Soundcities Lets You Remix the World

first_imgThe British painter and video artist “Stanza,” has spent a couple of decades traveling around the world. Every place he’d stop, he’d grab audio tape (then digital recordings) of the sounds of that place. In 2000, he started posting sound-maps online and in 2004 he made the database available. Now, Soundcities is an extensive, open-source sound and mapping site that users can freely take from and contribute to. There are even on-site mixing decks to allow anyone with a computer to remix the world. I first came across the site only today, when an old friend, the perennial exile activist and writer Sokari Ekine, tweeted a blog post on the site, which she’d been using as an antidote to living in Florida. (My words, not hers.) Related Posts curt hopkins “I started to wish I was back on Kilburn High Road recording the late night rats in the garbage from Nandos, the drunks coming out of the pubs, sirens all day long, endless chatter and traffic, kids playing – well screaming in the park, couples fighting, youths dealing, singing beer drinking out of town football fans from strange places like Wigan and Stoke City, and my own music trying to silence all these external noises and the neighbour shouting and banging on my wall trying to silence me.”The spread of cities represented in this first open-source, crowdsourced database of found city-sounds and maps is remarkable. The listener can travel from Tokyo, Japan to Belo Horizonte in Brazil, from Granada, Spain to Bamako in Mali. The maps lean toward Europe and Latin America with an emphasis on larger population areas. Hopefully, with the crowdsourcing element fully engaged it will get more from Africa and from rural areas. You can also search for cities based on quality keywords, like “beat,” “birds,” “churches,” “industrial” and “weather.”SonicitySonicity is an on-site sound mixer that allows the listener to pluck and mix cities, individual sounds, pretty much anything in the database. Users have also utilized the database to create music. Stanza has composed a musical “world tour” and released it as an MP3 download called Soundcities CD. The experience and possibilities inherent in the project are pretty intuitive, but here’s Stanza’s take on the experiment. “(S)ounds…give clues to the emotional and responsive way we interact with our cities. Cities all have specific identities, and found sound can give us clues to the people that inhabit these spaces, as well as provoking us and stimulating our senses in a musical way. I am interested in the sounds of specific places, and how the sounds reflect this identity and re-imposes characteristics back onto the location or environment.”Stanza’s experiments may have been among the first, but are not the only. Among the others are the British Library’s UKSOUNDMAP and the BBC’s Save Our Sounds project. What’s your experience with capturing and interpreting sounds online? What sources and tools do you use? Where do you post the results? Let us know in the comments. ***Other sources: Intersections, Weird Vibrations, Oso 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Tags:#art#crowdsourcing#web last_img read more

IT Poll: How Satisfied are You with Your Job?

first_imgMassive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Tags:#enterprise#Trends According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics 9,600 IT jobs were added in December. “Five bellwether IT job segments in the BLS data showed a net gain of 45,800 jobs in the last six months of 2010 and 26,000 jobs in October through December,” eWeek reported today. The vast majority of the gains were in management, technical consulting services, computer systems design and related services segments.Increased hiring for technical positions is one more reason IT managers need to be worried about the growing discontent among tech workers. Gartner analyst David J. Cappuccio thinks a data center staffing crisis might be looming and research finds that more than 1/3 of IT workers are interested in switching jobs.We’ve suggested some ways to improve morale, but we’re also curious about the level of satisfaction dissatisfaction among our audience. Tech workers: how satisfied are you with your job?Image by Shereen M klint finley Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…center_img Related Posts IT + Project Management: A Love Affair 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Nowlast_img read more

Yahoo Says It’s “Absolutely Committed” to Flickr

first_imgWe wrote a post yesterday calling into question the financial viability of Flickr, given another blogger’s rough estimates of its annual revenue, Yahoo’s struggles and the recent news that Delicious is going to be shuttered or sold.A number of people chimed in to reassure us that Flickr is going to be ok. First, former Flickr chief software architect Cal Henderson posted several comments assuring us that costs were lower than estimated and ad revenue much higher. Now today Yahoo PR sent us the following statement from Blake Irving, Chief Product Officer at Yahoo. Irviing says the company is absolutely committed to Flickr.“I appreciate the thoughtful discussion here and I want to add clarity to this topic: Yahoo! is absolutely committed to Flickr and its community of members. The board, myself, and the entire leadership team love this product and believe it is incredibly in sync with our product strategy for Yahoo! Flickr has a huge worldwide audience, an amazing brand, and it’s profitable. We’re excited to continue evolving and supporting Flickr so we can make the service even better. “Blake IrvingEVP, Chief Product Officer, Yahoo!Irving said roughly the same thing in 140 charecters a few minutes ago. You might recognize that avatar as the same one who freaked out and promised to fire whoever leaked the internal slide deck disclosing the company’s plans to “sunset” Delicious. I hope this is all for real. If Flickr were closed, or had less instead of more energy put into it, that would be a real shame. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img Tags:#news#web marshall kirkpatrick 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

All the Details on Apple’s iPad 2: Specs, Pricing, Release Date

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting audrey watters Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Apple CEO Steve Jobs took to the stage in Cupertino today to announce the second version of the iPad, the follow up to the first version that’s sold over 15 million units. As the press has long speculated the iPad 2 will be thinner and faster, will come equipped with two cameras, and will boast the same 10 hour battery life. It will also feature the next version of the iOS that will boost the device’s performance.The iPad 2 with Wi-Fi will be available on March 11 in the U.S. for a $499 for the 16 GB model, $599 for the 32 GB model and $699 for the 64 GB model. The 3G will cost more: $629, $729 and $829 respectively. The device will be available on March 25 in Mexico, much of Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.The Hardware SpecsOn stage, Jobs touted the new design for the iPad 2:It’s 33% thinner and 15% lighter than the original iPad, but the screen size remains the same.Apple says the battery life will be unchanged – up to 10 hours.It will feature a dual-core A5 processor.The iPad 2 will have two cameras. The front-facing VGA camera for FaceTime and a rear-facing camera that will capture 720p HD video.The new device will come in 2 colors. Oh yes. The mythical white iPad will be available on the first day of sales, says Jobs.The iPad 2 will run on both AT&T and Verizon’s 3G networks.It includes a new Smart Cover that offers screen protection and doubles as a stand.A built-in gyro.HDMI video mirroring, which will let you mirror your iPad screen on an HDTV. The Operating SystemThe iPad 2 will come with iOS 4.3, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system. Its features include:Faster Safari mobile browsing performance.iTunes Home Sharing (finally).Better AirPlay.The choice to use the side switch as either a mute button or to lock the screen rotation.A personal hotspot to share an iPhone 4’s data connection over Wi-Fi (provided it’s supported by your carrier, of course).New AppsApple introduced two new apps for iPad too: iMovie and GarageBand. Both will cost $4.99 and will bring the movie and music editing capabilities to the mobile device.Is all this enough to make you want to buy the iPad 2? Our poll of ReadWriteWeb readers shows they aren’t so sure. Tags:#Apple#NYT#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Video: Node.js Tutorials

first_imgRelated Posts Tags:#hack#How To Here’s yet another resource for those learning Node.js. O’Reilly Media is now selling a video on scalable Internet applications with Node.js featuring Up and Running with Node.js author Tom Hughes-Croucher.Preview the video after the jump.If you’re looking for free resources for learning Node.js, check out our article 6 Free E-Books and Tutorials for Learning and Mastering Node.js. You can also find several free Node.js videos at NodeTuts. How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Why You Love Online Quizzescenter_img 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoid klint finleylast_img read more

