Apple And Samsung Both Lost. So Did Buyers

first_imgTags:#Analysis#Android#Apple#mobile Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Related Posts The fallout from Apple’s win over Samsung in a California patent court has been an extension of the rhetoric that took place within the court. Apple, smug after its billion-dollar settlement, claims the whole case was about values. Samsung still holds to the line that Apple’s design patents are frivolous and the real loser is the consumer. Neither side is wrong.As much as Apple and Samsung want everybody to believe that one is on the side of good while the other is completely evil, the reality is that that is just not true. It is possible to not be right while not precisely being wrong. Apple’s “Values”Apple’s CEO Tim Cook called the victory a triumph of values. “For us this lawsuit has always been about something much more important than patents or money. It’s about values. We value originality and innovation and pour our lives into making the best products on earth. And we do this to delight our customers, not for competitors to flagrantly copy,” Cook wrote in a memo leaked to 9to5 Mac. Cook is not wrong, but he is not correct. Apple is right to defend itself against copying. But, it is not like Apple was defending the invention of fire. It was defending design patents based on the size and shape of the iPad and iPhone as well as utility patents used in iOS.None of the patents that Apple fought tooth and nail over in the name of values are particularly innovative.The utility patents may have some functions specific to iOS, but the Android manufacturers have already figured a way around most of those because it was not the function that Apple patented so much as how the function is performed. Companies like HTC, Samsung and Motorola have been working on ways to circumvent those patents through design and functional updates to their devices, and Apple will have little grounds in court to sue the Android manufacturers over these same functions again.The patents themselves are just weapons against Samsung and other Android manufacturers.The settlement money is also of no concern to Apple. This is a company that is one of the most valuable in the history of the world, sitting on a $100 billion in liquid assets. But taking a billion dollars from Samsung was a reward in itself.Cook’s comments about values is public relations. Most journalists, analysts and tech enthusiasts have a better understanding of Apple’s motivations under the surface. Apple’s two biggest motivations were to set a precedent for all its upcoming patent cases and to slow the Android ecosystem’s growth. The more Apple can hobble Android, the more iPhones and iPads it can sell. With Apple’s extraordinarily high margins, there is a lot of money on the table.The effect on Samsung is marginal in the short term. This case was mostly about Samsung’s long product tail, with devices that had been on the market a year or more running software that has been completely overhauled to avoid these specific Apple patents. Samsung will likely appeal the judgment, mostly to avoid the precedent that the case sets. This is not the last time these two companies will meet in court over patents. Apple’s win makes it more likely that its similar patent cases against Samsung and other Android manufacturers will result in injunctions against Android devices. Samsung needs to negate that precedent.Samsung: “Loss for the American Consumer”After the announcement of the verdict, Samsung issued a statement:“Today’s verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer. It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices. It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies.”It is difficult to believe both companies. Samsung says that Apple’s win is bad for innovation. Apple said it is good for innovation. Again, neither company is right, but neither is wrong.When Apple speaks of innovation, it is not talking about the broad scope of technology innovation. Apple is talking about its own innovation. Innovation that has been called into question many times over the years. Apple is seen as a company that makes technologies better and sexier and prices its devices higher than the competition to pad its margins. Samsung is essentially saying that Apple’s designs and its legal claims are frivolous. It is implying that if Apple can improve on technologies and not be found guilty of copying, then so can we.Samsung certainly has a high opinion of itself. By calling the verdict “a loss for the American consumer” it is saying that its products are so good that the U.S. consumer will suffer for the loss. It is the same tactic that Samsung has used in most of its court cases against Apple across the world. “This bully is bad for us, bad for you, bad for everybody.” Samsung itself is a bit of a bully. It has the manufacturing might to flood the mobile market with so many devices at so many price points that it is squeezing not just Apple, but the other Android manufacturers. Motorola’s market presence is almost non-existent at this point and HTC is flailing. Samsung, not Apple, is the biggest culprit behind Nokia’s fall from grace. Samsung’s shotgun strategy works and cannot (or, cannot without great difficulty) be replicated by any other Android manufacturer. Samsung’s own rhetoric is as hypocritical as Apple’s. While Samsung claims it did not copy Apple in the slightest way (and it has a case for that, despite the jury’s verdict), there is no question that some of Samsung’s smartphones do look very similar to the iPhone. The Winner? NobodyIn the end, the outcome was predictable. Can anyone say that Samsung could win a case with a Californian jury in the shadow of Cupertino? Samsung never really stood a chance. The battle of rhetoric does neither company justice. Apple comes off with a morality play that is almost laughable. Samsung sounds like a whining, arrogant twit that insists it did nothing wrong. With this decision, all Android manufacturers lose, not just Samsung. In the end, that is how the American consumer loses too.That means Google loses, too, right? That’s not necessarily the whole story. Apple could be doing Google a favor with its courtroom war.  What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img dan rowinski The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaceslast_img read more

Showrooming: 5 Ways Retailers Can Fight Back [Slideshow]

