Archive for the 'Comp Sci' Category

Attracting Prospective Students

In order for UMW to attract the attention of high schoolers, they must appeal to the technologically savvy. In order to tackle this endeavor, the University should look at the following programs and ideas:

Twitter: By creating a Twitter account, the University would be able to reach out to prospective students in a way that they have already accepted and grown to love. By posting new updates the students following the University could see just what they have in store for them.

Facebook: By creating a Facebook Group, the University would allow for prospective students and parents to interact with the University. This way they may ask questions which are not on the website and easily have them answered. They may also be able to create events to which students can choose to attend.

Podcasts: By creating a Podcast, the University could have deans, professors, and even students talk about the University. There could be a diverse range of topics in which the University could publish their views on campus life, academics, and athletics.

Videos: With videos, the University could create virtual tours for every part of the campus. Dorm Rooms, Dining Halls, the Library, Classrooms, the Gym, and Campus Walk could all be documented in detail through a video tour.

Forums: Forums would allow for the community of perspective students, current students, and faculty to interact in a manner in which the prospective students would benefit from open communication. There could be a variety of topics consisting of every major as well as having a page for general topics.

Sharing Images: By using image sharing websites, such as Flickr and Photobucket, the University would be able to upload as many photos of the campus and campus events as they wish. This can help get the attention of prospective students by appeasing the eye.

Group 4: Lauren, Moe, and Justine

Published in:Comp Sci |on June 15th, 2010 |Comments Off on Attracting Prospective Students

a Flickr of Light

Today I was told to search all over Flickr. This is a website that is mainly used to share photos with people all over the world. You can upload a photo, insert tags that deal with the photo, and then allow others to see your work.I have always used Flickr when I was looking for a picture that embodied what I was writing about or sometimes just what I was feeling at the moment.

I used the Flickr Montager. This creates a montage of about 500 thumbnails of photos which have tags that deal with the word you typed into the search engine. It is really interesting to see all these images just gathered and placed in this set up for me to view; each thumbnail enlarging slighty so that I may actually see what the picture entails. I clicked on a picture within the montage and it formed an entirely new montage of pictures that looked similar or had similar tags as that picture. It also formed the picture in a way that almost looks like the picture itself.

Spell with Flickr is a neat site where it creates whatever you want to type in ransom note formation. I simply typed “you are truly beautiful” into the open area and clicked enter. This interesting mis-match picture of letters showed up with that phrase.

Next I went on to Flickr’s Color Fields. With this, you simply click anywhere on the circle of colors and about 11 pictures come up that are of the same color. You can make the color field darker or lighter with the bar next to the circle.

Image 1 Credit: Flickr

Image 2 Credit: Flickr

Image 3 Credit: Flickr

Published in:Comp Sci |on June 14th, 2010 |1 Comment »

Be Aware

As a college student I often find myself looking for ways to procrastinate from any assignment that I possibly can. I have found many useful tools that allow for such deviation, some of the more famous being Facebook, Solitaire, and Hearts. However, one of my favorite forms of procrastination is logging onto Stumbleupon and discovering all kinds of things that I would never have seen before.

Stumbleupon is a type of awareness tool. Mainly used for social reasons; finding new things that are gathered by the website. When I first discovered this website, I was amazed at the amount of time that I could spend just hitting the Stumble button and finding new ways to waste my time. I spent hours, literally hours, with my eyes glued to the screen staring at anything from a picture of a dachshund in a hot dog bun to a website where you can borrow books and send in your oold books that you no longer wish to hold on to.

There are many sights just like Stumbleupon. Other social awareness tools were created so that someone may have a space to post any articles, pictures, or anything of the sort that they find entertaining or interesting. Fark is a site that was created just for that purpose. The creator, Drew Curtis, wanted a way to post all the information he found amusing or of note for all his friends to see without having to email them. He goes a step further by tagging each entry with a description he thinks illustrates the content. These range could be anything from Amusing, Sad, Dumbass, Obvious, Asinine, or Interesting.

Thank you creators of these tools for allowing me different ways to procrastinate right before exams.

Published in:Comp Sci |on June 14th, 2010 |Comments Off on Be Aware

Traveling through the Web

For once there is a new form of technology that I actually support. Forums are a place where people may gather online and discuss things under an array of topics. Personally I have never made a forum, nor had a screen name for a website which held forums. However, for class I tried this one website about travel. The website is called Thorn Tree. When you get to the site, you simply click on the continent that holds the country you wish to visit, or are dreaming about visiting one day far from now.

