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iPhone 6S Plus in short supply due to production issues, says analyst

Are production issues stalling the iPhone 6S Plus? CNET

Consumers looking to buy the iPhone 6S Plus on its September 25 launch date may have trouble finding one.

At the launch event on September 9, Apple unveiled its next-generation iPhones — the iPhone 6S and the iPhones 6S Plus. Demand has been heavy for the new phones, especially the 6S Plus, according to Apple, leading to long wait times for those who’ve preordered. But another factor may limit availability of the new large-screened iPhone.

The iPhone 6S Plus’s backlight module, which supplies light to the screen, is allegedly suffering production issues, according to a Monday investors note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, which was picked up by AppleInsider. Kuo apparently didn’t specify the exact nature of the problem but said the slowdown in production rests with Apple supplier Minebea, which has been manufacturing the backlight modules.

Assuming Kuo’s information is accurate, and the analyst is usually on the money, the production slowdown could put a dent in iPhones 6S Plus sales. Buyers who started preordering the new 5.5-inch-screened phone on Saturday are already facing ship times of up to four weeks, compared with a ship date of September 25 for the 4.7-inch-screened iPhone 6S. That delay could dissuade new buyers looking to preorder from opting for the 6S Plus, perhaps leading them to choose the 6S or picking a rival phone if they want a large display. Even further, supply of the iPhone 6S is expected to be limited on the September 25 launch date, again potentially pushing smartphone buyers to consider other options, both Apple and non-Apple.

Apple has reportedly moved more of the production of the module to another supplier called Radiant, with whom Apple has worked in the past to build the backlight modules for the iPad Mini. Kuo said he thinks Radiant may be “more skilled” at making the modules, AppleInsider said.

“We believe Minebea’s (JP) backlight module production issues in supplying iPhone 6S Plus (6S Plus) is one of the main factors in the model’s supply shortage,” Kuo said, according to MacRumors. “To tackle this issue, we believe Apple (US) has been increasingly transferring high-ASP 6S Plus backlight module orders to Radiant, boosting its sales momentum.”

Apple is expected to have somewhere between 1.5 million to 2 million iPhone 6s Plus units for sale on launch date, according to Kuo.

On Monday, Apple announced that preorders for the two phones were “very strong around the world,” and online demand for the 6S Plus was “exceptionally strong,” said Apple spokesperson Trudy Muller. Based on the number of preorders, Muller added that Apple is “on pace” to surpass last year’s initial sales when it moved 10 million units of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus during their first weekend of availability (including more than 4 million preorders during the first 24 hours).

But this year’s launch weekend numbers are likely to get a boost from China, which was not part of last year’s initial launch. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said in an investors note on Monday that China is likely to account for around 2 million in iPhone sales during the opening weekend. Overall, Munster predicts Apple will sell 12 million to 13 million iPhone 6S and 6S Plus handsets the first weekend.

The new phones offer one major enhancement over their predecessors, namely the new 3D Touch, which allows the phone to respond differently based on how much pressure you apply. Otherwise, most of the changes entail improvements to the processor, body, camera and several other components.

Beyond China, New Zealand is the only other addition to the list of countries that will be first to get the new iPhones. The other regions are Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, the UK and the US.

View the original article here

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Chroma Key Your Way to a Green Screen Dream

You just need a little green to turn your video dreams into reality. Photo by Joel Fernando/Wired.com

You just need a little green to turn your video dreams into reality. Photo by Joel Fernando/Wired.com

This is a crash course into the process of shooting video in your very own blue- or green-screen studio space. Chroma keying is a visual effects technique that will allow you to change the scenery behind any actor on the cheap. In just a few minutes, you’ll be able to start shooting all the keyed-out footage that your wild imagination can muster.

You really don’t need much to start experimenting. I recommend that you don’t spend too much money as you get started. Keep it simple.

This how-to was written by Joel Fernando, a Brooklyn-based video scientist specializing in ghetto conundrums.

Contents

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Materials

  • Blue/green fabric 8 x 10 feet minimum, a green/blue paper seamless roll from a video/photography store, or a bright blue/green wall
  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Lights (clamp lights, 500-watt work lights, or your mom’s living room lamps)
  • Gaff tape, duct tape or any type of tape that is strong enough to hold your pants up

Prepping The Scene

First you need a wrinkle-free fabric or roll of paper to use as a seamless backdrop. I use a $25 13- by 16-foot piece of fabric that I found on clearance at a fabric store.

Hang the screen in any wide open space — your garage or living room will work, but you’ll want at least an 8-foot-wide wall with at least 8 or 9 feet of vertical space where you can be positioned 10 to 15 feet away from to set up your camera. You want the fabric to lie on the floor with a curve.

Set up your camera on a tripod and determine the distance that the camera needs to be placed away from the subject depending on what lenses you are using.  You want to make sure that the subject is a good 5 to 7 feet in front of the blue screen; this will prevent shadows from being projected by the subject onto the screen behind them.

If you have some money to drop, buy or rent a light package, but if you are going guerilla, you can use high-wattage lamps and any other lights that you have around the house. The goal here is to get the backdrop lit evenly. The best bang for your buck is to buy three or four 500-watt tripod-style work lights from the hardware store for about $35 a piece.

Light the Blue Screen Independently of the Subject

When lighting your “studio” set up, you’ll want to light the green screen first, then you can start lighting the subject. The main goal with a green screen is to maintain even lighting over the whole screen with no wrinkles or shadows that can cause variations in the hue of the screen. You can keep it evenly lit by diffusing the lights with wax paper and making sure they are at least 5 feet away from the screen to spread the light.

