Social Media’s Influence on Society

By now, we are all aware that social media has had a massive impact on our culture and in business. Social media websites are some of the most popular websites and apps on the Internet. They have changed the way people communicate and socialize on the Web.

However, aside from seeing your friends’ new pet on Facebook, or reading about someone whose famous on Twitter, what are some of the real impacts, both positive and negative, that social media has had on our society?

Here is a closer look at the effect of social media on business, socialization as well as some of the negative effects such as cyber bullying and privacy.

Impact on Business

Companies are using social media to advertise and, build customer loyalty. Interactions and feedback from customers help businesses to improve and grow with society. A lot of companies have contests and give away prizes to encourage consumers to visit their social website page more often. Compared to television advertisements and other expensive forms of marketing, social media presence is a cheap and effective means to enhance their brand and its popularity.

Effect on Socialization

Social networks offer the opportunity for people to re-connect with their old friends and meet new people, share ideas, content and pictures. Professionals use social media sites like LinkedIn to enhance their career and business footprint. Students can collaborate with their peers to improve their academic knowledge and communication skills. You can learn about different cultures and societies by connecting with people in other countries.

Negative Effects of Social Media

Unfortunately, there are a few downsides too to social networking. Many introverts and antisocial users place too much attention on virtual interaction, and ignore the real world outside.

Cyber Bullying and Online Harassment

If you are not careful, dishonest people can target you for cyber bullying and harassment on social sites. School children, young girls, and women can fall prey to online attacks which can create tension and distress. Elderly people can also be taken advantage of in scams for money if they are not careful with their emails.

Although Social Media has greatly improved our culture and knowledge, it has also created a place to bully and mislead people to the truth. We should always look at things on the internet as a learning tool but know that some may distort the truth to their own benefits.

The Promising Revival of the Godzilla Series

Godzilla is a name that is pretty much universal at this point. It is a name that almost anyone can identify as a giant fire breathing lizard that destroys cities. It’s no wonder as the Godzilla series has been around since 1954 and in that time there has been 32 feature films released with four more set to be released by 2021.

 

The series has really been given a new life in the past couple years since the release of the American adaptation “Godzilla” in 2014 by Legendary Pictures. Before the film was released, the franchise had been pretty much dormant since the release of “Godzilla Final Wars” in 2004.

“Godzilla Poster from AllPosters.com

Godzilla Final Wars Poster from monstermoviemusic.blogspot.com

The series now seems to be back to a high point just like it was when it’s films were being released almost yearly. Legendary Pictures is the reason for not just the rising popularity of Godzilla but just Kaiju(Giant Monster) movies in general. It all started when they released Pacific Rim in 2013 which was the first American big screen giant monster movie in a long time. It showed some great monster vs robot fight scenes with cities getting destroyed. It really got the world hyped up for the release of Godzilla in 2014.

Picture from schmoesknow.com

Just two years after Legendary brought Godzilla back to American Audiences, the Japanese company Toho came out with a new film called Godzilla Resurgence in 2016. Toho was responsible for 28 of the first 29 Godzilla films and they stuck to their old ways of using a godzilla suit instead of using CGI like Legendary did. Godzilla Resurgence was a huge hit in Japan and eventually saw an American localization to DVD.

picture from behindthethrills.com

The coming years look extremely promising for Godzilla, there are three animated movies to be released in 2018 on Netflix with the first already released. Legendary is releasing a sequel to the 2014 Godzilla in 2019 called “Godzilla King of the Monsters”. This movie is set to bring back fan favourite Godzilla enemies: Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah. In 2020 the long awaited remake of 1963’s “King Kong vs Godzilla” will be released with Godzilla battling the Kong monster from the 2017 film “Kong Skull Island”.

Godzilla Planet of the Monsters poster from wikipedia.org

Godzilla Vs Kong picture from thepicta.com

Things are looking fantastic for the world’s favourite giant radioactive lizard and I hope that it means the Godzilla series will still be around for a long time.

Don’t Miss the Small Things in Life!

