Summer Break…or Bust?

Lately I have been doing a lot of thinking about what I should do over the summer break. We have a solid 4 months of vacation till school starts again and I was looking at some of the options out there. The most obvious choice would be to relax and enjoy the summer off to catch up with friends and family that have been neglected during our crazy first year. Then I got to thinking…I will probably forget some of the useful information I’ve learned over the last year, and I don’t want that. So I started googling, and I found an amazing program called Codecadamy, I am sure many of you have heard of this website. (I’ve inserted a link https://www.codecademy.com/) Codecadamy teaches you coding! online! for free!  This will be very helpful while away from school because starting September we will probably dive right in where we left off in April. If you don’t want to take the tests and schooling Codecadamy teaches you, and would rather fool around and try out different things on your own, then I would suggest the W3. The W3School has online web tutorials and can help you create a beautiful code. The JQuery Website also has a learning activity section that can help you apply many effects to whatever it is you are creating.

You could get a summer job working and gain precious industry knowledge, and new contacts that could possible help you when you are done school the following year. Whatever it is you do I highly recommend keeping your current knowledge up-to-date, even sprucing up your Portfolio over the summer with the new tricks we have learned over the last few weeks would be beneficial.

I know it can be tempting to just throw your books up in the air, or computers in our case, and just be free this summer!! but keep in mind September will come and loosing even some of the knowledge we have all worked so hard for would be disappointing.
Balance is the key to life, find yours! balance1

I-MMA Smash

A couple months ago I heard that the second years were making a Virtual Reality game as a project. Yes it appears I’ve come back to my first post about VR, but I started thinking about how we might end up doing the same thing in our second year. As I kept pondering the subject and mulling it over and over, I had an idea that we could do something of the sort; albeit maybe a little more mentally tasking as a class.

My proposal is this.. We create a game for PC or console (if possible), that is based off the all time favorite, Super Smash Bros. Now first off you might think that VR would be a bigger challenge, and in certain aspects you would be correct. What I believe would be the bigger challenge, would be inputting the physics, the damage calculators, and all of the game’s rules and logistics that would allow it to run and play just like a typical game of Smash. I don’t think we could pull off anything as amazing as the newer versions of the game at all, but I believe we could still make an older version and still have it work.

I feel as if this would give us big test of our skills, not only the developers, but also the designers who would have to make all the concept art and graphics for the game. This would not only give us a good project to focus on and hone our skills with, but it would also give us a good opportunity to add something we created from scratch to our portfolios. I believe it would be very beneficial to add to a resume, especially if we managed to get some writes to publish it as an indie game on PC or Console.

Although publishing it is a bit of a leap, I think it would still be a great idea for a final project in the course. Even if we managed to get the basics set, it would make for a class project to work on at a later date. We could even use it as a project and try to fund the work through Kickstarter.

So my question for you is what do you think? Do you think having this as a project for next year is a good idea?

Where Will We All Be?

I think many of us can agree that the IMA program has been a life changing event for us. And it’s not really surprising, I mean, college is usually a time of big transition and growth. We’ve learnt so much over the last 5 months, and I mean that in more ways than one, not only the technical skills, and design theory. We’ve learnt about each other and from each other. We’ve learnt who each person is, what their strengths are, what they like to do, and what they don’t like to do. Really, we’ve become a family, as cheesy as it sounds. We spend 8 hours together, every single day, that’s more time than I spend with my own family. We’ve learnt to work together and help each other, and we’ve all become quite close.

New friendships have been made, and even old ones have been strengthened. I’ll be the first to admit, when the course first started I had no idea I would be so close with the people in the class, and to be honest I’m glad I am. I think, and hope that the friendships we make in these 2 years will be life long relationships. At this point in time we’re at the peak of the first year and we’re too busy getting the work done for the deadline to sit and think, that in a year and a half, we’ll be graduating.

It’s crazy to think this much time has already gone by, and the rest is also going to fly by. It makes me wonder, what paths will we all take? what specializations will each of us choose? what cities will we move to? what goals will change from now till then?. It’ll be an interesting time, when we graduate and say goodbye, and each of us move on to continue living our lives and chasing our dreams. I can’t help but wonder, in 5 years time, where will we all be?

The Value of Perseverance

Missing school because of personal problems outside of school is a problem in itself: you miss class because of external problems in your social life, an illness, being up too late, or even just straight-up irresponsibility… but be what it might, you must learn to adapt and persevere or fail. Everyone has issues, and everyone handles their issues differently, but if you don’t at least try to keep up with what’s important – and I mean truly important – you’re going to have an even harder time as the stress piles up because of your neglected responsibilities located outside of your problems.

