Press Club of Dallas Book For iPad–Making the $$ Work

Mar 2, 2013 by

Press Club of Dallas Book For iPad–Making the $$ Work

press club dcAttached is the link to my book for iPad, which was my presentation to the Press Club of Dallas on March 2, 2013.  Feel free to download the book. Once it’s on your desktop, drop it into iTunes and then sync your iPad.  The file is about 130 MBs so it will take a few minutes to download.  To use on your iPad, you will need at least iOS 5.1 and iBooks 2.

 

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Congratulations Apple on iTunes U 1 billion downloads

Feb 28, 2013 by

Congratulations Apple on iTunes U 1 billion downloads!iTunesU

At Claxton Creative, we’ve been working to generate content for iTunes U for our clients and studying ways to enhance this ever-expanding form of e-Learning.

Classes on iTunes U are free. That drives some learned professors mad as they don’t understand the revenue model shift. Usually, people pay the school for a seat in a class and class numbers are limited and then there is the sale of recommended books and all.

With iTunes U, that model is changing and let’s just be fair to say there are some in academia who have resisted the shift to this revenue model. That’s probably putting it mildly.

How does a professor make money doing an iTunes U course?  They have an interactive book, preferably one we’ve helped them make for iPad and they use it as the resource for the class. To take the class, a student needs the book for iPad, which can be bought seamlessly through the Apple iBookstore. The more people who take the class, the more who need the book for iPad. Simple formula.  No standing in long lines to register for a class. No meeting with your counselor.  Easy.

It’s also this form of delivery that’s changing the overall method of teaching, and we’ve talked about that before much here on ClaxtonCreative.com. For teachers who do not yet understand, the traditional stand and deliver model of teaching is fast becoming a thing of the past. Self-paced learning, user-centered-learning, are new terms that are catching on in use and meaning.

At Claxton Creative, we are a part of this move to change the educational system for the better and for the future. This is the learning of tomorrow already happening today.

Are you a professor with a tome you need converted to a book for iPad, complete with video, interactive maps, charts and graphs? What if you could have your students using your book and not being able to advance to the next chapter sequence until they have demonstrated mastery?  Yeah, that’s what we can help you make a reality.  And who benefits from that? Your students, and ultimately, your wallet.

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Life Is Good When You’re The WOW! At An Apple Genius Bar

Feb 5, 2013 by

Life Is Good When You’re The WOW! At An Apple Genius Bar CC Yellow Books Circle 60 by 60 TR 1

Since I bought my first MacBook Pro on Oct. 11, 2007, I’ve had my share of opportunities to visit the Apple Genius Bar at Northpark Mall. If you don’t know, it’s one of the smallest stores in the Apple Store inventory, but also one of the busiest.  This is where I took my One-To-One training with Adopho Cantu and learned so much more than I could ever have hoped for. Screen Shot 2013-02-05 at 12.13.17 PM

Today I was in attempting to do a restore of my email lost last Tuesday after applying a Rule to Mail because a spammer had sent an email from the address < @>.  We were trying to use Time Machine to restore Mail to where it was before that fated rule change. (We didn’t get it to work either.)

But as we were going through the process–I’ve also spent about an hour on the phone with Apple Care–the Genuis started asking about what I do and then I got to whip out the iPad and show her Dr. Mark Van Stone’s 2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya, Ken Plume, John Robinson and Len Peralta’s There’s A Zombie In My Treehouse, and lastly, Dr. John Ed Mathison’s When God Redefines the Possible, a work in progress.

When the Genius started manipulating the 3D image of the Rio Azul mask that’s in the book, her response was Apple Genius Cool–“SHUT UP!”  (I wasn’t saying anything.)

Before I knew it, I had three other geniuses looking at the books and doing the same thing.  Genius One kept saying, “I am showing off my customer!”

Now like I’ve said, I’ve had my share of Genius Bar visits, but this was the first time I wasn’t the one in awe of what was going on.  It was the Geniuses.

We talked about how one before in Northpark I’d showed the books to a sales rep who told me, “It’s so cool for us to see things like this, because we send stuff out of here in boxes all day long, the tools you need to do cool stuff.  It’s fascinating for us to see how it’s actually being used.”

And so this is another tribute and thank you to the Genius, sales and One-to-One training staff of the Apple Store at Northpark Mall in Dallas, Texas.  Without my One-to-One training from Adolpho, who is no longer there, there’s no telling how far behind I still would be. And what a great memory to have–SHUT UP!