In Britain, Carving a Low-Cost Path to Zero-Carbon Homes

first_imgArthur Bland, a U.K.-based project manager for ICF manufacturer Logix, says construction costs for homes that meet the zero-carbon-emissions performance standards established by Britain’s Climate Change Act don’t necessarily have to be budget-busting. In fact, such homes don’t have to cost a penny more than conventionally constructed dwellings with comparable features, he says.Bland put his cost-containing theory to the test during the construction of three adjacent homes in a small English village called Chewton Mendip, in Somerset County. Aiming for airtight, thermally resistant building envelopes for each of the dwellings, Bland used Logix’s polystyrene-and-concrete wall system, Unilin SIPs for the roof, and Eco-Slab modular ground-floor slabs – essentially concrete suspended on heavy-duty polystyrene forms.The conditioned space in the three houses totals about 3,000 sq. ft., and all three cost about $495,000 to build, including triple-glazed windows and $9,900 heat recovery ventilators from Genvex.As noted in a recent article in The Guardian, the three houses share a rainwater harvesting system, which is serviced by a big tank in the communal garden to the rear. The rainwater is used for dishwashers, washing machines and toilets. About 75% of the houses’ annual water consumption is provided by the system.Because local conservation laws prohibit installation of renewable-energy systems on houses, the three homes in this project are not quite net-zero-energy, but use about $1,000 of electricity annually. Bland says, however, that the houses meet all Code 6 requirements (the highest rating) set by Britain’s Code for Sustainable Homes, the government-mandated rating system for new homes.last_img read more

Solar Power Can Cut Consumers’ Bills and Still be Good for Utilities

first_img RELATED ARTICLES Solar Owners Are Givers, Not TakersMaine Completes Value of Solar StudyColorado Electric Co-op Weighs New Solar ChargesIn Maine, A Battle Royal Over Energy PolicyWisconsin Alters Net-Metering RulesNet-Metering Is Preserved in KansasMajor Utility Wants Lower Net-Metering Rates Solar to the rescue?If solar energy were adopted nationwide to 5%, 10%, or even higher levels, consumers will need to rethink their use of electricity. Now, regulators create policies in many states to encourage customers to lower their use of power during peak hours, shifting it instead to the evening. Instead of shifting electric use to nighttime hours, consumers would be encouraged to shift their use to late morning and midday hours.During the day, power, rather than being most expensive, would be cheapest. At that time, generators and utilities would then have a new complaint: “Solar energy provides only the least valuable energy during the day, and we have to give back electricity to these customers at high nighttime rates — how unfair!”When that time comes, generators and utilities will need to be reminded that their daytime costs would have been astronomically higher if not for solar energy, and even nighttime rates would have been higher if not for solar. The cost of solar energy continues to fall, so it is no surprise that more people are adopting solar.This rapid growth of rooftop solar, however, has led many electric utilities to try to apply the brakes. A number have lobbied to change the net-metering policies that credit consumers for the excess solar power they generate. Does this make sense?Solar net metering works akin to a bank account. You “deposit” unused energy (kilowatt-hours) generated by your system during the day onto the electric grid – that is, during those times when your solar panels generate more power than your home consumes. You then “withdraw” energy at night or when your system is not generating enough electricity.Also like a bank account, your deposited energy is not just sitting in a vault; other utility customers who need electricity use your excess solar power at the time of deposit. When you withdraw the energy, it is generated by a power plant for you.As simple as this process sounds, it has generated a huge debate within the electric power industry. Varying price for electricityPennsylvania has a deregulated market in which utilities distribute electricity rather than produce it. Most customers choose and pay a separate supplier for the generation of electricity from a power plant. When customers don’t make this choice, then utilities will purchase wholesale power – the cost that utilities pay to power generating companies – and then resell this power to consumers at a retail price.During times of high demand, the price for power on the wholesale market goes up. It can even go up by over 1,000% within the same day or week.Utilities and electric suppliers make daily predictions for the amount of energy needed by all customers so that electricity can be generated, purchased, and placed onto the grid. A very hot summer day, for instance, will require more energy to meet high air conditioning loads. Using short-term weather forecasting, one can also project the impact of solar energy on the overall demand for electricity on the day-ahead market.I looked at the hourly price data for the day-ahead market for wholesale energy in the Pittsburgh region. And then I looked at solar production data for many photovoltaic arrays for this same region.Using these data and a few assumptions about when a solar customer uses electricity, I found that the wholesale price for electricity deposited onto the grid is 20% greater than the wholesale price of electricity withdrawn from the grid at night or on bad weather days. In other words, solar energy allows suppliers and utilities to realize savings and increase profit margins, even though the solar customers are purchasing less electricity overall. True value of solar?But how would we quantify the full value of solar? The best way is to analyze the impact of solar that is not already priced into the market.First, we assume that the price for a given demand remains constant. Then create a scenario or model in which a large amount of solar energy is placed onto the grid. This would create a noticeable decrease in the current daytime demand for electricity and a corresponding decrease in the price of electricity during these daytime hours.For example, based on 2013 data, if Pennsylvania had solar energy provide 5% of all its electricity, a utility and its associated electric suppliers would see, according to my research, savings of $60 million per year for a region of 600,000 customers. (Five percent is quite a large amount of solar for Pennsylvania, where solar energy provides about 0.1% of electricity now.) At the same time, the utility and suppliers would see a decline in retail revenue of $45 million since solar customers would not be paying as much for their electricity. Amazingly, the savings are greater than the lost revenue.For a typical utility or supplier, the net savings, according to my calculations, are $25 per customer per year. This is savings for every customer, not just solar customers. The few solar customers would be responsible for lowering the cost of electricity for all customers.These savings are based only on the generation of electricity. There are additional similar savings for the distribution of electricity that I have not yet addressed. Just as it costs more to generate electricity when the demand is high, it also costs more to distribute electricity when the demand is high. In fact, sometimes it can cost so much more that utilities are willing to pay customers not to use electricity.I should stress that even with solar energy, we need utilities and power generators. There will always be an infrastructure that needs to be supported and thus utilities and generators need to maintain a dependable revenue stream. However, as long as solar provides more savings than the decrease in revenue, there should be no problem for the electric industry. In fact, the electric industry could reinvest these additional profits to make the infrastructure more suitable for even larger amounts of solar. Richard Flarend is an associate professor of physics at Pennsylvania State University. This column was originally published at The Conversation. The electric industry makes an appealing argument that utilities should charge net metering customers for all these energy deposits and withdrawals. In promoting a change to the net metering law in Minnesota, for example, State Representative Pat Garofalo said solar customers are “able to use the grid without charge and this means higher rates for other consumers.”On the other side of the argument, there is a compelling case that says utilities should let solar customers use the grid at no charge or even that utilities should provide incentives to solar customers. After all, photovoltaic systems produce the most during long sunny summer days when the demand for electricity is high and it costs more money to generate power. Thus, according to this argument, the excess solar generation deposited onto the grid during the day is more valuable than the electricity withdrawn at nighttime.So which logic is more compelling? Is net metering a burdensome requirement or is it beneficial to everyone?Last year I heard the president of a Midwestern utility speak about this burden solar created, and his logic seemed very good. So I looked at the electricity production data that were automatically collected by my own rooftop solar panels and compared it to the peak and off-peak electric rates that I pay. I then decided to systematically dig into the numbers for a large region in my home state of Pennsylvania and do a more scientific analysis – and the results surprised me.last_img read more

