News & Current Affairs
Credibility shot after three months: Australians Pyne for good Government
After less than three months in power, Australia's "adult" Abbott Government is already making good on its tacit pre-election promise to wreck the place.
WHAT SORT of Federal Government do we have?
Apparently one with 'so called' mandates and a commitment to its promises to the Australian people, who will at the same time happily tell bold-faced lies about its pre-election commitments to the future of Australian and that of our children. [ Read More... ]
WHY MONSANTO AND TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP EQUAL GLOBAL FOOD DOMINANCE
Control oil and you control nations, said U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the 1970s. Control food and you control the people.
Global food control has nearly been achieved, by reducing seed diversity with GMO (genetically modified) seeds that are distributed by only a few transnational corporations. But this agenda has been implemented at grave cost to our health; and if the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) passes, control over not just our food but our health, our environment and our financial system will be in the hands of transnational corporations. [ Read More... ]
The one myth about cats that's actually true
Most of us know at least one cat myth. Maybe it has to do with the width of their whiskers, or their purported ability to steal breath from a baby. Most of these myths are crap. But clipnosis? Clipnosis, it turns out, is a real thing.
For those unfamiliar with the term, "clipnosis" refers to the phenomenon whereby a cat is rendered suddenly immobile by a gentle squeezing of the loose skin on the back of its neck. It's a little like "scruffing," only gentler, but we'll get to that in a second. [ Read More... ]
Fluoride row: Byron Bay votes to uphold ban in water supply
There are concerns oral health will suffer after Byron Bay voted no to adding fluoride to the area's drinking water. Photograph: Frank Baron
Byron shire council has voted to uphold a ban on adding fluoride to the area's drinking water, after a campaign by local residents and doctors. [ Read More... ]
News Corp's ABC obsession
(Cartoon by John Graham)
There is something quite sick in the obsession News Limited has with our country's public broadcaster, the ABC.
For what seems years, the Murdoch press has been trying to get its grubby hands on the broadcaster's payroll and this week it has hit pay dirt. [ Read More... ]
You Don't Speak For Me Mr. Abbott
You Moronic Bastard
Tony Abbott went to Sri Lanka to praise President Mahinda Rajapakse, not to bury him under the weight of human rights abuse allegations that completely dominated this Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
"We are here to praise as much as judge," he told the forum's opening meeting, lauding the ending of Sri Lanka's civil war, and the development in the country since.
For his fealty, he was rewarded. Sri Lanka has vowed to further help Abbott with his number one domestic priority, "stopping the boats" of asylum seekers looking to come to Australia.
The countries' existing co-operation has been extended, with Australia giving Sri Lanka two patrol boats, so that asylum seekers might be intercepted before they leave Sri Lankan waters. [ Read More... ]
Hockey Will Soon Have A Deficit Of His Own
The Coalition's plan to cut spending by sacking public servants has been foiled - Labor got there first. Joe Hockey is finding he can't whinge his way to good economic management.
Lucky Joe Hockey. His economic credibility is unravelling. But no-one is noticing, owing to the Abbott government's first major crisis in the Indonesian spying scandal.
That's the take-home point from this week's intriguing Senate Estimates hearings, which saw a remarkable spectacle: the Coalition attacking Labor for slashing jobs in the public service. [ Read More... ]
ROYAL TROUBLES: AMID AUSTERITY AND INEQUALITY, IRE IS GROWING OVER BRITAIN'S 1% MONARCHY
Inheritances of vast wealth and power position the British royals and aristocrats within the global 1%. Yet protests for democracy or equality here rarely draw attention to them. Instead, anger focuses on bankers, politicians, corporate fat cats and their organizations.
Unusually, on November 5, protesters uniting against the 1% headed to Buckingham Palace; even more unusually, the palace was hit with three fireworks.
That day, in over 400 locations across the world, the hacktivist group Anonymous organized the One Million Mask March. It called on the "defenders of humanity" to remember who your enemies are: billionaires who own banks and corporations who corrupt politicians who enslave the people in injustice. [ Read More... ]
Genetically Modified Cholera Bacteria to be Released in Australia
PaxVax is seeking to gain a licence from the Australian Government to conduct a clinical trial of a GM live bacterial vaccine against cholera.
