Red Alert

Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Tackling the multi-nats

Posted by on December 7th, 2012

I’ve drawn attention to the way in which multinationals are avoiding paying tax in New Zealand.  After some prevarication, Peter Dunne ordered up a report from officials on the way similar issues are being tackled abroad.  Good.

The topic is running hot in the UK.  The Guardian’s editorial on Monday was a call to action.  The Australian Assistant Treasurer, David Bradbury, last month announced a range of measures to address tax avoidance.  Bradbury’s speech is well worth a read.  It explains the issue in plain English and how Australia is tackling it.

Quantifying the size of avoidance in New Zealand needs to be a priority for the Revenue Minister.  Australia have pulled an expert group together to advise their Treasury on the scope and extent of the problem in their country.  New Zealand needs to do the same.  Quickly.

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Filed under: Tax

What do you love…

Posted by on June 28th, 2011

Breaking news… (I think). From Twitter.

What do you love? It’s Google’s latest thing. Just click here to see.

It’s all about how to bring a whole bunch of tools together. It’s a mash up, a mysterious new service. It’s just there. It hasn’t yet been announced. (I don’t think)

For the people using it, it’s about how to get access to stuff. For Google,  it’s about how to continue to be ahead of the game and capture the lion’s share of the “go to” market.

I think it’s a giant marketing tool. Google seems to be all about ideas. And ensuring it’s the place we all want to be.  It would be interesting to see Google’s gameplan for our region though.

As someone said to me today; there are two Googles. One is the marketing machine that keeps pumping out the products that keeps us all enthralled and is assuming rapid market dominance in the digital environment. The other is a bunch of geeks who like to create stuff. Google’s roots.

We have lots of the latter in New Zealand. How can we keep them here, while supporting and helping build our own digital industry?

Have a look. is Google’s new service silently launched on the Internet. WDYL stands for “What Do You Love?”. The site is aimed at offering single point search across multiple Google products like ‘Google Translate’, ‘Google Trends’, ‘Google Books’, ‘Sketchup’, ‘YouTube’, ‘Google Alerts’, ‘Google Product Search’ and so on.

Government by Google

Posted by on August 5th, 2010

A little bit of light relief for the end of the session. I asked the Minister of Finance ” Does he stand by his statement, ” if you know which websites to go to you can get access to high quality advice?”

This came from Bill English on Radio NZ in the wake of the announcement of the review of policy advice that had come up with a figure for the cost of advice by entering “policy” and “policies” in a search of the title field of Budget documents.

It was a pity that Gerry Brownlee was not chosen to answer. It would have been more fun with him, but still nice to have a bit of a laugh at the end of the session.

Is the Govt tech aware?

Posted by on January 18th, 2010

You’ve probably heard that the German Government has issued a warning to all Germans not to use Internet Explorer after a security flaw had been revealed. The flaw was revealed following the recent hacking of Google.

The issue is running hot, not just on Twitter, and online media, but in the mainstream media too. Last night it made TV3 news. The BBC said:

The warning from the Federal Office for Information Security comes after Microsoft admitted Internet Explorer was the weak link in recent attacks on Google’s systems.

Microsoft rejected the warning, saying that the risk to users was low and that the browsers’ increased security setting would prevent any serious risk.

However, German authorities say that even this would not make Internet Explorer fully safe.

I’ve been a bit busy today, so haven’t managed to post til now. But hello? Is our government aware this is an issue?

As an MP, we have no choice about what browser we get to use in parliament, in our electorate offices and on our laptops.

I understand that most government departments have Internet Explorer as their standard browser and that for many, their employees have no choice about what browser they use.

What does this mean for the security of the New Zealand government’s information and systems?

What about the multitude of other NZers who use Internet Explorer at home or in the workplaces?

Given what’s happened, wouldn’t it be a good idea for the government to say something? Or don’t they know what a browser is?

Google v Apple

Posted by on January 17th, 2010

Allies for a decade but now going towards a head to head conflict Google and Apple are near neighbours in Silicon Valley. BusinessWeek have a good analysis of how important the battle to lead mobile computing has become.

Hat tip  Lloyd Morrison

Google threat on China gets Clinton support

Posted by on January 14th, 2010

This is interesting. Just discovered this piece in The Australian about US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s “please explain” to the Chinese Govt over Google allegations that it’s been the subject of cyber attacks resulting in the theft of intellectual property.

The Australian reports that:

The attack was also made on about 20 large corporations operating in China and the company says it has evidence to suggest that a primary goal of the attackers was accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists.

Hillary is looking for an explanation from the Chinese government. She says:

The ability to operate with confidence in cyberspace is critical in a modern society and economy.

I will be giving an address next week on the centrality of Internet freedom in the 21st century, and we will have further comment on this matter as the facts become clear.

That’s interesting, as she’ll be here around that time. The whole internet censorship issue is one that we need to pay close attention to.

Update: a quick google search shows this is a developing story. Interested in your thoughts as it means a pullout of China will have implications for the Chinese internet users.

This is the way the world’s changing

Posted by on October 18th, 2009

Read this. Democracy in the age of Google. I haven’t even heard of some of these things. But I use Twitter, facebook and this blog a lot. I’m becoming more aware of how important they are as mechanisms to build communities of interest without walls.

Have just discovered Tweetdeck, which manages all your Twitter comments, and makes it easier to track the things you want to track.

These innovations have changed the world. There’s plenty of others no doubt. Tell us about yours.

Oh and hat tip to the famous Tom Watson (via Twitter)