Hands on: Asus Zenbook

Ultrabooks are the PC world’s latest attempt to wrestle back more of the portability market from tablets. In a nutshell, ultrabooks aim to deliver the grunt of a notebook within the petitie frame of a netbook – following in the footsteps of Apple’s MacBook Air.

Two weeks ago I took a look at the Toshiba Satellite Z830, a 13.3-inch ultrabook that’s packed with features but hampered by the somewhat cramped keyboard. Today I’m sitting down with an Asus Zenbook, which is available in four models; a choice of 11.6-inch or 13.3-inch displays sporting Core i5 or i7 processors. I’m looking at the 11.6-inch Zenbook UX21E RY008V with the Core i7 powerplant.


Asus Zenbook.Asus Zenbook.

Asus’ Zenbook struggles to strike a harmonious balance between portability and usability.

Ultrabooks are the PC world’s latest attempt to wrestle back more of the portability market from tablets. In a nutshell, ultrabooks aim to deliver the grunt of a notebook within the petitie frame of a netbook – following in the footsteps of Apple’s MacBook Air.

Two weeks ago I took a look at the Toshiba Satellite Z830, a 13.3-inch ultrabook that’s packed with features but hampered by the somewhat cramped keyboard. Today I’m sitting down with an Asus Zenbook, which is available in four models; a choice of 11.6-inch or 13.3-inch displays sporting Core i5 or i7 processors. I’m looking at the 11.6-inch Zenbook UX21E RY008V with the Core i7 powerplant. Leer más “Hands on: Asus Zenbook”

Key to being happy may not be in genes but in your choices

Working shorter hours did not necessarily lead to happiness, but working a lot more or less than they wanted made people very unhappy.

“It appears that prioritising success and material goals is actually harmful to life satisfaction,” Professor Headey wrote in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Partner choice played a big role. Women were less happy if their partner did not prioritise family goals than if they had no partner, and people with a neurotic partner were far less happy over time. They never got used to their partner’s negative emotions, either – even after 20 years of marriage there was no decline in the effects on their happiness.

Doing exercise and being a healthy weight were beneficial, and obesity was strongly linked to unhappiness, particularly for women.

Professor Headey did not know why many people continued to prioritise goals which did not seem to make them happy. “I think people don’t often sit down and think about what really makes them happy, and then try to do more of that.”


Amy Corderoy | http://www.smh.com.au

Happy, happiness.Happiness … It’s a choice.

The sad sacks and Eeyores of the world are not doomed to gloom forever, according to new research that shows happiness is not dictated by genes.

Instead it found your choice of partner and life goals drastically affect your satisfaction with life – overturning the popular theory that happiness is largely decided by personality traits moulded early in life and genetic factors.

Up until now much research had seemed to show even extreme events such as becoming disabled or winning the lottery had little effect on people’s happiness, and studies of twins strongly linked happiness to genetics.

But in reality, over the course of their life about 40 per cent of people experienced large changes in their levels of happiness, said the study leader, Bruce Headey, an associate professor at the Melbourne Institute at Melbourne University.

The study, the first to track happiness over a long period, followed 60,000 Germans for up to 25 years. Leer más “Key to being happy may not be in genes but in your choices”

Launch your dream career in ‘retirement’

So while it might not be possible to completely stop work at 55 (an age when many women would like to retire, Fitzhardinge says), at least she might be able to reduce her hours at work and transition into a role that excites her. Fitzhardinge says often these roles aren’t as lucrative as the salaries women have enjoyed earlier in their career, but they provide a top-up to income into retirement, and can be merged with lifestyle as much as possible.

As part of this strategy, Fitzhardinge works with women to add skills development into their financial plan so they can begin to build the skills they will need in their new ‘passion’ career.


An assortment of United States coins, includin...

For many of us dreams of retirement include visions of finally having the time to do all those things we’ve never had the time to do. But did you ever imagine your ‘retirement’ planning might include a way to finally embark on a business idea you are passionate about?

Linda Fitzhardinge is an empowerment coach at the organisation Women Building Wealth. She gives women financial advice and encourages them to take an holistic approach to their health, wealth and spirit – and says all three elements are closely inter-related.

Fitzhardinge says there are times when she has met with a client to discuss her retirement plans and the session has ended in tears because dreams do not align with financial reality.

But instead of focussing on the negatives of such a realisation, Fitzhardinge has been working with older women to draw out their ideas for earning income from ideas they are passionate about. Leer más “Launch your dream career in ‘retirement’”

Beer goggles put rosy tint on Fossies

The Australian Securities Exchange has shown mercy to some of the mangiest dogs on the market, by offering them free euthanasia on Monday. Yesterday the ASX provided a list of companies that had failed to pay their annual listing fees and are set to be delisted. Among them is the Bill Ireland-headed Mariner Corporation, whose shares have dipped 99.6 per cent since their 2007 peak.

Mariner conveniently suspended its shares from trading on Friday ”pending an announcement in due course regarding a proposed business and capital restructuring”. It is unclear if the ”restructuring” just related to being delisted.

Other dogs set to be put down have already been put into liquidation or administration. They include the once Phil Sullivan-headed City Pacific, Timbercorp, Great Southern and the chook and pig drug developer Chemeq.

