среда, 29 февраля 2012 г.

NSW:Suspicious device on north shore

AAP General News (Australia)
NSW:Suspicious device on north shore

A major police operation is underway on Sydney's north shore following the discovery
of a suspicious device.

An 18-year-old woman called police to a house on Burrawong Avenue at Mosman around
2.30pm this afternoon.

Police aren't able to confirm reports a woman allegedly strapped a bomb to herself,
but nearby streets have been evacuated and closed while bomb squad officers examine a
suspicious device.

The Rescue Squad is at the house and has established a perimeter around it.

A command post has been set-up on the corner of Burrawong Avenue and David Street.

AAP RTV tr/nap


� 2011 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

Deans warns Wallabies.

Provided by 7DAYS.ae

THE Wallabies have been warned that they will have to step up another gear if they are to beat South Africa for a second time in a matter of weeks on Saturday.The Aussies beat the Springboks 16-9 in Perth last month. But coach Robbie Deans says that will count for nothing now his side has a tough assignment playing the first of two Tri-Nations games against the Boks in their backyard.And Deans is worried that New Zealand's historic 19-0 win against the Springboks in Cape Town on Saturday night was the worst possible result for the Wallabies.

"Without a doubt, the Springboks won't want to suffer again at home," said Deans. "It's hard for the Springboks now to win (the tournament), but hence their likely response," said Deans."They are world champions and there is no way they will be excited about contemplating another loss. "You can't hide. It will be a great opportunity coming at the end of the week. It will only be what we make of it." The All Blacks are on 14 points with one game to go, while the Wallabies are on nine points with three matches in hand. The Springboks now need a miracle to win overall after failing to collect even a bonus point against the All Blacks last weekend. But New Zealand assistant coach Steve Hansen is also backing the Boks to bounce back. "I have no doubt they will be up for it in Durban. After Durban it will be Johannesburg and that's a happy hunting ground for them," said Hansen.Underfire coach Peter de Villiers knows his side need to improve to get their Tri-Nations campaign back on track.

"There's a few things we need to work on, you always need to do some soul searching when you play like this," said De Villiers. "Physically, and all our other attributes - we're there. We just need to change our mindsets."

2007 Al Sidra Media LLC

Provided by Syndigate.info an Albawaba.com company

SA:SA Libs must show bank docs, Hill says

AAP General News (Australia)
SA:SA Libs must show bank docs, Hill says

ADELAIDE, April 7 AAP - South Australian Liberals have a "questionable history" with
documents and should show bank information they claim demonstrates a cost blow-out for
the new Royal Adelaide hospital, SA Health Minister John Hill says.

"The leader of the opposition (Isobel Redmond) must now show the public of South Australia
the document which was used to make this claim," he told state parliament on Thursday.

"Because we know that people in her position have, in the past, had credibility issues
with documents used to make outrageous claims in this parliament."

Opposition treasury spokesman Iain Evans on Wednesday told parliament the documents
revealed the full cost of the hospital would be $2.73 billion, well above the government's
original figure of $1.7 billion.

He said the higher figure was included in documents released by Macquarie Bank in
January as a briefing for potential investors.

"The total use of funds come 2016 is $2.73 billion," he said.

Mr Hill said in a ministerial statement the phrase "total use of funds spent come
2016" was deliberately ambiguous language.

"If the alleged document is genuine, the aspiring leader, the member for Davenport,
must know that the document reveals a construction cost that is lower than the figure
he used and does not support the claims he and the leader of the opposition made in the
house yesterday," Mr Hill said.

He said the government had not yet reached financial closure with the company, SA
Health Partnership, contracted to build, maintain and manage the hospital for 35 years.

"The government will release all information that is not commercially confidential," he said.

AAP lk/jhp


� 2011 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

FED:Planning turns to Christmas Is. memorial

AAP General News (Australia)
FED:Planning turns to Christmas Is. memorial

Preparations are being made for a memorial service to commemorate the thirty asylum
seekers who died in a fatal boat accident at Christmas Island on Wednesday.

Only 42 survivors have been found so far .. despite reports the boat was carrying as
many as 100 Iraqis .. Kurds and Iranians.

Prime Minister JULIA GILLARD says it's unlikely anyone else will be found alive and
search and rescue operations may soon be called off.

Arrangements are being made for a memorial service to be held .. likely on Sunday or Monday.

But Christmas Island shire president GORDON THOMSON says a memorial shouldn't be rushed
.. especially if searches are continuing.

One asylum seeker who is in immigration detention on Christmas Island lost seven family
members in the tragedy .. including his wife.

AAP RTV bsb/jr


� 2010 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

FED:We will submit policies: Abbott

AAP General News (Australia)
FED:We will submit policies: Abbott

By Julian Drape

CANBERRA, Aug 10 AAP - Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has promised to submit all of
the coalition's announced policies to the treasury and finance departments this week,
following an intense two days of bickering over costings.

But that doesn't mean the coalition trusts the Treasury to do a good job, with campaign
spokesman Andrew Robb declaring the department isn't "God".

The government has accused Mr Abbott of contradicting his treasury spokesman Joe Hockey
to the tune of $7 billion on spending measures.

Treasurer Wayne Swan further claimed on Tuesday the coalition had overestimated by
$800 million the amount it would save by axing Labor's national broadband network.

In response, the coalition accused Labor of having its own $3.4 billion budget black
hole - although that line of attack was blunted when Mr Abbott admitted the coalition
analysis contained "a couple of typos".

In an attempt to rule a line under the damaging debate, the opposition leader promised
on Tuesday: "We will submit all of the announced policies by the end of the week."

Policies that were being held over for the last week of the campaign obviously wouldn't
be submitted by then, Mr Abbott said.

The coalition already has dropped off 52 of its policies for costing, Mr Robb told
reporters in Canberra.

They include 39 savings measures totalling $14.8 billion and 13 spending proposals
worth $11 billion.

But Mr Robb questioned the worth of Treasury's analysis, which Mr Swan relied on when
declaring Mr Abbott had a $800 million hole in his pocket.

"Treasury miscalculated the revenue from their (Labor's) proposed mining tax by a lazy
$12 billion," he said, adding "they're not God in those buildings down there".

Mr Abbott earlier had said he was "very sceptical" of Treasury's costings.

The coalition argues setting up an independent budget office to examine spending would
stymie argy-bargy during an election campaign.

The treasurer called a press conference on Tuesday morning to admonish the opposition
for questioning Treasury.

"It's always the last refuge on a policy-free zone to bag the Treasury," he told reporters,
arguing the the coalition was "grossly incompetent" when it came to financial management.

Mr Swan also said Mr Abbott's claim that coalition spending - excluding the abolishment
of the mining tax - wouldn't exceed $18 billion was plainly wrong.

"On our count their spending commitments, without taking into account issues or revenue
associated with the mining tax, is at least $25 billion."

As for the accusation that Labor was itself wearing a $3.4 billion black hole, the
treasurer dismissed the coalition's analysis as "extraordinary", "shoddy" and "stupid".

AAP jcd/rl/mm/de


� 2010 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

News Diary for Thursday April 1, 2010

AAP General News (Australia)
News Diary for Thursday April 1, 2010

Here is AAP's preliminary newslist for Thursday (not for publication).

This is a guide only and stories, local times and locations are subject to change. In
some cases times and locations may not be available. Story coverage is subject to staffing.


+++ AAP Easter Road toll starts at 0001 Thursday April 1 and runs to 2359 Monday April 5 +++

- Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon at Flinders University, 0930-1030; CEDA lunch 1230;
meets state health minister
- Woman on bestiality charge due in court (charge and name suppressed. On merit only)

- New Wildlife Warriors named at Australia Zoo.

- Jayant Patel trial continues.

- Southport court mention for dive instructor accused of murdering Chinese tourist.

- Cronulla Sharks fan Clint Elford to be sentenced over threatening letter sent to Tony
Zappia. Goulburn Local Court. AAP covering

- Outwatching outcome of state election.

- Murder committal continues for Judy Moran and coaccused over the murder of Des Moran

- Brian Burke in Magistrates Court for ruling or further adjournment.

- Jury out at trial of Percy Small and Matthew Reynolds, Darlinghurst Court 5
- ICAC inquiry into corruption allegations involving Burwood Council General Manager Pat
Romano and others continues.

- Defamation case Abdullah Ahmadi v Fairfax media; hearing to determine damages.

- Bail applications for bikie members allegedly involved in Sydney Airport bashing - Tomare
Tirini, Frank La Rosa, Maher Aouli.

- Winner of 2010 Bald Archy Prize announced. ABC Ultimo Centre.

