Van Gogh to Rothko in 30 Seconds

What if you took great works of art, stacked them side by side, and had them tell a sto­ry? You’d have a decid­ed­ly art­ful video … and a great teas­er for the new art­Cir­cles iPad app that brings you col­lec­tions of images curat­ed by well-known fig­ures includ­ing Yves Behar (named one of the “World’s 7 Most Impor­tant Peo­ple in Design”) and John Mae­da (pres­i­dent of Rhode Island School of Design). The app is free on iTunes, and if you pick up the new iPad with reti­na dis­play, you can see where the device real­ly excels. Or at least that was my expe­ri­ence when I gave it a spin.

And while we’re on the top­ic, here’s anoth­er free app worth check­ing out: “The Life of Art.” Pro­duced by the Get­ty Muse­um in LA, the “Life of Art” gives users a chance to under­stand how objects end up in a muse­um in the first place. Pho­tog­ra­phy, ani­ma­tions, video, and 360 degree rota­tions nar­rate the artis­tic lives of these objects. Find the app here. H/T Kot­tke

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Free: The Guggen­heim Puts 65 Mod­ern Art Books Online

Google App Enhances Muse­um Vis­its; Launched at the Get­ty

MoMA Puts Pol­lock, Rothko & de Koon­ing on Your iPad

Fol­low us on Face­bookTwit­ter and now Google Plus and share intel­li­gent media with your friends! It will bright­en their day.

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Apple Releases Free iTunesU App & Enhanced University Courses (Plus Textbooks)

Ana­lysts expect Apple to sell 48 mil­lion iPads this year, with new hard­ware and soft­ware dri­ving the sales. iPad3 is right around the cor­ner, and today Apple unveiled (watch here) a new ini­tia­tive that will bring text­books to the iPad/iPhone plat­form. Down­load the lat­est ver­sion of the iBooks app and you can now pur­chase text­books (typ­i­cal­ly for about $14.99) that fea­ture enhanced mate­ri­als such as 3‑D mod­els, search­able text, pho­to gal­leries and flash cards for study­ing. (To see it all in action, down­load a sec­tion of E.O Wilson’s Life on Earth text­book here.) And if you’re a teacher, Apple will pro­vide you soft­ware — iBooks Author — that will let you make your own inter­ac­tive text­books. Of course, all of this pre­sup­pos­es that stu­dents (or cash-starved schools) can swing the price of an iPad ($499 at min­i­mum) and that teach­ers want to oblige stu­dents to work with­in Apple’s closed ecosys­tem.

Then came anoth­er piece of news. Apple has released a new iTune­sU app that lets stu­dents access enhanced uni­ver­si­ty cours­es … for free. Once you down­load the app, you can select cours­es that com­bine audio/video lec­tures with sup­port­ing mate­ri­als: books and arti­cles (some­times free, some­times not), tran­scripts of lec­tures, exer­cis­es, slideshows, use­ful soft­ware and beyond. Some cours­es pre­loaded in the free app include:

Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion — Joanne Free­man, Yale
Colo­nial and Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Amer­i­ca – Jack Rakove, Stan­ford
Core Con­cepts in Chem­istry —  Stephen L. Craig, Duke
iPad and iPhone App Devel­op­ment — Paul Hegar­ty, Stan­ford

These cours­es now appear in our col­lec­tion of 400 Free Online Cours­es, which aggre­gates free cours­es avail­able on iTunes, YouTube, and the web.

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The Zen of Steve Jobs: A New Graphic Novel

Wal­ter Isaac­son’s new biog­ra­phy of Steve Jobs (click image below to get a free audio copy) cov­ers a lot of ground in 571 pages. By design, it’s broad and com­pre­hen­sive, but it does­n’t always go deep. One facet of Steve Jobs’ life that does­n’t get much cov­er­age here was his rela­tion­ship with Kobun Chi­no Oto­gawa (1938–2002), a Bud­dhist priest who taught Jobs the way of Zen and shared his pas­sion for art and design. The two became close — close enough that Kobun presided over the Steve Jobs-Lau­rene Pow­ell wed­ding in 1991. This rela­tion­ship receives a fuller treat­ment in The Zen of Steve Jobs, a new 80-page graph­ic nov­el that uses stripped down dia­logue and bold cal­li­graph­ic pan­els to tell this sto­ry. The book was authored by Forbes writer Caleb Mel­by, and the art­work pro­vid­ed by the cre­ative agency JESS3. The video above gives you a good intro­duc­tion to the imag­i­na­tive work. h/t Boing­Bo­ing

1 FREE Audiobook RISK-FREE from Audible

Download The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine as a Free, Interactive eBook

A year ago, Apple began sell­ing The Bea­t­les’ cat­a­logue of music on iTunes. Now, twelve months and many mil­lions of down­loads lat­er, Apple is giv­ing away The Beat­le’s Yel­low Sub­ma­rine as a free ebook.

