Irregular Injection of Opinion
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 Sunday, 23 January 2005
Te Wananga o Aotearoa

Before I write this article let me say that my libertarian leanings see me fundamentally opposed to any government intervention in what a company may be named...

But wearing my pragmatic hat....

Listening to nat radio this morning about the debate of this Wananga using the name 'The University of New Zealand. University is a controlled word (Education Act I think) as far as naming an institution. The Wananga claim that because University is a direct translation of Wananga that they should be permitted to keep using the word. Here is my argument. Given that a) Maori is an official language of New Zealand and b) University is a direct translation of the Maori word Wananga (e.g. Wananga o Otakou- Otago University)... then Wananga should also be a controlled word under the Education Act also. i.e. Organizations should not be able to call themselves either Wananga OR University without the appropriate approval.

Politics|Sunday, 23 January 2005 19:17:14 UTC|Comments [13]|    

 Friday, 21 January 2005
The Crazy Sheep Stamp

There is much ado about a sheep on a recent postage stamp... Why on earth politicians like Katherine Rich (an otherwise generally intelligent polly) need to get involved I don't know.

But in that vein I've come to the concusion that the sheep stamp is the all but inevitable politically correct by-product of a United Future/Labour Coalition Govt.... it is a chemically castrated solo dad.

Politics | Rambles|Friday, 21 January 2005 01:06:25 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Wednesday, 19 January 2005
Tim Haines does a Resharper vs Refactor Comparison



He links to Scott Hanslemans great list of addins too.

.NET|Wednesday, 19 January 2005 22:42:32 UTC|Comments [14]|    

 Tuesday, 18 January 2005
Plug In of Choice - CodeRush

Nic has blogged again about how much he likes Resharper.

We are a mixture of both here @ Kognition. Some are Resharper addicts I'm personally more of a CodeRush fiend. I love the templating features and code completion. It does piss me off sometimes by being a little too intelligent.

They now have a refactoring plugin that does most of the core Fowler refactorings and then a few more. But it does it in such a cool way....

Check this out... you just cut and paste!

It's also worth noting that CodeRush and Refactor support VB.Net as well as C#.


.NET|Tuesday, 18 January 2005 08:55:48 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Monday, 17 January 2005
Back From The Brink.....

So I fell off the blogging wagon for a few months due to too much work. I'm back in action now... watch this space.

Rambles|Monday, 17 January 2005 22:30:23 UTC|Comments [7]|    

It's XML Stupid

Scoble has been fanning the flames around the copyright nature of blog material. Wearing my techno-legal guy hat for two secs... how about incorporating some sort of license metadata into the RSS standard... that's what XML is for isn't it? It's eXtensible for a reason.

This would allow publishers to indicate to aggregators how their content may be used- it's almost like DRM but without the big stick. Like an advanced form of robots.txt. It could allow things such as a copyright/attribution notice to be appended and so forth.

PoliTechLaw | Rambles|Monday, 17 January 2005 22:29:06 UTC|Comments [2]|    

 Friday, 05 November 2004

Jeff Barr has a post about a recent talk by Don Box on web services....

Good ol' New Zealand even gets a mention....

The original title of the was WS-Islands. Hes going to walk through the various standards in the talk, and attempt to explain and justify each one.


ws-NewZealand, a lovely place to visit exactly once per lifetime. Here are specs lke that. ws-eventing, strictly speaking it is not needed. But theres a desire to do pub-sub. Microsoft ships a simple version, IBM ships WS-RF, a three volume spec. ws-atomictx, good for the three people building transaction managers. ws-enumeration.


.NET | Human Aggregation|Friday, 05 November 2004 21:29:50 UTC|Comments [5]|    

 Thursday, 04 November 2004
I was going to blog about this... but Russell Brown did first

As I was flicking through the US election stuff yesterday afternoon I came upon the exit poll stats... which are quite fascinating in their detail. The one that really caught my eyes was the fact the the most important issue for US voters was 'Moral Issues'... eeek!

I was going to write a big post on it but Russell sums it up very well here.

Of course places like Seattle, NY, LA, Chicago all voted for Mr Kerry... I probably would have too... if only US 'liberals' were a bit more classical.... That said I'd take a socially liberal socialist over a socially conservative capitalist any day of the week. Of course the best thing would be a libertarian... but like that's ever going to happen in the Land of the 'Free'....

Politics|Thursday, 04 November 2004 02:02:13 UTC|Comments [3]|    

 Tuesday, 02 November 2004
Contract IT Work in the UK

Someone asked about contracting in the UK on one of the mailing lists I subscribe to- a mate in Auckland who has been there done that posted a fantastic reply. Reproduced here for your information and pleasure.

