The students, faculty, and staff of Harvard Kennedy School will amplify John F. Kennedy’s call to “ask what you can do” during the School’s Fall Public Service Week (Oct. 12-17). During a year in which HKS is celebrating the 50th anniversary of JFK’s presidency, public service week will include a panel with current and former Peace Corps leaders, a student-organized Special Olympics event on Oct. 17, and numerous activities and talks on topics ranging from corporate social responsibility to education to development.“Public service is not only our mission, but the driver behind all that we do,” says HKS Dean David T. Ellwood. “While we at HKS undertake public service all year, Public Service Week gives us a chance to focus on and to celebrate what inspires us.”The Peace Corps 50th Anniversary Forum on Tuesday, Oct. 12, at 6 p.m. is sponsored by the Institute of Politics and will include three former Peace Corps directors: Elaine Chao, Mark Gearan, and Gaddi Vasquez, as well as the current director, Aaron Williams. The event will be moderated by HKS Academic Dean Mary Jo Bane, who was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Liberia in the 1960s.The student-organized Special Olympics event will be held on Sunday, Oct. 17, at Harvard Soccer Field. Dean Ellwood and the Harvard football team will be among volunteers who will check in athletes, support the awards ceremony, and cheer on the participants.“Public Service Week is more than a chance to work face-to-face in the community,” says Rachel O’Leary, co-chair of the HKS Student Public Service Collaborative. “It’s an opportunity to transform our good words into good deeds.”
The 26-year-old’s future has been the subject of much speculation and with mixed messages still emanating from the Uruguay international’s camp the player himself did little to quell speculation. Suarez is unhappy with the treatment he has received from the British press, which he claims is now affecting his family, and admits that may prove to be a decisive factor. “It’s a good moment for a change of environment because of all I’ve been through in England, where I haven’t been judged as a player but based on other things,” he said. “I had a hard time, very hard, in the things that have been said are lies. One has limits and the family also suffers. They treated me bad and it would be understandable if one day I go to my club (and the media are waiting for him) but I cannot walk my baby, the paparazzi are always there. “My family, my image – that’s what matters to me most. The coach and some colleagues know that I suffered, I was treated badly and I did not feel comfortable and they know perfectly. It’s nothing against Liverpool, on the contrary, I feel very comfortable at the club, but I have a daughter and I do not want her to hear bad things about her father. “In England they talk about many things and in some ways I feel uncomfortable. I do not know when I’m going and I do not know if I’m staying. If I stay it is because it is a great club but also in turn I know that it is difficult because of the harassment I get from the press.” Real Madrid would obviously offer an escape from that but Suarez insists his reference to the Spanish giants in a radio interview on Wednesday was an understandable but not yet tangible one. “England and Spain are the best leagues in the world,” he said at a national team press conference ahead of a friendly against France on June 5 in Montevideo. “It is normal that it is impossible to say no to big teams for which one always dreams. Yet I have nothing, I have not spoken with Real Madrid nor with Liverpool. My agent has not told me anything either and that leaves me alone, but they (the media) are speculating. “Every time you do something it becomes big. I just said I’m very happy at Liverpool and I’ll be forever grateful to this great city and this club made me grow so much, where I still have a contract.” Press Association Striker Luis Suarez did little to allay Liverpool’s fears over losing their prize asset after admitting the time may be right for a “change of environment”.
0Shares0000Chelsea manager Antonio Conte answers questions during a press conference at the Cobham training facility in southwest London, on September 11, 2017 © AFP / Adrian DENNISLONDON, United Kingdom, Sep 11 – Chelsea manager Antonio Conte indicated on Monday he will rotate his players for his side’s Champions League opener against Azerbaijani newcomers Qarabag.Tuesday’s encounter at Stamford Bridge is the second in a sequence of seven matches in 21 days for Conte’s Premier League champions. With a midweek League Cup game against Nottingham Forest coming up on September 20, after a home game with Arsenal in the league on Sunday, Conte says he has no choice but to shake things up.“It’s normal when you have to play seven games in 21 days to rotate my players. I’m very calm about this because I trust my players,” Conte told reporters at Chelsea’s Cobham training base.“You are never relaxed in England because you have to play a tough league and also FA Cup and also Carabao (League) Cup.“Now we are starting to play the Champions League. To play 60, 65 games, it’s normal, but it’s not easy. In my past, sometimes before a Champions League game, you rested. In England it’s not easy to do this.“When you make the decision (on selection) there is always the risk. The risk could be to play with the same players as against Leicester and then after the game, ‘Why didn’t you change the team that was tired?’“You know very well if you win you’ve made the best decision, if you lose you’ve made the worst decision.