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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 [...]

Lots of land still up for grabs on largest LEGO set

In around June this year, LEGO and Google Australia (who do the maps) released Build, a WebGL LEGO simulator. Touting itself as the world’s largest LEGO set, it allows you to build, using Lego bricks, anything you want on a Google map.The map’s been divided up into small squares, and plots are a 32×32 grid. Currently, only New Zealand and Australia have been opened up, but I imagine that more global space will be should [...]

TOSP Episode 22: February 27th 2012

Hello, and welcome to a very watery TOSP :) [Original post on the Sciblogs The Official Sciblogs Podcast site] This week, Elf and aimee talk of things watery – watery planets, flying squid and plankton blooms – as well as new FTL neutrino info (what may have gone wrong), genius computer software, bioscience’s contribution to NZ’s economy, plus a new brilliant site for science-based ebooks and apps, and the tree of diversification! PODCAST HERE [Did [...]

TOSP Episode 20: February 14th 2012

[Original post on the Sciblogs The Official Sciblogs Podcast site] Greetings, TOSP listeners! This week’s podcast is a teensy bit late (heh), and a little different to usual as it was the first we’ve done and edited ‘On the Road’. We (well, Elf – aimee was driving like a loon between Auckland and Wellington as practice for the Rally) travelled to Christchurch to chat to some of New Zealand’s young emerging scientists from both MESA [...]

TOSP Episode 19: January 30th 2012

[Original post on the Sciblogs The Official Sciblogs Podcast site] Greetings, podcast audience of ours! This week’s podcast was supposed to be slightly shorter than usual, but then Elf and aimee got into a Discussion or two. There may have been some slight ranting :) We cover the human brain connectome (peeeerdy), awesome urchin-like nanospheres, a NZ critter app, the world’s first iridescent mammal, a medical/bioinformative challenge, science and weight loss, ranting discussion on the place [...]

Reprise: "Drone meets nerd, drinks beer and talks"

About 18 months ago I was approached to write an article for the Waikato-focussed Scope magazine.  Something about science, maybe, and business.  I figured it might be good fun to talk about jargon. So below, with kind permission from Scope, is my article as it first appeared in Scope Winter 2010 (the latest edition, Summer 11, is here). The word is out, and on the lips of Kiwi politicians, scientists and entrepreneurs: We need to [...]

New Zealand internet usage is on the up!

Internet usage in New Zealand is, not surprisingly, on the increase :) Apparently, we’re choosing easier access to the internet, more data and faster access.  Huzzah! Statistics New Zealand has released the results of the 2011 Internet Service Provider Survey, saying the following: A greater number of subscribers had access to faster upload speeds in 2011. The proportion of those with upload speeds of 1.5 megabits per second (Mbps) or more increased by over 70 [...]

Opting out of the Yellow/White Pages (in NZ)

I became very excited today at the news that it was possible to opt out of receiving the Yellow Pages. Which excitement turned slightly custardy upon finding that this option was available in the US, not New Zealand. The next question, of course, was ‘is it possible to do so in our fair, green country?’.  And the answer, interestingly, is a resounding ‘NO’. It seems that the terms of Telecom’s 2007 sale of Yellow Pages [...]

NZ's increasing academic shortage

I was most interested to read this article in the ODT today.It talks about the University of Otago’s plans to futureproof (what a catchphrase) itself against what, apparently, is a steadily increasing shortage of tertiary academics in New Zealand as we…

The value of knowledge economies

Rod Oram, of the Sunday Star Times, recently wrote this piece.In it, he basically lays out why a knowledge-based (or at least heavily contributed to-) economy is something New Zealand should be striving for.And I have to say I agree: this idea that one…