 

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Dallas Parents Raising Awareness Congentital Heart Defects In Children

Feb 4, 2013 by

For Immediate ReleaseCC Red Circl
Contact: Donald J. Claxton
Feb. 4, 2013
214-364-7240

DALLAS PARENTS SHOWING SPECIAL SIDES OF ‘BROKEN-HEARTED’ CHILDREN, RAISING AWARENESS ABOUT HEART DEFECTS CUPID CAN’T CURE

Interview Local Parents, Children Featuring Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week Feb. 7-14 During Mended Little Hearts of Dallas Support Group Event

DALLAS—It’s almost Valentine’s Day, the time for Cupid, colored candy hearts, cards and this year, Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week, a time when parents of “broken-hearted” children are seeking to raise awareness for the importance of prenatal screening, post-birth pulse and oxygen testing, and supporting children who live with “broken hearts” year round.

Two Dallas-area moms with children who have a CHD are available for interviews, along with Emma, 2, and Pablo, 15, and others in the area who have been affected by CHD and who are trying to educate the public about the importance of recognizing the signs and symptoms of this disease. Emma, 2,

A monthly support meeting also is slated for Feb. 11, at 6:30 p.m. at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas provided flu conditions do not re-escalate and the hospital prohibits such on-site activities out of concern for the families involved.

WHAT, WHERE, WHEN:

  • Pre-event interviews with Sarah Stewart and her daughter, Emma, who has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
  • Pre-event interviews with Alejandra Romo and son, Pablo, who had Transposition of Great Arteries when he was 10 days old
  • Feb. 11, 2013: Mended Little Hearts of Dallas support group meeting at Children’s Medical Center, Dallas, with family members of children in the hospital’s Heart Intensive Care Unit at 6:30 p.m. in the DL Café Seating area.

*Editor’s Note: Because it is flu and RSV season, children like Emma are not permitted to go to the hospital unless they are sick, and children in the hospital are not permitted to leave the ICU because they are sick, so to get video of an affected child, it is necessary to do an off-site, in-home interview. (Reporters and photographers also must not be experiencing flu, RSV or cold-like symptoms in order to be around the CHD children and parents.)

During the Feb. 11, 6:30 p.m. MLH support meeting at Children’s Medical Center, family members of those suffering from this disease will be treated to a meal outside the ICU in an effort to take their minds off of the condition of their child, to offer encouragement from moms and dads whose children also have the disease but are not currently in the hospital, and to recognize the national awareness campaign.

According to the National Institute of Health, CHDs are the most common type of birth defect, affecting eight out of every 1,000 newborns. Each year, more than 35,000 babies in the United States are born with a CHD. But according to Stewart, the signs are not always obvious.

“I like to think of CHDs as a silent fight most of the time. My Emma wears visible signs of her fight: oxygen tubing, feeding tube, etc.; however, there are many children living among us that look ‘normal’ on the outside. Unless you see their ‘zipper,’ or scar tissue from surgery, you likely would not know of their daily battle of living with a ‘broken heart,’” Stewart said.

“Through Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week in Dallas, we are seeking to raise awareness about heart defects that Cupid’s arrow can’t cure.”

Background on Emma: Emma has had three major open-heart surgeries, was intubated for more than six months, endured an inpatient hospital stay for 12 of the first 15 months of her life, and continues to require significant medical care. Emma’s specific case is rare. Her parents learned of her specific heart conditions before she was born and sought out the best medical care for her in the special heart patient intensive care unit at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas.

Background on CHDs: A CHD is a problem with the heart’s structure that are present at birth. Common examples include holes in the inside walls of the heart and narrowed or leaky valves. In more severe forms, blood vessels or heart chambers may be missing, poorly formed and/or in the wrong place.

CHDs are the most common birth defects. CHDs occur in almost 1 percent of births. Nationally each year, between 100-200 deaths are due to unrecognized heart disease in newborns. These numbers exclude those dying before diagnosis. About 40,000 children in the US are born each year with a CHD.

Figures show that nearly 25 percent of children born with a CHD will require heart surgery or other interventions in order to survive. Today, more than 85 percent of babies born with a CHD will survive to age 18, but children with more severe cases are less likely to reach adulthood.

Mrs. Stewart often points out that nearly twice as many children die from CHDs in the US each year as from all forms of childhood cancer, yet funding for pediatric cancer research is five times higher than funding for CHDs.

