Financial Assistance After a Service Member Dies: What The Military Provides

first_imgMilitary.com. (n.d.) Transitioning from Military Service. Retrieved from http://www.military.com/money/retirement/military-retirement/transitioning-out-of-military-service.html MyArmyBenefits. (2016). Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP). Retrieved from https://myarmybenefits.us.army.mil/Benefit-Library/Federal-Benefits/Survivor-Benefit-Plan-(SBP)?serv=126 Department of Defense. (2017). A survivor’s guide to benefits. Retrieved from http://download.militaryonesource.mil/12038/MOS/ResourceGuides/A-Survivors-Guide-To-Benefits.pdf By Carol ChurchThe loss of a service member to military-related causes is always a tragedy. No one ever wants to need the information in this blog.However, families who are coping with the devastation that accompany such a loss do need concrete facts. It’s reassuring to know that the military has programs in place to help spouses, children, and other family members regain their financial footing. Taken all together, the value of these benefits is very likely to exceed $500,000. This is the least that can be done for those who made the ultimate sacrifice.Ken Wolter/PhotospinFollowing is a listing of benefits available to families of service members whose deaths are a result of military service. Typically, these benefits are offered to families of those service members who die during active duty, including as a result of training. This also includes deaths that occur while a service member was traveling to the place of duty. Some benefits are also extended to the families of veterans who die as a result of service-related injury or disease, or who die of non-service-related issues after being disabled by service-related issues.Death Gratuity payment This is a $100,000 benefit paid within 72 hours of the death of an active duty service member that is a result of service. Its purpose is to assist family with immediate concerns. The service member will have filled out a form designating who will receive this payment. This sum is not taxed.Funeral and burial costs payment When a member dies on active duty, the amount paid towards preparation, burial, and interment will vary from $1000-$8700, depending on whether the military handles arrangements or the family chooses a private cemetery. Travel costs for immediate family will also be paid. Veterans whose death was service-related receive up to $2000 in funeral and burial benefits and are also eligible for free burial in a VA cemetery. More information on funeral and burial benefits is available in this post.Back pay and unpaid leave Of course, survivors will receive all back pay owed, as well as payment owed for any leave that has not been taken.Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance payment All service members are automatically insured in this program to the maximum $400,000 benefit, unless they have cancelled it or reduced its benefits in writing. Benefits will either be paid out in 36 installments or in one lump sum (this decision will have been made by the service member at time of enrollment).Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) DIC is paid out to survivors of any service member who dies on active duty or in training as a result of service-related diseases, injury, or condition, as well as to survivors of veterans whose deaths were service-related. DIC is also paid out to survivors of some veterans who were totally disabled by military service at the time of their deaths. Under DIC, the spouse and each child receive COLA-adjusted flat rate payments. Payments to children extend to age 21, or 23 if enrolled in college. Payments to spouses continue for life, or until the spouse remarries (payments continue if the spouse remarried after age 57). It is important to note that if spouses are also eligible for Survivors’ Benefit Plan (SBP) benefits, these will be reduced by the amount paid out in DIC.Survivor Benefit Plan The SBP provides a COLA-adjusted monthly income to survivors of service members killed in the line of duty, based on a percentage of their pay. As noted above, it’s important to understand that spousal SBP payments will be reduced by the amount paid out in DIC. For this reason, some spouses choose to opt out of SBP for themselves and to have the whole benefit go to children, whose benefit is not affected by DIC. This decision cannot be reversed.Medical Care For the first 3 years after the death of an active duty service member, surviving spouses and dependents are eligible for full-active duty health benefits at no cost. After three years, children remain eligible for full benefits, while spouses will transition to Tricare.Housing assistance Surviving spouses and family members retain the right to their service member’s BAH or military housing for one year after the date of death. Families also have the right to have one move paid for by the military in the 3 years following the death of the active duty member.Tax liability forgiveness Income taxes already paid may be forgiven or may not have to be paid for the person who has died in the year after the death of an active duty service member. Family members can get help with their tax situation at their closest military installation, or consult IRS guidelines.VA Home loan assistance Surviving spouses are eligible to apply for VA loans. Though this is not technically a monetary benefit, it may still be very useful to surviving spouses due to the unique benefits of this product. To learn more about VA loans, visit Part 1 and Part 2 of our series on this program.Educational benefits Surviving spouses and children are eligible for a number of important educational benefits, including transfer of GI Bill benefits and programs and scholarships that may pay up to 100% of costs. For more information, visit A Survivor’s Guide to Benefits.Commissary and exchange privileges Surviving spouse and dependents retain the right to shop at commissaries and exchanges. Spouses retain this right unless they remarry, and children retain it until age 21. Sorting out and understanding all these different benefits and programs can feel extremely overwhelming at a time of grief and sorrow. Fortunately, the military assigns each bereaved family a Casualty Assistance Officer who assists families in sorting out these matters. However, it is still important to remember that many of these benefits must be applied for.There is nothing that can ever replace the loss of a family member, but the military works hard to help families facing this grief. Knowing that these programs are there to assist with financial needs may be a comfort to families.References:Department of Defense. (n.d.) Military compensation: Death gratuity. Retrieved from http://militarypay.defense.gov/Benefits/Death-Gratuity/ We’ll be talking about Estate Planning for Families with Special Needs on Tuesday, August 15 at 11 a.m. ET. For more information about joining this 90-minute webinar, visit the event page.last_img read more

