Twitter Ad Revenue May Triple This Year to $150 Million

first_imgThe Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Related Posts A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Twitter’s revenue from advertising may hit $150 million this year, according to estimates from eMarketer, a figure that certainly goes a long way to answering one of the company’s perennial questions: “what’s your revenue model?” eMarketer says it’s “cautiously optimistic” about Twitter’s new ad products and predicts that the microblogging platform may see a threefold increase in revenue this year from the $45 million it brought in in 2010, the first year it sold advertising. That figure may grow to $250 million in 2012, according to the eMarketer forecast, as it rolls out a self-serve platform and develops its whole “promoted suite of products.” This suite includes promoted trends, promoted tweets, and promoted accounts.According to the eMarketer estimates, the vast majority of this revenue will come from the U.S.“If Twitter can grow its user base and convince marketers of its value as a go-to secondary player to Facebook, it will succeed in gaining revenue,” says Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer principal analyst. A “secondary player” indeed, but far behind the almost $2 billion in ad revenue that Facebook takes in.center_img Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification audrey watters Tags:#NYT#twitter#web last_img read more

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Basecamp Gets an Official Mobile Web App

first_imgRole of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … marshall kirkpatrick The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Related Posts center_img Prominent online project management service Basecamp has launched a free mobile web app, built in HTML5 and custom designed for users on a multitude of different handsets. It’s attractive, easy to use and hopefully a model that will be followed by 37Signals on its other apps like Backpack.Loading basecamphq.com on your mobile device will take you to the new version automatically. Makers of the several 3rd party Basecamp mobile apps, who were probably making a fair sum on their software, are unlikely to be pleased. I’m excited to use it though. I really hope it supports Backpack soon.The company says the web app will work on the following devices: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad, Motorola Droid X, Motorola Droid 2, Samsung Galaxy S, HTC Incredible, HTC Evo, Palm Pre 2, BlackBerry Torch, and any device running iOS 4+, Android 2.1+, webOS 2, or BlackBerry 6. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#mobile#web last_img read more

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What HP Really Announced: A Battle With Google Over the Cloud

first_imgRelated Posts Tags:#Apple#cloud computing#Google#mobile#web mike melanson HP held a big press event in San Francisco yesterday but not to show off a tablet, a phone, or a printer.  The company wanted to show the world its vision of the future.  HP is betting that in the future, the “cloud” isn’t a destination, it’s a medium, wires and jacks are outdated and the next step is seamless integration of all our devices.The big story yesterday was that this vision has HP positioning itself as a direct competitor to Google’s Chrome OS.The running theme throughout HP’s marathon two-hour announcement yesterday was this (trademarked) theme of “Synergy”. If you got a text message on your phone and it was within Bluetooth range, it would come through to your (newly purchased) TouchPad. If you held your phone up to your tablet, you could wirelessly transfer what you were doing on your tablet to your phone. Simply plop your phone on the  (again trademarked) “TouchStone” technology and you’re not only charging, but in a special preview mode that shows important dates and notifications. The language is all very clear: There’s no more “plug and play.” Everything is now as simple as a touch, if that.And then, at the end of all that friendly touching, HP dropped the real bomb – WebOS, its mobile operating system, would be coming out on its PCs as well. Suddenly, HP is offering an entire, synergetic ecosystem that communicates both through proximity and the cloud.What Was That About Google?Google has been on a similar path pushing users to the cloud. There are Chrome Web apps, the Chrome OS, and the prototype CR-48 that runs it. In Google’s vision, the OS disappears into the browser. It’s the all-in movement to the cloud, with “programs” giving way to “Web apps” and the idea of “hard drives” disappearing all together. Gmail talks with Google Docs which talks with Google Calendar, and so on. Google has managed to create a device-agnostic, cloud-based ecosystem that weans the user of local data storage and desktops, bringing them fully into the fold. Android devices can sync wirelessly – something we’re still waiting for with Apple – but HP stepped up the game. Surely, the vision is there but we haven’t fully seen it yet.Surely, Apple Sees the CloudApple offers a similar vision of the cloud, but it is still burdened by fraying sync cords and lost power plugs. (Did you know that that little cube USB adapter plug costs $30?) Apple has for-pay file sync services like MobileMe and still has not given its users the much-requested wireless syncing feature. Both Android and WebOS both boast the ability to sync your music library without a cord.With Apple, this sort of synergy is a long-standing promise that hasn’t come even close to being fulfilled. When I hold my iPhone up to my iPad, what happens? That’s right – nothing.Where HP Takes It One Step FurtherAt the end of the event, as we mentioned earlier, HP announced that it would be releasing PCs and laptops with WebOS. Two things are immediately obvious. First, whoah, there’s potentially a new OS on the block. Second, if we take what we saw with phones and tablets seamlessly communicating using bluetooth, we can expect that the same would be true for WebOS-based computers.The PC will become another member of HP’s “seamless integration.” Where HP really pulls away is the combined integration of sharing data over the cloud and initiating that sharing by proximity using Bluetooth. Now, none of this is to say that HP wins. Right now, the numbers are clear. WebOS had a 2% market share in the last quarter of 2010. Windows still accounts for nearly 90% of operating systems. iOS and Android blow WebOS clean out of the water and without even trying, Google has more users in its ecosystem than HP could currently hope for. If nothing else, HP put forth a bold vision of an ecosystem of devices that actually make sense. There’s nothing ragtag or disjointed about the entire affair. One talks to another talks to another, without asking if it needs to.While some of what HP showed today may be simple tricks that make everything seem far more connected – such as receiving SMS on your tablet when your phone is in the other room – they were the first to show off these simple tricks. It’s these sorts of tricks we’ve been waiting for from the likes of Google, Apple and Microsoft, but HP beat them all to the punch. Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagementcenter_img What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

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R-House is Still a Passivhaus Contender

first_imgLast spring we mentioned that construction was about to begin on the winners of a green-home competition called “From the Ground Up: Innovative Green Homes.” The contest was intended to showcase high-quality design, sustainability, and cost-effective building practices for single-family homes.The contest was established by Syracuse University’s School of Architecture in partnership with the Syracuse Center of Excellence and nonprofit housing and community groups Home HeadQuarters and the Near West Side Initiative. One of the key competition rules: limit construction costs to $150,000. The competition attracted entries from 52 design teams.The winning projects, which were sold before they were completed last summer, all came in close to 1,100 sq. ft. (excluding unconditioned basement space). For example, the single-story, flat-roofed Live Work Home, designed by Cook + Fox of New York City and Terrapin Bright Green of Washington, D.C., was built with structural insulated panels and an interior that can be modified to offer 1,100 to 1,363 sq. ft., depending on what combination of residential, small-business, and/or studio uses are required by the occupants.TED, another flex-space structure, was designed by Onion Flats of Philadelphia and built to 1,130 sq. ft. over three stories, with 2×6 stick construction and insulation to R-40 for exterior walls and R-60 for the roof.Airtight and on budget A recent post by Jetson Green brought our attention back to the contest’s remaining winner, R-House, a 1,100-sq.-ft. dwelling with a corrugated aluminum skin and design and construction details intended to bring it to the Passivhaus performance standard. Architecture Research Office and Della Valle Bernheimer, both in New York City, collaborated on the design, and HomeHeadquarters handled the construction.Dana Frankel of Della Valle Bernheimer noted in an e-mail to GBA that the house has not yet been through the Passivhaus certification process. Frankel did, however, provide a few performance details. The foundation – a slab over 8 in. of extruded polystyrene – is rated at R-44. The thermal resistance of the exterior walls and roof is R-66, with airtightness at 0.6 air changes per hour at 50 Pascals pressure difference. (The annual heat requirement, based on Passive House Planning Package calculations, is 15 kWh/m2∙a and the heat load is 16 W/m2.)The project team went with Thermotech R-5 Plus triple-pane windows, with glazing-only U-factors of 0.16 for the south-facing windows and 0.12 for all others. The glazing-only SHGC value is 61% on the south side of the house, 31% elsewhere.Even though Passivhaus certification has not yet been assured, R-House did attract the attention of the American Institute of Architects’ Housing Awards jury, which in 2010 honored the project with an AIA Award of Merit. “We were so happy to see that a Passive House entered,” wrote one juror. “It is strengthened by its highly functional and compact plan.”last_img read more

