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Can’t say it’s entirely new – SLRs have had detachable lenses for decades and higher-end cameras have had detachable, interchangeable “backs” for even longer. You could even say that remote lens position and operation are not entirely new either. What is new is the application of a smartphone-style back with wireless connectivity to the lens. So you can couple the 2 facets – electronic and optical – at varying distances, and control the servo-assisted AF lens (again not new per se) from the remote back. The possibilities for virtualising “hard” camera controls onto a smartphone or similar object then open up in tandem with the remote lensing opportunity. Hopefully the wireless range will be good, maximising creative remote lens use whilst minimising those inevitable “OMG I’ve lost my lens” moments. (Some privacy issues may also arise of course…)
Given the suitable moniker of Camera Futura by its designers, the concept camera pivots around a patent-pending technology that the Artefact Group has called the Wireless Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens (WIVL) system. WIVL sees the camera benefiting from the same operating platform and connectivity as a smartphone – with the same access to a world of application development – but with the image processing power of a digital camera. A natural (and no doubt welcome) progression in the evolution of the digital camera, you might say, but perhaps not too much of a surprise.
Whilst I can understand the “why” – bikes can feel alien at first, especially for runners – I’m not so sure that this idea isn’t so niche as to be next to useless. Unless you absolutely have to stand at all times and can’t imagine pedalling, why bother?
Just imagine – standing all of the time, constantly in the wind, creating as much drag as you possibly could. And when you hit a hill over 5% what happens? Do you get off and walk? Just to put all of this in perspective I can “comfortably cruise” at 30kmh on my bike, or walk similar distances at around 10-12kmh. In both cases I can handle inclines of up to 21% or so pretty comfortably. So the ElliptiGO would fall in between but be a real get-off-and-slug up hills. And then there’s the price… I guess there’ll be a market – there’s always a market for something “look-at-me” whacky.
The company says that runners/riders should be able to comfortably cruise at speeds of between 12 to 15 mph (19 – 24 kph) and be able to handle inclines of up to five percent, or can push their workout up a notch and get up to 20 to 25 mph (32 – 40 kph). Different-sized users can be accommodated by adjustment of stride length (between 16-25 inches/41-64 cm) and by way of the telescopic steering column.
Something good and thoughtful in the SMH? Unreal. But the Herald can be as venal and base in its own sweet way as the more blatantly populist Terrorgraph. It’s just about picking your market demographic and playing to it, isn’t it? Forget about fact-checking, it’s baseless opinion we want. Whatever will sell your newspaper in this virally sensationalist age.
But first the good, thoughtful comment (wrapped up in an attack upon a rival, of course)…
Australia’s richest woman says hard working mums and dads trying to keep their suburban small business afloat should pay more tax so she can pay less.
Presumably Blanchett has nothing to gain from a carbon tax. Rinehart had a lot to gain in derailing the mining tax.
The lesson in the Telegraph world?
No good deed goes unpunished.
And now the flip side. The fair-minded and utterly balanced (well they’d say so, anyway) Herald also lets this sort of upside-down and utterly parroted, thought-free “logic” grace its pages… from Ross Cameron, ex-Lib MP…
The risks of making predictions about complex systems on the basis of computer models was graphically illustrated by the Club of Rome’s famously discredited 1972 work The Limits of Growth, which argued that linear growth in food resources and exponential growth in population would lead to Malthusian famine and war. The model completely failed to account for the subsequent 400 per cent increase in agricultural productivity.
So yes, we can be wrong and there are risks involved on both sides. So how long do we wait to clarify the data before acting on anthropogenic climate change? It’s been over 30 years already…
Remember Y2K? In 1999 governments spent millions enriching computer scientists for advice on how to manage the threats to our national security from the millennium bug.
Another popular argument along the lines of “there was no ozone hole in the first place”. But how can we be sure that we didn’t actually fix Y2K (and the ozone hole) because we took action? Is there a parallel world we can run these experiments on? Nope. Unless you count computer modelling of course, which Ross Cameron apparently doesn’t. FWIW I have personal experience with the work done to manage the Y2K issue and (a) it was real and a lot of code was fixed and (b) things still fell over. Because of the sensitive nature of the “things” that fell over – that utterly stopped working – it was fell upon instantly and fixed. Some of these were commercially sensitive and never made known outside the companies and organisations concerned. To say that Y2K remediation was wasted money is naive, innocent and ignorant thinking. Just like denying climate change simply for the sake of it.
