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Palfreeman jail transfer refused

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JOCK PALFREEMANNEWCASTLE pathologist Simon Palfreeman called on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to intervene yesterday after his son, jailed for 20 years for murder in Bulgaria, was refused transfer to an Australian prison.
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Bulgaria’s chief prosecutor denied on Tuesday night an official request from Australia to transfer Jock Palfreeman to an Australian jail to serve the remainder of his murder sentence.

DISTANT HOPE: Helen and Simon Palfreeman hope to get Simon’s son Jock, inset, transferred to Australia from a Bulgarian prison.

The 26-year-old, who has always claimed he acted in self defence, was sentenced in December 2009 for the stabbing death of 20-year-old Andrey Monov, and for wounding another man in a drunken street brawl in the capital Sofia.

Palfreeman pleaded not guilty but lost the case twice on appeal, and Bulgaria’s Supreme Court upheld his sentence in July 2011.

Dr Palfreeman urged Mr Rudd yesterday to call his Bulgarian counterpart.

“Mr Rudd was aware of Jock and was sympathetic to what was happening to Jock and his family when he was foreign minister,” he said.

“I think now as Prime Minister I think probably it would be very helpful if there was some direct involvement from Mr Rudd and [Foreign Minister Bob] Carr.”

Senator Carr said he was disappointed that Bulgaria’s chief prosecutor had knocked back Australia’s official request for Palfreeman’s transfer.

He said the government was exploring whether the decision could be appealed.

“Jock and his family will be understandably very disappointed by the prosecutor-general’s decision,” he said.

“The Australian government will however examine whether options exist to have the matter reconsidered.”

In justifying his decision, the prosecutor said Palfreeman had served “limited” time in jail and had been “repeatedly sanctioned” for bad behaviour by prison authorities.

Dr Palfreeman said his son’s behaviour in prison had been “exemplary under extreme provocation” and accused Bulgarian authorities of being “capricious” and “vindictive”.

Palfreeman claimed he got into the brawl after trying to save two gypsies who were being beaten by a gang of local youths, but the appeal court rejected his version of events.

Bulgaria’s leading human rights group, the Bulgaria Helsinki Committee, condemned the decision to refuse the transfer.

“To me the refusal looks as a vindictive action from the chief prosecutor, which has nothing to do with the rule of law,” committee president Krassimir Kanev said.

Dr Kanev said the dead man’s father, who is now a government MP, has vowed to prevent Palfreeman from returning home and wanted his sentence increased to life in prison.

with AAP

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DJ has ‘strong case’ in lawsuit against station

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”Royal hoax” DJ Mel Greig could get a ”six or seven figure payout” from 2Day FM, legal experts have told Fairfax Media.
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Senior lawyers from Nowicki Carbone said the station appeared to have been ”playing with fire” by encouraging questionable stunts – and that Greig has a ”very strong case” against her employer.

Greig has accused 2Day FM’s parent company, Southern Cross Austereo, of ”failing to provide a safe workplace”.

She has made a general protections application with Fair Work Australia and sources say she wants to terminate her employment with Austereo, despite the company offering her several jobs over the past six months.

Greig has been off air since British nurse Jacintha Saldanha killed herself in December.

She and co-host Michael Christian duped Saldanha into believing they were the Queen and Prince Charles. Saldanha transferred their call to another nurse, who divulged private information about Kate Middleton.

Nowicki Carbone managing partner Anthony Carbone said Greig was clever in making her claim as a general protections application.

”There’s no limit on damages with general protections,” Carbone said, ”It’s underutilised in Australia because lawyers don’t understand it.”

He said Greig would probably need to be prove she had suffered a diagnosable psychological injury as a result of the prank call incident – but not that Saldanha’s suicide was forseeable.

The amount Greig is claiming could comprise medical expenses, loss of future income and damages.

”Mel might argue that her earnings have been affected by what’s happened, so she could claim the gap in earnings for the forseeable future,” Carbone said. ”And the judge could turn around and say, ‘I’m also going to give you an amount for pain and suffering.

”All up, it could come to six figures or even seven figures.”

Carbone said Austereo’s long rap sheet – which includes tricking listeners into believing a popular presenter had died, a stunt police claim encouraged dangerous driving and the notorious lie detector scandal – could bolster Greig’s claim.

”It goes to the heart of what kind of workplace Mel was working in,” he said. ”Did Austereo condone and encourage the pranks? Did they promote bad conduct?

”This doesn’t seem to have been a one-off thing; it seems to have been on-going.

”I mean, getting on the radio and pretending that someone is dead – who does that?”

Whether 2Day FM broke the law by recording and broadcasting the prank call without permission is also relevant, he said.

”They’re fostering a culture which is questionable at best. At worst, it appears they’re encouraging what could be illegal behaviour.”

