He has choreographed action for Christian Bale in “The Dark Night” and for Tom Hardy in “Dunkirk” among over three dozen films in a career nearing 30 years. Hollywood’s famous action director Tom Struthers, who is now working on some high-octane stunts for Bollywood film “Race 3” in Abu Dhabi, finds Indian superstar Salman Khan no less a professional.
Race 3 marks the second time that Struthers is working with Salman, with whom he last collaborated for “Tiger Zinda Hai” — also widely shot in Abu Dhabi. He loved the experience both times.
“I think you can expect the same kind of enthusiasm and high-octane action in ‘Race 3’ as ‘Tiger…’, but there’s nothing I can tell you about (the plot),” Struthers told IANS over phone from Abu Dhabi, which is fast becoming a much-loved shooting destination for filmmakers.
He considers Salman as an actor who is sought after and “well-liked”.
“I am very fortunate that in my career I have worked with good, professional people. Salman is among the highest-paid actors in the world… I’ve worked with people like Christian Bale and Tom Hardy. I consider them to be friends and I consider them to be very, very professional.
“Never once have they been unprofessional with me. Salman is in the same category. He was kind, caring about his people, and concerned about his artistes. He cares about where he is going as an actor and about what he is doing about the character he is playing,” added Struthers, whose first tryst with Bollywood was with Nikkhil Advani’s 2013 film “D-Day”.
For “Race 3”, being directed by Remo D’Souza and starring Anil Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez, Bobby Deol, Daisy Shah and Saqib Saleem, apart from Salman, Struthers is choreographing the opening and closing sequences. He hopes these stunts, details of which he was guarded about, are something that the audience would love.
Struthers, along with Indian action director Anl Arasu, enlisted the help of the Armed Forces of the UAE, employing a Blackhawk helicopter, Oshkosh trucks, NIMR military vehicles, and Humvees for the shoot. twofour54 is providing the team production services as well as the support of its government and travel services department to ease the process.
The Australian stunts star, who has also worked on films like “Titanic”, “Braveheart”, “Blood Diamond”, “Inception” and “Terminator Salvation”, finds Bollywood becoming more professional with time.
“I think Bollywood is in a great place right now. They are experimenting with culturally different professionals in the camera, stunts, action-directing departments,” he said, and reminisced how, when he came on board for “D-Day”, he knew nothing about Indian films or Indian culture.
“When Nikkhil Advani called me and said he wanted to meet me, I said, ‘Why not? It will be a new experience, I will learn and you grow with experiences, so yes, absolutely’. So, I met Nikkhil and he convinced me to come to India… And rest is history, as they say.
“I enjoyed every moment in India. People have been super nice to me. I have never found anyone unpleasant. And as far as I am concerned, what more can you ask for,” he said.
Struthers had missed a chance to visit Jodhpur when the team of his mentor Christopher Nolan was in the Rajasthan city to shoot scenes for “The Dark Knight Rises”.
As for his filmography, he says it’s not purely action-heavy films that attract him.
“I love doing the action, but it’s also important for me to tell a story. I often choose films not because they have big budgets, but because I like the script, the story, the actors that are to be cast… All that is a part of what I do… I feel fortunate that I am at a stage in my career when I can do that… To pick and choose the films. It’s not just a financial game.”
Nike Adapt Self-Lacing Smart Sneaker Will Require Regular Charging
Nike has found a new way to capture more information about its customers: through their sneakers.
At an event called the “Future of Footwear,” Nike unveiled a new shoe concept, called Nike Adapt, that tracks performance in real time, allowing the company to give weekend warriors athletic tips and also sell them more products.
“It’s the start of a new day,” said Michael Donaghu, Nike’s director of global footwear innovation. “It’s like we’re moving from footwear to firmwear.”
The shoes, with their data-tracking capability, present customers with a choice about privacy — if they opt not to share their data, they’ll miss out on a lot of the product’s capabilities. The company is starting with basketball shoes, which will sell for $350 (roughly Rs. 25,000).
The shoe self-tightens to an athlete’s preference – there are no laces – and is adjustable via an app. The products carry sensors, accelerometers and gyroscopes that can give Nike a full, personalized snapshot of its owner’s performance. They’ll need recharging every two weeks.
“It’s like having two smartphones strapped to your two feet,” said Michael Martin, Nike’s global head of digital products.
CEO Mark Parker discussed the new shoes in vague terms in December, calling it a “major step” in taking Nike’s new digital emphasis and embedding it into actual product.
