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2Day FM outrage: people power trumps regulators

The massive community backlash from the so-called royal prank-gone-wrong by two shock jocks on 2Day FM says a lot about the power of the people rather than the power of a company’s board or the regulators.
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So powerful was the community outcry when news spread that the prank had tragically culminated in the death of a nurse at King Edward VII Hospital that advertisers started to withdraw their advertising from the show and the company was forced to suspend it.

It was a similar community reaction to the comments made a few weeks ago by Alan Jones about the Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s father with suggestions that he had died of shame.

The regulator did nothing but consumers took to Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms, attacking the advertisers until they buckled under the pressure and withdrew their advertising. It also prompted Macquarie Radio Network to announce the temporary suspension of all advertising in its breakfast show and called it “21st century censorship via cyber bullying”.

In like fashion, the prospect of suspending the 2Day FM show along with the desertion of advertisers extended to the sharemarket, with the listed entity’s stock Southern Cross Media Group falling 6 per cent, as investors punted that the loss of advertisers would have a significant impact on the bottom line.

It is part of Australia’s culture to crack jokes but this time the joke turned from black comedy to a nightmare for all concerned.

It is yet another example of the power of social media to exert huge pressure on companies rather than the ineffectual regulators.

Just last week, Starbucks bowed to public pressure and pledged to pay taxes in the UK, despite regulators not being able to sanction the company for avoiding tax in the past three years as it was technically operating within the law. However, the consumer backlash – including people protesting outside its stores and the potentially huge damage to the brand – led to the company “volunteering” to pay 20 million pounds in tax.

Starbucks issued a statement that was gobsmacking but spoke volumes about the power of consumer and community backlashes. It said “it would pay a significant amount of tax during 2013 and 2014 regardless of whether the company is profitable during these years”.

Starbucks told the BBC the company had “listened to our customers” and was “making a number of changes in our business to ensure we pay corporation tax in the UK” – something it urged UK Uncut and other concerned parties to “carefully consider”.

There is no arguing that the 2Day FM prank was in poor taste but the tragedy that followed could never have been imagined. Nor do we know the background to it.

What we do know is the culture at Southern Cross Media Group is nasty and allows shock jocks to pull pranks all the time. The idea of a joke is everyone laughs, rather than it being at some unsuspecting person’s expense.

The board sets values for a company and if management takes decisions that are in contravention of the company’s values then something has to be done. Investors and directors of Southern Cross Media need to look at those values to see where they are falling short.

In this case the company has come out and said every attempt was made to ask for approval to run the pre-recorded tape but time ran out and it went to air and received lots of attention, which the station would have loved, until it all went horribly wrong.

What does it say about the brand? Does it put the quest for top ratings ahead of values?

With the power of social media growing exponentially, the debate is just about to begin.

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


If I’d known then what I know now …

“If you don’t have peers with pint-sized spit-bubble blowers, make mates that do. If at first your mothers’ group does not succeed, try again with another” … Melanie HearseAs Amy Corderoy reported earlier in the week, a new survey commissioned by the Mental Health Association NSW revealed that 42 per cent of mothers found the experience of parenthood much more stressful than they expected. And the twist in the tale? It’s the younger mothers who are most likely to be affected, with nearly a third reporting that they felt like other people were coping better than them, or experienced excessive worry and sadness.
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I’m not going to rehash the study. Instead, I’m going to rehash my own experience as a young mum that found parenthood much harder and more stressful than expected – so much so that by the time my first son was 15 months old, I was hospitalized with severe anxiety and depression. Before you switch off, it has a happy ending – perhaps the happiest part being that with baby number two, everything I learned from my experiences with number one made for a more enjoyable and relaxed ride.

The first few months as a new mum were okay. But I remember that when my hubby went to pick up takeaway on our first night back home, I ran away from my son as the thought ran through my mind that I could ‘squash him like a bug’. There was another moment, months later, where Max bounced face first off a coffee table in his bouncer, and I was terrified that if I told anyone they would take him away from me. But they were the only standout negative moments.