Take me, for example: I missed class all week last week because I had bronchitis. However, I stayed in contact with the instructors and got extensions where they were needed, and even worked from home to get some assignments finished. If you inform your instructors of what you’re up to, they’re more than happy to accomodate you and help you when you ask. Persevering through your problems goes a long way, and although it may be painful to try and wrack your brain with everything else jumbling it up, it really adds up in the long run. Getting that high mark at the end of such a struggle is a huge boost to your self-esteem, work ethic, and your GPA, of course.

When evaluated at the end of the year, you will hear about how you were absent so often and that your attendance might have been better, but at the same time, they will comment about how hard you worked despite your demons trying to drag you two steps backward when you took a step forward. When you’re applying for a job in the future and they look at your transcript, the employer might not be impressed with your attendance, but your grades might convince them to give you an interview regardless. It really matters in the end, even though it doesn’t seem like much now. The value of perseverance is one of the golden virtues, just like patience and kindness: each of those takes a lot more heart and courage than it would to give into the temptation of it’s opposite.

Procrastination

Errands, doctor’s appointments, presentations and projects; we all put these things off from time to time, focusing on other things and convincing ourselves that we can get what we need done in time. Soon enough though, those due dates or pressing issues seem to draw closer and closer and you’re left struggling and stressed and wondering what you can do to complete your tasks. Most of us can relate to the concept of procrastination, especially when it comes to our various assignments in the IMA course. With all of the classes we have, it’s not surprising that we can have such a heavy workload. Sometimes it’s quite difficult to manage and prioritize what we need to do and sometimes, procrastination is impossible to avoid. Once you leave the school and are on your own free time, there are many distractions that can take you away from the homework that needs to be finished by the end of the week.

ahh-procrastination

I think we can all agree that the IMA course can get pretty stressful and overwhelming at times, but with enough focus and determination, our projects can almost always be completed by the desired due dates. In fact, it’s quite satisfying to be completed before or on time, as you can use your free time as an opportunity to work on other outstanding projects and further your progress. In the long run, this takes a big weight off of your shoulders and once everything is completed, you can actually enjoy those distractions that were so tempting to go to during work periods.

Just like those tedious errands and pesky appointments, it’s always better to get things done and over with so they aren’t a lingering worry in the back of your mind. Even if the work isn’t something your particularly enjoy, it can be completed sooner than later and will not become a present dread in your mind. Don’t let your work pile up! Just do it!  Manage your time and utilize the classes you are given. If you’re having problems or have questions, ask the teacher or ask your peers. When you’re given an assignment, relax, take it in steps and make a plan. You can be successful without the stress!

Development or Design?

Many of us in the first year IMA program, started with an idea of where we wanted our focus to be during the first few days of us starting this program. I for one, wanted to become a graphic designer and make the concept art for game companies. After going through the first term and into the second, I can still say that I would love to become that graphic designer, but in reality, I know that I am a much better developer. I can see my career going further if I took to focusing directly on the coding than if I tried to keep my focus on the design aspect. To those that might still be having questions about where they should have their focus, here is a few ideas to consider.

First of all, if you are an amazing artist, and you can replicate and use the tools for Photoshop & Illustrator, I highly recommend keeping focused on the design aspect. Your talent will be of big use to you in the design side and it will make it a lot easier for you in the long run. However, if you have a gnack for coding, even though it can be extremely frustrating at times, at least consider focusing on the development side. Sure it is painstakingly repetitive and at times excruciatingly aggravating but your expertise with the code will give you an easier time.

If you are having qualms about choosing either or, consider focusing on one that you enjoy the most. As a wise person once said, “If you enjoy what you are doing, you will never work a day in your life.” And just remember to keep your head up, there will be times in which the work will be very cumbersome and it will drag you down. Just keep striving to do the best you can and it will pay off in the long run.

 

Developing your Originality

As a student in the Interactive Media Arts program at Assiniboine Community College, we are taught how to use our creativity in our commercial design projects while trying to keep our originality. I find this extremely difficult to do, why? Because I don’t know who I am as a designer yet. I’ve heard it takes years to be able to find your niche and what sets you apart from other designers, however I have a few tips to help that process along.

When you first sit down to design, whether it be a logo for a school project, or art you produce in your spare time (students don’t have much of that) you should always start by sketching your ideas. Our teachers are very fond of thumbnail sketches. Which at first can seem tedious and time consuming, but it works! It seems to focus your brain on what is important and filtering those ideas down on something tangible, like paper, gives you the ability to really zero in on the good ideas and the bad.

Experimentation is another good practice. For example if you wanted to recreate a picture with fire what better way than to see fire. I’m not suggesting you start a fire by any means, I’m saying you could watch a video or look at images and see the unique ways in which a fire acts like a living creature. It will give you a better understanding of how to create your designs.

The last piece of advice I would give is to PRACTICE. Using the proper program for the job and knowing how to master that program  will give you to tools you need to create your original works of art. It will not directly help with originality but your options will be limitless when it comes to creating them on your program of choice. Branding yourself is huge part of becoming a design or developer and we all start somewhere. Hopefully these tips will help you feel more confident in your work.

