Duplicate data to weather storms

Written by admin on 28/05/2019 Categories: 南京夜网

‘There’s no one-size-fits-all back-up solution and you might need to test a few to see which works best.’FROM fires and floods to a simple hard-drive failure, there’s no shortage of disasters waiting to claim your family photos and other precious data. An insurance policy might cover your home and contents, but irreplaceable family photographs are perhaps our most precious possessions. These days your photo library is probably spread across computers and other gadgets scattered throughout the house. All those artefacts could be lost forever, and it happens to people every day.
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Also spare a thought for important documents such as school assignments, business reports and tax records you can’t afford to lose.

Even if fire and flood aren’t lapping at your door, there are plenty of more mundane threats to your precious data. Burglars are quick to reach for notebooks, smartphones, tablets and digital cameras. Power spikes and hard-drive failures can wipe your digital life in a flash, as can a nasty virus. Even something as simple as a leaking roof or burst water pipe can wash away your digital memories forever.

The best way to insure yourself against a digital disaster is to make back-ups of your precious files for safe-keeping. That doesn’t mean keeping them in the desk drawer, where they’re also likely to fall victim to the disaster that claims the computer on the desk. It’s vital to safely store ”off-site” back-ups.

The easiest way to do this is to burn files to disc or copy them to a USB drive and leave them at a friend’s house, or maybe in your desk drawer at work. But it’s easy to become lax with your back-up habits. For an extra level of off-site protection, also consider making automatic back-ups to a cloud storage service. Choices include Apple’s iCloud, Microsoft’s SkyDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, Mozy, Carbonite and Jungle Disk. Cloud back-up software runs in the background on your computer, automatically uploading new and changed files.

The initial back-up might take a long time, and you’ll need to keep an eye on your monthly data limit if your internet service provider counts uploads towards your monthly allowance. After the hefty initial back-up, regular incremental back-ups should run quickly. Some software lets you create flexible schedules, perhaps backing up school assignments once an hour but your photo library once a day or week.

Get into the habit of regularly copying the photos from your digital camera to your computer, rather than leaving months’ worth of photos sitting on the memory card. If your smartphone tends to be your camera too, your photos are even more at risk of being lost or stolen. One simple back-up strategy is to email the best photos to yourself. You should regularly back up your mobile devices to your computer so the files will be copied to the cloud.

The iGadgets option needs Apple’s iTunes software to back up to a computer, but the back-ups are locked away in hidden files. Use the camera import settings in Windows, or Image Capture on a Mac, to copy the photos on your iPhone or iPad to a folder on your computer. Or use photo management software such as iPhoto or Photoshop Elements to import them into your photo library.

The same techniques should work with most Android devices, which let you see your photos as if the gadget were a USB stick. Windows Phone owners should use the Windows Phone desktop app.

Many smartphones and tablets can automatically upload your photos to the cloud wirelessly, but it’s important to keep an eye on your mobile broadband usage. On an iPhone or iPad, you can automatically back up the camera roll to Apple’s iCloud. Photo Stream copies photos from an iGadget to your computer and other iGadgets. Dropbox and Google+ can do a similar job on Apple or Android gadgets, as can SkyDrive on Windows Phone devices. Or you might manually upload photos to these or other cloud services. Apple’s iCloud and Photo Stream back-ups run only over wi-fi but the others can also use 3G/4G, so watch your mobile broadband allowance. There’s no one-size-fits-all back-up solution and you might need to test a few to see which works best. If you can’t afford to lose everything, you can afford to spend the time protecting your precious files.Back up versus sync

NOT all storage services are created equal, and it’s important to understand how they work.

Back-up services such as Carbonite, Mozy and Jungle Disk lurk in the background on your computer. You tell them which folders to watch and how often to check, and they automatically upload new or changed files to the cloud. Some back-up services will protect several computers using one account, but others require separate accounts for each computer. Should disaster strike, you can download the files again or perhaps access them through your browser.

