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  1. 2 points of view: Dan Morain: Revenue down and lawmakers seek tax breaks? By Dan Morain dmorain@sacbee.com Published: Wednesday, Mar. 7, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 13A Last Modified: Wednesday, Mar. 7, 2012 - 8:54 am http://www.sacbee.com/2012/03/07/4316843/revenue-down-and-lawmakers-seek.html Some Democratic legislators evidently haven't gotten the word. No matter that California has a budget deficit of $9.2 billion, or that Gov. Jerry Brown is contemplating deeper cuts in welfare, health care and universities if voters fail to approve his $5 billion tax initiative in November. While Brown and other advocates are asking voters to approve anywhere from $5 billion to $10 billion more in taxes this November, several legislators are seeking to enhance their political standing by offering a new array of tax breaks. Any good politician knows that it's so much easier to vote for a tax break than it is to raise a tax. They can't help themselves, especially when Hollywood beckons, or when there is the potential, no matter how remote, that a tax credit might persuade a business to hire someone. At least three bills would extend California's $100 million-a-year tax credit for producers who agree to film their movies and television shows in the state. There's talk, though no bill yet, of extending the credit to encourage producers of commercials to tape their spots in the Golden State. There is no talk, however, of extending it to porn. Lawmakers created the movie tax credit in 2009, as a five-year, $100 million-a-year incentive to keep productions in California. Studios, producers and directors love it, as do unions whose members work in the industry. Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, a San Fernando Valley Democrat, pushed through a bill at the end of last year's session to extend the $100 million credit by another year. He is back, seeking a five-year extension at an overall cost of $500 million. Sen. Ron Calderon, a Democrat from Montebello, is offering a Senate version, and Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Moorpark, is offering his take. Politics are paramount. Fuentes is running for a Los Angeles City Council seat, and Hollywood figures and unions that represent film crews are among Fuentes' supporters, having donated at least $30,000 to his various campaign committees last year. "This is about protecting California's signature industry, nothing more, nothing less," Fuentes spokesman Ben Golombek said. Whether the credit persuades producers to film here, or merely gives them money for doing what they would have done anyway, is not clear. Fuentes has rejected attempts by skeptics to require an independent study of the credits. Unions, which represent much of the film industry, fight to preserve the film tax credit, convinced that it helps employ union workers. But they battle another tax break, enterprise zones, a $500 million-a-year giveaway to business. In enterprise zones, businesses can claim tax breaks of up to $37,440 for hiring a worker, even if that hire took place years earlier. The zones are supposed to be term-limited, at 15 years. But tax breaks almost never disappear. Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, is pushing legislation that would extend an enterprise zone due to expire in his backyard, Watsonville. He will have plenty of support. There are 53 such zones spread around the state, in Democratic and Republican districts. A formidable lobby coalition representing the zones defeated Brown's effort last year to abolish them. Brown likely will try to rein them in again this year. Don't bet against the zones. In a striking example of how enterprise zones operate, VWR International, owned by the private equities firm Madison Dearborn, announced last year that it would close its warehouse in Brisbane, where workers are represented by the Teamsters, and reopen this year in Visalia, where there is an enterprise zone. VWR, which distributes medical supplies, has not agreed to grant transfer rights to current employees. In Visalia, however, VWR will be eligible for enterprise zone tax credits of up to $37,440 for each new employee it hires. After VWR announced its plans, Assemblyman Jerry Hill, a Democrat who represents Brisbane, introduced a bill to bar companies that move from one part of the state to an enterprise zone in another part of the state from claiming credits unless they actually increase the number of employees. Hill had support from the California Labor Federation and Teamsters, as well as unions representing longshoremen, firefighters, nurses, machinists, and others. There is a perception that the California Legislature is controlled by organized labor. Labor wins many battles, but not this one. The California Association of Enterprise Zones and California Chamber of Commerce opposed Hill's effort. Hill's bill failed to get out of its first committee. "The irony is that the people in Brisbane who lose their jobs are paying taxes to subsidize their replacements in Visalia," Hill told me. Numerous other tax breaks have been proposed this year. Calderon hopes to give businesses a credit for hiring veterans. Sen. Mimi Walters, R-Laguna Niguel, seeks to give credits to manufacturing companies that hire disabled people. The ideas all have appeal. They're feel-good measures to give favors to favorite constituents. But legislators don't dare tackle truly complicated matters like a broad overhaul of the taxation system. That would be much too difficult. Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/03/07/4316843/revenue-down-and-lawmakers-seek.html#storylink=cpy Columnist Dan Morain: Willfully Ignorant or Just Stupid? March 8, 2012 http://www.sacbee.com/2012/03/07/4316843/revenue-down-and-lawmakers-seek.html I find it endlessly frustrating how a relatively small number of ignorant, seemingly misinformed people in California can wind up hurting the state. Take journalists like Dan Morain, who seems to have abandoned any notion of responsible journalism in favor of partisan hyperbole. Morain seems more interested in getting a gig on FOX News than serving the public interest with informed journalism in his reporting. Morain clearly has a personal animus towards Democrats and Hollywood. Morain’s recent op/ed in the Sacramento Bee undermining the need for extending California’s film incentive is odious on many levels: Some Democratic legislators evidently haven’t gotten the word…. While Brown and other advocates are asking voters to approve anywhere from $5 billion to $10 billion more in taxes this November, several legislators are seeking to enhance their political standing by offering a new array of tax breaks…. At least three bills would extend California’s $100 million-a-year tax credit for producers who agree to film their movies and television shows in the state. There’s talk, though no bill yet, of extending the credit to encourage producers of commercials to tape their spots in the Golden State. There is no talk, however, of extending it to porn. Why single out the Democrats? Is Morain unaware the bill has bi-partisan sponsors? Is he unaware that just 3 Sacramento lawmakers voted against extending the California film incentive extension last year and that two of them were Democrats? If anything, the Republicans have been more helpful than Democrats on getting film incentives passed. Morain is being an ass for trying to spin this as a partisan issue. Incredibly, he gives Republicans a pass even though one of their own introduced a new bill to extend the protective film incentive, which is California’s only defense against runway production: Lawmakers created the movie tax credit in 2009, as a five-year, $100 million-a-year incentive to keep productions in California. Studios, producers and directors love it, as do unions whose members work in the industry. Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, a San Fernando Valley Democrat, pushed through a bill at the end of last year’s session to extend the $100 million credit by another year. He is back, seeking a five-year extension at an overall cost of $500 million. Sen. Ron Calderon, a Democrat from Montebello, is offering a Senate version, and Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Moorpark, is offering his take. Politics are paramount. Fuentes is running for a Los Angeles City Council seat, and Hollywood figures and unions that represent film crews are among Fuentes’ supporters, having donated at least $30,000 to his various campaign committees last year. Morain’s suggestion that California unions “love” film tax credits is problematic. Morain implies that unions love film incentives so much, they gave Fuentes $30,000 to buy the bill. Morain ignores the fact that Fuentes lives in and represents a district where much the film industry and these union members live. In short, Fuentes could just be representing the interests of the people in his district, aka his job. And in terms of donations, the California film unions have used the lion’s share of their spending to OPPOSE the legal existence of film incentives. The Teamsters alone gave $100,000 to the effort to declare Canadian film tax credits illegal with a trade action. SAG also spent $50,000 on the trade remedy. In short, California film industry unions have spent much more money to oppose the existence of film incentives than they have to create them. Why? Because they, like the entire State of California, are getting killed by runaway production to locations that offer them. Film incentives were the cause of the problem and, as such, the root cause of the disaster was the first thing they tried to address. It did not work. Another solution to runaway production, therefore, is needed. California industry workers are not asking for film incentives because it’s some sort of windfall or pork subsidy gift. Rather, they are pleading for them as their only available means of defense. California is being fired at with howitzers. All the California industry workers want is a handgun to defend the state. Morain seems totally unaware runaway production is a problem, much less a disaster, hitting the state for almost 15 straight years: “This is about protecting California’s signature industry, nothing more, nothing less,” Fuentes spokesman Ben Golombek said. Whether the credit persuades producers to film here, or merely gives them money for doing what they would have done anyway, is not clear. Fuentes has rejected attempts by skeptics to require an independent study of the credits. Unions, which represent much of the film industry, fight to preserve the film tax credit, convinced that it helps employ union workers. Morain is either oblivious to fact, or willfully ignoring it. First, runaway production is happening and it is causing damage. As I note in my new law review, the statistics in California are sobering: In 2003, over 66 percent of studio feature films were shot in California. By 2010, that number had dropped to less than 40 percent. In the last 15 years, the number of on-location shooting days for feature films in the Los Angeles area dropped nearly 65 percent, according to FilmL.A. In 2005, California captured 82% of all television pilot production activity. In 2011, however, it captured just 51%. In 2000, Los Angeles County film industry workers earned 27% more per month than their non-L.A. counterparts. By 2009, after a decade of unabated runaway production of high-budget films and shows (which offer the high-paying jobs), L.A.-based industry workers earned 13 percent LESS per month than their counterparts elsewhere, according to the California Research Bureau. From 1996 to 2009, the number of Californians employed in the high-skill and high-wage visual effects industry declined over 30% as jurisdictions elsewhere used targeted visual effects incentives to capture the industry from the state. According to the Milken Institute, since Canada enacted the first tax credit program in 1997, now copied in roughly 40 states and dozens of nations, California has lost 36,000 jobs as a result. Morain’s suggestion the incentive is a wasteful reward to producers for something “they would have done anyway” is belied by reality. Indeed they will still make movies, they will just make them someplace other than California in the absence of a modest credit from their home state. Why on earth would they stay when Louisiana is writing $35 million checks for crap like “Green Lantern”? It’s painfully obvious Morain doesn’t know what the hell is talking about. This makes his column all the more irresponsible. If Morain needs further evidence production dollars will leave the state if they don’t qualify for California’s incentive, he should read the independent study from UCLA. The UCLA research team looked at all of the projects that had applied and were wait-listed for California’s film incentive. Of the 14 total projects that never got California credits but were ultimately produced, 91.6% of their combined budgets were spent in other states — all of which offered their own film incentive programs. Empirically, it would NOT “happen in California anyway.” I do agree with Morain on two points. First, I agree that ALL states offering film incentive should have annual economic impact reports prepared by a unbiased state agency or third party. All reports should include a cost vs. benefit analysis. Second, I agree that offering a separate incentive to the commercial producers would be a stupid waste of precious state resources. Commercial activity in California hit a record high last year. Best. Year. Ever. Film incentives are meant to prevent runaway production. Commercials are not running away. If the commercial producers get greedy and ask for an unneeded handout, it will hurt the chances of the film incentive getting extended. The vast majority of California’s lawmakers, Democratic and Republican alike, should be applauded for taking action to address an economic catastrophe that is runaway production.
