Posts tagged ‘people’

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Vimeo offers 4K downloads for subscribers

December 10, 2014 5:10 am

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Starting today, Vimeo PRO members and Vimeo On Demand sellers can allow people to download 4K video files. These are just progressive downloads and not 4K streaming. Creators...

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Elevators will no longer sacrifice mind bending maneuvers and maglev acceleration for safety

December 3, 2014 6:11 pm

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Elevators are absolutely vital in tall buildings. One easy way to understand this is thinking of the fact there has been nothing invented that can help a human...

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the internet is looking for you and you’re running out of places to hide.

November 25, 2014 7:06 am

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Apple, Facebook, and Google, the mega titans of IT, are throwing their R&D into making the Internet truly everywhere, and its overlap with streaming video will likely be...

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Vimeo joins the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse

November 24, 2014 4:54 am

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Vimeo will begin participating in the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse project. Chilling Effects provides a “resource for understanding speech issues and legal complaints about online activity” by collecting and...

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Why the WWW loves ‘Too Many Cooks’

November 24, 2014 4:30 am

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By now, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen or heard about Adult Swim’s Too Many Cooks — an epic, warped internet video that sends up the overly...

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IFrames and Preloading, Oh My!

November 13, 2014 5:50 am

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Okay, so here’s our problem. Wistia’s lovely users can put as many videos as they want on a page. Often, these videos are hidden in tabs or launched...

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DISH CEO on OTT: The world is changing and some people are going to change with it

November 6, 2014 8:56 am

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Dish Network Founder and Chairman Charlie Ergen isn’t one to pull punches, and his comments to analysts and media at Dish’s Q3 earning call were, as usual, frank....

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KNOCK, KNOCK, TRICK OR TECH!

October 8, 2014 1:15 pm

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Halloween is when we see all these animatronic figures of monsters and whatnot decorating the front yards of houses. What if they are connected to the Internet, and people online can “scare” the unsuspecting trick-or-treaters from the comfort of their … Continued

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‘Say Hello’ To New Pinterest Video

October 8, 2014 11:09 am

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pinterest

Pinterest
launches “Say Hello,” a 2:20 video that depicts how its new messaging system works: it lets users have conversations about Pins on Pinterest, making the creative process more contagious than ever. The
video follows three groups of people, each inspired by different Pins and the ease of sharing and discussing newly discovered Pinterest items. One couple sets out to build a canoe, while another is
looking for an ideal dinner meal. A team of colleagues discuss spaceship ideas to create the perfect addition to a future sci-fi movie. The video is a nice balance of people using social media as
inspiration to create things that are offline, with other people. Watch the video here, created by Strike Anywhere.

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Akamai University: SSL Certificate Security and Trust

October 7, 2014 4:20 am

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Akamai Edge 2014 continues today with the second day of Akamai University and API Boot camp. To coincide with this, I’m running three security lessons that are part of an upcoming video series. This is the final installment, and was written by Meg Grady-Troia.


PREVIOUS LESSONS:

SSL Certificate Security and Trust

The Internet is built on a foundation of trust, from machine to machine, extended across the entire surface of the globe. Trust is shared across the Internet in many ways, the SSL certificate hierarchy is only one, albeit a pervasive one. The SSL certificate system was designed so that trusted parties can have private communications over the public Internet. SSL certificates are a critical piece of the Internet’s trust architecture, and many protocols exist to support secure certificate handling.

What is a Certificate?

A certificate is the container for four pieces of information your web browser (or operating system) needs to make a secure connection to the server hosting the website you wish to visit.
Those four pieces are:

1. An “Issued To:” field that specifies the full name and address of the entity that owns the domain you’re visiting (including the IP address & domain name you’re visiting, and the brick & mortar contact for the owning entity).

2. A validity period: The time period (start date and end date) for which that certificate should be considered valid.

3. An “Issued From:” field that contains the signature of a Certificate Authority, that acts like a notary public would on a legal document: a third party witness.

4. A public key: The shareable half of the keypair that will be used by the server to initiate the encryption of data that flows between the website and your browser.

Your browser-client uses the “issued to” data to check that it has connected to the domain it expected. It uses the certificate authority and expiry to verify that it trusts the domain. It uses the public key from the certificate to continue the SSL handshake that will allow all further communication between you and the website to be encrypted.

How do Certificates Work?

Think of SSL certificates as the Internet-equivalent of the diploma granted to a student when they graduate from a school: it may hold value with people who know the recipient but not the school, and it may hold value with people who know the reputation of the school, but not the recipient. The value of the diploma is not a trust currency itself, simply an indication of an existing authenticated relationship.

There are a lot of certificate authorities in the world, and they may be operated by governments, companies, or even individuals (and they range in credibility just like colleges, from diploma mills to prestigious institutions) . This is possible because CAs are initially self-signing: they simply appoint themselves as trustworthy third parties. The value of a CA’s imprimatur depends on its reputation — both past behavior with other certificates, and its relationships with certificate holders and web browser developers — which is how their signatures gain value.

A single web domain — say, www.akamai.com — may have any number of certificates associated with it, and there are many kinds of special certificates online to account for specific use cases.

Some of the most common are:

• Multi-Domain (including Subject Alternative Names (SAN) & Wildcard) Certificates: These certificates cover multiple hostnames, subdomains, or IP addresses, and allow end-users like you to be redirected to the same application from multiple hostnames.
• Validated (including Extended Validation (EV), Organization Validation (OV), and Domain Validation (DV)) Certificates: These certificates require the signing CA to perform some additional identity validation after their standard process, either for an individual, an organization, or a domain. EV Certificates do not offer additional security for your particular session on a website, but they are often considered to be of higher trustworthiness.

When you initiate a private exchange with a web application — for example, your bank’s portal so that you can check your latest statement — your browser-client will request an encrypted session and the server you’re connecting to will respond by presenting its certificate back to your browser to authenticate itself & initialize the negotiations required during the SSL handshake. Your web browser compares that certificate to its certificate store — a list of CAs that the developers of your web browser considered trustworthy — to make sure that the certificate is both signed by a trusted CA and still valid.

Certificates have a longer shelf life than a carton of milk, but because the Internet is a dynamic place, the stated period of validity on a Certificate may end up being a longer period than the certified entity wishes to continue to use it. Certificates can easily become erroneous or compromised for any number of reasons, including when an entity’s contact information changes, or after a successful attack against that entity. You wouldn’t want your front door’s lock to open to both the key from the old lock that was compromised and the key from the new lock, right?

Because of that possibility, the certificate check performed by your browser-client may also include a status call to see if that specific certificate has been revoked — that is, been deemed invalid by the CA or owning entity. While there are several ways to check if a certificate has been revoked, all of them take extra time & effort during the SSL handshake. Not every browser or operating system — particular older or slow ones — will perform any kind of certificate revocation check.

How do Certificates Facilitate Trust Relationships?