“I must be realistic, I must be calm, to make the best decision for these seven games.”Star forward Eden Hazard returned to action after a broken ankle in Saturday’s 2-1 win at Leicester City, but is only expected to make the substitutes’ bench for the Group C opener.New signing Danny Drinkwater has been ruled out after injuring his calf in training on Sunday.Chelsea did not compete in Europe last season for the first time in 20 years after a lowly 10th-place league finish in 2015-16.Conte, who won the Champions League as a player with Juventus in 1996, wants to engineer a repeat of Chelsea’s 2012 triumph in the competition, but he warned it will take time.“In the Champions League we are starting a path and it will be very important to start building something important,” said the Italian, who never went beyond the quarter-finals as Juventus coach.“To win a competition, you need to work very hard, to improve over years and to grow step by step and to arrive to be like Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Juventus are now.“You don’t create a big strong team easily.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Some special dogs will be fetching plenty of attention at the launch of the Donegal branch of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind this Friday in Letterkenny.A big paw-ty will take place in Letterkenny Shopping Centre from 10am to celebrate a new era for the organisation in Donegal.Shoppers will get the opportunity to meet two ambassador dogs and Sybil, the guide dog of Buncrana woman Jennifer Doherty, will also be in attendance. The Donegal branch of Irish Guide Dogs has been set up to connect current clients, raise awareness of the organisation and fundraise for the training and care of life-changing dogs.There are 14 working dogs in Donegal – seven assistance dogs for children with autism and seven guide dogs for people with visual impairments.The newly launched branch will be led by Jennifer Doherty, Lesley Newberry and Michelle Healy. Lynda Foley, regional fundraising coordinator said the branch is about bringing a community together: “It is important to have a hub to link clients in the county. The Irish Guide Dogs HQ is in Cork, so having a branch in Donegal will help to link the 14 clients here and encourage social interaction and the sharing of information.” “We have a lot of clients in Donegal, so this is about increasing the visibility of the organisation.”Friday’s launch at Letterkenny Shopping Centre will be an op-paw-tunity for the public to meet staff, volunteers, guide dog owners and the dogs. Merchandise will be on sale along with fundraising raffle tickets. There will be volunteer sign-up sheets if anyone wishes to support the cause.People will also be able to book a visit and talk for their workplace or school/ college.“With 70 branches in the Republic of Ireland, we have a large volunteer community of like-minded people. It is perfect for dog lovers and people who want to get involved in a community project,” Ms Foley added.Check out the Facebook page for more info: Donegal Branch of Irish Guide Dogs Pawsitively great launch planned for Donegal branch of Irish Guide Dogs was last modified: July 11th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:irish guide dogs
Parents are being asked to play their part this week in ensuring their children celebrate a youth disco later tonight (Friday) responsibly.The appeal comes from An Garda Soíchána in Donegal ahead of a major Mid Summer teenage disco in the area.Several hundred young people from around the Donegal region are expected to attend a teenage disco in Letterkenny on August 2 and Gardaí say they will be in attendance. A Garda statement read: “The Mid Summer teenage disco is on tonight in Letterkenny and it is advertised that there will be four DJ’s under one roof.“We want zero teens under our roof tonight and so we urge all parents to talk to their teens in relation to the dangers of alcohol and drugs.“Make sure they have travel arrangements sorted before they leave home and that you are aware of what their arrangements are.“Know who your teen will be attending the disco with and get a contact number for them if possible also. Please ensure that your teen will only have enough money with them for the purposes of travel, entry to the club and soft drinks! “Unfortunately, the temptation is out there and peer pressure also plays a part.“We can all do our part to ensure that the teens will have a good night and more importantly that they have a safe one!” Gardaí warn parents ahead of popular teenage disco on Friday night was last modified: August 2nd, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
Louis Maqhubela, Composition, 1972. Oil on paper. 51.7 x 58.7 cm. Collection: Johannesburg Art Gallery (Image: The Heritage Agency) MEDIA CONTACTS • Jo-Anne DugganThe Heritage Agency+27 83 285 3600 RELATED ARTICLES • House firing up Swazi art scene • South African art • Beautiful Game caught on canvas • Art for all at Joburg art fair• Top price for Tretchi paintingChris ThurmanIf, as the Biblical saying has it, a prophet is never recognised in his own country, then it seems the same is true of artists living in exile. Many South African writers, actors, musicians and visual artists who left the country to escape the constraints of apartheid were acclaimed in their adopted countries but were largely forgotten at home.This, certainly, seems to have been the case with Durban-born Louis Khehla Maqhubela. Resident in London since the 1970s, Maqhubela has only occasionally had his work prominently exhibited in the land of his birth; consequently, its significance in both the development of so-called township art and what might be termed modernist