Technology

Govt requests NGO client data – Why do they need this? - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Mar 04, 2017

I’m a big fan of letting NGOs benchmark their effectiveness using government data. But I don’t quite get why the government needs NGOs to collect some of this information on their behalf. Here goes. The government holds a huge amount of linked administrative data on all of us in the Integrated Data Infrastructure. All kinds of stuff can be linked … Read More

Autonomous beasts and where to find them - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Mar 02, 2017

Seeing Boston Dynamics’ latest robot “Handle” got me thinking about the diversity of other autonomous (or nearly so) robots that have appeared over the last few years.   I’ve previously noted the prediction of a robotic “Cambrian explosion”. We aren’t at that stage yet, but it is interesting to look at the variety “out” there. Though mostly … Read More

De-extinction dilemma: Bring back the moa or save the kiwi? - News

John Kerr Feb 28, 2017

Adding previously-extinct species to our conservation checklist will strain already tight conservation budgets, say a team of New Zealand and Australian scientists. Little Bush Moa, Anomalopteryx didiformis. © Te Papa. De-extinction – resurrecting extinct species with the help of modern technology – has been largely confined to the realms of sci-fi. But now technology is catching up with the fantasy. Read More

Seven Earth-sized planets discovered orbiting a nearby star - Guest Work

Guest Work Feb 23, 2017

By Jonti Horner, University of Southern Queensland An international team of astronomers has found that a nearby star is accompanied by a swarm of at least seven small, rocky worlds. One of the eyecatching claims in the work, published today in Nature, is that in the appropriate circumstances, there is a chance that any (or all) the … Read More

New Zealand science looks to the future – Sciblogs Horizon Scan - News

John Kerr Feb 20, 2017

Pandemics, predators and predicting sea-level rise are just a few of the issues covered in our Sciblogs Horizon Scan special series. We asked experts across the spectrum of New Zealand science to give us their take on the big issues in their field and what might be around the corner. What does the future hold in store for New Zealand … Read More

How far they’ll go: Moana shows the power of Polynesian celestial navigation - Guest Work

Guest Work Feb 16, 2017

By Duane W. Hamacher, Monash University and Carla Bento Guedes, UNSW One of the greatest feats of human migration in history was the colonisation of the vast Pacific Ocean by Polynesian peoples. They achieved it thanks to their sophisticated knowledge of positional astronomy and celestial navigation. The Disney film Moana has drawn attention to … Read More