Northeast Green Building Council Confab April 4

first_imgDetails were skimpy, but organizers of a regional meeting of U.S. Green Building Council chapters promised an opportunity to learn and network at the Upper Northeast Regional Summit in Burlington, VT, on April 4.The announcement didn’t include a list of speakers or workshops. Instead, it said the event would be “a wicked amazing gathering for one night, one day, with over 100 extraordinary people, all there in one place — storytellers, innovators and inventors, ne’er do wells and troublemakers, designers and divas, the marvelous, the maddening, the number crunchers and artists, the wacky and the wonderful, the creative and the very curious, propelled and rocketed with vision and action.”Thursday, April 3, was billed as an optional Vermont chapter event where participants could “network and learn.” Friday will see “extremely extraordinary experimental events.”The cost is $77.The summit is hosted by USBC chapters in the six New England states plus upstate New York. Accommodations are at the Hilton Burlington, according to the Connecticut chapter, which sent out the announcement.last_img read more

Green Buildings Get a Loan Break

first_imgFannie Mae, the largest provider of financing for multifamily projects in the country, says that it has started giving loan discounts on properties with a green-building certification. The announcement came from the U.S. Green Building Council, which administers the well-known LEED program. But the loan break also applies to projects that qualify for Energy Star status as well as those certified under the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria.The discount equals 10 basis points, or one-tenth of 1 percent on the loan. In the example USGBC cited, a 4 percent market rate loan would drop to 3.9 percent. If that sounds like small potatoes, interest savings on a $10 million loan amortizing over 30 years would be $95,000 over a 10-year period, according to the USGBC.Jeffery Hayward, executive vice president for multifamily with Fannie Mae, said that green certification offers three advantages: lower operating costs for owners and tenants, the social benefits of providing quality housing for renters, and environmental benefits that help everyone.Fannie Mae has more details about its ongoing Green Initiative at its website.last_img read more

Frugal Happy: Epic House Update

first_imgEditor’s Note: This post is one of a series by Chris Stratton and Wen Lee, a husband-and-wife team living in the Los Angeles area who are turning their 1963 suburban house into an all-electric, zero-net-energy home. They chronicle their attempts at a low-carbon, low-cost, and joyful lifestyle on their blog Frugal Happy. This post was written by Wen. All photos courtesy of the authors. Okay everyone, it’s been seven months since our last post, and we were already months behind then. Now our blog is woefully, embarrassingly out of date. Our apologies! So, here’s our attempt at a massive catch up to bring our posts up to the present. While each of these topics deserves its own detailed post, we unfortunately don’t have time to do them all justice right now. We are happy to answer detailed questions so feel free to leave a comment or send us a message about anything you see here. You can learn about our skylight installation and wiring at our website.RELATED ARTICLESBuilding an Unvented CrawlspaceDetails for a Closed CrawlspaceA New Encyclopedia Article on Ductless MinisplitsDuctless Minisplits for DIYersInstalling a Ductless Minisplit System Crawlspace retrofit is one nasty job This was probably the dirtiest work of the whole renovation project. Where we live in southern California, crawlspaces are very common. They are typically nasty, dirty, drafty, and neglected. Our crawlspace was uninsulated and vented to the outside, which meant that outdoor air could leak into our house through the floors. It was also unprotected from moisture that may seep in from external sources like rain, which in turn might result in mold and unhealthy air leaking into the house through the floor. The former was a particularly big concern, because Chris put in a ton of effort installing superinsulation in our walls and roof. What was the point of all that effort if the floor was completely uninsulated? Chris decided to encapsulate the crawlspace. This entailed installing a vapor barrier on the crawlspace floor that wraps up the walls and the piers, and then installing insulation around the perimeter. But first, he had to clean out the crawl space. Turns out there was a lot of crap down there, like huge chunks of old concrete from when we redid the footings to vault the ceiling. To seal the crawlspace, we used a 15-mil Stego Wrap vapor barrier, Stego tape, and cans of spray polyurethane spray foam. First, Chris wrapped up all the footings under the house. Wrapping up the footings was the first job. The roll of Stego Wrap was big. My brother Bin and our friend Johnny helped lay it out on our driveway and cut long strips that they could manage to pull into the crawl space. We unrolled the plastic in the driveway and cut strips to be taken below. Below you can see Chris taping together a seam to ensure that it’s completely sealed. Doesn’t he look like he’s having fun? The crawlspace has 8 inches to 13 inches of clearance and is full of ancient dirt and decomposing spiders, so you know he’s got to be extremely comfortable, dragging his stomach along the ground in dusty darkness for hours. (On the plus side, he says it’s an excellent ab workout.) Stego Tape helps make a good seal. Installing rigid foam insulation is tedious enough above ground, but try doing it in a cramped, nasty crawl space. Chris installed 2 inches of rigid polyisocyanurate foam on the stem walls, and 3 inches at the rim joists. He then air-sealed the perimeter of the rigid foam using canned spray foam. This effectively brought the entire crawlspace into the conditioned space of our house (insulating it from outside temperatures). Below is a photo of the nearly-complete encapsulated crawlspace. Now the crawlspace is no longer vented to the outside, and it’s protected from outside temperatures (which means our house is fully insulated in all directions) and also protected from external moisture issues (which means minimizing the potential for mold and rot). The nearly completed project. We live in a very dry climate, so this is fine as is. In a more humid climate, though, it might be necessary to install a dehumidifier or exhaust fan in the crawlspace to make sure that moisture does not build up. What a nasty, difficult process and not recommended for claustrophobic people. Luckily, Chris had lots of help from Bin, Johnny, and Lac, who all courageously entered the abyss of the crawlspace with him. A new heating and cooling system We used to heat and cool our house with an old gas furnace and a loud, inefficient central air conditioner. Chris tore these things out and replaced them with a single system: a minisplit heat pump. Minisplits provide both heating and cooling, and they are much more energy efficient than our old equipment. Specifically, we installed a two-zone minisplit heat pump made by Mitsubishi. The system consists of an outdoor unit (which you can see below) and two indoor units (zones)—one ductless wall unit for the common area, and one ducted ceiling unit for the bedrooms. Each indoor unit has its own thermostat that can be controlled separately. Chris, Bin, and Johnny with the new outdoor unit. Our neighbor Albert is a HVAC specialist and helped Chris install and test the new system (e.g. making sure there were no refrigerant leaks). Chris and Johnny installed the ducted unit in the hallway ceiling between the bedrooms. Since we have three bedrooms, we needed three ducts to come out of this unit. Instead of ordering special parts (custom work is expensive), Chris decided to make his own branch transition. He bought three boots from an HVAC store and fit them into his creation. Instead of paying for expensive ductwork, Chris built his own splitter. It fits the unit that’s installed in the ceiling. Each duct will serve a separate room. Below is the wall unit, which is ductless and way less complicated. It conditions the common area which includes our living room, dining room, and kitchen. This ductless fan unit serves an open common area. Chris ran the refrigerant lines and electrical wiring from the wall unit to the outdoor unit along the outside of the house. It’s not the prettiest arrangement, but it allows us to avoid the risk of moisture (from condensation) inside our walls. Unfortunately, we had a bit of an electrical snafu with the outdoor unit. Somehow, while pulling the electrical wires through the wall, some wire insulation got stripped. So when Chris tried to turn on the outdoor unit for the first time, there was a short circuit and we heard a small pop inside the outdoor unit. The unit refused to turn on. Chris spent many hours attempting to troubleshoot and fix the problem. Our friend Gavin, who has a degree in electrical engineering, even came over to try to help. But alas, it was not fixable. Below you can see the burn marks in the circuit board of the outdoor unit. It was totally fried. We had to order a new circuit board. Once we put in the new one, though, everything worked like a charm. A scorched area on the circuit board tells the story. Below is a photo showing the repaired outdoor unit, which powers the two indoor units: And here again is the wall unit, which heats/cools the common area of the house: We now have a functional minisplit heating and cooling system. Due to the improved insulation in our house and the greater efficiency of the minisplit, we are consuming way less energy to heat and cool our home than before. For example, the house’s AC system dropped from a capacity of 3.5 tons of cooling to just 1.75 tons of cooling. That means our AC electricity use has been cut in half. And it’s much quieter. We no longer burn fossil fuels for heating, and we can also adjust the temperatures for different rooms. It’s pretty sweet. Use these links to read more posts by Chris Stratton and Wen Lee: An Introduction A Car-Free Experiment Demolition Our House Becomes a Giant Foam Box, Part 1 Giant Foam Box, Part 2 Let’s Kill the Lawn Vaulting the Ceiling Our First Year With Solar Panels Introducing the Share Shed We Have a Floor on Our Ceilinglast_img read more

