We spent a few pleasant days in Canterbury before Christmas last year. An historic town in the south-east of the United Kingdom.
The daylight hours we had were short. It was deep winter and the sun was setting around three in the afternoon. Something of a surprise arriving directly from a fairly sunny central France.
Cathedral by Day and Night
The cathedral was not our main destination in the city. We have seen plenty of cathedrals and the price made it difficult to justify another.
Of course, that did not stop us walking around the grounds and taking photos by both day and night.
A ruined Norman era castle sits in a park within Canterbury. Visitors are free to wander in and around. There is a flight of spiral stairs to climb to reach a small look-out.
The town itself is full of old and not so old buildings. The small details of the buildings stood out to me; moss reclaiming a roof and use of sharp dark rock to cover the buildings.
The medieval walls surrounding Canterbury can be walked along. A good starting point is near the bus stop and the views are enjoyable. Modern life has placed a ring road around the walls, which takes away from the external views. Life goes on and such developments keep the city alive.
I have switched this site over to use only secure links. This will mean the site has become inaccessible to some older computers and devices. If you are reading this, then all is well and you have nothing to do but enjoy our updates.
The shift is the equivalent of changing from sending postcards and to sending letters sealed within an envelope. Anyone can intercept and read a postcard but it takes a legal order or subterfuge to read a sealed letter.
So while not critical for a personal web site such as TheWorkLife, it is a step in the right direction. The more of the web that is encrypted, the better.
I was about to film a clip as we boarded the high speed train that would take us from Lyon to Lille when my GorillaPod Original tripod broke. The top segment popped off as I was adjusting the position of the camera.
Popping the segment back on did not fix the tripod. Once restored, the segment had lost its grip and no longer resisted the weight of the camera. The design and purpose of the tripod was undermined.
Being less than a year old and thanks to living under European Union product warrantees, a replacement is in the post as I type this – without cost or quibble – direct from Amazon. I was relieved that I had bought from directly from Amazon; their handling of problems is what makes me continue buying from them.
As an aside, I have yet to have Amazon.fr deliver on the estimated date. The support is good but shipping requires patience.
Joby then Amazon
I first contacted Joby using their email@example.com address and got a quick reply saying to contact another company in France. I had not dealt with this company before. It was a public holiday and the middle of the French holiday season. My heart sank at the idea of dealing with an unknown local French distributor. Rather than follow this run around, I contacted the organisation who sold me the item, Amazon.fr.
It transpires I am lucky. The failure happened while I was holding my camera and nothing more than the tripod broke. My camera was left unharmed. Reading reviews from others suffering this problem, many have trusted their camera to the GorillaPod only to watch it break and for their camera to fall catastrophically to the ground.
Filming and Night Photos
During our days in Lille, I borrowed Megan’s tripod. I discovered that my camera particularly benefits from a tripod when filming and when taking photos at night. Handheld filming is awkward and the mini-tripod makes sweeps and smooth motion easier. At night the tripod helps stabilise the camera for sharper photos.
Learning this, I am pleased to have a replacement on the way. I am however unnerved and wonder what alternatives exist incase this problem recurs. Are there other trustworthy flexible tripods?
An update to my MPEG-4/.mp4 splitting application, Movie Splitter, is now available.
Yesterday Apple’s Mac App Store reviewers accepted my latest update to Movie Splitter. The update should be available worldwide in the next 24 hours.
This update adds support for multilingual chapters markers. This odd sounding improvement is as strange as you might imagine. It is possible for movie files to include different chapter markers for different languages. In practice this ability seems rarely used.
However, it is possible for chapter markers to be associated with languages you do not use or for an “undetermined” language context.
It is this latter undetermined, und, language context that this update really addresses.
The movie footage from our Canon cameras contains chapter information in the und context. That makes sense, the camera does not involve itself with the specifics of any spoken language being recorded.
Up until OS X 10.11.4, Apple’s AVFoundation framework happily returned und chapter markers when searching for a best match. With OS X 10.11.5, this behaviour changed and und chapters were no longer returned even when they were the only chapter markers available in the movie file. Is this a bug? I am not sure. If it is, waiting for Apple to fix it is not a game I am any longer willing to play.
With the original Movie Splitter, I searched for the chapters best matching your preferred languages – as determined by your locale. In almost every case this worked.
Then OS X 10.11.5 was released and suddenly Movie Splitter was frequently not being given any chapter markers for movies that previously had good results.
With today’s Movie Splitter, I search for chapter markers for every known ISO 639-2 language code known to OS X plus und. Preference is still given to your preferred languages.
This appears to restore the previous in almost every case this worked behaviour and it improves support for splitting movie files containing chapters markers in extraordinary languages.
My latest short film hit the brick wall that is YouTube’s Content ID system. This was the first time I have had an utterly misapplied copyright violation notice.
Other copyright notices have been raised on my videos but those have been for incidental recordings of music playing during public performances. I do not know the legality of those claims but they appear raised by the appropriate licence holder. Those claims are not my focus today.
If no, then YouTube is in error and new music is still needed.
But knowing would be useful for the future. Should I avoid using tracks from The Passion HiFi? Might Audiam claim everything they produce; I do not know.
The original version of my short film is gone. I removed it immediately from YouTube. Better to not give Audiam control. Better to not accept their claim. Better to not have to lodge disputes and risk my YouTube account’s standing.
I am not fighting. There are other choices.
Today I replaced the music and a new version of my Pérouges short film is available to enjoy. This time, I hope, the Content ID system will leave my work alone.