Resiliency, Mindfulness and Community Capacity Building — Musings from the Mickelson Trail

first_imgThis post was written by Sara Croymans, MEd, AFC, University of Minnesota Extension Educator, and member of the MFLN Family Transitions team. Family Transitions provides education, resources and networking opportunities for professionals working with military families to build resilience and navigate life cycle transitions. Engage with the MFLN Family Transitions team on our website, Facebook, and Twitter. by Sara Croymans, MEd, AFCI loved riding bike as a child … feeling the wind blow through my hair, experiencing independence and having the opportunity to interact with my environment in new ways. Last summer my husband, David, and I hauled our bikes (the old fashioned pedal type – not the Harley type) out to western South Dakota for a week long ride on the Mickelson Trail, a rails-to-trails bike path through the heart of the beautiful Black Hills. We planned the trip to have some respite from our careers and enjoy the outdoors. It is important for me to disclose up front that David and I are slightly on the north side of 50 and not super fit. Earlier in the spring we had purchased our bikes and slowly began accumulating miles on the rural roads of the west central Minnesota plains.Now, many months after the trip as the seasons change as I am experiencing the urge to spend time outdoors and have allowed my mind to wander back to that ‘happy’ time and place. My reflections connect how our experience relates to the resilience, mindfulness and community capacity building concepts our Military Families Learning Network team addresses.Our family is a military family. David is a Veteran of the South Dakota Army National Guard, serving for 22.5 years with two deployments (Desert Storm and the Iraq War). Our daughter, Kristen, is an officer with the Nebraska Army National Guard and our youngest son, Jesse, and son in law, Jared, both serve in the South Dakota Army National Guard.Our plan was to ride 64 of the 109 miles of the Mickelson trail over three days with a day of rest in the middle. We left west central Minnesota on a Saturday with our bikes in the back of the truck for a short four and half hour drive to Pierre, SD. David is from a large family so we were able to spend the night with his sister Susie in South Dakota’s beautiful capital city of Pierre. Sunday we drove the remaining three hours to Deadwood where we would begin the trail. Dave’s youngest sister Paula, her husband Barry and daughter Sophie helped us move our vehicle to Custer where we planned to end the bike ride. Paula had been deployed with Dave in Desert Storm. She joined the Guard while in high school, went to Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training right after high school, arrived home just in time to pass on her Snow Queen crown and was immediately deployed. Barry serves in the SD Army National Guard and works full time for the Guard. Sophie had just arrived back home from participating in a weekend multi-state Regional Military Teen Summit where she was able to network and build relationships with other military-connected teens and gain knowledge and skills to use in South Dakota to support other military youth. Five of the seven siblings in Dave’s family have served in the military. Family is truly an important supportive factor to building resilience and a key part of our supportive community.Monday morning we began the 16.2 mile ride from Deadwood to Dumont where we had a primitive cabin rented. I wasn’t too worried about the ride as we had been doing 5-7 mile rides in the evenings back home. However, I should have been listening to Dave’s instructions on how to read (& understand!) the Elevation Profile on the trail map. The Mickelson Trail is rated ‘easy to moderate’ with a majority of the trail not exceeding a 4% grade, but parts of the trail are considered ‘strenuous’. We started our trip at the higher end of the trail and travel to the lower end. However, we climbed a bit the first day, and our practice on the occasional rolling hills in west central Minnesota hadn’t prepared us very well. We found ourselves struggling a bit. As with most challenging situations we figured out how to adapt and be resilient. We allowed ourselves to walk our bikes occasionally and we stopped whenever we saw a bench to rest, have a snack and drink water. We also supported and encouraged one another along the way. We successfully arrived at our destination midafternoon, so overall, we did pretty well! We were pleased to see the hot showers and comfortable beds, and were impressed by the hospitality of the owners of Carsten’s Cottages where we stayed, as they had filled our grocery order so we could cook supper that evening! Never underestimate the value of a good plan and a strong support system!The Mickelson Trail was built on the abandon railroad tracks of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad. The original railroad track, built in 1890-91, took trains from Edgemont to the northern Black Hills and the gold mines of the Deadwood area. The track was abandoned in 1983 and a group of outdoor enthusiasts recognized the trail’s potential and worked to establish the first ‘rails to trails’ project in South Dakota. Governor Mickelson was a champion of the project and utilized many community capacity building strategies to garner support for the project, including the principles of being good neighbors, good stewardship and creating partnerships for improvement. However, there was controversy about the trail development between local landowners and trail supporters. When Governor Mickelson passed away during the middle of the project many people feared the project was stalled. However, the new Governor, Governor Janklow, supported the momentum of the project and the ten year trail plan was completed in five years. One of the compromises to the controversy was to utilize wood fences as a “buffer” to protect private land owners. The project was extremely successful due to the cooperation of multiple agencies, volunteer groups and individuals. The trail is open four seasons for hiking, biking, equine, snow shoes, dog sleds and a portion for snowmobiles. Annually, over 60,000 people use the trail. The co-creation of the trail by so many is a great example of a successful community capability building effort.As we reflected on our first day’s ride we were pleased the most difficult stretch of the trail was complete. Forever evaluating and critiquing, I started my mental list of what we might do different ‘next time’. We realized quickly that we had over packed our panniers (bike saddle bags). Of course, we needed the water bottles, lights, helmet (I wore one, Dave did not), air pump, tools, spare tire, extra clothes, etc. But we realized we didn’t need as much clothes as anticipated, and we never did use the hammocks that took up precious space. We also reflected on our ‘training’ prior to the trip. Perhaps we should have added some practice on hills to the miles across the prairie.On the Tuesday morning, Day 2, Dave made us a delicious breakfast. An important part of my personal resiliency plan is to surround myself with a strong network – one of which is a great cook! Despite the rain, we got an early start. We were thankful that we had packed our rain gear! A significant portion of the 32.5 miles to Hill City was downhill with one section going uphill. Because of the early morning, the light rain, and the secluded trail we saw a lot of wildlife including white tail deer, birds, squirrels, rabbits, buffalo as well as cows and horses. Granite and shale rock formations were an ever constant and it was amazing to see how the vegetation grew in the area. Throughout the week we marveled at the  Ponderosa Pine, the Black Hills Spruce (which appeared on the shadow side of the hills), Birch, and Aspen. We also saw daisies growing on the side of the hard trail, trees surprisingly growing out of rock formations, and areas with burnt trees due to wild fires; all evidence of the region’s resiliency.The trail has 15 trail heads, 100 converted railroad bridges and 4 rock tunnels. While on the trail, the sounds were amazing. The crushed limestone and granite trail surface contributed to the steady tempo of our wheels. The tempo changed when the trail surface changed, especially when we rode over the wooden bridges. Multiple birds contributed to the sounds, including the occasional screech of a hawk. The soft sound of the rain on the trail and on our rain gear added to the feeling of being in our own little world. The sounds of water running in the creeks, some with rapids, added to the experience. At times, sounds of civilization interrupted the tranquility as we occasionally heard chain saws or traffic on nearby roads.While on the trail, it seemed that all of my senses were working overtime. The great outdoors offered many scents from nature, including the smell of the rain, cow and horse droppings, and the whiff of smoke from fires at nearby campgrounds. The unique smell of the treated wood on the converted railroad bridges and the decay-type smell from the four tunnels will forever trigger memories of the experience. In addition, the smell of sweat reminded me that hard work was necessary to make progress towards our goals.Prior to the trip I had participated in a six week online “Mindfulness at Work” course through the University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality and Healing. The course explored key mindfulness traits and identified how they relate to essential workplace skills, such as presence, emotional regulation, resilience, cognitive flexibility, and communication, all of which are critical skills for thriving at work. While on the bike trip I found myself applying some of the mindfulness skills to this non-work experience. Merriam-Webster defines mindfulness as “the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.” In addition to being aware of the sights, sounds and smells I was experiencing I found myself concentrating on what I was feeling. The rain was wet. The mornings were cold. The afternoon sun was hot. I felt the wind blowing on me. I felt exhilaration when going downhill and felt the burn when I had to pedal uphill. My ears popped with the elevation changes. I had sore muscles. My mind was simply focusing on my surroundings and my interaction with them. I did not think about work or family responsibilities, challenges, joys or worries. I found myself being ‘in the moment’ and concentrating on the trail, what I was doing and where I was going. I found I had to balance my focus on identifying and avoiding obstacles on the trail (rocks, washed out portions of the trail, deer, watching for mountain lions and snakes) with simply being in the experience and enjoying the scenery and our surroundings. (BTW – we were thankful we didn’t see any mountain lions or snakes!)We felt a major sense of accomplishment as we rode our bikes down into Hill City. We felt much more confident (and proud) about our biking abilities at the end of Day 2 than we had at the end of Day 1. We spent two nights at the historic Alpine Inn, enjoying the beautiful facility and delicious food. It was nice to park our bikes for a full day to allow us to see the local sites – we walked around Hill City, rode an old time steam train to Keystone, and splurged on a helicopter ride around the faces of Mount Rushmore.Thursday morning we left Hill City and rode 15.1 miles to Custer. This included approximately 8 miles of incline and 7 miles of decline. We were happy we had planned for a day of rest, which allowed us to more successfully navigate the uphill stretch of the trail. We utilized some of the same resilience strategies from Day 1 — allowing ourselves to walk our bikes occasionally, stopping whenever we saw a bench to rest, have a snack and drink water. We admired some really good athletes on the trail and saw others who had to work hard, similar to ourselves. We realized that each person was having their own unique experience, and it wasn’t necessary to compare ourselves to others to measure our success. We arrived in Custer where our vehicle was located in time for lunch. It is amazing how much better food tastes after being in the outdoors (I had the best BLT served with blue cheese spread instead of mayonnaise)! As a treat I was able to secure a massage after lunch (self-care is important) while Dave caught a nap.We didn’t have plans for Friday before we headed home. I felt really good that morning so decided I wanted to attempt to finish the last 45 miles of the trail, which was primarily downhill. Dave agreed to drive the vehicle, connecting with me at three trailheads along the way and then finally picking me up in Edgemont. I was fortunate to meet a young man on the trail from New Jersey who became my riding partner for most of the day. We talked occasionally, but often rode in silence. It was nice to have someone to ride with and share the experience with. I was ecstatic when we arrived in Edgemont and I could say I rode the entire 109 mile trail!!Our bike trip on the Mickelson Trail was nearly nine months ago, but I continue to reflect on the experience. I think about what is necessary to build my personal resilience and my family’s resilience. I strive to be more mindful of what is happening in the here and now. I intentionally make plans and seek out relationships and build networks to increase our resilience. I admire the capacity of the communities around me to support their members and seek opportunities to contribute to those efforts.We are making plans for another bike trip this summer …Please share your stories. How do you build your personal resilience? Do your networks increase your resilience? How have you had success with mindfulness strategies?last_img read more

