Home' Greymouth Star : September 8th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Monday, September 8, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1664 - The Dutch surrender New
Amsterdam to the British, who rename it New
1882 - The first section of St. Mary’s
Cathedral in Sydney was opened in 1882.
1888 - Annie Chapman is found
disembowelled in an East London street, the
second victim of Jack The Ripper.
1900 - Galveston, Texas, is struck by a
hurricane that kills about 6000 people.
1934 - Fire aboard luxury liner Morro Castle
off New Jersey coast takes 134 lives.
1945 - Hideki Tojo, Japanese prime minister
during most of World War Two, attempts
suicide rather than face a war
crimes tribunal. The attempt fails
and he is later convicted and
1969 - Australian Rod Laver
defeats Tony Roche in the US
1987 - Rescue workers dig into mudslide
that buries cars and buses, killing at least
150 people on lengthy stretch of highway at
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Richard I, the Lion Heart, king of England
(1157-1199); August Schlegal, German author
(1767-1845); Antonin Dvorak,
Bohemian composer (1841-1904);
Sir Harry Secombe, Welsh singer-
comedian (1921-2001); Sid Caesar,
US comedian (1922-2001); Peter
Sellers, British comedian-actor
(1925-1980); Patsy Cline, US
country singer (1932-1963); Ron
Pigpen McKernan, US musician of Grateful
Dead (1945-1973); Stefano Casiraghi, Italian
businessman; husband of Princess Caroline of
Monaco (1960-1990); James Packer, Australian
“That pestilent cosmetic, rhetoric” — T H
Huxley, English biologist and author (1825-
“I know your works; you are neither cold nor
hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot.
So, because your are lukewarm, and neither
cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my
No one was more
Barry Dallas when, on Saturday night, he was
named as Lions Club president of the year. He
received the title (and a handsome plaque) at a
Lions Club function in Greymouth attended
by retiring district governor, Palmerston
North’s Mr Morris Robinson.
Dr Dallas, who has been the moving spirit
in many local Lions Club projects, was
complimented by Mr Robinson for his drive,
enthusiasm and example.
The inscription on the plaque reads:
Presented to Dr Barry Dallas in appreciation
of outstanding leadership as president of
the Lions Club of Greymouth, by J Morris
Robinson, District Governor, 1963-64.
Yet another accident has been added to the
growing list involving the Greymouth district ’s
most troublesome stretch — the highway
south from the town boundary to Gladstone.
Late yesterday afternoon two cars collided at
the Keith Road intersection.
Although there were no injuries serious
enough to require treatment, the youths
concerned in the mishap, Kimrydde Benseman,
a 15-year-old sawmill worker, and 17-year-old
Michael Coleman, a student, were lucky to
escape injury. Both vehicles were extensively
The top-flight pacer Falsehood has been
retired from racing after a brilliant but ill-
starred career. His ability took him to the
United States where he met with continual
misfortune which has now lead to retirement.
Falsehood’s Greymouth owner, Mr J Steel,
said today the Fallacy gelding had broken
down and had been unable to race this year.
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
Greymouth Evening Star Co Limited
3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
03 769 7900 (office)
769 7913 (editorial)
768 6205 (fax)
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
ay farewell to the humble
landline telephone — it
could be extinct, or nearly
extinct, in New Zealand by
the year 2020.
That ’s when the Kiwi love
affair with smartphones could reach a new
The home phone is already going the
way of previous telecommunications
standards like the bakelite phone (made
out of the first synthetic plastic), the party
line and telephone booths.
Already there are more mobile
phones in New Zealand than people
4.77 million of them, according to
the Commerce Commission’s Annual
Telecommunications Monitoring Report.
In the US and Europe, more than a third
of people do not have landlines.
Calling minutes from landlines have
fallen by over 20% in the last five years
while calling minutes from mobiles have
risen by almost 40%.
Consumers are also getting more for
Between 2006 and 2012, the average
household spend on mobiles rose only
slightly from $28 to $29 — yet calling
minutes rose 20% and data use over 100%,
says the report.
Convenience is playing a key role in the
next major shift in the communications
The traditional landline phone had an
important place in home and business.
Every self-respecting office had a phone
at each desk and every home had one
phone that every family member had to
share — like it or not.