I chose Egypt, as per usual when given a country to study,  considering that I will be studying there from August to December this year. When the link came up, there was this entire forum dedicated to things about Egypt. Anything from people looking for a place to live, talking about cruises on the Nile, or places to visit while staying in Cairo. I definitely looked into the places to visit because I want to have a list ready for when I leave of place that I HAVE to see. There was also a post about currency exchange which I am not sure is still up to date because it seemed rather pricey.And from what I have heard, Egypt is supposed to be cheaper than the United States.

If you are ever planning to travel, I highly recommend that you give Thorn Tree a chance. It can seriously help you with deciding certain things and give you ideas on what to expect.

Published in:Comp Sci |on June 10th, 2010 |2 Comments »

Dependence on the Cloud

Perhaps it is my old soul, but I miss the simple ways of doing things. It seems that everyday there is some new kind of technology that is supposed to “simplify” our lives and make things easier for us to do. But the more advances in technology that happen the more I feel like I am drowning in the techno tidal waves.

There is this thing called Cloud Computing. With this shared resources, software, and information are given to computers and other such devices on demand. So you can just ask for this information and it gives it to you? What ever happened to hard work and researching for the proper things. These computer databases gather all this information in order to help people get what they need done and take away the hassle.

Programs like this are why people are becoming so dependent on technology. You tell someone they don’t have to work for this certain thing anymore or that someone will do the work for them and they jump on the situation. Why wouldn’t they?

But this just screams to me about those movies and stories that speak of technology taking over the world. There is I, Robot where the super computer of a company that builds robots changes their programming so that the robots create anarchy among the city. Or the Matrix which is about a war between humans and the computers controlling their lives.

So while other rejoice in how easy technology has made our lives, I shrink back, continuing the somewhat olden ways, and watch as others becomes crazed with their dependence on machines.

Published in:Comp Sci |on June 8th, 2010 |3 Comments »

RSS What?

When it comes to technology, I am not the most savvy. I prefer the simple forms and tasks that appear on the Internet. The moment HTML or RSS or wavelengths, or modem processing. I don’t really know if some of those are actual things dealing with computers. HTML is, I know that because many sites say something about or files ask to be saved under it — but the purpose of it? I have no earthly idea. I did not even know RSS was a thing until we talked about it today. I still don’t understand what exactly it does.

RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” yet what exactly is simple I don’t know. According to an information website RSS is a “protocol that lets users subscribe to online content using an RSS “reader” or “aggregator,” which checks subscribed Web pages and automatically downloads new content.”

In class we had a hands on activity which entailed going onto Google Reader and browsing the things on there. When I logged on, I did not find anywhere where there was a button that said “Browse.” Every time I tried to look at anything it only went to my library. I clicked on the Explore button thinking that might be it, but it only showed little snip-its of pictures or information. For this hands on I failed and did not move on to the next.

I can only handle so much depression from ignorance in one day. And that filled my quota. (And then some)

Published in:Comp Sci |on June 7th, 2010 |Comments Off on RSS What?

Tag You’re It

I am sure it has happened to everyone out there in the technological world. You go out, you have a great time, maybe drink a little too much and act a little crazier than you should. Sometimes you there isn’t even drinks involved. Yet you log onto Facebook and there are new photo that have been tagged onto your name. You then have to deliberate whether to delete untag yourself so that you do not have to face the awkward position you took for that picture or to keep the picture on your profile and let others know how idiotic you can be sometimes.

However, tags can also be a good way of gathering websites that you like and organizing them in an orderly fashion (how else would you organize them?). Delicious is a great website that can help organize all your favorite websites by tagging. Just sign up for either a yahoo account or a delicious account. Then begin adding websites to your library on the website. With this site you can also see what other people are tagging and use those tags to find what you are looking for. You can see my library here.

I personally just keep all my websites on my browser for easy reach, but playing with this site made for a somewhat entertaining experience. I do not believe I will use it again because I am a creature of habit and teaching me new ways of doing things is like teaching an old dog new tricks…it just does not work.

Published in:Comp Sci |on June 6th, 2010 |1 Comment »

Bust a Move..or Not

Because I give people a choice.

Now I am sure everyone who has internet access has gone onto YouTube to search the videos posted there. The possibilities of what you find are endless. It could be silly, or meaningful, or sad, or any number of things.

