December 21

Liverpool linked with Roberts, Blues tipped to pursue Schurrle swap deal

first_imgThe Express say Chelsea are looking to offload Andre Schurrle to Borussia Dortmund in an exchange deal involving Marco Reus.A number of other Premier League clubs are said to be interested in Reus, 25, including Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United.He is reported to have a clause in his contract enabling him to leave for £20m at the end of the season, but it is claimed that Chelsea are not only interested but want to sign him in January.Blues boss Jose Mourinho is expected to offer Schurrle in a straight swap, the Express say.Meanwhile, there continues to be speculation over the future of highly-rated Fulham youngster Patrick Roberts.The Daily Mirror say Liverpool are stepping up their interest in the teenager and are looking to beat Chelsea as well as Arsenal to his signing.Liverpool are said to have watched Roberts three times this season and be willing to loan him back to Fulham if they secure his transfer.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

December 16

Brad Pitt’s Foundation Sues Architect

first_imgLegal troubles engulfing Brad Pitt’s Make It Right foundation in New Orleans have deepened with the foundation now suing its own architect for overseeing shoddy construction that could cost millions of dollars to repair. According to published reports, the foundation that built more than 100 houses in the wake of Hurricane Katrina has filed suit against New Orleans architect John C. Williams. NBC News said the foundation paid Williams more than $4 million to produce drawings and oversee the construction of  houses designed by a number of big-name architects. The trendy designs were intended to meet LEED Platinum requirements but instead developed a variety of problems while failing to meet LEED standards, the lawsuit says. They included inadequate waterproofing and flawed roof designs that made the houses susceptible to water damage.RELATED ARTICLESMake It Right Foundation Faces a LawsuitBrad Pitt’s Foundation Plans a Project in MontanaMore Troubles for TimberSIL In a news clip posted with the NBC article, Kamaria Allen said she bought one of the foundation’s homes in the Lower Ninth for $130,000 in 2011 and began noticing problems almost immediately. She later moved out of the house and in with her parents, who themselves had bought a Make It Right house with its own moisture problems. The lawsuit says the design flaws could cost the foundation $20 million in repairs. The lawsuit says the foundation became aware that some houses developed  moisture-related problems within a year of completion and sought advice from Williams on how to correct them. Williams recognized his work was responsible for problems but “suppressed the truth of the conditions and their casual links,” the lawsuit says. Repairs overseen by Williams also were “ineffective.” GBA placed calls to Williams and to Victor Franckiewicz, identified by the New Orleans Advocate as the attorney who filed the suit earlier this month in Orleans Parish Civil District Court. The calls were not returned. GBA also tried without success, as it has in the past, to reach the foundation’s New Orleans office. NBC, however, said Pitt had released a statement which said, “I made a promise to the folks of the Lower Ninth to help them rebuild — it is a promise I intend to keep.” Residents sue Make It Right In the meantime, an attorney representing people who bought houses from the foundation has made good on his promise to sue the organization for building “substandard homes.” “While the citizens of the Ninth Ward are grateful to Brad Pitt for starting the rebuilding in their neighborhood,” said a statement from attorney Ron Austin, “they were forced to file this lawsuit because the Make It Right Foundation built substandard homes that are deteriorating at a rapid pace while the homeowners are stuck with mortgages on properties that have diminished values.” The petition seeking class action status was filed on behalf of Lloyd Francis and Jennifer Decuir. It names the Foundation and a number of its board members, including Pitt. The complaint alleges that in a 2013 federal tax filing, the Foundation identified problems with building materials that would cost more than $4 million to fix, but never shared the information with homeowners. This omission deprived homeowners of the chance to pursue legal remedies under Louisiana state law. Beginning in late 2016, the Foundation hired inspectors from Simpson Gumpertz & Heger to go through a number of its homes in the Lower Ninth, but would not share the results with homeowners who repeatedly asked to see them. The two plaintiffs were recently told that the engineering report would be made available to them when the foundation received it. But they were told that they would have to sign a non-disclosure agreement in order for repairs to begin. Construction in the Lower Ninth Ward has stopped, with 109 of the originally planned 150 houses actually built, the complaint says. “The Foundation has virtually ceased all repair activity on the 109 Make It Right Homes, with the exception of a few properties some of which appear to be under repair, without the appropriate City building permits,” it says. In addition, the suit claims, the Foundation has bought back some of the houses that could not be repaired properly, and continues to own a number of undeveloped lots. An unrelated legal claim pitted the foundation against the manufacturers of TimberSIL, a treated wood used on decks and outside stairs in some of the houses. Make It Right sued the company in 2015 for $500,000 after the wood began rotting. That suit, The Advocate said, has been settled out of court.last_img read more

