Monday, December 6, 2010

The Sydney Morning Herald Good Pub Food Guide 2011

There's great news today for anyone in Sydney or NSW who loves nothing more than heading to the pub for a glass or two of something cold and a delicious, well-priced meal.

The inaugural Sydney Morning Herald Good Pub Food Guide 2011 is published today, and is set to establish itself as the definitive and indispensible guide to the best pub food throughout the Sydney area and regional NSW.

The book's publication will be complemented by the launch of the Good Pub Food Guide 2011 iPhone app later this month.

To celebrate the publication of the new Guide, the first ever Sydney Morning Herald Good Pub Food Guide Awards were held last night in Sydney, recognising the most outstanding pub food offerings in a range of categories.

Winner of the Best Overall Award was the Four in Hand in Paddington, a pub that also carried off the Best Pub by Region (City & Suburbs) Award.

(For a full list of categories and Award winners, please see below).

The Sydney Morning Herald Good Pub Food Guide 2011 is edited by renowned pub aficionado Keith Austin, who, along with a team of dedicated reviewers, spent several months putting together the material to make this Guide a pub-lover's delight.

Commenting on the Guide, Keith said that that the humble hotel is undergoing something of a renaissance, possibly fuelled by the inexorable rise of the so-called gastropub in the UK but also, he believes, by the realization that top-end dining has become prohibitively expensive in recent years.

"Pubs can – and do – serve some great food, and it's about time people realised that," Keith said. "There is a misconception that pubs are all about pie-warmer pies and dodgy sausage rolls but that's no longer the case."

"Our team of 70 reviewers visited more than 550 pubs across NSW – everywhere from Bryon to Dubbo, Wentworth, Eden and beyond – and we encountered everything from wagyu beef to fish so fresh it winked at you from the plate."

Keith said that his review team had to choose from more than 1,600 pubs and hotels across Sydney and NSW.

All the pubs reviewed in The Sydney Morning Herald Good Pub Food Guide 2011 are scored out of 20, with the lowest score of 12 signifying "not bad" and a score of more than 18 receiving the ultimate "gastro-tastic" accolade.

The Guide also uses a "schooner" ranking – just like the chef's hat and wine glass rankings in the recently-published Good Food Guide 2011 and Good Wine Guide 2011 books and apps.

Eight pubs around Sydney, Newcastle and regional NSW scored the top possible ranking of three schooners, while nine pubs scored two schooners and an impressive 30 pubs received a one "raise a glass of the good stuff" schooner rank.

As well as the reviews, The Sydney Morning Herald Good Pub Food Guide 2011 features handy "The Best" sections, including the best beer lists, the best family-friendly pubs, the best views – even the best chips!

"This being the first Good Pub Food Guide we can't claim to be omniscient, and there will be places serving great food which we haven't yet discovered," Keith said, adding that readers are warmly invited to suggest pubs for future reviews by contacting him at or by posting suggestions on the Good Food Guide Facebook page (

"Publicans are beginning to realise that the key to a great pub is exceptional pub grub. And if you want to know where to find it, this is the book for you. Certainly there are a few even I haven't managed to get round to yet so maybe I'll see you there."

The Sydney Morning Herald Good Pub Food Guide 2011 is on sale from Tuesday, December 7 at bookstores, newsagents and online at, or by calling The Sydney Morning Herald  on 1300 656 059. Recommended retail price is $24.95.

The Sydney Morning Herald Good Pub Food Guide 2011 iPhone app is available soon from the iTunes store for $9.99.


Ø  Best Overall

The Four In Hand, Paddington

Ø  Best pub by region (City & suburbs)

The Four In Hand, Paddington

Ø  Best pub by region (Newcastle & surrounds)

Carrington Place, Newcastle

Ø  Best pub by region (Country)

Mount Kembla Village Hotel, Mount Kembla

Ø  Best family friendly

Appin Hotel, Appin

Ø  Best location

The Newport Arms, Newport

Ø  Best waterfront location

The Smithtown Riverview Hotel, Smithtown

Ø  Best beer garden

Burrawang Village Hotel, Burrawang

Ø  Best service (individual)

Danielle Jukes at The Royal Hotel, Moree

Ø  Best service (team)

Harwood Hotel, Harwood

Ø  Most promising

Simon Sim at the Botany Bay Hotel

Ø  Best beer list

The Local Taphouse, Darlinghurst

Ø  Best use of local produce

Mount Kembla Village Hotel, Mount Kembla

Ø  Best value for money

The Shakespeare Hotel, Surry Hills

Ø  Best community involvement

The Heads Hotel Motel, Shoalhaven Heads

About the editor:

Keith Austin is a pub lover of old and a former restaurant reviewer for the Sydney Morning Herald. He has also edited two cookbooks (Blokes and Seafood). British by birth and Australian by choice, Keith sipped his first beer at the tender age of six or seven — a glass of old-fashioned bottled Guinness passed surreptitiously out of the door of the local boozer in East London by his paternal grandmother, who said it would do him good. And so far she's been right. Drinking and eating in pubs has been a pastime of Keith's ever since, so when he was approached to edit The Sydney Morning Herald Good Pub Food Guide, his only question was 'when and where do I start?


Friday, December 3, 2010

Whale Warrior || Peter Bethune

Environmentalist and anti-whaling campaigner Pete Bethune is now the world's most recognised eco-warrior. His boarding of the Shonan Maru #2 Japanese whaling vessel in the Southern Ocean to perform a citizen's arrest on the captain, drew worldwide attention earlier this year. For his 'crime', Bethune - one of the stars of Animal Planet's 'Whale Wars' - was imprisoned in Japan for four months before finally receiving a two-year, suspended sentence.

Around the world Bethune's actions in trying to arrest the captain of the whaling ship for what he believes was the deliberate sinking of his boat, the 'Ady Gil', sparked a media frenzy. In Japan he was labelled a terrorist and there were daily protests against his actions.

On the day of his release from the Tokyo Detention Centre a local television reporter summed up the view of much the country when she asked Bethune how it felt to be the 'most hated man in Japan'. Controversial, attention-seeking, forthright and driven ...all these words have been used to describe Pete Bethune. What can't be denied, though, is that he is a man who is prepared to fight - quite literally - for his principles; principles which relate not just to the saving of the great whales of the Southern Ocean, but to the planet as a whole.

In Whale Wars the invective is not reserved solely for the Japanese. Bethune lashes his own government for their lack of action over Japan's annual whale hunt. For this, Bethune has received much criticism. This, though, he believes is a small price to pay for spotlighting the plight of the whales. Bethune's book will not only tell the story of 'Ady Gil' and the whale wars, but also of Bethune's other legendary campaigns - amongst them the 'Earthrace' adventure.

Readers will be astounded by Bethune's incredible feat of circumnavigating the world in record time in a futuristic, biodiesel-powered speedboat. It took him two action-packed attempts. Most skippers would have been broken after just one. People might not agree with Pete Bethune's way of going about things. Indeed, his radical, single-minded environmental crusades have cost him both financially and in the personal stakes where his long-time marriage to wife Sharyn has finally ended. Whale Wars is rare, modern-day adventure tale with a high-principled back story that makes it a most compelling read.

ISBN 13: 9781869712235 ISBN 10: 1869712234
Author: Bethune, Peter
Pub Date: 11 Oct 2010
Edition Type: 1
Format: Paperback
Imprint: Little Brown HNZ
RRP: A$35.00

We Are Soldiers || Danny Danziger

A fascinating, frank and revealing insight into life on the frontline, as told to an award-winning journalist and bestselling author by everyday heroes.

What is it like to drive a Challenger tank over desert terrain for six days in a row? Or hover an Apache AH1 attack helicopter a hundred metres above enemy ground? How quickly can a Sapper clear a field of unexploded devices, or build a bridge - or blow one up? What is it like to fix bayonets, and engage in hand to hand combat, or train a 5.56 mm SA80 sniper sight on an enemy soldier, and pull the trigger?

How do you find out what a soldier must learn on his way to war...? Ask him.

