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Rogue cyclists ‘a disgrace’ after crash

Written By doni donian on Selasa, 10 Maret 2015 | 23.10

Anne-Marie Cooke has a fractured skull and a bruised lung after the incident. Picture: Tony Gough. Source: News Limited

Anne-Marie Cooke in hospital. Source: Supplied

NOTORIOUS "Hell Ride" cyclists who caused a crash that seriously injured three people in a bayside Melbourne suburb at the weekend should "hang their head in shame", the Bicycle Network lobby group says.

At least eight people were knocked from their bikes in Beach Rd, Parkdale, on Saturday morning when Hell Riders blocked two groups of cyclists, clipping one rider's handlebars.

The rogue group of more than 100 riders race along Beach Rd from Black Rock to Mt Eliza each Saturday — the "winner takes all".

Pedestrian James Gould, 77, died in 2006 after being hit by a Hell Ride cyclist.

Long-time cyclist Neil Tubb, 60, remains in hospital with six broken ribs and a punctured lung after the crash on Saturday.

South Melbourne's Anne-Marie Cooke, 31, suffered a fractured skull and a bruised lung, while another cyclist was taken to hospital with leg injuries.


The Herald Sun understands the cyclists who caused the crash did not immediately stop to help.

Moorabbin Highway Patrol are investigating.

Bicycle Network's Chris Carpenter said cyclists had a moral and legal obligation to help anyone injured in a collision.

"The fact that those involved did not stop to render assistance to the people injured is a disgrace," he said.

"There has to be someone in that bunch who knows who caused this distressing collision, and Bicycle Network calls on them to contact the police so appropriate action can be taken.

"All eyes are on riders in this group to show leadership."

Mr Tubb, 60, of Longwood, said "hangers on" who tried to keep up with the Hell Ride top cyclists made Beach Rd dangerous for social riders.

"They tend to be a bit of a law unto themselves," he said.

"On Saturday morning Beach Rd is a social road, it's not a bloody race.

"Their adrenaline starts rushing and the people at the back are trying to hang on all the time and it gets a little bit untidy."

Ms Cooke, who was riding with triathlon group Tri Alliance, called for the Hell Ride to be regulated.

"If someone was to step up and decide to control it, tell everyone the rules of what was acceptable and safe it would go a long way to improving safety," she said.

Hell Ride cyclists have reportedly sped through police block and sworn at officers during the past four months.

Tri Alliance director Ollie Allan said serious or fatal crashes could occur with the Hell Ride reaching a "critical mass".

"Here's an incident where clearly the ethics of cycling weren't taken into account," he said.

"It seems to be a ride that is like a bat out of hell. The winner takes all, which is unfortunate."

23.10 | 0 komentar | Read More

Loved ones ‘lost for words’ after crash

Kelly Crowley with her baby daughter Tahli. Picture: Facebook Source: Supplied

TWO young girls have lost their mother with a "heart of gold" and their older brother after the family's weekend camping trip ended in a horror crash.

Kelly Crowley, 34, and her son Ethan, 8, died on Monday when their four-wheel-drive missed a bend on the Goulburn Valley Highway and rolled for 80m through a paddock fence.

Ms Crowley's daughters Sierra, 6, and Tahli, 2, remain in the Royal Children's Hospital as her grieving family rallied around them.

A close relative told the Herald Sun Ms Crowley was "a beautiful person" with "a heart of gold".

She said Ethan — who was pictured cuddling and playing with his sisters — was a "handsome young man".

"They will both be missed," the relative said.

Heartbreak: Ethan, left, with baby sister Tahli, middle, and Sierra. Picture: Facebook

One of Ms Crowley's best friends was "lost for words" after the tragedy.

She said the family often enjoyed camping trips to Jamieson, a small town near Lake Eildon below the Great Dividing Range.

It's understood they had been driving home to Yarra Glen after the Labour Day long weekend.

Camp chairs, bedding, an Esky and children's toys — including a Dora the Explorer doll, bikes and books — were strewn near the wreckage.

