Author Archives: uthinki

How much does Christopher Pyne remind you of Mr Squiggle?

Politics delivers its fair share of laughs, in a tears of a clown kind of way. Where the big red button doesn’t make it stop, instead it’s probably going to make a honking sound and be on the nose. Australian politics is no different in that regard. A look at the names of the electorates is usually enough to start shaping some form of balloon animal. From Corangamite, which could be a challengingly cheap, and surprisingly red, alternative to Vegemite. Possibly sold by Aldi, but only if people look hard enough. To Grayndler, which in modern times isn’t hard to mistake for some sort of poling app. Then there’s the dynamic trio of Batman, Bruce, and the almost misleading Hotham. It doesn’t take the world’s greatest detective to deduce that Wayne Enterprises made some very significant political donations in the state of Victoria. The joke would be on the conspiracy ...

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Rebooted Star Trek movies officially occur in The Kelvin Timeline

Naming J.J. Abrams’ rebooted Star Trek timeline has been the topic of much discussion amongst starship captains in many a ready room, or at least online and within forums. But now it’s boldly going where no-one has gone before, into official naming territory. Officially called The Kelvin Timeline, it acknowledges the Romulan attack on the USS Kelvin from the Star Trek (2009) movie, and the ensuing events in the franchise. Views of the rebooted movies have ranged to favourable, to them feeling more like (bad) fan fiction, to them just not being Star Trek at all. But three viewpoints are hardly a galaxy, let alone an entire fictional universe. And with that came the need to properly acknowledge the events of the Romulan-altered timeline within Star Trek itself. As Holly Amos, Professional Trekspert at CBS, said via Twitter: “More than that, we needed an in-universe term since we needed some ...

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Pokémon GO Plus, for Trainers who’ve Gotta Catch ‘Em All

Pokémon GO represents one Nintendo’s early forays into developing games and apps for smartphones, and away from Nintendo video games appearing exclusively on Nintendo consoles. Nintendo, however, have been branching out a little more, including rumours of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology. It’s this latter area that Pokémon GO and the Pokémon GO Plus accessory are likely laying the foundations for. Nintendo outlined and demonstrated Pokémon Go at E3 2016; the game has also been playable in various beta tests. The Pokémon GO Plus accessory is a wearable piece of technology which communicates via Bluetooth with a smartphone that has the Pokémon GO app installed. Using the accessory will allow for attempting to catch wild Pokémon in AR, at the press of a button in the real world, all without needing to check the smartphone. The device will flash green and vibrate to indicate the presence of ...

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Australian Federal Election 2016: Electorate Seats Forecasts

Near one week remains until the outcome of Australian federal election 2016 is officially decided. With voting set for Saturday, 2 July 2016, Australia will make a collective decision by numbering boxes on a number of ballot papers by voting for the House of Representatives and voting in the Senate. Down but Not Out As at the time of writing, 25 June 2016, market-based probabilities imply an 85.8 percent chance of the Coalition (collectively the Liberal Party and the National Party plus a few variations on these) winning the 2016 federal election, placing a corresponding 14.2 percent chance of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) winning. Further analysis, the results of which are shown in the table below, forecasts that in the House of Representatives, the Coalition is likely to win 86 seats, and Labor is likely to win 60 seats, with the minor parties and independents collectively expected to win ...

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King Kong Supersized for Skull Island and the Monster Battles Ahead?

“Kong. Kong. Kong.” It’s a big chant, for a big ape. And that particular ape is about to get a whole lot bigger. Speaking at an extended preview, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts said: “Not 10 foot or 30 foot, but a 100-foot ape.” He’s referring to King Kong in his forthcoming movie Kong: Skull Island, set for a March 2017 release. Starring Tom Hiddleston (possibly with a “mewling quim” speech moment or other strong language equivalent), Brie Larson, and Samuel L. Jackson. Plus the titular ape himself, King Kong, complete with his supersizing to 100 feet (30 metres) tall. The massive size increase is likely laying the groundwork to give some semblance of plausibility to King Kong actually being a worthy contender against Godzilla. Who is increasingly utterly gigantic (since skyscrapers keep getting taller), has thermonuclear powers, and isn’t afraid of swimming in the water. Because Warner Bros. intends to merge ...

