Monthly Archives: November 2009

Technology?

We depend on the net on almost anything.

If there’s something you don’t know, you google it.

If you want to learn a new skill, go to youtube.

If you want buy something, you check up e bay. I

checked up the net on “how to be happy”.

I even look up the net on dealing with people. Isn’t that quite an irony. You look up the Internet for information on human interactions? But guess what, soon enough, online dating is about to be the new age to relationships. People these days are already looking for Love online.

It’s only going to take a while more before it becomes a norm. What have we become? Maybe its just me. I’ve met happy people in my life. I know I am not one of them. If you give it a thought, you can probably tell who are the happier people in your lives too. Some of these happy people happen to be quite dependent on the net too.

Why then do I feel as though I shouldn’t keep up? Perhaps it applies to different people.

I’ve heard alot of talk about how being online excessively can lead to psychological problems like depression, isolation and so on. Yet, I’ve also heard a lot about how you’d lose out if you don’t keep yourself updated. I think we all start to forget about one thing. About exceptions. About how each individual can be different. I’m probably going to be quite affected when i dwell on the net too much. Maybe its different for you. Perhaps you’d find a key to keep yourself controlled.

There really isn’t a point for this post. Its just a reminder to myself.

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The Miss Kwa Stories

Today, Miss Kwa shared 5 cute stories to end off her final New Media Technology (NCT)  lecture. Its pretty amazing how each story can relate back to NCT.

I’ve always loved this quote that:

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.”

These stories would probably still stay with me after I leave.

1) Penguin Story

Apparently penguins form 2 lines before heading out to hunt for fresh fishes. The first row of penguins would head into the waters while the 2nd row would wait for their return.

If the first row of penguins doesn’t come back, that signifies danger lurking in the water.

What’s the moral of the story?

  • Never be in the 1st row?
  • Penguins are black in color
  • Watch and learn
  • Great rewards comes with great risks.  The social media may be a new platform. But it is probably worth the try.

2) Doris & Ping ride to school

Miss Kwa was having a back ache. So Doris drove her car and the two headed for school. An old lady knocked on the windows asking for a ride when they stopped before traffic lights.

Both were taken a step back, too stunned to react. While Miss Kwa was hoping for Doris to answer the old lady as she drove, Doris was hoping that Miss Kwa would answer the old lady as the owner of the car.

Before they could say a thing, the old lady helped herself in.

What is the moral of the story?

  • Lock your car doors
  • Be shameless when asking for favors
  • Be decisive
  • Security plays an important role in the new age of technology. Be careful with what you say online, be careful of the information you keep.

3) NASA

NASA spent 100 thousand on inventing a new pen to be used in space. Traditional pens does not work without gravity.

After the invention, Russian agents then questioned, why spent the money when pencils would work?

What is the moral of the story?

  • As people become more dependent with technology, we tend to forget how things don’t have to be as complex. Sometimes, traditional ways could be the solution to the most complicated problem.

4) Frog in a kettle

As reptiles, frogs can moderate its own temperature when the temperature around changes. We’ve all heard about the frog in a well.

Here’s the frog in a kettle. If you put a frog in the kettle full of water at room temperature, it’d adjust to fit that temperature. If you start heating the water, it does the same, raising its temperature.

When it finally starts to boil, it gets cooked and die without knowing why.

As Miss Kwa’s favorite story, it has the most important lesson behind.

What is the morale of the story:

  • Never stop learning. Technology changes everyday. The day you stop learning might possibly be the day you stop existing. Use the little knowledge you have and keep improving yourself.

Thank You for all the times you guide us along our learning path.

Draw using both sides of the brain

“Learn how to draw by using both sides of the brain” – JF Koh

This was the first talk I went to, and possibly the one which got me rushing down early.

I’ve always took interest in art and sketching since i was a kid. My mum would always cane me when I did my doodles. Why? Because she sees no future with such talent.

Any the case, I manage to start again a few years back. I’ve been obsessed with the idea that we all have an inner artist within us. And I’ve constantly tried to simplify my ideas.

Here’s what I got out from the talk. Pretty neat stuff!

1) Association – The basic idea behind the left and right brain theory is this. One governs logic while the other is where creativity comes about. Since young, we were taught to associate certain words and pictures. For example an “Eye” is an oval with a black circle inside. The “Sun” is a yellow circle with lines pointing outwards. Eventually we get so good at association, we don’t look into the details.

Try this (Don’t imagine. Just take a pencil and try it) :

First draw a sun, den an island, followed by a coconut tree and a person beside it. Oh yes, draw a ship on the sea too. Do it in one min.

It should turn out to look like crap. That’s because we were using the logic side of our brain to draw those pictures.

2) Double Vision – So how then do you draw with both sides of your brain?

We have probably seen pictures that has two images within one illusion. Here’s one obvious example.

http://www.optillusions.com/dp/1-9.htm

You should be able to see a man playing the saxophone and a face of a lady.

Here’s the thing. When you’re concentrating on one, subconsciously focusing on the other, you’re using both side of the brains. Try copying the image. And you realise that you’d probably be copying the man while subconsciously shaping the lady.