Ms Crowley was alive and communicating when paramedics reached her but died at the scene.

Tragic loss: Ethan, left, and sister Sierra at the beach. Picture: Facebook

Yarra Glen Primary School, where Ethan attended, paid tribute to the "popular" student and his loving mum.

"Ethan was a very popular member of our school and was respected by his friends and teachers for his kind and caring nature," principal Sue Di Giacomo said in a statement to Channel 7.

"Kelly was an active parent who made many contributions to our school community.

"Both will be sadly missed."

It is understood Ms Crowley worked at winery Domaine Chandon in Coldstream in the Yarra Valley.

The wreckage off the Goulburn Valley Highway. Picture: Jason Edwards

Another relative posted on Facebook that he "loved (Kelly) as a daughter".

He fondly remembered that her last words to him were to say she loved him.

"RIP with your son," he wrote.

A friend of the family said Kelly and Ethan's death was "devastating news".

"So young to be taken," she wrote on Facebook.

The 4WD rolled 80m into a paddock. Picture: Jason Edwards

Another friend said Ms Crowley "always had a beautiful smile to mach the person she was".

Sierra suffered a fractured pelvis and abdominal injuries in the crash while Tahli suffered injuries from her seatbelt.

Both were in a stable condition last night.

Police confirmed they were investigating reports of the 4WD driving erratically before it crashed while the stretch of road, where there had been five deadly collisions over recent years, was under review with "engineering solutions" possible.

The tragedy came during a shocking Labour Day long weekend on the roads — eight people died in six separate crashes over the four-day break.

CFA workers help collect the debris. Picture: Jason Edwards

"We are extremely disappointed — we are devastated actually about the loss of life that has occurred,'' Supt David Griffin said.

"That's eight lives lost needlessly.

"The fact we're up on the road toll is certainly a challenge for us."

Police had implemented a statewide blitz over the break with about 3600 drivers caught speeding, 300 drunk, 390 unlicensed and more than 140 drugged.

Police would flood the roads as part of a nationally co-ordinated operation over Easter in a bid to prevent further holiday deaths.


23.10 | 0 komentar | Read More

East West backdown may deter investors

Premier Daniel Andrews hasn't ruled out introducing laws to avoid paying compensation. Source: News Corp Australia

GLOBAL investors are being warned about doing business in Victoria amid speculation that the State Government could legislate its way out of the East West Link contract.

An article published on Friday in global business magazine Infrastructure Investor warns readers that retrospective laws being considered by the Andrews Government would "send shivers down the spines of infrastructure investors" around the world.

The article, "Can Australia be taken at its word?", says the nation could lose its crown as the "world's most attractive infrastructure destination".

Since November, after its decision to walk away from the road project, the State Government has been trying to reach a deal with the consortium behind East West Link.


Premier Daniel Andrews hasn't ruled out introducing legislation to avoid paying compensation, despite criticism that such a move would damage the state's reputation.

The magazine compares Victoria to Spain, which once led the global solar power market but was effectively black-listed in 2008 after it changed agreed feed-in tariff subsidies.

Spain has "seven years later, just started to win back the confidence of the international investment community", the article says. "But that's a long time to be effectively removed from the list of sensible investment locations."

Federal Assistant Minister for Infrastructure Jamie Briggs said a state had never failed to honour a contract to build major transport infrastructure.

"Major infrastructure companies and investors across the globe are rightly concerned by the Victorian Labor Government's reckless actions, which are damaging Australia's reputation as a trusted place to do business," Mr Briggs said.

"Premier Andrews should get on with building the East West Link, as it's the only shovel-ready project in Victoria, that will create almost 7000 jobs, ease congestion, and help grow the economy."


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The one person Federer won’t play against

Written By doni donian on Selasa, 13 Januari 2015 | 23.09

Roger Federer has proved too good for LLeyton Hewitt in the new Fast 4 Tennis concept with a 4-3, 2-4, 3-4, 4-0, 4-2 victory.