The Australian Government Department of Health, specifically the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator, has received an application for a licence from PaxVax Australia Pty Ltd to conduct an intentional release of a genetically modified cholera vaccine. The Gene Technology Regulator, Dr Joe Smith, has received the application and has stated that comments from the public are not sought after at this time. Only in accordance with the Gene Technology Act 2000 will the public have a minimum of 30 days to comment but not until around late January 2014. [ Read More... ]
Sinkhole the size of 20 football pitches opens up in Louisiana
And it could burst into flames
Expanding: The Bayou Corne sinkhole covers 24 acres and has been sucking in trees and swamp
A Louisiana sinkhole that has sucked in trees and swamps as it spread to the size of 20 football fields is now at risk of exploding.
Residents of Bayou Corne were evacuated a year ago when the sinkhole, which is emitting natural gases, opened up.
The gas exploration company that has been blamed for causing the problem after a mine collapsed, has resorted to digging relief wells to try to disperse the gas. [ Read More... ]
Turkey warns Australian MPs against further efforts to recognize Armenian Genocide
Turkey has warned Australia against any further formal recognition of the Armenian genocide to avoid undermining its relationship and the special centenary commemoration of Gallipoli in 2015, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
And NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell has retaliated, saying it was ''deplorable'' for the 100-year anniversary of the Gallipoli landing to be used for political purposes.
Turkey has also made it clear that NSW MPs are not welcome to attend the ceremony because of bipartisan support for a motion moved in Parliament by Mr O'Farrell in May which recognises and condemns the Armenian genocide. [ Read More... ]
The $10,000 TV that lets you watch one show - while your wife watches another
My wife and I are happily snuggled on the sofa watching television, large glasses of red wine in hand. The children, Phoebe, nine, and Charlie, six, are finally tucked up in bed.
It's a typical evening in the Hatch household, except for one thing, there have been no fights over what to watch, despite the fact that I'm immersed in a documentary about the Nazis on the Yesterday channel, a programme which would usually send my wife Dinah mad with boredom.
The sound of Stukas dive-bombing echoes in my ears without her usual refrain: 'It's black and white and you know who won the war. Why is this interesting?' [ Read More... ]
Climate Change - Dankechon - Parody
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Canada Govt statement for Abbott not news on ABC.
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One of the few actions that may allow the Abbott gocernment credibility
On Matters of Secrecy
Just as we learned that the US and UK governments were conspiring to stop us learning the truth of the Bush-Blair Iraq consiracy, Tony Blair picked up $250,000 for an hour-long speech in Dubai
In the last fortnight a number of media commentators accused Russell Brand of naivete and political ignorance for his criticisms of the democratic system and the limitations of the right to vote.
This week however, the British public were presented with further evidence of how hollowed-out the democratic process has become, when the Chilcot Inquiry revealed that it was being denied access to 25 notes sent by Tony Blair to George Bush, and 130 documents relating to conversations between the two architects of the Iraq War, in addition to dozens of records of cabinet meetings. [ Read More... ]
THE AUSTRALIAN ALLIANCE 2013
National launch 1/12/13
As a person who unashamedly follows politics, the decline of living standards, and the erosion of civil liberties, I am constantly on the lookout for groups, associations, people and politicians, who, within themselves hold the aforementioned close to their hearts.
I am tired of feeling impotent towards some of the decisions our politicians make that are supposedly in our best interests, but in fact, are duplicitously aimed towards the advancement of the corporatisation of Australia. In doing so, those politicians make light of the civil liberties that our constitution so generously bestowed upon us.
In my mind, the path that Australia is being led down is fraught with the dangers of corporatisation that the citizens of so many countries are, today, fighting against after leaving their protestations too late. [ Read More... ]
The end of the New World Order
The upheavals of the early 21st century have changed our world. Now, in the aftermath of failed wars and economic disasters, pressure for a social alternative can only grow
In the late summer of 2008, two events in quick succession signalled the end of the New World Order. In August, the US client state of Georgia was crushed in a brief but bloody war after it attacked Russian troops in the contested territory of South Ossetia.