We can talk, but can we communicate?

first_imgby Joyce Serido, PhD, MBAA practitioner walks up to a researcher at a conference and says, “How can I use your research in my practice?”As a financial behavior researcher, I am excited to teach people about the new and interesting findings in my field. Many practitioners, and most people, are less enthusiastic – I can tell from the blank stares and glazed expressions I get when I talk about my research. My spouse is more direct. “Why do I care about this”? “What does it mean for me”? “How can I use this information”? To be fair, I respond the same way when he talks about healthcare.It isn’t because we think the information has no value to us. After all both topics are important everyday issues for most people. And it isn’t because we don’t appreciate the other’s expertise. We have different ways of looking at the issue and using the information. That’s the communication barrier.But my research has a direct bearing on the work of practitioners. And I see value in bridging the research-practice gap. Yet our perspectives about financial behavior differ in three key ways:First, practitioners want to know what works; researchers want to know    why things work. Second, practitioners want information that will help them serve their clients; researchers want to discover new knowledge. Third, practitioners want to know how to apply the information; researchers offer general implications for practice.How can I, and other researchers, communicate our findings in ways that are useful to practitioners?Many of the journals where we publish our research now require implications for practice. Unless researchers collaborate with practitioners, or have practiced, the implications are often vague. If you look at the AFCPE® How to Read Research Articles | Worksheet, the last step directs the practitioner to translate research implications into tools they can use in their practice. Unless you collaborate with researchers, or have conducted research yourself, I am guessing that this is a high hurdle to clear.The point is, neither practitioners nor researchers working independently can bridge the gap. And it doesn’t require every researcher and practitioner to collaborate. But we have to start the conversation.A practitioner walks up to a researcher at a conference and says, “I want to work with you to translate your research into tools I can use”…. Dr. Joyce Serido, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist in Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.Dr. Serido studies financial behavior at the intersection of family and personal well-being. She received a PhD in family studies and human development from the University of Arizona and an MBA in finance from Seton Hall University. She is the principal investigator of Arizona Pathways to Life Success for University Students (APLUS), a longitudinal study of young adults and their finances. As an Extension Specialist and AFCPE® board member liaison for the Bridging the Gap Working Group, she works with educators and practitioners to develop materials on the connections between finances and young adult well-being.last_img read more

