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Sep 19, 2011

Smartcompany News & Analysis: How to lift your personal productivity, Dispute brings down firm behind Shane Warne undies label, Auto parts chain sold for $148m,

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Today on SmartCompany we examine the investor dispute that has brought down the company behind Shane Warne’s underwear label, talk to the co-founder of auto parts chain Bursons, who has sold his business to private equity for $148 million, and extract five lessons from the pricing debacle that has seen the value of US video business Netflix halve in the space of a few weeks. Plus in Entrepreneur Watch, James Thomson has a sure-fire vote winner for the Government as it prepares for the Tax Forum.

For all this and more, head to our home page.

Top Story
How to boost your personal productivity
Feeling overwhelmed with mounting tasks, responsibilities and projects? It's time to wrestle back control of your life. BY LEON GETTLER.
Boost productivity

Legal Update
High Court to clarify adverse action law
The first time the adverse action provisions of the Fair Work Act will be heard in the High Court is looming. BY PETER VITALE.
Legal Update

Aunty B
My retail business is really struggling. What should I do?
What you should not be doing is exactly what you are doing: waiting for a miracle. Miracles are few and far between in business.
Aunty B

People problems
Eve Ash

We all have a slightly different concept of where the boundaries lie in terms of what constitutes appropriate conversation.
Eve Ash

Brand
Michel Hogan

Brand is not a subset of marketing, so don’t treat it like one.
Michel Hogan

Enterprise Leadership
Dennis Roberts

Entrepreneurs are some of the most challenging yet rewarding clients a professional coach may attract.
Dennis Roberts

Entrepreneur Watch
James Thomson

If Julia Gillard wants to start to turn her SME approval ratings around, there’s one bit of business tax reform everyone will applaud.
James Thomson

S&P downgrades Italy one notch to A: MarketWatch - Market Pulse



By Sarah Turner
 
SYDNEY (MarketWatch) -- Ratings agency Standard & Poor's said late Monday that it has cut its unsolicited long- and short-term sovereign credit ratings by one notch on the Republic of Italy to A/A-1 from A+/A-1+, with a negative outlook. "The downgrade reflects our view of Italy's weakening economic growth prospects and our view that Italy's fragile governing coalition and policy differences within parliament will likely continue to limit the government's ability to respond decisively to the challenging domestic and external macroeconomic environment," S&P said. "We think that the government's projection of 60 billion euros [$81.6 billion] of savings may not come to fruition," it said.

The Australian IT: Cisco in local jobs purge to cut costs

Cisco in local jobs purge to cut costs

Cisco has cut more than a hundred jobs in Australia as part of its effort to trim excess weight from its operating costs.

Windsor calls, Kaiser hops on to it

Mike Kaiser
Mike Kaiser's plum $450,000 job involves him being on call for the constituent concerns of independent MP Tony Windsor.

E-health records worry Australians

medic
MORE than 80 per cent of Australians with sensitive medical information are concerned about the shift to electronic records.

ACMA changes spectrum auctions

telstra
ACMA will use a new auction system to re-farm spectrum from the digital broadcasting switchover for 4G mobile broadband services.

Too many net voices drown each other

google
Some of the big industry players are pulling out of Australia's peak internet body.

Skills crunch in mainframes

IBM System Z10 mainframe
MORE than 80 per cent of Australian and New Zealand mainframe customers are concerned about systems management staffing.

Speedscan bags NSW tech contract

Barry O'Farrell
THE O'Farrell government has awarded one of its first technology contracts since it swept into power in NSW.

Touch-screen ads to enliven bus stops

JCDecaux ad
Bus stop touch screens, footpath-level digital games and cinema picture walls are set to revolutionise street advertising in Australia.

Devil in the detail for NLA project

Cathy Pilgrim with old copies of Women's Weekly
NLA's project to digitise Australian newspapers and make them available online required both specialised knowledge and equipment.

Content, cloud need reform

Stephen Conroy
COPYRIGHT and cloud computing are key areas in need of regulatory reform for Australia to become a networked society.

Internode signs up with LogMeIn

computer
Internode will allow its helpdesk staff access customers' computers, tablets and smartphones in its drive to improve services.

Google's electronic wallet to go live

Google Wallet
GOOGLE is ready to open its smartphone wallet to the public.

Bargain goods, but watch the warranty

David Frith
WANT to acquire an Apple iPad at cut price?

Resistance far from useless

Battleing the evil Chimera in Resistance 3
Insomniac Games has been plumbing the funky, multi-processor innards of the Sony PlayStation 3 since the device launched in 2006.