Is the future now? People connecting minds to computers.

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has developed a new technology that could allow us to harness a computer with nothing but our minds.  The tech used is supposed to read you mind as you send commands to the computer.  The tech itself is expected to be only one cubic centimeter and be able to read the brains electrochemical signals in order to translate it into commands for the computer to read, allowing for better control over the machine.

This is a great idea! Linking somebodies mind with a computer, what could ever go wrong?  I mean, it’s not like there has ever been a movie that was based solely around the premise of people being taken over by a chip on the brain.  In all seriousness, this could lead to some serious problems with people getting hurt or even killed by having the chip implanted in their mind.  Not to mention conspiracy  theorists will just have a hay-day at the mention of the military inserting chips into their brains.

After saying that about it, it could also lead to great things.  Being able to control drones with just a thought, being able to fly supplies from point A to point B without risk of lives lost while crashing and being able command it without the use of a keyboard and mouse will make for an amazing breakthrough in this age of technology, that is of course it makes it through.  On Feburary 2nd, DARPA will be meeting up with the US government to discuss whether or not they may continue with their experiment as there is a good bit of controversy surrounding its ethics and uses, feel free to discuss this in the comments section!

Google ….. Contacts??

Everyone uses and loves Google, am I right?? Well the majority of us do.. and I really have no problem with Google Android phones, and using Google as my platform of choice, however Google is now making the “Google Contacts”. What are Google Contacts you may ask, well it isn’t a list of people you know, it is a literal contact you put into your eye.

So first off, there are many questions that immediately came to mind I decided to do a little research, which was slightly challenging seeing as how Google just applied for the patent last week, however there has been talk of Googles new found contacts and how they would work since September of 2015. So far it seems the purpose would be used to test an individuals glucose levels and to test air and temperature quality. My first reaction was how does it get power!?! Do you charge it? From what Google has stated they plan on having a ‘reader’ that would send radio transmission signals to and from your contact lens, and it powers from that reader, like a wireless docking station!

“The reader could also be built into “a pair of eyeglasses, jewelry (e.g., earrings, necklace), headband, head cover such as a hat or cap, earpiece, [or] other clothing” so that it could continually power the lens.” —Mobile Health News

Pretty neat huh, except its in your eye! gathering sensitive data about your body. Google isn’t know for its awesome security so I would be weary about that. Google has teamed up with Novartis for this endeavor and they are starting human trials this year.. I am looking forward to seeing the results from those trails as this could change the game for health practitioners around the globe, patient data being sent directly to them and being up to date with your body’s condition would be an added bonus!

We are Still Only Students

This second semester in Interactive Media Arts hasn’t been easy in any sense. The first week back, and we’ve already had at least 10 different exercises from different classes,all including in-depth thinking and hard work. However, being in this course even for one semester hasn’t been a walk in the park. There were people who didn’t make it here, whether it was from stress, illness, or even a realization oKid-video-gamingf disinterest… and no one judges them at all. They made their choice because that’s their right, but what’s more important is that all of us have made the choice to be here, too. We’ve worked our hands on the keyboards for hours on end coding, designing, editing, mixing music, animating, and writing. We’ve all come this far, and I really do believe that we all can succeed in the areas we love if we just keep at it and practice polishing our strong points. 
Some of us probably feel discouraged because we see others’ work and think: “Wow, they had way better ideas than I did. Mine is no good…” Except every single one of those thoughts is wrong. Although others’ ideas may be ‘better’ because they fit the industry standard and look appealing to the eye, your ideas are just as valid and interesting. Why? Simply because you did put thought into your design, and you did work on it; you’re just having trouble making your ideas a reality. Doing that takes a lot of time and practice, not to mention dedication and motivation. We all have the potential, the brilliance, and the creativity to get where we want and what we want out of life from the knowledge this course offers, so don’t let someone else’s strong point hinder your drive to be great.

 

The Coding Mentality

Coding is definitely not something you can do in a jumbled state of mind.

It takes a lot of focus, especially when you’ve got a chunk of broken code all because of one equal (=) sign you forgot to add. Coding takes a certain mentality that’s a weird mix of focus and having a blank brain, because if you’re not focused and darting between other activities while trying to code, you’re going to get confused or forget what you were doing with your code. If you don’t keep your train of thought at a steady pace and relaxed, you might find that you’ll be jumping from one idea to another, losing track of what you were originally going to do. It takes a lot of time and energy to keep such a focused mind.

maxresdefault (1)

Speaking of time, that’s another thing you’ll have to take into account as you sit down for a coding session. Depending on the size of your project, whether it’s a simple website or a full-on video game, you’re going to have to make a lot of time to get the amount of coding you want done, and even more importantly, to get the code to a place where you’ll remember where you left off. Ending off at a random point while coding could totally throw off what you wanted to originally accomplish, especially if you forget what you were even doing with it. It’s like being interrupted in the middle of reading a chapter in a book: the vision is gone and when you get back, you’ve forgotten where you were and what was going on.