Use your iPad as a Control Surface in Adobe Audition

first_imgTo see the keyframes you recorded, click the twirly beside the mode. After you stopped recording, the mode changed to Touch. In this mode key frames aren’t recorded till you move the fader, and when you let go, it returns to the previously recorded keyframes. Latch mode will stay where the fader was when you let go.  You can click the eraser icon to clear all your recorded keyframes.For $7.99, I think the AC-7 Core is a no brainer if you have an iPad and spend a bit of time in Audition or other DAWs.  It does well what it is designed to do – speeding up and streamlining your Adobe Audition audio workflow. Surprisingly the AC-7 Core dosen’t have latency issues (delay) when you move a fader and works with no hiccups wirelessly over a Wi-Fi connection.If you prefer using an iPhone or iTouch there is also a AC-7 mini.Basic Operation in AuditionYou have a choice of Modes, to emulate the settings in various DAWs.  The Generic Mode works with Audition and generally any device that uses Mackie Protocol.You can pick a skin, which gives you a light or dark interface. The faders are responsive and clicking the meters button lets you see the audio volume for each track.You can select tracks, mute and solo them. You have transport controls to play, record, jog and shuttle. One of the most useful features for me is the ability to record audio keyframes in Adobe Audition, which we’ll dig into a little deeper now.Audio Automation in Audition (Recording Keyframes)Often when you have music in your video edit you want to dip it down when someone is speaking, and then bring it back up when they stop.  This is called “riding the levels” or adjusting gain.  Instead of doing this manually you can record keyframes when you move the fader using Automation.The most common workflow for editors is to send your finished edit from Premiere Pro to Audition. If you need a refresher on getting from Premiere Pro to Audition I previously wrote about editing clips & sequences in Audition.In Audition you need to be in a multitrack session to use automation.By Default each track is in Read Mode. To record keyframes change this to Write. You can do this in Audition or click the Write button on the AC-7. Click the Play button and drag the fader to record key frames, and press the Stop button when done. Instead of a mouse, use your iPad to control your faders and other controls in Adobe Audition (mute, solo, automation). Using a control surface frees you from the keyboard!The iPad is quickly turning into a powerful tool for filmmaking, with new apps appearing each month. To see some of the latest apps and post productoin tools check out HandheldHollywood.com, a site focused on iPad/iPhone filmmaking apps and gear.I spend a bit of time in Adobe Audition working with audio, and using a mouse feels cumbersome at times.  I personally prefer the tactual touch of a fader or virtual fader over using a mouse, and this is where control surfaces come in.   Control surfaces are devices that control the faders and other controls (mute, solo, automation) in Audition or other Digital Audio Workstations (DAW).Control Surfaces aren’t currently supported in Premiere Pro, but they are in Adobe Audition, FCP 7, and Logic Pro.You can easily spend $200 on a dedicated control surface, but there is a cost effective alternative: use your iPad.  AC-7 Core ($7.99) is a control surface that runs on your iPad.  I previously mentioned this useful application in my 10 filmmaking apps under $10 article.As an editor who also does audio (and wears multiple hats), I find the AC-7 good for basic post-production audio work.  It enables a quicker workflow and in many ways is easier to use than a mouse.The other big plus of using a control surface is that it frees you from your computer.  You can perform basic functions like recording a voiceover from across the room!Getting Up and RunningTo start using AC-7 Core in your post production workflow you’ll need to set it up.  The installation and configuration are surprisingly easy (takes 5-10 minutes)  First, download the app from iTunes.It works on both Mac & Windows iPads running (iOS 4.2 and later) in a variety of apps, including FCP 7.  There are written directions and a video tutorial for both Mac & Windows installation.It might be necessary to manually reconnect your iPad if it was turned off after a session. Go to Utilities > Audio Midi Setup.  Then double click on Network, then select the iPad and click Connect.  If you will be using this workflow a lot it’s a good idea to put “Audio Midi Setup” on your dock (for Mac users).last_img read more

After Effects Quick Tip: Minimizing Pixelation and Artifacts

first_img2. Find Edges and Camera BlurFor this method, duplicate the image and precomp it, telling it to “Leave all attributes” in the original comp. Open the precomp and apply a Find Edges effect. You’ll use this as a matte to blur out any pixelated edges. I hope these three methods help when you’re stuck using tiny assets! If you’ve got any of your own recipes for minimizing grain in After Effects let us know in the comments below! Here are three quick ways to minimize pixelation and artifacts in low-res pictures!No mater how much you try to avoid it, eventually you’re going to have to use some images in a project that are just too small. There are some creative motion-graphics solutions for getting around scaling the images up to a point where you see any pixelation, but here are three quick ways to minimize pixelation when you really need to scale them up to full-fame or larger in After Effects.Here’s the low-res picture we’ll be using at it’s original size in a 1080p comp.Yes, that’s me. I was an awkward teenager. Can we ignore that please! 🙂I’ve had to scale it up to 450%, so you can see the artifacting below:1. Detail-Preserving UpscaleThe Detail-Preserving Upscale effect is a relatively new feature in After Effects, and it’s pretty simple to use. Leave the layer’s scale at 100%, then increase the layer scale in the effect itself. It does a pretty great job, though sometimes the images come out looking just a bit over-sharpened. Go back to the main comp, turn off the precomp, and apply the Camera Blur effect to the original picture. Set the Blur Map to the precomp and set the Blur Radius to 1. This kind-of has the opposite effect of the Detail-Preserving Upscale. You lose a bit of detail/definition, but it’s not a total blur of the whole image.3. Add Film GrainMy personal favorite, and in my opinion, the easiest of all. If you don’t mind a bit of a vintage look, film grain is a great way to cover pixelation. I pulled in a “16mm” clip from my personal Cinegrain package (any equivalent film grain will do), set it to overlay.I then selected “Freeze Frame” (an optional step). Right away, you can see that almost all traces of the pixelation/artifacting are hidden by the grain. The heavier the grain, the more pixelation/artifacting it covers up!last_img read more