Ross Cameron parrots more unsubstantiated – and plain wrong – “facts” in what seems to be a transparent mismash of umpteen denialist websites. How useful.
When will we ever climb out of this dark pit of stupidity?
It’s not just the appeal hanging over his head, it’s the whole sense of unease that hangs over the sport. Part – if not most – of which is the residual “Lance effect”, that feeling that winning should not look so easy and be so repeatable. As in endlessly repeatable. Yes, I know, you can’t judge effort on appearances, and you certainly can’t pass judgement on a rider – a person – simply because of their performance on a bike. But Contador was streets ahead, again, against a field that – let’s be honest – lacked some of the stars that it should have had. Which probably wouldn’t have mattered, given Andy Schleck’s current form, but it somehow made this Giro a little less compelling.
Which leaves room to wonder if he’ll be able to peak again in July, given that the CAS appeal has slipped back. At least we’ll see all of the big guns there, hopefully motivated and on top form for a long, hard – and closely fought – Tour.
And we can’t leave Italy without noting the sad loss of life: RIP Wouter.
Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-SunGard) sealed overall victory in the Giro d’Italia on Sunday with a third place finish in the concluding time trial in Milan, won by David Millar (Garmin-Cervélo). In the battle for second place, Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) held off the challenge of a flagging Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale), on a day that saw few decisive brushstrokes added to the Giro’s overall picture.
ROCK music in 2011 is not quite what it was in the mid-1960s. For one thing, it is full of challenging coincidences, such as the one reported by Pete Townshend in a recent e-mail. “I was supposed to be sailing in the St Barth’s Bucket Race on March 24th,” he wrote. That’s right: the writer of “My Generation”, “Substitute” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again” now spends part of his time as a yachtsman in the Caribbean. “This was arranged last August,” he added. “In a challenging coincidence Roger Daltrey will be performing ‘Tommy’ on that very day for Teenage Cancer [Trust] at the Royal Albert Hall.”
Yesterday’s kaleidoscopic images have been put through Panini and re-projected into different views (stereographic, Mercator, cylindrical etc). And then run through PS just in case I haven’t ruined them enough…
The process here is (a) start with a digital drawing or photograph (b) mirror it a few times in PS, GIMP or Andy, whatever you have (c) re-project it in a pano program like Panini and (d) do it over again in your image editor. Is it art? Who cares!
Well it happens. There you are working on something important and wham, a blue screen of death appears. Or BSOD for short. You wait patiently as it writes “stuff” somewhere and as the seconds tick by you just hope it reboots. Then you hope you can recover some of your work. (Save often – and in multiple places if you can!)
Welcome to Windows. Hey, you’ll get used to it. And don’t imagine something similar doesn’t occasionally happen in alternative operating systems like UNIX or the recent UNIX-derived Apple OS. Anyone who’s worked on Apple hardware for example knows that whilst “closed shop” or proprietary designs can keep potentially clashing hardware and software designs under a tighter reign, when they do break it’s often far less simple – and more expensive – to get to the root cause. And it’s the very openness of the original “IBM compatible” and later Intel and Microsoft hardware/software partnership that both rewards us with plentiful alternatives at lower cost and delivers us into the looser, vaguer world of mismatched versions and uncontrolled design. But enough of that. How do you fix it?
Well the BSOD usually gives you a clue. I just got one – and it blamed “NV4_disp.dll“. You don’t have to be Einstein to realise that “NV” is probably NVIDIA and “disp” is probably “display”. It’s your smoking gun, usually.
