Sunday, December 06, 2009

Nikon D3 slow motion - Continuous 11fps

Awesome video of a Nikon D3 shooting at 11 Frames per second. The footage was shot at 5000FPS then slowed down to, I'm assuming, 30fps.

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Copyright Consultation submission has finally been posted on the site.

http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/008.nsf/eng/02484.html

It's good to see up there. Hopefully it's been read and taken into consideration.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Less for More

In the ongoing battle between the large three telecommunications companies, Bell, Rogers and Telus, and their consumers; Fido, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rogers has just informed me that they are reducing a service that I pay for. It's a major reduction in voice mail storage.

This just goes to show that with the continued inaction of our inept government, Canadians fall further behind in the services we can get, and pay more and more for them. As is the case with Broadband in Canada (also controlled by the same companies).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My submission to the Canadian Copyright Consultation

My Name is Paul Tichonczuk and I'm a programmer and photographer from Mississauga, Ontario.
Copyright is an important part of my everyday life. Without it, I would not be able to make a living, use software to do my job or enjoy the music I listen to throughout the day. I am not represented by a corporation or a trade industry group. As a creator of works protected by copyright, I have had my work used without permission and understand the frustration that a lot of creators feel with what is happening in today's technology driven world. However, I have never felt that the current laws do not protect me as a creator. If anything they restrict me. I cannot stand behind most of the voices calling for draconian copyright enforcement through new legislation as the way to go.
Much has been said about ratifying the WIPO treaty that Canada has signed. A treaty that is already shown its age and was backwards looking when it was created. The USA has been one of Canada's largest critics. Yet the DMCA has been for the most part a huge failure. It has not saved the music industry from its eventual demise. It has resulted in stifling of competition, user choice and instead has created an industry revolving around suing the consumers of media instead of actually creating and innovating. Recently, one of the creators of the DMCA has publicly stated "Don't do what we did". I hope Canada listens.

Creativity is not the creation of new things in a vacuum. It is the consuming, learning and re-creation of our culture. At their core, most creative works are a mixture of something borrowed and something new. We cannot move forward as a society with laws that will restrict competition and creative growth by imposing artificial locks, through things like DRM technology. This is most true if DRM technology is used to restrict the rights we do have simply because it is breaking the lock. It is also important to limit the term of Copyright. I find it mind boggling that I cannot build upon the works of someone who has passed away because their copyright is still held by family or some corporation. How does extending the copyright term past someone’s death foster innovation? It doesn’t, it just makes a few people more money. This does not help put food on struggling artist’s tables.
Maintain the agnostic position of ISPs is very important to maintain innovation and competition in Canada. As the telephone companies that most of them are, they should not be responsible for what is done over their pipes just as they are not responsible for the conversations that happen over their telephone lines. Turning ISPs into gatekeepers would be the slippery slope towards the halt of Internet innovation in Canada. Having ISPs police the net just to satisfy one small part of the creative community, while harming everyone else doesn’t make sense and would hurt Canada’s future. Ca nada has enough of an issue with the lack of competition in the telecommunications space harming innovation online.
When developing the new Copyright bill, it is important to keep in mind that technology, and how people use media, and creative works in their everyday lives will change at an ever increasing pace. If we get a copyright bill that appeases a few industries that were not able to change with the times to protect their outdated business models, we will have stifled creativity and innovation for generations to come. It is important to create a flexible and well balanced and future facing copyright bill and not one that will lock us down in the past.

Thank You.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The CRTC, Bell and Metered Billing

Bell isn't making enough money. So they have petitioned the CRTC to allow them to charge metered billing on Internet Usage. I personally don't care what they do to their own Sympatico customers. However I do care what they do to independent ISPs.

You have to understand how stupid this is. An independent ISP must pay for their own upstream connection and traffic. They are already paying for the bandwidth used by their customers. Now bell is trying to convince the CRTC, that the leased "last mile" that the independants use, should also be metered and the ISPs charged. So in essence these ISPs would have to pay double. This is at the same time as Bell has ignored a CRTC ruling telling them to also allow for ADSL2 reselling.

What's mind boggling here is that the CRTC has a mandate to promote ISP competition in Canada. They imposed a bunch of regulations on Bell in order to do this. Competition has been a success and the independent ISPs are doing well. Now Bell has successfully gotten the CRTC to allow them to do more and more things that will kill the independant ISPs. This will be the final straw.

Many people have argue that if these independent ISPs want to compete, they should install their own hardware and lines. This is not a viable option as Bell has a stranglehold on the Government Paid For infrastructure. Any attempt to compete on that level would cost millions and lead to anti competitive behavior with no Government intervention (see http://www.10buckstoo.com/).

I encourage you to visit http://www.competitivebroadband.com/ and make a submission to the CRTC and your MP about this.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Canadian Copyright Town Hall - Toronto Edition

I got to attend the Government of Canada's Copyright town hall in Toronto. It was hosted by the Minister of Industry, the Honourable Tony Clement.

To say it was disappointing is an understatement.
I was not disappointed by the event itself. It was run well considering how many people wanted to speak. But my frustration stems from the views that were presented, or more importantly, the ones that were not.

First problem was the room was a stacked deck. The majority of the attendance made a living off of copyright. They were not all "evil industry executives". A lot of the people who spoke, and spoke well, were average Canadians trying to make a living off of their creative works. It was actually very good to hear these people speak about their struggles. However, the amount of Warner Music Employees who spoke equaled the amount of what I would consider regular, non-creative industry people who got a chance to speak. That was three. This is not anyones fault. I understand why the average Canadian couldn't be bothered, or more importantly, even know to come to this event.

