Sunday, 9 October 2011

Mashable: Latest 8 News Updates - including “Please Lord, Save Us from the FarmVille Movie”

Mashable: Latest 8 News Updates - including “Please Lord, Save Us from the FarmVille Movie”

Please Lord, Save Us from the FarmVille Movie

Posted: 08 Oct 2011 08:21 PM PDT

Mashable OP-ED: This post reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of Mashable as a publication.

The writers of Toy Story are reportedly in talks to pen a movie based on FarmVille, the popular Facebook game.

Alec Sokolow and Joel Cohen said in an interview with IGN that they’re working with Zynga on a movie based on one of the company’s most popular games, adding “Can’t really say too much on that front yet, but ‘Old MacDonald’ didn’t have a factory, if you get our drift.”

We get it: Making a movie is super risky. Unlike launching new apps and websites, movies are a huge upfront investment in the vague hope of a hit. Hence the tendency to just remake something that’s already popular. Or the flurry of movies based on popular websites, apps and tech personalties. The Facebook movie. The Steve Jobs movie (possibly). The Angry Birds movie. Why take a chance on something new when you can buy the rights to something with tens of millions of fans already?

What does a FarmVille movie look like anyway? No doubt it’ll be a computer-animated feature (in 3D, of course!) incorporating the graphics and themes of the Facebook game. But FarmVille is a game in which you tend crops. Is that going to be a bit … boring? And while to tens of millions of people, FarmVille is an addictive pastime, for the friends of those people (ie. us!) it’s actually kind of a nuisance.

Would a FarmVille movie be met with glowing reviews or – more likely – an audible sigh from those of us who grudgingly tolerate the addiction of our FarmVille-playing friends and relatives? And could the critics be anything but, well, critical of this cynical attempt at turning a successful gaming franchise into an equally popular film?

Ah, but plenty can happen at these early stages — one of a hundred issues may prevent the movie from entering production. Not to mention that FarmVille is no longer the most popular Facebook game, reducing the potential audience for the movie. Or perhaps I’ll be proven sorely wrong. After all, a certain movie based on the Facebook story took home 3 Oscars this year.

PS. For those movie studios thinking of following suit, Zynga was kind enough to list its top-performing games – plus some intriguing stats – in its IPO filing earlier this year:

Mafia Wars

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: Facebook, facebook games, farmville, farmville movie, movie, Zynga

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Will There Ever Be Another Steve Jobs?

Posted: 08 Oct 2011 02:52 PM PDT

Steve Jobs leaves behind a nearly unrivaled legacy of invention and innovation.

His products are loved by millions and copied by competitors; his design aesthetic has become the barometer by which all other things are compared, and his vision of the future has given life to products and services that have changed entire industries.

Are we likely to see another human being in our lifetime wield as great an influence?

Mashable contacted industry insiders, entrepreneurs and celebrated technologists to get their perspectives. Could there ever be another person capable of profoundly changing the world through software and hardware design as Jobs has done?

History Suggests People With These Attributes Will Occasionally Emerge

At the high end of innovative human achievement, the details never repeat; that’s what defines the innovation.

But history suggests that in at least a fair fraction of civilizations, people with these attributes will occasionally emerge.

Stephen Wolfram, founder & CEO, Wolfram Research

A Product Of An Era That Was

Yes there will be. And no there won’t be.

The sensibility that Jobs brought to products — beautiful design, attention to simplicity — humanizes design and end-to-end coupling of hardware and software. These things are all very much part of the future we in this industry are building.

There is so much still to be built. Smart device-based devices and software, dumb devices and software. Social services. Beautiful services! The USA is well positioned to continue to lead in technology and web services. We are makers in this field — and I hope we will remain leaders and makers.

All that said, there won’t be another person who has such a singular influence on hardware and software and innovation. The market today tends to reward and focus people on quick hits versus deep investigation and commitment. Jobs spent the better part of his life thinking about the human/computer interface — from Newton to the sheet of glass I’m typing on now (iPhone). That kind of focus in one company, by one person covering hardware and software is a product of an era that was.

