Adobe’s Online Creative Festival starts

For all those using or interested in using Adobe products, tomorrow is an important day. Starting 11AM and till 4PM Adobe is hosting the Online Creative Festival which will cover a range of topics concerning their Creative Suite of applications.

The event will feature 10 hours of live seminars during the 5 hours, with parallel sessions in two “rooms.” After each one-hour session you will be able to interact with Adobe experts, other wise there will also be chat room for the same. On demand pre-recorded sessions on various topics will also be available.

If you already use Adobe products, you can also participate in a contest and end up winning a copy of Adobe Creative Suite 4 Master Collection. You just need to upload your creation to the Gallery section, and attendees will be able to vote for the one they like best.

The seminars will cover Adobe software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign etc and Adobe technologies such as Flash, and ActionScript. The seminars are free and registrations for the event are still open. Visit now to register.


YouTube Celebrates Its Fifth Birthday

On February 14 2005, YouTube’s co-founders, Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Javed Karim registered the site’s domain name and set out to “create a place where anyone with a video camera and an Internet connection could share a story with the world”, according to the company’s recent blog entry.

The first YouTube video was entitled ‘Me at the zoo’ and shows co-founder Karim at San Diego Zoo. It was uploaded on April 23 2005 and is still on the site.

The site officially launched in November 2005, after six months of public beta testing and by July 2006 the company announced that more than 65,000 new videos were being uploaded every day – with 100 million video views per day.

YouTube did not begin as the market leader in the video space and faced competition from the likes of Vimeo and Viddler. However, it soon overtook its rivals because of how easy users found its uploading and embedding tools.

In October 2009, the site celebrated serving over one billion views per day on the third anniversary of it being acquired by Google for $1.65 billion (£883m).

Hurley, who remains YouTube’s chief executive, wrote on the video-sharing site’s blog on that day: “Three years ago… we’d just made headlines by joining with Google in our shared goal of organising the world’s information (in our case video) and making it easily and quickly accessible to anyone, anywhere.

“Today, I’m proud to say that we have been serving well over a billion views a day on YouTube. This is great moment in our short history and we owe it all to you.”

He went onto to detail how aspects of the site have had to move with the times: “As bandwidth has increased, so has our video quality. As we’ve started to see demand for longer, full-length content, we’ve brought more shows and movies to the site. There are now more ways than ever to make and consume content, and more of you are looking to turn your hobby into a real business.”

Indeed the services the site now offers have transformed radically from its early days – when it was typified by user generated videos showing dogs on skateboards – which become viral web sensations overnight.

YouTube is in the process of trying to reposition itself as a platform which shows professional content, as well as its bread and butter user generated content. Having signed content deals with the likes of Channel 4 and Five, as well agreements to livestream sports tournaments, like the Indian Premier League cricket matches, it is well on its way to becoming one of the world’s largest digital aggregators of content – both amateur and professional.

Ian Maude, Enders Analysis’s head of Internet said: “Since its early days back in 2005, the YouTube consumer experience has changed from all recognition. Users would never have thought of watching a TV show via the service and now they can access all of Channel 4’s content from the last 30 days.

“It is becoming a content platform in its own right. It used to be just a free for all that the great-unwashed could use to post pretty much anything – copyrighted or not. But Google has done a great deal to solve those teething rights issues, while pursuing formal content agreements with the major broadcasters and rights holders.”

However, the site still famously has yet to turn a profit and deliver any major returns to Google. And despite the fact that at the end of 2009, YouTube had more than tripled the amount of views it was able to monetise, year on year, the high costs of streaming video online en masse is still understood to be a major barrier to reaching profitability.

The increase in the amount of views it is now able to monetise has grown due a rise in the number of content owners, such as ITV, opting to use YouTube’s ‘content ID’ system.

Content ID is YouTube’s copyright fingerprinting system which allows rights holders to block or make money from unauthorised use of their material. It is free of charge and being used by 1,000 content partners globally, including major brands such as Electronic Arts and Sony BMG.

It has played a major role in content holders regaining control of the unauthorised use of their material on the major video site and reducing the amount of legal actions are brought against YouTube for copyright infringements.

Rights holders, once unauthorised use of their material has been located, can then either choose to have it removed from YouTube, or for YouTube to serve an ad around the video and split the money in a revenue sharing deal which Google says favours the content owner.

