Just as cinemas world-over throw their doors open to the mass of heaving hordes decked out in 3-D glasses to enjoy this season’s long anticipated movie, The Hobbit, one clever businessman in New Zealand is set to make a little pile of gold…out of his replica hobbit pub.
New Zealand, or Middle Earth as it’s now known to nerds thanks to director Peter Jackson and his neverending stream of Tolkien films, is certainly pretty picturesque. Idyllic looking even. With its green rolling hills and hairy footed natives (just ask the Aussies, they’ll tell you!), it doesn’t get much more shire than the little town of Matamata, where the Hobbit village was built for the Lord of the Rings films back in 1998.
Indeed, the place is doing so well off its Tolkien tourism that the area has even opted to create its own little village –Hobbiton-- which was established in 2002.
Now, like every good village, Hobbiton is getting its own pub. And this one, like the rest of the village, is sticking to the theme.
The Green Dragon was built by WingNut Films art director Brian Massey, who oversaw the construction and detailed decoration of the drinking establishment.
According to reports, Hobbiton’s manager, Russell Alexander, said he estimated that the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will serve to funnel in 100,000 visitors over the next year. That’s a lot of beer on tap the Green Dragon’s going to be needing!
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.