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Technology

Winners of 2013 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge announced

And my goodness but there are some stunners this year. As readers of this blog will know, I’m something of a fan of data visualisation, and this year’s competition winners have a great deal to offer, in categories from games to video, posters and more. It’s difficult to pick a favourite, but I did want to highlight the video below as one of them. Produced by NASA and winner of the video category, it shows [...]

Countdown: I love this liftoff

It’s an insane day for space stuff! Stephen Hawking is boldly claiming ‘there are no black holes‘* – and this from the chap who proposed Hawking radiation :P Astronomers have discovered an ‘ultramassive’ black hole: one of the most powerful objects ever found. The ‘cosmic web’ – filaments of gas connecting galaxies across the darkest regions of space – has been long hypothesized, and now seen. And there’s this stunning video – artists’ conceptions of [...]

Spellbinding: Computers Watching Movies

Artist Benjamin Grosser has done some utterly fascinating – given us a new perspective on, well, our perception by showing us how computers ‘watch’ movies. The outcome is stunning. Each movie used – from Taxi Driver to The Matrix, Space 2001 to American Beauty – shows a strikingly different pattern. They come from software, written by Grosser, which illustrates how a computer ‘watches’ a movie in realtime. You can see where the computer focuses – [...]

Classifying plankton: more fun than you might think

One of my favourite things to do with this blog these days is to catalogue/chronicle awesome citizen science initiatives. And there’s a new one! And it’s lots of fun! In Plankton Portal, you get to help identify plankton from images taken . I’ve just started playing, and so far it’s actually trickier than it looks, but one gets added benefit of learning heaps about plankton which, lets face it, are amazingly cool (my favourite are [...]

Where does NZ rank in the Global Innovation Index 2013?

How innovative would you say New Zealand is, comparatively? Well, we have an answer, according to the Global Innovation Index 2013 – produced (since 2007) by economists from Cornell University, INSEAD and WIPO (the World Intellectual Property Organization. This year, the report looks at 142 countries from Zimbabwe to Switzerland. Together, these countries represent almost 95% of the world’s population, and over 98% of its GDP. From Scientific American: This year’s big-picture findings: R&D spending [...]

Meet the newest members of our family

Our family just keeps growing and growing. In addition to me and Partner, there’s Beefcake, Monster and (very recently) Hank, the motorbikes. And of course Derek, the car. Leviathan, my bicycle, is on long term loan, but we haven’t forgotten it, heh. And now? I’d like to introduce you to Tim, Hippolyta, Mary-Sue and Pip (short for Pipsqueak, because it’s much littler than the others). They’re the shrimpies which live in the Ecosphere that Partner [...]

My Skeptics Conference 2013 talk and slides – ‘Nerds, nerds everywhere’

The weekend just passed saw the annual NZ Skeptics Conference 2013, held in my home town of Wellington. The theme was around science communication, and speakers featured such stars as Pamela Gay and Kylie Sturgess, as well as local speakers such as Martin Manning and fellow Scibloggers Siouxise Wiles and Elf Eldridge. For some unfathomable reason, I was asked to speak too. I was told it was because of experience in and around community stuff [...]

Book review: The Year Without Pants

UPDATE: Free book chapter here, the movie trailer here. And in case you such things, them to make a decision, high profile endorsements here. You can also buy the book here. Oooh, and interesting interview on WordPress.com with Berkun, here. If sometimes you wonder whether everything possible hasn’t already been written about startups, business, software startups, software businesses and so on (ad nauseum), you wouldn’t be alone. Certainly, the industry which examines this seems pretty healthily active. [...]

Future Timeline – a visual representation Pt 2

After some agonising, I’ve decided to go with the easy route. Confused? See Pt 1 for an explanation of what this is all about :) So, here’s the full thing, in two formats: 1) Future Timeline – visual (a webpage, sorry about some of the mashed formatting. Time mutter grumble grumpy grumble) 2) A PDF (see below) Remember, in both versions EACH ENTRY is hyperlinked back to the fuller explanation for it :) I’m not going [...]

Future Timeline – a visual representation Pt 1

Future Timeline is an extremely interesting site.  Calling itself a “speculative timeline of future history”, it has page upon page of really interesting content. Some of it is very much based on fact, while others is based more on supposition and hypothesis. It’s an excellent exercise for casting one’s mind forward. Unfortunately, however, the structure of the website means it’s impossible to get an overview of trends and changes. Something which, I hope, I’ve been [...]