One third of the content being monetised has come from unlawful user uploads, the content owner has chosen to keep up on the site in exchange for an advert being served. And two thirds of the videos making money are uploaded by the content partner themselves. YouTube is selling the majority of the adverts around the content – unless a special arrangement has been negotiated, as with the Channel 4 deal – where the broadcaster sells the adverts around its own content.

iPhone Blogging:Create a Great Blog On Go blogs first rose to popularity it took days hunched in front of a computer to set them up, get to grips with their software, and even longer to wrap your head around their confusing jargon. No longer. Using your iPhone 3GS and a selection of free apps, you can easily create a great blog with nothing but your iPhone. Read on for our easy how-to guide.

What counts as a blog?
The word blog is just “web” and “log” smashed together. Originally it simply meant a place where an individual or organisation posted regular updates on what they’d been up to. But blogs can be about pretty much anything, and needn’t necessarily feature lots of text. Using the iPhone, it’s easy to create a photo blog or video blog with snaps and clips posted straight from your phone to the web.

Even using Twitter to post 140 character updates, or pinging an update to Facebook’s status and notes functions counts as blogging. Ultimately, a blog is what you make it, and with Vodafone’s generous iPhone tariffs it’s easy to post frequently without battering your bank balance.

Why should you be blogging?

To keep in touch
If you’ve got friends and family scattered all over the country, or even the world, sending emails to keep them up-to-date can become a pain. Creating a blog is a great way to open a window into your world without irritating people with lengthy round robin emails.

Set up a family blog and you can easily send photos and videos of what your clan has been up to, as well as text posts sharing news straight from your iPhone 3GS. It takes a lot less time than sitting down to sum everything up in an email, and means your friends and family can check in to see what you’re up to without worrying about time zones or phone bills.

To find people who share your interests
Whether you’re interested in the latest trendy trainers, the Teardrop Explodes or toy cars, blogging is a great way to share your enthusiasm for a subject and get in contact with other like minded folk. Thinking of starting a street style photo blog like The Sartorialist? Use your iPhone 3GS to get snaps of people in great outfits. Want to create a music blog about gigs going on in your area? The iPhone 3GS will help you grab and share photos and video, as well as getting your review online quicker than you can say “why do I always get stuck behind unusually tall people at concerts?”.

To get yourself noticed or promoted
Blogs are a great way of promoting your work. Whether you’re an artist or musician looking for a big break, or an executive with some smart ideas to revolutionise your business, creating a blog to showcase your ideas is a great way to get yourself noticed or promoted.

The great thing about blogging from an iPhone 3GS is that it doesn’t have to take too much time. Found yourself on a train, waiting at an airport or in a gap between meetings? Fire up your favourite iPhone blogging app and use your time creatively. With simple ways to connect your blog to Twitter and Facebook, you can also make sure that your posts are easily shared with your contacts, pushing your ideas out to more people, and teeing yourself up nicely for that annual review.

What to use: 3 great iPhone blogging apps

Tumblr: keeping it simple
Tumblr is one of the simplest blogging sites on the web with easy-to-use menus which automatically format your posts correctly, depending on what’s in them. You can choose to create text, photo, quote, link, chat, audio or video posts. Photos, audio clips and videos can be created in the app using the iPhone 3GS’s built-in voice recorder and camera, or grabbed straight from your iPhone’s picture library.

You can sign up for a Tumblr account through the iPhone app itself, and also post to your blog via email. The big benefit of Tumblr is its simplicity, you don’t need any special skills to start posting. There are several Tumblr blogging apps on the iTunes App Store but the one you want is simply called Tumblr and is free. It’s the official app and has all the features you need to get started.

WordPress: the web workhorse
Wordpress is the powerhouse behind tonnes of your favourite sites, including Electricpig. It’s a good option for creating a blog, since it’s constantly adding features to give you flexibility and power. It’s more adaptable than Tumblr, letting you fine-tune the design of your blog, or add advanced features for your readers. But while it’s perfect for creating a more professional looking blog, it’s not difficult to use either, it just means that as you learn more, you’ll be able to do more.

The latest version of the WordPress for iPhone app, WordPress 2, lets you post pictures and video directly from the app and also gives you lots of options to tweak the look and feel of your updates, including what size you want the photos to be displayed at (make them smaller for faster uploading).

WordPress 2 on the iPhone 3GS also lets you tinker with advanced features like securing communication between your blog and the iPhone app using SSL. You don’t need to know how to use those features to start with, but the depth of functionality in the WordPress iPhone app means you won’t end up growing out of it. Plus just like the Tumblr app, WordPress 2 is free.

