As summer begins to wrap up and we're only two weeks away from the end of the semester, I feel like this is a good time to revisit my blogs and wrap them up or see what came of some of the topics I covered. I want to "close" the chapter of my current posts so I can start new next semester with some great ideas that I have regarding design and programming projects. It's crazy to think I've already been an Ambassador for over a year and I only have one semester of college left.
Who am I and what is HCI?
I started my Ambassador position in my third semester of UAT. At the time I was experiencing some burnout and that was honestly one of the biggest reasons I switched from Computer Science to HCI. I'm glad that I recollected myself the next semester and realized that wasn't a good reason to switch majors. I did fall in love with HCI, though, and that is when I decided to dual major computer science and human-computer interaction. I am really happy with that choice. I've talked about it many times, but I really feel that HCI and Computer Science should be taught together more. The two subjects come together to create some of the amazing tools and theory that we use.
VAPORWAVE: The Nostalgia You Didn't Know You Had
This was one of my favorite posts. It was really cool to research the history of a very contemporary music that also is kind of a meme, but really good. I covered two artists in the post: Yung Lean and Blank Banshee. At the time I posted this blog, Yung Lean's late album was "Warlord." Later in December of 2016 he released another album "Frost God." Like most of his songs, you either hate it or love it. The album's songs were hit or miss for me, but not anymore than all his other albums.
I also talked about Blank Banshee announcing an album with no release date at the time. It finally came out titled "MEGA" and boy is it one of my favorite albums. The beats are jungle and hardvapor with some collaboration, as well. I hope he continues to release music.
Changing The Way We Interact With Phones: HoloFlex
Unfortunately the HoloFlex was not covered much after I researched it for this blog. All of the HoloFlex articles are still from May 2016 and nothing new has come from it. I understand it was probably not going to be a released phone, but it is kind of sad to see that the research of the phone has fallen off it seems. I know this technology will be important in the near future and we'll be able to credit the HoloFlex to it. I was curious to see what progress had been made one year later.
Minecraft: Another Day, Another Platform
I don't have much to say about Minecraft other than I have to admit I still do play it when I get time. The blog focused on the fact that Minecraft was going to be on the Oculus for Windows 10, and I assume it's out. Most of my video game consumption is done second hand by watching "Let's Plays." I found that people are backing off from VR for Let's Plays because playing it is fun, but watching people play it is not so much. On a semi-related note, the Let's Play channel is playing Skyfactory Minecraft and I highly recommend watching it. It's amazing that there is still support for the community and new things are still coming out for the game.
Flying Balloons For Google
Project Loon seems to be a steady commitment for Google. I'm halfway surprised this project is still ongoing. Looking back on the project, it was foreshadowing Google's Project Fi - their own network company. It takes on some of the ideas from Loon as the "Fi" network uses other company's cellular networks and piggybacks off the strongest network. I still want to join the Fi network, but I'm giving it some time in case Google pulls a classic Google and discontinues the project out of nowhere.
Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, And The Fourth Wall
This is also one of my favorite blogs. This blog was the moment I realized how much I love HCI and thinking about the future of design and interaction. I still like the idea of technology "breaking the fourth wall" and "see" that they are in a world with humans and to be able to recognize us just as we personify technology. I'm not sure what iOS version is out, but I can probably safely assume that Siri is still not so great. Voice assistants are becoming popular again with Google Home and Alexa, but I think users don't feel the same way with voice assistance on their phone. We're so used to not talking on our phone that we don't like talking to it either. It's different than having an assistant in the house that just talks with you when you talk to it.
Founder's Game Jam 2016
I'm glad I can finaly fulfill my promise that "Once the documentary is produced I will write and update on that." Well it has been made and a trailer has been released! It was even covered at E3 2017 by Engadget.
Four Summaries For Tech-Awareness
This was a pretty solid blog, and I am happy with it. Going back and reading it has made me miss talking about design on here. This is part of the reason I am going to start fresh in a semester and focus my blogs on design.
Your Car Is a Vulnerable Computer
I actually just followed up on this blog last week talking about the hacked car wash. It was funny to come across that article and remember that I wrote this blog a while back. I enjoy videos like these. They're really entertaining and horrifying at the same time. If you like that kind of topic, VICE has an older video back in 2014 about the first hacks of a car. It may not be up-to-date, but it will get you into the YouTube rabbit hole of interesting videos.
And that does it for part one! It was really fun to go back and read my old blogs, see what's changed with the topics I talked about, and share some updates. I hope you enjoyed this really causal wrap-up of my blogs from July 2016 to October 2016.