BYRON BAY - Annual Bluesfest kicks off (continues to Apr 5) (PIX ONLY)

SYDNEY - ABS International Trade in Goods and Services, February 2010
SYDNEY - ABS Job Vacancies (quarterly), February 2010
SYDNEY - RBA index of commodity prices for March
SYDNEY - TD Securities - Melbourne Institute inflation gauge for March
SYDNEY - Australian Industry Group/PricewaterhouseCoopers Australian Performance of Manufacturing
Index (Australian PMI)

- No items listed

BRISBANE - AFL match: Brisbane v Carlton, Gabba, 2040AEDT

SYDNEY/MELBOURNE - Preview top-of-table clash Melbourne v St George Illawarra; Dragons
captain Ben Hornby available at Qantas check in Sydney airport, 0945; Storm skipper Cam
Smith available 1100 Olympic Park
SYDNEY/BRISBANE - Preview Sydney Roosters v Brisbane
SYDNEY - Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens and captain Robbie Farah interviews 1400 Concord Oval

PERTH - Preview Western Force v Stormers

BELLS BEACH, Vic - World championship tour event scheduled to continue

HOUSTON, Texas - News from Aussies in Masters warm up at Houston Open starting Thursday night AEDT

AUCKLAND - Follow up story from Australia's successful cricket tour to New Zealand

Remainder of 6 months to go package.

SYDNEY - Looking at Saturday's Golden Slipper day at Rosehill.

MELBOURNE - Throw forward to the Caulfield program on Saturday.

BRISBANE - Preview Eagle Farm races Saturday.

AAP RTV jlw/wz


2010 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

Fed: Rudd will be forced to call early election - Beazley

AAP General News (Australia)
Fed: Rudd will be forced to call early election - Beazley

Former Labor leader KIM BEAZLEY believes the Rudd government will be forced into an
early election if it wants to get its emissions trading scheme through parliament.

But he says the coalition would be smashed in an early poll .. losing heavily in both
houses .. leaving a Labor-Green Senate majority.

Mr BEAZLEY has told Sky News KEVIN RUDD doesn't want an early election .. but at the
end of the day he'll have to have one .. as he doesn't think the coalition can unite over
the ETS.

The former Labor leader says the government would be able to get its ETS bills through
in a post-election joint sitting of both houses of parliament.

AAP RTV keh/sb/fdf


2009 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

0800 6PR Perth Headlines

AAP General News (Australia)
0800 6PR Perth Headlines

- Perth man killed in traffic crash less than 24 hrs after Easter safety launch

- Tom Percy QC says McGinty's performance as Attorney General was lacklustre

- Nationals plan to break rank with Liberals over broadband plan

- Fitzgibbon says he's confident senio defence officials haven't been spying on him

- US crew take back control of ship seized by Somali pirates but captain still hostage

- Death toll from Italian quake rises to 272


- Jobs figures expected to show rising unemployment today


- Champions League, Golf, AFL, Cricket



2009 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

Fed: Aust signs treaty on cluster munitions

AAP General News (Australia)
Fed: Aust signs treaty on cluster munitions

Australia has joined 90 other countries in signing an historic treaty banning the use
of cluster munitions.

The treaty .. which includes provisions on victim assistance .. was signed by Foreign
Minister STEPHEN SMITH in Norway yesterday.

The Convention on Cluster Munitions also includes clearance provisions to help free
lands from the debilitating effects of the weapons.

AAP RTV kms/wz/psm/


2008 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

Headlines from 4BC news at 1100 (AEST)

AAP General News (Australia)
Headlines from 4BC news at 1100 (AEST)

A woman's in a critical condition after a collision between a car and truck at Eight
Mile Plains .. an accident so serious it was first thought to be a fatal one.

Gold Coast City Council officers are planning to crack down on people who park illegally
around suburban footy grounds

Regional cities like Gladstone are likely to suffer more from carbon emissions trading
than the capital cities

Speculation's growing there'll be an official interest rate cut by the end of the year

A tilt at the federal Liberal leadership by PETER COSTELLO is looking more likely

ELIZABETH TAYLOR has been treated in hospital but her publicist has denied she's near death

SPORT - DEAN WIDDERS heads OS .. World Cup Kangaroo squad to be named ..SONNY BILL
encouraged to finish year at Bulldogs .. MARIA SHARAPOVA out of Olympics



2008 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

Vic: Divers search for pilot after helicopter crashes into Yarra

AAP General News (Australia)
Vic: Divers search for pilot after helicopter crashes into Yarra

By Julie Tullberg

MELBOURNE, Dec 29 AAP - Police divers are searching for a pilot feared dead on the
bottom of the Yarra River's shipping channels after his helicopter crashed.

The helicopter's co-pilot was rescued by a boat driver who rushed to the scene after
seeing the crash at about 6.30pm (AEDT) today.

Victoria Police's search and rescue divers plan to work around the clock to recover
the missing pilot, who is believed to have drowned after the cockpit filled with water.

Jay Hall, a Leisure Boating Club Melbourne maintenance engineer, rescued the co-pilot,
whose first name is Jason and is aged in his 40s, and who was struggling in the water
after being injured in the high-impact crash near the Pier 35 marina.

Mr Hall said he watched a "quick blur", the black R440 helicopter ditching into the
water, and then heard a loud bang from its rotors.

The helicopter, which was on its way to the Caribbean Gardens in Melbourne's east,
was flying low after it had taken off from a nearby helipad.

Mr Hall and his friend Wayne Williams rushed to the crash in a sports boat to rescue
the helicopter's occupants within a minute.

Another friend called triple-0 as soon as the helicopter crashed.

Mr Hall said he spotted the co-pilot "about 10 metres from shore ... he was treading water.

"We threw a life buoy out to him and he was able to climb up the ladder.

"He was pretty shaken up ... he was in shock. He was hit on the back of the head and nose."

Mr Hall said he treated Jason's nose and head to try to stop the bleeding and kept
him protected from a strong wind.

The helicopter went down on the pilot's side, which left little hope for the missing
pilot, Mr Hall said.

Police divers were called to the scene in a bid to recover the pilot, Mr Hall said.

"The cockpit would have been flooded after he opened the door (to escape the wreckage)," he said.

Mr Hall said Jason saw a light on the dashboard, possibly an oil engine light, which
prompted him to abandon the cockpit as soon as it crashed.

"Seeing the light on the dashboard, that's what made him jump," he said.

The co-pilot was taken to The Alfred hospital in a stable condition, receiving treatment
for lacerations to the head.

Leisure Boating Club Melbourne general manager Joy King said her staff had responded
quickly to the crash and played a key role in the co-pilot's rescue, describing their
actions as heroic.

AAP jat/cjh


2007 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

Qld: Telstra boss says CDMA replacement on track

AAP General News (Australia)
Qld: Telstra boss says CDMA replacement on track

Telstra chief SOL TRUJILLO says the roll-out of the Next G phone network is on track.

Communications Minister HELEN COONAN says she's received hundreds of complaints about
Next G on a government helpline .. and Telstra has just over a month to get it right.

But Mr TRUJILLO is confident all is going according to plan.

He says Telstra has more than a million Next G customers .. and is adding about 100-thousand
a month.

Mr TRUJILLO says he stands by Telstra's commitment that the Next G coverage will be
equal to or better than the CDMA network .. which is being shut down.

AAP RTV rad/pjo/ibw


2007 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

Vic: Bracks admits bungle over HIV case

AAP General News (Australia)
Vic: Bracks admits bungle over HIV case

Victorian Premier STEVE BRACKS has admitted a health department bungle .. over a man
charged with deliberately spreading the HIV virus .. could have been handled better.

Mr BRACKS says there's now a requirement for the department's chief executive to be
informed of controversial cases.

The Department of Human Services has come under fire .. for its failure to warn police
of a man accused of spreading HIV.

Health Minister BRONWYN PIKE says chief health officer Dr ROBERT HALL didn't receive
advice from a panel .. recommending 48-year-old MICHAEL JOHN NEAL be isolated from the

NEAL'S been committed to trial on 106 charges alleging he had sex with 16 men between
2000 and 2006 .. when he knew he was infected with HIV.

He denies the allegations.

AAP RTV cmb/gfr/wf/bart


2007 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

Fed: Fiji PM hopeful of return despite coup

AAP General News (Australia)
Fed: Fiji PM hopeful of return despite coup

CANBERRA, Dec 5 AAP - Fiji Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase said he was hoping to be
able to go to work this morning, despite a blanket presence of troops across Suva.