The first step in Greig’s claim is a conciliation meeting, likely to occur in September. If this fails, the matter will go to court.

Carbone said Austereo will do everything it can to resolve the dispute early.

”They probably won’t want their practices and procedures exposed,” he said. ”They might want to avoid people asking, ‘Who okayed this prank call? What discussions did you have about the potential risks?”’

Carbone said Austereo’s defence will rest on the protocols it had in place at the time of the prank call and its ability to demonstrate ”how seriously it takes the welfare of its staff”.

Austereo and Greig have refused to comment.

While Greig has not returned to work since the tragedy, her co-host Michael Christian resumed his duties earlier this year and was controversially named the network’s “top jock” in June.

In April, Greig revealed she would give evidence at the UK inquest into Saldanha’s suicide. It is not known if she will appear personally or make a statement via video link.

Her legal action comes as Austereo awaits a decision from the Federal Court about the authority of the broadcasting watchdog.

Austereo claims the Australian Communications and Media Authority has no power to determine if it broke the law by recording and broadcasting the hoax phone call without permission.

If the Federal Court finds in ACMA’s favour, 2Day FM faces a hefty penalty from the regulator. Its most likely punishment is a licence suspension, meaning the station will be pulled off the airwaves temporarily.

People seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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

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Home to Summer Bay

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Familiar: Kate Ritchie as Sally Fletcher today.First there were the fluoro tops, pigtails, and imaginary friends. Then the awkward teen years — clandestine pashes behind the bike sheds, inappropriate boyfriends (including one played by Heath Ledger), plenty of angst. And of course that puffy white wedding dress.
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No one would blame Kate Ritchie for wanting to slam the door shut on her years spent on Home and Away. Many would understand if she wanted to ”do a Melissa George” and write it off as an embarrassing life experience.

But five years after leaving Summer Bay, Ritchie is returning to the show she starred on for 20 years to reprise her role as Sally Fletcher in a guest stint.

The question is: why?

”Look, it sounds really simple, but it was just lovely,” she says. ”It’s a job that I absolutely loved. So it was so nice to be back on set, back on location in a place that I know so well, surrounded by lots of people I’ve known for many years.”

Ritchie admits it was a strange sensation stepping back onto such familiar ground for the first time in five years.

”It was a mixture of feelings,” she says. ”I was excited to be back, but it did feel a little bit strange. I was back on set and, in essence, doing the same job I have done before, but all this time had passed and so much had happened since I left.

”It felt strange. There were so many familiar things about it, but then there was so much about it that was different – perhaps because I was different, and I was seeing things with different eyes.”

Ritchie left Home and Away in 2008. At the time it was a tough decision, but the big, bad world was calling and opportunity knocked. She went on to have mixed success with roles in Underbelly, the short-lived Cops L.A.C., plus a stint co-hosting breakfast radio alongside Merrick and Rosso. She’ll also soon be seen on Peter Helliar’s new ABC series, It’s a Date.

Ritchie admits she was shocked when Home and Away producers came calling once more.

”I received a phone call from my manager one day saying, ‘You’re never going to believe this but I’ve just been on the phone with Home and Away’,” she says. ”I was like, ‘What?’ A return was something I had never considered. Not that I didn’t enjoy my time there, it was just that it had been a job that I had finally found the courage to leave, and five years had passed. It caught me off guard, to be honest. I thought, ‘Goodness, what do I think of this?’

”Of course the obvious things were, ‘Wow, isn’t it lovely that they would like me to come back’, and ‘Isn’t it great that Home and Away is celebrating 25 years’, which is part of the reason the phone call came,” Ritchie says.

What followed was a period of deliberation. ”I spent a little while thinking about it — probably overthinking it — wondering if a return would be a good idea or a bad idea, and what people would think about it,” Ritchie says.

”Then I realised that I should stop worrying about everything and just remember that it was a job I loved. And the whole point of working in this industry is that we do continue to work, and it would be crazy for me to decline.”

Unlike many of her contemporaries, Ritchie decided not to up stumps after her exit and move to LA, continuing to base herself in Australia where she lives in Sydney with her husband of three years, Stuart Webb. It wasn’t too much of a stretch, then, to jump in her car and make that familiar drive out to Palm Beach, where Home and Away is filmed.

She figured that instead of distancing herself from Sally, she may as well embrace her — and what better way than a quick trip back to the Bay?

”If I had tried to forget her, I wouldn’t be acknowledging a great deal of who I am. Leaving Home and Away, a lot of it was about trying to work out who I was without this character, and without the show, and without the security.

”I’ve realised that you can move on and do other things, but you can still appreciate where you’ve been.”

The opening scenes of her first episode back see Sally ride into town in a convertible, daughter Pippa (Piper Morrissey) in tow.

”There’s a great deal of me in Sally Fletcher, and a great deal of [her] in me. I think there’s nothing I can do about that,” Ritchie says. ”There’s no point me fighting it.”

