Thursday, July 8, 2010

9 companies with amazing perks....

Would you like to work here?

For these companies, the perks are aplenty!


What is it? An independent trading firm with offices in Sydney, Amsterdam, Chicago, Hong Kong, Taipei and Tokyo.

Employee perks: Breakfast and lunch on busy mornings, games room with pool, ping-pong and foosball, “Thank goodness it’s Friday” events, annual sun/snow/surf weekend, poker and massages.


What is it? A leading employment-search website with more than 400 employees in Australia.

Employee perks: Study leave, career counselling, free breakfast, bikes to ride, walking clubs, health assessments, Christmas presents, football and tennis competitions, breakout rooms with games, FOXTEL and beanbags.


What is it? Australia’s leading online marketplace. eBay Inc also includes brands such as eBay, PayPal, Skype, StubHub and

Employee perks: Stocks, paid study leave, team retreats, wine-and-beer fridge, birthday celebrations, yoga, lawn bowls and treasure hunts.


What is it? A mobile-phone service provider built on founder Richard Branson’s philosophy of people first. Happy workforce = happy customers.

Employee perks: Free phone and $25 monthly credit, study leave, book club, fruit, Virgin Unite charity program, VDays (five extra days of annual leave), extended holidays, and Virgin Atlantic “Mates’ rates” on international airfares.


What is it? Manufacturer and marketer of personal care and household brands, such as VO5, TRESemmé, and St. Ives.

Employee perks: Fortnightly massages, fruit baskets, getaway room, morning tea, hair products and brand events. Even Joh Bailey hairstyling sessions!


What is it? The world’s largest food company, with more than 5,000 employees across Australia and NZ.

Employee perks: Fitness membership, Nestlé Cares Program (it provides a grant in the name of an employee who volunteers their time to a charity).


What is it? A national consulting firm.

Employee perks: Profit shares, vibrant offices, social club, Wood’n’Groovers rock band, triathlons, river cruises, rock climbing and corporate croquet.


What is it? The world’s most innovative multinational electronics corporation – responsible for the iPhone and MacBook. Apple actively encourages its workers to “be part of something big”.

Employee perks: Health and life insurance, employee stock purchase plan, financial education, tuition assistance, product discounts, wellness programs, fitness centre, and an organic cafe.


What is it? Only the world’s largest internet search engine!

Employee perks: Gourmet lunch and dinner, tuition reimbursement (up to $12,000), adoption assistance (up to $5,000), volleyball court, onsite oil change and car wash services, hairstylist, fitness classes and massages.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Undercover at the Library

7.06.10 - 4:30PM- by Eliot Glazer

(Why, Fox Chicago?)

Chicago's Fox affiliate asked a good question recently: What's the deal with libraries? Since 1900, these public institutions have lined shelves with books and magazines that have provided both research and escape to millions of patrons. Parents and children have used library services for their educational and community programs, as well as -- in more recent years -- computers and, thus, access to the internet (which we know is pretty awesome). The library's placement in America as a public domain that houses children and adults, providing them with tools for education and growth, is an undeniable institution that one would likely claim remains integral to our communities.

Or...not, asks My Fox Chicago. Are the libraries in Illinois (799 to be exact) a waste of tax payer money? In the age of the internet, has text on paper become obsolete, leaving our libraries looking like hubs exclusively meant for blocked porn sites and falling down the YouTube rabbit hole? My Fox Chicago leans toward yes, in a oddly pessimistic, investigative story that apparently required the reporter to go with a hidden camera, spy-style. In the library. To see what's up and stuff.

Yep, turns out the library is busy, especially in a time of recession when people need job-hunting resources, but the action is at the free computers. Looks like libraries are still bringing information to people in need, just in new ways. Thanks for checkin' in, Fox!

For more information go to the website I grabbed this from:


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Keith Richards wanted to be a Librarian!

After decades partying in a haze of alcohol and drugs, Richards will tell in his coming autobiography, entitled Life, that he has been quietly nurturing his inner bookworm.

As a child growing up in the post-war austerity of 1950s London, he found refuge in books before he discovered the blues.

He has declared: "When you are growing up there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully: the church, which belongs to God, and the public library, which belongs to you. The public library is a great equaliser."

Friday, April 16, 2010

'Future library' goes on display in Abu Dhabi

4 March 2010

The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage is modernising the emirate’s library service with the introduction of book vending machines.

ABU DHABI They will be places to borrow books and CDs, as well as catch up on the internet. But that is where the resemblance to the traditional library will end.

Abu Dhabi’s future libraries are likely to feature 24-hour, self-service facilities with vending machines stocked with books, CDs and DVDs, allowing people to take out and return them any time of the day or night.

There will also be Playstations and Xbox consoles for teenagers to play video games, as well as “lifestyle zones” where visitors can relax and listen to a CD or audio book.

The “future library” was on show at the 20th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair yesterday and is, according to Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (Adach), a concept heralding “a new generation in libraries”.

Adach said the new libraries would use cutting-edge technologies and gadgets. Books, CDs and DVDs will be available in vending machines using radio frequency identification technology.

