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December 2013 Articles have moved to the Archives

January 2014


30 January 2014

Return of the Independent!

Kris Hanna

Are you fed up with party politics? Fed up with the dishonesty and lack of respect?


I know I am!


That's why I've listened to massive encouragement from locals and decided to have another go at Parliament in the upcoming State election (15th March 2014). After one of the ugliest election campaigns on record, I reckon it's time to put some common sense, integrity and decency back into politics. [ Read More... ]

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29 January 2014

New book claims this picture proves Hitler escaped his Berlin bunker and died in South America in 1984 aged 95

Simoni Renee Guerreiro Dias claims this picture proves Hitler lived in the small town of Nossa Senhora do Livramento with his girlfriend, Cutinga

He is believed to have died after shooting himself in a Berlin bunker in 1945 when he realised Germany had lost World War II.

But a startling new book claims Adolf Hitler actually escaped his hideout and died incognito in 1984 in a small town near Brazil's border with Bolivia - and it can be proved by a picture. [ Read More... ]

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28 January 2014

South Korea to spend $1.5 billion on 5G 'movie-in-a-second' service

SEOUL: South Korea, already one of the most wired countries on earth, Wednesday announced a 1.6 trillion won ($1.5 billion) plan to roll out a next-generation 5G wireless service quick enough to download full-length films in a second.

The science ministry said it aims to implement the technology -- about 1,000 times faster than the 4G services currently available -- within six years. [ Read More... ]

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28 January 2014

Bitcoin leader's surprise arrest shows the digital currency has yet to shake its criminal ties

Charlie Shrem, the vice chair of the Bitcoin Foundation and CEO of BitInstant, once an exchange for the popular digital currency, was arrested at New York's JFK Airport last night for violating money transmission rules.

At first, the news was a surprise: Many payments start-ups, including bitcoin companies, run afoul of money transmission laws, and typically face legal expenses, business challenges and bad press, but not arrest. [ Read More... ]

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28 January 2014

Intel's voice recognition will blow Siri out of the water, because it doesn't use the cloud

Intel's powerful new mobile processors can do things that usually require the cloud.

There's a problem with today's voice recognition systems: They're just too slow. Anyone who has waited in frustration while Siri or Google's Voice Search 'thinks' about even the simplest commands knows what I'm talking about. [ Read More... ]

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28 January 2014

African Refugees Riot In Melbourne: Who Does Not Want You To Know?

Don't be surprised, but the main stream media has covered up an African refugee race riot in Melbourne. I can say that because the event occurred on New Year's Eve, 2014, and you've probably never even heard about it.

But happen it did. [ Read More... ]

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27 January 2014

Abbott's Davos Disaster

What has the world learned about Australia from Abbott's keynote address to the World Economic Forum?

Australians watched Tony Abbott fly off to Switzerland this week to deliver an important speech to world leaders with muted anticipation. Commentary in advance ranged between frank pessimism and outright dismay.

It is clear now the PM failed to live up to those expectations.

Fortunately, the damage done to Australia's reputation was limited by most media declining even to mention the Abbott embarrassment. [ Read More... ]

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24 January 2014

Another Government Stuff Up

Kevin Andrews is the author of the government's $200 'Save Your Marriage' voucher scheme. As Minister for Social Services.


This Catholic inspired nutter, and his wife, run a marriage guidance couselling service at which they run group sessions at $240 per couple [ Tea and bikkies supplied], to avoid being called a 'rip off'. [ Read More... ]

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24 January 2014

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal clash may finally decide who is the greatest

There is so much more than Australian Open final place at stake as old foes meet in Melbourne for what could be the last time

The tennis match on Rod Laver Arena on Friday night between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal is not just a semi-final of a grand slam tournament, an eliminator to determine who will play Stanislas Wawrinka in Sunday's final of the 2014 Australian Open. It is a good deal more than that. [ Read More... ]

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24 January 2014

SA REDISTRIBUTIONS 2014

WHEN South Australians vote in a little under two months it will be, as usual, under boundaries drawn by the state's Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission.

But for the first time in more than two decades the pre-election pendulum won't appear fair. [ Read More... ]

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24 January 2014

2014 can be the year you give up food forever

Starting this February, you'll be able to give up real food forever. A year after first blogging about Soylent, a bland shake filled with every micro- and macro-nutrient one needs to survive, Rob Rhinehart tells Motherboard that more than $2 million worth of the powder has been sold, and is almost ready to ship. [ Read More... ]

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24 January 2014

Why Apple is making a phablet

The one on the left is pretty much a phablet already. Reuters

The Wall Street Journal, which tends to get these things right, is reporting that Apple plans to release a version of the iPhone with a screen that stretches more than five inches from corner to corner. That would officially make it a phablet, the portmanteau for mobile devices that resemble both phones and tablets. [ Read More... ]

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24 January 2014

Indonesia sends warships to patrol southern border

Sukhoi Su-27/30 Flankers are also ready to fly to the border if an Australian ship is detected in Indonesian waters

Indonesian warships, including torpedo and missile craft, have been moved to its border with Australia following Australia's admission last week that some of its vessels had inadvertently entered Indonesian waters.

