Bali ash cloud; Insurance cost

first_imgPhoto: AP The ongoing eruption of Mount Ruang to the north-west of Bali has brought into sharp focus the importance of travel insurance and the problem airlines –particularly low cost – have in dealing with such events.According to Natalie Ball, Director of www.Comparetravelinsurance.com.au the insurance industry is expecting up to 20,000 claims from the ash cloud disruptions and the total bill put earlier at $20 million could now – after a reassessment – top $80 million.And that is just the insurance cost and does not include the burden to airlines or holiday makers who were not insured.There is considerable confusion about the level of cover and the cut-off date for liability.For instance if you purchased your travel insurance before July 2nd, consider yourself lucky says Ms Ball. “Most travel insurers will not accept claims related to the Bali ash cloud from customers who bought their policy after July 2, and in some cases, July 3”And it’s important to note that the type of cover you buy makes all the difference.“Unlike basic policies, comprehensive policies do provide cancellation cover for unforeseen circumstances. A basic travel insurance policy does not generally provide cover for travel delays or cancellation. They are often medical only policies and are priced accordingly. However, many standard or comprehensive policies do provide cancellation cover and additional travel expenses incurred as a result of natural disasters.”Ms Ball said that “depending upon your chosen insurer, most travellers can expect all reasonable out-of-pocket expenses to be reimbursed. The major insurers have set-up dedicated teams to work on the event claim phone lines in order to separate these calls from the ‘business as usual’ calls so that customer calls are responded to as quickly as possible.”It is also important to contact your insurer before committing to additional costs and then keep those expenses to a minimum and hang on to your receipts says Ms Ball.Airlines have come in for criticism for the handling of the situation but they have been working with a series of major challenges. Firstly airlines – particularly low cost – are not staffed for emergencies like this and if they were the fares would be far higher. Compounding that issue is the nature of the volcanic eruption and the fickle winds.Unlike most volcanic eruptions Mount Ruang continues to erupt – instead of the typical profile of just one major eruption. The wind direction also changed often blowing the cloud back over Bali and its airport with little notice to airline operations departments.This led to airlines telling passengers to go to the airport and then cancelling the flight at the last minute sending stress levels to the edge.Both Jetstar and Virgin Australia however moved extra staff to Bali to help and also rostered additional staff to handle the phone traffic.Some passengers were also critical of Australia’s airlines for not flying when all others were in the air but Jetstar and Virgin Australia make no apology for that conservative stand.The airline’s position was backed up by Australia’s safety watchdog the Civil Aviation safety Authority which reissued and Airworthiness Bulletin on Monday July 13th which warned airlines to stay well clear of the ash cloud.The CASA AB said: “Flying through an ash cloud must be avoided by all means due to the extreme hazard it presents. Volcanic ash can cause extreme abrasion to all forward facing parts of the aircraft, to the extent that visibility through the windshields may be totally impaired, aerofoil and control surface leading edges severely damaged, airspeed indications become unreliable through blocking of the Pitot heads/static ports, and engines may even shut-down rapidly or lose power gradually, often only being detected when catastrophic performance loss has occurred.”And it added; “In addition to volcanic ash, volcanic eruption columns also contain many gases including water vapour, sulphur dioxide, chlorine, hydrogen sulphide and oxides of nitrogen. Following the eruption, oxidation and hydration, the sulphur dioxide forms sulphuric acid droplets. The resulting ash/acid mix is highly corrosive and can cause further damage to jet engines and pitting of windscreens.”Last year a Jetstar flight from Perth to Jakarta flew through volcanic ash at night that was not forecast and the airline was left with a $20 million damages bill.The most famous encounter with volcanic ash was in 1982 when British Airways flight BA9 on route from Kuala Lumpur to Perth encountered an ash cloud from the sudden eruption of Mt Galunggung, 110km south of Jakarta.The Boeing’s 747’s four engines quit promoting the now famous address from captain Eric Moody; “Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We have a small problem. All four engines have stopped. We are doing our damnedest to get them under control. I trust you are not in too much distress.”The 260 passengers and cabin crew aboard then endured a 15 minute terrifying ride as the pilots and flight engineer battled to get the plane’s engines back to life. The 747 descended from 37,000ft to 14,000 feet before the engines came back to life. According to Captain Moody they had 10 minutes left before ditching.last_img read more

