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Why Laurie Oakes called Julia Gillard a ‘pygmy’ at last night’s Walkey Awards

Last night, at the 55th Annual Walkley Awards, veteran television political reporter Laurie Oakes was honoured with the award for the most outstanding piece of journalism for his coverage of the Labor leaks during the federal election campaign. In addition to calling Prime Minister Julia Gillard's stance on WikiLeaks "ridiculous", he also posed the question, with typical dry humour, "When did 'leak' become a four letter word?"

CSIRO scientists break ground with mapping of Alzheimer’s protein [INNOVATOR]

A team of scientists, led by Dr Jose Varghese at CSIRO, has focused its research on a destructive protein known as amyloid beta, which assembles itself in the brain and builds up plaque that is associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Silex Systems buys collapsed Solar Systems’ assets, raising solar energy hopes (and many questions)

Plans by Silex Systems Limited to buy the assets of Solar Systems, the Melbourne-based solar energy company that was placed into administration last September, injects life into a cherished plan, but uncertainty persists. Government support is in the offing and, worse for engineers, the technology remains unproven at utility scale.

Australian Angel investors have a growing taste for Cleantech, at the expense of internet...

A national survey, released this week by capital raising magazine Wholesale Investor, suggests that Australian private investors have a growing preference for Cleantech, at the expense of Internet and IT plays.

Retail takes big fall in April (while most other sectors look promising)

According to the BSI, retail registered the biggest fall of all the industry sectors in April with a loss of 1.4%. The BSI, which tracks spending in the Australian market, indicated that sales fell in April across all sectors by 0.2%. Curiously, if one doesn’t take retail sales account, the BSI found that sales have risen by 0.3%, which is the highest rise since November 2009.

Want to learn Mandarin? A Melbourne startup shows off its ‘Mad’ language learning approach...

As a native English speaker, Matthew Ho was once frustrated by his attempts to learn Mandarin. This week, he's in Beijing showing off just how fun and addictive the language can be. Ho and his startup, Native Tongue, have been promoting Mandarin Madness, an educational gaming application, at TechCrunch Disrupt Beijing.

Protrada platform helps Winged Media get a $3 million from the Carnegie Innovation Fund

Winged Media, a developer of technologies in digital media, domain assets and online publishing, has raised $3 million from the Carnegie Innovation Fund, which is supported by the Innovation Investment Fund (IIF) program, a federal Government initiative. The investment will be used to further its Protrada platform. An aggregator of the major domain auction houses, Protrada allows members to buy and sell domains, and provides data and analysing tools.

Australians may be thinking globally, but they are shopping locally.

"There has been a shift in spending with more consumers searching for meaningfulness from their purchases,” said Melbourne-based social researcher Jeff Gilling. Small businesses should take the time to get to know their costumers individually and ask for their feedback, they should investigate how they can contribute to their local communities and should develop incentives to encourage customers to return.

Stay-at-home business mums risk losing their superannuation benefits

The insurance company designed with women in mind “Million Dollar Woman” is urging Australian business mums who stay at home to take care of their children to not neglect their superannuation contributions. The company has also launched three strategies to maximise their contributions.

So, you think starting a business is hard? Apparently, it’s not the most stressful...

A Newspoll survey, commissioned by Suncorp Life, has analysed what events are considered the most stressful for Australians. Having their house destroyed by natural disaster ranks in the first place, followed the by serious illness or injury. Curiously, many Australian men find marriage to be the most stressful event of their life.

Creative Industries Innovation Centre serves monthly business advice — and it’s free

Businesses operating in the creative field will be able to discuss their challenges in a free one-hour session with senior consultants in a new service beginning this month. The CIIC Biztro, an initiative of the Creative Industries Innovation Centre (CIIC), will be available in five cities.

Zygo’s football boots are ready to “deztruct” Australian sports

Zygo's boots are now available to be purchased in Australia. An Australian brand, Zygo was founded in 2004 by Con Hatzilias, a sports marketer. Zygo's boots have a special technology which enhances power, grip, spin and swerve.

Pitch Club Sydney

For those who are not familiar with the phenomenon of Pitch Club, it offers aspiring entrepreneurs a proven pathway to develop, evaluate and get the assistance they need to capitalise on their ideas.

NSW government partners with Tom McKaskill to create online tool for high-growth business

The NSW government is set to earn serious brownie points with aspiring business folk. It’s launched an online resource for entrepreneurs to facilitate high growth. Serial angel investor Dr Tom McKaskill joined forces with Industry & Investment NSW and the Australian Technology Showcase to develop the High Growth Diagnostic, currently in beta.

GoGet adds an electric vehicle to its Melbourne car fleet

In collaboration with several community and governmental organisations, Australian car sharing service GoGet has added the first fully electric vehicle to its Melbourne fleet.

Need startup capital? Australian Innovation Challenge Awards deadline extended to October 12

The deadline for The Australian’s innovation awards – presented by the daily in partnership with Shell and the Commonwealth Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research – has been extended, apparently on growing popular demand. The awards recognise innovation for the public good as well as breakthroughs that have potential for commercial use. The winners of each category will receive a cash prize of $5,000. The overall winner will receive an additional $25,000. The Backyard Innovation award open to the general public has a $10,000 prize.

Eventarc raises some cool funding from Domenic Carosa’s FCDF

Founded by web-developers Scott Handsaker and Andrew Edwards in November 2009, Eventarc has turned over AUS$4million in transactions in the past 13 months. That's approximately $300,000 per month. Becoming quickly revenue positive has proven to be an important factor when picking investments for the Future Capital Development Fund (FCDF), according to Domenic Carosa.

Phoenix companies are on the rise in Australia, according to research

Corporate remnants of the global financial crisis are back. According to new research by Vera Advantage Bureau, “phoenix companies” are on the rise. These companies have come back in the guise of new entities and are hiding their bad credit history by starting over on a clean slate. According to the report, the news has spooked many business owners.

Attention Australian web leaders! 9×9 Web Thinkers want to peek inside your brain…

We’re big fans of the new video project by 9x9 Web Thinkers. Not only does is look the business, it’s also got the smarts to back it up. If there is one fault we have with the concept, it is that the HTML5, while eye-popping and cool, is inherently unsharable. We would have liked to have shared a snippet with you here -- a teaser to whet your appetite -- but nay.

Australian crowdsourcing start-up DesignCrowd receives $3 million

The Australian venture capital firm Starfish Ventures has invested $3 million in DesignCrowd, according to a media release dispatched on Thursday. The Australian start-up, a design crowdsourcing community with more than 40,000 registered graphic designers, plans to use the new investment to launch two new services in 2012 and to expand its client base outside Australia.

FREE BUSINESS TOOLS

The Facebook Honey Trap with James Tuckerman [CHEAT SHEET]

This cheat sheet was developed to help small business operators harness the incomparable (and undeniable) potency of Facebook to recruit fans, spread the word, and (most importantly) generate inbound business.

FREE BUSINESS TOOL

INFOGRAPHICS

New Zealand’s Xero eyes US IPO, further disruption as subscribers increase...

Xero recently held its annual meeting in Wellington, during which the company revealed some interesting details about its future. As has been widely suspected, the...

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