The Indonesian navy's chief spokesman, Commodore Untung Suropati, has confirmed a number of warships had moved towards the Australian border including frigates, fast torpedo craft (KCT), fast missile craft (KCR), corvettes and maritime patrol aircraft, the Jakarta Post reported. [ Read More... ]

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24 January 2014

Winter Olympics 2014: Race to find Sochi 'bomber' casts chill over Sochi Games

Olympic committees in Germany, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia and the UK have received messages threatening their delegations at the Winter Olympics, which begins in two weeks, although officials dismissed them as unfounded. Nonetheless, taken with the news of a potential suicide bomber on the loose, the threats have raised concerns about the impregnability of Sochi, where security is at unprecedented levels. [ Read More... ]

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23 January 2014

Israel Grants Oil Rights in Syria to Murdoch and Rothschild

Israel has granted oil exploration rights inside Syria, in the occupied Golan Heights, to Genie Energy. Major shareholders of Genie Energy, which also has interests in shale gas in the United States and shale oil in Israel, include Rupert Murdoch and Lord Jacob Rothschild. This from a 2010 Genie Energy press release: [ Read More... ]

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23 January 2014

Anzac troops airbrushed out of WWI commemoration

Britain has been accused of airbrushing the role of Anzac troops out of this year's First World War commemorations in favour of soldiers from developing nations.

Reports in Australia claim no 100-year anniversary events have been planned by Britain that specifically recognise the sacrifice made by Australia and New Zealand. [ Read More... ]

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23 January 2014

Australian FM lashes out at Snowden 'treachery' on US visit

Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop speaks to the media during a news conference at the Australian embassy in Beijing on Dec 7, 2013. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop lashed out Wednesday at Edward Snowden, accusing the US intelligence leaker of "unprecedented treachery" after he unveiled Canberra's efforts to spy on Indonesia. [ Read More... ]

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23 January 2014

Australia in The Hague

Secret Memo: To all XXXX operatives


From: Xxxxxx Xxxxxxx


Subject: Xxxx xx x xxxxxxxxx xxxxx, xxxxxx xx xxx


As many of you are aware, this government is contesting a legal challenge in The Hague Court of Documents brought about by the prime minister of Xxxx Xxxxx, a tiny island nation located somewhere near Bali, or The Philippines, or both. [ Read More... ]

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23 January 2014

$7.30 BREAKING NEWS: Indonesian Navy invades Australian territorial waters

$7.30's Lee Sails interviews Tony Abbott over reports three Indonesian Naval vessels have entered Australia's territorial waters near Darwin.

Studio: And now to some breaking news. Reports are coming in that three Indonesian Naval vessels have entered Australia's territorial waters near Darwin. Eyewitnesses report the vessels were escorting four boats containing asylum seekers that they had towed from Indonesia to Australia.

We cross now to our chief naval reporter, Lee Sails, in Canberra where the Prime Minister has agreed to come out of hiding to answer some questions. [ Read More... ]

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22 January 2014

NSW police could use children to catch vendors selling alcohol to minors

Plan to use children in undercover stings comes despite criticism of police for lapses in reporting on similar operations

Children could be used in undercover operations to catch alcohol vendors selling to minors in New South Wales, despite the state's ombudsman criticising police for several years over their reporting of similar operations.

The proposal forms part of the NSW premier, Barry O'Farrell's 16-point plan to curb alcohol-related violence. Critics have described parts of the plan as a knee-jerk reaction and the proposed mandatory sentences for a range of offences as ineffective. [ Read More... ]

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22 January 2014

Australian Navy accused of beating, burning asylum seekers

An asylum seeker in Indonesia receives treatment for burns allegedly inflicted by the Australian Navy.

Claims of physical abuse denied by Federal Government, despite Indonesian police saying that 10 asylum seekers were injured.

Asylum seekers have accused the Australian Navy of beating them and inflicting burns by ordering passengers onboard a boat being towed back to Indonesia to hold on to parts of the engine. [ Read More... ]

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22 January 2014

The Andrews announcement

I was mocked when I wrote in December that the Abbottites would 'redefine disability'.

But today, Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews announced he was doing it, thereby terrifying two million Australians who thought their disabled children, or their disabled nephews and nieces, would be looked after well after they were gone. [ Read More... ]

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22 January 2014

London barman attempts citizen's arrest on ex-UK PM Blair over Iraq 'war crimes'

What began as an ordinary Friday night for a barman at an upscale London steakhouse ended on a more dramatic note after former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair entered the establishment. [ Read More... ]

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22 January 2014

Snowden to ask Russian police for protection after US threats: lawyer

NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, will ask Russian law enforcers to protect him, his lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, has said. The former NSA contractor is concerned about his safety after seeing death threats coming from the US.