Nokia Teases New Lumia 928 Flagship Windows Phone

first_imgRole of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The spring line of smartphones is almost complete. We have entries from HTC, Samsung, LG and a variety of other smartphone makers for consumers wishing to upgrade to the best new thing. The only company that has been missing from the spring device season is Nokia. It looks like that is about to change. Nokia has teased its new flagship Windows Phone smartphone, the Lumia 928, with a billboard and magazine ad in Vanity Fair. We know next to nothing about the Lumia 928 except that it is apparently coming to Verizon in the United States. There are various rumors about an all-metal body and camera components that will be a distinct upgrade over Nokia’s previous Windows Phone flagship Lumia 920. The Lumia 928 will feature Carl Zeiss optics for the camera and focus on Nokia’s PureView camera features found in its other signature devices. The magazine advertisement tells us to “stay tuned.”Are you excited for the next flagship Windows Phone from Nokia? What features do you wish Nokia would include? Let us know in the comments. Image source: Nokiacenter_img readwrite Tags:#Nokia#now#Windows Phone The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Judge Orders Disclosure Of Classified Surveillance-Court Documents

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts A secret U.S. intelligence court has ordered the Justice Department to declassify court documents from 2008 that reportedly outline Yahoo’s arguments against turning over customer data to government investigators.The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees domestic surveillance of foreign nationals in largely secret proceedings, agreed to Yahoo’s request to release its official ruling and legal briefs filed in the 2008 case. In that case, Yahoo reportedly objected to federal demands for customer data, arguing that such requests violated its customers’ constitutional protection against warrantless searches.See also: Documents Show PRISM Reaches Directly Inside Internet FirmsIt is not clear whether the 2008 case specifically involved the reported National Security Agency surveillance program known as PRISM, in which Internet companies like Yahoo have reportedly provided broad data access to the government. The Washington Post reported last month that PRISM enlisted its first corporate partner—Microsoft—in May 2007.In any event, the intelligence court’s 2008 ruling reportedly rejected Yahoo’s argument and compelled it to comply with federal data requests. But that order, along with the pro and con arguments raised by parties in the case, were subsequently classified. Yahoo, in fact, couldn’t even disclose the fact that it was a party in the case until last month.The Daily Dot first reported news of the court’s declassification decision. The Web site notes that Yahoo’s victory is only the second known civilian win before the intelligence court.See also: Yahoo Reports Its Data Request NumbersThe government has until the end of the month to review the documents, and can redact parts it deems “properly classified information.” As of this moment, Yahoo is the only major tech company known to have legally objected to government surveillance efforts, although others could conceivably remain bound by gag orders similar to the one that silenced Yahoo until recently.center_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… say sahmedsaymediacom Tags:#nsa#Prism#surveillance#Yahoo last_img read more

Square To Host Coding Camp for Girls

first_imgEditor’s note: This post was originally published by our partners at PopSugar Tech.Square’s pocketable plastic accessory changed the game for mobile payments, and now the company is hoping to make the same waves in the development of women in engineering. For the second year in a row, the San Francisco-based startup is hosting a ladies-only, all-expenses paid Code Camp at Square to encourage more women to pursue opportunities in engineering and technology.But this time the program, which takes place at Square HQ in San Francisco, will reach more girls. Square is splitting its engineering workshops into a High School Code Camp and a College Code Camp.The High School Code Camp will span eight months, and is designed for young women based in San Francisco who are preparing for the AP Computer Science exam. During the camp, the participants will attend lectures, programming sessions, and mobile development workshops with Square engineers. Only eight female high school students will be selected for the program, so submit your essay by September 27. Related Posts 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… Tags:#Code Camp#coding#PopSugar Tech#square#women in tech How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Why You Love Online Quizzes College students will be invited for a four-day immersion that includes learning new coding languages, leadership building activities, and taking a tour around the city. Square is extending the College Code Camp program to 20 future leading ladies in computer science this year (last October, Square only accepted 15).In Women 2.0, Monica Starr, a Wellesley College junior who participated last year, said that Tech Trek, which are two and a half hour intensives in different areas of engineering, made her a “stronger developer.” Brush up your resume and submit an essay explaining why you’d like to be a part of the program online at by October 25.Don’t know how to code yet? Join your sisters in software by considering these all-female coding camps.More stories from PopSugar Tech:Sneaky, Sneaky: How to See When Recipients Open Your Emails7 Glasses Straight Out of Science Fiction4 Features in Volvo’s Concept Coupe That We’re CovetingThe 10 Hottest Geek Moments of the SummerHow Does the Human Body Work? Tinybop Demystifies Our Anatomy nicole nguyen Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoidlast_img read more