Once you and your browser have decided to trust the presented certificate, your browser-client may continue the SSL handshake by providing a public key for the server to use (while your browser will use the public key embedded in the certificate) while they negotiate additional settings for your private session. While a certificate will always contain the same 4 critical pieces of information, newer browser-clients allow for additional controls during the session negotiation process, including ephemeral keys, advanced hash and compression functions, and other security developments. This process of certificate check, key exchange, and session negotiation, in a direct reference to the ways we demonstrate trust in real life, is called an SSL handshake.

How does Akamai Handle SSL Certificates?

Akamai has relationships with several Certificate Authorities, and will use one of its preferred CAs to sign customer certificates if a customer does not request a specific CA when they have Akamai provision a SSL Certificate for them. These preferred CAs are widely-used CAs that are generally recognized by major browsers and operating systems.

Akamai generates the keypairs for all of its customers’ SSL certificates for traffic flowing over Akamai networks, using their designated information and preferred cipher suites and algorithms, so that only the public key ever has to leave the protections of Akamai’s networks. By not sending private keys across the Internet from customer to Akamai, we help to ensure the many needed layers of protections around the SSL Certificate’s private key that may be able to decrypt end-user session data.

Akamai has a relationship with some CAs allowing us to sign certificates for them as an Intermediary CA. In these cases, the chain of trust is extended by additional links, with both the originating — or root — certificate authority granting an intermediary the right to sign certificates on their behalf. This process of tiered certificate authorities signing successive certificates, all of which are presented to the browser-client as a bundle, is often called chaining, just like linking daisies together into a chain.

How are SSL Certificates Vulnerable?

Certificates have a number of protections around them, including file types, cipher suites and algorithms, key usage, procurement and handling procedures, unique identifiers, and other data that are all part of a commonly-accepted standard that help both humans and machines protect, identify, and properly use SSL certificates. That common standard is called X.509, and it is used by common SSL software such as OpenSSL, and in lower-stack operations like TLS.

It’s a common adage in Information Security that complexity in a system increases its risk of accidents, and the certificate hierarchy is byzantine, indeed. There are all sorts of ways that SSL Certificates, the private keys affiliated with SSL Certificates, and your private sessions can still be compromised.

Many organizations on the Internet — including Akamai — are considering a number of possibilities to fortify the SSL certificate structure. Some of the possibilities aim to make the current certificate process more transparent, while others couple the certificate process to other areas of trusted computing, like DNS registries. Each of these potential revisions presents some gains and some losses for end-users and certified entities. Newer browsers and operating systems may support additional controls around the encryption for your session on a website, and updated versions of the X.509 standard and TLS support newer models of authentication and certificate protections.

Every party in the certificate hierarchy is responsible for some aspects of the chain’s security. All of the certificate process I’ve just explained gets conveyed to you, the end user, by the small lock that shows up in your browser’s navigator bar when you’re browsing a website via HTTPS. That lock icon is the simplest symbol of the SSL Certificate trust chain there is, including all the vulnerable infelicities of the system and all of the hope we hold for private communications over the public Internet.

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Staff Favorites September 2014: featuring “The Missing Scarf” by Eoin Duffy

October 6, 2014 1:27 am

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It’s a short list this month, Vimeo, but we think you’re going to love it. So pop some corn, put your feet up, and take an hour or so to check out the films we loved the most last month.

Watch our selection in the player below, or via the miracle of our Apple TV app, if you happen to own such a thing.

The entire month was good to us, but September 29 was an especially brilliant day in Staff Picks – it brought us Eoin Duffy’s outstanding short The Missing Scarf, after a long and almost ridiculously gilded festival tour. It’s a big short full of even bigger questions, and an immense voiceover from George Takei. Naturally, we’ve taken this opportunity to ask Mr. Duffy to tell us all about it.

The film is such a brilliant mix of darkness and comedy, fear and rationality. Where were you when you wrote this, where did all of that come from?

At the time of writing The Missing Scarf, I was dealing with a death in the family. My mind was consumed with thoughts of death, which then extended to questioning the end goal for all life. Where are we heading? What’s the point? If entropy is eroding our universe into nothingness, what’s the final outcome for life?

But I settled on a happier theory. The notion that our universe (or multiverse) is part of an even larger cycle, continuously erupting into existence over and over. Meaning we’re all minuscule cogs in the grand inhale and exhale of the universe, thus helping the continuation of all life within.

But from the viewpoint of Albert and his friends, the larger perspective doesn’t bring much comfort to their immediate situation.

Engaging George Takei was a masterstroke. How did he get involved? What made you think of him and how did you get to him?

Jamie Hogan, the producer, and myself wrote down a list of people we thought the project best-suited and right at the top was George.

We created a highly-polished animatic encompassing a professional voice-over, stock music, sound-design and near-finalized visuals. We then housed it in a standalone private website, detailing the project and its script. Through talent agency Harvey Voices, we were put in touch. And to our surprise, George loved the idea and the script.

Then things moved pretty quickly. Fewer than three weeks later, we flew to LA to meet George in the iconic Buzzy’s Recording Studio. George was so personable and down to Earth that it put everyone at ease. In fact, he was so nice and chatty that we used up half an hour of our two-hour recording session discussing the history of Japanese immigrants in the U.S. But once we jumped into recording I was blown away by the calibre of George’s performance. It was great to see him in action.

As a side note, we recorded 30 takes of the “angry” speech that appears halfway through the film. All of which George was more than happy to do. In the end, we used take #1.

The film has had such an incredible response and festival run, and rightly so! How has that been? Any highlights?

We’ve screened at over 100 festivals and at one stage, we were winning an award every week. It was all too much to comprehend at times. But the highlight, by far, was attending screenings and just watching people’s reaction. I got goosebumps every time, it was amazing.

Also, two of the best multi-day parties of my life were with fellow animators at the Savannah Film Festival and the Valladolid Film Festival. Let’s just say it’s amazing what the human body can withstand.

What are you working on next? Has The Missing Scarf’s great success greased the wheels for your next project? When can we expect to see more from you?

I’m happy to say that for my next project, I’m teaming up with a major player on the animation stage. I hope to announce this project in the coming weeks. I also have tons of side projects I’ll be letting loose on the Web very soon. Just keep an eye on eoinduffy.me

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October 1, 2014 10:52 am

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For most people, September 15th was a day much like any other. But for Internet-based content providers — including Ustream — it was an important milestone in a story that will shape the future of the Internet. On September 15, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) officially closed the public comment period on its latest proposal … Continue reading ?

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Over The Top: Big, Diverse Disruptive Force

September 26, 2014 9:15 am

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All the different ways people can get over the top content almost blurs the fact that, already over half of the broadband population has an OTT service–and that’s for a business that hasn’t really
taken off yet.

