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Popular Science Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 10:53 Source

The future is unevenly distributed in favor of the United Arab Emirates. Recently, two men donned jetpacks and flew into the night air above Dubai.

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Popular Science Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 10:53 Source

Moving a mountain is considered about as possible as emptying an ocean with a teaspoon. Sure, over time, the rocky peaks of a mountain can be worn down and moved by millions of years of weathering and erosion, but moving it in one fell swoop? Impossible.

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Popular Science Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 10:53 Source

While a bevy of companies are all trying to popularize virtual reality, some think that current VR technology doesn't go far enough. Oculus Rift and Samsung's Gear VR might let you see a virtual world, but a company called Feelreal is running a Kickstarter campaign for their VR mask, which aims to let your other senses--including smell and touch--in on the fun.

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Popular Science Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 10:53 Source

Today, the US Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management (BOEM) granted Shell approval to drill for oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean. Once the company obtains a laundry list of permits from various state and federal agencies, they will be able to drill up to six exploratory wells in the Chukchi Sea, 70 miles away from the town of Wainwright, Alaska. The sea's water is about 140 feet deep.

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Popular Science Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 10:53 Source

You want to know why we can't have nice things? People, that's why. Self-driving cars are just trundling along, minding their own business, when people decide to do something crazy. That's what Chris Urmson, the director of Google's self-driving car program, writes in a recent post at Backchannel.

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Popular Science Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 10:53 Source

Humans, like other primates, aren't born with the ability to discriminate between faces--it takes time for the brain to develop enough to do so. Though researchers have long hypothesized that the inferior temporal cortex, which processes visual stimuli, was also where the brain distinguished faces, they didn't have any proof. Now, researchers from MIT have identified the neurons in macaque monkeys that help them identify whether a human face is male or female.

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MacroBusiness Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 10:35 Source

by Chris Becker As we await for the awe-inspiring Budget tonight, two fascinating insights into how the Australian economy is viewed, through domestic and foreign eyes. First, the usual “everything is fine, relax, we’ve built a bomb shelter” narrative from the mainstream press, highlighting the perfect AAA rating: There have been some scary-sounding predictions about

The post Perfecting delusion about ratings appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 09:57 Source

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Particularly when it comes to responsible reporting of Aboriginal poverty. Amy McQuire explains.

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MacroBusiness Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 09:56 Source

More contradictory and twisted drivel from Twiggy today. Today’s installment is quite incoherent and difficult to argue against because there is no argument, just a series of shifting goal posts with the hope of apportioning  enough blame that panic takes hold.   I can only repeat the following in the hope that some of my countryman

The post Twiggy maintains the big whinge at the ABC appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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MacroBusiness Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 09:49 Source

The AFR has picked up one of MB’s consistent themes: Gavin Hegney, of Perth-based valuers Hegney Property Group, said supply of property had surpassed demand and home prices would likely drop in the coming year. Yep: Back the article: “People are using low interest rates to get ahead in their mortgage rather than upgrade,” he said. “We’ll give up 1 or

The post WA property crash (sort of) goes mainstream appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 09:24 Source

My fight with Dr Liz has aroused a lot of respondents now withdrawing their Ellis Gold payments. My inclination is to end this blog now. To prevent this, Dr Liz can apologise for calling me a misogynist child murderer, and …

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 09:23 Source

For those following Croakey’s #JustJustice campaign, please join us for two online events this week: • Today shortly after 1230, an interview on Periscope with forensic psychiatrist Dr Marshall Watson, a Noongar man. At a Creating Futures...

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MacroBusiness Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 09:19 Source

by Chris Becker While the Aussie dollar has participating in the broad USD weakness, rallying nearly 5 cents to 80c against the USD, the same dynamic has not played out with the Kiwi. In fact the New Zealand dollar fallen more than four cents to 73c against the USD as the US Dollar Index lost

The post What’s wrong with the Kiwi dollar? appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 08:55 Source

The Abbott Government's budget is already sparking industrial action, and it hasn't even been released yet. Thom Mitchell reports.

