Surf Life Saving Australia extends drone operations this summer

ZDNet

Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) and Westpac have teamed up to deploy 51 drones around Australia during the nation's beach-going months. The drones are intended to provide aerial vision and surveillance to help spot rips and swimmers in distress, and could in future drop buoyancy devices to swimmers, the pair said. Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) President Graham Ford said the drones will be "hugely beneficial". "There is no better time than now to welcome new technologies that can help us protect more Australians," he said. The drones will be located throughout the New South Wales and Queensland coasts; at St Kilda and Frankston in Victoria, as well as a mobile unit; Semaphore Beach and Christies Beach in South Australia; at Frederick Henry Bay in Tasmania; at Cottesloe, Fremantle, Meelup, Smiths Beach, Secret Harbour, City Beach, Trigg, and Mullaloo in Western Australia; and one unit in Darwin.


Australia warns North Korea against 'reckless, dangerous threats'

The Japan Times

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – Australia's prime minister used a commemoration of a World War II naval battle on Monday to warn that his country and the United States would not tolerate North Korea's "reckless, dangerous threats" to regional peace. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull spoke at a dawn service in the northeastern city of Townsville where Australians and Americans gathered to remember the pivotal Battle of Coral Sea, which was fought from May 4 to 8, 1942 in waters about 800 km (500 miles) away. U.S. aircraft carriers supported by Australian cruisers stopped a Japanese naval invasion of the Papua New Guinea capital Port Moresby that would have cut communications between Australia and the United States had the Japanese forces prevailed. "Today Australia and the United States continue to work with our allies to address new security threats around the world," Turnbull said. "Together, we're taking a strong message to North Korea that we will not tolerate reckless, dangerous threats to the peace and stability of our region and we are united in our efforts to defeat the terrorists in the Middle East and Afghanistan," he added.


Spark NZ launches IoT network across New Zealand

ZDNet

New Zealand mobile telecommunications company Spark NZ has announced the launch of its Internet of Things (IoT) network, which is currently available in "60 percent of the places New Zealanders live and work." The LoRaWAN IoT network has been switched on in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, Palmerston North, Shannon, Blenheim, Nelson, and Dunedin. It will additionally provide coverage by June 2018 to Queenstown, Whangarei, Pukekohe, Gisborne, Napier, Taupo, New Plymouth, Whanganui, Timaru, Hastings, and Invercargill, with the latter two to go live within weeks. The network consists of gateways and antennas installed atop Spark NZ's 4G cell sites, with the telco using Actility's ThingPark Wireless platform, Kerlink's gateways, and Kordia to build and maintain the network. Spark NZ said it will enable business and local governments to deploy sensors across infrastructure including vehicles, machinery, rubbish bins, car parks, and livestock, with the telco saying it would cost around AU$1.79 per cow to connect each month to track location and body temperature.


Samoa makes a lasting impression on this traveler, even 40 years on

Los Angeles Times

I thoroughly enjoyed Christopher Reynolds' article about Samoa and the people there ("The Samoan Way," Dec. 25). About 40 years ago, I was on a game show and won a trip to Australia and New Zealand. The flight to Australia stopped in Samoa for perhaps 30 minutes. I got off the plane with a few others and was greeted by a group of Samoans singing beautifully. In regards to "She Set Off to Visit All 59 National Parks, From Maine to Pago Pago" [online (www.lat.ms/visitingparks),


American scientist dies while rock climbing in New Zealand

FOX News

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – The family of an American scientist who died while rock climbing in New Zealand is urging other climbers to carefully consider their reliance on equipment that's been left permanently attached to rock faces. New Zealand police on Friday identified the woman who died as 28-year-old Lauren "Kimi" Worrell, who had just finished a master's degree at the University of Auckland. A LinkedIn page indicates Worrell had worked as an environmental scientist in the San Francisco Bay area. Worrell's family issued a statement through police saying Kimi was an avid outdoor enthusiast and rock climber. They said she died Sunday while preparing to descend a challenging 120 meter (400 foot) rock face at Castle Rock, near the town of Whitianga on New Zealand's North Island.