Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim on Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Big News is back

Well that didn't last long. Actually, given that today is 1 April I have decided that I will continue blogging. If you keep reading, I'll keep blogging, okay?
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London's 2012 Olympic Stadium to be a Swamp

Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim

APRIL 1st 2010 - Ministers plan to turn London's 2012 Olympic Stadium into a Swamp post 2012 Olympics

Innovative plans are to be unveiled later today to turn London's massive Olympic Stadium into an enormous algal swamp following the 2012 Olympics as part of a new nutrition, health and sustainability scheme.

Following revelations of Gordon Brown's new proposed LOHAS LAW that will make it compulsory for for schools and hospitals to adopt a healthy and sustainable Meat free Monday, other secret plans to transform the NHS and save money have come to light.

Olympic Park Legacy Company chair Margaret Ford and chief executive Andrew Altman have apparently been left 'unimpressed' by West Ham Football club's bid for the Olympic stadium. "They'd have to be Manchester United to make it work and even then the sums don't add up on less than 2 games a week" revealed an aid.

More lucrative and viable negotiations have meanwhile taken place between two London based entrepreneurial functional food development companies and Algae specialists, Water4Life and Eau+, and government health ministers to transform the Olympic stadium in London's East End into a gigantic pond when the 2012 Olympics is over.

The plan is to seal up the entrances and fill the stadium with salt water to then use it for farming a special secret type of algae that is rich in omega 3 long chain fatty acids EPA and DHA revealed contractor

Health practitioners and particularly nutritionists are convinced that part of the reason for escalating preventable chronic diseases and ill health is a lack of these essential fats in our modern diet.

London Nutritionist Yvonne Bishop-Weston explains "Because meat is mass produced, with animals kept in unnatural conditions and fed an unnatural diet there is a widening discrepancy between the nutrients that are assumed to be in meat and actual modern levels. We are finding high levels of saturated fat and low levels of omega 3 fats in patients diets. Meanwhile studies are finding increasing levels of toxins in fish."

"Essential fats are essential for the quality and repair of every cell membrane in the body - a lack of the optimum balance of essential fats can lead to fertility problems, mood problems, skin problems, immune system problems, cognitive dysfunction, weight issues, hormonal imbalances, digestive problems, reduced heart health, visual impairment and erectile dysfunction"

Plans are being discussed to produce millions of tons of omega 3 rich algae that can be distributed free to school children and hospital patients via seaweed and algae shakes, and added to bread, pasta and even ice cream.

Businessman and health innovator Tom Brudenell-Bruce says "We already have 90% proof DHA rich algae for enhancing functional food products but we need to start producing algae on a massive scale if we want to get the price down to a 10th of the price of fish oil so that the government can afford to give V-Pure algae away for free"

Collaborators on the film 'The End of the Line' are delighted with the news and say "this investment is long overdue fishing is unsustainable and there are increasing levels of toxins to worry about too"

Campaigners are hoping Sir Richard Branson will get involved as algae can also be used as a fuel and is said to be one of the options that Branson is considering to make Virgin Airways much more sustainable than competitor airlines.
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Concept ships by Richard Smitheman

Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim

The pencil test.

Keywords: concept spaceship art illustration design work by concept artist richard smitheman los angeles california images from the pencil test website thepenciltest.com
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Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim

Knocking it on the head. Goodbye...

I'm going to finish up blogging. Ive been doing it for years, but I started a new job yesterday that pretty much prevents me from blogging - at least means that there are some things I should not be blogging on - particularly in work time, like I did yesterday.

So I thought I'd knock it off. Goodbye - It's nice to have known you. It's nice to have broken a few stories, nice to have made some friends through the blog. I`ll miss it - but better to take this line than to get me in trouble with the boss.
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Amazingly Great Image Fixup from the coming Photoshop CS for free with GIMP

Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim

Photoshop will introduce a really cool, new feature in the coming CS version. But with Gimp, they're shipped at least with any debian based distribution now already! Check out resynthesize here and texturize.
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Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim on Tuesday, March 30, 2010

No one will own the seabed and foreshore

The Gisborne Herald has reported that the Government has proposed that, instead of identifying an owner of the foreshore and seabed, new legislation would provide that no one owns, or can own, the foreshore and seabed. This area would be called a public domain, which should greatly please Peter Dunne. The proposal would recognise New Zealanders' rights and interests rather than being concerned with ownership.

Coastal Maori will be able to go to court or negotiate with government to have customary title and rights recognised if new government proposals are adopted. More here

NB discussion document is here and here [PDF]
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Andrew Glazebrook on conceptships

Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim on Monday, March 29, 2010

Andrew Glazebrook's blog.

Keywords: 3d three dimensional star wars imperial battle station death star type model lit composite by andrew glazebrook glazy concept ships blog website
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Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim on Sunday, March 28, 2010

Work testing beneficiaries

Danyl at Dim Post thinks it is patently moronic to start work-testing beneficiaries and suspending their incomes for non-compliance when there aren’t any jobs around for them to apply for.

There are plenty of jobs to apply for. The problem is that most are unsuitable for many unemployed people and also that more people are applying for each job, making interviews harder to get. If you apply for a job you won't be work tested - even if it is a job that you are not likely to get an interview for.

