Week 8 football preview: Corning heads to Cottonwood; Mercy at Princeton

first_imgCottonwood >> Firmly entrenched in the battle for the Northern Athletic League title, the Corning High football team heads to Cottonwood Friday to battle West Valley, one of two undefeated teams in the NAL standings. The Cards have not won in Cottonwood since at least 2002, meeting nearly every year either in league or nonleague play. “This is going to be our year, we’re hoping,” Corning senior running back Curtis McCoy said last week after a 34-28 win over Red Bluff, which joins Los Molinos …last_img read more

Business Intelligence and Analytics Hot Topics at IBM Information on Demand Conference

first_img3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now This may be used to correlate transaction information with unstructured information that the client collects from the web.Applications may include using analytics for sales purposes to get a better understanding and deeper insights into trends that come as trickles from actual purchases. The information can be analyzed with other data from sales reps about the products they are selling. This information can then be used by sales executives to predict trends and ready the rest of the organization for changes in the marketplace.But though this conference is about information on demand, there is little talk about the real-time web. We asked IBM executives if they can integrate activity stream information, such as a Twitter search pertaining to a company name or product. They said it was possible though it is unclear exactly how this would be accomplished. Most of the examples we saw with Cognos Content Analytics focused on massive amounts of form data that can be viewed in a dashboard. That’s impressive but we would like to see how IBM is leveraging the social web and how they plan to compete against the number of lightweight social technologies that are filling the market.[Disclosure: IBM paid for a plane ticket and hotel room for Alex Williams to attend the IBM Information On Demand Conference.] IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Related Posts Tags:#enterprise#Products#saas alex williams Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Business intelligence, analytics and the demand for process optimization are the big draws here at the IBM Information On Demand Conference in Las Vegas.As one executive said on stage, its not enough to react quickly to what is happening but to predict it.According to IBM’s CIO Global Study, 83 percent of respondents said business intelligence and analytics are a top priority. IBM sees business analytics as the next mega trend, growing twice as fast as the rest of the IT industry.For example, Cognos, acquired by IBM in 2007, is now a hub for IBM’s business intelligence offerings.Cognos announced its Content Analytics product at the conference. With the addition, Cognos is putting an emphasis on combining a client’s internal data with external information to provide a more complete picture of the market and how to optimize marketing and processes within the organization. Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

