All forever changing

[Please note: I wrote this a while ago – I now have a good-ish camera, shoot in manual and raw, I also take much better photos lol ]
The road to learning effectively eight new skills to a reasonable level of advancement is a long one, and much longer than I’m either used to, or I envisaged!
Sat this sucker TWICE!
Film making, lighting, syncing audio, music recording (in a Digital age), graphic effects, Chroma key, Lightroom, taking the Adobe Photoshop Expert exams, gettingthereand other software like Element-3D in conjunction with Adobe After Effects. Yet the one thing that has kicked the hardest is the one single thing I’ve avoided my whole life:

                                                       Photography!!

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With photography I have ALWAYS waited for the tech to do what I want it to do… what I mean is – I LOVE AUTO MODE!! 🙂
However, to realise that the level of camera you need to lessen background noise, to process quicker and sharper images is a long painfully slow process – and then there are the lenses! (Or “glass” as they like to call it). But I’ve never got my head about the “clutch, brake, accelerator” or as I should say: “ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed! Nor, have I really wanted to.

Sure, I can design a cable layout, a Data Centre, a super computer… but photography blah, blah… It kills me when I hear people start talking that language!
BUT!! I love the post-processing… and while a great deal of my work these days is retouching images, when I want a particular picture – I have to take that bugger myself :-/canon-rebates

So I’ve started learning a bit at a time, understanding that the camera we use, which is great for quick snaps in auto mode, just isn’t clear enough and induces huge amounts of Chromatic Aberrations (see – techno blah, blah). So here’s some of the pics I’ve take which are grainy to say the least – but all are effectively advertisements for work rather than things I sell etc.

Pics by Me : Camera borrowed from Gabsatrucker

Bella

Chuch1 JPG

Gabby and the Dawgs

Cam logo001

chuch2

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Muttas-le-Ben

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Published in: on 26 March, 2015 at 16:04  Leave a Comment  
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My 2014 in a few pictures

A little travel (London, Paris, The West Country) and stuff about the house and dubious oddness
Click on any Image to open in Gallery view

Published in: on 2 January, 2015 at 16:48  Comments Off on My 2014 in a few pictures  
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Where is the TV you’ve been waiting for?

As many know, back in the early to mid 2000’s I worked on the development of 4G. Back then the basic requirement was for a 20Mb download and 20Mb upload to any base unit or moreover – a handheld device. We increased this to 25Mb and at a time when there was a lull in the computer industry, we were working on some pretty cool and what was often called “over the edge” technology. Since then the benchmark has gone literally through the roof.

But the problems regarding bandwidth, power, mobile, fixed line accounts and billing aside – the real problem was that there wasn’t an end user device that could handle this in the mobile field. This gave birth to the requirement of advanced PC levels of power in a handheld device which (and this is still an issue) wouldn’t melt the head of the user. But more over, this system for the most part wouldn’t require video compression, that’s right – complete real-time video! In this, I looked to the future and realised very quickly that this would probably be the end of terrestrial/cable/satellite TV.  The future of TV would be simply Web-based and cut the massive costs of powering and building the millions of transmitters that exist today.

A few years later I was observing a discussion on Joseph Mallozzi’s blog; who was then the executive producer of the MGM Stargate Atlantis franchise about the stunning number of DVD sales worldwide for their show, yet cable and channel subscriptions appeared low. In a conversation I mentioned that most people I knew around the world who watched the show – watched it the following day on the web and that it was highly likely that it was these people buying the DVD’s. As it turned out, MGM sold the show badly around the world to expensive pay channels or in some cases – highly obscure channels. This, coupled with highly inaccurate method of gathering viewing figures proved that the industry as a whole is not in step in any way with the technology to hand and were grossly over concerned with “Piracy/copyright” than acknowledging that this system (because of the show’s popularity) was actually making them more money… The bottom line is people want to watch shows when THEY want to watch them and if a company can’t see the alternative method of generating revenue then there is a real problem with that company.

