Thursday, December 15, 2011

Week 15: Get it Out!

Thank goodness! We have finally reached the end of our Fall semester at CCV. Congratulations to us all! I have mixed feelings about this class and I don't wish to express them in full right now. I can say that I have found college to be a gigantic waste of time and money. The only good thing college has to offer is well written text books, but they are insanely overpriced. The constant tweaking of these books into new editions is unnecessary and ripping people off. I have learned that any moron can go to college and earn a degree. This breaks my heart. I had been led to believe that higher education was a real thing. I am retiring from college upon completion of this semester.

I enjoyed the easy access to online multimedia tools that were mostly free. I also really liked our instructor, Lisa. She was organized and thorough with her teaching methods. Lisa was very supportive throughout the class. I  just wanted to recognize her and let her know that she is appreciated.

I have already begun implementing things I have learned in this class in my everyday life. I am working on a website for my band, The Hitters™. I will post a link once the site goes live.

I need to go sew some gold vests for a long overdue band photo shoot. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.  Priorities are as follows.
1. My three children
2. My health
3. My job
4. My band
5. Keeping House/ leaving house
6. Moving to a tropical island
7. Passing this course before dancing the next number
8. Dropping "college" like a bad baby ( on it's head)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Week 13: Employing Generation F

Gary Hamel, an author for New York Times wrote a fascinating article on 12 work relevant characteristics,  "Genteration F"-Facebook people will possess. The article compares the clashing views of the Fortune 500 generation and this new web driven generation. It was empowering to see how users control their environment. I loved reading about knowledge being freely given. "Think of all the articles contributed to Wikipedia, all the open source software created, all the advice freely given—add up the hours of volunteer time and it’s obvious that human beings will give generously of themselves when they’re given the chance to contribute to something they actually care about. Money’s great, but so is recognition and the joy of accomplishment."  click to read article
I'm not an advocate for the overall message from this article, which seemed to be; How are you, the corporations, going to buy out this new generation? That being said, the article is still a good read and offers a clearer view of the expectations of Generation F. 

Week 12: The Long Tail

In short, the Long Tail describes the narrowing of option with specification of search.
This idea can be quite useful for any business wishing to promote an obscure or unique item or service. If the searcher knows specific details or "key word" for what they are looking for, their chances of finding exactly what they want are greatly increased. Both business and consumer benefit immensely from the effects of the Long Tail.

An article by Chris Anderson gives some excellent examples of how the Long Tail works. The article highlights the importance of diverse entertainment and product options. Only a small number of people actually seek out mainstreamed items. Robbie Vann-Abdid, the CEO of a jukebox company which offers over 150,000 titles has incredible statistics that prove this point. Out of 10,000 top titles 99% of them are listened to at least once a month. This goes to show that variety and specificity are key elements to success in the ever expanding and abundant, new commerce we operate in.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Week 11: Sound

    Here it is folks! The sound you've all been looking for! I found some great voice effects in Garage Band this week. It took me a little while to get used to the program as I am usually just the voice in the band, not the "real musician" and certainly not the audio engineer.
    The process was rather simple once I figured it out. I was using my iPad which made it a little tricky because iPad's don't give you the luxury of saving things to the desktop and whatnot, which confuses my gracefully simple mind.
    After repeated attempts to make a jingle for Drive Hairfully using Garage Band's "smart instruments," I gave up hope of ever playing a keyboard and just used my trustworthy voice. There are five different "instruments" in the track. Three are voice recording with different effects on each and two are a synth machine. I used the small room effect for the commercial part of the track and a megaphone effect for the disclaimer. In case you are not able to make the disclaimer out is says "Drive Haifully in not responsible for any automobile accidents that may cause... death."
   The hardest part of this assignment was figuring out how to upload the final product from the iPad. After way too much time spent messing the whole program up, I finally figured out that I could email it to myself. I then downloaded the track onto my iMac, then uploaded it to my eportfolio from there.
    I know, it's super amateur, but you have to start somewhere!

Week 10 Take Your Vlog on the Road!

