Home' Greymouth Star : July 31st 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Friday, July 31, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1910 - Dr Hawley Crippen, British murderer,
is arrested on a ship off Canada.
1917 - During the third battle of Ypres
in World War One, British troops begin an
advance that drags on until November with
1928 - MGM’s Leo the Lion roars
for the first time, in the company ’s
first talking motion picture.
1941 - In World War Two, Herman
Goering gives a written directive to
police chief Reinhard Heydrich to
draft a plan for the elimination of
European Jews, the ‘final solution’.
1944 - US troops break through the German
lines around the Normandy beachhead, opening
the way to liberating the rest of France.
1962 - Britain agrees to establish wider
1971 - Two US Apollo 15 astronauts take six-
and-a-half hour ride on moon in an electric car.
1975 - Irish pop group Miami Showband is
ambushed and murdered by Protestant gunmen
near Newry in Northern Ireland.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Don Murray, US actor (1929-); Geraldine
Chaplin, US actress (1944-); Bob Welch, US
singer and musician (1945-2012); Russell Morris,
Australian singer (1948-); Evonne
Goolagong Cawley, Australian tennis
champion (1951-); Bill Berry, US
musician with REM (1958-); Wesley
Snipes, US actor (1962-); Fatboy
Slim, aka Norman Cook, British
musician (1963-); J K Rowling,
British author of Harry Potter books
(1965-); Dean Cain, US actor (1966-); Harry
Potter, main character in J K Rowlings bestselling
fantasy novel (1980-); Victoria Azarenka,
Belarusian tennis player (1989-).
“ Equal opportunity means everyone will have
a fair chance at being incompetent.”
— Laurence J Peter, US writer (1919 - 1990).
“ Take delight in the Lord, and He will give
you the desires of your heart.” — (Psalms 37:4).
“S howing the
flag” (which could
be a black one for
many West Coast
hotels) over the past week, was inspector of
licensed premises for the Licensing Control
Commission, Mr R W Jenkins. He visited the
Coast hard on the heels of the release of the
commission’s report to Parliament — a report
which specifies either redundancy or a lot of
money for many public houses.
The West Coast with its hotels spread
over a large area, is expected to engross the
commission for as long as the country’s main
cities. The commission has set what it calls
‘minimum standards’ for all New Zealand
hotels and will not grant a renewal of licences
to hotels which do not come up to these
Some West Coast publicans have already
seen the writing on the wall and are planning
extensive alterations and rebuilding.
One is a tall, dark 15 stone front row for ward
who since fourth grade appeared destined for
a career in “big” rugby league. The othjer, a
comparatively raw bustling 161⁄2 stone prop, has
made a meteoric rise in the code. Both Kevin
Dixon and Robin Scholefield have starred
in representative games for West Coast this
season. Both represenatated New Zealand in
this year’s test series against Australia.
Today Kevin Dixon, on the clerical staff of
the engineer’s section of the Post Office, looks
a polished footballer. He is destined for a
Blackball bushman Scholefield’s rise up the
ladder of rugby league is quite fantastic. Only
a few seasons ago he was a raw second rower
with the Marist reser ve.
uFood for thought
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J K Rowling
he first wave of long-range
commercial drones should
be allowed to operate in
a narrow, low-altitude
band and must agree to
be tracked, according to
Amazon.com’s vision of the future.
While United States government
regulations now just allow limited
usage of unmanned flights, Amazon is
creating a blueprint for an air-traffic
system and the necessary technology is
rapidly maturing, said Gur Kimchi, a
vice-president who heads the company ’s
“It’s completely doable,” Kimchi said,
laying out for the first time how the
company envisions an orderly system
guiding small, unmanned delivery aircraft.
He is unveiling the company ’s view at a
conference sponsored by Nasa at its Ames
Research Centre in Mountain View,
Having a traffic cop in the skies is
essential before the world’s largest on-line
retailer can revolutionise how packages
are delivered using drones. The stakes are
enormous for Amazon, Google Inc and
scores of other companies that want to
develop drone commerce, from powerline
inspections to farm sur veys.
A team at Nasa’s facility adjacent to
Silicon Valley is leading the government ’s
efforts to create a drone air-traffic system,
dubbed Unmanned Aerial System Traffic
More than 100 companies have
expressed interest in participating
in Nasa’s effort and at least 14 have
signed agreements to work with the
agency, including giants of technology
and communications, such as Google,
Amazon, Verizon Communications Inc
and Harris Corp.
Amazon says the only way drones can
dart across the skies without hitting each
other or threatening traditional aircraft
is to require that the equivalent of flight
plans be filed and drones communicate
their positions to a centralised computer
system available to all operators.
“ We can only be safe and efficient if
everybody else is safe and efficient,”
Such requirements fly in the face of
the sometimes lawless use of drones in
recent years by recreational fliers that
has led to growing numbers of close calls
near airports and occasional injuries of
Kimchi said that adding strict
requirements for equipment and drone-
operator behaviour is a “complex” problem
for the fledgling industry, but said that the
vast majority of people would follow the
rules, just as they do on roadways.