ShoZu: one app to rule them all
If you’re looking to post your blog posts, videos and photos to multiple websites, or are using a blogging platform that doesn’t have a dedicated iPhone app, ShoZu is a great addition to the iPhone 3GS. Rather than being associated with one platform, it gives you the ability to post to over 50 sites including photo sites such as Flickr and Photobucket, and video sites like YouYube and DailyMotion.

ShoZu is also a great way of trying out lots of different blogging platforms. It supports WordPress, Typepad, Blogger and Vox as well as Facebook and Twitter. If you want to be able to store your photos on Flickr or your videos on YouTube and then post them to a blog too, ShoZu makes that really easy to do.

To start using ShoZu, you can simply download the app via 3G or Wi-Fi on your iPhone 3GS or through iTunes on your computer and sign up for a ShoZu account. You can grab a Shozu account online or directly through the app. Once you’ve done that you simply add the services you want to send posts to.

Apple v Microsoft: What they really think of each other

Bill Gates on Apple

“To create a new standard, it takes something that’s not just a little bit different; it takes something that’s really new, and really captures people’s imagination. And the Macintosh – of all the machines I’ve seen – is the only one that meets that standard.” (1984)

“If you say, well, how do you feel about Bill Gates getting rich off some of the ideas that we had … well, you know, the goal is not to be the richest man in the cemetery. It’s not my goal anyway.” (1994)

“Whether it’s Google or Apple or free software, we’ve got some fantastic competitors and it keeps us on our toes.” (2008)

“Apple has done a very good job on usability. You have to compliment them on that. But their agenda is not as broad as ours, so perhaps the fact that they focus in and polish those things well – certainly we need to do that as well or better than they do.” (2008)

“There are very things that are on the banned list in our household, but iPods and iPhones are two things we don’t get for our kids.” (Melinda Gates, wife of Bill Gates, 2009)

Steve Jobs on Microsoft

“I guess I am saddened, not by Microsoft’s success – I have no problem with their success, they’ve earned their success for the most part. I have a problem with the fact that they just make really third rate products.” (1996)

“I wish [Bill Gates] the best, I really do. I just think he and Microsoft are a bit narrow. He’d be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger.” (1997)

“Our friends up north [Microsoft] spend over $5bn on research and development, and all they seem to do is copy Google and Apple.” (2006)

“Microsoft has had two goals in the last 10 years. One was to copy the Mac, and the other was to copy Lotus’ success in the spreadsheet — basically, the applications business. And over the course of the last 10 years, Microsoft accomplished both of those goals. And now they are completely lost.” (1994)

“Microsoft’s greatest asset is Windows. Their greatest liability is Windows. Windows is so nonobject-oriented that it’s going to be impossible for them to go back and become object-oriented without throwing Windows away, and they can’t do that for years. So they’re going to try to patch things on top, and it’s not going to work.” (1994)

“I think Bill Gates is a good guy. We’re not best friends, but we talk maybe once a month. I think Bill and I have very different value systems. I like Bill very much, and I certainly admire his accomplishments, but the companies we built were very different from each other.” (1994)

Google Buzz Versus Google Wave

When Google announced Google Buzz, its new social sharing feature for Gmail, company representatives admitted Buzz was inspired by a similar product: Google Wave. In fact, some of the features of Buzz and Wave are so similar you might be wondering why there are two different products in the first place?

Both services are supposed to help you create conversations and give you a richer experience around Web-based media like videos, images ,and regular text. But while Buzz and Wave have a lot in common, there also some key differences that set each service apart.

Wave and Buzz? What the heck are you talking about?

Google describes Wave as “an online tool for real-time communication and collaboration. A wave can be both a conversation and a document where people can discuss and work together using richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.” Basically, Google Wave is e-mail, instant messaging, an online collaboration tool and a wiki all rolled into one service.

But Google Buzz is designed solely to let you share videos, photos, links, and status updates with others just like you would on Facebook or Twitter. You can access Buzz through your Gmail inbox or through your mobile device’s Web browser.

Real-time communication versus e-mail conversation

While you will receive Buzz updates very quickly via e-mail, communication in Google Wave is much faster. Unlike Buzz, communication in Wave happens in real time, and you can actually watch someone typing out their response or comment on an individual wave. That’s a big difference, since it allows Wave users to easily collaborate on a project.