In this extraordinary book, Danny Danziger interviews the people who fight our wars for us, providing a unique insight into the reality of what we ask of our armed forces. Groundbreaking and utterly compelling, WE ARE SOLDIERS takes the reader to the heart of the 21st century soldier's experience.

ISBN: 9781847443977
Category: General
Format: Paperback
Publication Date: Dec 2010
Publisher: Sphere
Country of origin: GBR
Pages: 416

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tap water bottle heralds ‘Quench Couture’ trend (buying water is so 2010)

(I just had to include this. It's the most outrageous PR I've seen for a while. But then, maybe I just don't get out much?)

quench couture (eco-) n. 1. paradigm reimagining tap water as a symbol of social status. 2. Trend towards treating tap water as an integral fashion or home accessory exhibiting style acumen and social responsibility (e.g. ‘My bag’s by Alexander Wang and the bottle’s 321 Water’; ‘The chairs are Kartell and the water’s 321’)

AN innovative designer water bottle is transforming tap water into summer’s style statement du jour, channelling fashion and eco imperatives in the local dawn of the ‘quench couture’ trend witnessed at New York and Paris Fashion Weeks.

Launching in time to accessorise for December’s social calendar, Australian made and designed 321 Water is as stunning as it is functional. With translucent Aegean blue accenting BPA-free casing as clear as a mountain stream, the 500ml bottle is perfect for throwing in your Longchamp tote for a day adrift off St Tropez (or Palm Beach) – or toting to on shore soirees.

“We set out to prove that you can be enviably stylish, healthy and socially responsible at the same time – you don't need to choose,” says Melbourne-based 321 Water founder Gretha Oost, of the feat of fashion-conscious form and function.

To keep the Bollinger blur at bay, simply place your 321 Water bottle under the tap, and plunge, for clear, pure, refreshing filtered water.

It was only a matter of time before eco impera tives rendered trendy bottled waters passé and the ‘premiumisation’ of water filtered into the reusable segment. Australians alone pour some 80,000 tonnes of bottled water plastic into landfill each year.
At New York and Paris Fashion Weeks, the style set toted tap water in Vivienne Westwood-designed reusable water bottles, filled at tap stations dotted around the shows. Parisian civilians are also quaffing eau de ordinaire, queuing to drink from a fountain the city installed in September to position tap water as stylish (naturally theirs is carbonated). Venice is also challenging the world’s biggest bottled water consumers with chic reusable bottles given to households.

321 Water transcends aesthetic persuasion to truly make tap water healthy and delicious. It is also among the first Australian reusable drink bottles to eschew harmful chemical BPA. Cue health cred.

The concept has struck a chord, with the equivalent of over 8,000 advance orders taken ahead of launch. The trend will only gain momentum as discerning consumers demand that their eco and wellbeing efforts reflect not only their attitudes, but their sense of style, according to Oost, who notes that ‘green’ is not a primary motivator for purchase.

By sampling nature's nectar from the 500ml vessel, sippers reduce carbon emissions, save water (321 Water represents the ratio of water required to make one litre of bottled water – three to one), and whittle their grocery bills. A modest water habit of four bottles a week costs around $600 a year – more than enough for that Hermes beach towel. Australians spend a whopping $500 million on bottled water annually.

But what about those with a serious aversion to the taste of tap water?

“I will challenge anyone to try tap water in this bottle, and then tell me honestly that they prefer store-bought bottled water to water the y bottle themselves,” Oost says.

Beyond its obvious appeal as hand-candy, the handbag-sized bottle offers handy BYO quality control at your favourite cafe or park, and will challenge your MacBook in the desk top style stakes.

The replacement 100-use filters also double as décor, with a schedule of local art and design talent commissioned to dress the eco-friendly boxes. The first design is by Flatland OK’s Tim Fleming.

Fittingly, 321 Water launches Day 1 of summer (December 1).

Available at, Top3byDesign, and selected homewares retailers. RRP: Bottle $39; Pack of 3 replacement filters $18.

Pizza Hut delivers the world's first edible Facebook gift

Social networking is exploding at a rapid rate and now in an exciting world first, Pizza Hut Australia rewards you and your friends on Facebook with FREE PIZZA in the new Pizza Hut 'Feed a Friend' campaign. 

Every time you place an order at you receive two virtual slices – one for you and one for a friend on Facebook. When you or your friends collect four virtual slices, you get one free real pizza from Pizza Hut. The more your order, the more virtual slices you can collect, and the more of your favourite pizza you get for free!

Pizza Hut Australia marketing director Valerie Kubizniak said: "Pizza is the ultimate social food and Facebook is by far the most popular social networking site, so this is a great combination – we want to reward not only our most valued online customers but also their favourite friends on Facebook too."

'Feed a Friend' is the latest cutting edge digital launch from Pizza Hut. The campaign follows hot on the heels of Pizza Hut's iPhone app, which sizzled with over 200,000 downloads in the first eight months of launch.

The augmented reality function or 'GPS Store Finder' provides iPhone 3Gs users with the ability to find their nearest Pizza Hut store by utilising GPS technology. People hold up their iPhone 3Gs, the camera opens and the screen shows not only what is in front of the user, but small tabs highlighting the direction and distance of Pizza Hut locations nearby. In the coming weeks Pizza Hut iphone customers will also have the ability to customise their pizzas and add their favourite toppings.   

For further information or your own taste of the world's first virtual gift, visit



London, December 2, 2010 - Ricky Munday reported last night that after a two day delay due to problems finding a safe route, he finally climbed Puncak Trikora solo (4,730m) and got to within 30m of the summit.  The last 30 meters was simply too exposed and dangerous to continue alone, particularly given the extreme remoteness of the region.  Very few people have climbed Puncak Trikora and little is known about this remote peak in Papua Province.  A recent expedition in July 2008 only succeeded in getting to within 200m of the summit.

Munday was forced to trek for nearly two days through difficult rainforest to find the best route to climb the mountain, helped by a guide.  After sheltering from heavy rain in a cave at the base of Puncak Trikora, Munday will trek back to Lake Habbema and then travel to Wamena to begin his journey to meet the Carstenzsz Pyramid expedition team in Jayapura.

Named after the Dutch explorer Jans Carstensz, Carstensz Pyramid is the highest island peak in the world and the highest in Oceania.  It was first climbed in 1962 by Heinrich Harrer on whom the film 'Seven Years in Tibet' was based on. 

Munday reports that, after negotiations, he has now secured a permit to climb Puncak Mandala but he now will have to do this last, after Carstensz Pyramid. On November 24 Munday was asked by the headman or Kepala Desa of the district to depart from the village of Bime when he first arrived to climb Mandala.  He had to fly back to Jayapura and begin new negotiations with the headman for access.

Mandala can be reached on foot from Bime in two days.  The mountain is about the same height as Mont Blanc and is extremely steep with sharp limestone above the tree line.  The temperatures will fall well below zero and Munday will need a large team of porters for this, the most challenging of the three peaks.  Bruce Parry and Mark Anstice were the last Westerners to climb Mandala.

An expedition in Papua Province is one of the most difficult that can be undertaken anywhere.  The jungle terrain is extremely remote and inhospitable; getting permits to access mountains is fraught with complexities and there are very few locals willing and able to act as guides and porters in the mountainous regions.

Ricky Munday still remains focused on his goal to be the first to attempt to summit the three peaks in one expedition.  He is also raising funds for the Raleigh youth programme and providing photographs for the Alpine Club of Canada, who part funded the expedition, to show the extent of glacial recession around the three peaks. 

The expedition website is


Papua Province, Indonesia, forms the western part of the island of New Guinea.  The eastern part of the island is Papua New Guinea (PNG).  The terrain in Papua Province is challenging with lush rainforests and mountains. Many local tribes have never seen Westerners and still live as hunter-gatherers, observing ancient tribal rituals.  The Discovery Channel documentary 'World's Lost Tribes' compellingly illustrated the daily lives of the Kombai and Mek tribes as Olli Steeds and Mark Anstice coped with several months of total immersion with them.

The Australasia 3 Peaks Glacier Expedition will depart for Papua Province from Indonesia's capital, Jakarta.   The peaks will be attempted in the following order: Puncak Mandala, Carstensz

Pyramid (Puncak Jaya) and Puncak Trikora.