Roger Federer outside the Sydney Opera House with the 3L Moet bottle auctioned for charity Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

THERE is absolutely no question that the gentlemanly Roger Federer is one of the world's hugest stars, on and off the court.

But he admits life can get a tad too competitive when he starts hitting a ball with his beautiful tennis aficionado wife, Mirka.

"Well, she plays a very rhythmical game and me, well, me not so much,'' he laughed at a pre-game Credit Suisse sponsor event, before taking part in the FAST4 tennis series at Sydney's Qantas Credit Union stadium.

"So, I avoid playing tennis too much on holidays because you don't want that kind of competition when we are relaxing!"

You won't catch these two on a court during the off-season. Source: Supplied

As part of his association with the French Moët & Chandon champagne, for whom he is a global brand ambassador, there is an element of "giving back" involved and he did that as soon as he landed on Sydney soil.

The 17-time Swisse Grand Slam champion arrived (impressively) on a speed boat to Sydney's Opera House to sign a limited edition, 3L gold leaf bottle of the brand's Imperial, which was then auctioned off during his match against Lleyton Hewitt last night.

Proceeds of the auction will go to Tennis Cares, an initiative of Tennis Australia where Australians from all walks of life can "play, connect and achieve".

Federer was in superb form, landing in Sydney Monday morning just hours after he won his 1000th ATP match — a five-set thriller in the final of the Brisbane International.

But aside from tennis and his loves — wife Mirka and their two sets of twins — Roger is also one of the game's biggest philanthropists.

Mirka Federer: the love of Roger's life and fellow tennis guru. Picture: Supplied Source: News Limited

In 2003, he established the Roger Federer Foundation to help disadvantaged children and to promote their access to education and sports, while in 2005 he auctioned his racquet from his US Open championship to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina.

He supported the victims of the tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake by arranging an exhibition involving several top players from the ATP and WTA tour called Rally for Relief while he was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador by UNICEF in April 2006 and has appeared in UNICEF public messages to raise public awareness of AIDS.

Roger's world: helping out Tennis Cares by putting his name to auctioning a 3L bottle of Moet & Chandon as part of the Fast 4 tennis series. Source: Supplied

He arranged a collaboration with fellow top tennis players for a charity event during the 2010 Australian Open called Hit for Haiti, the proceeds of which went to Haiti earthquake victims. He has also participated in a charity exhibition during the 2010 Indian Wells Masters, which raised $1 million, and in January 2011 Federer took part in an exhibition to raise money for the victims of the Queensland floods. See, he's that kind of guy.

Federer married the former Women's Tennis Association player Mirka Vavrinec after he met her when they competed for Switzerland in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

And while Mirka retired from the tour in 2002 because of a foot injury, she has been constantly by her husband's side ever since the pair married in 2009.

Mirka gave birth to a set of identical twin girls, Myla Rose and Charlene Riva, the same year and went on to have another set of twins, born in May last year. They named them Leo and Lennart (Lenny).

As the Federer goodwill train continues, all that's left to do is wish him good luck in the Australian Open.

We'll drink to that.

Family affair: Mirka Federer (rear centre) and twin daughters Myla and Charlene wave from the stands during the men's singles final of the Brisbane International. Pic: Saeed Khan Source: AFP

Originally published as The one person Federer won't play against
23.09 | 0 komentar | Read More

Voice coach makes shock return

Team Will on stage performing 'where is the love' on The Voice Grand Final. Courtesy: The Voice, Nine Network

She's back ... Australian pop star Delta Goodrem returns as a coach on hit reality singing contest The Voice. Supplied. Source: Supplied

SHE left as a coach after the second season of The Voice, but pop star Delta Goodrem will return to the spinning red chair this year.

Channel Nine confirmed she will once again form part of The Voice panel of mentors when the hit show returns later this year.