Do you ever look at your phone to see what time it is and then get distracted because someone just posted something amazing? Meanwhile you stick the phone back in your pocket forgetting to check the time. We humans love gossip, we love seeing what others have to say, but did you know that we spend about 7 hours a day on the internet; watching TV, streaming, and social media? Before the technology we have now, kids between the ages of 7-18 would interact by meeting up to the closest malt shop or park to socialize. Now you can’t go without seeing a 7 year old who doesn’t have a smartphone.

Read More

Tattoo Technology

 

Getting a tattoo is usually a special event for a person, often commemorating something important, or a mile stone of sorts. From black and grey, to full on tattoos consisting of over 25 colours, like myself, a tattoo can come in all shapes and sizes.

But, what if I told you that you could use a tattoo to control your phone, or use that same phone to listen to a tattoo?

Well, good news, folks! You can do both!

In April of 2017, Nate Siggard created the first playable tattoo that you can listen to with the use of his now popular app, Skin Motion.  With this success he created a company with the same name and created the now popular Soundwave Tattoos. The idea is that you get the sound wave image of the sound that you want tattooed onto you by a specialist. With the help of the Skin Motion app, you can then play it back as many times as you want.

Another interesting, and slightly strange, new tech coming out in the tattoo world is Duo Skin. Created by MIT Media Lab and Microsoft, a custom, functional device attaches to a person’s skin and can interact with your technology. The way that it is made is the design is created in any design software, then sent out and printed with a film cutter. This is then traced on to tattoo paper and layered on with gold leaf (used as a conductive material), where the electronics are placed. Then you apply, or “install” this onto your skin.  Some of the designs can even have LED lights put into them to enhance the look of the tattoo. There are three different types of uses for this: input devise which act like a track pad or controller; output display which changes colour based on your temperature or emotion; or communication devices, which include NFC tags so you can read data with your skin.

There are many more advances coming out in the tattoo industry, including helping in the medicine field and longer lasting temporary tattoos, because commitment is hard.

Will you take any of these new advances into consideration when you plan your next tattoo?

For more information check out these links:

https://skinmotion.com/

http://duoskin.media.mit.edu/

YouTube THEN & YouTube NOW

THE BEGINNING

Video Player

12 years ago, on February 14, 2005, YouTube was born. Founded by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim, who were all early employees of PayPal. The inspiration for YouTube sparked the minds of the three men after recent popular events that had occurred in 2004 were too difficult to find in video format online. A year later, that would change.

THE ORIGINAL PLAN

google on ipad

YouTube became a place where people could share anything from anywhere at anytime. YouTube grew and grew; videos upon videos uploaded daily. Google eventually bought the company just over a year after launch on November 13, 2016.

YouTube originally, was meant to be a different form of documentation that was capable of being shared with the entire world, a form that lacked presence on the internet at the time. Videos were never really a problem for YouTube when it first began. Smosh and Fred becoming the first popular channels to take YouTube more serious. YouTube had now evolved in to an area of entrepreneurship, where YouTubers were and still are battling each other out to become the best of the best. This is all because YouTube now pays YouTubers money for posting popular content, due to ad revenue using AdSense. Trends after trends had come and gone, and at the beginning were harmless, but as we now break into 2018, the trends have just gotten out of hand.

TRENDS

teddy bear watching youtube

Trends use to be silly and cheesy, but now they have evolved into eating tide pods and filming dead bodies, it is all about becoming the next big thing, the next star. Everyone wants to be famous. People are becoming selfish and inconsiderate; people are even dying from some of these trends too. YouTube never had to deal with this problem, but finally after Logan Paul posted a video showing a dead body of a man in Suicide Forest, YouTube has finally decided to crack down on this issue and put an end to this stupidity.

“We expect more of the creators who build their community on YouTube, as we’re sure you do too. The channel violated our community guidelines, we acted accordingly, and we are looking at further consequences” –YouTube on Logan Paul Video

YouTube just recently came out with new guidelines that clearly prohibit anything near these types of videos. It is about time YouTube; now true creative minds will shine and the stupid, desperate ones will vanish.

Online Dating For Bisexuals

There are a lot of dating websites for straight people. The one problem is there are not that many websites that help men or women seeking both.

 

I am bisexual, a person who seeks another person of either gender. As a Bisexual, I usually look for websites that allow you to look for both men and women at the same time, but there are some limitations to that. I’m going to talk about two popular dating websites that  I have tried: Tinder and Bumble. Each of them allow you to find men and women.

