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 twitter.com 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 twitter.com 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 Twitter.com, improve Twitterers' interactions with content and each other, and ease adoption for Twitter newbies," Ray said in a blog post.

The new twitter.com 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."

About:

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

CATHY FREEMAN LOOKS AHEAD TO 2022

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 www.australiabid.com.au," 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 TO INVEST IN THE NEXT GENERATION ENGINE

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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.

RENAULT, OFFICIAL PARTNER OF THE 36TH DEAUVILLE AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL

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 BĂ©art, 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 visitvictoria.com

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


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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 up dates 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 is 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

@JustMyTypeMag

The Skull - Time's Winged Chariot




The skull – that most powerful motif of our own mortality – fascinates. In the master's hands it sits in counterpoint to the beautiful woman. The biker inscribes it on his chest. Emptied of the thought and personality of its former owner, it endures. It appals and fascinates us, stirring some vestigial memory telling us that it is more than merely decorative. But decorative it is, making a statement that is both strong and undefined.


Barry Humphries and cricket`s elite to honour Gilchrist and Gavaskar at the SCG

Cricketers Adam Gilchrist and Sunil Gavaskar will next month be recognised as Bradman Honourees at the annual Bradman Foundation's Gala Dinner to be held at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday, 20 October.

Adam Gilchrist's award is significant as he is the first Honouree to still be playing the game. His achievements include being the first player to successfully master three codes of the game: Test, One Day International and Twenty20. In keeping with the spirit of Sir Donald Bradman, Gilchrist is also noted for contributing to the integrity of the game and for his conduct on and off the field.

Sunil Gavaskar will be the first international Bradman Honouree. Embodying the Bradman principles of courage, honour, humility, integrity and determination, Gavaskar had a profound impact on cricket in India and around the world. He is recognised as the most successful of all opening batsmen and is credited for teaching his teammates and their successors the virtue of unconditional professionalism.

Gilchrist and Gavaskar join the ranks of cricketing greats such as Sam Loxton, Norman O'Neil, Alan Davidson, and Arthur Morris. Dennis Lillee, one of last year's Honourees, will also be attending the dinner.

The 2010 Gala Dinner – which is now recognised as the premier cricket event – will feature Michael Slater and Ian Healy as Masters of Ceremony, Barry Humphries giving his unique view on cricket, and award-winning singer Adam Harvey.

The event sponsored by Macquarie Bank, will also have special significance as it will be held only a few weeks before the world's only International Cricket Hall of Fame will open at Bradman Oval in Bowral.

This unique exhibition will comprise nine themed galleries incorporating cutting edge interactive technology. It will explain 'What is Cricket?' trace cricket history, demonstrate today's game and provide inspiration for tomorrow. Through this new attraction, the Bradman Foundation aims to keep Sir Donald's vision vibrant and relevant.

Individual tickets to the Gala Dinner, to be held on Wednesday 20 October at the SCG, are $500 for non members (which includes a tax-deductible donation of $350) and $400 for members.  For more details contact events@bradman.com.au or Karen Mews on 02 4861 5422.

In addition to first class dining and on stage performances, attendees also receive the privilege of walking onto the SCG ground, right up to the pitch, to view how the wicket is prepared.

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