No longer just tough shells for your noggin, the humble bicycle helmet has recently been kitted out with turn signals, walkie talkies, blind spot detection systems and bone-conduction speakers. Now an Australian startup called Cyclevision has revealed the Edge, a helmet sporting front- and back-facing cameras to let riders watch for danger or record their adventures.
Feb 20, 2018 - Ust-Kamenogorsk, a city in eastern Kazakhstan with a population of more than 300,000, is a must visit destination for someone starting his or her journey through the country. It offers both historic insight and a pleasant vacation near the beautiful Rudny Altai Mountains, canyons and beaches writes Assel Satubaldina in Tourism on 19 February 2018 for The Astana Star
Located where the Ulba and Irtysh rivers merge, Ust-Kamenogorsk was founded in 1720 as a fort linking the then-Russian empire to Asia and decades later became an important trade centre connecting the empire to Mongolia and China. The territory was found to possess significant natural resources, primarily non-ferrous metals including uranium, lead, zinc, copper, gold, silver and rare metals. Strelka.
The city is now a major industrial centre situated near key strategic facilities, including the Ulba metallurgy plant, which also hosts the IAEA low-enriched uranium bank launched last year; Kazzinc plant, a leading zinc producer; Ust-Kamenogorsk titanium and magnesium plant and Bipek Avto-Azia Avto, Kazakhstan’s largest automobile company. The region also hosts numerous thermoelectric power stations and five hydropower plants.
Locals and foreigners take advantage of the city’s setting near high mountains, rivers and lakes during snowy winters and hot summers, especially since the region has more than 40 percent of the nation’s total water reservoirs including Bukhtarma, one of the country’s largest.
In summer, one can enjoy a pleasant vacation near sandy beaches at good quality and decent prices that are increasingly attracting tourists from abroad. Some guests own houses, while others rent them starting from 5,000 tenge (US$15.50) per day. The city is approximately an hour from the nearest vacation zone, where breathtaking scenery via steep serpentine roads can add a bit of enjoyment and adrenaline to one’s journey.
In winter, the region’s ski resorts and centres welcome visitors with their snowy hills equipped for beginners and the more experienced. Prices are relatively inexpensive compared to the popular Shymbulak Resort in Almaty.
Ust-Kamenogorsk itself has a variety of sightseeing options to offer its guests. Walking along the river embankment is a “must” to see the confluence of the two rivers, more commonly known as Strelka (which can be translated as confluence from Russian).
The city also boasts the Victory Memorial and eternal flame honouring victims of the Great Patriotic War, where people continue to lay flowers to pay tribute to veterans and victims.
Ethno Park, on the left bank of the Irtysh, is another highlight, as it provides a glance into Kazakhstan’s history and its cultural and ethnic diversity. The park has a house and exhibits which belonged to different ethnicities who once lived and continue to reside in Kazakhstan. One can visit a Kazakh yurt and Russian, Ukrainian, Korean, German, Armenian and Azerbaijani houses and yards.
A Hollywood-like Kazakhstan sign situated on Ablaketka Mountain, 522 metres above sea level, is another famous site. Many weddings and dates make a point of visiting this charming spot and enjoying the panoramic view. Ust-Kamenogorsk has an international airport, so travel should not be a problem. Though at present the international network route includes only Antalya, Moscow and Novosibirsk, regular flights and trains connect the city to the capital and Almaty as well as other Kazakh regions.
Feb 19, 2018 - Italian growers make up the first of several delegations to travel to New Zealand this season. Zespri has hosted the first of its technical tour groups for the 2018 season, with a contingent of 20 Italian growers finishing up their six-day tour of New Zealand this week.
His systems implementation lesson remains to be learned.
Gordon Hogg who died recently personified the era in which New Zealand could lay claim to be among the most advanced nations, if not the most advanced, in terms of large scale networked computerisation.
At the cusp of the 1960s/70s Gordon Hogg as the head of Databank implemented the world’s first nationwide bank cheque clearing system. From the outset it worked to specification and became for a generation the country’s pre-eminent technological showcase.
It was owned and run by the clearing banks of the era and for almost its entire existence was under the unchallenged direction of Mr Hogg.
He was New Zealand’s first technocrat. A big-picture man he had taken a number of bold decisions and foremost among them was to engage IBM as supplier instead of Burroughs (now Unisys) which was then the recognised banking supplier.
From his eerie atop Databank House in Boulcott Street, he also established Wellington’s first US-style corporate office.
Eschewing the conventional desk centrepiece Mr Hogg arranged himself around a lavish hotel suite layout, thus eliminating the desk barrier which office psychologists were starting to identify as an obstacle to the free exchange of ideas.
Outside were arrayed his lieutenants, all specialists in their fields.
Possessed of matinee idol good looks, imposing height, and a suave yet friendly manner Mr Hogg’s personality permeated this, for New Zealand, very large organisation.
He ran it as a benevolent fiefdom.
On one occasion his own house was under re-decoration and one of the tradespeople without knowing who Hogg was confessed that what he really wanted to do was work in the computer sector.
Admiring the young man’s craftsmanship, Hogg put him into a career at Databank.
The question raised to this day by Databank is this. How did such a gigantic and pioneering computerised set-up perform as it should have done from the get-go?
Other subsequent and far less innovative institutional large scale networked systems in contrast continue to stutter and stall at implementation with each party blaming the other for non-performance.
In the cool mists of time we can now define some indicators.
The central one is Gordon Hogg’s surprise selection of IBM as the supplier.
At this time IBM globally had in the slogan of the era “bet the company” on the success of its 360 mainframe series, quite different from anything that had gone before.
Gordon Hogg always knew that IBM therefore had to guarantee the success of what would become a central global reference site for this very series.
In other words, IBM would have to keep its feet to the fire and always be ready in terms of deploying its high-level technical expertise onto the project as and when it was required.
There would be no distractions. No dilution of available expertise then or in the future.
“Big systems, doing big things,” was a Gordon Hogg motto and as it turned out, a highly workable one.
Feb 16, 2018 - Five months after it was requested under the Official Information Act, Callaghan Innovation has now released its 2016/17 entertainment expenses. The bill increased from the previous year, going from $304,675 to $308,969.
There are a few things that BMW is very good at, and one of those is providing plenty of get-go in a beautiful package. The new-generation 5 Series is a great sedan to start with, but add in the goodness of a twin-turbo V8 and there's even more to love about this beautiful sedan.