Saturday, December 26, 2009

Noteboek - a Short Animated Film by Evelien Lohbeck

Free iPhone App Creation Course from O’Reilly

If you’ve been interested in learning how to create an iPhone app, but only know coding and scripting languages like HTML, CSS and JavaScript, well, there’s a course for that (and it’s free!):

Well-known tech publisher O’Reilly is offering a free 5-part live online course, “Learn to Build iPhone Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript“.

The course - which runs from January 5th to February 2nd, 2010 - will be of interest to people who want to learn how to program web-based iPhone applications. The course is being taught by Elisabeth Robson, co-author of O’Reilly’s “Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML“. In her capacity as Special Projects director at O’Reilly Media, she has also developed a number of workshops, including, “Build, Compile, and Run Your iPhone App in 2 Days” and “Developing Android Applications“.

No experience creating iPhone applications is required. All that is needed is a working knowledge of the basics of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. O’Reilly promises that “Each session offers easy-to-follow, hands-on lessons. You’ll begin the course by building iPhone apps with standard web tools, then you’ll learn how to create native Cocoa-based iPhone apps using Apple’s tools.” View a 22 minute course overview here - http://blip.tv/file/2962732

People who are unable to attend or who did but want to watch the course over and over will be able to buy a video of the sessions, each of which is 90-120 minutes in length. Code examples and slides are included. The video will cost U$35 until February 5, 2010. After that, it will be U$79.

Official Description:

In this four-session video workshop, you’ll quickly learn how to create simple web apps with features that take advantage of the device’s remarkable functionality. You’ll also learn to use Apple’s tools to create native Cocoa-based iPhone apps. Each video session offers an easy-to-follow, hands-on lesson. It’s the perfect way to get started with iPhone app design.

Presented by CreativeTechs in partnership with O’Reilly, each session offers easy-to-follow, hands-on lessons. You’ll begin the course by building iPhone apps with standard web tools, then you’ll learn how to create native Cocoa-based iPhone apps using Apple’s tools. It’s the perfect way to get started with iPhone app design, and all you need to know in advance is HTML, CSS, and JavaScript basics.

  • Build working web apps for the iPhone, using HTML and CSS web standards
  • Learn what a mobile web app is and how it differs from a native iPhone app
  • Create gestures and animation using JavaScript and the iUI and jQTouch libraries
  • Integrate your web app with several iPhone features
  • Build simple native iPhone apps using the TapLynx library – without programming!
  • Learn how to build on your new-found iPhone web app development skills

UPDATE: While browsing the O’Reilly site, I discovered this related ‘early release’ ebook, “Building iPhone Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript“. From what I can tell, this is almost like a sneak preview as it seems the ‘dead tree edition’ hasn’t gone to print yet, and the title is only available at the moment as a PDF. The ebook is U$23.99 while book itself will be U$29.99; if you want to get both the book + the ebook, the price will be U$32.99 which is a very good deal.

From StoryOfStuff.org - The Story of Cap & Trade

According to Wikipedia:

Emissions trading (also known as cap and trade) is an administrative approach used to control pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants.

The Story of Cap & Trade is a fast-paced, fact-filled look at the leading climate solution being discussed at Copenhagen and on Capitol Hill. Host Annie Leonard introduces the energy traders and Wall Street financiers at the heart of this scheme and reveals the “devils in the details” in current cap and trade proposals: free permits to big polluters, fake offsets and distraction from what’s really required to tackle the climate crisis. If you’ve heard about Cap & Trade, but aren’t sure how it works (or who benefits), this is the film is for you.

About StoryOfStuff.org

The Story of Stuff Project’s mission is to build a strong, diverse, decentralized, cross-sector movement to transform systems of production and consumption to serve ecological sustainability and social wellbeing. Our goals are to amplify public discourse on a diverse set of sustainability issues and to facilitate the growing Story of Stuff community’s involvement in strategic efforts to build a more sustainable and just world.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Reason Project Video Contest, $15k in Prizes!

The Reason Project - a non-profit organization with the primary goal of spreading “scientific thinking and secular values. We invite you to help us further our work by submitting a short video that conveys the message of the foundation” - has launched a video contest.

The contest, which has some very generous prizes - U$10,000 for 1st place, U$4,000 for 2nd place and U$1,000 for 3rd place - is open to residents of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. And here’s an explanation as to why only those countries can enter.

Films can be live-action or animated and may not be any longer than 8 minutes and may be of a serious or humorous nature. Here are the Rules & Restrictions. Entries were permitted starting on the 18th, and can be submitted until February 28, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. (PST). People can vote on entries from February 12, 2010 until March 21, 2010. Submit your entry here.

The Reason Project:

is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society. The foundation draws on the talents of prominent and creative thinkers in a wide range of disciplines to encourage critical thinking and erode the influence of dogmatism, superstition, and bigotry in our world.

Handheld Goodness: The OWLE Bubo Improves the iPhone Stills and Video Shooting Experience

Many filmmakers are making use of their iPhones to shoot footage. Sometimes it’s just recording an interview, other times they shoot stills, usually for use online. Until recently, however, it hasn’t been possible to shoot video with an iPhone (my iPhone Life Magazine coverage here and here). And while there are any number of clever holders and mini tripods to help people take steadier photographs with their iPhones, until now, there hasn’t been anything like the OWLE (Optical Widget for Life Enhancement) Bubo.


Created specifically for the iPhone, the Bubo is an aluminum and silicone case combo which is designed to improve the iPHone’s audio and video capabilities. The stabilizing rig - which can be mounted onto a tripod - includes a high-quality Vericorder microphone and 37 mm wide-angle/macro lens and retails for U$129.99.

Each corner of the Bubo has a drilled hole so you can screw in anything you can find or make to enhance it (like this guy from Handheld Hollywood who made a neck strap after visiting the hardware store for some 1/4” x 2.5” eye bolts). Additionally, since the mount for the lens is a standard 37mm, you can mount any number of lenses there, and not just the one which comes with it.

Don’t worry about the no-flash-synching thing. There’s a shoe to mount a light. As well, the microphone can be replaced with one of your choosing. Probably, you can even plug in a wireless receiver and have the microphone itself elsewhere (hidden camera fun, anyone?).

It would be great to have an option where the Bubo ships just with the aluminum case and silicon holder for a reduced price. Oh, and other colours, too, please. I can’t wait to try one of these out!


Product Features:
* Anodized aluminum case improves iPhone camera with upgraded lens and boom mic
* Improves video or still shots
* Works with iPhone 3G or 3GS (However 3G requires additional app to shoot video and the quality is poor)
* iPhone fits inside included silicone case, then mounts inside the aluminum housing for full protection
* Constructed from a solid block of milled aluminum
* Shoe mount on top allows you to add camera accessories (flash will not work, since there is no way to sync it to the iPhone camera shutter)
* Four screw mounts on the corners of the case enable you to mount to a tripod
* Comes standard with 37mm lens threading, as well as a 0.45x Wide angle/macro combination lens
* Add any other lenses with a 37mm mount

View some stills shot with the OWLE and here are some videos (view more here on their YouTube channel):