Hands-On With The Daily (Sure Doesn’t Feel Like The Future of The Newspaper)

first_imgYou can share many (but not all) of the stories from the app to Facebook or Twitter or via email. Recipients will receive a link to that page, which they’ll be able to view even without a subscription. The articles also allow you to comment, with both the written and spoken word. The latter is an interesting if not odd feature. Perhaps the future of the letter to the editor involves angry voice recordings rather than typed missives. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#news#web There are a few irritating usability issues. When you log in to Twitter, for example, the iPad keyboard covers the “post” button. More annoying – other than the table of contents and the carousel, I found navigation through “the news” to be more difficult than serendipitous. There is no “back” button. There is no search. There are no archives.The Recurring SubscriptionIt’s too early to tell how well The Daily will take off, of course, and it may be a little unfair to judge a newspaper’s content and form based on just the first issue. But barring any major improvements to both, I don’t think I’ll subscribe when my first two weeks are up (complimentary, thanks to an agreement with Verizon). It’s not that I’m opposed to subscribing to an online newspaper. I’d pay for a good iPad newspaper. But right now, that’s not what The Daily offers. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts center_img The launch event for Rupert Murdoch’s new iPad-only newspaper The Daily was full of rhetoric about the future of journalism, heralding the app as a “this changes everything” sort of moment. But having had a chance to download and read today’s inaugural issue, it doesn’t seem that the user experience matches the rhetoric. That may not be a surprise as plenty of people have long predicted The Daily would be a flop. But it still feels like a shame, considering the resources (some $30 million from Murdoch himself) that have been poured into the endeavor and considering the promise for a reinvented and reinvigorated journalism.That’s just my opinion, of course, as are these first impressions of the new app:The Content The Daily features six categories: News, Gossip, Opinion, Arts & Life, Apps & Games, and Sports. And as those probably indicate, this makes The Daily rather light on the sort of content I look for in a daily newspaper. Today’s news headlines, for example, involve Egypt, snowstorms, maximum security prisons, a doggie disco, Natalie Portman’s pregnancy, and Superbowl flashbacks. At today’s launch event, The Daily boasted that it would update with breaking news, if necessary, more than just once a day. But as the content from Egypt indicates, this isn’t really a source for real-time updates. There are no reports, for example, of the violence that erupted in the streets of Cairo today.While this broad and general content may be the epitome of “mass media,” it hardly seems like it will fulfill the intellectual curiosity of early adopters – early adopters of online newspapers or of iPads.The DeliveryContent aside (a separation that really can’t be made), the form of The Daily is interesting as it does try to take advantage of the iPad’s multimedia experience. It incorporates not just text but full-color photographs, video, and audio. Switching your iPad from portrait to landscape takes you from the text of a story to accompanying photos – a nice touch, perhaps, if you aren’t one of those people who’ve cursed the loss of the functionality of the auto-lock button.You can “flip” through the stories and images and can also use a slider at the top of each page – a visual browser – to find different stories and new pages. This morning, the app’s new “carousel” feature was touted as a new way to navigate and discover news. What I discovered instead: that feature seems to be the place where the newspaper’s ads are displayed. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… audrey watters 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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Infrastructures for Innovation

first_imgConverged voice and network services, increasing scalability and expanding application and information access are key components in creating infrastructures for innovation, according to a CIO2CIO report sponsored by Qwest Business.The report looks at research conducted by IDG on network and infrastructure investments and the ROI of infrastructure spending. IT + Project Management: A Love Affair 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Related Posts klint finley Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… For more resources from Qwest Business, check out our Resource Center. Tags:#enterprise#RWEnterpriseSponsored last_img read more

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Can Swimming Pools Be Green?

first_img 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. Question: What do the following homes have in common?Answer: All of these green homes have swimming pools. That shouldn’t come as a big surprise, since residential swimming pools are increasingly common in North America. Back in 1950, there were only 2,500 private residential pools in the U.S.; now there are over 7 million of them.Although residential pools no longer raise eyebrows, they nevertheless deserve the scrutiny of the green building community. Let’s be frank: swimming pools are energy and water hogs.In homes with swimming pools, more energy is used to run the pool pump than anything else except the heating system and air conditioner. In fact, the typical California pool uses enough electricity during the summer season to power the average home for three months.One study that looked at pool-pump energy use was conducted by Danny Parker, a senior researcher at the Florida Solar Energy Center. Parker monitored energy use at 204 Florida homes, 24% of which had swimming pools. On average, the pool pumps used 4,200 kWh per year. (For comparison, the average monitored home used 5,695 kWh per year for air conditioning and 2,227 kWh for water heating.)According to one source, homes with swimming pools use 58% more water than homes without pools. Another source reports that pool-equipped homes use twice as much water for outdoor uses as pool-free homes.The typical backyard swimming pool holds 16,000 to 20,000 gallons of water. Pool evaporation amounts to 3 to 7 feet of water per year. For a 15 by 30 foot pool, the range is 10,000 to 23,000 gallons per year for evaporation, plus about 25% to account for splashing. If the pool is filled once a year, it requires about 38,000 gallons of water every year.Residential water use varies from state to state, ranging from about 60 to 110 gallons per person per day — equal to 21,900… center_img This article is only available to GBA Prime Memberslast_img read more

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It’s Alive! Studying the Living Building Challenge