abstraction in South African art has rarely been acknowledged.All that is changing thanks to A Vigil of Departure, a retrospective exhibition covering Maqhubela’s career over the course of half a century. In her catalogue essay and the material accompanying the exhibition, curator Marilyn Martin – director of art collections for Iziko Museums of Cape Town – situates the artist’s output within a fascinating biographical narrative.While still a teenager at a Soweto high school, Maqhubela attracted attention for his experiments with watercolour and oil paints, charcoal and ink.In the late 1950s, he enrolled as a student at the Polly Street Art Centre in central Johannesburg – a vitally important establishment in South African art history where, under the mentorship of Cecil Skotnes and others, talented young black artists mastered their technique and were given a platform for promoting their work.Maqhubela – who contributed to the Homage to Skotnes portfolio paying tribute to this elder statesman of South African art after he died in 2009 – has described Polly Street as “our magical password, our ID, to break into the exclusive echelons of the Johannesburg art scene”.Once he was part of that scene, Maqhubela was identified by various reviewers as “an artist of great imaginative strength” who demonstrated “a boldness and control of composition”. At that stage, his paintings were predominantly depictions of everyday life in what was then becoming a generic setting, the black township created by racial segregation.This form of township art has become somewhat denigrated by critics who see it as a formulaic and clichéd theme among many black South African artists. Martin is one of those who affirms the limitations of the genre, and she places greater value on the work that Maqhubela would subsequently produce.Nonetheless, visitors to the exhibition should not gloss over the early pieces. For one thing, township art from the 1950s and 60s valuably documents certain details from this period that might otherwise fall away from our collective memory. Maqhubela’s 1961 watercolour One Bottle One Orange is good example.There are also striking images such as the haunting charcoal drawing Little black boy lost in a white wood, and photographs of the mosaics that Maqhubela produced for various public spaces in Soweto.Turning pointThe years 1966 and 1967 marked a turning point in Maqhubela’s career: he was awarded first prize in the annual competition hosted by Johannesburg’s Adler Fielding Gallery and spent three months in Europe. During this trip he encountered the work of Paul Klee and other European artists, who would prove to have a strong influence on him; he also met South African expatriate artists such as Gerard Sekoto and Douglas Portway.Martin notices an immediate shift in Maqhubela’s style upon his return to the country: paintings such as A Township Scene and Houses and Fences from 1968 veer away from mimetic representation. Maqhubela would increasingly focus on the inherent aesthetic appeal of colour, line, shape and form – abstraction as opposed to realism.Of course, there are numerous pieces pre-dating the trip to Europe that indicate the artist’s fascination with geometry and fragmentation: his portraits Labourers, Wood Collectors and Man and Dog, for instance, along with the prize-winning work itself, Peter’s Denial. One could argue that his European experiences did not so much change his style as confirm an already-existing, albeit latent, inclination.Confident artistIn the 1970s Maqhubela produced a steady stream of untitled compositions in which he dabbled with combinations of shapes, colours and textures overscored by long, unbroken, shaky black lines that sometimes do and sometimes do not trace the outlines of identifiable figures. From the 1980s onwards, there is evidence of brighter and bolder brushwork – a confident abstract artist making the most of his palette.It would not, however, be fair to say that Maqhubela’s abstract work is simply a revelling in aesthetic delight. His paintings and etchings give expression to a complex symbolic universe. The recurrent images of birds and fish seem to be allusions to Christian metaphors for aspects of religious faith.Maqhubela has, from a young age, been a disciple of Rosicrucianism, that somewhat obscure but potent enquiry into esoteric knowledge and enlightenment. As such, his triangles and circles are not simply geometric forms but sacred images, manifestations of “beautiful, simple, universal laws”.While Maqhubela recalls that “abstract art by a black practitioner was a declaration of war against being stereotyped”, he is also insistent that abstraction is not a mode of expression exclusive to European modernism – far from it.“Abstraction has, for centuries, always been Africa’s premier form of expression,” he declares. Looking at recent works such as Ndebele Gate, Shield, Inyoka (isiZulu, meaning “snake”) and the Isiqhaza series (designs for Zulu round earrings), it’s hard to disagree with him.These resonances help to elucidate the title of the exhibition. Maqhubela feels that, even though he has lived abroad – in Spain and then England – since 1973, his imagination continues to be fired by South African cultural traditions and current affairs alike. He has been “keeping a vigil” for his homeland. Now, thanks to Martin and others, South African art lovers are able to return the favour.A Vigil of Departure showed at the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg until 18 September and will be on show at the Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town from October before moving to the Durban Art Gallery in February 2011.
