For my final year, I made a box that can visualise music. But not just any box, it’s a hollow wooden frame with a perspex/acrylic prism. Photos are better at explaining.
It works by loading songs from a SoundCloud playlist and the visuals react to the wavelengths. But there’s more! You can control it using gestures such as swiping left, right, up, and down, and swirling your hand in front of a Flick board connected to a Raspberry Pi. The project was coded in Python and uses Electron for its renderer.
There’s also a 60 second video I made to go along with the final final assignment.
And I found a few others that involved a factory reset, which I was not about to do.
Want to know the solution that worked?
MFW my phone was listed as a device owned by a secondary Google account on my phone for whatever reason. I went to accounts settings and removed that MF second account from my phone, and then suddenly I could find my phone listed on my main account, on device manager and everything. I SPENT DAYS TRYING TO FIX IT. Before I did this, I had also cleared the data of Google Play Store and Google Play services, restarting my phone before removing the second account. As a precaution, you could also sign out of both your main and second account, and then only add your main account back.
April 2018 edit: Took the site down, wasn’t used, but it’s too exploitable.
I’ve launched a Tumblr blog that’s set to give out discount coupons for G Suite. Now that I’ve used the word Tumblr, WordPress has probably blacklisted this blog post from reaching search engines, oh well! Haha.
After about a year of using WordPress, very little entices me to stay. You have to pay annually to get your own domain mapped, as I have done. It’s free to do so on Tumblr. You have to pay to remove ads. There are no forced ads on Tumblr blogs. You would even get more control with a Blogger site.
Here’s a little list I’m about to brainstorm about why Tumblr is better than WordPress:
You can edit HTML for free on Tumblr, you have to pay with WordPress
There is a greater impression of community with Tumblr, giving you the freedom of choice to ‘reblog’, ‘like’ posts, or follow blogs if you wanted
Tumblr is completely free of gimmicks such as paying to remove ads, mapping domains, with the exception of ‘premium themes’
Tumblr is easier to use in my opinion, it has just as much flexibility as WordPress, if not more
In my opinion, even the ‘personal’ plan WordPress has is overpriced – why should I pay for these things when I can get it for free elsewhere?
So then, why should anyone choose WordPress? If you’re rich or a business; WordPress has more business tools to offer for people willing to pay for them. These are Search Engine Optimisation tools and other ‘plugins’ (like bolt-ons from your mobile phone provider). Oh and there was a Tumblr password leak years ago. Of course, this shouldn’t be a problem if you follow rule #1 of passwords; never re-use them.
Well that begs the question; why did you choose WordPress, Dufus?
Because after having used Blogger, then Tumblr, I felt like a change. Now I’ve experienced all the big three blog sites, I have to say that I feel Tumblr outdid the competition. However; I’ve done too much on this blog now to be able to move, unless I just copy all my posts over. It’d be a long process though.
I’ve mostly thought of myself as a graphics manipulator, but moreso in the moving kind. Before university, I photoshopped animal faces onto people heads, and now look where we are. Making flash games, physical collage softcover books, websites, and writing screenplays. It’s a broad area.
As I enter my final year of university, I’ve done a few things on the side for fun over summer. I have a few shared YouTube endeavours.
One of them is a totally original gaming channel called Fug Squad, named after the meme with the walrus saying “fugg :DD”. You can find it in all its glory here.
We take turns to make spoofs out of our gameplay videos, hopping in-between games. No, we don’t monetise because that was never the aim. It’s a just 4 fun little-effort type of thing. This is one of the videos I made. I never claimed it was good.
A more serious piece of work. Psuedodocumentary series about urban exploration; looking at abandoned places and such. There’s clear improvement over the years. I recorded the footage on a camcorder or phone, then edited the clips using Adobe Premiere Pro and sometimes After Effects. For the more recent videos, I’ve added subtitles.
