Electric Vehicles Hit a Pothole in California

first_imgRate changes lead to a petition driveAmong the changes SCE made, Gray says, was to shorten the summer season from seven to five months, and shift peak hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.“Whether a wild coincidence or not, these changes will drastically impact existing solar owners as our systems will only earn a fraction of the credits we have earned in the past,” Gray writes at the website. “SEC has figured out a way to stop paying us for our solar generation, at present rates, at a time when most of us have only recently made our solar investments in good faith and with no knowledge that these rate changes were about to occur.”Gray argues the TOU-D-TEV plan should be grandfathered. The website includes links to local state representatives, the Public Utilities Commission, and the governor’s office as well as an online petition to roll back the decision.For its part, SEC told Gray in a letter he would be transitioned to a new rate plan in February that would actually work to his advantage.“These new rate options may help to reduce your electric vehicle charging costs because they offer a longer off-peak period when electricity prices are the lowest, and a shorter on-peak period when electricity prices are the highest,” SEC told him. Some electric vehicle owners in California think they’ve been sideswiped by changes to a utility rate plan that helped them pay for their photovoltaic (PV) systems.Vehicle owners like Joseph Gray are critical of a decision by the California Public Utilities Commission allowing Southern California Edison to alter a time-of-day rate structure and make it harder for them to recoup the cost of photovoltaic systems installed to keep their vehicles charged, Greentech Media reported.Gray bought his first electric vehicle, a Chevy Volt, in 2011 and then spent another $68,000 out of pocket for a PV system to keep it charged, Gray says at a website called ProtectOurRates. The size of the system and payback calculations were based on a rate plan from Southern California Edison (SCE) called TOU-D-TEV.“When you produce your own solar during peak, and send it back to SCE, they would give you a credit equal to what they would have charged you for the same energy,” Gray says. “Also, because I shifted a lot of my energy use to super off peak, I was banking a lot of credit during the day which more than covered my usage in other dayparts. “Gray modeled his system to break even in 6 1/2 years, and actually finished his first year with PV with a $300 surplus. The SCE rate changes threw those calculations out the window.last_img read more

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Remodeling Contractors Talk About Energy Retrofits

first_img This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.center_img One of the liveliest sessions at this year’s NESEA-sponsored conference (BuildingEnergy 16) in Boston was a panel discussion featuring four remodeling contractors. These energy-conscious New England builders talked about the challenges they face as they try to incorporate energy improvements into remodeling projects.The session, “Retrofit Like You Care About It: Inspiring Homeowners to Care About Efficiency,” featured Jamie Wolf (owner of Wolfworks in Avon, Connecticut), Joe Carry (owner of Decumanus Green in Lenox, Massachusetts), Heather Thompson (owner of Thompson Johnson Woodworks, Peaks Island, Maine), and Paul Eldrenkamp (owner of Byggmeister in Newton, Massachusetts).Moderator Dan Kolbert (owner of Kolbert Building in Portland, Maine) joined the discussion during the question-and-answer period.Each of the panelists spoke for a few minutes, and then the audience was invited to ask questions. Jamie Wolf “Performance is invisible. So how can we help homeowners learn to value what they can’t see?”“We bear the responsibility to alleviate our clients’ confusion. People want to make smart choices. So provide your clients with a set of smart choices.”“We need to anchor our ideas to a compelling story. ‘Barefoot comfort’ is a familiar sensation. It’s a useful place to start.”“Ice dams inspire action. Ice dams provide an opportunity to explain systemic failures.”“Don’t start with the solution; start with problem-seeking. Diagnosis comes before treatment. Start with blower-door testing and energy modeling.”“Make decisions that are important for performance early in the design process.”“Communicating all of this takes patience and persistence. Keep calm and choose your battles wisely.” Joe Carry “The builders I admire don’t present green building as an option. They only do one kind of building.” last_img read more

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To Improve Wind and Solar Power, Bring Them Together

first_imgBy BEN JERVEYWhat’s keeping solar and wind power from fully taking over the electric grid? For starters, the sun only shines during the day. Wind blows intermittently, is seasonally variable, and is not always blowing when the energy is needed. But what if solar and wind work together?“Wind resource tends to complement solar resource,” says Sarah Kurtz of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. “Here in Colorado, for instance, the windiest time is during the winter and spring months. In winter, we don’t have as much sunshine, but we tend to get more wind and stronger wind.”A handful of enterprising renewable energy developers are now exploring how solar and wind might better work together, developing hybrid solar–wind projects to take advantage of the power-generating strengths of each — with the two technologies in tandem serving as a better replacement for climate-warming fossil fuels than either could be alone. Ben Jervey is a writer and editor covering climate, energy and the environment. This post originally appeared at the website Ensia. RELATED ARTICLES Tacking on solarOn the rolling plains just west of Australia’s Great Dividing Range, construction is expected to begin on a 10-megawatt solar farm adjacent to 73 wind turbines that are already online. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency — ARENA, a governmental agency tasked with increasing deployment of renewable energy — has invested A$9.9 million in the project, located a few hours southwest of Sydney. Combining solar and wind provides more continuous energy generation than having either technology working alone.But that’s not the only benefit. Co-locating wind and solar plants can save money on grid connections, site development and approvals, says ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht. By building the Gullen Solar Farm adjacent to the existing wind project, Frischknecht estimates savings as high as A$6 million — reducing the cost of the project by a full 20%.Frischknecht hopes that the Gullen Range project will serve as a model for how tacking solar onto existing wind farms can boost its application. “Scale isn’t as important for competitiveness when plants are co-located, meaning the approach could also unlock new markets for medium-scale solar PV projects,” he says. And just how big could these new markets be? Frischknecht points to an ARENA-funded study that found an estimated 1,000 MW of solar generating potential at existing wind farms in Australia — enough, ARENA calculates, to power 700,000 homes.“The lessons learned at Gullen Range will be invaluable, as this is the first project of its type in Australia,” Frischknecht says. “It has the potential to cement industry confidence in the approach and provide a blueprint for similar projects to follow.” Renewable Portfolio Standards Produce Big SavingsNew York Utility Finds Big Payoff in New IdeasWhy a Vermont Utility Welcomes Solar A California Utility Looks for New Answers in Solar Integration PuzzleDoes Cheaper Solar Mean We Can Forget Efficiency?Solar Energy Can Make the Grid More Resilient Battery boostersExpanding power production and saving money on installation aren’t the only benefits that can come from combining wind and solar. When applied to microgrid systems — local energy grids that can disconnect from the traditional grid and operate autonomously — combined solar and wind can help cut battery costs as well, says NREL’s Kurtz.According to Kurtz, microgrids are finding application in places like Hawaii and India where utility prices are exorbitantly high or where communities are too remote to be tied into the macrogrid.Microgrids powered by photovoltaics require battery storage, since people need power when the sun isn’t shining. The problem is, batteries are still quite expensive. Adding wind can help cut the battery costs, since the wind can (and often does) blow when the sun doesn’t shine.“If you’re in a location where the wind does blow, and especially where the wind complements solar, until the batteries get cheaper than the wind power itself, you’re going to be better off adding wind [than batteries],” Kurtz says.The microgrid will still need some form of storage, “because there will always be a night when the wind isn’t blowing,” she adds. But the solar and wind combination “can make battery demand much smaller.”As these types of hybrid systems are just now coming online — ARENA hopes that the Gullen Solar Farm will start producing power in July 2017 — there isn’t yet a lot of empirical data about how well they actually perform. But solar developers have been wary that the shadows cast by wind turbines could potentially stunt the production of solar power.Research, however, is allaying some of those fears. Simulations conducted in 2013 by the Reiner Lemoine Institut and Solarpraxis AG, both in Germany, showed that shading losses would be as low as 1% to 2% on average. They also suggested that combining photovoltaics and wind turbines at the same location can actually yield up to twice the amount of electricity as having either system working alone in the same land area. The Gullen Range project, for its part, avoids shading losses altogether by locating the photovoltaics on a northern facing slope beyond the range of any turbines’ shadows. Virtual hybridsIn Texas, the Defense Logistics Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense is getting around any potential downsides of co-locating the two technologies another way — by taking a more “virtual” approach to hybrid wind and solar. The agency is working with developer Apex Clean Energy to meet 100% of Fort Hood’s electricity needs with onsite solar PV panels that are complemented by additional energy wired in from a wind farm in Floyd County, more than 300 miles northwest of the facility.Apex put the solar onsite because the Army wanted the grid security provided by local generation that isn’t vulnerable to power outages and other transmission constraints, Apex director of public affairs Dahvi Wilson explains. But Apex and the Army chose to site the turbines where the wind resource was the strongest. The setup illustrates the point that “[a] hybrid project does not necessary have to be co-located,” Wilson says.Wilson is enthusiastic about how the projects helps make these renewables make sense from an economic as well as environmental standpoint.“Wind energy offers the cheapest option for new energy construction currently available in the U.S., while solar energy can be more expensive to develop and install,” Wilson explains. “By combining the costs into one product, the blended cost is competitive with other new sources of energy.”last_img read more

