Monthly Archives: October 2018

Cats catch Tiger

NEW STRIPES: New Osborne coach Matt Rava (right) tries on the colours of the Cats with club official Shayne Weidemann. Picture: Les SmithSame colours, different stripes.Same job, different league.
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New Osborne coach, Matt Rava,said he’s excited by the challenge that lies aheadafter signing withthe Hume League powerhouse.

The former Wagga Tigers mentor is looking forward to a fresh startbut can’t shake a familiar feeling about the Cats.

“The list at Osborne is very similar to what Tigers have had and I think there’s success on the horizon, not too far away,” Rava said.

“I’m looking forward to getting there as quickly as we can.”

Rava was dumped as coach of Tigers after taking the club to within four points of a grand final appearance in his second season.

“Obviously it was pretty disappointing because I put a lot of time and effort into getting the group up and about, but that’s football,” he said.

“I’ve really enjoyed the coaching over the last couple of years and I’d like to think I’m getting better at it as I go.”

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James Longworth was at his ‘weakest point’ when he punched bouncer Fady Taiba

Bouncer Fady Taiba leaves Downing Centre District Court during the trial of James Longworth. Photo: James Brickwood James Ian Longworth (centre), on trial for hitting bouncer Fady Taiba, leaves Downing Centre District Court. Photo: James Brickwood
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With the death of his father playing on his mind, and thoughts of his grieving mother, James Longworth said he was at the “weakest point” in his life when he punched a bouncer outside a Sydney bar.

“I remember thinking I wanted to hit him and it was spontaneous,” Mr Longworth told Downing Centre District Court on Tuesday.

“I just remember feeling the impact of the punch and just being in disbelief that I hit him.”

Mr Longworth, who went to school at Cranbrook and studied business at university, told the court what happened in the lead-up to punching Fady Taiba​, who had refused him entry to Bar 333 in central Sydney on September 6, 2013.

The 34-year-old said his father died in June, just as he was preparing to move from London back to Sydney to be at his bedside.

His family found out a crematorium had lost his father’s ashes on Thursday September 5, and he was still feeling devastated after work on Friday.

“I was heartbroken. I’d missed seeing dad while I was overseas and even though he’d been cremated, I hated the thought of never being able to visit him and just him being lost.”

Mr Longworth said he had 10 schooners of beer at the Concourse Bar, near Wynyard station, before he and his friends moved to Bar 333.

At the entrance, Mr Taiba refused him entry in a “laughing tone” because he was stumbling, he said.

“I just got overwhelmed with sadness about dad. I just lashed out.”

Mr Longworth has pleaded not guilty to intentionally inflicting grievous bodily harm on Mr Taiba, arguing his state of mind at the time meant he did not form an intention to seriously injure him.

Under cross-examination from Crown prosecutor John Pickering, SC, Mr Longworth insisted he didn’t intend to hurt Mr Taiba, who suffered a broken jaw, a fractured eye socket, and required brain surgery after the punch.

“It was panic. I was overwhelmed. I thought I wanted to hit Mr Taiba when I normally would have [been] reserved. It was just a lash out when I normally wouldn’t have lashed out.

“The thought process did not go beyond wanting to hit Mr Taiba.”

Mr Pickering suggested the link between his grief and the punch was made up.

“It was real, I would never act that way normally and I was truly overwhelmed. I’d never felt anything like it before. I just couldn’t breathe … I lashed out,” Mr Longworth said.

Mr Pickering asked: “How do you deal with the grief of your father by striking another man, can you explain that?”

“There’s no explanation,” Mr Longworth replied.

The trial continues before Judge Richard Cogswell.

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Opal takeover: Seniors reluctant to switch from paper tickets

Out the door: TravelTen tickets won’t be sold from January 1. Opal card. Photo: James Alcock
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The Gold Opal card available to seniors still entitles cardholders to a $2.50 pensioner excursion fare.

About 200,000 pensioners and senior commuters are yet to make the shift to Opal cards, just over two months from the end of the sale of most paper tickets for public transport in NSW.

Under government plans to move to a single ticketing system, the sale of 57 types of paper tickets for public transport will cease on January 1. While about 200,000 had yet to make the switch, Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the fact about 480,000 seniors had signed up to Gold Opal cards showed that the paperless ticketing system was working well.

“For seniors in particular, [the Opal card means] less time queuing up at a train station. Now that we are close to half a million seniors, I think that is quite a successful outcome,” he said on Tuesday.

Those paper tickets that will no longer be sold from January 1 include the popular TravelTen for buses, Pensioner Excursion Ticket and Family Funday Sunday tickets.

The Gold Opal card that is available to seniors, pensioners and war widows still entitles cardholders to a $2.50 pensioner excursion fare.

Community groups say pensioners remain reluctant to ditch paper tickets for Opal cards because they find the technology confronting, harbour concerns about linking the card to their bank accounts or have privacy concerns.

“What we are hearing is that lots of people have tried it and find it quite difficult to use,” said Amelia Christie, manager of research and advocacy at the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association. “The feeling is that Opal is good but people should have the choice to use paper tickets and Opal.”

However, Mr Constance said it would be a waste of taxpayer resources to continue operating two ticketing systems in the state.

In an effort to encourage more seniors to make the switch, commuters will now be able to obtain and top up Opal cards at eight Service NSW centres. However, the top-up machines in the service centres will mostly be in regional centres, including Gosford, Newcastle, Kiama and Wollongong and Bathurst.

The government is yet to reveal how it will transition school children to a paperless ticketing system but Mr Constance signalled that an announcement would be made shortly.

