Virtual Worlds

What is reality?  This is what the tutor asked the class during ITC’s virtual worlds lecture.
“reality is the state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined” is what Wikipedia defined it as (ref :Wikipedia)
This quote brings up the question how can well tell what actually exists?
Can you see it?
Can you touch it?
Can you hear it?
During this class’s slide show there was a clip from the movie The Matrix where Neo asks Morphus  “Is this real?”
To  which Morphus replies “ What is real? How do you define real? If you are talking about what  you can feel? What you can smell? Taste? See? Then real is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.

The matrix was one of my favorite movies when I was younger. The concept that we are all living in one big computer program seemed pretty farfetched at the time,  but after this lecture the idea seems closer to the truth than I first thought.
I believe  as technologies improve the line between reality and virtual reality  will start to blur.
As  computer graphics become more realistic, people will be able to do things that they wouldn’t be able to do in ‘reality’, like in the movie ‘The Matrix’ they can live two lives, one in the real world and another in a virtual world, the virtual reality software 2nd life is a good example  of this.
A Few examples of virtual and reality mixing
Google Goggles is a good example of virtual and reality combining and blurring the lines.

This virtual sand box at first glance seems like the real thing

With technology at its current level is still relatively easy to tell what’s real and what’s computer generated (virtual), but maybe at some point in the distant future it won’t be so easy to tell.
That leaves one question . If you can’t tell the difference between real and virtual does that make them the same thing?
If that’s the case then it’s not what is happening that is real, it is just  the experience that is real.


Business Document Flow

Document flows in business systems and purpose of different business systems

A typical business will have many business systems which are usually linked up with other business system so that data flows from one system to another

An example of this is ‘Cashflow’ (usually a business will divide cashbook into two parts, cash payments and cash receipts)

Cashflow journals contain all cash receipts and payments, including bank deposits and withdrawals, wages and drawings.

Entries in the cash book are then posted into the general ledger.

Data flows into cashbook from other documents such as invoice, order book and payroll

The general ledger is a collection of the firm’s accounts used by a business to keep track of all the financial transactions a business makes.

Sub-ledgers are created to simplify the primary ledger and keep track of a specific type of transaction providing more detail about those transactions.

Cashflow is a sub-ledger which feeds into the General Ledger, but not the only one, among the others are Accounts Payable and Accounts Recievable.

As I mentioned above, other documents flow into Cashflow which in turns help to simplify Cashbook.

Understanding how data flows through an accountancy/ Business system and how documents support each other is essential for an IT professional  working in a business environment  or for someone running their own small IT business.

The Treaty of Waitangi Historical concepts

The Treaty of Waitangi is New Zealand’s founding document.

In 1831 a petition signed by 13 northern Maori chiefs was sent to King William IV, asking for protection and recognition of their special trade and missionary contacts with Britain.

Other European countries, in particular France, were becoming more interested in New Zealand as a source of trade or as a possible colony for settlement.

Some of the concerns outlined in the petition included

  • Fear of takeovers by nations other than Britain,
  • The need for protection from the lawlessness of the British people in New Zealand.

Concerns about the French interest in New Zealand were highlighted when Baron Charles de Thierry took possession of land he claimed he had bought in the Hokianga. De Thierry declared himself the ‘Sovereign Chief’ of New Zealand.

In 1835 34 chiefs signed a ‘Declaration of the Independence of New Zealand — He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni’ and formed a ‘Confederation of the United Tribes of Aotearoa’.

In the Declaration they asked for William IV, King of England, to act as the Protector of the new state against any attempts on its independence.

By 1839 a total of 52 Maori chiefs had signed the Declaration, which they saw as the guarantee of their independence.

Around the late 1830’s, there were 125,000 Maori and about 2000 settlers in New Zealand. Sealers and whalers were the first Europeans settlers, followed by missionaries. Merchants also arrived to trade natural resources such as flax and timber from Maori in exchange for clothing, guns and other products.

As British settlement increased, the British Government decided to negotiate a formal agreement with Maori chiefs to become a British Colony. A treaty was drawn up in English then translated into Maori.

The Treaty of Waitangi was signed on February 6, 1840, at Waitangi in the Bay of Islands. Forty-three Northland Chiefs signed the treaty on that day. Over 500 Maori Chiefs signed it as it was taken around the country during the next eight months.

