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17 May 20:34

Expert Advice: Printing with Lightroom

by Wonderful Machine

Molly Glynn, Wonderful Machine

Printing is a process of problem-solving and iteration, from loading the paper into the printer to ensuring the final product is color corrected. I like to say that printing is mostly just putting out fires– as soon as you solve one issue, another is bound to arise.

Not every photographer finds owning and running their own printer worth the cost. It can be a time-consuming process, and ink and paper don’t come cheap. But, it can also be intensely satisfying to create an image from an initial concept to the final print.

I’ll preface by saying that there are many opinions when it comes to printing and equally as many methods for printing as there are printers in the world. Everyone has their preferences, and this guide is made to be a baseline on which you can develop your skills and form your own style of printing.

Step One: Choose Your Printer

We have two Epson Surecolor P800 printers, which are large format printers designed for a variety of paper types. We’ve found them perfect for our Print Portfolio Production, as well as for some larger, poster-sized prints.

Black Epson Surecolor P800 printer at Wonderful Machine

The P800 accepts paper up to 17 inches wide, which makes it a perfect size for making test prints or small exhibition prints. If you are looking to make even larger prints, take a peek at the P7000 or its older friend the Stylus Pro 7880.

It seems that with larger print size comes an increase in printer trouble – from file buffering to color banding. Ultimately, my advice is to leave especially large or important prints to professional printing houses who have the tools, expertise, and time to create a perfect print for you.

Step Two: Choose Your Paper

We use Moab Lasal Matte paper, which is double-sided and can be ordered pre-punched and pre-scored for standard-size screw post binders. Heavyweight matte paper is great for most photo uses, but specific clients may want a pearl, luster, or full gloss finish instead. We generally discourage photographers from using glossy paper for portfolios due to its tendency to glare, gather fingerprints, and collect dust.

Whatever paper you choose, make sure you purchase a size and type that is compatible with your printer. Most finished papers are single-sided, so if you want front and back images in your portfolio, that’s an important factor to consider. Other important factors include the weight of your paper and the ink recommendations, as well as the reputation of the color profiles associated with the paper. For instance, I’ve found Moab profiles generally easy to use but Hahnemühle profiles difficult to print.

Step Three: Choose Your Program

Here is where the opinions really start coming in. Depending on your experience with printing, you’ll find yourself drawn to one program over another. There are a few different reputable programs to print, including nearly all of the Adobe Creative Suite. Most photographers are proficient in Photoshop and/or Lightroom, and either is a great choice for printing. Some printing houses and even advanced home printers will use special drivers or RIP software to ensure perfect results between multiple printers.

Photoshop does offer more print customization and flexibility in layout, but we’ve found that Lightroom is better for producing multiple prints in succession due largely to its library and preset functionality.

Lightroom is the most user-friendly printing option but still maintains the level of control necessary for making high-quality prints. As such, this guide is written for Lightroom with the novice printer in mind.

Wonderful Machine photo editor Molly Glynn using Adobe Lightroom

Step Four: Choosing Templates and Settings

Lightroom’s print module comes with pre-designed templates for a variety of printing options (all designed for 8.5×11 paper). These work well as an introduction to what you can do to lay out an image– whether you’re looking to print a contact sheet, some 5×7 images, or one basic test print.

What’s even nicer about Lightroom’s printing templates is the ability to customize them. On the right-hand side of the print module, you’ll notice there are six sections with options to make adjustments to your final print: Layout Style, Image Settings, Layout, Guides, Page, and Print Job.

LAYOUT STYLE

Adobe Lightroom screenshot of Print Layout Style

Most often, you’ll stick to “Single Image/Contact Sheet,” unless printing a retail picture package. Either way, just use the cells menu to add images in your preferred size and build out as you please!

IMAGE SETTINGS

Adobe Lightroom screenshot of Print Image Settings

Your images won’t always fit into a template exactly the way you want them, and that’s where image settings come in. The checkboxes give you options to Zoom to Fill, Rotate to Fit, or Repeat One Photo per Page. This is mostly self-explanatory, but it’s good to note that selecting Zoom to Fill will crop your image. You can adjust the crop by clicking and dragging your mouse over the image.

There’s also an option to add a stroke border around your image. I generally don’t recommend adding any sort of border to an image– most of the time, it only makes an image look dated.

LAYOUT

Adobe Lightroom screenshot of Print Layout

Perhaps one of the most important menus to use when creating custom templates or adjusting pre-existing ones, the Layout menu allows you to adjust the Margins, Page Grid, Cell Spacing, and Cell Size of a print.

Setting Margins allows you to work within what you know or wish to be printable space. For example, when I am setting up a portfolio print for a screw post book, I know that I need to allow for at least one inch on the inside edge of the page for the punched holes. If I want a vertical image to sit all the way to the left side of the page, I’ll adjust the right margin to push it towards the left edge.

The Page Grid sets how many image cells (in rows and columns) are on a single page. If I want a top and bottom image, I’ll set the rows to two. If I want a triptych, I’ll up the columns to set three images side-by-side. Whenever you have more than one image cell on a page, the Cell Spacing field will come into play. Increasing the horizontal or vertical spacing will add white space between your cells so the images no longer touch.

The Cell Size adjusts the space allotted for each image on the page. When the sliders are all the way to the right, a cell is as large as it can possibly be on the page. This is inversely related to cell spacing, so be careful when adjusting. I usually find it most useful to first set my cell size, then my spacing.

GUIDES

Adobe Lightroom screenshot of Print Guides

Guides don’t affect the final print. They are just as they advertise– guides that help you understand how your print is laid out on the page. Just as in Photoshop, the Rulers give you, in inches, a way to see the scale of your print. If you have custom settings in page setup (such as the printable area on your chosen paper), then checking Page Bleed will gray out any areas that cannot be safely printed.

Margins and Gutters show up as light gray lines that intersect all the cross sections of your page (your outer margins, image cells, etc). The Image Cells Guide looks like a stroke border around the border of the image cell. It’s usually a good idea to keep an eye on how much space is available for an image and is especially useful if your image has a white background that blends in with the print preview. Finally, Dimensions shows just that– the numerical dimension of each image.

PAGE

Adobe Lightroom screenshot of Print Page settings

If you are printing proofs, a series of pages, or contact sheets, you might find Page settings useful. Here, you can set a background color, add an Identity Plate (a rudimentary watermark) upload or create your own watermark, include print settings, add page numbers or crop marks, or include file information under each image. Each adjustment has its uses, and I’ll leave it to you to imagine the possibilities.

PRINT JOB

Adobe Lightroom screenshot of Print Job settings

Maybe you were nodding off, but here’s the time to pay attention. The Print Job settings can radically adjust the way your image is rendered by your printer, so it’s important to make sure you choose the correct settings for your intended use.

The Epson printers we use have a native print resolution of 240ppi (pixels per inch), so that is our ideal Lightroom Input Resolution. We have found that a minimal amount of sharpening looks best, so we keep Print Sharpening set to Low. If you’re using a pearl or luster paper, your Media Type may be Glossy, but with paper like the Moab Lasal we use, make sure Media Type is set to Matte. If your printer accepts 16-bit Output, select that box, but if your printer doesn’t or you don’t know, it is best to leave it unchecked. Printers not designed for 16-bit Output will print the image much slower without any improvement in quality.

Color Management can have a profound effect on your prints, and you almost never want to leave the Managed by Printer setting on. Instead, look up the proper ICC profile for your paper and make sure it is installed, or check out the list of paper profiles provided by your printer manufacturer. I leave the Intent set to Perceptual, leave Print Adjustment off, and save my entire template.