I have a Samsung Galaxy S7 Exynos. I found out that every time I wanted to cast my screen to my Amazon Firestick, it would tell me that mirroring has ended as soon as it starts. This is apparently a common problem with rooted devices. This may actually be a fix for other rooted Android phones as well.
Without fail, every time I tried mirroring my phone, I would see the words “display mirroring has ended”.
A simple fix for you might be to uninstall any other casting applications on your phone (like Allcast). If not, then follow the steps below:
Download a build.prop editor from the Google Play Store.
Open up that bad boy.
Find a line that says “wlan.wfd.hdcp=enable”
Change it to “wlan.wfd.hdcp=disable”
If the line does not already exist, make a new one at the end and type in “wlan.wfd.hdcp=disable”. This changes the behaviour of your wlan connectivity, and it fixed the screen mirroring issue for me.
This is how it looks for me:
You will need to restart your phone before changes take effect.
You may need to use the preinstalled ‘Smart View’ Samsung app to use screen casting/mirroring.
While you’re at it, if you have not done this already, you may want to set your ro.config.tima=0 if it is set to 1. This tricks some older apps into thinking your device has not been rooted.
Google is shutting down Map Maker next month. What now?
Almost every listing you see on Google Maps is crowd-sourced, with the rest being built through terrain data, satellite imagery, and bulk data bought from mapping companies. Most of the newer listings on the platform depend on the willing contribution from the public, a bit like Wikipedia and its articles.
Map Maker was introduced in 2008, and anyone could add, edit, or delete map listings in most places in the world. It allowed try-hard map editors to feel a sense of power in that they could change what everyone sees on Maps, but the most important part is that anyone’s 8 year old kid could do it too. This is why most edits had to go through a voting-phase before it was approved by the system, but some mishaps could slip through. For example; a few folks would always race to be the first to add a new listing and as a result, a bunch of duplicates would appear like below for a new car park.
Now that Map Maker’s on its last legs, Google has started removing change logs in preparation for the move.
Nevertheless, let’s take a look to see if it’s still possible to make changes just before its death. I’m going to attempt to fix the duplicate car park listings mentioned earlier. Usually my edits would go through instantly because the system trusts me, or at least it used to. I’m unsure how the algorithm works, but the first few times my edits would go through a user vote, but after a while I would receive emails straight away saying my edit was approved. It may have something to do with the ‘Local Guides’ badge on Maps, which you receive after making plenty of edits. An intangible reward for your free labour.
Sometimes your edit will go through instantly, other times it won’t. This means I’ll have to wait for an undetermined amount of time before the changes show, but I’ve seen cases where the change is stuck on pending forever. That’s right, if your change doesn’t get any votes, it will be in limbo until it receives at least two votes. But that’s about to change (apparently).
The company has spent the last few years slowly adding Map Maker-like features to the mainstream Google Maps. Although not as detailed or rich, one can find them by selecting a feature and going through “Suggest an edit”. Voila.
These edits are implemented based on whether other Map users agree or disagree with the suggestion you made. This feature is currently in beta for smartphone users, but it’s assumed that it will come to desktop users in the future. Whether or not people pay attention to it or even use the feature is another thing.
Many enthusiasts of Google products express concern over the company’s misdirection. Some fear that the tragedy that was the release of Allo and Duo isn’t over yet. For those who don’t know, the online community has criticised Google for not properly marketing its messaging apps, as well as releasing new ones when old, fully functioning ones still exist with the exact same features. The lack of marketing meant that its user base depended on word of mouth. There’s only one person in my contacts list who even uses Allo – and that took some convincing. With hope, this disaster won’t encompass the reshaping of Google Maps.
This is a B grade piece of coursework, so it’s by no means perfect. If you’re studying a similar AQA syllabus, hopefully this example will give you ideas and show you how to improve. I hit the word limit and waffled too much about things that don’t matter (e.g. implying why I decided to use the English language for a tourism magazine). For reference, I’ve included the cover and content pages in this post.
