Apple iMessages for OS X Download

  • at June 15, 2012
  • by Kroy
  • in apple
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Apple just pulled the Messages Beta app for Mac OS X from its site. But fear not, you can download Messages Beta here.

Just a warning though: Apple is rumored to be actively disabling existing iMessage beta installs for current Mac OS  users. Launch day for Apple’s newest OS X version, Mountain Lion, is still a few weeks out though, so why not enjoy free iMessages between iPhones, iPads and fellow beta app users on the desktop until then?

Personal notes: not the prettiest app in the arsenal, but sending iMessages to iPhones/iPads for free, and being able to pick up a conversation from your other Apple devices at any time is sweet. Good job, Apple!

 

Download the iMessage Beta .dmg file here

or

Download the .zip file here

 

Image borrowed from CultofMac.com

Whoa, baby! The new Blackmagic Cinema Camera

  • at April 16, 2012
  • by Kroy
  • in Cameras
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Blackmagic Cinema CameraThe wizards at Blackmagic Design, largely known for making video post production hardware (capture cards and stuff like that), as well as its famous color correction tool DaVinci Resolve,  today introduced the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. With a 13 stop dynamic range and the ability to use  EF and ZF mount lenses, integrated SSD recorder, ability to add metadata right from the LCD screen, RAW uncompressed and compressed recording formats, and a host of other goodies, The Cinema Camera looks to be a great contender for the Digital Cinema camera crowd. When Blackmagic sent out their email announcement this morning I was impressed with the specs. But what surprised me so much that I spit out my coffee is something they chose to only mention in passing: the thing only costs about three grand. Yeah, I had to do a double take on the price too. Oh, and they throw in DaVinci Resolve at no cost for good measure.

This one really came out of left field. Very impressive offering and I hope the Blackmagic Cinema Camera can live up to its promises. If so, RED might just want to start shaking in their boots a little…

TakeDownPiracy Does What It Says

I’m really impressed with this new content removal service, TakeDownPiracy.com.

We’ve been working with them for several months and the results are outstanding.

The founder, Nate, is fanatical about tracking down and removing pirated content. You want that guy on your side. The service uses proprietary software and algorithms to crawl for your content, much like similar services such as RemoveYourContent do. I find TakedownPiracy.com (TDP) to be very accurate, responsive, and thorough.

You get copied on all DMCA notices TDP sends out to infringers, which may be overwhelming to some but it’s great to see that work gets done. Before the downfall of Megaupload, and before Filesonic and several others disabled their sharing functionality, TDP’s DMCA notices would usually contain thousands of infringing links. This number was reduced somewhat in recent weeks, but I see an uptrend again. When one cyberlocker goes down, serious pirates simply shift their uploading efforts to other sites. And the game goes on. In addition to serving notices to cyberlockers, TDP also sends DMCAs to P2P sites, tube sites, forums, newsgroups, and even Google, which then removes the infringing URLs from their search results. It all helps.

It’s true that even when an offending site responds to the DMCA and removes your content, someone else will just upload your stuff again. It’s also true that you can never catch ’em all. The point of all this is to make everything as frustrating and inconvenient as possible for the uploaders, the searchers, and the “sharing”-sites themselves. But for this strategy to work, you need to do this in huge numbers, do it fast, and do it all day, every day. That’s where TDP comes in. I don’t expect governments across the globe to shut down each and every cyberlocker or P2P service (although the Megaupload raid was a great start).

While not cheap, if you make a living with your content, TakeDownPiracy.com is well worth a look.

Find The Light & Know Your Angles – by Dulce Ruby

  • at November 25, 2011
  • by Dulce Ruby
  • in Model Tips
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Dulce Ruby is a professional model (Marc Ecco, L’oreal, Tommy, Maxim), actress,  and Photoshop guru. We somehow managed to convince her to share her wisdom with Kroycom blog readers for this exclusive series of articles on mainstream and fashion modeling.

The following is part 2 in Dulce’s series of modeling tips on Kroycom.