What should happen (if Work and Income does its job) prior to work testing is that that those who have little money in the bank could be told that if they have confirmation of a job interview, they can get up to $300 for free to buy clothes for the interview. For guys, at the moment at Hallensteins, I think, that`ll get you a suit, an extra pair of trousers, a business shirt, and a tie.

They then have some decent clothes for job interviews.

Who knew that?
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Concept ships by Danny Gardner

Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim on Friday, March 26, 2010

Danny G's portfolio... Weekly header on conceptships.

Keywords: concept spaceship art design illustrated drawings by danny gardner looking for a summer internship
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Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim on Thursday, March 25, 2010


I think some bloggers are scaremongering about National's benefit policy. Some are implying that loads on the dpb will be worktested off benefits and the system is harsh and the government is uncaring. I don't for a moment think the system is harsh. In reality I don't think people on the dole will be worktested off benefits any more than is currently happening.

It is not exactly happening to thousands at the moment. And I`ll be surprised if any person on any benefit who is meeting their obligations as a beneficiary is worktested off a benefit. And if you are not meeting your obligations, you simply don't deserve a benefit.
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Charles Lee concept ships

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Charles (Wook Hyung) Lee's blog.

Keywords: concept environment spaceship dock hangar digital illustration painting designs by charles wook hyung lee concept artist los angeles california
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Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim on Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Electoral referendum bill

The Electoral Referendum Bill was introduced today, and provides for a referendum on MMP. Should 50% of voters choose MMP, MMP will be reviewed. Specifically:

- the 5% threshold for a party to obtain list seats:
- the overhang, namely the increase in the number of seats in Parliament that occurs if a party's constituency candidates win more seats than the party would be entitled to as a result of the party vote:
- dual candidacy, namely the capacity of a person to be both a constituency candidate and a list candidate, and for a list member of Parliament to seek election in a by-election:
- a party's ability to determine the order of candidates on its party list and the inability of voters to rank list candidates in order of preference:
- the effect of population change on the ratio of electorate seats to list seats and the maintenance of proportionality:

But not the Māori seats or the number of MPs.
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Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim

Oh, so that’s okay, then

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett knew that her social welfare reforms breached the Bill of Rights. Chris Finlayson outlined the substantive matters in a report [PDF].Why exempt a class of beneficiaries who – by definition – are no longer looking after children from work testing, while demanding it of DPB recipients who are still looking after children?

Bennett's response to that report? So what – most people wouldn’t be bothered by it.
I think that is a discrimination that most New Zealanders will see as being fair and reasonable.
So much for the Bill of Rights, then. We have a senior minister who thinks that unjustified breaches of the Bill of Rights are fine, provided she thinks that most people are not bothered by them. As someone who holds the Bill of Rights in high regard, I find that stance disappointing. It is a Bill of Rights, but treated as a bill of suggestions.
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Fish Oil under attack

Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim

Wading into fish oil supplement safety

The health industry's love of fish, fish oil and fish oil supplements came under attack this week

In San Francisco omega 3 fish oil supplement manufacturers are being sued over toxin levels.

(From San Francisco Chronicle)
Ten over-the-counter fish oil supplements - of the at least 200 brands estimated to be on the market - were tested by Mateel and found to contain toxins called polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs. The levels, not disclosed on labels, varied widely; some were far above what requires a warning label under California's Proposition 65 disclosure rules, which mandate that manufacturers list certain toxins in their products. Among those toxins are PCBs because of their carcinogenic risks as well as their link to reproductive problems. California has set an acceptable risk level for PCBs as carcinogens: a scant 90 billionths of a gram a day (90 nanograms). No acceptable risk level has been set for reproductive effects.
The tests, conducted on manufacturers' recommendations for daily dosages, which vary widely, found that three of the 10 products contained PCB levels above that benchmark for carcinogens. David Roe, an attorney for the environmental plaintiffs, says Mateel tested daily dosages because the results would yield a true measure of daily intake because most consumers follow label recommendations. The lowest level, found in Solgar's Norwegian Cod Liver Oil, was 70 times below the highest, found in Now Foods Salmon Oil. Different dosages could account for some of the variance among the products, but the tests found that concentration levels of PCBs varied as well.
Toxicity can vary widely in fish oil, depending on what kind of fish is used and the contamination in its habitat waters, scientists say. Older, bigger fish tend to build up more PCBs in their fatty tissues than smaller fish, but habitat is still key.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com

In another report resurfacing from last summer fish and fish oils are accused of increasing the risk of Type 2 diabetes by up to 22% if consumed more than 5 times a week

From www.pcrm.org
A Harvard study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition links fish and omega-3 oil consumption to type 2 diabetes. Following 195,204 adults for 14 to18 years, researchers found that the more fish or omega-3 fatty acids participants consumed, the higher their risk of developing diabetes. The risk increase was modest for occasional fish eaters, but rose to a 22 percent increased risk for women consuming five or more fish servings per week.
Prior studies have suggested that fat accumulation within muscle cells can lead to insulin resistance which, in turn, contributes to diabetes. People who eat no animal products have less fat in their cells and much less risk of developing diabetes. A low-fat vegan diet has been shown to improve type 2 diabetes.
Kaushik M, Mozaffarian D, Spiegelman D, Manson JE, Willett WC, Hu FB. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, fish intake, and the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jul 22.

