The Web’s Dirty Little Secret: Ad Services Can Kill Your Traffic

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#Cloud Providers brian proffitt A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… It’s a dirty secret that ad providers want you to ignore: The vast majority of website failures are caused by online-advertising services. They’re choking the very sites from which they’re trying to generate revenue.This is a symptom of the distributed Web with which we work. Sites today depend on a sheet of services – like social media, security and advertising – to bring the full Web experience to their users.And the problem is growing even more complex with cloud-based services. Naturally, sites can be impacted by data-center outages, but problems with the services themselves can also slow or bring down your own site. And it doesn’t take a natural disaster to create the first tear that rips apart other connections, either. Sometimes it’s just one service getting hammered that starts a chain reaction that knocks your site off the Web.Catch-22 In ActionCompuware, which monitors cloud and site performance, says the No. 1 culprit is ad services. The graph below highlights errors found in Compuware-monitored sites over 24 hours in early October. As Stephen Pierzchala, APM Technology Strategist, explained, the failures signify any event that returned an HTTP error or reflected a serious timeout period, caused by either an application failure or slow down, or connectivity problem. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Ad services were the prime cause of failures, according to the survey, followed by Web-analytic and Web-page component services. What’s telling about these errors is that both categories are ubiquitous for any site trying to generate revenue through ads. Analytics can be even more pervasive, because even admins not dealing with ads need to understand their traffic.For something that seems to comprise such a large portion of third-party failures, there is little anecdotal evidence of ad-service problems reported on the Internet. Some quick searches reveal little first-page information on various search engines. This would seem to suggest that either the problem is not as big an issue as the Compuware data would suggest, or there may be some active reputation management going on.Reasons For Problem VaryThe causes of the third-party errors can vary: a failed server, lost connectivity, or even a bad script that wreaks havoc on the client’s initial load of the site. Front-end optimization vendor Strangeloop surveyed third-party scripts that affect the top 200 Internet retail sites and found an average of 6.7 third-party scripts on each. That’s 6.7 ways a site can be slowed to a crawl or stopped altogether.Strangeloop’s report includes some telling video demonstrations about how some sites do better than others with third-party scripting.While completely avoiding ad services isn’t an option for most websites, site administrators should use this data to more closely examine the terms of the service-level agreements they sign with each of their service providers. If you rely heavily on ad services and analytics, make sure your site is designed to work around slowsdowns and breakdowns – and that the vendor in question has its own work-arounds.Site delivery is increasingly about supply chain management, where the supply is content. Website owners need to make sure their chains are as strong as possible.Title image courtesy of Shutterstock. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts last_img read more

Microsoft Crows About Its Privacy Program – But Australia Has Deep Concerns

first_imgA Microsoft-sponsored survey released Wednesday found that almost half of Web users felt like they had already lost control of their own data while online – just days after the Australian government complianed that Microsoft’s suggested data policies might lead to just that result.Some 45% of the 1,000 users polled by Ipsos Public Affairs found that users feel that they “have little or no control over the personal information companies gather about them while they are browsing the Web or using online services, such as photo-sharing, travel or gaming,” Microsoft said in a statement.“As online activities have become a valuable part of daily life, privacy is incredibly important. At Microsoft, we strive to help our customers manage their personal information online by providing easy-to-understand privacy policies, settings and guidance,” said Brendon Lynch, chief privacy officer, Microsoft. “We take seriously our responsibility to customers by investing in a comprehensive and dynamic privacy program that implements our policies and delivers privacy innovations to our customers.”Microsoft also noted that while it published the report, it didn’t author it; a pair of professors from Indiana University and Oxford did so. The report shouldn’t be taken as Microsoft’s official stance on online privacy, a company spokeswoman said.Australia Isn’t ConvincedBut in an open letter to Microsoft sent January 15, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner questioned whether Microsoft was really committed to privacy, based on a series of privacy summits the company organized last November. Specifically, the OAIC expressed “reservations” about one of the “discussion topics” Microsoft encouraged attendees to discuss.The privacy discussions (PDF) that Microsoft organized concerned updates to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Privacy Guidelines, developed in the 1970s – before the World Wide Web, social networks, email and other forms of electronic data transmission. The discussions were held in Brussels, Singapore, São Paulo, Sydney and Washington, D.C. – as well as in Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash. – to discuss modernizing the OECD guidelines for the information age.Should Data Be Free To Collect?The meetings proposed rewriting the so-called “Collection Limitation Principle,” which states: “There should be limits to the collection of personal data and any such data should be obtained by lawful and fair means and, where appropriate, with the knowledge or consent of the data subject.”The report published by Microsoft states this “discussion version” was used: “Data should be obtained by lawful and fair means and in a transparent manner. Data should not be collected in a manner likely to cause unjustified harm to the individual unless required by law. ‘Harm’ may include more than physical injury.” The OAIC worried that the revised discussion version placed no limitations on the collection of personal data. And the report said as much:“[T]he requirement in the original OECD principle that data be collected, ‘when appropriate,’ with the ‘knowledge or consent of the data subject,’ seems to ignore the reality of the extraordinary volume of data that is generated today through routine activities and transactions and near-ubiquitous sensors (such as surveillance cameras, location monitoring by smart phones, and embedded computers in cars and other devices). Often, knowledge or consent of data collection in these situations is either nonexistent or likely to be so vague as to be meaningless. No one suggested that knowledge is not important, or that consent may not be appropriate in some settings, but there seems a real risk that the ‘where appropriate’ exception could swallow the entire principle, given today’s technology landscape.”The OAIC expressed concern that such an approach to privacy would be illegal in Australia. “In our view, this would allow a considerably broader re-use of data than that allowed by the original OECD version and indeed by Australia’s Privacy Act 1988.”In an email, Peter Cullen, Microsoft Chief Privacy Strategist, told ReadWrite, “Microsoft sponsored global conversations among privacy stakeholders to discuss how core privacy principles can evolve in a world of rapidly changing technology, data and innovation.  We published a whitepaper to summarize those conversations and to invite further input.  The Australian Privacy Commissioner’s thoughtful feedback on the report is an important part of the ongoing dialogue.”Incidentally, at the Redmond meeting, members of other governments attended (Mexico’s Secretary of the Economy, a member of Chile’s House of Representatives, plus officials from Brazil and Costa Rica) but, according to Microsoft’s report, no one representing the U.S. government did so.Microsoft’s Privacy DashboardAccording to the Microsoft/Ipsos survey, four in ten people online know how to protect and manage their online privacy. To make it even easier, Microsoft released a series of documents and videos that describe how to manage privacy settings on Microsoft products like Bing, Internet Explorer and the Xbox, as well as a general privacy dashboard.While many users probably understand how to manage their browser privacy settings (turning off cookies, for example, or clearing Web pages cached within the browser) the Personal Data Dashboard beta will probably come as a pleasant surprise. The Dashboard allows users to block Microsoft from collecting personal information, preventing personalized ads (but not ads in general) It also allows users to select which topics they enjoy. Google does some of this as well.Microsoft vs. Australia: Who’s Right?Unquestionably, Microsoft leads on one privacy aspect: Tracking Protection, a feature in Internet Explorer that actually blocks information that could be used by third parties, rather than a more gentlemanly “Do Not Track” request. From that standpoint, at least, Microsoft’s commitment to privacy must be taken seriously.So does Australia have a privacy gripe? Probably.If nothing else, encouraging top-ranking officials from all over the world to assume that websites may capture whatever data they choose seems a bit Machiavellian. On the other hand, realpolitik suggests that all the free Web services we know and love must be paid for in some way, and that the currency of today’s Web is often data, not dollars.Still, government leadership in today’s Web should follow the lead of states like California, whose mandatory privacy policies for mobile apps need to be enforced. Governments may benefit from encouraging digital partnerships, but they must always realize whose interests they represent.(Editor’s Note: The report that the OAIC referenced was published by Microsoft, based on meetings it organized. As the story now notes, the report was authored by two attendees.)Image source: Microsoft. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Tags:#enterprise#Government#international#Microsoft#privacy center_img Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … markhachman Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo…last_img read more

