getty images
The climate models
behind predictions of
droughts and floods require
a colossal amount of data
crunching. Scientists have
decided to share the load.
NIWA is calling on any
member of the public
with a computer and an
internet connection to
volunteer their hardware.
[email protected] can be
downloaded and run as a
background process on a
home computer to help
crunch climate data. It
takes any spare processing
power and processes
data from both a global
climate model and NIWA’s
regional climate model,
then uploads the results for
the scientists to scrutinise.
Volunteers can sign up at
skye wishart
Being neighbourly
Social media’s answer to a conversation across the back fence
It can be easier to learn what a friend ate
for lunch in Amsterdam than what’s going
on just down the road. Social networks
such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
connect us with people across the globe,
but now the original social network—the
neighbourhood bush telegraph—is getting
a technology upgrade too.
Social networking site
has been designed to connect people with
their neighbours. The founders hope that
18 | New Zealand Geographic
people will use the private site to discover
what’s going on in their own community—
from finding babysitters to free feijoas, civil
defence responses to reporting a burglary—
reclaiming the neighbourhood in an era when
many don’t know who their neighbours are.
Co-founder Casey Eden says the
internet has enabled society to build
incredible networks across the world. “On
the surface it makes us feel like we’re very
engaged,” he says. “We can go home and
have all these virtual interactions and we
don’t feel like we need to talk across the
But looking back, the neighbourhood
was the first stop for social interaction.
“Anyone aged 20 to 40 now has seen a
neighbourhood. We remember our parents
knowing the neighbours and the importance of that. We also live in this internet
age where we know how to go about our
interactions in other ways.” skye wishart