Finally got round to assembling this panorama

Click to enlarge

First morning that felt like spring instead of late winter. About a week ago. Then I promptly forgot about it. Just realized I had some photos on my walking around camera – and went through the hassle of finding freebie software to assemble them into a panorama.

Somewhere along upgrades to computers I seem to have killed whatever it was I used to use for panorama stitching. I should get around to updating my photo editing software anyway, real soon new. Certainly, by the time of real flowers appearing down by the bosque.

A train, a narrow trestle and 60 seconds to escape – the death of Sarah Jones


The Feb. 20 death of 27-year-old camera assistant Sarah Jones on the set of Midnight Rider outside Doctortown, Ga., spread grief and anger through Hollywood. It has led to an industrywide reckoning on safety standards and inspired some Oscars attendees to wear black ribbons on their lapels in her memory. Many of the details of the accident remain murky and unknown. But now a THR reconstruction, based on an exclusive eyewitness account and interviews with Jones’ parents and others, reveals harrowing new details of what happened when a 20-person film crew tried to shoot a scene on a live train track…

As the day wore on, director Randall Miller moved the shoot from the land beside the river onto the narrow gridwork of the trestle itself, which extends over the edge of the Altamaha. The trestle’s wood and metal bottom was covered with pebbles and had gaping holes in some places. The blustery wind rang through the girders, making it hard to stay steady, says Gilliard…

From shore, several dozen yards away, a voice shouted to the crew that in the event a train appeared, everyone would have 60 seconds to clear the tracks. “Everybody on the crew was tripping over that,” says Joyce Gilliard. “A minute? Are you serious?” By now, she and two other crewmembers were nervous enough that before shooting, they gathered in an informal prayer circle…

While Gilliard prayed, Jones helped load film, monitor the cameras and transport gear. A fresh-faced South Carolinian with a passion for travel and books, Jones wasn’t really the type to fret much. The crew was filming a dream sequence, and they had placed a twin-size metal-framed bed and mattress in the middle of the tracks. Then, Gilliard looked up and saw a light in the distance, followed by the immense howl of a locomotive. It was a train — and it was hurtling toward them.

Read the long, detailed, sad tale, a cautionary tale. Sooner or later a court will make decisions about precautions that didn’t seem to exist, protocols that were engaged decades ago to protect film crews – and ignored IMHO.

A tale worth reading for the death of a young working woman that never should have happened.

Thanks, Mike

US plans to hand over Internet control to global independence

American center for Internet oversight

The United States will hand over government control of administration of the Internet, bowing to pressures to globalize the management of the networks that connect billions of people around the world in a move meant to ease fears following last year’s revelations of NSA spying.

U.S. officials on Friday announced plans to relinquish its oversight role over the group that manages the Web’s critical infrastructure, said Lawrence Strickling, the head of the National Telecommunications & Information Administration at the Commerce Department.

The transition will come in 2015, when Commerce contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers expires next year. But the announcement comes with a major caveat: As part of the transition, an independent, international oversight authority must be established so as to earn the trust of the world, Strickling said.

ICANN, the California-based nonprofit that coordinates the Web’s various systems of identifiers, has been pushing for increased global participation in the administration of the Internet, particularly since Edward Snowden’s leak of thousands of classified NSA documents last summer revealed the U.S. had been snooping on foreign nationals and governments…

But not everyone welcomed the news, particularly business leaders and others who were glad to accept tight U.S. control on the Internet’s administration as it ensured the Web operated smoothly and openly…

Yup. And Mussolini made the trains run on time in Fascist Italy.

Daniel Castro, a senior analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, warned that without U.S. oversight, the Web may not hold together as a single entity.

“The world could be faced with a splintered Internet that would stifle innovation, commerce, and the free flow and diversity of ideas that are bedrock tenets of world’s biggest economic engine,” Castro wrote in an op-ed Friday.

“It is too important to get wrong,” he said. “And if the Obama Administration gives away its oversight of the Internet, it will be gone forever.”

Daniel Castro’s argument is nothing new. It is advanced by many American geeks and pundits every time the question of globalizing management of the Web comes up, every time the ICANN contract comes up for renewal.

What’s changed is that we know now that our government has handed oversight of the Internet to the NSA.

UPDATE: the most prominent, broadest body already established to globalize, democratize Internet management is Global Commission on Internet Governance. Useful article at GigaOm.