Matt Millen steps away from broadcasting job; ‘health is the clear priority’

first_imgMatt Millen is calling it a season.Millen, 60, who won Super Bowls with the Raiders and 49ers during his 12-year NFL career, is stepping away from broadcasting duties for the Big Ten Network for the rest of the college football season to focus on his health, according to multiple media outlets.Millen revealed in May that he suffers from amyloidosis, a rare disease that could necessitate a heart transplant.“We will certainly miss seeing Matt this fall, but his health is the clear priority for …last_img

How To Get Your YouTube Videos Back From Google

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 4. Click ‘CREATE ARCHIVE’ Google’s Data Liberation Front keeps adding new ways for Google users to get their personal data out of Google’s services and back into their own hands. The latest addition to Google Takeout is YouTube videos. You can now download all of the original, full-quality videos you’ve uploaded to YouTube and take them elsewhere whenever you want. Here’s how.1. While logged in to your Google account, go to google.com/takeout.2. Click ‘Choose services’ in the navigation bar Related Posts 5. When it’s all done, you’ll get a link to download the videos just the way you uploaded them.Previously, you could download videos one at a time from your Video Manager on your YouTube account page. But Google Takeout lets you download the whole batch at once, even if it takes a (potentially long) while.Data portability is always good, and Google has always led the way. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#How To#web center_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market jon mitchell Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 3. Click ‘YouTube’Note: you can also go straight to the YouTube export page by going to https://www.google.com/takeout/#custom:youtubeAfter it loads, you’ll see the estimated number and size of the files. This could take a while, so you can select ‘Email me when ready’ to get a notification.last_img read more

If AI Means The End Of Us, Maybe That’s Okay

first_imgFor a while now I have been wanting to write an essay or even a book with the title, “The Last of Our Kind,” looking ahead to a time when machines become more intelligent than humans and/or humans incorporate so much digital technology that they become post-biological creatures, indistinguishable from machines. Those digitally-augmented descendants will be so different from us as to seem like an entirely different species. What happens to us? Simple “biologicals” might be able to co-exist for a time with our more intelligent descendants, but not for long. Eventually, creatures that we today consider “humans” – creatures like us – will go extinct.At the heart of this line of thinking is the notion that what matters most is intelligence, not biology. What are we humans? At the end of the day we are nothing more than biological containers for intelligence. And frankly, as containers go, biological ones are not ideal. We’re frail, and superstitious. We don’t live very long. We need to eat and sleep. We learn slowly. Each new generation spends years re-learning all the stuff that previous generations have already learned. Some of us get sick, and others then devote enormous resources to caring for the sick ones. It’s all incredibly slow and crude. Progress takes forever.So maybe we are just a stopping point. Maybe the whole point of biological creatures is to evolve into something that generates just enough intelligence to evolve into something else. Maybe our purpose is to create our own replacements. And maybe, thanks to computers and artificial intelligence, we are not far from reaching this huge evolutionary inflection point.What Is To Be Done?Others are thinking along these lines, and even trying to do something about it, as evidenced this terrific essay from the New York Times by Huw Price, a philosopher at University of Cambridge. It’s a long piece but I’ve grabbed some highlights:“I do think that there are strong reasons to think that we humans are nearing one of the most significant moments in our entire history: the point at which intelligence escapes the constraints of biology. And I see no compelling grounds for confidence that if that does happen, we will survive the transition in reasonable shape. Without such grounds, I think we have cause for concern.“We face the prospect that designed nonbiological technologies, operating under entirely different constraints in many respects, may soon do the kinds of things that our brain does, but very much faster, and very much better, in whatever dimensions of improvement may turn out to be available.”Price and many others believe we are nearing the point at which artificial general intelligence is achieved. But this raises profound existential questions for us:“Indeed, it’s not really clear who “we” would be, in those circumstances. Would we be humans surviving (or not) in an environment in which superior machine intelligences had taken the reins, to speak? Would we be human intelligences somehow extended by nonbiological means? Would we be in some sense entirely posthuman (though thinking of ourselves perhaps as descendants of humans)?”The argument that some people put forward is that machines will never be able to do everything a human can do. They’ll never be able to write poetry, or have dreams, or feel sorrow or joy or love. But as Price points out, who cares?“Don’t think about what intelligence is, think about what it does. Putting it rather crudely, the distinctive thing about our peak in the present biological landscape is that we tend to be much better at controlling our environment than any other species. In these terms, the question is then whether machines might at some point do an even better job (perhaps a vastly better job).”Of course machines will do a vastly better job at many things than we humans can do. Machines are already doing that in countless domains. Chess is one example. Stock market trading is another. Imagine what would happen to the world’s markets, and thus to the world’s economy, if tomorrow all the computers were shut off and we went back to doing it by hand. Imagine humans trying to compete side by side in this domain against machine. It’s unfathomable.Trying To Stop The UnstoppablePrice and others are trying to come up with ways to keep this from happening, or to make sure that “good” outcomes are more likely than “bad” outcomes. Toward that end Price has co-founded the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (C.S.E.R.) at Cambridge.I think assigning values like “good” and “bad” to the various possible outcomes of an evolutionary process makes no sense. Evolution happens and we don’t have control over it. Whatever rules some well-wishers might put into place to prevent certain outcomes, others will find ways to work around them. It’s what Yale computer scientist David Gelernter calls “the Orwell Law of the Future,” and it goes like this: Any new technology that can be tried will be.We are on a path, and there is no stopping it. This is neither good nor bad, it just is. Was it bad when single-celled organisms evolved into more complex organisms and then got eaten by them? I suppose the single-celled organisms weren’t psyched about it. But without that process, we humans wouldn’t be here. And if now it is our turn to be erased by evolution, so what? From the perspective of the universe, who cares if humans cease to exist?The great irony in all this is that we can’t stop pushing forward with dangerous technologies (AI, bioengineering) because evolution has hard-wired our brains in such a way that we cannot resist pushing forward, even if the consequence of this ever-upward march of evolution is that we end up rendering ourselves extinct. We humans like to believe that we among all living creatures are special and unique. And we are, if only because we are the first species that will knowingly create something superior to ourselves. We will engineer our own replacements. Which when you think about it is both brilliant and phenomenally stupid at the same time. In other words, perfectly human.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market dan lyonscenter_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#AI A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