first_imgTags:#e-commerce#online shopping#retail Image courtesy of Shutterstock. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts robyn tippinscenter_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… There was once a time that a trip to buy something fun could be an enjoyable experience. I remember how much I enjoyed picking out my first computer, a Tandy TRS 80. I browsed Radio Shack for an hour or more, talking to the helpful employee about my plans, picking out the cassette tapes that would one day hold my programming brilliance, attempting to convince my Dad that I needed a monitor to be able to use it. That day is one of my fondest childhood memories.But retailers increasingly believe that even for luxury items, all the matters is the lowest price – and maybe they’re right. But bowing at the altar of the almighty dollar inevitably means less money and attention lavished on the shopping experience. Employees are paid less and get less training. Inventory and quality is reduced. Stores get dingy, dirty and ugly. Too often you end up shopping in a messy, over-lit warehouse, being ignored by reluctant, resentful clerks just to save a nickel on a few poorly made items. Fun.  The Online AlternativeCompare this experience with that of the online shopper. Sitting at home in comfort, you can browse the best retailers in the world. A quick search finds you the best price. The only reason to get up off the couch is that, sometimes, you may want to check out an item in person before plunking down your credit card. Ironically, that makes things even worse for brick and mortar retailers. More and more shoppers now visit retail stores only to check out the merchandise, and then buy online instead.Called “showrooming,” the practice is increasingly performed right from shoppers’ smartphones while they’re standing in the store. That means even less money for the store, and ultimately an even less pleasant shopping experience – which pushes even more shoppers online. ReadWrite managing editor Fredric Paul found that out the hard way on a recent trip to Best Buy (see Another Reason Best Buy Is Doomed – And Why That’s A Problem), but he’s not the only one. Cyril Vart, vice president of strategy and development for “innovation architects” faberNovel had an even worse experience attempting to buy a digital camera. But Vart says it doesn’t have to be this way – and he came up with a presentation on 5 ways brick-and-mortar retailers can fight back against showrooming. Let’s hope at least some real-world retailers give it a shot. 5 Ways To Keep Retail Customers Loyal In The Age Of Showrooming from faberNovel Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

What The Heck Were All Those People Doing Shopping Online On Christmas Day?

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Now that Christmas 2012 has passed, the analyst elves are waking from their egg-nog induced torpor to give us the details on how this year’s buying spree went. Of note was this figure from the Experian Marketing folks: Christmas Day’s online spending this year jumped 27% over the 2011 numbers. Is procrastination being raised to a new level, or is there something else going on?When measuring the top 500 retail sites, Experian noted an average of a 10% increase over the entire seven-week shopping period, which makes the 27% bump in actual Christmas Day shopping stand out even more. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Besides U.S. shoppers being able to outspend the People’s Liberation Army at the mall, this figure points to a big reason why shoppers are getting their online shopping done the same day the tree is awash in a sea of torn wrapping paper: Because they can.Armchair Shopping, Complete With Egg NogThere’s another element to this as well, one that ReadWrite’s Dan Rowinski alluded to recently while discussing the explosion of downloaded apps at Christmas: with 17.4 million new personal devices activated on Dec. 25 alone, and hundreds of millions more existing devices out there, not only are people getting more gift cards, they can actually spend them right then and there.In the past, when you got a gift card, you might have to fire up the computer or laptop to get your online spending done. Or the gift card might be for a brick-and-mortar store with little or no online presence. But with the proliferation of tablets and smartphones, and many more online outlets for retailers, you don’t even have to leave the couch to spend out that gift card.The ease of friction in online shopping may also explain another trend CEB TowerGroup noticed: gift card “spillage” (the term for unspent gift card amounts that represents pure profit for retailers) dropped 20% this year to “just” $1.7 billion. Industry observers are pointing to the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act of 2009, which restricts expiration dates and fees retailers can slap on gift cards, as a reason for this reduction in spillage, but ease-of-use is also likely a factor.If this trend continues, look for aggressive retailers to make up for pre-holiday discounts by tweaking their product prices upwards on Christmas Day to catch these shoppers coming in with their funds already tied up in pre-paid branded gift cards.Smart shoppers may want to hold off on the instant gratification of gift card spending and wait for the next run of sales.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. brian proffitt Tags:#e-commerce center_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… It’s tempting to pull out the traditional “Ha ha, look at all the procrastinating shoppers who can’t get their lives together,” angle (a first cousin to the April 15 public mocking of losers in line at the post office). But it seems that the most likely explanation has less to do with lateness than with digital updates to a couple of time-honored holiday traditions.Digitally Enabling Holiday Gift-Giving TraditionsThe first tradition is, of course, the gift exchange. What, you don’t like that lime green cable knit sweater? Let’s get online and pick out something more approproate.The Internet’s ability to let unhappy recipients re-order gifts, with the intent to return the balked presents later, smooths over many a holiday faux pas.The second, and probably more likely, reason for all of this holiday shopping on Christmas Day is the increasingly ubiquitous use of gift cards as presents. According to CEB TowerGroup Research, U.S. sales of gift cards topped $110 billion in 2012, equal to China’s entire defense budget. You can bet that some of those gift cards are being cashed in right away online. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts last_img read more

Leap Motion Raises Money, Strikes Deal, Gains Momentum

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Things keep getting better for Leap Motion, the little startup whose 3D motion controller gizmo could be one of the hottest products of 2013.The San Francisco-based company has struck a deal with Asus, which will bundle the Leap Motion controller with laptops and all-in-one PCs. Also, Leap Motion has raised a third round of venture capital, this one worth $30 million, from existing investors, including Founders Fund and Highland Capital.“Our investors really love the progress we’ve made over the last six to seven months,” says Andy Miller, president and chief operating officer at Leap Motion. “And the bundling of our controller with mainstream laptops and computers is really good validation that this is the year of the changing user interface, and Leap is right in the middle of that trend.”The Leap Motion controller lets you control a computer using hand gestures in the air. It’s a bit like the Microsoft Kinect controller but far more accurate. You’ll be able to check it out in person next week at CES, where Asus will be demonstrating the device.Or you can check it out in this video: Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market dan lyonscenter_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting More Deals Are Coming SoonMiller, a former top executive at Apple, joined Leap Motion last year. He says more deals like the one with Asus will be announced later this year. Better yet, some PC makers are going a step further and will embed the Leap Motion controller right into their machines, so you won’t need an external controller. (For now you need to hook up the little 1-inch-by-3-inch controller via USB cable.)Leap Motion will start shipping the controller sometime early this year, priced at $69.99. The company has already received pre-orders worth tens of millions of dollars, Miller says.Leap Motion is encouraging developers to create special apps that take advantage of 3D motion gestures, and will sell those in a special app store. So far more than 40,000 developers have applied to get a software development kit for the Leap Motion controller.Possible uses go way beyond computers. Miller says Leap Motion has been contacted by thousands of businesses with all sorts of ideas for how to use this technology. “We’re going to have announcements about deals in medical and automotive pretty soon,” he says. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

