Maccargh’s Blog


My Final Artefact
March 20, 2009, 12:42 am
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I have now finished my final artefact for convergent media and now everything has come together it seems like it wasn’t so complicated after all.

Each time i started using new software such as Dreamweaver and Flash, i was initially very confused and both seemed very complicated. Even during the process of making the artefact i was confused and at times frustrated that i wasn’t able to do the things i wanted to do. Yet by the time i had completed each piece of work, i realised that it wasnt so complicated and all it took was some practice. So now that ive finished my artefact i’m even considering making my own website over the next few weeks in my leisure time as i now realise the simplicity and potential of the programmes.



Evaluation of Flash
March 20, 2009, 12:42 am
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Evaluation of Flash

I struggled with flash initially, because when i got round to creating the animation, i had forgotten how to animate everything. I got some help to get me going and once i had made my buttons and input the script that enables you to click forward and backward to scroll through my images, i realised that the programme really wasnt that hard to use at all. It just takes a bit of practice and along with some online tutorials and referencing guide books i think i could use a big part of the software to animate what i wanted. Flash has a lot of potential and i’m happy that ive incorporated my flash animation into my website, as it makes seem a little more proffessional.

Overall it just took a bit of practice and help and now i think although i could have used more images within my animation, it helps the site alot in making it ‘feel’ a lot better and more accomplished.



Evaluation of Dreamweaver
March 20, 2009, 12:41 am
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Evaluation of Dreamweaver

Although this was my first time using Dreamweaver I am happy with the outcome of the artefact because everything came together through this website. I am now pretty comfortable with the software and although i have only learned the basics im confident i can create a website from scratch using dreamweaver. My website is far from advanced, but this is my first attempt so this isnt an issue, it’s just a starting block i can improve from. All of the links work and the images make it feel like a proper website, its simplicity and lack of depth is where it fails, but i didnt want to go into too much detail, because of the time limit i had, i wanted to ensure that all of the parts were working so that when opened, each branch of the site was easily accessable.

So overall im pleased with the outcome because everything works as i wanted, but there is still a lot of room for improvement.



Evaluation of Flickr
March 20, 2009, 12:41 am
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Evaluation of Flickr

The first part of my artefact that i produced turned out quite well, but not quite what i originally intended. The photo’s i took were supposed to use a visualisation of some sort that gave the viewer data of personal statistics. I tried to use lego for the visualisation, but looking back in it the reason why it didnt work was because it was on too small a scale to be aesthetically impressive. Instead of showing the amount of hours (where 1 lego brick = 1 hour) i listen to music and play on a computer game in a week, i should have calculated the amount of time i spent doing these things over the course of a year or any larger period of time than a week so that i could have piled up stacks of lego which would have looked more visually impressive.

Even though the final outcome of my images wasn’t fully intended I still feel they were quite good, as many people who saw them commented on the lego character that i used to present the statistics. Also due to the extreme simplicity of my data and visualisation, it was instantly understandable, which is good if you are just skimming through my website. Barely takes any concentration.



Advertising
March 20, 2009, 12:40 am
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IBM Business partners have recently predicted a fair and seemingly realistic estimate of future advertising ‘Sense and respond environemnts that morph themselves to meet the temporal demands of customers’ immediate shopping objectives.’ I can see that this will become true in within the next generation of advertising. It’s the next step and I think it will be a successful idea, because advertising since has always tried to make something appeal to ‘you’. Alongside radio it tries to be personal to it’s audience or viewer.

A video makes this seem even more possible, as it shows a clip from the sci-fi movie Minority Report. Tom Cruise is walking through a shopping mall and he doesn’t even have to walk into a shop before huge plasma screens are advertising directly to him. Calling his name ‘John Anderton, you could use a Guinness right about now’ and a visual of a sandy white beach with a soft female voice whispering to him ‘get away Jon Anderton, forget your problems’.

Advertisements of today can sometimes be very easily ignored, but if there are peopl calling your name, informing you of various things using visuals and direct audio, this would naturally grab your attention, thus making successful advertising.

Ubiquitous Computing

‘Ubiquitous computing is a post-desktop model of human-computer interaction in which information processing has been thoroughly integrated into everyday objects and activities. As opposed to the desktop paradigm, in which a single user consciously engages a single device for a specialized purpose, someone “using” ubiquitous computing engages many computational devices and systems simultaneously, in the course of ordinary activities, and may not necessarily even be aware that they are doing so.’

Mark Weiser is considered to be the Father of ubiquitous computing and he thinks that technology should having a calming influence. it should make our lives easier and relieve you of stress.