With Tinder, you can swipe right or left for the people that show up on your feed. Swiping right means you like how they look or you like their profile. Swiping left means that you do not particularly like the person that shows up. Tinder allows you to choose whether you like men, women or both. The only problem I have with Tinder is that it mostly gives you people of the opposite gender and it is rare you get the same gender.

Bumble is the same as tinder with mechanics, but it also gives you the option of changing to looking for friends as well. Bumble also shows off people who have the same thoughts of dating either men or women or both as you and I find that quite nice. The only thing I do not like about Bumble is when you get a match, you have to message them within 48 hours of matching or they disappear. I find this feature very inconvenient because with these dating apps, the person to respond is the woman. She supposed to respond first. she matched with the man or woman. In addition, when a woman matches with a woman, that the one who swiped first is the one who messages the other one. In addition, I do not message people right away when I swipe right because I want to see other options and I get very busy and forget to message. In addition, when I think I want to message them, they are already gone.

I wish any Bisexual person out there that wants to try online dating good luck, because they are going to need it.

Creativity is the Future

There is a fear, a rumour, a nagging feeling perhaps, that robots will one day take over most of our jobs. Technology is advancing, and as machine learning comes into the spotlight, we start to wonder, are our jobs really in danger?

Machines have already started doing technical tasks in certain industries (and doing them much better than humans). Does this mean that as humans we no longer have a job at the company? Joseph Pistrui of the Harvard Business Review states that many knowledge jobs (such as lawyers and accountants) will soon be automated and that accountants have a 95% chance of losing their jobs. Scary, right?

But there is hope for us creatives. After all, what can we do that robots can’t (yet)? Think for ourselves, make decisions, DESIGN. Joseph says, “Humans are strategic; Machines are tactical.” They do not have an imagination. They do not have the capacity for creative analysis. They do not have emotions.

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Seymour Adler and Robert B. Kaiser of Harvard Business Review say we can make ourselves valuable as employees by having a strong work ethic, drive and motivation to complete jobs no matter what it takes. Ambition and eagerness for more responsibility goes a long way in making yourself valuable. Social skills is another thing we have over machines (at least most of us). The ability to meet clients face to face, show emotion, have a conversation. To manage people and build relationships, be influential and read audiences. These things we go a long way in business (and life) and cannot be replaced so easily by robots.


Image Source: http://metropolis.scienze.univr.it/altair/events/ias13tutorial/

Therefore, companies should be strategizing about how to incorporate these automations into their businesses by looking at Artificial Intelligence as a way to augment and increase their production, instead of replace employees. Some of our new job descriptions may be to look after these new technologies. After all, someone will have to take care of the machines. But it will give us opportunities to look beyond the mechanical tasks in the workforce and better ourselves for more meaningful and creative positions.

Save the creatives! We are the future. xo M.

From the Beginner designer to Intermediate one – Part 3

Last week, we had talked about the little tips for Adobe Capture CC brushes tool, this week I will discuss the rest three tools: shapes, type, and patterns.

Shapes:

The purpose of shapes would transform an image into vectors and use them in Photoshop, Illustrator, and In Design. The way to create new shapes is similar to other tools, click on “+,” and take a picture of the object or your doodles, you could erase the part that you don’t like and draw directly on the screen of the mobile device to make changes. After saving to the library, you can open it and try different colours, effects or gradients to your doodles directly; you will be amazed by what you can do with your imagination.

Type:

The Type tool is helping users to get fonts from Typekit based on a text image. The users can record all the fonts and learn what the name of the fonts from this tool. Also, the user could create unique fonts by patterns which are funny. However, please keep in mind that you may not find out these kind of fonts in your
Adobe suite library. Although at the edit panel, users can change the size, setting the font style, try different leading or track numbers and all kinds of different compositions between the letters.

Patterns:

The Patterns tool allow users to transform any textures, original objectives or images into patterns. And there are five beautiful types of models inside your setting panel. After adjusting and editing, you can have your patterns with the same colour theme and patterns base on your original objectives. And the patterns can only be used in Photoshop and Illustrator.