Then, when Max was about 10 months old, I stopped sleeping. I would have maybe two hours a night on a good night, but often I had none. After a month of this passed, I was a zombie. I was terrified and unhappy, and my mum and mother-in-law had to take it in shifts to take me to my doctor each day to report the same thing: still no change. I went on antidepressants, but I couldn’t shake the black dog.

At 2am, four weeks into the no-sleep regime, I called a cab, left a note for my husband, then set off for the emergency room to check myself in. My mum told me later how terrified she was to find out I was in the psych ward, and how brave she thought I was. But I wasn’t brave, I was determined – I had a son I’d previously adored who I was now afraid to be near, scared I’d become the star of one of those stories of a mum ‘flipping’ and hurting her kid.

With the support I had, I was able to be admitted as an outpatient, so I could go in and be checked out by day, see the counselors, and then go home to my parents’ house at night. I started to sleep again and the world slowly took on colour as my mum and I went for walks and talks. My husband bought my son to visit, and it makes me cry to say he barely felt like part of me – this is a kid I now consider a soul mate, we’re so in tune and alike.

One of the main things that moved my life forward was when my mum took Max and I to Ngala, a support service for families. I spilled my guts on the anxieties, the worries, the fears … everything that was becoming a new parent. I was the first of my friends to have a baby, so I had no one else to look and to see that what I was going through was all normal, and not at all the way I thought it would be. Without being too glib, the counsellor looked at me, almost puzzled, and said, “Well, all mums feel that way. It’s normal and it’s going to be okay.” And she helped me see how distorted my view of what parenthood ‘should’ look like really was.

Recalling that session reminds me of the funny photo doing the rounds at the moment. Snap one shows a mum and baby sleeping serenely side by side, captioned ‘perception’. Snap two, aptly captioned ‘reality’, shows a mum asleep with her toddler stretched across the bed, one foot planted over her mum’s face. The universal appeal of that meme tells us something – we all identify with having whole heartedly believed the top picture was what we were going to get, only to realize, after biting the apple, that picture two was the real deal.

So this is the happy part of my tale – the stuff that if I’d known then would have helped me enjoy little Max so much more (and why my experience with my second son, Sam, was light-years apart). The funny thing is that it has been almost seven years ago to the day that I first stopped sleeping, and therefore a month off the day I went to hospital. It goes to show that a lot can happen in seven years when you have lots of support!

Here’s my cheat sheet:Get as much professional advice and support as you can as a new parent, especially if you don’t have a huge and happy haven of girlfriends going through the same journey. Don’t ever feel afraid that what you’re going through is too weird, or too ‘not-fixable’ to share. Nothing is going to make you feel as normal (or as sheepish at your own anxieties/expectations) as another mum whacking you on the arm and hooting, ‘Oh my god, I thought it was just me!’ Accept help. Even if your sister, friend, mum or mother-in-law dish out unsolicited advice, or want to do things differently to you, grab their offers of help with both hands. You should have seen me go with baby number two – he was palmed off all over the place, even with his bachelor uncle. The kid is now confident, happy and sociable. You are not, as your mummy guilt might tell you, letting the team down by accepting a hand.If you are feeling like things are getting on top of you, visit your GP. Early intervention makes a difference – talking to them doesn’t mean you’ll ‘have’ to take medication, but they may refer you to a psychologist and set you up on the Medicare rebate plan.If you don’t have peers with pint-sized spit-bubble blowers, make mates that do. If at first your mothers’ group does not succeed, do try again with another. If your friend has a friend with a new bub, ignore any shyness or ‘can’t be bothered’-ness and catch up with her. Sharing war stories, poo jokes and special moments with someone going through the same thing is very reassuring. And if their house seems more pristine and ordered than yours … demand the house cleaner’s phone number.

To chat with other parents 24/7, visit the Essential Baby forums. To learn more about postnatal depression and anxiety, visit the PANDA website.

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


Chill-out zone: in the trenches with Melbourne Ice

Shannon Swan and Jason McFadyen turned their love of ice hockey into a compelling warts and all documentary.Some of the most compelling reality TV programs follow “ordinary” people in their extraordinary occupations. Goldminers in the Bering Sea; truckers in the Arctic; fishermen in the wildest waters of the Atlantic and Southern oceans; policing in fearsome urban jungles – shows that highlight such jobs are now a successful TV staple.
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Professional sports have remained one of the few realms to resist this trend, most clubs determined to protect and control how they are portrayed.