I have always enjoyed the searching of videos and never journeyed into the depths of video uploading. But today, I ventured into the forest of video making and, to be honest, was quite lost. I have no idea how to create a video worth watching. In order to try this new world, I went onto Creative Commons and searched for photographs that I thought would suit something I can form into a video as well as something that I actually enjoy looking at. I then took those photos and uploaded them onto Animoto. Let me take a second to explain what these sites do. Creative Commons is a search engine that gives you information, pictures, music and videos that are able to be reused. Animoto is a site where you can make 30 second videos for free without having to download any software.

So I uploaded about six or seven photos and placed them in the order I thought would work. I then went to Animotos database for songs that I could use for my video. After that, it created my video for me and sent the link to my email.

Sites like this are really easy and prove that you do not have to be a genius to be able to make videos that people might watch. But don’t mistake this as a claim of my superior ability. I am a novice at best.

Published in:Comp Sci |on June 3rd, 2010 |2 Comments »

Your Pod or Mine?

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The way we receive talk shows have changed throughout the years. First it was the radio, then television (which still has a few on late at night) and now it is a thing called Podcasts. With this new internet sensation, you can go on to any site that deals with Podcasts, such as iTunes, Juice, or the Podcast Pickle, and download your favorite stations.

Personally, I prefer listening to the good ole radio. But even then I change the station when someone begins to talk too much. I am not the type of person who likes to hear other peoples opinions on what randomly happened to them during the day. I have too many opinions of my own to even think about other ones.

I will admit, however, that for people who enjoy listening to others, this is a revolutionary idea. They are now able to take their favorite shows where ever they go and listen to them whenever they would like. If you miss the show live, you are still able to listen to it later because it will have downloaded to your computer which you could then download to your mp3.

It seems the internet just keeps kicking and sending out new things which help (or not) the public. Pretty soon, society will have grown even more lazy knowing that they do not have to do much since technology is taking care of that for us. Before we know it, our world will turn into one just like in WALL-E.

Imaging Credit: Flickr

Published in:Comp Sci |on June 2nd, 2010 |2 Comments »

the Blackhole for the Deranged

For nearly a decade now,we have been smacked in the face with other people’s opinion on what is going on abroad. The war has created this catastrophe of colliding ideas which we are forced to sift through so that we can find something of substance that is not soaking in biased disdain.

Everywhere you look, you see people who are trying to find reasons to hate this war and, at times, the troops sent to that war. You find endless articles about how cruel the United States is with the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. People seem to feed on thinking that our country is this depraved power hungry being that will destroy anything in its way.

There are YouTube videos everywhere showing anything from soldiers taunting Iraqi children with water to soldiers getting shot in the head. These videos  have hundreds of thousands of views. Its insane to see how people crave seeing the horrible things happening with our country and this war.

The internet sees this obsession and they feed it until we are bloated with disgusting satisfaction. Everywhere you look online, there are stories about the death tolls of people involved in the war. It is as though the media thinks we need a constant reminder of how many men and women we are losing.

From what I can see lately the news broadcasts on television have stopped talking about the war unless something major happens that “deserves” their airtime. Instead they push out videos of parakeets skiing on water (yes, I have actually seen that as a news feature). This leaves society wanting more from the war front without any other outlet than the internet.

On Newser there is an entire section dedicated to the Afghanistan war. Here you can read until your heart is content because new articles are written on average every other day.  This is actually one of the sites that is fairly objective in their articles. My personal favorite source of news for anything dealing with the Middle East, however, is BBC News.

Carol B. Schwalbe believes that the war in Iraq was a rite of passage for online newsrooms. In the same report, she states that during the first week of invasion, 77%  of Americans got their news from the front from an online source. MSNBC’s traffic more than doubled going from 2.5 million to 6.1 million in a day.

The internet has created a fast paced way of getting the news we want to hear when we want to hear it. However, the news that we read online may not be the most unbiased account of what is happening abroad.

But not everything we see online is always negative. The internet allows people to communicate in ways that were never dreamed of twenty years ago. It allows for the soldiers to send videos of them dancing to our favorite songs or to see the good side what is happening over there. Below are a few videos which I find enlightening and show the more positive side to the war:

Soldiers dancing to Lady Gaga\’s \”Telephone\” has received over 600,000 views

Trick Video of Soldiers \”Torturing\” Iraqi Children has received over 4,700,00 views

Published in:Comp Sci |on June 1st, 2010 |Comments Off on the Blackhole for the Deranged