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Jets extend van Egmond’s contract 


February 10, 2019 by admin

THE Newcastle Jets have extended the contract of coach Gary van Egmond by a year and he will now stay at the helm of the A-League club until the end of the 2013-14 season.
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In his second term at the Jets, van Egmond took over from Branko Culina on the eve of last season.

The Jets finished seventh, missing the finals for a second straight year.

Van Egmond has since rebuilt the squad, bringing in a host of exciting youngsters, and now has at least another season to try and repeat his championship success of 2007-08.

The coach was not available to the Herald but said in a statement on the club’s website that he was privileged to lead the Jets.

“I see a bright future, for this season and for many years to come, in both the development of the players and in the total culture of the club,’’ the statement said.

“It is exciting times for the Newcastle Jets Football Club; we have a great representation of local talent in our senior group and near 100 per cent in our youth team.’’

After guiding the club to a championship and wooden spoon in consecutive years, van Egmond left the Jets, who were then owned by Con Constantine, to take up a position at the Australian Institute of Sport.

He spent two seasons in Canberra before returning to Newcastle last year.

In the statement Jets owner Nathan Tinkler described van Egmond as one of Australia’s premier coaches.

“When we signed Gary, part of his charter was to develop an exciting team and to nurture local talent,’’ Tinkler said.

‘‘What has been impressive during his first season with us, is not only his ability to coach but his desire to improve the game locally.’’

Gary van Egmond.

K Rudd’s lessons for life


February 10, 2019 by admin

Kevin Rudd, during his time as PM, being welcomed by students from Gordon Primary School in the ACT. Kevin Rudd
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While Julia Gillard is selling her education crusade, Kevin Rudd is doing his own round of schools, reminding people of his record — and musing on what to do when you run into a brick wall.

All the time, he’s been keeping the Twitter world abreast of where he’s going.

”Spoke to 1400 lads at Iona College in Brisbane this morning on faith, values and politics,” he tweeted yesterday.

Then, directing his followers to a YouTube video, ”Have a listen to what the kids at one of the schools in the Tweed have to say about their new school facilities.”

And today: ”Spent some time early this morning  with the teachers and little ones at the Stones Corner Children’s Develop.”

”As the [Rudd]  government said way back in 2008, early childhood education to ensure our kids are wired for learning.”

”Fantastic morning at St Ita’s at Dutton Park. St Ita’s has used Oz Govt school funding [initiated by the Rudd government] to build a fantastic new library.”

”Also spoke to years 6 & 7 at St Ita’s about China, the importance of family and most other things under the sun. Great kids.”

One thing has been missing from the stream of tweets so far – any reference to the Gonski report on school funding, which the Prime Minister and her government have now formally embraced.

When he spoke at  Iona College yesterday about various things under the sun, Mr Rudd delivered a homily to the many young people who say they would like to go into politics one day and ask him ”what should I do?”

”My answer to them is as follows.

”Tell me, young man, young woman, what do you believe in and why?

”And the second thing I ask them: well, if you know what you believe in  and why, then ask yourself this question — what can I do about it?

”And the third question I put to them is: okay, what are you now going to do about it? Yourself, in your life, where you are?”

Too often, Mr Rudd lamented, ”I run into folk in political life, of all political parties including my own, who can’t answer that question properly. And it’s a very basic question.

”If you’ve looked at my own political career, it’s been full of a few ups, and a few downs — mainly downs in recent times,” he observed, drawing some laughs.

”Have you ever been – not too much laughter up the back there – a member of your own college football when you’ve come in first, and it’s premiers in one season, and you’ve dropped to the bottom of the table the next season?

”Life’s like that. I can here a few murmurs of agreement. Life’s like that.

”It’s not just one even smooth trajectory to the top of whatever you’re doing. So when you run into brick walls in life, things that get in your road, things that go wrong, things that happen which you’re not planning on, the really important thing is to go back to those basics of  ‘what do I believe in and why? and therefore, what should I do about it?”’

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Sustainable way to avoid bill shock


February 10, 2019 by admin

Many people are happy to complain about rising water and power bills but aren’t prepared to do anything about it, says the organiser of Sustainable House Day – a national event taking place this weekend where householders open up their homes to the public to show off green initiatives.
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“Most people … just let their home manage them and just pay the bills at the end of the month, and talk about the increased prices of water and electricity,” says Pia Vogrin, who has organised the event.

