This is the archive blog of Journoz.Com, the Guide to Internet Information Sources for Ethical Australian Journalists. To view the main website, click here:

Ethical Australian Journalists Guide


April 04, 2006

Bill's big bucks

Sometimes being a gazillionaire can be useful, viz. Bill Gates' Microsoft's decision to underwrite an entire issue of the influential Nature magazine about the future of computing. Where will we be in 2020? Go to to find out. Microsoft's sponsorship of this special issue means anyone, anywhere, can read the whole thing. Bravo, Bill. Money well spent.
Posted by belinda at 01:24 PM | Comments (0)

December 01, 2005

Growing concerns

The World Agricultural Information Centre Portal ( is a gateway to sites, documentation and facts and background about agriculture around the world. If you just want Australia, go via Oceania in the Geographical & Regional Information bit. Headings for Australia include General Information, Sustainable Development, Economic situation, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery sectors, and Technical Cooperation. Information in these sections includes reports, statistical data and noteworthy web sites. Maps, such as the Soil Degradation Map under Sustainable Development, may also feature. This is a hugely comprehensive and detailed background site for any journo on the agricultural beat.
Posted by belinda at 02:22 PM | Comments (0)

September 29, 2005

Talk about overkill

Who's got the bomb? And how many? Find out with a look at Nuclear Numbers, compiled by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace ( Apparently, there are 2,500 weapons on hair-trigger alert around the world. That's pretty grim. Also Russia has more than 5,800 nuclear warheads, five times what the US has. The report comprises recent information about the composition of global nuclear weapons stockpiles, approximately 5000 megatons in total. Find it at
Posted by belinda at 12:49 PM | Comments (0)

Too small for the naked eye

In just a few years, the field of nanotechnology has grown into a worldwide scientific and industrial enterprise. The US National Science Foundation ( predicts that the global marketplace for goods and services using nanotechnologies will grow to $1 trillion by 2015, and there are already more than 500 products -- self-cleaning windows, automobile paint, sunscreens -- that claim they are made with nanoscale or engineered nanomaterials. A new generation of drugs and biomedical devices will soon appear on the market as the disciplines of nanotechnology and biotechnology increasingly merge. But how safe is this stuff? Who is regulating it? A new report from the US-based Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars ( looks at these issues and what the public already know and think they want. The report, Informed Public Perceptions of Nanotechnology and Trust in Government, explores public attitudes and highlights the concerns people may have about nanotechnology's uses. It's at
Posted by belinda at 12:06 PM | Comments (0)

February 04, 2005

Freebie phoning

I've always liked the idea of the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) which apparently guarantees free phone calls over the internet. Figuring out how it works is something else. And if it's so good, why aren't more people using it? Is it too complicated? If not, why isn't Telstra worried? The Parliamentary Library has just done a Research Note on it. It's at According to the note: "A subscriber to VoIP service receives a handset that resembles and works like a normal telephone, but the service uses Internet Protocol (IP) technology over the data cable so as to provide more flexible phone calls ... A cheaper alternative is the use of computer microphones and speakers with software." For a clear idea of the legal and technical issues, this is a good start.
Posted by belinda at 11:39 AM | Comments (0)

December 02, 2004

As it happens

ScienceDaily ( is a breaking news site for science stories. It links back to original sources (mostly university research institutes and government agencies) but these are mostly American so may be hard to contact for Aussies. Still could be a source of hot tips. Making compost from old mobile phones, surfing injuries - there's a lot there. You can search and browse.
Posted by belinda at 03:55 PM | Comments (0)

October 26, 2004

Answers to questions

Don't know a genome from a garden gnome? Head off to ActionBioscience ( where you can get an easy intro to questions of genetics, biodiversity, biotechnology and other hot button issues. The site wants to teach people the basics and isn't out to make a buck out of it. Could be handy for journos new to the science or medical round.
Posted by belinda at 04:06 PM | Comments (0)

March 19, 2004

Wireless broadband

Wireless broadband sounds like a pipedream but it's on trial in Sydney right now, according to a story today in Wired News. The company launching it, Personal Broadband Australia, (, claim laptop and PDS users can roam up to 9 km from a base station and still achieve good connection speeds using their iBurst service. They claim 1 Megabit per second download speeds. Other companies are also looking to bring such products to market. Wireless broadband won't come cheap, but if it works, it might be a godsend in the bush too. Read the full details at,1282,62684,00.html/wn_ascii.
Posted by belinda at 03:51 PM | Comments (0)

March 11, 2004

Big toys

If gadgets are your thing, plug into Engadget and stay on top of what's new in mobile phones, audio and video, laptops, tablet PCs, handhelds, wireless and other expensive toys. It's a blog and it's at The compiler, Pete Rojas, used to write for the Gizmodo ( blog which is also gadget-lovers' heaven. The photo quality is pretty good so you can see what's what.
Posted by belinda at 01:42 PM | Comments (0)

