Monday, November 29, 2010

Apple, RIM admit mobiles emit more than allowable radiation.

KEEP your flash new mobile phone in your pocket and you risk "serious harm", according to the maker of the BlackBerry, while Apple admits its iPhone can exceed exposure guidelines. 

There is rapidly-growing demand for information about the health effects of radio frequency energy - so much so that early next year Australia's largest mobile retailer Telstra will publish comparison data on mobiles' "specific absorption rate".
Consumers for the first time will be able to analyse phone SAR side by side. The regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), does not produce such information. In fact, phone manuals often do not even disclose the Australian standard for SAR.
However, manuals do contain some disturbing admissions in their fine print. The user guide to the BlackBerry Torch advises using its "approved holster with an integrated belt clip or maintain a distance" of 25mm between the "BlackBerry device and your body while the BlackBerry device is transmitting".
"Use of body-worn accessories, other than RIM-approved holsters with an integrated belt clip, might cause your BlackBerry device to exceed radio frequency (RF) exposure standards. The long-term effects of exceeding RF exposure standards might present a risk of serious harm."
And the Apple iPhone 4 guide says: "iPhone's SAR measurement may exceed [US] . . . exposure guidelines for body-worn operation if positioned less than 15mm from the body (eg, when carrying iPhone in your pocket)."

The BlackBerry's maker, Research in Motion, did not respond to requests for comment. Apple would not comment on exposure levels for "body-worn operation". But Telstra's electromagnetic energy co-ordinator Mike Wood said: "Technically speaking, under the worst-case scenario, you might be in breach of the SAR limit."

Still, the phones were safe, Mr Wood said.
ACMA said it didn't set the exposure limits. The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, which sets the limit, did not return calls. The Australian SAR limit for mobiles is 2 watts per kilogram of tissue, higher than the 1.6W/kg in the US.
Australian Centre for RF Bioeffects Research executive director, University of Wollongong Professor Rodney Croft, said: "Even if it is over the limit there is no evidence . . . that it would cause harm unless it was at least 50 times the limit."
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Ban on police using race or skin color to describe offenders - Outrage

WA POLICE have defended their policy of banning ethnic or religious words to describe offenders after it was attacked by the Police Union as 'political correctness gone mad'. 

The policy, a direct order from Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan, means officers can no longer use details such as a suspect's nationality, race or religion when seeking public help.
Instead, they have been told to say if the person is light or dark skinned.
WA Police are standing by their policy, saying many people don't actually know what people of different nationalities look like.

"More general descriptors limit the chances for people to make error," WA Police Media spokesman Samuel Dinnison says.

"People have different terms of reference and if we narrow investigations down to specific race, the person may have gotten it wrong and that may limit an investigation. Narrowing it down too much can be detrimental to an investigation."
The Equal Opportunities Commission says the ban was introduced six months ago after complaints that using ethnic descriptions was racist.
The commission agreed that witnesses who made reports to police would often get the ethnicity of a suspect wrong.

WA Police Union president Russell Armstrong wants the rule overturned, arguing that using "scant descriptions" makes it harder to catch criminals.

"If you just turn around and say we are looking for a 20-year-old male, 180cm, with black hair, how many people in the community does that description fit?" he said.
"If somebody is Australian or if somebody is English or if somebody is Nigerian, wherever they are from, police should be allowed to say that in their description of offenders.
 One police insider said the policy had prevented the capture of suspects.

"These rules don't give a true indication of who police are looking for," the source said.
"There is a big difference between a dark-skinned person being Aboriginal or African. And if we are looking for an Asian person-of-interest it's a bit narrow to describe them as simply having fair skin and dark hair."
But Equal Opportunity Commission state commissioner Yvonne Henderson said using ethnic descriptions reinforced negative stereotypes.
"It can feed into prejudiced ideas in the community about which ethnicities are mainly responsible for criminal behaviour," she said.
Other states including Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory use the nationally agreed ANZPAA policy which limits the description categories to broad groups including Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander, Asian, Middle-Eastern or Caucasian appearance unless there has been a positive identification of the nationality of a person described.
Read more about Race order is 'PC gone mad', say cops at PerthNow.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Chance of more explosions at mine

Nov 25, 2010 1:02pm
PIKE River coal mine is still not safe and it could take weeks to get bodies, says company.

A large reservoir of gas means there are risks of explosions "today, tomorrow or the next day," he said in Greymouth today.

The company is mobilising quickly to look at recovering the bodies of 29 miners - including two Australians - for their families, but this could take "weeks".
"We have to make certain decisions and have to make them quickly," Mr Whittall said.
Once the mine was safe, recovering the bodies could take a "couple of weeks or more or less", he said.
"This is not going to happen in the next couple of days," he said.
The men were trapped underground by an explosion on Friday afternoon and police believe there are no survivors following a second, larger explosion yesterday.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key flew into Greymouth today, and said his main priority was to speak to the miners' families.

"We are really trying to bring as much comfort as we can in the most trying of times. The nation is grieving alongside them," he said before heading to a midday meeting with families.
Tears and anger: Relatives learn all hope is gone

Key also wanted to personally thank everyone involved in the planned rescue attempt.
He said the recovery operation could employ a "number of different techniques", which could include bringing in equipment from Australia.

"It is natural that families would want bodies recovered so they can have some closure but that just can't happen until we are in a position to go into the mine," he told NZPA.
He was in discussions with Grey district mayor Tony Kokshoorn about holding a local memorial service and a national service would probably be held in Christchurch in early December, he said.
Earlier today he said he hoped the families would take some comfort in the knowledge the country was "sharing their pain".

"One thing that has shone through all of this bleakness has been the fact that New Zealand has rallied around and I think every New Zealander felt very deeply the news... that the second explosion had taken place and what that meant for the people inside the mine," he told TV1's Breakfast Show.
The 29 miners and contractors have not been heard of since an initial explosion on Friday afternoon.
After a second massive explosion at 2.37pm local time yesterday Pike River chief executive Peter Whittall returned from the mine to break the heart-breaking news to the families of the men that there were unlikely to have been any survivors.

Mr Key said he didn't know when the men's bodies would be recovered but a number of options were being explored.

"Of course, the most important thing at this point now is to stabilise the environment so it's safe for those rescue teams to go in and take the bodies out."

He said there was likely to be a commission of inquiry rather than a royal commission of inquiry, which was more suited to social issues such as genetic engineering.

"So look, at the end of the day here, we need answers to what happened at Pike River - clearly something's gone terribly wrong and it's now claimed the lives of 29 people."
Separate coronial, police and Labour Department inquiries would also be held.
Meanwhile, flags were flying at half-mast across New Zealand and in Australia today for the mine victims.
Queensland men Joshua Ufer, 25, and Willy Joynson, 49, were among the 29 miners who died.
A family spokesman for Mr Joynson's wife, Kim, said yesterday's terrible news would allow the family to finish a process they had already started.
"Kim, in the back of her mind, had already prepared herself for this," he said.

"She had had that setback. I don't know whether she had really begun grieving but once the finality came it was just bang, here it is."

