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Canadian Influencer Megha Thakur Dies “Suddenly and Unexpectedly” at Age 21
Source: Megha Thakur/Instagram
Tesla offers $3,750 discount for Model 3, Model Y deliveries in December
Tesla is offering Model 3 and Model Y buyers in the U.S. a $3,750 credit if they have their vehicle delivered in December 2022, according to an update on the company’s inventory page and several posts on Reddit.
Australian city friendliest in the world
There is a surprising result in a UK survey to find the world's friendliest city. ]]>
Janet Yellen Says the Real Reason Inflation is Out of Control is Because Americans Are ‘Splurging’ on Goods (VIDEO)
Startup valuations are declining — but not consistently
While this year’s stock market decline was swift, it was also widespread, with very few companies escaping the downturn. But current market conditions haven’t caused the same uniform trajectory for startups.
Cadillac says its new electric race car is almost ready for 24 Hours of Daytona
Cadillac Racing says its first electric race car is almost ready for the 24 Hours of Daytona event in January after passing critical testing and development milestones. Since July, the V-LMDh has gone through nearly 12,000 miles (19,000 km) of on-track testing, including a 24-hour test at Sebring International Raceway.Cadillac collected data on nighttime operation and durability on the bumpy 3.7-mile circuit. Program manager Laura Wontrop Klauser claimed Sebring was the perfect testing ground for the V-LMDh ahead of its competitive debut at Daytona. “To complete that endurance test was extra motivation for our team and provided a sense of accomplishment,” Klauser said in a statement. “We still have a lot to do in a short time, but we are at the point where we are fine-tuning many things.”The car is also slated to take part in the 24-hour race at Le Mans in June. Cadillac plans to run it in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship. A final test will take place next week at Daytona as part of mandatory evaluations for all manufacturers intending to take part in the IMSA’s new Grand Touring Prototype class. Cadillac Racing will reveal the final competition version of the three V-LMDh race cars, including liveries (and hopefully a new name), in mid-January. ]]>
How protesters dodge Chinas massive censorship machine
Videos of hundreds protesting in Shanghai started to appear on WeChat on Saturday night. Showing chants about removing COVID-19 restrictions and demanding freedom, they would stay up only a few minutes before being censored.Elliot Wang, a 26-year-old in Beijing, was amazed.READ MORE: Numerous devices found after Ukrainian Embassy blast in SpainI started refreshing constantly, and saving videos, and taking screenshots of what I could before it got censored, Wang, who only agreed to be quoted using his English name, in fear of government retaliation, said. A lot of my friends were sharing the videos of the protests in Shanghai. I shared them too, but they would get taken down quickly.That Wang was able to glimpse the extraordinary outpouring of grievances highlights the cat-and-mouse game that goes on between millions of Chinese internet users and the country's gargantuan censorship machine.Chinese authorities maintain a tight grip on the country's internet via a complex, multi-layered censorship operation that blocks access to almost all foreign news and social media, and blocks topics and keywords considered politically sensitive or detrimental to the Chinese Communist Party's rule. Videos of or calls to protest are usually deleted immediately.But images of protests began to spread on WeChat, a ubiquitous Chinese social networking platform used by over 1 billion, in the wake of a deadly fire November 24 in the north-western city of Urumqi. Many suspected that lockdown measures prevented residents from escaping the flames, something the government denies.READ MORE: Uvalde school shooting survivors file $39b lawsuit against policeThe sheer number of unhappy Chinese users who took to the Chinese internet to express their frustration, together with the methods they used to evade censors, led to a brief period of time in which government censors were overwhelmed, according to Han Rongbin, an associate professor at the University of Georgia's International Affairs department.It takes censors some time to study what is happening and to add that to their portfolio in terms of censorship, so it's a learning process for the government on how to conduct censorship effectively, Han said.In 2020, the death from COVID-19 of Li Wenliang, a doctor who was arrested for allegedly spreading rumours following an attempt to alert others about a SARS-like virus, sparked widespread outrage and an outpouring of anger against the Chinese censorship system. Users posted criticism for hours