FINN HARPS FC LOTTO DRAW

first_imgIf you would like to help the club by selling lottos in your town or workplace, please contact the Super 4 Lotto co-ordinator, Sean Doherty, on 087 2507383.FINN HARPS FC LOTTO DRAW was last modified: April 27th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) There were no jackpot winners in the Finn Harps Super 4 Lotto draw on Tuesday 26th April.  The numbers drawn were: 2, 6, 17, 21.  Next week’s jackpot will be €1,100.  Six people matched three numbers and receive €35 each.  They were: Samantha Coll, Stranorlar; Grania Playle, Stranorlar; Mickey McGlynn, Milford; John McClafferty, Creeslough; Saffron Anderson, Ballybofey; PJ McKinney, Bridgend.last_img read more

Gardaí issue warning over text banking scam

first_imgGardaí have issued a warning to the public over a new text message scam focused on gaining access to personal bank accounts. Consumers are being advised to be on alert to a text message or ‘smishing’ scam in which victims receive a text appearing to be from their bank asking them to confirm personal details or click on links to unfreeze their account. The criminals behind the scam are aiming to obtain personal information that will allow them to steal money from bank accounts. Consumers should note the warning signs of false texts:The text message will be unsolicited The text message will always seek information that allows access to bank accounts, Note; banks or other financial institutions would not look for that kind of information.The text will instruct the individual to go to a website or make a phone call to a specified number The text will create a fear that if the customer does not take action requested in the text, their account will be compromised The text will emphasise the need for urgent action by the recipient of the text Detective Chief Superintendent Patrick Lordan of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) stated that “banks and other financial entities will never make unsolicited contact with individuals asking for personal details, account numbers, 4-digit pin number or passwords.” He warned that “people receiving unsolicited communications looking for these personal details should not reply to text messages, emails or other communications. They should contact their bank independently to check on the validity of the communications they have received before taking any action”.If you think you have responded to a Smishing text message, contact your bank immediately. Gardaí have released key details of the scam:1. The message will imitate a text from your bank. 2. The message will typically ask you to click on a link to a website to “verify”, “update” or to “reactivate” your account. 3. It may ask you to reply to the text message with personal or financial information or to click on a link to website. 4. If it includes a link, the website is a fake one. The website will then attempt to get you to disclose personal or financial information. If clicked on it also could download dangerous software known as malware to your computer or mobile device.  5. Often the text will create a sense of urgency to make you act without thinking e.g. your money is in danger or your account will be frozen. Gardaí issue warning over text banking scam was last modified: August 21st, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Astrobiology Survives on Passionate Hope

