Progress Continues on Jim Duncan Track Resurfacing

first_img Drake University’s iconic Blue Oval is undergoing a facelift this summer as a new state-of-the-art Jim Duncan Track is being installed inside the venerable stadium.A new Mondo Super X surface will be placed upon the existing track, guaranteeing that the Jim Duncan Track remains a world-class competitive venue for years to come.The new track, which will bear the familiar blue hue of its predecessor, is the same surface that the 2012 London Olympics and 2008 Beijing Olympics were contested on. The prefabricated synthetic rubber surface is composed of two layers vulcanized together to produce on seamless surface. Designed to produce superior athletic performance, the Mondotrack surface provides the optimum blend of energy return and comfort for both sprint and distance events and guarantees and ideal combination of shock absorption and elasticity for jumpers.Progress on the resurfacing continues on schedule with the entire oval now covered in the new surface. The project’s progress will be updated throughout the summer on Friendly Version Jim Duncan Track Update – June 30 Story Linkslast_img read more

More Reasons to Imitate Biology

first_imgRecent articles about Biomimetics show that the field is still going strong.[Note: CEH is taking a break this week. These news items are presented for those who wish to follow up on them.]Newly developed molecule to improve pharmaceuticals draws inspiration from nature’s toolbox (Colorado State, via Inspired by a special enzyme that handles fluorine.Sugars in mother’s milk help shape baby’s microbiome and ward off infection (Medical Xpress). Study of natural milk may improve synthetic imitations.How to use limited bandwidth more efficiently? Think like a cave-dwelling fish (Science Daily). Nature-inspired device avoids jamming, could enable smarter and less expensive use of wireless communication bandwidth.Built for speed: DNA nanomachines take a (rapid) step forward ( “This is much slower than naturally occurring processes in living systems like protein motors, which can perform feats of dissociation similar to strand displacement in much faster time frames.”Wireless ‘RoboFly’ Looks Like an Insect, Gets Its Power from Lasers (Live Science). But insects do it without lasers.Researchers mimic comet moth’s silk fibers to make ‘air-conditioned’ fabric (’ route-finding abilities put mapping software to shame (Nature).Has artificial intelligence become alchemy? (Science Magazine). AI can do specialized tasks, but works nothing like a real human mind. The quest to imitate the mind is like the pseudoscience of alchemy, Matthew Hutson writes.Why we need to figure out a theory of consciousness (The Conversation). Various secular theories about mind that have come and gone.Maybe these stories will inspire you to write an article or a blog entry about intelligent design at work in real scientific research. (Visited 268 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

SA sets achievable goals for COP 17

first_img24 November 2011 While it is unlikely that a legally binding deal on reducing carbon emissions will be struck, COP 17 should build on the Bali Roadmap and put into effect the Cancun Agreements, says Edna Molewa, leader of South Africa’s negotiating team at the UN climate summit. With the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change set to kick off in Durban on Monday, the South African negotiating team is putting the finishing touches to its preparatory work for the critical gathering. Environmental and Water Affairs Minister Edna Molewa and her International Relations and Cooperation counterpart, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, told journalists in Durban on Wednesday that the country was ready to host the event, which will see over 20 000 delegates descend on Durban. While Molewa leads SA’s negotiating team, Nkoana-Mashabane will be taking over as president of COP 17.No legally binding outcome likely Molewa’s team has overseen the development, compilation and lobbying of the South African COP 17 negotiation position, through wide consultation with stakeholders including academics, business and non-profit organisations. The primary objective of the conference would be to reach an agreement on how effectively to tackle climate change at a global level in a fair manner, thus addressing the threats it posed to human development and growth, Molewa said. She said no legally binding agreement would likely be reached on cutting down on emissions, and the outcome should rather build on the Bali Roadmap of 2007 as well as put into effect the Cancun Agreements of 2010.Cancun Agreements, Bali Roadmap President Jacob Zuma, outlining South Africa’s vision for the conference earlier this week, said it was crucial for COP 17 to ensure that the Cancun Agreements, which included the establishment of a Green Climate Fund, were operationalised. The President said developing countries demanded a prompt start for the Fund through early initial capitalisation. For Durban to be successful, Zuma said, the parties then had to deal with the outstanding political issues remaining from the Bali Roadmap of 2007. This meant finding a resolution to the issue of the second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, and agreeing on the legal nature of a future climate change system. Zuma added that adaptation was another essential element of the outcome of COP 17, as it was a key priority for many developing countries, particularly small island developing states, least developed countries, and Africa. SAinfo reporter and BuaNewslast_img read more

