Microsoft is betting the farm on its new Windows 8 operating system. Ironically, some of the biggest challenges it faces come from earlier versions of Windows – and Microsoft’s own mistakes. Case in point: Windows 8’s highly touted “Metro” interface may have to change its name just as the program is about to be released.What’s In a Name? Trouble!It seems there’s possibly a bit of trademark trouble with the “Metro” name from German retail holding group Metro AG, which, among other assets, owns two electronics store chains (Media Markt and Saturn).While an internal Microsoft memo appears to confirm that the Metro interface will be getting a new name, no one knows yet what the new moniker will be or officially why the change had to happen at this late date. The memo only cites “discussions with an important European partner” as the rationale. Microsoft has declined to comment. In the grand scheme of things, of course, this is not a big deal. After all, few consumers could actually name the interface now used by Windows Vista and Windows 7: Aero. The only people likely to notice a Metro name change will be technology professionals and ultra-fans. Developers may also be annoyed at having to rename things in the applicaitons the’re already working on.Still, it’s one more nagging headache that Microsoft didn’t need. Metro AG is not exactly unknown in tech circles. This should have been settled long before Microsoft invested any PR and marketing dollars on “Metro.”Windows vs. WindowsMicrosoft’s launch of Windows 8, already threatened by reports of declining Windows PC sales, has bigger issues than name changes.Sure, Windows 8 will go head-to-head with rival operating systems like Apple’s OS X and open-source Linux, but by some measures its biggest competitors will be Microsoft’s own earlier releases of Windows.You wouldn’t think that an 11-year-old operating system like Windows XP would be a big challenger for Windows 8, but it will be. According to the July 2012 survey from NetMarketShare, 42.86% of desktop machines STILL run Windows XP, just a smidge more than Windows 7, which is at 42.21%. (The epic fail of Windows Vista has fallen steadily from 9.09% in September 2011 to 6.60% in July 2012).Based on the trendlines, it looks like August will finally be the month that Windows 7 does what Vista never even came close to doing: overtaking Windows XP.This is the desktop market into which Windows 8 will be sold: 91.67% of machines already running Windows of some kind, and nearly half of those machines running an operating system that was released over a decade ago.Microsoft is well aware of the challenge: sources have already outlined potential upgrade paths for XP, Vista, and Windows 7 users.Upgrade or Switch?Of course, the vast majority of those machines will never upgrade their version of Windows. And that won’t be helped by incomplete upgrade schemes:. For instance, only personal data can be migrated from XP Service Pack 3 or Vista to Windows 8 (Vista SP1 users will be able to migrate user settings as well). Only Windows 7 users will have an “easy” upgrade path to Windows 8 that will carry apps, data, and settings along.Given that, the real opportunity clearly comes in selling new Windows 8 devices – from PCs to tablets. But getting users to abandon their existing Windows machines won’t be easy in the current economy – particularly for employers who have stubbornly refused to make the upgrade.Even more worrisome for Microsoft in the long run, every time someone gives up on an aging Windows machine is an oportunity for them to abandon the Windows platform, going with OS X or Linux (or even iOS and Android on tablets) instead of Windows8.In that kind of environment, with new Windows 8 machines competing with Windows 7, Vista and XP as well as OS X, Linux and various mobile operating systems, Microsoft can’t afford any stumbles. That’s what makes the Metro name change so worrisome. IT + Project Management: A Love Affair 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Tags:#enterprise#Microsoft Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… brian proffitt Related Posts
Both the App Store and Google Play brim with Twitter clients vying for your 140-character affections. We cut through the noise to bring you the best apps for unleashing tweets on the go. A smartphone is the perfect Twitter launchpad. Short and sweet by design, shooting off a tweet from a mobile gadget is a breeze – if you’re using the right app, that is. Twitter’s bite-sized updates are the ideal social content to digest in the short spans of time that life tosses our way when we’re not tethered to a computer, whether it’s on a bus ride or waiting in line for a latte.To reflect the social network’s fast-paced micro-blogging nature, the ideal Twitter app needs to be quick and lightweight without sacrificing the kind of tools that power users crave. Pour too many features into the mix and “full featured” can turn into a nightmare. Happily, there are plenty of good Twitter apps out there, once you sort the wheat from the chaff.Our Choice for iOS: TweetbotThis iPhone exclusive has quite a loyal following, and for good reason. Tweetbot is a great little mobile tweeting toolkit that’s easy to use without shaving off bells and whistles like muting, which can prove invaluable for the everyday Twitter-goer. Tweetbot supports most anything you’d want to plug into it too. You can zap a choice tweet right to Pocket or Instapaper to read the link later, for example. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tweetbot’s multiple timelines are a must for anyone leaning toward the power-user end of the scale, since they let you hop between accounts and lists effortlessly. Top that off with a gorgeous, responsive UI and a strangely addictive set of sound effects (seriously, I don’t know what it is about the refresh noise), and you’ve got the most well-rounded Twitter app in the iOS stable.The app will set you back $2.99, but that’s a small price to pay for its uniquely successful blend of power and elegance. Cruising your tweets from an iPad? Tweetbot has a pretty slick iPad app to boot.Our Choice on Android: Plume The Android ecosystem lacks a standout as obvious as Tweetbot, but that’s not a bad thing. Google’s mobile OS is all about options, and it offers plenty of fine Twitter clients to choose from. That said, we prefer Plume by LevelUp, creator of Beautiful Widgets, a longtime Google Play all-star. Plume is the latest evolution of an app we used to know as Touiteur, which was solid in its own right. Android’s Twitter clients aren’t always the best-looking apps on the platform (popular client Twicca is a bit of a pixelated eyesore, for example), but Plume manages to include plenty of customization without clutter. You can swipe easily between your timeline, mentions, and direct messages, and painlessly add a column for a custom list or search. Plume also includes mobile must-haves like URL shortening, multiple account support, picture previewing, and a nicely implemented mute tool – a requisite for quieting down folks in your timeline who tend to live-tweet when they get excited about a sports match or TV premiere.The free version is ad-supported, so if the banner at the bottom bugs you, spring for Plume Premium ($4.99).Alternatives for iOS and Android Not too keen on our feature-rich picks? The good news is that the official Twitter app is a solid choice on both the iPhone and Android. While third-party apps are king when it comes to plenty of social services, Twitter’s official app is one of the best of the lot. It lacks some of the tools that true Twitter addicts require, but it’s reliable, good-looking and intuitive. Ultimately the best Twitter client (or any client, really) is the one that speaks to your needs specifically, but if you want a fallback, you’ll be well-served by the official app.Still not quite the right fit? Beyond regular ol’ Twitter and our main picks, check out Twitterific and Echofon for iOS and UberSocial or Seesmic on Android. Finding the right app for zapping your 140-character flashes of brilliance is serious business, after all. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts taylor hatmaker Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#apps#web
8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#Apple#earnings A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Apple reported September quarter financial results Thursday: An $8 billion profit on $36 billion of sales, representing 27% revenue growth.iPhone sales — 27 million — were better than expected, thanks to the iPhone 5 launch late in the quarter. But iPad sales — 14 million — came in well below expectations, ahead of the iPad mini launch in November. And Apple’s iPod business — remember that? — fell below $1 billion for the first time in 8 years.Here’s the quarter in charts. Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… dan frommer
Related Posts brian proffitt A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#Antitrust#Google#privacy Google is sort of everywhere these days. Between its successful Android platform and the ubiquity of Google services for consumers and businesses, it’s getting hard to avoid the big G. Yet when its rivals form an organization like FairSearch.org and start calling out the search giant as monopolistic and anticompetitive, no one much seems to care. (See also: Microsoft’s Complaint Against Android In Europe Is All Kinds Of Stupid)It’s a huge contrast with the smacking around Microsoft took a decade ago, when Windows dominated the PC universe and both U.S. and European antitrust regulators branded the company a monopolist. Microsoft, in fact, is still getting its butt handed to it in Europe, where it recently faced huge fines for failing to comply with earlier penalties.These days, however, Google’s Teflon coating remains largely unscratched.Getting The Message OutIt’s not like FairSearch, a tech lobbying group with 17 members that each have a reason to want Google hamstrung in one way or another, isn’t trying. It has run advertisements. It has produced videos. It has held panel discussions. It has lobbied lawmakers and regulators.The general response? Apathy.For instance, two anti-Google videos FairSearch posted on YouTube have only 1,874 views. The group’s Twitter account has 939 followers. Clearly, it’s having trouble getting traction.FairSearch basically faces two big problems. One is something it won’t be able to fix very easily: the shoot-the-messenger problem. Read “FairSearch.org,” and it’s hard not to think “Microsoft” — Google’s sworn enemy.(See also: Microsoft Launching Another Pathetic Smear Attack On Google)True, Microsoft is only one of the group’s 17 members, and isn’t even a co-founder. But it’s still hard to take FairSearch’s complaints at face value, because everyone knows they’re self-serving and tailored to advance the interests of Microsoft and other members. Particularly when they follow Microsoft’s own high-profile assaults on Google.Too Big A Target?The other problem is broader, but no less of a concern: FairSearch’s message is too unfocused. Nor can it be tightened. It’s a real dilemma.When organizations or governments bust a company for antitrust violations, there’s a clear black-and-white line that the company has to cross: they are doing something to reduce consumer choice. As much as FairSearch would like to pin that accusation on Google, there’s little evidence that Google has done anything of the sort.Last week, for instance, FairSearch complained to the European Commission that Google’s Android operating system was an anticompetitive threat to the mobile market. My ReadWrite colleague Dan Rowinski did a pretty good job tearing that complaint apart. It’s pretty simple: No user is forced to stay with Google services on Android. Nor is any manufacturer. So whose choices are being constrained?That looks deliberate on Google’s part. It’s been very, very careful to be as big an influence on the market as possible without actually trying to establish direct control over anything. That makes it very hard for competitors to make the monopoly charge stick.Fire A Shotgun, See What SticksWhich may be why FairSearch is trying everything else under the sun. A quick look at its site reveals no fewer than nine lines of attack, include complaints about Google’s acquisitions, “content scraping,” “deceptive display,” mobile, “search manipulation” and alleged unfair treatment of advertisers and partners.This kind of unfocused effort suggests that FairSearch is taking a “see what sticks” approach, kicking up as much sand as possible in the hopes of clouding the view of government regulators.Curiously, the one area where Google rightly gets smacked about sometimes — privacy — doesn’t get much emphasis on the FairSearch site. Of course, its members probably want just as much user data as Google is collecting, so they don’t see much advantage to rocking that particular boat.Google’s enemies have a tough nut to crack, and FairSearch’s broad approach reflects that problem. The search giant has made a very good business out of mining user data and generating ad revenue without (as far as we know) crossing any serious lines yet. Until that changes, Google’s competitors may have to deal with their Google problem by, y’know, competing.Image courtesy of 1000 Words / Shutterstock