before censors moved to delete posts.As censors took down posts related to the fire, Chinese internet users often used humour and metaphor to spread critical messages.READ MORE: Christchurch terrorist claims he pleaded guilty due to 'torture'Chinese netizens have always been very creative because every idea used successfully once will be discovered by censors the next time, Liu Lipeng, a censor-turned-critic of China's censorship practices, said. Chinese users started posting images of blank sheets of white paper, said Liu, in a silent reminder of words they weren't allowed to post.Others posted sarcastic messages like Good good good sure sure sure right right right yes yes yes, or used Chinese homonyms to evoke calls for President Xi Jinping to resign, such as shrimp moss, which sounds like the words for step down, and banana peel, which has the same initials as Xi's name.But within days, censors moved to contain images of white paper. They would have used a range of tools, said Chauncey Jung, a policy analyst who previously worked for several Chinese internet companies based in Beijing.Most content censorship is not done by the state, Jung said, but outsourced to content moderation operations at private social media platforms, who use a mix of humans and AI. Some censored posts are not deleted, but may be made visible only to the author, or removed from search results. In some cases, posts with sensitive key phrases may be published after review.A search on Weibo on Thursday for the term white paper mostly turned up posts that were critical of the protests, with no images of a single sheet of blank paper, or of people holding white papers at protests.It's possible to access the global internet from China by using virtual private networks that disguise internet traffic, but these systems are illegal and many Chinese internet users access only the domestic internet. Wang does not use a VPN.I think I can say for all the mainlanders in my generation that we are really excited, Wang said.But we're also really disappointed because we can't do anything. … They just keep censoring, keep deleting, and even releasing fake accounts to praise the cops.But the system works well enough to stop many users from ever seeing them. When protests broke out across China over the weekend, Carmen Ou, who lives in Beijing, initially didn't notice.Ou learned of the protests only later, after using a VPN service to access Instagram.I tried looking at my feed on WeChat, but there was no mention of any protests, she said.If not for a VPN and access to Instagram, I might not have found out that such a monumental event had taken place.Han, the international affairs professor, said censorship doesn't have to be perfect to be effective.Censorship might be functioning to prevent a big enough size of the population from accessing the critical information to be mobilised, he said.China's opaque approach to tamping down the spread of online dissent also makes it difficult to distinguish government campaigns from ordinary spam.Searching Twitter using the Chinese words for Shanghai or other Chinese cities reveals protest videos, but also a near-constant flood of new posts showing racy photos of young women. Some researchers proposed that a state-backed campaign could be seeking to drown out news of the protests with not safe for work content.A preliminary analysis by the Stanford Internet Observatory found lots of spam but no compelling evidence that it was specifically intended to suppress information or dissent, said Stanford data architect David Thiel.I'd be sceptical of anyone claiming clear evidence of government attribution, Thiel said in an email.Twitter searches for more specific protest-related terms, such as Urumqi Middle Road, Shanghai, produced mainly posts related to the protests.Israeli data analysis firm Cyabra and another research group that shared analysis with the AP said it was hard to distinguish between a deliberate attempt to drown out protest information sought by the Chinese diaspora and a run-of-the-mill commercial spam campaign.Twitter didn't respond to a request for comment. It hasn't answered media inquiries since billionaire Elon Musk took over the platform in late October and cut back much of its workforce, including many of those tasked with moderating spam and other content.Musk often tweets about how he's enacting or enforcing new Twitter content rules but hasn't commented on the recent protests in China. ]]>
Japanese victory condemns Germany to shock World Cup exit
The four-time champions have failed to get out of the group stage in Qatar
Lehrmann retrial abandoned because of a significant and unacceptable risk to Brittany Higgins life
The plan for a second trial of Bruce Lehrmann has been dropped after expert medical advice warned it posed a “significant and unacceptable risk” to Brittany Higgins’ life.