High cost of foodborne illness

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Foodborne illness costs some states more than $350 per resident every year, according to a new study in the Journal of Food Protection.The Ohio State University study also provides an updated estimate of the total national cost of foodborne illness, up to $93.2 billion a year, an increase from $77.7 billion in 2012.The economic analysis is the first peer-reviewed study that provides comprehensive estimates of costs borne by individual states as a result of specific foodborne illnesses. It is designed to offer public health authorities localized information to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of food safety education efforts and other interventions, said investigator Robert Scharff.“It will give policymakers a tool to determine whether a particular intervention they’re using makes sense,” Scharff said. “It can also be used to determine what are the biggest food safety problems in a state and how to prioritize resources accordingly.”Scharff, an economist, is a scientist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.Costs vary between states for a number of reasons, Scharff said, including differences in:The incidence of foodborne illness. States with a higher population of older people or other higher-risk groups are more likely to have higher costs related to foodborne illness.Medical costs and economic productivity losses due to illness. Total hospital costs for foodborne illness in New Jersey, for example, are twice those in Maryland.Economic estimates of losses due to death or lost quality of life. Such estimates depend on average household income and similar factors.In the study, Scharff includes conservative cost estimates that don’t include losses associated with quality of life due to foodborne illness, which is the model typically used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as higher, or “enhanced,” estimates that include quality of life, a model typically used by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.Using the conservative model, he found that the average cost per case of foodborne illness ranged from $888 in West Virginia to $1,766 in the District of Columbia. Using the enhanced model, estimates of average cost per case ranged from $1,505 in Kentucky to $2,591 in Maryland. Those costs reflect a per-resident annual cost ranging from $133 to $391.In Ohio, the average cost per case ranged from $1,039 with the conservative model to $1,666 with the enhanced version, or $156 to $250 per resident every year.Nationally, Scharff calculated the total cost of foodborne illness to be $55.5 billion to $93.2 billion.Costs also vary depending on the type of foodborne illness.“The total cost and cost per resident estimates are ideally suited for a situation where a policymaker has limited resources and has to decide which pathogens to focus on at a more macro level,” Scharff said. “On the other hand, if you’re at the point where you’re actually considering different interventions, then the cost per case estimates would be most useful.”Using those figures, policymakers can weigh the cost of a foodborne illness prevention program against the potential cost per case of the illness to determine whether the program makes economic sense.For example, public health authorities in Ohio, which recently experienced an outbreak of botulism that resulted in at least 20 illnesses and one fatality, could use the data provided in the analysis to help determine whether additional food safety efforts should target this particular illness.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the annual number of foodborne botulism cases nationwide averages about 17, Scharff said.“In Ohio, we had 20 cases just from one outbreak,” Scharff said. “That’s still a small number, but the cost per case for botulism is huge, ranging from $1.3 million to $1.6 million per case in Ohio.Using the figures in the new study, the recent Fairfield County botulism outbreak will cost an estimated $26 million to $33 million. Given those numbers, and the fact that it was the second documented outbreak of botulism in Ohio in the last seven years associated with home-canned vegetables, policymakers may determine that putting more resources toward home canning food-safety education would make sense, Scharff said.The analysis does not include costs associated with foodborne illness pathogens identified in foods that are recalled or otherwise do not cause foodborne illness, Scharff said.The analysis does reflect the severity of different types of foodborne illness, Scharff said.For example, although Campylobacter is commonly found on raw chicken — some estimates indicate it is on nearly half of all chicken in the U.S. — it is killed easily during the cooking process, and when it does cause illness, just 1 in 10,000 die. On the other hand, although Listeria is less common, it is often associated with foods such as ice cream, lunchmeat and fresh produce that are not cooked, and when it does cause illness, the chance of dying is high — 1 in 6.“That’s a big difference,” Scharff said. “And that’s reflected in the cost per case figures — it’s why both Listeria and botulism are so high.”In Ohio and in most states across the nation, Salmonella would be a good pathogen to target, he said.“If you look at the numbers, the biggest problem is Salmonella,” Scharff said. “Norovirus is more common, but Salmonella has a very high incidence of illness and also has a relatively high cost associated with it.”Scharff hopes the analysis brings more attention to the seriousness of foodborne illness not only among policymakers but consumers as well.“These numbers reflect the fact that 1 out of every 6 people becomes ill every year from foodborne illness,” Scharff said. “That’s a pretty big number.”last_img read more