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Rethinking Viral Video

September 25, 2014 7:59 am

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For many years, brands have gone to great lengths to ensure that their videos “go viral.” They try to create funny, endearing or heart-wrenching ads that are compelling enough for people to share
across their social channels. Some take it a step further by creating ads that are somewhat controversial to spark more conversations across Facebook and Twitter. While we always applaud great
creative efforts, we believe these brands need to resthink their overall approach to video. The key to creating a successful video strategy in 2014 and beyond isn’t just about going viral; it’s about
understanding what motivates consumers to watch and share branded videos.

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The Mental Checklist

September 23, 2014 10:08 am

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This post is part of our Non Sequitur Fridays series, which will feature a different Wistia team member’s take on a non-Wistia-related topic each week. It’s like our “employee of the month” but less “of the month”-y. Max Schnur is an engineer at Wistia. His last Non Sequitur was a threepart epic, “How Baldur’s Gate Shaped My Life”.

I didn’t always think a lot about time and project management. Actually, once upon a time, I never thought about it at all. I just worked as hard as I could as fast as I could, and that was usually good enough. But as my responsibilities grew and my day-to-day tasks became more disparate—that is, less “just” coding—I couldn’t keep up with the deluge. In response, I developed some habits that I think helped me get a handle on it. Of course, as with many other things in my life, my inspiration involved a video game.

The process is called *The Mental Checklist* (or sometimes *The Mental Loop*). It’s really simple: I create a list of things that I want to frequently assess. Then I execute and re-assess based on that list. It sounds simple, but oh man, it really works.

I was introduced to this idea through *Starcraft II*, a real-time strategy game where you must build an economy, build an army, scout the terrain, and research new technology in order to defeat your opponent. At a high level—although I’ll probably get speared for presenting it this way—the game pits two project managers against each other, and their goal is to drive their opponent’s project to failure.

Anyway, there are people who specialize in playing and analyzing these games, and I was watching one of the best, Day9, talk about this very subject in a [Day9 Daily](http://blip.tv/day9tv/day-9-daily-132-back-to-the-basics-the-mental-checklist-3751430). (BEWARE: SUPER NERDY.) (Side note: Day9 talks a lot about unrelated topics. You might want to jump about 10 minutes in.) I implemented the mental checklist in my own gameplay and saw my mechanics dramatically improve in a matter of hours.

Basically, we have this problem: we always want to be doing the right thing at the right time. But our situation is constantly changing, either because of outside forces or because our execution reveals an unforeseen obstacle.

Imagine the optimal path of a project as a squiggly line. Now, imagine we can only see a small portion of that line at a time, and we’re using a pen and a ruler to trace it as fast as we can. The more often we move and realign the ruler, the closer our line will be to the optimal path. And it goes without saying: the faster we can realign and draw, the faster the line will be completed. (If you need help with this metaphor: realignment = planning and drawing = executing.)

But realignment is the important thing to remember. No matter how fast you can draw a line, if you’re drawing it off the page, it doesn’t matter: you’re totally off track. Consider that the optimal project path might include _increasing your execution speed_. So meta. In light of that, if you’re realigning properly, then you may also increase speed as required.

Pro gamers will unconsciously reevaluate their checklist once a second, and then execute on their decisions during the milliseconds in between. They are really, really fast, and they practice 12 hours a day to get to that point. They are an extreme example of incredible human hand and brain speed, but it shows you the level of efficiency we can push ourselves to.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbpCLqryN-Q?rel=0&w=610&h=343]

Obviously, for most of us, a pro gamer’s speed and intensity aren’t sustainable over a full day of work. To be effective in real life, the mental checklist needs to be altered slightly.

For me, not much had to change. Instead of memorizing the list and reevaluating it once every few seconds, I write it down and evaluate it between one and five times a day. Because the timeframe is longer, my list also includes tasks for self-improvement, and can include unfocused time, too.

### My Work Mental Checklist

1. {Major Project} – do I know the state of it?
2. {Major Project} – do I have a to-do list?
3. {Major Project} – do I have any blockers?
4. {Major Project} – am I going about this the right way?
5. Devs – do I have outstanding requests for help?
6. Support – do I have any outstanding tasks?
7. Emails – do I have any outstanding emails/replies?
8. {Secondary project I’m helping on} – do I know the state of it?
9. Is Trello up-to-date?

### My Personal Mental Checklist

1. Do you have inspiration?
2. Do you have exercise scheduled into your day?
3. Is Google Calendar up-to-date?
4. Have you set a bedtime for tonight?
5. Do you have a book to read?
6. Do you have outstanding communications? (family? friends? emails?)
7. Are you learning something new?
8. Are you speaking slowly and clearly?

### My Process

I look at my personal checklist when I get up in the morning. When I get into the office, I look at my work checklist. I spend 1-5 minutes mulling over the questions in my head. Then I create a new entry in Evernote, like “PLAN FOR THE DAY – 9/22/2014”. That entry is just a to-do list with checkboxes.

It’s important to me that each entry on that list be short and actionable. For example, in no particular order:

– Talk to {Person} to see where they’re at with {Major Project}
– Email {Other Person} in support thread from yesterday
– Allocate 2 hours to work on {Major Project}
– Update Google Calendar
– Add {Feature X} to Trello
– Watch class on Linear Algebra at Khan Academy

Then, I pick something easy on my list, do it, and check it off. If new information comes in, I evaluate it in the context of my mental checklist. Depending on that, I’ll either add it directly to my to-do list or to Trello. Or maybe nowhere at all. Not everything deserves to be on a checklist.

### A Relaxed System

Sometimes, I can check off all my boxes. Usually, I don’t. Sometimes I transfer unfinished checkboxes from yesterday to today. I often forget to check things off from the previous day, so occasionally I’ll go back and do that. But to be honest, the historical data isn’t that important. No one else is looking at it and judging me. It’s like having a zen garden: you wipe out yesterday’s work and only focus on what you build today.

After a while, maybe a month, I’ll notice that I’m automatically doing some things on my list without thinking. At this point, they’ve become a habit, and I may be able to remove them from the written list. Now I have less mental overhead, and I’m free to add something else if I want. This is real-life leveling up!

### About my own list items

Even though they’re not directly stated, you might notice that the items on my lists reflect my priorities. Indeed, the mental checklist exists mostly to make up for, or systematically improve, my own deficiencies.

For example, I have a ton of different communications that I need to keep up with—work email, support, family, friends—and I know I won’t remember everything without the list. Reading further, you’ll see that I strive to learn new things, I’m trying to exercise more, and that I have a bad habit of trying to speak faster than my mouth can move.

If you make your own list, I encourage you to think broadly about what you want to accomplish each day, what you’re already pretty good at, and where you can improve.

### Why the Mental Checklist?

I believe the Mental Checklist is the most direct path to efficiently managing a project and improving yourself. There are a variety of productivity tricks that people employ: zero inbox, zero desktop, some “fail early”, others set a “key task” for the day, maybe you only open email or chat at certain times. All of those tricks can be helpful, but I feel like they are bandaids on the edge of the real issue.

