Lots of funny tweets about it too: https://mobile.twitter.com/niwa_nz/status/109261054140158771...
Finally, hijacking the thread, but we also have a Python Open Source tool if you are into weather forecast, workflow, schedulers, etc: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19081972
I had find a lot of plastic in whale stomachs, is not uncommon at all.
I think we should carbon date it to be sure. Just imagine, forebearer design committees!
No it isn't. This is AFAIK the first occurrence of its kind (which is why it made the news) and very likely to be a rare accident. Start getting concerned when this routinely happens, or other usually considered disposable items start getting found; otherwise it's just paranoic fearmongering.
But, isn't it a bit weird that we collectively make decisions that lead to this sort of situation - where I'm spending my day getting a VoIP phone better (OK, posting on HN), instead of helping out make the world better?
I'd love to be able to dial back the "real job" to put more effort in to this sort of thing, but it just doesn't seem like our industry would be OK with a 20-hour work week. And, it doesn't seem that the conservation groups would be able to pay market rates for engineering work, which is also a shame.
How can we fix this?
 https://albatross.org.nz/ Basically, what's wanted is a system to 1) alert the staff when people peek under the lids of nest boxes for penguins, and 2) attempt to read the RFID tags implanted in those birds, so that when one parent doesn't come home, their egg/chick can be rescued (lose 1 bird instead of 3).
Another alternative is to use industry veterans. We have few from programming background, but I believe that might change in a few years?
Tech companies don't want 20hr/wk workers because of the investment required to bring a worker up to speed in any given company, and the amount of 'live' knowledge required to be productive. I'd expect two workers at 20hr/wk to be much less productive than one worker at 40hr/wk.
Imagine two people at retirement age, who have each worked full careers at a similar skill level and with similar devotions to their jobs. One of them worked at solving hunger* , the other worked on consumer electronics. Which provided more benefit to society, and by how much?
The system we've got seems to say that the work done by the person who worked on consumer electronics is several times as valuable, and to me that seems wrong. I'm asking for ways that we could change the system, so that that penguin monitoring project (for example) doesn't have to be "volunteer time" rather than "work time".
* or environmental conservation, social equality, curing cancer, whatever floats your boat.
> How can we fix this?
Politics. There is no way around it. Money will go into what rich people are interested in. Public spending is the way to make it go in other directions.
Unless you have an idea to profit off wildlife monitoring, you'll need a public official convinced that this is a project worth doing.
(I hypothesize that) electronics might be a problem with embryos whose future survival depends on reading correctly the magnetic field of the earth.
1) There are weight traps able to differenciate among a human and a small rodent or penguin. You should study that in your system. Is basically a plate buried in soil that acts as a switch when someone steps over there.