Friday Offcuts – 17 April 2015

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The forestry industry has been pushing Government for years to recognise the importance of trees to help with the battle on global warming and the need to introduce policies to encourage afforestation to reduce the country’s soaring emissions. The NZ Government got its report card last week with the latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory report being released by the Ministry for the Environment.

To be blunt, the grade isn’t that flash. The country’s continuing to struggle to keep its emissions in check. Despite the spin being put on it this week by the Government, New Zealand's net emissions of greenhouse gases climbed 42 per cent between 1990 and 2013. Gross emissions, which exclude carbon flows relating to forestry and land use change, rose 21 per cent between 1990 and 2013. Emissions are now the fifth highest per capita among 40 developed countries (see stories and comment below). Deforestation and the lack of new planting to help change the net emissions ledger is still a major headache for the New Zealand Government.

Registrations to this regions HarvestTECH 2015 which focuses on steep slope harvesting continued to roll in. Flyers were direct mailed to industry this week. If you haven’t received one in the post, check out the programme details directly on www.harvesttech.events. Forest owners, harvest planners, contractors and key suppliers from throughout New Zealand as well as Australia, Canada, the US, Indonesia, Chile, Austria and Finland have already registered. A number of larger groupings from major equipment suppliers are also signing up to attend the 24-25 June event in Rotorua, New Zealand. It’s certainly going to be busy.

In addition to the two-day programme that’s generating interest, Wayne (Buck) Shelford has just been confirmed as the after-dinner presenter for HarvestTECH 2015. Kiwis and maybe some Australians know the name. Recognised as one of the “toughest All Black captains” to ever play rugby for New Zealand, Buck is expected to provide a light-hearted but engaging talk on leadership and teamwork from his time as a world class sportsman. Again, like the conference, it’s expected that places are going to fill fast so if wanting to secure a space for you or your team, best look to make your bookings soon.

UAVs again. We covered them last week with a story on research by Scion and Aeronavics with field trials using UAVs mounted with interchangeable remote sensing technologies for use in forest management underway. They’re not going away and in fact, we’ve got a story this week suggesting that consumers, with the ongoing hype around these small aircraft, are expecting UAVs to play a major role in future package deliveries. A recent US study on future retailing reveals that two-thirds of the consumers surveyed are expecting to receive their first drone-delivered package in the next five years, and nearly 80 percent are willing to pay for it.

We’ve also included a good selection of technology stories this week including; a look into the future with the working concept of an energy harvesting tree that’s able to generate electricity from a variety of sources and a we cover a new patented technology for a corrugated wooden core that can be used in manufacturing lightweight panels. Enjoy this week’s read.



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Lone Pine trees dispatched to mark ANZAC centenary

Descendants of the Gallipoli Peninsula’s Lone Pine have left Scion for destinations around New Zealand for planting at events associated with ANZAC Day centenary commemorations. About 50 two-year old seedlings of this special tree were propagated by Scion at its research nursery in Rotorua and gifted to RSAs nationwide.

The seeds were collected in 2012 from the Turkish red pine (Pinus brutia) growing at Paeroa Golf Course. This tree is an authenticated New Zealand descendant of the original Lone Pine and traces back to a pine cone brought home by Australian soldier Sergeant Keith McDowell after World War 1.

Scion scientist Toby Stovold who collected the seeds and helped raise the seedlings said he first got involved in 2009 when approached by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council wanting to donate seedlings from the Paeroa tree to RSAs in the region. “From the 2012 seed collection we have raised close to 50 seedlings that we have been able to donate for commemorative plantings this year,” said Toby.

RSAs around the country from Waiuku to Invercargill have taken up Scion’s offer to include a seedling in their ANZAC Day commemoration ceremonies. Seedlings have also gone to the National Army Museum in Waiouru for a memorial garden. Another seedling will be planted in Christchurch’s Park of Remembrance on Poppy Day.

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Buck is being brought back

Wayne (Buck) Shelford, former All Black rugby captain, coach and motivational speaker, has been confirmed to present at this year’s HarvestTECH 2015 dinner in Rotorua on the evening of Wednesday 24 June. As anticipated, places at HarvestTECH 2015 steep slope harvesting event are filling up fast.