VOICE STAR REVEALS: 'Delta and I don't talk anymore'

Returning mentor ... singer Delta Goodrem was shifted to the kids version of The Voice last year, which was axed after one season. Now she's back with the adults. Picture: Adam Taylor Source: News Corp Australia

"I'm thrilled to be starting the year with incredible coaches on a show that I'm very proud of being a part of, and (I'm) looking forward to discovering great Australian talent," Goodrem said.

The Lost Without You singer left and shifted to the kids version of the reality singing contest last year and was replaced by acclaimed recording artist Kylie Minogue.

KYLIE'S REPLACEMENT: Jessie J's plan to head to Australia

As had been earlier confirmed, Minogue isn't returning this year — and neither is eclectic musician will.i.am, who will be replaced by British songstress Jessie J.

New arrival ... Brit singer Jessie J joins The Voice as a superstar coach this year. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

"I love Australia and I can't wait to see what voices I might discover," the Price Tag singer said.

Jessie J has been on a coach on the UK version of the show, after rising to fame in 2011 with a multi award-winning debut album.

Her arrival on the Australian version marks the first time anywhere in the world that the franchise has had two female coaches.

VICTORY: Wildcard entry Anja Nissen wins The Voice 2014

Popular coach Joel Madden is back and will be joined this year by twin brother and bandmate Benji. The pair will share a chair and together mentor a team of hopeful pop stars.

Dynamic duo ... Benji and Joel Madden will team up as one set of coaches on The Voice. Picture: Janine Eastgate Source: News Corp Australia

Also returning as a coach is Latin star Ricky Martin, who has long been a firm favourite among viewers.

"I can't wait to hear fresh voices and get up close and personal with amazingly talented artists," Martin said.

La Vida Loca ... The Voice coach Ricky Martin is back again this year too. Picture: Supplied Source: Channel 9

While The Voice has failed to produce a commercially successful winner, it remains a solidly rating show for Channel Nine.

Originally published as Voice coach makes shock return
23.09 | 0 komentar | Read More

Snap expresses ‘better than cancelling’

Commuters don't know until they're on the train whether it will skip stations. Source: News Limited

TRAINS would have to be cancelled if the controversial practice of station skipping were stopped, Metro Trains' boss has warned.

Metro CEO Andrew Lezala made the comments after the Herald Sun reported on a secret dossier revealing the true extent of station skipping.

It showed 15 trains a day are switched to express mid-journey, so Metro can hit punctuality targets and avoid huge fines.

Under its franchise agreement, Metro must run at least 98 per cent of trains each month and 88 per cent or more must be punctual.

Trains are "on time" if they are from 59 seconds early to 4 minutes 59 seconds late.


Mr Lezala apologised to commuters frustrated by station skipping, but said it would continue so as to minimise disruptions that could have knock-on effects inconveniencing thousands more.

"It's never good to alter a service pattern but it's better than cancelling the service altogether," he said.

Metro chief exectuive Andrew Lezala. Picture: Valeriu Campan Source: News Corp Australia

"We could cancel 0.3 per cent of services and not be affected financially, but that would not be a good outcome," he told 3AW.

"(Otherwise) what we would need to do, most likely, is to add some resources, trains and drivers,'' he said — an option that cost more.

He said Metro was working with the Government and Public Transport Victoria.

Mr Lezala said disruption to the network, caused by vandalism, suicides, thefts of copper, weather and police intervention, was partly the reason about 15 of 2400 services daily skipped stations.

He is pushing for harsher penalties, including fines of thousands of dollars and jail, for those responsible.

"I want much more severe fines for anybody messing with this network, like what would happen at Tullamarine airport if you mess with an aircraft," he said.

The PTV's Adrian Darwent said it was preparing a report on station skipping and was working with Metro to eliminate it.

Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said she wanted the practice stamped out, describing it as "bloody frustrating."

She said she was awaiting advice from PTV and Metro on how station skipping could be reduced.