John Borthwick, founder & CEO, Betaworks

Some Of Us Will Make It Happen Again

Will there be another Steve Jobs? At a different time, different place, and different focus, yes.

There are a very few people in the world that stand up to what Steve created. His willingness to be uncompromising, even in the face of great difficulty, and to have brilliant insight … these qualities are hard to find. Yet every once in a while, there are individuals that out of vision, or perhaps need, stand up, stand in an uncompromising place, and create.

As I reflect on the story that I have heard about Steve’s upbringing, I think that the conditions of his youth, more than anything else, are the source of what created him. Early struggle, with a family that cared for him, but still was in struggle … these things laid the foundation. Finding his way to Zen meditation practice gave him focus. Dropping in on classes (e.g. his insight about print because of the calligraphy classes that he took) gave him insight into other worlds that he brought to Apple. And Silicon Valley gave him a place to grow his dreams and vision.

Although I could never measure my own accomplishments against his, I do believe that I, and others, have followed a simliar path — a path driven by uncompromisingly driving a great vision. Some of us will make it happen again.

Candidates. Sadly, at this note … this is not clear to me. Perhaps it’s because Steve’s passing happened quicker than I thought it would. I do believe, though, that with the events of this year, we’ll see others step forward.

Getting to work at NeXT changed my life … in Steve, I feel lucky to have had a hero that I got to learn from.

Kevin Koym, Founder, Tech Ranch Austin

Jobs Set a New Standard

Speaking both as the founder of Pandora and as a longtime musician, I can say that no one brought more innovation and more opportunity to music than Steve and Apple.

His extraordinary vision and tenacity, and the artistry of the Apple products set a new standard for everyone.

– Tim Westergren, founder & chief strategy officer, Pandora

People Thought There Would Never Be Another Edison

It’s easy to say there won’t be. Largely because, well, there won’t be.

But people probably thought there would never be another Edison, either. And here we are, celebrating the life of Steve Jobs and every amazing thing he did.

Matt Buchanan, deputy editor, Gizmodo

A Singular Combination of Genius & Execution

Will there ever be another Steve Jobs? No.

The combination of genius and execution at his level is so singular that it is meaningless to compare it with others. Was there another Mozart? Shakespeare? Einstein? There will never be another Steve Jobs, but — exactly because his lifetime focus was on the very ideas of experience and design and perfection — he has inspired ten thousand people to come after him, and stand on his shoulders, and reach much further than he did.

Phil Libin, CEO, Evernote

A Unique Combo of Vision, Design, Performance, Leadership & Elegance

Steve Jobs’ passing has me both saddened, humbled and inspired all at the same time. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. My heart goes out to his family, everyone at Apple and everyone affected by his amazing achievements.

Steve brought to light a unique combination of vision, design, performance, leadership and elegance that inspired and changed the world.

Adam Brotman, senior vice president, Starbucks Digital Ventures

Jobs & Apple Transcend Generations

I don’t think there will be another Steve Jobs. Three main reasons:

Very few people have the sheer ability to produce products like Steve did. This has been discussed a lot. Steve was a product visionary: He thought years ahead to launch spectacular devices. He said “no” when something wasn’t right. People talk about the small stuff, like an icon’s color being slightly off. But more importantly was the big stuff, like not releasing a tablet for years until the hardware and software was ready. That takes patience.

You need to build an amazing team around you. Apple has this. From the executives to all the employees, Apple has the most spectacular set of engineers and designers in the world. You can’t do it alone, and you need people you can trust and who have the same passion you do.

There are other product geniuses out there, but the reason why none will match Steve is because Apple builds products that really touch people’s lives. Our phones help us communicate, iTunes for music, video chat, photos… These are very emotional things for us and that’s what Apple builds. They transcend generations and technology.

