Sunday, September 30, 2007

Software New Zealand to Pioneer Wiki-based Laws

New Zealand will allow citizens to decide what is legal or not via wiki

New Zealand's Policing Act governs what is legal and what is illegal for its citizens. Now New Zealand will take a grand, bold step by allowing its citizens to collectively rewrite its laws in pure democratic fashion.

While the idea hearkens back to ancient democratic forums, the medium is decidedly high-tech -- the nation will use a wiki to allow citizens to contribute to the new policing act. The page will help people organize their thoughts and collectively make decisions.

Ward Cunningham, inventor of the wiki, chose the Hawaiian word "wiki" rather than the English term "quick" to avoid coining the term "quick-web." Cunningham's first collaborative database was a simple, quick way to store vast amounts of user-contributed data. His idea would eventually seed one of the most trafficked sites on the Internet: Wikipedia.

New Zealand Police Superintendent Hamish McCardle, responsible for the review, calls the move "a new frontier in democracy" and sees the pilot as essential for police to understand public sentiment. "It's a novel move but when it comes to the principles that go into policing, the person on the street has a good idea ... as they are a customer," he claims.

The old Policing Act dates back to1958, and modern police feel the code could not accurately and fairly police its citizens in the modern landscape.

New Zealand Police boldly decided that changing the law should not be relegated to government politicians and bureaucrats.

Allegations that criminals will exploit the process to write legal loopholes do not concern McCardle. "We have been asked if we are worried about it being defaced, but wikis generally haven't been defaced internationally -- people generally are constructive and productive," claims McCardle.

McCardle specifically notes the success of Wikipedia as proof wiki-based contributions can lead to something constructive.

The Wiki is also open to people worldwide, so everyone from academics to amateur politicians can have a say in what they think would help make a safe and productive society. However, the site is temporarily not accepting new entries due to the volume of new entries.

New Zealand successfully launched a smaller wiki, dubbed ParticipatioNZ, to study the effectiveness of wikis in government.

Jason Mick

Monday, September 17, 2007

Wanted: Fortune Hunters

CBC TV's Dianne Buckner, host of Dragons' Den and Venture, is working on a new show called Fortune Hunters. The show looks at current and emerging trends in the global marketplace and how Canadian entrepreneurs are capitalizing on those trends.

The producers are looking for entrepreneurs from New Brunswick to feature in a 6 minute segment on national television. Criteria: you have started businesses related to franchising or are looking to start franchising your business; your business is related to on-line social networking; and/or you offer unique products or services that cater to the aging boomer demographic.

Interested? Contact Lindsey Neely, 416.205.3498 or

Monday, September 10, 2007

Canada Bombshell

Canada Bombshell. Modestly billed as a superfantastic Canadian digital interactive blog. Mission: to promote new media events and companies in Canada.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Think NB

Think New Brunswick ICT Showcase will be a trade show like no other!

Designed solely to create awareness, partnerships and business development between both developers and users of ICT within the province.

The format of Think New Brunswick ICT Showcase will have a strong focus on exhibitor to exhibitor networking and feature an exclusive group of New Brunswick companies currently developing and marketing leading edge technologies right here in New Brunswick.

In addition, Think New Brunswick ICT Showcase will attract a strong attendance from New Brunswick based industries including, Department of National Defence, Regional Health Corporations, municipalities, regional agencies, organization, and leadinginformation communication technology users.

New site launched

Thanks for the news Steve Kelly!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

We're no Danes but ...

Canadian Press

ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands — Compared with the rest of the world, Canadians are a pretty happy lot.

Canada sits ninth of 95 nations ranked in a “global happiness index" created by Dutch academic Ruut Veenhoven in 1999.

Canada has a score of 7.6 on the World Database of Happiness, compared with the U.S. score of 7.4, which ranks 17th. The top rated countries are Denmark (8.2) and Switzerland (8.1). At the bottom, Tanzania, by contrast, received a score of 3.2.

Mr. Veenhoven told CTV News that all countries in the top group – mostly Western and rich – scored closely, with small variations. He pointed out that they are all democratic, have gender equality and are fairly tolerant.

Mr. Veenhoven's major factors contributing to happiness are the quality of society as a whole, quality of employers and education, and personal choice.