Twitter: @AleksDevic

23.09 | 0 komentar | Read More

Backyard cricket reaches fever pitch

Written By doni donian on Selasa, 23 Desember 2014 | 23.09

Cody and Brodie Eccles get in some sneaky practice on their special Christmas Day backyard cricket pitch at their home in The Basin. Picture: Valeriu Campan Source: News Limited

TRADITIONAL backyard cricket has been hit for six by the Eccles family, who have elevated their game to a whole new level — and that's no spin.

The family from The Basin take their backyard cricket very seriously, and have a dedicated pitch which is specially prepared and can only be used for their Christmas Day match.

They have three cricket pitches on the property; the 'Cool Yule', a second one they use for matches throughout the year and a third synthetic deck they use for batting practice.

Mum Debbie described her family as "cricket-mad" and said her sons Brodie, 15, and Cody, 13, who attend St Joseph's College in Ferntree Gully, were the envy of their cricket club friends.

Their Christmas Day backyard cricket match involves the extended family and is a serious affair.

Mrs Eccles and husband John set up several cameras around the yard each year, and edit the footage at the end of the day — complete with dubbed commentary and game highlights.

And this year will be the first year they use a spidercam to get footage from the game play.

Yep, a moving camera, suspended in the air, just like the international coverage.

The Eccles' warm up deck. Picture: Valeriu Campan Source: News Limited

"My kids have been playing cricket in the backyard since they learnt to walk," Mrs Eccles said.

"The pitch gets mowed down on the night before Christmas to make sure it's all prepared.

"They usually try to start before lunch and it usually goes for about four hours."

Mrs Eccles said they used a standard car tyre to roll out the pitch, and a small hand mower to get the lawn to the perfect length.

A garden hose marks out the boundaries, and they use a half-taped tennis ball instead of a cricket ball to avoid breaking any roof tiles, car windows — or bones.

Hopefully no one will be bowled out for a duck this year.

After all, it's a day for turkey.

Leader's new cricket-dedicated Facebook page, Leader Local Cricket, put out a call for your best backyard pitches.

And readers didn't disappoint, with some brilliant examples that would put a turf pitch to shame.

If you've got a backyard pitch you'd like us to see, head on over, like the page and send it to us.

You'd be happy to have a hit on Ben Hodgart's well manicured cricket pitch. Source: Supplied

Ben Hodgart's awesome deck at his Hoppers Crossing home also gets the camera treatment.

That thing looks like every blade of grass has been waited on with a pair of nail clippers, not one is out of place.

Here's a clip of Ben versus Dan, complete with Channel 9 commentary, action replays and even a sneaky hot spot appearance.

The boys watch the action at the Seehusens. Source: Supplied

The view from the bowler's end at the Seehusens. Source: Supplied

The VIP viewing area from the deck at Peter Seehusen's backyard cricket pitch is prime position.

The deckchairs are lined up for those not involved in the action, so they can get an up close and personal view of the brilliant performances produced when the Seehusens battle it out with friends and family.

It's a fairly scenic set up too.

The pitch backs directly onto the home, which gives views that almost look like they could be on canvas.

The Seehusens even employ a traditional cricket roller, to keep their deck perfectly flat for the batsmen, with some noticeable green to give the bowlers some hope.

We can just envisage the epic battles on Christmas Day.

So much fun.

The backyard deck at the Hookeys' home is about 14m long. Source: Supplied

"It's all happening here at the HCG" – That's the fabled Hookey Cricket Ground, in Cranbourne.

Lovingly tended to by 18-year-old Craig Hookey and his family, the backyard battles are more a daily occurrence in summer, than just a Christmas staple.

"About four years ago I started making a backyard cricket pitch out the back for the family Christmas party," Craig said.

"Over time, it has started late November and ended late February due to mates always wanting to have a game!"

"The pitch is about 14 metres long.

"Rules are windows on full are out and the most important rule, which my dad came up with, is lemon tree on the full is out!

"I can't think of anything better to do over summer than play backyard cricket!"