The family were in the process of moving back to Australia, with Mr Joynson waiting until his children, Jonathan, 13, and Benjamin, 10, had finished the school term before he quit his job. Mr Joynson worked as a leading hand at Pike River.

The family of Josh Ufer, 25, gave no comment.
Pregnant partner Rachelle Weaver, who lives in Greymouth, was grieving with his mother Joanne, father Karl and sister Kymberley in the coastal township.
Mr Ufer's father also works in the mining industry and flew from China this week to be with his family.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has offered Australia's condolences to all those involved and told the Australian relatives: "We want you to understand that the nation is grieving with you at this dreadful and difficult time."

Now Facebook comes in actual book form

Nov 25, 2010 5:02pm
FACEBOOK users flock to get a physical record of their favourite photos, friends and updates.
Now it looks like people want to move them back off again — not for privacy reasons, but because they look better that way.

Facebook users have jumped at the chance to have a physical copy of their online "moments" printed for them so as never to forget their favourite status updates, photos or comments.
One thousand limited edition Facebook books, created by French advertising agency DDB, disappeared in the space of an hour, the agency said.
The books were part of a campaign to launch French telecommunications company Bouygues Télécom's Facebook page.

"We decided to look at the way we use Facebook and found that even though we use the social networking site everyday, we forget our favourite moments," said DDB's Siavosh Zabeti.
"So we created an app that could change that, and keep your Facebook, in a book."
While DDB's Facebook books are completely sold out, Facebook fans wanting to have their status updates, wall messages, comments and photos published can still visit Facebook app EgoBook to create a physical Facebook memoir.

A personalised EgoBook can be purchased from the company for about €30 ($40). The price changes slightly depending on the book's content.
In November 2009 a company called TweetBookz started giving Twitter users the opportunity to self-publish their own book of tweets.
The books, which can still be purchased from, cost about $15 for a soft cover edition or $25 for a hard cover edition and include a selection of up to 200 of your tweets.

SCOOP: Ric Birch Slams Commonwealth Games Organisers and Indian Govt

This is an open letter from Commonweath Games International Creative Consultant Ric Birch. Reader comments follow at end.
He reveals a staggering series of problems including non payments and equipment stranded in India six weeks after the Games!

He says:
I wish to bring to your attention the shameful behaviour of those members of Indian Government agencies who were, or continue to be, responsible for the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games......
You will see from the attached letters and papers that despite the enormous success of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, the Delhi 2010 organizers and agencies have refused to make final payments to any of the international service providers, despite fully executed contracts being entered into by the organizing committee. Even worse, the government Customs department is totally unable or unwilling to re-export all the contractors equipment that was imported to India on temporary carnets for the ceremonies ! This means that all the lighting instruments, all the audio equipment, the aerostat logistics and support equipment and the pyrotechnic control equipment is simply sitting in containers in Delhi because of the incompetence of government officials and Organizing Committee personnel.

It is extraordinary, because India claims to be a growing economy that is interested in exporting to the world - but the inability of Indian government agencies to handle a straightforward import/export transaction makes it doubtful whether any international company can rely upon India's ability to conduct business in a proper manner. The following is an extract of a letter from one of the suppliers whose goods are stranded in Delhi due to the combined incompetence and intransigence of the Organizing Committee, the Indian Customs Departmnent and Agility - the official supplier of freight forwarding services to the Organizing Committee.

I have been in contact with some of the other contractors and specifically with the project manager from the communications company involved in the project. He tells me that he spent many days at the OC offices in his prolonged stay in India to try and clear his freight for export. He also visited the customs container terminal twice aswell.

When he visited the terminal for the first time, on a Friday afternoon, he was told by one official that everything for these exports is to be done exactly by the book and following all the necessary details. On the following Monday when he went back to the terminal to further investigate the process he was told by a different official that "no-one there was prepared to be involved with processing any freight for export used on the Commonwealth Games". When asked what the problem was, he was told that because of all the corruption charges no-one wants to be involved with clearing CWG freight in case they lose their job.

If they follow all the rules I cannot see why they would lose their jobs ?

In his visits to the customs terminal and conversations with officials there he was also told that special conditions for the import of freight for sole use of the CWG were put in place. However no such special conditions were arranged for the re-export of the same freight. As a result Indian customs do not know how to deal with the CWG freight and are scared of losing their job if they do process it.

As has been proven time and again, the Organizing Committee were only interested in making themselves look good and lost interest completely as soon as the Closing Ceremony finished.

Shovana Narayan's title is Special Director-General of Ceremonies. An email to her from one of the contractors describes his frustration in finding Shovana in central India, rather than attending to her Commonwealth Games duties.

Further to our telephone conversation.
We demand and expect immediate payment of all our outstanding amounts today.
We have supplied every element of our end of the contract to the highest possible standard, but the OC continues to fail to meet its contractual obligations of making the payments in terms with the contract.
We can no longer accept any more delays or excuses and will initiate legal action to pursue all payments, plus additional equipment rental fees and damages, if payment is not made with the next 24hours and evidence of bank documentation of such payment is faxed or email to us.
I trust you will ensure that all person's at the OC are informed and advised by you to ensure this payment is made today.

The level of frustration among contractors shows up most clearly when staff of the Delhi 2010 organising committee reveal their complete lack of qualifications or experience for their jobs, as in the following masterpiece from Mohib Jaffrey,  the person at Delhi 2010 in charge of Logistics and Freight - who has been totally unable to arrange re-export of the containers which were his responsibility. Instead he lists the documents that he was meant to prepare, but has not.

Let me just explain the entire process involved in getting the GR Waiver..
The Documents namely Import invoices,Packing list,Duty Exemption Certificates,Bill of ladingy/AWB, Undertaking, Export Invoice & packing list, FEMA letter for request, Orignal Triplicate copy of Import bill of entry are first attested & checked by Logistics Dept & Finance Dept.
Once the above mentioned are checked & verified then they get submitted in the Bank where the bank takes their own time 3-4 days a minimum to re-check them.
Then the bank issues the GR waiver which is done on the basis of each shipping bill individually.
Queries if any with respect to any of the 10 submitted documents exist then the same need to be addressed, failing which we go back to the first stage of compiling the desired bunch of documents all over again.
As we understand that each & every shipment is EXTREMELY urgent hence we want queries if any to be addressed immediately.
Hence we request the Agents to assist up to the stage of getting the GR waivers from the bank.
With each passing day we understand that the frustrations are increasing all over hence to avoid delays we solicit your co-operation.
As a matter of fact since yesterday the bank too has witheld the issuance of GR waivers as they have sought clarifications of the same from their regional offices.
Would update you accordingly.
Thank you

We wrote to the following people to alert them to our problem: NONE of them responded:
MIKE HOOPER - CEO of the Commonwealth Games Federation
SANJIV MITTAL - Deputy Chairman Delhi 2010
SINDHUSHREE KHULLAR - Secretary-General of the Sports Union
RANDHIR SINGH - Indian Delegate to the IOC
JARNAIL SINGH - CEO Delhi Organizing Committee
RAM MOHAN - Director of Legal Dept. Delhi 2010
STUART CORBISHLEY - Deputy Director of Legal Dept.
Group Capt'n K.K. REDDY - Finance Director Delhi 2010
J.J.THOMPSON - Special Advisor from Prime Minister to Delhi 2010
S.S.ROA - Special Advisor from Prime Minister to Delhi 2010
AMARJ SINGH - Special Advisor from Prime Minister to Delhi 2010
SHOVANA NARAYAN - Special Director-General Ceremonies and Culture Delhi 2010
INDU ANAND - Deputy Director Ceremonies and Culture Delhi 2010

What is required to obtain normal business courtesies in India ?