Home and Away, Monday to Thursday, Channel Seven, 7pm. (Ritchie returns Monday).

Growing up on the box

The transition from child star to respected adult actor isn’t something many performers achieve. Kate Ritchie is the exception.

Not only has she managed a career post-Home and Away, she’s actually turned out to be – shock, horror – a normal person.

Ritchie says this may have something to do with her motivations for becoming an actor.

”What I did was a hobby for many years and I did it because I loved it, not because I wanted to work in television,” she explains.

”Nor did I want to be famous. As I kid I wanted to do it because it was fun — and because I got to hang out with Alex Papps [the teen heart-throb, now Play School presenter, who played Frank in the first season].”

Everything since has been a bonus.

”As I’ve grown the things that have unfolded, all the attention and the accolades, they’ve not been something I have sought,” she says.

And the flipside of that fame? The constant focus on her personal life, the is-she-isn’t-she speculation of a baby on the way, the analysis of her every move including this one back to Summer Bay that some have said is proof she couldn’t make it anywhere else.

”It doesn’t always sit well with me, but that’s the way it is,” Ritchie says. ”I can either give it a lot of my energy, or I can accept that it’s also part of the job.

”I want to share as much as I possibly can, but I also have no intention of giving everything. I love that the little old lady in the supermarket stops me and grabs my hand and tells me how wonderful it is to see me grow into such a lovely woman. I also love flicking through our wedding book knowing those photos only I and [my husband] Stuart have seen.”

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

Pay TV show of the week: No Reservations

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Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations TLC, Saturday, 8.30pm
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With his devilish charm and swashbuckling approach to fine dining, Anthony Bourdain takes foodie television to such bizarre and interesting places that even MasterChef looks like a dull recipe segment by comparison. In this holiday special, fittingly screening in time for that weird and cynical non-celebration known as Christmas in July, Bourdain has cast himself as a modern-day Ebenezer Scrooge.

Banished from the family apartment on Christmas Eve by his caricature of a Latina wife and sneering son (portrayed by himself), Bourdain wanders the streets of New York like an ageing Holden Caulfield, seeking solace in the craft beer and cured meats of the city’s best eateries.

Among the chefs who begrudgingly serve him are some fine natural actors who play along beautifully, dolloping acerbic New York attitude alongside steaming plates of bachelor fare. When the occasional cooking demonstration verges on the serious, a mad fantasy sequence follows to remind us that we are still inside Bourdain’s wretched mind, the ghosts of Christmas everywhere tormenting him with visions of death-metal vegan roasts, hospital turkey and the magnificently twisted animated story of the anti-Santa Claus.

Despite the pantomime, food remains the focus, with interesting dishes, including Jesus’ hypothetical Christmas dinner, examined in detail. Bourdain visits far too many kitchens for the program to have been filmed in real time, his culinary odyssey becoming dream-like as he delves further into odd traditions and strange personalities. Christopher Walken, Norah Jones and travel presenter Samantha Brown appear, while Bourdain’s real-life nemesis, disgraced television chef Paula Deen, is cruelly parodied. Irreverent, frequently offensive and sickly funny, this is Bourdain at his best.

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

An unlikely partnership

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Gloves are off, and on: Channel Nine commentator Ian Healy shares a joke with wicketkeeper Matthew Wade.There was uncertainty in the Australian side heading into the latest instalment of the Ashes, and the same could have been said of another high-profile cricketing ”team”.
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Channel Nine’s fabled commentary unit had also been in a state of flux in recent months when it emerged Channel Ten had aggressively sought to poach the international broadcast rights. A new, much-publicised deal with Nine was eventually consummated but it took an unprecedented fee of $450 million to secure the broadcast rights.

”Oh yeah, definitely,” says former Test gloveman, and Nine commentary mainstay, Ian Healy when asked if he had been concerned whether Nine would lose the rights.

”They [Nine] paid a lot more money than they have ever been asked to pay at a time when the [Test] team is at an early stage of rebuilding. They must have been very close to leaving it with Ten, because that’s a lot of money. I was weighing up my options, for sure.”

For Healy and the likes of Mark Taylor, Michael Slater, Ian Chappell and Brett Lee, they can now focus on the on-field business, beginning with coverage of the five-Test Ashes series from England, which began on Wednesday night, Australian time.

Nine will televise all three sessions on its digital station Gem from 7pm, ensuring those with only free-to-air coverage can soak up one of Australian sport’s most engrossing events.

Some will argue the broadcast should be on Nine’s primary channel, but it should be remembered that those who grew up during the 1980s and ’90s generally only had coverage from late at night, as Nine did not want to disrupt its early evening viewing. The digital channels mean that no longer is an issue.

Brad McNamara, Nine’s executive producer of cricket, says digital channels are ”no longer looked at as second-rate sorts of citizens. They are valuable commodities where you can put top-class content on.”

