government

Australian Government's Leaked Anti-Piracy Proposal Is Unrealistic

The Australian Government has proposed Internet Service Providers (ISPs) monitor and punish Australians who download and infringe copyright. In a discussion paper circulated by Attorney-General George Brandis, and leaked last Friday, the government proposes a sweeping change to Australian copyright law. If implemented, it would force ISPs to take steps to prevent Australians from infringing copyright. But is it likely to help? Not really.


How Buckyballs Fell Apart

As of last week, Buckyballs are dead. The magnetic toy has been officially recalled following a two-year battle with US regulators who sought to ban them. Here’s how a seemingly wonderful amusement became plaything non grata in the span of just a few short years.


Australian Households With Solar Panels Might Pay Extra For Helping Generate Power

In Victoria, households that have installed solar panels on their roofs are facing an increase in the fixed rate they pay on every bill to connect to the state’s electricity grid. An extra 14 cents per day, or $51 per year, is being proposed to punish householders for helping to produce electricity.


The Complicated Truth Behind The Empire Of The United States Of America

How big does the July 4 celebration go across America? Across the 50 states, duh. The 48 contiguous, Alaska and Hawaii. But what about Washington DC? And the Indian territories? Puerto Rico? Guam? The Virgin Islands? And let’s not get into places you’ve never heard of, like Johnston Atoll and Bajo Nuevo Bank. The truth is the United States of America is an empire with a different name.


NBN Co Signs $150m FTTN Roll-Out Deal With Telstra

200,000 homes and businesses across Queensland and New South Wales will be hooked up to the NBN using fibre to the node, under a $150 million deal between the government, NBN Co and Telstra. The large-scale trial will use 1000 nodes around regional parts of the two states, connecting supposedly underserved areas from the existing broadband plan.


Australia's New Passports Have A World-First Security Feature

Australia’s passports are some of the world’s most advanced. The latest iteration is even more so; a world-first “floating image” — of kangaroos, naturally — means that any legitimate passport will be virtually impossible to counterfeit. The new document is printed like Australia’s polymer banknotes, too, further stymying potential forgers.


Queensland Man Charged With Stealing $110,000 In Bitcoin

A 21-year-old man from the small town of Kingaroy in inland Queensland has been arrested and charged with the theft of $110,000 in Bitcoin, only three months after he was first arrested for hacking a US gaming company’s computer network.


Would You Pay For ABC iView?

The Abbott government’s review into the efficiency of the ABC and SBS has made a curveball recommendation in its findings; it suggested that Australians should have the option of paying for iView to access archival TV shows and special content. Such a charge would boost funding for the public broadcaster, countering flagging sales of DVDs and CDs in ABC stores.


Site Blocking: Does It Work To Stop Piracy?

To preface this blog, let me point out, yet again, that we think piracy is wrong. This blog is not a ‘how to’ session on copyright infringement, we don’t do that. This is more of an attempt to educate people that think in sentences that start with the word ‘just’.


US House Passes Amendment To Cut NSA Search Funding

The US House of Representatives passed an amendment to the Defence Appropriations bill designed to cut funding for NSA backdoors. The amendment passed overwhelmingly with strong bipartisan support: 293 ayes, 123 nays and 1 present.