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Friday Afternoon (3 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 22-March-2013  13:43:58 (GMT +10) - by Agg

From Strange1: Revenge and myself are entered in the Shitbox rally to raise money for the cancer council. We have to drive our $850 Nissan Pintara from Adelaide to Perth Via Uluru, but we have to make it from Sydney to Adelaide first! There is a forum thread with some photos of before and after painting the car and general updates of our progress. We are also offering to put peoples names and memes on the car in exchange for donations so this could turn into a real nerd fest :D Here's a direct link if you want to contribute to the cause.

During a fairly exciting day in politics yesterday, the proposed media regulation bills have been withdrawn from parliament. "If it can't be agreed on by the end of this week then ... we will not proceed with the bills and we will move on,'' Senator Conroy said today before the bills were withdrawn. The dumped bills covered controversial proposals for a body to oversee the policing of news media by the Press Council which powers to withdraw privacy exemptions from council members should it not safeguard consumer rights. It would have also looked at diversity of media.

Apple, Microsoft and Adobe are defending their Australian pricing before a parliamentary committee hearing. Last year the inquiry heard examples of an Arctic Monkeys album costing $17.99 on iTunes in Australia but the equivalent of $13 overseas, and the movie Toy Story costing $24.99 in Australia but about $10 overseas. But Apple's Tony King defended his company's Australian prices when he fronted the committee this morning. "Price considerations must go well beyond simply looking up a currency exchange rate," he said. "For example, Apple must consider differences between countries in product costs, freight charges, local sales taxes, levies, import duties, channel economics, competition and local laws regarding advertised prices."

According to new data, the universe is a lot older than previously thought. The universe is 100 million years older than thought, according to the best-ever map of the oldest light in space. The adjustment brings the universe's age to 13.82 billion years, and means space and time are expanding slightly slower than scientists thought.

The USA's NSA are sponsoring cyber-war games. Computer-savvy teens are putting down their game controllers -- at least temporarily -- for code writing and virus-sweeping. Call it "Red Dawn: Part Deux: Teen Cyber-Commandos." At events like the CyberLympics, CyberPatriot contest or just-announced "Toaster Wars," sponsored by the National Security Agency, high school geek squads are competing to see who does the best job at preventing unauthorized computer intrusions.

The NBN chairman has stepped down and been replaced. Siobhan McKenna, NBN board member and Ten Network Holdings director has been confirmed as his replacement. In a joint release from Senator Conroy and Penny Wong, it was explained that Mr Young's contract expired on the 14th of March. "Mr Young has decided not to stand for reappointment," the statement read.

George R.R. Martin, author of the books behind the Game of Thrones TV show, apparently the most pirated TV show ever, has detailed his thoughts on piracy etc. I know that a lot of that piracy is taking place in Australia, where for whatever reason they delay the show six months. So people are just anxious to see it. I think we're seeing we're still right in the midst of a whole new template evolving for television and film entertainment. And the old template, where shows were made in America, and then they were sold to foreign broadcasters who would show them the next week, or the next month, or six months later, or six years later, or whenever they felt like it that's breaking down. Because it is a global marketplace.

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