Till now, the primary function of the most useful tool from The Adobe Capture CC have been introduced. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns, and I will answer the questions on my following blogs.

Google Pixel Buds

As Jori pointed out last week, headphones are awesome, and I agree. They can be wireless, over ear, in ear, leather, plastic, etc. Bluetooth has been the biggest game changer but google has come out with a pair of headphones that puts the competition to shame.

Google’s, Pixel Buds, are both wireless, and the have a voice assistant feature, which means that they can translete 40 languages, while you’re having a conversation. Say you’re in a different country and don’t speak the language, just pop those headphones on and, bam, you can understand.

 

The translation feature is enabled when the user holds down a button on the right earbud, and instructs the Google Assistant to help them speak the language required. Then, as they talk, the Pixel smartphone, that the Pixel Buds are connected to, plays the translation out loud. When listening to a response, the correct translation is played back through the headphones. Like wow.

The Pixel Buds are also able to answer calls, adjust volume, play or pause music, send and read out texts, and map directions all without the need to touch the connected phone.

If fully charged, they offer up to five hours of non-stop listening. But they also come in a pocket sized case that doubles up as a portable charger, allowing the user up to 24 hours of listening time in total.

To use as a headset, you need a Bluetooth® enabled companion device running:

  • Android 5.0 or higher
  • iOS 10.0 or higher

To use with Google Assistant you need:

  • An Assistant enabled Android device
  • The latest version of the Google app
  • Android 6.0 or higher
  • A Google Account
  • A data connection

To use with Google Translate you need:

  • Pixel or Pixel 2
  • The most up-to-date version of the Google Translate app
  • The latest version of the Google app

 

These are the first headphone Google has ever made and I can say that they did a pretty bang up job!

 

Google store

Mario Odyssey Update: Luigi’s Balloon World!

(image from https://www.polygon.com/2018/1/11/16878088/mario-odyssey-dlc-outfits-trailer-release-date-luigi-balloon-world)

Super Mario Odyssey is one of Nintendo’s latest and most successful additions to the classic Mario Brothers game series. The game received The Game Award for Best Family Game in 2017, sold more than two million copies within four days after release, and was given a rating of 10/10 from IGN. Needless to say, that’s pretty damn impressive. The only feature that holders of the game thought was missing was online multiplayer functionality. But Nintendo has reached out to their community, and recently announced a solution to be released in early February.

Read More

Pet Technology

Pet technology has come a long way to help us protect and care for our pets as well as make our lives a bit easier and a bit more stress free. Below are 6 examples of pet technology that help us and our pets.

Sometimes our pets escape and run away from home and we panic. They could get lost, hurt or even stolen and we worry. They now how pet GPS trackers that can clip onto collars or are themselves a collar. Some companies have apps on your phone so you can always track your pets location.

Another handy tool for people who worry about their pet while they are away from home for work or travel they have pet video monitors. With these again most companies use an app so you can always check up on your pet at home anytime to see what they are up to.

For those pets that like to steal food from the other pets dish some dishes come with a chip you stick on your pets collar. This way only that pet can access the food which helps with over eating or underrating due to food being stollen by the other pet.

For people who live out of town or who’s yards aren’t fenced there are wireless fence options. They use a transmitter that omits a signal of a specific distance but the perk is you can bring the device anywhere and move the location. The pet wears a collar that beeps at the pet to warn them they are starting to reach the limit if they pass it they get a small shock.

If you have a cat you know they are very finicky with their littler boxes. They need to be kept clean very regularly or they may start to go outside the box. They have a fix for that now if you don’t want to do it all the time you can buy a self scooping litter box for your pet.

For people with dogs who bark too much they have options for you as well. You can buy collars that beep, vibrate, spay an unwanted scent or shock when your dog barks to help correct the behaviour and keep you and your neighbours happy.

I hope you found some good options for pet technologies that are available to you. This can give some pet owners a peace of mind knowing their pets are safe and happy.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

Pokemon Go! was huge two years ago, it took the world by storm by creating a game that gets people moving, interacting and used a very well known and loved game. The company Niantic, who created Pokemon Go, has been developing the game, HarryPotter: Wizards Unite!