Building Resilience One Step at a Time

first_imgRegardless of where we are in life, we can all make small changes and set goals to build our resilience. Changes may be as simple as calling a friend or as complex as developing a new skill.ReferencesHow to build resiliency. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/resilience-training/in-depth/resilience/art-20046311. Published 2019. Accessed June 26, 2019.The road to resilience. https://www.apa.org. https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/road-resilience. Published 2019. Accessed June 26, 2019.Saletnik L. Building Personal Resilience. AORN J. 2018;107(2):175-178. doi:10.1002/aorn.12067Underferth D. When setting diet and exercise goals, be SMART. MD Anderson Cancer Center. https://www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/SMART-goals-diet-and-nutrition.h10-1591413.html. Published 2019. Accessed June 26, 2019. Self-care1, 2Take care of yourself first by eating healthy, participating in hobbies and regular physical activity, and getting plenty of sleepView yourself in a positive light and talk to yourself with careTake time to yourself for relaxation By: Annabelle Shaffer, BS, Master’s candidate in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at University of Illinois Urbana-ChampaignWhat is resilience?We often think of resilience as our ability to tough it out through a bad situation alone.1 But, resilience is much more. It is a skill we consciously work to build and it allows us to adapt to undesired situations, such as workplace stressors or the death of a loved one.2 Having resilience also means we don’t attempt to face all of life’s’ challenges on our own, rather, we reach out to friends, family, and professionals for support. Resilience is great, how do we build it?Research shows that resilience is associated with optimism, self-confidence, humor, adaptability, self-esteem, hope, and flexibility.3 Several strategies to build personal resilience have been identified and relate to building and maintaining personal relationships, self-care, and maintaining a positive outlook on one’s professional and personal life.Building and maintain personal relationships1, 2Seek out opportunities to meet new people, such as faith groups, volunteering, or exercise clubsKeep in touch with close friends via electronics or in-person meetingsRemain close with family members and help one another whenever possiblecenter_img Maintaining a positive outlook on one’s professional and personal life1,2Accept that change is a part of living and look for the positives in each changeBe proactive in resolving challenges: create plans to resolve challenges and seek help when neededMove towards your personal and professional goals: always set realistic and achievable goals. Use the SMART goal method4 to ensure you can reach your goals:Specific: Do you know exactly what you are working to achieve?Measurable: Can you consistently measure your progress?Attainable: Do you have the necessary tools, time, and resources to reach your goal?Realistic: Based on where you are at currently, can you actually achieve this goal?Timely: Do you have a starting and ending date? Mark it on your calendar!last_img read more