Evaluate, execute, reevaluate, execute. If you’re honest with yourself and can identify your weaknesses when you reevaluate, then you will converge on the optimal execution path. Whatever productivity hacks you can find, if they help you on that path, use them. But instead of a series of disjointed hacks, consider them tools in the context of your mental checklist, and implement them with that in mind.

I try to understand what I’m doing and why, then I act on what I discover. Some of us do it unconsciously, but formalizing a framework has helped me immensely. Maybe it will work for you too?

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September 23, 2014 7:08 am

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This guest blog was provided by Mikael Hellman, Visual Communication Manager at the City of Malmö, Sweden.

Like most communities world-wide, it’s vitally important for municipalities to communicate with citizens and employees. As the Visual Communication Manager for the City of Malmö in Sweden, a large part of my work is to ensure that communication happens through online video. All citizens have the right to know what is going on in the city and all employees should have the right information to perform their jobs as efficiently as possible. Video is key in this process and supports The City of Malmö’s goal of open and transparent communication.

In Sweden, a large part of the population uses the internet and around 90% have access to broadband. According to ”The Swedes and the Internet,” an annual Swedish publication, around 84% of Internet users aged 12-20 years , 78% aged 21-35 years, and 46% aged 36-65 years old watch online video content.

As a tool for communication, video is becoming more and more important. Today users expect video content across all branded websites; whether organisations are operating in the private or public sector. We already know that video can be used to improve marketing efforts for consumer brands – there is plenty of documentation to support this – but video can also be used to support the communication efforts of major public sector organizations or cities.

Video speaks to society
Malmö has gone from being an industrial city to a young, modern city of knowledge. Today, Malmö stands as Sweden’s third largest city with a population of around 310,000. In 2013 Malmö was ranked the fourth most innovative city on the planet by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, with 6.85 patent applications made per ten thousand people. As a municipality, Malmö is responsible for a large part of public sector services, and for us, the most important task is to ensure preschools, schools, social services, and vulnerable citizens are easily able to access all the information they need about the city.

Across all these stakeholder groups, video has helped us clarify the services we offer, what projects we are working on, and how they are progressing. Video now sits at the forefront of our new transparent approach to communication with citizens of Malmö. To maximise the impact of our video content, we operate two separate video archives, one for internal content and another for external. By ensuring that we tailor content dependent on the audience, The City of Malmö is at the forefront for utilising video platforms for both corporate communications and citizen and tourist information.

Building consistent communication with video
All 22,000 employees of the City of Malmö’s organisation need to have access to consistent information to do their jobs effectively. Working with Brightcove we now use video content to inform and communicate with employees across the entire organisation. The internal Malmö network now has access to videos that describe the various active projects as well as inform staff of the latest business updates from the organisation.

All seventeen of our departments can now produce and control their internal videos in a way that they previously couldn’t – whether a newsletter from managers, management information, training videos, or video seminars. Our experience has shown that by using video content across the organisation, we have improved the consistency of our message and fostered greater understanding amongst staff.

Building a showreel
To showcase all of our video content, we created a video archive that is a mosaic of different kinds of videos with different qualities, lengths and content. A big part of the positive outcome of the mosaic is that we have created a video-friendly climate and our communication officers now want to communicate through video.

Video is an extremely effective tool in driving awareness and revenue, so it made sense for us to use that power in our external and internal communications. The most important thing to us is that we provide videos that create added value for our citizens and videos that help us as employees in our daily work.

Evolving the video collection
Over the years, we have learnt by doing and, as our video presence has increased gradually, we have become better at making the right videos and not just using video for the sake of it. In fact, since 2009 we have added more than 1,100 videos to our video archive.

As a city we have many areas where we can utilise video, for instance; democracy issues, labour market, employer branding, economy, eGovernment, healthcare, integration, equalities, culture, environment, political governance, city planning, schools, social care, care for the elderly and much more. By taking the success we’ve already seen and continuing to implement videos in these areas, video will continue to be a powerful partner for Malmö now and in years to come.

Recording our success
Based on our successful implementation of video archives and increasing the amount of video content we create, we’ve learnt so much about the value of the medium for communicating both internally and externally. The most important lesson learnt is that if you give people video, they will watch it!

The end-goal is not to accumulate the most views, but to have the content seen by the people who need it. If we have 10 managers that need to watch a particular video, we can send it to them and they will watch it. Video allows us to get specific messages heard by the right people.

Video: a shareable tool in the public sector
In contemporary society, with an increasing amount of media consumed via online platforms, video represents a familiar tool which is also inherently shareable. This allows us to draw a significant return on investment as we can simply update videos with new information accordingly, rather than ‘reinventing the wheel’ with new communication. We are also able to directly measure the impact of a video with analytical tools, this informs us of how well content is resonating with its target audience.

Based on the city of Malmö’s experience, I strongly recommend the use of video for communications to other public offices. We actively encourage our employees to get involved in the video process and make it a part of their day-to-day communication. We’re constantly taking on board the feedback we receive – from our employees and external stakeholders – to ensure that the videos we create add value to our core audience.

For more information on how to leverage video to make a positive impact in your community, visit Brightcove’s website or contact us.

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September 23, 2014 7:01 am

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Half the world will have broadband by 2017, says the United Nations

Mobile broadband over smartphones and tablets is now the fastest growing technology in human history, a new report said, and it’s driving the growth of broadband worldwide.

And that technology, said a new report from the U.N. Broadband Commission, will help deliver broadband to more than 50% of the world’s population by 2017.

Currently, about 40% of the world’s people are already online, the report said. About 2.9 billion people will be using the Internet by the end of the year, up 26% from 2.3 billion in 2013. Of those 2.9 billion users, nearly 80% — 2.3 billion people — will access mobile broadband; that’s expected to soar to a whopping 7.6 billion within the next five years. Mobile broadband already outnumber conventional fixed broadband subscriptions 3-to-1.

And, said the Commission, almost 83% of mobile broadband users currently are using enabled social media applications, about 1.9 billion people.

South Korea, not surprisingly, retains the title of “most connected,” with household broadband penetration exceeding 98%, up from 97% last year.

Leads the world in fixed broadband penetration (44%). Four economies, Monaco, Switzerland, Denmark, and the Netherlands, have fixed broadband penetration exceeding 40%, up from one – Switzerland – a year ago.

The United Kingdom (12th), Japan (15th) and Canada (16th) all rank ahead of the U.S. (19th) in terms of number of people online per capita, with Germany (20th) and Australia (21st) following.

The U.S. now is 24th in terms of fixed broadband subscriptions per capita, just behind Japan but ahead of Macao (China) and Estonia.

In the MENA region, Bahrain (11th), UAE (13th) and Qatar (17th) rank in the Top 20 worldwide, with Qatar having the second highest percentage of household broadband (96%) of any developing country after Korea. It also ranks third out of developing countries for percentage of individuals using the Internet.

There are just 77 countries where over 50% of the population is online, an increase from 70 a year ago.

The lowest levels of Internet access are mostly found in sub-Saharan Africa, with Internet available to less than 2% of the population in Ethiopia, Niger, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Somalia, Burundi, Eritrea and South Sudan.