It’s not just any ebook. Based on the 1968 film, this ebook fea­tures ani­mat­ed illus­tra­tions, 14 video clips from the orig­i­nal film, audio func­tion­al­i­ty that mag­i­cal­ly turns the book into an audio book, and var­i­ous inter­ac­tive ele­ments. You can “read” the book (down­load it here) on any iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Our apolo­gies in advance if you use oth­er devices.

The Yel­low Sub­ma­rine will be added to our col­lec­tion of Free eBooks, which fea­tures 250 clas­sics, includ­ing texts by Isaac Asi­mov, Philip K. Dick, Dos­to­evsky, Kaf­ka, Joyce, Nabokov, Austen, Niet­zsche and oth­ers. Also don’t miss our equal­ly large col­lec­tion of Free Audio Books.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Bea­t­les’ Rooftop Con­cert: The Last Gig

Jim­my Page Tells the Sto­ry of Kash­mir

The Bea­t­les Com­plete on Ukulele

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Create iPhone/iPad Apps in iOS 5 with Free Stanford Course

Back in 2009, Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty start­ed record­ing lec­tures giv­en in its iPhone Appli­ca­tion Devel­op­ment course and then plac­ing them on iTunes, mak­ing them free for any­one to view. The course hit a mil­lion down­loads in a mat­ter of weeks, and now, two years lat­er, here’s where we stand. The course remains the most pop­u­lar item on Stan­ford’s iTune­sU site, hav­ing clocked in 10 mil­lion down­loads. And the school has released a new ver­sion of the course that focus­es on iOS 5, the lat­est ver­sion of the iPhone/iPad oper­at­ing sys­tem. You can down­load the course on iTunes (in HD video or stan­dard-def­i­n­i­tion video) and start cre­at­ing apps on your own.

The iPhone Appli­ca­tion Devel­op­ment course is now list­ed in the Com­put­er Sci­ence sec­tion of our big col­lec­tion of Free Online Cours­es. There you will find 40+ free cours­es that will teach you to code.…

via Stan­ford News

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Steve Jobs Muses on What’s Wrong with American Education, 1995

In late Octo­ber, Com­put­er­world unearthed a lengthy inter­view with Steve Jobs orig­i­nal­ly record­ed back in 1995, when Jobs was at NeXT Com­put­er, and still two years away from his tri­umphant return to Apple. Filmed as part of an oral his­to­ry project, the wide-rang­ing inter­view begins with Jobs’ child­hood and his ear­ly school days, and it all sets the stage for Jobs to muse on the state of pub­lic edu­ca­tion in Amer­i­ca. He began:

I’d like the peo­ple teach­ing my kids to be good enough that they could get a job at the com­pa­ny I work for, mak­ing a hun­dred thou­sand dol­lars a year. Why should they work at a school for thir­ty-five to forty thou­sand dol­lars if they could get a job here at a hun­dred thou­sand dol­lars a year? Is that an intel­li­gence test? The prob­lem there of course is the unions. The unions are the worst thing that ever hap­pened to edu­ca­tion because it’s not a mer­i­toc­ra­cy. It turns into a bureau­cra­cy, which is exact­ly what has hap­pened. The teach­ers can’t teach and admin­is­tra­tors run the place and nobody can be fired. It’s ter­ri­ble.

Asked what changes he would make, Jobs con­tin­ued:

I’ve been a very strong believ­er in that what we need to do in edu­ca­tion is to go to the full vouch­er sys­tem. I know this isn’t what the inter­view was sup­posed to be about but it is what I care about a great deal.… The prob­lem that we have in this coun­try is that [par­ents] went away. [They] stopped pay­ing atten­tion to their schools, for the most part. What hap­pened was that moth­ers start­ed work­ing and they did­n’t have time to spend at PTA meet­ings and watch­ing their kids’ school. Schools became much more insti­tu­tion­al­ized and par­ents spent less and less and less time involved in their kids’ edu­ca­tion. What hap­pens when a cus­tomer goes away and a monop­oly gets con­trol … is that the ser­vice lev­el almost always goes down.

