Xiaomi Mi Crowdfunding Launched in India: Here’s How it Works

Xiaomi Mi Crowdfunding Launched in India: Here's How it Works

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Xiaomi brings crowdfunding platform to India
  • It will sell “innovation-driven” products using consumer’s support
  • Offer currently available on two products

Xiaomi on Wednesday launched a new programme in India called ‘Mi Crowdfunding.’ With the new feature, users will be able to help the Chinese manufacturer in deciding which products it should release in India. Xiaomi will keep posting a curated list of “innovation-driven” products that it will sell only when a certain number of people are interested. If a particular product fails to meet the criteria in a set timeline, the product will not be shipped and the customers will get their money back. The crowdfunding platform has been launched as part of the Xiaomi Mi Fan Festival, which will run from April 5 to April 6.

As of now, Xiaomi has put up two products that it is planning to bring in India, on its dedicated webpage. The first product is the Mi Selfie Stick Tripod, which the company has priced at Rs. 1,099. It is a selfie stick and tripod combined into one unit and comes with a Bluetooth shutter remote. It is equipped with Bluetooth 3.0, meaning it will support smartphones running Android 4.3 and higher, and iOS 5.0 and higher.

xiaomi tripod Mi Selfie Stick Tripod

Xiaomi Mi Selfie Stick Tripod

The Mi Selfie Stick Tripod is able to rotate 360 degrees and comes with an adjustable grip to “accommodate the largest smartphones like Mi Max 2.” The product comes in only one Black colour variant, measures 45×49.5x190mm, and weighs 155 grams. Xiaomi promises that it will be shipped within 10 days of successful completion of the project.

Next is the Bluetooth Audio Receiver that has been priced at Rs. 999. The device, meant to provide wireless music, comes with a single key function that turns on the earphones, connects to Bluetooth, plays and pauses music, and answer calls as well. It comes with Bluetooth 4.2 to connectivity, and a headphone amplifier chip.

xiaomi bluetooth Xiaomi  Mi Bluetooth Audio Receiver

Xiaomi Mi Bluetooth Audio Receiver

Xiaomi claims that the 97mAh battery onboard can be fully charged within 2 hours and support 4 to 5 hours of playback. The device weighs 10 grams and comes with a 3.5mm audio jack. Users can pair up to two handsets but only one of them can be connected at one time. Notably, the product does not have the volume key function of Apple and Apple certified MFI earphones. It is available in a White colour variant.

To use the Mi Crowdfunding feature, first, you will have to select the product and click on ‘Support now’ to place your order. Following this, you can use any preferred online payment mode and pay within the defined timeline on the payment page. You will be able to come back anytime to check the project progress. Notably, a project is considered successful once the bar reaches 100 percent in the defined timelines. Also, in case you change your mind, you can cancel the order before it ships out.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Black Mirror Season 4 Episode 1 ‘USS Callister’ Shows How Technology Enables Creeps

Black Mirror Season 4 Episode 1 'USS Callister' Shows How Technology Enables Creeps

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Black Mirror season 4 is available on Netflix
  • “USS Callister” is the first episode of new season
  • Charlie Brooker co-wrote, stars Jesse Plemons

Spoilers ahead for Black Mirror season four episode one, “USS Callister”. If you haven’t seen the episode, turn away and come back later.

At its surface, “USS Callister” – the first episode of anthology sci-fi series Black Mirror’s fourth season, out since Friday on Netflix worldwide – seems like a parody of Star Trek. It’s how the poster, stills, trailer, and the title have been set up, but that’s merely because marketing any episode of Black Mirror is a challenge, given its reliance on twists. (It’s also why Netflix prohibited us critics from revealing much about it.) The one in “USS Callister” appears less than 10 minutes into the episode, when it’s revealed that it’s all just a locally-stored Trek-themed fork of a popular virtual reality game.

From that moment on, the Trek inspiration turns merely into elaborate dressing, from the clothes to the sets, which hews as closely as possible to Gene Roddenberry’s vision with the 60s original series, without getting the CBS lawyers off their cushy seats. The real target of the episode are the power fantasies of human beings, and how can they can go very quickly from harmless to beyond creepy with advances in technology. Black Mirror has always been fascinated with digital consciousness – first with “White Christmas”, then “San Junipero”and now this – though it gets a much heavier focus on “USS Callister”.

