Archive for the ‘simple’ tag
OS X: Sleep helps you keep your Mac from drawing too much power or running low on battery, but sometimes you want to keep it awake for various reasons. Software blog Addictive Tips points to a helpful Terminal command new in OS X Mountain Lion that can keep your Mac awake for a set period of time. More »
Many businesses begin with a simple, and then nagging, frustration. For Christian Yang and Neil Joglekar, it began with Entourage. Well, after Entourage. In college, as big fans of the show, they found themselves continually searching for clips of their favorite one-liners or the best scenes so that they could share them with friends. Naturally, after numerous fruitless searches, they quickly grew frustrated by the inability to find and share their favorite clips.
So, in 2008, Yang and Joglekar founded ReelSurfer out of their Stanford dorm room, developing technology to allow people to sift through the mountains of video content on the Web to find that elusive 30-second clip. Today, ReelSurfer is officially launching in public beta and, in turn, the startup is announcing that it has joined the summer batch of Y Combinator startups.
Since moving out of their dorm, the co-founders have been boot-strapping, testing and iterating on their product as part of a multi-year-long private beta. ReelSurfer set out to solve the problem of finding the right video clips online, which, using YouTube as an example, can often be a fool’s errand. So the co-founders developed technology to convert long-form video into 30-second clips, allowing users to then save, share and buy that content.
Initially, ReelSurfer took shape as a white-label solution, providing its video search and processing capabilities to universities and media networks, for example, enabling them to create a centralized hub for their digital video content, along with archiving (and organizing) news or classroom footage for future use.
The startup has since built an impressive roster of advisors, which include William Fay (the executive producer of 300, The Hangover and Independence Day), Yahoo Senior Director Anand Chandrasekaran, Carl Rosendahl (founder of PDI, which sold to DreamWorks and the executive producer of Antz) and Morphlabs Biz Dev VP Margo Drakos.
As part of its public launch today, the Menlo Park-based startup now allows anyone and everyone to clip and share any video from any website. To clip a video, users enter the video URL on ReelSurfer’s website or use their bookmarklet. From there, users can combine and organize clips into reels and share them with friends.
But why would you want to make clips, you ask? Joglekar says that, in the end, the whole point of sharing video is to have someone watch it, but the sad truth about our attention spans is that videos lose half their audience if they’re longer than 15 seconds. So, by keeping it short, you increase your chances of becoming a video star.
As to ReelSurfer’s own intended audience: The co-founder sees the platform having appeal to, say, friends who want to trade one liners from movies, or a bride who wants to share her wedding vows, Kickstarter clips, or maybe colleagues swapping cat videos.
As part of its launch, the startup is also adding advanced profiles so that users can link their reel collections to one central page, as well as built-in clip commenting.
For more, ReelSurfer’s homepage here.
This art exhibit by artist, Marin Dearie, illustrates the changes of all sorts of things in terms of shades of color. As if that weren’t art enough, each piece also features related facts to make the exhibit educational too.
Simple and cool.
Some hours of the day are better for some events or specific tasks. Research points, for example, to scheduling medical appointments early in the day. Real Simple has rounded up the best time of day to do just about anything. More »
Mac: The official Google Drive app for Mac isn’t bad, but it’s not that user-friendly. If you’re looking for something a little more simple that fits in with the overall Mac design scheme, Archy is a new Mac app currently in beta that allows you to manage your Google Drive in a simple way. More »
It’s no news that apps able to operate across a variety of platforms, or Open Graph apps, offer superb and diverse sharing possibilities. Just the other day Facebook announced that users there share something on the order of a billion instances very day across their apps. Interest sharing, user data, and even a person’s network of pals can all be passed along, if a platform or website is Open Graph friendly that is.
The number and kinds of things that developers can and have leveraged using the Open Graph continues to escalate and improve. Sites like Expedia, Hotels.com, airbnb, and others, Pinterest and Foodspotting plus Zynga, and not to forget Foodily and Spotify, dozens niches and an array of portals that auto publish to Facebook, these can also be leveraged by other developers too. Below is a list of simple and interesting use cases for Open Graph utility.