Puncak Trikora

Puncak Trikora was first climbed in 1913, 402 years after its discovery by the developed world, during the hazardous 'Third South New Guinea Expedition' undertaken by Dutchmen following several failed attempts.

Puncak Jaya aka Carstensz Pyramid

Puncak Jaya, formerly called Carstensz Pyramid, named after the 17th century Dutch explorer Jans Carstensz, is the highest island peak in the world and the highest in Oceania. It was climbed for the first time in 1962 by Heinrich Harrer, on whom the movie 'Seven years in Tibet' is based. The mountain was included in the 7 Summits project by Reinhold Messner, the first man to climb 14 of the world's highest peaks.

Puncak Mandala

Ricky Munday will be the first to attempt to summit Puncak Mandala from the north face since 1996 when an Australian team failed, finding the north face approach too difficult. The first successful ascent from the north face was the 1959 Dutch Star Mountains Expedition. A 1999 two-man British expedition discovered evidence of cannibalism during its attempt to climb the south face of the mountain.  A documentary was made charting the ascent of Mandala called 'Cannibals & Crampons'.  Mark Anstice, one of the expedition members, wrote a book about the expedition called 'First Contact.'  Puncak Mundala was also summited by Bruce Parry, the producer of Tribe (2005-2007).

The Expedition sponsors and equipment partners are:  BDL Management, Spectra Group, Inmarsat, Montane, GoLite, Nite Watches, Aquapac, CRUX and Think Tank Photo, The Jeremy Willson Charitable Trust, The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travelling Fellowship and the Alpine Club of Canada.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Battle begins for 2010 Drive Car of the Year award

Final judging for the prestigious 2010 Drive Car of the Year awards is taking place this week, under the watchful eyes of an expert panel of judges from the motoring industry.

The awards provide a comprehensive consumer guide to the best cars on the Australian market, with thorough criteria followed for testing each vehicle to find the 2010 Drive Car of the Year. Judges test each car in a range of driving conditions, from speed humps to country roads and torturous dynamic exercises conducted in a controlled environment. More than $3 million worth of new cars will be rated for real-world performance, safety, value, running costs, practicality, re-sale and driving dynamics.

Motoring experts with a combined 100 years of road testing and motoring knowledge have scrutinised 47 nominees in 14 categories across 20,000km of testing in the most extensive trials of their kind in Australia.

One winner is chosen in each category spanning the entire new-car market, and the vehicle that offers the best overall package will be named the Drive Car of the Year 2010. The winners will be announced at an awards breakfast in Albert Park on November 25.

"This is the biggest and most comprehensive test of its kind in Australia," Judge and Drive National Editor Toby Hagon said.

"We look at every facet of the most impressive new cars on sale today and put them through an arduous testing process that looks at everything from how good the cup holders are and whether you really can fit seven people inside to its driving manners and environmental friendliness."

Testers spend six days putting each of the 47 cars through their paces on a specially chosen road loop that takes in smooth freeways, lumpy back roads, stop-start suburban driving and country cruising, as well as dynamic assessment in an approved testing facility.

Drive Car of the Year 2010 contenders:

·         Best City Car: Ford Fiesta LX defends its title against Hyundai's i20 Active, Nissan's Micra and Volkswagen's Polo 77TSI.

·         Best Small Car: 2009 Car of the Year, Volkswagen Golf 118TSI, takes on Mazda3 Neo and Renault Megane.

·         Best Medium Car: Mazda6 Classic tries to repeat its 2009 success against previous champion Ford Mondeo Diesel and Suzuki Kisashi XL, Toyota Camry Hybrid and VW Jetta 118TSI.

·         Best Large Car: Holden Commodore Omega Sportwagon is trying to unseat 2009 category winner Nissan Maxima ST-L.

·         Best Luxury Car Under $60,000: Germany vs Sweden as Volvo S60 takes on Volkswagen Passat CC and Mercedes-Benz C200 CGI.

·         Best Luxury Car Over $60,000: 2009 champion, Jaguar XF 3.0d, is joined by stablemate Jaguar XJ 3.0d to fight off the German challenge from BMW 535i and Audi A8 4.2 FSI.

·         Best Performance Car Under $60,000: Volkswagen Golf GTI defends a perfect record against Renault Megane RS250, Subaru Impreza WRX, Ford Focus RS and the V8-powered Holden Series II Commodore SS-V.

·         Best Performance Car Over $60,000: Can the potent Porsche 911 Turbo unseat the FPV GT, Audi RS5 or the double category champion, BMW 135i Coupe.

·         Best Convertible: The top is down and the gloves are off as Porsche Boxster takes on Nissan's 370Z Roadster and Mercedes-Benz' E250 CGI.

·         Best Ute: Australia invented the ute and this is an-all Australian affair: Holden Commodore SS Ute vs FPV Falcon GS Ute.

·         Best SUV Under $40,000: Unanimous 2009 choice, Subaru Outback, is challenged by Honda CR-V Sport, Kia Sportage SLi and Nissan X-Trail ST-L.

·         Best SUV Over $40,000: The Swedish incumbent, Volvo XC60 D5, takes on the German challengers, Porsche Cayenne Diesel and BMW X5 xDrive 30d.

·         Best People Mover: Honda Odyssey takes on Nissan Dualis Ti Plus 2 2WD and Volkswagen Caravelle.

·         Best 4WD: A two-horse race as the rugged new Toyota Prado GXL diesel takes on 2009 champion, Land Rover Discovery 4 TDV6 SE.

·         Green Innovation: Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Toyota Hybrid Camry, E-85 Holden Commodore

·         Safety Innovation: Volvo Pedestrian Avoidance Technology, Ford Mondeo Titanium, BMW 7 Series

·         People's Choice: Open to all category nominations

·         Car of The Year: Overall automotive excellence for 2010

For more information, go to


On Saturday (13.11.10) a packed saleroom in Sydney witnessed spirited bidding on a number of motor cars at Bonhams Collectors' Motor Cars, Motorcycles and Automobilia auction which made a total of AUS$1,180,583.   The highlight of the sale was the 1926 Bugatti Type 38 restoration project – completely dismantled, incomplete and lacking engine and body – which realised $110,400 (£68,000), some seven times it's pre-sale auction estimate. Seven telephone bidders fought against six absentee bids and five people in the room with a northern hemisphere telephone bidder victorious. When Robert Glover, Bonhams Head of Motor Cars Australia, informed the lady owner how much the car sold for there was a stunned silence followed by a tearful thanks.
And Britain had success on Australian soil – perhaps an omen for the upcoming Ashes cricket series – with a 1925 Bentley 3-litre Speed Model VdP Tourer and an ultra rare right hand drive 1949 Jaguar XK120 Alloy roadster selling very well at $329,500 (£203,000) and $249,200 (£154,000) respectively.
Over 75% of the lots offered in the Automobilia and Motor Car sale found new homes with buyers from the USA, UK, France bidding against the home market.
Robert Glover said, "Given the strength of the Australian dollar against other world currencies we were pleasantly surprised by the level of overseas bidding at the sale. Whilst the Australians often won out, it clearly demonstrates the reach and importance of Bonhams global motoring network."

Monday, November 1, 2010

Elephant To Hollywood : Michael Caine

It's been a long journey for Maurice Micklewhite - born with rickets in London's poverty-stricken Elephant & Castle - to the bright lights of Hollywood.

With a glittering career spanning more than five decades and starring roles which have earned him two Oscars, a knighthood, and an iconic place in the Hollywood pantheon, the man now known to us as Michael Caine looks back over it all.

Funny, warm, honest, Caine brings his insider's view of Hollywood (where there's neither holly nor woods). He recalls the films, the legendary stars, the off-screen moments with a gift for story-telling only equalled by David Niven.

Hollywood has been his home and his playground. But England is where his heart lies. And where he blames the French for the abundance of snails in his garden. A plaque now celebrates him at the Elephant in London. His handprint is one of only 200 since 1927 to decorate Hollywood Boulevard. The man who has played everyone, yet always remained himself, THE ELEPHANT TO HOLLYWOOD is the remarkable full circle of Michael Caine's life.