But he conceded he was more likely to be packing up and returning to his home island
if the coup by military commander Commodore Frank Bainimarama was completed today.

He also was unsure if President Ratu Josefa Iloilo would be able to influence Commodore
Bainimarama to turn back from taking control of the government.

"I think a lot depends on the president. I don't know how effective he is in dealing
with the military," Mr Qarase told ABC radio.

"I am sitting at home and I hope to go to work.

"What happens after that I don't know.

"If the coup is completed, then ... well, I come from one of the small islands. I just
have to pack up and go."

He said he did not expect the army to perpetrate any violence.

"(But) it's a volatile situation where anything can happen," he said.

AAP dep/ks/imc/bwl


2006 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

Fed: Govt commits $850,000 to GM studies

AAP General News (Australia)
Fed: Govt commits $850,000 to GM studies

The government's announced 850 thousand dollars in new funding .. to determine the
role genetically modified crops may play in Australia's future.

Agriculture Minister PETER MCGAURAN says the money will go towards eight major studies
.. with the results to be presented early next year.

The announcement of the new studies comes after the government's call for the states
to lift their bans on the introduction of GM crops.

AAP RTV ms/sw/wf/bart


2006 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

Highlights of Seven News 1800

AAP General News (Australia)
Highlights of Seven News 1800

SYDNEY, Dec 31 AAP - Highlights of tonight's Seven News at 1800:

1. Sydney's new year's eve party is underway with tens of thousands lining the harbour
foreshore for tonight's fireworks spectacular.

2. More than 1,700 police officers will be on patrol tonight to ensure everyone has
a safe new year's eve.

3. Revellers are being urged to leave their cars at home and take public transport.

4. A range of state charges will increase this week, including public transport fares
and taxes on investment properties.

5. The nation will get the chance to farewell Kerry Packer in a public memorial service
in February.

6. Terrorists are believed to be responsible for a bomb blast which has rocked a market
in Indonesia, killing at least six people.



2005 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

вторник, 28 февраля 2012 г.

FED: Kim Beazley's office broken into

AAP General News (Australia)
FED: Kim Beazley's office broken into

PERTH, Dec 30 AAP - Burglars have broken into federal Opposition Leader Kim Beazley's
electorate office in Perth.

Inspector Stuart Syme, of Perth police, said it was too early to say what, if anything,
had been taken from the Mr Beazley's Brand electorate office.

He said the offenders gained entry through a side window, but was yet to confirm if
it had been forced open.

A security company alerted police to the break-in about 3am (WST).

No one from Kim Beazley's office was available for comment.

AAP kn/gfr/lma/de


2005 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

понедельник, 27 февраля 2012 г.

Qld: Siege man surrenders to police, devices found in hotel room

AAP General News (Australia)
Qld: Siege man surrenders to police, devices found in hotel room

A 43-year-old man has surrendered to police after a 16-hour siege at a Gold Coast hotel.

Police say initial fears the man had hostages were false.

Police were also concerned he was armed with explosives, and devices found in the 12th
floor hotel room are now being fully examined.

Earlier, police raided the man's nearby Coombabah home and destroyed explosive chemicals
found there.

Detective Inspector JOHN HARTWELL says during the siege the man made no specific demands
except to ask for coffee, and the motive for the incident remains a mystery.

The alarm was first raised about 6pm (AEST) yesterday when the man allegedly attempted
to lure a babysitter to his room and hit her with a piece of wood.

She fled the room and called police. A second woman was also called to the room but
police stopped her from entering.

The man's expected to face court in the next few days but police are not yet able to
detail specific charges.

AAP RTV dp/bes/tnf/sd/jo/rcg/jo


2004 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

YES!; Viagra works for women too; YES!; You'll enjoy it more than men; YES!;.(News)

SEX drug Viagra works wonders for WOMEN too, it was revealed yesterday.

Tests have shown females get just as much pleasure from the male anti- impotence pill as men.

Now US manufacturers are working flat out on developing a women's version of the "little blue miracle", which has sex-enhancing side-effects. It could be ready in two years.

TV producer Trine Villemann tried the male drug after hearing rumours it was taking women "to the moon and back".

She asked her doctor for Viagra and he was happy to oblige by giving her a prescription.

She said: "He told me 'I've given Viagra to my wife and my mistress. They both say it's fantastic'."

Trine, 38, and her 43-year-old husband then put it to the test in a marathon sex session.

Trine, who lives in Miami, said: "Believe me, the result was amazing. If an orgasm is like climbing a mountain and the moment of ultimate pleasure is when you finally reach the summit, then I was the mountain climber who never wanted to leave that mountain again.

"I was just hanging up there feeling the warmth running through my body like a Florida wildfire.

"With the help of my husband I went straight to the highway to heaven and I was in my own world for such a long time my husband managed to send out for a pizza while I was gone.

"Afterwards my husband said 'I thought I was going to have to scrape you off the ceiling.'

"I had read about the side-effects, blurred vision, dry skin and headaches but experienced none of those.

"Viagra certainly works on women. Those blue diamonds are definitely a girl's best friend."

Other women in the US have used the Internet to reveal how Viagra has transformed their sex lives.

Mum Laurie Kline, 41, from Baltimore - the first to enrol as a guinea pig in a US trial - said: "It's a miracle pill. I can't believe how well it worked.

"Thank God there's something available. For women it's going to be incredible."

She had not been able to make love properly for six years following a partial hysterectomy.

She said the side-effects were dry sinuses and a slightly light-headed feeling.

Another woman said it made her feel like having sex all night long.

Nurse Joan Lusby shouted "Yes, Yes, Yes" when she was offered the drug as part of a trial.

She said: "It has allowed me to be a wife again."

Her love life collapsed after a botched hysterectomy and she jumped at the chance when given an opportunity to take part in the tests.

Now Joan and Jack, her husband of 28 years, are making love again and she is ecstatic. Mum-of-three Joan said: "The first time we made love after the hysterectomy I could feel no pleasure. I had no sensation at all.

"I was devastated. I hoped it was temporary but as time went on nothing came back.

"The little bit of stimulation I had sort of fizzled out like Fourth of July fireworks that don't quite go off - the damp squibs.

"Eventually I told Jack 'I can't do this any more'."

Then Joan was put in touch with urologist Jennifer Berman, who was conducting trials on women and Viagra.

Joan, from Maryland, decided to go for it. She said: "I had nothing to lose. I didn't think it would do much, but I had tried everything else.

"I had been to marriage and sex counsellors and physiotherapists and we even tried sex aids but nothing worked."

Joan went to hospital to take Viagra under strict laboratory conditions.

She said: "I took two 50mg tablets. It was difficult to see what it did for me there as my husband was not with me. Even so, I noticed a change."

Joan then put Viagra to the test at home.

Joan said: "The first time I took one 50mg tablet and that helped.

"But I felt it would be better if I took a larger dose. With 100mg it was better." She added: "It all takes a while to work - it doesn't happen immediately.

"It can take an hour - your head wants to do it but you don't feel anything responding.

"Now we have changed our love-making style. We'll go out to dinner and have a glass of wine then we look at our watches and think 'What time are we going home'.

"It makes it more spontaneous if you're out when you take the pill.

"Viagra has gone part of the way to restoring what I had previously."

It is believed many British women will also experiment with their partner's pill after Viagra becomes available on prescription in September.

Derek Machin, one of Britain's 400 urologists, said yesterday: "The word is Viagra works perfectly well on women and will help those with sexual dysfunction.

"If it's as good as we hear, it could spread like wildfire through the female population."

The drug, hailed as the greatest sexual liberator since the contraceptive pill, will cost pounds 6 a tablet.

Hundreds of women - including up to 500 from Britain - are taking part in European trials run by manufacturer Pfizer.

Medical side-effects are still unknown.

Doctors have already warned huge demand for Viagra from men could bankrupt the health service. A similar drug for women would double the problem. Speaking to the British Medical Association in Cardiff, Mr Machin said once Viagra became available it was inevitable both sexes would use it.

He said: "Officially, it will be a drug prescribed on a named-only basis. But it will get on the black market.

"Some women will get their hands on it and, if they find it works, it will spread rapidly.

"It's very difficult to control something if it's working."

Mr Machin warned the drug could be abused just as tranquillisers are and said it should "definitely not" be taken by pregnant women.

Health workers say the drug should not be used as an aphrodisiac.

And agony aunt Anna Raeburn said it was "depressing" the drug could be used by women.

She said last night: "Women will take the drug because they think it will improve sex. We are talking about sex as if it was like passing the 11-plus."

