(Bloomberg) — When TV location scouts want a house to suggest fabulous wealth, it’s hard to do better than one that looks like a 17th century French palace. And with its frescoed ceilings, crystal chandeliers, marble staircase, and grand domed cupola, that’s exactly the look Van Lapoyan was going for when he built his Toronto mansion.
The 24,000-square-foot residence has more than 25 film and television credits to its name, including the multi-Emmy Award-winning comedy series Schitt’s Creek, where it was glimpsed as the Rose family’s abode before they lost their fortune and were forced into the show’s eponymous rural backwater. Now Lapoyan has put his mansion up for sale with an asking price of C$19.9 million ($15.7 million).
Having spent the first part of his career in Toronto’s construction industry, building custom homes for other people, the condo-developer decided in 2008 he’d build a dream house for himself on a lot in the city’s North York neighborhood, at 30 Fifeshire Rd. It’s near the exclusive Bridle Path area where the rapper Drake has a Toronto manor.
Designing the place took two years, plus three in construction to get everything exactly the way Lapoyan wanted, from the home theater to the two pools (indoor and outdoor), the golf simulator, and the wine cellar. Trickiest was the three-story structure’s outer facade and patio, which he insisted be made of limestone brought from Indiana and inserted with marble that had to be lifted into place with cranes.
Now the 67-year-old is planning to retire someplace that lacks Toronto’s frigid winters, and he says the 12-bedroom, 16-bathroom house is too big for just him and his wife. Having lived in it for only seven years, Lapoyan admits he built it in part just to prove he could.
“It was a challenge for myself in terms of how can I achieve it. Can you do it? Can you make something beautiful and enjoy it?” Lapoyan says in a telephone interview. “It is a landmark, everyone knows it’s a landmark. They come everyday to take pictures of the house. During construction, I had a lot accidents in front of it because drivers were all just looking at the house instead of the road.”
Lapoyan first fell in love with the baroque, rococo, and neoclassical styles of architecture that influenced his home while a university student in Paris. In keeping with the monumental aspirations of that period, he christened his home “La Belle Maison” in a marble panel set into the balcony above the front door.
“When I was a student in Paris, I used to walk on the streets and just be amazed by these beautiful buildings,” he says. “I’d be walking up the street, and then I’d hit a pole because I was watching the buildings and how beautiful they were.”
And though the classical-bas reliefs, Tuscan columns, and marble balustrades of his home’s interior may suggest Marie Antoinette-levels of decadence to some filmmakers and TV location managers, for Lapoyan they are timeless architectural elements, especially compared to more modern styles he dismisses as faddish.
“Modern houses today are very in vogue, and people like it, but classical houses never go out of fashion,” he says. “Whether it’s now or in 10 years or in 50 years, you’re still going to love that house.”
The house’s size meant Lapoyan barely noticed film crews when they were shooting in it, even when they worked late into the night. He says he didn’t see much of the Schitt’s Creek team when they were there, except when he stopped by to shake star Eugene Levy’s hand. Although the Canadian series premiered in 2015, international audiences searching for something to binge watch amid pandemic lockdowns helped turn it into a sensation last year. The show’s final season went on to sweep all seven major comedy categories at the Emmy Awards, setting a record for most wins by a comedy.
Lapoyan says the series’ success has brought increased attention to his house, which has been on and off the market since 2019, when it was first listed for C$21.8 million.
“All of a sudden, we received a huge amount of interest because of Schitt’s Creek, and we’ve been bombarded with phone calls and emails,” he said. “We used to get local interest. Now we get interest from Vancouver, from Montreal, from London, from New York—all over the place.”
For fans with a more modest budget the small town motel where the Rose family spends most of the series is also up for sale, with a sticker price of just C$2 million.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Dead Space Remake Officially Announced at EA Play – CGMagazine
After weeks of different rumors and leaks, the Dead Space remake was officially confirmed at EA Play 2021.