first_imgWithout the words ‘might’ and ‘could,’ astrobiologists would have nothing to say.Two decades since astrobiology became a ‘science,’ there is still no evidence for life beyond earth. That doesn’t discourage the true believers. With olympic fervor, they reach a perfect score—zero—for actual evidence supporting their belief.Oceans on Jupiter? Gas Giants Might Start Out As ‘Steam Worlds’ (Space.com). Jupiter might have been a steamy water world before it became a gas giant. It might have lasted long enough to be habitable. And if it were habitable, life could have evolved there. That’s a summary of this article by Jesse Emspak, contributing author to Space.com. Imagine anyone else proposing such face-free ideas and calling it science. But since John Chambers has a job as a scientist at the Carnegie Institution, he gets permission from Emspak to speculate freely and propagate his myths on this popular science news site.Water worlds could support life: Analysis challenges idea that life requires ‘Earth clone’ (Phys.org). Because Earth’s many life-friendly features form such an improbable combination, astrobiologists are motivated to expand the boundaries of habitability. This article does not rely on actual evidence. It relies on computer models, programmed by believers in astrobiology. Such models can be considered as reliable as those programmed by believers in astrology.The conditions for life surviving on planets entirely covered in water are more fluid than previously thought, opening up the possibility that water worlds could be habitable, according to a new paper from the University of Chicago and Pennsylvania State University.The scientific community has largely assumed that planets covered in a deep ocean would not support the cycling of minerals and gases that keeps the climate stable on Earth, and thus wouldn’t be friendly to life. But the study, published Aug. 30 in The Astrophysical Journal, found that ocean planets could stay in the “sweet spot” for habitability much longer than previously assumed. The authors based their findings on more than a thousand simulations.Did you previously think that? Did you previously assume that? Beware lest the bio-astrologers snare you in their tontological net.Carl Sagan standing by Viking model.Life on Mars? 40 Years Later, Viking Lander Scientist Still Says ‘Yes’ (Space.com). Background: in 1976, two NASA craft landed on Mars in two different places and ran 3 carefully-designed experiments to specifically search for life. Two of the three experiments gave negative results, but one, the ‘labeled-release experiment’ (LRE) was inconclusive. Most scientists concluded that abiological chemistry could explain the ‘fizzy’ results. The subsequent discovery of ubiquitous perchlorates supported the abiological interpretation. This highly optimistic article, though, squeezes the ambiguous result for all it’s worth, using the principal investigator of the LRE, Gilbert Levin, as principal cheerleader. He makes it seem that subsequent evidence for water under the ice caps of the red planet justifies his belief that Viking found life in the Martian soil. Like a modern-day P.T. Barnum, he touts his greatest show on Mars, with fingers drumming for NASA funds.Go to Sea with Astrobiologists Visiting Hawaii to Learn How to Look for Alien Life (Space.com). Astrobiologists are setting out to search for extraterrestrial life—in Hawaii! NASA is paying their way to use techniques that might come in handy some day for evaluating claims of life on other planets. Sounds like a fun job if you can get it. Amy Smith gets to study a seamount in the Pacific.She’s particularly interested in finding out whether any critters can use hydrogen as a source of energy, since that molecule can be found below the ice of Enceladus. In addition to studying microbes at the site, she’ll also take samples for genetic testing and gather specimens to try to grow in her lab. “Since this environment is similar to what we might find, we predict, on other ocean worlds, we’re hoping to get some answers as to what kinds of life might be there,” Smith said.Other scientists get to participate remotely with ‘telepresence’ to watch the fun. Your tax dollars at work, making it seem like astrobiology is real science, even if there is no evidence for it.Small Doses of RealityOmega Centauri Is a Terrible Place to Look for Habitable Planets (Space.com). Cross off globular clusters as pleasant nurseries for life, Nola Taylor Redd says. A big one, Omega Centauri, “probably doesn’t contain many habitable worlds, a new study suggests.” The problem? Neighboring stars would steal the water. This letdown applies to other similar clusters.Previous studies had suggested that a globular cluster might be the first place where intelligent life is identified in the galaxy. That’s because the roughly 150 clusters around the Milky Way are about 10 billion years old, with stars roughly the same age, giving life plenty of time to emerge and evolve.Unfortunately, the large but cozy environment of Omega Centauri works against hopes for habitability. Even compact planetary systems would struggle to exist in the core of the cluster, where stars lie an average of 0.16 light-years apart, the new study suggests.When the world is not enough: how to find another planet to live on  (The Conversation). Eamonn Kerins at the University of Manchester, an astrophysicist, tries to remain optimistic about space travel by humans to other planets, but he knows better than to upset facts. After relating the history of discovering exoplanets, and the prospects for better detection, he hits the brakes a little:There are of course many other factors beyond bulk planet characteristics that contribute critically to the success of evolved life here on Earth. The truth is that our descendents [sic] won’t know for sure that they’ve found Earth-2 until they try living on it. So, while we would not hand an empty map to our brave space explorers of the future, we are a long way from being able to guarantee them habitable accommodation.And, lets [sic] be clear, the long journey time even to our nearest exoplanet neighbour, Proxima b, means that it is definitely a one-way ticket. Indeed, with current technology, this journey would take tens of thousands of years.Then he remembers some other challenges for the poor wayfaring earthlings:During their voyage the astronauts also have to shield themselves from potentially fatal doses of cosmic rays. They must also avoid muscular and skeletal wasting, and cope with the psychological demands of being locked up for years in a large tin can. At their destination, they will also have to adjust to life as an alien without the advantages of evolutionary adaption [sic] that we enjoy on Earth. This is probably the greatest challenge of all.Oh well, it was fun to be optimistic for a few paragraphs. Should humans expect to colonize space? “All things considered,” he ends, “it’s one long journey for a man, one giant roll of the dice for mankind.”If Darwin skeptics ever presented theories this fact-free, their words would be mocked, trashed, and rejected. Oh wait; they are anyway, facts notwithstanding.(Visited 316 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