The former Soviet republic was a favourite of Washington's neoconservatives. Its authoritarian president had been lobbying hard for Georgia to join Nato's eastward expansion. In an unblinking inversion of reality, US vice-president Dick Cheney denounced Russia's response as an act of "aggression" that "must not go unanswered". Fresh from unleashing a catastrophic war on Iraq, George Bush declared Russia's "invasion of a sovereign state" to be "unacceptable in the 21st century". [ Read More... ]
Albino kangaroo: two years old, pale, and very interesting to park rangers
'No mean feat' for snow-white marsupial to reach adulthood without being taken by wild dogs, Canberra wildlife staff say
A rare albino kangaroo, its startlingly white coat standing out in sharp contrast to its grey-coloured companions, has been spotted near Canberra. [ Read More... ]
On Kevin Rudd's Retirement
What has Kevin Rudd ever done for us?!
What has Kevin Rudd ever done for us?!
I ask you, what has Rudd done for anyone?
Well, there was the official apology to the stolen generations.
Well, yes, there was that.
And he did defeat the entrenched Howard Government.
Well, of course he defeated Howard. That goes without saying! [ Read More... ]
Electricity Bill, Typhoon Tony and Kerosene Bronny
Bronwyn Bishop thinks Parliament under her Speakership has seen a "big improvement", but we're not quite so sure.
The new Abbott parliament has gotten off to a decidedly poor start and, with Bronwyn Bishop in the Speaker's chair, the Opposition has already been relegated to second class citizen status.
Madame Bishop's ruling yesterday that calling the Opposition Leader "Electricity Bill" was not unparliamentary is a grim omen of things to come. [ Read more... ]
MASSIVE LEAK AND BI-PARTISAN HOUSE OPPOSITION STRIKE DOUBLE BLOW TO TPP
Momentum is growing in the campaign to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Yesterday, the TPP was dealt two blows. Each could be lethal but the TPP, and its Atlantic counterpart, called TAFTA, are not dead yet. It is time for the movement of movements that formed to oppose the TPP to stand in solidarity, defeat these agreements and end the era of rigged corporate trade. [ Read More... ]
Australia Rejects UN 'Socialism Masquerading as Environmentalism'
The new Australian government, elected by a landslide on a platform opposing carbon taxes and global-warming schemes as United Nations climate theories were imploding, delivered a blunt message to UN alarmists this week: No more 'socialism masquerading as environmentalism.' With the new conservative-leaning cabinet taking a stand against UN machinations and radical domestic restrictions imposed under the previous Labor Party government, Australian authorities also publicly refused to sign up for any new contributions, taxes, or charges at this week's embattled UN global-warming summit in Poland. [ Read More... ]
Introduction to Electrolyzed Water
Science of Alkaline Water Machines
There are two types of electrolyzed water: one is alkaline water and the other is acidic water. And each is produced from ionizing tap water with an alkaline water machine.
Each type either has a positive ORP or a negative ORP (Oxygen Reduction Potential) value. Through the process of electrolysis, the two water types that are produced are: electrolyzed reduced water, and electrolyzed oxidized water; the reduced water is the alkaline water, and the oxidized water is the acidic water. These devices that do the electrolysis are referred to as alkaline water machines, because it is the alkaline water that people are mostly interested in for drinking purposes. [ Read More... ]
Google is bringing the stock Android home screen to almost every phone, outfoxing OEMs
Since Android started to take off a few years back, users have had to choose between a limited number of stock devices and the plethora of OEM-modified experiences. Some of the best hardware available comes with detestable software, but now Google is finally on the verge of easing the pain. A huge update the the official Google Search app has been pushed out to devices, and it contains a new stock launcher experience just waiting to be activated. A launcher in the search app? Yes, it's looking like a massive end-run around OEMs. [ Read More... ]
The secret second operating system that could make every mobile phone insecure
When we talk about computers, PCs, smartphones, cars, we generally assume that there's just one operating system: A single, monolithic piece of software that manages each individual piece of hardware, from the CPU to the USB controller to the wireless connectivity. If your system crashes, we nearly always blame the operating system, or perhaps a software driver that links into the OS. In just about every computer science textbook, a computer consists of just three blocks: the hardware, the operating system, and then all the (user-land) software that runs on the OS. In actual fact, unbeknownst to the user, almost every computer has multiple operating systems running at the same time, managing various different parts of the computer, and worryingly, these OSes are usually proprietary, closed-source, bug-ridden, and have extensive, low-level access to your data. [ Read More... ]
The Secret TPP Document:
As Released by WikiLeaks Today
Here it is folks, the first installment. Discover what it's all about. [ Download it here... ]
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Meet Jeremy Hammond
and the revolutionaries in our midst
New York: Jeremy Hammond sat in New York's Metropolitan Correctional Center last week in a small room reserved for visits from attorneys. He was wearing an oversized prison jumpsuit. The brown hair of the lanky 6-footer fell over his ears, and he had a wispy beard. He spoke with the intensity and clarity one would expect from one of the nation's most important political prisoners.
