Holding our Leaders to Account through Crowdsourcing

The New Zealand Herald has come up with and interesting experiment - transparency by crowd-sourcing. They want to use ordinary New Zealanders to trawl through the donation records for all the candidates in the last two elections and expenses for 2014. The Electoral Commission issued the relevant statistics in the form of over 900 PDF documents which makes computer analysis difficult. This amounts to censorship by obfuscation while maintaining an illusion of transparency. Issuing the data in mach...
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WINZ exposures, e-government and why ICT is not an afterthought.

Recently it was found that WINZ had a massive security breach.  I say breach, I mean that there was no security at all.  While some features on the desktop had been shut down, like desktops used by schools and public libraries, there was no hardening of the network.  Actually, there was no security at all.  The blogger who discovered this, Keith Ng, managed to get the files by browsing the local network neighbourhood in the open file dialogue of MS Word.  It's worth pointing out the MSD WAN (not...
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Whisky Tasting and Erudite Discussion

A story of illicit smuggling, government reforms, innovative technology, global marketing and regulation. Come taste 5 fine single malt whiskies served with food and join in an erudite discussion. A night for Parliment Street Pirates, PPNZ and non members to enjoy and get together. Thank you to those who arrived and helped out on the night. Cheers to the Pirate Party of New Zealand and all involved.


Research Innovation Sold Empty Promises With No Time To Reason

Of course we support Science. Of course we support innovation. We have the Crown Research Institute mandated to support New Zealand industry, Indutrial Research Limited, IRL. The IRL focused towards increasing economic growth by improving the performance and productivity of New Zealand’s industrial manufacturing and services sector firms in developing market-led products and increasing human capital and research management expertise in the industrial manufacturing and associated sectors that...
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NetHui 2012: Review and Points of View

NetHui Conference this year moved around issues of what can and should be managed and what cannot and should not be managed about a technology such as the internet. We are approaching the free to use and free to all model with emails, media and data becoming fractions of a cent to create. Yet the understanding about the data we access everyday and it’s legal strings still escape the general public. (And by general public I use NZ Herald journalists as a base, not NetHui attendees). What i...
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TPP: Why so Seekrit?

I woke up way to early this morning.  Normally 7:30 is the earliest time I entertain waking up, but I had to be at the University of Auckland's commerce school at 7:30 for breakfast.  I didn't realise breakfast was included so I had some myself beforehand, silly me, the Excel Cafe does a mean Eggs Bene.  The reason I was bothering to get out of bed was a talk by the New Zealand Information Security Forum.  It's a small forum, but the members are pretty serious individuals, Judges, Law Profs, Tec...
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Discussion Point: “Two women wearing the same dress”

This is a guest post from Richard Goode, brings up an interesting thought about what do we mean by Intellectual "Property"? ~Mathmo   Two women wearing the same dress is sometimes a criminal matter. Two blondes, one dress – a recipe for a catfight Drinks were thrown and blood was spilt when two blondes clashed in a bar about who looked best in a silver dress, a jury has been told. Victoria Clapham, 22, wore the dress on a night out in central Wellington late last year. It was...
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The Internet Wars Have Just Begun!!

"The Pirate Bay suggests it may look into serving their website from mid-air over international waters to avoid legal repurcussions. You can't make this stuff up. The only thing more absurd will be whatever the MPAA/RIAA do to try and combat it."


Copyleft is self-defence: Defend yourself

Copyleft has an undeserved bad name among people who advocate for copyright reform. We want to reduce copyright, and copyleft is based on copyright, and therefore we should reduce copyleft, or so the reasoning goes. This is, however, simplistic, and I think the best way to explain this is with the analogy of self-defence, which is a perfect parallel. Before I go any further, I'll include a caveat. I acknowledge that the GPL does impose a condition in requiring disclosure of source. While i...
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Can somebody else own the data you create?

You haven't made it until you get sued Since 2004 we have crowdsourced* the generation of the "Canadian Postal Code Geocoded Database." When you make a query to geocoder containing for example this information "1435 Prince of Wales, Ottawa, ON K2C 1N5", we then extract the postal code "K2C 1N5" and insert it into the database that you may download for free on this website. This allows you to look up a postal code (eg K2C 1N5) on www.geocoder.ca, or www.openstreetmap.org or a number of ot...
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