 

 

The game will be similar to Pokemon Go!; turning real-world streets, neighborhoods and cities into a global game board, and bringing people together in a shared digital reality. It will be interactive and get you moving and socializing with people who also love Harry Potter. You’ll be learning and casting spells, battling magical creatures, and teaming up with others to take down enemies.

I LOVE Harry Potter, so I’m super pumped about this game! People seemed to have really loved Pokemon Go! I don’t know why people have stopped talking about the game, I just assume because its ran its course and people got tired of it, but I’m glad the company has continued with the Harry Potter project.

Details on the game are pretty scarce, but Niantic did say in September that the company was looking at using audio cues in future AR games because holding up a phone for an extended period of time ‘makes them look like a total doofus,’ So it’s possible that Harry Potter Wizards Unite, will have sound cues. OMG how cool is that!

The game is set to release sometime in 2018, so get ready for more strangers wandering around your neighbourhood and watch out for those people who wander out onto the street without looking! I think that Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will be a very good game and very popular, I personally think it will do better than Pokemon Go! So if you’re a fan of Harry Potter or augmented reality games then this is the game for you!

Forget Millennial Shorthand; Get Grammarly

Have you ever hit the send button, only to realize that your phone had auto-corrected into complete nonsense? What about writing a quick social media post and accidentally using their instead of there?

In today’s world with chat speak and millennial shorthand, it is important to use proper grammar. As an Interactive Student in the IMA program at Assiniboine Community College, I find it essential to be on top of the language I am using, as to keep a professional persona; Therefore, I downloaded Grammarly.

Grammarly is available as a mobile app, a browser extension and a software add-in. They also have an amazing website with added perks. Although the different versions of the application have the same goal, they are all presented in a unique way, maximizing their use on each platform.

 

Mobile App

The mobile app; A personal editor you can take wherever you go. This application not only checks the spelling of singular words, but it also checks for contextual spelling errors, giving you the option to view a short and sweet explanation for the correction. To encourage mistake-free writing, the Grammarly app is presented as a keyboard that integrates smoothly across all other apps on your mobile device.

An intriguing part of the keyboard is the option to add words to your dictionary with a simple touch of the + sign. Another bonus feature is the auto-correct notification: A little teal box pops up on the top of your keyboard every time it auto-corrects, letting you know, just in case.

Browser Extension

Grammarly is also available on your Mac or PC. The browser extension works across the web and is compatible with:

  • Chrome
  • Safari
  • Firefox
  • Internet Explorer
  • Windows
  • Microsoft Office
  • MacOS

Grammarly’s extension harmonizes with your browser, allowing you to use it across the web. From writing important emails to posting a comment on a blog, you’ll eliminate the worry of making mistakes.

Grammarly.com

Signing in to Grammarly.com allows you access to a world of grammatically correct fun. The website allows you to personalize your account for more relevant checks. This includes setting your primary language, your preferred English vocabulary (i.e. United States English vs. Canadian English), and the level of your grammar skills.

As an application, Grammarly has a lot to offer and has become a successful addition to my tool belt as a graphic/web design student.

This post was edited with Grammarly.

Download the app here!

Little known Google Apps

I have had an Android smartphone since 2011 and up until this past Saturday when my beloved LG G5 began malfunctioning. As a college student with not much extra cash to pay for my smartphone to get fixed, I was lent an older iPhone by a family member. I was missing some apps that were on my old smartphone. I wondered if the App store carried Google apps that I used beforehand and, to my surprise they did!

So, here is a brief list of some apps you should check out.  

The first one to be downloaded was Google photos. They have unlimited photo storage but there is one catch, all the photos are limited to a resolution of 16 megapixels. I only learned about this a couple of months ago, meaning I really need to go through and clean out some of the 5,000 photos I have on there.

Google Photos

Noticing the maps on the iPhone is terrible when it couldn’t find the address of a friend that had recently moved. I downloaded Google Maps and found the address right away. A neat feature that can be found is under the menu button. There is an option to click and view “your timeline”. Anytime you allowed your location to be on, Google kept track of your movements. Pick a date or time and you can see where you to travelled to on a day by day basis. Only you have access to this feature but, I’m also a little undivided on whether this is cool or scary.

