Dark Market and DIG: A USA Network Event

Exciting times. My international thriller Dark Market has been chosen by the USA Network for it’s reading list to run alongside their new series DIG this fall (that’s autumn for my UK readers). Here’s the cover with it’s cool new sticker. More on the when, where, and how in the coming weeks along with how to get it in paperback at long last!

You can watch the teaser for the new series right here, check it out below:





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Kid Whispering…or is it hollering. The ‘art’ of public speaking.

Archibald Talk Frank Coles

Having fun on the arctic/desert talk. Not sure that jumper was a good idea. Shiny Frank.

Is there an art to public speaking? I’m not sure. All I know is Archibald High School in Newcastle Upon Tyne invite me back every year to do my arctic and desert talk with the kids. And it’s one of the highlights of my year. I love it. There’s nothing like making a bunch of 5-6 year olds really excitied.

When I told an ex-headmistress friend of mine that I would be doing these talks she warned me that I should not get them too excited too soon or too often. For the first 10 minutes at Archibald I kept it calm. Then I got them excited with stories and q and a. Then calmed them down; then got them worked up with the desert outfits; then calmed them down; then got them all a tizzy with the arctic kit… and so on. For a good hour or more.

I enjoy it so much and the kids inspire me so much that it may yet become my full time business. The photos of my last talk can be found on their webpage. And I hope to have some news later in the year when we trial our remote talks. Sahara anyone? [November this year]

If you’d like me to come and talk at your school, just get in touch. I hope to see you later this year Archibald.

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How do I pitch an article? Magazines, Newspapers or Websites.

The question I’m asked most often is: How do I pitch a….TV programme, an article, a book?

I’m asked so often I must have written out that short essay several times. For articles however, there is a book which I wish I’d had when I was starting out.

This one:

It’s comprehensive, yet concise. Written in plain English and is the kind of book that would have saved about three years of trial and error when I started pitching articles over a decade ago. I’ll write my own quick-start version here soon.

Well, rewrite. But trust, me that book’s a cracker.

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Streaming video with Google Glass via Livestream: Limitations and possibilities

For anyone thinking of streaming via Glass here’s the main limitation:
“Glass can record HD, it cannot functionally stream HD, the device would overheat so it does stream in a degraded quality due to this fact.”
That’s a quote from Livestream support, currently the only player with a streaming app on the device. The best overall resolution is rounded down (or is it up?) to 360p.
This will match some current low-res satellite news gathering but not anything more, not without the Glass battery melting your ear off!

The available Livestream streaming settings are:
Adapative: Changes bitrate according to network capacity
Low: 352×288 300kbps
Normal: 640×360 600kbps

You get far better quality recording to the device and then uploading, although obviously that isn’t live streaming.

Test videos:
1. LiveStream Let It Go Test @ 20Mbps+ Upload connection.
Here’s a LiveStream of my boy singing Let it Go in the front garden to give you an idea of the quality and the resolution. (sign up required for Livestream)

Alt Youtube link (there will be some degradation however).

All video can be improved with a sunny day/better light source of course.

2. LiveStream Book test @ 18Mbps+ Connection:

Alt Youtube link:

Shame it can’t stream at higher quality. For my purposes I’m not sure if the quality is good enough. But for news gathering a set of Glass, cell/mobile phone, and a good 3g/4g connection it’s pretty darn good. Especially as Glass weighs 43g and an accompanying phone, such as the Samsung S4 mini, weighs 107g. That’s a live streaming media solution that weighs less than 0.2kg.

If you going further afield you could also pair it with a BGAN explorer 710 terminal that will give you upto 650kbps satellite uploads. At only 3.2kgs that is the kind of set up you would previously have required an outside broadcast truck for.

That is really rather excellent, even if it doesn’t give me the full resolution I require.

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