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Three Easy and Essential Advanced Framing Techniques

first_imgThe only reason they’re not already used on every stick-built house is inertia. “We’ve been doing it this way for 30 years and it’s never been a problem.” If you’re a builder and worried about trying something new, check out Matt Risinger’s video about standard framing versus advanced framing.The exterior walls in a typical house are 25% framing. Wood has an R-value of about 1 per inch. Most insulation is close to 4 per inch. Using these advanced framing techniques will reduce the amount of wood in those walls and increase the insulation.It’s time to get over the inertia. These things are easy, easy, easy. Your house won’t fall down. Instead, your house will be better. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, building science consultant, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. Most new homes in North America are built with sticks. The early home builders used bigger pieces of wood — timbers — and when the smaller dimensional lumber that we use so much today hit the market, they scoffed at those new-fangled little woody things, calling them sticks. Now our home construction industry is full of people who do stick building and the home you live is most likely stick-built. And sadly, many of the techniques used to build many of those homes are the same used before we started insulating them.Before insulation became widespread, it didn’t matter if you put extra wood in your walls. In fact, many builders still think more wood is better. But when your insulation goes into the cavities between framing members, every extra bit of wood means less insulation. That means more heat loss in winter and more heat gain in summer because wood has an R-value less than a third that of most insulation. (Putting all the insulation on the outside is better, but that’s more expensive and not likely to happen on a wide scale in the residential market.)The good news is there are some simple ways to improve the framing and get more insulation without compromising the structural stability of the home. Here are three I think ought to be used on every stick-built home.Ladder T-wallsThis one is a no-brainer. When an interior wall intersects an exterior wall, the standard practice is to use three studs to complete the T-wall. The photo above shows what that looks like.[Image credit: U.S. Department of Energy]The oriented strand board (OSB) sheathing you see in the photo above will get covered with insulation. The space between those two studs in the exterior wall, however, won’t get any insulation. There’s no way to get it there. (Well, you could drill holes and try to spray foam in there, but spraying foam in a closed cavity risks blowing out the wall or leaving voids. Plus, few builders would take the time to do that.)One easy solution is the ladder T-wall. The diagram at right shows what it looks like.Rather than vertical studs, you take some of your scrap wood and run it across horizontally. You put the wide side against the T-wall stud so you have space in the back to insulate that cavity. It’s beautiful! You save wood and get a better-insulated house, too.The photo above is from the North Central Georgia affiliate of Habitat for Humanity. We work with them and are always impressed with their ability to implement stuff like this.Here’s what it looks like in real life (right).It’s got 1-by deadwood for drywall and what is essentially fireblocking through the cavity.Of course, there are variations of advanced framing at T-walls. Here’s one that a client of ours used a few years ago (right). RELATED ARTICLESThe Pros and Cons of Advanced FramingGBA Encyclopedia: Efficient Framing Fine Homebuilding: ”The Future of Framing Is Here” by Joseph Lstiburek The advanced framing alternative is to use three studs but leaves an opening to get insulation back into the corner, like this (right).It’s usually called a California corner here in the Southeast. I’m not sure what it’s called in California. Maybe just a corner? That DOE fact sheet I mentioned above also shows how to do a two-stud corner. Here’s the diagram (right).It uses less wood and gives you even more space for insulation. Check out the fact sheet for more details on that.center_img The natural solution here is to throw some insulation in the gap. You can do it easily with rigid foam board. If you don’t like foam, you can use mineral wool or something else. Just get some insulation in there. Otherwise, you’ve got a thermal bridge that wastes your heating and cooling dollars and could create other problems, like making your mean radiant temperature uncomfortably cold in winter or hot in summer.The image at right (from the same U.S. Dept. of Energy document on advanced framing as the ladder T-wall image) illustrates how it works.Going a step further, you can get more reduction of thermal bridging at headers by sizing them properly or not using them at all. A lot of framers will use the same size header in every opening of the house. But different openings have different loads to transmit. And some have no load. In those cases, you can make the header smaller or eliminate it, leaving room for even more insulation.Too easy not to useThese three advanced framing techniques for walls in stick-built homes are too easy not to use. In fact, some people will look at these and dispute their being called “advanced framing” at all. But in the Southeastern U.S. and some other regions, plenty of builders still haven’t adopted these three techniques. California corners and two-stud cornersThis is similar to the T-wall problem. The standard practice uses three studs and blocks off the corner so you can’t insulate it. Here’s what it looks like (right). Insulated headersHeaders abound in stick-built homes. They carry the load when you can’t put in studs at the regular spacing, as is the case where you have doors and windows. They’re often made with two pieces of bigger wood, like 2x10s, but they have a gap. In a 2×4 wall, two 2x10s on edge are 3″ thick. The wall is 3.5″ thick. In a typical home, that extra half inch is wasted. In a 2×6 wall, you’re wasting 2.5”.last_img read more

