Shared posts

09 Sep 12:15

Blade & Soul getting closed beta just in time for Halloween

by Steven Hansen

Korean MMO Blade & Soul was confirmed for Western release three years ago and it's finally coming to fruition. NCSoft has scheduled betas this year ahead of the game's early 2016 launch. The first starts October 30. Purchasing a Founder's Pack guarantees beta entry.

The betas start in English and move on to include French and German. The full schedule is here.

"There will be at least five beta weekends, the first two of which will focus on testing the English version of the Western release. With over 20 days of total playtime, the beta weekends will all run from Friday at 10am PDT to Monday at 10pm PDT. The extended beta weekend November 24–30 will then include all launch languages—English, French, and German, with subsequent weekends including these three languages."

Blade & Soul getting closed beta just in time for Halloween screenshot

05 May 18:00

How to Write a Thank-You Note

by Trent Hamm
writing thank-you notes with coffee

The stationary doesn’t need to be formal or fancy, but a thank-you note should be handwritten and from the heart. Photo: Kate Hiscock

With graduation and wedding season upon us, you may be faced with the arduous task of finding the proper way to thank others for their generosity. In some ways, it can be difficult to be on the receiving end: Not only do you have to accept your gift graciously, you also have to make sure your loved ones know how much you appreciated their kind gesture.

Because many people feel anxious or unsure of themselves when it comes to writing a proper thank-you note, it’s a task that’s often put off until the last minute. However, procrastinating usually just makes a bad problem worse – the longer you wait, the more stressed out you’ll become.

To help you get through that anxiety, here’s a guide to thank-you notes, including when they’re appropriate to send, how to create an effective one, and a few samples to get you started.

Are Thank-you Notes Really That Important?

Like it or not, the value of thank-you notes lies in more than just tradition. In all actuality, they help you accomplish several important goals:

It’s a simple way of showing gratitude toward someone who has done something kind for you.

Whenever someone gives you a gift, they’re usually giving up their own valuable resources — whether money or time — that they could have devoted to their own selves, family, or future.

With that consideration, I’m usually quite grateful for any gift I receive, and a thank-you note is a very tangible way to show your thanks for that gift. It’s something that takes just a moment or two of your own time, yet clearly and permanently shows gratitude.

It keeps the communication loop open between you and that person.

A thank-you note extends the window of opportunity of communication with someone else, keeping your name in their mind. It’s for this reason that many people advise sending a thank-you note after a job interview.

Simply put, when you write a thank-you note, you often leave a positive, lasting impression of yourself — which can’t hurt when someone is about to make a hiring decision.

A thank-you note can also help keep open a cordial line of communication with someone with whom you have a strained relationship or whom you’ve drifted apart from over time.

When Are Thank-You Notes Appropriate?

The truth is, a thank-you note is almost never inappropriate. If you feel compelled to thank someone for a gift, a compliment, or a deed, do so. A handwritten note written from the bottom of your heart can never be a bad thing.

With that being said, here are some common situations where a thank-you note is not only common, but recommended:

Whenever you receive a gift, send a thank-you note.

If someone sends you a gift, a thank-you note in return will almost always be expected. This is particularly true with wedding gifts, graduation gifts, and other personal gift-giving occasions.

Whenever you interview for a job, send a thank you note.

A post-interview thank-you note is always appreciated – even if you don’t think you’ll land the job. At the very least, sending a note shows that you appreciated the interviewer’s time — and for many people, that means a lot.

Whenever someone does something to help you in your personal or professional life, send a thank-you note.

I find these are the most powerful ones in terms of building a network of people that you can regularly connect with. I’m not typically the most social person, so when I am able to make a significant contact with a person, I make sure to follow up — because those individuals may eventually become coworkers, clients, or even friends.

Whenever you establish a new professional contact, send a thank you note.

This doesn’t mean you should send a note to every person that gives you a business card. Instead, wait for encounters that are actually meaningful.

In short, send a thank you note when someone does something for you that has a positive impact on your life. Just avoid sending a thank-you note to the same person more than once every few months; one note is appreciated, but five gets creepy.

How to Write a Thank-You Note That Means Something

Step 1: Always hand-write a thank-you note.

A handwritten thank-you note has a certain level of elegance that you just can’t capture by typing and printing a note. Take out your pen and write down your thoughts. If you prefer, you can draft the note elsewhere first in order to minimize the risk of mistakes.

Thank-you notes can be written on very informal stationery. I’m partial to very simple cards that are easy to personalize with a kind message. Don’t sweat it too much – just pick something that you like while also keeping in mind that certain images or themes might be offensive to others.

While hand-writing the note is important, it’s okay to use printed labels to save time addressing the envelopes. Whenever we have many cards to send, I always print a sheet of address labels using my electronic address book. Not only does this save time, it also ensures accuracy.

