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

Radical expansion of Australia's national firewall will censor search results and websites

SOPA has come to Australia: under Communications minister Senator Mitch Fifield's Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2018, rightsholders will be able to tell search engines which results they are allowed to show users, and will expand the country's censorship system ("copyright blocking orders") by allowing rightsholders to have any website censored by claiming it is a "mirror" of an already-blocked site, without having to show evidence for their claims. Read the rest

When Australia's Serial Pervert Con Man attacks

Australia's marvelous television is exemplified by A Current Affair, a current affairs programme specializing in filmed confrontations with ne'erdowells such as this shirtless pastor, described (perhaps accurately) by the reporter as Serial Pervert Con Man in a prelude to a low-quality public fistfight.

See also the excellent Australian highway patrol show, Highway Patrol Australia. Read the rest

Sydney airport detains software developer Nathan Hague, seize devices, crack passwords, grab his files: Reports

British-Australian I.T. developer Nathan Hague was traveling through Australia's Sydney airport when authorities forcibly detained him and seized his devices, according to reports. Hague says his laptop password was cracked, and his digital files were accessed by Border Force officers. Read the rest

Activists teaching Australian Aboriginals to protect themselves by recording their interactions with law enforcement

Smartphone video footage of police brutality being exercised against black Americans and other ethnic minorities living their lives within the nation’s borders have become depressingly commonplace. While difficult to watch and, most likely for the videographer, difficult to stand by and film, such footage can be an important tool in bringing cops who abuse the power of their office to justice. The news, social media and water cooler talk here in North America often overflows with reports of abuses of power by law enforcement officials. It’s easy to forget that the very same brand of injustice and violence are served up in other parts of the world – a lot.

According to The New York Times, in Australia, a country that’s been marred by institutional racism since its inception, “...aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are incarcerated at 13 times the rate of non-Indigenous Australians. They make up 27 percent of Australia’s prisoners, compared with 3 percent of the overall population.” Given the disproportionate representation of Indigenous Australians in the clink, it’s safe to say that there’s some greasy shit going on Down Under, of a similar sort to the greasy shit we see going on up here in places like New York City and Ferguson, Missouri.

To help Australia aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander peoples to mitigate this prejudicial treatment at the hands of those meant to serve and protect them, human rights activists are teaching them how to respond to the threat of police violence and to record their interactions with law enforcement, just like we do up here:

From The New York Times:

The Copwatch workshops, activists said, are intended to teach people their legal rights and how to safely record interactions with police officers.

Read the rest

Artist describes the first time she ever saw white Australians as a teenager

Wangkatjungka artist Nyuju Stumpy Brown first saw white people in the 1940s as a teenager. Here, she describes that time and later shows some of her artwork. Read the rest

How to get over a fence like a boss, and also not

Watch freerunner Jiemba Sands of Tasmania get over a short chainlink fence in a variety of different ways like it's no big deal.

Now watch his blooper reel:

(Bored Panda) Read the rest

Skateboarder impresses with bonkers trick: Watch

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Not Possible @jacksonpilz 🤯👏🏽 Filmed by @chiggysskateboarding

A post shared by THRASHER MAGAZINE (@thrashermag) on Jul 6, 2018 at 6:48am PDT

Australian skater Jackson Pilz is making the internet go wild with his latest skateboard trick. Watch it first in slo-mo, then at regular speed. Either way, prepare to be impressed. Read the rest

Projection-mapped light-show on the Sydney Opera House

Sydney's annual Vivid festival fills the harbour with barges equipped with powerful projectors that use the buildings ringing the harbour (especially the iconic Sydney Opera House) as geometrically complex screens for projection-mapped lightshows, synchronised to music. Read the rest

Amazon bars Australians from shopping on its non-Aussie sites to put pressure on the government to rescind tax rule

Australian retailers are required to collect 10% Value Added Tax on every sale; Amazon's Australia store collects this tax, but the company has rejected any suggestion that its non-Australian stores should collect the tax on shipments bound for Australia. Read the rest

Australia says cash about to become illegal for purchases over $7,500

One great thing about cash is its anonymity – nobody, including the government, can easily stick their nose in your beeswax when you're using physical banknotes and coins. But anonymity is about to become more scarce in Australia, which is about to make it illegal to purchase anything over $10,000 AU ($7,500 US) with cash.