The sight of a teenager talking for hours
on the phone, playing idly with the phone
coil while preventing anyone else from
making a call, was familiar.
Now, as far as young people are
concerned, the cord is forever cut; phones
hooked to a socket on the wall are
Teenagers are far more likely to video
call where they can see each other clearly
or instant message using smartphones.
This shift in consumer behaviour is
forcing businesses to rethink the way they
serve their customers, requiring ever-
increasing speed and innovation to keep
up with the demands of their customers.
“Businesses want seamless access to their
systems, their processes and their people
wherever and whenever they need it.
“ To do that requires fibre, cloud, mobile
and smart devices, all working together.
Their customers expect them to be
available, any time, anywhere.
“ To keep ahead in the
business world, you need to
be ready,” Vodafone’s head of
enterprise marketing, Julia
In business, with 4G
offering faster broadband than
most landlines and the ability
to assign a fixed number
onto a mobile phone, many
companies have no need for a
Like leading real estate
At first, some agents
questioned why they had to
give up their landlines — the
source of many of their sales
It was also important for
agents to have a local phone
number linked to their
But, with recent advances,
Bayleys sales personnel still
have local numbers and all
the functionality of their desk
phone — but on a mobile,
with reduced cost.
Bayleys managing director
Mike Bayley says the
flexibility of going totally
mobile enabled all sales
personnel to be contactable
24/7 — whether they were in
the office working on property
campaigns or out networking
with vendors or potential
“Having a local number that
automatically rings on the
agents’ mobile phones means
that our customers can get
hold of agents at all times, for
no more than the cost of a
“That equates to better customer ser vice
and better customer relations,” Mr Bayley
“As a marketing focused company, we
are always looking at new avenues for
staying ahead of the competition — and
the solution delivered by Vodafone has
certainly enabled us to deliver on that.
“Real estate salespeople don’t secure
listings or network with buyers by sitting
at a desk.
“It’s all about being visible and active in
the community pertinent to the agent ’s
relevant market — whether that ’s
residential, commercial and industrial,
rural, or in business sales.”
Businesses are removing duplication,
stripping out cost from old systems and
As employees seek the same consumer
experience they get with their personal
mobile and computing devices at work,
there is an increase in trends such as
The smartphone — essentially an all-
in-one computing device — is driving
Functionality is improving and
internet access through Wi-Fi, 3G, and
4G networks is enabling higher data
downloads and faster speeds.
Yet the cord to the home is not
Fixed line broadband connections have
continued to grow steadily, almost tripling
since 2006, according to the Commerce
This is expected to continue with the
roll-out of ultra-fast broadband
Broadband connection in the home can
come without a landline.
Vodafone’s VDSL Naked Broadband
permits broadband without a home phone
at speeds three times faster than standard
In the next decade, the old copper
wire technology carrying voice
communications could be obsolete and
turned off as fibre-optic cables carry all
Some people will still choose to have
landline phones at home — and that ’s
easily done with voice just an add-on
to the fixed-line technology wiring up
homes so that computers, tv’s, cable
ser vices, phones and other appliances
work better and faster.
If the story of the internet so far has
been about connecting people, the next
chapter will also be about connecting
things: enabling machines to talk to each
other, exchanging data and coordinating
activity without direct human
inter vention. But the trend is clear: the
future is already here.
New Zealand Herald
Goodbye to home phones
One person commits suicide every 40
seconds, an avoidable tragedy that fails
to grab attention because of taboos and
stigma, a UN report says.
In a study released three weeks after
the apparent suicide of Hollywood great
Robin Williams, the World Health
Organisation also warned that media
reporting of suicide details raises the risk
of copycat behaviour.
“Every suicide is a tragedy. It is estimated
that over 800,000 people die by suicide
and that there are many suicide attempts
for each death,” WHO chief Margaret
Chan, in the landmark report capping a
decade of research said.
“The impact on families, friends and
communities is devastating and far-
reaching, even long after persons dear to
them have taken their own lives.”
WHO, which called suicide a major
public health problem that must be
confronted and stemmed, studied 172
countries to produce the report, published
It said that in 2012, high-income
countries had a slightly higher suicide rate
12.7 per 100,000 people, versus 11.2 in
low and middle-income nations.
Given the latter category’s far higher
population, they accounted for three-
quarters of the global total.