Automotive boost for Eastern Cape

first_imgFAW plans to extend its commercial vehicleinvestment into passenger carmanufacturing. The venture will alsoresult in substantial job creation.(Image: First Automobile Works)MEDIA CONTACTS • Gustav MeyerBusiness development manager, CoegaDevelopment Corporation+27 41 403 0485• Mehdi AbbasOperations manager, FAW+27 11 394 1111Emily van RijswijckChina’s oldest and largest automobile manufacturer, First Automobile Works (FAW), plans to strengthen its already considerable South African presence in 2012 by investing US$100-million (R784-million) into a truck assembly plant in the Eastern Cape.Negotiations between FAW and government officials at local, national and provincial level have been underway for over a year, and will culminate when construction on the plant commences in the first quarter of 2012.The facility’s actual location will be announced in due course.The plant will be able to produce 5 000 truck units per year and will employ about 1 000 local workers by the time the first vehicle rolls off the assembly at the end of 2013.Another 400 skilled and unskilled labour will be required for assembly of the plant.The new facility will produce a wide range of trucks, from extra heavy commercial to five-tonners, with components imported from the parent company in China.According to FAW operations manager Mehdi Abbas, this is just the start of investment in the province, as there are also plans to extend the development to the assembly of passenger vehicles.This will include single and twin-cab pickups (“bakkies” in local terminology) and other types of sport utility vehicles.FAW foresees production of 30 000 units on the passenger vehicle assembly line which is planned for 2015. The company also hopes to introduce a sedan assembly plant later at the same site.“The plant will act as an export base for business into the rest of Africa,” says Abbas.FAW has been able to maintain its growth in tough economic times, even increasing its global market share, and believes its investment bodes well for South Africa.“The investment will have a positive effective on the perceptions with regards to the South African economy, showing that the macro-economic environment is still healthy and that overall, investment opportunities remain attractive in the country,” says Abbas.Fortune Global 500FAW came in at number 258 in Fortune magazine’s Global 500 list for 2010, and in 2011 was named one of the top 200 companies for the first time, at 197. Rankings are calculated on revenue and profit.The company is registered with the local engineering and manufacturing sector training authority merSETA and will continue to use its in-house training facilities to impart skills to local labour forces as part of its social investment programme, confirmed Abbas.Growth in local vehicle manufacturing sectorFAW is the third largest truck manufacturer in the world and China’s leading exporter of vehicles. The company has operated in South Africa for the last 18 years, with its head office in Isando, east of Johannesburg, and branches in Cape Town and Pinetown.Coega Development Corporation business development manager Gustav Meyer says the FAW investment in the province will be significant and will have upstream and downstream opportunities in the future.“In 2010, FAW sold over 2.5-million vehicles, 650 275 of which were their own home-grown brands, while the balance was split between Toyota and Volkswagen. The latter two are manufactured under licence in some of the world’s most technologically advanced vehicle assembly complexes.”Talks are currently underway between the business and government sectors to establish an automotive cluster in the Eastern Cape by March 2012.Through the Automotive Production Development Plan (APDP), vehicle production can be increased from the 550 000 units per annum currently produced to 1.2-million by 2020, according to President Jabob Zuma, who paid the Eastern Cape automotive industry a visit in October 2011.The APDP came into effect in 2008 and is aimed at stimulating local content production and exports through various tariffs and allowances.last_img read more

