Random Startup Generator – A Name, A Logo, A Blurb, All “Coming Soon”

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Startups can be incredibly innovative, but sometimes the pitches can sound incredibly repetitive: “The Mint.com for X” or the “open source alternative for Y” or “Z, but viral.” Even more frustrating – when these good ideas just linger as “coming soon” pages for products that never seem to manifest.That’s the impulse behind the Random Startup Generator, a gentle reminder from the folks at the blogging startup Fireplace who built the generator as a reminder that “execution is key.”“Anyone can make a really awesome coming soon page (including a script), but we want more real companies with real products,” Fireplace says. Fireplace has made an awesome one here, and even though it’s a joke, I’d be curious to know if the Random Startup Generator generated sign-ups for its actual product. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#start#tips center_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts audrey watterslast_img read more

Corona SDK Approved for Nook Color App Development

first_imgWhat it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Tags:#Android#apps#mobile#news Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfacescenter_img sarah perez Yesterday, a major upgrade for Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color delivered a wider selection of Android applications to the popular e-reader tablet. And today, B&N’s Nook Developer program officially added Ansca Mobile’s Corona SDK to its short list of approved frameworks for Nook app development. The only other frameworks supported for the Nook Color are the official Android SDK from Google, PhoneGap, Mono for Android, UNITY: Android and Adobe AIR for Android.Why Did B&N Pick Corona? There’s a Story There…Corona’s appeal to mobile app developers is that it allows for the reuse of code across platforms (iPad, iPad, Android, etc.). According to Barnes & Noble, the decision to support the Corona SDK was due to its demonstrated ease of use and speed with which it allows developers to create high-performance apps, and, we might add, especially mobile games.However, there is more of a backstory to the selection process than was indicated by the press release. Ansca Mobile’s PR Manager Hetal Bhatt told us that there wasn’t any sort of “open call” or formal submission process for SDK makers to get theirs approved for use with the Nook Color. But B&N’s Chief Developer Evangelist Ted Patrick used to work at Adobe with Ansca Mobile’s two co-founders. The two co-founders, Walter Luh and Carlos M. Icaza, were the lead engineers on Flash mobile at Adobe, and left in 2007 to create Corona SDK after Adobe refused to overhaul Flash per their recommendations for the then-looming iPhone platform.Afterwards, they created Corona SDK specifically for app development on mobile devices to fill the void left by Flash (too resource-hoggy, they said) and “official” languages like Objective-C for iOS (which they said was too complicated).Since B&N’s Patrick knows the co-founders personally, he had been looking at the Corona SDK for some time and had even blogged about it in the recent past. When B&N was ready to open up to third-party mobile games and apps, Patrick test drove the SDK and tweeted his love for it. And that’s how the deal went down.3 Apps Available at LaunchIf that story is a little more “inside baseball” than you care for, then the only major takeaway from today’s news is this: the Corona SDK makes it easy to launch your apps on Nook. So easy, a 14-year-old can do it! In addition to its cross-platform capabilities, the SDK uses the Lua programming language to make the development process quicker, too.At launch, there are three apps built using the Corona SDK on the Nook Color: Float, The Secret of Grisly Manor and Bloki.Developers can learn more about the Corona SDK here: http://www.anscamobile.com/corona/nook/ The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Canada’s NZEH Now House Project

first_imgA project to bring net zero energy strategies to Canada’s stock of wartime houses advances with retrofits of five homes in Windsor, OntarioThere are a lot of World War II-era houses in Canada, and most have similar footprints and layouts. That was one of the reasons Now House Project Inc., which specializes in retrofitting older houses into net zero energy homes, has focused its design and renovation expertise on wartime-era homes.Now House has completed one such retrofit, in Toronto, of a 60-year-old two-story that currently serves as its demonstration home. The project was among 12 winning designs in the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s EQuilibrium Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative, which is designed to generate interest in eco-friendly design among builders, developers, and the public.Now House says it is currently working on 16 more houses, including five in Windsor, Ontario, that are expected to be ready for occupancy in the fall.The five homes are owned by the Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation, a public housing provider in Ontario. WECHC told the Windsor Star that it expects to spend about $40,000 ($35,000 U.S.) on each of the five retrofits, which should result in an almost 60% drop in energy use.WECHC Chief Executive Jim Steele told the paper that each of the retrofitted homes, whose rental rates are pegged to tenants’ incomes, should be able to save as much as $3,500 a year in energy expenses, which will help the housing agency cover the improvement costs in a little more than seven years.“It’s the right thing to do,” Steele said at an event presented to tout the retrofits. “We can save, on each of these homes, eight tons of greenhouse gases per year. Try to get that out of a Prius.”The WECHC owns more than 750 buildings that house 10,000 to 12,000 tenants, all of whom pay income-based rental rates. Steele said 125 older homes in the WECHC inventory could benefit from Now House retrofits if all goes well with the initial five.last_img read more