Pacing yourself while coding is very important. Rushing coding, or waiting until the last minute to get it done might seem like a good way to approach it, but in the end, you’re going to be straining yourself to figure things out when they inevitably go wrong with your code… or even worse, you’ll try to find loopholes to avoid all the work you could’ve done by utilizing your time properly when it was available to you. This results in poor work quality, and you don’t learn anything from the experience.

Humans crave knowledge, and we learn things from every day from every activity we do, even if it’s the same activity over and over. Coding is like that, too! The more you do it, the more things will make sense.

Emoji and Emoticons(Japanese version) ₍₍ ◝( ゚∀ ゚ )◟ ⁾⁾

When using emoticons or emoji’s it can get really difficult to pick which one to use. ☺ Because there are so many categories and types in that one category, you can experiment with as many as you want. (Г・ω・)г In emoticons there are complex varieties, like, animals, emotions, action, and different types of movement that you can choose from. Emoji’s are little images that are simple and cute.

ehehʕ•͡-•ʔ

✾✾✾✾✾✾✾✾✾✾✾✾✾✾✾✾✾✾✾✾✾✾✾✾✾✾✾✾✾✾✾✾✾✾✾✾

First we have emoji’s, these are the little faces or objects,☂, that add little pictures to text like so, and are fun to use. There are also the fancy types that have color or move in websites like, Facebook, messaging apps for smart phones and androids. You can use as much of them as you want to, just don’t overkill it, okay? For emoji’s they also have a wide range of diverse types of icons and tiny images to pick from.

sheep

❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄

In the Japanese emoticons it has over 10,000 of different arrangements of characters, and many of them express emotions, attitudes, or they’re just for fun, and even decorating. (∘❛ั⌔❛ั∘) Since there are different emotions there are lots of styles and looks for the expressions for being happy, angry, dancing, running, and table-flipping! (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ You gotta love table-flipping. =w= You can also find different types of emoticons whether it’s western, Japanese, Korean, and there’s also Chinese. (Though I don’t really get the Chinese one’s)

So if you’re needing any emoji or emoticon put make things funny or amusing, there are lot’s of lists out there on the web. Just search emoji or emoticon and you’ll find them all or just create your own!

๑•́ㅿ•̀๑) ᔆᵒʳʳᵞ   : )   : 3   =.=   ๑•́ㅿ•̀๑) ᔆᵒʳʳᵞ

(╯°□°)╯︵( .o.)

Where to now?

Everyone’s been asked what do you want to be when you grow up? The question alters itself as we grow to what are you doing after high school? What are you going to do after college? And as second year of college approaches faster than we think we really have to figure out; where do I want to be and what do I want to do with my life? So for those of us still a little unsure here are some of the best design firms in Canada and what they do.

 

Meomi: Located in Vancouver, B.C, they believe in work that “delights, entices and inspires”. Their work has been featured in illustrations, books, clothing, toys and magazines worldwide. They have also worked with Google, Yo GabbaGabba, Time Out Magazine and Fisher Price. Meomi designed the 2010 Olympic Mascots and are the creators of the children’s book series “Octonauts” that has now been made into an award winning show.

http://www.meomi.com/about.html

download

 

Myott Bellamy: Based in Montreal this “does it all” company provides high-end; animation and media for fil, television, music and entertainment industries. They have worked for Cirque du Soleil, Bell, Rogers, Coca-Cola and many more.

http://www.myottebellamy.com/#portfolio

Blue Hat Marketing- Don’t worry web designers I haven’t forgotten about you Blue Hat Marketing was ranked #1 web Design Company. Although based in Montreal, there are offices all over Canada in Toronto, Halifax, Moncton, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Quebec City. They specialize in Professional, e commerce, real estate and social media web design.

http://bluehatmarketing.com/

Illusive Design- This web design company does Web Design, Web Development, Internet Marketing, Web Hosting and E-Commerce. Team members consist of creative designers, web developers and internet marketing experts. The company is fully Canadian owned and operated and is based in Toronto.

http://www.illusivedesign.ca/about-us/

OOPS! Design- This unique company does everything from, print to interactive designs as well as teach some basic knowledge of programming and graphic design. They are a very fun company and like to explore new ideas. OOPS! Design in located in Edmonton and works in both the French and English markets not only within Edmonton but all over Canada and the rest of the world.

http://www.oopsdesign.ca/flash/#/Restaurant

There are so many design jobs in Canada and we barely know any of them so go online take a look you never know what job you’ll stumble upon!

 

 

Internet Addiction

We all have those lazy days at home where all we want to to do is just loaf around and watch T.V., Netflix or just browse the web. But can it get to a point where we use the internet to much?