Sir Michael Caine CBE has been Oscar-nominated six times, winning his first Academy Award for the 1986 film Hannah and Her Sisters and his second in 1999 for The Cider House Rules. He has starred in over one hundred films, becoming well-known for several critically acclaimed performances including his first major film role in Zulu in 1964, followed by films including The Ipcress Files, Get Carter, Alfie, The Italian Job, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Educating Rita, and more recently The Dark Knight, Is Anybody There? and Harry Brown. He was appointed a CBE in 1992 and knighted in 2000 in recognition of his contribution to cinema. Married for more than 30 years, with two daughters and three grandchildren, he and his wife Shakira divide their time between England and the United States.

* H&S Non Fiction
* 9781444700022
* $35.00
* Paperback - C Format
* October 2010
* 416 pages
* Biography: General

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Announcing the new Navig8r P Series GPS - P50 PRO

LASER Corporation, makers of Navig8r GPS devices, today announced the new Navig8r P Series GPS – P50 PRO which comes packed with features ideal for consumers and commercial users.

The Navig8r P50 PRO is a deft device that combines sleek style with sophisticated software from leading global map, traffic and location data provider, NAVTEQ. With its 5-inch display and full NAVTEQ Australian and New Zealand maps on board, the P50 PRO incorporates features such as junction view and green routing. The device runs iGO primo with the full 3D suite to present supreme 3D views of landmarks in capital cities, city models showing buildings, terrain topography illustrating hills and valleys and virtual junction views.

Created to suit a variety of users, the P50 PRO comes with a complete suite of safety alerts that makes it a licence saving device. On board the P50 PRO, warnings for fixed speed, red light and combo cameras, school zones with 24 hour proximity warnings, town entry points, rail crossings, black spots, and speed warnings accurate to road signs are included. Additionally, the Advanced Lane Guidance feature encompasses virtual signposts to firmly forewarn drivers especially when entering and exiting foreign freeways.

The P50 PRO is purpose-designed for conventional, recreational and commercial drivers. Typically the P50 PRO can be used as a traditional personal navigation device fit for all types of drivers. Quintessentially, commercial drivers can benefit from the P50 PRO with the professional driver and truck profile feature which includes input vehicle parameters, warnings for bridges, high wind and weight limits, and reminders for driving hours and rest breaks.

Chris Lau, managing director of LASER Corporation, said, "The Navig8r P50 PRO GPS device caters to all road users, particularly commercial drivers and casual, truck rental drivers. It is an affordable GPS solution that enables drivers to get around conveniently and ecologically. With full 3D features and green routing, the P50 PRO provides users practical maps that are simple to follow, as well as more fuel-efficient routes to conserve money and fuel. For commercial drivers the P50 PRO is especially useful to maintain trip data logs including average speed, rest breaks, distance covered, fuel consumption and GPS tracks. LASER Corporation will be distributing the P50 PRO to auto retailers, in addition to its current dealer network."

Kirk Mitchell, vice president, NAVTEQ Sales, said, "NAVTEQ Transport™ incorporates over 20 truck-specific map attributes from across the region's extensive road network. This includes the physical and legal restrictions that can often cause frustrations and inefficiencies for Australia's commercial drivers. In a NAVTEQ global survey of professional drivers, Australian respondents expressed interest in using a device that can provide timely driver warnings, such as bridge heights and school zone alerts, while en-route. By incorporating our transport product into the Navig8r P50 PRO personal navigation device, NAVTEQ and LASER Corporation are delivering to Australia's professional drivers the GPS functionality they demand."

Furthermore, the P50 PRO is equipped with iGO primo that presents stunning 3D visualisation and smart routes, Loquendo text-to-speech (TTS) for natural sounding voices reading from data as well as multiple language support, and it even includes an FM transmitter, plus a calculator, unit converter, clothing size chart and picture viewer.

The Navig8r P Series P50 PRO GPS will be available in October 2010 through leading auto and consumer electronics retailers in Australia. RRP AU$249 inc GST.

Also available will be the P Series P43 – 4.3-inch version. RRP AU$179 inc GST.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


The Campari Calendar 2011 starring Oscar winning actor Benicio Del Toro has been unveiled in Milan, Italy, today. Puerto Rican born Del Toro is the first ever man to star in the iconic series of Campari Calendars, in this 12th edition. Entitled The Red Affair, the Calendar tells the intriguing story of a charismatic art connoisseur, Del Toro, who receives a mysterious message setting him on a fascinating adventure to discover its meaning, crack a ring of illegal art dealers and rescue a beautiful woman.

For the 12th edition Campari has taken a unique approach to the Calendar, taking inspiration from the power of cinema. The Red Affair seeks to capture the audience through an engaging and intriguing cinematic story told through a series of photographs. In order to achieve this through still images alone Campari wanted a lead actor to star alongside the Red Drink who could bring as much passion and authenticity to an image as they do to film, and found this in Benicio Del Toro.

Internationally acclaimed photographer Michel Comte has shot the Calendar in classic, direct, Comte style. He has created a cinematic feel by capturing the action – moments of both drama and intimacy – as it unfolds.

In its 150th anniversary year Campari has chosen to make a break with more than a decade of tradition by choosing to introduce a male lead to the Campari Calendar for the first time. Del Toro becomes the first ever Campari Man, taking on the lead role previously held by some of the world's most beautiful women, including the 2010 star, 'Quantum of Solace' Bond girl, Olga Kurylenko, Salma Hayek, Eva Mendes and Jessica Alba.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Campari has broken with tradition today as it announces that Campari Calendar 2011, The Red Affair,
is to feature a male star for the first time in its 12 year history.

Campari, renowned for its innovative and evolving approach to art and communication, has chosen to mark its 150th anniversary with a move certain to provoke debate by giving the star role to a man. The leading man, who is set be shot by internationally acclaimed fashion photographer Michel Comte for the 2011 Campari Calendar, will follow in the footsteps of some of the world's most beautiful women including Salma Hayek, Eva Mendes  and Jessica Alba, and the 2010 Campari Calendar star, Olga Kurylenko.

Fans will be kept guessing over the identity of the male lead until his name is revealed ahead of the full unveiling of the 2011 Campari Calendar, The Red Affair,  which will be held in Milan in October on October 21st.

Follow the intriguing story of  The Red Affair 2011 Campari Calendar on




Austin Reed will celebrate 110 years of 'Dressing for Success' later this year. To mark this historic landmark, it will officially launch the Austin Reed Q Club; a private members club with a clubhouse in the Regent Street flagship store.

The Q Club will be open to customers throughout the country with a dedicated clubhouse within the Austin Reed Flagship on Regent Street. A club like no other, it will be designed specifically towards dressing the modern man in a unique and relaxed environment focused on contemporary style.

Four celebrity ambassadors will be the face of the Austin Reed Q Club. As the best of British in their respective fields; Andrew Strauss, England Cricket Captain, Alastair Cook, England Cricket Vice Captain, Lewis Moody, Bath's England Rugby Captain and Courtney Lawes, British Rugby's newest star, will launch the Austin Reed Q Club.

Launching in October 2010, depicting quintessential British design and heritage, the Q Club offering will extend beyond private membership to Q Bespoke, Austin Reed's new made to measure service, Q Hirewear, which will provide a premium formal hire service and Q Corporate, Austin Reed's corporate arm.

See the Q Club Behind the Scenes shoot:
Q club Behind the Scenes Film

Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize Grand Final : 19 October 2010

On Tuesday 19 October 2010 the final event of the Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize will take place in the Orchid Room at The Dorchester.  This anticipated fashion moment will see the five designers shortlisted for the first Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize display a selection of looks which they consider their best in an exclusive catwalk presentation.  The designers shortlisted for the honour include Louise Goldin, Mary Katrantzou, Chau Har Lee, Hermione de Paula and Thomas Tait.

The winner of the Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize will receive £25,000 to enable them to create their next collection as well as accommodation and an event at the Dorchester Collection hotel of their choice. The winner must demonstrate unique design flair as well as a capability for future critical distinction and commercial success. Their work must also evoke the spirit of Dorchester Collection's iconic hotels and, therefore, project a sense of individuality, luxury, style and craftsmanship.