Sachin Agarwal, founder & CEO, Posterous

Jobs Was Willy Wonka

Steve Jobs was Willy Wonka — a brilliant, creative, determined, private man who made so many people believe his toys were magical!

It is amazing how his death has been elevated into a loss of such monumental proportions as one would expect with the death of Martin Luther King, Gandhi, or JFK. A good friend of mine said it best: “Perhaps in a world that is obsessed with ‘stuff’ and money, Steve Jobs was a messiah.”

Dmitry Shapiro, CEO & co-founder, Anybeat

A Seismic Shift From Content To Product

I don’t think our generation will see another Steve Jobs, if by that we mean the combined impact on product and design, as well as the business world.

In short, what he did turning around Apple as a business is pretty much unheard of in the technology industry — to go from an existing, maturing business that was literally running out of cash, failing products in the face of a dominant competitor (Microsoft) to go on to be one of the most valuable companies in the world … I think that one is a no.

As a leader, taking big bets, inspiring, being visionary while risking a multi-billion dollar company, I can’t think of another example, and the world of business is rife with the other side of the coin.

On the other hand, his influence on the world of products and design will indeed lead to “another” Steve Jobs in terms of consumer impact.

In my mind, Steve Jobs represents a seismic shift from content to product. It’s hard to internalize but having been within large media organizations there’s always a belief that content alone will drive audiences, build platforms, determine winners.

What Steve did was to ignite our passions for products … from Google to Facebook these are entire organizations and businesses that have styled themselves after Apple placing a critical importance on product — information and user design, quality of experience, simplicity of form and function. Just take a look at any developer conference and suddenly you are seeing a different breed of young design-influenced, product-centric teams. I credit Steve with that shift.

Adam Cahan, Media Products Vice President, Yahoo

The Life & Times of Steve Jobs

1955 - 1960s: Birth - Childhood

February 24, 1955: Steve Jobs is born in San Francisco. He is adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs.

1969: Jobs meets Steve Wozniak at Homestead High School.

Click here to view this gallery.

Image courtesy of Jonathan Mak

More About: apple, steve jobs

Majestic Time-lapse Landscapes Will Blow You Away [VIDEO]

Posted: 08 Oct 2011 02:13 PM PDT

Each day, Mashable highlights one noteworthy YouTube video. Check out all our viral video picks.

This spellbinding video is by master photographer and time-lapse creator Dustin Farrell, who took a Canon 5D Mark II digital SLR and created an awe-inspiring work of art.

In his latest work, “Landscapes Volume Two,” the Arizona photographer has elevated the artform to the highest level, using motion control and HDR (High Dynamic Range) techniques to reveal an unseen world of landscapes in Arizona and Utah, where space takes on a different meaning when he’s altered time. It’s set to the music of John Murphy’s “Sunshine (Adagio In D Minor).”

Specifically, how does Farrell create this magic? He says on his Vimeo site, “Every clip is a RAW image sequence (5616 x 3744) that I rendered out as a 1080p 23.976fps QuickTime movie. The motion control is achieved using servo motors.”

Sounds complicated, but that’s only half the work. After he shoots the images, he places them in Adobe After Effects, a professional video compositing program, where he says he “stacks” the clips, allowing the thousands of images to play back, drastically sped up for our viewing pleasure.

This guy is one of the foremost time-lapse experts in the world. Take a look at how he accomplishes these feats in greater detail here. By the way, Dustin urges you to watch these sequences in HD, full screen with sound.

Want to see more? Here’s Dustin’s “Landscapes Volume One,” representing a year of his time-lapse work:

[via Gizmodo]

More About: hdr, time-lapse, Video, YouTube

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Top Ten Tech Tales This Week [PICS]

Posted: 08 Oct 2011 12:56 PM PDT

It was a sad week for the tech industry, but underneath the somber news surrounding the death of Steve Jobs, there were still plenty of gadgets and technical advances rolling out.

Here’s a gallery of what I think were the 10 most interesting, notable, unique or just plain weird examples of tech I found this week, compiled in an easily digested format, not necessarily in order of preference.

