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Australian Cybercrime Enquiry Report Released 81

An anonymous reader writes "The Australian Government Standing Committee on Communications has released the results of a year long enquiry into cybercrime in a report titled Hackers, Fraudsters and Botnets: Tackling the Problem of Cyber Crime. This report includes a recommendation that Internet Service Provider customers should be forced to install anti-virus and firewall software on their computers as part of their contractual obligations. The Australian Communications and Media Authority receive further powers and responsibilities under the recommendations with respect to shutting down websites hosting malicious content and ensuring that infected consumer devices are disconnected from the Internet."

Submission + - Steven Conroy Does it Again (

Hoarse Whisperer writes: Australian Federal Government Communications Minister Steven Conroy had this to say about Google's recent blunder involving un-secured wireless routers:
''If you had an unprotected Wi-Fi router in your house and you were doing a banking transaction or transmitting personal information, they could have hoovered it up, sucked it up into their machine,'' ... and yes, this is the same guy who is in charge of the plan to filter the internet in Australia. We're screwed.

Comment Pink Salmon (Score 1) 401

The intention isn't to censor, the government is using the censorship (also known as 'protection') furphy to get it's foot in the door of Australian ISPs.

What this is really about is the first step towards putting a stop to the downloading of TV shows. The web censorship hype has always had the monitoring of downloads riding on it's coat-tails.

Aussies downloading prime-time TV is hitting the hip-pockets of some very influential people, the television station that backed Rudd from the beginning by giving him free air time has recently announced that they will be entering the ISP business, providing pay-per-download via the web.

Odds-on Conroy will end up being thrown to the wolves, word is that he's been given this job as a way of discrediting him and getting him out of the political scene (he is something of an idiot, so no loss there), the censorship thing will die a natural death and everyone will applaud a victory for democracy. In the meantime, the government will have done it's tests and internet users will get fines for copyright violations as automagically as those for traffic offenses, pay-per-download via the good folks at Channel 7 will be there as a convenient legal alternative.

Is Google Making Us Stupid? 636

mjasay writes "Is Google making us stupid? Following a growing body of research within neuroscience, Carr argues that as we use the Web 'we inevitably begin to take on the qualities of those technologies.' This sounds great: Who wouldn't want to have the 'recall' capacity of Google? But, as Carr writes: 'The Internet promises to have particularly far-reaching effects on cognition. ... The Internet, an immeasurably powerful computing system, is subsuming most of our other intellectual technologies. It's becoming our map and our clock, our printing press and our typewriter, our calculator and our telephone, and our radio and TV. When the Net absorbs a medium, that medium is recreated in the Net's image.' In other words, as we 'go online' in increasing numbers and to an increasing degree, are we losing our ability to think coherently and deeply, preferring instead to process byte-sized information quickly, regurgitate 140-character 'tweets,' and skim thought? Is the concern overblown, or are we becoming the Web that we created?"

Scientists Surprised to Find Earth's Biosphere Booming 692

radioweather writes "An article from the Financial Post says that recent studies of biosphere imaging from the NASA SEAWIFS satellite indicate that the Earth's biomass is booming: 'The results surprised Steven Running of the University of Montana and Ramakrishna Nemani of NASA, scientists involved in analyzing the NASA satellite data. They found that over a period of almost two decades, the Earth as a whole became more bountiful by a whopping 6.2%. About 25% of the Earth's vegetated landmass — almost 110 million square kilometers — enjoyed significant increases and only 7% showed significant declines. When the satellite data zooms in, it finds that each square meter of land, on average, now produces almost 500 grams of greenery per year.' Their 2004 study, and other more recent ones, point to the warming of the planet and the presence of CO2, fertilizing the biota and resulting in the increased green side effect."

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