‘We just don’t do it’: magazine denies photoshopping Mauboy pictures

Jessica’s Mauboy’s picture from The Australian Women’s Weekly. Jessica Mauboy.
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She stars in a glamorous photo shoot for the Christmas edition of The Australian Women’s Weekly. But it’s hard not to notice that Jessica Mauboy doesn’t look herself.

The proudly indigenous singer and actor appears to have a lighter skin colour in the photograph, with her arms in particular looking white, leading to questions from Fairfax Media about whether the images were photoshopped.

But the Weekly’s editor, Helen McCabe, insists there was absolutely nothing done to alter the portrait of Mauboy, which was taken in Darwin. She said it was ”incomprehensible” the magazine would portray an indigenous star as having lighter skin. ”It’s a lighting thing,” McCabe said. ”It’s just completely incomprehensible that we would do that.

”There’s no gain in it. It’s not like the old days where you wouldn’t put a black person on a cover either, the old days of the magazine world. It wouldn’t occur to us to touch her skin colour.”

Mauboy, who has an indigenous mother and an Indonesian father, was unavailable for comment about the picture, right. But the questions raised about the portrait come after similar controversies in the United States surrounding the portrayal of black stars, including Beyonce Knowles, in magazines.

Questions were raised earlier this year over a promotional photograph where Knowles was portrayed as looking many shades lighter than her real-life skin tone. McCabe said readers are well aware of the issues surrounding Photoshop – an issue that she had directly addressed as an editor – but she was adamant nothing was done deliberately in this case.

”We get completely caned for all sorts of things which actually aren’t true,” she said.

”Obviously photoshopping occurs at a level on all photos to some extent … but the truth is a lot of it is just lighting and make-up and hair. It’s not the really evil stuff. This [picture] is a really good example of the tricks photos can play without going to that extra magic box and pulling out the trickery. We just don’t do it.”

McCabe said the photographer, Alana Landsberry, was ”mortified” at the suggestion that Mauboy’s skin had been lightened. ”We have not changed her skin colour nor would we under any circumstance,” Landsberry said.

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BlueScope shares up on growth prospects

‘(There was) optimism that BlueScope may be through the worst of its woes.’SHARES in BlueScope Steel have surged in the wake of bullish broker comment based on an investor briefing this week that outlined the growth prospects for the company’s prefabricated steel-building unit.
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BlueScope told analysts on Wednesday it was targeting annual revenue from the division of $3 billion by fiscal 2015 – double the revenue the division posted in fiscal 2012.

At the same time BlueScope plans to nearly treble margins of the division to 5.5 per cent before tax and interest charges.

The briefing helped to consolidate investor optimism that BlueScope may be through the worst of its woes, notwithstanding its soft December half performance, which will see the group post a small loss.

The restyled global building solutions unit lost money in fiscal 2010 and 2011 due largely to a collapse in US orders following the global financial crisis. It returned to profit in fiscal 2012, boasting a margin of just 2 per cent.

The division’s peak revenue was $2 billion in fiscal 2009 before the impact of the global financial crisis hit US sales hard in particular, a hit that could not be offset by growth in Asia and China.

BlueScope gained its first exposure to the sector in 2004 when it paid $340 million for Butler Manufacturing in the US, which it followed up in early 2008 with the $850 million purchase of IMSA, just before the collapse of US demand.

Credit Suisse told its clients the division had 20¢ a share of hidden value, which provided a ”key near-term and sustainable growth opportunity”.

”The market ascribes no value to this growth profile,” it said.

A 5.5 per cent EBIT [earnings before interest and tax] margin on $3 billion of revenues would equate to $165 million EBIT, it said. This would equal the broker’s EBIT profit forecast for fiscal 2013 alone.

Deutsche Bank also told its clients of the ”significant upside potential” of the unit. BlueScope closed up 5¢ at 50¢, off the day’s high of 51.5¢.