CES 2013: 5 Things That You Won’t See

first_imgWhy IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces 3. The Hottest New SmartphonesSmartphone makers are increasingly keeping their mobile secrets hidden at CES. With the Mobile World Congress show just around the corner, HTC, Motorola and the rest generally launch some new mid-level devices in Vegas, but don’t reveal the most earth-shattering stuff until they get to Barcelona.  4. TVs Anyone Would Ever Actually Buy CES is always jam-packed with TVs, but they’re getting better – and vaguely affordable – at a snail’s pace. Companies will continue jockeying for title of the biggest, more pixel-dense displays around, but the impact on consumers in 2013 will be negligible. Ultra HDTV is miles from affordable (who has $25,000 to blow on a TV set?), consumers still don’t really care about 3D and awful proprietary software continues to hamstring most of the ballyhooed set-top devices designed to take over your living room. 5. Apple (Duh)If you’re at all familiar with CES, Apple’s absence is a no-brainer. Content to do things on its own terms, the company that’s defined the cutting edge of consumer electronics routinely opts out of the biggest CE event of the year. (Heck, Apple doesn’t even go to Macworld/iWorld any more!) The Las Vegas convention halls will be generously slathered with iPhone and iPad accessories, but CES just isn’t the Cupertino company’s style these days. Apple loves to casually announce news thatjust so happens to coincide with CES, but it certainly doesn’t bother to visit the desert nowadays. It doesn’t need to.Don’t call us cynical, though. We actually are looking forward to some CES innovations. It’s just that we expect to dig up the really cool stuff in unlikely places, from smart homes and car tech to things we haven’t thought of yet.You never know what to expect when geeks invade Vegas, so stay tuned for plenty of highlights next week.   taylor hatmaker Tags:#CES 2012#CES 2013#events#smartphones#tablets 2013 is shaping up to be a strange year for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the annual tech fête that invades Las Vegas for one grueling week every January. In 2011, tablets were kings of the desert, as manufacturers scrambled to get viable iPad competitors on the scene after Apple went and dreamed up a whole new category of device. Last year wasn’t quite as flashy – previews of Windows 8 trickled out, and we all pretended that ultrabooks were the hot new thing for the better part of a week. In 2013, it’s looking like a free-for-all. It’s anyone’s guess what new devices will capture the hearts and minds of CES attendees.To find out, ReadWrite will be right there on the show floor all week with our finger on the pulse. And while we don’t know yet what devices will capture the attention of the more than 100,000 attendees and worldwide press, we can already tell a few things that won’t be grabbing the headlines in 2013:1. Tablets Following the launch of the original iPad, companies were desperate to get a proper rival in the game – and at CES 2011, it showed. Nobody had quite figured it out yet, but suddenly there were literally 80 tablets floating around, most of them running Android. But by 2012, the tablet frenzy had slowed to a crawl, with Ultrabooks taking the lion’s share of the spotlight. With Amazon and Google driving small tablet prices to the absolute rock bottom, don’t expect other companies to waste much time on tablets this year.2. Microsoft Microsoft announced that 2012 would be its last year at CES – for a while, at least. The company traditionally delivered a big CES keynote early in the week, but Steve Ballmer’s appearance on stage in 2012 was the company’s last – bizarre – hurrah. Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumers Electronics Association (CEA), the group that puts on the show, claims that the lapse is just a pause in the shared trajectory of Microsoft and CES, a relationship that dates back into Bill Gates’s tenure at Microsoft’s helm. We’ll see. For now, the company has pulled its booth too, so Microsoft won’t have a presence on the show floor either. Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Related Posts The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

