Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact|
Those crazy pommes appear to have been consorting with their Kiwi peers
if this BBC report
is anything to go by.
the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook
are revealed for all to see!
It seems as if traffic problems in parts of central London are almost as bad
as those experienced in Auckland these days and, whereas our politicians have
opted to simply raise taxes and build bigger roads, the Brits are looking
to a hi-tech solution.
If memory serves me correctly, the prospect of fitting Kiwi's cars with
GPS or other hi-tech systems so that they could be charged a toll when driving
through certain parts of the city in rush-hours has been mooted here before.
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I saw this type of system in action when I was in Singapore about a year ago
and I have to admit that, given the size of their population, the traffic
densities were amazingly low.
However, I don't think it was the hi-tech road-toll system that can claim credit
for Singapore's orderly roads. More likely it's their amazing rapid transit
system -- a fast, scrupulously clean, and effective underground railroad that
can get you virtually anywhere in the city in just a few minutes.
In fact, I have real worries about the potential for abuse that a GPS-based
system such as the one being proposed in Britain might offer.
I mean -- do you really want "big brother" knowing exactly where you've been
and how long you were there every time you get in your car?
You can bet your bottom dollar that although such a system might be introduced
with the sole intention of reducing peak-hour traffic flows, it wouldn't be long
before it was used to catch and automatically fine anyone who was speeding --
even if it was simply that they exceeded the speed limit briefly so as to
pass a slower car. Does anyone remember those empty promises made when
speed cameras were introduced I wonder?
Of course we could argue that such a system would only penalise law-breakers
and that it might help cut the road toll and help solve crimes -- what do you
New technology has a place in reducing Auckland (and London's) traffic woes --
but I don't tracking individual vehicle movements is the answer.
Surely it would be better to encourage employers and employees to take up
telecommuting and work from home -- or suburban telecommute centers. Although
only a small percentage of jobs lend themselves to telecommuting, a reduction
of just 10 percent in Auckland's traffic volumes would make a huge difference
to rush-hour levels.
Unfortunately, so long as DSL access remains the exception rather than the rule
and while we have to pay by the megabyte for anything other than slow dialup
or hog-tied ultra-slow flat-rate DSL connect then I don't see the idea flying
No, there's little incentive to telecommute or even move out of
Auckland altogether in the government's plan to hike petrol taxes. Another
lost opportunity to further the country's knowledge economy?
Who's A Sore Loser Then?
If you want to see the most appalling case of dummy-spitting I think
I've ever seen then you really ought to read
this piece of grizzling
by former ISOCNZ chairman Jim Higgins.
What a whine!
Clearly Jim was not best-pleased when his autocratic reign was overthrown by members
concerned by the alleged impropriety that appeared to go on at the
time and now he's doing his best to slag off those who have succeeded him.
I'm sorry Jim, this little piece does you no favours at all and simply shows
that you are not only ungracious in defeat but you also appear to adhere to
the "do as I say, not as I do" methodology.
And shame on Infotech for publishing such a biased and vindictive piece of
verbal diarrhoea. My opinion of the Infotech section has never been particularly
high but the publication of this piece, along with a blatant advertisement for
Jim's company in the form of the attribution "Jim Higgins is managing
director of The Networking Edge, a Wellington consultancy specialising in
e-business solutions" really confirms the belief that this publication
is deceptively "advertorial."
Of course these are just my opinions, and I could be totally wrong. What
do you think?
Have Your Say
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