Virtual reality rides the infamous hype cycle

As home VR goes mainstream, can it survive a plunge into the trough of disillusionment? Virtual reality has been the “next big thing” for a while but this year it’s finally going mainstream as the long-awaited Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR headsets hit the retail shelves. Sure Google Cardboard-style VR has been around for a while, letting you hold a smartphone up to your face, but these full-fledged consumer-grade VR headsets take things to the next level. According to Gartner’s hype cycle, every new technology builds up to a crescendo of hype, with expectations so unrealistically high that our enthusiasm comes crashing down into the trough of disillusionment once we actually get our hands on it. After our initial disappointment, the …

ADHD diagnoses in preschoolers curbed under new guidelines TUESDAY, Nov. 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- In a bit of good news, the rate of diagnoses for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among U.S. preschoolers has leveled off, a new study finds. At the same time, the prescribing rate of stimulant medications for these young patients has also stayed steady, a promising trend that researchers credit to treatment guidelines that were introduced in 2011. The guidelines, issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), called for a standardized approach to diagnosis, and recommended behavior therapy -- not drugs -- as the first-line therapy for preschoolers. "There was a concern that preschoolers get too much behavioral diagnosis and medications for behavior problems," explained study author Dr. Alexander Fiks. He is associate medical director of the Pediatric Research Consortium at Children's ...

Car stolen in East Victoria Park with three-year-old boy inside A car with a three-year-old boy inside has been stolen in East Victoria Park at 1.50pm on Friday afternoon. The blue 2013 Subaru Impreza hatch was stolen from Westminster Street. Police said the vehicle was driven through a picket fence when it was stolen, and it may have minor front end damage. The registration is XBJ 177. Police are hunting this car after it was stolen with three-year-old Joseph (inset) still inside.  WA Police have released a photo of three-year-old Joseph, who was reportedly asleep in the back seat while it was parked in the family's driveway.  The engine was running when the driver left the car momentarily, and it was stolen.  URGENT PLEASE RT - This is a photo of the boy who ...

Sydney Festival comes out swinging with homegrown hits Wesley Enoch's inaugural Sydney Festival starts in five weeks' time, but the director shows no signs of performance anxiety. "I like to joke that I haven't felt nervous since 1995," he says. "There are always things to learn and there are always things to be excited by, but I have never really felt nervous." Since the program was launched in late October, some events, such as the free Aboriginal language classes, have nearly sold out. "There has been this incredible rush of interest," says Enoch. Ethan Hugh features in Kaleidoscope with five circus performers at the 2017 Sydney Festival. Photo: Dylan Evans The 2017 line-up, he says, "reflects my politics, my view of the world, what interests me, what excites me about different trends going on ...

No.1 AFL draft pick Andrew McGrath just wanted to play for Essendon Bombers After touring Essendon's training ground at Tullamarine last week and getting a look at their facilities, number one draft pick Andrew McGrath knew he wanted to be a Bomber. But he said the club did not give him or any other draft prospects any assurances ahead of Friday night's selection. Dream come true: McGrath with his new coach, John Worsfold.  McGrath was overcome with nerves until his name was called. The versatile defender and midfielder co-captained Vic Metro Under-18s this year and will form part of Essendon's rebuild in 2017. "Essendon held their cards pretty close to their chest. I don't think any of the boys really knew what the order was going to look like and who was going to go at that coveted number ...

Fake cop car spotted driving in Elizabeth Quay by actual police They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. If that's the case, the police officers who pulled this woman over near Elizabeth Quay around midday on Monday must have been feeling pretty special. A photo of a Hyundai with the word 'police' written across the side in blue marker has gone viral after it was pulled over by police in the CBD. Social media users have been quick to share their thoughts on the paint job. "Can hardly tell the difference," wrote one person. "Looks like a legit police car," wrote another. Witness Anna-Marie Gibbs said she noticed the unusual sight during her lunch break.  "She was stopped already when I came down out of my office," she said.  When imitation meets ...

Fidel Castro's death leaves Cuba's future uncertain   With Fidel Castro gone, what can we hope for Cuba? We can hope for better. Fidel Castro during an interview in Havana in 1985, when he was still a hero in the Soviet Union.  Photo: AP We can hope that the dictator's younger brother Raul, who has established a solid presidency since succeeding the ailing Fidel in 2008, will accelerate economic and political liberalisation. We can hope that the Cuban people will be allowed to savour the freedoms of expression, of assembly, of the right to a fair trial and an independent media, that were taken from them in Castro's revolution. We can hope that the detente between this small nation and its powerful neighbour to the north culminating with Barack Obama's visit to Havana in March continues apace...

Dad fundraises for cancer drug to keep wife alive for Christmas Nina Cusick was diagnosed with bowel cancer in February 2015. At the time, she was pregnant and gave birth to her son six weeks early. Doctors told Nina and her husband, Ed, the 34-year-old only had six weeks to live, but the couple found a drug that has helped extend her life. Now, the family of three is fundraising in the hopes that Nina will live long enough to see their 21-month-old son open his Christmas presents. The Cusicks, of Aylesbury, England, launched an online campaign to raise $125,000 for the drug Regorafenib, which costs more than $6,000 every three weeks, Inside Edition reported. The drug is not covered by national health care, so the family is paying for fully it out of pocket. They hope...