Google Drive, SkyDrive and Dropbox can also lurk on your computer, but they’re designed mainly to synchronise files and folders between devices. Copy a file into your computer’s Dropbox folder, or edit an existing file, and it’s copied to the Dropbox folder on your other computers. A copy is also kept in the cloud, which is a handy back-up.

Unlike back-up services, sync services tend to lack advanced features such as throttling upload speeds, restricting back-ups to specific file types and keeping old versions of documents. Even so, the pressure from sync services has forced back-up services such as Mozy and Jungle Disk to add sync features, along with competitors such as SugarSync and CrashPlan.

Apple’s iCloud is another contender, but it lacks the flexibility of other services; it syncs Apple’s iWork files between iGadgets and the desktop iWork applications on a Mac. Some third-party desktop applications also tap into iCloud. You can use iCloud to sync your calendar, contacts, email and photos, but it’s not a general storage service and you can’t use it to back up a desktop folder full of photos and non-Apple Office files.

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Westfield hit by falling rents as retail stays flat

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Westfield Sydney … no renewal of leases yet.WESTFIELD, the world’s biggest shopping centre owner, has admitted rents are falling in its Australian centres due to weaker retail trading conditions.
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New tenants will be offered rents up to 5 per cent lower this year, while tenants who are negotiating to extend their lease face moderate increases below the rate of inflation.

Westfield Group is considered the market barometer for mall landlords as it has interests in and manages 105 shopping centres across Australia, the US, Britain, New Zealand and Brazil, covering more than 22,800 retail outlets, and has total assets under management of $64.4 billion.

But any drop in rents is not expected to affect the tenants in the flagship Westfield Sydney centre in Pitt Street Mall. Given Westfield Sydney is only two years old, the initial leases still have about three years to go.

Westfield’s co-chief executive Steven Lowy said on Wednesday that while renewals were flat, ”new leases are about 4 per cent to 5 per cent below leases at the previous expiries”.

When queried on the outlook for sales, Mr Lowy said they would be about 1.5 to 2 per cent. That rate of growth would be lower than this year’s 2.9 per cent, due to a combination of remixing tenancies, increased savings by households and low inflation, which would keep prices flat.

”There have been subdued retail sales in Australia for a number of years now and I suppose we are feeling a lagged effect,” Mr Lowy said. ”It’s fair to say the December [2012] quarter was softer than we would have liked. But of course, we are pleased with a bounce back in January. Whether that continues or not … we can’t really predict that.”

Another reason for the forecast declines in rents is the rise in online shopping and less demand for bricks and mortar stores. To stem that tidal outflow, Westfield has created a new digital division, Westfield Labs, based in San Francisco.

”With so many shoppers now connected to mobile devices, we are well advanced with strategies to connect the digital shopper with our malls, including sophisticated car-park technology, concierge and lifestyle services, efficient delivery channels for retailers, and utilising social media and interactive advertising to better interact with consumers,” Mr Lowy said.

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Westfield forwards showing goal skills

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ANALYSTS asking when about Westfield’s new Milan development might have been looking for a construction update, but co-heads the Lowy brothers seemed keener on soccer fixtures. Asked by Simon Garing of Merrill Lynch for a ”kick-off date” for Milan, Steven Lowy said: ”Are you talking about the score today? They are playing Barcelona next week.”
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The remuneration report for the 2012 year, issued on Wednesday, shows some of Westfield’s executives are on pay resembling that of a handy player for a European soccer team. Sydney-based youngest brother Steven was paid $10.94 million, including a $4 million bonus, up from $8.9 million the previous year.

That’s significantly better than Australia’s highest-paid round-baller, Sydney FC import Alessandro Del Piero, who reportedly signed on for $2 million.

Steven’s brother Peter is based in LA, where David Beckham was on a base salary of $US6.5 million until he quit the Galaxy last year. Peter bent it better than Beckham, scoring $US10.5 million, including a bonus of $US3.36 million, up from $US8.2 million the previous year.