 

A couple in South Korea were so committed to their virtual baby that their actual three month old baby died in her crib from malnourishment and neglect. A woman was sentenced to 25 years to prison in New Mexico because she let her three year old daughter starve to death. Records show that this woman was on the popular World of Warcraft from noon to 3 a.m. in which she found that her daughter had passed away. A teenager in Ohio shot his parents in the back of the head with a 9mm because they told him that his gaming addiction was getting out of hand. A older gentlemen (if thats what you wanna call him) strangled an older lady for $6 to buy a game that he wanted. There are physical effect cases like the ones above. A 20 year old man in England was killed by a blood clot that created a fatal blockage in his lungs which he got from playing Xbox for 12 hours straight. Or in Taiwan who just passed away about a week ago from heart failure from gaming at a cafe for three days straight.


Places in China have considered it an addiction and referred it as, “electric heroin”. China has hundreds of boots to help clear these people of their addiction from when it was considered an official disorder in 2008. Even the United States have put this problem in their, “condition for further study” basket to be looked into more in the future.

 

I will have to admit that I have succumbed to the oh so powerful inter webs and either binged watched T.V. shows or movies on Netflix for hours on end or have gamed out for 12 or more hours in a single sitting. But its not like I do this daily where it gets to a point where I forget to do the laundry or clean up after myself or more importantly nourish myself. I go out with friends to watch a movie or go get something to eat. I try not to lock myself up and go out and experience this wonderful world that we live in with family and friends.

The future of Cell phones.

Over the past few years, the popularity of mobile electronics and mobile development has been steadily increasing to a point where mobile apps and electronics simply bring in the most revenue. Now after a good few decades of advancement in the department of mobile phones, are we at a point where we need something that’s entirely different from what we are used to? Or will our smartphones become increasingly larger, thinner and of course faster? And if so where is it going to end? By this point almost all smartphones have a very similar very familiar shape, are all about the same size, and all come with an OS  that for the average user is almost indistinguishable from one another.

My question is simply where the end to it will be. Will we move away from our phones to a generation of something else? Like say clothes with built in sensors that automatically sync with your account as soon as you put it on. Of course you have two oled touchscreen displays built into your underarms, so you can browse the web, take phone calls or even play your favorite games. There’s also a few setting to chose for the smart sweater, like heat setting, color, size, logos etc. But of course all of this technology is washing machine safe and dries and folds itself minutes after the wash. Or will we all be wearing Holo helmets instead?

Nah. Probably not.

I personally believe that we will see a hybrid system of connected wear implementing holographs into our society as we advance, with a system of sensors and arrays coming together from different parts of clothing, to build a functioning system around the user that allows for a huge range of possibilities and functions. Coming back to my talk about Technological Singularity and Nanoscience, imagine if this smart sweater was the answer. When you pull up the hood, it turns into a smart holo interface like a mini IMAX for your personal convenience, but also has the ability to enhance your human performance by binding itself to you in such a manner, that lets you use these nanobots in your body to lift a car or survive an accident you wouldn’t have otherwise.

wearables-realistic-final

What do you think will happen to smartphones? What will be the next biotechnological interconnection in your belief?

The Holo Revolution?

Yesterday Microsoft had a big event to kick off and show what they have planned for the upcoming year. If you are interested in these changes and features for the upcoming Windows 10, check out Jeremy’s blogpost. But as some of you may have already heard, at the end of the event Microsoft gave a life demonstration of their own competitor in the field of Virtual Reality, and gave a live presentation of a concept device called the Holo Lens.

If you haven’t checked out their official Video:

Of course ads like these are always far fetched from reality, especially when it comes to Virtual Reality. But I personally feel that what Windows has Introduced is a bit different from other VR devices in the inclusion of our reality through projection of Three dimensional holograms. They call it “mixed reality”.  And according to the first reporters testing this, it’s the real deal. I prefer this simply and alone for the fact that it tries to include virtuality into our reality instead of simply overwriting everything and creating the world for you. It  lets you see where you are going, and is functional in studios and businesses.

Even NASA couldn’t help but call dibs, some claims already stating that they would like to introduce this into their workflow by the end of 2015. Of course this device can have an almost surreal amount of possibilities in the field of Design and Creation, but I would be incredibly surprised if we get to see anyone wear one of these on the street in the next 5 years. Then of course on the other hand there’s  all these technical limitations. With that much electronics packed into a fairly small device, how heavy is it? Is it bad for my eyes? Do the Batteries last longer than 2 hours? Can a hacker microwave my brain using the devices batteries? A lot of important questions are left open indeed, but I’m sure this won’t be the last we hear from this device, in fact I have a feel that it won’t be long before we hear from it again.

What do you think?

Windows 10! A miracle with great features.