FoundationDB’s NoSQL Breakthrough Challenges Relational Database Dominance

first_imgRelated Posts How Do You Determine Which Partners Will Fuel Y… Tags:#databases#NoSQL NoSQL databases are well-known for their speed and scalability – useful traits when dealing with the size and complexity of big data and hyper-fast transaction requirements. But one thing they have lacked has been strong data consistency: the ability to ensure that an update to data in one part of the database is immediately propagated to all other parts of the database.A startup database vendor launched this week is making claims that its database, FoundationDB, finally delivers on the promise of true data consistency for a NoSQL database, without a huge loss of speed or flexibility.Understanding why this is such a big deal in the Big Data (or any) sector requires a little background on how NoSQL, or non-relational, databases work.Solving The ACID TestWhen talking about relational databases, like PostgreSQL, MariaDB, Oracle and the like, there’s one acronym that keeps coming up: ACID. ACID stands for Atomic, Consistent, Isolated and Durable – core aspects that must apply to all data within a relational database. Data is broken down to atomic values (name, address_1, city…) while remaining consistent across the database, isolated from other transactions until the current transaction is finished, and durable in the sense that the data should never be lost.The infrastructure of a relational database is well-suited to meet the ACID criteria for data: Data is held in tables connected by relational algebra, and transactions are performed in a way that is consistent with ACID principles.But for non-relational databases, such as Bigtable, MongoDB or Dynamo, ACID has always been sacrificed for other qualities, like speed and scalability.This tends to freak out some companies, stopping them from moving to NoSQL because they can’t give up ACID. Especially the “C,” because not having data consistency is a particularly terrifying prospect for companies dealing with financial transactions.Yet non-relational databases are being used by firms like Amazon and Google every day, with great success. Amazon, in particular, needs to track millions of sales transaction on any given day – how does it get away with inconsistent data?The short answer is, it has to. The trade-off would be a relational database that could never keep up with the speed and scaling necessary to make a company like Amazon work as it does now. Recall that non-relational databases are structured to sacrifice some aspect of ACID to gain something in return. In the case of Amazon, its non-relational DynamoDB database is willing to apply an “eventually consistent” approach to the data in order to gain speed and uptime for the system when a database server somewhere goes down (though Dynamo can also have strong consistency, an Amazon spokesperson informed us after this story went to press).Bringing Back ConsistencyIt’s not that having ACID compliance on a NoSQL database is impossible, explained David Rosenthal, one of FoundationDB’s co-founders. It’s just that most people think that applying ACID to NoSQL systems would come at a huge cost.That’s certainly what Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon, thought in a 2008 paper that described the company’s Dynamo database and it’s relationship to consistency. Data inconsistency in large-scale reliable distributed systems has to be tolerated for two reasons: improving read and write performance under highly concurrent conditions; and handling partition cases where a majority model would render part of the system unavailable even though the nodes are up and running.Translation: Requiring ACID on non-relational databases would make that database too slow and inflexible.For the longest time, everyone using NoSQL systems was resigned to this eventual, or “weak,” consistency model. After all, they had money to make and data to analyze. Who cares if consistency was not at the top of the priority list?It turns out, quite a few people, including the founders of FoundationDB, Rosenthal, Nick Lavezzo and Dave Scherer.Inside FoundationDBAfter a successful start up with Visual Sciences, a technology that’s now part of Adobe as the Adobe Insight product, the trio turned to developing another successful project, and hit on the lack of ACID-capable non-relational databases as a goal.“We weren’t satisfied with any of the data guarantees on non-relational systems,” Rosenthal explained, even as they understood that the needs of many potential clients would preclude relational systems like MySQL or Oracle because of performance limitations.Non-relational systems seemed to wear their weak consistency model like a badge of honor, but in the secret origin story of FoundationDB, the team saw weak consistency as a bug, not a feature. “Not having transactional integrity is not a good thing,” Rosenthal emphasized.They’re not the only ones. Google’s up-and-coming Spanner database, a second-generation distributed database that could ultimately replace the search engine company’s Bigtable systems, is being built on the premise that transactional integrity has to be a part of that database, too.Side Effects Include…Establishing consistency in transactions within a NoSQL database is worthy news in itself, but the implications extend beyond that core news.FoundationDB uses a key-value-like storage engine core that’s surrounded by layers of whatever data model that’s needed, which will in turn enable developers to much more easily code their apps to reach into the FoundationDB. These layers, according to the founders, can’t be used on other key-value systems, because without consistent transactions, it would not work.Also, since data is going to be consistent, applications won’t have to be built to “wait” for data to catch up within a given transaction – thus making apps less complex and easier to build.The best news of all concerns the so-called performance penalty that many in the NoSQL world said will be incurred if ACID was applied to non-relational database systems. According to FoundationDB, performance is hampered by only 10%, which seems a very small price to pay for consistent transactions.The FoundationDB database, which was launched into public beta on Monday, is available for download now.Image courtesy of FoundationDB. How to Manage Remote Sales Teamscenter_img Steps to Building a Successful and Scalable Sal… Crucial Online Reputation Management Insights i… brian proffittlast_img read more

Crosstown Cleveland college rivals join forces for IoT

first_imgRyan Matthew Pierson How IoT Will Transform Cold Chain Logistics For… The Ultimate Checklist on Ways to Prevent IoT D… Related Posts 5 Industries Destined for Technological Disruptioncenter_img Cleveland State University has partnered with Case Western Reserve University to promote research and educational opportunities around the Internet of Things (IoT). This partnership came about thanks to a $200,000 Cleveland Foundation grant awarded in January in order to create the Digital Excellence Initiative.This partnership, which includes a joint foundation between the two institutions, establishes a regional research program that focuses on IoT systems and devices. These systems range from small consumer devices to larger, more complex industrial-grade systems.See also: Cleveland Browns get ready to WHOOP it upThese technologies have an effect on virtually every aspect of our lives, from the convenience of an automated vacuum cleaner to the lifesaving medical devices that allow medical professionals to better monitor their patients.“This partnership will further the regional effort to make Cleveland a leader in the Internet of Things revolution, expanding the development of new innovations, increasing technology transfer and enhancing economic investment,” Berkman said in a statement. “I am proud to join with President Snyder to announce this unique collaboration between our two institutions.”New industries in an old industry townCleveland has a history of being a touchstone in American industry. From large automotive plants to electronics manufacturing, Cleveland has long been a symbol of economic growth through innovation. This initiative provides a regional benefit not only to the two universities but to the region as a whole by making it a more appealing place for IoT startups.The partnership will provide a base on which course development, student exchanges, joint research programs, and economically beneficial partnerships with third-party businesses in the area can take place.Students taking advantage of the new courses and resources made possible by the Digital Excellence Initiative will be better positioned to enter the workplace having a real-world knowledge of the latest IoT technologies. This makes Cleveland not only a better place to go to study and learn about the Internet of Things, but to find educated candidates to fill positions. Tags:#Cleveland#industry 4.0#Internet of Things#IoT Electronic Design is Utilizing AI-Enabled Solu…last_img read more

After the Webinar: Summary of Key Resources

first_imgOn October 19, Kristie Pretti-Frontczak, Ph. D. shared a wealth of resources to supporting delivering intentional instruction through everyday interactions during the webinar “When Play is More than Just “Playing.”  In this video, Kristie provides a focused summary of key resources.If you haven’t viewed the webinar yet, you can access it here.last_img