Westfield finance director Peter Allen, whose name was touted last year as a possible candidate for the CEO job at Stockland, was paid $6.22 million, up from $5.8 million.

Patriarch and non-executive chairman Frank Lowy was paid a positively un-world game $750,000, up from $451,236. None of them came close to matching the deal enjoyed by a man Milan’s players face next week, Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, who is on €16 million (about $20 million) a year.Fashionable listing

CAN you make a dress out of hundred dollar bills? Fashionista Lisa Ho might need to work out the answer to that question if her company Lisa Ho Designs prospers following its listing on the not particularly glam secondary exchange, the NSX.

Ho is seeking up to $1.7 million from punters who want a slice of what the prospectus calls ”one of the most respected and iconic labels in Australia”.

The prospectus shows she is to be paid an entirely reasonable $109,000 (plus travel, hotels and expenses) a year as ”creative and group business leader”. Not even enough to keep one in Hermes handbags. However, she also gets a bonus of 2 per cent of gross annual sales and, after three years, 3 per cent of gross annual income (for the right to use the Lisa Ho name).

The business had a rotten 2012 – apparently ”a result of one-off business issues” including overstocking of garments ”that Lisa would not have selected” – making a loss of $2.36 million.

If in a few years the business were to bounce back to the healthier 2010 levels, CBD’s calculations show Ho would collect $713,635. That’s about 2½ times the profit declared in that year of $276,000. Oh, and following the float, Ho will hold at least 72 per cent of the shares.No Midas touch

IF YOU hit gold, the last thing you’d expect is for your share price to halve. But that’s what happened to Inca Minerals on Wednesday, possibly courtesy of a disgruntled former director.

Before the market opened Inca announced that in a ”major breakthrough” it had found gold, silver, copper and molybdenum at its Chanape Project in Peru.

Managing director Ross Brown told CBD the company found ”bonanza” grades of gold and silver close to the surface and he was ”ecstatic” about the find.

But shares in the company plunged in heavy trade, falling from 10.5¢ to close at 5.1¢. CBD hears that much of the selling came through Bell Potter from former director Sue Thomas, who appears to have rid herself of most of her 26 million-odd shares. She quit the board of the company earlier this month after the rest of the board refused to let her load up on shares at a steep discount to the market price.

”I haven’t heard that [Thomas was selling],” Brown said. ”I think the market’s reacted negatively to the extent of the grade, but the market sometimes gets ahead of itself.”

Meanwhile, over at Western Mining Network, executive chairman Christopher Clower pursued the opposite strategy, exercising his option to buy half a million shares in the company at 30¢ – 6¢ more than the stock was fetching on Wednesday.You’re fired. I quit

NEWS of bizarre goings-on at a Tuesday afternoon meeting of shareholders in Boris Ganke’s Southern Cross Exploration has clawed its way to the outside world.

Shareholders rebelling against Boris wanted to kick his son Eugene Ganke and long-time associate Evelyn Goh off the board and replace them with Bruce Burrell and Alex Keach.

But before the meeting Eugene and Evelyn resigned and were replaced by Steven Baghdadi and Antonio Vieira. Bruce and Alex then found themselves appointed to the board, but no nearer loosening Boris’ grip on the company.

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Westfield admits stalling sales

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Peter (left) and Steven Lowy: Weaker local conditions will be offset by the US and Britain.THE world’s biggest shopping centre owner by assets under management, Westfield, has put into numbers what its tenants and consumers already knew – sales are slipping across the country.
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To stem the decline, the retail juggernaut has admitted it is dropping rents for new leases. In a rare admission, the group said reductions of up to 5 per cent were being negotiated.

But reductions were unlikely in the newer centres such as Westfield Sydney, where specialty rents on long leases remain at an average $15,660 per square metre.

Joint chief executive Steven Lowy told an investor briefing on Wednesday that while lease renewal rates were flat, the slowing economy, lower inflation and the continued rise in household savings rates had led to subdued market conditions.