What is the role of the Gauteng Industrial Development Zone (GIDZ)?

first_imgGlobalisation is upon us and South Africa is ensuring readiness by adopting what is called Specialised Economic Zones (SEZ). According to Investopedia, an SEZ is a designated area in a country subjected to specialised economic regulations different from other areas. These zones play a huge role in encouraging trade and investment opportunities that benefit the country through job creation.The Gauteng Industrial Development Zone Company (‘Gauteng IDZ’) was founded in 2009 under the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA) and was established with the purpose of developing and operating the designated Industrial Development Zone at OR Tambo International Airport. OR Tambo International Airport accommodates over 21 million passengers annually, making it Africa’s largest and busiest international airport.The vision of the GIDZ is “to identify, design, package and enable focused export driven manufacturing and beneficiation programmes for location at the OR Tambo International Airport IDZ. OR Tambo International is known for its exceptional infrastructure and resources. It is a well-positioned logistics and distribution hub for air cargo internationally and in the region. OR Tambo international is the largest air cargo airport on the African continent, with the capacity to handle 40 000 tonnes annually. 82% of South Africa’s cargo comes through OR Tambo.”How does an IDZ impact citizens? In an effort to reposition itself in the world economy, the South African government launched the Industrial Development Zones (IDZ) programme with the aim to facilitate inclusive and competitive economic growth in order for citizens to enter new jobs and benefit from the investments attracted.The GIDZ also runs a post-graduate Jewellery Design course called Design@50. The Jewellery Design Centre was established in 2013, and puts students through an 11-month course offering training in Marketing, Commercial Jewellery Design and Product Development, utilising state of the art Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Manufacturing technology. The centre aims to increase technology proficiency ahead of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and pave the way for skilled designers by shaping talent that can contribute to the development of the South African jewellery market.Design@50 was launched as part of the OR Tambo Industrial Development Zone, currently under construction next to OR Tambo International Airport.To find out more about the GIDZ, click here: http://www.gidz.co.zalast_img read more

Decision Support Tool to select appropriate hybrid maturities for June

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Allen Geyer and Peter Thomison, Ohio State University ExtensionThe Corn Growing Degree Day decision support tool allows users to choose any Corn Belt county, enter the planting date and hybrid maturity, and generate a graph that shows projected GDD accumulations through the season, including the date on which you can expect that hybrid, planted on that date in that county, to mature (achieve black layer). One important adjustment missing from this tool is the fact that planting corn late usually lowers the GDD needed to get a hybrid from planting to maturity.In an article on his website, Dr. Bob Nielsen at Purdue includes a calculator that adjusts the GDD requirement downward based on how late planting actually is. This is not a trivial adjustment: planting a hybrid on June 10 (vs. May 10) lowers the GDD requirement by more than 200 GDD. So a hybrid that needs 2,700 GDD to mature if planted on May 1 will require an estimated 2,428 GDD if planted on June 10 (Using Dr. Nielsen’s calculator). The revised GDD number can be manually entered into the GDD tool instead of days RM for the hybrid.To get started on the tool, click where your farm is located in the county of interest (GDDs are calculated based on longitude and latitude) then select the graph tab. As an example, a 108-day RM hybrid (which the tool estimates will need 2,600 GDD from planting to maturity) planted on June 10 in Wood County, Ohio is projected to mature sometime after Dec 1 (the frost date is estimated at Oct. 29). However, if you manually change the expected layer GDD requirement from 2600 to 2328 (estimated using the calculator above) the GDD tool estimates that hybrid would achieve maturity by about Oct. 8 (nearly three weeks before the first average freeze).If we change the planting location to Wayne County, Ohio using the same hybrid and planting date and make the appropriate input changes to the GDD tool regarding reduced GDD requirements for a delayed planting, the GDD tool estimates that the hybrid wouldn’t achieve maturity until November 7 (average frost date of Oct. 27). Changing to a 102-day hybrid there would move projected maturity to Oct. 9.last_img read more