PART 2 – Find The Light & Know Your Angles

If there is one thing you need to know about modeling, is that it’s not as easy as it looks.  A true common misconception is that all beautiful people take beautiful photographs or that the opposite also serves as true.  In all reality, a MODEL is one who leaves an impression – one who knows how to show EXPRESSION.

Confidence
You have to remember that it’s not perfection that creates a great model, it’s confidence, the ability to find the light and the awareness of your pose that really help create a great image.

 

Find the Light
To begin, an essential tip for any model to know is that your photograph will always be better if you’re seen.  Of course, it seems like an obvious and simple concept – Find the light – but you’d be surprised how quick we’re likely to forget after all the make up, hair, and styling have been done.  Finding the light means you will be able to highlight your features and essentially create the perfect photograph.  In order to do so, face towards the light – if not the most important, definitely one of the most important tips in our business.

Being able to find the source of light is essential, but really we’re just getting started –  After you have made sure that your expression and face are literally FACING the light you must then be aware of your body.  How you are positioned and the pose you hold are entirely up to you, but be sure that you are looking your best, accentuating all the right features and of course that you are comfortable.  Awkwardness does not show up well on camera as I’m sure most of you are aware; We all know what feels right and even more so what LOOKS right so be sure to remember that as you get in front of the camera and beneath the lights.

You’ve heard it before and I will say it again just in case you’ve forgotten – PRACTICE, LADIES! It makes perfect.  Whether you know your own poses or have to dug through all your magazines, blogs, videos, etc studying the models you admire and aspire to be someday – all you really have to do is take the time to work on yourself and find what poses suit you best and make for the best images.  Easy ways of going about this would be to have a friend come over with a camera, have some fun and get some shots, practice in front  of a mirror or whatever works best for you to perfect your self for your career.

Remember – A pretty person takes a picture, but a model makes that picture a photograph, worth a thousand words.

Dulce Ruby

Read Dulce’s article “Your First Casting Call”

Dulce Ruby on Facebook

Dulce Ruby on Twitter

Dulce Ruby on Model Mayhem

How to change the name on your Kindle Fire

  • at November 16, 2011
  • by Kroy
  • in Technology
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Don’t like how your name is displayed on your Amazon Kindle or Kindle Fire? Here’s how to change it:

1) Go to http://amazon.com/myk

2) On the left panel, click “Manage Your Devices

3) Your device will be under “Registered Kindles“. Next to your name there will be an “Edit” link. Click it, change the name to whatever you want, then click “Update”.

4) Turn on your Kindle, go to “Settings” (tiny icon next to the WiFi icon in the top right corner), and click “Sync“. Your Kindle will now display your new name.

Model Tips – Your first Casting Call, by Dulce Ruby

  • at November 10, 2011
  • by Dulce Ruby
  • in Model Tips
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Dulce Ruby is a professional model (Marc Ecco, L’oreal, Tommy, Maxim), actress,  and Photoshop guru. We somehow managed to convince her to share her wisdom with Kroycom blog readers for this exclusive series of articles on mainstream and fashion modeling.

PART 1 – Preparing for your first Casting Call

Like with any other job, you must first make time for your interview prior to being hired; A casting call for us is just that.  Casting directors will see numerous possible candidates in hopes to finding the right person for the role to wow them.  In order to do so, there are a few things you must consider and plan in advance to place yourself at the top & above all the rest.  

1. Do Your Homework
Research the client, production company, producers, photographer and the role.  Knowing and learning as much as you can about who you will be working with and what role you are trying to book is crucial and always extremely helpful in the audition process.  If you have a script in advance, read it over with a friend a few times so you feel comfortable with a run through; if no script or lines are given to you prior to showing up – know if you will need to do a cold reading or have a monologue prepared.  

2.  Know Your Audience
After running through your role, you will come to understand what the client is looking for and who it is they are trying to sell this work to.  Understanding who your targeted audience will be is also helpful in preparing you even further. Know what style of shoot this will be and what style, genre and what audience this role will be given in order to act accordingly and make sure you yourself feel comfortable with the part.  