Once you’ve adjusted your settings just how you like them, you can save those adjustments as a User Template. Lightroom will save these templates and you’ll be able to easily pick up where you left off with a contact sheet, test print, or portfolio image with the click of a button whenever you reopen Lightroom (even between catalogs).

Step Five: Using the Printer

Each printer has different features and accepts different paper in different ways. If possible, I recommend using a front or rear flat loading option for heavyweight paper to avoid the possibility of bending or jamming the paper. See your printer manufacturer’s instructions for more info on loading paper.

Some printers give you the option to print wirelessly, but I recommend printing through a USB because it’s faster and easier to troubleshoot.

When sending an image to the printer from Lightroom (or any other program), you never just press Print. You’ll always have the option of Printer…, which will lead you to the print dialogue and give you the option to adjust your print settings.

Adobe Lightroom screenshot of Print Settings

 

Final Adobe Lightroom print dialogue  

If your computer is connected to multiple printers, first ensure you’re selecting settings for the right printer. There’s no frustration quite like getting all your settings straight only to have to swap printers and do it all over again.

Unless you’re using roll paper, your page setup should be set to Standard. This will also bring up the Paper Source menu, where you can find whichever flat loading option you’ve used with your printer.

Your Media Type should match your paper as closely as possible. For the most part, you’ll either use the photo paper or matte paper options, and you can check with your paper manufacturer to see which media type is the best fit. For Moab Lasal Matte, the setting is Ultra Premium Presentation Matte paper.

If you properly selected an ICC color profile in Lightroom and unchecked Managed by Printer, the Print Mode and Color Mode options should be greyed out. If they aren’t, chances are you neglected to save your settings.

We set the Output Resolution to SuperFine 1440 dpi (dots per inch). Anything less will adversely affect your print quality, and SuperPhoto’s 2880 dpi is a level of detail beyond what most printers can accurately produce. Leave High Speed and Mirror Image unchecked, and select Finest Detail for a slightly slower but more intricate print.

You can also create presets in the print dialogue so that these settings are the default, and you’ll only need to check that nothing has changed before sending the image off to the printer.

Step Six: Viewing your Prints

Remember the old adage “don’t judge a book by its cover?” Likewise, don’t judge a print before it’s dry. Depending on the type of paper you use, a print can take between 10 minutes and a few hours to completely dry. Darker colors take longer to dry and can come out of the printer looking almost totally black, then show more detail as the ink fully dries.

Since I am normally printing on both sides of a page, I give a large leeway for pages to dry, usually overnight, before I run them through the printer again. This helps prevent nicks and scratches on the first side and keeps the interior of the printer as clean as possible for the second side.

Printing on matte paper leaves you with beautiful final prints, but it’s also more susceptible to marks. If you have a print that has deep blacks or generally darker colors, you’ll want to take a flashlight to it to detect any scuff marks.

Finally, you will also want to view the prints in multiple lighting scenarios. We all know that daylight affects colors differently than fluorescent or incandescent light, and since a printed portfolio will end up in all sorts of lighting situations, you want to check that you’re comfortable with the overall color and contrast of your book.

Printing is no easy task. It’s sort of like learning to drive– you might be able to get from one place to another, but it takes time to really feel comfortable with the process.

Be patient with your mistakes, and keep track of the problems you’ve solved before, lest they come up again. And, like driving, always check and double check before you put your foot on the gas.

Wonderful Machine photo editor Molly Glynn loads paper into Epson P800 printer

Have any questions or opinions about printing you’d like to share? Feel free to reach out!

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Visit our sponsor Photo Folio, providing websites to professional photographers for over 9 years. Featuring the only customizable template in the world.

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17 May 20:33

BC Greens Leader Advocates for Agricultural Land Reserve Protections

by Sandy James Planner

richmond-monster-homes

Thank goodness there’s someone in Victoria taking stock of the snuffing out of farm land in Richmond by council. (In case you somehow missed coverage of this issue in Price Tags, here’s a link to past posts.)

Andrew Weaver of the Green Party minced no words in casting aspersions on Richmond council’s decision, calling on the provincial government to take immediate action to stymie speculation and rampant development of gated estates on Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) land.

Mega mansions on ALR land are imperilling our food security, destroying agricultural land and driving up prices well beyond the reach of young farmers. The provincial government has a number of tools at its disposal that it should immediately use to address the issue of speculation on ALR land. These include restricting foreign ownership of ALR land, applying the speculation tax and foreign buyers tax to the ALR or creating legally binding house size limits. It should use at least one of these immediately to prevent the loss of any more farmland.

MLA Adam Olsen (Saanich North and the Islands) described the precise ramifications of the decision, saying it would “drive the price of ALR in their community sky high.”

It will impact the rest of the province and demonstrates the need for action at the provincial level. When I was a Central Saanich Councillor, we knew 10 years ago we needed to take action on limiting house size and location on ALR land, we called on the government of the day to act. We were not alone and rather than take action the Province has buried this issue in consultation only further increasing pressure on the cost of farmland.

The issue of speculation driving up land prices is well-documented and its solutions are clear. Delaying action only causes the issue to spiral further out of control: last year, Richmond alone lost 50 farms due to the construction of mega-mansions on farmland.

I urge the Minister in the strongest terms to recognize to take immediate action before any more farmland is lost.

Since council in the City of Richmond has been unable to demonstrate an understanding of their responsibility to not only resist the pressures of developer friends, but also to uphold the stewardship of food security and future farming generations, it’s time for the Province to step in. Now.

farmland13a1

17 May 20:33

E-learning: Why employees expect a Netflix experience

files/images/e-learning-netflix.jpg

Steve Wainwright, Personnel Today, May 19, 2018


Icon

I can see why this will resonate with readers, and certainly we want something much better than pre-arranged courses and expensive fees. And if learning and watching videos were the same then the Netflix analogy would work. But learning - especially informal learning - isn't about selecting something to view from a recommender. It's about solving problems, getting help, working together, and reflecting on experiences and lessons learned. It's as much about creation as consumption. So, sure, the Netflix experience may seem appealing, but more is required.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]
17 May 20:33

Twitter Announces New End-of-Life Date for APIs and Pricing That Affects Third-Party Apps

by John Voorhees

In April, Twitter delayed a transition to a new API that was expected to have a significant impact on third-party Twitter clients like Twitterrific and Tweetbot. The delay came in the wake of an outcry from users of third-party Twitter clients prompted by developers who banded together to encourage users to complain to Twitter about the API changes that were set to take effect on June 19, 2018. Today, Twitter announced that those changes would go forward on August 16, 2018 – about two months later than originally planned.

Yesterday, in an interview with Sarah Perez of TechCruch, Paul Haddad of Tapbots, the maker Tweetbot, said:

“Twitter has a replacement API that – if we’re given access to – we’ll be able to use to replace almost all of the functionality that they are deprecating,” he explains. “On Mac, the worst case scenario is that we won’t be able to show notifications for Likes and Retweets. Notifications for Tweets, Mentions, Quotes, DMs and Follows will be delayed one to two minutes,” Haddad adds.

He also says that Tweets wouldn’t stream in as they get posted, but instead would come in one to two minutes later as the app would automatically poll for them. (This is the same as how the iOS app works now when connected to LTE – it uses the polling API.)

In addition to announcing transition date, Twitter announced pricing for its new API, and it’s expensive. A subscription covering 100-250 users will cost $2899/month, which works out to over $11 per user for 250 users. Anyone with over 250 users, which would include all the major third-party Twitter clients, is advised to contact Twitter for enterprise pricing. However, the pricing on the API's lower tiers doesn’t leave much room for optimism.