first_imgI spent most of a day recently in a seminar on the Living Building Challenge (LBC), a self-described philosophy, advocacy tool, and certification program for sustainable building. If people outside the industry think that existing green building programs are pie-in-the-sky and touchy-feely, put together by granola-eaters, then they are going to have to adjust their scales for the LBC. Currently in its 2nd version with a new release planned for 2012, it does have many similarities with other green certification programs, although it is in some ways both simpler and more complex than anything else in the marketplace.Forget sustainable — how about restorative?“Green” is often used interchangeably with “sustainable,” and neither word yet does justice as a name for what we are all working towards.In a lecture many years ago I heard Michael Braungart discuss his problem with the word “sustainable” by asking the audience if they were asked how their marriage was doing, would they want to respond “sustainable”? He advocated for moving towards a restorative model, and this is what the LBC is doing.Their goal is to create structures that not only have a lower impact on the environment, but change the paradigm of how we build so that those structures become restorative to our ecosystems. The creators believe that over the past 200 years we have used technology to separate ourselves from the environment and now it is time for us to reconnect with it.Probably the key difference between LBC and all other certification programs is that certification is based on a full year of building operation instead of estimated or modeled energy and water use.The flower as guiding principleThe LBC is broken down into seven “petals,” each with a subset of twenty “Imperatives.” Projects are separated into four typologies: Neighborhood, Building, Landscape and Infrastructure, and Renovation.Building is the most common, covering all new buildings and any work on existing buildings exceeding minor improvements; those are covered by the Renovation typology. Landscape and Infrastructure are unconditioned projects that do not include physical structures as the primary program, although they can include park-like structures such as amphitheaters, restrooms, roads, bridges, and sports facilities. A Neighborhood includes multiple buildings in a single campus, drawing heavily on the principles of New Urbanism.The first five petals look very similar to categories in many traditional green building programs: Site, Water, Energy, Health, and Materials. While in last two, Equity and Beauty, the LBC appears to differentiate itself, many of the imperatives push the envelope the furthest.“Imperative” is another name for requirements or prerequisites, so familiar to those certifying green buildings. As in other programs, imperatives are required, except for certain exceptions, based on project type. For example, Neighborhood and Building typologies require that all imperatives be met. Landscape and Infrastructure are exempt from four and Renovation is exempt from seven.Finally, LBC classifies projects in one of six “Transects,” a variation on those created by New Urbanism. They include Natural Habitat, Rural Agriculture, Village, General Urban, Urban Center, and Urban Core. Each of these transects affect the specific requirements of each imperative. For example, one imperative requires including food production on site, with the portion of the site devoted to this agriculture ranging from 80% in the Rural Agriculture transect to 0% in the Urban Core.You say prerequisite, I say imperativeWhat appears to be the simplicity of the LBC is the list of 20 Imperatives which (with certain exceptions as mentioned above) must be met for certification. There are no points to add up nor different levels of certification (although partial certification is now available); you either make it or you don’t. This does, at first glance, appear simple, but there are many exceptions and interpretations of imperatives. These serve to both make the program more accessible to ambitious projects that otherwise wouldn’t meet certification as well as to make it more complex that it first appears.I won’t list all 20 Imperatives in this article — you’ll have to go to the LBC website for that — but I will review some of the key ones, and how they are interpreted. In my mind, the most important imperatives are #5, Net Zero Water, #6, Ecological Water Flow, and #7, Net Zero Energy.Net zero water means just that — the project must have a closed-loop water system that uses rain and wastewater for all potable and non-potable water on the site. Interesting exceptions to this lofty goal include drilling an on-site well, or, if after submitting a complete water capture and reuse design to the local jurisdiction you are turned down, a project is allowed to use an outside water source.Ecological water flow is sort of the opposite of net zero water. All storm and sanitary discharge must be managed on site. No physical connection to a municipal sewer system is allowed. If the codes require a sewer connection, you must install a valve so you can disconnect after project is completed. Options to meet this imperative include installation of a septic system or an on-site sewage digester.Finally, Net Zero Energy means what it says (including no combustion equipment allowed in the project); however it is more rigorous than the common definition. Renewable power must be generated on-site, not purchased from a local utility. Exceptions for this imperative include fuels cells powered by hydrogen created from electrolysis, recreational fireplaces in certain institutional projects, and biogas created on-site used for cooking fuel.Slow and steadyTo date, there have been three buildings certified as Living Buildings, one residential project Petal (partially) certified, and several projects in their first year of occupancy phase.My biggest concerns with the program is that there is, at this point, very little guidance through the process, although they are starting to offer consulting to project teams, and a lack of attention to the actual building process. We were told of one of the certified projects that had much higher than projected energy use during the occupancy phase. Investigations showed that there was missing insulation in several key areas, which, when corrected, resulted in the building meeting its goals. It sounds like the team may have had more ambition in taking on this program than actual high-performance building experience.At the end of this seminar, I definitely had a much better understanding of the LBC, and certainly appreciate the effort that has gone into developing this program. As was stated at the beginning of the day, their goals are to inspire and change the building paradigm, something that they are working hard to do.The LBC looks as much like a political movement as a building certification program. Their impact will most likely be limited for the foreseeable future, but it will be interesting to see what influence they have on design and construction over the next few generations.last_img read more

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Embarking on the Building Science Learning Curve

first_imgHow you can find good green building informationSo, what does all this mean for you as you try to build your green home or fix your existing home? To summarize David’s and my experience, and add a bit more:Find sources that you trust.Keep digging.Talk to the local pros.Take advantage of blogs and Internet discussion forums.Think long and hard about doing it yourself.Those points are mostly related. The better you are at gathering information, figuring out what’s valid, and avoiding information pitfalls, the better you’ll do at building or fixing your home.Let me now offer two words of caution: First, just because someone holds a strong opinion doesn’t mean they’re right. That’s why it’s important to look for consensus.Second, know your limits. I’ve heard horror stories about people with no experience trying to build their own home or hiring the wrong people to do something unconventional. It always ends up costing more, not less, when you bite off more than you can chew in this arena. The higher cost of a good pro looks pretty good in hindsight in those cases.I heard recently about someone who had to go looking for a pro who could salvage something from the huge house he’d started building. A lot of the people he approached told him he just needed to tear it down and start over but he did finally find someone who could help. He’s spending a lot more money to do it right the second time than he would have if he’d started out doing it right. Don’t be that person. How I found good information when I built a green homeIn 2001, I was a new landowner getting ready to build a house. I knew I wanted it to be a green home, and I’d watched (and helped a tiny bit) as my grad school thesis adviser, Liz Seiberling,3 designed and built an off-the-grid green home in Florida. I had a little bit of knowledge already because of that experience. (That’s me on the roof below helping to install the tongue-and-groove roof deck, circa 1996.)I also was in the Atlanta area and was well aware of the Southface Energy Institute, so that was another great resource at my disposal. In fact, one of the first things I did was to sign up for their four-day homebuilding school. It was there that I decided to go with structural insulated panels (SIPs) as our construction method. I also made contacts there, on both sides of the desk, that helped me during the two-year process of building.Another thing I did was to start buying copies of Fine Homebuilding magazine off the shelf when I visited Home Depot. When I started looking forward to the new issue appearing on the shelves, I knew it was time to subscribe, so I did. That was a tremendous resource. Not only did it (and still does) have information-packed, in-depth articles from pros, the section with tips also was helpful.I was on a mission — a learning mission — and I was obsessed. I had to learn about framing, SIPs, greywater systems, composting toilets, permitting, dealing with subcontractors, putting together a cost estimate, windows, foundations, solar-powered wells, and much more.Of course, where it got real was when I took all that information I got from books, magazines, Southface, and experts and started talking to local trade contractors. I remember putting together the list of specs I wanted for my poured concrete foundation to one contractor, Wendell, and when I went to him a few days later to see if he had a bid for me, he said, “Where’d you get these specs? I can’t meet them.” He didn’t even want to bid on it, and he was the best foundation contractor in the area!I learned that sometimes I had to settle for less than perfect because I just couldn’t take on every part of the job. Overall, though, I was able to incorporate a lot of the good stuff and do things the right way. Yeah, I made some mistakes, but it was still a great house. In fact, it was the greenest, most comfortable, efficient home I’ve ever lived in. My next one will be even better. I just returned from Arizona, where I spoke at this year’s conference of the Structural Insulated Panel Association. Since the conference was in Tucson, I also took the opportunity to visit with my friend David Butler of Optimal Building Systems.David is an amazing source of knowledge in the field of building science, especially concerning mechanical systems, and our conversation got me to thinking about learning curves. His story is quite interesting and not so different from mine in some ways. Perhaps the advice at the end of this article, based on what David and I went through (independently) over a decade ago, will help you as you travel up your own building science learning curve. Footnotes1. I also learned from him that through the mid-nineties, he had a nice business as a syndicated newspaper columnist. Maybe you saw his column, which ran in 50 papers duing the period 1992 to 1997. It was called At Home with Technology and covered all kinds of interesting topics. At the end of each article, he offered more information on the topic if the reader sent him a dollar, which so many people did that he had to hire people to handle opening and replying to the requests.2. Joe wrote a wonderful article last November about his own building science learning curve. Aided by giants in the field of building science and the engineering ingenuity of his father, he figured out how to do Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) without having moisture problems.3. Liz was the only woman on the University of Florida physics department faculty when I started there. She called her home the Solar Cracker because it was a Florida cracker-style house powered by photovoltaics. She and her husband, Randy, also bought a sawmill and sawed all the lumber for the home. If you look closely at the photos on the page about her home, you can see me swinging a hammer on the roof as we put the tongue-and-groove roof deck on. Liz and her husband Randy now live in rural Tennessee, where they’ve built another house. You can read about it in her blog, An Edible Forest Garden in Tennessee.center_img Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. Look for consensus among expertsWe were talking at breakfast yesterday morning when he told me about the information-gathering process he went through when he designed his previous home in Charlotte. He didn’t know much about building enclosures at the time. His background was electrical engineering, and his career1 until that point had been focused on developing home automation systems.As he set about learning what he needed to know to build the house, he found varying opinions, naturally. One way he handled that was to keep digging until he found several knowledgeable people who pretty much agreed on whatever subject he was researching. He figured that when he found consensus among experts, he couldn’t go too far wrong by following their advice.While working through the details of his stucco wall system, however, he ran into a dilemma where no consensus emerged. That was when lawsuits were killing the synthetic stucco industry due to moisture getting trapped in the wall. David found little agreement among builders and stucco contractors on how to avoid the failures that were making the news.  So he decided to seek out the leading expert on the stucco failures and trust his advice. That person turned out to be Dr. Joseph Lstiburek.2 He ended up hiring Joe to design the wall system as well as the rest of his building enclosure.He had a similar experience when he went to work for Enalasys, the company that started him down the path of becoming an HVAC expert.  Enalasys was developing diagnostic tools for mechanical contractors. David was hired to help develop an HVAC monitoring system. At that point, the bulk of his knowledge about heating and cooling systems was from a controls perspective. During his tenure at Enalasys, David joined ASHRAE and immersed himself in all things HVAC. When he had questions, he wasn’t shy about getting in touch with industry gurus and picking their brains. These two experiences are what led David to become the HVAC expert he is today.last_img read more