Southeast Asia — which in WHO-
speak includes countries such as North
Korea, India, Indonesia and Nepal —
made up over a third of the annual figure.
Suicides in high-income countries,
meanwhile, accounted for around a quarter
of the global figure.
The most frequently-used methods
globally are pesticide poisoning, hanging
and firearms, but jumping from buildings
is a common method in highly urbanised
areas in Asia.
WHO cautioned that suicide figures are
often sketchy, with less than half of those
nations keeping clear tallies.
As a result, it said, it crunched a range
of data to enable it to craft country-by-
country estimates of the suicide rate.
The global rate was put at 11.4 per
100,000, with men almost twice as likely
as women to take their own lives.
The most suicide-prone countries were
Guyana (44.2 per 100,000), followed by
North and South Korea (38.5 and 28.9
Next came Sri Lanka (28.8), Lithuania
(28.2), Suriname (27.8), Mozambique
(27.4), Nepal and Tanzania (24.9 each),
Burundi (23.1), India (21.1) and South
In their wake were Russia and Uganda
(both with 19.5), Hungary (19.1), Japan
(18.5) and Belarus (18.3).
In high-income countries, mental
disorders such as depression were present
in up to 90% of people who died by
suicide, compared with around 60% in
countries such as China and India, WHO
The UN agency said its goal by 2020 was
to cut national suicide rates by 10%.
But a major challenge, it said, is
that suicide victims are often from
marginalised groups of the population,
many of them poor and vulnerable to a
string of pressures.
And low-income countries whose
health systems already struggle to deal
with infectious diseases have particular
difficulty detecting and helping people at
risk of killing themselves.
“Suicides are preventable,” said Chan.
“This report encourages countries
to continue the good work where it is
already ongoing and to place suicide
prevention high on the agenda, regardless
of where a country stands currently in
terms of suicide rate or suicide prevention
activities,” she added.
Experts have repeatedly castigated
the media and social network users for
giving lurid details of suicides, whether of
celebrities such as Williams or unknown
individuals who killed themselves in a
“ Inappropriate media reporting practices
can sensationalise and glamorise suicide
and increase the risk of ‘copycat ’ suicides,”
the report said.
“ Media practices are inappropriate
when they gratuitously cover celebrity
suicides, report unusual methods of
suicide or suicide clusters, show pictures
or information about the method used,
or normalise suicide as an acceptable
response to crisis or adversity,” it said.
Suicide — an avoidable tragedy
From recycled cooking oil to fox meat
and chemicals, a litany of food scandals
have turned Chinese diners’ stomachs,
but a new “smart chopsticks” concept by
internet search giant Baidu could put the
answer in their hands.
The device, which the firm says can tell
consumers whether the food in front of
them is safe to eat, was born of an
April Fool’s video, a spokesman said
Baidu at the time had “no serious
intention of actually pursuing this”, the
spokesman said of the stunt it released
earlier this year.
“But it generated a lot of excitement
both internally and externally.”
The latest stage of development was
revealed this week, with a new video
released by the company showing a user
placing the electronic chopsticks in three
different cups of cooking oil.
Sensors in the implements detect
the oil’s temperature and its fitness for
consumption, with the findings displayed
on a smartphone app.
The chopsticks flash a red light when
cooking oil has a higher than 25% level
of TPMs, or total polar materials, an
indicator of freshness, the spokesman
Poor food safety is a major concern in
China, with one of the country ’s
worst food scandals seeing the industrial
chemical melamine illegally added
to dairy products in 2008, killing six
children and making 300,000 people ill.
“Gutter oil” is a particular concern —
cooking oil illegally made by reprocessing
waste oil or by dredging up leftovers from
restaurants and marketing it as new.
Health authorities last year launched a
crackdown on the use and manufacture
of such oil, with more than 100 people
arrested and 20 imprisoned — two of
them for life — as part of the campaign.
It was not clear whether the “smart
chopsticks” would go into commercial
production. The company has only
made a limited run of prototypes, the
spokesman said, and no release date or
price has been set.
China’s social media users lauded the
company ’s innovation, but lamented the
need for the device in the first place.
“Is it really a good thing that they
invented these?” wrote one user.
“Can we still enjoy our food?”
“If I carried these chopsticks around
with me everywhere, I think I’d die of
hunger,” wrote another.
‘Smart chopsticks’ detect off food
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