3. Prepare in Advance
It’s the night before and you’ve already learned your role and audience, now to the fun part.  With an audition you can never be too sure of how long it will take, how many people they will be seeing or what they will be asking of you – unless of course they have specifically told you in advance.  So, with that said it is always better to be prepared and pack essentials.  Firstly and most importantly, do not forget your headshot and resume if you have one – always bring more than one copy as some directors tend to ask for multiple copies. Plan what you will wear in advance so you feel comfortable going in the next day sure of yourself with something that flatters you and best compliments your shape.  Knowing what type of clothing is expected for your casting call is also helpful, but if you are unsure always pack a change of clothes in case you arrive and realize what you are wearing isn’t quite appropriate or fitting for the part.  Also, keep a kit on hand in case of touch ups, or makeup change – You want to be sure to keep up your appearance and freshen up as needed, a kit can be simple but effective with just a brush or comb, essential makeups for touch ups such as powder, gloss, and mascara, whatever you feel is necessary to have you at your best throughout the process.

4. Directions
Do not forget to search the location in ADVANCE.  Write it down, confirm and reconfirm if need be – it is very important to plan ahead and arrive AT LEAST 15 minutes prior to your audition time slot in order to show that you are responsible, reliable and professional.  Remember, it is always better to be early than late.

5. Go with Confidence
The industry we work in is a a business in its own and a way of making a living for everyone you meet during your casting call.  As you walk into the room, they are looking to see if you fit the part but also if you can help them make money or advance in their careers.  Show up with confidence, you want the part, so SHOW IT; they are just as eager to find what they are looking for as you are to have the role.  

Remember, you are the only one that can make yourself look good – be prepared, arrive early, be on your best – smile and be confident!

Dulce Ruby

Dulce Ruby on Facebook

Dulce Ruby on Twitter

Dulce Ruby on Model Mayhem

Red Scarlet Preorder Begins Today

  • at November 7, 2011
  • by Kroy
  • in Cameras
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After many delays and revisions, RED finally announced that the highly anticipated Scarlet-X camera is open for pre-orders today.

Initially this wundercam was supposed to be priced at about half of what it’s now, but I still think it’s a potentially great deal for those content shooters who do extremely high quality stuff.

You don’t have to be a mainstream film maker to reap the benefits of this thing. Sure, the 4K motion picture resolution will be worthless to you if your content  only ends up on the web, but there’s a lot more to Scarlet-X than resolution.

I like that Scarlet can serve as one device to take care of both your still photos and your videos, and at a quality level that’s pretty much unmatched (for now). The newer DSLRs can do some great video but the limitations (storage, heat, auto focusing, audio, etc.) aren’t really ideal if you shoot longer videos and need to remain flexible. I think the Scarlet-X may be a better solution for that. If I was still in the content shooting game full time, I’d get one. (Might do that anyway just because the thing is so damn cool.)

The sensor is really where it’s at: imagine shooting video that looks more like your best still photos, with the dynamic range and color richness to match. And you shoot your videos essentially in RAW (“REDCODE RAW”) so you can make radical adjustments later in post. Love it.

From RED’s invitation email:

“Scarlet-X leaves one-dimensional DSLRs in its wake. With burst modes up to 12 fps at full 5K resolution longside 4K motion capture from 1-30 fps, the camera allows professional photographers and cinematographers to simultaneously capture motion footage and still content. Never miss a shot. Ever. Scarlet-X’s compact design, endless modularity and advanced feature set provide a future-proof solution catering to every shooter’s needs. Priced at under $10,000, Scarlet-X advances our vision to democratize superlative cinema and professional photography.

Scarlet-X comes standard with a Canon EF mount, which can be easily swapped for a PL mount using Scarlet-X’s interchangeable lens mount system. Panavision, Anamorphic, and Nikon lenses are also compatible with the camera, providing ultimate freedom when it comes to creative decision-making. The addition of HDRx reaches up to 18 stops of dynamic range, bringing digital images closer than ever to the natural perception of the human eye.”