It took two Australians, following an amateur ice hockey team, to deliver a truly captivating “access all areas” sports documentary.

The Ice: Road to Three-Peat depicts Melbourne Ice in its 10th anniversary season as it strives to become the first team in the history of the Australian Ice Hockey League to win three successive titles.

The footage is not so much “behind the scenes” as embedded in the midst of them, the cameras mingling with coaches and players as they despair and exult, fight and score. For Resolution Media’s hockey-mad Shannon Swan and Jason McFadyen, it was a labour of love that blessed them with a surfeit of material.

In a remarkably eventful season, the club endured two major suspensions to key players, a form slump that tested their self-belief and team cohesion, and a near amputation to its star player, among many other dramas en route to a thrilling finals series.

Swan says the show worked because of trust and love.

“Deep down inside – we didn’t realise it at the time – but we’d fallen in love with the team and all the people involved.

“It’s a really weird thing because a lot of people say they were conscious of you having the camera around, and they were at the start, until we showed them the first episode – then we had their trust. And then it was almost like a cloak of invisibility: you could be in a room with a camera and no one would bat an eyelid. No one would even notice you were there, and that’s why we got all those shots.”

Swan and McFadyen believe that quickly winning the trust of the participants is vital to the success of such “workplace” documentaries. But they have further advice for those who would follow in their footsteps.

“Follow something that you love because you know it. And you’re going to spend a lot of time doing it so make sure you enjoy it.

“The other thing is they [the subjects] have got to have buy-in themselves. You can’t be continually trying to talk them in to doing something. They knew that they wanted to do it and why it was important.”

Ice president Andy Lamrock and coach Paul “Jaffa” Watson immediately grasped the impact the six-part series could have on their team, and the sport in Australia. But they could not have reasonably expected that it would be not only picked up and aired by Foxtel, but become the subject of international interest from documentary festivals and even US and Canadian broadcasters.

The producers say Watson was a “huge driver” of the show – calling the camera crew in when he knew something was going to happen.

“They realised what we were doing and that was when they saw the first episode they saw that we weren’t out to exploit them, that we had their back, we wanted to tell their story and promote the game.”

Despite its affection for the sport and the players, the production had to keep its distance.”Just observe the zoo, don’t be a part of the zoo,” Swan says. But that was a tough challenge.

“You’ve got to let the drama unfold in front of you. I found that probably the most difficult aspect of it, because they were all good blokes and we’re now friends with most of them.

“We had to make sure we weren’t censoring anything because we knew the guys . . . we definitely left a space for the audience to make up their minds. We didn’t sugarcoat any of the issues which happened . . . we had to stay neutral.”

That included keeping the cameras running when teammates were calling each other to account, or team captain Vinnie Hughes was involved in a controversial fight.

Swan and McFadyen were originally inspired to embark on a sports documentary in part by HBO’s acclaimed 24/7 series, which follows two professional ice hockey teams in the weeks leading up to the annual outdoors “Winter Classic” game.

However, the NHL teams involved in 24/7 remain commercial entities, the players wary, experienced media performers, and the production a commitment to just a slice of a long season.

Resolution considered doing the same for AFL, basketball or cricket in Australia, but found “they were all too censored and they were all too controlled”.

The best subject was right under their hockey-loving noses.

“People go on Big Brother to get something out of it, they want to be famous,” Swan says. “These guys were involved because they loved what they do, not because they wanted to be famous out of it, not because they wanted money but because . . . they loved what they do and they wanted to show off what they do. That’s why it was successful and people were themselves.”

Melbourne Ice players train and prepare as intently as many professional sportspeople, and the organisation, volunteer-run, has grown five-fold in three years since moving to the Icehouse in Melbourne’s Docklands.

The balance of the amateur and professional is precarious for Australian ice hockey, and its portrayal broadens the appeal of the series.

“They’re a minority sport, they’re amateurs, they don’t have to worry about sponsors, they don’t have to worry about a public profile yet – even though it’s on the verge of that,” Swan says.

