Hard News by Russell Brown


Nice ones

Congratulations to Auckland's Team One Beep, who overnight placed third in the world finals of the Microsoft Imagine Cup – from a field of more than 300,000 students and 100 countries.

The real payoff, of course, will be seeing their idea deployed in places that need it, but for now I hope and trust that they're engaged in some enthusiastic celebration. Team leader Vinny did assure me that when they were done with being all focused and stuff, they'd definitely go out and have some fun …


This week's Media7, featuring Richard Fletcher (associate producer of Boy), Ant Timpson and Vincent Ward on the topic of the Film Commission review, is online now. (Overseas readers may care to note that permissions were incorrectly set for a few weeks, but there should now be no geo-blocking of our show.)

Meanwhile, I'm delighted to see NZ Onscreen has published its first collection of important New Zealand short films, in partnership with the Film Commission. The Commission was so leery of the internet for so long, but it really does look like things are on the move there.

The collection includes Alison MacLean's classically creepy Kitchen Sink, and McGlashan and Sinclair's Lounge Bar.

On Twitter? Throng has helpfully compiled a long list of New Zealand TV-related Twitter accounts.

And the Emmy noms are in. I'm with The Guardian's writer: what's with the ongoing love affair with Two and a Half Men And why do they hate David Simon?


Damian and I chatted yesterday to Flip Grater about her new album, When I'm Awake, I'm At War for this week's Public Address Radio (7pm Sunday, Radio Live). I'd only met Flip briefly before, and I like her a lot. She's enterprising and funny – and her album's great too.

Here's the video for the new single, 'Careful', starring Antonia Prebble:

I reckon that a certain mobile phone company should be giving someone a phone after that …


And is this the year of the "maturity" album? Just me? Anyway, after Hot Chip's One Life Stand comes Tracey Thorn's lyrical, sad, funny Love and Its Opposite, which is facilitating a lot of dish-doing in our house.

Rather than making conventional videos, Tracey and Ben did a sort of unplugged thing in their home studio:

She also did 'Oh, the Divorces!' on Later with Jools Holland':


And finally: keep Friday September 3 clear in your calendar. That's the date of the next Orcon Great Blend in Auckland, and I'm all excited about it. Details to follow. Wellington and Christchurch, we'll get to you, but not just yet.

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