Home' Greymouth Star : May 13th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Tuesday, May 13, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1918 - The first US Airmail stamps, featuring
a picture of an airplane, are introduced.
1940 - In his first speech as prime minister of
Britain, Winston Churchill tells the House of
Commons, “I have nothing to offer but blood,
toil, tears and sweat ”.
1961 - Death aged 60 of US film
actor Gary Cooper.
1968 - Eleven Australians are
killed and 25 wounded when North
Vietnamese attack Australian fire
1981 - Pope John Paul II is shot
and seriously wounded in Rome by Mehmet
Ali Agca, a Turk.
1992 - Three astronauts simultaneously walk
in space for the first time when they retrieve
and repair the Intelsat-6 satellite from the US
1999 - Gene Sarazen, one of only a handful
of players to win each of golf ’s four major
professional tournaments, dies aged 97.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Sir Arthur Sullivan, English composer
(1842-1900); Daphne du Maurier, British
novelist (1907-1989); William R Tolbert Jr,
Liberian president (1913-1980); Joe Louis,
US former heavyweight boxing
champion (1914-1981); Jim Jones,
US-born cult leader (1931-1978);
Har vey Keitel, US Actor (1939-
); Ritchie Valens, US pop singer
(1941-1959); Stevie Wonder (born
Steveland Judkins Morris), US pop
singer (1950-); Dennis Rodman, US
basketball player (1961-); Robert Pattinson,
English actor (1986-); Lena Dunham,
American actress, writer, and director (1986-).
“A nation is a society united by a delusion
about its ancestry and by a common hatred of
its neighbours.” — William Ralph Inge, English
religious leader and author (1860-1954).
“ May mercy, peace, and love be yours in
abundance.” — ( Jude 1.2).
Nothing has yet
been decided on the
future of broadcasting
on the West Coast,
nor on the possibility of the establishment
of a commercial station. This was stated in
Greymouth this afternoon by the New Zealand
broadcasting Corporation’s director of sound
broadcasting, Mr L R Sceats.
“ We have not eliminated the prospect of a
commercial station here. It is part and parcel
of the total picture as to what we are going to
do. Considerable thought is still required,” Mr
With the advent of the school holidays,
the Greymouth Public Library for the fifth
successive year will be holding children’s story
time hours. asked whether such sessions were
common throughout New Zealand, head
librarian Miss J C Heaphy said that she knew
of a number of towns and cities where story
hours were held.
Miss Heaphy said that weather and other
factors such as attractions available played a
major part in determining attendance at the
sessions. “ In wet weather the attendance is
good but on brighter days it dwindles,” she
A well-known figure in West Coast tennis
circles, Mr W J Byrne, is soon to terminate his
present appointment on the Greymouth High
School teaching staff, to take up a promotion
position at Waimea College in Nelson.
A science master at the Greymouth High
School for nearly 10 years, Mr Byrne is also
the evening class super visor at the school.
He is at present secretary of the West Coast
Lawn Tennis Association, a member of the
newly chartered Lions Club here and also the
Greymouth Golf Club.
uFood for thought
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eorge Langridge is one
connected guy. Once, that
would have meant he had
the cellphone number of
his MP, was on the local
business association, and
was a member of the nearby grammar
school Old Boys’ Association. Now, it
means he has 12 devices connected to
the internet — that whatever the time,
wherever he goes, he is connected to the
He has his favourite, a heavily used
Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone. At home,
in Christchurch, he has a Tivo tv box, a
networked Play Station and an Xbox for
gaming, a connected Blu-ray player (his tv
is also networked), a home media PC and
a desktop PC, all routed through a VDSL
Fritzbox. He has a laptop, two tablets and
another mobile phone that he carries with
him, as required.
Langridge, 34, a project manager in
technology, says he has “grown up with
“As I work in the technology sector,
it seems perfectly normal to have this
number of devices connected.
“Most of my colleagues would probably
have a list like this, if not more,” he says.
Indeed, he has a way to go before he is as
wired as Chris Dancy, an American who
visited New Zealand last month. Dancy,
45, has embraced what he calls a data-
driven lifestyle using 700 gadgets, sensors
and on-line ser vices.
That level of connectedness sounds
absurd, but many of us already happily
follow the lead of people like Langridge
and Dancy, networking wherever we go
through multiple devices. And, according
to new research by mobile provider
2degrees, we expect to add even more.
A quick, 2degrees sur vey of 357 New
Zealand smartphone users shows 99% had
at least two wireless networked devices.
Breaking that down, 42% had a mobile
phone and a tablet, 24% had a mobile
phone, a tablet and one other device, and
7% had a cellphone and two or more
What started in the home with
internet-connected gaming consoles
and entertainment systems has gone
mobile courtesy of new, fast, and far more
affordable wireless data networks.
For many of us, the next networked
device is likely to be a smartwatch, such as
Samsung’s Gear series, the first of which
arrived here last October. Samsung claimed
they “bridge the gap between mobile
communication and fashion”.
Users can choose how, why, when and
where they are connected and no longer
need constantly to check their phones.
They just glance at their watch instead.