Snowden, who is currently living in Moscow under Russia's temporary asylum, has been following the threats against him in various American media. [ Read More... ]

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22 January 2014

Adelaide: Police Baton-Beat Suspects In Whitmore Square

South Australia's Attorney-General and the Deputy Commissioner of police have admitted footage of a police officer striking two suspects with his baton during an arrest doesn't look good for the force.

The vision, taken by the Seven Network, showed the arrest of the men in Whitmore Square in the centre of Adelaide.

In it, one of two officers is shown hitting one man twice with his baton and another man three times. [ Read More... ]

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22 January 2014

We Could Solve The Budget Crisis By Just Getting Rid of The Courts!

Last night I watched a police drama. The squad was being investigated by a man whose estranged wife was in the squad. No conflict of interest was perceived. Then when the head of the squad refused an order to 'stand down', and the wife was shot in the ensuing car chase, the husband stripped the leader of his badge and gun and vowed to 'get him'. Again, no conflict of interest. [ Read More... ]

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21 January 2014

Obscene wealth: World's 85 richest have same wealth as 3.5 billion poorest: Oxfam

The world's 85 wealthiest people have as much money as the 3.5 billion poorest people on the planet, half the Earth's population. That's according to Oxfam's latest report on the risks of the widening gap between the super-rich and the poor. [ Read More... ]

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21 January 2014

Aust apologises to Indonesia over territory breach

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison

Australia's relations with Indonesia have been dealt a further blow with confirmation one or more navy ships went into Indonesian waters without official permission as they were tackling people-smugglers. [ Read More... ]

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21 January 2014

Aussie cooking app races up the charts

The Cook app now has 650,000 members.

Australians' love of food and design has proven the perfect mix to help the new local app 'Cook' rise up the iTunes charts. [ Read More... ]

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21 January 2014

He Will Not Be Forgotten: Capt. Paul McKay, Another Son Lost To Afghanistan

Capt Paul McKay

On Thursday, 16 January 2014, the Afghanistan War claimed another Australian life: that of Captain Paul McKay. He was to die, twelve thousand miles from Afghanistan, atop a mountain in the lonely, cold Adirondack hills in New York state. He was 31 years old. [ Read More... ]

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21 January 2014

Murdoch puts mockers on Melbourne Club moves against Abbott

It's been a bruising first four months for new PM Tony Abbott, but he isn't down for the count just yet.

Liberal powerbrokers allegedly make moves to try and replace Tony Abbott as prime minister, but the Sun King won't have a bar of it.

In the whispering gallery that buzzes through Australian politics these days, word has reached me from a former colleague at The Advertiser that the South Australian Liberal establishment wants to organise a party spill in Canberra before Parliament begins its 2014 sittings. [ Read More... ]

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21 January 2014

Rio's Famous Christ the Redeemer Statue Keeps Losing Its Fingers

Lightning bolts strike through the sky near Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Thursday night.

The only problem with being a 100-foot-tall statue on a mountaintop is the lightning. The iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, which overlooks Rio de Janeiro, has suffered two fingers chipped over the past few weeks after being struck by lightning. { Read More... ]

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21 January 2014

Ad Companies Are Trying to Buy Popular Chrome Extensions

Over the weekend, it was reported that an odd, new trend is popping up among extensions for Google's Chrome browser ads. According to Ars Technica, advertising companies are buying popular Chrome extensions that already have a built-in userbase, and then changing the extension to insert ads into websites. [ Read More... ]

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20 January 2014

Another dangerous fib about our past

Our racial resentment industry really is out of control:

Melbourne City Council will build a memorial to two Aborigines who in 1842 were the first people executed in Melbourne.

On this day, January 20, in 1842, 5000 Melbourne citizens watched as Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner were hanged for the murder of two whale hunters while resisting white settlement. [ Read More... ]

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20 January 2014

What is this mystery object spotted on Google Moon?

Bizarre wedge-shaped 'craft' appears on the lunar surface

Is it part of an alien spaceship nestled under the dust of the moon, or a secret moonbase occupied by humans?

Speculation has exploded over these controversial images which appear to show something unexplained on the surface of the moon. [ Read More... ]

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20 January 2014

UKIP Councillor blames gay marriage for Britain's 'storms and floods'

A flood warning sign sits in the road in Upton Upon Severn, England

The wrath of God has been unleashed on Britain after the government's decision to legalize gay marriage, claimed a UK Independence Party member in an open letter published by an Oxfordshire newspaper. [ Read More... ]

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19 January 2014

Tony Abbott's Picks Show His Incompetence!

After a very successful summer, where the Australian Cricket Team have pounded the English, it looked like we were invincible.

But then along comes Tony Abbott, and the Prime Minister's Eleven. This is a game where a number of players are supposedly 'selected' by the PM. [ Read More... ]

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19 January 2014

There Will Be No Comment Whatsoever, But Let Me Just Say This

If people coming here by boat are illegal and need to be locked up indefinitely, then when our navy entered Indonesia waters, were they also illegal and at risk of being arrested and locked up indefinitely? [ Read More... ]

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18 January 2014

What's Happening at Medicare?