Out in the real world, Robert Daly (Jesse Plemons) is the brains behind the online multiplayer VR creation, but he’s always been the ignored nice guy. He doesn’t get the credit unlike the public-facing Walton (Jimmi Simpson) – the CEO calls himself the “shiny front-end”, and refers to Daly as the back-end – he’s laughed at by his colleagues at the company, and he doesn’t get the reception he expects from the receptionist. Black Mirror makes it easy to sympathise with him, and view him as someone who can’t catch a break, but then turns that image on its head over the next hour.

black mirror season 4 uss callister nanette Black Mirror season 4 USS Callister

Annoyed and incensed by how he’s treated, Daly has created a modded version of the game, and he’s slowly introduced digital clones of his co-workers by stealing their DNA from the office, and using high-end tech to recreate them in the virtual reality. New employee Nanette (Cristin Miloti), who admires Daly professionally, is pulled in after he overhears her dismissing the idea of liking him in personal capacity. There, he expects her to be nice to him and forces her to comply when she refuses, like he’s already done with everyone else. In short, he’s the God.

But unlike, say, in a game of The Sims, his actions are far from harmless. The digital clones can think and feel pain like their counterparts outside, so when Daly demands a kiss from every female crew member at the end of each playthrough, or torments someone by creating a clone of their son and killing him in front of them repeatedly, that carries a lot more weight than starving a Sims baby to death. Black Mirror has always tried to warn us about the unanticipated dangers of new technology, and “USS Callister” posits how it can enable harmless creeps – Daly doesn’t seem bold enough to be a criminal – from acting out their fantasies.

That doesn’t make his actions any less criminal, though whether the laws in “USS Callister” have caught up to the available technologies is entirely unknown. Is Daly as bad as someone who would torture people in real life? Since the in-game versions of his co-workers have consciousness too, should Daly pay the same price as a criminal would in our world? And should a citizen be allowed to own a device that can help you digitally clone someone in the first place? Those are all questions raised by the episode, which has been directed by Toby Haynes (Doctor Who, Sherlock).

But Charlie Brooker, the creator of Black Mirror and co-writer on “USS Callister”, is more interested in creating an empowering story. Nanette is the true protagonist here, as it becomes clear, but the episode hides that by introducing us to the world from Daly’s eyes. We’ve all experienced situations where we’ve wanted to have control over someone, and that makes seeing Daly go through with that all the more harrowing, because there’s a bit of him in all of us.

black mirror season 4 uss callister deck Black Mirror season 4 USS Callister

“USS Callister” also ends up being accidentally timely, what with a woman having to escape from the clutches of a man who views her as an object serving as an allegory for the ongoing #MeToo social movement that erupted across the globe in the wake of sexual assault allegations levelled against major Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. In the episode, the video game versions of Callister employees are stuck in a universe where Weinstein is the only movie producer, so they have to work within those restrictions or face retribution.

While her other co-workers have chosen to give in, Nanette comes up with a strategy to free themselves from Daly’s control, which involves blackmailing her own self out in the real world. By doing so, she actually makes the original version of her self commit a crime – breaking and entering – who remains completely oblivious to how she’s helping a few digital souls escape their tormentor. We aren’t told how this impacts real-Nanette when Daly is inevitably found dead, but clone-Nanette ends up in a procedurally-generated world with infinite possibilities.

Black Mirror also gets in a dig about online gaming, with the first encounter for the digital clones being a conceited gamer – cheekily voiced by Aaron Paul’s distinctive voice – who threatens to blow them up for not serving his purpose. As an exasperated Nanette instructs her crew to warp away, he proclaims himself as ‘the king of space’, the words sounding hollow as you look at the vast virtual emptiness. The world will never be perfect, “USS Callister” argues, but you’ve always got to fight to make it better.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

How To Lead Creative People (When You’re Not A Creative Yourself)

Shutterstock

Creative people tend to be sensitive souls – some might even go so far as to say ‘highly strung’. They don’t always take criticism well, no matter how kindly it’s meant, and can perceive even the smallest piece of negative feedback as an unbridled assault on their competence.

In their work, many leaders who do not come from a creative background themselves have to learn how to motivate agency staff and freelancers. So how can they get these volatile ideas folk to produce truly outstanding work? Here are five top tips for encouraging the sparks of genius to fly:

    1. Praise us! If you want to keep getting great work out of creative people, the secret is not just to pay their invoice promptly at the end of the project (although that helps a lot, admittedly) but also to give them positive feedback if you’re happy with a job well done. You’re our client. We want to make you happy. If we were just in it for the money, we would have done something else instead – like law.
    1. Brief us properly. Sadly the place where most creative projects go wrong is right at the start – ie the part where you’re involved. If you don’t take the time to give us a proper, well-considered brief, either in writing or verbally, you’re effectively setting us loose to interpret what we think you want in the way we think is best. Unless you really are very open-minded about what you want, that’s a recipe for disaster. It’s a bit like saying to a builder: “Hey there, please can you build me a house” and just leaving them to get on with it.
    2. Be specific in your feedback. Saying something ‘doesn’t quite work for me but I don’t know why’ isn’t very helpful to a creative. If you want to get a better result, you need to be able to tell us why you don’t like a piece of work and what might make it better. Don’t be afraid to wrestle with a challenge and make your own input. Creative people value collaboration. In fact, the best results often come out of clients and creative teams working together constructively.
  1. Remember that we have feelings. You might not like the work we’ve sent you but unless it’s obviously sloppy – riddled with spelling mistakes, for example – the chances are that we’ve really labored over it and truly believe that we’ve done a good job for you. So before you embark on a long list of what’s wrong with a piece of work, try to highlight any parts of it that you do like or acknowledge where you may not have been clear on an aspect of the brief. Build a relationship with us – along with everyone else, we try harder for people we like.
  2. Be realistic. About everything. Don’t give a writer a strict word count and then ask them to make lots of points that could not conceivably be made effectively in such a small number of words. Don’t give a designer a day to turn around a complex piece of artwork that incorporates lots of charts. Finally, don’t expect to pay pittance and get outstanding work delivered ahead of deadline. You will just end up with a frustrated creative who produces suboptimal results.

[“Source-forbes”]

How to Start a Career in the Creative Industry

Want to make a career out of the stuff you make? The creative industries describe business and organization that focus on creativity: music, design, art, publishing, literature, architecture, film, visual arts, fashion, and drama, to name a few.

Within those industries are needs for high-level design, marketing, and advertising professionals.

Why are creative careers so important? They’re creating jobs in the digital sector and the economy at large. “Creatives,” as employees in the creative industry are called, are in high demand.

What’s great about the creative industry? It’s constantly changing, and you get to work with people who are just as passionate as you are.

Let’s take a closer look at how to start your career in the creative industry—and Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) where creatives succeed.

1. Get exposure and make your art

How? Network, network, network, and don’t be afraid to pick up the phone. The more contacts you have in the field you want, the more likely it is that you’ll find work.

Make a few phone calls to companies that interest you, and see what they offer.  Not quite there? Check out their websites, and prepare a few pitches for projects that you’re interested in doing.

If that’s getting you nowhere, find someplace you might want to work and volunteer, apprentice, or intern. Cast your net wide, make the connections, get out there, and do it.

Lorenzo Longo, a designer in Milan since 2006 and graduate of IED, tells about his first experience working for Pirelli tires. He said, “In that occasion Pirelli choose me to be part of their engineers’ team and I developed the design of new tire patterns for them. I worked for Pirelli tires for about one year, in the same period I opened my studio.”

De-Signum, the studio he opened, is a multitasking design enterprise that works across architecture, interior design, and product design.

2. Work hard

This shouldn’t come as a shock: you have to work hard. Positions in the creative industry are competitive, especially if you’re just out of school. The key? Experience and attitude. Get as much experience as you can, and as many key connections as you can while you’re in school. It will pay off.

Longo says, “Creativity is an attitude, it’s very difficult to learn to be creative if you are not curious and interested in everything that surrounds you. You should be as a “parfumeur,” you should learn how to develop your own smell, develop your own spirit of observation, work hard, not be boring, learn how funny it is to be working in team, have patience.”

3. Follow your passion

Do what you love. Don’t worry about what other people think. As long as you care about what you do, respect others, and work hard to make a positive impact, you can make it in the creative industry.

Anna Rogg, coordinator of the Career Services Offices at IED Italy and responsible for the official IED Alumni platform says, “My advice, for young creatives, is to try to share ideas with colleagues, your boss without being jealous, never criticize other people, but try to find always positive sides. Always attending specific courses during weekends, evenings… be up-to-date!”

4. Get the right master’s degree: IED

Ready to launch your career in the creative industry? Already have your bachelor’s degree?

Get the right master’s degree at IED in Italy. With specialized and technical training, real projects with partner companies, and a wide alumni network, IED offers students masters courses in contemporary art, design, fashion, and communication.

Long says he’s still in touch with IED. He says, “It still happens that IED calls me for special projects. I worked for the Campari Group about a year ago.”

Rogg echoes the sentiment. She says, “We help students for twelve months after their graduation. This year we are going to launch our first IED Alumni platform with special deals, partnerships and job postings dedicated to our IED Community. Last year, IED Milan found internships for 92 percent of our former students who recently graduated.”

If you’re looking for a step up in that creative field that you’ve dreamed about forever, now’s your chance. Check out IED and give your creative career the boost it deserves.

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.
[“Source-masterstudies”]