20 September 2014

Counter-terrorism raids: AFP used extraordinary powers for first time to detain people without charge

In the wake of the anti-terrorism raids in Sydney and Brisbane on Thursday, it has been revealed Australian Federal Police (AFP) used preventative detention orders for the first time to detain people without charge.

The operation continued today with yet more homes searched and a bigger police presence on city streets.
Three men arrested during the raids were released in Sydney on Friday afternoon after being detained under preventative detention orders.

The orders can be used when there is an imminent threat of a terror attack and can last between 48 hours and 14 days.

Omarjan Azari, 22, remains in custody charged with conspiracy to prepare for a terrorist attack.

There was initially some confusion about whether the orders were used when the acting Federal Police Commissioner was asked how many people were being detained and could not elaborate.

"It's not trying to be difficult. It's not a question I can lawfully answer," Andrew Colvin said.

"We have operational reasons why we don't confirm or deny numbers of people and we have legislative restrictions about what I can say publicly."

The AFP later clarified that legally the commissioner could not comment while the orders were in force.
It is the first time the orders have been used since being introduced after the London bombings in 2005,
Former national security legislation monitor Bret Walker says the orders are ineffective because suspects cannot be questioned. He wants the powers repealed.

"I think it would be a bit tough to criticise the police for keeping secret those things which do not need to be revealed at the moment," Mr Walker said.

"Because they are understandably surrounded by so many safeguards the notion of keeping somebody in custody whom you have no intention to charge, even for a short time, is so alien to our views of liberty that it has to be wondered why would you bother inventing a whole new system when you have the familiar power of arrest?"

Draft legislation should include clause to stop torture: Walker

Mr Walker has also backed concerns expressed by crossbench senator David Leyonhjelm who says new national security laws would allow ASIO to torture people.

He says the Attorney-General George Brandis's draft law is flawed.

"There's every reason why Australia should continue openly to sign up to being on the side of the angels. We are against torture. We will never use it," M Walker said.

He says it would be easy for senator Brandis to put a clause in the legislation to stop torture.

"It should be consistent with safeguards that presently exist in other laws already in existence in the country.

Those advising the Attorney-General should have drawn that to his attention earlier."

The scale and scope of the proposed changes are not just worrying members of the crossbench.

Some Muslim Australians say this week's raids are being exaggerated to justify expanding police and intelligence powers.


More than 100 people rallied in Sydney's Lakemba on Thursday night at a protest led by the ultraconservative political group Hizbut Tahrir.

The group's Uthman Badar said the Muslim community was "not new to these sort of heavy-handed raids", which he described as "politicised counter-terrorism".

Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Friday dismissed the comments as "emphatic but they were utterly unrepresentative of Australian Muslims".

"The vast majority of people in this country, regardless of their faith, are first-class Australians. They are absolutely first-class Australians," he said.

"They are here, they came here because they wanted to join our team."

The Muslim community is already feeling the backlash, with reports of threats against mosques.

A mosque at Mareeba in far north Queensland was vandalised on Thursday night with the word "evil" spray-painted near its front door.

Rami Antar, who attends the mosque in Logan, south of Brisbane said his mosque was open to the public in an attempt to generate discussion and eliminate divisions.

"So rather than coming and throwing threats and doing graffiti's on the side of the walls and throwing pig heads and swearing as they're driving across, we just open our doors and our hand for the wider community, especially those with ... who have very serious concern about what's going on," he said.

"Please come, come inside, come and talk to us, raise your concern and see if we can help you because what's hurting them it's hurting us as well."

Mr Antar said his local community was still grappling with police raids on a local Islamic centre last week, as well as three homes yesterday.

"It's something that the Muslim community is not very proud of - obviously. And it's of course, it's a concern, we don't like to see things like that, and hope things like that does not happen again."

abc.net.au  19 Sep 2014

Cementing the laws of the police state of Australia.

Just another method to unlawfully detain ANYONE, under the 'terrorist' pretext.

Previously, 'communism' which was bank rolled by the global banking elite, was the enemy but the politics to enslave the masses changed as this could be better achieved via the  freedom / democracy catch phrase of capitalism.

HP caught in Russian bribery scandal

HP has been fined $58.7
HP has been fined $58.7 Source: AP
HEWLETT-Packard Co. pleaded guilty Thursday to felony charges that former employees bribed Russian government officials for a contract, and the company has been fined $64.78 million ($US58.7 million). 

Hewlett-Packard’s Russian subsidiary admitted violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in a Northern California court Thursday, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.

The U.S. alleged that the HP division paid $2 million to retain a technology contract with Russian prosecutors.

“In a brazen violation of the FCPA, Hewlett-Packard’s Russia subsidiary used millions of dollars in bribes from a secret slush fund to secure a lucrative government contract,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Marshall L. Miller. “Even more troubling was that the government contract up for sale was with Russia’s top prosecutor’s office.”

The plea and sentence are part of a larger agreement reached in April with the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission. HP agreed to pay a total of $108 million in criminal and civil penalties for bribing officials in Russia, Mexico and Poland.

Representatives of the Palo Alto, California, company did not immediately reply to after-hours phone and email messages seeking comment.

HP’s general counsel, John Schultz, said when the settlement was reached in April that the misconduct was limited to a small number of people who are no longer with the company.

news.com.au 12 Sep 2014

HP and many other companies deal in the same manner in Australia, i.e. bribery with full support of the 'authorities'.

What is even worse is that the actions are known to the managers and CEO's of the companies, but when they get caught, apparently the individual is the scapegoat and fired.

