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Comment Remember - it's the Government, not Australians (Score 3, Interesting) 200

This is an EPIC FAIL.

Australia has led technology trends and adoption for so long, and the Government is prepared to kill it and our children's future for a single lousy vote of a Senator who has the support of exactly no one.

The Government is terribly misguided on this one. Conroy might be pushing this as a wedge policy, he might be doing it for Fielding's support, but this issue alone will lose the ALP the next election, as well as many for years to come.

All of Gen i, Y and X will remember this and vote accordingly for years to come. The ALP will be in the wilderness for many elections, and struggle to form a strong government in their own right without doing the independent / Greens coalition tango that is working soooo well for them right now.

Seriously, I could see the Greens take this to the election and coupled with effective climate change policies and no internet censoring, they could become the balance of power for years.

Conroy is Public Enemy #1. He has committed electoral suicide for himself and his Government. I really do think they have no idea exactly how unpopular this policy will be.

In short - how to fight this thing:

* Ring your politicians tomorrow. All of them. Make the phones run hot.
* Write them letters.
* Ask to see them. Talk to them about this issue, and only this issue.
* Write letters to the news sites
* Blog and Twitter and Facebook away.
* Attend rallies. Publish photos and write ups about same.
* Join the EFA.
* Sign up to Get Up if you feel inclined
* Use #nocleanfeed religiously.
* Do not do work for Conroy's department. Resign or transfer if you work there.
* Support ISPs that are against this idea. Leave ISPs that support it or who have no position.

If it becomes law, mass civil disobedience is required. I will be blogging about how to get around the filtering.


Super-Earths Discovered Orbiting Nearby, Sun-Like Star 242

likuidkewl writes "Two super-earths, 5 and 7.5 times the size of our home, were found to be orbiting 61 Virginis a mere 28 light years away. 'These detections indicate that low-mass planets are quite common around nearby stars. The discovery of potentially habitable nearby worlds may be just a few years away,' said Steven Vogt, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UCSC. Among hundreds of our nearest stellar neighbors, 61 Vir stands out as being the most nearly similar to the Sun in terms of age, mass, and other essential properties."

Students Take Pictures From Space On $150 Budget 215

An anonymous reader writes "Two MIT students have successfully photographed the earth from space on a strikingly low budget of $148. Perhaps more significantly, they managed to accomplish this feat using components available off-the-shelf to the average layperson, opening the door for a new generation of amateur space enthusiasts. The pair plan to launch again soon and hope that their achievements will inspire teachers and students to pursue similar endeavors."
United States

Barack Obama Is One Step Closer To Being President 601

At 3:00 Eastern time on Monday Dec. 15, 538 electors in state capitols across the US cast the votes that actually elected Barack Obama the 44th President. Obama received, unofficially, 365 electoral votes (with 270 needed to win). The exact total will not be official — or Obama officially elected — until Congress certifies the count of electoral votes in a joint session on Jan. 6, 2009. The Electoral College was established in its present form in 1804 by the Twelfth Amendment to the US Constitution. Electors are not required to vote for the candidate who won their state — in fact, 24 states make it a criminal offense to vote otherwise, but no "faithless elector" has ever been charged with a crime. "On 158 occasions, electors have cast their votes for President or Vice President in a manner different from that prescribed by the legislature of the state they represented. Of those, 71 votes were changed because the original candidate died before the elector was able to cast a vote. Two votes were not cast at all when electors chose to abstain from casting their electoral vote for any candidate. The remaining 85 were changed by the elector's personal interest, or perhaps by accident. Usually, the faithless electors act alone. An exception was in 1836 when 23 Virginia electors changed their vote together. ... To date, faithless electors have never changed the otherwise expected outcome of the election."

At Atlantic Records, Digital Sales Surpass CDs 273

The NYTimes reports that Atlantic is the first major label to report getting a majority of its revenue from digital sales, not CDs. Analysts say that Atlantic is out in front — the industry as a whole isn't expected to hit the 50% mark until 2011. By 2013, music industry revenues will be 37% down from their 1999 levels (when Napster arrived on the scene), according to Forrester. "'It's not at all clear that digital economics can make up for the drop in physical,' said John Rose, a former executive at EMI ... Instead, the music industry is now hoping to find growth from a variety of other revenue streams it has not always had access to, like concert ticket sales and merchandise from artist tours. ... In virtually all... corners of the media world, executives are fighting to hold onto as much of their old business as possible while transitioning to digital — a difficult process that NBC Universal's chief executive ... has described as 'trading analog dollars for digital pennies.'"

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Almost anything derogatory you could say about today's software design would be accurate. -- K.E. Iverson