No More Free Range Eggs in Queensland [#geekgirl]
[From Eco Voice] “The Queensland government has quietly brought about changes to state regulations that will now ensure the end of true free range egg production in Queensland. The recent change to regulations of free range eggs, lifting the number of hens allowed per hectare from 1,500 to 10,000.
The Queensland government has bowed to the pressure of the corporate giants and sold out Queensland family farms, the egg buying consumer and condemned hens to a life of factory farming misery.
Up until now, Queensland was applauded for their regulations that stipulated only 1,500 hens per hectare for free range farms. Queensland egg producers actually had an advantage over the other states that allowed higher stocking densities for free range hens. South Australia has just followed suit and developed a free range labelling system for producers, stocking hens at 1,500 or less per hectare. Given the public outrage over the industrialisation of free range egg production and the current position on this issue by the ACCC, we are appalled that the Queensland government has made this move.
The Queensland government has made a mockery of the Model Code of Practice and is effectively allowing the supermarket giants to act as regulators for the industry. There is no science and no social conscience behind the decision to destroy the Queensland free range egg industry.”
!?!? [Or, Monsanto = Pure Evil] [#geekgirl]
[From an article published by Upriser here]: “Indiana farmer must pay Monsanto $84,000 for planting second-hand seeds from crops Monsanto hold patents on. That’s right. If you plant soybeans from a soybeans you bought at a grocery store, there’s a good chance you’ll be infringing one of Monsanto’s patents – just like the Indiana farmer did – because Monsanto has a patent on over 80% of all soybeans in existence.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday in favor of biotech giant Monsanto, ordering Indiana farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman, 76, to pay Monsanto more than $84,000 for patent infringement for using second generation Monsanto seeds purchased second hand—a ruling which will have broad implications for the ownership of ‘life’ and farmers’ rights in the future.
The sources of the seeds Bowman purchased were mixed and were not labeled. However, some were patented Monsanto seeds. Now this 75 year old man has to pay Monsanto a small fortune for just doing what farmers have been doing for thousands of years – planting seeds from last years crops.”
“Democracy Has Been Suspended…” [#geekgirl]
“What Greg Hunt *didn’t* say about the carbon price and emissions…” [#geekgirl]
[From Abc news]: “Greg Hunt says emissions went up under the carbon price from 560 to 637 million tonnes. Did they?”
[Turns out they didn't. In a separate article the Abc reports: "New federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt says that under the carbon price emissions have actually increased. And in an interview with Lateline last week he quoted figures to back up the claim.
"The strange thing about the carbon tax was that emissions went up, not down, from 560 to 637 million tonnes," Mr Hunt said.
A spokesman for the minister said the numbers came from a 2012 report by the Climate Change Department. That report does contain the 637 million tonnes figure, but not in the context Mr Hunt used in the Lateline interview. The report says that under Labor's carbon pricing scheme emissions are likely to be 637 million tonnes in 2020.
It's a projection that takes the carbon price into account and predicts where our emissions will be in seven years time with a market-based carbon pricing method in place. The same report also finds that without the carbon price, emissions would be 8 per cent higher in 2020.
Mr Hunt has used modelling predicting an outcome in seven years' time to say the carbon price as it stands today is not effective. The figures are projections, not fact, and cannot be used to make a point about emissions rising over the 15 months the carbon price has been on the books....The most recent official data on emissions from the Climate Change Department is for December 2012, which covers the first six months of the carbon price.
At the end of 2012, total annual carbon emissions stood at 552 million tonnes, around the same as at the end of 2011."]
“Abbott shuts down Climate Commission” [#wtf] [#geekgirl]
[Via The Canberra Times] “The Abbott government has abolished the Climate Commission, which had been established to provide public information on the impacts and potential solutions to global warming. It is understood Environment Minister Greg Hunt rang chief climate commissioner Tim Flannery at 10am on Thursday to tell him the body had been shut down…The Australian Financial Review has reported that Mr Hunt has also ordered the closure of another key body in Australia’s climate change policy, the Climate Change Authority. The authority was created to advise the government on emissions reduction targets and caps and to detail international efforts to combat climate change. The authority was due to release a draft of a report on targets and caps next month.”
“Abbott’s ‘Back to Basics’ Ministry Criticised” [#geekgirl]
From SBS: ‘Liberal Senator Sue Boyce is shocked and embarrassed there is only one female cabinet minister in the incoming Abbott government.
Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott unveiled his ministerial line up on Monday, revealing the only woman in the cabinet is Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop.
Senator Boyce, who is retiring from parliament when her term in the Senate expires next July, said the lack of women in cabinet should be a wake up call for the Liberal Party.
“It’s a systemic problem for our party,” Senator Boyce said in a statement.
“It’s a shame that this shocking and embarrassing statistic will permanently tarnish a wonderful victory.”
Senator Boyce urged the party to reform preselection processes in order to foster the depth of talent to ensure both women and men take on senior roles.
She also had a crack at the coalition’s preselection process in her home state of Queensland where only six out of 30 candidates were women.
Meanwhile, interim Labor leader Chris Bowen says whole sections of Australian society and industries have been left unrepresented by the first Abbott Cabinet.
Mr Bowen says for example, there is no cabinet minister with specific responsibility for the important resources industry.
And he says the Abbott Cabinet represents a sad day for political representation of Australian women.
“All cabinet ministers and all ministers should always be appointed on merit. The fact that the new Prime Minister could only find – out of his entire party room – one female member of parliament that he regards as meritorious enough to serve in his cabinet is a sad indictment. The cabinet of Afghanistan now has more females in it than the cabinet of Australia.”‘
Coat Made Entirely of Male Chest Hair [#eww] [#geekgirl]
“We doubt if a phone call to PETA would result in a protest response to a new “fur” coat made entirely from millions of male chest hairs (yes, it’s true and no, men were not injured in the making of this product). UK dairy company Arla commissioned the coat for a series of parody advertisements in support of a new chocolate milk drink aimed at men for the brand Wing-Co. The “Man-fur Coat” is said to be “a wake-up call for the nation’s gents. A way to encourage them to readopt the values of assured ‘men’s men’ from yesteryear who would laugh nonchalantly in the face of adversity and be proud of their abundant manliness”.” [Via ecouterre]
“Twitter vs Female Protagonists in Video Games” [#geekgirl]
“#Skype with care – #Microsoft is reading everything you write” [#geekgirl]
The H Security reports that:
“A spokesman for the company confirmed that it scans messages to filter out spam and phishing websites. This explanation does not appear to fit the facts, however. Spam and phishing sites are not usually found on HTTPS pages. By contrast, Skype leaves the more commonly affected HTTP URLs, containing no information on ownership, untouched. Skype also sends head requests which merely fetches administrative information relating to the server. To check a site for spam or phishing, Skype would need to examine its content.
Back in January, civil rights groups sent an open letter to Microsoft questioning the security of Skype communication since the takeover. The groups behind the letter, which included the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Reporters without Borders expressed concern that the restructuring resulting from the takeover meant that Skype would have to comply with US laws on eavesdropping and would therefore have to permit government agencies and secret services to access Skype communications.
In summary, The H and heise Security believe that, having consented to Microsoft using all data transmitted over the service pretty much however it likes, all Skype users should assume that this will actually happen and that the company is not going to reveal what exactly it gets up to with this data.”
Well This Certainly Puts Our New #Exoskeletal Overlords in a New Light [#geekgirl]
…turns out they’ll all be littleuns [+ I thought Ripley's Exoskeleton-esque Power Loader suit was bangin']!