Safer , sustainable , toxin free omega 3 long chain essential fat alternatives are now being offered from EPA and DHA rich Algae oils and plant oils such as Echium oil
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Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim on Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Otago University students' association sale

Otago University Students' Association is for sale on Trade Me. Get in quick! Also included in the sale is a student executive and wider network that represents and advocates for students to the University, wider Dunedin community, Government and national media. A student general meeting will ratify the sale.
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Justin Oaksford concept spaceship art

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Justin Oaksford's website and blog.

Keywords: concept spaceship art design digital illustration by from justin oaksford 4th term entertainment design student at art center college of design looking for a summer internship concept ships
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Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim

Welfare reform

The Prime Minster has announced some benefit reforms to ensure that the benefit is a safety net, not a lifestyle – and to get people back to work as soon as possible, even if it is only part time.

The reforms:

As expected, beneficiaries will be able to earn $100.00 each week without benefit abatement – up from $80.00. Unemployment beneficiaries will have to reapply for their benefit if they receive that benefit for a year – affecting up to 16% of those on the dole.

Those on the sickness benefit will have medical certificates, in the first two instances, for four weeks only, and along with those on the DPB whose youngest child is six or more will have part-time work obligations. Which, as you can see may not be the best idea, particularly in the school holidays when childcare will cost more than the work itself. Furthermore if they don’t comply they’ll be work tested. Currently a beneficiary who doesn’t meet the work test can have their benefit suspended, then cancelled. The difference with the current work testing is that beneficiaries can lose half their benefit immediately if they don’t comply – and if they still don’t comply the benefit will be cancelled. The exception is if they have kids – the maximum reduction will be half the benefit and they`ll always be able to keep their full accommodation supplement and any other add-ons.

In other words, those on the DPB with, say two kids, will always be receiving way more than half the minimum wage even with the maximum work test – and if they earn $100 a week they`ll get $416.00 a week – that’s $13.80 per hour for a 30 hour week. On 1 April that will increase further. John Key's cleaner doesn't even get $13.80 an hour - and she's just got a pay rise.

Apparently those on the invalids benefit who can work part-time will instead receive a sickness benefit. This is not reform – that is current policy.

This whole thing is to cost $88 million over four years. That's $60,272 a day,or the cost of paying the benefit for 1385 people. It`ll cost nothing extra to work test every eligible beneficiary after six months of continuously receiving a benefit and is much better than making people reapply for a benefit after a year. The $88m can instead be channeled into getting people jobs.

Beneficiaries are expected to work if the work is there. If it is not there, worktesting and work obligations are merely windowdressing, and can be punitive for no reason if letters are sent out to incorrect addresses and benefits suspended or reduced – as will no doubt happen.

I’ll be surprised if this reform will change the rate that beneficiaries find meaningful full-time work.
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Google Shuts down its China site

Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim

"Just over two months after threatening to leave China because of censorship and intrusions from hackers, Google on Monday closed its Internet search service there and began directing users in that country to its uncensored search engine in Hong Kong."

Read it all at NYTimes.com.
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Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim on Monday, March 22, 2010

"Ear-flick" man to appeal his conviction today

Remember Jimmy Mason? He was convicted for assaulting his son and appeared on TV to tell his story.

Well, he is back in court today to appeal his conviction and is representing himself. His defence appears to be that the police lied.
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Why it's a problem that Ubuntu spinned off of Debian

Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim

Check out this great article.
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Egg concept ship by Vaughan Ling

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Our friend Vaughan.

Keywords: vaughan ling concept spaceship artwork egg ship in hangar ready for launch vaughan ling car design blog concept ships
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Seaweed fights obesity, researchers in Newcastle claim

Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim

BBC News - Seaweed fights obesity, researchers in Newcastle claim

Great to see a bit of seaweed research hitting the news and getting national headlines for seaweed again.

As followers of this blog, London nutritionist Yvonne Bishop-Weston and Foods for Life will be well aware we have been singing the praises of seaweed and algae for a long time now.

A seaweed and algae shake is an excellent way for busy people (as seen with Victoria Beckham and Kate Moss) to get extra nutrients into their diet.

Two of our favourites are Pro Greens and Slim Greens although just adding a little chlorella algae to a fruit smoothie could help a great deal.

BBC TV and Radio reported today that Newcastle University researchers found alginate - a fibre found in sea kelp - reduces the body's fat uptake by more than 75%. That is better than most anti-obesity treatments.

However rather than just encourage people to eat more Japanese food such as miso soups and sushi their idea is to add it to crap food that contains a lot of trans fats and saturated fats so that people can continue to eat rubbish food and not get quite so obese on it.

BBC report Dr Iain Brownlee, who co-led the Tyneside team, said: "This research suggests that if we can add the natural fibre to products commonly eaten daily, such as bread, biscuits and yoghurts, up to three quarters of the fat contained in that meal could simply pass through the body."

