Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoid Tags:#hack#Tools klint finley How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Love Vim? Use Gmail? Then check out Vmail, a Ruby-based Gmail client for Vim written by Daniel Choi. Vmail gives you a full command line interface for Gmail from within Vim, including reading, composing, starring, deleting, archiving and marking spam.Of course, Emacs users have been able to check e-mail from within Emacs for years. “A common criticism that text editor (vim) fans throw in the face of operating system fans (emacs) is that a text editor should simply edit text,” writes Steve Klabnik at The Changelog. “I’m slightly torn, but it’s still pretty freaking cool.” Don’t worry Vim purists: it’s just a plugin, not a change to the Vim core.Screenshot via The ChangelogVmail requires:a Gmail accounta relatively recent version of Vim (vmail is developed against Vim 7.3)Ruby with SSL support compiled in (vmail is developed using Ruby 1.9.2)RubyGems (if Ruby version is older than 1.9)the lynx text-only-mode web browser is required to view HTML mail parts in vmailThe current version of Vmail requires a Unix-like environment, but Choi says he hopes to support Windows in the future. Related Posts Why You Love Online Quizzes 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac…
Today, SublimeVideo, a cloud-based HTML5 video player service, is launching commercially with plans starting at under $10 per month. Developers will also have access to a free, unlimited plan which they can use for testing purposes. The service, developed by Switzerland-based development and design firm Jilion, allows Web publishers to easily deploy HTML5 video on their websites, without needing to understand the complexities of different browsers versions and their associated specifications.Instead, with the SublimeVideo service, a plugin-free Web player is provided that uses HTML5 to display the embedded videos Web publishers want to host online. When a user visits a site using an older browser, a “fall back to Flash” mode switches the player to use Adobe Flash technology for more universal compatibility.We first discovered SublimeVideo back in February 2010, when the company was just beginning to explore the potential of HTML5-enabled Web video. In August, Jilion launched the Video-Player-as-a-Service program, which provided the zero-maintenance deployment of HTML5 compatible Web video players to Web publishers. At the time, the service was in private beta, with invites given out on a first-come, first-serve basis.But as of today, SublimeVideo is available to all, no invite required. Pricing PlansThe company struggled with the pricing plans, it admits, saying that figuring out the right model was “more difficult than we initially expected.” Jilion surveyed some 2,000 users about their expectations and based much of its decision surrounding pricing on the feedback it received.“We decided that all plans will only be differentiated by their volume levels,” notes the company, “and not their feature sets.” That means you don’t have to buy a bigger plan to get the features you need – everyone has access to the same options.Another nice addition to the service is something called Peak Insurance. This flexible feature lets a publisher temporarily exceed their video pageview limit (as is the case when a video goes viral), without having to upgrade their plan.Early users of the service include LittleBigPlanet.com, a game website owned by Sony Computer Entertainment, design-focused site MethodandCraft.com and Campl.us, home to the popular Camera+ mobile application.All plans are available now. Interested publishers can choose theirs here. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#news#Video Services#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… sarah perez Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
alex williams How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … Datacenters. What’s all the fascination about? To some degree, we can thank Facebook’s OpenCompute project. Facebook put data centers in a new light with its huge promotion efforts and declarations to open its data center design.Peer 1 Hostingcreated the infographic we are featuring this week. The infographic shows the top visited Web sites and the data centers that keep them running. It was developed before Facebook’s announcement earlier this month but is timely nonetheless.The infographic does a decent job of explaining what it takes to run a data center. We critique the language it uses in its descriptions but overall it is a decent overview of the intricacy and the energy these data centers require.What do you think? Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts Tags:#cloud#Data Centers Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo…
The USGBC just released its online scoring tool for LEED for Homes, a much-anticipated advance in the program. After months of announcements and requests for people to sign up, the tool was finally available to the public on February 28th. I took some time to run through it, and I can report there are things to like about it, but it needs a lot more work to be truly useful.On the positive side, it is much easier to follow the scoring process and track points and the anticipated certification level compared to the Excel spreadsheet, which I find frustratingly dense and complicated. For those familiar with the program, the tool seems to strike a nice balance between too much and too little information. It gives you the option to select the prescriptive or performance path in all the sections where it applies, such as the EQ section where you can choose between Indoor Air Plus for 10 points or a prescriptive list of items to gain individual points. Similarly, the EA pathway is either through a HERS rating or a long list of prescriptive items. A project can be scored quickly, the logic is straightforward, and the results are easy to read.It seems this tool was developed in response to the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) online tool, originally the only way to score a project in that program. After multiple complaints about the slow pace of that program, the NGBS released an Excel version, which, while still very long, makes the scoring process a little faster. LEED started with, and still requires, an Excel file, but seems to be moving toward an online management system. If completed properly, it may end up being a good decision.How effective is an online scoring tool?So we now have this pretty easy online checklist, but unfortunately, it still has a long way to go to be an effective tool for project teams and certifiers. My initial critique of the tool is that while it is generally easy to use, the complexity of the program makes the tool less effective for those not very familiar with the program. The same prescriptive versus performance path scoring mentioned above could very easily confuse new users. And as you dig deeper into scoring a project, there are multiple ways to pick up additional points, taken in the ID section, for things like exceeding maximums for pest control, framing efficiencies, and many other credits. As currently designed, when you select items that exceed the maximum score for a section, the tool simply points out that you have reached this limit—while instead it could very easily give you the option or even automatically place extra points in the ID section for you.Other oddities of LEED for Homes include the fact that if you use the HERS rating for the EA, you can get what I refer to as “secret” points for installing a very high-performance clothes washer—but this doesn’t show up on either the Excel or online scoring sheets. You have to be “in the know” for these things, a sort of job security for LEED for Homes consultants and raters.Looking to the futureTo me, the biggest problem is the fact that once you are done, all you have is a screen telling you the score and certification level. I have heard that export formats are in development, but right now there is no way to transfer the information to the required certification spreadsheet. I really hope this is the first step toward development of a full-fledged online management tool for LEED for Homes, which can’t come soon enough. The spreadsheet currently used to manage certification is very cumbersome and not very intuitive. For those of us who are now enlightened Mac users, since the spreadsheet was designed in “Windoze Bloatware,” it isn’t yet fully functional in a Mac version. LEED for Homes is scheduled for a major revision in late 2012. Seems like enough time to me to tune up the process, put everything online, and (I know this is wishful thinking) make the whole thing a lot simpler and more straightforward.I mean, a guy can dream, can’t he?For more information on this story, see Richard Defendorf’s report, LEED for Homes Online Scoring Tool.
