Gies says even if he doesn’t win, he will continue pursuing a singing career. He entered the competition after his mother’s coworker suggested that he should.[asset|aid=1491|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=b9748c4664b447e11e2e743c3a644962-Geis 2_1_Pub.mp3]The winner gets to travel to Nashville, Tennessee, with a chance to visit the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame.The winner also receives two demo recordings at Powersound Recording Studios in Edmonton.Advertisement A local youth is one of five contestants left in the Global Country Star Search.18 year old Justin Gies is the only male contestant left in the competition. Gies says that is making him nervous.[asset|aid=1490|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=4ca403bf415f4d5041bfd1724aba3342-Geis 1_1_Pub.mp3]- Advertisement -Gies will be singing “Proud of the House We Built” by Brooks and Dunn.The five contestants will be performing with a live band at the Winspear Centre in Edmonton. Those in the audience get to vote on their favorite singer, and a winner will be chosen live on June 15th.Meanwhile, Gies is the only contestant from British Columbia. He lived most of his life in Fort St. John, but relocated to Taylor with his family several years ago.Advertisement
You stumble across a scene that would work perfectly in your film or video project — but all you have is your camera. How do you capture an impromptu moment without a tripod or other support gear and still make it look pro?Top image via ShutterstockIt’s crazy to think that the compact camera you keep in your backpack to take pictures of your dog at the park might also be the camera responsible for capturing stunt footage in the latest billion-dollar grossing blockbuster. It’s crazy, yes. But, it’s also true, thanks to the ever-increasing speed of industry innovation.So, what steps should you take when something worth including in your next project suddenly appears during your day-to-day adventures? Obviously, you quickly grab the camera from your backpack, but you have zero of support gear — no lights, no mics, etc. — so what next?The following steps can help you obtain good clips in an impromptu setting. Of course, this will not be a one-stop shop for all improvised settings — these steps will work best for establishing shots.Step 1: Dial in Your Camera SettingsVideo Playerhttps://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Original.mp4Media error: Format(s) not supported or source(s) not foundmejs.download-file: https://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Original.mp4?_=100:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.I took the video above during a recent hike. The scenery was perfect for a project I was working, but, unfortunately, I only had my camera. No tripod in sight. Not only that, I was on an uneven surface with a slight wind blowing me off balance. Not the best situation to start with. As you can see, there’s a bit of camera shake, and it looks quite unprofessional.Before hitting record, I increased the resolution from 1080p to 4k. Even though the rest of my project was being delivered in 1080p, it was crucial to capture this spontaneous shot in the highest resolution possible.This approach will help greatly in post when it comes time to stabilize the footage. Additionally, this approach adds some wiggle room should you decide to include a pan or tilt. Lastly, take note — if you know there might be a chance of cropping your image, it’s always best to move back a little before you hit record.Step 2: Stabilize as Much as PossibleImage via ShutterstockYou could say that two of the core principles of a professional shot are stability and movement. A stable shot is going to look better than a clip that’s shaking too much. A moving shot, for the most part, will look better (or at least add more character) than a stable shot.It’s important to note that there’s a difference between camera shake and handheld cinematography. When you hold a camera with just your hands, every step, vibration, and movement is transferred directly to the camera itself. The lighter the camera, the more kinetic energy will be visible within the footage. There’s no absorption to counterbalance the movement.With larger cameras (or with cameras on a shoulder rig) you have several more points of connection with your body, and the energy of the movement is dispersed more evenly.Because you’ll be running your footage through a stabilizer in post-production, your shot needs to be as stable as possible. Leave pans and tilts for post, too, as those kinds of shots are almost impossible to pull off handheld.I would suggest resting your camera on your camera bag or the flattest surface possible. If you haven’t already, it’s always worth acquiring a camera beanbag. They fit in the average rucksack and are perfect for situations like this.Step 3: Make Post-Production TweaksAs discussed above, this kind of impromptu footage benefits greatly from stabilization. If you’re working with After Effects, here is an excellent guide offering several ways to do just that.When your shot is fixed, you need to change the composition size from 4k to 1080p, and scale down your footage (as you can see in the image above). Leave some over-trim on the side or top if you want to include a pan or tilt.To increase or decrease the scale of a shot/media file within After Effects, select a layer within your timeline and hit S on the keyboard. With the shot scaled down and selected, hit P on your keyboard to bring up the position control, and click the stopwatch to activate a key frame. Move your timeline cursor near the end of the clip, and then move the position of the shot according to if you are creating a pan or tilt.To make the movement look more legit, change the end keyframe to an Easy Ease by selecting the keyframe and pressing F9. This will slow the movement down toward the end, instead of abruptly coming to a stop.Finally, apply your color correction to match the sequence within your project, and you are good to go. Here’s the before and after:Video Playerhttps://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/720-Tilt.mp4Media error: Format(s) not supported or source(s) not foundmejs.download-file: https://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/720-Tilt.mp4?