Certainly this type of behaviour makes it extremely unlikely that any of the interrnational suppliers, consultants and contractors involved in Delhi 2010 would in any way support or endorse any future attempt by India to host the Olympic Games, should India decide to make a bid. The behaviour of the organizers and Indian government agencies has been so shameful that any international company must beware of entering into any business contracts with Indian government agencies.

Ric Birch
CEO Spectak
International Creative Consultant to the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games

Friday, November 19, 2010

Christian Church sold to muslim group, Mundine fined for illegal works

BOXER Anthony Mundine and league star Hazem El Masri have been fined for illegally beginning work to convert a Christian church into a mosque.

The pair were fined $600 and ordered to stop illegal work on the proposed Islamic prayer hall at Roselands, in Sydney's south, after sections of the building were demolished without council approval.

Nearby residents are now forming an association to formally oppose the place of worship, which will operate seven days a week and feature Koranic tutorials and Arabic classes.

Gallery: See the site of the proposed mosque

Mundine already has been caught up in a planning row after a consortium linked to the boxer purchased a Central Coast resort for $6 million, causing residents to threaten legal action against its zoning if it was turned into an Islamic prayer facility and retreat .

In the latest matter, the Anthony Mundine and Hazem El Masri Association bought the old Chinese Christian Assembly church in Ludgate St, Roselands, for $875,000 last year.

Canterbury Council issued the fine and stop work order after the demolition of the roof and internal walls.

The site remains idle, surrounded by wire fencing, while the council considers a late development application lodged by architect Rod Zoabi.

While Mundine or El Masri could not be contacted yesterday, Mr Zoabi said there already was approval for a place of public worship and the application was only for structural repairs.

"The owners were unaware the removal and replacement of the roof structure would be deemed illegal", the application before council stated.

"It is our best intention, as well as the owners', to ensure a high level of design and satisfaction by all parties, including neighbours, council and the general public."

Council general manager Jim Montague said the retrospective application would be considered next year.

But Ludgate St residents yesterday said they would oppose the application - not because it was Islamic but because of the increased days of worship, from the Christian Assembly's once a week to seven days a week and up to three sessions a day.

The Christian church was sold after 20 years of services.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

soccer club mistakes Nazi soldiers for Australians

BUNGLING football bosses have been left red-faced after a special Remembrance matchday program used a picture of Nazi troops. 

The shocking image was on the front cover of Airdrie United's magazine for Saturday's Scottish League Division Two clash against Livingston.
Club officials insisted they thought it showed Australian soldiers.
But the snap actually features nurses handing out water to grinning German soldiers on a train during World War Two.
On the photo are the words: "Lest We Forget" plus a PoppyScotland logo and the slogan: "Supporting Our Heroes".
 Program designers wanted to combine the game with Remembrance Day tributes but complained that another picture featuring a train looked contrived. They finally settled on the picture which they thought showed Australian troops returning from battle.

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What a farce - crooked judge lets speeding lamborgini owner off the hook

A MECHANIC charged with recklessly driving a Lamborghini at more than 155km/h has been acquitted by a magistrate who admits he's a Top Gear "tragic".
Police had accused mechanic Leone Antonino Magistro, 53, of driving at high speed on a Perth highway on January 6 this year.
Mr Magistro was at the wheel of a bright yellow 2006 Lamborghini Gallardo he had just picked up from a client, Dr Patrick Nugawela.
He was heading back to his workshop in Perth's north when he was spotted by a police officer in a Ford Falcon.
Senior Constable Michael Brent told Perth Magistrates Court that the sports car's exhaust was belching blue smoke. He tried to keep up with the Lamborghini and had reached 160km/h but Mr Magostro's speed was too quick.

Magistrate Michael Wheeler acquitted Mr Magistro of all charges, saying there was no way the two police officer could accurately determine how fast the Lamborghini was going.
"Ultimately, the police vehicle was so far behind the Lamborghini at all times that when the police vehicle seemed to be doing 160km/h it was impossible to really estimate, or really guesstimate, how fast the (Lamborghini) was moving away from them," the magistrate said.
Mr Wheeler said he did not doubt Senior Constable Brent's honesty when he told the court the police vehicle was travelling at 160km/h but the distance between the two vehicles - 100 to 200 metres - raised questions about the accuracy of the police officer's opinion of what speed Mr Magistro was travelling.
Furthermore, Mr Magistro said, there was never a chance of the police officer's Ford Falcon getting close enough to the Lamborghini to accurately determine its speed.

"With no disrespect to the Ford Falcon couldn't cut the mustard with the Lamborghini being driven by the accused ... it couldn't even catch my car in all honesty," the magistrate said.
He also raised the issue of police not having pursuit vehicles, saying that Senior Constable Brent would probably never have expected it when he arrived in Western Australia from the UK.
"He would have thought he'd never find himself driving a bog-standard Ford Falcon when he came to Australia but I suppose that's what bean counters do," he said.
Mr Magistro was acquitted of reckless driving by Mr Wheeler, who also found there was no evidence he was driving dangerously.

Before handing down his judgment, Mr Wheeler told the court he had a keen interest and vast knowledge of "useless information" about sports cars.
"I have to confess, I'm a Top Gear tragic and know so much useless information about (the 2006 Lamborghini Gallardo) I have to disregard," he said.
"I know (that) in 2006 Top Gear named the Lamborghini Gallardo as the dream car of the year. (Top Gear host) Jeremy Clarkson bought one, in fact, in 2006."
He also noted that he watched Top Gear on Tuesday night when the celebrity guest, actress Kristin Scott Thomas, said she was about to buy a Lamborghini Gallardo.
Mr Magistro was awarded $18,000 in court costs.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Call for a "Dubai in the outback" to save Oz tourism

Australia needs more infrastructure such as Dubai's famous Atlantis Palm development to lure more international tourists Source: Supplied
  • Australia "needs bigger hotels, more airports"
  • Tourism sector in danger unless we "invest"
  • Push to convert desert into Dubai-style oasis

AUSTRALIA should consider building a Dubai-style oasis in the middle of the desert to help boost its tourism potential, a leading economist says.
Access Economics director Professor Ian Harper, who will speak at the Australian Tourism Directions Conference in Canberra today, said Australia's share in the international tourist market would drop within the next three years if it didn't urgently invest in new experiences and infrastructure, such as hotels and bigger airports.
"We need to be imaginative and think very laterally," Prof Harper said.
"It might make sense to build some dedicated facility out in the desert which would be a major distributing hub for other parts of Australia.
"We are on the cusp of the largest movement of people into the middle class that the world has ever seen and there's going to be plenty of demand from China and India and other parts of Asia.