This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. Conventional wood-framed walls perform many functions. Exterior walls are supposed to support the roof load, resist racking, and provide insulation. They must also provide space for routing electrical cables and (in some cases) plumbing pipes or even ductwork. If the walls are built properly, they should also include an air barrier.Timber-frame manufacturer Tedd Benson has criticized our conventional approach to building walls. He calls these multipurpose walls “entangled,” and he proposes a new approach to wall building — one that begins by disentangling the various functions of a wall. According to Benson, “Wires and fixtures should be separated from high-performance wall and roof systems whenever possible. [At Bensonwood Homes,] we add a mechanical chase layer to our walls always, and to our roof panels when there is a heavy mechanical demand in that area. Otherwise, we have dedicated chases at the building peak, at the eave and other strategic locations when necessary. The point is that after sealing a building…, we need to also make changes and upgrades easy and provide a path other than one that violates the integrity of the envelope.”There are many ways to disentangle utilities from the other functions of a wall. Approaches range from timber-framing, to PERSIST construction, to the use of Larsen trusses, to a variety of techniques adopted by Passivhaus builders in Europe. One element shared by many of these techniques is the service cavity.A service cavity (installationsebene in German) is a “wall-within-a-wall” — a secondary wall on the inside of an exterior wall. It can be framed conventionally, using vertical 2x4s or 2x3s, or it can be created by installing horizontal 2×2 or 2×3 strapping. The main purpose of a service cavity (also called a “service core”) is to provide room to run wiring, plumbing, and ductwork.Most proponents of service…
Tariffs opposed by trade groupThe Solar Energy Industries Association claims that tariffs and minimum PV module prices would threaten an industry that now employs more than 260,000 Americans and could mean the loss of 88,000 jobs by next year. In a letter to the ITC in May, the association said that the duties sought by Suniva would be “extremely damaging” to the industry.“In particular,” the letter said, “the duty on unassembled cells, more than doubling their cost, would adversely affect U.S. module assembly operations which account for most of the roughly 1,500 CSPV cell/module manufacturing jobs that currently exist in the United States.” The SEIA also said “the erection of trade walls” would do nothing to address the underlying problem of excess global manufacturing.The association criticized the two petitioners for a “long history of management and technical failures.”A group of 16 U.S. senators has also joined the battle with a letter outlining their “deep concern” over the prospect of new trade penalties. “Solar companies in our states believe the requested trade protection would double the price of solar panels,” the senators wrote. “Increasing costs will stop solar growth dead in its tracks, threatening tens of thousands of American workers in the solar industry and jeopardizing billions of dollars in investment in communities across the country.” GTM said in a June post that the request for a tariff of 40 cents per watt on cells and a minimum price of 78 cents per watt on modules “would cause unprecedented demand destruction.” RELATED ARTICLES What happens nextThe ITC will determine by late next month whether Suniva and SolarWorld have been damaged by imported solar technology and make a recommendation to President Trump by November 13, The New York Times said.In an earlier case before the ITC, SolarWorld Americas and six other U.S. manufacturers claimed that Chinese makers were benefiting from unfair government subsidies, The Times reported. Tariffs resulting from that case ranged from about 20% to 55%, and helped fuel a $10 million expansion at SolarWorld’s Hillsboro, Oregon, factory.More recently, domestic demand for PV modules in China dropped and manufacturers reduced prices, forcing global prices down. The domestic industry’s share of the panel market has been falling, reaching just 11% last year, the report said. Could a Trade Dispute With China End the U.S. Solar Boom?New Tariffs on Chinese Solar PanelsSolar Beats Utility Power in Many CitiesSolar Thermal Is Really, Really DeadAn Introduction to Photovoltaic Systems The U.S. International Trade Commission opened hearings in Washington on Tuesday that could result in higher prices for imported solar technology and, according to a solar trade association, cost 88,000 Americans their jobs.The petition seeking tariffs on photovoltaic (PV) cells and minimum PV module prices was filed earlier this year by Suniva, a bankrupt solar manufacturer, which said China and other Asian countries were “flooding” the U.S. with solar cells and modules, The Hill reported. The Atlanta-based company said that the American crystalline silicon cell industry was “disintegrating” and would not be able to survive as imported technology “unexpectedly exploded and prices have collapsed.”Two days after the ITC said it would launch an investigation into Suniva’s complaint, SolarWorld Americas said it would join as a co-petitioner for the tariffs.The case illustrates the complexities of the international solar market. A majority share of Suniva, which filed for bankruptcy on April 18, is owned by Shunfeng International Clean Energy, a Chinese firm. SolarWorld Americas also has a foreign parent company, the German firm SolarWorld AG. It, too, has filed for insolvency, the German equivalent of bankruptcy, according to an article in PV magazine. The ITC proceedings will be closely watched, with a number of solar workers making the trek to Washington to show their opposition to potential trade penalties. “Fired up and ready to go!” one of them said in a #SaveSolarJobs post on Twitter. “Solar workers showing up to show the ITC what’s at stake.”