Energy Audits in New England

first_imgAttic ventilationAttic ventilation methods also vary widely from building to building. Most buildings in the Northeast were built prior to the introduction of attic ventilation standards in the building code. And the same homeowners who installed all those heating systems also jury-rigged ventilation details. It’s hard to retrofit perfect continuous soffit venting, so we see the same vast array of attempts at venting attics.Houses anywhere in the country provide unique challenges and issues for energy auditors. The older houses of New England, many of which have suffered haphazard retrofit work over the years, certainly provide their challenges. Northern housing stockNew England is lousy with history. While buildings here may not be as old as those in Europe, they do span every era back to Colonial times. Older homes are timber-framed, with heavy plaster walls and rubble foundations. Along coastal Maine, the population booms in the late 19th century and early 20th century lead to loads of balloon-framed homes. The post-World War II baby boom filled entire neighborhoods with generic ranches, Capes, and Colonials.While Maine hasn’t seen quite the suburban growth as other states, the suburbs are where most modern growth occurs. These pockets of manicured developments are mostly variations of colonials or other classic designs — or are of “neo-eclectic” construction. Heating systemsIn the South, where the climate is warmer than up North, mechanical systems serve multiple functions. Virginia, for example, has very distinct heating and cooling seasons. The mechanical systems installed there follow suit, providing both heating and cooling.This most often means a heat pump system with ducting. This approach allows a single system to heat and cool the entire house.The northern states are different. There are two seasons: heating season and strip down to a T-shirt season. The summers rarely get so hot that one needs dedicated air conditioning. It’s very nice, but hardly essential. Here in Maine, we have more oil heating than natural gas, and (by a wide margin) more boiler systems than hot-air furnaces. (These details vary from state to state; for example, Massachusetts has more natural gas than Maine.)The sheer age of the housing stock affects heating system choices. Homeowners have made a variety of stabs at updating their older methods of heating. A 200-year-old house may pass through dozens of hands over the years. And those dozens of hands are attached to dozens of opinions as to how they ought to heat the house.So you find wood stoves, pellet stoves, fireplaces, fireplace inserts, boilers, furnaces, Monitor heaters, and space heaters of every stripe — with the occasional ground-source heat pump, air-source heat pump, or ductless minisplit system sprinkled in for flavor. RELATED ARTICLES Video Series: A Home-Energy AuditWhat’s Wrong with the Home-Energy Audit Industry?The Energy-Efficiency PyramidQ&A: Disappointing energy audit In a modern suburb, even the most tossed-together house is insulated to code requirements, usually with either fiberglass or cellulose. In Maine and the rest of New England? You have the entire spectrum of housing stock, with a vast array of possible insulation scenarios.For the auditor, this means that it is important to explore the wall cavity and attic. Among the ways this is done: testing multiple points and each wall, scanning with an infrared camera, and probing the wall cavity with a boroscope. These methods can all help paint the full picture of the house’s thermal envelope.Older homes can be uninsulated or have had some half-assed attempt to rectify the frigidly cold second floor bedroom. There may be loose-fill cellulose, dense-packed cellulose, vermiculite, loose fiberglass, fiberglass batts, loose rock wool, or open- or closed-cell spray foam. Damn.Vermiculite insulation is very common in Maine. Before its association with asbestos was known, it was used as an insulation for decades. For a bit more detail, check out these articles on vermiculite and Zonolite brand vermiculite. The upshot is that just one mine (in Libby, Montana) produced vermiculite with asbestos in it. Asbestos isn’t always (or even often) present in vermiculite, but it has become strongly associated with it.If you plan to conduct a blower-door test, it’s important to check the attic for the presence of vermiculite. The blower door’s powerful fans can easily disturb potentially asbestos-laden vermiculite dust. Friable asbestos fibers could be blown all over the house… which is bad. Insulation materialsThe insulation situation in New England is as varied as the housing stock. Unlike more newly settled areas of the country, New Englanders can’t count on any consistent level, type, or even presence of insulation. Home energy audits in cold, northern climates are very different from those in hot climates. Different regions of the country have different types of housing stock, and there are regional variations in insulation methods and mechanical systems. In older houses, the type of weatherization work that has been performed varies greatly from region to region.So the issues and energy priorities of northern houses are different from those of southern houses. BLOGS BY ERIC NORTH The Worst House I Ever Audited Was Built in 2008What is Thermal Bridging?Is R-Value Dead as a Dodo?Blower Doors Have Become EssentialMajor Thermal BypassesFlash and Batt InsulationExterior Insulation Is Like Like A Sweater For Your HouseHeat Loss from Air Is No Big Deal, Right?Insulating Stud Cavities in Existing HomesEssential Energy-Audit Equipment Erik North, the owner of Free Energy Maine, is an energy auditor and home performance specialist in Westbrook, Maine. He is also the author of the Energy Auditing Blog.last_img read more

PayPal Expands To More Retail Stores

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting readwrite Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … PayPal just announced that through a partnership with Discover, the online-payment service is now available at a quarter of a million physical retail locations. How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Related Posts last_img