92% Of All Smartphones Shipments in Q4 2012 Were iOS & Android

first_imgThe Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … dan rowinski Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement For the entirety of 2012, Android held 68.4% of all smartphone shipments. Apple held at nearly one-in-five (19.4%) while the rest of the market shared 12.2% of all shipments. Image courtesy of Shutterstock. Tags:#Android#iOS If you are a smartphone manufacturer trying to make a dent in the mobile wars and are not building a device running iOS or Android, you are out of luck. According to Boston-based research firm Strategy Analytics, 92% of all smartphones shipped in the last quarter of 2012 ran either Apple or Google’s mobile operating systems. Overall, smartphone growth for the quarter grew 38% annually between Q4 2011 and Q4 2012 from 157 million units to 217 million. For the year, Strategy Analytics believes that 700.1 million smartphones were shipped in 2012, well ahead of the 490.5 million shipped in 2011. Growth rates for the smartphone market are slowing. Granted, growth is still in the double digits, but global ship growth slowed from 64% in 2011 to 43% in 2012, according to Strategy Analytics senior analyst Neil Shah in a release. On a global basis, Android is winning the smartphone wars. In Q4, it took 70.1% of all smartphone shipments. Apple’s iOS was second with 22%. That left 7.9% to all other competitors, notably Microsoft’s Windows Phone and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry. last_img read more

How To Downgrade The iOS 7 Beta Back To iOS 6 The Easy Way

first_imgRole of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Update 9/24/2013: It appears Apple has blocked iOS 7 downgrades. The company has apparently stopped “signing” older versions of iOS—versions 6.1.3 and 6.1.4—which means they no longer have the permissions required for installation. For more, visit “Why You Can’t Downgrade iOS 7 Back to iOS 6” for the story. Upgrading to iOS 7 is a pretty painless process. All that’s required is an Apple Developer account and the time it takes to download the install file. Going back, however, isn’t quite so easy. Unlike instances in the past where upgrading to Apple’s new beta OS was a one-way road—which is the case again now that iOS 7 is released to the world at large—you can in fact still revert back to iOS 6 if you’ve upgraded to the iOS 7 beta. See also:  Why You Can’t Downgrade iOS 7 Back To iOS 6 and How To Download And Install Apple’s iOS 7 BetaIf you’re like me, you may have thrown caution to the winds by loading iOS 7 on your iPhone without much more than a vague hope that you could restore it to its prior (and fully functioning) glory. Fortunately, it’s a lot easier than various online guides are making it out to be.Step 1: Download The Proper iOS 6 FileIn order to install iOS 6, you must pick the proper version or iTunes will spit an error back at you. For the iPhone 5, you must download iOS 6.1.4. For everything else, it is iOS 6.1.3. If you use the wrong file for your device, iTunes will not allow you to restore it.To review:For iPhone 5, download iOS 6.1.4. Depending on what cellular carrier you use, you will have to download a different version of iOS 6. Make sure you get the proper one for your network: GSM for AT&T and T-Mobile customers and CDMA for Verizon and Sprint. More info and a full list of worldwide carriers here. For iPhone 4/4S & iPod Touch 5: download iOS 6.1.3. Step 2: Plug The Device Into Your Computer, Cancel The iTunes Automatic Sync Process (If It Starts)When plugging in your smartphone back into your computer, the iPhone may begin syncing its data with iTunes. This could happen even if you had previously had it set to manual sync. This could be problematic if iTunes tries to make a new backup of your device with iOS 7. You should cancel the sync just to be safe. While I did not let it happen with my device, having an iOS 7 backup could supersede your old backups and keep you from restoring your phone as it was in iOS 6 with all your content – apps, settings, music, photos – intact. Despite that, you should still be able to, at the very least, setup the device as a new iPhone. Step 3: Do Not Put Your Device Into DFU Mode, Just Hit RestoreThe popular notion when downgrading from iOS 7 to iOS 6 is to put you iPhone into DFU (Download Firmware Update) mode, which is Apple’s version of recovery mode for iDevices. It turns out that this is completely unnecessary and your iPhone can be downgraded without that extra effort. To put your iPhone in DFU mode:Hold down the home and power button for 10 seconds.Release the power button while continuing to hold the home button for eight seconds. See also: Apple’s New iOS 7: What You Need To Know NowThis process sets up your phone automatically for a restore. It is not technically required to downgrade to iOS 6. At the same time, using DFU mode will not have any negative effect on restoring to iOS 6. You can use it if it makes you comfortable.Once your iPhone is recognized by iTunes, simply hold the Alt/Option button on a Mac or the shift key on a Windows machine and click “Restore iPhone…” The option to choose the iOS6 .ipsw file will pop up, the same way it does when upgrading to iOS 7. The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Find the proper file, click it and wait. If you don’t hit any annoying road blocks, your device should be back on the iOS 6 train. At this point, choose to restore it from a backup and pick your most recent iOS 6 backup. Hopefully, you made that backup the same day you took the iOS 7 plunge.A Special Case: iTunes Error 3194If you run into an error immediately following the process of the restore where iTunes says it’s verifying your iPhone’s eligibility, you might have simply downloaded the wrong iOS 6 file, noted above.But if you’re absolutely sure you have the right file, then you may just be running into a common iTunes error. Cult of Mac detailed how to fix it.Here’s the step-by-step breakdown:Navigate to the Finder, and select Go in the menu barClick ‘Go to Folder…’Type ‘/etc’ and find the ‘hosts’ fileCopy the ‘hosts’ file and paste it your desktop, then open it in Text EditAt the very bottom of the file, find a line that reads, “” and delete itDrop that file back into the ‘/etc’ folder, choose replace (your Mac may ask you to authenticate the decision). Go back to iTunes restore using the methods described aboveLet us know in the comments if you successfully downgraded from Apple’s newest beta. And don’t hesitate to let us know if you used a different method from the one described here to downgrade from iOS 7 to iOS 6. Tags:#Apple#iOS 6#iOS 7 center_img Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces nick statt What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Related Posts last_img read more

