Archive for the ‘Vodafone Australian operation’ Category
Katy Perry Down on Rihanna for Dating Chris Brown.
Katy Perry and Rihanna were once BFFs, but now, a man reportedly has come between them: Chris Brown.
Us Weekly reported that because of Rihanna’s rekindled romance with Chris, their friendship isn’t what it used to be.“They aren’t tight anymore because Katy doesn’t approve of Rihanna dating Chris,” an insider told the magazine.
At the Grammy Awards last Sunday, Perry, 28, and boyfriend John Mayer, 35, were sitting in the front row, while Rihanna and Brown were sitting in another part of the audience. At past Grammys, the two girls had sat right next to one another.It was also recently reported that Rihanna had fallen out with Perry because she didn’t approve of Perry dating known womanizer Mayer. When asked about this by Rolling Stone magazine, Rihanna dismissed the report, and laughed, “Katy Perry can date anyone she wants. Besides, who the f*** am I to say anything? I could never given relationship advice to anybody!”
One of the most talked about moments of this year’s Grammys was when Brown, 23, and Rihanna, 24, were spotted smiling and cuddling. The two walked the red carpet separately but once inside the Staples Center, they got cozy, when Rihanna, decked out in a red dress, photographed leaning her head on Brown’s shoulder with a huge smile. The two lovebirds have come a long way in just four years.
On the eve of the 2009 Grammys, Brown assaulted Rihanna, whose bruised face became a tabloid fixture. Brown showed up to a court appearance Feb. 6 in Los Angeles on issues related to his probation with Rihanna by his side.In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Rihanna said public opinion doesn’t matter.
“I wasn’t going to let anybody’s opinion get in the way of that. Even if it’s a mistake, it’s my mistake,” Rihanna told the magazine, out Friday. “After being tormented for so many years, being angry and dark, I’d rather just live my truth and take the backlash. I can handle it.“When you add up the pieces from the outside, it’s not the cutest puzzle in the world,” she says. “But it’s different now.”
The Scary, Online Dating Life of Tweens.
My daughter told me she was hanging out with a boy on Saturday. They went to the park and he asked her to the prom. This came as a surprise to me since I spent most of Saturday with both of my daughters. Also, she is 10. Going to the prom is about 7 years away, and boys are still “others,” usually only talked about when a male classmate did something particularly gross or incomprehensible in school one day.
When I asked her what she was talking about she told me not to worry, this all happened in a virtual world called Fantage, not in real life. And she informed me it’s all moderated — so not to worry.
So, naturally, I did.
Role-playing is the crux of virtual worlds. While everyone knows the stereotype of the geeky guy who creates a super macho avatar and lives out his fantasies in these online universes, kids are drawn to them for the very same reasons. You can be anything and anyone -– you can shop, decorate, socialize, dress and try on different personas, even push boundaries you wouldn’t normally try in real life. In many ways this can be incredibly positive for kids. After all, creating and exploring identity is a natural part of growing up and maturing for tweens and teens, and the best of these virtual worlds can provide opportunities to do that in a safe environment without real life repercussions. Nancy Friedman, in her blog FromHiptoHousewife, detailed her 12-year-old daughter’s first experience of getting hit on by an older man in a nightclub -– all virtually, of course — and how it completely freaked her out. Maybe it will translate into more careful behavior in real life when she gets older, and maybe not. But, it certainly opened the door to a discussion about being in places and dressing in ways that are appropriate for your age.
My daughter was not fazed by her online dating at all. Much like real life, having someone ask you to prom translates into social currency and ups your overall popularity. She even told me that sometimes she prefers the online social world because you can just have fun and relax, move in and out of situations easily and change who you are in an instant.
That appeal doesn’t surprise me, but it does worry me. As much as I think having these virtual experiences can help a kid test out ways of interacting that they can’t in real life, they also can lead to similar disappointments, hurt feelings and in the worst scenario predatory and unwanted behavior.
In the kid-focused worlds this is less of a risk, but many kids are now playing SIM apps that are meant for adults and allow marriage, and for characters to have sex, even though the graphics don’t allow detailed nudity.
So is this any different than kids playing doctor in real life? Is a child pretending to be more mature than their years online really that different from kids playing house, or playing out these scenarios with dolls or Legos? It’s a tricky question, and the fact that when they are online they are interacting with strangers who could be anyone, anywhere of any age, makes it much scarier. But these new playgrounds really are an extension of modern childhood and today’s digital kids are going to use them in much the same way that kids have always used kid spaces to create their own realities and figure out their world. The key for parents is to know what their kids are doing, pay attention to the ratings on websites and apps -– Common Sense Media is a great place to start as are the reviews on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store –- and keep the dialog going between you and your child.
In the meantime, I’m helping my daughter shop for a prom dress in the online boutique, weighing in on the pink hair versus the blue, and being a little bit thankful that this is all pretend for now.
