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Home page: http://www.richardbeddie.co.nz
Posts by Richard
For some reason some people on the inter-web, especially Facebook, are saying today (August 11) is Hug A Gay day.
Now I am all for hugging gays. But, no, today isn’t the special day for it.
As I blogged about back in Feb, it’s 2nd Feb, and has been for years.
Oh, while I am on the whole Gay Theme, here’s a very cool page listing the best Effective Signs for gay marriage. Click on the image below for more
Black and White Version: You can hug gay folk whenever you want. But today isn’t the official day for it. You’ll have to wait about 6 months for that.
Here they are, Richard’s black and white tips for the playing in the bedroom:
Before I start it’s best to clarify that some people may be offended by this post, some may not. Some might even be disappointed. Anyway, read on:
- Buy a duvet cover that has a patten on one side, and a plan colour on the other. That way you can find the corners easily when changing the cover.
- Buy a duvet cover and duvet one size bigger than the bed. Looks great, and means there is more duvet to share if you sleep with a duvet hog
- Drop the top sheet. Just get a fitted sheet and duvet. It means making the bed takes 20 seconds. It DOES mean you wash the duvet cover with the sheet, but that’s hardly a biggie.
- Only ever ever use natural fibres, preferably cotton, next to your skin. So that means sheets, duvet covers, and pillow cases.
- NEVER skimp on a bed. You spend almost a third of your life on one!
I told you some people might be offended. But I figure if you had a dirty mind you had already stopped reading. (When I said playing, what did you think I meant?).
Black and White Version: Setting up the bedroom linen is easy, but don’t skimp on $.
OK, here are some big (and no so big) predictions for the next 12 months and beyond:
- Apple will release its 5th generation phone (iPhone 5, or 4s) in September. Potentially more significant, it will also do is push the 3Gs as an entry level phone (or less likely, introduce an iPhone lite), with a far lower price point, and sell it outright (no contract). This will be the nail in the coffin for Nokia et al, and mark the move of Apple into more ‘mainstream’ mobile phone market.
- Google+ WILL eventually be the major social networking platform. It will be significantly large to be one of two (FaceBook being other other) by the end of 2011. FaceBook will survive though.
- National will win the next election in New Zealand. I actually predicted this in 2009, but wanted to restate it here. Labour will get caned, but not as much as current polls say. Even if National can govern alone (which will be close), they will invite others into a coalition. Key is clever like that.
- Obama will (re)win the US Presidency in 2011. It will get nasty.
- The NZ dollar will stay high (around 80c against the US $) for most of this year. But drop back to 70-75c by late 2011/early 2012
- The US economy will crap itself in 2013. Finally. China will help.
The above predictions were written on 27th July 2011.
Update 4 August 2011: The 2011 Rugby World Cup final will be between Australia and NZ. If NZ make it to the final, they will win it. South Africa will bomb out early.
Black and White Version: My predictions for 2011 and beyond. Who knows if I am right or not. Time will tell!
The idea was it was a group of businesses planning to set up an IT hub in the Christchurch CBD to help reinvigorate the city after the earthquake (remember most of the CBD is still off limits, and many businesses have moved out). Great idea I thought. But as I read on what struck me as amusing was the lack of a business sustainability here:
The IT business group, Enterprise Precinct and Innovation Campus (Epic), has asked the Christchurch City Council, which owns the 4000-square-metre block, to grant it site use for three years at no cost.
Anderson said the cost of setting up the IT campus would be substantial and the group had approached the Government for funding.
OK, so let’s get this clear: They want the council to give them free use of the land for 3 years, and the government to pay for the cost of setting it up?
Although it’s not all one sided:
Epic co-leader Colin Anderson, director of IT consultancy Effectus, said a cluster of IT companies would add much-needed vibrancy to the central city because IT workers were socialisers, had more disposable income than many people and were aligned to inner-city living.
I was wondering if I offered to move back to the CBD and buy my groceries there, would the Council give me free land, and the Government build me a house? Probably not.
Black and White Version: Sometimes I wish the media would actually analyse a story more that just printing an idea.
As I have already blogged that the Ab Circle Pro is a scam.
It was reviewed by clinical exercise physiologist, Dr William Sukala (a VERY knowledgeable guy!) who hammered the claims in detail in his post here.
He went on to review the new ad Ab Circle Pro 2.0 ad here, and says:
The only things left after a nuclear blast? Cockroaches and the Ab Circle Pro V 2.0
I had hoped the Ab Circle Pro would die a quick death after my exhaustive product review from June of last year (Ab Circle Pro Review: Fat Marketing Claims Thin on Truth). The article went viral across the global fitness industry and I received a tremendous number of supportive emails and not a single negative one (a sign that legitimate exercise professionals are fed up with the product). But much to my chagrin, Jennifer Nicole Lee is back with a rehashed version of the product not so creatively dubbed the Ab Circle Pro version 2.0. As far as I can tell, V 2.0 appears to be virtually the same as the 1.0 model without any noticeable structural changes. The only appreciable difference I noticed had nothing to do with the product, but more to do with their questionable marketing and barely legal claims.