Halleluiah! Something so unheard of and revolutionary from Microsoft! Microsoft has announced that Users of Windows 8 and 7 will be eligible to upgrade to Windows 10 for free! The only catch for said users is that they will have to upgrade within a 1 year time limit, otherwise they will be charged for their upgrade. I believe that one year is more than enough time for any user to make the switch. For a miracle like this, they’ll only need a week.

 

Some new features that will be available with Windows 10(just to name a few):

-We’re getting the choice between a good ol’ start tab at the bottom left corner or the current start menu screen.

-Windows Action Centre (Notification Centre) will be improved. Things such as wifi, pc settings, etc. Will be more easily accessible with just a click.

-Control panel and modern UI settings will be brought back together after 8 keeping them in separate locations, accounting as counterproductive for even the newest user.

windows-10-desktop

Microsoft Cortana shall be a new Siri-like application placed into the software. It will be able questions from “Will I need to shovel the snow tomorrow?” To “What ingredients do I need to make french toast?” Via voice command, Cortana can play music, mute the music, open a browser, or do many other unnoticably finite things just by your vocal command.

Windows_10_Build_9901_IE_Preview_Wide

Spartan Browser, Microsoft’s new and apparently much better way to browse the web, kicks Internet explorer into the dirt. This is a lightweight (not stressful on RAM or otherwise hardware) browser with a much better rendering engine thrown in.

 

Last of all for today, Windows 10 will be receiving the new Nvidia DirectX 12.0 Gaming API. Xbox Head Phil Spencer claims a 50% increase in performance in games. That is insane. Of all the things I thought before, that their Operating systems were going in the trash, that Google was on the rise to conquer all and create the new empire of modern computing, Microsoft gets back in the game, cricks its neck back into form, and reminds all how the beast got to the top in the first place.

Obama vs Journalism

Last week the White House released a draft of a proposed amendment to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Along with a few other things, the Obama administration  is proposing to change the law that would make it a crime for groups or individuals to access information from a protected computer when they are not authorized by the owner. It also seeks to include computer crimes under federal anti-racketeering laws that would penalize individuals or groups who communicate with computer hackers and would also allow police to seize computer hardware from those accused with little to no evidence needed.

Security experts  warn that if such laws were passed it could criminalize harmless online activity such as re-tweeting a link to a dump of usernames and passwords or a news article based on leaked information, if federal prosecutors chose to use the broad law to their advantage.

 

 

journalism

 

This could be problematic for journalists, if enacted these changes to the anti hacking law could allow federal prosecutors to charge reporters with computer crimes for merely obtaining documents taken without authorization from from a government computer by a whislteblower, such as Edward Snowden or for sifting through data leaked online by hackers.

 

Reporters covering the next Snowden or Sony pictures hack could find themselves facing decades in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines just for doing their jobs. Even without the laws being changed people have been unduly charged with federal offences, such as the case journalist Barrett L. Brown, federal officials charged him with computer fraud and abuse related offences after he posted a link in a chat room to stolen data the someone else had openly published on the internet. Charges were eventually dropped but only after securing different charges against Brown. Other journalists such as Glenn Greenwald and Barton Gellman could face be charged for advancing stories on secret surveillance programs based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden. The journalist who reported on the Sony Pictures hack could also be charged with racketeering under the proposed amendment.

 

Personally i feel that this is a step to far by Congress. The proposed amendment essentially prevents reporters from doing their jobs and getting their story. People should not be prevent from discussing controversial topics and if such a law were to be enacted it would be the first step towards the removal of the first amendment.

 

1984

 

Tea – A Bath for Your Tummy

Tea. Wikipedia describes it as “an aromatic beverage commonly prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over cured leaves of the camellia sinensis plant.” I, however, prefer to call it liquid serenitea.

There are many different theories as to how tea was created, one story originated from a guy ripping his eyelids off into the dirt and then a plant sprouted from the ground and he thought ‘Hey. Why not?’ boiled it up and drank it. Weird? Sure. Creepy? Definitely.

But whatever story you believe, from eyelid soup to a goddess saving a nation, one thing is for certain; tea has amazing medicinal qualities.

Depending on how the leaves are treated, the tea you brew from it will have different health benefits.

Tea

One particular benefit that I’m looking for since starting this Interactive Media Arts course is stress relief.

This course is an abundance of fun, lots of great projects and good teachers to boot. But when I say ‘lots’ of projects, I mean lots. Sometimes the work load was so heavy that I wasn’t able to focus on anything other than getting my work done, which stressed me out and prevented me from getting any work done. funny how that works

That being said, one way to relax was to have a nice warm bath, but it’s very difficult to do homework in the bathtub. So we have to improvise.

See, the nice thing about tea is that it’s a bath for your tummy. It’s portable, for your convenience, and with so many varieties and health benefits, it’s hard to go wrong.

Tea is also completely tax free. And, unlike other hot drinks, it gives you caffeine without the buzz or crash.