Tesla finally delivers its first production Semi
Five years after CEO Elon Musk officially unveiled his Semi, Tesla’s electrified tractor trailer, the company delivered its first official production vehicle to Pepsi on Thursday during its Semi Delivery Event held at Tesla's Nevada Gigafactory. The beverage maker has ordered 100 of the vehicles in total.First shown off in 2017, the Tesla Semi originally was set to retail for $150,000 and $180,000 for the 300- and 500-mile versions, respectively. Those prices are significantly higher than the $60k a standard diesel cab runs but Tesla estimates that its vehicles can operate 20 percent more efficiently (2kWh per mile, Musk revealed Thursday), and save up to $250,000 over the million-mile life of the Semi.Tesla Semi driving 500 miles, fully loaded, on a single charge pic.twitter.com/iZzomLcwZF— Tesla (@Tesla) December 2, 2022Each rig is “designed like a bullet,” Musk said at the vehicle’s unveiling, and would come equipped with a massive 1MW battery pack. This reportedly offers a 20-second 0-60, which is impressive given that these vehicles are towing up to 80,000 pounds at a time, and a spent-to-80 percent charge time of just 30 minutes. The Semis are also outfitted with Enhanced Autopilot capabilities, as well as jackknife-mitigation systems, blind-spot sensors and data-logging for fleet management.As reservations opened in 2017, Musk said at the time, deliveries would begin two short years later, in 2019. By April 2020, Tesla had officially pushed that delivery date back to 2021, citing production delays and supply chain issues brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, just two months after that, in May of 2020, Musk sent a company-wide email reading, “It’s time to go all out and bring the Tesla Semi to volume production. It’s been in limited production so far, which has allowed us to improve many aspects of the design,” as seen by CNBC. In the same email he confirmed that production would take place in Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory.Cut to July, 2021, and the new delivery date has been pushed again, this time to 2022, citing both the ongoing global processor shortage and its own pandemic-limited battery production capability for the new 4680 style cells as contributing factors.“We believe we remain on track to build our first Model Y vehicles in Berlin and Austin in 2021,” Musk said during the company’s Q2, 2021 investor call. “The pace of the respective production ramps will be influenced by the successful introduction of many new product and manufacturing technologies, ongoing supply-chain-related challenges and regional permitting.”“To better focus on these factories, and due to the limited availability of battery cells and global supply chain challenges, we have shifted the launch of the Semi truck program to 2022,” he continued. Beginning in May of this year, Tesla started actively taking reservations again for a $20,000 deposit. And first deliveries are now, Musk said on Thursday before welcoming Kirk Tanner, CEO PepsiCo Beverages North America, and Steven Williams, CEO PepsiCo Foods North America, on stage for high fives and handshakes. ]]>
Chris Dawson handed 24 year jail term for wifes murder
The judge dismissed his lawyers' argument that media coverage served as extra punishment, saying Dawson was the author of his own misfortunes. ]]>
Albanese hails passage of industrial relations laws
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has hailed the passage of the government's industrial relations bill as a way to give Australian workers a better deal and a better future.In a statement issued today, Albanese and Employment Minister Tony Burke said the Secure Jobs, Better Pay bill was a next step to lifting wages, improving job security and closing the gender pay gap.After a decade of deliberate wage suppression under the Liberals and Nationals, Australian workers need a pay rise and these new laws will deliver, the statement read.READ MORE: Western Australia set to make gay conversion therapy a crimeBy modernising the bargaining system we will see more workplace agreements, delivering better productivity and flexibility for employers and better pay and conditions for workers.We're bringing our workplace relations system up to date with a Government that wants to get wages moving again.The bill passed the Senate overnight after amendments made by the crossbench.The amended bill was voted on in the House this morning.Albanese noted not a single member of the opposition voted for the changes.READ MORE: Lehrmann rape trial abandoned, charges droppedSpeaking to Today this morning, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said he wanted wage growth, but in a responsible way.If you put this union wishlist of industrial relations changes across small businesses, it's going to drive up unemployment, Dutton said.It's coming at exactly the wrong time for the economy.Before its passage, Liberal senator Michaelia Cash described it as literally the most radical changes that the country has ever seen.The bill's passage has had a mixed response across the country, with unions welcoming the changes and some employers panning them.READ MORE: Russian public support for Ukraine war crumblesThe Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) celebrated the abolition of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).This targeting of people for standing up for their rights put