posts about or somewhat related to ‘software’

When Beatles Fans Develop Software
Via TUAW.

When Beatles Fans Develop Software

Via TUAW.

Steve Jobs: Everything I Create Will Become Obsolete

Trailer for Steve Jobs: Visionary Entrepreneur.

Via Silicon Valley Historical Association:

Steve Jobs: Visionary Entrepreneur is a 60-minute documentary built around a 20-minute interview of Steve Jobs in 1994 that was conducted by the Silicon Valley Historical Association.

Steve Jobs was asked to give advice to young entrepreneurs who wanted to go out and start their own businesses. He talks about risk and the willingness to fail, the role of building illegal blue boxes prior to founding Apple Computer, and his philosophy on how to approach life.

FJP: We are all but sediment.

Best Dad Ever, or Best Dad Ever?

A developer dad was upset that his daughter was upset, and his three-year-old daughter was upset because of Donkey Kong.

Seems she didn’t want Mario to save Pauline but instead wanted the roles reversed and have Pauline save Mario.

So what’s a dad to do? Re-engineer, of course:

My three year old daughter and I play a lot of old games together. Her favorite is Donkey Kong. Two days ago, she asked me if she could play as the girl and save Mario. She’s played as Princess Toadstool in Super Mario Bros. 2 and naturally just assumed she could do the same in Donkey Kong. I told her we couldn’t in that particular Mario game, she seemed really bummed out by that. So what else am I supposed to do? Now I’m up at midnight hacking the ROM, replacing Mario with Pauline. I’m using the 2010 NES Donkey Kong ROM. I’ve redrawn Mario’s frames and I swapped the palettes in the ROM. I replaced the M at the top with a P for Pauline.”

You can follow Mike Mika on YouTube. If you’re interested in the Donkey Kong Pauline patch, you can download it here (zip).

Anonymous asked: For those interested in multimedia journalism, which software/programs should we be familiarized with? I feel like there are a lot, and I want to get learning

I can answer but my biases proceed me since a) I’m on a Mac and b) we have partners who help us out. If I mention them I’ll acknowledge them below.

  • In General
    Adobe CS Something. We’re currently working with CS5, but CS6 is described as great. Mind you, this is a suite of tools that ranges from design and photography stalwart Photoshop to the video production capabilities of Premiere. In other words, Adobe is creating an all encompassing product line for our multimedia needs.
     
  • Video 
    Final Cut Pro. We’re on FCP X but have been frustrated by features we’ve lost since Final Cut 7 (long story). Fortunately, FCP X is adding these features with each new release.

    Something to look into: Adobe’s Premiere. When Apple reinvented Final Cut with its X series, many video producers were underwhelmed and fled to Adobe and have great things to say about it. If you get Adobe’s CS 5/6 you’ll have Premiere and can take it through its paces.
     
  • Audio 
    This comes in two flavors: when we create jingles, soundtracks and general audio design we use Propellerhead’s Reason and Ableton Live. We then mix these with Apple’s Logic Pro.

    Pro Tools
    is an obvious standard that’s used throughout the radio world but we’ve gone with Logic Pro because it fits easily within our overall workflow.
     
  • Screenshots and Screencasts:
    We go with two flavors here. For screenshots, Ambrosia Software’s SnapZPro. This let’s us take screenshots with dropshadows and other effects. It also lets us do basic screencasts.

    But if we’re doing longform, voiceover screencasts we opt for Telestream’s Screenflow which has a built in video editor and is specifically created for doing screencast tutorials. For example, it has callouts for where your cursor is, can zoom in, zoom out on screen details, etc. (Disclosure: Telestream is a FJP partner.)
     
  • Text Editors 
    These are underestimated until you actually code. We use Panic’s Coda but the more popular choice (for the Mac) is Macromates’ Textmate.
     
  • File Transfer
    Coda handles general file updates to our servers but we also use Panic’s Transmit for uploading/working within both our CDNs, Amazon and Highwinds (Disclosure: Highwinds is an FJP partner).