In general, if you have have a family desktop PC, a tablet can supplement that well. In fact, iPads seem to be all the rage in secondary schools these days. That may make Apple’s tablet look like the obvious choice, and if there’s a hardware mandate, then it clearly is. But if cost matters, consider an Android tablet. Options like the stylus-enabled Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Google’s Nexus 7 have lower price tags, deliver excellent screen resolution and offer plenty of educational apps. For eBooks and streaming or Web browsing, an Amazon Kindle Fire HD is a bargain option. If your student lacks a full-fledged computer, a laptop is the savvy choice for the portability. For seniors, invest in an ultrabook like a Macbook Air or Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13. Although they’re more expensive, these are lightweight devices that he or she can take to college—and schlep between dorms and numerous far-flung university classes—next year. Juniors and younger students, for whom the load may not matter as much, less expensive offerings like the Dell Latitude 3330 will work well. This model features a fine-tuned touchpad and curved keyboard, but goes for roughly half the price of an advanced ultrabook. As for smartphones, they may seem like a social tool more than a study aid, but consider this: A high schooler’s academic success can also hinge on peer communication. Not only can they look up important class info or research at will, but smartphones also help them stay organized on the fly and connect easily with tutors, research buddies and study groups. Some kids may need parental guidance or oversight, but this could be an educational opportunity. After all, learning how to manage technology use during these formative years could be an important life lesson.At this point, Android and iOS—the two dominant platforms—have both developed into mature eco-systems with robust app stores. So the handset or even platform choice may not matter as much as the calling, texting or data plans that go with them. The best option: For heavy texters or data users, you’ll want unlimited plans. Or, for an affordable option, consider a phone on a prepaid plan. Your teen could even take partial or full responsibility for funding it. Smart Apps For Smart StudentsWhen it comes to hardware, there are plenty of deals this time of year. To go along with them, there are plenty of apps that can help that student graduate to academic rock star. Flash Cards: Flashcards by Brainscape (iOS) and AnkiDroid Flashcards (Android) let students easily quiz themselves on a variety of topic and course material. Calculator: PocketCAS Lite (iOS) and Graphing Calculator (Android) offer calculator for advanced mathematics classes. Homework Planner: Studious (iOS and Android) organizes big exams, homework and project deadlines. The app offers alerts for events, and when classes are in session, even silences the phone.Study guide: Some kids may use SparkNotes (iOS and Android) summaries so they can skip reading assignments, but they also provide very handy study guides for class material. The developer also offers SparkNotes Test Prep for SAT and ACT.Biology: Frog dissection is a quintessential experience for high school biology classes. With the Froguts app (iOS and Android) virtual frog dissection, students can benefit from interactive 3-D anatomical simulations, audio and text cues that boost comprehension.Although schools with splashy tech-forward programs get headlines these days, the truth is, plenty of high schools still depend on traditional textbook education. But even in these environments, consumer technology offers teenagers an advantage, one that extends beyond academics.Call it a glimpse of the future, but society will only become more connected as time goes on. Familiarizing today’s students with the technologies they might advance in the future can help prepare them for the real world. And, in turn, it gives the world its best chance at welcoming its future visionaries. Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock. Table image courtesy Allison Hare cc. adriana lee This is a post in Back To School, an ongoing series where ReadWrite covers technology trends in education for parents and educators.Never before have teens been so tech-driven, and educators desperate to connect with them have noticed. What’s more, they’re responding. Creative learning formats and tablet-based curricula have been picking up steam in high schools across the country.The challenge for parents, particularly those who have struggled to balance the kids’ tech usage at home, is equipping them with the right tools for school. So now, as the fall semester gets underway, let’s take a look at what high school students need to succeed in this changing educational landscape.High Schools Are Growing UpLast month, the Federal Communications Commission voted to make changes to a funding program, granting $2.3 billion so schools and libraries can update telecommunications and equipment. It will take time before that takes shape, but it’s a sign that yesterday’s schools are gearing up for today’s technologies. In fact, the whole notion of “classroom” is undergoing a metamorphosis. One educational tech trend taking hold is the flipped classroom, where pupils stream multimedia lectures at home and do what used to be “homework” in school among tutors and peers.One of the most well-known programs comes from the Google-backed Khan Academy, a non-profit educational site that offers online learning via streaming videos. The academy, which started with a pilot project in Los Altos, Calif., now extends to more than 30,000 classrooms all over the globe. Another major movement revolves around iPads. Tablet-based learning may not be ubiquitous yet, but they have been attracting attention among an increasing number of teachers and administrators, and last year, tablets trumped laptops among high school students. Meanwhile, in places like Las Vegas’ Clark County and other school districts, BYOD (“bring your own device”) strategies gain popularity. Of course, not all schools have tech initiatives, but for those that do, mere backpacks, notebooks and pencils won’t cut it. And even for those that don’t, there are still some key tools that can give teens a leg up in class. The Lowdown On Tech for High SchoolClasses, schools and school districts vary. Some schools focus on laptops, while others require tablets. It’s important to find out if there are any hardware requirements before making any purchasing decisions. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Back To School#education#laptops#mobile#tablet Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Ray Parker is an entrepreneur and internet marketer with over 9 years of experience in Search Engine Optimization, Creative Writing and Digital Marketing. Tags:#Internet of Things#iot in event industry#iot solutions#Trending Ray Parker Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to… Related Posts Event planning and management have gone far beyond what it was in the past. From manual registration to collaboration with the attendees, everything has changed with the emergence of technology. From mobile event apps to Virtual and augmented reality, event planners are finding unique ways to engage attendees as much as they could.With the rise of technology in the event industry, Internet of Things has become the buzzword as well. If you are not aware of what Internet of Things is all about, let us have a brief overview.What is the Internet of Things?Internet of Things is defined as the network of Internet-connected objects, able to collect and exchange data using embedded sensors.Connected things include everything from refrigerators to coffee makers and wearable devices to cell phones.The recent hype in IoT has been quite surprising and an estimated projection suggests