The Australian government, who announced the new cash ban on Tuesday, says it wants to discourage money laundering and tax evasion by “encouraging the transition to a digital society.” And to enforce the new law, the government will depend on the "Black Economy Standing Taskforce," which will be focusing on Australia's black market tobacco trade.

According to Gizmodo:

As The Guardian points out, one of the biggest targets for the new task force will be the illicit tobacco trade. Australia has the highest tax on cigarettes in the world, with an average pack costing about $40 AU ($30 US). But there’s a huge black market for cigarettes, which comes from both stolen goods and smuggling from outside the country. Taxes aren’t paid on cigarettes until the point of sale, so theft from tobacco warehouses is unusually common in Australia.

But ordinary small business owners aren't happy about the ban.

“It’s going to screw me—95 percent of my business is cash collections,” Paul Thomas, owner of Commander Security Services in Sydney, told News Corp this week. “On a monthly basis, we could process and move up to $4-5 million—either picking up cash, processing and EFT-ing it to customers’ accounts, or recarrying it from customers to their bank branch.”

Today it’s any sum over $10,000 in Australia, but anyone with their eyes open can see where this is going.

Read the rest

The upside of big tech is Russia vs Telegram, but the downside is Cloudflare vs SESTA

Yesterday, I wrote about the way that tech-sector concentration was making it nearly impossible for Russia to block the encrypted messaging service Telegram: because Telegram can serve its traffic through giant cloud providers like Amazon, Russia can only block Telegram by blocking everyone else who uses Amazon. Read the rest

House-sized rubber duck escapes; is later recaptured

Daphne the Duck escaped during the Cockburn Masters ocean swim competition in Perth. She was only able to make it about 5 miles, where she was discovered a week later hiding near Rottnest Island west of the city. Read the rest

Watch divers harvest hardy "super corals" in hopes of repopulating reefs

Great Barrier Reef Legacy is one of a number of organizations racing to collect and study coral colonies that miraculously survive major bleaching events. The hope is that these "super corals" can help restore reefs decimated by environmental change. Read the rest

World's oldest message in a bottle (probably) discovered

A nearly 132-year-old message-in-a-bottle was found in late January (or was it?).

Here's the story: While walking around Wedge Island in Western Australia, beachcomber Tonya Illman discovered the old bottle in the dunes.

Inside was a tightly-bundled scroll with a piece of twine around it which Tonya and her husband Kym took home to dry out in their oven.

Once the note was dried out enough, they unrolled it and learned the bottle's message, dated June 12, 1886, was in German.

Some people believe the find is part of an elaborate marketing hoax staged by Kym, a known "ambush marketer" in Perth.

Still, according to BBC News, the couple got the note to an expert who confirmed its authenticity:

Dr Ross Anderson, Assistant Curator Maritime Archaeology at the WA Museum, confirmed the find was authentic after consulting with colleagues from Germany and the Netherlands.

"Incredibly, an archival search in Germany found Paula's original Meteorological Journal and there was an entry for 12 June 1886 made by the captain, recording a drift bottle having been thrown overboard. The date and the coordinates correspond exactly with those on the bottle message," Dr Anderson said.

The handwriting on the journal, and the message in the bottle, also matched, he added.

The bottle was jettisoned in the south-eastern Indian Ocean while the ship was travelling from Cardiff in Wales to Indonesia, and probably washed up on the Australian coast within 12 months, where it was buried under the sand, he wrote in his report.

Read the rest

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