Viagra was dubbed the "aspirin for manhood" yesterday by one of the US doctors who helped discover it.

Dr Irwin Goldstein, of Boston University, said: "It helps blood flow to the sex organs, keeping them healthy. I have such happy people on this stuff."

One in 10 men in Britain are said to suffer from impotence. There are no known figures for the number of women victims.

Lucent's Kenan Acquisition Bears First Fruit in Mediation.

The first of a series of technological benefits from Lucent Corp's January acquisition of billings software developer Kenan Systems Corp has come to fruition with the integration of its parent's Billdats mediation software into Kenan's Arbor/BP package. This is the first concrete result of the acquisition, with others to follow in the coming months, according to Kenan's sales and marketing director for the EMEA region, Jan Wiejak. Still to come on the roadmap is a fraud detection capability based on statistical analysis techniques, for launch in the third quarter.

In the last three months of the year will come a mediation product for the more complex world of IP networks. Billdats is for switched telephony environments and is available for wireline and mobile services. Also planned is an integration of Kenan's billing package and Lucent's intelligent networking software for the mobile market.

Part of the logic behind Murray Hill, New Jersey-based Lucent buying Kenan, besides being able to offer billing along with its switches, was "to take software they've developed, productize it and sell it," explained Kenan product consultant Stephen Krajewski. The Billdats integration into Arbor/BP is the first example of this process.

Until now Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Kenan did not have its own mediation product, partnering with a variety of suppliers to this end. In future it will be able to offer integrated Arbor-with-Billdats packages, though customers will still be at liberty to specify other mediation modules, Wiejak added. Billdats will also continue to marketed as a standalone module for other billing systems.

In parallel with the productization of Lucent software, Kenan has also upgraded the core Arbor/BP package, introducing version 9.0 at the end of June. This edition has a number of features specifically for the international market, including support for the common European currency, the euro, and for multi-byte characters.

The latter made it possible to translate the package into Unicode, the basis from which various Asian-language versions can be developed. As a result, on July 6 the company announced that Korea's second-largest telco, Dacom Corp, had selected Arbor/BP for its wireline, broadband and internet services.

Arbor/BP 9.0 also includes specific features for the Latin American markets, where customers Telefonica del Peru, Telefonica Argentina and Brazilian long-distance provider Embratel required billing that caters for inflation, more unstable interest rates and payment for customer equipment in instalments, said Wiejak.

Another new feature in the latest version of the billing package is a wholesale billing facility. This is required where operators sell minutes on their network to major retailers, which then sell them to end customers. This feature is being used by French new carrier Cegetel, which uses it to bill wholesale customers such as the country's leading supermarket chains.

воскресенье, 26 февраля 2012 г.

Keep cold chain in check.(Transport Packaging)

TempTRIP offers a cost-effective way to monitor time/temperature data in the supply chain. The system incorporates three basic components--RFID smart cards, RFID reader with optional integrated barcode scanner, and the Internet. The smart card is placed on the pallet or other designated location such as an individual case or in certain locations within a trailer load, depending on the level of detail desired. The reader scans the pallet's bar code and writes it, wirelessly, to the smart card's memory. Temperature is recorded continuously, at whatever time intervals are specified. Results are sent, via USB or cellular transmission, to a dedicated page on the Internet, with optional email and text alerts sent to the chain partners.


Circle 158 or go to www.mhlnews. hotims.com/35027-158

Negotiation tactics.(Mergers, IPOs, and Venture Finance: Equities)(Professional standards)

Mike Tyson once said, "Everybody's got a plan--until he gets hit." In negotiating a deal, you need a plan that survives the stress of the first encounter and adds value during the negotiation process. You need to counter against common ploys while moving your agenda forward aggressively.

One of the most effective negotiating tactics is serial negotiations. Issues are presented one by one and you are pushed to solve them singly before moving on to the next. In this scenario, you don't know how many issues there are and which ones are critical. Respond to this tactic by asking for all issues to be put on the table first, enabling you to understand and study them. This allows you to shuffle and prioritize, enabling you to stage issues so that the buyer can win ones you care little about while you focus on winning points important to you. Inevitably, you will be left with a few big disagreements to hammer out, but in the meantime you'll have minimized your upfront concessions.

Another effective ploy is "Bad News/Good News". This begins with a negotiator outlining a doomsday scenario that kills the deal because of one "major" problem . . . and then proceeds to give you the "good news"--a compromise that involves substantial concessions (from you). In a recent example, a buyer agreed to purchase our client but then learned they were arguably infringing on a patent. The buyer opened negotiations with a worst case scenario in which the patent owner obtains a temporary restraining order and puts our client out of business. He argued it would be in our client's interest to cut their price by 30% to compensate for the patent risk.

On closer examination, we discovered that the patent holder had recently lost an infringement case and was now being acquired by a company that had never tried to enforce its patents. Rather than cut the price, we threatened to walk away from the deal and ultimately closed at the negotiated figure.

Nat Burgess, senior vice president, Corum Group, 10500 NE Eighth St., Bellevue, Wash. 98004; 425/4558281. E-mail: nburgess@corumgroup.com.

 Company/Description         Acquired by                    Price/Terms  Integrated Distribution     Retalix, Ltd.                  $44,000,000     Solutions                                            Terms: Cash,   * Provides                                         stock/earnout (1)     distributors with a     ERP solutions  Concord Communications      Computer Associates           $256,790,000   * Network management                                 Terms: All cash     solutions  InteliData                  Corillian                      $21,600,000   * Online banking and                                 Terms: $17.1 MM     bill payment                                    stock/$4.5 MM cash  AttentiV Systems Group      TietoEnator                    $88,190,000   * Software solutions/                                Terms: All cash     services for the     financial services     sector  Company/Description                    Revenues               Multiple  Integrated Distribution             $27,400,000                   1.61     Solutions   * Provides     distributors with a     ERP solutions  Concord Communications             $106.190,000                   2.42   * Network management     solutions  InteliData                          $50,080,000                   0.43   * Online banking and     bill payment  AttentiV Systems Group              $60,750,000                   1.45   * Software solutions/     services for the     financial services     sector  (1.) $34.4 MM cash, $7.0 MM in stock, $5.0 MM earnout 


WASHINGTON -- The following information was released by the U.S. Army:

By Alexandra Hemmerly-Brown

Portable professional development classrooms that can be set up virtually anywhere are currently being used by units in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The classrooms are so portable that one unit in Afghanistan reportedly created a plywood structure to house theirs.

These mini-schoolhouses are part of an initiative called the Deployed Digital Training Campus developed by the Army's Distributed Learning System, aiming to provide deployed Soldiers with the ability to work on their military education while overseas. By providing brigade-sized units with a DDTC as part of their deployment equipment, leaders can ensure their Soldiers' education doesn't fall behind, even when stationed at primitive outposts.

Each DDTC is equipped with 20 laptop workstations, internet accessibility, video tele-training, voice over IP or VOIP, designated satellite access, and can be set up in less than two hours. The DDTC also puts Soldiers in direct connection with more than 1,200 pre-loaded Army Learning Management System courses.

Glenn Maravillas, the deputy project director for DDTC, said many times Soldiers don't have access to the equipment needed to work on their professional development while deployed -- something that can delay promotions.

"It provides Soldiers and civilians who are deployed a means to access training, and by completing training, gain promotion points, so they can move on in rank," Maravillas said.

Maravillas noted that some units without much dwell time also find it hard to complete professional training while at home.

"Noncommissioned officers like the concept because they can schedule time for their Soldiers to work on their schooling when they have down time," Maravillas noted.

The DDTC classrooms also have another advantage: they are classified capable if needed. Units can also use the teleconferencing feature to talk to their rear detachment at home, or their replacement unit, Maravillas said.

Brigades can request a DDTC from their higher headquarters as they are readying for deployment, and certify unit system operators with a three-day training course. Then a DDTC will be issued to the brigade on a hand-receipt and returned after the deployment like any other piece of equipment.

Maravillas noted that DDTCs fall within the Chief of Staff of the Army's Learning Concept 2015, which stresses access to technology to enable education.

The first DDTC was sent overseas last year and there are currently six campuses in deployed locations, with plans for a total of 50 to be developed by 2015. And the capability is not limited to active-duty units -- Reserve and National Guard brigades can request them as well.

For more information, visit www.dls.army.mil/lms_overview.html.

Bottomline Technologies to Present at the Jefferies Global Technology, Internet, Media & Telecom Conference.(Conference news)

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. -- Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY), a leading provider of collaborative payment, invoice and document automation solutions, today announced the company will present at an upcoming investor conference.