8 February 2012South Africa’s unemployment rate fell to 23.9% in the fourth quarter of 2011, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) reported on Tuesday.Releasing the Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the fourth quarter, Stats SA said the country’s unemployment rate was down by 1.1% to 23.9% from the third quarter’s 25%.There were 13.5-million people employed in the fourth quarter, as employment increased by 365 000 compared to the fourth quarter of 2010.“Comparing the same period of 2010 and 2009, this is the first growth observed on a year-on-year basis in quarter four since 2009,” said Stats SA’s Kefiloe Masiteng.On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces had the most job gainsYear-on-year, 453 000 more people were employed in South Africa’s formal sector in the fourth quarter, making it the highest year-on-year growth in the formal sector since the end of the recession in 2009.The formal sector job gains were driven by finance and other business services, trade and community and social services.Masiteng said the growth in employment was good, adding that “we hope it can be maintained”.Loss in informal sector jobsWhile there was growth in South Africa’s formal sector, the country’s informal sector lost 91 000 jobs year-on-year. In the third quarter, it also recorded a decline. It had shown five successive quarters of year-on-year growth before.“This is the first time that the informal sector shed jobs in the fourth quarter year-on-year,” noted Stats SA.Unemployment was highest among people aged 15 to 34 years, with the unemployment rate for women continuing to be higher than the national average. Those who did not have matric certificates made up the majority of the unemployed.Although there was a decline in unemployment in the fourth quarter, 4.2-million people remained unemployed, with 2.9-million having been looking for work for over a year or longer.Challenging conditions to persistIn their commentary, Nedbank economists said that although the decline in unemployment was encouraging, challenging economic conditions locally and globally were expected to persist in 2012.“This could weigh on business confidence and discourage organisations from expanding production capacity. This would restrict the pace of job creation.”Standard Bank, meanwhile, said economic conditions suggested that labour markets might remain weak. “Based on our current forecasts, the prospects in the jobs market are not encouraging, with the unemployment rate likely to follow a slightly declining trend,” the bank said.Source: BuaNews
IT + Project Management: A Love Affair 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Tags:#databases#NoSQL Related Posts brian proffitt The proliferation of non-relational databases in the tech sector these days could lead you to think that these data management tools (also known as NoSQL databases) are eventually going to make traditional relational databases extinct.Not so. Each of these database types is best suited for very different types of workloads, and that’s going to prevent either one from tromping the other into the dust. Which means that IT and other managers are going to have to figure out which approach is best suited for the task at hand.In this two-part series, I’ll examine the capabilities of both NoSQL and relational databases to help you make the right decisions for your organization.“NoSQL”? More Like “Not Only SQL”Right off the bat, NoSQL databases are unique because they are usually independent from Structured Query Language (SQL) found in relational databases. Relational databases all use SQL as the domain-specific language for ad hoc queries, while non-relational databases have no such standard query language, so they can use whatever they want. That can, if need be, include SQL.See also: Relational Databases Aren’t Dead—Heck, They’re Not Even SleepingNoSQL databases are designed to excel in speed and volume. To pull this off, NoSQL software will use techniques that can scare the crap out of relational database users — such as not promising that all data is consistent within a system all of the time.That’s a key result of using relational databases, because when you are conducting a financial transaction, such as buying something on Amazon, databases have to be very sure that one account is debited the same amount that another account is debited at the same time.Because so much of this back-and-forth read-write activity is needed in a single transaction, a relational database could never keep up with the speed and scaling necessary to make a company like Amazon work.According to Bob Wiederhold, CEO of NoSQL database vendor Couchbase, the architecture and features of NoSQL databases bring four key advantages to NoSQL users.Go Big Or Go HomeEasier scalability is the first aspect highlighted by Wiederhold. NoSQL databases like Couchbase and 10Gen’s MongoDB, he said, can be scaled up to handle much bigger data volumes with relative ease.If your company suddenly finds itself deluged by overnight success, for example, with customers coming to your Web site by the droves, a relational database would have to be painstakingly replicated and re-partitioned in order to scale up to meet the new demand.Wiederhold cited social and mobile gaming vendors as the big example of this kind of situation. An endorsement or a few well-timed tweets could spin up semi-dormant gaming servers and get them to capacity in mere hours. Because of the distributed nature of non-relational databases, to scale NoSQL all you need to do is add machines to the cluster to meet demand.There’s No Need To FearPerformance is another way that NoSQL databases can excel. First, every time you add a new server to a NoSQL database cluster, there is performance scaling by virtue of the fact that you’re throwing another processor into the equation.Beyond the scaling advantages, the very architecture of NoSQL tools aids performance. If a relational database had tens or even hundreds of thousands of tables, data processing would generate far more locks on that data, and greatly degrade the performance of the database.Because NoSQL databases have weaker data consistency models, they can trade off consistency for efficiency. In Wiederhold’s social gaming example, if a user updated his or her profile, there’s no real degradation of game performance if that profile’s new info isn’t updated across the entire database instantly. This means that resources can be