“Realistically if they were more active in managing their homes then they wouldn’t get such a surprise at the end of the month.”

On Sunday, the owners of 235 properties around Australia will open their doors to strangers interested in learning how to make houses more sustainable. They’ll have the chance to see and touch the materials, building and green products.

“It’s a tactile event, visitors can walk into these houses and look and feel the difference in terms of a sustainable build,” says Vogrin. “They can see passive solar – hopefully in action if there’s some sun around on the weekend. They can see how a home in their neighbourhood actually works with the environment.”

The homeowners “want to share their stories, because they’ve come out the other end [of making their home sustainable] and are hoping that they can inspire others to take action in terms of managing their own home”, says Vogrin.

About 40,000 people are expected to take  the opportunity to inspect the properties and another 60,000 are expected to research the homes online. At many of the homes, the builder and architect involved will also be on hand.

Among those showing off their properties, Vogrin says there will be plenty who are attracted to the idea of a “smart home” rather than being an environmental crusader.

“If you take away the green consciousness … these people are proud of the homes that they’ve built or designed,” she says.

“They feel really engaged in their home. They’re able to manage their home, they know their energy usage, they know their water usage, they’re able to work within their environment to have a more comfortable home that in some way actually rewards them.”

One of the green homes opening its doors to the public in Sydney is 5 Strickland Street, Rose Bay.

Cameron Rosen, who lives in the house with his partner and three children, says his home is so energy efficient that its electricity bills are in the negative.

Visitors to Rosen’s  house can take part in free workshops on organic gardening, grey water and green walls.

“Our home has a beating heart and soul that is flowing with healthy green blood,” he says.

“Some of the open homes show that you don’t have to have chickens in the backyard or a large worm composting bin for a home to be green. A green home is also about energy efficiency and one that has healthier building materials.”

Sustainable House Day takes place this Sunday, September 9, from 10am – 4pm.

Do you feel like your house manages you? Or are you in control of it – in particular things such as power, water and gas bills?

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Optus switches on 4G network


February 10, 2019 by admin

Optus has switched on 4G mobile services in central Sydney, Perth and Newcastle with plans to activate a Melbourne network in two weeks and Brisbane and Adelaide networks in early 2013.
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Optus’ network will cover a 10 to 16 kilometre radius around the cities and customers’ devices will automatically revert to 3G services when they leave the 4G footprint.

Optus has revealed prices that are cheaper, with larger download limits, than Telstra’s plans. It has two 4G mobile broadband dongles and started taking orders for the new Samsung Galaxy S III today.

The telecommunications company expects to have more 4G compatible handsets and tablets available by Christmas time.

Optus’ Galaxy III plans range from $67 per month to $80 with between 1.5 gigabytes and 2 gigabytes of data allowance per month. Its mobile broadband plans range from about $46 per month for 10 gigabytes to $86 per month for 20 gigabytes. This is cheaper than Telstra’s prices for mobile broadband on its 4G network, which range from about $40 per month for 1 gigabyte of data to about $110 per month for 15 gigabytes of data.

Optus is the second mobile carrier in Australia to launch a 4G network after Telstra launched its own in November last year.

Telstra already has about half a million 4G devices connected to its network and recently announced plans to extend coverage to two thirds of the population to cement its first-mover advantage. Vodafone says it expects to launch 4G services some time in 2013, but has been concentrating on fixing and improving its existing 3G network.

Telstra’s network extends into regional towns because it owns a lot of 850 megahertz (MHz) spectrum in these areas, which is a low frequency spectrum that travels well over long distances. It uses 1800 MHz in cities.

Optus cannot extend its 4G network into regional areas for several years because it does not yet have suitable low-frequency spectrum available. It plans to buy 700 MHz spectrum from the government once analog television signals are transferred to digital signals and the 700 MHz is vacated. The government will auction the spectrum off early next year, but mobile carriers like Optus will not get access to it until early 2015 even though the switch to digital television will be completed by the end of 2013. Optus has been calling for earlier access to this spectrum.

