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4 tech innovations from the past decade you couldn’t live without

by ebay

techn

The year is 2005. The best thing you could do on your phone then was play snake and free-call friends who connected to the same service as you. Commercialised GPS had only recently hit the mainstream, so car trips generally meant that the person in the passenger seat (equipped only with a 2D map!) was the designated human GPS. YouTube was launched in 2005, and USB’s had only just replaced the floppy disc.

With technological advancements moving so seamlessly and quickly, there is little wonder there exists a collective forgetfulness of what life was like 10 years ago. Can you even remember a time when you didn’t ‘Google’? Also, while it used to be hard to track down the best prices for new technologies, eBay is now your one stop shop for tech products from trusted retailers. Hoorah!

Here are the top 4 tech innovations we bet you wouldn’t be able to go back to living without:

1. MP3 Players

Attn: the 160 million or so people who own an Apple iPod MP3 player, take out your white ear buds and ponder this for a second: before the iPod there was only the Walkman.

Try going for a run with a Walkman or packing enough CD’s in your carry bag to sustain an interstate train trip without listening to the same album on repeat.

2. GPS

Can you imagine going anywhere without a GPS? Whether a cars GPS or Google maps on your iPhone, getting from A to B is incredibly effortless these days. Before GPS hit the mainstream an actual paper map governed car trips, and while filling up their cars people would ask for directions to the next town. Weird, I know.

As for meeting friends at a bar across town or hunting down a secret beach, can you picture using only a paper map and your sense of direction to get you there? Nope, didn’t think so.

3. The iPhone

The first iPhone was released in 2007, and would go on to change the way we interact with the world forever. No longer were phones about snake, texting and calling -– the iPhone became a powerful computer that you could fit in the palm of your hands. It became a fifth limb.

The iPhone means that you can access the Internet anytime, anywhere. Work email received after hours? No worries –- you can respond to it on the bus home. Thanks to the iPhone, dinner table conversations have become a bore. While you used to debate vehemently with friends and family over topics you thought you both knew best about, now a quick Google search means you can find cold, hard evidence to support (or debunk) your argument. The iPhone marked the end of the MP3, and the burgeoning of the multi-billion dollar app industry. It also means that you never have to get lost in a foreign country again.

4. The Reverse Camera

Kim Kardashian wouldn’t be releasing 350-page hardcover book of selfies entitled ‘Selfish’ and your Instagram would be overrun with mirror selfies. Enough said.

Don’t get left behind in the Dark Ages. eBay is your number one stop for technology savings across photography, home appliances, computing, gaming, mobile phones and more. From 29th March to 2nd April, eBay is having a 20% off Tech sale from selected retailers including Dick Smith, The Good Guys and Kogan.

source: http://mashable.com/2015/03/28/past-tech-innovations-brandspeak/

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World Renowned Graphic Designer Recreates Famous Brand Logos Free Handed With Pen & Ink

by Paul Caridad

calli

With just ink and a calligrapher’s pen, Sebastian Lester can create lettering that looks computer generated. A graphic designer with clients that include NASA, Apple, Nike and The New York Times, he doesn’t even need a computer to create logos. In these short timelapse videos, Lester shows off his skills and perfect proportions as he free hand prints some of the most recognizable logos out there. Lester is one of the highest profile calligraphers in the world and he shares his talents regularly with his followers on Instagram.

Seb Lester expresses his passion for letterforms, stating, “I find the Latin alphabet to be one of mankind’s most beautiful and profound creations.” Check out more of his work on his website. You can also follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for daily inspiration.

Read more at http://www.visualnews.com/2015/03/world-renowned-graphic-designer-recreates-famous-brand-logos-free-handed-with-pen-ink/#3m92s4jPAs1FiX3k.99


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Personal To Professional: You Are Your Own Brand

by Joe Fell

brand

I used to think of brands only in terms of companies and businesses. But with our worlds being more and more socially and digitally connected this has now fundamentally changed, to quote Barry Feldman: “You, my friend, are a brand”. Whether we aim to be or not, we’re all brands. And social media is one of the fundamental ways we manage these personal brands.

It’s a dangerous fallacy to think, “Oh, I can keep my personal and my business life separate on social media. Facebook and Instagram are for my non-work life and LinkedIn for work, right?” Wrong. Do you honestly think a prospective employer won’t look you up on Facebook or Instagram? Are you sure you’ll never connect with any of your colleagues on social media?

Our own brand is now part of a huge ecosystem full of billions of other brands, so it’s important to acknowledge this, grab the bull by the horns and take some time to work out what you stand for.

