IAWTV Gives Itself Herculean Task of Uniting Web TV Makers

The International Academy of Web Television’s mission is a lot like herding cats — a bit of a loaded metaphor considering the idea of online television as a legit medium is up against a web full of silly cat videos.

The IAWTV’s inaugural meeting today in Santa Monica, Calif. was in some ways productive and in others frustratingly embryonic. The IAWTV is trying to unite a group of independent-thinking online video entrepreneurs into an organization to run an awards show, and possibly much more than that.

DECA CEO and the appointed IAWTV chairman of the board Michael Wayne gamely parried a wide variety of questions, desires and dissents from a roomful of members and would-be members, many of whom had flown to LA for the event.

For now, the IAWTV’s principal responsibility is to run the second-annual Streamy Awards show next year, but along the way it’s also hoping to structure itself in the Hollywood mold. Wayne laid out a plan for 22 peer groups — which sounds rather unwieldy given the total current membership is around 100. But to be fair, the second part of his session was addressed to prospective members, and the room for that was packed. No actual academy business was carried out; this was more of an informational meeting.

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iPhone Application Sketch Book Rights Sold to Apress Publishing

Little more than a month after releasing the iPhone Application Sketch Book its creator, Dean Kaplan, has already sold the publishing rights to Apress Publishing House for an undisclosed amount. Kaplan says the move will allow the book to reach a broader market and free up some more time to work on “other projects that will compliment the sketchbook.”

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According to Kaplan, future publications of the sketchbook will remain largely the same except for a few minor changes suggested by current users, like perforated pages or different page sizes. “Customers love the look and feel of the book, that it lays flat, and it’s one place to hold all their designs,” he says. “Future modifications will no doubt be slight.” Read More about iPhone Application Sketch Book Rights Sold to Apress Publishing

Six Tips for Supercharging Safari

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Although Safari improves with every version released, it remains difficult for one browser to cater for everyone’s needs. Firefox has successfully approached this problem through the use of Add-Ons, but Safari continues to lack any widely promoted form of plugin or extension functionality.

Despite this, I still remain a huge fan of Safari’s simplicity and speed and am reluctant to switch to another browser. Fortunately, several different methods remain for enhancing and “supercharging” Safari. Today I’ll be taking a look at six applications and tweaks for getting more out of Apple’s latest browser — from saving passwords more effectively to downloading video content. Read More about Six Tips for Supercharging Safari

Simplifying Email

atsignAs web workers, we are often asked to help friends and relatives fix computer problems. For me, the majority of these problems seem to be related to email. It’s ironic, as email is now less popular than social networks.

So why is email such a hassle?

  • It’s more than 30 years old. Email has come a long way, but its underlying protocols haven’t changed much since the 1970s.
  • It’s really three different systems. Sending (SMTP) and receiving (POP or IMAP) are totally separate functions, and are often handled on different servers. That’s why I often hear comments like “I can receive, but I can’t send” from clients.
  • It’s being used for a lot of things it was never designed to do, like send images and attachments, highly formatted messages, signatures and calendar entries.
  • It’s been overrun by spam, and even well-designed spam filters aren’t perfect, and cause unwanted side effects, like messages that get misidentified as spam, or just go away.
  • Email software is too complex. These programs that were originally built for offline use; that is, they were set up so that users could read and write messages without being connected to the internet. Sending and receiving would happen in batches. That made sense when internet connections were slow, expensive and charged by the minute. Now that most people have always-on connections like cable or DSL, that process is less necessary. Desktop email client software is a pain to set up and use; as someone who helps many people with email, Outlook is the bane of my existence.
  • Many of us connect to the Internet in more than one place — at work, at home, and on cell phones. It can be very frustrating to realize that we’ve left the message we needed to reply to at the office.
  • Many of us have more than one email address. I try to keep my work and personal email separate, plus I have a series of email addresses that I use when registering on websites that might try to send spam. And I have several email addresses that were given to me, such as the ones that are automatically created when signing up for instant-messaging services like Yahoo, AIM and Windows Live/MSN.

What can be done to overcome these problems? Here are some tips that might help you and your clients and friends be more productive. Read More about Simplifying Email