Bits of Destruction Hit the Book Publishing Business: Part 4

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… bernard lunn Tags:#NYT#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts center_img In this fourth part of our investigation into the ongoing changes in the book publishing business, we look at the author’s point of view. What are they getting today? What would they like to get? What can they reasonably expect to get as this drama unfolds? Authors are the creative juice of the whole eco-system. If they don’t create material that people want to read, no one will make any money.Their struggles in the old model have been well documented (of course, we should have expected them to write about their experiences): the starving writer up in the garret who uses rejection letters from publishers for wallpaper is an established literary hack. In the new world of print on demand, e-books and social media marketing, the author takes center stage. Those with an appetite for it can really take control of their work and commercial fortune.Part 4 in Our SeriesIn Part 1, we looked at the three big waves crashing down on the traditional book publishing business: Google Search, e-books, and print on demand. In Part 2, we tried a bit of science fiction, speculating on how this might play out for all participants: readers, authors, printers, publishers, retailers, and e-book device vendors. In Part 3, we looked at the economics of returnability and the impact of the Espresso Book Machine on the supply chain. In Part 4 here, we focus on authors, without whom we would have nothing to read.Narrative or Reference?The impact of digitization depends on the type of book you’re talking about:Narrative books, such as novels, biographies and other stories. The printed book is an ideal format for narrative books. Amazon had to recreate the print-reading experience to make the Kindle work for narrative books. Using an e-book device scores on many counts: choice, delivery, price (possibly), storage; but whether it beats the experience of reading a good old fashioned book is still unclear. In any case, narrative books are not well suited to typical online or mobile devices. Reading a novel on a laptop browser or iPhone is a degraded experience.Reference books, such as education, scientific/technical/medical, and business books. Historically, these have been squeezed into the book format because no better alternative existed. The online experience could be far better than print in this case. Online, you can search, link to related works, drill down into details, see and hear rich media, etc.Thus, we expect the impact of digitization will be much bigger and more immediate on reference books than on narrative books. Both will be affected, but reference books may see a music industry-style wave of change, while the change to narrative books may be slower and more nuanced.New or Established Author?This is another huge factor. This quote from an excellent report by Gilbane on “Beyond E-Books” says a lot about the business from the author’s perspective:“During the 2009 O’Reilly TOC Conference, Jason Fried of 37signals described the book that he and his colleagues had written based on lessons learned from creating and servicing their successful project management and collaboration product named Basecamp. They published their book with Lulu.com and report sales of almost $500,000 in the last several years. This enabled them to reach number three on the Lulu bestseller list at one point. Ideally, this story would have a happy ending, and they would publish their next book with Lulu.com. Alas, the success of their previous book motivated a traditional publisher to offer them a significant advance for their second book. The offer was too tempting to refuse. They now have to hope that the traditional economic model, with 10 to 20% royalties, will generate more than Lulu.com’s 80-20 split. In essence, they are wagering that the traditional publisher will be able to sell at least four times the number of books that Lulu.com would have sold.“When asked about this, Young was nonplussed. He simply stated that his goal was to publish their third book and to make them loyal authors in the future. It is his number one goal to help his authors become successful.”This will be music to the ears of traditional publishers. They can leave first-time authors to self-publish via print on demand (POD), because once the authors are established, they will want the kudos, branding, and distribution that only traditional publishers can deliver.Well, perhaps. We are still in the very early stages of this wave of change.Get Me Into the Book StorePublication doesn’t feel real to an author until they see their book in a traditional bookstore. Seeing it on Amazon.com is nice, but everyone knows that shelf space is unlimited online. The real prize is occupying scarce shelf space at Barnes & Nobel and independent bookstores. What the author wants to know from their publisher is, “How are you going to get me into that bookstore?”Pure online players will respond with something along the lines of, “Well, if a lot of readers find you online, then enough of them will buy your book for a traditional publisher to become interested in you, and then that publisher will get you into bookstores.” That is a relatively weak answer.But the traditional model of stuffing shelves with “returnable” books, many of which end up getting shredded by the publisher, is clearly unsustainable, as we explored in Part 3.How this will play out is far from clear. But one thing is clear: the landscape will look quite different.And Do It NOW!If you are writing a timeless classic, then the traditional three- to four-month lag between the completion of the manuscript and the book’s appearance in bookstores is fine. If you are writing about something timely, that just won’t cut it anymore. Bloggers and online writers will steal your thunder before your book hits the shelves. The immediacy of print on demand and e-books eliminates this time lag.Write About What You KnowWriters do love to write, so it is not surprising that some are starting to document their experiences in the new world of POD and e-books. One that caught our eye is Literary Adventures in POD, but there are many more.Literary Agent 2.0In the old model, first-time authors usually had to find an agent, who then found a publisher. This site has good FAQs on the process and on deals.These relationships — between author and agent, and agent and publisher — are often very personal. As such, they can be totally wonderful or totally awful, and there are plenty of tales of both. They are typical “Let’s do lunch” relationships. So, bringing Web technology to this match-making experience is logical; one venture that has done this is Creative Byline.Four Big Changes for AuthorsFewer advances. The lack of an advance will be compensated for by…A bigger share of the pie. We expect this to grow from 10% to 30% (or more) of the retail price. The retail price will likely drop, too, and so authors will have to…Create the finished product themselves. Authors will have to pay for cover art and editing out of pocket, as well as…Become savvier about online marketing. A lot of tools are out there: social media, affiliate networks, email lists, SEO/SEM, and so on. Some authors will leave this up to intermediaries (the next form of publishers), and some will do it themselves.The future of authors can thus be summed up as: do more of the work, get a bigger percentage of the retail price (which will be lower), and hustle online.We would love to hear from authors about their experiences. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Ind vs Eng: England have the edge, says Somerset coach Andy Hurry