What The Millennial Doesn’t Know About Social Media

first_imgMany startups are primarily staffed by 20-somethings that want to save the world… or at least enable you to use your smartphone to make that food truck purchase. While millennials bring a great deal of creativity and energy to a startup, there’s one area they lack: experience. While this isn’t always a negative, in the area of social media it’s almost a deal-killer.At least, if you’re an old fogey parent like me.Millennials Create A World In Their ImageAs Courtney Boyd Meyers, 28 years old and founder of, highlights in a Huffington Post article, “We have a lot of stupid apps out there that are all about finding next best restaurant–products geared toward 20-somethings–and I think we’re missing out on products that the rest of the world can use.” Sadly, one of those “products that the rest of the world can use” is also the type of product millennials are both best- and worst-suited to create.Social media applications.Don’t get me wrong. Millennials are the perfect age to figure out how to move social networking off a distinctly a-social device (the computer) and onto mobile phones, snapping and sharing photos while enabling a constant stream of data chattering back and forth. Millennials were born online, and a particular kind of “online”: mobile. This experience of growing up mobile is essential to developing the future of social media applications.But it’s also a hindrance when it comes to securing those applications.Parenting In The Social Media AgeGiven the trend toward delaying childbirth – the average age of the first-time mother in 1970 was 21, but in 2008 was 25.1 – this means most millennials have no real concept of parental controls. Including the 30% of millennials who still live at home with their parents.For those who think that parental controls don’t matter, perhaps you’ve missed the ethics of game developers like Candy Crush. Such games depend upon “coercive monetization tactics” that are designed to prey upon those most likely to pour money into an obsessive game. Perhaps it’s fair to suggest that adults can take care of themselves, but what if it’s not an adult being pwned by the game? What if, as I’ve written before, it’s my 13-year old son?And what if my son and others his age are constantly barraged by porn on Instagram and other social media? Still fair game?Instagram Gives Parents The Cold ShoulderYou may think so, but I don’t. And guess what? I’m the parent. However, the parental controls on apps like Instagram are nonexistent. In response to parental concerns about child safety on Instagram, here’s the best it can do:We appreciate your concern for your child’s use of our application, but unfortunately we cannot give you access to the account or take any action on the account at your request. We are generally forbidden by privacy laws against giving unauthorized access to someone who is not an account holder.How comforting. Instagram is happy to set up a Wild West of photo sharing, with porn a simple search or hashtag away, but is unwilling to allow parents to gate access to that content. Perhaps because not a single one of its employees appears to have teenage children. Whatever your views on pornography, a growing body of evidence suggests that it’s highly addictive. Given that teen brains are still forming, inflicting an addictive influence on her at that age is hardly fair.Letting Kids Be KidsSo parents like me simply want ways to enable a safe experience on Instagram and other social media, sharing photos and other elements of their lives. I’m not looking to micromanage my children, but rather to let them grow up without having to grapple with adult issues while still processing them through a teenage brain and body.This really isn’t too much to ask. In the early days of the Internet, all sorts of software was developed to help parents keep the good of the Internet in their homes while sifting out at least some of the bad. But such software was built by an older generation. Today’s millennials are creating social media in their image. I just wish some Parental Guidance was involved.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. Tags:#Instagram#parents#social media#teenagers The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Matt Asay A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditcenter_img Related Posts Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verificationlast_img read more