AAARRGGHH! Nooooo! Their logic is amazing - so we continue to take the natural fibre and nutrients out of bread and biscuits losing up to 95% of some nutrients and using adulterated fats that poison the brain and a whole ton of sugar but we add in a little weenie bit of seaweed fibre in and all the world's obesity problems will be over!

London Nutritionist Yvonne Bishop-Weston says "Yes seaweed offers some important nutrients (such as iodine) to our nutrient deficient diets but if you want to lose weight and be healthier you have to start eating food for your brain not food for your bum!"

Buy Pro Greens Seaweed & Algae Shake at discount prices
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Its not too late to save Sandra-James marriage

Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim on Saturday, March 20, 2010

Forget the tattooed home wrecker, the headlines and the heartbreak: It's not too late for Oscar-winner Sandra Bullock to save her five-year marriage, experts say.

The ugly public revelations that husband Jesse James cheated on Bullock are painful but not fatal for the couple's reeling relationship.

"Sandra would have to get to a place where she could give her husband the gift of trust," said Dr. Flo Rosoff, a marriage counselor.

"That can only happen if she is based in a relationship where they have a high regard for each other as people, not as simply an attractive man and attractive woman."

Rosoff is a contributor to Ladies Home Journal's "Can This Marriage Be Saved?" column, as is fellow Long Island counselor Dr. Robin Newman.

Newman echoes her colleague's prognosis that the celebrity couple can salvage their relationship, despite James' reported affair with ink-stained wench Michelle (Bombshell) McGee.

"Fight for your marriage, fight for it," Newman advised. "And look at what your part in it was. I'm not saying Sandra was all at fault, but there's something going on there that she needs to address herself."

The Oscar-winning star of "The Blind Side" remained out of the public eye Friday, offering no response to her husband's apology after garish tattoo model McGee claimed the two had an affair.

Bullock has canceled an appearance at the London premiere of her hit film and reportedly moved out of the couple's Southern California home.

Beleaguered husband James surfaced to walk his kids to school Friday morning, his wedding ring still visible on his left hand.

His inked-up inamorata surfaced, too, in a far-less flattering series of Nazi-themed photos.

The raven-haired McGee sported a black officer's cap, bra, panties and a Nazi armband in the shots unearthed by TMZ.com.

In one picture, McGee suggestively licks the tip of a knife.

McGee was also denounced by her ex-husband, who hopes to regain custody of their 5-year-old son.

Ronald Modica charged in court papers that McGee was an unfit mom who exposed little Avery to X-rated antics, Us Magazine reported.

"I need protection for my son," Modica said. "I will not continue to expose him to the kind of life Michelle desires and seeks: full on, pornographic, party all the time."

According to McGee, the affair started while Bullock was filming her Academy Award-winning role in "The Blind Side."

James had been married twice, including a two-year union with porn star Janine Lindemulder, before landing America's sweetheart in 2005.

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"The Bounty Hunter"- Dont Waste your money!!!

Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim

Save your money.

The actors may be pretty, but the film is about as dull as a doorknob. That's the consensus from critics regarding The Bounty Hunter, starring Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler, which opens this weekend.

The new romantic comedy has been blasted by 9 out of ten film critics, with most agreeing the script is at best unfunny and at worst cringe-inducing.

As the story goes, Milo Boyd (Butler) is having a rough go of things as a bounty hunter. But his luck appears to change when his next job places him on the trail of his ex-wife, the bail-jumping reporter Nicole Hurly (Aniston).

The old flames play a game of cat-and-mouse, only to find themselves back together and running for their lives.

Of course, critics could care less.

Roger Ebert said he "stared with glazed eyes at The Bounty Hunter. Here is a film with no need to exist."

Wesley Morris of the Boston Globe said the movie's title was similar to A&E's show Dog The Bounty Hunter. "Is it wrong to find that show funnier and more romantic?" he asked.

And the film's two stars, Butler and Aniston, who have been deflecting rumors of off-screen romance for months now, can't seem to muster enough on-screen romance to satisfy critics.

Claudia Puig from USA Today said they don't "muster any believable chemistry. A lot of mugging happens, but no magic."

Still, regardless of what the critics say, if you're a fan of Aniston and/or Butler you should probably run out and see The Bounty Hunter. Just don't say we didn't warn you.

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The Devil's in the Bitrate - A Crazy Detail about Recording FullHD Video with the Canon EOS 500D

Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim on Friday, March 19, 2010

Okay. So the Canon EOS 500D does create FullHD video. Well, alright, it's just with 20 fps. But that's actually not as bad as I had feared. Yes, there are no options whatsoever. That's kind of weird. And then there's this tiny details related to the options...

First I thought my computer was suddenly too slow for playing even 720p movies. Then I tried streaming them to my netbook with hardware accelerated video playback. And guess what: the excellent 18 Mbit/s I got on my wifi are not enough.

The photo camera uses a bitrate of over 20 Mbit/s (720p) and over 30 Mbit/s (1080p) for video recordings in AVCHD. That's significantly (at least +100%) more than e.g. the Panasonic HDC-SX1 uses for recording 50 interlaced fps with FullHD in the high quality setting. Either the encoding chip is not too good with compressing. Or they just locked the birate on freaking high to make it bothersome to record with the photo camera and keep out competition from their own video cameras.