Tims guide to working in the UK...

Cheat Sheet Version:


* Its way easier when you're there (if you're applying from here many aren't interested or wont take you seriously)

* Gift of the gab goes a long way ;-)

* Many agents are petty & classest - don't out-class the agent

* Be good, but not too good - most contracts will become rolling

* Good contractors rates can provide a cheap and enteraining night a some antipodean pub

* Register quick and flirt with agents for securing invites to xmas functions.

* Stock up on condoms

Long Winded Inane Banter Version:


Looking is always easy (no more difficult than doing single handed searches for porn on the web) - Securing a job is another story - I've found a lot of agencies and potential employers will ignore you if you're applying from here - however when you're there & they can see a face it makes all the difference (although I've also secured jobs remotely from here so it is possible - probably more so because they didn't actually get to see my face first).

Be good (quite easy because poms are lazy whining bastards - you'll seem like a breath of fresh air to management) but not so good that you have a high profile - most contracts will turn out to be rolling, ie if you're good and keep a low enough profile they'll just forget you're there and keep paying you. Here's a few other dubious tactics to increase your revenue:

- I've heard of some contractors billing more than 24 hours a day (dodgy)

- Also heard of some guys creating off shore accounts and invoicing from there (ie zippo tax), you just need to find an 'imaginative' accountant (very dodgy)

- I've also heard of contractors decreasing income (for tax purposes) by having a large entertainment account - the record I know of is one evening costing 1200quid for a few guys having dinner.

If you're a true billy-no-mates IT nerd then you'll probably have the social skills of a boy donkey's dingle dangle, fortuntately you're in luck, london is crawling with poor antipodean travelling scum who choose a socialistic view and correspondingly poorly paid bar jobs (unlike you with your superior capitalistic pig point of view and matching high paid job)- on any given night you can find a herd of these steaming social animals at a pub in Shepherd Bush who will be instant longlost mates if you buy a few rounds of snake bites with you're new found wealth (read: contractors rates). The down side is having to listen to their drivel and pretending that just because you were brought up 400kms apart that you have something in common..

The worst are the kiwis, after 12 pints you'll be expected to strip off and do the haka half naked on the bar. Another down side is the prevalence of STDs within this incestuous bunch.

Also, it goes without saying that regardless of whether you're a pure genius or a complete plonker who cant tell the difference between a virus and a visual development environment whose name ends in .NET and was developed by one of the biggest s/w companies, if you've got the gift of the gab and can spin a yarn or two about how you single handedly re-architected all the backend systems of a forbes 500 multinational then you're in with a grin.

Oh, one more thing, they're a cheesy classest society over there so it pays to target your self sales pitch to suit the audience, you know, if the agency is located in the east end then talk applesnpears cockney drivel or if its some snooty cow from knightsbridge then just drop a few names, like the time you & uncle steve ballimer went skiing in tahoe or that time you got drunk as a skunk on larry's yacht and fell overboard etc.

And lastly, now is a good time to go over there - some of the bigger agencies throw fantastic christmas functions, and some of their staff are really slutty (guys & girls - depends on which way you bend) ;-)

.NET | Human Aggregation | Rambles|Tuesday, 02 November 2004 19:30:57 UTC|Comments [0]|    

Shitty Linux Box Firewalls

OK... so I've been spending a bit of time working on infrastructural things over the past few weeks and I've come upon an interesting phenomenon that I shall call the 'Shitty Linux Box Firewall Phenomenon'.

It can be described thus:

For some reason it seems that a broad group of technical people subscribed to the Linux box as a firewall approach to internet security. Now this is probably not an altogether bad thing- we're running a software on OS firewall here too. But, they seem to think that because Linux can run on the smell of an oily rag, their firewall should be run on the smell of an oily rag. e.g. 'Oh we keep a whole heap of old hardware floating around for when we install firewalls at customer premises'.

What's with this. If you value your network connectivity, and judging by the expletives bandied around here at our currently shitty pipe most people do, then you want your firewall to be running on your best hardware, not your worst.

A firewall (particularly a software one) represents an pretty risky single point of failure for your network. It's not like you can just ring up Cisco or Watchguard and ask for a forward replacement when it shits itself. So why run it on shitty gear! I ain't got no problem with the concept of Linux as a firewall but put it on a decent box- ideally something with redundancy such that you can swap out a decent chunk of the machine without turning it off. Things like hot swap power supplies and Raid 1 with a hotspare drive.

Anyway rant over.

Rants | Toy Box|Tuesday, 02 November 2004 06:55:25 UTC|Comments [0]|