Is the sky falling? Space weather (13 June, 2014)

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Is the sky falling? Space weather (13 June, 2014)

Postby aardvark_admin » Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:40 am

This column is archived at: http://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2014/0613.shtml

How great is it that we can now get free space-weather forecasts and reports via our web-browsers or mobile phones?

Has the media over-reacted (again) to the latest solar events?

Does the difference between the USA's attitude to taxpayer-funded information and NZ's attitude to same show that we're placing dollars ahead of science?
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Re: Is the sky falling? Space weather (13 June, 2014)

Postby Anaru » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:50 am

The unfortunate reality is that if you said to people: "What would you prefer - free to air Shortland Street or free access to weather information?", you'd be sorely disappointed.

This is what annoys me about democracy, sure it's fantastic and all that however it doesn't place any responsibility on those who get to vote. If you posed another question: "What would you prefer - A SKY TV subscription or free health care?", a lot of people would choose the subscription.

On a side note, this event plus a full moon plus already twitchy plates around the world, I'd say a major earthquake is going to make the news in the next 72 hours.
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Re: Is the sky falling? Space weather (13 June, 2014)

Postby Stevesub » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:22 am

The Met Service in OZ has a fantastic web site and weather radars. I can get down to a 60km radius of a radar site to the full country in the other extreme. The 500km radius is my most used level of resolution for me. Forcasts are accurate most of the time as are weather warnings down to suburb level at times. Free weather radar apps that actually work well on phones - yes I know the NZ Met service has one, but it is clunky as and does not give the radar detail you can get in OZ, etc. Also does not work well on my Droid tablet.

All for free in OZ, but the country is stuffed.
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Re: Is the sky falling? Space weather (13 June, 2014)

Postby Kiwiiano » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:38 am

Anaru wrote:On a side note, this event plus a full moon plus already twitchy plates around the world, I'd say a major earthquake is going to make the news in the next 72 hours.

Oh Anaru, you haven't been listening to the Moon Man again have you?

On the subject on NZ Science, I discovered yesterday that Industrial Research Ltd (IRL), the descendant of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) is no more, it has crept off into that everlasting night, it has kicked the bucket, it's shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!! The web site is gone, linking automatically to Callagahan Innovation, a fully buzz-word compliant site if ever I saw one.

I used to work for DSIR/IRL but that event (early 2013) slipped under my radar entirely. Given the contributions the DSIR & IRL made to NZ industry & research over the years you'd think there would have been the odd obituary. But I guess their forte was the open door that allowed industrialists to wander in to have a chat with the experts in whatever field their problem lay for free, for the betterment on NZ. Anathema to the money grubbers.
~ Kiwiiano
“I'm not a total idiot. Parts of me are missing!”
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Re: Is the sky falling? Space weather (13 June, 2014)

Postby aardvark_admin » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:42 am

Callaghan Innovation is (IMHO) just a joke and a gravy-train for those with the right connections.

I still can't believe that they held a UAS conference and totally ignored the *pivotal* technology I'm working on with SAA -- even though I emailed them and asked what was going on.

It seems that *I* don't have the right connections so the value of my technology is irrelevant.

Support for real science and technology in this country appears to have been replaced by cronyism and boozy lunches.
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Re: Is the sky falling? Space weather (13 June, 2014)

Postby Screw » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:57 am

aardvark_admin wrote:
Support for real science and technology in this country appears to have been replaced by cronyism and boozy lunches.


Can't argue with that one!

The question is why?

The electorate are too busy trying to get by to go into politics too deeply. When they get home at night after a hard days toil on or just above the minimum wage, they are too tired and drained to ever worry about the who's and what's of politics. all they want is some escapism in the form of dumb TV shows.
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Re: Is the sky falling? Space weather (13 June, 2014)

Postby Jetboy » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:02 am

Yeah NZ places dollars and obscufation (not sure if thats the best word) above safety and public funded good.

Used to be that when Airways decided to package met data and forecasts that you could access them electronically or get the briefing material in person at a tower. Eventually this fuction changed to MetService and they soon decided to put it behind a subscription paywall although for a while CAA tweaked and diverted some of the (not trivial) levies and fees they charge the lower level participants - the non commercial sector - to continue open access to the low level met data used for flight planning, in the interest of overall safety enhancement, as is done for the general public and private boating, mountaineering participants etc.

You probably know thats all been trashed and MetService demand a paid subscription from each and every person to access the information. The same basic data is available from other sources such as BOM, Metservice marine / other sections, and the Vic university site. it just doesnt have the "approved for aviation" tick.

for pilots who cannot on - charge these costs to an employer - the sky is sort of falling, by the time one adds $311 medical deposition and filing fee, cost of the actual medical and extra testing paid to the doctors, $200 - 300 maps and publications renewals, the costs of installing and re testing devices like transponders so the airlines can tolerate flight via their airspace and make faster profits, and the latest one - Airways clips your ticket for every sector of their farm you want to traverese...

Want to complain to CAA about anything? the meter starts running as soon as they pick up the phone and the rate is over $100 / hr
FMI see gaa here:

http://www.caa.gen.nz/
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Re: Is the sky falling? Space weather (13 June, 2014)

Postby latewings » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:04 am

And those of us who need weather data for flying, the state decided to make us pay for it, but to charge the largest users of weather data (marine users) is verboten as there are too many voters in that group.
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Re: Is the sky falling? Space weather (13 June, 2014)

Postby aardvark_admin » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:22 am

Jetboy wrote:Want to complain to CAA about anything? the meter starts running as soon as they pick up the phone and the rate is over $100 / hr
FMI see gaa here:

http://www.caa.gen.nz/

Actually -- the invoice they sent me for my "unfit for purpose" exemption seems to be charging their time at over $200/hour.

Looks like I'm going to have to battle that one through the courts -- I don't see why CAA should be exempt from the laws that outlaw "bait and switch".
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Re: Is the sky falling? Space weather (13 June, 2014)

Postby Malcolm » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:34 am

Kiwiiano wrote:I used to work for DSIR/IRL but that event (early 2013) slipped under my radar entirely. Given the contributions the DSIR & IRL made to NZ industry & research over the years you'd think there would have been the odd obituary. But I guess their forte was the open door that allowed industrialists to wander in to have a chat with the experts in whatever field their problem lay for free, for the betterment on NZ. Anathema to the money grubbers.



There was a bit of an uproar over it and last year when Kiwistar Optics (An IRL subsidiary) had to pull out of tendering for a multimillion dollar contract to build one of the launch instruments for the next generaiton space telescopes due to lack of government support. Trevor Mallard called the move treasonous in parliament. But while it got a lot of play in the science blogs and left wing media, it was completely absent in the mainstream. Same with the bid for the SKA, Our government did SFA about it and left it entirely with the Aussies, almost had the whole thing whipped out from under us and of to South Africa.

Also earlier in the week National put out a press release shich was carried by the mainstream news about increased science funding, turns out it was actually a cut and re-announcing of existing funding
http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2014/ ... nding.html
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