Kevin Donovan, Bottomline's Chief Financial Officer, will present at the Jefferies Global Technology, Internet, Media & Telecom Conference on Tuesday, May 10 in New York at 3:00 p.m. EDT.

For information about Bottomline's investor events, call 603-501-4899 or e-mail investors@bottomline.com.

About Bottomline Technologies

Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) provides collaborative payment, invoice and document automation solutions to corporations, financial institutions and banks around the world. The company's solutions are used to streamline, automate and manage processes involving payments, invoicing, global cash management, supply chain finance and transactional documents. Organizations trust these solutions to meet their needs for cost reduction, competitive differentiation and optimization of working capital. Headquartered in the United States, Bottomline also maintains offices in Europe and Asia-Pacific. For more information, visit www.bottomline.com.

Bottomline Technologiesand the BT logo are trademarks of Bottomline Technologies (de), Inc. which may be registered in certain jurisdictions. All other brand/product names are trademarks of their respective holders.

Cautionary Language

This press release may contain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors. Among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements are competition, market demand, technological change, strategic relationships, recent acquisitions, international operations and general economic conditions. For additional discussion of factors that could impact Bottomline Technologies' financial results, refer to the Company's Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2010 and any subsequently filed Form 10-Q's and Form 8-K's or amendments thereto. Any forward-looking statements represent our views only as of today and should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any subsequent date. We do not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

суббота, 25 февраля 2012 г.

Guiding seniors through EOL processes.

Guiding seniors through EOL processes

Seniors covered by BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's Medicare Advantage plan are guided through the end-of-life processes by case managers who empower the members with the education, resources, and assistance they need to make their own decisions about what kind of what kind of care they want to receive at the end of life.

The Chattanooga-based health plan end-of-life (EOL) planning program received a bronze award in fall 2010 at the Best Practices in Health Care Consumer Protection and Empowerment awards ceremony from URAC, a Washington, DC-based organization that promotes healthcare quality through its accreditation, education, and measurement programs,

The program began in 2009 after the health plan started its Medicare Advantage program in 2006, says Alice Greer, RN, BSN, CPHQ, quality research analyst in quality management, who was a case manager at the time. "As we worked with the Medicare population, we realized that end-of-life concerns are a big issue. We found that even though some of the members knew they were facing a potentially terminal illness, they hadn't thought about end-of-life plans, or if they had, they didn't have a legally appropriate form or had not shared their wishes with their family or their physician," Greer says.

At the same time, the insurer determined that many staff members were uncomfortable initiating a conversation about EOL considerations and needed education to learn how to approach members about their choices. "We looked for ways to assess our Medicare population to identify people who needed the program and to aid the case managers in bringing up the subject with members and leading them through the process," Greer says.

The case managers who work with the Medicare Advantage members have been trained on how to approach the subject and have information at their fingertips to educate the members. The health plan also collaborated with the non-profit Tennessee End-of-Life Partnership and sponsored a daylong educational program for case managers and the health plan's providers.

When seniors sign up for Medicare Advantage, the health plan sends them the health needs assessment. They can return it by mail and have it scanned into the computer program, or they can call and complete the assessment over the telephone.

Referrals come from the health needs assessment, from the utilization management department, from claims data that show members with multiple hospital admissions, and from the health plan's predictive modeling. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires Medicare Advantage to conduct an initial health needs assessment. "We tweaked our assessment and configured our computer system so it would automatically send out a referral when someone had a condition that indicated they might benefit from an end-of-life discussion," Greer says.

Any Medicare Advantage member who is referred to case management is asked if they have EOL plans and if they would like to discuss the subject. Those who meet the criteria for needing immediate EOL support are offered a more intensive care plan, Greer says. Criteria for the intensive care plan include debility, failure to thrive, cancer patients with a terminal diagnosis or uncontrolled symptoms, advanced heart disease patients, advanced pulmonary diseases, dementia, end-stage liver or renal disease, and neurological disorders.

The utilization management department has a trigger list of criteria. If someone calls to obtain approval for a procedure and the patient falls into one of the diagnosis categories, those nurses are trained to send a referral to a case manager, she says. The case managers make outreach calls to all members who are eligible for the intensive care planning program. They explaini the services the health plan offers, the role of the case manager in EOL planning, and how they can empower the member to make their own decisions.

If members consent to participate in the program, the case manager completes a thorough assessment that includes their current health status; their present functional status; resources they have; their caregivers; their understanding of their current level of health, diagnosis, and prognosis; information on their socioeconomic status; and any educational or language barriers. "The case managers can mail materials to the member or provide Internet resources. We go so far as to help them prepare their forms if they know what they want and don't know how to get the Tennessee state-approved forms," she says.

The Medicare Advantage staff include two social workers who help people complete the forms over the telephone or, if the member prefers, will meet with them at the health plan's Silver Life Center. The case managers obtain consent to notify the member's primary care provider and collaborate with the physician as well as the caregiver so everyone is on the same page.

When the case manager conducts the assessment, the software system automatically triggers an appropriate EOL plan based on the answers the member gives. The care plan includes automated talking points that pop up on the screen. For example, if the member says he hasn't made EOL plans and doesn't know what is available, the case manager can click on a list of advanced directions with a concise explanation of each.

The assessment and care plan is available in the health plan's software for case managers in other areas of the company and other lines of business to use. The specific assessment is geared to the senior population, but the care plan is appropriate for any age, Greer says.

The case manager helps members make all choices from all the options available, such as where they want to receive care; symptom management; bladder control; and issues such as mobility, safety, comfort, and pain. They discuss caregiver needs and stresses, as well as services needed at home if the member chooses to stay there.

The case management team spends a lot of time educating members about hospice care and palliative care and the difference between the two, she says.

One of the goals of the EOL program is to overcome the negative impression many older people have of hospice care by educating them. Some members aren't aware of the hospice benefits they have. Others don't take advantage of them because of their perception of what hospice means, Greer says. "Length of stay in hospice is incredibly short with our Medicare population. If somebody doesn't get into hospice until the last two days of their life, they've lost the opportunity to increase the quality of life, have gone through unnecessary procedures, and increase the stress on the family. Knowing about hospice and what it means saves people a lot of panic-mode trips to the emergency room for interventions and makes them feel more in control," she says.

As they work with the members, the case managers emphasize the importance of collaborating with their health care providers so the treatment team will be aware of the patients' wishes.

If patients agree to participate in the program, the case manager follows them and contacts them at least every 30 days. The patient and family members have a telephone number they can call to talk to the case manager at any time. Patients who enroll in the program stay in the program until they decide to drop out or they pass away.

Before the program began, case managers documented a discussion with members on EOL issues only 58% of the time. After the training, the figure went up to 99%. "It's hard to measure outcomes in a program like this, but we know we are making a difference because we get a lot of letters from family members after the death of a loved one, thanking us for the case manager's support. They tell us how grateful they were that the case manager support alleviated their hesitancy to accept hospice care and that their loved one was able to die at home where they wanted to be."

Kraft Foods to Hold Annual Meeting of Shareholders on May 18, 2010.

NORTHFIELD, Ill., March 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Kraft Foods will hold its Annual Meeting of Shareholders at 9 a.m. CDT on Tuesday, May 18, 2010, at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, Ill. Shareholders of record at the close of business on March 11, 2010, are entitled to attend and vote on all matters that properly come before the meeting. The company's 2010 Notice of Annual Meeting and Proxy Statement and Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2009, are available at www.kraftfoodscompany.com/investor.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090420/KRAFTLOGO)

Kraft Foods is again taking advantage of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's "e-proxy" rule, which allows companies to furnish proxy materials to shareholders via the Internet. This process provides shareholders with proxy materials more quickly, reduces the environmental impact of the meeting and lowers costs. Instead of sending printed proxy materials, the company will mail most shareholders a Notice of Internet Availability of Proxy Materials. The Notice contains instructions on how to access proxy materials and vote on the Internet. It also contains information about how shareholders can request written copies of the proxy materials if they desire them.

The combination of Kraft Foods and Cadbury creates a global powerhouse in snacks, confectionery and quick meals. With annual revenues of approximately $50 billion, the combined company is the world's second largest food company, making delicious products for billions of consumers in more than 160 countries. The combined company's portfolio includes 11 iconic brands with revenues exceeding $1 billion - Oreo, Nabisco and LU biscuits; Milka and Cadbury chocolates; Trident gums; Jacobs and Maxwell House coffees; Philadelphia cream cheeses; Kraft cheeses, dinners and dressings; and Oscar Mayer meats. Another 70+ brands generate annual revenues of more than $100 million. Kraft Foods (www.kraftfoodscompany.com; NYSE: KFT) is a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Standard & Poor's 500, Dow Jones Sustainability Index and Ethibel Sustainability Index.

