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By Ruben Swieringa
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Published March 14, 2011

This year's Flash In The Can in Amsterdam presented its attendees with a brand new venue and a diverse range of very inspiring speakers. With a bigger location (although now slightly farther from the city center) the event now offered room for one and a half times as many people to attend, which definitely was a good thing.


Tuesday featured talks by the likes of (among many others) André Michelle, Grant Skinner, GMUNK. A little after midnoon a frenchman in his late twenties walked up to the stand in the blue hall and introduced himself as Matthieu Bessudo, better known under his pseudonym McBess (mcbess.com). Many of the attendees present may have been somewhat surprised to learn that this very calm and seemingly peaceful guy actually creates the super-crowded and very vibrant artwork that McBess is known for (also including the creative for this year's Flash In The Can). In his session McBess showed some of his early and later works and shed light on his work-process, which on the spot turned into a very interesting live drawing session where he asked the audience for 5 things they liked, combining them into one drawing (beer-drinking, pudding-eating dinosaur with boobs on a bicycle anyone?).

Just after 5, Ben Radatz led the attendees through the work and work-process of MK12 -- including work on the opening credits for the James Bond movie Quantum of Solace.

Ben Radatz from MK12

On wednesday Mike Creighton kicked off the second day of the event in the red hall with his presentation entitled "Harnessing the Abundance", followed by names such as Carlos Ulloa (creator of Papervision3D) and Robert Reinhardt (author of the Flash and ActionScript bibles). Also very mentionable was Thijs Bernolet from Little Miss Robot hacking Shawn Pucknell (main FITC guy) his Facebook account -- during the presentation (more about that on the FITC blog).

FITC Amsterdam was closed off by Evan Roth in his session about open source, viral media, art that isn't boring and waiting for Jay-Z to call you on the phone. I hadn't seen Evan before but immediately found his presentation to be one not be missed out on. The talk ranged from huge digital/interactive graffiti on tall buildings, to hacking an airplane-seat so that the person in front of you won't put it back, to editing N.W.A.'s 'Straight Outta Compton' to only include the cuss-words.

Evan Roth

All in all, although already a great event, Shawn and the rest of the FITC people managed to turn Flash In The Can Amsterdam 2011 into an even more varied and overall better happening -- hats off!

Photos courtesy of Tim, one of the people behind SpringFestival.

By Atishay Jain
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Published March 2, 2011
In today's global business environment, where customers are more demanding than ever and brand loyalty is increasingly difficult to obtain, deeper customer engagement is integral to an organization's success. RIAs can make customer interactions compelling, dynamic, and useful — in a word, engaging. Business executives increasingly recognize the value customer engagement brings to their businesses. For example, in a recent study on engagement conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit on behalf of Adobe, 80% of executives said that better engagement translates into improved customer loyalty, and 75% said they believed it meant higher profits. Engagement is also critical to transforming customers into active advocates for brands and businesses; 79% of respondents said that engaged customers will recommend products and services to others. In March 2007, Forrester Research published "The Business Case for Rich Internet Applications," a report based on interviews with RIA technology providers and designers, as well as Forrester Research clients and customers. The report revealed that "well-designed RIAs can produce eye-popping results that can help prove the value of current investments and make the case for future RIA projects." According to the findings, "firms that measure the business impact of their RIAs say that rich applications meet or exceed their goals." Specific findings demonstrate that improved ease of use for customer-facing RIAs "drives higher conversion rates and order size....More shoppers convert to buyers when they can easily trade off product options and costs in real time....And because of increased ease of completing complex orders online, fewer customers give up."
By Alex Nino
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Published February 7, 2011

Do not compare HTML5 with Flash


It has been a while since people started playing around with HTML5, and still nowadays there are some people that come with some comparisons between Flash and HTML5. I am a little bit tired about all this, and to be honest I am totally convinced that HTML5 and Flash are completely different solutions which make everything a bit pointless when comparing both, it is so clear to me what/when to use HTML5 or Flash.

HTML5 is not a threat against Flash

We all remember when Adobe came with Acrobat Reader ages ago, and we all remember people saying things like; this piece of software is not going to be here for long, this approach of showing and printing images and text is something that everybody is already doing and at the end it was all curious, how can a product like Acrobat be accepted in the market? What's my point? Where I am going to is… one single word "consistency". At the present the PDF format is considered as a standard for absolutely all kind of content distribution (and online printing). How can? The answer is so simple; everywhere it looks the same, it can be printed everywhere the same, we all trust on its consistency, so many of us feel the same with the SWF format.

People are confused about HTML5

Last week I got a quick discussion with a couple of developers, they came over to have some beers and ask me for any advice about the best way of doing things in HTML5, unfortunately my answer was; guys I am so sorry I didn't have the chance yet of making an iPhone application. So, they said; but we are not asking you about iPhone, it is more about HTML5 programming itself, and then I said; so why do you want to use HTML5 then? and at then end they couldn't answer my question properly. Basically they couldn't give me any good reason for making "complicated" things in HTML5. You can do with Flash (Action Script) whatever you want much faster than coding JavaScript indeed and considering that the Flash Player 10 propagation is quite high nowadays, so we don't need to be worried about relaying on this web based plug-in (the Flash Player).

HTML5 is here to stay, it is for us, and it is for helping us with that boring monkey job nobody wants to do like building a video player with a scroll slider progress bar and some navigation buttons, or making a basic photo gallery with enchanted options, etc. If you are trying to do something more complicated than that, I am afraid you have to be prepared to waste a lot of time dealing with very annoying things like cross browser inconsistencies, performance issues, plus you never know if that thing will work in new browsers in the future. The main problem of HTML is and will be always consistency; it looks different among browsers when you are dealing with advanced features, careful, it could be a big pain, keep it simple if you want to sleep well.

Errr, I would like to say that I am against people trying to make capture Forms in Flash using comboboxes, list, grids, etc… guys! For such things use HTML, in my personal opinion Flash has been created for satisfying our highest levels of creativity, making things intuitive, smart web apps. Additionally I would like to say that there is no reason for me making complicated things in HTML5, and if the reason you have is because of iPhone, you should look for a different solution, say Objective-C, C++. HTML5 is sitting on a very top level of the hardware architecture and processing work flow, JavaScript doesn't run as fast as you may need it in browsers, even slower in mobile devices, so, do not try to do complicated things with it, do not punish yourself.

A good comparison between HTML5 and Flash

A while a ago I wrote a very simple article speaking about Verlet physics, plus mixing it all with Spline Curves, it was about a Balloon movement algorithm, remember? Well here is the flash article in case you would like to have a go with it, Balloon Flash Version.

This time I tried to remake exactly the same piece of program in HTML5 so people can have a better understanding about it, using same logic, same work flow, and same algorithms. I did a quite big research about HTML5 before starting with it but unfortunately once I got it run, it couldn't reach the same performance of the Flash Version. I have tested it on different browsers, in the best scenario (using google Chrome) HTML5 runs about 4 times slower than Flash, I also tried running it iPhone4 and compared with HTC Desire,it runs in iPhone4 about 8 times slower than HTC Desire, of course HTC running it in Flash. I haven't tried it yet in iPad, do you have an iPad? Let me know how it runs like.

Here we are! same Balloon HTML5 version.

and the original version Balloon Flash version.

Cheers!

Alex Nino - YoAmbulante.com

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