On Friday, the 28-year-old activist will appear for sentencing in the Southern District Court of New York in Manhattan. After having made a plea agreement, he faces the possibility of a 10-year sentence for hacking into the Texas-based private security firm Strategic Forecasting Inc., or Stratfor, which does work for the Homeland Security Department, the Marine Corps, the Defense Intelligence Agency and numerous corporations including Dow Chemical and Raytheon. [ Read More... ]
Tony Abbott and his ragtag bunch
It is hard to imagine a group less ready or able to govern than Tony Abbott's Coalition, says David Donovan, who wonders how much damage they will be allowed to do to Australia.
It is hard to imagine a group of people less ready and less suited to governing Australia than new Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his ragtag bunch of senior ministers.
The PM spent the years prior to reaching the pinnacle standing around in hard hats and high viz in factories and shops and warehouses, filleting fish and driving forklifts, before mouthing a few three word slogans to an adoring press pack. And if he wasn't doing that, then he was usually riding his bike across the country, or doing triathlons and fun runs, all the while claiming a living away from home allowance. Of course, he was far from alone among his colleagues in helping himself to public funds for personal gain. [ Read More... ]
PUBLIC BANKING IN COSTA RICA:
A REMARKABLE LITTLE-KNOWN MODEL
In Costa Rica, publicly-owned banks have been available for so long and work so well that people take for granted that any country that knows how to run an economy has a public banking option. Costa Ricans are amazed to hear there is only one public depository bank in the United States (the Bank of North Dakota), and few people have private access to it. [ Read More... ]
Bill Gates: Here's My Plan to Improve Our World
And How You Can Help
By Bill Gates
I am a little obsessed with fertilizer. I mean I'm fascinated with its role, not with using it. I go to meetings where it's a serious topic of conversation. I read books about its benefits and the problems with overusing it. It's the kind of topic I have to remind myself not to talk about too much at cocktail parties, since most people don't find it as interesting as I do.
But like anyone with a mild obsession, I think mine is entirely justified. Two out of every five people on Earth today owe their lives to the higher crop outputs that fertilizer has made possible. It helped fuel the Green Revolution, an explosion of agricultural productivity that lifted hundreds of millions of people around the world out of poverty. [ Read More... ]
The Smart Car of the seas?
A futuristic yacht that is fully customisable and measures 24ft in length has gone on sale.
The Jet Capsule can be used as a luxurious compact yacht, taxi, police vehicle and even a military patrol vehicle, according to its Italian designers. [ Read More... ]
US ethanol revolution causes 'ecological disaster'
A new investigation has revealed that the United States' ethanol mandate is severely harming the environment without producing enough tangible benefits.
Since the Obama administration began implementing the ethanol mandate, requiring a certain level of the biofuel to be added to the gasoline supply, the Associated Press found that the damage done by the program has dwarfed any suspected benefits, many of which failed to materialize in the first place. [ Read More... ]
Did God create everything that exists
A University professor at a well known institution of higher learning challenged his students with this question. "Did God create everything that exists?"
A student bravely replied, "Yes he did!"
"God created everything?" The professor asked.
"Yes sir, he certainly did," the student replied.
The professor answered, "If God created everything; then God created evil. And, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then we can assume God is evil." [ Read More... ]
What happened to the Coalition's budget emergency?
For a government apparently dealing with a fiscal crisis, it doesn't seem overly concerned with a blowout in the deficit
Joe Hockey's one-off grant to the Reserve Bank, as well as tax changes, will add at least $10bn to the 2013-14 deficit.
At the start of a new sitting week and Australia's new parliament it is worth remembering how much things have changed in the four and a half months since politicians last held court in Canberra.
The biggest economic change will be the size of the deficit.