Google Maps- Your timeline

Google translate was the most helpful app I have ever used. While on a recent trip, I was unsure if I would always have access to internet connection. You can download the language needed for offline use. If you find yourself in a store unable to translate the words, simply open up the app and tap camera icon, locate the text you would like to translate and the app will translate it right on the screen.

Google Translate camera option

Google Translate. Users can highlight text with their finger.

 

Lastly, one of the most powerful apps out there and also forgotten: Chrome remote desktop. The app allows you connect remotely to your desktop and gives access to programs and files. All that is needed is a desktop chrome extension on the computer and can be set up with a pin.

Chrome Remote Desktop

These are some of the Google apps that can be super helpful, so be sure to check them out.

Metroid Prime 4, Why Nintendo Won’t Disappoint

In June of 2017 at E3, Nintendo really brought the good stuff and excited fans across the globe with many intriguing new games for their Nintendo Switch Console. Super mario Odyssey was the star of the show with a new trailer and playable demos but one reveal may have excited fans even more. A 40 second trailer showed up in the middle of the presentation with an outer space scene and a number 4 slowly coming on screen. An iconic tune started to play and finally, the message popped up. Metroid Prime 4, now in development for Nintendo Switch. Fans around the world, including myself were jumping out of their seats with excitement as we learned that the beloved Metroid Prime franchise was coming back for a 4th installment after a 10 year hiatus. The Metroid Prime trilogy is classified by many to be one of the best video game trilogies of all time. In a first person view, players control space bounty hunter: Samus Aran, and travel to different planets and fight aliens while gradually picking up new weapons and utilities to help you along the way.  The series started back in 2002 when Metroid Prime was released on the Nintendo Gamecube and saw massive critical acclaim. Two years later in 2004 the second installment, Metroid Prime 2:Echoes was released also for the Gamecube. The series then came to its third installment in 2007 on the Nintendo Wii with Metroid Prime 3:Corruption.

 

images from www.mobygames.com

http://www.mobygames.com/game/wii/metroid-prime-3-corruption/cover-art/gameCoverId,92852/

All three of the games are some of the highest rated games that Nintendo has ever released. It’s no wonder why the 4th installment has been on many fans watch lists since it was revealed. Right now, nothing about the game has been shown except for a logo and a late 2018-early 2019 release date.

The Metroid Prime 4 logo

I don’t think fans of the series have much to worry about. Everyone know that Nintendo will put their heart and soul into Metroid Prime 4 just like they already have with Mario Odyssey and Zelda Breath of the Wild on Nintendo Switch. Nintendo is known for listening to it’s fans and very rarely disappointing with their big name titles.  We can definitely expect some form of gameplay or screenshots for the game by E3 in July of 2018, and when we do see it, I’m sure that Nintendo will not disappoint and show us something that Nintendo fans around the globe can be ecstatic about.

Click here to see the E3 trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFbDmTjS_MI

And some Awesome reactions

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxfYdZWsBaY

 

Can You Hear What I Hear?

http://www.brighthub.com/computing/hardware/articles/31558.aspx#

From Baldy Phones to EarPods and Beats, headphones made quite a change over the past century. Since music has been a big part in our lives, what is better than listening to your favorite tunes when you’re the only one listening. As headphones are placed on your head we feel like it’s an escape to our own world. Everything around us just fades away.

The first ever working headphones were created by Nathaniel Baldwin in 1910, it was the only way to listen to electrical signals (until amplifiers became available). The headphones that Baldwin created were made from iron, the metal part of the headphone speakers. Think about that, wearing headphones that are made from iron? That would be so heavy, so uncomfortable and irritating (ha get it, irritating – (ear)itating). In 1958 stereo headphones became a thing, while the Sony Walkman in 1979 released the earbuds. Earbuds became very popular when they paired with the Ipod from Apple in 2001. In 2012 however, Apple designed a new look for the earbuds. A much nicer look and more fitting to the ear.