"If we don't plan for what is going to be in many ways a bonanza we're going to be sorry for that."
While Australians think of lying on the beach for their holidays, Prof Harper said that's not necessarily what our Asian neighbours want to do.

"If we were to keep our share constant we would have to build a whole bunch of new hotels and rebuild our tourism structure," he said.

"If we can just keep our relative position as these countries move up the development curve there will be more than enough for us to build a very big industry out of this."
Prof Harper said Australia was too focused on the mining industry at the expense of service industries, like tourism, and needed to diversify.

"Tourism is one of the most regionally dispersed industries that we have and a lot of tourism money finds its way to regional Australia and into indigenous communities," he said.
While Australian tourism has struggled in recent years, thanks to a strong dollar and the economic downturn, Prof Harper said there was room for growth in the long-term.

"The exchange rate is going to go up and down and there will be good seasons and bad seasons," he said.
Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy said the conference, a result of the National Long-Term Tourism Strategy, would set the agenda for the next decade.

His said the number of seats on planes coming into Australia needed to rise by 50 per cent and domestic air seats by 25 per cent if tourism was to achieve its $140 billion potential.

He also wants to see 40,000 new beds, largely in capital cities, and better quality regional accommodation.

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Queensland Premier Anna Bligh denies school asbestos cover-up

QUEENSLAND Premier Anna Bligh says it's regrettable a school community wasn't told about an asbestos find but denies there's been a cover-up. 

Asbestos was found in August 2008 in mulch around a new walkway that linked two campuses of Redcliffe State High School, north of Brisbane.

Ms Bligh today said the decision not to tell students, parents and staff of the find was made after officials determined there was no risk to the community.

But she admits that was a mistake.

"... that is not good enough. I think the community should have been advised and I understand the (education) minister has been taking steps to make sure that happens in the future," she told reporters north of Brisbane.

"This decision, taken two years ago by technical officers on the grounds that it posed no threat, is regrettable."

But she insisted there was no cover-up.

"Here in Queensland we have the most transparent system of managing asbestos in our schools of any education system in Australia," Ms Bligh said.

"I want parents and school communities to know whenever there is asbestos in their schools. That is why we have published registers."

Meanwhile, the Queensland Teachers Union is threatening possible industrial action if the Government does not remove asbestos from buildings at Atherton State High School, southwest of Cairns.

Meetings were held at the school last week with unions and asbestos experts after the decontamination of two classrooms and a staff room.

Union spokeswoman Maureen Duffy said teachers, cleaners and staff were deeply concerned about having been exposed to asbestos prior to the decontamination work.

"We have given them until Monday next week to come up with some answers," Ms Duffy said.

"We want them to agree to removing all the asbestos, otherwise (tomorrow) we will be voting about whether to take industrial action."

She said unions were advising school and auxiliary staff to file WorkCover notifications in case they fell ill down the track.

The world's new fastest supercomputer can perform 2750,000,000,000,000 calculations per second

CHINA overtook the US at the head of the world of supercomputing today when a survey ranked one of its machines the fastest on the planet. 
China's Tianhe-1 supercomputer, which has been recognised as the world's fastest. Picture: NVIDIA

Tianhe-1, meaning Milky Way, achieved a computing speed of 2570 trillion calculations per second, earning it the number one spot in the Top 500 survey of supercomputers.
The Jaguar computer at a US government facility in Tennessee, which had held the top spot, was ranked second with a speed of 1750 trillion calculations per second.
Tianhe-1 does its warp-speed "thinking" at the National Centre for Supercomputing in the northern port city of Tianjin – using mostly chips designed by US companies.
Another Chinese system, the Nebulae machine at the National Supercomputing Centre in the southern city of Shenzhen, came in third.

The US still dominates, with more than half of the entries in the Top 500 list, but China now boasts 42 systems in the rankings, putting it ahead of Japan, France, Germany and Britain.
It is not the first time that the US has had its digital crown stolen by an Asian upstart. In 2002, Japan made a machine with more power than the top 20 American computers put together.
The supercomputers on the Top 500 list, which is produced twice a year, are rated based on speed of performance in a benchmark test by experts from Germany and the US.

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The Pope isn't a fan of the internet. Make a note

POPE Benedict XVI has warned that the internet does not make people more humane but instead risks increasing a "sense of solitude and disorientation" among "numbed" young people.
"A large number of young people... establish forms of communication that to do not increase humaneness but instead risk increasing a sense of solitude and disorientation," The Pope told a Vatican conference on culture.
He also said that young people were being "numbed" by the internet, adding that the technology was creating an "educational emergency – a challenge that we can and must respond to with creative intelligence".
The Pope last month said the growing use of new technologies should set off "an alarm bell" as it was blurring the boundary between truth and illusion.

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Indian websites do your homework for $2

AUSTRALIAN high school and university students are outsourcing their homework to sweatshops in India, Pakistan and Egypt which provide English essays and maths papers for as little as $2.
Websites such as, realassignment and dissertation offer fixed-price tariffs or auction-style services where students put work out to tender and workers, mostly graduates from India and Pakistan, bid to take on the projects.
Schools are powerless to stop cheaters using the outsourcing services because custom-made work cannot usually be detected by plagiarism software.

Matt Barrie, founder of, a website designed to put small businesses in touch with affordable labour in emerging economies, said homework assignments were frequently submitted to his site.

"We get them all the time," he said. "As a lecturer myself, I really don't approve, but kids will be kids - they will always find a way to cheat.

"There are students in India who will give answers for just a few dollars and I have seen maths questions answered for $2 a go."
The Sunday Telegraph tracked down one worker offering his services, graduate Mohammed Ali Khan, 23, of Islamabad, Pakistan.
He is turning out essays and papers for high school and university students, charging $2 per 100 words.
"It's my part-time job," he said. "I get work from all over the world including Australia, the US and the UK.
"I've done many jobs for Australian students," he said. "Australians mainly ask for university papers but I've done some high-school work, too."

When asked how much he would charge for a 1000-word Year 12 English language essay, he said $US10.
Academics are concerned about the new customised cheating factories on the net.
"We take this very seriously but, sadly, it's no surprise," University of Western Sydney associate dean Craig Ellis said.

"In the past five years there's been an explosion in sites where you can download pre-written assignments, but we have the mechanisms that allow us to cross-reference essays to identify this. But the trend towards custom-produced work at such low costs is particularly worrying because it is that much harder to spot."
In Australia, .au offers high-school papers at $16.79 per page with a two-month deadline, rising to $54 per page for PhD-standard work with a 24-hour deadline.
It claims it is now working on essays and dissertations for 1000 Australian students.
The NSW Department of Education warned that any students caught cheating would be given zero marks.
"The Department emphasises to students the importance of the ethical use of technology both in and out of school," a spokesman said.
"Parents have a responsibility to monitor their children's computer use while at home."

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Another cracker Ebay Ad

1995 Daihatsu Charade Limited Edition (Toscana model) hatchback. In good overall condition.  Straight body, good paint and interior.  Registration expired, but will register again with minimal work.

