If you use Dark Sky as your weather app of choice—or just happen to enjoy gloriously rendered maps of weather movement—you should be both gladdened and a little surprised to learn that it’s now available in a new incarnation. Meet Dark Sky, the web site. It should look pretty familiar.
To find the ideal vacation-photography arsenal, I toured New York City for a week with three devices: the LG 360 CAM, a 360-degree camera; the Narrative Clip 2, a wearable cam that automatically snaps photos every 30 seconds; and the Moment smartphone lensesand case, which equip your phone to shoot like a full-fledged camera. All three items combined were lighter, smaller and less expensive than the kind of DSLR “serious” photographers lug around. Plus, I didn’t have to wear a fanny pack.
2/3 of of my books have sold in print format so this Guardian article did not really surprise me
“Shrewd observers noted the early signs. Kindle sales initially outstripped hardbacks but have slid fast since 2011. Sony killed off its e-readers. Waterstones last year stopped selling Kindles and e-books outside the UK, switched shelf space to books and saw a 5% rise in sales.
Amazon has opened its first bookshop.
Now the official Publishers’ Association confirms the trend. Last year digital content sales fell last year from £563m to £554m. After years on a plateau, physical book sales turned up, from £2.74bn to £2.76bn.”
Profile of First Second publishing which has made illustrated books an art form over the last decade
“We have a whole process to pair authors and illustrators together! It's something that we do a lot -- and it generally involves a lot of research. As an editor, I visit schools with comics programs throughout the year, meeting young cartoonists and generally keeping an eye on the talent pool. In addition, our staff and I attend a lot of shows, and at the end of every show we bring home mini-comics from people we'd like to work with one day. We also spend a lot of time on the internet, looking at cartoonists' work. And we read extensively to make sure we're aware of amazing authors and artists who are out there.”
I said enthralled at the end of Disney’s Zootopia – hundreds of credits rolled by (some of which are listed at IMDB) of sound effect technicians, animators and stereoscopic artists.
The creative genius John Lasseter has, pardon the pun, pulled a rabbit out of the hat again. Thanks to the many in the credits, here’s the quantum leap Zootopia makes in technical wizardry:
“Disney Pixar's Brave (2012) set a significant milestone for computer-generated tresses with the use of a simulator named Taz. To give Merida's curly bonce that bounciness, it started off with cylinders around which the curls are wrapped, allowing them to stretch and snap back into place. In total, 1,500 handmade strands were placed on Merida's head. Back then, Taz was a CGI revolution.
Jump forward one year and you get Frozen (2013), in which heroine Elsa boasts 400,000 strands of hair on her head. Now if you look at Zootopia, you need to know that the movie features 64 different animal species, from which the creators drew about 800,000 different character models. For example: baby mouse, bigger baby mouse, grandpa mouse, funny uncle mouse, etc. And one mouse has 480,000 hairs alone.”
Forget the technology – it is a magical movie, especially in 3D. And funny too – the sloths at the DMV in the vid hit close to reality
This evening “Gwen Stefani’s "Make Me Like You" video will be acted out, filmed and broadcast live during a four-minute Grammys commercial break on CBS. It will be the first music video ever created on live TV. The challenging production will be directed by Sophie Muller of Jesse Dylan's Wondros Collective.”
Also, the trophies will bring another set of cameras to the event “As it turned out, the most practical way to build a Grammycam was to start with GoPro action cameras as an ingredient. The Recording Academy collaborated with GoPro's custom solutions team to put a custom version of the Hero4 Black camera and an antenna into each award's base, positioned for optimum signal strength. Using a GoPro technology called HeroCast, the camera can wirelessly stream video via RF to the broadcast truck where all the video feeds for Grammy Live and the TV broadcast get managed.”
And then there is what Intel is planning with Lady Gaga
First, find pristine slopes in the craggy, sylvan backcountry of British Columbia and Alaska. Then, figure out how to get 10,000 pounds of equipment—4,000-watt lights the size of washing machines, generators to power them, scaffolding, wire and cable—up peaks higher than 7,000 feet. Spend months calculating wattage and beam diameters, weights and fuel consumption, distances and topography. Hire skilled gaffers and grips. Enlist a cadre of elite athletes. Put battery packs in their pockets, zip them into light suits, and strap LED-spangled packs on their backs. Turn the camera on. Hope for the best.
Like the biblical character Noah, Joel Sartore is building an ark, with photos. He is in the midst of a daunting quest to document 12,000 captive species, from the striking Malayan tiger to the adorable red panda and almost laughably small royal antelope. The goal is to raise awareness of these creatures, and the mounting threat of extinction many of them face.
He started researching the work of great conservationist artists like James Audubon, who famously attempted to paint and describe every species of bird in America. Audobon’s goal inspired Sartore to begin his own ambitious catalog of the animals he treasures. He hopes to engender the same passion in others.
CNN says President Obama’s speech this evening at 9 pm et
“…is likely to be a combination of a valedictorian's look-how-far-we've-come rhetoric and calls to action directed not at Congress but at the voting public on issues near to Obama's heart -- and extending beyond his increasingly-limited time in office”
But as the White House Office of Digital Strategy describes at Medium it will also reflect the state of the digital nation
“For the first time, this year SOTU will be available to stream on-demand on Amazon Video, in addition to on wh.gov/sotu and our YouTube channel. And beginning Wednesday through the end of the week, Amazon will make the speech available across all devices for Americans to watch the State of the Union in the same way we’re used to consuming video content in 2016. So, for those who’ve cut the cord from cable and network TV: Whether you use a smart TV, web browser, mobile device, or tablet there’s a way for you to watch the President’s speech as it happens and on-demand.
And as in past years, you’ll be able to watch video excerpts released in real-time on Facebook and Twitter. From live GIFs on Tumblr to 6-second videos on Vine and photos on Instagram, we’ll build on previous efforts to connect with users across a range of social media sites and make the experience of the speech appropriate to each platform.”
Here is a teaser from the President of what we will hear in his last SOTU
“When Lucas made Star Wars, computer graphics barely existed–the crudely animated pilots’ briefing before the Battle of Yavin was the absolute state of the art. Lucasfilm’s computer-graphics department would eventually be spun off, bought by Steve Jobs, and turned into Pixar, but at the time Lucas had no real options besides models and physical creatures. That had the effect of giving the droids and aliens and spaceships in Star Wars a sense of physical weight and presence that’s missing from, say, the CGI disaster Jar-Jar Binks. There’s no way you can make a movie like The Force Awakens entirely without CGI, but Abrams was determined to keep it to an absolute minimum–in effect, he took a world that had become virtual and forced it back into the realm of the actual. “I can tell you a lot of movies that I’ve seen and I’ve loved where I don’t quite believe it’s real,” Abrams says. “You can feel somehow the artifice of it. You can’t even necessarily quantify why it doesn’t feel real, because everything that you’re seeing is intellectually what it should look like. And yet somehow it’s missing that thing.” He used CGI as much for taking out the visible apparatus of the practical effects–wires, rigs, puppeteers–as he did for putting things in.”