Friday, January 31, 2014

Citizen journalists and video activists beware of Google

Citizen journalists and video activists beware

Google patent could have nightmare implications for privacy, freedom of assembly

Paul Joseph Watson from Infowars.com has exposed that Google has filed a patent for identifying when a “mob” event takes place by detecting when a number of cellphone videos or photos are taken at one particular location with the intention of forwarding such information to' law enforcement authorities.' So imagine being on demonstration and a small group of people break away to do some direct action such as put super-glue the locks of an arms factory.  It is easy to imagine 15 people will get excited and start recording the action via their smartphones.  It shows up as a spike which Police can monitor takes to Google. They inform the most local cops and bang - the activists are pounced upon. So an effective non-violent protest gets people locked up thanks to Google.


“When there are at least a given number of video clips with similar time stamps and geolocation stamps uploaded to a repository, it is inferred that an event of interest has likely occurred, and a notification signal is transmitted (e.g., to a law enforcement agency, to a news organization, to a publisher of a periodical, to a public blog, etc.),” states US Patent #20140025755

The full patent reads as
Inferring events based on mob source video
US 20140025755 A1
Read Patent here 


Read Patent here 

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Government Just Passed a ‘Gagging Law’ to Outlaw Critics Ahead of 2015 Elections

Prepare to be outraged!

Last night, the UK government passed the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill.  A bill gagging charities, NGO’s, bloggers, community groups and most attempts at organised opposition to the government in the year prior to a general election…and just in time for the General Election next year.
What is the Gagging Law?
 The Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill, or Gagging Law, was hailed as the UK government’s answer to the issue of commercial lobbying.
But, this bill does not take on the political power of wealthy corporate lobbyists.  Instead, it kneecaps any attempts at organised local and national opposition by civil society, so as not to influence the outcome of general elections.  It is a gagging law.  The law puts in place a range of bureaucratic and financial barriers amounting to a gag on free speech and effective opposition.  These include:
  • The maximum that can be spent before groups have to be registered with the Electoral Commission £20,000 in England and £10,000 in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
  • Reduce the overall UK-wide spending limit before elections from £988,500 at present to a new limit of £450,000.  To put this in perspective – campaign group 38Degrees has 1.7m members, this would mean neutering their spending power on posters, staff, adverts and ancillary costs to just 26p per member.
  • Putting in place a spending cap of just £9,750 in a particular constituency, in the year running up to a general election – while the local MP can spend as much as they like until just 4 months from the election.
The new spending limits will come into effect on 19th September this year.
Read more here




Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

How the Media works for Politicians.

In 1994, future Chancellor George Osborne was photographed at a party, with his arm around a sex worker called Natalie Rowe, sitting at a table full cocaine.  In October 2005, Natalie Rowe came forward to release the picture and her story to the press.  Rowe sold her story to the Sunday Mirror.  However, to the surprise of Rowe and the Mirror, Andy Coulson broke the story in a leader column in the News of the World.  Not only that, but the story was spun in a manner entirely sympathetic to Osborne, stating that he was ‘a young man when he found himself in a murky world’.  Rowe’s lawyers allege that Coulson stole the story by hacking her phone, and used it to gain leverage with the future chancellor.
And lo, on news of his resignation from the News of the World – Andy Coulson became Director of Communications at Downing Street, despite recently resigning in shame over phone hacking allegations.  He was recruited on the recommendation of none other than George Osborne.


Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Problem With Facebook




Facebook is a complex ecosystem of individuals, creators, brands and
advertisers, but I don't think it serves any of these groups
particularly well because its top priority is to make money. Now, I
don't think making money is a bad thing, in fact I hope to make some
myself. The problem is the only way Facebook has found to make money is
by treating all entities on the site as advertisers and charging them to
share their content.

This business plan backfires because 1) not
all entities ARE advertisers and 2) it was the content from these
people, specifically friends, family, and creators that made the site
worth visiting in the first place. Now the incentives are misaligned:
-
individuals want to see great content, but they are now seeing more
paid content and organically shared content which appeals to the lowest
common denominator (babies, weddings, and banal memes)
- creators want to reach fans but their posts are being throttled to force them to pay to be seen
-
brands and advertisers have to pay once to advertise their page on
Facebook, and then pay again to reach the people who have already liked
their page. Plus Facebook is not a place where people generally go to
buy things.





Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions.http://www.undercurrents.org

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Nigel Jenkins RIP


I just heard the news that Swansea's Nigel Jenkins died today. 64, far too young to go. Poet, psychogeographer, maker of enclopaedias, musician, supporter of the literary underdog.

Nigel Jenkins narrated a poem at the end of Life Before Death, (one of our films) with his rich deep voice. It was about acceptance of death. You can watch the short film here
http://www.undercurrents.org/lifebeforedeath.html



Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Monday, January 27, 2014

Bristol Radical Film Festival 2014


The programme for the Bristol Radical Film Festival 2014 is now out: http://bristolradicalfilmfestival.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/programme.pdf 

This year the festival takes place from the 3rd to the 9th of March. For more details and to buy tickets please see website at:  http://bristolradicalfilmfestival.org.uk/
 
Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Friday, January 24, 2014

Count the Birds in your garden this weekend



 https://www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch/

This is my latest editing work. I edited this video for RSPB to support the bird count this weekend.

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions.http://www.undercurrents.org

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Most popular video report this month- Arrests over Israel boycott in Tesco's


It is interesting to follow which of my video reports is popular at any given time. This video report i made in 2009 has suddenly got noticed and it is spreading widely. Perhaps because there is an upsurge in Boycotts against Israeli goods going on across the UK

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions.http://www.undercurrents.org

How people distributed their own music before the internet

We produced this video report in 1997 which is pre- internet explosion- it shows how ingenious people always have been with their art and music.



Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Friday, January 17, 2014

Make a video from the commets on YouTube

This is an interesting way to produce videos. Get your real life dialogue from YouTube comments
This is a Reconstruction  of  the comments from a video titled 'Nelson Mandela Is Dead - Official News' - be aware than strong language is used from the start



Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Took 9 months to find out I'd won a film festival!

This is slack...I entered a one minute film into into a film festival last April 2013. I made it with some mates in Swansea- a remake of Point Break. Turns out my film won..but they never told me! Pretty slack I'd say

I'm sure my Oscar is in the post. Watch 60seconds of fun here or below



Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Monday, January 13, 2014

Police pay out £20k to student for making up evidence against him

Without citizens having our own video evidence, Police would be getting away with all sorts of abuses.


Take this case- Police allegations against two students at a tuition fees demo were thrown out after YouTube film and photographs showed “shocking” inconsistencies in Met officers’ accounts of the incidents.
In both cases the students were wrestled to the ground, arrested, strip-searched, fingerprinted and faced charges that could have damaged their careers.
The student has been awarded £20k
Read more here


Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Funding for small local charities

Foyle Foundation Small Grants Programme (UK)
The Foyle Foundation is inviting small local charities to apply for 
funding through its Small Grants programme.

Grants of between £1,000 and £10,000 are available to smaller charities 
in the UK, especially those working at grass roots and local community 
level, in any field, across a wide range of activities.

Applicants will need to demonstrate that the grant will make a 
significant difference to their work.

Applications can be made at any time.
http://www.foylefoundation.org.uk/small-grants-scheme/

-------------

People's Postcode Trust Small Grants Programme (Scotland, Wales and 
North of England)

The People's Postcode Trust has announced that its small grants 
programme has re-opened for applications.

Through its small grants programme, the People's Postcode Trust offers 
grants of between £500 and £20,000 to small organisations and community 
groups for projects lasting up to 6 months in the areas of:
•        Poverty Prevention
•        Advancement of Health
•        Community Development
•        Public Sports
•        Human Rights
•        Environmental Protection.

Eligible regions for this funding round will be Scotland, Wales and the 
North of England.

The closing date for applications for this funding round is the 21st 
February 2014.

http://www.postcodetrust.org.uk/


Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Cop threathens to knock photographer out

A police commissioner has called for swift action after a sergeant was filmed threatening an amateur photographer and promising to make his life 'living hell' at the scene of a fatal road accident.

The sergeant, who gave his name as Wallace on the video of the incident, told the 26 year old photographer "You're lucky I didn't knock you out."
He told him he would arrest him and ask for him to be remanded in custody if he did not delete photos from his camera.

Luckily the photographer recorded the cops threats on his video camera.
Watch the video here


Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Community Foodie Documentary



This is the documentary I produced for Bridgend Council about Community Gardens. A wonderful scheme to inspire people to go green

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions.http://www.undercurrents.org

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

How to turn a movie trailer budget into a life changing mission

20th Century Fox Gave Him $25,000 To Make A Movie Trailer. Here's What He Did Instead. Somewhere between the ridiculous voice-overs and their identical forms, I started dreading previews at the movies. This trailer though, if you can call it that, raises the standard. The next time you watch a movie preview, remember that this is what that money could have done. Read More: http://www.natureknows.org/2013/12/20th-century-fox-gave-him-25000-to-make.html
 How one video director used his $25k budget for a movie trailer for a life changing mission instead.


The video director wrote-
the whole story; i often get solicitations for work, all kinds of companies, people, organizations etc asking if i would be interested in making a video for them. i was really concerned after the typhoon, as anyone with a heartbeat was. left with the frustration and guilt i often feel when i learn of other people suffering, a guilt for not being able to help more. i had made donations but it's hard to see or feel the effects of ones contributions. a few days later i was contacted by 20th Century Fox, they wanted to know if i could make a promotional film to get the word out about Ben Stiller's great new movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

Mitty is a movie about chasing a dream and they wanted me to make a movie about chasing a dream. I am a big dreamer but at that time only one thing came to mind; if i could do anything in the world right now what would it be? that's to help the victims of the typhoon. i, someone crassly, replied to 20th Century Fox that the only movie i wanted to make is one where i give away the budget to those in need. i still don't understand how or why but they agreed. i jumped on a plane with my best friend and fellow adventurer Oscar and we flew to Manila. there was little time to think or plan before we left, actually we did zero planning before we left. my original thought was that we'd connect with an NGO already in place, a non-profit that's already doing a lot of good, and i'd simply hand them a check. but that turned out complicated and it sort of felt like the non-profits we contacted did not want to link up with us. so on a whim we decided to launch our very own relief mission. it was complicated and at first improbable but with the help of an extremely loving group of locals, all who were total strangers, we were able to stretch the production budget really far. beyond the food distributed in the video we also worked with a local nurse and purchased a lot of medicine and medical supplies, as well as providing tools to village leaders to be shared within the village and aid in the rebuilding process.

never have i met such people with the resilience of these typhoon victims. there was one thing that stuck out, one big huge tiny thing, that was; of everyone we were face to face with, thousands of people, not once, at anytime for any reason did anyone complain. no one. their focus was on rebuilding and healing, not sympathy.

big thank you to Fox and Ben Stiller for not freaking the fuck out when they saw what i did with their money.




Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org