Celebrating cutting-edge fashion is a natural move for Dorchester Collection. In every major fashion capital - London, Los Angeles, Milan, Paris and New York - there is a Dorchester Collection hotel and their renowned comfort, arresting style and impeccable service have made Dorchester Collection hotels the preferred outposts of discerning fashion icons.

The catwalk show will take place in the Orchid Room which was recently refurbished by Fox Linton to revive its original design by Oliver Ford. The Dorchester's first consultant interior designer, Ford, masterminded the interiors of the Queen Mother's residences at the Royal Lodge, Windsor and Clarence House in St. James.

Following the show, the judges will determine the outcome of the Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize. The judging panel includes Manolo Blahnik, Giles Deacon, The Hon. Daphne Guinness, Stephen Jones, OBE, Yasmin Le Bon, Vanity Fair's contributing editor Elizabeth Saltzman, ES magazine's fashion director Gianluca Longo and Bronwyn Cosgrave, chairperson of the Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize, who states: "The spirited contribution of the fashion luminaries who have judged the first Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize over the course of this year has helped make it another milestone in Dorchester Collection's fashion history. The calibre of the 69 designers who originally applied for the prize, upon its February 2010 launch, was impressive. In July 2010, our distinguished judging panel selected the shortlist and, no matter what tonight's outcome, they unanimously agree, that the five designers vying for the Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize are among the most gifted fashion designers working in Great Britain."

Dorchester Collection is delighted to announce that 'New Faces' from Models 1 will walk the show. Paul Herrington, head of artistry for Bobbi Brown UK, will conceive the make-up and award winning hairdressers Royston Blythe will style the hair.  Daniel Pemberton, the BAFTA nominated composer, has arranged the score.  

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


70's band, Dragon rocks its way to Sydney's Hyde Park on Saturday, October 30th to show support for the AIDS Trust of Australia, performing at the Sydney Food & Wine Fair as the annual food event celebrates 20 years of giving.

Fronted by the legendary kiwi singer Mark Williams, bass player, Todd Hunter, guitar slinger, Bruce Reid and drum magician Pete Drummond will play some of their biggest hits like April Sun In Cuba, Are You Old Enough, Young Years, Dreams Of Ordinary Men and more.

Sydney's most famous food and beverage establishments will once again gather in Hyde Park North on October 30th, 2010 from 12-5pm to celebrate 20 years of giving.

This year promises to be a bumper year with celebrities already involved including; actress and entertainer, Maria Venuti, Underbelly's, Roy Billings and the fabulous Maxi Shields as the event's MC. Other talent includes; Candy Man's Wayne Scott Kermond, Dancing With The Stars, Rob Palmer, 70's rock band Dragon and many more to perform on the day.

For food lovers, MasterChef Australia runner's up, Jimmy Seervai and Courtney Roulston will also donate his time to appear on stage to take part in a fun cook-off and demonstration. 

More food and wine excitement is building as the hospitality industry donate their time, staff, produce and skills to help create the Sydney Food & Wine Fair, with Café Sydney, Flying Fish, Guillaume at Bennelong, Jimmy Liks, Longrain, Lucio's Italian, Mezzaluna Ristorante, Otto Ristorante, Wildfire, De Bortoli, Icebergs Dining Room & Bar, Peppertree Wines, The Oxford Hotel, Yellow Tail, Woolloomooloo Bay Hotel, Taylors Wines, Tempus Two, Brown Brothers and Milawa Vineyard with many more happily lined up to participate.

Each year it teases the taste buds of those who flock to experience the signature dishes of some Sydney's most renowned restaurants whilst enjoying a glass of wine from their favourite vineyard.

Add a sparkling splash of entertainment in the splendour of Hyde Park North and you've got the perfect social setting in which to sit back, relax and spoil the senses.

People still keen in securing a stall at the Sydney Food & Wine Fair can register their interest by contacting:

Pre-sale wine and food coupons will be available for those wishing to avoid any potential queues by contacting the AIDS Trust of Australia on 02 9285 4400


Two cars from the official BMW factory collection were among the top selling lots at Bonhams inaugural sale of Collectors' Motor Cars in Dubai yesterday (11.10.10), with both achieving world record prices for their models at auction. The sale was truly international with cars being sold not only to the local region, but also attracting buyers and bidders from Australia, USA and Europe.
This was the first time that cars have become available from the world-renowned BMW factory collection, so it was not surprising that buyers were keen and bidding was fierce. The white BMW 3.0 CSL 'Batmobile' – the 46th of only 57 examples built beat its pre-sale estimate of $165,000-215,000 to finally sell for $218,400.
A 1979 white BMW M1 with very low mileage and in concours condition was also consigned to the sale from BMW. A truly iconic car worthy of inclusion in any collection, it sold for - $264,000 (estimate $165,000-215,000).
The 1972 Ferrari Daytona Shooting Brake, which is recognised as a unique icon of design sold for $300,000 and a 1973 Ferrari Dino 246GTS sold for $174,000, while a 1965 Bentley S3 Continental DHC formerly the property of Alfred H. Heineken made $138,000.
The top selling watch was a rare 18ct gold Patek Philippe chronograph which sold for $74,400.
James Knight, Group Head of Motoring at Bonhams comments, "We are obviously delighted with the strong results of the two BMW world records for respective models but it is the general enthusiasm and positive reactions that Middle Eastern collectors reserved for Bonhams' first classic car sale in the area that were amazing - we are equally thrilled that the majority of the cars sold will remain in the region."

Friday, October 8, 2010

Study: 82 percent of kids under 2 have an online presence


Children can't change their DNA, and now it seems they're inheriting another permanent feature from their families -- an online presence.

Thanks to the ubiquity of photo-sharing websites like Facebook, 82 percent of children in 10 Western countries have a digital footprint before the age of 2, according to a study by internet security firm AVG.

The U.S. led, with 92 percent of American children under 2 appearing in online pictures, the report said.

New Zealand was a close second with 91 percent, followed by Canada and Australia with 84 percent. The study also covered the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. Japan was the only country where less than half of 2-year-olds had an online presence.

AVG's report indicates that it's not necessarily a child's mother who is doing the uploading.

Only 33 percent of the 2,200 moms studied said they've uploaded pictures of their newborn or toddler to the internet. Other family members and friends often take the liberty of sharing baby pictures on the Web, making deleting them trickier for concerned parents.

Everyone likes to look at snapshots of cute babies -- or at least the babies' parents think so. But disclosing a lot of personal info, such as birth dates, middle names and mothers' maiden names -- which can be carelessly inserted into photo captions -- can aid identity thieves.

"Obviously there's a privacy issue," said AVG spokeswoman Siobhan MacDermott, "if they're applying for credit [later on] and having that information readily available for people who want to compromise their identities."

AVG, a company most known for its anti-virus software, helps governments track down people using data procured from the Web and provides helpful tips for those looking to protect themselves online. For this study, mothers from 10 countries were polled last week.

"It's a matter of being aware of what you're doing," MacDermott said. "When you're posting it to a public forum like Facebook, use privacy settings."

For many people, the next hurdle is figuring out how those settings work.

© 2010 Cable News Network

Monday, October 4, 2010


Le Mans Winner Derek Bell Prepares For Honorary Judging Role 

5 Times Le Mans winner, Derek Bell MBE will arrive on Australian shores the first week in October as he prepares for the role as an official judge at the first Concours d'Elegance Australia on October 10th at Manly's St Patrick Estate.

Derek Reginald Bell MBE (born 31 October 1941 in Pinner, Middlesex) is a former racing driver from England who was extremely successful in sportscar racing, winning 5 times at Le Mans. He also raced in Formula One for the Ferrari, McLaren, Surtees and Tecno teams.

He won two World Sportscar Championship titles in 1985-86, the 24 Hours of Daytona three times in 1986-87 and 1989 and Le Mans five times in 1975, 1981, 1982, 1986 and 1987, mostly teamed with Jacky Ickx in one of the Porsche 936 and Porsche 956/Porsche 962 models. Ickx/Bell is nowadays considered as one of the most famous pairings in motorsport history.

