Archive for October, 2011


Final Cut X Screenshot 2

Final Cut X Screenshot 2

Screenshot 2

Final Cut X Screenshot 1

Screenshot 1

Project Outline

For my final project, I would like to create a website that contains videos and images that is used to educate the elderly population about technology. I have noticed that information technology is overwhelming to many senior citizens. Topics I would like to include: How to access the web, common troubleshooting issues, identity protection, how to avoid scams, where to find free music and videos, how to stay connected with loved ones, how to use search engines, how not to fear technology, etc. This all came about when I was listening to Radiohead at work. An older woman approached me and told me that she really like the music and asked where she could buy it. I explained to her that it was released for free and she could get it online. At that point she started crying, and expressed her frustration and fear of technology, and how out of place she felt in today’s society. This is why I would like to do this project. Senior citizens have been through so much in their lives, and it is the younger generation’s responsibility to make sure that they can understand the world that we are creating. We will all be old one day and technology will move beyond our familiarity.

3 Best of Animations

Best of Education

Advertising

Entertainment

We don’t live in our grandparents’ world anymore.  Technology and media have affected nearly everyone in ways which can not be undone.  From staying connected with Facebook or Twitter, to surgeons playing video games, to targeted advertising, the world and its people are different now.

Welcome to the 21st Century.

Ok, so just about everyone you know uses Facebook and/or Twitter.  We are all willing to share our personal information with the world.  Thanks to this voluntary sharing of thoughts, desires, good times, and bad, demographers can now get quantifiable measurements of the nation’s collective happiness.  Researchers can tell which areas are happiest, when users are most happy, and can use this data to predict moods and events in the lives of the users.  This has countless implications.  For instance, advertisers can target us when we’re having good days and would be more likely to succumb to their advertising.  They would know to avoid people on bad mood days, and could even offer products to increase the user’s mood.  We have never at any point in history had access to the mood and feelings of the nation, updated in real time.  Thanks to the affordability of computers and widespread internet, we can see ourselves as more of a collective and can plan actions more strategically.

Revolutionary

Twitter isn’t only useful for letting people know what you’re thinking and feeling.  Recently several uprisings in the Middle East have been facilitated and carried out by use of social software such as Facebook and Twitter.  Such uprisings would have been easily quashed in the past.  Their success can be attributed to people acting quickly, and making the best use of the technology that they had available.

“This revolution started online.” “This revolution started on Facebook.”

Facebook and Twitter have been very cautious about their neutrality in these uprisings.  They certainly do not want to be held responsible for anything that might go wrong.  This seems to be a pretty wise move, from a liability stand point.

“This is an unusual revolution in that it was led by a very educated and economically conversant, forward-looking group of people,” says Khush Choksy, executive director of the United States-Egypt Business Council, which is part of the United States Chamber of Commerce. “But to secure what they really went into Tahrir Square for, there needs to be economic growth, a modern set of thinking, and a more diversified economy.”

These people used the technology to quickly organize, send images in real-time, and evoke emotion.  Twitter has helped to get information past the big media filters.

Recently, Manal al-Sharif, a woman posted a video online of her driving her SUV in Saudi Arabia and called for a collective protest.  It is apparently illegal in Saudi Arabia for a woman to drive and she was jailed for nine days. In just a matter of days twitter was abuzz with over 30,000 messages and comments, mostly in support of al-Sharif.  “Are you accusing a woman of being a sinner because she went to jail for driving? What kind of religion would come up with that?” wrote a woman in Jidda, on the Red Sea coast. Social media is changing the game in Saudi Arabia.  Public gatherings are illegal there.  Now with the availability of the internet and social media, the citizens can still carry out protests and discuss their political unrest.

Would You Like to Play a Game?


Video games have come a long way.  We used to have to be in the same room to play a game with someone else.  Now we can play with virtually anyone, anywhere in the world.

Video gaming used to be looked down on as a childish waste of time, now they are used for much more than entertainment.  Games can be used for a variety of reasons, and game design is a popular college major.  The skill sets used to create games also can translate to other fields.  “But if you just look at the surface of people playing games, you are missing the point, which is that games are all about managing and manipulating information,” Mr. Kerrey said. “A lot of students that come out of this program may not go to work for Electronic Arts. They may go to Wall Street. Because to me, there is no significant difference – except for clothing preference – between people who are making games and people who are manipulating huge database systems to try to figure out where the markets are headed. It’s largely the same skill set, the critical thinking. Games are becoming a major part of our lives, and there is actually good news in that.”  So, in a sense, gaming and game design can now be seen as skill training.    The things one learns from making games and from playing them can have even more practical applications elsewhere.

