Major quantum computational breakthrough is shaking up physics and maths
By Ittay Weiss
MIP* = RE is not a typo. It is a groundbreaking discovery and the catchy title of a recent paper in the field of quantum complexity theory. Complexity theory is a zoo of complexity classes collections of computational...
The WA government legislated itself a win in its dispute with Clive Palmer — and put itself above the law
By Lorraine Finlay
The events of the past few days in Western Australia have been extraordinary as the protracted conflict between the government and mining billionaire Clive Palmer reached a fever pitch.
Premier Mark McGowan declared the...
Canada's COVID Alert app is a case of tech-driven bad policy design
By Blayne Haggart
The July 31 release of Canadas COVID Alert app was greeted with almost universal praise. Privacy experts applauded its strong privacy protections, echoing the official app websites extensive detailing of how your privacy...
This university funding crisis was always coming – COVID-19 just accelerated it
By Richard Holden
In the early 1930s a 21-year-old undergraduate at the London School of Economics asked a great question during his summer research project: if my economics professors are right that markets are an efficient way to allocate...
In COVID's shadow, global terrorism goes quiet. But we have seen this before, and should be wary
By Greg Barton
Have we flattened the curve of global terrorism? In our COVID-19-obsessed news cycle stories about terrorism and terrorist attacks have largely disappeared. We now, though, understand a little more about how pandemics...
Israel suspends formal annexation of the West Bank, but its controversial settlements continue
By Dov Waxman
Editors note: In a historic agreement announced by President Trump on Aug. 13, Israel has suspended its plan to formally annex parts of the contested West Bank territory, in exchange for establishing full diplomatic...
The next invasion of insect pests will be discovered via social media
By Paul Manning Et Al
In mid-July, Reddit user erako shared a photo of some exotic-looking insects, curious as to what they were.
The insects seemed out of place for Mississauga, Ont. they were bright red, covered with black bands and...
COVID-19 has exposed the limits of philanthropy
By Adam Saifer
Against the backdrop of the WE Charity scandal and revelations of political nepotism and charitable shell corporations Canadian philanthropic foundations have quietly distributed more than $100 million in emergency funds...
Artificial intelligence is a totalitarian's dream - here's how to take power back
By Simon McCarthy-Jones
Individualistic western societies are built on the idea that no one knows our thoughts, desires or joys better than we do. And so we put ourselves, rather than the government, in charge of our lives. We tend to agree with...
How to know if your online shopping habit is a problem — and what to do if it is
By Melissa Norberg Et Al
As COVID-19 quarantines and lockdowns drive up psychological distress, many people have increased their screen time, including online shopping, to cope.
Like alcohol use or overeating, watching TV or surfing the...
Public relations is bad news
By Dan Guadagnolo
As the Canadian economy slowly recovers from COVID-19 lockdowns, there have been news articles suggesting the Canada Emergency Response Benefit is encouraging workers to stay off the job.
But a peek behind the headlines...
Mauritius is reeling from a spreading oil spill – and people are angry with how the government has handled it
By Adam Moolna
On the evening of Saturday July 25, the MV (Merchant Vessel) Wakashio grounded on coral reefs in the south-east of the Indian Ocean tropical island of Mauritius. The ship, a Japanese-owned but Panama-registered bulk...
Review of nine African 'blue economy' projects shows what works and what doesn't
By Ifesinachi Okafor-Yarwood
Africa has 38 coastal countries and six islands whose maritime industry is estimated to be worth US$1 trillion per year. This figure will increase as they develop their offshore hydrocarbon, energy, tourism, maritime...
Turkey's collapsing lira: government is running out of options for embattled currency
By Gulcin Ozkan
The Turkish lira hit its weakest ever level against the US dollar on August 7, trading at 7.36 at one point, having lost nearly 20% of its value since the beginning of the year. It comes almost two years to the day since...
Can ageing really be 'treated' or 'cured'? An evolutionary biologist explains
By Zachariah Wylde
As time passes, our fertility declines and our bodies start to fail. These natural changes are what we call ageing.
In recent decades, weve come leaps and bounds in treating and preventing some of the worlds leading...
Tensions rise on coronavirus handling as the media take control of the accountability narrative
By Denis Muller
Media coverage of disasters follows a broadly similar trajectory, even though the disasters themselves might take very different forms.
The COVID-19 crisis in Victoria is no exception.
Although it is unfolding over a...