Cinematographers Who Establish an Instantly Recognizable Look

first_imgFollow in the footsteps of today’s top cinematographers by creating and maintaining your own unique vision.When you think of your favorite working filmmakers, be they directors or cinematographers, what’s the first aspect of their work that comes to mind? A specific scene in one of their films? The music from their films? Maybe the feeling you had when watching their work for the first time?One thing masterful filmmakers have is the ability to create a believable world, one that invites audiences in while telling an enthralling story worth revisiting. Directors often have cinematographers they prefer to collaborate with — think the Coen Brothers and Roger Deakins. Christopher Nolan and Wally Pfister. Paul Thomas Anderson and Robert Elswit.Image via ParamountSome pretty amazing things can happen when a director and cinematographer click. In my opinion, a film and a film’s director are only as good as the director of photography working on the film.Some cinematographers have an instantly recognizable look for each of their films. Some focus on character before atmosphere and vise versa, but every cinematographer sees the world in a different way and they allow us to step into their head for a few hours.Let’s take a look at some working DPs who excel at establishing their look with each new film they shoot.Hoyte Van HoytemaImage via ParamountMost notable for his work on Interstellar, Hoyte Van Hoytema has achieved mainstream success in the past few years. With recent credits like Spectre, Her, and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Hoytema made a name for himself shooting Let the Right One In. With David O’Russell taking notice soon after, he enlisted the young cinematographer for The Fighter.Image via AnnapurnaHe doesn’t overexpose character faces like most cinematographers; his backgrounds are almost always the same light levels as their faces. As for focal lengths, his favorite for close-ups and mid-shots is 35mm, which, if you were shooting on a DSLR, would be a 50mm lens.He often shoots very wide with a shallow depth of field. This technique (plus minimal backlighting) isolates his characters from their surroundings, calling attention to emotion and action rather than the background. Watch out for Hoytema’s upcoming work on next year’s Dunkirk.Roger DeakinsImage via LionsgateWorking behind the lens since the late 1970s, Roger Deakins has established himself as one of the greatest cinematographers of all time. With thirteen Oscar nominations under his belt, he shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Deakins has proven to audiences to be a dependable artist and a top tier DP, a trend likely to continue with the upcoming Blade Runner sequel.As seen in the still above, Deakins overexposes the lit side of his subject’s face by a few stops. Unlike Hoytema, a trademark of his is to have the background lit oppositely of the talent, giving spacial separation while remaining in close proximity. Employing lighting in unheard of ways, Deakins finds endlessly inventive ways to light his subjects and fill the frame with visually arresting images.Image via Warner BrosFor exterior shots, Deakins often makes sure to keep the subjects as the focus of the frame while wowing us with expansive backdrops. Some of his best work in this department was on last years excellent Sicario. He’s expressed his deep love for shooting digital and his favorite lenses are ARRI master primes on an ALEXA body. Roger Deakins’ own website is a reliable source of information, providing insight into his past and current projects. The forums cover areas like lighting, cameras, and post-production. He even responds to questions posted on the site, so it’s definitely worth a visit.Reed MoranoImage via Sony Pictures ClassicsOver the past few years, Reed Morano has evolved into a force to be reckoned with. Working as a full-on director as well as DP, her projects are those of passion and depth. Working with Martin Scorsese on the recent HBO show Vinyl, her style is warm and intimate, as she prefers a shallow depth of field.Image via Sony PicturesThough Vinyl had Morano working with cranes, dollies, etc., she prefers to shoot handheld, giving her films a sense of intimacy. That intimacy is apparent in her 2015 directorial debut (in which she also served as DP) Meadowland, where Morano puts the viewer right in the actors’ faces, allowing us to feel like we’re there in that moment in time with the main characters.When you’re handheld, it’s the least restricted way. If you move a few steps in one direction, then an amazing flare could happen or you catch the right look from an actor from a not so typical angle. You can emotionally enable the audience and bring them deeper into the story and perspective of the characters — Reed Morano Emmanuel LubezkiImage via Magnolia PicturesAn obvious inclusion to this list is three-time Oscar winner Emmanuel Lubezki. Collaborating with prolific directors such as Terrence Malick, Alfonso Cuaron, and Alejandro G. Innaritu, Lubezki is the most unpredictable and groundbreaking artist working right now. Crafting long-takes with sweeping camera motions, working with natural and artificial light, no matter what the subject is, Lubezki seems to find a way to blow your mind and plug you into the world right from the first frame (see Gravity).Image via 20th Century FoxWorking exclusively with digital now, Lubezki’s experimental endeavors with the ARRI 65 broke new grounds on what lighting and camerawork mean for productions. The subjects are close and unavoidable in front of his lens, establishing a brand just from a single frame. His past three Oscar-winning films couldn’t be more different in tone and subject, but they still have the feel of Lubezki — alive and profound.Establishing Your Own LookEven though these