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Preventing Murray-Darling water theft: a space agency can help Australia manage federal resources

This is the first article in the series Australia’s place in space, where we’ll explore the strengths and weaknesses, along with the past, present and the future of Australia’s space presence and activities.

An independent report into allegations of water theft and corruption in the Murray-Darling Basin has recommended fundamental reforms to the system.

Originally published in The Conversation.

Curious Kids: Why is the Earth round?

The mass of the Earth is big enough that the gravitational force it creates can pull the hard shape of ice, rock and metal into a sphere. NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using Suomi NPP VIIRS data from Miguel Román, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Originally published in The Conversation.

A pirate site explores a new way of paying for the Internet that doesn't involve ads

What if ads disappeared? Eddie J Rodriquez/Shutterstock

It would be an understatement to say that advertising as the main business model of the internet is in a crisis.

Originally published in The Conversation.

Speed plus control in new computer chip: slowing down light to sound

You see it, then you hear it: light and sound travel at different speeds. Reeva/shutterstock

Light travels fast – sometimes a little too fast when it comes to data processing.

Originally published in The Conversation.

Expect the unexpected from the big-data boom in radio astronomy

Antennas of the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) at CSIRO’s Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia. CSIRO, Author provided

Radio astronomy is undergoing a major boost, with new technology gathering data on objects in our universe faster than astronomers can analyse.

Originally published in The Conversation.

Like alchemists with killer precision, brown snakes make different venoms across their lifetime

It’s spring in Australia and that means reptiles are starting to move about again. Including snakes.

The venom of the eastern brown snake (Pseudonaja textilis) is, drop for drop, one of the most potent of any venoms tested on laboratory mice.

Originally published in The Conversation.

When girls are in the audience, choir boys sing for attention

Ok, which one of you is trying to get attention? I can hear it in your voice. karavai/shutterstock

The St. Thomas Choir is an internationally renowned boys choir from Leipzig in Germany.

Originally published in The Conversation.

Face ID and iOS 11: a few lingering security questions about the new iPhone X

Apple recently unveiled its latest generation of smartphone, the iPhone X, but does it also come with a whole new generation of security?

Its new mobile operating system, iOS 11, and a biometric recognition system called Face ID, were promoted at the same time.

Read More: So you bought the new iPhone? Here are your rights if it breaks

Originally published in The Conversation.

Snap that prize up: croc research on gambling habits gets an Ig Nobel

The one-metre long relatives of this snappy croc at the Koorana Crocodile Farm, near Rockhampton, helped test the betting risks of potential gamblers. Flickr/Michael Gorey, CC BY-NC

Our research examining the effects of holding a live crocodi

Originally published in The Conversation.

Ice mined on Mars could provide water for humans exploring space

There is water on Mars - but it's buried, and frozen.

Originally published in The Conversation.