EMIRATES has started loaning Microsoft Surface tablets to customers on non-stop flights bound for the US so they can continue working.First and business class passengers will be able to borrow the complimentary tablets on flights from Dubai to the US, download their work to a USB drive and continue working. The tablets are equipped with Microsoft Office 2016 and a keyboard.The Emirates move comes after rival Qatar offered a similar loan service involving laptops to premium customers flying on its direct flights to the US.Both airlines have been caught up in a US ban requiring passengers on direct flights to the US from some Middle East and North African destinations to check-in laptops, tablets and other electronic devices bigger than a smart phone.The ban, which began March 25, has been widely criticised and the International Air Transport Association has urged authorities to find an alternative.US officials said the move stemmed from “evaluated intelligence” that terrorists are increasing their focus on aviation. Britain adopted a similar ban for some airports but excluded the big Gulf hubs in Doha, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.Australia ramped up security requirements at the Gulf airports but stopped short of banning large devices in cabin baggage.Emirates has also introduced a laptop and tablet handling service for US-Bound passengers that allows them to use their devices in lounges and hand them in at the boarding gate.Available free to all classes, passengers must declare the devices and hand them over to security staff who then pack and tag the device for storage in the aircraft hold.The devices are returned to customers when they reach their US destination.The airline said almost 8,000 passengers have used the service on its 112 weekly non-stop flights to the US.Ironically, the US directive does not apply to Emirates flights travelling to the US via Milan and Athens. Nor does it apply to any flights to the affected destinations from the US.Separately, Emirates announced Thursday it would start a second daily flight to Bali using two-class Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.The new flight starts July 2 and will offer connections to destinations across Europe.
South Africa could well be on its way to providing free education for financially needy students.(Image: Bongani Nkosi)The South African government will take steps towards providing free tertiary education to financially strapped students, the ruling African National Congress announced in its annual statement on 8 January 2011. President Jacob Zuma said that undergraduate students using the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) will be exempt from having to make loan repayments for their final year of study – if they complete the year successfully.While the scheme will at first only benefit final-year students, the overriding aim is to apply it to all years of tertiary study. “This model will be phased in over the next few years to include students in earlier years of study,” Zuma said.“We are committed to progressively introducing free education up to undergraduate level,” he added.NSFAS spokesperson Bonnie Feldman explained that additional funds will be injected into the loan scheme to settle students’ accounts for their final year, but they will still have to reimburse students for their first two years of study – she said the government will allocate an additional R750-million (US$109-million) to NSFAS for this.“This is to make sure that the students are able to graduate without much of a burden,” she said.The existing loan scheme currently converts 40% of loan repayments into bursaries for students at all levels of study who complete their courses successfully, but this settlement will now be upped to 100% for final year studies.NSFAS will now be liable for 60% of the fees of students who perform well. The funding covers tuition fees, accommodation and food expenses.Zuma explained that final-year students will “receive a loan equivalent to the full cost of study and necessary living expenses”.“If these students graduate at the end of the year, the loan for the final year will be converted into a full bursary. They will not have to repay the amount,” said Zuma.NSFAS exclusively provides funds for university students who cannot afford the fees.The ANC, which has been in government since 1994, committed to introduce free tertiary education in 2007 – this was one of its many resolutions adopted at it its 52nd national conference.The ANC Youth League welcomed the “gradual introduction of free education for the poor until undergraduate level,” Floyd Shivambu, the organisation’s spokesperson, said in a statement.“We welcome these interventions and hope that other measures will be introduced to ensure that free education is provided until undergraduate level for all academically deserving, yet poor students at all levels,” added Shivambu.Free education at public collegesEducation at Further Education and Training (FET) colleges will be completely free for students who qualify for financial assistance.FETs, which are popular among cash-strapped youngsters, are spread across the country with various campuses in some rural areas and townships.The government wants to attract more students to FETs, which churn out a significant number of professional artisans each year.The Department of Higher Education and Training is hoping to see at least 1-million students enrol at FETs every year from 2015.“We have to prioritise further education and training, and provide resources including expanding bursary schemes for supporting attendance at FET institutions,” Zuma said.The government spent about R1.9-billion ($276-million) on improving infrastructure and curriculums at FETs between 2006 and 2009.
Don’t be a scaredy-cat! This quick video can help you quickly understand LUTs.In the filmmaking world, the term LUT (or look up table) is often misunderstood or, even worse, ignored. If you’re new to filmmaking, LUTs can be quite confusing, especially if you’re not familiar with color grading or correcting. LUTs essentially tell your computer how to process and output certain color information. But instead of me explaining it, the good people at Ground Control have created this short and informative video about how it works… with cats.This video was first shared by GroundControlColor on their Vimeo page. Thanks for sharing guys. If you want to learn more about LUTs check out a few of the following resources:Blockbuster LUTs for Video Editors and ColoristsUnderstanding LUTS in Color GradingColor Grading Tutorial: LUTs in DaVinci ResolveDo you use LUTs in your post-production workflow? Let us hear about it in the comments below.