Juma’a al Qubaisi, the director of the National Library, said the new system “will spark the attention of all in Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates”.

A range of materials will be available to library users, including periodicals, computer games, eBooks and audio books.

The project will be on display all week at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Students Use Wikipedia Early and Often

By Mary Helen Miller, March 16, 2010, The Chronicle of Higher Education

More than half of college students frequently or always consult Wikipedia for course-related research, according to a report published in First Monday, an online, peer-reviewed journal. Only 22 percent of respondents to the survey said they rarely or never use Wikipedia. The study is based on responses from 2,318 students and qualitative data from 86 who participated in focus groups.

The most common reason that students reported using Wikipedia was to obtain background information or a summary about a topic and to get started with research. Only 16 percent of survey respondents said they used Wikipedia because of its wiki capabilities. Students were far more likely to use Wikipedia at the very beginning or near the beginning of research than at the end of the process.

The study also examined which students were most likely to use Wikipedia. Those majoring in architecture, engineering, or science were likelier than others to do so. The strongest predictor was the use of Google for course-related research. In addition, students at two-year colleges were less likely than those at four-year colleges to use Wikipedia.

And students who reported consulting with librarians were less likely to use Wikipedia than other students were.

Full report:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Boomers leading the e-book revolution

By Deborah Cornwall ABC news

Baby boomers are among the earliest and most fervent e-book enthusiasts. (AFP: Mario Tama)

Middle-aged women have astonised the publishing industry by leading the demand in the rapidly expanding e-book market.

Sydney theatre nurse Candace Gray, 48, was among the first to get an Amazon e-book reader, the Kindle, when it was released in Australia last year.

It was a gift from her husband in the hope it might drag her into the digital age.

"I have a phone with a camera - I never even use it," she said.

"I don't know how to Skype, I don't know how to blog ... but once I found out what I could do with this Kindle, I just couldn't put it down."

Ms Gray says the e-reader has changed the way she reads. She now dips into a book, in shorter bites, throughout the day.

"It's like having a bookstore in the palm of your hand," she said. "I don't watch television anymore."

According to Michael Tamblyn, VP of content and sales with the Canadian digital publisher Kobo, Mrs Gray is the typical of the new e-reader's demographic - the very group that was expected to fiercely resist giving up their hard copies.

"Who would have ever thought aging, squinting boomers would drive a new market for e-books?" he said.

Mr Tamblyn says this is just one of several surprising early trends in the e-book revolution.

"It's amazing where e-books are going. We are delivering bodice rippers in Iran ...we are delivering Pride and Prejudice into Afghanistan," he said.

Sales of e-book are expected to go vertical with the global release of Apple's much-hyped Ipad next month.

After years of stalled negotiations with digital book wholesalers like Amazon, publishers are now scrambling to go online because, like the music industry before them, they now have just two choices: go digital or dive.

While digital books currently make up between 6 to 7 per cent of the market in the United states and Britain, futurist and digital-content specialist, Mark Pesce, predicts that by the year 2020, about 50 per cent of all book sales will be digital.

More than half of e-book sales are made within the first 24 hours of the book's release - sales that are lost forever if publishers delay digital release to try and sell their hardbacks first at a premium price.

Stephen Page, the CEO of England's literary publishing house Faber and Faber, says while the paperback is not about to disappear any time soon, readers increasingly want a choice.

"To think that actually making digital books is about having three hairy people in a basement doing another thing called digital, while the rest of us carry on with the beautiful business of sewing and binding our books, that is an absolutely impossible universe," he said.

Long way to go

But for all the talk about the brave new world of the e-book, the CEO of Melbourne University Publishing, Louise Adler, says online book sellers still have a long way to go to meet the needs and wants of readers.

Ms Adler says books available in digital format are still largely limited to best sellers and pot boilers, with the market squarely aimed at an American audience.

"If you are a reader of romance or historical novels you might find it satisfactory but in the main, I find it rather disappointing that most contemporary fiction and non-fiction is not available," she said.

Ms Adler says the problem is partly due to publishers' resistance to the world's biggest digital-book seller, Amazon, and its attempts to cap the price of all e-books below $US10.

But she says online retailers have also failed to understand the complexity of the publishing business and meet the expectations of more sophisticated international readers.

"If I want to see a blurb for a book, if I want to see what I am buying, you are probably going to get a blurb of about two sentences," Ms Adler said.

"It's actually a very impoverished reading experience, when everything tells us readers are looking for a more enriched experience.

"It will be who has control of the content, not the reading device, that will determine the winners in this race."

Apple's Ipad is now poised to take on Amazon's Kindle, with internet giant Google snapping at their heels.

But Ms Adler says while publishing empires may rise and fall in this latest digital face off, there will always be a place for the humble paperback.

"I think that there are books you're going to want to love and to have and to hold and have in your library, and I think that feeling is never going to go away," she said.

Michael Tamblyn agrees.

"We've had books longer than we've had forks," he said.

"Books should not become more sterile or less engaging if we do this properly."