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A Green Building Conference in Montreal

first_img 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. This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Start Free Trial Already a member? Log incenter_img Although I live in the middle of nowhere, in the woods of the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, my house is only a two-and-a-half-hour drive from the cosmopolitan city of Montreal, Quebec. A few weeks ago I made the drive north to meet a few green builders from Quebec and to attend a green building conference called Ecohabitation 2014.Montreal is a fun city where it’s easy to buy a decent baguette. The city also offers the chance to sample delicious food prepared by Quebecois born in Lebanon, Tunisia, Mexico, India, and many other countries.I was invited to Montreal by Quebec’s Bureau of Energy Efficiency and Innovation, along with André Fauteux, the editor of a green building magazine called La Maison du 21è siècle. Shortly after I arrived, Fauteux graciously treated me to a meal at a Thai restaurant on Chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges. Our conversation ranged widely. Since we’re both editors, we have a lot in common — except for the fact that Fauteux believes that electromagnetic frequencies emitted by smart meters can injure human health. (I’m awaiting more data on that topic.)That evening, I heard a presentation by Louis-Philippe Thibault, one of the architects of Quebec’s Novoclimat program. Novoclimat is a Quebec-based program based in part on Canada’s R-2000 program. Like the Energy Star Homes program in the U.S., Novoclimat encourages builders to implement above-code approaches to energy efficiency.In the 15 years since the program was established in 1999, Novoclimat has certified over 21,000 new Quebec homes.One of the builders I spoke to before Thibault’s presentation was Alain Hamel, owner of A et A Construction in Saguenay, Quebec. Hamel pays attention to building science developments, monitors green building websites in two languages, and is fond of quoting Alex Wilson. He recently finished… last_img read more

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Nine Surprising Signs That Momentum Is Building for Climate Action

first_imgOther nations are making notable stridesWhile China is a pace setter, it is not alone. All told, global green energy investment jumped nearly 17 percent in 2014 from the previous year, topping an unprecedented $270 billion according to a UN-backed report.Examples of this investment abound. Oil-rich Dubai just announced a $3 billion solar project expansion. Mexico made a larger-than-anticipated pledge in 2014, to cap its carbon emissions by 2026 and to achieve a 22 percent reduction in global warming emissions by 2030. And other nations continue to break new ground in the race for a low-carbon future. In March, for instance, Costa Rica announced that its state-run electricity company had powered the country exclusively with renewable resources (including hydropower) for a record-breaking 75 consecutive days.Our world is still powered predominantly by burning fossil fuels and the imminent threats posed by climate impacts continue to grow. But make no mistake: with a growing catalog of developments like these, a cleaner and greener future is seeming more achievable than ever before. Regional emissions reduction plans are exceeding expectationsA new report from the nine states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) highlights the continuing success of the nation’s longest-running carbon market, showing that it really is possible to tackle our climate and energy challenges while delivering huge benefits to consumers.According to the report, RGGI states have successfully cut emissions by 40 percent since 2005 while their economies have grown by 8 percent. Meanwhile, the $1.4 billion in proceeds from their auctions of emissions credits have been invested in energy efficiency projects that will return more than $2.9 billion in lifetime energy savings to millions of households and businesses. In the year to come, look for other states to wake up to these figures — either by asking to join RGGI or by forging regional carbon trading plans of their own. Red states among wind and solar leadersDespite a lot of partisan talk in Washington, renewables are ramping up in many unexpected places. Consider, for example that, aside from California, North Carolina installed more solar photovoltaic systems last year than any other state in the country, with enough solar installations now to meet the needs of close to 100,000 homes. And Texas — a state practically synonymous with fossil fuel production — installed more wind turbines than any other state in 2014. Employing forward-thinking policy and investment, Texas nearly doubled its wind energy generation between 2009 and 2014 to now generate nearly 10 percent of its electricity from wind power. Record-breaking coal retirementsIn a report issued last month, Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecast “the largest wave of coal retirements in U.S. history.” This is good news for air pollution and the carbon emissions that drive global warming.According to the Bloomberg report, fully 7 percent of U.S. coal energy generation is expected to shut down in 2015, spurred by the onset of a key mercury emissions rule and also by tougher economic competition from other energy sources. The upshot, according to this hard-nosed energy forecast: a “fundamental reduction in coal’s share of the U.S. power mix” and a significant step toward reducing the nation’s carbon footprint. RELATED ARTICLES Hoping for a Climate Change BreakthroughTaking Action on Climate ChangeEarth Day 2014 and Climate ChangeIn the West, Drought Ends ‘Era of the Lawn’Half of All Americans Worry About Climate ChangeGood News Bad News With Climate ChangeSeeking Common Ground on Climate Change PolicyThe Uncertain Future of Phoenix and Las VegasScience, Climate Change, and Policy The Science of Global Warming Is Older Than Quantum MechanicsThe Connection Between Obesity and Climate ChangeAvoiding the Global Warming Impact of Insulation China is beating its own ambitious pledgeIn an agreement with the United States at the end of last year, China pledged to cap its carbon emissions by 2030 and increase its share of non-fossil fuels to around 20 percent in the same time period. While China has yet to publish the details of its plan, it appears to be moving even faster than its pledge would require.According to the latest figures, China burned less coal in 2014 than it did the previous year, the first such decline in decades. At the same time, as my colleague Michael Klare has noted, China increased its spending on renewable energy by an impressive 33 percent in 2014, investing a total of $83.3 billion. That’s the most a country has ever spent on renewables in a single year. The Pope is getting involvedPope Francis is laying the foundation for a substantive campaign to combat global warming and environmental degradation, with an imminent Vatican summit meeting and plans for a potentially influential encyclical on the subject this summer.The development shouldn’t be underestimated as a catalyst for change. As Timothy E. Wirth, vice chairman of the United Nations Foundation recently told The New York Times: “We’ve never seen a pope do anything like this. No single individual has a much global sway as he does. What he is doing will resonate in the government of any country that has a leading Catholic constituency.” In particular, the Pope’s exhortations on the subject are expected to speed climate action in some Latin American countries that have resisted getting involved up to now. Tea Party loyalists are revolting to back solar solutionsMuch to the chagrin of the Koch brothers who helped launch the Tea Party in 2009, a growing number of Tea Party activists are turning on their pro-fossil fuel backers to support solar energy. Last year, Debbie Dooley, one of the Tea Party’s original founding members, went head-to-head with the Koch-backed branch of the Tea Party to successfully persuade Georgia’s utility commission to require Georgia Power to buy more of its energy from solar sources.Now, in Florida, some 85 Tea Party groups are joining a broad bipartisan coalition called Floridians for Solar Choice to support a popular ballot initiative that would amend the state’s constitution to allow individuals and businesses with solar panels to sell the power they generate directly to their tenants or neighbors. California breaks new ground on renewablesLast week, Governor Jerry Brown set aggressive new global warming emissions targets for California that put the nation and the world on notice. His plan calls for California to reduce emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. That’s a timetable for steep emissions reductions almost unthinkable just a few years ago. And considering that California is the world’s eighth largest economy, the state’s actions make a big difference. Seismic shift in global business communityIn a notable development, the G20 powers recently launched a joint probe into the global financial risks posed by the potential for fossil fuel companies’ so-called “stranded assets” — investments in costly ventures that may never be viable in light of emerging international climate agreements.G20 nations have asked for an independent assessment of whether fossil fuel companies’ $6 trillion of investment into oil, gas, and coal development since 2007 might be based on false assumptions about demand that could risk the bursting of a so-called “carbon bubble.” Equally notable in the new zeitgeist, Newsweek recently reported that HSBC — the world’s third largest bank — wrote a private note to its clients advising them to divest from fossil fuel companies because of increasing risks they will become “economically non-viable.” Considering that five of the top six Fortune 100 companies are still in the oil refining business, if that doesn’t mark a sea change in thinking, I don’t know what does. A spate of recent developments suggests momentum is building to address climate change — including some truly unexpected and inspiring signs in the United States and around the world.Of course, huge obstacles remain: Florida Governor Rick Scott would allegedly like to censor any official mention of the subject. Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe still seems to think that carrying a snowball onto the floor of the Senate offers some kind of “evidence” that global warming is hoax.And more worrisome, fossil fuel interests including the Koch brothers and Shell Oil are still spending millions trying to repeal renewable energy standards in states around the country through the work of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and other front groups. But consider the following and see if you don’t agree that, when it comes to climate change, dramatic changes are afoot. Equally impressive, virtually all the evidence shows that California has profited mightily from its green energy economy so far, attracting an estimated $27 billion of venture capital into California clean tech companies since 2006. Seth Shulman is the editorial director at the Union of Concerned Scientists and a veteran science journalist whose work has appeared in Nature, The Atlantic, Discover, Technology Review, Parade and many other publications. This post originally appeared at The Huffington Post. Peter Dykstra wrote about this subject last month.last_img read more