On 27 June, the previous Labor government was dealing with a projected 2013-14 budget deficit of approximately $18bn. The economic statement and the pre-election economic and fiscal outlook (PEFO) released in August have increased that deficit by two-thirds to around $30bn due to declining tax revenue. A year ago, treasury predicted tax revenue for 2012-13 would be $371bn, by the May budget it was down to $354bn, and by the PEFO statement it was a mere $348bn. [ Read More... ]
First day of 44th parliament to be dominated by debt and carbon tax
Chris Bowen: Tony Abbott is for 'a $200 billion increase in the nation's credit card limit' without showing why.
Labor will attempt to stop the Coalition government raising Australia's debt ceiling from $300bn to $500bn, calling for a compromise figure $400bn as politicians descended on Canberra for the opening of the 44th Parliament. [ Read More... ]
The Abbott Government after fifty days
Bob Ellis considers the Abbott Government's record after its first 50 days in power.
After fifty days in office it is clear Tony Abbott's is the worst new government in our history. [ Read More... ]
Corrupt prosecutor faces 10 days in jail after sending innocent man to prison for 25 years
WILLIAMSON COUNTY, TX: A corrupt former prosecutor will face a rare penalty for intentionally withholding evidence in a trial that sent an man to prison 25 years ago. For robbing an innocent man of decades of his life, the ex-D.A. will spend now have to spend 10 days in jail. [ Read More ]
WE WILL NOT OBEY:
BUILDING GLOBAL RESISTANCE TO THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP
We are in a time of transformational change. The opportunity is here to reverse the destruction wrought by rigged corporate trade agreements and to demand trade that is fair and promotes sustainable practices. There is no reason trade cannot improve the lives of workers and people around the world, as well as protect the planet from the rapacious destruction of corporate greed. We need to insist that people and the planet come before profits. [ Read More... ]
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP):
When Foreign Investors Sue the State
The investor-state dispute system, whereby foreign investors can sue the host-country government in an international tribunal, is one of the issues being negotiated in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.
In the public debate surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), an issue that seems to stand out is the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system. It would enable foreign investors of TPPA countries to directly sue the host government in an international tribunal. [ Read More... ]
Bit-heist: Over $1mn in bitcoins stolen from Australian online bank
An Australian bitcoin bank holding over US$1 million of the crypto-currency has been hacked, leaving an unknown number of users with nothing. One of the largest thefts in the currency's four-year history.
The incident took place on October 26, when the bank was hacked, with 4,100 bitcoins valued at $1.3 million stolen, the service's operator only known as 'Tradefortress' said. He refused to give his name to the press, also stressing he was not much older than 18. [ Read More... ]
It's trespass: except when a mining company says it isn't
Farmers are unable to prevent people from entering their land, undermining their rights as landowners. Concerns have been raised by the Victorian Farmers Federation that two Victorian acts, the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 and the Petroleum Act 1998, remove the property rights of farmers if miners decide to explore on their land for gas or minerals. [ Read More... ]
Low income earners hurt as Abbott keeps tax hikes
Reports that the Abbott government has decided to retain the former Labor government's tobacco excise increase is a pre-Christmas blow to the budget of low income earners, according to free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs. [ Read More... ]
Plain packaging boosts criminal activity
A KPMG report released today shows that illegal tobacco is a serious issue in Australia. Trade in illegal tobacco is so significant that if the same volume had been purchased legally the Australian government would have raised over $1 billion from the tobacco excise alone. [ Read More... ]
Bikies and killer unite in prison
The Hells Angels have joined forces with a feared gang run by the killer of underworld kingpin Carl Williams inside Barwon Prison, giving the bikies unprecedented influence inside Victoria's highest-security jail.
Detective Senior Sergeant Wayne Cheesman said the bond between the Hells Angels and Prisoners of War demonstrated the reach of the bikie gang.
Prisoners of War, a group led by Matthew Charles Johnson, have aligned with the bikie gang, which police fear will grow stronger through the alliance. [ Read More... ]
Unions exposed as war saboteurs
What the wharfies did to Australian troops - and their nation's war effort - between 1939 and 1945 is nothing short of an abomination.
Perth lawyer Hal Colebatch has done the nation a service with his groundbreaking book, Australia's Secret War, telling the untold story of union bastardry during World War 2.