3) Give me PRACTICAL TIPS! – One practical way to draw using both side of the brain is to do contour drawing. To explain this point a little more, place your hands on the table, and observe the spaces outside of your fingers. While focusing on the spaces, make a sketch.

Good artists have a good sense of space and shapes. Contour outlining can very easily help you to gain a better grasp of the concept.

Bar Camp Experience

It was a fruitful experience yesterday.

Bar camp was held at one of Suntec City’s meeting room. Google that and you will probably find everything you need to know.

I went without expectation. I did do my homework and note down the different talks that I took interest in.

These were the talks I attended:

1) “Learn how to draw by using both sides of the brain” – JF Koh

2) The quickest way to improve at anything by Guyi Shen

3) “Rubik Cubes For Geeks” by Hong and Benson

4) For smart geeks: how to explain difficult concepts to lesser beings – coleman

5) (Tech) Tools to Personal Effectiveness (aka how to be more BAD ASS) by James Norris

6) Point-Out – A Twitter Client for Powerpoint, or how presenters and educators can keep the conversation going. – Richard Korff

7) Solutions for the power hungry Geeks

8) Your Film Sucks So why should I care

9) Central Asia – A Photographer’s Journey by Kim Lau

10) Into to design thinking and how to find true love – coleman yee @metacole

11) Means Motives & oppoortunity for innovation by John Young

12) The 4 hour work week – a personal journey

I never realized how many talks I went too till I actually list them down.

Shall be posting up some learning points for the more useful ones in a bit!

 

Social Machines.

Not too long ago, my team and I shared on the topic “Social Machines”. The title itself probably sounds pretty self explanatory. So did terms such as “Continuous Partial Attention” and “Continuous Computing”.

Many were confused with how “Continuous Partial Attention” differed from “Multi- Tasking”. We spent quite a bit of time discussing and these were some of the points raised.

1) Positive & Negative Connotations

When the term “Multi-tasking” was introduced, it pretty much had a positive connotation to it, and it’s often related to efficiency. While “Continuous Partial Attention” has a more negative connotation, referring to how we get distracted with multiple inflow of information, thus reducing our concentration levels.

2) CPA is the kind of attention we use today

As Amanda simply put it, “Continuous Partial Attention” happens when information from different sources keeps flowing in. You could be at a conference listening to a presentation while reading articles online. While “Multi-tasking” often involves doing several things at once, not necessarily receiving information from various sources and it requires very little cognitive processing.

3) Result of Multi tasking

In a nutshell, as Leon witty mentioned, “Continuous Partial Attention” can be seen as a side effect to “Multi-tasking”.

Much queries were raised on that day and we had several technical difficulties. But hopefully everyone gained something out of it.

Simplified Learning Points

Continuous computing: Technology integrated in our daily lives through the net

Continuous Partial Attention: Paying partial attention due to constant inflow of information.

On New Communications

A while back my team each presented on their parts for “New Communication Technology”. It has been a couple of weeks, and I thought it’d be a good experiment to see how much I remember from their presentation.

Marcus basically talked about Skype. He was probably trying to explain how the internet is soon to be replacing telecos. This was touched on later during lectures. Its amazing how the internet seems to be doing everything. First it was with text/information. Eventually it evolved to communicating pictures, motions, and videos. Believe it or not, humans would probably be next. Turning into binary codes. (Miss Kwa, if you checked my blog, could you drop me the link to that adv?)

Another member talked about interactive technology. Some examples given were the new technology introduced to television. Jia Hui showed how it’s possible to excess social networking websites through TV sets. But when you think about it, its probably gonna be a hassle typing with your remote, with limited features when using the TV to access websites. Having said that, a new concept I chanced upon seems to put new technology in TV to better use. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEMXLPD4gNY

The basic idea allows for videos to be transfered into the TV sets to be viewed in HD. Well that’s something I’d really want to have. These days, no one watch TV together as a family. With the new capabilities, probably more family TV time?

Finally, Sally spoke about podcasting. Wasn’t enough time to get it all out, but the basic idea of podcasting works like RSS Feeds. You get to be updated about your favourites and download selective videos into your Itunes! After a bit of research, I learnt how you could “Youtube podcast”! http://socialmediauga.blogspot.com/2007/11/youtube-podcasting.html

In a nutshell,

1) You can make calls through the Internet. Soon enough you can do anything with the Internet.

2) TV is getting interactive. Soon enough, every bit of machinery at home is going to be connected to you.

3) Podcast allows you to download latest videos. Soon enough you won’t be surfing the net. News would come to you like SMS.

Maybe that wasn’t what exactly I was supposed to get out of their sharing. LOL.

May I have your number?

If you think about it, in the near future, it is probably more dangerous to give away your email than your cellphone number.

There are countless of ways to track someone over the net. Just “googling” my email would probably tell you more about myself than talking to me over the phone for hours.

And the scary part is that google isn’t the only “stalking” site around.

Young adults like myself are shamelessly putting up so much information on the net. Not knowing that the person sitting next to us in the train can probably tell more about us than our parents with just a click on their cell phones.

The next time you give your mail, think twice about it.