19 September 2014

Australia IS an Independent Nation - The corruption of Australia's legal system

The people who sit in the positions of magistrates, judges, judicial clerks, etc are committing fraud, and something that not too many Australians would be familiar with, a term called treason.
Many Australians are blissfully unaware that they are fraudulently contracted out to the courts, engaging in business / commerce / trading with the court without their knowledge or full disclosure of the business transaction, meaning a list of all the interested parties or stakeholders, bonds used as apparently required by law.
To compound this matter and to keep the masses in the dark, the corporate media has been instructed to not report on certain court matters.
It gets even worse if or when you hire a solicitor, lawyer or barrister as they work for the system and they perpetuate the fraud even further.
Another important fact to note is that when you hire a lawyer to 're-present' you, you are seen as a mute or dunce incapable of thinking, therefore your right to speak in court is taken away from you.
The matters brought before a court may seem as insignificant or trivial as a red light camera fine, parking fine, public transport "Metro officer's" authority, police brutality or unlawful arrest, but to the trained legal observer, the case may hold information that questions the very validity of law in Australia, something that the brotherhood have been fraudulently working on for many generations, that could quite easily threaten the police state of Australia.
The judicature is all too aware of this, and as a result commits crimes every day ranging from tampering with court evidence / recordings, falsifying official documents / transcripts which are put on official government databases like Austlii, handing out unlawful judgements, 'erring' in law, supressing information in certain court cases (the 'court' being a public forum), from the general populous.
As a result to protect the corrupt legal system in Australia, certain laws are being put in place so that so one cannot record, and expose the corruption of the legal system.
These actions are also supported by police, where police tamper with video and audio recordings prior or after court cases, where police are incriminated.
Police prosecutors shred evidence that is supplied to the courts that incriminates the illegal activities of police.
With reference to the referendum put before the people of Scotland as to become an independent nation, the corporate media in Australia has mentioned that Australia is not an independent nation and that maybe there should be some consideration as to whether or not Australia should become a republic.
See article:
According to High Court Australia documentation, in the specific and widely known case, within the legal community, of Sue v Hill (1999), Australia is an independent nation. 
See Corpau article, which includes the documented case:
  • Australia is independent of the United Kingdom?
  • How and when did Australia become soverign?
  • On which date did this occur?
  • When do Australians celebrate 'Independence Day', again?
Another document worth noting is of the title:
Australia's Independence, from the souce at:

So, Who's lying?

New Zealanders could be arrested for late repayments of university loans

Getting arrested for not paying back uni loans will not lend you much street cred.
Getting arrested for not paying back uni loans will not lend you much street cred. Source: Supplied
IMAGINE the scene: you’ve flown home for Christmas and after a lovely week chilling with your family, lots of food and only one blow-up with uncle Steve, you’re stopped at the airport and unable to leave. 

This is what could potentially face New Zealanders who haven’t paid back their uni loans. For Kiwis living away from their native land (and let’s face it, there’s a lot of them in Australia), it’s a timely reminder that their loan repayment obligations have changed. Lest they find themselves in cuffs at the airport.

Unlike the Australian government, the New Zealand government has decided that if you borrowed money from the government for your education, then that is debt that will have to be paid back, even when you’ve moved overseas. Kiwis have to meet two repayment deadlines every year, regardless of their actual income, with the September 30 deadline fast approaching.

And if they don’t, they could find themselves facing an arrest warrant when they’re home. Under changes passed earlier in the year, Inland Revenue (the NZ tax office) now has the power to seek arrest warrants to pursue the most recalcitrant of former students.

If you got your education on the government’s dime, shouldn’t you be paying it back?
If you got your education on the government’s dime, shouldn’t you be paying it back? Source: ThinkStock
“We are asking all Kiwis living in Australia to connect with us to ensure you have all the information you need under the new rules, and to make sure you are meeting your repayment obligations,” Inland Revenue collections manager Paula Knapp said. “A simple phone call could save you thousands of dollars over a few years, and will allow you to rest easy knowing your loan obligations are being met.

“I cannot express enough that it is never too late for any student loan borrower to contact us so we can work with you on a repayment plan to suit your needs, or see how the new legislation may affect you. I encourage everyone to do this.”

According to Inland Revenue, 89 per cent of overdue student loan repayments belong to New Zealanders based overseas, which amounted to $683 million at the end of July. One-third of all overseas-based borrowers live in Australia.

Australians with HECS debts don’t have to pay back their loans while they’re living overseas and not paying tax in Australia.

news.com.au 13 Sep 2014

Meanwhile rapists and women abusers in Australia enjoy freedom, and no jail time.

Come to Australia 'The lucky Country' - If you're a rapist and woman basher.

‘Only ugly people are safe in bikinis here,’ Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha says

Tourists in bikinis should beware, Thailand’s prime minister said.
Tourists in bikinis should beware, Thailand’s prime minister said. Source: ThinkStock
THAILAND’S Prime Minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, has sparked outrage with his comments in the wake of the brutal murders of two tourists. 

Chan-ocha warned that female visitors who wear bikinis may not be safe, unless they are ugly, the HuffingtonPost reports.

“There are always problems with tourist safety,” he said. “They think our country is beautiful and is safe so they can do whatever they want, they can wear bikinis and walk everywhere.

But “can they be safe in bikinis ... unless they are not beautiful?”

Chan-ocha has also said the brutal killings are a new blow to Thailand’s tourism industry.

“This should not have happened in Thailand. It will affect our image in the eyes of international countries,” he said.

“In their countries, (foreigners) can travel wherever they want, so they thought it is safe, but in our country, there are still problems. There are different types of people, so they have to be careful,” Prayuth told AP. “Those related must warn them and this incident has to be investigated because Thai people won’t tolerate this.”
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha. Source: AP
The bodies of Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24, were discovered on Monday morning in a rocky alcove along the shore, close to the hotel where they were staying.

Both had deep wounds and gashes to the head and face that police believe were inflicted by a bloodied hoe found near the bodies.

More than 70 police officers were deployed to Koh Tao, a popular diving destination in the Gulf of Thailand, as the country’s leaders called for a swift investigation into the brutal killings.

Hannah Witheridge and David Miller were killed.
Hannah Witheridge and David Miller were killed. Source: AFP
The pair travelled to Koh Tao with friends and met each other on the island while staying in neighbouring rooms at Ocean View Bungalows, said police Maj. Gen. Kiattipong Khawsamang.

The attack came amid government efforts to revive Thailand’s tourism industry after a military coup in May ended prolonged, sometimes violent political protests. Martial law remains in effect in many parts of Thailand.

Koh Tao, which is about 410km south of Bangkok, is a quiet, small island just a short boat ride from the better-known Koh Samui and Koh Phangan. The latter is known for its raucous “full moon” parties that attract young foreigners and Thais.

A tribute and flowers placed near the spot where two British backpackers were murdered.
A tribute and flowers placed near the spot where two British backpackers were murdered. Source: AFP

 news.com.au 18 Spet 2014

This is the sort of trash that is in 'power'? 


The killing of two tourists is acceptable because they are 'beautiful'?

As Scotland votes in independence referendum, it’s time to ask: should Australia become a republic?

We are young and free... Time to claim our independence too?
We are young and free... Time to claim our independence too? Source: News Limited
SCOTS go to the polls today to vote on one simple question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?” 

Opinion polls suggest the referendum’s outcome will be tight.

RELATED: Emotions run high as Scots prepare to vote

If the “yes” case succeeds, it will be the first time Scotland has claimed its independence in more than 300 years.