These Portable Technologies Are Going to Change the Video Production Industry

first_imgA new wave of advanced cameras puts state-of-the-art technology in the palm of your hand.There are few industries that move as fast as the film and video industry. It seems like there are game-changing camera releases every few days. Here’s a quick look at the new cameras that are shaking up the status quo this week.The Light L16 CameraAnnounced just a week ago, the Light L16 camera is looking like it might radically change the way we take pictures and shoot video. Instead of taking a picture or shooting video with a single camera, the Light camera is essentially 16 different cameras mixed into one. When you push the shutter button, the Light camera will take 16 pictures — and then stitch them together.Even more impressive is the ability to change the depth of field in post-production. Want to isolate your subject? Just dial up the bokeh slider and watch your background become out of focus. Light released a short lifestyle video showing the Light L16 in action. Check it out:The L16 is scheduled to be available in Spring of 2016 for the price of $1,700. However, there’s no information yet about details like dynamic range or sensitivity. You’ll want to keep an eye on this camera.DJI OsmoDJI is branching out of the drone world with their latest gear announcement, the DJI Osmo. In a nutshell, the Osmo is a motorized 3-axis gimbal stabilizer with a 4K and 120fps HD capabilities.The stabilizer is designed to be small, lightweight, and compact, making it perfect for travel and run-and-gun situations. Using your smartphone, you can monitor the video coming from the Osmo camera via bluetooth.DJI Released a quick video with sample footage shot on the Osmo. The footage isn’t breathtakingly cinematic, but it’s very impressive, given how small the device and camera is.The DJI Osmo will begin shipping October 15th for $650, which is not a bad price for such a powerful tool.The iPhone 6sHalf of this image was shot on an iPhone 6s. The other half was shot on an a7RII. Can you guess which is which?I know what you’re thinking: the iPhone 6s. How could this possibly change the industry? I shared your concerns until I saw this side-by-side comparison video between the new iPhone 6s and the Sony a7RII. Check it out:Note: In the image above, the left side is the iPhone 6s. The right is the a7RII. The iPhone 6s has also been used to shoot a fantastic short film called The Painter of Jalouzi, in which you’ll notice how well the device holds up when capturing the sky. While there’s certainly a way to go, it’s not impossible to think that a film designed for online distribution could be shot on an iPhone, as long as the lighting is good.What do you think of the technologies mentioned in this article? Will they change the industry? Share you thoughts in the comments below.last_img read more

How to Buy Your Dream Client’s Business

first_imgYou don’t really buy your prospect’s business by giving them the lowest price. When you live by the sword that is price you die by that same sword. And when you allow price to be the issue, you confirm what some buyers really want to believe, namely that they can have best, fastest, and cheapest all in one package.Buy ItIf you want to buy the business, you buy the business with your business acumen and your situational knowledge. You buy it by having the chops that make you a consultative-selling, trusted advisor.You buy the business by being proactive, by showing up, by creating value before claiming any. You buy the business by proving that you can make a difference.You buy the business by collaborating with your dream client, including all of the stakeholders who will be effected by any decision to move forward with you. You buy the business with your time and by caring enough to find out how to really help people.You don’t buy the business with the lowest price. You buy the business by helping your dream client make the case for change, make the necessary investments—even when those investments are more than your dream client initially thought they would be—and by ensuring that they achieve the results they need.Inherent ConflictSelling is part conflict and part collaboration. It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that there is only collaboration, that you don’t have to have uncomfortable conversations. It’s easy to want to avoid the conflicts that occur over access to people, access to information, and the conflict around the proper investment.You buy the business with your ability to deal with the inherent conflict that others avoid. You buy the business by creating value where others can’t–or won’t.QuestionsWhy shouldn’t you buy your dream client’s business?Do you really serve them by giving the lowest price? A price lower than you need to really serve them?What do you do that creates more value than price? Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Assuming Intentions Good or Bad

first_imgMost of the people who work for you are not intentionally trying to do poor work. They aren’t trying to fail in their role, and they aren’t trying to make mistakes. Very few of them are acting on some malicious intention to do harm to the business, nor is it their intention to harm themselves.Most of the time, and there are exceptions, people are acting out of good intentions.That employee who called the client to explain in a somewhat impolitic manner that the problem they are having is their own fault wasn’t trying to make them angry. Their intention was to help the client see that what they are doing isn’t working, even if they lacked the diplomacy and relationship to have that conversation.The employee who spent more money on the marketing campaign than he should have, mistakenly believing that if a little is good than a lot is better, wasn’t trying to be reckless or wasteful. His intentions were to drive leads to the business and help the company grow.Assuming Bad IntentionsWhen you assume bad intentions, you believe something about the person who made the mistake that is rarely true. When you treat mistakes like they are intentional, you are treating the person who made that mistake unfairly. You are accusing them of something of which they are not guilty.When you assume bad intentions and punish the person who made the mistake, you may get fewer mistakes. You also get an employee who is afraid to take initiative and unwilling to use their own resourcefulness to take independent action and make decisions. This is how you manufacture unengaged employees who end up being dependents. You are creating employees who wait for your permission to do the job you hired them to do.Assuming Good IntentionsYou don’t have to be happy when people make mistakes. But you do have to help them learn from their mistakes.When you assume good intentions, you reinforce the idea that you expect the person you lead to take action and make good decisions. You reinforce that you expect initiative and resourcefulness. And you expect them to be open to the coaching that will help them understand how to make better decisions once they have a deeper understanding and more information.If you understand people you realize that most of us aren’t here to cause problems – most of us want to be part of the solution. The way you treat the people who work for you may mean the difference between someone who believes they can make a difference, and someone who simply wants to stay out of trouble. Who would you rather have working for you? Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

