Showdown between Facebook and Australia

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SYDNEY (Reuters) – Facebook Inc FB.O will be “weakened” if it stops Australians from sharing news so the company can avoid paying for content under proposed laws, Australia’s top antitrust regulator said on Thursday.

Australia has proposed forcing Facebook and internet search giant Google GOOGL.O to pay local media outlets for content, drawing strong opposition from the U.S. companies in a dispute that is being watched by regulators and news organisations around the world.

Facebook said this month it would stop Australians from sharing local and international news on its website if the proposal becomes law. The company and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) are still negotiating before the regulator makes a formal recommendation to the government.

“It would be a shame for Australian democracy (and) it would be a shame for Facebook users if they took that course of action,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said in a speech delivered via Zoom.

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Renewables meet 50% of electricity demand on Australia’s power grid for first time

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For a brief moment solar, wind and hydro combined to deliver more than half the power into the National Electricity Market

Australia’s main electricity grid was briefly powered by 50% renewable energy this week in a new milestone that experts say will become increasingly normal.

Data on the sources of power in the National Electricity Market showed that at 11.50am on Wednesday, renewables were providing 50.2% of the power to Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia – the five states served by the market.

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Australia is on the brink of a housing collapse that resembles 2008

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The U.S. has been an “island of stability” as economic woes grow all over the world. Other such islands exist, too.

Australia is high on the list. The last Down Under recession was 27—yes, 27—years ago in 1991. No other developed economy can say the same.

The long streak has a lot to do with being one of China’s top raw material suppliers during its historic boom. Australia has done other things right, too.

But all good things come to an end. While not officially in recession yet, Australia’s growth is slowing.

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How IoT is being used for Australian agriculture in 2019

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CSIRO’s Vertebrate Pest Detect-and-Deter (VPDaD) device

The development of IoT for agriculture is still in its early stages, but it looks promising as more farmers are putting these technologies to work.

Australian agriculture has historically been defined by long droughts and irregular rainfall. For farmers, these harsh conditions leave small margins for error, meaning that gruelling work on the paddock does not necessarily translate to healthy stock or strong crop harvests.

One way that farmers have adapted to these conditions is the use of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and sensors. But in comparison to other sectors, farmers have been slow to adopt these technologies due to concerns surrounding the cost of implementation and ongoing service—particularly when there is no immediate value received for certain IoT technologies, which can sometimes take several years of accumulating data before it shows its value.

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‘Suddenly it was total mayhem’: Australian inventors celebrate success of revolutionary bee hive

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Stuart Anderson and his son Cedar have invented a new bee hive which collects honey via taps and without having to disturb the bees.

Three years ago, a father and son in Australia finally unveiled a device they had spent a decade inventing: a beehive that releases honey via a tap, without needing to handle the bees.

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Elon Musk has finished building the world’s biggest battery in less than 100 days

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Elon Musk looks to have delivered on his promise to build the biggest lithium ion battery in the world in an effort to help South Australia with its crippling energy problems. “100 days from contract signature or it’s free,” Musk tweeted at the time, in a deal initially negotiated over Twitter. Musk is well ahead of schedule (a rarity for Tesla!), with the 100MW battery set to be energised and tested in the coming days, according to a press release from the local state government.

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Sharks use Twitter to warn Aussie swimmers

When a shark comes roughly within .6 mile to shore a transmitter triggers an alert to send a tweet.

Western Australia (WA) scientists have equipped at least 320 sharks with transmitters that update a Twitter feed when the shark nears shore, meaning that technology is one step closer to finally defeating sharks.

 

 

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South Australia to reach 50% renewable energy within 10 years

31 percent of South Australia’s total energy came from renewable sources in 2012 and 2013.

In South Australia, one in five houses already has a rooftop solar array. Twenty-seven percent of that region’s power is derived from wind energy. New figures released by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) predict that thanks to new sources of wind and solar power in development, the area could source half of its energy from renewables within the decade. This would make South Australia the first industrialized region to achieve such an accomplishment, surpassing other green-power giants like Denmark and Germany.

 

 

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‘Organic’ water claims in Australia are misleading

Bottled water labeled “organic.”

The bottled water industry in Australia has finally gone too far.  Seven makers were forced to drop claims that their product “organic” while another chose to remove their brand from sale.  The manufacturers got rid of their spin under threat of enforcement action from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which is cracking down on misleading “credence” claims.

 

 

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