Step 2: Address the thank-you note with care

Start off with the word “Dear,” then imagine you walked into a room and saw this person (or these people) without having seen them for a year. How would you address them? That’s what you should use next.

For example, if it’s an old friend, use their first name. If it’s one of your parents’ friends that you don’t know particularly well, use Mr. and Mrs. Lastname.

The First Sentence

Say “Thank you for…” and state the gift or opportunity you’ve been given. Here are three examples:

  • Thank you for the gift of $20 on the occasion of my graduation.
  • Thank you for the opportunity to interview for the systems analyst position.
  • Thank you for the wonderful dinner party you hosted on the 25th.
  • Thank you for the set of kitchen knives you gave to us for our wedding.

The Second Piece

Explain how much you appreciate the gift or opportunity. Tell them why you like it – or how you plan to use it.

  • I plan on using that money to help buy textbooks in the fall.
  • It was exciting and interesting to learn more about your organization and how the analyst role fits into it.
  • The roasted lamb was exquisite and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Barack and Michelle.
  • The knives have already found a home in our kitchen, and I used them to prepare dinner just last night.

The Third Piece

Use the thank-you note as a way to continue the connection you have with that person. Some examples:

  • I’ll be home from school over Thanksgiving break and hope to see you then.
  • I am sincerely interested in the position and I hope to hear from you soon — but either way, I truly enjoyed our meeting.
  • Marge and I are planning a dinner party of our own in October, and I would love it if you would come.
  • We plan on being back there in August. Let’s make plans.

The Signature

No matter what you do, make sure to end your note in a pleasant and friendly manner. I almost always sign my notes “Thanks again!” and scribble my signature underneath.

Sample Thank-You Notes

Here are the four full notes from the examples above:

Dear Mr. Hobbs,

Thank you for the $20 graduation gift. I plan on using that money to help buy textbooks in the fall. I’ll be home from school over Thanksgiving break and hope to see you then.

Thanks again,
Billy Larson

* * *

Dear Dr. McCaskill,

Thank you for taking the time to interview me for the systems analyst position. It was exciting and interesting to learn more about your organization and the analyst role. I am sincerely interested in the position and I hope to hear from you soon — but either way, I truly enjoyed our meeting.

Thanks again,
William Larson

* * *

Dear Mr. Hobbs,

Thank you for the set of kitchen knives you gave to us for our wedding. They already have a home in our kitchen, and I used them to make dinner just last night – they worked great! We plan on being back there in August and I would love to catch up then.

Thanks again,
Bill and Marjorie Larson

* * *

Dear Steve and Colleen,

Thank you for the wonderful dinner party you hosted on the 25th. The roasted lamb was exquisite and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Barack and Michelle. Marge and I are planning a dinner party of our own in October, and we would love it if you would come.

Thanks again,
Bill Larson

Writing Thank-You Notes from the Heart

These thank-you note samples illustrate some of the most common ways to write a proper thank-you letter, but there are many more ways to write a thank-you note from the heart.

And that’s the key: When you’re writing thank-you notes that are born out of sincere gratitude, you can’t really go wrong.

So buy a basic set of cards that are blank on the inside and break out your favorite pen. Then use our sample thank-you notes as a basic outline of what your note should look and sound like. But no matter what, write from the heart. When you do, your family members and friends will notice — and they’ll appreciate it.

The post How to Write a Thank-You Note appeared first on The Simple Dollar.

20 Mar 16:05

Introduction to PFClean

Digital Tutors - Introduction to PFClean
English | 1h 5m | Video: AVC (.mp4) 1280x720 15fps | Audio: AAC 48KHz 2ch | 793 MB
Genre: eLearning | Project Files Included

In this PFClean tutorial we'll take our first steps into Pixel Farm's film restoration software.
PFClean is a restoration software that will allow the user to fix and restore damaged footage that is sampled via tapes or film. We'll learn how to navigate the software and its unique user interface. We'll also learn how to use the cutting tool and how to utilize the software's built in effects.
20 Mar 00:05

How that crazy city of Knowhere in Guardians of the Galaxy was made

by Casey Chan

One of the reasons I enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy so much was because I got to explore a world in which I had no expectations. Take that crazy city Knowhere, which is inside a giant Celestial head, I didn't even know it existed, let alone know what it "should" look like. Here's the VFX reel showing how the city was built.


19 Mar 12:30

Best to start them early.

by András Neltz

Best to start them early. Redditor Pypok and his wife needed a theme for their son's nursery, and Pypok suggested space (by way of Kerbal Space Program). Turned out rather well, I'd say—perfect for a future space explorer. There are some in-progress photos in the embedded Imgur album below.


18 Mar 18:27

WASP to 3D Print Houses with Plant Seeds Inside that can Grow Into Full Root Systems for Support

by Whitney Hipolite
One of the most fascinating companies that we have covered over the past year has been a company called WASP, which stands for “World’s Advanced Saving Project”. We have reported in the past, that...