Third-party clients that can’t or don’t want to pay those prices will have to make do without timeline streaming and push notifications for likes and retweets. Other notifications will be delayed approximately 1-2 minutes according to statements by Haddad to TechCrunch.

For its part, Twitter has made it clear, that the functionality of the old APIs will not be coming to the new APIs:

“As a few developers have noticed, there’s no streaming connection capability or home timeline data, which are only used by a small amount of developers (roughly 1% of monthly active apps),” writes Twitter Senior Product Manager, Kyle Weiss, in a blog post. “As we retire aging APIs, we have no plans to add these capabilities to Account Activity API or create a new streaming service for related use cases.”

We contacted The Iconfactory, the maker of Twitterrific, and Tapbots,1 the maker of Tweetbot, to ask about the impact of the API changes on third-party clients and Twitter users. According to Iconfactory developer Craig Hockenberry:

A lot of functionality that users of third-party apps took for granted is going away. That was the motivation for the apps-of-a-feather.com website - to soften the blow of this announcement.

Hockenberry elaborated that The Iconfactory has reached out to Twitter regarding enterprise pricing for the new APIs, but says that he doesn’t anticipate the pricing will be affordable absent a significant discount.

On the one hand, this latest blow to third-party Twitter clients may be something that some users, including me, are willing to tolerate. On the other hand, this is yet another example of third-party client hostility demonstrated by Twitter stretching back at least five years that doesn’t bode well for the long-term viability of those apps. I asked Hockenberry what he thinks the changes mean to third-party Twitter apps. His response:

Long term, I don’t think there will be any apps other than the official one. I also don’t think Twitter realizes that many long-time users, who are highly engaged on the service, are also the people who use third-party apps. These folks will look elsewhere for their social media needs.

Given Twitter’s repeated hostility towards third-party clients, that’s a hard sentiment to argue against and one that gets my attention more than Twitter’s announcement. I can live with the latest changes to Twitter’s API, but if third-party developers conclude that their time and resources are better spent elsewhere, I expect the end of the Twitter I know and use today is closer than I thought.


  1. As of publication of this post, Tapbots has not responded to our inquiry. ↩︎

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17 May 20:33

The Advantages of Low Step Frames

by Blix PR

Once upon a time low step frames (step through) were reserved for the ladies in dresses and skirts and step over bikes were for the men in their trousers. Back then, however, they did not have a 350 watt motor in their bike either! 

We have come along way since then and nowadays the comfort and convenience of a low step is available to everyone. 

Why Choose a Low Step?

Unparalleled Accessibility - A low step frame allows the rider to mount and dismount their bike easily and effortlessly.  This is exceptionally helpful for people who might struggle a little bit physically to lift their leg over a high step frame, whether due to injury or age. 

Increased Confidence - The step-through frame because of its accessibility is ideal for riding in urban areas that require a lot of stopping and starting. The ability to simply step off the saddle and stand up straight to regain your balance if needed (especially if the bike is a bit tall for you) is a great advantage and confidence booster for city riders. That is one of the reasons a lot of couriers choose this style of bike.

Pleasantly Practical - Commuting to work with a Blix electric bike is great for many reasons. One of the best reasons is that you do not need to wear the lycra uniform and you arrive at the office feeling fresh and energized. With a low step frame, you can easily ride into the office wearing your professional attire and not have to worry about embarrassing rips once you dismount! 

It's Fun! - The low step frame makes it easy to hop on and off the bike as you travel to the corner shop or the local coffee shop - put your coffee in the Blix front basket (with a built-in cup holder!) and you're back on the road in moments!

Long gone are the days when we had men's and ladies bikes - now we are in the age of what works best for me? If you are not the most flexible person on the planet, if you like to ride into work wearing your best suit or dress or if you simply just enjoy the freedom of being able to hop on and off your bike, test ride a step-through today!

 If you choose to commute on a step-through electric bike share your photos with us! We love to see our Blix Community in action!

Tag us and use the #blixbike!

Blix Bike Facebook   Blix Bike Instagram

17 May 20:32

Amazon ads and playing defense

In today's marketing news, Amazon is introducing a new ad retargeting service.

The tool lets merchants selling on Amazon’s online marketplace to purchase spots that will follow shoppers around the web to lure the consumers back to Amazon to buy.

So far, pretty straightforward. But the big question for brand advertisers is: how does this new feature interact with Amazon's notorious counterfeit products problem?

Amazon said it can help merchants target shoppers who have viewed their products or similar ones, according to an invitation to try the new tool that was viewed by Bloomberg News.

This clearly presents a problem for legit brands.

  1. Brand offers a product on Amazon.

  2. Some deceptive seller offers a counterfeit version.

  3. Shopper visits a page for the legit product.

  4. Deceptive seller out-bids the legit brand for retargeted ad impressions (which they can easily afford to do, because they're shipping a crappy product)

  5. Shopper returns to Amazon and buys the counterfeit product.

Amazon and the deceptive seller win; the original brand and the customer lose.

For brands using a reputation-based strategy, conventional data-driven marketing tactics can only do so much to help here. Today's adtech and martech platforms are optimized for game-changing interactions that tie marketers to third-party data sources, not for brand building. Targeted advertising tends to give an unfair advantage to deceptive sellers, and the tools available to legit brands are less well known.

Does this mean that ad agencies that create value by helping to build brands now have an opportunity (or even a responsibility) to include tracking protection for customers as part of an integrated strategy? I know that the upcoming Nudgestock is not just a marketing conference, but I'll be speaking there and would be happy to discuss this kind of thing if it comes up.

17 May 20:32

These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 38

by Johann Hofmann

Highlights

Tab hiding API in action

Friends of the Firefox team

Introductions

  • :Prathiksha Guruprasad will be working on the PaymentRequest MVP during her internship.
  • Jay Lim (:imjching) will be working on Activity Stream performance bugs for the Performance team
  • Emily Hou will be working on the Firefox Send experiment on the Test Pilot team this summer.
  • Shruti Singh will be working on the Firefox Color experiment on the Test Pilot team this summer.

Resolved bugs (excluding employees)

Project Updates

Add-ons / Web Extensions

Activity Stream

Browser Architecture

  • A preference landed to allow opening the browser console as a top-level html document. Still some things to fix.
  • Landed our first XBL -> custom element conversion. May be backed out 🙁
  • Overlay code removal is ready to go
  • RKV proof of concept for XULStore is almost complete

Lint

Fluent

Mobile

  • Firefox for Fire TV will soon release v3.0, which will include our Pocket Video Feed

Performance

Policy Engine

  • No code updates. Getting marketing ready for launch. 👏
  • Outreachy intern starting next week to work on new policies.

Privacy/Security

Search and Navigation

Address Bar & Search
Places

Sync / Firefox Accounts

Test Pilot

  • New experiments launching in early June!
  • Interns starting later this month!
  • Screenshots product updates:
    • Annotation tools coming soon: undo, redo, and text/emoji
    • We’re thinking about what a mobile flow would feel like for Screenshots; PRD in flight. Ping jgruen with all your feature requests.
  • Screenshots engineering:
    • Bug fix release 32.1.0 landed recently (1454029)
    • A security fix regressed Screenshots working on PDF pages.  This is being tracked for Firefox 60 in bug 1456485.
    • We have a working Chrome add-on with a few substantial bugs. Work is continuing.
    • We would like to take over the Ctrl + Shift + S keyboard shortcut from devtools. They will be investigating usage frequency of this and other shortcuts in bug 1456984.