“So they could be themselves. They didn’t have anything to lose, really, because they don’t have anything. So it was that opportunistic thing of their sport isn’t censored at this stage, there’s no public profile . . . So what you got was something that was really raw and it was real. So I think that’s why the results were so good and they were themselves.

“It did perfectly line up for us, the season they had, how down they got, even when they were two-nil down in the final. The story almost told itself, we were just lucky to be part of it.”

Swan and McFadyen enjoy all manner of documentaries – “Anything that gives an insight into what you just don’t get to see,” as McFadyen puts it. But they remain most in love with sport.

“I’ve always said that sport is the best reality TV,” Swan says. “A guy breaks his leg on the MCG on a Friday night and it’s everywhere. Someone on Big Brother does something and nobody cares, because it’s all set up.”

And they both loved making Road to Three-Peat so much that they are suffering withdrawal – it is hard to replicate that love they felt.

Detailing proposed follow-ups with Ice and the AIHL, McFadyen says they will miss “being part of the team and part of the club”.

“I don’t think we can handle not having any hockey around.”

But Swan says whatever the duo takes on next, it will never be the same as the extraordinary six months they spent with Melbourne Ice.

“That’s the hardest thing. Because even if we go on a road trip next year you’re not in the locker room, you’re not part of it, you’re in the crowd, you’re a fan again. So as much as you might have a couple of beers afterwards, you’re not in the trenches feeling every blow.”

Official site: The Ice: Road To Threepeat

The Age’s report on the AIHL 2012 grand final – click here

Melbourne Ice -click here

Melbourne Mustangs -click here

AIHL -click here

Melbourne Icehouse – click here

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


‘This is going to be a fortune’: investors wanted Obeids out of coal deal, inquiry told

“Why would we leave?” … Moses Obeid. Ian Macdonald.
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“They’ve looked down our throats and up our arses and they haven’t found anything,” was Moses Obeid’s angry reaction on being told that his family’s reputation would damage a coal deal and that the other investors wanted them out.

Mining magnate Travers Duncan told the Independent Commission Against Corruption on Monday that in 2010, when he was informed the family of controversial Labor MP Eddie Obeid had a 25 per cent shareholding in Cascade Coal, he wanted them out.

The commission is inquiring into whether Cascade Coal was corruptly awarded a coal exploration licence in 2009 by the then NSW mining minister Ian Macdonald.

The Obeid family and their associates bought up key farms in the Mount Penny area in advance of Mr Macdonald announcing that the area would be part of a coal tender.

They also managed to negotiate a 25 per cent stake in the winning bidder Cascade Coal.

Mr Duncan, who the commission has revealed dined regularly with Mr Macdonald throughout 2009, was one of a group of seven prominent businessmen who invested in Cascade Coal. Mr Duncan, 80, has denied receiving confidential government information from Mr Macdonald in relation to the tender.

The commission has heard that Mr Duncan was “quite surprised” when he found that a third party had a 25 per cent stake in Cascade in 2009. He said that he was informed by either investment banker Richard Poole or fellow mining magnate John McGuigan, both of whom were major investors in Cascade Coal.

However, Mr Duncan has claimed that it was not until early 2010 that he learned that the Obeids had the 25 per cent. “You’ve got to fix it,” Mr Duncan said he told Mr Poole.

“I don’t wish to repeat the language,” said Mr Duncan of Eddie Obeid’s son Moses’s expressed reluctance to leave the deal.

“Why would we go? This is going to be a fortune,” Mr Obeid is alleged to have said about the amount of coal that lay under their farms at Mount Penny.

Mr Duncan said he told them they should go then and there or they would be left with nothing. “I will out-spend you and you [your shareholding] will be diluted,” he threatened Moses Obeid.

In February 2010, Mr Poole’s investment bank Arthur Phillip prepared a document called Project Phoenix which was aimed at finding a way for White Energy, a public company which had five of the seven Cascade investors on its board, to buy Cascade. Part of that document referred to the “Sanitisation of Cascade” which was a code for getting rid of the Obeids in preparation for the sale.