How to learn them all?
Start with each publisher’s site and then with general online searches. These will usually lead you back to communities on YouTube that provide tutorials.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for take out a subscription at Lynda.com. Lynda’s a learning community that provides screencast tutorials on both multimedia production and code development.

Better, the monthly subscription is inexpensive and your can cancel as soon as you’ve finished what you want to learn. For example, sign up for a month, learn a piece of software and then cancel until you need to learn something new again.

Anyway, that’s the biggie picture. Hope it helps. — Michael

Patent Trolls File 41% of all Software Patent Cases
In June, a Boston University study estimated that US direct costs in 2011 “of actions taken by so-called ‘patent trolls’ totalled $29 billion.”
Image: Detail, The High Cost of IP Lawsuits, via CEO.com

Patent Trolls File 41% of all Software Patent Cases

In June, a Boston University study estimated that US direct costs in 2011 “of actions taken by so-called ‘patent trolls’ totalled $29 billion.”

Image: Detail, The High Cost of IP Lawsuits, via CEO.com

Low Cost, No Cost and Open Source Software for Digital Storytellers

Investigative Reporters and Editors has a nice rundown of free production tools for journalists. These include old standbys such as Gimp for images and graphics, Audacity for audio editing and Open Movie Editor for video editing.

IRE also includes data tools such as Google’s Fusion Table’s and Tableau Software’s Tableau Public.

Multimedia production can get pretty pricey pretty quickly, of course. There’s a lot of gear and software needed so knowing what alternatives are out there is important.

If money’s tight, a great place to start is Open Source Alternatives. For example, if you need Adobe’s Photoshop but don’t have (or want to spend) the $699 to buy the standalone version, OSA lists Gimp and Krita among others as alternatives.

There are Web-based alternatives out there as well. For example, Aviary has a swiss army knife of audio and image editing applications that sit in the browser. In 2010, Google purchased the Web-based image editor Picnik and now you can crop, enhance and perform other basic edits in Picasa/Google+.

Other important browser-based tools are plugins and add-ons. For example, if you’re working with large files you’ll eventually need to get them somewhere which you’ll often do via FTP (although I come across more and more people who are using shared folders in Dropbox). Use Firefox? Try FireFTP. Chrome more your flavor? Try FileZilla. Want a desktop FTP client instead? Try Cyberduck.

Sometimes though, what’s already on your computer can bring you where you need to go. For example — and using a Mac because that’s what I have and know — iMovie, Garage Band and iPhoto all come pre-installed and are perfectly fine for editing video interviews, creating radio pieces and organizing and lightly editing your photos. Are they as robust as Final Cut, Pro Tools and some sort of Adobe Bridge/Photoshop amalgam? No, but they’re tools immediately available to you once you actually have the computer. Besides, the tools we need don’t always have to be the latest and greatest model of something.

There are good reasons to have the software that have become standard across the industry. This is especially true when collaborating with others. But when money’s tight, or you just want to try things out before diving deeper into a particular format, play with what’s low cost or free before making the plunge.

Besides, it’s the end result that matters. Once you publish your amazing audio, video or interactive piece, your appreciative audience isn’t going to care what you used to get there.

Hadoop, Say What? →

With an ecosystem of components with names like Pig, Oozie, Sqoop and Zookeeper among others, it can be difficult understanding what exactly the software framework Hadoop actually is.

Fortunately, Edd Dumbill at O’Reilly Radar gives a great explainer:

Apache Hadoop has been the driving force behind the growth of the big data industry. You’ll hear it mentioned often, along with associated technologies such as Hive and Pig…

…Hadoop brings the ability to cheaply process large amounts of data, regardless of its structure. By large, we mean from 10-100 gigabytes and above. How is this different from what went before?

