Tag Archives: DS106

Time Machine For a Website

9 Apr

So this assignment for time traveling through your favorite websites is awesome!  It’s funny how quickly we forget how certain websites looked before the last update,  You constantly hear people complain about every new Facebook update but how quickly we forget how we hated the last update just as much. Way Back is a great tool to look back at how things were!

But for the purpose of this assignment I chose to do a website that’s not Facebook.  I picked one of my old favorite music websites called finetune.  This website offered the ability to comb through their music catalog and create playlists.  The only catches at first were you were only allowed 3 songs from the same artist per playlist and the playlist needed to be at least 45 songs long to be playable.  This website opened me up to a whole world of music that would never known about through suggestions from similar artists and listening to other people’s playlists at my own leisure.  It was a really good tool to get to know specific bands and songs because of listening to your playlists randomly being played multiple times.  I spent many nights just going through music and learning about artists and new genres.  Sadly the website is not what it once was.  Because of the massive funding necessary to maintain a website like this and the money that would be due to record companies for using their songs, the website no longer offers the playlist building ability, This practically brought the community and usage of the site to a standstill, They are still in existence and have tried a few branch off ideas such as an online DJ similar to Last.FMs scrobbler that allows the website to access your iTunes and broadcast what you are currently listening to others but it never took off.  Fine tune also offered a few different players that could let you use your Wii to stream music to your TV and another app to stream to your I-Phone.  There are plenty of other websites that have developed like Fine tune such as Last.FM, Pandora, Grove shark and 8-track, but it is just inconvenient to have made all these playlist and not be able to add to them anymore.

I think flaw finetune had to its structure was poor programming, it was prone to freeze up and load things in an odd way.  Your player could often freeze or not load something causing you to have to restart the playlist.  Also later on skipping songs became a limited ability, they did not want you to make playlists solely for the purpose of listening to one song and just skipping the rest as filler.  This is true for most music player websites now though, with the exception of grooveshark.  Music sharing is a touch subject, the lines of ownership, stealing and radio have become blurred because of the internet and how we use it.  I don’t think these big companies and record labels that are against sites like fine tune and last.fm understand how greatly these internet radio sites affects the amount of people it brings to their artists.  A lot of people do buy the albums and pay to go to concerts and buy the merchandise simply from finding the music on their own through interactive sites like this.  It’s a shame that they are constantly being threatened by being shut down under different copyright acts.


All images are from http://archive.org/web/web.php and Finetune.com.

The secret alliance of guys who do challenging things.

3 Apr

In this world there are things that need to be done.  These guys are the guys you may consider hiring when combing the yellow pages for “people who do things good” because they are the only group that do things good.  The leader of the group is a man whom dresses in a penguin costume and has the power to eat 10 or more Tacos at any given time.  He goes by the alias Pengo, the eradicator.  His right hand man is the Talker, a Giant man who could talk a deaf mans ear off.  His quick tongue allows him to overload even the most attentive listener causing them to freeze in a trance like state.  His Brother Dr. Explosion Von Brownie is able to use him extreme strength to catapult baked good s at any foe, no matter the distance.  Next on the list is The Libertarian, A man whom has the ability to alter the standings of any election using his semi-physic powers of persuasion.  He has an impeccable power to excrete green Guacamole  substances from his palm dispensers.  Party girl fits the bill as a girl who can party hard without warning, but don’t think you will get anything past her she can detect any mental activity you can throw at her with psycho analytical powers.   She can also make a mean Buffalo Chicken Dip and other party foods.  Then there is The Great Meatball Machine.  A man-boy with the power to ball up his own meat like flesh and splatter it on his opponents spreading raw meat diseases such as salmonella. Last but not least is speed-car man.  a man who can drive the gang around at warp speeds in his gas guzzling war tank.  His lack of respect for local law enforcement makes him a key part of getting to places before anyone else.  Also he has a Knack for fixing things by hitting them or taking unnecessary pieces off.

Picture of cos-players at NY comic-con 2011, I took the picture!

Picture of cos-players at NY comic-con 2011, I took the picture!

In the debut episode of their adventure as a team a woman calls the hotline for help saying her dog that has some how gotten itself stuck up a tree.  The team hardly assembles fast enough to even remotely call it an emergency rescue, but when everyone finally makes their way to the war tank and speed-car man promptly makes a pit stop at WaWa for sandwiches and drinks.  Afterwards when the team finally made it to the distressed puppy, whom was now asleep in the tree, Meatball machine Man started to throw meat at the dog.  Pengo was still eating his Taco Sandwich while Dr. Explosion Von Brownie and The talker argued over who would win in a fight, Harry potter or Superman.  Party Girl was rocking out to Andrew W.K. trying to shake the Dog out of the tree and The Libertarian was eating Guac out of his hand dispensers.  Needless to say the dog did get down when knocked out with a meatball but the owner was less than pleased with the service.  The gang quickly regrouped in the war tank and off they went to Karaoke.

