Luke in the Millennium Falcon: Star Wars trailer delights fans

The new trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi is short and typically enigmatic, but it has fans abuzz.
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The reason? It shows Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) back on board the Millennium Falcon, the “fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy”, as it was once called.

Luke was last aboard the ship – in rather bad shape, having lost a hand to the Dark Lord of the Sith who had just revealed himself as his father – at the end of The Empire Strikes Back in 1980. This time he looks to be in fuller command of his faculties, even if his mood is still rather bleak.

This is the third trailer released for the eighth Star Wars film, which opens on December 15, and it continues to develop the central theme evident in the previous two: light and dark striving to assert dominance, or alternatively to come into balance.

Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren, the new villain of the series, reprises a line we’ve heard before. “Let the past die,” he says. “That’s the only way to become what you were meant to be.”

We don’t yet know whom he is addressing, but it’s a fair bet it’s Rey (Daisy Ridley), who seems to occupy the space in this saga that was occupied by Luke in the first trilogy, a neophyte Jedi knight torn between wanting to do the right thing and giving full rein to her power whatever the cost.

That theme gets a further echo in the words of Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis), whom we saw in The Force Awakens only as a giant holograph but who was revealed in the second trailer in his full disfigured glory. “Darkness rises and light to meet it,” he growls ominously.

Little wonder, really, poor Rey seems so confused. “I need someone to show me my place in all this,” she says.

The notion of inversion gets another airing in the appearance of John Boyega’s Finn. Having shed his Stormtrooper origins to join the Rebels in The Force Awakens, here he is in the uniform of an Imperial officer. Has he switched sides again? Not likely, as he’s doing battle – with a light sabre, no less – with Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) who is, despite her gleaming silver armour, on the side of darkness.

How will all this play out? Who will survive? Who will join the Dark Side? Who knows.

Mark Hamill has teased his followers with a clue – or, more likely, a bit of misdirection – over on Twitter.

With Luke having already appeared in the looming Darth Vader position on a poster for the film some months back, a new poster for the Japanese market shows Rey in that same spot. Hey you Dark Side theorists: Look who’s looming at the back of the poster now! Another clue for you all… #TheWalrusWasPaul#WaitForVIIIpic.twitter南京夜网/ojizOaoYKu??? @HamillHimself (@HamillHimself) November 1, 2017This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Prince Harry charmingly discusses his pizza preferences

During a visit this week to Chicago high school, Hyde Park Academy, Prince Harry, alongside Michelle Obama, surprised students in more ways than one.
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It’s not everyday that a prince and a former First Lady show up unannounced during a seminar being held for 20 students.

The students all had the opportunity to discuss the power of young people’s voices in making a difference, but it was an answer Prince Harry gave while being quizzed on Chicago’s signature delicacies that was one of the biggest (and best) surprises.

“I can safely say from my experience, and all the travelling I’ve done, all over the world, speaking to people your age – the younger generation is the cure to all of the problems,” he told the students.

After a serious discussion, the students from the school on Chicago’s South Side, located across from the future site of the Obama Presidential Centre, suggested trying Chicago traditions such as hot dogs and pizza. Thanks to my friend Prince Harry for joining me today to surprise these remarkable students at Hyde Park Academy on the South Side. We were blown away by their passion, ambition and talent! #ReachHigher #ObamaSummitA post shared by Michelle Obama (@michelleobama) on Oct 31, 2017 at 2:54pm PDTWatch the moment when Prince Harry and @michelleobama made a surprise visit to Hyde Park Academy in Chicago. The high school is just across the future site of the Obama Presidential Center. As well as chatting to students with Mrs Obama at the high school, HRH later spoke at The Obama Foundation Summit.A post shared by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal) on Nov 2, 2017 at 7:24am PDTThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

‘Time is ticking’: Tesla’s Elon Musk in ‘eighth hell’

There will be no new model 3 Teslas in 2017.
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The electric carmaker updated its website for customer reservations on Wednesday, including a table that shows the base $US35,000 ($44,000) Model 3 won’t be available until some time next year.

That follows a painful earnings call for chief executive officer Elon Musk, who described the company as being in the “eighth level of hell” (there are nine, in case you’re counting).

The stock price fell 8.9 per cent on Thursday, the most in more than 16 months.

The electric-car maker won’t build 5,000 units per week of its Model 3 sedan until sometime in March, three months later than planned.

“I have to tell you I was really depressed about three or four weeks ago,” Musk said on the call after Tesla reported a record quarterly loss and cash burn.

He downplayed the long-term implications of the delays. “In the grand scheme of things,” Musk said, “this is a relatively small shift.”