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How Shazam Plans To Make Money On TV’s Second Screen

first_img4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App No longer content to just help you confirm that, yes, the song you’re hearing is the new Justin Bieber single, Shazam is branching out. The music identification and discovery app is expanding its social TV capabilities and solidifying its role in the second-screen space. Unlike many new-media initiatives, it might even have a viable business model ready to go.  The company claims to be able to recognize just about any U.S. television show based on a quick sample of its audio. From there, delivers up relevant trivia, cast information, social streams and other content. All of this is typical fare for second-screen apps, but Shazam’s twist is interesting because it uses audio fingerprinting to identify what’s being watched and then present related material. Shazam, which now has a quarter billion users, is best known for identifying songs using a quick audio snippet recorded through the microphone of a user’s smartphone or tablet. The app’s audio fingerprinting and matching technology can identify tracks even through the noise of a loud bar, and it can distinguish between two songs played simultaneously. Based on what it identifies, it lets users read the artist’s bio, buy the song from iTunes, find concert tickets and read the lyrics to verify that, indeed, the lead singer of Train just sang those words, in that order. From ID’ing Songs To ID’ing TV Shows Shazam’s lastest push brings this same functionality to television shows. Users can tap the record button in the app to take an audio sample and Shazam will match what it hears against its own database to identify the show. This is neat and all, but the real potential lies in what happens next. As it does with songs, Shazam unlocks all kinds of supplementary content and information about the show. These are the kinds of things people are already doing in other apps by manually tapping a show listing or check-in button, but in this case the action is performed using audio. That removes a little bit of friction. It also capitalizes on an established user-machine interaction: People who have used Shazam are already accustomed to holding up their phone to learn more about content, whereas tapping the check-in button on an app like GetGlue or Miso may not come as naturally. Social TV With A Business PlanThe social TV market – especially the second-screen phenomenon – is exploding as smartphones and tablets proliferate. Eighty-six percent of U.S. smartphone owners use their phones while watching TV at least once a month, according to Nielsen. Tablet owners are even more immersed in their devices while watching TV. Most are checking email and browsing the Web, but a growing audience is looking up content and trivia related to what’s on the bigger screen and chatting with others via Twitter, Facebook, and TV-specific social services like GetGlue.  With each new major TV event, we see a flood of new stats about how second screens and social networks are tied in. From the premiere of Breaking Bad to the 2012 Summer Olympics, big TV moments are seeing big second-screen stats. In almost every case, the numbers are climbing. Shazam’s shift into this space is yet another sign of social TV’s huge potential. And it’s not just a shoot-first, figure-out-a-biz-plan-later kind of strategy. There’s a real revenue opportunity right up front. Through a partnership with Delivery Agent, Shazam offers viewers the opportunity to buy merchandise related to a given show.This is powerful stuff. Rather than try and work in some ad-related business model over time (or just hope they get acquired), Shazam takes consumers from watching a TV show to paying real money to buy things. For consumers, it cuts out several manual steps – making note of a product they see on TV, going to the appropriate website or store, recalling the item and pulling out a credit card to purchase it. For Shazam and its media partners, it offers a monetization scheme that other legacy media industries would kill for. Related Posts Tags:#television#web john paul titlowcenter_img 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…last_img read more

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Gmail In Cherokee: Why Google Is Awesome

first_imgSay what you will about Google, but there is something incredible about a company that once in a while does something just because it’s a cool thing to do.For example, Google just announced it has created a version of Gmail in the Cherokee language. There are fewer than 20,000 Cherokee speakers in the world, and perhaps only 100 or so people who speak nothing but this language. So why would Google put a bunch of engineers and linguists to work for months making an email program in Cherokee?It began when Craig Cornelius, a Google engineer, shared a ride with a Vince Blackfox, member of the Cherokee nation. They got talking about the effort to preserve Native American languages, many of which have been dying out as fewer and fewer people speak them. A 2002 survey showed that nobody under the age of 40 spoke conversational Cherokee.Cornelius worked with the language technology department at Cherokee Nation to figure out Cherokee words for things like “inbox” and “spam.” A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… dan lyons Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting The project was tricky because Cherokee uses a unique alphabet (above) created in 1821 by a Cherokee silversmith named Sequoyah (aka George Gist or George Guess). The Cherokee Nation is hoping that the Gmail in Cherokee project will breathe new life into the Cherokee language by giving young people an opportunity to use the language in their day-to-day lives.I hope I don’t sound hopelessly naive, but is there any other company in the tech industry (or any industry for that matter) that would ever do something this awesome?  Image courtesy of Google. Tags:#Cherokee#gmail#Google last_img read more

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Xbox One Eighty: Microsoft Finds It Still Needs Gamers To Sell Gaming Consoles

first_imgtaylor hatmaker 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App Apparently, Microsoft has just remembered that it needs gamers to sell a gaming console. In a complete and humbling reversal, Microsoft’s next-gen console just dropped some of the contentious bits that had formerly loyal gamers shouldering pitchforks and heading to Redmond. And thank goodness — now we’ve got a fairer fight on our hands.See also: 5 Games That Make The Sony-Microsoft Console War MeaninglessSo what’s out? Microsoft brought the axe down on its requirement that the Xbox One would need to connect to the Internet once every 24 hours, and also rolled back its most user unfriendly copy-protection (i.e., DRM) limitations. In an official Microsoft blog post, Interactive Entertainment President Don Mattrick invites gamers to “[t]rade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today.” The company also dropped regional restrictions for games in the Xbox One’s stable.And unlike last week, the Xbox One leads the PlayStation 4 in launch day pre-orders today.Features On The Chopping BlockUnfortunately, hushing the public backlash against the Xbox One comes at the cost of a few previously-announced features, at least at launch. The Xbox One will not allow users to share games with up to 10 “family” members — one of the system’s cooler new perks.And some old annoyances are back, too. For instance, users can download games from disk to the Xbox One’s hard drive in order to improve performance — but they’ll still need to put the physical disk in the console to play them.Was The Xbox 360 The Gamer’s Console All Along?Why did Microsoft change its tune? As much as the company paraded the next-generation Xbox One as an all-in-one living room entertainment system, it’s still a gaming console at heart.According to a surprising 2013 Nielsen report, the Xbox is where the gamers were all along. In 2012 PlayStation 3 users lead the charge on non-gaming entertainment, spending almost a quarter of their time streaming movies or TV shows — not playing games — on the console. Xbox 360 users spent around 13% of their usage time for video-on-demand and other forms of streaming media.See also: Ouya Is A Tiny Box Full Of Game PossibilitiesPlayStation 3 owners only spent 46% of their time playing online or offline games, allocating the rest to the broader entertainment features that are supposedly the domain of Microsoft, while Xbox 360 users spent 66% of their time playing games on the console. Sure, Sony’s inclusion of Blu-Ray on its last-gen console counts for something, but video on demand and streaming media accounted for the lion’s share of the difference — and that’s something both consoles have equal access to.Can Microsoft’s Backtrack Bring Gamers Back?Last week, Sony jumped at the opportunity to spin the PlayStation 4 as a console built for gamers, not just for whatever family members happen to be ambling around the living room. And for once, the gaming community at large seemed agree on something — namely that it wouldn’t stand for the Xbox One’s restrictive policies and it was happy to pre-order the PlayStation 4 instead. Pre-orders for Sony’s PS4 poured in.Now that Microsoft has been humbled by the core gamer demographic it threw to the wolves just last week, the big question is whether it’s done enough to repair the damage. We’ll have to track console pre-orders and social media to see how it all plays out, at least until the consoles hit the market this fall. By that time, the rules of the game may have shifted yet again.Xbox 180 image via imgur, provenance unknown 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… Tags:#gaming#Microsoft#Microsoft Xbox#Xbox#xbox one center_img 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Related Posts 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…last_img read more

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Thread: Finally, a mesh protocol that works!

