Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market audrey watters A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#start#startups Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts XING founder Lars Hinrichs has launched a new pre-seed investment company, HackFwd. Although HackFwd provides financial support and mentorship to tech startups, HackFwd is not an incubator. In other words, rather than expecting startups to relocate to the company’s headquarters in Germany, HackFwd meetups will be distributed – something that might be very beneficial for European startups.According to the website, “We looked carefully at current VC models and realized they didn’t really cater to very early stage businesses. VCs can’t support small investments, which leaves a finance gap. Also, VCs don’t have the time or expertise to give strategic or creative input. This leaves an advice gap.”In addressing both this finance and advice gap, HackFwd provides startups up to 191,000 in funding, as well as support with legal and administrative requirements, talent-search, promotion and marketing. The goal: “Our start-up and support process accelerates the route to beta, profitability, and success.” Founders retain 70% equity with 30% going to HackFwd. While this is higher than some similar programs (YCombinator and TechStars take around 6%), the HackFwd program lasts a year, rather than only a few months. In an interesting twist, 3% of HackFwd’s cut is returned to the founders, for them to distribute in turn to advisors who helped them along the way.In their desire to help support “Europe’s most passionate geeks,” HackFwd will compete with other early stage investment opportunities in Europe, including SeedCamp. And even if you aren’t a European startup in search of some early-stage funding, a visit to the HackFwd website is well worth a visit, just to look at their infographic on the startup feedback loop (excerpted below).
Crowdfunding your startup through sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGO has become an interesting, and in many cases, quite viable way of financing your project. A number of individuals and companies have been able to raise pretty substantial amounts of money through these services, going well beyond what they initially set as their funding targets.Most notably of late, was the success of Lunatik/TikTok iPod Nano wristwatch, which set the record for the most money raised via Kickstarter to-date: almost $950,000 from over 13,000 backers. Not too shabby considering Scott Wilson and his MINIMAL design studio set out to raise a mere $15,000 in order to get licensing and manufacturing for the project under way.What made this project so successful? After all, there are other iPod Nano projects. And it’s a wristwatch, which even with the addition of a Nano, might not be the coolest or most necessary of accessories.Bryce Roberts, the Managing Director of O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, points to some reasons he’s identified that contributed to the success of the Lunatik/TikTok fundraising endeavor. These lessons that can be seen in other successful Kickstarter projects (such as Diaspora), but they’re also applicable in many ways to more “traditional” funding efforts.Tell a personal storyThe Lunatik/TikTok “pitch” wasn’t a bulleted list of qualifications or clients. Rather, the members of the team “told personal stories that created a connection to the project that had nothing to do with their professional pedigree.” While this sort of storytelling doesn’t boost their professional credentials, Roberts argues, it does give the entrepreneurs a certain personal authority and helps to connect them to funders and potential funders in a different way.Roberts argues that the best fundraising pitches always emphasize this personal aspect. “It’s a given,” he writes, “that if I chose to invest in you I believe I can make money, but there are the intangibles around personality, perspectives, and life experiences that will make a potential funder more likely to want to believe you.”Tell the product’s storyIf you watch the TikTok video (below), you’ll see the product is featured throughout. This demonstrates what the product can do – and that it can do what the startup promises. The video also demonstrates the larger potential of the product. These might be “small, nice little features” that some investors would dismiss. But with the crowdfunding model, the right storytelling around this seems crucial. “The difference between a nano strapped to a wristband and a premium quality, highly designed, customizable piece of wearable technology is simply a matter of how you tell the story.”But even when you aren’t using a site like Kickstarter to raise money, it’s crucial that your product be front-and-center in your presentations.Give rewards and issue progress reportsInvestors, by definition, invest in order to make a financial return. Nonetheless, argues Roberts, you should offer more than simply the promise of “making money.” These sorts of non-financial rewards can be personal and personalized. By design, Kickstarter tells its users, “the best way to inspire support is to offer people great rewards. Everyone loves limited editions, one-of-a-kinds, and fun experiences (parties, screenings, balloon rides!). Spend some time brainstorming your rewards and people will respond. No one needs another coffee mug.” And as your project and your company are constantly evolving, it’s good to keep investors and potential investors up-to-date on your progress. In the case of TikTok, the creators even filmed themselves in China when they traveled to the factory where the watch kits were being made. But the same could be said for all funding relationships; keep your investors apprised of “how you’re making progress and how your story is continuing to unfold in a big and important way.” Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market audrey watters Related Posts Tags:#start#tips
Tags:#cloud#cloud computing#Data Centers#news Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud It is inevitable for any considerable enterprise to consider how the cloud and the data center can be combined in the most dynamic, efficient and secure way as possible.It’s a decision making process that gets even more complex when considering the dizzying terminology that makes sense only after considerable conversation.I kept thinking about these customers when listening to Hewlett-Packard (HP) discuss its new hybrid cloud service.HP is announcing today that it is offering:A public cloud environment for customers that want all of its IT services in the cloud.An extended data center environment that leverages the security of the data center with the distributed network of a cloud environment.An automated cloud management system for managing multiple cloud and data center environments.Workshops to help IT managers and executives better understand the complexities of what’s available and better define what they need in order to create a network that meets their needs.It gets complicated when Hewlett-Packard starts getting into the details of what they are offering. It’s not the first time we have heard a company call what they are offering a hosted and private cloud environment. That’s how HP describes its offering for what amounts to an extended data center that uses a virtualized environment to create a network that leverages the cloud and its core, on-premise environment.But this is the nature of the market. Customers believe they need private clouds. What they really needs are flat networks to move resources in a virtual environment. The network needs to be able to manage any variety of applications that between thousands of virtual machines.To do that, HP offers a converged infrastructure that includes the storage, servers that can be provisioned in clusters, the network, power and cooling and the management