How to Make Homes More Resilient

first_img This article is only available to GBA Prime Members 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. Start Free Trial Already a member? Log incenter_img Many of us see the consequences of climate change as presented on the evening news: big catastrophes like Hurricanes Michael and Sandy that wipe out entire neighborhoods. The reality of climate change also comes in small, but more frequent calamities that affect families, even when the national media does not report it.Consider 1955. In that year, the United States suffered 18 national disaster declarations. It was an average year, since, between 1955 and 1965, about 18 natural disasters occurred annually, with a low of seven in 1958 and a high of 25 in 1965. Each decade after that, the number of national disasters climbed: From 1965-to-1975, there occurred 31 disaster declarations; between 1975 and 1985, there occurred 39; from 1985 to 1995, it was 43, and so on, until the present decade, when, projecting between 2010 and 2020, it looks like we will reach a high of about 110 nationally declared disasters on an average year. You can look up the statistics; FEMA keeps track.With a national disaster declared about twice weekly, it becomes evident that the new normal includes a devastating storm or flood, somewhere, “on an rainy Wednesday afternoon,” as a FEMA representative described the new normal during a recent presentation on Climate Adaptation.As the lead agency in responding to national disaster declarations, FEMA has a vested interest in reducing the damage done, and the associated cost of providing aid. The agency is moving aggressively to promote planning and construction that accepts the advent of frequent natural disasters and encourages communities to build and remodel with updated hazard conditions in mind.Building code recommendations derive from historical data, but in a changing environment, history may not repeat itself. FEMA now pushes communities to base codes on predictive climate models, rather than historical data, to more appropriately address what’s coming.On the global scale, builders have played an essential role in embracing green… last_img read more

After Living With BlackBerry 10, I Went Back To Android

first_imgdan rowinski Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Related Posts Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagementcenter_img What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Tags:#Android#BlackBerry#BlackBerry 10 I tried to love the new BlackBerry Z10. I really did.The operating system is interesting, it handles communications well and has generally decent hardware. I planned on making the Z10 my personal device for at least a month to really get a good understanding of what it is and where BlackBerry is going.I couldn’t pull it off.This is the ultimate test of a mobile device: When you live with it, does it allow you to do everything you need to do in a seamless and facile manner? When it came down to it, the BlackBerry 10 could not satisfy that essential requirement. So, three weeks prematurely, I pulled the SIM card out of the Z10 and put it back into my Android phone.And breathed a sigh of relief. I reserve the right to go back to the Z10 in the future when it may bebetter suited to my needs. But for now, my Android phone is just more… useful.Here is a breakdown of the things I missed most about Android while living with BlackBerry 10.MapsBlackBerry 10 does not have a native maps app but rather licenses its maps to a third party, rumored to be TomTom. The overall experience leaves much to be desired. The best test of how a smartphone handles your needs is to travel with it. When you are in a new city and need the maps app to tell you where you are and where you are going, the location needs to be as granular as possible. It also needs to accurately and efficiently perform search functions. BlackBerry’s maps app does both of those things… just not very well. Especially when you compare it to Google Maps in Android which is probably the most refined digital maps available – with Google’s robust search capabilities baked right in. Left: Google Maps on Android Right: BlackBerry maps trying to load.BlackBerry maps are slow (over LTE and/or Wi-Fi) to load, do not track well in real time and are difficult to search. If you are walking down the street and need to know when to turn a corner, you have to stop and let the app catch up.If it even works. It is not just a slow app, it is flawed and buggy, sometimes failing to load at all (see screen shot above). This is a fundamental failure of performance. Apps & Performance If you are a current or former BlackBerry user, you are really used to the “hard reset.” That is when you pop the back off your device, take the battery out and put it back in. BlackBerry users had to perform this routine whenever apps would not load, the operating system would hang or crash or the device would not receive notifications. Lags, crashes and poor performance were an accepted matter of course on BlackBerry devices for years. People learned to live with it.Facebook “app” on BlackBerryBlackBerry has eradicated a lot of those problems in BlackBerry 10. Just not all of them. The frustrating feeling that is all too familiar to BlackBerry users when something just does not work remains alive and well on the Z10. There are a couple reasons for this. The first is BlackBerry’s app strategy. Yes, BlackBerry has done well to ensure a good choice of apps at launch by allowing developers to port Android apps to BlackBerry World. But those ported apps do not always work all that well. BlackBerry 10 also relies on Web apps to fill in the gaps where neither native BlackBerry apps or ported Android apps are available.The biggest, and buggiest, examples of this issue are found in BlackBerry’s YouTube and Facebook apps. The YouTube “app” is little more than a mobile Web-app with a shortcut pinned to the home screen. It performs about as well as can be expected for a enough for a slow Web app but it is far from optimal. The Facebook app is the poster child for BlackBerry 10’s apps problem. First trouble indicator: It wasn’t built by Facebook, but rather by BlackBerry (Research In Motion Limited is the technical developer name as it was made before the rebrand to BlackBerry). It is based on a previous version of Facebook’s Android app -from before Facebook took its Android app native to improve performance. That means that BlackBerry’s Facebook app is, more or less, just the site with an Android wrapper ported to BlackBerry. The basic functions work well enough, but if you go to a different section, say an Events page, it will leave the Facebook app and open Facebook’s mobile page. This approach creates a lot of moving parts within the app – and none of them work particularly well.Premium Apps & The Android Experience Android users may not realize quite how much they rely on Google apps until they change platforms. That includes the likes of Gmail, Search, Talk (GChat) and even often-overlooked functions like automatic photo uploading to Google Plus. These apps are the backbone of the Android Experience and make life easier and more connected. Full screen widgets are a luxuryThen there is Google Play. Say what you want about the quality of Android apps on the whole, at least the app store has what you need. For me, that means go-to apps like Spotify and RunKeeper, Zite and Voxer, Uber and Ingress. These apps are not present in BlackBerry World and none of the publishers have said whether or not they will build (or port) to the BB 10 platform or not. Even while I was living with the Z10, I still carried my old Android phone just to download Spotify playlists so I could listen to music. To be fair, it is still early in BlackBerry 10’s life cycle. These apps could arrive in the next couple of months and be terrific. But they are not there now. Other aspects of the Android Experience not present in BlackBerry 10 are the notifications system and widgets. Android’s pull-down notifications menu is the best in the mobile industry and has been copied, to a certain extent, by almost everybody, including Apple and BlackBerry.The recent apps screen of BlackBerry 10 also does not substitute for Android’s customizable widgets. The ability to turn an entire home screen into a calculator or to do a voice recording straight from the Evernote widget are under-appreciated features of Android. You miss them when they are gone.More Time In The DistilleryGoing back to Android after living with the Z10 is not a complete condemnation of BlackBerry 10. It is just a sign that while BlackBerry has made some great strides with the BlackBerry 10 operating system, it has not yet gone quite far enough. The corner-cutting with apps, the lags and bugs found in various aspects of the OS, the crashing and hanging can all be fixed.The problem for BlackBerry is that Android used to have all these same types of problems as well – and it took years of fine tuning to eradicate them. Locked in a death struggle to stay relevant in the fast-moving mobile market, BlackBerry does not have years to smooth out the kinks in BlackBerry 10. last_img read more