Touch and go for Microsoft's latest

Windows 8 screenshots
Windows 8 appears to work well, but its true value will depend on the price

Toshiba innovation less than perfect

JAPAN-ELECTRONICS-TECHNOLOGY-3D-COMPANY-TOSHIBA
Toshiba's WL800A TV range boasts a feature that would leave Nineteen Eighty-Four author George Orwell spinning in his grave.

iiNet commits to NBN from $50 a month

NBN
BROADBAND provider iiNET will not be dragged into a price war with Telstra and Optus when NBN retail services go live.

Duncan to drive Pronto retail

Pronto Software manager Stephen Duncan
MELBOURNE'S Pronto Software has picked Stephen Duncan for the role of retail and CRM product manager.

Digital remedy for SA hospital

Royal Adelaide Hospital
HEWLETT-PACKARD has signed a deal to design, build and maintain most of the digital infrastructure for Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Trusted identities model for security

Anthony Wong
PAUL began an online relationship with "Selina" from Ghana, but had no idea that she and her accomplices would fleece him.

Food services go hi-tech

PFD Food Services CIO Richard Cohen
RICHARD Cohen is driven by a vision to use technology to shape business better.

Adept offers a heavenly cloud system

Steve Clark
Go virtual and cut hardware is the oft-heard mantra of the virtualisation vendors.

ACMA to auction 4G spectrum

Broadband
THE communications regulator is expected to reveal long-awaited details of its plan to auction 4G digital spectrum.

iiNet unveils NBN pricing

Steve Dalby
IINET has unveiled its pricing plans for the National Broadband Network, starting at $49.95.

Rudd shows tweet can go a long way

Kevin Rudd
KEVIN Rudd last week hit the one million mark with Twitter followers.

Data overload set to change buying

Harold Mitchell
THE process of planning and buying media advertising will be fully automated within five years.

Myer's online operation booming

Myer CEO Bernie Brooks
MYER chief executive Bernie Brookes says the upmarket department store's online sales are tripling each week.

Twitter lags as marketing tool

twitter
TWITTER is proving a poor platform for driving readers to print news websites.

Social media whirl far from child's play

Facebook and kids
ONLINE etiquette a must for the young.

Privacy of patients breached

Medicare
PATIENT privacy has been compromised in the federal government's bid to control health spending.

Papers' battle of the crocs goes viral

Crocodile
IT was the newspaper contest that launched a thousand internet hits, with The Northern Territory News taking on The Cairns Post.

Samsung files counter claim against Apple

Samsung Galaxy 10.1
SAMSUNG has hit back at Apple, filing a cross claim in the Federal Court in Sydney citing patent breaches in its mobile devices.

From webcam L-platers to internet stars

You tube grandparents
AN elderly couple's attempts to operate their newly-installed laptop webcam has launched them unwittingly to internet super-stardom.

Poor sales hurt RIM

BlackBerry Playbook
SHARES in Research In Motion fell sharply after it reported a drop in net profit.

Programmed for passion

Bill McDermott
SAP co-CEO Bill McDermott says happiness is the key to running the enterprise software giant.

Struggling rivals gang up on Google

Microsft Yahoo / AFP
Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL plan to band together to sell ads on each other's sites.

Shares drop as RIM disappoints

110916 Blackberry
SHARES in Blackberry maker Research in Motion plunged 11 per cent after its quarterly results missed market expectations.

Potential buyers size up Yahoo

aus bus pix Yahoo
YAHOO has been contacted by potential bidders for some or all of the internet company, sources say.

Media probe may vet the ABC

Conroy
ABC website The Drum and SBS online could find themselves scrutinised by the government's media inquiry.

Optus in smartphone battle

Optus strikes back in the smartphone battle
OPTUS has signalled a major upgrade to its mobile network to support its customers' explosive hunger for smartphones.

Myer's bet: build web and they'll come

Myer
MYER is spending $9m on a new website that is expected to generate up to $40m in annual sales revenue.

E-health push to give stars false IDs

E-health
CELEBRITIES, politicians and victims of domestic violence will be given fake identities to prevent hacking into their medical records.

Register could cut drug abuse

Painkillers
SOFTWARE is on trial that warns pharmacists not to dispense addictive medication to drug addicts.

Westfield iPhone app in privacy fiasco

Westfield Find My Car
WESTFIELD has temporarily pulled Find My Car from its iPhone app after a security analyst showed he could monitor all cars in a shopping centre.

Cyber co-operation added to defence treaty

cyber safety
US and Australian officials have decided to include cooperation on cybersecurity as part of their defence treaty.