Nelson Mandela books: a selection

first_imgThe world’s authors – from biographers and journalists to friends and comrades – have found compelling stories to tell about Nelson Rohlihlahla Mandela and a life lived with courage and conviction.Mandela: The Authorised Portrait, draws on 60 original interviews with family members, close friends, colleagues, former comrades and many of the world’s leading figures in politics and entertainment. (Image: Nelson Mandela Foundation)Brand South Africa reporter Here’s a selection of some of the best books about the man we call Madiba:A Long Walk to FreedomBy Nelson Mandela. Macdonald Purnell: 1994“I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.’Madiba’s autobiography was begun in prison, worked on for several months after his release in 1990, and finally published in 1994. At almost 700 pages, it is a hefty but compelling read in which Mandela traces his journey from the Transkei to his inauguration as the first president of a democratic South Africa. A movie based on the book, starring British actor Idris Elba as the Nobel Peace prize winner, was released in December 2013.Young Mandela: The Revolutionary YearsBy David James Smith. Little, Brown: 2010English journalist and author James Smith tells the story of Mandela’s youth and his rise within the ANC before his imprisonment in 1964.(Image supplied)Conversations With MyselfBy Nelson Mandela. Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 2010Drawn from Mandela’s personal archive, this is an in-depth and thoroughly indexed collection of letters, journal entries, meditations and recorded private conversations, including diaries and draft letters written in Robben Island and notebooks from the post-apartheid transition. Foreword by US President Barack Obama. Has been translated into French and Portuguese.Read more: Book brings Mandela’s quotes to life Nelson Mandela as life-long activistMandela book translations a hitMandela: The Authorised BiographyBy Anthony Sampson. Updated by John Battersby, HarperCollins: 2011Sampson, a former editor of Drum magazine and a long-time friend of Mandela, depicts the realities of the global leader’s private and public life. Originally published in 1999, it has recently been updated by South African journalist, John Battersby.The World That Made Mandela: A Heritage Trail – 70 Sites of SignificanceBy Luli Callinicos. David Krut, 2000Bringing history and geography together, historian Luli Callinicos’ book is filled with archival and contemporary images telling Mandela’s story through the many places associated with his life. From his birthplace in Qunu to the Old Fort in Johannesburg, where he was held prisoner (and which is now the site of the Constitutional Court), from Soweto to Mpumalanga, the images provide a historical context for South Africa today, combining to form a unique “heritage trail”.A Prisoner in the GardenBy Sarah Groves. Penguin: 2005Visually documents the 27 years Mandela spent in prison on Robben Island, including previously unpublished photographs as well as diary and letter extracts.Mandela: The Authorised PortraitBy Mac Maharaj, Mike Nicol, Ahmad Kathrada, Tim Couzens. Bloomsbury: 2006Draws on 60 original interviews with family members, close friends, colleagues, former comrades and many of the world’s leading figures in politics and entertainment. Foreword by former US president Bill Clinton and introduction by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Illustrated with 250 images.Nelson Mandela’s WardersBy Mike Nicol. Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory: 2011Examines the nature of the relationship between Mandela and three of the warders who claimed a close relationship with him during his 27 years in prison. James Gregory, Christo Brand and Jack Swart all remained in contact with Mandela after his release.Download the publication as a PDF from www.nelsonmandela.orgRead more: The story of Mandela’s wardersNelson Mandela: A Life in CartoonsBy Harry Dugmore, Stephen Francis and Rico. David Philip: 1999Documents an extraordinary life in more than 150 of the world’s finest cartoons about Mandela.Mandela’s Way: Lessons on Life, Love, and CourageBy Richard Stengel. Virgin Books, 2010American journalist and now editor of Time magazine, Stengel collaborated with Mandela on The Long Walk to Freedom. Here, he revisits an old friend – and distils 15 “core truths” about Mandela’s life. This is much more than a book about Mandela: in its review, the Financial Times described it as the “ultimate manual on leadership and on how to manage a dysfunctional organisation”.(Image supplied)Nelson Mandela By Himself: The Authorised Book of QuotationsNelson Mandela Foundation, 2011While collections of Mandela’s quotes abound, this is the first authorised, fully referenced record of his “most important and inspiring” quotations. Spanning 60 years, the 2 000 quotations are organised into more than 300 categories, such as courage, optimism and democracy.Read more: Nelson Mandela: in his own wordsIn the Words of Nelson MandelaBy Jennifer Crwys-Williams (editor). Walker & Company: 2011A compilation of aphorisms drawn from Madiba’s speeches, interviews, books and court reports. First published in 1999.Invictus: Nelson Mandela and the Game that Made a NationBy John Carlin. Penguin: 2008A fascinating account of South Africa’s journey to victory in the 1994 World Cup. The story reveals Mandela’s wily strategy to use sport to heal the nation. Don’t miss the movie, starring Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman, which captures the spirit of the time perfectly.Ukutya Kwasekhaya: Tastes from Nelson Mandela’s KitchenBy Xoliswa Ndoyiya. Real African Publishers: 2011.Xoliswa Ndoyiya was Nelson Mandela’s personal cook for 20 years. In Ukutya kwasekhaya (“home food” in isiXhosa), she shares 60 of Mandela’s favourite recipes, as well as belly-warming food-related anecdotes.Read more: The simple palate of Nelson MandelaHunger for Freedom: the story of food in the Life of Nelson MandelaBy Anna Trapido. Jacana Media: 2008Examines the role that food has played throughout Mandela’s life: from his childhood and years in prison, to during and after his time as president. Trapido unearths fascinating and humanising stories, noting that in prison Mandela would speak about freedom as he spoke about food.Read more: Mandela’s story told in mealsFor childrenNelson Mandela: the Authorised Comic BookNelson Mandela Foundation, Umlando Wezithombe, Jonathan Ball Publishers: 2009Excellent and fully authorised graphic biography. Expanded from a series of eight comics to help children learn about Nelson Mandela. The golden artwork is by a Johannesburg-based collective, Umlando Wezithombe.Read more: Nelson Mandela – comic book hero(Image supplied)Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (children’s edition)Abridged by Chris van Wyk, Paddy Bouma (illustrator). Macmillan: 2009Simple and powerful picture book, abridged from Mandela’s 1994 autobiography.Tree Shaker: The Story of Nelson MandelaBy Bill Keller. Kingfisher: 2008A tightly and interesting written profile of Mandela by the former New York Times Johannesburg bureau chief, Bill Keller. Includes articles from the Times, as well as an excellent selection of photographs.Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African FolktalesNelson Mandela (editor): 2007Collection of 32 “beloved stories, morsels rich with the gritty essence of Africa”. Numerous authors and bright illustrations by a diverse range of artists. Legends and folk tales from all over the continent. The award-winning audio version is worth seeking out, with contributions from actors such as Whoopi Goldberg, Blair Underwood, Sean Hayes, Matt Damon, Benjamin Bratt, LaVar Burton, Hugh Jackman and Samuel L Jackson.Website: www.mandelasfavouritefolktales.comReviewed: December 2013Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Epic Fail: Startup Lemons Turned to Lemonade

