* * *Subscribe to the Mercury News and East Bay Times for $40 a year and receive a free Warriors championship coffee table book* * *After an overtime loss to the Houston Rockets, the Golden State Warriors get back some momentum with a win on the road versus the Sacramento Kings. In this week’s editions of Warriors Looking Forward, Mark Medina discusses if the win versus Sacramento was what Golden State needed, the teams upcoming games with the New York Kicks and the Chicago Bulls and how the …
But in it, he gave away the Warriors’ gameplan for the first … Here’s what we’ve learned so far about the Warriors halfway through thee 2019-2020 preseason:The Warriors are going to be a fancy version of the Rockets(Doug Duran/Bay Area News Group)Stephen Curry played 26 minutes in Thursday’s preseason game against the sad, dumpy, Minnesota Timberwolves, scoring 40 points on 14-of-19 shooting, 6-of-9 from beyond the line.It was a really good performance from the two-time NBA MVP.
Vodacom, First National Bank and Sanlam have been voted tops in an annual consumer satisfaction survey.The survey with a moniker bigger than a mouthful – the “internationally measurable consumer satisfaction index research in the long-term insurance, telecommunications and banking sectors”, or the SAS index survey – was conducted by South African Satisfaction (SAS) Index in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).The survey measured some 27 critical drivers of “customer satisfaction and delight”. Some of these included quality and efficiency of staff, general attitude of staff and whether client information is kept up to date.The survey is an annual initiative designed to encourage competitiveness across industries. According to the DTI, it is unlike similar benchmark offerings and is comparable to similar surveys in the US and Europe – such as the American (ACSI) and European (EPSI) studies. It is the third year running that the survey has been conducted.View the full resultsof the survey.See comparable statistics (US and UK).Results indicate that South African customers are more satisfied than their counterparts in Europe and America. However, the DTI says this may be because South African consumers “have lower expectations”, suggested by a recent consumer survey conducted by the department.The DTI says the survey raises important issues about the level of consumer protection and awareness in South Africa. The results clearly show low levels of awareness about consumer rights, and limited support mechanisms to promote consumer activism and protection on the ground.Of consumers surveyed 55% did not know any consumer rights at all, 85% asked for more information on consumer rights, 79% did not know of any consumer rights organisations and only 2% belong to a consumer NGO. The DTI says this “poses a challenge to all government, industry and consumer activists to improve services and raise consumer awareness of their rights and expectations”.Improvement across the boardThe survey shows that overall improvement has been seen in all the sectors:TelecommunicationsLooking at the industries individually, the ranking of the players in the telecommunications industry remained consistent. However, the industry as a whole showed a 5.5% point improvement.Although Telkom showed a substantial improvement ahead of the launch of the second fixed-line operator, it is not yet delivering the same level of performance as the more competitive cellular industry. On the brighter side, the survey shows that Telkom is doing significantly better than the telecommunication industry in both Europe and the US in satisfying its customers.Vodacom and MTN continue to lead the telecommunications field, but Cell C is well on track to challenge the more established players on service levels. Vodacom and MTN are producing the sort of satisfaction levels that one would expect from global players, making their results even more significant.Banking industryAccording to the DTI, the banking results confirm the success of its investment in the SAS index to improve service levels. Significant levels of improvement were reported by all of the big four banks. FNB and Standard Bank still scored higher than Nedbank and ABSA, with their improvements setting a new benchmark for competitors in the banking industry. As was the case last year, South African banking customers remain more satisfied than banking customers in America and Europe.Long-term insurance industryThe DTI says the better banking and telecommunications service levels may be one of the reasons for the new entrant, the long-term insurance industry, trailing behind banking and telecommunications as far as customer satisfaction is concerned. Little separated the top long-term insurance performer (Sanlam) from the least well received (Liberty Life) – a result the DTI attributes to the highly competitive nature of the industry.The department says the study will be rolled out across all major industries in South Africa in the near future, providing local and international comparisons to fuel the ongoing drive of local businesses to achieve world-class customer satisfaction.SouthAfrica.info reporter
Fog machines and hazers continue to be some of the most widely used tricks of the trade on film sets of all shapes and sizes, but they certainly aren’t the only way to give your footage a soft hazy look.Top image from Tiffen Filter Tests by Shane Hurlbut, ASCOne of the greatest challenges in digital cinematography today is offsetting the extreme sharpness that most modern digital sensors capture. For years, DPs have used hazers to create immersive and dream-like atmospheres, and in today’s digital landscape this technique is more useful than ever. A small, almost unnoticeable amount of fog or haze can go a very long way in “taking the edge off” of your overly sharp digital footage. But in some cases, it just isn’t practical or possible to use a proper hazer, and other solutions should be considered.There are countless reasons why you might not be able to use a hazer —lack of budget, location regulations, power issues, etc. Thankfully though, there are many alternatives to traditional hazers that can ultimately serve the same purpose.It’s worth noting that not all of the suggestions below are going to give you the same look that a real hazer would give you, but they are capable of solving one of the same problems: overly sharp footage. So next time you need to shoot something and are unable to pull together a proper haze