Monthly archives: February, 2019

Lawnmower Man, ‘first’ Virtual Reality film, to be remade – in Virtual Reality

Stephen King cult film Lawnmower Man starred Jeff Fahey and Pierce Brosnan. Pierce Brosnan and Jeff Fahey starred in the 1992 science-fiction film The Lawnmower Man, which is to be remade as a virtual reality series. Photo: supplied
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The film that introduced virtual reality to the general public 25 years ago is to be remade – this time, in the form of a virtual reality series.

The Lawnmower Man, adapted from a Stephen King short story (though so loosely that he successfully sued to have his name removed from the film), was a minor hit in 1992 with its tale of a simple-minded man (Jeff Fahey) who becomes an evil genius after being used as a guinea pig by VR researcher Dr Lawrence Angelo (Pierce Brosnan). But it has since come to be regarded as something of a cult classic, and as one of the first depictions in mass culture of the immersive three-dimensional medium known as virtual reality.

Though VR has been in development almost as long as cinema itself, and has existed in rudimentary forms since 1957, it is only in the past couple of years that it has emerged as a genuinely accessible form of communication and entertainment, thanks to mass-produced headsets.

Now the race is on to create content for these devices, which range in price from about $10 for Google’s Cardboard to many hundreds of dollars for Facebook’s Oculus and Sony’s Playstation VR.

The Lawnmower Man series is one of five commissions announced by VR content distributor Jaunt at the Sundance Film Festival late last week. It will be produced by Canadian company Triton Media Inc.

“The original movie was a film of unsurpassed imagination and creativity with its groundbreaking use of VR back in 1992,” said Triton’s Jim Howell, who co-owns the rights to the title with Triton founder Rupert Harvey.

“Together with Jaunt we look forward to a contemporary team bringing to life a whole new world of VR; a world of immersive entertainment and communication. We are very excited to be working with Jaunt to create a VR realisation of the film.”

The other projects announced by Jaunt are primarily in the sci-fi space, though Bad Trip, from Todd Strauss-Schulson, writer-director of A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas, is an immersive six-part stoner comedy.

“VR is the future,” Strauss-Schulson said of the project. “It’s a fascinating new form of storytelling that can create a potent feeling state and a personal subjective experience. You know what else can do that? Drugs.

“Drugs have the power to create hilarious, pride-swallowing humiliations. I’m pumped to dive into the VR world where I can apply my visual ideas to this medium putting the viewer inside these hallucinatory rollercoaster rides.”

Karl Quinn is on facebook at karlquinnjournalist and on twitter @karlkwin

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net….


All hail Maitland’s kale sale as produce markets get the green thumbs up

BUMPER CROP: Maitland’s produce markets on The Levee have been a success and a delight to local producers.Maitland will have a regular local produce market on The Levee with plans to start the salenext month.
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Maitland councillors voted unanimously last night to approve the event which will be heldon the firstand third Thursday of the month

Speaking in public access Slow Food Hunter Valley representative, AmorelleDempster, told councillors the markets would be a unique experience run by local producers and the council.

A market trial was run on The Levee last year with the objective of assessing the viability of an ongoing market.

Councillors in favour of a regular sale said the event brings more people to The Levee precinct, connected communities and supported the city’s farmers.

Cr Loretta Baker, a strong supporter of the market, said an impromptu pumpkin stall, where 20 tonnes were sold in 12 hours, brought record crowds to the precinct and the trail markets had been very popular.

She also noted the venture had broughtthe community together and “put the soulback” into the city’s heart.

Cr Baker said she is looking forward to this next phase in the life of the fresh produce markets.

“I wish them every success in their efforts tobuild them further and possibly qualify for Australia’s first “earth markets”.

“We are fortunate to live in an area that still has farmers working the land and sowing vegetable crops,” she said.

“The partnership between the farmers and the Slow Food Movement headed up by Amorelle which has delivered the fresh food markets has been warmly embraced by Maitland residents who queue to buy their produce on market days,” Cr Baker said.

“As well as bringing us food straight from the paddock, a lot of community development and community building has sprung from this venture.

“Many volunteers help out on market days and the farmers are experimenting with a greater variety of crops. There is so much potential here and they definitely have my support,” she said.

Cr Arch Humphery who moved a recommendation to approve the market said Maitland was once the vegetable capital of NSW, known widely for its potato production.Cr Henry Meskauskas said the market will become anasset for the city.