But you must also remember that Piracy is not theft! Theft is when something tangible is “taken” from you, but copyright infringement is the actual problem. Also what about all of us who come across things on the web (think YouTube as an example) and end up watching things you didn’t search for? For most they wouldn’t have gone out of their way to buy, pay for or even consider watching or listening ordinarily – and here lays many problems and issues of which there are too many to list here, but the promotional attributes are limitless. Yet this again shows a complete initial lack of awareness by the mainstream entertainment industry of the technology they’re prepared to use for profit in a totally unsecure manner. In effect, a rod for their own back. In turn, while they cry foul, a few years ago these modern formats allowing them to make billions more in profits simply didn’t exist.

At the same time true innovators of web media and web shows like Andrew Baron owner and creator of Rocketboom and frankly an authority on the subject, has understood the direction of web TV for a very long time. There are several web based shows; Robert Llewellyn’s “Carpool” and “Fully Charged” and a great many more now exist – so where is mainstream web TV? Strange things happen, take for instance Amanda Tapping’s “Sanctuary”. This show was always designed to be web based. They used little more than green/blue screens in order to put any and every location background they liked to the show. The initial run of “Webisodes” was put together at minimal cost and used many of Amanda’s close acting and directing friends to see if it would be popular. It was, and strange as it might be – the show got picked up for mainstream TV. So the power of TV designed for the web is powerful enough to make the TV Studios sit up and appropriately beg.

The problems are several fold but it basically comes down to the TV companies and cash… I can go to the BBC’s iPlayer to watch their shows, CBS website (if I’m in the States) and watch their shows – along with Fox and everyone else’s websites. But you have to bounce from site to site all the time and then wonder if the “Geolock” will prevent you from watching what you want – this really does have to stop… it’s not good for business, it thwarts overall growth and is a shockingly bad business model!

The future of Global TV will rest in the palm of the people, company or person who can achieve what is seemingly impossible; to sit down and work out, negotiate and then generate one of a handful of sites that does it all. A site that will have to decide to pay for itself via advertising, pay per view or all possible methods together. A site where you can watch what you want, when you want. But the reality is that copyright and other royalties are the very things that stand in the way of this happening.

Web TV in the format of YouTube and commercial business sites is an entertainment and subculture all of its own already and has been for years. If you want to know if a product is good rather than get mugged by TV shopping channels – go and see what people who already own the product say about them on YouTube. You’ll soon learn the truth and probably save money – especially if you need to repair something! Lets say you need to fix your laptop, replace the broken screen on your smart phone, anything practical you don’t know how to do – someone somewhere has made a video of how to do it. And what about skill learning? Want to learn Photoshop? go to the simply vast library of videos on the Adobe website to learn just what you need too. The list is endless.

But what of the technology for the home? What are the overall bandwidth and usage requirements which, in reality, have to be limitless. Thankfully newer home entertainment, LCD/LED TV’s all come with web connectivity now. But there are other issues on a global scale which need to be sorted out like; age of the viewer and/or in some more religious cultures; censorship or more edited programmes and movies. But as a technical issue most people will be aware that terrestrial TV (certainly here in the UK) is swapping over from Analogue to Digital. This raised many questions from viewers to why they should go out and buy a set-top-box to place on their old TV to see this new digital medium. Well the answer is quite simple; For a lot of people who may not know, analogue and digital signals are both very different and even look different. A digital signal is basically a signal of “On and Offs” which is basically binary and would look something like this:

Analogue signals are far more complicated and looks sort of like this:

The difference  for the most part is that the digital signal is predictable and can therefore can be repaired by your TV, computer or set-top box with either an On or Off and an Analogue signal simply can’t – because there is no reference to what was damaged. Here are the same two images with sections deleted; you can easily work out the digital repair – but not the analogue.

VS Analogue

So the digital is better, but more importantly – it also means it can be sent across the web with complete and total ease.

The future is Web based, but what about the redundancy of normal TV? Will it just become a persistent “Day Time” schedule mixed with News and Current Affairs? Probably! Or will we use the infrastructure that transmits it as the base for 4, 5 or 6G bandwidths? TV IS destined for the web, it’s been there for years – just no one has organised it yet, can you imagine the accuracy of the viewing figures? I strongly doubt Firefly would have been cancelled that’s for sure. In fact one of the reasons the original Stargate franchise was cancelled was simply that they make the same money in advertising revenue from re-runs as they did from a new show/season. Thus what was the point after 10 seasons in spending the money to make more?

