We’re always keeping our eyes open across our distribution platforms for noteworthy stories, and noticed something particularly awesome on blip.tv.
It is absolutely incredible that our latest episode, 267, is on the front page of the Tech & Gadgets section as well as in the Featured section! Additionally, commandN as a whole series is featured as a Staff Pick!
Thanks to all of our viewers for being awesome and supportive – we couldn’t do this without you
Here at commandN we love the experience of going to the movie theatre, indulging in some popcorn, and getting immersed in the world of a great movie. Lucky for us and our movie-loving audience, there are tons of awesome flicks that are undoubtedly going to hit the box office hard. Successfully hard. Here are some trailers for the ones that we are most excited about!
There are definitely a few more that we are looking forward to, like the Man of Steel that we featured in episode 267. What are you most looking forward to seeing? Let us know in the comments or through any social media channel!
Since the hype this week around Bitcoin’s rise in value to over $200 and subsequent fall to under $100, it has a lot of people thinking about the feasibility of a digital currency. Or should I say resource. Or asset? It gets confusing. Typically, a currency is a method of exchange created and regulated by the political national entity that created it. In Bitcoin’s case, however, a main feature is that it is free of any association with a national or political entity making it attractive as an alternative currency in the case of countries like Cyprus (Going through some serious fiscal, Europe-shaking woes). It can also be “mined” (aka earned) for lending your computer’s processing power to completing transactions in the network.
Bitcoin was created with the intention of enabling immediate and secure online transfers of funds without the typical constraints and fees that intermediaries like banks are infamous for. You can find online shops and service providers that allow payments in Bitcoin, so in a way, it is also impinging on systems like Paypal and Visa. But it is more than this.
The value of a Bitcoin is not static or pegged, but rather, fluctuates on the whims of those looking to acquire the currency to complete their online purchases. To attain Bitcoin, one would typically engage in a somewhat sketchy bank transfer in which their fiat currency is exchanged at the current rate for Bitcoin that would be deposited in their virtual wallet. As mentioned above, you can also mine for bitcoins in a variety of different ways with different programs that goes far beyond the scope of this post. You would then go ahead and purchase whatever you were looking to purchase in the first place.
As popularity increased, Bitcoin moved beyond a simple system of payment and transferring. As their value started increasing, individuals began recognizing the currency as an opportunity for an a-typical, high risk component of their investment portfolio. Bitcoin began to be used less (at least popularly) for paying people and more for investing and saving. Trading platforms emerged and eventually Bitcoin became popular enough to be blasted across standard platforms and media channels. This brings us to the huge spike in price of a single Bitcoin to well over $200. Early investors had become millionaires as proudly exclaimed on Reddit, and the public entered a classic bubble fever around this new investment. Perhaps quicker than anticipated, that bubble popped.
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It has certainly been an exciting ride over the past few months, especially now that the Bitcoin has the attention of bankers, financiers, and high-profile investors. While the team at commandN isn’t financially invested in the Bitcoin, it is fascinating to watch the growth of an alternative currency. We will definitely be following the story to gauge impacts on traditional mediums of payment and investment. What is your take on Bitcoin?
In episode 265 of commandN, we asked our viewers what they were replacing Google Reader with since the announcement of its phasing out this spring. We received a lot of great feedback and many responses, and are excited to report the results!
Gamification is the process of implementing systems that add incentives to real-world applications that would usually be found in a game environment.
Gamification focuses on the user’s experience and preferences
Typically, it is a strategy that many workplaces are experimenting in as a way to increase employee engagement, motivation, teamwork, and a light level of friendly competitiveness. It involves everything from the earning of points and badges for achievement to prize promotion and the fostering of a stronger internal community. CMS Wire created an interesting infographic that explores the process and a few potential applications.
It’s a great way to build a community organically around a product or service and impact customer retention.
Recently, however, gamification is a concept that is transcending the stuffiness of boardroom discussions and entering into areas like education and mainstream consumer product promotion. It undoubtedly has the potential to revolutionize approaches to everything from advertising and media consumption to simple business operations.
In a partnership with Google, Volkswagon has created an app that will gameify the driving experience in their cars. Known as Smileage, drivers will have their trips turned from a boring chore, merely as one of legion of commuters, to an interactive experience of mapping, picture taking, and virtual fist-bumping as they pass other VWs.