first_imgdana oshiro Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#start#startups When so many conferences feature CEOs rehashing their past successes, FailCon does exactly the opposite. The event asks successful founders, investors and developers to discuss their past blunders and what they’ve learned from them. While this may seem like a series of sob stories, the result is actually a list of practical tips on how to reduce risk, manage teams and recover from adversity. In today’s afternoon sessions several panelists shared their war stories and set the stage for lessons. Gnip founder Eric Marcoullier had some colorful words for the audience, “Sometimes I feel like a stolen watch salesman. When someone asks to hear about one of my failures I can open up my coat and ask which one they’d like to see.” While the entrepreneur / programmer is best known for his successes with MyBlogLog and gaming site IGN, Marcoullier talked about the recent layoff of seven of twelve employees from his API aggregation platform company. Says Marcoullier, “Misery is nature’s way of telling you you’re doing it wrong…Since we’ve changed directions, we’re currently working on a new platform and we’ve released more features in one month than we had in the previous 6 months. I don’t know if we’re going to succeed, but we’re going to find out a lot faster now.” Meanwhile, social Q&A site Aardvark’s cofounder Max Ventilla talks about the importance of hiring the right people, building a culture of iteration/experimentation and setting the stage for continual learning. Aardvark is a great example of a well-executed real-time company and we first gave it a favorable review in late March.Says Ventilla, “There’s an infinite number of B+ players available to hire, but you’ve got to get people who are passionate about the product and who will attract other good employees.” Ventilla explains that co-founders should be patient and continue to experiment with processes and products. He stresses that startups should task specific people in an organization to disseminate data and discuss new approaches as a group. “Transparency needs to be a default,” says Ventilla. “Executives need to be willing to learn and discuss business in order to gain collective wisdom as a company.” center_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