Today’s IoT technologies are circling tomorrow’s airports

first_imgIoT technologies, including sensors, wearables, virtual reality, and more are set to become a big part of the airports of tomorrow – and nearly a quarter of the world’s airlines are already on board.For the most part, travellers are becoming accustomed to the slowly growing influence of technology on their travel. Electronic check-in has eliminated the need to stand in long lines at the check-in counter. Body scanners and other technologies are used by the TSA as passengers pass through the checkpoint.See also: 5 IoT innovations that can’t advance without wireless powerOnce you get to your gate, you can use your smartphone to get a real-time update on your plane’s location and status. A savvy traveller will be able to use these tools to quickly move from the drop-off point to their seat on the plane in a fraction of the time they would have just ten years ago.But airports are a little different. They’re busy, crowded places where the flow of people through the different checkpoints can go from smooth to a standstill in seconds. Bags are still misplaced and even lost, and finding your way through the maze of a building is every bit as confusing as it has ever been.This is where IoT technologies including sensors placed at strategic points in the airport can come in handy. Sensors that track the flow of traffic at various checkpoints, the location of luggage as it passes through the airport to its destination, and even security tools such as biometric tokens and wearables for staff can help streamline and improve the travel experience for passengers and staff alike.A recent study by the airline industry association, SITA, shed light on the kind of role IoT technologies will play in tomorrow’s airport.This study found that nearly a third of all airports are already taking advantage of the Internet of Things by placing sensors in key locations around the airport. Over the next three years, this number is expected to climb by 43%.Sensors are a core feature of the IoT. They provide valuable insight by tracking things like traffic flow, congestion, and performance. Here’s a quick breakdown of the percentage of the 225 airports represented in the global study plan to place sensors over the next three years.66% — Security check points61% — Bag-drop areas60% — Retail areas54% — Boarding gates52% — Baggage claimThese sensors will enable airport management to have a real-time understanding of where they need to focus to improve traveller experience. Whether it’s additional staff at the check-in counter or a faster turn-around at the TSA checkpoint, this data will undoubtedly help to speed things up in the airport.And it’s not just sensors at airportsSensors aren’t the only IoT-related technology being applied to airports. Travellers with smartphones will be able to take advantage of location-aware apps to help guide them to their gate, a point that 71% of respondents indicated they were working to implement.Wearables for both passengers (36%) and staff (41%) were also at the top of the list of applied IoT technologies. These wearables will enable staff to have quick access to restricted areas and give them access to data collected by sensors in their area to help them make educated decisions.Virtual reality services (41%) and artificial intelligence (33%) were also on the list. Artificial intelligence would enable airport staff to benefit from quick, accurate analysis of real-time data to offer passengers more accurate arrival and departure times as well as to predict a rush on a certain service or checkpoint within the airport.IoT technologies may not solve everything. Air travel will still be a pain in the neck for many travellers. But, at least with the additional insight and ease of access made possible by these technologies, it could be less of a hassle. Tags:#airports#Internet of Things#IoT#SITA IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A… Related Posts For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In…center_img 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle… Break the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and… Ryan Matthew Piersonlast_img read more

U.S. backs research into smart shirts for emergency responders

first_imgRelated Posts Follow the Puck Donal Power Tags:#featured#Hexoskin#Homeland Security#IoT#SensorUp#smart clothing#top#wearables How Myia Health’s Partnership with Mercy Virtua…center_img What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … The U.S. government is funding an Internet of Things (IoT) project that is developing sensor-based smart shirts for first responders.Fed Tech Magazine reports that the Department of Homeland Security is bankrolling research into wearables that can track the health of firefighters and other emergency crew in near real-time.See also: Canada’s health wearables coming in from the coldThe initiative brings together two Canadian IoT startups as key proponents of the project, Hexoskin and SensorUp.Technology from almost 40 other IoT device makers is also involved in the system that allows first responder monitoring with just a one-second delay.The project will extend the current functionality of Hexoskin’s smart shirt that monitors the health of the wearer. This connected clothing is unique in that it uses sensors to track cardiac and respiration rates without requiring the user to wear equipment on the head or face.“SensorUp has developed a monitoring platform, and we’ve worked with them because they use our shirts for vital-signs monitoring,” said Hexoskin CEO Pierre-Alexandre Fournier.Meanwhile, SensorUp is working to overcome a key problem often afflicting IoT technology, namely the creation of a centralized platform that brings together data from myriad devices.Numbers of apps and numbers of sensors can’t be equalIt is seeking to do this through an open-source cloud-based platform that will allow the monitoring and sorting of complex data from various sources.“Our vision is to make the IoT more open and interconnected,” said Steve Liang, SensorUp’s CEO. “Right now, the number of apps is equal to or larger than the number of sensors. That is ridiculous, especially for first responders, who need to see everything at a glance.”Hexoskin is one of the startups that has transformed Montreal into a hotbed for smart clothing innovation. Its CEO sees the DHS project as a forerunner of future wearable applications for health monitoring.“IoT-connected objects will be part of the technology we use to be in contact with health professionals on a daily basis,” said Fournier. “We see the future of health as being a lot more decentralized and personalized, and we’re excited to be part of this.” Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaceslast_img read more

