About / Welcome

This is a personal blog to compliment (go with) my primary personal homepage NUI.NZ. I had decided to split out general interest / life snippets from NUI.NZ to a separate mini-blog.

KAHA is where I occasionally post various items, including general thoughts, opinions, observations, notifications and what not.  It is in effect my Social Media Profile surrogate. As explained in my Facebook Notice, have elected to instead go down the route of building my own personal web presence as a key means of keeping in contact with friends and family both at home and abroad as opposed to relying on commercialized and centralized proprietary social media platforms.

If you need to get a hold of me urgently or at short notice, please either call me or text me, my number is on my about page as I may not receive any instant messages until the evening.

“Kaha” is a Te Reo Māori word for “Strength”

Kia kaha!


Fergus Young
www.nui.nz

About / Welcome

Waikato in the Autumn

Random spur of the moment Road trip down to Hamilton and surrounds. Click picture to access Gallery…

Waikato River from the Italian Garden, Hamilton Gardens

While the Olympus TG-3 has served me well, the camera equipped with my Samsung S7 Active phone seems to have the TG-3 beaten hands down in the image quality department. The only thing the TG-3 has over my Phone is optical zoom. The Dynamic Range on the S7 Active is so far the best I’ve seen from any camera I’ve owned.

Waikato in the Autumn

Ground Hog Day on Auckland Transport Crisis

Short of a population contraction. Auckland transport crisis I feel is NOT going to be measurably alleviated in the next two decades for the average resident.

Auckland as a city is already on the back foot due to decades of laissez faire planning and the damage has unfortunately been done decades ago… it’s going to be difficult to reverse the effects of this through conventional means.

We have key zones scattered all over the place with reckless abandon, with absolutely no forethought for the longer term. We are continuing to build swathes of urban sprawl without any adequate transport infrastructure to go with it, continuing to repeat the same mistakes in the short term with long term consequences.

Bring up a map of Auckland and compare it with say Perth, Melbourne or Adelaide  and in contrast to the semi grid type layout of the aforementioned, Auckland’s roading layout frankly more closely resembles a city in a developing nation (Bali, Indonesia; Port Vila, Vanuatu). Roads placed seemingly at random with no planning what so ever.  Any buses that we introduce are made to zig zag all over the place in a vain attempt to capture the key zones. No regard for putting in proper rail corridors to new greenfield development sites.

This 28 Billion that the Labour government is planning to pour in, should they suggest conventional public transport measures again, I fear will tragically could end up being a gratuitous waste.  I strongly feel Auckland requires a more tailored approach in order to have any hope of mitigating the transportation frustrations facing residents in this city.

Ground Hog Day on Auckland Transport Crisis

Facebook’s Tentacles

After having logged into my Facebook account for the first time in a fortnight,  Today I learn that businesses have been uploading their customer contact database to Facebook.  A trawl over the internet reveals that this has apparently been in place since 2013.

A question is whether or not organizations giving their contact list to Facebook constitutes, “Handing over contact details to a 3rd party”?

Facebook states, “These advertisers are running ads using a contact list they uploaded that includes your contact information. This information was collected by the advertiser, likely after you shared your email address with them or another business they’ve partnered with”

If companies are uploading their customer contact lists to Face-Borg as per Face-Borg’s Custom Audiences program, in my view, that pretty much lays at least the base, if they have actually chosen to do so, for Facebook to develop the alleged shadow profiles.

Facebook’s Tentacles

Vanuatu Tanna and Espiritu Santo

Trip to Vanuatu over Easter from 29th March 2017 to 7th April 2018 – Including Espiritu Santo (click pictures to view gallery)…

Inside the Millennium Caves, Espirtu Santo, Vanuatu

…and the island of Tanna to see the Active Volcano of Tanna

Mount Yasur, an active volcano on the Island of Tanna, Republic of Vanuatu.

Sadly didn’t get my Helicopter trip to visit Ambrym this time around due to weather.

Apart from any up and coming work trips, I’m going dial back a little from traveling for a while, so the volume of trip photos will likely drop accordingly (Not that it really matters as such)

Vanuatu Tanna and Espiritu Santo

Internet 2.0, Proprietary, centralized, and locked-in

Ironically, have discovered a lot of my time spent surfing the internet is researching the Internet itself.

For all intents and purposes, It looks like older days of a largely decentralized Internet with inter-operable communication protocols (E-mail, XMPP, RSS) are pretty much going away, replaced by proprietary walled gardens operated by sole businesses for the primary purpose to maximize profits and designed to be sticky (addictive) and lock as many people in as possible so that it’s hard to escape.

Willful ignorance or otherwise, we collectively voted for this. People a decade ago remarked that I was “Oh So pessmistic” to suggest that Facebook would become as ubiquitous and as powerful as they are today. (By the way, Keep the glass, I don’t need it). Just a second while I write another put option on NASDAQ:FB (with the intention to add to my current holdings)

People keep getting outraged at Facebook’s behaviour, yet continues to reward and encourage it by continuing to use their services. While many have pledged to reduce their usage of Facebook (and other services), such actions seem to be nothing more than short lived and amounts to little more than “virtue signalling”, Furthermore, many of those people who say they are leaving Facebook are going on to suggest WhatsApp and Instagram (both owned by Facebook) as to where they will be moving to.  Hold on, let me increase my short put position.