Forest owners, harvest planners, contractors and key suppliers from throughout New Zealand as well as Canada, the US, Australia, Indonesia, Chile, Austria and Finland have registered. Further details and registrations can be made on www.harvesttech.events.

Wayne Shelford appeared in 32 matches (13 tests) for the All Blacks and held captaincy from 1987 until 1990 when he was dropped in controversial circumstances. As most of you know (well at least the older readers out there) the general public were unhappy with this decision, especially when the All Blacks lost the third test of their next series against Australia, ending a 17-test winning streak (and 49 game streak including non-tests) without Wayne (Buck) leading the team. After this fans started appearing at games with signs saying "Bring Back Buck", which continues even to this day at sporting events throughout the world.

After his stint with the national side, Wayne then joined Northampton Rugby Club in England as a player and coach. As well as representing the All Blacks, Wayne also represented the New Zealand Maori All Blacks (first in 1985) and then captained the 1988 tour. In the 1991 New Year Honours, Shelford was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to rugby.

Wayne Shelford is one of the toughest men ever to set foot on a rugby field. In 2007 he was faced with an opponent tougher than him – cancer. Wayne is now in remission and has begun to speak out for the first time about his fight for his life. Join Wayne and the rest of the industry at HarvestTECH 2015. Remember, places are going to be limited so best register you and your team shortly.

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NZ greenhouse gas inventory report released

Late last week the latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory report was released by New Zealand’s Ministry for the Environment. The report covers the period since 1990 and provides details about emissions and removals for the 2013 year.

The annual inventory report is a mandatory requirement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. Each country has its accounts independently reviewed by international panels. The report is available by clicking here. Of course the take on the findings from the politicians are poles apart.

The Government in its statement said that New Zealand is committed to doing its fair share to reduce harmful emissions and has made an unconditional commitment to reduce emissions to five per cent below 1990 levels by 2020.

“We’re well on track to meet our 2020 target, and like other countries, we are considering our national target to reduce emissions after 2020,” Minister for Climate Change Issues Tim Groser said. The report also according to the Government shows New Zealand is planting more trees. Their take on the report was that “for the past six years our level of afforestation has exceeded our rate of deforestation”.

Not so says the opposition. The Green Party in their Friday statement said that the Government is trying to hide massive deforestation in latest climate report. The Government’s greenhouse gas inventory, shows that in the last recorded year of 2013, twice the area of land was deforested as opposed to planted with new trees.

“This is in contrast to the Government’s misleading comments about the report where they have used selective information to paint a rosy picture of their shocking climate change record” said Green Party co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

“The key driver of this is the low carbon price, which is largely a result of the Government weakening the emissions trading scheme. This Government’s failure to make afforestation viable is resulting in a chainsaw catastrophe”.

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One week before SWC 2015 Award nominations close

The Southern Wood Council awards programme is undergoing a major overhaul. The SWC in conjunction with Competenz and a number of key forestry companies and product suppliers to the industry this year are significantly increasing the profile of the region’s forestry awards.

Nominations to the forestry and wood products industries in the lower South Island for major industry awards have been open for a couple of months now. An Award Nomination Form has been attached to previous stories.

If from the Otago Southland areas of New Zealand, this is your last chance to nominate someone from within your own company or any other company or organisation that you think has really stood out over 2014-2015 and deserves recognition for their efforts.

The new awards programme which runs in Dunedin on Friday 19 June 2015 is designed to celebrate the success of those from within the industry that have achieved formal training qualifications over the year. It’s also designed to recognise through a series of new awards our top performers from within the industry drawn from across the lower South Island.

In addition to a major awards programme, Jason Wynyard, World Champion axe-man, well-known and respected around the wood chopping circuits (both New Zealand and internationally) and this country’s forestry industry will be presenting as part of the Awards evening.

The SWC includes most major forest owners and managers within the region (Blakely Pacific, City Forests, South Wood Export, Wenita Forest Products, Ernslaw One, Rayonier Asia Pacific, PF Olsen), larger wood processing and manufacturing companies (Craigpine Timber, Dongwha New Zealand), port authorities (Port Otago, Southport) and representatives from local Councils, Government Departments and training organisations (Venture Southland, Clutha Development Trust, Ministry for Primary Industries, Competenz) involved with the forestry sector.