Whatever the outcome, the push for Scottish independence has prompted many to wonder whether Australia ​will ever claim its own independence by becoming a republic.

Should Australia become a republic?
Time to go? Australians are torn about whether to ditch ties to the monarchy. Source: AFP
Voters rejected a proposal for Australia to become a republic in a 1999 referendum, largely because the question tied the issue to a prescribed model for the election of a ​p​resident.

news.com.au 18 Sep 2014

18 September 2014

Tony Abbott responds to curly indigenous Rights question by repeating himself in Arnhem Land

Australian PM Tony Abbott walks with indigenous Australians from the Yirrkala community t
Australian PM Tony Abbott walks with indigenous Australians from the Yirrkala community today. Picture: Jack Tran Source: Supplied
THIS isn’t exactly the response Australia was hoping for. 

In case you missed it, Prime Minister Tony Abbott is spending the week in Arnhem Land and learning the ways of indigenous culture.

We’ll give the Prime Minister kudos for the fact it’s the first time in Australian history a serving Prime Minister has done this.

“For an entire week, Aboriginal people will have my full focus and attention as Prime Minister,” Mr Abbott said in a statement.

Even better, he’s promised to make it an annual visit.

But today, the Prime Minister failed to address one of the biggest issues facing indigenous Australians.

Figures show the rate of indigenous children being forcibly taken from their families has risen almost 400 per cent in 15 years, prompting Aboriginal Elders to condemn what they are labelling a ‘new Stolen Generation’.



PM Tony Abbott, pictured here in Yirrkala community school today, wants to keep indigenou
PM Tony Abbott, pictured here in Yirrkala community school today, wants to keep indigenous children in school. Picture: Jack Tran Source: News Corp Australia
Let’s rewind.

In an NITV exclusive earlier last week, NITV News published confronting footage of The Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) and New South Wales police raiding an indigenous family’s home in Moree to forcibly remove a number of children.

Allegedly armed in riot gear, shields, helmets, assault rifles, SBS says police woke the parents by pointing guns at them, before handcuffing them as they removed their children from the premises.

Police deny any guns were used in the confrontation.

“Eight children aged between 1 and 13, who had been identified as being at risk, were removed from a home … by FACS,” a statement to NITV read.

According to SBS, NSW Police “confirmed the raid occurred” and the children “were placed in temporary foster care”, but have been returned to their parents.

“We’ve received nothing but torture, pain and emptiness inside our home, heart and soul and in our mind,” the father of the family said.

Today, during a press conference in Arnhem Land, Mr Abbott spent his time focusing on keeping Aboriginal children in school.

As he was accepting questions, NITV journalist Myles Morgan took the opportunity to ask the Prime Minister a curly, but important question.

“I need to take you back to January in Moree when NSW Police in riot gear raided a home to remove eight children. Is that an appropriate use of force?”

Mr Abbott began by referring to his days on the Truancy Team in Arukune (in Far North Queensland) in 2009.

“I was told by my fellow truancy officers that they liked having me along because I looked a bit like a policemen, and that was quite good at getting the kids to turn up”, he said.

“Look, I think that it is important to get the kids to school. It is important to get the kids to school and I think all reasonable measures should be considered to get the kids to school because there’s no way they’re going to get a decent education if they don’t go to school and a decent education is the foundation of a good life.”
Unsatisfied with Mr Abbot’s answer, Mr Myles persisted.

“That’s not the answer I was looking for, Prime Minister,’’ he said.

“They went to the home to remove the kids from their home, so they were given over to FACS. Is it an appropriate use of force for police in riot gear to go into homes and remove indigenous children?”

Calm. Cool. Collected? Mr Abbott answers questions in Arnhem Land.
Calm. Cool. Collected? Mr Abbott answers questions in Arnhem Land. Source: Supplied
Mr Abbott’s answer?

“I think it’s perfectly appropriate to try to get the kids to school,’’ Mr Abbott said.

“Now, I’m not here to give advice to the NSW government or NSW Police but certainly the discussions I’ve had with all the premiers and chief ministers on this subject are we need to try much, much harder, we need to consider new measures to try to ensure that kids go to school.”

In a conversation with news.com.au, executive producer of NITV, Malarndirri McCarthy, said Mr Abbott’s response to their questions were “confusing”.

The EP said the network had alerted Mr Abbott’s office on Monday to the fact they were seeking response to their questions and that “we had kept the PMs office informed”.

“They knew the question was coming," Ms Malarndirri said.

In a response to news.com.au, Mr Abbott’s office told us, “the PM clearly set the context of his answer. The response is not specifically related to the Moree case.”

Indigenous Australia is still looking for an answer.

 news.com.au 17 Sept 2014

Two points of concern here.

Point 1:

Another Prime Minister in office unlawfully, a minor detail that the corporate media has omitted.

With New Zealand, the invading English signed a treaty ( Treaty of Waitangi) with the indigenous people, and therefore established a framework to implement the Westminster legal system.

Thus it has been noted that the Queen has a special relationship with the Māori people.

The English war ships (under the quise of explorers, headed by Captain Cook) have landed on the continent known as Kamerra by the indigenous peoples, and have taken the land at gunpoint, calling it Australia.

A different set of rules applies and the same implementation of Westminster law, as in New Zealand cannot be applied to the people living/born on the occupied land of Australia

Tony Abbott sits in office unlawfully, as a result should be removed, charged with treason, and dealt with accordingly, i.e jailed or executed, in accordance with the inherent laws of England at the time of the military takeover of the nation.

Point 2:

The indigenous children are being once again 'stolen' from their parents, another criminal act by the corporatised Australian government, where no one is held responsible, and no repercussions or criminal convictions are ever laid.

This is how the fraudulent Australian government operates.


Fair dealing for purpose of parody or satire

A fair dealing with a literary, dramatic, musical or
artistic work, or with an adaptation of a literary,
dramatic or musical work, does not constitute
an infringement of the copyright in the work if
it is for the purpose of parody or satire.

17 September 2014

Moreland Council fails to deliver on CCTV promise after Jill Meagher’s murder

Jill Meagher.
Jill Meagher.
ALMOST two years after Jill Meagher was killed while walking home alone from a Brunswick bar, the local council still hasn’t installed CCTV cameras on the street where she was last seen alive. 

Despite accepting $250,000 from the State Government and agreeing in June last year to install nine cameras along Sydney Rd, Moreland Council has failed to get any of those cameras working.

And new figures show that last year, 60 parolees were convicted of a violent or sexual offence committed after they were given early release. On average, they reoffended within six months of release.