RELATED ARTICLES Not your average modular builderMass timber construction is only part of Katerra’s game plan. It currently has a single factory, in Phoenix, Arizona, where it produces a variety of building components — everything from roof trusses and kitchen counters to cabinets and prefabricated wall components. By next spring, Katerra expects to have another half-dozen manufacturing plants up and running, according to Building Design + Construction.It’s far from the first company to promote prefabricated building components that are made in highly automated factories and shipped flat to construction sites. But it may be the most successful to date, and the company created a real buzz among attendees at this year’s International Builders’ Show, said Susanna Ross, an industry analyst with the marketing research firm Principia.Why is Katerra such a big deal?“Because they were able to figure out at scale and get out there and promote in a very socially savvy way that offsite construction is cool, and it’s the way to go,” Ross said in a telephone call. “They came out of the gates boldly because they had so much money behind them, so much of a disrupter model, and an attitude and confidence behind them.”Prefabrication is still a minor player in the U.S., representing only about 3 to 3 1/2% of the overall market, Ross said. The Modular Building Institute (MBI) hopes to get that to 7% by next year, but even then the U.S. industry would be far behind Canada, where 12% of all new buildings are made that way, and Europe and Australia, where half or more of new buildings are prefabs.“It’s pretty much standard practice in Europe and Australia and New Zealand and very popular up in Canada,” Ross said, “and what we’ve seen over the last three or four years the United States is beginning to adopt prefabrication, off-site construction, as a potential. It’s been negatively colored by the fact that most people think of prefab and off-site construction as modular man camps or mobile home sites, and that’s now what we’re talking about.” A three-year-old technology company named Katerra is looking to upend the construction industry. Katerra has acquired Michael Green Architecture, a well-known firm specializing in mass timber designs, and is now building a 250,000-square-foot factory in Spokane that will produce cross-laminated timber building components.Based in Menlo Park, California, Katerra believes the last several decades of electronics manufacturing can be a template for the slow-to-change world of construction. By controlling every step in the design and construction process — and leaning heavily on prefabricated building components — Katerra sees a bright future for construction that is “better, faster, cheaper.”Katerra has grown rapidly, picking up $865 million in its latest round of financing, according to Building Design + Construction, and winning $1.3 billion in contracts last year. Its approach includes an aggressive schedule for building new factories, including the Spokane facility that’s expected to be fully up to speed by early next year. Mass Timber Tower Planned in NewarkCan Wood Replace Concrete and Steel in Skyscrapers?Heavy Timber Assemblies Earn Fire RatingUMass Opens ‘Landmark’ Timber BuildingA New Timber Tower Opens in MinneapolisTimber High Rise in New York Is Canceled Vancouver-based Michael Green Architecture has been responsible for a number of mass-timber designs, including the T3 Tower in Minneapolis, that showcase the use of timber components over more conventional steel-and-concrete. Green and others argue that cross-laminated and nail-laminated timber buildings have a better environmental record and can be built faster and more economically than buildings with steel or concrete frames.According to an article in Architectural Record, Green was at first part of a “design consortium” assembled by Katerra design director Craig Curtis. Then Katerra brought Green and his 25-member firm directly into the Katerra fold.“It couldn’t be a better scenario,” Green said of the merger. “We get all of Katerra’s cool innovation capacity and R&D.” Katerra sees the deal as a way of advancing systems that will modernize the construction industry.The construction of Katerra’s Spokane factory will certainly give mass-timber building a shot in the arm. Already planned elsewhere in the city is the Catalyst Building, a 150,000-square-foot office building designed by Green and made with cross-laminated timber components. It will house several programs of Eastern Washington University.
You know who you are. You are the employee who ignores mandates from the IT department. You use your own devices and apps to get the job done, company policies be hanged. The IT manager might call you a problem employee, but actually you are part of the solution.The mobile elite is what Forrester Research, in a report commissioned by Unisys, calls tech-savvy, early-adopter employees:“Mobile elite workers are those who make the most intensive use of multiple personally acquired technologies for work and who use them for improving their work with customers and business partners. Those technologies include smartphones, tablets, home computers and non-authorized software applications and web/cloud services.” This elite is an outgrowth of the fact that powerful digital technology is readily available at your local consumer electronics emporium. Consumers who buy this equipment often see no reason to use something lesser just because an employer wants them to. Indeed, Forrester found that 52% of all global workers it surveyed (and 62% of Generation Y/Z) thought their personal devices were better than those provided by their company.The Forrester report found that members of the mobile elite use three or more devices (smartphone, PC, tablet) and work from multiple locations outside the office. They do so not because they want to but rather because they feel they need to: The IT department does not provide an internal solution adequate to get their jobs done. Members of the mobile elite are more engaged, innovative employees. They use third-party services like mobile video conferencing, email add-ons, chat, CRM services and file sharing services. Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now IT + Project Management: A Love Affair dan rowinski IT departments are more willing and able to support these types of workers than in the past. 61% of global enterprises support personal use of mobile devices, up from 27% in the same report in 2011. Yet, there is still a gap between IT and the mobile elite. For instance, about 75% of IT decision makers view an employee’s use of personal applications for work as grounds for dismissal. About 63% of IT professionals surveyed believe they are the primary decision makers for bringing in new technology to the enterprise, while 63% of mobile elite believe that they play a significant role in the company’s innovation processes. This is understandable as IT departments do not want to be marginalized, but technologically savvy employees think IT is slow and not forward-thinking. Most IT departments are building or procuring enterprise apps for both customers and employees, yet they are not yet willing to support the bring-your-own-app phenomenon. IT departments are worried about security and compliance, which is laudable, but they are not moving as an industry to secure employees personal devices. Only about 50% of enterprises offer basic security and app help. The disconnect between the mobile elite and IT departments is a result of the speed at which the mobile industry moves. Mobile, as a technology platform, is rapidly iterating. After only a few years of development, it’s moving toward its third cycle of innovation (from mobile WAP sites to native apps to hybrid apps and cloud integration). Whereas the Web took almost 20 years to evolve through versions 1.0 to 2.0 to the cusp of 3.0 (where it integrates with mobile). Enterprise IT departments are still somewhere between steps one and two, figuring out how to embrace the native app culture and secure company information. If they do not accomplish that, they stand to be left behind in the next wave of productivity growth.This is where the mobile elite are valuable. Smart workers on smart devices push the boundaries of what is possible. IT departments need to structure themselves to match the efficiency of these employees, not the other way around. Tags:#business#enterprise#Info Architecture#mobile Related Posts Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…