Benjamin Luca's backyard pitch looks like it would be home in Mumbai, India. Plenty for spinners and nothing for the quicks. Source: Supplied

Blake John Papas reckons if you win the toss you bowl in his backyard. Source: Supplied

And sometimes backyard cricket is more serious than just the odd knock around on Christmas Day.

Welcome to the BBL ...

No, not the KFC T20 Big Bash League, the Backyard Bashes League, of course.

Set in the suburbs of Melbourne, the clubs battle it out throughout the summer for the BBL title.

It's a fun league that doesn't take itself too seriously, headed by a group of inventive chaps who treat it with a bit of schtick, as the video in the Facebook post below attests.

Lucas Butcher's poolside pitch. Source: Supplied

The deck at Dylan Rhys-Jones' home. Source: Supplied

Paddy Inglis roped off his square. Source: Supplied

The Wyatt Recreation Reserve, located in Drouin. Source: Supplied

23.09 | 0 komentar | Read More

Abbott ponders decision on Credlin

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and chief-of-staff Peta Credlin. Source: News Corp Australia

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott is taking soundings from confidants about how to resolve controversy surrounding the power and reach of his chief-of-staff, Peta Credlin.

The move comes as he replaced the head of his media office, Jane McMillan, with senior ABC chief political correspondent Mark Simkin.

In a statement, the PM's office confirmed Ms McMillan would take up another, unspecified role in the PM's office.

Deputy chief-of-staff Andrew Hirst will take on a new role that combines strategic communications with overall responsibility for the Prime Minister's Press Office.

Mr Abbott has been on a "barnacle removal'' strategy since Parliament rose early in the month, getting rid of or amending political problems such as the $7 GP fee, and has indicated he would drastically overhaul his unpopular paid parental leave scheme.

Senior Coalition MPs have been expressing concern for months that Mr Abbott has devolved too much influence to Ms Credlin.



Mr Abbott attempted to deflect the controversy by suggesting it was sexist, and told his colleagues to take a "long, hard look at themselves" when they were criticising her.

But privately, Mr Abbott has been speaking to trusted colleagues and confidants about how to resolve the controversy and whether Ms Credlin's role in his office needs to change.

One suggestion is that she could move into a role similar to that of a principal private secretary and a new chief-of-staff appointed.

Others have suggested she may need to leave his office altogether.

Mr Abbott is understood to have accepted it would be a problem if media attention continued to focus on Ms Credlin into the new year.

Ms Credlin has been a senior staffer for Liberal MPs for 15 years and has been with Mr Abbott since Opposition days.


23.09 | 0 komentar | Read More

The phones of the future will blow your mind

When it comes to smartphone technology, you ain't seen nothing yet. Source: AFP

IN 30 years since the first mobile phone went on sale we've seen it morph from a bank-breaking, basic brick into a slim super computer that can do anything from entertain to tell us what we should be doing next.

With the next-generation (and several generations after that) of mobile phone innovation already being tinkered with by engineers and scientists in hi-tech labs the future of the device is set to change at warp speed. Come with us as we look at what our favourite gadget could do in years ahead.

This is today's Microsoft Surface Pro 2. But where will technology take us in the future? Picture: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan Source: AP

1-2 years

Mobiles were uglier back in the day but at least they could withstand a bashing. Recent years have seen a trade in resilience for beauty but the future will see a turnaround with unbreakable devices. Weatherproof handsets are proving a surprising hit with consumers calling for their precious phones to be made of tougher stuff. Manufacturers look to use the latest materials including scratch and shatter-proof ion-infused glass as well as liquid metal for cases, which is nigh-on indestructible as it bounces back to its original shape after being dented.

Modular mobile phones will hit the market whereby customers can buy a handset made from features they pick and choose to go on it. There's already a project underway that will allow consumers to decide what their custom handset can do and what it will look like so you can create a phone that perfectly fits your needs. For instance if there's a phone out there that has a great camera but you don't need the whizzy other stuff, this modular approach could let you have the best of everything or let you cherry pick the bits that are important to you. Expect to see the pick 'n' mix smartphones to shift the goalposts in the not-too-distant future.