HoloLens to launch in China at the end of this month

first_imgWhy IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts Tags:#AR#Hololens#Internet of Things#IoT#Microsoft#VR Fei Zhao Follow the Puckcenter_img Microsoft HoloLens — the company’s advanced “mixed reality” headset — will finally launch in China at the end of this month, by May 24.The headset started shipping to developers in the United States and Canada in March 2016, it has gradually expanded its markets to different countries like Australia, England, Ireland, France, and Germany.See also: Bringing AR to elevator servicing with HoloLensThe official website of Microsoft China has opened links to pre-order for the business kit and developer kit. However, both of these kits are not available to normal users at this time, and even the business users will have to fill out an application to reserve it. Both of the two kits will only be provided in English.Different from other products of VR/AR technologies, Microsoft HoloLens is the leader in MR (Mixed Reality) technology. The wireless and smart glasses design of HoloLens makes it more advanced compared with other VR headsets on the market. According to a Chinese technology website’s review, it also felt much more comfortable.What are the differences between Mixed Reality and VR/AR?VR emphasize the total virtual environment and experience, while AR technology is based on real environment, and adding virtual images and information. As for Mixed Reality, it combines the two technologies and adds much more realistic information than the AR technology, so that users can immerse into a more astonishing virtual world. Most of the professionals believe that there is only a slight difference between MR and AR.However, companies will try to spotlight the slight differences to make their products distinguished from others. Magic Leap, which was founded in 2011 in Dania Florida, is another major company in the MR market. According to the data from our VB Profiles, Magic Leap has established 6 years ago and they haven’t released any commercial products yet. However, they have already raised $1.39 billion in three series of funding campaigns. In February 2016, the company collected $794 million from the series C funding, and it was lead by Alibaba.So what are the differences between Mixed Reality and VR/AR? VR emphasize the total virtual environment and experience, while AR technology is based on real environment, and adding virtual images and information. As for Mixed Reality, it combines the two technologies and adds much more realistic information than the AR technology, so that users can immerse into a more astonishing virtual world. Most of the professionals believe that there is only a slight difference between MR and AR. However, companies will try to spotlight the slight differences to make their products distinguished from others.Magic Leap, which was founded in 2011 in Dania Florida, is another major company in the MR market. According to the data from our VB Profiles, Magic Leap has established 6 years ago and they haven’t released any commercial products yet. However, they have already raised $1.39 billion in three series of funding campaigns. In February 2016, the company collected $794 million from the series C funding, and it was lead by Alibaba.A billion dollar marketDue to the strong connections between MR and AR/VR technologies, competition among companies in these markets is intensive as well. VB Profiles reports the total funding of VR Tools/Platform market has now reached to $2.67 billion.Oculus, which was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $2 billion, is another popular company alongside Microsoft HoloLens. This Irvine, California-based company was founded in 2012, and before acquired, they had already raised $93.4 million in three series.In March 2015, Oculus released its Virtual Reality headset Oculus Rift and soon became one of the best headsets on the VR market. However, this March, the former CMO of Oculus, Elizabeth Hamren, has become the new Corporate Vice President of the MR team of Microsoft according to LinkedIn information. In June 2015, Microsoft and Oculus were partnered to provide a better gaming experience for Xbox One, but now the competition between them is getting more intensive.For normal customers and users, it may be hard to understand those terminologies, but at the same time, the intensive competition among those companies will help us to get into this new era of virtual technology quickly. Then finally let us experience the most authentic and groundbreaking new products. Microsoft HoloLens will step into the China market, which is the world’s biggest market for virtual reality according to them. We should expect that HoloLens would be the perfect production of virtual technology. Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to… Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You…last_img read more

IoT sensors empower the senses that bring AI to life

first_img“Everything we call real is made up of things that cannot be regarded as real” – Niels BohrFor many, the “virtual world” of AI and the “real world” in which we live seem to perpetually be at odds. With AI largely being academic or theoretical in nature for most of the past 60 years, it’s easy to see why many question the potential of it being truly useful in our “real world.” But, in reality, those two seemingly different worlds are not actually worlds apart — AI’s virtual world has real world applications.See also: 4 ways AI is enabling the IoT revolutionLet’s challenge this premise of separate worlds with an experiment. Close your eyes and picture your favorite person. Imagine that person speaking your name and touching your face. Your mind is able to intelligently enable you to see that person, hear that person and feel that person, in your head. Now close your eyes and imagine adding 131 + 17.Notice how the mind visually presents those numbers to you, and enables you to think through the problem in your own voice? These things are not occurring in the physical world. The non-physical world where our mental activities occur is similar to the virtual world of AI.Don’t miss your chance to attend our IoT Revolution SymposiumThe moment we open our eyes after this exercise, it’s easy to look through them and hold onto the traditional Newtonian views that the foundation of our universe is defined by physical material reality. This is because our five keen senses (what we see, smell, touch, hear and taste) do such a great job in connecting our conscious, subconscious, and unconscious mind with the physical world that the non-physical and the physical world appear to be one.Without any senses, some argue that our minds would be incapable of connecting to the physical world at all, let alone converging both. This is the same argument used to explain AI’s inability to connect in a meaningful way to our physical world. That said, just like our own human consciousness, AI can rely on senses similar to humans in order to connect their thought processes to our physical world.IoT makes AI come to lifeThe Internet of Things (IoT) provides ready access to sensors that allow more meaningful sensory access to our physical world, thus enabling AI to “come to life.” Camera sensors give AI “eyes” to see the world. Microphones give them a “good ear.” Accelerometers and gyroscopes give them a “good feel for things.” Particulate and chemical sensors give them “a good nose.” In many ways, these sensors can empower the AI with “superhuman” capabilities, like:Access to many more sensory inputs than we have as people, in many different places, simultaneously.Infrared “eyes” so that AI can “see” heat variances, as well as standard object detection, counting, and classification.Ultrasonic “hearing” that enable access to frequency ranges beyond the human spectrum.Accelerometers that capture haptic movements with much finer details than our own fingertips.AI empowers the perception and meaning of these IoT-driven sensory inputs. Effectively, the IoT sensor measures and indicates the physical data property, and the AI is the intellect that allows perception of what the physical data represents. This is what allows sensors to evolve into senses.These factors, as well as the broad availability of low-cost distributed, compute capabilities (the cloud), the open source software movement, machine learning advancements, and mobile driven advancing microelectronic (ARM) capabilities present many of the dots to connect to finally make AI a reality.After so many years being academic in nature, it’s about time for the AI Revolution.The author is founder and CEO of LitBit. He recently joined us at an AI and IoT thought leadership panel, and we’ll be having more of those kinds of insights at our upcoming IoT Revolution Symposium, Tuesday, July 11, in San Francisco. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Follow the Puck Scott Noteboomcenter_img Tags:#AI#artificial intelligence#featured#Internet of Things#IoT#LitBit#top Related Posts Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to…last_img read more

