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NZ Tech Podcast 237: Ford Research and Innovation Center (Silicon Valley), Reddit Co-founder Alexis Ohanian

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Paul Spain (@paulspain) and Damian O’Carroll (@oversteernz) visit Ford’s Research + Innovation Center in Silicon Valley, meet Ford’s CEO and Futurist and learn where transport technology is headed. Also included are chats with Ford guests Reddit Co-founder Alexis Ohanian (@alexisohanian) and car sharing service Getaround’s Padden Murphy (@paddenguymurphy).

NZ Tech Podcast support by Gorilla Technology (IT Services and Support) and published by NZ’s Podcast specialists – Podcasts NZ.

Get the Podcast here:

You can keep current with our latest NZ Tech Podcast updates via Twitter @NZTechPodcast, the NZ Tech Podcast website or the facebook page.

Ted 2 Review – ***3/5

Ted 2

by Wal Reid

He’s back. Those like myself who wrote off the foul mouthed, pot smoking soft toy after the first outing (just thought it was a movie with a dumb premise), will be happy to hear he’s done enough to secure a return in the new Ted 2 film

Okay, there are enough ‘C’ bombs & ‘F’ bombs to sink a battleship, however it’s not society’s depravities under the microscope here nor the moral decline of the western world, it’s a film review, so with that in mind we check out the movie that’s better than your average bear-fare

Seth MacFarlane (Ted, Family Guy) and Mark Wahlberg (John Bennett) team up again as the ‘Thunder buddies’ in this movie that crept up and pleasantly surprised me. One: it had a semi intelligent script with a half-decent story line and two: great timing and comedic delivery, I mean I could quote some of the lines here but would have to risk being ostracised by Gloriavale-ites and animal lovers (and those are just the ones where I live). Yep nothing’s sacred in this movie, the movie pushing the envelope in cinematic shock novelty, not even Jay Leno having gay sex in a bar toilet is off limits

So Ted gets hitched with lovely Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth) but then has to fight off a court battle of proving whether or not he’s a person or a ‘thing’ otherwise their wedding will be annulled, enter Samantha (Amanda Seyfried) lawyer and John’s love interest who helps the pair, of course being a soft toy presents its challenges. Wahlberg, Mr Entourage plays a ‘watered down’ version of himself, not a bad thing but the CGI relationship with Ted is a chemistry coup, it’s pretty believable and well played out. Seyfried is the fresh-faced pot smoking lawyer who is hired because of her herbal ‘relaxation’ techniques but is in great support here, however for me Giovanni Ribisi returning role as the Ted’s antagonist Donny the man who is famous for his line “I can give you love and rocking horses and dancing” is perfect as the creepy arch villain his catch phrase ‘fresh cakes’ sends a shiver up the spine

Ted 2 has a story line that is better than your comedy dross that’s been released lately, it’s a watch that caught myself laughing more than once. There’s a couple of celebrity cameo appearances a la Entourage (Check out the crack up supermarket scene with Liam Neeson or Morgan Freeman in there) but it’s an entertaining light watch that requires very little attention on behalf of the viewer to still get the movie

With a story line that is better than your comedy dross that’s been released lately, it’s a watch that caught myself laughing more than once. There’s a couple of celebrity cameo appearances a la Entourage (Check out the crack up supermarket scene with Liam Neeson) but it’s an entertaining light watch that requires very little attention on behalf of the viewer to still get the movie

Ted is everything you think it isn’t, there’s subtle minority oppression overtones here, however I can’t imagine Ted changing his Facebook profile pic with a transparent rainbow anytime yet. It doesn’t take itself seriously and may like myself catch you off guard, it’s no Academy vote but I’d imagine it would be the prefect start to a pre-stag do or a night out with rent-a-crowd

Beth Stelling – Remember Her Name

Interview By Wal Reid

Rising star comedian Beth Stelling is calling from Albuquerque, New Mexico where she is in the middle of her Warped Tour. A product of the Chicago stand-up scene, Stelling has appeared on Conan and Jimmy Kimmel, has written for Comedy Central and MTV and released her own album called ‘Sweet Beth’. I thought she’d be hours away from her next gig however she informs me she’s just stepped off the stage.

