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Sci-Tech News

18 June 2013

New Zealand

Open in New Window Chorus tries to pass on cost of rural telco levy
Commerce Commission considering request by Chorus to include cost of levy in copper pricing...

Open in New Window Loon project brings the web to billions
New Zealand has reached for the sky, backing Google's extraordinary plan to encircle the Earth with helium-filled balloons beaming internet access to billions...
NZ Herald

Open in New Window Scammer clones profile
Imposters are cloning New Zealanders' Facebook profiles and winning over their friends before trying to con them out of...
NZ Herald

Open in New Window Online daters beware
A terminally ill Christchurch woman has lost more than $160,000 in an online dating scam...

Open in New Window Mega balks at spy powers
Kim Dotcom's Mega online storage service says service providers should not be covered by new spy laws...

Open in New Window Skype trial for inmates canned
A plan to let prisoners have Skype video-chats with family members has been scuppered before it began, because officials couldn't guarantee the security of the personal data of criminals and their families...

Open in New Window Balloon-powered internet launches in NZ
Google has unveiled a world-leading internet initiative in Christchurch this afternoon - balloon powered internet....

Open in New Window Consumers warned about text scam
New Zealand mobiles are being targeted by a new text-message scam, luring people with promises of a multi-million dollar prize win...

Open in New Window New Zealand law permits 'low risk' designer drugs
Stoners, pill-poppers and drug regulators everywhere: turn your eyes to New Zealand...
New Scientist



Open in New Window Vodafone enters 4G race
Vodafone has officially entered the 4G race - years behind its rivals Telstra and Optus...

Open in New Window Bitcoin gets first Aussie retailer
Australian online electronics retailer Millennius today announced it is the first major Australian online retailer to accept controversial currency Bitcoin as a payment mechanism...


Climate Change & Energy

Open in New Window Warm Ocean Drives Most Antarctic Ice Shelf Loss
Ocean waters melting the undersides of Antarctic ice shelves, not icebergs calving into the sea, are responsible for most of the continent's ice loss, a new study has...
Science Daily

Open in New Window Unzipped Nanotubes Unlock Potential for Batteries
Researchers at Rice University have come up with a new way to boost the efficiency of the ubiquitous lithium ion (LI) battery by employing ribbons of graphene that start as carbon nanotubes...
Science Daily



Open in New Window AutoRun. Reloaded
Recent months have produced little of interest among worms written in Java and script languages such as JavaScript and VBScript...

Open in New Window Telegram system ends. Stop. Replaced by text messages. Stop
The telegram, that bringer of bad news and birthday greetings, was too slow for the digital age...

Open in New Window Google beams internet from balloons
Google is launching an experiment to beam the internet to remote areas of the world from near space balloons...

Open in New Window Facebook reveals US data requests
US authorities made thousands of data requests to Facebook last year, the firm says, after a vast surveillance scheme was revealed in leaked papers...

Open in New Window U.S. Government Uses Early Knowledge Of Microsoft Bugs For Spying
Forget PRISM, this is real super-villain stuff...

Open in New Window Details emerge about PRISM, big tech companies release data request reports
After Facebook, Google, and Apple among other companies issued blanket refutations of that "direct access" claim, it was difficult to parse what PRISM really entailed...

Open in New Window Encrypted e-mail: How much annoyance will you tolerate to keep the NSA away?
How to to encrypt e-mail, and why most don't bother...

Open in New Window Syria has crossed chemical red line, says Obama
The US government has "high confidence" that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons (CW)...
New Scientist

Open in New Window Mystery of X-Ray Light from Black Holes Solved
It is a mystery that has stymied astrophysicists for decades: how do black holes produce so many high-power X-rays?...
Science Daily

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Previous Columns

All Yr Wndwz 7 R bLnG 2 ME!!!
The folk at Microsoft probably signed a collective "oh dear" (actually, it was probably a lot less family-friendly than that) this morning...

Volkswagen scandal kills the diesel option?
I have always had trouble reconciling the claims that noisy, smelly, smoky diesel engines are somehow less polluting than their comparatively quiet, odourless, visually clean petrol equivalent...

Martians are probably slimy
Interesting news on the space front -- NASA is now convinced that they have spotted liquid water (or signs thereof) on the surface of Mars...

EVs for government?
There is increasing pressure for the government to start using EVs in its massive fleet of vehicles...

The lithium battery problem worsens
Lithium is a highly reactive element and its affinity to combine with other elements, releasing energy along the way, has made it a very effective component of modern lightweight, high power-density batteries...

Pay attention, it's important!
One of the biggest news stories this week was the way that a US drug company purchased the rights for a particular treatment and then jacked up the price by 5,000%...

Can we fix it?
Over the past few weeks I've been tossing around a lot of ideas for creating new, engaging, educational, entertaining YouTube content and here's another...

Silent Spring (the tech version)
One of the most important books ever published is Silent Spring written in 1962 by author Rachel Carson but today's column isn't about the birds and bees of which she wrote...

Maker by proxy?
Just nine days until I start rolling out some exciting new content for my XJet YouTube channel and I'm still searching for good ideas...

Paranoia kills science
Unbelievable. That's the only word I can use to describe the events of a day or two ago in the USA...

Get into bed with these people?
Just a few days ago it was announced that Kim Dotcom's extradition hearing would go ahead...