software.My colleague Klint Finley spent a few days with HP and learned a lot about these infrastructures:HP claims that not only can it do all the work of setting up racks, wiring, optimizing power consumption and building out the full data center for you – it claims it can do so at the fraction of the cost of doing it yourself. HP takes advantage of assembly line productivity to industrialize the process of creating data centers.The management software is a critical component of the offering. It may also be on of the most important aspects of what is required to manage a virtualized infrastructure. It’s the automation component. It orchestrates the process so virtual machines can be managed effectively.The team at HP realizes that there is an inherent complexity in the language associated with today’s complicated array of data center offerings. So we can see why workshops make sense. In the end, though, we find the language a bit of a folly. The hardware and software that HP is selling costs millions of dollars. What it provides is a network, albeit different from previous generations, it is still a network. Not to say the technology is unnecessary, it’s just more what we think of as networked data centers rather than cloud computing. Related Posts alex williams Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting
sarah perez Tags:#Apple#Google#How To#mobile#NYT#web Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement It has now been nearly two months since my iPhone fell into a pond, forcing me to transition to Android. I had a review unit of the Nexus S on hand at the time which served as a backup phone in the wake of the tragedy. I’ve now moved to Android completely, save for the occasional Netflix stream or iPhone-specific app in need of testing. Throughout the process, I’ve been documenting the struggles and benefits of moving to Android here on ReadWriteWeb, in a series called “iPhone to Android.”Specifically, much of the focus is on moving to the Nexus S, as that’s the phone I’ve chosen. (The review unit has been returned – I have my own Nexus S now.)This week, I’m looking at taking the Nexus S overseas.If you haven’t been following my transition, you can start here with my one-week review, then check in again here when I hit one month and here when I reached a month and a half. This is an ongoing series.Using an Unlocked PhoneOne of the great benefits to the Nexus S – especially for frequent travelers – is that it is an unlocked phone. What that means is that you can use it on other carriers besides the one you have a contract with – in my case, T-Mobile here in the U.S. The Nexus S doesn’t work with any mobile carrier, however, but any GSM carrier. The term “GSM” refers to the carrier frequency ranges supported by 80% of the global cellular market. T-Mobile and AT&T are GSM carriers in the U.S., Verizon and Sprint are not.Having just spent the last week in Barcelona for the annual Mobile World Congress event, access to an unlocked phone was a blessing. Or rather, it could have been. Unfortunately, I ran into a bit of trouble with the Nexus S here – more on that in a minute.To use the phone’s unlocked feature, you simply buy a prepaid SIM card from a local carrier, open up the back of the phone, remove the battery so you can access the SIM card then remove it and replace it with the one you just purchased. It’s best to put your old SIM somewhere safe – they are small and easily lost. I put mine in another phone.Afterwards, your Nexus S will work on the other carrier’s network.More Than Just Swapping SIMs: Dealing with Google Voice Settings The problem I encountered had to do with Google Voice. Because Google Voice can deeply integrate with Android handsets, you can practically forget it’s there. I certainly did. But after missing a few calls and noticing that my text messages were not being sent, I realized that Google Voice was the issue.But how do you disable the integration so you can use the phone on the carrier’s network, instead of over Google Voice’s VoIP service? (Note: Google Voice isn’t available internationally in all markets, so this situation is limited to the markets where Google Voice is supported.)This is where things get tricky. The first place I look to adjust settings on the Nexus S, is, of course, the Settings application. Here, under “Call Settings” an option that says “Use Internet Calling” seemed to be the setting I had wanted.The options available are: use Internet calling for all calls, only for Internet calls or to ask for each call. Mistakenly, I assumed that changing the setting to “ask” would allow me to pick upon dialing whether the call would go through Google Voice or not. It did not.The actual setting I needed was in the Google Voice app itself. Of course, by the time I sussed it out, I had already resorted to email to contact the other party. I was in a hurry, and have been brought up to believe that spending more than a few seconds starting at your phone is impolite during real-life, face-to-face conversations. I did not have time to delve into my phone’s settings, look around, figure things out. I should have made the configurations in advance, not while walking through the event, talking to a friend and trying to find a bus.In an alternate universe, I imagine how an iPhone would have treated the same scenario: I see you’re on the Vodafone network – do you want to disable Google Voice? Oh simplicity, I miss you so.Instead, here’s how to adjust the setting I should have located:Launch the Google Voice app.Press Menu. Press More.Press Settings.Press “Making Calls”Here, there are four options: Use Google Voice to make all calls, Do not use Google Voice to make any calls, Only use Google Voice for International calls and Ask every time I make a call. I should have chosen the second one (do not use). Well, now I know.Google Voice Integration: What’s the Benefit When Dialing Out?In retrospect, outside of making international calls, I’m not sure what the benefit of using Google Voice to dial out actually is. It doesn’t work overseas and it doesn’t make a difference in my daily life here in the U.S. since I don’t make enough calls to worry about minutes used. I tend to text. I think I’ll leave this setting off for now, and just launch the app itself if I want to use Google Voice to make an international call, which is rare.On the flip side, having my Google Voice number route to my T-Mobile number (and others I own) is helpful. I can post that number publicly – for example, on my Twitter profile – and know that my calls are being collected in one central system that I can access from any device or computer. Plus, I can read transcripts of voicemail messages instead of having to listen to each one.But as with other Google Voice features, this functionality too, is limited. You can’t route international phone numbers to Google Voice.As someone who is not a frequent world traveler (this was only my second trip to Europe ever), I’m chalking this up to a learning experience. Although there were a few settings to figure out (which I should have researched in advance I now realize), at the end of the day, the Nexus S’s openness is a major plus. You can’t swap SIMs on just any mobile phone. And some U.S. phones, like the Verizon iPhone for example, won’t work in the majority of overseas markets. How will Verizon iPhone users deal when traveling overseas? I’m not sure. But I know that next time, I won’t have to worry. Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …
A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Backyard also does one other little thing – it has actual people confirm things like price and hours of happy hours, Taco Tuesdays and other sorts of things, meaning that when you get these search results, you can be sure that when you ask for a happy hour right now, it isn’t a happy hour that used to exist three years ago. And when you click through to an individual business’s page, you can see an aggregate of Yelp reviews, this verified contact, pricing and hour data, and even add it to your Foursquare to-do list.Beyond that, Backyard really might be just another “Where’s a good bar/salon/restaurant” app like any other, but the idea of cartering search results according to my demographics sets it apart. Tags:#Product Reviews#web Recently, I’ve answered the question “What do you write about?” with “Not coupons.” It’s not that I don’t like a deal (who doesn’t?), but that coupons are coupons and aren’t technologically interesting. Backyard, a self-described “scrappy young startup” showed today at the Launch conference and gives their users “relevant & valuable information about deals in their area.” Normally, this is the sort of thing that would fall into the realm of what I don’t write about, but CEO Steve Espinosa showed me that Backyard has something different to offer. By working with Facebook Connect, the site immediately works to use demographic data to cater not only the look of the site, but also determine what sort of results you see. Consider it a personalized sort of Yelp search engine.Right now, Backyard sticks with two primary realms – deals like happy hours, sushi specials, lunch specials and taco Tuesdays and services like manicures, pedicures, haircuts and tanning services. The company discussed more realms, but that’s not the interesting part. Espinosa differentiated the site from Yelp, showing that if you search for a place for a bar on Yelp (especially in a city like San Francisco), all you’ll see is a page of five-star reviews. Backyard differentiates search results according to demographics it gathers from your Facebook profile and caters the search results accordingly. It also takes into account what places your friends on Facebook like, taking that into account when it returns search results.“If you like rap, we’ll likely direct you to a club,” said Espinosa. “If you like rock, we’ll probably send you somewhere else.”Backyard helps the user interpret results, showing a percentage on each that indicates how much higher or lower the price for the service there is compared to the average of all results. Where does Backyard get its results? A combination of sources, from Yahoo Local to Yelp reviews to Facebook data. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts mike melanson Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
klint finley Tags:#enterprise#mobile IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Looking for an excuse to buy an iPad 2, which hit the streets today? The iPad continues to be used as a device for business as well as pleasure, and several enterprise apps were either released or updated since our last round-up. Take a look and see if any of them justify the expense of a new tablet.Adobe SiteCatalystIn addition to announcing its expanded social media analytics tools, Adobe announced a SiteCatalyst iPad app. SiteCatalyst is an Web analytics that Adobe acquired as part of its Omniture acquisition. It has a particular emphasis on e-commerce.Bomgar Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Related Posts Bomgar announced its iPad Rep Console this week, giving IT and tech support workers the ability to use its remote desktop technology from the tablet. Although Bomgar’s competitor Citrix has been quick to release iPad apps, it hasn’t released an iPad version of its GoToAssit product.Information BuildersJoining our list of business intelligence tools for the iPad is WebFOCUS from Information Builders. WebFOCUS brings dashboards to multiple mobile devices, including the iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry and Android devices. Instead of native apps, Information Builders created a Web-based solution that autodetects the device a user is viewing the site on and adjusts its presentation accordingly.Rackspace CloudWe already covered Rackspace Cloud 2.0, the updated app for Rackspace administrators. It adds new features such as Chef integration, UK support and and the ability to manage OpenStack clouds.VMwareWe also covered VMware’s new iPad app this week. It enables users to access virtual desktops from their iPads, and competes with Citrix Receiver. Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now
Tags:#mobile#Poll#RIM The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology sarah perez What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … This week RIM’s 7-inch tablet computer launched to somewhat surprising Day One sales. Nearly 50,000 units were moved within the first 24 hours and many Best Buy locations reported they were out of inventory altogether. This is despite the PlayBook having received mixed reviews in the press due to missing features, its lack of core applications (email, calendaring, contacts) and its truly small collection of apps.But the PlayBook isn’t just RIM’s response to the iPad’s threat – it’s also meant to encourage sales of its BlackBerry smartphones. Will that strategy work? Let us know what you think in this week’s ReadWriteMobile poll.RIM says that it will ship the missing core applications like email via a software update later this year. In the meantime, the PlayBook’s “Bridge” feature, designed with the security needs of the enterprise in mind, brings those apps to the device when it’s tethered with a BlackBerry smartphone. Through BlackBerry Bridge, users can access the data in the core applications without that data actually being stored on the device itself. For the enterprise, this makes the PlayBook a more viable alternative than the iPad, in many cases.The strategy here is that by offering this level of security, enterprise customers will retain their investment in RIM’s technologies, including BlackBerry Enterprise Server and BlackBerry smartphones, even when the contracts come up for reevaluation or renewal.For non-enterprise consumers, too, there is some value in knowing that your personal data isn’t left behind on your tablet, especially if that tablet is shared with other family members (like the kids), as tablets often are.Today, Matthew Miller over on ZDNet surprised himself by saying that the PlayBook has encouraged him to reconsider buying a BlackBerry smartphone. Will that be a case for others, too?Will the PlayBook help spur BlackBerry smartphone sales?Let us know if you think RIM’s strategy will work, both on the enterprise and consumer fronts, by taking part i this week’s ReadWriteMobile poll. Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts
Tags:#science#web audrey watters Sad news for astronomy and for alien research, and even worse news if there is in fact intelligent life out there wanting to contact Earth. The SETI Institute, which operates the Allen Telescope Array in northern Californa (made famous in the Jodie Foster film Contact), says that due to government budget cutbacks, it no longer has the funds to maintain its search for extraterrestrial intelligence.The giant field of radio dishes has scanned for signals that might possibly emanate from alien civilizations for almost four years now. But last week, SETI Institute CEO Tom Pierson sent a letter to donors saying that the array was going into “hibernation” because of inadequate government support.The timing couldn’t be worse, SETI scientists tell the San Jose Mercury News. Earlier this year, astronomers said that the Kepler space telescope had found over 1200 possible planets, dozens of which could be suitable in terms of size and temperature to sustain life. “There is a huge irony,” says SETI Director Jill Tartar,” that at a time when we discover so many planets to look at, we don’t have the operating funds to listen.”Funding has never been assured for the program as the search for aliens has often been derided as wasteful. Some private donations have helped support the effort, including money from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who helped raise the funds necessary to build the satellite array. Currently the project is run with support from the National Science Foundation as well as from UC Berkeley, but SETI has found its budget cut at both these federal and state levels.The end – or rather, the hibernation – of the SETI telescope facility doesn’t mean the end of all SETI projects. The organization will continue the setiQuest Explorer, an app that lets citizen scientists volunteer some of their home computer’s processing power to search through data. Those interested in looking at other alien data might also take a peek at a fascinating new dataset from Infochimps: data about 60,000 some-odd UFO sightings. But that’s hardly the same, of course, as scanning the universe for possible signals from alien life-forms.In the meantime, SETI hopes that another agency will help pick up the tab for its operating costs, estimated to run about $5 million over the next two years. Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