In a recent blog post, Stewart Sherriff,
the chief executive of mobile network
2degrees, says it is forecast that by 2020 we
will each have on average between five and
10 connected devices — glasses, watches,
To justify that he points to annual
consumer adoption reports by United
States analyst Mary Meeker, which show
exponential adoption cur ves across a range
of digital lifestyle measures. But, despite
those forecasts, even Sherriff had to be won
over to the idea of a networked watch. “I
was a bit sceptical to start with,” he says,
“ but now I find it extremely convenient.”
Langridge remains sceptical. “I’ve
been looking at smart watches. They are
interesting but not quite there for what
I want,” he says. The first ones to market
have won mixed reviews, he says, so he
plans to wait until the next generation
“I like the idea of having a heart rate
monitor in a watch,” adds the fitness fan.
Up to 40 different smartwatches are in
production and are “flying off the shelf ”,
Smartwatches can run applications to
allow users to access social media accounts.
They can monitor heart rates, run GPS
navigation and include a camera. Some can
be used as a smartphone.
The watch everyone is speculating about,
though, has yet to arrive. Rumours of an
Apple iWatch abound, but if it exists it
is yet to be sighted. Industry watchers
are waiting to see if Apple can ignite the
category as it did first with the iPod then
with the iPhone and iPad.
Sherriff reckons it would be logical for
any such iWatch to emerge alongside the
next new iPhone. The obvious time for that
is September, when Apple traditionally
releases new products.
Sherriff glimpsed the future at this year’s
Mobile World Congress in Barcelona,
where boffins gather to launch the latest
things in mobile gear. This year, he says,
there were no new iPhones or spectacular
launches to distract attention from the
main game — the exponential growth of
the so-called Internet of Things.
The Internet of Things is the world of
networked devices, where each device can
have its own unique internet identifier and
communicate with us or directly with other
devices and machines. It has been talked
about for a while, but it’s real now, Sherriff
says. “ There were products and devices at
almost every booth.”
For most of us, buying a smartphone
marked our entry to the “data-driven
lifestyle”. More than half of Kiwis already
had smartphones way back in 2012. Many
also have a networked tablet, such as an
iPad. Some of us have networked shoes
and sensors logging our heart rate to help
us keep fit.
Some of us now have networked cars,
making them traceable in case of theft,
alerting emergency ser vices if we crash
or, through multiple sensors, providing
warnings of impending breakdowns.
An elite few have networked glasses,
Google Glass, that can deliver information
in real-time and record daily activity at
will. Data from many of these devices is
often transmitted to ser vers around the
world, in the cloud, allowing users to relive
or analyse their daily adventures.
On top of these devices, we can run
multiple applications that deliver the latest
news, connect us to friends, deliver us
special deals from retailers, help us transact,
navigate and even mate.
“It’s the apps that are driving adoption,”
Sherriff says. “More and more people are
using apps and that ’s driving data growth.”
One such app, he says, is Uber, which
allows users to locate and order taxis that
have been rated by users. They can even bid
for ser vice, contacting the driver with an
offer price for a ride.
But by far the most-used app in New
Zealand, according to the 2degrees
sur vey, remains Facebook. Nearly 93%
of respondents were Facebook users and
36.4% access the social network on-line or
through an app more than 10 times a day.
Voice calling remains the most commonly
used feature of our smartphones along with
accessing maps or navigation aids.
Of course, many can now also pay for
goods and ser vices through the device.
New Zealand is poised to become an early
adopter of mobile payments, as it was with
New Zealanders appear ready and willing
to give mobile payments a shot. According
to the sur vey, 62.2% of us would at least
consider leaving our wallets behind if
we could pay for everything through our
phones and 29.7% said they definitely
would leave their wallets behind.
It all makes you wonder what will be
“Drones?” speculates Sherriff. Networked
drones. After all, Domino’s in Britain has
already test-driven a drone for deliveries,
flying the boxed pizza from the store to the
Or perhaps, following the electricity
smartmeter and networked security
systems, we will finally see the emergence
of the much-vaunted connected home,
where once-dumb appliances get smart.
Networked ventilation, fridges and stoves
will provide alerts and enable remote
operation, probably via smartphone apps.
The Internet of Things supports a
world in which almost anything can be
networked. Already, farmers are putting
tags on their cows, creating networked
herds, to track productivity, and sensors
in the soil to ensure optimum pasture
A world of sensors and networked
devices can boost your bank balance and
support “mass customisation” of goods and
Last month, for instance, insurer Tower
released an app that tracked and rated
drivers’ skills and habits. If you get a high
rating, you can receive a discount of up to
20% off Tower’s standard premium. Tower
insists no one will be charged more for
being rated poorly.
In the background to all this, many
networked devices are not even accessed
by a human being, but operate invisibly,
talking to other machines, logging data
and taking action. Many of us already have
examples of these in our homes, such as
the smart electricity meters being rolled
out across the country.
That mass of data is creating whole
classes of new ser vices, based on an ability
not just to track our activity and interests,
but to predict it.