_=200:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.As you can see, the shot has been transformed from something filmed spontaneously with no support gear into something that looks like it was shot on a tripod.If your DSLR doesn’t support 4k or a higher resolution than 1080p, you can still achieve the same effect by using a 1080p letterbox rather than scaling the footage down.So, to recap, take these steps to make impromptu footage look like it was planned all along:Film in the highest resolution possible.Find your framing, then step back a few paces.Stabilize the camera as much as possible before recording.Stabilize the footage in post-production.Convert the composition to a smaller resolution.Downscale the footage.Add a position keyframe, and then move the shot up, down, left or right.Apply your color grade.Celebrate a job well done. Got any additional tricks for making impromptu shots work in your film or video project? Share them in the comments below!
A stakeholder working group has been formed in the St. Catherine North Police Division in an effort to sustain the positive results of the State of Public Emergency (SOPE) in the area.The group, comprising members of the security forces, political representatives, business leaders, community leaders and the church, was formed at a meeting of stakeholders organised by the joint security forces with responsibility for the SOPE.The meeting, which took place at the Church of God of Prophecy Convention Centre on Old Harbour Road on Thursday evening (April 12), was held to facilitate discussion and collaboration among the various interests within the division on a plan to maintain the gains once the SOPE ends.Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Clifford Blake, who was the main presenter, implored persons to participate in the discussions with solutions in mind to improve the division’s outlook. He noted that while the gains of the SOPE were good, the security operations could not and would not last forever.He reiterated that sustainable peace needed to be maintained and that the next two months were critical in arriving at solutions to achieve this. “We want to leave here this afternoon with a working group and a resolve that the security forces, politicians, members of the business community and all of us combined are going to work together to sustain peace, not only in St. Catherine North but in Jamaica,” he said.“While the security forces take the lead to sustain and keep the peace, building the peace is everyone’s responsibility,” DCP Blake noted further.He said he was pleased with the afternoon’s turnout and indicated that there were sufficient persons present “to start a good thing”.For his part, Commanding Officer of the St. Catherine North Division, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Beau Rigabie, welcomed the group and expressed confidence that it would arrive at some workable ideas on how to sustain the positive results that have, so far, been achieved.“The concept that I would want them to embrace is to look calculatedly at the nuances that affect the division. We would also want them to look at whatever measures they think can create the avenue for change,” he said.SSP Rigabie pointed out that much of the gang-related crime in the division is driven by extortion and that when that source of revenue is removed, it would leave a void that needs to be filled with legal sources of income.“I want them to look also at the various agencies that can come in and give alternatives to these persons, because whilst we remove one avenue of revenue, there will be the need to replace it. So, I am hoping that this committee will be looking towards the various alternatives to the revenue that they normally have,” he said. The SOPE in the St. Catherine North Division began on March 18 for an initial two weeks. It has since been extended to July. Story Highlights The meeting, which took place at the Church of God of Prophecy Convention Centre on Old Harbour Road on Thursday evening (April 12), was held to facilitate discussion and collaboration among the various interests within the division on a plan to maintain the gains once the SOPE ends. Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Clifford Blake, who was the main presenter, implored persons to participate in the discussions with solutions in mind to improve the division’s outlook. He noted that while the gains of the SOPE were good, the security operations could not and would not last forever. A stakeholder working group has been formed in the St. Catherine North Police Division in an effort to sustain the positive results of the State of Public Emergency (SOPE) in the area.