Sometimes x264 gives spikes with e.g. 24 Mbit/s, so I think it's not just the bitrate being locked in. Maybe they could just not be bother to write a VBR video codec. And the sounds is uncompressed pcm. But of course with 30 Mbit/s, 0.7 Mbit/s sound doesn't matter much.

I recoded a 720p video (also over 20Mbit/s) with x264 and a CRF (quality) value of 23 (rather high):
ffmpeg -i "$IN" -acodec libmp3lame -vcodec libx264 -vpre normal -crf 23 "$IN small.mov"
The result: roughly 4 Mbit/s. 1/6th of the original data rate for as far as I can see the same quality. The file size usually goes down to 10-30% (!) of the original file.

It's kind of like the videos are recorded in a raw-like mode. The only thing is that you can't change it to normal compression. And yes, now I know why the camera records only 20 fps and not 25 or 30 in FullHD. Because otherwise it would probably use over 40 Mbit/s...

It actually sounds worse than it is. It just means you should probably have a nice script to recode your videos to a less crazy quality after getting them from the camera chip. The good thing is actually that the original quality is so high that the losses of transcoding should not be too high. And you should make sure your SD card can handle at least a steady 5 MByte/s writing per second if you want to record videos with your Canon SLR photo camera.

I'd love to hear about your experiences! Maybe it's only my camera that uses as much? But it definitely does.
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CONCEPTSHIPS logo and animated footer

Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim on Thursday, March 18, 2010

Corel gave me a copy of CorelDRAW X5... Yay... Super cool of them! I did all of the lettering on this graphic using it. I also used Lightwave, Photoshop, Aftereffects and Flash. The original art is by David Levy.

Up to this point, I used a pre fab drop down letter style. I've finally got around to drafting out my font in CorelDRAW X5. I built each letter individually on a grid. Lots of plans for it in the future!

Keywords: conceptships logo vector illustration drafted in corel draw x5 font design nodes snapped to grid animated flash loop footer logo for conceptships website blog animated vyle art position.wiggle expression for light keyframe in adobe aftereffects
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Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim

Will the Waihopai Three be arrested again?

Crown Law has released this statement and is looking at an appeal with regard to the judge's decision to allow the claim of right defence used by the Waihopai Three. It can do this under s 380 of the Crimes Act, provided the reservation is to do with a question of law.

If Crown Law pursues appeal, even though it could not prove beyond reasonable doubt that thee men did not honestly believe they were entitled to attack the spybase, the three acquitted men will have to be arrested again.I find it difficult to understand how a successful case could be made after this acquittal. Any legal beagles out there that would like to comment on this?
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Skype open sources the voice codec

Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim on Wednesday, March 17, 2010

writes heise. Let's see if other people adopt it. Of course this doesn't mean an open source skype will come, as skype still keeps secret the encryption and protocol used.

Edit: It turns out the license is not a proper open source license. It's a look, but don't touch kind of license. But if adopted on a broader scale, this codec might improve the quality of telephone conversations.

I still think it's crazy. We haven't had serious improvements in sound quality of telephones in the last at least 20 years. Just imagine your phone would run with 64 kbit/s vorbis. You could actually hear clearly what your friend is listening to on TV or radio.
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Command Line Output Redirection

Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim

Check out this nice article with all the major redirections explained, including the important stderr to stdout redirection.
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Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim

The claim of right defence

It is fair to say that some people are astounded that the three men that attacked the Waihopai spybase were acquitted yesterday.

The "claim of right" defence ( as per s269(2) of the Crimes Act) was the key to this trial and the jury accepted that this defence is valid. Graeme Edgeler has illustrated what this defence is in what I think is a very accessible example. I'm sure he won't mind me repeating it here, and I'm sure he will agree that this example does not necessarily mean that he condones the actions of the Waihopai three. Not saying I necessarily condone it either, but the defence is available.

The "claim of right" defence is to do with property. You don't have to think you own something to rely on claim of right, you just need to think you have some right to do what you’re doing with the property. So here goes...
You come across a car with all the windows closed on a really hot day, it’s obviously really hot in the car, you look in the car and see a dog that has passed out from the heat. You yell out and no-one owns up to owning the car, you break the window to provide help to the dog, and find that it’s actually a dead dog that has been stuffed.

Do you own the car? No. Do you believe you own the car? No. Was your damaging the car necessary for some greater purpose, like saving an animal’s life? No. But you believed you were justified in damaging the car for some greater purpose. You have a claim of right.
BTW this case does not set a legal precedent, because the jury made a decision on the facts of the case, as opposed to a decision made by a judge. Nor does it mean that you have a right to kill someone because you think you are justified in doing so for some greater purpose.
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Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim

Spybase accused found not guilty

Excellent St Patrick's Day news - a not guilty verdict after two hours in the Waihopai spybase trial. Verdict came out at 5:45 when I was out. Story from Stuff is here.Ploughshares media release is here.