  2. Audio Delay quick wolf guide SHARK DSP110 a digital delay also called a delay line, the audio delay is set matching the picture delay so that the 2 are in sync on the monitor. How to save settings It’s important to leave the DSP110 powered on for several minutes after creating new settings for any function so that they will be saved. When you power it up again the new settings will be remembered and re-appear. To lock the front panel: Push and hold the LOW CUT button (till all 5 LEDs above display are on) – the LOW CUT YELLOW LED will blink. Do the reverse to unlock the unit to be reset. How to increase the speed of UP-DOWN control This works for any parameter where there is a big numeric difference between minimum and maximum. Press and hold the UP or DOWN arrow keys, to initiate resetting of numbers. While holding the UP or DOWN button, press the opposite direction button a couple of times. Each press makes the numbers increase or decrease at a faster rate. Cool - TO ADJUST LOW CUT Press low cut button briefly – LED lights up. Hold the DOWN button till you see OFF in display. To count faster hold DOWN and press UP briefly several times. Range of cut off is 150Hz to Off. For speech use I suggest somewhere between 80 and 120 Hz for a roll off. There is no info on the slope of the filter. TO TURN OFF GATE Press GATE button briefly – LED lights up. Do not press and hold Gate button – if led flashes, gate is in learning mode – that’s would activate it. You do not want it ON at all! Press DOWN until you see OFF in display. To count faster hold DOWN and press UP briefly. To make the gate work Using the Noise Gate Learn Function With no program material going through the system (the input turned down at the previous stage), press and hold GATE button until all parameter lights at the top are lit. The DSP110 will automatically adjust the gate threshold to suppress any unwanted noise. monitor what you just did so you know what it sounds like! TO TURN OFF COMPRESSOR Press COMPRESSOR once. You see numbers from 0-100. For density, press and hold DOWN until you see 0. To count faster, hold DOWN and press UP briefly often. Press COMPRESSOR a second time – the m sec light above display comes on. This is the attack time adjustment. It should not matter. Mechanical Controls Mic input gain pot in the rear with switchable +48 V phantom power for mic. Digital headroom adjust pot on front left with 5 vertical LED display – automatically keeps output level the same, it only controls digital headroom for maximum S/N. Do not let the red LED come on ever! Shark Turnoffs: It may be RF sensitive so keep it away from Comteks, transmitters, etc. The remote power supply has a transformer in it that radiates a magnetic field. It gets pretty warm, ventilate. It has good sounding 24-bit A/D and D/A converters and XLRs and phono jacks. It has an awkward-to-adjust compressor and a noise gate with LEARN Mode useful as a total quieting tool only. List $ 99.99, Street: $ 80.00 what a deal! By Behringer engineered in Germany, made in China, poorly written manual, external power supply on 6 ft. cable. Terrific tech help at Behringer USA 1-425-627-0816 X 141 ask for JH; he has some FAQs to email to you (the useful info is included in this manual). For sales info http://www.behringer.com/DSP110/index.cfm?lang=ENG can be purchased from many places such as: http://www.bswusa.com/searchresult.asp?searchType=keyword&searchValue=DSP110 http://www.guitarcenter.com/Behringer-Shark-DSP110-182463-i1125202.gc?source=4WFRWXX&CAWELAID=54980068 http://www.fullcompass.com/product/283265.html In La: Ametron, Guitar Center, Ash music
  3. http://www.behringerdownload.de/DSP110/DSP110_ENG_Rev_E.pdf the manual
  4. http://www.audiocheck.net/ wolf
  5. seemed to slooooooooooow down the rest of my phone worked often. the explanation to new bumpable partners in bars always exposed my geekiest parts which i then had to explain away, usually that was not in my favor.
  6. In 2009, exports of film and entertainment media enjoyed a trade surplus of $11.9 billion. It's notable that one of the most unionized sectors in the nation is also one of the strongest export sectors, highlighting the fact that it's a high-quality workforce, not low wages that drive economic success. this is a very healthy industry but Google is about to destroy all that: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nathan-newman/how-the-googlization-of-t_b_1229129.html?ref=fb&ir=Technology&src=sp&comm_ref=false its a long read and will require some extreme inteligence and political power exertion to keep money flowing into Hollywood , not the internet canyons. How the Googlization of Television Will Destroy High Wage, Union Hollywood Google dominates Internet advertising, with 44.1% of the $113 billion per year global online advertising market, but it's quietly gunning for control of the even larger television advertising sector. As Robert Kyncl, a senior manager at Google's YouTube operation, said in a recent New Yorker interview, "[T]his industry [i.e. TV] is worth three hundred billion dollars, worldwide, and we hope to see value shifting hands." "Value shifting hands" sounds like a feisty challenge to entrenched interests, but in practice it's likely to mean one more step in dismantling the middle class in this country. In industry after industry in the last forty years, we have seen "value shifting hands" from working families into the hands of corporate shareholders promoting "globalization" or the next "disruptive technology." And here's the thing about Hollywood: while the name stars get a lot of attention, the reality is that line workers in the television industry, from the people working the cameras to those delivering the food, are part of one of the last union town bastions. With auto, coal, steel and other major unions a shadow of their former selves, the Hollywood unions largely formed in the 1930s are actually one of the last thriving representatives of that historic surge of working class power. The danger is that a Googlization of the television industry could mean the end of a living wage industry there as well. So What is Google doing in Television? In a typical multi-front approach, Google is taking on the television industry by trying to control the television software in the homes, remaking the television advertising industry to suit its strengths and funding alternative television content in competition with the major studios. Taking Control of the Remote: A key goal for Google has been to make watching television more like surfing the web -- with all the opportunities that implies for inserting Google advertising throughout the user experience. Google has been promoting its Google TV technology for a number of years, and now seems confident that the combination of alliances with manufacturers to install its software directly into televisions and the popularity of its Android handset software -- which now powers Google TV -- can put the company firmly at the center of the television watching experience for home viewers. Google's Eric Schmidt predicted at a conference in December that by this summer, a majority of televisions sold in stores would have Google TV -- the company's interactive software system -- embedded in the hardware. A number of analysts have questioned the likelihood of Google's software moving that fast into consumer hardware but sources told tech website Neowin that Google was making payments to multiple vendors to ensure they included Android in their television hardware. While Google denied the report, a few dollars per television from Google would, in Neowin's words, "go a long way for vendors who have been seeing diminishing margins over the past few years." The benefit for Google of sitting in user remotes will be clear. The company will have more data to track user references for advertisers and the ability to promote alternative content channels where Google advertising is prominent. Remaking the Television Advertising Marketplace: However, Google is not waiting for television to come to it; its been aggressively entering the traditional television advertising market -- albeit with its own twist that could upend how television production is paid for. Google has a whole Google TV Ads service for placing ads on television, much as it places ads on websites through its AdWords service. By cutting deals with Direct TV, Verizon FioS, Viamedia and, just this month, Cox Media, the third largest cable operator, Google can place ads reaching 48 million US households on over 100 channels. In the last year, Google claims a six-fold increase in the number of ads aired each day. What is most radical about Google's service is not that a new player is grabbing a share of the television ad market; it's the way those ads are being sold. Most television advertising is often sold before a show's season even starts in what is called the "upfronts," where top advertisers lock up prime advertising spots on most shows. Traditionally, those advertisers who failed to make those bulk advertising deals were stuck buying overpriced remaining slots from a handful of advertising brokers in what's known as the "scatter" market. Google is creating an end-run around the networks in cobbling together a "national inventory pool" of ad slots available over multiple cable and satellite operators. Those operators can now easily put slices of unsold ads into the inventory pool, while advertisers can buy ads reaching a large national audience, in what Jim Edwards at Business Insider describes as "a model for killing the broadcast TV business as we know it." And the advantage of Google TV Ads will be that, with Google's tracking of consumer behavior -- online and in their television watching choices -- advertisers will be able to target their ads to particular households based on a range of behavioral profiling. Exploding Niche Channels for Advertisers: The holy grail for advertisers is to have a show with viewership specifically attuned to their product. Google Ads can help advertisers find the households they want but to ensure there are more channels serving the exact niche market an advertiser may want, Google is funding an explosion of new television channels that will begin broadcasting this year on YouTube (which will be easily accessible on any television with Google TV installed -- see how the pieces all come together?). YouTube is currently streaming 4 billion online videos a day -- with three billion of those videos each week delivering advertising revenue. But the problem is most of these are watched in short bursts without users plopping down to watch for hours on end. So Google is currently handing out $100 million in upfront production money to partners to create professional long-form content that will air throughout the week on 100 new specialized television channels broadcasting on YouTube. These partners include Madonna producing a dance channel, Amy Pohler making a comedy channel, The Wall Street Journal and Reuters producing news channels, and Jay-Z, Shaquille O'Neal, The Onion, Slate and a range of other entertainment and media players delivering content for particular taste and demographic niches. Google will supply the advertising, of course, for these shows and split the revenue with the partner channels (recouping its upfront costs from the partner share of advertising revenue). With online delivery of content, Google will be able to tell advertisers exactly who is watching their shows, their demographic and taste preferences and pretty much anything else those advertisers want to know to more effectively push their products. With the ability to track consumer preferences and with Google TV direct a chunk to its specialized channels, Google will be able to sell television ads in real-time for any niche audience an advertiser wants at any time. So How Will this Hurt Workers in the Entertainment Industry? Producing for niche audiences inevitably means fewer resources -- and production companies will likely make up the difference in lower wages for many production workers. This threatens the current production system, where entertainment unions in Hollywood have built an amazing machine to share the profits of the entertainment companies with the line workers in the industry, not just with the name actors but also with the people who work the cameras, build the sets and deliver the food to the set. While actors and top-line talent benefit from residual (repeat) payments from shows they directly worked on, the broader workforce in the industry receive residuals essentially from all shows -- hits or stinkers -- to a shared health care and pension fund, the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plans. And those residuals are a majority of the funding for the health and pensions of those "below the line" workers. That integrated system means that the health care and pension of those workers doesn't depend on winning the lottery of being on a hit show; as long as they work, whether consistently