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Former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo’s next gig: Writing for HBO’s Silicon Valley

“Silicon Valley” creator Mike Judge says the writers use Dick Costolo as a sounding board to ensure that story lines are plausible. Photo: Lionel CironneauThe former chief executive of the beleaguered social network Twitter has a new job that some might view as a promotion – helping write the plot for HBO’s hit show Silicon Valley. Dick Costolo, a one-time stand-up comedian, says he’s spending a couple of days a week working in the writing room for the third season of the tech-industry parody show. “I’m in the writers room, and it’s more consulting than writing. There’s plenty of writing talent in the room,” Costolo wrote in an e- mail. “I’m answering questions and describing how interactions would work between executives, VCs, employees, etc.” Show creator Mike Judge said the writers use Costolo as a sounding board to ensure that story lines are plausible. “He’s a funny guy,” said Judge on the sidelines of a Vanity Fair conference in San Francisco. “It’s just great to be able to be spinning stories, coming up with ideas, and just go, ‘Hey Dick, would this ever happen?'” Those in the technology industry have fallen in love with the show’s mocking, painfully authentic take on the industry. The program follows a group of coders who run a software startup that specialises in file compression. The characters fumble through the processes of building a technology company, including unsuccessful pitch meetings with investors and acquisition offers that go awry. The show’s writers have tapped others in Silicon Valley to instil some realism into the story. Dan Lyons, a technology journalist who has covered the industry for years, also has worked in the writers room. Costolo’s own experiences may serve for fodder for future episodes. “He does have great stories that I think I can say – like going to China, and he has to buy a separate phone to use and throw it away when he leaves because the minute your phone connects to a cell tower, it’s automatically hacked, and they can listen to it when it’s off,” Judge said. Judge appreciates Costolo’s unique pedigree. “He has a comedy background,” Judge said. “He did improv-comedy in Chicago back in the day. Comedy and the tech world rarely cross paths.”
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Bloomberg


Avid Reader won’t stock Can Do: Campbell Newman and the Challenge of Reform launches

Former premier Campbell Newman will launch his memoir at the Tattersall’s club on Wednesday. Campbell Newman with his wife Lisa Newman at the launch. Photo: Glenn Hunt
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Campbell Newman’s new book “Can Do: Campbell Newman and the Challenge of Reform” at a book store in Brisbane. Photo: Glenn Hunt

Campbell Newman with his wife Lisa Newman and author Gavin King at the launch of Can Do: Campbell Newman and the Challenge of Reform. Photo: Glenn Hunt

Former Premier Campbell Newman has labelled bookstores who have not stocked his book as “undemocratic” and an attack on free speech.

Avid Reader in West End is one of a handful of bookstores which has refused to stock Can Do: Campbell Newman and the Challenge of Reform.

And Mr Newman, who is on the campaign trail for the Gavin King penned tome, told ABC 612 Brisbane he didn’t understand the retailers’ stance against the book.

“It’s anti free speech, it’s antidemocratic,” Mr Newman said

“Would they back other books being banned like that?

“I think it’s a very dangerous road. There’s no dangerous ideas in the book.

“It’s just one bloke’s story and quite a candid confession as well.”

One of the Newman government’s first decisions was to withdraw funding for the Premier’s Literary Awards and it hurt the industry, according to Fiona Stager from Avid Reader in Brisbane’s inner west.

“We saw that as an attack on the writing, editing, book-publishing, book-selling community in Queensland,” she told 612 ABC Brisbane.

“It seemed ironic that the first thing he did after losing was to turn around [and] be involved in the publication of a book.

“A lot of my customers lost their jobs.

“They either worked in government or organisations which were defunded.

“It had a big impact on my first Christmas.

“Booksellers have a long memory.” Just to be clear, we haven’t banned it. We’re just not stocking it. Customers are welcome to order it. https://t上海龙凤论坛/KmbIfZu4Ya— Avid Reader Bookshop (@avidreader4101) October 6, 2015

Book author Gavin King – an ex-journalist turned Liberal National Party MP who lost his seat at the January 31 election – said there were up to six bookshops that had declined to stock the tome including stores in Hobart, Melbourne and Queensland.

It comes of the University of Queensland Press rejected an offer to publish the former premier’s book.