Who’s Got Big Brands? Tech’s Got The Biggest Brands Of Them All

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#marketing brian proffitt Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Image via Shutterstock According to the 2013 BrandZ Top 100 report, tech companies hold the top three slots in this year’s list of top global brands — Apple, Google and IBM leading the pack in that order. Microsoft rolls in at number 7 on the list.There’s big money in them thar brands, too. The ClickZ report pegs Apple’s brand as worth $185.1 billion, up 1% from last year. Google rose more from last year, up 5% to a brand worth of $113.7 billion. IBM’s brand shrank 3% to $112.5 billion and Microsoft shrank even more: 9% down to $69.8 billion.These valuations are based on proprietary valuation methods, so take them with a grain of salt. Still, it’s interesting to see how marketing views the power of the almighty brand.Check out BrandZ’s technology sector rankings to see how your favorite companies stack up against each other. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Wearables find themselves increasingly going to work

first_imgThe enterprise market might be the new battleground for wearable suppliers, as more organizations start to implement wellness programs for their employees.Research firm Tractica said 83 percent of tech leaders allow wearable technology at work, and the majority of those firms are looking to embed this tech to the company in some way—usually through a corporate wellness program.See Also: In a world worn out on wearables, China still likes themAugmented reality devices are also popular amongst high-end manufacturing firms, which can provide 3D CAD models to assist workers on the factory floor. The augmented reality can also give assistance if a worker is stuck, showing step-by-step guides from experts.Fitness trackers and smartwatches can double up as authentication in some workplaces, removing the need for a security card. With the addition of NFC, workers will not have to scan the device to be allowed access to a secure location.Tractica sees the corporate wearable market exploding in the next few years, from 166,000 units in 2013 to 27.5 million in 2020. It’s still behind the consumer market, but some wearables are now being built with the enterprise market in mind.Fitibit’s corporate wellness program thrivingFitbit, the largest consumer wearable company, has a thriving corporate wellness program. It added over 1000 companies this year to the program, which gives companies a way to keep their employees fit and know of any illnesses.Privacy advocates have called out the emergence of the wearable enterprise market, which lets your employer see health, fitness, and other personal data. Some worry that in the wrong hands, it may be used to push employees even further and sack them if illness strikes.Fitbit and the few other wearable suppliers have said they keep personal information under lock and key, but as new, less well known brands enter the marketplace, there is a risk of the tech becoming commonplace while the privacy boundaries are lowered. Follow the Puck Tags:#Augmented Reality#enterprise#fitness tracker#smartwatch#wearables#wellness program David Curry Related Posts center_img Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to… Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaceslast_img read more

5 Tips for Protecting Your FinTech Data Assets

first_imgRelated Posts Tags:#data and security#Finance#Fintech#technology How Blockchain Changes Nowadays Business Security Ryan Ayers Nasdaq’s automated quotations in the mid-seventies and online shopping in the mid-eighties were disruptive technologies for financial field. The latest disruptive fintech innovation, cryptocurrency, is gaining popularity with consumers, businesses and governmental bodies. Large corporations and governments are particularly interested in the underlying technology of cryptocurrency called blockchain. In fact, many organizations have launched initiatives to test the feasibility of using blockchain to facilitate accurate, fast and secure transactions.The Latest Disruptive Technology in FintechWhile the future of cryptocurrency is ambiguous, past performance indicates that the high-tech financial instrument has a bright future. For instance, the value of one Bitcoin rose from $280 in 2015 to $1,000 in two short years, and by the end of 2017, the value surged to a phenomenal $17,000 per Bitcoin coin.However, the currency also is attracting the attention of cybercriminals, who see a burgeoning market with widespread security flaws. The following excerpts provide 5 helpful tips to help cryptocurrency owners protect their fintech and data assets.Tip 1: Don’t Provide Your Private Information in Public ForumsPhone porting is a technique commonly executed by cyberthieves. For this kind of attack, hackers lurk on social media platforms where cryptocurrency investors might leave sensitive information, such as phone numbers and email addresses, to connect with other investors. After acquiring a target, the hacker calls the unwitting investor’s phone service provider, poses as a victim and has the number ported to a mobile device in their possession. Now the hacker can enter the victim’s cryptocurrency exchange account, reset the password and abscond with funds as desired. Using this method, hackers can steal thousands of dollars in minutes.Tip 2: Make It Harder for Hackers to Hijack Your AccountCoinbase cryptocurrency VP of Operations Dan Romero recommends disabling SMS account recovery as an additional defense against phone porting attacks. He also recommends using a coin vault and enabling two-factor authentication for sending funds off of the exchange. When it comes to discussing cryptocurrencies in public, Romero recommends against it, especially online where anyone can target an investor for theft. It’s also a good idea to implement all available security options with your cell phone service provider, such as adding an account passcode and requesting a “do not port” order for your phone. Finally, warns the operations VP, while cryptocurrency exchanges take security seriously, they are not banks and should not be treated as such.Tip 3: Don’t Put All of Your Crypto Eggs in One BasketFor optimal protection of your fintech assets, Internet security specialist Sanjay Beri recommends diversifying digital financial holdings among several exchanges to limit investor exposure in the event of a cyberattack. Also, suggests the security expert, investors should keep their cryptocurrency stored offline in what’s called a cold wallet. This limits the access that hackers have to investors’ currency. For daily transactions, Beri recommends a separate hot wallet. In essence, remarks the security expert, a hot wallet is like a checking account, and a cold wallet is like a savings account.Tip 4: Exchange Your Currency With CautionChief Technology Officer and founder of 0x (zero-x), Amir Bandeali, recommends that cryptocurrency investors use centralized exchanges only if they make frequent transactions, and when trading tokens on platforms such as Ethereum, he suggests sticking with decentralized exchanges. The primary difference between the two, he explains, is that decentralized exchanges don’t hold users’ cryptocurrency. Unless a hacker somehow manages to acquire to a user’s private key, there’s no way for them to gain access investors’ funds.Tip 5: Don’t Forget the BasicsWhile making use of the most basic security measures seems like a no-brainer, many investors fall prey to hackers because they neglected to follow basic security measures. For instance, cryptocurrency investors should set up a separate account for each exchange. This way, if a hacker does gain access to the account, they won’t be able to poke around and access other sensitive assets. Also, investors should use strong passwords for their accounts, and keep them stored securely as a hardcopy, and only the account holder should have access to the hardcopy password list.The most aggressive hackers will search relentlessly for cryptocurrency exploits. To ensure the safety of this new and powerful financial instrument, the cryptocurrency market needs highly qualified specialists who can help investors prevent unauthorized access to their accounts. As the popularity of cryptocurrency rises, so will the need for cyber security experts who can thwart the attacks of persistent cyber thieves.Sources:University of North Dakota – Master of Science in Cyber SecurityNortheastern University – Guide to the Rise of Cryptocurrency, Digital Currency and BitcoinThe New York Times – The Evolution of Financial TechCNBC – This is how you can protect your cryptocurrencies from hackers Ryan Ayers is a researcher and consultant within multiple industries including information technology, blockchain and business development. Always up for a challenge, Ayers enjoys working with startups as well as Fortune 500 companies. When not at work, Ayers loves reading science fiction novels and watching the LA Clippers. Why is Bitcoin Soaring? Blockchain – Impending Revolution in Glob… ToyBox and PlayTable Partner Together For Block…last_img read more