You  need to look closely at their order pages, the base prices you see are for the camera body only. Half the game is the quality of your  ‘glass’ (lenses), and you better either have a great set already, or are ready to fork out some serious cash for it, in addition to the camera body.

Kroycom has no financial interest in the company and is not compensated for this post.

 

Cross-Link Your Members Areas

  • at November 3, 2011
  • by Kroy
  • in Site Management
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If you have several stand-alone sites and want to allow members from one site to access the others, without having to manually create new logins for everyone,  you have options. The most difficult and time consuming one is to work out a custom solution involving a database, and your billing company’s APIs. CCBill and Epoch can provide you with the member data you need to feed a central database but God help you if your programmer isn’t fantastic at setting this all up.

If you run Strongbox, a paysite authorization and authentication system by BetterCGI, you already have the solution, but you may have missed it among all the other stuff it does. The feature you are looking for is called Secure Cross-Site Links. You simply put a link from the members area of site A to the members area of the one you want your members to have access to (site B), and append a short code. Here is how.

When the member clicks Read the rest of this entry »

Netflix Renames Itself Qwikster, Except When It Doesn’t

  • at September 19, 2011
  • by Kroy
  • in Branding
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Man, I love(d) Netflix, for many reasons. Didn’t have a problem with the price increase either. Losing Starz was a problem, but whatever, they’ll get other deals going. Now CEO Reed Hastings sent an email to subscribers “clarifying” some things.

Netflix will be split into two companies, Netflix and Qwikster. Qwikster. Really? There are too many ways to spell it (try it), and it’s confusing. It’s weird to say out loud. Plus it sounds close to Quickstar, which is one of the online arms for Amway.

Netflix will continue to exist – but only for its streaming content. Qwikster (I’ve misspelled this already three times in this post and had to backtrack) will take care of  shipping DVDs. You know, what freaking NETFLIX used to do just fine. You have to maintain your queues separately on both sides. Billing is separate too.

I agree that in the long run the name Netflix makes more sense for online-only stuff. I also think over the years, streaming content is where it’s at, not DVDs.

But here you’ve got brand dilution, consumer confusion, and from the sounds of it, this is going to be one big cluftersuck. Are queues synced? If I put a movie in my DVD queue on Qwikster, will it alert me that I can stream that movie on Netflix instead, and if so, will it forward me to my queue in Netflix with one click? How about Netflix-enabled TVs and players, are they going to work seamlessly…or at all? That’s seemingly little stuff but it matters to consumers. There are lots of big changes all at once – and consumers tend to not like change, especially not if it means any sort of learning curve and/or higher costs.

If you are interested in branding and consumer behavior, this is going to be an interesting case to watch and study.

The Best Washing Machine In Town Is Out Of Order

  • at September 12, 2011
  • by Kroy
  • in Sales & Marketing
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The best washing machine in town just had an Out of Order sign attached to it. Of course the machine is not really out of order. In fact, it’s doing a huge load of blankets right now. No, the staff at the place likes to put the sign up when they want to wash their own bedding with it. It’s that good.  They might forget to take the sign off for days.  And because this machine rarely gets used it has probably the most powerful, clean interior of all the thirty or so washers in the facility.  It’s the least likely to break down, actually.

It’s an insider secret and if you want your sheets and blankets as clean as possible, this is your machine.

You may also have an insider secret. Maybe there’s a favorite site you go to when you want to…take a load off. It’s got great content, it’s convenient and it’s easy to use. But it’s a secret because you aren’t telling anyone about it. Not even your existing customers.

If you find something that’s so good that even a jaded insider like yourself can appreciate it, wouldn’t your customers like to know about it? If you make a recommendation, would some of them click a link – which contains your affiliate code, of course –  from your cross sell area? So what if that site is a competitor.

Everybody is an insider of something. Try to watch your own user habits and preferences and figure out if others might share them. They probably do.

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