Technology

Media merger: Common sense – at last - The Dismal Science

Donal Curtin May 05, 2017

Yesterday I warned you that I was writing a piece for competition policy tragics, and this is it. In the event it’s not terribly technical, so give it a go even if you’re not a tragic – especially as it shows how we’ve got, finally, to a better place when it comes to assessing things like the NZME/Fairfax … Read More

April ’17 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott May 02, 2017

 Here are the rankings of New Zealand blogs with publicly available statistics for April 2017 There are about 300 blogs on the list, although I am weeding out those which are no longer active or have removed public access to sitemeters. (Let me know if I weed out yours by mistake or get your stats wrong). Every month I get queries from people … Read More

Getting scientific research papers without paying - Code for life

Grant Jacobs May 02, 2017

Or, as it’s informally known: getting past the paywall. Occasionally I write about stuff that might be useful to other researchers, but also lets non-researchers see a little of what bugs some of us researchers! All but a relatively few (biological) science research journals require you to subscribe before you can get the research … Read More

The autonomous state - Ariadne

Robert Hickson May 01, 2017

The biggest fear of artificial intelligence is usually it getting smart enough to get rid of humans. But what if one of the biggest threats is regulating us to death, or at least to subservience? “Efficiency and effectiveness” is a common refrain from those advocating the use of artificial intelligence in government. There is certainly plenty of … Read More

Facebook’s new anti-fake news strategy is not going to work – but something else might - Guest Work

Guest Work Apr 28, 2017

By Paul Ralph, University of Auckland Have you seen some “tips to spot fake news” on your Facebook newsfeed recently? Over the past year, the social media company has been scrutinized for influencing the US presidential election by spreading fake news (propoganda). Obviously, the ability to spread completely made-up stories about politicians trafficking … Read More

How virtual reality spiders are helping people face their arachnophobia - Guest Work

Guest Work Apr 27, 2017

By Rebekah Boynton, James Cook University and Anne Swinbourne, James Cook University. Gradually exposing people to the thing they fear, say a spider, in a controlled environment has long been the mainstay of treating phobias. But with exposure therapy you don’t have to have a spider physically present in the room for you to feel … Read More

The flying car, nearly here? - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Apr 21, 2017

A small German-based company, Lilium, has announced that they have successfully tested an electric “flying car”. A ducted fan mini-plane really.   Others are also looking at developing small air-borne taxis. But Lilium is the first to have a working prototype. Initially piloted, but Lilium hopes it can become autonomous and able to be summoned using a smart … Read More

Improving gender balance in physics - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Apr 07, 2017

The Institute of Physics has just released a report on recent interventions designed to improve the uptake of physics at ‘A’-level by girls*. Although there have been considerable efforts in the UK to improve the gender balance over two decades, there has not been any substantial change – about 20% of a typical A-level physics class is … Read More