Last month I had the great fortune to meet with Ethan Landis of Landis Construction Corp., a leading design/build firm in Washington, D.C. The company was founded in 1990 by Ethan, an MBA, and his brother Chris, an architect. They specialize in home renovations in the greater Washington area, and over the last few years, the Landis’ company has defined its commitment to green building. As Ethan explains, that definition is dynamic. I traveled up the Red Line to the Tacoma Park metro stop to spend a couple of hours talking to him about it.Ethan spearheaded the green transition for the company while Chris took a more cautious approach. Four yars ago, they began, like a lot of companies, by looking closely at the building envelope and energy efficiency. As the initiative developed, Ethan asked himself how they could create a new green culture within their company. The answer came one fateful evening when he met Russ Clark at a social event. The two clicked immediately, and Russ soon found himself employed as the Green Program Manager at Landis Construction.I asked Ethan about the single defining event that cemented the company’s shift to green. He said that it was when they decided to hire a dedicated green staff person. Sure, they got a person to handle the green workload and learning curve, but it also demonstrated to the rest of the team the company’s commitment to green building. Russ was charged with the goal of making the shift to marketing the company as green while also walking the walk. His biggest challenge was getting everyone on the same page on green-building philosophies within both the company and its network of subcontractors and suppliers. He began working on the accompanying philosophy, practices, and marketing efforts. Ethan told me that the result was the company commitment to approaching green building as an integrated process rather than isolated products.Since hiring Russ, they have found their green offerings to be more and more in demand, currently offering them to all clients, with lots of takers. They analyzed and reviewed the origins of their projects in 2008, and more than 30% of their clients stated that they would not have come to the firm if they had not incorporated green practices. Ethan’s advice: Commit to green, and make it stick both financially and physically.The Landis Construction office is what Ethan calls “LEED certifiable,” following the USGBC rating system without completing the actual rating process. After taking that plunge, Landis is working on its first LEED for Homes project in Georgetown. The company is striving for LEED for Homes Platinum, and should know the results fairly soon. I was able to interview Russ on-site and take a close look at that project. Watch for the video coming soon at Green Building Advisor, and I will keep you posted on the results of Landis’ performance tests and certification. A tribute to their dedication, Russ and the guys are constantly reviewing their Green Program so that they can evolve with the industry and the market, redefining and updating practices.Ethan also shared some survival techniques that his company is employing in the down economy.Make a full commitment to green, with a person in charge. This ensures that the initiative will advance every business day.When developing the big-picture green goals, incorporate the livelihood and sustainability of the business as well. If the business didn’t weather the storm, neither would Landis’ green initiative. To them it meant adapting to a changing economic landscape.Landis created and nurtured a new, green, holistic company culture: green office space, office practices, hybrid vehicles, events, and last but definitely not least, building practices.They are a 100% renovation company, more in demand than new-home construction at this time. This was an existing characteristic of the company, and one that has kept them busy through the storm.Even though Landis offers design services, it has begun soliciting other architects for leads to help support the renovation side of the company.Landis is asking past clients for referrals. Sometimes this even keeps the company on the radar for return clients.Landis has developed an active marketing plan that keeps the company in the minds of potential clients without becoming annoying (no cold calling).Landis Construction has had two “rethinking” events over the last couple of years. First was the shift to becoming a green company in every interpretation of the term, reinventing all of its practices from the business and building perspective. Second, the recession forced management to take a critical look at marketing, and to begin gentle, sincere guerilla marketing tactics. One was voluntary, the other forced, but both have allowed Landis to stay relatively busy in our current economic climate.
The American Southwest is running out of water. For a powerful reminder, if any is needed, of why builders in Western states should integrate water-conservation strategies in all new buildings, check out a new book by James Lawrence Powell, Dead Pool: Lake Powell, Global Warming and the Future of Water.Powell’s message is stark: according to scientists’ best predictions, millions of Americans living in the Southwest will face unprecedented water shortages in the next few decades. The rapid growth of Southwestern cities was made possible by two huge Colorado River projects undertaken by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation: the Hoover Dam, completed in 1935, and the Glen Canyon Dam, completed in 1966.Although the two reservoirs created by these dams, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, allowed millions of Americans to move to the desert, Colorado River water is now being consumed at such a high rate that the reservoirs are rarely full. At the end of October 2007, Lake Powell and Lake Mead each held only 49 percent of capacity.For decades, the Bureau of Reclamation’s predictions of Colorado River flow have been based, to put it charitably, on wishful thinking and junk science.Powell shows how federal bureaucrats and politicians used flagrant exaggerations to promote dams on the Colorado River. Powell writes, “As experience accumulated, it became apparent that not only did the agency routinely underestimate costs, it did so by at least a factor of two.”The taxpayers ended up footing the bill for dams that supply farmers with subsidized water that costs far more to deliver than the value of the resulting harvests justifies. Powell concludes that these massive Western water projects amounted to “a kind of hydraulic Ponzi scheme.”During most of the twentieth century, the Bureau of Reclamation, using language that harkened back to the early… Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. This article is only available to GBA Prime Members