Uber ends self-driving tests in San Francisco

first_imgIT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A… David Curry For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… Tags:#autonomous cars#California#DMV#San Francisco#Self-Driving#Uber Uber has halted its self-driving program in California, following regulatory pressure from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and state attorney general.It comes one week after the DMV revoked the registration of Uber’s 16 self-driving cars. The DMV said Uber had not filed the appropriate permit to test self-driving vehicles.See Also: In a crowded field, who is ahead in the autonomous car race?Uber launched a defiant campaign to change the state laws and said it would continue to test its cars in San Francisco, but retreated from that position earlier on Thursday evening.“We’re now looking at where we can redeploy these cars but remain 100 percent committed to California and will be redoubling our efforts to develop workable statewide rules,” an Uber spokeswoman said in a statement.Uber argued that its self-driving service was no different to Tesla’s AutoPilot, which does not require a permit, because an engineer is always taking control in difficult situations.No one else seems to have a trouble with permitsOver 20 companies have applied for self-driving permits in the state, including Google, Tesla, and Ford, but none of those programs are as limited in autonomous functionality or as open to the public as Uber’s program.In a follow up statement, the ride-hailing giant said the state laws are constraining innovation. It has not confirmed if it will apply for a permit to test self-driving cars in the state, or if it will look towards launching the program in more receptive states.Uber has not said why it is so apprehensive towards applying for a permit. Part of the reason may be if it applies for one now, at $100 a vehicle, it may have to spend hundreds of thousands in the future to make sure every self-driving car is allowed on the road.center_img Related Posts Break the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and… 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle…last_img read more

3 Service-Layer Strategies to Make Your IoT Product’s UX Shine

first_imgI approach my personal life much as I do my products: always seeking a better user experience. So when I learned about the Jawbone sleep tracker, I was intrigued. I spend a third of my life sleeping — I’d love to learn a little bit more about what’s going on during that time!Unfortunately, the Jawbone device itself wasn’t what I’d hoped it would be. With a poorly designed clasp, it came undone at random times. Was it water resistant as advertised? Not really, though I was allowed to freely exchange the one I got wet.So why, given all its flaws, did I buy Jawbone’s wearable not twice but three times? Thanks to a stellar app interface, the device’s UX struck me as stronger than anything else on the market.Let this be a lesson to everyone building Internet of Things devices: The product doesn’t have to be perfect if its service layer offers tremendous value. The Jawbone app’s sleep quality graphs kept me loyal despite the product’s physical failings.Of course, this isn’t to suggest that you should create subpar hardware. We love our industrial design counterparts. Through tireless iteration, your goal should be to provide the market with the best solution, inside and out. But if you have to skimp somewhere, don’t do it on the service layer. The web interface is where users derive the value from a connected product. An IoT product that delivers a standout service is one worth buying, even if the rest of the unit isn’t perfect.Start With the Service LayerTo crush the competition with your IoT device’s service layer:1. Be the user’s preferred painkiller.A while back, a client asked us to help with a smart meter service that helps users monitor and manage their energy consumption. But users don’t need a better meter — there are dozens of lookalike options out there already. They need an easy-to-use interface. So we built an all-in-one dashboard with real-time usage charts, consumption goals, and calendars.Start by understanding the pain your target user is facing with a technique called empathy mapping. An empathy map puts you (and, if you work at an agency, your client) inside your user’s head to learn what she is thinking as she tries to solve her problem. Empathy mapping is the first step in creating a user persona. These exercises might lead you to hardware insights, but first and foremost, it’ll tell you what sort of service your user needs.Plan to identify and describe real users, naming them to discuss their issues plainly. “Roger loves to run, but he struggles to hold himself accountable to his running goals” is what Apple’s designers might’ve said when building out user personas for the latest Apple Watch. Through the iPhone app, the Apple Watch generates stretch goals for users while tracking their daily process. Whatever your opinion of the watch itself, there’s no doubt its service layer is strong.2. Push insights at the right time.An insight in the wrong context is just a meaningless data point. Knowing what information the user needs starts with mapping out their journey, perhaps during or after your empathy-mapping exercise.To build your journey map, plot on the horizontal axis the steps or actions the user takes chronologically with your product. On the vertical axis, add themes to understand what information or insights the user needs at each step. Turn to your empathy map, surveys, prototyping feedback, and qualitative interviews to understand the needs of your user at specific times. This will give you the context to determine what insights will be meaningful.We conduct journey maps for every product we build. For example, a fitness product’s journey map led us to add calendar functionality into the app so users could preschedule their workouts and receive reminders. Constantly updated workout data kept users motivated when they needed it most. Sleep Number’s It Bed is another prime example. When It Bed’s users wake up, they find a series of charts on their prior night’s sleep waiting for them.3. Take a long view.Truly useful IoT devices don’t just serve up here-and-now insights. Because they’re basically sensors paired with an app interface, IoT products’ greatest value often lies in trend data. A home energy consumer, for example, doesn’t just want to know how many kilowatt hours she’s using today; she is interested in how her electricity usage fluctuates over time. Only then can the user know which actions have the biggest impact on her bill.If you conduct enough research and talk to your users, you’ll discover what long-term things they want to track. The creators of Interact IoT, for example, learned that their users of cashless payment methods like Apple Pay were losing track of their spending. Interact IoT connects with devices like the Nest thermostat and the Pavlok wristband, helping users stay under their monthly budget by turning down their thermostat or shocking their wrist.Now, for the elephant in the room: Jawbone closed its doors last summer — but not because of problems with the UX of its products. By many analysts’ accounts, the wearable firm ran low on capital while it spread itself too thin on product lines. So no, I won’t be ordering a fourth Jawbone. I’ll have to just hold out until a sleep tracker with an even better UX meets the market. Related Posts Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to… Tony Scherba is the president and a founding partner of Yeti LLC, a product-focused development and design studio in San Francisco. Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Follow the Puck Tony ScherbaPresident and Founding Partner of Yeti LLC Tags:#IoT#UX Top 5 Areas Where Companies Want IoT Solutionslast_img read more

