Forest City Comicon: 10-19-14 – Interview with A. Jay Williams & Alison Williams – Sillwill Studios

I had a nice discussion with Comic Book Artists and Writers:
A. Jaye Williams and Alison Williams from Sillwill Studios.<br

Win Phone 7 users aghast Microsoft axed Skype for their phones

Owners of Windows Phone 7 smartphones are apoplectic that Skype no longer works on their devices.

Commenting on the official Skype support forum, affected users say they’re in disbelief at Microsoft’s decision to not only stop support for Skype, but go further and make it unusable on their smartphones.

A number of those complaining are heavy Skype users, so losing access to it from their Windows Phone 7 devices is crippling to their daily work and life.

To make matters worse, these people find themselves unable to upgrade their smartphones to Windows Phone 8 or 8.1, because Windows Phone 7 devices don’t support the newer OS. So in order to use Skype from a mobile phone they’ll have to change their devices.

They’re also angry that Microsoft is still supporting Skype on older iOS and Android versions. Skype still runs on Android phones with version 2.3 or higher of the OS, iPhone 4 devices with iOS 6 or higher and BlackBerry devices with version 10 of that OS.

Axing Skype on Windows Phone 7 is necessary for application performance, quality and security reasons, according to Microsoft.

“We are permanently retiring all Skype apps for Windows Phone 7. As a result, within the next few weeks, you’ll no longer be able to sign in and use Skype on any Windows Phone 7 device,” reads a Microsoft message on Skype’s support site.

Microsoft advises paying Skype subscribers who only access the VoIP and IM app via their Windows Phone 7 devices to cancel it, so that they won’t get billed for a service they can no longer use.

“Way to treat your customers Microsoft. I was perfectly happy with my Lumia 800, now I’m forced to upgrade? I will be upgrading to Android or iOS,” wrote a user identified as “utopian201.”

Another person, with the user name “mobilelucky,” wrote in a different thread that Microsoft is clueless with regards to its mobile strategy. “This is bad; like many here, I use skype to make international [calls] everyday. No way I will get a windows 8 phone,” this person wrote.

“Typical Microsoft. They always treat the customer badly. Really regret buying the WP7. I will be switching to Android for sure,” fumed “MJustin.”

A commenter identified as “ekyx” is a paying Skype subscriber, bought a Windows Phone 7 device only six months ago, and doesn’t have money to buy a new one just now. “This is not the way to treat clients. That is not fair.”

Affected users are also venting their frustration on Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets.

Microsoft announced in September that it wouldn’t release more updates for Windows Phone 7, but it didn’t say that it planned to disable the application, as it has now decided to do.

In fact, back then, Microsoft said the Skype app for Windows Phone 7 would “remain available to download in the Windows Phone Store, so users can still keep using the core Skype experiences, such as Chat, Voice and Video Calls.”

Juan Carlos Perez covers e-commerce, Google, web-application development, and cloud applications for the IDG News Service.
More by Juan Carlos Perez, IDG News Service

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A City Sleeps Review

A City Sleeps is a music-driven, bullet hell shooter with an invigorating soundtrack and a colorful, comic-like presentation. The hybrid of concepts feels fresh and fun in the beginning, and there are moments when the ideas harmonize, but the game rapidly runs out of new stages and music, and you’re left with nothing to do but replay the same levels at higher difficulty settings. At that point, your enthusiasm quickly falls through the cracks, well before you get access to the game’s advanced upgrades. Shoot-em-ups have a reputation for being challenging by design, especially the bullet hell variants, but for A City Sleeps, there are more hurdles than bullet patterns to overcome and it’s all to easy to find yourself tripping over the bumps along the way.

It’s interesting to see how A City Sleeps toys with the general makeup of a bullet hell shooter, though. Games such as Ikaruga, DoDonPachi, and Mushimesama are members of the infamous sub-genre, which are defined by their screen-filling, curtains of bullets. Nearly every bullet hell shooter scrolls in a unidirectional fashion, be it horizontally or vertically. Enemies come from one part of the screen, and thus, so do their bullets. The background scrolls from right to left in A City Sleeps, but in reality, this is a twin stick shooter like Geometry Wars, with a static field. The background may be moving in a single direction, but enemies and their bullets come from every direction, drastically increasing the amount of ground you need to monitor at a given moment.

It’s good that your weapon can fire in any direction, too, which affords you the flexibility to evade incoming fire and attack your enemies from any angle. You can close in and attack with a katana, which charges a meter for every successful strike. Once your meter is full, you can then slash at large swaths of enemies with a screen-sized spirit sword, which is invaluable during boss fights.

You’re also able to tap into the power of spirits by possessing idols that appear at fixed intervals throughout levels. Once possessed, these idols can emit healing energy, fire at enemies, or freeze them in their tracks, depending on the spirit you assign to them, and you have the ability to reassign spirits on the fly with a simple button combination. Exploiting this mechanic is an important aspect of your strategy, and thankfully, the game also slows to a snail’s pace when you initiate the possession process. You can unlock new properties for each spirit type, but only after you complete levels at advanced difficulty levels. In theory, the progression of abilities should work in step with the game’s difficulty, but you always feel like the game is two steps ahead of you, and unlike most shooters, you don’t earn weapon upgrades during levels. It’s frustrating that you have to beat levels to get the most useful upgrades when you feel woefully ill-equipped in the first place.

