Tuesday, 27 December 2005

The dark side of Kerry Packer

This dude talks about the dark side of Kerry Packer, dumping all the dirt.

The purpose of this web site is to reveal what the mainstream Australian media is failing to do. Quite simply an archive of some of the questionable actions of Australia's richest man, one Kerry Packer who died on 26th December 2005.

The mantle of this wealth is being shifted to heir-apparent James Packer who, from reports that you will read here, appears to be in the mould of his father.

There are lots of links. They makes for fascinating reading.

[listening to: Push - Madonna ]
10:50:03 PM    comment []  trackback []  G!   TV
My Memories of the late Kerry Packer

The big news of the day has been the death of Kerry Packer. I posted earlier ths morning, before anything was online about the news. By the end of the day, that's all you can find.

It's funny reading the news on all the media outlet - they are all being kind and respectful, like Australia's richest man, media mogul Kerry Packer, dead at 68

I have my own experience of Mr Packer. It happened a few years back, during my time at ninemsn. I was the CTO of the newly formed venture and I would do the rounds, meeting the executives from our parents, which were mainly PBL executives.

One project I was involved in, was setting up a demo of WebTV for Kerry Packer, back in 1998. Microsoft had just purchased WebTV and the local folks were keen to introduce it to Australia, BUT they wanted the seal of approval from the big man. I worked with engineers at both Channel 9 and WebTV. We arranged a live satelite TV feed direct from Los Angeles. We tricked a modifed WebTV box to dial a local phone number and then connect back to the WebTV servers in Mountain View. We tested this over and over again. I spent a few long hours in the executive boardroom over at Channel 9 in Willoughby getting this demo just right. We rehearsed a demo scenario and made sure the path through the demo worked flawlessly. After a few days, we were ready and a time and date was set for the demo to the big man.

The demo was set for 1pm. I arrived at 10am to make sure all the bits were in place. I connected, refreshed the electronic program guide with the latest from LA, make sure it was in sych with what we were watching (which it was). We rehearshed again and again and it was perfect. We were ready.

1pm rolled around. No Kerry Packer.

2pm. Still no Kerry. A few frantic phone calls and we had a new ETA of 3pm. OK, we adjuted our demo to included the shows that were going to be on at that time - no problem, we could cope. While we were preparing, the catering arrived, including lamingtons, a big cream sponge cake with pink icing, sandwiches, cocktail franks, tea and coffee. It was quite surreal. 

3pm rolled on and still no Kerry. The phone rang. It was his driver. They were not far, and Kerry wanted a roast beef sandwich. We relayed the message to the catering folks and waited.

3.30pm and Kerry arrived with his people. He sat down at the boardroom table, put his feet on the table and tucked into his roast beef sandwich, while we introduced ourselves and started the demo. It all worked as advertised, but he seemed more interested in his sandwich and whether it had mustard or horseradish.

At the end of it, he wasn't impressed with what he and questioned the value of people being able to surf the web from their television. When I made the argument that it was about time shifted viewing of television, and putting people in control, he scoffed at the suggestion. When I said that an up to date electronic program guide (epg) would make this time shifted viewing possible, he yelled back - "Over my dead body".

He then left to go to yet another late appointment and I was left to pack up from the demo. WebTV never did launch in Australia.  However a complete EPG is now a very real possibility.

[listening to: Volare - Dean Martin ]
9:35:21 PM    comment []  trackback []  G!   My Organization TV
KERRY PACKER passed away

Just heard on the Today Show. Australia's richest man has passed away. Kerry Packer is dead.

So far I haven't found anjything online.

[listening to: Vogue - Madonna ]
9:11:44 AM    comment []  trackback []  G!   TV

  Tuesday, 20 December 2005

Happy Birtday Digital Diva



Digital Diva.

[listening to: If That Isn't Love - Elvis Presley ]
6:10:44 PM    comment []  trackback []  G!   Family
Emma Arrigo is blogging!!!!!!!!

My dear little daughter Emma started her blog last night.