Maintool can now make any watch into a smartwatch

first_imgHow Wearables Will Take Health Monitoring to th… Tags:#Apple#apple smartwatch#Apple Watch#Classi#Maintool#smartwatches#Swiss watches#wearables You Think Your Employees WANT to Wear That Devi… Cate Lawrence Related Posts center_img In the increasingly crowded market place of smart watches, a small niche of companies is offering an alternative to the standard designs by offering smart watch bands as an alternative to smartwatch faces.One of these is Madrid- and Paris-based startup Maintool, who have created the Classi watch band, a wearable which enables users to make their regular watches “smart.”I met with co-founder and CEO Hussain Ahamed and Community Manager Jody Serrano to learn more.“We’re giving you the chance to keep your own watch but still benefit from the same functionalities as some of the best wearable technologies,” Ahamed said.The smart watch band can be attached to any watch face. It offers a range of functionalities: sensors within the watch band measure heart rate, track footsteps and calories burned (pedometer), skin and ambient temperatures, alert through discrete vibrations and communicate with apps for iOS and Android. You can navigate to your destination hands-free and send out for help with the push of a button. Classi also has a phone loss prevention feature and will vibrate strongly if you forget your phone.Serrano notes that “Many times, people can’t tell the difference between a Classi strap and a regular watch strap. We switched out the microUSB port we used in our first prototypes for a custom magnetic charger, which greatly reduced the thickness of our watch straps. The new size makes our technology even more discreet.”Enter the smart watchbandSales of Swiss watches are on the incline with global wearable tech devices overtaking them in Q4 of 2015, according to figures released by market researcher Strategy Analytics.This marked the first time the wearable tech devices have overtaken their luxurious counterparts. Much of the credit is attributed to the Apple smartwatch. Further, a 2015 report by Deloitte into the Swiss watch industry revealed a lack of appreciation of the challenges to the industry by smart watches with only 25% of Swiss watch executives considered smartwatches to be a competitive threat.In response to the challenge of the economic outlook of the industry, 41% of respondents expressed pessimism with most attributing the economic challenges to weakened demand in China and Hong Kong and the strength of the Swiss franc. It suggests an industry that is in denial with Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics stating:“The Swiss watch industry has been very slow to react to the development of smartwatches. The Swiss watch industry has been sticking its head in the sand and hoping smartwatches will go away.”However, the upward trend of smart watches has begun to decline. IDC’s second quarter wearable sales report for 2016 revealed a 27 percent decline in smart wearables and during this time Apple had a significant decline in wearable sales. Sales dropped from 3.6 million in the same quarter last year to 1.6 million this year, a 56 percent downturn. Perhaps it’s time for smart watchbands to strike.Maintaining that Swiss watch heritageAhamed believes that their smart watchband can actually preserve the heritage factor of the Swiss watch industry, noting that their conversations with Swiss watch makers have been positive:” The CEOs and board members are acknowledging that they didn’t get on board with quart [Mechanical movements are typically chosen over quartz movements for luxury watches because of the level of quality and craftsmanship]. They admit ‘We’re Swiss so we’re going to be slow but we’re interested and we’re taking notice’. The beauty of Classi is that you’re not changing your industrial model. Instead you’re allowing consumers to change to our strap.”He also contends that:“Every watch has a personality, we want people to be able to express themselves and their personal style. Smart watches don’t have a lot of personality, there’s so much more to the watch than something that just tells the time, for a lot of people it’s about the design, the brand, the culture, Smart watches today destroy this. Classi has intergenerational appeal and we believe that for the first time, this is a product that our parents and grandparents will actually wear.”It’ll be interesting to see how sales of smart watch bands fare. They could be key to bridging the gap between a very traditional industry of dedicated craftspeople and future focused technology. 4 Ways Big Data & VR Are Changing Professi… The Key to Mass Adoption of Wearableslast_img read more

Can ElliQ the robot combat social isolation in the elderly?

first_imgInternet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Cate Lawrence Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to… Tags:#AI#Alexa#cognitive computing#connected care#digital health#ElliQ#featured#gerontology#intuitio robotics#machine intelligence#Pepper#robotics#robots#Siri#top When you think of robots designed to help people, you might think of the role of robotics in caring and customer service roles or companion orientated service robots like Pepper, Nao or even Hasbro’s companion pets. Then more recently there’s the emergence of robots as sexual or romantic partners. One start-up from Israel, Intuition Robotics is throwing an interesting offering into the ring, a new AI companion called ElliQ, aimed at keeping older adults active and engaged, and reducing the epidemic of loneliness among older people. I spoke with Dor Skuler, CEO and co-founder to find out more.Skuler explained the rationale behind the robot:“We live longer but also healthier lives. 90 percent of older adults want to live in their own home and the period of time we’re still cognitive, still independent and we don’t have to live in assisted care is growing. Conversely, younger people live further, and further away from their parents with hectic lifestyles that rely heavily on technology. About 30 to 60 percent of older adults identify themselves say that they are lonely which usually means that the real number is even higher.”In terms of function, ElliQ is perhaps closer to Alexa than Pepper as Intuition Robotics is leveraging Cognitive Computing, Human Robotics Interaction, and Cloud Robotics in developing the robot’s ability to proactively recommend digital and physical activities to keep owners active and engaged with family, friends, and life.The robot creates a conduit for older adults to connect with their family. As Skulker notes:“What we can do with robots is really simplify the means for older adults to connect with their family. If you look at a typical family, we’re all on Facebook Messenger. We share some of the information and pictures and content but aging parents are not part of that discussion. Teenagers don’t want to call grandparents. But what they love to do is share a selfie, to find the link to a TED talk. They maybe send an emoji or text message and communicate the way they’re used to communicate but just on messenger. So the first thing that we created is in essence, a virtual chat bot for a messenger that allows the family to very easily connect with Grandma.But it’s extremely intuitive. They don’t have to work the text, they don’t have to unlock their phone. They don’t need to try and look at small letters, they don’t need to click anything with their fingers. We just tell them ‘hey here’s a new picture from your granddaughter do you want to see?’  If she says yes we can show it to her and if she wants to comment then we record a message and it’s sent. So all of a sudden she’s part of the conversation. She gets the opportunity to get the content instead of having that once a week awkward discussion, she’s just part of the family.”See also: Are robots replacing humans in health care?It’s a bit like putting older relatives back in the family home where they are content to sit and observe and engage with the family members as they go about their day. ElliQ also takes this a step further with a proactiveness that differentiates the robot from Alexa and Siri that wait for the user to prompt them:“Older adults by and large become reactive and not proactive. they tend to stick to a routine. They tend not to discover and add new things and new capabilities to their day. If you suggest things to them that are relevant to them there’s a very high probability that they’ll say yes. (Which by the way means you have to be extremely responsible and only suggest appropriate things and never take advantage). So basically ElliQ has extremely smart sensors and the ability to understand what’s going on at home and suggest activities. For example, ‘ Hey, it’s a beautiful day why don’t you go for a walk?’. It might be a schedule reminder to take your meds, a reminder to keep an appointment and it might be in the digital world: ‘Hey you want to listen to some Frank Sinatra? Or here’s a great TED talk you might want to listen to?’”A unique aestheticElliQ’s innovative design was created in collaboration with Yves Béhar, founder and principal designer of the award-winning industrial design firm fuseproject. It is comprised of two separate elements: ElliQ, the social director, exhibits human characteristics through gestures animated by movement, speech, sounds and light. A LED lighting display, along with a wide range of motions are utilized to convey subtle emotional expressions and give the device a friendly and warm personification. The second element consists of a separate screen that functions in a cradle display or in the user’s hand to view content in the location of their choice.It’s not every day that you speak to a CEO of a start-up whose first hire was a gerontologist.  Other involved with the project include former VP of Advanced Technologies at Apple, Prof. Don Norman, along with Intel SVP Amir Faintuch, and leading academic experts in the fields of Cognitive Computing, HRI, Machine Intelligence, and Robotics.Skuler explained that some of their initial assumptions of a robot for the aged were incorrect:“We thought that we each create an environment in which the older adult needs to take care of ElliQ and we found out that that’s not really the case. The best thing you can do is help people feel like they’re not completely alone at home.  We were worried that older adults wouldn’t want to talk to a machine. Especially when I sat in a room full of older adults and showed them how I use Siri. and I got very strange looks. But we found they are absolutely willing to talk to a machine and over time they treat them more and more as entities rather than devices.” ElliQ is currently being showcased at the Design Museum in London and in February Intuition Robotics will be rolling out a trial phase in the homes of older adults in the San Francisco Bay Area.center_img Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Follow the Puck Related Posts last_img read more

