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Firestorms and flaming tornadoes: how bushfires create their own ferocious weather systems

A firestorm on Mirror Plateaun Yellowstone Park, 1988. Jim Peaco/US National Park Service

As the east coast bushfire crisis unfolds, New South W


Originally published in The Conversation.

Some women seem to lack a key brain structure for smell -- but their sense of smell is fine

Different MR images help us unravel the mysteries of the brain.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Hackers are now targeting councils and governments, threatening to leak citizen data

Ransomware attacks are becoming increasingly complex, as hackers find creative ways to beat ordinary systems of defence.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Queensland Health's history of software mishaps is proof of how hard e-health can be

Queensland Health's current electronic medical records system is what you could call a "monolithic" system, meaning it's an all-in-one system designed by one company. Such systems may not be the best option for the health sector's future.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Abusing a robot won't hurt it, but it could make you a crueller person

Robots like AIBO can provide companionship to humans, and in some instances humans may even develop a strong emotional attachment to them.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Curious Kids: how do solar panels work?

Installing solar panels on a roof. Shutterstock/lalanta71


How do solar panels work?


Originally published in The Conversation.

Should you worry about Boeing 737s? Only if you run an airline

The cracks found in three Qantas-owned Boeing 737s last week led to calls that it should ground its 33 aircraft with a
similar service record.

Although the three planes have been grounded and will require complex repairs, the cracks – in a component called the pickle fork, which helps strengthen the join between the aircraft’s body and wing – do not threaten the plane’s airworthiness.


Originally published in The Conversation.

India’s social media content removal order is a nail in the coffin of the internet as we know it

Geo-location technology can be used to block online content within a specified area in the world, thereby allowing for differences in national laws.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Caught red-handed: automatic cameras will spot mobile-using motorists, but at what cost?

Trials found that 5% of offending drivers used a mobile phone with both hands while the vehicle was moving. NSW Transport, Author provided

Over the years, advances in technology and transport policy have greatly impacted drivers.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Nearly all your devices run on lithium batteries. Here's a Nobel Prizewinner on his part in their invention – and their future

Lithium ion batteries revolutionised the way we use, manufacture and charge our devices. They’re used to power mobile phones, laptops and even electric cars. Shutterstock

British-born scientist M.


Originally published in The Conversation.