Books, films & ICT news




Happy 30th birthday to mobile phone calls in Australia – 9/8/11

The Telecom call was made in Melbourne in 1981 on an in-car phone that weighed 14kg & was 45cm long & cost $5000. The network covered the greater Melb. area….now we are heading for the  Telstra 4G network with higher data speeds & better video quality. Trials have started.


Facebook to have an executive in Aust. this week

Mia Garlick, a senior bureaucrat from Stephen Conroy’s Dept of Broadband, Communications & the Digital Economy, will have responsibility for Aust. operations & will hopefully be able to act quickly on complaints about Facebook postings & cyberbullying.


The PricewaterhouseCoopers Aust. Entertainment & Media Outlook 2011-2015

The report on Australia’s media & entertainment industry was issued 1/8/11. The fastest moving sector is the gamer market (9.5% growth by 2015), with gamers using consoles, phones, tablets & social media. Australians will own 5.5 million tablet devices by 2015. Empowered consumers often expect content for free – what incentives can be offered to encourage consumers to pay? Subscription TV revenue will grow by 5.1%. Films will grow by 4%. The internet as an industry will see a slowing of growth (7.4% by 2015). Newspapers will remain stagnant (0.1% growth). Consumer magazines & recorded music will be the only sectors to shrink. Live entertainment will see growth. And as for the book industry…..despite the closure of many A&R stores & Borders, the report predicts the industry will recover with annualised growth of 2.5% over the next 5 years.



Andrew Denton’s company Zapruder’s Other Films is looking at legal action over a pilot British TV program with the same format as The Gruen Transfer. Meanwhile, the BBC has aired a satirical series about preparations for the London Olympics, that is very similar to John Clarke’s The Games. The concept had been pitched to the BBC by Clarke in 2008.


Scarecrow and the army of thieves – Matthew Reilly

Available in October; the 4th book in the series starring Scarecrow, the heroic guy who was introduced in Ice station.


Inheritance – Christopher Paolini

Available 8/11/11. Book 4 & the conclusion to the series that began with Eragon. Can Eragon & his dragon topple the evil king and restore justice to Alagaesia?


Jane Eyre,8599,2058367,00.html

Yay for Canberra’s Mia Wasikowska in the new film directed by Cary Fukunaga, based on the book by Charlotte Bronte. Also starring Michael Fassbender as Rochester. Some say she is the best Jane ever J Opens 11 August.


Batavia by Peter FitzSimons: the miniseries.

Screentime (makers of Underbelly Cloudstreet) will make the 6 part series based on the 1629 Dutch shipwreck & the battle of good vs evil. FitzSimons describes the tale as an “adults-only version of Lord of the flies meets Nightmare on Elm Street”.


The white mouse – directed by Bruce Beresford

New bio-pic about the life of war heroine Nancy Wake, the highest decorated woman of WW2. Begins filming end of 2012.

New films and Wikipedia


Some interesting new films coming up for English, psychology, communication, marketing, Australian identity….enjoy 🙂

Jane Eyre,8599,2058367,00.html

Yay for Canberra’s Mia Wasikowska (whose brother is here at DC) in the new film directed by Cary Fukunaga, based on the book by Charlotte Bronte. Also starring Michael Fassbender as Rochester. Some say she is the best Jane ever J Opens 11 August.




Political thriller directed by Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The day after tomorrow). Stars Rhys Ifans & Vanessa Redgrave. Aust. release Nov 2011. Was Shakespeare a fraud? Was Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford, the true author of Shakespeare’s plays? Did Oxford have an affair with Queen Elizabeth and was it all about who would succeed Elizabeth? Alas, poor Shakespeare…sounds intriguing…


Hunger Games: the movie

Directed by Gary Ross. Stars Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson. In the ruins of North America, a boy & a girl from each district are forced to compete in the Hunger Games, where only one person will survive. This exceptionally popular “cross-over” book will be released as a film in March 2012 (USA).


The greatest movie ever sold

Morgan Spurlock’s (Supersize me) new film looks at the huge amounts of product placement in movies – and his film was entirely paid for through product placement & marketing deals. Contributions from Noam Chomsky, Quentin Tarantino, Ralph Nader but not McDonald’s hehe. Apparently even Jules Verne sold naming rights to the shipping companies in Around the world in 80 days!


The beaver

Comedy-drama directed by Jodie Foster. Stars Mel Gibson & Jodie Foster. A troubled executive adopts a beaver hand-puppet as his sole means of communicating. A study of delusion, depression and personal redemption.


Red dog

Based on the book Red dog by Louis de Bernieres (Captain Corelli’s mandolin). Stars Rachel Taylor. Based on the true story of the Red Dog who united a remote mining community while searching for his master in the Australian outback. 4 and a half stars from David & 4 stars from Margaret!



No more New inventors or Art nation and Spicks & specks finishes in Nov. L


Wikipedia: Rate This Page

Wikipedia is now crowdsourcing article evaluation – Rate This Page appears at the end of some pages. Use the 5 stars to give ratings. Categories are: Trustworthy? Objective? Complete? Well written? It now appears on over 100 000 Wikipedia pages.

Why it could be a bad idea:


Wikimedia Foundation targets for 2015

4 out of 5 Wikipedia editors are male and 4 out of 5 are from the Global North. The Wikimedia Foundation would like to change this. It aims to:

“Increase the total number of people served to 1 billion.

Increase the number of Wikipedia articles we offer to 50 million.

Ensure information is high quality by increasing the percentage of material reviewed to be of high or very high quality by 25 %.

Encourage readers to become contributors by increasing the number of total editors per month who made >5 edits to 200,000.

Support healthy diversity in the editing community by doubling the percentage of female editors to 25 percent and increasing the percentage of Global South editors to 37 percent.”

Check out the graphs of numbers of articles & editors here. Interesting to see a plateau effect .…