The background may be moving in a single direction, but enemies and their bullets come from every direction, drastically increasing the amount of ground you need to monitor at a given moment.

As is tradition, your character, in this case Poe the Dream Exorcist, is only vulnerable at the very center of her character model. Here, her hitbox clearly represented by a green beacon. Being able to quickly identify her weak spot is critical when you’re caught in the middle of a bullet wave, and in this instance, Harmonix has given you an advantage that you wouldn’t normally have. Feel lucky, because you move at a slightly lazy clip, and though you can dash at a fixed distance, it’s too big of a bound and thus not good for frequent use.

A City Sleeps is painfully difficult once you get past the first round of levels. This is partially because there are times when enemies attack you from every direction, pummeling you with dozens of bullets, but it’s also due to the way in which the background music influences your weapon. The music is great, and firing your weapon contributes to it in a satisfying way by emitting sounds to the beat, but your rate of fire is also dictated by said beat, which fluctuates throughout each level. In other words: you can’t count on your weapon firing in a consistent pattern at all times. In order to predict its behavior, you need to be in sync the music. Nevertheless, when enemies move at a consistent speed, regardless of the music, you’re at a disadvantage when you can’t defend yourself just the same.

Though it limits your potential firepower, the connection between the gameplay and music can be downright mesmerizing when you aren’t stuck in an insurmountable situation. The tracks are simple and mellow in the beginning, but as stages progress, your weapon, and the actions of possessed idols and your enemies, add new layers to the orchestra. As the combination of instruments ramps up, you feel increasingly engaged in the action. It’s not hard to feel in tune with the soundtrack, but this feeling fades away once the onslaught from your enemies reaches its peak and you struggle to find your footing.

You could argue that this connection between music and your weapon presents an unusual chance to balance multiple skills, but A City Sleeps ramps up the challenge too quickly to facilitate a proper learning curve. It would have been so much more enjoyable if the challenge grew in a smooth manner, because after you beat the game’s three levels, a paltry selection, all that’s left to do is replay them at harder difficulties. Not only is the game too repetitive as a result, but it’s hard to get much enjoyment from the process when it feels like you don’t have the tools you need to succeed. If the disbursement of upgrades were different, then maybe this wouldn’t be the case, but as is, you feel alienated by the odds well before you get the chance to equip yourself for success.

A City Sleeps leans on hardcore difficulty to compensate for its lack of content, and its use of music, while interesting, is a source of frustration, especially as the difficulty increases. It’s disappointing, because at its core, there are a lot of good ideas, but they never truly shine in the presence of the game’s issues. Highly-skilled shoot-em-up fans and bullet hell veterans will find an experience that lives up to their maniacal expectations, but unless you count yourself among the shooter elite, don’t expect A City Sleeps to hold your attention for long.

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Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved Review

According to the film Fantasia, Mickey Mouse was not much of a sorcerer, but he’s always been an enthusiastic conductor, which means that the mouse and I have a few things in common. One of many ways in which Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved differs from the film that inspired it is that it makes me feel both like both a fantastic conductor and a talented wizard, capable of not just manipulating the sounds of the orchestra, but of commanding sea life and city dwellers to do my musical bidding.

To be clear, I’ve conducted both choirs and orchestras in my (former) life as a violinist and composer, and Fantasia does not replicate what it’s truly like to conduct a symphony orchestra. Instead, the game is a flight of fancy, reproducing the furious gesticulations you perform at a stoplight when listening to public radio, or the spontaneous performance art that occurs when your latest favorite jam appears on your shuffled playlist. It resembles other rhythm games in the sense that it displays prompts on the screen in time to music, and you perform the appropriate actions within the necessary time frame. In games like Rock Band, success involves pressing buttons on plastic instruments; in Dance Central, it means performing dance moves and striking poses. In Fantasia, triumph comes from sweeping your arms up and down, and pushing them forward and back. (Needless to say, the game requires you to own a Kinect.) At last, a game has come that gives you permission to sway about in your living room, waving your hands about as if you’re a wannabe Leonard Bernstein while Vivaldi’s Four Seasons blasts from the speakers.

Fantasia’s musical selection does not just include well-known classical tunes–Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusic and Mussorgsky’ Night on Bald Mountain among them–but also comes with modern music by way of contemporary hits from artists like Drake and Lorde, along with essentials from The Who, Elton John, Queen, and many others. It’s likely you know most of these tunes, whether or not you’ve been to the symphony or turned on the radio in recent months. When the a capella harmonies of “Bohemian Rhapsody” spill from your television, you naturally understand the attitude you must take, even if you don’t know exactly what motions the game will expect of you. It’s one of Fantasia’s many wonders that those required motions so beautifully complement the melodies and rhythms they accompany. When trumpet fanfares and wailing guitars fill the room, the game calls for dramatic sweeps and swift punches; when plaintive violins and cellos encourage quiet contemplation, your hands swish about in graceful arcs.