But the setbacks lengthen the wait for hundreds of thousands of customers waiting for their Model 3 and extend the payoff period for the billions of dollars the company has spent to expand. The manufacturing snags will embolden skeptics who’ve doubted the company’s ability to quickly reach mass production, a feat the youngest US carmaker is trying to pull off for the first time with a car that starts at $US35,000.

“We left the call frustrated with the lack of transparency from Tesla management,” Jeffrey Osborne, a Cowen & Co. analyst who recommends selling the shares, wrote in a note to clients.

“Elon Musk needs to stop over promising and under delivering and the board should rein in a CEO who publicly shares his aspirational goals that have rarely been hit.”

Tesla burned $US1.42 billion in cash in the third quarter. The carmaker is spending heavily on both its auto assembly plant and at its battery gigafactory, contributing to an adjusted lost per share of $US2.92 per share, worse than analysts estimated. Bottlenecks

People from key teams at Tesla are now focussed on fixing bottlenecks that have hobbled production, said Musk, who held his earnings call at the Nevada battery factory where he and co-founder J.B. Straubel are spending their days and nights, even camping on the roof . Btw, just want to express a word of appreciation for the hard work of the Tesla Gigafactory team. Reason I camped on the roof was because it was less time than driving to a hotel room in Reno. Production hell, ~8th circle ?????? Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 26, 2017 Source: Tesla

The “$US35,000 electric car” has been Tesla’s top goal and marketing calling card for years. It’s an important price point, competing with entry level luxury petrol-powered cars like the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes C Class.

When you include a $US7,500 US tax credit, the price is cheaper than the average new US car and more in line with a well-optioned Toyota Camry.

But on Wednesday’s call with analysts, Tesla pushed back its timelines for the Model 3 by three months. And perhaps the biggest warning flag: Musk would no longer give a timeline on when Tesla would reach a production rate of 10,000 a week.

Last quarter he was unequivocal on that point: “What people should absolutely have zero concern about – and I mean zero – is that Tesla will achieve a 10,000 unit production week by the end of next year.” 2. The solar roof

One of the first completed installations of a Tesla Solar Roof. Source: Tesla

A year ago this week, Tesla unveiled its remarkable solar shingles with much fanfare in Hollywood on an old set of “Desperate Housewives.” It began taking deposits in May.

There’s still little indication of when the product might roll out. Tesla said things will move slowly in the coming quarter while it gets its new factory in Buffalo, New York, up and running.

Then, the company said, the product will ramp up “in 2018.” That’s a wide window for customers trying to plan a roofing project.

Perhaps a better indication of where things stand is this: Tesla’s website currently shows job postings for 24 “lead roofer” positions – all in California. Each position, according to the descriptions, would be second-in-command of a small roofing team.

Meanwhile, the amount of standard solar installations being done have dropped 42 per cent compared with the same quarter last year, just before Tesla bought SolarCity. 3. Autopilot

No hands. Photo: Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg

A year after Tesla started charging $US8,000 for a feature called Full Self Driving, there’s still no sign of a rollout of such features, and Musk hinted that a more powerful supercomputer may be needed to achieve its goal.

On Wednesday, he said the current hardware can reach “approximately human-level autonomy.”

Musk concedes that the system will probably need to be significantly safer than the average human driver in order to achieve regulatory approval, so a hardware upgrade may be necessary.

“We’ll have more to say on the hardware front soon, we’re just not ready to say anything now,” said Musk. As a consolation, anyone who has already paid for the option will get a free computer swap.

Tesla said new features will be coming for its less-ambitious $US5,000 Enhanced Autopilot package in the next few months. Musk said the other hardware for autonomous driving-8 cameras, a radar and 12 ultrasonic sensors-will be sufficient.

Other companies pursuing autonomous driving are also including expensive lidar kits. Musk was undeterred: “We are certain that our hardware strategy is better than any other option, by a lot.” 4. Tesla semi

Tesla was set to unveil its first all-electric long-range semi truck back in September. Then it was moved to October.

Then it was pushed until November 16, explicitly so that resources could be diverted to deal with Model 3 problems. Tesla Semi unveil now Nov 16. Diverting resources to fix Model 3 bottlenecks & increase battery production for Puerto Rico & other affected areas.??? Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 6, 2017 Photo: supplied

Tesla is working on a system that will allow owners to rent out their cars using what they’ve dubbed the Tesla Network. Once fully autonomous driving is achieved, the idea is that fleets of privately owned Teslas will function like a driverless Uber or Lyft, picking up and delivering passengers for a fee that will be split between Tesla and the individual car owners.

In the shorter-term, the Tesla Network could function more like Zipcar. An owner could switch a setting online and open their car for someone to rent. The Model 3 uses key cards and Tesla’s smartphone app instead of a key, so in theory anyone could be granted access through an automated system.

