Broadband News: National Broadband Network access to be extended to millions by 2023 under $3.5b NBN plan

“Millions of Australians are set to get access to ultra-fast broadband under a $3.5 billion upgrade to the NBN, expected to be finished by 2023. The major shake-up will see six million homes with access to internet speeds “of up to” 1 Gigabit per second, currently the mandatory minimum is 25 Megabits per second.

Key points:

  • Fibre To The Node, Fibre To The Curb and Hybrid Fibre Coaxial networks will all be upgraded.
  • The works are expected to create about 25,000 jobs in the next two years.
  • Federal Labor has described the plan as a “wasteful backflip”….


The Ghost of a Flea c.1819-20 by William Blake 1757-1827
The Ghost of a Flea c.1819-20 William Blake 1757-1827 Bequeathed by W. Graham Robertson 1949

Australia’s National Broadband Network aka NBN under the Labor federal government was supposed to provide world-leading affordable high-speed Internet access to all Australians so that we could create new businesses, run existing businesses more efficiently, access the online worlds of information, education and entertainment faster and better, and then the Liberal-National Party aka LNP that replaced Labor wrecked it all.

Anti-technology, anti-science, pro-religion Prime Minister Tony Abbott declared that high-speed Internet access was only for gamers, pornographers and other anti-social wastrels and instructed his Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull to cripple the NBN.

And so Turnbull did, despite apparently knowing better and despite being fêted by the tech industry as the PM who “just gets it” later did nothing to remedy Abbott’s treasonous wrecking of the NBN when he took over the reins of power.

Now the current LNP federal government under pro-religion, anti-science Prime Minister Scott Morrison has decided that the wrecked, unreliable, horrendously overpriced and slooowww NBN is no longer good enough and a few billions more will be spent on making it a little better for some.

We only began to access the NBN last year after temporarily moving house into a street nearby and its performance has been mediocre at best, often much worse than the ADSL2+ we had at the previous house.

We live in a cluster of some of the most expensive houses in the nation, amongst corporate CEOs, high-flown business executives, religious and secular private schools, nouveaux riches and no end of inherited old money and yet the infrastructure here continues to be, well, crap.

It is fair to say that our national broadband is the worst in the world, if not amongst the very worst in the world, and for that we all paid and continue to pay a fortune.

Our NBN access costs far too much for what we get and remains unreliable with frequent drop-outs and bottlenecks when gamers, school kids and the hordes of self-employed and home-workers around here log on every morning and evening and throughout the weekend.

Just try uploading a 3-minute 4K video to your YouTube channel: it can take days to finally get it up there, and if you tried to do the same for clients you would be out of business within a week, as not a few of my colleagues have discovered.

And now, the COVID-19 pandemic has only made everything much, much worse.

So now we are required to wait at least another three more years before some of us can who can afford it may have the option of the fibre-to-the-premises that was promised to all of us years ago.

Lives, educations, careers and businesses have been ruined by the LNP’s treasonous wrecking of the NBN and not a word of apology for it from this government’s cabal of anti-technology, anti-science, lying, nasty, brutish, childish little men.


New Hardware: Power Pipe by Blind Spot – The ULTIMATE powering solutions for USBC Power Delivery.

“The Power Pipes give you the freedom to power your devices from readily available and affordable Power Delivery devices. No longer do you need to invest in expensive V-lock and Gold mount battery systems. Three versions are available, BMPCC, 12V and 8.4V.”

Blind Spot Gear Power Pipes for powering your USB-C input production cameras and devices. Image courtesy of Blind Spot Gear.

Blind Spot Gear Power Pipes


New Software: Luminar AI

“Meet the first image editor fully powered by Artificial Intelligence. With Luminar AI, creating striking photos becomes surprisingly easy and fun.

Get it now:

Your story matters. Not the process Let’s face it — traditional photo editing can be boring and time-consuming. Luminar AI is all about the result, not the process. It automates the most common manual tasks and simplifies complexity so that you have more time to create an engaging story.”

Luminar AI artificial intelligence-driven automatic image editing software by Skylum. Image courtesy of Skylum.


New Software: ON1 Portrait AI

“You Will Never Need Another Portrait Editing Product

Flawless retouching is just a click away with ON1 Portrait AI. It uses machine learning to find every face in your photo and make them look great, automatically.

It analyzes each face and adds just the right amount of retouching to the skin, eyes and mouth, giving you professional results in no time at all….”

ON1 Portrait AI automatic artificial intelligence-driven portrait retouching standalone application and plug-in.