5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle Accidents

first_imgTags:#adaptive technology#automated transport#IoT Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Follow the Puck Professional Digital Marketer and Blogger. Contributing writer to authoritative publications online. Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Do you know that about 1.25 million people lose their lives as a result of road crashes annually? It is also worthy to note that between 20 to 50 million more suffer injuries with a lot resulting in lifetime disabilities. These injuries have caused considerable economic losses to individuals, families, and nations at large.With the invention of IoT, this loss of lives and money can be reduced.IoT is an ideal software component that connects physical and everyday devices to the internet. Devices built based on IoT are capable of communicating with each other over the internet, and they can be controlled to perform different operations.IoT can help to ensure secure and safe transportation. This is because IoT systems are controlled by event-driven applications that take inputs either as sensed data, user input or other external triggers. These data are taken by different inbuilt sensors (a sensor is a sophisticated device that is frequently used to detect and respond to electrical and other signals). The user data obtained is converted into physical and measurable parameters. Examples of sensors used include a smoke detector, motion sensor, contact sensor and so on. With the help of IoT, the sensors update the data at regular intervals and send them to the administrators to notify the user in case of any dangerous change.IoT can help to reduce automatic vehicle accidents through the following ways.1. Signaling the administrators to control the activities of the vehicle:Physical condition and performances of drivers are analyzed and monitored in case of danger; the administrators are notified. With the help of IoT, drowsiness and tiredness of drivers are monitored. The blood content is also analyzed to detect the presence of alcohol.Also, the distraction of drivers is monitored. This can be accomplished through the use of face monitoring camera. The camera is a prototype embedded system and sensor technology that is used to measure vital parameters during a car ride.The camera measures factors such as head pose and blink rate. The measurements also indicate the driver’s attentiveness or excitement level. The collected information allows a conclusion to be drawn on the user’s driving behavior.Moreso, weariness, and microsleep at the wheel are often the cause of most serious accidents. However, the signs of fatigue can be detected before a critical situation arises. Driver’s drowsiness can be detected by monitoring the steering movement. In cases where driver’s drowsiness has been detected, administrators are signaled, hence the distraction warning system is enabled.2. Diagnosing the condition of the vehicle:Regulatory enforcement ensures that vehicles traversing on a particular road network are safe and reliable. With the help of IoT, vehicles can undergo real-time monitoring. Several options facilitate IoT context.The following data can be measured and recorded to know the condition of a particular vehicle:Exhaust gas temperatureAmbient temperatureGas flow velocityVehicle speedVehicle tilt angleEngine revolutionElectric currentWhen the condition of a vehicle is diagnosed and known, the vehicle will always be in good condition.This is because of notification is gotten whenever there is any damage, hence enhancing the user to repair the vehicle quickly, thus preventing an accident.3. Avoiding Collision:A vehicular collision may occur between vehicle to vehicle, vehicle to human or even vehicle to structure. Through the use of Inter Vehicular communications, a vehicle can communicate with it’s surrounding.For example, when a vehicle is moving too close to another vehicle, the user is notified of the possible collision. Through the use of IoT, a specific distance is recorded as the safe distance between the vehicle and another vehicle or the vehicle and a particular structure. Once this distance is not maintained, the driver is notified of possible danger hence calling the driver back to order and preventing accidents.4. Monitoring the location of Vehicles:Tracking system using IoT is a technology used to obtain the specific location of vehicles using special methods such as GPS navigation. The system is a known system of retrieving vehicles. This is beneficial in monitoring the location of a vehicle to notify the user of the possible danger that is ahead of them.These dangers may include frozen roads, damaged roads, or a scene of pre-occurred accidents. The overseers notify users around the danger zone to warn them of the situation of the environment. This will help to prevent accidents since the drivers are aware of the condition of the area and they tend to divert. 5. Notifying the overseers whenever the system is faulty:IoT helps to send information to the appropriate quarters. For instance, when a vehicle has been tampered with, the user isn’t always aware of this developed fault unless they are told.The information collected by the sensors installed in the vehicle is sent over the internet through the help of IoT and hence, a registered number of the user will send a notification to be aware of the condition of the vehicle. This awareness helps to prevent accidents since the user will repair the vehicle before using.ConclusionConnected vehicles through the help of IoT will help to reduce accidents. Due to its highly sophisticated mode of operation, accidents can be foreseen and prevented.A vehicle that is operating with IoT is one that can help to save lives.In years to come, the safety of road users will be assured since accidents would be a rare occurrence. Loss of lives due to faults and ignorance will be as antique as Black and White movie in the future since self-driven vehicles will soon be introduced. Sunday AdenekanDigital Marketer Trends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industrylast_img read more

Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs Conquering Pain With Backmate

first_imgWhat it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Trends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industry Deanna RitchieManaging Editor at ReadWrite Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts Follow the Puck We ordered the Backmate — for the office because many of us work eight to ten hour days and more hours if we are under a deadline. Living your life on a computer all day and into the evening hour causes pain. Butts hurt, shoulders ache, the neck — is pure agony (and we’re not on the phone), legs get cramps — soreness is a daily ritual. Our boss has us ride the Peleton bike for 20 minutes every day — but then — the Backmate arrived. We think as Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, we’ll be conquering overworking pain with Backmate.I am the only person in the office who is not a millennial — and that fact sort of hurts my feelings. I have sustained many injuries through the years, broken back and tailbone — sledding — then injured again — skiing — now I sit on that all day writing and editing. The Backmate arrived. I demanded my spot with the Backmate first, as I feel it is my right. The guys were — well — shoving me out of the way (we are kind of like family with each other, having worked together for many years). Everyone had a story of injury — “mine is the worst” they’d claim. Through the years I have witnessed some of these severe injuries occur — so I knew what they were saying was the truth.Eric Bostrom is demonstrating (below) the need for a Backmate — and why he worked years to perfect this system.I threw up this pic for the office peeps to see. “Well, none of you have had something like this.” But, you see, more than one of us in our office have had a severe spine, head, neck, arm, leg and foot injuries.Backmate is running a Kickstarter Campaign — let’s help them out.We set our watches for a two-minute tryout and then the next person would get on the Backmate. But, those guys are such cheaters; they would not get off at their allotted time. Frankly — I was trying to work — and I got sick of their moaning (how good the Backmate felt). I was concerned with a couple of, well, chubby office peeps using the Backmate before I got my turn. No worries there, the Backmate is very sturdy and tough as it needs to be. Do you know those scenes on TV where the cops kick in doors? This piece of equipment could withstand one of those karate kicks.All the people in the office wanted “their time” on the Backmate rollers.Thinking to get the “rodents” off the Backmate, I said, “Okay, you can earn this much if you come up with a full body workout.” We now have at least five or six full body workouts that can be done with this one piece of equipment. You figure out what all of the physical therapy people have had you do for exercise. You go over what all the surgeons have done with you, and for you — and the practices they’ve recommended for healing.Armed with this knowledge — you can come up with what will heal your own personal type injury. You’ll see and feel what can be done on the Backmate for you to become well again — and free your pain.Take a moment to notice where the pain is in your body, noting the old injury. Check out that kink on the other side of your body — that pain spot is from you protecting the old injury. As you know, that spot on your body has horrible pain too.We all began to feel the relief — but more than that — the collective sigh said what we were all thinking. “We are finally going to get the relief for which we have been searching.”I’ve been in a pain clinic for 20 years but had to wean myself off the meds. First, I can’t afford the meds and the clinic bills anymore — but secondly — the meds were affecting my job. I missed important details at work. You can’t remember the details in tech and have your brain muddled with any substance.My current sleep routine consists of stretching, put my legs in the leg massager, stick on the tens unit (cost of stickies, and sometimes I get sores from the stick on pads (you hear me, I know). Then I take a few Advil, and lie in front of the exact same movie I’ve watched for years — hoping to bore myself to sleep.After trying out the Backmate, the boss said, “We’ve gotta help this guy (Eric Bostrom), this thing is fantastic — write something.”It can be moved in one motion from top to bottom.The Backmate sets up in any doorway in seconds and provides fast relief from back and neck pain; it relieves stress; it helps sore muscles. The Backmate is easy on, easy off. We haven’t taken ours down at the office.Start and end your self-massage in any place you feel pain or tightness.We’ve found headache relief using the Backmate on the neck. I like to put the Backmate low to the ground for my neck. Then I lie on a yoga mat – and move my neck along the rollers.Ultimately, I doubt I’ll ever be completely out of pain — but the Backmate — has given me hope for pain relief, and that I can work toward greater flexibility. We’ve only had the Backmate for just over a week. But, for the first time, I have hope that I can use this exercise roller before I go to bed — and be able to lie down and sleep. I used the Backmate at the office yesterday and laid down on the office couch and went to sleep, actual sleep – a real miracle. I’m ordering one for my home — we all are going to make this happen.With the Backmate, I know I’ll be okay. I’ll let you know how it goes with the Backmate. I’m counting on it! Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content development. Tags:#Kickstarter#kickstarter campaign#pain#pain relief last_img read more