Bell was awarded the MBE in 1986 for services to motorsport.

Derek said: "I have always enjoyed Australia and from my early days racing with Chris Amon in Ferraris at Warwick Farm on the Tasman series, plus Sam Movizio's enthusiasm and passion for cars encouraged me to be part in what I anticipate will be a wonderful event."

Chairman of Concours d'Elegance Australia, Sam Movizio said: "We are delighted to have Derek Bell as our Chief Honorary Judge. Being one of the most successful endurance racers of all time, he will no doubt bring something extra special to the event."

To interview Derek Bell MBE please contact Adrian De Brock on 02) 9699 2000/ 0431 341 565 or

The countdown has begun as Sydney prepares for $100 million worth of luxury, classic, new and concept cars and motorcycles to converge on St Patrick's Estate, 151 Darley Rd, Manly as part of the first Concours d'Elegance Australia on Sunday 10th October, 2010 (10-10-10), from 10am till 5pm.

Countdown to Concours d'Elegance Australia. 

The countdown has begun as Sydney prepares for $100 million worth of luxury, classic, new and concept cars and motorcycles to converge on St Patrick's Estate, 151 Darley Rd, Manly as part of the first Concours d'Elegance Australia on Sunday 10th October, 2010 (10-10-10), from 10am till 5pm.

For the first time Concours d'Elegance Australia will host the internationally acclaimed event, where cars and motorcycles will be vying for the ultimate status of "Best of Show" judged by former racing driver and five times Le Mans winner, Derek Bell, MBE and a number of other key judges. Concours d'Elegance Australia is as much about style, fashion and elegance as it is a celebration of the enjoyment of amazing and exotic automobiles and motorcycles.

Little River Band's Glenn Shorrock will perform some of his biggest hits on the day and keeping in the spirit of fashionable cars, ladies will also get to experience the latest in fashion by Charlie Brown, with a fashion show commencing at 12pm. Prizes will also be awarded for the best dressed lady and couple on the day judged by a celebrity panel. If it all becomes a little too exhausting, there is a ladies marquee to indulge the mind and body; flowing with champagne, hair stations by Toni & Guy, manicures and much more to pamper and re-charge.

Chairman of Concours d'Elegance Australia and car enthusiast, Sam Movizio introduced the idea of Concours d'Elegance Australia back in 2008. An avid fan and attendee of Concours such as Pebble Beach, Quail and Goodwood, he believes that this prestigious event can really gain momentum in Australia. "We're behind the rest of the world in this regard and it's time we had a top-quality Australian event", he says.

Key sponsors include; Vittoria Coffee, Glasurit, SAPE, Lumley Special Vehicles, Ferrari Maserati Sydney, Alfa Romeo, Trivett, Pommery Champagne, Frederique Constant Geneve, Fairline, Cable Beach Club, Mount Pleasant, Peroni Italy, Faber-Castell, Luxury Brands Australia and many more.

Since its launch on 26th October 2009, Movizio and his team have been striving hard to bring this elegant automotive competition to fruition. With the venue set and the wheels firmly in motion, Concours d'Elegance Australia is on track to set a high benchmark for future Concours events.

Concours d'Elegance Pty Ltd is governed by an Executive Committee and specialist committees responsible for the preparation and the staging of this inaugural event. They are collectors in their own rights and members of some of the country's most important prestige car clubs.

For more information log onto:  

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Tiger : John Vaillant

A true story of vengeance and survival

The gripping tale of the hunt for a man-eating tiger across the forbidding landscape of Russia's Far East....

It s December 1997, and a man-eating tiger is on the prowl outside a remote village in Russia s Far East. The tiger isn t just killing people, it s annihilating them, and a team of men and their dogs must hunt it on foot through the forest in the brutal cold. As the trackers sift through the gruesome remains of the victims, they discover that these attacks aren t random: the tiger is apparently engaged in a vendetta. Injured, starving, and extremely dangerous, the tiger must be found before it strikes again.Beautifully written and deeply informative, The Tiger is a tale of man and nature that leads inexorably to a final showdown in a clearing deep in the taiga.

About the Author

John Vaillant is the award winning author of The Golden Spruce. He has written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Outside, National Geographic and Men’s Journal, among other publications. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with his wife and children.

  • Sceptre
  • 9780340962572
  • $35.00
  • Paperback - C Format
  • September 2010
  • 352 pages
  • True Stories

Even Silence Has an End : Ingrid Betancourt

My Six Years of Captivity in the Colombian Jungle

Ingrid Betancourt's astonishing, powerful and deeply moving account of her six-year ordeal in the Colombian jungle as a hostage of the terrorist organisation FARC.

Ingrid Betancourt’s story – her exemplary courage, spirit and resilience – has captured the world’s imagination. A politician and presidential candidate celebrated for her determination to combat the corruption and climate of fear endemic in Colombia, in 2002 she was taken hostage by FARC, a terrorist guerrilla organisation. She was held captive in the depths of the jungle for six and a half years, chained day and night for much of that time, constantly on the move and enduring gruelling conditions. She was freed and reunited with her children and relatives in 2008.It is Betancourt’s indomitable spirit that drives this important and deeply moving book, telling in her own words the extraordinary drama of her capture and eventual rescue, and describes her fight to survive, mentally and physically. As she confronts the horror of what she went through, her story also goes beyond the specifics of her own confinement to offer an intensely intelligent, thoughtful and compassionate reflection on what it means to be human.
About the Author

Ingrid Betancourt lived in France and New Zealand before returning to Colombia to campaign for the presidency, when she was kidnapped.

  • Virago
  • 9781844086122
  • $35.00
  • Paperback - C Format
  • October 2010
  • 608 pages
  • Biography: General

Megamind World Record Event

Will Ferrell and DreamWorks Animation to Suit up and Take on World Record for Largest Gathering of Superheroes on Saturday, Oct 2nd

Over 1,500 Costumed Superheroes Expected to Gather for Guinness World Records® Attempt in Celebration of MEGAMIND Release

800 W. Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Saturday, October 2, 2010

How to Land an A330 Airbus

And Other Vital Skills for the Modern Man

James May

Top Gear's James May presents his guide to the vital skills every modern man should have.

‘I reckon there are about twenty things a chap doesn t realise he should be able to do. Not stuff you can download from the internet at the touch of the button, but really important things. So, in this book, each is dealt with fully, and it s a good read rather than just boring facts. It s a series of chapters with some light gaggery, but also solid information and plenty of nice pictures and diagrams.’For example, in ‘How to land an airliner’ there is good background stuff about the likelihood of it ever falling to you (extremely unlikely), some stats on past dramas, plus good information on the controls, what they do and what they look like.’There s a range of subjects from the genuinely relevant how to deliver twins, for example to the absurd, such as how to play Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’, so there s ample opportunity for me to rant, enthrall you with technical explanations and entrance you with interesting facts.’ – James May

About the Author

James May is a writer, broadcaster and co-host of Top Gear. He writes a weekly column in the Daily Telegraph and has presented series for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky.
  • 9780340994566
  • $65.00/$35.00
  • Hardback/Softcover
  • October 2010
  • 256 pages
  • Humour

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Twitter Design

Microblogging sensation Twitter, which is now signing up 370,000 new users daily on average, is redesigning its website to make it easier for its millions of users to navigate the service and discover new information.

The four-year-old company, which this month reported more than 145 million users, announced on Tuesday new improvements, such as embedded YouTube videos and other content, which is featured in a new two-pane layout.

Twitter Chief Executive Evan Williams said the overhauled features a completely new architecture, which is more responsive and user-friendly

"It makes it such a richer and faster experience," Williams said at a press conference to announce the new site.

Twitter allows users to send 140-character text messages -- tweets -- to groups of followers. The company has quickly become one of the Web's most popular social networking services, along with Facebook and LinkedIn.

Williams said more than 90 million tweets are sent per day on average.

He hopes the new site will improve discovery, making more of an information resource.

"You don't need to tweet. Twitter can be great just as a way to get information," Williams said.