2018 Personal Finance Virtual Learning Event

first_imgMake plans to join us this week for a 3-day Virtual Learning Event focusing on the soft skills financial counselors and educators need to work effectively with clients and students.EventsTuesday, June 5, 11 a.m.ET:  Understanding Your Client’s Relationship with Money with Dr. Barbara O’NeillWednesday, June 6, 11 a.m. ET: Empathy & Ethics in Personal Finance with Dr. Michael Gutter. This is a 2-hour ethics session.Thursday, June 7, 11 a.m. ET: Communication Essentials for Financial Professionals with Dr. John Grable and Dr. Joe Goetz.All sessions are free. Registration is required. Click on the hyperlinked titles above to register and find out more information about each session.CEUsAll sessions are approved for Continuing Education Units for AFC and CPFC-credentialed participants. The 2-hour ethics session on Wednesday, June 6 meets the annual ethics requirement set by AFCPE. Participants will be required to pass a 10 question quiz after each webinar with a score of 80% or higher to receive a certificate of completion. Quiz takers can then exchange their certificates for CEUs from their accrediting agency.More about our speakersDr. Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D- Financial Resource Management Specialist for Rutgers Cooperative Extension, has been a professor, financial educator, and author for 35 years. She has written over 1,500 consumer newspaper articles and over 125 articles for academic journals, conference proceedings, and other professional publications. She is a certified financial planner (CFP®), chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC®), accredited financial counselor (AFC), certified housing counselor (CHC), and certified financial educator (CFEd). Dr. O’Neill served as president of the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education and is the author of two trade books, Saving on a Shoestring and Investing on a Shoestring, and co-author of  Investing For Your Future,Money Talk: A Financial Guide for Women, and Small Steps to Health and Wealth.  She earned a Ph.D. in family financial management from Virginia Tech and received over three dozen awards for professional achievements and over $900,000 in funding for financial education programs and research.Dr. Michael Gutter is the Associate Dean for Extension – State Program Leader for 4-H Youth Development, Families and Communities for the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida. His BS is in Family Financial Management and his PhD is in Family Resource Management from The Ohio State University with a specialization in Finance. Gutter’s research focuses on examining how socioeconomic status, financial education, personal psychology, and financial socialization are related to financial behaviors. His outreach focuses on improving financial behaviors by increasing knowledge, skills, and access to services.Dr. John Grable, Ph.D., CFP(r) is a professor in the Financial Planning, Housing and Consumer Economics at the University of Georgia. He is an Athletic Association Endowed Professor of Family and Consumer Sciences. His research interests include include financial risk-tolerance assessment, behavioral financial planning, and financial decision making. His work tends to be applied and focused on helping consumers and financial service professionals navigate the increasingly complex financial marketplace. Working with colleagues in the ASPIRE clinic, he is actively engaged in conducting evidence-based research.Dr. Joseph Goetz is an Associate Professor in the department of Financial Planning, Housing and Consumer Economics at the University of Georgia. His research focuses on financial planning performance and financial therapy; more specifically, within the context of financial planning, he examines the fiduciary standard of care, investment risk tolerance, and pedagogical techniques.Wrap UpJerry Buchko will host a capstone discussion of the week’s webinars on Thursday, June 7 at 1 p.m. ET. Join this informal session to discuss concepts covered in the webinars in more detail, ask questions or share your own experiences.Thursday, June 7, 1 p.m. ET: Capnote Discussion with Jerry Buchko.last_img read more

Case Study: After Effects Rigging with a Segmented Puppet

first_imgInterested in creating animations in After Effects?  This video tutorial shows you a real-world case study of a complex character rig in AE.  Learn how to modify elements and create realistic motion.If you’re an After Effects newbie you may want to turn back now – this tutorial is not for the faint of heart!  Video production company e.d. Films is taking you along as they create an animated short using Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere Pro and Pro Tools.  In this tutorial you’ll see how one of the main characters in their project, Rocket Randee, is animated using complex rigging in After Effects.Although the After Effects rigging in this example is quite complex, the great thing about this tutorial is that Daniel from e.d. Films has provided the project file for you to experiment with.  The key to creating and understanding complex character rigging in After Effects is getting your hands dirty with an actual project.  You’ll see how to control the movement of the puppet elements, from walking and motion down to more minute details like controlling breathing.Anyone interested in rigging in After Effects will be well served to check out the tutorial and download the corresponding project file.  Dissect the structure of the puppet, seeing how the different layers work with one another (nulls, childs, parents) to create organic looking movement.  Thanks for sharing Daniel!Check out e.d. Films to download the project file.last_img read more