The trio, associated with the Ploughshares movement, readily admitted attacking the Waihopai spybase, but said they were driven by a belief that the satellite caused human suffering and their actions to shut it down, if only temporarily, were lawful. While I haven't seen a report of the summing up, it appeared the defence of a "claim of right" held. In other words, if the men believed they were acting lawfully, even if they were mistaken in that belief, this will lead to an acquittal.

If you think the Crown will appeal - not a chance there's a slim chance - but there's probably more chance of these guys popping the other dome at Waihopai spybase, which is unlikely as the point has been made..
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Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim on Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Chauvel story

The Charles Chauvel “airplane and kids” story everyone is talking and blogging about was news. It wasn’t very important news, but news nonetheless. And it is a story that is a lot easier to write than a story on Genesis announcing a rise in electricity prices this week, or the economic implications of a GST increase.

But had Chauvel reacted a little differently the story could have been killed. He didn’t need to talk about an ACT party blogger who initially blogged the story. (The blogger concerned is not an ACT member – but he does live in Chauvel’s electorate.)

Chauvel doesn’t owe anything to his electorate – he is a list MP. He may lose votes at the next election because of this as people will recall this story. Peter Dunne – who Chauvel is trying to unseat – is the holder of the parliamentary seat that has the lowest proportion of the electorate vote nationwide. I’m sure Peter Dunne and Katrina Shanks both think this story is great.

What the story in the media didn’t tell us was how loud the kids were. All we know is it wasn’t as loud as the plane engines. At least the kids weren’t smacked for their loudness – imagine what Chauvel would have told the media then, even if the smack was to have shut the kids up.

I trust Chauvel is not traveling on Labour's " axe the tax" bus anytime soon - he`d hate the noise of all the singing.

Chauvel was on Breakfast this morning and was accused of lying by Paul Henry. About the comments wishing the kids would shut up , Henry said
I think you said it intending him (the father) to hear it, and wanting him to do something to shut his children up.
When Chauvel denied this, Henry said he was not being honest, and that he was of the opinion that Chauvel had intended the father to hear his comments.
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Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim on Monday, March 15, 2010

Who is the NZ Suicide Prevention Trust?

While on the way home I got accosted - yes that is the correct word - by an angry man demanding that I sign a petition for the NZ Suicide Prevention Trust.Another man with a clipboard was also collecting signatures. Having not heard of this Trust I asked what the petition was about, and what it aimed to achieve. Other than "creating awareness of male suicide" he wasn't able to tell me.

When I asked for further details he told me to "sign the petition or f... off and get a social conscience". I asked for his card, he said he didn't have one. So I snatched it off him. While the card had an 0508 number, that number is the same answer message as the number in this link, the only thing I could find out about this Trust after a quick search.

Now I have a social conscience. And I am also wondering how legit this petition is. If anyone on behalf of this trust tries to get you to sign a petition, don't sign.

Update There's more stuff on the petition here.
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Concept ships by John Park

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John's blog.

Keywords: concept spaceship art by john park illustration design concept art
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Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim on Friday, March 12, 2010

No more buddy buddy, no more messing around

I've been a fan of the music of Flying Nun for longer than most third year uni students have been alive. I've reviewed many live gigs of Flying Nun bands for the Evening Post, hosted Flying Nun pub music quizzes and Flying Nun Radio shows, even as far back as the 10th birthday of Flying Nun, many years ago. Many t-shirts, CDs (and even cassettes) etc were given away.

Selected by label founder Roger Shepherd, this new video collection on one page is superb. Death and the Maiden, Cactus Cat, Gaskrankinstation, North by North, are all there. I would have chosen the Chills' I Love my Leather Jacket over Heavenly Pop Hit, though..

If you want more videos, go here.
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Henry Pashkov concept ships

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Strannik on cgsociety.org

Keywords: 3d three dimensional concept spaceship models art illustration design layout concept art by henry pashkov aka strannik sci-fi portfolio from taganrog russia
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Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim on Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Waihopai Trial II: Law and the law

The trial of three men charged with damaging the Waihopai spy base in Blenheim in May 2008 continues in the Wellington District Court this week.

The defence is claiming that they acted in self-defence, that it was a necessity, and also a claim of right. If the jury sees it their way, they’ll be acquitted.

Bryan Law has been in court(apparently in the public audience) blogging the trial every day, but has been verbally ordered by Judge Harrop to desist from doing so, because he mentioned some legal matters that were not heard in front of a jury in day two of the trial. I would have thought another reason would have been that he taking notes in the public area, as opposed to the press benches.

As a result, Law has decided not to continue blogging on the trial. The Court has advised me that the judge has practically prevented him from blogging aspects of this trial through sources outside the courtroom, or reporting on media reports, and to do so will be contempt of court. However the decision has not been formally made, that will occur later this morning.

As Law states, the freedom of speech around court hearings is an important part of democracy. If the press can report on the trial, it is unfortunate that the judge has not appeared to give anyone the option of blogging legitimately from the press bench like any other reporter.