Frankly, a decade ago, I did state that I would prefer to lose my access to the Internet completely rather than submit to Facebook should Facebook happen to take over the Internet to become the Internet. While in truth, it’s still a long way from that, the situation is that the Internet has now become so commercialized with much of it’s power now consolidated into the hands of a few corporate entities.

Anyway, I’ve decided to gradually reduce my use of the Internet in general and should the consolidation of power continue, will probably end up using the Internet rather comparatively sparingly — Keeping any use to Administrative stuff and the keeping in touch with closer Family and friends (using self hosted services where possible) while completely cutting to the bone any superfluous usage such as casual surfing of forums and especially surfing the Internet to research… well, about the Internet.

 

Internet 2.0, Proprietary, centralized, and locked-in

Pasifika and Corrections

A little walk around Pasifika Festival today, Small album of pictures posted to NUI.NZ.

Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, Pasifika Festival 2018

With a surprise (to me) appearance of Jacinda Ardern along with Phil Goff (Mayor of Auckland).

Came earlier in the morning to avoid the crowds and the Afternoon Rain. Pacific Nations represented included, Hawaii, Fiji, Kiribati, Tonga, Samoa, Cook Islands, Tuvalu, Tokelau, Tahiti, Niue and of course Aotearoa. Full details on the ATEED website.

T’was handed info pack while walking past some stalls at Pasifika. A possible Career change from being a Computer nerd to a Corrections Officer? Not unheard of I suppose… It at least made me intrigued to look at what Corrections do.

Corrections Pamphlet handed out at Pasifika

In a lot of the “Just The Job” videos on Youtube… Lots of focus on rehabilitation, thought there was an acknowledgement that many offenders will “play the game”, get released only to return to prison again at a later date.

Currently Looking at the pay scale, If I ever was to take a front line position with Corrections, it would undoubtedly result in fairly sizeable drop in my pay.

Pasifika and Corrections

TradeMe – Not necessarily the cheapest place

First, here is something that I mildly found amusing…

Go on TradeMe, tell everyone how you really feel about Facebook…

As an aside, I don’t know about their business model anymore. I can’t say that buying from (or should it be through) them is necessarily the cheapest. While there are still bargains to be had, I have noticed that private individual sellers simply wishing to moved pre-loved goods on are getting fewer and fewer as years go by as they continue to get displaced on the listings pages by International Sellers or otherwise local drop-shippers, who often flood TradeMe with listings at asking prices higher than NZ RRP (Recommended Retail Pricing)… Continue reading “TradeMe – Not necessarily the cheapest place”

TradeMe – Not necessarily the cheapest place

Branding Effects + Roadblocks to Web Decentralization

(This post is a sort of a lead in from my previous post about Meetup.com)

Anecdotally, it seems the majority of groups which have left the Meetup.com platform have moved their group to Facebook. Branding I’ve come to realize is at play here with Facebook’s seemingly relentless march to take control as much of the web as humanely possible.

While I’ve found many people announce that they “Hate” Facebook saying it’s crap, to them, it’s a familiar sort of ‘Crap’, people subconsciously lean to Familiar because Familiar is “Safe”. Another words… “Better the Devil you know than the Devil you don’t”.

Like ‘McDonalds’ is to fast food, People may criticize their food as ‘plastic’, but yet keep coming back to it because there is some psychological guarantee that it will be the same ‘Plastic’ food they they know of. Take this, if you landed in a new country, would you try some unfamiliar food outlet selling unfamiliar food or head straight towards the Big illuminated ‘M’?  This is something that came to my mind when I was setting up a Test Instance of Oxwall and is something us Decentralization / Open web advocates are going to need to consider.

 

Branding Effects + Roadblocks to Web Decentralization

Gulf Eco Charters Hen and Chicken Islands

Day boat tour on Gulf Eco Charters‘ Launch “Kokomo”, with Kurt Salmond and his Family. Click Picture below to access the Gallery on NUI.NZ

Taranga Island on aboard “Kokomo”

Departed Sandspit Yacht Club, around past Tawharanui where conditions was quite wavy, then direct to Taranga Island, part of the Hen and Chickens archipelago for our first snorkelling stop.

Then westward to the west side of the island where we anchored for a nice light lunch prepared by Clair (Kurt’s other half) of wraps and muffins.

We then cruised around north past West Chicken island before heading east towards Lady Alice Island where we anchored at Karimoko Bay for another spot of Snorkeling.

Aftewards, a short stop by Sail Rock and then a smooth cruise back to Base at Sandspit. Continue reading “Gulf Eco Charters Hen and Chicken Islands”

Gulf Eco Charters Hen and Chicken Islands