“Yeah, I did two shows already. One was at 1 and the other one was at 4.30″ she says. “They’re real short set times because it’s still hot and a lot of them are kids so they can only pay attention for about 6 seconds”.

I’m reminded about that golden rule about working with ‘animals & children’ it’s something that Beth has a complete disregard for, well let’s say she’s a little more optimistic about performing in public.

“The shows have been getting better for me, this is like my eighth show or something, and I’m getting use to the audience more”. She has a look of a ‘taller Michelle Rodriguez’ at the mention of her resemblance to the Fast & the Furious star she is quick to thank me, “I like that” she says. “Also I’m not in any movies but next year I maybe – Might as well just call me and say ‘hey we need a stand in for the day, you want $200?’.

Female stand-up comedians are in abundance and on our screens, Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman and Kirsten Schaal to name a few, why is it we have never heard of Beth Stelling here in New Zealand?

“It’s a bunch of little victories on the way to a bigger victory” she laughs. “I’m trying. It’s my first time outside of Canada it’s my first international tour – I went to Ireland last month and I was in

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Kilkenny and that was a great learning experience and I can’t wait to come to New Zealand and Australia”.

Stelling has a great feel for personal stories at times drawing upon her upbringing in Ohio,when the shows going well its her happy place when there’s a disconnect with the audience she says ‘I’m eight years into stand up and I’m still working to figure that out’. Anyone who has watched her knows she has a good grasp on ‘guy humour’ which she tailors in her stand up shows, she’s knows what she’s doing, it’s a mix of equal amounts of sexual innuendo and gutter humour.

“Yes, I love that – I don’t know, I think it’s more fun to be clever than an exhibitionist you know” she says. “I think it’s more rewarding, and I do like to count myself as clean at times so there are times where I have to do clean sets or a bunch of colleges – meanwhile I’m on the Warped Tour performing, I have a 9 year old at one show, it’s like ‘Well, here we go’ I’m just trying to figure it out, Or we underestimate all the dirty stuff that they’ve heard and they laugh”

Nothing is sacred these days, I mean comedians will poke fun at anything, its a sensitive line crossing the boundary that for some stand up comedians, is there such a thing as ‘hands off’ subjects that comedians would never dream of making fun of?

“You know…my initial answer in answering is to say ‘No, there is nothing off-limits’. That being said I don’t do much political, I don’t do anything race related other than the fact I look like a white Tisha Campbell-Martin. It’s not that I’m not interested in it, its just some days I get off on doing family stories, the experiences I’ve been through and just as a human, when I detail my life and someone’s nodding their head ‘yes’”

She has a few challenges ahead of her before she ventures down-under, the obvious traits of our nation loads of ice cream, Lord of the Rings or even Kiwi (bird or kiwifruit). I recommend she take some time to study the New Zealand pop culture & news to get a real feel for NZ life, I may have also told her the more trashier and ‘in the gutter’ the better we love that stuff.

“There’s part of me that wants to do that deeper and then I get worried, ‘Isn’t everyone doing that?’ You know when a comic comes in and they make the same joke every comic makes? That’s my fear. I don’t want to come in and be like ‘your toilets flush the other way’ you know what I mean?”

Beth Stelling

Wednesday July 1st: Tuning Fork, Auckland with Louise Beuvink – Tickets via Ticketmaster
Thursday July 2nd: The Fringe Bar, Wellington with Jerome Chandrahasen – Tickets via Eventfinda

Beth Stelling Facebook

Beth Stelling Twitter

Ngā Pou Wahine – Review Jarred Tito

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Ngā Pou Wahine was penned more than twenty years ago by the very gifted Māori writer, Briar Grace-Smith and recieved outstanding reviews. Now twenty years later the one woman play has been revived and is being playedat Auckland’s Herald Theatre which is timed to help celebrate Matariki. Nga Pou Wahine features the very talented actress, Kura Forrester, who provided us with a stellar performance playing all of the characters quite superbly and is under the creative guidance of Miriama McDowell’s direction.