The benefits of actively managing your social brand vastly outweigh the effort it takes to do so. Here are four reasons why you should manage your personal brand:

  • You might miss out on conversations from which you can benefit.
  • Technology is constantly evolving. You don’t want to get left behind.
  • People are searching for people like you. Don’t miss out on opportunities.
  • Your competition is already managing their brands.

Now, I’d like to think I’m pretty tech-savvy, having grown up with a smartphone in my hand and having completed most of my education online, I find it pretty easy to get around the digital space. I have profiles on most of the large social networks. Checking and updating these profiles is part of my daily routine, yet I had never thought of myself as a brand and with that I am probably not alone.

You have most likely heard the saying that people don’t hire companies, they hire people. The fact is, our professional and personal lives are colliding and blending more than ever before – and we better get used to it.

The cultural roots of social media scream for people to show their real, whole selves. The reasons behind someone wanting to read a tweet about my late-night gym session is no different to why someone cares what I think about a restaurant in London in my TripAdvisor review. There are people out there who have the same, or similar, interests and hobbies as me and for them my posts and experiences are valuable.

The truth is, for most of us, our personal life is more interesting than our professional life. So, why not associate a noteworthy character trait to our personal brand to make us more memorable on social media? The fact that I work in a marketing agency? Meh. The fact that I work in a marketing agency, and have three nipples? (Purely fiction, by the way.) That’s memorable.

So with this in mind, how do you control your personal brand?

1. By Being Authentic!

Choose one to three areas of expertise, an interest or a passion that sets you apart from others. The world of personal branding is flooded with competing voices, so try and find a very specific niche and an opinion! It isn’t enough to choose a general field like “marketing” or “finance”. With a niche, you will have more opportunities to prove you know what you’re talking about. Not to mention your audience will find the content that much more relevant and interesting.

“If content is the fuel for your personal brand, social media is the engine.” (Jayson Demers).

Remember whilst consistency is key to success, providing value and thought provoking material can stamp your authority on the industry.

2. Join a Group or Community

These are your ‘online networking’ events, if you like. Sharing content and posts to these people will help draw others to you and your brand. Take a proactive approach and always aim to provide value and be useful, entertaining and engaging.

Make a Name for Yourself: 11 Personal Branding Power Tips by Barry Feldman highlights some key takeaways from a networking expert he studied:

  • Follow up with new connections you make promptly, stay in touch, and always follow-through on your promises.
  • Connect the people in your network to each other.
  • Surround yourself with top-notch people.
  • Don’t let awe stop you. Have the confidence to reach out to the best.
  • Study the network of successful friends and leaders in your niche and follow their lead.
  • Find mentors. Do as they do.
  • Ask for advice from everyone you stand to learn from.
  • Give as much as you can.
  • Ask your connections if there’s anything you can do for them.
  • Ask a lot of questions and listen.
  • Tell people you’re excited to hear their stories. They’ll be glad to share them.
  • Make yourself available to your peers and organisations.

3. Monitor & Reply Quickly

53% of users who tweet a company brand expect a response within an hour. Considering you are probably pretty busy I’d expect the time to reply a bit more lenient for personal brands. As a rule of thumb: Respond within 24 hours.

Set up email notifications for all your social media accounts. Social networks usually do email communication really well, and you can adjust the settings to a wide variety of interactions. Take things one step further by connecting your email to another service like SMS or mobile notifications to allow you to respond immediately. There are also numerous monitoring tools on the market, so be sure to do your research first!

The Bottom Line

In this socially connected world, where countless opportunities are just a finger swipe away, differentiation is key. How are you going to get heard above the noise? Embrace your interests, generate great content and share thoughtfully. You have to build some hooks in order to build your personal brand.

At the end of the day, your professional life and your personal life are one and the same. It may be uncomfortable. But it’s the truth.


Read more at http://www.business2community.com/branding/personal-professional-brand-01191824#QtZpblrQe05QawvI.99


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How To Use YouTube’s Built-In Video Editor

by Ben Kim

Split clips, adjust brightness, and add filters with ease

We’ve covered some of the best free video editing software available for the PC, but sometimes all you need is a quick brightness tweak or audio adjustment, and YouTube’s built-in video editor is more than capable. It’s not the most complicated software, but we’ll run you through the basics in case you wanted to use something in a pinch.

YouTube Editor

Unlike most video editing solutions, YouTube’s editor doesn’t work with local media. Every single clip, video, and still image has to be uploaded to YouTube before it can be added to the editing timeline. There’s also the fact that YouTube doesn’t accept uploaded audio files. Fortunately there’s a huge library of royalty-free music available through the editor, but if you want to use your own audio, this isn’t the editor for you.