dedicated to other things, like tracking down that orc that’s about smack you around in-game.Objects Of DesireWhen applications developers have to work with data in relational databases, it can at times be troublesome due to data mapping and impedance issues. In NoSQL databases, this is not usually a problem, because data is not stored in the same manner.With document-oriented NoSQL databases, for instance, data is stored in just that format: documents. And since documents are objects, after all, then programmers who tend to think in object-oriented terms are going to be much more familiar with manipulating such data.That weaker consistency model helps programmers, tool, since their apps don’t have to rigidly conform to data consistency requirements. That makes coding much simpler and (by extension) much faster.Downtime? What Downtime?Wiederhold’s fourth example is a new one to the NoSQL advantage list. It’s something that non-relational databases weren’t specifically designed to do, but at which they’ve nonetheless turned out to be proficient.Because of their distributed nature, Wiederhold says, NoSQL databases can be pretty much always on. This is a huge advantage for web- and mobile-based businesses that can’t afford to be down for a single moment.With some advanced planning, software updates and hardware upgrades can be performed while the database is still running hot. Try doing that with a relational database without taking it down, and you’re in for a world of trouble.get section where name = ConclusionNoSQL databases’ advantages sound great, and they are — for the right use case. If your company has a data set that will remain relatively constant in size, or that only grows slowly, you’ll have little need to migrate to a non-relational system.If sudden growth, agile development or high performance are something your organization will need for its data, then you should take a look at the NoSQL class of databases and see what might be a fit for you.Image courtesy of Shutterstock Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…
If you’ve ever used a Moto X, you know you can check the time on the Active Display screen just by tilting the phone or picking it up off a table. The Moto X knows when you’re holding it and the gesture-based interaction made it the smartest of the smartphones when it came out last year. Other smartphones have similarly employed a swipe-from-offscreen interaction (Samsung Galaxy, BlackBerry 10, iPhone with iOS 7) model that allows users can access certain functions from behind a locked screen with a simple swiping.These instant-access interactions now come to the HTC One M8, with a swipe down from the top to open voice control, a swipe up from bottom to bring you to your last-used app, a swipe left to visit the home screen and a swipe right to BlinkFeed, HTC’s content feed screen. Like LG devices, if you double tap the screen from an off position (power on, screen off), it will take you to the locked home screen.Gesture control like this is not exactly a new concept; if anything, this is proves that HTC can take cool concepts from other phones and seamlessly incorporate them to create a unique user experience. The HTC One M8’s Dot View cases allow for easy gesture-specific controls while the front cover is closed. If you swipe down on the cover, HTC One M8’s voice system activates, and you can tell your phone who you want to call. If you double tap the case, you can see the time and weather at a glance. If you are a fan of cases (which I am not), the Dot View case is a cool conversation starter that employs an imaginative gesture-based user interface.Whining: Sense, Zoe, BlinkFeed, M8 Tags:#Android#Google#HTC#HTC One M8#HTC One M8 review#HTC Sense#Reviews Every so often, a product comes along and takes the best of almost everything that came before it and packages those things into a beautiful and functional device that’s hard not to admire. The HTC One M8 is such a product.Almost every smartphone comes with its fair share of warts, and the HTC One M8 is no different in that regard. But the M8 has learned from user behaviors and the competitive landscape, which amounts to an excellent device that stands atop the Android heap and next to (if not above) Apple’s iPhone or any Nokia Lumia available.A Company In FluxFor the second year in a row, HTC has built what will likely be one of the year’s best reviewed smartphones (if the M8 can withstand the competition over the rest of 2014), but the company’s revenue and market share remain flat.See also: How The HTC One M8 Smartphone Camera Performs In The Real WorldThe reason for HTC’s stagnation is open for debate. HTC will claim it hasn’t been able to effectively market its phones. The manufacturer recently just hired the Samsung marketer responsible for the “Next Big Thing” campaign but HTC cannot compete with Apple and Samsung in marketing dollars. Another argument is that HTC has been damaged by cellular operators that lust after exclusive agreements to carry a device. Maybe the decline has come from production and shipping delays of its last two flagship devices, or patent battles with the likes of Apple.In reality, HTC’s failures are a combination of all of the above. The question continually asked by pundits is whether the newest HTC flagship can pull the company out of the mire. At ReadWrite, we tend to believe in quality products, so the answer is a definite “maybe.” It’s hard to be positive knowing all the extenuating factors: Motorola made a great smartphone with the Moto X and hemorrhaged money until Google had to sell it to Lenovo. Nokia has done some fine work with the Lumia series and hemorrhaged money until it sold to Microsoft. If HTC is to fail with its own flagship smartphone, it represents a pox on all of the houses in the smartphone manufacturing world. A pox on Apple and Samsung for creating an anti-competitive market. A pox on HTC for failing to achieve the success that its design chops deserve. A pox on Google for allowing the maker of some of the best smartphones on the market to whither and die. So where does the HTC One M8 shine and where does it need to improve? Let’s break it down.Shining: Industrial Design & PerformanceAs long as the manufacturer is alive, HTC should take home the industrial design award basically every year.With all due respect to Apple and certain Nokia devices, the One series has been phenomenally designed over its three generations. The One M8 is a compact and