19 April 2008

Fat corpses 'put morgue staff at risk'

Almost 30 percent of bodies that are submitted for autopsies are now obese, News Ltd reports.

"Autopsies have been performed on floors, or with a pathologist leaning from a ladder, or actually standing on the trolley over a body," News Ltd reported pathologist Professor Byard as saying.

Professor Byard is calling for specialist equipment to minimise risk to employees.

ninemsn 19 April 2008

Telstra to sell remainder of Kaz

TELSTRA'S long-suffering involvement with the IT services arena is almost at an end, with the telco expected to sell the final remnant of its Kaz services business in the near future.

It is understood Telstra is engaged in discussions with an international IT services firm to buy the remainder of Kaz, which was bought by the telco for $333 million in 2004, but in more recent times has been carved up and sold off piecemeal.

The deal is expected to be finalised by the end of the financial year, but a source close to the negotiations said: "I can't see it going past a month."

Over the past year, Telstra conducted a lengthy review of its Kaz business and chief executive Sol Trujillo has made it clear the business is not necessarily considered as core for the company's future.

Early last year, Telstra removed responsibility for its big four accounts from Kaz, which includes NAB, Woolworths, Westpac and Qantas. These are now managed in Telstra's enterprise and government group.

This coincided with the jobs of 650 Kaz staff being shifted to within Telstra.

Telstra is understood to have been in discussions with prospective Kaz acquirers for the past couple of months, but as these talks entered the formal stages, negotiations hung on the issue of price.

The telco is understood to be pushing for a purchase price around the $100 million mark, which would allow it to recoup its original investment in Kaz. Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Fujitsu have all been rumoured as potential bidders for Kaz.

Telstra has realised about $230 million from slicing parts of Kaz over the past couple of years, including $215 million when it sold superannuation processing subsidiary AAS in 2006.

Telstra was unavailable for comment yesterday.

AustralianIT Mahesh Sharma | February 21, 2008

Kaz imports and outsources cheap labour.

One of the easiest cheap and nasty ways to make a substantial quick profit, in the IT industry is to outsource cheap labour. Cheap labour is usually in the form unskilled migrant labour. Amongst other companies KAZ exploits the unskilled labourer.

Kaz exploited a deliberate loophole in the system, to outsource cheap unskilled labour.

Migrants, usually from IT churning countries, migrate to New Zealand. Since the migration laws between Australia and New Zealand are more lax, they then make their way into Australia, via the New Zealand back door. They are then employed at KAZ at a cheap rate, then outsourced at a premium. KAZ usually employs these people in the ‘fish bowl’ or data centre, so they are out of sight of the general public.

The cost of cheap unskilled labour has many pitfalls, one being that the customer usually pays for the mistakes that are being made. This is very evident, and most customers are very aware of this fact.

KAZ has not had any new clients in two years, and their stock values have dropped from $1.40 to $0.12, reflecting the confidence of the industry in KAZ. KAZ also struggled to make 5% profit in such a lucrative market. KAZ is a running joke in the IT industry.

read more at http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies-archive.cfm/922176.html

16 April 2008

What Rubbish: Councils Monitor Your Trash With RFID

Residents in NSW's Randwick Council received a lovely gift recently - fancy new bins for their rubbish and recycling. 78,000 of them, in fact.

No it wasn't a misguided attempt to swing votes by lavishing gifts on the electorate. It was a way of introducing RFID tags onto the bins so that the council and their waste management contractor could spy monitor the amount of rubbish and recycling being done throughout the area.

Randwick isn't the only council using the technology - Ryde council introduced RFID tags on their bins back in 2006.

The trucks that collect the rubbish weigh the bins as they empty them, and then use the bin's RFID chip to monitor the households waste and recycling quantities.

Despite fears that the councils will use this information to raise waste management fees and spy on residents, they claim that "bin weight data will help identify average bin weights by type and suburb. This information will also be used to develop waste education material." They also say that only the councils themselves and their waste management contractor have access to the data.

Potentially, this is a great use for RFID technology if it results in increased recycling and less household waste. But is it possible for a government agency not to use all that detailed information for evil? We'll just have to wait and see whether prices go up for waste management in these new tech-savvy councils.

smh Jano Gibson, 14 April 2008

Avril Lavigne stuns home fans with Canada bungle

Lavigne, 23, shocked concertgoers at her Montreal show by incorrectly stating what province she was in.

"I love you Montreal, I'm so happy to be back home … in Ontario, Canada," Lavigne said to the crowd.

Montreal is actually a city in Quebec.

The 'Sk8er Boi' singer, who grew up in the Ontario province of Belleville, dropped out of school at 16 to record her first record.

Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron experienced similar embarrassment when she referred to the Turkish city of Istanbul as Budapest three times in an interview in January.

Lavigne was widely ridiculed last year when she told the world's poor to be thankful they "all have clean drinking water".

In a cringe-inducing list of Ten Commandments published in British music magazine Q, Lavigne said "It's important to be thankful, even if you're poor."

"I mean, we all have clean drinking water — well, okay, not people in the developing world," she said.

The millionaire pop star also detailed her humanitarian efforts in the wake of Hurrican Katrina.

"I am a very giving person. When the hurricane thing happened I went to my closet, filled six boxes of stuff and said to my assistant, 'Take it to Katrina'!" Lavigne said.

msn 4 April, 2008

Just another fine example of uneducated Entertainment Trash. It doesn't matter how much money you make, what's more important is that you are supported by people who make more money of you.