The “dll” bit is a Dynamic Link Library file, simply a file that provides one or more particular functions and/or some data for a given application. Generally speaking – and I’ll use NV4_disp.dll as my example here – it’s a device driver of some sort. So in this example NV4_disp.dll is happily driving the screen (or monitor or display if you like) and we call it the video driver because having many names for simple things is cool. Then you start up a new or recently updated video player (like I just updated Real because it asked me to) and it innocently makes a call upon NV4_disp.dll that just doesn’t make complete sense. Perhaps your version of NV4_disp.dll is (like mine) 6 months old or more and is subtly different from “today’s” standard. Somewhere along the road an error crops up that doesn’t get handled properly and Windows itself steps in to save us all from disaster – by shutting down. Extreme, I know, but probably safer than letting things go from bad to worse.
The best fix here is simply to update NV4_disp.dll. Whatever the BSOD identifies is usually the culprit, unless it simply can’t work out what broke first. In which case you need to dig deeper (see the end of this story for more clues).
But how do you update a video driver? Or any other driver for that matter? Well the Internet can be your friend here – just search for say “NV4_disp.dll update” and choose the most likely – like the NVIDIA website. They have a tool there that searches automagically for the right driver. If that doesn’t work (it didn’t for me and my Windows XP SP3 machine) then go to your control panel and open the NVIDIA control panel. Look for “system information” and bingo, you have your driver data.
Plug that info in manually and it’ll come up with the latest driver. Download and install that. Remember it’s safer to download from the manufacturer directly, if you can. Run a virus check on the file just to be safe.
Hopefully that’ll fix it.
But what if you need more clues, Sherlock?
Well if the BSOD is clueless, try “WhoCrashed“, a program by Resplendence.com that does the hard yards for you – and for free if you are a home user. (Search the Internet for it but remember to be careful who you download from and run a virus scan on the file.) WhoCrashed may ask where your source files are – and these are your “minidump” files. Minidump is simply a Windows repository for crash-logging files and is usually found under C:\WINDOWS\Minidump or similar.
I’ve rarely found Minidump turned off but some “tune up” software may turn it off to save space (not that it would save much). If turned off, turn it on (you’ll find it via the “Help and Support Centre” in Windows, simply click on “Use tools.. ..to diagnose problems” then “System Restore” and “System Restore settings”. Phew. Then open “Advanced” and “Startup and recovery” then “Settings”. Still with me? Inside settings you should have a tick in “write an event to the system log” and “Small Memory dump” as the address written to… it will default now to %SystemRoot%\Minidump. Easy. Press OK to save and exit.)
WhoCrashed will spit out a report. Read it, it will probably help to determine what, or perhaps who, actually crashed. If it identifies specific hardware or software then follow that trail with updates, reinstalls or rollbacks as needed. Search on the Internet for more opinons if you like, too. Often there are multiple solutions as well as countless false trails.
And if you prefer to use the genuine Microsoft debugger it’s called WinDbg and it comes with the genuine Windows set of debugging tools, downloadable from the MSDN website (just search for it in the usual way). You’ll also need the Symbols download or use the MS server like WhoCrashed does. Install it all (it’s big but beautiful) and run WinDbg. You’ll need to set your source files folder to C:\WINDOWS\Minidump and your symbols folder to C:\WINDOWS\symbols (or wherever you put them). Then select “open crash dump” and the specific file you want – likely to be the most recent.
When set up, click away and it’ll open a report. Read it, I’ll wait here.
It’ll probably suggest “Use !analyze -v to get detailed debugging information” somewhere down that report, so do that as well. Again, read the report and you’ll usually get the gist of what the fault was. Usually. Take what action seems reasonable (ie fix, update, upgrade or throw it in the bin and buy a new machine).
If any of the above sounds ludicrously complex then just don’t do it. Take it to a shop – or (if you are on the Central Coast of NSW) call me - instead.
Nice to get something expensive and thoughtful on your birthday, isn’t it? As we effectively end Muto’s pro cycling career for apparent cheating bear in mind that lawyers, actors and politicians are amongst a larger segment of our population who are not targeted for PEDs during their working lives. Is that because they are less important or have less impact on our society?
Some nice visualisation happening here – wasted on an old-style TV program though. It needs to be interactive so I can mouse-over and check out the individual stats as I please. Worth looking at though…
They say monstera deliciosa is an acquired taste – well our house guest the brush tailed possum has acquired that taste without any trouble. She has become rather fond of breaking said fruit off the plant and hauling it up onto our deck for a snack. Yum.