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

Pup is now the big dog

It was hard to pen a column this week without talking about Australian captain Michael Clarke.
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As day one of the Second Test in Adelaide went into hyper-drive on the back of another Clarke blitz, it became blindingly obvious that the man once nicknamed ‘Pup’ is now well and truly Australia’s big dog.

Fresh off his match-changing 259 not out at the Gabba, Clarke completely dismantled the much-vaunted South African bowling attack finishing unbeaten at day’s end on 224.

His innings was world-class, the type that shows a player completely in control of his game.

It was at times elegant, at times destructive, but always dominant.

While his swift dancing shoes down the track to the spin of Imran Tahir was a masterclass in footwork, the highlight was his five-4 over against Morne Morkel.

As spearhead Dale Steyn left the field with a question mark over his hamstring, the tall South African came back on to bowl with his flailing team in dire straits.

Clarke sensed the occasion and scorched boundary after boundary to show who was boss, leaving the number one ranked Test team submissive and unresponsive.

Scintillating stuff indeed.

The moment was breathtaking but it is the bigger picture that tells even more.

Clarke has matured into the country’s best batsman (arguably the world’s best) and has without a doubt taken the reigns of his country’s cricket team.

When he took over the captaincy from Ricky Ponting, after seemingly having been anointed since his days as a boy wonder back at the academy, some observers questioned his appointment.

Others questioned his fitness after some back complaints, and there were some who questioned his image and passion for the game.

Weren’t they wrong.

The added responsibility of leading the team has sent Clarke surging and his form with the big ‘C’ next to his name is remarkable.

His 2012 results have led to comparisons with the best ever – one Don Bradman – but without adding to the hype, it is hard to argue otherwise.

He has over 1200 runs at about 138 in 8 matches within the calendar year, including innings of 329*,210, 259* and now this double hundred.

And his batsmanship has been beautifully complimented by his spirited, proactive and creative captaincy.

He is assertive, is always thinking about how to take wickets or move the game forward, and has an enormous respect for the game.

I had the chance to see his leadership style up close in a recent Sheffield Shield encounter and while the Queensland Bulls got the better of him on that occasion, his captaincy was hugely impressive.

While Ponting would be nothing but a positive influence on the group, some might find it tough to tread their own path with the former leader still among the troops.

Not Clarke, who has his own way of doing things and is captaining the Aussies as such.

He has also worked incredibly hard on his fitness (shown in his ability to play these long innings), is a fervent trainer in the nets and manages his selector, media and sponsor commitments with aplomb.

So with Clarke playing so well and skippering with such composure, many are asking, ‘should he bat up the order?’

It is a tough one.

Does he move to three where his premier batting can even further shape Tests? Think of the message that sends to oppositions, the captain getting stuck in straight away.

Or does he maximise his impact from the five position?

It is probably the only question left to ask about Clarke since he stepped into Australian cricket’s top job.

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Game to set a record

Okan Kaya played five and a half days of Black Ops II in a bit under a week.We have seen a couple of stories in the new recently about young Korean men playing video games for 40 hours and then dropping dead, so a new world record for continuous video game playing seems like a somewhat foolhardy venture.
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Nevertheless, Okan Kaya, a sales manager for a Sydney network cabling company, set out to beat that record last week, and didn’t stop until almost a week later, with an official tally of 135 hours and 50 minutes. I spoke to Kaya a couple of days after the record-beating effort, once he had rested up thoroughly.

Of course, the obvious first question is “Why? Why do this to yourself?” His reply seems to be a variation on George Mallory’s take on scaling Everest “because it was there”.

“Two years ago my wife got me a copy of the latest Guinness Records book for Christmas, and the first section was all about gaming,” he recalled. “There was a section on video gaming marathons, and I thought I wouldn’t mind giving that a try, maybe with the next Call of Duty game, so I submitted my idea to Guinness.”

It took eighteen months to come together, and Kaya had to keep switching games. “Originally it was going to be Black Ops, then Modern Warfare 3,” he said. “The problem was I couldn’t find a venue. This year, though, my boss was kind enough to host it at my work, so I got to do it with Black Ops II.”