Below is the essay I handed in. Tenses have been mixed up. You’ll want to use past-tense, not future-tense as I mistakenly did in the introductory paragraphs. Don’t bold certain words either – this was done to help myself recognise keywords. It just looks odd and copy-pasted (even though it wasn’t).
The magazine is based on tourism in Vancouver, Canada because I took some original photos taken there that would suit the magazine. The pre-production and production will make use of codes and conventions commonly found in all magazines, e.g. cover lines, masthead, images, etc.
This project incorporates:
One front cover
One contents page
A double paged feature article
Natural landscape scenery of Vancouver is used as these aspects have been known to attract tourists and holidaymakers to a new region, which is the aim of the magazine in this case. The magazine is both informative; providing essential information to tourists and residents as well as persuasive, through the use of attractive imagery taken around the city.
Design, Research & Evaluation
I researched tourism and other magazines in order to identify how audiences are gratified by the manipulation of a magazine’s conventions relative to its target audience. Ideas conceived from exemplar magazines are cited in this report.
Background: an image of a mountain in Vancouver is included to attract the attention of tourists –Burnaby Mountain in the outskirts of Vancouver. The use of a nature shot brings out scenery in Vancouver that tourists will be able to visit for themselves, as if the magazine serves as a preview of Vancouver for tourists, which is a selling point found in all travel magazines. For example; in The Travel Magazine, an article describes the Dubai Eye, the largest Ferris wheel in the world in order to inform the audience of what to expect if they were to visit it. The ‘Ainu’ totem-pole like sculptures featured in the image are iconic in Vancouver as it is known to be a symbol of commemoration to the good will of its relation to early Japanese inhabitants, thus making the photo relevant on the topic of tourism. The image gives a positive representation of Vancouver in its natural attractiveness; most of the colours are a shade of green and blue, denoting a clean environment – which is favourable. Many magazines use an element of the background to overlap some of the magazine title; this is seen in an issue of ‘Travel Leisure’, which used a spire which overlapped the masthead for an artistic effect. At first I thought this effect was not necessary but since there was plenty of space for more emphasis on the totems; I enlarged one with a bear on top and layered it on top of the URL.
The masthead is always important because it allows the audience to create a reference to the magazine and thus retain it in their memory. A title with a bright, eye-catching front has been used so that consumers can distinguish it from other magazines on a shelf. The title of the magazine is ‘Vancouver Today!’ which draws in audiences through direct language. This idea takes credit from other texts with the word ‘today’ as an appended adverb. I used a large, white, handwritten font with a shadowed background and is easily interpreted by the audience that the magazine is up to date with current events, news and information. Unlike the colour black, white is usually associated with positive connotations such as purity. The title is embellished with an underlining which is stylised to fit the layout of the title as well as the white clouds in the background; ‘today’ is placed to the bottom-right of ‘Vancouver’. The line allows the convenient separation of a URL (‘VAToday.ca’) to the magazine’s website, giving the audience access to the website to gain more information about Vancouver which gratifies them in doing so.
A sort of lure is included at the bottom of the cover within a red strip, which contrasts with the soft colours above, thus drawing the audience’s attention to it. It elucidates the special ‘anniversary edition’ of the magazine, implying that the magazine contains more content about Vancouver than typical issues, enticing the audience to choose the magazine over others on a shelf as more content would likely bring greater gratification to the audience. From my research, this is seen in an issue of ‘Q’, a music magazine where a red strip is used to emphasise ‘all the month’s albums, gigs, films & DVDs reviewed and rated’.
Cover lines are used to emphasise the issue’s best content and are placed to the right side in order to keep the totem poles in the audience’s view. These cover lines take a white font similar to Arial with a black stroke to make it easy to read against the background. Direct mode of address is used to draw the audience into indulging in some of the articles, the most prominent examples are “your ultimate guide to Vancouver” and “all you need to know about hiking.” The image was also flipped so that the cover lines could be aligned to the right. Even though audiences read left to right, having the cover lines on the right cause the totems to stand out more, seizing greater attention. An example of when cover lines are aligned to one side for focus on the background is seen in some issues of Newsweek. A main cover line is utilised – “Can you take on the Grouse Grind Mountain?” This is in reference to hiking, as mountains surround the city. This signifies that the magazine contains content about the mountain and scaling it, the audience is also addressed directly.
