ProDRENALIN solves issues for GoPro HERO cameras
By David HAGUE
If you are one of the billion or so people in Australia who own a GoPro then you will know that as good as they are, there are a few drawbacks to getting the best quality imagery from them due to the nature of the beast.
These drawbacks – cause they are not really ‘faults’ – include rolling shutter errors, fisheye distortion, sensor noise, jerky footage due to movement and to a lesser degree, colour errors.
At the NAB trade fair in Las Vegas recently, German company ProDAD, released a single application called ProDRENALIN that addresses all these problems and more.
Additional functionality allows video to be rotated in case the camera had been mounted upside down, support for 4K and 2.7K resolutions, side-by-side comparison with the original and corrected footage and batch processing letting you apply correction to a large number of clips in one sitting. This latter function allows different setting to be applied to each clip in the batch as well.
ProDRENALIN is fully compatible with all GoPro Hero cameras in all supported resolutions, with the ability to import other action camera profiles.
ProDrenalin will be available beginning in May for AUD$49.00 from the proDAD online shop, and there is a pre-order special price of AUD$35.00 available now until the product begins shipping. More information is available at Auscam Online.
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Cloud still far from the norm
By Ian GRAYSON
With all the attention devoted to cloud computing, it's easy to think it's become the normal method of operation in the business world. Reality, however, appears to be rather different.
While most businesses now understand the benefits offered by cloud-based services and infrastructure, it's going to take a little while longer before they are fully on board with the concept.
A recent survey by analyst company Ovum found 74 per cent of IT activities within organisations are still performed by an in-house IT facility. Indeed, only 4 per cent of IT activities currently make use of cloud resources.
While this percentage is forecast to rise quickly during the next few years, it's somewhat surprising that it's still so low. This is despite massive marketing and education campaigns by vendors and extensive coverage in technology and business media.
Seems a world where the cloud is the primary technology platform for business is still a little way off.
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Foxtel Game of Thrones deal blocks iTunes/Quickflix fast-tracking
By Adam TURNER
After this season, Foxtel's HBO deal will put iTunes/Quickflix fast-tracking to the sword -- but will this deal backfire?
The announcement that Quickflix will join iTunes in fast-tracking season three of Game of Thrones this year is great news for those of us who can't afford Foxtel but don't want to resort to the BitTorrent channel. Unfortunately it's a short-lived victory, as Foxtel insists that next season's deal will stop iTunes and Quickflix offering new episodes in Australia until Foxtel has finished screening the entire series.
Pay TV is still considered an expensive luxury in Australia rather than essential viewing, largely because the government's anti-siphoning laws have ensured popular sport isn't completely locked away behind the Foxtel paywall. Unfortunately popular dramas such as Game of Thrones aren't offered the same protection. Foxtel is also out to nab new UK dramas for its upcoming premium BBC channel, which will see even more content disappear from Australian free-to-air channels and presumably iTunes and Quickflix.
Foxtel is certainly entitled to throw around its cash, but for every new subscriber these HBO and BBC deals win I suspect that several other viewers will finally turn to the BitTorrent channel to source their favourite shows. The fact Foxtel and HBO are blocking alternative fast-tracking efforts is likely to feed the resentment which helps many people justify downloading stuff without paying for it. One of my SMH readers recently compared illegally downloading TV shows to "reading the paper over someone's shoulder" -- no harm is done because they weren't going to buy it anyway. It's much easier to not see it as "stealing" when you feel you've been robbed of legitimate alternatives from the likes of iTunes and Quickflix.
Game of Thrones' season three premiere broke BitTorrent records this month, with Australians leading the charge on a per capita basis. Locking season four away on Foxtel isn't going to help in the war on piracy. Until content providers find new ways to strike a fair deal with viewers, Game of Thrones is always going to be a BitTorrent blockbuster.
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iMac drive woes
By Stephen WITHERS
My iMac's hard drive failed the other day. I rarely shut down the computer, but some electrical work was about to be carried out on the premises so I turned all the equipment off. When power was restored, everything worked except my iMac, which showed the folder-with-a-question-mark icon.
Once I'd determined the drive was at fault - I started up from an external drive, ran Disk Utility and found the internal drive wasn't visible - I took it along to a local repairer.
The bad news was that they didn't keep spare drives in stock, so there was no chance of a 'while you wait' repair. But less than 24 hours later I got a call to say the iMac was ready for collection.
Restoring from my Time Machine backup was quicker than expected, and I was soon back at work. The only problem was that Microsoft Office noticed that something out of the ordinary had occurred, and insisted that I re-entered the licence key.
Note to self (and anyone else that's listening!): collect all licence keys into one place, store a copy on each computer, and print the list for good measure.
My main beef is that if this failure had occurred with any of my previous Macs or any of the Windows PCs I've owned, I would have replaced the drive myself - and have done so on more than one occasion. Call me chicken if you must, but the risk of damage when pulling off the iMac's glass front seemed too great, and I doubted my ability to keep the display and glass dust and lint-free during reassembly. The current iMacs are even harder to open and reassemble as the glass is attached to to the case with foam adhesive.
The cost of installation was the same as the price of the 2TB drive (a significant upgrade to the original 500GB unit for a fairly small premium), but at least I don't have to look at a hair or a fingerprint trapped between the glass and the LCD panel.
It's a far cry from the days when Apple trumpeted ease of internal access with the 'outrigger' case as used by my old 7500, and a return to the situation with the earliest Macs, which required unusual tools to open the case.
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The Bolex is back!
By David HAGUE
Everything old is new again it seems.
Those – ah – of the older demographic may vaguely remember the 8mm Bolex movie camera. Invented by Jacques Bogopolsky in 1927, it became the most sought after movie making camera in the world, even having its own newspaper called the Bolex Reporter.
There was even a 3D version made (in 1952), and the Bolex is still used in learning institutions and universities today to teach the basic of and fundamentals of filmmaking.
The original Bolex used 8mm tape and there was later a 16mm model; well now the Bolex is back in digital form.
Selling for USD$3299, and made under licence to the original Bolex Corporation, the digital version has all the whizzbangs you’d expect and is spec’d right up there with the best camcorders on the market today. For example, it has a resolution of up to 2336 X 1752 in 4:3 aspect ratio and 2048 * 1152 in Super 16mm mode. Of course it also shoots in 1920 * 1080 hi def mode.
The full specs are available here
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