Archive for November, 2014

And the winner is … Chorus

Get ConnectedThe gushing news reports would have us believe that everyone in Dunedin is celebrating their little corner of the world winning the much-hyped Gigatown competition but let’s be honest: it’s Chorus that should be doing all the celebrating.

This year-long marketing “competition” was a brilliant marketing ploy for the company: the lovely citizens of the various towns and cities wanting access ultra-fast broadband took part in quizzes and promotions that used the “gigatown” tag, and directly promoted Chorus. In return, they got the opportunity to be the town finally selected for the big Gigatown deal.

I’m not saying that ultra-fast broadband wouldn’t be an awesome outcome, and getting it for a while at a reduced cost is even better. And the $200,000 development fund and $500,000 community fund Chorus is offering is the icing on the cake. But really, how good is that proverbial cake? The publicity Chorus has received from this competition is phenomenal, with news stories popping up everywhere each week to keep the momentum going. How much would that level of promotion over the course of a year have cost the company? I’m betting a lot more than the probably-tax-deductible $700K they’ve stumped up for those two funds.

There’s no doubt Dunedinites will benefit from getting UFB, and getting it at a discount is not to be sneezed at. However, we already pay too much for fairly average broadband in this country so in reality, the prize is probably more of a “UFB at the price it should be” offer.

Congratulations Dunedin. And congratulations Chorus: I’m not having a dig at you guys for running a marketing campaign masquerading as a competition, because that’s how all giveaways work. However, dragging it out for an entire year or more is pretty impressive.

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Weather or not you believe it …

The whole global warming debate continues, and while it’s hard to see it as global warming when we froze our collective arses off here in New Zealand last summer (but had an almost tropical winter), there is no doubt that something dodgy is happening to our climate.

So let’s call it climate change, which covers all the weather wonkiness and makes it easier to comprehend for those who stick their nose out the door on a chilly day and proceed to bitch about what a crock global warming is because “it’s so cold” and that they can’t believe how cold it is in Southland all the time. Because, of course, their short-term memories have been frozen into a state of malfunction by all the cold weather last summer that so they conveniently forgot the incredibly mild winter and pretty spectacular spring of the year before. Oh, and the awesome autumn we enjoyed this year.

But I digress. Sea levels are rising, average temperatures are up and greenhouse gases are at 800,000-year highs. Bugger.

In this video, Hank Green (my favourite geek) from SciShow explains an October 2013 report by the United Nations about global warming and tells us five things we really need to know about our warming world.

Yes indeed, it is getting warmer.

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Jillian "George" Allison-Aitken

I live in the deep south of New Zealand, where smelly dairy cows are taking over from sheep in the livestock stakes. My hometown is the small but perfectly formed city of Invercargill, which is also the hometown of the original boy racer, Burt Munro. Find out more about me here.

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