Creative Storytelling in web, iOS, and Film

Internet

Building 3D Models Changes How We Share Via The Web

By on Aug 22, 2014 in Blog, Consulting, Content Management, Custom Software, Internet, iOS Studio |

So, what about 3D? We’ve seen it in motion pictures for years now. Back in the 1990s, I was CEO of a software development firm called Aegis Development. We created a 3D modeling and animation system called VideoScape 3D. It was used for pre-production and production in TV and motion pictures. It evolved into Lightwave 3D and has had a tremendous success rate ever since. Today, 3D is being used in lots of new and different ways. Have you visited the Apple.com website recently? Most of the devices you see in the website (photographs excluded) are actually 3D models. As such, the marketing people have far more control over the presentation of data and information. We use 3D models ourselves, and quite successfully. One example is our client website PureCommand. The iPad devices in the site are all 3D models developed by our team. The benefits of 3D in today’s world include: A 3D model is a real, life sized entity built inside of the computer. A 3D model is more realistic than 2D drawings. 3D design gives you a competitive edge – one your competition may already be enjoying. 3D models are great for design reviews with other members of a design team. All construction and shop fabrication drawings are created from the 3D model insuring accuracy in the final product. 3D models are a tremendous marketing tool and can create additional revenue. Good 3D design is not easily achieved. It is the product of talent, knowledge, and skill. Its value is immense. 3D Opens up a world of design that is otherwise inaccessible. The more we use 3D, the more we’re sold on it. Look for an array of new 3D modeled images and content in our client...

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Mobile Devices Affected by the Heartbleed Bug

Mobile Devices Affected by the Heartbleed Bug

By on Apr 12, 2014 in Blog, Consulting, Internet, Web Studio |

Did you know? Mobile devices affected by the heartbleed bug are everywhere. The now notorious heartbleed bug affects any Internet related device, not just servers. To that end, you should be aware of how this bug may impact your use of the Internet via a mobile device, such as a phone. As just one example, users of Cisco servers/apps may be exposed to the bug. Here is a quick rundown, thanks to security provider SilverSky and Singlehop: Work phone: At least four types of Cisco IP phones were affected. If the phones are not behind a protective network firewall, someone could use Heartbleed to tap into your phone’s memory banks. That would yield audio snippets of your conversation, your voicemail password and call log. Company video conference: Some versions of Cisco’s WebEx service are vulnerable. Hackers could grab images on the shared screen, audio and video too. VPN: Some versions of Juniper’s virtual private network service are compromised. If anyone tapped in, they could grab whatever is on your computer’s memory at the time. That includes entire sessions on email, banking, social media — you name it. Smartphone: To let employees access work files from their iPhones and Android devices, some companies opt for Cisco’s AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client app for iOS, which was impacted by Heartbleed. An outsider could have seen whatever you accessed with that app. Switches: One type of Cisco software that runs Internet switches is at risk. They’re notoriously hard to access, but they could let an outsider intercept traffic coming over the network. Overall, the safety approach is to change your passwords and even potentially (if allowed) your user ID. Our team is continuing to evaluate best practices relative to the heartbleed bug. Remember, if you want to test a site to see if it is affected, use this...

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Fighting the Heartbleed Bug

Fighting the Heartbleed Bug

By on Apr 9, 2014 in Blog, Consulting, Internet, Web Studio |

[ updated 4/11/14 ] Many of our clients are interested in fighting the “heartbleed bug.” Is this something you need to take seriously? If so, how should you manage your actions? First of all, what is the heartbleed bug?  The Heartbleed bug allows anyone on the Internet to read the memory of the systems protected by  “vulnerable versions” of  OpenSSL software. What this means in layperson’s terms is that the bug will compromise the secret keys used to identify the various service providers and as a result, capturing Internet traffic, the names and passwords of the users for affected sites and the actual content of those sites. This allows attackers to eavesdrop on communications, steal data directly from the services and users and to impersonate those services and users. Put another way, it’s bad stuff. How do I know if I’ve been affected? The real issue is that if you haven’t been affected yet, you may be in the near future. OpenSSL is the most popular open source cryptographic library and TLS (transport layer security) implementation used to encrypt traffic on the Internet. It’s likely that the host of your web services uses Apache or other web management software – that also includes the use of OpenSSL. R/com Studios uses Apache on our servers, as an example. Many online web services use TLS to identify themselves to the user (you) and to protect an individual’s privacy and transactions. You might have networked appliances with logins secured via the existing implementation of the TLS. Furthermore you might have client side software on your computer that could expose the data from your computer if you connect to compromised services. What versions of OpenSSL are affected? OpenSSL 1.0.1 through 1.0.1f (inclusive) are vulnerable OpenSSL 1.0.1g is NOT vulnerable OpenSSL 1.0.0 branch is NOT vulnerable OpenSSL 0.9.8 branch is NOT vulnerable NOTE: OpenSSL 1.0.1g released on 7th of April 2014 fixes the bug. What operating systems are known to be affected? Some operating system distributions that have shipped with potentially vulnerable OpenSSL version: Debian Wheezy (stable), OpenSSL 1.0.1e-2+deb7u4 Ubuntu 12.04.4 LTS, OpenSSL 1.0.1-4ubuntu5.11 CentOS 6.5, OpenSSL 1.0.1e-15 Fedora 18, OpenSSL 1.0.1e-4 OpenBSD 5.3 (OpenSSL 1.0.1c 10 May 2012) and 5.4 (OpenSSL 1.0.1c 10 May 2012)...