on one hit show or on a bunch of shorter-lived ones, they and their families are taken care of. For those "below the line" workers, the union benefit plans paid out over $500 million in health benefits alone last year. Likely Union Busting in Cut-Rate Google Productions: As with other industries "transformed" in recent decades, a fragmenting of the industry will likely mean a disintegration of an integrated delivery of health benefits for those in the industry and the destruction of long-term pension benefits. If all Google YouTube production outfits signed up with the existing unions and their benefit plans, that might mediate the damage. But every indication is that these productions are likely to try to evade unionization; Anthony Zuiker, who created the crime show C.S.I., is developing a channel called BlackBoxTV for Google and is enthusiastic about the chance to avoid traditional rules -- including presumably union rules -- in production: [On traditional television] there is a lot of interference and a lot of rules. With YouTube I will have a very small crew, and we are trying to keep focused on a single voice. There aren't any rules. There's just the artist, the content, and the audience. Note the absence of the interest of workers in the industry in the equation in that last line. This is a model for empowering and enriching a few top-level "artists" in Hollywood, while leaving the forgotten line workers out of the profit equation. Google's Advertising Model Will Undermine Hollywood Labor Model: Even if a few of Google's allied production companies unionized, the overall thrust of Google's advertising model is likely to undermine stability of the Hollywood labor market and thus the room for unionized approaches. Its model is one of placing ads in real-time, encouraging much more short-term horizons for determining the success of failure of any television venture. And with its Google TV Ads program, that short-term, real-time ad placement model is increasingly penetrating regular television decisions, not just the emerging online television models as with Google's YouTube channels. Currently, advertisers commit roughly $9 billion to the following season's television shows during what's known as the "upfront" process each Spring. Many shows sell out their complete run of ads for the fall. While the exact price paid for each show's ads will rise or fall with the televisions ratings received by the show, this does represent a large commitment of resources to each studio that allows planning and, for workers in the industry, a commitment to pay and benefits. For the big five studio broadcast networks, the total upfront money has been stagnant, with 2004 being the high-water market of total upfront dollars, even as television viewing has leaked out to cable channels and, increasingly, online viewing. In fact, the only reason revenue has not cratered is that studios have managed to impose rapidly escalating price increases per viewer even as the total broadcast audience has dropped. But the longer-term planning allowed by the "upfront" system of paying for large chunks of coming seasons is likely to increasingly give way to short-term, real-time pricing if Google is successful. And even if a production company, existing or emerging, is willing to sign a union contract, even the best-intentioned employers may find it hard to commit to health care and pensions for their employees if a swing in the ratings immediately drains all revenue--and they face union-busting competitors promoting a low road, cut-rate production model. Short-Termism Will be Bad for Hollywood Workers, Bad for America: Bemoaning the short-term thinking and dumbing down of Hollywood's products has been going on for generations, but amidst the dreck, quite successful and sometimes even artistic work has been produced. The vibrancy of the product has meant that U.S. television has dominated the world -- and the economic result has been a large trade surplus in the entertainment sector. The Bureau of Economic Analysis found that between 1986 and 2005, foreign sales of U.S. motion picture and video products rose from $1.91 billion to $10.4 billion (in 2005 dollars) -- an increase of 444 percent. In 2009, exports of film and entertainment media enjoyed a trade surplus of $11.9 billion. It's notable that one of the most unionized sectors in the nation is also one of the strongest export sectors, highlighting the fact that it's a high-quality workforce, not low wages that drive economic success. The entertainment industry has led U.S. exports precisely because of the high production values of the U.S. entertainment product, which local overseas producers could not match. There is a tight-knit community of craftspeople in the Hollywood system involved in everything from set design to editing that continue to outcompete low-wage entertainment sectors around the world. But the real-time advertising models promoted by Google for the television industry will require incredibly short-term horizons for all entertainment productions and encourage the same kind of low-wage, low-skill models of production we've seen in so many other deunionized industries. Once deskilled, many of those production jobs will likely go overseas as so many other jobs have before. As well, it's precisely the products sold to the broad diversity of the U.S. public that find a broad market overseas. Niche programming, even if profitable in new cut-rate production models, will likely be far less appealing to overseas markets (where local productions will probably be far more nimble in addressing local niches), so the overall economic impact will be an increasing loss of exports from the sector. Saving the Entertainment Sector from Googlization: Some aspects of the new Google regime are no doubt inevitable, but there are countertrends such as high-quality pay channels that can be encouraged. At a minimum, television watchers should demand that shows they watch sign union contracts and that Google contribute some of its television advertising revenue to the health care and pension plans for entertainment workers. Policymakers can help by adding antitrust scrutiny of Google's actions in the television market with an eye on protecting labor rights in the sector as well. The discussion on inequality coming out of the Occupy Wall Street protests is how we got to the point where so many workers are not sharing in the economic bounty of our nation's economy. Part of the answer is that as industry after industry faced strains from emerging technologies and globalization, counsels of "do nothing" prevailed as unions were destroyed and jobs shipped overseas. With Hollywood, we actually have a sector that is currently economically vibrant where the bottom 99% of workers in the industry share in the wealth enjoyed by the top 1% in the industry. It faces strains on its model -- and the threat of Googlization is a top one -- but we have time for citizens and policymakers to step up and figure out what new models can sustain both new innovation AND a robust standard of living for all workers in the industry.
  7. hearing damage is cumulative. there is no recovery from damage. what an idiot Dr. trying to make you feel good. the house ear institute in LA is the best collection of Dr.s and proceedures and tests. tests are expensive. it's hard to find a place that does hearing tests 40-15K. most are 300-3K. rember Hollyweird likes deaf soundmixers: "less complaints" wolf
  8. Coliseum officials made $1 million in cash payments to union Bundles of cash were used to pay wages of IATSE members for concerts and other productions, with no controls on disbursement. The U.S. Labor Department is investigating. By Paul Pringle and Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Times February 1, 2012 For at least five years, officials with the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum passed bundles of cash totaling more than $1 million to a union representative, sometimes in a suitcase packed with $100 bills. The payments, ranging from $1,400 to $187,700 each, were to cover the wages of stagehands on Coliseum events — rave concerts, Cinco de Mayo performances and a Lakers championship celebration — according to records and interviews. Invoice reports from the publicly owned Coliseum, obtained by The Times under the California Public Records Act, show that the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees received the cash advances from March 2006 through last February. But the Coliseum imposed no controls over whether the money ended up in the right pockets, and the commissioners who govern the property say they may have been swindled. DOCUMENT: Coliseum invoices Now criminal investigators for the U.S. Labor Department are looking into the payments, people familiar with the matter say. With no detailed accounting of what happened to the cash after it left the stadium, the Coliseum Commission does not know how much actually went to wages and whether required contributions were made to employee benefit plans. In addition, the stadium could be on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars in back payroll and withholding taxes. It's as though the Coliseum was run "like an underground business," said Jessica Levinson, a Loyola Law School professor who studies government corruption. "This idea of cash in suitcases reads like a bad crime novel." The storied stadium has been embroiled in controversy for about year, since The Times began reporting financial irregularities involving its top executives, most of whom have departed. Two of the managers founded side companies that received money from firms doing business with the Coliseum, records and interviews show. And according to invoices and expense reports, the Coliseum spent tens of thousands of dollars on luxury cars, unlimited gasoline purchases, massages, snoring treatments, golf outings and steakhouse meals, all billed to the public. A district attorney's investigation is underway. The former managers have denied any wrongdoing. The Labor Department probe adds a federal dimension to the Coliseum's troubles. Most of the cash payments to Local 33 of the union were for the raves at the Coliseum and companion Sports Arena and for bookings by Latino music and dance productions. The $187,700 advance — the largest in the reports — was for a mixed martial arts event in June 2007. The other big payments were mostly for raves sponsored by a company called Go Ventures Inc., including $82,000 for a 2010 New Year's Eve concert the firm co-produced and $71,200 for its Halloween show the year before, according to the reports. An advance of $53,058 was paid for a July 2007 Daft Punk concert. And the union received $7,131 in cash for the Lakers' June 2009 victory parade, which was capped by a rally at the Coliseum. Thousands of dollars in payments were also made for a Filipino game show and a Filipino religious program. The advances are clearly itemized on the reports, nearly all of which show that they were approved by the Coliseum's then-finance director, Ronald Lederkramer. A Coliseum attorney said in an email that the finance director's boss, former General Manager Patrick Lynch, did not present the reports to the nine-member commission for review. "[T]herefore, the commissioners would not have had the opportunity to review those statements and call the cash advance entries into question," said the attorney, Assistant County Counsel Thomas Faughnan. Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, one of four commissioners who are elected officials, said in a statement that until controversy engulfed the Coliseum last February, "I was never made privy to, nor informed of, financial statements of any kind that documented any cash payments to anyone." Two other county supervisors who are commissioners — Mark Ridley-Thomas and Don Knabe — did not respond to queries about the invoices. City Councilman Bernard C. Parks, who also sits on the commission, confirmed that the Labor Department is examining the advances. "Their office called my office to get some information," said Parks, adding that his staff referred the federal agency's request to the Coliseum's interim general manager and City Controller Wendy Greuel. A Labor Department spokeswoman declined to comment. Parks said commissioners were told by an accountant that the cash came from the Coliseum box office or was ordered from a bank. "I don't think this can be explained away legally," he said. Calls to the president of the union's Burbank-based Local 33 were not returned. The head of the international organization in New York, Matthew Loeb, did not respond to an interview request. The union is prominent in the entertainment industry, with more than 100,000 members nationwide. The distinctive IATSE union label is often seen at the tail end of movie credits. An internal commission audit started to focus on the cash advances after The Times made a public records request in September for material on the Coliseum's failure to make required contributions to employee retirement accounts. The Coliseum hired the stagehands under a union contract that mandated the retirement contributions. It is unclear whether those contributions were made when workers' wages were paid in cash. The commission has sued Lynch, his former events manager and two rave companies to recover allegedly misappropriated funds. The lawsuit does not name the stagehands union or any of its representatives. It alleges that Lynch, former Events Manager Todd DeStefano and unidentified promoters "caused or made" the cash payments. It alleges that cash advances of $557,710 were made at events promoted by Go Ventures, and payments of $209,581 were delivered at events promoted by another rave company, Insomniac Inc. The suit also accuses Go Ventures and Insomniac of acting with Lynch and DeStefano to siphon off concert revenue that should have gone to the commission. Lynch's lawyer, Tony Capozzola, said his client never handled the cash. Lynch, DeStefano and the rave companies have denied any wrongdoing. Sources with knowledge of the situation have said that one or more firms founded by DeStefano received about $400,000 from Insomniac in 2009. That would bring to at least $2.2 million the sum that DeStefano's firms collected from Insomniac, Go Ventures and other companies that did business with the Coliseum while he oversaw them in his government job, records and interviews show. Lynch, for his part, received roughly $400,000 from a Coliseum janitorial contractor in regular payments over about five years, with most of the money sent to a Miami bank, according to records and interviews. Capozzola has said the payments were for a private boat deal between his client and the contractor. paul.pringle@latimes.com ron.lin@latimes.com Los Angeles Times staff writer Andrew Blankstein contributed to this report.