Read More

Resources to Better Your Coding

If you’re like me, you’d like a little advice and guidance when it comes to improving your coding skills. Here I have compiled a list of a few popular resources to help you code better in the future:

  1. Scratch

Scratch is aimed at a younger audience about 8-16 years old, but don’t let that deter you if you are a bit older.  Scratch has a bright, colourful website that is easy to manipulate and navigate; which makes this a great starting point for anyone. You can visit them create and explore pages where you can learn to animate, make music, create basic games and many other activities to develop your skills.

  1. Code. org

Code.org provides tools for grades K-12 for some of the largest school districts in the United States. Some of it’s supporters are Microsoft, Facebook and Google. Annually, code.org organizes an “hour of code” which engages 10% of all student’s in the world. They offer tools for educators and much like Scratch, they have activities that the user can create with code.

  1. Codeacadamy.com

Codeacadamy.com offers a large online community where a user can go to discuss problems that others may be experiencing. Code academy is an education company that seeks to rebuild how things are taught. They offer help with the commonly used languages, such as: HTML/CSS, Python, Ruby, Java and many more popular languages.

  1. W3Schools.com

W3schools.com is an absolute must have recourse for a beginner, or even a veteran programmer. It gives lessons, tips, and a vast knowledge of coding for all levels expertise. You can choose from various types of programming languages, just like the other examples. They offer a bit of “try it yourself” where you can test what code they provide for you. This way, you can see what works and what doesn’t and apply it to the work you are doing.

  1. Other resources

I use an app called SoloLearn. It is useful because it gives small “drill” like activities or quizzes and it’s easy to use. I use it when I have a few extra moments. I also use Coding for Dummies. It sounds silly, but it has helped me a lot and really breaks down what is what.

Some of these sources are repetitive, however, you can’t get better at something if you don’t practice. And practice is just reputation by a different name!

 

Resources:

https://scratch.mit.edu/

https://code.org/

https://www.codecademy.com/

https://www.w3schools.com/

Highs and Lows of Competitive Gaming

It’s a popular stereotype to consider a competitive gamer to be a sweaty 30-year-old nerd who lives in his parent’s basement or a whiny 8-year old kid who got a hold of his brother’s violent video games. However, there is actually a lot of variety in competitive gaming. I made the examples men in the stereotypes, but women play competitive as well. However, like anything, it has a rather unpleasant side.

Let us start with the basics. Competitive gaming is when you play games like Call of Duty, Overwatch, League of Legends, DOTA, Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter  either get together online or at conventions and compete against each other to see who’s number one for that year. Many play for the fun and enjoyment of it, others use it as a career path to gain money. There are even some competitions dedicated to a game itself. Some of these include Overwatch League, Call of Duty World League and Capcom World Tour (dedicated to Street Fighter).

In competitive gaming, players are mainly in teams of 5-12 people within the ages of 17-35 at most. Popular teams include Team EnVyUs and Seoul Dynasty. These teams compete in tournaments and/or championships to gain a reputation of who is the better team in the league.

Like sports, competitive gaming can become very exhausting. You sit in a chair for hours at a time focusing on the players that you are up against, sometimes not getting a break. Your body loses energy quickly and that can of Red Bull that sponsors the tournament is not going to give you enough energy to last the rest of it. Competitive gaming takes a toll on your body, so when they can, competitive gamers will take the time for a break and get the energy they need to power through another few hours of gaming.

If you think, you can handle the power of becoming a professional competitive player, good luck with that. I will just stick with having fun with it.

 

The New Reality (AR Breakdown)

I have only paid attention to Augmented Reality for a few years now but it has been going on since the late 90’s. AR is the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real time. If I really wanted to, I could have a Smurf juggling apples in front of me. In reality that is, not happening but I am visualizing it through a screen. That leads me to ask the question; what is reality? With the growth rate of AR and its relative VR, otherwise known as Virtual Reality. Our realities are about to change, if they haven’t already.

PAST

AR began its life back in the olden days, well, by olden days I mean 1998. It first appeared as the yellow first down line that you see on TV while watching a football game. The term Augmented Reality was coined eight years earlier by Boeing researcher Thomas Caudell. Back then it wasn’t a serious topic but now they have evolved AR into such things like the Google glass and heads-up displays in car windshields.