Yesterday I had an appointment at Flinders Medical Centre. I turned up on time, and approached the receptionist.

As usual, she asked me for my Medicare Card, which I pulled from my wallet.

"Sorry Mr. B" she said, "Your card has expired". I asked her if that impinged my appointment, to which she replied, "Under normal circumstances, yes, we cannot treat you. But nobody has been receiving their cards, and we don't know what is going on. So your appointment can go ahead". [ Read More... ]

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18 January 2014

ASSANGE REVEALS WIKILEAKS LEAKED CABLES:
Confirm EXISTENCE OF EXTRATERRESTRIAL LIFE!!

July 5, 2013, Prior to the recent hearing on UFOs and extraterrestrial life, weve had explosive statements made by NASA astronauts and professors, you can watch some of those statements. Not only has the world heard from all of these credible people, its also been privy to official documentation released by dozens of governments worldwide that outline the reality of the UFO phenomenon. Documents indicate that UFOs are of concern to governments, and they put a significant amount of time, effort and resources into studying them. Apart from governments, agencies like the National Security Agency also released official files regarding UFOs, you can view some of these previously classified documents. [ Read More... ]

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17 January 2014

Morrison's pirates

So, guns were fired near children on a leaky boat we turned back to Indonesia, which did not want it.

And this was an 'on-water activity' Scott Morrison won't discuss lest it please the 'enemy' in his 'war'. He is behaving like a Somalian pirate now and his sanity should be investigated. He is behaving, some would say, like George W Bush.


Grounds now exist for lawyers to look into the sacking of this government. [ Read More... ]

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17 January 2014

The internet of bees could save our food supply

Australian scientists have devised a way to pinpoint the causes of the global die-off of bees that pollinate a third of the world's crops: Attach tiny sensors to 5,000 honey bees, and follow where they fly. [ Read More... ]

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17 January 2014

'Toothless!' WikiLeaks reveals secret draft of TPP environment chapter

Demonstrators protesting against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are seen on Pennsylvania Avenue, near the White House

The environment protection provisions in the draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement will not be enforceable, says whistleblower site WikiLeaks, which released a section of the document. [ Read More... ]

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16 January 2014

Protecting consumers from Dark Patterns

There has been an emergence in recent year of 'dark patterns' behaviour by sellers, which tricks users into doing things they may not want to do.


What's the problem?

A Dark Pattern is a type of user interface that appears to have been carefully crafted to trick users into doing things, such as buying insurance with their purchase or signing up for recurring bills. [ Read More... ]

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16 January 2014

Aussie Police Strip Search a Girl in Public

I really don't know where we are heading in Australia when things like this happen.

To me it seems there is something morally, if not legally wrong, in the police action

It's a short video, you must watch! [ Watch... ]

Watch on Mobile


16 January 2014

A Holiday Rort, Courtesy Of The Coalition

Arthur Sinodinos

While you were enjoying your holidays, the Abbott Government gave a gift to the financial services industry - the right to plunder your superannuation

Some unlucky Australians return from holidays to a home that's been burgled. Even if the would-be robbers do nothing more than enter and leave the door open, it's a distressing experience.

Just before Christmas, on 20 December, Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos announced a rollback of the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms, leaving the door open for financial advisers to plunder our savings. [ Read More... ]

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16 January 2014

GM adds salt to the wound

GM execs Mark Reuss (R), President General Motors North America, Alan Batey (C), Head of Sales North America, and Dan Ammann (L)

Like a marital split, General Motors (GM) has moved on, while its former partner Holden is left to ponder what went wrong with the relationship.

Despite past promises of loyalty and longevity, GM has left home and has a new love interest in its expanding Chinese and US markets. [ Read More... ]

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16 January 2014

Britain Is Threatening to Leave EU

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is about to give the European Union an ultimatum: either reform, or we're leaving. [ Read More... ]

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15 January 2014

SA politicians debate upgrade of 24-year-old IT platform

South Australia's two major sides of politics have engaged in a war of words over the past week over various pledges to upgrading a 24-year-old IT platform underpinning the state's courts system, which its chief justice says is close to collapse and which needs tens of millions of dollars to replace. [ Read More... ]

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15 January 2014

Julie Boyd 15 January 2014

Open letter to Cory Bernardi and Paul Sheehan from a single mother

Julie Boyd 15 January 2014, 10:30am


DEAR CORY BERNARDI AND PAUL SHEEHAN,


Both of you have seen fit to pass public judgement on single mothers as a genus over the past few weeks. As a single mum I'd like to explain how it's blokes like you who caused us to be single in the first place. [ Read More... ]

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15 January 2014

Reddit, Mozilla, rights groups to protest online snooping

Screenshot from thedaywefightback.org

On February 11, a broad coalition of internet-involved organizations will go online to protest massive electronic surveillance by various governments. The action hopes to repeat the successful beating of SOPA/PIPA bills in 2012. [ Read More... ]

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15 January 2014

Megaparty: Kim Dotcom launches political party

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom

Megaupload founder and web tycoon Kim Dotcom is launching registration for his New Zealand political party on Monday. Tickets for his 40th birthday, coinciding with the launch, went in minutes, with more than 15,000 people planning to attend. [ Read More... ]

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15 January 2014

Why Nest will be bigger for Google than Android

Tony Faddell helped give the world the iPod, and now he's giving Google access to what will someday be the biggest market Google has ever seen.