2012 Olympics: Australia, Japan Criticized For Olympian Gender Discrimination
Australia — Men up front, women in the back.
Not so fast, Olympians.Sports governing bodies from Japan and Australia are being skewered following complaints that male Olympic athletes flew business class to the London Games, while the women sat in the cheap seats.
Japan’s world champion women’s football team took exception to flying economy while their male counterparts sat in business en route to the games.
“It should have been the other way around,” Japanese soccer star Homare Sawa, the 2011 FIFA women’s world player of the year, said after arriving in Paris after the 13-hour flight, with just the short hop to London left. “Even just in terms of age we are senior.”
The Japan Football Association said the men’s under-23 Olympic team members flew in business class because they are professionals. The women, however, are likely be the bigger draw at the games. Only months after the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan last year, they brought a sliver of joy to their country by winning their first World Cup title.
The Australian women’s basketball team has also been more successful than the men, earning the silver medal at each of the last three Olympics.
On Friday, Basketball Australia said it would make sure the flight flap doesn’t happen again.”(We will) review our Olympic travel policy with the goal of ensuring there is equity between travel arrangements for the men’s and women’s teams attending future Olympics,” the basketball governing body said in a statement.
Vodafone Australian operation put on the market.
THE owners of embattled telco Vodafone Australia are looking for buyers, industry sources say, with an abbreviated information memorandum circulating among potential purchasers in Europe and Asia.
The Australian understands that a preliminary information memorandum to test the market reaction to a sale has been circulated to cashed-up telcos and sovereign wealth funds in Asia, the Middle East and elsewhere.
Qtel, Etisalat, Korea Telecom and NTT Docomo are believed to have seen the initial sales document, as has China Telecom, a controversial potential purchaser.
“Vodafone might say no, but they are hawking it, no question,” one industry source said.
Vodafone Australia and one of its two 50 per cent shareholders, Britain’s Vodafone Group, vehemently deny that the mobile operation is flirting with a sale and dismiss the suggestion as rumour.
“Vodafone remains fully committed to our operations in Australia and our sole focus is on the turnaround of the business,” said a Vodafone Group spokesman.
Vodafone Australia’s other 50 per cent shareholder, Hutchison Whampoa, has also said it is committed to the local operation, and managing director Canning Fok has pledged financial support through the turnaround.
“We have provided and will continue to provide extensive financial support for VHA to accelerate the work needed to ensure all of our customers in Australia enjoy state-of-the-art mobile network services,” Mr Fok has said.
However, analysts and industry sources are not convinced and wonder how much money the troubled mobile carrier’s shareholders can commit to it, and for how long, especially after the slew of network disasters, profit erosion and customer defections that have plagued Vodafone in the past 18 months.
The Vodafone joint venture lost $336 million in 2011 and shed 554,000 customers (taking its total subscriber base down to 7 million) as ongoing network issues and customer confidentiality breaches took their toll.
Its customer base shrank by 179,000 in the six months to December, compared with gains of 313,000 at Optus and 958,000 at Telstra over the same period.
Its deteriorating balance sheet and exodus of customers has forced Vodafone Australia to embark on a major cost-cutting program that is expected to result in hundreds of job losses as it strives to reignite its sales performance.
Even though the carrier has injected $1 billion to improve and upgrade its mobile network to lure back customers, some analysts predict two more years of losses as spectrum renewal and interest costs hit the bottom line.
Renewal of its spectrum licences is expected to cost Vodafone $710m over the next two years and that will rise to up to $2bn by 2017 once the government finalises auctions of airwaves currently used by analog TV broadcasters.
Vodafone now needed to put a lot more into capital expenditure than it had in the past “just to put a bandaid on its wounds”, said one analyst who declined to be named.
“All the problems Vodafone has experienced over the last 18 months have tested its parent companies’ patience and we know that Vodafone Group has sold struggling operations in the past, so you can’t entirely rule out a sale,” the analyst said.
China Mobile, which has almost 650 million customers and which recently set up an office in Australia, is one potential buyer of Vodafone. The Chinese giant last year reported a profit of $19bn on revenues of $80bn.
With about $US50bn ($47.7bn) in the bank and between $US16bn and $US17bn in free cashflow each year, it has the cash needed to fund an acquisition the size of Vodafone Australia.
However, analysts say the Chinese telco would be unlikely to view Vodafone as an attractive prospect because of the limited growth profile of Australia’s maturing mobile market.
“China Mobile has growth aspirations but in the past three to four years they haven’t made any acquisitions. I’d be surprised if they ventured into Australia anyway because all they want is growth,” the analyst said.
“And I also seriously doubt that too many European carriers would want to come to Australia and compete with Telstra and Optus. Life would be very tough, unless of course Vodafone turns out to be a very cheap asset.”