Monday, May 22, 2017

‘Fake refugees’ and fair use

High-profile One Nation staffer James Ashby has been caught on tape suggesting the party raise money by fleecing its own candidates and the Electoral Commission of Queensland at the next state election. In a recording of a One Nation meeting obtained ($) by the Courier-Mail, Ashby suggests the party sell campaign items such as signs and other printing material to candidates at inflated prices, write off the profit and submit full-price receipts to the ECQ for reimbursement. “We don’t need a middleman. We can make money out of this. We buy the corflutes for $5. We sell them to them for $11 … When you lodge the receipt at the full price with the Electoral Commission of Queensland you get back the full amount that’s been issued to you as an invoice”, Ashby is recorded as saying. While Ashby denies One Nation uses the practice, in December the Courier-Mail reported that Queensland candidates were being asked to buy a $3500 election package manufactured by Ashby’s printing company.

Asylum seekers that don’t apply for refugee status by October will be deported as the government seeks to clear the so-called “legacy caseload”. About 7500 asylum seekers who arrived in Australia between August 2012 and July 2014 have not yet applied for refugee status, partly because of the government’s own “go-slow” policy to make refugee applications more difficult. Now those 7500 asylum seekers – many of whom will be unable to access basic legal and interpreter services in time – must either lodge the 41-page application by the October 1 deadline or have their visas cancelled. While refugee rights groups have excoriated the new deadline, federal Labor has backed the move.

Wikipedia will target Australian users with banner ads in a bid to pressure governments to legislate the principle of fair use. Federal cabinet is considering recommendations from the Productivity Commission that Australia adopt the US practice of fair use, whereby copyrighted material can be legally used so long as the use is fair and does not harm the material’s market potential. Under Australia’s current laws governing the use of copyrighted material, common online practises such as libraries displaying book covers on their websites or Wikipedia entries including company logos in articles about that company are technically illegal. The Wikipedia campaign is urging Australians to contact their representatives in support of fair use, arguing: “If Wikipedia were hosted in Australia, no Fair Use material could be shown”.

And the Guardian has obtained exhaustive internal Facebook dossiers revealing how the company moderates and censors controversial and graphic material. The internal guidelines, published for the first time, reveal how Facebook instructs its employees to respond to hate speech, footage of suicide, self-harm and terrorism, depictions of child abuse and animal cruelty, and threats of violence or sexual assault made against users. The files also reveal the extent to which Facebook moderators are being overwhelmed by the content they have to monitor, as well as the distressing nature of much of their work.

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Selling the Apocalypse: The Second Coming of televangelist Jim Bakker

“Before his stint in prison, before his fame and money and prosperity crumbled before his eyes, Jim Bakker didn’t talk a lot about the second coming of Christ. However, in the last three years the second coming has become drastically more prominent in his teachings and on his show. Now, instead of convincing his viewers to give money so that they might later receive blessings from the Lord, Bakker is instead asking them to give money so that he can help them save themselves when the end times begin.” buzzfeed

Tesla factory workers reveal pain, injury and stress: Everything feels like the future but us

“The appetite for Musk’s electric cars, and his promise to disrupt the carbon-reliant automobile industry, has helped Tesla’s value exceed that of both Ford and, briefly, General Motors (GM). But some of the human workers who share the factory with their robotic counterparts complain of grueling pressure – which they attribute to Musk’s aggressive production goals – and sometimes life-changing injuries.” (Also: The Mad King of juice: Inside the dysfunctional origins of Juicerothe guardian

Welcome to AirSpace: How Silicon Valley helps spread the same sterile aesthetic across the world

“There is a kind of nightmare version of AirSpace that could spread room by room, cafe by cafe across the world. It’s already there, if you look for it. There are blank white lofts with subway-tile bathrooms, modular furniture, wall-mounted TVs, high-speed internet, and wide, viewless windows in every city, whether it’s downtown Madrid; Nørrebro, Copenhagen; or Gulou, Beijing.” the verge



How can police best show respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples?

“WA Police will be wearing specially made shirts and driving vehicles sporting colourful Aboriginal art as part of NAIDOC Week. The work of seven different artists will represent each police district in the state as well as the metropolitan region from July 2. Police commissioner Karl O’Callaghan said it was a way to ‘strengthen relationships with the Aboriginal community ... I think given the long history of interaction between police and Aboriginal people in Australia, this is a really good thing to do during NAIDOC Week and to show respect to the Aboriginal community.’ ”   abc


Might take a bit more than some painted cars and uniforms.

“The family of an Indigenous man are seeking justice in what has become the latest West Australian Aboriginal death in custody. The 40-year-old man died following a confrontation at an office supplies store in Perth. Mobile phone video of the incident flooded the internet over the weekend. The video shows store staff members watching on as paramedics attempt to revive Mr Riley, after he was shot with a taser during a clash with police.”  nitv


and finally:

Second Life is undergoing a quiet bunny apocalypse

“A lapin apocalypse is set to sweep Second Life today, as thousands of player-purchased rabbits will go into permanent ‘hibernation’ because they no longer have access to their life-sustaining bunny food. The company that operates the online rabbits, Ozimals Inc., was hit with a cease-and-desist letter recently, from an asset creator who says they weren’t compensated for their work in creating the floppy-eared online pets. And so, the company’s feeding servers were shut down on Wednesday, and the ticking 72-hour clock counting down to sleepy rabbit genocide began.” the av club