Warriors bracing for DeMarcus Cousins being out ‘for a while”

first_imgOAKLAND — The NBA All-Star fought so hard with his recovery and his integration on a star-laden team. So, of course, DeMarcus Cousins would fight hard to chase a loose ball.Then, Cousins’ aspirations to make a significant NBA playoff post appeared to come crashing down. Well before the Warriors weathered frustration with a 135-131 Game 2 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday at Oracle Arena, the Warriors also nursed anxiety with Cousins. With the Warriors tied with the Clippers, 1-1, in …last_img

Hyperlapse for Filmmakers

first_imgIn the future, all shots will be smooth.By now, you’ve probably seen some of the amazing examples of timelapse imagery created with iPhones using Instagram Hyperlapse from Facebook. Many of these videos are stunning, even more so considering they are coming from a free app on a smartphone:For the uninitiated: a hyperlapse is timelapse plus camera movement. Traditionally, a camera would be set up with an intervalometer to snap the shutter every minute (for example) – that’s the timelapse part. Place the camera on a motion control rig, move it to a new position with each shutter snap, and voíla, a ‘hyperlapse’.While photo purists will argue whether or not a hyperlapse is a true “hyperlapse” (which they will certainly argue it is not), it is undoubtedly a very cool app, and not because it plays back your footage really fast. There is so much more going on under the hood than high speed playback of video footage. The secret sauce to hyperlapse is in the image stabilization function.Using your smartphone’s accelerometer and gyroscope data, hyperlapse smooths out the jiggles and shakes of your handheld motion:Because it can’t create something from nothing, hyperlapse scales your image to create enough spatial data to compensate for motion without seeing the edges of the frame. This is very similar to how After Effects Warp Stabilizer works, but rather than using pixel data to determine motion, hyperlapse uses real world motion data from the camera sensors. The scaling is adaptive, which means that if you have very little movement, then the scale is minor. If you have a lot of motion, then it will scale more. It’s a really smart way to do this.This is one of those times in no-budget indie filmmaking where you realize that everything just got cheaper and easier. Rather than just making cool timelapse + motion shots of your daily commute, just ditch the speed up function and play everything back at 1x and make some movies!Why not block out scenes using an iPhone with no tripod?You could easily do long, mediums and close ups, covering a scene very quickly with a handheld phone. Just hold it relatively steady and shoot with hyperlapse — the shots will be solid. Tracking shots, booming up and down, dollies are all within arms reach, so to speak. While the video quality of the final product is relatively low-res (hyperlapse produces 720P/30 h264 files), a director and a couple of actors could easily block out actor and camera movement.The LimitationsThere are real drawbacks to using this tool to get a stable shot. For instance, scaling a 1080P image with heavy motion will soften and degrade an image, and may introduce motion blur artifacts. Particularly in low-light this may render a shot unusable. Hyperlapse, and really every piece of software image stabilization can’t fix, introduces motion blur. In shots with relatively little motion it’s not that big of a deal, but shots with a lot of motion blur look really strange — there is smooth motion, but the pixels dance with a constantly shifting and obvious directional blur.Also, hyperlapse doesn’t give you many options when it comes to deciding the “smoothness” of a shot. The great thing about After Effects Warp Stabilizer is that you can decide on a degree of smoothness, how much to crop, etc. I get that an app like hyperlapse is about ease of use, and it is absolutely easy to use, but it would be nice to have a few sliders to tweak. It would also be great to be able tto shoot high bit rate video at 24 frames per second. And how great would it be to get a file that contained the original video clip, the motion data and the final smoothed clip all as separate elements that could be tweaked infinitely?!The Future of HyperlapseWith 4K smartphone cameras just around the corner and things like “Reduce Camera Shake” algorithms already in use, it is really easy to see where all this is headed. My guess is that within a year or two, the motion sensor + image data mashup will become standard not only on smartphone cameras, but also on DSLRs and Mirrorless.As a bridge to that future, developers in France are creating a box that slaps right onto your existing camera, along with a stand alone piece of software that builds the final shots in post. It is called SteadXP. They are about to crowdfund it and say the unit will cost less than a GoPro when ready for market.There are a couple of drawbacks to an attached device and post process, which I hope they figure out. One of the coolest things about hyperlapse (and physical stabilizers) is that you can review a shot right after you take it. Leaving that up to a post process means you never really know what you’re getting on set. Second, having an external device connected to your camera means some kind of calibration and syncing to get motion data and image data to line up. These are things that can go wrong and won’t be noticeable until you get back to a computer to crunch it all together. In the end, you may end up back in After Effects and Warp Stabilizer anyway.If this is real, and it works like advertised, I expect the flood of brushless gimbal 3 axis stabilizers to subside. And I suspect there are some smart developers working right now on an app that lives on a smartphone and we’ll all be strapping an iPhone 6 to our DSLRs. And in no time, all pro cameras may have motion sensors built in and we’ll have to use an Instagram filter to simulate the authenticity of a “Shaky Shot”. Ok, ok, maybe that’s going too far.last_img read more