Coping With Termites and Carpenter Ants

first_imgSand or ground stone will discourage termitesTermites also can be stopped with the right backfill around the foundation, says Dana Dorsett. “Backfilling the exterior with clean compacted sand of the right granular size can mitigate termite intrusions fairly well when surrounded by stable soils that won’t settle or frost-heave creating gaps in the sand,” Dorsett writes.“Using copper flashing as the capillary break and termite shield for the foundation sill at the top of an [insulated concrete form] wall is another measure worth taking,” Dorsett says. “The copper flashing is also a thermal bridge, true, but worth it in high-risk areas. (As I understand it, like borates, copper compounds are toxic to the gut flora of wood boring insects, protozoans required for the host insect to digest wood.)”Lucy Foxworth says stone material ground to the right size is an effective termite barrier. “The types I researched online are made from rock and ground to a size that is too big for the termites to move, with spaces between that are too small for the termites and too hard to chew,” she writes.Foxworth says this material is called BTB. Another variety is sold in Australia under the trade name GranitGard.Another type of physical barrier, writes Hein Bloed, is stainless-steel mesh. “It is wrapped around the entire insulation,” Bloed says. “Laid out on the hard core, the EPS placed down and then the mesh is being folded up and over the sides. Like wrapping a parcel.” “Regardless of your local code,” Holladay writes, “here’s my recommendation: If you’re worried about termites, install the rigid foam on the interior of your foundation wall (whether you are building a crawl space or a basement). Leave a strip of your foundation wall uninsulated at the top of the wall as an inspection strip; that’s where you will look for signs of termite activity.”Although that strip of bare concrete will leak heat, he says, “that’s the price you pay to live in a climate that is warm enough for termites.”Holladay adds that expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) treated with borate may offer some protection. Perform Guard is one brand; another is manufactured by the Poly Molding Corp.. GREEN PRODUCT GUIDE And then there are those pesky carpenter antsCarpenter ants are another unfortunate fact of life, although they probably don’t represent as serious a threat to the structural integrity of wood-framed buildings as termites do. Still, they can be a problem, and they apparently like both damp wood and rigid foam insulation. Or maybe it’s dry wood, as a conflicting post suggests.Ants will sometimes bore through dry wood, Dorsett says, but they won’t nest in any wood with moisture content of less than 15%, typically wood that’s been attacked by fungus.“Some species of ants seem to favor picking apart EPS beads (I’ve observed this with picnic-coolers), not just carpenter ants, but I’m not quite sure what that’s about,” Dorsett says. “I’ve seen EPS well-tunneled and traveled, completely riddled by carpenter ants, but never seen an actual nest in EPS — only found the queens and quantities of egg in wood.”Malcolm Taylor, writing from the Pacific Northwest, says carpenter ants are locally ubiquitous, most active in the hottest part of the summer when they swarm.“I often find their nests in the foam sheets insulating tongue-and-groove ceilings which are somewhere between warm and hot with no moisture present,” Taylor says. “Perhaps at some point in the year there was a higher level to attract them to the location in the first place, but they sure don’t move if things are dry during the majority of their tenure. To expand their nests I have seen them completely remove the double top plates between two studs, which at the time must have been under 6%.”[In fact, the photo that accompanies this column (provided by Cathy Rust of BEC Green) shows foam insulation in a roof.]“My experience has been the opposite of yours,” Taylor continued, “that they will tunnel through sound wood but usually nest in the foam.”All of the nests he’s found have been in Styrofoam SM extruded polystyrene. Make sure your local code allows the use of rigid foamBuilding codes in some parts of the country don’t permit the use of foam on exterior foundation walls, GBA senior editor Martin Holladay points out. So the first step would be to check with the local building department to see if that’s an option at all. RELATED ARTICLES If Ants Like Rigid Foam, Should We Stop Using It?Design Buildings So It’s Easy to Spot TermitesControl Termites with a Bait System Ralph’s new home will be in Cleveland, Tennessee, not far from Chattanooga and solidly in termite country. And that’s the problem.“I want to use [rigid foam] on the exterior of the foundation (full height),” Ralph writes in a post at Green Building Advisor’s Q&A forum, “but I have been personally plagued by termites and carpenter ants in every home I have lived in. Short of soaking everything in dieldrin (hard to come by these days but worked beautifully in my opinion and has some nasty side effects), what is the current recommendation for stopping the critters outside the foam/concrete interface?”He’s hoping to start construction this spring. How does he balance his plans for energy-efficient design with the practical necessity of controlling these destructive pests?That’s the topic for this Q&A Spotlight. Two-part flashing detail in IndianaTony Fleming, writing about a deep energy retrofit at his home in Indiana (“land of many lakes, wetlands, and subterranean termites”), says a two-part flashing system was the key to keeping termites from re-infesting the house.“The key element is a J-flashing that wraps around the top of the foundation foam panel at about the sill elevation,” Fleming says. “The long leg of the ‘J’ is adhered to the concrete with a continuous double bead of silicon adhesive (the pest control operator said that termites will not go through the silicon), while the short leg extends back down the front of the foam panel. Any termite tunnels in the foam or on the foam-concrete interface are literally redirected back to the outside where they are visible.”A modified “Z” flashing sits directly on top of the “J” flashing, he adds, and wraps around the rigid foam that is applied to the house sheathing.“This process sounds like a lot of work but it was actually rather easy and took about a day to make and install,” Fleming says. “Our flashing consists of standard white aluminum flashing and was bent on site using a regular metal brake.”The first step, Fleming says, is to identify the type of termite that’s likely to be a problem. “Subterranean termites are the most common in temperate latitudes,” he says, “but other species, such as Formosan termites, come into play in the south and near south. Different species have different requirements [for] moisture, light/darkness, wood, etc.” Our expert’s point of viewHere’s what GBA technical director Peter Yost had to say:In my experience, both termites and carpenter ants love any material that is easy to chew through to get to a nice place to nest: warm, with access to moisture. Carpenter ants don’t actually eat wood, they just chew it to get to where they are going but termites chew wood for food.Some good suggestions have been made already: inspection zones at the top of foundation walls, Termi-Mesh, the stainless-steel mesh, and the original Basalt Termite Barrier from Hawaii. All are completely non-toxic systems. Bait systems do use the latest and least toxic termiticides, and the bait traps confine the substances to the traps and target the termites. Termite baiting is not simple; use this University of Kentucky resource to evaluate bait systems.But maybe the best option is to consider using a rigid foam material that can’t be chewed: rigid mineral wool (Thermafiber, Roxul and Knauf) or Foamglas. Availability and price are definitely considerations with these alternative rigid insulation boards, but they are all just too tough to chew. Mite-Outlast_img read more