Tags:#home office#Yahoo brian proffitt Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Related Posts Yahoo’s plan to bring all work-at-home employees back to the office starting in June was not meant to be a statement on the viability of telecommuting, but that’s what happened. Now a company that’s trying to pick itself up off of the ground is smack dab in the media spotlight, even though company insiders say that this move was something Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer telegraphed almost from Day One of her taking the helm at Yahoo. But is this the right move for Yahoo?Let’s get this out of the way up front: this is a story because a lot of people in the technology industry, which has a higher-than-average share of work-at-home bodies, are freaking out. The idea that a long-held industry practice enabling them to work outside the workplace and gain some measure of flexibility in their professional-personal balance is about to regress back to the 1980s is pretty damn alarming.That was certainly my initial reaction. Having worked from my Indiana-based home office for almost 15 years for various employers and clients in the media and technology sectors, I can unequivocally say that there would be no way I could do what I do and still live in my native state without the Internet and telecommuting policies. I have turned down job offers from companies that would not budge on office workplace requirements. I have kids in college, high school, and middle school. Relocating, and uprooting my younger kids, is not something I want to do unless there’s no other option.Watching the reaction to Yahoo’s leaked HR memo that was initially reported by AllThingsD, I can tell I am not alone.Probably caught off-guard by the visceral reaction, Yahoo declined to make any statements about the new policy until just yesterday afternoon, telling the media, “This isn’t a broad industry view on working from home. This is about what is right for Yahoo right now.”Fair enough. Mayer and her team are trying to pull Yahoo together and get the company back on track. I would imagine, given the revolving door of CEOs at the company, that she doesn’t feel like there’s a lot of time, so worrying about the broader impact on telecommuting is the last thing on their minds.But even if Yahoo is not trying to start an industry trend, the question still remains, if their plan isn’t meant to be a plan for everyone, is it still the right plan for Yahoo?A Long Time ComingSources within Yahoo have told me that the new policy was actually not that new at all. The possibility of curtailing or even halting work-at-home policies was discussed last fall.“She’s made it clear right from the get-go that this is something she wanted to do,” one staffer said, referring to Mayer’s plan to reduce telecommuting practices within Yahoo.Sources close to the situation spoke anonymously, as they are not allowed to discuss internal Yahoo matters. Indeed, soon after Mayer came on board as president and CEO of Yahoo in July 2012, work from home on Fridays was strongly discouraged, with some teams required to implement mandatory meetings within Yahoo’s office late in the day on Fridays.So, if this change was a long time coming, was the reaction within Yahoo more sanguine as some media reports seemed to indicate?“People are pissed off about it,” one source related. “But, they know you have to go along if you want to work at Yahoo.”There’s been a lot of speculation that Mayer may be revisiting her Google roots, implementing policies that encourage working from the office, just as Google does. But sources I spoke with didn’t care to speculate about this.A Step Too Far?Even as Yahoo employees are struggling with this change in policy, some are wondering if such a drastic move was even warranted. Some internal sources commented that Yahoo might have tried to better manage remote workers.While nearly everyone in the company relies on the Yahoo Messenger client for text-based chats and messaging, one source confided that they observe little to no use of the software’s video chat functionality within the halls of Yahoo’s offices. Nor are outside videoconferencing tools like Skype or GoToMeeting actively employed.While videoconferencing is not an exact substitute for in-person meetings, it would seem to be an effective interim step to try when concerns about productivity arise. Especially when Yahoo already has the tool to perform such meetings in place.This could have been a question of time. It is possible videoconferencing and other managerial procedures to handle a mobile workforce were considered, and rejected because of the pressures of delivering a better bottom line fast.There is also the very tangible benefit of pulling together in a crisis. By physically coming closer, the human social connections will kick in even further and (hopefully) deliver the innovation and productivity Mayer and her team are seeking.If anything, Mayer’s decision is not so much a comment on telecommuting as a clear signal that Yahoo sees the months ahead as put-up-or-shut-up time. The leaked memo may have created a meta-discussion right now, but the bigger pain in the butt for Yahoo has to be that all of this media attention will have investors and partners alike watching the company even more intensely to see if Mayer and the work-in-office plan will work.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…
What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … The journalists, analysts and camera crews queued up in a chilly rain at Facebook’s Menlo Park, California, headquarters to get the first look at Facebook’s new home on Android – the long-rumored Facebook Phone.The Hype Was HeavyWould it be new “skin” software designed to put Facebook front and center on any Android device? Or an actual device in of itself – the rumor mill suggested HTC – built from the ground up to feature the social networking giant. Or would it be something completely new and unexpected?Everyone wanted to know. Heck, the local newsradio station – not known for its tech savvy – gushed breathlessly about the event – right before talking about President Obama’s visit to the Bay Area.But when Mark Zuckerberg walked on stage, it became clear we’re talking about both! “Today we’re finally going to talk about the Facebook phone,” Zuckerberg said. But that phone, the HTC First, is really just a reference model for the best integration of the Facebook Home software that can be downloaded onto any modern Android phone (starting April 12).What Is Facebook Home?According to Zuckerberg, Facebook Home consists of