Looking for more tips and tricks? Check these out.Best Lenses for Gimbal CinematographyShould You Upgrade the Canon 7D to the 5D Mark IV?Shooting a Feature with an iPhone the Soderbergh WayFrame.io Announces Massive Updates to Its PlatformUsing 23.98 NTSC On The LUMIX GH5S in A PAL Region Need to tether your GH5 to your Mac or PC so you can view photos and videos in real time? Here’s how you do it using Lumix Tether.Last Fall, Panasonic released a much-awaited firmware update for the GH5. It introduced an abundance of new features, along with fixes for many issues that users were experiencing. One of the exciting additions to the camera was the ability to tether with a PC or Mac. If you’ve never heard of tethering, it’s just a way to directly connect the camera to the computer, so you can view your photos or videos in real-time. (It also allows you to make adjustments to your camera using the software.)You’ve more than likely seen this in use in a behind-the-scenes fashion shoot. Whether you use the GH5 for video only, or for both video and photography, I’m confident you’ll find a use for this feature. While there are countless tethering programs available on the market, we are only going to focus here on using the Lumix program.Getting The GH5 ReadyThe Lumix Tether software is free for both PCs and Macs, but before you install it, let’s get your camera ready.If you download the tether software and find that your GH5 isn’t connecting, it’s likely that you have the older firmware installed. But before you can install the update, you need a freshly formatted memory card and a full battery.Next, head to the Panasonic website to get the new firmware. With the firmware .exe downloaded, extract the GH5__V22.bin file to your desktop, so it’s ready to place onto your memory card.If both the memory card and the battery boxes are ticked, copy the GH5__V22. file into the main directory of the memory card, insert the memory card into your powered-down GH5, turn it on, and press the play button to initiate the update.I cannot count the number of times that I’ve failed at successfully following firmware update instructions, so if you too find these instructions cumbersome, you can watch the steps I listed above in action in the following video from Max Putnam. It’s important to note that the live view display doesn’t the feed at the same fps setting as the camera — at least not in this version. The feed probably peaks at around 15-18fps. Therefore, you’re not going to be able to use the PC as a secondary live monitor. However, having the software available and knowing how to use it is still an extra tool in your kit.Do you also use the GH5 for photography? You can check out how to tether-shoot for photography in the following video from Panasonic and James Schmelzer. The SoftwareBefore you connect the GH5 to the PC, you need to change a setting on the camera, otherwise, your camera and PC will communicate as if you are only transferring media.First, head to the setup menu (fourth menu down), and on the second page, select USB Mode. There are four options:Select on connectionPC (Storage)PC (Tether)PictBridge(PTP)You’ll need to select PC (Tether). Alternatively, if you don’t have a card reader and usually transfer media via USB, you can choose Select on Connection, which brings up this menu whenever you connect to a PC.With the GH5 set up, it’s time to get to it.The GH5 comes with a USB-C to USB-3.0 cable that you can use for the software. However, it’s only one meter long, so it might be impractical for real-world tethering. I highly recommend TetherPro USB 3.0 cable.With the camera connected to your PC, and turned on, you can finally open the tether software. At first, you’ll see the tether remote control panel. Here, you can change most creative parameters on the camera. From the shutter speed to the metering mode — anything that you can adjust using the external function buttons on the GH5 will accept modifications from the control settings. There are also a few internal settings in the setup menus that you can adjust, such as resolution and file quality (when using the camera for stills).I use old manual Nikkors with my GH5. Therefore, the lens properties on the control panel will be greyed out in the screenshots. But if you want to check out how the Lumix Tether works with electronic lenses, there are a few demonstrations in the following video from 9to5Toys. You can click any area of the image to tell the camera to focus on that specific point.Before you start to use the tethered setup, you want to open the settings panel and adjust anything you need to for your project. The Storage Location setting is useful if you plan to capture the media directly to your PC. Of course, in case of data errors, it’s always best to save for both. It’s also worth noting that if you plan on capturing media directly to your PC, you still need a memory card in the GH5.With the settings completed, hit LV (Live View) to open the preview monitor. You may notice that if you use focus peaking or zebra patterning, those features also carry over into live view. However, other LCD camera properties, such as the grid and level gauge, do not carry over, and you have to turn them on manually using the buttons on the right-hand side.The software also lets you customize the parameters of the grid and guide lines — such as the thickness or number of the lines. Now, I’ve used the tether software once on a job, and I’ve gone over this software with a fine-toothed comb in preparation for this write-up, and for the life of me, I cannot find a reset button.Therefore, if you play around with the grid and find that you can’t get it back to the original setting, to avoid uninstalling and then re-installing the software (like I did) here are the default settings:GridHorizontal Number: 2Vertical Number: 2Thickness: 2Color: #808080Display Diagonal Lines: Unchecked.GuidelinesVertical Direction 1: checked – 25%Vertical Direction 2: checked – 75%Horizontal Direction 1: checked – 25%Horizontal Direction 2: checked – 75%Thickness 2Color: #0080ff