Posts Tagged ‘youtube’

Sometimes We Get A Little Frustrated With ArcGIS! (NWGeoSpatial)

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

[Editor’s note: I’m on xmas break so no posts this week but wanted to share this hilarious video on YouTube poking fun at ESRI and changing core technology snafus corrupting the core enterprise geodatabase. The video production is pretty slick, uploaded by lukewrogers. Thanks Tom!]

Adolf Hitler Furious at ESRI Software
The tide of the war hinges on getting ArcGIS to union a few datasets in the Geodatabase and things aren’t going well…

The New Journalism: Goosing the Gray Lady (NY Mag)

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

[Editor’s note: Two pieces from the New York magazine profiling the New York Times Interactive News Collaborative staff, one of the strongest in the business. Thanks David and Chrys!]

Republished from the New York magazine.
By Emily Nussbaum. Published Jan 11, 2009
Related forum: Talk to the Newsroom: Interactive News Collaborative Jan. 17, 2009.

Image above: Aron Pilhofer, Andrew DeVigal, Steve Duenes, Matthew Ericson, and Gabriel Dance. (Photo: Mike McGregor)

What are these renegade cybergeeks doing at the New York Times? Maybe saving it.

On the day Barack Obama was elected, a strange new feature appeared on the website of the New York Times. Called the Word Train, it asked a simple question: What one word describes your current state of mind? Readers could enter an adjective or select from a menu of options. They could specify whether they supported McCain or Obama. Below, the results appeared in six rows of adjectives, scrolling left to right, coded red or blue, descending in size of font. The larger the word, the more people felt that way.

All day long, the answers flowed by, a river of emotion—anonymous, uncheckable, hypnotic. You could click from Obama to McCain and watch the letters shift gradually from blue to red, the mood changing from giddy, energized, proud, and overwhelmed to horrified, ambivalent, disgusted, and numb.

It was a kind of poll. It was a kind of art piece. It was a kind of journalism, but what kind?

This past year has been catastrophic for the New York Times. Advertising dropped off a cliff. The stock sank by 60 percent, and by fall, the paper had been rated a junk investment, announced plans to mortgage its new building, slashed dividends, and, as of last week, was printing ads on the front page. So dire had the situation become, observers began to entertain thoughts about whether the enterprise might dissolve entirely—Michael Hirschorn just published a piece in The Atlantic imagining an end date of (gulp) May. As this bad news crashed down, the jackals of Times hatred—right-wing ideologues and new-media hecklers alike—ate it up, finding confirmation of what they’d said all along: that the paper was a dinosaur, incapable of change, maddeningly assured as it sank beneath the weight of its own false authority.

And yet, even as the financial pages wrote the paper’s obit, deep within that fancy Renzo Piano palace across from the Port Authority, something hopeful has been going on: a kind of evolution. Each day, peculiar wings and gills poke up on the Times’ website—video, audio, “drillable” graphics. Beneath Nicholas Kristof’s op-ed column, there’s a link to his blog, Twitter feed, Facebook page, and YouTube videos. Coverage of Gaza features a time line linking to earlier reporting, video coverage, and an encyclopedic entry on Hamas. Throughout the election, glittering interactive maps let readers plumb voting results. There were 360-degree panoramas of the Democratic convention; audio “back story” with reporters like Adam Nagourney; searchable video of the debates. It was a radical reinvention of the Times voice, shattering the omniscient God-tones in which the paper had always grounded its coverage; the new features tugged the reader closer through comments and interactivity, rendering the relationship between reporter and audience more intimate, immediate, exposed.

Despite the swiftness of these changes, certainly compared with other newspapers’, their significance has been barely noted. That’s the way change happens on the web: The most startling experiments are absorbed in a day, then regarded with reflexive complacency. But lift your hands out of the virtual Palmolive and suddenly you recognize what you’ve been soaking in: not a cheap imitation of a print newspaper but a vastly superior version of one. It may be the only happy story in journalism.

I met with members of the teams that created the Word Train in a glass-walled conference room, appropriate for their fishbowl profession. There was Gabriel Dance, the multimedia producer, a talkative 27-year-old with two earrings and a love of The Big Lebowski. There were Matt Ericson and Steve Duenes from graphics, deadpan veterans who create the site’s interactive visuals—those pretty maps that conceal many file cabinets stuffed with data. And there was Aron Pilhofer, a skeptical career print journalist with “nerd tendencies,” one of the worried men who helped spearhead this mini-renaissance.