Remember, nominations close on Friday 24 April.

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Two-thirds of US consumers expecting drone-delivered packages

Consumers want more than fast delivery - they now want it within the hour. According to the Walker Sands 2015 Future of Retail Study, two-thirds of consumers expect to receive their first drone-delivered package in the next five years, and nearly 80 percent are willing to pay for it.

The annual retail technology study released by Walker Sands Communications, a full-service public relations and digital marketing firm for B2B and technology companies, also reveals that 36 percent of consumers expect to receive a drone-delivered package in the next two years. The new report comes on the heels of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration announcing proposed new rules for drones that wouldn't allow delivery by unmanned aircraft until at least 2017.

The Walker Sands 2015 Future of Retail Study, based on a survey of 1,400 U.S. consumers, finds that the hype around drones created by e-commerce companies such as Amazon and Alibaba has caused a gap between expectations and reality.

"Despite the excitement of customers and retailers, drones have effectively been grounded," said Dave Parro, director of the retail technology practice at Walker Sands. "Consumers have embraced the idea of drone delivery and are ready for the technology right now, but there are still some major barriers retailers are facing before they can make real headway with commercial deliveries."

Drones may drive even higher online sales.

Drone-delivered packages may be a big push toward a future where even more purchases are made online across an increasing number of categories. The Future of Retail study shows that consumers are shopping online more frequently for more kinds of products, and 79 percent of survey respondents say drone delivery to their doorstep within an hour of placing an order would make them more likely to shop with a retailer.

More than three-quarters of consumers are willing to pay for drone delivery, with 48 percent saying they would pay at least $5 per order. Only 23 percent of consumers say they aren't willing to pay for drone delivery, suggesting rapid delivery by air is fertile ground for retailers like Amazon that plan to push the limits of fast delivery.

Consumers are open to getting a variety of products delivered via drone, with the highest percentage being open to books (74 percent), and clothing and apparel (73 percent).

To view the full results of the 2015 Future of Retail Study, visit www.walkersands.com/2015futureofretail

Source: Retail Customer Experience




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A new but familiar forest industry consulting firm

“It’s back to the future in many ways” Rob de Fégely stated at the launch of trading for new forest industry consulting firm Margules Groome Consulting. “Many will remember the two pioneers of forestry consulting in Australia and New Zealand, Ray Margules and John Groome after whom the company is named” Mr de Fégely said.

Margules Groome is founded on the holistic principles that both Ray and John used in managing forests and trees to optimise the economic, social and environmental values they provide. In fitting ANZAC tradition, the new company is equally owned by its New Zealand and Australian directors. Margules Groome will offer an array of services to the forestry sector in Australia, New Zealand and the broader Asia-Pacific. This will include Corporate Finance, Strategy and Sustainability, Market Analysis, Operations Improvement and Technical Solutions services.

With regard to technical solutions and in a further spirit of traditional co-operation, Margules Groome has formed an alliance with leading industry software developer Remsoft. The company is recognized globally for sustainable land management and planning. “We will shortly announce more about the alliance” said Mr de Fégely.

Margules Groome commenced operations from offices in Auckland, Rotorua, Melbourne and Shanghai on 1st of April and contacts can found on www.margulesgroome.com.

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Energy-harvesting tree generates electricity

In January, the VTT Technical Centre of Finland unveiled its decorative, mass-producible organic photovoltaic (OPV) leaves designed to capture energy from interior lighting to power small devices and sensors. Now, the company has followed the logical path and come up with an energy-harvesting tree that generates electricity from a variety of sources.

Solar cells are a simple, solid-state means of producing electricity, but they draw on only one source of energy. VTT has gone one better by taking its OPV leaves and turning them into a multi-source energy harvesting system. This is done by equipping each leaf with its own multi-power convertor that allows each leaf to not only convert light into electricity, but also temperature differences and vibrations, such as those caused by wind.