View the entire article via our website.
18 Mar 18:28

Tiko3D Unveils Sleek $179 Delta 3D Printer

by Brian Krassenstein
Last year was the year in which desktop 3D printers saw staggering price declines. Spurred on by the open source community, we saw printer after printer emerge on crowdfunding platforms such as Indiegogo and...

View the entire article via our website.
18 Mar 18:30

Full-Duplex Radio Integrated Circuit Could Double Radio Frequency Data Capacity

by timothy
Zothecula writes Full-duplex radio communication usually involves transmitters and receivers operating at different frequencies. Simultaneous transmission and reception on the same frequency is the Holy Grail for researchers, but has proved difficult to achieve. Those that have been built have proven complex and bulky, but to be commercially useful in the ever-shrinking world of communications technology, miniaturization is key. To this end, engineers at Columbia University (CU) claim to have created a world-first, full-duplex radio transceiver, all on one miniature integrated circuit.

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Read more of this story at Slashdot.

18 Mar 18:56

Gucci Mane Releases 'Breakfast,' 'Lunch' & 'Dinner' Albums

by Hypebeast

Gucci Mane is currently serving time after pleading guilty to a federal gun possession charge, but that hasn't stopped the 1017 Brick Squad Records head from releasing new material. The ATL rapper just dropped a trio of albums titled Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner just weeks after his previous release. Keep in mind he has already released four other projects in 2015 so expect an onslaught of new material while he remains locked up. Stream all three albums below.

Click here to view full gallery at

18 Mar 12:30

WEVR Launches $1 Million VR Grant Program, Up to $50,000 Available for VR Storytellers

by Scott Hayden

WEVR, formerly known as WemoLab, announced their new $1Million grant today, a program aimed at anyone looking to get into the new field of cinematic VR.

WEVR, the VR company collaborating to produce experiences such as 360 video Space Shuttle Endeavour, and new HTC Vive demo, The Encounter, have announced OnWEVR today, a new $1 Million grant program that could net prospective VR content producers anywhere between $5,000 to $50,000 in project funds.

Apply For OnWEVR Grant

See Also: Epic Games Offering up Cash from $5 Million Fund to ‘Anyone Making Cool Things with UE4′

WEVR collaborates with several independent studios already to produce content for their VR distribution platform; including mobile, desktop, and the sort of room-scale VR content made possible with HTC Vive. Successful applicants of the grant will have free use of WEVR’s proprietary VR media player and distribution technology platform, but it’s unclear whether grant winners will be obligated to publish solely with WEVR.

‘theBlu: Encounter’ demo for HTC Vive

“Our main hope is that OnWEVR will help producers who come up with exciting VR experiences to launch themselves in this new space using the grant funding,” says co-founder, Anthony Batt. “There really aren’t many funding opportunities for VR storytellers, so we wanted to create something very lightweight that helps producers, helps us, and helps the VR community.”

Grant Guidlines

Your project must be a VR experience a few minutes in length and use WEVR’s VR media player software. All that’s required for consideration is a short written pitch, a video (either on YouTube or in a DropBox folder) explaining your VR story, and a URL for any other supporting files (videos, graphics, presentations), if applicable. The OnWEVR program is for anyone in the VR community, from the enthusiast experimenting with making their own VR content to the seasoned veteran.

The company has made no specifications regarding the sort of VR experiences eligible for their grant, whether they’re preferring 360 video or rendered content. We’ll be following any news to come out about the grant and its winners, so check back for updates.

The post WEVR Launches $1 Million VR Grant Program, Up to $50,000 Available for VR Storytellers appeared first on Road to VR.

16 Mar 08:30

25 Free Resume/CV Templates to Help You Get the Job!

by Chris Spooner
17 Mar 16:01

Lynda - Drawing Vector Graphics: Hand Lettering


Lynda - Drawing Vector Graphics: Hand Lettering
1.99GB | Duration: 4h 33m | Video: AVC (.mp4) 1280x720 30fps | Audio: AAC 48KHz 2ch
Genre: eLearning | Level: Beginner | Language: English

Typography and lettering are distinct yet intimately interwoven art forms. While typography relies on established fonts, lettering relies on the hand of an artist. However, since hand lettering, like typography, is usually destined for print or the web, it's critical for illustrators to be able to transform their letterform drawings into pristine vector graphics. In this installment of Drawing Vector Graphics, Von Glitschka takes members through the entire creative process of hand lettering: starting with analog drawing tools, then using Adobe Illustrator to turn his drawings into vector graphics that can be further customized and scaled up or down.
17 Mar 01:34

Bill would require surveys of residential high-rises without sprinklers

by By Drew Joseph, Staff Writer

Cities and counties in Texas would have to survey which residential high-rises in their jurisdictions lack sprinkler systems under a bill filed by state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer after the fatal fire at the Wedgwood Senior Living complex.