Web Payments

  • Team has completed 66% of the Milestone 1 – 3 Backlog.
  • Planning telemetry requirements
  • Code moved to browser/ and component moved to Firefox (from Toolkit)
  • Can now add and edit shipping addresses from the PaymentRequest dialog
    • Jared is working on adding/editing billing addresses
  • Sam is working on support for one-time-use addresses
  • Matt is working with UX on options for rich dropdown menus
17 May 20:32

Toronto Ride of Silence 2018

by jnyyz

Tonight was the 9th annual Ride of Silence in Toronto, one of 390 such rides worldwide, held to remember all cyclists who have been killed while riding.

Here we gather at Matt Cohen Park.

IMG_8617

There were about 45 of us lined up at the start of the ride.

DSC02379

East on Bloor St.

DSC02380

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DSC02385

Now south on Yonge.

DSC02388

Many sections of Yonge were down to one lane due to condo construction.

DSC02389

Approaching the Peace Garden at City Hall.

DSC02394

Ready for reading of names of cyclists who have died in Toronto since 2010.

DSC02395

Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 9.17.12 PM

(photo credit Cycle Toronto)

Then a minute of silence for the fallen.

32689063_10155332362885766_5793987968377028608_o

(photo credit Geoffrey Bercarich)

Afterwards, most of the cyclists volunteered to lie down to represent just a fraction of the number of pedestrians and cyclists who die annually on the streets of Toronto.

DSC02397

Since the last ride of silence, five cyclists have died in Toronto, including one on the morning of today’s ride. Additionally, at least 15 pedestrians have been killed so far this calendar year (excluding those killed in the North York attack).

They will not be forgotten.

Today’s list:

March 2018   Dalibor Kovac

Dec 2017     Daryl Craig

Oct 2017     David Delos Santos

July 2017    Gary Sim

June 2017    Xavier Morgan

Oct 2016     Donn Woods

July 2016    David Victor Pierce

June 2016    Steve Hancock

Oct 2015       Hardeep Singh Patra

Aug 2015       Luke Mazzocca

June 2015         Adam Excell

June 2015                Peter Kang 

May 2015                Roger duToit  

Oct 2014                Edouard Le Blanc

Aug  2014                Immanuel Sinnadurai

Nov 2013              Adrian Dudzicki 

Oct  2013            Carla Warrilow

Sept  2013            Sue Trainor

April  2013            Henry Mejia

Nov 2012             Tom Samson

Nov 2012                Mike Rankin

Sept 2012               Pete Cram

Aug 6 2012          Joe Mavec

Nov 7 2011          Jenna Morrison

Aug-11                 Jack Roper

Nov 2010             Vicente Sering 

Sep-10                 Nigel Gough

A fuller list is available at the ARC website.

Update:
Joey Schwartz’s video
https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fjoeys1%2Fvideos%2F10157369643319046%2F&show_text=0&width=560

Toronto Star: Nearly two years since Toronto announced Vision Zero, pedestrian and cyclist deaths are not declining

17 May 20:32

Interactive Authoring Environments for Reproducible Media: Stencila

by Tony Hirst

One of the problems associated with keeping up with tech is that a lot of things that “make sense” are not the result of the introduction or availability of a new tool or application in and of itself, but in the way that it might make a new combination of tools possible that support a complete end to end workflow or that can be used to reengineer (a large part of) an existing workflow.

In the OU, it’s probably fair to say that the document workflow associated with creating course materials has its issues. I’m still keen to explore how a Jupyter notebook or Rmd workflow would work, particularly if the authored documents included recipes for embedded media objects such as diagrams, items retrieved from a third party API, or rendered from a source representation or recipe.

One “obvious” problem is that the Jupyter notebook or RStudio Rmd editor is “too hard” to work with (that is, it’s not Word).

A few days ago I saw a tweet mentioning the use of Stencila with Binderhub. Stencila? Apparently, *”[a]n open source office suite for reproducible research”. From the blurb:

[T]oday’s tools for reproducible research can be intimidating – especially if you’re not a coder. Stencila make reproducible research more accessible with the intuitive word processor and spreadsheet interfaces that you and your colleagues are already used to.

That sounds appropriate… It’s available as a desktop app, but courtesy of minrk/jupyter-dar (I think?), it runs on binderhub and can be accessed via a browser too:

 

You can try it here.

As with Jupyter notebooks, you can edit and run code cells, as well as authoring text. But the UI is smoother than in Jupyter notebooks.

(This is one of the things I don’t understand about colleagues’ attitude towards emerging tech projects: they look at today’s UX and think that’s it, because that’s how it is inside an organisation – you take what you’re given and it stays the same for decades. In a living project, stuff tends to get better if it’s being used and there are issues with it…)

The Jupyter-Dar strapline pitches “Jupyter + DAR compatibility exploration for running Stencila on binder”. Hmm. DAR? That’s also new to me:

Dar stands for (Reproducible) Document Archive and specifies a virtual file format that holds multiple digital documents, complete with images and other assets. A Dar consists of a manifest file (manifest.xml) that describes the contents.

Dar is being designed for storing reproducible research publications, but the underlying concepts are suitable for any kind of digital publications that can be bundled together with their assets.

Repo: [substance/dar](https://github.com/substance/dar)

Sounds interesting. And which reminds me: how’s OpenCreate coming along, I wonder? (My permissions appear to have been revoked again; or the URL has changed.)

PS seems like there’s more activity in the “pure web” notebook application world. Hot on the heels of Mike Bostock’s Observable notebooks (rationale) comes iodide, “[a] frictionless portable notebook-style interface for literate scientific computing in the browser” (examples).

I don’t know if these things just require you to use Javascript, or whether they can also embed things like Brython.

I’m not sure I fully get the js/browser notebooks yet? I like the richer extensibility of things like Jupyter in terms of arbitrary language/kernel availability, though I suppose the web notebooks might be able to hook into other kernels using similar mechanics to those used by things like Thebelab?

I guess one advantage is that you can do stuff on a Chromebook, and without a network connection if you cache all the required JS packages locally? Although with new ChromeOS offering support for Linux – and hence, Docker containers – natively, Chromebooks could get a whole lot more exciting over the next few months. From what I can tell, corsvm looks like a ChromeOS native equivalent to something like Virtualbox (with an equivalent of Guest Additions?). It’ll be interesting how well things like audio works? Reports suggest that graphical UIs will work, presumably using some sort of native X11 support rather than noVNC, so now could be a good time to start looking out for souped up Pixelbook…

17 May 20:31

Apple Announces ‘Everyone Can Code’ Partnership with Schools for Blind and Deaf Students

by John Voorhees

In March, Apple lead a Swift Playgrounds course at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Today, which is Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Apple announced that is partnering with schools in California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, and Massachusetts:

Beginning this fall, schools supporting students with vision, hearing or other assistive needs will start teaching the Everyone Can Code curricula for Swift, Apple’s powerful and intuitive programming language.

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said:

“Apple’s mission is to make products as accessible as possible,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We created Everyone Can Code because we believe all students deserve an opportunity to learn the language of technology. We hope to bring Everyone Can Code to even more schools around the world serving students with disabilities.”

In addition to existing iOS accessibility features, Apple is augmenting the Everyone Can Code curricula with tools and resources targeted at students with visual and hearing impairments.

