Monday, May 31, 2010

summits to be most expensive three days for Canada

The G8 and G20 summits being held here next month will cost Canada a record $1.1 billion - the most expensive 72 hours in the country's history. With these summits become a magnet for anti-globalization protesters, Canada is spending as much as $933 million to provide security for the two summits which together will last three days.

Another $160 million will be spent on logistics and stay arrangements for the world leaders. Food alone for summit leaders will cost more than $1 million. While the G8 summits will be held June 25-26 at the resort of Huntsville which is more than 200 kilometres from Toronto, the G20 summit will be held in the city June 26-27.

A number of groups, including Amnesty International, Greenpeace, World Vision, and the Canadian Labour Congress and others, are already gearing up to throw the G20 summit out of gear.

In the biggest security operations ever mounted in Canada, security and intelligence agencies are already questioning protest leaders.

Since it lies next door to the venue of the summit in the heart of Toronto, the University of Toronto - the biggest in the country - is shutting down, rescheduling exams and getting hostels vacated during the summit.

While critics have called the summits the most expensive 72 hours in Canadian history, the government says it is not going to compromise on security for world leaders.

Justifying the huge cost, Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said Wednesday that Canada has an obligation to safeguard world leaders during their stay in the country.

With pitched battles between security forces and protesters on the cards, Toronto hospital officials also said Wednesday that they are making arrangements to deal with emergencies and high volume of injured patients.

To ensure that enough beds are available for injured people, all non-emergency operations are being deferred till the end of the summit. Apart from attending the G20 summit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will also meet his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper for bilateral talks. It will be the first meeting by any Indian prime minister to Canada in almost one and a half decades.
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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Gold Jewelry Trends

It is exciting times for people living in different parts of the world. The 2008 gold jewelry trends are the reason for this excitement. With plenty of designers trying to catch the public’s imagination and attention, there has been a flood of designs in recent times reflecting the 2008 gold jewelry trends. Gold has been popular for centuries together now and going by the recent fashion trends, it is not going to go away anywhere in near future. Gold jewelry is in great demand, pushed by the buoyant world economy. In fact gold jewelry as an industry in many countries is a multi-billion dollar industry these days.

Gold consumption is increasing by the day in several countries.Gold has been always been a favorite with people looking for jewelry since times immemorial. It is no different in the year 2008 when the demand for gold jewelry continues to soar. In fact 2008 gold jewelry trends show a clear upward demand for gold jewelry in various parts of the world. Buying jewelry can be exciting, fun or even confusing for many. Whether you’re considering gold jewelry as a gift for someone you love or just for treating yourself, you will need to take some time to learn the terms used in the industry. The internet is a good source of information on various aspects of gold jewelry. You can find plenty of useful information pertaining to the latest 2008 gold jewelry trends by hopping online. A simple online search can put you across literally hundreds and thousands of websites which can offer you comprehensive information on the upcoming trends in gold jewelry.

Just as with the trends in earlier years, 2008 gold jewelry trends also indicate the preference of people for 24 karat gold. You should always go in for 24 karat gold since it is mixed with other metals, which in turn increases its hardness and durability. This in turn means that the jewelry would last longer. You should always check for this aspect while shopping for gold jewelry. In our eagerness to lap up the latest designs from the 2008 gold jewelry trends we may sometimes overlook this crucial aspect.This should not be case and we should be in fact doubly careful while purchasing expensive jewelry. Most gold jewelry is marked with its karat quality, though it is not required by law. You should also check for the trademark on the piece of jewelry that you intend to buy. The trademark may be in the form of a name, symbol or initials. You should avoid buying a piece of jewelry if you don’t see a trademark accompanying a quality mark on it.All these aspects should be thoroughly checked when you purchase a piece of gold jewelry.

