TED is launching a platform for social entrepreneurs

https://embed.ted.com/talks/raj_panjabi_community_health_heroes

Social entrepreneurs often walk a tough road. Their ideas seek to improve life for communities that can’t afford to pay a lot, if anything, and without the support of funding options like venture capital, bank loans and stock markets, their best option to fund their ideas is generally the philanthropic sector. This requires an endless…

via A new initiative for launching big, audacious ideas — TED Blog

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2018 State of Linux Video Editing

OpenSource.com has an article telling us how good/bad/great the state of video editing is in the Linux desktop in 2018.

The top pick is Kdenlive, which I’ve used when creating video courses (on AngularJS, Angular and recently on Python and Ruby).

Kdenlive is the best-in-class professional open source editing application, hands-down. As long as you run a stable version of Kdenlive on a stable Linux OS, use reasonable file formats, and keep your work organized, you’ll have a reliable, professional-quality editing experience.

Kdenlive

Strengths

  • The interface is intuitive for anyone who has ever used a professional-style editing application.
  • The way you work in Kdenlive is natural and flexible, allowing you to use both of the major styles of editing: cutting by numbers and just mousing around in the timeline.
  • Kdenlive has plenty of capabilities beyond just cutting up footage. It can do some advanced visual effects, like masking, all manner of composting (see this, this, and this), color correction, offline “proxy” editing, and much much more.

The other Linux video editors on the list are:

If you’re recording screencasts on Linux, one of the above Linux video editors will be a good tool in the toolbox.

Big-Tech’s Ethics and Tom Lehrer at 90

Nature has published a piece on mathematician Tom Lehrer, who is turning 90 this year. He has written and sung many a satirical song highlighting the dangers of nuclear proliferation and other political issues.

One of these songs is about an ethical dilemma that it seems many big tech companies are facing:

The rousing ballad ‘Wernher von Braun’ undermines the former Nazi — who designed the V-2 ballistic missile in the Second World War and later became a key engineer in the US Apollo space programme. In Lehrer’s view, it was acceptable for NASA to hire von Braun, but making him into an American hero was grotesque. “‘Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?’/‘That’s not my department,’ says Wernher von Braun” — lines that still resonate in today’s big-tech ethical jungle.

It matters what we build and who we build it for.

Panera Bread data breach

Yes, Panera Bread, the place that serves great(?) bread and snacks was hacked many many months ago:

In August 2017, …reported a vulnerability to Panera Bread that allowed the full name, home address, email address, food/dietary preferences, username, phone number, birthday and last four digits of a saved credit card to be accessed in bulk for any user that had ever signed up for an account. This includes my own personal data! Despite an explicit acknowledgement of the issue and a promise to fix it, Panera Bread sat on the vulnerability and, as far as I can tell, did nothing about it for eight months.

This is why it’s important to take seriously any emails coming in that report a vulnerability on your website or web app; especially when related to data breaches. It’s important to prioritize this kind of work too, in 2018 you cannot sit idly while a data breach threat looms over the entire organization. With the Equifax data breach, maybe we’ll start to see shareholders and customers take their data more seriously and start filing lawsuits about the immense risk that organizations are not preparing for.

The Difference Between Innovators and Entrepreneurs — Steve Blank

For all the entrepreneurs out there trying to build free/open source startups:

I just received a thank-you note from a student who attended a fireside chat I held at the ranch. Something I said seemed to inspire her: “I always thought you needed to be innovative, original to be an entrepreneur. Now I have a different perception. Entrepreneurs are the ones that make things happen. (That) takes focus, […]

via The Difference Between Innovators and Entrepreneurs — Steve Blank

How the Internet Ate Movies? Really?

The Ringer has an article about how Hollywood has become “obsessed” with the internet and asks whether this has stifled the imaginations of movie makers:

“You know, desperately seeking escape is not nostalgia,” Spielberg told the L.A. Times while discussing Ready Player One. “It’s something we’re all familiar with. Escapism is something, especially today, that people are craving more than ever before just to get out of the desperately depressing news cycle. There have been desperately depressing news cycles in every decade from time to time, but it’s pretty profound now. And so I thought, ‘This is the right time for this.’”

The same could be said for Blackhat or The Social Network or Catfish or You’ve Got Mail. Movies about the consequences of the internet aren’t new, exactly. They’re just everywhere. And it has zapped movies of an inherent power—the ability to transport, to reinvent or recontextualize what’s possible in the world.

Hollywood matters insofar as they have a history of consistency and availability (the Hollywood crowd produces movies every year and they are distributed widely) and they’ve got the resources to keep doing this.

But…we have new producers and movie makers making and distributing their productions on YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms.

I think it would be more accurate to say this:

it has zapped [Hollywood] movies of an inherent power—the ability to transport, to reinvent or recontextualize what’s possible in the world

Many people are watching new shows and bite-sized content on multiple platforms. We’re no longer tied to one point of view that’s Hollywood-centric (though it is still dominant). We can choose never to watch Blackhat, The Social Network, Ready Player One, or other Hollywood movies and instead replace them with whatever good stuff we find on the Internet. We can find new stories told from unique perspectives without the Hollywood gatekeepers stopping us. The production costs of a movie and the fact that it’s produced outside of Hollywood do not prevent a movie from having the ability to transport, reinvent or recontextualize what’s possible in the world