If you’re like me, you will be more concerned with matching the motions than looking elegant, at least on the first couple of attempts. Fantasia is forgiving in exactly the right ways, however, giving you credit for proper motions whether you perform a grand karate chop or lightly thrust your wrist downward. In time, I was just as concerned with how I transitioned from one move to the next as I was with matching the arrows on the screen. Unless the move calls for both arms, Fantasia typically doesn’t care which arm you use, and an enormous part of the fun comes from experimenting with different methods of physically linking one motion with the next. At first, I approached Fantasia like a robot might, flinging my arms up, down, and forward as the game required. Now, many hours later, my arms craft figure-eights in the air and my hands flitter about like butterflies. Well, I might be exaggerating my own sense of grace–but at least it feels as though I have become one with the music, even if my perceived elegance is greater than the elegance an outsider would witness. (And word has it that I can look pretty clumsy while playing Fantasia.)

Not only is that creature a glorious sight, but his candelabra horns are a musical instrument!Fantasia can be a bit of a workout, like a low-impact Dance Central.

Fantasia is not just an elaborate game of Simon Says: you actually contribute to the soundscape as you play. Each song comes with three mixes in total (including the original mix), and while playing, you often have the opportunity to incorporate various aspects of those mixes together. You can stick to the original if you prefer, but doing so means you miss the pure joy of hearing a big-band version of Dvorak’s New World Symphony. I don’t love every mix–some of them are too reminiscent of the cheesy Hooked on Classics series–but for every mix that didn’t gel, there were two that had me looking at the music in a new light and finding new ways to perform gestures. The watchtheduck mix of Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You” (yes, I wish it were the uncensored version as well), for instance, plays so much with vocals and rhythm that you must renew your focus on the assigned motions lest you fall victim to the mix’s abundant musical tricks. Should you play with a friend performing at your side, selecting a tricky mix is a good way to trip her up and earn a higher score.

Mid-performance minigames also grant you control over the music by allowing you to create little melodies or rhythms by, for instance, moving your hand up and down a vertical keyboard of sorts, or by manipulating a ring that adds synthesized effects to a vocal or instrumental line. This aspect of Fantasia is a mixed blessing. On one hand, you can make some fairly random motions and end up adding an attractive musical line to the track; developer Harmonix ingeniously ensures that the notes and sounds you can choose fit within the harmonies and beats of the musical line. On the other hand, the tools’ limitations can be frustrating, particularly when you lower your arms to save your melody and unavoidably glide through more notes or hammer on another drum in the process. It’s best just to create something that sounds nice and be done with it, rather than to attempt a specific melody or drumline.

When trumpet fanfares and wailing guitars fill the room, the game calls for dramatic sweeps and swift punches; when plaintive violins and cellos encourage quiet contemplation, your hands swish about in graceful arcs.

The tracks are framed by a cute but throwaway story involving you, the wise wizard that cleaned up after Mickey’s Fantasia disaster, a young woman named Scout, and a vague aura threatening the universe called “the noise.” Given the masterful way Fantasia and its sequel tell their musical tales, it’s disappointing that the story is such fluff, though it’s fortunately over and done with before you know it. Nonetheless, the Fantasia legacy is not just about the integration of animation and orchestration, but about the fables that integration can share. Fantasia depicted a world of flowers dancing the troika and the hushed prayers of the deeply devout; Fantasia 2000 brought to life the story of the Firebird, whose death and rebirth is echoed in the natural world. I wish Fantasia: Music Evolved’s story had mirrored the diverse emotional arcs of the films that came before.

Nevertheless, the game is overflowing with charm, and the success of the story mode is not in the narrative but in the worlds it guides you through. You access songs through interactive portraits of undersea hijinks, arctic floes, and pastoral forests. These worlds are gorgeous playgrounds, letting you produce little melodies and patterns by manipulating creatures and foliage. Where most of Fantasia involves semi-scripted performance, these worlds represent musical improvisation; waving around to Missy Elliott is the concerto, and poking around in a busy city is the cadenza.

The motion controls are rarely a problem, making it easy to enjoy the sights and sounds.

I wish for more from Fantasia: Music Evolved, but that’s because it is already such a delight to watch, to hear, and to perform. The game is more pop than Pachelbel; I have visions of entire Mahler symphonies released as future downloadable content, even though I know that Avicii and Lady Gaga are DLC priorities. Until that dream comes true, I am more than content with Fantasia, which makes me feel like a graceful performance artist, a skillful sorcerer, and a master musician all at once.