McNamara says Channel Seven has been ”doing it a fair bit with the AFL and other things, and there will be stages this winter where we have got NRL on the main channel, the Ashes will be on Gem and NRL on GO! All three Channel Nine channels will have live sport on.”

Nine will not have its own commentators in England because it was deemed too expensive, and there is little room at the smallish Test venues to accommodate a large crew beyond that of the local broadcaster.

Instead, Nine will use the ball-by-ball feed from England’s blue-chip Sky Sports coverage, with Nine’s expert team, hosted by Tim Gilbert, dissecting events during the main intervals from its Sydney studio.

Fox Sports will also televise the series, also using Sky’s feed, which boasts household names such as Ian Botham; former England captains Mike Atherton, David Gower and Nasser Hussain; David Lloyd’s inimitable Lancashire drawl; and our own Shane Warne. McNamara revealed the champion leg-spinner would return to Nine’s commentary team this summer.

So, is there an Ashes rivalry of sorts between Sky and Nine as to which can provide the best insights and commentary?

”I don’t think so. That’s not for me to comment on, it’s for the public to comment on,” Healy says.

”They have a good variety between high-profile legends and then you have David Lloyd’s enthusiasm, you throw the captains in there, Nasser, Athers, and then with Warney in between them all. It should be great.”

McNamara says the two parties enjoy a strong bond, revealing this will be reinforced during the Australian summer when, with back-to-back Ashes campaigns, several members of the Sky team, for the first time in years, will have stints on Nine.

”I am not talking out of school – there is probably us and Sky and then there is daylight between cricket coverages around the world,” McNamara says.

”Cricket commentary is about what you say, but it’s the dynamic, too. It’s about voices as well. They have some really unique voices, fellas like David Lloyd, who brings that broad Lancashire accent, and he has a great sense of humour.”

Whether Australian captain Michael Clarke and his team can retain their humour, though, remains to be seen. It’s been a humourless few months, with a 4-0 thrashing in India, off-field issues and the sacking of coach Mickey Arthur.

England would like to think it is headed towards a crushing series win, but Healy isn’t so sure.

”I am expecting it to be a bit closer than everyone is expecting,” he says. ”But that really depends on how much batting support Clarke gets.”

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

Green Guide letters

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Challenged in a good way: Catalyst, with presenter Maryanne Demasi, is focusing on in-depth analysis.LETTER OF THE WEEKScience showcase regains its brain
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The latest series of ABC1’s Catalyst still has me in shock. I never thought I’d see the day when a program was smartened up rather than dumbed down. This series has fewer topics an episode, with each covered in depth. It now challenges our intelligence rather than insulting it, as last year’s series did. Many thanks, ABC.

Valerie E. La May, Seymour

Good showing, old sport

Wimbledon is classic tennis. The players wear white, there’s no in-your-face advertising, the players are called ladies and gentlemen, they play on green grass, there seems to be less shrieking, there’s not the usual Channel Seven banal commentary and inane camera shots, the fans don’t barrack like bogans, and everyone eats strawberries and cream. It is tennis as it used to be. Tennis at its finest.

Malcolm Just, St Kilda East

Adult viewing

I stopped watching Sunrise when I got tired of Ms Doyle squeaking at her viewers as though we were all three-year-olds.

Jen Gladstones, Heidelberg

Greenery, not scenery

If Costa Georgiadis wants to run specials like the one about Tiwi Islanders and their flora, could he please be run on SBS where that type of documentary would be more appropriate to a more selective audience? In the context of Gardening Australia and its long-time established format, that segment (Saturday, July 6) offered minimal interest. One does tend to look forward to practical solutions on average gardening topics.

Pete Williams, Metung

Father fails to inspire

Oh dear, what are they thinking with Father Brown, this copy of another village of carnage, with poor acting and loud music masking poor diction? The only saving grace is the beautiful scenery.

Bob Dunstone, Mt Gambier

Floored commentary

It is distressing to see the riders in the Tour de France peloton crash, but even more so to be told by Phil Liggett that they have fallen to the ”floor”.

Jenny Campbell, Northwood

New format fails to please

I love digital TV and the additional stations it has created. Green Guide’s TV guide format has been head-and-shoulders above the rest as it allocated reasonable space and print size to all stations. Other great benefits were the red movie sign and the movies’ year of production. However, the format started last week has meant I can no longer read what’s on the additional stations (the font is just too small) and the year of production has gone from the movies. Please consider changing back.

Paul Bradbury, Echuca

Source of strength

Thank you to Chris Masters for his three-part documentary series on ABC1, The Years that Made Us. We look back and see where our strength comes from in the times we now face, and hope we can give back to society in ways we saw our parents do.