Mr  Newman’s much-publicised memoir will be officially launched on Wednesday.

Can Do: Campbell Newman and the Challenge of Reform ,covers Mr Newman’s early life and political career.

In particular, it focuses on how “the LNP lost the unlosable election” in January when Annastacia Palaszczuk led Labor to an unlikely victory.

It also touches on the controversial appointment of Tim Carmody as the Queensland’s chief justice, with Mr Newman expressing regret over his short tenure in the role.

The n Institute for Progress will host the authorised biography’s launch at the Brisbane Tattersall’s Club on Wednesday afternoon.

The AIP is promoting the event as the first time the dethroned premier has spoken publicly since this year’s state poll.

The book was always scheduled to be released this week but some bookstores in Brisbane’s CBD began selling it last Friday, unaware of any embargo.

– with Staff Reporters and AAP

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Buying Chinan makes sense – report

The BIS Shrapnel report states that a government procurement plan for steel ends up cheaper than the alternatives.Buying n steel would end up substantially cheaper for governmentsthan the cost of doing nothing, an influential report has found.
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The report on the benefits of a governmentsteelprocurement policy was carried out by the well-regarded BIS Shrapnel and was commissioned by the n Workers Union.

The report found that losing steelmaking production in would see the loss of up to 10,000 jobs and$10 billion annually fromthe GDP.

“In addition, the severe regional impacts in Wollongong/Illawarra and Whyalla would probably necessitate substantial extra government expenditure on large bailout packages for these affected regions,” the report states.

“The bottom line is that the small extra cost to government from a local procurement policy is far less than the cost of inaction, which could ultimately lead to severe costs to jobs and the economy if one or both steelmakers shut down.”

The BIS Shrapnel report puts forward a minimum of 85 to 90 per cent n steel use in all government products.

At the 90 per cent usage figure, BIS Shrapnel estimated the extra cost would increase governmentspending by around$61-$80 million a year –or 0.2 per cent of total construction costs for public projects.

This “will prove a substantial net benefit to the economy, after accounting for only marginally higher public construction costs”.

The 90 per centprocurement figure would see usage of n steel in government projects climb to 1514 kilotonnes –more than half of BlueScope’s total output –in just three years.

The report also noted Port Kembla needed to run at, or close to its250 kilotonne capacity to be viable.


Mark Latham, Campbell Brown and Jacqui Lambie confirmed for Nine’s The Verdict

Karl Stefanovic will serve as ‘chair’ of Nine’s new talk show. A preview of The Verdict set shared by Nine on Instagram.
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Karl Stefanovic promises ‘bumpy ride’ for Nine showStefanovic and Latham to appear in new Q&A style show

The lineup for the first episode of Channel Nine’s new Q&A-style show The Verdict has been revealed, with social media mocking the motley crew of former AFL players, politicians and scholars.

Former Labor leader Mark Latham, Senator Jacqui Lambie, former footballer Campbell Brown and counter-terrorism expert Dr Anne Aly are among the seven panellists who will join host Karl Stefanovic for Thursday night’s premiere.

The show promises to discuss hot button issues in the fashion of Q&A, with Thursday’s panel set to debate whether convicted sports stars should be allowed to continue playing and what makes teenagers turn to terrorism.

Mamamia Network editor-in-chief Jamila Rizvi, Sydney Institute deputy director Anne Henderson and criminal psychologist Sandy Rea have also been confirmed.

After Stefanovic promised to round-up some of the “most fired-up minds in the country”, The Verdict’s bizarre lineup was lampooned on Twitter.

Media heavies such as Gruen Transfer host Wil Anderson callled the panelists “unreliable witnesses”, while Triple J presenter Matt Okine said the show “doesn’t look like Q&A at all”.

Quipped Anderson: “If the ads for The Verdict said “‘s Greatest Mimes” that would still be more likely than what they’re promising.”

Wrote another: “Panel billed as ‘some of the finest minds in the country’. Not a joke. Anne Aly (very fine mind), next to Campbell Brown. 2015 television.” [email protected] chairs @TheVerdict9 and discusses your big issues, TOMORROW 8.40pm. #TheVerdicthttps://t上海龙凤论坛/qAdMqfgXBb— Channel 9 (@Channel9) October 6, 2015

The show has reportedly been given a limited five episode run and will be filmed in front of a live studio audience in Sydney with a rotating panel each week.