The S&P 500 nears its all-time high. Here's why stock markets are defying economic reality
By James Doran
This old and playful maxim is typically not true: often the stock market is a good proxy for the economy and a very good indication of what will happen to it.
But it aptly captures the current divergence between stock...
Small businesses are being starved of funds: here's how to make their loans cheaper
By Isaac Gross
The government has widely touted its support for small businesses most notably the provision of loans subsidised by the Reserve Bank.
In its economic update on Friday the Reserve Bank talked up its low-cost Term...
Cyberspace is critical infrastructure – it will take effective government oversight to make it safe
By Francine Berman
A famous 1990s New Yorker cartoon showed two dogs at a computer and a caption that read On the Internet, nobody knows youre a dog. The cartoon represents a digital past when people required few safeguards on the internet....
TikTok and Microsoft: government agendas are driving businesses like no time since WW2 – here's what they can do about it
By Howard Yu
The Trump administration has turned up the heat on Chinese tech companies TikTok and WeChat with an executive order that US companies have 45 days to stop transacting with them. The administration has also recommended that...
Why Trump's WeChat ban does not make sense — and could actually cost him Chinese votes
By Wanning Sun
US President Donald Trumps recent moves against Tiktok, the popular video-sharing platform, have been widely seen as part of a new tech Cold War between the US and China.
Trump has cited security concerns to justify his...
How the shady world of the data industry strips away our freedoms
By Uri Gal
The recent questioning of the heads of Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple in the US Congress has highlighted the threat their practices pose to our privacy and democracy.
However these big four companies are only part...
Don't rush into a hydrogen economy until we know all the risks to our climate
By Graeme Pearman Et Al
There is global interest in the potential for a hydrogen economy, in part driven by a concern over climate change and the need to move away from fossil fuels.
This month, for example, Australias national science agency,...
Shorter meetings but longer days: how COVID-19 has changed the way we work
By Richard Holden
One of the many things COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on is the way many of us work.
Those fortunate enough to be able to work from home have been able to adapt to this new reality and it certainly has been...
100 days without COVID-19: how New Zealand got rid of a virus that keeps spreading across the world
By Michael Baker Et Al
On Sunday, New Zealand marked 100 days without community transmission of COVID-19.
From the first known case imported into New Zealand on February 26 to the last case of community transmission detected on May 1,...
Bingeing Netflix under lockdown? Here's why streaming comes at a cost to the environment
By Michael Fuhrer Et Al
Coronavirus lockdowns have led to a massive reduction in global emissions, but theres one area where energy usage is up way up during the pandemic: internet traffic.
Data-intensive video streaming, gaming and...
Early access to super doesn’t justify higher compulsory contributions
By Brendan Coates Et Al
A big part of the Morrison governments response to COVID-19 has been allowing people early access to their superannuation.
Australians who have claimed hardship have applied for A$30.7 billion to date.
This has been...
I'm devastated for Beirut – a city I thought I hated
By Rola El-Husseini
Since the explosion in Beirut Ive listened repeatedly to the song Ya Beirut (Oh Beirut) by the Lebanese diva Majida al-Roumi, while obsessively reading the news and checking on extended family members like any other...
Nuclear threats are increasing – here's how the US should prepare for a nuclear event
By Cham Dallas
On the 75th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, some may like to think the threat from nuclear weapons has receded. But there are clear signs of a growing nuclear arms race and that the U.S. is not very...
Twitter posts show that people are profoundly sad – and are visiting parks to cheer up
By Joe Roman Et Al
The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States is the deepest and longest period of malaise in a dozen years. Our colleagues at the University of Vermont have concluded this by analyzing posts on Twitter. The Vermont Complex...
How Beirut's port explosion exacerbates Lebanon's economic crisis
By Baumann Baumann
The explosion that tore through Beirut on Tuesday August 4 was so strong that shockwaves were felt on the island of Cyprus, over 200 kilometres away. At least 135 people were killed and 5,000 injured in the blast. Such...
US-China tensions give Southeast Asian nations reason to find other partners elsewhere
By Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat
As tensions between the US and China intensify, Southeast Asian countries, including Indonesia, should rethink their ties with the two great powers. They should lessen their dependency on the two countries by strengthening...
New research shows religious discrimination is on the rise around the world, including in Australia
By Nicholas Aroney
There is a theory that despite all the commotion, religious freedom faces no significant threat in Western democracies like Australia. Therefore, the argument goes, we do not need a federal Religious Discrimination...