Dumbill goes on to core components such as MapReduce, HDFS, and then explains others that improve programmability, data access, coordination and workflow, management and deployment, and machine learning.

Interested in more? Here are some tutorials to get you started:

Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem. For example, if a pirate offers a product anywhere in the world, 24/7, purchasable from the convenience of your personal computer, and the legal provider says the product is region-locked, will come to your country three months after the U.S. release and can only be purchased at a brick and mortar store, then the pirate’s service is more valuable.

Most DRM solutions diminish the value of the product by either directly restricting a customer’s use or by creating uncertainty.

Our goal is to create greater service value than pirates, and this has been successful enough for us that piracy is basically a non-issue for our company. For example, prior to entering the Russian market, we were told that Russia was a waste of time because everyone would pirate our products. Russia is now about to become our largest market in Europe.

— Gabe Newell, CEO of Valve, a game and entertainment company (think: Half-Life and Portal), via an interview with the Cambridge Student

Programming Language Popularity as of May 2011
Detail from the Evolution of Programming Languages via Rackspace

Programming Language Popularity as of May 2011

Detail from the Evolution of Programming Languages via Rackspace

Via Fast Company:

Without computers, news outlets have been forced to rely on readers to comb through data dumps (such as the Palin emails), or dedicate a substantial number of man-hours from their staffs (what the New York Times had to do for WikiLeaks).

Now, new data software (and millions in grants from Google and the Knight Foundation) aim to make all journalists data journalists.

Via Fast Company:

Without computers, news outlets have been forced to rely on readers to comb through data dumps (such as the Palin emails), or dedicate a substantial number of man-hours from their staffs (what the New York Times had to do for WikiLeaks).

Now, new data software (and millions in grants from Google and the Knight Foundation) aim to make all journalists data journalists.

Datavisualization with Gapminder for the desktop.

I think I could listen to Hans Rosling all day. 

Via nevver:

1984

The way things were… In so many different ways.

Via nevver:

1984

The way things were… In so many different ways.

Stats: Who’s Paying for What Online?

There’s an old yarn about people’s unwillingness to pay for content online, but the latest data from The Pew Internet Survey show how this notion continues to unravel. A sliver under two-thirds of all Internet users (65 percent) are buying something online, with the average survey respondent spending $47 per month on online content.

  • 33% of internet users have paid for digital music online
  • 33% have paid for software
  • 21% have paid for apps for their cell phones or tablet computers
  • 19% have paid for digital games
  • 18% have paid for digital newspaper, magazine, or journal articles or reports
  • 16% have paid for videos, movies, or TV shows
  • 15% have paid for ringtones
  • 12% have paid for digital photos
  • 11% have paid for members-only premium content from a website that has other free material on it
  • 10% have paid for e-books
  • 7% have paid for podcasts
  • 5% have paid for tools or materials to use in video or computer games
  • 5% have paid for “cheats or codes” to help them in video games
  • 5% have paid to access particular websites such as online dating sites or services
  • 2% have paid for adult content

Of the 755 survey respondents, nearly one in five (18 percent) said that they had paid for journalistic or editorial content of some kind, which should be good news for newspaper publishers. However, as we’ve seen with iPad versions of magazines, enthusiasm has been tepid overall. 

Perhaps it’s time for legacy media outlets to begin diversifying their online content offerings, seeing themselves as portals or curators of premium content worth buying. Without reprising the role of filters and analysts of the important news of the day, top media brands could engage and broaden their audience through myriad premium content offerings that subsidize the unprofitable, but essential journalism that established their brands in the first place.  

(Source: gigaom.com)

A group of students at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism are preparing to launch Sourcerer, a Web-based platform for collaborative news sourcing.

As Rich Gordon explains at the MediaShift Idea Lab, “Sourcerer is a “context management system” designed to help people learn more about a topic by asking questions, answering them, backing up those answers with links, and navigating through previous coverage via a timeline.”

Those interested in signing up for the beta release can do so at Sourcerer.