Nest is a company that makes smart smoke detectors and smart thermostats. That's neat, but that gadget business alone is not worth $3.2 billion, the price Google just paid for Nest. There are a bunch of reasons Google was willing to give Nest's investors a 20x return on their investment, including its pool of talent. But the full scope of the most important reason of all has been absent from most of press coverage. [ Read More... ]

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15 January 2014

The Tasks Of The People-Powered Movement For 2014

Build Broad National Consensus for Paradigm Shifting Change

In our last article, Major Social Transformation Is a Lot Closer than You May Realize, we defined where today's social-political movement is within the eight stages of successful movements. We have passed the 'Take-Off Stage' (Stage 4), gotten through the 'Perception of Failure' (Stage 5) and are in the phase of 'Building Majority Support' (Stage 6) which is the last stage before 'Victory'. In this article we delve deeper into the tasks of the movement in this stage and apply those tasks to current issues faced today. [ Read More... ]

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14 January 2014

by Mike.B

This may be one of the most important inventions of our time

Free Energy For Your Home

I have subscribed to, and watched various 'free energy' websites over the last couple of years.

Ever since I heard of a bloke by the name of Nikola Tesla from a good friend in Coober Pedy called John Danda back in the 70's, my interest in LENR (Low Energy Nuclear Reaction) or cold fusion, has been unwaning. [ Read More... ]

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14 January 2014

Bunfight: Why small towns are saying no to Maccas

A Tecoma protestor dressed up as mascot Ronald McDonald

The townspeople and the local council both said 'no', but McDonalds won the fight for a restaurant in Tecoma, near Melbourne. It's a story playing out in tiny towns across Australia. [ Read More... ]

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14 January 2014

'Am I guilty?' AK-47 maker's near-death torment

Mikhail Kalashnikov, world famous inventor, with an AK-47 assault rifle

In the last years of his life, Mikhail Kalashnikov, the famous Russian weapon designer, anguished over his responsibility for the millions of deaths his inventions caused, his published letter to the head of the Russian Church reveals. [ Read More... ]

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14 January 2014

A very quick bite: Moment tigerfish leapt from an African lake to pluck a swallow from the air

The phenomenon has never before been captured on film

Incredible footage has emerged of a fish leaping out of the water and plucking a fast-flying swallow out of the air - an event believed to have never before been captured on film. 25 sec video. [ Read More... ]

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13 January 2014

The Auditor-General didn't want a pay rise, but got one anyway

Premier Jay Weatherill: a government spokesperson says he didn't know the Auditor-General had requested an unchanged salary.

ADELAIDE | South Australia's Auditor-General Simon O'Neill specifically asked for no more money but he's been given a pay rise anyway, taking his salary over the $300,000 mark. [ Read More... ]

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13 January 2014

How you'll write emails on the tiny screen of a smartwatch

Kids of the near future could be writing term papers on these.

Imagine trying to compose an email on a keyboard just a tad bigger than a postage stamp. Nuance, whose technology powers speech-recognition systems like Apple's Siri, thinks it has this problem licked, and it doesn't involve voice recognition. [ Read More... ]

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13 January 2014

We didn't vote for this

We were not just lied to before the election, but lied to by fanatics who possess no stealth, guile or communication skills. [ Read More... ]

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13 January 2014

US tested biological weapons in Japan's Okinawa in the 60's

The American army conducted experiments with biological weapons aimed at destroying rice crops on the Japanese island of Okinawa in the 60's, Kyodo news agency reports. The alleged target of the tests was the China and Southeast Asia region. [ Read More... ]

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12 January 2014

Threat to NBN as Optus plans fibre to the basement rollout

Optus has joined TPG Telecom in exploring a private rollout of fibre optic cabling to apartment buildings, potentially threatening the economic stability of the national broadband network

SingTel-Optus is exploring a private rollout of fibre optic cabling to apartment buildings, in similar fashion to plans from TPG Telecom, potentially threatening the economic stability of the national broadband network. [ Read More... ]

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12 January 2014

Turning back boats may breach law: UN

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison says the government's border policies meet Australia's international obligations, despite criticism from the UNHCR.

The United Nation's refugee agency says the Abbott government's policy of towing or turning back boats may breach Australia's obligations under international law. [ Read More... ]

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12 January 2014

School curriculum reviewers are no fans of Labor

The two experts appointed to review the national schools curriculum are critics of the system established by the previous Labor government.