These lesser-known songs deserve to be on your summer playlist
By James Deaville
Tired of all the news about COVID-19? Why not take your ears on holiday with a summer listening playlist, assembled by music faculty from Carleton University.
If youre tired of the old playlists yet are likewise...
How we rely on older adults, especially during the coronavirus pandemic
By Sally Chivers
Unprecedented might be the word of the COVID-19 pandemic. But for many, especially older adults, life has taken many abrupt turns. Maybe its their first pandemic, but its not the first time theyve pivoted without calling...
Unwelcome sea change: new research finds coastal flooding may cost up to 20% of global economy by 2100
By Ebru Kirezci Et Al
Over the past two weeks, storms pummelling the New South Wales coast have left beachfront homes at Wamberal on the verge of collapse. Its stark proof of the risks climate change and sea level rise pose to coastal...
Post-COVID, there'll be less of a reason to cut company tax than before
By Janine Dixon Et Al
Theyre at it again, pushing lower company tax as a way to resuscitate the economy.
The arguments were well ventilated at the time the government pushed for company tax cuts, failed to get support in the Senate, and then...
Forget a capital gains tax – what New Zealand needs is a tax on inherited wealth
By Jonathan Barrett
The worlds wealthiest people will transfer US$15.4 trillion in assets to their heirs in the next decade, according to a recent report.
Published by specialist data analysts Wealth-X, the report focused on the richest...
The COVID-19 crisis in aged care shows elimination is the only effective strategy
By Richard Holden
As Victoria struggles to get its hotel-quarantine-debacle-driven COVID-19 outbreak under control, there has been renewed focus on the plight of those in aged-care facilities.
The facts are these. Between March 26 and...
Data privacy: stricter European rules will have repercussions in Australia as global divisions grow
By Normann Witzleb
A big year for privacy just got bigger. On July 16, Europes top court ruled on the legality of two mechanisms for cross-border transfers of personal data.
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) struck down...
There aren't enough batteries to electrify all cars — focus on trucks and buses instead
By Cameron Roberts
We need to change our transportation system, and we need to do it quickly.
Road transportation is a major consumer of fossil fuels, contributing 16 per cent of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, which warm up...
Thermal cameras aren't perfect, but they can help control the coronavirus pandemic
By Roderick Thomas Et Al
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the world has rushed to deploy infrared thermal imaging cameras (also known as infrared radiometers) to measure peoples temperature and the technology has become big...
Data analysis shows wellbeing fell during the pandemic but improved under lockdown
By Mark Fabian Et Al
Lockdowns are seemingly vital for controlling COVID-19. Early evidence suggests they have a big effect on preventing deaths. But if were to keep using them, we also need to know their broader impacts. Many people are...
The importance of blood tests for Alzheimer's: 2 neurologists explain the recent findings
By Steven DeKosky Et Al
A blood test to diagnose Alzheimers disease moved closer to reality this week after new findings were announced at the Alzheimers Association International Conference on July 29, 2020. The test showed extremely high...
Business major fails to attract Latino students
By Kevin Singer Et Al
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the inequity of the U.S. economy toward minority racial and ethnic groups. Research shows that successful entrepreneurship can help reduce the racial wealth disparity, especially for the...
Private browsing: What it does – and doesn't do – to shield you from prying eyes on the web
By Lorrie Cranor
Many people look for more privacy when they browse the web by using their browsers in privacy-protecting modes, called Private Browsing in Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Apple Safari; Incognito in Google Chrome; and InPrivate...
Mars 2020: the hunt for life on the red planet is about to get serious
By Monica Grady
Next spring is going to be a busy time for Mars. In close succession, three spacecraft will arrive at the planet, joining the dozen or so craft already circling Mars. Two of the spacecraft were launched in the past couple...
Autonomous cars: five reasons they still aren't on our roads
By John McDermid
Elon Musk thinks his company Tesla will have fully autonomous cars ready by the end of 2020. There are no fundamental challenges remaining, he said recently. There are many small problems. And then theres the challenge of...
SpaceX: Crew Dragon is returning to Earth – here’s when to hold your breath
By Heather Muir
The Crew Dragon spacecraft, produced by private company SpaceX, is scheduled to return from the International Space Station (ISS) and splash down in the Atlantic ocean on August 2. Contingent on a favourable weather...
Five top tips for managing your personal finances during coronavirus
By Jonquil Lowe
When it comes to money, coronavirus has split the nation. Financial stress dominates for many of the 9.5 million employees on furlough, potentially facing unemployment as the scheme unwinds, and for those whose small...