- make today delicious -

SOURCE Kraft Foods

New look Qantas: when Qantas introduced the A380 into service it completed a whole new look for its premium class facilities in the air and on the ground.(Qantas * New Look)


It's a well-known fact that premium class ticket sales are one of the most important factors in any long-haul carrier's profitability. The days when only the super rich could afford to travel by air may be a distant memory, but on long-haul services, the premium class passengers still effectively subsidise today's economy seats. For decades the major airlines have constantly reinvented their first and business class cabins in an effort to capture the hearts of the top-end traveller. Despite the global 'credit crunch', the amount of time and effort spent in creating these premium facilities means that although these are testing times for all airlines, those carriers who feel the time is right for change have pushed ahead with their new look projects regardless. This enables them to keep up with the competition and be in an even stronger position when economic recovery begins.


At least two of the world's top long-haul airlines will launch new premium cabin identities later this year, but for this; the third in our new series of articles focusing on the best services that airlines have to offer, we look at Australia's Qantas.


A homeland surrounded by vast oceans means that for generations of Australians, long-haul travel is almost 'in the blood', so its no surprise that the Australian flag-carrier has a long pioneering track record that stretches back almost as far as the birth of all passenger carrying flight.

Like every other airline that has been in the air travel business for generations, Qantas has reinvented itself on many occasions. While service and presentation remain at the forefront of the premium class product, the various styles and technologies introduced have changed almost beyond recognition.

The introduction of a major new aircraft type has often been the catalyst for carriers to redevelop their product and the introduction of the giant Airbus A380 has generated the latest wave of airline progress and invention.

Qantas introduced its first 'superjumbo' into passenger service on the Melbourne--Los Angeles route on October 20, 2008. This milestone event marked the end of more that five years of work preparing for the world's largest airliner, which involved every aspect of its customer service.


Qantas' new generation of First Class lounges was launched in the autumn of 2007, ten months before the first A380 was delivered, but this was due to the fact that Airbus delayed all airlines' A380 delivery dates because of internal manufacturing issues.

The airline has First Class lounges at Sydney and Melbourne, alongside Business Class facilities that are also present at Brisbane. Distinguished Australian industrial designer Marc Newson, known for his futuristic yet technically rigorous creations, worked on every aspect of the First Class cabin and lounge--a task that took more than five years. He had worked with the airline before, developing its previous Business Class seat, which was launched in 2002.


For those who wish to do their work in the First Class Lounge, Qantas offers complimentary high-speed broadband Internet access through the computers in one of the private work suites. Outside the Business Centre, there is wireless access throughout the lounge, so the customer can conduct their business wherever they feel most comfortable.

A library enables travellers to enjoy a quieter moment, perhaps to catch up with world news or simply unwind--they are mobile-free zones. In addition to the usual selection of newspapers, magazines and coffee table books, there are also board games, such as chess and backgammon.

For those wanting a little more 'action', entertainment such as sports coverage, Foxtel digital and Panasonic plasma televisions are supplied. 'Gamers' can play a computer game using a Sony PlayStation 3 in one of the private work suites or by borrowing a Portable Sony Playstation (PSP) to use in the lounge. All the traveller needs to do is simply speak to the concierge upon arrival, or a Lounge Host, to book a PSP, then select a game or movie and book a private work suite.


As with all premium class brands, the cuisine on offer will play a major part in forming the customers' opinions of the overall travel experience. Nell Perry, head chef and founder of the exclusive Rockpool restaurants located in Sydney and Melbourne, has created Qantas' menus. He has earned a reputation for using the finest fresh produce and delivering unique seasonal dishes. Passengers can dine a la Carte; order from the chair-side menus or dine at the bar. As you would expect, whether your mood is for a nice cuppa or it's time for your favourite tipple, an outstanding selection is available.

Business Class Lounges

Last year Qantas opened its new, dedicated Domestic Business Class Lounges within its key airport terminals at Brisbane (June), Sydney, Melbourne (both July) and Canberra (October). A further facility is scheduled to open at Perth in 2010.

In addition to Business Class customers, they are also accessible to top tier Qantas and oneworld Frequent Flyers.

Offerings include quiet work suites; computer access and complimentary wireless internet; premium selection of hot and cold food; barista service; separate bathroom and private shower suites; and lighting created by renowned Dutch design label, Moooi.


Mr Borghetti said the new lounges were part of an extensive upgrade of Qantas' domestic airport facilities.

"Qantas is the business travellers' airline and our facilities are designed to meet their particular needs," he said.

"The existing Qantas Club continues to be a dedicated space for our Gold Frequent Flyers and customers with a Qantas Club membership."

Complimentary wireless connectivity is now provided in all Australian Qantas Clubs and in dedicated Meeting Rooms in Sydney and Melbourne. The airline also provides web Connect workstations in gate lounges offering PCs, power charging outlets and wireless connectivity hotspots in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.


When Qantas signed up to be one of the first customers to purchase the world's largest airliner, it triggered the decision to revolutionise all its long-haul aircraft cabins.

The Qantas A380s are configured with 450 seats in four cabins; 14 in First Class, 72 in Business Class, 32 in Premium Economy and 332 in Economy Class. The airline expects to have eight examples in service by the end of this year, with the remainder of its 20-strong order delivered by the end of 2013. The carrier introduced the type on the London-Heathrow route via Singapore this January.

While the First Class cabin hasn't grabbed headlines by announcing onboard showers or double beds, its style is more subtle. When referring to the A380, the airline's Bob Lange, responsible for aircraft interiors, marketing and customer affairs, says that the Qantas brand: "is not about excess or exuberance, but every feature on the aircraft has been defined and refined to the very last detail. All of our customers pay attention to detail, but this has been particularly the case for Qantas."

The cream-coloured First Class seats are set in a one-one-one configuration with four in the centre of the cabin and five along each side. Each could be described as a herringbone / front-facing hybrid, because after the seatbelt signs are off, passengers can turn their seat either to the left or right, depending on where they are seated, from the standard front-facing position. They can then watch their 17-in (43cm) widescreen TV or stretch out across their 83.5-in (212cm) fully flat bed.

An ottoman forms either part of the bed or, if required, can be used for companion dining. Two electronically controlled dividers can be used to create an almost a private suite for the individual and the package is complemented by a foldout table and a significant amount of individual storage.

At the launch of the new cabins Qantas' Executive General Manager, John Borghetti, said the interiors throughout the aircraft had: "set a new benchmark for the airline and the industry" and: "combined intelligent design with functionality to deliver more space and comfort in every cabin. He added: "Marc [Newson] has designed almost everything onboard, from the seats through to the coat hooks, with style, practicality and passenger comfort in mind.


"The design process has included an unprecedented level of customer involvement, with many customer-initiated ideas being followed through to prototype and customers participating in sleeping comfort trials and ergonomic testing of seats.


Business Class Cabin

In the Business cabin, the airline aimed to enhance its existing Newson-designed Skybed sleeper seat, making it longer and changing it into a fully flat bed with better cushioning. A larger in-arm TV screen and additional storage space have also been provided.

One new feature provided within the A380's upper-deck Business cabin is a private lounge area complete with leather sofas, a self-service bar and large-screen video monitors with laptop connectivity.

In-Flight Entertainment

The quality and capability of airlines' in flight entertainment (IFE) systems are perhaps the most noticeable elements of how on-board passenger facilities have leapt forward in the last decade or so.

Qantas' latest generation of IFE, manufactured by the Panasonic Avionice Corporation was introduced with the airline's A380s.

Its features include 17in (43cm) widescreen monitors in all cabins providing digital picture and sound quality. On-demand audio and video channels provide over 100 movies, 350 television selections, 500 audio CDs, 30 PC-style games, as well as a selection of audio books and radio channels. Lonely Planet destination and arrival guides are also provided along with language tutorials and online duty-free shopping opportunities. Moving maps, text news and weather information are also available.


Wireless connectivity is provided throughout the aircraft along with in-seat access to email, the Internet, telephone calls and SMS. USB and RJ45 ports and PC power are provided for all seats; and an external camera gives a pilot's eye view of take-off, landing and cruising.

Airports International hasn't had the opportunity to try it out yet, but John Borghetti says it offers customers greater choice. "There has never been anything like this onboard a commercial aircraft," he said, adding, "wide screen digital monitors in all cabins and a state-of-the-art graphic user interface allows passengers to easily navigate through a vast range of entertainment options, including on-demand video and audio programmes and games.