Share Waller Co. Sheriff talks about new recommendations for police & jail as result of #sandrabland death pic.twitter.com/pWxXTbOcsG— Florian Martin (@Florian_News887) April 12, 2016HEMPSTEAD, Texas (AP) — A panel reviewing the jail where Sandra Bland died last summer after being taken into custody has called for a major overhaul of its procedures and facilities.The panel issued its recommendations Tuesday. It says a new jail is needed because the current one is inadequate. The panel also called for improving digital access to information about inmates and purchasing body cameras for staff.One panelist, Craig Washington, said inmates are “entitled to be treated with dignity and respect.”Bland, who was black and from the Chicago area, died in the Waller County jail three days after her arrest. Authorities ruled it a suicide.Dashcam video captured a confrontation between Bland and Brian Encinia, the trooper who arrested her. Encinia was later fired and has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor perjury charge.Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.Committee releases recommendations for Waller Co. Sheriff to improve jail standards after #sandrabland death pic.twitter.com/4IfnJsWRpU— Florian Martin (@Florian_News887) April 12, 2016
In this article you will learn to build an entire serverless project of an AWS online store, beginning with a React SPA frontend hosted on AWS followed by a serverless backend with API Gateway and Lambda functions. This article is an excerpt taken from the book, ‘Building Serverless Web Applications‘ written by Diego Zanon. In this book, you will be introduced to the AWS services, and you’ll learn how to estimate costs, and how to set up and use the Serverless Framework. The serverless architecture of AWS’ online store We will build a real-world use case of a serverless solution. This sample application is an online store with the following requirements: List of available products Product details with user rating Add products to a shopping cart Create account and login pages For a better understanding of the architecture, take a look at the following diagram which gives a general view of how different services are organized and how they interact: Estimating costs In this section, we will estimate the costs of our sample application demo based on some usage assumptions and Amazon’s pricing model. All pricing values used here are from mid 2017 and considers the cheapest region, US East (Northern Virginia). This section covers an example to illustrate how costs are calculated. Since the billing model and prices can change over time, always refer to the official sources to get updated prices before making your own estimations. You can use Amazon’s calculator, which is accessible at this link: http://calculator.s3.amazonaws.com/index.html. If you still have any doubts after reading the instructions, you can always contact Amazon’s support for free to get commercial guidance. Assumptions For our pricing example, we can assume that our online store will receive the following traffic per month: 100,000 page views 1,000 registered user accounts 200 GB of data transferred considering an average page size of 2 MB 5,000,000 code executions (Lambda functions) with an average of 200 milliseconds per request Route 53 pricing We need a hosted zone for our domain name and it costs US$ 0.50 per month. Also, we need to pay US$ 0.40 per million DNS queries to our domain. As this is a prorated cost, 100,000 page views will cost only US$ 0.04. Total: US$ 0.54 S3 pricing Amazon S3 charges you US$ 0.023 per GB/month stored, US$ 0.004 per 10,000 requests to your files, and US$ 0.09 per GB transferred. However, as we are considering the CloudFront usage, transfer costs will be charged by CloudFront prices and will not be considered in S3 billing. If our website occupies less than 1 GB of static files and has an average per page of 2 MB and 20 files, we can serve 100,000 page views for less than US$ 20. Considering CloudFront, S3 costs will go down to US$ 0.82 while you need to pay for CloudFront usage in another section. Real costs would be even lower because CloudFront caches files and it would not need to make 2,000,000 file requests to S3, but let’s skip this detail to reduce the complexity of this estimation. On a side note, the cost would be much higher if you had to provision machines to handle this number of page views to a static website with the same availability and scalability. Total: US$ 0.82 CloudFront pricing CloudFront is slightly more complicated to price since you need to guess how much traffic comes from each region, as they are priced differently. The following table shows an example of estimation: RegionEstimated trafficCost per GB transferredCost per 10,000 HTTPS requestsNorth America70%US$ 0.085US$ 