enormous stress and hardship on construction workers and their families, CFMEU secretary Dave Noonan said.Australian construction workers welcome the vote of parliament to abolish this authoritarian and politicised body and look forward to engaging with all parties in the industry to meet the challenges it faces.READ MORE: Menthol cigarettes could be bannedBut Master Builders Australia CEO Denita Warn said the abolition of the ABCC meant the government turned its back on builders and subcontractors.Unions have been given the green light to ramp up pattern bargaining and bullying tactics in our industry, Wawn said.The Senate extensively debated the countless examples of vile intimidation, thuggery and bullying which has been forensically documented in four commissions, dozens of reviews and inquiries and hundreds of federal court judgements so it beggars belief the government would turn a blind eye.CEO of the Minerals Council of Australia Tania Constable said the legislation would be a handbrake on investment, job opportunities and wage growth.The reintroduction of multi-employer bargaining into the Australian workplace relations regime will have negative consequences on investment, productivity, economic growth, job security and wages for small or larger businesses across Australia, she said. ]]>
Epic Games’ app that turns photos into 3D models now available on iOS
Epic Games released RealityScan for iOS today. The free app, previously available in a closed beta, lets anyone scan real-world objects with their phone and turn them into high-fidelity 3D models.The app is the fruit of Epic’s purchase of Capturing Reality, a company specializing in photogrammetry software. Like the company’s desktop software, RealityScan combines 2D images to make seamless 3D assets for games and other virtual environments. The idea is to enable game developers and other creatives to scan real-world objects at any time and any place for their projects. (If the metaverse ever takes off, you can imagine tools like this becoming essential.)The scanning process begins with signing into your Epic Games account and taking at least 20 photos of an object from all sides. As you move your phone around, a real-time quality map shows how well you’ve covered it: green denotes well-covered areas, yellow could use more attention and red needs the most additional photos. It visualizes the places from which you’ve snapped each picture as something akin to little Polaroids floating around your item.Epic GamesThe app uploads and automatically aligns the images in the cloud as you take the photos. You can preview the model through the camera view and switch between the quality map and an in-progress, full-color render. When you want to crop it, it pops up 3D handles for you to drag around, ensuring it captures only the item, not the floor beneath it or background objects.The process works best with simple items captured in even, indirect lighting (reflective or wet surfaces won’t capture well). It also appears to work best with larger objects, as my attempt to capture a small Mr. T action figure resulted in something that looks more like a pointillistic painting than a usable model.Once you’re happy with the capture, you can export it to Sketchfab (a 3D asset platform Epic bought last year), where you can use it for 3D, virtual reality and augmented reality projects. Optionally, if you’ve captured something unique, you could try to sell your 3D model. Game developers needing a specific item for a virtual environment are the most logical audience here.RealityScan is available today as a free download for iOS and iPadOS on the App Store. Earlier this year, Epic said an Android version would arrive later in the year, although the company is running short on time to meet that deadline. ]]>
Hunter Biden Attends His Dad’s Lavish White House State Dinner with French President Macron, Billionaires and Elites
Alleged organised crime figure caught in Turkey, deported to Australia
The Australian Federal Police today arrested a Sydney man who fled Australia while on trial for his alleged role in importing a chemical that could produce more than two million methamphetamine, or MDMA, tablets.Tony Haddad, 46, was deported by Turkish authorities and landed in Darwin today, where he was arrested.He is scheduled to face a Darwin court later today, where an application will be made to extradite him to New South Wales.READ MORE: Russian public support for Ukraine war crumblesHaddad was arrested at the Turkey-Lebanon border with a false passport in August, after he fled Australia in 2020.A manhunt began for Haddad two years ago after he failed to attend a NSW court case in which he was facing charges of importing illegal precursor chemicals, identified by police as 2.8 tonnes of safrole oil, from China.If convicted, he was facing a maximum penalty of 25 years' imprisonment.Haddad was originally arrested in September 2011 by Australian authorities.The investigation allegedly found the safrole in containers labelled as hair and cleaning products imported from China in three shipments.READ MORE: Today team pay tribute to 'force of nature' Ally LangdonInvestigations led the AFP to suspect the man was allegedly hiding in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic – possibly on the NSW South Coast – before leaving Australia in late June 2022.AFP Assistant Commissioner Crime Nigel Ryan welcomed the independent decision by Turkish authorities to deport Haddad.The AFP will continue to investigate this man's activities over the past two years, and will not hesitate to lay charges if we have evidence of criminal activity being used to finance his efforts to escape detection, he said.Haddad landed in Darwin today on the same plane as alleged Islamic State terrorist Neil Prakash, who was deported by Turkey. ]]>
