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TPG Telecom Ltd has announced it intends to become Australia’s fourth mobile network operator, along with Telstra, Optus and Vodafone.

TPG Telecom Ltd has purchased spectrum licenses for A$1.26 billion and will spend another A$600 million building the network infrastructure. However, it has emphasised it will not be competing across the whole Australian market, just 80% of the population.

So what will the mobile network environment look like in a few years time? It is reasonable to make some informed forecasts.

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As of Friday last week, Australian internet service providers (ISPs) and telecommunications companies are officially required to collect “metadata” about their customers’ communications. According to the legislation, this data includes:

name, address, date of birth, email addresses and other identifying information of the person that holds an account details of any communication, including: the mode of communication (voice, sms, email, chat, forum, social media) the location of the person at the start and end of the communication the address and details of the receiver of the communication the network used for the communication (ADSL, Wi-Fi, VoIP, cable, etc).

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Recent news reports that a man had both his legs amputated after being bitten by a white-tailed spider have again cast this spider in a negative light. Experts have since said amputations may have been wrongly blamed on a spider bite, and authorities now consider a bacterial infection to be responsible for the man’s injuries. Despite this, the damage to the largely harmless white-tail may have been done.

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On January 30 – three days after US President Donald Trump signed an executive order restricting immigration from several predominantly Muslim countries – an American scientist employed by NASA was detained at the US border until he relinquished his phone and PIN to border agents. Travellers are also reporting border agents reviewing their Facebook feeds, while the Department of Homeland Security considers requiring social media passwords as a condition of entry.

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The public debate over the problems of electricity supply displays a curious disconnect. On the one hand, there is virtually universal agreement that the system is in crisis. After 25 years, the promised outcomes of reform – cheaper and more reliable electricity, competitive markets and rational investment decisions – are further away than ever.

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One of the greatest feats of human migration in history was the colonisation of the vast Pacific Ocean by Polynesian peoples. They achieved it thanks to their sophisticated knowledge of positional astronomy and celestial navigation.

The Disney film Moana has drawn attention to these accomplishments and helped inform a new generation about the complexity of Indigenous astronomy.

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Back in 2010 Sony Australia's Paul Colley forecasted that a large percentage of Australian viewers would have 3D televisions by 2014. In the same year, industry pundits such as Simon Murray predicted that sales of 3D TVs were set to increase in the years to come.

But others were heralding the death of 3D TVs and this year the remaining major manufacturers, LG and Sony, have said they will no longer produce 3D-capable televisions. So despite all the repeated push and positive predictions, what went wrong with 3D TV?

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For many years, schools and universities have had to change the way they work and teach in order to fit in with technology.

Software like PowerPoint, for example, which has long been used as an education tool, wasn’t designed for education. Nonetheless, it has been a staple tool in education settings, used as a way to present information in template, bite-size formats.

But this isn’t always a good thing.

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For as long as humans have been interacting with new media technologies, they have also created monsters to haunt them. When photography became mainstream in the late 19th century, for example, it wasn’t long before entertainers and spiritualists were using the technology to “capture spirits” through the process of double exposure.

Similarly, the radio, the telegraph, the cinema and video have all become, at various points, “haunted” as their presence in modern life became more ubiquitous.

It is therefore unsurprising that the internet gave birth to its own boogieman: a supernatural creature called the Slenderman. The preternaturally tall and faceless man in a black suit is the subject of the HBO documentary Beware The Slenderman.

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The Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee over the past two years might seem like a very American news story, inseparable from the lead characters of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and hyped as only the polarised media of that country can do it.

But when we look more deeply, we see a very threatening reality that concerns all governments, liberal democratic or authoritarian. Australia should take note.

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Most modern fitness trackers are electronic devices you wear on your wrist to track steps, overall physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep. They typically work with a smartphone app or website that allow you to track your progress over time using graphs and figures. Advanced fitness trackers can also record heart rate and GPS related outcomes, like your route, speed and distance.