If only they’d do the work

Winston Peters wants to get the unemployed to help with the building of homes in struggling regions.

I can’t wait for the unions to dump all over that policy, and I can’t wait for Labour to try and nix the solution.

NZ First leader Winston Peters wants to use unemployed people to fix up dilapidated houses in struggling regions.

In a speech in Rotorua today, Mr Peters said his party had long had a community wage policy to get unemployed people into work.

“It is based on a combination of the unemployment benefit and the minimum wage, and amounts to a subsidy for paid work in any region,” he said.

Mr Peters said when full-time jobs did not exist local community leaders could name projects that would be started if money was made available.

Under the policy, an individual or a group of people could be working for a number of employers doing specific jobs.

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Can I use this to skip work?


Hmmm… too close to home for my liking…

IDIOTS from BLR_VFX on Vimeo.

Beaten by a Lego computer:


First Air Hockey, and then the world!


Unions: the Robots are killing them

Yesterday I blogged about the demise of unskilled and boring work to robots and looked at why we should embrace this.

Then late last night I was sent a link to a video clip via the tipline that shows how the new Silver Ferns Farms chain works, where they have put in robotics at the Finegand Plant – apparently with the support of the unions – because it is difficult to fill these repetitive roles in outlying parts of NZ eg Balclutha. It frees the skilled staff to do more interesting work.

So good to see the unions getting with the programme.

Not sure if this is the actual plant or just an example. But it interesting in any case.

The comment stream is hilarious especially the alien invasion scenario and how the machine could be used on pedos and criminals.

The end of the unions is nigh and it will be robots that kill them

Wired has an excellent article about robot jobs, and robots replacing humans that will Darien Fenton and Clare Curran the colly-wobbles:

To understand how robot replacement will happen, it’s useful to break down our relationship with robots into four categories, as summed up in this chart:

The rows indicate whether robots will take over existing jobs or make new ones, and the columns indicate whether these jobs seem (at first) like jobs for humans or for machines.

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Evolution of Dance


This robot can dance:


Forget about the Zombie Apocalypse, worry about the Robot Uprising

Andrew Sullivan

How to fight back against a robot uprising.


Cool Technology


If only the Daleks had this technology…they may have been a whole lot more scary:

Robotics company Boston Dynamics created an 11-pound robot called the “Sand Flea” that can jump 30 feet in the air and is equipped with an infrared camera.

“The robot uses gyro stabilization to stay level during flight, to provide a clear view from the onboard camera, and to ensure a smooth landing,” notes its website.

This video shows the robot in action — jumping onto a one story building and straight up the side of a dirt hill. The Sand Flea’s name hints as the bot’s capabilities — it can move undetected and close to the ground while springing up into the air to jump onto higher ground.

The bot has enough energy to jump 25 times and last two hours using its fuel supply and piston actuator. The controller can choose how high and at what angle the Sand Flea jumps, while the bot’s four wheels cushion its landing.