Technology

How the Indian lunar lander was lost - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Sep 09, 2019

The Indian lunar lander and the rover it was carrying appear to have been destroyed when they plummeted to the surface after contact with them was lost when about 2 km up and a few minutes from the planned soft touchdown. Here I examine what one can deduce about what happened, and when, from the TV coverage of the situation … Read More

Lunar landing by Indian space probe - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Sep 06, 2019

All being well, the Indian space probe Chandrayaan-2 now in orbit around the Moon will drop its lander safely and softly onto the surface on Saturday morning. The lander (named Vikram) will then roll out its rover (Pragyan), which it is hoped will prowl around for the next two weeks before the cold of the lunar night closes it down. Read More

An invitation to name a star and a planet - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Sep 04, 2019

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) — the global organisation of professional astronomers — is marking its centenary this year by inviting different nations to propose names for both a distant star, and a planet found to orbit it (a so-called exoplanet). Anyone can suggested a moniker, for the star, for the planet, or both. So: calling all New Zealanders to … Read More

The fires in Brazil in satellite imagery: Part 1 - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Aug 31, 2019

The numerous fires now burning in Brazil have been much-discussed of late, with world leaders complaining that the nation’s authorities allowing such clearing of land is highly detrimental to international efforts to limit the release of more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, with the potential to exacerbate anthropogenic global warming/climate change. In this post I illustrate how such fires may … Read More

Cheesecake Files: Machine learning heart attacks - Kidney Punch

John Pickering Aug 21, 2019

“Machine learning” rates very high on the buzz-word scale, right up there with “nano-technology” and “blockchain”. Like most buzz it is more noise than substance. However, every now and again it looks like there might be something in the noise that bites. This episode of the Cheesecake Files1 is about testing an algorithm (another buzz word) developed through a … Read More

When tech does things humans never could - FutureworkNZ

Guest Author Aug 16, 2019

Nik Green  Technological progress need not eliminate jobs; automation can allow new and expanded worthwhile activities. Technology can have many different effects on the labour market – it can replace human labour, it can make workers more productive, it can increase the overall demand for workers, and it can create demand for new skills, roles and tasks. Technological progress can … Read More

Technological change and the future of love - FutureworkNZ

Guest Author Aug 12, 2019

John MacCormick Online matchmaking has radically changed the way people search for love. Digital marketplaces for romance offer more choice, fewer constraints, and potentially less risk than “traditional” ways of finding prospective mates. How much has this changed the nature and quality of people’s romantic relationships? Jack MacCormick In a similar way, digital labour market platforms change matchmaking for … Read More