Startup Alert: Rent Filmmaking Gear with ShareGrid

first_imgShareGrid allows filmmakers to rent out their equipment at discounted rates.If you’ve ever had to rent equipment you know how much of a pain it can be. The traditional camera and gear rental business is localized in big media markets and charge top dollar. On top of that, rental houses are only open during select hours (making it difficult to get your equipment in and out on time).A few good alternatives have popped up online like Lens Rentals and Borrowed Lenses – websites that allow users to receive rental equipment via mail. However, there is still the problem of price. While these websites are usually cheaper than a physical rental house they can still be pricey…especially if you’re renting filmmaking equipment.ShareGrid is a new startup network that’s aiming to facilitate the rental of high quality equipment at affordable prices.ShareGridUsing ShareGrid’s site users can rent equipment from other filmmakers, instead of a company. In the words of ShareGrid it’s “Airbnb for Cameras”.Just like Airbnb, users are rated both as renters and as owners. This helps to make the entire online marketplace more secure and reliable. Public ratings can be seen by anyone in the ShareGrid network and owners have the right to say ‘no’ if they feel uncomfortable about renting their equipment for any reason.Users browse available equipment online in the ShareGrid network. Once you find what you want to rent, you can send the rental request to the owner. Once the owner approves, you will work out a meeting location and hand over the equipment in-person. This allows the owner to teach you how to use the equipment and it also allows the gear owner to meet the renter face-to-face.ShareGrid encourages this face-to-face interaction, but payments are made online.ShareGrid also has a few policies in place to insure that your equipment is safe. Not just anybody can be a ShareGrid member, only those who have been personally vetted by ShareGrid can have access to rent and rent-out equipment. Users are also required to have either insurance or a security deposit for all equipment rented through ShareGrid. This makes it much safer for both owners and renters.How to JoinUnfortunately ShareGrid is only testing their service in Los Angeles at the moment, but as the website states ShareGrid “will be expanding to other cities soon”. In the meantime, if you’re a filmmaker in Los Angeles and want to try out this new service, you can apply online at ShareGrid.com.What do you think of this new service? Does it sound like something you would use?Share in the comments below.Resources:ShareGrid Allows Photographers to Safely Rent Gear To and From One Another – PetaPixelShareGrid Wants to Help You Rent Camera Gear To and From Other Local Pros – Pop PhotoShareGrid offers peer-to-peer gear rental – DP Reviewlast_img read more

Fujifilm Announces Massive GFX 50S Mirrorless Camera

first_imgWhat are your thoughts on this announcement? Would you consider checking out the GFX 50S? Share your opinion in the comments below! Specs43.8 x 32.9mm CMOS Sensor51.4 Megapixels1/4000 Shutter SpeedRotating ViewfinderWeighing 800 GramsFaster AF Selection with JoystickTilted Viewfinder/Detachable Viewfinder Hot on the heels of the recently released X-T2, Fujifilm is back at it again with the massive new GFX 50S mirrorless camera.Fujifilm’s upcoming GFX 50S features a G Format sensor — which happens to be 70% larger than the 35mm format. The massive sensor pushes this camera to front of the pack, offering an extreme boost in quality for mirrorless cameras.As far as competitors go, the Hasselblad X1D is really the only camera in play — until you take pricing into account. The GFX is rumored to be significantly cheaper than the $10,000 Hasselblad, and it comes with a 63mm prime. Expect the GFX 50S to be released in early 2017.Image via FujifilmThe new camera will officially be called the GFX 50S. It will have a battery booster pack available as well. The camera also has a detachable viewfinder, plus a vertically tilted display screen on its back. With a 51.4 megapixel resolution, this new camera will also feature brand new lenses. From Fujifilm:Fujifilm has developed a new ‘G Mount’ with a short flange back distance of just 26.7 mm, an advantage of the mirrorless camera system, and an initial lens lineup consisting of six lensesIncluded in the lens lineup:GF 63mm F2.8 R WRWide-Angle Standard Zoom GF 32-64mm F4 LM WRMid Telephoto Macro GF 120mm F4 Macro R LM OIS WRFast Aperture Mid-Telephoto GF 110mm F2 R LM WRSuper-Wide GF 23mm F4 R LM WRWide GF 45mm F2.8 R WRlast_img read more