first_imgSmall Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to… Tags:#Google#IoT#protocols#Rigado#Thread#Weave Follow the Puck Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces ReadWrite Sponsorscenter_img Related Posts Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Thread is a secure wireless mesh network architected for the home and its connected products. Everyone is excited about Thread because it’s a wireless protocol that’s designed by Google Nest (with Weave), is open(ish), is extremely resilient, scalable, and meshes. The best part about reading this article is that you can learn how to get your hands on one of the few Thread RF modules available now that you can play with.To date, mesh protocols have been notoriously high in promises and low in delivery. That’s okay, as mesh is a very, very, hard technology to get working correctly and Thread has built on the shoulders of the giants it stands on. But first, a quick briefing on Thread for those of you who are not familiar with it.Thread is primarily a mesh networking protocol. Each “node” (or product) in the network can act as a router, leader or end device. These then connect to a border router to get the data onto the network from and to the internet. Each network can only have one leader and each node must be capable of being a router or an end device. The node must independently make the decision to be a router or an end node depending on what the needs of the network are. Take a moment and re-read that. It’s dense but worth taking the time to understand completely.Now let’s get down and dirty and technical for the engineers amongst you now:Thread is a self-forming and self-healing network by design. There can be no single point of failure. Thread is carried on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard at 2.4ghz. The protocol is fully IPv6 compliant meaning that every node on the network has a full IP address by the use of a 6LoWPAN header. Since every node has a full IP address there is no need for NAT (Network Address Translation). Thread has embraced low-power techniques to enable what they call “sleepy nodes” – nodes that will go into deep sleep mode when not in active use. When they wake up or are pinged there is no need for the node to rejoin the network, as on wake the parent sees the device and recognizes it. The network is designed to continue operating locally when there is no general IP connection to the greater internet. Security is by object authentication on the network by key exchange. It uses a variant of the Diffie Hellman key exchange that leverages a NIST elliptic curve to make it more power efficient.For the product managers/owners amongst you, Thread is important because you don’t want your product to be a second class citizen in the new IoT order. You want it to be a first class participant and fully compliant with the protocol.The organization pushing Thread is committed to making it work and committed to stopping it from fragmenting. The working group reads like a who’s who of consumer, commercial and industrial vendors. So while we may have the “Betamax” problem occur again, the prospects look good for Thread and many powerful companies are eager to ensure that their products have Thread lest they are left out of the “Internet of Things Club.”Surj Patel, VP of Business Development, RigadoConsumer home products will be the first use caseThe first use cases will be consumer products in the smart home, but the commercial controls and industrial automation pioneers are eager to put Thread through its paces to see if it can replace the aging and fragile Zigbee protocol or the single vendor controlled Z-Wave.Now that’s all dandy, but what does it mean for you?The low energy experts at Rigado in Portland, OR have partnered with chip giant NXP to produce one of the first certified Thread modules to reach market – the R41Z. In addition, it also has Bluetooth low energy providing a double punch of connectivity for your projects. Rigado is now making a number of their post verification run modules available for ReadWrite readers who are working on actual products. You will get an eval board and a ton of support, BUT you must give back some feedback on how the experience can be improved. To sign-up for this beta program click here and fill out the brief form.This article was produced in partnership with Rigado.last_img read more

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Apple in talks with suppliers to build augmented reality glasses

first_imgApple has reportedly been in talks with suppliers to test prototype augmented reality glasses, according to Bloomberg.Citing sources familiar with the matter, the report states that the executive team are “weighing an expansion” into digital glasses.See Also: Apple picks Blackberry talent for driverless car OSThe prototype device connects to an iPhone wirelessly and shows snippets of information from the smartphone in the wearer’s field of vision. We assume it would be similar to Google Glass, but with less clutter on the screen.The firm has not made a decision on the glasses, but CEO Tim Cook has been hinting at an entry into the market in interviews over the past six months.The augmented reality glasses could be an extension of the iPhone experience, similar to how the Apple Watch provides quick access to notifications and more access to fitness details.Google Glass muddied the waters of augmented reality (AR) for a few years, but startups like Magic Leap are making AR sound cool again.The earliest Apple will enter the market is 2018, according to Bloomberg, but there doesn’t seem to be any manufacturer contracts at the present time.Apple not always in a hurryApple often takes a step back and lets the market stew before entering, as they did with the iPhone and Watch. It may be different this time, as most augmented reality projects are still in alpha or beta.That’s assuming they launch in 2018, which has not been confirmed. It may take a few more years before entering they enter the AR space, especially if it gets bogged down in its self-driving car project.Augmented reality has many applicable fields, Magic Leap appears to be aiming for the gaming market, while Microsoft has sent its HoloLens AR headset to NASA for testing on the International Space Station.We expect Apple’s augmented reality headset to target the consumer space, picking on the same customers that are likely to purchase iPhones and iPads. Tags:#Apple#AR#Augmented Reality#Google Glass#Internet of Things#IoT#Magic Leap David Curry Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You…center_img Follow the Puck Related Posts Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to…last_img read more

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BMW and Baidu break up, cite irreconcilable self-driving differences

first_imgTags:#autonomous cars#Baidu#BMW#China#featured#Internet of Things#IoT#Self-Driving#top IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A… David Curry For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… Break the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and…center_img 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle… BMW and Baidu have ended their two year self-driving partnership, citing “irreconcilable differences” between the two companies.Baidu said it will start to look for a new automaker to take over BMW’s role as manufacturer for its self-driving system. For now, it will use Ford’s Lincoln cars in the United States and BYD, Chery, and BAIC in China.See Also: Mark your calendars: 2021 will be huge for autonomous carsBMW has made a few changes to its self-driving strategy since partnering with Baidu in 2014. It revealed the iNext, a concept self-driving car, which it hopes will be available by 2021. It also partnered with Intel and Mobileye to build a smart, secure self-driving platform.That doesn’t leave Baidu with a lot of room to work, at best it may be able to provide the infotainment to BMW in China.BMW and Baidu grew apartApart from the clear conflicts of interest, BMW and Baidu are also on different timeframes when it comes to self-driving commercialization. Baidu is aiming to have self-driving shuttles on the road by 2018 in China, while BMW is more conservative, aiming for 2021.Baidu is one of the major players in China’s self-driving market and has branched testing to the U.S. in the past year. It wants to build a shuttle platform and also may be looking into a ride-hailing service, putting it in direct competition with Didi Chuxing.The search giant, called the “Google of China” by some, has been expanding its portfolio to include emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence and self-driving cars. It appears to be on a similar path to Google, albeit without the global approach. Related Posts last_img read more