that there will be as many as 50 billion connected devices by 2020.The opportunities offered by IoT in any industry will also play a vital role in revolutionizing event industry. From attendees tracking to check-in and cashless payments, event industry will see a major shift in driving attendees and engaging them.Why is the Internet of Things Helpful in Event Management?The event industry is dependent on data more than any other industry. From attendees to caterers and venues to speakers, everything needs a valid data and it is only possible through the Internet of Things.The data helps event managers and planners to make informed decisions. The data extracted can be helpful in automating attendee management, intelligent lighting, keeping your guests safe and comfortable, and automatic notification based on iBeacon technology.How Event Planners and Managers Can Benefit from IoT?The event industry can benefit from the opportunities offered by IoT. How event planners and managers can benefit from IoT, let us have a look.Access to InformationEvents are successful only if attendee experience is unique and drive engagement. For instance, NFC device like iBeacon can connect with attendees in order to access schedule seamlessly, check in to the event and offer precise mapping and direction within the event premises.Beacons also allow event staff to view visitors’ data from the wearable devices, such as wristbands and smart lanyards. It helps them to collaborate and pitch them in a more personalized way.Moreover, smart lanyards can help attendees to attend specific session or talk based on their profile. In addition, they can also inform other attendees to attend sessions based on their profession and profile. Hence, IoT can help event managers and planners perfectly pitch tailored message to the attendees based on their interests.Automated Registration and Check-inSmartphones are now equipped with NFC, GPS, WIFI, and BLE. These features can help event managers to automate the registration process of attendees at events without making a mess. For instance, BLE connectivity can enable attendees to use their smartphones to collaborate with the onsite registration software to check in when they are near event venue.Moreover, they can be directed to collection booth to get their event badges through a notification on their mobile phone. It would help event managers to save time and utilize automated system instead of the workforce for onsite registrations.Interactive PostersWith the help of NFC, attendees can tap on posters or products through their mobile device to get more information. It would allow the exhibitors to extract the list of potential customers who are interested in the product offering.The potential of IoT is beyond one’s imagination. The real advantage of using IoT in events is to collect data from any device. Imagine if an event planner incorporates the attendee data, it allows them to collect useful information, allowing them to create a personalized experience for the audience.As you leave the event venue, you receive a notification that acknowledges you for visiting the event and a link to an event survey. At the same time, an email is sent to you with the list of exhibitors that you have visited and information about their service offerings.Heat Map and NavigationAllowing attendees to connect to the WIFI or adding BLE chips into the event badges can allow event managers to generate a heat map. The heat map will keep track of the attendees’ location to know which part of the event engages them the most.With the help of this data, event managers can start improving the way they organize and arrange a venue. Moreover, they can also analyze the most visited areas where attendees were engaged the most and devise new strategies to market the product in a better way.Security and Safety of AttendeesSmart buildings are optimal to deal with any kind of problems or hazards. Windows and doors in smart buildings are controlled wirelessly through the connection of beacons and cameras. With minimum to no human intervention, guests can be welcomed and unwanted visitors can be kept out. Moreover, the air conditioners, lighting, and heating appliances can be managed wirelessly in order to meet with the rapid changes in the venue.ConclusionThe deployment of new technologies in your event can help you gather useful data, leading to more efficient event management. It depends on you how you utilize the data because deploying the latest technology is not beneficial unless you are ignoring the key data metrics. Follow the Puck
These are the 8 After Effects plugins that you should have in your motion design arsenal!Plugins add extra functionality to After Effects and every good motion designer probably has a few they rely on everyday. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a newbie to After Effects, these 8 plugins can help you take your motion design skills to the next level.1. Trapcode ParticularTrapcode Particular is a particle system plugin that allows users to create customized particles in After Effects like smoke, rain, clouds and dust. Particular offers more functionality than After Effects’ built-in Particle World plugin and uses realistic physics. Using Particular you can create particle based lines, shapes and patterns in 3D space.Price: $399 via Red Giant 2 Element 3D v.2Element 3D is a popular plugin created by VideoCopilot that allows users to upload and use 3D models within Adobe After Effects. If you don’t know how to use modeling software like Maya or Cinema 4D, Element 3D can help you import and edit 3D models quickly. Element 3D works incredibly fast considering all the functionality it brings to After Effects.Element 3D Version 2 was recently released, bringing added features such as ambient occlusion and lighting presets to your imported 3D models.Price: $199.95 via Video Copilot3. Plexus 2Plexus is a plugin that takes layers and breaks them up into smaller objects. This also comes with .obj support, meaning you can import models from most 3D graphics softwares and have the objects broken up in 3D space. These 3D objects can serve as containers or forms for Plexus to use.Plexus also has the ability to create the incredibly popular 3D connected dots design (we’re seeing this used everywhere). Plexus allows for the use of 3D bezier splines, meaning you can adjust lines in 3D space. All of the 3D objects in Plexus also work with 3D cameras and depth of field.Price: $199.99 via Rowbyte4. Optical FlaresAlthough they can definitely be overused, lens flares can be a great way to add visual interest to your scene. While there are a lot of really good lens flare generators out there, our favorite is Optical Flares from VideoCopilot. With Optical Flares, users can create custom lens flares that work in 3D space. Optical Flares are designed to look realistic and use various effects such as chromatic aberration for a more realistic look. Optical Flares also come with a preset library.Price: $124.95 via Video Copilot5. Newton 2Newton is a 2D physics engine for After Effects that