“Broadband uptake is accelerating, but it is unacceptable that 90% of people in the world’s 48 Least Developed Countries remain totally unconnected,” said ITU Secretary-General Dr. Hamadoun I. Toure. “With broadband Internet now universally recognized as a vital tool for social and economic development, we need to make connectively a key development priority, particularly in the world’s poorest nations. Connectivity is not a luxury for the rich – rather, it is the most powerful tool mankind has ever had at its disposal to bridge development gaps in areas like health, education, environmental management and gender empowerment.”

Follow me on Twitter @JimONeillMedia

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Deep Thinking On Second Screens And TV Everywhere

September 18, 2014 9:42 am

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This just in: Consumers really watch a lot more TV on great big sets than they do videos on smartphones or tablets. And though a few more people look at TV Everywhere apps than used to, mostly,
they’re still a rumor. Why? Why? Why?

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TV Anywhere…But The Desktop

September 18, 2014 6:15 am

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For A&E Networks — and likely many others — the mobile tipping point has arrived for video, with more people accessing streaming media from devices and set-top boxes than from the Web. As an
entertainment platform, the desktop Web has always been a horrid experience that no one in the industry wanted to admit, even if consumers always knew it.

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Two Years Late, Agency Launches Vine Video Division; Maybe They’ll Launch a Hyperlapse Division in 2016

September 17, 2014 1:55 pm

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Oh vey. Vendetta Studios, a full service advertising and production company, announced that they will be launching as the first company to specialize in Vine video advertising for brands and companies
around the world. Which is weird because, well, the agency launched in 2004 but whatever. Maybe re-launch would have been a better term? And didn’t Vine launch like two years ago? Anyway, with more
than 100 million people watching Vine videos across the web each month and 1 billion Loops every day, the agency thinks it’s a ripe playground to jump into.

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TV Hours Watched Yielding To Digital Video

September 15, 2014 3:15 am

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According to a new report by Nielsen, young people continue to shift their viewing activities to digital video. Since the second quarter of 2012, Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 have increased
their video viewing by 16 minutes a day and decreased TV watching by 10 minutes.

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Hitting Climate Change Hard, Hack4Good Style

September 11, 2014 8:00 pm

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Rackspace is so excited, once again, to sponsor Geeklist’s Hack4Good this weekend. This time around, the Hack4Good hackathon will focus on projects and prototypes that address global climate change.

“As Rackers we’re all about treating other people well, like friends and family, and the environment we live in has a huge impact on people’s lives around the world, so our involvement is a part of helping each other out,” said Lucy Mendel, Rackspace Software Developer.

It is awesome to be able to partner with an organization that tackles two amazing desires in one: complex problem-solving and contributing to the greater good, and we would love for more developers to join.

From Abuja, Nigeria to San Francisco, Calif. to Baguio, Philippines, 3,000-plus planet-conscious hackers are expected to join forces this weekend to harness the power of technology to create solutions to help protect our planet from climate change at Geeklist’s Hack4Good 0.6 Global Climate Change Hackathon.

Technologists, designers, environmentalists, thought leaders and more will convene in over 40 cities to work on one of 15 global climate change challenges, which will be integrated for long term impact into partner non-government organizations and government organizations. The 15 challenges are: Public Awareness, Personal Impact, Digital Activism, Compelling Visualization, International Negotiations, Resilient Communities, Extreme Water Impacts, Intense Heat Impacts, Ecosystems and Nature, Collaboration, Consumer Behavior, Energy Production, Responsible Finance, Sustainable Business and Energy Efficiency and Reforestation.

As a Hack4Good sponsor, Rackspace is inviting developers to take advantage of $600 of free Rackspace cloud credits through the developer+ program.

“I am excited about Hack4Good because I have volunteered with 350.org and I think climate change is something that a lot of people are not fully aware of, but we need to take notice because it is affecting to our global brothers and sisters,” said Whitney Hofacker, a Racker at Geekdom San Francisco and participant in Hack4Good.

We hope you take notice, and participate in this awesome weekend of collaboration, care and climate change.

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Ricoh’s WG-M1 is an action camera from the people that make Pentax

September 11, 2014 11:32 am

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Dizzying first-person footage? Check. Skate/parkour/longboard adrenaline ride? Check. Ricoh (perhaps better known for its Pentax brand) knows what action camera buyers want. Or at least the category’s marketing staples. Its latest cam is the Ricoh WG-M1, and it’s aimed squarely at the Blanchards and Bruscos of this world. It shoots full HD, takes 14-megapixel stills, has WiFi, is waterproof to over 30 feet and sports an LCD display — all good stuff. But there’s one big question — does it come with a carabiner-equipped strap for easy carrying? Glad you asked, the press materials say yes. The camera will cost $300 when it shoulders its way onto shelves in October, so plenty of time to look up what a carabiner is.

Filed under: Cameras, Wearables

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Source: Ricoh

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Designing a More Delightful Wistia Account Dashboard

September 10, 2014 2:20 pm

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If you’ve been updating your Wistia settings in the Account Dashboard lately, you might have noticed it got a little facelift. Well, it’s been a while in the making.

When I joined the Wistia design team in February, one of our customers’ nagging frustrations was making simple account updates. It was such a bummer to hear! So, the account dashboard was one of the very first things I took on.

Aaron Walter describes a Maslow-inspired hierarchy of user needs in which a design should be functional, then reliable, then usable, and then finally pleasurable, or, as we Wistians like to say, delightful.

Looking at our old dashboard, I felt that it was functional, reliable, and *mostly* usable. I mean, the settings displayed and updated as they should, but couldn’t we make this experience more usable? Delightful, even?

First, I had to familiarize myself with our customers’ needs and the current design. This was tough in itself. I was redesigning an interface that was very new to me, for customers I was still getting to know. We spent about two months iterating, discussing, and scribbling. Finally, we reached a final design for the entire account dashboard. It was a complete overhaul: totally new from the styles to the structure to the interactions.

And then… nothing happened. My designs began to collect dust in Adobe Illustrator. We started talking about this overhaul, or “Cleansweep” as we were calling it, in the hushed tones normally reserved for more taboo topics like “people who don’t recycle.”

Looking back, it makes sense. We had created a project that seemed technically insurmountable. When I’d glance over the chasm between the current and ideal designs, the leap seemed enormous. Where would we even begin? Finally, Jeff, who had apparently had enough of our shoegazing, got us back on track. He suggested we snap out of our paralysis by simply taking a step.

### Enter Operation Cleansweep, Phase One

Over several cups of coffee and lots of whiteboard marker, Jeff and I came up with a plan to build and implement Cleansweep in phases. It wasn’t too hard to identify and bucket changes that belonged in the same “phase”—style changes should happen all at once, but a re-organization could wait for later. Totally new functionality? That should be separately scoped and built on its own timeline, instead of holding up the show.