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Australians all, let us rejoice at award nominees

For the last 57 years on Australia Day, Australians around the country have woken to news of the next Australian of the Year. From cities to country towns, with our families and friends, we discuss the decision and express our opinions on the people chosen to receive this honour.
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There’s an amazing range of people in the running for 2017 – many from regional and rural areas. Broken Hill resident Josephine Peters has been a volunteer for more than 70 years. Vicki Jellie helped raise millions of dollars to build a cancer centre in regional Victoria. In the desert region of central Australia, Andrea Mason is championing employment and health.

As chairman, I have the privilege of meeting many of the outstanding Australians put forward for the awards. They are role models for us all. This is what it is all about. Reflecting on the Australian characteristics we hold dear. Tenacity. Optimism. Decency. Leading by example, these stories encourage us all to strive to be our better selves. They inspire us and show us what is possible.

Every nominee I’ve met has been deserving of our respect. For their story, achievements and contributions. They are deserving because they have already inspired someone to nominate them. That’s how the Australian of the Year Awards work. Everyone in the country gets to start the process by nominating someone for consideration.

The Australian of the Year Awards have such resonance precisely because they rely on Australians nominating other Australians. For2017 alone, more than 3000 people were nominated.

So who decides from all these worthy candidates? Across the country eight selection panels, one for each state and territory, whittle down the thousands ofnominations to four finalists in each of the four award categories – Australian of the Year, Local Hero, Senior Australian of the Year and Young Australian of the Year. That’s a total of 128 people recognised each year. From these, 32 outstanding Australians whose excellence, leadership and contributions are celebrated on the national stage on January 25.

We then have to choose just four national award recipients. It is, as you can imagine, incredibly difficult. It’s a task that I and my fellow board members consider in great depth. And it always comes back the role inspirational leaders play in shaping the Australian story.Perhaps it’s someone who has spent a lifetime dedicated to the needs of other.Or someone whose passion and drive has led to undeniable success.Perhaps they have made ground-breaking discoveries.Or started a conversation with the potential to change lives.There are so many ways Australians contribute and inspire us. It is truly humbling to see.

It’s an occupational hazard that not everyone will agree with the decision. But the Australian of the Year Awards continue to be important precisely for that reason. We need people who represent Australians from all walks of life. People who challenge us and inspire and prompt us to discuss our views.

This year, I encourage you to watch the awards on TV or streamed on Facebook and I hope you find inspiration from the remarkable stories. If the awards represent our country’s potential and identity, we should all feel richly proud to call Australia home.

Who will be our 2017 Australians of the Year? Watch the national announcement live on ABC TV from 7.30pm AEDST on Wednesday, January 25.

Know someone worthy of attention? Nominate them for the 2018 awards at australianoftheyear.org419论坛

Ben Roberts-Smith is chairman of the National Australia Day Council.


David Lowe: Newcastle Jets need everyone on deckphotos

David Lowe’s Lowedown | photos, video TweetFacebookDad’s Army fame, and Jets coach Mark Jones suggested that fans follow that advice, with a lot more rationale, after their 2-0defeat at the hands of the Wanderers on Sunday.
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Nobody has forgotten how to play, got ahead of themselves, failed to compete, or anything of that ilk. The Jets lost to a side who have dominated many of their matches this seasonbut failed to capitalise.

That run was due to end. Indeed, a 0-0 draw with the unbeaten Sydney FC, in which they probably just shaded the contest, as recently as last week suggested Tony Popovic’s side were in pretty good nick.

The absence of Hoole, Nordstrand and Brownmeant the Jets were without a lot of energy, possibly their quickest and fittest player, and a fair dash of guile.

A big moment for the kid. Academy product Lachlan Scott scores his first @ALeague goal #WSWpic.twitter南京夜网/zaRjhVDVLc

— WS Wanderers FC (@wswanderersfc) January 22, 2017Lots of people like different players for different reasons. A quick glance at most top-flight player-of-the-year competitions reveals a glut of strikers or creative midfielders at the top of most polls.

Andrew Nabbout is close to the top of polls in the A-League, and he has had a very good year to date. For me, if his contribution has been better than Andrew Hoole’s, it is only by the smallest of margins.

The Jets have certainly been most effective and most dangerous when both have been on the pitch. It’s undoubtedly more comfortable for opponents, and much easier for opposing coaches to provide the necessary defensive cover, if one is absent.

Hoole can frustrate at times.I reckon two or three of his accumulated yellow cards could have been avoided, and, yes, his finishing could be a little more composed, but it does seem to be improving.

But, you know what, if he was a smooth, reliable, clinical goalscorer, he wouldn’t be playing in the A-League, because his engines, aggressionand deceptive acceleration would serve him well at a higher level.

That remains his challenge, to develop composure in front of goal, and improve game awareness and decision-making, because his athleticism and ability to glide past people make him a real handful.