So, Law has stopped reporting at day three unless the judge gives him express permission to do so. A report of day four of the trial is here. Wonder how legit that is?

update Just been advised that Law is now an accredited reporter for Scoop Media, with all reports also able to be posted onto his own blog. His first scoop post is here. Another report of the events is here.
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Upcoming Movie: Green Zone

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Release date(s):March 12, 2010 (2010-03-12)

Directed by:Paul Greengrass

Produced by:Tim Bevan
Eric Fellner
Lloyd Levin
Paul Greengrass

Written by: Brian Helgeland
Rajiv Chandrasekaran (Book)

Starring:Matt Damon
Greg Kinnear
Brendan Gleeson
Amy Ryan
Khalid Abdalla
Jason Isaacs

Cinematography:Barry Ackroyd

Editing by:Christopher Rouse

Studio :StudioCanal
Relativity Media
Working Title Films

Distributed by:Universal Studios

Country:United States


Budget:$100 million


Green Zone is an action thriller war film written by Brian Helgeland and directed by Paul Greengrass. The film is "credited as having been 'inspired' by"[1] the non-fiction 2006 book Imperial Life in the Emerald City by journalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran, which documented life in the Green Zone, Baghdad. The film stars Matt Damon, Amy Ryan, Greg Kinnear, and Brendan Gleeson. Production began in January 2008 in Spain and moved on to Morocco. The film was globally released on March 12, 2010 with releases available from March 10 in some countries. Released in Australia on 11 March 2010.

All the war-zone authenticity in the Arab world cannot salvage the silly Hollywood plot at the heart of "Green Zone," Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass' first collaboration outside the Jason Bourne realm.

Their thriller about the futile search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is a visual and visceral knockout that's utterly deflated by a story as common, coarse and unappetizing as Army field rations.

The movie pales further by arriving in theaters just days after the Academy Awards triumph of the vastly superior Iraq war story "The Hurt Locker," a film many people have yet to see. For the price of a couple of tickets to "Green Zone," you can own the DVD of a truly great war film in "The Hurt Locker." "Green Zone" emulates the let's-build-a-democracy-just-like-ours intent of the U.S. occupation of Iraq in 2003, as chronicled in Washington Post reporter Rajiv Chandrasekaran's "Imperial Life in the Emerald City," a book cited in the credits as the inspiration for the movie.

Greengrass and screenwriter Brian Helgeland have taken a setting rich with novel dramatic possibilities and made up a fictional action tale just like any other, with the same lame plot contrivances and the same stiff, artificial characters.

You've got the incorruptible working-class patriot in Army Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller (Damon), who leads a WMD team frustrated that detailed intelligence reports continually fail to turn up any traces of Saddam Hussein's supposed arsenals.

You've got the sniveling, scheming bureaucrat in Pentagon intelligence man Clark Poundstone (Greg Kinnear) and an internecine clash with his honorable nemesis in CIA man Martin Brown (Brendan Gleeson). OK, so the CIA good guy thing is kind of new. You've got the cliched journalist in Wall Street Journal reporter Lawrie Dayne (Amy Ryan), who seems incapable of piecing together a story unless it's handed to her in a neat folder marked "top secret."

And you've got the Special Forces thug in Lt. Col. Briggs (Jason Isaacs).

We all know now the weapons that prompted the invasion of Iraq did not exist. The filmmakers concoct a simple-minded WMD conspiracy to explain the bad intelligence reports, then lob Miller into the middle of it.

Miller's encounter with well-meaning Iraqi "Freddy" (Khalid Abdalla, who played one of the Sept. 11 hijackers in Greengrass' "United 93") leads him to one of Saddam's top aides, who holds the key to exposing the conspiracy.

Other than Abdalla, who captures a sense of Iraqis' conflicted emotions over Saddam's overthrow and the U.S. occupation, Damon and his co-stars deliver nothing more than serviceable performances. The roles do not call for much more, Ryan in particular stuck trying to make her few shallow lines sound meaningful. The WMD debacle was a colossal intelligence failure that Greengrass and company dilute to a base Hollywood plot device so they can turn the boys loose in Baghdad with all the firepower a big studio budget can muster.

There's barely a story to hold "Green Zone" together, the movie just hurtling through firefights and chases, pausing for breath with the occasional revelation to prod Miller on in his quest.

For pure ambiance, "Green Zone" is a marvel. Though shot in Morocco, Spain and England, the action feels as though it takes place in the heart of Baghdad.

Greengrass, who directed Damon in "The Bourne Ultimatum" and "The Bourne Supremacy," applies similar techniques — darting camera work, quick cutting, haphazard framing — to create the same sense of documentary immediacy in "Green Zone."

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How did Hurt Locker beat Avatar at Oscars?

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For Hollywood pundits, industry folk and Oscar fans still paying attention on Monday, a major question remained: How did Hurt Locker beat Avatar?

For as much as "The Hurt Locker" was the critics' darling, it had three major strikes against it in its battle against the mighty James Cameron's "Avatar."

First, the box office was paltry — it's taken in just $14.7 million domestically, compared to an amazing $720.6 million for "Avatar." That makes "The Hurt Locker" the lowest-grossing best picture winner since accurate records have been kept.

Second, it had no big acting names, usually an important factor in Oscar victory.