Tea is also becoming rapidly more and more consumed in North America thanks to the hipsters and it is estimated that by 2017 there will be more tea drinkers then coffee drinkers.

Everyday we are bombarded with the stress of a developing-at-a-rapid-rate country, and in the result our bodies suffer for it. Instead of stressing out over balancing school, work, and friends, try a cup of tea sometime. It’s known to keep you healthy and cleanse you from the inside out.

If you’re not familiar with tea, head to your local tea shop and give a few a try. You never know, you could discover that it helps with stress more than you realize, as well as many other benefits.

teachart

Greek Gods and Goddesses

We all know that there are a lot of different gods or goddesses from Greek mythology like Hecate, Thanatos, Nemesis, and more. But I will only be briefly listing the main major gods and goddesses, ones that most people have heard of or know about.

Starting alphabetically and the first goddess is Aphrodite. She is the goddess of love, beauty, desire, and so on. Aphrodite was the most attractive goddess in Greek mythology and her name means “arisen from the foam”, which is also how she was created. But there are a couple of different versions to how she was born and from whom.

aphro

Apollo is the god of music, arts, knowledge, prophecy, poetry, manly beauty, archery, plague, and healing. He is the twin brother of Artemis, the Greek goddess of hunt, and together they were identified as the sun and moon. Apollo invented the lute but he was more popular for playing the lyre, invented by Hermes, and he competed in contests against others.

apollo

Next is Ares, the god of war, bloodshed and violence. He has a very difficult personality and is hard to deal with, so he was unpopular with the others. He would have a lot of conflicts and fights with those around him, especially with his half-sisters Artemis and Athena.

Artemis, Apollo’s twin sister, is the goddess of the hunt, forests, hills, and archery. According to Callimachus, she asked her father, Zeus, to grant her wishes and some of them were, to remain a virgin, have many names to set her apart from Apollo, a Light Bringer, a bow and arrow and knee length tunic for hunting, and so on.

Demeter is the goddess of grain, agriculture and the harvest, growth and nourishment. She was a main deity in the Eleusinian Mysteries and her powers of the life cycle of plants symbolizes the passage of the human soul through its life course, and into the afterlife. As she provided all nutrition on the earth and taught them how to cultivate the earth, and she was most appreciated for introducing wheat to mankind, making them different from animals.

Dionysus was the god of wine, parties, festivals, madness, chaos, and drunkenness. He was known for his lightheartedness and always offered help to those in need, which he was popular among other gods and mortals. There were festivals that were held in his honor every year. He was also one of the Olympian gods who did not live in Mount Olympus, as he was travelling around the world to discover the secrets of wine making.

The God and Ruler of the Underworld was Hades. He was the god of the dead and he never left his gloomy kingdom in the darkness and silence. He also had a three-headed dog that was named Cerberus. His role in mythology was passive rather than evil, but ruled the dead, and was assisted by others whom he had complete authority over. He strictly forbade anyone to leave his domain and was angered when someone tried to le    ave or tried to steal the souls in the underworld.

hades

Hephaestus is the god of fire and metalworking, stone masonry, forges and the art of sculpture. He had crafted magnificent equipment for the gods and almost any finely-wrought metalwork imbued with powers. And Hephaestus, who was a skilled blacksmith, he created all of the thrones in the Palace of Olympus.

Hera, who is the wife of Zeus, was one of the fairest goddesses in Mount Olympus and the goddess of marriage, women, and birth. She was known for her jealous and vengeful nature against Zeus’s lovers and offspring, and also against mortals who crossed her. She would keep an eye on Zeus’s doings and cause harm to his lovers.

Hermes is the messenger of the gods, god of trade, thieves, travelers, sports, athletes, border crossings, and he was the guide to the underworld. He has wings on his sandals that made him the fastest out of all the other Greek gods. It also allowed him to move freely between the worlds of the mortals, gods, and the afterlife.

Hestia is the goddess of the hearth, home, architecture, and family. Like Athena and Artemis, Hestia is one of the three virgin goddesses, who never married. She was a kind, forgiving goddess, and had a discrete character, where she never left her residence. Families would pour sweet wine before and after rituals to extinguish the fire in the hearth of their homes.

Poseidon is the god of the sea, rivers, floods, droughts, and earthquakes, where he rules all the sea and waters. He was considered to be bad-tempered, moody, and greedy among all the other Olympians, and once he was insulted, he would get his revenge.

poseidon

Finally, Zeus, is the last on the list, and he is the King of all the gods. His roles and responsibilities were that he was the “Lord of Justice”, and punished anyone for lying or breaking an oath. He was fair and like to strive to keep balance, and his powers ruled the sky, weather, thunder, lightning, law, order, and justice.zeus

So long Glass

Google is ending the sale of its Google Glasses. The company says it is still committed to delivering Glass as a consumer product but will discontinue production in its current form.