The leaves are then mounted in a 3D-printed body made of wood-based biomaterials, which looks a bit like a stocky twig from a discount store florist department. However, VTT says that the individual convertors mean that the little energy-harvesting trees, which can be placed indoors or out, are infinitely replicable and, presumably, infinitely scalable. The current version only produces enough energy to power a mobile phone, but the company foresees a day when "forests" of such trees could take on much bigger jobs.



Source: VTT

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Wood waste must be in Australian RET

The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has congratulated the Independent Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie for demanding that any deal on the Renewable Energy Target include the re-introduction of renewable energy certificates for wood waste offcuts which are left over after native forest harvesting or processing operations.

Mr Ross Hampton, AFPA Chief Executive Officer said, “This is common sense policy leadership from Senator Lambie. All over the world bioenergy is considered a vital part of the renewable energy mix. In Denmark for example – considered by many environmental groups to be the leading nation in terms of climate change policy action – bioenergy accounts for some 12% of energy use. In terms of the renewable energy mix in that country it is a staggering 75%!

When it comes to implementing strong policies to try to drive national greenhouse gas emission profiles lower, the northern European countries are grabbing bioenergy with both hands. In Finland bioenergy is 14% of the energy mix. In Norway it is 6%, as it is in Germany.

Here in Australia our bioenergy use for electricity is a pathetic 1%. This is largely due to our failure to encourage the use of residues from forestry operations in our native forestry estates because of a ban. This ban was re-imposed by the Greens, supported by the Australian Labor Party, in the last Parliament. The 120,000 Australians who work in our forest and forest product industries around Australia look to this Parliament to correct this anomaly.”

Senator Lambie’s media release ‘Lambie calls for a National RET target of 32,000 GWh or less’- 10 April, 2015, is available by clicking here

Source: AFPA

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Forest scientists urged to speak up against scare campaigns

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, opened the Australia New Zealand Institute of Foresters conference in Victoria this week and used his speech to urge professional forest scientists to speak up and promote the attributes of the industry.

Senator Colbeck said the Australian forest and forest products industries are sustainably managed and have a good story to share with the broader community. “This is an industry that has unfairly suffered from misinformation and fear campaigns for many years. So I urge professional forest scientists to use their voice and deal with some of the myths and scare campaigns that are out there. We have a positive story to share and we need to be speaking up,” he said.

“During a recent address to the National Press Club, Australia’s Chief Scientist said the general public needs to understand the difference between an expert and a ranting celebrity. I think this message is very important and we need to ensure the voice of common sense is loud and clear when it comes to our natural industries.”

Senator Colbeck said the Government is focussed on returning common sense to forest policy in Australia and highlighted the work of the Forest Industry Advisory Council (FIAC) which recently released an issues paper looking at the future of the industry.

“The FIAC issues paper is the first step in developing a plan for the future of the industry. I envision that this document will help guide forest policy in the future and will be a document that can be used by future governments of any persuasion,” he said.

ABARES this week also released a report, Outlook scenarios for Australia’s forestry sector: key drivers and opportunities, which describes a range of outlook scenarios for the forestry sector and analyses the availability and use of logs, opportunities for primary processing, and the importance of factors affecting these outlooks to 2050.

Senator Colbeck said the findings highlighted in this report and the ideas proposed in the final FIAC discussion paper due out later this year will contribute to the position of Australia’s forestry industry for the future.



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New practical log scaling guide released

This publication sets out procedures for the measurement of round wood in New Zealand. Its aim is to ensure consistency in measurement standards and procedures for log scaling for the domestic and the export log market world-wide. It provides a comprehensive comparison of the various approaches used in log scaling and gives guidance on where they are most applicable and why.

The publication updates and combines three earlier publications; New Zealand Forest Service Information Series No.70, Procedures for the Measurement of Roundwood (1994), and FRI Bulletin No. 221 Log Scaling Guide for Exporters (2001). For further information contact: info@scaling.co.nz.




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NZ export double is in trouble

The Government's vision of doubling the value of exports from the primary sector has become a lot hazier in the last week or so as the Kiwi dollar moves into parity with its Australian counterpart.

"Export Double" relies massively on value-adding to commodities by the manufacturing sector and then selling those products competitively in overseas markets.