Sherriff says after a few weeks using
a new smartphone he received a ping
advising him how to avoid traffic hold-ups
on his way home.
His travel data had been logged and
somewhere in the cloud a ser vice reached
out to deliver this useful information.
All of that activity and intense
competition is prompting data providers
like 2degrees to rethink the way they
bundle and charge for services.
“I’m a big believer that the Ultrafast
Broadband network and 4G mobile data
ser vices will work in tandem,” Sherriff says.
“One pool of data will be shared across
devices and people.”
2degrees already offers plans in which
unused data can be shared by nominated
Already, connectivity has changed our
lives in immeasurable ways.
Eighty five per cent of respondents
to 2degrees’ sur vey agree that having a
smartphone has changed the way they live;
81.5% say they would never leave home
without their smartphone.
Langridge does not just use multiple
devices, but multiple apps as well.
His favourite phone is used for mundane
tasks such as email and banking, but also
for streaming television, watching You
Tube clips, listening to music on Spotify,
updating his Facebook and LinkedIn social
media accounts, tracking (and sharing) his
fitness regime through an app called Run
Keeper and making Skype calls.
An app on his phone also allows him to
manage the other connected media devices
in his home.
“I couldn’t live without it,” he says. “I
wonder what we did before connectivity.”
Make sure you are connected: the writing’s on the wall. Internet-connected clothes,
watches, glasses — New Zealanders are poised to add record numbers of gadgets to their
networked lives, writes Herald on Sunday reporter ROB O’NEILL.
A man wears a Google Glass device.
Three 70s stars who broke the mould
contrast with today ’s pop divas on their
Debbie Harry and Chrissie Hynde —
two grandes dames of 70s rock — have
new albums out in the next few weeks.
Add new material from Patti Smith and
United Kingdom tour dates from each,
and their re-emergence will offer the
women of vintage rock a chance to square
off against the men.
Harry has cleverly combined her new
Blondie album Ghosts of Download with
a new greatest hits collection and will play
Glastonbury in June.
Hynde is releasing Stockholm, her first
solo album, on June 9. She says she is
putting it out “to get it out of the way”.
It was recorded with Swedish musicians,
features Neil Young and John McEnroe
and she will play the Latitude festival in
July. Smith contributes a new song, Mercy,
to Darren Aronofsky’s film Noah and is
setting off on a seven-month tour.
Though far removed from the punk rock
aesthetic of Harry, Hynde and Smith,
Kate Bush is playing 22 nights at the
Hammersmith Apollo in London and
represents the most anticipated comeback
of the year.
While few are expecting any great
addition to the pop and rock canon, the
return of the women of the 70s is offering
an opportunity to compare them with
contemporary figures, from the Yeah
Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O, Lorde and Florence
Welch to more calculated pop divas like
Beyonce, Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga.
A recent Vanity Fair celebrated Harry,
Hynde and Smith as women who have
“more in common with Led Zeppelin
than, say, Lesley Gore” and described how
each created — effortlessly, it seemed —
looks that became inextricably linked with
their music. All endured because they
were unwilling or unable to accept the
stereotypes of pop.
“They weren’t interested in conventional
feminine roles, particularly conventional
feminine roles as presented in the media,”
author and rock critic Greil Marcus told
Bush famously upbraided her label EMI
after it wanted to use a picture of her in a
pink top for a publicity picture. Later she
said: “ The media just promoted me as a
female body. It’s like I’ve had to prove I’m
an artist in a female body.”
Harry said risque behaviour “is becoming
more par for the course, although I think
there’s more nudity now ”. Hynde recently
reflected on the difference between rockers
and pop stars or actors. “ When I made
my first record we walked in off the street
wearing what we were wearing and the
guy took a picture and that was the album
“These days, even for a rocker, they’ll
bring in stylists and makeup artists. I can’t
go in for all that. ”
In some quarters, the return of the
old guard has prompted handwringing
about their modern equivalents selling
themselves and their careers short by too
readily accepting the fickle hand of the
multibillion-dollar fashion industry.
Hynde says that in the era of the
Pretenders, the artists at least had the
upper hand. Now, when musicians at
award shows are asked which style or
designer product they are wearing, there
is a sense that many have sold out to the
generous marketing budgets of luxury
“Clothes alone won’t make you cool,”
says Christian Joy, a stylist who helps
dress Karen O. “Nowadays it ’s all about
fashion — who’s wearing Chanel, who’s
wearing Gucci. Back then, those girls
weren’t going out and buying fashion.
They had a style that almost doesn’t exist
She says any woman who starts a rock
band now looks back to Hynde, Harry
The world of contemporary cool might
be more difficult to unpick. Sure, Harry,
Hynde and Smith were also selling
image, said Joy, “but nowadays image is so
marketed it can’t be cool any more”.
There are other dangers, too. Lady
Gaga’s career is believed to have suffered
after she lost the services of stylist Nicola
Formichetti. Having built a career around
fashion, music alone can not support her,
Harry, Hynde and Smith were true
originals but that was a long time
ago, says pop culture writer Michael
Bracewell. — New Zealand Herald
Originals never out of style
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