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Busting the 5 biggest myths around the connected car

first_imgIT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A… Break the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and… The connected car market in recent years has shifted into high gear, with the number of connected cars hitting our roadways growing rapidly. Analysts estimate that 94 million connected cars will ship in the year 2021, for a compound annual growth rate of 35 percent from the 21 million connected cars that shipped last year. Globally, it’s estimated there will be a total of 380 million connected cars on the roads by 2020. See also: Are connected cars only as good as your cell network?Clearly, the connected car market is on the cusp of explosive growth and widespread adoption. Automakers, their partners, and third-party developers all recognize this enormous potential business opportunity and are rolling out new technologies, applications, and services at a rapid pace, further adding to the connected car ecosystem. The potential benefits to consumers are many, from improved safety to a more efficient and personalized driving experience, to new everyday conveniences. However, as is often the case with emerging technologies, there exist some misconceptions in the marketplace that are causing concern among consumers. In order to showcase the many benefits of the connected car and put those concerns to rest, let’s dispel some of those myths. Myth #1: Connected cars can’t be made secure enough to be safeFact: Connected cars are extremely complex machines. Higher end vehicles often have 100 or more onboard computers continuously monitoring location, component performance, driving behavior and more, and they can produce up to 4 terabytes of data per day. Fortunately, many of the security best practices developed in enterprise IT throughout other industries can be applied to the connected car, and automakers are working closely with high-tech companies and security experts to do so. For example, the convergence of disparate networks in the vehicle to an IP over Ethernet backbone is one big step toward holistic connected car security. With in-vehicle networking standardized to IP, proven security technologies from encryption and authentication to firewalling and intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDS / IPS) can be deployed to give the connected car its own defense in depth.  Artificial intelligence is also being deployed more frequently to help secure connected vehicles by learning and detecting new patterns of malicious behavior (or even non-malicious anomalies that could be early warnings of the need for maintenance). Connectivity management platforms can automate how and when a vehicle connects and what it does with that connection. Through such a platform, automakers can automatically disable connectivity while a vehicle is being shipped, preventing abuse of the connection during transit, and then have it securely resumed once the car has arrived at the dealership. By creating a secure network architecture in their vehicles, automakers can ease concerns about these vehicles and help cautious consumers focus on all the benefits a connected car has to offer. Myth #2: Automakers are solely responsible for securing connected carsFact: In reality, the automaker is just one player in an entire ecosystem of connected car-related technologies. As new vehicle sensors and parts, highway and municipal infrastructure, and applications emerge every day, the responsibility falls on each member of the ecosystem to keep the connected car, its drivers, its passengers and their data safe. Multiple tiers of suppliers, dealerships, developers of aftermarket devices and services, regulatory bodies and even other industries creating devices and services that interact with connected cars all work together to contribute to the security of the entire ecosystem. It is especially important for third parties that provide after-market applications for connected cars to have secure infrastructures. By working with high-tech companies and applying many of the security best practices that have been developed in other industries with the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), all players in the connected car ecosystem will be able to strengthen security throughout the entire lifecycle of these vehicles and among the devices and applications connected to them.   Myth #3: Privacy concerns about the data connected cars collect are creating a roadblockFact: Connected cars collect a lot of data, from driving patterns and biometrics of the driver to video, radar and Lidar imaging of the surroundings. They can even collect data on your shopping habits. However, this doesn’t necessarily need to be a cause for concern. As in-vehicle network architectures become more secure as described above, automakers can address consumers’ privacy concerns at a very granular level, allowing consumers to determine what type of data they’re willing to share and seamlessly manage how it is used. Connected vehicle data can even be anonymized and still provide value for everyone in aggregate.The benefit of all this data collection is a much improved and more personalized driving experience. For example, based on data about the driver’s past preferences and behavioral patterns, connected cars can offer personalized recommendations such as a hypermiling package that helps drivers get better mileage or a discount at a nearby restaurant based on the time of day and the fact that the driver has dined there before and complimented the venue on social media. Personalized services can include having your car order ahead at Starbucks so your drink is waiting for you when you pull up or having it offer to start itself in the morning a few minutes before you normally leave for work because the temperature outside turned cold overnight. Data collection is also used to create a safer, more reliable and more efficient driving experience. By applying analytics to telematics data, the need for maintenance and repair services can be predicted, and by analyzing how drivers and passengers use vehicle features, automotive manufacturers can improve future vehicle design.Myth #4: The connected car is all about online infotainmentFact: While many people may be more aware of the “infotainment” features of connected cars, such as the ability to stream music and video or integrate with smartphones, connected vehicles are capable of providing so much more. We’re already beginning to see prototypes of new experiences such as immersive video conferencing and collaboration platforms that allow passengers to conduct business meetings while on the road. Connected cars can also save manufacturers and dealers time and money, eliminating recalls and streamlining warranty and service contracts. Self-parking, driver-assistance, and highly automated driving are all popular features that we will see more of in the near future and that rely heavily on vehicle connectivity to the cloud, other vehicles, and roadside infrastructure. Vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication help connected cars identify safety hazards and avoid collisions, and even enable faster response from emergency responders. All this is just the beginning. With the evolution toward an IP over Ethernet backbone architecture providing flexibility to connect and orchestrate new in-vehicle sensors and actuators, coupled with cloud-based analytics and artificial intelligence, the range of services that connected cars can deliver will be nearly limitless. Myth #5: Automakers are moving quickly toward more advanced connected car capabilitiesFact: While talk in the industry has reached a fever pitch, the reality is that many of the world’s largest car makers are hamstrung by inflexible in-vehicle architectures.  Advanced features like those discussed above require much greater bandwidth for moving data around in the vehicle, more onboard computing power for making the right split-second decisions, and the agility to install new sensors without radically redesigning the vehicle.  The broader attack surface in connected vehicles also calls for a more holistic approach to security.  Nonetheless, the collection of disparate, siloed heritage networks with restricted bandwidth that exists in the industry today makes it very difficult to integrate new features, let alone secure them. Convergence and migration to Ethernet and IP technologies should not only make integration easier and support virtualization of compute to streamline in-vehicle architecture, but should also give manufacturers the agility they need to accelerate into the connected car era.The connected car market continues to grow, and the potential benefits are enormous. However, to realize the full potential, a standardized, extensible, secure in-vehicle network is required to make good use of all the information connected cars can generate. Fortunately, proven architectures such as IP over Ethernet should provide automakers the capabilities and agility they need to keep the connected car market in the fast lane for continued growth. 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle… Shaun Kirbycenter_img For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… Tags:#Cisco#connected car#driverless cars#featured#Internet of Things#IoT#Self-Driving#top Related Posts last_img read more

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Data Science Careers: From Fragmentation to Necessity

