creativitynow.ca

WordPress 3.1

The WordPress team pushed out version 3.1, code name “Reinhardt,” on Wednesday, bringing a host of new and updated features to users and developers.

WordPress 3.0 was released back in June 2010, along with its own set of new functions and features. The 3.1 release cycle was originally expected to be completed before the end of 2010, but bugs and various changes pushed that date back.

I have been using the various beta and release candidate versions of WordPress 3.1 since November and am especially excited about a few of the new additions and improvements.

From an interface perspective, WordPress 3.1 shares the same look as WordPress 3.0. A few minor changes have been made to give the WordPress dashboard a cleaner look, but the overall design remains the same. The one exception is for users of the blue admin theme. The colors and stylings for the blue theme have been refined and improved across the board.

(READ MORE)

Muhammad Ali Sculpture made up of 1,300 punching bags

External image

“using 1,300 punching bags, 6.5 miles of stainless steel cable, and 2,500 pounds of aluminum pipe to construct a 22-foot-high installation that took three years to complete” By artist Michael Kalish.


“The idea for the project came to Kalish as he was falling asleep one night in 2008: an array of custom-made, teardrop-shaped speed bags suspended in midair that, from just one vantage point, align themselves like pixels into an image of Ali’s face.”

External image

Thunderbolt: Everything You Need To Know

It might not have seemed like we needed another way to connect computer components, but when you take a look at Thunderbolt, which made its debut on MacBook Pros today, you’ll see it’s going to be a welcome addition.

Formerly called Light Peak, this new way of connecting displays and peripherals is so much faster than its predecessors, it will probably take over as the preferred way to hook up drives, monitors and many other devices to Macs and PCs for the next few years. Here’s everything you need to know:

  • It’s a much faster conduit for file transfer and video: 10 Gbps (gigabits per second), which is about twice as fast as USB 3.0 and 20 times faster than USB 2.0.
  • How fast? Intel says Thunderbolt can “transfer a full-length HD movie in less than 30 seconds and back up 1 year of continuous MP3 playback in just over 10 minutes.”
  • The tech was developed by Intel alone; Apple collaborated to bring it to market.
  • It started out as Light Peak, but the first iteration used copper wire, according to ComputerWorld.
  • It’s here now for MacBook Pros and on its way to PCs. But at first, only a developer’s kit with an add-in card will be available for PCs.
  • External image

  • One wire handles both video and data, but it is “complementary technology to USB 3.0,” according to Intel.
  • Can work on data streams in both directions at the same time, using the full 10 Gbps bandwidth in each direction, according to Intel.
  • PCI Express is built in, so Thunderbolt will now make external devices as fast as internal ones, according to Apple.
  • It provides 10 watts of power to peripherals, compared with 8 watts for FireWire 800 and 5 watts for USB 3.0
  • On the way: 10-meter optical cable, according to PC Perspective.
  • Apple’s version uses a mini DisplayPort connector but can be daisy-chained for multiple connections, according to Engadget.
  • Thunderbolt devices and peripherals will start being shipped in the spring.

Lego Creations Inspired By Movies

External image

Pulp Fiction

External image

Die Hard

External image

Back To The Future

External image

Indiana Jones

External image

Star Wars

External image

The Godfather

External image

The Good The Bad and The Ugly

From a collection of LEGO creations by Alex Eylar.

You can found more of Alex Eylar aka Profound Whatever’s work on his Flickr.

Olympus Stylus Tough 8010 Camera

We’ve seen waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof cameras before, but crushproof? That’s the claim made by the Olympus Stylus Tough 8010 Camera ($290). Sporting a 14 megapixel sensor, a 5x optical zoom, dual image stabilization, 720p video recording, a 2.7-inch LCD, and HDMI output, it’s also waterproof to 33 feet, shockproof to 6.6 feet, freezeproof to 14º F, and — yes — crushproof up to 220 pounds, or more than your average NFL cornerback.

Augmented Reality Online Shopping: Not the Right Fit (Yet)

Modern women dream of the day when they can buy a super cute dress or practical pair of pants online that will fit perfectly on arrival.

That day is not yet here, but two new products from Zugara and FaceCake Marketing, presented at the DEMO Spring conference, combine augmented reality with online shopping, hoping to take womankind one giant visual leap forward. Regrettably, they also fall short of that mission.