  9. here a little petition you can sign http://www.change.org/petitions/apple-ceo-tim-cook-protect-workers-making-iphones-in-chinese-factories?utm_medium=email&utm_source=action_alert
  10. Described by gaming site Kotaku as a potentially "deadly game of chicken," over 300 workers at the Foxconn factory in China threatened suicide. On Jan. 2, a group of workers appeared on the roof of the main production facility in Wuhan and threatened to jump. Foxconn produces devices for Microsoft (including the Xbox360), Apple (the iPhone and iPad), Sony (PlayStation3) and Nintendo (the Wii), as well as the Amazon Kindle. According to Want China Times, the problem was related to a deal struck with the Foxconn plant's leadership. "(A)bout 300 employees at a plant belonging to Taiwan-based Foxconn... asked their boss for a raise. They were told either quit their positions with compensation or keep their jobs and receive no additional payment. Most employees took the first option, but the company terminated the agreement, and none of them were given the money they were promised." Wuhan's mayor intervened to talk with the group and by 9 p.m. the next day, the group came down from the roof. The incident reportedly interrupted production of the Xbox 360. Foxconn has been plagued by suicides, committed by employees working in terrible conditions. UPDATED: New York Times reports a settlement. Kind of. On January 12, the NYT wrote that Foxconn had "resolved" the pay dispute. "In a statement released Thursday, Foxconn said most of the protesting workers had agreed to return to work after negotiations were held with the company and local government officials. But details of the agreement were not released. One of the workers said they had been promised additional compensation." I'm not sure that being promised something by someone who already promised you something they didn't deliver is a resolution, exactly. "One worker who participated in the Wuhan protest said by telephone that workers shifted to Wuhan had been promised about $450 a month in salary, including overtime pay, but that they had been given about a third less than that and that working conditions in Wuhan were much more difficult." Foxconn photo by Liu Mao Yi
  11. http://www.change.org/petitions/apple-ceo-tim-cook-protect-workers-making-iphones-in-chinese-factories?utm_medium=email&utm_source=action_alert According to the New York Times, workers at a factory in Shenzhen, China, owned by Foxconn (a company that manufactures iPhones, iPads and other devices for Apple) regularly work sixteen-hour, seven-day work weeks. They stand until their legs swell and they can’t walk, and they perform repetitive motions on the production line for so long that some permanently lose the use of their hands. To cut costs, managers make workers use cheap chemicals that cause neurological damage. There has been a rash of suicides at the Foxconn plant, and 300 workers recently threatened to jump off the roof over a safety and pay dispute. In short, as one former Apple executive told the New York Times, "Most people would be really disturbed if they saw where their iPhone comes from." Mark Shields, a self-described member of the "cult of Mac," started a petition onChange.org demanding Apple exert its influence on its suppliers to improve working conditions for the factory workers that make iPhones, iPads and other Apple products.Click here to sign Mark’s petition right now. Apple knows it can play an important role in ensuring safe and fair working conditions for the workers at its suppliers, like Foxconn. In 2005, the company released a supplier code of conduct, and it performs hundreds of audits each year in China and around the world to confirm its suppliers are meeting the code’s expectations. But that’s where Apple’s commitment falters: the number of supplier violations has held steady year to year and Apple hasn’t consistently publicly stated which suppliers have problems or dropped offending suppliers. The bottom line, Apple executives admit, is that they’re not being forced to change. One current executive told the New York Times that there’s a trade-off: "You can either manufacture in comfortable, worker-friendly factories," he said, or you can "make it better and faster and cheaper, which requires factories that seem harsh by American standards.And right now, customers care more about a new iPhone than working conditions in China." That means public pressure is the only thing that can force Apple to ensure its suppliers treat workers humanely. If enough people sign Mark’s petition -- and tell Apple they care more about human beings than they do about how fast the company can produce the next generation iPhone -- the company could be convinced to make real change for the workers at Foxconn and other factories. Click here to sign Mark’s petition demanding Apple change the way it does business. Thanks for being a change-maker, - Amanda and the Change.org team remember it was international pressure that ended Apartheit in S. Africa
  12. most TSA guys dont know the rules. read up on it on the IDX and Bauer and FAA sites. Shipping Lithium Batteries: Briefly: Carry most small lithium batteries into the cabin of aircraft, tape up the contacts, do not ship any in checked baggage. (And there are exceptions!!) Warning: There is a rental company here in LA that got fined US$ 50,000.00 because one of their employees shipped consumer (AA) lithiums and 9V lithiums (as used in audio equipment) on aircraft in Checked baggage. They had hearings and lawyers got involved. No damage was claimed by anyone but they got fined anyway. There are companies than can sell + ship 9V and AA that you buy from them via safe UPS. They have the proper licenses and know how to pack the Batteries they claim. http://revoltpromedia.com/ 818 904-0001. They will not ship the NP-1s that you own already. LSC 1-818-980-9891 will do the same and claims no special permits are necessary. From: http://safetravel.dot.gov/whats_new_batteries.html For personal use, there is generally no restriction on the number of spare batteries allowed in carry-on baggage. This is the case for cell phone batteries, "hearing aid" button cells, and AA batteries/AAA batteries available in retail stores, as well as almost all standard laptop computer batteries. For info on NP-1 on aircraft etc go to http://www.idxtek.com/lithium-ion-transportation#carryon Battery Lithium aircraft waiver for NP-1 Safety Declaration on the transporting of IDX Lithium-Ion Batteries on AIRLINERS: Under the 44th Edition of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations effective January 1, 2003: Product names: E-80S, E-50, E-50S, NP-L50, NP-L50S, NP-L46 and NP-L40 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack. IDX hereby declares that the battery pack models listed above have aggregate equivalent lithium content well below the 8g requirement: Acceptable without operator approval: The IATA 44th Edition on the TRANSPORT OF DANGEROUS GOODS REGULATIONS states that lithium-ion batteries offered for transport are not subject to these regulations if the aggregate (total) equivalent lithium content per battery is not more than 8g. The aggregate equivalent lithium content in the IDX battery packs stipulated above is not more than 8g. Therefore, the E-80, E-80S, E-50, E-50S, NP-L50, NP-L7S, NP-L50S, NP-L46, NP-L40 when packed to prevent short circuit are NOT subject to transport control by these regulations. Signed: Barry Rubin General Manager IDX System and : http://antonbauer.com/Support/TransportationInformation http://safetravel.dot.gov/index_batteries.html http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/batteries.shtm http://safetravel.dot.gov/definitions.html#lithium This is the complete advice and it is internally contradictory: safetravel.dot.gov/documents/airline_passengers_and_batteries.pdf http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ash/ash_programs/hazmat/passenger_info/ I know nothing. Don’t take anything I say or write as final word, you must inform yourself. Though the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) enforces these rules in air transportation, the US DOT Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR, Parts 100-185) are written, issued, and officially interpreted by the US DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Office of Hazardous Materials Safety (http://hazmat.dot.gov). For questions or comments regarding these hazardous materials regulations, please contact the Hazardous Materials Information Center at: 1-800-467-4922 or infocntr@dot.gov
  13. White House woke up and squished SOPA (for now) http://www.truth-out.org/white-house-airs-objections-sopa-pipa-anti-piracy-bills/1326637869 curious noone here cares White House Airs Objections to SOPA, PIPA Anti-Piracy Bills Sunday 15 January 2012 by: Staff, Los Angeles Times | Report Score one for Google. The White House raised concerns Saturday about aspects of pending anti-piracy legislation that has been strongly backed by the Motion Picture Assn. of America, Hollywood's chief lobbying arm. In an unusually blunt statement, Obama administration officials signaled that the White House would not support parts of two bills wending their way through Congress -- the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) that critics say would limit freedom of speech on the Internet and unfairly punish legitimate websites. "While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet,'' said a statement from Victoria Espinel, intellectual property enforcement coordinator; Aneesh Chopra, U.S. chief technology officer; and Howard Schmidt, cybersecurity coordinator for the national security staff. The statement is a setback for the major Hollywood studios and unions that have been mounting a lobbying campaign in support of the bills, which would give the Justice Department more tools to shut down foreign websites involved in the piracy of movies and TV shows. Google, Facebook and other tech companies, however, have been fiercely opposed to the bills, particularly provisions that would allow the Justice Department to obtain court orders requiring internet search engines and payment processors to block access to websites involved in piracy. "We appreciate the Administration's recognition that our ability to innovate, invest, and grow the economy is dependent upon keeping the Internet free and open,'' said Markham Erickson, executive director of the NetCoalition.com, a group of technology companies fighting the anti-piracy bills. The House Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on the SOPA bill later this month, while the Senate could take up its PIPA anti-piracy bill next month. Both bills are likely to be modified, now, to reflect the administration's concerns. [update: The MPAA disputed the notion that the bills impede freedom of speech or innovation and renewed its support for tougher anti-piracy laws. "Every day, American jobs are threatened by thieves from foreign-based rogue websites,'' the MPAA said in a statement. "This deplorable situation persists because U.S. law enforcement does not have the tools to fight back."]