Ngā Pou Wahine is about the life of a young, working class woman who discovers her true spirit through the fabulous stories of her whānau and the dramatic history of her ancestor, Waiora. The story is perfectly mixed with humour and drama as Te Atakura reveals stories from both the past and the present day and in so doing unlocks the truth about her family and her ancestors.

I thoroughly enjoyed the performance of Kura Forrester who was able to juggle so many different character personalities giving them each their own subtle identities sometimes leaving my thinking I was watching different people at times. I would definitely include Nga Pou Wahine as one of the ‘must sees’ on your Matariki calendar of 2015.

Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, 50 Mayoral Dr, Auckland

Tuesday 30 June 2015 6:30pm and Wednesday 1 July 2015 6:30pm

Part of Matariki – Aotearoa’s New Year Festival

Katchafire + Kora Review – Wal Reid

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It was a night like no other, bloody cold, the PowerStation crowd was already at capacity filled to the brim as Katchafire primed up the crowd with their Jamaican infused Reggae, the local Polynesian flavour a big hit especially given that its festive ambience is more suited to summer than the present wintery conditions

Lucky to have caught Get Away & Giddy Up as the skanking went up a notch, shit someone must’ve been lax about enforcing the smoking laws as pockets of smoke went up around the room, there was a bit of passing on the left hand side if you know what I mean. Katchafire receiving no less than a shouting ovation – job well done

Kora who wooed crowds at last March’s Homegrown in Wellington looked and sounded anything but rusty, their energetic live shows are trademark as Fran & the boys kick-started the teeming crowd into life. Classic Kora fare On My Mind, Burning & the plodding rhythm of the heavy-as-stink Skankenstein from their excellent debut album were added to the playlist as the boys who originally from Whakatane cooed the crowd with their dub infused rock beats that had everyone moving top & bottom, these guys had the audience in their hand

After Brad & Laughton Kora left the band in 2013 this has had little impact or no effect on the groups sound. Fran Kora has an incredible vocal range, rarely seen in today’s crop of local artists, whether the soul infused Story Ain’t Over, the rappers delight of Dream Life or the dirty funk of Love In The Shadows, the crowd were here to get down, especially rousing up a storm singing along to Drop Dead Killer, its infectious chorus ringing out across the hall as Fran stood centre of stage on the speaker wedge arms stretched out wide beckoning the dancing hordes

It’s impossible to pigeon hole this band musically and that’s an asset. Their set rarely let up only when Fran took the mic in hand to quickly chat to the audience or to confront the rogue audience member who made his way on stage to wager his 5 minutes of fame, the second stage crasher had no such luck. Ok so no Politician or Flow however the team up with KP from Sunshine Sound System on Pop Your Bubble was worth the hassle fighting Auckland traffic to be there

Make no mistake Kora are a force to reckon with, they’ve flirted with fame overseas in Europe and had remixes done to their songs but why they aren’t as big as they should be, still remains a mystery – As long as the mojo’s flowing they are unstoppable

NZ Tech Podcast 236: E3 Highlights, Hands on – LG G4, Gear VR, Sony Smartwatch 3 Steel, UE Roll

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This episode we talk about testing commercial drones in NZ, highlights from the world of gaming at E3, Samsung’s security nightmare plus our hands on experiences with LG G4, Gear VR, Sony Smartwatch 3 Steel and Ultimate Ears Roll Bluetooth speaker.

This NZ Tech Podcast hosted by Paul Spain (@paulspain) with guests Michelle Dickinson (aka Nanogirl) and Ross McDougall. Published by NZ’s Podcast specialists – Podcasts NZ.

Get the Podcast here:

You can keep current with our latest NZ Tech Podcast updates via Twitter @NZTechPodcast, the NZ Tech Podcast website or the facebook page.

New Zealand Ultra-Fast Broadband rollout 50% complete

Government Communications Minister Amy Adams has today announced that the build programme for the first stage of NZ’s Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) initiative has now hit the midway point.

Ms Adams says the milestone highlights the success of the private-public partnership of UFB initiative.

“The UFB build is going from strength-to-strength, with fibre being rolled out to communities up and down the country. The project continues to be on budget and well ahead of schedule with over 618,000 homes, workplaces and schools now able to connect to the UFB network. It’s held in good stead internationally, with Alcatel-Lucent highlighting the programme’s design and execution as well-managed and cost-effective,” says Ms Adams

The nine-year UFB build started in Whangarei in December 2010 and is one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects ever undertaken in New Zealand.