About 4 million Opal cards have been issued since the system began on Sydney ferries in December 2012. The government is keeping adult and concession single or return paper tickets for trains, ferries and light rail, and single tickets for buses.

Asked whether he was closer to scrapping single and return paper tickets, Mr Constance said the government had made it clear that it would keep them in place in an effort to cater for tourists and people from regional NSW who did not have Opal cards.

In London, the ticketing system allows commuters to pay for journeys on public transport directly via contactless credit cards.

“Around the world we are seeing other advances in the technology. Ultimately it would be nice to swipe a mobile phone or move to account-based ticketing,” Mr Constance said. “We are now in the early stages of this but ultimately this is a card which is only going to further expand in terms of the technological offerings.”

While the minister has tasked Transport for NSW to look into account-based ticketing, he conceded that there were challenges to overcome regarding security, verification of users and software.

He declined to put a figure on the cost to the government of rolling out a system that allowed commuters to pay via their credit cards or mobile phones. “Anything we are trying to do with ticketing systems, you need to recoup through fares,” he said, adding that he did not believe the cost would be prohibitive.

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Things I wish I knew about setting up my iPhone 6s (before I lost half a day setting up my iPhone 6s)

Customers queue outside the Sydney Apple store for the release of the iPhone 6s. Photo: Nick Moir The new iPhone 6s Plus in rose gold. Photo: Melissa Singer
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Fans brave wet as iPhone 6s and 6s Plus go on saleApple responds to iPhone 6s battery controversyFull Digital Life coverage

When it comes to technology, there are early adopters (ie those mad people who will stand in the rain outside a store for days to get their fix) and what I like to call normal people.

I am usually one of the last people in my peer group to get the latest It Phone. To illustrate, I was still using a Blackberry Bold long after the first iPhone was already growing barnacles. But a serendipitous turn of events – aka the end of my iPhone 5s contract – meant I got my hands on an iPhone 6s Plus reasonably close to the release date.

Normally, I would consider myself a techonogically-savvy human. But armed with my iPhone 5s, my newly-minted iPhone 6s Plus (rose gold, 128GB, natch) and my home computer, I was reduced to a blithering mess.

After wrestling for five hours with my new toy, I finally got the familiar sight of my partner and dog on the home screen.

Is it faster than the 5s? Too early to say. Did I try the new 3D feature? No, I was too damned tired.

Before nodding off, I jotted down three key things about setting up the iPhone 6s (or 6s Plus) that I wish I had known before I lost an entire evening doing it.

1. Update the software on your old iPhone

It sounds simple (in hindsight, of course) that your two phones – old and new – will need to speak the same language.

I had put off upgrading my iPhone 5s software to iOS 9 for weeks. Turns out this was a bad move.

I backed up my iPhone 5s (running iOS 8.4, an embarrassing admission to any tech-heads reading this) to iTunes and was all ready to restore the backup to my new baby.

But the 6s Plus had other ideas. No matter how many times I seemed to perform the backup-restore tango, the 6s Plus still wanted more.

After five futile attempts, the lightbulb went off (OK, I read something on a Mac users’ forum). You can’t put a 2015 engine in a 2002 car and expect it to run smoothly, so it’s important your two phones are both running the same software before you can expect them to whisper sweet nothings to one another.

The fix? Update your old phone to iOS 9 before performing your final backup.

Time wasted: two hours

2. The backup password is the VERY first password set on your iTunes account

Trust me when I tell you this is the single most important thing you will read about setting up your iPhone 6s (other than how to turn the damn thing on). I could have cooked a lamb shoulder in the time it took me to sort out this riddle.

We are always being told to change our passwords to make them more alpha-numeric and hack-proof (ie not “1234qwerty” or “password”), so it would make sense that the password to protect The Entire Contents of Our Most Used Gadget would be up to date. Not so.

I was all set to restore my iPhone 5s backup to Miss 6s Plus (the rose gold ones are female, obviously), when it asked me for a special backup password. Say what?

Overcome with the sinking feeling that I don’t remember setting a special backup password, I set about trying to crack it.

First, I tried my current iTunes password. Rejected. Then my iPhone passcode. Nada. Then about 10 permutations of my most commonly used passwords. Zip.

After some furious searching, I learned that despite all the advancements in password technology, in some nostalgic quirk, iTunes wants the very first password you set for your iTunes account. Ex-partners’ birthdays, dead pets’ names, anniversaries of relationships long expired – they are all possible candidates. Be prepared for some awkward moments.

The fix? Cast your mind back, way back. And as soon as you’re able, change the encrypted password to something you can actually remember.

Time wasted: 1.5 hours

3. The iPhone 6s Plus is big. Very big

Compared to the diminutive 5s, the iPhone 6s Plus is a monster. And playing with it in the store does little to prepare you for its size when you actually go to use it.

Men will find slipping it in to a pocket a whole lot more cumbersome, and there aren’t too many handbags with a side pocket that’s the right size (although this could spell the need for a new handbag – or two).

As a one-handed texter, the 6s Plus is more than a handful, and I have slightly larger than average lady hands.

But on the plus-side, unlike with the transition from iPhone 4 to 5, at least Apple has had the decency to keep the chargers the same size, so you can continue the common pastime of collecting – then losing – charging cords.

The fix? Get used to texting with two hands and buy yourself a sturdy case, ol’ fumble-fingers.

Time wasted? one minute per text message (in lost multi-tasking opportunity)

Do you have any iPhone 6s wisdom to share? Login and post a comment below.

Melissa Singer is weekend news director for The Age.

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