“It was surprisingly easy to make the case,” says Pilhofer, describing what he calls the “pinch-me meeting” that occurred in August 2007, when Pilhofer and Ericson sat down with deputy managing editor Jonathan Landman and Marc Frons, the CTO of Times Digital, to lobby for intervention into the Times’ online operation—swift investment in experimental online journalism before it was too late.

“The proposal was to create a newsroom: a group of developers-slash-journalists, or journalists-slash-developers, who would work on long-term, medium-term, short-term journalism—everything from elections to NFL penalties to kind of the stuff you see in the Word Train.” This team would “cut across all the desks,” providing a corrective to the maddening old system, in which each innovation required months for permissions and design. The new system elevated coders into full-fledged members of the Times—deputized to collaborate with reporters and editors, not merely to serve their needs.

To Pilhofer’s astonishment, Landman said yes on the spot. A month later, Pilhofer had his team: the Interactive Newsroom Technologies group, ten developers overseen by Frons and expected to collaborate with multimedia (run by Andrew DeVigal) and graphics. That fall, the Times entered its pricey new building, and online and off-line finally merged, physically, onto the same floor. Pragmatically, this meant access to the paper’s reporters, but it was also a key symbolic step, indicating the dissolution of the traditional condescension the print side of the paper held toward its virtual sibling.

Story continues in 3 parts, jump to the one that interests you.

Next: The group’s initial series of audacious new features.

Next: Another face of innovation at the Times.

Next: The battle against reader nostalgia.

Concluding two graphs:

“One of the New York Times’ roles in this new world is authority—and that’s probably the rarest commodity on the web,” explains Pilhofer as the waiter gives us our check. “That’s why in some respects we’re gung-ho and in other respects very conservative. Everything we do has to be to New York Times standards. Everything. And people are crazy about that. And that’s a good thing.”

Over time, Pilhofer adds, this is the role the Times can play: exciting online readers about the value of reportage, engaging them deeply in the Times’ specific brand of journalism—perhaps even so much that they might want to pay for it. If this comes true, it would mean this terrible year was not for nothing: that someday, this hard era would prove the turning point for the paper, the year when it didn’t go down, when it became something better. Pilhofer shrugs and puts his glass back down on the Algonquin table. “I just hope there’s a business model when we get there.”

Continue reading at New York Times . . .

HyperStudio Returns, Supports iLife, Webcams, Video (MacNN)

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

[Editor’s note: I first fell in love with computers in my 7th grade science class when I saw a pizza box Mac LCII running a program called HyperCard. Think of it as the grand daddy of Flash and the hyperlinked web. I had dabbled with computers before but they had never seemed so cool, or able to accomplish such nifty tasks. I remember creating one of my first “stacks” for my social study class that same year. Everyone else drew out their “choose your own adventure” story with pen and ink, but I turned mine into a computer game. There were some problems, of course. First among them color was not supported. But you could get around it (in fact I did my science fair project the next year on how to do exactly that). Ah, good times. Long abandoned, HyperCard makes it’s return as HyperStudio and a new generation can discover the joys on both the Mac and now Windows, too.]

Republished from MacNN.com.

Software MacKiev and Roger Wagner have reintroduced HyperStudio as HyperStudio 5, the first new edition of the software in over a decade. The software is used to organize information (stacks) into a structure that supports storytelling, commonly used in education. The new version includes iLife support and includes webcams. It now has live object support, allowing editing of any action, even brush strokes. HyperStudio 5 has advanced graphics effects and text options and has a customizable toolbar, displaying the most frequently used tools.

The new release can publish to MobileMe, export to iPod video formats, and import media from YouTube, iMovie and iTunes. It can also import old HyperStudio stacks. Future improvements, including extended options for podcasting and recording and displaying live video, are in progress and will be made available without additional charge to HyperStudio 5 users.

HyperStudio 5 includes over 1300 clipart graphic elements, 500 background images, 280 sounds, 200 animations and 30 movies. It supports common file formats like JPG, MOV, M4V and HTML for export and can import PDF, PNG, JPG, TIF, MP3, AAC, WMA, AIFF, MOV, AVI and more. The software requires Mac OS X 10.4.11 or higher and a G4 400MHZ or faster processor. It requires a minimum of 256MB RAM. It is available for order now, costing $90 for a single-user license and providing volume discounts for multiple users. Windows version is also available.

Kite-skiing Mt. Eiger (Alps)

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

For all the thousands of you enjoying the Toni Mair piece, check out this crazy YouTube video of “kite skiing” Mt. Eiger in the Swiss alps. They might feature this in the ExtremeGames but I doubt your local Olympics will carry it anytime soon! Thanks Stefan.