Next problem was professionalism. The three people who did speak about fairness and balance, were barely coherent and in some cases laughed at. It was depressing to see. There was a fourth guy, but he actually stood up and claimed to be a huge wholesale pirate with 3 terrabytes of data he was sharing. He actually said works should be free. Not Helping.

The last, and biggest problem was the misinformation. And boy was there plenty of it. I'm not going to state them here as most of them are covered in what I would have said if I had the chance. My talking points morphed and changes as the night went on. So the speech as it is now was in some ways influenced by what I had heard throughout the night.

Without further delay, here is my very terse 3 minutes take on Copyright


My Name is Paul Tichonczuk and I'm from Toronto.
I'm a programmer and photographer.
Copyright is an important part of my every day life. Without it, I would not be able to make a living, use software to do my job or enjoy the music I listen to throughout the day. I am not represented by a corporation or a trade industry group. As a creator of works protected by copyright, I have had my work used without permission and understand the frustration that a lot of creators feel with what is happening in today's technology driven world.
I cannot however stand behind most of you and claim that draconian copyright enforcement through new legislation is the way to go. This may not be what many of you intend in asking to be allowed to make a living of of your works but it's very likely what may happen.

One gentlemen blurted out "Don't do what the US did". This couldn't be farther from the truth. The US is one of Canada's largest critics. Yet the DMCA has been for the most part a huge failure. It has not saved the music industry from it's eventual demise. It has resulted in stifling of competition, user choice and more lawsuits then could be listed in three hours let alone three minutes. One of the creators of the DMCA has publicly stated "Don't do what we did".

Creativity is not the creation of new things in a vacuum. It is the consuming, learning and re-creation of our culture. At their core, most creative works are a mixture of something borrowed and something new. We cannot move forward as a society with laws that will restrict competition and creative growth by imposing artificial locks, through things like DRM technology. It is also important to maintain the agnostic position of ISPs. As the telephone companies that most of them are, they should not be responsible for what is done over their pipes. Turning ISPs into gatekeepers would be the slippery slope towards the halt of Internet innovation in Canada.

I do not envy your position Mr. Clement. I do not have the answer to the many problems presented here today. Not one person here, including myself has put forth a reasonable approach to this issue. I only hope that whatever bill is presented to Canadians will look forward to the future, not at our limited past.

Thank You.

http://www.speakoutoncopyright.ca/

Friday, June 19, 2009

Microsofts Browser Comparison of IE8 vs. Chrome and Firefox

Microsoft recently launched a browser comparison of IE8 vs. what they believe are their next two biggest rivals. Here is my take on it as someone who deals with this on a daily basis:


Note: This page looks totally messed up. Partially because this theme in blogger does not support tables. And secondly because I totally cut and paste this code from the link above!


















Internet Explorer 8

Firefox

Chrome


Comments

Security

  Check
Check

Internet Explorer 8 NEEDS more malware and security protection because it's inherantly insecure, unlike the other two.

Privacy

  Check

Similar situation to above. Chrome looses purely because of it's integration with google tracking.

Ease of Use

  Check

No browser is easier to use than Chrome here. Most people simply view "Google" as their browser anyway.

Web Standards

CheckCheckCheck


Firefox and Chrome have more support for emerging standards like HTML5 and CSS3, but Internet Explorer 8 invested heavily into catching up to what the other browser makers had for ages.
Sure IE8 might now have better CSS2.1 support if you squint really hard.

Developer Tools

CheckCheck


IE FINALLY has tools like HTML, CSS and Javascript debugging right in the box, along with Javascript profiling. Firefox has lots of tools available, but developers need to install them separately, which is fine because they're way better anyways; Chrome in no way lacks tools for debugging CSS and HTML, but they are the hardest to use.

Reliability

 


Only Internet Explorer 8 has both tab isolation and crash recovery features; Firefox and Chrome have one or the other.
They all suck here in the end. But it's mostly the plugins fault and not the browser.

Customizability

  Check 

Firefox wins here by a LOT. They are the first with an extensive, usable and powerful extension architecture.

Compatibility

CheckCheck
Check


IE renders more sites "correctly" because they have been the dominant browser maker for so long. However, sites look better on Chrome or Firefox if you're using the latest CSS3 features, which IE8 lacks. Not to mention how brutal coding for IE has been for so long. IE8 though for base level support does finally tie with the others.

Manageability

 


I have no idea what they are talking about.

Performance

   Check

IE7 was one of the slowest browsers on the market, IE8 is a huge step up. Firefox also was a dog in version 2 and they did a lot in 3 and even more now in 3.5. However Chrome does take the cake here. I've switched to it as my primary browser as it is noticably faster, especially with multiple tabs open.

TOTAL: 3 6 5 Looks like Firefox Still wins. In the end it's all of us who win as these browser continue to compete for our web space.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Nikon launches AF-S 35mm F1.8 DX prime


Nikon has announced a new general purpose prime, the 35mm f/1.8G DX. This is a long overdue lens. The only thing wrong with this lens is that they hadn't done it sooner. This is the "normal" lens for all DX shooters. It's weather sealed and is AF-S so will autofocus on the D40-60. Some people are complaining about the fact that Nikon didn't release it to cover the entire frame, but check out these shots of someone using the new 35mm on a Nikon D3x. Did I mention it's only $200 USD MSRP?

The real news for the rest of us is the last line in this post on DP Review "this is not the last lens announcement we'll be making this year."