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Recycled PVC Raises Health Concerns

first_imgCommingling waste streamsDealing in plastic scrap is a global enterprise, and manufactures often don’t have a very precise idea of what’s in the recycled plastic they use to manufacture new goods, according to this report.“A variety of PVC types may be commingled in the recycling process, such as those that process both wire and cable insulation and roofing membranes into feedstocks used in new flooring and other building materials,” the report says. “Without proper specifications and screening of the materials streams, the post-consumer PVC used in vinyl flooring is more likely to come from insulation jackets stripped from old cables and wires than from discarded vinyl flooring. These jackets typically contain high levels of heavy metals, problematic plasticizers, and even PCBs.”The origin and chain-of-custody of recycled PVC are “usually not disclosed to manufacturers, never mind consumers,” the report adds. “Few PVC recycling operations screen their inputs for toxicants,” it says. “European recyclers acknowledge, in submissions to the European Commission, that phthalates and toxic metal stabilizers remain in the recycled PVC feedstocks that they currently produce, and that these substances are present above regulatory thresholds of concern.” Some new vinyl flooring tiles contain levels of lead and other contaminants that are far above recommended safety levels because the contents of recycled plastics used to manufacture them aren’t carefully controlled or monitored, according to a study by the Healthy Building Network.Tests conducted on 74 PVC floor tiles purchased in 2014 and 2015 at six retail stores found the top layer of the tiles was made from virgin PVC and the inner layer contained recycled PVC. On average, the cores of the tiles contained 1,144 parts per million (ppm) of lead and 1,846 ppm of cadmium. The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission bars the sale of any products for children that contain more than 100 ppm of lead, the study said. The European Commission prohibits the use of cadmium in new PVC products above levels of 100 ppm.Testing found a maximum lead level of 10,608 ppm (more than 1 percent of the inner layer) and 22,974 ppm of cadmium (more than 2 percent of the inner layer). The product literature that came with the tiles did not advertise the presence of post-consumer PVC, but the presence of bromine, gold and copper suggested the recycled material came from electronic waste.One of the Healthy Building Network’s concerns is that inexpensive floor tiles with thin wear layers might expose children to lead and other contaminants if left unrepaired.“We have identified no research on potential heavy metal exposures from the degradation of PVC floors containing recycled content in the inner layer,” the report says. “But a logical concern is that when floors are damaged, the contents of the inner layer become exposed. The inner layer flooring may reach the surfaces upon which children crawl, and in dust that travels through the air.” Contamination of recycled plastics a concernThe report notes that manufacturers of building products and the recycling industry have made “significant strides” toward a closed-loop system in which newly manufactured products become the raw materials for products in the future.“Contamination of feedstocks with chemicals of concern, however, is reducing feedstock value, impeding growth of recycling rates and potentially endangering human health,” the report’s introduction says.Many manufacturers are abandoning the use of lead and cadmium stabilizers as well as phthalate plasticizers in new products, and these products should lead to cleaner feedstock in the future. But in the meantime, vinyl is such a durable building material that it could take a decade or more before a significant supply of these plastics get into the waste stream and are available as raw materials for new products.“Recycled PVC must be assumed to contain these additives unless manufacturers provide documentation to the contrary,” the report says. “Chemical (rather than mechanical) recycling processes can eliminate additives of concern from current feedstocks and can better protect workers. However, the technology is nascent and the most common method can create toxic dioxin emissions, not to mention other potential unintended consequences.”Most recycling of plastics is a labor-intensive process carried out by poorly trained, poorly protected workers who hand-sort waste in small batches and sometimes burn plastics in open pits so they can extract the precious metals they contain, the report says.center_img Some flooring manufacturers are taking the leadThe report singles out several manufacturers for making efforts to keep contaminated plastics out of the flooring or carpeting they produce, including Armstrong, Interface, and Tarkett.Armstrong uses only flooring waste for post-consumer recycled content in new flooring, as does Interface for its carpeting. Tarkett, the report says, has adopted an “aggressive phthalate standard” for its PVC resilient flooring and carpets and phased out virgin phthalates from all of their products. In addition, Tarkett has stopped using any post-consumer PVCs at its European plants and prohibits its use by Asian suppliers.The report says the first step toward establishing quality control in the supply chain for building products is to understand the source of recycled plastics. “Much more clarity is needed in this industry,” the report says. “Tracking the trail of PVC waste, from production to processing, would help manufacturers identify potential contents of concern. From this knowledge, companies can most efficiently target substances [to be] tested and eliminated from the recycled feedstock.”Testing was carried out by the Ecology Center of Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Healthy Building Network summary does not list the eight brands of flooring that were tested, nor does it mention the names and locations of the stores where samples were purchased.But Ecology Center Research Director Jeff Gearhart shed some light on those questions when he said that the samples were the same as those listed in an earlier report on phthalates in vinyl flooring, which the Center published in April.The retailers included Ace Hardware, Build.com, Lowe’s, Lumber Liquidators, and Menards. Samples were purchased in seven states: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, New York, and Vermont.Gearhart said by telephone that the Center hadn’t been specific about the source of flooring samples because it is still conducting phthalate tests on the backing, or inner layer.last_img read more