February 20, 2004

I'm so surprised

The Union of Concerned Scientists, ( a group that includes 20 Nobel prizewinners, has condemned the Bush administration for distorting scientific facts to suit its own policy agenda on the environment, health policy, nuclear weapons and industry. Wired News has the story about the organisation's recently released report, Scientific Integrity in Policymaking, which can be found online at In addition, the UCS accuses the Bush administration of "stacking panels with like-minded and underqualified scientists with ties to industry, and eliminating some advisory committees altogether." Fighting words.
Posted by belinda at 11:16 AM | Comments (0)

February 04, 2004

Being a Scientist

Science may not be the most glamorous profession, but knowing what kinds of science are possible in such a fast-changing field may be useful - to school students, journalists looking for interview subjects, and others. The Australian Academy of Science has put up a site of interviews with Australian scientists at Transcripts are available and teachers notes are provided for anyone wnating to use them in the classroom.
Posted by belinda at 02:16 PM | Comments (0)

December 05, 2003

Smart houses

Is it possible to create a home environment that is aware of its occupants' whereabouts and activities? If so, how can such homes provide services to their inhabitants so as to enhance their quality of life or help them to maintain independence as they age? The Aware Home, a project at the Georgia Institute of Technology, is a research initiative that delves into issues such as privacy, design challenges, and software engineering required to make such homes work. Read the research at
Posted by belinda at 03:10 PM | Comments (0)

Expert advisors

The Media Resource Service (MediaResource) can help journalists find expert sources of information on science and technology to interview for news and features. MediaResource maintains a database of thousands of (mainly American) scientists, engineers, physicians and policy-makers who have agreed to provide information on short notice to print and broadcast journalists. You can find the email address or phone and fax numbers at Ther service is a a Public Understanding of Science Program of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society.
Posted by belinda at 03:05 PM | Comments (0)

October 06, 2003


The fun science mag, Annals of Improbable Research (AIR for short) (, presents awards called the Ig Nobels each year to scientists whose oddball research brings them joy. Prizewinners included the researcher who found the first case of homosexual necrophilia in the mallard duck and the Stockholm University scientists who penned the report, "Chickens Prefer Beautiful Humans". Wired News has the full story at,1282,60676,00.html/wn_ascii. The real Nobel Prizes will be progressively announced this week at
Posted by belinda at 12:12 PM | Comments (0)

September 30, 2003

A lot of hot air?

We've had engines powered by petrol, diesel, ethanol and solar power, so why not one propelled by air? Motor Developpement International (, a Luxembourg company, has a design for one, and hopes to distribute model fleets of them within the next year, according to Wired News. The car runs entirely on a stream of compressed air delivered to a two-stroke engine. Money is the crunch - the people who want the technology are not necessarily the ones who can afford to pay. Even at 300,000 euros to get a license to develop the car, it might be cheaper than implementing the Kyoto Protocol. Read the full story at,2554,60427,00.html/wn_ascii.
Posted by belinda at 09:45 AM | Comments (0)

August 06, 2003

McJobs - soon to be done by robots?

According to an article in Wired News by Marshall Brain, the creator of the excellent HowStuffWorks web site, many low-skilled jobs will be done by robots by 2030. (In some jobs where people are trained to parrot "have a nice day" insincerities ad nauseum, I'm not sure I'd even notice the difference - and you wouldn't have to smile back at a robot.) The story, which makes a persuasive case, is at,1367,59882,00.html/wn_ascii and quotes from Brain's article, Robotic Nation.
Posted by belinda at 01:16 PM | Comments (0)

June 26, 2003

Science and more science

Got a technical sports question? Try the Australian Sports Science Directory (, which provides a searchable database of Australian sport scientists. You could also check out some well-organised scientific information at the Federal Government's new Science Portal ( It will link you to research databases and directories, research by sector or topic, research organisations in higher education, government, medicine and biotechnology, research grants, government policies on specific issues such as biosecurity and to tools such as ResearchFinder.
Posted by belinda at 10:06 AM | Comments (0)

June 10, 2003

When the earth moves

When an earthquake hits, where would you go for information? The US Geological Survey Earthquake Hazards Program may not be a bad start,as it covers 'breaking' news on current quakes such as the June 7 quake in PNG that measured 6.6 on the Richter scale. The site is at Closer to home, Geoscience Australia covers quakes from all over too. Their quake page is at
Posted by belinda at 09:49 AM | Comments (0)

May 21, 2003

Scientists speak, public misunderstand?

When scientists speak, do the public always hear the right message? Good question - and one tackled by the UK's Economic & Social Research Council in a new 64-page report entitled Towards a better map: Science, the public and the media. The report is at . The report examines public misconceptions about three key science stories recently hot in the UK media - on climate change, genetics and the safety of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. There is an associated press release, Public Duped By Media Over MMR, at
Posted by belinda at 10:42 AM | Comments (0)

November 22, 2002

Stem cell research

The Parliamentary Library has published a current issues brief on stem cell research at
Posted by belinda at 12:33 PM | Comments (0)

November 08, 2002

Future Dilemmas

CSIRO's report - Future Dilemmas - Options to 2050 for Australia’s population, technology, resources and environment, written by CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems for DIMIA is online at A 63-page summary, Dilemmas Distilled: A Summary and Guide to the CSIRO Technical Report, can be got at the site as well.
Posted by belinda at 09:12 AM | Comments (0)