Monthly Archives: April 2019

Tourists stranded in searing heat as Apple Maps fails

Source: The Age
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Motorists beware: use the new Apple Maps at your peril.

Police are “extremely concerned” at a large snafu in the program – tourists who use the new operating system iOS 6 to get to Mildura, on the Victorian-NSW border,are actually being sent 70 kilometres away to a national park.

Several motorists have become stranded in the Murray-Sunset National Park, where the mercury has recently risen to 46 degrees.

“Police are extremely concerned, as there is no water supply within the park … making this a potentially life-threatening issue,” a Victoria Police spokeswoman said.

“Some of the motorists located by police have been stranded for up to 24 hours without food or water and have walked long distances through dangerous terrain to get phone reception.”

Police tests on the mapping system confirm that it identifies Mildura as being in the middle of the park.

Officers have contacted Apple and hope to have the problems resolved soon.

The spokeswoman said that anyone travelling within Victoria “should rely on other forms of mapping until this matter is rectified”.

Apple has been contacted for comment.

A screengrab of the Apple Maps directions to Mildura. Source: Victoria Police

Uluru, bottom right, as seen on Apple Maps. Apple’s pin for it is not in the right spot.

The Twofold Bay Motor Inn in Eden, NSW appears to have relocated to Penshurst.

Geelong’s gone black and white.

Auckland in Apple Maps.

What Australia looks like when viewed from China in Apple Maps.

North Paramatta appears to have been renamed Baulkham Hills.

Is that a mountain or Lake Burley Griffin?

Another shot of Lake Burley Griffin.

The Three Sisters in Blue Mountains NSW looks somewhat eroded on Apple Maps.

There must not be too much around Singleton in NSW.

This Tamworth picture framing shop is depicted as being located in Sydney’s Ultimo.

Toowoomba QLD in Apple Maps, left, and Google Maps, right.

Cairns has been moved inland on Apple Maps.

“Lithgow” in NSW on Apple Maps, left, and on Google Maps, right. Apple Maps lists it in the wrong place.

River Derwent in Hobart shown on Apple Maps, left, and right on Google Maps. Apple Maps disconnects the river using land (it is not disconnected).

What Uluru looks like on Apple Maps.

Where Apple Maps think Kiama is located in NSW. Kiama is a coastal town.

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Why aren’t we getting inflight internet?

Qantas has scrapped its plans for inflight internet on A380 flights.You can get receive and send emails aboard almost any US domestic airliner for as little as $US1.95 for 15 minutes.
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The competition is fierce and no-one appears to be making money out of the service. The takeup rate is also miniscule, with just four per cent of flyers reportedly using it.

But airborne wi-fi was demanded mainly by business flyers, so it was provided.

Internationally, demand is also there, especially among business flyers, so leading airlines, like Singapore Airlines and Emirates, have jumped on board as the technology has become available, with rates starting at $US7.50 for basic access. Among the international carriers flying here, Cathay Pacific has promised a service and Qatar Airways has it aboard its new Boeing 787s, which begin flying to Perth this month.

But using a foreign airline is the only way you can now access inflight internet in Australian skies following Qantas’s decision to abandon its trial aboard A380s from Sydney and Melbourne to Singapore and London and, in the other direction, to Los Angeles.

Qantas said fewer than five per cent of passengers had accessed the serviced during the trial, according with international experience.

But the airline has decided it isn’t worth the hundreds of thousands of dollars per aircraft it must spend to provide the service.

“Naturally, the costs associated with offering a reliable internet connection in-flight are significantly higher than on the ground, particularly when you are flying over vast expanses of ocean and can’t connect to ground towers,” a Qantas spokesman told Fairfax.

The airline points out most of its A380 flights are overnight services and the vast majority of its customers prefer to sleep.

Qantas charged between $12.90 and $39.90 for its data packages in the trial – significantly more than the competition.

The airline says it is now concentrating on upgrading wi-fi access for its customers on the ground. Several months ago, the airline introduced free wi-fi access at its terminals in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.

Qantas’s new international partner, Emirates, has introduced the same technology on its A380 superjumbos with rates starting at $US7.50 for customers using five megabytes of data on their own mobile phones.

Virgin Australia’s partner Singapore Airlines (SIA) starting rates are also cheaper than Qantas’s at $US10 for 10 megabytes.

For the past two decades, Emirates and SIA have always been at the forefront in introducing the latest in-flight gadgets and it has paid off, particularly in Australia.

Emirates began its global marketing campaign two decades ago with the promise of video in every seat. Similarly, SIA gambled on new inflight entertainment (IFE) systems long before they were a proven product.