"We have gone beyond the traditional movie and audio options to include Lonely Planet destination information, language tutorials, audio books, Deloitte business courses and PC-style games.

"Customers in all classes are also able to stay connected with in seat email and Internet access or using their personal laptops to connect to a wireless network."

Qantas has already completed the refit of its Boeing 747-400 fleet by using some elements of the A380 cabin and, like the giant Airbus' launch customer, Singapore Airlines, the Australian flag-carrier is currently adding surcharges to First and Business Class tickets on its A380 services.

A380 Premium Cabin Facts

First Class

* 14 individual suites featuring electronically adjustable seat with programmable positions and fully adjustable multi-zone massage function.

* Seat converts into a fully flat, extra long and wide bed with foam mattress; exclusive sheepskin overlay and fitted cotton sheeting.

* Electronically deployed 17" LCD widescreen video monitor.

* Touch-screen control unit featuring personal flight map and operating all electronic functions including electronically adjustable privacy screens.

* Leather guest seat and large dining table designed to accommodate two.

* Variety of personal stowage options including dresser unit.

* High quality finishes including Edelman leather and solid wood.

* Noise cancelling headset port, PC power, USB and RJ45 ports.

* Electronically-controlled dual layer window shades.

* Main deck cabin with mood lighting and enhanced cabin soundproofing.

* Designer amenities, soft furnishings, tableware plus male/female amenity kits.

Business Class

* Enhanced Skybed, electronically adjustable sleeper seat, which at the touch of a button converts to extra long, fully flat bed with pre-programmed seating positions, adjustable lumbar support and improved massage function.

* Illuminated seat controller operating all seat functions, electronically deployed privacy divider and fully adjustable in-arm video monitor.

* Variety of personal stowage options including dedicated spaces for laptops, headset, shoes, reading material, water bottle and coat hook.

* Multiple reading lights, noise cancelling headset port, PC power, RJ45 and USB port.

* Lounge area featuring self-service refreshment bar, large sofa, seatbelts for in-flight use, selection of reading material, large entertainment screen with laptop connection for presentations and feature display cabinet.

* Upper deck cabin with mood lighting, seating configured in two-two-two layout.

* Designer amenities, soft furnishings, tableware and collectable male and female amenity kits.

Real-time audio is now online for real; the sound of music and more is immediately available from the Web.(Column)

The name of this column, Multimedia Medley, has until now implied only CD-ROM systems and applications. Not so anymore. Over the past few months I have heard impressive audio, backed by impressive audio software applications, played out online on the World Wide Web. More will follow, as the potential of real-time audio is considerable.

Audio has been available for quite some time through the Internet but in an inconvenient fashion. Various audio snippets have been posted on the Internet that you could download if you and your network connection had the stamina. These could then be played back off-line.

The current trend is to serve audio on demand, with minimal delay. Real-time playback usually starts 20 to 30 seconds after you click on an icon to initiate it. While the music plays, you may keep on browsing the Web site. A prominent example is one of the online music stores where I recently listened to a few 30-second AM or higher-quality samples of the latest Beatles album while browsing the liner notes or looking up the album cover and the price.

I should point out that I have a direct Ethernet connection (courtesy of fellow professor Larry Osborne, who, together with his students, wired all the faculty offices and labs in our school a few months ago) and that such a connection is significantly faster than the best dial-up connection this side of (the struggling) ISDN. The bare telecommunications minimum for real-time audio is a 14.4-KB/second modem, but I would urge you to try it on a 28.8-KB/second modem or direct connection. I did, and while not even the Ethernet connection would make me ditch any of my audio equipment, I see attractive features in real-time audio online.

A Little Math as a Starter

Let the professor in me take over for a moment. This time don't skip the simple math part. It'll really help. Be careful not to confuse the bits and pieces, er, bytes, as so many professionals and journalists do (including me some time ago in this column, but at least I apologized). I don't mind so much when calculations ignore the start and stop bit needed for transferring each 8-bit byte or when 1 kilobyte is converted to 1,000 bytes instead of 1,024 (though a few bits here and there soon add up to megabytes when it comes to audio and video clip transfer). But it is essential to understand that even first-generation CD-ROM players offer a transfer rate that is 50 times faster than a 28.8 KB/second dial-up modem.

CD-audio-quality recording, the standard these days, takes 85.94 kilobytes for each second in mono and twice that for stereo. This translates to more than 5 megabytes in mono and 10 megabytes in stereo per minute. CDs have at best about 65 minutes of music. That requires 640-670 MB of storage capacity. There are numerous combinations for the two key criteria of audio recording, based on sampling the analog sound source for digitization. (See Table 1.)

One criterion is the sampling frequency, which defines how many times in each second a sample is taken. It ranges from a mediocre 4,000 samples per second (4 KHz-- the approximate equivalent of a long-distance call from a developing country on a monsoon day) to the professional studio system quality of 48,000 samples per second (48 KHz).

The other is the amount of information to be recorded in each sampling. This is usually 8 or 16 bits (1 or 2 bytes) and is often referred to as sound resolution. It is similar to screen resolution for images. The more information stored and displayed for an image, the higher the fidelity of the image.

CD-ROM drives play back high-fidelity CD stereo sound at 150 KB/second. It is no accident that this is the speed of the single-speed CD-ROM drives. Sound is played back at this rate even from multiple speed (2x, 4x, 6x) drives. This load would make even the fasted modems (28.8 kilobits per second=3.52 kilobytes per second), based on traditional telephone-line connection, choke for real-time playback. And it would take almost 50 minutes to transfer 1 minute.

The paltry AM-quality mono sound recorded at the rate of 8,000 samples with 8 bits (1 byte) of information per second also needs almost 8 kilobytes per second. As the speed (throughput) of such modems cannot be further increased because of the quality of the telephone lines, the problem had to be approached from the other side for real-time playback.

 [Part 1 of 2] 
 Sampling     Sampling          Storage requirements frequency   resolution   bits/sec   bytes/sec   Kbytes/sec 
  8KHz/sec     8-bit        64 000       8 000         7 81 11KHz/sec     8-bit        88 000      11 000        10 74 22KHz/sec     8-bit       176 000      22 000        21 48 44KHz/sec     8-bit       352 000      44 000        42 97  8KHz/sec    16-bit       128 000      16 000        15 63 11KHz/sec    16-bit       176 000      22 000        21 48 22KHz/sec    16-bit       352 000      44 000        42 97 44KHz/sec    16-bit       704 000      88 000        85 94 
 [Part 2 of 2] 
 Sampling     Sampling     Storage requirements frequency   resolution   Kbytes/min    Stereo 
  8KHz/sec     8-bit          468 75      937 50 11KHz/sec     8-bit          644 53    1 289 06 22KHz/sec     8-bit        1 289 06    2 578 13 44KHz/sec     8-bit        2 578 13    5 156 25  8KHz/sec    16-bit          937 50    1 875 00 11KHz/sec    16-bit        1 289 06    2 578 13 22KHz/sec    16-bit        2 578 13    5 156 25 44KHz/sec    16-bit        5 156 25   10 312 50 

Compressing/Decompressing, and Streaming Audio Files


The key is to compress the audio for transfer and decompress it on the fly for playback without too much loss. This technique has been used for program and image files and is now available for sound files as well. There are five companies that offer the technique. Four of them use proprietary compression technologies and file formats. Only one uses the standard for compressing audio and video, the so-called MPEG compression/decompression specified by the Motion Picture Engineering Group.

The audio recordings are compressed either off-line or online. This latter makes it possible to provide live feeds, as we heard during Clinton's State of the Union address in January. The pricing of this compression software is usually based on the number of simultaneous users to be served, but there are free compression programs as well.

The compressed software is stored on the hard disk of the server. When a user connected to the server clicks on an audio file, the server starts sending the audio file. This is called "streaming." For 20 to 30 seconds, audio data is pumped into a buffer on the recipient's machine and decompressed; then playback starts. While the sound is played back from the buffer, the server keeps steaming the next packet. If there is heavy traffic anywhere on the network, the new packet may not arrive in time for smooth playback. This is when you hear stuttering audio or a complete pause that may have nothing to do with the compressed audio quality. They are merely a sign of a "traffic jam." Think of it as driving up Broadway at 5 p.m. on a Friday and again at 4 a.m. on a Sunday. Same car, same road, grossly different throughput. I once listened to more than 4 minutes of streamed audio of a lovely Scottish ballad (http://www.almac.co.uk/es/tunes) flowing without a hitch; then on another occasion, I heard a 30-second soundbite break apart into stop-and-go 3-second pieces, which destroyed the listening experience.

