20 December 2011Trade on the JSE’s Currency Derivatives market has soared in 2011 as investors reacted to a turbulent world economy, the low spreads that the exchange offers and an increased product offering.Both number of contracts and value traded more than doubled in the year to end-November 2011, relative to the same period in 2010.Growth has been consistent since the market was formed in 2007, and while the JSE is unable to predict future trade activity, the latest currency derivative trading statistics do not indicate that growth will cease.“I’m delighted with this growth, which demonstrates that the JSE is listening to clients and providing a service that is needed in the market,” said the exchange’s Derivatives Trading GM Warren Geers in a statement this week.“The growth also indicates that investors are moving trades onto the regulated market as they are asked to improve their risk profile. On-market instruments require no foreign exchange clearance and are settled in rands.”Exotic currency structuresThe currency derivatives team continues to be in close contact with members and clients, to ensure the exchange is aware of changing needs, and in May this year, the JSE launched any day expiry contracts and exotic Can-do structures in response to demand from several South African banks.These exotic currency structures enable investors to structure products as required, while retaining the risk management advantages of listed derivatives. Investors can negotiate the terms of an option contract, choosing the underlying asset as well as the expiry date.“As the South African listed derivatives market develops and matures, investors are seeking more complex structures in order to hedge their specific risk profiles,” said Geers.“These exotic products are often illiquid and difficult to price – accurate data is an essential component of increasing transparency and improving confidence and liquidity in this market overall. We have access to this data through an agreement with a global company called SuperDerivatives.”Trade in currency pairsA month after the launch, Absa Capital listed the first exotic style currency Can-do option structure based on the dollar/rand exchange rate – Knock-Out Barrier Options Up-and-Out and Down-and-Out. These offer asset managers and hedge fund participants an exchange traded product similar to what has previously only been available over-the-counter (OTC).Growth has been particularly strong since May 2011, following the restructuring of trading fees to incentivise large trades. Trade costs are levied according to a sliding scale, making it cost effective for smaller traders and encouraging large transactions which have traditionally been done with the country’s big banks.The market offers derivatives trade in the main currency pairs of the US Dollar/Rand, Euro/Rand, UK Pound/Rand, Australian Dollar/Rand and Japanese Yen/Rand as well as other less liquid contracts like the New Zealand Dollar/Rand and Botswana Pula/Rand contracts.Product diversificationProduct diversification and innovation forms part of the JSE’s continued drive to grow the currency derivatives market. “The JSE realises that in order to be more competitive it needs to offer foreign exchange products that are viable alternatives to those traded over the counter,” said Geers.South Africa’s exchange controls have been relaxed to allow a wide group of qualifying clients from trading on the Currency Derivatives market.These include South African and non resident individuals and corporates, hedge funds and resident financial service providers, as well as collective investment schemes subject to their foreign portfolio allowance.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
Real talk: the classic 20% crop Title Safe is completely unnecessary for the modern editor. Here’s why.If you’ve spent a lot of time in the industry, odds are you’ve heard about the term title safe. Some editors will swear by adhering to default title-safe guides — but should a modern video editor follow them? Let’s take a look at title safe and discuss why you may not need to use this old-school method of laying out text.What Is Title Safe?Title safe is/was a designated area inside a video frame in which you could place text without worrying about the words getting cut off by the edges of the TV. Every major video editing application has title-safe guides that will pop up over your image so you know that your text is in the designated safe area. Many editors still stick to these standards. You will typically see a title-safe guide and an action-safe guide pop up together.The title-safe guide will be the inner box and the action safe will be the outer box. As the name implies, title safe is the area where titles are supposed to go, and the action-safe area is where any important moving parts should be. However, these guides are flawed. To understand this, we need to take a step back into the not-so-distant past.In the days of tube-based TVs, a TV set would use a picture tube to project the image onto the screen. Inside the picture tube was a series of magnets that, over time, would wear out, resulting in a cropped and warped image known as pin-holing. It was a common problem, and it stands to reason that broadcasters would want to keep all text away from the edges of the frame.So, in 1961, SMPTE issued SMPTE RP 8, which created a 20% cropping guide for broadcasters to place their titles in. This would ensure that 100% of the viewers at home could still see the titles. However, it’s not the 60s anymore.