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Feb. 3, 2011

Simian Team Gives Scoble an Exclusive First Look at the All New Simian

Scoble highlights the fact that Simian is a new kind of project collaboration system for the creative industry. Co-founders Jay Brooks and Brian Atton demo the software and discuss the three key components they had in mind when they set out to develop the next generation of Simian: user experience, content sharing and scalability.

The first thing subscribers will see is a completely redesigned user interface that reflects actual workflow. New and improved reel analytics, dynamic microsite creator and extensive social casting features will give users a big boost in sharing and distributing videos. And the platform and underlying infrastructure of Simian was completely updated for future scalability

"The new Simian framework gives us the power to be nimble and implement user feedback quickly," says Brooks. "Also, we're poised to continue to lead the marketplace with innovative features that our creative clients are demanding. We're prepared to support them and stay ahead of the pack."

Watch the Scoble interview on Youtube http://bit.ly/scoble-simian. Follow Simian on twitter.com/goSimian and find out more information on products and services at http://www.goSimian.com

Sept. 7, 2010

Apple vs. Adobe and how HTML5 gets the last laugh.

Steve Jobs may have a personal vendetta against Flash, but his most recent rants has sparked new discussion about HTML5 within the developer community. Will it become the dominant rich media delivery method on the web? What does that mean?  How will it affect user experience?
 
Compatibility
First things first, a lot of existing Flash-based websites won’t work on Apple devices (iPhone, iPad), but more importantly, it sends a message that all standards on the web should be open..  This is great for web developers but challenging for larger corporations and IT departments.  Standardizing on a delivery and presentation strategy means web developers and SaaS providers can use a technology that "might" work on all browsers and devices.  Pure HTML5 applications will require a modern browser, and I’m not talking IE6, IE7 or even IE8.  Only the latest BETA versions of Firefox support  HTML5.  Apple claims Safari supports HTML5, but  closer inspection decries  the hype. Many of the HTML5 examples presented on the Apple site use proprietary Safari hooks to achieve desired user interface effects.  This is great if you are developing only for Safari, iPad and iPhone users, but for sites and applications with further reach (pretty much anything), it’s useless.  That leaves us with Google Chrome which could be the only HTML5-compliant browser that isn't trying to oversell. It follows standards, ‘nuff said.  In the coming year, I predict Chrome will eventually replace Firefox as the alternative browser of choice based on one simple point¾Firefox has become bloated and unstable.  My once favorite browser now crashes randomly on seemingly simple sites.  Very disappointing.
 
Video
What I believe to be the most exciting feature of HTML5 is the video support.  No more plug-ins!  The HTML5 video tag allows developers to pipe in video files without the need for complicated plug-in detection and cross-platform checks, browser-specific hacks and all the baggage that comes with trying to create a consistent user experience across browsers and platforms.  The browser just handles it.  This is a godsend for anyone trying to develop for the desktop and mobile environments.  However, there is one BIG caveat.  In the past few years, the H.264 Codec has nearly become the industry standard for video, making it the predominant codec for film, commercial and post companies.  The problem - Firefox will not support the H.264 code for the HTML5 video tag. The issue is that Firefox takes on the traditional role of IE (Special Case) However, as I am writing I have just seen this:  http://www.mpegla.com/main/Pages/Media.aspx -- the licensing fee for H.264 has been waived!  The real question is whether Mozilla Foundation will scorn the move or support it.   It doesn't look promising: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/hardware/mozilla-unmoved-by-royalty-free-h264/9499.
 
SVG & Canvas

These are the Flash killers, fundamentally two different technologies but offering solutions that can effectively displace Flash as the only alternative.  Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) content can be dynamic, static and animated.  SVG is an XML DOM based tool.  Canvas, on the other hand, is a JavaScript API allowing you to draw 2D or 3D graphics.  Pictures speak louder than words, so check out this live example: http://www.thewildernessdowntown.com/. Great site incorporating many of the HTML5 graphics and video elements - very well done.
 
What it all means

The developer community embraces technologies that are cross platform, widely adopted and easy to use.  HTML5 is already changing user experiences on the web and expanding its reach  to platforms.  Along with HTML5, related technologies like JQuery are starting to drive new  development and newly created sites, thus solidifying its place on the web.  HTML5 is here to stay.

March 24, 2010

Opening New Doors with Open Video Technology

SXSW 2010 Simian is back from Austin where we attended SXSW this year. This was a huge year for interactive, there was a lot of great discussions about new platforms and modes of online communication and networking. One of the major topics was Open Video. Video is the new language of self expression, and the idea of Open Video is to give all users the power to access, manipulate and create content.

As video becomes a native element of the web, it points toward more support of open standards and HTML5. The user experience with video is amplified by layering the web over video. HTML5 doesn't break the web - the bits are free to manipulate. HTML5 is in direct competition with Flash and Silverlight but since it’s an open standard and not vendor based, it has a massive shot at winning.

A core focus of Simian is to connect the creative community in the process of content production. Exploring the newest advancements in technology will help us evolve our application to help you produce material more efficiently and grow your business. Look for more information on how technology will advance content creation and transform business models.

On a side note, it was just plain cool to be a part of the huge energy at the conference. Attendance was double from last year and industry celebs and digerati were everywhere. @garyvee was throwing secret wine parties, @Kevinrose, @scobelizer and @BrianSolis were mingling with us regular folks. @aplusk was at the Speakeasy .. and the girls AND the guys were trying to snap pics to post on Twitter. There were nerd fights abound and the energy was great. I could go on for hours about the parties and panels, so if you want to create a back channel off this post, let me know.

March 30, 2010

Simian is hiring a Rockstar PHP/MySQL Developer

For immediate hire! Simian is seeking an advanced PHP/MySQL Developer who has the right stuff. Simian is leading the charge in digital asset and project management applications for production companies, post/vfx studios, advertising agencies and media companies. We need an energetic and innovative thinker to join our technology team. *Position will be located in Laguna Beach or Colorado Springs. Candidate must be able to work on-site in one of these offices.

Please read all requirements carefully before submitting a resume. Hiring immediately.

What we want you to do:

  • Assist in the development of applications and systems
  • Optimization, tuning, replication, distribution, and normalization of the architectures
  • Testing, diagnosing, and fixing faults
  • Document systems, applications, and methodologies
  • Act as third tier support for resolution of production site issues

ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED:

  • 1. Must be fluent in PHP/MySQL
  • 2. Strong to advanced knowledge of HTML/CSS/AJAX/Javascript/XML
  • 3. Experience with e-commerce
  • 4. Experience with CMS
  • 5. Passion for problem-solving
  • 6. Extraordinary attention to detail
  • 7. Experience with large scale applications
  • 8. Ability to work diligently with minimum supervision and drive tasks to completion
  • 9. Examples of previous work and live sites; no test sites
  • 10. See #1-9

Optional, but we’ll be impressed:
- If you have experience with HTML5, Python, Linux/UNIX system administration, 3rd Party API integration, distributed systems and mobile applications.

Send us a short cover letter and detailed resume with examples of your work. We will ask for references, so please be prepared. We are moving fast on filling this role.

*If you’ve read this far and you’re ready to send us an email, remember, this position will be located in our office in either Orange County or Colorado Springs. That means the person will sit with our team of developers and project lead in our office. No telecommuting. No off-site. You must be legal to work in the United States.

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