→ Source: apple.com

17 May 20:31

Das ist LCX – Liechtenstein Cryptoassets Exchange

by Monty Metzger

Als ich 2013 meine ersten Bitcoins gekauft habe, habe ich noch nicht in vollem Umfang einschätzen können welche Auswirkung Kryptowährungen und Blockchain Technologie mit sich bringen. Aber seitdem setze ich mit damit intensiv auseinander, habe gelernt und experimentiert – um die neuen Möglichkeiten dieser fundamentalen Technologie zu verstehen. Ich setzte mich mit Don Tapscott, Adam Draper, Eyal Hertzog, Nic Cary und anderen Vordenkern und Unternehmern zusammen, die die Crypto- und Blockchain-Branche vorantreiben. Ich wollte verstehen, wo die Investment Möglichkeiten liegen, wie die Geschäftsmodelle funktionieren, wie die Technik im Detail funktioniert und wer den Markt vorantreibt.

Seit August letzten Jahren arbeite ich nun an einer neuen spannenden Firma, die wir Anfang 2018 gegründet haben. Mein Mitgründer hat bereits zwei Crypto-Exchanges in Asien gegründet und wir bauen unsere Platform auf dieser technischen Grundlage. Wir wählten Liechtenstein als Heimat, da das kleine Land zwischen Deutschland, Schweiz und Österreich die rechtliche Grundlage für die Blockchain-Industrie geschaffen hat und eine Vielzahl neuer Gesetze verabschieden wird. Und wir haben eine Liechtensteiner Bank als strategischen Partner und Gründungsgesellschafter von Anfang an mit integriert.

LCX ist eine Kryptoboerse der nächsten Generation und ermöglicht den Handel von Security Tokens und anderen Krypto-Assets – auf einer sicheren Platform, voll gesetzeskonform und reguliert.

LCX steht für Liechtenstein Cryptoassets Exchange mit Sitz in Vaduz Liechtenstein. Web LCX.li, Twitter @LCX and Telegram t.me/joinLCX

Nach Monaten im #stealthmode, haben wir auf einer Blockchain Konferenz im Santa Clara Convention Center im Herzen des Silicon Valleys in USA, unsere erste öffentliche Präsentation gehalten. Here are my slides….

The post Das ist LCX – Liechtenstein Cryptoassets Exchange appeared first on Monty Metzger.

17 May 20:31

A visualization game to understand education and school segregation

by Nathan Yau

Educate Your Child by Gabrielle LaMarr LeMee uses census data and the school selection process to simulate the steps you might take in choosing your kid’s first school in Chicago.

The Chicago public school system has a high level of school segregation as a result of parent’ residential and school choices as well as policy decisions that do not encourage integrated neighborhoods and schools.

In this game, you are a parent of a 5-year-old child and now you have to make some decisions. Explore how your choices can have an impact on your child’s education and on the overall education of the city’s children.

There should be more games like this based on census data. It seems to be a good way for an individual to latch on to data points while still getting a view of the grand scheme of things.

See also more on LeMee’s design for details on modeling school choice.

Tags: game, race

17 May 20:29

Android P public beta now available on OnePlus 6

by Bradly Shankar
OnePlus 6 back

Android P’s public beta is now available on the OnePlus 6, the company has announced.

The OnePlus 6, which was officially unveiled on May 16th, marks the Chinese manufacturer’s first phone with 6.28-inch bezel-less display, which also sports an iPhone X-like notch.

OnePlus warns users who have little to no experience with software development or flashing custom ROMs to proceed at their own risk when installing Android P.

The company notes that OnePlus 6 owners need to make sure their device’s battery is above 30 percent and has at least 3GB of available storage space.

OnePlus also announced that device trees and kernel sources for the OnePlus 6 are now available now on the OnePlus Github page.

For more on the OnePlus 6, check out MobileSyrup‘s hands-on impressions of the phone. Canadian pricing and availability, meanwhile, can be found here.

In addition to the standard OnePlus 6, OnePlus is also releasing an Avengers: Infinity War-themed model, which was recently shown off in full.

Source: OnePlus

The post Android P public beta now available on OnePlus 6 appeared first on MobileSyrup.

16 May 18:17

EFail and Thunderbird, What You Need To Know

by Ryan Sipes

Yesterday, researchers and the press shared information describing security vulnerabilities that would enable an attacker to gain access to the plaintext of encrypted Emails. To understand how this happens, the researchers who uncovered EFail provide a good description on their website:

In a nutshell, EFAIL abuses active content of HTML emails, for example externally loaded images or styles, to exfiltrate plaintext through requested URLs. To create these exfiltration channels, the attacker first needs access to the encrypted emails, for example, by eavesdropping on network traffic, compromising email accounts, email servers, backup systems or client computers. The emails could even have been collected years ago.

The attacker changes an encrypted email in a particular way and sends this changed encrypted email to the victim. The victim’s email client decrypts the email and loads any external content, thus exfiltrating the plaintext to the attacker.

How to know if you’re affected

You’re affected only if you:

  • Are using S/MIME encryption or PGP encryption (through the Enigmail add-on)
  • And the attacker has access to encrypted Emails of yours

How to protect yourself


DO NOT DISABLE ENCRYPTION. 
We’ve seen recommendations from some outlets to stop using encrypted Email altogether. If you are sending sensitive data via Email, Thunderbird still recommends using encryption to keep those messages safe. You should, however, check the configuration of the applications you use to view encrypted EMail. For Thunderbird, follow our guidelines below to protect yourself.

Until Thunderbird 52.8 and 52.8.1 are released with fixes:

  • Keep remote content disabled in Thunderbird (the default) is advisable as it should mitigate the described attack vector.
  • Do not use the “allow now” option that pops up when remote content is encountered in your encrypted Emails.

Most of the EFail bugs require a back-channel and require the attacker to send a manipulated Email to you, which contains part of a previously obtained encrypted message. It is also worth noting that clicking content in the Email can also allow for a back-channel (until the fixes are live).

Enigmail version 2.0.3 also shows a warning now, which should help you be aware if you are affected.

 

16 May 18:16

Richmond City Council Sells Out, Opens Barn Door for Developers on Agricultural Land Reserve

by Sandy James Planner

alr

If you attended Monday night’s City of Richmond council meeting, or watched their live stream, you were witness to one of the biggest land-use travesties of this generation.

Council didn’t just approve residential development on Class 1 farmland, the best in Richmond (and possibly in Canada). The majority voted in favour of mansions up to 10,764 square feet, plus additional dwellings for farm workers up to 3,229 square feet.

That’s almost 14,000 square feet of total living space, effectively available for development by a single person or family. Many are owned by offshore interests.

The City of Richmond Council has effectively affirmed developer interests in place of the rights of future generations of Metro Vancouver residents to have access to fresh, local food, or food security. Half of the farms in the City of Richmond are gone, and 61 applications are fervently awaiting approval, now beholden to development and the almighty buck.

The Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) is not some land gift for the City of Richmond to give away. It was carefully established in 1972 to prioritize the protection of arable land for agricultural uses, and to save this farmland for future generations in British Columbia.

Of course, land that is deemed agricultural has a lower property value than residential, and that’s where developers and speculators, many offshore and in numbered companies, have exploited it. Find a piece of land in the ALR over one half an acre, buy it at agricultural land prices (in the process avoiding the foreign buyer’s tax, which doesn’t apply to agricultural land), build a huge mansion, and sell it at a multi-million dollar lift. Owners may decide to grow some berries or raise a horse, and thus be taxed at agricultural (not residential) rates.

It’s the perfect scam. And that land will never be available for a future farmer to buy. 

