This is what happens when Apple launches an iPhone

Stephen Hutcheon   4:58 PM   Apple iPhone launches are highly stage-managed events designed to fuel gadget-envy.

Tech

Killer robots 'a small step away' and must be outlawed

The terminators of film might be closer than we think.

Ben Farmer   3:27 PM   Killer robots programmed to open fire without human control are just a “small step” from the battlefield and military powers should agree to outlaw them, a top United Nations official has said.

Comment

The geopolitics of Edward Snowden’s whistle-blowing

Edward Snowden speaking to European officials by videoconference link in June.

Chris Zappone   12:49 PM   Few contemporary figures can claim to have shifted the political agenda to the extent that National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden has.

Copyright

Consumer group ridicules government's piracy crackdown

The fake 'Minister for the Internet' in Choice's campaign.

Hannah Francis   11:14 AM   Consumer group launches ad campaign targeting policymakers in Canberra.

Comments 8

Tech

Chinese reportedly working on super-fast submarine that would 'fly' in an 'air bubble'

A "supercavitating" submarine creates a bubble of air that encompasses the whole vehicle by ejecting gas through the nose with enough force that it forms water vapor. This greatly reduces drag and allows it to travel at high speeds not possible by standard submarines.

Terrence McCoy   In the annals of vehicular locomotion, the submarine is the equivalent of the Walkman. It dazzled the masses when it hit, flexing nuclear-tipped missiles that completed the "nuclear triad" of deterrence.

How Google Maps put Australia on the map

Google whiteboard

Stephen Hutcheon   He was one of the Aussie co-founders of the start-up that became Google Maps but until now, he's kept a very low profile.

Tech

Experimental US hypersonic weapon destroyed seconds after launch

The U.S. Army’s Advanced Hypersonic Weapon took off for the first time in November 2011. The second test this week was less successful.

A hypersonic weapon being developed by the US military was destroyed four seconds after its launch from a test range in Alaska early on Monday after controllers detected a problem with the system, the Pentagon said.

Surveillance system being sold that can track mobile phones worldwide

Illustration: Michael Mucci

Craig Timberg   'Any tin-pot dictator with enough money' can buy systems marketed to foreign governments to gather users’ global location data.

Architecture students toast their designs on robots

Michael Power   Sydney University's Faculty of Architecture and Design is showcasing students' work with a bartending cocktail robot.

Bitcoin virtual currency can be used to pay for coffee, beer and facials

Sophie Brown pays for her drink with bitcoins on her phone at the Old Fitzroy.

Esther Han   It was once a figment of a geek's imagination. Now the virtual currency bitcoin is being accepted as easily as cards and cash at pubs, beauty salons and even carpet cleaning services.

Edited extract: Kim Williams' Rules of Engagement

Broadband excesses:  Kim Williams' new book <i>Rules of Engagement </i> explores the flawed strategy in the government's NBN contracts and rollout.

Kim Williams   Former Foxtel and News Corp chief executive's new book explores the dysfunctional regulatory regime that set the stage for the government's flawed and costly NBN rollout.

George W Bush completes Ice Bucket challenge

Patrick Begley   George Bush misunderestimates the Ice Bucket challenge

Twitter intrudes into your timeline

Twitter's latest policy to insert  Tweets into 'timelines' from accounts not followed by users has sparked a backlash.

Lisa Visentin   Twitter has dramatically altered its definition of a 'timeline' to allow for the inclusion of tweets from accounts users don't follow, based on what the site determines individual users will find 'relevant and interesting'.

Virtual currency

Tax Office decides bitcoins are assets, not currency

“You have to be a lunatic to do it": Not all financial advisers are fans of bitcoins.

Esther Han   The Australian Tax Office has released guidelines on bitcoins, and other digital currencies, saying it will provide certainty to users and the wider community.

Comments 22

Outage

Dodo and ClubTelco spark internet outage

Dodo customers were offline for most of Monday.

Ben Grubb   Customers of budget internet service providers Dodo and ClubTelco across Australia were left without a stable internet connection for at least 12 hours on Monday after technical issues caused intermittent or slow connectivity.

Comments 10

German secret agents listened in on Clinton, Kerry

German spies reportedly listened to a phone call by Hillary Clinton in 2012.

The German Foreign Intelligence Agency has admitted tapping "at least one" phone call each by Secretary of State John Kerry and his predecessor Hillary Clinton.

Tech

How flakey is the internet?

Something mundane broke the internent.

Turns out the net is held together with chewing gum and string

Telcos

Hanging up on payphones

Telephone booths are going out of fashion.

Tom Cowie   There used to be one on every street corner, now they're getting rarer. But payphones aren't dead yet, just endangered.

Comments 2

Banned drivers behind surge in electric bikes

Baron Katranski on an electric bike.

Tom Cowie   Sales of electric bicycles are surging thanks to their popularity with commuters including disqualified drivers.

Internet

Is the internet full? Major sites brought down by technical problems

Continuing technical issues from a growing number of connections could cost millions in revenue.

Tom Brooks-Pollock   Likely repeat of this week's technical problems affecting eBay would cost the economy millions as the internet runs out of space, experts fear