Storage sizes and capabilities are always improving. Source: News Limited

3-5 years

With smartphone screens getting bigger and people spending more time on mobiles than any other device expect to see super-high resolution, cinema-quality displays rock handsets. A far cry from the monochrome, one-line displays of the 90s our eyes will be treated to full 4K screens (that's four-times the resolution of High Definition) right in the palm of our hand. This visual feast is only just reaching our living rooms today but mobile makers are already eyeing it up for our pocketable gadgets. We doubt mobile sizes will continue to grow at this stage (around five-inches seems to be the Goldilocks zone) but within three years a stunning 4K screen will be de facto.

If you think 4G browsing on your phone is pretty speedy today, just wait a few years and you'll be blown away. The next-generation wireless mobile network could be quick enough to download a high-def movie in just 30 seconds. This also means it could make storage sizes obsolete as everything from your apps to entertainment could be accessed from the cloud within the blink of an eye. The infrastructure of this technology is being readied for a 2020 release.

The camera will evolve in our smartphones to do far more than your standard selfie. 3D technology using wide-angle lenses and sensors will be able to map your surroundings, meaning you could actually walk around inside your photos. Mobile cameras will understand and process the space around you and then remodel it in a 3D image. You could revisit old birthday party pictures, explore old holiday snaps or take a look around hotels, houses for sale or eBay items in great detail. The technology is currently being tested in projects in both mobile handsets and a larger system called Matterport, who worked on Microsoft's Kinect sensor.

The unbreakable smartphone is closer than you think. Source: AFP

6-10 years

The fabled foldable mobile has been floating around almost as long as the flying car but breakthroughs in material technology — in particular the super thin, super strong and conductive wonder material, Graphene — will make this more than a crazy concept. There are already mobiles on the market that have a slight bend and we've seen manufacturers show off flexy displays at gadget shows but within ten years we could see mobiles that change shape to suit our needs and roll up right into our pocket. There wouldn't be a need for both tablet and mobile, or the decision of what screen size to go for — imagine being able to unravel a screen to different sizes whether you want more space for browsing or less to just make a call. We know mobile makers are keen on this flexible, wrappable, mouldable, unbreakable form factor and research labs like the Human Media Lab at Queen's University in Canada have already produced a primitive folding handset.

Our phones have truly become an indispensable part of us. Source: ThinkStock

Batteries last about as long as an asthmatic in a sprint race these days but in the hi-tech future we could see our devices run for 20 years on a single charge. A team at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have developed a titanium dioxide gel that is a dab hand at storing lithium ions in its nanostructure. In non-sciencey words: it's very efficient at storing its charge. Of course, this Holy Grail of an everlasting battery is being chased after by many so there are other alternative battery technologies being developed. There's a team in Korea looking to transform the heat generated from our bodies into electricity to power phones; there's also the idea of piezoelectricity which converts movement into energy so we could walk and charge; and researchers in California have made a tattoo that generates electricity from our own sweat. So it looks like the future phone's power supply might be something we won't have to sweat about (literally).

Many technologists have postulated the idea of singularity. Source: News Limited

10-15 years

If sci-fi films have taught us anything it's that holographic floating displays will burst out of our mobile devices in the future. They're not wrong. A 3D screen materialising in thin air we can prod and manipulate is already in development from start-up Ostendo Technologies. Their 'Quantum Photonic Imager' is a Tic-Tac sized projector unit that can beam a high-resolution image into the open like something from Iron Man. In ten-years' time the technology would be finetuned to a point where we're fully interactive with the floating screen — we could watch sport play out in front of us, get inside maps and play games in a whole new way. And Tinder sure is going to be interesting ….