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Nova Scotia Rolls Out New Solar Incentives

first_imgTax Overhaul Keeps Breaks for Wind and SolarFlorida Voters Reject Solar AmendmentWhen Will Rooftop Solar Be Cheaper Than the Grid?Learn How Solar Friendly Your State IsWhere the Solar Bargains Are Sometimes, It’s Cheaper to Install PV Than More InsulationJust How Big Should a Photovoltaic Array Be? UPDATED on July 25 RELATED ARTICLES Programs vary by provinceRebates and other incentives for solar electricity vary widely across Canada’s 10 provinces and three territories. According to Tobin, both Alberta and New Brunswick currently offer rebates for solar electricity systems, although rules vary by province.In Alberta, a year-old initiative makes homeowners eligible for as much as 30% of the cost of a PV installation to a cap of C$10,000, an article in the Edmonton Journal said. Business and non-profits are eligible for up to 25% of PV system costs to a maximum of C$500,000.Energy Efficiency Alberta says at its website that in conjunction with two existing solar programs, the initiative has doubled solar installations in the province since 2015. At that time, Alberta led the nation with a total installed capacity of 8.16 megawatts, according to the website The Statistics Portal. Nova Scotia was fifth on the list at 0.77 megawatts.In New Brunswick, customers of NB Power are eligible for rebates on solar panels ranging from $200 to $300 per kW, depending on what other energy upgrades they make to their homes. The Home Energy Savings Programrequires an energy evaluation, and houses must meet certain minimum requirements. Net metering also is available.Elsewhere, Tobin said, Manitoba has a pilot program but is no longer accepting applications. A solar rebate program in Ontario was abruptly canceled last month by incoming Ontario Premier Doug Ford just two months after it was launched, PV Magazine reported. Rebates were set at C$1 per watt and covered systems up to 10 kilowatts in size. This post was updated to correct information about solar rebates available in New Brunswick. Efficiency Nova Scotia already offers residents a number of ways to reduce energy consumption, including home energy assessments, free LED light bulbs, low-flow shower heads, refrigerator and freezer recycling, and heating system upgrades. Existing rebates cover solar air-heating equipment and solar hot water systems.The new program for PV will not cover commercial installations, said Janet Tobin, the communications lead for Efficiency Nova Scotia, in an email. But homeowners looking forward to subsidized PV are apparently tickled.“We have been overwhelmed by the level of interest from both homeowners and potential installers,” Tobin said. “The SolarHomes incentives will make solar power more affordable than ever before. It is clear, based on the interest already, that Nova Scotians are excited to have more choices and more control over their energy future while reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality.”Tobin said that Nova Scotia Power, which supplies 95% of the electricity used in the province, offers net metering to residents who already have installed PV. Generated electricity is counted as a credit equal to the cost of purchased electricity.Efficiency Nova Scotia said rebates should roughly equal 30% of the cost of a PV system, making payments the same as the current federal tax credit for solar installations in the U.S. There is no cap on the U.S. program, but the tax credit is scheduled to drop beginning in 2020. Nova Scotia residents will soon be eligible for rebates on photovoltaic (PV) installations of $1 per watt, an expansion of a program that already covers solar hot water and heating equipment.Efficiency Nova Scotia, a nonprofit agency that oversees energy-savings programs for the maritime province in eastern Canada, announced that it would begin taking applications in mid-August. Rebates on pre-approved PV systems are expected to average C$7,000, and will be capped at C$10,000.An announcement posted at the Efficiency Nova Scotia website said that both the PV system designs and the contractors who install them must be approved in advance. Most Nova Scotia homeowners are expected to qualify, although precise eligibility rules are still being worked out, a spokeswoman said.Money for the program is coming from Nova Scotia’s C$56 million share of the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund. Canadian provinces and territories that have adopted the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, what’s called “The Framework,” are eligible to share in the C$1.4 billion fund aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.last_img read more

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YouTube Anti-Spam Move Might Spur More Spam

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting YouTube’s decision to hide search tags – an effort to fight spam – is drawing passionate responses to the move. Some say it’s overdue, and others think it will cause more problems than it is intended to fix.The tags still exist as private information that can only be seen by the video poster.Yesterday, YouTube said via its Twitter and Google+ page that the tags had been manipulated for unfair advantage by some members.The spammers copied tags from trending videos and used them to trick people into clicking on their links, inflating their traffic and netting them ad revenue based on those clicks.“You may have noticed – we made tags private, so you can’t see them on the watch page anymore. Viewers weren’t using them, and some abused them. Please keep providing tags when you upload, though – they’re important tools to help promote and connect your videos!” the post read.Tag abuse became a hot issue this year when a group of young women known as the “reply girls” gamed YouTube’s related-video algorithm over eight months for personal profit through inflated ad views.Armed with push-up bras and search-engine prowess, the reply girls made $10,000 to $40,000 a month by enticing male viewers to click on their unrelated minute-long video replies focused on their breasts. Some of these young women made as many as 10 videos a day, one for each newly trending video beginning in July 2011.YouTube shut down the reply girls in early March, labeling their antics “spam,” by rewriting the related-videos algorithm and changing the way video views are counted.YouTube had tallied initial clicks, a fact the reply girls exploited. Once people realized they had been tricked into watching a reply girl video rather than a legitimate reply, they left in seconds, but that initial click was registered as a view, and the women were paid as such.Fallout from the reply girl scheme still plagues the video-sharing site. In a Locker Gnome blog post published Aug. 16 about the tag changes, Swedish writer Maximilian Majewski called out the reply girls for abusing the tag system “to great lengths.”Majewski wrote, “[m]aking tags private is a long overdue decision,” a sentiment echoed by other YouTubers.Not everyone views the change as a good move, however.Jack Durst, a host on Tahoe Network TV, pointed out on the YTCreators Google+ page viewers weren’t clicking on video tags because the tags were “buried at the bottom of the description where nobody sees them.”If the Google-owned company moved the tags “to a control at the top of the ‘related videos’ column that changed the content…by what tag you chose, it would quickly become a dominant mode of navigation,” theorized Durst.Still others pointed out that by hiding the tags, the community wouldn’t be able to tell if people were actually abusing tags. YouTube has heavily relied on the community to police itself against bad behavior, but if the community can’t see the bad behavior, how can it flag videos and users for tag abuse? they asked.“What is to stop UPLOADERS from abusing tags by loading them with things that have nothing to do with the video, but are popular?” asked @TheReallyRick, a YouTuber and iCNN reporter, on Twitter.Besides using tags that are unrelated to a video, tag abusers also engage in a practice called “spam tagging,” where they write the same tag multiple times in order to increase their video’s ranking.Hiding tags will prevent people from copying and pasting the tags of trending videos in order to get views, but it won’t stop either of the two aforementioned issues. Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img Tags:#web#YouTube A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… fruzsina eordoghlast_img read more