In summary he states:
Ab Circle Pro V 2.0: New and Improved Garbage
Bottom line: I advise consumers NOT to purchase the Ab Circle Pro 2.0
I could not agree more. DO NOT BUY ONE!
This product does NOT do what it claims, and is pandering to the inherent laziness in us all (hey who doesn’t want the magic bullet – perfect body for no work? But sorry, it just doesn’t work that way).
But don’t believe me, have a look at any of these:
- read Dr Sukala’s own research here, or
- click on the image at the top right of this post to see the Close Up show about the Ab Circle Pro, or
- read the dozens of negative comments people made about the AbCirclePro in response to my original blog post – not a happy read!
Black and White Version: The Ab Circle Pro is a scam, and does NOT do what it claims. Don’t buy one (can I be any more black and white here?)
The Brooks Review (written by Ben Brooks) is an awesome commentary blog site on all things tech.
His latest post today on Google+ was classic. Here’s his summary on various social media sites:
GeoCities: Was epic, and the best place to share animated GIFs.
MySpace: It was the place to go for crappily designed user profile pages and scantly clad pictures of women that you don’t know. To check out bands so that you could later tell you buddies: “I was listening to them way before they were main stream. It was the GeoCities of the early 2000′s.
Facebook: It is the place that you go to see what your ex is up to, if what’s her name from high school is still hot, and well who took a bikini vacation recently? It is also the place that will yield preposterous valuations, and shoot you an average of 30 clicks just for posting a link. Facebook made social networking an acceptable activity for everyone. Also: FarmVille.
Twitter: It’s the place where no one can deny your “friend request” and ADD heaven. Where millions can declare their allegiance to people they hardly know, and where a relative nobody 1 can get rather instant tech support.
Tumblr: This is basically the modern day GeoCities with better templates and (sometimes) faster loading sites. Also, it’s taking blogging to be a mainstream accepted activity.
I have to agree with him on all counts (and funny too!). I do disagree a bit on his commentary on Google+ – from what I see so far I like it (well more than he does).
Black and White Version: Brooks review is a very informative tech site. Read it.
It looks like firstIn.co.nz are at it again with misleading retail prices.
Today I see they have an 2nd hand (they say refurbished – but by who?) MacBook Pro for $1599 that they say saves $300. (In case the page disappears I have pasted a screen shot below).
Well I did a comparison with the only site I know always sells refurbished Apple gear – Apple NZ. And I find their STANDARD price on this unit is $1527 (again image shown in case this link dies). Now I will explain that the Apple product is a 2.4GHz processor, where as the FirstIn is 2.53, but Apple also have the 2.66GHz model, with a larger (320GB) hard drive for only $1699. So that’s $200 LESS than the supposed standard price FirstIn claim, for a BETTER unit. Take a look for yourself – Apple sell heaps of refurbished stuff all the time. So where is the $300 saving? What’s this based on? In fact it’s $72 MORE than Apple, plus Apple do free shipping, so that’s (up to) another $10 saved, depending on where in NZ you are.
It took me 30 seconds to find this price, so FirstIn cant claim they didn’t know. This what they do for a living (sell stuff online), and they REPEATEDLY inflate their so called RRP to show larger discounts than are really there. In this case they are actually charging MORE than a comparable unit. I would MUCH prefer to by direct from Apple – I trust them when they say its refurbished, and I also trust Apple’s pricing (coz they don’t mess with it, and they rarely discount). It goes without saying I don’t trust FirstIn.
Black and White Version: FirstIn.co.nz continue to be misleading on their pricing/discounts. I don’t trust them.
PS: Click on either image below for a larger view. Both images copied from their respective web sites at 1.15pm on 12 July 2011.
This post has been a long time coming, and I will cut to the chase.
The way many mainstream media report the Christchurch earthquakes in the hours and days after it is nothing short of sensationalist gutter journalism. IMO, it’s the lowest form of journalism, it’s lazy, manipulative, but above all, extremely damaging to many people at a time where they are already emotionally fragile.
Case and point. A headline in the Christchurch Press the day after the June 13 6.3/5.5 combo shakes.
What a load of CRAP. It’s NOTHING like being on death row. Being on death row means you are going to die, it’s just a matter of when. Living in Christchurch can sure be stressful, and some might even say dangerous, but it’s not, and never has been, death row (or anything even close to it).
Now the Press will defend themselves by saying We were only reporting what someone said. Well that, I fear, is bullshit. Just coz someone said it doesn’t mean you have to report it. Clearly it was an overreaction by a stressed out person (and I don’t blame them for saying it). But I do hold accountable the Christchurch Press for reporting it, and worse, making it the headline. The only reason they reported it is coz it’s sensationalist. In fact one of the Press Councils 11 Principles is that headlines must accurately and fairly convey the substance or a key element of the report they are designed to cover. This doesn’t, since the story is nothing about death row, and it’s simply a lazy reporter finding the most extreme quote they could, and making a headline about it.