A List of Rules for Sales Success

first_imgFocus 10X as much time and energy and money on becoming someone worth buying from as you do on electronics, sporting events, or wherever you spend these resources now.Start every day with getting your attitude right, even if it means exercising first thing in the morning, meditating in the car, or listening to music that changes your state (for my money, AC/DC’s For Those About to Rock works beautifully).Read books on your craft, but also read non-fiction books and magazine articles to better understand your world and to improve your ability to think laterally.Prospect every day, even when you don’t feel like it, and even when you have a full pipeline.Spend time nurturing your dream clients, even if your competitor has them locked down, even if they are completely cold, and even if you have warm leads.Don’t spend time with people who can’t or won’t buy what you sell, even if you believe they should, and even if they would benefit from doing so.Plan every sales call, even if you have made 1,000 sales calls, and even if you believe it is not necessary.Listen more than you speak, and give people more time to respond by waiting until they run out of words, even when it feels uncomfortable.Remember that selling isn’t something you are doing to someone. It is something you are doing for someone and with someone. You are helping people produce outcomes they could not produce without you.Start the conversation at the highest level of value possible, even if you feel like you need to lean on the credibility of your company, and even if you really want to share your solution.Ask the difficult questions, even when they make you uncomfortable, and even if they make your dream client uncomfortable.Identify all the people who are involved in any deal, even if it is difficult to manage, and even if this causes you to have to engage with people who oppose the change you are helping your dream client make.Never give up on pursuing your dream client, even if it feels like a waste of time, and even if they have a contract with your competitor.Work to control the process and the sales conversation, even if the person or people you are working with try to avoid making the commitments they need to make, and even if you have to persist and go back over ground you have already covered.Close your web-browser for 90 minutes at a time while you focus on what’s most important. Close your email for 90 minutes while you are doing the work that produces the outcomes you want. Remember, you would have both of these things closed if you were with a client, and you should treat your goals like they are a client in which you are investing time.Ask for the commitments that you have earned, and when that fails, explain the value for your client in agreeing and ask again.Spend as much time studying human psychology as any other subject, as all of your results are going to be produced through or with other people.Remember that your clients have very real concerns that prevent them from taking action, and it is your job to resolve those concerns completely, even if they are irrational, and even if it is difficult work.Respect your competition, never underestimate them, and work hard to be the kind of person who wins a competition because they outperformed their competitors by creating a preference to work with you over all others.Be open-minded about the processes and methodologies available in sales, and never discount ideas with which you disagree, especially if they bring value to others. At the same time, remember everything is contextual, and be skeptical of any claims that you can have what you want without effort.In all human relationships, fast is slow, and slow is fast. If you want to go fast, go slow. If you don’t want to go slow, don’t try to go fast.Work harder than anyone you know. Work smarter than anyone you know.Plan your week over the weekend and block the time for your most important outcomes. Start the week knowing what you are going to do and get a jump on the competition.Don’t fear failure. Accept it as feedback, make adjustments, and try again.last_img read more

BJP flush with cash: Anand Sharma

first_imgSenior Congress leader and former Union Minister Anand Sharma on Saturday said the so-called master stroke of demonetisation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a cover for one of the biggest scams in history. At a press conference here, he said the Bhartiya Janata Party, which was deploying massive resources in the ongoing Assembly elections in five States, showed that there was sufficient money already with the party cadres during the demonetisation move, and the people close to the BJP did not suffer any heat of the Prime Minister’s abrupt decision. It was the common man and the country’s economy that had suffered the most, he added. Mr. Sharma said the government was not coming out with the exact figures of the money recovered and deposited in the banks. He said it could have been more than 98% of the currency in circulation. All un-banked money could not be named black money. The process of remonetisation was too slow and had not helped anybody, he said while claiming that the entire economy was a shambles. The process might take more than two years to normalise, he warned.He said investments, credit off-takes and capital formation had nosedived.last_img read more

Maoist surrenders

first_imgA hardcore Maoist, Waga Kawasi (35) alias Raju, involved in at least nine murders, surrendered before Malkangiri Superintendent of Police in Odisha on Sunday. The Odisha government had declared reward of ₹1 lakh for his capture. On Sunday, Waga reached the district headquarter to surrender before SP Mitrabhanu Mohapatra. At least 11 cases of violence are pending against him, said the SP.Waga joined the Naxalite organisation in 2004 and has been an active member of the Kalimela Area Committee.last_img

BJP legislator’s daughter attacked

first_imgThe daughter of a BJP legislator survived a murderous assault in the city’s Pimpri-Chinchwad area on Monday.Ashwini Reddy, daughter of Sanjeev Reddy Bodkurwar, BJP MLA from Wani constituency in Yavatmal district, has been living in Pune to pursue her MBA course. The assailant, a fellow student identified as Rajesh Bakshi (23), allegedly followed the victim as she set out from her hostel to the institute and attacked her with a sharp weapon, grievously injuring the fingers of her left hand, almost severing three of them.Ms. Reddy is undergoing treatment at a private hospital and is said to be out of danger.The assailant is in police custody.According to the Wakad police, the assault prima facie appeared to be a case of unrequited love. They said they were in the process of lodging a case against the assailant.last_img read more

