Economy

MySpace ads home-in… Insurance pays climate price… Retailers green-up… Blue-collar pay catches up… Be e-waste wise

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How technology is helping MySpace tailor ads to members

After six months of experimentation, MySpace has developed technology to tailor ads to the personal information on its 110 million users’ profile pages.

The new ad “tailoring technology” has increased the chance a user will click on an ad by 80% on average, according to executives from Fox Interactive Media, the unit of News Corporation that owns MySpace.

Fox Interactive executive Adam Bain told the The New York Times: “Our targeting is a balance of what users say, what they do and what they say they do,” he said.

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Insurance changes with climate

Insurance companies around the globe are concerned at the impact on the weather of man-made global warming.

German insurer Allianz has issued new research that forecasts losses and insurance claims stemming from natural disasters such as floods and severe storms will possibly be $A49 billion a year in the decade to 2019, compared with less than $A6 billion before 1989, according to a report in The Age.

In 2005-06, the figure had been $A36 billion. Allianz also predicts that there will need to be increased co-operation between private insurers and government entities to provide adequate coverage.

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Customers tell retailers to try more greens

Australia’s largest retailers are responding to consumers’ concerns about climate change and global warming.

Woolworths is testing the use of canola-based biodiesel fuels in its fleet of delivery trucks, although sustainability manager Armineh Mardirossian concedes that availability of such fuels is an issue, reports The Australian Financial Review.

Meanwhile, Woolworths will open the first of three “green” supermarkets later this month. The new stores will aim to consume 20% to 30% less energy than existing stores. Coles Group has also opened “green” supermarkets, and like Woolworths it welcomes the suggestions of employees with regard to reducing carbon emissions.

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Blue-collar skills narrow pay gap with professions

It pays to be a tradie over in the West. Western Australian tradesmen have enjoyed pay rises of up to 68% over the past 10 years. By comparison, professionals such as doctors and lawyers have won 52% rises, according to The West Australian newspaper.

Boilermakers and welders are in high demand in WA, particularly in the mining and construction industries. The average wage of Australian welders is $52,000 a year, however welders working in the WA mining industry can earn up to $120,000.

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The growing e-waste problem

The cheaper electronic products become, the more there are to throw away. E-waste is building quickly throughout the world. The Victorian Government has a program that aims to divert computerware from landfill into recycling, reports The Australian Financial Review.

Byteback, involving the City of Boroondara, Hewlett-Packard (HP), K&S Environmental, Sims E-Recycling and Sustainability Victoria, allocates collection sites for residents and small businesses for their old gear. The program has accepted more than 400 tonnes of equipment since it started.

One tonne of computers recycled saves about 5.5 tonnes of carbon.

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