0.010Europe15%US$ 0.085US$ 0.012Asia10%US$ 0.140US$ 0.012South America5%US$ 0.250US$ 0.022 As we have estimated 200 GB of files transferred with 2,000,000 requests, the total will be US$ 21.97. Total: US$ 21.97 Certificate Manager pricing Certificate Manager provides SSL/TLS certificates for free. You only need to pay for the AWS resources you create to run your application. IAM pricing There is no charge specifically for IAM usage. You will be charged only by what AWS resources your users are consuming. Cognito pricing Each user has an associated profile that costs US$ 0.0055 per month. However, there is a permanent free tier that allows 50,000 monthly active users without charges, which is more than enough for our use case. Besides that, we are charged for Cognito Syncs of our user profiles. It costs US$ 0.15 for each 10,000 sync operations and US$ 0.15 per GB/month stored. If we estimate 1,000 active and registered users with less than 1 MB per profile, with less than 10 visits per month in average, we can estimate a charge of US$ 0.30. Total: US$ 0.30 IoT pricing IoT charges starts at US$ 5 per million messages exchanged. As each page view will make at least 2 requests, one to connect and another to subscribe to a topic, we can estimate a minimum of 200,000 messages per month. We need to add 1,000 messages if we suppose that 1% of the users will rate the products and we can ignore other requests like disconnect and unsubscribed because they are excluded from billing. In this setting, the total cost would be of US$ 1.01. Total: US$ 1.01 SNS pricing We will use SNS only for internal notifications, when CloudWatch triggers a warning about issues in our infrastructure. SNS charges US$ 2.00 per 100,000 e-mail messages, but it offers a permanent free tier of 1,000 e-mails. So, it will be free for us. CloudWatch pricing CloudWatch charges US$ 0.30 per metric/month and US$ 0.10 per alarm and offers a permanent free tier of 50 metrics and 10 alarms per month. If we create 20 metrics and expect 20 alarms in a month, we can estimate a cost of US$ 1.00. Total: US$ 1.00 API Gateway pricing API Gateway starts charging US$ 3.50 per million of API calls received and US$ 0.09 per GB transferred out to the Internet. If we assume 5 million requests per month with each response with an average of 1 KB, the total cost of this service will be US$ 17.93. Total: US$ 17.93 Lambda pricing When you create a Lambda function, you need to configure the amount of RAM memory that will be available for use. It ranges from 128 MB to 1.5 GB. Allocating more memory means additional costs. It breaks the philosophy of avoiding provision, but at least it’s the only thing you need to worry about. The good practice here is to estimate how much memory each function needs and make some tests before deploying to production. A bad provision may result in errors or higher costs. Lambda has the following billing model: US$ 0.20 per 1 million requests US$ 0.00001667 GB-second Running time is counted in fractions of seconds, rounding up to the nearest multiple of 100 milliseconds. Furthermore, there is a permanent free tier that gives you 1 million requests and 400,000 GB-seconds per month without charges. In our use case scenario, we have assumed 5 million requests per month with an average of 200 milliseconds per execution. We can also assume that the allocated RAM memory is 512 MB per function: Request charges: Since 1 million requests are free, you pay for 4 million that will cost US$ 0.80. Compute charges: Here, 5 million executions of 200 milliseconds each gives us 1 million seconds. As we are running with a 512 MB capacity, it results in 500,000 GB-seconds, where 400,000 GB-seconds of these are free, resulting in a charge of 100,000 GB-seconds that costs US$ 1.67. Total: US$ 2.47 SimpleDB pricing Take a look at the following SimpleDB billing where the free tier is valid for new and existing users: US$ 0.14 per machine-hour (25 hours free) US$ 0.09 per GB transferred out to the internet (1 GB is free) US$ 0.25 per GB stored (1 GB is free) Take a look at the following charges: Compute charges: Considering 5 million requests with an average of 200 milliseconds of execution time, where 50% of this time is waiting for the database engine to execute, we estimate 139 machine hours per month. Discounting 25 free hours, we have an execution cost of US$ 15.96. Transfer costs: Since we’ll transfer data between SimpleDB and AWS Lambda, there is no transfer cost. Storage charges: If we assume a 5 GB database, it results in US$ 1.00, since 1 GB is free. Total: US$ 16.96, but this will not be added in the final estimation since we will run our application using DynamoDB. DynamoDB DynamoDB requires you to provision the throughput capacity that you expect your tables to offer. Instead of provisioning hardware, memory, CPU, and