In the 1990s, IFE systems were full of wires that ran hot, sucked up a huge amount of the available onboard power – apart from anything, just to cool them down. And they were always breaking down; unserviceable IFE become the bane of of the lives of both airlines and their customers.

Qantas was one of the Western airlines that stood back and waited for the technology to become reliable before adopting it – and there’s no doubt who won that battle.

Emirates now has rights to operate more than 20 services a day to Australia and the Australasian region (Australia and New Zealand) now accounts for about a third of its global revenue.

Qantas appears to have made a sound commercial decision about the commercial potential of onboard wi-fi. It’s apparent that it’s never going to be a money-spinner – or at least it won’t be for some time until the cost of the technology comes down.

But it appears it has also given its key competitors another advantage with which to chip away at Qantas’s international market share on services to and from Australia.

Meanwhile, inside Australia, neither Qantas or Virgin Australia appear the least bit interested in providing wi-fi on domestic flights. Both are putting more effort into introducing onboard wi-fi designed just to run IFE applications without the telecommunications applications.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net. Read more »


Rape joke backfires on Virgin Mobile US

The offending ad that caused Sir Richard Branson to intervene. This was reportedly an earlier ad in the same campaign.
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Virgin Mobile US has pulled an online ad that appeared to make light of rape after an “epic marketing fail” that forced Sir Richard Branson to publicly intervene.

The ad depicted a man holding a gift while shielding a woman’s eyes with the caption: “The gift of Christmas surprise. Necklace? Or chloroform”.

References to the organic compound, once used as an anaesthetic but also as a tool for criminals to knock out their victims, sparked an immediate online backlash on Twitter after user EverydaySexism published a screenshot of the ad.

Many targeted their rage at Branson, prompting him to write on his blog that the ad was “ill-judged” and the company had “gone too far”.

“Although I don’t own the company, it carries our brand . . . having spoken with them just now they acknowledge a dreadful mistake was made,” Branson wrote.

“The advert, along with the whole calendar, has been removed, never to be seen again.”

An earlier posting reportedly in the Virgin Christmas ad campaign showed Santa giving a thumbs up with the caption: “Sees you when you’re sleeping – ladies”.

Virgin Mobile US is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sprint Nextel.

John Mescall, executive creative director at McCann Worldgroup and the brains behind the recent hit viral ad campaign “Dumb Ways to Die”, said it was “mind-boggling” the ad was made and described it as “an epic marketing fail on all accounts”.

“Humour is a very powerful way for a brand to generate the likeability that is needed to create memorability, but when using humour you have to accept that not everyone is going to enjoy it,” he said.

“It’s very subjective. But I’d imagine there’s one thing we can all agree on: rape jokes are never appropriate, full stop.”

Iain McDonald, founder of digital marketing agency Amnesia Razorfish, said some areas in advertising were “just no go”, particularly when there is a risk people could be hurt or offended.

“Bad taste jokes don’t work well for brands, especially in a social world where the power is very much with the consumer,” he said.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net. Read more »


Australian royal prank inquiry weighed

The Australian media watchdog is considering fast tracking an inquiry into Sydney radio station 2Day FM over its prank call to the London hospital caring for the Duchess of Cambridge last week.
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Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy told reporters in Sydney on Monday that the Australian Communications and Media Authority had taken the rare step of talking directly to 2Day FM to work out if an inquiry is needed into the call which preceded the death of a British nurse.

Usually, Australian consumers make complaints first to the media outlet concerned. If the complaint is unresolved, then ACMA becomes involved.

“The ACMA is talking to 2Day FM about the facts and issues surrounding the prank call,” Senator Conroy said.

”There is a provision for them to take action directly themselves … Hopefully we’ll hear from them shortly.”

On Sunday, NSW Police said they had been contacted by London Metropolitan Police about the prank, but there had been no specific request for information.

ACMA had earlier confirmed the volume of complaints matched the outcry over broadcaster Alan Jones saying the Prime Minister’s father had died of shame and Kyle Sandilands’s description of a female journalist as a ”fat slag.”

Senator Conroy noted that ACMA was an independent regulator, ”it’s not for me to tell them what to do,” but added that it was a ”very tragic set of circumstances”.

ACMA has the power to negotiate penalties with broadcasters (for example, when 2GB offered to Mr Jones have fact-checking training after he made false claims about climate change), impose licence conditions (2Day already has two; both for the Kyle and Jackie O show), or to suspend or revoke licences. The latter has never been done in Australia.

The chairman of Southern Cross Austereo has written to the London hospital that received 2Day FM’s notorious prank phone call to reassure them that immediate action would be taken over the incident.