How to Better Defend Against Cyber Threats

first_imgAI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage 2019 is half over, and cybercriminals are on the prowl. As internet, mobile, and IoT technologies become more pervasive, the vulnerable points that hackers can target have increased. Companies can’t simply patch these vulnerabilities and relax. Cybercrime is a constantly evolving threat, and your strategy needs to continually adapt to the latest dangers.The first half of the year provided object lessons in how imminent these threats are. Since January, we’ve seen data privacy breaches at U.S. Customs and Border Protection and increasing incidents of ransomware targeting industrial firms. One of the most serious cybersecurity incidents of the year didn’t even require hackers. In May, it was revealed that First American, a real estate and title insurance firm, had 885 million customer financial records publicly available on its website.Aside from violating customers’ trust, these events are costly — customer data has become a commodity in its own right. Although some breaches feel inevitable, best practices can limit the damage significantly. The New York Times reported that handling cybersecurity the right way — including encrypting data properly and employing a well-trained staff — can reduce the costs of a breach by 47%.3 Steps to Fight Cybercrime Into Next YearCybersecurity is just one component of your data and technology mission. Providing an engaging user experience, empowering your employees, and complying with data regulations are also critical. But without robust security, all that is built on a house of cards.If you want to be a cyber-savvy leader, learn from the first half of 2019 as you revamp your cybersecurity efforts.1. Harden remote access.When it comes to business technology, remote access is a blessing and a curse. It allows remote workers and vendors to access the systems they need to do their jobs, but it also opens the door to cybercriminals. In fact, 86% of executives think data is more at risk when employees work remotely. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce that risk. The key is having employees work on your secure network, no matter where they’re physically working.One of your best options is to use virtual private networks (VPNs), which enable employees to stay off public networks. Another approach is to provide more personalized access through a privileged access management (PAM) solution rather than a VPN. A PAM system gives you more detailed or specific control. In comparison, a VPN is essentially all-or-nothing access for your team. For instance, a PAM solution makes it possible to cut off access to terminated employees or set up alerts and session tracking. Decide how many different levels of access you need internally to determine which of these two routes is best.2. Prioritize IoT security.As the IoT explodes, hackers are targeting these devices and their systems. It’s often too late to patch a device after a security vulnerability has been discovered. For that reason, Trend Micro is pitching in to help companies get it right before IoT devices go to market with its Zero Day Initiative, which provides a team of researchers to vet IoT devices submitted from manufacturers. Efforts like this help ensure that the IoT devices you implement aren’t making it easier for hackers to access your systems and data. To further harden IoT offerings, implement two-factor authentications for network access, in which an SMS code or other means to verify the device is used. As Heitor Faroni, director of solutions marketing for the Network Business Division at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, explains, “Many IoT devices are not designed with security in mind and consequently have little to no integrated security capabilities. The best way is to minimize the risks is to take a multi-layer security approach. It starts at the user and device level, making sure that every user and device is recognized, authenticated, and authorized.” Two-factor authentication will help keep hackers off your network. 3. Surpass compliance standards.Data privacy regulations, such as Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), are a step in the right direction for cybersecurity. Adhering to the letter of these laws — or even surpassing them — can go a long way toward fulfilling your mission. “Going above and beyond what the regulations require ensures that data is protected — and can be a powerful driver of performance,” says David Wagner, president and CEO of Zix, a leader in email security. “The key is to make the compliance part easy so that companies can focus on turning new regulations into opportunities to discover new strengths.”Start by collecting information on your operations, documenting carefully how you process data and any vulnerabilities. Such a record is a requirement of the GDPR, so it’s both a smart idea and a necessary step. And separate your compliance and security teams. Sure, both teams are working toward the same end goal, but they’ll take different actions to work toward that goal. Your compliance team should focus on documentation to show that you’re following compliance regulations. Meanwhile, your security team should focus on any efforts that enhance the security of your company’s systems and private information. To fend off ever-increasing cybersecurity threats, make sure your company applies the latest patches, fortifies its networks, takes IoT concerns seriously, and complies with all privacy regulations. Companies that fail to do so are courting disaster in the form of brand-damaging breaches, fines, lawsuits, and more. Fortunately, with the array of tools and knowledge available, it’s possible to make your operations much more secure. Tags:#business protection#business security#cyber threats#cyberattacks#cybersecurity#hackers#IT#Leadership Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at Leveraging Big Data that Data Websites Should T… Related Posts Brad AndersonEditor In Chief at ReadWrite Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… How Data Analytics Can Save Liveslast_img read more