Shadows Are Your Worst Nightmare

Be aware that shadows from your actor’s movements or overexposed light spots on the blue screen will make the final product have a grainy artifact pixelation that glitches in and out in a sick way. Maybe you like that….

Now just place two lights on either side of the subject and play with the placement of the lights to tweak your style of lighting on your subject. Imagine the lighting of the scene that you are going to be creating for them in post-production.

While Filming

A full setup, complete with tape, rigging, and lighting. Photo by Joel Fernando/Wired.com

A full setup, complete with tape, rigging, and lighting. Photo by Joel Fernando/Wired.com

Once you have your backdrop, lights, and camera setup, you are ready to shoot. If you are directing your subject in a small space, make sure that their body parts don’t move outside of the framing of the screen or they’ll be cut out of the shot. Shoot that shit, fool.

Post-Production

Once you are done shooting, all you have to do now is transfer all that footage onto your computer and use the keying filters to get rid of the green. I prefer Adobe After Effects with the Keylight 1.2 filter, a super powerful plug-in. Also, Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere have chroma keying filters that work really well. Newer editing programs have made keying pretty simple and effective. At this point it is really up to your imagination how far you want to go with effects and layering. Now you can layer all of that green screen footage of your subject on the timeline and psych all of your friends out.

Check out the video tutorial from Andrew Kramer of Video Copilot for post-production keying tips.

Chroma Key Your Way to a Green Screen Dream

 

Industrial Production In U.S. Unexpectedly Dropped In May

Industrial Production in U.S. Probably Expanded at Slower Pace

Trailers on the assembly line at the Airstream Inc. manufacturing facility in Jackson Center, Ohio, on June 6, 2012. The U.S. Federal Reserve is scheduled to release industrial production data on June 15.

By Alex Kowalski

Industrial production in the U.S. unexpectedly fell in May for the second time in three months as factories turned out fewer vehicles and consumer goods.

Output at factories, mines and utilities decreased 0.1 percent last month after a revised 1 percent gain in April, the Federal Reserve reported today in Washington. Economists forecast a 0.1 percent advance, according to the Bloomberg News survey median. Manufacturing, which makes up about 75 percent of total production, dropped 0.4 percent last month.

Less factory production represents a pause in the industry that helped the world’s largest economy emerge from recession three years ago. Slumps in some parts of Europe and a slowdown in Asia may temper demand for U.S.-made products at the same time companies limit purchases of new equipment.

“Manufacturing looks to have softened in May,” Dean Maki, New York-based chief U.S. economist at Barclays Plc, said before the report. “But manufacturers are still doing reasonably well, especially in comparison to other parts of the world, especially Europe. Part of is that demand growth in the U.S. is stronger than in Europe.”

Projections from the 79 economists in the Bloomberg survey ranged from a decline of 0.3 percent to an increase of 1.1 percent. April’s industrial production figure was previously reported as a 1.1 percent gain.

Stock-index futures held gains after the figures and as investors awaited Greece’s election this weekend. The contract on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring in September rose 0.1 percent to 1,327.6 at 9:19 a.m. in New York.

Motor Vehicles

The release showed motor vehicle and parts production dropped 1.5 percent in May after a 4 percent surge the month before. Autos in May sold at a 13.73 million annual rate, down from 14.38 million in April and the slowest this year, according to data from Ward’s Automotive Group.

Factory output excluding production of vehicles and parts fell 0.3 percent in May after a 0.5 percent gain. Output of business equipment increased 0.3 percent after a 1.5 percent jump in April.

Production of consumer goods decreased 0.2 percent after a 1.4 percent April gain.

Utility production climbed 0.8 percent last month after a 5.3 percent jump in April. Mining output increased 0.9 percent following a 0.6 percent decrease.

U.S. Industrial Production Unexpectedly Declined

An employee assembles the roof windows of a trailer on the assembly line at the Airstream Inc. manufacturing facility in Jackson Center, Ohio.

Capacity Utilization

Today’s report also showed that capacity utilization, which measures what portion of a plant is producing, fell to 79 percent from 79.2 percent in April.

Another report today showed New York-area factories expanded this month at the slowest pace since November. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general economic activity index dropped to 2.3 from 17.1 the prior month. Readings greater than zero show expansion by manufacturers in the so-called Empire State Index, which covers New York, northern New Jersey, and southern Connecticut.

Other figures highlight an easing in the pace of manufacturing, which accounts for about 75 percent of total production. A national barometer of factory strength, the Institute for Supply Management’s index of manufacturing fell in May after reaching a 10-month high in April. The index’s gauge of production dropped, while its new orders measure advanced.

Job creation at factories has slowed as well. Weekly hours worked by manufacturing employees slid to 40.5 in May, the lowest in six months, Labor Department data show. The number of workers added to factory payrolls last month was three times less than the average in the first quarter.

Holding Up

While car and truck sales retreated last month, a separate report from the Fed suggests auto manufacturing is holding up. Demand was strongest in vehicle and steel production, and manufacturing continued to expand, the central bank said in its Beige Book report on economic activity in its districts from early April to late May.

Factories turned out 10.39 million motor vehicles at an annual pace last month after a 10.67 million rate in April, the strongest two months since 2007, today’s Fed figures showed.

Recovery in the housing market, which has lagged behind the rest of economy, may also boost business at producers that service homebuilders.

“Spending time with homebuilders, suppliers of every single product that goes into a house, from asphalt shingles to installation, wood products, concrete, wiring, plumbing fixtures, there’s a sense of optimism in the homebuilding industry today that has lasted for more than a couple months,” Dan Fulton, the chief executive officer of timber company Weyerhaeuser Co. (WY), said during a June 13 investor conference “The market continues to feel like it’s got legs.”

Industrial Production In U.S. Unexpectedly Dropped In May

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