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Blue Heron EcoHaus: Picking High-Performance Windows

first_imgEditor’s note: Kent Earle and his wife, Darcie, write a blog called Blue Heron EcoHaus, documenting their journey “from urbanites to ruralites” and the construction of a superinsulated house on the Canadian prairies. Their previous blog on GBA was called How Small Can We Go? The blog below was originally published in May 2015. And now, the fine printWe ended up choosing Duxton over Accurate Dorwin, due simply to the fact that our designer had recommended them. The price difference between the two companies was marginal.These are the specs (U-factors are for the whole unit, not just the glazing):Fixed windows, south: U-factor, 0.16; solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), 0.56.Casement windows, south: U-factor, 0.18; SHGC, 0.56.Fixed windows, east, west and north: U-factor, 0.15; SHGC, 0.35.Casement windows east, west, and north: U-factor, 0.18; SHGC, 0.35. BLOGS BY KENT EARLE Is Passivhaus Right for a Cold Canadian Climate?Heating a Superinsulated House in a Cold ClimateChoosing a Superinsulated Wall SystemHow Small Can We Go?Let Construction BeginMaking an ICF FoundationDealing With Really Bad Water RELATED ARTICLES Windows, Glass, Ratings, and InstallationPassivhaus WindowsChoosing Triple-Glazed WindowsAll About Glazing OptionsNew Ways to Find High-Performance Windows Study Shows That Expensive Windows Yield Meager Energy Returns Reassessing Passive Solar Design PrinciplesEvery House Needs Roof Overhangs On the north side, just two windowsFor us, we maximized the size of our south-facing windows (up to a point, as you can still overheat in the winter — even at -40°F). And we minimized the size of our northern, eastern, and western windows. Fortunately for us, our best views are to the south and east. We do have a couple of large windows on the east side of the house to take advantage of the river valley view and to provide an unobstructed view of the sunrise. (It would be foolish not to put windows there.)We would have liked to have put more windows facing east, but in order to do so we would have required shutters on the exterior, thus obstructing the view anyway. Shutters are really the only way to “shade” light from the east and west as the sun is too low in the sky throughout the year (at sunrise and sunset) to actually “shade” it. To the north we don’t have much of a view, and so we only have two windows in that direction: one in a bedroom for ventilation and fire safety, and the other in the hall for ventilation. Northern windows really don’t provide any energy benefit; they are actually an energy penalty.As for glazings, the available options are really amazing. The right type of glazing can help with heat gain or can help block unwanted heat. Coatings designed to lower the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) do not block the view at all; I think of these coatings as similar to sunscreen.On the east and west windows, you want more sunscreen because you don’t want to overheat. On the south you want minimal sunscreen because you want that good passive heating in the winter (as long as you provide passive shading in the summer). One of the things I am most excited about in our house are the windows. We have a lot of windows in the house: 25, to be exact. And they are not terribly small.Even before I knew anything about energy-efficient building, I’d always loved homes with large expansive windows overlooking a beautiful view. However, when building an extremely energy-efficient home, the placement, size, glazing, window-to-floor ratio, and type of window matter a lot.First, and perhaps most important, is which direction your windows should face. Obviously in the northern hemisphere, the sun is in the south. Therefore, the majority of your windows should face south and be able to take in the sunlight through the winter months when the sun is lower in the sky to provide some passive heating. Conveniently the sun is higher in the sky in the summer, so as long as you have properly sized overhangs or shading in the summer, you can prevent overheating.Recently we were in a neighbor’s house that was not designed with energy efficiency in mind. They have large south windows that are completely exposed, as well as some larger east- and west-facing ones. Even though they would (theoretically) have a great view, they had the interior blinds drawn on almost all of the windows! Interior blinds and shading do very little to prevent overheating as the light and heat have already entered the space. The sun will simply heat the blinds and radiate inside anyway. No “crazy” German windowsOK, so what type of window frames do you buy? Wood, PVC, or fiberglass?We had really hoped that we would be able to afford fiberglass windows. These are simply the best for energy efficiency, durability, and quality. The frames themselves are made of 60% glass (fiberglass), and so the frames move (expand and contract) in response to temperature changes at the same rate as the glazing. Consider -40°F outside and 68°F inside. That is a 108 F° change across a 1-inch space. PVC and wood will flex and bend (and expand and contract) at a different rate than the glass, leading to more air leakage and eventual failure of the window over time. Fiberglass however does not have the same issues. The Duxton Windows web site has some excellent information on the advantages of fiberglass frames.Now that we had an idea of what we wanted, we needed to determine which supplier to go with. We priced windows from Duxton (fiberglass), Accurate Dorwin (fiberglass), and Plygem (PVC/wood). We did not consider any of the crazy German imported windows. Shockingly, people actually do this. (This is where the economics of the Passivhaus approach and extreme energy efficiency clash with reality and sustainability, as I’ve written about before).I was actually talking to a house designer the other day who was raving about some German windows they’d started to import. Indeed, they are impressive windows — but they’re coming from fricking Germany!When building a “sustainable” home, my thought is that we should really be considering if we are spending our money wisely or if it could have a better effect elsewhere. (For example, is it better to spend $15,000 more on windows to get a marginal energy improvement or to spend $15,000 for solar panels?) And if you are importing your high-performance windows from 4,000 miles away, shipping them on a cargo ship across the ocean, is that sustainable?!Anyway, I knew that the fiberglass windows would be more expensive than PVC/wood — but the question was, how much more? When we received the quotes, I was pleased to see that the fiberglass windows came in only 20% more expensive than PVC. For the added efficiency, durability, warranty, and the larger viewing area of the window (fiberglass is stronger therefore can have a smaller frame and more glass), it was a no-brainer to go with fiberglass. One last thought from Christopher AlexanderIn designing the house and choosing the windows, I tend to think about the words of Christopher Alexander (one of the authors of A Pattern Language), who said, “Light on two sides of every room.”I loved reading this book because it was all about aesthetics. Written in the 1970s, the book did not give a crap about energy efficiency. It was a nice reality check against all of the energy efficiency dogma that in some cases can really get out of control. You still need a home that you actually want to spend time in.last_img read more