The Dead Space remake wasn’t given any kind of release window, but it is in development for next-gen systems only, meaning PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. The game is being built with the Frostbite Engine and is handled by EA Motive, who is best known as the developer of the recent Star Wars Squadrons. The original trilogy was developed by Visceral Games, which was shuttered by EA in 2017.
The announcement didn’t show much at all but presented fans with a short teaser trailer showing a grisly space station as the iconic sounds of Necromorphs echoed in the background. As the camera zooms in Isaac Clarke’s backpack lights up and reveals the words Dead Space. A press release from EA says fans will “experience an improved story, characters, gameplay mechanics.” Phillippe Ducharme, Senior Producer of Dead Space, says the team at Motive has invited fans to give their feedback on the remake ever since the early days of development. With that in mind, it’s not exactly clear how far along in development the Dead Space remake actually is. You can watch the reveal trailer yourself down below.
One of the most prolific survival-horror series of all time, it’s been eight years since the release of the last game in the series, Dead Space 3. The franchise was always known for its nail-biting horror and inventive combat, requiring players to hack off the limbs of enemies in order to both slow them down and kill them. Here’s EA’s description of the first game and remake,
“In Dead Space, Isaac Clarke is an everyman engineer on a mission to repair a vast, sprawling starship, the USG Ishimura, only to discover something has gone horribly wrong. The ship’s crew has been slaughtered and infected by some alien scourge…and Isaac’s beloved partner, Nicole, is lost somewhere on board. Now Isaac is alone with only his tools and engineering skills as he attempts to uncover the nightmarish mystery of what happened aboard the Ishimura. Trapped with hostile creatures called “necromorphs”, Isaac faces a battle for survival, not only against the escalating terrors of the ship, but his own crumbling sanity.”
While Dead Space is coming back, Glen Schofield former executive producer of the series, has gone on to make a brand new sci-fi horror game called The Callisto Protocol.
OnePlus Nord 2: An impressive 5G phone at an affordable price – CNET
OnePlus calls its brand new Nord 2 the “flagship killer,” and I get why. This phone has impressive specs, performs well and when paired with a reasonable starting price (only £399 here in the UK), it’s designed to offer everything you’d need from a phone without emptying your bank account. A powerful processor, a solid dual rear camera setup, 5G connectivity, super fast charging — and it’s not bad to look at either.
Like the previous Nord — and the cheaper, launched just a few weeks back — the Nord 2 will not be on sale in the US. It’s destined for the UK and wider Europe, where it’ll cost £399 for the version with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage or £469 with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. For reference, £399 converts to about $540 or AU$740.
But no, it doesn’t really “kill” any flagships. It’s not as powerful as a “true” flagship like theor , nor will its camera skills attract the world’s most demanding photographers. The flagship that I feel is most at risk is , which shares many features with the Nord 2, yet has a much higher starting price of £629 ($729).
I’ve spent a short amount of time with the Nord 2 ahead of its unveiling, and here are the five things I like most about it.
A powerful MediaTek processor
OnePlus has typically used Qualcomm’s Snapdragon line of processors for its phones but it went with MediaTek’s Dimensity 1200-AI chip for the Nord 2. You’ll notice absolutely no difference in use — it’s the same as any other Android phone — but you will notice that it’s surprisingly powerful for the price.
While it’s not up there with the iPhone 12 Pro Max in terms of benchmarks, it did beat the Pixel 5 and wasn’t far below the more expensive OnePlus 9. It’s certainly powerful enough for gaming, photo editing and video streaming and navigating around the Android 11 interface is smooth and stutter free.
Android 11 software
The Nord 2 runs Android 11 at its core, over which OnePlus has slapped its usual Oxygen software. I really like OnePlus’s software as it’s neat, easy to use and doesn’t try and load the phone up with too many bundled services and bloatware. As a result, the phone remains nippy and trouble-free for longer.
It’s particularly important on lower and midrange phones that might not cope as well with being bogged down by services. The result here is a phone with smooth performance that I expect to remain for some time to come.
OnePlus says it’s guaranteed to get at least two years of Android upgrades — so an update to Android 12 this fall and Android 13 next year is a given — with an additional year of security updates after that.