other factors, you need to say how many read and write operations you expect and AWS will handle the necessary machine resources to meet your throughput needs with consistent and low-latency performance. One read capacity unit represents one strongly consistent read per second or two eventually consistent reads per second, where objects have a size up to 4 KB. Regarding the writing capacity, one unit means that you can write one object of size 1 KB per second. Considering these definitions, AWS offers in the permanent free tier 25 read units and 25 write units of throughput capacity, in addition to 25 GB of free storage. It charges as follows: US$ 0.47 per month for every Write Capacity Unit (WCU) US$ 0.09 per month for every Read Capacity Unit (RCU) US$ 0.25 per GB/month stored US$ 0.09 GB per GB transferred out to the Internet Since our estimated database will have only 5 GB, we are on the free tier and we will not pay for transferred data because there is no transfer cost to AWS Lambda. Regarding read/write capacities, we have estimated 5 million requests per month. If we evenly distribute them, we will get two requests per second. In this case, we will consider that it’s one read and one write operation per second. We need to estimate now how many objects are affected by a read and a write operation. For a write operation, we can estimate that we will manipulate 10 items on average and a read operation will scan 100 objects. In this scenario, we would need to reserve 10 WCU and 100 RCU. As we have 25 WCU and 25 RCU for free, we only need to pay for 75 RCU per month, which costs US$ 6.75. Total: US$ 6.75 Total pricing Let’s summarize the cost of each service in the following table: ServiceMonthly CostsRoute 53US$ 0.54S3US$ 0.82CloudFrontUS$ 21.97CognitoUS$ 0.30IoTUS$ 1.01CloudWatchUS$ 1.00API GatewayUS$ 17.93LambdaUS$ 2.47DynamoDBUS$ 6.75TotalUS$ 52.79 It results in a total cost of ~ US$ 50 per month in infrastructure to serve 100,000 page views. If you have a conversion rate of 1%, you can get 1,000 sales per month, which means that you pay US$ 0.05 in infrastructure for each product that you sell. Thus, in this article you learned the serverless architecture of AWS online store also learned how to estimate its costs. If you’ve enjoyed reading the excerpt, do check out, Building Serverless Web Applications to monitor the performance, efficiency and errors of your apps and also learn how to test and deploy your applications. 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Kids fly free with TravelBrands Cruises’ latest promotion Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Friday, April 12, 2019 MISSISSAUGA — TravelBrands Cruises is making family travel much more affordable with a new kids fly free promotion.The limited-time offer allows children 12 and under to fly free when booking a cruise vacation with TravelBrands Cruises, by Encore Cruises.Applicable on new individual bookings made between April 10-20, 2019, the offer is valid on any six-night (or longer) sailing in a balcony stateroom or above, for departures between April and August 2019. There is a maximum of two children aged 12 or younger when sharing a stateroom with two adults.Free air will be in the form of an air credit.“With so many different destinations and onboard activities, a cruise is the ultimate choice when booking a family vacation,” said Nathalie Tanious, senior vice president, commercial, TravelBrands. “We wanted Canadian families to enjoy summer break and decided that this offer for kids to fly free would be the best way to make a splash.”Cruise line partners include: Azamara Club Cruises; Carnival Cruise Line; Celebrity Cruises; Costa Cruises; Disney Cruise Line; Holland America Line; MSC Cruises; Norwegian Cruise Line; Princess Cruises; and Royal Caribbean International.More news: Venice to ban cruise ships from city centre starting next monthTravel agents can visit travelbrandsaccess.com to make qualifying cruise bookings for their clients. Tags: Encore Cruises, Promotions, TravelBrands, TravelBrands Cruises Posted by Travelweek Group
Microsoft is expanding its Xbox entertainment offering to 222 countries, up from 35 today, and is enhancing its TV offering with multiscreen delivery.The new version of the service will take the Xbox entertainment service to phones, tablets and PCs, according to Microsoft. Via the Xbox SmartGlass downloadable app, users will be able to convert tablets, PCs, Windows Phone 8, iOS and Android devices into second screens to view its entertainment offering. For Xbox Video, users will be able to start a TV show or movie on their Windows 8 tablet and finish it on the TV screen through Xbox 360.The enhancements coincide with the launch of the Windows 8 operating system, to be followed shortly by the launch of Windows 8 for Mobile.