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Discord opens up paid subscriptions so servers can sell premium perks
After launching as a pilot late last year, Discord will allow more servers to offer paid memberships in exchange for special server-specific perks.
Monarch delivers its first robot tractor
Monarch Tractor this morning announced the delivery of its first MK-V unit. The “smart tractor” is electric and what the Bay Area-based company refers to as “driver optional” (terms like “autonomous” and “self-driving” come with their own unique baggage). We’ll just refer to it as a “robot tractor” from here on.
Alleged IS terrorist silent in Darwin court after extradition
Melbourne-born alleged Islamic State terrorist Neil Prakash has appeared in a Darwin court after being deported from Turkey to face six terrorism charges.The 31-year-old former rapper allegedly joined and supported Islamic State in 2014, and is also accused of travelling to Syria and undertaking hostile acts in 2016.Prakash could face a life sentence if found guilty.READ MORE: Russian public support for Ukraine war crumblesNorthern Territory Local Court Chief Judge Elizabeth Morris granted an extradition order to transfer Prakash from the NT to Victoria on or before December 9.He will remain in custody in Darwin until AFP and Victorian Police officers jointly take him into custody and escort him to Melbourne.Once there, he is expected to be charged by the Australian Federal Police Victorian Joint Counter Terrorism Team with a range of serious terrorism offences.Prakash, who appeared via video link from the Palmerston watch house, was handcuffed throughout the hearing.He declined legal representation and remained silent when Judge Morris asked him to confirm his identity.Victorian detective senior constable Andrew Gibney told the court Parkash had been identified by distinct scars and a tattoo on his chest.READ MORE: Today team pay tribute to 'force of nature' Ally LangdonEarly today he arrived by plane from Turkey to Darwin, where he was arrested by the Australian Federal Police.Prakash has been described as the most important and the most dangerous Australian member of Islamic State.He was arrested in Turkey in 2016 for allegedly fighting for the terrorist group in Syria and later moved to an immigration detention centre.The jihadist appeared in several videos trying to recruit fellow Australians to the IS fight, as well as fighting himself for the terrorist organisation overseas.Prakash has also been implicated in at least two terror plots on Australian soil, including the Anzac Day plot to behead a Melbourne police officer.The former Coalition government tried to have Prakash's Australian citizenship cancelled, but that was effectively overturned by the High Court.He landed in Darwin on the same flight as Tony Haddad, an alleged crime figure extradited from Turkey after a major manhunt.- with AAP ]]>
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. ]]>
Daily Crunch: SBF says he’s ‘had a bad month,’ but is he really giving us the full story?
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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. ]]>
Melbourne man charged with murder after family member finds womans body
A Melbourne man has faced court over the death of a woman at a home in the city's north.Joe Lo Bianco, 52, was charged with murder on Thursday after a family member discovered the body of a 51-year-old woman inside a home on Brickworks Lane, Northcote, just before 8pm on Wednesday.Prosecutors asked for the woman's name to be removed from court documents during the brief appearance on Friday.READ MORE: Aged care home apologises after Melbourne woman severely bruisedLo Bianco, who is in custody for the first time, is due to face Melbourne Magistrates Court again for a committal mention on April 14, 2023.Police requested a longer than usual period to serve a brief of evidence on him, saying a pathology report is expected to take at least 12 weeks.CCTV is also expected form part of the evidence, the magistrate heard. ]]>
Multibillion dollar blow for gas giant Santos
Indigenous elders have had a landmark win after the Federal Court dismissed an appeal from gas giant Santos to restart a multi-billion dollar drilling project. ]]>
New York seeks handson leader in antirat fight
Hate rats? Are you a “somewhat bloodthirsty” New Yorker with excellent communication skills and “a general aura of badassery”? Then you might have what it takes to be the city's new rat tsar.Mayor Eric Adams’ administration posted a job listing this week seeking someone to lead the city's long-running battle against rats.The official job title is “director of rodent mitigation,” although it was promptly dubbed the rat tsar. Salary range is $176,000 to $250,000.READ MORE: 'Rodent infestation' forces closure of New York Mexican fast food chain“The ideal candidate is highly motivated and somewhat bloodthirsty, determined to look at all solutions from various angles, including improving operational efficiency, data collection, technology innovation, trash management, and wholesale slaughter,” reads that ad.The posting is whimsical, but the job is daunting.New York City leaders have been trying to control the rodent population for generations, with mixed results.READ MORE: Starving cannibal rats swarm deserted US streets in lockdownSightings of rats in parks, sidewalks and other places in the city have recently increased.City rats have survived a multimillion-dollar effort under former Mayor Bill de Blasio that focused on more trash pickups and better housing inspections in targeted neighbourhoods.The city also launched a program to use dry ice to suffocate rats in their hiding spots.Adams, when he was borough president of Brooklyn, once demonstrated a trap that used a bucket filled with a toxic soup to drown rats lured by the scent of food.READ MORE: Russian public support for Ukraine war crumblesNow, the Adams' administration is looking for a top rat bureaucrat to become the public face of the city's eradication and education efforts.“Cunning, voracious, and prolific, New York City’s rats are legendary for their survival skills, but they don’t run this city – we do,” claimed the posting.Applicants are expected to have a crafty sense of humour and “to lead from the front, using hands-on techniques to exterminate rodents with authority and efficiency.” ]]>
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. ]]>
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.