DEPUTY JOE McHUGH COMES OUT FIGHTING FOR RURAL POST OFFICES

first_imgDeputy Joe McHughFINE Gael deputy Joe McHugh has welcomed a decision to review postal services in order to retain them across the state.Commenting on the issue of Post Offices today DeputyMcHugh said: “There is no doubt that the postal service in Ireland plays a vital role in communities, and that this role is magnified even more so in rural communities. The local post office is more often than not located in the heart and hub of local towns and villages and can act as a social venue for those who are in more isolated areas, like farmers, for example.“This Government is committed to the long-term viability of An Post and figures I had requested from the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources highlight that over the last three years, there have been 17 post office closures. While any closures are regrettable and we are doing our very best to avoid them, the fact that there were 72 closures in 2010 alone highlights the very serious issue facing postal services throughout Ireland. “I have been working closely with An Post and my colleagues on the ground, meeting with Postmasters from around Co. Donegal, including Fanad, Milford and Dunfanaghy, a group from Bunbeg in Dublin, and a group in the Inishowen Peninsula.“I worked closely with the Greencastle Community and Fine Gael Councillor Mickey Doherty in successfully retaining a twelve month extension to the postal service in the area. I also attended a public meeting in Carrigart, addressing concerns regarding the retention of Carrigart and Downings post offices.“I very strongly welcome the Government’s announcement that there is to be a cross-departmental group established to review what role the state can play in ensuring the future and success of our postal services. This will encourage all Government Departments to seriously pursue the potential of a payments service in respect of each of their Departments.“While we must acknowledge that with the ever-changing face of communication and the mediums by which we connect with people, that the traditional make up of post offices is not feasible in the long-term. We also need to acknowledge that there has been a serious drop in the volume of mail being sent by people and as with most things, post offices must adapt and find new purposes for their very important and sustainable role in society. “There are a number of actions which could be taken that I believe could add to the strength and role of post offices throughout Ireland. For example, Bank of Ireland’s UK entity has been an exclusive partner to the Post Office in the UK and has been providing financial services and products to customers since 2003. This partnership has, according to the bank “become one of the UK’s fastest growing financial service providers with almost three million customers and a savings book of £18 billion and the leading supplier of foreign exchange in the marketplace.“There is no reason why something similar couldn’t work here in Ireland. I understand that some of these financial services and transactions can be complex and there are legacy issues regarding trust in banks that the UK is not facing. However we need to explore these avenues which are having very positive effects on the UK Postal service to see if they can be tailored to suit the Irish market. An alliance between post offices and customer banking/ financial services has the real potential to strengthen the offerings of post offices around the country while allowing customers financial options which would not be otherwise available to them without having to travel further.“Another possibility could involve post offices taking responsibility for all driver license issuing. In Co. Donegal, for example, many people are finding it difficult to renew their driver’s licenses as they now have to travel to Letterkenny or Donegal Town, since the cross over to the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) came into effect. Alternatively this service could be offered through a local Post Office, saving people time and money while increasing the responsibility of the postal service.Fine Gael Councillor Noel McBride, reiterated: “It is not the policy of this Government to see closures of any post offices. I welcome the ongoing debate because it leaves the door wide open to everyone to submit suggestions and ideas around ensuring that the vital role post offices have, particularly in rural communities like ours where quite often, the post office is at the hub of the village or town.“I have been working closely with Deputy McHugh on this issue and I intend to continue working closely with the Council and my Fine Gael colleagues in finding solutions to successfully address the challenges facing post offices as a result in decline of postage mail that will enforce the long-term viability of an essential part of local communities.” Concluding, Deputy McHugh, “I think it’s important to highlight that it is not in anyone’s interest to see Post Offices closing down and the Government have repeated their commitment to ensuring the viability of as many Post Offices as possible. The Postmasters in local offices have long played a vital role in the community and we want to ensure that this tradition continues into the future, while adapting to its surroundings and changes in how people communicate with each other.”DEPUTY JOE McHUGH COMES OUT FIGHTING FOR RURAL POST OFFICES was last modified: May 8th, 2014 by John2Share 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