beautiful phone with a full metal casing and no hard edges. Everything that was good about the original HTC One has been refined in the One M8, including the forward facing speakers, the slightly larger screen, the weight and the grip. From an aesthetic point of view, the One M8 is gorgeous. dan rowinski Let’s just get one thing out of the way. The name “One M8” is just all kinds of terrible. The HTC One was originally codenamed the “M7” but the moniker was dropped before the phone was released. The “M8” moniker was the development codename for the device that somehow found its way into the actual product name. Good luck with that, HTC marketing.When it comes to skins—the unique user interfaces manufacturers add to Android smartphones—beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You may prefer the interface of the Samsung Galaxy S5 or one of LG’s G series smartphones. Some users (usually Android “purists”) prefer the Google Experience of Nexus devices. HTC employs what its calls HTC Sense. The sixth iteration of Sense is what is shipped with the One M8 and, yes, it does feature some improvements over the last version of the launcher. The gesture-based controls and contextual computing is technically part of Sense and those features definitely add to the positive experience and feature parity of the phone. At the same time, HTC—like Samsung—loves to push its marginal “features” that basically amount to a small mountain of frustrating and annoying features. For instance, Zoe is HTC’s dual-still-photo-plus-video-feature that is confusing to use and difficult to share. Zoe is like adding all of the motion and “best shot” features of other smartphone cameras (notably, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S5) into one setting within the camera app. The HTC One M8 camera is particularly good outside of Zoe, so I’d imagine most people won’t need to use this setting. To note, these types of frailties are of the nitpicking variety. Even the Google Experience Nexus devices have the Google Now home screen you can’t really get rid of if you want. The Galaxy S5 has a magazine-like homescreen pre-loaded onto the device. These device-specific feeds are popular on Android products right now. Similar less-than-stellar user experiences exist in just about any device you pick up, from the iPhone to any Windows Phone to the Nexus 5, Moto X, LG G2, Sony Xperia, or Galaxy S5.Overall, the HTC One M8 packages excellent industrial design with a more refined user experience that its predecessor which makes for an excellent Android-based smartphone. If you like Android, you are probably going to dig the HTC One M8. It’s the best of Android and the best of HTC together in one sterling device. Related Posts Sense 6 also employs the next version of HTC’s “BlinkFeed,” a feature that takes an entire homescreen to act as a social feed and newsreader.BlinkFeed in Sense 6 is actually much improved from that found in the last version of Sense shipped with the HTC One in 2013, allowing users to add more customized feeds and publications. But the same basic problem exists with BlinkFeed in Sense 6 as it did in Sense 5: You cannot delete it and maintain an additional customizable home screen. You can either have BlinkFeed or you don’t. You can’t get rid of it to add an extra screen and HTC Sense 6 only allows for five homescreens (unlike Google Experience Android which will let users add as many as they like).You can delete BlinkFeed, as Phil Nickinson explains in the video from Android Central below, but note that once you get rid of BlinkFeed, you lose the ability to access that panel unless you want the feed back. What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … The camera on the HTC One M8 is a little hit-and-miss, but overall it is a marked improvement over the HTC One camera that introduced the concept of “ultrapixels” into the popular lexicon, confusing the heck out of smartphone buyers everywhere. (See our full review of the HTC One M8’s camera here.)Gestures & The Pixel CaseThe HTC One M8 is highly similar to its predecessor, but it also comes with a few new features. Gesture control and screen tapping should be familiar to Android users that have used either a Moto X or LG G2, while the chic pixel case—known as Dot View—is a curiosity all on its own. The performance of the One M8 is none too shabby. The One M8 employs the top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor and it shows up in just about everything that can be done on the phone. From taking pictures (more on the camera below) to switching between CPU-intensive apps, the One M8 is on top of the “superphone” hardware spectrum that essentially puts a powerful PC in your pocket. Given that the One M8’s release comes in the first half of 2014, it will likely be eclipsed in the hardware department by the end of the year, but right now it is fast and responsive and has the ability to run just about any app you might want … and then some.The One M8 is also successful in two areas consumers greatly care about: The screen, and the battery life. The HTC One M8’s 5-inch, 440 ppi display is notably crisper than last year’s model and comparative to other Android flagships within the past 12 months, including the Samsung Galaxy S5. And its battery (2,600 mAh) is only slightly bigger than last year’s (2,300 mAh) design, but the performance is much improved and also comes with a built-in battery saver function that Samsung Galaxy device owners may be familiar with.Let me give you an example of the HTC One M8’s battery life. This past weekend, I traveled with the One M8 while driving down to Washington, D.C., from Boston. Starting from a full charge, the One M8 went to the zoo and snapped many pictures (especially of Bao Bao the giant panda) that were automatically uploaded to Google+, found me directions to get home, played Spotify for about five hours and then helped me navigate around traffic on the George Washington Bridge.In all, the One M8 withstood a solid nine hours of non-stop activity, and still had about 9% of its life left. A quick refresh with an external charger and the battery jumped back up to 26% and played Spotify for another four hours to get me back to Boston. The HTC One could not have performed this feat (though the Galaxy S5 may have). Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology
The new Cinema 4D integration in Adobe After Effects CC provides a powerful, but simple, 3D workflow. We’ll show you how to get started!For video editors and power AE users who’ve been too intimidated to attempt their hand at 3D in the past, now’s the time. Cinema 4D Lite, now included with After Effects Creative Cloud, is a great introduction into powerful animation and 3D tools. These days it’s not enough to just be a video editor or motion designer. To be successful you need to have a good understanding of both.In this tutorial we’ll go over a few basics for integrating Cinema 4D into your After Effects projects. This roundtrip workflow makes it simple to include Cinema 4D files in AE. Highlights of the tutorial include:Prepping and stabilizing footage with the Warp Stabilizer in AE (see our previous tutorial for more details on stabilization in After Effects)Using the 3D Camera Tracker in After EffectsBasics of Creating Extruded Text in Cinema 4DAdding a Cinema 4D Object into After EffectsSet Ground Plane and Origin in After EffectsAre you using a Cinema4D and After Effects CC workflow?Share your thoughts and advice in the comments below![Best viewed full screen][color-box color=”gray”]This is Evan Abrams for Premiumbeat.com. I’m going to show you really quickly, how in Adobe CC you can stabilize, track, and then put in 3D geometry from Cinema 4D Light. These are brand new features and really simplify 3D work-flow. So, inside of After Effects the first thing I’m going to do is import the footage that we want to use. So here I’ve just called it “footage” and it’s footage of the patio outside of my building. So I’m going to take this and I’m going to drag it onto a new composition. It’ll create a composition of the same frame rate and frame size and duration as that original clip.Now, when I pan through here I want to find the segment that I’ve made specifically for this, and then I’m going to hit ‘B’ to set my work area, and then I’m going to move ahead for this example, hit ‘N’ to set the of the work area, and then I’m going to trim the composition to the work area. Because we’re going to be using a lot of automated processes, we don’t want to be having the software rendering and analyzing unneeded frames. So, you want to trim it off to the size you need.Now, you’ll notice here it thinks frame zero is frame 356, so I’m just going to go in here, change the composition settings, and one of the things I want to change is changing it from the start frame to being start frame zero; and it’s still 91 frames of duration. And then, instead of 23 I want to have that to be an even 24. And we’re going to find out why when we move into Cinema 4D, but it’s just because for now we’re using this because it’s a round number. You could keep it at 23.976 if you want; but then we’re going to be doing a lot of copying and pasting. So I’m just going to move it to 24 because it’s not that noticeable a difference, and hit okay.Now, this is set up to be smoothed out; even though I’ve done as good a job as I could out in the field shooting on a SLR camera using hand-held motion is going to have a lot of shaky jerky parts. So we’re going to use the warp stabilizer VFX, which is new to Adobe CC. The warp stabilizer was around in CS6, but this is an updated version. So I’m going to drag that out and it’s already going to start analyzing.While it’s doing that I’m just going to briefly describe what we’re looking at. So, we’re going to have the result here, which can either be smooth motion or no motion, which will lock it off. You can change the smoothness, and I think 50% is too much. I’m just going to have 5% smoothness, meaning it’s going to be 5% smoother than it was before. The method can be only position, position scale rotation, perspective, or the sub-space warp. And the sub-space warp changes things inside, so these are all linear, so this is just the position; this is position scale and rotation, and perspective starts to pinch and widen the top and bottom.But sub-space warp creates a much smoother look, but it’s not always the look you want. Sometimes sub-space warp makes a lot of mistakes. If you find it’s making a lot of mistakes, you just move up until you get something that looks good. Borders here, basically because it has to expand this a little bit what it’s going to be doing is, if we move to stabilize only, you can see there’s going to be a little bit of black bar, because it is having to move the comp around. So if you do a stabilizing crop, then it is cropping it down to be the aspect ratio, and then stabilize crop and auto scale is going to fit it to there. And then if you use synthesize edges it’s going to make up information to fill in those regions. But that’s only for times when you really cannot withstand scaling. For us, auto scale puts it at 104.3%, and that is within tolerable bounds for me. Basically 110 and higher is too much; 110 and lower is just fine, so that’s kind of our break-even point.And then there are a lot of additional things you can do here in the advanced, such as working out the reduction of the rolling shutter, which happens on SLR cameras. You can change its objective kind of thing here, and all sorts of advanced things. But for most of your work you’ll never have to touch those. You can just bring it on, say how smooth, and then define everything outside of the advanced. So, while I’ve been talking it’s been stabilizing and it’s done a pretty good job of smoothing things out. So now what we’re going to do is go back to our project here and change the title of this from being footage to stabilize, because this is the stabilized footage. We’re going to take that and drag it onto a new comp, and that comp we will be calling camera solve. The reason that we break these things up into multiple comps is because you can’t effectively apply a stabilization and a 3D track to the same comp, because it has to read the pixels off one to make the other; and stacking them is just not an effective way to do that. So it’s best to pre-comp it, so all of the pixel changes it’s making here to stabilize we can then make use of here in the tracking.So, we pull up the 3D camera tracker, and pull that onto the stabilized within the camera solve, and already it’s going to start working. So there are a lot of things you want to tell it to make this easier, and the first is, is this a fixed angle of view, or is it a variable zoom? I used a prime lens, so it’s a fixed angle. And within the advanced you can tell it things like what type of movement are you doing. So if it’s stuck on a tripod and you’re moving