This land is good enough to raise a variety of vegetables, not the low maintenance berry crops that proliferate today. You can’t blame the speculators hammering Richmond council for their piece of the supernormal property lift either.

Think of it. Richmond was called the “garden city”, in part because of the access to these amazing farming soils. But that is no more.

In their short-sighted decision, the City of Richmond has set a precedent in declaring open season on Agricultural Land Reserve lands throughout British Columbia. The care and thought taken in ensuring food security for generations, undertaken by the province over 45 years ago, has been lost, and agricultural land in other municipalities will be seen as fair game for development.

There are now questions in formal channels as to which developers provided campaign funding to the Richmond City Council, and whether those funds have influenced the stewardship of agricultural land.

Last year Richmond lost fifty farms to gated mansion estates, never to return to agriculture. You can only marvel at the lack of foresight.

farmwatch

 

16 May 18:16

BC’s Criminal Courthouse in Vancouver Makeover Complete

by jamesavbligh

The Province of British Columbia’s Criminal Court building in Vancouver (222 Main Street) recently received a rather dramatic haircut as a result of their “Ivy Removal Project”:

According to a source familiar with the matter, the project was undertaken for three reasons: to limit damage to the concrete, to eliminate the “highway for rats and rodents to enter the building”, and to eliminate organic scaffolding that could be a motivating factor for an ambitious climber to scale the side of the building.

Click to view slideshow.

I expected to feel upset seeing the loss of so much greenery, for the sake of exposing an otherwise blank facade; however, the memory of the ivy remains if you look close enough.

Moreover, the justification for the removal is logical. Frank Lloyd Wright likely did not envision rat highways and related rodent incursions when he said, “The doctor can bury his mistakes, but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.

16 May 18:16

Google Photos gets suggested actions to help users manage photos

by Jonathan Lamont
Archive feature on Google Photos

Google Photos is getting suggested actions for fixing automatic brightness, image rotation and more.

The features appear as prompts when looking at photos in app or on the web. Small grey bubbles pop up on dark photos saying ‘Fix brightness’ and on duplicates and screenshots saying ‘Archive this.’

Google Photos fix brightness prompt

The brightness fixes can be a little hit or miss, but users shooting in RAW appear to get more impressive results. Another handy tool is the compare feature. By pressing and holding on the brightened image, users can see the original.

On top of that, Photos archival feature is expanding to new items. Photos will suggest archiving photos of restaurant menus and receipts. It even suggested I archive a photo of a price tag I snapped last I was in Best Buy. Granted, it still detects it as a screenshot, but other similar photos were identified as labels.

Google Photos archive feature

Photos can also suggest rotating incorrectly oriented photos. This is huge for me as incorrectly oriented photos are a pet peeve of mine, as I’m sure they are for others. I’ve spent too much time manually orienting photos that were saved incorrectly.

These are handy new features and aren’t very intrusive. The suggested actions really feel like just a suggestion. They pop up out of the way and are helpful if I need them and easy to ignore if I don’t. Along with the new colour pop feature, Google Photos continues to make helpful and fun improvements. If only we got that object removal feature as well.

Source: Android Police

The post Google Photos gets suggested actions to help users manage photos appeared first on MobileSyrup.

16 May 17:34

TwelveSouth launches AirFly adapter to connect Apple’s AirPods to entertainment systems

by Bradly Shankar
AirPod AirFly adapter

Apple accessory maker TwelveSouth has launched the AirFly, an adapter that allows users to connect their AirPod headphones to in-flight entertainment systems.

Given that the AirPods are wireless, the AirFly is a way for owners to use the headphones with devices that only feature a 3.5mm headphone jack and also lack Bluetooth connectivity, such as in-flight entertainment systems or cardio machines at a gym.

TwelveSouth says the AirFly’s will last up to eight hours.

The AirFly is far from the only Bluetooth to 3.5mm adapters on the market, but TwelveSouth seems to hope that its history of producing Apple accessories will be a major selling point.

The AirFly’s design also seems reminiscent of the AirPod case itself, making the two devices look right at home with one another.

TwelveSouth is selling the AirFly on its website for $39.99 USD (approximately $51.43 CAD), with shipping to Canada available at an additional charge.

Via: 9to5Mac

The post TwelveSouth launches AirFly adapter to connect Apple’s AirPods to entertainment systems appeared first on MobileSyrup.

16 May 17:32

Tom Wolfe had the right stuff

by Josh Bernoff

Tom Wolfe died this week. His prose was a revelation. He was 88. Back in 1979, at the height of powers, he published The Right Stuff, a novel about the experimental pilots at the center of the space program. When I taught writing to homeschooled teenagers, I used a passage from this book to jolt … Continued

The post Tom Wolfe had the right stuff appeared first on without bullshit.

16 May 17:31

Rona is selling the Google Home Mini for $50

by Brad Bennett
Google home mini

Rona Canada is holding a flash sale on the Google Home Mini.

All day long on May 16th, Rona.ca is selling all Google Homes for $30 off.

The sale price of the Google Home Mini is $49 and the regular Google Home is $149.

The Mini is available in both ‘Charcoal’ and ‘Chalk’ colour variants.

During a quick search of the web, it seems like the regular sized Google Homes are on sale for $149 across a variety of retailers. Best Buy, The Source, Indigo and Walmart, as well as a few more stores, all have the Google Home on sale.

Source: Rona

The post Rona is selling the Google Home Mini for $50 appeared first on MobileSyrup.

16 May 17:31

It’s on! Smart Stuff That Matters Unconference

by Ton Zijlstra

Elmine and I are happy to ‘officially’ announce the Smart Stuff That Matters (STM18) unconference!
Friday August 31st (conference), and Saturday September 1st (BBQ party) are the dates. Our home in Amersfoort is the location.

This 4th ‘Stuff That Matters’ conference will be in honor of Elmine’s 40th birthday. Let’s throw her and yourself a party to remember. It’s the smart thing to do 😉

Smart Stuff That Matters will be about us, the things we care about, and the tools and behaviour we think we need to shape our lives in a complex world and to respond locally to global challenges.

Smartness isn’t limited to technology, or to your ‘smart home’ filled with gadgets. What is smart in the context of your community, your family, and how you relate to your city, or the country you live in? What is the smartest way to tap into the global networks and knowledge we now have access to? Yet shield yourself against some of the cascading problems too?

What provides you and the people around you with meaningful ways to decide, learn, act and organise together? (the thing I call networked agency) What skills and digital literacies are needed for you to consider yourself a ‘smart citizen’?

How do we need to (re-)shape tools so they become active extensions of ourselves, within our own scope of control?
Some of the smartest technologies are actually ‘dumb’ in the sense that they are passive technologies. Other technologies billed as smart aren’t so much in practice, such as the eternal internet-connected fridge or sticking Amazon dash buttons all over your house.

The stuff that matters is not just technology but how we ourselves take action, as part of our communities and networks. Technology and different ways of doing things can help us and make us smarter.

Invitations will be coming soon
Smart Stuff That Matters is a by invitation only event. There is no attendance fee, but a donation box will be present. We will start sending out invitations in the coming week, so watch your inboxes! If you’d like to receive an invitation feel free to get in touch and let me know.

Find more info in the menu above under STM18.

Stay tuned!

#stm18

Although objectively speaking we were just in an overcrowded family home,
it felt like we were in a huge and spacious conference centre. …

The buzz of all those exciting and excited people
expressing and comparing their multitude of opinions,
made us literally forget where we were.
(Aldo about the 2010 event)

16 May 17:31

AsteroidOS offers an open-source alternative to Google’s Wear OS

by Rose Behar

After four years of development, AsteroidOS 1.0, an open-source smartwatch operating system is now available in its first stable build.