OK, it’s not really about Dopage but maybe waaaay back in the 60s and 70s… and possibly the 80s… there’s a link. Point is that we don’t like to see “performance enhancement” in our sports but don’t mind it so much (generally speaking) in other professions. Is it hypocrisy? I’ll think about it.
This vid is funny, especially if you know the guy is chief creator at the Who. I can’t really see Mick and Keef mucking about in their home studio like this, but in contrast Townshend has done it the geeky muso “hands on” way since at least the late 60′s.
And a DAW? Digital Audio Workstation. He’s using Ableton Live here (I use Live Lite and can vouch for its capabilities even in cut-back form. Anyway, it’s an interesting insight into how one 66 year old rocker (or mod, rather) has adapted to the digital world.
Well if true it does rule Hincapie out of this year’s TdF, surely? He not only saw Armstrong take PEDs but he and Lance “supplied” each other and “discussed” having taken testosterone. I’m sure there’s a lot more to come… there’s a whole peleton of suspects out there waiting to have their say.
CBS News has also reported that, “Hincapie testified that he and Armstrong supplied each other with the endurance-boosting substance EPO and discussed having used another banned substance, testosterone, to prepare for races.”
Well again this is not “new” news, is it? But it’s nice to see some honour amongst thieves, I guess. Ekimov of course is now retired (again) but had a long and illustrious career (can’t forget his pursuit tussles with Dean Woods and co back in the late 1980s, can we?). He deserves this added official respect.
Hamilton had won the 2004 Olympic Games time trial ahead of Viatcheslav Ekimov (Russia) and Bobby Julich (United States of America) and Michael Rogers (Australia). In theory, the new assignment of medals could be Ekimov – gold, Julich – silver and Rogers – bronze.
A previous joint appeal by the Russian and Australian Olympic Committees to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, in 2006, was denied. The Russians and Australians had asked unsuccessfully for CAS to give Hamilton’s medal to Ekimov.
Hamilton, a former teammate of Lance Armstrong claimed that seven-time Tour de France winner had used performance enhancing drugs, including EPO and testosterone during several of his Tour wins. Hamilton made the claims during an interview with the credible “60 Minutes” program that is planning to air this Sunday, and those claims emerged yesterday.
A lot rests on George Hincapie’s testimony, doesn’t it? Especially since Hamilton, like Landis, has now admitted what he saw and did.
It’s not really news, but it’s like the stars aligning. Almost a year ago there were reports circulating in the WSJ about who the FDA would be interested in and what they may say about Lance Armstrong. Well what they have (reportedly!) said as testimony to the FDA’s Grand Jury hearings is finally coming out… and it’s not exactly positive (pun intended, sorry) about Mr Armstrong. If it’s as reported, anyway (have I said that enough?).
Bear in mind that this investigation carries enormous legal weight and anyone holding back the truth deliberately would potentially face a serious legal consequence. So what they have admitted, if reported accurately, carries more than a little impact. That anyone would lie at this stage would seem unlikely, especially when – like Landis and Hamilton – you have already been caught with PEDs in your blood and suffered major consequences. It’s easy to imagine that they wouldn’t want a jail sentence on top of what they have endured already. It’s time to just own up. What else can be lost?
However the counter argument is ‘how can we trust these guys?’. To which I would refer again to my previous para.
And as for Hincapie, well only blind loyalty would stand in the way of him simply telling the truth to a Grand Jury. His credibility is surely intact so far, so why lie now?
Bicycling.com reported on the WSJ article with particular reference to Hamilton, Landis and Hincapie last year…
Salacious details aside, the most important part of last week’s story was very lightly remarked – that three other former members of Armstrong’s U.S. Postal Service team told the Journal they witnessed doping on the team and one said he had participated. Those riders were not named by the Journal, but it’s evident that the Journal did not print Landis’ allegations without verifying at least some of them with other sources.
Now, the Journal reports that investigators are looking to speak with other riders. That’s not a shock, but what is significant about it is two of the riders (there are undoubtedly others) the Journal says are being targeted: Tyler Hamilton and George Hincapie.