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5 Reasons Foursquare Is Losing The Social Local Mobile Revolution

first_imgThe Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Tags:#Foursquare#iPhone brian s hall Related Posts Foursquare has been the darling of the burgeoning “SoLoMo“(social-local-mobile) revolution ever since the company burst onto the scene at South by Southwest (SXSW) in 2009. The company’s financial fortunes, however, have not been so sweet. According to BusinessWeek, Foursquare brought in a paltry $2 million in revenue for all of 2012. Perhaps that’s why after raking in $71 million in three major funding rounds, Foursquare’s lastest funding comes in the form of $41 million in debt.Still, that’s a lot of money, and with the new cash stash, the company is shifting its business focus away from check-ins toward selling its trove of user location and behavior data to businesses, ad exchanges and others. This may be the company’s last, best chance to succeed. What went wrong?Here are five primary reasons why Foursquare failed to capitalize on the disruptive market potential of social-local-mobile — despite its early mover advantage.1. Gamification Doesn’t ScaleFrom the beginning, Foursquare incorporated gamification elements deep within the user experience. Users could earn virtual points, garner “badges” and become, say, the “mayor” of the local donut shop. Gamification, according to Wikipedia, is the use of “game thinking and game mechanics in a non-game context in order to engage users and solve problems.” But Foursquare showed that gamification may not terribly relevant to smartphone users — nor much of a revenue generator. In its latest iteration, Foursquare has shifted the user focus away from the app’s traditional gamification elements to make local search and discovery more prominent.2. The Business Model Remains ElusiveWhat is Foursquare? Does the company itself know, even now? Foursquare currently bills itself as:a free app that helps you and your friends make the most of where you are. When you’re out and about, use Foursquare to share and save the places you visit. And, when you’re looking for inspiration for what to do next, we’ll give you personalized recommendations and deals based on where you, your friends, and people with your tastes have been. Whether you’re setting off on a trip around the world, coordinating a night out with friends, or trying to pick out the best dish at your local restaurant, Foursquare is the perfect companion.That’s a lot of different things. Which ones are going to pay the bills? Foursquare, an early mover in social-local-mobile, is still searching for proven business model. And numerous companies now focus on this space. Google, Facebook, Yelp, Path, Groupon, LivingSocial and a slew of others are all aggressively seeking to profit from the ongoing integration of offline and online retail, marketing and advertising, and the merging of social, local and mobile data.Google offers Reviews, Google+ recommendations and advertised links within Maps, along with search. Facebook’s local Check-In feature has no doubt already limited Foursquare’s potential.How is Foursquare going to compete? The company has long allowed select businesses to buy promoted listings and sponsor special offers inside the app. Now, the company is allowing any merchant to purchase an ad. If users check-in to a coffee shop, for example, they may receive an ad from a competing establishment. Foursquare’s unique user behavior and location data make this possible, but users may find these kinds of ads intrusive. And both consumers and marketers now have plenty of alternatives.3. Yelp Is BetterFoursquare’s new direction takes it into direct competition with Yelp — a battle Foursquare will have trouble winning. Yelp simply does a better job at gauging and responding to real-time, location-based user intent.Yelp users, for example, typically start searching for establishments when they are interested in a particular time and place. Yelp makes it easy for them to filter within specific categories and by personal preference. No matter the quality of its data, Foursquare’s “search and discovery” recommendations will always have trouble competing with user-driven intent. The two companies also expose a core divergence over value of data that offers personalized recommendations versus data that aggregates the wisdom of the crowd. Compared to Yelp, Foursquare does a far better job telling you that a friend has recommended a particular neighborhood bar, for example. It may be far more important to you, however, to know that a nearby bar has been recommended by more than 100 people, even if they’re mostly strangers. This is the Yelp model. While recommendation algorithms and anticipatory systems may someday prove more valuable, so far Yelp’s aggregate data model has proven far more popular. 4. Better Design Isn’t EnoughThe new Foursquare app incorporates crisp, visible fonts; real-time mapping; colorful icons; and user pictures. It makes adequate use of touchscreen swiping to move across the app’s core functions. It’s slick, but a bit confusing. Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… The app’s home page, for example, includes a bookmark tab, chat function, search bar, small map, information on the user’s last check-in, data on “places nearby” — without details — trending topics and a large floating button that pops up a short list of nearby businesses. It’s hard to see how the new design will drive engagement or draw in new users. The app’s design seems to mirror Foursquare’s mash-up of old and new business models — an apt metaphor for the company’s struggles.5. Selling Data Isn’t A Slam DunkIntegrating offline and online, merging social, mobile and local — in real-time — seems to be the sweet spot for the future of commerce. Foursquare lives in this space. It’s user base, billions of check-ins and location data, including across the thousands of apps it’s linked to, may in fact be the single best collection of social and local personal data currently available. The value of all that data, however, remains unproven. Plus, Foursquare can’t just only on the existing database, it has to continually inject new information from new users to remain relevant. Even then, while some ad agency executives recently quoted in AdAge called Foursquare’s “unique and proprietary data incredibly valuable,” others suggested that Foursquare’s data didn’t offer anything they could not already get elsewhere.  Positive Signs?Foursquare is forging ahead regardless. On the plus side, the company’s non-financial metrics are quite impressive:30 million users worldwide3.5 billion check-ins1 million businesses signed-up  API integration with 40,000 apps – including with Facebook, Instagram, Vine and TwitterWith its latest $41 million infusion, the company plans to increase its sales staff from 10 people to 40. The company claims that ad-related click-throughs on its app run 3% to 5%, far higher than the industry standard of 1% or less. These are all positive signs.Will it be enough? Despite its popularity, for the past four years, Foursquare has failed to fully capitalize on the social-local-mobile opportunity. The move from check-ins to data mining is a huge gamble. One that Foursquare has to win, as it won’t likely get another chance.Lead image from Foursquarelast_img read more

