The movie biopic has become so rote that even the word can elicit a sense of nagging boredom. So how do you inject some life into the prestigious, but ultimately by-the-numbers, biographical drama? By hitting it with a little lightning. Tesla stars Ethan Hawke as the groundbreaking inventor Nikola Tesla, whose discoveries in wireless energy would change the world. And with his fourth wall-breaking biopic Tesla, director Michael Almereyda hopes to change our perception of the genre.
The trailer for Tesla at first plays out like any old biopic. Stuffy men in period clothes holding meetings in stuffy rooms by candlelight, while the tortured genius goes unappreciated for his vision. But wait, is that Eve Hewson talking about Google? Is Ethan Hawke holding a modern-day microphone? Several anachronisms don’t line up with the 19th century setting of Tesla, but that is Almereyda’s intention: to inject a little electricity into the old-fashioned biopic.
The story of Tesla, which follows Nikola Tesla in his battle to create his revolutionary electrical system in the face of disbelieving patrons and fellow inventor and rival Thomas Edison (Kyle MacLachlan), is told with several stylistic flourishes, including Hewson’s Anne Morgan breaking the fourth wall by addressing the contemporary audience. It’s an inventive way to stage the biopic, especially after we’ve seen so many big-screen iterations of Nikola Tesla, one of which was played by David Bowie, no less. He’s also appeared in another recent biopic, The Current War, and in an episode of Doctor Who. The trailer plays out almost like a mystery, hinting at an otherworldly element to Tesla’s inventions, which is a fun way to keep us entertained through another biopic.
Also starring in Tesla are Jim Gaffigan, Hannah Gross, and Ebon Moss-Bachrach. The film originally made its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize.
Here is the synopsis for Tesla:
Brilliant, visionary Nikola Tesla (Ethan Hawke) fights an uphill battle to bring his revolutionary electrical system to fruition, then faces thornier challenges with his new system for worldwide wireless energy. The film tracks Tesla’s uneasy interactions with his fellow inventor Thomas Edison (Kyle MacLachlan) and his patron George Westinghouse (Jim Gaffigan). Another thread traces Tesla’s sidewinding courtship of financial titan J.P. Morgan (Donnie Keshawarz), whose daughter Anne (Eve Hewson) takes a more than casual interest in the inventor. Anne analyzes and presents the story as it unfolds, offering a distinctly modern voice to this scientific period drama which, like its subject, defies convention.
Tesla opens in theaters and on demand on August 21, 2020.
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We Asked A Bunch Of Gen Z & Millennial Aussies If They Really Think Boomers Fucked The Planet
There’s nothing we love more than a little bit of generational warfare to make everyone mad. Millennials are killing the diamond industry. Boomers fucked the planet. And all Gen Z knows is TikTok, eat chips, and lie.
None of those are remotely true – except maybe Boomers fucking the planet. But let’s be honest, we’ve all played a part in that one (including you, Gen X, who always whine about being forgotten in the generational sniping).
Recently, a TikTok about what Gen Zers really think about millennials went viral. It not only cementing the fact that millennials are no longer synonymous with youth, but revealed that actual young people think millennials are kind of pathetic.
“They be 34 talking about “I’m a Hufflepuff” like grow up and do a line of coke already,” one person said.
But given the millennials vs boomers fight has been playing out for a decade, we wanted to both bring Gen Z into the conversation, and find out if the millennial stereotypes were true.
So for our seventh episode of 27 Pedestrians, we asked our young Aussies – who are either Gen Z (born between 1995 and 2015) or millennials (born between 1981 and 1994) – what they actually think about boomers.
Did they really screw the planet, buy all the houses, and refuse to leave the cushy jobs we’ll never, ever see? Or are they just a flawed group like any other?
TBH, the answers were a real mixed bag.
“Listen. The majority of them could just get in the fucking bin,” Sarah May, 33, said.
“I mean, there’s good and bad in everyone, and I think regardless of age bracket, there’s just people who refuse to grow as a person, or to learn new things, and the boomers are big on that.”
Ayeesha, 27, took a gentler approach, pointing to her grandma as an example.
“So my nana is a boomer, she’s born in 1944,” Ayeesha said. “She’s really cool, she’s open-minded, took my mum and my aunty to the first ever Mardi Gras, but I feel like she is maybe an exception to the rule.”
Quite a few people included a #NotAllBoomers answer, and some, like Zoe, 22, said we had heaps to learn from them and should probably stop shitting on an entire generation.
Claudes, 25, might have been the only person who turned the lens on his own peer group.
“People in general frustrate me immensely,” Claudes said.
