Australia wants to kill consent requirement in proposed data-sharing legislation, calls it "nuance"

Australia has a pending, comprehensive "data sharing" law that regulates the dispersal of data collected by the Australian state; in a new government white-paper, the Australian state has proposed that the rules could gain "nuance" if the government were allowed to share data without obtaining consent from the people whose privacy is implicated in that sharing. Read the rest

Australia's raids on journalists signal an authoritarian turning point

Yesterday's spectacular series of raids on Australian journalists by the Australian Federal Police are a turning point in how democracies view the role of the press and leaks: the raid targeted News Corp's Annika Smethurst over her reporting on a secret plan to grant the Australian Signals Directorate -- a spy agency -- the power to surveil Australians; 2GB radio's Ben Fordham over his reporting on human rights abuses of refugees; and ABC Sydney's offices over their 2017 Afghan files reports, which documented war-crimes and other misconduct by Australian military personnel. Read the rest

Just look at this vintage "banana candle" recipe

Just look at it.

(Thanks, Seth!) Read the rest

Fellow catches big fish that is then caught by something much bigger

"Run, Daniel, run!"

(via /u/TheNatureLover) Read the rest

Your kid's "smart watch" lets anyone in the world trace their location. Again.

Back in 2017, the Norwegian Consumer Council published a damning report on the privacy leaks from kids' "smart watches," a parade of horrors that included allowing unauthorized third parties to trace your kid's location, and also to covertly eavesdrop through the watches' microphones and bark creepy orders at them through their speakers. Read the rest

The Chinafication of the internet continues as the UK proposes blocking any service that hosts "illegal" or "harmful" material

Last year the US Congress passed SESTA/FOSTA, an "anti-sex-trafficking bill" that has resulted in the shuttering of all the services formerly used by sex workers to vet their johns, massively increasing the personal physical risk borne by sex-workers and reinvigorating the dying pimping industry, as sex workers seek out protectors. Read the rest

After Christchurch shooting, Australia doubles down on being stampeded into catastrophically stupid tech laws

Australia leads "developed democracies" in the adoption of poorly thought-through, dangerous tech laws, thanks to its ban on working cryptography, rushed through in late 2018; now, with no debate or consultation, the Australian Parliament has passed a law that gives tech companies one hour to remove "violent materials" from their platforms with penalties for noncompliance of up to 10% of annual global turnover. Read the rest

Sting operation: the NRA explains to white nationalist Australian political party how to deflect gun control calls after a massacre

Australian Al Jazeera reporter Rodger Muller infiltrated a meeting between the US National Rifle Association and Australia's far-right/white nationalist party One Nation, where the NRA gave party bosses advice on how to reverse Australia's tough anti-automatic/semi-automatic gun laws (passed after a 1996 mass shooting that killed 35 people) and what to do to deflect public calls for gun control when the next mass shooting happens. Read the rest

Uber used spyware to surveil and poach drivers from Australian rival service Gocatch

A senior source at Uber has confirmed to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Four Corners programme that Uber Australia illegally deployed an in-house piece of spyware called Surfcam in order to spy on drivers for a rival rideshare company called Gocatch; Uber was able to compile lists of drivers' emails, car registration numbers and other details and it used these to poach Gocatch drivers and turn them into Uber drivers. Read the rest

Bored pilot graffitis two dicks and a message in flight path

On Tuesday morning, an Australian pilot took some artistic liberties with his flight path.

ABC News:

The Diamond Star plane, operated by Flight Training Adelaide, spent a little over three hours in the air on Tuesday to draw the letters over South Australia.

The message was not seen by people on the ground, but was visible to aviation followers watching live flight tracking programs and websites.

It is believed the pilot, who was working out of Parafield Airport, north of Adelaide, was "running in" a new engine.

The FlightAware website captured the pilot's work between 8:53am to 11:57am.

The pilot flew several loops, creating some somewhat explicit graffiti along the coast, before tracing "I'm bored" over the Princes Highway.

Retired Qantas A380 pilot Chris Wilson said he thought the message was "harmless".

screenshot by Flightaware via ABC News

(Gizmodo) Read the rest

The Right to Repair movement is making strides around the world

Last year saw a massive surge in the right to repair movement, which seeks to limit manufacturers' power to undermine repairs, by mandating certain design decisions to facilitate independent servicing of goods, as well as access to parts and manuals. Read the rest

Aussie cops filmed beating kid with autism, disabled senior, and more

"Horrific" CCTV footage shows a group of Aussie cops savagely beating a teen with autism, and the resulting outrage is drawing attention to the country's worsening reputation for police brutality.

In another case, Victoria police beat up a teenager who had ridden his scooter in front a police car, claiming that the baby-faced kid was the middle-aged, bearded car thief they were unable to find.

Tommy Lovett was riding by a police car on his scooter when he was wrongly arrested. ... Documents obtained by The Age reportedly support Mr Lovett’s claim that he was hurled into a fence, assaulted while handcuffed and capsicum sprayed — leaving his body bruised, grazed and bleeding. Victoria Police vehemently denied the claims and an internal investigation found nothing wrong with Mr Lovett’s arrest. However, a human rights lawyer who spoke to 7.30 said the cases — including one where a Melbourne doctor claims police threw her to the ground and punched her in the head — outlined in the investigation are alarming.

“These cases keep going on,” he said. “There’s clearly cultural systemic issues at work."

More footage shows another Aussie cop attacking a disabled senior.

A Victorian policeman retained his job and rank despite being caught on CCTV assaulting a drunk disability pensioner at Geelong Police Station.

Read the rest

102-year-old woman breaks record for world's oldest skydiver

Irene O'Shea of Athelstone, Australia just broke the world record for the oldest female skydiver. She's 102 years old. This isn't her first jump though. This badass centenarian started two years ago when she turned 100.

ABC reports:

Sunday's skydive, which broke the world record, "went smoothly," SA Diving said, describing her as "an absolute joy to have in the dropzone."

O'Shea's daughter died of motor neurone disease years ago, according to SA Diving. She saw this year's skydive as the "perfect opportunity" to raise money and awareness for the Motor Neurone Disease Association of South Australia.

O'Shea jumped from 14,000 feet at SA Skydiving's Langhorne Creek Dropzone with instructor Jed Smith, a 24-year-old paramedic who she made her previous jumps with. The pair fell at about 136 mph before the parachute was deployed, according to SA Skydiving.

Wow.

(VICE) Read the rest

Literal breadboarding, with toast and Vegemite

Vegemite has enough salt to be conductive, and is viscous enough to draw distinct traces with on suitable medium (say, toast that has been cooked such that most of the water has evaporated, making it a good insulator), as Luke Weston has ably demonstrated. Read the rest

Australia's 2015 copyright censorship system has failed, so they're adding (lots) more censorship

In 2015, Australia created the most aggressive copyright censorship system in the world, which allowed the country's two major movie studios (Village Roadshow and Fox) along with an assortment of smaller companies and trolls to get court orders forcing the country's ISPs to censor sites that had the "primary purpose" of infringing copyright. Read the rest

"Free is not fair" won't make authors richer, but fixing publishers' contracts will

Australia is about to radically expand its copyright and the publishing industry has forged an unholy alliance with authors' groups to rail against fair use being formalised in Australia, rallying under the banner of "Free is not fair." Read the rest

Emu is in love, enjoys skritches

Just an emu in love. Read the rest

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