In terms of durability and cost, Holladay favors concrete, but he adds: “If you are willing to replace any components that rot, or if you don’t mind introducing pressure-treated lumber (with associated chemicals) into the interior of your house, go ahead and experiment. If these materials rot in the future, you’ll need to replace them. You’ll have to consider the wooden components as sacrificial layers.”Agreed, writes Howard Gentler. Although a concrete slab would do a good job of supporting any lumber above it, it won’t block any moisture by itself and Rosen might well save both money and effort by using wood instead. “I think you can do what you are considering,” he says.Rosen replies that he was considering adding “ribbons” of concrete on 8-ft. centers to support 2x floor framing. “The 2xs would be supported by the earth and the concrete in case things shifted,” he says. “I don’t believe that I can use pressure-treated wood on interior living space[s], and don’t really know that code guys would be happy with this setup… only because it’s atypical.” Use the right lumberIf Rosen uses pressure-treated material as part of the assembly, Flitch Plate says, it should be stamped for ground contact, and it should be allowed to dry before it’s installed.Plate refers Rosen to specifications for treated lumber published by Wolmanized. Although lumber treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA) has been banned for most residential applications, it’s still permitted for permanent wood foundations. The specs indicate that it should have a chemical retention level of 0.60 pounds per cubic foot (pcf). In contrast, above-grade pressure-treated lumber would need a retention level of only 0.25 pcf.“That is a lot of copper, by weight, making it heavy and dense — a real bear on saw blades,” Plate writes. “Use only stainless-steel fasteners; preferably hex heads and star drives. Fasteners are expensive. Galvanized is not reliable, and who wants to use a hammer anyway, these days.”For the vapor barrier, Plate suggests a cross-linked polyethylene material called Tu-Tuff.Pressure-treated material is expensive, Gentler adds, and in this case it may not be necessary at all.“I don’t think you are planning for the wood to be in actual ground contact, just near it, but above layers that will be excluding most moisture,” Gentler says. “It sounds like you will be using concrete piers for support of the wood. Make sure something non-permeable is between the wood and concrete, since the concrete wicks moisture to the wood.” Rob Rosen is diving into a basement remodel, a job that involves digging out and removing a concrete slab to provide more headroom so the basement can be turned into usable living space.He’ll reinforce the footing and foundation as needed, but when it comes time to build a new floor for the basement, Rosen wonders whether he can go with something other than a concrete slab.“I would love input from someone who has put a vapor/water barrier, some foam insulation between 2×4 sleepers and then used some form of wood flooring that would work for higher humidity situations,” Rosen writes in a Q&A post at Green Building Advisor.There’s nothing that Rosen can find in the Washington State building code that would prevent him from trying it.“Concrete is soooo not environmentally correct if not necessary,” he writes.Can Rosen swap wood for concrete and still get a durable, structurally sound basement floor? That’s the issue in this Q&A Spotlight. Stopping the migration of moisture from the ground is keyKeeping ground moisture out of the basement is important, but it is the rigid foam insulation and the vapor barrier that actually do the work, not the concrete, says GBA senior editor Martin Holladay. In general, Holladay writes, the rigid foam goes down first, followed by the vapor barrier. “Above the polyethylene, the finish materials are up to you,” he says, “and and your local code inspector, of course.” [Editor’s note: As pointed out by Mark F. in Comment #5 below, a basement slab often has a structural function: It prevents the foundation walls from being forced inward by soil pressure. GBA readers should consult an engineer before omitting a basement slab.] RELATED ARTICLES Covering a Dirt Floor Reinventing ConcreteGreen Basics: Slab FoundationsGreen Basics: Insulating Roofs, Walls and Floors”Green Basics: Foundation Types If galvanized steel is OK, why not pressure-treated lumber?Jack Woolfe offers a link to Polycore Canada, which makes a basement flooring system that can be used in place of concrete. Factory-made sections of galvanized steel and expanded polystyrene insulation have an R-value of 18, according to the company’s web site. With no large equipment and no specialized tools, a crew of three could install a 1,500-square-foot floor in a single day.“Polycore Canada makes a floor system similar to what you’ve described, except they use galvanized sheet-steel sleepers instead of pressure-treated wood,” says Woolfe. “I suspect PT wood would work okay too.” CONSTRUCTION DETAILS Trouble ahead with resale?One thing to consider, advises Robert Hronek, is whether a concrete-less basement would affect the resale value of the house. “You will be making a big investment, but I would be concerned about the resale value and the marketability of the home,” Hronke says. “You might call an appraiser, a real estate agent and, if you have a good relationship, a lender.”If a lender balked at offering a loan, Rosen wouldn’t be able to sell the house. “Personally, I would walk out of the house and not make an offer,” he says. “Ask the [real estate] agent how hard it would be to sell. Ask the appraiser how hard it would be to appraise.”Plate agrees that resale and mortgage issues are a “different and valid concern.” But while pressure-treated material has earned a “bad rap,” basements are fully code compliant if they are built to engineering and materials standards.Exactly, adds Donald Endsley. “The use of concrete is mainly because it can handle bulk water, and water vapor issues, IMHO,” Endsley says. “As long as those are 100% taken care of I see no reason wood won’t work.”Endsley’s grandfather, in fact, built a house in Florida with a wood foundation. “Parts of that foundation were still there when he sold the place,” he says. “It lasted 90 some years, but only because that soil was extremely well drained. The parts that had to be replaced were due to adding plumbing to the house and having it subsequently leak.” Our expert’s opinionHere’s what GBA technical director Peter Yost had to say:I think the default basement floor is concrete because it’s a self-leveling material with really high compressive strength and it does not care about being wet. I am not saying it has great moisture-managing properties, but as an inorganic material, it can wet and dry repeatedly without compromise to its other properties (contraction/expansion, compressive strength, etc.).Any floor assembly can be set up to handle soil moisture and soil gases (such as radon). Basement floors can get wet from soil moisture or an internal leak, so I would not install any basement floor system that is inherently more moisture-sensitive without having a lot of confidence in historic high water table information, foundation perimeter drainage system, and leak protection for hard-piped appliances: clothes washer, dishwasher, and ice-makers.Having done more than one basement retrofit (including my own home) involving casting a concrete slab, neither the expense nor the difficulty were issues I considered, mainly because other framed systems seemed just as much if not more cost and work.On the other hand, assuming equivalent strategies for managing moisture and radon, the Polycore Canada system looks pretty slick. There is no reason that any framed system won’t work, so long as it sees the same or similar conditions as other below-grade framed systems: protection from liquid water (bulk and capillary) and vapor permeability to allow drying to the interior.