“This project has steadily grown and gathered contributions from about 100 contributors from all around the world, all united behind the idea of an open wearable platform,” wrote creator Florent Revest on the operating system’s blog.

Currently, the OS can be installed as an alternative operating system on the following watches:

  • Asus ZenWatch 1
  • LG G Watch Urbane
  • LG G Watch
  • LG G watch R
  • Asus ZenWatch 2
  • Asus ZenWatch 3
  • Sony Smartwatch 3

There are full instructions for installation on each watch on the website, but fair warning, it’ll require a bit of technical know-how.

For those who are game to try, but would rather not fully replace the previous operating system, AsteroidOS provides the option of a dual-boot mode.

As for features, the simplistic AsteroidOS 1.0 delivers all the basic functions of a smartwatch — phone notifications, agenda, alarm clock, calculator, music remote control, settings, stopwatch, timer and weather.

Plus, the swipe gestures look a little more intuitive than Wear OS (formerly known as Android Wear), perhaps simply by the virtue of there being less options — but I’ve yet to give it a test drive.

Some less basic features are supposed to come soon, with always-on display, grouped notifications and calendar synchronization all in development.

The features can be synchronized using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) with Android phones through a companion app called ASteroidOSSync, available via APK.

Source: AsteroidOS

The post AsteroidOS offers an open-source alternative to Google’s Wear OS appeared first on MobileSyrup.

16 May 17:31

Microsoft wants to take on Apple’s iPad with a new $400 Surface tablet, says report

by Patrick O'Rourke
Surface Pro

Microsoft is working on a new $400 USD budget Surface tablet designed to compete with Apple’s lowest-end iPad, according to a new report stemming from Bloomberg’s often reliable Mark Gurman.

Rather than just a smaller version of the current Surface, Microsoft is completely redesigning the tablet with a 10-inch display instead of the 12-inch size featured in the most recent Surface Pro. The tablet is also set to feature rounded corners, moving its design more in line with the iPad than the rectangular build of the Surface Pro.

Bloomberg goes on to state that the new Surface will be 20 percent lighter than the current Pro, and that along with this weight reduction, comes an additional four hours of battery life. The tablet is also set to feature Intel processors and graphics cards, as well as the full version of Windows 10 Pro, says Bloomberg. It’s unclear if Windows 10’s ‘S Mode’ will be enabled by default with the tablet, though this makes sense given it’s reportedly being positioned as a budget device.

Similar to the iPad, Microsoft is also planning to release a model of the budget Surface tablet that features LTE connectivity. Just like the most recently released Surface Pro, this budget tablet also won’t include a keyboard cover over stylus in the box, though Microsoft is reportedly working on a cheaper version of these accessories.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t Microsoft’s first attempt at creating a more affordable Surface tablet. In the past Microsoft released the Surface RT — which was a disaster — as well as the Surface 2 and Surface 3, though no entry in the cheaper line of laptop-tablet hybrid devices has achieved the same success as the Pro models.

The Surface 3, Microsoft’s most recent budget Surface, was discontinued back in 2016. It’s expected that Microsoft will reveal a refreshed Surface Pro at some point in 2018. The education focused 9.7-inch iPad (2018), Apple’s lowest-end tablet, is priced at $399.

Source: Bloomberg 

The post Microsoft wants to take on Apple’s iPad with a new $400 Surface tablet, says report appeared first on MobileSyrup.

16 May 17:30

Cord-cutting far less prevalent in Canada than the US and will likely stay that way: analyst

by Rose Behar
coax cable

The Canadian video market is significantly more stable than in the U.S., according to a report from Scotiabank analyst Jeff Fan.

Fan and his associate Matthew Lee have published a report that shows Canadian telecom companies aren’t experiencing the same rate of decline in video subscribers as U.S. telecoms are, and offers a few likely reasons for the difference.

Chart courtesy of Scotiabank.

The report came on the heels of the first financial quarter, in which most major American telecoms reported weaker-than-expected video subscriber results.

While Fan noted in the report that it would be natural to assume the same trend may come to Canada, he wrote: “we believe the Canadian video market should remain stable.”

Why the U.S. is losing more subscribers

Fan wrote that there are several reasons why U.S. video cord cutting is approximately two times the rate of Canada.

Somewhat surprisingly, Netflix doesn’t seem to play a large role in either market, according to Fan. Penetration estimates from Scotiabank Global Banking and Markets put Netflix in 43 percent of American households and 46 percent of Canadian households.

“It appears to be a complement to pay-TV services and has not contributed to the sharp decline in the United States in recent quarters,” wrote Fan.

Instead, the catalyst seems to be virtual multi-channel video programming distributor services (vMVPDs) — a lengthy term for platforms that offer multiple channels of live streaming video content. In the U.S., this includes services like Sling (owned by DISH) and DirecTV Now (owned by AT&T). Those services are also typically much less expensive than the old-school alternative in the U.S.

Canada stable for now

But in Canada, these services, like Bell’s Alt-TV and Telus’ Pik TV, feature prices closer to traditional cable pricing. Furthermore, the offerings (at least for now) are remaining within the telecoms’ respective operating footprints, reducing potential pricing competition.

Additionally, Fan noted that Bell and Rogers “are still very much vertically integrated, especially when it comes to sports content.”

Both have ownership of sports franchises, sports broadcasting and distribution through fixed wireless and mobile, giving them a “larger vested interest to protect the traditional linear video subscriber base and ARPU [average revenue per user].”

Still, Fan wrote that there are some changes that might cause Canadian cord cutting to pick up. He noted that if Bell’s Alt-TV expanded to Western Canada or Telus’ PiK TV expanded into central or Eastern Canada, that might cause some disconnects, as would lowering the prices on those services.

Additionally, the loss of major broadcasting contracts could cause major disconnects — one example being if Rogers lost the NHL, or Bell Media failed to renew with HBO.

Image credit: Pete via Flickr 

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16 May 06:32

Surface Hub 2 :: I could have so much fun with this

by Volker Weber

You call that a tablet? This is a tablet!

Oh, and I would like the water as a wallpaper on my Surface Pro.

16 May 06:32

#efail :: Die ganz große Welle

by Volker Weber

Sketch

Es gibt immer wieder einen Sicherheitsforscher, der das ganz große Ding entdeckt. Und dann stürzt sich jeder drauf, der Klicks gebrauchen kann. Man kann also den Nippel derart durch die Lasche ziehen, dass die im Mail User Agent verankerte Verschlüsselungssoftware den Klartext rausrückt. Mancher Experte fühlte sich berufen, eine De-Installation zu empfehlen. Damit kann niemand mehr den Klartext bekommen. Der User auch nicht. Alles weg. Dumme Sache.

Mich hat das seltsam unberührt gelassen. Ja, Email ist unsicher. Fensterscheiben sind es auch. Man kann tatsächlich bei mir reingucken. Und einen ernsthaften Penetrationstest bestehen sie auch nicht.

Ich tausche per Email einfach keine sensiblen Informationen aus. Das meiste sind Pressemitteilungen, Veranstaltungseinladungen, Benachrichtigungen über bereits veröffentliche Kommentare oder andere Dinge, die für die Veröffentlichung bestimmt sind.

Was wirklich privat oder sensibel ist, das läuft bei mir per iMessage oder Signal. Anders als Email sind die von Anfang an als sichere Architekturen entworfen. Was man bei Email irgendwie draufstricken muss, ist hier bereits eingebaut. Immer und für jeden. Wie einfach.