Smoke ConnectFX: The Keyer Nodes

first_imgThe Modular Keyer inside of Action or in ConnectFX does all of this for you. There are presets for each of these keyers that have the nodes added and linked up.  You can then add or delete nodes to get the best result for your individual keying situation.The Modular Keyer is the default keyer inside of Action.  It’s complex enough that it deserves it’s own blog post, so I’ll do no more than introduce it here.  Basically, it allows you to have a mini-schematic for keying inside of your larger ConnectFX setup.Smoke’s Master Keyer Node:Your first stop when you have a chroma key to perform, is the Master Keyer. Its name is appropriate as it contains a very powerful and interactive keyer with more tools to generate a clean key than any of the other keyers. By keying with the Master Keyer, you have tools for color supression, correction, and degrain built inside the node.  There are also Secondary Keyers, called Patches.Once you have your Front/Back/Matte feeding the node, you have a standard color pot for choosing your chroma key color. The Master Keyer has 2 pots so that you can chose slightly different areas, brighter and darker, and then allow you to mix between the 2 to get a good balance for the key overall. Instantly you can see how well the key is working by looking at the matte output (Press F4 twice).Your key probably isn’t perfect and there might still be some issues to work on. Here is where the Master Keyer excels.  By holding ALT and clicking in the viewer, will see a Heads Up Display (HUD) that allow you to adjust the key.  Depending on where you click in the viewer, you will get different option sliders (Matte Overall, Shadow Highlights, Ranges A,B,C,D,E),  These are smart sliders, as the Master Keyer is looking at the pixels underneath and giving you options to fix just those range of pixels. It’s very specific. Adjusting the sliders in context allows you to have real control over the key result.But sometimes you have a real problem key.  This is where the Master Keyer’s Patches come into play. Think of them like secondary keyers, similar to secondary color correction in the Color Warper.  Activate the patch by selecting it in the sampling menu. Then perform a Control+Box Selection in the viewer over a particular area you want to clean.  The Patch will analyse the pixels and assign them as white or black. Obviously it knows from previous selections that if you click to clean up an area that is currently a matte, it will fill in the pixels as white and an area that you want removed, it will make them black.You have 3 patches to work with, so you can easily clean up areas both inside and outside your matte.  The range and softness values for the patches are keyframeable. So if you have an area of you key where the lighting changes, and more shadows are introduced, you can adjust the values to compensate as the scene changes.Once you have the matte looking its best, you can now focus on the edges. Under the Color Menu, You can adjust the luminance and size of the edge. There is also a color wheel to skew the hue to better match into your background colors. For example, if you were keying your subject over red bricks, you would adjust the luma to match the brightness of the bricks and dial in a bit of red to match. This will help make your composite more realistic by blending the edges. You can also use the viewer interactive approach by selecting Blend from the Sampling Menu.The Master Keyer will also do color suppression and remove spill on your image. The color is copied from the initial key selection, but further adjustments can be made in the hue and range. You can choose to turn off the Auto CC as well by deselecting the button.  You would then need to add a Color Curves Node after the Master Keyer Node to suppress the color then.  More than likely, you can just use the internal suppression in this node.The output of the node is selectable. The result matte is always sent through the matte output, but the front can be selected to be the result with the background clip, the color corrected front without the back, or you can feed the matte output through the front. This flexibility gives you the options to add effects nodes downstream in your schematic and composite the key down the line.Keying on the Timeline:Sometimes while editing you need to get the cuts and timing down of your talent in Chroma Key as they pertain to the script or story. You can use the same keying tools from CFX on the timeline via the AXIS effect…with a few differences. If you place your chroma key talent on V2 with the background on V1 you can add an AXIS timeline effect to the chroma key.Inside of AXIS, activate the Keyer and you will see a new UI which combines all of the keyers we have talked about thus far, along with color and matte tools, histograms, and Gmasks. All in once neat and friendly package.  