There is a war going on within our education system. On the one hand, we have the extensive Gonski Report commissioned by the previous government, and on the other, we have Christopher Pynes's latest review. [ Read More... ]

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12 January 2014

Eleven questions Abbott will never answer, because they'll never be asked

With escalating chaos under the Abbott administration, media scrutiny is needed more than ever, but the unspoken pact between the government and the mainstream media ensures this won't happen, writes Alan Austin.

Tony Abbott gave an extended radio interview this week.

This was a rare opportunity to elicit detailed answers to urgent questions. It was an exceptional chance for scrutiny of policies which seem as inexplicable as they are destructive.

From the outset, the matey chat appeared scripted by the Liberal Party PR unit. [ Read More... ]

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12 January 2014

Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi hits out at 'pro-death' abortion, step-families, IR laws

One of Tony Abbott's backbenchers has accused some women of using abortion as "an abhorrent form of birth control" and labelled those who advocate pro-choice as "pro-death" [ Read More... ]

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11 January 2014

Could Abbott end Medicare?

The re-emergence of the Medicare co-payment idea for GP services could be the first step in the Coalition dismantling Australia's universal health system

All Australians should be deeply worried about the re-emergence of the Medicare co-payment idea for GP services. [ Read More... ]

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11 January 2014

How al-Qaeda changed the Syrian Civil War

Until relatively recently, few observers believed that the government of Bashar al-Assad had a future in war-torn Syria. But the situation in the world's most active battle zone has changed drastically in recent months, and now many suggest that the Assad forces are dominating the conflict. [ Read More... ]

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10 January 2014

Philip Morris, Australia and the fate of Europe's trade talks

Australia's clash with Philip Morris over plain packaging has disrupted trade talks between the United States and Europe

Sceptical: European Consumers' Organisation director-general Monique Goyens

IT isn't often that Australia rates a mention in the European Union's corridors of power. And that's no bad thing: the long-running diplomatic stoushes with Canberra over agriculture and market access are seen here as water under the bridge. No news is definitely good news.

Yet for the past few months Australia has been the talk of the town. A little-known investment treaty between Hong Kong and Australia, signed in 1993, is being used as a cautionary tale of what lies in store for Europe as it negotiates its way towards what will be the biggest free trade and investment agreement ever. And Europe's executive is responding by saying it has learnt from Australia's mistakes. [ Read More... ]

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10 January 2014

The Sea Shepherd's coming of age

The Sea Shepherd fleet is again in the Southern Ocean attempting to disrupt the annual Japanese whale hunt, as the Australian Government disappoints with its inaction. This year, expect to see less high seas hi-jinx from Sea Shepherd crews.

Nisshin Maru and Yushin Maru leaving the Antarctic whale sanctuary after allegedly being chased away by Sea Shepherd boats on January 6, 2014.

In Post Election 2013, Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt, assured the voting public that the Government would honour its election promise to send a Customs vessel to the Antarctic Treaty Zone. [ Read More... ]

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09 January 2014

Starlite, the nuclear blast-defying plastic that could change the world

Two decades ago amateur scientist Maurice Ward invented a material that could resist the force of 75 Hiroshimas. So why haven't we all heard about it?

A square of the heat-resistant plastic Starlite, complete with charring from nuclear testing

The gentleman feels for something in his jacket pocket. It's a nice suit, and it is accompanied by a suitably gentlemanly bow-tie. The effect is sartorially unusual but not too much. What will come out of the pocket, though, is more than unusual. It is unparalleled and almost unbelievable. 'Here,' says Maurice Ward, handing over a creamy small square. 'That's Starlite.' It's a piece of plastic that bends in all directions, with a charred mark the size of a coin on one side. 'That's from the nuclear blast,' says Ward. 'Don't worry, there's no nuclear stuff on it. I wouldn't have given it to you otherwise.' [ Read More... ]

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09 January 2014

Former NSA whistleblowers plead for chance to brief Obama on agency abuses

A group of former National Security Agency insiders who went on to become whistleblowers have written a letter to President Barack Obama, requesting a meeting with him to offer a fuller picture of the spy agency's systemic problems.

The group of four intelligence specialists - William Binney, Thomas Drake, Edward Loomis and Kirk Wiebe - who worked at the NSA for a total of 144 years, most of them at senior levels, stressed in the letter the need for Obama to address what they've seen as abuses that violated Americans' Fourth Amendment rights and that have made proper, effective intelligence gathering more difficult. [ Read More... ]

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09 January 2014

Alfred Hitchcock's unseen Holocaust documentary to be screened

It's a little known fact that the great director made a film about the Nazi death camps, but, horrified by the footage he saw, the documentary was never shown. Now it is to be released.

The British Army Film Unit cameramen who shot the liberation of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945 used to joke about the reaction of Alfred Hitchcock to the horrific footage they filmed. When Hitchcock first saw the footage, the legendary British director was reportedly so traumatised that he stayed away from Pinewood Studios for a week. Hitchcock may have been the king of horror movies but he was utterly appalled by "the real thing". [ Read More... ]

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08 January 2014

McDonald's poised to embrace new GMO potato farming in 2014 and beyond

A new variety of genetically modified potato could show up in Idaho as early as 2015.