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Veteran Reintegration

first_imgBy Rachel Dorman, MS & Heidi Radunovich, PhDReintegration to civilian life can be a difficult process for veterans returning from deployment. It is important for mental health care providers to be aware of the difficult process veterans may face during their transition back to civilian life and how to help veterans make a smooth transition. Koenig, Maguen, Monroy, Mayott, and Seal (2014) conducted a study on recently returned veterans to learn more about reintegration into civilian life.[Flickr, 100315-F-2616H-022 by Kenny Holston, CC BY-ND 2.0] Retrieved on September 17, 2015The researchers sought to gain insight into veterans’ experiences transitioning from military to civilian life through interview-based qualitative research. The study included 31 veteran participants who had returned from deployment within two years of the study. The researchers collected data through a semi-structured interview with eligible participants. The researchers reported that none of the veterans returned home from deployment unchanged. Veterans reported difficulty transitioning back to a once familiar civilian life. Through the data collected, the researchers categorized veterans’ struggles of reintegration into three categories: intrapersonal, professional and education, or interpersonal. The researchers described veterans as having difficulty transitioning on an intrapersonal level when a veteran reported difficulty in a civilian life activity that evoked wartime deployment. For example, some participants reported difficulty driving as a civilian because they would catch themselves vigilantly scanning for potential IEDs on the road. The researchers also found veterans struggled with reintegration on a professional and educational level. The researchers reported that some veterans returning to their civilian profession or studies found the work to be dissatisfying and slow paced. The veterans also expressed difficulty transitioning from working in a close unit during deployment to a workplace with little camaraderie. The last category identified was interpersonal difficulties. The veterans reported that their physical separation, due to deployment, resulted in gaps in once familiar relationships. The researchers reported veterans felt their physical separation had caused emotional separation in once close relationships due to missing life events while deployed. Veterans reported struggling with isolation and reconnecting with prior relationships.[Flickr, 150720-N-FQ994-123 by Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa U.S. 6th Fleet, CC BY-ND 2.0] Retrieved on September 17, 2015Practitioners are encouraged to help veterans integrate in all three categories to promote a smooth transition. The researchers provide a module of questions that can help practitioners facilitate healthy communication within all three domains, and stress the importance of helping veterans build coping strategies that will help foster growth through the reintegration process. For more information about helping veterans and their families after deployment visit some of MFLN’s previous blogs here and here. Also, check out this MFLN webinar: Understanding the Outdoor Recreation Restoration Program Leader as Caregiver in Returning Veterans!ReferencesKoenig, C., Maguen, S., Monroy, J., Mayott, L., & Seal, K. (2014). Facilitating culture-centered communication between health care providers and veterans transitioning from military deployment to civilian life. Patient Education and Counseling, 95(3), p. 414 – 420. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2014.03.016This post was written by Rachel Dorman, M.S. and Heidi Radunovich, PhD, members of the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, You Tube, and on LinkedIn.last_img read more

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The NDAA & the Ever-Evolving Military Healthcare System

first_imgWritten by: Christopher Plein, Ph.D., West Virginia University and MFLN Military Caregiving TeamIt is late September, which means that the pressure is on for Congress to pass appropriations legislation for the next fiscal year starting on October 1.  In recent years, Congress and the President have fallen short in meeting this deadline.  Budget season is now known for political showdowns and continuing resolutions. However, this year is different. Both the Senate and the House have approved appropriations for the new National Defense Authorization Act, although Presidential approval is still pending.  You can keep updated on the Act’s progress through various media outlets, including Stars and Stripes.A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog about the new John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019.  As we discussed, the new Act contains important provisions relating to military personnel and families. The NDAA also includes important provisions that will further shape and develop the ever-evolving military health system.The military health system has developed over the course of the 20thcentury in parallel to the civilian health system.  As new approaches to service delivery and new demands for healthcare services have emerged in society, the military has largely followed suit.  As we discussed in the May blog, we can trace this trend back to at least the 1930s.  This evolution has not been without controversy or challenges.In recent decades, two major developments have shaped the delivery of healthcare in the military. The first is the increasing reliance on healthcare delivered by providers “outside of the gate.”  The second major trend has been growing consumer demand for more comprehensive and effective services that benefit service members and their families.According to the Department of Defense, the Military Health System serves approximately 9.5 million beneficiaries both in the United States and overseas.  DOD estimates peg healthcare expenses at about 9 percent of the DOD’s annual base budget.  In preparing its request for the new NDAA, the DOD outlined its continuing strategy of relying evermore on purchased or contracted care delivered by providers rather than direct services provided by Military Treatment Facilities and affiliated facilities.The military health system, through the TRICARE program, relies greatly on third party administrators to coordinate contractual and payment arrangements with civilian-based providers. In adopting this approach, the DOD relies on regional TRICARE contractors or third party to administrators to help coordinate access to care and to manage billing and reimbursement for providers. An overview of major developments in TRICARE delivery is available through one our recent MFLN webinars. These and all of our webinars are archived through the MFLN website.Families are also increasingly aware, and advocate for, access to more specialized services and resources that can help in caregiving and treatment.  Recently the MFLN hosted a webinar on TRICARE benefits for behavioral health.  Next month, on October 17, we will host a webinar on TRICARE’s Enhance Care Health Option (ECHO) program that provides support to qualified family members with special care needs.As noted by the DOD, the annual NDAA process allows improvements and innovation aimed at addressing concerns to be developed and implemented. These efforts reflect, in part, assessments and studies that have been conducted by various government supported commissions and task forces established to assess military family well-being and healthcare.  This year’s NDAA is no different. In addition to continuing efforts to coordinate and manage care delivery in a large and complex system, other developments bear noting.Like their civilian counterparts, Military families are concerned about the increasing cost of insurance and healthcare coverage. The new NDAA mandates that no additional cost-share requirements be placed on service members and their families. As discussed in a recent Stars and Stripes article this is an added benefit to across the board raises that have been authorized for service members.Prescription drugs are an important part of today’s healthcare paradigm, but coordination of their use is not without challenge.  As in the civilian world, in the military there is greater attention being given to coordination of prescription practices, patient demand for specific brand name drugs, and the overall costs of prescription drugs. Reflecting our national awareness of the opioid crisis, increased efforts to monitor and control the prescription of opioids are being undertaken. These and other provisions are summarized in a recent Senate Armed Services Committee news release.We live in an era of post-modern healthcare characterized by a number of factors and concerns, not the least among these being that patients and their families expect responsive healthcare and will advocate for benefits and services.  In this way, healthcare in the military reflects broader developments in our society. This year’s NDAA reflects these broad social forces that are at work. We can continue to see further developments in the evolution of the Military Health System.last_img read more

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Create an Edgy Title Effect in Final Cut Pro X

first_imgIn this video tutorial you’ll discover how to add style to your text in FCPX by creating a custom title effect!Filmmaker Dan Allen shares his trick for giving your text a dynamic textured treatment in Final Cut Pro X.  Dan applies a stone texture to his title and splits it in half for a cool motion effect.  This Final Cut Pro X video tutorial covers:Embedding video or still images inside text using the Luma Mask blending mode in FCPXCropping text and adding movement to make your text more dynamicKeyframe motion and effectsAlthough this tutorial is for a very specific look, keyframing and using blend modes is essential knowledge for any FCPX editor.  Use this tutorial as a jumping off point for creating your own unique title effects.last_img read more

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After Effects Shortcut: Close All Open Compositions

first_imgReset your workspace by closing all open comps in After Effects with this handy shortcut.If you’re working with a complex After Effects project (comps in comps in comps) you can quickly clear your workspace by closing all open compositions.The following 1 minute video tutorial by the always enthusiastic Baker, of BakersTuts, explains how to do it (written explanation below). For more After Effects tutorials subscribe to Baker’s frequently updated YouTube channel.Command + W on Mac (or Control + W on PC) is the default shortcut to close windows, tabs, etc in most applications. So, when you have a composition selected in After Effects and use the CMD + W shortcut it will close that window.Now, add Shift to that shortcut and you can close all AE comps:Got an After Effects shortcut you absolutely rely on?Share your fave AE shortcuts in the comments below!last_img read more