”In Australia, while retail conditions have been subdued for most of the year, the business responded well and in January specialty retail sales were up about 4 per cent,” Mr Lowy said.

”But this year lease renewals are basically flat and new leases were about 4 per cent to 5 per cent below leases at the previous expiries.”

In its full-year result, the group reported sales for its Australia and New Zealand malls were up 2.9 per cent on a comparable store basis. The forecast for 2013 was growth of 1.5 to 2 per cent, which was at the lower end of analyst expectations.

Weaker southern hemisphere business will be offset by improvement in US and British operations, as well as up to $550 million in developments earmarked for 2o13.

For the year to December 31, Westfield reported an 18.3 per cent rise in net profit to $1.72 billion.

The spinoff Westfield Retail Trust, which has a 50 per cent stake in the Australian and NZ shopping centres, reported a net profit of $830.8 million, slightly down on the $849.1 million a year earlier due to a fall in some property valuations.

Westfield Group will pay 49.5¢ in distributions per security, and expects that to rise to 51¢ in 2013. Investors in the Westfield Retail Trust will receive 18.75¢ per stapled security, rising to 19.85 in 2013.

Despite the cautious outlook, Westfield issued an earnings guidance growth of 3 per cent, equal to about 66.5¢ on a funds from operations calculation.

Mr Lowy said the redevelopment works at Miranda and Mount Gravatt in Australia, the opening of Westfield Stratford City in London last year, and Century City and Valley Fair in California, would underpin future earnings.

Co-chief executive Peter Lowy said the company expected 60 per cent of its income to come from the US and Britain in about four years, from about 55 per cent now, boosted by joint ventures in Milan and Brazil.

Analysts said the overall profit result was in line with expectations, but the outlook for the Australia/NZ portfolio continued to deteriorate, while the US portfolio was expected to deliver stronger net operating income growth in 2013 and beyond.

Simon Wheatley, head of real estate research at Goldman Sachs, said: ”We believe investors may be disappointed by another year of low funds from operations (FFO) growth.”

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Early signing helped Maloney’s focus

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JAMES MALONEY, who signed with Sydney Roosters 14 months before his first game with them, believes there is no better player transfer system available to the game’s officials.
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Maloney’s signing with the Roosters in November 2011, before he played another season with his incumbent club the Warriors, sparked criticism of the system – in the same way Josh Papalii’s potential move to Parramatta has.

But Maloney said the fact he knew he was playing for another club did not affect his game last year – and in fact maintained that he deliberately made the decision so early so he would not be distracted in his final year with the Warriors.

”That was the whole idea,” Maloney said. ”I wanted to get it done before the season was under way. Towards the end of the previous year, there had already been talk about what I was doing when I was off contract. It would have kept popping up, so it was good to be able to put it to bed. The players that you play with, they don’t mind that you’re moving on. Everyone understands. It’s a business, and I never came across any boys who were dirty on it. It was done and as long as I put my best foot forward, no one was worried.

”I don’t think it affected me. I don’t think last year was my best year, but I don’t think it was the decision. I didn’t find it a distraction at all.

”There were a few jokes amongst the boys, blokes making sure I went into the right sheds when we played the Roosters, but at the end of the day, everyone understood.”

Papalii is still wrestling with his decision, even though the Eels have trumpeted the signing. Having signed a contract with the Eels, Papalii can still back out of the deal before round 13 this year, and Canberra officials believe there is a strong chance that he will.

While he acknowledges that the system would be frustrating for supporters, Maloney said he didn’t believe officials had come up with a better one. ”I don’t have an issue with it,” he said.

”I can understand why it’s hard for the fans, knowing players are signing 12 months out. It’s not ideal. But we had the June 30 deadline before that, but it was pretty obvious to everyone that a lot was being done and finalised before that. And the transfer window at the end of the season – you can’t just pack up and move your family on a dime. We don’t have a perfect system.”

Brian McClennan, who coached Maloney for the majority of last season, said he didn’t believe the five-eighth’s early decision affected the squad.