More About: Gadgets, Tops 10 Tech, Weekly Tech Digest

The History of Digital Storage [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 08 Oct 2011 11:50 AM PDT

The whirring hard drives that once occupied entire university labs held but a fraction of the data we carry in our pockets every day — and that’s only 50 years of progress.

Today, as we move further into the cloud, and witness the latest and greatest pocket media devices, we thought it fitting to take a look back at how far we’ve come on our quest to store as much information in as little space as possible.

Infographic research and design by Mike Vasilev.

More About: Gadgets, infographics, Mashable Infographics, Tech

Steve Jobs: May He Rest in Peace [PIC]

Posted: 08 Oct 2011 10:40 AM PDT

The funeral of Steve Jobs reportedly took place Friday, and it was said to be a small, private gathering. While this doesn’t seem to be the right time for a “comic,” we thought this poignant illustration, entitled “R.I.P. Steve Jobs (2/24/1955 – 10/5/2011),” was appropriate for the occasion.

By the way, this artwork was created the day Jobs died, before The New Yorker magazine cover debuted using a similar theme.

Image courtesy of Tobytoons, used with permission

More About: apple, comics, steve jobs

67 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

Posted: 08 Oct 2011 09:42 AM PDT

icons image

The news this week took a somber turn upon hearing of the death of Steve Jobs. This week’s roundup is no different. Our features pay tribute to the man who not only made Apple one of the most valuable companies in the world, but who helped to advance innovative technology across generations.

Ironically, Jobs died the day following the iPhone 4S release. Alongside his memories, we’ve compiled resources for getting to know the newest Apple device: where to buy them, where to recycle them, what photo quality to expect, and whether you should be buying one in the first place.

There’s a whole lot more in store inside this week’s exceptionally rich roundup, so dive in:

Editorial Picks

Social Media

For more social media news and resources, you can follow Mashable’s social media channel on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Tech & Mobile

For more tech news and resources, you can follow Mashable’s tech channel on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Business & Marketing

For more business news and resources, you can follow Mashable’s business channel on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Image courtesy of Webtreats Etc.

More About: Business, Features Week In Review, List, Mobile, Social Media, web

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iPhone 4S: Pre-Order Stock For Launch Day Sold Out

Posted: 08 Oct 2011 08:37 AM PDT

Want a new iPhone 4S in your hands at the earliest possible date? You’ve missed it. Take a look at the U.S. Apple Online Store and you’ll see that shipping estimates are now listed as “1 to 2 weeks.” Before the pre-order stock for launch day delivery was sold out, the site stated that iPhones would be delivered on launch day, Friday, October 14.

That means if you didn’t pre-order your phone already, according to MacRumors, you won’t be one of the first to get it on launch day. All is not lost, though — you can always wait until Friday and then stand in line at an Apple store. In fact, we’re told there are already three people waiting in line in front of the Apple Store on 5th Avenue in New York City, two of whom have been there for 12 days.

As we noticed in the pre-dawn hours of Friday morning, Apple’s online store was jammed and responding at a snail’s pace, and only one of us here at Mashable was able to pre-order an iPhone 4S right away. The rest of us went through a frustrating process of selecting a phone, entering all of the necessary data and then were met with an unfortunate message telling us we would have to come back later.

That’s not surprising, because AT&T reported that during the first 12 hours of pre-ordering, which started on Friday morning at about 3:40 a.m. ET, the company had taken 200,000 pre-orders. That’s a lot of traffic. AT&T is calling this the most successful debut yet for the iPhone. And that’s only AT&T reporting; that number doesn’t include those pre-orders for iPhones from Verizon and Sprint.

If you are one of those who was offered a chance to reserve an iPhone rather than pre-order because of the unusually high volume of traffic as dawn broke across the United States on Friday, you’ll have until 5:00 PM PT Saturday to confirm that pre-order, or you’ll lose your place in line and might not have your phone delivered by next Friday, October 14.