New Hardware: SmallRig RØDE Wireless Go Storage Cage 2998

“SmallRig Rode Wireless go storage cage 2998 is designed to store & protect Rode wireless go. The transmitter and receiver can be stably stored by using the wireless go’s own clamping shrapnel. The storage cage has a cold shoe mount that could connect to the camera or cage. It brings a convenient and comfortable experience for shooting. Only 74g, small and lightweight.

Key Features:
1. Stable storage of Rode wireless go transmitter and receiver.
2. One-piece molding, anti-drop and scratch-resistant, protect the machine.
3. With cold shoe structure, connect the camera and cage through the cold shoe.
4. Notice you restore the microphone when you finish your shooting.”

SmallRig RØDE Wireless Go Storage Cage 2998. Image courtesy of SmallRig.


Australian audio hardware and software company RØDE Microphones has become first choice of many filmmakers, journalists, moviemakers, videographers and vloggers, and the Wireless GO digital wireless microphone system is particularly attractive given its components’ size and relative affordability.

SmallRig has long been the first company I turn to for innovative protection and rigging solutions for moviemaking especially when size, weight and affordability are key, so the combination of RØDE Wireless GO and SmallRig Wireless GO Storage Cage makes sense.

SmallRig RØDE Wireless Go Storage Cage 2998 is in pre-order at time of writing and purchasing now gains a 15% discount.

Expected release date is October 12, 2020.


New Hardware: SmallRig Side Handle with Remote Trigger for Panasonic Mirrorless Cameras 2934

“SmallRig Side Handle with Remote Trigger for Panasonic Mirrorless Cameras 2934 is designed to provide a comfortable grip and features a record button on top to control camera start/stop.

Panasonic S5/S1/S1R/S1H
Panasonic GH4/GH5/GH5S
Panasonic G9/G95

Key Features:
1. Ergonomic Control Handle for Selected Panasonic Cameras.
2. Start/Stop Remote Trigger Button.
3. 1/4″-20 & 3/8″-16 & Cold Shoe Accessory Mounts.
4. Features Slots for Cable Tethering.
5. Adjusts up & down with Sliding Connector.
6. Integrated Allen Wrench Stores Inside the Grip.”

SmallRig Side Handle with Remote Trigger for Panasonic Mirrorless Cameras 2934. Image courtesy of SmallRig.


This long-awaited remote cable side handle for a range of Panasonic Lumix Micro Four Thirds and 35mm sensor aka “full frame” or “full format” hybrid stills/video cameras is in pre-order at time of writing with a 15% discount so get there soon to secure one.

This device looks well-designed and well-executed, and it is now on my production accessories wishlist.

Expected release date is November 16, 2020.

You may wish to consider adding a second wooden side handle to create a two-handed rig, such as the SmallRig Universal Wooden Side Handle 2093.


New Software: Nobe OmniScope

“Nobe OmniScope is loaded with powerful features that make color grading easy.

macOS, Windows

Available for various platforms:
DaVinci Resolve, Scratch, Premiere Pro & After Effects, Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom as well as DeckLink, UltraStudio, AJA U-TAP and more!”

Nobe OmniScope by timeinpixels. Scopes for a range of video and photography applications.


Tomasz Huczek of timeinpixels tells me that their new scopes application will be adding support for Apple’s Final Cut Pro X aka FCPX in future.

In the meantime I am impressed by what timeinpixels states the company has achieved with the current version of Nobe OmniScope and look forward to future developments.


Firmware Update: X-Pro2 Firmware update, Version: 5.10, Last Updated: 09.17.2020

Fujifilm X-Pro2 digital rangefinder camera with Fujinon XF 23mm f/2.0 R WR “Fujicron” lens and Fujifilm MHG-XPRO2 metal hand grip, a necessity when attaching lenses larger than this one.

Detail of the firmware update


The firmware update Ver.5.10 from Ver.5.01 incorporates the following issue:

  1. Camera performance used with the XF50mmF1.0 R WR is optimized.
  2. The phenomenon is fixed that in a multiple-flash shooting where the EF-X500 is used as a commander, flashes in some groups sometimes don’t fire correctly. Also in case the EF-X500 is used as a commander and the EF-60 as a remote flash, upgrade the camera firmware to the latest version.
  3. Fix of minor bugs.


Firmware Update: Free firmware update for FUJINON XF50mmF1.0 R WR Lens

“September 17, 2020
FUJIFILM Corporation

To our customers:

FUJIFILM Corporation is due to release a free firmware update for FUJINON XF50mmF1.0 R WR on September 17, 2020.

This latest update enhances the lens’ AF speed and enables Color Shading Correction to mitigate subtle color casts when images are made at the lens’ maximum F1.0 aperture. Please note that the lens must be connected to a supported X Series camera body for the firmware enhancements to take effect.