Ripped from the headlines – February 8, 2007

Various tales from Australian newspaper headlines over the past week or so … Some funny, some serious.

Google Embarrassed in Australia –
Reporters at The Sydney Morning Herald discovered an embarrassing flaw in Google’s Map product – Google recommends a 10.4 kilometer trip, across the harbor and back, to go the thirty steps from Google’s Sydney headquarters to a hotel located across the street. The suggested route would also include a AU$3 bridge toll. Any query for driving directions from areas east, south or west of Google’s headquarters will suggest the same detour across the harbor, using a toll tunnel or bridge.

Guard dog leaks away a fortune – Lawyer Weekly, 2-Feb-2007
A jeweller from Dusseldorf, in Germany, lost two suitcases full of gold and diamonds when his security guard stopped to allow his dog to find a tree to christen.

Harald Herzmann decided to hire the guard and dog to accompany him to Tirol, Austria, to watch over the 1,522,147 euros ($2,501,257) worth of jewels.

“I often make the journey but not usually with so much jewellery, and had hired a security guard and dog as extra precautions,� he said. “I was walking the dog together with the security man and somebody grabbed the suitcases from the car.�

Police suspect an opportunistic passer by and are making their inquiries.

Aussie couple’s campervan cock-up The Sydney Morning Herald
A holidaying Australian couple got the shock of their lives when police pulled over their campervan and told them they had their eight-year-old daughter.

Gold Coast No.1 for celebrities – The Sydney Morning Herald
A poll lists Queensland as the holiday hot spot for celebrities.

Gold Coast ‘child abuse hot spot’ – Sydney Morning Herald
The Gold Coast has become a hot spot for child abuse and injury by parents with drug and alcohol problems, Queensland Child Safety Minister Desley Boyle says.

Premier savages defence lawyers – The Australian
SOUTH Australian Premier Mike Rann yesterday enraged leading Queens Counsel with an incendiary attack on the state’s criminal defence lawyers, suggesting they are using loopholes in the state’s sexual assault and rape laws.

Project Vista
The Queensland state government is seeking expressions of interest for private-sector partners to build and operate an open-access, ultra high speed broadband network for the people and businesses of Brisbane.