Armstrong denied the charges and said that Landis had a credibility problem after previously lying about his own doping use. However investigators have been seeking statements from other former US Postal Service riders and employees, and several un-named riders have been reported as having already been in talks with Novitzky. At least one individual is thought to have backed up Landis’ claims.
Since August a grand jury has been meeting in Los Angeles to hear testimony by associates and confidants of Armstrong’s. Those subpoenaed or interviewed include Armstrong’s former teammates Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie and Kevin Livingston; Mike Anderson, who once worked as Armstrong’s bike mechanic and assistant; and Oakley sunglasses marketing representative Stephanie McIlvain. Another former teammate of Armstrong’s, Floyd Landis, who won the 2006 Tour de France but was stripped of the title because of a positive drug test, also gave information to investigators.
It didn’t get much notice in the local Aussie mass media back then but it was certainly noted by the cycling community. Not just a stage win but a mammoth effort to ride away solo and win alone, almost a minute ahead of the pack. Hard enough to do that in a club crit let alone in a Grand Tour…
The stage was 182km in length. McKenzie took flight just 18km in.
Some stories say you made a bet with Robbie McEwen, who was riding for Farm Frites at the time…
“It wasn’t so much a bet. They started the stage (with the) usual attacks, left, right and centre. And then I rolled up beside him, and I was trying to get through to attack. By then everyone had called a truce; they called ‘piano’.
“And they were all across the road, and I said (to McEwen): ‘I want to go! I’ve got good legs, I want to attack!’ And he just said, ‘Go! Duck up the inside here. Jump out.’ You know what Robbie’s like – he’s like, ‘F**k ‘em, just do it!’ That was the conversation. That was pretty much what was said.”
the peloton completely miscalculated the strength and tenacity of the blond-haired boy from Ballarat, and McKenzie won the stage by 51secs. “Nothing beats it. You wish you could go back and have the last 300m of the stage. Every now and then, I wish I could have it just once more,” he told me in our October 2005 interview, days after he announced his retirement from professional cycling. On the 22nd of that month and following the finish of the Melbourne to Warrnambool, a race he won four years previous, ‘Macka’ called it a day.
McKenzie heralded his coming of age with a career highlight by winning stage seven of the 2000 Giro D’Italia in a 164km solo break-away. He capped off a great year by being named Australian Male Road Cyclist of the Year.
Dave talks about crossing the finish line as if it somehow broke a spell, and recalls Jens Voigt’s comment once about it being a special moment that only the rider can enjoy and understand. Dave is too positive for regrets, but he would love to experience those last few hundred metres again.
The little Aussie Espresso crossed the line 51 seconds clear and was rugby tackled off the bike by an exhuberant support team. The rest is a blur, except the vivid memory that each and every one of the Aussies racing that day all came and hugged him, sharing his special moment.
Much of the old guard or “mass” media engages in a dangerous game, playing along with petty politics and generally promoting the reckless and intolerant knee-jerkers over the prudent and sensible analysers. They write – and promote – what they think “sells”. They give time – too much time – to empty words said forcefully. They join with the self-interested bullies on tax, refugees and reform. And they tuck their more moderate writers away, out of sight.
So it’s good to be able to catalogue some of the more sensible, thoughtful and balanced views that sometimes seep through the cracks….
The reaction to last week’s budget offers a good example. On budget night every pet shop galah was complaining it wasn’t tough enough – a ”missed opportunity”, the last Julia Gillard will get before the next election.
You get the feeling Labor cops more criticism for its slowness to roll back middle-class welfare than Howard got for putting it there ( economist Saul Eslake is the honourable exception). Certainly, the smaller-government brigade is a lot tougher on the government for its supposed timidity than it is on the opposition for its blatant populism and inconsistency.
IF YOU listen to the economists and commentators complaining the budget wasn’t tough enough and involves budget deficits higher than earlier expected, you could easily conclude it’s a weak effort that does little to keep the economy on the right track. But you’d be misled.