2008 gold jewelry trends indicate stylish designs and patterns. You can also find much gold plated jewelry also coming in to the market as part of the 2008 gold jewelry trends. Gold plate refers to items that are mechanically plated, electroplated, or plated by any other means with gold to a base metal. Eventually, gold plating wears away, but how soon will depend on how often the item is worn and how thick the plating is. You can find plenty of information on the latest gold jewelry trends by visiting dedicated online sources. In fact these days more than the retail jewelry outlets, more and more people prefer to shop online for jewels. Most of these online jewelry outlets are also good sources of information on the various aspects of jewelry that you need to check while shopping for them.
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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

When Your Son Crashes the (Very Expensive) Car

Peter Cheney reviews automobiles for The Toronto Globe and Mail. His 18-year-old son, Will, thinks that’s a pretty cool job, and often brings his friends to the family garage to check out the loaner car his dad is reviewing next.

Most recently, the car in question was a Porsche Turbo, an $180,000 model that Peter Cheney describes as one that “every driving aficionado and pension raider dreams of – 500 horsepower, leather-lined cockpit and a 330 km/h top end. Like a tiger in an Armani suit – killer chassis, unbeatable power, but suave and comfortable, too.

But when Will made a visit to the garage with a friend, things went more than a little wrong. As his father wrote in a column last week, Will turned the Porsche’s key, figuring he’d check out the stereo system and maybe gun the engine a bit.Instead, the car, which is capable of going from 0 to 100 in 3 seconds, jumped forward, then tore through the garage door. There was $11,000 in damage to the Porsche and an additional $2,500 charge to repair the house. At first Peter’s problems were logistical — finding someone to secure the structure by nightfall, contacting Porsche and breaking the news. But “as the dust settled,” he writes:

… my wife and I confronted the parenting issues that attended the disaster. What was the appropriate punishment for a boy who trashes a car worth $180,000? Friends were flooding us with stories of costly child screw-ups — like the son who flushed an action figure down a toilet, creating a deluge that caused more than $100,000 damage to their house. A colleague told me how she damaged her parents’ brand-new van – she got distracted and rear-ended a truck filled with huge stones (driven by two women who were starting a rock garden project).

I recalled a childhood friend who rolled a bowling ball off a garage roof (it seemed like a good idea at the time), only to have it land on his father’s newly restored Porsche 356. Another had totaled the family Mercedes by taking it out of gear and pulling off the handbrake – he jumped out as the car began to roll, and watched helplessly as it headed down their steeply sloped driveway, across the street and into a ravine.

We had a hard call to make. Would it be grounding for life? Let it go? Something in between?

Good question. How do you decide to punish a child when something goes unintentionally and expensively wrong? Should the punishment depend on the damage done? Or the carelessness shown? What would you have done to Will under the circumstances? To read what Peter did, go here. But here’s a hint: he was influenced, he says, by this story about Frank Sinatra:

When Frank’s daughter Nancy was young, she hosted a party at his house. On a table was a pair of priceless crystal birds. Suddenly there was a crash, and the room fell silent – one of Nancy’s friends had knocked one of the birds off the table, destroying it.

All eyes turned to Sinatra, the legendary Chairman of the Board. Sinatra stood silent for a moment. Then he swept the second bird off the table with the back of his hand. It exploded on the floor like a high-priced crystal grenade.

“Don’t worry about it,” Sinatra announced.
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Monday, May 24, 2010

AT&T Increases Early Termination Fee for Smartphone Users

AT&T is taking steps to reduce the number of customers it may lose once the company’s exclusive deal with Apple expires. Consumers who wanted one of Apple’s smartphones were forced to go through the cell phone service provider AT&T. The company is implementing a huge price increase to those who wish to cancel their contracts early. The fee of 175 dollars for early termination will jump to 325 dollars.

AT&T reps say the fee hike has nothing to do with their contract with Apple. It has more to do with them following in the footsteps of their competitor Verizon Wireless. Verizon customers get slapped with a 350 dollar early termination fee. Their fee hike went into effect in November. Both companies have applied this new contractual obligation to those purchasing smartphones. Both companies reduce the amount of the penalty 10 dollars for every month a customer stays in their contract.