allows users to apply real-world physics to 2D objects. More specifically it’s Newton’s ability to apply gravity in a number of different ways including: gravity scale, magnetism, and fixed rotation properties. Newton also allows users to create realistic physics-based rigs to simulate pivots, pistons, springs, and distance joints.Price: $249.99 via Newton6. Continuum CompleteBoris Continuum Complete is the Swiss Army Knife of After Effects plugins. Inside Continuum Complete users will find hundreds of plug-in effects that serve a wide-range of purposes. From glitches to generators, to chroma key tools, lens flares and dissolves, Continuum Complete offers a varied toolset for a wide variety of projects.Price: $995 via Boris7. TwitchAlthough Twitch has been around for a while, I think it’s still one of the most useful plug-ins you can buy. Twitch does exactly what the name implies, adds glitch effects to your footage. With the plug-in you have the ability to adjust scale, light, color, blur and time. The plug-in also comes with an assortment of sound effects.Price: $45 via Video Copilot8. DuIKDuIK is a plug-in designed to help users animate in After Effects. If you’re familiar with animation, you probably know that rigging and inverse kinematics are vital to making animated characters more realistic. Unfortunately, you don’t have the ability to perform inverse kinematics using the built-in tools in After Effects. That’s where DuIK comes into play. With DuIK you can create complex rigs that simulate muscle, bones, and IK. Plus, it’s free!Price: Free via Duduf Can you think of any plugins that should have made the list? Share in the comments below.
Getting into making food videos? Make yours totally irresistible with this royalty free music playlist.Head anywhere online, and you’re likely to stumble upon something food-related. Instagram overflows with gorgeous pics of people’s latest restaurant discoveries. And there’s a jaw-dropping number of food blogs out there providing easy-to-follow recipes and cooking tips.Since food has such a big online presence, it’s no surprise that food videos have become basically a genre of their own. After all, who can resist clicking on a mouthwatering how-to recipe video when it pops up in a newsfeed?If you’re getting into making food videos, there is plenty of great advice out there on how to film them. Take a look at these useful techniques from food blogger Amanda Garbutt. Or, a little closer to home, see our own top food styling tips. A popular way to film food videos is by using the top-down approach — here’s how you can pull off this striking shot.One often-overlooked aspect of a video’s success is the music. It’s one ingredient you don’t want to leave out because the right music can really amplify your video.What should the soundtrack achieve in a food video? For most people, preparing food is a chore at the best of times, so light, breezy music really helps to give the impression that cooking is not just easy but fun too. Take this video as an example. In it, the PremiumBeat track “Aftershock Blue” by GG Riggs helps create a fun, stress-free vibe.Another approach is to select a track that matches the cuisine. This approach can help give your video an exotic flair — like this delicious grilled chicken shawarma recipe by Julie Remer, which makes great use of “Middle Eastern Day” by K Lo Music.With these tips in mind, our music team dove into our library to create an irresistible playlist that blends fun, breezy tracks with world music cues. Take a listen and find your perfect track.
In the second week of March, M. Pradip, Superintendent of Police of Thoubal district, Manipur, got an SMS on his mobile phone, tipping him off about a drug trafficker at Moijing village in the district. The man was allegedly manufacturing opium and heroin in an improvised mobile unit. The informer had switched off his phone when Mr. Pradip rang back, but the information appeared authentic.A raid was immediately ordered. But the intelligence network of the drug traffickers, it turned out, was efficient too. They had time to flee, taking the drugs with them. The only things they could not cart away were sackfuls of opium, manufacturing equipment, utensils and chemicals such as ammonium chloride and lime.“The lone person around was an aged and sick woman, who appeared disoriented,” Mr. Pradip told The Hindu.It was the same story in subsequent raids as well. The villagers do not welcome police and security personnel in their areas. There have been instances when they destroyed Army jeeps or viciously attacked police personnel who went in search of drug pushers and other criminals.Golden triangleManipur, which is contiguous with Myanmar and falls in the golden triangle, is a fertile ground for poppy cultivation. Farmers grow them in vast areas of the valley and the hills.The occasional destruction of the verdant poppy plants has not impacted the thriving business. “The poppy-growing season does not clash with paddy crop. And the income from poppy is huge,” an anti-narcotics official say. “Anti-narcotics officials can do little, because the department is understaffed and officials have to work by the book. They cannot destroy the vast cultivations.”Women bring in the stuff in sacks of vegetables, charcoal and other items. They sell the poppy fruits in the villages in Thoubal district.EC warningAhead of the March elections in Manipur, the Election Commission of India had informed the government about the presence of mobile drug laboratories producing opium, brown sugar and heroin. But the kingpins, who allegedly get huge funding from drug barons across the country, are still at large.Most of the villagers resent raids and see them as an anti-Muslim move. But officials suspect that some protesters backing stone-throwing and firings may actually be beneficiaries of the drug cartel. The possibility of moles in the force is not ruled out since drug traffickers always seem to be many steps ahead of the police.Opium, brown sugar and heroin are smuggled out to many States. As thousands of vehicles ply daily along the highways passing through Manipur, it is easy to transport drug packets without being noticed.Informed circles say the local drug production in Manipur has not affected drug smuggling from across the border. Huge quantities of prescription drugs are smuggled out for drug production. Some years ago, the police nabbed members of a gang engaged in such drug smuggling. The last catch was worth over ₹30 crore in the local market. One ranking Army officer and the son of a prominent politician were among those arrested. Huge consignments of prescription drugs were sent through post offices, air cargoes and private couriers. Despite many seizures, no significant arrests were made.The police are now trying to create awareness among the villagers. Mr. Pradip says that the grim reality has sunk in.Anti-narcotics officials feel that drug smugglers have found their movement restricted after the Assam Rifles manning the 358 km long Manipur-Myanmar border stepped up vigilance against militants.