big time cinematographers have (occasionally) unlimited resources, they’ve made a name for themselves by having a good reputation with producers, directors, and anyone they came into contact with along the way. They know visuals and aesthetics as they apply for the story and find a way to put themselves in the work. This recognition and appreciation for the craft has gotten them a long way.Image via ASCWhether you like the films or not, a cinematographer’s work should always be deconstructed for intricacies and the care that has gone into the process. As long as you remain consistent/persistent with your work and strive to do better, people will notice and spread the word.This doesn’t just apply for films as well — commercial, corporate, music videos, and video production in general requires a dedication unlike any other. A podcast I’ve recently started listening to is Cinematography Database with Matt Workman. Talking to real DPs working in the industry, Cinematography Database is not only motivational but super informative, providing excellent advice and insight into how the industry works and why establishing your own brand is important.Episode Recommendation: Ryan Booth on Career, Life & InstagramFor more in-depth looks into the minds of cinematographers, Wolfcrow has an outstanding YouTube series that focuses on individual DPs and what makes their work great. A few other cinematographers with masterful style to check out are: Natasha Braier, Jeff Cronenweth, Wally Pfister, Janusz Kaminski, Robert D. Yeoman, and Benoit Delhomme.Who are some of your favorite cinematographers working today? Share in the comments below. Robert RichardsonImage via Paramount PicturesAnother frequent Scorsese collaborator, Robert Richardson’s work is most often associated Quentin Tarantinos. Richardson makes use of hot backlighting for his characters. This strong backlight allows a soft light to be bounced onto the front of the characters’ faces.His consistent collaboration with heavyweight directors has afforded him the comfort and trust to experiment and test the reaches of his craft. His most recent daring endeavor, The Hateful Eight, brought back shooting Ultra Panavision 70mm earning him an Oscar nomination.Image via MiramaxWith each film containing a new and expansive canvas, the DP specializes in shooting on film, giving his pictures an aged, timeless feel. Crafting beautiful wide shots like nobody else in the field, Richardson continues to put his skills to full effect with each new daunting project he takes on.Bradford YoungImage via A24In high demand after his stellar work on Ava DuVernay’s Selma and JC Chandor’s A Most Violent Year, Young’s next hit, Arrival, will be landing in theaters soon. Compared to others on this list, Young is just kicking his career off — but he’s already showing a consistently strong visual palette. One of his first projects — Pariah — garnered much praise and got him noticed by some big leaguers like DuVernay and David Lowery.Image via Paramount PicturesBy positioning his characters towards the edge of the frame, Young gives his projects a sense of scope and a classic feel. While shooting digitally to portray New York in the 80s and Alabama in the 60s , Young found a way to give the images a lived-in feel that the stories needed. A prominent theme in his work is underexposed images. This preferred method of choice gives his work a distinct feeling, and the subject matter he chooses to take on and the spacial awareness combined with the dimly lit characters establishes Young’s vision as unique.Robert ElswitImage via MiramaxHis crowning achievement to date, There Will Be Blood, won him the oscar for Cinematography in 2007 and things are only going up for Elswit. His work is an inspiration for anybody interested in long, wide camera work that paints a picture with each frame.For his frequent collaborations with Paul Thomas Anderson, Elswit shoots with film using anamorphic lenses. This move has produced some of the best looking movies to date. Elswit shoots his subject with 3/4 top light just in between soft and hard, while keeping the key side overexposed.Image via Open Road FilmsHaving recently worked on Nightcrawler and The Night Of using the ALEXA, Elswit has expressed warm feelings for shooting digitally, especially at night. This is a big shift from his usual work method of shooting only on film.ALEXA was a great way to go because it’s a little faster. The exposure index is twice as high as the fastest Kodak film stock, and you can get away with murder. By shooting in places that had a lot of street and business lighting, I didn’t have to light backgrounds. — Robert ElswitBenoit DebieImage via A24Working with rich colors and abstract landscapes, nobody makes images pop on screen like Benoit Debie. Working with Directors like Gaspar Noe, Wim Wenders, and Harmony Korine, Debie often lights the sides of characters and experiments with offbeat gels. Colors are pushed to the limits as his traditionalist style and methods blend perfectly with the weird subject tones of his films. Having just completed his next film with Wim Wenders, Debie is an excellent addition to your watchlist. Side note: He only shoots on film, making his technique and work that much more difficult.Image via Warner BrosWhen you shoot, you think in visual terms of light, contrast, and color. And then as the editing is getting closer to the end, you see things getting better together. Sometimes you can change your mind about color or contrast. You might have a very sad or intense sequence, and after you see it, it may seem too bright. Then, as you see an almost-finished movie, you might decide to change the intensity of the light, or make the colors deeper. It might not be a big change, but I would sometimes change a sequence when I feel that it will make the movie better.  — Benoit Debielast_img read more