  14. Mobile Apps Making Field Measurements Easier http://www.tvtechnology.com/article/audio-measurement-apps%E2%80%94things-to-be-aware-of/211051 http://www.tvtechnology.com/article/mobile-apps-making-field-measurements-easier/210840 I enjoy audio and acoustical tests and measurements. So, at the 131st AES Convention recently held in New York, it was fun hanging out with some of my audio friends and colleagues and finding out not only what projects they were working on, but what test and measurement apps were on their mobile devices. One of these friends, Peter Mapp, principal of Peter Mapp + Associates, a specialist acoustic consultancy in Colchester, Essex, U.K., delivered one of the AES "Hot Lunch" presentations, a 45-minute talk on this very topic. It's truly amazing the extent of available measurement tools that literally fit in the palm of a hand. Are there limitations? Sure. But if understood, these tools are great for many of the field measurements we need to make; for quick checks; and to determine whether other test gear needs to be brought in for a job. STUDIO SIX DIGITAL LLC One of the more popular apps, based on an unscientific survey of my audio friends at the AES convention, seems to be Audio Tools from Studio Six Digital LLC. This is a suite of audio and acoustical test and measurement app modules for the Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Andrew Smith, technology director of Studio Six Digital, is no stranger to audio test and measurement. He founded TerraSonde, the maker of the AudioToolbox range of analyzers. The basic Audio Tools suite ($19.99 as of October 2011) includes a sound pressure level (SPL) meter; an SPL Dashboard for the iPad, which puts all purchased SPL modules on one screen; a real-time analyzer (RTA); a dual-trace audio scope with triggering and single sweep capture; delay finder to find the signal delay between loudspeakers; signal generator; surround sound generator; monitor for the mic or line input; file upload capability; a calculator designed for audio and acoustical work (includes dB, SPL, sine wave, reactance, room modes, Ohm's law, delay and bandwidth); and a recorder. If the basic suite isn't enough, the user can add modules for additional fees. Most range from $2.99 to $19.99, with specialty modules higher. The SPL module can be enhanced with SPL Pro, SPL graph, and SPL traffic light. Additional acoustic analysis modules include FFT (fast Fourier transform), ETC (energy time curve), impulse response, and Smaart Tools. The latter two modules are two of the higher priced modules. Smaart Tools sound system measurement, optimization and control software is licensed from Rational Acoustics, who makes this program for the PC or Mac. Additional line input modules for Audio Tools include VU/Peak meter, THD+n (total harmonic distortion plus noise), amplitude sweep, and a phase meter. Additional speaker test modules include a polarity tester for loudspeakers; a distortion driver; an enhanced impedance meter; and the latest standard (version 4) for speech intelligibility index (STI-PA). The latter is the most expensive module at $299.99 due to the various royalty fees, according to Smith. As Mapp pointed out in his presentation, STI is a sophisticated measurement and for the measurements to be accurate, the user must use an external interface box. Conveniently, Studio Six Digital offers such an interface box—the new iAudioInterface2, which was shown at the AES convention. This battery-powered digital interface for the iPhone 4, iPod touch 4, and iPad includes a phantom-powered mic input, balanced line input, balanced line and headphone output, and a Toslink optical digital audio output. FABER ACOUSTICAL Mapp, in his AES presentation, also showed some of the audio and acoustical test apps for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch from Faber Acoustical. These include IOScope ($149.99), SignalScope Pro ($74.99), SignalScope, SignalSuite, SoundMeter, SpeakerDraft, and dB. SignalScope Pro includes an FFT analyzer, octave-band analyzer, sound level meter, oscilloscope, and stereo signal generator. SignalSuite is a signal generator, and SpeakerDraft helps loudspeaker low-frequency response. The dB module can record an image overlayed with a display of the sound level. FOR SMARTPHONES, TOO Do you prefer smartphones running on the Android operating system? There are audio test and measurement apps for you, too. Kurt Graffy, a principal consultant with Arup Acoustics in San Francisco, showed me the Audio Tool suite by jjbunn (Bofinit Corp.). This set of modules includes a real-time spectrum analyzer; SPL meter; spectrogram; chart recorder; signal generator; loudspeaker polarity checker; data file storage capability; decibel meter; noise criterion curves; chart recorder; and reverberation time measurements. Studio Six Digital, working with AudioControl, provides SPL Meter app with characteristics found on analog SPL meters including ballistics, ranges, filters and decay rates. Smith from Studio Six Digital said, "We have a great relationship with AudioControl. They are handling both the Android development (as it grows), and they are warehousing our hardware and acting as our master distributor. We see more synergistic things in the future." BACK TO THE SHOW After listening to presentations on grounding and shielding and hums and buzzes, by Bill Whitlock from Jensen Transformers of Chatsworth, Calif., it became clear that we need a gauss meter in our audio tool kits to see if external magnetic fields are causing problems in our systems. John Siau of Benchmark Media Systems in Syracuse, N.Y., attended one of these sessions and showed us the Metaloid Field Detector from jjbunn (Bofinit Corp.) on his Android-based smartphone. This app uses the smartphone's built-in magnetometer to measure magnetic fields. Siau said the readings on his smartphone track well with his hardware gauss meter. Siau also showed me the Speedy Spectrum Analyzer and FFT from Electron Chaos, and Perfect Pitch guitar tuner, both for Android-based phones. This gives only a brief idea of all the capabilities of the apps mentioned and even of all the audio test and measurement apps that are available. There are some things to watch out for when doing measurements on mobile smart devices, which will be discussed in a future column. thats the one above Mary C. Gruszka is a systems design engineer, project manager, consultant and writer based in the New York metro area. She can be reached via TV Technology.