Lois Daley, Port Melbourne

Sunday night a trying time

Really enjoying watching Endeavour, but could it possibly be put on at an earlier time? Finishing close to midnight on a Sunday is too late.

Judy Lockwood, Sunbury

Sales ready to cook

Has anybody else noticed that the table next to Leigh Sales on the 7.30 program resembles a large hotplate? I keep half expecting her to break out with a frypan and eggs.

Julie Hill, Wattle Flat

Viewer escapes the Dome

Well done, Ten – not. After watching two episodes of Under the Dome, I got RSI from pressing the mute button to block out the constant interruption of ads. I will wait for the DVD!

Norm Hudson, West Brunswick

Old, not tired

What an ageist outburst from Robert Hayward (Green Guide Letters, 27/6), equating old people with a ”tired, worn-out old show”. I’m an old person, often tired, but I do not own a beige cardigan, nor do I wet myself. What I do do is switch off the old John Nettles Midsomer Murders, because they are so damn boring. I prefer Jerry Seinfeld.

Patricia Coe, Hawthorn

Cardigan wearer over ABC

It was rather unkind of Robert Hayward (Letters 27/6) to have a go at the ”beige cardigan brigade”. One day he will be one of them. The emphasis of his comments should have been directed to the ABC, which is forever recycling series such as Doc Martin, Grand Designs, Midsomer Murders and now also Miss Marple. We have had enough and demand new productions.

Sophia Reynolds, Lancefield

Having the time of our lives

My wife and I have enjoyed the solid performances in the ABC’s The Time of Our Lives, but would it be possible for the scriptwriters to insert a couple under the age of 60, who are still happily married? Every other adult character in the show is either divorced, separated, eloping, a de facto or a philanderer.

Peter Waterhouse, Camberwell

We demand answers

Tony, please ask all female politicians on Q&A to stop interrupting and talking over others, instead of answering questions, spouting the party line ad nauseum. They should observe how male politicians and other females on the panel answer questions politely. You aren’t on the floor of the House now, girls, you have viewers turning off in droves.

Shirley Videion, Brighton

Same-ish time next week?

I’m glad two of your letter writers got to see the last episode of Borgen; we tuned in just in time to see the end credits. Apparently SBS has been taking lessons in messing up its viewers with last-minute changes, so it’s a fair bet thousands like us missed it. Unfortunately the Green Guide is becoming obsolete in terms of being a program guide – the networks are more obsessed with themselves than their viewers.

Jennie Owen, Castlemaine

Instant classic

Thank you very much to Stephen Snelleman for making my mornings enjoyable once again listening to ABC Classic FM. I wish he’d stay on.

Joanna Grey, Toorak

Libbi’s luxury filler

How refreshing to have Libbi Gorr filling in for Red Symons on 774 ABC from 5.30am – thanks, Libbi, for your enthusiasm, listening skills, fun and good-natured humour – such a luxury to listen to you!

Janice Dunn, Essendon

HAVE YOUR SAY Email letters, including your name, address and daytime phone number, to [email protected]南京夜网.au. Letters must be 75 words or fewer and may be edited. Letters can also be mailed to GPO Box 257, Melbourne, 3001.

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

A conversation worth having

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Planning a feast at your place? Ellen Fanning should be top of your guest list. During the past few weeks the acclaimed journalist has been perfecting her best dinner-party conversation with guests on her new show, The Observer Effect.
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Sitting down to discuss the news of the week with political and cultural leaders – everyone from Bob Carr one week to Seal the next – Ellen hopes that by allowing her guests the opportunity to stay a while and chat, she’ll have an opportunity to cut through the spin, delve a little deeper, and let viewers in on a conversation worth having.

During your recent chat with Ray Martin you said you thought we’d lost our ability to have a grown-up conversation on television. Do you hope your new show will provide antidote to this?

So many of our conversations in life, people don’t bring their best to it – it’s naughty to go to someone else’s house for a dinner party and talk about what school you want to send your child to, and Sydney’s housing prices. If you can bring a sense of curiosity and genuine interest in somebody, and bring your best dinner party conversation, then you I think you will always have an interesting conversation …

Is that what you are hoping to do with your guests?

I think we have somehow got this notion that [TV] is either frivolous and fun and ”140 characters”, or it’s a chore. But I don’t think that a stimulating, interesting conversation about the issues of the day should ever be a chore to watch or to conduct. I think that the notion that current affairs or public affairs conversations can only be a straight-down-the line-interview, that you can’t have conversations about the issues of the day unless you’re prepared to engage with the nitty-gritty of the NBN [or some such], is a fallacy.

Having the time to sit and chat in depth with your subjects must be every interviewer’s dream.

I think when you find a great dancing partner, and whether that’s [my guests] Bob Carr, Barnaby Joyce, Ray Martin, as we have had so far, or Seal this week, it is wonderful. It is an opportunity to have the conversation in a room where the floor manager is keeping everyone quiet … and you can engage deeply. And any time you do that, it’s wonderful.