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What’s Holding Up The Internet Of Things

first_imgThe Internet of Things – in which ordinary objects get smart and connected, making possible all sorts of new services – promises to give us smarter cities, fewer traffic jams, a cleaner environment and a Series victory for the Cubs. (OK, maybe not that last one.)Trouble is, while lots of technologists and technophiles talk about the Internet of Things as if it were already here, there really isn’t any such thing. Not in any true sense of the term.To be sure, there are plenty of smart gadgets out there that are wired up and broadcasting data to other devices – home alarms, for instance. Cameras. Heat sensors and hydrometers. But as you might have already noticed, we’re still a long way from the day when your refrigerator sees that you’re out of milk and orders a new gallon, or when your suitcase checks your calendar for out-of-town meetings and makes sure your travel clothes have been washed and folded. Here’s why.No Lingua FrancaIn its most basic sense, the Internet is just a network that connects any given device to any other given device. That connection alone, however, doesn’t mean that these gadgets will know how to talk to one another, much less that they’ll have anything to say.When devices can communicate, it’s generally via one or more “protocols,” or specialized languages for handling particular tasks. You’ve almost certainly encountered the most popular protocol on the Internet –  the HyperText Transfer Protocol, or HTTP. (Yes, that’s the “http://” you sometimes see leading off Web addresses in your browser.) HTTP allows computers of all sorts to send files, images and videos to one another across the Web.Like HTTP, many other commonly used protocols handle specific communication tasks. SMTP, POP and IMAP, for instance, are all e-mail protocols. FTP handles basic file transfers. And so on.Special-purpose protocols like these generally work just fine, since Web, mail and FTP servers don’t normally have a lot to say to one another. (When they do, simple translation software handles the job.) As the Internet has evolved, it’s been easier to keep using a bundle of simple and stable single-issue protocols than to try to bundle them into anything more sophisticated.You’re probably starting to see the problem. Devices on the Internet of Things may have to handle a bunch of different tasks. And there is very little consensus on which protocols to use. In other words, what we’ve got here is failure to communicate.“All of the technology is undefined,” says Holger Reinhardt, a product architect at the cloud-management startup Layer 7. “The Internet of Things is an amorphous philosophy and terminology.”A Tower Of BabbleSo instead of talking directly to one another, devices on today’s nascent Internet of Things now communicate primarily with centralized servers controlled by a related developer or vendor. That works, after a fashion, but it also leads to a bunch of balkanized subnetworks in which devices can communicate perfectly well with each other – but can’t actually talk to devices on any other balkanized subnetwork. Take cars. A Ford Focus, say, can communicate perfectly well with Ford service or data centers when sending data about itself over the Internet. If a part needs replacing, the car’s systems can report back to home base, which in turn generates a service notification to the car’s owner.But say you wanted to create real-time traffic alerts based on information from cars currently on the road. Now you’ve got trouble, because your Ford is probably only set up to talk to other Fords – not Hondas or Porsches or Teslas. This is because they don’t speak a common language. So, for instance, there’s no easy way to let vehicles daisy-chain warnings that there’s road construction ahead or that an idiot driver is roaring up the shoulder at 90 mph.Some of these issues are simply problems of network architecture – that is, deciding whether devices will communicate via, say, Bluetooth or NFC. Those are relatively easy to fix.The protocol issue, by contrast, is a direct obstacle to the Internet of Things, because a bunch of siloed devices talking only to the companies that own them does not an Internet make. (Though maybe you’d end up with the CompuServe of Things. Catchy, no?)Too Many Regional DialectsNow, even competing car companies will eventually figure out that a common data protocol will be good for business. But that doesn’t solve the protocol problem – it just makes the silo bigger by including all new cars. There are still plenty of other devices that would like to talk to cars, but can’t – like, say, toll gates and gas pumps. They each speak a regional dialect the others can’t understand.To consider this a little more closely, consider a “smart” living room featuring three devices connected to the Internet: a Nest thermostat, a Spark-enabled light and Makita automated drapes. Each device gathers data and sends it back to its manufacturer, and can take a handful of limited actions. If the room gets too warm, the Nest will turn on the air conditioning. If it’s dark outside, the Makita controller will close the drapes. If someone’s in the room and it’s dark enough, the Spark could turn on the light.See what’s not happening? The Nest isn’t talking to the Spark, which isn’t talking to the Makita, which isn’t talking to the Nest. At best, you might be able to get a hub-style home-control system that could manage each of these devices. But such controllers often suck the same way universal remotes for your home TV setup do.Note also how little it matters that these gadgets are connected to the Internet. The fact that they’re online only means you can control them – individually – from your smartphone. Big deal.We can blame the exuberance of engineers. New technologies encourage a Wild West attitude among developers who want to pursue their own approaches instead of agreeing on common standards. As a result, we have an insane alphabet soup of protocols that govern how machines talk to each other: IBM’s MQTT, OMG’s AMQP-based DDS, RESTful HTTP, XMPP, CoAP, NanoIP and SSI.To be fair, there can be good reasons for some of those different protocol dialects. HTTP, for instance, works great for always-on Web servers, which can easily handle the two-way, real time “request and response” style of Web communications.But not all devices on the Internet of Things will be set up for that kind of inter-machine conversation. Gadgets whose batteries can run down, or which have to deal with spotty or weak signals, can’t always respond to real-time HTTP-like requests. That’s why they tend to rely on other protocols – ones that, for instance, pass messages from device to device opportunistically. (As in, for instance, the PubSub category of protocols, which includes MQTT.)Still, the dialects present yet another challenge to the Internet of Things.Show Us The MoneyThe only way a true interconnected Internet of Things will work, experts like Layer 7’s Reinhardt argue, will be when economic incentives push device makers to share access to their controls and to the data their gadgets generate. Right now, those incentives mostly don’t exist.See, it can take a lot of effort to get smart things to talk to each other in meaningful ways. Reinhardt offers the example of a smart trash barrel in a public park. If a trash contractor wants to receive data from the barrel (i.e., is it full?), the barrel maker first needs to make sure it can talk to the trash contractor’s systems. Then it needs to give the contractor permission to access the barrel’s data.These days, that first step can take a fair bit of time and trouble. In turn, that expense puts a damper on how frequently the barrel owner is willing to go through the process. It also makes data acquisition more costly to the trash contractor, who might just decide to have an employee walk past the barrel instead.Now assume the barrel starts off able to communicate with the trash contractor’s systems. Now the barrel manufacturer could push a button and deliver its data to anyone with little pain or labor overhead. Once the process of allowing that kind of data sharing becomes easier to replicate, then device makers will be more interested in sharing data to generate revenue.Connected Silos Or An Internet Of Islands?Ultimately, the Internet of Things will take one of two shapes. If present trends continue, data to and from devices will largely be trapped within centralized silos, a la the home automation example above. Eventually, companies and vendors will interconnect those silos, rendering protocol differences all but irrelevant. And then economic incentives start to line up, too.Data, however, would remain more difficult to share than it should be, given the need to keep building new links between silos. It would have to travel farther and might be subject to congestion at hubs, slowing down services. And the centralization of data could raise security and privacy concerns. Still, this setup would be much closer to a real Internet of Things than what we have now.Alternatively, stronger and more widely used protocols used by more devices could create an “Internet of Islands,” in Reinhardt’s turn of phrase. Devices within a room could communicate directly with each other, the home and then their neighborhood. Data would stay in these smaller domains, speeding services and bolstering privacy.This latter network represents a much more flexible and responsive Internet of Things. Once you’ve empowered different devices to communicate freely with other machines, automated systems can start to learn what’s going on in the world around them and adapt to human needs. Too bad current technology trends and near-term economics aren’t exactly paving the way for it.Lead image of an automated home courtesy of Sony Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting brian proffitt Tags:#connected home#Internet#Internet of Things How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloudcenter_img Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… Related Posts Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for …last_img read more