Smartphones are quite a bit more expensive than a standard cell phone. The companies are attempting to recoup some of their losses when a customer gets a 500 hundred dollar phone for next to nothing when they sign a 1 or 2 year contract. Customers who end their contracts before they are fulfilled are walking away with a phone that would have cost them more than the early termination fee. Standard cell phone device customers who opt to end their contracts prematurely will be excited to hear early termination fees are being reduced to just 150 dollars instead of the original 175 dollars.
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Friday, May 21, 2010

Chris Evans buys Britain's most expensive car – £12m Ferrari

Chris Evans has bought the most expensive car in Britain just days after pulling in the biggest ever audience for a radio show in the country. The Radio 2 DJ, who took over from Terry Wogan as the station's breakfast host, spent £12m on the vintage Ferrari 250 GT.

The 44-year-old, who is known for his admiration of expensive sports cars, sold three Ferraris from his collection to pay for the 1963 model, the Sun claimed. The car cost £6,000 when it was first sold 47 years ago.

Evans posted a picture of his latest motor on Twitter with the caption: "The new one has arrived."Only 36 of the 174mph top speed racing cars were made. The car has five manual gears and does zero to 60 in 6.1 seconds.

Earlier this week it was announced that Evans had beaten his predecessor, Sir Terry Wogan's record for the largest ever audience for a British radio show. His Radio 2 show averaged 9.5 million weekly listeners in his first three months in the job – a rise of almost 1.5m on Sir Terry who stepped down in December after 27 years.
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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Is it Australia's most expensive roundabout?

MORE multimillion-dollar roundabouts could be on the horizon for Wagga. The decision to budget $2.85 million for the Glenfield Road and Dalman Parkway roundabout was yesterday defended by Wagga City Council as future proofing the city's traffic control.

Director of Infrastructure Services Terry Dodds said new technologies meant roundabouts costed more but lasted up to five times longer. Mr Dodds said the technology of geofabrics and roller compacted concrete would ensure the construction lasted and saved council thousands of dollars.

"Geofabric between the layers of road reinforces the tensile strength of the base while the roller compacted concrete takes the forces of traffic a lot better and doesn't react as badly to water," he said.

"It (million dollar cost) will become standard because we can't afford to keep building them (roundabouts) in the conventional manner.

"Using conventional techniques we have to spend $100,000 every six or seven years to maintain the roundabouts but the new technology will see them last as long as 30 years."

Mr Dodds said building roundabouts cheaply now would create a false economy as they continued to degrade due to an increasing population.

He said a conventional roundabout would cost only $700,000 less than the new style, however, The Daily Advertiser found a report from Cooma-Monaro Shire Council stating a roundabout could be built for just $600,000.Glenfield resident Graham Jackaman said the price was extreme but at least something was happening.

"I'm pleased it's finally happening even though almost $3 million is more than expected ... although no start date has been announced yet," he said.

"We nominated traffic lights as our preferred choice, however, the RTA and council decided a roundabout would be better so I only hope there is provision for lights in the future."

Included in the project are one-off costs associated with power supply relocation estimated at $139,000.

Adding to the original budget of $1.3 million is $407,500 for roller compacted concrete, $97,250 for a geogrid, $60,840 for guard railing and purchase of fill material costing $113,243.
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Friday, May 14, 2010

World's most expensive stamp has a price tag of 5m pounds !

The tiny Treskilling Yellow, weighing just 0.03 grams is worth a whopping 5 million pounds. The stamp, which will be auctioned off in Geneva next week, exists only because a 14-year-old Swedish schoolboy rescued it from his grandmother's rubbish bin in 1885 and sold it onto a dealer for the lowly price of seven Kroner.he three-shilling stamp was first issued in Sweden in 1855 and used in 1857 to mail a letter.

Its rarity is augmented by the fact that it was the only one in the batch to printed in yellow by mistake, when it should have been printed in green. The last sale was in 1996 when it sold for 2,875,000 Swiss Francs, to collectors who remain anonymous.

"There was hot competition when it was sold last time. People collecting stamps like to have rare things, like to have special things. I think maybe it's because it's been known for so many years, it's special," The Telegraph quoted Thomas Hoiland, a Danish auctioneer, as saying.
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

HTC's EVO 4G May Be The Most Expensive Smartphone Ever

4G smartphones have been around; HTC made one for Russia's Yota carrier around two full years ago. But 4G as a whole is new to America, and while just a few cities have the service now, even those within a 4G area could only use mobile data devices to take advantage. Sprint and HTC announced the EVO 4G back at the CTIA trade show in March, promising America's 4G smartphone on an Android-based device that is seen by many as the iPhone 3GS killer.

