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MacroBusiness Saturday, May 9, 2015 - 10:15 Source

The long awaited Senate Affordable Housing Report – 8 May 2015 was released late on Friday afternoon.  It is a very large (496 pages) pdf file. h/t Patrician & Stomper The nature of these things is for a lot of very interesting information, assumptions, biases and quotes to be buried deep in the various sections, with the

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Popular Science Saturday, May 9, 2015 - 10:01 Source

The stinging agony of a fire ant bite is one of those things that remains seared into your psyche for all time. But while most people's instinct is to stay very far away from these insects, a closer look at how they build their tunnels shows that there's a lot we can learn from them.

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Popular Science Saturday, May 9, 2015 - 10:01 Source

Over the past fifteen years or so, bed bug infestations surged worldwide. The bed bug's return was, in part, thanks to an increase in global travel, insecticide resistance, and the fact that more of us than ever before are living in cities—a particularly good setting for bed bugs to thrive. But the pest also made a comeback in a less publicized way through our music.

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Popular Science Saturday, May 9, 2015 - 10:01 Source

Two months after he was discharged from the hospital after a grueling fight with Ebola, Dr. Ian Crozier was back in the hospital with searing eye pain. When doctors looked closer, they were astounded to find cells of the virus still lingering inside his eye. His case we detailed in a report published yesterday in the New York Times.

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Popular Science Saturday, May 9, 2015 - 10:01 Source

We don't know happens when quadcopters go really, really fast, but thanks to a tether system inside a padded room at a university in Switzerland, researchers are going to find out. With the quadcopters range of movement confined to a sphere 11 feet across, the drones can experience forces of up to 14 times that of gravity.

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Popular Science Saturday, May 9, 2015 - 10:01 Source

The small wars of the future may be fought with small drones to match. The Shadow drone, a light scout used by the U.S. Army, just successfully dropped bombs in a recent test. With American law now changed to allow selling armed drones abroad, America's allies may finally get a drone bomber to match their smaller budgets.

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Popular Science Saturday, May 9, 2015 - 10:01 Source

A man in Fairfax, Virginia is suing the local police department for indiscriminately scanning citizens' license plates and storing that information in massive databases. Neal Harrison, who is being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, says his car's license plate was unlawfully scanned twice in 2014.

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Popular Science Saturday, May 9, 2015 - 10:01 Source

For many, drone delivery was a novelty until Amazon jumped into the game. With a much-hyped concept video, Amazon provided a straightforward image of robot postmen, bringing packages to customers on demand. Amazon filed the patent for the “Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Delivery System” last September, but the text of it was recently made public at the end of April, showing the nuts and bolts of the scheme.

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Popular Science Saturday, May 9, 2015 - 10:01 Source

A couple days ago, a colleague forwarded an announcement that the World Health Organization was set to declare Liberia “Ebola-free” on May 9 when the country reaches 42 days (double the virus's incubation period) without reporting a new case of Ebola infection. That same night, the movie Jarhead came on TV. The timing was perfect.

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Popular Science Saturday, May 9, 2015 - 10:01 Source

Last year, Yoshitomo Imura was arrested in Japan for 3D printing revolvers. Imura designed the “zig-zag” pistol, and was sentenced to two years in jail for making the weapon. Thanks to the power of the Internet, hobbyist gunmakers shared his plans, and this week one fan announced the completion of a printed gun. It's not the first 3D printed gun, but it is notable for its name: the 'Imura Pistol' v2.0.

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Popular Science Saturday, May 9, 2015 - 10:01 Source

For a country looking to show off its military might, Russia is suffering from an embarrassing bit of projectile dysfunction. To celebrate the 70th anniversary of victory over Germany in WWII, Russia is preparing for a massive military parade in Red Square. The parade is scheduled for Saturday, and it will showcase Russia's brand-new Armata tank. There's just one little hitch: On a rehearsal for the parade, one of the tanks stalled.

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The Australian Independent Media Network Saturday, May 9, 2015 - 09:37 Source

Through my study of political narratives I’ve learned many interesting things. But the one most important lessons is that a political narrative has to be simple to be effective. I will add yet another opinion to the thousands that are being written this weekend to analyse what went wrong for UK Labour by saying that their political narrative was all over the place and didn’t give mainstream voters something concrete to hang their hat on.

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The Idiot Tax Saturday, May 9, 2015 - 09:26 Source

 
If Pops was intending to talk loud enough for me to hear, I could only do the polite thing and listen. As the cutlery clattered and some fat guy slurped on his soup, consideration was being...

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Saturday, May 9, 2015 - 08:51 Source

Maurice Newman, a Liberal voter, called global warming ‘a world-wide UN-led conspiracy to embarrass our dear leader Tony Abbott, peace be unto him’, and called for a jihad against these ‘false prophets’ and their hanging, drawing and quartering in ‘public places in the appropriate cities’ lest ‘capitalism die and authoritarian Castroism engulf the planet by December, 2016.’

