Friday, July 21, 2006

Likelihood of posts next week = low

Going off to freeze next week in Dunedin onsite for a client. 
Mmmm - had a high today of 6 degrees, really looking forward to that!
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Good use of RFID - but is anyone else worried its needed?

I read an article on this earlier in the week, but it was this eweek article that prompted me to point it out:
NEW YORK (Reuters Health)—Radio frequency ID (RFID) chips, similar to those implanted in products to deter theft, may help prevent sponges and other materials from being left in a patient during surgery, the findings from a small study suggest.

The study I read earlier (and now cannot find) was mentioning that this trial was likely to be extended to all the surgical implements used so that they can use an RFID scanning wand to check for implements / sponges after the patient has been closed up.  Certainly in the case of this study:
The wand identified all of the RFID-tagged sponges and never reported the presence of a tagged sponge when, in fact, there wasn't one. On average, it took just 3 seconds for the wand to pick up the presence of an RFID-tagged sponge.

Which is all a great use for a much maligned technology.  But the question you have to ask yourself is: how happy are you that it is needed in the first place?
Still, further research is needed to determine whether placement of these chips in surgical sponges and other operating room materials will be cost effective for a problem that occurs once in every 10,000 procedures.

Due for surgery? Feeling Lucky?
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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Ben Elton

Watched Ben Elton at his standup gig "Get a Grip" at the Aotea center in Auckland last night.  Absolutely brilliant and extremely funny, Elton managed to cover every topic from politics, health, beauty obsession, conspiracy theories, through to consumerism.  As he put it at the start it was all about linking the size of his Mars Bar with Newtons 3rd law of physics (the equal reaction one for those too lazy to google it :D )

He really was at his exuberant, cutting best - doing extremely well to toe the line quite firmly on a number of what could be quite touchy issues, cutting deep enough to make people think, but I would deem not actually offending many people.  Of course his humour isn't for everyone (most popularly known via Blackadder 2+, Bottom, The Young Ones etc), especially given its real bite (not actually shown through the aforementioned series).  His stand-up definitely reminds more of his books - in this case mostly his earlier books of Stark, This Other Eden and Gridlock.

One of the fascinating aspects of his performance was the ease with which he localized the majority of his performance - The Warehouse, Air New Zealand, the descent into Wellington airport, Freedom Furniture, etc all became the examples within his performance without hesitation.  He was even able to preface the section about Iraq with appropriate sentiments about how NZ did not go and still managed to make the section entirely relevant - despite NZ only comprising 4 shows on his tour and being the only country with that stance on Iraq.

Absolutly worth going to see - sorry to all you Kiwi's who have now missed out unless you dash to Australia quickly (but hey, 600 of you were already planning to go this week anyway ;-> ). To anyone else who still has the chance to catch him on his tour, I unconditionally recommend you to go.
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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

New Zealand Labour Party endorses exploitation of immigrant workers

Helen Clark has indicated that the Ingram report clears Taito Phillip Field of any wrong doing.
Given that this is the same report that while saying Field had no conflict of interest he showed poor judgment in his use of (extremely) low income workers.

Apparently this type of exploitation of poor, defenseless workers is supported by the Labour party - ratified by the fact that Field is already being reinstated to the Executive.

Poor exploitable workers take note: Exploitation of the worker is what Labour is about.
I wouldn't expect an ACT, National, Green or NZ First MP to get away with this type of behavior - would you?
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Monday, July 17, 2006

Superb work Cactus

Cactus Kate today has an excellent post on envy, wealth and politics that I could not leave unsung. It is a long post but I would highly recommend people to read it through - regardless which side of the political divide you sit.  It can help to open some neurons for all supporters (and that goes for non-NZer's as well).  Just be aware that Cactus Kate can be abrasive in nature and suffers no fools...

She is spot on in her underlying message about that which most Socialist / left wing political supporters cannot grasp:
That the only greedy, envious messages and policies are coming from your side of the table.
And that there are no *rich* in New Zealand on which to practice your redistribution policies - all you are doing is taking from those without a lot to give to others without a lot.

What is most important to take from her vitriolic discharge however is the point that the myth of powerful rich people only being rich through exploitation of others and particularly old money is absolute BS.  Although this scares most Socialists and poor (in 1st / 2nd world countries) because they cannot handle the fact that the reason they are in the situation(s) they are is their own fault.  Not because they weren't "born into money".

Against that final point argue to me how many families you know that the current generation is truly rich because they were rich 5 generations ago.  And if there has been any bankruptcy along that chain of 5 generations then it (obviously) doesn't count.  Although I wager many of you haven't thought about that part before.
C'mon I'm waiting...

( For those complete dimwits out there who just had the thought "I know one", you better post it here and hope for a lot more - because the point is if there is considerably less than what there was truly rich people 75 years ago my point is proven)