Suspected militants killed a civilian in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Sunday, second such killing in the past 24 hours. Preliminary reports suggest that militants alighted at Shopian’s Pinjora area and fired upon advocate Imtiyaz Ahmad Khan. He succumbed to his injuries in the hospital.Khan, who was a public prosecutor, contested assembly polls in 2014 and is considered close to National Conference.On Saturday, Bashir Ahmad Dar, considered close to ruling Peoples Democratic Party, was shot dead in Pulwama district.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday ruled out any third party mediation on Kashmir issue.Reacting to former Chief Minister and National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah’s demand for a third party intervention, Ms. Mufti said, “There can be no place for a third party intervention in Jammu and Kashmir.”Mr. Abdullah on Friday sought the help of the U.S. and China “to mediate over the Kashmir issue”.“Let America and China mind their own business. Look at the places America has interfered in, be it Afghanistan, Syria, or Iraq. While China has its own problems to deal with in Tibet. We have the Lahore Declaration and the Shimla Agreement with us,” Ms. Mufti said.
In two encounters, two soldiers, including a Major, and two militants were killed in south Kashmir on Thursday.Three soldiers received bullet injuries during an anti-militancy operation launched at Imam Sahab, Shopian around 2:30 a.m. “There was specific inputs about the presence of militants in Matribugh, Zoipora village. As security forces zeroed in, the militants hiding there opened fire, injuring two security personnel,” said a police official.The injured soldiers, Major Kamlash Pandey and Sepoys Tanjin Chhutin and Kripal Singh, were shifted to the Army’s 92 Base Hospital in Srinagar for treatment. “However, two soldiers, including the Major, died of their injuries. The condition of another injured is stated to be critical,” said the police official.Sources said around three militants managed to escape from the encounter site in the cover of darkness.In a statement issued in Srinagar, Hizb-ul-Mujahudeen claimed the responsibility for the Shopian attack. “Field operational commander congratulates the militants and announced cash reward for them,” it said.In the adjacent Kulgam district, the police said, security forces killed two militants in Gopalpora, Damhal-Hanjipora. Two AK-47 rifles were recovered from them. “One of the militants was involved in the killing of five policemen and bank guards at Pambay, Kulgam,” said the police. Initial reports suggest the militants could be Aqib and Suhail, both locals.The authorities have suspended the mobile Internet service in south Kashmir.
The Railway administration on Wednesday terminated the services of 13 railway employees of the Khatauli station for the derailment of Utkal Express on August 19. More than 24 people were killed and 154 injured during the derailment which happened when Utkal Express was allowed to cross the track even when the track was being repaired. The local track men and railway engineers allowed repair work without taking the prior permission of senior officials. Superintendent of Khatauli railway station Rajendra Singh told The Hindu that the tracks were being repaired without informing senior officials. Those who were removed include 11 trackmen, 1 junior engineer and 1 hammer man. They were found to have committed “serious lapse during duty.” Neeraj Sharma, the chief spokesperson of the Northern Railway told The Hindu, “In connection with Khatauli train accident, 13 Railway employee including 11 trackmen, 1 Junior engineer, 1 hammer man, have been removed from service by Railway administration. They were involved in serious lapse during duty.”The termination of services of employees comes in a series of major reshuffle in the administrative set up of the railways following the derailment.