BlogBang – From the simple, like this site’s use of the Open Graph for ensuring Facebook shares get special treatment, to the infinitely complex things to come, Facebook’s initiative here has if nothing else provided a developer integration conduit of immense power. BlogBang apparently hooked into the “matrix” of app friendliness via association with OpenGraphy, a company specializing in helping lead others into Open Graph uses. The image below shows one way BlogBang uses the Open Graph for aesthetic timeline goodness. This is one simple use case a lot of app developers can adopt.
Grafetee – This development we have been working with in Finland has a wide scope of use cases. The geo-location app – which leverages iOS and Android operating systems with new and existing services like Foursquare and Yelp, Wikipedia and its own bookmarking tools – can now warp into 100 other use scenarios. By integrating with Open Graph sites like Zillow and Expedia, Grafetee can be anything from an open house real estate tour guide (see screen) to a pal for families about to make a move. Hotel to real estate listing, even off to lunch, Grafetee can lead smart device users by the hand, literally. Simple bookmark a property, your hotel, the diner from your desktop before leaving home, then follow the blue G on your device when mobile. Smart huh?
Spotify – My favorite musical app that just so happens to use Open Graph to help listeners and music fans discover via “opt in” use of dynamic listening data. Spotify can integrate with Ticketmaster, for instance, to notify you when you are near a music event at your local. Location based stuff, being the next huge wave of smart use cases – will likely be tightly integrated with payment and directional tools. This is already happening in several spheres. The screen below shows my latest listening pleasure on my Facebook timeline, but this seemingly simple use of Open Graph possibility, is not in reality. The user preference and statistics underneath are powerful indeed. Tho nobody talks too much about how “opting in” ends up on your ad table.
Foodspotting - Another interesting notion that ends in a simple user utility, showing on Facebook all the food a user has cataloged on a map. While this may not seem so exciting, sharing food with friends, and the places to enjoy them, can be a powerful incentive. Robert Scoble, for instance, had a wonderful Scaloppine Di Vitello Al Tartufo in San Francisco, which I posted to my FB timeline as you can see below. Not rocket science, by any means, but imagine even smarter adaptations of this idea. Bon Apetitte!
Zynga – And about every other game platform under the sun has optimized for Facebook via Open Graph architecture. If you ever played a game on Facebook, chances are either it had something to do with FB developments along these lines, or it will. Aside the implications for monetization and for eCommerce of all kinds, one has to think at least a little, of how games have helped make the web go round. Zynga has, however, begun to move away from Facebook and toward their own playground. Still, as cool uses for Open Graph app deployments, games have to top the list. The image below shows the interact instance between Zynga and Facebook at the onset. I can’t chat with Mike Arrington (he is too busy) much any more, but Zynga can hook me up with a game against him.
Since Facebook announced their first 17 Open Graph partners at the 2011 f8 developer conference, the world of the web now seems ready to climb on board. As you can see, the uses Open Graph apps have chosen to apply range from the super simple alignment of thumbnails and post instances like BlogBang, to reverse engineered geo-location app smartness like that of Grafetee. The technology spawned by so much Facebook love, clearly continues to grow almost exponentially. What can we expect next? Just about anything you can imagine perhaps?
This elegant home office features a large bookcase showing off artwork and mementos while the spacious desk is beautifully uncluttered. More »
Say what you will about the Catholic Church, but they know opportunity when they see it. The Roman Catholic diocese of Austria has seized upon Europe's economic crisis as a marketing tool, hoping to repopulate its waning flock (the number of declared Catholics in Austria has shrunk by 13 percent since 1960) by peppering the city of St. Poelten with 80 billboards and 300 electric placards advertising a career in the priesthood. The content is pretty simple—photos of clergy and regular working people accompanied by text that says, "Those who give all receive even more"—but given the extremely complex problems currently associated with modern Catholicism, and considering its reputation as an inscrutable and monolithic entity, simple might be the best approach to take. It's worth asking what kind of applicants would be swayed to a life of religious service by a billboard, though.
Currently Replaces Chrome’s New Tab Page with a Minimalist Weather and Time Display [Chrome Extensions]
Chrome: Chrome’s default new tab page is handy resource for your most clicked links, but not everyone needs it. If you’re looking for something a little different, Currently is an extension that adds a simple, but useful weather forecast to Chrome’s new tab page. More »