Guilt and Caregiving Go Hand in Hand

first_imgBlog post written by Mary Brintnall-Peterson, Ph.D., MBP Consulting, LLC, Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-ExtensionWhen I find myself in a caregiver role, due to my husband’s chronic medical condition, feelings of guilt are often with me. When I lash out at my husband or when I don’t react in a kind and loving way I feel guilty. When I go through my list of “what ifs”, “if onlys” and “should,” guilt surfaces. I learned in a caregiver class that guilt is natural for caregivers, but knowing that doesn’t take my guilt away! In fact, I think as caregivers, we have a tendency to feel guilty when anything goes wrong. It’s natural for us to feel responsible for what is happening to our loved one, even if we have no control over or responsibility for the situation.The instructor of the caregiver class went on to explain that many times what I thought was guilt was really regret. Guilt involves saying or doing something that causes someone to be hurt or wronged. Guilt occurs when you have some responsibility or control over the situation. Regret is wishing that things or the situation could be different. It is a feeling of disappointment or distress when a situation is not the way you would like.Here’s an example – a friend called me last week and said she was feeling guilty because John, her husband who was recovering from an infection in his amputated leg, fell while she was at the grocery store. I asked her if she had caused John to fall and she responded NO. Next, I asked her if going to the grocery store made John fall? She said, “of course not” – so my response to her was “why are you feeling guilty?” I explained that she was actually feeling regret about John falling and not guilt as she had nothing to do with his fall.The class I took taught me that guilt can be a difficult and painful emotion and that too much can be harmful, therefore I need to correctly identify guilt. When I feel guilty I ask myself two questions:Is there a direct cause and effect relationship between what I did or failed to do and the resulting harm to someone?Did I do something wrong or say something I shouldn’t have said that resulted in someone being hurt?If the answer to these questions is yes, then I explore ways to react to my guilt feelings by doing one or more of the following:Admitting responsibility for what I did or said.Apologizing and/or asking for forgiveness from the person I’ve hurt, harmed or wronged.Attempting to make the situation better.Talking with a friend who can help me come to terms with my feelings by being understanding and supportive.Identifying and understanding my responsibilities as a caregiver. I try to make sure I have realistic expectations of what I can and can’t do.Focusing on what I have done that is positive, good and right. By doing this, it helps me counter balance my feelings of guilt.Learning from my experience and trying not to make the same mistake again.Realizing I am human and make mistakes, especially when I am under a lot of stress.Seeking professional help if my guilt persists and consumes my thoughts.I hope that what I’ve shared makes sense to you and is helpful as you figure out whether you’re feeling guilt or regret and how to deal with your guilt. The bottom line is that taking care of our guilt is one way, as caregivers, to take care of ourselves. You are not alone on your caregiver journey, so hang in there and remember you are doing the best you can!This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on August 14, 2015.last_img read more

Premiere Pro’s New Item Button and What It Can Do For You

first_imgFrom captions to adjustment layers, Premiere Pro’s new item button offers up a plethora of tools.Top image via Shutterstock. The new item button in Premiere Pro‘s project panel offers eleven items to improve your video editing workflow. Let’s take a closer look at each of those items.SequenceThe first item on the new item button list allows you to create a new sequence. Create a new sequence based on a preset, or customize your sequence with unique video and audio settings — even specific track configurations. If you want to reuse your customized settings, then simply save out a sequence preset.Offline FileYou can create an offline file to use as a placeholder for an unfinished effect or animation shot. When creating a new offline file, you have the option to customize video and audio settings.Adjustment LayerUse adjustment layers to add effects to multiple clips at any given time. For instance, I can add an adjustment layer, and then add a video effect, such as brightness and contrast. The effect will change all layers beneath the adjustment layer.TitleSelecting title from the new item button drop-down menu will launch the title designer window. Here, you can create all kinds of different graphic elements, including basic text and shapes. Stick to simple text, or go wild with title styles and title properties.Bars and ToneIf you’re working in broadcasting, you might need to add bars and tone when delivering your content. Bars and tone allow video engineers and master control operators to meet broadcast standards. You can find HD bars and tone further down the new item list.Black VideoBlack video appears on the timeline as a still image. Use black video to fill in gaps in your sequence or as a transition between several layers of video clips. Simply place a short clip of black video in the top layer, and then add a cross dissolve to the clip.CaptionsYou can now quickly and easily create open or closed captions inside Premiere Pro. Captions are simply text over video. Open captions burn the text into your final video export, while closed captions can be an external file, which allows your audience to turn the captions on or off.Color MatteA color matte can come in handy when working with graphics. You can match the color of an asset and then quickly create a background to match. In fact, create a background with any color you prefer.Universal Counting LeaderA universal counting leader helps check that your audio and video stay synchronized during playback. You can customize your counting leader to your heart’s content, including video settings and the actual color scheme of the leader.Transparent VideoUse transparent video when you want to use a video effect that generates its own image and preserves transparency. The timecode effect is an excellent example. Create a transparent video clip, add the timecode effect and extend the clip to whatever length you need.Do you have any Premiere Pro tips? Let us know in the comments.last_img read more

7 Reasons Why You Need a Producer for Your Documentary

first_imgGetting ready to shoot a documentary film? Here are seven reasons why you absolutely need a producer to help guide your project.It takes a certain kind of crazy to want to be a documentary filmmaker. Documentaries by nature are open-ended, undefined, and very often chaotic. Schedules change, things go wrong, and storylines develop in new directions.If you do try to run-and-gun it yourself, here are some great insights into the shooter-producer-editor (shreditor) mentality. But if you want to save your sanity — and really take your documentary filmmaking to its full potential — here are seven reasons you need a producer on your next documentary project.1. Frame Your StoryIf you’re seriously considering a producer for your documentary (especially if you’ll be working with one for the first time), you should absolutely connect with one from the very get-go. A good producer can help you define your narrative, set your scope, and ultimately frame your documentary story. Finding the subject(s) will always be up to you, but if you have a strong producer by your side (whom you trust), you can start framing your documentary right away.2. Grants and FundsFor many documentary filmmakers, one sad realization about this career is the amount of time filmmakers must spend applying for grants and funds. Unless you’re independently wealthy, your documentary will usually need grant funding (from universities, non-profits, or filmmaking programs).Very often, to get said grants, you (with the help of your producer) need to submit many forms, proposals, and in-depth pitches for what your documentary will cover — as well as the scope of its production and budget. Here are some good insights to keep in mind when applying for grants.3. Coordinate InterviewsImage via Natee Meepian.A critical element of most documentaries is hours and hours of interviews. While there are exceptions (like the cinéma vérité non-interview style), most documentary projects will need anywhere from a few to hundreds of interview subjects. In an ideal situation, a documentary producer would be the one setting up all of these interviews, including contacting sources, setting schedules, finding locations (more on that below), assembling the production crew, and eventually running said interviews.4. Location ScoutingAnother big part of the producer’s job is location scouting and management. Interviews can be the more straightforward part of documentary production, especially if you do the majority of them in one space and with one setup. However, interviews are also often necessary in a number of locations with many different setups.B-roll makes it even more difficult, as shooting footage of a subject in action requires understanding locations. Ideally you would record any B-roll in locations already scouted, primed, and prepared for documentary filmmaking.5. Paperwork and ReleasesImage via guruXOX.That being said, documentaries can also end up requiring run-and-gun recordings and interviews in the craziest of situations. In many of those, it’s up to the producer to get any last-minute releases signed and addressed. A good producer should be up to date on all matters of privacy law and fair use.The last thing you want is to shoot some great documentary footage only to find out later that it is unusable due to an unsigned release or erroneous paperwork.6. Manage Your EditIt’s one thing to edit a documentary that you shot yourself. It’s another to shoot a documentary then hand it off to someone else to edit. In many instances, the producer is in charge of taking documentary footage and finding (and streamlining) the entire editing process. This requires taking careful notes before and during production, as well as coordinating everything from backups to timelines to visual effects.7. Promote and DistributeFinally, once you have a documentary film ready to go, you’ll need help to get it promoted and distributed. The funding, production, and distribution of documentaries is constantly changing. If you’re looking to make it into festivals and find distribution, a producer is a valuable resource for creating strong submissions and organizing press materials.However, if your project is better off self-distributed, a producer is also very helpful for both grassroots and online promotion to get your documentary in front of the right audiences.Cover image by guruXOX.For more documentary and film production tips and insights, check out some of these articles.How To Find the Right Subject for Your DocumentaryInterview: Filmmaker Bradley Olsen and His FCPX Documentary “Off the Tracks”7 Reasons You Should “Script” Your Documentary ProjectsDistribution Tips from Documentary Filmmaker Scott ThurmanA Complete Guide to Documentary Filmmakinglast_img read more