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2016 iPhone Rumoured Similar, Bigger Changes Expected for 2017 iPhone

If rumours and reports are to be believed, the 2016 iPhone will be more of the familiar. Based upon sources speaking to The Wall Street Journal, WSJ reports that the 2016 models of the iPhone will keep their 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch sizes for the LCD screens. As has long been rumoured, the headphone jack is also expected to be replaced; with the lightning port to be used for both headphones and charging the phone. Making the rear camera flat with the back of the iPhone is another rumoured design tweak. However, it seems Apple have bigger plans for the iPhone in 2017. Which will mark the 10-year anniversary of the device, with the original iPhone having launched back in June 2007. Speculated changes include the 2017 iPhone featuring an OLED display, and doing away with the phone’s physical home button in favour of a fingerprint sensor on the screen. To ...

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Brexit or Bremain: How Influences the Slain?

The murder of British MP Jo Cox has cast a dark cloud over Britain. Aged 41-years-old, Helen Joanne “Jo” Cox, was a member of the British Labour Party, and a Member of Parliament for Batley and Spen. Cox was shot and stabbed to death on Thursday, 16 June 2016, in the street near the Birstall library, in West Yorkshire, England. Her killer has been identified as 52-year-old Thomas Mair, reported as suffering from mental health issues, including depression. Witnesses claim Mair yelled “Britain first” at the time of the murder. It’s unclear whether it was “Britain first” or “Britain First” that Mair is said to have yelled however, and coincidence cannot be ruled out. Britain First is the name of a far-right British political party, known for its nationalist and anti-immigration stances. In response to the murder, both sides suspended their campaigning for three days. However, the debate regarding whether ...

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Does Breath of the Wild have Speedrun Potential?

Players will be able to go straight from the opening sequence to the final boss in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Series producer Eiji Aonuma has confirmed as much. In an interview via Polygon, Aonuma offered up that it’s “not impossible” for players to go straight to the end goal, the final boss, without doing anything else as the developers “created the game like that”. While also suggesting that a player who does this is either a “really good gamer” or a “little crazy”. Aonuma may have also thrown down the proverbial Power Glove (a Nintendo-esque gauntlet) with his comment that in Breath of the Wild it “might be fun for fans to compete in a challenge for who can clear it first.” Nintendo games and gamers are no strangers to speedruns. The Metroid series has long been a field for such speedruns, with players eschewing items ...

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Kiwi Guacamole: A Recipe for the Great Avocado Theft in New Zealand

New Zealand brings another unique piece of news to the world table with the dastardly thefts of avocados. Using rakes and the cover of nightfall, thieves have been stealing the fruits direct from the avocado trees in unguarded orchards. Given the time of year, the stolen avocados typically aren’t ripe, and probably aren’t that good to eat either. However, the opportunity is there for criminals to on-sell the stolen avocados amidst increasing prices and limited supply. Because New Zealand does not import any avocados, but consumer demand for them has increased significantly. In New Zealand, a single avocado sells for around NZ$4-6. With prices that high, avocados may be likely to remain easy pickings for opportunistic thieves.

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Is No Playable Female Link in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Really that Bad?

There have undoubtedly cases where Nintendo has been a bit old fashioned and overprotective at times. But deriding Nintendo for being parochial and conservative and supposedly not wanting to allow “lesbian love” into The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is to fundamentally miss the point. It’s seemingly to push an agenda which is unlikely to even be there. Are games in The Legend of Zelda series really even about love? Eiji Aonuma’s comments (which could be somewhat lost in translation) about “balance in the Triforce” and choosing the “simpler” option of retaining the traditional gameplay roles of the male Link and the female Zelda does not seem unreasonable, given the size and scope of the new Zelda game, the storyline of series, and the nature of the games themselves. They’re about fun, adventure, exploring dungeons and solving puzzles. They are games to be played and enjoyed. Escapism. Where ...

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