### Building in delight

One thing we refused to sacrifice in this phased approach was creating a delightful experience. Delight goes beyond adding Easter eggs to make people smile (although we do love that, too!). Creating a delightful experience means starting from the users’ perspective, and giving them exactly what they need intentionally and efficiently. It’s an intricate balance between creating expected interactions and surpassing expectations with pleasant surprises.

How do you make an account settings page more delightful? By speeding it up and reducing the amount of time it takes to complete a task.

Phase One introduces a new style paradigm that makes it easier to scan and find the settings you are looking for (because we hope you won’t have to change these settings often).

We added sidebar navigation to speed up clicking between the settings sections. An overview landing page allows you to easily see your most important account information at a glance. A greeting by name commends you for your video wins with some just-for-fun stats—as well as an exploration of how many adjectives we can apply to the word “videos” (hint: refresh your overview page!). And that is just the beginning.

### Moving forward

As a relatively new web designer, this whole phase-planning idea was a bit foreign to me. Bringing a pixel-perfect vision to life was what I was trained to do! But as my first-phase design began to fall into place, I realized why this phased approach was what building for the web was like. Having a web prototype to interact with exposed situations I hadn’t planned for, and it made it much easier to share my vision for things like interactions.

What was perfect yesterday will be in need of work by tomorrow. This dance of staggered refinement keeps us always moving forward, never stagnant. One step is more attainable than a giant leap, allowing for quick iteration and improvements between steps. Besides, rolling out smaller changes incrementally provides an easier transition for users, mitigating the risk of disorienting them. That’s a win-win in my book!

I’m pleased to present this first phase to all our customers. You’ll see that the settings you know and love are where they’ve always been, just in a slightly more intuitive layout and a more delightful look. We’ve made some fun changes under the hood, but I’ll let you discover them (or even better, be blissfully unaware of their positive impact!).

### What’s next?

Phase Two of Cleansweep aims to make the account section even more usable and delightful. We’re working on more intuitive organization, smoother interactions, better billing notifications, expanded API controls, celebrating your Wisti-anniversaries, and applying all of these new styles to the rest of the account section.

We’ve got a few more planks to lay down on this bridge, but we’re a whole step closer to a more usable and delightful dashboard for all.

**How do you approach projects that feel insurmountable at first? What changes would you like to see in your Wistia account dashboard?**

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Beauty Grows Everywhere In Regency Beauty Institute Video

September 10, 2014 12:36 pm

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regencybeauty

Regency Beauty Institute launched a quirky online video to encourage young people to pursue a career in the beauty industry, showing the creativity and artistry required. The animated video
follows a young woman who has the gift of doing hair. It all begins in a treehouse, as a young girl styles her friend’s hair. The girl has a dream to become a stylist, even though she’s discouraged to
follow that career path. The young woman can’t be stopped and moves to the city to follow her dream. She becomes a success in a place where her talent is embraced by creative friends like architects,
sculptors and chefs. See “Beauty Grew All Around” here, created by Colle+McVoy.

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If the internet had slow lanes, you’d still be waiting to read this article

September 10, 2014 11:30 am

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Today is the internet’s “Day of Action,” an organized protest aimed at the Comcasts and Time Warners of the world from internet denizens, organizations, and companies. And some of the internet’s biggies are on board: Netflix, Twitter, Dropbox, Reddit, Tumblr and more. Perhaps you noticed a widget on Netflix today (seen above)? That’s part of the protest: not actually slowing down websites (which would no doubt frustrate users), but helping to enlighten users who might not know what net neutrality is.

Wait — are you one of those people? That’s totally possible! Here’s a quick summary: net neutrality is the internet as it exists today. All websites are created equal — there are no websites that load noticeably faster or slower than others due to internet providers signing financial contracts with website owners/service providers. Today’s protest is about keeping things that way.

Filed under: Internet, Software

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Does A Hosted Virtualized Environment Require New Tools?

September 10, 2014 8:00 am

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Many enterprises have invested millions of dollars over the years in IT management, monitoring and automation solutions for their data centers. So a natural question that arises when considering migration of workloads to hosted environments is around management tools. What new capabilities will be required? What new skills will our organization need? Is our existing toolset extensible at all?

The reality is that with the right environment and service provider, workloads and virtual machines in hosted environments can be managed with the same tools being used in the on-premise customer data center. This is particularly true for enterprises that are running virtualized workloads in a VMware environment. In fact, with the right service provider, no new applications or automation tools are required to manage hosted workloads.

Enterprises running VMware workloads that want to leverage their existing toolsets need to look for a service provider that offers the following capabilities:

  1. Hosted VMware environments – first, the service provider must offer customers the ability to run VMware virtualized workloads in their hosted environments.
  2. VMware vCenter Services – next, the service provider must offer the ability to manage hosted virtualized workloads using the VMware vCenter Server Management Console.
  3. Access to VMware vSphere APIs – finally the service provider must also expose the native VMware vSphere APIs to the customer to allow the connection of any compatible VMware or third party tools.

By leveraging the VMware vCenter Server management console across on-premise and hosted VMware environments, enterprises are able to enjoy benefits in the following areas:

Resource Management and Performance Monitoring – by leveraging hosted vCenter services enterprises can manage and schedule resources as if the hosted environment were an extension of the customer data center. Host profiles and configurations and settings can be used across on-premise and hosted environments. In addition, resource allocation rules for CPU, memory, disk and network can be applied across both environments, and common alerts and notifications can be configured.

Process and Workflow Automation – by leveraging hosted VMware vSphere APIs, organizations that currently use VMware vCenter Orchestrator can extend their existing workflows and scripts to workloads running in a hosted VMware environment. This applies not just to out-of-the-box VMware workflows, but also custom scripts and workflows developed by IT administrators.

Extensibility of Existing Applications – with access to hosted vCenter APIs, existing third party and custom applications and scripts can be used with workloads in the hosted VMware environment. Many enterprises rely on third party applications in the VMware partner ecosystem that integrate with vCenter for capacity management, business continuity, performance monitoring and other capabilities. By exposing the same APIs used to manage on-premise virtualized workloads, these same applications can be used for hosted workloads as well. For example, businesses are able to connect third party tools like VMware vCenter Operations Manager (vCOps) to increase visibility into the environment through analytics, as well as assist in capacity and configurations management.

Because no new tools or capabilities are required to manage the hosted VMware environment, enterprises will also find that they can continue to leverage existing IT operations and management skills. By using the right service provider and hosted vCenter services, enterprises can seamlessly manage their on-premise and hosted VMware environments through their existing tools, solutions, processes and people.

This is the third in a series of posts exploring the IT governance and management implications of migration to hosted VMware environments. Stay tuned for our next post featuring a case study on one enterprise that decided to migrate to a hosted virtualized environment.

