New York Times

NYC photo tour helicopter crashes in the East River, claiming five lives

A photo tour helicopter crashed into New York City’s East River on Sunday, claiming the lives of the five passengers who were onboard. The helicopter was owned and operated by New Jersey-based Liberty Helicopters as part of a doors-off photo tour that allows passengers to take aerial images of the city.

According to the New York Times, the tragedy was caused by engine failure. The helicopter’s pilot, Richard Vance, made an emergency call shortly after taking off, later telling investigators that the fuel shut-off switch may have been accidentally hit by a passenger or some onboard equipment.

Vance reportedly aimed toward the river as an emergency landing site to avoid crashing in Manhattan; however, after hitting the water, the helicopter’s inflatable pontoons were unable to keep the chopper upright. The helicopter quickly capsized, and though Vance was able to escape and scream for help, the passengers were unable to cut themselves loose from the heavy-duty harnesses that are used as part of these doors-off tour.

Firefighter and police divers worked as quickly as they could against 5 mph currents to try and free the passengers, but they were not able to rescue any of them in time.

The tragedy highlights concerns about marketing helicopter photo tours to tourists. These doors-off tours require strapping passengers into the helicopter using heavy-duty harnesses, equipping them with only a knife to cut themselves free in the event of a crash. And while all passengers must watch a short safety video, this is hardly adequate training to deal with an actual emergency.

According to the Times, the passengers on this helicopter tour were shown a 10-minute safety video about using the knife to escape the harnesses; however, the video didn’t include instructions on cutting through nylon → continue…

From:: DPreview

Tribeca Film Festival Announces 2018 Feature Film Lineup

By Scott Macaulay

The Tribeca Film Festival has just unveiled the feature film lineup for its 2018 edition. The closing night film is Liz Garbus’s The Fourth Estate, about the New York Times’s coverage of President Trump’s first year in office, the centerpiece is Drake Doremus’s sci-fi romance Zoe, and among the others are a slew of films we’ve been tracking here at Filmmaker. Work by former 25 New Faces like Eva Vives, John Maringouin, Robert Machoian and Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck, new movies by Miguel Arteta and Mads Brugger, the first feature by interactive superstar Meredith Danluck, Nancy Schwartzman’s campus rape doc Roll Red […] → continue…

From:: Filmmaker Magazine

Latest AR apps from the BBC & NYT show us the future of news interaction

By (Sarah Redohl)

Latest AR apps from the BBC & NYT show us the future of news interaction

Both the New York Times and the BBC have recently launched AR apps to supplement news coverage. Unlike some early false starts in AR for news, these latest apps show that we’re beginning to understand what really works in AR.

Back in September 2015, The New Yorker published a parody video introducing a “mind-blowing VR app” in which users could read a digitally recreated copy of a physical magazine in a virtual world. How novel!

The humorous video is a reminder that technology shouldn’t be used simply because we can, but instead to better serve the user.

What makes this more than two-year-old video relevant again is that earlier this February, both the BBC and the New York Times announced the launch of new augmented reality apps – and they actually seem to be employing AR-technology the right way.

The Times’ AR app, currently only available for iOS devices, will be used to enhance its print articles and “bring the news into your home.” One of the first AR experiences accompanies the media company’s 2018 Winter Olympics coverage, giving users a chance to see a handful of athletes mid-performance, in three dimensions, at scale, from various angles.

The BBC’s AR app, launching soon for iOS and Android, will accompany its upcoming Civilisations series airing this spring on BBC2. The series explores the foundations of British culture, while the app will give users a chance to explore virtual recreations of a number of artefacts from their smartphones.


The BBC’s AR app, launching soon for iOS and Android, will accompany its upcoming Civilisations series airing this spring on BBC2. Image courtesy of the BBC.

To me, what’s most exciting about → continue…

From:: RedShark News