Since all the the keyers are independent, you can test each one and see which one works best for you right in the timeline and you can toggle back and forth.The color blend and spill suppression is available with each keyer as well as matte tools for shrink, erode, blur and invert. The histogram can be used to clamp the high and low values to clean up the key even more.Also, having the Gmask (Garbage Mask) tools at your fingertips makes trimming off bad sections of the scene and highlighting just what you want, can save you time when generating a good key.Once you have your key the way you like, exit AXIS and return to the timeline. Now, if your scenes are all the same, you can copy the AXIS effect to your other clips, adjusting Gmask as needed.  If you want to take this into ConnextFX for some more advanced effects, you can do that as well. Select your layers (Chroma Key & Background) add a CFX and make sure ‘Generate Composite’ is selected. Smoke will then take the effects you have setup already on your timeline and promote them into nodes inside of ConnextFX…with a few issues.The AXIS effect will become an Action node and the keyer inside will be the same keyer from AXIS.  The  keyer in Axis works great in the timeline with 8, 10 and 16 bit clips. But, if you are working with 10 or 16 bit clips then the keyer in Action will become inaccessible (black K).The keyer in Action (promoted from AXIS) only works with 8 bit clips. The default Modular Keyer in Action, if you activated a new Keyer setup, is 16bit. If you have any clips that are 10>16 bit, you need to activate the RGB Lut and convert them to 8 bit. Then the keyer in Action will become active (white K).  The keyer in AXIS used to be the same keyer in Action, but with the changes to the workflow in Smoke 2013, everything in CFX is processed at 16 bit fp.  This is one reason the Modular Keyer is being used as it already worked in 16 bit.  If you are working with all 8 bit clips on your timeline, then everything will be fine when you promote your timeline effect to CFX.Keying is one of the strongest features inside of Smoke. I personally do a lot of green screen work in the promos and commercials I edit. So I have gotten pretty good and pulling a good key even from compressed formats like H.264, DVCPRO HD, and AVC-I.  With better codecs and files like .r3D, and Prores4444 your ability to perform a good looking composite becomes very easy with the keyer tools in Smoke 2013. There are many keying tools inside of Autodesk Smoke 2013. So, how do you know which one to use and when?  We’ll breakdown the keyers so you can better decide which is best for your next project.Autodesk has always been known for their keying tools within their visual effects products.  Simply put, they have some of the best keyers in the business.  There are 7 keyer nodes inside of Smoke (Luma, Channel, HLS, RGB, YUV, RGBCMYL, Master Keyer).  If you want to include the Modular Keyer, which is a separate node-based keying environment, and the Diamond Keyer inside of the Color Warper, then you have 9 color keying tools.  Why so many? Well, Autodesk Flame is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary, and many of these keyers started then and there. Over time, other keyer algorithms have come along, each one a little different and a little better then the ones before. And since every keying situation can be different, sometimes one keyer can perform better and give you a better result then another.[Click on Images for a Larger View]The Smoke base keyers are the Luma, Channel, HLS, RGB, YUV, and RGMCMYL keyers. The Luma Keyer is a luminance based keyer, generating a matte from luminance levels.  The others are all color based keyers where you would select a color in the image to key out. In other words, a chroma key.  Each of these keyers only accept a front image and output a result image which is a hicon matte.The best chroma keyer inside of Smoke, in terms of features and quality, is the Master Keyer. The Master Keyer also accepts a Front, Back and Matte input and outputs a front and matte result. But we will focus on that keyer in a bit.Here is an example of how each of the base keyers treat this image when we do a simple 1 click color selection. Images provided by and available via HollywoodCameraWork.usEach of these chroma keyers (Channel, RGB, YUV, RGBCHML, HLS) has a color pot to select the color on the image you would like to key out.  You then have Tolerance and Softness tools to add/subtract color information to finesse the key result.  You can dial these values using the sliders or by selecting problem areas of the image.  Depending on the quality of your image, the lighting of your blue/green screen, shadows, compression, etc, each of these keyers may give a slightly different result. So often it’s good to try them all to see which one works for your given situation.The Channel Keyer works well when you have a very clean and uniform color channel to key. The other keyers work well when the image has impurities in the chroma key like shadows or creases in the background color.These nodes just give you the basic key, and result a matte. You would then need to add some other nodes like the Color Curves for color suppression on the edges or Edge Matte Nodes to add any shrink or erodes. Perhaps even a 2D Histogram to clamp the matte and clean up some rough areas, or even a Gmask Node to add a garbage mask to isolate a part of the image.  And ultimately, comp the front and result key together in Action or in the Blend & Comp Node with a background.last_img read more