a few key capabilities designed to put people, not apps, first. “Today, our phones are designed aroundapps, not people” Zuckerberg said. “And we want to flip that around.” He compared the change to adding Newsfeed to Facebook’s website, where people started consuming about twice as much content overnight, he said. “We want to bring this experience right to your phone, and deliver it to as many poeple as possible.”There are three key components: Cover Feed, Chat Heads and Notifications.Cover Feed: Replacing the home and/or lock screen of an Android device, it gives you an immersive experience from the moment you turn on your phone, said Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s director of product. Instead of seeing a clock and maybe a snippet of a notification, you see your Facebook Open Graph stories with large images cycling across the screen. News shares, status updates (use the poster’s cover photo as the background) are visible right from the get got. You can do a long press to see the whole picture or swipe to get to the next one. You can even add comments right from the home screen, seen below. Chat Heads: These little round bubbles with the images of your friends shown below are the metaphor for Facebook Home’s way of keeping you up to date on what your friends are saying. Incorporating Facebook messaging and texting, you just tap on the Head to join the conversation. (Group conversations smuch all the participant’s pictures into the bubble, slightly awkwardly.) The key here is that Chat Heads show up everywhere on the phone, not just in a dedicated app. They’re always available – the little Heads show up in the corner of the screen no matter what else you’re doing, and follow along when you move to a new app. (You can just flick them away if you want to get rid of them.) Notifications: If Chat Heads are about connecting to what’s important to you, Zuckerberg said, Notifications are there to make sure you don’t miss critical information – along with the name and face of the person who’s sending you the message. Unfortunately, with the download version at least, Facebook Home will not support notifications of emails, but you can still use the native Android notification bar. It’s not as pretty, but it’s still effective – something may not matter to high-school kids, but it may to the older professionals who also make up a big part of Facebook’s member base.Finally, Facebook Home adds a new app launcher, for when you still want to use your phone the old-fashioned way. Apps are really important too, so we wanted to make it just as easy to get to your apps. The app launcher is just one swipe away from your home or lock screen.Many, but not all, of these features can be switched on or off, the company said.How Big A Deal Is Facebook Home?While Facebook home is not a complete mobile operating system, it’s not some lightweight app, either. “We’re not building a phone, and we’re not building an operating system, but we’re also building something a lot deeper than just an app,” Zuckerberg said. “We wanted this to feel like system software, not just an app that your run. We feel like theres a higher bar for that…”That’s critical, because people spend a lot of time on Facebook on their mobile phones. Some 20% of the time people spend on their smartphones is spent with Facebook – 25% if you include Instragram, the company said. And that’s three times as much as with any other app.Still, while Zuckerberg claimed that people look at Facebook 10-12 times a day, they look at the home screen of their phone 100 times a day. Facebook Home brings the social network much closer to the user – and could be expected to seriously up Facebook’s engagment time for those who use it.It also expands on Facebook’s Mobile First mantra to what Zuckerberg called “Mobile Best.” “We think this is the best version of Facebook there is.”The Facebook PhoneFacebook Home will be available for free download from the Google Play store on April 12, but that’s only part of the story. Facebook Home is also the HTC First (seen on the left, below), available the same day for $99.99 exclusively from AT&T – pre-orders start today. As the first phone with Facebook Home built in, the HTC First offers deeper integration than the downloadable version. The key, Zuckerberg said, is that users don’t have to download anything or sign in to anything to get started. In addition, the built-in integration means Facebook Home can (unlike the downloadable version) incorporate notifications from other apps, such as email or Spotify. The email issue, particularly, will be a big deal to some people.What’s Next For Facebook Home?The April 12 launch date is only the beginning for Facebook Home. Zuckerberg promised that like all Facebook software, it will be updated monthly (not yearly like mobile operating systems). Updates will likely expand Cover Feed to include video, group joins, friending stories and other actions.Another thing to expect? Ads. While Zuckerberg said there would not be ads in Cover Feed at launch, he didn’t dispute a question that they could be added at a later date.It also makes sense to expect more smartphones with Facebook Home built in. The company made no mention of an exclusive arrangement with HTC or AT&T. The company also promised a tablet version of Facebook home within the next few months. As for a version of Facebook Home for the iPhone and iPad, Zuckerberg was non-committal. That will require working with Apple, he said, in ways that talking to Google wasn’t necessary to do the Android version.And that could actually make some waves in the mobile platform wars. “I actually think this is really good for Android,” Zuckerberg said. Even though there are more Android phones out there, he explained, a lot of people do their best work on iphone first. “This could bring more innovation to Android.”Facebook will be working to lead that. “This is a deeply technical problem, and its also a deeply social problem,” Zuckerberg said, adding that his company is uniquely positioned to deal with that combination.Images courtesy of Facebook. Lead image by Fredric Paul. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Tags:#Facebook#smartphones#social Related Posts Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement fredric paul
Tags:#Apple#applications#Google#maps#now#transit readwrite The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Apple bought Embark, the small startup that builds transit applications that make navigating public transportation easier, reports tech blogger Jessica Lessin. It is unclear how much Apple paid for Embark, Lessin writes, but it plans on integrating the transportation technology into Apple Maps.Embark is the latest addition to a slew of apps acquired by Google and Apple in the heated competition to build the best map. Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement
9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout dan rowinski Related Posts 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… Tags:#Amazon#digital music In the era when it seems like all of our music has gone digital, Amazon reports an interesting trend: sales of vinyl records are up 745% since 2008. Why are vinyl record sales up? Part of it may be cultural, as the “hipster” generation and DJ culture grow up and start buying more music on the Web to feed their old-school music collections. Amazon would have you believe that one of its product features is responsible—Amazon AutoRip is a feature that gives customers free MP3 versions of select vinyl and CDs purchased through the e-commerce giant.Amazon says that AutoRip-enabled vinyl records sell at a 62% higher volume than non-AutoRip albums, pushing vinyl unit sales up 66% year-over-year since the company launched AutoRip in early 2013.Amazon is a company that is building a lot of alternative ways for users to access content. It has created an entire ecosystem where it can sell fan fiction in Amazon Worlds. Amazon has a similar program to AutoRip with its massive book collection in MatchBook, a service that will allow consumers that have bought select physical books in the past (and present) to buy discounted or free Kindle editions of those books. While all of the products that Amazon announces over a year may seem like a random set of features, there is method to the company’s madness. Amazon has the ability to closely track its customer data and respond with products that will help boost sales of any given product vertical while also providing value for its other services, like its Kindle platform. Creating digital content that can it can serve to its Kindle ereaders and Kindle Fire tablets is of great benefit to Amazon. If you buy a physical book or vinyl record, Amazon can keep you in its orbit by giving you digital copies of those purchases that can be consumed by Amazon gadgets. Services like AutoRip also speak to Amazon’s ability to react to trends it sees within its market. In this case, Amazon sees that vinyl records are selling well and creates a value-added service in AutoRip that can help spur future sales. In this way, Amazon is effectively turning analog sales into digital dollars. It does this by reading and understanding its own internal data and turning it into actionable consumer features as good as any company in the world. Daft Punk: Random Access Memories vinyl album image from Amazon customer upload by Zachary Schlieder. 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App
Learn how to manipulate time and create speed ramps in Adobe After Effects! Let’s dig into all of the helpful AE tools you can use to give your project unique speed effects.Leverage the tools in Adobe After Effects to create unique speed ramps, constant speed change, and freeze frames. Apply these speed effects to make your video editing and motion design projects more dynamic and engaging.Freeze Frames in After EffectsTo create a freeze frame in After Effects, first select a layer in your Composition. Put the playhead on the frame you want to freeze. Select Split Layer from the Edit Menu. The layer is duplicated and split at the playhead.Select the top layer, right-click, and select Freeze Frame or use Layer > Time > Freeze Frame. The layer now freezes. To mimic a popular TV show, apply the Black & White effect to the frozen clip and add a sound effect when it freezes.Slow Motion and Constant Speed Change in After EffectsA common request from clients is to make a clip “slo-mo.” Luckily, After Effects makes slow motion easy. Right-click and select Time Stretch. A dialog box opens. Now enter the speed you want.You’ll want to turn on Frame Blending to get smooth results. Turn on Frame Blending by clicking the Frame Blend switch for the Composition and the Layer (see image below). The dashed line is Frame Mix and the solid line is Pixel Motion. Pixel Motion tends to look more natural — but takes longer to render.Ramping and Freezing TimeUse After Effects to quickly create speed ramps in your footage, which is great for highlighting action sports or sweeping camera moves. Right -click and select Enable Time Remapping. This creates keyframes at the beginning and end of the layer. Click on Time Remap, and then click the Graph Editor. This provides a more visual way to work. As seen below, the line shows you the normal speed of the clip.Command-Click (Control-Click for PC) on the line to add keyframes where you want to change the speed or freeze the action. A flat line freezes a frame, a steeper line speeds up, a shallower line slows down, and if you drag the keyframe lower than the previous keyframe, it plays in reverse. Remember to turn on Frame Blending and Ease Keyframes for a smoother result.Experiment and have fun with the speed effects in After Effets! Check out the Adobe After Effects help site for for more details on playing with Time. And don’t forget – PremiumBeat has tons of helpful After Effects content!Got any tips for bending time in After Effects? Share them in the comments below!
Take advantage of the professional rotoscoping and tracking capabilities of Mocha! We’ve rounded up quality Mocha video tutorials to get you started.If you’re looking to make use of Mocha Pro or the Mocha for After Effects, particularly for rotoscoping and planar tracking, then these FREE video tutorials will help you master the fundamentals of all that Mocha has to offer.The official Mocha site has a good selection of tutorials to help get you started, including download buttons which allow you to save them to your computer for offline viewing. Take a look at this REALLY in-depth video tutorial of the step-by-step process of creating a fantasy themed shot using Mocha and After Effects:FREE – Mocha FundamentalsBen Brownlee from Curious Turtle has created this 18 part video series for anyone beginning to use Mocha for the first time. He covers everything from basic tracking and rotoscoping to corner pinning and image stabilization. The premium version of this series is also available to buy from the official Mocha site.Paid – Motion Training by Lynda.comIf you’re after even more Mocha tutorials and training then Steve Wright’s 5 hour training series on lynda.com might be the thing for you. Be aware the the training series is for Mocha 2.6 and so won’t reflect all of the features in the more recent Mocha 3.1, but with nearly 50 individual videos it certainly is comprehensive! Check out this welcome video to get a preview of the Mocha training course:
Bask in the sweet smell of viral marketing success with the story of Poo Pourri.A bathroom stall door opens to reveal an adorable redhead in pearls and a tight teal-blue dress perched delicately on a toilet. She greets you with, “You will not believe the motherload I just dropped.”Such is the beginning of Poo Pourri’s viral video smash hit, Girls Don’t Poop. The video, launched in 2013, has racked up over 36 million views and climbing. But what made it work?Here are three things that Poo Pourri got right and every viral video should try and emulate.Be DifferentFrom iconic visuals which contrast the upper-class socialite in a dirty pasture surrounded by cows, to sharp copy that never misses a chance for a solid pun, the video as a whole reeked of something new and different. In an internet culture that produces content by the dump load, it takes something fresh to make it stand out.Be FunnyWith a few notable exceptions, the majority of the videos that go viral are of the comedic variety. From Dollar Shave Club to Old Spice, the key to an audience’s heart is through the funny bone. Be irreverent, be ironic or slapstick — you’ll need to rack up the laughs early and often to keep your viewer’s attention.Be ShareableThe number one symptom of virality is the desire to share it with your friends, family and colleagues. Poo Pourri was (and still is) a small start-up with a micro-marketing budget compared to its major counterparts. The video’s success was driven almost exclusively by people passing it around on their own accord. Give people a reason to watch it again through someone else’s eyes.What’s your favorite viral marketing sensation? Let us know in the comments!