"For New Zealand's wood manufacturing sector still riding the storm of inflated log prices, depressed housing starts across the country, in particular, Auckland, and working against heavily subsidised international competitors, the news that our products have just become a lot more expensive in our biggest market is a hammer blow", said Jon Tanner, CEO, Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association of New Zealand (WPMA).

WPMA represents the largest number of wood processors and manufacturers in NZ and its members span the whole value-add chain: turning logs into a huge range of construction components including solid and engineered wood components, panels and mouldings. Australia is our No 1 overseas market for these products. The trade is valued at near NZ$ 1 billion annually and this is around 25% of the value of NZ's total overseas exports in terms of both logs and processed wood products.

Many of WPMA members are heavily dependent on the Australian market where trans-Tasman sales can make up over 60% of their revenue. Exchange rate extremes and high volatility have shortened the time horizon of firms' business plans undermining investor confidence with the knock on effect that innovation is being seriously stifled.

"This is a massive market for us and we agree with Bill English on this one: losing competitive edge in Australia because of extreme currency movements will risk jobs being lost", said Tanner. "This is made even more significant when these jobs are in regions where the employment market is already tight and incomes are low".

"It is also particularly galling when it impacts the wood industry: NZ's main example of a large sector that is contributing to regional economic growth, fixing carbon and protecting the environment simultaneously".

Mr English reckons that the manufacturing sector is already under terrific pressure. We concur and therefore Export Double is in trouble. What's Plan B? Wood manufacturers need to know.

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NZ's greenhouse gas emissions soar

New Zealand's net emissions of greenhouse gases climbed 42 per cent between 1990 and 2013. Gross emissions, which exclude carbon flows relating to forestry and land use change, rose 21 per cent between 1990 (year zero for carbon accounting purposes) and 2013, to be the fifth highest per capita among 40 developed countries.

The figures were last week in the Ministry for the Environment's latest greenhouse gas inventory and raise doubts about the Government's target of a 5 per cent reduction from 1990 levels by 2020. It will have to table a more ambitious offer for the forthcoming negotiations on a post-2020 regime by the middle of the year.

The difference between gross and net emissions reflects flows of carbon into and out of forests and changes in land use. These swing around a lot in New Zealand's case because of market and policy changes affecting the attractiveness of plantation forestry as an investment and their echoes 25 to 30 years later when the trees are ready for harvest.

Climate Change Minister Tim Groser yesterday said that for the past six years afforestation had exceeded deforestation. But the Ministry for the Environment's report said that since 2008 annual deforestation had averaged about 8500ha. "This is more than the average area of new forest planting over the same period," it said.

Greens co-leader Russel Norman, quoting the inventory report, said that in 2013 almost twice the area of land was deforested as was planted with new trees. "The key driver of this is the low carbon price, which is largely a result of the Government weakening the emissions trading scheme." The result was a "chainsaw catastrophe", he said.

The increase in gross emissions since 1990 has been driven by a rise of almost a third in emissions from the energy sector, principally road transport and electricity generation.

Emissions from agriculture rose a more modest 14 per cent over those 23 years though it remains the largest source, accounting for nearly half the national total. The ministry said the emissions intensity of agricultural production had declined since 1990 as productivity increased due to improvements in technology, feed and stock management, and animal breeding.

More >>

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BC Forest Safety Council looking now to sawmills

The BC Forest Safety Council hopes to do for sawmills what it’s done for the logging industry – improve safety. Plans are underway to have the council’s reach extend beyond ‘stump-to-dump’ companies and into sawmills and planer mills. Earlier this month the council's board of directors formally approved the initiative. Approval from the industry-led Manufacturers Advisory Group, launched in 2009 to develop best practices in sawmill safety, is expected to come shortly, with a strategy session involving the two groups to follow at the end of this month.

Last April, the Manufacturers’ Advisory Group (MAG) – the group voluntarily established by primary wood manufacturers in response to the deadly blasts at the Babine Forest Products and Lakeland sawmills – approached the Council for assistance in administering its combusible dust mitigation and control program.

Now, BCFSC spokesperson, Rob Moonen says MAG is looking to further align itself with the Council. “Essentially, what’s envisioned is a 21-month pilot period with MAG joining the Council as their Health and Safety Association and, after that time, it would be re-evaluated by MAG to determine the effectiveness of the arrangements.”

