Science, Technology and Innovation

Europe’s copyright fight is just getting started

EU lawmakers will have a month to re-craft complicated digital rules with a massive impact on the future of the internet. Joanna Plucinska Politico Europe’s war over internet copyright rules isn’t over. It’s just entering a new — and potentially more brutal — phase. The European Parliament voted Thursday to take the EU’s proposed overhaul of online copyright rules back to the drawing board, reopening talks on a controversial law that affects media, creative industries and internet giants. If Europe’s copyright rules ... Read More »

Memorial for scientist who took his own life

A public memorial will be held in Perth for Australia’s oldest scientist David Goodall, who died in Switzerland from assisted suicide aged 104. WAtoday Professor Goodall took his own life on May 10 at a clinic near Basel after spending his last days patiently and openly explaining his decision to a huge media throng from around the world. He did not have a terminal illness but said his quality of life had deteriorated. “Even up to, say, the age of ... Read More »

France has no reason to bar lesbians from IVF, top court advises

PARIS (Reuters) – There are no legal reasons not to give single women and lesbian couples access to medically-assisted reproduction, the top state advisory body on judicial matters will tell the French government, Le Figaro reported on… Reuters Staff President Emmanuel Macron’s government said last year it wanted to change the law which currently restricts to heterosexual couples treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) that are widely available to all women in countries such as Britain, Belgium and… France ... Read More »

Time to honour a historical legend: 50 years since the discovery of Mungo Lady

This month we celebrate an event 50 years ago in western New South Wales that changed the course of Australian history. Jim Bowler The Conversation On July 15, 1968, the discovery of burnt bones on a remote shoreline of an unnamed lake basin began a story, the consequences of which remain sadly unfinished today. It’s the story of a legend, the discovery of Mungo Lady, the first in the series of steps that led to the creation of the Willandra ... Read More »

When an Indian hospital ran out of oxygen, doctors tried to help – so why were they jailed?

Gorakhpur: It was a shocking story: A government hospital in the far north of India ran out of liquid oxygen because it hadn’t paid the supplier. Over the next two days, dozens of children died in care. By Shashank Bengali & Parth M.N. The Age LA Times At the time, authorities specified that 34 of 60 children who died were babies in the neo-natal intensive care unit, while 12 died because of encephalitis. The rest died of other unspecified causes. Amid ... Read More »

Why technology puts human rights at risk

Movies such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner and Terminator brought rogue robots and computer systems to our cinema screens. Birgit Schippers The Conversation But these days, such classic science fiction spectacles don’t seem so far removed from reality. Increasingly, we live, work and play with computational technologies that are autonomous and intelligent. These systems include software and hardware with the capacity for independent reasoning and decision making. They work for us on the factory floor; they decide whether ... Read More »

The geopolitics of telecoms: The West vs. China in the 5G race

China is beating the world when it comes to 5G deployment. But in the crucial battle for control over the technology’s global standards, Europe and the US are still very much in the game. Mark Scott Politico LONDON — In smoke-filled conference halls and nondescript hotels from Brussels to Busan, South Korea, a yearslong battle has been underway for control over the future of the mobile world. That fight is now coming to an end. More than 600 government officials and telecoms executives agreed in ... Read More »

Plastic-eating bacteria discovered by student could help solve global pollution crisis

Exclusive: Microbes found near plastic refinery degrade material, turning it into food Tom Embury-Dennis Independent A student may have found a solution to one of the world’s most urgent environmental crises – breeding bacteria capable of “eating” plastic and potentially breaking it down into harmless by-products. The microbes degrade polyethylene terephthalate (PET) – one of the world’s most common plastics, used in clothing, drinks bottles and food packaging. It takes centuries to break down, in the meantime doing untold damage to its… Plastic-eating bacteria… Read More »

Thriving after depression: Why are scientists ignoring good outcomes?

In the wake of suicides by Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, we as a nation are newly sobered by depression’s threat to the public health. Authors: The Conversation Depression is a common mood condition considered by the World Health Organization to be the leading cause of disability worldwide, ahead of widely publicized contenders such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Reading the news today, you will learn that depression leads to self-harm and suicidal thoughts, drug overdoses, school shootings and ... Read More »

What’s leisure and what’s game addiction in the 21st century?

The World Health Organization’s description of “gaming disorder” as an “addictive behavior disorder” includes a vague description of how much digital gaming is too much. Lindsay Grace The Conversation The WHO warns that “people who partake in gaming should be alert to the amount of time they spend on gaming activities.” At what point does a leisure activity turn into an addiction? Games researchers are no strangers to complaints about the dangers of too much game playing. Video games have ... Read More »

Point of No Return? Britain and the Elgin Marbles

Britain’s ownership of the Parthenon Sculptures has caused controversy since they were first brought to London in the early 1800s. Ioannis D. Stefanidis History Today Keen to keep the Greeks onside, the debate became highly charged during the Second World War. Since they were first ‘acquired’ in 1816, Britain has never seriously considered returning the sculptures collectively known as the ‘Elgin Marbles’ to their place of origin. Successive governments have argued that they are better preserved and more accessible in ... Read More »

Hack warning: Secure your data or risk a $31 million fine

How do you store your customers’ personal data? Are you one hundred percent sure it’s safe from hackers? These are very important questions for small businesses. Alexandra Cain WAtoday Just last week Fairfax reported a conveyancing firm’s IT system had been compromised by hackers who were able to steal $250,000 of a client’s funds from it. Plus, stiff new data privacy rules in the European Union last month mean it’s now more important than ever for small businesses to get their cyber security right. ... Read More »

Museum or not? The changing face of curated science, tech, art and culture

What should a museum be in 2018? Self-described as “Australia’s leading future focused museum”, University of South Australia’s MOD is a new institution set to open its doors May 11, 2018. Caroline Wilson-Barnao The Conversation It brings together art, science and technology in a range of exhibits designed to mainly engage young adults aged from 15-25 years. Named using the letters from “museum of discovery”, the design of MOD shows us how audiences connect with culture in the 21st century. ... Read More »

Israeli Company Sells State-of-the-Art Tank Defense System to US Army

The Israeli defense company Rafael announced Tuesday that it has sold its state-of-the-art ASPRO-A tank defense system to the US Army. Benjamin Kerstein The Algemeiner Known as Ma’il Ruach (“Windbreaker”) in Israel, the ASPRO-A will be provided by Rafael in collaboration with DRS Leonardo for the price of $193 million. The systems will be built in both Israel and the US. According to Israel’s Channel 2, ASPRO-A is an active defense system for tanks and armored personnel carriers. It is ... Read More »

Restricting access to opioids could drive pain sufferers to buy harder drugs on the black market, experts warn

Australia has been warned that moves to restrict access to addictive opioid painkillers could drive pain sufferers to illegal markets or even stronger substances, if people are not able to access affordable, effective… Mary Lloyd ABC The Federal Government says it has written to 4,800 doctors to let them know they could be prescribing too many doses of addictive painkillers, as it seeks to avoid an opioid crisis like that seen currently in the… Health Minister Greg Hunt said the ... Read More »

Is space tourism travelling faster than space law?

Space tourism is fast becoming the new frontier in the transportation business. Driven by profit-making private venture capital, the push to offer customers some direct or indirect experience with space travel is no longer the stuff of comic books or science fiction. Gbenga Oduntan The Conversation The worry is that the legal architecture for this nascent industry has barely got its foundations in order. There seems to be a sound business case for the industry. Market studies indicate that there are ... Read More »