    This week we had to take our vlog on the road, meaning we had to use a mobile camera instead of the built in webcam on the monitor. The process was considerably more difficult then my previous vlog post process.
    When using the built in webcam, the video was automatically recorded onto the computer, making it that much easier to edit and upload to the internet. I had no problem picking the camera up and finding something to blog about. I ran into a huge obstacle when it came to actually uploading the video onto my computer. For some reason I just couldn't find the time to do this simple task. Yes, I am a procrastinator, but this is a whole new level!
   I discovered this week that I would make a terrible vlogger because I would never post the things I shot. I'm sure that as the children get older this won't be such an issue, but for now, I'd like to stick to the built in camera.
   When I finally did find the time (1am), I uploaded the video to Final Cut Pro X and made a few simple edits. The next problem I encountered was uploading the MOV. file to YouTube. My internet connection cut out over 4 times while trying to upload the video blog. The whole process drove me bonkers!
    Not only that but when I went to embed the video in my eportfolio, WebStarts wouldn't allow it because apparently I have run out of storage space and I need to upgrade to a not free account. UGH! That will never happen because I only have checks! HAHAHAHA!!!! I'm starting to wonder if I'm going to be able to pass this class.
    Keep your fingers crossed for me! Here's a link to the vlog.
    And here is a link to my eportfolio, where you can also find a link to the vlog.
    And here is the vlog! Hope that covers all the bases!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Week 8: Presentation Magic

   In the past I have strongly disliked animations used during presentations and on websites. I viewed them as cheesy and thought that they distracted onlookers from the main objective. My opinion has turned 180ยบ this week.
   After watching a presentation done by a Swedish man named Hans Rosling, I am now able to see the value of animation. Rosling executed his presentation with a perfect balance of humor, animation and simplicity. The animations he used did a phenomenal job of illustrating change on a chart. Rather then showing the typical before and after slides of different charts Rosling used animation coupled with an entertaining, live announcement to draw his viewers in and point out the facts.
   Rosling uses technology to bring statistics to his audience in a whole new way. He has three key elements for his technique. Animate, liberate and make it searchable. I hope to mimic his method in my future presentations so that they might be successful too.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Week 7: Kindle Kontroversy

   If robotic voices are considered performance then I do believe in the possibility that many AI  are existing among us under a humanlike skin. Seriously, the lawsuit between the Amazon Kindle 2 and The Author's Guild is riddonkulus. The audio reading that the new Kindle 2 offers is in no way infringing on a market. If a person wants a book read to them they are not going to seek out one of those horrible monotone computer voices. Anyone wishing to be entertained will gladly dish out the extra bucks for the author's audio version.
   I think what Kindle 2 has to offer is fantastic. I've always had an issue with disabled people having to shell out more money because they need special accommodations in life. What Kindle 2 has incorporated into the base price of an ebook is simply humane. Through the audio feature it is now possible for blind people to have a book for the same price as seeing people. It makes it more affordable for many disabled populations to enjoy books at a fair price.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Week 6: A New Hope

   Today we are discussing whether or not the street artist Shepard Fairey infringed on a copyright of an image owned by Associated Press in order to create the Obama HOPE poster. Mannie Garcia is the actual photographer of the Obama picture in question. "Garcia seems perfectly happy that his photo was used" according to an article in tech dirt. It is absurd for AP to be filing a lawsuit against the artist.
   I for one think that the whole matter falls under fair use. The art that Shepard created was considerably altered from the image he referenced. Also it was not done for $$$, rather a combination of recognition for his art and promotion on his political stance.
   I chose the image and command SIT for my "Obominized" poster for two reasons. The first being the shear stupidity of the matter. The second as a tribute to the street artist. (SIT like OBEY) 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Week 5: Creating Art in The Cloud

    Creating art in the Cloud, not only does it sound amazing, it is! Artists no longer have to lug heavy easels, paint, brushes and cleaning supplies around with them. With applications like Brushes, SketchBook Pro for iPad, SketchBook Mobile, Colors, Layers , my personal favorite, Vellum, Artisan and many many more, artists are now able to draw, doodle or paint just about anywhere, anytime.  
    French artist and videographer David Lasnier claims that iPod art has inspired him to pick up his acrylics and start painting agin after a 10 year break. Art Apps are convenient and easy to use. They are a great way to sketch out an idea quickly for reference use in another work of art later. 
   Cloud artists like David Lasnier enjoy the challenges that come with the medium. For example, working on such a small screen and having limited accuracy with brush placement. Lasnier doesn't find himself working too much on his images due to small size. He also takes advantage of saving images so that he can revert back if he doesn't like his alterations. 
   I am totally pumped about creating art in the Cloud and really want to buy one of the aforementioned apps for my iPad2. I know I said that I wanted to remove my presence from the Cloud in Week 2's post but...
What can I say, I'm an artist.