Resource Discovery| Struggle Well: Thriving in the Aftermath of Trauma

first_imgKen Falke and Josh Goldberg are no strangers to the struggle and hardships of life, having both been through their own and bearing witness to the experiences of others. Through their work at Boulder Crest, both Falke and Goldberg have made it their life’s mission to help Veterans take their struggle and transform it into profound strength and lifelong growth. While Falke and Goldberg’s work through Boulder Crest is focused on assisting Veterans, the authors noticed a need in the civilian community as well and have written the book Struggle Well: Thriving in the Aftermath of Trauma.In their book, Falke and Goldberg take a personal approach by providing their own stories of struggle and their journey to achieving Posttraumatic Growth (PTG). Falke and Goldberg provide the readers with “actionable strategies for making peace with past experiences, living in the present, and planning for a great future”.Some key takeaways from their book include:The importance of the work of Drs. Richard Tedeschi and Lawrence Calhoun, where they have studied tragedy and trauma, and how this ties in to people’s ability to recover and bounce back.That struggle is inevitable and part of the human experience, but it’s how we can use these negative experiences and turn them into a positive.The potential for posttraumatic growth after trauma and the ability to turn struggle into strength.The ability to re-story your narrative; creating a new story and finding new purpose in life.To share your story with others and help guide those that are in similar situations that you have once been in.To continue to share your story and be a positive example of posttraumatic growth.If you’re interested in learning more about Posttraumatic Growth, MFLN has resources for you through webinars and podcasts!Opportunities & Possibilities: Posttraumatic Growth in Research & Practice (Part 1) Opportunities & Possibilities: Posttraumatic Growth in Research & Practice (Part 2)Anchored. Episode 16| Walking the PATHH: Exploring the Journey of Posttraumatic Growthlast_img read more

Edgar Wright Explains the Art of the Close-Up

first_imgIn the video Wright talks about the various cinematography styles he has tried to over the years. But in spoofing others, he has developed an individual style that is recognizably quirky.What do you think of Edgar Wright’s style? Is it too “spoofy” or do you think he does a good job balancing originality with parody? Edgar Wright explains his cinematography style and directorial motivation.It’s no secret that Edgar Wright is a cinematic master when it comes to close-ups (Director of hits like Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim, Hot Fuzz and others). Using swish pans and an assortment of crash zooms Wright is able to create a fast and controlled pace that has become his signature in the industry.In the following video by David Chen of SlashFilms, Edgar Wright talks about the process of capturing his stylized look and the reason why he choses to shoot using so many close-ups. The video covers the following:Production problems related to close-upsTechniques used to speed up the paceThe lengths taken to get enough coverage materialFinding motivation for a close-up, swish pan, or crash zoomlast_img read more

8 Great ‘Proof of Concept’ Films That Got Picked Up by Hollywood

first_imgWant to land that big deal with a studio? Well, here are some proof of concept films that did just that.While some people might call these extended trailers, that’s not exactly what a proof of concept is. In reality a proof of concept is more like a short film developed on a very limited budget that’s created to show studios what that production team can accomplish. Sometimes these proof of concept films go on to become big budget films such as Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, 300, Sin City and District 9.In just the last few months, we’ve seen a lot of proof of concept films get studio backing. Let’s take a look at some of the proof of concept films that have recently been optioned by major studios.SUNDAYSTo say this film was ambitious is an understatement. Award-winning commercial director Mischa Rozema and his crew at PostPanic Pictures explore a nightmarish future where the world is on the brink of ending, and our protagonist is completely unsure that this future is truly his. Widely support by the international film and creative community, Sundays was able to secure over 50k through crowd sourced funding to complete the live action sequences in Mexico City. After the film was released, a bidding war began between the major studios and once the dust settled from the auction, Warner Brothers was the only one left standing.Mischa Rozema is currently working with WB now to secure writers and begin the pre-production process on the feature-length film.THE LEVIATHANAnother ambitious project is The Leviathan from Ruairi Robinson, who is known for his Academy Award nominated animated short film Fifty Percent Grey, as well as directing the 2013 sci-fi horror The Last Days on Mars. Joining him on this project is Jim Uhls, the screenwriter of films such as Fight Club and Jumper.The film is set in the distant future where humans have colonized multiple worlds and faster-than-light-speed travel is a reality. But in order to achieve this feat, mankind began harvesting the eggs and the matter from the largest creatures they have ever seen. The film was released online earlier this year and instantly gained a huge online following. This prompted 20th Century Fox to option the project and give the green light, with Simon Kinberg (X-Men: First Class & Sherlock Holmes) and Neill Blomkamp (District 9 & Elysium) attached as producers.The Leviathan is currently in pre-production at 20th Century Fox with Ruairi Robinson & Jim Uhls both slated to return for the feature film. No release date has been set as of yet.CONTROLLERAnother film optioned by 20th Century Fox is Controller, directed by Saman Kesh, which originally released in 2013 as part of the Machinima Interactive Film Festival. Controller is the story of a young woman prisoner who can control everything with an interface connected to her helmet. She uses this helmet to control her boyfriend’s body in order to expedite her escape from captivity.Controller is currently with 20th Century Fox and Saman Kesh is slated to return to the director’s chair. No release date has been set as of yet.REALMIn the same mold as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Realm tells the story of a young woman (played by Adelaide Kane) who can enter into a person who is possessed and battle the demon inside for the safety of their soul. The story and characters also represent a potential franchise, which is why Relativity Media jumped on the film very early on. Originally developed by John Swetnam and Scott Speer, the final short film spec script was written by The Vampire Diaries Producer Rebecca Sonnenshine. Swetnam and Speer are known for Into the Storm, Step Up All In & Spinback.Realm is currently in pre-production with Relativity Media with Scott Speer attached to direct. Again, no release date has been set.PAST PROOF OF CONCEPT FILMSSKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROWSky Captain and the World of Tomorrow was a true proof of concept created by Kerry Conran in the late 1990s. He eventually gained the ear of producer Jon Avnet and the two began developing what would be the final film. This is the original proof of concept.Shot almost entirely on blue screens, Conran and his crew really pushed the envelope and developed a 24 minute film that they then took to the studios. Paramount would eventually green light the project and the final film was released.“DIE FREE” – 300 SHORTZach Snyder was hot off the heels of the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead when he had worked his way into directing 300, the adaptation of the Frank Miller comic. In order to give the studios an idea of the look and style of the film, and to also prove to himself he could do it, this proof of concept was developed.THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT – “SIN CITY”The Customer is Always Right is a short proof of concept film shot by Robert Rodriguez to sell the idea of a feature to the studios.In the end, Dimension Films backed the project with The Customer is Always Right opening the film. You can see a difference in the quality of the image and sound between the two versions.ALIVE IN JOBURG “DISTRICT 9”Probably one of the best proof of concept films of all time is Alive in Joburg by Neill Blomkamp, who is slated to produce the above-mentioned Leviathan. Upon release, the film turned a lot of heads, including that of Peter Jackson, who jumped on to produce the film.In the end, Alive in Joburg didn’t just spawn the feature film District 9, but also Elysium. Want more content awesome independent film productions? Check out these articles from PremiumBeat.How to Land Big Name Talent in Your Indie FilmThe 3 Cornerstones of Indie Film MarketingThe Filmmaker’s Guide to Indie Festivals & OrganizationsAre you excited for any of these proof of concept films? Do you think any of them with stack up to past proof of concepts? Sound off in the comments below.last_img read more