cormac foster 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… Tags:#gaming Aging ConsolesIf you have any interest in playing an XBox 360, a PS3 or a Wii, you probably already own one. The Wii U is new, but it was released half-way through November, so we won’t really know what sales are like until the December numbers come through. With new hardware on the horizon, sales are supposed to slump. It happened with the iPhone 4, and it’s happening here. Aside from must-have releases like Madden NFL 13 and Halo 4, gamers who are waiting for the next-gen system slow their software purchases, too.NPD realizes this, stating that it’s “important to compare this month’s results to November 2005, which was the last time the industry began to transition between console generations with the launch of a new platform.” When you compare those years, the industry is up 97%. NPD also acknowledged that there’s momentum building into the holidays. So in meaningful numbers, business looks doesn’t look that bad. 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… The latest numbers on the video game industry aren’t encouraging. But don’t worry, you can probably ignore them.In a preview of its upcoming report, research firm NPD announced its November gaming numbers. The results? Despite strong sales for the top five titles (led by Call of Duty), the industry continues to slide. While November had “the smallest year-over-year decrease we have seen for dollar and unit sales so far this year,” it was still a drop, and the last year has seen an overall 11% ebb from the previous 12 months.According to some in the blogosphere, the sky is falling and gaming is in trouble.They’re wrong. You can now return to fighting redcoats in Assassins Creed. Here’s why. What’s Not Being CountedThe NPD numbers don’t include digital downloads, subscriptions, or any in-game purchases. So online marketplaces like Steam, F2P games like League of Legends, and subscription-based products like World of Warcraft – also an aging platform with slowing sales, but still a strong generator of ongoing revenue – are off the table. And there there are the growing number of ad-supported casual games. According to Wanda Meloni, Founder and Senior Analyst at M2 Research, “Retail sales alone do not provide an accurate picture of the overall market. Steam’s revenues are estimated to be well over $2 billion alone. There are also publisher-specific sites such as Origin from Electronic Arts that provide consumers access to all of EA’s product line, and all the mobile, social and online games that don’t get counted in a pure retail play cumulatively make up well over $5-$10 billion annually.”It’s pretty clear that the market has outgrown the traditional “units shipped” metric. A more accurate estimate of industry health might be gaming company revenue, though privately held companies, indie developers, and a blurring definition of the term “game” make that difficult too.Maybe, as Ben Kuchera suggests, we should just stop trying to quantify it at all. As long as the games keep coming, someone’s making money.Especially the titles on NPD’s best-seller list for November:Call of Duty: Black Ops IIHalo 4Assassin’s Creed IIIJust Dance 4Madden NFL 13Skylanders GiantsNeed for Speed: Most Wanted 2012NBA 2K13WWE ’13FIFA Soccer 13Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock. 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Related Posts
Tags:#automotive robotics#robotics#technology Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Ryan Ayers is a researcher and consultant within multiple industries including information technology, blockchain and business development. Always up for a challenge, Ayers enjoys working with startups as well as Fortune 500 companies. When not at work, Ayers loves reading science fiction novels and watching the LA Clippers. Follow the Puck Ryan Ayers What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Related Posts Most of us can probably recall humorous depictions of artificial intelligence from movies and science fiction novels. However, robots and artificial intelligence have progressed by leaps and bounds and their presence could become much more than imaginative stories. In just the past decade, robotics has made waves in a wider spectrum of industries and applications than ever imagined and its development continues to accelerate. Have you ever seen a robot walk down the street? Are you sure? That notion may be becoming more realistic every day.When Robots Were First Conceived WIRED magazine marks the first appearance of the word “robot” in a 1921 play written by Karel Capek entitled R.U.R., or “Rossum’s Universal Robots”. The word was derived from a Czech term for “‘forced labor.’” Though an official definition for “robot” is difficult to pin down, a few characteristics help tighten the concept. To be a robot, something must have a physical presence, be able to perceive as well as traverse or manipulate its environment, and make decisions autonomously. Since their inception, robots have taken countless forms in the imaginations of authors, screenplay writers, storytellers, and their audiences. And today’s actual prototypes take even more forms.How Robots Are Helping Right Now Though robotics may still be considered science fiction by most people you’d talk to on the street, robots have already made their mark in industries such as manufacturing (think robotic arms on assembly lines or in labs), as well as initial forays into applications such as delivery, self-driven vehicles, and even agriculture. The robots we might read about in the news today are often prototypical; clunky, first-draft machines that function more as novelties than tools capable of valuable, efficient performance. However, some robotics applications are highly developed and implemented, humming along in factories, research facilities, fulfillment centers, and more.Disaster relief is another area where robotics is having a major impact. Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), drones and similar robotics commonly used in rescue efforts following natural disasters. The robotic technology has become so advanced that a UAS can perform 8 rescue missions within 45 minutes. The United States government and other official disaster response agencies have overseen an increasing number of robotic and artificial intelligence (AI) applications during natural disasters and other similar scenes. Rescue responses to the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001 mark the first documented application of robotics in search and rescue efforts. Myriad research and development firms, agencies, technology creators, and funding pools are spending concerted effort and resources to develop robotic and AI applications for disaster relief and search-and-rescue operations.Leaders in RoboticsMany companies are working to advance the field of robotics to new heights. Some you have doubtless heard of, like Google, Toyota, and Epson. However, other entities that are making momentous strides in the robotics field include companies like iRobot, creator of household chore robots including the Roomba Vacuuming Robot and contributor to military defense AI applications since 1990. Rethink Robotics, another perennial on lists of most influential robotics companies, created a humanoid robot called Baxter in 2012 that received lots of favorable attention. The company has delivered continued offerings since Baxter’s initial release and has greatly contributed to the advance the field of robotics.The Future of RoboticsIn its 2016 article entitled The Future of Robotics, ZDNet predicts advances in the field of robotics that include greater applications of collaborative robots (or robots that work in proximity to and alongside humans), and larger numbers of robots appearing in fields beyond manufacturing that include ecommerce and healthcare. Transportation industries could also receive a significant facelift due to the increased implementation of robotics. In fact, municipalities around the world are already working to implement forms of AI in their public transportation offerings. One of the leading forms of future transportation includes the hyperloop. Hyperloops are expected to be in operation by 2020 when passenger-carry pods will travel at speeds up to 750 mph. Similarly, driverless cars have spent their fair share of time in the headlines in recent months, and though some negative press has tainted the public’s view of these applications, robotic and AI-propelled transportation are ever improving and will remain an inevitable part of the future landscape.Due to the immense advantages that robots and artificially intelligent beings pose in a wide variety of applications and settings, development in the field of robotics shows no signs of slowing. Robots may be walking past us on the street, making our meals at restaurants, or working alongside us much sooner than we may ever have imagined. Trends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industry
