Thursday, July 04, 2019


Independence Day is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the Declaration of Independence of the United States on July 4, ...

Warragamba Dam plan stirs World Heritage Committee worry over 'values'

The NSW government's plan to raise the height of the Warragamba Dam has triggered concern from the World Heritage Committee that the Blue Mountain's "outstanding universal values" will be affected.

Tech briefing: Blockchain technologies
Presented by Rob Hanson, ANU and Data61
Notes [PDF  2.3MB]MP4 234MB
MP3 53MB

Overseas students in Australian higher education: a quick guide  

This report begins by outlining key events that led to the establishment of the Commission, including relevant reviews and court proceedings. It then sets out the Commission’s work to date and how it intends to approach its terms of reference.

> Evidence that apologizing doesn’t work


'Not spoilers, wreckers or lunatics': Mark Latham sets sights on schools

Mark Latham wants schools and teachers to be given performance bonuses for strong results

“The Soviet Union, it must be remembered, was a regime founded by freelance writers and editors. In other words, a nightmare 

After the fall of the Soviet Union, Deniss Metsavas served for many years with the Estonian Defense Forces and was, at the same time, a Russian spy. In this video for The Atlantic, Metsavas describes how he was recruited by Russian intelligence using kompromat (compromising material).

For years, Metsavas navigated his disparate allegiances. He got married and started a family. But as he grew in prominence in the Estonian Defense Forces, his Russian handlers began to demand highly classified information on Estonia’s involvement with the United States and NATO, specifically with regard to weapons. Metsavas tried to extricate himself, only to find that his handlers would stop at nothing to obtain the intel-including ensnaring a family member in the increasingly dangerous situation.  

Watching the video and reading the accompanying article, you get the sense that maybe the Cold War never ended

Andrew Leonard, via Medium
A look at the duelling paths of the world’s next great superpower.

Google:Google Earth puts a planet’s worth of imagery and other geographic information right on your desktop. 

Deadly day for workers refocuses spotlight on industry safety progress Waste Dive

Financial worries keep most Americans up at night Bloomberg

Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes to Face Trial Next Year on Fraud Charges WSJ

Mayor, doctors and social workers arrested in scheme to brainwash children into
believing they had been abused and sell them Independent

How to fight the spies in your Chrome browser

Washington Post: “Is your Web  browser spying on you? My recent column about the stark privacy differences between Google Chromeand Mozilla Firefox generated a lot of conversation — and questions from readers about what you can do to avoid surveillance while you surf. The main lesson: If Google is a data vampire, Chrome is its fangs. For most people, not using a browser made by an advertising company is the simplest way to protect your data from thousands of tracking firms, including Google itself. I recommend switching to the nonprofit Firefox, which has privacy-focused default settings that automatically block tracking cookies from ad and data companies, including Google itself. Apple’s Safari andBrave (which has an ad blocker built in) are also fine choices…”
   The Atlantic – Everyone seems to have found common ground on the emerging technology. That’s exactly what its makers want: “Your face is no longer just your face—it’s been augmented. At a football game, your face is currency, used to buy food at the stadium. At the mall, it is a ledger, used to alert salespeople to your past purchases, both online and offline, and shopping preferences. At a protest, it is your arrest history. At the morgue, it is how authorities will identify your body. Facial-recognition technology stands to transform social life, tracking our every move for companies, law enforcement, and anyone else with the right tools. Lawmakers are weighing the risks versus rewards, with a recent wave of proposed regulation in Washington State, Massachusetts, Oakland, and the U.S. legislature. In May, Republicans and Democrats in the House Committee on Oversight and Reform heard hours of testimony about how unregulated facial recognition already tracks protesters, impacts the criminal-justice system, and exacerbates racial biases. Surprisingly, they agreed to work together to regulate it…” 

How to speak Silicon Valley: 53 essential tech-bro terms explained

The Guardian UK – Your guide to understanding an industry where capitalism is euphemized – “For Californians of a certain tenure, Silicon Valley is a location – an actual, geological valley nestled between two mountain ranges and the marshy southern dregs of the San Francisco bay. The titans of technology – Adobe, Alphabet, Apple, eBay, Facebook, HP, Intel and Oracle – are all headquartered in the valley itself. But as the tech industry’s dominance has expanded, so, too, have Silicon Valley’s boundaries. The phrase has come to represent something that is both more and less than the tech industry as a whole. If the name represents anything at all, it is a way of thinking and talking, a mindset expressed through a shared vocabulary: the vocabulary of bullshit. Where Wall Street is capitalism unvarnished, Silicon Valley is capitalism euphemized. Here is a lexicon of Silicon Valley: a map for travelers to find their way through the wilds of billion-dollar lies…”

A BuzzFeed News investigation has found examples of executives, doctors, criminals, and even a Russian oligarch all benefiting from search engine manipulation campaigns to suppress negative content. In one example, the search results for Ian Leaf, a famous fraudster from the UK who also goes by Ian Andrews, are being influenced by an Ian Leaf persona that claims to be an expert in fraud prevention. This is a strategy to ensure positive content appears when people search for information about him and his crimes. The dubious Ian Leaf and Ian Andrews personas have also self-published books on Amazon to bolster their credibility and search results…”

'They don't see eye-to-eye': Leadership turmoil engulfs the ACNC | PBA