Dissecting the Hipster Look

first_imgTake an ironic look at ‘hipster’ style color grades.With Instagram being over 4 years old I think it’s safe to say hipster style photography and filmmaking is more than just a fad. Although a ‘hipster look’ can add some style to your videos, many filmmakers don’t think through their color grading process any deeper than simply adding a preset. In the following post we’ll take a deeper look at the characteristics of a Instagram/hipster color grade, how it mimics the look of some analog film, and demonstrate a potential workflow for achieving this look.What is the Hipster lookInstead of simply telling you what makes up the hipster look i’d rather show you. In the following examples we will break down the color grade for each image and try to find similarities between them. All of these examples are what I would call “good” hipster grades, but like most artistic things, it is subjective. Examine these images yourself. If you see anything that I missed please share in the comments below. So let’s get started:Hipster HikeHipster Hike is a video created by Caleb & Sawn on their Vimeo channel. The video is a really great example of a good hipster color grade. The following image is a still taken from ‘Hipster Hike’.Let’s breakdown this image:1. There is little detail/information in the black areas of the image 2. The white areas aren’t white but a greyish/yellow. 3. There is more blue in the dark to mid-tone areas. 4. None of the colors are very vibrant 5. Both edges of the frame are dark 6. There is noise in the image 7. It is an altogether soft image no sharp edges.I Am Not A HipsterThis is a still from the movie trailer “I am Not a Hipster”. A great movie that ironically uses a hipster grade. Classic hipsters…Let’s breakdown this image:1. Blacks aren’t completely black they are actually a dark grey. 2. Whites are yellow/grey 3. There are no vibrant colors 4. Nothing is incredibly sharp 5. Even though most of the frame is dark there isn’t a lot of detail in the dark part of the imageUnsplash Image by Dustin ScarpittiThis image created by Dustin Scarpitti of VSCO is a great example of a hipster color grade in modern photography. Unsplash is also a great place to get free stock images.Let’s breakdown this image:1. There’s a vignette around the image 2. The whitest parts of the image are yellow/orange 3. The blacks aren’t all the way black 4. The image is altogether soft 5. The image isn’t very vibrantCommon ThemesNow that we’ve looked at a few examples lets talk a little about some of the similarities.1. VignettingMost if not all hipster color grades photographs feature vignetting in some form or fashion. Sometimes vignetting is created simply from the layout of elements in your scene and sometimes it needs to be added in post.2. Crushed BlacksMost hipster style images feature more detail information in the midtones and highlights and less in the black parts of the image. This is known as crushing the blacks.3. White is GreyHipster photography typically maps the white parts of the image to be more grey. This often results in hipster grades making the image darker than it originally was.4. Blacks are Dark GreyAfter the blacks have been crushed they are usually lifted to become dark grey instead. This makes the entire image look more ‘milky’.5. Blues in the Darks, Yellows in the LightsMost hipster grades feature more blues in the darker parts of the image and more yellows in the lighter parts of the image. Keep in mind that these are usually subtle tweaks that complement the image, not take away.6. DesaturationMost hipster photography and filmography doesn’t have vibrant colors. This is probably because hipster grades try to emulate film which is simply not as vibrant as digital cameras, especially if it has time to decompose. The most vibrant parts of hipster images tends to be in the yellows and the magentas.7. The Image is SoftAs you probably already know digital cameras tend to be much more sharp when compared to film cameras. Sharp video isn’t common in most hipster color grades as it makes your image look too mechanical. You can fix this by adding small blurs and noise to your images.Hipster Grading in ActionSo now that we’ve broken down what makes up a hipster grade lets take some of the things we learned and apply them to an actual photograph in After Effects.1. Create a VignetteThe first step is to add a vignette to the image. In this particular case it seems like there is a lot of brightness in the left area of the frame and a little too much attention being drawn to the guys arm. To fix this problem we will create a new black solid and drop the opacity down to 30% so we can see our image underneath. I typically like creating my vignettes using the pen tool. I also don’t like simply making making my vignettes a ellipse. Once you make your vignette you’ll have to feather it out until you get a well balanced image.2. Crush the BlacksCreate a new adjustment layer and add a levels effect. After Adding the levels. Now grab the left arrow and drag it to the right until the dark parts of your image are crushed. Also, make sure your adjustment layer is positioned over your vignette.3. Adjust the White PointNow add a curves effect to your image. Let’s bring down the white points so that they are light grey instead of white. You can do this by simply drawing the top right corner of the RGB curves bar down and to the left.4. Adjust the Black PointNow let’s do the opposite for the black parts of the image. Grab the bottom left point in your curves effect and drag it up and to the right. This will make your black points a shade of grey rather than simply black.5. Adjust the Blue CurveYou can add yellows to the highlights and blues to the darks by adding an “S” curve to the blue channel. To do this simply click the dropdown box that says RGB and select blue. Now you can adjust the curves to create a backwards “S” shape in the image.6. DesaturateNext add in the “Hue/Saturation” effect to the adjustment layer. Bring down the saturation point just a little. I find that a number around -10 works nicely.7. SoftenMost digital images tend to be sharp and mechanical to fix this we need to soften up the image. Simply adding a gaussian blur and setting the blurriness to “1” will work just fine.There you go! Using just a few simply observations we can create a hipster style image in no-time. Try playing around with these different effects to get different results. Adding things like grain and light leaks can give your images a hipster look as well. You can find a few grains for free in our ’10 Free Film Grains for Video Editors’ post.This is of course just one example of how photographers and filmmakers give their images a hipster style. If you want to learn more about doing hipster style color grades check out the following resources:Hipster Color Grading – ISeeHueLuster Grade Presets – CineBlurAmazing MBL Color Grading – MBLHave any other tips for creating a hipster look? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