system, consider these alternatives.1. Diffusion in a CanProducts like Fantasy FX canned fog are excellent alternatives to hazers, especially when you don’t have access to a power supply. For instance, you may want to add a bit of haze to a shot inside a small cabin to create some atmosphere, but don’t have access to a generator or power at your location. Diffusion in a can allows you to spray the room with a high-quality haze that can last for up to two hours. As you might imagine, this option isn’t going to be as powerful as a haze machine, but for small spaces and highly controlled environments, it’s an excellent solution.2. Stockings on the LensImage from Hurlbut VisualsThis is the oldest trick in the book, but still one that’s employed on sets of all kinds — from student films to Hollywood features. The idea is simple: Stretch a stocking across your lens to soften the image dramatically, creating a hazy glow within your images.As I mentioned above, techniques such as this one won’t emulate the look of a hazer, but will instead provide an alternate aesthetic if you want to soften your image. One of the nice things about using a stocking on your lens is that you can ensure consistent results, without a whole lot of effort. In his article Diffusion for the Digital Age – Using Stockings, Shane Hurlbut discusses exactly how to achieve the effect. This video shows what you can expect the results to look like:3. Camera FiltersIf you don’t like the idea of using a stocking on your lens or are going for a more subtle look, there are many lens filters you can consider that will help to soften your image beautifully. In particular, Pro-Mist filters are some of my favorite to use, as they add just enough softness to the image to mitigate the harsh digital footage. This video shows a comparison between Pro-Mist and Black Frost filters, both of which can help you achieve similar results:4. Do It in PostI don’t typically recommend adding diffusion in post — but sometimes there’s no choice. The bottom line: nothing you can do in the editing room will effectively replicate the look of capturing a softer image in camera, whether you’re using a hazer, filter, or any other technique. That said, there will certainly be times when you may have no other option but to soften your image in the editing room, and it’s still a solid backup option if you’re ever in a pinch.Many software platforms (like Red Giant’s Magic Bullet Looks) have diffusion effects built right in, and with some fine tuning, strong results can be had. Alternatively, for the more seasoned editor/colorist, using DaVinci Resolve or other professional color grading systems can give you more control over your final result. For instance, in Resolve you might choose to pull a luma key on your highlights and add a faint amount of blur to them. This technique will give you a lot of control over how much diffusion/softness you’ll add to your image, and will serve to help you achieve fairly realistic results.Got any tips for capturing soft hazy looks without resorting to a fog machine? Share them in the comments below!
Read Next Spoelstra picked up the idea from watching Dragic play in Slovenia over the last two summers; fouling to get the ball back, even late in tie games, is more prevalent in European games.In the end, it worked out anyway.“That’s the difference between a head coach enjoying his glass of wine or staying up all night second-guessing every single decision,” Spoelstra said.Wade didn’t seem aware of the plan to foul only if he missed one of the three.“I wanted to foul,” Wade said. “I had confidence in myself that I was going to make all three. They kept running (the same) pick and roll, and it was killing us and I just felt playing the numbers … I wanted the young fella to see, in this environment, what he’s going to do.”Simmons missed the first, made the second. Wade brought the ball downcourt, dribbled left, went behind his back, then to the right, then eventually found his spot to fire over Simmons for what became the gamewinner.“That’s what he does,” 76ers coach Brett Brown said. “That’s who he is. That’s who he’s always been. He just sort of grabbed the team and put it on his back.”Philadelphia used a 16-3 run to open a 33-20 lead in the first half, and Miami answered with an 18-2 run to go up 38-35. From there, a 12-minute stretch of back-and-forth commenced with neither team ever leading by more than three.The 76ers eventually broke through, going up nine late in the third. But they saw the margin cut to 75-73 going into the fourth, after Wade hit a step-back 3 to end the quarter. In the fourth, Philadelphia went up again, this time by 10 — and Miami clawed back again, using an 11-1 run to knot the game on a layup by Wade with 4:57 left.And in the end, Wade came through in the biggest way. In his house, the Heat got a needed win. Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving LATEST STORIES Miami Heat Dwyane Wade screams with the crowd after scoring the winning basket to defeat the Philadelphia 76ers in an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018 in Miami. (Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald via AP)MIAMI — This was vintage Dwyane Wade, and he knew exactly what he was doing.He intentionally fouled Ben Simmons in the final seconds of a tie game, usually an absolute no-no. He didn’t give the ball up on the ensuing possession with his team down by one, choosing instead to decide the outcome himself.ADVERTISEMENT Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “It was good tonight to be back in that position,” Wade said.TIP-INS76ers: Philadelphia got fouled three times on 3-point tries and made the utmost of the chances, converting them into 10 points. Marco Belinelli made three free throws, and Redick turned one into a four-point play, and made three more when hit again beyond the arc with 1:47 left. … Redick scored 15, Belinelli had 13 and Simmons finished with 11.Heat: It was the 24th time in Miami’s last 26 games that the winning margin was less than 10 points. … Wade’s previous season high was 25, when he was with Cleveland.MOTT LEAVESMost of the second half was played with only two referees on the floor. Rodney Mott left the game early in the third quarter, accompanied by Heat athletic trainer Jay Sabol. Bill Spooner and Lauren Holtkamp finished the game.UP NEXT76ers: Visit Cleveland on Thursday.Heat: Host the L.A. Lakers on Thursday. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico Goran Dragic scored 21 for the Heat, who got 16 points from Tyler Johnson and 15 points and 11 rebounds from Hassan Whiteside.Joel Embiid scored 23 points for Philadelphia, which got 21 from Dario Saric. The 76ers led by as many as 10 in the fourth and had a chance to win at the buzzer, but JJ Redick’s wide-open 3-point try bounced off the rim.“D-Wade down the stretch was amazing,” Redick said.He needed to be, since Philadelphia led for 96 percent of the second half — and lost, because Wade wouldn’t allow any other outcome.Wade got fouled on a 3-point try with 29 seconds left and the Heat down by three. The plan that Spoelstra laid out was for the Heat to foul Simmons — a 57 percent foul shooter — if Wade missed one of the three foul shots. Wade made all three, but fouled Simmons anyway.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View comments The foul? Brilliant.The shot? Even better.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutWade scored 15 of Miami’s final 17 points, finished with a season-high 27 and his jumper with 5.9 seconds remaining lifted the Heat to a 102-101 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night. And yes, he punctuated the gamewinner with the “this is my house” signal and yell to the crowd, as if there was any doubt that he somehow lost the deed to the building during his stints in Chicago and Cleveland.“There’s something about Dwyane Wade when you put that Miami Heat jersey on and play in front of these fans,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He becomes somebody very special.” Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding AFP official booed out of forum Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa Doe-eyed superhero picked for Tokyo Olympics 2020 mascot MOST READ
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion MANILA, Philippines—San Miguel head coach Leo Austria made it clear that even with his caliber, Terrence Romeo still has to prove himself when he officially joins the Beermen.ADVERTISEMENT PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LATEST STORIES BREAKING: Corrections officer shot dead in front of Bilibid June Mar Fajardo sad to see Brian Heruela go, but hopes pal gets longer minutes at TNT LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? Austria is also aware of Romeo’s reputation for being a problematic player.In a report by Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Musong Castillo, Romeo was shipped out of TNT at the request of several players after the star guard “ruined” the team’s chemistry, according to sources.A couple of Beermen also had run-ins with Romeo on the court in the past season.But Austria remains positive that these issues will be resolved once Romeo starts practicing with the team on Thursday.Austria did fix San Miguel after its tumultuous “Petronovela” phase when the team had to change its coaches several times and won just one championship in a span of three years.ADVERTISEMENT “Ever since Petron there was the novella and there were a lot of intrigues within the team but still the players stayed together and because of that in the last four years we started winning championships,” said Austria who took over as head coach at the start of the 2014-15 season.“There were a lot of ups and downs and the players matured because of that. These guys are professionals and they should exercise your attitude because this is not any one’s team. Anyone of us can be let go any time, The loyalty should remain to the team.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening Austria is well aware of Romeo’s individual awards but as far as team trophies are concerned the polarizing gunner still has nothing to show for it.“He has a lot of achievements, individually, but as a team I think he hasn’t won a championship yet,” said Austria in Filipino after the team’s practice Wednesday at Acropolis Clubhouse. “That’s the first thing he has to do, and I think he wants to win a championship.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion“Every time there are new players on the team, the incumbent ones will have to size him up and he too has to size his new teammates up. It will take a few days to be familiarized with the team.”San Miguel has been nothing short of successful during Austria’s reign winning six of the possible 12 titles across four seasons including four straight Philippine Cups. Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue View comments
Spending plan boosts funding for education, road projectsState Rep. Julie Calley today voted for an effective and efficient state budget that increases spending on education and transportation system repairs while at the same time reducing the size of government.Calley, of Portland, said the budget is a fiscally responsible blueprint for Michigan.“This budget does more than just fund the vital departments, programs and services upon which Michigan residents depend,” Calley said. “We accomplish that – record spending on K-12 education and the most money ever spent on our transportation system – on fewer state taxpayer dollars than those being used in the current general state budget. That’s conservative, accountable budgeting.”Calley said the budget aims to boost the number of career and technical workers available for the in-demand jobs by increasing training funds by one-third.Road and bridge projects will see an increase in the coming budget year as well.“We cut the size of state government so we could dedicate more money to fix our crumbling transportation system,” Calley said. “We need less bureaucracy and more asphalt and concrete for our roads in Michigan.”She also pointed out the Legislature made sure it was using taxpayer money efficiently.“Just like families across Michigan, we have tightened our belt by cutting inefficient programs and eliminating waste in state government,” Calley said. “We strive to be good stewards of the taxpayer money people entrust to us by forcing government to live within its means.”Other aspects of the state budget include:Overall growth in spending does not exceed the rate of inflation.The budget helps make life better in communities across Michigan by adding money for road repairs, public safety departments, parks and other programs to improve our daily lives.The plan pays down millions of dollars in debt, helping relieve state liability and opening the door for a more secure financial future. ##### 20Jun Rep. Calley joins House colleagues in voting for budget Categories: Calley News,News