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How not to agree to clean public toilets when you accept any online terms and conditions

Be careful what you agree to, you could be cleaning the public toilets. Flickr/Ewan Munro, CC BY-SA

How often do you see this when you’re online, whether downloading a new app or software or signing up for some new service?

Originally published in The Conversation.

Spyware merchants: the risks of outsourcing government hacking

An Australian Tax Office (ATO) staffer recently leaked on LinkedIn a step-by-step guide to hacking a smartphone.

The documents, which have since been removed, indicate that the ATO has access to Universal Forensic Extraction software made by the Israeli company Cellebrite. This technology is part of a commercial industry that profits from bypassing the security features of devices to gain access to private data.

Originally published in The Conversation.

Explainer: how scientists invent new colours

Butterfly wings, like those of the monarch butterfly, have inspired scientists to create "structural colours". tea maeklong/Shutterstock

For The Conversation.

The ACCC threatens to take Telstra and other ISPs to court over misleading NBN speeds

Not up-to-speed. NBN Co

Rod Sims, chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumers Commission (ACCC), has signalled that the regulator is going to take a tougher stance against internet service providers like Telstra, Optus and Vocus about misleading consumers abou

Originally published in The Conversation.

Buried tools and pigments tell a new history of humans in Australia for 65,000 years

The Madjedbebe excavation in the Northern Territory. Dominic O Brien/Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation, Author provided

The question of when people first arrived in Australia has been the subject of lively debate among archaeologists, and one with important consequences for the global story of human evolution.

Originally published in The Conversation.

Shame! The 'technical glitches' that hit Game of Thrones could limit other popular live-streamed events

Not everyone got to see Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey ) and Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) in the opening season seven episode of Game of Thrones. HBO

Winter was coming with the first episode of the new Game of Thrones series this week, but the real freeze was a technical one.

Originally published in The Conversation.

Curious Kids: what started the Big Bang?

In the beginning, the Universe expanded very, very fast. The Conversation.

Just one small step for Australia's space industry when a giant leap is needed

An expert review of the Australian space industry’s capabilities to participate in a global market was announced last week by the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Arthur Sinodinos. He said the aim is to “develop a long-term plan to grow this important and exciting sector” and report in March 2018.

Originally published in The Conversation.

A brief history of GnuPG: vital to online security but free and underfunded

GnuPGP still has many important uses today. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Most people have never heard of the software that makes up the machinery of the internet. Outside developer circles, its authors receive little reward for their efforts, in terms of either money or public recognition.

Originally published in The Conversation.

The future of artificial intelligence: two experts disagree

Will AI take over the world or lead to a bright future for humanity? Shutterstock/PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek

Artificial intelligence (AI) promises to revolutionise our lives, drive our cars, diagnose our health problems, and lead us into a new future where thinking machines do things that we’re yet to imagine.

Originally published in The Conversation.