The proposed $500 million sale later collapsed after the Australian Stock Exchange made inquiries about the identity of some of the Cascade shareholders and a mysterious $28 million payment which has now been revealed to have been part of the Obeids’ buyout.

Mr Duncan will be followed in the witness box by fellow millionaire Brian Flannery. Mr Duncan and Mr Flannery made more than $500 million each in 2009 when they sold their mining company Felix Resources to a Chinese conglomerate.

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


Buying into friendship and community

Ties that bind… the living area. Vendors Corinne Smith and Amara Jarrat.
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Renters from a new residential development in Erskineville became owners on Saturday, splashing $758,000 on a two-bedroom apartment.

The top-level apartment 3417 on 2/Nassau Lane had many features to offer, but the most valuable asset was something money can’t buy; the community feeling.

It was therefore no surprise for vendors Corinne Smith and Amara Jarrat when the winning bidder turned out to be their neighbour.

While the new owner wanted to remain anonymous, he had competition from two other renting parties of the block.

”You get a sense of friendship and community here that stays with you even when you move out,” Ms Smith said.

Although the development is only three years old, residents in the ”Motto 2” building have developed close ties.

”I think we bonded so well, because we all moved in at the same time in 2009. That night most of us went to a nearby pub and we have been on good terms ever since,” Ms Jarrat said.

The building has a large outdoor pool, a landscaped garden, and there’s plenty of space for visitors parking.

Designed by award-winning architects Allen Jack+Cottier, the building seems to have the right mix of public and private amenities.

The unit is split over two levels, with the master bedroom with an ensuite bathroom, a 33 square metre entertainer’s terrace and the entrance upstairs on level four. The large south-facing terrace is tiled and partly covered.

Downstairs is the main living area with an open-plan kitchen, a second bathroom with bath tub and two balconies adjacent to the large living and dining room with city views and the second bedroom.

The property has 129 square metres of combined indoor and outdoor living space, single security parking and a handy nine-square-metre storage space.

Real estate agent Ercan Ersan recorded 92 inspections in the past four weeks and issued 16 contracts, with six registered bidders present at the auction.

Progressing in increments of $20,000 to $30,000, the auction was driven by four active bidders, three of them residents of the building.

After the reserve price of $725,000 was met, increments were reduced to $5000 and further reduced to $2000 and $1000 before the hammer fell at $758,000.

The vendors are moving to Earlwood, where they have purchased a house with plans to start a family. They had paid $695,000 in 2009.

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


Shed as cladding a true vision

What is it that makes wonderful buildings speak to us? The sense of shelter promised? Memories evoked? Innovative revealed? The possibility of heritage lost, or futures held? Or, simple, is it beauty calling? When they speak, how do we respond?
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A wonderful old dilapidated structure in inner-city Sydney spoke so strongly to then architecture student Raffaello Rosselli he dared to dream – of his first commission, and of celebrating a classic example of the Australian shed.

The two-storey corrugated iron building from the 1940s sat at the back of an ordinary block in Redfern.

Originally used as a workshop,it was in disrepair. The block’s new owner was approaching architects to replace or repair.

At this stage Rosselli did something that still surprises him – he cold-called the owner, putting a passionate case for saving.

“I’d been cycling past for years, and loved it,” he says. “I’d dreamt of working on it.”

Despite being a student with no built works, Rosselli’s passion, idealism, youthful enthusiasm and solid approach won him the job.

His plan was simple: to “celebrate something typically Australia” by deconstructing the shed piece-by- piece, keeping all materials, building a timber-framed two-storey structure with the same footprint and then re-using the old to create new.

It now looks as close to the original as possible, with carefully resolved changes to meet the client’s brief.

While light and air previously flooded the building in an unplanned and unfettered way (from gaps in the roof and walls), Rosselli inserted evocative and appropriate corten steel-framed window boxes to the south and east, opening the structure to its location and light.

Responding to the client’s request for a contemporary western-facing wall, he designed “a simple, curved modern fibre-cement face”, inserting window boxes upstairs and sliding doors downstairs.