Using diary entries, letters and interviews with key witnesses, he has pieced together with forensic precision the tale of how Australia's unions sabotaged the war effort, how wharfies vandalised, harassed, and robbed Australian troop ships, and probably cost lives. [ Read More... ]
America's Lead Iran Negotiator Misrepresents U.S. Policy (and International Law) to Congress
Last month, while testifying to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Wendy Sherman, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs and the senior U.S. representative in the P5+1 nuclear talks with Iran, said, with reference to Iranians, We know that deception is part of the DNA. This statement goes beyond orientalist stereotyping; it is, in the most literal sense, racist. And it evidently was not a mere slip of the tongue: a former Obama administration senior official told us that Sherman has used such language before about Iranians. [ Read More... ]
Iceland Once Again Shows The Way
ALDA MOVEMENT SEEKS A ROADMAP TOWARD SYSTEMIC CHANGE
Formed in response to the 2008 financial crisis, Iceland's Association of Sustainability and Democracy, or ALDA, is one of the European island nation's pioneering direct democracy groups. Featured prominently in the film, "Pots, Pans and Other Solutions," it has formulated proposals which could radically alter the political and economic landscape, defying the neoliberal mantra that "there are no alternatives." [ Read More... ]
Was the Bible RIGHT about the origins of life?
Scientists believe that we may have had our beginnings in CLAY
In Abrahamic religions, Adam is said to have been made from of clay that God fashioned into the first man All life on Earth may have come from clay according to new scientific research - just as the Bible, Koran and even Greek mythology have been suggesting for thousands of years. [ Read More... ]
Revealed: Apple lists the governments that request the most information
Find out where Australia stands in the list
From January to June there were almost 3,000 requests from 31 countries
Apple has joined the likes of Facebook and Google by releasing figures showing how many times governments around the world have requested personal information about its customers. [ Read More... ]
Beatbox Brilliance: Tom Thum at TEDxSydney . . . fascinating!!!
Tom Thum: Armed with just a microphone, Thum pushes the limits of the human voice to create incredible soundtracks of impossible beats and phenomenal sounds, with scratched vinyl, the Michael Jackson back-catalogue, the didgeridoo and an entire fifties jazz band amongst his vocal repertoire. [ Watch... ]
In the lucky country of Australia apartheid is alive and kicking
The richest land on Earth writes Aboriginal people out of history and pushes them to the margins. Like South Africa 30 years ago
Aboriginal elders playing cards in their camp near Alice Springs. 'A typical, dilapidated house in an outback Indigenous community must accommodate as many as 25 people. Families, the elderly and disabled people wait years for sanitation that works.'
The corridors of the Australian parliament are so white you squint. The sound is hushed; the smell is floor polish. The wooden floors shine so virtuously they reflect the cartoon portraits of prime ministers and rows of Aboriginal paintings, suspended on white walls, their blood and tears invisible. [ Read More... ]
Hopes of hepatitis C cure raised after antiviral drug treatment success
Sofosbuvir and ledipasvir stop virus replicating in 97% of patients in study reported in the Lancet journal
Hepatitis C virus seen through an electron microscope.
Scientists have reported the successful eradication of hepatitis C in patients using two new antiviral drugs, raising hopes of a possible cure.
In the trial, the virus was eliminated from almost all the patients involved, including those who had not previously responded to existing drugs. [ Read More... ]
EE launches world's fastest 4G network TEN times quicker than current speeds
and can download videos in seconds
Mobile operator EE has switched on the world's fastest 4G network in East London today, capable of reaching speeds of up to 300Mbps. [ Read More... ]
Giant, carnivorous platypus with sharp teeth surprises scientists
Extinct species identified in north-west Queensland reveals an entirely unknown branch of the monotreme's evolution
A giant, carnivorous platypus with fearsome teeth once roamed the waterways of Australia, researchers have discovered.
The newly identified species, dubbed Obdurodon tharalkooschild, measured about a metre long, double the size of its modern-day equivalent. [ Read More... ]
Opinion poll on Abbott audit: public not happy about possible selloffs
63% oppose Australia Post sale, 59% oppose privatisation of Hecs debt, 60% oppose cutting welfare benefits
A new opinion poll underscores the substantial political difficulties associated with some of the more ambitious reform proposals that could emerge from the Abbott government's new commission of audit process. [ Read More... ]
My Picks For The Cup - And the Reasons
Tres Blue - Gai Waterhouse
This is one of the most open Melbourne Cups in years. As such, it is possible to look for some value in the betting, and punt accordingly. Admittedly I am no racing expert, but I do know a good horse when I see one. [ Read More... ]
Can you guess the Tube stations from these cryptic picture clues?
