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Julia Gillard spoke to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa about allegations of human rights abuses at a pre-CHOGM summit. AAP Image/Reuters/Daniel Munoz

CHOGM: Do we need a Commonwealth Human Rights Commissioner?

CHOGM As the meeting between Commonwealth Heads of Government kicks off in Perth, a row is brewing over the idea for a new Commissioner on democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Holly Cullen from…
This study suggests breast milk is much more than nutrition for the baby, it could also play a role in stem cell therapies. various brennemans/flickr

Nothing like mother’s milk: potential treatments from stem cells in breast milk

Researchers have identified stem cells in human breast milk, which behave similarly to embryonic stem cells when cultivated in a medium containing nutrients. The finding suggests breast milk could be used…
Culling sharks is unlikely to make our beaches safer. Hermanus Backpackers

Cull or be killed: is this really the solution to stop shark attacks?

In Western Australia, politicians and members of the public are calling for a shark cull in response to the state’s recent shark attack fatalities. The most recent of these attacks was on a diver off the…
d a b.

The Internet of Things – this is where we’re going

In one vision of the future, every “thing” is connected to the internet. This “Internet of Things” will bring about revolutionary change in how we interact with our environment and, more importantly, how…
Activists protest against Glencore by placing bottles of polluted water at its Swiss offices. AAP

The most powerful companies you’ve never heard of: Glencore

Welcome to “The most powerful companies you’ve never heard of” – an ongoing series from The Conversation that sheds light on big companies with low profiles. Today, The University of Western Australia’s…
Believe the hype … Siri will transform the way we use our phones. Michael Nagle/Getty Images/AFP

Apple’s iPhone 4S is a game changer … Siri-ously

The recent release of the Apple iPhone 4S was met with some disappointment because it wasn’t the iPhone 5. Curiously, people seemed to be most disappointed that the shape of the phone hadn’t changed. What…
Steve Jobs discussed iOS5 in one of his final public appearances. AFP/Kimihiro Hoshino

iOS 5 is a leap forward for Apple … once you get past Error 3200

Apple has made a series of releases today, including an upgrade to its iPhone and iPad operating system iOS 5, the introduction of iCloud, its cloud storage service and, in the US, its new music matching…
Do recent falls in commodities suggest more severe conditions in the future? AAP/AFP

Fluctuating commodity prices: what are the implications for Australia?

Commodity prices have see-sawed in the last few weeks amid ongoing turmoil in Europe and concerns over China. Should we view recent falls in commodity prices with concern? Do these movements suggest more…
R2D2 could be listening to conversations and logging keystrokes, with high-level backing. practical owl

Ein spy: is the German government using a trojan to watch its citizens?

On October 8, Berlin’s hacking collective the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) announced it had analysed a piece of software it believed had been written by the German Government. Once installed on a computer…
Barack Obama’s web campaign helped him win the presidency. Parties should learn from it. Flickr/Scorpions and Centaurs

Democracy.net: How to create better political engagement

The increasing spread of information and communication technology has changed just about every aspect of Australian society – except democracy. The opportunities to engage citizens in the democratic process…
Stepping into the shoes of Steve Jobs was never going to be easy. EPA

The iPhone 4S: has Tim Cook started his tenure as Apple CEO with a dud?

If Steve Jobs’ illness wasn’t so apparent, one could be forgiven for thinking he had deliberately left Apple when he did to avoid making the “Let’s Talk iPhone” announcements. Instead, it was left to Apple’s…
Keep your friends close and your enemies, wherever possible, at bay. Karat

Betrayed? LulzSec arrest over Sony hack reveals trust issues

On September 22, 23-year-old college student Cody Kretsinger was arrested by the FBI for his part in the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment by the high-profile hacking group LulzSec. The hack resulted…

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