Tax Season and Military Families

first_imgBy Molly C. HerndonTax season is upon us and military families may be overwhelmed with the changes that may affect their 2013 return. To help navigate this complicated process, it is best to seek the help of a professional. Members of the Armed Services and their families are eligible for free tax preparation online. Through this program, up to three state returns and a federal return can be filed at no charge. Military OneSource is hosting an online chat today at 2 p.m. ET. Join this chat to ask questions about filing from military tax professionals.Unfortunately, tax season is a popular time for scams. These scams run from common identity theft to more complex types of fraud. Learn about the scams the IRS is looking out for this season, and report any suspicious emails to More information is available here. The Military Saves blog also lists 5 popular scams to lookout for this year.The Military Families Learning Network will present a personal finance webinar on Tax Updates for Military Families on March 4 at 11 a.m. ET. Speaker Dr. Michael Gutter  will discuss income taxes and how understanding this process can relate to many financial management behaviors military families must engage in. The 90-minute session will cover:Basics of tax calculationsAn overview of common deductions, exemptions, and credits.The three Ds: deductions, deferral, and division.Complex issues facing families such as phase-outs of deductions, exemptions, and credits.Tax-advantaged accounts including flexible spending plans, TSPs, IRAs, and such that can help manage tax burdens today and in the future.This webinar is hosted by the Department of Defense and if you are not joining from a military installation, you will need to install security certificates. Alternatively, the webinar will be streaming live on Ustream which may be accessed online or via an app available for Droids, iPads and iPhones. Details about how to join are available here.The slides for this presentation have been added to Slideshare. View them here, or download a copy from the link above.AFC-credentialed participants will receive 1.5 CEUs for attending this webinar and following the instructions given during the presentation. No registration is required and this presentation is free of charge. View a list of all of the MFLN webinars presented and scheduled here.This post was published on February 20, 2014 on the Military Families Learning Network blog.last_img read more

Resource Discovery: Therapeutic Children’s Book for Understanding PTSD

first_imgBy Christina Herron & Kacy Mixon, PhDKastle Books [Why Is Dad So Mad?, March 2015]We’ve discussed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) prevalence and effects on couples in regards to Military Families. This week’s featured resource is one that parents and professionals working the military families can use with younger children struggling with understanding their parents PTSD.Why is Dad So Mad? uses the point of view of a mother and child, with the mother helping her child wrap their mind around his military father’s struggle with PTSD. It illustrates the father’s PTSD symptoms of flashbacks, yelling/anger, lack of sleep and forgetfulness. The book helps explain PTSD to the child and reassures the child that his dad still loves him very much no matter how different he acts.“Just know that both Mom and Dad LOVE YOU and EACH OTHER more than anything. Sometimes life isn’t perfect, but we are a family and we will stick together and LOVE each other forever.”Seth Kastle is a retired Military Veteran with 16 years of service. He wrote the book, Why is Dad So Mad?, to help explain his PTSD to his children. Kastle was motivated to write the book after discovering a lack of resources for servicemen to utilize when explaining their PSTD symptoms to children. He is in the process of writing his second book, Why is Mom So Mad? to help mothers explain service related medical disorders to their children. Kastle lives in Kansas with his wife and children. He is currently a Professor of Leadership at Fort Hays State University.This post was written by Christina Herron & Kacy Mixon, PhD, members of the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn.last_img read more

Roundtable Discussion with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke about Hunting and Fishing Access on Public Lands for Veterans.

first_imgOn Tuesday, October 26th, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke hosted a first-ever roundtable discussion with members of his leadership team and veteran service organizations about hunting and fishing access on public lands for Veterans. Over 20  veteran advocates, many who specialize in hunting and fishing therapy for returning warriors, shared experiences and ideas to make public lands more accessible to veterans with and without disabilities.“Hunting and fishing present such an incredible healing opportunity for our veterans who return home with physical and emotional wounds. Unfortunately, many of our public lands are either inaccessible to individuals with various physical disabilities, or we just don’t offer programs to encourage veterans to access and use them. I want these warriors to be able to return home from their service and enjoy the very lands they fought to protect. I want to make sure hunting and fishing on public lands is easily accessible and available. Hearing ideas from leaders in the veteran community about how to achieve this goal has given my team some much-needed insight as we move forward,” said Secretary Zinke.Veteran and Senior Extension Associate Dr. Keith G. Tidball shook hands and thanked Secretary Ryan Zinke for his service in defense of freedom, and asked that he continue to defend access to public lands for veterans.For information on how to learn more about Natural Resources in your community, contact your Cooperative Extension office. Research based information is available for adults and hands-on activities are available for youth through 4-H Programs.last_img read more

Filmmaking Lessons from Steven Spielberg

first_imgTips & insights from legendary director Steven Spielberg – inspiring info for creative professionals!If you want to learn how to be a better filmmaker then learn from the best. Here is a roundup of filmmaking lessons from one of Hollywood’s living legends, director Steven Spielberg.First watch this video essay by Steven Benedict on Spielberg’s techniques and themes, featuring a vast array of visual and audio references from his filmography. Benedict provides an insightful overview of the techniques Spielberg employs in crafting his stories.If you’re after something a little more immediately digestible then LA video filmmaker has a similar breakdown of 14 of Spielberg’s compositional and blocking techniques with plenty of handy gif examples.If you’ve not seen these vintage videos of Spielberg at a AFI (American Film Institute) Q+A session then they’re also a goldmine of insights into the art and craft of filmmaking. This AFI youtube playlist includes every single video featuring Spielberg in their collection. The Art of CollaborationThis four part AFI Masterclass, via Filmmaker IQ, between Spielberg and longtime collaborator (40 years long!) and composer John Williams, is a guided tour on the art of collaboration featuring plenty of examples from their own work, as well as the work of others. Having worked together for over 40 years they both know the ins and outs of effective collaboration, so its a real treat to hear two masters discuss it for our benefit.The Future of CinemaIf you’re following any connected to the film industry on twitter then this recent discussion between Steven Spielberg and George Lucas on the future of the film industry, held at the opening of the Interactive Media Building at the University of Southern California, will have already been tweet quoted to death. But if you’re looking to make it in the brave new world of interactive media, multi-screen media and internet distributed media then there are plenty of great insights to be had. I think the key divide between the interactive media and the narrative media is the difficulty in opening up an empathic pathway between the gamer and the character, as differentiated from the audience and the characters in a movie or a television show. That little thing, that little thing called the empathic pathway is currently the great abyss in allowing a player to become emotionally attached to a character. – SpielbergThe link above takes you to Empire’s full run down of the discussion or if you like your reporting a little more new school you can also check out Norman Hollyn and Victor Lucas’ live blog from the event.Finally if you’re ever thinking of making someone a film for their birthday then you might want to check out the film below made for Spielberg by his friends in the style of Citizen Kane. Or you could just watch it for fun.Spielberg has always been a positive inspiration for me.  Who influences you most creatively?  Leave your thoughts in the comments below!last_img read more