Despite the wording of this Guinness-bestowed title, Kaya did not technically play non-stop. Under rules agreed to by Guinness judges, he was granted ten minutes of rest time per hour, which could be saved up and used in large chunks so he could get some sleep. “I had to play for the full 50 minutes to get the ten minute break – if I only played for 45 minutes, it wouldn’t count.”

You can do the maths for yourself. If he took no breaks at all during an entire day, he could only accrue a maximum of three hours of rest time. The agreed rules stated that these rest periods could only be used for toilet breaks and sleep. “I ate and drank while I was playing,” he explained. “Three hours was the biggest sleep I got; every other day I only got an hour and a half or two hours.”

I asked Kaya if he had heard about the deaths in Korea. “Yeah, but those guys played forty hours non-stop, no rest or exercise, no food, no water. I had scheduled food and drink, and regular check-ups from a doctor. If he ever got a result he didn’t like, he was authorised to stop the whole thing immediately. I also moved around and got lots of exercise, and played a lot while walking on a StairMaster.”

As for what he ate and drank, it was mostly ice-cold water and light, healthy meals. “I didn’t want to eat anything too heavy that would leave me feeling sleepy and weighed down,” he said. As for caffeine, he barely touched it. “One of my friends in Tasmania send me an eighteen-pack of Red Bull. I drank three of them, but the rest was drunk by the witnesses. I was worried that caffeine would have gotten my heart pumping too fast, and that might have caused the doctor to end it.”

Kaya reached 29th in the world in the Black Ops II online rankings, and you could be forgiven for thinking he would never want to play the damned game ever again, but you would be wrong. “Oh, I’ll definitely play Black Ops II again,” he said. “I’ll stay away from it for at least a month, but it’s a great game.”

– James “DexX” Dominguez

DexX is on Twitter: @jamesjdominguez

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

Your Turn: From one generation to the next?

According to some, the Wii U heralds the arrival of the next generation of hardware. Is this a good thing?The Wii U will be out at the end of this month (November) and it will be Nintendo’s first new console since its predecessor was released in 2006. HD support is now included and a fancy new controller with an in-built, TV-independent control screen will hopefully add a new layer of interactivity and convenience towards one’s enjoyment.
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To be honest, I really couldn’t care less about the Wii U at the moment as I’ve only now found the time to burn through all the games I bought way back in 2010. The joys of being unemployed and having just finished university for the year have made me reflect on whether the major console players, such as Nintendo, should allow for greater periods of time to pass before releasing the next major iteration of a console line. Please note that by making this statement, I am not really referring to console redesigns such as the PS3/Xbox 360 Slim but instead the transition from PS2 to PS3 or from Gamecube to Wii in Australia specifically.  

The PS2 was released in late 2000 and Sony only apparently stopped production of the console earlier this month. In that case, the PS2 has now enjoyed a 12 year life cycle that saw it bear witness to some of the greatest series ever released. Furthermore, the extensive range of the library for PS2 has now led to a period nowadays where many classics, including rare titles, can be found at bargain prices. I personally anticipated in 2010 that the next few years were the best time to purchase those PS2 games I never got around to playing before they’d inevitably become ever harder to find. As the PS2 library holds 1500+ different games, it is likely that the average person would never be able to play most of the titles that were released. It is also important to consider that Australia has forever been a backwater location for many PS2 releases and that the range of titles available here pales in comparison to the availability of obscure games in Europe. It’s actually a testament to the PS2’s longevity that their games are still available in EB Games or JB Hifi nowadays to begin with.

Considering that the PS3 was released locally in 2007, the PS2 saw a lot of releases that year such as God of War 2 and Persona 3 that still made it relevant. To be honest, I find that the PS3 could’ve been released a year or two later and no one would’ve minded. I certainly wouldn’t. If you can remember, the fanfare for the release of the PS3 in Australia was muted by its exorbitant price and the lousy launch titles on offer. While I was only 11 during the PS2’s release, I can confidently remember how people were astounded at the improved graphics between the PS1 and PS2. Between the PS2 and the PS3, I wasn’t really astounded any more but instead simply confirmed the graphical improvement and left it at that. I was honestly too busy still playing the PS2.