She wants to create a catalog of all her stuffed toys, so last night I finally got around to helping her. I thought her how to take photos with the digital camera, then I showed her how we can take them off the camera and put them onto the computer, and finally I showed her how she can write her stories using MSN Spaces. She really took to it. I am so proud

So, now I have 3 of my 4 children with blogs - Antony, Billy and Emma. Brice is next!

[listening to: Dancing queen - ABBA ]
9:00:38 AM    comment []  trackback []  G!   Family

  Sunday, 18 December 2005

4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42

What do the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42 mean??

Well, if you a fan of Lost, they are central to the plot. They are the numbers that were was broadcast from the Island's radio transmitter, Hurley used to win the lottery, they are the numbers on the hatch, and they expand their significance in Series 2.

The good folks from TV Squad ponder this and some other questions on a recent post

Aussie TV viewers will have to wait until sometime in 2006, but some of us have an inside scoop already.

Hey, did you know, if you add them up, they add up to 108. Hmmmmm.....

[listening to: M1 A1 - Gorillaz ]
5:58:40 PM    comment []  trackback []  G!   TV
King Kong : It's Big

The boys and I went to see King Kong today.

It's a LOOONG movie - just over 3 hours. We all exercised good bladder control. An intermission could have been a good idea.

According to an article in Wikipedia, this is the most expensive film ever made in terms of number of actual dollars spent, which is put at about $207 million.

I remember going to see the previous remake from 1976, which was a modern take of the tale, where Kong climbed the World Trade Tower, and Jessica Lange was the woman in his life.

Anyways, this movie had 3 parts - Part 1 took place in New York during the depression and on a boat, which introduces the characters, Part 2 took place on Skull Island with Kong and all his friends, and Part 3 saw us back in New York for the finale, as well as a bizarre romp on the ice between Kong and Ann Darrow

Our verdict - well the boys are undecided. They liked the film, but felt it went a bit too long. The blogosphere has similar feelings.

[listening to: Fire Coming Out of the Monkey's Head - Gorillaz ]
4:47:13 PM    comment []  trackback []  G!   Family My Interests

  Thursday, 15 December 2005

Quiz: Which Superhero are you?

It's been a long time between quizzes. This is the one currently doing the rounds, via Geoff, Clarke, Karl, Rob, Joe, Rocky

Your results:

You are Spider-Man



Green Lantern


Wonder Woman


The Flash

Iron Man




You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.
Click here to take the "Which Superhero are you?" quiz...

[listening to: "Spider-Man" Theme - Michael Bublé ]
10:04:12 PM    comment []  trackback []  G!   Random

  Sunday, 4 December 2005

ABC : My Favourite Film

Following the success of "My Favourite Book", the ABC went back and polled it's viewers for "My Favourite Film".

IMHO, the Top 10 reflects a major Gen-X bias, which is a good thing ;)

