, considering the company said in January that it had just passed the 10 billion download mark.
It took roughly two and a half years to reach 10 billion downloads - but much of the period was spent without the popular iPad tablet, which has driven the demand for apps.
Apple has paid developers more than US$2.5 billion ($3 billion) to develop for its online store, which currently contains around 425,000 apps for iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches, it said." stuffnz

Sunday Star Times "Digital" March 4..2012: "...more than 31 billion apps were downloaded  to mobile devices  in apps will generate U$52 billion by 2016".

However, this isn't about money - it's about power...if you can control minds and hearts, then spending & voting patterns will follow.
The corporations will be able to do anything they want to achieve their ends.
Make no mistake - this is all a power game - who controls the web controls the world.