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Science and Technology

Submitted by Andrew Glikson on November 28, 2011 - 2:20pm.
Trends and tipping point in the climate system
[T]he arrest of carbon emissions may not be sufficient to halt the current trend, except if accompanied with global efforts at down-draw of atmospheric CO2 using a range of bio-sequestration, organic and chemical methods.
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Submitted by John Pratt on November 9, 2011 - 2:09pm.
A green letter day
The passing of the carbon tax bill today is a victory for future generations and for the planet. The money raised will be used to fund alternative energy and new industries for Australia. We can all stand proud today.
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Submitted by John Pratt on November 2, 2011 - 7:28pm.
Robin Hood, mining tax and seven challenges for 7 billion people
With challenges like these confronting mankind, can we continue with a business as usual approach? Are the current institutions capable of addressing these challenges? I think not. To fix these problems governments will need to raise a lot more revenue.
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Submitted by Andrew Glikson on October 21, 2011 - 10:45am.
An Orwellian Climate
...even science fiction writers such as George Orwell, Aldous Huxley or Doris Lessing did not envisage a civilisation that would knowingly, against the best scientific evidence, devastate its own atmosphere and ocean system as comprehensively as has been and continues to be done through anthropogenic (human-induced) climate change.
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Submitted by John Pratt on May 5, 2011 - 7:31pm.
Wave Power
Surely it is time to get on with the job. Rather than debating carbon tax we should be investing in alternative energy, instead of a two speed economy (miners doing well everyone else struggling) we should be rolling out technology such as this. Projects like this create jobs in regional areas and massively reduce our use of fossil fuels.
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Submitted by justin tutty on March 23, 2011 - 3:58pm.
Now's not the time to battle phantom reactors
Sure, let’s make the most of the renewed attention and reawakened concerns about nukes. But in doing so, let’s not spend too much energy attacking phantom reactors. I'd rather leapfrog over any questions of hypothetical reactors to confront the reality of uranium mining. I don't know that we can do anything about earthquakes and tsunami, but we have a responsibility, and an opportunity, to act now to avoid the risk of another Fukushima.
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on August 19, 2010 - 3:38pm.
The 2010 Charles Todd Memorial Oration
It never ceases to amaze me that people who should know better, criticise the NBN because it is not going to generate the sort of returns that private investors would be seeking. I wonder if Charles Todd’s Overland Telegraph suffered the same criticisms. If you recall it cost £480,000. But it was decades before the Overland Telegraph generated a positive return on investment. Annual revenues from telegraph traffic during the first decade of operation were only £12,000. (Mike Quigley, CEO of NBN Co.)
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on August 8, 2010 - 7:41pm.
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed
Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming - reviewed by Robin McKie of The Observer.
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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on July 24, 2010 - 11:44am.
A single thought: Facebook and telepathy
Now that we have audiovisually interactive mobile phones and permanently net-connected portable computers I wonder how far away a human-implantable Facebook Chip could be. Our heads already have cameras and microphones installed, so you'd only need a thought-to-font translator, video and audio uploading equipment and a Wi-Fi transceiver. With the flip of a mental (or physical) switch, any human could interact with the social network carried in their mind.
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Submitted by Justin Obodie on February 3, 2010 - 2:00pm.
Cyberstuff
I’ve got no idea what the future has in stall but it appears that bit by bit we are going to find that our government and corporate suppliers are going to know (and share) a lot more about us whether we like it or not.
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Submitted by Roderick Chambers on May 30, 2009 - 7:57pm.
Call Centre Phonies
Ever been on the receiving end of a call centre Droid? Someone who instead of answering your query, badgers you with question after question? You bet. It’s part of daily life and we are told that this benefits us by improving call centre efficiency.
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Submitted by Jui-Wei Yang on May 7, 2009 - 9:21am.
How can the Rudd government deliver its promise for creating a National Broadband Network?
The Rudd government plans to create a NBN that will connect 90% of Australian homes, school and workplaces with speed that is up to 100 megabytes per second, investing a budget of $43 billion over a period of 8 years. It plans to use FTTP technology to create this NBN service and promises that the NBN to be a historical nation-building investment that will help to transform Australian economy and create jobs and business of the 21st century.
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Submitted by Norma de Castro... on May 6, 2009 - 12:45pm.
Protecting uniqueness - What is behind Intellectual Property's closed doors?
IP will remain an extraordinary and controversial topic, especially in the midst of new technologies ways to convey a message. To think that your intellectual expressions can, one day, join your property portfolio is only as amusing as it's challenging and difficult to be delimited by law.
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Submitted by Bec Crew on May 1, 2009 - 4:05pm.
The record industry hazes its own hype machine – with a little help from Google
Music bloggers the world over are getting nervous. Suddenly they are the target of an industry that censors and deletes content without warning, and there’s very little the blogger can do to prevent it. Since late last year, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has been making reckless attempts to crack down on online music piracy.
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Submitted by Andrew Glikson on April 18, 2009 - 10:38am.
Toward climate geoengineering?