“I could probably pick up the same amount of things that piss me off about Gen Z that piss me off about boomers.”
Need a refresher on who our 27 Pedestrians are? Here’s a run-down of exactly who’s who. And you can subscribe to our YouTube channel (and never miss a video) right here.
PC vs. Chromebook: Which Laptop is Best For You?
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A computer is one of the only gadgets that’s completely necessary to get work done at school and in the workplace. Until recently your only choices were to choose between a desktop and laptop, whether to get a Mac or a PC. Chromebooks — laptops that run an operating system based on Google’s Chrome browser — are a new, third option.
Traditional laptops and Chromebooks share a lot of the same DNA: they’re portable computers, designed to access the internet, consume media, and get work done. That said, they differ in some fundamental ways, like how they handle privacy, what apps they can run, how powerful their hardware is, and the tasks they’re best suited for.
There’s no “wrong” choice, but I’ve broken down the main differences between traditional PCs (ones that run Windows; Macs are a different beast entirely) and Chromebooks below, and recommended one of each once you’ve decided which one fits your needs best.
Both Can Handle Common Tasks, But PCs Are Faster
Raw processing power used to be the easiest way to choose a computer, but that hasn’t been the case for many years. Every computer — regardless of the brand and model — can handle basic word processing, web browsing, and streaming videos in HD.
On paper traditional computers win the power war: they have faster processors, so they can run powerful apps more quickly, they have more RAM (memory), so they can keep more apps running at the same time, and they have more storage, so you can hold more files. If your job involves editing photos, videos, or music, or you like keeping a lot of media files on your computer at all times, this is going to make a big difference.
On the other hand, Chromebooks have enough power to handle the basic tasks I mentioned earlier. If your work depends on Microsoft Office, and you primarily spend your leisure time watching videos, posting on social media, or browsing the web, you won’t really notice the difference in performance. It’s nice to know you have a lot of power under your computer’s hood, but it doesn’t mean much if you don’t use it.
The only tech spec I recommend looking at is storage. Chromebooks don’t have very much, so you should only consider one if you stream movies and music, and keep your photo library backed up on the cloud. If you like keeping a local movie, music, and photo library, it’s best to stick with a PC.
Chromebooks Run Fewer Apps, But Are Less Likely to Get Viruses
The PC’s biggest strength is its ability to run millions of different apps you can get from anywhere on the internet. This is due in part to the Windows operating system PCs use, which is easy to program for. Chromebooks have a far more limited app library, and you can only get software available in the Google Chrome web store, and Google’s Play Store.
Both platforms share some big name apps like Microsoft Office, but if you need a specific piece of software (lets say an audio converter that supports niche formats), you’re out of luck on a Chromebook. You’ll definitely apps suited for common tasks (photo editing, video conferencing, general productivity), but apps you’re used to using on a PC may not be available if you go the Chromebook route.
Again, this limitation isn’t likely to bother you if you rely on your computer for general tasks, and it comes with a big upside. Chromebooks run on the ChromeOS operating system, which is basically a souped-up Chrome tab with a basic file system beneath. Because ChromeOS is locked down, and can’t run software downloaded from anywhere on the web, you’re far less likely to run into any viruses, spyware, or spam. Bad apps can still get into the Chrome web store and Google Play Store, but it’s far less likely, and those apps can be removed easily. This upside is huge if you’re worried about cyber security, and only need computers for basic tasks.
If you need to run specific software, it’s still worth getting a PC that runs Windows, but you should definitely get some additional computer security tools if you decide to go that way.
PC vs. Chromebook: Which One is Best?
In many ways, Chromebooks are the computer of the future: you don’t need to keep your files on it, they’re in the cloud; you don’t need that much power, it’s more than enough to get you by; all the apps you need run well, and its operating system is much safer than Windows.
If that view of the future doesn’t match your present, though, a traditional PC laptop running Windows will let you run almost any app you want from anywhere in the world. You won’t have to worry about software compatibility or performance (unless you’re doing truly resource intensive work), and can take simple precautions to avoid cyber threats.
There are hundreds of good choices regardless of which type of computer you get for school or work, so we’ve recommended one of each to help you out.
Best PC: Lenovo IdeaPad 3
If you need a PC laptop running Windows for school or work, Lenovo’s IdeaPad 3 is the way to go.
The computer has a 14-inch 1080P (1920X1080) display, so you’ll be able to see everything you’re watching or reading very clearly. It has 8GB (Gigabytes) of RAM, which is enough to run several apps at the same time with no hit to performance, and a 256GB SSD that provides ample storage for your data. The computer’s standout extra is the AMD Vega 8 graphics chip that comes bundled with its 2.1Ghz dual-core processor.