(Almost) Nobody Uses Picture Tube TV SetsImage via ShutterstockAs of 2014, 80% of all households have HDTVs. Out of those households, 75% of HDTV households watch video primarily on an HDTV. HDTVs, unlike digital projection TVs, don’t use tubes to project their image. Instead, HDTVs use pixel-based technology that doesn’t degrade over time. This means that image cropping stays consistent and certainly won’t dip down into the 20% default crop for title-safe areas. Overscan: Reinventing the Title SafeThat’s not to say that HDTVs don’t crop. HDTVs have a cropping issue as well, but it’s not quite the same as the cropping issue found in old CRT televisions. Most modern HDTVs have a small 3% crop inwards, known as overscan. The reason for this: some broadcasters simply leave garbage pixel information on the edges of the frame. Sometimes broadcasters will put important broadcasting data into the edges of the frame, known as a blanking area, so it would stand to reason that a audience doesn’t want to see distracting blinking pixels on the top of their screen.Overscan example from Engadget. Notice the black and white vertical line at the top left of the image? That is an example of a blanking area.While this cropping is annoying, most modern TVs allow users to change to a 1:1 pixel mapping, which will get rid of the overscan cropping. However, most HDTVs have overscanning by default, meaning there’s a good chance that your audience is watching an overscanned image at home. Side Note: This is why modern video games make you set the boundaries of your image frame when you log in for the first time. Notice how even ESPN’s logo only fits within the 10% action-safe box, not the 20% title-safe area.In an effort to address overscanning issues, and the shift from SD to HD in 2008, the SMPTE ST 2046-1 broadcasting standard was introduced. It stated that the new standard for HD broadcasting was a 93% crop action safe and a 90% title safe. This accounts for overscanning, only without the absurd 20% title-safe crop that was the broadcast standard in 1961.However, most editing applications will have the old 20% crop title safe and 10% action safe as default. This is simply unnecessary for modern editing. You can change the default percentages to 93% and 90% respectively in most major video editing applications. Here’s a look at the difference created by the new title-safe margins.The TakeawayThe biggest takeaway from this should be that the classic 20% title-safe crop is unnecessary for modern editing. In fact, if you’re using a 20% default title safe as your guide, you’re continuing to use standards that were around from before we landed on the moon! If you simply adhere to the SMPTE standard 10% title-safe crop, your audience will still see your titles.For more information on this change in the industry, check out the TV Safe Area Redefined white paper from NAB.Should we be adhering to old title-safe standards? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Eastern Massachusetts and most of Rhode Island were bracing for as much as 18 inches of snow, with snow falling at a rate of 3 inches per hour possible. The National Weather Service warned of wind gusts hitting near 70 mph.The Eversource electric utility said more than 5,500 homes and businesses were without power at midmorning Thursday in Provincetown, Massachusetts, on the outermost tip of Cape Cod, which was being lashed with hurricane-force wind gusts.Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said more than 100 warming centers have been opened in 34 towns across the state. Connecticut has 634 state plow trucks and 250 contractors working to clear the highways.The massive storm began two days ago in the Gulf of Mexico, first hitting the Florida Panhandle. It has prompted thousands of canceled flights, shuttered schools and businesses and sparked fears of coastal flooding and power outages.Wind gusts strong enough to cause downed trees and power lines were predicted in places where the National Weather Service has issued blizzard warnings. They include the Delmarva Peninsula, which includes parts of Delaware, Virginia and Maryland; coastal New Jersey; eastern Long Island, New York; and coastal eastern New England.More than two-thirds of flights in and out airports in the New York City area and Boston were canceled. The airline-tracking site FlightAware reported more than 3,200 canceled flights within, into, or out of the United States on Thursday morning.The situation @LGAairport right now, all flights #Cancelled or #Delayed pic.twitter.com/TQxSXRpzpB— Simon Druker (@Simon_Druker) January 4, 2018The storm shut down much of eastern Virginia, but some people were taking it in stride.Mark Schoenenberger, 45, a NASA engineer who lives in Norfolk, Virginia, put on his cross country skis so he could make a half hour trip to the bagel shop for some breakfast for his family.“It’s like ’Yay, I get to go out,” he said.The only concern he seemed to have was telecommuting while his kids were home from school. But “it’s just noise,” he said.In Norfolk, Virginia, Jonathan Rogers and his brother, Jason Mitchell, got stuck in the snow at least twice while driving home Thursday morning after working the overnight shift at a local hospital.“I was not staying,” said Rogers, 30, a floor technician. “I said the storm is not going to bother me.”The storm will then be followed by a wave of bracing cold.