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6 Color RGB Laser Primaries Create Better 3D Experiences

first_imgChances are, the movie you’ve shelled out money to see in the theater is still being projected using a system incorporating traditional Xenon Arc lamps. Soon, those inefficient lamp projectors will be replaced by laser-powered projectors.Lasers have longer lifetimes and are more efficient, meaning costs will be curbed by implementing them. When dealing with 3D content, it turns out lasers provide some unique advantages as well.One laser 3D technology uses a six primary system called Laser 6P for short. The system developed by Barco involves using two distinct sets of red, green and blue (RGB) primaries to create the 3D image. To clarify, this is not a system designed to fill out the color gamut of the system to display more of the visual spectrum by adding primaries, although this has been tried and is confusingly also referred to as 6P. Rather, this 3D projection system using lasers has unique, dedicated red, green and blue primaries for each eye.Lamp vs. Laser-Based SystemsA lamp-based system contains the broadband spectrum of white light. To separate various bands of light, you have to block the color wavelengths you don’t want, in effect subtracting them from the system. This is considered inefficient because it leads to lower brightness overall in the system.With lasers, you begin with very narrow bands of light that can be selected to produce a desired color, preventing the need to filter inside or in front of the projector. The bands are narrow enough that in 3D systems two sets of RGB primaries can be chosen far enough apart on the spectrum as to virtually eliminate “crosstalk” between the two eyes. This allows the correct primaries to be cleanly transmitted in one eye while locking them out of the other eye. When you put on a pair of 3D glasses, each eye sees only the images intended for that eye.The Barco Laser3D laser system works by rapidly alternating each eye’s primary set, fusing the image in the viewer’s perception to see the image in 3D. Since we’re dealing with narrow bands of colors set by the lasers, the glasses can be made to pass or block these colors relatively efficiently. The system saves power since the lasers are only on when needed and no power is blocker or wasted. With the added benefit of lasting much longer than traditional lamps, lasers are a dramatic improvement over the old systems.Deeper into the TechI spoke to Bill Beck, the resident “Laser Guy” at Barco, who had loads to say about developments in lasers (and yes, that is his actual job title). “The two objectives of 6P system design are to have the same white point and the same brightness for each eye.” This presents two practical problems though.“The first problem is if you take two red wavelengths 20 nanometers apart, one may produce up to 3 times as many lumens as the other. So if you want to balance the brightness, you may have a huge imbalance in the number of watts required for each eye.” This is because the human eye is far more sensitive to some color wavelengths than others. “Blue may provide only 30 lumens per watt, but some greens provide more than 600 lumens per watt.It’s extremely difficult to construct a six-primary system that achieves the same white point, brightness, and color gamut for both eyes. Part of the reason is the way our eyes work, the other reason is you can’t just buy a laser in any wavelength you want.” The wide array of wavelengths that are available, however, allow lasers to meet digital cinema or other color space requirements in many ways, with the added benefit of being able to project onto any screen; it no longer has to be a polarization-preserving screen.Barco has already began installing their laser 2D and 3D projection technology in commercial environments all around the world. Beck is proud to say that “the design specifics are targeting a very flexible, versatile laser projection platform for cinema exhibitors, and will soon be adapted to some exciting for non-cinema applications as well. Although our Barco Laser3D projectors incorporate six primaries, they will just as easily support all the other kinds of 3D: RealD, MasterImage, XpanD, and polarization glasses [that the public is already used to]. All of the system hardware, screens and glasses infrastructure are supported.”last_img read more

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Learn Filmmaking From Martin Scorsese In the Next Masterclass

first_imgMasterclass has revealed their next educational series will be led by legendary director Martin Scorsese.All images via Masterclass.Academy Award winner Martin Scorsese is going to teach you how to make a film in the next celebrity-led course from online educator Masterclass.The $90 course will include a downloadable workbook, recaps, and additional materials. You will also have a chance to upload questions for Scorsese to answer.I was excited by this project because it gave me a chance to pass down my own inspirations and experiences and practices and evolutions… not as a blueprint for how to make movies but as a guidepost, an offering to young people attempting to find their own way. – Martin Scorsese via VarietyScorsese will cover the following topics:Developing StyleWorking with ActorsCinematographyProduction DesignMusicColorEditingSound DesignOn-Set Directing All of this is in addition to other Masterclass courses already available from filmmakers, writers, and musicians like Werner Herzog, Hans Zimmer, David Mamet, Aaron Sorkin, Dustin Hoffman, Steve Martin, and Kevin Spacey.You can pre-enroll in the 20+ lessons from Martin Scorsese now at masterclass.com/ms. The coursework will be available early 2018.last_img read more

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7 Tips for Shooting Event Video and Photography at the Same Time

first_imgConsider the following advice for recording video and taking photos (at the same time) before shooting your next live event.On paper, it makes perfect sense. You have a nice, multipurpose, digital camera with great video recording and photography capabilities. On top, there is a simple button to quickly switch between the two. You’ve probably already attended an event and shot either video or photos, which seems pretty straightforward. So, how hard could it be to just shoot both?I mean, it’s double the paycheck, right?Having made the mistake (several times, sadly) covering events with both photo and video options, I can tell you it’s no walk in the park. It can be a terribly complicated and crazy adventure.However, don’t let me dissuade you. Before you dive in, follow these tips to keep your sanity (and deliver quality results).Image via Surachet Jo.The Right Camera and GearFirst off, you’ll need a good multi-purpose camera that can easily switch between photography and video modes. And given the situation, it should be a good camera for both. Personal preference is important here. It doesn’t really matter if you prefer DSLRs or mirrorless cameras, the key is to find the right camera for your needs.Consider things like low-light capabilities for photography and rolling shutter for videography — depending on the event and the type of coverage you’ll need. Also, look into flash options for photos and a good tripod, monopod, or shoulder mount.Here’s a great list of multipurpose cameras to consider.Know Your Strengths and WeaknessesPersonally, I feel like I’ve always been an unusual photographer/videographer because I feel stronger shooting video than photos. Often, photographers are looking to add video to their coverage. In which case, this is a great resource.However, regardless of your first vocation, it’s important to understand which elements are your strengths and which are your weaknesses. If photography is your weaker skill set, as it was for me, I would focus on getting good photos first by giving myself ample time, knowing I could use the tighter windows to shoot video later.Video Loves MotionImage via Standret.Also, when deciding when to shoot video over photography, a general rule is to decide what looks good in motion versus static. Video loves motion. Yes, it may be a little harder to set the focus and adjust on the fly. However, consider the situation. If there is something interesting going on that is in motion, say a first dance or a popping champagne bottle, always go for video.Photography Appreciates StaticMeanwhile, for photography, I’d look for more static situations. Obviously, shooting event photography requires singling out groups of people and getting them to turn, smile, and pause — photography is simple and elegant. There’s no need to record people awkwardly waiting for a flash.But don’t let this bog you down. There are plenty of opportunities to shoot fantastic photos when things are in motion. The trick is to ask yourself what would look more appealing then adapt to the situation to create a combination of both.Lighting and SoundNow for the nitty-gritty. If you’re not familiar with shooting video over photography, sound is a huge concern. Whether that means adding a boom mic to your camera, snapping wireless lapels onto your event key subjects, or plugging an audio recorder directly into a soundboard (or, preferably, all of the above), getting quality audio should be a very high priority when planning your videography.Lighting, on the other hand, is a constant concern for both photo and video. At many events, unless they’re outdoors (typically), lighting is a constant challenge. Dark dance floors and poorly lit conference halls mean you have to get inventive with your camera angles, push your ISOs, and even experiment with lighting sources of your own.Communicate and Be VocalImage via Song_about_summer.When taking on the challenge of shooting both video and photos, communication is key. If you have a team with you, dividing and conquering is a great approach. However, the key is communication and planning.If you’re running solo, your voice is your best friend, and you’ll need it to constantly let your subjects know what you’re doing and what you expect of them. If you’re shooting photos, you’ll need them to smile and wait for a flash. If you’re shooting video, you’ll want them to ignore you and act naturally.Be direct, confident, and loud.Edit Photos First, Video SecondOnce the event has concluded, it’s best to dive into the photos first — sometimes immediately after the event. Editing photos, to most, will be the quicker of the two edits, and it will help you get the ball rolling on your deliverables.It also helps you put together a timeline of the event’s best moments from start to finish. You can start working with colors and finding the best angles, moments, and subjects. You can also deliver the photos before diving into your video edit, which can take anywhere from several days to several weeks, depending on the scope and your promised delivery dates.Cover image by Alexei Zatevakhin.For more event videography advice, check out some of these articles.Video Tutorial: Determining The Best Lens for Your ProjectQuick Tip: Fixing Rolling Shutter Flash with Opacity BlendsThe Whys and Hows of Tracking: Handheld vs. StabilizedThe Best Quotes from Directors, Editors, and Everything in BetweenThe Ultimate Guide to Producing Wedding Videolast_img read more