Cybersecurity in IoT: Achieving Digital Security in an Age of Surveillance

first_imgTags:#Blockchain#Government#personal security#secure payments#surveillance#the blockchain Related Posts In the 2006 science fiction thriller Déjá Vu, Denzel Washington plays a government agent who uses novel government technology to fold time and space back onto itself so that he can retroactively prevent a terrorist attack. It’s a creative interpretation of the concept of déjà vu, and, of course, Washington’s character uses this technology only for good. While the idea of literally bending time and space to repeat the past is relegated to science fiction, the film raises important questions about the ethics and prevalence of government surveillance, which are particularly prescient for our modern times.As part of the natural evolution of technology, the internet of things (IoT) has established itself as one of the most transformative innovations of our time. IoT is a simple process of connecting existing devices to the internet so that they can send and receive data that allows them to act independently. Dubbed “smart” devices, they are becoming incredibly popular. We are connecting billions of IoT devices to the internet, and Gartner predicts that we will connect more than 20 billion IoT devices by 2020. This includes everything from smart home systems to driverless cars. The full range of the ordinary to the extraordinary is represented by the IoT.Unfortunately, all of these connected devices and the troves of data that they transmit through the internet are fodder for government surveillance. As Shay Hershkovitz eloquently wrote in Wired, “There is little doubt that the web is the greatest gift that any intelligence agency could have ever asked for.” The internet is a place where we willingly provide our personal data to companies and governments in exchange for the pale privilege of surfing the web.This is especially true with IoT. All of our connected devices continuously broadcast our information, and the collection can be used in unimaginable ways. Former director of national intelligence James Clapper said during congressional testimony that “In the future, intelligence services might use the [internet of things] for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment or to gain access to networks or users credentials.Even for people with nothing to hide, this is a concerning statement. With all the data shared through IoT, it’s almost like surveillance projects do have the ability to bend time and space to repeat the past.Fortunately, we are making progress here with the development of blockchain technology, the decentralized ledger system that’s enabling and securing the most valuable cryptocurrencies in the world, and is also offering security solutions for IoT that may allow the practice to thrive while still preserving privacy and security.The blockchain decentralizes the network.One of the obvious but unique aspects of IoT is that all of its devices broadcast their information through the internet. Even two devices sitting directly next to one another will communicate across millions of miles of internet infrastructure. Since these devices broadcast through cloud services housed in centralized servers, there are evident and vulnerable points of attack or surveillance.The blockchain runs a decentralized ledger system, which distributes information across a network of computers and uses a consensus algorithm to ensure parity. IBMembraces this approach in its IoT for business products, noting that the blockchain “enables your business partners to access and supply IoT data without the need for a central authority or management.”Moreover, according to Deloitte, IBM and Samsung have put together a proof of concept using the Ethereum blockchain to improve the technical capabilities of IoT and to enhance its security. Their product has secured financing from Verizon Ventures, the investment division of Verizon Communications, which indicates that the security enhancements produced by decentralization are offering promising results.The blockchain enables tokenized information.The blockchain was initially conceived by bitcoin developers to facilitate p2p transactions without the use of an intermediary like a bank. It’s been pretty successful so far, and this same concept can be applied to IoT. The creation of unique IoT related tokens can allow individuals to participate in the ecosystem while still protecting their most vulnerable information.In many ways, tokenized information is the perfect balance between accessibility and privacy. After all, the IoT becomes a lot less compelling if it can’t adapt to your use-cases. In this case, the token acts as a substitute for a person’s actual information. Therefore, IoT can achieve a personal connection without ever revealing any personal information. It’s an ironic scenario, but it’s one that makes all the difference in preserving privacy.The blockchain is unchangeable.One of the most troubling aspects of government surveillance is their ability to conceal their actions. Without whistleblowers like Edward Snowden or ironic hacks on government databases, the extent of surveillance is rarely known or understood. The blockchain offers a transparent framework that records activity and ensures that records cannot be tampered with.The blockchain’s transparency is a hallmark of the platform, and it’s a valuable measure toward ensuring that user’s data is accurate, intact, and secure. There is no slowing IoT development, and that’s a good thing. With the blockchain, IoT can secure users’ privacy before it becomes a commodity of government surveillance programs.Unfortunately, we know that surveillance programs rarely play the heroic role that they do in films like Déjà vu. In fact, for IoT to ignore this fact would cause some unfortunate déjà vu as it falls victim to the same privacy violations already plaguing the internet. Ruben is a blockchain security consultant currently living in New York City. He helps organizations fundamentally redesign experiences to create new sources of value also digitally reinventing company’s operations for greater efficiency. How Data Analytics Can Save Lives Blockchain – Impending Revolution in Glob… Reuben Jackson AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Leveraging Big Data that Data Websites Should T…last_img read more

