news bits

  • Private space travel becomes a reality. 22/06/2004. ABC News Online: The first privately financed manned craft to enter space, SpaceShipOne, has returned to earth in California after completing its historic flight. ... The flight marked the first time that a non-government spacecraft reached the altitude considered to be the boundary between earth's atmosphere and outer space. The future finally starts to arrive, yet most TV media outlets used this as their "little whacky story at the end of the news".
  • | Court battle over bundling ads (June 23, 2004): Telecoms giants Telstra and Optus clashed in the Federal Court yesterday ... Legal action is a common tactic used in the highly competitive market, as the players try to stymie each other's attempts to promote their services. This country's courts are backed up for years, yet it can be used as a business tool by large firms like this.
  • | Fenech vows revenge from the grave (June 23, 2004): A defiant Jeff Fenech will seek revenge from the grave if a Sydney gang carries out its threat to kill him. ... Fenech urged his would-be killers to accept that he had not helped police investigate the crime gang being blamed for the intimidation. I'm sure the Police just love counter-threats like that, but then I have no idea how I'd cope with that sort of situation.
  • Crash goes that computer museum - National - But just 10 years after its formation by a group of academics, consultants and other information technology enthusiasts, the Australian Computer Museum Society is poised to press the 'Delete' button, consigning itself to extinction and more than 100 tonnes of IT heritage to the rubbish skip. It's not easy to preserve modern history - people don't tend to think that way until something is "old". Often it's too late by then. Certainly with computer gear it will be too late since people just don't keep old computers.
  • PM unfurls his patriotic school agenda - National - Schools will need to provide functioning flagpoles and fly the Australian flag if they want access to $31 billion in funding, the Prime Minister, John Howard, warned yesterday. Next up, a ban on the word "multicultural" and a refusal to allow non-citizens access to education, health or electricity. Seriously, linking flagpoles to funding?? What shit. They're schools, not military bases. / Flagpole fundraising takes sweet revenge on parents - National - Catch 22: how to pay for a flagpole without diverting funds from play equipment, and making the kids less fit; or scoffing more bloody Freddoes, making everyone more fat. I wonder how well you could fund-raise with carrot sticks. Actually I do recall one fund raiser for an organisation I was involved with as a kid... they bought a huge crate of Granny Smith apples and sold them off at fund raiser prices. It was actually really successful.
  • ALP members defend backflip over PBS. 23/06/2004. ABC News Online: After two years of resistance, the Labor Party says it will now support Government legislation to allow the cost of subsidised medicines to rise by 30 per cent. I just knew those condescending TV ads with Dr James Wright were a precursor to a price hike. "Hi, I've been set up to put the blame on you lot who actually use the medicine...!"
  • 'Fahrenheit 9/11' R rating appeal fails. 23/06/2004. ABC News Online: Distributors for Michael Moore's anti-Bush documentary Fahrenheit 9/11have failed to overturn an R rating for the film but would release it in more than 850 theaters this week amid what appears to be growing audience interest.


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