Weekly Wrap-Up: Facebook’s $7 Update, Watching The Debates Online, And Why Apple’s Fight With Google Hurts Users

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting adam popescu Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Facebook’s $7 Update, Watching The Presidential Debate Online, and Why Apple’s Fight With Google Hurts Users. All of this and more in the ReadWriteWeb Weekly Wrap-up.After the jump you’ll find more of this week’s top stories on the key topics that are shaping the Web – Location, App Stores and Real-Time Web – plus highlights from some of our six sections. Read on for more.Facebook: $7 To Promote My Status Update???Facebook has announced that it is testing promoted posts for people in the United States. Apparently paying to promote personal (not business-branded Pages) status updates is not an entirely new thing. The social giant first started testing individual promoted posts in New Zealand in May and gradually rolled out the test in 20 countries. This is its first appearance in the United States, Facebook: $7 To Promote My Status Update???.More Top Posts:How To Watch The U.S. Presidential Debates OnlineMuch has changed in the last four years. In 2008, watching the debates without a cable subscription involved streaming them from a clunky player on CNN’s website, which could kinda-sorta be full-screened to fit onto your television, if you were so ambitious as to plug your laptop into your HDTV.  This year, things are much easier, How To Watch The U.S. Presidential Debates Online.Another Way Apple’s Fight With Google Is Hurting UsersThe news since the launch of the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 has been Apple’s lagging Maps app. The company’s face-off with Google clearly led to business decisions that hurt users, at least in the short term. But there’s another example of this, maybe just as bads. Unlike with Maps, the solution to this problem has been ready all along – and Apple is blocking it, Another Way Apple’s Fight With Google Is Hurting Users.[Infographic] Mobile Users Consume More NewsThe decline of the newspaper industry has given rise to one of the great fallacies of the Internet Age: Fewer people are consuming news. A new study from the Pew Research Project for Excellence in Journalism shows just how false this notion really is. According to the study, “The Future Of Mobile News,” 43% of survey respondents who own a tablet say the device increases the amount of news they see, [Infographic] Mobile Users Consume More News.Larry Ellison Has Some Strange Ideas About Cloud ComputingFor Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, cloud computing seems to mean whatever he says it means. During his packed keynote address Sunday at the company’s Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco, Ellison announced four cloud initiatives for businesses, including Oracle Private Cloud, which puts “the cloud” inside customers’ own data center, Larry Ellison Has Some Strange Ideas About Cloud Computing.Five Reasons To Join NowDon’t think of as a Twitter competitor. Think of it as a totally new place. That still leaves the question of why you should go there, but there are plenty of reasons, Five Reasons To Join Now.Entertainment Weekly Magazine Has A Smartphone Bound In — If You Can Find ItWhat makes this month’s issue of Entertainment Weekly so special? Not smoking-hot soccer mom Tina Fey vamping on the cover. The reason is inside: A 2.3-inch LCD screen insert that runs live video and tweets for the CW Network’s (not so) fresh lineup of shows. Wait, that’s not an ad. That’s a smartphone, Entertainment Weekly Mag Has A Smartphone Bound In — If You Can Find It.Hey IT Manager, We’re Your FriendsThe disconnect between the mobile elite and IT departments is a result of the speed at which the mobile industry moves. Mobile, as a technology platform, is rapidly iterating. After only a few years of development, it’s moving toward its third cycle of innovation (from mobile WAP sites to native apps to hybrid apps and cloud integration). Whereas the Web took almost 20 years to evolve through versions 1.0 to 2.0 to the cusp of 3.0 (where it integrates with mobile). Enterprise IT departments are still somewhere between steps one and two, Hey IT Manager, We’re Your Friends.Android Update Rollouts Accelerating But Still Painfully SlowIt has been a little less than a year since Google officially announced Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The first device to roll out with version 4.0, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, hit store shelves in December. Since then, 4.0 has reached 23.7% of all Android devices – with Android 4.1, a.k.a. Jelly Bean, waiting in the wings. What is the holdup? Android Update Rollouts Accelerating But Still Painfully Slow.Watch A YouTube Video, Go To JailAn updated Japanese law puts sharp teeth on that country’s laws against unauthorized downloading copyrighted material. The law, which goes into effect today, imposes harsh penalties for downloading just one file – and potentially even watching an unauthorized YouTube video. No, this isn’t another dystopian sci-fi film about the land of the rising sun. This is reality in a country facing pressure from its own recording industry, Watch A YouTube Video, Go To Jail.ReadWriteWeb ChannelsEnterpriseTake My Facebook Password? Over My Dead BodyIs Microsoft Challenging Google on HTTP 2.0 with WebSocket?[Infographic] Social Media Security Basics MobileFacebook Friends: How Many Is Too Many?Fuzebox, the iPad and the Reality of Simple Unified CommunicationsSquashing Bugs: The Many Layered Approach to Mobile App TestingCloudFollow ReadWriteCloud on Twitter and join the ReadWriteCloud LinkedIn Group.Red Hat Sets a Date for OpenShift Source ReleaseBox Launches Its Own Enterprise Cloud Operating EcosystemGoogle’s Go Programming Language Grows Up: Now What?HackFollow ReadWriteHack on Twitter.Google Adds New Toys to OAuth PlaygroundTrello: Online Collaboration Software at Its FinestRevenge of the DevOps: Microsoft Targets Next Visual Studio for Admins TooReadWriteWeb CommunityYou can find ReadWriteWeb in many places on the web, a few of which are below.ReadWriteWeb on FacebookReadWriteWeb on TwitterReadWriteWeb on Google+ReadWriteWeb on LinkedInReadWriteWeb on PinterestReadWriteWeb on StorifySubscribe to the ReadWriteWeb Weekly Wrap-upWant to have this wrap up delivered to you automagically? You can subscribe to the Weekly Wrap-up by RSS or by email. Tags:#web#Weekly Wrap-ups 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