Skills aren’t the only thing that we learn from playing video games.  Believe it or not, games are now being taken seriously in the health care field.  According to “Video Games in Health Care: Closing the Gap,”
by Pamela M. Kato, medical patients can learn positive behaviors from video games.  From dealing with painful procedures to coping with boring daily routines, video games can help teach behaviors which are necessary to stay in good health.  The games can motivate and remind a patient to take their medication, for instance.  Not only patients benefit from video game play.  Surgeons are now honing their skills by playing even commercially available video games such as “Half Life.”

This is all very exciting.  Something that was seen as a childish waste of time 10 years ago is now getting attention in the medical community.  As technology grows and gamers get better, so can all of their skills. Oh, did you hear that gamers have recently solved a folding protein puzzle in 3 weeks that science couldn’t solve in years of research?  It gets better, this will likely lead to breakthrough AIDS vaccinations.  The researchers didn’t teach the players about science.  They didn’t need to tell them why certain proteins and bonds work certain ways, they simply told them how they interacted, like a set of rules.  With no scientific knowledge, average citizens were able to manipulate the proteins in ways science hadn’t figured out yet in research, all in 3 weeks time.

Party, Party!

Elections, they are a changing!  President Barack Obama is a  record setting president in more ways than one.  Not only is he the United States’ first African-American president,  he is the first “Social Media President” in history.  He is the first one to successfully organize a grass roots campaign.  He was able to build a platform and motivate groups of citizens. Traditionally, getting your message out as a politician required one key ingredient: MONEY.   The genius aspect of all of this was how accessible he was able to make donating.   At least some of President Obama’s success can be attributed to:  my.barackobama.com, Barack Obama’s Blog, Barack Obama on flickr, Barack Obama’s youtube channel, Barack Obama on Linked In, and Twitter/Facebook.  I think after the 2008 election, we will see only more and more of these social media, grass-roots campaigns.

Now, both sides are ready to wage war, armed with the latest advances the internet can offer.  “This will be the first election in modern history that both parties are understanding the potential of the technology to change the results of the election,”(Andrew Rasiej)  Stemming from John McCain’s defeat by Obama, Republicans are arming themselves and are prepared to deal with these grass-roots campaigns.  “You learn more from losing than winning sometimes,” said a member of McCain’s campaign staff.  In fact, more Republicans are using social media campaigning than their Democrat counterparts.  It will be quite interesting to see how this next presidential election goes.  I for one have noticed a huge jump in online advertisements for local candidates.  I don’t see this trend stopping, quite the contrary.

That’s None of Your Business!!

Actually, it is!  Everything that you like, visit, or do online is being tracked.  Companies know us almost better than we know ourselves.  Companies are now directing us to our social media, to better advertise to us.  Advertisers have made somewhat of a departure from trying to sell us individual products.  They are now focused on getting us to like their facebook or twitter pages.    The way they are using the ads is ingenious.  They create little tabbed advertisements, that function almost as miniature, self contained websites.  The user can interact fully with the add without leaving the page they were on.  This is genius because statistics show that only about 1 in 1000 users will click on an add that takes them off of their current page.  This way, the user can be exposed to the full add without leaving the page, and will interact with more ads.

Sometimes targeted adds can take a turn for the worst.  Toyota was recently sued by a woman who was a victim of a “Cyber Stalking” add campaign.  Amber Duick sued Toyota in 2009 over its “Your Other You” campaign.  Duick started receiving bizarre emails and contacts from an apparent criminal on the run.  He knew detailed personal information such as her home address, phone number, email address, myspace account etc.  He claimed he was on the run from the law and would need a place to crash for a few days.  Duick even received an angry letter from a fake hotel manager, where this criminal supposedly broke a television.  None of this was real.  This was all an elaborate hoax, perpetrated by Toyota.  Duick’s friend had signed her up for this under Toyota’s “Your Other You” campaign.  Toyota claims that Duick unknowingly opted in to this advertisement.  We need to really ask ourselves how far is too far?  How much private information should we be giving out to these corporations?  Where do we draw the line.  Nothing like this would have been possible on this scale in the past.  the world has changed.  Our private data is an important commodity.

The Media Footprint

Media and technology have changed the very face of our planet.  From staying in touch with people we would have never talked to again without facebook, to how we think about political candidates, we are in the middle of a forced evolution.  This time, it is not biological.  We are evolving through the technology that we create and use.  We are becoming more of a collective.  We have access to knowledge instantly.  In 20 more years, we could all be so wired in that we act as a colony of bacteria, a hive mind.  Technology and social media have allowed us to circumvent the filters that traditional media have imposed on us.  We can get information to all points of the globe in seconds.  We can learn skills from technology that we create.  Soon, we will have technology that creates technology.  I believe that we are at a turning point in human existence.  We are only at the beginning.  Life as we know it is forever changed.

Lynda.com

Here is my screen from Lynda.com