And so the answer. Vouch­ers, entre­pre­neur­ship and mar­ket com­pe­ti­tion:

I’ve sug­gest­ed as an exam­ple, if you go to Stan­ford Busi­ness School, they have a pub­lic pol­i­cy track; they could start a school admin­is­tra­tor track. You could get a bunch of peo­ple com­ing out of col­lege tying up with some­one out of the busi­ness school, they could be start­ing their own school. You could have twen­ty-five year old stu­dents out of col­lege, very ide­al­is­tic, full of ener­gy instead of start­ing a Sil­i­con Val­ley com­pa­ny, they’d start a school. I believe that they would do far bet­ter than any of our pub­lic schools would. The third thing you’d see is I believe, is the qual­i­ty of schools again, just in a com­pet­i­tive mar­ket­place, start to rise. Some of the schools would go broke. A lot of the pub­lic schools would go broke. There’s no ques­tion about it. It would be rather painful for the first sev­er­al years.… The biggest com­plaint of course is that schools would pick off all the good kids and all the bad kids would be left to wal­low togeth­er in either a pri­vate school or rem­nants of a pub­lic school sys­tem. To me that’s like say­ing “Well, all the car man­u­fac­tur­ers are going to make BMWs and Mer­cedes and nobody’s going to make a ten thou­sand dol­lar car.” I think the most hot­ly com­pet­i­tive mar­ket right now is the ten thou­sand dol­lar car area. You’ve got all the Japan­ese play­ing in it. You’ve got Gen­er­al Motors who spent five mil­lion dol­lars sub­si­diz­ing Sat­urn to com­pete in that mar­ket. You’ve got Ford which has just intro­duced two new cars in that mar­ket. You’ve got Chrysler with the Neon.…

The full tran­script appears here. Or, if you want to watch the inter­view on video, you can jump to Com­put­er­world, where, rather lame­ly, you will need to reg­is­ter before watch­ing the actu­al talk. Bad job by Com­put­er­world.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Down­load Free Copy of Steve Jobs Biog­ra­phy; Plus Inter­view with Author

Steve Jobs Demos the First Mac­in­tosh in 1984

Steve Jobs Nar­rates the First “Think Dif­fer­ent” Ad (Nev­er Aired)

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Norah Jones Sings Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young” in Honor of Steve Jobs (Plus Coldplay’s Performance)

Apple has post­ed on its web site the cel­e­bra­tion of Steve Jobs’ life that it held last Wednes­day. And, at least for me, one of the more poignant moments comes when Norah Jones takes the stage (around the 23 minute mark) and sings a mov­ing ver­sion of Bob Dylan’s For­ev­er Young (29 minute mark).

Jobs always had a spe­cial affec­tion for Dylan’s song­writ­ing. Accord­ing to Wal­ter Isaac­son’s new biog­ra­phy, Jobs and Steve Woz­ni­ak bond­ed over Dylan’s music as young men. “The two of us would go tramp­ing through San Jose and Berke­ley and ask about Dylan bootlegs and col­lect them,” Woz­ni­ak recalled. “We’d buy brochures of Dylan lyrics and stay up late inter­pret­ing them. Dylan’s words struck chords of cre­ative think­ing.”

Lat­er, when Jobs cre­at­ed the famous “Think Dif­fer­ent” ad, he made sure that Dylan was among the 17 rebels fea­tured in it. (Watch the nev­er-aired com­mer­cial nar­rat­ed by Jobs him­self here.) Apple also helped under­write the pro­duc­tion of Mar­tin Scors­ese’s Bob Dylan doc­u­men­tary, No Direc­tion Home. And, even down to his last days, Jobs’ per­son­al iPod was packed with icon­ic music from the 60s — the Bea­t­les, the Stones and, of course, Bob Dylan too. Enjoy, and for good mea­sure, we’re adding a song from Cold­play’s per­for­mance, which comes lat­er in the cel­e­bra­tion.

Oth­er songs played include Vida la VidaFix You and Every Teardrop Is A Water­fall.

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Free: Download Copy of New Steve Jobs Biography

Just a few short weeks after the death of Steve Jobs comes a 627 page biog­ra­phy by Wal­ter Isaac­son, the for­mer Man­ag­ing Edi­tor of TIME and CEO of CNN. Isaac­son first dis­cussed writ­ing the book with Jobs sev­en years ago and has since inter­viewed the Apple CEO more than 40 times. Now, appear­ing on 60 Min­utes, he talks pub­licly about the new book sim­ply called Steve Jobs. It hit book­shelves yes­ter­day and already stands atop the Ama­zon Best­seller list.

The 29 minute inter­view (Part 1 here, Part 2 here) gives you a feel for the book that’s will­ing to tell the good, the bad and the some­times ugly of Jobs’ life. If you’re look­ing to get your hands on the biog­ra­phy, give this some thought: If you sign up for a 14-day free tri­al with, you can down­load pret­ty much any audio book in Audible’s cat­a­logue for free. And that cat­a­logue now includes Isaac­son’s unabridged biog­ra­phy. Once the tri­al is over, you can con­tin­ue your Audi­ble sub­scrip­tion (as I did), or can­cel it, and still keep the free book. The choice is yours.

Note: CBS did­n’t allow the 60 Min­utes inter­view to appear on exter­nal sites like ours. Hence you will need to watch the inter­view on YouTube itself. We pro­vide the links above.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.