Other useful facts:
  • Female owner (but by no means a "girls" car)
  • Sporty look, impress your friends
  • Consumes little fuel - get up to a week from a single tank.
  • Nostalgia guaranteed with a built-in tape deck (also includes attached CD stacker for the more youthful driver). 
  • Would make a great first, second or even third car.
  • Easy to park - will fit into those tiny parking spots that aren't really parking spots. 
  • Virginity was lost in car, can be kept if found.
  • Unisex 'metallic' paint colour.
  • Mick Jagger once rented a similar model car while on a holiday in Italy in the mid 1990's

    Free extras included:
    • Will paint racing stripes on request for the successful bidder.
    • Will copy a CD of classic driving songs for the successful bidder to listen to while driving home in their new car. Including: Born to be wild, Man on the run, Black betty, We are the champions, Bust a move, and many more. 
    • $2 coin stuck under the drivers seat is yours to keep.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Busted top cop reveals tips and tricks on how they get you, and how to be avoided..

THE extent of the sneaky tricks some cops use to catch motorists has been revealed after a highly decorated officer was booked for speeding while trying to investigate a suspicious vehicle. 
Chief Inspector Mark Death was off duty and travelling to Sydney to pick up his children at the start of the Easter long weekend when he saw a bright blue Holden SS ute "driving in an improper manner" on the F3.

Instincts from his 27 years of policing also told him to keep an eye on the car "hoodlums drive", given its dark, potentially illegal window tinting.
He overtook the ute several times to try to get a look at its occupants before changing lanes and letting it overtake him.

He didn't think any more of it until he received a speeding fine in the mail two weeks later.
He had been booked by "covert speed enforcement" travelling 125km/h in a 110km/h zone, leaving him with a $197 fine and a six demerit points.

When attempts to have the fine revoked failed, Insp Death was left with no option but to fight it in court.
Rather than defend his actions - and risk exposing "sensitive" undercover speed enforcement practices - the loyal officer fell on his sword and pleaded guilty.

Magistrate Alan Railton dismissed the fine and demerit points without conviction.
sInspector Death declined to comment outside court but emails tendered in his defence to the Traffic Services branch and the State Debt Recovery Office were scathing of the covert cops' highway antics.

He described the type of enforcement as "questionable" under standard operating procedures and "lacking integrity".
"The choice of a Commodore ute with heavily tinted windows is a bad choice of vehicle," he said

Secrecy shrouds bank boss loans

BANK executives are taking out huge loans with their own organisations but refusing to say what interest rates they pay.
Immediate family members also qualify for the deals, and so do any companies they are involved with outside of their banking roles, but the secrecy surrounding the loans is raising suspicions that they are enjoying extraordinarily low rates.
For example, in Westpac's last annual report, Greg Bartlett, former boss of St George, is listed as having a loan that reached $11 million during the 2008-09 financial year, but paid only $423,050 in interest (equivalent to a rate of just 3.84 per cent based on the highest balance during the year).

"We don't disclose specific details of any of our customer arrangements, as that would be a breach of their privacy," a bank spokesman said. "Director loans are treated no differently to any of our customers."

However, Mr Bartlett was treated differently in the past: the annual report states he was given an "interest-free loan" of $140,785 that was advanced by St George in 1989. In the 2008-09 financial year this gave him a saving of $7425. No customers qualify for interest-free loans.Commonwealth Bank CEO Ralph Norris has a loan that reached $NZ2.191 million during the past financial year, but the bank would not say what rate he was paying or how he would be affected by the rise.
And in ANZ's last annual report, CEO Mike Smith had a loan that varied between $535,611 and $1 million during the year, before it was paid off.

The only comment the banks would make was that the loans were at "arm's length", which means they are on the same terms available to all customers. The shroud of secrecy around the deals makes it impossible to know for sure.

The news has led to allegations some executives could exploit their inside knowledge of likely movements of funding costs, enabling them to take the most advantageous rates at the best posible time. "They know the optimum time to fix their rates and so have an advantage over everybody else," Curt Rendall, of accountants Rendall Kelly, said.
"Directors should at least have to disclose the rate they are paying so their dealings are transparent."ANZ said some of its directors opted to fix their loans, but refused to say who, and when.

Aussie swallows 41 balloons of heroin

A SYDNEY woman underwent emergency surgery to remove 41 balloons packed with heroin from her stomach, police said.
A statement from the New South Wales police said the unidentified 37-year-old woman, who had recently returned to Australia from a holiday in Vietnam, had been charged with supply of a prohibited drug.

Paramedics were called to her home in suburban Cabramatta, southwestern Sydney, on October 30 and rushed her to nearby Liverpool Hospital, where doctors found the 41 bags, including some that had ruptured.

A search of her home in Cabramatta allegedly unearthed six balloons containing heroin as well as scales, documents, a diary and mobile phone SIM cards, police said.

Read more:

Old man boards plane, leaves a young man

Masked man
In an incredible breach of security, the youth boarded the plane wearing a mask that made him look decades older / AP Source: AP

AN ELDERLY white man boarded a plane in Hong Kong - and turned into an Asian youth somewhere over the Pacific.
In an incredible breach of security, the passenger, wearing a mask that made him look decades older, walked past security guards and onto an Air Canada flight October 29, according to a Canadian alert.

Then he walked into the plane's lavatory, where he took off the mask and calmly returned to his seat.
Upon landing in Vancouver, the quick-change artist was escorted off the plane and immediately claimed refugee status. The reason he pulled the bizarre stunt remains a mystery.
Red-faced security agents removed three pieces of luggage containing the man's clothing, a pair of gloves and his disguise kit, including a silicone head-and-neck covering, a leather cap, rectangular glasses and a brown cardigan.

The man was apparently able to slip past several guards and get on the plane after swapping boarding passes with a 55-year-old US citizen.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) described the Oct 29 incident as an 'unbelievable case of concealment' involving "a silicone type head and neck mask", Today Online reports.

Woman tries to sell infant grandson for $30,000

POLICE have arrested a woman for allegedly trying to sell her eight-week-old grandson.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement took 45-year-old Patty Bigbee into custody when they caught her meeting with a buyer in Daytona Beach, US, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Authorities began investigating the case in October when Bigbee allegedly approached a “third party” and offered to sell the baby for $75,000, though the buyer eventually talked the grandmother down to $30,000, the paper said.

Bigbee accepted the offer and was arrested at the scene of the would-be transaction. Her grandson was placed in the care of the Department of Children and Families.

Read more:

Laptop computers 'should not be used in laps' - may damage sperm

LAPTOP computers really should not be kept in our laps as they may have something to do with male infertility, research has found. 

When men use their laptops in their laps instead of on their desks, they may be overheating those male parts, which, in turn, may be damaging their sperm, research by Fertility and Sterility found.

In studies, even men who used laptop pads as a buffer between their machine and their man parts, dangerously overheated themselves within 10 minutes.

The authors note that other research has shown that warming the scrotum more than 1.8 degrees (one degree Celsius) is enough to damage sperm.

