Monthly Archives: October 2013

Project Process Planning – 3D printed flower #2

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Having used Google Sketch-Up as the software to create the 3D image I wanted, was quite restraining for me as I did not have the ability to get the natural looking shape of the flower that I wanted. This lack of detail was not from a fault of the software but considering I only just started using it – I was still an amateur and unable to attain what I have envisioned.

3d print screen image 3D screen print image 2My understanding of creating the flower was to experiment with different layers/levels of the flower – each layer/level being a different bloom on the flower. Working on each layer separately was easier to get a look that I was satisfied with. When it came to putting the flower together I get the below image.

3D printed flower #1
The sharpness and straightness of the petals bothers me. It began to look more like a water lily – not what I envisioned but still a flower none-the-less.

“Toaster is hangry” – The internet of things

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There was a time where giving a voice to an inanimate object would be seen as strange and unusual. Social media came along and allowed for people to interact and connect with other people from all around the world – creating a virtual community. Social media (Twitter) and these communities being built led way for people to create accounts that did not represent a person, but an object or a thing.

Looking at Twitter there is an account that represents the Big Ben Clock in London. Every hour on the hour a tweet is made that has 1 – 12 “BONG” in it, representing the hour of day it is, this is all the account does.

BIG ben BONG BIG ben bongingThe Big Ben Twitter account is controlled by a person, but what if it was controlled by Big Ben itself – the clock tower. This can be a possibility. Introducing the “Internet of things” described as giving “things” the power to communicate over networks without the need for human interaction.

The difference from people bringing life into an object much like the Big Ben clock and giving an object life is the independence and freedom that the object has. The Big Ben clock deals with a person Tweeting for it, the Internet of Things does not have the human part. To get objects to have a presence on the internet and other networks it is with the use of radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags. The RFID tags are intelligent bar codes that can be programmed to track any condition.

The use of RFID’s with objects has given way to the Internet of Things. Objects are being engaging with people and other objects. Julian Bleecker writes in “Why Things Matter” that the Internet of Things allows for objects to have a presence on social media to become a more engaging area of social media. When it comes to giving objects the power to communicate with anyone and anything – to have a voice, then there is a need to question the representation of what people perceive as “just an object” and its physical space.

Smartphones: Freedom or Comfort

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The battle between Apple and Android smartphones has been going on for the past 5 years and it is an important battle between two very different visions for the future development of technology. When it comes to deciding what smartphone is better for the user it is dependent on what the user is looking for in a phone.

Apple has produced the iPhone which deals with a closed source mobile operating system – iOS. The idea of closed source system is to maintain control over the source code, from hardware to software, which makes up the product – in this case the smartphone. This means for the user that the phone is controlled by Apple. Apple says what is allowed on the phone and what can be done with the phone. This idea of “have a smartphone that does not need to be changed” and hands it to you, at a large price, with little hassle, gives people the comfort of having a phone, without trying to understand how it works and what is needed for it. There is a comfort in knowing that there is a well-known company that holds the responsibility for your phone. Being a well-known company Apple prospers on the ideal of producing a desirable, appealing and well known product for its customers because Apple is seen as a status symbol. The aesthetic appeal of Apple products is the desired aspect of Apple customers and Apple knows that.

Android deals on an open source system – the source code to make the smartphones is free on the internet and anyone can acquire the code and create something from it. The benefits of having an open source codes allows for other companies to modify and create products as they please – to allow variety on the market. This variety and freedom that open source products allows, allows users to modify their phones in any way they please. Having access to the source code for anyone allows for the collective development of one technology – people are able to find issues and bugs with the code and fix the problem. Open source devices allows for connectivity with other devices that aren’t of the same brand allowing for the freedom to have customized setting on different pieces of technology yet still having them on the same network.

Regardless of what smartphone is produced it is the customer who decides on what they want out of their smartphone. The battle between Apple and Android is an important battle and will continue, to compare what philosophies work better and understand what people want (choice or not) with their smartphones.

Project Process Planning – 3D printed flower #1

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My idea for my project is to compare the natural aesthetic of a flower with the manufactured aesthetic of a 3D printed flower. The main idea is to try and create a 3D printed flower that has the appeal of a natural flower.

The above sculptural flower was formed by simulating the biological process that plants use to form their own flower buds, branches and leaf stems.

There is a need for the project to be an example of repetition and iteration. In my project the repetition could be in the production of the 3D printed flower or in the placement and comparison of presenting the flowers. The repetition and iteration will need to be thought about more.

Viral Video – Definition

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What does it mean when a video becomes viral?

A “Viral Video” can be looked at as the widespread sharing of a video in a short-period of time. A viral video does not have to be a video that has been recently uploaded, it can be years old and have a low view count to begin with. The video just needs to be found and shared to a popular medium, much like the case of the “Double Rainbow” viral video, which had been posted months before it was picked up by popular television talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel and shared on his Twitter account. Which was then picked up by CNN and continued to share and grow.

What time frame and how many views makes a video “viral”?

Years ago when the amount of traffic YouTube received, a video would be considered viral if it had reached 1 million views. Dealing with the mass traffic YouTube gets today a video is seen to be viral if it can acquire around 5 million views in the span of 3 – 7 days. Though creators of videos that receive one million or five-hundred thousand views would still be happy and consider their video viral.

What else?

A video is considered viral by how many different websites and mediums it gets shared to to acquire views. When a video can be talked about by everyone even though they consume different mediums – to infiltrate an audience that wouldn’t look for the video, it can be seen as viral. When a video is talked about and has an impact on those that watch it, the video is seen as viral.

 

An activist who “likes” is no activist indeed

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Social media has allowed for the greater discussion of global issues all around the world. The stories and issues that would be untold or changed by governments is no longer the case, the turmoils and oppression people face from those in power can be shared, questioned and fixed. In a time where social media is a part of everyday life what does it mean to rise-up and do something – to be an activist.

One aspect of social media – particularly seen on Facebook we are greeted by dozens of emotionally triggering images or sayings that promote a cause and “allows” for an action. These pictures allow for an individual to show support – by “liking” the photo and this “like” is seen as a form of respect or a prayer, or seen as a trade-off for a supposed dollar donation. This participation in supporting a cause is limited, what is accomplished from liking a picture? What happens after someone likes one of these images – a sense of contribution and accomplishment for the like, knowing that you made an effort and the world is a little-bit better.

When it comes to issues of racism, abuse, poverty and sustainability, social media allows for these issues to be shared, though the effort of getting people to do something more than just liking a photo is needed. Social media is the medium to get the message across though the effort people are going-to-go-to to accomplish a change deals with more than the liking of a photo on social media.

Evgeny Morozov, in this article proclaims that social media is just a tool to get information and awareness of issues across. The awareness that social media can bring deals with a mass audience, but to get that mass audience to do something, deals with much more than just the awareness social media allows. The example in the article is the issue that happened in the Middle East called on social media as “Arab Springs”. Arab Springs dealt with the oppression from the government and the uprising of the public to overthrow the government. The start and success of the Arab Springs was sought to be because of social media, though the dedication, emotion and government oppression was felt by a vast amount of people that would lead to a change.

When it comes to social media – the intent of starting a protest is something to be desired. When issues are brought to mass attention a lot of people will just be a slacktivist and disregard any idea of creating change. There is something more than just spreading word of an issue to rally up the troops and topple governments. Social media is the tool to get messages across but not the entire reason why change occurs.