Unix weenies everywhere will be partying like it’s 1234567890 this Friday.

That’s because, at precisely 3:31:30 p.m. Pacific time on February 13, 2009, the 10-digit “epoch time” clock used by most Unix computers will display all ten decimal digits in sequence. (That’s 6:31:30 Eastern, or 23:31:30 UTC.)

Unlike time systems intended for humans, Unix time simply counts the number of seconds since midnight UTC on January 1, 1970. It’s a convenient way for computers to measure elapsed time, provided the start date wasn’t before 1970. On Friday, the number of seconds will hit 1,234,567,890. Celebrations are planned in San Francisco, Vancouver, Seattle, Los Angeles and about 10 other locations worldwide, so don’t be surprised if it takes the guys in IT a little longer to respond to your calls tomorrow afternoon, or if the Gadget Lab crew is hard to find.

Studio100 has plans to launch a new Paris-based animation studio, Studio100 Animation, with Jo Daris heading up the operation.

The new studio is part of the company’s overall development strategy to grow its business in the animation sector through self-funding as well as seeking out co-finance and project development opportunities. It will focus on and specialize in cartoons for the whole family, both with classic remakes and original creations and will be at the forefront in animation technology. Studio100 Animation will initially have a production capacity of two animations per year, kicking off with Super Mega Hyper Pets, a new joint venture with Canada’s Amberwood Productions, and Rescue 4U with Magma Films in Ireland.

WonderCon 2009 is taking place Friday, Feb. 27th through Sunday, March 1st in San Francisco.   Highlights below:

- Walt Disney Animation Studios: The Art of 2D Visual Effects—Craig Sost and Marlon West talk about the challenges that blending characters and EFX in a hand-drawn, 2D animation medium presents in creating drama. Featuring a key scene from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ next release Princess and the Frog, which the moderators will take apart to illustrate the magic of the production process.

Hollywood filmmaker George Lucas apparently considers Barack Obama to be a real-life hero, for he says that the 44th U.S. President is more powerful than Luke Skywalker, the main protagonist of his Star Wars films.

He expressed this view when he was honoured with the Ford Theatre Society’s Lincoln medal in a ceremony attended by Obama in Washington on Wednesday night. Lucas said that in contest between Skywalker and Obama, the latter wins hands down, even without the lightsaber.

Also honoured with the Lincoln medal during the event was screen legend Sidney Poitier. According to Policito.com, Poitier said that Obama’s rockstar status was still going strong.

Learn the art of mixing computer-generated objects into real-life footage with “Camera Tracking for VFX,” a new online course from Escape Studios which delves deeply into the professional camera tracking techniques required by aspiring 3D artists. Taught by the world-renowned staff at Escape Studios, “Camera Tracking for VFX” covers background, workflows and best practices in a flexible online format that includes over 12 hours of video content.

For more information, or to register, please visit: EscapeStudios.com

“The Matrix” helmers the Wachowski Brothers have been approached to re-boot the “Superman” franchise as a trilogy.

The comment comes from regular Wachowski collaborator James McTeigue (“V for Vendetta,” “Ninja Assassin”) on a German TV show special on RTL1 that dealt with the films being released in the coming year.

“Superman Returns” director Bryan Singer has refused to be involved in the reboot and may fall back on his long-planned “Logan’s Run” remake, but the Wachowski are still just considering the offer.

VFX studio Rhythm & Hues will start developing feature projects as well as open a new studio in Asia for work on an all-CG feature, per Variety.

The Culver City-based company has hired Vanguard’s Venecia Duran as director of development and has accelerated plans for a Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia facility. The development department is now taking script submissions and hopes to make an announcement on a feature co-production in a few months.

“We’re looking ideally for four-quadrant family films, though we have a few projects in development that are a little more adult,” Duran said. The slate includes “blended cinema” projects that combine CG and live-action and fully CG animated projects.

    
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