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ACMA to use s313 to block illegal offshore gambling sites

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Image: Juan R Velasco, Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has warned it is set to get the nation’s ISPs to block offshore gambling sites that are in violation of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.

“The ability to have ISPs block illegal websites will be a valuable additional weapon in the ACMA’s arsenal in the fight against illegal online gambling,” ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said.

“If you have funds deposited with an illegal gambling site, you should withdraw those funds now.”

ACMA added that offshore gambling sites often do not pay out significant wins, with customers left with little recourse.  

Over 65 companies have exited the Australian market since 2017, when it began to enforce the rules, ACMA said, with the directors of those sites also being added onto the Department of Home Affairs Movement Alert List. ACMA has also reached out to regulators in those sites’ home countries.

“Public education is also crucial in deterring Australians from using these sites, given many illegal offshore gambling websites target Australians by using Australian themes and images, such as the Australian flag and native animals,” O’Loughlin said.

The blocks will occur under section 313 of the Telecommunications Act, the same powers that allowed the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to accidentally block 250,000 sites in April 2013. In its guidelines for blocking, each block needs to be signed off by the chair, deputy chair, or a senior executive within the ACMA, with each request to expire after a “specified time”.

“The ACMA will monitor at regular intervals the disruption of access to the website to ensure that it remains appropriate (that is, it is effective, responsible, as targeted as possible and is executed appropriately),” the guidelines states.

For most of the 21st century, the Australian government has sought to clamp down on online gambling.

Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said up to AU$400 million each year is spent on illegal gambling sites, amounting to AU$100 million in lost taxation.

“While ACMA has a range of powers to protect Australians from illegal gambling services — including issuing formal warnings and seeking civil penalty orders — it can be difficult to take direct action against faceless companies with no legal presence on our shores,” Fletcher said.

“This is an important partnership with the Communications Alliance, and I want to acknowledge industry’s support. Working with ACMA, these additional measures give ISPs the ability to block illegal websites, protecting Australians and contributing to a safer online gambling environment.”

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Lincoln Model L100 Concept Is Hyper-Luxury Electrification With Wild Doors And A Disco Floor

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Certainly, the exterior of the Model L100 Concept is memorable. Lincoln describes it as “the tension between exuberant elegance and subtle restraint,” and it’s clear that aerodynamics have played a big role in deciding the overall silhouette. We’ve seen how that chase for slipperiness through the air can lead to electric cars looking like relatively amorphous blobs, though that’s something Lincoln manages to avoid.

Instead, it plays with light, glass, and scale. The Model L100 Concept hunkers low to the ground, with a glass panoramic roof and reverse-hinged doors to add drama as well as make entering and exiting more straightforward. Sensors track the owner’s approach, meanwhile, with the promise of a curated light show both outside and inside. Then, the doors — which extend all the way back to the rear bumper — gape outward, while the entire glass roof section lifts up.

The concept is finished with a satin digital ceramic tricot metallic paint, shifting between cool blue and soft white. Instead of the traditional chrome, frosted acrylic has been used as a more sustainable alternative. The whole floor of the cabin, meanwhile, is one big digital panel capable of showing shifting graphics, colors, and patterns. 

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Here’s How Drones Could Change The Medical Industry

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UKRI’s program also has major implications for the medical industry in particular, both in terms of its future sustainability as well as efficiency. University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) Director Phil Woodford told BBC the Future Flight Challenge could help reduce traffic, pollution, and transport sensitive medical supplies, all at the same time. The project’s first phase will start with drones traveling between the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, Wesmorland, and Furness General Hospitals in Cumbria, using a dedicated 250ft airspace. Based on routes in Google Maps, the average driving distance of such trips more or less range from 20 to 40 miles.

The thing is, current means of delivering medical samples in Lancashire involves traveling to different hospitals several times a day using vans, taxis and motorcycles. Compared to such rudimentary means of travel, which Woodford said takes an hour or more depending on traffic, using medical drones are said to shorten the overall trip to just 15 minutes. Woodford argued that medical drone deliveries can make the process faster, safer, and doesn’t put unnecessary load on drivers and the environment. While drones have proven to be quite handy in space, properly integrating them on Earth’s busier air space is another story. Fortunately, the project is building a roadmap to tackle just that.

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Air Taxis Are About To Change The Future Of Travel

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An air taxi is basically a very small plane or helicopter that is capable of taking people on short trips. Unlike a regular taxi, an air taxi won’t be picking you up from or dropping you off at your front door. Instead, these aerial vehicles travel between pre-determined destinations that have purpose-built facilities. Do you need to get from the airport to the beach ASAP? Hop in an air taxi, and you’ll save a bit of vacation time. Along with Archer Aviation, several companies are developing the vehicles in anticipation of an industry boom; notable names include Bell Flight, Joby, Vertical Aerospace, and Wisk. 

Although air travel and the amount of fuel it uses is a favorite target of environmentalists, the chances are air taxis won’t find themselves in the firing line. While there probably won’t be enough of them available to impact road traffic, air taxis like the Joby Aero won’t really be adding to emissions, either. The Joby is electrically powered and can fly an amazing 150 miles on a single charge. In terms of price, taking an air taxi ride isn’t going to be cheap and it’s hard to see that changing. As with first-class flights, there will certainly be plenty who can afford the trips and will appreciate the convenience. However, most people will probably be sticking to standard taxis, at least for the foreseeable future.

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