Compiled by Patrick Avenell

Canon has announced a new all-purpose telephone zoom lens to its EF Series. The new EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II is described as being a versatile, all round lens for a variety of situations.

“The new EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II is a versatile, multipurpose telephoto zoom lens that would suit entry-level photographers looking to broaden their creative potential,” said EOS brand manager Chris Macleod

“Its focal length makes it perfect for shooting a broad range of subjects such as family portraits, holidays, sporting events and special occasions, as it allows you to draw close attention to your subject while softening the background for a more powerful image.”

This new lens will be out next month. The RRP has not been finalised.

Black & Decker and Stanley are back for another year sponsoring Channel Nine’s The Block. This show was also sponsored by Panasonic last year.

In this year’s instalment, which will premiere on Monday 20 June 2011, renovators will continue to build the apartment of their dreams using power tools, hand tools and gardening appliances from the Black & Decker and Stanley ranges.

Here’s The Block host and all round good guy Scott Cam.

“We have some really clever contestants this year and we promise plenty of high drama as the renovations unfold,” Cam said. “The couples are using power tools morning, noon and night to get their properties up to scratch, obviously adhering to council noise restrictions!”

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A Telstra funded survey has revealed that Australians are increasingly becoming less civilised when using their smartphones. Telstra calls this a ‘phone-pas’.

Commenting on this is “etiquette expert” Anna Musson.

“Telstra’s research revealed one-third of Australians witness a phone-as daily, but the majority of us are actually guilty of the etiquette offences we most dislike others doing,” Musson said.

“When it comes to navigating the complex world of mobile etiquette, I recommend a couple of simple tips. Firstly, save it for later: there are some discussions that should not take place over a mobile phone or in public.

“Also, be ‘socially sensitive’; a picture, status update or check-in can say a thousand words, so always think before you post.”

Grundig is happy to be a finalist in the 2011 Australian International Design Awards, which will be presented in Melbourne on Friday 22 July 2011.

The Trio Touch, a DAB+ micro system from Grundig, is the acclaimed unit. Grundig is distributed locally by Bush Australia.

“It is a great honour for the Grundig Trio Touch to be recognised by such a highly respected design industry award scheme,” said Bush Australia sales director Brian Rodgers. “It is especially sweet as the Trio Touch was one of the first new Grundig models that we developed specifically for the Australian Market.”

For more on the wider DAB+ market, and for further information on the 2011 Australian International Design Awards, check out the June issue of Appliance Retailer magazine.