  15. Mary Gruszka / 12.21.2011 12:00AM Audio Measurement Apps—Things to Be Aware Of With the growing number of audio measurement apps for smart devices becoming available, and for fairly reasonable prices, why should you keep your "old" test gear or consider buying new? Even though apps offer amazing capabilities already, and are getting better with regular updates and improvements, it's still early days yet for apps to replace other test gear. TESTING THE TEST GEAR With any test device, it's important to test the test equipment. Compare measurements obtained with apps with those taken from accurate test gear. Make sure you can perform proper calibrations through an app. If measurements are covered by industry standards, check that the apps follow those standards. An example of the latter was given by Peter Mapp, principal of Peter Mapp + Associates, during his presentation on apps at the 131st AES Convention in October. Noise Criterion (NC) or Noise Rating (NR) curves are ways of indicating ambient noise levels in a space. The standard way of deriving these numbers is by using octave band noise analysis. However, Mapp noted that some sound-level meter apps derived NC or NR curves incorrectly using one-third octave band analysis, even though they correctly got the right numbers with octave band analysis. "A lot of people fall into that trap," Mapp said. He noted that a fixed offset could be added to calculate the correct NC or NR curves from fractional octave band readings, so check with your app provider. At least one has provided updates to correct this error. Another issue is the quality of the built-in or headset microphone and internal circuitry of smart devices. As most were designed to perform as phones, such parameters as frequency response, maximum output level, minimum noise level, and compression aren't usually optimized for audio measurements. Andrew Smith, technology director of Studio Six Digital LLC noted that on Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch), the frequency response rolls off 24 dB/octave starting at about 250 Hz. Mapp said that some apps may try to compensate for the low-frequency roll-off by adding bass boost. As for input levels, the built-in or headset mic and input circuitry may overload if the sound pressure levels are too high. Mapp also noted that there could be compression on the input, which could compromise some measurements. Apps are frequently being updated with improvements, so it's difficult to put a number on these potential limitations. Also, a problem in an earlier version may no longer exist in later ones. Consultant Ray Rayburn gave the following example, referring to Audio Tools from Studio Six Digital LLC, in a post to the Syn-Aud-Con listserve on Oct. 16, 2011. "Apple did not give its developers access to the preamp gain in iOS 4," he wrote. "They also applied a sharp high pass filter that rolled off all the lows on the mic input… [A] bit of good news is that in iOS 5 Apple once again allowed developers to control the mic preamp gain." "The update for Audio Tools released this week took advantage of that," he continued. "As a result, even using the internal mic, you now can have a very useful sound level meter and RTA [real-time analyzer] in your shirt pocket." As Mapp pointed out, when taking measurements with your smart device, pay particular attention to where the mic is actually pointing. Particularly with the built-in mic, it's easy to inadvertently point the mic towards yourself instead of at the sound you're trying to measure. It's also just as easy to cover up the mic with your hands. In either case you won't get valid measurements. Measurement app screen displays may not alert you to this problem, even if they change the orientation of the display as you rotate the device. Some improvement can be gained by using a higher-quality plug-in mic on a smart device. At AES, MicW showed the i436 mini omnidirectional microphone, which is designed to plug into an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. The company said this mic is calibrated to the IEC61672 Class 2 Sound Level Meter standard. CONNECTING TO THE DOCK CONNECTOR However, as Mapp pointed out, there's a caveat to using any mic or interface plugged into a smart device's headset/mic jack. That signal still goes through the internal input circuitry with the limitations already mentioned. The way around this is to use an interface connected to the device's dock connector. This will allow more accurate measurements in general, and is definitely called for when performing speech transmission index (STI) measurements, using such apps as iSTI from Embedded Acoustics or STI-PA from Studio Six Digital. Studio Six Digital introduced the iAudioInterface2 digital interface for the iPhone 4, iPod Touch 4, and iPad at the convention. The unit contains an XLR connector for a microphone input with phantom power, a dual input 1/4-inch TRS (tip-ring-sleeve) balanced mono/unbalanced stereo line input, and a 1/4-inch TRS connector for either a headphone output or balanced line output. Smith from Studio Six Digital explained why the interface box is available for Apple devices only. "Apple iOS is a derivative of Mac OSX, which is based on UNIX. So, really, the phone is running a small UNIX, complete with full support for high-resolution audio and audio processing," Smith said. "Also, the tools are very mature and stable, and provide a great base for developing professional audio apps. The earlier models allowed flat 20 Hz to 20 kHz analog audio input on the dock connector; and now they support 16-bit 48k USB audio, which we use with our interface. Android still does not provide any way to get high-quality audio into a device, and it's unclear if or when they will do that." With an understanding of the caveats mentioned here, audio measurement tools handily available on smart devices can be very useful for certain audio measurements or for quick checks to determine the scope of further measurements, perhaps with more gear. As both hardware and software improves, current limitations are likely to diminish. Mary C. Gruszka is a systems design engineer, project manager, consultant and writer based in the New York metro area. She can be reached via TV Technology.
  16. Video guys have problems getting paid a lot esp. by HSI. here a response I always take credit cards to get paid by HIS at all. It's usually a personal one of the producer, sometimes a card from a company accountant, never a “Company” card. With a credit card you need a payment authorization signed otherwise they can cancel the payment easily. Never accept credit cards from overseas. Otherwise 120 days are not unusual to wait for a check a lot of places, despite phone calls. Sometimes its 120 years! JOKE. HSI is probably the worst payer short of the Nigerians right now. Most companies feel as if they are 10 days away from bankruptcy, but HSI makes it a business model. (And YES there are some good ones! and I roll out the red carpet for them, we all do.) Now that it's acceptable to be a Bankster thief of billions, all the little guys try to imitate. I have not heard of people who took any prod. Companies to small claims court lately, but that is the next step. It is of course a ruse to get you to give them a deep discount of 20% for a check at the end of the job, trouble is they often run out of checks and are very sorry. Their handling of insurance is terrible for us - usually they use the Adverting agencies policy, which is a mess to deal with. Don't accept insurance policies from unknown or overseas companies. Cash in advance is no good if there is no policy. Policies have 5000$ deductibles now. Count on a small claims court ruling unless you have that signed contract. If it does not feel right it is not right. If they rely on favors from you too much something else is wrong too. Talk to others on the crew (really!!!) about all this. It is always appreciated. Hollyweird thrives on exploiting naiveté - we all have stories. With all these cautions I have had only good experiences the last few years with larger L+D claims which are usual on longer feature jobs. I don't know how many times I have said it guys: YOU GOT TO GET A CONTRACT SIGNED BEFORE THE SHOOT. ( Avis does, Herz does and cars are cheap). There are samples on the Files portion of this board. HSI always signs for me. Other companies are reticent some offended, the STUDIOS always rewrite your contract to make it worthless. Small claims judges LOVE contracts, it allows them not to think. Canadian rental houses will not sign their own contracts, what’s that all about? Do not use Paypal to get money. When you pay with Paypal always make them take the money out of your credit card account not the bank directly. good luck and good night. wolf [PS we have Pix240s for rent] To protect against bad AC this works better than anything else I know of http://surgex.com/
  17. How the iPod and Other Audio Devices Are Destroying Your Ears By Sara J. Martinez Damage from music is not always permanent, but some audiologists have seen mp3-inflicted issues so strong that hearing aids were needed Portable music players may be contributing to permanent hearing loss among many casual listeners, gradually leading to the inability to discern speech. An iPod's maximum volume is more than 10 times as loud as the recommended listening setting, audiologists say, and the sensory damage caused by prolonged listening is irreversible. Since the iPod was introduced in 2001, hearing loss has been an obvious problem among young patients of Brian Fligor, an audiologist at the Boston Children's Hospital. "It depends on what you call major hearing loss, but there are a couple of cases (among children and teenagers) where using headphones contributed to a person's hearing loss that was enough that they needed to use hearing aids," Fligor said. These cases generally involved other factors contributing to the problem but were mainly music-related. Hearing damage from loud music is not always permanent, but prolonged exposure to loud noise can lead to health problems such as hypertension and tinnitus, or ringing in the ears. The biggest concern is that as hearing worsens over time, people may lose some ability to distinguish consonants and understand speech. MUSIC-INDUCED HEARING LOSS Noise-induced hearing loss occurs, simply, when sensitive cells in the inner ear are exposed to loud noises. These "hair cells," which convert sound energy into electrical impulses that are sent to the brain, can't grow back once they are damaged. According to the National Institutes of Health, "long or repeated exposure to sounds at or above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss" -- noise louder than city traffic but not as loud as a lawnmower. The louder the sound, the shorter the time it takes to damage hair cells. At maximum volume, an iPod reaches about 103 decibels, which can cause permanent hearing loss in a matter of minutes while listening through ear buds. In-ear headphones, like the earbuds that come with an iPod, send loud music straight into your ear and directly toward sensitive cells. Noise-amplifying headphones, such as the kind DJs might use in clubs to hear over background club music, can produce louder sounds and take less time to cause irreversible damage. Just 15 minutes of listening at 100 dB can be harmful, according to the NIH. Hearing loss among musicians can affect their abilities to discern pitch, perceive loudness, and recognize where sounds are coming from, according to Kathy Peck, executive director of Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers. Peck said she has noticed a trend among DJs and hip-hop artists losing their ability to hear bass frequencies. "If you lose your low end, that's like hearing a train go by, so that's very dangerous," Peck said, as opposed to losing the ability to detect high frequencies like birds chirping. After years of performing, David Beltran has started to notice that he has trouble recognizing lower frequencies through his left ear, and deep voices sound muffled when he talks on the phone on his left side. The 27-year-old Chicago DJ said that people in his industry often have no choice but to have their headphones at maximum volume for hours at a time -- and they often must stand near monitor speakers, adding to the problem. "I know a lot of musicians who have experience with some form of hearing damage," said Beltran, who has tried to better monitor his own volume limit since noticing the problem. "When I'm working with other DJs, they'll have it as loud as possible. That to me is a sign that these older guys are going deaf." PORTABLE MUSIC PLAYERS For regular iPod users, the negative effects of loud listening might not be immediately noticeable. "Noise-induced hearing loss or music-induced hearing loss happens very slowly over time," said audiologist Cory Portnuff. "I think in a few years we'll be able to see some effects of music players on hearing, but we're still easily five to 10 years away from seeing larger scale effects." Portnuff has been studying the effect of portable music players on hearing loss as part of his doctoral dissertation at the University of Colorado. Studies on the hearing effects of portable music players have been around for decades, first looking at cassette and CD players. Portnuff's research is the first to use a monitoring device attached to participants' iPods to take away the unpredictability of self-reporting. Consistent with previous research, his study found that people will increase their listening levels in proportion to background noise. But he said the most interesting or, rather, concerning result of the study was finding that 17 percent of the people monitored were putting themselves at risk for music-induced hearing loss from daily activities, exceeding the maximum allowable dosage for the day. "It's a small but substantial group, about one in six people that are putting themselves at risk for hearing loss," Portnuff said. "That on its own is not a huge number, but when you think about the number of iPods in the world, we start to get a little concerned." The biggest concern is that as hearing worsens over time, people may lose some ability to distinguish consonants and understand speech. Most people are exposed to the problem throughout their lives, though the change is gradual. Some jobs require prolonged exposure to loud noises, such as those in factories or on construction sites. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recognizes the risk, limiting workers to 40 hours per week while exposed to noise at 85 to 90 dBA. Even then, it's acknowledged that this doesn't necessarily protect against hearing damage. As Beltran recognized a little too late, it's an occupational hazard for musicians. But going home and listening too loudly to a portable music player increases the risk. "The best cure is prevention," Peck said. "We only have one set of ears -- there are no spare parts." Portnuff recommended casual music listeners follow the "80-90 rule": listen at 80 percent volume (about 90 dBA) for 90 minutes, then let your ears rest. Sensitive cells are like batteries that need to recharge after a while. "My car is capable of driving 120 miles an hour down the streets, but as a society we set speed limits because those are safer," he said. "We need to set some sort of speed limit for music listening." Image: John T. Takai/Shutterstock. This article available online at: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2011/12/how-the-ipod-and-other-audio-devices-are-destroying-your-ears/249521/ Copyright © 2011 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All Rights Reserved.