The contents page features a blue-purple gradient strapline, containing the header ‘contents’ with the magazine name included in its signature font along with the issue date in order to fill space with useful information. A simplistic colour scheme is used so that the readers are able to gather the information without being deviated by too many technical codes, a common technique found in most magazines.
The page titles and references are in a columned layout so that the reader can gather as much information about each of the pages as possible. Each page reference utilises a colour code for the separation of different topics, making it easier for the reader to differentiate information. Most page references come with a first line and sub-line. The purpose of the first line to capture the readers’ attention with a bold font and the sub-line provides specific detail about the article. From my research, this has been seen in ‘Vogue’ and ‘Psychologies Magazine’. This structured layout makes the information easy to read.
There are four images on this page; all originally taken in Vancouver and are used for a varied representation of Vancouver; a beach, a city, transport and a modernistic building implant the idea in the readers’ minds that Vancouver is a diverse city with many different features. This therefore reflects the magazine; diverse content about Vancouver to satisfy the reader. However, one thing I would have liked to change is the use of nature shots to replace the image of ‘Vancouver’s horizon’, which would have given a further diverse representation of the city and would have been more visually pleasing – however a lack of original photography prevented this. Therefore; an overall image of grey city is weighted on more than greenery – an even dichotomy of the two would have been preferable, so this is a weakness.
Anchorage is used in the image of the beach. The image serves as a ‘hook’ whilst the overlaid text serves provides an anchor to the meaning, making Vancouver seem desirable.
A double-page feature article is used for production. The layout is derived, but variant from the magazine Supply Management, a professional magazine with a clean presentation to present informative content. I feel this suits my magazine because it includes informative and persuasive language, i.e. informing readers about the ‘2020 Action Plan’. Purple is used in the colour scheme (heading, text) to mirror the colour code given in the contents page.
The below paragraph doesn’t make make much sense to me. Now that I’m in university, I have no idea what point I was trying to explain or how it benefits the evaluation.
Information from the ‘City of Vancouver’ website was researched to help create an informative article, but is not copied word-for-word in order to keep content original (and to avoid plagiarism). This article revolves around factual information regarding Vancouver’s 2020 Action Plan which aims to make the city as sustainable as possible. I feel this is a suitable article for the magazine because it is on the topic of one of the government’s top priority campaigns, therefore being a relevant subject to the readers who would purchase the magazine.
An image is used to represent the verdure in Vancouver; a high-angle long shot of the ‘Vancouver Conservatory’ in order to reflect the efforts to “a greener city” as described in the article.
The main strength of these pages is the eco-friendly representation of Vancouver. Many people are open to the idea of a clean, environmentally friendly city, so this helps build toward the aim of a positive representation of the city.
Travel and tourism magazines attract the attention of ABC1 social grade tourists as a primary audience.
^This is a reference to the NRS social grades. I remember wanting to say this, but if I did then my work would’ve gone above the 1650 upper word limit. The solution to this problem would have been to get rid of all the other unnecessary information that didn’t enrich the report, like plenty of obsolete information in the following paragraph below.
Location: Vancouver, where the magazine is based
Age: 16 – 65, anyone younger or older is likely to have less interest in travel/tourism
The audience is likely to have little to no disability as well as having an employment because the magazine contains a large fraction of information about activities and places that require movement and travel expenses. Vancouver is located in British Columbia, Canada in which most people speak English. English is also the third most spoken language in the world, so it is theorised that most people who purchase this magazine will be able to read in English with the exception of some extraneous visitors. I anticipate that readers will originate from England, Japan and America as most visitors I have observed are from these places. The Japanese are also well-known for contributing to Vancouver’s industrial evolution up until a few decades ago, so a large fraction of visitors are likely to be relatives of the Japanese industrial workers. C2DE social classes are unlikely to purchase this magazine as tourism implies large travel expenses.