Wearable technology is already trying to bridge the necessity to carry a phone and in years going forward we will see the physical handset disappear from pockets altogether. Just as the smartphone managed to evaporate the hardware of things like sat navs, MP3 players, wallets and — to some extent — watches and compact cameras, new smartwatches and smartglasses operated by spoken command will become the primary communications device to make the mobile vanish. If you're thinking 'where's the screen?!' it could be displayed on glasses lenses or perhaps that pill-sized holographic projector could unfurl it in midair for you. How do you take a selfie would be the next one to answer …

3D holograms, anyone? Source: ThinkStock

20-30 years

In twenty years we'll look back and laugh at how we once had to actually hold our phones to operate them. Going way beyond wearables, a smart contact lens could offer a device-free experience to display messages, web pages, directions and video literally right in front of your eye. A lens with basic computer circuitry is currently being tested, which contains sensors to alert diabetics to dangerous glucose levels. With nanotechnology having the potential to build robots the size of blood cells the prospect of developing computing components small enough to fit on a contact lens is a distinct possibility.

As the memory of clunky, manual mobile handsets fade into a world of invisible communication devices plugged straight into our bodies we will also see highly sophisticated operating systems that we can talk to like another human. Built-in personal assistants are becoming more intuitive knowing what we like, where we've been and what we're doing. If our mobiles can already work out and tell us when to leave work in order to catch our usual train while reminding us to say happy birthday to Brenda on our way and warning us how many calories are in that biscuit before we've even eaten it can you imagine what else it'll be able to do as this intelligence continues to grow? The movie Her does a great job of showing us how operating systems could evolve to a point where we can freely converse with the OS rather than the simple experience we know today. Forget asking if it's going to rain, you can have full convos about the state of the weather. A computer has already managed to dominate the television game show Jeopardy providing complex human-like answers to questions. Some might find this petrifying but us technophiles can't wait. Artificial intelligence is coming so get your small talk ready.

Originally published as The phones of the future will blow your mind
23.09 | 0 komentar | Read More

Lodge toilet troubles add to reno bill

Prime Minister Tony Abbott outside The Lodge in Canberra. Source: News Limited

TOILET troubles at The Lodge have contributed to a growing renovations bill, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott unlikely to move in until late next year.

Documents quietly posted on the Government's tenders website show the cost of renovating the historic building has more than doubled, now costing taxpayers $6.3 million, up from the original published price of $3.1 million.

The renovations on the PM's official residence, built in the 1920s, were originally expected to be finished in September this year, but could now stretch on until next December.

The Herald Sun understands part of the delays are due to difficulties finding bathroom and toilet fittings that meet strict heritage requirements, but reach modern safety standards.

These are thought to include non-slip 1920s-style tiles, and difficulties installing handrails to make bathrooms accessible for those in wheelchairs.

The Lodge has been closed since 2013 for long-overdue renovations, including asbestos removal, replacing the slate roof, repair to ceilings damaged by possum infestations and the replacement of dangerous old wiring.

It stood empty after former PM Kevin Rudd and his family moved out following their September 2013 election loss.

Mr Abbott never moved in, and has instead been bunking down in a $110-a-night room at the Australian Federal Police college in the Canberra suburb of Barton.

Public servants had rented him a $3000-a-week luxury home in Canberra for the duration of the renovations but he refused to move in, a move that cost $65,000 in lease termination fees.

The Government never revealed the full contract price, saying it was commercial in confidence, but the first published head contract was for $3.1 million.

The costs have been rising in recent months, with the original contract and costs now amended more than 15 times since April.

Labor's Waste Watch committee chair, Pat Conroy, criticised the growing costs, saying it demonstrated that: "Tony Abbott isn't fit to compete on a home renovation TV show, let alone run the country."

"I'm sure people are now wondering why they are expected to pay higher prices for their petrol or to see a doctor, but it's OK for Tony Abbott to spend millions more than originally planned on renovating The Lodge,'' he said.

A spokeswoman for Michael McCormack, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, said there was no cost blowout and the project was "tracking to budget and schedule.''


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