Can you tell I am pissed off? Coz I am! Why? Because right now there are many fragile people in Christchurch. Putting up with aftershock day after day, and major shocks every month or two that results in sewerage entering your house, and 2 weeks of cleaning up water from your carpet can be demoralising. Just when things seam to be on track to get some normality back, a quake sets things back six months. Not to mention picking up smashed glasses for the 4th time isn’t many people’s idea of fun. The media have an obligation to think of these people before reporting such drivel.
The same article goes on to report:
Dominion Post columnist Jane Bowron was at the airport when the first quake struck, and said there was mass panic as people ran for safety. “The whole place started rocking – it seemed to go on for a very long time.”
Let’s dissect that quote a little: People ran for safety and she calls that mass panic. Maybe it was because the reporter was from Wellington, and hadn’t been around many quakes, but I think running for safety is a GREAT idea during a major earthquake (as long as it means running away from things that might fall on you, for example). I’d like to see her calmly walk towards the exit next time one hits. Get real – people ran, so what? Get over it, and stop reporting SENSATIONALIST CRAP!
TV isn’t any better though. I was away the day of this series of quakes, and saw some late night news coverage. A reporter found a crying women and ask her how she was (kinda like a set up isn’t it?). The women replied she was worried about the children that were with her. The reporter must have though they had hit the jackpot – crying women over missing children – WOW have I got something to report now! So the reporter asks ‘Where are they’ to which the women replies ‘They are over there, they are fine, I just worry about them.’ Gee, now that’s good NON NEWS: Women found crying over children that are fine (print that headline!) Oh wait, there was a WOMEN CRYING, that’s the news story – let’s report that. Let’s show that soft emotional impact. CRAP CRAP CRAP I say. Lazy manipulative journalism.
So here’s my advice to the media: Next time (and I hope there isn’t one) there is a major quake in Christchurch how about doing something useful. Report on some stats, report on any USEFUL information that people in Christchurch could use (like the radio station Newstalk ZB did for ages after the September 201 quake) and avoid at all costs any manipulation of headlines or using crying people to manipulate stories so people read/watch them. Actually the media CAN do this, coz they do already – an example is here of what Stuff (the owners of the Press) did for post June 13. Editors need to start saying no to sensationalist manipulative crap.
Black and White Version: Finding sensationalist headlines during natural disasters is easy. Being a proper journalist is harder. Time the media tried more of the latter.
I think someone got the numbers MAJORLY wrong on this story. Today it was leaked (probably by the Labour Party) that Labour will introduce a Capital Gains tax policy as part of its election campaign sometime next week, as reported in the NZ Herald.
While all speculation at present, the details appear to be:
- a 15% capital gain tax
- excludes the family home
- excludes property purchased prior to when it is introduced (so around 2012) (this has to be the case, since Govt’s cant pass retrospective laws).
The article reports it will raise around 4 billion. I think that’s wrong, and here’s why:
- The tax workging group sais a FULL capital gains tax, on ALL property at the marginal tax rate of 33% would raise around 9 billion (around 2007/8) (they admit this is a very rough figure).
- It’s estimated that around 15% of property is investment property (ie not the family home). So 15% of 9 billion = 1.35 billion
- At a marginal tax rate of 15% this would raise $613 million
Now many of these figures are rough. Many will even be wrong, but my point is that its VERY hard to raise any large amount from this tax without making either the tax equal to the marginal tax rate (ie 33%) and/or putting it on the family home too – a sure vote killer.
In addition this tax only raises money when property prices are rising. At present they aren’t ( by any large factor). So the value from this tax in 2012 might be closer to zero. In 2013 I would doubt it would raise $100 million. This si going to create issues for Labour, since none of this helps with paying for their billion of dollars of already announced policies (remember GST off fruit and veges which will cost almost a 1/4 billion alone?)
Now I would also add that I am in favour of some sort of capital profits tax, but not of this sort. Its too watered down to be effective, and too forced on “tax the rich” to actually do anything other than piss a bunch of people off.
Of course that last point isn’t a worry for Labour – they have so few supporters at the moment they need bold initiatives like this to give it a go.
Black and White Version: Capital gains taxes aren’t all bad – but the one proposed by Labour just wont work, because it wont raise much money.
Firstly, via NZ Herald: Anti-helmet protest proves fatal for New York motorcyclist
Someone (without a helmet) died protesting for the right not to have a helmet, and yep, the helmet would have saved him.
Secondly, via TVNZ: Woman dies of shock after waking up at funeral
This one is more for the Oh dear how unfortunate file. A women wakes up in a coffin, and as a result has a heart attack and dies (later). Apparently they are suing the hospital who declared her dead (who wouldn’t?)
Black and White Version: Sometimes you just cant make this shit up!