If you’re working in film, video and post production you’ll want to sign up to these free newsletters to keep up to date with the latest developments, cool projects and creative tips.There’s no reason not to be learning something new every day! Take time to improve your video production and video editing skills. Here are five of the best free daily and weekly newsletters that will point you in the direction of all of the best content out there on the web. Don’t waste your time trawling for great tips when you can have them sent straight to your inbox.Studio Daily – Daily Fix or Studio/DirectStudio Daily has two free newsletters – Studio Daily Fix and Studio Daily/Direct. The first is a top notch daily hit of industry news: outstanding creativity, tips and tricks and plenty of other tailored content. There is always a daily video of either a short tutorial, a new trailer or something you’ve just ‘got’ to see. Studio Daily/Direct is a monthly round up of some of the most popular stories from the Studio Daily site. Always a good way to catch up on video editing and production tips and news that you may have missed first time around.Sign up for Studio Daily’s free newslettersFree Color Grading NewsletterPatrick Inhoffer’s excellent weekly newsletter is always jam packed with tons of great links to that weeks best color grading content. There’s always plenty of links to tutorials, color grading craft articles and a ton more on the business side of things, as well as a few ‘Sunday morning funnies’ too. All enlightening and entertaining stuff. It’s also a great place to stay on the inside track of what Patrick is up to and has got planned next.Sign up for the Tao of Color Grading newsletterArt of the Guillotine Email SystemArt of the Guillotine is a central hub of all things editorial. Although its reach stretches a lot further than that, post production is definitely the focus. Essentially the ATOG.com site is a curated RSS feed of the very best the post production world has to offer ranging from editors personal blogs to professional outfits like PremiumBeat. AOTG also posts plenty of its own content and to be honest, there is a lot to keep up with. They’ve helpfully created a nifty email system that lets you create your own newsletter from their wealth of material and lets you decide when it will be delivered to your inbox. Sign up to the Art of The Guillotine custom newsletter here and check out the intro video below:Larry Jordan – Free Weekly NewsletterLarry Jordan is probably the friendliest video editing guru on the web or so he seems from his info-packed tutorials! His free newsletter dishes up plenty of great free video editing tutorials, articles and inside deals on his vast array of training material. There is also regular updates to his blog where in he shares his opinion on the latest trends in the post production industry. If you’re looking to learn more about Final Cut Pro 7 & X, Adobe Creative Suite and many more applications then Larry is your man. To sign up to Larry’s free newsletter just head over to his site and click the yellow sign up banner at the top.The Digital Production Buzz – Weekly EmailAlthough this isn’t strictly a newsletter in itself, the Digital Production Buzz’s weekly email lets you know what’s coming up on that weeks show. The DPBuzz show is a great place to hear from some of the industries top experts on a whole host of fields, as well as get the low-down on some of the newest updates, releases and product launches. The show is often hosted by the friendly Larry Jordan and the effervescent Mike Horton. Sign up for the weekly emails by heading over to The Digital Production Buzz site and clicking the yellow sign up bar.Where do you go to sharpen your video editing skills?Know of another great post production newsletter?We want to hear your comments and feedback in the comments!
The corruption scandal that has rocked international cricket is finding an echo in India as well with out-of-favour pacer Irfan Pathan on Friday claiming that he was sent expensive gifts by a “stranger”, suspected to be a bookie, during a series.Although he did not disclose when exactly the incident happened and which team he was playing against at that time, Pathan said expensive gifts were sent to his hotel room during the series and he reported the matter to the team manager.”I was in a team hotel when a stranger approached me. He sent three expensive gifts to my room. He later sent me two more expensive gifts, things I couldn’t afford,” the 25-year-old, whose last Test appearance for India was in April 2008 against South Africa, told an English news channel.”I thought it was wrong as I didn’t know this person. I reported to the team manager who then alerted the ICC Anti-Corruption and Security Unit Officer,” he recalled.The pacer, whose career has been hit by injuries and a slump in form, was last seen in an ODI for India in February 2009 against Sri Lanka in Colombo.Pathan said he never saw the “stranger” again and is proud to have reported the matter to the concerned authorities promptly.”I haven’t seen the stranger since then. I think I have done the right thing and I am proud of it. As a player you are expected to report any such thing as per the code of conduct,” he said.advertisementHis disclosures come amid the raging spot-fixing controversy which has led to the suspension of the Pakistani trio of Test skipper Salman Butt and pacers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir.The three players were provisionally suspended by the ICC for allegedly conspiring to bowl no balls to order during the Lord’s Test against England last month.
The Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)-World Customs Organisation (WCO) Container Control Programme that is expected to result in improved security at the nation’s ports. “This MoU establishes and recognises that a funded and enhanced partnership now exists between the Government of Jamaica, through the Ministries of Finance, National Security and Transport and Works and the UNODC and the World Customs Organisation, to improve port security and to prevent the unlawful use of cargo containers for activities, such as illicit drug trafficking, smuggling of goods, tax evasion and possible terrorist acts,” Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, said at the signing at his Kingston office on Tuesday. The UNODC will provide technical assistance, equipment, analytical tools, computer stations, radio communications and field test kits to help in identifying drugs and chemicals in containers at the ports. They will also be involved in the training of the staff, selected to man the joint container control units. Programme Manager, UNODC, Troels Vester, said Jamaica is the first country in the Caribbean to join the programme, which is significant, due to Kingston’s role as a major transshipment hub. He stated that the container control programme aims to open fewer containers and find more illicit goods. Mr. Vester explained that 14 officers have commenced training under the programme, which began on November 26, and an ambitious deadline of December 10 has been set for the Container Control Units to become operational. In the meantime, Dr. Phillips also pointed to the possibility of earning increased revenue from the ports as a result of the programme’s implementation. “The mislabeling of containers leads to significant revenue evasion at the ports. Given our current fiscal situation, Jamaica critically needs the revenues to execute vital programmes and we also want to establish a general atmosphere of law abiding behavioor in our ports and elsewhere,” he said. The Minister pledged the Government’s commitment to establish a steering committee, and to have the participating institutions undertake to maintain and provide support to the port control units. He stated that funding has been secured from the Canadian Government in the sum of CD$500,000 for the programme to be implemented in the Kingston port, while the United States Government has committed to funding the programme for the Montego Bay port. Also at the signing was the US Ambassador, Pamella Bridgewater, who stated that her country was proud to collaborate with Canada to support the programme. “This collaboration, we firmly believe, will result in helping to preserve the security of Jamaica’s borders… and we think that it is going to be very important to ensure that the large number of shipping containers that pass through Jamaica do not contain illicit goods, such as narcotics, guns and other illicit substances. But equally important, it will be very good to know that the speedy shipment and processing of legitimate goods will be facilitated, which will be an important factor in enhancing Jamaica’s economy,” she said. For his part, Canadian High Commissioner, Robert Ready, said the project is an example of Canada’s commitment to fight international crime in the region. He stated that the Canadian Government stood ready to continue its support and provide expertise to Jamaica through the UNODC. The MoU follows a Letter of Intent that was signed in June of this year for the establishment of the programme. The UNODC-WCO aims to assist governments to establish effective container controls that will serve not only to prevent drug trafficking and other illicit container crime, but also to facilitate legitimate trade and raise state revenues.
Tags Amazon’s drones and robots want to take over your deliveries Amazon Scout robots are heading out to deliver packages Amazon Prime Air’s new delivery drone could sneak up on you Inside an Amazon warehouse that ships your supersized purchases More Amazon delivery stories For instance, there’s no way to get packages out of a Scout now without a person coming up to it, pulling open its lid on top and taking out its payload. Scott said one idea could be to have Scouts wait for a while for customers to come home. Also, the Scout has magnetic locks in its lid to keep its top closed while it’s driving and to protect its packages from theft. It’s possible a resident could use the Amazon app in the future to unlock the bot and get her package once she comes home.To train Scouts on how to navigate around Snohomish, Amazon created bicycle trailers that were equipped with the same camera arrays as the robots. Riders would go around in neighborhoods capturing every detail of the sidewalks, streets, gutters and even the weeds.Then, Amazon created virtual worlds that were nearly identical to the streets the Scouts would be driving on and trained the robots over and over again using these digital doubles. That way, when the Scouts were ready to go out into the real world, they would be far more prepared for what they were about to experience.As the Scouts learn more about the world, they can be trained on less information to understand the way around new neighborhoods, allowing Amazon to quickly spread out more Scouts, Scott said.To see where to go, Scouts are equipped with GPS, radar and front- and rear-facing cameras. Scott showed me a