Tonight in an event in New York City, both Sprint and HTC finally announced the final details surrounding the phone. Namely, a price and release date, but they also threw a twist in that no one saw coming. For starters, the smartphone will ship on June 4th for $199.99 after rebate and a 2-year contract agreement. That's not so far off, and it's almost certainly prior to Apple announcing the next generation iPhone.

And while this price is par for the course when it comes to revealing a new "superphone," there's a little more red tape to get to. Unlike existing smartphones, all of which surf at a 3G maximum, this phone will utilize the newer WiMAX standard where available. In order to pay for that, users will be forced to pay another $10 per month for WiMAX access.

This extra fee enables users to watch high quality YouTube clips right on the phone (or on an HDTV via HDMI), as well as engage in video chats using the front-facing camera. There's also the promise of simultaneous voice and data capability in 4G areas, and if you want to use the mobile hotspot feature--which provides 4G/3G access to up to eight Wi-Fi devices--that's another $29.99 per month. So the EVO 4G may be your ultimate smartphone, but it'll definitely drain your wallet quickly.
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Saturday, May 8, 2010

World's Most Expensive Car! 1936 Bugatti Atlantic Sells For More Than $30 Million

Earlier this week, a Bugatti originally built in 1936 sold for more than $30 million to an anonymous buyer, Autbolog reported. USA Today calls it "the most expensive used car ever," while the Wall Street Journal called it the "most valuable car ever known to have changed hands."

The auction was handled by Gooding & Company, a Santa Monica, California-based auction firm. In a statement, David Gooding, the company's president and founder, called the vehicle "one of the world's most significant and valuable automobiles."

The Bugatti 57SC Atlantic was previously owned by the trust of the late Dr. Peter Williamson, a neurosurgeon and car collector. The vehicle was the first of just three Atlantics built, according to Gooding & Company. Whoever the buyer was, they join designer Ralph Lauren as the only two owners of these extremely rare rides. The Wall Street Journal has some background on the vehicle:

The 57SC Atlantic was based on the Aerolithe Electron Coupe, a show car built for the 1935 Paris Auto Salon. The car's low-slung, pontoon-fender design was the work of Jean Bugatti, son of founder Ettore Bugatti. The show car was fashioned out of magnesium panels that were difficult to weld, and so Bugatti employed the car's distinctive riveted seams. And while the three production Atlantics were built of weld-able aluminum, the seams were retained as a design cue.
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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Most expensive art works sold at auction

The ten most expensive art works ever sold at auction, following the new record set in New York by a 1932 Pablo Picasso painting, "Nude, green leaves and bust". Unless stated otherwise, all works quoted are paintings.

1. Picasso, "Nu au plateau de sculpteur" (Nude, green leaves and bust): 106.4 million dollars - sold May 2010

2. Alberto Giacometti, "Walking Man I", sculpture: 104.3 million dollars - sold February 2010

3. Picasso, "Garcon a la Pipe" (Boy with a Pipe): 104.2 million dollars - sold May 2004.

4. Picasso, "Dora Maar au chat" (Dora Maar with cat): 95.2 million dollars - sold 2006

5. Gustav Klimt, "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I": 87.9 million dollars - sold 2006

6. Francis Bacon, "Triptych 1976": 86.2 million dollars, sold 2008.

7. Vincent Van Gogh, "Portrait of Dr. Gachet": 82.5 million dollars, sold 1990

8. Auguste Renoir, "Au Moulin de la Galette": 78.1 million dollars, 1990

9. Peter Paul Rubens, "Massacre of the Innocents": 76.7 million dollars, 2002

10: Mark Rothko, "White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose)" - 72.8 million dollars, 2007.

The above list does not include art works sold privately, which can sometimes go for even higher prices. The most expensive work ever sold is believed to be Jackson Pollock's painting "No 5, 1948", which changed hands privately for 140 million dollars in 2006.
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