Thursday, September 30, 2010

Down the Foxhole - ActiveDen

Down the Foxhole - ActiveDen

Link to Envato Notes

Our New Rates are Live!

Posted: 30 Sep 2010 04:12 PM PDT

Our most popular post on Envato Notes by far is the announcement of the upcoming marketplace rate changes – with 230 comments so far. Well, the day has arrived, and the new rates are in effect!

Here is a summary of the new rates from the Envato Marketplace Wiki:

Every time an item is sold on the Envato Marketplaces a percentage of the sale price goes to the author. The amount is determined by whether the author is selling the item only on the Envato Marketplaces and by how many sales they have had in the past.

  • Selling exclusively: 50-70%
  • Selling non-exclusively: 25%
  • Additional earnings (referral program): 30%

Congratulations authors – may your success skyrocket!

For further details, refer to this Wiki page.

Author Interview: mr_Necturus

Posted: 29 Sep 2010 09:11 PM PDT

Today we meet Alexander Sasha (mr_Necturus) from 3DOcean.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, what do you do for a living?

I was born in Russia, but have been living for many years living in Jerusalem, Israel. I am a 3D artist and freelancer now. I have had about 10 years of experience in the 3D area, and 12 years in 2D.

Self portrait

Which marketplaces do you belong to? What types of files do you sell?

GraphicRiver was first, then 3DOcean. I also have an item on VideoHive.

How did you get started? Have you had any formal training?

Once 15 years ago my friend told me that it would be nice if I will started to learn CG. So I took his advice. I did 72 hours of training in three programs: Photoshop 2, FreeHand 3, and Quark Express (I don’t remember which version).

Describe your home workspace.

A small table with two computers and an 18″ screen. I don’t even have a pen tablet! I must go and buy one. :)

I can’t show you a photo -  our children broke our two digital cameras, so we have no photos right now.

Describe your creative process. What steps do you normally follow to create your files?

Well, two years ago when I was smoking, I looked down on the world from the window while I finished 2-3 cigarettes. That was the first creative step in which I was trying to figure out what really I want to do.

But now that I have stopped smoking I haven’t found any serious alternative to this method. So sometimes I take my car and go from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv and back 2-3 times pretty slowly… And think. And sometimes I make a big sandwich with kosher sausage and mayonnaise.

I also load Modern Talking songs into a YouTube channel, lie down on the floor, and sink into nostalgia. Nostalgia has a huge creative potential. Usually one of these things helps me, and only then I sit at my computer and start working.

What is your advice to other authors regarding how to create a successful portfolio?

Hmm… To create a good portfolio, the main thing you need is a strong motivation. There are several ways to improve motivation.

Personally, I use one of the most simple. Every two or three years I stop working. I make myself do nothing for a couple of months. I play WOW, watch movies, listen to music, and when it becomes very difficult – I go to Finland for fishing.

In the end, the money in the bank runs out, and I fear for my family’s future. This makes me take the next leap.

I take my best work from previous years and use it as a basis for a new website. Usually, after this I can find people who like what I did, and they somehow give me to make money until the next period of idleness.

What do you do to market your files?

Because I work in the video games field, the best way for me to market is to go to the game developers forums and become an active participant.

What are your three favorite files, and why do you like them?

ALEYSHA v.01 by omnione

Helix by Sasuki

Kids Robot by remmac

These works are made with a professionalism and talent to which I may never achieve.

Apart from yourself, who is your favorite marketplace author, and why do you like them?

Most of all I like those authors whose works I have noted in the previous question. But there are many others I like too.

What do you do in your spare time?

Because I have a family, in my spare time I sleep.

Latest From : CleanTechnica

Latest From : CleanTechnica

Northern Ireland, Scotland, Germany Announce Big Renewable Energy Targets

Posted: 30 Sep 2010 02:00 AM PDT

We’ve discussed the pros and cons of a proposed US Renewable Energy Standard of 15% by 2021 a bit here on Cleantechnica lately. While we struggle for that bare minimum, though, European nations are steaming ahead in their renewable energy targets.

Northern Ireland announced this week that it plans to hit 40% renewable energy by 2020. Germany announced that it intends to have 60% of its power come from renewable energy by 2050 (but could even hit 100% by that time). And Scotland is aiming for “at least” 100% by 2025 it said in yet another big, clean-energy announcement this week.

Earlier this year, a study found that Europe as a whole is well on its way to exceeding its renewable energy target of 20% by 2020.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland's Assembly government approved its new target of 40% renewable energy by 2020 this week. It is currently producing about 10% of its energy from renewable resources but is planning to put about £1 billion ($1.58) into grid improvements and continue pushing onshore and offshore wind energy to produce four times that much by 2020.

Energy minister Arlene Foster says:

I fully accept the many challenges we face in balancing competing environmental and cost issues, in order to create a sustainable energy infrastructure that will support economic growth and provide for reliable and competitive energy markets for Northern Ireland


Scotland has set its bar even higher than Northern Ireland, announcing its new target of at least 100% renewable energy by 2025 yesterday. This may be the most ambitious national target in the world.

"Scotland has unrivalled green energy resources and our new national target to generate 80 percent of electricity needs from renewables by 2020 will be exceeded by delivering current plans for wind, wave and tidal generation," First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond says.

Scotland is also looking to generate a lot of power from onshore and offshore wind. It is also a world leader in wave and tidal energy.