The Treaty had three articles:

  1. That the Sovereign of Great Britain has the right to rule over New Zealand
  2. That Maori chiefs would keep their land and their chieftainships, and would agree to sell their land only to the British monarch
  3. That all Maori would have the same rights as British subjects.

It is the second and third articles have caused controversy through the years, mainly because of translation problems. Successive governments believed the Treaty enabled complete sovereignty over Maori, their lands and resources. But Maori believed that they were merely giving permission for the British to use their land.

After the signing of the Treaty, there was a huge increase in the number of Europeans wanting to buy land and settle in New Zealand.

Problems arose when new settlers or companies representing them tried to buy land without consulting all of the Maori landowners.

Many Europeans had no understanding of the concept of ownership of the land by the tribe.

Maori also gradually realised that they were not free to sell their land to anyone and that under the terms of the Treaty they could only sell to the government, and not to anyone else if the government did not want to buy it.

Land sold to the government was sold on to settlers, usually at a much higher price than that received by the Maori owners.

Despite assurances by the British Government that Maori people owned all of New Zealand, not just the lands they occupied, within a few years the pressure from new settlers for land led to the taking of the unoccupied land, described as ‘wastelands’ by the Crown.

Within 10 years of the signing of the Treaty, Maori had begun to appeal to the Government with claims about dubious land sales, but with no success.

The demand for land grew and tension between the two peoples erupted into what is now known as the ‘New Zealand Wars’.

One result of these wars was that the government confiscated large areas of land from the Maori people

By 1877, the obligations entered into under the Treaty were being ignored

In 1890 when New Zealand celebrated its 50th anniversary, the Treaty was not mentioned, and the official anniversary date became the date of Hobson’s arrival at Waitangi, 29 January.

For the next 100 years, Maori continued to demand that the Crown honour the Treaty. By this they mean

  • The return of land that was taken illegally, or compensation for the loss of that land
  • That Maori have control and authority over things that are theirs.
  • That they are consulted on decisions affecting all New Zealanders.

The treaty of waitangi is an important historical document which help shaped our country to the New Zealand we know today.

I see the importants of the treaty between settlers and the native Maori people as it help lay the foundations to develop the country into a more multinational and diverse country  without losing its Maori culture.

Digital Behaviour and Introduction to Business Systems

The primary concern of a company is to make a profit. This is achieved by sales which could be products, services or both, however to do this they also need to keep records, pay taxes and meet all legal obligations.  Online banking, online shop and web sites are also an increasing part of Business Services.

As an IT professional I see it is important to understand the systems that the business will incorporate to achieve their objectives.

Most systems used by any company will be computer based, therefore I need to understand the principals and terminology that are likely to be used in a business environment.

A typical form that a business will use is an invoice, which is use to charge customers for products or services provided by a business; see the link below for typical invoices

An invoice will contain information such as;

  • The name of the business
  • The address of the business
  • The name of the customer
  • Detailed itemised information about the product or service being charged for
  • GST number of Business (Providing business is GST registered)
  • The individual and combined cost of products or services being charged for
  • The GST rate and amount
  • The conditions of payment
  • Date

NB Most business will be GST registered, but some small businesses may not be, any business must register for GST if you carry out a taxable activity and their turnover:

  • was over $60,000 for the last 12 months, or
  • is expected to go over $60,000 for the next 12 months
  • Was less than $60,000, but they include GST in their prices, for example taxi drivers who have included 15% in their taxi fares.

Payroll is another common business activity, where the business produces documentation to employees about their pay as well as actually paying them  and recording details.

For a typical pay slip, see the link below

A pay slip will usually display the employee’s

  • Name
  • Date
  • Amount employee has earned
  • Tax deductions
  • Others deductions
  • Income earned this tax year
  • Tax pay this tax year
  • Other deduction this tax year
  • Amount of leave due

To make a payment to an employee and Inland Revenue, the employee’s bank details and tax number will have to be stored in a secure environment.


IT plays such a big role within business environments now days that to be able to truly call yourself and IT Professional  you need to have a vast understanding of how business systems work , and the business terminology documents and technology’s that  businesses use.

As an IT professional I need to understand the impact of business needs on IT Services.  By being fully conversant with systems and system terminology I can help in the process of planning to ensure that Business Services and IT Services support any changing needs and objectives.

I have reviewed a hand out we were given in class and have giving a brief description of the business terminology’s and Documents terminology (See links below)



Treaty Discussion

On Wednesday we got into groups to discuss active protection of Maori trade marks. In my group with was Andrew Patterson and my self this is what we came up with.