Gujarat producing athletes to Nation

first_imgThey were all promising athletes from lower middle class families in Gujarat, but had what seemed to be an insurmountable deficiency. Till a year ago, these talented girls of Kalyani Girls High School in Ahmedabad’s Maninagar area, coming from poor economic background, lived on an uneven diet which meant low,They were all promising athletes from lower middle class families in Gujarat, but had what seemed to be an insurmountable deficiency. Till a year ago, these talented girls of Kalyani Girls High School in Ahmedabad’s Maninagar area, coming from poor economic background, lived on an uneven diet which meant low HB (hemoglobin) levels and malnutrition.HEALTHIER:Students of Kalyani SchoolToday, not only are they eating healthy, but are proving their potential in sports, with some even winning laurels at the state level. Hansa Thakore, 17, an athlete and a 5,000-m champion of the Gujarat School Games in 2006, works as a maid with her mother to eke out a living.Madhavi Barot lives with her handicapped father, has already lost her mother and yet won two state level gold medals in 3,000-m race. The father of Jashmika Soni, 16, state champion in 400-m race, is a rickshaw puller and lives in a one-room house with his five-member family. “Their transformation has purely to do with the new fortified diet that they have been getting”, says coach Yogesh Modi, The state Government floated a scheme in 2005 of fortifying edible oil and flour with vitamins at production or packaging stage to tackle malnutrition.A total of 620 women in Ahmedabad’s Daskroi taluka were put on a fortified flour diet for three months last year after which their HB levels went up. Vanitaben Parmar’s is a representative case. Wife of a factory laborer, earning Rs 2,000 a month, her HB count has risen from 7 to almost 11. “I feel much more energetic”, she concedes as do many of her ilk.advertisementA survey conducted by Sanguine Management Consultants recently in several districts of Gujarat at the behest of the State Food and Civil Supplies Department (SFCSD), shows that nearly 80 per cent of the people, both rich and poor, are now consuming fortified edible oils and over 40 per cent are living on fortified flour. Says a jubilant S.K. Nanda, department secretary, who was instrumental in the implementation of the scheme, “there are some small hiccups, but soon we will be able to cover the entire population of Gujarat under the scheme. In edible oil, we are close to achieving it.”After charting this scheme, SFCSD began working with edible oil manufacturers, packagers and refinery owners and convinced them to add Vitamin-A to the oil at the production stage. Vitamin packs are supplied by four companies and the whole process costs just five paise per kilo.Mill preparing fortified flourIt was, however, not so easy in the case of iron and folic acid being mixed with flour. The cost for this, too, is five paise per kilo, but small chakki (grinding mill) owners are resisting it as they see it as an extra burden. Apart from this resistance, there is also a problem establishing a time-bound and elaborate supply chain of iron and folic acid packs to mill owners in the far-flung and remote corners of the state.The scheme, however, is a boon for the below-poverty-line (BPL) families for whom malnutrition is a part of their existence. The Government is as a rule, selling only fortified oil and flour from its fair price shops, making BPL families the fastest beneficiaries of the scheme. If only the Gujarat model could be replicated in the rest of the country, a major front will be opened against the demon of malnutrition.last_img read more