How to Shoot Cinematic Real Estate Videos

first_imgReal estate videos are highly specific projects that can have a huge impact on the targeted audience. Here are the must-take steps to creating cinematic real estate videos that actually sell property.Cover Image via RUHM Luxury MarketingReal estate is a visual medium, so photos and video are crucial to sales. This includes everything from home sales, luxury office space, or extravagant vacation rentals. Pictures are crucial to websites that showcase homes for sale, hotels, and even places listed on sites like Airbnb. But often, real estate agents find themselves needing to showcase bigger properties in bigger ways. This is where real estate video has seen huge growth.In this post, we will cover the basic rules of real estate video production and the three main types of real estate videos. By the end, you will have a solid understanding of what it takes to make a must-see real estate video that really impresses your potential buyers.The Basic Rules of Real Estate Video ProductionFor your typical real estate property, aim to keep the final video under three minutes. Don’t waste your buyer’s time, as many are just flying through listings until they find something that catches their attention. The video can be longer if the property is a multi-million dollar facility that has plenty to show off. That said, it still should not go over eight minutes. A real estate video that has a length over 10 minutes is a waste of time and investment.Now that you know you should be sticking to a tighter schedule, be sure to only highlight key features and amenities. It’s easier to put the type of fixtures in the description than it is to show them in the video. You can even throw in a quick voiceover that talks about some of the tiny details like the floors and windows.Image via ShutterstockBe sure to shoot wide as often as possible. Close up shots of decor and furniture are not helpful, as those things don’t come with the property. Viewers should be able to see the entire room and imagine their own belongings inside. Give a feel for the space, not the material items already inside.While the property should be the main focus, you can include some quick shots of the neighborhood and nearby stores or restaurants. By doing so, you add incentive to living or working in that area. That said, don’t get carried away with everything outside of the property. Your goal is to sell the real estate in the video. Keep your focus there.Image via ShutterstockWhen it comes to cinematic real estate videos, the toughest part is lighting. This includes natural lighting, built-in property fixtures, and lighting kits. To really WOW the buyer, the lighting needs to match the ambience. You will find that shooting during the middle of the day in a home with huge windows is going to be a pain.The trick to lighting comes down to the time of day and proper color temperature. The golden hour is the best time to shoot property, because this allows your viewers to see inside and outside of the windows at the same time. Otherwise, you will have blown out windows – meaning the windows will be full of bright white light.If a room doesn’t have enough light, use a lighting kit to fill the room. We have previously covered the fundamentals of lighting and color temperature. That said, you don’t have to have a big, expensive kit. There are plenty of cheap alternatives to adding the right amount of light. Just make sure the lighting is complementary to the room. A bedroom should have a warm inviting feel, not be harshly lit to look like a hospital operating table.Image via RUHM Luxury MarketingNow that we have covered the inside of the property, what about outside? The best thing to do, once again, is to shoot wide. This doesn’t work for every property, as is depends on the look of the neighboring properties. The best look will come from setting the camera up on a tripod. You can also shoot wide at a low angle to give a very impressive look to any facility.You may be tempted to use a drone to capture impressive aerials. You really shouldn’t do this. Drones should only be used if you have an FAA Section 333 exemption. Your work on these videos classify as commercial work. This makes drone use illegal — at least until new drone regulation passes. You face a penalty from the FAA when using a drone in commercial work.While on the subject of penalties, don’t forget to license your music! Don’t spend all that time making a real estate video for it to be pulled by YouTube for a copyright violation. Luckily for you, you already found this site. The added benefit of using a PremiumBeat track is a song’s multiple use. Meaning if you absolutely love one of our songs, you just have to license it one time — then you can use it in all of your real estate videos. Three Types of Real Estate VideosImage via ShutterstockThere are essentially three different types of real estate videos – which really tie into the property value. The more expensive the real estate, the more luxurious the video should be. Standard real estate videos with use either a slide show or virtual tour, where high-end homes and vistas will often use a documentary-style approach.Now, you can certainly make a documentary-style video for a standard home, but a real estate agent won’t have as much return on their investment. The reason the documentary approach is used on expensive homes is the larger budget to sell the home.Needless to say, any real estate video should accomplish two main goals. It should showcase the property for sale, which should in turn help sell it quickly.  