How to Professionally Poison The Well

first_imgSpeaking poorly about your competitors is poor form. It can make you look petty, jealous, and; as if you are trying to build yourself up by tearing them down. That said, you do need to be able to differentiate yourself and your offering from your competitor’s.One way to do this is to speak highly of your competitors as individuals and companies, and attack their business model instead (I mean “business model” in the broadest sense here). The fact of the matter is, your competitors are doing good work or they wouldn’t have the clients they have, and a lot of the people that work there are smart, hardworking people. It’s also true that they do things differently, and those differences are not insignificant.The best time to inform your prospective client that your price is higher is as early in the process as possible. It’s also the best time to educate your dream client as to why your price is higher, how it results in better results, how it results in a lower cost, and why you have made different choices from your competitors.This is how you ensure every competitor with a lower price is recognized as requiring your prospective client to make concessions, or poison the well.If your prospect invests less in areas important to producing the results your dream client needs, explain that many people in your industry (not naming names) make much lower investments in these areas so they can provide the lower price. Then explain why those investments are important, and how a lower investment puts their results at risk.You also explain that you do some things differently than your competitors. If there are things that you do that are necessary to producing better outcomes, you need to explain what they are and why you go to the extra effort. Then you have to explain that other companies make different choices and that you have discovered that choices require concessions that your clients are unwilling to make. This is why you do things; it is what is truly necessary.As you share these ideas, you are providing your prospective client with an understanding of their choices, and the questions they are going to ask your lower priced competitors. You are also establishing yourself as differentiated, better, and worth paying more to obtain. The time to establish this is early, and the longer you wait to do so, the less effective this approach will be.You may not win this game every time. But you will win more often, and you will sell at margins that allow you to deliver the outcomes you sell.last_img read more

Steven E. Landsburg on Philosophy, Economics, and Making Better Decisions – Episode #118

first_img Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Now Tweets you can use to share this episodeTHIS method of making better decisions may not be common, but you can hear more about it on this episode of #InTheArena hosted by @iannarino and featuring @StevenLandsburg. Listen now!Click To TweetThe obvious answer to a problem isn’t always the best answer – learn how to make better decisions from author and famed economist @StevenLandsburg, all on this episode of #InTheArena hosted by @iannarino. Listen now!Click To TweetSubscribe toIn the ArenaApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAndroidby EmailRSSOr subscribe with your favorite app by using the address below Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 36:26 — 29.3MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSSMaking better decisions – in business and in life – is one of the top goals for many people. On this episode of In The Arena, Anthony interviews author and professor Steven E. Landsburg, a global expert in economics, philosophy, and the science behind rational decision making. Steven and Anthony dig into why people make poor decisions and rationalize them afterward, as well as seek out the answer to why people are irrational in predictable ways. You’ll hear insider information behind the thought experiments in Steven’s latest book, “Can You Outsmart an Economist?” and it’s an episode not to be missed. Listen now!Author @StevenLandsburg & @iannarino dig into why people make poor decisions & rationalize them afterward, as well as seek out the answer to why people are irrational in predictable ways, all on this ep of #InTheArena. Listen now!Click To TweetThought experiments such as this one demonstrate how people make rational, or irrational, decisionsSteven’s newest book is full of logic puzzles that are sure to entertain and educate. He and Anthony walk through one on this episode. Let’s say you have 2 urns, each filled with black and white balls. The first urn is filled with 70% white and 30% black balls. The second is filled with 30% white and 70% black balls. You pick one of the urns at random, pull out 12 balls, and 4 of them are white while 8 are black. Which urn did you select from?Most people decide that they were 40% likely to pull from the predominately white urn and 60% likely to pull from the predominately black urn. However, the most rational conclusion is that you had a 98% chance of pulling from the predominately black urn. Why? Be sure to listen to this episode for the full explanation.The key to making better decisions lies in understanding our own biases and downfallsSteven has learned through decades of research that most people are irrational, but that they’re irrational in predictable ways. People have a habit of simply “going with their gut” and not evaluating all of the options. Steven encourages people to think smarter about their decisions, and by starting with this question, you can be well on your way to becoming a more rational thinker. Ask yourself, “Do I have any reason to trust my own opinion more than the opinion of someone else, who has been thinking about this problem as hard as I have?” This question can shed valuable light on questions you’re asking about real estate, finances, sales, marketing, and more. If you always suspect that people think differently than you do when it comes to big decisions, you can be better prepared to consider the viewpoints you might have otherwise overlooked.People have a habit of simply “going with their gut” when making decisions & not evaluating all of the options. Learn how to combat this tendency on this ep of #InTheArena featuring author & economist @StevenLandsburg, hosted by @iannarino. Check it out!Click To TweetThe obvious answer to a problem isn’t always the best answerSo many people revert to the most obvious answer to a statement. They fall into a trap of going with the first explanation that comes to mind, but Steven and Anthony counter this tendency on this episode. Steven outlines an example scenario, based on systems that allow students to rate their professors on their ability to teach well. Studies have shown that good-looking professors almost always score higher than average-looking professors. Many people would conclude that it’s because students are simply shallow and that they only notice looks.However, Steven offers the idea of good-looking people who choose to be professors are inherently better at teaching than average-looking counterparts. This could be because of the multitude of additional career opportunities for good-looking individuals (acting, modeling, etc.). Thus, great-looking people who choose to teach may be exceptionally interested in the craft of teaching, and therefore do it exceptionally well. This method of deductive reasoning may not be common, but you can hear more about it on this episode of In The Arena.Your invitation to the very best sales conference you’ve ever attendedThe OutBound Conference is like no other sales conference you’ve attended…. and for two days of stellar content that moves your sales success forward, the ticket price is ridiculously low. The conference addresses something no other event does – how to keep your pipeline full of high-value prospects. Four giants in the sales world, Anthony Iannarino, Mark Hunter, Mike Weinberg, and Jeb Blount bring you the sessions and you’ll also be led through your choice of sixteen high-impact training tracks delivered by today’s top speakers, authors, and experts. Join Anthony and his friends in Atlanta, April 23-26, 2019. Get your tickets here: and famed economist @StevenLandsburg talks with @iannarino about philosophy, economics, and better decision making on this episode of #InTheArena – be sure to give this one your full attention!Click To TweetOutline of this great episode Are people rational, and do they make rational decisions? This thought experiment can demonstrate how people make rational, or irrational, decisions Making rational decisions isn’t as easy as people are led to believe This thought experiment explains why certain groups have more political clout than others The obvious answer to a problem isn’t always the best answer Final thoughts from Steven on students, teaching, and college admissionsResources & Links mentioned in this episodeSteven’s websiteThe Big Questions websiteSteven’s publishing page BOOK: “Can You Outsmart an Economist?”BOOK: “More Sex Is Safer Sex: The Unconventional Wisdom of Economics”BOOK: “The Armchair Economist: Economics and Everyday Life”BOOK: “The Big Questions: Tackling the Problems of Philosophy with Ideas from Mathematics, Economics, and Physics”Marginal Revolution blogScott Aaronson’s blogOvercoming Bias blogDaniel C. Dennett philosopherAuthor Jamie WhyteOutBound conferenceSPONSOR: MailTag.IOThe theme song “Into the Arena” is written and produced by Chris Sernel. 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