This laptop has a built-in webcam for video calls, and a shutter you can physically close for privacy. It supports Bluetooth 4.1 and WiFi 5, which are fairly new versions of those wireless standards, and has an array of ports, so you can connect different accessories. There are three USB ports, one HDMI port, an SD Card reader, and a headphone jack, which covers all of the basics. Lenovo doesn’t mention any exact figures about this computer’s battery life, but the amount you get will vary based on which apps you use, and how bright you keep the screen.
Lenovo’s IdeaPad 3 is more than powerful enough to handle all but the most demanding apps, and even some light to moderate gaming, so it should serve your needs as a worker or student for many years.
Best Chromebook: HP 14a-na0010nr
HP’s HP 14a-na0010nr is the perfect Chromebook for light to medium computing tasks.
The computer has a 14-inch HD display with a resolution of 1366 x 768. You may notice some graininess when reading text, but images and videos should look pretty sharp. It has 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 1.1Ghz dual-core Intel Celeron processor, integrated Intel graphics, and a built-in webcam. These specs are perfectly fine for writing papers, posting on social media, streaming videos, creating presentations, and even some light photo editing.
HP partnered with Bang & Olufsen on this Chromebook’s audio system, which uses a custom tuning to make your music and movies sound great. On the ports side, the 14a-na0010nr fares a lot better than most Chromebooks. It has two USB-C ports, one USB-A port, a Micro-SD Card slot, an HDMI port, and a headphone jack.
You shouldn’t find any problems connecting any accessories to this computer without having to find an adapter. This Chromebook also supports both WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0, so you’re covered if you’d like to use this computer with wireless peripherals. HP says the 14a-na0010nr gets up to 13.5 hours of battery on a single charge (the apps you use and your screen brightness will impact this a lot). It also supports fast charging, so you can refill its battery to 50% in about 45 minutes.
If the work you do doesn’t require Windows, and you want a computer with solid specs and excellent battery life, HP’s 14a-na0010nr is the right pick.
Hipgnosis Songs Acquires Catalog of Jay-Z, Kanye West Collaborator No I.D.
Hipgnosis Songs has acquired the music royalty catalog of songwriter-producer No I.D. (Ernest “Dion” Wilson), best known for his work with Jay-Z, Kanye West, Rihanna, Usher, Common Drake, Alica Keys, Ed Sheeran, Big Sean and Common, the company announced early Thursday. Hipgnosis has acquired 100% of the artist’s worldwide copyrights and publishing royalties, including writer’s share of income in the catalog, which comprises 273 songs.
That catalog includes such hits as “Run This Town” by Jay-Z featuring Kanye West and Rihanna, “Holy Grail” by Jay-Z featuring Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z’s “The Story of O.J.,” Drake’s “Find Your Love,” West’s “Black Skinhead,” “Bound 2,” “Dark Fantasy,” “Gorgeous,” “So Appalled” and “Heartless,” and Sheeran’s “Kiss Me.”
Hipgnosis Songs Founder Merck Mercuriadis said: “The words NO I.D. are a stamp of excellence on any album. From Kanye West’s ‘808s & Heartbreak’, ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ and ‘Yeezus’ to Jay-Z’s astonishing run from ‘American Gangster’ through ‘The Blueprint 3’, ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’ and ‘4:44’, Dion has been in the middle of everything that is great about Hip Hop for more than two decades. He is a special creator and everyone in the Hipgnosis Family is proud to have him standing next to us.”
No I.D. said:“Not many have the best intentions for the artist and the creators. Merck and the Hipgnosis team have shown that they are a safe home for the songs that score our lives.”
Hipgnosis Songs recently released its annual report, which showed its revenues soaring in its first full year of business, climbing to $81 million in the 12 month period ended in March 2020 from around $8.9 million in the preceding period. The firm, which has been on an unprecedented acquisition binge of hit songwriter and producer catalogs — been buying up catalogs by hitmakers ranging from Timbaland and Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart to Jack Antonoff and Jeff Bhasker — began trading on the London Stock Exchange in July of 2018. Between March 2019 and March 2020, the company spent nearly $700 million to acquire 42 catalogs.
In the report, Mercuriadis notes, “When compared with the three major song companies, we have achieved between 7% and 12.5% of their revenue on between 0.5% and 0.9% of their number of songs.” This is a result of the group’s highly selective investments, which he summarizes in the report thus: “All of our songs have a proven track record and we do not speculate on new songs regardless of the past performance of the songwriter, producer or artist. These proven hit Songs produce reliable, predictable and uncorrelated cash flows which are highly investible.”
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