Individual Video Editor

Editing individual videos is easy and even includes a side-by-side effects preview.

There are two separate editors. One for single video manipulation—for fairly simple editing, for uses such as lightening a video that’s just a bit too dark—and one with a full-on timeline view with support for multiple clips. The former offers rudimentary control over videos with “Quick fixes,” “Filters,” and “Special effects.” YouTube even includes an “Auto-fix” option that’s surprisingly good at taking care of obvious problems. There’s also some simple stabilization, clip trimming, and a “Blur All Faces” option that does its best to blur the faces of everyone in your video. Head to your YouTube Video Manager and click the edit button to get started.

If you’re looking to actually edit separate clips together, the YouTube Video Editor is what you’ll want to work with. All of the videos you’ve uploaded to YouTube—unlisted, private, and public—should be visible in the videos tab. Click and drag videos to the timeline to insert them into your project. The timeline is magnetic, so videos will automatically split and snap when you drag them around. There’s no way to insert gaps (unless your source footage has some) so don’t worry about accidentally inserting flash frames. Click the camera icon to upload still images—this is useful if you’re creating a slideshow or montage.

YouTube Splitting Clip

Splitting clips is a cinch.

Click anywhere along the timeline or the video progress bar to move your cursor. Tapping the scissor icon will split the current clip at the indicated point. Select videos by clicking on their thumbnails in the timeline to access the individual video editing controls that we talked about before. The YouTube Video Editor actually offers fine control over stabilization, brightness, contrast, and even audio settings like pan, bass, and treble. The editor also includes rudimentary transitions that are entirely drag-and-drop. Stick a crossfade or wipe between clips if you’re not comfortable with standard cuts.

YouTube Text

Enter Text Here! Just don’t try to do anything too complicated.

The biggest problem with the YouTube Video Editor is how it handles text. It’s easy enough to add a title. Just click the “Text” tab, drag your text animation of choice to the front of your timeline, and tweak it to fit your needs. It gets a lot more complicated when you want to add text to specific sections of videos. There’s no separate layer for text, so the only way to overlay text is to tie it directly to a clip. It’s a lot of work, but by splitting a video into multiple clips you can add text to individual sections. Of course, you can always use annotations to make things easier, but some people disable them.

When you’re satisfied with the results, give your video a name and click the “Create Video” button to publish the finished product on YouTube. It’ll take a while for it to process, but once it’s done you’ve got a fully edited video, ready for sharing.

There’s not really all that much else to the editor. It’s not the most beautiful piece of software, but it gets the job done and works perfectly fine on nearly any machine since none of the source material is stored locally. Use this for quick editing projects like stringing together vacation footage, but stick to dedicated software for serious projects.

source: http://www.maximumpc.com/how_use_youtube%E2%80%99s_built-_video_editor_2015


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Not Digital Art, but Art Learned Digitally

by Robin Pogrebin, 19 March 2015

digi_art

Lois DeWitt teaches art classes at her home in Wilmington, N.C., usually attracting about four students a session. But she reaches a much larger audience for art instruction through her website, Free Online Art Classes.CreditMark Courtney for The New York Times

Having worked as an art teacher for 50 years, Lois DeWitt decided to try offering drawing and painting classes online. So in 2008 she established a website — Free Online Art Classes — that now attracts about 15,000 visitors a month from places like Indonesia, Africa and Germany to courses that include instruction in watercolors, oil painting and “artful lighting.” (Ms. DeWitt also happens to work in the lighting department of a Home Depot store on Sundays.)

“I have it all in my brain, and I want to share this,” said Ms. DeWitt, 72, in a telephone interview from her home in Wilmington, N.C. “Brick and mortar is hard — having a gallery and having a building — and the Internet is wonderful that way.”

Ms. DeWitt’s online courses, which attract advertising, are among a growing number of efforts by schools, distance learning companies, entrepreneurs and even museums that are experimenting with how to help people become artists without entering a classroom.

read more on nytimes: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/20/education/not-digital-art-but-art-learned-digitally.html?_r=0


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Is the internet giving us all ADHD?

By Caitlin Dewey

It's no secret that the Internet presents a bevy of distractions. 
Photo / 123RF

ADHD – Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

It’s no secret that the Internet presents a bevy of distractions. 

Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar to you:

You get into work. You’re feeling productive. You’ve powered through approximately three emails/order forms/whatever qualifies as progress in your particular industry when – BAM – your best friend signs onto Gchat and sends you a video of a dachshund puppy getting pushed around in a tiny shopping cart.

