From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Carbon tax compo to pokies losses. The word from the hotel industry is that pokies barns are reporting increased revenue since the federal government’s cheques to compensate for the carbon tax started landing.

Bureaucratic cuts: look for bulldog clips. Razor gangs are out in force cutting every piece of fat from the bureaucracy. Take this email from the Queensland office of the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations …

According to one departmental insider: “DEEWR lost staff last year to voluntary redundancies and is set to lose more this month — rumours are that around 500 job losses are necessary to remain in the black. All this penny pinching does not make for happy staff.”

Fairfax works through Catalano deal. As Crikey reported yesterday, Fairfax staff will meet with management today to discuss the Antony Catalano Metro Media tie-up that received ACCC approval this week. Crikey is told that at this stage staff are not stopping work and the existing Fairfax weeklies’ EBA will be carried over to the new venture. “The staff is about 50% casual though so they are very worried about losing their jobs, but the full-timers are not arcing up about it, so far as I know,” said one well-placed insider.

Google offers business the works. Another example of the power of Google: an IT boffin informs us Google is opening up its database to help businesses track competitors. They report:

“Google is now giving them the names of all the competitors that are targeting the same customers as they are. This is specifically useful to small business owners, or marketers, who use Google Adwords — they can now see the names of all the advertisers competing in their same space, and what their impression share and rank is like in comparison.”

We’re a bit confused by what this means. Do you know more? Drop us a line

MasterCard hitches to university students. We reported yesterday on the University of Canberra flogging MasterCards to students rather than the standard ID card. Other universities, we were quickly reminded, are doing the same. The new Macquarie University ID/MasterCard has been promoted to students since the start of the year.

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