first_imgOn A high after managing to bully India on all three days of their drawn practice match, county side Somerset’s coach Andy Hurry said his team has given England the upper hand against the world number one team ahead of their Test series, which begins at Lord’s, London, on Thursday.The practice match caused much embarrassment to India, who were bowled out for 224 in their first innings, even as their bowlers got thrashed around in both innings.Hurry said the game was a moral victory for his team and leaves the Indians with quite a few worries. “I fully understand it’s quite difficult for Test sides to get themselves up for these games, however it’s about practicing good habits,” Hurry said.”They are going to come up against a stern test, against a side challenging to be No.1, so they’ll have to lift their game.I’m sure they will, playing at the home of cricket, but it’s been interesting; their approach and how that reflects in the way they performed.” Hurry said England would appreciate the advantage Somerset has given them.”It was important that we gave it our best shot and really put them under the pump. We won the toss on a great batting pitch, dominated the game and started to bully them, which is a great position for England to sit back in their seats and appreciate what we have done for them,” he said.Hurry said Somerset executed their plans well and were thoroughly rewarded for that.advertisement”They were looking for the follow-on but we weren’t giving them that. It was an opportunity for us to go in again and reinforce our position before giving them a little dart at the end to try and bowl them out,” he said.The match also assumed significance because England Test captain Andrew Strauss managed to strike form after being off- colour for quite a while.He produced knocks of 78 and an unbeaten 109 to get his confidence back ahead of the big series and Hurry said it was a good sign for the hosts.”It’s been a perfect three days for him (Strauss),” Hurry said.”We kept the Indians in the field for a number of overs, he looked really busy at the wicket and built his innings. He’s been outstanding to have in the changing room; the boys have thrived on having him around. He’s been a real good egg.”Going into the details of how his team benefitted from having Strauss around as a guest player, Hurry said: “It’s had a huge positive effect on the younger players, guys who have aspirations of playing for England now understand what the England captain is about. He has an aura about him in the changing room. The guys were listening to everything he said about batting and the England set up. It’s been positive from all sides.”With inputs from PTIlast_img read more