P.S. I liked this quote from David Lasnier.
"I choose objects just because of how I think they will catch the light, not because of their inherent nobility or aura as an contemporary icon."
Ditto homeboy! 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Week 4: Creative Commons

Creative Commons is an awesome nonprofit organization. It allows artists, publishers, musicians and authors to determine the level of duplication/usage protection they wish to place on their work.

John Buckman, founder of Magnatune has also found a way to capitalize on this sense of empowerment the starving musician gains from places like Creative Commons. I believe John's idea to create an environment to help the artist was done with good intention but I cannot help but dislike the direction he is taking it. John Buckman is just as bad as the record labels. Yes, he is sharing other people's hard work for free (what a nice guy) but he is also taking 50% of all their sales. As a musician I couldn't stand listening to this guy going on and on in his faggy little voice about how wonderful he is and how evil all the other record companies are. Vomit! I guess what I have taken away from this weeks lesson is "honk your own horn or someone like John will take at least half of your credit."

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Week 3 Assignment

   Kevin Kelly introduced me to new thoughts and a better understanding of the web. At the time of his speech, (December, 2007) the web was almost 5,000 days old. Already it had grown so much. People were able to watch movies, socially network, utilize satellite imagery and check the weather with just a few simple clicks.
   Kevin presented the web as a well oiled machine that functioned as an extension of our collective knowledge. "We are the web" he said. I think it is so cool that people are willing and able to share so much with each other for free!
   The web is an ever growing global machine or "brain" that doubles in capacity every year. By 2040 the web is expected to exceed humanity in processing power. Kevin Kelly states that "We have to start believing in the impossible." Who knows how the web will change in the next 5,000 days. Perhaps we will be webporting (the web version of teleporting) around 2040.


   This weeks assignment was to watch a lecture by Kevin Kelly about the web and how far it has come in just 5,000 days. Kevin tries to present the web as an amazingly well oiled machine that works as an extension of our very being. 
   I for one am no fool and see right through it! Kevin Kelly is a machine. He is the first AI of many to come with this message of "Let the machine read you." The machine (the web) is getting to know us. Our likes and dislikes, our friends, addresses, the kind of toothpaste we use etc. It is tracking us through our devices and soon will be in all of our everyday items such as sneakers, a watch, a couch. 
    Kevin says that "in the future, EVERYTHING will be connected to the web." I am one being AI will not have it's oneness with! It is time we all start making our own possessions. We cannot trust anything we don't make ourselves. 
   Kevin clearly states that "we have to get better at believing the impossible." This may sound funny but we are headed straight into the real Terminator! By 2040 the web will exceed humanity in processing power. Kevin likes to say that "humans are the extended senses of the machine." In the next 5,000 days I predict humans becoming more and more enslaved to the machine.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Week 2: My Presence in The Cloud

     I have a moderate presence in The Cloud. It has made much of my life more convenient by allowing me to pay bills, take classes and do taxes, all online. In addition to gmail I use facebook to keep in touch with my siblings. I love getting updates, pictures and videos of my nieces and nephews as well as sharing them of my own 3 kids. I attend two Moodle classes online with CCV. College would be impossible for me without the online option. I use to compose writings and find it to be user friendly and sufficient. 
      However, I am disgusted by the environmental damages the huge energy sucking server farms are inflicting. All of those super hot engines in air conditioned buildings running around the clock makes me sick. I feel guilty for being online right now.
     I feel that the biggest downfall of The Cloud is keeping everyone's personal information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, addresses, sentimental pictures and videos stored in these sever farms that have the possibility to crash at any given moment. The Cloud is a ticking bomb and when it does crash there is going to be a lot of upset people. In short, I hope to eliminate my presence in The Cloud as soon as this class is done.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The purpose of this blog is to record progress made in a multimedia class I am taking at CCV. I anticipate this class to be very challenging as I am not overly experienced with computer applications and video/audio recording devices. I have no experience with web development aside from being a Facebook user (pretty sure that doesn't count).
My goals are to become more comfortable and familiar with editing softwares. I'm nervous about working on a website. Anything that requires encoding really confuses me.
I look forward to learning how to use multiple sources of sensory input to create a stimulating experience for viewers and/or users of my work in this class. Thank you for taking the time to follow my experience. I appreciate any and all support. Feel free to leave your constructive criticism or just say hello.