  1. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
  2. Amelie
  3. Blade Runner
  4. The Shawshank Redemption
  5. Donnie Darko
  6. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
  7. Pulp Fiction
  8. The Princess Bride
  9. Gone With The Wind
  10. Fight Club
  11. The Sound of Music
  12. To Kill A Mockingbird
  13. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  14. Casablanca
  15. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  16. American Beauty
  17. Doctor Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
  18. Monty Python's Life of Brian
  19. Lawrence Of Arabia
  20. Apocalypse Now
  21. Cinema Paradiso
  22. Doctor Zhivago
  23. The Matrix
  24. The Castle
  25. Singin' in the Rain
  26. A Clockwork Orange
  27. The Blues Brothers
  28. Withnail and I
  29. Life is Beautiful
  30. The Godfather
  31. Moulin Rouge
  32. Some Like it Hot
  33. Lost in Translation
  34. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
  35. Local Hero
  36. The Third Man
  37. Brazil
  38. Serenity
  39. Breakfast at Tiffany's
  40. A Room with a View
  41. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  42. Dead Poets Society
  43. Harold and Maude
  44. The Big Lebowski
  45. The Wizard of Oz
  46. Out Of Africa
  47. Picnic at Hanging Rock
  48. The Usual Suspects
  49. Cabaret
  50. Forrest Gump
  51. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  52. The Piano
  53. Pirates of the Carribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl
  54. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
  55. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  56. The City of Lost Children
  57. The African Queen
  58. Love Actually
  59. Strictly Ballroom
  60. Wings of Desire
  61. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  62. Babette's Feast
  63. The Fifth Element
  64. Spirited Away
  65. Aliens
  66. It's a Wonderful Life
  67. Napoleon Dynamite
  68. Rear Window
  69. Romeo And Juliet
  70. Dirty Dancing
  71. Kill Bill: Vol 1.
  72. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
  73. Trainspotting
  74. Muriel's Wedding
  75. When Harry Met Sally
  76. The Great Escape
  77. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
  78. Gallipoli
  79. Lantana
  80. Garden State
  81. Sin City
  82. Chariots of Fire
  83. The English Patient
  84. This is Spinal Tap
  85. Chocolat
  86. Fargo
  87. Look Both Ways
  88. Goodfellas
  89. Aliens
  90. Grease
  91. All About Eve
  92. Citizen Kane
  93. Stand By Me
  94. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
  95. Mulholland Drive
  96. Back to the Future
  97. High Fidelity
  98. The Thin Red Line
  99. Being John Malkovich
  100. Dead Man
[listening to: Crazy Frog - Axel F ]
9:48:28 PM    comment []  trackback []  G!   My Interests
Top selling DVDs of all time in Australia

The SMH posted a recent article featuring the Top selling DVDs of all time in Australia. It's an update to a similar list from earlier in the year. I hilighted the DVDs we owned on that list, so in keeping with the tradition, here's the update - I score 33 out of the 40.

  1. Finding Nemo
  2. Shrek 2
  3. Pirates of the Caribbean
  4. The Fellowship of the Ring
  5. The Return of the King
  6. The Two Towers
  7. Shrek
  8. Monsters Inc
  9. Gladiator
  10. The Incredibles
  11. The Lion King
  12. Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith
  13. Shark Tale
  14. The Fast and the Furious
  15. The Matrix
  16. Star Wars trilogy box set
  17. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  18. Troy
  19. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  20. Four Weddings and a Funeral
  21. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  22. Meet The Fockers
  23. Matrix Revolutions
  24. Star Wars 2: Attack of the Clones
  25. Matrix Reloaded
  26. Love Actually
  27. The OC Season 1
  28. Robots
  29. Lilo and Stitch
  30. XXX
  31. 8 Mile
  32. Star Wars 1: The Phantom Menace
  33. The Day After Tomorrow
  34. Ever After
  35. The Last Samurai
  36. Spider-Man
  37. Indiana Jones box set
  38. Ice Age
  39. Gone In 60
  40. Seconds Bridget Jones's Diary
[listening to: Wave a White Flag - Elvis Costello ]
1:26:54 PM    comment []  trackback []  G!   Family My Interests TV
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

It feels like only yesterday I took my boys to see the third Harry Potter movie, when it's time to see the next installment.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is a lot darker than the previous 3 movies, but I found it a lot more enjoyable. It had the epic story of good versue evil, as well as the story of the coming of age of three, as the gang gets ready for the Yule ball and have to get a date for the dance.  As the summary from IMDB says:

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire takes us deeper into the characters' minds and the darkness of the Wizarding World. At the Quidditch World Cup, Voldemort's followers gather and wreak havoc. Then, at Hogwarts, a legendary event takes place. The Triwizard Tournament! The Goblet of Fire judges who gets in and who doesn't. On the fateful night, three champions are selected. But then the Goblet spits out one other. Harry's. These two major events point to the return of Lord Voldemort. Dumbledore and the other teachers sense it, but it is inevitable. And Harry is no longer safe at Hogwarts. This fourth installment is the most dramatic, and also the scariest. Let me just say that all does not necessarily end well...

As we left the theatre, I pondered the mythology of Harry Potter. The good versus evil theme is pretty uniersal, but it feels to me like Star Wars. I wonder if Harry is Voldemort's son? 

[listening to: Alison - Elvis Costello ]
1:03:57 PM    comment []  trackback []  G!   Family Geek My Interests