“I hear positive stories on the benefits of having access to UFB every day. Whether it’s in the classroom, the shop floor, the hospital or in the office, better connectivity is transforming the way we live. It means we can do things smarter, faster and cheaper.”

The UFB build is now complete in 11 towns and cities with 2,200 schools have fibre installed and ready for service. The first stage of the UFB programme will enable at least 75 per cent of New Zealanders to access fibre to the premise by 2019. The expansion of the programme will make take the reach to at least 80 per cent of New Zealanders.

“Kiwis are early-adopters and have embraced fibre. It’s encouraging to see uptake rising around the country with thousands of new connections every month. New Zealand has the fastest growth in fibre penetration in the OECD at 272 per cent. That’s significant when you consider that over the next 20 years, UFB is predicted to deliver $33 billion dollars in economic benefits,” says Ms Adams.

“My recent announcement to extend the UFB programme means even more people will be able to access fibre. The Government’s $2 billion investment in UFB will result in increased productivity, more jobs, and better outcomes in health and education.”

Be sure to sign up for UFB.org.nz email updates to be alerted to future UFB news.

The post New Zealand Ultra-Fast Broadband rollout 50% complete appeared first on Ultra-Fast Broadband NZ.

Beau Monga Mr X-Factor – New Album Out Now

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He’s young and popular with this nation especially in his South Auckland environment, Beau Monga, the self-titled album recorded by Beau Monga after his X Factor win, includes his winners single King and Queen (which he wrote himself) and ten of his most popular covers from the show. The album was previously due for release on June 5.

“ Yeah its been pretty ‘buzzy’” he admits. “But I just have to get use to being at home with my family and boys, it’s been going good lately”

The music can’t last forever however Beau is optimistic about the future or if god forbid the music discontinues. “I don’t know that’s a good question” he laughs “ I’d probably help out somewhere with youth “

The album was recorded at Auckland’s Parachute Studios with producer Sam de Jong and is celebration of Monga’s journey on the show, featuring studio recordings of tracks such as Happy by Pharrell Williams, Jamming by Bob Marley and Ruketekete te Mamae (The Roimata Song) by Brother Love which Monga performed on the show – giving fans exactly what they have been demanding. “We have to do a video for King & Queen but we’ll just see what happens, we’ll just keep it real, all good”

King and Queen has featured in the top five of the New Zealand Music Singles Chart since it debuted at number one on May 25. It is currently in the number four position.

Beau Monga can be purchased on iTunes:

Someone To Carry Me Film Premiere – Thursday 18th June

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The premiere of New Zealand’s latest movie which happens to be a thriller was premiered last night to a packed and energetic Berkeley Theatre. Samuel Thomas’s latest project was birthed seven years ago while in Sydney while pondering the death of people while sitting by the chill of the cool Sydney air. Its a night that has culminated after that first premise that birthed the Kiwi thriller film and sees Thomas as executive producer, screenwriter and lead actor.

Alright, so what’s the story line? Well, Dan Webster lives a privileged life where everything is carefully managed for him. He dreams of becoming a professional musician in spite of his fathers’ intentions. This world is shattered when he witnesses a brutal murder and is forced to run. Hunted by those he once trusted, he takes refuge in a small town where his only plan is to survive and his only friend is out of reach. Alone and ill equipped for life, Dan reaches out to Michael for strength and Angelica for love, inadvertently placing them in peril. Dan has underestimated the ruthlessness of his enemy, and what his choices might cost. Right you been warned, its a thriller that will keep you riveted to your chair

Filmed on location in New Zealand, Someone to Carry Me is an engaging Dramatic Thriller that asks just how far will a person go to protect another? The film also has a stable of great Kiwi actors including Gwendoline Taylor, Paul Lewis and Dave Capstick..we also spotted Chase the Power Ranger James Davies there as well..he maybe in the film’s trailer but really this is rumour mill stuff

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For more info check out the website or facebook page

http://www.someonetocarryme.com/

https://www.facebook.com/someonetocarryme