first_imgRelated Posts Over the past decade — the concept of being a data scientist has become a “normal” occupation title. It is no longer an unusual way to phrase the job description in data analytics. Now this to the industry standard term for a swath of data careers.Data Science.Like any career going through a period of discovery and change, data science is both proving itself vital to emerging markets while also working through misconceptions of what the field entails. Considering its prominence in machine learning.Data scientists are also emerging in other tech fields. It’s an interesting career path to follow with more jobs under its umbrella term than might be immediately apparent. The basics and the misconceptionsAs a term — data science refers to what previously may have been known as advanced analytics, econometrics, statistics or machine learning. These jobs all contain a focus on the collection and analyzation of data. It’s easy to assume a job of this nature focuses on modeling and presenting data.A large portion of data science revolves around the collection of raw data — and employing algorithms to make the data more easily accessible to humans. It’s one of many small misconceptions of the field and for good reason. Industry professionals have described the field as an activity rather than a job title as it covers so many possible routes of employment and individual tasks. Generally speaking, those in the field work with teams of similar skill sets and interests.Each subset of the field has a different employment of methodologies. These areas of individual expertise are making each scientist very different from the next. Though some portions of the job descriptor may sound like a data analyst.The core of data science revolves around applying the scientific method to solving business problems with a heavier focus on mathematics and computing.Jobs in the data scientist field.A large number of job postings by potential employers show a preference for data scientists with experience in SQL, Python and Java. Expecting long hours of coding that requires a deep understanding of the math behind different formulae. Those with experience in the field have pointed out that there are no secret formulae that solve complex business issues. Instead the only methods to finding answers through stringent research and trial-and-error methodology.Rigorous activity in research.The upside to all of this rigorous activity? High salary and job satisfaction, according to Glassdoor’s ranked list of the top 50 jobs in America for 2018. These jobs are ranked by potential salary, job satisfaction and the number of open positions posted through the previous year. The data science field is a fast-growing field that shows almost ten times as many workers in the field as compared to five years ago. Education requirements can be stringent and the field is competitive to the point where having a Master of Data Science might be necessary to stand out amongst competition. A day in the life of a data scientistUnsurprisingly, no two experts in the field seem to have an identical itinerary when it comes to their daily tasks. Routines vary wildly and some report not having a daily routine at all. Some researchers instead follow the shifting needs of their workplace. It’s a field that supports both pre-planners and free spirits as long as they have an interest in problem-solving. Scientists who responded to the prompt seem to all report a strong focus on communication. Most are backing up the field’s focus on working with teams. Starting off the average workday with a meeting to either set weekly goals or follow up on how those goals are being met seems to be a common thread. At the same time, updating team leaders and senior management on the progress of these projects. In relatable terms seems equally important, meaning those who have trouble sharing ideas may struggle with certain aspects of the field. One responder noted he spends roughly eighty percent of his time cleaning data.This comment is suggesting those periods of communication can be blissfully brief and infrequent — if you find the right workplace. All of this could diversity could change depending on which field of data science interests you the most. The average day for a machine learning scientist will likely play out very differently than a workday for a data engineer.  However, these two fields often work in tandem on similar projects or within the same company. Looking into the future of the fieldIf you’re concerned for the future of data science positions — the good news is that the field has existed for some time. Often called and used under many names — even in most cities. This job title that barely existed as of 2011.Who would guess at it’s rise to such prominence and near-global use? The data science field is important enough that it is developing clear terminology and has proven itself important. Looking into the future of all technologies.Data used in this field is a difficult proposition. Focusing on how the field will continue to prove its merit and become more mainstream has been tackled before — and proves much simpler to hypothesize. Anthony Goldbloom of Kaggle shared how the O’Reilly’s Strata Conference in 2011 helped bring the field together. Goldbloom spoke in an effort to unify professionals across the industry in a way that proved the cross-compatibility of their skillsets. This at a time when the field was fragmented by non-standard terminology. There has been a movement to use the concept of applying the scientific method to analyzing data and making business decisions. This use of the same concept and verbiage has entered the corporate mainstream to the point where many Silicon Valley companies rely heavily on data science. Almost every major decision of a company is now being analyzed by a data scientist. Enter machine learning.Machine learning and data analytics have entered the business lexicon quickly and efficiently. This field is bringing businesses away from an era of Excel spreadsheets and idea-pitching meetings.  Predictive data models and experts solve problems are being solved before they even arise. As the field advances, reliance on this style of predictive problem solving can only increase — making for a stable field of employment for those with the right aptitudes. For those who enjoy breaking down problems through rigorous testing will find fulfillment in solving business problems.At the cutting edge of their field — data science is a tempting job title to consider chasing. It holds the promise of longevity with room for developing new skills and honing old ones. This field holds the edge of being able to share your solutions with those people and businesses who need them most. In short, it’s a problem-solver’s dream. Alisia Watson is a brand strategist at My Ultimate Success Tips and Open Sky News. Follow the Puck How Data Analytics Can Save Livescenter_img Alisia Watson AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Leveraging Big Data that Data Websites Should T…last_img read more

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Resource Discovery: Video on the Effects of Technology on Our Relationships

first_imgBy Rachel Dorman, M.S.Today’s Resource Discovery is a TED talk titled Connected, but alone? by Sherry Turkle. Sherry Turkle is a sociologist and psychologist who studies how technology impacts our individual lives and how it impacts our relationships. In this TED talk Sherry Turkle discusses how mobile technology and connectedness has changed us individually and how it has changed how we interact with others. She goes over some of the risks of being connected and how to combat the growing risks. As mental health professionals, it is important to be aware of the mental health risks associated with technology use and how to help your clients avoid and overcome them. This post was written by Rachel Dorman, M.S. She is a member 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

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The Gift that Keeps on Giving: Gift ideas worth more than money

first_imgMemory jar/ card deck memories, I love you’s: This can be done in a couple of different ways, with the main goal of just showing your loved one how much you care. The first idea, requires a jar of your choosing which you then fill with little pieces of paper with memories (like a Penseive if you’re a Harry Potter Fan) or reasons you love the person. Another way to do it, is by getting a deck of playing cards and writing on each of the 52 cards reasons you love the person or your favorite memories of the individual etc. Both the cards and jar can be easily portable and can be constant source of comfort for the individual, especially if he or she is about to be deployed or away for a while.Avocado app: This app is used by couples to stay in touch. This private app allows you to share calendars, camera rolls/galleries, chats, etc.https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/avocado-chat-for-couples/id510134530?mt=8 Flash drives with videos and pictures: Fill a flash drive full of videos, pictures, movies or other things that they may enjoy. Flash drives allow you to pack a lot of information into one small mail-able (and reusable) unit.Coupon Books: This idea is an age old classic! Make a coupon book for your loved ones full of chores, favors, etc. This doesn’t cost a thing! Inexpensive:Groovebook: This is a great way to have tangible pictures in book-form straight from your phone! The cost is only $2.99 a month. Check out more details here: http://groovebook.com/. Family puzzle: Puzzling with family members is an awesome way to bond and spend time, without competing or ruining relationships like board games can (looking at you, Monopoly). There are a couple of websites that allow you to make your own puzzles based on either a family picture (shutterfly.com) or based on a GPS location (http://www.monticelloshop.org/070252.html).MySocialBook: Create a bound copy of all the correspondences between your social media websites. This website allows you to create a hardbound copy of your Facebook timelines between you and your significant other, you and your family members or you and five friends. While social media is notorious for archiving every moment that we post, it can be difficult, daunting and vexing to have to sift through everything posted to find a post, picture or message.Matching bracelets: These are a cute idea to keep the whole family connected. Spend time creating matching bracelets out of embroidery thread. There are a bunch of different designs that aren’t hard to make (just scan Pinterest) and you can always let your kids have a say in picking the colors, adding beads or depending on their age, making one of their own.ShadowBox Keys: Shadowboxes are an appealing type of home décor for displaying pictures, tickets and other memorabilia. Display the keys from the many homes that you have shared. Many military families get so accustomed to moving that it becomes just a normal part of life, why not preserve some of the memories and honor the different places you have created into a home together?Flat Daddies and Flat Mommies (flatdaddies.com): Have you heard of FatHeads? They are basically giant life-size stickers that you can decorate your walls with. Well, Flat Daddies and Flat Mommies are the military personalized version of Fatheads. You send in a picture of your mommy or daddy and you get a life-sized sticker of that individual. The FlatDaddies website also does some funding to provide free flat daddies to military families, but that funding may not always be available. By: Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFT and Caitlyn Brownpixabay[Present by ParentRap December 27, 2015, CCO]It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday season and find yourself wishing you could buy the biggest, best, and most extravagant gifts for your loved ones. It’s also easy to convince yourself that material items can enhance relationships and solidify connections. Military families may be especially susceptible to falling into the spending trap because of the long periods of time spent away from each other.  But, what if you can give gifts to others without spending any money at all? Or, more realistically, spending less than you think you should.  Below is a list of gift ideas created specifically with our military families in mind.Free:Snapchat Stories: Snapchat is commonly used amongst the millennials, but they aren’t the only ones. Snapchat is a great way to capture the moments that your deployed member may be missing out on. By creating a snapchat for your deployed member and for yourself, you can send your deployed member snap shots of pictures or up to 10second videos. You can also use snapchat to live chat or video message. All you need for Snapchat is an email address/phone number and a phone with apps. If both of you have Snapchat, you can also post videos/pictures to your story, which will appear for 24 hours. That way, if there is a major time difference, your significant other can view them on his or her own time that day. It also lets you see when and who has viewed the snapchat story (in case you have other friends that you want to see it).Mail a hug: The US Postal Service allows us to mail a whole bunch of things that aren’t just boxed up. Send your deployed service member a hug! You can do this by taking a pillow (that hopefully one that smells like your house) and using felt, cutting out your children’s hands and sewing (or hot gluing) the hands to the pillow. Then you can write a message directly on the pillow using fabric pens. You can then send the pillow, unboxed, by placing the stamps directly onto the pillow with the address. It will look like a little huggable postcard.https://www.craftsmile.com/how-to-mail-a-hug-diy-hug-pillow-i-pnAKMaBjc21pbGU=.htmlhttp://pagingsupermom.com/2012/08/send-hug/center_img This list is not the end all be all of fun gifts, but we hope we provided a bunch of fun and creative ideas for you to explore as a family. We recognize that it is easy to get swept up in buying the newest or most popular item of the year, but these gift ideas carry the potential for an emotional value that far surpasses anything monetary. We welcome any other ideas that have been a success for you and your family or someone else you know. We hope you continue to enjoy this holiday season!This post was written by Bari Sobelson and Caitlyn Brown of the  MFLN Family Development Team. The Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families.  Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network Family Development team on our website, Facebook, and Twitter.last_img read more