Similarly, Fitocracy applies a model of earning points, unlocking achievements, and giving props to friends in the world of exercise and fitness. You can join groups, compete with friends, and race up leader-boards all as a way to inspire the less-than-motivated to get off the couch.
In more of a constructive use, gamification can re-engage the youth in education and the learning experience. Too often people complain about gaming taking away from the more meaningful pursuits of learning and knowledge retention. Intertwining both of these things can help kids retain what they are learning and have fun while doing it.
Whether you are using gamification to promote your brand to new customers, motivate your employees, or create a meaningful learning environment, it is an engaging and meaningful way to ensure an enjoyable experience for your users and consumers.
The commandN team was happy to introduce the new Featured section of the webpage during episode 264. This offers an opportunity for the team to reminisce on past interviews that struck a chord or were just plain-old cool. It also allows the audience to engage in some of the content on the site by submitting featured suggestions through the form on the right side of the page! It also eliminates the need to scroll through video on your own to find these sections!
As a part of the Featured section prep, test posts were done to ensure that everything was working and looking as it was supposed to. Having these up and down pretty quick, it was assumed that no one would chance upon these.
Photo Cred: UnderGround Authority, Inc.
One dedicated commandN fan named Chance McClain left an awesome and hilarious comment on “Test Post 2″ that initially left the team grumbling about spam, then laughing from incredulity! Here it is:
I gotta admit, I liked the first test way better. This one was good and all, but that last one blew my mind. It’s typical though. Sequels are usually inferior to the original. The Empire Strikes back was arguably better than A New Hope. And there are actually people out there that prefer Die Hard 2 better although I can’t imagine why. I mean there were definitely some good lines and well developed characters…and Bruce Willis didn’t seem quite as uncomfortable in an action role, but the first one was simply a better film. I mean, it practically redefined the action genre. Think about the crap that was out before it. Take an a-list star (Arnold, Sly, Dolph) and let him destroy things. There was next to no character development, even with the star. But with Die Hard, we really got to know John McLane. We cared about him. And don’t get me started on all of the spinoffs. Under Siege? Die Hard on a boat. Speed? Die Hard on a bus with a girl. Oh! I just thought of another one! Lord of the Rings The Tow Towers was better than the first one. BUT…The Hobbit trilogy looks like it will be worse than the first one so I am not sure what to do there. But that is a trilogy sequel to a trilogy. And we all know that recent memories of sequel trilogies are painful. Phantom Menace and those other two? P-U. And then there’s Fastererest and Even Fasterererest. What were we talking about?
In classic internet style, Chance analyses and breaks down the test post with ample amounts of examples and comparisons, eventually losing track of the initial conversation and getting lost in the most minute of details.
Quite frankly, Chance, we agree. Sequels are rarely as good as the original.
Friday Keyboard Quickie (Mac OS): just as “command + tab” changes between programs, “command + ~” changes between windows of the same program.
Amber had the opportunity to sit down one-on-one with the famous Architect, Frank Gehry, to get his thoughts on designing of the Art Gallery of Ontario. He also discussed the impact of technology on his work.
Frank Gehry is a Canadian-American Pritzker Prize-winning architect based in Los Angeles. His buildings, including his private residence, have become tourist attractions. His works are cited as being among the most important works of contemporary architecture in the 2010 World Architecture Survey, which led Vanity Fair to label him as “the most important architect of our age”.
In this episode, Amber got the opportunity to talk to William Gibson about his latest book “Zero History.” He also discussed his thoughts on the modern concept of constant connectivity to cyberspace, the manifestations of this in everyday life, and the evolution of his writing process over the years.
William Gibson is an American-Canadian speculative fiction novelist who has been called the “noir prophet” of the cyberpunk subgenre. Gibson coined the term “cyberspace” in his short story “Burning Chrome” (1982) and later popularized the concept in his debut novel, “Neuromancer” (1984). In envisaging cyberspace, Gibson created an iconography for the information age before the ubiquity of the Internet in the 1990s. He is also credited with predicting the rise of reality television and with establishing the conceptual foundations for the rapid growth of virtual environments such as video games and the World Wide Web.