Why You Need a Mentor — Especially If You Hate Asking for Help

first_imgNew Wave of Online Education: Helping Quiet Chi… 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Related Posts Tags:#career advancement#career progression#career trajectory#mentor#mentoring#mentorship Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at People who ask for help are weak. Right? Wrong. Humans like to feel secure, so we convince ourselves that we should appear strong without vulnerability or weakness. That’s just bad thinking. Too much self-reliance makes others think you don’t know what you’re doing.When you’re ready to acknowledge your need for help, the options can seem underwhelming. YouTube videos, conferences, and continued education are nice, but they can only do so much. If you’re serious about advancing your career, you need a mentor.“Mentorship is the most consistent and effective way to grow as a professional,” says Rob Borrego, CEO at Credera, a full-service management and IT consulting firm. “By striving to create a culture of mentorship and implementing a formal program we’ve noticed incredible results among our teams. People who used to be hesitant to solicit feedback are now more confident and eager to expand their knowledge and tackle new challenges.”If you’re on the fence about whether a mentor could help your career, consider the following reasons to find one:You need to fill gaps in your training.The best universities don’t adequately prepare graduates for the workforce. A recent report from The Learning House and Future Workplace found that more than half of job openings at surveyed companies remained unfilled because there were no qualified candidates. The businesses themselves weren’t helping, with 74 percent of surveyed companies spending just $500 per employee on training.Mentors provide the knowledge and growth that educators and employers don’t because they have the ability to walk through daily life with you. Mentors lead by example. It’s amazing what the model of a great mentor can teach you simply by observing their ways. A good mentor can teach you things you never would have learned in a classroom or from an onboarding video.You don’t recognize all your opportunities.Have you worked in your industry for decades? Are you intimately familiar with the development of the workplace, the changing demands of employers, and the evolving needs of clients? You probably aren’t — but your mentor would be.Even if you’re great in your current role, a mentor can help you identify career options you may not have considered. What if you’re a killer programmer, but your people skills could land you a better-paying role as a client-facing consultant, with more room to advance? A knowledgeable mentor can show you doors you never knew existed.You’re not as motivated as you could be.The battle between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation continues to rage. Intrinsic motivation is typically the more powerful of the two, while extrinsic motivation is useful in short bursts to achieve specific, time-sensitive goals.Your mentor won’t bribe you to perform better. However, your mentor can help you rethink your philosophy and realign your priorities to set yourself up for future success. With someone there to tell you exactly what you stand to gain (or lose), you can focus more closely on what matters most to you.You haven’t learned to plot your path to success.What does success mean to you? Do you want to retire early, see the world, earn as much as possible, be your own boss, or climb to the top of the company ladder? Whatever your goals are, your mentor understands through experience what it will take to achieve them.Say you want to be the boss one day. You work hard in your field, help others in your company, and generally get along, but you don’t know whether your career trajectory will lead you where you want to go. A good mentor will teach you how to measure the impact you have on your company, prove your value, and leverage your hard work into tangible rewards.You will mentor others one day.The more you grow as a professional, the more likely it is that you’ll be responsible for others at some point. When that day comes, your success will depend on the success of your team.You already know that mentoring makes others better. What better way to build a strong team than to become a mentor yourself? You’ll not only invest in your own development, but also in the development of anyone who will depend on you in the future.No matter how much you like to go at it alone, don’t ignore the power of a great mentor relationship. Seek out the guidance now so you’ll be ready for the challenges ahead. Brad AndersonEditor In Chief at ReadWrite How to Make the Most of Your Software Developer… Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo…last_img read more

Building Healthy Military Communities – Featuring Indiana

first_imgThis week we feature a guest post from Building Healthy Military Communities State Coordinator in Indiana, Kyle WoodIndiana is different from the other states that are piloting Building Healthy Military Communities because there are no active duty installations in the state. We are heavily focused on the geographically dispersed military population. In our state, there are many programs in place to address service member needs. Rather than develop redundant programs, Indiana looks to augment those programs by providing additional resources for soldiers to access by way of Joint Services Support (JSS).  We also prioritize making sure all community partners throughout the state know how to communicate their services to JSS.Everyone is geographically dispersed, which requires Indiana to have a large pool of community, state, and federal resources to be spread out. Family assistant specialists and personal finance counselors need to be strategically placed in all five corners of the state in order to meet needs.Although there are federal programs designed for specific branches such as Army National Guard, active duty and Reserve members do not know they can use National Guard family assistant specialists. This is an area we are pursuing additional education for service members. Further partnership with Purdue Cooperative Extension could assist in these and other efforts, and we look forward to engaging more with our counterparts at Purdue University. Along with his position as the Indiana State Coordinator for Building Healthy Military Communities, Kyle Wood is a member of the Indiana Army National Guard as a UM-60M Blackhawk pilot. Being a current member of the military gives him a unique perspective on the struggles that geographically dispersed Service Members face on a day to day basis.last_img read more

Celiac and A Completely Gluten Free Life

first_img9 Best Gluten-Free Shampoos and Conditioners. Verywell Health. Published 2019. Accessed January 22, 2019. Cross-Contact | Beyond Celiac. Published 2019. Accessed January 22, 2019. Is That Gluten-Free Diet Really Gluten-Free? – Today’s Dietitian Magazine. Published 2019. Accessed January 27, 2019. by Sarah Pittman, Dietetic InternFinding products that are gluten free used to be such a hard task. But with people being more aware of gluten in their diets (celiac and non celiac people alike) as well as the FDA stepping in on the manner, it has made finding gluten in food and non-food products much easier.“On August 2, 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its long-awaited gluten-free food labeling rule. According to the rule, when a manufacturer chooses to put “gluten-free” on food packaging, the item must comply with the new FDA definition of the term – less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten”4.When patients with celiac disease eat gluten it can cause abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, rash, or heartburn1.  Even if not consumed directly, cross contamination can occur with gluten. It only takes 10 mg to potentially cause problems in patients with celiac disease5.Cross contamination can happen by: Putting gluten free bread in a toaster that has had non-gluten free bread in itUsing sponges to clean dishes that have also been used to clean dishes of gluten productsUsing cutting boards that have been used with gluten products2 Any product that may come in contact with the mouth and in turn be ingested needs to be gluten free for people with celiac disease. But not all products are labeled gluten free, so how do you know if it contains gluten?Some of the best ways to know if a product is gluten free is by: Calling the manufacturer and asking if the product contains gluten or if there is possible cross-contamination of glutenRead ALL the ingredients on the productCheck out on medications that include gluten6Some brands that have gluten-free hair care/bath and body products include:AcureAvalon OrganicsDesert EsenceDovePaul MitchellSuave3 Do you know of any other brands that have gluten-free options? 10 Fast Facts About the FDA Gluten-Free Labeling Rule | Celiac Disease Foundation. Celiac Disease Foundation. Published 2019. Accessed January 22, 2019. References:Celiac Disease: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Risk Factors. WebMD. Published 2019. Accessed January 22, 2019. Hidden Gluten in Nonfood Products – Today’s Dietitian Magazine. Published 2019. Accessed January 27, 2019.last_img read more

Why Passion Projects are Key to Being More Creative

first_imgPassion projects are ideal for bouncing out of a creative rut, building new skills and taking risks.  In this post we’ll look at why YOU should be pursuing self directed passion projects to keep your ‘creative brain’ in top shape.Working in a creative field does not always mean creative work.  In fact, the pressure from clients, managers and co-workers can often feel like quite the opposite – with you merely executing on their ideas.   Going through an ongoing cycle of projects like this can make you feel dull and creatively stagnant.If you’ve found yourself just “going through the motions” it’s time for a creative reality check.   One of the best ways to get the creative juices following again is with a passion project.  A project for you, by you.  No rules, no clients, no oversight.New and FreshIf you’re a video editor try taking on a project where you have to shoot video.  If you’re a wedding photographer try taking on a project shooting portraits or landscapes.Gaining a different perspective will you more well-rounded and give you a different perspective to take back to your full-time work.  As a general rule, try to make your passion project something that you don’t do for work.  It should feel new and fresh.No Client RestrictionsClients can bog you down with so many details and directions that you’re just following their script line by line.  They may dictate every cut in a video edit or tell you exactly how your photography subject should be lit and posed.   It’s to your creative detriment that they’re doing all the thinking for you.Embrace the freedom you have with your own project.  Take risks.  By exercising this part of your brain you’ll be better suited to bring creative ideas to your full time work.How am I going to find the time?Just like you have to make time to go to the gym to stay in physical shape, you must make time for passion projects to stay in top creative shape.  You have to remember that a passion project is more than just a hobby, it’s an investment in shares a good post about their trick for making time for passion projects: tackling it first thing in the day.  Check out a few good tips for working early, over on their site.Keep it AttainableProjects that seem unattainable will be abandoned.  Since you’re not being held responsible to a client or customer you may be more likely to give up on a project if it is too difficult or too broad in scope.  Instead, shoot for something that can be achieved within a few months max and with the financial resources you have at your disposal.Plus, knocking out one passion project will give you more momentum when getting into the next one.Share Your WorkAside from being creatively enriching, you may also want your passion project to be a learning experience.  Perhaps you tried your hand at a technical skill that you weren’t previously familiar with.  By sharing the results of your work with others that are more experienced, you’ll learn tips and know what better to do next time.  You should also pick up a few things that will be helpful in your own full time work (for instance if you’re a video editor you may learn more about lighting, shooting, etc).Remember, passion projects are about enrichment and growth.  You’re not just keeping your creative mind active…you should aim to expand it as well!Got tips for keeping your creativity vivid?Got a project you’d like to share with us?Let us know in the comments!last_img read more