Longevity is what gaming consoles should strive for. The PS2 only went through 2 designs, the original and the slimline. Even then, regardless of which model, it’s more likely that your old, trusty PS2 console would likely keep on working longer than your PS3 or Xbox 360 launch console.  Ironically, the PS3 is 7 years younger than its predecessor and it’s already seen itself redesigned in three different forms.  In considering the PS3 library, it has reached roughly half the number of titles (760+) than the PS2 library but this number doesn’t take in to account region-exclusive titles, especially from Japan. Every time I hear news of a PS4, I honestly get dismayed. While Sony hasn’t released any explicit details on the PS3’s successor, I hope it doesn’t come in to being for another two or three years. I genuinely want the PS3 to keep building its library and hopefully reach a point where when the PS4 eventually finds itself on the market, I can ignore it for a year or so thanks to a backlog of dirt-cheap PS3 titles.

I’m always a bit puzzled by the hype surrounding the release of a new console. Most people aren’t early adopters of technology and will simply wait for a price drop around the holidays later on or the release of a must-have game before committing to purchase. For example, I purchased a Nintendo 3DS at launch and the most pressing thing I can remember about owning one so soon was seeing my handheld being used more for DS games than 3DS ones. Other people just let it gather dust or ended up selling it.

As consoles are more complex nowadays, I’m still curious as to what more the PS3 can do? Hopefully much more if Sony does the right thing and tries to sustain its product’s life cycle for as long as the PS2.

With the Wii U being released here in Australia on November 30, the Wii only really lasted less than 6 years in Australia. It obviously still exists and Wii games will be continue to be made and sold but Nintendo will focus more on its new baby now than its old one. In terms of appealing to a greater market of people and capturing that ‘casual gamer’ crowd, the Wii was a success. But in terms of selling itself as a successor to the Gamecube’s range of titles, the results are either mixed or a failure. I focus a lot on libraries here as I understand that people buy consoles to play games. So the greater variety of games should equate to increased longevity.

So in this case, the Wii never really got that chance.

It was a technically deficient console (in comparison to the PS3/Xbox 360) with endless shovel-ware games on offer and no decent third-party support. But it did have some obscure gems to play. Unfortunately, many of them were either already available on PS2 (how surprising?) or not available locally.  I’m not sure how I should respond to the Wii U. It’s attempting to do something different with a radically new controller but I question if it will really be enough. Personally, third-party support will be what Nintendo pays attention to this time around and in doing so, maybe the Wii U will actually last longer than its predecessor. I do recognise how awesome Nintendo’s IPs are but they shouldn’t be the only thing selling the console.

Ultimately, I’m very fixated on consoles lasting as long as possible because that’s when consumers get their monies worth. The PS2 will forever be the best investment I ever made in gaming and justifies why I never needed to bother with buying an Xbox or Gamecube back in the day. I fear that ever-increasing technical specifications will never allow our consoles to live as long as they should. Seeing however as how the PS3 and Xbox 360 have expanded their reach to other forms of media such as television and the internet, maybe it’s an encouraging sign that the life cycle of both products has now been extended. I only play games at the end of the day but if these other features, however superficial they may be, contribute to either console lasting a little longer, then I really can’t complain.

 – Corey Lee

Screen Play readers can submit articles and game reviews for consideration in Your Turn and Your Review using the email address [email protected]南京夜网. The best blog post published on Screen Play between 1 November and 30 November 2012, as judged by James Dominguez, will win a PS Vita handheld console from Sony Computer Entertainment. This is a wi-fi unit, and has a recommended retail price of $349. The next prize winner will be announced on Friday 30 November. Only Australian residents are eligible and the judge’s decision is final.

Screen Play is on Twitter: @jamesjdominguez

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