Pinterest for Professionals? Say Hello to Icebergs

first_imgSave and share your inspiration from across the web and your own personal computer with Icebergs.Sharing your creative inspiration can sometimes be daunting, but with Icebergs you can now say goodbye to the limitations of Pinterest and other similar inspiration sites. Icebergs sets itself apart by it’s team collaboration approach to saving photos, videos, links, or text (using their intuitive and unique browser plug-in to share from any site on the web).Icebergs also has a drag and drop feature that allows users to take files from their personal computer and place them on their Iceberg (board). In this regard, Icebergs works a lot like a file transfer system like Dropbox or Google Drive. Once uploaded, fellow project collaborators can view, comment and download the file.Iceberg delivers on many fronts: it’s easy to use just like Pinterest, perfect for project collaboration and has a sleek design that isn’t distracting or boring. Icebergs has three profile options for any price-point from free for a single user, $9.99 a month for a pro user, and $49.99 a month for a team. You can learn more about Icebergs from the video below or their website.What collaboration tools are you using day-to-day in you work?Share in the comments below!last_img read more

Featured Royalty Free Music Composer: Haim Mazar

first_imgHaim Mazar is a Hollywood-based film composer with a vast list of film and TV credits under his belt. Born in the US and grew up in Israel, Haim brings to the world his unique and very eclectic style of music. In addition to being a composer and orchestrator, Haim is also an established pianist and he incorporates his piano skills into almost everything he writes, wether it’s a large orchestral piece, jazz. latin, or classical music. Due to the eclectic nature of Haim’s music, it has been used not only on the big screen but as well for TV shows, commercial spots, corporations, and movie trailers.last_img

Color Grading Inspiration: Movie Barcodes and Color Palettes

first_imgThese color charts break down popular movie scenes and a film’s overall color composition. Find inspiration for you color grading projects.Top image via ShutterstockWhenever tackling a color grading project, colorists and video editors often attempt to emulate the look of another film. There are plenty of great places to find color breakdowns, but two of my favorites are Movies in Color and Movie Barcode. As far as breakdowns go, these are untraditional. You won’t see talk about exposure, contrast, or really any technical talk. Essentially you are breaking down the most popular colors used in one scene or looking at the entire film at once.Movies in ColorImage via Movies in ColorMovies in Color was started by Roxy Radulescu, a graphic designer who grew tired of looking through Pantone books and experimenting with the color wheel in Photoshop. While watching Skyfall, the cinematography of Roger Deakins really grabbed her attention. It was then she decided to find still images from the films, and breakdown the colors used in a scene.Eventually, I used the blog to keep a record of color palettes that I could use in projects, or that I could reference for a few interesting color combinations. I was very excited to find other artists also found them useful for their projects. So far, it has not only been an aesthetic pursuit but also an educational one. Overall, it is a study of color in films, but mainly, it has other uses and applications. One of the goals is to give artists and designers color palettes they can use in paintings, films, videos, graphic design, and other pursuits. – Roxy RadulescuThough the updates only come a few at a time now, the Movies in Color archive is a great source of inspiration. For more about her process, check out this great writeup she did for Shutterstock. Here are a few popular examples (via Movies in Color).Director Tim Burton and cinematographer Thomas E. Ackerman’s dark-yet-colorful Beetlejuice.Christopher Nolan and Wally Pfister’s take on the Joker’s demented personality in The Dark Knight. (Note how muted the greens are.)The bright 70s style of Richard Linklater and Lee Daniel in Dazed and Confused.Ivan Reitman and László Kovács dry (to match the humor) tones in Ghostbusters. The dreary haze of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II.The stunningly vibrant colors of each fight in Hero.The overly saturated and beautiful world of Amélie.The repetitive story yet different outcomes of Run Lola Run.The colorful desert city of Agrabah in the animated film Aladdin. Movie BarcodeWhile some films standout on their own for their superb color work, inspiration can also be found by analyzing the entire film at once. Sites like Movie Barcode take an entire film and condense it down into a literal barcode of color. The most powerful colors from each scene stand out, showing you how the film’s color progresses and coincides with changes in plot. (Images via Movie Barcode.)The sci-fi futuristic colors of Blade Runner.From colorless Kansas, down the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City in The Wizard of Ozcenter_img For more Movie Barcodes, be sure to check out their Tumblr page. For multiple color schemes, check these color combinations at Shutterstock.What are some of your favorite places for find color grading inspiration? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

