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Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 19th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2014 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk



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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...
Computerworld

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...
Stuff

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...
Stuff

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...
Stuff

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....
Stuff

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...
Stuff

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

 

Australia

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

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...
ITWire

 

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

 

Other

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...
SecureList

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...
Telegraph

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...
BBC

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...
BBC

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

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...
Arstechnica

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...
Arstechnica

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

IT, science or luck?
History is littered with the bones of badly conceived, spec'd and implemented large-scale IT systems...

Don't expect too much from Netflix AU/NZ
The big news yesterday was Netflix's announcement that it was intending to launch its video on demand service in Australasia sometime next year...

Professional golf now illegal in the USA?
Last year the FAA attempted to hit Raphael Pirker with a $10,000 fine for flying his RC model (aka "drone") over a university campus in the USA...

New Zealand is in big trouble
We're just a small island nation in the middle of a very large ocean -- is it no wonder that we're at the mercy of the tides and currents of the global economy? ...

A SciTech roundup
As I browsed the news wires this morning, nothing really grabbed me as a great topic for discussion so I thought I'd just do a bit of a round-up...

The milk paradox
As world prices for our dairy products tumbled last month, the retail price for milk in our supermarkets continued to rise and is now at hits highest ever level...

The best laid plans
As hoped and described in yesterday's column, the space probe Philae has successfully touched down on the surface of comet 67P, an awfully long way from Earth...

Comet-landing tomorrow
Nowhere in all the stuff I read as a kid, was their talk of landing a craft on a comet...

More than five eyes watching the Net
There was some concern a while back when some suggested that Chinese manufacturers could be planting spyware or back-doors in some of the hi-tech gear made in that company...

The demand for more storage
My very first computer had a paltry few hundred bytes of RAM and no non-volatile memory at all...