No big deal! – you think. You will return to emails in approximately five seconds, right after you check Facebook and answer that email your mom sent you about the date of your cousin’s wedding. But on Facebook, someone has posted a really interesting article about J. Crew, which reminds you (about two sentences in) that you wanted to check J. Crew’s site real quick to see if it was spring sale time yet, which – oh hey!! Push notification from Instagram!

confusedIt’s no secret that the internet presents a bevy of distractions. Many of us have grudgingly accepted perpetual scatterbrain as a hallmark of modern life, as unavoidable as Facebook and the Kardashians. But in a lecture at SXSW last week, University of Chicago psychologist Michael Pietrus floated a provocative hypothesis: Maybe these aren’t just internet-age annoyances but something approaching an actual pathology.

“We are not saying that internet technologies and social media are directly causing ADHD,” Pietrus cautions. But the internet, he says, “can impair functioning in a variety of ways … that can mimic and in some cases exacerbate underlying attention problems.”

ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is one of the great specters of 21st-century psychology. For parents of children who have it – and more than 1 in 10 do, per the CDC – ADHD is a behavioral scourge, making their kids impatient, restless, impulsive and easily bored. For adults who have it – an estimated 4.4 per cent – the disorder can make it difficult to concentrate on one thing for any period of time. Adults with ADHD, unlike kids, usually aren’t “hyperactive” in the conventional sense. But they can be compulsive, easily distracted, easily bored. They lose interest halfway through reading an article or completing a task.

They’re “hardwired for novelty seeking,” Pietrus said – much like your average internet junkie, opening 150 tabs at a time and clutching his smartphone in jittery hands.

After all, when you think about it, the internet essentially promises two things: instant gratification and an endless, varied, hyper-stimulating buffet of entertainment and information options. If you don’t like one thing within the first five seconds, you can (and, science says, do) jump to something else.

The internet, it turns out, incentivises the exact types of behaviors and thought processes that characterise ADHD.

The question now is whether the symptoms of compulsive internet use and the symptoms of ADHD share any deeper commonalities. Researchers have, it’s worth noting, linked the two before: ADHD is a common “comorbidity,” or accompanying condition, of internet addiction, which means that people who use the internet excessively are likely to also have symptoms of ADHD.

ADHD rates, much like internet use, are also inexplicably up over the past 10 years: from 7.8 per cent of kids in 2003 to 11 percent in 2011, the last year the CDC measured.

And while we tend to think of attention or discipline as a sort of constant, a matter of individual personality, Pietrus points out that the brain can change – and it can change in response to how we use technology.

“But which way the arrow of causality flows is the important question,” explained Peter Killeen, a former behavioral neuroscience researcher at Arizona State University who has written extensively on ADHD.

Killeen points out the classic parental fear of of kids developing ADHD from video games. There does indeed seem to be some indication that the attention-deficit play games more – but is that because the games are giving them ADHD, because they’re more drawn to their flashiness than the average kid, or because excessive gaming can delay social development in any child and it’s just more obvious in the ones with ADHD?

The case of internet use is similar: The Web certainly may cause ADHD-like symptoms, and it could exacerbate the disorder in children and adults who suffer from it already … but there’s no evidence that internet use could actually cause an otherwise healthy person to develop the disorder.

After all, ADHD is believed to have a range of underlying genetic causes, things you couldn’t just “catch” from a computer screen. And as Pietrus himself points out, there isn’t yet enough research to comment on causality. (“Showing something is ‘causal’ in psychiatry is really difficult because people with difficulties are often the ones that select specific types of environment,” said Anita Thapar, a clinical professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at Cardiff University. In other words, people with ADHD might just go on the internet more.)

There’s even some research, in fact, that the internet could actually help people with attention disorders. Last June, a team of Swedish researchers trialled an online therapy program for adults with the disorder; adults in the program saw a sharp reduction in their symptoms, even though (or perhaps because?) the therapy was administered online.

Whatever the exact relationship between the internet and ADHD, Pietrus says it is important to realise that pushing back against these symptoms requires a careful, intentional strategy. There’s a lot of research that suggests mindfulness and meditation could help people sustain their attention, even online; Pietrus also suggests techniques like expressive writing or “chunking,” which helps short-term information stick in your mind.

“The biggest thing is to increase awareness and understanding of what social media and technology are doing to us,” he said. “Once we acknowledge the potential effects on our brains, we can make better-informed choices about our actions and behavioral patterns.”

Washington Post

source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11423984