The Editor’s Toolbox: Match Cuts

first_imgThe Match Cut is a timeless video editing technique that adds rhythm, flow, and style to any project. Let’s explore this eye-catching storytelling method.Top image via Sony PicturesThe match cut: Merging two separate scenes into a single seemingly fluid shot. It’s one of the most visually satisfying cuts available to filmmakers. It requires foresight, top-notch camera work, and an editor who knows what they’re doing. Celia Gomez recently released a supercut of films that have nailed the eye-catching match cut.The match cut is an extremely effective edit due to the rapid pacing that throws viewers into an entirely different scene in the blink of an eye. Super-fast-paced movies, like anything David Fincher makes or last year’s The Big Short, rely on these cuts to keep the film flying through space and time. The characters or objects in motion usually move from one end of the frame to the next as the edit happens mid-motion. Take this fun little match cut from The Graduate. It’s about as seamless as they come.Via MGMThe match cut is an excellent way to demonstrate your ability to plan and have a clear distinct vision for your work. Knowing how you will edit your video while you’re shooting is key when dealing with this type of work. Perhaps one of the most famous match cuts ever is in Lawrence of Arabia.Although the image isn’t technically the same, the idea of removing a small light source like a match and immediately replacing it with a shot of another light source (the sun) is pretty magnificent. The audio editing is crucial as well; without the sound of him blowing the match out, the silence of the sunrise wouldn’t be as effective.Some uses of this technique can imply a greater meaning or metaphor to your story, like the Psycho transition in the video above (her life escaping down the drain). But on a basic level, match cuts are an excellent way to change time and location in a way that feels stylish and effortless.Follow In These Editing FootstepsOne of the best filmmakers working today, Edgar Wright, makes use of this technique in order to amplify the comedy in his films. Working perfectly with his insanely fast-paced tones, every scene flows together in a rapid comedic burst of energy. This video essay released by Every Frame a Painting explains why this type of editing is crucial to today’s audience.For more video editing tips and tricks, check out these previous explorations into editing styles and methods:8 Essential Cuts Every Editor Should KnowCutting CommercialsCutting on the Blink: Editing Tips from Walter Murch12 Video Editing Cuts for Cutting a Documentary3 Stages of Editing a Corporate VideoThe Secrets to Using a Dissolve Transition Effectively What are some of your favorite examples of match cuts? Share in the comments below!last_img read more

What You Believe About Your Pricing

first_imgWhat you believe about your pricing as a salesperson is what your prospective clients will believe about your pricing.You’re Hiding SomethingEven if you never say out loud that you believe your prices are too high, your body language, your lack of confidence, and the caution in your voice will tell your prospect that you don’t believe you are worth paying more.If you refuse to discuss pricing when asked, it looks like you want to avoid the subject, that you are uncomfortable discussing it. Your avoidance can cause your client to believe that you are afraid to tell them the price because the sticker shock is going to cause them to cut off the conversation. Because you don’t believe the value, they don’t either, and then they do try to end the conversation quickly.Why Your Price Is HigherIf your price is higher than your competitor’s, then it’s higher. Pretending that it is not, or trying to avoid talking about your pricing destroys any confidence in you and your product, service, or solution. You can’t be a trusted advisor and be afraid to “go there” with your clients.The choice to have a higher price is a strategic decision. Higher prices allow companies to create greater value and the kind of meaningful differentiation that produces more significant results—as well as creating a preference for those companies.The right choice is to embrace your high price as the advantage that it is. That higher price allows you to produce better results than your competitors. It allows you to invest money in areas where your competitors are hampered by their lower price, often including the people necessary to serve clients well. It allows you to do things that differentiate you in a crowded market.You Transfer Your BeliefsIf you believe your price is too high, then so will your prospective clients. You will transfer that belief to them through words said or unsaid, and actions taken and avoided.If you believe your higher price is a bargain for the value that you create, then you will transfer that healthier belief to your prospective clients. It’s true that not everybody is going to believe that your price accurately reflects the value you create; that is why we call what we do selling. That said, if someone doesn’t value what you do enough to pay for it, then they aren’t really your client.last_img read more

Allowing Issues to Find Their Way to the Highest Level of Competency

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now If there is an issue plaguing sales organizations large and small universally, it may be role clarity. The issues may be accelerating due to the continued Taylorism we apply to roles, slicing them ever thinner, or maybe it’s been a problem all along, exacerbated now by today’s challenges. Whatever the cause, service issues seem to find their way to the highest level of competence inside the sales organization.The operations team makes a mistake that sneaks by whatever quality controls are in place, or the client struggles to produce some result. The issue comes to customer service, and they struggle to handle the issue effectively, especially when the problem is systemic, and the client is angry. The customer service person, struggling to please the client, escalates the problem to the Account Manager of the customer success team. When the Account Manager of Client Success person struggles, they hand the issue off to the salesperson or Account Executive or whatever title you prefer, the person who is accountable for the outcomes they sold—and who is now responsible for the task, whatever that may be.This broad generalization describes why all the people in the chain above have taken one step to the left, occupying the role of the person who appears before them in the chain. Naturally, when it comes to difficult customer conversations, the salesperson may be the person with the greatest competency to resolve the issue, as well as being the person who may indeed be necessary for the large, systemic challenges their business experiences, as well as the issues that occur when the client doesn’t do what is required to produce the result (for more on this conversation, see The Lost Art of Closing: Winning the 10 Commitments That Drive Sales).Many of the issues, however, are not systemic challenges or the client’s failure to do what they promised. More often than not, the problems are the day-to-day routine challenges. Salespeople end up looking up an order because the client couldn’t get the answer they needed from the customer service person or Client Success Manager fast enough. Salespeople end up producing reports because someone in the chain of players above doesn’t know how to generate the reports.The challenge for the salesperson and the sales organization employing them is that their focus needs to go toward opportunity creation and opportunity capture. It’s not that they can’t play the critical role on the systemic and strategic challenges that come with execution, but that they should be reserved for a position in line with the function you want them to play for your clients. If you want them to be consultative, a peer, and a trusted advisor, you may not want to confuse your client by also having them be the person who chases down orders and prints reports, something that happens when you allow service issues to find their way up to the highest level of competence in handling client issues. Instead, reserve that for the biggest, nastiest, foulest, and most strategic challenges.last_img read more

