Watch This Delightful Crowdsourced Star Wars Fan Film Immediately

Watch This Delightful Crowdsourced Star Wars Fan Film Immediately

Published on TechCrunch | shared via feedly mobile
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You can’t always count on the wisdom of crowds. But this particular project turned out not merely good, but amazing. Star Wars Uncut is a project by filmmaker Casey Pugh (and edited by Aaron Valdez and Michael Pugh), in which Star Wars: A New Hope was divided into 15-second segments, each of which was replicated by fans in whatever way they chose. Connect the new segments and voila! Crowdsourced magic.

You can watch the whole thing, with each component hand-picked for your viewing pleasure, here:

It’s stuff like this that reassures me that the Internet is, in the end, a collaborative and positive force. Not that all it is for is silly videos, but think about the fact that just a few years ago, this project would literally be impossible for a number of reasons. Not only now has the ability to produce and share video become mainstream, a trivial task even, but also the ability to collaborate globally, with no regard for distance, language, or other factors.

To see something as light and fun as this produced using these powerful tools of ours is not, as some might expect, depressing, as if we are incapable of anything better. I think it is representative of the versatility of those tools and the willingness of people to use them. That’s a heartening though. Today, a Star Wars reshoot. Tomorrow, an independent film by dissenters in Iran. It’s really not such a great leap between these two things.

At any rate, enjoy the film. It’s ridiculous all the way through, and apparently Adam Savage is in there somewhere. It’s also available on Vimeo if you prefer that. 

What Online Music Looks Like Today (Infographic)

64 Billion Plays: What Online Music Looks Like Today (Infographic)

Published on ReadWriteWeb | shared via feedly mobile

In 2011, we collectively listened to 64,876,491,602 songs on the Internet. Whether it was on YouTube, SoundCloud, Rdio or MySpace, the citizens of the Web listened to quite a lot of music last year. Bands and musicians made over 3 billion new fans, who viewed artist profiles over 16 billion times. These are just a few data points recently released by Next Big Sound, a startup that tracks the popularity of music and individual artists across a range of digital music providers and social services.

Digital music only continues to grow and mature, as streaming services explode, Internet radio companies go public and developers begin using the power of open APIs to mash up sounds and services. SoundCloud alone saw 231% growth last year, while Twitter saw a 104% increase in music-related activity.

Sponsor

The top artists on the Web are mostly unsurprising. You knew that people can’t get enough Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber, for better or worse. Rihanna. Katy Perry. Adele. No shockers there.

What’s interesting, though, is how the Web is paving the way for unsigned, independent artists to reach levels of popularity that rival major label acts. This is especially true on SoundCloud, where unsigned artists flock to upload their recordings. But even across the larger Web, three unsigned artists broke into Next Big Sound’s “Social 50” list, which chronicles, the 50 biggest artists across all of the social and music sites that they track.

These numbers, while impressive, should be taken with a grain of salt. Next Big Sound has gone to great lengths to pull data from sources like YouTube, Rdio, Last.fm, Pandora, SoundCloud and several others. One service missing from their list is Spotify, which just launched in the U.S. this past summer and has seen enormous growth since then. Still, it looks like they’re using a pretty hefty sample of online music data to draw their conclusions. You can take a closer look at their methodology. if you’re curious.

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California Roll House By Christopher Daniel

California Roll House By Christopher Daniel

Published on Design Milk | shared via feedly mobile

California Roll House By Christopher Daniel

The California Roll House is a futuristic concept design for a prefabricated house that Christopher Daniel of Violent Volumes has created. The house was designed with a desert setting in mind with its exterior wrapped in an energy-efficient material that reflects heat from the sun. The house appears rolled to form a tube-like shape with glass on either end that is controlled electronically to change the transparency for privacy and light control. The modular nature of the design makes for easy assembly and disassembly on site.

California Roll House By Christopher Daniel

California Roll House By Christopher Daniel

California Roll House By Christopher Daniel

California Roll House By Christopher Daniel

To maximize space, doors are hydraulically powered and curtains provide privacy as a space divider in the bedroom.

California Roll House By Christopher Daniel

California Roll House By Christopher Daniel

California Roll House By Christopher Daniel

The interior design is fairly minimal which allows for open, light-filled spaces.

California Roll House By Christopher Daniel

California Roll House By Christopher Daniel

California Roll House By Christopher Daniel

California Roll House By Christopher Daniel

California Roll House By Christopher Daniel

Discover more great design by following Design Milk on Twitter and Facebook.


© 2012 Design Milk | Posted by Caroline in Architecture 

News.me Swoops In to Save Save Summify Users

News.me Swoops In to Save Save Summify Users
Published on ReadWriteWeb | shared via feedly mobile

newsme150.jpgNews.me deserves credit today for some start-up agility and helpfulness. Yesterday, Twitter bought Summify, a service that crunched down links from one’s Twitter feed into a need-to-know email digest, and it will be shut down. Loving users freaked out. News.me, which provides a similar service, heard those cries for help, and it has redesigned its homepage and launched new features to welcome those Summify users in.

News.me got popular with its iPad app, but it also offers an email digest with Summify-like functionality. Today it’s announcing a slew of new features: Facebook support, time zone support, and control over the number of articles and sending time for the email digest. News.me also wants to know what features Summify users want.

Sponsor

News.me general manager Jake Levine says that “Summify users seem universally unhappy with the news” of Twitter’s acquisition. It stinks when a useful service goes away. Twitter might not even use Summify’s technology, but they’re hiring the developers for Twitter’s User Growth team. Twitter needs people who know how to filter the noise of a stream into something useful. That may not look anything like Summify, but Summify’s creators are experts on the problem.