After one hour, the 29 subjects working with a laptop on their knees had raised the temperature in their testicles by more than 4 degrees (2.5 degrees Celsius).The research was led by a State University of New York, US, urologist Yefim Sheynkin who noted that this is not proof that laptops definitely lead to infertility among men.

Yet, he warned that men should be cautious because it might lead to problems down the road.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Apple working on MacBook Air display glitch fix

Apple is apparently acknowledging the display issues some MacBook Air users are experiencing with their new ultraportables, though so far only internally. BGR were sent two screenshots from Apple’s internal systems, detailing faults whereby the MacBook Air’s display fades from dark to light when waking from sleep, and where horizontal flickering is observed.

However, while Apple is reportedly working on a software update that will address the faults, there is no known timescale for its release. Apple support staff have been told to inform customers complaining about their MacBook Air notebooks that the company is aware of the issue and is working on a fix.

Snowy River roars again after long drought

he noose strangling the once mighty Snowy River has been loosened, freeing billions of litres of water in a deluge not seen for more than four decades.

More than 17 billion litres of water has begun spewing from Jindabyne Dam, in south-east NSW, turning what was once a trickle feeding the parched Snowy into a torrent.
It's the biggest inflow the river has seen in 43 years, when inflows were diverted as part of the Snowy River Hydro-Electric Scheme.

A deal between the Victorian, NSW and commonwealth governments will see flows returned to 21 per cent of historic levels within two years, up from the less than one per cent that has crippled the river for decades.
Over the next week, 17.5 billion litres of water will tumble into the Snowy after the jurisdictions agreed to cancel out a lingering "water debt" owed to Snowy Hydro from water borrowed to flush the river during the drought.
It was impeccable timing for Victorian Premier John Brumby, who will face voters at the ballot box in a little over three weeks.

Mr Brumby said the timing of the water release was purely coincidental and was designed to emulate flows occurring during the annual snow melt.
"Today is history. There has never been as much water released down the Snowy as you've seen today," he said, while inspecting the dam wall at Jindabyne on Thursday.

"This is, if you like, the reawakening of the Snowy River, this is the rebirth of the Snowy River."
The extra water has come from a joint $425 million investment in irrigation upgrades and water saving projects.

When the target is reached, 212 billion litres of water is expected to flow into the Snowy - up from nine billion litres - the equivalent of half of Melbourne's yearly water use.

The river had been beset by a 65 billion-litre "water debt" accumulated from 2002-2005 when water was borrowed from Snowy Hydro to meet environmental flows under a deal struck in 2000.
The commonwealth has agreed to compensate Snowy Hydro $13.7 million for the water still owed - freeing it up to be returned to the river.

Independent MP for Gippsland East Craig Ingram has long campaigned for the river to be restored to its former glory and said the water release was the first step.

"I stood here on numerous occasions looking at the pipe, which released a trickle, and the comparison is quite extraordinary," he said.

"The Snowy River has effectively been silenced through the top sections of the river for 40-odd years, today though it's another step in returning life to the river."
Another mass flow of water will occur next April, with six billion litres to be released as part of the autumn cycle.

The Snowy River was dry as a bone at Island Bend Dam in February.
The Snowy River was dry as a bone at Island Bend Dam in February. (Snowy River Alliance: Louise Crisp)

In total 70 billion litres are expected to flow into the Snowy this financial year.

CSIRO brings broadband to your TV antenna

The CSIRO has found a way to bring broadband through your TV antenna. CSIRO has found a way to deliver broadband through your TV antenna. Photo: CSIRO

Wireless broadband could be delivered to regional households more reliably and at faster speeds if an emerging technology being developed in Australia is used in the national broadband network.

The CSIRO claims it has found a way to transmit wireless broadband faster and up to four times more efficiently than existing technology.

It says the system, designed for towns of fewer than 1000 people, would enable households to upload and download data at speeds of 12 megabits a second.
Unlike existing wireless technology, which dilutes download speeds as more people use the service, the new system would deliver consistently high speeds because each household would receive its own signal, according to the director of CSIRO's information and communications technologies centre, Ian Oppermann.

The system would not work in areas with high population densities. ''We have designed something specifically for remote and rural areas,'' Dr Oppermann said. ''If you move to a metropolitan or dense area you do not get the line of sight.''

While the technology is two years off commercial production, he said it would also be cheaper to deploy than existing wireless technology because it would use existing television towers and aerials.
A spokeswoman for NBN Co, which is rolling out the broadband network, said it had spoken to CSIRO. But as the technology was not yet available, it was ''something of interest for the future''.
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said that the federal government welcomed "any efforts to deliver improved broadband to Australians".

Under current plans, up to 93 per cent of households are to be connected by fibre, 4 per cent by wireless and 3 per cent by satellite broadband.

Woman arrested for walking fox

A 20-year-old woman was charged with unlawful possession of wildlife after she was seen walking a fox while wearing a skeleton costume in Virginia on Halloween. 

Alayna Sitterson, who was spotted at Reston Towne Centre about 10.30am on Sunday (local time), was charged by Animal Control Officers because she did not have the proper permits issued by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF).

The Silver Cross Fox, named Swiper, is seven months old and according to the owner, is neutered, litter-box trained and vaccinated for rabies.
Swiper was seized by officers and will be held at the Animal Shelter until it is determined whether or not DGIF will issue the required special permit.

Read more:

Truckies help end teen pursuit with three-wheel car

Wrecked car
Police say they had to call off the pursuit over safety concerns. Picture: Frank Redward
Wrecked car
The teen allegedly led police on a 30-minute car chase before being stopped by two truckies. Picture: Frank Redward Source: Supplied
Wrecked car
The teenager allegedly drove some distance on the Pacific Highway with just three wheels. Picture: Frank Redward

A 14-YEAR-old allegedly led police on a 30-minute driving rampage in NSW before two truckies helped apprehend him. 

The truckies blocked both lanes of the Pacific Highway near Coffs Harbour last night, slowing traffic and causing a makeshift roadblock to cut off the boy's escape.
One then crash-tackled him as he allegedly tried to sprint from the scene on foot before police arrived.

He allegedly drove some distance on the highway with just three wheels, AAP reports.
Police first noticed the boy on the highway near Nana Glen at about 6pm, but when they signalled him to pull over in an allegedly stolen vehicle, he allegedly accelerated.
Detective Inspector Chris Clarke said the boy crashed into two cars in the town's CBD - including a learner driver - but didn't stop.

The teenager then allegedly lost control of the car and side swiped a Holden car which was stationary at the time.

The 28-year-old female driver of the Holden was taken to Coffs Harbour Hospital with a suspected fractured back and remains in a stable condition, according to AAP.

For most of the pursuit, he was driving on wheel rims only.Twice, police had to call off the pursuit over safety concerns.
"The vehicle was damaged and he presented a danger to himself and members of the public," Det Insp Clarke said.

But, with the pursuit moving back to the highway, the truckies acted.
"They took it upon themselves to cause a road block because they feared that he would cause serious injury or death," Det Clarke said.
The pair slowed down traffic in both lanes, leaving no room for him to move and he could not overtake because of a concrete median strip.