Kanye West says he likes Hitler
The controversial rapper urged people to “stop dissing Nazis”
Facebook failed to stop test ads from threatening midterm election workers
Meta's election integrity efforts on Facebook may not have been as robust as claimed. Researchers at New York University's Cybersecurity for Democracy and the watchdog Global Witness have revealed that Facebook's automatic moderation system approved 15 out of 20 test ads threatening election workers ahead of last month's US midterms. The experiments were based on real threats and used clear language that was potentially easy to catch. In some cases, the social network even allowed ads after the wrong changes were made — the research team just had to remove profanity and fix spelling to get past initial rejections.The investigators also tested TikTok and YouTube. Both services stopped all threats and banned the test accounts. In an earlier experiment before Brazil's election, Facebook and YouTube allowed all election misinformation sent during an initial pass, although Facebook rejected up to 50 percent in follow-up submissions.In a statement to Engadget, a spokesperson said the ads were a small sample that didn't represent what users saw on platforms like Facebook. The company maintained that its ability to counter election threats exceeds that of rivals, but only backed the claim by pointing to quotes that illustrated the amount of resources committed to stopping violent threats, not the effectiveness of those resources.The ads wouldn't have done damage, as the experimenters had the power to pull them before they went live. Still, the incident highlights the limitations of Meta's partial dependence on AI moderation to fight misinformation and hate speech. While the system helps Meta's human moderators cope with large amounts of content, it also risks greenlighting ads that might not be caught until they're visible to the public. That could not only let threats flourish, but invite fines from the UK and other countries that plan to penalize companies which don't quickly remove extremist content. ]]>
To da moon: Emm aims to innovate on the menstrual cup
Menstrual cups (sometimes known as “moon cups”) have been around since the 1930s, and it’s been a bloody long period since we’ve seen much innovation in that category. Emm just closed a $1 million round of funding to add some smarts. The company adds an applicator and an app tracking feature to help keep an eye on things.
Kanye West isn’t buying Parler after all
Despite a joint statement between Ye (fka Kanye West) and Parler in October noting that the two had reached an agreement for the rapper to buy the social network, that will not come to pass, Parler owner Parlement Techonologies said today.
Daily Crunch: SBF says he’s ‘had a bad month,’ but is he really giving us the full story?
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50 years ago today, Gough Whitlam was elected. There are some lessons for Albanese in what came next
Theres a serious ethical problem with some sunscreen testing methods – and youre probably not aware of it
Ye is no longer buying Parler, the ‘free speech’ social media app
Ye is no longer buying Parler, the controversial social media app that’s billed itself as a “free speech” alternative to Twitter. Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, originally struck a deal with Parlement Technologies in October to buy the company for an undisclosed amount.That deal is now off, according to the company. “Parlement Technologies has confirmed that the company has mutually agreed with Ye to terminate the intent of sale of Parler,” a spokesperson for Parler said in a statement. “This decision was made in the interest of both parties in mid-November. Parler will continue to pursue future opportunities for growth and the evolution of the platform for our vibrant community.”Parler will continue to pursue future opportunities for growth and the evolution of the platform for our vibrant community.— Parler (@parler_app) December 1, 2022News of the deal imploding comes just hours after Ye praised Nazis and said, “I like Hitler,” during an appearance on Alex Jones’ podcast. A spokesperson for Parler didn't comment on whether these statements played a role in the decision to terminate the acquisition, but cited Ye’s recent and ongoing business difficulties as a reason for the deal falling through.Ye had first announced he would buy Parler after he was suspended from Twitter following a series of antisemitic tweets. (Twitter CEO Elon Musk later welcomed him back to the platform.) At the time, Parlement technologies CEO George Farmer said that the proposed acquisition will assure Parler a future role in creating an uncancelable ecosystem where all voices are welcome.”Update 12/1 3:10 PM PT: Added additional info from a Parler spokesperson. ]]>
Hyundaibacked AV startup Motional cuts workforce
Motional, the Aptiv-Hyundai joint venture developing autonomous vehicle technology, cut its workforce this week — the latest example of layoffs in the AV industry and more broadly in the tech sector.