Free Screencast Software & Apps for Video Pros

first_imgScreenr tops the list of FREE programs, getting bonus points for it’s ease of use and web based interface (no need to download software). You can quickly publish your screencast to YouTube or embed on your own site. However, the free version only allows for recordings up to 5 minutes. Jing is a straightforward free screen capture software, from TechSmith, the makers of popular paid screencasting apps Camtasia and SnagIt. Jing gives the option to ‘mark up’ your screencasts with text, arrows and highlights. Supported on both Mac & PC. CamStudio is an open source free screencasting application that create AVI or SWF video files. The software is currently only supported on Windows. Screencastomatic is another web based free screencasting app that allows instant publish to YouTube HD. Alternately, you can create standalone MP4, AVI and FLV movie files. The free version allows you to record 15 minutes of video, but does include a watermark when publishing.center_img If you’re looking to create simple screencasts, check out these 5 FREE screencasting software and apps!While usually low-tech, screencasts are quickly becoming one tool that video professionals have to include in their arsenal. Whether you’re recording a video tutorial, demoing a website or product, or saving a complex post production workflow, screencasting can be useful for many different applications. If you’re just needing the bare bones, the following free screencasting software can get the job done.Do you know more free screencasting software options that didn’t make our list? Feel free to share in the comments below! EZVid is a software based free screencasting software that runs on PC (they recently discountinued development of a Mac version). Features include the ability to draw on the video image and add text.last_img read more

Creating a Contrast Vignette in FCPX

first_imgAdding a contrast vignette is easier than you might think in FCPX.Vignette’s are one of the easiest and most effective ways to make a video clip “pop”. However, when done incorrectly vignettes can make your video look very amateur. In the following video by Cord3Films, we take a look at the correct way to create a vignette in FCPX and examine a few ways to customize your vignettes.The video covers:Creating and feathering shape masksAdjusting contrast parameters in FCPXCreating luminance based saturation parametersDuplicating shape masks When creating a vignette look out for  a phenomenon called banding. Banding happens when a gradient isn’t able to correctly feather between two colors or pieces of video. The result is a very choppy and “low-res” looking piece of video. To avoid banding try exporting your video with more lossless codecs such as MOV.The video was created by Cord3Films. Thanks for sharing!Have any tips for adding vignettes in FCPX? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

Test Footage from the KineMax 6K is Amazing

first_imgThis test footage shows the cinematic potential of the new KineMax 6K camera.About 7 months ago the China-based camera manufacturing company Kinefinity announced their plans to release an affordable 6K camera with specs that rival ARRI or RED cameras. However, we hadn’t seen any footage to back up their claims.That was until Kinefinity released this test footage showing the KineMax 6K in-action. From this initial test footage it’s safe a safe bet that KineMax is positioning themselves to be a real contender in the cinematography world.Check out the KineMax 6K test footage:Pretty amazing, right? If you’re interested in getting your hands on RAW footage from the KineMax 6K you can download clips from Kinefinity’s website. While you’re there, check out the updated specs to the KineMax 6K (which can now record in three different RAW formats). Users can also record in an anamorphic format directly to camera.However, the most impressive spec on the KineMax 6K is dynamic range which can reach up to 16 stops. That is more than the 13.5 stops on the ARRI Alexa and just under the 16.5 stops on the RED Dragon sensor.It’s hard to judge other factors like mobility, UI, and workflow speed without actually having the camera in-hand.Pricing and AvailabilityThe KineMax 6K is expected to be released very soon, but right now the camera is only available for pre-order. Camera packages range from $8,000 for a body-only up to $13,000 for a professional package.What do you think of the KineMax 6k camera? Share in the comments below!last_img read more

8 Must-Have Cinematography Apps

first_imgThese cinematography apps have all the tools a DP needs on set. From camera guides to data calculators, use these tools to make your cinematography absolutely stunning.Every cinematographer needs quick reference guides handy for every shoot. With all the camera options, you may forget which menu has the features you are looking for. Maybe you need to calculate exactly where the sun will be on set. With these cinematography apps, you’ll have the tools you need to pull of amazing shots.1. Digital Cinema Pocket GuidesThe Digital Cinema Pocket Guides from The Black and Blue are some of the best tools you can have in your DP arsenal. Any cinematographer can quickly fly through these guides to help them find that obscure menu they can’t find. There are guides for 30 different cameras. You can download them to your phone or tablet, or print them to keep on set.These camera guides are designed for camera operators with an easy-to-read layout. This allows you to quickly find what you need so you can get back to shooting.Compatible with iOS, OSX, Android, and Windows devices. Also compatible with paper, because you can print them.  The guides are $0.99 each, or you can buy the entire bundle for half the price at $14.85.2. Artemis Director’s ViewfinderArtemis Director’s Viewfinder from Chemical Wedding is an awesome cinematography app that allows you to replicate the viewfinder of any camera. This app is great for blocking, location scouting, and even making storyboards. The app is even used by legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC.It’s great having Artemis on my iPhone. Since I always have my phone with me, I always have a viewfinder at hand. Not only convenient but extremely accurate. – Roger DeakinsRequires Android or iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with Android, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch. Available in the App Store for $29.99 and Play Store for $29.99.3. pCam Film + Digital PropCam Film + Digital Pro from Thin Man is one of the most-praised apps in the industry. In fact, the app won an Emmy for Engineering. The app was originally created in 1998 for the Palm PDA. Before you are turned off by the price, know that this is seriously a beast of an app. Even the reviews are phenomenal.The app includes: Depth of Field, Field of View, Angle of View, Sensor Sizes, Focal Length Matching, Exposure, Shooting to Screen Time, HMI Flicker-Free, Color Correction, Diopter, Time Lapse, Underwater Distance, Beam Intensity, Light Coverage, Conversion Calculator, Insert Slate, Focus Chart, and so much more. This app has almost everything you need.Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch. Available in the App Store for $29.99.4. AJA DataCalcAJA DataCalc by AJA Video Systems allows you to put in your camera settings to calculate the storage requirements needed. You can enter the time you need in days, hour, seconds, or even down to number of frames. Then by putting in the type of format you are shooting on (RAW, ProRes, Etc.) and the resolution (720, 1080, 4K) the calculator will determine how many GB or TB of storage you will need.Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch. Available in the App Store for FREE.5. Helios Sun and Moon Position CalculatorHelios Sun and Moon Position Calculator by Chemical Wedding is a solid Sun and Moon position calculator that recently got a great update. The app even works without a network connection. There are tons of sun calculators out there, but this is one of the best.The app has 7 modes to track the sun:HelioMeter – representing the direction of the sun on a compass dial, also indicating elevation and shadow length.Virtual Sun View – showing the sun’s path overlaid onto the live camera imageSun Path view which shows the path of the sun the old-fashioned wayMap View – showing the direction of the sun overlaid onto a map of the locationSky View – a representation of the sun’s path across the skyInclinometer- determines at which times the sun will be at a certain elevation.Compass – showing the azimuth of the sun in both degrees and time of dayRequires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch. Available in the App Store for $29.99.6. Shot ListerShot Lister from Reel Apps is a professional shot list and scheduling app. With the Pro version, you can upload a script and start breaking down shots, even adding storyboards to each shot. There’s the ability to categorize each shot to include the type of shot and the gear needed – lighting, lenses, and more. You can also schedule out your shoot and sync the app with your entire crew.Requires iOS 7.1 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Apple Watch. Available in the App Store for $13.99.7. theGripApptheGripApp by Darcy Schlitt is the ultimate guide for all things related to the grip department. As cinematographer, you’ll need to direct the grip department to set up all of their gear to your needs. This app will give you a breakdown of all sorts of grip terms and tools.Requires iOS 7.1 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Available in the App Store for $7.99.8. Google Street ViewNot only is Google Street View great for finding locations, you can now create 360-degree panoramas. You can scout and visit locations, take a 360-photo, and the app will index your photo and location.If you need to show off the location to the director, simply pull up the app and use your phone to turn around 360-degrees. The app is also compatible with Google Cardboard, giving you instant virtual-reality locations. The app also features other user’s photos, so your location scouting can also be done from the comfort of your desk.Compatible with iOS, OSX, Android. Available in the App Store and Google Play Store for FREE.Use any great apps we left off this list? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