In a sign that there are still serious problems with the state’s parole system one in four of the offences — which included seven sex offences — was committed in the year to June.

The figures from the Adult Parole Board annual report, tabled in Parliament yesterday, show 60 parolees were convicted of 75 offences, including 24 aggravated burglaries; 17 threats to kill; 11 of causing serious injury; 11 armed robberies; three kidnappings; and one manslaughter.

Corrections Minister Edward O’Donohue said there were “good signs”.

Thousands of people attend the Jill Meagher peace march along Sydney Road.
Thousands of people attend the Jill Meagher peace march along Sydney Road.
“Under the Coalition Government’s reforms, fewer offenders were granted parole and almost double the number of offenders were denied parole,” Mr O’Donohue said.

But he slammed Moreland Council for its failure to install the nine cameras.

“It is just extraordinary that Moreland Council has utterly failed in delivering this CCTV system in the interests of community safety, when they have been given the money to buy the cameras, and Victoria Police has advised it.”

The Herald Sun can reveal Moreland Council has installed four of the nine CCTV cameras along Sydney Rd, Brunswick, but none is operational despite the installation of signs advising that CCTV is operating in the area.

Moreland Mayor Lambros Tapinos said the camera rollout was much more complex than simply putting a camera on a pole.

Moreland has installed cameras - but none is operational.
Moreland has installed cameras - but none is operational.
“The rollout of the cameras has been frustratingly slow, because of many layers of permissions required from the power companies and from other owners of the light poles in the municipality,” Mr Tapinos said.

“Four of the nine cameras are installed and another four will be installed this week.

“We are looking forward to the system being operational as soon as possible,” he said.

It is understood council had to seek permission from power company AGL and government body VicTrack to attach the cameras to their poles.

The council was offered $250,000 by the Government in February 2013 to buy cameras for Sydney Rd, where Ms Meagher was last seen before being killed in September 2012.

It took four months for the council to accept the government funding.

Under the Government’s funding deal, council has to pay for the installation and maintenance of the cameras, and the vision will be fed to local police once working.

The equipment to send the footage, monitor it and store it wirelessly has been installed at the Brunswick watchhouse.

heraldsun.com.au 16sep 2014

The business corporation commonly known as the Moreland City Council (ABN: 46 202 010 737), is there unlawfully (masquerading fraudulently as 'local government') where the CEO of the organisation, is committing a criminal offence.

Corpau has been informed by a source that wishes to remain anonymous that the monies go into a slush fund where parties are held for the employees of the council.

The Victorian police commissioner is another criminal in office, allowing rapists and women abusers  to be let loose by police and the legal system back into the community to rape again, where people who do not pay an [unlawful] parking ticket 'fine' end up in jail.

How NASA is failing us all

NASA blasted by inspector-general Paul Martin for not properly protecting us from asteroids 

If this happened ... would NASA see it coming?
If this happened ... would NASA see it coming? Source: ThinkStock
NASA’s effort to identify potentially dangerous space rocks has taken a hit. 

The space agency’s inspector-general released a report blasting NASA’s Near Earth Objects program, which is meant to hunt and catalogue comets, asteroids and relatively large fragments of these objects that pass within 45 million kilometres of Earth.

The purpose is to protect the planet against their potential dangers.

Most near-Earth objects harmlessly disintegrate before reaching Earth’s surface. But there are exceptions, like the nearly 20m meteor that exploded over Russia in 2013, causing considerable damage.

NASA: To make oxygen on Mars in next decade

Critical report ... NASA will fall well short of its goals.
Critical report ... NASA will fall well short of its goals. Source: ThinkStock
In a 44-page report, Inspector-General Paul Martin said the Near Earth Objects program needs to be better organised and managed, with a bigger staff.

NASA’s science mission chief, former astronaut John Grunsfeld, agreed and promised the problems will be fixed.

“NASA places a high priority on finding and characterising hazardous asteroids to protect our home planet from them” he said in a statement.

According to the report, the program has an executive at NASA headquarters and two offices in Massachusetts and California, each with six employees.

For nearly a decade, the report noted, NASA has been tracking near-Earth objects bigger than 140m across. The goal was to catalogue 90 per cent by 2020.

The space agency has discovered and plotted the orbits of more than 11,000 near-Earth objects since 1998, an estimated 10 per cent. It does not expect to meet the 2020 deadline.

The program has insufficient oversight, Martin’s office concluded, and no established milestones to track progress. In addition, NASA needs to do a better job of overseeing the various observatories searching for near-Earth objects, and teaming up with other US and international agencies, the report said.

news.com.au 16 Sep 2014

While it may be perceived as NASA failing us all, it should be pointed out that NASA functions covertly as a military operation, where if the US government declares any information to be published as a 'security risk' (to the authorities and NOT the general populous) the information is not made public.

FBI’s facial recognition system will combine faces of criminals and ordinary citizens

Facial recognition system data points. Picture: FBI
Facial recognition system data points. Picture: FBI Source: Supplied
THE FBI has launched its “next generation” facial recognition system — and the implications are terrifying. 

It not only draws on a database of criminal mugshots, it searches through ordinary people too.
Anyone who has ever had a background check when applying for a job could be identified in a police hunt.

Your face could appear during a police search for a criminal.
Your face could appear during a police search for a criminal. Source: Supplied
And the system is hardly infallible — a search will pull up 50 faces, with only an 85 per cent likelihood that the suspect will be on list, by the FBI’s own estimation.

The Interstate Photo System is expected to have reached 50 states by the end of the year, and have collected 52 million faces by 2015.

“This effort is a significant step forward for the criminal justice community in utilising biometrics as an investigative enabler,” the FBI said in a statement.

And it may not be long until Australian biometrics become this far-reaching.

Digital finger printing and facial recognition has been in use in Australia for years.
Digital finger printing and facial recognition has been in use in Australia for years. Source: News Limited
In NSW, a system called PhotoTrac has been matching CCTV footage and photos to a criminal database since 2011.

Victoria Police have been using the iFace biometric system since 2010, with officers able to scan photos snapped on their mobiles in the street as well as pictures lifted from Facebook, according to IT News.

In 2012, privacy laws were changed so that scans taken for passports, driver’s licences or nightclub entry could be stored in police and spy agency databases, in what was slammed as a Big Brother-style development.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has already said that $158 million “eGate” departure gate scanners will be rolled out mid-next year.