Swivel, from FaceCake Marketing, taps into Microsoft Kinect’s motion-sensing technology to offer a virtual at-home dressing room. Users grab an item of clothing or accessory, and get to see how it could look in real life. Shoppers can select a background to see how items translate to settings, say a ski slope.

External image

In demonstrations, Swivel feels more like a game than a shopping tool. Clothes shopping, more than any most areas of commerce, is a matter of precision. Will the clothes fit in a flattering way? Will the real-world fabric or color, which may be a shade different from its on-screen counterpart, still compliment your skin? Is that pair of shades just the right shape for your face? Swivel could make online shopping more entertaining, but won’t solve many of your real e-commerce challenges. At least for now.

Zugara’s solution is the Webcam Social Shopper. It is equally appealing in principle, and disappointing in practice. It will work for anyone with a webcam-enabled PC. Visit a partner retailer’s website, hit a button to try on apparel and see first-hand if a style is right for you. You can also snap a photo and share it on social networks to solicit feedback from friends.

Despite the delight of experiencing something avant garde and high-tech, I found trying on several dresses to be terribly disappointing. Not one came close to fitting the on-screen me. If augmented reality cannot help me envision the real thing, there’s nothing real about the experience at all.

External image

Neither Zugara or Swivel will be a panacea for marketers, brands or retailers, who are looking to lower the rate of returns. Swivel’s virtual shopping experience creates a false sense of hope, while Zugara layers items in a way that could discourage sales, not improve them.

For now, women (and men) are still best served with a more practical product like Polyvore for creating new looks.

Futuristic Kiosk Spits Out Cash for Recycled Electronics

Imagine stopping by your neighborhood retailer, offloading an old cell phone or laptop via an in-store kiosk and picking up cash for your device, just as you would get cash for coins through Coinstar or rent and return a RedBox DVD.

It’s a futuristic idea with tangible value that startup ecoATM is already making a reality.

ecoATM, a San Diego-based startup, has roughly 15 kiosks scattered throughout the southern California region, some at Westfield shopping malls in San Diego. These kiosks offer consumers a cash incentive to recycle their electronics.

Plop in an expired cell phone, overplayed MP3 player, no-longer-wanted video game or used-up ink cartridge, and ecoATM will determine the product, its estimated value — while factoring in damage — and make you an offer you might not be able refuse: cash in exchange for recycling your device.

It claims to offer highly competitive return rates, but its biggest value proposition may be the immediate gratification. From a consumer perspective, there’s very little reason not to use ecoATM over trying to hawk an old gadget online. The startup promises to wipe your device and spits out cash or store credit, no human contact required.

The system isn’t perfect. ecoATM eats the cost on the returned devices it can’t resell, and the process can take a few a minutes (see below) — but it is working. In one year of testing, ecoATM has recycled more than 50,000 devices, according to CMO and co-founder Mark Bowles. Bowles and team are mum on what that translates to in financial terms, nor are they willing to share how much it costs to produce each kiosk or the exact margin they make on recycled devices.

Right now, the startup is using its more than $14 million in funding to aggressively expand into more areas. Google can expect to see an ecoATM onsite in Mountain View within the next few weeks, and Microsoft’s Redmond campus already has one accepting recycled devices.

Monday, ecoATM is also upping its profile with a formal launch at DEMO’s Spring startup event in Palm Springs, California.

Click here for a DEMO

Creative Billboard Designs

Billboard advertising is a great way to get the attention of regular commuters on the road, city, and other public areas. A billboard can be plain and just advertise your company’s name, product, values, or services. This is a good way of reaching possible consumers, and using your money wisely.  A better way of billboard advertising is to make the ad memorable. More preferably creative! By creating a funny or interesting ad you will be able to create a buzz about your product. Everyone now has a smartphone, and im sure if something catches their eye they will take a picture. They will often share it with their friends, which creates a huge social media based snowball effect. Hint hint, this is how we got the images below!  

External image

External image

External image

External image

External image

External image

External image

External image

External image

External image

External image

External image

External image

External image

External image

External image

External image

External image

External image

External image

External image

External image

External image

External image

External image

External image

External image

External image

External image

External image

External image

External image

Which billboard was your favorite?