Key to creating a safe system is at least
initially to keep unmanned vehicles away
from traditional planes and helicopters, he
said. It ’s much more complicated to create
a system in which drones routinely fly
among other aircraft, he said.
The FAA in February unveiled its first
cautious step in drafting commercial
drone rules. Once finalised, they would
allow commercial flights only during
the day and within sight of the drone’s
operator on the ground, rudimentary
standards that will not allow deliveries,
long-range inspections and other more
complex operations. Drones are not
permitted within five miles of airports.
To operate the unmanned flights beyond
the FAA’s line-of- sight requirements,
Kimchi outlined the steps that would be
Drones should remain within 122m of
the ground, which keeps them away from
traditional aircraft that mostly fly higher
than 152m. In rare cases when
aircraft would enter drone flyways, such
as an emergency medical helicopter,
drones would automatically give way, he
High-speed drones would stay between
61m and 122m, while local traffic and
slower drones would fly below them, he
said. A database of known flight hazards,
such as towers, buildings and high ground,
would be developed and shared with
drone users, which would automatically
steer vehicles away from danger.
Long-range drones must also give notice
when and where they intend to fly, and
they have to be reliably connected to
the internet so they can be tracked and
operators can receive warnings if they are
in danger, he said.
In order to avoid mid-air collisions,
the vehicles must be capable of
communicating with each other, he said.
Existing vehicle-to-vehicle technologies
being developed for autos should be
adapted for drones, he said.
Finally, drones capable of flying long
distances must also be equipped with
sensors that can detect birds and other
uncharted hazards, he said. That would
replicate the current system of pilots
keeping watch in the cockpit, he said.
Like Google, Amazon believes there
does no need to be a single air-traffic
operator for drones. So long as the data
showing where drones are flying is sent to
the central computer system, any company
should be allowed to participate, Kimchi
Dave Vos, who heads Google’s Project
Wing division developing its own delivery
system, said in an inter view earlier this
month that multiple companies could
develop drone air-traffic systems.
Kimchi declined to set a timeline for
when such a system would be ready.
Much of the technology, such as drone
communications via mobile phone
networks, is already feasible, he said.
Amazon is advocating a tiered system
that would let everybody from hobbyists
to the most sophisticated operators fly.
Even the tens of thousands of drones
sold in electronics and hobby shops are
sophisticated enough to be allowed into
busy urban areas, so long as they update
their software to let their craft be tracked,
stay connected to the internet and agree
to follow the rules, he said.
“ We think it’s something feasible that
everyone can rally around,” he said.
The best equipped drones, which
Amazon intends to field for its deliveries,
will be robotic vehicles capable of
automatically steering clear of hazards, he
said. — New Zealand Herald
Traffic control for drones
Last Friday, Parliament ’s select
committee reported back to with changes
to the Health and Safety Reform Bill after
Although the recommendations made
by the select committee have diluted
the Government ’s original hard line, the
implications for businesses whether large
or small, are significant.
The current requirements are
strengthened for worker participation
and engagement on health and safety
matters. There will be an expectation that
everyone in the workplace is responsible
for workplace health and safety, not just
officers of the company.
Persons conducting a business or
undertaking (PCBUs) have significant
obligations and responsibilities in the
There is an acknowledgement that some
of their duties may overlap with the duties
of other PCBUs in shared workplaces or
where workers work for more than one
The recommendations are, we think,
more business-friendly and practical.
For example, SMEs with fewer than
20 workers in low-risk sectors will not
be required to have a health and safety
However, if a worker in a low-risk
environment requests representation, their
employer must do this. The Government is
yet to give guidance on which businesses
are considered high or low risk.
The role of volunteers in the workplace
is acknowledged in the recommendations.
Coverage of volunteers will remain as it is
under the current law which distinguishes
between casual volunteers and volunteer
There will be clarification between a
purely volunteer organisation which has
no employees, and a volunteer organisation
with one or more employees.
The recommendations have clarified the
definition of a workplace.
There’s acknowledgement that some
areas in a workplace are not a workplace
all of the time. In the case of farms, the
duty of a farmer managing or controlling
a workplace will only extend to the farm
buildings and structures necessary to
operate the farm business and the areas
immediately surrounding them.
Other parts of the farm will not be a
workplace (such as the farm house), apart
from when farm work is being carried out
in that part of the farm at the time.
This means a farmer’s duty to manage
and control the farm will not apply to
recreational users coming on to farmland
(unless farm work is being carried out in
that part of the farm at the time).
We are positive about the select
committee’s recommendations. We think
they are are more business-friendly
and bring more practicality to the
implementation of the proposed changes.
All businesses should plan ahead and
think about how they will engage with
their employees on health and safety
matters, and to talk with their professional
advisers on how to best implement the
Businesses in town and the country, including farms, will have to rethink their workplace health and
safety processes when the new Health and Safety Reform Bill comes into effect in 2016. Marshall and
Heaphy Ltd chartered accountant FERGAL O’GARA, of Greymouth, explains the impact on
West Coast businesses.