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iPad and iPhone Application Development (HD) – Paul Hegarty

1 Closed CaptioningVideo19. Automated Testing (December 6, 2011) – HD Software engineering, programming language, operating system, iOS, OS, iPhone, iPad, objective c, cocoa touch, SDK, object oriented design, Apple, Macintosh, tools, language, runtime, Xcode, Interface Builder, App Store, framework, UI testing, unit testin 1/13/12 Free View In iTunes 2 Closed CaptioningVideoDesigning Multimedia iOS Apps (December 2, 2011) – HD Jason Riggs walks through building interactive graphics apps using OpenGL ES and C++. (December 2, 2011) 1/16/12 Free View In iTunes 4 Closed CaptioningVideo18. iCloud Demo (December 1, 2011) Paul Hegarty demos iCloud. (December 1, 2011) 1/6/12 Free View In iTunes 5 Lecture 17 Slides (November 29, 2011) Paul Hegarty introduces iCloud. (November 29, 2011) 12/23/11 Free View In iTunes 6 Closed CaptioningVideo17. iCloud (November 29, 2011) – HD Paul Hegarty introduces iCloud. (November 29, 2011) 12/23/11 Free View In iTunes 7 Closed CaptioningVideoSmule (November 18, 2011) – HD Ge Wang talks about making music on mobile devices, socially. (November 18, 2011) 1/16/12 Free View In iTunes 9 Closed CaptioningVideo16. Action Sheets, Image Picker, Core Motion (November 17, 2011) – HD Software engineering, programming language, operating system, iOS, OS, iPhone, iPad, objective c, cocoa touch, SDK, object oriented design, Apple, Macintosh, tools, language, runtime, Xcode, Interface Builder, App Store, framework, NSTimer, View Animation 1/6/12 Free View In iTunes 10 Lecture 15 Slides (November 15, 2011) Paul Hegarty introduces modal view controllers that “take over the screen;” inputting text using UITextField and UITextView; UIView Animation; and NSTimer. (November 15, 2011) 12/14/11 Free View In iTunes 11 Closed CaptioningVideo15. Modal View Controller/Test/Animation/Timer (November 15, 2011) Paul Hegarty introduces modal view controllers that “take over the screen;” inputting text using UITextField and UITextView; UIView Animation; and NSTimer. (November 15, 2011) 12/14/11 Free View In iTunes 12 Closed CaptioningVideoBuilding Apps that People Want (November 11, 2011) – HD Mike Ghaffary provides strategies for building apps that people want. (November 11, 2011) 1/16/12 Free View In iTunes 13 Lecture 14 Slides (November 10, 2011) Paul Hegarty talks about core data thread safety and the NSFetchedResultsController. He then does a core data demo. (November 10, 2011) 12/8/11 Free View In iTunes 14 Closed CaptioningVideo14. Core Data Demo (November 10, 2011) – HD Paul Hegarty talks about core data thread safety and the NSFetchedResultsController. He then does a core data demo. (November 10, 2011) 12/8/11 Free View In iTunes 15 Lecture 13 Slides (November 8, 2011) Paul Hegarty covers Core Data and documents, NSNotificationCenter and Objective-C categories. (November 8, 2011) 12/5/11 Free View In iTunes 16 Closed CaptioningVideo13. Core Data (November 8, 2011) – HD Paul Hegarty covers Core Data and documents, NSNotificationCenter and Objective-C categories. (November 8, 2011) 12/5/11 Free View In iTunes 17 Closed CaptioningVideoTime Profiler (November 4, 2011) – HD Alexander Chia explains why profiling is important and how to identify and resolve bottlenecks in code. (November 4, 2011) 1/16/12 Free View In iTunes 18 Lecture 12 Slides (November 3, 2011) Paul Hegarty discusses persistence — how to make things stick around between launchings of your app (besides NSUserDefaults). (November 3, 2011) 11/30/11 Free View In iTunes 19 Closed CaptioningVideo12. Persistence (November 3, 2011) – HD Andy Matuschak covers automated testing to improve app reliability and make the development cycle more efficient. (December 6, 2011) 11/30/11 Free View In iTunes 20 Lecture 11 Slides (November 1, 2011) Paul Hegarty goes over core location and MapKit. (November 1, 2011) 11/28/11 Free View In iTunes 21 Closed CaptioningVideo11. Core Location and MapKit (November 1, 2011) – HD Paul Hegarty goes over core location and MapKit. (November 1, 2011) 11/28/11 Free View In iTunes 22 Lecture 10 Slides (October 