Biometric “eGate” scanners will be rolled out in Australian airports next year.
Biometric “eGate” scanners will be rolled out in Australian airports next year. Source: News Corp Australia
The FBI’s Next Generation Identification system simply takes the technology one step further.

It aims to eventually replace fingerprinting with a complex array of biometrics, assigning everyone with a “Universal Control Number”, in what sounds like a plotline from a sci-fi movie.

“One of the risks here, without assessing the privacy considerations, is the prospect of mission creep with the use of biometric identifiers,” Jeramie Scott, national security counsel with the Electronic Privacy Information Center told the National Journal in June.

Whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed in that same month that the National Security Agency pulls in millions of images to aid its own facial recognition program.

Queensland University’s Professor Brian Lovell tests a facial recognition program on ding
Queensland University’s Professor Brian Lovell tests a facial recognition program on dingos. Source: News Limited
The IPS had some success last month, The Verge reported, when a child sex abuse fugitive was caught when he applied for a visa at the US embassy in Nepal.

It still compares poorly with Facebook’s DeepFace system, which can tell you with 97 per cent accuracy whether two pictures are of the same person. But authorities using the social network’s technology could only be a court order away.

Besides, the FBI has disclaimed responsibility for the accuracy of the IPS, stating that the list “is an investigative lead not an identification.”

It would seem we need to keep a close eye on the surveillance methods coming soon to our hometowns.

news.com.au 16 Sep 2014

The world's greatest spin doctors at it again.

The agenda is to enslave and categorise everyone on the planet under whatever plausible pretext the masses will accept e.g. 'terrorism'.

Another great way to shut people up for using a sinister agenda is to use the 'children' pretext. 

For example, "We put 300 million people on our database, which saved one child from a sexual predator...", but [deliberately] failing to acknowledge that most child sex abuse occurs in the hands of the 'authorities' or government institutions. This fact has been proven to be accurate in Australia.

16 September 2014

Antikythera mechanism expedition begins search for missing fragments of world’s oldest known computer

Ancient wonder ... Archaeologists are seeking the remainder of a mysterious bronze “compu
  Ancient wonder ... Archaeologists are seeking the remainder of a mysterious bronze “computer” found in a Roman shipwreck at Antikythera. Source: News Corp Australia
Wheels within wheels ... an X-ray image of the fused mass of bronze cogs which make up th
 Wheels within wheels ... an X-ray image of the fused mass of bronze cogs which make up the Antikythera mechanism. Source: Supplied
WITH torn sails and splintered timbers, a Roman ship foundered in the savage seas between Greece and Crete. Some 2000 years later, what it carried would rattle the world. 

As the shattered remains sank into the dim sea, the treasures it carried passed out of reach of history.
As Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem Ulysses evocatively intones: “Beyond the utmost bound of human thought”.

Until now.

On board was an amazing but eclectic collection: Bronze and marble statues. Glassware. Jewellery. Coins.
An ancient computer.

But the cargo also appears to have been something of an assortment of parts. Few objects recovered so far have been complete.

Was it a treasure ship making a delivery to an expectant king or high priest? Was it a loot ship, carrying the spoils of a distant war? Or was it a salvage barge lugging away the discarded, unfashionable luxuries from a rich estate for recycling?

What vanished that fateful day about 60BC is about to be revealed.

Finely formed bronze statues of gods, kings and warriors. Amazingly animated marble statues — made weak by time and fate, but still full of vigour and life. Sublimely crafted and coloured glass bowls and cups.
All this paled into insignificance once scientists took at close look at a corroded clump of bronze cogs and wheels.

It was part of an astronomical calculator. A mechanical device to predict the motion of the stars and planets.
The 82 fragments recovered so far have become known as the Antikythera Mechanism. It has been the centre of fascination, debate and speculation for decades. And there are enticing hints that there may be a second.

Now archaeologists have resolved to find the rest of it.

Artwork: Mat Pike
Artwork: Mat Pike Source: News Corp Australia
It was more than a century ago when local sponge diver spotted an eerie hand sticking out from the silt while working the barren crags off Point Glyphadia on the Aegean island of Antikythera.

The intrepid divers could only go as deep as 75m for a few minutes. Nevertheless, they managed to recover a wealth of ancient art.

But it would be one shapeless, nondescript lump of bronze which would turn out to be one of the most extraordinary discoveries in history.

When eventually cleaned, the 20cm tall tangle of bronze revealed a complex interweave of gears and cogs.

CLICK HERE to see the enhanced version of this story

Today an assembly of archaeologists and divers sets out with hungry hearts to finish the job.

It won’t be an easy task. And they have only a month to do it in.

Antikythera isn’t exactly a hospitable place. It’s little more than a clump of rocks situated between Crete and Greece. The earthquake-wracked region is renowned for its jagged outcrops and deep ravines.

But new technology will be instrumental in this search for the old.

It’s a cutting-edge piece of engineering which encases an operator inside an automated exoskeleton pressure suit. It can keep its occupant safe — and mobile — down to a depth of 300m for up to five hours at a time.

Dr James Hunter, a research fellow with the South Australian Maritime Museum and head archaeologist for the HMCS Protector Project, says he is excited at the potential the exosuit brings.

“It’s really cool. We’ve progressed quite a bit from the early days of underwater archeology when we were using scuba gear with regular compressed air and no mixed gas. We’ve learned through trial-and-error new methods to safely work at depth,” he says.

Jacques Cousteau revisited the depths in 1953 and 1976 using just such basic equipment. Nevertheless, the famous ocean explorer managed to dredge part of the site — recovering many wonderful things.

It is still believed the main body of the wreck itself has not been extensively searched.

A recent survey uncovered evidence of artefacts scattered over a 50m by 10m patch of the seabed.
Then there’s a second, as-yet unexplored wreck.

Artwork: Mat Pike
Artwork: Mat Pike Source: News Corp Australia
Dr Brendan Foley, archaeologist with the Massachusetts-based Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and leader of the new expedition, says the new wreck was 250m away from the first site and appeared to be carrying similar ceramic objects.

“We discovered it about two years ago,” he said. “It was obviously following the same route and may have been travelling with the ship carrying the mechanism.”

The new expedition hopes to get down and dirty, digging underneath the original wreck as well as further exploring the debris trail that extends up to 150m from the ship.

The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project is a collaboration of international academics with the declared purpose of fully recovering the Antikythera Mechanism.

“I am so excited that I often find myself wide awake thinking of the shipwreck,” Dr Foley told a function at a recent exhibition of the 378 artefacts so far recovered.

Dr Hunter is equally keen.