He was charged with police pursuit under Skye's Law, negligent driving and taking a car.
He was granted bail to appear before Coffs Harbour Children's Court on December 2.

Read more:

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Aurora Borealis lights up Iceland

Aurora Borealis
Photographer Kristjan Unnar Kristjansson has spent the last nine years capturing the Aurora Borealis. Picture: Kiddi Kristjans/Barcroft Pacific Source: Barcroft Pacific
Aurora Borealis
Dancing across the clear skies the amazing northern lights are a sight to behold. Picture: Kiddi Kristjans/Barcroft Pacific Source: Barcroft Pacific
A PHOTOGRAPHER has snapped stunning images of the northern lights in Iceland.
The Aurora Borealis light display, particularly visible in polar regions, is usually observed at night where it illuminates the northern horizon as a greenish or red glow.

Kristján Unnar Kristjansson went to extraordinary lengths over the last nine years to capture the amazing light show in all its glory.

The 31-year-old says he often drives to remote, light-pollution free locations to get the best view.
This often means he drives around 10,000-15,000 kilometres for the perfect shot - but it's worth it.
"No words can properly describe the experience,” Mr Kristjansson told the UK’s Telegraph.
“Even though I've seen them now and again throughout my life, I'm still awe-inspired and flabbergasted every time they show up."

Mr Kristjansson said that taking a good Aurora Borealis snap is difficult.
“It is really hard capturing them, as they require bright lenses, highly photosensitive cameras, warm clothes and a whole lot of luck," he said.

The light displays are best observed at night, away from light sources.
However, he says the effort is well worth it as no other natural phenomenon compares to experiencing the northern light first-hand.

"I recommend that everybody should try to visit Iceland, Norway, Greenland, Alaska or any other northern-latitude country for this purpose alone," he said.
The Aurora Borealis is named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek word for the north wind, Boreas.

Read more:

Derryn Hinch reveals he has 12 months to live without transplant

DERRYN Hinch says doctors have given him just 12 months to live unless he receives a liver transplant. 

Derryn Hinch and wife Chanel outside the High Court on Tuesday. Picture: Gary Ramage Source: The Australian

The 3AW radio host, who was diagnosed with liver cancer in September, was told by doctors this morning that a transplant appears to be his only hope of survival.

A day after appearing in the High Court in a bid to beat jail for publicly naming convicted sex offenders, Hinch was told by doctors that further surgery was no longer an option.

"It seems that a liver transplant is my only hope of long-term survival,'' he said on his Drive program this afternoon.
Hinch, 66, was diagnosed with liver cancer in September, and was told at the time he had a 60 per cent chance of surviving the next five years.
Later that month he had part of his liver removed.
Hinch said he asked his doctor at the Austin Hospital how long he could expect to survive without a transplant: "He said 12 months''.
He said he would undergo an exhaustive series of tests before hopefully being put on the organ donor waiting list.
Hinch said he had received “good news and bad news” during his appointment at the Austin Hospital this morning.

“The bad news is that I have been told it’s a very bad cancer that I’ve got,” he said.

The good news was that “the chemotherapy has killed off some of the cancerous growth”.
Hinch said he would be resuming chemotherapy, but that doctors had ruled out further surgery.

Hinch said earlier this week he was prepared to go to jail again if he lost his High Court challenge.
The man dubbed the Human Headline said a prison term "wouldn't be good, even if I were very healthy''.

But he said he was determined to fight the courts' ability to suppress the names of rapists and paedophiles.

Hinch faces five charges of breaching suppression orders by naming the two sex offenders on the steps of State Parliament.

They had been released from jail on extended supervision orders with their names suppressed.

Read more:

Models frontman James Freud dead

AMES Freud, former singer with Australian rock band Models, has been found dead.
Freud, 51, had lived and breathed the rock-and-rock liquor-laced lifestyle and after many rehab stints became sober in 2004.

The father-of-two documented his descent into alcoholism and his subsequent recovery in two autobiographies: I am The Voice Left From Drinking (2002), and I Am The Voice Left From Rehab (2007).

He died just one week after the Models, without him, were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.
During the Hall of Fame ceremony in Sydney, Freud's former bandmate Sean Kelly explained the singer's absence by saying he had "fallen off the bike".

A statement from the office of Michael Gudinski, whose Mushroom Records launched Freud's solo career and that of the Models, said the musician had taken his own life.
"It is with much sorrow that we share the news of the passing of James Freud.
"James Freud passed away this morning. James’ battle with alcoholism has been well chronicled. His two books on his recovery and five years sobriety were bestsellers and gave a lot of people who were suffering the same affliction comfort and hope.

 "Unfortunately, James has succumbed to his disease and taken his own life this morning."
 Gudinski said he and his wife Sue were devastated by Freud's death.

“James was a true pioneer - he successfully crossed over from Australia’s burgeoning punk scene in the early 80s, to then create some of the most played tracks in Australia’s recording history. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends, the industry, and music fans everywhere.”

Freud began his music career at 17 as a member of the Teenage Radio Stars who had their first Australian hit with I Wanna Be Your Baby.

He joined The Models in 1982 and wrote their smash hits Barbados and Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight from their hugely successful Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight album.
Freud is survived by his wife Sally, and sons Harrison and Jackson.

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For help with depression, contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36. 

Reality TV stars broke after blowing thier wads

MARRIED reality TV stars Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt owe more than $2 million in back taxes, have moved out of their swanky Malibu home and have considered filing for bankruptcy to deal with their mounting debts. 

The former Hills castmembers told the gossip magazine they squandered over $10 million through extravagant living and conspicuous consumption.

"We were immature, worrying too much about the famous part instead of the actual business part," Pratt, 27, said about the millions they invested in Montag's failed music career and the money blown on Montag's numerous plastic surgeries, six luxury cars, private jets and $35,000 monthly rent for their California home.

"We spoke with a bankruptcy attorney and I've looked into unemployment checks," he added.
Pratt said that his parents intervened when Montag, 24, considered posing nude for Playboy magazine to earn cash. His mom and dad offered to let the newly reconciled couple live in their guest house.

"I feel like I'm 14 years old again," Pratt said of the arrangement. "My parents are my lifeline."
The Los Angeles-based couple, who are nicknamed Speidi, met on the reality TV show "The Hills" and eloped in Mexico in November 2008.

In June, they separated, listing irreconcilable differences as the reason for the split, but announced in September they would not divorce and would give their marriage another shot.
"We are back together trying to make things work. We do love each other and realised we do want to spend the rest of our lives together," they said in a statement.

Read more:

Kylie denies extreme water diet

KYLIE Minogue has slammed reports she owes her enviable figure to an extreme water diet.
The Daily Mail reported the singer dropped a dress size for her high-profile appearances on US television.

"The dangerous plan involves the 42-year-old drinking nothing but water flavoured with freshly squeezed lemon or lime, and eating just one small low-calorie meal a day," the Daily Mail reports.
"She wasn't overweight," a source close to the star reportedly said, adding Minogue takes the drastic measures "whenever she's due to give a high-profile performance or has a photoshoot."
But Minogue shot back on her Twitter account today, calling the claims false and alarming.