New 360 Video Effects in After Effects and Premiere Pro CC 2018

first_imgCheck out the new Immersive Video effects in After Effects and Premiere Pro CC 2018 in this tutorial. Including free 360 footage!Adobe has been committed to offering content creators more options when it comes to editing 360 video and VR content. Adobe backed up that commitment this year by acquiring the SkyBox 360/VR plug-ins from Mettle. The SkyBox plug-ins are a staple for many 360 content creators working in After Effects and Premiere Pro. Adobe recently integrated the 360/VR effects into After Effects and Premiere Pro CC 2018, and the effects have been relabeled under what is now called “Immersive Video.” In this tutorial, we are going to explore the basics of these new Immersive Video effects for 360/VR footage.You can quickly toggle all of the 360/VR Immersive Video effects in After Effects and Premiere Pro by simply searching “VR” in the effects list. All of the 360 effects have “VR” in the name, so this makes them easy to identify. The VR effects range from basic utility effects, seamless post effects, and unique stylization and filter effects.The two most popular Immersive Video effects will almost certainly be the VR Rotate Sphere effect and the VR Plane to Sphere effect. The VR Rotate Sphere effect allows you to seamlessly reorient your equirectangular 360 footage. It is also perfect for leveling your 360 footage horizon line. You can use the VR Plane to Sphere effect to add text, logos, and any 2D layer into your 360 video, ensuring that the layer will look correct in VR.Ready? Let’s dive into the tutorial. (Make sure you download the free 360 footage clips to follow along!) Download the FREE 360 Video FootageTo download the two free 360 footage clips mentioned in the tutorial, simply click the following download button.DOWNLOAD NOW!Adobe has also included some new advanced Immersive Video tools in After Effects CC 2018, such as VR Comp Editor, and new composition options like Create VR Environment and Extract Cubemap. I’ll explore these tools more in a future tutorial.Additionally, if you would like to check out a 360 video created with these tools, take a look at the Half-Mile Zipline 360 Video mentioned in the tutorial. Looking for more video tutorials? Check out the following.Capture Live Events Like a Pro with These Simple RulesAnimate Your Text With Handwriting Motion GraphicsSpeed Up Your Sequences with The Jump CutHow To Create A Stunning Custom Title Sequence + Free Ink SplashesGrip Tricks: Do-It-Yourself Camera Rigslast_img read more

From “The Wizard of Oz” to “Transformers”: 100 Years of Color Grading

first_imgSince the early 20th Century, color has been an integral part of cinema. Here’s how to recreate some of the most iconic trends in DaVinci Resolve.Color grading has evolved through several periods throughout cinematic history. In this tutorial, let’s take a look at a few of the most prominent — and how you can re-create these looks yourself in DaVinci Resolve. TechnicolorThe Wizard of Oz (MGM).Made famous by The Wizard of Oz, Technicolor was a three-strip process that involved huge cameras and even bigger projectors. Because of its quirks, it delivered posterized primary colors. You can recreate this with modern color grading by using splitter nodes and dividing your image into red, green, and blue — and then recombining.SepiaThe Godfather (Paramount).Shot by the “Prince of Darkness” Gordon Willis, with deep blacks and bloomed, creamy whites, The Godfather was made in the ’70s but aimed to recreate the ’40s. It did this by adding a warm, nostalgic tint to the highlights and desaturating its other colors. You can get this effect by using Resolve to add a gradient map that will tint the highlights, while leaving the blacks neutral.Bleach BypassSaving Private Ryan (DreamWorks).Bleach Bypass is a technique first used in the 1958 Japanese film The Ricksaw Man. It involves skipping over the bleach step in the film’s chemical processing. This leaves a lot of the silver in the film stock, giving it an extra contrasty, desaturated look. The best result used to be in the actual exposed camera negative. However, the insurance companies hate this because if the result was too extreme, and you had no way of going back, you would have to reshoot the scenes.1984 (20th Century Fox).It was used in a lot of early films that tried to distance themselves from the hyper-saturated, sunny look of Technicolor. But it wasn’t brought back into popularity until Roger Deakins used it on the film 1984; however, the most famous use was in Saving Private Ryan. You can get the look by making a mask of the skin range and keeping its color, while desaturating other values.Teal and OrangeTransformers (DreamWorks).This trend was happening for a while, since the rise of the digital intermediate, because warm colors seem to advance and cool colors recede, so grading your subjects warm and your backgrounds cool creates an added sense of dimension. It wasn’t until Michael Bay’s first Transformers movie that anyone really pushed it to the limits. Many Hollywood blockbusters followed, which is why it has come to be called the blockbuster look.To create this look, split the image into skin tone and neutral values, and move the color temperature of both in opposite directions. Skin becomes warmer and pops out, whereas the cool background recedes.Interested in the tracks we used to make this video?“Sunshine Tomorrow” by Magnetize Music“Up Vote” by Ben Beiny“The Apogee” by Simba Music“Standing on the Edge” by Luciano Music Co.“One Night in One City” by Crescent MusicLooking for more video tutorials? Check these out.Tips for Making High-Quality Small-Budget Video TutorialsHow to Properly Film Windows for Daytime Interior ScenesLearn to Create Your Own 8-Bit Art in Adobe After EffectsSimple Tips on How You Can Capture Better Slow-Motion VideoHow to Alter the Color of Your Video Using Lumetri Curveslast_img read more