“The mechanism is certainly centre stage, but the information potential in other areas is pretty extensive as well,” he says.

Along with more of the mechanism, Dr Hunter is hoping for the mundane: Traces of fabric and food — anything which gives us a better idea of the lives of those associated with the ships.

“Because that’s really the goal, what they’re trying to find out,” he says. “The artefacts are important, but it’s what they tell us about the people who made and used them that matters most.”

Stories of cities, of men and manners, climates, councils, governments.

From the eternal silence of the seabed, Dr Foley is confident of finding something more.

Artwork: Steve Grice“We can speculate that there are more items to be found from its valuable cargo, which will most likely be very well preserved,” he says.

“We have feet, arms and the crest of a warrior’s helmet from statues recovered in 1900 — maybe we’ll get lucky and find the rest of them,” Foley told New Scientist.

“But for me, the mechanism is what sets this wreck apart. It’s the questions it opens up about the history of science and technology that fire my imagination.”

Artwork: Steve Grice Source: News Corp Australia
Metal mystery ... The etched marker points of one of the displays is evident on this fragment. Source: Supplied
Metal mystery ... The etched marker points of one of the displays is evident on this frag
It’s one of archeology’s most astonishing finds: A mysterious bundle of cogs and wheels pulled from the depths of the Aegean Sea.

It’s the most sophisticated device ever to emerge from antiquity.

It’s taken decades of study to decode exactly what it does.

Astrolabe? Orrery? These are words little used in the modern world which apply to forms of an astronomical clock.

The Antikythera mechanism is an analog (meaning built of cogs and dials) computer from the ancient world.
It’s the only known example of its kind.

“The device is obviously amazing and makes mechanical what had been known for a millennium or more in terms of astronomical cycles,” Professor Roger Clay, an astrophysicist with the University of Adelaide says.

“Those cycles had been defined for eclipse prediction and to produce a workable calendar, the latter being a major practical necessity. The fact that these cycles were even known is amazing since each complete cycle was longer than the average life expectancy.”

We know it was a hand-cranked device specifically designed and built to predict the cycles of the sun and moon — and their eclipses. It seems likely to have helped determine which city was due to host the ancient Olympic Games, as well as track the movements of planets across the sky for the purpose of prophecy and religious ceremony.

It is an incredibly complex device and represents a level of skill not matched again until the 14th century.
Confused components ... Some of the larger fragments so far recovered of the Antikythera
Confused components ... Some of the larger fragments so far recovered of the Antikythera mechanism. Source: Supplied
“I imagine that you are right to imply that this mechanism was a rich person’s device,” Dr Clay says. “ It isn’t necessary for doing the calculation but it does allow anyone to do it. In effect, it is an early app!”

From the scraps we have, some 30 gears have been identified so far — the largest being about 14cm wide and holding 223 teeth.

But much of the ancient machine is missing.

“Surprisingly what the real issue was that bronze got recycled,” Dr Hunter says. “You melted it down. You had a statue of Zeus or whatever, and it’s like — we don’t need that any more, let’s take all that bronze, melt it down and make something else …”

The good news is that bronze generally holds up very well under water.

“They reckon they’ve got half of it,” Dr Hunter says. “That would seem to suggest that the other half has to be down there somewhere ... either that or the cargo may have been scrap!”

It’s a foreboding thought.

“It’s interesting that the ship was carrying a lot of bronze, particularly a lot of bronze in pieces,” Dr Hunter says, “so it begs the question: Was this ship carrying a big pile of scrap to recycle it?

“I’d prefer to believe hat the ship was carrying an intact cargo of luxury goods and personal belongings, but it’s important to keep an open mind and not rule out other, more mundane possibilities.”

Artwork: Steve Grice
Artwork: Steve Grice Source: News Corp Australia
Key to the cosmos ... The word “cosmos” is inscribed on one of the mechanism’s plates.
Key to the cosmos ... The word “cosmos” is inscribed on one of the mechanism’s plates. Source: News Corp Australia
Only once the final pieces are in hand can archaeologists — and astrophysicists — make it shine in use again, and finally discover exactly how advanced this ancient piece of clockwork really was.

Somewhat appropriately, the $3 million expedition to find them is being part-sponsored by a Swiss watchmaker.

The seven main and 75 smaller fragments that have been identified are now housed in the National Archaeological Museum, in Athens. This institution is part of the new search.

The most in-depth analysis of the remains was conducted in 2005. It took an international effort to peer past the corrosion and map the cogs in three dimensions without damaging the objects themselves.

It revealed astonishing detail.

Even fine and worn inscriptions on the surface of some of the bronze work were exposed.
These have since been read.

One word stands out clearly: ΚΟΣΜΟΥ, meaning “cosmos”

One metal plate may even have been part of an ancient instruction manual. Fragments of writing appear to detail different gear settings for the device.

But now there is a new complicating factor.

Michael Wright, curator of the Science Museum, in London, was one of those who made a careful X-ray map of the fragments.

When he set out to create an exact replica, he discovered one set of gears and cogs did not match the rest.
“It’s not easy to find a place for one piece, Fragment D,” he told New Scientist. “It’s also slightly different in workmanship and has a slightly different colour.”

He now believes there may be more than one computer amid the mud of the sea floor off Antikythera.

“What can be hiding down there? Just think how such discoveries could change the way we view the ancient world and especially the Greek civilisation,” Dr Foley said.

Artwork: Mat Pike
Artwork: Mat Pike Source: News Corp Australia
The key to finding the remains of the ancient piece of engineering is a new one: An Exosuit.

Essentially a wearable submarine, it will allow an operator to dive as deep as 300m and work there for more than five hours.

“Now we can have an archaeologist in the suit for hours, and we’ll only have to come up to answer the call of nature,” Dr Foley says.

The original sponge divers were able to go as far down as 75m for just a few minutes. Some of those who dove on the Antikythera site became paralysed. One died.

Divers in this new expedition will spend much of their day operating between 50m and 75m. The suit is expected to go down as far as 120m.

It may look unwieldy, but the $1.7 million exoskeleton is ideally suited to recovering fragile deep-sea artefacts.

But it’s the personal touch it offers that counts the most, says Dr Hunter.

“The exosuit has the advantage of actually having an archaeologist there on site. When you’re dealing with sites remotely, it’s sometimes difficult to gauge what’s happening when you’re looking through a tiny monitor.

If you’ve got someone who’s actually there, they’ve got a fair degree of visibility through the helmet and they’re looking directly at what they’re dealing with in real-time. That’s ideal.”