How did your involvement with the show come about?

I was approached – they already had a concept and a timeslot. I don’t even think I played hard to get. I just sat there and said, ”Yes, I’ll do it.” They said, ”Do you want to think about it?” And I said no.

How do you choose your guests?

I think, first of all, you have got to have an interest in what they think about public life in Australia. If you don’t have an interest on their views on that, it won’t work. Also, I wanted to play with the notion that political debate and policy debate is a quarantined conversation only had by politicians … I am just as interested to hear what an indigenous cultural leader has to say about politics as I am hearing a politician speak on those issues. In fact, wouldn’t it be more fun to do a non-political interview with a politician and a political interview with a non-politician?

Are you pleased your show gives its guests the opportunity to discuss things in more detail?

I am. Hopefully, the audience will feel the same sense of enjoyment and curiosity that I feel when I am engaging with these people. Hopefully, these are really fascinating conversations.

The Observer Effect8.30pm SBS ONESunday 14th July guests includeBrendan Cowell – actor, writer, director and Dry July ambassadorAmanda Smith – actor best known for impersonation of Julia GillardRonnie Khan –  Oz Harvest

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

Hoff to play roadblock to Thaiday’s speed bump

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NSW five-eighth James Maloney doesn’t need a bodyguard, but he will get some help when he inevitably comes face-to-face with Queensland forward Sam Thaiday in the State of Origin decider on Wednesday.
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Blues second-rower Ryan Hoffman, who will be defending inside Maloney – targeted by Thaiday in game two at Suncorp Stadium – said it was his job to help the smaller player out, while stressing that he had full confidence in the playmaker. ”I don’t like the term ‘bodyguard’, because Jimmy’s a first-grader and he can defend really well,” Hoffman said on Wednesday. ”I don’t think he needs a bodyguard and we certainly don’t see him as a liability in defence.

”In saying that, he gets a bigger bloke – and he’s a smaller bloke. Sometimes you need some help, and as the bloke inside him, that’s my job. I’ve got a responsibility, once the ball gets outside me, to fill the space and get in there and help him with those tackles. They targeted him last time and they’ll target him this game – just like we targeted their halves. Every team in the NRL does it, just like State of Origin and Test teams.

”I’ve got the confidence in Jimmy that he’s going to put his body in front, and I’m sure he’s got the confidence in me that I’m going to come from the inside and help him.”

Thaiday made his intentions clear from the early moments of game two, scoring inside two minutes, rumbling over Maloney in the process. Maloney has already said that he expected the Maroons to head his way with regularity again. Hoffman said any problems could be easily fixed.

”I suppose in our defensive structure, we got caught out a bit close to the line,” Hoffman said. ”Queensland, with their attacking structure, managed to exploit it a bit. It certainly wasn’t through lack of effort or lack of desire, it’s just that we got our structures a bit wrong. We know that now. We’re sure we’re going to get plenty more work next Wednesday.

”It’s up to us to make sure we’re in the right frame of mind to fix it, and we’ve got the right defensive attitude to not only get our bodies in front but to stick to our structures and what works for us.”

Blues coach Laurie Daley said Hoffman did not need to ”protect” Maloney. ”We’ve got to defend better as a unit,” he said.

”Obviously, they had plenty of ball and they picked out Jimmy a bit – Sam Thaiday picked him out. That’s just good coaching, good management – get the bigger bloke to isolate a little defender. But I’ve got every confidence in Jimmy. That’s the challenge of Origin. You need to be on at all times.”

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Kelly insists he’ll stay on despite the clean-out

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Spared: Luke Kelly will not be part of the exodus of players from Parramatta at the end of the season. Photo: Chris De JongLuke Kelly says he hasn’t been asked to find a new club as part of Parramatta’s mass player clean-out and will remain at the Eels next season.
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While the Eels have remained tight-lipped about the 12 players coach Ricky Stuart informed were unwanted beyond the end of this season, Kelly has been mentioned by various media organisations as one of the dozen players shown the door.

However, the former Melbourne playmaker, who joined Parramatta under the leadership of Stephen Kearney midway through last year, insists he hasn’t been told to look elsewhere. “It was all over the media and I had friends and family asking me what was going on,” Kelly said. “But as far as I’m concerned I’ll be here next year. I have another year on my contract, so I’ll be here.”

Kelly has been promoted from the NSW Cup to replace Chris Sandow at halfback against Penrith on Saturday after Sandow was axed to reserve grade. There’s a suggestion the $550,000-a-season halfback is on the outer, and the former South Sydney No.7 a possibility to join the long list of unwanted players at the Eels.

But as Sandow is into the second year of a four-year contract, it is unlikely the club will offload him. With Brisbane’s Corey Norman to join the club next season to play five-eighth, it leaves Sandow and Kelly in a two-horse race for the No.7 jersey next year.