16 May 06:29

What’s Your Open Source Strategy? Here Are 10 Answers…

by Patrick Finch

A research report from Mozilla and Open Tech Strategies provides new perspectives on framing open source strategy. The report builds on Mozilla’s “Open by Design” strategy, which aims to increase the intent and impact of collaborative technology projects.

Mozilla is a radically open and participatory project. As part of the research we compiled into turning openness into a consistent competitive advantage, we identified that the application of open practices should always be paired with well-researched strategic intent. Without clarity of purpose, organizations will not (and nor should they) maintain long-term commitment to working with community. Indeed, we were not the first to observe this.

Mozilla benefits from many open practices, but open sourcing software is the foundation on which we build. Open source takes many forms at Mozilla. We enjoy a great diversity among the community structures of different Mozilla-driven open source projects, from Rust to Coral to Firefox (there are actually multiple distinct Firefox communities) and to others.

The basic freedoms offered by Mozilla’s open source projects — the famous “Four Freedoms” originally defined by the FSF — are unambiguous. But they only define the rights conveyed by the software’s license. People often have expectations that go well beyond that strict definition: expectations about development models, business models, community structure, even tool chains. It is even not uncommon for open source projects to be criticised for failing to comply with those unspoken expectations.

We recognize that there is no one true model. As Mozilla evolves more and more into a multi-product organization, there will be different models that suit different products and different environments. Structure, governance, and licensing policies should all be explicit choices based on the strategic goals of an open source project. A challenge for any organization is how to articulate these choices, or to put it simply, how do you answer the question, “what kind of open source project is this?”.

To answer the question, we wanted to develop a set of basic models — “archetypes” — that projects could aim for, modifying them as needed, but providing a shared vocabulary for discussing how to think about any given project. We were delighted to be able to partner with one of the leading authorities in open source, Open Tech Strategies, in defining these archetypes. Their depth of knowledge and fresh perspective has created something we believe offers unique value.

The resulting framework consists of 10 common archetypes, covering things from business objectives to licensing, community standards, component coupling and project governance. It also contains some practical advice on how to use the framework and on how to set up your project.

20 years after the Open Source Initiative was founded, open source is widespread (and has inspired methods of peer production beyond the realm of software). Although this report was tailored to advance open source strategies and project design within Mozilla, and with the organizations and communities we work with, we also believe that this challenge is not unique to us. We suspect there will be many other organizations, both commercial and non-commercial, who will benefit from the model.

You can download the report here. Like so many things, it will never be “done”. After more hands-on-use with Mozilla projects, we intend to work with Open Tech Strategies on a version that expands its sights beyond Mozilla’s borders.

If you’re interested in collaborating, you can get in touch here: archetypes@opentechstrategies.com. The Github repository is up at https://github.com/OpenTechStrategies/open-source-archetypes.

The post What’s Your Open Source Strategy? Here Are 10 Answers… appeared first on The Mozilla Blog.

16 May 06:27

HTC reportedly working on blockchain-enabled smartphone

by Jonathan Lamont
HTC

According to a report by The Next Web, Taiwanese hardware manufacturer HTC is currently working on an Android smartphone powered by blockchain technology.

The phone, reportedly dubbed ‘Exodus,’ will feature a universal wallet and built-in secure hardware that supports cryptocurrencies and decentralized applications.

Um, Blockchain?

Blockchain is a technology popularized alongside cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. While the Exodus phone maintains a crypto-connection, its important to understand the basics of blockchain outside of cryptocurrencies to see how revolutionary this device could be.

At its most basic level, blockchain is a digital ledger — it’s  commonly used as a record of cryptocurrencies and transactions made using that currency.

Unlike usual ledgers, however, a blockchain record is stored across millions of devices instead of one central location. It’s also decentralized, meaning that it’s accessible by anyone and not corruptible by hackers.

How is that possible? Well, everyone has a copy of the information. If one copy is corrupted, the other copies can verify that there’s something wrong.

One popular analogy compares blockchain to something like collaborating on a Google Doc. With traditional word processors, users have to save individual documents and send them to other people to revise.

With a Google Doc, however, all users can have simultaneous access to the file and can track the changes that are being made.

How will it work in phones?

While there are a number of potential uses for blockchain technology, HTC is sticking to the tried-and-true cryptocurrency application with Exodus.

HTC reportedly is hoping to build a native blockchain network with all Exodus phones acting as nodes to ease crypto-trading among phone users.

In addition to cryptocurrency manipulation, blockchain is touted for its ability to offer both better security and user experience by incorporating cold wallet storage — offline cryptocurrency storage — directly into the phone. However, these features are available on most phones using apps and other software anyway.

HTC isn’t the first to tout a blockchain phone. Sirin Labs announced a $999 USD blockchain phone last year, a device reportedly being made by Foxconn.

While HTC’s phone isn’t available yet, it’s rumoured that the company may sell the phone in exchange for cryptocurrency.

It will be interesting to see how these devices play out. With the current crypto-craze, the phones may sell well, regardless if they offer actual functionality beyond what users can get on their devices right now.

Source: The Next Web

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16 May 06:27

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus now support Google’s ARCore

by Bradly Shankar
Google ARCore

Google’s ARCore augmented reality platform now supports the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus.

As spotted by 9to5Googlethe Mountain View, California-based tech giant has updated its list of ARCore-supported devices to include Samsung’s latest flagship phones.

Version 1.0 of ARCore was officially launched in late February, adding improved environmental understanding that allowed virtual assets to be placed on textured surfaces, such as posters, furniture and books.

One of the notable aspects of the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus at launch was the fact that the phones did not support ARCore right away.

The newly added support will help Google better compete with Apple’s ARKit, given that the latter company’s toolkit is compatible with approximately 500 million devices, including iPhones and iPads.

Source: Google Via: 9to5Google

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16 May 06:27

Microsoft has revealed the second-generation Surface Hub

by Brad Bennett

Microsoft has shown off a second-generation version of its digital whiteboard, the Surface Hub.

Coming out roughly three years after the original Surface Hub’s Canadian launch, this new version looks to improve on many of the issues that surfaced with the 2015 Hub.

The new Hub is a lot smaller than the original device, making it easier to move around and the smaller screen size means the device now has the same aspect ratio as other Surface devices (3×2).

The office device features a 50.5-inch 4K display that supports multi-touch. Mounted on top of the display is a 4K capable webcam that looks like it can be removed if a bunch of screens are stacked beside one another. Mounting multiple devices beside each other also works better than ever before, since the new version has tiny bezels.

For security, the device has a fingerprint scanner that users can utilize to log in quickly and access their files. One of the neat features with this is that multiple users can sign in at once, so it’s even easier to collaborate and share files on one device.

There isn’t much else being shared about the device so far, but Microsoft did post a rather inspirational video to showcase the new device.

From the video, it looks like the device will be running a version of Windows 10 that has a few cool features added. One of the most interesting things shown is the way the software adjusts itself on screen whenever the Hub is rotated.

The video also does a good job of showcasing the new stand that is being manufactured by Steelcase. It looks fairly handy and it also appears to not take up as much space as the original Surface Hub stand.

While there’s much that’s intriguing about the Hub, the one thing that might be cause for trepidation is the price. The smaller version of the current Surface Hub costs just under $10,000 USD while the larger costs $23,000 USD, so this new device will likely be expensive, too — perhaps prohibitively so for smaller businesses.

Source: Microsoft

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