Looking back over the past week and to the weeks ahead – to rate the noteworthy, the cringeworthy, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the truly amazing.
The Warriors take to the Knights to advance toward final
I’m no league expert and I haven’t been a consistent watcher since the game exploded onto our screens in the 1980s but I was dazzled by the performance the Warriors delivered in the weekend. I was visiting my brother in Sydney and it just made sense to sneak out of the blazing sun and park ourselves in front of the TV for a few hours. A three try blitz in the first 15 minutes set the Warriors up and they only faltered a few times in the game, giving Newcastle a sniff of clawing back points. However, the concentration and sheer graft paid off with a hugely satisfying 30 point lead. I’m looking forward to the semi-final against the Brisbane Broncos on Saturday and it would be a fantastic achievement to make it to the final.
5 stars – fantastic league played hard and fair at frenetic pace – great stuff!
Google fighting hard to avoid anti-trust case in the US
Search engine monopoly Google is in court arguing against an anti-trust case filed by the US government. As reported by the BBC, “The government’s lawsuit focuses on billions of dollars in payments Google has made to Apple, Samsung, Mozilla and others to be pre-installed as the default online search engine.
The US said Google typically pays more than US$10bn a year for that privilege, securing its access to a steady gush of user data that helped maintain its hold on the market.” (Source: “Google antitrust trial: Tech giant denies abusing power to gain monopoly,” by Natalie Sherman & Brandon Drenon, 15 September 2023, BBC News).
Google’s lawyers argue that these payments are just attempts to keep the internet monopoly above other competition. Really? Other competition? When Google is the installed but not asked for search engine on devices it would be hard for the ‘competition’ to compete, I would have thought. If the US government wins the case it is looking to break up the company – which may at least make things a little more competitive in search engine land.
0 stars – search engine monopoly is dangerous and gives far too much power to a private company.
Kiwis – we have the patience of saints
Flying into Auckland from Sydney on Sunday night I had the opportunity to witness the quiet frustration marked outwardly as indifference when I and my fellow arrivees got held up in monstrous queues at border control. As the nothing to declare and something to declare lines inched their way glacially to the front I was struck by the absence of disapproving voices or outright rebellion. It took an hour to get to the head of the line and I was surprised to see that half of the action stations were unpeopled. Well, I thought, that explains why it took so long, maybe there’s a go slow or a strike. Seemingly not. Reading the online news the following day, the hold-ups had occupied most of Sunday, due apparently to staff illnesses and the inability to fill 50 positions at border control. Ok, fair enough, I guess.
I still marvelled at the average Kiwi’s ability to take such an inconvenience and not cause a stink. Maybe everyone else in the line was seething internally and moaning non-stop in their heads like I was. I think that’s the case, though we are famed for our dislike of outward displays of disapproval. I’ve been in airports in other countries where meltdowns and remonstrations are common occurrences.
5 stars for the Kiwi spirit – perhaps it’s best to keep it all inside and appear calm as ice on the outside.