”Every player has the right to secure his future,” McClennan said. ”They’re not talking about it – they’re concentrating on their next game. From my point of view, once they sign a contract, that’s it – they just compete. They don’t walk around wondering about their pay cheque.”

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Folau in front seat on one fickle rollercoaster

Written by admin on 29/04/2019 Categories: 南京夜网

Seven days is a long time in rugby and a lot can happen to turn around a team’s performance. It’s even longer in the world of the media and there are two stories which have stuck in my mind from the weekend.
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The first is the collapse of support for Israel Folau and secondly the ”discovery” of Eddie Quirk. In reality, neither of these two events should have come as a surprise.

It has been easy for everyone in the past two months to be praising, extolling, wondering, postulating, extrapolating, hypothesising and dreaming about the rise and rise of ”Izzy” in rugby.

This interest has been great for the promotion of the game although it’s important to remember that it hasn’t been Izzy who has been doing all the talking. In fact, all he has been doing since signing with the Waratahs has been showing up to training, meeting his teammates and learning the nuances of the game.

It’s true that he experienced a tough induction to Super Rugby but it isn’t fair that he is now viewed as a failure following his first Super Rugby game while only two weeks ago he was being dubbed the Black Caviar of rugby. Over time you learn nothing is ever as good or bad as it seems.

Saturday’s match wasn’t Folau’s greatest game of rugby but there will be many better ahead.

On the flip side, Quirk was the Reds’ man of the match after putting in a second tireless and effective performance, including setting up the match-winning try. In the space of one day, Izzy gets off the rollercoaster and Eddie jumps on. Suddenly the ”ranga” gets the attention and his life becomes very public. And, so the process works.

With Eddie, as I reminded everyone at our post-game press conference, we were always confident about our back-row depth despite Scott Higginbotham’s departure. I can assure you Eddie’s performance from that night wasn’t a miracle from the heavens. In fact, Eddie debuted for the Reds in 2011 against the Waratahs before being subsequently dropped as he was not ready for the occasion or the level. He went back, continued to work hard, and two years later has dominated in a brutal contest.

One performance should never change the Wallabies’ pecking order but it does get you noticed. I am quite sure if you asked Folau and Quirk they would both dream of becoming national players. Let me assure you, there isn’t a person in the five Australian provinces or in club rugby without the same dream.

Opportunity is not always shared equally in life and some players get the rails run and plenty of attempts while others never get a go at all. The bottom line is your skills and attitude under pressure do your bidding and this applies to Izzy and Eddie. Both players have things to continue working hard on – as Eddie knows it can take some time. But we do know though that you can’t fake it. There isn’t anywhere on a rugby pitch you can hide.

The dilemma for Israel ahead of last week’s game was how much he could replicate from training that would prepare him for a game. The investment made in him both as a player and as someone to promote the sport in NSW meant he was always going to play. However, with no club rugby at the moment it turned out to be only his fourth game of rugby, so it was really on-the-job training as far as he was concerned.

If the Waratahs’ long-term vision is that he can make it big, then that’s worth the investment.

But Izzy brings more than just strong physical talents. He is also a commercial investment, no different to the one made by Greater Western Sydney in the AFL. Every sporting team wants new fans and guys such as Izzy attract media attention and as a result new sponsors and fans. So, in effect, the Waratahs have two horses running.

The one that needs to learn the detail of the game before hopefully becoming a Wallaby and the other is the one that puts bums on seats and gets fans in NSW excited about the game again.

The bottom line is you need balance. Sport needs its heroes and it needs to create interest. There is no question teams need exposure but in the end it’s performance that counts. This doesn’t change if you are Israel Folau, the Waratahs’ PR and marketing machine or knockabout western suburbs redhead Eddie Quirk. The field of dreams is also the field of reality and that’s where it matters most. The court of public opinion is fickle and slippery. Best to let your rugby do the talking.