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But the News.me team says in its blog post that solving the problem is “not that hard to do (shhh…).” Summify’s users need a place to go now. Fortunately for them, News.me’s business is more well-rounded with the iOS app and subscription plans. Support for links from Facebook expands News.me’s usefulness, and the new email features offer more control over the digests than Summify users had.

But the best part is asking for suggestions. News.me asks Summify users:

  • What did you like best about the service that you’d love to see us implement?
  • What did you wish you could have but that Summify never built?

If you’d like to chime in, comment on the News.me blog post.

Do you use a service like this to generate automated digests of your social networks? Discuss

Is too Much Texting Giving You ‘Text Neck’?

Is too Much Texting Giving You ‘Text Neck’?
Published on Mashable! | shared via feedly mobile

1. Prone Neck Extension

Lay face down, arms by your side. Lock the shoulder blades back and down. Extend the head up to look at the ceiling, then lift shoulders and the chest. Hold position for 10 seconds, then lower the chest, shoulders and head — in that order. Repeat for a set of 10.

Click here to view this gallery.

Discomfort and muscle pain from texting has become so common that it now has a name: “Text Neck,” and there’s even a medical institute that specializes in treatment.

Dr. Dean Fishman adopted the phrase and changed the name and focus of his practice after seeing a huge influx of younger patients visiting his chiropractor facility — complaining of neck, back, arm and shoulder pain. He now runs the Text Neck Institute in Plantation, Fla.

“Whenever kids came to the office with pain, I noticed they were always on their phones,” Fishman told Mashable. “They would be positioned at ‘forward head posture,’ but that term wasn’t resonating with parents. After I started calling it “text neck”, we got an emotional response and decided to trademark the name to help change the way people hold their mobile devices.”

According to the Wireless Association, Americans sent 196 billion texts in June 2011, compared to 12.5 billion texts in 2006. Not only are more people communicating with others on mobile devices than ever before, smartphone adoption is giving consumers more access to media content on demand, such as using apps, games and even watching movies. This means that more people are finding themselves locked in text neck position for an extended period of time, increasing chances of pain, tendonitis and even arthritis.

The good news, however, is that the pain is treatable. In fact, the Text Neck Institute conducted a study with two groups consisting of patients ages 13 to 27 — both groups received chiropractic care, x-rays and exercises. Although both groups said they felt better after one month, one group was asked to hold their mobile devices at eye level instead and reported the most improvement.

“Some believe people need put down their devices and walk around more, but it’s more of an issue of proper posture,” Fishman said. “In addition, it’s not just a teenager problem — young kids who play on their parent’s devices to even learn the alphabet should be taught to keep the phone at eye level.”

To help alleviate some of the pain, check out some easy exercises suggested from the Text Neck Institute in the above gallery. Do you suffer from text neck? Let us know in the comments.

Thumbnail image courtesy of iStockphoto, Kalashnikov_O

More About: Mobile, smartphones, texting

iPhone 4S and iPad 2 Finally Get Proper, Untethered Jailbreaks

iPhone 4S and iPad 2 Finally Get Proper, Untethered Jailbreaks
Published on TechCrunch | shared via feedly mobile
4SWhile the once long list of legitimate reasons to jailbreak your iPhone has taken a hit with each new iOS release, that burning desire to “Free your device” and/or “Fight the power” and/or “Just do crazy stuff that other people can’t do” never really goes away.3 months after the release of the iPhone 4S and 10 months after the release of the iPad 2, the ridiculously talented iOS hacking community has finally cracked the ultimate challenge for both devices: the untethered jailbreak.

I know these things can get a bit jargony, so a quick recap: to “jailbreak” means to modify a device to run code and applications not signed or approved by Apple, thereby allowing you to do things with your device far outside of what would normally be possible. “Untethered” means that once it’s jailbroken, it stays jailbroken (whereas a “tethered” jailbreak means the device resets to its normal, un-jailbroken state whenever it is reset)

The team behind this hack, Chronic Dev, is the same group that makes the greenpois0n tool that’s been jailbreaking iOS devices for years. Remember comex, the iOS hacker who went legit with an internship at Apple? He was a key member of this group.

While their server seems to be taking a bit of a pounding right now, you can find the new iPhone 4s/iPad 2 jailbreaking tool (dubbed “Greenpos0n Absinthe”) right over here.

What MegaUpload’s downfall did to the web

Follow the traffic: What MegaUpload’s downfall did to the web

Published on GigaOM | shared via feedly mobile

MegaUpload, the file-sharing community, has had its physical offices raided by the FBI and its site shut down (although it may be back up) because the U.S. government says it has violated copyright. While others detail what services to use now or who was actually using the service for non-nefarious (piracy) purposes, we were wondering what it meant for the web when a large content sharing site is suddenly taken offline. I asked a few companies that track that sort of thing to see what’s happened to Internet traffic over the last 24 hours?.

Arbor Networks said it saw traffic begin to drop fairly sharply in Europe after about 7 PM GMT and 2 PM Eastern Time, when the site was estimated to have been shut down on Thursday. I’ve asked if it also saw a spike in other types of traffic, such as peer-to-peer traffic that might indicate that burned MegaUploaders were turning to BitTorrent, but a spokeswoman said that so far Arbor hadn’t seen anything like that.

Meanwhile, Sandvine has released data showing that MegaUpload was indeed one of the more popular sites on the web for storing and sharing content. It ranked as .98 percent of the total web traffic in the U.S. and 11.39 of the total web traffic in Brazil. It garnered 1.95 percent of the traffic in Asia-Pac and a less substantial .86 percent in Europe. The chart below shows how it ranked among other services of similar ilk:

Sandvine also showed the abrupt fall off in its traffic after the raid:

We’ll update this story if more companies report back.

Related research and analysis from GigaOM Pro:
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