Police team was led into a well-planned trap

first_imgA six-member police team, headed by a Station House Officer (SHO), was led into “a well-executed and well-planned” trap on the road connecting Anantnag with Achabal in south Kashmir on Friday, resulting in the deaths of all on board the solitary vehicle in an ambush by militants.The team had been busy all day dealing with the deteriorating law and order situation in Anantnag town, sparked by the Arwani encounter where three Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were trapped in nearby area. Sources said the trap was laid by LeT commander Bashir Lashkari, whose close aide and friend since 2015, Junaid Mattoo, 24, was trapped and living his last moments at the Arwani encounter site since Friday morning.“It was a revenge attack,” said Director General of Police S.P. Vaid.The police are investigating multiple dimensions of the attack, which lead to higher casualties for the police force, including costing the life of sub-inspector Feroz Dar.The militants, the police believe, knew SHO Dar and his team were travelling in a vehicle that was not bullet-proofed, and a well-guarded Rakshak vehicle. The police department had failed to provide a Rakshak to the Achabal Police Station.As the stone-pelting subsided, the team decided to travel back to the police station. “We are investigating to find out who passed on information [to the militants] about the movement of the vehicle at such a short notice,” said the officer.In fact, there was a mild stone-pelting on the vehicle near Thajiwar, which was otherwise peaceful. “The stone-pelting was intended to halt the vehicle. Indeed, the policemen got down to chase the stone-throwers. To their surprise, they faced a volley of bullets from all sides. It was premeditated and planned,” said the police officer. Sources said the nearby houses on the roadside were vacated by their inhabitants in advance, indicating a large group of militants must have converged and alarmed them. Militants, believed to number between six to 10, were part of the attack.Weapons lootedFive AK-47s, 18 magazines and one pellet shotgun were taken away from the dying policemen, said the police official. “We are going to track the killers,” said the DGP.Referring to the attack, LeT chief Mahmood Shah said, “The plots put up by [National Security Adviser] Ajit Doval are biting the dust. The time is near when the whole Kashmiri nation will celebrate its freedom.”last_img read more

Jolt for SP as senior MLC joins BJP

first_imgIn a blow to the Samajwadi Party (SP), its MLC Sarojini Agarwal resigned from the party and joined the BJP on Friday.Her defection assumes significance as it comes barely a week afterMLCs Bukkal Nawab and Yashwant Singh quit to join the ruling party during Amit Shah’s recent trip to Lucknow.‘Not comfortable’Ms. Agarwal, who has been associated with the SP for over two decades, said she quit the party as she was not feeling comfortable since Mulayam Singh was dethroned as president by his son Akhilesh Yadav last year. “My heart has not been into the party since Mulayam Singh ji ceased to be the national president. It was a difficult choice. I took time to decide but have finally taken the step.”U.P. Cabinet Minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi was by Ms. Agarwal’s side when she announced that she was joining the BJP. Ms. Joshi, who herself defected to the BJP from the Congress before the U.P. elections, said: “Given Modi ji’s working style and Yogi government’s move towards public welfare, it is natural that people are being attracted [to the BJP].”Responding to Ms. Agarwal’s resgination, Akhilesh Yadav accused the BJP of sabotage. “Patthar phenko, MLC todo [Throw stones, break away MLCs],” tweeted the former U.P. CM, who has accused the ruling party of pressurising Opposition party legislators to defect.The defection of the MLCs does not bode well for the Opposition as the BSP is also under the grip of fresh turmoil.last_img read more

CM, Goyal to lay foundation of rail coach factory at Latur

first_imgChief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal will lay the foundation stone of the proposed Rail Coach Factory at Latur on Saturday. The decision to set up the factory was taken in January and it is expected to cost ₹500 crore. An Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the project was signed in February during the Magnetic Maharashtra Summit between the ministry and the state government. The factory is being built on 153 hectares. The State has offered several concessions for the project. The Rail Coach Factory will manufacture EMU coaches as well as Metro coaches. During the Summit Mr. Goyal had said that the eventual plan was to create a large industrial complex of around 2,000 acres and turn Latur into a manufacturing hub for Metro coaches. The coach factory has been planned to meet the demand for Metro coaches, especially in Maharashtra.The project, which is expected to provide employment to 30,000 people in the region, will in the first phase manufacture 250 coaches annually, increasing it to 400 in Phase 2.last_img read more