Arming the Sales Force with a Digital Toolkit

first_img 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 Selling well has never been easy. And it isn’t getting any easier. To succeed, you need to arm your team with the necessary mindset, skill sets, and toolkits. Here is a list of three digital tools that you need to support your sales team.Digital Playbook: Your digital playbook might include your sales process, buyer personas, competitive analysis, product knowledge, and anything else you need to provide your sales force with to support their efforts. Many companies are developing this content in a digital format so that they can provide it to their sales force on an iPad or tablet. The digital format allows for images, videos, and other interactive content, making the content as engaging as it is relevant.Learning Management System: It isn’t easy to bring a sales force together for training. Learning Management Systems can also provide digital content, but more importantly, it can deliver it where it is needed, and exactly when it is needed. Since you can now stream video, it’s easy to have a subject matter expert speak straight into a camera. It’s also easy to use screencasts to provide walkthroughs and tutorials. You no longer have to wait to provide the sales force the content it needs when you can deliver it digitally.Resources and Nurture Tools: I am big on nurture tools. If you want your sales force to develop the relationships that they need, providing them with the tools they need is mandatory. White papers, case studies, videos, testimonials, and demos can all be created and stored as digital files that the salesperson can provide their dream clients at the push of a button. The important idea here is to be known and to create value before claiming any. You can’t do that if you don’t have the valuable ideas in a format that makes sharing easy for the sales force.If I were arming a sales force with a digital toolkit, these are the three big pieces on which I would build it.This post is sponsored by my friends at TechSmith. All opinions are mine.last_img read more

Money Is An Outcome

first_imgEverybody wants more money. Most people are not willing to do what it takes to make more money. And the people who want money the most are often mistaken about what they need to attract the money they want. Much of what they do repels money from them.People Are the EndIf you put money before people you will have trouble making money. This does not mean that you should not run a profitable business, that you should not care about your fiscal responsibilities, or that you should not have goals and targets.By treating people as a means to an end that is money, you set priorities in such a way that money becomes difficult to gain. By treating people as an ends in and of themselves, you make it easier to acquire money.Clients Are the EndIf you put money before your clients or customers you will have a tough time “extracting” the money you want from their checkbooks.Putting your customers before money doesn’t mean that you should reduce your price to win the clients you need. Valuing your current clients more than you value money does not require that you make unnecessary “investments” in buying the business. What it means is that by valuing your clients more than you value money, you make money easier to acquire.The Money FollowsMoney, especially profit, accrue to those who create value for others. Those who create greater value make greater money. Those who create greater value for even more people, make even more money.Revenue is the result of selling well and taking care of your clients. Gross profit is the result of a good business model. Net profit is the result of excellent leadership, good management, and fiscal discipline.In business, increasing revenue and profit is the result of doing 1,000 things right, chief among those are valuing people and teaching them to do purposeful and meaningful work for clients about whom you care deeply.Money, in all its various forms, is an outcome.last_img read more

How You Became the Sales Manager You Are

first_imgAs a sales manager, you are a composite of the sales managers you worked for.If your sales manager lived behind his desk, never going into the field with his people, you learned to live behind the lines with nice clean boots. If your manager was in the field dealing with customers, you will lead from the front. You’ll have muddy boots from being close to the action.If your sales manager was a super-closer, swooping in to save deals at the last minute in an heroic effort to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, you’ll do the same. The opposite could also be true. Your sales manager may have been the kind to sit quietly, providing feedback after the call, there only to help you grow. If you were lucky enough to have that manager, your people will be equally lucky.Forecasts are important. Some sales managers (and company leaders) act as if the only thing that matters is the forecast. These forecasters stare at dashboards and sift through data, as if the data itself could create the outcomes they need. If you were relentlessly asked for a forecast, you’ll do the same. But you may have had a sales manager that only asked for a forecast when it was necessary, you’ll invest your time doing the work that makes the forecast worth looking at.Many sales managers never coach the people in their charge. Instead, they dole out orders, always directing people in what they need then to do, and how they need them to do it. If you simply took orders, you will give orders. A coaching manager is different. They focus on helping their people grow and turn in their best ever performance. If you had a coach as a model, you’ll be a coach.Like any profession, the reason there are so many bad sales managers is because so many of them had bad models themselves. The reason there are so many great sales managers is because they had great managers of their own.If you had a bad sales manager as a model, you know what not to do. You can give people a better experience than the experience to which you were subjected. If you had a great sales manager, you need to honor that by being that model for your team.last_img read more

The Pareto Principle for Sales

first_imgMost of what you do does nothing to produce results. While it may be necessary, it doesn’t move the needle.Meetings with Prospects and ClientsIf there is one thing that should dominate your calendar as a salesperson, it is meetings with prospects and clients. Meetings are where you create new opportunities, and it is also where you gain the commitments that allow you to eventually capture those opportunities.ProspectingProspecting is the activity that generates new meetings with prospective clients. If you are doing a good job targeting, prospecting is generating meetings with your dream clients. After meetings with clients, this is the next most important activity when it comes to generating results.Nurturing Your Dream ClientsSelling effectively now requires that you are also a marketer of sorts. You need to be known, and you need to be known as someone with ideas and the ability to generate new and better results. Marketing cannot do this work for you. You have to proactively communicate with your prospects (or better still your dream clients) in some meaningful way over time.There are countless other things that must be done. These things fall into the 80 percent of things that do not actually produce the result of creating or capturing opportunities or even serving clients.You need to plan and prepare for your sales call. You need to follow up on the sales calls you made in the past week, keeping the commitments you made. You have to draw up proposals and contracts. You have to send thank you cards. Sometimes, you have to respond to RFPs, and other client requests.You also have to update your CRM, attend pipeline meetings, respond to your email, check your voicemail, and fill out internal forms and expense reports. All necessary, and all good sales rep hygiene.When you boil it all down, there are only a few things you do that actually generate results. Producing the best results you are capable of means spending more time on the very few activities that produce the results, and spending only what is necessary on what is necessary but produces no real result. 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 Nowlast_img read more