“There’ll be a few of us here next year vying for a couple of spots,” he said. “There’s only one way I can put my case forward, and that’s by playing well. Ricky hasn’t spoken to me specifically about it but he’s always said he’ll put the person who is playing the best in the position. If you’re playing well, that’s all you can do and the rest will take care of itself.”

While 23-year-old Kelly has spent most of his time at Parramatta in the five-eighth role, he’s relishing the chance to play halfback against the Panthers at home.

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

Plan for your TV future

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My sister has had her venerable cathode-tube television forever. Well, maybe that’s stretching it a bit, but I do recall seeing John Hewson trying to explain the GST on it. Now, with the closure of analog broadcasting coinciding with a new house, she finally accepts it’s time to embrace a new century.
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She has never been much interested in technology. She’s comfortable with the internet but sees no point in connecting her television to it, and she considers 3D to be nonsense.

So her new telly will display broadcasts, plug into her husband’s Foxtel and show a very occasional DVD. Plus, she specifies a maximum screen size of 106 centimetres, the biggest that will fit in her cabinet.

She tells me she explained this to the man at the store and he has suggested a basic telly on special. She emails the details to me and asks me what I think. ”Lunacy,” I reply. ”It only has one HDMI and one component input.”

I’d like to say she looks at me blankly, but we’re on the phone.

I suggest that, given she has kept her last telly for 25 years, she’ll need flexibility for future changes, because there will be plenty. With her DVD player using the HDMI and Foxtel going in the component input, she would be out of luck for anything new.

I further suggest she look at the television’s picture – really look at it in relation to those around it – before signing the credit card docket. She thinks I’m a perfectionist techno geek. A telly is a telly, she says.

I invite her to accompany me to the shops.

Tip: it’s not all that easy to find a small, basic, non-internet, non-3D telly with lots of inputs. The best we can flush out is a Teac with a built-in DVD player, three HDMIs, a component and a USB input. There’s also a TCL with one less HDMI, but it has a USB that records and plays, rather than just plays.

There are some nice offerings from Samsung and LG but they cost more than she wants to spend, and although the Sonys and Panasonics look great, she would be paying for technology she’d never use.

Finally, it’s the picture quality of the Toshiba that sells her. It outperforms everything around it less than $500, and it’s certainly the right price.

She isn’t alone – the salesman tells us it’s the biggest-selling small television the store stocks.

My sister looks at him, astonished. ”But it’s huge,” she says.

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

Memories are made of this

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Once upon a computing time, a megabyte was huge. In 1982, for example, two years before the Macintosh appeared, an IBM PC had a hard drive with a capacity of five megabytes, and we thought it amazing.
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The first Mac, in 1984, had no hard drive, 128 kilobytes of memory, and cost more than $4000 in Australia. The Macintosh SE, in 1987, was a stunning machine with a hard drive boasting 20MB and an Australian price tag of $5000 – maybe $1000 of that was the cost of the hard drive.

My current iMac cost less than half the 128KB Mac, and that’s without calculating the difference in the value of $1 over 30 years. And the iMac has 16 gigabytes of RAM, a 2.9GHz quad-core i5 Intel processor and a terabyte of storage on the hard drive.

Since 1982, drive capacity has continued to increase almost exponentially, while prices have plummeted. Today, one buys in gigabytes (1000 megabytes) and terabytes (1000 gigabytes) and thinks nothing of it.

Will we soon have on-board hard drives with storage measured in petabytes or even exabytes – 1 billion terabytes? Almost certainly not, and the reason is the internet, its servers and its data centres, known as the cloud.

In the cloud, the new champion of online storage is Yahoo! in the form of Flickr, its until-now rather neglected photo-storage and sharing service. Flickr has just set a whopping challenge – a terabyte of cloud storage for every subscriber – free!

Yahoo!’s new boss, Marissa Mayer, formerly a senior Google executive, has begun rejuvenating one of the world’s oldest internet service companies. Rejuvenation obviously means improving competitiveness, and what better way to attract us than with a really big number and ”free”, paid for by the ads Flickr will carry.

Flickr’s terabyte is 70 times more than what’s offered by Google Drive – space for 600,000 happy snaps. Some possibly insane people will take and store 600,000 pictures; most of us will not. Yet Yahoo!’s offer is tempting at a time when so many things are judged by how big a number they carry.

With nothing like 600,000 pictures in my folder, on first acquaintance, the redesigned Flickr looks very good. There is a direct link from iPhoto, the thumbnails have been replaced by decent images to scroll through and it’s easy to share photos by email or via social media.

It’s easy to sign up. I spent a couple of minutes and no money to pitch my tent on Yahoo!’s servers. Whether I will use much or any of the free terabyte is a different matter.