It should also create a call-to-action to send potential buyers to the real estate agent. Even if the property featured in the video sells right away, the real estate agent can potentially get more customers that are looking for similar properties. The call-to-action can be as simple as listing the real estate agent at the end of the video or throughout the video on lower thirds.1. Slide ShowThe slide show is the easiest and most popular style of real estate video. In fact, a majority of these videos only use photographs. Since they are so simple, you’ll need to make your slide show real estate videos stand out. Add motion graphics to make the video pop. If you don’t have much experience, try using a template.Our friends at RocketStock make excellent After Effects templates. You literally just drop your photos and videos into the template, and you have instant added production value. Here is an example of their Skyline template, which was designed for property promotions.2. Virtual TourThe virtual tour showcases an entire home, room by room. This can be done with photographs and/or video. It can also be done in 360 degrees, which allows buyers to experience the home themselves.In this video from Stockworth Realty, the call-to-action immediately shows up in the beginning with a contact and phone number. Then the real estate video jumps into a nice brief intro to the property. You will then see that a majority of the video is shot wide, while the close ups only give a look at detail — like the granite countertops.There is also plenty of movement on a slider. This keeps the shots from being too static. If you aren’t going to be moving the camera — then you should probably just take photos. The video then ends with a second call-to-action to visit the website and lists the agent’s contact information. All of this is done in under three minutes. It’s an excellent example of what a real estate video should be.These virtual tours are really the best type of real estate video in terms of return on investment. They require more work than a slide show, but don’t cost nearly as much as a documentary-style real estate video.For more on these types of virtual tour real estate videos, check out this tutorial from our friend Dave Dugdale. He covers his experience making his first real estate video. He confirms that these videos should come in under three minutes, while balancing the right amount of footage inside the home versus outside the home. He also talks about using actors in the video, but not using faces so viewers can picture themselves in the property.3. DocumentaryThe documentary-style real estate video is best for luxury properties. This style does not really work for smaller homes, because it requires you to film a lot of material. The overall cost of production is very high. That said, these videos are the most popular and likely to go viral.In this video from RUHM Luxury Marketing, we are given a full tour of the home and surrounding area, all while following an incredibly charismatic and funny host. The video spoofs many home and garden cable television shows, but does so while still focusing on selling the home. The script was expertly written, mixing necessary information, humor, and some fun notes.This video does break the previously mentioned three minute rule, but the property has so much to offer and showcase that the length is justified. There are many wide interior shots on a slider, close-up shots of the beautiful wood floors, and tons of great footage of the nearby beach and retail outlets. RUHM Luxury Marketing produces some of the best real estate documentary videos, and this video is one of their best.In comparison, on of the most popular real estate videos ever is the tour of Michael Jordan‘s home. The property went up for auction, and the following tour was developed to drum up interest in the sale. The video comes in at almost nine minutes, just going over the ultimate 8 minute guideline we previously set. That said, the home and career of a basketball legend has more to offer than your typical home for sale.The real estate video still follows the same real estate video guidelines. It opens with a call-to-action, mentioning the auction company, auction date, and contact information. Nearly every shot is either wide or super-wide. A host and the listing agent take you through the entire home. This video does focus on the furniture as well, but that’s because all of the furnishing come with the purchase of the property.The video replaces the surrounding neighborhood footage with career highlights, but odds are you won’t have similar footage to work with. The outro repeats the call-to-action while adding additional information to the properties sale. Even a property as fantastic as this uses the same selling techniques constantly listed above.Ever shot any real estate videos? Share your process in the comments below!last_img read more