It could have been more excruciating – economists are hard to please when it comes to inflicting pain – but it’s tougher and more courageous than all but the first of the 12 budgets the now-sainted Peter Costello delivered.
But the report notes that despite this, asylum levels in Australia remain not only below those observed in 2000 (13,100 claims) and 2001 (12,400 claims), but also below those recorded by many other industrialised and non-industrialised countries.
Indeed, Australia ranks below 13 other rich nations for the number of asylum-seeker applications lodged here. We rank even lower – 17th – for the number of applications per population.
The Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, and his finance man, Joe Hockey, jumped all over it. And with good reason. It is an easy mark for an opposition attack, certain to stir unrest and indignation within the electorate. Unfortunately, they are picking on the wrong target.
The simple explanation to this conundrum is that the Treasurer was only talking about government debt, the loot he’s responsible for borrowing. At about $120 billion, it’s certainly a lot bigger than the $38 billion debt in the first year of the Rudd government. But despite the theatrics from Tony and Joe, government debt is negligible compared to the size of our economy and barely makes an impression when calculating who owes what to the rest of the world.
The real culprits in the foreign debt splurge are you and me.
Unfortunately, many of those now championing the sovereign fund idea let the nation down badly right at the starting post. They stood meekly by when the mining giants rode roughshod over the federal government’s plans for a resources rent tax. Many of them openly opposed the tax and then ridiculed the watered down version.
In doing so, they compromised our future, economically and politically, helping shift the power dynamic from elected officials to a triumvirate of hugely powerful but publicly unaccountable corporations.
Bravo to all. At least they have their thinking caps on and are prepared to speak their minds rather than automagically fall into line with the populists.
Ever happen to you? Those automatic updates from Microsoft that usually just download and load up and self-configure at the next boot? Well with XP it has always run smoothly – if at times slowly – but with Windows 7 I have had more problems. Maybe because Win7 is on a laptop, or maybe not. So what’s the beef?
Well some of these updates are big (like complete service packs) and can take hours to deploy on slow PCs on a slow network. So don’t give up if it just appears to hang – wait it out. But if Win 7 tries to configure the updates but stalls, gets to 16% or even 0% and then hangs for 5 minutes or so, thinking about life or whatever before rolling back and uninstalling the updates then you may have a problem. Of course you could just have a timeout (it’s a common error code) – and it will fix itself next time around. But if you wait too long you’ll fill your restore point cache with failed updates and be unable to roll back to when it all worked… ouch.
Restoring from a known working state is the usual solution, if you have such restore points available. (Make more space for your restore points, just in case. And make a recovery disk, too, just in case.)
You may also have a corrupt system file, too. You can scan your harddrive for errors and check that out.
But here’s what worked for me – I did a scan to ensure that there were no file system errors and then shut down (yet again – probably after 5 or so failed updates). When completely shut down I unplugged everything bar the monitor – no USB keyboard, mouse or scanner. And restarted. Bingo! It updated perfectly!
As a last hope I restarted last night my ADSL modem, that has not been restarted since going back to normal time. This morning I tried again to update the computer and Oh, happy day! the updates started!!! Anyway I have no idea whether the restarting of the modem helped.
I have been going crazy trying to fix this Update problem plus my gadgets were not updating. Finally about the third time I fooled around with the clock I noticed that the YEAR was wrong. Duhhhh. It was Jan 2010 instead of 2011. Sheesh!
This Personal Learning Edition (PLE) of Bryce 7 is a full-version with no watermarks or limitations of any kind in the program itself. The licensing allows for strictly personal, non-commercial use. SERIAL CODE: BDZPLED-070-0000000-NBA-001-HBUVMLF Bryce is an award winning, fun, feature-packed 3D modeling and animation package designed to allow new users to quickly create and render stunning 3D environments. Bryce combines exceptional power with an innovative interface for incredible ease of use. Add wildlife, people, props and more to your scenes via the DAZ Studio character plug-in in addition to terrain, water, sky, rocks, clouds, fog, vegetation, and architecture for which Bryce has long been the standard.
