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Is Australia Ready For A More Connected World?

Imagine a world that is even more connected technologically than ours today. That’s what the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has done this week with a very timely occasional paper on the Internet of Things (IoT). As well as identifying issues of direct concern to the ACMA, the paper also includes an overview of the technology and its capabilities.

Labs Make New, Dangerous Synthetic Cannabinoid Drugs Faster Than We Can Ban Them

XLR-11, PB-22, AB-FUBINACA, MAB-CHMINACA, 5F-AMB. These are the cryptic and sometimes unpronounceable names of the most dangerous drugs you’ve never heard of. They are responsible for kidney injury, psychosis, seizures, coma and death.

For instance, AB-FUBINACA was responsible for a spate of recent poisonings at Wesleyan University. And MAB-CHMINACA was associated with more than 100 hospitalizations in Baton Rouge. Neither of these drugs were known to the scientific community until late last year.

Killer Robots Hit The Road, And The Law Has Yet To Catch Up

Much of the conversation about killer machines has understandably focused on unmanned military vehicles. Yet civilian robotic vehicles also present ethical and legal questions. These have been highlighted by Tesla Corp’s recent crossing of the continental United States in a car that largely drove itself and by the first trial in Australia, involving a Volvo SUV, on Saturday.

Are Electric Aircraft The Future Of Aviation, Or Just Wishful Thinking?

Since the dawn of aviation, planes have primarily been powered by carbon-based fuels such as gasoline or kerosene. These contain a lot of energy for their weight, providing the vast power required to lift large commercial airliners on journeys across the globe. But with oil resources declining and penalties on greenhouse gas emissions increasing, the future of aviation is dependent on finding an alternative power source. Is electricity the answer?

The Martian Movie Review: Science Fiction That Respects Science Fact

Picture yourself as an explorer in a distant and dangerous place. Something goes wrong, and you and your team have to abandon the venture and head straight for home. But you get left behind, the rest of the team thinking you are dead, and you have no way to contact them.

There Is Water On Mars, But What Does This Mean For Life?

We’ve known for a long time that there’s water on Mars. Now we know – thanks to NASA’s latest announcement – that some of it is at the surface.

Loyalty In Sport: Who To Support If Your Team Is Not In The Finals

Commentators are prone to describe every weekend as a huge one for sport, but this weekend qualifies as large, even by the inflated standards of the sports hyperbole peddlers.

US Emissions Tests Question The Future Of Diesel

Volkswagen has set aside €6.5 billion to cover the costs of the growing scandal over cheating on emissions tests in the US. Putting a number on the cost further down line will be far harder, however, as it is a crisis which calls into question the ethical credentials of the company and the industry, as well as posing tough questions about the regulators and authorities who were duped.

Thank An Ageing Population For Facebook's Proposed 'Dislike' Button

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that the company is finally working on a much-desired feature: a “dislike” button. According to Zuckerberg, this feature has long been one of those most-requested by the Facebook audience. Although his comments suggest that the new button more likely will express sympathy or empathy, rather than simple dislike, Facebook users have nevertheless greeted the announcement with enthusiasm.

Turnbull Has An Opportunity To Make Australia A Science Nation

Australia’s new Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, talked a lot in Monday night’s press conference about the future of Australia. He stressed that we have to be agile, innovative and driven by technology. And that “change is our friend” if we are smart enough to take advantage of it.

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