It’s a massive subject that needs to be sorted out, the pitfalls and mountains to climb are obvious – but the moment one person lays the road ahead out clearly – all others will follow. So, stop messing about with strange apps, and let’s get on and get this minefield navigated so we can stop the witch hunting across the Web and get to a place where we can all watch and listen to the media we want, when we want it – in a way that everyone is happy with.

As many of you may know, I don’t own a TV and haven’t done since 1998, all my entertainment, news and 99% of my communications comes through the internet medium. If I stay in a hotel I do switch the TV on, but tend to select a 24hr news channel like the BBC, Sky, Al Jazeera or CNN. Irrespective of how scattered the entertainment on the Web is, there is an abundance of it, it just needs work. Until then, you can watch “The” daily internet culture show at www.rocketboom.com and for the Car Pool interview chat show and “fully charged” the complete inside real information on the future of electric cars – go to  www.llewtube.com.  And so much more…

Whoooaaa!!

I know, it’s a catchy post title, but that was the point 😉
So, in a week that brought us my buddy Dr Sue Black asking her other half to marry her on Facebook, the sad news that Davy Jones of the Monkees has died, Gabsatrucker looking on in disbelief as a locksmith offered to unlock her friends car with a lump hammer, Angelina Jolie proved that she has finer legs than any table and I made my own cup of Tea for the first time in years – yer gotta ask “what’s next?”

Well I’m getting drawn more into Adobe art things and think I’d like to qualify properly in it at some point, so much so I bought a Wacom drawing tablet, and for those whom know me – me actually spending anything is kinda rare (especially on myself). So it was to the finest market in the world (eBay) to acquire said item for 1/3 its RRP. 🙂
This my friends also means you’re gonna have to put up with more of my crazy artwork at some point 😀

Now… The Argies..
On my birthday, it will be the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War… I remember this war well, a few friends of mine fought in it, most notably in South Georgia,  Goose Green, and the other, after establishing the Beach Head at San Carlos, walked 70+ miles to battle.
The reason I mention this isn’t because I have some benign rhetoric on this issue – just that simply, the UK isn’t shouting about this, there is no dispute here. Argentina on the other hand is running around screaming blue murder everywhere and even getting famous folk like Sean Penn and now Roger Waters of Pink Floyd harping on about it…
JUST SO WE’RE CLEAR… The Falkland Islands are NOT under UK control, they no longer belong to the UK – they belong to the people of the Falkland Islands…
WE on that basis (and that they wish to remain British) will defend their right to do so…
Basically the freedom of the people of the Falklands is our priority… as it should be for any free and fair society on earth.
The military strength on the Falklands is simply at a level to repel another illegal invasion of the islands and incarceration of its people. People failing to understand this have a serious flaw in their over all ability to be intelligent – I should know, I’ve met a few flawed folks in my time (and you should see me when I’m drunk).

Moving on:
I was grimacing about some fashiony type things while being shown a website on Skype the other day, this led to Gabsatrucker falling about laughing and suggesting I should create a fashion blog or website with my point blank point of view (i.e. as rude as hell). This I could see strangely working because my opinion is often very straight, blunt and clear – when you look like sh*te, I’ll tell yer. This is based of course on a lifetime’s practice of looking this way, which I believe (as do others) puts me squarely in the ballpark of being ever correct and on the ball… But it will of course be funny, very rude and probably get me sued 😀

This blog’s very own culinary expert in all things of where is best to eat wherever you are in the world (Dom Joly) [ok, I say “this blog’s”, but I simply tweet him and he tells me where to go] is drawing his epic global monster hunting expedition to a close as he looks for real life source material for his book due to be released later this year.
As I write this, Dom is in Tibet and due to return to Blighty tomorrow. As such he has been filling the columns of The Independent newspaper and you can read about his exploits HERE and check out some of his pics HERE. If you want a fun read though, Dom’s other great book “The Dark Tourist”, and you can find it at Amazon by simply clicking this book cover.

Finally…
Now I know I mentioned the new life brought into this world by Gabriela and of course Dad; Alex Elwood… but how can I go without posting a pic?
Ladies and Gentlemen from whatever country you reside, whatever language, faith, creed or other things you hold dear, it is my great pleasure to introduce you to:

Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions and better known to you as

Benjamin Elwood

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