Cheat Sheet Placemat

Do you know where the knife goes when you set a table? The fork? The dessertspoon? The champagne glass? Water glass? The plate for bread?

All that has just become a lot easier with this nifty cheat sheet placemat. It has all the relevant placements and positions laid out as well as some basic rules of engagement! And at 60x65 cm (25” x 23”) it’s the perfect size for a proper table setting as well! And it’s cotton and machine washable!

Very funny!

The Camera Lens Mug

Both “Nikon” and “Canon” mug models are equipped with an easy to clean, heat preserving, stainless steel lining. Also, a lens-cap lid, rubber-grip focus and zoom rings (o…m…g), and an auto-focus switch that actually switches! To top it off, the “Nikon” mugzooms when you twist its grip.


Mugs that are so realistic, you might have to use post-its just to remind yourself which is for coffee and which is for taking photos. 


Now, picture yourself sipping on some iced tea while basking in the sun or having the coolest desk in the office with your lenticular jelly-bean holder or scooping a delicious ice-cream fudge sundae out of your amazingly versatile lens mug. You can even turn it into a nifty flower-pot!


Consider yourself set for all future fellow photo friends’ birthdays/graduations/weddings/long-lost-sibling-reunions. It’s the best gift they’ll get.


Hear, hear! You are hereby proclaimed King/Queen of camera-geek-dom, and the Camera Lens Mug is your chalice.

External image

External image

 

  • Unbelievably realistic
  • Plastic body with stainless steel lining
  • Ultimate head-turner. Drink out of a lens!
  • Must-have for photo-geeks - best present ever!
  • Rubber-grip focus + zoom rings, auto-focus switch.
  • Lens-cap lid (To complete the effect – this is not a travel mug!)
  • “Nikon” mug actually zooms!
  • “Canon” is 3.3" diameter, 4" tall
  • “Nikon” is 3.3" diameter, 6.5" tall
  • Both hold approx 11 oz of liquid
vimeo

External image

Instaprint Turns Instagram Photos Into Physical Prints

New York-based interactive agency Breakfast (of auto-Foursquaring “Conan blimp” and Precious-the-tweeting-bike fame) released Monday the beta version of Instaprint, a lunchbox-sized device that turns photos modified with the iPhone app Instagram into physical prints.

The device can automatically detect and print photos (comments included) tagged with a particular location or hashtag. That makes it ideal for an organized gathering of iPhone-wielding tech enthusiasts, which is why the agency is taking two of the devices down to the SXSW conference in Austin this week.

Each photo is printed with an ink-less printing technology called Zink to more closely mimic the authentic Polaroid experience. Like traditional Polaroid photos, the color comes from the paper instead.

External image

 

Processed photos will be posted in real time and collected in an archive at Instaprint.me. From now until March 10, users can tag Instagram photos with #instaprint and watch their photos get printed live on the site.

The finished version of Instaprint will be released to event organizers and other interested parties on March 18.

youtube

How Coca-Cola Created Its “Happiness Machine” [INTERVIEW]

Most big brands don’t share the secrets behind how they create hugely successful web videos. For the first time ever, Coke executives and leaders at Definition 6, the agency responsible for the award-winning “Happiness Machine” video, reveal the secret ingredients that made it such a success.

Global Senior Brand Manager for Coca-Cola, AJ Brustein, Definition 6 Director of Interactive Strategy, Paul McClay and Definition 6 Creative Director Paul Iannacchino take us through the making of Coke’s “Happiness Machine.”

(READ MORE)

External image

Meet The Birds: Angry Birds Tips and Strategies


If you’re an iPhone owner, I’m sure you’ve heard of the phenomenon that is Angry Birds. Writing this article at my desk I have an Angry Bird plush toy on top of my laptop in the corner and a fan-adapted theme song playing over the game on my iPad. It’s unreal just how much of a success Rovio has created.

While the idea of the game is very simple (kill pigs with birds catapulted from a slingshot), I’m surprised how many players don’t actually know what each bird does or what the difference between the blocks are. In addition to explaining what these are, in this article, we’ll be looking at some top strategies to bag more points in both Angry Birds and Seasons.

READ MORE