By Dr. Barbara O’NeillWhat should Personal Financial Management Program staff know about adoption to assist service members?When considering adoption, families must take into consideration the various expenses and requirements involved. These can seem even more daunting for military families who face permanent change of station (PCS) moves every few years. The Internal Revenue Service offers a nonrefundable tax credit for qualified adoption expenses up to a limit of $12,970 for each effort to adopt an eligible child (2013 figure). Nonrefundable means that if your tax bill is less than the amount of the credit, you will not get any additional money back from the IRS.The credit amount is lowered by any qualified expenses taken for the same adoption in a previous tax year. This credit or exclusion can be used for expenses involved for each attempt at adopting. For military families, there is an additional reimbursement up to $2,000 per child or up to $5,000 per year for qualifying expenses for adoptions arranged by qualified adoption agencies. However, these benefits are not paid until the adoption is complete. For more information about the DoD Adoption Reimbursement Program, see the website of the National Military Family Association.To qualify, service members must be serving on continuous active duty for at least 180 days and the adoption must be finalized while they are on active duty. In addition, the claim must be submitted while on active duty and within one year of the date that the adoption was finalized. Complete policies and procedures can be found in DOD Instruction 1341.9. To file a claim, the service member needs to complete DD Form 2675 along with supporting documents to be submitted to their installation personnel office.Another challenge facing military families is leave policy. Although military service members are not eligible to take leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, they have another option. Service members are eligible to take up to 21 days of nonchargeable leave in conjunction with the adoption of a child. This allows a service member time to help the child adjust to his/her new surroundings. However, if both parents are in the military, only one can take adoption leave.Finally, military families can check with their legal assistance office for advice on adoption proceedings even though they cannot provide representation. For information on the costs involved in adopting, check the Child Welfare Information Gateway.Browse more military personal finance webinars and blog posts by experts here. Follow Dr. O’Neill on Twitter!This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network Blog on April 1, 2013.
By Rachel Dorman, MSU.S. Department of Labor & The National Center on Family Homelessness (2011). Trauma-Informed Care for Women Veterans Experiencing Homelessness.Today’s Resource Discovery is a guide for services providers utilizing Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) for service providers in their work with female veterans. According to the United State Interagency Council on Homelessness, female veterans are four times more likely to experience homelessness than their civilian counterparts. The Council explains that female veterans may have difficulty readjusting to civilian life due to traumas that occurred during military service, such as military sexual trauma. Military sexual trauma impacts one in every five women who serve, making it important for practitioners to be aware of TIC best practices.The Department of Labor created Trauma-Informed Care for Women Veterans Experiencing Homelessness guide for service providers. This 84 page document provides detailed information about the Homeless Women Veterans Project, implementation of trauma-informed care best practices, a self-assessment for providers and their organization, and a detailed resources list. Explore the Trauma-Informed Care for Women Veterans Experiencing Homelessness: A Guide for Service Providers to learn more about providing TIC to vulnerable female veterans. More information on the prevalence of violence against women can be found in the following MFLN Family Development blog. This post was written by Rachel Dorman, M.S., a member of the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn.
Audio Player00:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Audiocast with Dr. Jen DiNallo and Dr. Karen Chapman-Novakofski, Sept 28, 2015 1.
5210 Healthy Messaging Campaign takeaway slide by Dr. Jen Dinallo presented Sept 22, 2015Blog by Robin Allen MSPH, RDN , LDN5-2-1-0 Healthy Messaging, Healthy Military Children was a great webinar, presented on September 22, 2015 by Dr. Jen DiNallo. The first time I had heard about the 5210 Healthy Messaging Program was preparing for this webinar. Now I discover it is being used successfully in many communities, including my hometown of Pensacola, FL.What did I learn? I have mistakenly been referring to 5210 only in connection with childhood obesity. I was very wrong! 5210 is health promotion program for children and teens! What is the difference? Health promotion is a positive focus and is for everyone. Childhood obesity is negative and eliminates children/teens who may still need to develop other healthy behaviors.5210 Healthy Military Children was further explored with Dr. Jennifer DiNallo in this interesting audio cast with Dr. Karen Chapman-Novakofski, MFLN Nutrition and Wellness. The Military has fully embraced this program for families, child care facilities, elementary, middle and high schools, youth centers, after-school programs, cafeterias, restaurants, commissaries/grocery stores, fitness centers, workplace, and all healthcare professionals and leaders.The 2 main goals:“Permeate children’s and families’ environments with the 5210 message.“Provides strategies to support 5210 behaviors to a variety of people and places.” “5210 podcast” How can you implement 5210 in your community? Check out the 5210 HMC website www.5210.healthymilitarychildren.psu.edu. There is a tool kit with step by step instructions to help with the implementation of this great program located at this web site. More information is available at the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness http://www.militaryfamilies.psu.edu/ .5210 might be just right for your community, school, or wherever healthy children, teens and family is a priority.This post was written by Robin Allen, a member of the Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) Nutrition and Wellness team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the MFLN Nutrition and Wellness concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter and on LinkedIn. 10:11
Remember WHO stands behind Independence DayIf it was not for our military service members, America would not have been celebrating Independence Day a few days ago on the 4th of July. In honor of remembering those who stand behind Independence Day, fighting for our freedom, we would like to share some information about our military service members and their families.Did You Know?5 million Americans are part of today’s military family2 million children are military youth6 to 9 times is how many times our military youth move between Kindergarten and High SchoolDepartment of Defense, 2015
