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Is James Murdoch a Ferengi?… Make up your own mind!

James Murdoch a Ferengi (the Image)James Murdoch said this today (Source ABC News)

“It is essential for the future of independent digital journalism that a fair price can be charged for news to people who value it,”

“In this all-media marketplace, the expansion of state-sponsored journalism is a threat to the plurality and independence of news provision, which are so important for our democracy.”

“Dumping free, state-sponsored news on the market makes it incredibly difficult for journalism to flourish on the Internet.”

and the clincher

“The only reliable, durable, and perpetual guarantor of independence is profit,”

now compare a few of the gems of Ferengi philosophy… thinking of the history of News Corp.

Ferengi Rules Of Acquisition

1. Once you have their money … never give it back.
3. Never pay more for an acquisition than you have to.
6. Never allow family to stand in the way of opportunity.
10. Greed is eternal.
13. Anything worth doing is worth doing for money.
16. A deal is a deal … until a better one comes along.
19. Satisfaction is not guaranteed.
33. It never hurts to suck up to the boss.
34. Peace is good for business.
35. War is good for business.
41. Profit is its own reward.
45. Expand, or die.
48. The bigger the smile, the sharper the knife.
52. Never ask when you can take.
59. Free advice is seldom cheap.
60. Keep your lies consistent.
76. Every once in a while, declare peace. It confuses the hell out of your enemies.
82. The flimsier the product, the higher the price.
85. Never let the competition know what you’re thinking.
89. Ask not what your profits can do for you, but what you can do for your profits.
97. Enough … is never enough.
99. Trust is the biggest liability of all.
106. There is no honour in poverty.
162. Even in the worst of times someone turns a profit.
189. Let others keep their reputation. You keep their money.
202. The justification for profit is profit.
239. Never be afraid to mislabel a product.
242. More is good … all is better.
285. No good deed ever goes unpunished.

I rest my case.

Model Trains D90 Video

Another little video from the D90, this time 40secs of the model trains at Australian Model Railways Association (Vic Branch) show. You will see the banding in this shot as well, this is one of the big problems with the D90 and video called rolling shutter.

(Updated Post: with 2min video – this is the same display as the photo below)

Longer Video

Short Video (41 Seconds)

And my fav shot from the day…  a real miniature… not a tiltshift 🙂

Taken at the 39th Australian Model Railway Association Vic Branch Display. Model Railway exhibition
Aust-n-Rail "Thomspon River Canyon" Display
This was shot using my 55-200mm VR Kit lens that I got when I purchased the D90.

Up in the Rockies

Puffing Billy KML File

After living in Melbourne for 5 years I finally got to do Puffing Billy last weekend…. We did the full return trip from Belgrave to Gembrook. And I left my Nokia N95-8gb running with Sports tracker and created this KML file of the trip. You will notice that in places it jumps a bit which would be due to the thick tree coverage on the route.


Get the KMZ file here as well

View Larger Map

And my fav photo from the trip…

On Guard

See the previous post for video from the trip as well taken on the D90.

yes the D90 does video… i've just never used it…

Well until the other day that is…  See I brought the camera to do still photography… that is what I wanted and that is why I brought the D90… not for the video function.

Now lots of people have written about the Video function and its benefits and draw backs and seeing as I have used this feature all of 3 times in the last 6 months I will leave them to talk about it.

But here you are…  33 Seconds of 720P Video from Puffing Billy shot on a Nikon D90 with a Tokina 11-16mm lens.

click here to watch in HD stand alone

The following video is in HD.