And third, it was about the Iraq war, a subject moviegoers traditionally just don't want to deal with. "Iraq is usually the kiss of death at the Oscars," says Tom O'Neil, blogger for the Los Angeles Times' Envelope, an awards site.

But even with 10 nominees in the running for this year's best picture Oscar, the two films — whose directors were once married — were quickly pitted against each other in the race for Hollywood's highest honor.

How did "The Hurt Locker" win out? Theories abound:

Finally a non-political film about Iraq
Many films about the Iraq war have fallen into a trap of appearing preachy or at least having a strong point of view. Viewers may or may not agree with that view — that still doesn't mean they want to get it at the movies.

But "The Hurt Locker," a story of three technicians on a bomb-defusing team in Baghdad, is at heart an action movie — a documentary-style close-up of the men, their relationships, their missteps and the almost unbearable tension inherent in their exhausting, terrifying, tedious work.

"This isn't that kind of muckraking film aiming to show torture or violation of rules of war," says Robert Sklar, film professor at New York University. "This is a film about men trying to save lives rather than take them. It's also a buddy story. It has classic war-movie themes."

Oscar likes films with an important message
Often the Academy honors big, sweeping films, which "The Hurt Locker" is certainly not. But it also looks for films with a substantial message. "Oscar likes films of importance, with a capital I," says film historian Leonard Maltin. "Often they're big films, but this is a small film that dealt with a really important subject."

Oscar voters don't care about box office
Who says Oscar cares about box office? "The Oscars don't pay attention to that at all, and nor should they," Maltin says. In fact, he adds, they've often been accused of being too elitist, favoring independent movies over big films favored by the broader public.

Yes, they do!
Nonsense, says O'Neil, of The Envelope: "The Academy wants their movies to do well. Then they anoint them." Even last year's "Slumdog Millionaire," which originally almost went straight to DVD, had made $40 million before the nominations, then rode to $70 million by the time of the awards, he says.

It's about the campaigning
All of "Hurt Locker's" technical merit aside, "it would be naive to think Oscar campaigning had nothing to do with it," says O'Neil. He credits Cynthia Swartz, whose public relations firm was given the Oscar campaigning job by Summit, the film's distributor, which was looking for industry respect and had plenty of money to fund the campaign, having already cashed in with the "Twilight" vampire movies.

"It was a very savvy campaign," says O'Neil. "Full force, and highly aggressive."

The woman factor
As compelling as her movie was, director Kathryn Bigelow had a compelling story of her own. This director who specializes not in female-oriented films but in big action thrillers had a real shot at becoming the first woman in Oscar history to win the best director prize, with her film winning best picture, too.

Yet Bigelow tried to downplay that element of her story, saying in interviews that she just wanted to be seen as a filmmaker, not a female one.

"Bigelow refused to capitalize on the woman factor, and to her credit," says Maltin. Everyone else wanted to make it a story but her. Still, you can't deny it had some impact."

The ex factor
Nor did Bigelow have any desire to capitalize on the "Ex Factor" — in case you're way behind on your Oscar gossip, she was married to Cameron from 1989-91. Were there some voters who were secretly rooting for her to leave him in the dust? No way of knowing, and the two seemed amicable through the awards season, with him standing and cheering as she won her Oscar. Still, there's no doubt that the "battle of the exes" (ok, we're done with the puns) added to the hype.

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Diposkan oleh Muhammad Tsani Abdul Hakim on Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It’s an arse of a plan, Joyce

Guest post by Ralph Springett, president of Massey’s extramural students’ association

Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce has recently outlined how tertiary education funding will work. Completions must come within the targeted range as described by the institutions investment plan. Otherwise the Tertiary Education Commission will use their funding-stick; give the institution a beating for not being good enough. Sounds like national standards before corporal punishment was banned.

The reaction will be sensible. Tertiary institutions such as universities and polytechnics will increase support for marginal students, using the compulsory student services levy to fund new initiatives. That’s good, lets all muck in and help those that need it most – a bit like how student associations work. Institutions will also be more careful about which prospective (and even current) students they chose to enrol and re-enrol. They will choose those with good grades who want to study full-time. They will be supported in this by the government’s tertiary education strategy push to enroll school leavers. Students who fail will be shunted out the door to make way for the bright new things.

But there is a problem. If you are an adult, the doors will be closed. If you fail because you decided that the course was crap or your mother died; you are out. If you are Māori and are looking for a second chance at education you will have to count on… on what?

National’s direction is discriminating against those with disabilities, students who study part-time for professional or personal development and the elderly who through education wish to continue to contribute to society. It is bordering on racist, as the group they are targeting effectively excludes Māori, despite its own Tertiary Education Strategy targeting Māori learners. Māori learners in degree level tertiary education are predominantly adults who have entered the system through the open entry route for those aged 20 or more. If National closes this door, how would their policy satisfy the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi?

One wonders if National has considered the social impact of its tertiary education policies.
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Concept ships by Josh Nizzi

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Josh's art portfolio and concept robots too! I'm going to Breckenridge for a week or so to airbrush t-shirts for spring break... Be back shortly!

Keywords: concept spaceship vehicle art by josh nizzi freelance artist working in live action films [local 800 member] and a variety of other entertainment hollow earth concept art
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