CURRENT

Technology Companies are taking advantage of this and using it to evolve their apps on mobile devices. Snapchat for example, uses AR to allow users to wear an augmented mask, otherwise known as a Snapchat filter. IKEA uses AR on their app to allow customers to visualize what a piece of furniture may look like in their house before they even buy it.

FUTURE

AR is heading in a very impressive direction. Holograms becoming a reality are very near. Microsoft and multiple other companies have dedicated teams to working on such a project. AR and VR are working with each other as well, allowing users to take advantage of the benefits from both Virtual and Augmented Reality. It’s a multi-dimensional reality.

IMPORTANCE

AR is not just some toy people can play with either. Multiple industries use the innovative technology, including: healthcare, public safety, gas and oil, tourism, and marketing.

“Neural implants could accomplish things no external interface could: Virtual and augmented reality with all five senses; augmentation of human memory, attention, and learning speed; even multi-sense telepathy – sharing what we see, hear, touch, and even perhaps what we think and feel with others.” –Ramez Naam

It’s amazing technology; use it to your advantage.

From the Beginner designer to Intermediate one – Part 2(Tips for Sharing)

Last week, I introduced the first tool : The colours. Miranda asked some questions about how to share with other Adobe registration or non-registration users, here I would like to answer her concern.
First, only the Adobe registered users could share and use the colour swatch.
Secondly, the created colour swatch could export as ASE(Adobe Swatch Exchange file) and images; it could create a link to share with others.
Thirdly, the colour swatch can share the message, mail, facebook, iCloud, Google Drive and work software or app for both PC and MAC or non-Adobe registered users.
As an interactive media designer who needs to draw on software and using the colours tool, buying an Adobe suite is necessary.

Back to today’s topic, I would like to introduce one more  tool in Adobe Capture CC which is brushes.

The purpose of the brushes tool is to let users record the patterns, images or a little doodles as brushes and used in Photoshop, Illustrator, and Sketch.

The way to create brushes is similar to the colours tool, click on “+” again, and it will turn on the camera. There is a white dot shown in camera screen, drag it to your pattern area and take the picture. Crop the brush pattern capture area and then choose the styles you like in different Adobe software. Please notice that the brush styles are black and white in Photoshop and Illustrator, but it is colour brushes in Sketch brushes style. Under the presets menu, users can adjust the brushes attributes differently, and it’s different attributes settings between different software.

Finally, users can edit, duplicate, share brushes and upload to users library or template.

This brushes tool is quite handy when you try to draw complex symbols as a background pattern, and then merely repeating brushes will make your job easy and unique.

For the next post, I will elaborate the ultimate handy tool: patterns.

Smartphone cameras then vs now

DSLR cameras have come a long way since 2008. Sony, Canon, Nikon were just a few that were wildly popular back then. The cameras costed anywhere from $300-$1000. Even the best compact digital camera couldn’t compete. Cell phone cameras were minuscule and most couldn’t afford to spend so much money on a huge camera.

With the demand for quality smartphones that do more than just the basic call, text and picture message; companies started paying more attention to the quality of the camera. Camera quality can also be one of the main selling points to customers. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat are all heavily media based content. This allows users to quickly snap a picture, edit it quickly and post it within minutes. Instagram was released in 2010 for iPhone users. When the app began to explode in popularity there was demand for an Android version, but it wasn’t released until nearly two years later in 2012. The app gained popularity among young users, photographers, and many types of other people who wanted to share their creativity with the world.

When the HTC One M8 was released in 2013, it boasted an impressive dual lens camera which hadn’t been seen before. Users also had access to manual controls. This function allowed people to express their creativity more freely within smartphone photography. The freedom of being able to carry a tiny powerful camera that fits into your pocket is more convenient rather than lugging around a heavy and expensive camera along with its accessories. Reaching for a smartphone to capture special moments is almost second nature to many of us.

Fast forward to 2018 almost every smartphone has the ability to capture raw images, manual camera controls, and dual lenses. Companies also developed small camera accessories that have a similar function to DSLR accessories. It is hard to imagine what smartphone cameras will be able to do in the future. Will the cost of the camera drive up the price of the smartphone? Are exposure settings that of full frame DSLR? I’m excited to see what will be coming out in the years to come and I will probably base my next smartphone choice on the camera it features.