Opposition defenders would seldom admit it, but I reckon the Wanderers left back Jack Clisby would have been smiling through the weekknowing that he would get forward without such a physical contest, and that whoever replaced Hoole was unlikely to threaten the space in behind him with anything approaching the same regularity.

Brown’s tenacity and forward runs were also missed, as indeed was the finesse of Nordstrand, which so complements the firepower of Hoole and Nabbout. I can’t help but think that both will be more effective against Melbourne City’s high defensive line, in the later evening timeslot on Friday in Coffs Harbour, with Hoole on deck, than they might have been in the direct sunlight at Campbelltown with a 5pm kick-off.

I don’t think it’s unfair to say that Melbourne City have struggled a little in the past month or so, and the Jets will fancy their chances against an expansive (and, indeed, expensive) City side.

What the Jets can’t afford is to have any defensive lapses, concentration or execution, or Messrs Fornaroli and Cahill will make them pay.

Defensive assignments at set pieces, in particular, will be of great interest. Whoever gets the job on Cahill will have to be very strong in terms of focus and physicalityto at least compete and stymie to an effective extent.

I reckon this is a game Jones and his players will be looking forward towith some relish. Big-name opponent, who will expect to dominate, push on, and who will leave space at the back in pursuit of that quest.

You might remember the Jets gave a decent account of themselves at AAMI Park earlier in the seasonand are without doubt more fluent and cohesive at this moment.

Two weeks ago, the Jets were fifth. Today they are eighth, without doing too much wrong. The three teams above them in the yo-yo group (from fifth to eighth) all have tricky away games this weekend, and it would be no surprise to see further exchange of league places in mid-table.

Undoubtedly,Jets fans will keep a close eye on those games as well as the one at Coffs Harbour, but for the neutral, and two big cities, all eyes will be on AAMI Park on Australia Day as Victory host Sydney FC.

Second host first in what could be a game of huge psychological bearing come finals time, and could possibly determine the destination of the Premiers Plate, even at this early stage.

Will Victory look to play with great pace, flair and dexterity, and width, as is their modus operandi? Or will they choke the life out of the Sky Bluesand swamp themphysically, as they did in the 2015 grand final?

Will Sydney cope either wayand extend their unbeaten run, a marvellous achievement, which I have probably underestimated and undervalued to this point, to 17 games?

A fascinating round in prospect.


Dominic Perrottet says land titles registry privatisation to be further discussed

Deputy leader Dominic Perrottet answers questions after Premier Berejiklian. Photo: Wolter PeetersAfter months of fiercely defending the NSW government’s plans to privatise the land titles registry, the newly installed deputy Liberal leader has toned down the rhetoric.
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Dominic Perrottet, who as Minister for Finance, Services and Property led the charge to lease the 150-year-old registry to the private sector for 35 years, did not rule out the possibility it would be reconsidered.

“Look, we will have those discussions over time. Today, we’re not going to go into in-depth discussions in relation to various policy matters,” he said.

“We’ve got to sit down with our colleagues and once we form a new government we will look at a number of issues and come back to you shortly.”

The government has copped criticism from many peak bodies, including Law Society of NSW, Real Estate Institute of NSW, Property Council of Australia NSW, History Council of NSW, and Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance, for pursuing the privatisation of the registry without public consultation or independent assessment.

The Public Service Association said the 35-year concession of Land and Property Information (LPI) will have an “enormous detrimental impact” on the state’s economy.

“Surely, given the Premier’s experience in Treasury, the implications of the LPI sale should send off alarm bells,” said the union’s general secretary Stewart Little.

The government and its sale adviser JP Morgan have opened the second round of bidding. It hopes the lease of LPI will yield as much as $2 billion, so that it can fund its sports stadium package.

According to the Australian Financial Review last week, the consortiums – Macquarie’s MIRA with Link, Borealis with its portfolio company Teranet and Computershare and the Hastings Funds Management-led consortium – have been reassured the government remains committed to the process.

Other hopefuls include Affinity Equity Partners and The Carlyle Group.

It’s understood representatives of each bidder will be taking guided tours of LPI and be given the chance to ask further questions about the asset this week and next.

Mr Perrottet became the deputy leader of the NSW Liberal Party on Monday, serving under Premier Gladys Berejiklian. He is expected to grab the Treasury portfolio.

“What I’m focused on is what works and I think if you look at the work we’ve done in finance, sure sometimes we’ve gone down a privatisation path, other times we haven’t,” he said.

“For example our workers comp reforms with icare, where we’ve established an organisation within government, with a commercial mind and a social heart,” he continued.

“And I think what’s important in politics and good government is that you focus on the end result, and focus on the outcome, and you look at who’s best placed to provide that service”.

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