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Henriques hits paydirt on the toughest tour

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HYDERABAD: Australia’s latest Test sensation Moises Henriques is days away from cashing in on his successful ascent to Michael Clarke’s side – the NSW all-rounder is to be upgraded to a full Cricket Australia contract.
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The 26-year-old’s standout debut with the bat – scoring 68 and then 81 not out – was a silver lining in the eight-wicket defeat to India in the first Test in Chennai, belying his inexperience at the highest level as he emerged as a potentially key figure on this tour and back-to-back Ashes series later this year.

After landing a place in the extended squad to the subcontinent, Henriques was not necessarily expected to feature in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series but having impressed when given a chance, he is set for an immediate windfall.

By playing in the second Test, which begins on Saturday at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, he will accrue the points required to qualify for an upgrade to a national contract. The CA minimum retainer is $230,000.

The qualification system allows players not already centrally contracted to be fully rewarded for international appearances on top of the performance payments of $14,000 a Test, $5600 for a one-day international and $4200 for a Twenty20 international. The magic number for an upgrade is 12 points – five for each Test, two for an ODI and one for a T20 match for Australia. Henriques, having played three matches in the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka in the summer, has a tally of 11.

The salary boost will temper annoyance at being fined 10 per cent of his match fee in Chennai by the International Cricket Council match referee Chris Broad for breaching the body’s clothing regulations. A logo on the chin strap of Henriques’ helmet was the offender, the ICC said in announcing the sanction on Wednesday.

In the first Test, only Clarke was able to combat India’s spin bowlers as effectively as Henriques, suggesting he could bat further up the order than No.7. But the captain was quick to water down expectations on the Portuguese-born newcomer despite being highly impressed by his debut.

”He could bat three if we wanted him to,” Clarke said. ”We don’t want to put too much pressure on him. He played really well in his first Test match. Now it’s about consistency.”

Henriques was not as successful with the ball on a Chennai wicket that made life difficult for seamers but with Shane Watson playing as a batsman only in India, his presence adds balance that would otherwise be missing. National selectors have had their eye on him since he began the domestic season with a boom, principally an unbeaten 161 for NSW in a Sheffield Shield match at Bankstown Oval last September.

While Australia were beaten in Chennai, the inclusion of Henriques proved a shrewd move.

”I just think the maturity he showed was amazing,” Australia head coach Mickey Arthur said. ”I thought he was outstanding in this Test match. That was very, very pleasing because it gives you that third or fourth seamer and it gives you another batsman. Let’s hope he goes from strength to strength.”

Henriques’s Test breakthrough comes more than seven years after his hyped debut as an 18-year-old for NSW, and four years after he first played for Australia in the shorter formats.

His first state coach, Trevor Bayliss, recalls the St George product being a supreme athlete as a teenager, and compared him before his first senior match to Mark Waugh.

”He was obviously a guy that had a lot of ability that you thought one day could play for Australia,” said Bayliss, who still works with Henriques as coach of T20 Champions League winners the Sydney Sixers.

”For one reason or another it’s just taken him a little longer than I’m sure he would have hoped.

”I think it’s maybe a realisation from his point of view that, number one, he does feel comfortable at that level now and, two, he’s in his mid-20s now, and you don’t want to hit 30 having never had the opportunity to play to your potential. Between those two things that’s got him knuckled down. With just that little bit of extra experience as well – he’s got four or five years [of first-class cricket] under his belt now – the results are on the board.”

Meanwhile, injured seamer Jackson Bird would not return to India after having scans on a lower back complaint in Melbourne. Bird, who did not feature in the first Test, left the subcontinent on Monday. A replacement was yet to be announced.

“Initial tests performed in Melbourne have confirmed that Jackson Bird has a bone stress injury of the low back,” team doctor Peter Brukner said.

“He will undergo further tests tomorrow (Thursday). He will not be re-joining the team in India.”