Nearly 13 years ago, customers revolted against Monsanto's transgenic NewLeaf potato, which contained synthetic bacteria to kill insect pests. Now, a new company, J.R. Simplot Co., aims to bring back genetically modified potatoes to the state and elsewhere. [ Read More... ]

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08 January 2014

The cities with the cheapest beer in the world

Beer so cheap you could even treat your animals. Reuters/China Daily

We recently figured out which countries offer the cheapest beer in the world, using crowd-sourced data. It made us wonder: In which cities can you find the cheapest beer? What if it's on tap at a restaurant, or in the bottle at a market? And what if it's an import or a domestic beer? Here's what was found: [ Read More... ]

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07 January 2014

First criminal barrister strike in history of England over legal aid cuts

British trial lawyers nationwide undertook their first ever strike on Monday since the Criminal Bar's formation. The bewigged professionals walked out in protest of the UK Justice Secretary's plans to slice $220mn from the annual $2bn Legal Aid budget. [ Read More... ]

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07 January 2014

PROTESTS GROW IN BRITAIN TO TAX CORPORATIONS, THE RICH, TO FUND FREE EDUCATION

Free education disrupts elitist values within the current state, creating a radical independent space to formulate new questions that critically assess this system, Katherine Stanley tells me.

But with tuition fees and the increasing privatization of the institution, the government is creating a learning environment where students see studying as a means to future earnings only, [and] in this way the government is reaffirming the current system. [ Read More... ]

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06 January 2014

What The Poms Are Saying

Ashes 2013-14: Ten key moments in Australia's 5-0 win over England

England owed their Ashes victory over Australia last year to an ability to win the key moments in often tight battles between two sides far more evenly matched than the 3-0 scoreline suggests.

Although the 5-0 whitewash Australia completed in Sydney on Sunday was an altogether more one-sided affair, there were still pivotal points at which each Test tilted in their favour.

Events off the field also conspired to help the hosts inflict one of the most damaging defeats in England's history. [ Read More... ]

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06 January 2014

This Elderly Couple Took The Same Photo Every Season - And Then!!!

Watch as the seasons of life progresses [ See More... ]

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06 January 2014

240" TV in a contact lens: Revolutionary eyewear rivaling Google Glass to be unveiled

Google Glass has a rival: Nano-tech contact lenses that work with a pair of glasses and provide wearers with a virtual canvas on which any media can be viewed or application run, projected onto human eyes, are set to be unveiled in the US. [ Read More... ]

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05 January 2014

What Are They Hiding?

Scott Morrison refuses to confirm Operation Sovereign Borders briefings

The immigration and border protection minister, Scott Morrison, is refusing to confirm when or if another weekly briefing on the military-led Operation Sovereign Borders will be held.

After assuming office in September 2013, Morrison introduced a weekly press briefing to update journalists and the public on the progress of a key election pledge to 'stop the boats'.

But last Friday, Fairfax media reported that Morrison's spokesman refused to confirm whether these weekly briefings would continue after the holiday period. [ Read More... ]

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04 January 2014

But what if Tony Abbott is just an idiot?

Remember the fairytale The Emperor's New Clothes?

Cunning swindlers sold an Emperor cloth that could not be seen, because it wasn't there.

As the Emperor paraded naked in his new clothes, cut from the invisible cloth, none dared voice that they could not see the glorious new suit. The myth had been promoted, that any who could not see the clothes were unfit and stupid. Only when an innocent child exclaimed the truth, as children will, that the Emperor was naked did the others dare concur.

Then the cry went out. Derision and mockery ensued. [ Read More... ]

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04 January 2014

London to cut $180m-a-year hardship fund for low-income families

As part of the UK's latest Welfare Reform Act, low-income families hit with unexpected financial difficulties will lose the government's $180m-a-year hardship fund.

Instead, the government urges claimants to seek funds through local government-sponsored loans.

Recently released revenue documents by the UK's Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) estimate that central government will cut funds to support families that have fallen victim to economic hardship as a result of domestic violence or natural disasters. [ Read More... ]

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04 January 2014

The world needs made-in-China vaccines, despite a recent spate of deaths

A cheaper vaccine might hurt a little less.

China's ambition to become a major player in vaccines has hit a snag: the deaths of 17 newborn infants who had just received Chinese-made hepatitis B vaccines. Authorities have halted production at three of the country's largest vaccine manufacturers while autopsies are conducted, and have asked the World Health Organization to help investigate. The hepatitis B vaccine was made by Shenzhen-based BioKangta, and the infants were inoculated under a government-run health initiative. [ Read More... ]

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03 January 2014

Jobs not Newstart the key to disability pension reform

The big challenge for disability reform is to increase workforce participation

The Abbott government's proposed overhaul of the Disability Support Pension has caused significant anxiety for many who live with a disability and at the worst time of the year.

