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The TechDay Weekender - Dec 17th 2011

17 Dec 11

The ICT industry was surprised this week when Prime Minister John Key announced he was relieving Steven Joyce of the Communication and Information Technology portfolio, and giving it to relative newcomer Amy Adams.

On Joyce’s part, it is certainly no reflection of poor performance. Quite the opposite, in fact – it seems as though Joyce’s deft handling of the Ultra Fast Broadband project has prompted Key to give him a promotion, both in number on the Cabinet list – from 14 to 4 – and in scope of responsibilities, with the addition of the crucial Economic Development and Science and Innovation portfolios.

As for Adams, she is ranked at the bottom of the Cabinet list, at number 20. She is MP for Selwyn in Canterbury, and is also the Minister of Internal Affairs and Associate Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery. With a healthy majority of 11,075 she should be able to dedicate herself fully to her portfolios; the question is whether her background in law has prepared her for the vagaries and idiosyncrasies of the ICT sector. We certainly wish her luck.

In other news, this is a time when people love to write their ‘best and worst’ lists for the year, and we’ve picked a few we particularly liked.

LinkedIn published the top 10 adjectives most commonly used on members’ profiles this week, with the leader (in a neat piece of irony) coming up as ‘creative’. The list was specifically pulled form profiles of users in the US, but the business networking site did check a few other countries, and found that the same word was also the most common among users in Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK (no mention of New Zealand).

Another list that caught our eye was that from information management and data recover vendors Kroll Ontrack, who offered their top 10 data backup horror stories. Gathered from engineers at Kroll Ontrack’s 30 offices around the globe, the list includes howlers such as a security guard who thought he’d sneak a cigarette in his warehouse only to set off the sprinkler system and flood the company’s electrical equipment, and a corporate accounting department who had been throwing back coffee on a late-night reconciliation project to the point where they drained the battery of the company’s UPS, preventing it from protecting the server during a power outage.

We’ve also been running our own list this week, counting down the top 40 most influential people in the New Zealand telecommunications industry. Based on voting by a panel of judges gathered by IT Brief editor Angelique Jurd, the list covers all the movers and shakers in the industry, from the CEOs of Vodafone and Telecom to the heads of advocacy groups InternetNZ and TUANZ. This list was published in four parts; check out 40-31, 30-21 and 20-11, or skip straight to the big players, 10-1.

In a long-anticipated move, Trade Me was floated on the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges this week by parent company Fairfax Media. Initial trading on Tuesday indicated the price was about to soar from its opening $2.70 to over $3.00, but the excitement soon peaked and the stock has settled down just below $2.90.

Finally, this is the last Techday Weekender for the year as we’re taking a well-earned break for three weeks, and we just wanted to thank you for reading throughout the year. It’s been a fun one, and we’re sure the sector won’t be any less exciting or entertaining in 2012.

We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year, and we’ll be back on January 9 with all the latest news from the world of technology.

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