How to Layer Text Behind Objects in Adobe Premiere Pro

first_imgHow can I achieve this look using Premiere Pro? Let’s take a closer look at a simple step-by-step approach.Step 1: Duplicate LayerFor the first step, I need to duplicate my layer. I can do this by holding the Alt key as I grab and drag the layer up to a new track. To make this trick work, I need to leave an empty track between the duplicate and the original. This is where my text graphic will go once I get everything else set up. I’m essentially creating a composite that will consist of three different layers. Next, I need to add a mask to my top layer.Step 2: Mask Top LayerNow, I need to mask out the sky of my top layer. I can apply a mask by using the Opacity mask tools in the Effect Controls panel. I’ll simply grab the Free draw bezier tool and then begin to add a path along the horizon. To make the masking process a bit easier, I’ll bring the zoom of my Program monitor to 200%-400% and then full-screen the panel using the accent grave (`) shortcut key. Now, I have a better view and can apply the mask path in more detail. If you want to mask something that is in motion, simply add the mask and then use the Mask Path tracking tools to track the motion. Now, I’m ready to add the text.Step 3: Add TextUsing the Type Tool, I’ll add the word “Colorado” to my scene. To work with the text, I’ll need to open up the Essential Graphics panel by selecting Window > Essential Graphics. After I select my font and properly format the text, I’ll drag the graphic layer down between my two duplicate clips. Once the layer is in position, I should see the mask taking effect. Now I can position and resize the text to get it just the way I want it.Step 4: Fine-TuningMy composite is nearly finished—now I just need to do some fine-tuning. Again, using the zoom and fullscreen tools in the Program monitor will help check the details of my mask. I can make any necessary adjustments to my mask path using the bezier handles and ensure the mask follows the horizon. I can also further refine the composite by adding a little bit of feather to the mask.Voilà! Now I have text that is blending in well with my shot.Looking for more info on Premiere Pro? Check out these articles.Precision Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro’s Trim ModeExport Youtube-Ready Subtitles From Premiere ProHow to Blur a Face in Premiere ProHow to Read Lumetri Scopes in Adobe Premiere ProShutterstock’s Free Plugin Brings 8 Million+ Clips to Premiere Pro In this video tutorial, learn how to place text behind foreground objects using basic compositing to create depth and style.You can quickly and easily increase the production value of your project by using text in unique ways. In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how you can put text behind objects in your scene. In this particular project, I’ll be using a clip of a man walking through a desert. I’m going to make my text to appear far in the background of the shot, slightly covered by the sand dunes. Here’s a before and after.last_img read more

Be Completely Sold On You

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now How can you possibly persuade others if you are not persuaded yourself? If you don’t believe that your product, service, or solution is the right choice for your dream client, how do you expect to persuade your dream client that it is? If you don’t believe that you give more value than your competitors, why should your dream client believe that about you?You have to be sold on two things. First, you have to be totally sold on what you sell. Second, you have to be totally sold on yourself. If you walk around carrying fear and doubt about your ability to deliver, then you will undoubtedly make your dream client feel the same, even without meaning to.There are some sociopaths that have the ability to persuade others even when they create no value. They are slicks, con men, and snake oil salesmen. You never have to be any of those things to be completely sold on what you sell and on your ability to deliver for your dream client.You don’t have to believe that what you sell is perfect. You don’t have to believe that you are never going to have the same challenges that everyone else and your industry faces. What you do have to believe is that you and your team are better prepared to help your dream clients deal with those challenges than anyone else on earth. And you have to be committed to delivering.If you are completely sold on what you sell and your ability to deliver, your dream client will be completely sold with you. But if you aren’t yet persuaded, they shouldn’t be either.last_img read more

The Candidate For Whom I Would Vote

first_imgI would vote for the candidate who refuses to demonize their political opponents or attack them personally. Anyone who wants to lead should be mature enough to respect their opponent while still being wildly at odds with their political positions.If you sell, you know that you have to differentiate yourself. But you also know that talking poorly about your competitors makes you petty and jealous.I would vote for the candidate who doesn’t use “wedge issues” to divide people into voting blocs. I would vote for the person who never attacks groups of people for their race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, their wealth, or lack thereof as a way to get themselves elected.I would vote for the candidate who is not running against “them.” Those who make up “them” will also be governed by those who win elections. Divisiveness isn’t a quality that a leader should possess, and there is a difference between politics and leadership.I would vote for the candidate whose personal behavior is in line with what they profess to believe. I would vote for the person who will live under the same rules they would require of me. The leader of the free world must be less of a hypocrite than those they lead without being self-righteous.A leader sets a standard for others through the example of their personal conduct, not just their flowery, inspiring words.I would vote for the candidate who makes no promises that they have no way of keeping. You would never sell this way, would you?I would vote for the person who possesses an exceptional sense of humor, especially about themselves. I would vote for the candidate who isn’t hugely optimistic, long on America, and long on the human race in general. Real leaders are optimists. Leaders believe a better future is possible, and they work towards that future.I would vote for the candidate whose vision is so big that it inspires the rest of us. I would love to cast my vote for the leader who believes that we are capable of being radically more than we are now, both individually and in the collective.This is the candidate for whom I would cast my vote. Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Nowlast_img read more

How Are You Going to Lose

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now There are two questions that will help you win more deals. The first question is, “How am I going to win this deal? The second is the other side of that question, requiring an answer for “How am I going to lose this deal?” The first addresses your strategy, your plan. The second addresses your threats.WinningYou have made a lot of sales calls. You have won your fair share of deals—maybe even more than your fair share. You are following your sales process, and your dream client is deeply engaged in the process. While all of these things are super helpful, what you have to do to win may be something completely different.Where in your sales process does it tell you that you are going to have to help your dream client come up with the courage to fire their existing provider? Where in your playbook does it address having a conversation about your dream client’s willingness to remove a person they have worked with for years?Where do you find the guidance to negotiate a deal between the technology owner and the business owner when they come to loggerheads over the solution, the timeline, and the scope of the project? How do you navigate your internal legal review when there is no sense of urgency, and when you can’t agree to terms your dream client wants to change?Competitive strategy is one thing, and it is part of how you win. But, there is much, much more, and you need a plan that includes want you know to be necessary to winning.LosingYou may have never asked yourself the question, “How do I lose?” It’s an excellent question. It clarifies your thinking, like an impending hanging.You might know that your competitor is going to be priced a lot lower than you are. You might also know that your dream client’s purchasing manager values his ability to extract value from suppliers, because he has stated that fact on his LinkedIn profile (true story, this one). When you hand in your proposal and your pricing is not the time to start thinking about how you are going to deal with what could cause you to lose your deal.You might also be aware of the fact that one stakeholder who is essential to your deal worked with your company in the past, when they worked at another company. You weren’t working for your company when it happened, but the way you failed to execute for the stakeholder’s past company is the worst moment in your company’s history. This threat to your deal isn’t going to resolve itself. You do something now, or you take your chances.A loss review is an autopsy. It’s too late to do anything to save the patient that is your deal.The time to identify what needs to happen for you to win, and what you need to do to not lose, is while there is still time to do something about it.last_img read more