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Technology Valley : Latest Posts


Software with pictures

It's been a week of irony, with Dunedin app-maker Animation Research sharing an Emmy for its America's Cup app just a few hours after I listened to a Government productivity adviser calling mobile apps... Keep Reading


Goldratt's theory works a treat

One of the best books I've read is Eliyahu Goldratt's "The Goal". The book illustrates the practical application of Goldratt's "Theory of Constraints", one of the most powerful management techniques I've ever seen. Goldratt points out that maximising efficiency doesn't always maximise profitability. Much better to focus on constraints.... Keep Reading


Good engineering matters: A lot

One of the clearest memories from my first offshore race was waking up to the sight of deck beams bending and twisting as our raceboat punched its way into a gale. Later on, someone said: "That's what happens when you go sailing on a Janola bottle." That was way too long ago for me to admit to anything resembling an exact date. You've... Keep Reading


D'you know Arduino?

Arduino is a system of electronic bits and pieces you can assemble into software-controlled gadgets such as musical instruments, car accessories, computer peripherals... you can even find plans on line for an Arduino-based laser cutter. Like Meccano or Lego, Arduino is available as complete sets, or you can buy the p... Keep Reading


Wingate auto manufacturer is driven by passion

Passion was the main them of this month's Technology Valley Meetup. Passion for being the best you can be. Passion for advanced technology. And passion for delighting your customers. Our guest was... Keep Reading


Lies, damn lies, and a nifty fusion of theory and practice.

Scientific credibility seems to be a popular topic right now, with a multi-billion dollar fusion experiment failing to fire and a US researcher claiming most published scientific papers are wrong. An essay in ... Keep Reading


Patently Faster

About 25 years ago people started telling me all about the critical importance of IP protection, and why we should be working closely with patent attorneys to defend ourselves against the terrible ... Keep Reading


What you need depends on what you need

The last couple of weeks I've been thinking about quality management in engineering projects. I've been... Keep Reading


What's good for the economy is good for the climate

This year I refocused my lecture about solving man-made climate change. I was able to do that because climate scientists in 2013 dramatically improved... Keep Reading


What's all the fuss about startups?

Bureaucrats and politicians coo over new startups like grandparents doting on new-born babies. The Key government is no exception. Back in October they rolled out a system of... Keep Reading


Support from friends helps Racetech's recovery

I used to get half-way through February before my office recovered from pre-Christmas desk-clearing. These days my desk is well and truly groaning by mid-January, thanks to the pile of material I have to read before presenting my annual lecture on renewable crude oil. I've read what I need to read. Nothing's changed. Market-led capitalism is the on Keep Reading


2013 technospective

Somewhere I read that writing cements the memory. So. Here's my list of technological things I saw, learned, or read about in 2013 and don't want to forget. Comeback. After their Petone factory was gutted by fire, Hutt Valley car parts manufacturer Racetech set up shop around the corner and got right back into business. Flop. Envia promised General Keep Reading


Embrace the cliche: Information is power

A couple of weeks ago I spent some time looking into the BNZ-Business NZ 'Performance of Manufacturing Index' (PMI). I hoped I would learn something relevant to Technology Valley. I wasn't disappointed. The PMI should... Keep Reading


Will international climate negotiators take any notice of the IPCC?

Last Tuesday I went to Victoria University's annual debrief on the 'conference of the parties' to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This annual event usually attracts about ten thousand diplomats, bureaucrats, politicians, and hangers-on. This year's edition, codenamed 'COP19', took place in Warsaw. The debriefing was... Keep Reading


Kiwi cliques cost jobs

A conversation after last Sunday's Port Road Drags highlighted one of Technology Valley's most important goals. Leaning on the bar at Cam County Inc.'s clubhouse, a spectator told me: 'I'm not into drag racing. I'm only here because a mate of mine is racing. I prefer speedway.' It was codswallop. He found plenty to talk about with Cam County member Keep Reading

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