This is a so-and-so homework essay typed up using examples looked at during lessons. It’s no masterpiece of course because it was only done for homework. The Point, Example, Explain structure has clearly been overused. Another problem is the flow of consciousness, there’s no clear paragraph structure and ideas have been typed out as they came to mind. The writer clearly didn’t take this work seriously and even made a reference to Othello as a joke (which reading back on, wasn’t funny at all).
How does Fish Tank (2009) challenge typical representations of gender?
Representation is defined as re-presenting something in a particular way or as being of a certain nature. Media representations have been known to have a powerful influence on society’s ideologies and hegemonic values, they shape the way we think about issues, events and ideals among other things. Gender in the media has a variety of portrayals and attitudes to gender segregation have diminished over time, leaving less divide over male and female representations. However; gender stereotypes still exist and are used in the media industry mostly as a form of entertainment whereas countertypes are used for other purposes, predominantly as a device to attract audiences to the unusual convention as it deviates from the norm. Sometimes women are represented as sex objects to attract males or men as strong and charismatic, to attract females. In Fish Tank, the female director Andrea Arnold likely had a powerful influence on how gender was represented. Arnold’s films commonly explore female sexuality and Fish Tank is no exception, she excels in social realist dramas that are conventional in their working-class settings but her focus is refreshingly female. Accordingly; Arnold created Fish Tank with a mainly female perspective on an abused love relationship between a teenage girl and her mother’s older boyfriend.
Mia is in control of the narrative, being the protagonist we follow throughout the film she influences how the story pans out. She challenges female stereotypes by acting masculine, she is adventurous and overconfident, for example in the opening scene she is seen instigating violence amongst a group of girls dancing by head butting one of them in the face. Typically, young women as protagonists are seen as soft, caring and empathetic such as half of the characters in the television soap Eastenders and are only seen otherwise if they are antagonists such as the vampires in adventure film Van Helsing, making Mia a uniquely portrayed female antagonist. Mia is socially trapped and is used as an archetype for people who live in council estates. At one point when Connor is introduced, Mia is seen staring at Connor in relation to the female gaze theory. In a mid-shot; sunlight protruding from a window glistens against Connor’s body to sexualise him and to help the audience see from Mia’s perspective his attractiveness. Mia’s character is an undiscovered one in media and has a rare representation, although girls like her exist in real life, both in character and situation.
Connor is the first significant male character introduced and in the first half of the film, he is perceived as a hero. He is a father figure; good with children, polite and wealthy – almost the opposite of Mia who lives in poverty without a father. Like a Hollywood hero, Connor is an alpha male shown through his charismatic personality and almost depicts perfectness in a man. This sort of representation of a male early in the narrative leads the audience to believe he is the typical hero until certain scenes suggest he is taking advantage of Mia and her mother. As he is seen caring for Mia, the relationship between them becomes more palpable each time. For example; Connor earlier gives Mia a piggyback so she doesn’t have to walk on the cut on her ankle and then later, when he carries her to bed and takes off her trousers and tucks her in. Each of these scenes progressively become more intimate and is signified by the diegetic sound of intensified breathing this carries on until eventually the turning point is reached when Connor initiates intercourse with her. At this point, Connor is seen as a fiend who turned from hero to villain, sharing some similarity with Shakespeare’s play Othello. This goes against the norm that the wealthy, charismatic and handsome male remains heroic for the entire text, instead Connor uses these traits to take advantage of the family. It is unknown whether Connor had it planned from the beginning but it is likely since he already had a woman and child in his life.