LEVEL 4 REFEREES PRESENTERS

first_imgEvery now and again people achieve remarkable things in our sport, but very rarely do they receive recognition for their achievements. Over the past few weeks four people have gained their level 4 referee presenter status, Chris Harapa, Erene Devall, Scott Dews and Michael Rush. On the database of referee presenters there are only 100 people who have ever achieved this level and this award. Because of their remarkable achievement, we decided to take some time to focus on them and their involvement as Touch referees. Recently I asked each of them some questions about their involvement with Touch, what they love, what’s tough and what they see as the future of refereeing… CHRIS HARAPA: 1) When did you first start Touch refereeing and how long have you been refereeing? I first started refereeing about 1990 down at the Domain lunchtime competition in Sydney as a duty ref, before a friend suggested that I take it more seriously as I was a better ref than a player. I joined South Sydney Referees the following year and they helped me get my level 1. I had lots of help then because some of the best refs then officiated at Souths; Adam Foley, Gary Mournehis, Richard Lawry, Mark Sinclair (all level 6’s & still involved in the sport). I stopped refereeing 3 years ago due to nerve damage in my back and am currently a member of the NSW Referees Panel. 2) What makes refereeing difficult? The speed & intensity of the game as well as the different standards across the park. Referees also devote a lot of time and money to the sport and this makes it hard for them and their families. 3) What do you enjoy about refereeing? When I refereed it was the great camaraderie and friendships that will last a lifetime. Even now as a panel member, the buzz and excitement of a tournament and seeing everyone puts a smile on my face. Also the challenge of improving, attaining higher badge levels and getting better quality games. 4) When did you become interested in other aspects, such as referee presenting/coaching/observing? I had no choice in giving up refereeing because I was forced to give it away, but when the Director of Referees, Ian Matthew invited me to assist the panel for the first time, I jumped at the chance to stay involved and give something back. Presenting and coaching is all part of the job, and I love it. 5) What levels have you achieved in these areas? As a referee, I attained my Level 4 State badge. As a referees’ coach, I am now a level 3 and hope one day to get that L4 at a national tournament. As a presenter, L4 as you now know. I’m also a level 1 player coach. 6) What has been the highlight of your career? Any great memorable moments? Achieving my L4 state badge and getting that blue blazer. An unbelievable semi final game at the State Cup in 1996 between the two best Womens’ sides at the time, Easts v Cronulla which went down to 3 on 3 and helped me get my level 4 badge. Also, you can’t beat our Referees’ Grading Night when you see the smile on a referee’s face when they receive their blue blazer and you helped them get there! 7) Who has been a positive influence for you? All my fellow referees through the years, the NSW Referees Panel, Ian Matthew (Director), my daughter Leah who is an inspiration (I got her involved from the age of 9 and she still loves playing now at 20), my son and best mate Dan, and my wife Megan as she is the one that encourages me and helps me to stay in Touch. 8) What do you see in the future for Touch refereeing in Australia? I can see a bright future ahead. Being associated with so many people that are happy to give up their time and energy as well as a genuine love for what they do, we will only get better in what we do. We are continually developing improving and delivering our courses on a regular basis as well as providing our senior and experienced referees a means to becoming coaches & presenters to help in the development of our junior, female & emerging referees. ERENE DEVALL: 1) When did you first start Touch refereeing and how long have you been refereeing? I started in Kiama, NSW playing in 1980 and started refereeing as a L1 in 1983 (a life time ago) 2) What makes refereeing difficult? Its not difficult it just has lots of challenges. 3) What do you enjoy about refereeing? The people you meet from all walks of life 4) When did you become interested in other aspects, such as referee presenting/coaching/observing? When I started going through the levels as a referee. I have always been someone that likes to give something back – quite a few people helped me along the way – now its my turn. I also get a buzz out of seeing the people you help achieve their goals too. 5) What levels have you achieved in these areas? L4 Referee (retired when I became pregnant with my first child) L4 Coach and now L4 Presenter 6) What has been the highlight of your career? Any great memorable moments? Coaching a great friend of mine through the system from L1 through to L6 referee and being present when he received his L6 at NTL. Too many highlights to mention one in particular – there have been so many. 7) Who has been a positive influence for you? My husband has been the one to support and encourage me to achieve as I have, however, on the Touch Scene there are four people that have had the greatest influence on my career – Greg West, Ian Matthew, Lou Tomkins and Steve Fisher – they are part of the reason I stay involved. 8) What do you see in the future for Touch refereeing in Australia? I would like to see refereeing promoted as a sport within a sport – you either hate it or love it, there is no middle ground. I think that it does take a special type of person to become a Touch Referee. Within my career, thankfully, the highs definitely outweigh the lows. SCOTT DEWS: 1) When did you first start Touch refereeing and how long have you been refereeing? I have been refereeing since the early 90’s, I became more involved & committed when I watched my wife playing rep Touch and realised I could ref at that level. I did my first tournament in ’94. 2) What makes refereeing difficult? During my time when I stopped playing and concentrated on refereeing full time, the park players in open grades basically ran the games, until I gained their respect. Now the only difficult ones are the long term players, who still need the older rules to recover (Mainly women). 3) What do you enjoy about refereeing? To me being able to be involved in high level Touch games e.g.; Mens open NTL, Mens 20’s World Cup) is all the motivation I need. 4) When did you become interested in other aspects, such as referee presenting/coaching/observing? We need a level 1 coaching qualification to gain our state level badges, it was something I enjoyed, passing on information and assistance to developing referees.(My career now is adult training). 5) What levels have you achieved in these areas? I gained my level 6 at NTL’s ’03 and from that and State of Origin I was invited to referee at the Youth World Cup in ’05. 6) What has been the highlight of your career? Any great memorable moments? Gaining the level 6 and then refereeing at the Youth World Cup in 2005. 7) Who has been a positive influence for you? Ian Mathew and his panel have most definitely influenced my career. Ken Golden from this panel more than others, as he was the one that made me realise, I was the only one who could control my career as a referee. 8) What do you see in the future for Touch refereeing in Australia? There is now a new system for referees to follow which will bring more female and younger referees into Touch, this can only make it stronger. MICHAEL RUSH: 1) When did you first start Touch refereeing and how long have you been refereeing? I’ve been refereeing since 1991. 2) What makes refereeing difficult? Players not knowing the key rules & the minority who think its open season on refs on the field. 3) What do you enjoy about refereeing? The constant challenge during the game. You’re more involved in the game than as a player – or maybe that was just a problem with my playing! 4) When did you become interested in other aspects, such as referee presenting/coaching/observing? As part of the refs team at a local venue, you find that after a while you have the opportunity to offer support to new refs. Getting injured and not being able to ref as much also played a key role for me later on. 5) What levels have you achieved in these areas? Level 4 Presenter, Level 3 Referee Coach. 6) What has been the highlight of your career? Any great memorable moments? The memorable moments are when one of the refs you know achieves a goal (a Badge, or a level of game); but also when you see someone new come through and start to show interest in refereeing. 7) Who has been a positive influence for you? One of our Refs Directors here, when I started refereeing, got me interested in sticking with refereeing and having a look at the coordinating and coaching side. More recently getting to work with some of the senior referee coaches. Also, the refs you organise courses and coaching for – a lot of really dedicated people. 8) What do you see in the future for Touch refereeing in Australia? Very positive things. The arm of the sport continues to develop in terms of technical support offered. Refereeing offers a great challenge. The Presenters and Coaching qualifications offer the opportunity to set and achieve goals during and after your on-field career. Once again Touch Football Australia would like to take the opportunity to thank these referees for their contribution to refereeing and the development of our current and future Touch referees at all levels of the sport. We would also like to congratulate them on their own personal achievements and wish them all the best in their future endeavors. By Rachel Moylelast_img read more