Stay up to date on all the latest gear, editing software, and industry news with these helpful video production blogs.Top image via ShutterstockBlogs are a fantastic resource when searching for filmmaking and video production advice. The web is loaded with video pros and industry experts who weigh in daily with equipment reviews, software tips, and stylistic techniques you can put to good use. Let’s take a look at a few of the best filmmaking and video production blogs available to readers today.1. The Blast from RocketStockSpecializing in After Effects tutorials and VFX inspiration, RocketStock is the go-to resource for anybody looking to breakthrough in the fields of motion graphics and post-production wizardry. In addition to great information and technical advice, RocketStock also offers a ton of free motion design assets.2. ShutterstockShutterstock’s blog is all over the place in the best way, covering topics like photography, video editing, animation, and corporate video. The blog’s Footage section is especially valuable to videographers looking for next-level tips, techniques, and tricks of the trade.3. No Film SchoolNo Film School prides itself on fostering a community of filmmakers and video creatives dedicated to expanding the talents of their peers. Boasting an impressive array of educational and industry-related content, No Film School has something for anyone looking to grow as an artist — podcasts, gear articles, video essays, and more.4. Cinema5DCinema5D’s content focuses heavily on the newest gear and emerging video technologies. If you’re into the technical side of the video craft and find yourself constantly hunting for the latest rumors, reviews, and rundowns, Cinema5D is a must-read.5. ProVideo CoalitionOne of ProVideo Coalition’s greatest strengths is the company’s connection to real-deal Hollywood pros. Their expert contributors have experience with everything from indie shoots to major studio productions. The site’s gear roundups and breakdowns of popular commercials make them a vital visit in your daily media consumption journey.6. Jonny ElwynExuding an obvious passion for helping aspiring filmmakers, Jonny Elwyn’s blog offers informative posts on the hows and whys of filmmaking, video editing, color grading, and tech. He’s also been known to write for PremiumBeat every once in a while.7. Noam KrollAnother occasional PremiumBeat contributor, Noam Kroll’s name is synonymous with top-notch film and video know-how. His blog provides in-depth camera reviews as well as video tutorials covering cinematography, directing, and editing. Kroll’s industry experience makes him a fantastic resource for videographers of every skill level.8. Philip BloomGlobetrotting cinematographer Phillip Bloom’s website is your go-to spot for inspiration and real-world industry information. After you explore his blog, be sure to check out his stellar YouTube channel.9. RedShark NewsConsistently staying on top of the news is hard, but RedShark excels at keeping the latest information flowing. In addition to industry news and production advice, RedShark features sections devoted entirely to post-production and VFX-related articles.10. planet5DWhile their earliest work focused mainly on DSLRs, planet5D has branched out to cover every area of digital photography, filmmaking, and video production. With content exploring the ins and outs of everything from smart phones to cinema cameras, planet5D’s got something for everyone.11. Cinematography DatabaseThis blog is perfect for aspiring cinematographers. Interviews with working professionals and coverage of essential camera news make this website a must for anybody looking to hone their skills behind the camera. Above is a video released by Cinematography Database discussing how to get work as a director of photography.12. Filmmaker MagazineFilmmaker Magazine’s coverage reaches across the entirety of the film and video spectrum, all of it keenly aware of the ever-changing nature of the industry. From DIY hacks to film festival reviews and cinema camera news, Filmmaker Magazine is an excellent resource for those trying to stay in the know.13. FilmmakerIQFilmmakerIQ is going through some changes right now, with a new layout and focus on the way. Nonetheless, the content currently on the long-running website — film essays, video breakdowns, and more — is absolutely worth digging through.14. WipsterWipster is an excellent resource for anybody currently in the freelance game. With articles on how to hire people to help with your project and how to pitch a video, Wipster is a big step in the right direction of your video production career. Read Wipster regularly and you’ll be pro before you know it.15. The Beat from PremiumBeatWell, we had to include ourselves, right? PremiumBeat is proud and pleased to offer insight into the worlds of cinematography, video editing, motion design, color grading, and everything pre to post-production. We strive to help the community because we are a part of the community. And just like the blogs listed above, we realize we’re all in this together.Did we leave off your favorite film and video production blog? Let us know what we missed in the comments below.
Whether you’re promoting a film, product, or even your own services, creating an effective promotional video can yield massively beneficial results.Top image via ShutterstockAt Adobe Video World 2016, one of the industry’s top promotional editors held a seminar detailing all the steps needed to take in order to win over any type of audience. Selling your work can be a difficult task, but through clever cutting and structural techniques — as well as a strong use of pathos — your audience won’t be forgetting your work anytime soon. Make your promotional video stand out from the crowd with these tips and tricks.Universal ThemesFirst, find the universal theme that runs through your content — this relatable theme is what’s going to hook the audience. No matter the race, gender, and age of your audience, they should be able to relate to your theme in some way or another. Though obvious emotions may seem like the solution, think again. Instead of jealousy, think sibling rivalry. It’s specific and personally engaging. The familiar emotional theme, one that everyone has felt at some point in their life, that’s the goal. If you can reach these emotions, your audience will be hooked.The above Silicon Valley promo is a perfect example. Teasing the first season of the series, the editors had to tell the story to come, as well as offer a reason why these characters are like you. Aside from hitting comedic notes, the promo plays out brilliantly, leaving you wanting more. Do they succeed? Every underdog wants to succeed — and if you tune in, you’ll find out!Once you’ve identified the central theme — whether it’s a certain type of jealousy, obsession, perseverance, or dread — you can structure the promo around this idea. The idea will be burned into the audience’s mind, which is exactly what you want. This universal feeling can be shown through your characters’ emotions. If the subject matter is very serious and sad, use shots of characters demonstrating these emotions. This may seem obvious, but using non-verbal emotional cues can be your most effective strategy.A great theme supports the unfolding advancement of an idea that explores human truths. — Christine Steele, Editor for ABC TelevisionHow to Hook the AudienceOnce you have the theme and ideas you want conveyed, you can start playing with the pacing. As you can see in the above American Crime promo, there’s nothing special or super interesting happening on screen; the editing is very basic, cutting to the heartbeat in a rhythmic manner. It’s Editing 101 and builds suspense and tension like nothing else. Always cut to the beat if your content fits the rhythm. One very important note to remember: the length of the clip doesn’t matter. What matters is the content inside the clip. Footage Isn’t NecessaryWhatever the message of your piece, say it very clearly in soundbites and text across the screen. In the trailer for TalhotBlond (edited by Christine Steele), they tell the story, promote the documentary, and hook the audience while barely showing any clips. With the trailer’s effective soundbites, basic After Effects templates, and talking head interviews, you can see the decisions made to include some information while leaving other information out. This is just one example of how you don’t necessarily need to show the audience much. Tease, don’t reveal.Three-Act StructureAnother path you can take is the traditional three-act structure — the problem, the journey, and the solution. The order doesn’t necessarily matter, just as long as you cover each. However, if you do decide to break your video up into acts or sections, a new music cue for each change is highly recommended, as it registers in the audience’s mind as new/different information. In fact, you should mix up and play with the formula every chance you get. Obviously if you’re working for a particular client that needs things a certain way, you’ll be restricted to fulfilling their needs. One of the best pieces of advice I can give — don’t B.S. the audience. They’ll know instantly. Holding your audience in the highest regard is a great habit.For more Adobe Video World insight, check out this feature on the future of the Creative Cloud.What are some of the most memorable promos you’ve encountered? Share in the comments below.