Twitter is increasingly challenging established Web giants such as Yahoo Inc and Google Inc for consumers' online time.

Forrester analyst Augie Ray said the Twitter redesign should help improve engagement with users.

"Twitter's new Web functionality is a significant evolution that promises to attract more visits to, improve Twitterers' interactions with content and each other, and ease adoption for Twitter newbies," Ray said in a blog post.

The new will start rolling out to a small percentage of users on Tuesday, and will be rolled out incrementally on a global basis over the next several weeks.

The company is aiming to broaden Twitter's appeal. It is also rolling out a new advertising system, as it aims to transform it huge user base into a sustainable, revenue-generating business.

Williams said he hopes the redesign will help to better monetize the service.

Twitter's backers include Spark Capital, Benchmark Capital, mutual fund giant T. Rowe Price and private equity firm Insight Venture Partners.

(Reporting by Gabriel Madway; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

TMS iPhone application proves major success

TMS Asia-Pacific's recently-introduced iPhone application has proven a major success with the recruitment company attracting just under 3,500 users within the first four weeks of launch.

CEO Andrew Chan said while he was delighted with the take up of the new app, he was not really surprised given the ever-growing popularity of the iPhone and the take-up success of the iPad launched in April.

"The TMS app is obviously proving popular with many of our candidates finding how easy it is to use their iPhones and iPads to browse for jobs while they're out and about, sitting at a coffee shop or waiting for the bus," he said.

"Web 3.0 technology has become very important to TMS and we will continue to move on and harness new technology as soon as it becomes readily available.

"More to the point by continuing to be the first to incorporate much of the new technology as it comes to hand, we are keeping well ahead of the competition in what in this given time still represents a very tight business corridor across the entire Asia-Pacific region."


TMS is a top-tier specialist travel, tourism and hospitality recruitment and HR services company with offices in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. The company's overseas operation includes offices in Auckland, Bangkok, Dubai, and Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore and affiliates in the UK/Europe, the Middle East and North America.

TMS officially entered launched into the executive training arena in July 2009 with the launch of its first 'TMS Academy' concept in Singapore.


Sunday, September 12, 2010


It was dubbed by officials as the 'best Olympic Games ever' and now a decade later, our nation will celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games on Wednesday 15 September. This comes as we continue our bid to bring the FIFA World Cup™ to Australia in 2022.
And one of the heroes of Sydney 2000, Olympic 400m champion Cathy Freeman, is also strong supporter of the bid.
"Australia is the best choice to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2022 because we have experience that we have grown out of the Sydney Olympics in 2000. We are a sports loving nation and football is our growing passion," Freeman said.
"I have experienced the power and passion of an Australian crowd; I only have to draw on my experience from the Sydney Olympics 2000."
As a show of her support, Freeman met a delegation of FIFA inspectors in July this year, when they visited Australia to examine the credentials of Australia's bid.
"This is our opportunity to showcase to the world the very best of who we are. I encourage all Australians to support our country's bid by adding your name to," Freeman said.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What is it about cruising?

The Queen Mary 2 arrives in Sydney on her
maiden world voyage, February 20, 2007

Guest blogger and adventure cruiser, Roderick Eime, offers us this introduction to the growing phenomenon of ‘expedition and adventure adventure cruising’.

In case you’ve been living under a stone this last year or so, you may have missed the fact that cruising – in big ships and small – is on a rocket at the moment.

One of the reasons that we Australians are seeing a surge in cruise activity is that Americans withdrew almost unilaterally from the travel landscape after the GFC. Some are creeping back, picking up huge discounts, but most stay close to home. Remember that only around one in five Americans own a passport.

Consequently cruise lines are moving their spare floating inventory to our waters to capture our undiminished lust for travel. P&O, Royal Caribbean, Princess and now Cunard have announced expansion to their Australasian programs.

Personally, I’m less of a fan of the big ship experience than the small ship one. Small vessels, sometimes called expedition or adventure ships, are the sort that head off to remote islands and exotic locations where there is often no tourism infrastructure at all. Places like Papua New Guinea, remote Fiji, Vanuatu and the Solomons are easy for us to get to but still deliver true ‘wild adventure’.

There are four Australian cruise companies that quickly come to mind as market leaders in this field: Orion, Coral Princess, North Star and Captain Cook. Each have their own particular brand and style that has helped them develop their own loyal following.

Orion Expeditions is, in my mind, something of a crossover, product. It has all the big ship trimmings, but still ventures into ‘uncharted’ waters. It probably has the best ocean-going capability of the segment which allows them to make the voyage to deep Antarctica each year.

Coral Princess were the first to initiate true small ship boutique cruises in this country with overnight cruises on the Great Barrier Reef back in the early eighties. Now their three vessels venture throughout our regional waters to PNG, Vanuatu, New Zealand and the Kimberley.

North Star Cruises operate the gorgeous True North, a compact 36- passenger luxury motor yacht that operates our waters on similar itineraries. It often carries a helicopter and is possibly the most experienced operator in our hugely popular Kimberley region.

Captain Cook Cruises appeal to the 4-star market, offering a more affordable product without the marble bathrooms and gold plated taps. Their Murray River cruise is a leader as is their Fiji sailings, especially the annual ‘Dateline’ adventure that pushes out into the more remote islands.

Still reading? Well why not pop over to the Adventure Cruise Guide to see whether you are really an adventure cruiser?

Roderick Eime reports regularly on adventure and expedition cruising for consumer and trade media. Read his reports in Cruise Passenger magazine, Cruise Weekly, Escape and Ocean Magazine.



Toyota Australia will begin manufacturing a new fuel efficient and more environmentally sustainable engine for its Camry and Hybrid Camry sedans at its long established engine plant in Altona, Melbourne.

More than 100,000 engines will be produced each year at Altona, commencing in the later half of 2012. Approximately $300 million of project expenditure will be injected into the Australian economy.

Securing the next generation engine provides a foundation for on-going vehicle production at the Altona plant. It also provides Toyota Australia with significant opportunities to export the new engine to other Toyota manufacturing plants in ASEAN countries that produce Camry and Hybrid Camry.

The new leading edge and more environmentally sustainable engine will deliver reduced carbon emissions and improved fuel consumption.

Toyota Australia President and CEO, Mr Max Yasuda, welcomed the decision and praised the efforts of Toyota Australia's employees, unions and suppliers in ensuring the project proceeded.

"Securing the investment to produce the next generation engine is a huge vote of confidence for our local manufacturing plant and our employees, who have worked tirelessly to improve operational performance to demonstrate our ability to compete with Asia Pacific counterparts.

"Toyota operations around the world are constantly vying for new investment to ensure local manufacturing operations can participate in the global car making industry."

Toyota Australia acknowledged the strong desire of both the Federal and State Governments to see new, more environmentally friendly technologies introduced to Australia.

"The support provided by the Federal Government's Green Car Innovation Fund and the Victorian Government was a major factor in this project proceeding. A partnership between local car makers, the government and suppliers is fundamental for ensuring we evolve our industry to deal with the challenges of a carbon constrained world."

Toyota Australia's engine production has been the cornerstone of its automotive manufacturing since 1978 and was Toyota's first engine manufacturing plant built outside Japan. The facility currently produces the AZ 4 cylinder engine for the current generation Camry, and is operated by 320 employees.

Toyota Australia is Australia's largest car manufacturer and market leader. This year, the company celebrated the launch of Australia's first locally built hybrid, the Hybrid Camry. In 2010 the company exported 63,345 vehicles to more than 20 countries, mainly to the Middle East.


From 3 to 12 September 2010, for the 11th year running, Renault is the official partner of the 36th Deauville American Film Festival (France).

15 Laguna Saloon 2.0 Bioethanol is escorting the biggest stars of American cinema and the members of the jury as far as the red carpet.
The stars include: Emmanuelle Béart, Terry Gilliam, Zac Effron, Gad Elmaleh, Gregg Araki, Annette Bening, Kim Cattral, Chace Crawford, Roxane Mesquida, Joyce Carol Oates, among many others!