Pedals at the feet of the suit allow the diver to fly through the water using thrusters built into the suit’s backpack. These can even be controlled via remote control from the surface.

The heavy arms are articulated and finely balanced, allowing their arms to move freely.

Instead of hands, objects will be grasped by mechanical pincers.

An umbilical cable is attached to the ship carries data cabling for video and voice feeds as well as providing power for the thrusters and the carbon dioxide scrubber which allows the divers to stay down for so long. A backup battery powers the breathing and communications systems in an emergency.

The pressure is on.

Customising the suit to “fit” individual divers is not easy, and its operators need time to adjust to its controls, balance and weight.

While the expedition is scheduled to be conducted for a full month, the suit itself will only be on loan to the archaeologists for a little more than a week.

The plan is to carefully map the wreck sites before deploying the armour-encased archaeologist.

“It’s an experimental suit,” Dr Foley said. “We need to figure out what it can do for us and how to make it as effective as possible.

“Over a period of meticulous sessions, we’ll slowly close in on what we hope is another mechanism.”

Whatever the case, the results of the expedition will keep archaeologists busy for quite some time. And there are hundreds more as yet unexplored wrecks offering potential insights into ancient lives.

“There’s a lot out there,” Dr Hunter says. “And there’s a lot we haven’t even come close to getting to yet. “
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

news.com.au 15 Sep 2014

WikiLeaks: NSW police have used hi-tech spyware to monitor Australians

computer stock
The Gamma International software, known as FinSpy, allows widespread access to computer records. Photograph: Dan Peled/AAP
The New South Wales police have used sophisticated hacking software to monitor the phones and computers of Australians, according to documents published by WikiLeaks.

In a new cache published on Monday NSW police are listed as a client of Gamma International, a German company that develops powerful spyware to remotely monitor computer use.

The documents show that NSW police have used several of the company’s spy programs for a number of investigations at a cost of more than $2m.

The software – known as FinSpy – allows widespread access to computer records, including extracting files from hard drives, grabbing images of computer screens, full Skype monitoring, logging keystrokes and monitoring email and chat communications.

“When FinSpy is installed on a computer system it can be remotely controlled and accessed as soon as it is connected to the internet/network, no matter where in the world the target system is based,” earlier documentation published by WikiLeaks said.

In NSW the police can apply for a special type of covert search warrant that would allow police to monitor computers remotely. The warrants are obtained from an “eligible judge” of the supreme court who is able to grant warrants.

The computer access possible under the program is extensive. In one communication with the software developers, a NSW police officer writes that there are risks that sensitive information – such as privileged communication with a lawyer – could be caught by the program.
Due to law restrictions on how certain information obtained … is it possible to implement a categorisation feature that can show categories for certain information ? For instance. A key logger captures information which is between a lawyer and a known criminal which is not an offense in itself.
“The captured information needs to be able to be identified as legal privilege and not used in any further intelligence capability as it is considered private. There are other categories that may come up so it would be useful if the categories could be implemented at the user level rather than hard coded by Gamma.”
NSW Greens MLC David Shoebridge said the WikiLeaks revelations were deeply concerning.

“Information that should be privileged, including communications with a lawyer or information that’s well beyond the scope of the warrant, is almost certainly being captured by this warrant. It looks as if the police don’t have systems to exclude it, and it’s deeply troubling.”

He also said the documents highlighted the need for a public interest monitor in NSW to ensure there was sufficient scrutiny over the warrant process.

“There’s obviously a significant flaw in a system which has no public scrutiny of it and nobody there testing the case, with the evidence only put forward by the police. It’s not the role of the judge to test the evidence, so the hearings just have one side of the argument put forward.

“We should have a public interest monitor that appears in these proceedings to do just that – to be there as an independent third party testing the police evidence, and that’s an office we’ve been calling for [for] some time now.”

Despite the substantial costs associated with the program, there appear to be no online tender records of Gamma International or any of its subsidiaries holding contracts with the NSW police.
A spokesman for NSW police said: “Given this technology relates to operational capability, it’s not appropriate to comment.”

theguardian.com 15 Sep 2014

From what the general populous is told, hacking - unauthorised or 'illegal' access to computer (I.T. equipment, phones, etc) is a criminal offence.

So when are the police (those individuals) going to get charged?

Also in relation to this article, there is no lawfully issued warrant in Australia.

The land mass known as Australia is a Police State.

The corrupt legal system supports the criminal activities of the so called authorities.

Off the rails: Train PSO probed for rape and torture still armed at work

The PSO.
A PROTECTIVE services officer accused of raping and torturing a woman has been permitted to keep policing Melbourne’s rail network despite his alleged victim’s concerns for public safety. 
Victoria Police said it launched an internal investigation into the officer, in his mid-30s, after the claims were made in May.

The internal investigation is still “active and ongoing” almost four months later, though a criminal investigation has not been initiated despite the alleged victim’s pleas.

The woman claims the force has deliberately hampered a criminal investigation, is trying to cover up the serious allegations by dealing with it internally, and is shocked Victoria Police is allowing the man to work in the community while the matter ­remains unresolved.

“He is violent and dangerous but they give him a gun and allow him to carry on working,” the victim said.
“I simply don’t understand.”

It is alleged the PSO, who cannot be named for legal reasons, locked his victim in a room in her Reservoir home, brutally raped her and tortured her, including burning her hand with an iron rod.

The woman has told authorities the PSO’s attacks started in December last year and she was beaten so badly she miscarried her baby.

It has been alleged that on February 3 this year, the PSO went to her home in a fit of rage and at 4am beat her so badly that it caused heavy bleeding.

“I was about 10 weeks’ pregnant and when I saw all the blood, I wanted to phone for an ambulance, I wanted to get medical help, but he stopped me,” she sobbed.

“He beat me and kicked my belly and I lost the baby. I was crying like hell and he still showed no humanity.”
The alleged victim fled overseas on March 2. Soon after, she made complaints to the Commonwealth Ombudsman, IBAC and then to Australian Federal Police (AFP), unsure of the correct procedure to follow.

AFP then referred her to Victoria Police and the allegations were officially made to them on May 22.

She was later told that Victoria Police Professional Standards Command received the complaints the next day. But she did not hear from Victoria Police until June 17.

Despite a full statement, detailing all the allegations, the alleged victim then received an email on July 8 from a tactical intelligence officer to provide the same information again.

A further email was received on July 24, from a detective sergeant, asking for all the information to be resent yet again.