Beyond this and, obviously, the quality of your soundboard and speaker, the quality of the compressed audio will have an impact on your listening pleasure. To thin the datastream, many of the audio recordings are done at 8 KHz and 8-bit sampling. This is perfectly good for speech. Music needs a minimum 11-KHz sampling rate and 16-bit sound resolution. Even then you will hardly mistake it for your Bang & Olufson deck, but you'll find it adequate for getting a feel for the melody, style, and rhythm.

Play It, Sam, Then Play It Again

To play your audio, you must have a playback program. There are five companies offering the technology for real-time audio: Progressive Network RealAudio, Xing Technologies Streamworks, DSP Group TrueSpeech, Vocaltec Internet Wave, and the newest kid on the block, VoxWare Toolvox.

The playback software programs are free, and they are readily available not only from their developers' home pages but also through many sites that serve audio or have audio discussion groups. They are to be installed and then configured as helper applications for your browser (Netscape, Spyglass, Internet Explorer). Configuration may be done automatically or manually at the time the helper is installed, or it may take place on the first occasion when audio streaming starts, and the browser gives you the option to configure a "viewer." (See Figure 1.) It may seem ironic that these audio helpers are named viewers, but this is a generic term. And after all, the helper applications show nice playback menus while streaming and playing back the sound.


The players differ significantly in such features as playback optimization, progress indication, positioning the commencement of playback, volume control, and amount of information displayed about the sound file. In a future column, I plan to review the major features of these programs. I'll also point out some leading Web sites offering one or more types of streamed audio from interesting archives, plus live feeds of radio broadcasts. Prick up your ears, if you will.

Arrowhead Trims Costs; MBL CUSO Bolsters Portfolio.(Arrowhead Central Credit Union )(Company overview)

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- In a hotly competitive California banking marketplace, Arrowhead Central Credit Union ranks number-one in 2006 return on assets (ROA) for credit unions with of more than $1-billion in assets, closing the year with an ROA of 1.73%.

Based on end-of-year NCUA data, as a newcomer to the $1-billion-plus club, Arrowhead Central was the highest of the 116 credit unions of more than $1 billion in assets collectively returning .86% on assets during 2006. The credit union's bottom line performance improved from a .97% during 2005 (1.16% if non-operating gains and losses are excluded)-compared to their NCUA peer group of .92% during the same period.

Offsetting Shrinking Net Interest Margins

At a time when most credit unions struggle to offset shrinking net interest margins with operating efficiencies, Arrowhead Central has been able to do just that. With a net high interest margin attributable to both higher yielding loans and significantly lower costs of funds, Arrowhead Central's margin dropped by a relatively small 16 basis points during 2006. The margin decrease was favorably offset by a 94 basis point improvement in its net operating expense to average assets ratio, vaulting them to the top return spot for 2006.

According to Arrowhead Central CEO Larry Sharp, a mid-2005 core system conversion to a new core system from Symitar Systems, San Diego, provided them with an opportunity to re-examine all credit union processes and procedures. An operational team was formed to focus on streamlining business processes and staffing optimization and the results have been impressive.

Start With The Low-Hanging Fruit

The Arrowhead team started with the low hanging fruit implementing strategic paperless initiatives and automated new account opening processes, while continuing to implement additional improvements this year.

Additional benefits are also being realized through a new Internet banking system. All of these efficiency gains are reflected in the fact Arrowhead Central is now able to do more with less. At the end of 2004, prior to the conversion, the credit union had 616 full-time equivalent employees and, through attrition, had shrunk to 520 FTEs at the end of 2006. Sharp noted that the credit union's pay for performance program further encourages expense efficiency as one of the key focus areas, with the other three being overall profitability, growth in assets (loans and shares) and member satisfaction.

Several factors contribute to Arrowhead Central's strong net interest margin. The credit union's marketing strategy is to lead with checking accounts-considered the core product. At the end of 2006 nearly 70% of ACCU members had a checking account with an average balance of more than $2,500.

Sharp said the CU efficiently manages all of the related checking account expense areas. Loan yields and fees are higher than a typical credit union due to successful business banking and indirect lending programs. Arrowhead is a game competitor on the business services side with more than $85 million in outstanding business loans. Its Member Business Services CUSO (launched in 2003) provides complete business banking services for numerous credit unions. At the end of the year the credit union held nearly $400 million in indirect loan balances generated through its Dealer Direct program.

The Arrowhead Central management team has also sought to adeptly manage capital to leverage their asset growth and maximize earnings. Asset levels for 2006 grew by 8.5% on a capital base that was 8.3% at the end of the year, compared to an NCUA peer group average of 6.7% growth in assets.

It also posted a whopping 11.2% capital-to-assets ratio at the end of 2006. While the objective of Arrowhead is to manage capital to a 9% level in the long run, Sharp is among many credit union executives who is hopeful credit union capital requirements will be changed to a more equitable risk-based capital requirement structure.

Despite intense marketplace competition (FDIC data shows more than 500 bank branch locations in San Bernardino County alone), Arrowhead Central added more than 6,000 members through 25 branch locations during 2006. With 3,000 SEGs driving at least half of this new member growth and another healthy chunk joining through the Dealer Direct program, the credit union believes it is sitting on a goldmine with less than 5% of their membership potential tapped. In addition to the comprehensive business banking and indirect lending programs, Arrowhead also offers private banking and trust as well as insurance and investment services-further enabling the credit union to compete head-to-head with the area banks.

Sharp is convinced Arrowhead Central will do even better by continuing to focus on service, branch expansion, and community visibility initiatives-driving additional new members and asset growth.

Arrowhead Central CU By The Numbers

                                           2006     2005     ROA                                   1.73%    0.97%     Capital to Assets                     8.32%    7.23%     Total Assets                          $1.04B   $960MM     Total Asset Growth                    8.5%     13.6%     Members                               159,990  153,124      Members/Potential Members             4.1%     10.2%     Net Interest Margin/Average Assets    5.38%    5.54%     Net Operating Expense/Average Assets  4.85%    5.79%     FTE Employees                         519.5    549.5     Average Assets per FTE                $2.0MM   $1.8MM     Average Assets per Branch             $41.7MM  $38.4MM     Members/FTE                           308      279     % of Members with Checking            68%      67%     Source: Dec. 31, 2006 NCUA Data 

(c) 2007 The Credit Union Journal and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.cujournal.com http://www.sourcemedia.com

пятница, 24 февраля 2012 г.


Byline: Associated Press

ATLANTA The world's 6,000 languages are dying off quickly, and up to half of them will probably become extinct during the next century, experts predicted Saturday.

``I call this a catastrophe the rate of loss of mankind's linguistic diversity,'' said Michael Krauss of the University of Alaska.

While once languages were suppressed by government policy, the forces conspiring against native tongues now seem to be largely electronic. Satellite television, cellular telephones, the Internet all let people speak to each other instantly all over the world, and all drive the need for languages that many understand.

In most cases, that language is English. Even defenders of dying languages concede this is not necessarily a bad thing, since a common language clearly allows people to communicate easily. For instance, scientists the world over often speak to each other in English, whether their labs are in France or Taiwan.

However, linguists attending a conference Saturday of the American Association for the Advancement of Science urged the preservation of small languages as second, or even third, languages, rather than allowing them to be swallowed up by English, Arabic, Spanish and other major languages.

``We should care about this,'' Krauss said. ``The world will be less interesting, less beautiful.''

Krauss said that in prehistoric times, humans probably spoke between 10,000 and 15,000 languages. This is now down to about 6,000 and dropping fast.

Krauss, who documents native Alaskan languages, estimated that between 20 percent and 50 percent of the world's languages are no longer being learned by children.

``They are beyond endangerment,'' he said. ``They are the living dead,'' and will all disappear in the next century.

The average language is spoken by between 5,000 and 10,000 people. However, Krauss said that only those with more than 1 million speakers have a good future.

He estimated that about 600 of the world's languages are assured of still being around in the year 2100.

Many of the small languages on the verge of dying out are in tropical parts of the world, especially Africa and Indonesia, he said.

But the United States is also losing languages fast, especially in California, which has been called the world's third most linguistically diverse region, after New Guinea and the Caucasus.

Leanne Hinton of the University of California at Berkeley said North America has between 200 and 250 native languages, and about 50 of them are in California.

All the California Indian languages are in trouble. None is being learned widely by children or used in daily commerce. Twenty have died this century.

The latest extinction occurred last month with the death of the lone speaker of Northern Pomo, a woman in her 80s.