Claxton Creative, LLC

Claxton Creative is a Dallas-based full-service public relations firm focused on the development of interactive, multi-touch publications for mobile devices worldwide. The company was founded by former Dallas ISD communications director, Donald J. Claxton.

—30—

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Dear Spammer, this red dot will be the last thing you ever see. I promise.

Jan 29, 2013 by

Dear Spammer, this red dot will be the last thing you ever see.  I promise.CC Red Circl

The past week or so I’ve been getting an annoying email that almost looks like it’s from Dr. Oz. But it’s not.  It’s spam. Screen Shot 2013-01-29 at 5.26.21 PM

So today, tired of it and in the midst of 4 or 5 client projects, I highlighted the email from this jackass, opened preferences in Mail and applied the spamming rule. Thing is, I didn’t see what the spammer’s email address until after I clicked the apply rule button.  The address?  @

About 30 minutes later, I realized the damage that had been done.  My entire inbox of 408 active emails was gone.  It still is right now and I’ve already spent an hour on the phone with Apple Care and they’re about to call back again.

So, who ever you are, jackass. One day, I promise you. The last thing you’re ever gonna see is a bright flash of red light over your heart or just above your eyeballs. Then it’s gonna be good night baby.  Or jackass in your case.

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Can You Use Hype To Create A Parallax Animation For An iBook Widget?

Jan 28, 2013 by

Can You Use Hype To Create A Parallax Animation For An iBook Widget? CC Yellow Books Circle 60 by 60 TR 1

For more than a year now I’ve been working on a sister project–TheWondersExpedition.com and trying to help share some fascinating discoveries I’ve noticed in the study of amazing places around the world.

And to begin telling that story in digital book form, and also online, I’ve been in the process of building various forms of art in Photoshop and Illustrator and trying to decide whether files should be straight vector files–(I’d love to be able to do .SVG but iPad won’t support it) or go for Photoshop creations rendered out as .PNGs.

Clearly I want to be able to tell the story of multiple sites around the globe and use the continuous scrolling effect to help share the findings.  Ultimately, this will require creating some sort of parallax-looking animation that makes it look like the world is turning, day is going from day to night, and cool places are popping up into view as the world turns, along with some sort of geometric lines, trig formulas of sine and cosines, and probably a kitchen sink, too. while I’m at it.

That led me to really look at two creative tool options tonight.  After Effects or Tumult’s Hype, now available as version 1.6.0.

Can You Use Hype To Create A Parallax Animation For An iBook Widget?

The answer to me right now is–I don’t know.

What I did tonight was create a Hype file with the dimensions of 2048 px by 1536, the size of an iPad 3 screen/retina screen. Just trying to see the whole screen on a 17-inch MacBook Pro, early 2012, requires me to shrink the View down to 50 percent and to shove my timeline as far to the bottom of the screen as I can stand.  (That’s not a complaint, it’s just the way it is.)

Just for starters tonight, I went ahead and in Photoshop created a round ball designed to rotate from the center point at the bottom of the animation.  I didn’t do the math, but through a process of lines from each respective corner, then a line down the middle and then a line from the bottom center line to the top left and right corners got me a measurement of about 1555 px.  I set the ellipse tool to form a perfect circle by holding down the shift key when I created a round “globe” in a file that was 3710 px by 3710 px. This way, as the globe rotates in Hype from the center spot at the bottom, there will never be a point where the viewer won’t see either blue for the atmosphere during the day, and black for simulated night time. Mind you, I’m not worrying about anything fancy line stars and the moon right now.  I just want to get the global atmosphere spinning. (Later will come additional layers of stuff.)

Trying to create a rotating "Atmosphere" using Tumult's Hype.

Trying to create a rotating “Atmosphere” using Tumult’s Hype.

With a two-layered .PNG the file for just the atmosphere right now is 39 MBs.  HUGE!

And needless to say, when I put it in the timeline of Hype and then set it to turn 180 degrees in 20 seconds, it really made the MBP, with 8 GBs of RAM, start to creep.  At one point, I could see block pixels where there are none, as the earth’s atmosphere turned from day to night.  Not good.

So at 11:30 p.m. on a Monday night, I’m calling it a day to rethink this as I sleep.  I’m beginning to wonder if Adobe’s After Effects isn’t going to be the better place to do this, but then it is destined to become a .mov and not an interactive HTML5 widget.  So I ponder.

Anyone else done this?  Anyone?  Bueller?

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