Dissecting a Hollywood Editor’s Avid Workspace

first_imgLearn from Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation editor Eddie Hamilton as the ins and outs of his Avid workspace are revealed.Eddie Hamilton is swiftly becoming one of the go-to editors for summer blockbuster tent-pole action epics. Having cut both Kick-Ass films, X-Men: First Class, Kingsman: The Secret Service (and likely the sequel too), and the fifth Mission Impossible outing, Rogue Nation.Although he must be stupendously busy, he’s also very generous in opening up his edit suite to those looking to learn from his extensive experience, which is a real blessing for the rest of us!He recently tweeted a 5K screen grab of his Avid workspace, which is actually two HP Z30i 2560 x 1600 resolution displays stitched together. In this post, I’ve pulled that image apart to reveal a few things you can learn about the way Hamilton organizes his workspace and polishes his edit. All of the comments I’m making about what Hamilton’s doing are my best guesses, and not solid fact!You can also download high resolution tifs of all seven reels of Kingsman: The Secret Service in the dropbox link in the tweet above.Breaking Down a Pro Editor’s Avid WorkspaceTo help us get started, I’ve split the image back into the two screens. In this first screen, Hamilton has three bins of footage open with the thumbnails displayed, a bin for each of his reels open in the top right hand corner, four bins for some useful editing elements in the bottom left, and his selects bin in text display mode in the bottom right. Let’s look a little closer at a couple of these.In this close up of the main footage bin that’s open, you can see all of the dailies for scene “84.2 Eggsy and Roxy hit the landing zone.” The footage has been organised by slate number and grouped accordingly, so all the E setups are together, all the F set ups etc. Where there are two cameras, both are laid out at the beginning of the grouping, so it’s clear what the shots are of. I’m assuming that the A+B means that both cameras are in that thumbnail for the rest of the takes, to save on screen space.Organizing the footage in thumbnail view makes it much faster to find the shot you are looking for, as an image really is worth a thousand words. Furthermore, using the thumbnail view allows you to create ‘storyboard edits’ right in your footage bin. You can read about how to do that in Premiere Pro in this previous PremiumBeat post.I’m guessing that the x9 or x5 symbol stands for nine attempts at a line or set of dialogue where the camera has rolled without stopping. In the very bottom right hand corner there is a clip “SC 84.2 DAilies” which presumably contains all of the dailies for that entire scene in one go, which makes it much easier to scrub or shuttle through everything in one go, rather than opening each sub-clip.At this stage in the film, where the cut is looking pretty complete — work has already begun on the Digital Intermediate (DI), after all — it’s important to be able to jump around quickly to different scenes in the film to make changes, update VFX shots as they come in, or rework problem scenes based on audience feedback.Whatever the reason, it’s a great idea to have all of these timelines readily accessible so that when the director is sitting behind you, they are instantly accessible, rather than having to rummage through deep folder stacks.This close up of Hamilton’s workspace also gives us an opportunity to check out his naming convention. Normally the * or an empty space would mean that the following named clip or timeline would sort to the top of the bin, when arranged in alphabetical order. Presumably this is why these bins are named in this way. Also adding the date into the name of the timeline quickly lets you see which sequence has been worked on most recently. In this case, Reel 6 has had the most recent DI work performed on it.In Reel 4 you can see that it’s tracking as v10.1 of the cut, but that the DI is still in version 9. Also having the duration column be the very first thing that you see allows you to quickly add up the running time of the film, and see if any one section is much longer than the rest.In this section of Hamilton’s workspace, you can see that he has four bins of ready-made titles, sound effect presets, visual effect presets, and timewarp speed remapping settings. Having everything pre-prepared and laid out in an organized way must save Hamilton countless hours when applying these effects through the film. Creating your own tool kit of preferred settings is an easy thing to do, but I’ve not often seen many editors take the time to do it.How a Hollywood Editor Organizes Their WorkspaceIn this screengrab from Hamilton’s second monitor, we get a really good look at the layout of his main windows — including his master bin in the top left, his timeline, source and preview monitors, and a few other essential items too.It’s possible that Hamilton was going a little deeper into his sound work (something he prides himself on), given that there’s a huge list of sound effects open on the right side of the screen, and that the audio mixer is taking up quite a bit of space that could otherwise be given to the timeline itself. Again, lets take a closer look at some of these elements.The speed with which you can readily understand the layout of Hamilton’s master bin is a result of the clear and simple organizational structure. Within only minutes, you could probably find what someone was asking you for, without even really knowing much more about the film.The numbered folder structure essentially follows the process of the film’s post-production, with turn overs, conform, and marketing coming at the end of the list. It’s interesting to note a few other details from this image.Firstly, ’99 The Basement’ seems to be the place where Hamilton keeps the work of his assistants (Riccardo Bacigalupo, Tom Coope, Rachel Durance and Simon Chubbock) while working in a shared space. There is also a collection of ‘Goofs,’ potentially for DVD extras, that must have been collected as the dailies came in, otherwise it would be a nightmare to try to weed these out at a later date.Simple file naming conventions make everything immediately comprehensible, and the use of the + symbol brings key folders to the top of the list. Looking at this screengrab from the first Kingsman film, it’s also curious to note ‘Kingsman 2 sequences’ at the top of the bin. Perhaps something to do with the sequel?Another thing that’s telling about the editor’s workload is that they are the central hub through which all other departments work comes and goes. The editorial team has to deliver the turnovers, create temp composites and manage the VFX plates and finished shots (via Ben Mills the VFX Editor), and provide material to marketing and, during production, the studio with dailies. I’m sure competent assistants are the key to keeping all of this as stress-free as possible.For a better look at all of Hamilton’s timelines, be sure to hit the dropbox download in the tweet at the top of this post. But in this condensed view, you can still see how detailed Hamilton is in naming his tracks, which must be the key to keeping everything organized while editing. Although you’d probably have to ‘tidy as you go,’ rather than trying to do it all at the end.It’s also interesting to note that Hamilton has four tracks of ‘Drama + Avid FX’ going on in the timeline. I can only assume these involve temporary composites and visual effects shots created by Hamilton to be able to present as finished a cut as possible to the director.I’m guessing that ‘Video Track 5’ has the finished VFX shots in it, replacing the VFX plates that are disabled and stored in V8. The V6 VFX Subcaps are text titles containing relevant details that are exported for the VFX houses. Evan Schiff has created a free online EDL to SubCap converter here, if that’s any use to editors or assistants reading this. V9 contains the finished graded image from the colorist.On the sound side, everything from A1 to A14 will have been meticulously created by Hamilton, with A15-A17 containing the final Dialogue, Music and Effects (DME) stems from the sound department.Again Hamilton’s extensive use of color coding helps keep everything clear. In this previous post, Hamilton mentioned that he color codes odd numbered scenes in green and even numbered scenes in blue so that he can see how long they are, relative to each other.In this close up of Hamilton’s source monitors, you can see his extensive use of locators, as well as the key metadata that he has on display— including the source file path, Scene and Take, source timecode, and creation date.Lastly, this section of Hamilton’s Avid Media Composer workspace has another way to access the same preset tool kit that was available in Screen 1, here FX+EQs, and importantly a bin displaying the source timecode on each track. Again creating a bin like this and bringing it with you is a huge time saver.Share Your ObservationsSo this is what I’ve been able to pick up from a quick look at Eddie Hamilton’s workspace, but I’m sure with some careful inspection there are plenty of other tips and tricks hidden here too. If you spot one, share it in the comments below!last_img read more