Wave is about collaboration, Buzz is about conversation

Wave was built on collaborative features like editing a document, planning an event, creating meeting notes, and so on. But if you just want to share photos, videos, or comments that don’t require real-time communication, then Google Buzz is probably the better option.

Waving is complex, Buzzing not so much

One of the problems with Wave is that it’s a difficult tool to explain to others, and once you understand what Wave is it’s even harder to understand everything you can do with it. Buzz, on the other hand, works similarly to e-mail and is focused on one thing: sharing content with others.

Buzz is a gateway to Wave

In a lot of ways, Buzz is a halfway point between regular e-mail and Wave. For example, when you get an updated Buzz in your inbox or Buzz tab, it displays the various comments and media that have been shared as a list. As the Buzz develops, that list gets updated and edited, but you only ever have one copy of an individual Buzz in your inbox.

Similarly, in Wave you only ever see one copy of an active wave, making it easier to track changes to a document or conversation. But new e-mail messages pile on top of one another, and it doesn’t take long before you end up with these massive conversation strings that are constantly being replicated every time you hit the reply button.

So my guess, as well as the guess of others, is that once you’re comfortable with Buzz, you might be more willing to use Wave for collaborative online projects. But the trick will be to get you to buy into using Google Buzz, and that may be a tough sell if you’re already used to sharing items with your existing networks on Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter

PC World

PayPal Suspends Personal Payments to India

PayPal, an eBay company, has suspended personal payments to and from India and transfers to local banks in the country.

Customers can still make commercial payments to India, but merchants cannot withdraw funds in rupees at local Indian banks, it added.

The services have been suspended while the company works with its “business partners and other stakeholders to address questions they have about the service,” according to PayPal’s blog. PayPal did not say what questions have been raised.

PayPal said it is trying to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and that it was sorry for the inconvenience that it may cause its customers in India and around the world. A number of bloggers and Web sites have reported that the company has reversed and returned payments to senders.

PayPal executives in the region were not available for comment on specific reasons why the service was discontinued.

The move by PayPal may be linked to new Indian government rules aimed at preventing money laundering, according to an analyst who spoke on condition of anonymity. Last November, the Indian government introduced rules requiring financial institutions and other intermediaries to verify the identity of clients carrying out international money transfers.

PayPal’s user agreement says it does not guarantee any user’s identity because user verification on the Internet is difficult. PayPal does reserve the right to validate customers’ identities, including asking for documents.

PayPal is used in India by many to receive payment for services such as software development and freelance writing.

Intel Brings vPro to New Core Processors

Intel is bringing its vPro platform to its new Core processors, a move aimed at making it easier for businesses to secure and manage the systems.

Intel announced Feb. 4 that it will put the vPro technology in its 32-nanometer dual-core Core i5 and i7 chips, which the company officially rolled out at the CES show in January.

The technology gives IT administrators a hardware-based way to remotely manage and secure corporate desktops and laptops, using both wired and wireless methods.

vPro also enhances the flexibility of these systems and drives down overall costs, according to Intel officials.

The new vPro-enabled chips come at a time when such applications as video, social networking and IP telephony are putting greater demand on PC performance, according to Rick Echevarria, vice president of Intel’s Architecture Group and general manager of its Business Client Platform Division.

“Businesses, particularly those that haven’t purchased PCs for several years, face a computing environment that no longer handles the applications many workers and IT are adopting,” Echevarria said in a statement.

A host of OEMs, including Acer, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Lenovo and Toshiba, are readying corporate PCs based on the vPro Core processors. In addition, solution providers for both enterprises and small and midsize businesses, including Microsoft, Symantec, LANDesk and LogMeIn, are adding support for the technology to their products.

A number of new hardware features come with this vPro platform, including Intel’s Anti-Theft Technology Version 2.0. Intel AT is designed to deny access to a PC if it’s stolen, a key consideration for laptop users. With Version 2.0, IT administrators can disable access to cryptographic keys to make it even more difficult for thieves to get the data on the systems. In addition, a custom message can be displayed on the screen before the operating system kicks in that can be read by someone trying to access the PC.

Another new feature, KVM Remote Control, gives IT administrators full control of a user’s PC—even if the operating system isn’t working—and shows the technician exactly what the user sees on the screen.

Intel also added AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) to the vPro hardware, which enables faster encryption and decryption of data. Another security feature, Remote Encryption Management, lets systems administrators more easily remotely manage PCs with encrypted hard drives by enabling them to more securely unlock the drives.