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Creating Artificial Lighting in Apple Motion

first_imgAdding a light to your footage in post production is easy with the tools within Motion, Apple’s video graphics and compositing application.Apple’s Motion is one app that doesn’t get enough love in the professional post production community.  It’s a really powerful toolset, but often times gets overlooked in favor of it’s biggest competitor, Adobe After Effects.  One thing that Motion offers is the ability to add artificial lighting to your video footage – giving the appearance that the scene was actually lit differently on-set.A recent tutorial by Ben Balser at MacProVideo.com demonstrates how to use the tools within Motion to create realistic in your video footage.  This is useful when you are shooting in adverse conditions, running a tight production schedule or don’t have the lighting equipment necessary on-set.  Ben demonstrates how lightingin motion can “cast shadows and can be keyframed.”  In the example Ben goes as far as to replicate the look of light coming through window blinds.Be sure to check out this informative lighting tutorial at MacProVideo.comIf you’re more inclined to learn by watching, you can see a lighting in Motion video tutorial in the YouTube video below.  This demonstration from GeniusDV.com shows how to add lights to your Motion projects in a simulated 3D space.  Skip to about half way through to learn about lighting in Motion:Are you using Motion for lighting and compositing work?Share your thoughts/experiences/tips in the comments below!last_img read more

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5 Important Tools Every Screenwriter Should Have

first_img4. Online ResourcesImage via Shutterstock.Once you fully dive into the screenwriting world, one of the best ways to stay engaged and continue to grow is to constantly read about the art form. Luckily, there are some really great resources for screenwriters online. Here is a great mega-list, and below are some select few to dive into from award-winning screenwriters who provide great tips, tricks, and conversations.The Script LabScreenwriting from IowaJohn AugustJen GrisantiThe Bitter Script Reader/r/screenwriting Before you sit down to write your next script, be sure to get these five essential tools ready to help you with the task.Cover image via Thrillist.It’s been said by thousands since, but I believe it was Alfred Hitchcock who first once said, “To make a great film you need three things — the script, the script and the script.” And in today’s wild age of film and video content run amuck across an ever-growing range of film festivals and digital platforms, it rings absolutely true today.At the heart of every good film is a good script, and at the heart of a good script is a great story. To truly master the art of scripting, a screenwriter needs to harness every tool at his or her disposal to create scripts that can resonate with audiences and pop off the page to bring your story to life.So, if you’re looking to be the next Paddy Chayefsky, Aaron Sorkin or Diablo Cody — or are looking to put your story down in proper script form for the first time — here are five things you need to succeed.1. The Hero with a Thousand Faces (and Subsequent Readings)Image via Tally Pendragon.Let’s start with the most fundamental of the fundamental. If you are unfamiliar with the works of Joseph Campbell and his Hero’s Journey, you need to start reading up now. Campbell’s famous book contains the most important formula not only for screenplays but for stories of all kinds. However, while the book itself can be a little dense, there are also plenty of great writing resources (and blogging online) to help you learn how to master the art of the Hero’s Journey for your own work.2. Script Writing SoftwareImage via Shutterstock.Only once you’ve done your formative work should you even consider writing your script. It’s also worth noting that before diving into the actual script, it would certainly make sense to work your story out as a concept first. But for the sake of this article, specifically on screenwriting, let’s assume you have and we’re diving into the actual scripting. Unless you want to do your writing on a word processor long-form, you’re going to need software that helps with things like formatting and hotkeys to streamline your writing process.I’ll always suggest Final Draft as the industry standard, but there are several great options available (many of which are free!) that will work as well.3. Formatting GuideImage via Shutterstock.One of the biggest reasons for using script writing software is formatting. A good software will help you work with different things like action, dialogue, and blocking directions. However, to truly grow as a script writer, you’ll need to understand how scripts are formatted (and why). The following are some good resources.How to Format a ScreenplayScript Writing Example & Screenwriting TipsScreenplay Format GuideWhat is standard screenplay format? 5. Script Review ServicesImage via Shutterstock.Additionally, if you’re looking for feedback on your scripts, there are plenty of resources for reviewing scripts and getting advice on everything from character, to plot, to dialogue — and support for getting your scripts Hollywood-ready. However, these services are not free (or even cheap), but they can be helpful for beginning screenwriters desperate for real feedback on their projects.Script PipelineScript Reader ProScript ShadowScreenplay ReadersStory Sensecenter_img If you’re still hungry for more screenwriting resources, here are some other great articles to check out.8 Questions to Ask Yourself When Deciding on a ScriptWriting The Hollywood Blockbuster – Screenwriting MasterclassScreenwriting Tips for the Emerging Writer9 Sites for Free Movie ScriptsPremiumbeat Screenwriting Archiveslast_img read more

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How to Care, Create Trust, and Create Greater Value