SEE ALSO: iPhone 4S: 4 Reasons to Upgrade

This could be a tragedy for some, but for others it might not make any difference at all. Seriously, are we such childish fanboys that we can’t even wait an extra few days for a gadget?

Well, yes. I’d like to think the only reason I’m so driven to have an iPhone 4S on the very first day is because I’m a journalist and must quickly form an opinion and write about the device. Alas, I admit — I simply must have it as early as possible, regardless of whether I’m a gadget reviewer or not. It’s embarrassing. How about you?

iPhone 4S

The iPhone 4S looks and feels exactly like the iPhone 4.

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: apple, att, iPhone 4S, pre-orders

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3 New Mobile Apps For Video-Sharers, Fitness Phobics & Creatives

Posted: 08 Oct 2011 07:06 AM PDT

The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.

Each weekend, Mashable selects startups we think are building interesting, unique or niche products.

This time we’re calling your attention to Keek, Nexercise and Clefit.

Keek keeps it simple and makes video-sharing via web or mobile a 36 seconds-or-less experience. Nexercise makes an iPhone application that just might actually encourage you to work out every day. And Clefit makes creating and publishing via iPad a design-by-fingers experience.

Keek: Send Mobile Video Clips as Status Updates

Quick Pitch: Keek lets you share “microvideo” moments with friends and family as status updates.

Genius Idea: 36-second video clips

Mashable’s Take: Who says a status update has to be text? Not Keek, a newly launched startup and video social networking service with applications for iPhone and Android.

Keek encourages users to share status updates as video clips up to 36 seconds in length. These clips — called “keeks” — can also be posted to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

Keek reminds us a bit of Klip, another video-sharing service that limits users to one-minute video clips. The startup joins a growing lineup of application developers hoping to capitalize on the rise of video-sharing via mobile.

Toronto-based Keek launched out of beta roughly two weeks ago. The startup has since announced that it closed $5.5 million in its first-round funding.

Nexercise: Incentivizing Fitness on iPhone

Quick Pitch: Nexercise is a fitness app for iPhone that uses gamification and social media to make fitness more fun and rewarding.

Genius Idea: Win stuff for working out.

Mashable’s Take: If looking good isn’t enough motivation to work out, perhaps a medal, deal or prize will get you off the couch.

Washington D.C.-based Nexercise hopes to help you kick it into high gear with an iPhone application that rewards you for completing 15 minutes of physical activity per day. Use the application to measure your workouts and you’ll earn virtual medals, points and random rewards as you go. And the more you work out each month, the more likely you are to earn a Nexercise grand prize at the end of the month.

Nexercise uses the motion of your device and your location to collect data to judge physical exertion. A few bonus features we like: You can compete against friends, exercise with friends for bonus points (you’ll need to Bump phones to activate this), and view what others are winning.

Clefit: Create Interactive Media via iPad

Quick Pitch: Build and share professional quality interactive media with Clefit.

Genius Idea: iPad publishing

Mashable’s Take: With Clefit, creatives are given a blank canvas for fashioning anything from their collection of digital media — all via iPad.

Start by creating a project, add photos, videos, audio and text to begin building fliers, collages, photo books, brochures, mockups or any other item of your choosing. The touch-based experience makes for a simple design-by-your-fingers experience.

The application is designed for professional and aspiring writers, illustrators, photographers, bloggers, digital scrapbookers, fashion designers, teachers, actors and others who love to create.

Clefit was released on the App Store Thursday. It’s a product of Los Angeles-based Flambe Studios.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, kate_sept2004

Series Supported by Microsoft BizSpark

Microsoft BizSpark

The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark, a startup program that gives you three-year access to the latest Microsoft development tools, as well as connecting you to a nationwide network of investors and incubators. There are no upfront costs, so if your business is privately owned, less than three years old, and generates less than U.S.$1 million in annual revenue, you can sign up today.

More About: bizspark, Clefit, Keep, Nexercise, spark-of-genius, Startup Weekend Roundup

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