Mobile Credit Card Swiping Battle Continues: A Look at 4 Rival Technologies

first_imgIntuit’s top-competitor (that is, if you go by what tech journalists like to write about) is Square, the startup launched by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. Like GoPayment, Square includes both a mobile app and a credit card reading device – a small, square-shaped device whose shape gives the company its name.Like GoPayment’s (temporary) offer, the reader is free and there are no monthly service fees. The swiped transaction fee is 2.75%, a bit higher than Intuit’s 2.7% but its per transaction fees are the same ($0.15/each). For keyed in transactions, the rate is 3.5% + $0.15.Square says there are no gateway, monthly, early termination or hidden fees and you can accept an unlimited number of payments without restrictions on either transaction size or number of transactions. Square deposits your first $1,001 of sales per week into your bank account immediately. Any remaining amount is transferred after 30 days.As a Square user, you can accept any U.S.-issued credit, debit, pre-paid, or gift card with a Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover logo.Unlike GoPayments, Square is currently available for iPhone and Android only (select devices only) – not BlackBerry.It should be noted, too, that Square is currently in a patent battle over the origins of its reader and the related patents. The company had previously run into a number of other issues, including production delays to compatibility issues with the iPhone 4.Verifone PAYware MobileLike the above, Verifone’s PAYware Mobile solution is a combination mobile app and optional reader hardware.The service works on any iPhone (3G/3GS/4) device, iPad or iPod Touch, but only manual entry is supported on the iPhone 4, iPad and iPod. The company says it has plans to expand to BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and Android in the future.The PAYware card encryption sleeve works on iPhone 3G/3GS only. This is PAYware’s key selling point, as it touts the end-to-end encryption it offers, which meets the same security standards used by ATMs and Point-of-Sale terminals. Other vendors, it says, support SSL only, a software-based encryption method.PAYWare also says the fees and fee structures will vary and doesn’t list them on its site. Its rates will be based on risk criteria categorized into  “Qualified”, “Mid-Qualified” and “Non-Qualified” tiers, as is standard. Rates will also vary depending on the type of business and whether or not a transaction is swiped or keyed in, also typical. In addition, gateway fees for access to the PAYware Connect gateway are charged, too. The above prices are what’s available to low-volume customers – the same customers who may have been considering Square’s reader instead. For high-volumne customers, there are different rates – a $12.95/month service fee; 1.7% for card swiped; 2.7% for key entered and 3.7% for non-qualified transactions, like corporate cards; and a $0.30 per transaction fee.GoPayment also offers no long-term contracts, cancellation, gateway or set-up fees, it says. One account can enable up to 50 users and works on iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, plus some Palm and Nokia devices.Merchants can accept a number of credit cards with the service, but additional fees apply when accepting cards other than Visa, MasterCard and Discover (like American Express or Diner’s Club cards).There is more than one type of hardware attachment available for use with GoPayment. Intuit partnered with Mophie for its iPhone reader, for example, the makers of iPhone battery-charging solutions like the Juice Pack. There are also Bluetooth-enabled readers and reader/printer combos available.*One important note: GoPayment is only offering a free account and free reader to those who sign up by mid-February, after which prices may revert back, although Intuit isn’t confiriming. Square To use ROAMpay, customers must contact their merchant account provider to see if they carry ROAMpay. If so, they will help you get signed up, which includes locating the appropriate hardware and downloading the $2.99 app from iTunes, if applicable. ROAMpay says this fee applies for any other phone that supports mobile apps, including Google Android devices and phones that offer Verizon Wireless’s Get It Now service. With ROAMpay, your normal payment processing fees apply. You can also use ROAMpay on your PC or Mac.If you don’t have a merchant account, ROAMpay can connect you with its Payment Partners.ROAMpay also promotes its security features – all payment info is double-encrypted as entered on the device and is never fully decrypted until it enters the payment gateway for processing by one of ROAM’s payment platform partners. No sensitive data such as card numbers, magnetic stripe information or security codes are stored on the mobile device. Tags:#e-commerce#Features#mobile#Real World#web Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology sarah perezcenter_img Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces You can get an idea of PAYware’s fees, by checking out reseller’s pricing plans, like this one, which lists setup fees, monthly fees, per transactions fees, etc.  For a more personalized quote, PAYware says t can go here for more info.Typically though, a setup fee of $49 and monthly fees of $20 to $30 apply, as do per transaction fees, which are either taken as a straight amount or a percentage. The reader may be offered for free, depending on the contract length. It’s usually sold for $139. The mobile application used along with the hardware is free.PAYware accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover credit and debit cards.ROAMpayROAMpay, another mobile credit card device and app combo, is available for a number of phones, including the iPhone 3G/3GS/4, iPad, several Android devices, BlackBerry phones, select Nokia phones and many others. The Swiper hardware is available for several Android and Apple devices and BlackBerry.Merchants can accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover credit and debit cards, and others. Square, the mobile payments company launched in 2009 by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, is the name most often bandied about in tech circles these days when it comes to talk of credit-card swiping attachments made for iPhone. But Square was never alone on the mobile payments battlefront, and now it has a new competitor backed by a well-known brand name: Intuit.Today Intuit is making its two-year-old premium GoPayment service free – a service which comes with a magnetic stripe reader attachment that hooks onto the iPhone, similar to the one Square offers.Intuit GoPaymentIntuit’s GoPayment’s offering is a combination of a mobile application and, optionally, a magnetic stripe reader that attaches to the phone. Intuit no longer charges the $13/month fee or charges for the reader attachment (previously $219) – it’s all free now*. But to make that possible, GoPayment takes a higher cut of the transactions with its new discount rate fee of 2.7% (before it was 1.7%). For key-entered and non-qualified transactions, the rate is 3.7%. In addition, $0.15 is charged per transaction. These fees are competitive with Square. Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …last_img read more