My new constant companion… Mr Joby Gorilla Pod SLR-Zoom

Nikon D90 + Gorilla Pod SLR ZoomTwo weeks ago I was asked if I wanted to review one of the Gorilla Pods… and I jumped at the chance.   I remember seeing these a few years back long before I  got my Nikon D90 and at the time thought I need one of those….  now I have had a play for a few weeks… I can look back on those initial thoughts and still say yes. (but like with all reviews there are a few caveats)…

The Joby Gorillapod SLR-Zoom is what I got to play with.  This is the bigger of the Pods and is the 2nd to largest of the grips holding up to 3kg.  In all my playing around I used the heaviest stuff I had.. my Nikon D90, plus Sigma 18-200mm (total weight 1.2kg).  And I would say if you have an SLR of any sort and are thinking about one these tripods…  just forget the SLR version…  holding only 800g the price difference is so  insignificant you will have buyers regret before you have even left the store.
Nikon D90 + Gorilla Pod SLR Zoom

Gorillapod SLR SLR-Zoom
Designed for Prosumer cameras
Lightweight SLRs
Heavy SLRs
Professional tripod heads
Holds up to 800g 3kg
Size 25 x 5 x 5cm 25 x 6 x 6cm
Weight 165g 241g

Nikon D90 + Gorilla Pod SLR ZoomBut when my package (The Gorillapod being in a recycled cardboard no plastic bag which was very nice) arrived it had a little bonus as well… the Ballhead (still in the older style glossy cardboard).  This little optional accessory is one of those things that really should come with the SLR Zoom by default…  and is the extra thing that makes the item really useful but costs more.  If you like Dutch Angles.. then by all means get the SLR-Zoom without the Ballhead… otherwise just add it to the price at purchase time and get straight photos.

But what about the Gorilla Pod itself.  My fears and trepidations about it were…  will it hold the weight, will it grip on the angle I want and will it remain in the same place.

Nikon D90 + Gorilla Pod SLR ZoomFirstly I set up the D90 on the Pod sitting at a slightly skewed angle and left it for 24 hours.  Not one little bit of discernible movement could be found. Sure I was only loading it to 50% of the weight it said it could take.. but I was still impressed that it sat there for over a day and didn’t budge.  But real world use is a different matter.  Yes it will grip to just about anything and I have already tried mounting it to anything that doesn’t move just to see it if would.  But it takes practice and a lot of it to get it just in the sweet spot.

On a couple of occasions on a round bar the camera really wants to just go for a swing and the same with putting it on the ground as a tripod.  I am getting more comfortable with it however and this is not happening as much… but you will want to exercise some caution when playing with it in the beginning or else your very expensive bit of glass at the front the camera could take the fall.

The same goes with the Ballhead.  Sometimes it seems locked on but then just slowly starts turning.  So you have to watch out for this.   But the having the ballhead means that you can secure the gorillapod on the angle that you want.. and use the ballhead with its full 360° panning, and 90° tilt to straighten the camera, this is a much safer proposition as well. The Ballhead comes with a quick release system (which works a treat) featuring a very nice little spirit level built into it.  Now when I switch to my old big tripod I miss the spirit level of my Gorillapod as I use it for nearly every shot, even hand held shots.  If the quick release for the ballhead came with a pass through bolt for normal tripods I would be a lot happier.  The larger flat screw design is tricky to get tight without a tool and even harder to undo if you want to swap.

The Joby also comes with a 3/8″ adapter screw as well on the 1/4″ standard tripod mount…. guess what… I know I put it somewhere safe!

This tripod with a bend halfway down also fits in my camera bag (Lowepro Nova 180 AW) as well taking up one lens spot but the trade off means that I always have a tripod on me… one that I can use anywhere and nearly anyhow.

If you don’t have one get yourself one of these…  they can also help you break that eye level tripod shot that screams I was taken on a tripod.  You get can get low or high and have the angles covered.  And if you are going travelling stick one in your bag… you will use it… I know I do.  You can even using it as a straight tripod if you can find something taller to mount it on. It might also help to get you passed pesky security guards that don’t like tripods, to get some slightly longer exposures.

Oh and the extra bonus… once you have opened your Gorrillapod and used it a few times… give it to someone with OCD… they will spend hours trying to get it straight again.

Nikon D90 + Gorilla Pod SLR Zoom

and check out this review on the Joby Gorillapod SLR