Chris Dawson facing decades in jail
Almost 40 years after killing his wife Lynette and disposing of her body, Sydney schoolteacher Chris Dawson will be sentenced to what could be decades in jail.Justice Ian Harrison is set to conclude a four-decade-long wait for Lynette's family on Friday, handing down his sentence on the convicted wife-killer in the NSW Supreme Court.The decision comes more than 13 weeks after the judge found the 74-year-old guilty of murder and three weeks after his brother-in-law called him a conniving monster during a sentence hearing.READ MORE: Landmark IR reforms pass Senate on way to becoming lawDawson was found guilty of murdering his wife in January 1982 to have an unfettered relationship with a high school student who was also his babysitter, known as JC.During the sentence hearing, crown prosecutor Craig Everson SC said Dawson had planned a deliberate and conscious act of domestic violence with an intention to kill.He said a crime of very great heinousness required a term of life imprisonment.READ MORE: Family preparing for the worst as pregnant Perth mum fights for lifeDawson's lawyer Greg Walsh disputed claims the crime was at the high end in terms of objective seriousness.Walsh said the former Newtown Jets rugby league player had already suffered under the most constant and egregious publicity for four decades.His health was also deteriorating, the court heard, with Dawson showing signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain condition often experienced by those who play contact sports.Dawson has filed an appeal of his conviction. ]]>
Russian public support for Ukraine war crumbles as Putin cracks down on dissent
After nine months of fighting, support for the war in Ukraine has plunged in Russia, according to a leaked poll.The survey conducted by the Kremlin shows public backing for the conflict collapsing among the Russian public since President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine in February.In July, 57 per cent of Russians said the war should continue, the polling found, but by November that was down to just 25 per cent.READ MORE: Numerous devices found after Ukrainian Embassy blast in SpainThe leaked results also reveal a majority of Russians want the Kremlin to open peace talks, with 55 per cent of those surveyed in November wanting to see negotiations, compared with only 32 per cent back in July.The swing in public opinion came after major Ukraine military successes and the Kremlin's controversial mass mobilisation, which saw at least 300,000 Russian men sent to the front line in often appalling conditions.The polling data was obtained by the independent, Latvia-based outlet Meduza.Meanwhile, a new expanded law on foreign agents in Russia is coming into force, signifying an intensifying crackdown on free speech and opposition under Putin that has accelerated as his fortunes in Ukraine have deteriorated.It's also further evidence of Russia's determination to root out what it sees as Western liberal values, coming in the same week Russia's parliament sent a bill expanding a ban on what it calls propaganda of LGBTQI+ issues to Putin's desk.READ MORE: NATO commits to future Ukraine membershipThe 2012 law on Foreign Agents, passed after a wave of public protests against Putin's return to the presidency, required organisations engaging in political activity and receiving funding from abroad to register as foreign agents and adhere to draconian rules and restrictions.That law has been gradually updated since then, forming the backbone of an ever tighter stranglehold on civil society in Russia over the past decade.From Thursday (Friday AEST) that definition is expanded to include not only individuals or organisations receiving funding from abroad but those who have received support and (or) is under foreign influence.- Reported with CNN ]]>
President Trump Delivers Special Message to January 6th Political Prisoners (VIDEO)
The world finally has its first parastronaut. Can we expect anyone to be able to go to space one day?
NASA astronaut Winston E. Scott on an EVA in 1996. NASA JSCThe European Space Agency made history last week with the announcement of the first “parastronaut”, 41-year-old UK citizen John McFall.
‘The Mandalorian’ Season 3 will premiere on March 1
Disney announced today The Mandalorian’s long-awaited third season will debut on March 1st on Disney+. The company had previously said that the third season would debut in February, so fans will have to wait a little longer than expected to see the upcoming season.