Scotland plans to export some of its clean energy to England, its neighbor to the south that is doing alright itself, especially after installing the largest offshore wind farm in the world last week, but isn’t doing as much (per its needs) as Scotland.

This new announcement to hit 100% renewable energy by 2025 comes just one week after Scotland announced it would hit at least 80% by 2020.


While Germany is the world leader in installed photovoltaic solar energy, its total renewable energy targets are not as high as Northern Ireland and Scotland’s, but they are nothing to laugh at.

Germany’s announcement that it is hoping to hit 60% renewable energy by 2050 is not as big as researchers from the Federal Environment Agency might have hoped, who found a few months ago that Germany could get 100% of its energy from renewable resources by 2050 and could become the first major economy (member of the G20) to cut fossil fuels out of its energy diet, but it is still an ambitious target relatively speaking.

Germany already gets 16% of its energy from renewable sources, more than a potential 2021 Renewable Energy Standard for the US of 15%. But, it is of course aiming to install a lot more renewable energy, such as wind, solar, biomass, and hydro, in coming years.

It is nice to see Europe steaming forward in the clean energy sector. Hopefully it will even exceed its relatively ambitious targets.

Photo Credit: Wind turbines in Scotland, by flickr user marcusjroberts

Holy Glowing Cow, Batman! New Nanowires Act Like LEDs

Posted: 30 Sep 2010 02:00 AM PDT

scientists at NIST have discovered that nanowires can produce light like LEDsIn one of those happy research accidents that lead to new breakthroughs, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a new kind of nanowire that produces light, much like the glow produced by LED technology. The team was actually fine tuning a new method for manufacturing ultra thin or nanoscale wires, hoping to create a process that yields a product with uniform traits, when their experiment began to light up.

The Trouble with Nanowires

Typically, nanowires are grown on a base material or substrate. The process involves depositing molecules such as zinc oxide in the form of a gas. The nanowires then “grow” vertically, like bristles on a brush. The problem is, they grow so densely that it is difficult to pick out the ones with better characteristics. Also, since the wires only touch the substrate at one end, their properties are not uniformly distributed.

A New Method of Growing Nanowires That Glow

The NIST team came up with a solution, which is to grow the nanowires horizontally. They converted gold into nanoparticles by superheating it, then manipulated zinc oxide nanocrystals into pushing the gold particles along the substrate, forming nanowires. Because the wire touches the substrate at all points, its characteristcs are more uniformly influenced than in the vertical growth method. When the researchers increased the size of the gold particle, the wires grew a fin-like nanowall which allowed electrons to flow, giving off a light similar to that of an LED.

Glowing Nanowires vs. LEDs

The NIST researchers envision uses for the new light-emitting nanowires in chip-sized “laboratories” and other miniature devices for specialized purposes. Though large-scale applications are a possibility, that seems pretty remote at the present, leaving LEDs in the lead for now in terms of providing an energy saving solution to lighting needs. LEDs are already lending themselves to large scale applications in street lighting and parking garages, for example, and new research is yielding more powerful LEDs, as well as new technologies for boosting the efficiency and lifespan of LED fixtures.

Image (altered): Nanowires courtesy of NIST.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Down the Foxhole - ActiveDen

Down the Foxhole - ActiveDen

Link to Envato Notes

This Week’s Featured Authors

Posted: 29 Sep 2010 01:37 AM PDT

Congratulations to this week's featured marketplace authors!

Avalonweb ActiveDen Featured Author: Avalonweb

Our current featured author here on ActiveDen is Avalonweb who joined in April 2009, has a portfolio of 20 items for sale and has racked up 1510 sales!
View Avalonweb’s Portfolio

bcrutchfield AudioJungle Featured Author: bcrutchfield

Our current featured author here on AudioJungle is bcrutchfield who joined in May 2010, has a portfolio of 26 items for sale and has racked up 65 sales!
View bcrutchfield’s Portfolio

jonathan01 ThemeForest Featured Author: jonathan01

Our current featured author here on ThemeForest is jonathan01 who joined in December 2007, has a portfolio of 25 items for sale and has racked up 3862 sales!
View jonathan01′s Portfolio

kramz VideoHive Featured Author: kramz

Our current featured author here on VideoHive is kramz who joined in February 2008, has a portfolio of 23 items for sale and has racked up 1150 sales!
View kramz’s Portfolio

artbees GraphicRiver Featured Author: artbees

Our current featured author here on GraphicRiver is artbees who joined in May 2010, has a portfolio of 22 items for sale and has racked up 1561 sales!
View artbees’ Portfolio

24mm 3DOcean Featured Author: 24mm

Our current featured author here on 3DOcean is 24mm who joined in July 2010, has a portfolio of 4 items for sale and has racked up 5 sales!
View 24mm’s Portfolio

epicera CodeCanyon Featured Author: epicera

Our current featured author here on CodeCanyon is epicera who joined in February 2009, has a portfolio of 41 items for sale and has racked up 12202 sales!
View epicera’s Portfolio

smashingmagazine Tutorials Featured Author: smashingmagazine

Our current featured author here on Tuts+ Marketplace is smashingmagazine who joined in September 2010, has a portfolio of 3 items for sale and has racked up 142 sales!
View smashingmagazine’s Portfolio

Jeffrey Way Loses A Bet

Posted: 28 Sep 2010 06:05 PM PDT

It seems like there was some very effective plotting done in Chicago. Jeffrey Way recently lost a game of Scrabble, and is punished by his lovely fiancé Allie.