it around you should tell it that so it doesn’t assume otherwise. I’m going to say typical because this is hand-held moving around, nothing’s really set. So sometimes this will fail, and when it does fail you want to hit “reset” and just have it give another go. So it’s not that onerous for it to try again, and sometimes it makes mistakes when you start changing settings before it’s done.So, what are some other things in here? We’ve got method used; once it sorts itself out. And then it’ll tell you the average error, and that is how far off or how confident it is that it’s got this thing locked down. And then by tweaking all of your settings you’re going to improve its average error. So basically you want the average error to be as close to zero as possible, but there are areas of tolerance you can put up with just because nothing’s really perfect..So now it’s going to try to solve the camera, and it has put all of these little dots everywhere, and you can see when you mouse over it starts to make a target. And we know this is a good track, because when we put the target out there it seems to align with the ground. So when you scrub through you can see the points are very much stuck to things in the scene, and we’re looking at an average error of .23 pixels, which is pretty good. That’s going to be almost indistinguishable. Ideally you want this to be as low or as close to zero as possible. So, that’s really just the big thing.Now we’re going to add a Cinema 4D object to this scene. So what we’re going to do next is we’re going to go layer new max-on Cinema 4D file. And again, this is new in Adobe CC, but this is how easy it is to just add in a Cinema 4D project. You can import Cinema 4D projects as well if you’d like, but we’re just going to create a new one from scratch. I’m just going to call this ‘titles’, and then it’s going to open up Cinema 4D light right out of the application. So in here you can make some basic things, and I’d encourage you to learn from other tutorials how to make things in Cinema 4D Light, but I was going to show you really quick how to make text. So you go to spline, pull up some text, and then you type into its properties over here, something like Premiumbeat.com; click outside, and you’ve created these splines. And you’re going to create an extrude [nerves], put the text here inside the extrude [nerds] like this, and then it creates this extrusion. Now you’ll save your work here, and then when you go back into After Effects it’s stuck it in here. S\So we’re back in After Effects and the bulk of this tutorial is about After Effects. So the first thing you want to do is make sure that this sticks into your scene. And in order to do that you need to have a camera. And we make a camera by hitting ‘create camera off the 3D tracker’ so it creates a camera that matches the camera we already made. But one thing I’ll show you real quick is that when I hit ‘create camera’ and then we go into the Cinema 4D here and we say, use the comp’s camera, it doesn’t look correct at all; it’s kind of like our 3D thing is floating off over here where it shouldn’t be. And that’s because we have not defined where the origin of the scene is. And the origin is, if we go back into Cinema 4D here, this point here where new objects are created it’s 000 on the [Cartesian] plane; it is at the ground at .0 and that’s where things come in. So right now that’s where this is, and that’s where it expects to be, but we haven’t defined in this scene where that is. So delete that camera, because it was wrong. Go back to our 3D camera tracker and then we’re going to select a bunch of points, and then we’re going to right click. I’m going to say, set ground plane and origin. So it’s going to say, use these points to say where the ground is, and from that we are going to then put a point on there that is the origin. So we say, define that; good. That’s done; now create a camera; perfect. And now Premiumbeat.com is stuck down there on the ground. So that works out pretty well.And it’s actually done a good job of sticking it in there. So it’s pretty firmly where it ought to be. There are a few things that you’ll want to do just to improve how this looks. And one of those is going to be to go into your titles here, go to project, the thing you’ve created, and make sure that its frame rate matches the frame rate of your composition. So go to interpret footage main, and you’re going to want to conform its frame rate to, we said, 24 and then hit return. So now this 24 frames a second comp is matching the number of frames here. And if we go into Cinema 4D again, or Cinema 4D Light, you can see that it’s 0 to 90 frames by default, but if you go edit project settings, you can see it thinks it’s 30 frames a second, so change that to be 24. And then we’ll just change its frames to be 91, just like the comp. Hit save, and we go back here and everything is now lining up, so if you animate something you can count out the frames in the Cinema 4D file and then if you change some things in this project it’llline up for that number of frames.So that’s basically it for the basics of putting Cinema 4D things into After Effects using the new Adobe CC tools. We’ve stabilized footage; we’ve [solved] for the camera, and then we’ve brought in the Cinema 4D file. If you want to get deeper into Cinema 4D though I would totally recommend that you check out other tips and tutorials on Premiumbeat.com. It’s a great resource for all sorts of applications; Cinema 4D included. This is really just the basic overview about how to get things into Adobe After Effects, and to work with them in there. The big thing though, and I’m going to just stress this again, is make sure you’re frame rates and durations match, and also make sure that you’re using the correct cameras and that you set the origin and told the computer where the things are. A lot of frustration in the 3D integration comes from not setting the origin, because the computer can’t know until you tell it.Anyway, I’m Evan Abrams. Thank you so much for watching. Hopefully this has been helpful with getting you started into the Adobe CC and some of the new tools. If you want to learn more about Adobe After Effects and other applications stop by Premiumbeat.com and check out the blog for those. And of course, come to Premiumbeat for all of your royalty-free music and sound effects needs. I’m Evan Abrams; thanks again for watching, and I’ll see you around the Internet. [/color-box]