DAZ Studio 3 Products and Bundles DAZ Studio is a free, feature rich 3D figure design and 3D animation tool that enables anyone to create stunning digital imagery. This is the perfect tool to design unique digital art and animation using virtual people, animals, props, vehicles, accessories, environments and more. Simply select your subject and/or setting, arrange accessories, setup lighting, and begin creating beautiful artwork.
And Blender, an enormously useful tool for 3D work… you’ll see Blender-ised 3D images built into applications all over the web…
Real-time animation evolves with 3D Video FX, motion paths, HDR and rapid drag & drop creation inside iClone4. iClone4 combines real-time filmmaking & video production inside one powerful engine. The result is a streamlined production tool for motion graphics, 3D animation, video compositing and 3D stereo creation.
That’s all for now – it’ll get you started anyway.
It must have been the wind, or the sudden colder weather but large Lepidoptera are landing in our Central Coast garden on an almost daily basis. I am pretty well certain this is Papilio aegeus (the Orchard Swallowtail) but you can tell me if I’m wrong. This one was a bit tired and battered but was feisty enough to get its act together and fly off later in the day.
It’s hard to capture a living, breathing butterfly as they tend to, well, flit about. This one was injured and looking for a rest, so I got it out of the wind and away from the chooks to recover. And to take some closeups.
I am pretty well certain this is Papilio aegeus (the Orchard Swallowtail). Or as certain as I can be until someone corrects me.
It may be the wind, or the sudden colder weather but large Lepidoptera are landing in our Central Coast garden on an almost daily basis. Unlike yesterday’s huge unidentified moth, I am pretty well certain this is Papilio aegeus (the Orchard Swallowtail). This one is a bit battered but is feisty enough and managed to fly away after a rest.
It’s Grand Tour time and there are accusations flying about… as usual. Here’s a brief run down just for the record. Bar making the prediction that Le Tour 2011 will be preceded by the usual denials, claims and counter-claims and whilst personally not being too fussed about it, it does bring a decent sport – and riders – into unfair disrepute; so I shall say nothing more. Except, take it all with a grain of salt and always remember that there are people’s lives involved here, on all sides.
De Angeli rode for Savio’s team in 2005 but tested positive for EPO and was suspended for two years. He then suffered personal problems but decided to speak out two years ago and accused Savio of dealing doping products when giving evidence to the anti-doping investigators at the Italian Olympic Committee. This sparked the police investigation.
Gianni Savio has spoken about the Mantova investigation that has engulfed Italian cycling in the past week. The Androni Giocattoli manager was at the Paris Roubaix team presentation and believes that whatever the outcome of the investigation, Italian cycling has taken another severe hit to its already shaky integrity.
“Fortunately it’s not a question for us. We have no riders in the investigation so it’s very difficult to know what happened and what will happen,” he told Cyclingnews.
“But it’s damaging for Italian cycling,” he added. “I think that all these questions are bad for cycling.”
Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport has revealed further details of the police investigation that has engulfed the Lampre-Farnese Vini team, claiming that 16 riders and staff from the team have been formally placed under investigation for doping related offences.
A total of 35 people are under investigation by police in Mantova as part of a two-year investigation. Local media in Italy have suggested the investigation was sparked by the confession of Emanuele Sella after he tested positive for CERA in 2008.
The BMC Racing Team has announced on Friday morning that Alessandro Ballan and Mauro Santambrogio will not be racing pending the outcome of the Mantova police investigation, an anti-doping investigation currently being held in Italy.
The investigation is still big news in Italy with Gazzetta dello Sport again dedicating two pages to it on Thursday under the headline of “Un ‘inchiesta che fa tremare’ -an investigation that makes you shake with fear. One page carried an interview with the judge and the other an interview with Guido Nigrelli, the pharmacist at the centre of the investigation.
Nigrelli again denied any wrongdoing. He confirmed that former World Champion Alessandro Ballan used to do testing with him and confirmed he has been a friend of Lampre team manager Giuseppe Saronni for 30 years. He also said the Lampre-Farnese Vini team doctors ordered regular supplies of medicines from him but insisted he had not done anything illegal.
“The thing that has bothered me the most is that 60 families risk everything. If Lampre doesn’t ride the Giro, it’ll close down,” he said, raising the spectre that the future of the Italian team could be at risk.