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 Caring is at the heart of consultative selling. Transactional selling models are built on not caring. This is why they often unwittingly destroy trust. Here is how you can care more, create more trust, and by doing so, create greater value.Be Client-Focused: The more focused you are on yourself, the less focused you are on your client. The more you let go of what you believe you need and focus on helping your dream client get what they need, the easier it is to sell. Being client-focused means you care more about their outcome than serving yourself. This caring creates trust. And it moves you up levels as a value creator.Be Collaborative: If you want your dream client to really open up in discovery, ask them to share their ideas. You aren’t building a solution for people who don’t already have ideas and opinions of their own. In a lot of cases, they may have more experience than you do—especially the experience of working within the four walls of their company. The more you make anything you propose “ours,” the more you prove you care about your client’s ideas and outcomes.Make and Keep Commitments: When you care, you keep the commitments you make, large and small. You ask your prospective clients to make and keep commitments as you move together through the sales process. You also make lots of commitments, some so small you believe that they are meaningless. But your dream client is keeping score. When you care about the details, you create greater trust.Have a Presence: Nothing proves you care more than having a presence at your prospect’s or client’s location. It proves you care enough to show up and keep showing up. When your client has a major issue and you show up to help, you are building your relationship on a foundation of trust.Ask for Commitments You’ve Earned: You want to prove you don’t care, destroy trust, and slip down levels of value? One of the fastest ways to do so is to ask for commitments that you haven’t earned. If you haven’t created enough value or built enough trust to ask for a commitment, go back and do the work first. Equally, if you have done the work, you owe it to your client to help them move forward, and this means you have to ask for the next commitment. In fact, doing less is to prove you don’t care and can’t be trusted.These five behaviors are within your control. All five prove you care, build trust, and move you up the levels of value creation. The opposite behaviors move you down levels as a value creator.QuestionsWhat behaviors do you sometimes engage in that make you something less than client-focused?How do you ensure you are collaborative?What are the commitments you make but sometimes overlook?Presence? You got one, bro?Do you ever ask for commitments you haven’t earned? Do you always ask for the ones you have?last_img read more

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The Hustler’s Playbook: Ignore the Critics

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 Hustlers inevitably draw attention to themselves. Because they work hard, make waves, and make things happen, people take notice. Some small portion of those who take notice will be critical of the hustler (not only will the number of critics be small, their stature is equally small).The critic attacks the hustler. They attack her work as being inferior to others and inferior to their own work (many critics will mistakenly believe they are the hustler’s peer, even though they criticize instead of hustling). They attack the fact that she makes waves, that she doesn’t know her place. They attack her because she is producing results. And her results are the real source of their criticism; they criticize because they are jealous.The critic wants the attention that the hustler commands. When they can’t get the attention themselves, the critic tries desperately hard to bring down the hustler. When the attacks on her work and the attention she is getting don’t work, the critics attack the hustler personally. They attack her intelligence, her appearance, her motives, anything to bring her down to their level. When the attacks get personal, you know for certain the critic is beaten.None of this matters to the hustler. The hustler doesn’t care what the critic believes about her or her work. The critic’s attacks don’t interest the hustler because she isn’t doing what she does for the critics. The critics aren’t her audience. The hustler is hustling for herself, for the people counting on her, and for the people who find value in what she does. So she ignores the critics, and she continues her hustle.There isn’t a professional movie critic with an academy award for directing or acting. Their isn’t a music critic with a shelf full of Grammys for having written, produced, or performed music that changed the world. Their isn’t a literary critic with a Pulitzer or Nobel Prize in literature. Those awards belong to the hustlers, to the people who have put themselves out there, who have bravely opened themselves up to the criticism.If you are going to hustle, create, and make a difference, you are going to draw the slings and arrows of the critic. The critic isn’t your audience, and trying to please the critics is a fool’s errand. Ignore the critics, and let the trolls be damned.last_img read more

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HC asks Goa to ensure clean water to Sonshi

first_imgPanaji: The Bombay High Court at Goa on Thursday directed the State government to ensure supply of potable water to residents of Sonshi village in North Goa’s Sattari taluk, which has been in the news for villagers’ protest against dust pollution caused by transportation of iron ore.The court also directed the State government to come up with a solution to the pollution issue.The HC had taken up the matter sou moto earlier this month, after media reports highlighted the plight of villagers, 45 of whom were arrested after their protest against dust pollution resulting from unregulated transport of iron ore.Trucks from mining leases around the village carry the iron ore to the river jetties nearby, from where it is shipped for exports.The State had witnessed a major outrage after 45 villagers, including 23 women, were arrested by the police on April 11, following their protest. They were released more than a week later.last_img read more

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Lalu Prasad puts on a brave face after I-T raids

first_img But, minutes later, RJD spokesperson Manoj Jha tweeted that his (Mr. Prasad’s) indications were towards the I-T Department and the CBI. However, political observers said Mr. Prasad had indicated towards his ruling alliance partner, the JD(U).In yet another tweet, he asked “educated illiterates” to let him know which were the 22 locations where the (I-T) raids were carried out?. “Tell me all educated illiterates which are the 22 locations where raids have been conducted? Lalu is not afraid of the BJP supported media and their alliance units (sarkari tota),” he said.Also Read I-T raids in benami land deal case linked to Lalu Prasad Prasad Hours after the Income Tax raids on his alleged benami  (proxy) properties, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad tweeted that he would not be cowed by such frightening actions and also “congratulated BJP for its new alliance partners”. However, he did not elaborate who the “new alliance partners” were.“BJP has no courage to suppress Lalu’s voice… if Lalu’s voice will be suppressed thousands of Lalu would rise in the country…I’m not to be cowed down with such frightening moves,” Prasad tweeted.In his next immediate tweet, he said, “BJP ko naye alliance partners mubarak ho…Lalu Prasad Jhukane aur darne wala nahi hai…jab tak aakhiri saans hai fasiwadi takato ke khilaph ladta rahunga (congratulations to the BJP on new alliance partners…Lalu Prasad would not be cowed down…will fight against Fascist forces till my last breath).” पूँजीपतियों के सरगनाओं सुनो, ग़रीबों का समर्थन व शुभ आशीर्वाद मेरे साथ है।लालू न हारा है,न थका है।अपराजेय योद्धा की तरह सदा लड़ा और जीता हूँ— Lalu Prasad Yadav (@laluprasadrjd) May 16, 2017 Reacting to Mr. Prasad’s tweets, senior State BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi, who first exposed the alleged fraudulent land deals done by Mr. Prasad and his family members, tweeted: “Laluji, as you sow, so shall you reap (Laluji boyaa ped babool ka to aam kahan se hoyee?)”Talking to journalists on Tuesday, Mr. Modi took on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar too. He said, “Nitish Kumar chahte hain ki saanp bhi mar jaye aur lathi bhi na tute [Nitish Kumar wants to have such developments in his favour without doing anything].” Mr. Kumar on Monday asked the BJP to take the legal course on their charges against Mr. Prasad, if they have substance.लालूजी बोया पेड़ बबूल का तो आम कहाँ से होई ।— Sushil Kumar Modi (@SushilModi) May 16, 2017  Several senior RJD leaders reached 10, Circular Road, the residence of Mr. Prasad to express their solidarity with him. Party insiders told The Hindu that Mr. Prasad, though dejected, was chatting with party leaders putting on a brave face to them. A pall of gloom has prevailed inside the sprawling bungalow with no family members in sight.last_img read more

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