Once again, media reports suggests that we have a crisis, with too many people on the payment who should not be there, likely because they are malingerers or worse, fraudsters. [ Read More... ]

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03 January 2014

Rupert Murdoch severed ties with China, weeks after divorcing his Chinese wife

Rupert Murdoch's 20-year pursuit of the Chinese television market and its 1.3 billion sets of eyeballs is effectively over.

21st Century Fox Group, the vehicle housing Murdoch's fast-growing, global film studios and television businesses (last June these were separated from his older publishing businesses, which are housed in the new News Corp) announced this morning that it had sold its remaining 47% stake in Star China TV, the owner of three 24-hour Mandarin language channels and a Chinese film library. [ Read More... ]

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03 January 2014

Why oil prices plunged today and could keep falling

Oil prices plummeted today after reports of a two-week halt to protests that have blocked Libyan crude exports, and an economic slowdown in China. The plunge reflects the primary role of local politics and economics in China, Libya, Nigeria, Iran and elsewhere beyond, in determining oil prices. It also rekindles the longstanding debate over whether we're in an age of oil abundance or scarcity. [ Read More... ]

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03 January 2014

Comedy Sketch The Israeli Embassy's Extension

How would you feel if this happened to you?

A frank portrayal of the ever creeping dispossession of Palestinians in the guise of comedy by the BBC Three.


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03 January 2014

UN Unveils Plot to Reduce African Population

The United Nations and its oftentimes barbaric population-control apparatus are under fire again after releasing a deeply controversial report claiming that the African population of Kenya is too large and growing too quickly. To deal with the supposed 'challenge', as the UN and its 'partners' in the national government put it, international bureaucrats are demanding stepped up efforts to brainwash Kenyan women into wanting fewer children. Also on the agenda: more taxpayer-funded family-planning and reproductive-health schemes to reduce the number of Africans to levels considered 'desirable' by the UN. [ Read More... ]

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03 January 2014

Obama Considering Chinese Participation in Trans-Pacific Partnership

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is accelerating towards a successful conclusion as early as 2015, according to a report out of TPP member Malaysia.


Currently, there are 12 countries negotiating in secret to create this regional trade agreement that some have called 'NAFTA on steroids'. The number of participants could rise to 14 should South Korea and China be welcomed on board by the United States trade representatives. [ Read More... ]

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02 January 2014

The NSW political donations case:

The implied freedom of political communication strikes again (after 21 years)

On Wednesday, 18 December, the High Court handed down its decision in Unions NSW v New South Wales, in which it unanimously ruled that two NSW laws concerning political donations and expenditure were unconstitutional and therefore invalid. The laws were found to breach the implied constitutional freedom of political communication. This freedom has been a part of our constitutional landscape since 1992. However, this is in fact the first time since 1992 that a law has been struck down for breach of that principle. [ Read More... ]

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02 January 2014

Top secret program to target iPhones: Australian agencies may have known

Slides suggest there were plans to develop software allowing the NSA to remotely access text messages, photos, voice mail and live calls on iPhones.

Australian intelligence agencies may have had knowledge of a top secret US National Security Agency program for targeting iPhones, according to newly-released documents. [ Read More... ]

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02 January 2014

WORLD OF RESISTANCE (WOR) REPORT, PART 1: THE GLOBAL AWAKENING

The world today is in the midst of the most monumental social, political and economic upheavals in human history, a state of continual protests, uprisings and what may be considered inevitable revolution on a global scale. Power that had been centralized for roughly 500 years among the Atlantic powers of Western Europe and North America is rapidly shifting to include the rise of the East, as China, India and others operating within established, institutional frameworks of power get wooed by the former Western imperial managers to become colluders in empire, instead of competition. [ Read More... ]

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01 January 2014

Pole Dancing Like You've Never Seen It Before

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01 January 2014

Pirate Bay continues to expand despite mounting anti-piracy movement

The Pirate Bay inarguably proved its resilience in 2013, making no less than six domain changes and evading international copyright enforcers. It increased its uploads by 50 percent while maintaining its position as the world's most popular torrent site. [ Read More... ]

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01 January 2014

RESEARCHERS FIND 7,300-MILE RING OF MERCURY AROUND ALBERTA TAR SANDS IN CANADA

Scientists have found a nearly 7,500-square-mile ring of land and water contaminated by mercury surrounding the tar sands in Alberta, where energy companies are producing oil and shipping it throughout Canada and the U.S. [ Read More... ]

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01 January 2014

Why China is building a massive solar power plant in the middle of nowhere

Back in 2009 when China announced it would build the world's largest photovoltaic power plant in the Mongolian desert, it choose a US company, First Solar, to construct the 2,000-megawatt (MW) project. Yesterday, China unveiled plans for another huge solar power plant, a 1,000 MW project in the remote Xinjiang Region. This time, though, a homegrown company, Trina Solar, won the contract. [ Read More... ]

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