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Remembering Space Shuttle Challenger and the first Mac Flight Sim

By on Jan 28, 2011 in Blog, Consulting, Internet |

Twenty five years ago today, my colleagues and I sat together and watched Space Shuttle Challenger launch itself into history. That history was not what man intended, as Challenger broke up approximately 73 seconds into its tenth flight for NASA. The seven astronauts on board were true explorers, pushing the envelope, and hoping for better things in an increasingly complex world. For my team, watching the shuttle break into pieces had a different meaning. Our team (Aegis Development) had recently completed the first flight simulator for the Apple Macintosh, titled Mac-Challenger. My partner and Mac-Challenger author William Volk was so proud of his work – Mac graphics at the time were slow and simplistic, and to have a realistic (and it was!) rate of decent, turn, yaw, and speed was quite an accomplishment for that time. As with many flight sims, if you flew outside of the parameters, the vehicle would crash*. The realism and direct impact on our team emotionally (not to mention the world), changed us. Space Shuttle Challenger represented something else for the United States and the world. It represented a new “live action” look at life, and unfortunately death, in a way most people had not been exposed to previously. It was the start of something that is so commonplace today, we don’t even realize it’s happening. Today, we can look into the lives, events, and challenges of our world in real-time. Connecting yourself to any event is a few clicks or taps away. The Iraq war was live. Trivial social issues are lead stories on major networks and carried live – and the unrest in Egypt taking place today is live, not only on television, but on our phones, our computers, our iPads, and Facebook. Challenger was named after the HMS Challenger, a British corvette used as the command ship for an early (1866) global marine expedition, and also for the Apollo 17 Lunar module, Challenger. NASA knew the importance of connecting history with present day. And as we look back at January 28, 1986, we would be remiss not to think of the remarkable things mankind has accomplished in science and technology during the past 25 years. I will never forget that day,...

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CES 2011: 2,500 exhibits, Video & Internet Collide.

By on Jan 6, 2011 in Blog, Consulting, Internet, Video |

The 2011 Consumer Electronics Show opens today, and when the doors open, more than 100,000 people will rush onto the hundreds of thousands of square feet of exhibit space, searching for the latest and greatest new technologies and products. Yet, when you take into account the many variables that each CES delivers, it’s more than likely that only ten percent of those products will offer truly innovative evolution. In our business, we work with a wide range of products, all involving media, and all related to interaction with a sales team, and distribution network, an employee base, or a broad public audience. In year’s past, it was questionable that the many products shown at CES would impact our clients and our production/communications process. This year, there is critical and essential links between what nearly all of our clients do, and what these new products will deliver. So, what are we looking for? What will you be looking for in the coming months? The short answer is connecting the home and office to the Internet. This year’s show will highlight the television as a window into multimedia, not just cable or satellite television. Already, companies like Apple and Microsoft have created links between their computing and smartphone devices and TVs. Now, television companies will be linking the Internet with their large LCD, LED, and Plasma screens. The “app” will move into the TV, bypassing the computer. And the relationship between apps, computing devices, and televisions will blur into a jumble of names, brands, positioning, and pricing. And that’s where the mess could begin. Only a few companies truly understand the relationship between all of these technologies and users. And only users can truly determine what works and what is look alike nonsense. But beneath all of these devices, there are some substantial trends we should all be aware of. The ability to manage music and video via a phone or iPad style device is here. Linking the data between those devices allows a completely new way to watch media or to share photos, presentations, play games, or communicate with others. In the home, this means a more diverse and controllable environment. In business, this opens new doors to the marketing...

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Don’t Turn Off That Television – Oh, Wait: You Can’t!

By on Jan 3, 2011 in Blog, Consulting, Internet |

This week, the Consumer Electronics Show opens in Las Vegas, and it is certain that the buzz will be all about TVs. As we spend most of our lives involved with media, we’ll report from the show, share insight, and explain how some of the new tech will affect you. For most of you, TV is changing, and faster than anyone might imagine. The big change? Consider that many people will either scale back or kill off their cable or satellite pay TV. New televisions will incorporate the Internet and pay-per-view services, such as Netflix on a scale not previously seen. Add in the ability to view and manage media from a smartphone or an iPad (or similar) and you have all the makings of a huge shift in user activity. If you select Cox Communications as your carrier on the West Coast, and order HD channels and three movie services, expect to pay approximately $80 per month. With a new Internet-savvy TV, you could watch a movie every day and spend less. A lot less. The big change isn’t just about money, however. It’s about choice. It’s also about merging and managing media. Apple, not presenting at CES, has easy to use technology called AirPlay that permits real-time live streaming of media from an iPhone or iPad to an AppleTV equipped HD television. And Apple TV (and other Apple devices) support Netflix, YouTube, and other Internet services. Steve Jobs told the media that the original AppleTV was a “hobby.” The new edition, retailing for less than $100, is gaining traction, selling more than 1 million units during the past three months. Expect Vizio to get very competitive at this year’s CES. With a new smartphone and slate (iPad competitor) device, Vizio is making good on its objective of giving Sony a run for its money and is already competing with Samsung in the US. The upstart American company has a long way to go, but their presence will be felt at the show – and at retailers across the country throughout 2011. The iPad will likely see dozens of competitors hit the market, or at least be demonstrated at the show. A year ago, nobody knew what an...

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