Domain names, now with mācrons!

From next week, .nz domain names will have the ability to contain macrons.

I’m really pleased to have lent a hand to the process which has enabled the complete Māori alphabet to be used in .nz domain names; I was on the “IDN” (Internationalised Domain Name) committee at InternetNZ which set up the policy and process for making this happen.

Here’s the InternetNZ media release:

Media Release – 22 July 2010 – The beginning of next week marks an exciting new phase for the .nz domain name space. From 10am on Monday 26 July 2010, people will be able to register .nz domain names using the macronised vowels ā, ē, ī, ō and ū.

Registering a .nz domain name with macrons will take place in exactly the same way as registering any other .nz domain name – through a ‘registrar’ – and registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

New Zealand Domain Name Commissioner Debbie Monahan says the launch date for general registrations has been timed to coincide with the start of Māori Language Week, which is significant because, for the first time, New Zealand’s indigenous language, Te Reo Māori, can be correctly represented online.

“Thanks to the successful completion of the global Internationalised Domain Name (IDN) initiative the New Zealand Internet is now more culturally representative.

“The addition of macrons to the .nz domain name space is a step forward for online identity and the Internet in New Zealand and I encourage those interested in securing a macronised name to take note of the opening of general registrations on 26 July.

“This is the culmination of years of hard work at both local and international levels, and I would like to thank New Zealand’s IDN working group and .nz Registry Services for their valuable contributions.”

More information about .nz domain names with macrons is available at

For further information contact:
Debbie Monahan
Domain Name Commissioner
+64 4 495 2114

Poetry in Hell

I’ve just finished helping my Mom (Dr Sarah Traister Moskovitz) publish a web site containing what might be considered to be her Magnum Opus.

Poetry In Hell is the culmination of ten years of research into the poets of the Warsaw Ghetto, and their poetry rescued in buried milk cans from the Ringelblum Archives.  My dad spent years restoring and cleaning up hundreds of microfiche images of the original Yiddish poetry, which my Mom translated into English.  A Professor Emeritus in Educational Psychology, she received assistance for the project from the The California State University at Northridge Emeritus and Retired Faculty Association, The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and The Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw.

I built the framework for the web site, and it’s hosted on the same WordPress engine as this site.

Poetry in Hell is an amazing project that provides insight into the daily lives of people living in the ghetto.  The Internet is the perfect medium for this kind of archive project; it would be a real shame if it were restricted to books on shelves in niche libraries that were accessible only to researchers.

To the people with family who died in the Ghetto; to people who can’t imagine how humanity can express itself under such conditions; to people craving a window into the final days of Yiddish culture as it existed in its heyday; to historians, and especially to the holocaust deniers – Poetry In Hell is an ongoing testament to the depth of artistic expression, the complexity of human interaction, and the intricate perception of Yiddish culture that Hitler could not extinguish.

Do have a look at it, and if you like it, let your friends know about Poetry in Hell.

I’m not cool enough to own an iPad – Apple, FU!

I was in LA last week on business.  My colleagues had asked me to acquire an iPad so that we could test our web sites and mobile apps on it.

So I went into the Apple Store in Santa Monica, and was amazed to see it packed with so many people nearly ejaculating over the styley gear on offer. I made my way over to the till, and a pimply guy, early 20’s trying to look cool, stopped me. He held out his hand, palm facing me like a traffic cop, and said “Stop. Do you have an appointment?” I thought to myself, “what, an appointment to spend money?” I said, “No, I don’t have an appointment.” “What do you want, anyway?” he asked somewhat belligerently. I said “I wanted to buy an iPad or two”. He looked me in the eye, then looked down my body to my shoes, and up again. He paused. “I’m sorry, we’re all sold out.”

I nearly ran out of the store, wondering what on earth had ever possessed me to step inside an Apple store in the first place.

It’s nice to be back in Aotearoa, an iPad-free zone, for now.

Creative Destruction in the Music Industry at Ignite Wellington

Ignite Wellington was part of Global Ignite Week, and I was invited to do a talk as part of this exciting and (as a presenter) nerve-wracking endeavour.  Each presenter is given exactly 5 minutes to present, and allocated 20 Powerpoint slides which are automatically advanced every 15 seconds; the presenter has no control over the pace.  My Twitter and Facebook friends helped me decide to do a talk on Creative Destruction in the Music Industry, which you can watch below.

A found poem from the early 1990s

I am a propellor on an aircraft carrier
I spin and thrust silently under the waterline
It can unleash tremendous power
It only looks like it is going slow because it is so big

I am a receiver on the dish at Arecibo
My friends and I are listening
For the others we know are there
We will wait for as long as it takes

I am the newsreader on the six o’clock news
Some hang on my every word, for others I’m merely background
Many people died today in tragic circumstances
But it was an interesting story

I am Schroedinger’s cat
I am in many places at once
And nowhere
I don’t want to die

I am the fruit on the tree of knowledge of good and evil
There’s no need to eat me
My secret is no more complex
Than the Golden Rule

I am a sign language interpreter
To some I am poetry in motion, to others I just look dumb
I don’t always understand what the speaker really means
Some concepts have no words

I am a hunter
My darts are tipped with love potion
Today I got a big one
I hope it doesn’t crush us

I am a toolsmith
Some of my tools are being used every microsecond
And others are used only once
My favourite tools are the ones other people like

I am a neuron in David Lange’s brain
I participate in grand hopes and cutting wit and buffoonery
Sometimes it seems too big
Long live the tea break

I am an accountant
The numbers balance
But they don’t tell the whole story
Nor the true story


Left to right: Thomas Schickedanz, Hannah Schickedanz, Mike Penhall, Dave Moskovitz, Nick Rowney, Stefan Korn, Jeff Mitchell, Annabel Youens