25 CRPF men killed in Maoist attack

first_imgIn one of the deadliest attacks on security forces, Maoists killed 25 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and injured seven in Sukma district of south Chhattisgarh on Monday. In retaliatory fire, 10 to 12 Maoists were shot dead.The attack took place when a team of around 100 men, belonging to the 74th battalion of the CRPF, based at the Burkapal camp on the Dornapal-Jagargunda road in south Sukma, was out to provide protection for road construction work in the area.According to the Anti-Naxal Operations unit of the Chhattisgarh police, the Maoists ambushed the CRPF team at about 12.55 p.m. near Burkapal.“Firing lasted about three hours but the seven injured jawans were rescued using a bullet proof vehicle when the firing was going on,” said Chhattisgarh’s Director General of Police A.N. Upadhyay.Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, who was in New Delhi, immediately rushed back to Raipur and convened an emergency meeting of his Cabinet.Jawan Sheikh Mohammad, injured in the attack, told reporters in Raipur that over 300 Maoists, including some dressed in “black uniform” were involved in the attack.According to him, the Maoists first sent some local villagers to check the location of the CRPF team.“Our unit was on road construction duty. Many villagers were also carrying weapons and women Maoists were also present,” Mr. Sheikh said.“They were carrying automatic weapons such as AK-47, SLR, and INSAS but we returned fire,”he said.Mr. Sheikh, who was injured in the legs, claimed that 10 to 12 Maoists were killed in the CRPF retaliation, a claim backed by Mr. Upadhyay and the Chief Minister.“I shot dead three Maoists,”  he said.A challenge: RajnathHome Minister Rajnath Singh said the government had taken the attack as a “challenge” and described the incident as “sad and unfortunate.”This is the second Maoist attack in the last 50 days in Sukma. Twelve CRPF men were killed in March this year near Bhejji village.The site of Monday’s attack is hardly a few km from Tadmetla, a village where the Maoists had killed 76 CRPF men in 2010.This area has repeatedly witnessed heavy casualties on the part of the CRPF since 2009.Monday’s attack was led by Hidma, head of PLGA Battalion 1. The battalion is said to be one of the deadliest armed cadre of the Maoists and during the ambush they carried sophisticated weapons. The group also included many women cadre, an official said.Hidma is also said to be involved in the Tadmetla attack. On Monday, the CRPF jawans were attacked when they had gone to secure a patch of under-construction road. The jawans, who were more than 90 in number, came under heavy fire from Maoists who had taken position in the thick forests.An official said the modus operandi was similar to the March 11 incident, when CRPF jawans who had gone to secure a road-construction party were ambushed.Another official said that several attempts in the past to catch Hidma have yielded no result.“He always moves around with a large number of men, more than 100 armed cadres and the proximity to the Andhra Pradesh-Orissa border has always helped them escape the radar of the security agencies,” said the official.The CRPF said that it took them more than five hours to locate the bodies of the jawans as the encounter took place in thick forested area. While 11 bodies were retrieved at the scene of encounter, 12 were found after an intense combing operation.An official said that so far they had not located the body of any killed Maoist cadre.(With inputs from Vijaita Singh)last_img read more

As Gujarat Deputy CM sulks over allocation of portfolios, Patidar leaders rally behind him

first_imgWithin days of its taking over, cracks have appeared in the new government in Gujarat as Deputy Chief Minister and prominent Patidar leader Nitin Patel is sulking over the issue of portfolio allocation which saw three powerful departments — finance, petrochemicals and urban development — being taken away from him.Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel said, “Nitinbhai should break from the BJP with his MLAs and we will talk to the Congress to support him.”Earlier, Mr. Hardik asked the Deputy Chief Minister to join his stir ”to fight for justice” to the Patidar community. “Nitinbhai can join in our fight for justice. After all, he got only lollipops in the BJP,” the 24-year-old Mr. Hardik said in Botad, where he is holding a Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) meeting to deliberate and discuss their future strategy. Mr. Hardik is likely to meet Mr. Nitin by Sunday.Many other community leaders are pouring in to meet Mr Nitin.Sardar Patel Group (SPG) chief Lalji Patel announced that Mehsana (Mr. Nitin’s constituency and the epicentre of the Patidar agitation) would remain shut on January 1 to protest against ”injustice” to Mr. Nitin. Mr. Lalji met Mr. Nitin on Saturday.The SPG and PAAS jointly launched the quota agitation in 2015.Nitin skips officeOn Friday, Mr. Nitin did not turn up to his office and did not even make any public appearance anywhere. Sources in the government said he had made his displeasure known to the central leadership of the BJP on being given “light weight portfolios” despite being the Deputy Chief Minister.In the new government, he has got Roads and Buildings, Narmada, Health, Medical Education and Capital Projects.According to party insiders, the central leadership is sending a senior leader to mediate and end the crisis.Differences with CM Vijay RupaniDifferences between Mr. Nitin and Chief Minister Vijay Rupani cropped up on Thursday before the first Cabinet meeting in which Ministers were supposed to be distributed the departments. Due to the differences, the meeting, scheduled to ‪start at 5 p.m.,‬ commenced ‪only at 9 p.m.‬ after a marathon meeting at the Chief Minister’s residence, where  Mr. Rupani, Mr. Nitin and State party president Jitu Vaghani assigned portfolios to Ministers after consultations with the party brass in New Delhi.“Nitinbhai is upset with not getting the Finance Department,” a senior party leader said, adding, “despite being Deputy Chief Minister, he is not dealing with any important portfolios like Home, General Administration, Industries, Mines and Minerals, Finance, Urban Development or Revenue.”After the Cabinet meeting, Mr. Rupani, Mr. Nitin and Mr. Vaghani held a press conference in which Mr. Rupani ruled out any differences. Mr. Nitin, however, did not talk.“There were no differences on anything and the government will utilise Nitinbhai’s experiences and expertise,” Mr. Rupani said as Mr. Nitin looked on with a sullen face.In the new government, Mr. Rupani has kept Home, General Administration, Industries, Mines and Minerals, Urban Development and Petrochemicals with himself.Ex-Minister rehabilitatedSaurabh Patel, who was dropped from the Cabinet when Mr. Rupani took over as Chief Minister in 2016 after a series of allegations of irregularities and nepotism against him surfaced, has been rehabilitated now. He has been given Finance and Energy.last_img read more

Telangana government to build guest house in Ajmer

first_imgThe Telangana government proposes to build a rubaat (guest house) in the Ajmer town of Rajasthan for the pilgrims visiting the historic 13th century dargah of Sufi mystic Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. The southern State is looking for five acres near Ajmer to construct the building.Telangana Minorities Commission chairman Mohammed Qamaruddin visited Ajmer for the purpose after stopping over in Jaipur on Thursday to explore the scope for allotment of land. Mr. Qamaruddin handed over a letter from Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao to the revenue officers here while seeking their help.Mr. Qamaruddin, who also met Rajasthan State Minorities Commission chairman Jasbir Singh, said the Telangana government was willing to spend ₹5 crore on the construction of the rubaat and providing amenities to the pilgrims. A large number of pilgrims from Telangana come to Ajmer during the annual Urs at the dargah.Mr. Qamaruddin said Mr. Rao had visited the dargah during the agitation for Telangana’s formation and had vowed to make permanent arrangement for stay and other facilities to pilgrims if the new State was carved out of Andhra Pradesh.last_img read more

