Technology

Apollo 11 and the Real Dish - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Jul 16, 2019

The TV pictures of Neil Armstrong clambering down the ladder of the Apollo 11 Lunar Excursion Module and taking the first steps by a human on the Moon’s surface are rightly iconic, though rather fuzzy. Most people seem to think that those images were received by the radio telescope at Parkes in New South Wales, largely because that was what … Read More

The Equation of Time - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Jul 14, 2019

The solstice on June 22nd marked the shortest duration of sunlight (or day length) during this year. One might have expected that from that date sunrise would have started getting earlier; and prior to that date sunset to have been consistently getting earlier (as the daylight duration was shortening). In fact the latest sunrise did not occur until almost a … Read More

What makes a job a good job? - FutureworkNZ

Guest Author Jul 12, 2019

John MacCormick   There’s an old joke about an economist searching for her keys under a street lamp. She lost them somewhere up the street in the dark, but it’s easier to look where the light’s shining.1 John MacCormick If that still has any amusement value, it’s because there’s still some truth in it. When searching for the keys to … Read More

There’s no place like home - FutureworkNZ

Guest Author Jul 11, 2019

Tim Maddock    Why don’t people move as often as economists expect? Some regions in New Zealand have much higher rates of unemployment than others. These differences are persistent, with little change over the past thirty years. Why might this be? If workers seek higher pay (and unemployment is painful) then we would expect workers in struggling regions to … Read More

The demand for statisticians and Easter bunnies - FutureworkNZ

Dave Heatley Jul 08, 2019

The right job in the wrong place. For many, that’s the reality of job search in New Zealand’s less populated regions. And regional employers face the flip side – the right worker in the wrong place. Labour markets are inherently regional because commuting time subtracts from work and leisure time. On average, New Zealander workers spend 40 minutes a day … Read More

Could AI be the answer to our productivity woes? - FutureworkNZ

Guest Author Jul 04, 2019

Judy Kavanagh    Regardless of the technology hype, we’re in a productivity slump worldwide. Will it rebound as robotics and AI deliver a boost? A couple of weeks ago I attended the OECD Global Forum on Productivity in Sydney with the not so snappy title “Keeping pace with technological change: The role of capabilities and dynamism”. My … Read More

Robot dog meet robot stick - Unsorted

Robert Hickson Jul 03, 2019

  Four years ago I wrote about getting too carried away with evolutionary metaphors for robots. But I can’t deny that we’re are seeing an increasing diversity of robotic forms and capabilities. The technological sophistication of high-end robotics, and the speed with which they are improving, is impressive. Check out SpotMini’s moves.   … Read More

Orbits of the satellites launched by Rocket Lab three days ago - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Jul 02, 2019

On Saturday June 29th Rocket Lab launched another cluster of seven satellites into low-Earth orbit from the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand’s North Island. In this blog post I illustrate the orbital paths of the ten resultant tracked items now in orbit.  In a blog post last week (June 27th) I showed the orbits of the various satellites launched … Read More