Rethinking workplace health and safety processes
Somewhere out there, during the early
days of networked communication,
somebody probably complained about a
lengthy term and decided to do something
about it. At that point, the editors of the
Oxford English Dictionary are guessing,
“electronic mail” became “email” (or
“e-mail”), and a cornucopia of e-prefixed
words would follow over the next few
Thing is, for years, the dictionary editors
have been asking the public to help them
find documentation of the first time
“e-mail” was used — and they still have not
had any luck.
The OED recently renewed its plea for
help in tracking down documentation
of the first time someone wrote “email”
or “e-mail” instead of “electronic mail.”
The appeal has been on-line for three
years — and the word has been an entry
in the Oxford English Dictionary since
1989 — but the OED still does not have
a verifiable instance of the first time
someone used it.
“ You’re tempted to think that someone
said in some message board, ‘I’m tired of
typing out electronic mail. Can we just call
it e-mail?’ .” Katherine Martin, the head
of US dictionaries for Oxford University
“Something that ’s truly unique like this,
you expect there to be a single person.”
The earliest use the editors can find
dates to 1979. That citation comes from a
headline in a scientific journal:
“1979 Electronics 7 June 63 (heading)
Postal Service pushes ahead with E-mail.”
“Sometimes, you think, we haven’t had
any results because there’s nothing earlier
out there,” Martin said. “ For e-mail, there
are a couple reasons that seem important
to continue to look at it.”
For one thing, Martin explained, the
citation simply “doesn’t look like a coinage”.
To the 1979 readers of Electronics, the
idea that “e-” meant “electronic” would be
a large leap to make. The prefix simply did
not exist before e-mail, Martin said, and
it seems very unlikely that a journal would
decide to go ahead and put “e-mail” in a
headline if readers were not already at least
somewhat familiar with the term.
“It ’s not something you’d expect people
to understand if it wasn’t already in use,”
These OED appeals, in some form, date
back to the 19th century origins of the
dictionary. The earliest printed appeals
asked the public to read specific books
and look for quotations for any notable
words. Soon, the dictionary’s first editor,
James Murray, tweaked his strategy: He
sent out lists of words for which he needed
“ We will from time to time print and
circulate among our existing readers’ lists
of the verbal desiderata discovered in the
course of arranging and working up the
materials already in hand,” read an appeal
pamphlet from 1879.
The pamphlet explains that the
dictionary’s editors were looking for
quotations for three reasons: First, some
words do not have any quotations, or only
one, and the editors simply need more;
second, some words need more current
quotations; third, as is still the case with
many of today ’s on-line appeals, the editors
need to find earlier — ideally the earliest
— use of a particular word. The process
of finding that first quotation is called
“antedating” by lexicographers.
The appeals have continued on and
off since the 19th century. Before going
on-line, Martin said, editors used paper
newsletters to publicise their latest appeals.
Since 2012, the OED’s editors have been
appealing on-line for help tracking down
early quotations of words, old and new,
when editors do not think they have the
full story of a word’s origins and usage.
Basically, the editors ask readers to leave
comments — available for the public to
read — directing editors toward any leads
or quotations that might fit the bill. The
editors respond to those requests as they
come in, also in the comments, and when
the word is successfully antedated, the
appeal is closed.
Many of these appeals have been
successful, such as the ones for “bromance”
and “FAQ” and the use of “the Company”
to refer to the CIA.
The editors also found out something
very surprising about ‘skive,’ a World War
One British slang word meaning to evade
duty. Before posting the on-line appeal,
the editors assumed the word came from
conversations between British and French
troops, since the French word ‘esquiver’
has a similar meaning. The earliest citation
supporting that usage dates to 1919.
However, one reader found a citation
from 1918 — in a student publication from
the University of Notre Dame in South
Bend. Yes, in America. That discovery
“raises more questions than it answers,”
Martin admitted. But it does demonstrate
just how helpful on-line appeals can be.
Sometimes, readers will look in places the
editors have not even considered.
So if the on-line appeals process has been
a pretty interesting success overall for the
OED, why is “e-mail” still languishing?
Often, for words coined in the age of
networked communications, editors and
interested readers know that the first usage
is somewhere out there, on a publicly
accessible message board, or in a tweet, or
a blog post. But for “e-mail,” the editors
need to access a different sort of networked
world. “It’s a lot harder for e-mail; it’s
so early in the history of networked
computing conversations,” Martin said.
The appeal has generated a few responses,
Martin added, but nothing verifiable
yet. It is likely that the antedating they
are looking for lies in archived messages
held by someone who was involved in the
creation or the early implementation of
what we would recognise as e-mails today.
If that is the case, the editors are hoping
one of those people will hear that the
OED is looking for them and respond.
“In a way, that ’s what the appeal is
intended to do: To request that any of
those people who were involved in those
things step forward,” Martin said.
Hunt on for first use of the word ‘e-mail’
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