Internally, the program of spaces and materials are simple to maximise the allusion of spaciousness in what is, in reality , a very small footprint. Downstairs is one bathroom and large studio space. Upstairs, self-contained guest accommodation. Balancing the richness of the exterior walls, inside is a cool sea of white plasterboard.

“This building is really all about the exterior. What’s so beautiful is the patchwork of green, grey, rust, and silver iron, which highlights each of the building’s stages and its history. We had to add a very few newer pieces, but we kept these tucked behind the patchwork of older iron.”

I can’t think of a better Christmas story. Idealism rewarded, a building saved, and beauty of the raw form celebrated.

The Drawing Board will return on Sunday January 13. We wish you a cheerful and safe holiday season.

[email protected]上海夜网m

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


Good soil, food, water and a haircut can make your gardenias best in the street

Gardenia… one of Sydney’s most loved plants.A good garden should reflect your lifestyle.
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A great garden can improve it!

One of the most-loved plants in Sydney is the gardenia, and the most-asked question in the past 20 years is: how do I stop my gardenia leaves from going yellow? Second to that is: why don’t my gardenias flower?

Well it’s not that hard to have amazing gardenias. It’s a bit like a having a pet dog. If you start with some simple training, your dog is a lot easier to look after and then more enjoyable, which in turn means you spend more time with it and then it becomes easier.

Then you have a dog that everyone loves. It’s the same with gardenias. If you plant them in a well-drained fertile soil with a nice organic mulch, feed then, water them and give them a hair cut after flowering, your friends and family will think you are a guru in the garden.

What gardenias love

They are subtropical so they love the sun for six hours a day. If you can protect them from hot afternoon sun, even better.

Moist, well-drained soil.

Add Dynamic Lifter to the bottom of the hole when planting.

Mulch well, about 50mm deep around the plant. It helps with keeping the roots cool in summer and warmer in winter. Don’t build the mulch up around the trunk – this can cause rot.

Remove spent flowers. This will encourage a second and third flush. Just nip the buds off or you can pinch them of with your fingers.

After flowering has completely finished, you can reduce the size of the whole plant to whatever size you like to keep it compact.

Yes, you can cut them back hard, even to a stump.

If there are a few yellow leaves it’s nothing, just old age, but if the new growth looks yellowy rather than bright, happy lime green you’re in need of a complete fertiliser. I use Dynamic Lifter in spring and summer and give them a real boost with a liquid feed every couple of weeks with Yates Uplift.

As far as pests and diseases go, scale, mealy bug and sooty mould can be a problem but the presence of these insects would lead me to think the plant is in the wrong spot or under stress from lack of food and water.

Gardenias are a great plant for boarders and small hedges, and can grow and thrive in pots with good water supply.

I love my gardenias and get the maximum reward by planting them as a boarder to my front door. They fill the area from late spring to early autumn with the sweet smell of summer. When they are happy flowering and filling the area with perfume, I fall in love with my garden just a little bit more.

I love nothing more than cutting some flowers off at the bush and laying them in a large bowl of water. It looks great, but the free air-freshener when you walk in the door is amazing.

Jason Hodges is a presenter on Channel Seven’s Better Homes and Gardens. He talks landscaping on Mix 106.5.


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


Kimmorley sees Raiders as a ‘good challenge’

Canberra Raiders new assistant Coach Brett Kimmorley Canberra Raiders new assistant Coach Brett Kimmorley says the new role presents a “good challenge”.
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Kimmorley wasted no time taking up the appointment, joining the Raiders for training this morning.

Brett Kimmorley left the Canterbury Bulldogs to begin a “new chapter” in his coaching career and believes he can help instil a steely attitude in the Canberra Raiders in an attempt to end their inconsistent finals appearances.

Kimmorley wasted no time joining the Raiders, fronting for his first training session on Monday morning just days after signing a two-year deal to be David Furner’s assistant.

He was part of Des Hasler’s coaching team at the Bulldogs last season and helped the team into the NRL grand final.

But the chance to take on more responsibility convinced Kimmorley it was time to move to the capital and try something new.

“I’m very excited, it’s a new chapter and a good challenge for me,” Kimmorley said.

“The club [Canberra] is in a very good position at the moment … to be given the opportunity to be one of the assistant coaches is a great career move for myself.