Symbols have great meaning, both historically and culturally.  Many people, when shown the ‘Pyramid” symbol will think of ancient Egypt, where others will think of mathematics.

Few people, if any will associate the ‘Pyramid’ with the outer symbolism of man’s inner quest, concerned with initiates seeking the Divine within themselves.  Over time the pyramid’s true meaning has diminished.

Other symbols are widely recognised as having spiritual meaning, such as the ancient Chinese symbol Yin Yang , people tend to think of balance and harmony as being associated with this symbol, which is not too far away from its true essence. However, this symbol is often used as company or group logos so that people are under the impression that balance and harmony are the culture of these organisations, such as


The effective of this is to lower the spiritual and cultural value of this symbol. The group discussed As IT professionals the importance of being; understanding, conversant and respectful of Maori and their cultural customs when making decisions when developing trademarks.

In today’s multi cultural societies there is a danger of cultures losing their identity.  Cultural is preserved in the ancient rituals, language, religion, spiritual beliefs, medicine, crafts and art/symbols, therefore Maori imagines and rituals are closely linked to the preservation of Maori cultural and spiritual beliefs.

The Treaty of Waitangi clearly raises the issue of cultural and intellectual property rights, there is the reference to the guaranteed right of Maori to retain taonga, which is clearly identified in the Treaty.

problem solving.

During David Arye’s ITC Class he presented the class with tasks to solve.The  first task was to make a tic tac toe program witch was unbeatable. After giving some thought i came up with this;

Move 1

If opponent selects centre box, select any corner


Select centre box

Move 2

If opponent selects a box which is either horizontal, vertical or diagonally in line with their first selection and the third box in the series is vacant, select the third box in the series


If the opponent has selected 2 opposite corners, select any box which is not a corner box.


If any of the corner boxes that are vacant are horizontally in line with one of the opponent’s selections and vertically in line with their other selection, select that corner box.


Select any corner box

Move 3 and 4

If 2 of your selections are either horizontal, vertical or diagonally in line and the third box in the series is vacant, select the third box in the series to win the game


Select the vacant box that is either horizontal, vertical or diagonally in line with 2 of your opponents selections.

Pretty sure it will either draw or win.

Try it out and let me know how you go

My approach to solving this problem was primary based on my experience, I knew intuitively how not to lose a Tic Tac Toe game, therefore the problem changed for me from solving to writing the solution down, however, this turned out to be harder than I first thought.

The first move was straight forward, I knew the key was the centre box, therefore my first move would always be to take the centre if available, if it was not available then my alternative move would be to take one of the corner boxes.

From now on things got a little tricky, my approach to solving this was methodical.  At this stage there was two different scenarios, either me or my opponent had selected the centre box, in either case my opponent could select any one of the seven vacant boxes, which in turn created fourteen different possibilities.  I approached this by writing down how I would react to these different possibilities and then working out how I could write down all of these solutions in the least amount of words.

At this stage things compounded because for each of the previous fourteen possible moves, after making my selection my opponent had five vacant boxes to select from, so I followed the same approach and worked out all possible moves.  This process continued until all vacant boxes were filled.

Something that was very easy to do i.e. not get beat at Tic Tac Toe turned out into a very complex solution.

Another problem present was;

.       .       .

.       .        .

.       .        .

Without taking your pens off the paper draw 4 straight lines that pass through each of the dots.

My approach to this was to free up my mind and think outside the square.  People who find this problem difficult do so because they make assumptions i.e. they think that the lines must be within the bounds of the drawn square.  So by thinking outside the square (in this case literally) allows a different way of thinking which is sometimes useful in solving problems

So have you worked out the solution?

See solution.

Another problem presented was;

2 trains 200 kilometres apart are travelling towards each other,   one train’s speed is 40 Kilometres per hour and the other is 60 Kilometres per hour.

A bird flying at 100 Kilometres per hour flies from one train to the other, when it reaches the train it turns around and flies towards the other train.  The bird repeats this behaviour until the two trains meet.

How far did the bird fly?

On the face of it this problem has some complexity about it and as long as you are focusing on the complexity of the problem the more likely your solution will be complex.

A complex way of solving this problem would be to work out how far the bird flies until it meet the train and turns around, then you would have to work the distance between the trains at that point before doing the next calculation of the distance the bird flies until it meets the original train, if you continued in this manner and your maths skills are up to the task you would arrive at the answer.