The new generation of mobile networks carry data at much faster speeds than 3G networks. It is also more efficient, so it is cheaper for network owners to operate 4G networks.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Keep it simple: Hoffman


January 10, 2019 by admin

Ryan Hoffman of the Storm in action against the Cronulla Sharks last month.WITH a 75 per cent win record in finals, few players know more about what is needed to get the job done than Melbourne Storm back-rower Ryan Hoffman.
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And, as he said repeatedly yesterday as the Victorian side prepared to host South Sydney in their qualifying final at AAMI Park on Saturday, the recipe is pretty straightforward.

Accept your opportunities when they come, stay focused on your own game, don’t overcomplicate things by worrying too much about your opponents, don’t get ahead of yourself and never, ever, give up.

”I’m very excited,” he said on what, after a cold and wet winter, was an unfamiliar, warm morning for Melbourne.

”This is the time of year you want to be playing footy again, the weather is getting warmer and it’s an exciting time. We won’t worry about Sydney … The main focus for us is this game.

”We have a lot of younger players. They got a taste of finals footy last year. Unfortunately we fell short, but I think that experience will give them confidence that they can handle it,” the native of Campbelltown, New South Wales, said.

”I remember being a young kid in my second or third year playing finals and it was so exciting. You want to take these opportunities when they come in.

”We had a chat about finals footy yesterday. The key aspect is taking the opportunities. You never know when you are going to get another one.

”You have to make sure that when you get a chance to put points on the board or get repeat sets you really have to take them.”

Hoffman, who returned to the Storm after a year in England with Wigan, pinpointed Storm’s decorated skipper Cameron Smith as a key factor in a game that pits the Melbourne side against a reborn Rabbitohs outfit inspired by former Storm hero Greg Inglis as well as ex-Storm stalwarts Michael Crocker and Matt King.

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Text your way into consumers’ hearts


January 10, 2019 by admin

Few people can resist opening a text message for more than a few minutes.Emails can go unopened, leaflets go straight to the recycling bin, and telephone sales people get hung up on. But people can’t resist a text message.
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But 97 per cent of SMSs, or phone text messages, get opened. Most are opened within four minutes of receipt, with 83 per cent opened within the hour, according to research by US technology and strategy consultants Chetan Sharma.

It’s a trend that businesses – including gyms, beauty salons, clothing stores, cafes and dance schools – are increasingly tapping into to try to drive better results for their marketing efforts.

“It really blows every other medium away in terms of response rates and open rates,” says Lauri Lassila, director of digital marketing agency of SL Interative. “It’s such a personal and direct medium and at the same time it’s very fast and immediate, so that’s why you’re getting a good response.”

SMS marketing can be used by retailers to make special offers and by other businesses to remind customers to book appointments. Response rates to SMS marketing messages are typically in the double digits, says Lassila, although this can be as high as 30 per cent depending on the offer.

Lassila says if companies don’t already have a database of customers’ mobile numbers they can do something like hold a competition and ask customers to text them to win or get a special offer. “That’s using inbound SMS to either update your database or create a completely new database,” he says. This is also important because according to rules set down by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), markers need the consent of mobile phone users before they can send SMS messages to them.

Lassila says text marketing only works if a business’ database is up to date and it’s sending out genuine offers that customers would want.  “It can go horribly wrong if you try and abuse your customer contact with something that they have no interest in receiving,” he says.

SL interactive advises businesses to step back and consider what value an offer has before they send it to customers. “If you’re second guessing whether the offer’s really that good, then we recommend not to send it,” says Lassila.

SMS marketing is often done through a third-party, which can provide technical and marketing expertise in sending out text messages to large groups of people. SL Interactive charges between 4.9 cents and 7.9 cents per message, depending on the volume.

However, a recent entrant to the market is offering free SMS messaging. Slexicon, a Sydney-based internet start-up, gives retailers and other businesses stickers to post around their business inviting customers to ring a number and register to receive SMS offers from the business.

Co-founder Vito Grigorov says Slexicon doesn’t need to charge for sending out SMSs because it buys data capacity in bulk and so the cost of messages is “minuscule”. Once Slexicon is more established, Grigorov plans to add extra features, such as analytics of customers and their response, and charge users for them.

Grigorov says that SMS marketing is not just for making offers or special deals to customers, but also as a way of connecting and communicating with them.