Dropbox vs. Google Drive vs. Amazon vs. Skydrive: Which One Is Fastest?

first_imgCloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… If my tests convinced me of anything, it is that Skydrive is a work in progress and has a long way to go. I even had trouble setting up the tests on Skydrive.My tests also revealed a number of odd results. When testing files saved from Word, strange extra files sometimes showed up on all the cloud drives except Dropbox. The file names always began with the characters “~$”. Sometimes the mystery files disappeared and sometimes they hung around.Cloud Drive RecommendationsSo here are some quick recommendations:First, do not treat your cloud drive as one huge dumping ground. Create folders and try to force a little organization on yourself.If you save a file to the cloud in order to work on it from another computer, quit the application or close the file on the first computer after you have saved the file to the cloud drive.Make sure you have a local copy of important files in your documents folder – not just the replicated cloud folder on your computer. Interesting things sometimes happen when cloud files get updated or deleted from another computer. When you come back to the computer where you first created a file, you could be in for a nasty surprise.If you cannot get a cloud folder on your computer to update, trying quitting the cloud application or rebooting your system.Dropbox and Amazon appear to be the most reliable solutions with only occasional delays. Google isn’t far behind, and I can’t imagine that Microsoft won’t work hard to improve Skydrive – the company’s subscription model depends on it.Even so, I have no plans to throw away my USB thumb drives. Fighting The Randomization FactorAfter running the tests a few times, I noticed what can only be described as random operating system differences. Sometimes the file would pop up first on my Mac and other times it showed up first on my Windows 7 laptop.In order to eliminate the operating system differences, I restarted the tests and this time stopped the timer when the file showed up on either my Mac running Mountain Lion or my Windows 7 laptop. I also reran my tests with a variety of sizes and types of files. In all I ran twenty-five sets of tests.The differences were significant, if not overwhelmingly huge. The fastest synchs took less than 3 seconds, while a few others took several minutes. The biggest chunk of tests clocked in between 10 seconds and one minute. A few synchs never completed. But which service recorded the best times with the fewest problems? david sobotta Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts Tags:#Amazon#Cloud Providers#cloud service providers#cloud storage#Dropbox#google drive#Microsoft Dropbox FTW!Dropbox ended up being fastest 56% of the time. Even more importantly, it was slowest only 4% of the time.Skydrive brought up the rear. It was fastest on 12% of the tests, but but slowest on a whopping 80% of the tests. It also had two files that never showed up on the Mac and one that never showed on the Windows 7 laptop.The Amazon Cloud slightly outpaced Google Drive – which had one file that never showed up on the Mac and another that took a very long time to complete. How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud As cloud computing services become ever more popular, you might begin to wonder how much you can really trust them to perform when you need them? I decided to find out – by testing the top file-transfer/file-storage/file-backup services.In many ways, getting a file from one computer to multiple computers is the most challenging task for the cloud. And because I like to use multiple computers running multiple operating systems, including Linux, Windows and the Mac, that function is particularly important to me.Cloud Services Can LagI am pretty agnostic when it comes to cloud providers – as long as they are free or close to it. However, as I was moving files around while preparing my most recent book A Week at the Beach The 2013 Emerald Isle Travel Guide I was a little surprised at the lags I sometimes experienced using the big-name cloud-based file-transfer services.More than once when I wanted to use a file from one computer to another, I was disappointed by my cloud services. There were a few times that I got so tired of waiting for a file to show up on my other computer’s cloud drive that I resorted to sneakernet using a USB thumb drive.After my book was published, I decided to go back and run some simple tests to see just how long the four best-known file-transfer/backup services actually take to put the files where you want them.To compare Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon Cloud, and Microsoft’s SkyDrive I started by exporting a 500K JPEG test image from Lightroom on my Windows 8 computer directly to each of the four services.last_img read more