December 12

The Filmmaking (and Photography) Companion App That’s Actually Useful

first_imgLow-budget or DIY filmmaking can leave you a few hands short of your ideal setup. The GH5’s companion app solves the problem.Companion apps are often pointless additions to make it feel like you’re getting more for your equipment-purchasing money. They rarely offer any new features other than a visual representation of the user information found inside the hardware. Using the Xbox One app, for example, allows you to look at your friends list and what video game achievements you have unlocked — and to message your friends. However, that’s everything you can do with the hardware itself, and let’s be honest: if you’re going to message your friend, it’s not going to be through an Xbox iPhone app.Even when companion apps offer some functionality with the hardware or software, they work sporadically. I have an app that turns my iPhone into a remote control for my PC, which was an add-on for Blu-Ray software. By the time this app finally connects to the software so I can lower the volume, I could’ve just gotten up and turned it down myself. It’s only when you have to pay for an app that you start to see premium results.Therefore, two years ago when I found out that the GH4, along with many of Panasonic’s GH series had a complimentary app you could download for free, I was somewhat skeptical of its usefulness. Thankfully, I could not have been more wrong.Using the GH5, let’s have a look at how useful Panasonic’s Image App is.SetupIf you haven’t downloaded the app, you can do so from your phone manufacturer’s App Store (Apple/Android). Once you’ve downloaded it, grab your GH5 and follow these steps.In the setup menu of the GH5, scroll down to Wi-Fi and hit enter.Ther are two sub-menus: Wi-Fi Function & Wi-Fi Setup. Select Wi-Fi Function > New Connection > Remote Shooting & View.With your smartphone or tablet, open the Wi-Fi settings, and select the Wi-Fi channel the camera allocates to you.With your phone now connected to the camera’s Wi-Fi signal, open the Image App — you are now linked to your camera.As a side note, if you’re slightly paranoid about open connections, you can set a password for the GH5’s wireless signal in the Wi-Fi Setup menu.The AppOn the surface, the app looks like it’s mainly for social photographers. You can transfer images, make a photo collage, geotag your photographs, and more.However, we’re going to ignore these features for now since we want to know how the app can help filmmakers. To do this, we need to switch to the Live Control window.This part of the app is incredibly useful for self-shooters, vloggers, and filmmakers who work with skeleton crews. As you can see from the Live Control still below, you now have a portable monitor through which you can control all aspects of your camera.You’re not going to receive a 1080p video feed, but you do now have a mini monitor for frame reference. If you’re a vlogger, sometimes it can become tedious to use the small swivel LCD screen to frame your shot — especially if you’re sitting far away from the camera, but not with this app. There’s even a setting that can assist those who vlog.In the menu setting, you can turn on Self Shot Mode, which will horizontally flip the feed, so when you move your hand from right to left, it appears the same way on the app to keep you from becoming disoriented when checking your composition.The app allows you to adjust the majority of the settings related to recording in video mode (these settings will change depending on which camera mode you are in). From shutter speed to white balance, settings changes no longer require you to touch the camera.The range of the camera’s wireless signal is also great. I was able to walk 26ft away from the camera before I lost the signal — and that was upstairs to downstairs. I can only imagine how useful this would be for shots when the camera needs to be inside something, like a fridge.In this example, if you find that when the actor opens the fridge door, you want a shallower depth of field, you can simply hit the F/SS button and change your aperture. There’s no need to remove the camera from its location to reset the shot. You can even change the settings while the camera is in record mode. This allows you to perform a rack aperture.One area where the app becomes troublesome is changing the focus. As with my computer playback app, by the time you have picked a focus point and gotten the camera to focus on it correctly, it would have been quicker to walk back over to the camera and adjust the focus yourself.Likewise, the playback function is slightly temperamental. When you attempt to press play, you get a pop-up warning: Depending on your smartphone or tablet model, normal playback may not be possible. It feels like this warning is there simply because playback is incredibly sporadic — rather than it being an issue with a user’s device. The file will either play or it won’t, and when a file does play, the playback can be choppy. This was with both an iPhone 7 and an iPad Air 2.As a final note, when comparing the image from the LCD to the feed on the app, the colors on the image from the app were a little washed out. Therefore you should only use the app as a reference tool. Otherwise, you’ll find your shots to be a lot darker than you intended.ConclusionWhile there are a few obsolete elements in the app (from a filmmaker’s perspective), I do think the app has earned a place on your phone or tablet. There are many tools for low-budget and DIY filmmaking — even more for photographers. It’s a perfect tool for filmmakers looking for an extra hand.Looking for more information on the GH5? Check out these links.Rumor: Panasonic to Announce a New GH5s Model in 2018GH5’s Latest Update: Long GOP vs. ALL-Intra CompressionHow to View the Panasonic GH5’s RAW Files in Windows 10The GH5’s Autofocus: A Disaster or Simply Misunderstood?1080p vs. 4K with The GH5last_img read more