“I was considered more of a specialist [halves] coach at Canterbury. The offer Dave gave me is great … it was just an opportunity for me to grow and have a shot.

“I feel like I’ve done a good apprenticeship, played for a number of years and last year taught me a lot working with Des for 12 months.

“It’s an interesting part of my own journey to develop … I hope it’s going to be a wonderful career move.”

Kimmorley will be with the Raiders full-time for the next two seasons.

However, his family will remain in Sydney and he will still be able to complete some of his duties working at Fox Sports when it slots in with the Raiders’ training and playing schedule.

Kimmorley played more than 300 games in the NRL and helped guide the Melbourne Storm to a premiership in 1999.

He represented Australia 20 times and NSW in 10 State of Origins.

His arrival in Canberra provides a big boost to the Green Machine, who have undergone a backroom overhaul despite finishing sixth on the ladder.

Head coach Furner has employed two new assistants – Kimmorley and former under-20s mentor Andrew Dunemann – to replace Andrew McFadden and Justin Morgan.

He has a new strength and conditioning coach and is still searching to add a sport scientist to his staff.

After a woeful start to their 2012 campaign, they fired in the back half of the season to earn a home semi final before losing to South Sydney.

But the Raiders haven’t been able to make the finals in consecutive seasons in almost a decade.

To break the pattern of making the finals one year and missing them the next, Kimmorley said the coaches needed to be strict to ensure there was an improved attitude.

“I think attitude is a big part of it and from the first training session I’ve seen, the players are certainly very accountable and all you can ask is they put the hard work in now,” Kimmorley said.

“In the end it’s up to the players how much they buy into their own pride and some of the excitement they would have got from the end of last season.

“It was a fair journey into the semis and it’s about getting that going from the start of the year.

“It’s a wonderful job to be offered and I hope I can do the best I can with some good times around the corner.”

Furner tried to recruit Kimmorley as a player at the end of 2010, but the champion halfback declined and decided to retire instead.

Meanwhile, Canberra captain David Shillington returned to training for the first time on Monday after being given an extended break because of his duties with the Australian team.

Shillington is the Raiders’ representative on the Rugby League Players Association, which is trying to negotiate an increase in the salary cap.

There will be another meeting in Sydney on Tuesday where the RLPA hopes its request will be granted.

But if negotiations stall, Shillington conceded a boycott of games was possible despite it not being his preferred option.

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


Dispute with PGA resolved, says Palmer

The first of Clive Palmer’s dinosaurs looms over his Coolum resort.Billionaire Clive Palmer reportedly locked PGA officials out of his resort over the weekend but has released a statement, saying issues with the golf tournament have been “resolved amicably”.
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The PGA is due to tee off at the resort on Thursday, a week after it was revealed the golfing body was looking for a new home for next year’s event because negotiations to host it at the resort had reached a stalemate.

Mr Palmer also placed signs around the Palmer Coolum Resort advertising his project Titanic II in the past few days, much to the chagrin of the organisers of the PGA golf tournament.

Last night he released a statement saying “issues” had been resolved, but he did not specify what the issues were.

“We had some issues with the PGA of Australia which have now been resolved amicably,” he said.

“The Australian PGA championship has been held at Coolum since 2002 and last year’s event saw more than 36,000 spectators come to Palmer Coolum Resort with at least a similar number expected this time around.

“We are very much looking forward to this year’s tournament.”

Mr Palmer said his resort – which was the Hyatt Regency before he bought it in February – had a “premier” golf course.

The Sunshine Coast Daily reported Mr Palmer locked PGA organisers out of his Coolum resort and told them they could not hold their tournament on his course after a dispute over signage.

Brian Thorburn, CEO of the PGA of Australia, confirmed the organisation had “signage concerns” with the resort however he did not address allegations Mr Palmer wanted to display Titanic II signs during the event.

“I’m pleased to say that the issues have been resolved this afternoon and the tournament will remain unaffected,” Mr Thorburn said in a statement yesterday.

Since buying and rebranding the resort Mr Palmer has faced a range of issues, including criticism of his plans to erect 150 replica dinosaurs at the resort.

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


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 »