Seven Person Story

The Visable College response

28 Mar

screen shot of Dr. Bryan Alexander from lecture.http://vimeo.com/38611377

With this recent Lecture with Bryan Alexander he proposed a few different predictions that the future could go in, in the year 2022.  After explaining some research methods Bryan Alexander showed four possible futures, Phantom Learning, The Lost Decade, Alternative residential and Renaissance.  They all seem to idealized but I think that of the 4 a Renaissance would be the best of the possible outcomes.  perhaps the future just scares me but the way in which all the other possibilities seem so idealized and inhuman, where technology dictates humanity and not the other way around.  I think the view of schools disappearing and being replaced with more on-line education scares me in the sense of people not really getting the same education they would be getting in a more traditional atmosphere.  Also when things are done on-line, acquiring a degree seems less meaningful, its possible for someone else to do all the work for you without you ever have even done a shred of work.  Also It frightens me even in today’s world how cut off people are from one another.  A big part of going to school is the social interaction you get from being there and meeting people in person.  If you never go to school, and get a job where all your work is done through a computer what do you really DO?  Maybe I am just slightly old fashioned in my way of thinking but it genuinely frightens me.  I am no exception from the masses of today who mindlessly ogle their feeds on Facebook and what not while touching away on their i-phones and devices instead of interacting with the people around you.  I often wonder while I am doing this one thing who am I missing the chance to meet?  This is not to say technology and human interaction can not exist together in a constructive manner but the example of phantom learning seems to be so extreme.  With the idea of the Renaissance there is room for massive amounts of creativity and always seems so alluring to me as an artist.  I do not think that any of the possible futures will actually happen being that they are just predictions but I think they do lend valuable insight as to where we may be headed if you combine them into one view.

1 second Video

20 Feb

The Assignment was to make a one second video that tells a story.  This sort of constraint presents an interesting challenge that can have surprising outcomes.  I chose to use a 1 second video of my Friend Jacob.  In this video he is simply being Himself.  It’s strange how sometimes a single second can tell you more about a person than knowing someone for a long time.  Not to say that you don’t know your best friends or Family better than any other person but a single second has some sort of honesty behind it.  A second is enough time to see something but just short enough to not judge a person.  There is also something nostalgic about seeing a second long clip, it sort of makes you try to imagine what was happening in that given situation and lets you relate to it in how you perceive it.  I’m not sure if my video is the best example of all this but the Video that inspired the assignment is definitely a good example of how 1 second can be nostalgic in a sense.

10 second ringtone only using voice 2/6 Daily Create

8 Feb

Album Art

4 Feb

So I definitely enjoy this type of assignment.  This is the folk black metal band Krasnołąka, they hail from Poland and get their name from the their home town.  This is their 15th album release and they have really been rolling with the times the past 27 years.  They have moved through many genres of music including,  disco, country and Tuvan throat singing.  They were pretty bad at all that so they ended up getting thrown into the folk black metal genre.  they have toured extensively in Poland and Japan.  I personally designed this last album cover using imagery of a man on fire from Flickr.and I was told that they got the title from a Oprah Winfry Quote.

You can take from every experience what it has to offer you. And you cannot be defeated if you just keep taking one breath followed by another.
Oprah Winfrey (1954 – ), O Magazine, What I Know For Sure, January 2004
They really like Oprah and her plan to dominate the world.  I simply used Photoshop to mesh together a stellar album cover conveying the bands love for rainbows and violence.  All in all a success.

Alan Turing a Visionary

19 Jan

Alan Turing seems like a very interesting historical figure.  Thanks to horiicissp12 for the youtube video briefly giving a view of Turings life.  It talked about how he developed a computer ,Pilot Ace, that was designed to break German telegraph codes.  Up until then in the WWII era computers were only being used for complex math equations.  Turing was apparently renowned for thinking outside the box when it came to technological development. He helped develop the code breaking Computer Colossus that had a great impact on ending the war.  The video really caught my attention when it talked about How Turing was not interested in using computers like Colossus for the war purposes that it was being used for, but to see if he could simulate human thought through computers.  Artificial intelligence is most definitely something that I am interested in.  There is so much science fiction that I love surrounding the idea of AI (artificial Intelligence) but in our modern-day world it is not so far from the truth.  Science has allowed us to push the bounds of creating computers and programs that can learn, but there has not yet been any truly functioning self-sufficient AI, because of the complexities surrounding the human brain and its inner workings.

Alan Turings thought on AI reminded me of the Anime series called Ghost in the shell.  This is an excellent series that started out as a manga, and Animated movie that later sparked an interest for 2 seasons of an anime and a few more movies.  It is set in the not so far future and depicts humans sporting digitized brains as well as robots with fully functioning AI.  The show seems like such a fantasy and brings up a lot of questions relating to what defines a living soul related to AI and transferring a normal human brain into computer data.  when I did some research in the current field of processing human brains with computer technology, Scientist have been making great strides in actually retrieving images and video from the human brain.  In 2008 Scientists from Japan’s ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories developed software to retrieve simple black and white images from the brain, 10×10 pixels, that could be displayed on the computer monitor.  Here is a link to an article on that.  This alone blew me away.  but then apparently even more recently Scientist at UC Berkley have been able to retributive color video of video samples shown to subjects.  Here’s a news story covering it as well as a video.  Although blurry it is mind-blowing. (No pun intended)  the images are produced by sifting through already existing videos on YouTube, basically predictions of what the brain activity suggests but amazing none the less.This opens up such a vast realm of possibilities with technology like this, recording your dreams or even the possibility of making copies of your brain perhaps in the future, like in Ghost in the shell.  I think If Turing lived long enough he would be amazed at the progress that computing has made since his time.

Vannever Bush Pokemon

13 Jan

So my first DS106 assignment I chose to do the Pokemon card assignment. I chose to make Bush a Steel type Pokemon because of his association with technology and computers.  His attacks are based on his contributions to computer science as a field, as well as his idea of the Memex which was never actually created, but was a very accurate depiction of some of the devices we have today such as smart phones and tablet PCs.  the process of making the card was fairly simple, there is a variety of websites that allow you to make your own custom Pokemon cards.  the one I used only took me 10 minuets or so to make this. here is the link to http://www.mypokecard.com/en/.  All you have to do is upload a picture of your choice and edit the stats such as Name, HP(health) Attacks, description of attacks, Pokemon type (such as Fire, Water, Physic Ect.) and a variety of other traits that will update your card image as you make your selections.  After you are satisfied with how it looks  right click the image and save it or you can even print it and glue it over top of a real Pokemon card if you want.