It is likely only a combination of deep urgent cuts in carbon emissions, coupled with major investments in fast-tracked development of a wide range of effective geo-engineering methods may be capable of making the difference.
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Submitted by Rod Reynolds on April 9, 2009 - 11:50am.
The digital super highway
The whole issue of data-carrying capability of the internet and associated services is complex in the extreme, and a very small proportion of the total users could actually use the capacity being talked about today, let alone know what to ask for.
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Submitted by John Pratt on March 10, 2009 - 12:26pm.
Biochar – a win win for jobs, agriculture and the environment
We have an enormous opportunity here in Australia to absorb millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, store it safely as carbon, and put in back into the soil and increase the productivity and the health of our own landscape. A win-win. A win for jobs, a win for the environment, a win for agriculture. (Greg Hunt)
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Submitted by Fiona Yip on November 3, 2008 - 11:36am.
The best of both worlds: When reality becomes fantasy
Games have been around for ages. They appear in different forms such as riddles to charades, tick-tack-toe to hang-man, snakes and ladders to chess ... But all that has been digitized now and converted into online computer games that allow you not only to be able to play with friends and family on game night, but to connect online and compete with the players worldwide.
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Submitted by Simon Harris on September 28, 2008 - 12:15pm.
Is Qantas too old?
Even though 747’s have been around since the late 60’s they have kept the record for the safest aircraft in history so far. They have flown more than half the world’s population in the last 40 years with 3.5 billion people at the end of 2005. The bottom line is the 747, despite its great safety record, is an aging aircraft.
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Submitted by Kacie Bluhm on September 21, 2008 - 1:56pm.
NSW's Transit Tcard gets a second chance
The Tcard moves transport ticketing into the entirely electronic realm, even claiming the eventual possibility for mobile phone ticketing. While innovative in its concept, the drastic change has many commuters worried.
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Submitted by John Pratt on September 10, 2008 - 12:30pm.
God-bothering or restructuring? Time to think again!
"The challenges of the 21st Century are qualitatively different from anything that we've had to face up to before...This requires a re-think of priorities in science and technology and a redrawing of our society's inner attitudes ...." - Sir David King, former UK Chief Scientist
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Submitted by peter hindrup on August 14, 2008 - 3:45am.
While our scientists struggle with ethics, the Islamic world forges ahead
According to Islamic teaching, I discovered, the foetus becomes a full human being only when it is "ensouled" at 120 days from the moment of conception, and so the research at Royan on human embryonic stem cells is not seen as playing God, as it takes place at a much earlier stage. Thus, while there is much that the west finds unpalatable about life under Islamic rule, when it comes to genetics they are not held back by their religious doctrine.
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Submitted by David Roffey on August 1, 2008 - 11:31am.
Can algae save the world?
Yet another story today about how genetically engineered algae can produce much more crude oil per acre than biofuels. But how do the numbers stack up?
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Submitted by David Roffey on July 22, 2008 - 8:57pm.
Climate Science for Dummies
If the mainstream science is wrong, we need to reduce GHG emissions even more than is currently planned. Simple really. Now let's get on with it.
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Submitted by Ian MacDougall on July 14, 2008 - 12:33pm.
The future of carbon
If carbon capture and storage is capable of any significant dampening effect on global warming, then the CO2 involved will inevitably be a resource of massive importance for the future inhabitants of the Earth. That in short, is the other side of the CO2 coin.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on July 4, 2008 - 8:30pm.
Garnaut Climate Change Review Draft Report: A diabolical challenge
Climate change presents a new kind of challenge. It is uncertain in its form and extent, rather than drawn in clear lines. It is insidious, rather than directly confrontational. It is long term, rather than immediate in both its impacts and its remedies. Remedies will require global co-operation of unprecedented complexity and dimension. We have much to contribute and much to lose as we face the diabolical policy challenge of climate change. (Professor Ross Garnaut)
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on June 22, 2008 - 3:29pm.
Four parables and a reflection on regulating the Net
The principle effectively ... was that, in order to protect a person’s privacy if that person gave personal data to the collector, the collector could not use that data for any other purpose than what the person had given it for, except by specific authority of law or by the approval of the data subject. ... Then along came Google and Yahoo! (The Hon. Justice Michael Kirby)
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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on May 27, 2008 - 3:02am.
Digging for a story - a grave tale of two Premiers
The hale and hearty John Bannon said on ABC Radio yesterday morning that he and others participating in the project were assisting pro bono, pun not intended.  There are no sheep stations involved in the outcome, figuratively or literally, but merely a whim of curiosity.
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Submitted by Ian MacDougall on April 26, 2008 - 10:14pm.
The Fourth Transition
Norman Mailer once wrote: “My long experience with human nature … suggests that it is possible that fascism, not democracy, is the natural state.” Mailer was a novelist, and his business was being provocative. I found his article … to be food for considerable worthwhile thought. After the thinking, I decided he was wrong.
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Submitted by John Pratt on April 17, 2008 - 12:41pm.
Agriculture - The need for change
The way the world grows its food will have to change radically to better serve the poor and hungry if the world is to cope with a growing population and climate change while avoiding social breakdown and environmental collapse. (International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development)
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