HBO’s New Documentary “Spielberg” Is a Must-See for Aspiring Directors

first_imgHBO’s “Spielberg” is more than a biography, it’s a mini masterclass detailing some of the most influential scenes in the history of American cinema.Cover image via HBO.Warning: contains spoilers!The opening scenes of HBO’s newest documentary, Spielberg, might leave you at a loss of words. You aren’t expecting the iconic, creeping sunrise of the entrance into the desert sequence from David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia. Even more, you don’t expect to hear Spielberg say that it was Lean’s masterpiece that “set the bar too high” for the sixteen-year-old filmmaker — and that he no longer wanted to make movies. Fortunately, he didn’t quit.In fact, Lawrence of Arabia was a catalyst for the young filmmaker, who would return each week to watch, analyze, and dissect the film.It was the first time seeing a movie [wherein] I realized there are themes that are not narrative story themes, but themes that are character themes … David Lean created a portraiture; surrounded the portrait with a mural of scope and epic action; but at the heart and core of Lawrence of Arabia is “Who am I?” —Steven Spielberg, SpielbergIt’s the question “Who am I” that defines the arc of Spielberg’s career and serves as a focal point in Susan Lacy‘s newest documentary on one of American cinema’s greatest filmmakers.Video via HBO.What Can Aspiring Filmmakers Learn from Spielberg?The documentary is epic in scope: a veritable 2.5 hours of Spielberg unpacking pivotal scenes from films like Munich, Schindler’s List, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, as well as several of his lesser-known early films and flops.Aspiring directors, screenwriters, and cinematographers can glean strategies and approaches for creating memorable and relatable characters, crafting visual stories using the tools of the cinema, and how Spielberg thrived in uncertain situations.But perhaps more importantly, we see the man behind the movies. And for those of us who grew up watching those movies, it’s a dose of inspiration on par with rapture.On Visual StorytellingImage via British Film Institute.For me, directing is camera work. So I’m very on the frontline of that. I’ve got to set up the shot, I’ve got to block the actors, choreograph the movement of the scene, bring the camera into the choreography, figure out where the camera stops, where it moves, how far it moves … so I’ve always got my eye on the lens and that’s what I do. —Steven Spielberg, SpielbergIt’s evident, even in his earliest films, that Spielberg understands the medium; he just gets “camera work,” as he calls it. Moreover, he doesn’t rely on dialogue, music, or any sound effects to tell a story. In other words, he uses the visual nature of moving pictures and images to propel the narrative forward.To demonstrate this, turn off your sound, and watch this nail-biting scene from Munich.Video via YouTube.Without hearing a single line of dialogue, or swell in music, we know the following about the scene:The scenario (or location).The players involved.The stakes.The ticking clock.All of the things necessary for creating suspense.