Shelter home rape case: NGOs offer to surrender contracts

first_imgIn the wake of the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case and Aasra short-stay home case in Patna, Non-Government Organisations managing the government-funded 110 such homes in Bihar are offering to surrender their contract with the State’s Social Welfare Department. The CBI, investigating the Muzaffarpur sexual abuse case, has speeded up the investigation.TISS reportEarlier, in its 100-page report, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) had raised fingers at several NGOs running shelter and short-stay homes in different districts of Bihar where instances of sexual and physical abuse with the inmates were reported. Besides Muzaffarpur, the TISS social audit report had red-flagged 14 other such homes for abuse.Among the several NGOs which have offered to surrender their contract with the State Social Welfare Department is the one managed by Padma Shri award winner Sister Sudha Varghese. Sister Varghese runs an NGO to manage a shelter home for trafficked women and girls in the border district of Purnia. “I’ve written to the Social Welfare Department that I want to surrender my contract for Purnia shelter home as I feel it is difficult to manage that from Patna… if something unpleasant happens, I cannot reach there before 8 hours… so I decided to surrender my contract,” Ms. Varghese told local journalists. The Purnia shelter home run by her keeps about 65 girls, some of them trafficked, some mentally challenged and sick. Ms. Varghese was awarded the Padma Shri in 2006 for her pioneering work with the marginalised section of society. She also runs an adoption agency in Danapaur locality, near Patna.23 contracts cancelled“Until now, six NGOs have offered to surrender their contracts with the Department… this has come in the wake of the Muzaffarpur shelter home and Aasra short-stay home controversies,” said Department Director Raj Kumar. The Department, he said, has also cancelled contracts of 23 NGOs running shelter homes for girls, boys and beggars in the State in the past few months. He added that some Department officials too have been trying to get transferred to other departments. “We’ve asked the NGOs to continue till alternative arrangements are being made and we’ve also floated tender for a new set-up managed by the government,” he said. Earlier, the State government had announced that it would run all shelter and short-stay homes.Meanwhile, the CBI has speeded up its probe and conducted searches at several places and questioned many people. State Urban Development Department Minister Suresh Sharma, though, has refused to resign from his post as demanded by the Opposition RJD leader, Tejaswi Yadav. Mr. Yadav also ‘threatened’ to ‘expose’ if Mr. Sharma did not resign.“I’ll file a defamation suit against Tejaswi Yadav for dragging my name into the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case,” said Mr. Sharma who represents the Muzaffarpur Assembly seat on a BJP ticket.last_img read more

Senior CPI(M) leader joins BJP in Tripura

first_imgIn a major blow to the CPI(M), its senior leader and former legislator from Khowai, Biswajit Datta, joined the ruling BJP in Tripura on Friday. Mr. Datta has been staying away from the party affairs after he was dropped from candidature on ‘health grounds’ in the February Assembly elections.The CPI(M) claimed that Mr. Datta was unable to put up a strong fight in Khowai, and thus was removed on the last day of withdrawal of nomination. The party’s second choice, Nirmal Biswas, however, defeated BJP’s Amit Rakshit by a comfortable margin.Mr. Datta, who had to be admitted to hospital in the run-up to Assembly elections over health issues, termed his exclusion fallout of a ‘conspiracy’ hatched by a section of leaders. He claimed that he was fit enough to contest and retain his seat.Mr. Datta joined the BJP at a rally in Khowai in the presence of BJP national secretary Sunil Deodhar .About 100 CPI(M) supporters also switched sides. Mr. Deodhar hinted that several CPI(M) leaders were in touch with him to join the BJP.Earlier, two senior CPI(M) leaders, Jitendra Sarkar and Monaranjan Acharjee, had joined the BJP. A large number of local leaders and local body representatives made their entry into the saffron party.last_img read more

#MeToo: Christian body assures fair hearing for Shillong sexual abuse victim

first_imgThe Congregation of Christian Brothers in India (CCBI) has assured “just and fair hearing” to a victim of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy in Meghalaya capital Shillong almost three decades ago.In a statement issued on Tuesday, the CCBI said the “Christian Brothers stand in solidarity with and in support of any survivor of sexual abuse”. This followed a Facebook post as part of the #MeToo movement against one of its members.In her post a few days ago, 40-year-old Mary Therese Kurkalang had named two Catholic priests – Brother Francis Gale of St. Edmund’s School and Brother Muscat of Don Bosco – as having sexually abused her when she was a child.The CCBI statement did not make it clear which of the two Brothers the congregation has referred to.“We are committed to a just and fair hearing to both the complainant and the alleged abuser, through a formal process as laid out in our protection policy – Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults. This policy looks into all cases of abuse, past and present, so as to ascertain with compassion the truth and support the survivor towards achieving a peaceful closure while taking appropriate action against the alleged abuser, if found guilty,” the statement from Brother J. Johnson, society protection officer of CCBI’s Profession Ethics Commission, said.“Accordingly, a due procedure will be initiated as laid out in our said policy to take this serious allegation forward towards arriving at the truth and assisting the survivor with necessary help to attain due closure. Even as these internal processes are carried out, we stand committed to cooperating with the agencies of the law,” the statement said.Ms Kurkalang took to Facebook last week to write: “Three years ago, at the age of 37, I finally decided that I needed professional help and found a wonderful counsellor. Through the months of counselling, there is one session that stands out for me, where I felt literally like someone lifted this huge boulder lodged in my chest that was there since I was 5 years old.“What she said to me at that session was that as a child, from a broken family, an economically poor background, left to my own defences, I made the ‘ideal profile’ of the victim for a sexual predator. Even though as an adult, I understand and can differentiate that I was not responsible, it is hard to really feel and live that knowledge, to not blame myself. What my counsellor said to me that day answered the ‘why’ I have asked over and over again ‘why me’ and it gave me such huge relief to have finally found an answer that I knew to be true. It’s a long journey and an ongoing one to stay whole, balanced, sane as someone who was sexually abused through my childhood, age 5 till age 12.”She said she had attempted suicide thrice as a teenager and young adult, twice landing in hospital in a serious condition. “Through the years I have struggled to find comfort and sanity in spirituality, immersing myself in work, and later, in a close circle of friends I trust, these have helped me pull through. There will always be a part of me that is a big gaping hole of sorrow and darkness – of a childhood I did not know, of an innocence I never knew, of the fear and deep shame I have lived with for so long, and for not being believed, not being protected, and for the deep injustice I felt,” she said.She went on to name Brothers Gale and Muscat, recollecting the many ways in which they abused her.last_img read more