A short-lived strata manager that is now in administration and receivership, TEYS Limited, is also on the delisting list.

Luckily, TEYS’s former managing director, Michael Teys, has set up a new business called TEYS Lawyers.

The address and phone number of the new business are the same as those for the one that is in administration and receivership.


Scott Rochfort

Ian Johnston ... "Look what is happening."Ian Johnston … “Look what is happening.” Photo: John Shakespeare

The chief executive of Foster’s, Ian Johnston, seems rather encouraged by the booze group’s $464 million full-year loss.

”Last year, people were saying, ‘What’s happening at Foster’s?’ ” Johnston remarked to a briefing of analysts yesterday.

”This year, it’s more like, ‘Look what is happening at Foster’s.”

Maybe those people are heavy drinkers.

The group’s Carlton United Brewery arm reported a 5 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to $904 million.

The soon-to-be demerged Treasury Wine Estates division reported a 27 per cent fall in pre-tax profits to $221 million – before write-downs of $1.3 billion. Leer más “Beer goggles put rosy tint on Fossies”

Rudd’s leadership hangs by a thread

Trade Minister Simon Crean has backed Mr Rudd, saying he wasn’t aware of any leadership challenge.

“I do not support any leadership challenge,” Mr Crean said.

“Any loose talk or idle speculation on this matter is counterproductive.

“I urge solidarity behind the leader. I support Kevin as the Leader.”


PHILLIP COOREY

Kevin Rudd‘s leadership is hanging by a thread after his support base vanished following a push to oust him led by Right factional operators in Victoria and South Australia.

He announced late tonight he would put his leadership to the vote in caucus tomorrow at 9am. He said the vote came after a request from his deputy, Julia Gillard.

Ms Gillard has growing support among the caucus of 115 MPs and senators and an increasing number of factions.

These included the National Right, the Victorian Left and most of the NSW Right, including its kingmaker Mark Arbib.

Tomorrow’s vote came after a dramatic night of meetings between party heavyweights. Right-wing powerbrokers spent the day counting numbers in an effort to encourage Ms Gillard to run. Leer más “Rudd’s leadership hangs by a thread”

Managing workplace conflict

Co-worker conflict is one of the most difficult forms of workplace stress and can be hard to resolve.

Kadie Black, an outreach coordinator for a kids agency, felt as if her co-worker didn’t carry her weight on a team project. Rather than confront her, she mentioned it to another colleague who repeated Black’s comments publicly. Friction soon permeated the workplace, making it uncomfortable for the two women to work together again.

We all know that conflicts in the workplace are unavoidable. But now, the number of conflicts are intensifying as workers do more with less and stress levels jump to an all-time high. More than half of all employees say they lost work time worrying about confrontation with a co-worker, according to a survey by researchers at the University of North Carolina.


Man and a woman argue in an office.Co-worker conflict can be hard to address. Photo: iStock

Co-worker conflict is one of the most difficult forms of workplace stress and can be hard to resolve.

Kadie Black, an outreach coordinator for a kids agency, felt as if her co-worker didn’t carry her weight on a team project. Rather than confront her, she mentioned it to another colleague who repeated Black’s comments publicly. Friction soon permeated the workplace, making it uncomfortable for the two women to work together again.

We all know that conflicts in the workplace are unavoidable. But now, the number of conflicts are intensifying as workers do more with less and stress levels jump to an all-time high. More than half of all employees say they lost work time worrying about confrontation with a co-worker, according to a survey by researchers at the University of North Carolina. Leer más “Managing workplace conflict”

The use of digital media comes at a price

A 21st century addiction … The digital world is having an effect on our brains. Photo: Illustration by Michael Mucci

If you’re tired and forgetful, and finding it hard to concentrate, log off the laptop and take a digital detox, says Dan Roberts.

As a writer, I spend a lot of my time glued to my computer screen: researching and pitching ideas, dealing with emails, keeping abreast of breaking news and, occasionally, even writing. While recently trying to launch an online magazine, my screen time increased still further and, unable to resist the temptation any longer, I also answered the call of Twitter. Setting aside BlackBerry time at evenings and weekends, I was devoting eight hours a day to digital media.

After a month, strange things started to happen. I found it difficult to concentrate on any given task for more than a few minutes. My mind felt scattered and my focus wandered from email to web page to tweet to email and back again.


DAN ROBERTS

Internet addiction.

A 21st century addiction … The digital world is having an effect on our brains. Photo: Illustration by Michael Mucci

If you’re tired and forgetful, and finding it hard to concentrate, log off the laptop and take a digital detox, says Dan Roberts.

As a writer, I spend a lot of my time glued to my computer screen: researching and pitching ideas, dealing with emails, keeping abreast of breaking news and, occasionally, even writing. While recently trying to launch an online magazine, my screen time increased still further and, unable to resist the temptation any longer, I also answered the call of Twitter. Setting aside BlackBerry time at evenings and weekends, I was devoting eight hours a day to digital media.

After a month, strange things started to happen. I found it difficult to concentrate on any given task for more than a few minutes. My mind felt scattered and my focus wandered from email to web page to tweet to email and back again. Leer más “The use of digital media comes at a price”