“Geography is one of the most important things to me,” says Spielberg, “so the audience isn’t thrown into chaos trying to figure out the story that you’re telling.”In this scene from Munich, Spielberg made deliberate choices about subject, camera placement, and movement. Not a single shot appears unless it earned its way into the reel — and thus propels the story forward. As audience members, we get a clear picture of who and where the players are — and in this case what would happen if the clock runs out.This is an excellent scene for directors and cinematographers to study.On LightingImage via I Can’t Unsee That Movie.Everything we do in this medium is about light and shadow. It’s how the cinematographer lights the actors, lights the set. —Steven Spielberg, SpielbergGood lighting makes your actors look pretty; great lighting tells a story. Schindler’s List is an excellent example of this. Spielberg, working alongside his long-time friend and go-to cinematographer, Janusz Kaminski, crafted lighting setups that emphasized the personality and emotions of the characters at different stages of the story.Let’s examine the approach taken to light Amon Goethe and Oskar Schindler, the story’s main antagonist and protagonist, respectively.Amon Goethe, played by Ralph Fiennes, is a Nazi officer who is inhumane and unapologetically cruel in his treatment of Jews. Although he’s an extremely nasty fellow, he is never conflicted by his actions. You’ll notice in the film that he’s always lit beautifully from the front, with very minimal shadows — his character (and conscience for that matter) was very clear.In contrast, Oskar Schindler was a conflicted individual. Beginning the story as a shrewd businessman and member of the Nazi party, he slowly begins to question the morality of his by-standing. During this time of inner conflict, his lighting is directional and from the side, creating shadows on his face (see picture above). However, as the film progresses, his inner conflict subsides, and he’s lit with more frontal, softer light, because he’s learning who he is.Find opportunities to use light as a storytelling device — not only a means to expose your shot.On Uncertainty and FailureImage via Whale Bone Mag.There are going to be moments, where you get to set, and you are not going to know what the hell you’re doing. It happens to all of us; you’ve got to guard that secret with your life. Let no one see when you’re unsure of yourself … or you lose the respect of everyone. —Steven Spielberg quoting his mentor Henry Hathaway, SpielbergFailure is not optional — at least not for filmmakers. What Spielberg teaches us is that, with a little creativity, failure can lead to great success. There’s no better film that demonstrates this than Jaws.You may have heard the stories of the shark breaking down and sinking … all of it’s true.The original script for Jaws featured the shark everywhere, and it called for the great white to be on-screen far more often than what we saw in the finished film. However, due to frequent breakdowns and mechanical failures, the shark was in repair for a majority of the 100+ day shoot.Therefore, Spielberg and his team had to get creative. How could they employ a device that suggested the shark was near without actually showing the shark on-screen?“The yellow barrels were a godsend,” says Spielberg, who used the props to indicate that the shark was near and ready to attack. Paired with John Williams‘s, unforgettable score, the audience knew exactly when the shark was about to strike … and we were terrified.“If the shark had been available visually,” says Williams, “it would’ve changed the whole psychology of the experience.”Image via The Soul of the Plot.Spielberg premiered on HBO on October 7.Looking for more filmmaking inspiration? Check out these articles.Navigating the Challenges of the One-Take Short FilmA Look Inside the Post-Production Process Behind “It”Interview: Director of Photography Jake Swantko of Netflix’s Icarus“Five Came Back” — Lessons from Famous Directors During WWIIThe Power of Shooting with a Shallow Depth of Fieldlast_img read more