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Legal bid looms to stop Van Gisbergen racing

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V8 Supercar driver Shane Van Gisbergen.ADELAIDE V8 Supercars turncoat Shane Van Gisbergen could face a legal bid to stop him racing in this weekend’s season-opening Adelaide 500.
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Speculation is rife that Van Gisbergen’s former team is planning to launch a race-eve court challenge to his switch to a rival squad, claiming his move contravenes the terms of his release.

For at least the past two weeks, Van Gisbergen and his new team have been bracing for an injunction seeking to enforce a one-year non-compete clause.

The 23-year-old New Zealander quit V8 racing at the end of last season, citing burnout and personal issues, and was released from his renewed three-year contract with Stone Brothers Racing.

But just weeks after his release, a condition of which was that he could not race for another V8 team until 2014 if he decided to return, Van Gisbergen signed with the family owned Tekno Autosports Holden team.

His about-face angered fans and prompted his former team boss Ross Stone to publicly criticise him, declaring: ”SBR is considering its legal position and whether it is worthwhile holding [Van Gisbergen] to his promises.”

SBR has since become Erebus Motorsport under the ownership of wealthy property developer Betty Klimenko, who has switched the team from Ford Falcons to new Mercedes-Benz AMGs.

Klimenko is known to be furious with Van Gisbergen over his defection and there has been widespread conjecture in V8 Supercars that she is determined to enforce the one-year sabbatical he was granted even if it means a bitter legal battle.

Erebus Motorsport chief executive Ryan Madison declined to confirm or deny that the team was planning to serve an injunction on Van Gisbergen before practice for the Adelaide 500 begins on Friday.

”I’m not at liberty to discuss that,” Madison said.

However, he confirmed Erebus supported the dismay expressed by former team owner Stone – who has remained in a senior management position – over Van Gisbergen’s U-turn.

”We’re not happy about how he has conducted himself,” Madison said. ”We don’t think it’s good for the sport. We share Ross’ disillusionment, absolutely.”

Tekno Autosports driver/co-owner Jonathon Webb would not comment on whether his team expected Van Gisbergen’s position to be legally challenged. ”I’m not in a position to say anything,” he said. ”It’s a touchy situation.”

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Thompson, Robson the likely fall guys

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AMID the trauma he has endured in the past three weeks, Essendon president David Evans has learnt plenty. In revealing a costly and detailed review of his club he admitted he has questioned himself and his own performance at the club he vowed to rebuild.
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And although he has learnt some terrible things about what took place at his football club last year, Evans is holding fast to one relationship he sees as crucial to the Bombers’ future: his bond with James Hird.

One year ago the Bombers’ leader admitted there were risks attached to chairing a football club when one of your closest mates is the coach, but he could not have foreseen this.

On Wednesday, in announcing Dr Ziggy Switkowski’s review of his club, Evans said his relationship with Hird had not been challenged in the recent nightmare. If anything, he insisted, they had worked more closely in navigating the revelations that Essendon had become dysfunctional and was being investigated for using performance-enhancing drugs.

‘‘I feel strong,’’ he said, ‘‘I feel there’s a way through this. I feel we will be a better and stronger club for the experience even though what we uncover might be some things that are not good for football.’’

And since that extraordinary press conference in early February Evans has become aware of two key factors since he announced Essendon had reported itself to ASADA and the AFL. One is that the anti-doping agency will take several months to investigate the club – months  in which Evans could be taking decisive action regarding his club’s administrative practices and personnel. Clearly there has to be change and change cannot wait.

The other he would not detail yesterday but related to some disturbing practices that have taken place without his knowledge. Nor, and this is damning for chief executive Ian Robson,  was the administration aware of these practices.

At least three 2012 Essendon players have confirmed to football officials that they were injected in the stomach by Stephen Dank twice a week over a three-month period last season. Those players also named two senior coaches who participated in this supplements program. Dank has alleged those coaches’ supplements were ‘‘a little bit outside’’ the WADA code.

Evans says he has not questioned his coaches because he does not want to compromise the investigation. But it is that allegation that has proved a festering sore inside the club.