  18. Unionism is dead. The IATSE will cease to exist much sooner than we think. read this : Who is worried about a health plan if unions are on the way out under Obamas. Another shining moment where our president demonstrated he no balls: NYT: December 16, 2011 Crippling the Right to Organize By WILLIAM B. GOULD IV Stanford, Calif. UNLESS something changes in Washington, American workers will, on New Year’s Day, effectively lose their right to be represented by a union. Two of the five seats on the National Labor Relations Board, which protects collective bargaining, are vacant, and on Dec. 31, the term of Craig Becker, a labor lawyer whom President Obama named to the board last year through a recess appointment, will expire. Without a quorum, the Supreme Court ruled last year, the board cannot decide cases. What would this mean? Workers illegally fired for union organizing won’t be reinstated with back pay. Employers will be able to get away with interfering with union elections. Perhaps most important, employers won’t have to recognize unions despite a majority vote by workers. Without the board to enforce labor law, most companies will not voluntarily deal with unions. If this nightmare comes to pass, it will represent the culmination of three decades of Republican resistance to the board — an unwillingness to recognize the fundamental right of workers to band together, if they wish, to seek better pay and working conditions. But Mr. Obama is also partly to blame; in trying to install partisan stalwarts on the board, as his predecessors did, he is all but guaranteeing that the impasse will continue. On Wednesday, he announced his intention to nominate two pro-union lawyers to the board, though there is no realistic chance that either can gain Senate confirmation anytime soon. For decades after its creation in 1935, the board was a relatively fair arbiter between labor and capital. It has protected workers’ right to organize by, among other things, overseeing elections that decide on union representation. Employers may not engage in unfair labor practices, like intimidating organizers and discriminating against union members. Unions are prohibited, too, from doing things like improperly pressuring workers to join. The system began to run into trouble in the 1970s. Employers found loopholes that enabled them to delay the board’s administrative proceedings, sometimes for years. Reforms intended to speed up the board’s resolution of disputes have repeatedly foundered in Congress. The precipitous decline of organized labor — principally a result of economic forces, not legal ones — cemented unions’ dependence on the board, despite its imperfections. Meanwhile, business interests, represented by an increasingly conservative Republican Party, became more assertive in fighting unions. The board became dysfunctional. Traditionally, members were career civil servants or distinguished lawyers and academics from across the country. But starting in the Reagan era, the board’s composition began to tilt toward Washington insiders like former Congressional staff members and former lobbyists. Starting with a compromise that allowed my confirmation in 1994, the board’s members and general counsel have been nominated in groups. In contrast to the old system, the new “batching” meant that nominees were named as a package acceptable to both parties. As a result, the board came to be filled with rigid ideologues. Some didn’t even have a background in labor law. Under President George W. Bush, the board all but stopped using its discretion to obtain court orders against employers before the board’s own, convoluted, administrative process was completed — a power that, used fairly, is a crucial protection for workers. In 2007, in what has been called the September Massacre, the board issued rulings that made it easier for employers to block union organizing and harder for illegally fired employees to collect back pay. Democratic senators then blocked Mr. Bush from making recess appointments to the board, as President Bill Clinton had done. For 27 months, until March 2010, the board operated with only two members; in June 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that it needed at least three to issue decisions. Under Mr. Obama, the board has begun to take enforcement more seriously, by pursuing the court orders that the board under Mr. Bush had abandoned. Sadly, though, the board has also been plagued by unnecessary controversy. In April, the acting general counsel issued a complaint over Boeing’s decision to build airplanes at a nonunion plant in South Carolina, following a dispute with Boeing machinists in Washington State. Although the complaint was dropped last week after the machinists reached a new contract agreement with Boeing, the controversy reignited Republican threats to cut financing for the board. In my view, the complaint against Boeing was legally flawed, but the threats to cut the board’s budget represent unacceptable political interference. The shenanigans continue: last month, before the board tentatively approved new proposals that would expedite unionization elections, the sole Republican member threatened to resign, which would have again deprived the board of a quorum. Mr. Obama needs to make this an election-year issue; if the board goes dark in January, he should draw attention to Congressional obstructionism during the campaign and defend the board’s role in protecting employees and employers. A new vision for labor-management cooperation must include not only a more powerful board, but also a less partisan one, with members who are independent and neutral experts. Otherwise, the partisan morass will continue, and American workers will suffer. William B. Gould IV, a law professor at Stanford, was chairman of the National Labor Relations Board from 1994 to 1998. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/17/opinion/crippling-the-right-to-organize.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/17/opinion/crippling-the-right-to-organize.html
  19. Its not just about our health plan its about the size of the slice of the pie. I think its safe to assume Corporate income and profits of the entertainment industry are way up for the last 50 years. Why should they not pay the same percentage of income in health costs they are used to? I doubt if health costs are increasing faster than hollywoods corp. Income and profits. How can we judge this without a smart research department run by the unions? the unions are missing real numbers of corp finance. Robert Reich suggested that unions have representation on corporate boards so they can get real numbers. I was shocked it sounded like SOCIALISM. But all over central Europe corp boards are 1/3 investors, 1/3 employees, 1/3 management. And they have functioning stock markets, not socialism. They make gadgets they sell, not just crap that is consumed. They have functioning health plans for all. Yea some borrow more then they should and get the whole into a pickle. But the 1% are just not as greedy. w.
  20. IATSE health fund broke. According to the NYT the film producers are as healthy as arms manufacturers: “In 2010, the international box office was up 30 percent over five years, twice the growth in domestic sales. And foreign sales accounted for roughly 70 percent of total receipts, both for the industry at large and for some of the biggest American studio productions like “Avatar.”” And the union health fund does not know where to find the funds to keep operating? NYT December 5, 2011 Around the World in One Movie: Film Financing’s Global Future By NICHOLAS KULISH and MICHAEL CIEPLY POTSDAM, Germany — The German craftsmen on Stage 15 in the Babelsberg studio were hard at work on a recent afternoon building a dystopian Korean slum, the thud of a nail gun and a whiff of sawdust in the air. Next door, Andy and Lana Wachowski, the American-born team behind the “Matrix” movies, were filming black-clad storm troopers from an imagined future for their latest feature, “Cloud Atlas.” From its truly global parentage to its time-bending story told by three directors using two separate production crews, the movie is unabashedly strange. The narrative, which starts near New Zealand and circles the globe, is bewildering in its complexity, featuring characters in six eras who might share a soul migrating through time. And the project’s primary backers are from China, Korea and Singapore. But “Cloud Atlas,” in all its glorious confusion, also serves as a guidepost to the future of the film business. Increasingly, sophisticated filmmakers who once relied on American studios for backing are turning to a globe-straddling independent finance system for their most expensive projects. “Cloud Atlas,” with its $100 million budget and high-wattage cast, including the Academy Award winners Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, was an epic independent film too complicated, too expensive and perhaps too risky for any conventional studio to have backed. To move forward, the project broke free of national boundaries. The investors from Asia and beyond contributed roughly $35 million, without which the film could not have been made. German subsidies account for $18 million more. In the United States, “Cloud Atlas” will be distributed, probably next fall, by Warner Brothers, which has made only a modest investment to date. In many ways, the producers are drawing a blueprint for a new era of genuinely international filmmaking. “We were just looking for a way to get it done,” said Grant Hill, one of the “Cloud Atlas” producers, “but I think there’s the basis for a model there.” He called the final push for financing an “exotic mixture” of deals, adding, “What a studio would have had to pay would have made it impossible.” The change has been coming for several years. In 2010, the international box office was up 30 percent over five years, twice the growth in domestic sales. And foreign sales accounted for roughly 70 percent of total receipts, both for the industry at large and for some of the biggest American studio productions like “Avatar.” Meanwhile, the Oscar for best picture, for three consecutive years, has gone to films — “Slumdog Millionaire,” “The Hurt Locker” and “The King’s Speech” — that used globe-spanning financial networks to create stories aimed at global audiences. Movies like these will simply make a stop on American theater screens as they travel around the world. A peek at the back lot for “Cloud Atlas” testifies to the need for a budget that defies the term “indie.” Behind the yellow shipping containers that are part of the futuristic Korean set is a fine 19th-century sitting room with a rose-lined garden path outside the front door. The interior of an old tall ship shares the soundstage with the exterior of a space-age hovercraft and Styrofoam boulders. The performers, meanwhile, shift between jarringly different roles. “The biggest change for me as an actor is to have two different film units and two different film crews and to go between the two from one day to the next,” Ms. Berry said in a phone conversation. She described playing “a Jewish woman in the 1930s” for the third director, Tom Tykwer, then becoming “an old tribal woman” for the Wachowski siblings the next day, and losing track of fellow cast members amid the layers of makeup and costumes. “Some days I go into the trailer, I’ll be having a conversation — I won’t even know it’s with Hugh Grant until five minutes in,” Ms. Berry said. The gestation of “Cloud Atlas” is a winding tale of emerging markets and perseverance that breathed life into an unlikely project, which, if successful, will probably provoke more change in the business of filmmaking. In 2005, while on the London set of “V for Vendetta,” the actress Natalie Portman gave a copy of “Cloud Atlas” to Lana Wachowski (formerly Larry), who became intrigued with the novel’s six obliquely connected stories. A year later, Lana and her brother Andy surfaced with a screenplay. Mr. Tykwer, a friend of the Wachowskis — the directors declined interview requests — joined in writing the numerous drafts of the script, which were shared with the book’s