This version of the Laguna Saloon has been accredited with the Renault eco2 signature: equipped with a high performance drive system, manufactured in a French plant that is ISO 14001 certified and made of 17% of recycled plastic materials; it contributes to protecting the environment.

Renault has demonstrated a firm commitment to supporting film and television productions for over a hundred years and actively confirms its policy of sponsorship and product placement.

Shelly Palmer: Majority of Internet Users are Victims of Cybercrime

Source: Shelley Palmer


Majority of Internet Users Are Victims of Cybercrime
Two-thirds of Internet users globally and three-fourths of U.S. Internet users are victims of online crime according to a new study from Norton. Viruses and malware are the most common sources of an attack. On average it takes 28 days to resolve a cybercrime and costs $334 per case.

Google’s Instant Search
Google unveiled a new search feature, “Google Instant,” which displays search results as a user types in a query. As a person is typing, Google tries to predict what they’re looking for and reveals the results instantly. A normal Google search takes approximately 25 seconds, but “Google Instant” could save an average of 2-5 seconds per search.

Designer 3-D Glasses
Don’t like how the disposable 3-D glasses at the movie theater fit? Buy your own. Companies like Marchon3D are introducing a line of high-end, stylish 3-D glasses priced from $99-$125. Only problem? They’re only compatible with RealD, the system used in the majority of movie theaters, but not used in most 3-D television sets.

Two Teens Rack Up $9700 Phone Bill
Two American teenagers vacationing near the Dead Sea racked up a $9700 phone bill from Verizon Wireless. The brother and sister were using their cell phones to text, play online games and check Facebook, without realizing how expensive the roaming charges would be. Verizon is deducting $4000 from the bill due to the mother’s claim of not receiving any notification of roaming on her phone.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

At The Bar

Need a second opinion on that life-changing decision you've been contemplating? Feel the urge to confide about your latest break-up/make-up? Everyone knows that bartenders give the best advice, but in Melbourne this varies widely depending on which bar you choose to lean on.

Ascend into the leather-scented wings of The Supper Club and its rooftop sister Siglo to find out how a modest snifter of aged whiskey can improve your life. The people at Madame Brussels will willingly give tips on tennis outfits, or ask them about their regular back-room philosophy discussion group. At Hell's Kitchen, where beers are often served by Melbourne singer-songwriter Pikelet, the world-view can basically be distilled as "rock 'n' roll". Meanwhile, at mixology headquarters 1806, they might quote Terry Pratchett: "Never trust any complicated cocktail that remains perfectly clear until the last ingredient goes in."

To locate these great bars, click here.

Discover more of Melbourne's Bars at

Google prepares to launch TV service

Google CEO Eric Schmidt delivers a speech at the
Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) consumer electronics fair
in Berlin, September 7, 2010. Credit: Reuters/Thomas Peter

By Nicola Leske

BERLIN | Tue Sep 7, 2010 2:36pm EDT

BERLIN (Reuters) - Google Inc will launch its service to bring the Web to TV screens in the United States this autumn and worldwide next year, its chief executive said, as it extends its reach from the desktop to the living room.

CEO Eric Schmidt said the service, which will allow full Internet browsing via the television, would be free, and Google would work with a variety of programme makers and electronics manufacturers to bring it to consumers.

"We will work with content providers, but it is very unlikely that we will get into actual content production," Schmidt told journalists after a keynote speech to the IFA consumer electronics trade fair in Berlin.

Sony said last week it had agreed to have Google TV on its television sets, and Samsung has said it was looking into using the service.

The announcement comes less than a week after rival Apple

unveiled its latest Apple TV product and will intensify a battle for consumers' attention and potentially for the $180 billion global TV advertising market.

Schmidt also said Google would announce partnerships later this year with makers of tablet computers that would use Google's Chrome operating system, due to be launched soon, rather than its Android phone software, which has been used for mobile devices until now.

The Mountain View, California-based company plans to make Chrome, which competes with Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Mozilla's Firefox, the center of an operating system that would offer an alternative to Microsoft Windows.

The world's No.1 search engine is hunting for new revenue opportunities as growth in its core Internet business slows and as new technologies such as smartphones and social networking services transform the way consumers access the Web.

Schmidt declined to comment on Google's plans for a social network of its own, and while he said there were plans to expand in music, he would not elaborate.

Reuters reported last week that Google was in talks with music labels for a music download store and a digital song locker.

Asked about criticism over Google's Street View in Germany, Schmidt said he had anticipated it and that he had talks with some members of the German government during his stay in Berlin.

"What's unusual is that we've given you (the Germans) the possibility to opt out before (the launch); we have never done that anywhere else."

Google's Street View cars are well known for crisscrossing the globe and taking panoramic pictures of the city streets, which the company displays in its online Maps product.

Critics say the tool invites abuse. They argue thieves can search for targets, security firms could use the data for sales pitches, job seekers might find their homes scrutinized by employers, and banks could inspect the homes of loan applicants.

Google ran into trouble in Germany in May after authorities found out that Street View vehicles were collecting private data sent over unencrypted WiFi networks.

"I was very angry about that," Schmidt said, adding that once it was discovered, Google put an end to it.

(Editing by Hans Peters and Will Waterman)

"Getting" Social Media Before Jumping on the Bandwagon

Everyone and their mother is jumping on the social media bandwagon. Some are successful; they are immersed in it on a daily basis and thus in the midst of the action while the social media landscape changes every few months. Some, however, just don't quite get it. They are dabbling in social media once every so often, reading about the trends six months after they've happened and not grasping the nonstructured, nonlinear nature of the medium are all characteristics of this latter camp.

The online landscape changes dramatically and quickly, and you'd better be pretty Web-fit to keep up with the latest social networks, tools, and viral campaigns. Suddenly, MySpace is so yesterday and Four Square is slated to be the new black. Hi5 fizzled as quickly as it started, and, despite "experts" prophesying that Twitter would be just another fad, like it or not, life in 140 characters or less is here to stay.

Old-school ways of marketing and structured guidelines don't apply in the social media sphere. This is definitely a challenge in the corporate world, where senior marketing folks' knowledge of social media typically doesn't extend further than reading articles about it and seeing their kids use it. Also, they're uncomfortable with the lack of structure and planning that comes with the social media beast. Blog articles often don't have a clear beginning or ending. They are written more like a casual conversation and are likely violating every scholastic and technical rule out there. It is a medium that defies most classical rules of writing and communication. Grammatical errors. Run-on sentences. Blasphemous? Unprofessional? Perhaps, if you're writing for Harper's or the New Yorker, but in social media, it's the norm.

Has the reader changed or the media platform? I'd say they go hand in hand. Today, our generation sets updates via text, RSVPs for parties via Facebook invitations, and gets news clips via Twitter feeds. We are bombarded by brands, logos, marketing messages, and companies who claim they understand us. Everyone's a publisher, and there is an endless mountain of information and news to sift through in less time. We want our information in bites, with imagery to make it easier and more effective for us to process and comprehend. If a headline is over 140 characters, it is deemed long-winded.

In the marketing and business world, there are a few issues. Many marketing execs who have the authority to make decisions on social media strategy, resourcing, and direction are in the don't-quite-get-it camp. Want to know if you're one of them? Unless you're a blogger yourself -- and successful at it for that matter -- and participate in social media on a regular basis, you likely don't get it. Thus, you should enable the ones who do get it to make those decisions.

At the other extreme, there is an emergence of social media "experts" who claim they have the next social media solution that can save the day. Reality check. Social media is one form of engaging, participating in the dialogue, and building a community and following. It is one part of the marketing pie, and how big that slice depends on the nature of your business and your objectives.

In conclusion, if you're a company that's riding on the social media bandwagon, make sure you have the people in place who have the creativity, the understanding of new media, and a voice and tone that is inviting to a broad audience. If you're an individual trying to gain a following, make sure you have a personality behind your brand. That brand must be personable and relatable, and there should be value that you provide to your audience. Even though publishing a message to the world is as simple as the click of a button, always ask yourself if what you're about to publish will give value to your audience or if it's just polluting the digital universe.

Written by Amy Chan, Director of Marketing, Kiwi Collection

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