" reports that I am on a water diet are not only untrue but irresponsible. No, no, NO!!!!!!" she tweeted.

The source reportedly told Heat magazine, "When she wants a treat she freezes the citrus water into ice cubes so it feels like she's eating a healthy ice lolly."
Minogue will next be seen performing on the X Factor UK this weekend in front of sister Dannii and the rest of the judges.

Your thoughts on Kylies body? Comments Below...

Ch7 banks on Rafters Funeral

IT was the fictional death that almost pipped the Melbourne Cup in the TV ratings race. 

Now Packed To The Rafters fans are bracing for the funeral for Zoe Ventoura's character Melissa after she was killed off in dramatic style on Tuesday night.

The shocking car accident and wrenching scenes that followed her death hit loyal viewers hard, with 2.3 million people tuning in to the Seven drama.

It pulled the biggest primetime audience, beaten only by the Melbourne Cup coverage, with the great race attracting 2.595 million viewers nationally.

Ventoura's decision to quit Rafters and try her luck in Hollywood has proved a bonus for the network, which will re-run the episode on Monday, before Tuesday's funeral episode.
Hugh Sheridan, who played Ventoura's on-screen husband Ben Rafter, warned fans there were more tears to come.

But i ask..... how does this affect my life? 

Google breached data laws in Britain

The Hub - Google Street View bike
A Google Street View bike at Sydney's Taronga Zoo Source: AP
BRITISH authorities said Google broke the law by collecting data from personal wireless networks. 

The decision reverses preliminary findings that had effectively given the US company a pass.
Google in May disclosed that the camera-equipped cars it uses to take pictures for its Street View mapping service for years inadvertently collected personal data from unsecured wireless networks across the world, setting off a storm of criticism.

Britain's Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said Google's actions constituted a "significant breach" of a data-protection law, adding that his office would ask the company to sign a binding commitment to prevent future breaches and agree to an audit of its data-protection practices in Britain. Mr Graham said his office doesn't plan to impose a fine.

The move came a week after the US Federal Trade Commission said it had ended its investigation into the matter, saying Google had taken sufficient steps to ensure such an incident wouldn't reoccur. France, Germany and other countries continue to investigate Google's data grab, as are a group of US state attorneys general.

Google initially said the data collected was fragmentary -- and therefore not personal or sensitive. But Canadian regulators last month said that their investigation found that Google had captured highly sensitive information, including complete emails, user names, passwords and other sensitive data.
Google confirmed the Canadian regulator's findings, setting off a new round of investigations around the globe. In Britain, the Information Commissioner's Office had essentially exonerated the company in a preliminary investigation in May, concluding that Google hadn't collected meaningful personal data so hadn't broken the law.
Now, the office has done an about-face after meetings in the past two weeks with Canadian authorities and other international regulators, according to a spokesman for the commissioner.
"In the light of the emerging findings from these detailed investigations, the admission by Google that personal data had indeed been collected and the fact that Google used the same technology in the UK, the commissioner has decided that formal action is necessary," the spokesman said.

In his statement on Wednesday, Mr Graham said the ICO is ready to take further regulatory action if Google doesn't comply with the terms of the legally binding commitment, which he has sent to the company. Google has yet to sign off.
The terms of the agreement include demands for Google to enhance its employee-training programs on privacy and security and institute a policy that requires Google engineers to maintain a "privacy design document" on projects. They also include a call for Google to commit to a consensual audit in Britain within nine months and delete the data collected once legally permitted.
Peter Fleischer, Google's global privacy counsel, said in a written statement that Google was sorry for collecting the data and noted that the company had had cooperated with Britain's data regulator since announcing the mistake in May.
"As we have said before, we did not want this data, have never used any of it in our products or services, and have sought to delete it as quickly as possible," Mr Fleischer said. "We are in the process of confirming that there are no outstanding legal obligations upon us to retain the data, and will then ensure that it is quickly and safely deleted."
Some have called Britain's response to the Google incident toothless, particularly when compared with that of other European countries. In a debate in the British parliament last week, Conservative lawmaker Robert Halfon called the regulator's response "lamentable," and cited The Wall Street Journal's ongoing "What They Know" investigation into online privacy as evidence of the need to take a more watchful, and active, approach.

Simon Davies, head of advocacy group Privacy International, said Wednesday that the British regulator simply followed the lead of other international regulators, instead of conducting an aggressive and professional investigation of its own. He called the response by the Information Commissioner's Office a "travesty," and said the regulator failed to "fulfill any level of commitment to finding the truth."
"We don't believe the proposed course of action is in any way meaningful," Mr Davies said. He called the action "too little too late."

France's data-protection authority is weighing whether to punish Google and was expected to announce a verdict at year-end, according to Yann Padova, the organisation's secretary general. Google could face a fine of up to €150,000 ($210,000) in France, and a separate criminal enquiry could be opened depending on the findings. Germany, where the state protects privacy fiercely and continues to investigate, is expected to take a hard line.

One more reason to avoid Paypal - PayPal races to fix iPhone app flaw

Angry Users are thinking twice about the "Safety" of online financial tyrant paypal, over a security flaw in its iPhone application that could allow a hacker to intercept users' passwords.

The hole stems from the app's failure to confirm the authenticity of PayPal's website when communicating over the internet -- a basic lapse that the security researcher who found the flaw said would allow someone to access the accounts of unsuspecting users.

PayPal spokeswoman Amanda Pires said the eBay unit verified the vulnerability on Wednesday and sent a new version of the app to Apple's App Store that users will have to download. PayPal also said it would reimburse 100 per cent of any fraudulent activity.

"To my knowledge it has not affected anybody," Ms Pires said. "We've never had an issue with our app until now."

A hacker would need skill and luck to make use of the vulnerability, which only affects users of the iPhone app connecting over unsecured WiFi networks. It doesn't affect the company's Android app or users of the website.

The PayPal hole results from the app's failure to verify the digital certificate for the payment service's website. Such certificates function as electronic ID cards that let a user's device know a website is legitimate.

Without that confirmation, a hacker could electronically step between a user and PayPal, pretend to be the PayPal website and gather usernames and passwords. The hacker would need to be in the same physical location as the user or have gained access to the same WiFi network.

In practice, that could mean setting up a WiFi hotspot in a location, such as a train station, and waiting for someone to use the network for a PayPal transaction on their iPhone app. It would be a fishing expedition, but the equipment and software needed is commonly available.

The hole is embarrassing for an outfit selling secure services and a reminder that companies are having trouble getting a grip on security as they rush to exploit the capabilities of new, more powerful smartphones.

"This is a colossal oversight on PayPal," said Andrew Hoog, chief investigative officer of viaForensics, a Chicago computer and mobile security firm that found the flaw.

PayPal said its iPhone app has been downloaded more than four million times since it was released in April. In October, the company said it expects more than $US700 million in mobile payments to go through its system by the end of this year.

Carriers, credit card companies and banks are pushing mobile payments in hopes of building new lines of business around smartphones.