Here’s What Your Camera Assistant Wants You to Know

first_imgLooking for more filmmaking tips and tricks? Check out these articles.7 Things Producers Look for When Using “Staff Me Up”Video Breakdown: 9 Cuts Every Editor Should KnowVideo Tutorial: Which Microphone Should You Use?On-Set Essentials: Production Gear You Need to Know About5 Tips for Shooting a Period Film on a Tight Budget In this article, we round up some tips from the filmmakers below the line on how you can set them up for success in your next film or video project.Cover image via Scarc.The director may get all the attention, but industry folks know it takes a village to create a professional film. Most advice you’ll hear comes from the top down, but any well-structured production begins with a strong foundation, and no unit is more solid than the camera assistants. Here’s some advice a few ACs shared with me.Have a PlanImage via guruXOX.The cinematographer’s first AC is in charge of everything related to the camera. He or she is the first to arrive on set before the director, the DP, or the camera operator and ensure that the camera equipment is ready for the day’s shoot.  This is a skilled position that requires organization and efficiency.Therefore, the first piece of advice for fledgling filmmakers is come prepared. That doesn’t mean adjustments can’t happen on set, but having expectations in advance will guide all the first AC’s hiring (will additional crew be necessary for certain days, for example), prep the right lenses and gear, and determine point of focus.Scheduling Your DayImage via Evgeniy Kurt.As in any relationship, the basis on set is trust. Does the crew trust the director? If a set-up is complicated — but well thought-out, vetted by all the principals, and properly scheduled – the crew will get behind the director and work harder as a team.Moving Parts Need CommunicationImage via Scarc.The director has a vision, a plan, and the trust of the crew. Terrific! With so many departments tasked with bringing the director’s vision to life, clear communication from the top is essential for coordination and understanding.Typically, the first AC and the rest of the assistants will watch a blocking rehearsal to get an idea for camera placement. A director may know (or need consultation with the DP to determine) exactly how to handle a particular shot (studio, handheld, Steadicam), and sometimes the talent will determine the blocking, but until all of these decisions are settled, the first and second ACs can’t go build the camera and communicate the scene’s needs to the dolly grips, gaffers, and key grips — if they’re necessary for support.The Best-Laid PlansImage via farvatar.You’ve got a vision and a plan, and you communicate well with your crew, who’ve placed their trust in you. Now, step away. Honestly, if you are working with a professional cast and crew, the best thing you can do is just let them do their jobs. If you try to micromanage actors instead of listening to their instincts, you’re bound to get stilted results. Consult with your DP and get input on how to get the coverage you need as efficiently as possible.Snacks and SwagImage via gnepphoto.Finally, remember to feed your crew well, show appreciation, and let them have fun! Here are a few final words from the ACs that tell the tale about food and gifts.“I love to bake, and every year around the holidays I make a huge amount of regular fudge and butterscotch fudge, always a hit.”“People are funny about snacks. Everyone always wants to know what you’re eating. Did they miss something that was put out or hidden on the craft service truck?”“The funniest thing is how people are with Panavision swag in general. Everyone wants shirts and hats from there more than show swag. If there is a Panavision logo with the show name on the same shirt or hat, people lose their minds!”last_img read more

Have It Your Way

first_imgThis morning I drove my teenage son through Burger King (I know, I know. I am waiting for Children’s Service to arrive any minute now).It was 10:05 AM, and my son wanted lunch. The fancy electronic menu showed only breakfast choices, so I asked: “Are you serving lunch?” The kid taking orders said, “No. We’re serving breakfast.” I said, “Sorry. My kid wants lunch so were going to go somewhere else.” Without delay, the order-taker asked, “What does he want?” I rattled all off the different things he wanted. The order-taker said, “No problem. We’ll make it for him.”It took a few minutes to prepare his order while we waited at the drive-through window.The total order came to $5.69.The restaurant wasn’t prepared to serve lunch. It doesn’t matter what the profit margin is on the order, it isn’t enough for the restaurant to go to the trouble. What’s interesting is the culture in this Burger King.It wasn’t the manager who agreed to make the order. It was an employee. I’ve seen people with far greater titles and far more responsibility with less decision-making authority. Somehow, this kid was empowered to make a decision to serve the customer, rules and breakfast be damned.The kid at the window also recognized he had some responsibility to serve the customers, not just take their orders. He recognized he was going to lose a customer and asked what he could to change that. I told him, and he did what he needed to do.The kid that took the order wasn’t at the window. It was a young girl. She smiled and said “Thank you” as she handed me the food-of-a-seriously-questionable-nutritional-value that my son had ordered.Culture matters. Empowerment matters. Responsibility matters. This is noteworthy because the employees in this story make minimum wage (or something close to it). What then should be possible with higher paid, more experienced people?last_img read more