The legendary Bo Diddley once played Henson Park in Marrickville, NSW using a local backing band (whose name escapes me..! ). Support was Jeff St John and the Silver Studs, MC was Donnie Sutherland. I believe it was 1976. Luckily enough I was there to take these blurry pics…
FYI Henson Park was a rugby league football ground and before that a cycling velodrome and key venue for the 1938 Empire Games. It wasn’t usually a rock venue….
Love these scare stories by vested interests. Like the row over a fair and just super-profits tax on miners which was sunk by narrow self-interest at the expense of the greater community. (After all it’s OK for miners to charge whatever they like for what they dig up, but it’s apparently wrong for the actual owners of these use-once resources to charge what they want too, isn’t it? Ugh.)
THE surge towards internet shopping will strip Australia of about 50,000 jobs over the next five years, according to the National Retail Association.
Of course Internet shopping will change things. It already has. Face-to-face retailers have to offer something better – or at least different – in order to win a sale. Price alone won’t cut it. But in many cases they have the advantage of personal service, immediate in-stock delivery, no added freight charge and bulk-buying power – if they have set themselves up to operate in that way of course. And they can always go online themselves (although they may be 10 years late to the party.)
But 50,000 jobs? How robust is this? Was it a quick “what do ya think” ring around the mates or a careful analysis? And what about jobs gained as the Internet-based operations grow locally? Whilst not employing face-to-face retail staff they are still employing local people to maintain websites and manage the business, provide a service line and operate distribution to pack and deliver goods. It’s a boon for couriers and the postal service, too. Did they net out the gains from that nice, round 50,000 figure? Nope, apparently not.
An industry survey found about 2000 jobs had already been lost nationally because of the trend, which was sparked by the increased value of the Australian dollar. This had made buying overseas on the internet a cheaper alternative to buying goods locally.
Ah, so that 50,000 figure is actually just made up, presumably based on an ‘industry survey’ reporting 2,000 jobs ‘already…lost’. Nice to know that they didn’t waste time on careful analysis. But they have also identified the stronger Aussie dollar as the culprit. So what they are really saying is that the stimulus package that gave the retailers a leg up during the GFC is now a bad thing as it made the Aussie economy – and dollar – look comparatively stable and strong, and that the mining boom that is driving up further demand for Aussie dollars is killing us (or them, anyway). So by extension they’d have preferred a recession and a mining collapse, I guess. Bizarre.
But wait, if the stronger Aussie dollar is encouraging individuals to buy more stuff from overseas, why isn’t it helping local retailers to do the same thing? Whilst there would be a delivery lag, it’s not that the Aussie dollar has only just gotten stronger – it’s been strengthening for yonks. The big retailers especially should be reaping the benefits, buying in bulk, saving on shipping costs per item and offering better service than the local and overseas Internet e-tailers. But apparently not. Did they all make a mistake in their forward planning? Are they lumbered with old stock that they can’t afford to sell off cheaply now? Are they lazy, or logically blinded in some way?
Well maybe they should’ve managed their forward planning and stock control a bit better. (Admittedly small retailers will struggle with this but they struggle with the competition from large retail chains anyway. They have to be better and smarter in their operations just to survive.)
Under current rules, offshore companies do not have to pay the goods and services tax or import duty on purchases of less than $1000 and Mr Black said Treasury had already estimated that would cost $460 million a year in forgone revenue.
Wow, that’s a lot of foregone revenue… but I think even Treasury would admit that the cost of recovery is greater than the money collected. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it – but it’s a bit lame to quote a figure and just leave it out there as some sort of “proof”.
“That’s a lot of money and it’s rapidly rising and we have a Federal Government that is asleep at the wheel on the issue,” Mr Black said.
OK, so it’s not that most of the bricks and mortar retailers have missed the boat on e-tailing, or that they haven’t leveraged their advantages or even seen what was happening with the strengthening Aussie dollar, it’s just that the Feds are asleep, even when it’s been referred to the Productivity Commission. Apparently after 10 years or more of total blind ignorance it’s suddenly an urgent issue. Yeah, right. I’m convinced.
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