Will Sitharaman cross lines of control to bomb ease of doing business

first_imgNirmala Sitharaman takes oath as Union Minister at a swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on May 30, 2019. Sitharaman is reckoned as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s linchpin in the nation’s push for a better ranking in ease of doing business.IANSNirmala Sitharaman has her task cut out as finance minister to take India higher on the ease of doing business ranking so that the nation can hope to mount a credible challenge to China’s primacy as Asia’s top investment destination. One of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s priorities after returning to power with a thumping majority is to make India a premier investment destination. Sitharaman is expected to address several key issues in her maiden budget on July 5, which is also the first one of Modi 2.0.India is ranked 77th on the Ease of Doing Business Index after a remarkable 23-place jump from the 2018 ranking of 100. I would appear that within a couple of years of such improvement India would catch up with the mighty northern neighbour. China is now placed at 46, which is 31 places ahead of India. China was at 78th position last year and improved by an impressive 32 slots to reach its present position. The pace of China’s advance makes it difficult for India to catch up.However, India Inc is optimistic that India’s situation vis a vis China could improve if Sitharaman sets her mind on it. India Inc has made a series of suggestions to Sitharaman to make India more investment-friendly. Sitharaman had tweeted on June 6 asking for all stakeholders in the nation’s progress to come up with suggestions on what the budget should do. Sitharaman has also been interacting with various trade and professional organisations to gauge their mood.Captains of Indian industry have made a strong case for Sitharaman, former defence minister under whom fighter jets of Indian Air Force (IAF) crossed the line of control (LoC) to bomb Balakot, to erase the unnecessary lines of control that hamper India’s industrial growth. The steps that they want include a reduction in the corporate tax rate, the abolition of minimum alternate tax, halving dividend distribution tax to 10 per cent and an increase in outlay for the infrastructure sector, reports say. The suggestions came up during the customary pre-budget consultations with the finance minister, who on her part, recalled the government’s steps since 2014 to improve the country’s business climate, a report in Firstpost says. CII President Vikram Kirloskar suggested bringing down the dividend distribution tax to 10 per cent from the present 20 per cent, saying it should also be not taxed at the hands of the investor, according to the report. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has immense hope in the ability of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who will present her first budget on July 5, to deliver the goods as she did as defence minister during some of the most difficult weeks for the nation amid tensions on the line of control with Pakistan.PTISitharaman gave a hint of the government’s thinking by recalling that since 2014 the government has taken measures to simplify and rationalise rules and striven to induct the information technology in a big way to make governance more efficient and effective. As a result, she added, India has considerably improved its ranking to 77th position among the 190 countries in the Ease of Doing Business report. Sitharaman also echoed the general worries about the pace of employment growth and said that the industry should accommodate more workforce to reap the nation’s demographic dividend.Assocham President BK Goenka has suggested 100 per cent depreciation in the first year of investment for all new investments. “In order to further simplify GST, we propose a dual rate (8 per cent and 16 per cent) structure for GST,” Goenka said. The government is likely to address the issues of land reforms, special economic zones and the overall industrial policy to improve the investment climate. Sitharaman is also expected to further rationalise the Goods and Services Tax (GST) about which grievances persist. Make in India will continue to be a priority for the central government which dovetails neatly into the nation’s push to improve ease of doing business.last_img read more

Federal Authorities Missed Nearly Half of Social Media Distress Calls during Harvey

Federal Authorities Missed Nearly Half of Social Media Distress Calls during Harvey

first_imgAlvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz/Houston Public Media A rescue done by volunteers at the Lakewood Forest subdivision, located in northwest Houston, on Aug. 28, 2017A year ago, Harvey taxed Greater Houston’s 911 system to its limits. Many residents turned to Twitter and other social media to call for help. But a new Rice University study shows federal authorities missed much of that critical information.Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research tracked more than one million tweets from August 25 through September 8, 2017 and found some 5,200 rescue requests. The researchers learned FEMA missed 46 percent of those requests. As a result, FEMA’s post-disaster analysis listed many areas as safe that actually flooded.“This information was available,” says Carlos Villegas, a Kinder Institute staff researcher and co-author of the report. “The next disaster – God forbid, the next one comes – we shouldn’t be thinking about this kind of stuff when it happens. We should be thinking about it now and setting up systems, so we can get this information as it’s being disseminated, as it’s being tweeted, as people are asking for rescues.”Villegas says he hopes, even if FEMA doesn’t make use of the information, that local and regional governments will. X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /00:50 Listen Sharelast_img read more