There are many good reasons to turn down business that you could win. But the most important reason to turn down business is when taking it would mean unintentionally changing your business strategy.Some sales organizations end up changing their strategy to lowest price without meaning to. They start selling to prospective clients who sell lowest price to their own clients and customers, and just like that, these unsuspecting sales organizations are part of the lowest price value chain. They rationalize the decision to take the low price (and low margin) by extolling the great virtues of volume and revenue, underestimating the impact it has on their business, the additional time it takes to serve their large, low margin client over their smaller, higher margin clients, the challenges of executing without the necessary profit to do so. I once heard someone jokingly refer to this strategy by saying, “We’re losing money on every transaction but we’re going to make it up on volume.” The additional volume isn’t a benefit when it crowds out new, high margin clients.You are better off selling to your dream clients, the clients for whom you create breath taking, jaw dropping, earth shattering value. By creating the value you are meant to create for clients who benefit from it, you will be allowed to capture an appropriate portion of that value. If lowest price isn’t your strategy, winning clients on price will change you . . . for the worse.Agreeing to provide the lowest price isn’t selling. It’s the opposite of selling.
Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now How do you begin your presentation and proposals?How do you demonstrate your deep understanding of your prospective client’s current state and future desired state?How do you position your solution in a way that compels your prospective client to take action? Here is a format for presenting and proposing a compelling solution.Current StateIt is helpful to you and your dream client to review their current state at the beginning of your presentation and proposal.It’s useful to you because it demonstrates to your dream client that you were listening to them and that you understand where they are now. The fact that you paid attention and captured their current state indicates that you care enough to pay attention to what’s important.It is helpful to your prospective client because it reminds all the stakeholders in your presentation meeting of the challenge they are facing and why you are presenting your solution.It is important to remind your dream client as to the compelling reason they need to change at the beginning of this process. The current state answers the question, “Why should I change now?”Future StateThe next section of your proposal and presentation is your recounting of your prospective client’s desired future state.The current state describes the problem. The future state represents your potential client’s world when they no longer have the problem. It is what you’re proposed solution is designed to help them achieve.This recounting of the future state is your shared vision of where you are going together and how you will get there. This section of your proposal and presentation is a reminder as to why your dream client must change now if they would have this future state.Once you’ve described the future state, you can begin to describe how you will help your dream client get there.Your SolutionYour proposal and presentation are now carefully positioned and framed up correctly. You’ve addressed at the current state, and you’ve described the future state, and now you provide the substance of what you will do to help your dream client to change, how you will change the current state, and how that will deliver the future state they are driving towards.Your proposal and presentation should explain exactly how what you do will eliminate the challenges in the current state and provide the better future state.If your proposal is a real transformation, you may need to include milestones, implementation plans, and a vision of what needs to occur over a longer period.The InvestmentThe investment is what is necessary to deliver the solution that provides the future state and eliminates the current state.The format described here is especially appropriate when you have a higher price than your competitor. It shows a deeper level of understanding than a proposal that starts with the solution. It also demonstrates an attention to detail that is proof of how you will execute. It differentiates you from competitors who begin with their proposed solution.Note that there is no part of this where you begin with your company’s history, your locations, or an organizational chart your executive leadership team. The entire format is customer focused, as it should be.
The establishment believes that you need a taxi to transport you from point A to point B. The establishment thinks you should wait on the curb with your hand held up as taxis fly by, hoping against hope that one will pick you up. The establishment believes you don’t care about the quality of the vehicle or the experience and that you won’t pay more for something better.The disruptor believes that you want something better and that you will gladly pay for it. The disruptor believes that transportation can be better.The establishment believes that they should determine what you watch. They believe that they should vet the television programs and movies that are produced. They think they should control, music, film, literature, and journalism. They believe that they alone know whose art deserves to be made and whose doesn’t. The establishment holds that they need to approve your demo before you can produce and publish the song in your heart. They believe you need a book proposal before you can write, that they must “green light” your project.The disruptor believes that their art is worth making. The disruptor believes that there are no gatekeepers and that no one has the right to approve or prevent them from sharing their work in the open market. Some disrupters understand that they should enable the artist to create and share their work.The establishment protects and defends the status quo. They stand on tradition. They like to do things “they way things have always been done.” They want to hold onto to their power, even though power is an illusion; it’s impermanent. The establishment is about permanence. They believe in sustainable competitive advantage and companies that are built to last.The disruptor destroys the status quo. They recognize when values shift and move first and fastest. The disrupter does things in a new way. They believe in right now. And when the disrupter’s “revolution evaporates and leaves behind the slime of a new bureaucracy,” the next disrupter tears it down and begins again.