For Years The Road To Grand Slam Greatness Ran Through Mario Ancic

Mario Ancic never won a Grand Slam tournament; he never even reached a final. He peaked at No. 7 in the world, with a Davis Cup win and an Olympic bronze medal, before illness and injury cut his tennis career short. This week, the 30-year-old Croatian started his final year at Columbia Law School, where he’s preparing for his next career — even as his old friends and rivals gather elsewhere in New York City to compete for the U.S. Open title.But Ancic earned one distinction that ranks him among only a few boldface names in tennis history: On the sport’s biggest stages, he almost always lost to the very best.In his seven years of Grand Slam play, Ancic lost 21 matches. The list of players who eliminated him is a partial who’s who of tennis greats over the last two decades, with just a few interlopers. Of the 25 men who have been No. 1 in the world in the 41 years of ATP World Tour rankings, seven beat Ancic at a Grand Slam. Andy Roddick beat Ancic twice at Grand Slams. Roger Federer did it four times in a little over two years.Even the 10 non-No. 1s who knocked off Ancic were a pretty impressive bunch. They include four other Grand Slam finalists, plus two others who were ranked in the Top 10 when they knocked him out of a major.The quality of a player’s conquerors is a product both of luck and of the player’s own abilities. Some players are so consistently good that they either win the big tournaments they enter or beat all but the very best. Others suffer from poor luck of the draw — like Ryan Harrison of the U.S., or Amer Delic of Bosnia, who faced one-time No. 1s in five of his 10 Grand Slam losses despite never advancing past the third round. Every time the guy thought he was going to get to kick the football, a Lucy — or Novak — yanked it away. Unlike, say, the orderly NCAA tournament bracket, tennis tournaments distribute their entrants randomly, within the constraints of rules preventing the best players from facing each other too early.A handful of other players have lost mostly to the very best, but for slightly different reasons than Ancic did. Only four men with more than 10 Grand Slam losses were facing former, current or future No. 1s in at least half of the losses, according to data provided by Jeff Sackmann, proprietor of the website Tennis Abstract: Ancic, Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin del Potro and Andre Agassi.Djokovic and del Potro are recent Grand Slam champions who have had the misfortune of playing during the reign of Federer and Rafael Nadal, one-time No. 1s who consistently reach the later stages of majors. Neither Djokovic nor del Potro has lost to as many different No. 1s as Ancic did, despite already having longer careers. Agassi is one of the all-time greats and usually was ranked in the Top 10 when he headed into Grand Slam events, so it’s not surprising that it usually took a top player to knock him out of big tournaments.Ancic’s story is quirkier. He was never ranked above 10th in the world heading into any Grand Slam tournament. But he often rolled in the early rounds, as his aggressive serve-and-volley style overwhelmed opponents. He combined that with a knack for drawing tough opponents in later rounds, and usually losing to them; he was 3-11 at Grand Slams against players who at one point were ranked No. 1. Sometimes he had to play them before their prime: As teenagers ranked outside the Top 75, both Nadal and Djokovic beat Ancic at Grand Slam tournaments. Sometimes he had to play them earlier in the tournament than he could have expected to: Ancic had a 25 percent chance of ending up in Federer’s quarter at any given event, yet he did so in four of five Grand Slams he played between 2006 and 2008. Federer was ranked No. 1 in the world each time. Ancic didn’t win a set in any of the matches.Ancic, who has a law degree from the University of Split in Croatia, sees no injustice in his tough Grand Slam record. He just wishes he could have reaped the benefits of his early losses by reversing some of those results once he reached what should have been his prime.“I saw those losses as a challenge — to improve my game, to improve the things I needed to do,” he said in a telephone interview. “That’s part of the fun of being an athlete: challenging yourself against the best of the world. I was never in despair — ‘Oh my God, if I didn’t play Roger in the quarters, if I had a better draw, maybe I’d play in the final of a Slam.’”Ancic felt he was learning from his losses. But then, when he was 22 years old, he battled mononucleosis and other health problems. He came back, several times, but other than one six-month stretch and a later five-month stretch in which he appeared in at least one event each month, his career was stop-and-go. Right when he thought he should be peaking, he was watching his career end. A back injury that would have kept him sidelined for a year convinced him to retire in 2011. Now he occasionally hits with the Columbia team and feels much better physically.Ancic is glad to be at Columbia and creating a new life, but he regrets not realizing his potential. “I’m sure I never achieved my top,” he said. “I still felt my peak was coming later.” He added, “I don’t like to think what would have happened if things were different.”If Ancic really had kept getting better, even more of his losses would have come against top players. And there’s lots of evidence that he was on pace to be one of the best of his generation. He led the under-20 rankings at the end of 2002 and the under-21s in 2004, and was second to Nadal among under-23s in 2006. And more tennis players stay competitive into their late 20s and early 30s these days. Six of the eight U.S. Open men’s quarterfinalists this week were 27 or older; Ancic is 30. Ancic faced each of those quarterfinalists during his career, beating six of them at least once — four at Wimbledon, his best tournament.Ancic remains close to the sport. At his invitation, Djokovic spoke to Columbia law students when in town for an exhibition in March. Ancic attended the U.S. Open on Monday as the tournament’s guest, where he caught up with some old friends who remain on tour. He also continues to follow the game keenly. He predicts Djokovic and Federer will meet in the final this year. If that matchup materializes and Federer wins, Djokovic will have the booby prize of increasing his percentage of Slam losses to one-time No. 1s.Ancic lost to both men at Grand Slams but also beat them both, at Wimbledon — no easy accomplishment against two all-time greats who together have won nine of the last 12 Wimbledons. “We are talking here about a couple of guys who are among the best ever,” Ancic said of Djokovic, Federer and Nadal. “It’s an honor to compete with them.” read more