Science, Technology and Innovation

Inside Obama’s plan to use open data to curb police brutality

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Camden, New Jersey, isn’t where you might expect to find the future of policing emerging. NewScientist – by Aviva Rutkin It was renowned as one of the most violent cities in the US for decades. Two years ago, struggling with crime and running out of money, the city scrapped its police department entirely. But now Camden is at the centre of ... Read More »

The man who couldn’t stop giving

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What a Brazilian man’s pathological generosity says about the biological roots of philanthropy. SBS – By Sam Kean / Source: The Atlantic In the early 1990s, a quiet man named João quit his job running the human-resources department of an insurance company in Rio de Janeiro and began selling french fries from a street cart. The fries quickly proved popular, in part because they ... Read More »

Tech giants don’t want Obama to give police access to encrypted phone data

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Tech behemoths including Apple and Google and leading cryptologists are urging President Obama to reject any government proposal that alters the security of smartphones and other communications devices so that law enforcement can view decrypted data. The Washington Post - By Ellen Nakashima * In a letter to be sent Tuesday and obtained by The Washington Post, a coalition of tech firms, ... Read More »

Hacker admits hijacking plane mid-air: FBI

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A security researcher hijacked an airplane’s engines after hacking its in-flight entertainment systems, according to the FBI. The Sydney Morning Herald - Liam Tung Chris Roberts, a well-known US security researcher, told FBI agents in February that he’d hacked in-flight entertainment systems on over a dozen flights and on one occasion hijacked an aircraft’s thrust management computer and briefly altered its course. “[Roberts] stated ... Read More »

Germany v. Google

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LONDON – American tech companies are under unprecedented attack by European Union regulators. New Europe – By Philippe Legrain The European Commission has charged Google with abusing its near-monopoly over Internet search in the EU to favor its own shopping services. It has also opened a probe of Google’s Android mobile operating system. And, as part of its just-announced “Digital Single ... Read More »

Microsoft to stop producing Windows versions

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BBC - Windows 10 is going to be the last major revision of the operating system. Jerry Nixon, a Microsoft development executive, said in a conference speech this week that Windows 10 would be the “last version” of the dominant desktop software. His comments were echoed by Microsoft which said it would update Windows in future in an “ongoing manner”. ... Read More »

Cyprus pins hopes on Australian solar technology to make shift away from oil

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Solar thermal technology will generate electricity and tackle water shortages – earning Australia’s science agency CSIRO $500,000 for solar field design The Guardian - Oliver Milman @olliemilman Australian scientists have designed and installed solar energy technology in Cyprus to help the island nation shift away from fossil fuels and also tackle its chronic water shortages. A team from the CSIRO, Australia’s national science ... Read More »

The Short Life and Speedy Death of Russia’s Silicon Valley

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In 2009, Moscow unveiled an ambitious plan to build a world-class technology incubator. Then corruption, brain drain, and Putin killed it. FP – By JAMES APPELL In the world of tech, six years is a long, long time. In 2009, the iPad was but a twinkle in Steve Jobs’s eye; 20 percent of the mobile phones sold in the United States were ... Read More »

Australia’s slow digital economy needs government innovation, says Ernst & Young

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More public service news Australia is being left behind as a digital economy and government departments and the public servants who work there could be key culprits, according to a new report. The Age – Noel Towell, Reporter for The Canberra Times Accounting giants Ernst and Young say the Commonwealth government is failing in its key duty to drive digital innovation and put it ... Read More »