“The loyalty element and the ability to get the customer back in the store can only come from actual communication,” he says. “It can be about offers but it doesn’t always have to be. It can be updates about product lines or services.”

Slexicon also advises businesses to add a line to their text marketing message encouraging recipients to pass it on to their friends who might like to receive the same offer. “It has a viral element in that people forward the offer to friends, who are potential new customers,” he says.

One of Slexicon’s clients is Sydney clothing store Surry Zoo, which Grigorov says sharply increased its sales through the use of SMS special offers, such as $10 off all purchases ending on Friday. “That type of message brings in a lot of people,” he says.

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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Strong winds for Sydney tomorrow


January 10, 2019 by admin

Sydney will experience strong warm winds tomorrow that are expected to whip up plenty of pollen and dust.
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Northwesterly winds, which will strengthen through the day bringing in a warm air mass, will average 35-50km/h by midday with wind gusts likely to reach 70km/h, Weatherzone meteorologist  Rob Sharpe said.

These winds are unlikely to cause significant damage, though.

Thursday is looking similarly warm and windy.

However, the winds are not as strong as in Australia’s south. Strong winds are developing in South Australia and will impact on New South Wales Victoria, Tasmania and .

A severe weather warning was issued this morning for damaging winds in parts of South Australia and Victoria. Northerly winds are expected to average 50-65km/h and gust up to 100km/h in many southern districts. Winds of this strength are capable of felling trees and power lines.

Damaging winds have already been recorded today at Cape Willoughby on Kangaroo Island where winds were consistently gusting above 90km/h from 7am.

The very strong northerly winds are developing ahead of a vigorous cold front that will cross South Australia today, reaching Adelaide about midnight.

The front will then weaken as it moves further east, but not before it delivers winds of similar strength to the Wimmera and South West districts in Victoria.

Winds are likely to be even stronger tomorrow in southern parts of South Australia as a low pressure system sweeps near the coast.

These winds should average 60-80km/h for exposed parts of the coast with wind gusts in excess of 100km/h. These winds are likely to cause even more damage along the coast than today’s strong winds. Adelaide is also at risk of wind damage.

Victoria will then receive the brunt of the strong winds tomorrow night with damage a fair chance, mainly on the coast and ranges, including Melbourne. These winds would be strong enough to fell trees and power lines.


Sydney weather statistics can be seen here.

Weatherzone南京夜网.au is owned by Fairfax Media, publisher of this website. Follow Environment on Twitter

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Scientology marriage plot a ‘lie’


January 10, 2019 by admin

Was Katie Holmes’ marriage to Tom Cruise the fruit of an exhaustive search by Scientologists?It was only a matter of time for the retort: Tom Cruise has hit back at claims that his relationship with Katie Holmes was part of an elaborately arranged marriage plot.
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Reacting to Vanity Fair’s explosive revelations laying out Scientology’s unusual process to find a suitable wife for their famous acolyte, Cruise has told Radar Online that the news is nothing more than lies.

The actor’s rep told the site: “Lies in a different font are still lies — designed to sell magazines”.

The upscale magazine’s October issue details Shelly Miscavige’s central role in the plan to matchmake Cruise with an actress, and that the Scientology chief’s wife’s first choice had been London-based, Iranian-born actress, Nazanin Boniadi.

The beauty was allegedly vetted, “audited” and interviewed in the process that saw her sworn to secrecy and unable to access her own money or tell the truth to her own family, said the magazine.

According to writer Maureen Orth, Boniadi was ordered to dye her hair, remove her braces and dump her boyfriend and was taken to New York – it was only then that she is said to have realised the role Scientology’s mandarins had in mind for her.

After a “blissful” first month at the end of 2004, the unorthdox relationship faltered and Boniadi was sent to Scientology’s Florida HQ in January 2005, writes Orth. Cruise then went on to marry Holmes in June of that year.

It comes as no surprise whatsoever that Cruise has labelled the claims as being far from the truth – both Cruise and Miscavige declined to be interview by Vanity Fair, and the Church of Scientology denies the search took place.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

‘Death of the mining boom exaggerated’: PM


January 10, 2019 by admin

The death of the mining boom has been “exaggerated”, according to Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who today called on industry leaders to back the Federal Government’s $6.7 billion education reform agenda and do its part to hire Australian workers.
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Speaking at a mining conference in Perth, Ms Gillard drew on the sector’s skilled labour shortage to find common ground with the crowd on education.

