Category Archives: Technology
Steven Spielberg vs The Modern Film Biz
I love Steven Spielberg as an artist, but his proposal to change the rules to keep streaming companies out of the Oscars, is way off base. As the Academy Awards attempts to stay relevant, he proposes to constrict, rather than expand, the scope of what constitutes an Oscar worthy film.
Mr. Spielberg prefers to watch a movie in a theater. That’s fine, until he wants to codify his personal preference, as a requirement for Oscar qualification. Netflix follows the arbitrary rules and puts their films in theaters for the required amount of time. This isn’t good enough? Interestingly, action films make most use of the “big screen experience” and they RARELY get a nod from Oscar, outside of the technical awards. Clearly, it’s not the experience that’s being protected.
What it seems to boil down to is protecting the prestige (& profits) of the traditional studios and the ancillary distribution markets that inherently erect insurmountable barriers to entry, for the vast majority of filmmakers. If only the studios have the access and resources to fund a major theatrical release, then only the studios will be able to qualify for the lucrative Oscar. The Academy would be setting themselves up for failure, by leaving innovation behind. They will be leaving great content behind, and in the process, relegating themselves to irrelevancy.
Who will care about the Academy Awards if people know that worthy films aren’t even able to compete?
The saving grace is that the Academy voters have themselves voted for films from these new studios. Will the Academy members agree that they were wrong and can no longer be trusted? Let’s hope they vote contrary to Mr. Spielberg’s flawed plan, and continue to honor filmmaking, not the status-quo, studio club.
Los Angeles Times Entertainment
The Hollywood Reporter
Los Angeles Times: Steven Spielberg to propose Oscar rules that could keep streaming films out of contention.
2018 Mind & Body+ #NoExcuses Challenge
It’s about that time. The end of the holiday season is the New Year. Let’s get prepped now. I mean you are done with shopping, right?
Please note that I don’t like resolutions that are outcome based, but I love challenges that are input/effort based. You control what you put in. Focus on that and the results will come, or at least that’s the theory I’m working with.
Check out the video and let me know if you’re down for the 2018 #NoExcuses Challenge.
The apps mentioned are Duolingo and Freeletics. Go get em!
BONUS: start before the New Year and get some 2018 momentum.
Galaxy S8 – The Little Things
The screen of the Galaxy S8 is BIG, but as “they” sometimes say, it is the little things that matter. I don’t know how true that is in all situations, but I’m discovering that it is certainly applicable to mobile technology.
When I moved over to Android and Samsung, from Windows Mobile, I knew about the big stuff that would be different, like the availability of more apps that were part of the “app gap” on Windows. More important to me are some of the little things. These first two features and things that I had requested on Windows for many years. They are small things, but they matter to me.
Today’s double dose of small things are sponsored by the letter “C”. I use my phone for a lot of things, but two areas that are mission critical in the JDE, are COMMUNICATION and CREATIVITY. See, the “C” connection happening? Read the rest of this entry
In A Galaxy S8 Near/Far/Pan Focus Away
I have had my Galaxy for about a week. In that time, I have played with the camera, quite a bit. One of my favorite features is Selective Focus. It will take a single photo and allow you to change the focus. To do this you need to select Selective Focus from the camera menu.
What happens, is that the camera simultaneously takes multiple photos and gives you these options for effect. You get an option to choose the closest item as a near focus, or the background as a far focus, or a pan focus, which puts everything in focus. The editing screen for making that selection looks like this:
So, while the feature is not exactly the same as the dual camera Portrait Mode on the iPhone 7, the flexibility of the multi-frame approach does provide creative options for the photographer.
Here are some shots with Selective Focus.
Having the option to change your mind is a convenient and useful feature. Which focus do you prefer?
Here you see that it works on the front facing camera, as well.
Do I share my focus with the Beverly Hills sign or not? I can decide that later, with Selective Focus.
Finally, it works with the front camera in low light. Craziness…
There are limitations to selective focus. The dual camera option on the iPhone 7 lets you do these things from a distance where the Galaxy S8 needs the subject to be relatively close to the phone. For most of what I do this is not a deal-breaker but it would be awesome to combine both approaches and maybe Samsung has that a in mind for the Note 8. Of course, Apple surely has some tricks up its leaves with the upcoming iPhone 8. For now, the Galaxy S8 was the best option for me to choose. What do you think?
Please note, that I wrote a majority of this blog with voice to text on my phone. I think this mobile thing is here to stay and make us even more productive.
Have an apple! 😊
Photography Tip: Stop. Pull Over. Pay Attention.
Today’s photography tip doesn’t require you to buy any special equipment of grasp any concepts or even practice to get it right. I just want you to slow down in life, notice what’s happening around you and find things you want to capture in your photography. Sometimes when you’re driving, you might want to pull over and park, because you see something that you want to take a photo of. You might want to walk a new area or even your own neighborhood, to seek out interesting subjects.
When you get in this mindset, you’ll see photo opportunities everywhere. While you’re doing that, you’re also training your “eye” and your photo framing will get better and you’ll find interesting perspectives. Don’t worry about any of that now, just remember: STOP. PULL OVER. PAY ATTENTION.
The past few days, I’ve been doing just that with my Lumia 1020. Let’s see what I found! 🙂
My Complaint Email to USDOJ RE: Chase + BofA Anti-Competitive Activity Against Windows Phone
In the last week or so, Microsoft had some really big news with the announcement of Windows 10, HoloLens, and Surface Hub. They were showing true innovation on screens of all sizes and getting good press. The day before the Microsoft event and a couple of days after, something strange happened: Chase and BofA pulled their banking apps from the Windows Phone app store. Considering that they are the headline banks for ApplePay, something seemed a bit fishy to me.
I’ve never written the United States Department of Justice, but I honestly feel like something anti-competitive is being acted on here, with collusion between the banks and Apple. It bothered me so much that I sought out the email to contact the DOJ. Please find that email below.
Dose of 2015
It was a year, 2014. We had some victories together and we also left some challenges unfinished. As we rollover into 2015, it is a great time to reflect on where you’re at, envision where you want to be and how you plan to get there. There will be a lot of “enlightened” people calling resolutions by different names. I don’t care if you call them goals, intentions, plans, resolutions or wishes upon a star. There is value if you reflect, envision and plan (REP).
This post will feature my 2015 REPs for myself and apparently my IntimiDATER alter ego has decided to weigh in. This should be fun.
Let’s start with me. The real me. JD, El Jefe, The Great Jefferini or any of a host of nicknames you might know me as. I have some big stuff in store for 2015 and these are the highlights:
Tap That – My Tap To Pay Experience
It has been promised for years, but today actually having a wallet in one’s phone is now a real option. The media’s love affair with all things Apple has made Apple Pay very visible in the headlines. Outside of the orchard, there are phones that, for years, have had the proper hardware, NFC (Near Field Communications) to get job done.
How does all of this work in the real world? Does it work at all? Is this all worth it? I will attempt to answer those questions, with first hand experience. I setup my Windows Phone powered Lumia 1020 and…well…no spoilers. Read on to see how it all turned out.
Apps That I’ve Been Playing With on my Lumia
It’s no secret that I rock Windows Phone. Currently, in the form of a Lumia 1020. The media loves to badmouth the platform as having “no apps”. Even owners of Windows Phone jump in when the app they want isn’t available. While there is some truth to that, there are also lots of really great apps and I’d like to showcase some of them here. Don’t worry if you’re stuck on Android and iOS, some of these are available to you, as well.
So read on to see what apps that I’m using that you might not be using.