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Relationships With Telecoms Gets NSA 75% Of Internet Traffic

first_imgHow Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud The NSA’s new Utah Data Center, codenamed Bumblehive, under construction.The National Security Agency is probably wishing for the days it wasn’t in the news. But following the leak of classified information from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, headlines are nearly a daily occurrence.Case in point: the Wall Street Journal is reporting new information that demonstrates the NSA has the ability to intercept about 75% of all U.S. Internet traffic though various programs that work with telecom companies like AT&T and Verizon.Notably, like their counterpart Internet companies in Project PRISM, such telecoms also appear to have a special relationship with the NSA and U.S. intelligence agencies. Not only are the data collections at risk for broad surveillance practices, but the networks themselves are appearing to be increasingly ill-suited for anyone expecting privacy in their Internet transactions.Once requests are made for blocks of Internet traffic the NSA suspects may be of interest—such as foreign intelligence, criminal or encrypted traffic—the telecom companies will perform a first-level filtering on their data and deliver it to the NSA. At that point, the NSA copies the data and starts aggressively searching for items of interest with a second-level pass.Even as the WSJ’s sources detailed the logistics of what is going on with the NSA’s data collection activities, several sources in the WSJ article emphasized that if domestic information and data is accidentally scooped up in their searches, it is quickly destroyed once it is shown to be irrelevant.But the flip side seems to be equally true: if any domestic data is found to be interesting, then it’s neatly tucked away for later analysis. Such collection of U.S. citizens’ data would seem to be walking right up to the line of the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, if not crossing it. The problem is, with intelligence-gathering warrants shrouded in as much secrecy as the methods used to gather data, there’s no way to tell. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting readwrite Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo…center_img Tags:#now#nsa#Prism Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … Related Posts last_img read more

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Oracle Reverses Course, Embraces Cloud Before Its Customers All Flee

first_img3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Tags:#Amazon Web Services#cloud computing#Oracle Five years after Larry Ellison called hype about cloud computing “complete gibberish,” his company announced no less than 10 cloud computing services during the Oracle OpenWorld show yesterday.Ellison didn’t kick off those new services himself, nor could he be bothered to attend his company’s annual trade show at all. He preferred instead to stay on Oracle’s chase boat to watch Oracle Team USA in the America’s Cup race (though to be fair, the Oracle team has pulled off a major comeback in the race).Maybe the snub is just another one of Ellison’s idiosyncrasies, but it’s also possible that the Oracle CEO didn’t want to be in the building while his company completely reversed his earlier strategy of deriding cloud computing at every opportunity. In 2009, a year after his rants on cloud computing hype, Ellison told attendees at a Churchill Club event:Cloud’s water vapor… Cloud computing is not only the future of computing, it is the present and the entire past of computing…Our industry is so bizarre. They just change a term and they think they’ve invented technology… You can’t just come up with a [tagline] like ‘Let’s call that “cloud.”Oracle: Hey, Wait, Let’s Go Ahead And Call That ‘Cloud’One wonders, then, how customers are supposed to view Oracle’s new cloud services, which include Business Intelligence Cloud, Compute Cloud, Database Cloud and Object Storage Cloud. These are not the only things Oracle is sending to the cloud. Oracle Database as a Service, Oracle Java as a Service and Oracle Infrastructure as a Service are also part of the available offerings.But are these just relabeled technologies intended to prevent the departure of customers from Oracle’s ecosystem to other vendors and services? Compute Cloud, after all, is a direct competitor to Amazon Web Service’s EC2 service, Object Storage Cloud is no doubt taking on AWS’s S3 service and so on. It’s easy to be a bit cynical about these offerings based on Ellison’s past commentary.Tactically, this is still the best move Oracle could make. Cloud computing is something that, Ellison’s notions to the contrary, customers want, and they’ve been leaving Oracle to get it. It doesn’t help that Oracle’s licensing costs are perceived as still high, and the availability of less-expensive services, even from different vendors has driven a lot of bottom-line decisions to migrate away.Oracle is clearly hoping that by providing a single Oracle-dominated stack of services to customers, they will be less inclined to endure the pain that any migration must undergo, no matter how good the final destination. Migration is a lot like ripping off a bandage: you know you should do it, but you also know it’s going to hurt.All of these cloud services are Oracle’s way to coax people to leave the bandage on a little longer. Image by Reuters/Robert Galbraith Related Posts Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…center_img IT + Project Management: A Love Affair brian proffitt Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo…last_img read more

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Debunking AI Myths: The Importance of Creativity in AI

first_imgBrad AndersonEditor In Chief at ReadWrite Context is everything when it comes to discussions about the future. The future can scare you or excite you, depending on what you know and understand about it. For every story about Google secretly spying on people through their Nest devices, there’s the announcement of an Amazon Go store where you can quickly grab needed items and go.Those who don’t understand AI — which is still the vast majority — immediately picture iRobots attacking Will Smith when they envision a future driven by artificial intelligence. Ultimately, there will be displacement and shifting jobs we’ll have to address, just like any other era or decade. But there isn’t a caravan of robots approaching.In fact, creativity plays a huge factor in developing AI. While humans may need artificial intelligence to carry out tasks at rates and in ways we couldn’t, AI is dependent upon the human mind’s ability to craft use cases and applications the technology isn’t capable of envisioning. When we demonize AI, we downplay the importance of human creativity.Creative and Optimistic Vision of the FutureWe’re in a world that empowers and relies on creativity rather than stifles it. This isn’t solely about artistry; creativity spans every profession and job, from data scientists to marketers to CEOs. Organizations need people who can innovate, problem solve, and develop new solutions; it’s not surprising that creativity is the most in-demand skill in the world.Again, what we know about AI impacts how we view it. A commonly term used in AI is “bias in, bias out,” referring to the fact that we will get out of AI what we put into it. The jury is still out in terms of using AI for complicated endeavors like prison sentencing. In theory, AI should be able to help create a fair process. But it can also miss empathy and misread specific situations in which human concepts like mercy and compassion play a role.That doesn’t mean that AI is useless because it’s not capable of acting like a human. That was never the intent behind AI. AI’s ability to handle less creative tasks frees us up to tackle those more nuanced situations ourselves. This should make us optimistic that creativity and compassion — hard-to-teach ideas — will take center stage.How Our Own Bias Impacts AIIt’s impossible to expect any decision — human- or machine-made — to be made without at least a sliver of bias. At the end of the day, AI starts with a human programmer — in every sense of the word — learning and then teaching a machine to perform a task. It’s not a neutral process that begins with a blank slate; it begins with a biased, complicated human being.The same can be said for how we view what AI will be capable of in the future. If you watch “Ex Machina,” you may think it will kill you. If you work in AI, you may think it can save the world. The end result is definitely — and squarely — in the middle.But it’s important to know what AI can do and is doing now to improve your everyday life. The truth is that no matter how fearful people may be of the impending AI invasion, we already use it every day without knowing. It’s why you were able to bypass the first steps of a product return process. It’s why you’re able to take pictures in portrait mode. It’s why you just thought about buying something from your Instagram feed today. A Contrast Between Major AI PlayersIBM has done a great job of marketing Watson as a household name. Google is synonymous with anything tech, and two of the main enterprise players in AI today are Adobe and Salesforce. These two behemoths, however, come at AI with different approaches. Salesforce is built on a CRM; Adobe is built on a creative identity.In 2016, Salesforce’s Einstein and Adobe’s Sensei both launched. These machine learning and AI technologies, at the time, revealed no discernible difference. It was like a competition between Samsung and Apple, where the final result came down to preference. The space was too new.Two and a half years later, Adobe is making big strides in the battle using the same method most enterprise software companies are utilizing this decade: maximizing the sheer depth of what can be done with AI. Adobe has built Sensei so it can be applied across marketing, analytics, and creative platforms, doing everything from smart-cropping photos to implementing actionable business intelligence.And that efficiency is key. Provided at no additional charge, Sensei has these applications baked into all offerings. An enterprise team debating a decision that will result in paying extra or running into integration issues is being handed more data — just like any AI worth its salt would want.The 2020s, when AI will really come into its own, will be built on efficiency. AI, applied on top of unified data sets, allows organizations to meet the ever-growing expectations of customers and impact people’s daily lives further. That means brands will be able to deliver great experiences across every customer touchpoint — and build customer trust in AI, interaction by interaction. Tags:#AI#artificial intelligence#creativity#progressive tech#technology What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com. AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Related Posts Follow the Puck Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaceslast_img read more