Now, personally when I think about technology I believe it does do this, because when you just consider the endless possibilities it gives you through simply using a few clicks of a mouse, its amazing. There are two simple things that come to mind when I think of technology and how it makes things easier for people. Firstly, wordprocessing is made much easier by using computers, as it allows you to write fast if you have the ability, it writes perfectly neat, it structures the work for you and gives you near to perfect grammer. Writing on a piece of paper using a pen has long been forgotten and is rarely used now. The second thing that comes to mind is the use of the internet and the seemingly unlimited amount of things you can buy from it and have delivered to your front door! You can buy clothing, food, gig tickets, animals, blow-up sex dolls, pretty much anything you can think of. Not only does the internet seem to have an unlimited supply of anything and everything, it also seems to give you these things for cheaper prices than most shops. Its ridiculous, what need is there to walk outside of your front door when you have the internet? It’s almost too good to be true and coming back to the advertising, as most people now are computer-friendly, the internet is usually the first to try out new marketing. So sometimes you will get personal messages, e-mails that advertise things to you, but at first appear friendly and personal as they greet you with your name. There are appropriate banners and adverts displayed when you sign in to social networks because they have some data about the kind of things you like and therefor know what type of things will appeal to you and it is only a matter of time before this type of advertising gets truly exploited.



The Pixelated World of SecondLife
March 20, 2009, 12:39 am
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SecondLife is a game on the internet where anybody who has signed up to it, can buy and sell ‘properties’ and ‘land’. The people play the game through their characters that are created when you sign up. These characters can then be accessorised by buying various clothing and jewellery. I think the idea of this game and others similar to it are to recreate the finer, simplistic forms of reality and allow them this world to be changed by each player. Not only is it for controlling reasons, i think the main reason for this kind of game and especially others like Grand Theft Auto are to create another world and give total freedom, where the player enjoys not having any strict rules and responsibilities. This is a desire of most, that there is no consequence, and i think this is a key reason for the success of the gaming world.

There are a few things about these types of games though, that is strange and unexpected. If you imagine you were to create a game from scratch, the last thing that would cross your mind would be a boring dead-end job. But thats exactly what the people of SecondLife have created, you have a mundane job where you work to earn money that then pays for beer and a holiday. This idea of ‘earning’ is realised alot in games.  Follow the rules, achieve results, and you are rewarded with bits of symbolic currency — credits, stars, skill points, powerful glowing orbs — which you can then exchange later in the game for new gadgets, ways of moving, or access to previously denied areas.

Within SecondLife there is advertisements for various brands, for clothes for characters and this example moves into the movement of modern and future advertising.



Surveillance
March 20, 2009, 12:38 am
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Surveillance is a term coined by Steve Mann to descrive the recording of an acitvity from the perspective of a participant in the activity, typically by way of small portable or wearable recording devices that often stream continuous live video to the internet. The word surveillance derives from the French word sousveillance which stems from the contrasting sur, meaning “above”, and sous, meaning “below”.

EXPLORING EQUIVEILLANCE

surveillance is about much more than mere observation. As Jim Rule once defined it, surveillance is “any systematic attention to a person’s life aimed at exerting influence over it”.

As leaders in the field such as David Lyon remind us:

Surveillance is not simply about large organizations using sophisticated computer equipment. It is also about how ordinary people – citizens, workers, travelers, and consumers – interact with surveillance. Some comply, others negotiate, and yet others resist.

Surveillance connotes a kind of systematic omniscient “eye-in-the-sky” (God’s eye view) by authoritarian, though human, eyes and architectures. Conversely, sousveillance involves the recording of an activity by a participant in that activity.

Surveillance often requires secrecy and panopticism (Bentham’s fancy word used to describe a centralized optical system that ensured total transparency in one direction and zero transparency in the other direction). Conversely, sousveillance seeks to decentralize in order to achieve transparency in every direction. Sousveillance thus seeks invert (reverse) the panopticon.

In class we watched a video that raised the question of where you draw the line on public information. The example the video gives is about your potential employers looking at your social networks to get a better idea of what kind of person you are. Now, this is something that instantly scares most people, because there are a lot of things on your Facebook or Myspace that you wouldn’t want some of your friends to see, let alone employers!

The video tells you that any information you put on the internet is not safe, alot of people can see it and there are some personal details you should refrain from putting on the internet because it is potentially dangerous.

So should employers be allowed to check up on your personality by looking at your social networks? Is it ok, or is it spying?

As much as I don’t like the idea of potential employers looking at my social networks, I accept that the things I put on the internet can be seen by almost anyone and so think it would be ok for them to do so. If they looked at it, Bad grammar may be the least of your worries but I think peoples social networks give you a good idea of someones personality so you should just accept that it is a true reflection of who you are.