The Forest Safety Council, itself, was the result of a provincial task force struck in 2003 when the number of logging-related deaths in BC averaged 25 per year. Moonen said a key initiative in improving safety has been the SAFE Companies program – a program that ensures companies have industry-standard health and safety programs in place, and also involves in-field inspections. More than 2600 companies are now SAFE certified and it’s a requirement for the bidding process in BC. When questioned about the program’s effectiveness, Moonen credited it with a decline in the average death rate to fewer than eight annually over the past six years and a drop in the serious injury rate from three times the provincial average, to two times.

Source: 250 News

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A new generation of lightweight composite panels

Corruven Inc., a Canadian manufacturer, recently launched a new patented technology of a corrugated wooden core for the manufacture of lightweight panels, marketed by numerous industrial partners. The technology combines the natural strength of wood, the corrugated form and green chemistry to make a smarter use of the resource.

In addition to being light and making use of raw material, panels made with Corruven® Core show mechanical properties comparable, or even superior, to those of traditional wood-based panels. This should contribute to the innovation potential and the adoption of lightweight panels in the industry. To download the PDF describing the mechanical properties of panels made with Corruven® Core, click here.

Corruven® Core can be used directly in packaging and in furniture or be covered by different surface materials s such as MDF for furniture manufacturing and construction materials. For more information on the new product go to www.corruven.com

Source: FPIntell

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Jobs


Buy and Sell


... and one to end the week on...how the internet began

In ancient Israel, it came to pass that a trader by the name of Abraham Com did take unto himself a healthy young wife by the name of Dorothy.

Dot Com was a comely woman, large of breast, broad of shoulder and long of leg.

Indeed, she was often called Amazon Dot Com.

And she said unto Abraham, her husband, "Why dost thou travel so far from town to town with thy goods when thou canst trade without ever leaving thy tent?"

Abraham did look at her as though she were several saddle bags short of a camel load, but simply said, "How, dear?"

Dot replied, "I will place drums in all the towns and drums in between to send messages saying what you have for sale, and they will reply telling you who hath the best price. The sale can be made on the drums and delivery made by Uriah's Pony Stable (UPS)."

Abraham thought long and decided he would let Dot have her way with the drums.

The drums rang out and were an immediate success. Abraham sold all the goods he had at the top price, without ever having to move from his tent.

To prevent neighbouring countries from overhearing what the drums were saying, Dot devised a system that only she and the drummers knew. It was known as Must Send Drum Over Sound (MSDOS), and she also developed a language to transmit ideas and pictures - Hebrew To The People (HTTP).

And the young men did take to Dot Com's trading as doth the greedy horsefly take to camel dung.

They were called Nomadic Ecclesiastical Rich Dominican Sybarites, or NERDS.

And lo, the land was so feverish with joy at the new riches and the deafening sound of drums that no one noticed that the real riches were going to that enterprising drum dealer, Brother William of Gates, who bought off every drum maker in the land. Indeed he did insist on drums to be made that would work only with Brother Gates' drumheads and drumsticks.

And Dot did say, "Oh, Abraham, what we have started is being taken over by others."

And Abraham looked out over the Bay of Ezekiel, or eBay as it came to be known.

He said, "We need a name that reflects what we are."

And Dot replied, "Young Ambitious Hebrew Owner Operators." "YAHOO," said Abraham. And because it was Dot's idea, they named it YAHOO Dot Com.

Abraham's cousin, Joshua, being the young Gregarious Energetic Educated Kid (GEEK) that he was, soon started using Dot's drums to locate things around the countryside.

It soon became known as God's Own Official Guide to Locating Everything (GOOGLE).

That is how it all began. And that's the truth!






And on that note, have a great weekend - and we look forward to meeting up with a number of you who will be attending next week's MobileTECH 2015 event in the Gold Coast. Cheers.

Brent Apthorp
Editor, Friday Offcuts
PO Box 904
Level Two, 2 Dowling Street
Dunedin, New Zealand
Ph: +64 3 470 1902
Fax: +64 3 470 1904
Web page: www.fridayoffcuts.com


This week's extended issue, along with back issues, can be viewed at www.fridayoffcuts.com

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