Optus to roll out 4G network

Optus
OPTUS will start rolling out its fourth generation (4G) mobile services next year following a trial which begins next month.

Microsoft sees future in cloud

Steve Ballmer Imagine Cup
MICROSOFT is pivoting to cloud computing from traditional computing, part of a sweeping revision of its business model.

Facebook IPO late 2012: report

facebook
FACEBOOK has set the later part of 2012 as the time for its much anticipated IPO, the Financial Times has reported.

Rudd guru slams NBN monopoly

NBN logo
KEY planks of the NBN business case are anti-competitive and will send Australia backwards, an economist has warned.

Stories to make Apple founder cry

Mike Daisey
PERFORMER Mike Daisey's work addresses Steve Jobs and the world his company created.

Qantas to offer takeaway movies

qantas
THE frustration of having a movie cut off prematurely when a flight lands may become a thing of the past.

Google rivals start their engines

John Durie
SLOWLY but surely global anti-trust regulators are clamping down on Google.

Viewers find net TV fetching

iiNet Michael Malone
TELECOMS and broadband supplier iiNet has doubled the number of internet TV customers in the past two months.

Dell unveils $US5bn buyback

Michael Dell
DELL has approved a plan to buy back up to $US5 billion in stock, or about a fifth of its current market value.

HTC's 3D smartphone launched

HTC Evo 3D smartphone
HTC today has released its 3D camera phone in Australia. It's the second phone locally that lets users create and view 3D content.

Microsoft showcases Windows 8

Microsoft Windows 8 Preview
MICROSOFT has pulled back the curtain on Windows 8 which is designed to power not only PCs but also rivals to Apple's iPad.

Cochlear facing six-year low

nucleaus 5 - cochlear
COCHLEAR'S recall of its Nucleus 5 hearing device could see the company post its weakest full-year earnings in six years.

Local authors join online book lawsuit

Books
AUSTRALIAN authors have joined a legal action against five US universities accused of "abducting" more than seven million books

NBN will 'destroy' private firms

Senator Conroy
THE federal government has been accused of destroying private businesses installing broadband networks.

Oracle, Google chiefs face off

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison
ORACLE chief executive Larry Ellison and Google CEO Larry Page each plan to attend a face-to-face, court-ordered meeting.

E-health rebates ruled out

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Health Minister Nicola Roxon
HEALTH Minister Nicola Roxon has flatly ruled out paying for doctors to create and maintain e-health records.

Sharrock takes tech role at Alcatel

Alcatel-Lucent Chief Technology Officer Martin Sharrock
Alcatel-Lucent has appointed Martin Sharrock as its chief technology officer for Australia and New Zealand.

Motion sensor offers possibilities

Norm Judah
MICROSOFT is seen as clunky when it comes to interface design.

CIO gets busy as Qantas embraces BYOD

Paul Jones
Qantas is to unveil an end-user computing blueprint that will allow workers to connect their own devices to the corporate network.

Flying by wireless still up in the air

David Frith
QANTAS and Virgin Australia are gingerly edging closer to offering inflight internet connections to their Down Under travellers.

Don't let view of PM colour vote: Thodey

David Thodey
TELSTRA's boss has told shareholders not to let their feelings about the government influence their vote on the deal with NBN Co.

Health records rollout 'lacking'

Medicare e-health plan
The Medical Software Industry Association warns that the Gillard government's e-health records rollout is a "standards-free zone".

Technology wages defy economic gloom

110726c
Economic uncertainty has not dampened tech sector salary growth.

Telstra, Google exit IIA

Microsoft
IT giants turn their back on the Internet Industry Association.

Tassie may win via green Google

Google
GOOGLE will develop new data centres in locations with a high percentage of renewable energy use.

Body scanners 'are not foolproof'

Scanner
Anthony Albanese was warned by US security advisers that body scanners could not reliably detect home-made explosives.

Windows latest set to adapt for apps

Microsoft
MICROSOFT is this week expected to fire the starter gun on marketing its newest operating system, Windows 8.

Banker appointed to NSW ICT board

John Baird
THE NSW government has appointed Deutsche Bank Australia's John Baird as the sole private sector representative on its ICT board.

Carmakers want in on the cloud

smartphone
NEW apps for phones and tablets that communicate with and analyse the performance of cars were available overseas last year.

Brick-and-click shopfront urged

Vacuum Spot owner Alec Nelson
AUSTRALIAN retailers must urgently exploit their home-ground advantage by adopting an integrated "bricks-and-clicks" model.