author, David Mitchell. “After two years of hard work, we were still about 30 percent short” of the necessary money, Mr. Hill said. “At that point you go home unless you can come up with something new, not part of the traditional model.” Rather than giving up, the producers translated the screenplay into more than half a dozen Asian languages and found that the film’s treatment of reincarnation resonated with potential investors in the East. “The theme of the story is rebirth, and it comes straight from the basic ideal of Buddhism,” said Michelle Park, chief executive of the Bloomage Company, a Korean film distributor. Ms. Park describes her company’s investment as “unusually high” by Korean standards. Money came from the Singapore container ship magnate Tony Teo; the Hong Kong film distributor the Media Asia Group, which made what its chief executive, John Chong, called the company’s “largest ever investment in a Western production”; and Dreams of the Dragon, a Beijing film company that had not previously invested in a major film. One of its owners, Wilson Qiu, in an e-mail, cited his “fascination with the source material.” Others also claim pride of authorship. “From our perspective, ‘Cloud Atlas’ is a German film,” said Christine Berg, project manager for the German Federal Film Fund. Not only are the country’s subsidies substantial, but Mr. Tykwer, who achieved fame with his Berlin film, “Run Lola Run,” is in charge of the second crew. One advantage of having disparate financing, said Peter J. Dekom, a veteran entertainment lawyer, is that it gives filmmakers greater creative freedom. “The more investors you have, the less control you feel from any one investor,” he said. The idea of shooting on parallel tracks, with the Wachowskis directing one unit and Mr. Tykwer the other, grew from a realization that the stars were more likely to work for a steep discount if the shoot could be finished in half the time. Actors also play different roles in different time periods, keeping them busy and, on certain days, turning stars into extras. “It’s sort of like guerrilla filmmaking in a way,” Ms. Berry said. “Even though there seems like there’s a lot of money, it’s not opulent. All the money’s going into the screen.” Still, such an unusual project presents hurdles in capturing a mainstream audience. The Wachowskis brought in about $1.5 billion at the worldwide box office for Warner Brothers with the Matrix series. But their “Speed Racer,” also for Warner, was a high-budget flop in 2008. This time, Warner agreed to distribute the film in the United States but was not a large contributor to its production budget. “To have taken the whole movie, given the expense, would have been a very risky proposition for us,” said Warner’s top film executive, Jeff Robinov. Whether it was smart business to jump in only part way, Mr. Robinov said, “I can’t tell you until we’ve seen more.” The Wachowskis are notorious for their secrecy, but they showed six minutes of footage at the American Film Market in Santa Monica last month. “It looks phantasmagorical,” said Victor Loewy, a seasoned international film distributor who bid on the United Kingdom rights after watching the clip. “It’s so unlike anything I’ve seen in 40 years in this business.” Nicholas Kulish reported from Potsdam and Michael Cieply from Los Angeles. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/06/business/media/around-world-in-one-movie-film-financings-global-future.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print or http://nyti.ms/tkSn0V
  21. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/28/business/media/hollywood-labor-fight-looms-as-money-for-benefits-wanes.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all Hollywood Labor Fight Looms as Money for Benefits Wanes By Michael Cieply Published: November 27, 2011 LOS ANGELES -- Bitter disputes over health and pension payments to union members have created plenty of drama in states and cities this year. But do not look for a movie about it -- Hollywood will be too busy dealing with a labor crisis of its own. After three relatively peaceful years, the entertainment industry is bracing for a showdown next spring. At issue is an enormous projected shortfall in financing for some of the most jealously guarded perks in show business, the heavily gilded health and pension plans. No one is talking of a strike yet. In fact, no one with official standing is talking publicly. Leaders of the industry's craft and blue-collar unions and officials of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents the studios and other production companies, have all declined to discuss what will happen when several contracts expire July 31. But in town hall meetings over the last two months, union leaders have told members that weak industry economics, a tough investment climate and, above all, sharp increases in health care outlays are expected to create a $500 million shortfall by 2015. "We're going to be asking for money, lots of it," Matthew Loeb, the president of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (I.A.T.S.E.), told a gathering at the union's Local 80 here in late September. His union represents about 50,000 set designers, makeup artists, grips and other film workers. To put things in perspective, the contract that in 2008 settled a three-month strike by Hollywood's writers was estimated to include total pay and benefits increases of less than a third that amount over three years. A subsequent, hard-fought three-year deal with the Screen Actors Guild, with about 120,000 members, cost the companies only about $250 million. One person involved with the pension and health plans, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the situation, called the looming half-billion dollar shortfall "staggering." The workers represented under the stage employees' contracts have been known more for making deals than picking fights. In years past, the union might have been at the bargaining table a year before the contract deadline; this time talks may not start until spring. The last full-blown craft strikes occurred more than a half-century ago, and involved a different configuration of unions; Hollywood's Teamsters, the other major union headed for a 2012 showdown, have not staged a major strike since 1988. But the current situation is volatile, partly because the Teamsters and some allied unions who share health and pension plans with I.A.T.S.E. aligned the expiration of their contracts with those of the larger theatrical workers alliance by shortening their last contract cycle to two years. This time, those unions are expected to bargain jointly on health and pension issues. A walkout would instantly stop film and television production in the Los Angeles area, and would affect production in New York and elsewhere, because editors, camera crews and some others are represented on a national basis. Hollywood's guilds largely resolved their health and pension problems, at least for now, in several agreements over the last year or two. But the craft workers and other film laborers got caught in a whipsaw that involved the financial markets, changes to federal health care law, and some features that are peculiar to the financing and benefit structure of their plans. In some ways, Hollywood's blue-collar health plans are more generous than those covering actors, writers and directors, who are usually regarded as being higher in the pecking order. At the gathering in September at Local 80, John Garner, a health care consultant with Levey, Garner & Isaacs, told I.A.T.S.E. members their plans matched or exceeded those of the guilds and others in deductibles, office visit co-pays, member contributions and other measures. One chart showed that entertainment industry workers pay just $300 as a median per person deductible for services from a preferred provider group. But those in the plan covering craft workers and Teamsters pay no deductible for the same services. Such generous coverage has come at a cost. The craft workers contribute their residuals payments from the rebroadcast of films on television and elsewhere to their benefits plans, while guild members typically receive the residuals as cash. At the same time, the blue-collar workers for years have been draining an enormous cash reserve in their own plans -- once enough to finance 30 months of benefits -- to meet outlays that have increased as the population has aged and more sophisticated medicine has raised costs. But what advisers had said was a surplus in the reserve is almost spent. Investments never quite recovered from the market collapse of 2008. Hollywood's residuals payments flattened as the DVD boom ended. Meanwhile, federal health care legislation required plans to cover children to the age of 26, and eliminated lifetime coverage maximums. It added up to what David Wescoe, the executive administrative director for the health and pension plans for the craft and blue-collar unions, told union members was "a very dicey picture for the next three-year cycle." Speaking at Local 80, he put the pension financing shortage at $190 million. Increased health expenses, he said, would require an additional $180 million to stay even with current benefits. About $75 million would be needed to keep the reserves at a safe level of six to eight months. And falling contributions, if industry economics remain soft, will also hurt. To some extent, the size of the shortfall may be affected by the decisions of the Supreme Court, which will hear oral arguments on a challenge to the federal health care plan in March. "It's in their hands," read the legend of a photo of the justices in Mr. Wescoe's presentation in September. But even if the court were to overturn the new law, something must give when the companies and unions meet. "To leave it the way it is today, we need half a billion dollars," Mr. Loeb said. That reporter is talking about a presentation that was made at one of the "town hall" meetings that were conducted in LA and others places. http://www.iatse-intl.org/news/videos-mpi.html watch it now before they take it down How do the college students (associations) and teachers (unions) in Ca. ask for lower rates? They have one day warning strikes well in advance of negotiations to show how strong they are. Who has sand in their pussy?
  22. I phone connectors last longer with the 3.47 mm connector. i forget where I got my adapter on amazon for 3 bucks to go to 3.5 mm female - from there use the "usual" Rat shack stuff . don't get the cheapest one, read the user feedback. its dumb but the I phone aint cheap. wolf
  23. dont downplay the damage STRESS does to your health long term ! there is little data on this - talking to a doc friend - but just look at the divorce rate in the film bizz - 90%, national average only 50%
  24. very solid course focused on reproduction of sound. system install. w
  25. It took 2+ years after I stopped recording on location to not wake up with anxiety dreams about getting wrong map directions, not finding that genius piece of kit in the truck, or getting the wrong call, or getting stuck behind a car chase on the freeway, or being on the only set at Universal that kept working on 9/11 when Al KAIDa was gonna attack the studios ( remember?) , or not getting on the 405 because OJ was cruising in the white Landrover ( it happened) etc etc. I taked to some high profile mixers on this board and they had pre shoot anxiety so bad most every day on large featured after 30 years of it they still could sometimes not get any sleep the night before. sure a shrink could help. sure if one did not give a ... one could read the paper all day and be happy and dont worry but why is it that we in this profession are so wracked by the stress to perform that it damages our pshyce?? can any amount of $$ make up for that? typically an IATSE member lives 2 years after retiring - is there a connection? do the culturally approved methods of stress reduction help? ( Yoga? taiChi? deep breathing? drugs and alcohol? divorce? what happens on location...stays on location?) i wonder, but you are not alone thats for sure
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