Controversial former Labor leader Mark Latham, who was billed as a “stay at home dad” on the panel lineup, is expected to be a regular face on The Verdict.

While modelled on a mixture of Q&A and The Project, the Nine experiment looks set to be a lot less bipartisan than ABC’s offering.

“Nothing and no-one is off limits,” Stefanovic says in the explosive trailer.

“Let’s get off the fence and find out what really thinks.”

The Verdict airs October 8 at 8.40pm on Channel Nine.Ever had a dinner party spoiled by a really annoying person? Well now imagine everyone at the party is that person- Pitch for The Verdict— Wil Anderson (@Wil_Anderson) October 6, 2015Not a drill. Campbell Brown will be on the panel of Karl Stefanovic’s new current affairs talk show The Verdict.— Anthony Colangelo (@AnthColangelo) October 6, 2015Panel billed as “some of the finest minds in the country”. Not a joke. Anne Aly (very fine mind), next to Campbell Brown. 2015 television.— Anthony Colangelo (@AnthColangelo) October 6, 2015I suspect many of the panelists on The Verdict are unreliable witnesses…— Wil Anderson (@Wil_Anderson) October 6, 2015If the ads for The Verdict said “‘s Greatest Mimes” that would still be more likely than what they’re promising…— Wil Anderson (@Wil_Anderson) October 6, 2015″The Verdict”: seems @Channel9 have taken straight over from Abbott as the antagonist of national division. #theverdict#auspol— Luke (@LukieSulz) September 28, 2015It would be good if Nine went cross promotion mad for The Verdict and got Latham to fill in for Joey on the sideline. #NRLGF— Nick Ralston (@NickDRalston) October 4, 2015


‘I gave him a tap’: James Ian Longworth on trial for one-punch assault of Fady Taiba

James Ian Longworth leaves Downing Central Court on Wednesday. Photo: James Brickwood Fady Taiba outside the Downing Centre on Wednesday. Photo: James Brickwood
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Standing on a strip of red carpet at the door of Bar 333 on a Friday night, the bouncer looks towards bustling George Street and ushers people inside.

When a group of three men arrive, the bouncer Fady Taiba​ – known as Fred – talks to them for a few moments and they leave.

“[Mr Taiba] did not realise that … his life was about to change,” Crown prosecutor John Pickering, SC, told Downing Centre District Courton Wednesday.

James Ian Longworth, one of the three men, was captured on CCTV footage being turned away from the bar by Mr Taiba on September 6, 2013, because he’d had too much to drink, the court heard.

“Mr Longworth … was very interested in where Fred was looking,” Mr Pickering said, describing the CCTV footage, which was played in court.

“You’ll see on the CCTV that James Longworth moves very quickly towards Fred.

“You will see that he lifts himself off the ground and throws what can only be described as a haymaker, a very big punch, and knocks him cleanly to the ground.”

Mr Longworth is facing trial charged with intentionally inflicting grievous bodily harm on Mr Taiba. The 34-year-old has pleaded not guilty, and will argue that he did not intend to cause serious injury.

The court heard Mr Taiba had major brain surgery, and does not remember the incident.

Mr Pickering told the court there would be evidence that Mr Longworth drank about 10 beers before arriving at Bar 333 sometime after 10pm.

Mr Longworth’s defence barrister, Hament Dhanji, SC, told the jury there would be no issue his client struck Mr Taiba, or that the bouncer was seriously injured.

Mr Longworth’s state of mind at the time of the punch would be the central issue at trial, Mr Dhanji said.

Mr Dhanji told the jury they would hear evidence that soon afterwards, Mr Longworth asked police: “Is he hurt? I had no idea it would end up like this.”

He also told police: “He wouldn’t allow us in, so I gave him a tap. I didn’t know he would land like that. I stupidly gave him a tap.”

He said the jury would hear evidence that Mr Longworth had returned from a six-year stint working in London in mid-2013 after his father died.

His mother, uncle and friends will give evidence about some of the things going on in Mr Longworth’s life at the time, the court heard.

Mr Longworth was not aware of publicity surrounding one-punch assaults in Sydney while he was overseas, Mr Dhanji said.

The trial continues before Judge Richard Cogswell.