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6 Affordable Ways to Capture Great Dolly Shots

first_imgCover Image via Disney.Looking for more DIY articles? Check these out.Tips for Recording ADR on Your Own — on a BudgetHow to Build A Super-Bright DIY LED Balloon LightThe Right In-Air Diffusion for Your Project: Haze vs. Fog vs. SmokeDrawing the Audience’s Eye by Shaping and Cutting LightBuilding A Low Budget Handheld Rig For The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K Don’t blow your entire budget on pro equipment for a dolly shot. From cheaper options to the DIY approach, here’s how to get the most bang for your buck.The dolly shot is a filmmaking staple that will simply never go out of style. The iconic camera movement carries weight and meaning. Whether the shot takes the audience on a ride with your characters or presents an omniscient viewpoint, there are a plethora of ways to employ the shot.That being said, pulling off a smooth, professional, and essentially invisible dolly shot takes some gear. So, let’s take a look at what gear works for your film and — more importantly — for your budget.Professional Options1. Camera SlidersImage via Glidecam.Camera sliders are perfect for capturing short dolly shots. Many of these professional sliders can be expensive, but there’s a reason — they work. While a slider isn’t the most affordable of all the options here, it’s cost effective compared to buying an actual dolly system, which can easily run $1,500-$2,000. If you’re working out your budget for a big shoot or looking into investing in one of these products, consider the type of camera you’ll be using most and the amount of weight you’ll be putting on the device.Glidecam VistaTrack — $799Manfrotto Camera Slider — $538Edelkrone SliderPLUS Compact — $499Benro MoveOver8B — $259.952. Table DollyImage via Fancier StudioIf you need a tighter, more manageable dolly shot, and you’re using a DSLR, look into a small tabletop dolly. These lightweight solutions are great in a pinch, and many can support quite a bit of weight, which can help even if you’re using a smaller cinema cameras, like an URSA or C200. Since it’s easy to use, you can capture multiple angles in a matter of minutes.Cinetics CineSkates Pro — $150CineMoco Dolly — $499Pico Dolly — $49.95Digital Juice Orbit — $1495.953. Tripod DollyIf you can’t afford a slider, and you don’t have a smooth surface for a tabletop dolly, then the tripod dolly shot is your best option. This simple tripod add-on needs a smooth surface for best results. However, if that’s not possible, there are fairly inexpensive track options for this type of dolly.Sachtler — $All Over the PlaceManfrotto — $194.99Libec DL- 5B — $259.99Davis & Sanford — $193.99 DIY Options4. DIY Dolly Track ($10-$20)DIY builds are the way to go. Even if you’ve got a substantial budget, they can save you money and time. So, let’s check out how to make a dolly track from items you can find at a store near you.For this tutorial, the SGNL group from Sony shows us how to use PVC pipe, in-line skate wheels, and a few nuts and bolts to build a dolly system.For the dolly itself, check out our tutorial for a simple, affordable way to build a reliable system.5. DIY Camera Slider ($10)If you want something smaller, you can build an inexpensive slider with a few items from the hardware store. Film Riot has a great demo. Ryan Connolly and crew show us how to build one for a whopping $10.6. DIY Tabletop Dolly ($20-$30)If you want to use a tabletop dolly, TheAussieInLA shows you how to use a metal plate, skateboard trucks, and some wheels to create a heavy-duty tabletop dolly on the cheap.Building a table dolly is pretty simple. Here’s a good breakdown of the fundamental mechanics of the rig.last_img read more

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Why Tungsten Lighting in Filmmaking Is Still Alive and Thriving

first_imgSome of the most successful DPs are using tungsten on some of the biggest productions, and for reasons that might surprise you.Almost every day, we see announcements for new lighting technologies. Multicolor LEDs that are light, cool, battery-powered, and remotely programmable are the lead story of every trade show. HMIs still turn night into day (being daylight balanced), and newer technologies are still making their way onto the market.So why, in this high-tech landscape, is tungsten still alive and well? And who’s using it?Cinematographer Rob Hardy, BSC, used tungsten on Mission: Impossible — Fallout, one of the biggest, highest-grossing action films of last year. He almost exclusively used tungsten lights on the breakout hit Ex Machina.Notice the wonderful tungsten lighting in this scene from Mission: Impossible – Fallout. (Image via Paramount Pictures.)Everyone knows that tungsten light can make beautiful images. For the first eighty years of filmmaking, it was the only game in town (along with natural daylight), and some of the greatest films ever made used it. It has 100 CRI without any green spikes and creates beautiful skin tones.Given all the obvious downsides of tungsten — the heat, the bulb life, the color temperature, and fragility — why did the filmmakers choose to light with it?Note the nostalgic look in this scene from Mission: Impossible — Fallout shot on celluloid. (Image via Paramount Pictures.)One reason may be that Mission Impossible — Fall Out was shot on celluloid. Despite the majority of films now being shot digitally, there’s been a gradual move back to celluloid because it creates an aesthetic that separates a film from the flock. The Mission Impossible franchise has always had a classic, “golden age of action” feel to it, which may have influenced the decision as well.Because of the decision to shoot film, the camera crew worked with a T500 stock that needed a lot of light. Even with CTB gel, some tungsten fixtures are still much brighter than daylight-balanced LEDs.Note the natural tone of the tungsten light in this shot from Mission: Impossible — Fallout. (Image via Paramount Pictures.)They were also working with some huge sets that were going to need thousands of fixtures to illuminate. The Palais Royal!, with its hundreds of extras, was massive. Even with their huge budget, the fact that tungsten is so much cheaper per watt than LED or HMI would have made a huge difference. Another factor is availability. There are hundreds of thousands of 2K par and open-face tungsten fixtures available around the world, some of them from the “Golden Age” of Hollywood. There are some LEDS that are brighter, but how many of them can are really available for rent, at short notice, in locations like Paris and New Zealand?Because the Mission Impossible team was also going to be working in different countries and on different continents, using tungsten meant that not only were there always fixtures available but also that local crews would be more familiar with them than newer lighting technologies. Tungsten will be with us for decades to come because, despite its drawbacks, it still works, still makes beautiful images, and is only going to get cheaper as more advanced options come to market.Looking for more on tungsten lighting? Check out this video.last_img read more