London Underground 'Look for Longer' game is back for a second year
Following last year's hugely popular Look For Longer game, in which players guessed the name of London Underground stations from cryptic picture clues, the designers have created a sequel.
Look For Longer 2 features 100 underground stations, 25 more than last year's game, and all the clues have been submitted by members of the general public.
Example clues include a road sign showing the number 007, for tube station Bond Street, and a dagger in a ham on the left of the poster for Dagenham East. [ Read More and Play the Game... ]
'Rockstar' patent war: Microsoft and Apple sue Google
The Rockstar consortium made up of Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Ericsson and Sony, is taking aim at Samsung, HTC, and Google for alleged patent infringement. [ Read More... ]
04-November 2013by Charles Montgomery
The secrets of the world's happiest cities
What makes a city a great place to live, your commute, property prices or good conversation?
'City life is as much about moving through landscapes as it is about being in them.' Two bodyguards trotted behind Enrique Penalosa, their pistols jostling in holsters. There was nothing remarkable about that, given his profession, and his locale. Penalosa was a politician on yet another campaign, and this was Bogota, a city with a reputation for kidnapping and assassination. What was unusual was this: Penalosa didn't climb into the armoured SUV. Instead, he hopped on a mountain bike. His bodyguards and I pedalled madly behind, like a throng of teenagers in the wake of a rock star. [ Read More... ]
Meet the Dark Mail Alliance:
Planning to Keep the NSA Out of Your Inbox
Email might be on the verge of a radical makeover. And the NSA is not going to like it.
On Wednesday, two American companies with a track record of offering encrypted private communications are set to join forces in an unprecedented bid to counter dragnet Internet spying. Some of the world's top cryptographers are behind the secure communications provider Silent Circle, and they've teamed up with the founder of Lavabit, the email provider used by Edward Snowden, which recently shut down in a bid to resist surveillance. They're calling it the Dark Mail Alliance. For months, the team has been quietly working on rebuilding email as we know it and they claim to have had a breakthrough. [ Read More... ]
The car that can FLY:
All-terrain SkyRunner buggy is as quick as a Porsche but can soar through the sky at 55mph
A British engineering firm has unveiled the 'SkyRunner' that is a quick as a Porsche but can also take to the air. It is described as 'part buggy, part aircraft' and claims to be the 'ultimate recreational vehicle'
Uproar in China and other Asian nations over 'US spies through embassies'
China and a number of South Asian governments have demanded an explanation from Washington over allegations that US embassies - as well as embassies of US allies - were used for NSA surveillance.
The diplomatic row has been caused by the Sydney Morning Herald's report, which said the NSA collected its data in Asian countries by having its equipment installed inside US embassies and also in the diplomatic missions of the other 'Five Eye' nations, which includes Australia, Britain and Canada. [ Read More... ]
Congress Disgraces United States
Fails To Show For Drone Hearing
Alan Grayson (D-FL) organized an historic hearing on US drone strikes. It was the first time that drone strike victims told their stories to U.S. elected officials at a hearing. The Rehman family traveled halfway around the world from Pakistan to tell the story of their families loss; the killing of the families grandmother. Only five members of Congress bothered to show up. What does this show about the United States political leadership? It is shameful. Below is an article describing the scene and the families ordeal. We need to help them change the hearts and minds of Americans especially the elected leadership. [ Read More... ]
Gov't Aggression Towards Unions To Return Under Abbott
The return of the draconian Australian Building and Construction Commission shows what Abbott learned after WorkChoices failed - go after the unions first, writes ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver
The first two months of the Abbott government have shown us a lot about its real priorities, rather than the small target it adopted in opposition. [ Read More... ]
Low Income Earners Cough Up For The Coalition
The Coalition is revoking a superannuation concession introduced last year to help low income earners. Would you believe it, most of the recipients are mums working part time.
Of the cutbacks resulting from the Mining Tax withdrawal, little attention has been paid to the removal of the Low Income Superannuation Contribution (LISC), which was introduced by Labor and only started this year. LISC is a long overdue 15 per cent rebate that refunds the over-taxing of very low income earners. It offers a small amount of compensation for other low income earners' very limited concession on their contributions. [ Read More... ]