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With larger iPhones, Apple accepts that smartphones have evolved

September 10, 2014 8:00 am

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Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

So it finally happened — after seemingly ages of rumors and speculation, Apple has unveiled larger iPhones (the 6 and 6 Plus) that are really, truly bigger than the 3.5-inch original. It’s no doubt a welcome move if you’re a fan who has been craving a big display, and it might even reel in people who have held off on an iPhone until now. However, this isn’t just an instance of a company tweaking its product line to accommodate changing tastes. That happens all the time. For Apple, it’s an acknowledgment that the very definition of a smartphone has changed over the years.

Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile, Apple

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Take a ride in Honda’s self-driving car (video)

September 8, 2014 1:41 pm

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One day (soon, according to GM) it won’t be weird to get in a car, go for a drive and see the driver take their hands off of the wheel while the car continues on self-guided. That day isn’t today though, so while I’ve already had demos of “autonomous driving,” hopping in this Acura TLX for a quick drive through Detroit was still special. So far I’ve only seen similar technology working in controlled environments, but this time the car was navigating its way down the same highways I drive on regularly, and dealing with real drivers just trying to go about their day. As it turns out, after three years in development Honda’s technology can handle merging into highway traffic better than some people I know.

Filed under: Transportation

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Source: Honda

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Rackspace Startup Program Spotlight On Flickflyer: A Marketplace Video Platform Built On Rackspace Managed Cloud

September 4, 2014 8:00 am

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Flickflyer is a marketplace application built on the premise that video just sells better. The app, which is available for iOS and Android, allows users to easily create and post video advertisements for items they’re selling using their smartphone’s camera. The addition of moving pictures and sound creates a more engaging experience and makes ecommerce more human. As Flickflyer puts it, the startup provides a video platform for buying and selling when photos just aren’t enough.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp4b7GQfy5Y]

“It was born out of frustration from buying used goods online and sometimes pictures and words weren’t just enough, in two places simultaneously, believe it or not,” explains Bin Tan, CEO of Flickflyer. “I was in Manila and trying to make an online purchase of a vintage camera, but was too scared to buy it because the photos didn’t look like much. My co-founder [Paiman Vahdati, CMO at Flickflyer] was in San Jose trying to sell stuff he had in the garage to make some money, but it was just too difficult. A mutual friend thought we should meet and – BAM! – it was as if he and I were thinking of the same thing!”

Flickflyer was created to help users buy and sell their goods easier using video. The founders felt it had so much power helping buyers and sellers connect.

With the idea cemented, the Flickflyer team built the video platform from scratch on the Rackspace Managed Cloud and as part of the Rackspace Startup Program.

“Rackspace became an integral part of Flickflyer, especially in that we’re a startup,” Tan says. “Because our platform was focused on video, so even though our videos are saved on YouTube, we do a lot of image and video processing at the backend. We needed the capabilities of the cloud to easily scale up our requirements. Setting up was really fast and working through the different tools available for us was also easy. The Rackspace Startup Program was a monumental help for us!”

Now that Flickflyer doesn’t have to worry about its infrastructure, the team can focus on growing the business.

“Between now and 2015, Flickflyer will be very busy partnering with different small businesses and partners giving them the opportunity to post their stuff online with video,” concludes Tan. “It has given users the ability show both their creativity and their goods easily to their potential market. We’ve currently been able to partner with people from all over including people in Chile, the Philippines and the United States as we progress our platform even further.”

The Rackspace Startup Program was there to help Flickflyer develop its marketplace app for buying and selling items using video advertisements. Drop the Startup Team a note and let us know if you need help building your startup.

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Staff Favorites August 2014: featuring “F L O A T I N G” by Greg Jardin

September 3, 2014 11:32 am

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As you may have heard, this summer was the worst Hollywood’s seen in over a decade. Fortunately, Vimeo was spared from such watching woes — our Staff Picks churned out online blockbusters all summer long.

The arrival of August was accompanied by an epic time lapse from the hermit kingdom, a single-take projection mapping masterpiece and ‘F L O A T I N G’ a delicate love story that rose above the rest. We caught up with Greg Jardin, the director of “F L O A T I N G,” to chat about love, loneliness, and, of course, balloons.

[vimeo 103146755 w=600 h=337]

You’ve directed some awesome music videos in the past, but this is the first narrative piece we’ve seen of yours. Was this your first narrative short?

It’s my first narrative short since graduating from film school. I had directed a handful of short films while there and the final one was sort of what got me signed as a director for music videos and commercials. It’s called, “The Problem With Fiber Optics,” and you can check it out here.

The idea of a romance between two “balloon people” is a pretty novel concept. What was the original inspiration for the film?

I was having brunch with a friend and batting around ideas for a music video I was writing a treatment for. Somehow, I had an idea revolving around the visual of a bunch of balloons in the sky, which segued into the visual image of a person made out of balloons, which I really liked. The image always seemed lonely to me, and in trying to develop a story, it seemed like the character’s fragility would have to play a large part.

So, at that point, I’d thought the story would be about a lonely balloon person living in a busy city trying to establish some sort of connection with the people around it – by helping a woman who’d dropped her purse, by helping an older man cross the street, etc. – but in doing so, would get its balloons popped, one by one, until only the head is left, which floats away.

I really liked the idea of crafting an emotional narrative around something that you would normally not have any real emotional connection to, in this case, balloons. When I started discussing the idea with my friend Matthew Beans, who ended up co-writing it with me, we started discussing the notion that giving the balloon person a kindred spirit and separating the two could give it more of an emotional impact that a balloon person alone for the duration of the film.

We couldn’t help thinking of the classic short ‘The Red Balloon’ when watching ‘F L O A T I N G’. Do you see ‘F L O A T I N G’ as an homage to Albert Lamorisse’s film?

It wasn’t necessarily meant to be a homage. That said, I’d seen “The Red Balloon” years ago and from the get-go, I did picture the balloon character as being fully comprised of red balloons, which I’m sure was a decision subconsciously informed by “The Red Balloon” itself.

Music plays a pretty essential role in the film. Can you speak to the process that went into crafting the score?

I directed a music video for The Joy Formidable a little while back, and I love their music because, while it can be really heavy and powerful, all of their stuff has a strong emotional undercurrent to it — something you just feel naturally when you listen to it. A few months after we’d finished the video, Ritzy (the lead singer) was telling me that her and Rhydian (the bassist) were dabbling in scoring and musical compositions that weren’t necessarily related to the band. It was an exciting idea for me to have them score the film, both because of their innate emotional songwriting, and the fact that they hadn’t fully scored a film yet.

We had discussed the idea of the music essentially echoing the emotion of the main character – initially expressing the loneliness with a piano and not much else, creating a theme, but keeping it fairly subdued. Then, once the other character is introduced, the music becomes warmer and the orchestration is more complex. It was important to make sure the music was never too grandiose, but ultimately, all of the credit for the melodies and nuances and emotions has to go to the band.

What was the biggest challenge in making this film?