Artefacts of ‘pre-Iron Age’ found in Odisha

first_imgArchaeological Survey of India, which has been excavating a mound at Jalalpur village of Odisha’s Cuttack district, has now come across stone and bone tools believed to be of early Iron Age.“The discovery includes faunal remains, carbonised grains and stone and bone tools of early iron age to prehistoric period. Interestingly, we have found continuity in different periods,” said D. B. Garnayak, superintending archaeologist of ASI’s excavation branch in Bhubaneswar, on Monday.“Yellow and dark grey colour soil noticed during the excavation signifies the rural settlement flourished in different eras. Circular wall, semi-circular wall, crescent shape wall and mud platforms of different size and shape have been discovered,” said Dr. Garnayak.Following fresh discovery, the ASI has now proposed to involve scientists from Institute of Physics in Bhubaneswar and reputed geologists to study the tools. Recently, teeth of three types of sharks, stone tools were unearthed from the site. Among the artefacts retrieved from the site include red ware, red slipped ware, grey and black wares, pots of different shapes, bowls, bowl-on-stand, ring based bowls, miniature pots, storage jars, pots .Similarly, important antiquities retrieved from the site are polished stone axes and adzes, bone points, terracotta sling balls, terracotta wheel, beads of carnelian, and sand stone, hopscotch, barbed bone point, bone drill, bone arrow-head, bone spear-head, stylus and needle made of antler, bone borer cum side scraper and bone spatula.Meanwhile, a team from the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), led by the State Convener A. B. Tripathy visited the excavation site in the Prachi Valley being done by ASI. They said the ASI excavation would throw more light on the old civilisation.last_img read more

Anti-quota group to contest M.P. polls

first_imgSAPAKS, an anti-reservation organisation in Madhya Pradesh, announced on Tuesday that it is entering electoral politics and would contest all the 230 Assembly seats in the year-end elections in the State. Former IAS officer and patron of SAPAKS, Hiralal Trivedi, has been made president of the new party, it said. “On Tuesday, we formally announced formation of a political party — SAPAKS Party. It will contest all the 230 seats in the State. We will soon announce our candidates,” Mr. Trivedi told reporters. The party’s organisation general secretary Suresh Tiwari said that former IPS officers Vijay Wate and Veena Ghanekar, former State Health Department Director K.L. Sahu and Betul-based industrialist Rajiv Khandelwal have been appointed vice-presidents.SC/ST Act changes “Our main plank in the Assembly elections would be opposition to the recent amendments to the SC/ST Act which are against the Supreme Court verdict. We are also against reservation in promotion of government employees. We are also demanding reservation to the economically weaker section instead of caste-based reservation,” Mr. Tiwari said. The party would also contest Lok Sabha elections next year, he said. A section of government employees in M.P. had formed ‘Samanya, Pichda, Alpsankhyak Kalyan Samaj Sanstha’ (SAPAKS) two years ago to agitate against reservation in promotions.Protests galore The outfit recently staged protests in the State against Parliament’s amendment to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. After the apex court inserted certain safeguards regarding immediate arrest under the Act, the amendment restored the original provisions.last_img read more

Puja: Biman Bose chides Mamata

first_imgLeft Front chairperson and senior leader of the CPI(M) Biman Bose on Sunday criticised West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for inaugurating Durga pujas in the city and suburbs, much before the start of the festival season.“The inauguration of Durga pujas started almost three days before Mahalaya or the onset of Devi Pakya. This is unprecedented in West Bengal,” he said. He questioned the grand carnival to be organised by the government on October 23. While Ms. Banerjee was inaugurating pujas, an “innocent” student from Silliguri was arrested, he said, referring to Sukriti Ansh, who was allegedly arrested for participating in a protest against the government. Ms. Ansh was arrested at Howrah on October 10. CPI(M) MLA Sujan Chakratborty criticised the CM for inaugurating pujas. He said many small industries and jute mills closed ahead of the puja, putting the future of thousands of workers in jeopardy.last_img read more

Amritsar accident: Worst accident caused by trespassing in history of railways

first_imgThe accident in Amritsar Friday night in which at least 59 people were mowed down by a train during Dussehra celebrations was the worst due to trespassing on the tracks, railway officials said.Here is a list of some other such accidents:* June 4, 2002 — The Kasganj level crossing disaster occurred when a Kanpur—Kasganj Express collided with a passenger bus in Uttar Pradesh, killing 30 and injuring 29.* June 4, 2010 — The Coimbatore—Mettupalayam special train collided with a mini-bus at an unmanned level-crossing at Idigarai near Coimbatore, killing 5.* July 7, 2011 — A Mathura—Chhapra Express hit a bus at an unmanned level crossing in Thanagaon of Uttar Pradesh’s Kanshiram Nagar district, killing 38 and injuring 30.* February 26, 2012 — The Trivandrum-Kozhikode Jan Shatabdi Express struck people who were standing on the track to watch fireworks, killing 3 and injuring 1.* March 20, 2012 — A train collided with an overloaded taxi minivan at an unmanned railroad crossing in northern Uttar Pradesh, 296 km from Lucknow, killing 15.* March 26, 2012 — A MEMU commuter train collided with a boulder-carrying truck at the Kannamangala gate on the outskirts of Bangalore, killing the pilot and driver.* July 23, 2014 — A Nanded passenger train collided with a school bus at an unmanned level-crossing in Masaipet village of Medak district, killing 18.* January 17, 2017: Two 15-year-old boys wanting to take selfies in front of an approaching train were killed when they were hit by another train running on an adjacent track. This happened near Akshardham station in Delhi.* April 25, 2018-13 children killed after train rammed into school van at railway crossing in UP’s Kushinagar.last_img read more