Check out these great resources to better understand how tweaking your color, contrast and composition can improve your creative work.Recently there have been a few great links floating around Twitter and elsewhere to some really fantastic articles on color, contrast, composition and how a few simple tips can help improve the final output of your creative work. I’ve tried to pull them together here for your viewing pleasure and creative edification. Enjoy!What happens when David Fincher, Matthew Libatique and Justin Timberlake get together… I think this Justin Timberlake music video, directed by David Fincher and shot by DP Matthew Libatique is a pretty stunning example of what great composition, contrast and featured lighting can create. When images are stripped of all their color the eye is far better able to focus on just the shapes and spaces. Geometric shapes are easier to take in and can create great negative spaces. Fincher and Libatique shot on 5 RED EPIC Monochrome cameras at an ASA of 3200 apparently.Another stunning resource for analysing more black and white images is Evan Richards’ post filled with film stills from Raider’s of The Lost Ark in black and white. Evan noticed in an interview with director Steven Soderbergh that he had watched Raider’s 3 times in one week and entirely in black and white. Again by simplifying the visual data the eye is receiving its much easier to focus on the nature of the composition and contrast in the images.Here’s a cool trick, next time you’re framing up try to strip out all of the color on your monitor and then once you’ve got things looking right dial the color back in.Understanding Contrast and its Various EffectsEditor and colorist Aaron Williams has written up a simple but effective post on how ‘Contrast is king’ and can be used for technical reasons (increasing perceived sharpness and so ‘fixing’ soft-focus shots) as well as creative ones. Aaron supplies some great examples of how tweaking your contrast can dramatically set the tone and feel of your images.Often, it’s what the audience can’t see that creates tension. Noir films used this to great effect with the ultra-high contrast by creating blacks so deep the audience just knew someone had to be lurking in the shadows.Tweaking Color Temperature to Create Depth & DimensionDirector of Photography Shane Hurlburt (ASC) recently shared this great post on using color temperature to create depth and dimension when shooting HD video. Shane also has some great examples of how to make the most of the natural color temperatures of different light sources to create realistic looking images (as in true to life, rather than ‘Hollywood-ised’) and how he used this to great effect on Crazy/Beautiful. Fascinating stuff.While working with one of my favorite directors, Maurice Marable, we were doing a spot in an underground parking garage. When you went with the color temp of the lights that existed in the space, the mood was blah, no depth, no dimension. I got on the scroll wheel of the Alexa and cranked it down to 2700 deg. Kelvin, and Maurice was like “Wow, that looks bangin!!!” Just the simple use of this tool can create a whole other chapter in the way you light.What films/projects have you seen that have a unique approach to color and contrast? Share project names and links in the comments below!
Fun Fact: The song featured in the above video is Human Evolution from PremiumBeat! Be sure to check out our extensive library of royalty free music for all of your soundtrack needs.The Trident is capable of diving to depths of up to 100m, but the drone’s most impressive feature is the three-hour battery life. The feature that is most exciting for filmmakers and videographers is the drone’s front-facing HD camera. Coupled with the onboard headlights, users will be able to capture fantastic footage even in dark murky water.Unlike an aerial drone, the Trident needs to be connected to a tether at all times. By default, the Trident will come with a 25m (82ft) tether. If you want to go even deeper, you can get an extra-long tether for dives up to 100m (328ft).The Trident is currently on Kickstarter until October 30 and we’re happy to report that they have already received 11x the support needed. If you want to pre-reserve your Trident now, you’ll get a significant discount as an early adopter. The only downside: they won’t be shipping until November of 2016.While it’s certainly easy for us to look at this new device from an enthusiast’s perspective, the developers are insisting that this drone will be a great tool for scientists and hobbyists alike. The drone has already been used to map underwater surfaces and take people to places they’ve never seen before. This TED talk presented by Eric Stackpole shows us how the OpenROV was born.What started out as a quest for lost gold has seemingly evolved into the beginning of the underwater drone revolution.Trident Pricing and AvailabilityThe Trident will retail for $1,199 and be available November 2016. If you hurry, you can get an early-bird discount on the Kickstarter page.What do you think of this new aquatic device? Are you excited to try one? Share your thoughts in the comments below. The submersible Trident drone will soon allow you to explore the ocean floor from shore.We’re smack dab in the middle of the greatest aerial videography craze the world has ever seen, and that’s a good thing. Drones produce stunning footage that would have been otherwise impossible to get. But even as drones are enhanced to fly higher, farther, and longer, one company is taking the plunge to think about drones in an entirely new way.OpenROV TridentThe OpenROV Trident is the second underwater vehicle created by OpenROV, a small underwater robotics company started by Eric Stackpole and David Lang. The Trident looks to add much more functionality compared to the original OpenROV. For starters, the Trident is built with a very sleek design that allows it to zip through the water at the breakneck speed of 4.4mph. The device is so smooth when piloting underwater that the inventors say it’s feels very similar to piloting an aerial drone.
Creating a Premiere Pro Swipe TransitionYour first step is to find the two shots you want to transition with one another. Layer them into your timeline.Now get your transition element. In this example, I use a post. Take a screen cap of the frame and place it into your timeline, above and between your two shots.Now mask your transitioning layer.From here, we animate the post’s position. Remember if your footage moves in one direction your animation moves in the opposite. The camera pans left to right, so we animate right to left.Keyframe and crop your footage to track with the animation.Finally, apply a Gaussian blur and darken your animated image to better integrate it with your footage.Creating a Premiere Pro Vehicle Swipe TransitionNow, let’s move over to our car animation. Luckily, it follows similar steps. Find the two shots you want to transition. Layer the first shot above the second by about ten frames.Next, grab an image of a car, layer it above the two other shots, and mask it.Scale and position your car image so that it fills the screen. Make sure the wheels are off-camera.Move your image’s position to one side of the frame. Then click your keyframe marker. Move up ten frames and slide the image to the opposite side.The next step is to apply a crop effect to the shot bellow your animation. Create a keyframe and track the moving animation with your crop. This effect will reveal the shot below your cropped video. Improve your swipe transitions by animating a still image in Adobe Premiere Pro.Top image via Shutterstock.When it comes to video transitions, I’m always trying to step up my game. To me, a good transition cuts a scene seamlessly without making the audience feel like something was there in the first place. In today’s tutorial, I show you how to create a seamless swipe transition by animating still images. I also demonstrate how to create the famous car swipe transition common in Edgar Wright‘s films. Do you know other tips for using animated stills in video editing transitions? Let us know in the comments.