27, 2011) Paul Hegarty introduces the UITabBarController, another “controller of controllers;” UINavigationItem, which controls what’s at top when a UIViewController gets pushed onto a UINavigationController. (October 27, 2011) 11/23/11 Free View In iTunes 23 Closed CaptioningVideo10. Blocks and Multithreading (October 27, 2011) – HD Paul Hegarty introduces the UITabBarController, another “controller of controllers;” UINavigationItem, which controls what’s at top when a UIViewController gets pushed onto a UINavigationController. (October 27, 2011) 11/23/11 Free View In iTunes 24 Lecture 9 Slides (October 25, 2011) Paul Hegarty presents table views: displaying a dynamic list of data or displaying a fixed table of data. (October 25, 2011) 11/21/11 Free View In iTunes 25 Closed CaptioningVideo9. Table Views (October 25, 2011) – HD Paul Hegarty presents table views: displaying a dynamic list of data or displaying a fixed table of data. (October 25, 2011) 11/21/11 Free View In iTunes 26 Closed CaptioningVideoIntroduction to AVFoundation (October 21, 2011) – HD Salik Syed demonstrates using AVFoundation. (October 21, 2011) 1/16/12 Free View In iTunes 27 Lecture 8 Slides (October 20, 2011) Paul Hegarty covers the view controller lifecycle and image view, web view and scroll view. (October 20, 2011) 11/18/11 Free View In iTunes 28 Closed CaptioningVideo8. Controller Lifecycle & Image/Scroll/WebViews (October 20, 2011) – HD Paul Hegarty covers the view controller lifecycle and image view, web view and scroll view. (October 20, 2011) 11/18/11 Free View In iTunes 30 Closed CaptioningVideo7. UIToolbar and iPad Apps (October 18, 2011) – HD Paul Hegarty introduces the UI element of the week: UIToolbar. He then moves on to iPad-specific topics. (October 18, 2011) 1/13/12 Free View In iTunes 32 Closed CaptioningVideo6. Multiple MVCs and Segues (October 13, 2011) – HD Paul Hegarty presents the concept of having multiple MVCs and segues. (October 13, 2011) 11/14/11 Free View In iTunes 33 Lecture 5 Slides (October 11, 2011) Paul Hegarty covers autorotation, protocol implementation, and gesture recognizers. (October 11, 2011) 11/14/11 Free View In iTunes 34 Closed CaptioningVideo5. Protocols and Gestures (October 11, 2011) – HD Paul Hegarty covers autorotation, protocol implementation, and gesture recognizers. (October 11, 2011) 11/14/11 Free View In iTunes 35 Closed CaptioningVideoXcode and Source Code Management (October 7, 2011) – HD Paul Hegarty covers source code management in Xcode. (October 7, 2011) 1/16/12 Free View In iTunes 36 Lecture 4 Slides (October 6, 2011) Paul Hegarty introduces views. (October 6, 2011) 11/14/11 Free View In iTunes 37 Closed CaptioningVideo4. Views (October 6, 2011) – HD Paul Hegarty introduces views. (October 6, 2011) 11/14/11 Free View In iTunes 38 Lecture 3 Slides (October 4, 2011) Paul Hegarty provides a foundation for programming in Objective-C. (October 4, 2011) 11/14/11 Free View In iTunes 39 Closed CaptioningVideo3. Objective-C (October 4, 2011) – HD Paul Hegarty provides a foundation for programming in Objective-C. (October 4, 2011) 11/14/11 Free View In iTunes 40 Closed CaptioningVideoDebugger (September 30, 2011) – HD Paul Hegarty outlines the debugging process, demonstrating the different tools and methods. (September 30, 2011) 1/16/12 Free View In iTunes 41 Closed CaptioningVideo2. My First iOS App (September 29, 2011) – HD Paul Hegarty walks through the basics of creating a simple iOS calculator app. (September 29, 2011) 11/14/11 Free View In iTunes 42 Lecture 1 Slides (September 27, 2011) Paul Hegarty provides an overview of the course and iOS. He then introduces the Model-View-Controller (MVC) object-oriented design concept and covers the basic concepts of programming in Objective-C. (September 27, 2011) 11/14/11 Free View In iTunes 43 Closed CaptioningVideo1. MVC and Introduction to Objective-C (September 27, 2011) – HD Paul Hegarty provides an overview of the course and iOS. He then introduces the Model-View-Controller (MVC) object-oriented design concept and covers the basic concepts of programming in Objective-C. (September 27, 2011) 11/14/11 Free View In iTunes

