Friday, June 09, 2006

A sad loss for Hamilton and New Zealand

When SSA Global announced in march last year that they were going to open an RFID center of excellence in Hamilton, it appeared that New Zealand had actually secured a real path towards becoming a high technology value partner in a worldwide core growth area.  For an economy that desperately needs to find more exports, and improve its labour productivity, RFID research and production could provide a huge boost.  Along with promising entrepreneurial startups like Sandtracker already providing some capability in this area a partnership into the ERP world would have provided a perfect lever into the marketplace for the full scope of this new realm.

Furthermore given that the agricultural industry still looks like the most likely to implement supply chain wide implementation of tags in a value-added relationship for all parties (despite Walmarts strong arming their suppliers into slap and ship tagging), New Zealand looked like a true contender with the appropriate partnerships and funding in place.

Unfortunatly SSA Global has recently announced that it is pulling out of the venture so these hopes may go unrealized.  I hope that Industry New Zealand, Hamilton City Council, WEL Energy Trust, Trust Waikato and B2H are able to find another partner of SSA's calibre to keep this proposal on some kind of track, as the potential rewards for New Zealand could be huge, and would represent more than just rhetoric in the progression of our economy towards a true technology based economy with the benefits of grounding in manufacturing as well as information exporting.

Personally this probably has more to do with SSA's acquisition of Baan Company and Baan products than the economic climate in New Zealand or the cited reasons of RFID cost / growth curves - but either way Hamilton and New Zealand are the losers.
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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Employment Grievance Lottery

Hattip: Scoop
There still seems to be a number of people in the community and political sphere that maintain that our employment dismissal laws are sufficient and clear.  However in the above article from scoop the following caught my eye:

“Hurt and humiliation awards ranged from one Member awarding an
average $8,933 with 62 per cent in favour of employees, while another Member awarded an average $2,150 with a 38 per cent in favour of employees.”

It may actually be used to argue both in the favour of employers having too much leniency or employees having too much protection - however I would just use this to show that the required procedures are too complicated and unclear. If even the judges trying the dismissal cases cannot seem to agree about the bounds of unfair dismissal to the tune of damages differing by a factor of 4, and a 24% difference in outcomes then both employee and employer cannot have any certainty in the process protecting their rights.  Both must feel some trepidation; the employer being worried if they can ever actually let someone go, and the employer whether they could be fired without justification.

Wayne Mapp's probationary employment bill will assist in this matter - but only by making the rules very clear for the first few months.  After that the employment relationship re-descends into the current mire, where neither side is 100% sure of where they stand.  I would see that we need to pass the probationary bill, and then move to make the whole process clearer and simpler for the entire employment period. 

What do you see as the current problems with the employment dismissal procedures?  And are they weighted too much in the employer or employees favour?
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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

IE Killer Feature for blogosphere addicts

I really wonder how many people that have the actual technical competence to install a program are still using Internet Explorer - but just in case there is I had to point out a little tool that I've started using that I now would hate to go without.

With an extension for Firefox (although you can use a bookmarklet in IE / Firefox / Opera / Other) it allows you to track your blog comments and, increasingly, the conversations around those. So from a centralised point you get to see both the conversations you have been commenting on - and the activity that has been occurring on those conversations. In context.
I have found this far better than RSS where you get overloaded, and feedburner / email updates etc where the conversations lose context very quickly.

At the very least even for blogs that don't send updates it manages the permalinks for you so you can return to those conversations that you were flaming recently and see if the troll has taken the bait yet ;-)
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[update] Of course the other point to bring up is for you blogger users out there (like me): Turn off the pop-up comments option!! While it doesn't prevent us using coComment it does make it more work (I.E. some rather than being automatic). And surely you wany to look after your visitors - especially those leaving comments?

A bad sporting weekend (not a repeat post)

As a companion post to; A good sporting weekend, A bad sporting weekend

Well the results of the teams I support all seemed to swing the wrong way this weekend:
Warriors play great football but just don't have the luck to topple the top of the table Bronco's.  Darn - playing top of the table is normally when they can win! Still watching the game from a corporate suite on halfway certainly made for a good spectacle!
All Whites lost 4-0 against Brazil - not a bad performance I suppose, but you really do wonder if we could have kept it to 2-0 if Neilsen hadn't broken his leg!!

And most importantly we lost our soccer 4-1 (yes again), a bad performance if I do say so myself.  And I can't take comfort in that I was on the bench for this one (because I wasn't) so cannot blame it completely on others ;-)
Although I might start blaming it on one of our center backs who cannot seem to stay in that position and plays a bit more center-mid.  And therefore not surprising that all 8 goals over the last 2 weeks have come straight through the middle...
On a further downside we lost our best striker to torn ligaments in the first 5 minutes, so he won't be back this season!

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