video of a Scout in action on the street, slowing rolling along the sidewalk and carefully stopping when a neighborhood cat jumped in front of it.Amazon created digital doubles of real neighborhoods to teach the Scouts how to move around. Ben Fox Rubin/CNET The current version is being developed for suburban deliveries, but there’s a possibility future Scout robots will be able to function in a city or rural areas.While the Scouts remain a curiosity now, Scott said the bots were intentionally built to look cute, friendly and most importantly unassuming. Yes, the bots have a bright blue color emblazoned with the Prime logo on either side, as well as bright flashing lights, which are needed for when Scouts cross the street. Plus, when you open a Scout’s lid, it’s painted bright white and orange inside, offering a pleasing contrast to the blue exterior and giving the feel of opening a present. Otherwise, Scouts were built so they would fade into the background and fit seamlessly in a suburban setting.”That’s exactly what we want,” Scott said. “It’s designed for boring.”Originally June 10, 5 a.m. PT.Update, 9:50 a.m. PT: Adds more details about the Scout. 1:32 Plus, Amazon’s leaders have often mentioned that even as the company continues to find new ways to automate tasks, it also continues to hire rapidly as demand from customers grows. Amazon on Friday lost its contract with FedEx Express, a sign of growing friction with its shipping partners as Amazon keeps developing its own delivery infrastructure. If more turmoil like that happens with UPS or the US Postal Service, Amazon will need all the help it can get — from humans and robots — to make sure it delivers its packages on time.Teaching Scout to rollToday, the Scouts are loaded up in vans and brought to neighborhoods where they make their deliveries. To ensure the Scouts are working properly, each robot is assigned an Amazon worker — folks Scott called “ambassadors” — who walks with the bots during their deliveries and removes the packages stowed away in their bellies. The Scout program started with six robots, but Scott didn’t say how many robots are currently in use, or when and where the program will be expanded.The idea is to eventually pair the Scouts with delivery drivers and let the robots operate more on their own, but the details are still being worked out, Scott said. Now playing: Watch this: Share your voice Internet 7 The Scout is already delivering boxes to customers in Snohomish County, Washington. Ben Fox Rubin/CNET Sean Scott is almost poetic when describing his intense interest in sidewalks.”Each sidewalk is like a snowflake,” Scott, who’s soft-spoken with a friendly smile, told me with a bit of excitement in his eyes. “Because the textures are different, the way they’re laid out is different, what we see on the sidewalk is different.”Scott, vice president of the Amazon Scout program, is particularly curious about the drab and overlooked sidewalk because that’s the workspace of his Scout delivery robots. The e-commerce giant in January introduced these machines, which look like blue coolers on six wheels and can autonomously navigate suburban environments to bring packages to customers’ homes. The company is already using them to deliver orders in Snohomish County, Washington, just north of Amazon’s Seattle headquarters.While Amazon has been mostly mum about Scout so far, Scott offered a more in-depth look at the robot during an interview last week at the company’s re:MARS robotics and space conference in Las Vegas. Just across from him in our conference room sat one of these robots, powered off but appearing at-the-ready for its next assignment. The Scout uses magnetic locks to keep its lid closed while driving and to protect its packages inside. Ben Fox Rubin/CNET “Customers have really welcomed Amazon Scout,” Scott said. “They find the device really cute.”The bots are another effort by Amazon to add more technology and automation into its delivery infrastructure. It already uses hundreds of thousands of robots in its warehouses to store and move around shelves of products. It’s also been developing drones to get packages to customers in less than 30 minutes. All this work should help Amazon in its costly push to transition its Prime two-day shipping program to one day, a plan it announced in April and is already rolling out.Amazon isn’t alone in its delivery robot work. Google, Workhorse and others are developing delivery drones, while Postmates and the startup Starship are working on sidewalk delivery bots.But as robots have gotten more sophisticated, many people have raised concerns that these machines could replace a lot of human workers, such as autonomous trucks and taxis taking away thousands of professional drivers’ jobs. A Brookings Institution study from January found 25% of US jobs, including food preparation and office administration, are already at high risk of becoming automated.It’s also hard to know how people outside of the Snohomish test area will react to having these camera-filled bots rolling down their streets.”History has shown us that we never know how customers are going to react to anything until they experience it,” said Brendan Witcher, a Forrester analyst. “The other thing history has shown us is some people will bristle and others will be delighted.”It will be up to Amazon, he added, to communicate and be transparent with residents to show them why such robots should be a part of their lives.Scott said Amazon isn’t developing Scout to take away workers’ jobs but instead to improve and grow the company’s delivery infrastructure. “We think it will make delivery drivers more efficient,” helping them deliver more packages, he said. Comments Amazon Prime Bots Amazon Robots