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Are You the Primary Value Creator?

first_imgThis post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.You likely have more work on your to-do list than you can possibly complete today. Or this week. Or this month. In fact, if your to-do list is anything like mine, then crossing something off the list (or, in my case, checking the complete box in Omnifocus) has the strange of effect of causing two items to take the place of the one you just completed. But some of the work on your to-do list doesn’t really belong to you.Here is the one question you can ask yourself to know whether the work belongs to you, or whether you should give it to its real owner.The Test for All WorkThe one question you need to ask yourself before you commit to doing the work is this: “Am I the primary value creator for this work?”If you are the person that needs to create the unique value necessary to completing some task, then by all means, do that work. But for a lot of tasks on your to-do list, you aren’t the primary value creator. Someone else should really being doing that work because they can add more value to the work than you can. Or someone else should be doing because it really belongs to them. In this case, you’re probably only doing the work because you’ve rationalized it by telling yourself that by the time you trained someone, you could have done it yourself. Or maybe you’ve told yourself the big lie that there is no one can do the work as well as you can.If you aren’t the primary value creator, you should give the work to the person that does create that unique and special value. Give the work to its rightful owner. By giving away the work in which you aren’t the primary value creator, you free yourself to do your real work, the work that only you can create the unique and special value required.QuestionsFor what work are you the primary value creator?What work on your to-do list really belongs to someone else?How do you determine when and what work to delegate?How do you invest the time teaching others to do work so you can delegate it completely in the future? 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

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The Leadership Playbook: On the Need to be Liked

first_img Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now Leadership is a tricky subject. There are so many attributes, beliefs, and behaviors that make up a good leader that it’s impossible to come up with a single defining characteristic. And the same could be said for mistakes that would-be leaders make. Right now, one big mistake comes to mind.The Need to Be LikedOne thing that leadership is not is a popularity contest. A leader can’t have an overwhelming need to be liked.The need to be liked can prevent a leader from having the tough conversations that are necessary to good leadership.The need to be liked can cause some leaders to avoid taking some action because they are afraid that someone will think less of them for making a decision—even when it is the right decision.In the worst of all cases, a leader with a strong need to be liked will refuse to hold people accountable for fear of that person not liking them.Not Feared, But RespectedNone of this means that a leader should want to be disliked. How you achieve outcomes as a leader is every bit as important as the outcomes themselves.The idea that it is better for a leader to be feared than loved if she “can’t be both,” is 500 years old. Much about leadership has changed in 5 Centuries.The best leader you had cared enough about you to have the tough conversations necessary to help you see your blind spots. They weren’t mean-spirited in their criticism. They just saw something more in you than you could see at the time.The best leader you will ever have will make the decision to do what is right even when it is the unpopular decision. That leader will weigh their decisions carefully and do what is best for the people that they lead.A great leader will hold you accountable for producing results, even when those results are difficult to achieve.The leader that you loved won’t be one that you feared. It will be the one that you respected and who cared about you and the people they led. By not needing to be liked, the leader earns the love and respect of the people they have the privilege to lead.last_img read more

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The Hustler’s Playbook: Hustlers Are Insatiably Hungry

first_imgHustlers are insatiably hungry. They are driven, they’re self-motivated. No one ever has to ask a hustler to do anything. They’re already doing something.Not only is a hustler working, but they’re also working with a tremendous sense of urgency. You can always tell a hustler because it looks like there working as if they’re running out of time. They’re trying to get things done, to accomplish things.Non-hustlers aren’t hungry. They aren’t driven by some unseen force, and they always have to be asked to do what needs to be done. They’re passive and reactive, waiting instead for the world to act on them instead of acting on the world. They want, but not enough to act on that want.Hungry to Be MoreHustlers are hungry to be more. Even if they are happy and pleased, they are dissatisfied because they recognize that their potential is far greater than what they’ve accomplished to date. And it doesn’t even matter what they’ve accomplished to date.Hustlers are driven by growth. Their personal growth, as well as their professional growth. No matter how good they are, they are consistently and continually looking for an edge, some way to get even better.Hungry to Do MoreHustlers are also driven to do more. They will outwork anyone and everyone around them. They start earlier, stay later, and do more in the hours in between. But they will also do more outside of work.Hustlers will hustle to do more with their family. They’ll take more vacations, and they do more interesting things that provide them with experiences that a non-hustler miss out on.The hustler is constantly in motion.Hungry to Have MoreIt’s a tough time to be a hustler. There are a lot of people who will tell you that it is wrong to want more. They will tell you that it is wrong to want more money, to want more success, and to want more “things.”Non-hustlers resent the hustlers success, especially an acquisitive hustler. This is part of the non-hustlers curse, the envy of what others have, even though they could have those same things if they had the hustler’s mindset and were willing to do what was necessary to have them.The one thing hustlers want in abundance more than anything else is freedom.Hungry to Contribute MoreYou only become more, do more, and have more when you create greater value for more people.Hustlers contribute more than non-hustlers. Their work, especially if they’re an entrepreneur, creates work for other people, something that immensely improves people’s lives.Hustlers also have the financial resources to contribute to the causes they believe in, including people in need. The more successful a hustler becomes, the more the hunger turns into a desire to help more.Hustlers find meaning in using their hustle and the resulting resources to contribute to causes greater than themselves.You can be hungry, too. You can decide that you want to be more, do more, have more, and contribute more. Once you decide you are hungry enough to hustle, take one single action that moves you forward in the direction you want to go. Hustlers are too hungry to wait until tomorrow.last_img read more

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How to Make America Great

first_imgWhat makes America great is not our elected officials. We are what makes America great. That means we have some shared responsibilities during election season.Undivided, StillFirst, we need to remember not to allow partisan politics to divide us from each other. Both of the major parties have a vested interest in selling the idea that we are more different than we are alike. That’s why they create a few wedge issues. In contentious elections, like this one, these divisions are being sold as something requiring physical violence.The very best leaders remind of us of the values we share, while working to minimize the differences. We have a political process to work out our differences. And we have an unbroken 240 year record of a peaceful transition of power. This is a big deal.Don’t disconnect from your friends and family over partisan politics. Be an example by respecting their view, and hope that they respect yours.Be a leader here.Onward, RegardlessSecond, it does no good to recount the sins of one candidate while pretending that the candidate you support is as pure as the driven snow.Politics doesn’t take place on a playground, and if you are looking for heroes, you aren’t going to find them in politics. You aren’t going to find any saints, and you aren’t going to find any perfect people. There are no candidates for office without flaws, regardless of party.If you have ever voted, you made the choice between flawed candidates. This election is no different. Whoever wins, we’ll work it out, like we always have.Start at HomeFinally, we may not be able to make all of America great through our actions as individuals, but we can make a difference in our communities, and that’s as important as anything else you do. It’s not okay to be a Facebook Activist, complaining about the way things are without doing anything about it. That makes you a poseur. You can’t make a difference attacking or arguing with people online.No one ever won a political argument. Ever.We can treat each other with kindness and compassion. We can volunteer to help those around us in need, and we can contribute to causes we believe in. That will make America great.In a few years, whoever wins this election will be gone, but we will still be here, and we will still have each other. 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

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