Posts Tagged ‘ Google ’

NZ Immigration department really are stupid… Marina Lewycka fiasco.

Having had a fair bit to do with the Immigration ‘Service‘ over the years there is one thing about them that is consistent, they aren’t too smart.

There’s corruption on the fringes and possibly within the department, they suspect it, but won’t do anything about it because of the repercussions. People get into NZ who have no business being here and they usually lie and cheat to do so, potential immigrants who follow the rules slavisly are rewarded by being treated with the utmost contempt, in fact I’d hazard a guess that the Prision Service treats it’s clients better.

The problem is that ‘ordinary’ kiwi’s don’t actually deal with the Immigration Service, by it’s very nature it’s clients are not New Zealanders and therefore cannot complain about piss-poor service. Oh sure, they can complain, but it would guarantee that their application would take so long they’d have about as much chance of getting here than of winning Powerball this week (and the odd’s of that are stacked against you).

So if you needed any more confirmation that the beaucrates running NZ immigration were lazy and inept this story would confirm it.

Now, what do you do when you want to know something about anything? Google it right?

It didn’t take me very long, less than 10 minutes to find out all about Marina Lewycka and her husband David Feickert, who is, erm, a trade union researcher by the looks of things (great).

Granted, it doesn’t have a wedding date, but a bit of digging shows this isn’t some ‘marriage of convience’ or that these two are about to cheat their way into NZ, Mr Feickert is allowed to be here being a New Zealander.

You’d think someone in immigration would have just jumped online at the mention of Marina’s profession being a writer, checked it out, and gone to a manager. But ohhh no, they just kept on digging, just not on the net, into a hole. Possibly I’m being harsh and Immigration doesn’t allow it’s staff online because maybe they tried to sell visa’s on ebay or something.

One could say that this shows that immigration are doing their job, but sadly it doens’t as every week people arrive here who shouldn’t and then we find down the track their highly dubious stories weren’t in fact true, mainly because immigration didn’t do it’s job.

Immigration would get ‘Dick of the Week’ but sorry guy’s Trevor Mallard beat you to it, better luck next time.

Windows 7… whoopdeedoo

So Microsoft have released a new operating system called Windows 7.

I thought maybe this was the fully working version of Vista, but actually it’s a completely new operating system.

Microsoft seem to be getting ahead of themselves with operating systems. I don’t know anyone who is using Vista, and this is being written on 6 month old laptop using XP as it’s operating system. This was recommended by a number of people and it appears that in business people are still using XP.

If business and many domestic users haven’t even bothered with Vista why would Microsoft launch a even newer operating system as clearly Vista isn’t accepted because it has too many problems.

The fact that there’s little hype about Windows 7 apart from dedicated Windows fans, demonstrates that Microsoft has diminished in importance. 

In a month when GM officially lost the top spot to Toyota, it’s interesting that Microsoft may well be losing it’s spot to Google.

Why bother with an operating system like Vista or Windows 7 when all you need is a stable platform to get on the net so you can use services like the ones Google offers.

An interesting comparison would be fixed line phone companies. Really I don’t need my fixed line telephone, it gets used a few times a month. I only keep it on because it give me Internet access. Microsoft’s operating system is only be used because it gives you a system on which you can access the net – and even then, you don’t really need Windows for that, it’s just that most computers still come with it installed.

Google Privacy

“A federal judge in New York has ordered Google to turn over to Viacom a database linking users of YouTube, the Web’s largest video site by far, with every clip they have watched there”

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/07/03/technology/04youtube.php

I’m guessing as this is only at a federal court level it’ll be appealed so the final outcome is some way off. It does make you think about the amount of information Google gathers on its users habits.

The information is valuable and in some ways allowing Google to collect it in return for their ‘free’ service is one thing, but third parties having it is another matter. I wonder how that sort of thing would be interpreted under our privacy laws?

I guess I subconsciously assume that nothing is entirely private and everything could come back to haunt you, but being a heavy user of Google I’m a bit concerned that they information they collect could be passed onto another company – in this case Viacom. Viacom claims it is not really interested in the what individuals are doing, it just wants the information to gain an over-all view of what people are doing with its copyrighted material – yeah right! I cannot believe for one second that were a company such as Viacom to get it’s hands on such information that it would use it for anything other than commercial gain.

The problem with the traditional entertainment media – film and music companies – is that they seem perpetually stuck in the dark ages of the pre-internet days. The sooner they accept that people are going to share and use their products in unexpected ways, and find new ways of making money that are not based on what is so clearly an outdated business model, the better. Because if they think that breaches of copyright on the scale that it is now internationally, can be fought through the courts they are out of touch.

There is nothing to gain from being technically right, when the people you are punishing is actually now the majority of your customers. It would be safe to say that there would be very few people who haven’t broken copyright laws when it comes to music or film. Companies like Viacom should be embracing the future and look for new ways to add value to their products, this is the only way forward. No army of lawyers is going to changed what could be seen as a complete cultural shift internationally in the way consumers view music and film.