The University of Western Australia gave back three million intended for Pyne’s pet maddie Lomborg whom he would find, the Minister swore, ‘a university sufficiently pauperised by my previous cuts to accept him.’

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Saturday, May 9, 2015 - 07:03 Source

It turns out the polls were right — Labour and the Tories both got 34 percent — though Miliband won a hundred fewer seats than Cameron. Which means that all polling, when there are four big parties and a first-past-the-post system, is useless. With a preferential voting system Labour would have won five hundred seats; and every election since 1945.

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Saturday, May 9, 2015 - 00:18 Source

Bjorn LomborgGoogle ImagesABC News 8 May 2015:The University of Western Australia has cancelled the contract for a policy centre that was to be headed up by controversial academic Bjorn Lomborg …..In a statement, UWA Vice

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Saturday, May 9, 2015 - 00:16 Source

This koala appears to have entered accident & emergency department of a public hospital in the Western District Health Service in Victoria:https://youtu.be/itq1kAuYFgs

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Saturday, May 9, 2015 - 00:15 Source

As I explained in the Inforrm article that prompted Sir Alan Moses to invite me for a brief visit to his office before his terse invitation to depart it, the touchstone both of whether IPSO has any independence from the press industry and whether it will therefore be an effective regulator is on the issue of prominence.

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Friday, May 8, 2015 - 18:21 Source

Treasurer Joe Hockey copped quite a lampooning when he raised the prospect of  people living until they are 150 to explain why Australians should accept cuts to government benefits and pay a greater share of their health costs. But Dr George Crisp...

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MacroBusiness Friday, May 8, 2015 - 16:00 Source

by Stan Shamu The selloff in the bond market finally came to a halt despite some early jitters and this played a big role in stabilising equities. While equities have been drifting higher in Asia, perhaps most of the attention was on the UK elections which dictated the pace in the sterling. With the uncertainty

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MacroBusiness Friday, May 8, 2015 - 14:58 Source

From Chris Joye at the AFR: Tuesday’s otherwise unexpected (at least by most) jump in long-term rates was determined by much larger foreign forces. A little appreciated fact is that Australia’s three- and 10-year government bond yields, which are the market’s best guess as to where the cash rate will be on average over those periods,

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MacroBusiness Friday, May 8, 2015 - 14:47 Source

by Chris Becker The Pound is surging this afternoon with imminent victory by the incumbent Conservative Party (Tories) overnight in the UK general election: Its a new high for the year and eclipses the pre-Scottish referendum rout that saw it reach 1.45 against the USD. The FTSE opens in a few hours and The City

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The Australian Independent Media Network Friday, May 8, 2015 - 14:40 Source

 

Authors note.

I have decided to convert what was my ‘’A Month in Politics’’ post into a weekly commentary. ‘’My Thoughts on the Week That Was’’

Saturday 2 May

1. The Indonesian Government legally murders two Australian citizens and then apologises to the parents for their suffering. That’s strange diplomacy.

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Renew Economy Friday, May 8, 2015 - 14:38 Source

Australia's renewables industry reacts with relief and despair – but mainly despair – to news major parties have agreed to slash renewables target.

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Renew Economy Friday, May 8, 2015 - 14:37 Source

Coalition and Labor agree on a big cut to renewables target, but they have not put an end to the policy bastardry that has marred the last 18 months. Big coal, as usual, is the biggest winner, along with wood waste developers. Will states come to the rescue?

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Friday, May 8, 2015 - 14:37 Source

One-time whistleblower Freya Newman, on decolonisation, human swamps and Tony Abbott as a conservationist.

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Renew Economy Friday, May 8, 2015 - 14:34 Source

Tesla's Powerwall has Australia's energy industry talking – but not about utility death spirals. Instead, the view is that energy storage presents a huge opportunity to networks. They just have to hurry up and work out what that is.

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Renew Economy Friday, May 8, 2015 - 14:32 Source

Tesla says battery storage already makes economic sense in Australia, based on tariffs, as it outlines more details of its Powerwall product.

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Renew Economy Friday, May 8, 2015 - 14:32 Source

Tesla says battery storage already economically viable in Australia, based on tariffs, as it outlines more details of Powerwall product.

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MacroBusiness Friday, May 8, 2015 - 14:25 Source

The Aussie dollar, bond markets and Australian shares are all thriving on poor China trade. Even big iron has held up well though BHP is being whacked on a building oil correction, down 1.5%. RIO and FMG are flat. To the indexes: Idiocy spreads are stable: Juniors: Dalian futures have bounced strongly on lousy Chinese

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