Another way of tackling this problem would be to reduce the complexity of the original problem by breaking it down into smaller pieces.  By reducing the complexity of the problem there is a good chance of reducing the complexity of the answer.

So let’s break this problem down;

Basically there are two things happening

  1. Two trains are travelling towards each other
  2. A bird is flying

Looking at the first thing, two trains 200 kilometres apart travelling towards each other at 40 and 60 kilometres per hour, the combined speed of the trains is 100 kilometres per hour (60 +40).  They are 200 kilometres apart, coming together at 100 kilometres per hour.  A person with average maths skill can easily work that out as 2 hours before the trains meet.

The second part, a bird is flying at 100 kilometres per hour, we know that the trains will be travelling for 2 hours; therefore the bird will be flying for 2 hours.  2 hours flying at 100 kilometres per hour equates to 200 kilometres travelled by the bird.  You don’t need to be Einstein to work that one out.

So that problem was solved easily, the only question remains is;

What sort of bird was it that can fly at 100 kilometres per hour?

The game of Tic Tac Toe originated in ancient Egypt, for more information go to

I think the idea of these problems was to get you to think outside the square/laterally,  especially the dot to dot problem.

Simplistic designs

Last week during my ITC class we covered Problem solving with David Arye. Some of the things he covered was GUI and Web site Designs and how different it was using a complicated GUI or Web site vs a simplistic. Personality i found a web page with a simplistic design alot easier to use even if it takes longer to use some of the extra features.

Copy Right, Copy Left and Creative Commons

April 11, 2012

During my last week of the term we covered Copy right, Copy left and Creative Commons.

Previously, I only thought of copy right as a bad thing, something which company’s and people used to get more money out of their ideas.

After going over these topics in class I learned that there’s a lot more to copy right then that.

I see the good and the bad things about copy right, such as;


  • Having your ideas and work protected from plagiarism
  • Have some control over what people do with your work
  • Royalties, if some uses your work for commercial gain you may be entitled to be paid royalties


  • Copyright only covers the expression of ideas or information and not the idea or expression, therefore some one could use the idea of a program that you wrote and make their own program to do the same thing
  • Copyright is automatic, therefore if you told someone of your idea and they published it before you, they would have copyright


You have rights!!!

You have exclusive rights over your material, no one is allowed to use your work without your permission

YouTube Copyrights

YouTube is a widely used web site to upload video, so if you up load a video to YouTube, who has copyright?

Well simply, you do, however, it’s not that simple because under the terms and conditions of YouTube, they have a perpetual license to freely sub-license, re-distribute, re-publish, monetize, and whatever they may want to do with your video.

To upload on YouTube you have to become a member and agree to the terms and condition, looks to me that YouTube has found a loop hole in the copyright law. What do you think?

See  (beware, it’s not an easy read)

To learn more about copyright in New Zealand go to
copy left
Have you ever seen this symbol before?

It certainly looks familiar doesn’t it, but there something wrong with it.

It is actually the mirror image of the copyright symbol and it means……yes you guest it Copy Left

Most people have heard of Copy Right, but have you heard of Copy Left before, I certainly had not.

Copy Left is actually a play on words to Copy Right

Copy Left is a form of licensing and can be used to maintain copyright conditions for works such as computer software, documents and art.

This is how it works, if I produced computer software I may want to allow others to copy it freely, examine and modify the source code, and redistribute the software to others as long as the redistributed software is also passed along with the copy Left stipulation. This way I could encourage users to make improvements to it.

The term is not to be confused with “Free software” which is usually distributed with copyright restrictions.

Copy Left is a half way house between Copy Right and Creative Commons

For those of you who have just learnt about Copy Left then Creative Commons is probably new too. Creative Commons is something which was new to me and which I never knew existed.

So what is Creative Commons (CC)?

Simply it is a licensing system to allow others to use your work.

Below are the types of licensees available;

Attribution (BY) This licence lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licences offered, in terms of what others can do with your works licensed under Attribution.

Attribution-Noncommercial (BY-NC) This licence lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.

Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works (BY-NC-ND) This licence is the most restrictive of our six main licences, allowing redistribution. This licence is often called the “free advertising” licence because it allows others to download your works and share them with others as long as they mention you and link back to you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.

Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike (BY-NC-SA) This licence lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. Others can download and redistribute your work just like the BY-ND-SA licence, but they can also translate, make remixes, and produce new stories based on your work. All new work based on yours will carry the same licence, so any derivatives will also be non-commercial in nature.