“We think there are going to be scattered records broken for low temperatures,” said Peterson, adding how the weather service expects 28 major cities across New England, eastern New York and the mid-Atlantic states will have record low temperatures by dawn on Sunday. A man shields himself from gusty winds as snow falls on him at the Cheesequake Service Station along the Garden State Parkway during a snowstorm, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018, in South Amboy, N.J. The New Jersey Shore, which has been experiencing deep cold weather to start the new year, is under a winter storm advisory. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) HARTFORD, Conn. — A massive winter storm swept from the Carolinas to Maine on Thursday, dumping snow along the coast and bringing strong winds that will usher in possible record-breaking cold.Up to 18 inches of snow was expected in eastern New England. Blizzard warnings and states of emergency were in effect, schools and government offices closed for the day, thousands of flights were canceled and motorists were warned to be careful as conditions worsened. Shelters were open as officials worried about power outages leaving people without any heat.People who take to the roads are in for an “ugly, long commute” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.North Carolina authorities said two people died during the storm when their pickup truck ran off a snow-covered road and overturned into a creek Wednesday night in Moore County, which wasn’t expected to get any snow. The North Carolina Highway Patrol responded to 700 collisions and 300 other calls for service during the storm.In New Jersey, Orlando Igmat’s car got stuck in a snowbank along the Garden State Parkway in Tinton Falls on Thursday morning as he drove to work at Verizon. He had to wait a half hour for a tow truck to pull him out.Related articles:Schools, businesses shuttered as Atlantic Canada braces for powerful storm‘My feet hurt’: Winter snowstorm blasts coastal SouthWinter storm scatters sleet, ice and misery around the South“I just skidded on the road and then stopped me here so I can’t move right now anymore,” he said. “I didn’t expect it (the storm) was going to be a heavy one. That’s why I went to work today. I’m going to stay in a hotel tonight.”Ankle deep snow and wind gusts approaching 50 mph (80 kph) covered Maryland’s Ocean City Boardwalk, which was under a blizzard warning Thursday. Commuters travel on the southbound side of the New Jersey Turnpike during a snowstorm, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018, in Woodbridge, N.J. The New Jersey Shore, which has been experiencing deep cold weather to start the new year, is under a winter storm advisory. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) State and local officials urged residents to prepare for possible power losses and stay home so crews can clear streets and roads of what could be as much as foot or more of snow in some places. There were concerns in Boston and elsewhere that if roads aren’t properly cleared, they could freeze into cement-like icy messes by Friday, given the expected low temperatures. In other areas, plummeting temperatures already have caused water mains to burst.The storm has resulted in thousands of canceled flights at major airports such as Boston’s Logan International Airport and New York’s LaGuardia Airport and disrupted the schedules at regional airports.Amtrak planned to operate a modified schedule between New York and Boston on Thursday. Northeast Regional Service between Washington, D.C., and Newport News/Norfolk, Virginia, was canceled for Thursday.The coastal Southeast got a rare blast of snow and ice on Wednesday. Schools were shut down just months after hurricane threats. In Charleston, South Carolina, the weather service reported 5 inches of snow, enough for Chris Monoc’s sons, ages 4 and 2, to go sledding outside their home.“They probably will be teenagers the next time something like this happens, and that’s kind of sad,” Monoc said. “But we’ll enjoy it while it’s here.”Schools, businesses shut down as Atlantic Canada braces for stormAn Environment Canada meteorologist says a powerful winter storm that’s closing in on Atlantic Canada could unleash several different kinds of weather throughout the region.Ian Hubbard says New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI and parts of Newfoundland and Labrador could see heavy rain, ice, snow, blizzards, strong winds and storm surges.He says the storm should move in this morning, with the worst of the wind, rain and snow being felt later this evening.Nova Scotia could see up to 50 millimetres of rain, possibly causing localized flooding.All of New Brunswick is under a winter storm warning and the central and northern parts of the province could see roughly 40 centimetres of snow, along with wind gusts of up to 90 kilometres an hour in some areas.PEI is also expected to be hit by fierce winds and up to 25 centimetres of snow before it changes to rain in the evening. That could knock out power in many areas.School boards in Nova Scotia and on the Island cancelled classes even before the system arrived. Some businesses also closed for the day and dozens of flights at Halifax Stanfield International Airport were cancelled. __Collins reported from Glastonbury, Connecticut. Associated Press writers Ben Finley in Norfolk, Virginia, Martha Waggoner in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Julio Cortez in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, contributed to this report.