Instead the focus will be on future versions of glass with work being carried out with a different division than before. The explorer program which gave software developers the chance to purchase Glass for $1,500 will be closed.

The explorer program was launched in thee United States in 2013, it was then released to the United Kingdom last summer. Many people expected a full retail launch soon after, however that did not happen. Next week Google will stop taking orders for the product but says support for companies that are using Glass already will continue.

Google Glasses being worn

Google Glasses being worn

 

The Glass team will be moving home as well. They will be moving out of the Google X division which engages in so called “Blue Sky” research and become a separate undertaking under its current manager Ivy Ross. Google has not given a timescale for the launch of any new version of Glass but i’m sure that will come in the future.

Early users of Glass were very excited about the product, which enabled them to get information on a screen above their eye, take photos and videos and get directions. However many soon became tired of Glass, complaining that it was not developing in ways that had been promised. Others had concerns about privacy and safety, with some restaurants and bars banning the use of smart glasses on their premises.

 

Several key employee’s developing Glass have left in the last sixth months. Among them lead developer Babak Parviz, electrical engineering chief Adrian Wong and Ossama Alami, director of developer relations. Despite this Google insists it is still committed to Glass With hundred of engineers and executives working on it as well as new boss Ivy Ross, a former Calvin Klein executive.

glasss2

Despite all this i still feel that Glass needs a major revamp in both hardware, software and appearance before it can be taken seriously in the marketplace and by consumers. Unless Google can offer a product that rivals Apple or Android  in performance and usability i don’t see Google Glass being a successful product.

DSLR – A Thing of the Past

As young adults, we are always looking for the latest and greatest technology. As we got older we would save up our money to buy the things we wanted and or needed. I for one was really into taking pictures so I saved up my pennies and bought a brand new Canon Rebel T3. I took my camera all over the place and took an insane amount of pictures because it took amazingly beautiful images. The years went by and I started using my camera less and less and I blamed it on myself for never having the time or energy to actually go out and take pictures. My camera just sat in my closet and collected dust. I soon came to realize that the reason I, and probably many other people out there, don’t use our DSLR cameras anymore is because of the size. Who wants to lug a camera bag around with them everywhere they go? Not me! The latest and greatest technology out there NOW is smart phones. Most newer smart phones will take pictures almost the same quality as those amazingly beautiful images I was taking on my DSLR. Not only that but think of the size difference. I would so much rather have my phone in my pocket than my camera bag strapped over my shoulder.

dslr vs smartphone

Smartphone VS DSLR

 

Another reason I stopped using my camera is uploading photos. The process of uploading all my pictures to my laptop from my camera and editing them on my computer and then finally posting them on Facebook or Instagram is a long and unnecessary process now. That same process of taking pictures, editing and posting on my phone is a whole lot quicker and easier. Price is one of the biggest factors for me and most people I know. I spent more money than I could keep track of all my camera and all the lens and accessories. I am paying for my phone anyways so why have both right?

iphones

You can also buy similar and cheaper accessories for your phone

 

So it comes down to a personal opinion.  DSLRs are around for now and used mostly by professionals but how long will that last? How long before even the professional photographers are going for smaller design as well? How long before DSLRs are a thing of the past?

It’s due when?!?!?!

Yep, procrastination. Everybody does it from time to time, and sometimes when we really shouldn’t. It can put us into a terrible feedback loop: putting a project off for one day to relax is perfectly fine… until we remember when we wake up that it’s due in an hour. What do we do then? We panic and crank out a mediocre project, which then turns into the normal work ethic that we use day to day. As human beings, we understand that this will affect us in the future, but what about those around us? What will it do to them?

Having been a former (and sometimes relapsing) procrastinator myself, I know how this affects us and others. There was one time in grade 10 when I almost got my group and I a zero on a project worth a good portion of our mark. I wasn’t happy with myself after that, and I know that my group certainly wasn’t either. It was a promise I made to myself, to never let that happen again.

stressProcrastination is worse for us than people think. For me, the common “symptoms” were all stress related. My hair was falling out (no, I don’t have a bald spot), I slipped into a depression, my body ached most of the time, and I found it extremely difficult later on to pull myself out of bed just to start my day. It took me a long time before I finally kicked myself into gear. I woke up one day and gave myself a pep talk:

“Hey! This is the last straw! Look what procrastination is doing to you. You’re tearing yourself apart!”

“But it’s so much easier to put it off.”

“Until when? You leave it until the day before or the day of, and your stress goes through the roof! This has to end. You have the capabilities to change, to get work done sooner than the day of. You can relax as a reward. Go seek help, because you need it.”

And I did. The guidance counselor was my best friend for a year and a half, and since then I have been a happy go-lucky woman, excited to seize the day.

The whole point here is that we shouldn’t be letting procrastination get the best of us. Raise your hands high and shout “I am FREE, and I LOVE IT!”

freedom