At least two coaches at the club are not happy with being smeared  by  the innuendo. Only Mark Thompson has publicly denied his involvement.

Former Essendon captain Matthew Lloyd two weeks ago on Channel Nine called on any coaches who did receive such injections – legal or not – to come forward to ease the tension, but the AFL and the Coaches’ Association won’t go anywhere near the topic.

Thompson has been in denial on several fronts, far less convincingly on Fox Footy on Monday night when he  tried again to play down his authority at Essendon over the past two years. The fact is that for all his coaching brilliance so crucial for the untried Hird, Thompson has had far too big a say in off-field issues and his failure to follow  administrative practices in his zeal to improve and fast-track the Bombers’ fortunes was one reason Paul Hamilton’s position as football boss became untenable.

Thompson was not the only culprit, but there’s no doubt the football department became increasingly cavalier. And there seems little doubt that Thompson pushed for the appointment of Dean Robinson and, by extension, Dank, both of whom were given an irresponsibly long leash. Inexcusable when you consider the players and careers at risk.

Thompson therefore is unlikely to survive and will probably fall on his sword before the year’s end.

Robson, though, must emerge as the most likely scalp. Evans insists this review is not about individuals, rather processes, but given the president admitted his lack of comfort with some ‘‘irregular practices and processes’’ and has been prepared to go to such lengths to uncover ‘‘what failed us’’ surely the buck must stop with the chief executive. For all his expertise in sponsorship and government relations, Robson clearly had no idea of what was taking place in the club’s core business – football.

This is a far cry from the Peter Jackson era. This disaster would not have taken place on his watch. Those players who emerged from last year’s Windy Hill laboratory could have done with a control freak like him.

Evans will survive because the AFL is backing him and he seems to have done everything right since his US sabbatical. James Hird, who is shocked and chastened by people he trusted and how he allowed this to happen, appears likely to survive.  But Evans should be asking himself whether such a close friendship between coach and president was healthy for Essendon.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Federal Liberal hopeful dumped

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THE federal Liberal Party has suffered a blow with the loss of its endorsed candidate for the seat of Isaacs in Melbourne’s south-east.
Nanjing Night Net

Liberal Party state director Damien Mantach confirmed to Fairfax on Wednesday night that business consultant Jeff Shelley was no longer the endorsed candidate for Isaacs, held by federal Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus.

Only minutes earlier, Mr Shelley insisted to Fairfax that he was the endorsed candidate. ”I am not aware that the party is considering disendorsing me,” he said.

He later called to also repeat the party’s official line that due to unforseen personal circumstances he had withdrawn his nomination for the seat held by Labor with a 10.4 per cent buffer.

Both the party and Mr Shelley refused to discuss the nature of the personal reasons for his withdrawal.

But party sources from the south-east said there were mounting concerns about Mr Shelley’s former employment with troubled Brighton-based solar panels installation company Cool World.

The company is under administration.

Mr Shelley confirmed he had worked as a sales support officer for Cool World for 10 months but he had left in January after the company failed to pay him for weeks.

He denied any knowledge of the company’s finances otherwise. ”I wasn’t privy to the financials of the organisation at all.”

Mr Shelley confirmed that he previously mentioned his Cool World employment on his LinkedIn page but had removed any reference to the company.

He said the timing of his withdrawal from the election race and any difficulties faced by Cool World were ”purely coincidental”.

He also contested Isaacs in 2004 and ran unsuccessfully for the Victorian Liberals against the Steve Bracks-led ALP in 2006.

On Wednesday night Mr Mantach said Mr Shelley’s replacement, Garry Spencer, spent over 20 years in the Australian Defence Force, reaching the rank of lieutenant-colonel and has had a successful career in the IT industry. He was also made a member of the Order of Australia.

”He will take up the fight to Labor and highlight the Coalition’s plan,” Mr Mantach said.

Election pundits both within the Coalition and outside doubt the party is likely to attract the kind of swing required to take a seat like Isaacs, despite performing strongly in recent opinion polls.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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