Monthly Archives: February 2019

Feb
21
  • Oberon and Mosman protesters reject urge to merge

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    SIGNS OF DISQUIET: Bathurst mayor Gary Rush addressed yesterday’s rally. 090715cprotst2PROTESTERS travelled from Holroyd, Manly, Strathfield, Hunters Hill, Pittwater and Mosman to join Oberon and Cabonne locals at an anti-amalgamation rally in Machattie Park yesterday.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The protest agenda was set by a Sydney group, the Save our Councils Coalition (SOCC).

    Oberon speaker Marjorie Armstrong said residents in communities that have been forced to amalgamate tell a story of the destruction of their town by the bigger amalgamation partner.

    “We must let our local member know we will not sit back and let them destroy Oberon,” Ms Armstrong said.

    “We will not accept amalgamation now or in the future. Who knows better than the local council what the local people need?”

    Bathurst mayor Gary Rush, who reminded the gathering he grew up in Oberon, accepted an invitation to meet protesters in the park and was called on to speak.

    And he said that Bathurst didn’t want to amalgamate with Oberon any more than Oberon wanted to amalgamate with Bathurst.

    “There is a suggestion here today that Bathurst is the enemy and we are not the enemy,” Cr Rush said.

    “I would be less than honest if I didn’t say I would be happier if these signs didn’t say ‘No Bathurst’. I certainly wish the Oberon Council well in their assessment by IPART [Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal].”

    Ms Armstrong said she hoped people understood Oberon was a peaceful town.

    “We’re not protesters, we are just people who are happy the way we are,” she said.

    Following the rally in the park, the protesters marched on Member for Bathurst and Minister for Local Government Paul Toole’s Howick Street office.

    But Mr Toole said no formal arrangements had been made to meet with him.

    After four-and-a-half years of consultation, he said, the independent tribunal is now assessing council submissions to determine whether or not the councils can do what is required of them.

    “I await that report,” Mr Toole said.

    “I want communities to have confidence that they have a council that will provide better facilities, more services and value for money to ratepayers.”

    Oberon mayor Kathy Sajowitz said the members of the Oberon community attending the protest were “not here to put the heat on Bathurst, but to put the heat on Paul Toole”.

    “I’m very pleased with the local turnout. It tells us we’ve done the right thing,” she said.

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

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Feb
21
  • Showbags tested for quality and safety in preparation for Royal Show

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    A selection of showbags on offer at the Royal Show. Photo: Supplied.School children from Wheatbelt given the crucial task of inspecting showbags in the lead-up to the IGA Perth Royal Show have given the offerings a big thumbs up.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The 25 kids from kindergarten to year six made the trip from their Badgingarra primary school, located 205 kilometres north of Perth to carry out the test duties.

    The children were joined by WA Minister for Commerce Michael Mischin at the Claremont Showgrounds.

    There will be over 300 showbags on offer from as little as one dollar for a Candy World bag, with the Jeane Pierre Sancho Macaron Showbag taking the top spot at $280.

    Kids under 12 no longer receive free entry into the show due to a state government decision in the 2015-16 budgeting period.

    After undergoing safety checks by Consumer Protection and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission all showbags were deemed safe for children.

    Despite the checks, Minister for Commerce Michael Mischin said parents need to remain vigilant.

    ” It’s up to parents to ensure, particularly in mixed age households the bags that are being distributed and used by their children are safe,” he said.

    Agricultural Society president Rob Wilson said despite the “double impact” presented by the AFL finals, normal attendance numbers were expected .

    ” I think a lot of families recognise it is good value to come to the show,” he said.

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Feb
21
  • Apple, Adobe criticised for digitally altering woman’s face to smile more

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    ‘Adobe Fix’ is demonstrated on the new iPad Pro in parallel with layout software Adobe Comp.Six new things about the iPhone 6siPhone’s price sees steep increaseAll the Apple announcements
    Nanjing Night Net

    The practice of digitally altering a model’s appearance after the fact to fit in with fanciful, sexy ideals is widespread, and pretty gross.

    We’ve all seen comparison images and YouTube videos showing how a published image has been retouched, stretched, shrunk, blurred, tweaked and recoloured to turn a perfectly normal human being into an idealised (and frequently impossible) caricature.

    The entire industry that’s been built up around this practice has prompted cries of protest from many who rightly worry about the impact this has on real human beings — particularly women, who are usually the subject of the images — when it comes to the worth of physical appearance and the perception of beauty.

    So when Eric Snowden from photo-software-kingpin Adobe took to the Apple stage to show off how easily the new iPad Pro transforms into a woman’s-face-improvenator device on Thursday, many watching the event live were not impressed.

