Briefly: Minecraft In Education, Apple's Tax Troubles, Telstra Throttles P2P

Brief news items of note for Lifehacker readers, including Telstra's plans to throttle pirates, Apple's gargantuan (alleged) Aussie tax dodge and how a video game is helping university students in flood-affected Queensland.

  • Is there anything Minecraft can't do? The popular sandbox building game has been used by a Queensland professor to create a virtual version of Bond University, complete with books, accurately rendered buildings and classrooms. The ambitious project has allowed students to attend classes despite the catastrophic impact of flooding in the area.
  • In the last financial year, Apple only paid $40 million in Australian taxes; less than one per cent of its $6 billion in revenue. Federal MP for Chifley, Ed Husic, raised the issue in the House of Representatives today, arguing that the electronics juggernaut has dodged a tax bill and needs to be taken to task. Husic blasted Apple for "maintain[ing] a cloak of invisibility" and accused key management of dodging scrutiny.
  • In a bid to combat online piracy, Telstra is trialing plans to throttle peer-to-peer (P2P) network traffic while also inspecting network traffic for pirated material. "The technology being used looks at characteristics of the data packet to identify the type of the traffic present," the telco explained in a statement.
  • Outspoken Harvey Norman CEO, Gerry Harvey, has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons in recent weeks. Financial services organisation Credit Suisse recently 'crowned' Harvey Norman as the most expensive retailer in Australia. The colourful brick-and-mortar promoter also lashed out at "leisure computers" during an interview with Ten Late News last night. "I think one of the great tragedies with youth is that they spend so much time playing games and crap on computers and they’re not outside...If I could get rid of computers, all leisure computers for all of Australia I probably would." Bless.

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