Archive: Griffin's Gadgets March 2011

Theoretical physicist Brian Greene is heading our way

Peter Griffin Feb 02, 2017

Famed physicist Brain Greene visits Auckland next month in one of numerous events scheduled by leading personalities from the world of science. One of the world’s leading science communicators, Professor Greene will explore string theory, mathematical physics and cosmology in his popular A Time Traveller’s Tale lecture and audience Q&A. The Columbia University … Read More

An insight into one of the world’s biggest R&D spenders – Microsoft

Peter Griffin Dec 22, 2016

Microsoft, the tech company best know for the Windows computer operating system and Office productivity suite, spent over NZ$17.3 billion on research & development in the last year. To put that in perspective, Microsoft spends more than Google, Amazon and Apple on R&D, companies that are generally more often associated with cutting-edge innovation and futuristic technologies. To give you an … Read More

The big science stories of 2016

Peter Griffin Dec 14, 2016

Nature’s made herself well known in science this year, with the recent Kaikoura earthquake dominating media attention for the past month.  A plan to make New Zealand predator free and the campylobacter outbreak that sent Havelock North hurtling to the bathroom made science a crucial part of news stories this year. As 2016 draws to a close, the Science Media … Read More

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Rise of the bots – AI shows its chatty side

Peter Griffin Dec 09, 2016

Think of artificial intelligence and an image of HAL’s piercing red light in 2001: A Space Odyssey or even the emotionally needy android of Ex Machina may spring to mind. But applications of AI are all around us and much more prosaic than those sci-fi icons. Think about Google’s search or the video suggestion features of Netflix. They are being joined by one of … Read More

The internet of things and farming

Peter Griffin Dec 07, 2016

The last thing I expected to see when I visited Microsoft Research in Seattle last month were lettuces growing under LED lights and fish swimming in a tank as part of an “aquaponics” experiment. It turns out that the small crop installations are part of growing efforts underway at the software giant looking at the future of food. While Microsoft has leafy … Read More

The real Babel fish – towards universal language translation

Peter Griffin Nov 29, 2016

If you’ve experienced the anxiety and embarrassment of trying to communicate with people whose languages you don’t understand, you’ll be very interested in what the newest generation of translation technology is allowing. Earlier this month I visited Microsoft Research in Redmond, Seattle and got to see the newest version of Microsoft Translator, which allows real-time translation of group chats. Read More

ORCID explained – The new, unique identifier for researchers

Peter Griffin Oct 17, 2016

Last week saw the launch of the ORCID Consortium which sees 34 New Zealand research institutions back use of a unique identifier for researchers that promises to make keeping track of individuals’ work and evaluation of the research system more effective. ORCID’s New Zealand debut has been funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the … Read More

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Dealing with post normal science and post truth politics

Peter Griffin Oct 07, 2016

As the defacto capital of the European Union, Brussels is a bureaucrat’s Mecca. But last week it also drew some of the most senior science advisors from around the world as our own Sir Peter Gluckman held the second International Network from Government Science Advice meeting there – in the well-appointed assembly room of the European Commission’s Charlemagne Building, no less. Read More

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