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MacroBusiness Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 08:47 Source

Here are the iron ore price charts for May 11, 2015: We have ourselves a little divergence. Spot was strong again with Tianjin benchmark jumping 3.3% to $62.50. Paper markets are less enthusiastic with Dalian up but struggling to make new highs and sitting at 441 this morning. Singapore is also dancing on the spot. Rebar

The post Daily iron ore price update (port crunch) appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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The Melbourne Urbanist Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 08:42 Source

Does anyone really need to drive to the footy?

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MacroBusiness Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 08:14 Source

By Chris Becker The global bond rout continued overnight, even as the BOE made no changes to its six year record low interest rate policy, which saw Gilts sold off alongside Bunds and Treasuries, yields rising 6-8 basis points in big moves.  Stocks were hit, down 1% intrasession but came back for minor losses, but

The post Macro Morning (swoony) appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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Renew Economy Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 07:24 Source

Tesla's battery storage products may be a cooler and cheaper option for residential customers, but it is at the commercial and grid level where it could make its biggest impact. And it will accelerate deployment of renewables.

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Renew Economy Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 07:21 Source

With its high PV penetration, weak grid in some areas, and relatively low feed-in-tariffs, energy storage could be the key to enabling greater deployment of renewable energy in Australia.

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Renew Economy Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 07:21 Source

Battery storage should cut peak demand and thus network costs for all, but this won't happen organically. It needs a revolution, and retailers have the key.

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Renew Economy Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 07:20 Source

New Zealand utility Vector Energy says Tesla is a big deal, and won't rule out bringing battery storage technology to the Australian market.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 07:17 Source

A lengthy senate inquiry into the housing affordability crisis appears to have had no real affect on government thinking. Max Chalmers explains.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 07:03 Source

No sign yet of celebratory cigars, but the heat on the treasurer is already intense. Ben Eltham explains.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 06:25 Source

The Begnell's finished paying off their home in the 1980s. And then somehow, the government sold it to developers. Wendy Bacon reports.

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MacroBusiness Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 05:52 Source

There was a great paragraph in Peter Martin’s weekend article: Private businesses are telling the Reserve Bank they are reluctant to invest until they see a durable pick-up in consumer spending. But spending, and the confidence that drives it, are fragile. Talk of a second tough budget could dent it. Some of the economists most worried

The post What will Hockey’s “greatest ever era” look like? appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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MacroBusiness Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 04:42 Source

A solid take on the two big moves in global markets today from Barclays: The first half of Q2 has seen a strong rally develop in commodities prices. Brent crude oil is up 24% (after performing flat in Q1), copper 12% and even gold has risen a little. Despite the fact that agricultural commodities and

The post Commodities hit bonds again appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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MacroBusiness Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 04:41 Source

So, the bond bash resumed today for reasons discussed here. It’s feels big but is it? The answer is yes and no. In some markets the percentage moves are massive, such as Germany, where the 5 year has moved from -.15% to 0.1%, an astonishing percentage increase. But let’s face it, it’s hardly going to

The post Measuring the bond sell off appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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MacroBusiness Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 04:14 Source

When Joe Hockey first assumed control of the Australian Budget he brought with him a much needed bout of bearishness. The Treasury under Wayne Swan had been missing bullish forecasts repeatedly for years and Hockey insisted that realism be injected into forecasting. As it turned out, Mr Hockey faced the same problem despite his best

The post A Swan Budget for the ages appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 00:16 Source

Tens of thousands of wealthier retirees will lose access to the age pension under changes targeting what Prime Minister Tony Abbott has described as "liquid assets millionaires".Excuse me?Every single one of these people receiving a part aged pension will continue to do so – it will just not be in the form of cash into their bank accounts.Under Abbott’s sleight-of-hand the announced changes will lose them the small fortnightly cash transfers some currently receive, but they will all retain the highly financially lucrative

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 00:15 Source

It has become increasingly difficult to take this Australian Treasurer seriously.He treats the economy as his political plaything.Joe Hockey on Tuesday 4 December 2012http://www.joehockey.com/media/transcripts/details.aspx?s=409Joe Hockey on Tuesday 5 M

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