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2017 Wrap-Up | Military Caregiving Blog Series

first_imgThis MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on December 15, 2017. This year we put together some innovative and exciting series to help you learn more about Adverse Childhood Experiences, the importance of Self-Care and to give you an inside look at being a Dual Caregiver.Here is a little more information about each of our 2017 series!Nikki Stephens is the “Dual Caregiver.”This year, Nikki contributed to the, ‘Confessions of a Caregiver’ series. She is a dual caregiver to her husband, Marine Corps Veteran, John, and her son who has special healthcare needs. Nikki shares her caregiving journey as she cares for her husband who has sustained multiple injuries due to his time in the service and their five children, including their son who has been diagnosed with autism.Blog Post #1: Juggling Caring for Wounded Warrior & Child with Special NeedsBlog Post #2: Grief and Loss Blog Post #3: Don’t Forget to Love Your Life  Adverse Childhood ExperiencesAdverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are traumatic experiences that happen during childhood, that then have a potential to affect the physical and mental health of adults.  In order to provide services that have a long-term positive effect, it is necessary for service providers to understand and thereby minimize the negative impacts of ACEs.Part 1| Define and Identify Adverse Childhood Experiences and Examine their Impact on Children and AdultsPart 2| Tips for Recognizing Behaviors that are Linked to ACEsPart 3| Techniques to Minimize the Impact of ACEsSelf-Care| Breathing Techniques center_img Alicia Cassels shares her Secrets of Self-CareThe Secrets of Self-Care series features research-based strategies to inspire wellness among busy caregivers and helping professionals.  Each installment highlights practices that have the potential to improve physical, mental and emotional functioning, while requiring little time and no money.  Videos, tips and additional resources make trying and sharing these self-care strategies easy.Secrets of Self-Care | Mindfulness MeditationSecrets of Self-Care | Importance of SleepSecrets of Self-Care | HydrationIs Hydration One of Your Daily Priorities?DehydrationAre You Well Hydrated?last_img read more

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Music Roundup! The Best Royalty Free Inspirational Rock

first_imgDrive positive energy in your projects!  Similar to U2, Coldplay and other contemporary rock greats, these royalty free rock tracks feel fresh and inspirational!Feelings of youth and positivity abound in this roundup of the very best inspirational royalty free rock tracks.  Perfect for driving corporate videos, church programming or commercial advertisements, each of these tracks has a fresh contemporary feeling.Many tracks in this roundup sound similar to other rock contemporaries like U2, Coldplay or Snow Patrol – with soaring choruses and positive guitar melodies.Optimistic and engaging, inspirational and motivating – here are the best royalty free rock tracks to make your project a success!last_img read more

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5 Quick Tips to Help Gain New Video Production Clients

first_imgCheck out five quick tips to help you gain long-term video production clients that will take your business to new heights.Images via ShutterstockRunning a video production company — and building and maintaining a roster of video production clients — is tough. But with hard work, determination, and salesmanship, you’ll be on the right track in no time. What steps should you take to get on that right track? We’ve compiled five quick tips to help you get there.1. Market YourselfThis is the most important quick tip on the list. Your business won’t last long without an online presence or solid marketing strategy. Self-promotion is a huge part of any video producer’s success. Start by establishing a professional website. Make it easy to navigate and eye-catching; more than likely, it will provide the first impression. Back this up with an engaging social media presence. You want your portfolio and your company super-accessible to clients.2. Keep Prices ConfidentialWhen building your video production business, keep your prices close to your vest. Add a section to your website or social media page that allows potential clients to request a quote. Why? Because every job is different; a quote for one project will be different from another — plus, you won’t be locked into a particular price.3. Build a ReputationImage via ShutterstockIn this business, building your reputation is crucial. The key to a positive reputation: producing quality work that keeps clients coming back for more. Ensure that you’re always professional and that you engage your clients. They want to feel like they are special, like they’re your only client. Going the extra mile can go a long way toward building your rep.4. Word of MouthVideo via Richard Wilkinson BrennanOnce you’ve built a professional reputation, utilize it to your advantage. Remember those clients you made feel important and special? Ask them to refer you to other potential clients they do business with.5. Establish and Maintain RelationshipsImage via ShutterstockYour reputation and marketing may bring clients through the door, but cultivating and maintaining relationships will keep them coming back. These relationships are what pay the bills. They make your clients feel good about working with you — and when clients enjoy working with you, they’ll enjoy spreading the word about your business.These steps are fundamental — and they’re crucial to building and keeping your roster of clients.What’s the secret to growing a successful video production company? How do you go out of your way for clients? Share your story in the comments below.last_img read more

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Go Digital With Plot, a New Storyboarding App for Videographers

first_imgPlot is a new storyboarding app that will save you time and help you avoid the frustration of mismanaged paper storyboards — and PremiumBeat readers can try it for free!Top image via Shutterstock.Managing your storyboards can be a pain — especially on set during crunch time when you absolutely need to find the correct page. Even the process of moving pictures, dialogue, feedback, and other external files via online storyboarding is a hassle for this seemingly simple pre-production step. Going digital with Plot is the solution filmmakers have been waiting for.Features of the AppThe interface is user-friendly for anybody who’s worked in pre-production. Keeping your script, shot list, and storyboards all in one space will save an incredible amount of time.The scenes you create in the app link to the script, so a change anywhere will populate out to the rest of your project. If you have a change of heart about your dialogue or action sequences while storyboarding, the change will instantly correct itself in the script as well. This process removes any back and forth busy work by syncing both storyboards and the script.DrawingChanging the script or the storyboards is as simple as clicking and dragging. The program also lets you draw right inside the app. You can even color your images how you’d like and move the drawings around, granting you even more customization of the final image. Whether you’re good at drawing or not (I am not), making a storyboard gives you a sense of preparation and staves off complications on set. If drawing on your mouse or mousepad does not appeal to you, Plot also allows you to import images, and it’s as simple as dragging and dropping.CollaborationThe truly beneficial aspect that sets Plot apart from other storyboarding programs is collaboration. Plot allows other professionals or producers to see and give feedback throughout the storyboarding process. No emailing back and forth, and no miscommunication. Most importantly, this means lightning-fast commentary.The feedback option also allows others to add to your picture. As the principal writer, you control the collaboration and give others access as necessary, so you don’t have to add everyone at once and get redundant feedback.The cost of Plot depends on how many projects you’re willing to pay for. Normally, they offer one free project to allow you to test out the features. However, Plot has offered six months of free access exclusively for PremiumBeat readers! Just head over to the Plot website and enter the code below!Code: PremiumBeatYou will need to enter your credit card information to unlock an unlimited amount of projects. You can cancel after the six month trial and your card will not be charged.Let us know how it works out for you.How do you approach storyboards? Got any go-to resources to share? Let us know in the comments below!last_img read more