    Worse, the app being demonstrated is called “Photoshop Fix”, seeming to imply there was something broken about the image of a woman not smiling. Watching a man photoshop a woman to make her smile more is kind of a cruel joke.— Lauren Hockenson (@lhockenson) September 9, 2015Stop telling women to smile Apple— Femsplain (@femsplain) September 9, 2015

    Swamped with complaints, Adobe VP Scott Belsky took to Twitter to clarify that the demonstration was actually of new facial recognition software that was designed to be used to “fix” selfies, not models. “In a selfie world, a big deal. But wrong photo!”, he tweeted.

    Adobe was more than likely simply looking to debut its powerful new tech with an attractive image, in the process showing a real-world application that would be relatable to the people likely to use the device. But their lack of offensive intent doesn’t make the demonstration any less problematic.

    Putting aside the fact that a similar demonstration with a selfie would have been just as disconcerting (people obsessing over the perfection of their selfies undeniably being a product of unrealistic aesthetic ideals), the fact is they did use a female glamour model as an example, and it is fairly widely accepted that the routine reimagining of female forms in media and advertising is an issue.

    This is all not to mention that men telling women to smile in order to improve their appearance is a well-documented and lamented phenomenon in its own right.

    More than anything else, that Apple and Adobe conceived of and went ahead with the demonstration without seeming to bump into these issues at all could be seen as emblematic of Silicon Valley’s massive blind spot when it comes to matters of gender.

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Feb
21
  • Unemployment rate falls to 6.2% in August, ABS reports

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    The jobless rate in Australia has hit new highs. Photo: iStockPeter Martin: Don’t panic if unemployment hits 6.5 per cent
    Nanjing Night Net

    Australia’s jobless rate fell to 6.2 per cent in August from 6.3 per cent in July, as the number of people employed rose more than 17,000.

    The Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday the improvement was “driven by increases in male full-time employment, and female full-time and part-time employment”.

    It said the largest increase, of 10,100 jobs, was in full-time employment for males. The participation rate also contracted slightly, from 65.1 per cent to 65 per cent.

    The headline figure was in line with expectations, and the Australia dollar recovered some lost ground after weakness in morning trade. At midday, the local unit was fetching US69.90¢, up from lows around US69.50¢ earlier.

    The currency had already been under pressure in the morning after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand cut the official cash rate for the third time this year.

    Some officials had warned that the unemployment rate could spike to 6.5 per cent in August because of tougher rules on access to unemployment benefits.

    Analysts welcomed Thursday’s data, saying that at worst, it showed the labour market was steadying.

    Australia and New Zealand Banking group senior economist Justin Fabo said the possibility that rule changes on the dole had influenced the data in July and August made the broader trend in the employment-to-population ratio more important in the current labour force series. This has been moving higher, “a sign of a slowly improving labour market [that is] consistent with labour demand indicators like job ads and the business surveys”, said Fabo.

    However, he cautioned that soft domestic and global demand could arrest employment growth.

    Capital Economics senior Asia economist Daniel Martin also welcomed Thursday’s data, but remained wary.

    “The slowdown in GDP growth to its weakest in over four years in the second quarter suggests that a cooling of employment growth may still lie ahead,” he said, “but the Reserve Bank of Australia is unlikely to cut rates until it sees a turn in the labour market data.”

    More to come

    More economic news and analysis

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Feb
21
  • J.K. Rowling reveals the correct way to pronounce ‘Voldemort’

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    Voldemort has a silent “t”. Voldemort has a silent “t”.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Voldemort has a silent “t”.

    Voldemort has a silent “t”.

    He is the wizard so evil he is known as “He Who Must Not Be Named”, but it seems there is another reason why the witches and wizards of Hogwarts shouldn’t try to say Voldemort’s name: they are probably saying it incorrectly.

    In a tweet on Wednesday, Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling announced that the villain of her story should be pronounced with a silent “t”.

    Responding to a fan’s assertion that she had said in the past that Voldemort’s name was pronounced in such a manner, Rowling, 50, confirmed the fan had remembered correctly.

    “But I’m pretty sure I’m the only person who pronounced it that way,” the British author added. … but I’m pretty sure I’m the only person who pronounces it that way. https://t.co/HxhJ5XY5HP— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) September 9, 2015

    In this sense, Voldemort takes his linguistic cues from United States comedian Stephen Colbert, or camembert cheese.

    The pronunciation seems logical given Voldemort’s name closely resembles the French “vol de mort” (“theft of death”) in which the “t” is silent.

    His name has been widely speculated as a reference to the character’s evasion of death by splitting his soul into various pieces and hiding them across the wizarding world.

    However, Rowling can’t really blame her fans for messing up their pronunciation of the Dark Lord’s moniker.

    In the film adaptation of Rowling’s bestselling books and in series’ audiobooks (narrated by Stephen Fry), Voldemort’s name is distinctly pronounced with a hard “t”.

    J. K. Rowling has been increasingly active on Twitter this year, sharing various tidbits about Harry Potter’s world with the books’ fans.

    Last week, the author informed her 5.45 million followers that Harry’s son, James S. Potter, had started school at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, having been sorted into Gryffindor house.

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