Austereo suspended all advertising on 2Day FM on Saturday in response to an advertiser boycott after the suspected suicide of nurse Jacintha Saldanha, 46, who was taken in by the prank call.

Ad sales revenue was already under pressure, slumping 10 per cent in the three months to the end of September.

On Monday, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott told reporters in Sydney that the dust should be allowed to settled on the death of Ms Saldanha before there was debate on media regulation.

”This is a terrible tragedy, it’s a terrible tragedy for all involved. It was a prank that went horribly wrong. I think all we can do it mourn and grieve for everyone involved.”

With Ben Butler, Harriet Alexander, Julia MedewSupport is available for anyone who may be distressed by calling Lifeline 131 114, Mensline 1300 789 978, Kids Helpline 1800 551 800.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net. Read more »


Places in the heart: Marilynne Paspaley

As a ”typical cynical” teenager, Marilynne Paspaley thought Broome and its pearls boring. Fast forward and the WA businesswoman admits she adores this Kimberley town.
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I love looking at Broome’s landscape. The desert meets the sea and it has a unique beauty and contrasting colours. And you just can’t beat the beach — the ocean changes all day and still captures and surprises me. There is a softness about the colours that is calming and contemplative. We have the most wonderful sunsets and moonlight and a billion stars.

I saw my first Broome pearl when I was very young. My father was a master pearler here.I remember when I was a typical, cynical 16-year-old and I told my father that I thought pearl jewellery was boring. He gave me the challenge to create something beautiful and I made a magnificent bracelet, which was very exciting.

I used to go to the Shinju Matsuri, Broome’s Festival of the Pearl, when it was a genuine celebration of the end of the pearling season. It was a hidden treasure in those days and I met people from around the world who came to Broome just for that festival. There was feasting in the different communities – the Japanese, the Chinese and the general population.

The region’s food has always been fabulous because of the fresh local produce. One of my favourite foods is pearl meat. I like it raw with lemon or cooked with butter and olive oil, or Italian-style in a tomato sauce with champagne.

Broome has an incredible mix of blood and culture and is full of talented, creative people, including a wealth of recognised indigenous artists. There is a simplicity and natural beauty here that keeps you grounded and connected with everything and everyone around you.

Interview: Mal Chenu.

This series of articles produced with support from Tourism Australia.

Share your Australian Places in the Heart with Australia’s 3.7 million Facebook fans at Facebook上海夜网m/SeeAustralia

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net. Read more »


Redskins and Cowboys score comeback wins

The Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys both came back from the brink of defeat to win their National Football League games on Sunday and stay in contention for the playoffs.
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On a roller-coaster Week 14, full of drama and upsets, the Redskins beat the Baltimore Ravens 31-28 in overtime despite losing star rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III to a knee injury in the final quarter.

The Cowboys, still mourning the death of linebacker Jerry Brown who was killed in a car crash on Saturday, kicked a field goal as time expired to defeat the Cincinnati Bengals 20-19 in Ohio.

The Atlanta Falcons suffered a shock 30-20 loss, only their second of the season, to the struggling Carolina Panthers, while the Indianapolis Colts inched closer to booking a spot in the postseason with a 27-23 victory over the Tennessee Titans.

The Ravens (9-4) were on the verge of clinching their spot and the AFC North division when they led the Redskins 28-20 with 30 seconds to go and dangerman Griffin out of the game.

But Redskins backup quarterback Kirk Cousins threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon, then ran for the two-point conversion to force overtime.

Kai Forbath sealed Washington’s fourth straight win with a 34-yard field goal.

The Cowboys won for the fourth consecutive time to join the Redskins at 7-6 in the NFC East standings, just one win behind the reigning Super Bowl champions, the New York Giants, who were hosting the New Orleans Saints in a later game.

Dan Bailey booted a 40-yard field goal on the final play of the game after the Cowboys had trailed by nine points at the end of the third quarter.


The Falcons, already assured of their place in the playoffs, trailed 23-0 early in the third quarter against the Panthers, whose second year quarterback, Cam Newton, ran 116 yards and passed for 287.

Atlanta replied with three touchdowns but it was all too late to prevent the Panthers from recording another upset on a day full of comebacks and surprises.

The Colts, once again marshaled by rookie quarterback Andrew Luck, came back from a 13-point deficit to beat the Titans, securing the win with two late field goals from Adam Vinatieri.

The Minnesota Vikings beat the Chicago Bears 21-14 in an all NFC North clash that opened the way for the Green Bay Packers to grab the outright lead in the division if they won Sunday’s late feature game against Detroit.

The Pittsburgh Steelers, despite having Ben Roethlisberger back in action, were beaten 34-24 at home by the San Diego Chargers, harming their chance of making the playoffs. Philip Rivers threw three touchdown passes for the Chargers.