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Masters of Photography – National Geographic Live

1 Closed CaptioningVideoFrom Islands to Ice National Geographic photographer David Doubilet teams up with his wife and photographic partner, Jennifer Hayes, to explore the colorful underwater paradise of the East Indies and the icy underwater world of the Arctic. 6/30/14 Free View In iTunes 2 Closed CaptioningVideoInside the Nyiragongo Volcano A fearless explorer and photographer, Carsten Peter takes a daring journey to capture images of the largest lava lake on Earth. 5/27/14 Free View In iTunes 3 Closed CaptioningVideoAnsel Adams Wilderness Revisited Journey with award-winning photographer Peter Essick through the Ansel Adams Wilderness—a place in the Sierra Nevada named for the legendary American photographer who immortalized its stark, craggy beauty. 5/12/14 Free View In iTunes 4 Closed CaptioningVideoBig Cats Up Close National Geographic photographer Vincent J. Musi gets up close—almost too close—to capture the majestic beauty of Earth’s big cats. 4/28/14 Free View In iTunes 5 Closed CaptioningVideoWhere the Wild Things Live Photographer Vincent J. Musi explores the ever evolving science on animal cognition and also visits some exotic pets, including the world’s deadliest snakes, rodents of unusual size, and other animals you’d never expect to see in someone’s living room. 4/21/14 Free View In iTunes 6 Closed CaptioningVideoKayapo Warrior Tribe Portrait photographer Martin Schoeller travels to the remote Brazilian Amazon where the Kayapo people balance the colorful traditions of their heritage and the enticing commodities of the 21st century. 3/31/14 Free View In iTunes 7 ExplicitClosed CaptioningVideoLens on the Front Line Photographer Lynsey Addario risks death threats and kidnapping in order to gain intimate insight into the lives of women and civilians struggling to survive in conflict zones. 3/24/14 Free View In iTunes 8 Closed CaptioningVideoThe Reindeer People Spending years in the field, photographer Erika Larsen has gained unprecedented access into the lives, work, and culture of Scandinavia’s fascinating Sami people. 3/24/14 Free View In iTunes 9 Closed CaptioningVideoThe Aboriginal Homeland Through her stunning photography, Amy Toensing touches upon the Aboriginal Australians’ cultural struggle, but celebrates these indigenous people’s unique way of life and their connection to their ancestral lands. 3/12/14 Free View In iTunes 10 VideoTigers Forever Award-winning wildlife photographer Steve Winter and big cat advocate Alan Rabinowitz share inspiring stories of committed people on the front lines of tiger conservation and surprisingly intimate photos of these majestic creatures. 1/27/14 Free View In iTunes 11 VideoCougars: From the Mountains to Hollywood Wildlife photographer Steve Winter combines patience and groundbreaking technology to photograph North America’s elusive and nocturnal big cat. 1/27/14 Free View In iTunes 12 VideoThe Power of Photography to Celebrate Using the ground beneath his feet as a canvas, camera obscura photographer Abelardo Morell inspires fresh appreciation for America’s national parks. 1/7/14 Free View In iTunes 13 VideoThe Power of Photography to Reveal Photojournalist David Guttenfelder offers a glimpse inside North Korea’s tightly controlled society, where the truth is rarely simple. 1/4/14 Free View In iTunes 14 VideoThe Power of Photography to Relate Portrait artist Martin Schoeller captures the essence of the individual with a photo essay on how our growing diversity is literally changing the face of America. 12/30/13 Free View In iTunes 15 VideoThe Power of Photography to Prove Photographer James Balog, whose Extreme Ice Survey employs time-lapse cameras to document glaciers worldwide, has indisputable and visually stunning proof that ancient glaciers are disappearing at an alarming rate. 12/16/13 Free View In iTunes 16 VideoThe Power of Photography to Witness Photojournalist Marcus Bleasdale wants to make people angry; as angry as he is about Africa’s first world war and the surprising way in which we are funding this violence. 12/9/13 Free View In iTunes 17 VideoPhotographing Africa’s Wildest Beasts One of the world’s leading wildlife photographers, Michael “Nick” Nichols, uses cutting-edge technologies to capture new views of two of Africa’s most recognized animals—the lion and the elephant—in hopes of quelling human-animal conflict and saving the iconic creatures from extinction. 11/25/13 Free View In iTunes 18 VideoSuper Trees: Climbing a Giant Sequoia National Geographic photographer Michael “Nick” Nichols takes his work to new heights, capturing the beauty of a 3,200-year-old, 247-foot-tall sequoia known as the President. 11/25/13 Free View In iTunes 19 VideoWomen of Vision Across vast wildernesses from Africa to Mongolia, and in human settlements from the Arctic to the Jersey Shore, 11 accomplished female photographers explore modern realities and what it means to be human in the 21st Century. 11/18/13 Free View In iTunes 20 VideoWild Tales With Mongolian Nomads Following nomads in Mongolia, photographer Alison Wright experiences everything from marital spats to dramatic eagle festivals. 5/31/13 Free View In iTunes 21 VideoPoverty on the Homefront Photographer Alison Wright travels across the U.S. shedding light on the country’s shockingly large number of impoverished children. 5/31/13 Free View In iTunes 22 VideoPortraits of the Human Spirit After confronting her own mortality in a near-fatal bus crash, photographer Alison Wright dedicates her career to capturing the human spirit through her photographs and writing. 5/28/13 Free View In iTunes 23 VideoMy Friend, the Dalai Lama “Good intent—most important in all that you do” is a phrase that photographer Alison Wright carries with her daily, thanks to a particularly inspirational friend. 