Billy is first introduced as a minor character when Mia attempts to free a horse from captivity next to a caravan owned by a group of ‘pikeys’. In this scene, two of the boys abuse her, push her around, take her bag and carry her as if to perform a malignant act on her but she manages to escape. After a failed first attempt to free the horse, Mia turns up again and this time Billy confronts her. Unlike his brothers, Billy is sympathetic and more sensible, suggesting that the younger you are the more innocent you are. This gives evidence that there are certain overt characteristics that can be attributed to a character of either gender, in this case being empathy attributed to age rather than gender unlike in other media texts where empathy is typically associated with females.
Here’s something I like to work on in my spare time and when I’m bored. It’s an urban exploration YouTube channel that a friend and I started in sixth form in 2014. Since then, we’ve made a few videos and you can see how they’ve improved over time. You have to start somewhere.
What do I use to edit these videos?
I use Adobe Premiere Pro CS6. Or if I’m using a university computer, I hop onto the CC version. I used to use Sony Vegas, but I ditched that because Adobe is generally accepted as the overlord of editing media content, and is also beheld as a more professional editing suite. If I really wanted to, I could use After Effects to create better visual effects, but these aren’t necessary for pseudo-documentary type of internet videos.
How much money went into this thing?
Not a lot actually. I already had an old camcorder called the Sony HDR-CX115E from a second-hand shop. I think it cost about £180 at the time. I’ve started using my phone instead; modern smartphones make very decent videos and it’s now even better than my old camcorder. We all chipped into the project by buying our own equipment. Torches, respirators, etc. As for the video editing software? You know how it is.
I actually used this channel in a university interview and I have to say; they were impressed. It seemed like I knew more about the program than ther interviewer did as well. Call me a bragger, but I couldn’t think of any other sixth form student who made videos as high quality as these. It showed that I was genuinely interested in the subject I wanted to do.
As for advice for doing this sort of thing yourself? Get motivated. If you don’t have any friends who would do this with you, do it yourself. You know the saying; “if you want something done, you’ve got to do it yourself.” Just watch other internet videos and copy them – but make them into your own creation. That’s what I did. Think of it as market research. You’d also want to hop on a good username for your stuff and grab it quick. We made the mistake of choosing the name Medway Urbex and then deciding we wanted to expand it outside of the Medway towns. We changed it a couple more times before we settled with Exploration HQ. We managed to change some of our URLs, but not all of them. Now we’re stuck with a YouTube channel that has “medwayurbex” and “ministryofexploration” as custom URLs but not “explorationhq” as with our facebook and twitter pages.
If you actually go ahead and make a YouTube thing (as well as if you already have), please don’t go putting in pop music in your videos. Use a royalty-free library. Back in the day, the selection of music in royalty-free libraries were so bland and common I didn’t bother using them. I tried mixing the tempo and pitch of good songs owned by copyright-holders to cheat the system, but now they’re being picked up on. Over the past few months, more and more of our old videos have been flagged up by the automatic Content ID system. Just go with royalty-free music; there’s many good sounding copyright clean music out there nowadays, so there’s no reason not to.
Engage with your community as well, social media is a thing to take hold of. Nowadays, you can’t have a YouTube channel you intend to spread without having the complementing Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Have fun with it while you can; once you move onto your next stage in life (e.g. university), you’ll find it difficult to find the time and place to do this stuff.
Captioning your videos actually improves search engine optimisation (SEO)
Tag your videos with keywords people are likely to search for
Do not monetise your videos until they reach into the thousands (or better, tens of thousands). Seriously, it’s not worth it if you only get a few hundred views. The adverts will only drive new viewers away. Even we haven’t monetised anything yet
To achieve the effect we have on our newer intros, just layer upon layer of grunge textures on top of each other and change the blending options
One dirty tactic of getting your content to spread is by spamming twitter users with links. You know, those people who slide into your DMs after you follow back
Longer videos are preferred by the YouTube search algorithms. Try to make your videos 15~ minutes long. Our videos usually end up being about an hour long before editing, so it’s a lot of cutting but also a lot of leaving good stuff in
Try to come up with a unique concept. A reason for people to watch your stuff instead of “genericoolgamer1998”
Yes, this post is also intended to promote my channel