The Philadelphia Eagles scored two touchdowns in the last four minutes including one as time expired to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23-21 and end their eight-game losing streak.


The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net. Read more »


Action all too real as movie interrupted by car chase drama

Crash … the stolen car crashed into this green hatchback.A quiet night in front of the television turned into a live action drama for one Sydney resident when a man was arrested outside his home for allegedly leading police on a high-speed pursuit in the city’s inner east.
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The resident was watching the action flick The Bourne Identity in his living room in Paddington just after 1am on Monday when the sirens he initially thought were coming from his television seemed too realistic even for Hollywood.

“We thought the sirens were part of the movie, and then we realised they were getting closer,” the man, who did not want to be named, said.

He then heard a crash, which “sounded like a lot of broken metal and a lot of screeching tyres”, and ran outside to find a Ford Territory, which police said was stolen, had hit a small hatchback.

Police said officers had stopped the black Territory in Bondi Junction about 1am and the driver was unable to provide identification.

When officers went to their car to conduct checks, the driver allegedly mounted the gutter and hit the police car before speeding away.

Police chased the car, which allegedly reached speeds of 160km/h in a 60km/h zone.

Police said the Territory ran through a red light and struck a green hatchback at the intersection of Flinders Street and Moore Park Road in Paddington, before the driver again sped away and mounted a footpath, causing a large amount of property, suspected of being stolen, to fall from the boot.

The driver ran from the car before officers chased him and arrested him.

The 32-year-old driver was taken to the Prince of Wales Hospital for medical checks. He is expected to be questioned later today.

A female constable was taken to the same hospital for observation after the crash.

The man driving the green hatchback did not require treatment.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net. Read more »


Too high a price to pay

‘The chickens are included!’: Auctioneer Stephen Whitelaw at the auction of a Californian bungalow in Thornbury. It sold for $950,000.If 2012’s underperforming real estate market has a silver lining it could well be a sharper focus by vendors and agents on accurate price quoting. The New South Wales and South Australian governments are cracking down on the illegal practice of underquoting and Melbourne agents face rising pressure from buyers to provide accurate price guides.
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A new study by the Carlton North-based buyer advocate Secret Agent compares the advertised quote ranges of 324 inner suburban properties offered for sale between September and November with their eventual sale prices.

More than 78 per cent of the properties sold for prices above the high end of their quoted range. But the prices they fetched exceeded their quotes by an average of 8 per cent, and many experts would regard this as acceptable. Agents use comparable sales data and should be able to quote within 10 per cent of the selling price for most properties.

Secret Agent director Paul Osborne said when a property was quoted at ”$700,000-plus” and sold for $701,000 it was counted as selling above its quote. The survey showed 36 of 38 properties in Richmond sold for more than their quote. Properties in Fitzroy and Flemington were far more likely to sell within or below their quote.

Overall, the selling prices of the 324 properties, including 180 houses, exceeded their quoted range by a median $65,000.

At the onset of a property sale, a vendor and an agent sign a listing authority. Vendors can (but don’t have to) nominate the price they will sell for on this legal document. But the agent must appraise the property and provide an estimated selling price or price range.

”If the vendor writes on the authority, ‘I want $800,000’, even though the agent appraises the property at $650,000 to $700,000, then the agent must quote $800,000,” JPP Buyer Advocates director Ian James said.

He said more agents were removing all price quoting from advertisements and more vendors were writing ‘To be advised’ in the price section of authorities. ”Agents are buying the listing by telling the vendor they will get a lot more than what they really will, and they then low-quote to potential buyers,” he said.

NSW Fair Trading officers last month attended 20 Sydney auctions in a blitz on under-quoting.

The South Australia government has introduced a bill that will make it illegal for properties to be passed in at a higher price than the reserve, which must be set at no more than 10 per cent of the price acceptable to the vendor and listed on the listing authority contract.

In today’s more transparent market some buyers are voting with their feet. Mal James, of James Buyer Advocates, said he was seeing more buyers who refused to consider properties listed by agents who had a reputation for low-quoting. ”Owners should know they are losing buyers,” he said.

He isn’t impressed with agents who tell buyers ”we have interest around” a certain figure. ”A one-off figure is not an appropriate way to put a value on a home,” he said. ”Homes really do have a wide range.”

Real Estate Institute of Victoria spokesman Robert Larocca said the REIV and Consumer Affairs Victoria encouraged agents to offer a price quote range, rather than plus-style quotes.

Saturday’s auction clearance rate was 60 per cent for the 811 auctions reported to the institute.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net. Read more »