5/28/13 Free View In iTunes 24 VideoMothers, Models, and Fighters A rising star on the photography scene, Anastasia Taylor-Lind documents the lives of women who live isolated from male society, including in schools for Siberian supermodels and military training camps for Cossack women. 5/17/13 Free View In iTunes 25 VideoGardens by Night Two of America’s leading landscape photographers, Diane Cook and Len Jenshel, explore the unexpectedly colorful world of gardens at night, creating unforgettable, arresting images. 5/6/13 Free View In iTunes 26 VideoCheetahs on the Run Cinematographer Greg Wilson uses innovative motion picture technology to capture slow-motion images of cheetahs in action, helping us expand our understanding of cheetah biomechanics. 3/18/13 Free View In iTunes 27 VideoCheetahs on the Brink Acclaimed photographer Frans Lanting, along with filmmaker Christine Eckstrom, document rare and elusive cheetahs in Africa and in Iran, including “supermoms” raising litters on the run. 3/11/13 Free View In iTunes 28 VideoSeeing the World by Paraglider Take a high-flying adventure over the most remote and inhospitable places on Earth with George Steinmetz, one of National Geographic’s top expedition photographers. 2/11/13 Free View In iTunes 29 VideoPain Before the Shot Photographer George Steinmetz believes that sometimes a little music and a positive attitude is all it takes to conquer misery. 2/11/13 Free View In iTunes 30 VideoFace-to-Face With a Leopard Seal Photographer Paul Nicklen receives an unexpected gift … free food from a major predator. 1/28/13 Free View In iTunes 31 VideoCapturing the Spirit Bear Photographer Paul Nicklen tests his patience in an effort to capture the rare spirit bear—a potential key to saving a pristine corner of British Columbia. 1/28/13 Free View In iTunes 32 VideoEmperors of the Ice Wildlife photographer Paul Nicklen dives beneath the Antarctic ice to capture the “bubbly” emperor penguins in action, and risks being mistaken for his subjects by some very hungry predators. 1/21/13 Free View In iTunes 33 VideoCatching a 200-Year-Old Whale When hypothermia stands in the way of Paul Nicklen’s dream of photographing a 50-foot bowhead whale, sometimes a little push is all that is needed. 1/21/13 Free View In iTunes 34 ExplicitVideoPainted Bodies of Africa Photographers Angela Fisher and Carol Beckwith join forces to explore the art of using skin as a canvas, a practice performed to attract the opposite sex, differentiate oneself from the enemy, and access the spirit world. 1/7/13 Free View In iTunes 35 VideoCultures on the Edge Considered one of the leading documentary photographers in the field today, Chris Rainier captures powerful and compelling images of indigenous cultures whose ways are under threat. 11/12/12 Free View In iTunes 36 VideoEye Contact What happens when photographer Ed Kashi gets caught in the act? 5/14/12 Free View In iTunes 37 VideoThe Changing Face of Marseille Photographer Ed Kashi travels to the oldest city in France where cultures, races, and religions collide in unforseen ways. 5/7/12 Free View In iTunes 38 VideoTraveling the World for National Geographic Photographer Lynn Abercrombie shares stories of her late husband, Tom, and stunning images from their 40 years of assignments for Nat Geo. 4/9/12 Free View In iTunes 39 VideoHuman Bondage Celebrated photographer Jodi Cobb looks at the hidden world of modern-day slavery. 3/26/12 Free View In iTunes 40 VideoWhat Is Beauty? On assignment for National Geographic, photographer Jodi Cobb explores a universal question—what is beauty? 3/26/12 Free View In iTunes 41 VideoDiving With Whales Brian Skerry braves the waters of the Antarctic for a very up-close view of the right whale. 3/19/12 Free View In iTunes 42 VideoRobot vs. Tiger Photographer Steve Winter tries out a unique gizmo to get an in-your-face view of tigers. 3/12/12 Free View In iTunes 43 VideoFace-Off With a Lion Photographer Mattias Klum experiences a face-to-face encounter with a lioness, a little too close for comfort. 3/5/12 Free View In iTunes 44 VideoOn the Trail of the Tiger Award-winning photographer Steve Winter documents the disappearance of Asian Tigers in India, Sumatra, and Thailand. 3/12/12 Free View In iTunes 45 VideoTrapping Tigers The camera trap is one of the many tools photographer Steve Winter uses to catches spectacular images of India’s endangered tigers. 2/13/12 Free View In iTunes 46 VideoTiger Temple Photographer Steve Winter pays an unnerving visit to Thailand’s Tiger Temple. 2/13/12 Free View In iTunes 47 VideoOcean Soul Photographer Brian Skerry celebrates the sea and her creatures in magnificent images collected over 30 years and more than 10,000 hours underwater. 1/30/12 Free View In iTunes 48 VideoThe Mermaid Myth Photographer Brian Skerry reveals the creatures once believed to be mermaids. 1/30/12 Free View In iTunes 49 VideoThe Amazing Squid Photographer Brian Skerry risks life and limb for portraits of terrifying and alluring squid. 1/30/12 Free View In iTunes 50 VideoLions, Leeches, and Cobra Tongues Explore the Earth with one of the greatest natural history photographers of our time, Mattias Klum. 11/28/11 Free View In iTunes 51 VideoRevenge of the Meerkat Join National Geographic Fellow and photographer Mattias Klum while he tries to capture images of the wily little mammal of the Kalahari Desert known as the meerkat. 11/28/11 Free View In iTunes 52 VideoThrough the Eyes of a Critic: Photographing Galápagos Mattias Klum faces a critique of his Galápagos photos from a highly opinionated expert—his young son. 11/28/11 Free View In iTunes 53 VideoJewel of Namibia Join husband-and-wife team Frans Lanting and Christine Eckstrom on a wild desert journey through Namibia—a land of exotic creatures and haunting landscapes. 11/14/11 Free View In iTunes 54 VideoThe Surreal World of Frans Lanting Photographer Frans Lanting shares the secret of his masterful image, “Ghost Trees at Dawn”—the thorn trees of Namibia. 