X-BLADES 2007 NATIONAL 18S PLATES AND SHIELDS AWARDED

first_imgThe Sunshine Coast girls’ team fought back from a 3-2 half-time deficit to claim the X-Blades 2007 18 Years and Under National Championships Shield today.The Queensland girls had to fight off determined competition from NSWCIS but were too good in the end, running out 6-4 winners. Sunshine Coast captain Karen Freeman said she was proud of her young team. “Most of our girls are about 14 or 15 and they learnt a lot so that was good. It was a really hard game. [NSWCIS] played really well, it was a nice hard physical game,” Freeman said. TouchWest were crowned champions in the Plate division after disposing of Northern Territory 7-5 in the grand final. The accolade will be confidence boosting for one of Touch Football’s emerging regions. TouchWest coach Angela Doyle said all the girls were thrilled after the victory. “It’s been a pretty tough week for the girls, not winning anything in the round games. So to come out in the Plate series and take that is a good bonus for us,” she said. Doyle said Western Australia’s effort in bringing both a boys and a girls team to the Championships was an achievement in itself.  “We haven’t been able to get two teams here for a while so getting a boys and a girls team here is a huge success for TouchWest. We just wanted to do as good as we could this year and we’ll keep building for the next couple of years. “Doyle said the securing the Plate would inspire the team to return bigger and better in 2008. She identified three players in the team’s leadership group for special mention. “Our captains and vice-captains, Sharon Wong, Jenaya Quan and Claire French, have really stepped up. They are definitely the senior players. We’ve got a lot of new young players and they led really, really well.” In the boys division it was local heroes Northern Eagles that took out the Shield final. Eagles accounted for South Queensland Sharks 4-2 in a thrilling final.The Eagles handled the conditions best as the skies opened for the first time in the tournament. Eagles coach David Scholes said Shaye Moran, Malcom Webster and Luke White were the standout performers in his team. “I was pleased with the boys. We didn’t do any preparation for the game. They just came here cold and they went well,” he said. Sydney Scorpions took out the boys’ Plate final with a 10-6 win over Northern Territory.  Scorpions coach David Nolan said the Plate was a good reward for his young side who tried hard but struggled at times in the tournament. “We’ve got a group of guys that range from 14s to 18s. 15 or 16 is the average age so its very much a building tournament for us. For them to get exposure to an elite level of Touch and shows our potential for coming years,” Nolan said.  Nolan credited much of his team’s victory to captain and line-attacking specialist Sam Brisby. “Sam Brisby was our MVP for the tournament and again he stepped up when we needed him to step up. He’s just a fantastic kid, individually brilliant and also a fantastic leader,” Nolan said. Well done to all the teams that competed in a very successful 2007 National 18 Years and Under Championships.last_img read more

Body Science Backs TFA

first_imgTFA is proud to announce its most recent sponsor, Body Science. This new deal will benefit all levels of the sport and all participants. The high quality range of products includes compression garments which are extremely popular in the touch football community to assist with performance and recovery. Compression garments, together with some of the other Body Science products, will be on display and available for sale at the 2008 X-Blades NTL in Coffs Harbour. Pay them a visit, or click on www.bodyscience.com.au to find out more.last_img

Touch Football Community Recognised In Australia Day Honours

first_imgMembers of the Touch Football community have been recognised at Australia Day awards ceremonies across Australia, for their contribution and achievements in the sport. Australian Mixed Open co-captain, Kylie Hilder was named the Sportsperson of the Year at the Great Lakes Australia Day Awards ceremony for her efforts in helping Australia win the Mixed Open title at the 2012 Trans Tasman Series in Mudgee. To read the stories in the Great Lakes Advocate, please click on the link below:http://www.greatlakesadvocate.com.au/story/1262618/australia-day-awards-go-to/?cs=445 http://www.greatlakesadvocate.com.au/story/1267619/aussie-day-honour-for-hilder/?cs=445 Mudgee Touch Association secretary, Kathy Lang was also recognised, receiving the Mid-Western Regional Council’s Senior Sports Award. To read the full story in the Mudgee Guardian, please click on the link below:http://www.mudgeeguardian.com.au/story/1262725/volunteer-earns-top-award/?cs=12 The Yass Touch Association was also recognised, receiving the Australia Day Community Group award at the Yass Valley Australia Day Awards. To read the full story in the Yass Tribune, please click on the link below:http://www.yasstribune.com.au/story/1265212/yass-touch-wins-australia-day-award/?cs=12 If you know of any other members of the Touch Football community that received recognition at Australia Day awards, be sure to let us know by emailing [email protected] Related LinksAustralia Day Awardslast_img read more

10 months agoMan Utd hero Ince: Two better options than joke appointment Solskjaer

first_imgMan Utd hero Ince: Two better options than joke appointment Solskjaerby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United hero Paul Ince has slammed plans to name Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as caretaker manager.Molde coach Solskjaer is expected to be named United caretaker boss after the dismissal of Jose Mourinho on Tuesday.But Ince says: “The suggestion of Ole Gunnar Solskjær makes me laugh, that has to be a joke. It’s absolute madness.”He also wrote for Paddy Power: “If it was me? I’d pick Steve Bruce today. He’s not working at the moment, and he had seven or eight years at the club. He’s been a very good, and successful manager and he more than many understands what it’s like to be a United player. Yes, he’s been sacked, but we’ve all been sacked before.”Between him and Solskjaer there’s no comparison. Plus, I’d love it to be someone English, and someone who United fans through the ages immediately recognise and say ‘I remember Steve Bruce, what a player he was.'”The only other caretaker candidate I’d choose would be Roy Keane. He’d knock those players into shape in no time, he’s managed, and he’s familiar with the club.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more