With slackers in the Nashik Municipal Corporation feeling the heat of the newly appointed commissioner Tukaram Mundhe’s functioning methods, the IAS officer on Tuesday issued yet another directive prohibiting display of images of gods and religious figures at work tables and stations of the employees.Mr. Mundhe has ordered work places and desks across departments in the NMC to be cleared of religious imagery.Government orderThe Commissioner was acting on a government order which dissuades government employees from adorning offices with such pictures or performing rituals.According to sources, the clearing has already begun in right earnest. In another move literally aimed at dusting off bureaucratic spider webs, the Commissioner has ordered that the NMC premises be cleaned every Saturday and Sunday, and dust from files to be swept away.Transferred nearly a dozen times in his 13-year tenure as IAS officer, Mr. Mundhe is a darling of the vernacular press, which minutely tracks his actions and pronouncements.One of his first acts on taking charge of the NMC on February 9 was to send the chief of the Nashik Fire Brigade home after he failed to appear in ‘proper uniform’.Imposing strict sartorial discipline, Mr. Mundhe has also warned all NMC employees to follow a formal dress code during work hours and that wearing casuals and sport shoes would not be tolerated.Determined to make his staff look crisp and sharp, Mr. Mundhe, while outlining his vision to transform Nashik into an ideal city on the cleanliness, environment and civic amenities fronts, has ordered that employees adhere to punctuality.His no-nonsense style of functioning has found himself perpetually at daggers drawn with politicos and contractors, while earning plaudits and cheers from citizens.His previous posting as Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) lasted barely 10 months, with the city’s corporators resenting Mr. Mundhe’s efforts to revive the moribund PMPML as “overbearing”.In a bid to make the organization [PMPML] efficient, Mr. Mundhe had sacked nearly 160 contract drivers for poor attendance records – a move that drew the ire of populist politicians.
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar who is expected to return from the U.S. late on June 14 has summoned a Cabinet meeting on Friday.This was disclosed by a Cabinet Minister in the BJP-led coalition government on Wednesday requesting anonymity. The Minister said that they have been informed by the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) on Wednesday that he would like to meet the Council of Ministers on Friday and requested them to remain in Goa.“The venue for the meeting with the Chief Minister has not been confirmed yet. But we have been informed by the CMO about the proposed meeting,” the Minister said. Mr. Parrikar (62) has been undergoing treatment in a New York hospital for more than three months. He was shifted to the U.S. in March this year, for specialised treatment.
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar will continue in his post, Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah said on September 23, as he announced that a reshuffle of the State’s Ministers would soon take place.The BJP chief said so in a tweet following a discussion with the Bharatiya Janata Party’s core group team from Goa.“It has been decided during a discussion with the Goa BJP core team that Manohar Parrikar will continue to lead the Goa government. There will soon be a reshuffle of Ministers and their portfolios,” he said.Mr. Parrikar’s poor health has sparked speculation over his continuation as the Chief Minister of Goa, and Mr. Shah had recently sent a central party leaders team to the coastal State to speak to allies and take stock of the political situation.The opposition Congress, which is the single-largest party in the State, has also staked a claim to form government. The BJP has asserted that its government continues to have the support of a majority of MLAs.Mr. Parrikar is at present admitted at the AIIMS and undergoing treatment for a pancreas-related ailment.
Bhim Army, on Sunday, hit out at Milind Ekbote, demanding that the right-wing leader be detained ahead of the 201st anniversary celebrations of the 1818 Koregaon-Bhima battle on January 1 to prevent him from aggravating social tensions.Milind Ekbote, prime accused in orchestrating the Bhima-Koregaon clashes, had earlier written to the Bhima-Koregaon inquiry panel urging them to deny permission to Bhim Army’s rally in Pune on December 30.“Who is Ekbote, who is named in an FIR as the chief instigator of the Bhima-Koregaon riots and is out on bail, to deny us permission? He has always disturbed the peace in the past with his inflammatory remarks. We urge the Pune police not to give importance to his affidavit and place him under house arrest till the January 1 ceremony passes off peacefully,” said Datta Pol, the outfit’s Pune district president, speaking to The Hindu on Sunday.The Dalit outfit is planning to hold a ‘Bhima-Koregaon Sangharsh Mahasabha’ at the city’s SSPMS grounds on December 30. Chandrashekhar Azad ‘Ravan’ is expected to speak at the event.Mr. Azad, who is scheduled to reach Maharashtra on December 28, will be speaking in Mumbai, Latur and Amravati as well.Threat to public peace and order, says EkboteEarlier this week, appearing before the two-member Bhima-Koregaon inquiry commission, Mr. Ekbote submitted that the Bhim Army’s proposed rally constituted a “new threat” to public peace and order.Mr. Ekbote claimed that a rally held last year had “provoked” people and “promoted hatred and social division”.“The Jaysthambha [victory pillar at Bhima-Koregaon] is not only being treated as a religious place for worship, but a false historical narrative is being constructed by the political leaders from the Dalit community,” Mr. Ekbote said in his plea.Mr. Ekbote, who heads ‘Samasta Hindu Aghadi’, had vehemently opposed the ‘Elgaar Parishad’ held last year on December 31, a day before the clashes erupted at the village of Bhima-Koregaon.Police permissionSlamming Mr. Ekbote, Mr. Pol denigrated his claims as “ridiculous”, commenting that the Bhima-Koregaon Ranstambh (victory pillar) was not a ‘religious place of worship’ and used to be frequented by members from the Dalit community even before Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s visit there in 1927.Mr. Pol further said that the process of getting police permission to hold the rally was on and that a few formalities needed to be completed.“The Bund Garden police, under whose jurisdiction our proposed event falls, has asked us to submit documents pertaining to the arrangements at the venue. We are in the process of submitting the same,” he informed.Meanwhile, the Ramdas Athawale-led RPI (A) has urged the administration to deny permission to rallies being held within 500 metres of the victory pillar in a bid to maintain order during the celebrations.“We further appeal to individuals and parties to desist from spreading misinformation through social media and posters or uttering provocative speeches and statements calculated to cause discord between castes or communities,” said RPI (A) leader Ashok Kamble.While lakhs of Dalits converged on the victory pillar (Ranstambh or Jayastambh) each year to pay their respects, the celebrations this year were marred by riots that left one person dead besides aggravating social tensions across Maharashtra.Since then, there have been two investigations into the affair. The Pune Rural police has lodged an FIR against right-wing Hindutva leaders Sambhaji Bhide ‘Guruji’ and Milind Ekbote, naming them as the orchestrators of the violence.The Pune City police have conducted multi-city crackdowns across the country and have arrested ten noted intellectuals and activists including advocate Surendra Gadling, Professor Shoma Sen, poet P. Varavara Rao and Sudha Bharadwaj among others for their alleged links with Maoist outfits and for their roles in the ‘Elgaar Parishad’ and the subsequent Bhima-Koregaon clashes.