And the following day she received another email: “Do you want a criminal investigation to proceed with the view of (him) being charged criminally if there is sufficient evidence to support any charges? If so, are you able to make a signed and sworn statement in relation to your complaint of offences that occurred in Victoria?”

She replied immediately, stating she did want a criminal investigation started and would be willing to make a signed and sworn statement. She followed up with several emails but has not heard back.

“It’s like they are protecting him, hoping I will go away if they ignore me for long enough,” she said.

“How can they treat victims this way? Why does it take months and months with no end in sight?”

The Sunday Herald Sun approached the PSO for comment but he refused to comment, saying only that he continued to work for Victoria Police and that the force was investigating.

Victoria Police spokeswoman Kelly Yates confirmed the matter was still under investigation. “It is ­inappropriate to comment ­further,” she said.

heraldsun.com.au  14 Sep 2014

This is another example of the corruption of Victoria Police, in that the criminal activities of their employee are supported by the fact that the PSO is still working for the company (Victoria Police), and their own company is investigating the matter, rather than an external body.

Make no mistake about it, Victoria Police is a corrupt organisation, which is supported by the corrupt Anglo-Masonic legal system.

15 September 2014

More pilots testing positive for drugs, US National Transportation Safety Board says

Tests of pilots killed in crashes have revealed shocking results. Picture: iStock
Tests of pilots killed in crashes have revealed shocking results. Picture: iStock Source: Getty Images
TESTS of pilots killed in plane crashes over more than two decades show an increasing use of both legal and illegal drugs, including some that could impair flying, according to a study by the US National Transportation Safety Board. 

The study examined toxicology reports for almost 6700 pilots killed in crashes from 1990 to 2012. Not only did the share of pilots testing positive for a drug increase over that period, but the share of pilots who tested positive for multiple drugs increased as well. Pilots testing positive for at least one drug increased from 9.6 per cent to 39 per cent, while positive tests for two drugs rose from 2 per cent to 20 per cent and three drugs from zero to 8.3 per cent.

Over the same period, new drugs were coming into use and the US population was ageing, creating greater demand for drugs. The toxicology tests “reflect tends in the general population and likely indicate a significant increase in drug use” by pilots as well, the study said.

However, the share of accidents the board has investigated in which impairment from a drug was found to be a factor hasn’t increased appreciably, the report said. Since 1990, the NTSB has cited pilot impairment due to drugs as a cause or a contributing factor in about 3 per cent of fatal civil aviation accidents.

Acting NTSB Chairman Chris Hart said the board “is concerned about possible safety implications of increased drug use in all modes of transportation.” He called the report “an important first step toward understanding those implications.”

Dr. Mary Pat McKay, the board’s chief medical officer, said the study was limited to aviation because similarly comprehensive drug test data doesn’t exist for fatal highway, rail and maritime accidents. But it’s likely there are similar trends in those modes as well, she said.

The board also voted to issue a safety alert to pilots, warning of the risk of impairment from many over-the-counter drugs. The board issued several recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration and state governments aimed at better communication of drug risks to pilots and operators in all transportation modes.

More than 9 out of 10 of the pilots tested were private rather than commercial pilots, and 98 per cent were male. The average age of pilots killed also increased markedly, from 46 years old in 1990 to 57 in 2012. The average age of pilots killed was 5 to 15 years older than the general population of active pilots.

The tests also revealed increased pilot use of all kinds of drugs, including drugs that could impair a pilot’s functioning as well as drugs used to treat potentially impairing conditions such as seizure disorders and psychiatric illness.

The most common drug found in the tests was an antihistamine that causes drowsiness and is a key ingredient in many over-the-counter medications for allergies, colds and sleep. Sedating antihistamines in general were found in 9.9 per cent of pilots tested during the last five years studied, up from 2.1 per cent of the cases during the early years examined.

The share of pilots testing positive for illegal drugs was small, but increased from 2.3 per cent to 3.8 per cent. The study attributed the increase mostly to greater marijuana use in the last 10 years.

A statement by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, which represents private pilots, called the NTSB study incomplete and said its results “should be regarded with caution.”

“There are just far too many gaps and unknowns in the study for us to be able to draw any meaningful conclusions about aviation safety,” said Mark Baker, the association’s president.

news.com.au 11 Sep 2014

6,700 pilots killed in a period of 22 years, equates to an average of approx 304 pilots per year.

Compare that figure to that of (for example) New South Wales road fatalities figure of 360-370 for the period of 2011 or 2012, then there is a serious concern regarding air safety.

The Australian authorities fund a commercial television advertisement (propaganda) campaign called "Speed Kills" referring to road fatalities as a result of high vehicle velocity.

Information is falsified by police who are given the direct order to attribute speed as the factor rather than driver error in their reports.

It is well known within the police community that speed actually contributes approx. 1-5% of all road fatalities.

Eureka prize for $2 phone microscope

THE inventors of a $2 smartphone microscope and Ebola-fighting resources have won the nation's top gongs at the Oscars of Australian science. 
SYDNEYSIDERS Tri Phan and Steve Lee won the Innovative Use of Technology prize in Sydney at the Eureka Prizes for creating a plastic droplet that can be hooked into smartphones to create a cheap high-powered microscope.

"I think where this will have a lot of potential is in the delivery of medicine to remote and rural communities," said Dr Phan before the awards. "If someone has a suspect-looking mole you could get them to take a magnified image on the phone and send it to a specialist thousands of kilometres away and they could receive a diagnosis.

"There are so many possibilities for a portable microscope that's cheap but really high-powered ... we're looking to get a model out on the market in six months.

" Dr Phan projects the technology will be available in six months.

In creating the first vaccine against the Hendra virus, a CSIRO unit in Victoria developed methods that are being used in the ongoing battle against Ebola.

The Eureka Prizes are presented annually by the Australian Museum and recognise outstanding contributions to the industry across the fields of research, innovation, leadership and communication.

In the 25th year of the awards, scientists from universities, private research institutions and even schools have been rewarded from the $150,000 prize pool.

Australian Museum chief executive Kim McKay said the awards showed the brilliance of the nation's scientists.

"An optical plastic droplet that costs a cent to make and that can be used by anyone who has a smartphone - it's an excellent example of how clever research is making people's lives better and the technology accessible," she said.

Other winning inventions included water-efficient grain farming methods and life buoys for helicopter crashes at sea.

Ms McKay says she expects the prize money to fund future inventions.

"We provide the money as an incentive because unlike you or me, we know scientists will re-invest that money and use it for more research and more innovation," she said.

news.com.au 10 Sep 2014

It would be interesting to see how much the product costs to the general populous.