11/14/11 Free View In iTunes 55 VideoTracking the Rare Black Rhino Join Frans Lanting as he tries to photograph the rare black rhino—without getting trampled. 11/14/11 Free View In iTunes 56 ExplicitVideoToo Young to Wed Photographer Stephanie Sinclair and writer Cynthia Gorney investigate the world of prearranged child marriage, where girls as young as five are forced to wed. 10/31/11 Free View In iTunes 57 VideoDivorced at Age 10 Writer Cynthia Gorney recounts the story of Nujood Ali, a young girl from Yemen who stood up to the tribal tradition of forced marriage. 10/31/11 Free View In iTunes 58 Video21st Century Cowboys Photographer Robb Kendrick uses a 19th century tintype process for his luminous portraits of modern-day cowboys in western U.S. and Mexico. 8/15/11 Free View In iTunes 59 VideoNG Live Interview: Robb Kendrick Photographer Robb Kendrick explains the art of tintype images. 8/15/11 Free View In iTunes 60 ExplicitVideoDinka: Legendary Cattle Keepers of Sudan In 30 years, award-wining photographers and National Geographic grantees Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher have traveled over 270,000 miles through 40 countries in Africa to document more than 150 cultures. Here they share their images of a vanishing way of life in southern Sudan. 7/22/11 Free View In iTunes 61 VideoNG Live Interview: Carol Beckwith & Angela Fisher A clever feast spares the lives of photographers Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher during a harrowing trip to Surmaland near the Ethiopian-Sudanese border. 7/22/11 Free View In iTunes 62 VideoScenes from the Field Go behind the scenes with photographers Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher on assignment across Africa. 7/22/11 Free View In iTunes 63 VideoDinka Cattle Camp: Southern Sudan An inside look into a vanishing way of life in South Sudan. 9/5/11 Free View In iTunes 64 VideoBorneo: Paradise Under Seige One of the most highly regarded natural history photographers, National Geographic Fellow Mattias Klum has a special passion for Borneo, where he has spent 20 years producing magazine articles, books, and films. Don’t miss this powerful and disturbing vision of what might be the Borneo rain forest’s last stand. 7/18/11 Free View In iTunes 65 VideoNG Live Interview: Mattias Klum Self-taught photographer Mattias Klum shares his passion for capturing both beauty and destruction around the world—while anchored by his family. 7/18/11 Free View In iTunes 66 VideoHidden Alaska Veteran photographer Michael Melford travels to one of the most pristine places in Alaska where residents must choose between two incompatible futures. 6/21/11 Free View In iTunes 67 VideoNG Live Interview: Michael Melford Renowned landscape photographer Michael Melford explains how photography became his first language. 6/14/11 Free View In iTunes 68 VideoShooting Bears Join Michael Melford and his son on a photo shoot of wild bears in Alaska. 6/14/11 Free View In iTunes 69 VideoWindows of the Soul: My Journeys in the Muslim World Stunning courage and matchless skill with the camera are the twin hallmarks of Alexandra Avakian’s fascinating career as a photojournalist. Here, she weaves stories from her two decades traveling the globe to document the culture of the Muslim world. 6/15/11 Free View In iTunes 70 VideoNG Live Interview: Alexandra Avakian Listen as photographer Alexandra Avakian talks about how her work has been influenced by her father, a movie director, and framed by her Armenian heritage. 6/15/11 Free View In iTunes 71 VideoThe Life of a Photograph Veteran National Geographic photographer Sam Abell offers a look inside the heart and mind of a master photographer. 6/14/11 Free View In iTunes 72 VideoNG Live Interview: Sam Abell Go behind the scenes and hear National Geographic photographer Sam Abell talk about his career, what inspires and influences his work, and his most memorable adventures. 6/14/11 Free View In iTunes 73 VideoCrucial Waters Award-winning underwater photojournalist, Brian Skerry explains how he uses photography to celebrate the sea, bring awareness to the dangers that face our oceans and inspire change. 6/15/11 Free View In iTunes 74 VideoNG Live Interview: Brian Skerry Go behind the scenes and hear photographer Brian Skerry talk about his career, what inspires and influences his work, and his most memorable adventures. 6/15/11 Free View In iTunes 75 VideoVietnam’s Infinite Cave Veteran photographer and National Geographic grantee Carsten Peter is also an accomplished climber, diver and caver who has photographed some of the world’s most extreme environments. Here he shares stories and images from a mammoth cave system in Vietnam that may be the world’s largest. 6/17/11 Free View In iTunes 76 VideoNG Live Interview: Carsten Peter Go behind the scenes and hear photographer and National Geographic grantee Carsten Peter talk about his career, what inspires and influences his work, and his most memorable adventures. 6/17/11 Free View In iTunes 77 VideoA Camera, Two Kids, and a Camel Photographer Annie Griffiths has worked on every continent except Antarctica; when her two children were born, she decided to take her kids along for the ride. Here, Griffiths shares the secrets of her peripatetic life, along with her portfolio of emotionally rich photographs. 6/8/11 Free View In iTunes 78 VideoNG Live Interview: Annie Griffiths Go behind the scenes and hear photographer Annie Griffiths talk about her career, what inspires and influences her work, and her most memorable adventures. 6/8/11 Free View In iTunes 79 VideoPhotojournalisms Spending most of his time away from home, photographer Ed Kashi reveals how he survives his darkest days on the road. 5/14/12 Free View In iTunes

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Forest City Comicon: October 19, 2014 – Final Stage Highlights

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Great moments at Forst City Comicon, October 19, 2014, ON STAGE…

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