Figuring out the VFX workflow — more specifically, how to create and animate a photorealistic character out of balloons. I’ve been building my knowledge of After Effects and slowly incorporating it into my projects as I’ve gone along, but for this one I had to beef up on Cinema 4D and motion tracking (Syntheyes). The impetus for actually making the film was when I saw a Greyscale Gorilla tutorial online on how to create a balloon using C4D. From there, I got a lot of help and advice from my friend George Loucas (not to be confused with George Lucas), who owns a great VFX company called Baked FX.

What’s next from Greg Jardin?

Trying to find someone to finance another short, trying to get a feature made, trying to figure out how to better accessorize my Vespa, and trying to wean myself off of coffee.

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Reminder: Social Engineering Isn’t Just An Online Threat

September 2, 2014 2:25 am

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Shortly after DEF CON last month, friend and journalist Steve Ragan made an observation in his Salted Hash blog: People standing in the many long lines at the event were forgetting a basic social engineering risk.

He wrote about how one individual in particular was talking in detail about a project he was working on:

So what’s the problem here? First, this person should know better (they are a security expert), and second, the project they’re working on is related to hacker legalities — some of the archaic laws that are used to prosecute (or threaten) researchers. Why was this person in the wrong? Because loose lips sink ships, and if word got out about this project before it actually gained any traction, it could be dead in the water. The government and federal law enforcement community can spook easily, and if pressed, they’ll take a hardline on just about anything. Also, this project could have political aspects to it, so debates or discussions about it that are fueled by speculation, could kill it before it starts.

Ragan touches on something we repeatedly warn employees about at Akamai.

Potential adversaries are always around us, especially with our company located in a big city. Our neighbors include several competitors who would almost certainly love to hear about what we’re working on. Employees for those competitors frequent the same restaurants and shops as we do, including a Starbucks around the corner.

The line is usually pretty long at that Starbucks. And when the line is long, people naturally pass the time by talking.

I’m in that line a lot, and I’m always thinking about my various projects. It would be simple for me to go over the details of those projects with the person I stand in line with.

I’ve had to train myself to limit the topics I talk about to the weather, family business and so on.

We’ve all spent so much time worrying about social engineering tactics online — phishing and the like — that we’ve forgotten about the threat offline.

I’m glad Ragan wrote us all a reminder.

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6 Ways Young Upstarts Can Get Their Big Security Break

August 29, 2014 11:46 am

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Interviewing Akamai InfoSec’s summer interns recently, I was reminded of a six-step guide I wrote a few years ago for CSOonline on how young people can get their break in the industry. I think the suggestions are as valid today as they were then.

Also see:

Written April 24, 2010…

If you’re young, breaking into the security industry can be difficult.

Companies have either suffered a data security breach or live in fear of one. So when they’re hiring new IT security personnel, they want years of experience. If you’re fresh out of college, that’s a problem.

Another problem is that security practitioners are control freaks by nature. They have to be, if you stop and think about it. They have a huge responsibility, and delegating some of the work to younger pups is a lot to expect.

But here’s the problem: The future of information security is in the hands of the youth. That may seem a cliched statement; so obvious it sounds stupid. But it’s a fact.

This column isn’t an invitation for young upstarts to cry and lament about the disadvantages they have. Instead, it’s about a few things you can do to break through and make it in the industry. Think of it as suggestions for becoming a security rock star, which you almost have to be to make a difference these days.

This morning I’m at Security B-Sides Boston, listening to a talk from someone who is fighting this battle right now. Joseph Sokoly, a security analyst at NetBoundary, recently gave a talk at the Austin, Texas B-Sides event about the troubles of being young in the security industry. This time, he’s in Boston giving an update on where his career trajectory has taken him in the weeks since then.

He has found that breaking into the security community is not nearly as hard as it first seemed. In fact, his career got a big boost simply because he had the guts to stand up in front of people and give his talk. “Giving the talk in Austin helped me tremendously,” Sokoly said. “It has opened doors. My being here is a result of that. First, the positive reaction from the community encouraged me not just to listen but to speak again.”

His Austin talk has also inspired security heavyweights like Chris Hoff and James Arlen to look at establishing a mentor program to coincide with this summer’s B-Sides Las Vegas event.

“Being proactive works. Put yourself out there and things will open up, but speaking doesn’t have to be it. Use Twitter. Start blogging,” Sokoly said. He’s absolutely right.

His suggestion young security practitioners speak up and force others to take notice isn’t a new concept. But it’s advice that too few people take.

Instead, prospective employees try to let their raw technical ability do the talking. They get so bogged down on the technical that they ignore the cultural. It’s unfair to be frozen out, especially if you’re skills are well above someone who gets the job simply because they’ve been kicking around as employed security practitioners for five or more years. In other words, because they’ve simply managed to survive.

But life is always going to be unfair, so it’s better to focus on ways to get ahead. In that spirit, here are some suggestions, which I’ve admittedly borrowed from Sokoly. Call this imitation that’s meant to be a form of flattery, because what he said makes sense.

1. Learn how to write: Like it or not, writing is part of your job in the information age. You can’t make a difference simply by knowing how to configure a NAC system or do penetration testing. You have to be able to tell colleagues, bosses and business partners what you are doing, in their language. You’ll have to do this in board presentations and in reports. And if you really want to make a difference, you can share your experience by blogging. That gets you noticed, and in many cases will get you hired.

2. Learn How to Talk: The days of a security administrator holing up in a dark room shut off from the outside world is over. You have to be able to articulate what you’re trying to do in the spoken world. This isn’t just about learning how to be a good public speaker, though that is of high value. Learning to talk means learning to speak the language of those who decide how much budget you get for security or who gets hired.

3. Learn how to dress: This might sound weird, because most practitioners will dress according to the requirements of their employer. That could mean suit and tie, business casual, or something in between. But then there are times to dress to match the crowd you are in, particularly at security conferences. Business attire won’t help you network in a crowd of hackers at ShmooCon or DEFCON. Dressing like a punk rocker won’t cut it at a more C-level event.

4. Master social networking: You can be shy as can be and still be heard thanks to the world of social networking. Set yourself up on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and share what you know. If you know what you’re talking about, people will follow you, including prospective employers.

5. Learn to work with suits AND mohawks: One of the problems in security today is that the profession is split into two groups who don’t communicate well: The executive-level suit and tie CSOs working for billion-dollar corporations or high-level government agencies, and the torn jeans-wearing, ear-pierced researchers. You can see the cultural chasm clearly when you go to a conference like ShmooCon and then something like CSO Perspectives. If you work on being able to communicate and work in both crowds, your stock will rise considerably.

6. Get to conferences: This one is easier said than done, because conferences cost money that you may not have. There are ways around that. Some companies will send interns to security events to get some real-world experience. If you blog, some conferences will give you a free press pass so long as you write about the conference in your blog. Then there are events like B-Sides, which is free and ongoing around the country. These events are full of knowledge. But just as importantly, these are places to meet people. The more people you meet, the more you know, and the more you know, the better your career prospects.

None of this is scientific advice, backed up with statistics and other data. It’s my personal observation as a security journalist. I hope it helps.

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