With a focus on Punjab-centric issues, the Punjab Democratic Alliance (PDA) is all set to take on mainstream parties as it aims to fight for a “genuine federal system” with more powers and autonomy to the States.PDA – the coalition of Bahujan Samaj Party, Punjabi Ekta Party, Lok Insaaf Party, Nawan Punjab Party, Communist Party of India (CPI), Revolutionary Marxist Party of India (RMPI) and Marxist Communist Party of India (U) have announced a common minimum programme (CMP) for the 2019 Parliamentary polls as the alliance prepares to contest all the 13 Lok Sabha seats, which go for polls on May 19.“The alliance has been forged to liberate Punjab from the clutches of traditional parties such as the Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal SAD, Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), etc., that have ruined the State in turns for the past many decades. We aspire for a federal and democratic India as an alternative to the conventional political parties monopolising the power and resources of Punjab,” Dharamvira Gandhi, the suspended Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Member of Parliament from Patiala, who has recently floated Nawan Punjab Party, told The Hindu.“We want autonomy to States within the Indian Union. The entire resources and wealth generation is within the States. Yet they are beggars and the Centre is in a stronger position. This needs to be changed,” said Mr. Gandhi.Unkept promisesHitting out at the successive governments in Punjab, Mr. Gandhi said in Punjab – farmers, labourers, dalits or small business persons – all are suffering due to the indifferent attitude and wrong policies of the State as well as the Centre.“The youth is shattered by unemployment and is running abroad or taking recourse to drugs. Promises by the ruling Congress of waiving of farmers’ loans, jobs for each family and the oath of eliminating drugs in four weeks have all evaporated,” said Mr. Gandhi.Pointing out that PDA stands committed on issue-based, clean and accountable politics, Mr. Gandhi said through its CMP, the PDA would fight for the long- pending demands of Punjab – be it the river waters issue, territorial disputes, rightful claim to the capital city of Chandigarh – and a true federal system with more powers and autonomy to the states.“We will also fight for complete waiving of farmers’/agricultural workers’ loans and getting the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission implemented,” said Mr. Gandhi.‘Addicts as patients’He added to tackle the drugs menace, Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act needs to be tweaked. “Thousands of drug addicts are in jails while the big-fish, who control the drug trade are wandering free because they enjoy political patronage. The alliance demands to treat addicts as patients and extend them free treatment, and deal firmly with the drug mafia,” he said.
Odisha Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal chief Naveen Patnaik on Saturday criticised the BJP for failing to name a chief ministerial candidate for the ongoing Assembly election in the State.“Who is the BJP’s second engine in Odisha,” asked Mr. Patnaik, in an apparent response to the appeal by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others to the people to vote for the BJP and a “double-engine governmen” in the State and the Centre for development of Odisha.“The people of Odisha want to know who the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate is. Where is his constituency? Is the BJP scared to announce its CM candidate,” asked Mr. Patnaik during a rally at Daspalla under Kandhamal Lok Sabha seat.Countering top BJP leaders who have been campaigning in the State, Mr. Patnaik criticised them for visiting the State only during elections. “The leaders from Delhi come during elections. They will not been seen after the polls. I have always remained with you,” Mr. Patnaik told the crowd.The BJD president also accused the BJP leaders for not visiting Odisha during Phailin and Hudhud cyclones and floods. He said that help from the Centre came during Titli cyclone, but it reached Andhra Pradesh.Mr. Patnaik, who undertook a roadshow covering Kandhamal and Aska Lok Sabha constituencies during the day, addressed two public meetings. Both constituencies and the Assembly segments under them are going to the polls on April 18.
Five police personnel have been suspended in connection with the death a 22-year-old Dalit man who was a suspect in a theft case, a senior Madhya Pradesh police officer said on Wednesday. Family members of the deceased Sanju Tipaniya have alleged that he died due to thrashing by the police personnel at Gandhi Nagar police station. West Superintendent of Police Suraj Verma said that Tipaniya was brought to the police station on Tuesday in connection with a theft case. Explaining the sequence of events, he said Tipaniya felt uneasy during questioning, following which a doctor was summoned. “The doctor detected low blood pressure as the cause for Tipaniya losing his consciousness,” he said. The SP added that Tipaniya was then taken to a nearby hospital and later to the State-run Maharaja Yeshwantrao Hospital, but he could not be saved. He said Gandhi Nagar police station in-charge Neeta Deyarwal and four constables have been suspended. Meanwhile, family members of the deceased staged a protest demanding that a case of murder be registered against the policemen. A magisterial inquiry has been ordered.