I keep my pictures in iCloud and distribute them automatically to all my devices with Photo Stream. Apple’s iCloud gives me 25GB free, although this might be reduced to 5GB in September – unless Yahoo!’s move affects Apple’s thinking. I can buy more iCloud storage for a few dollars a year.

Computing power is now much more about cloud services than how many tera-whatsits and giga-thingies your machine has. It’s what you can stuff into and instantly retrieve from your folders stored in cyberspace by iCloud, Evernote and Dropbox, and draw from cloud services such as Adobe Creative Cloud, Google Docs, Facebook, Twitter and many more. Think of how apps boost the relatively modest power of an iPad and set you free because it, and the cloud, are always with you.

Moore’s law, set out in 1965 by Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Intel, says computer power doubles every 12 months to 18 months, while the cost to consumers remains the same or declines. But will that no longer matter soon? Will a decent chunk of RAM and maybe 500MB of solid-state storage be enough? And what of this new contest spurred by Flickr’s fat freebie? How big will cloud storage become?

Parkinson’s law of bureaucracy says, ”work expands to fill the time available”. There is also a Parkinson’s law of computing: ”data expands to fill the storage space available”, meaning the bigger your hard drive, the more data you will create, gather, store and probably never look at again. So will a free terabyte in the cloud become a free exabyte, or brontobyte? The mind grows numb at the prospect.

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

Boom time for compacts

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Now that you’re carrying a high-definition video camera in your pocket, you have an itch to record an epic. But all great epics have one thing in common: the camera’s moves. It swings smoothly up and down on a crane. One minute it is on the floor looking up, and the next it is in the air looking down. It pans from side to side, running smoothly on bearings in the mounting. Fluid camera movement is what distinguishes the professional movie from the static pictures made by amateurs.
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What we need is an inexpensive, light, portable camera mount for our phone and compacts.

Marcus McLeod perceived the need and has produced the product – the BoomBandit (go to boombandit南京夜网 to see the device in use and to order a unit for $295).

McLeod worked in the film industry as a grip, setting up cranes and dollies for directors of photography. His background is in getting the best angles for the camera operators.

”I always had this plan in my head to build a very esoteric crane for the industry,” McLeod says. ”I built a prototype but it was going to be too expensive to manufacture. I was in my workshop one night, realising that I couldn’t make this thing – it was too big. And I thought, well, hang on a minute, I’ve got a full-HD camera in my pocket. I looked at the crane I was building and had the eureka moment.”

He realised that with simpler and lighter components, he had the basics of a perfect camera-movement device for phones and light cameras. With help from members of the Victorian Inventors Association, he designed and fabricated the unique mounts and hinges for the boom, and sourced lightweight tubes for the body. Thus, the BoomBandit was born.

Using the BoomBandit is easy. It feels like an arm extension that responds to thought input just as a limb and hands do. The parallelogram arm sits on a monopod and is controlled through a hand grip, smoothly raising the camera from ground level to a metre above the head and at the same time panning fluidly from side to side. The camera can be tilted in any arm position to face down or up, and the mount can carry additional gear, such as a second camera, light or microphone.

The unit weighs 800 grams and telescopes like a tripod. It comes with a backpack.

In a word: brilliant!

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

Joyce tips Capitals revival

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Optimistic … Brendan Joyce. Photo: Rohan ThomsonAustralian Opals coach Brendan Joyce has backed the Canberra Capitals to again become a ”powerhouse” of the WNBL if their title-winning trio are reunited.
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Star Lauren Jackson, power forward Abby Bishop and point guard Nat Hurst are on the cusp of suiting up together for the first time since the club’s most recent championship in 2009-10.

Hurst has already agreed to return, but there is no announcement on the availability of Jackson and Bishop.

The Capitals are yet to decide whether they will accept Jackson’s offer of playing this season, while Bishop is under contract with French club Perpignan.

However, she is involved in a pay dispute and is one of several players at the club who has not been paid since January.

Joyce cast an eye over all three at a recent Opals camp at the AIS, and believes they are capable of instantly transforming the Capitals into title contenders.

”With all three of those girls playing, they’re going to be a powerhouse,” Joyce said. ”The style in Europe has really suited Nat. She’s come back with a higher level of confidence and is skilled in a lot of areas.”

Hurst is the lowest profile of the three, but her importance to the Capitals cannot be understated.

The Canberra junior won six championships with the Capitals and has spent the past two seasons with French club Aix-en-Provence.

Her experience earned her a call-up to the national squad and she made an immediate impression on Joyce.

Hurst is in line to play in the Opals’ upcoming Oceania series with New Zealand. Focus will then turn to the Capitals as she possibly reunites with Jackson and Bishop.

”Nat’s not someone everyone talked about, and I don’t know why because she’s really good,” Joyce said. ”She fits the style of play because I’m looking for players who are versatile.”

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