Asus ZenFone 4, 5 and 6 launched in India

first_imgTaiwan based technology company Asus has announced the ZenFone 5 and ZenFone 6 in India for Rs 9,999 and Rs 16,999. This price for ZenFone 5 is for 8GB model.Check out: Asus ZenFone 5 review Asus ZenFone 5Asus also launched a low-budget smartphone ZenFone 4 for Rs 5,999. The ZenFone 4 comes with a 4-inch TFT capacitive touchscreen. It sports a 5-megapixels rear camera having autofocus and a front snapper too.  On the specs front, it has 1GB RAM, 4/8 GB internal storage expandable upto 64GB via a microSD card. It runs on Android v4.3 (Jelly Bean) and is upgradable to Kit Kat.Notably, even at this price it has a 1.2GHz Intel Atom Z2520 dual-core processor and a 4-inch WVGA screen. There’s also a 1,600mAh battery.These smartphones represent a second coming of sorts for the Taiwan based company, which has floundered in the smartphone market for a few years.The ZenFone’s are a new product line up by the company, which was originally unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas earlier in the year. Asus brings design elements that it uses in its ZenBook line of Windows notebooks to the smartphones.It has also innovated with a new Android user interface that it calls the Zen UI.The ZenFone 5 gets the Intel Atom Z2560 dual-core processor clocked at 1.6GHz with hyper threading. The ZenFone 6 gets a slightly faster Intel Atom Z2580 dual-core chipset clocked at 2GHz. Most smartphones in the market are powered by ARM based SoCs made by Qualcomm, MediaTek, Nvidia and Samsung.There is also 2GB of RAM, 8/16GB memory options, and a microSD card slot. The ZenFone 5 has a 2,110mAh battery, while the ZenFone 6 has a massive 3,300mAh battery. The ZenFone 6 is also offered in a 32GB variant.advertisementThe ZenFone 5 and 6 have a 720p IPS display, but the as the names suggest the ZenFone 5 has a 5-inch screen, while the ZenFone 6 has a 6-inch screen.Asus makes a big deal of the cameras on the phones with its PixelMaster technology. The ZenFone 5 has a 8-megapixel PixelMaster camera with a f/2.0 aperture and a 5-element lens system. The ZenFone 6 ramps up the camera resolution to 13-megapixels with the same f/2.0 aperture and 5-element lens assembly.The phones run on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean on top of which the Asus uses its Zen UI. All three phones are dual-SIM devices.We had the opportunity to test the ZenFone 5 before launch and we found it to be a great option. Especially, it’s PixelMaster camera technology and performance was very impressive.last_img read more

Jamaican ShellyAnn FraserPryce Wins Gold Medal in Womens 100

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica won her second consecutive 100-meter Olympic gold medal by winning the final in 10.75 seconds. The last woman to win the dash twice in a row was Gail Devers of the U.S. in 1992 and 1996. Carmelita Jeter of the United States took the silver in 10.78. Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica earned the bronze.For Fraser-Pryce, the win was a comeback of sorts. She was fourth in the world championships in 2011 but, the Olympic title is never one that sprinters want to give up easily. Gail Devers, who repeated in 1992 and 1996, and Wyomia Tyus, who won in 1964 and 1968,  are the only other woman to repeat as Olympic 100-meter champion.Source: WSJ read more