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Comment: The irony is... (Score 1) 210

by noisyinstrument (#34927762) Attached to: Sharks Seen Swimming Down Australian Streets

His twitter feed is an automated news robot by the looks of it. Check it out at @PaulTully looks to me like it just trawls the net (probably just a google news rss feed for "Goodna") and spams it. The news story about the two bodies found in the house in Goodna was published online by the ABC, Fairfax and News Corp, probably all from the same AAP wire. The failure was more related to the rapid news cycle and the lack of fact checking (the story was retracted within a few hours, although some simply reported that police couldn't confirm the find initially - some even incremented the official death toll to include the 2 bodies).

This happens all the time in unfolding and tragic events like these, fact checking is a luxury in the pursuit of getting the story first. The current priority seems to be get the story first, then get the story right.

For the record (and back on topic), in 2005 a horse was attacked by a bull shark more than 20km upstream from Goodna, I hardly think its impossible for a shark to swim 600m through flood waters.

Comment: Unbelievable != hoax (Score 2) 210

by noisyinstrument (#34925260) Attached to: Sharks Seen Swimming Down Australian Streets

Unconfirmed, but reported multiple times by different people. It's not really that unbelievable though, they are often spotted (and have actually attacked animals and people) even further up the river. The butcher shop is roughly 600metres from the original river bank, but was underwater on the 13th.

Marked is approximately the location of the butcher (note the flood waters on the 13th): http://www.nearmap.com/?q=Shark@-27.608694,152.899003&ll=-27.6078,152.898831&z=16&t=k&nmd=20110113

The motorway to the north of the butcher is elevated with several underpasses. You say that the newspapers believe it was a hoax, but I can't say I've seen a retraction for the story anywhere. In fact it was covered again today: http://www.qt.com.au/story/2011/01/19/butchers-scary-shark-encounter-bull-steve-bateman/

* Note I'm not saying its true, I just don't think you can dismiss it without something other than your own opinion.

Comment: Re:Non-human intelligences (Score 1) 785

by noisyinstrument (#34800676) Attached to: Should Dolphins Be Treated As Non-Human Persons?

Communicating isn't the same thing has having a oral history. An oral history would be things like story telling, perhaps even creation myths. And for these, the evidence just doesn't exist.

From what I gather, a lot of scientists are now stepping back a bit from the belief that dolphins are near human-like in intelligence. I think its just wishful thinking on our part.

Comment: Re:Not supprising (Score 2, Insightful) 150

by noisyinstrument (#34160316) Attached to: Google Scares Aussie Banks

Retail lending is only a small part of the business. And the cash rate targets set by the RBA don't reflect the capital costs of raising money internationally (where a fairly large amount of Australian debt is financed from).

Of particular note is that that the record profit made by Westpac of ~AU$6billion was on assets of ~AU$700billion. Which is a fairly terrible margin. Also Westpac has the worst debt to deposit ratio of any of the big 4 (aka it is most at risk). Maybe they'll keep some of that cash on hand to lower the risk or something?

I'm no expert but there is a hell of a lot of completely uninformed nonsense out there in the Australian public's mind.

Comment: Re:To stop 'premature unnecessary debate' (Score 1) 169

by noisyinstrument (#33020770) Attached to: AU Government Censors Document On Planned Web Snooping

"I think the labour party is doing this because of the rise of the christian right in Australia. Labour will never will votes from family first, and pandering to moral authoritarianism (a conservative platform) will alienate the labour base."

Who will vote for Labor regardless.

Comment: Re:The study just involves blind people (Score 1) 187

by noisyinstrument (#33011638) Attached to: Utah State Prof Says Hybrids Don't Kill More Pedestrians

Another which is most obvious with small cars now days is the hood (bonnet for Australians and other colonies) is not flush with the top of the engine. The engine is recessed somewhat to allow for a crumple on impact.

Being hit by a Toyota Yaris is like flopping backwards onto a down pillow.

Comment: Re:What's the fuss (Score 1) 560

by noisyinstrument (#32975666) Attached to: BP Caught Photoshopping Disaster Response Photos

The photo is clearly of the same operation that's ongoing.
The operating system used for the mainscreens is clearly windows post XP. There is one screen which is XP (default theme). XP was released in August 2001 (the blogger claimed the photos were taken in June 2001).
There are blurry timestamps in the photo that say 16/07/10.

This is a complete non-story.

Comment: Re:"First Female PM" is not news. (Score 2, Interesting) 419

by noisyinstrument (#32675226) Attached to: Australia Gets Its First Female Prime Minister

The atheist part isn't such a big deal in Australia, I don't think. Australians are very much secularists when it comes to politics. I suspect that the only PM in recent history to say the words "Jesus Christ" said it when their fucking hair drier went fucking missing.

We've had an anglican archbishop as a governor-general, but the guy a few before him was an avowed atheist (Bill Hayden).

Comment: Correction to the article (Score 2, Informative) 120

"The NBN is a 100Mbps open access fiber network that will be rolled out to 94% of the Australian population"

Currently, the plan is only 90% coverage with fibre, although the recent report by KPMS suggested they increase that to 92%. I believe the 94% is the current (claimed) Telstra ADSL coverage.

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