This file photo taken on 4 April 2017 shows an unconscious Syrian child receiving treatment at a hospital in Khan Sheikhun, a rebel-held town in the northwestern Syrian Idlib province, following a suspected toxic gas attack. AFPUnited Nations investigators on Thursday blamed a sarin gas massacre on Bashar al-Assad’s regime, as the United States renewed its warning that he has no role in Syria’s future.The expert panel’s report and tough remarks by US secretary of state Rex Tillerson overshadowed the announcement that UN-sponsored peace talks will resume next month.More than 87 people died on 4 April this year when sarin gas projectiles were fired into Khan Sheikhun, a rebel-held town in the Idlib province of northwestern Syria.Images of dead and dying victims, including young children, in the aftermath of the attack provoked global outrage and a US cruise missile strike on a regime air base.Syria and its ally Russia had suggested that a rebel weapon may have detonated on the ground but the UN panel confirmed Western intelligence reports that blamed the regime.“The panel is confident that the Syrian Arab Republic is responsible for the release of sarin at Khan Sheikhun on 4 April 2017,” the report, seen by AFP, says.The report will increase pressure on Assad’s regime just as Washington, in the wake of battlefield victories against the Islamic State group, renews calls for him to step down.Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s comments to reporters came during a visit to Geneva in which he met UN envoy Staffan de Mistura, who is trying to convene a new round of peace talks next month.The secretary said US policy has not changed, but his remarks represented tougher language from an administration that had previously said Assad’s fate is not a priority.“We do not believe there is a future for the Assad regime, the Assad family,” Tillerson said.“I think I’ve said it on a number of occasions. The reign of the Assad family is coming to an end, and the only issue is how should that be brought about.”Russia, which is running a parallel peace process with Iran and Turkey in a series of talks in the Kazakh capital Astana, reacted coolly to Tillerson’s remarks.“I think we should not pre-empt any future for anybody,” said Moscow’s UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, who on Tuesday had vetoed a US attempt to extend the gas attack probe.British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the UN panel’s report had reached a “clear conclusion” and urged the “international community to unite to hold Assad’s regime accountable.”“I call on Russia to stop covering up for its abhorrent ally and keep its own commitment to ensure that chemical weapons are never used again,” he said.Civil warDe Mistura hopes to convene an eighth round of Syrian peace talks between Assad’s regime and an opposition coalition in Geneva from 28 November.These will be focused on drafting a new constitution and holding UN-supervised elections in a country devastated by several overlapping bloody civil conflicts.Assad’s regime has been saved by Russian and Iranian military intervention and he insists that he will not stand down in the face of what he regards as “terrorist” rebels.But Western capitals, the opposition and many of Syria’s Arab neighbors hold Assad’s forces responsible for the bulk of the 330,000 people who have died in the conflict.In addition to chemical weapons attacks against his own people, his government is accused of overseeing the large-scale torture and murder of civilian detainees.The previous US administration often said that Assad’s days were numbered, but then president Barack Obama decided not to use force to punish his chemical weapons attacks.His successor, President Donald Trump, did order one missile strike on a Syrian air base in response to a chemical attack.But US policy has otherwise focused solely on the defeat of the Islamic State jihadist group, driving it out of its last bastions in eastern Syria’s Euphrates valley.Tillerson said, however, that he hopes a way to oust Assad will “emerge” as part of de Mistura’s UN-mediated talks.‘Moment of truth’He argued that the UN Security Council resolution setting up the peace process already contains a procedure to hold elections that Washington does not think Assad can win.“The only thing that changed is when this administration came into office, we took a view that it is not a prerequisite that Assad go before that process starts, rather the mechanism by which Assad departs will likely emerge from that process,” he said.Earlier, de Mistura had told the UN Security Council that with the defeat of the Islamic State, the Syrian peace process had reached a “moment of truth.”“We need to get the parties into real negotiations,” the envoy said.Seven rounds of talks have achieved only incremental progress toward a political deal, with negotiations deadlocked over Assad’s fate.The opposition insists any settlement must provide for a transition away from Assad’s rule but, as government forces make gains, there is little likelihood of a breakthrough.