Incredible fast charging
The Nord 2 has the same 65-watt fast charging seen on the OnePlus 9 series and it’s amazing. It’ll take the phone from empty to full in only about 30 minutes, which makes it amazing for giving it a quick boost before you head out from home. The 4,500-mAh battery should still give you a day of use from a charge, but when you can recharge so quickly, battery life becomes somewhat less of an issue.
Even better is that a 65-watt fast charger comes in the box, so you don’t need to scour Amazon for one. What the phone doesn’t have is wireless charging, but I don’t see that as a particular problem.
Vibrant, sharp display
The Nord 2’s display measures 6.43 inches and boasts a resolution of 2,400×1,080 pixels, which is sufficient to make tiny text look nice and sharp. It’s an AMOLED panel, making it extremely vibrant too: great for videos, photos or playing whatever colorful game is currently making the rounds on the Google Play Store.
It has a 90Hz refresh rate which is a touch lower than the 120Hz of the OnePlus 9 series, but I doubt you’d be able to tell any real difference in day-to-day use. It’s silky smooth when scrolling around the interface, but you can also turn it down to a more regular 60Hz, which will apparently help save battery life.
Decent rear cameras
We haven’t done our full suite of camera tests yet, but what we’ve seen from the cameras so far looks good. The main sensor is a 50-megapixel affair — the same one seen in the OnePlus 9’s ultrawide camera. Outdoor images look well-exposed, with plenty of detail and natural-looking colors.
The 8-megapixel super-wide lens is noticeably less detailed, but it too seems capable of capturing good-looking outdoor images. There’s an on-screen option for 2x zoom but there isn’t a zoom lens, so that 2x is based on digitally cropping the shot. Results still look good, but it’s worth keeping in mind that you won’t get maximum quality doing this.
There’s also technically a 2-megapixel monochrome sensor, which is totally pointless in my opinion as a photographer. If you want good-looking black and white images, use the regular camera and apps like Adobe Lightroom or Snapseed to have full control over converting to mono. Frankly, I feel OnePlus could have pulled this out and lopped another 20 quid or so off the price.
OnePlus Nord 2 specs
|Display size, resolution, refresh rate||6.43-inch AMOLED, FHD+ (2,400×1,080 pixels), 90Hz|
|Dimensions (Inches)||6.25×2.88×0.32 in.|
|Dimensions (Millimeters)||158.9×73.2×8.25 mm|
|Weight (Grams)||6.66 oz; 189g|
|Camera||50MP (main), 8MP (wide-angle), 2MP (mono)|
|Processor||MediaTek Dimensity 1200-AI processor|
|Special features||5G-enabled, 65W fast charging, 90Hz, dual stereo speaker, face unlock|
|Price (USD)||Approximately $540 (converted from UK price)|
|Price (AUD)||Approximately AU$740|
OnePlus will add ‘optimized mode’ toggle in Oxygen OS 12 to address throttling – GSMArena.com news – GSMArena.com
Following a performance vs optimization controversy this month, OnePlus has confirmed that it plans to address the debacle in the way that it should have done from the very beginning. A OnePlus employee confirmed through a OnePlus Forum thread that the Android skin will gain a toggle to enable/disable OnePlus’ performance optimization with an early build of Oxygen OS 12.
Earlier this month, OnePlus was delisted from benchmarking app Geekbench due to alleged performance manipulations. This sparked controversy and OnePlus was prompted to respond to the allegations. Although benchmarking apps were performing in line with what’s expected from the Snapdragon 888 chipset, the phones were throttling many other apps from using the chipset’s maximum capacity during use. Geekbench saw this as cheating and that’s what prompted the benchmark app to delist the OnePlus 9 Duo.
OnePlus gave its reasoning for this: Users offered feedback about both battery life and heat management for future OnePlus devices, and explained that it has “optimized” performance of these devices when using the most popular apps. OnePlus even went beyond and stated that today’s high-end chipsets are overkill for most apps. While they are right to an extent, further testing showed that the so-called battery savings were minutes at most and largely negligible.
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