Attribution-No Derivative Works (BY-ND) This licence allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along    unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.

Attribution-Share Alike (BY-SA) This licence lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial reasons, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This licence is often compared to open source software licences. All new works based on yours will carry the same licence, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use.

I like the idea of CC and I think it’s a great assist to artists who aren’t out to make a lot of money but are just happy sharing their work without getting blatantly ripped off.

What I think makes CC great is that you can incorporate other peoples work within yours to complement it (if their CC license allows it) e.g., someone working in digital media can make a video and use the music from another artist, who has allowed for their work to be used in that way.

Keep in mind if you’re ever going to use someone’s work within your own you should give credit to the persons work and to check their copy right license to make sure you aren’t in breach of it in anyway.

To learn more about Creative Commons:

Social Networking and Identity Theft

Identity Theft and Social Networking was covered in ITC501 today.

Social Networking and Employment

After learning about new ways business are using social networking to screen potential employees and look into what their social network pages say about them as a person, I have come up with a list of things to avoid on a social network

Things to Avoid

  1. Inappropriate Pictures

I just visit this Facebook Site where there is a picture of some guy in bed asleep with a keg of beer See

The question you have to ask your is “What will other people think when they see such a picture?”

This guy’s mates might find it funny, but prospect employer might see it differently

So when posting a picture the question you should be asking is “Will this help to support the image I want to present in my professional life”.

The guy in the picture I mentioned might one day want to become a politician, do you think such a picture would enhance that prospect?

Yeah, I know, a politician was probably not the best career to choose

2. Complaining About Your Current Job

While everyone complains about work sometimes, doing so in a public forum where it can be found by others is not the best career move. Though it may seem innocent, it’s not the kind of impression that sits well with a potential boss.

There have been cases of people losing their jobs because of post they made on social networks, for more information on this matter follow the link below

3. Posting Conflicting Information to Your Resume

If you say on your resume that your degree is from Massey, but your Facebook profile says you went to NMIT, you’re likely to be immediately cut from the interview list. Even if the conflict doesn’t leave you looking better on your resume, disparities will make you look at worst like a liar, and at best careless.

4. Statuses You Wouldn’t Want Your Boss to See

Imagine a situation when you observe a work college browsing TradeMe in work time and you decide to post a comment on Facebook.  At the time you might find it hilarious, but just think of what you have done and how others will perceive that.

Firstly you don’t know the circumstances, there could have been a perfectly good reason for that person to be on TradeMe at that time, and if that’s the case then you are made to look at the worst unprofessional and at the best foolish.

Even if that person shouldn’t have been on TradeMe people will see you as untrustworthy, deceitful and not loyal which can seriously undermine your chances at landing that new job.

Remember there are better ways to resolve situations than using social networks, usually a quite word is enough

5. Not Understanding Your Security Settings

On Facebook it is now possible to customise lists of friends and decide what each list can and cannot see.

However, many people do not fully understand these settings, or don’t bother to check who has access to what. If you are going to use Facebook professionally, make sure you take the time to go through your privacy options. At the very least, your profile should be set so that people who are not your friend cannot see any of your pictures or information.

For more information see or

6. Losing by Association

You can’t control what your friends post to your profile (although you can remove it once you see it), nor what they post to their own profiles or to those of mutual friends. If a potential client or employer sees pictures your friend has tagged you in where he is falling down drunk, it reflects poorly on you, even if the picture of you is completely innocent. People tend to judge others by the company they keep, at least to some extent.

Take a look at everything connected to your profile, and keep an eye out for anything you wouldn’t want others to see.

Facebook Can Help You Get Hired … or Fired

Things like negative comments about previous employers, illegal activities, excessive binge drinking and political views that you choose to post on your page can seriously hinder the chances of you getting the job.

Personally I think this is wrong and immoral for employers to look at your social network, but not giving employer’s access to this info could show you have something to hide, even having the ‘perfect’ social networking page can work against you because this might be perceive has being contrived.

This leads me to think twice about what I post on my page and on other people pages. Having a page that shows you are both responsible and committed while still living a normal active social life might be the way to go, especially if you want to keep your future employment options open. Even with the ‘perfect’ social network page there are still other factors that can work as a disadvantage when looking for employment, e.g. your ‘E Footprint’ can easily be traced with info like name and date of birth and can show employers sites and forums you have signed up to.

This leads me to believe the only way to keep your E Foot print hidden is not to use personal info for websites that may harm your chances at employment.