But her comments come as the iron ore spot price benchmark has fallen below US$90 per tonne in recent days and Australia’s third largest iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group announced job cuts as part of a massive pull back on its expansion plans in the Pilbara.

“Reports of the mining boom’s death have been exaggerated,” Ms Gillard said, urging heads of industry to do their part in hiring Australian workers.

There were 16,000 job seekers now registered on the Federal Government’s Jobs Board and 14,000 unfilled jobs in the resources sector, according to Ms Gillard.

“Migration is not the cure all that some might think,” she said.

“Why fly workers in from Manilla or Shanghai when they could be flying in from Hobart or Adelaide, especially given the softening of construction and manufacturing in parts of the nation.”

Ms Gillard has had a tumultuous relationship with the mining sector which has lobbied aggressively against the introduction of the MRRT and Carbon Tax.

Similarly the Federal Government’s relationship with Western Australia has remained strained as the Colin Barnett led WA government continues to push for a greater piece of GST revenue.

Australia saw $57 billion of mining investment in 2010-2011 and is expected to top $119BN by the end of this financial year, Ms Gillard said, arguing although the price boom had burst the investment boom was still underway.

“I know there’s uncertainty around as well,” she said.

“From depressed conditions in Europe and the US, from a softening of growth as China prepares for its new leadership and rebalances its economy and from the rise of resources competitors elsewhere in the southern hemisphere.”

Ms Gillard said China was undergoing a transformation the size of the industrial revolution, which would continue for decades.

“It’s happening on our doorstep and it’s not even half way done,” she said.

“China is only 50 per cent through.”

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Dollar ‘spooked’ to six-week low


December 10, 2018 by admin

Concerns about the cancelling or mothballing of some of Australia’s biggest mining projects have begun to take their toll on the Australian dollar, with the currency hitting a six-week low today against the greenback.
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That’s the view of some of Australia’s most respected currency strategists, who also believe that an improved outlook for Europe has reduced demand for the dollar’s so-called safe haven status.

The dollar fell to $US1.0241 this morning, down from $US1.0258 yesterday, a figure not seen since July 25.

It comes as the trade-weighted index fell to 76.6 overnight, the lowest since June 29. The index is a measurement of the dollar’s value when compared to a basket of currencies of Australia’s most important trading partners.

“There are a number of factors but I think the most potent is this quite intense focus in the financial press on mining projects being cancelled or delayed,” Robert Rennie, Westpac chief currency strategist, said.

“Then [European Central Bank president] Mario Draghi turned around overnight, in what was supposed to be a closed meeting, to say that the ECB could buy one-year, two-year, or even three-year bonds, and that there’s very little monetary financing effect at all in what they’re doing.”

Mr Draghi’s comments were a sign that there are positive developments afoot in Europe, which weakens the case of those who believe the Australian dollar has become a haven, Mr Rennie said.

“What’s the Australian dollar becoming a safe haven from? If it’s Europe, then why do you need a safe haven if Europe is about to address its issues?”

Commonwealth Bank foreign exchange economist Peter Dragicevich said the focus on falls in commodity prices and global concerns about the Asian growth story, particularly China, were having an effect.

“You’re also getting a lot of headlines about Australia’s capital expenditure story, and concerns about that. So I think the market sentiment is just a little bit negative,” Mr Dragicevich said.

“[But] we don’t think the fall in the dollar is overly bearish. Our forecasts have been for the Aussie to be at $US1.03 by the end of September for a number of months, so we did expect it to come under some pressure.”

Mr Draghi told the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament overnight that the ECB would not be breaking European Union law if it bought bonds from member states.

His comments come just days before the ECB meets on Thursday.

“There is a lot of expectation in the market ahead of the ECB meeting,” Mr Dragicevich said. “[Markets are hoping] the ECB will provide a lot of detail about what they plan to do, and how they plan to buy those bonds.”

It comes as the Moody’s rating agency moved the EU’s triple-A credit onto a negative outlook overnight.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.