Rights groups welcome HC stay on university teacher’s suspension

first_imgCivil rights groups in Rajasthan have welcomed the High Court’s intervention in the suspension of a teacher of Jai Narain Vyas University in Jodhpur in connection with a complaint lodged against Professor Nivedita Menon of Jawaharlal Nehru University, who was accused of making some “anti-national” remarks during a conference last month.Justice Dinesh Mehta at the High Court’s principal seat in Jodhpur on Monday stayed the JNV University’s order of February 16 placing Rajshree Ranawat of English Department under suspension on charges of not obeying orders of a fact finding committee by failing to appear before it. Dr. Ranawat had asked the committee to provide her with security for deposing before it in view of threats issued to her by a group of students.The Single-Judge Bench stayed the university syndicate’s decision and issued notices to the Vice-Chancellor and Registrar, seeking their response by the next date of hearing on April 17. “Until further orders, [the] effect and operation of the order dated February 16, 2017 placing the petitioner under suspension remain stayed,” said the Court order.During the hearing, the Court expressed surprise that the university had suspended a teacher simply because of her invitation to a particular person to address a conference.The People’s Union for Civil Liberties said it was “extremely pleased” with the High Court’s intervention in the matter. PUCL State president Kavita Srivastava and general secretary Anant Bhatnagar pledged their support to Dr. Ranawat in her struggle for justice and said they would intensify the struggle for academic freedom in all universities and educational institutions.The JNV University’s Registrar and some others had lodged police complaints against Prof. Nivedita Menon and Dr. Ranawat, alleging that Prof. Menon had made anti-national remarks on Kashmir and the Indian Army at a conference on “History Reconstrued through Literature: Nation, Identity, Culture” organised by Dr. Ranawat.The rights groups said Dr. Ranawat was being tortured and harassed by the university through fact finding committees, show cause notices and later a suspension, along with a complaint sent by the the varsity authorities to the police. She is also facing a private complaint in court, which has been sent to the police for preliminary enquiry.Dr. Ranawat had moved the High Court challenging all orders, including that of her suspension, and sought that her suspension be quashed and all committees and show cause notices issued by the syndicate and the university administration be declared null and void.last_img read more

Three with scrapped notes worth 1 crore arrested in Rajkot

first_imgRajkot police on Monday arrested three persons with scrapped currency notes worth Rs 1 crore. “We have arrested three persons, who came from Bhavnagar to change the old currency notes with new bills. The notes worth Rs 1 crore were found in possession of these three persons, who are being interrogated,” Rajkot Police Commissioner Anupam Singh Gehlot told The Hindu. According to him, a few more arrests likely in the case. “We are interrogating them to ascertain if others are involved in the case because these people came to exchange scrapped notes with new notes which means there are other people involved in this currency exchange racket,” Mr Gehlot added.last_img read more

BPCL notice to Tej Pratap on petrol pump

first_imgBharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd has served a show cause to Bihar minister Tej Pratap Yadav seeking his reply on a petrol pump allotted to him here by the company.The notice from BPCL was delivered to Mr. Yadav, who is minister for Health, Minor Water Resources, Environment and Forest in Grand Alliance government of Nitish Kumar on May 29 last.The show cause gave 15 days time to Yadav, the elder son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, from the date of receipt for submitting his reply.The notice signed by BPCL Territory Manager (Retail), Patna, Manish Kumar followed a complaint that Yadav had acquired the petrol pump at the busy Anisabad bypass road here on the basis of “wrong” information furnished by him.A copy of the notice was made available to the media said here on Wednesday.Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi had highlighted the issue of petrol pump allotment to Mr. Yadav in his series of allegations against Lalu Prasad’s family.Mr. Yadav had applied for the petrol pump in 2012 and the retail outlet was commissioned to M/S Lara Automobiles represented by him as its proprietor on February 27 this year.According to the complainant Yadav had falsely declared in his application that he has land in his name for the retail allotment whereas the real owner of the said land is M/S A K Infosystems “who had never given land on lease to you (Tej Pratap).”“On the date of submission of the application for the retail outlet (12.1.2012) you were neither the shareholder nor the director of the said M/s A K Infosystem which never entered into any lease with you (Tej Pratap),” the complaint said.The notice further sought explanation from him as to whether he could spare time to look after the outlet’s activities.“We have observed that you are at present discharging duty of minister for health, minor water resources, environment and forest of Bihar which may suggest that you are not in a position to carry out obligations contained in the agreement personally,” the letter said.last_img read more