Nike stores are also going digital. The company calls new flagship locations unveiled two months ago in New York and Shanghai “Houses of Innovation.” They blend online shopping with the in-person experience. To get the full experience, you essentially have to download the Nike app.
Nike is in the midst of a digital transformation. A large part of that is trying to get more of its customers to become members of the NikePlus loyalty program. The company has found members spend three times more than nonmembers when they shop at Nike.com.
Though Nike has seen rapid growth in apparel sales, shoes still accounted for 61 percent of the company’s $36.4 billion in revenue last fiscal year.
Nike auto-lacing shoes have been around since 2017, when the company sold a limited number of low-top sneakers for $720, the most expensive shoes it ever released.
These shoes will be available through Nike’s direct channels, and through retailers, and will debut in the NBA on the feet of Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum later this week.
The shoe’s technology is can be updated through the app, meaning its capabilities can change after it’s purchased. The Beaverton, Oregon-based company plans to release more products with the Adapt technology, including running shoes, sportswear and lifestyle items.
“The advantages we’re looking to provide the athlete are so substantial that you’ll see a mass of people wanting to make use of those benefits,” Martin said.
Microsoft Says Will Set Up 10 AI Labs, Train 5 Lakh Youth in India
Microsoft India to set up Artificial Intelligence (AI) labs in 10 universities and train five lakh youth across the country in disrupting technologies.
The company also said it will upskill over 10,000 developers over the next three years.
“We believe AI will enable Indian businesses and more for India’s progress, especially in education, skilling, healthcare and agriculture,” said Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India.
Microsoft AI today is fuelling digital transformation for over 700 customers and 60 per cent customers are large manufacturing and financial services enterprises.
Over 700 partners have geared up to support the AI ecosystem, said the company.
Microsoft in December announced a three-year “Intelligent Cloud Hub” collaborative programme in India, for empowering institutes to skill students in AI and Cloud technologies.
India is one of the first countries to have such a programme in which Microsoft will support selected institutes that have the best-in-class infrastructure, curriculum and content, onsite training for faculty and students, access for participating students to Cloud and AI services, developmental tools and developer support.
In April 2018, the company announced the Microsoft Professional Programme (MPP) for the public.
This programme is helping in providing job-ready skills along with real-world experience to engineers as well as others who plan on improving their skills in AI and data science, using a series of online courses.
“Microsoft also believes that it is imperative to build higher awareness and capabilities on security, privacy, trust and accountability,” said Maheshwari.
TP-Link Launches New Wi-Fi 6 Routers at CES 2019 With Something at Every Price Point
TP-Link has announced five new next-generation wireless products at CES 2019. All these routers are based on Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) with prices ranges from the affordable entry-level routers to expensive wireless routers meant for gaming. In December last year, TP-Link had introduced its first two Wi-Fi 6 routers based on Broadcom platforms. With its latest announcement at CES 2019, the company seems keen on bringing more Wi-Fi 6 products for everyone.
The new TP Link Deco X10 is a mesh networking-based wireless router. It comes in a pack of two (one main unit and a satellite), priced at $349.99 (roughly Rs. 24,340). It offers a wireless bandwidth of up to 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 1,200Mbps on the 5GHz band.
The company has also announced a new Archer AX11000 gaming wireless router. It is a tri-band wireless router capable of a maximum wireless throughput of up to 4,804Mbps on the 5GHz bands and up to 1,148Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. TP-Link had added USB Type-C and USB Type-A ports to enable storage sharing across the network. The router will sell at $449.99 (roughly Rs. 31,300) and will be available later this month.
TP-Link’s new Archer AX6000 is a dual-band wireless router that offers features similar to the Archer AX11000 and is shipping right away. It includes a 2.5Gbps WAN port so in case you have a high-speed broadband connection, but you don’t play games, this might be the right router for you as it costs $100 (roughly Rs. 6,954) less than the Archer AX11000.
The basic TP-Link Archer AX1800 brings Wi-Fi 6 at an affordable price point. The Archer AX1800 is a dual-band wireless router which comes with a Gigabit WAN port and a USB 2.0 port to share data across the network. The router is priced at $129.99 (roughly Rs. 9,040). It will be available later this year.
TP-Link has also announced a new wireless range extender at CES 2019. The RE705X Wi-Fi range extender is a dual-band repeater which is priced at $99.99 (roughly Rs. 6,953). It will ship in the third quarter of 2019.