The Tesla Network, which accounts for billions of dollars in long-term revenue in many analyst models, is supposed to be unveiled this year.

With all of the bigger delays drawing the attention, it didn’t even get a mention on Wednesday.


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

A suburb offering location and lifestyle

A suburb offering location and lifestyle FAMILY HAVEN: Adamstown has grown in popularity in recent years and has plenty to offer, including the Fernleigh Track. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
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TweetFacebookSUBURB SNAPSHOTEnjoying a central position bordered by Merewether, Broadmeadow,Kotara and New Lambton, Adamstown is a suburb which has gained in popularity in recent years.

As people have become priced out of sought-after coastalsuburbs Merewether and Merewether Heights, they have started looking to Adamstown and realising all of the benefits it offers.

Around 6000 people live in Adamstown and it has a median house price of $695,000.

LIFESTYLEIt has access to many services with a shopping village located on Brunker Road as well as close proximity to Westfield Kotara shopping centre.

It is also offers easy access to the Fernleigh Track, which extends over approximately 15.5 kilometres betweenAdamstown to Belmont.

In its formative yearsthe suburb, like most of the early settlements in Newcastle, revolved around coalmining but was isolated from other suburbs by thick bushland

These days, it is a quick car or bike ride to the inner city, beautiful beaches and the harbour. It also has easy access to public transport and Brunker Road is targeted for an urban renewal.

It has several parks, including Adamstown Oval where some of the region’s most talented footballers have honed their skills.

FROM THE EXPERTAdamstown is a current hot spot for families with access to great schools, shops and close proximity to the city of Newcastle.

It is close to the Fernleigh track and Glenrock while Westfield and the Home Makers Centre are on your door step.

It has quiet streets with plenty of parks and house blocks are generally a generous size. Further growth is expected as surrounding suburbs become less affordable.

– Presented byMatthewWaddell, general manager Robinson Property

Bizarrely, our global city is not swinging like a gateway

UNDERWHELMING: Our hub-and-spoke network model is apparently ready to roll.What if a 40-year plan for infrastructure in Newcastle and the Hunter was announced and no one noticed?
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That’s what happened last week.

The document is the Regional NSW Services and Infrastructure Plan.Even the government hid it under the bed. The ministers for transport (Andrew Constance) and roads (Melinda Pavey) issued a vague media release about the plan and said nothing about Newcastle and the Hunter. Nothing was issued at all by the parliamentary secretary for the Hunter, Scot MacDonald.

Because there was nothing to announce?

We used to complain that Macquarie Street would make infrastructure promises, then renege on them. Now, it seems, they don’t even make promises.

The plan is more than a bit bizarre. A 40-year plan should do three things: appraise what is needed, show how existing and future projects will address a region’s needs, and set a timetable for the rollout of projects according to available funding. But the new plan does none of these, at least not for Newcastle and the Hunter.

As is too often the case with modern government, the document appears to have spent more time in a graphics office than on the desk of transport and infrastructure planners.

The state’s regional plan starts with a peculiar argument: that transport provision in NSW will in future concentrate on a “… hub and spoke network model radiating out [sic] from regional cities rather than a network just focused on Sydney.” What could this mean? That residents and businesses in non-metropolitan NSW should give up on getting anywhere fast unless it is to the nearest air-conditioned shopping mall?

Or maybe the hub and spoke idea is a way of telling us to give up on fast 21st century transport services across NSW, especially between Sydney and Newcastle.

Yet – again in bizarre fashion – the plan declares Newcastle to be one of NSW’s three ‘global gateway cities’, alongside Sydney and Canberra.

The fit-out that makes Newcastle a global gateway city is, apparently, its coal export port, the local airport and a cruise terminal. Underwhelming isn’t it?

In respect to connectivity between Newcastle and Sydney, the plan seems to defer high speed rail considerations for at least two decades. So an entire next generation of new rail users should expect no improvements on the world’s slowest rail journey other than new train carriages.

A year ago, writing in the Sydney press, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said, “Right now, Sydney is experiencing the biggest infrastructure and jobs boom in history. And the good news is we are only just warming up.”

She is spot on. Infrastructure spending in Sydney involves the rollout of a city-wide metro system, a new international airport for Western Sydney, major roads to the airport site, sizeable additions to the inner city light rail network and new light rail for Parramatta, and massive extensions to the city’s motorways via WestConnex and NorthConnex. More will follow, paid for by sale of portsand utilities, including the electricity networks, assets that once belonged to all of us.

The jobs and income benefits for Sydney are immense. And that city gets a fit-out deserving of a genuine 21st century city.

Meanwhile, just up the M1, the state’s second city gets a new tag: Newcastle, Global Gateway City. I hope they erect a sign.

Phillip O’Neill is professor of economic geography at Western Sydney University.