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5 Production Tips for High Frame Rate Videography

first_imgHere are five tips on how to get the most out of your high frame rate videography when shooting at 60 frames per second and higher.Cover image by REDPIXEL.PL.When diving into videography with your favorite digital camera — whether that’s a Canon DSLR or a mirrorless offering — you’ll have some decisions to make about the frame rate you’re going to record at. If you’re planning to eventually export your final projects at 24fps or 30fps (the former being your most cinematic choice), shooting at 60fps or higher offers some interesting possibilities for your project, but also a few workflow issues.Let’s explore the five things you need to know about shooting at 60fps or higher in your video projects.1. Know Your Pixel Drop-OffsImage by ponsulak.Camera technology is advancing at crazy rates. What once seemed unthinkable has now become the norm: ridiculously high-quality recording at high frame rates. Panasonic’s new GH5, for example, actually offers 4K recording at 60fps, while other comparable cameras offer high definition where they hadn’t before.So, when looking at your camera’s settings, check your pixel drop-offs. For example, here are your drop-offs for the Sony a7S II, which shows pixel recording sizes at different frame rates. If you’re going to record at 60fps (or in this case, up to 120fps), your drop-off is going to still be HD at 1920 x 1080p.3840 x 2160p at 23.98/25/29.97 fps (100 Mb/s XAVC S)3840 x 2160p at 23.98/25/29.97 fps (60 Mb/s XAVC S)1920 x 1080p at 100/120 fps (100 Mb/s XAVC S)1920 x 1080p at 100/120 fps (60 Mb/s XAVC S)1920 x 1080p at 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps (50 Mb/s XAVC S)1920 x 1080p at 50/59.94 fps (28 Mb/s AVCHD)1920 x 1080i at 50/59.94 fps (24 Mb/s AVCHD)1920 x 1080i at 50/59.94 fps (17 Mb/s AVCHD)1920 x 1080p at 23.98/25 fps (24 Mb/s AVCHD)1920 x 1080p at 23.98/25 fps (17 Mb/s AVCHD)1920 x 1080p at 50/60 fps (28 Mb/s MP4)1920 x 1080p at 25/29.97 fps (16 Mb/s MP4)1280 x 720p at 25/29.97 fps (6 Mb/s MP4) 2. Choose Your Optimal Frame Rate PerformanceImage by structuresxx.Once you know your drop-offs, you can decide what your optimal frame rate will be. If your goal is to get the necessary information for slow-motion footage, these higher frame rates will be your best option for limiting information loss. The Canon 5D Mark IV for example, offers 60fps recording at 1920 x 1080p, but if you push to 120fps, it can only record at 1280 x 720p. So you may want to stick to the higher-quality 60fps option.3. Understand Shutter SpeedsImage by Pepgooner.From there, if you’re recording with shuttered cameras, you’re going to need to understand and adjust your shutter speed to accommodate your higher-frame rate recording. As a rule of thumb, you’re going to want to keep your shutter speed at approximately double your frames per second. So, if you’re shooting at 30fps, you’ll want 1/60th of a second. If you’re shooting at 60fps, you’ll need 1/120th of a second.(Here’s a great resource on shutter speeds and how they work.)4. Converting to 24fpsBefore dropping your 60fps+ footage into Premiere Pro, you’ll need to decide what frame rate you’d eventually like to export at. If you’re looking for standard cinematic frames per second, creating a 24fps timeline will be your best bet. From there, you’ll be dropping in your higher fps footage, but just follow the prompts to keep the sequence settings as is (not changing to match).From there, you’ll notice that you can stretch your 60fps+ footage to create slow motion-looking footage. However, you can speed it up to normal rates, too, if you’re not looking for slow motion in every instance.5. Mixing Different Frame Rates in Premiere ProWorking with different fps files on the same timeline can get tricky, but as long as your sequence is set to your ideal export frame rate, you’ll be able to work with the different frame rates to get them to match. Try out both manually, changing the speed from the options as well as the rate stretch tool to fill gaps.For more high frame rate videography tips and tricks, check out some of these resources.A Beginner’s Guide to Frame RatesThe Surprisingly Fascinating World of Frame RatesYour Best Options for High Frame Rate Filmmaking5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Shooting Slow MotionHow to Achieve Perfect Slow-Motion Results in Postlast_img read more

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It’s Too Little Too Late

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 By the time you need to have nurtured your dream client and earned the right to compete for their business, it’s too late to start nurturing. By the time you recognize the need to create value before claiming it, nurturing can’t help you.By the time your pipeline is too poor to produce the results you need, it’s too late to do anything about it. By the time you recognize that you need to prospect, prospecting can’t help you.By the time you needed to have gained a serious understanding of your clients business to build a solution, it’s too late to glean the insights that would have allowed you to build the right solution. By the time you present, it’s too late to look for insights.By the time you need to have built consensus around you and your solution, it’s too late to garner the votes you need. By the time you need the votes, asking for the votes can’t help you.By the time you are negotiating over price, it’s too late to start creating value. By the time you decided to push back on value, it’s too late to start establishing it. You needed to agree on the value created before that point.The natural laws on the universe are always on display and at work in sales. You can’t reap what you haven’t sown. There’s no playing catch up. It’s too little too late. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you need to do today.Today is yesterday’s tomorrow. If you did the work you should have done yesterday, that worked out fine for you. But if you didn’t, there’s a high price to pay.last_img read more

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A Passionate Plea for More Love and More Hope

first_imgThe other day I spoke to my Toastmasters club. Usually when you speak, you don’t serve any other roles, especially in a club as big as ours. But we were short an evaluator, and I was asked to judge the tenth speech of another speaker (my favorite thing to do only after evaluating an ice-breaker speech). The tenth speech is a persuasive speech in which you are supposed to move the audience to take action.Ruth stepped up to speak, but instead of speaking, she lit up the room with a spiritual song. Then she lit up everyone in the room by speaking about the tragedy in Connecticut. Ruth spoke about good and evil. She spoke about right and wrong. She made an impassioned case that laws are useless against evil; that what’s needed is something much, much bigger. She made an ardent and emotional plea on behalf of hope and love.Love! She said emphatically.Hope! She said, even more emphatically.One of the questions on the evaluation form required me to answer whether Ruth used logic and reason to influence the audience. But she didn’t rely on logic or reason to make her case. And she was right not to. Events like the tragedy in Connecticut can’t be understood through logic or reason. As much as we want to understand, we never will. At least not by looking at the event through the sane, sober, and dispassionate lenses of logic and reason. The understanding, and the answer, lies somewhere else within us.Ruth’s case could have only been made with the passion and emotions she chose to employ instead of facts, logic, or reason. And that’s how she made her case; she used love and hope to plead for more love and more hope.More love. More hope. 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 Nowlast_img read more

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