Category: Student Work

Assignment 5 – Elena DeLuccia

With the SparkFun listed Single Lead Heart Rate Monitor, I thought that maybe it would be interesting to see what different types of music or specific beats do to your heart rate. When people listen to EDM music and go to raves, they get adrenaline rushes. What other genres could this happen in, and how often during a song does your heart rate raise? Is it specifically when the beat drops or is it the buildup, and what brings it back down?

With this specific monitor, it magnifies the heart beats even if there is enormous background noise, which is where I thought this experiment could come in handy.

Another idea was to see when someone with social anxiety has their heart rate elevated to determine a possible medication or coping mechanism plan.

Minkewicz – Field Test

Sarah Minkewicz

            For my field test I decided to use the technology we learned of the Facebook Bot. I’m going to attempt to create a bot that will give you up to date information and news on what past alums who have graduated from Newhouse are up to, where they worked before and how you can get in contact with them. For the reporters I also want to include links of some of their work and maybe social media accounts, and if the station they are working at has any job openings. I’m not sure this is even going to work and I have my doubts but I really want to give this a shot.

            The main purpose for this robot is to help connect people looking to network for a possible job.

            I haven’t tried embedding links to the robot so I think I’m going to start there. I think the easiest think would be embedding links from new websites and the bios of any alums that work there. That way it would have the ability to send to the person talking to it up to date information even if it can’t exactly to them what’s going on it self. Also from that point the user can navigate through those links and find what it wants in cases where the bot becomes on responsive.

            I know there are Newhouse people all over the place so I think I’m going to start by looking up people who are working in Syracuse. For time purposes and because there’s a lot of bios to look into, I’m keeping it to Channel 9, CNY Central and Spectrum News. I might throw in the radio stations but I’m not sure yet.

            After about an hour of going through people’s bios I finally got through the whole list! I knew there were Newhouse people working in Syracuse, but I found a lot more than I thought I would. I probably pulled about 20 names for those 3 different stations.

            Just finished adding in everyone’s bios that I found. I also threw in some normal conversation ques to make the robot a little more interactive. Right now I think it’s a good time to test out the bot and see how others respond to it and if I need to make some more adjustments.

            One down side to this Bot that I didn’t consider until now is that it’s going to have to be updated every few months because people might not work at those stations anymore. Another downside I found while creating this bot is that although I list what reporters work where, I did have info for the people that work behind the scenes, such as producers.

            Over all I think the bot serves it’s function on a simple level. If anything it takes the time away from having to look at all the bios of the reporters in the area to see which ones graduated from Newhouse. Adding their individual contact information was a lot more difficult then I thought it would be. For the people that tested out the bot it just didn’t seem to work out too well. Perhaps it was information over load. I might consider working on this some more because I think it does have great potential of being a resource for people looking to reach out to Newhouse people and make that networking connection.

Here’s the link to the Bot for you to check out!

https://www.facebook.com/Bot-1475171965855973/

 

 

Minkewicz Vision Paper

Sarah Minkewicz

New Tech for New Media final paper

The Rise of Alexa 3000

It’s the year 2050 and if you think you could pick up a newspaper and coffee and be on your way you’re wrong. Not that you would mind much anyways because people haven’t been reading on paper for quite some time now. Besides was it ever really efficient to carry both your coffee and a paper while walking and reading? Probably not.

Every one and everything uses technology and with Alexa 3000 that’s all you need.

The first model came out a few years ago, and at first I was unsure if I wanted to make the investment in one. Amazon was still working out some technical problems with the model, and to be honest it was a little out of my price range. Total cost of $1,000 and you had to pay an annual fine of $150 a year for software updates. It all seemed excessive to me. However, more and more people were purchasing them. So I made the investment.

Morning routines are typically planned out with a specific schedule. Watching or reading news stories in the morning can help people catch up with the latest stories and add talking points throughout the day, but the opportunity to sit down to absorb the news is something that busy Americans cannot afford and this is where technology comes in.

Contrary to the iconic, traditional image of the average American family sitting down to eat breakfast together, mothers and fathers are busier than ever and in this day and age unrealistic. Morning is not the time of day when people browse through the newspaper or have a living room discussion about current events; morning is an overload.

Responsive AI devices, such as Amazon’s Alexa 300, brings the news back into one’s morning with no real delays or changes to the typical morning routine, and I’ll talk about the consequences of this a little later.

These devices can load and display top stories and current events with a simple, “Show me today’s news” command. Amazon’s Alexa 3000 can even play audio recordings of news stories or live streams of some news services.

Convenience is key with Al, and these devices are certainly convenient for the hectic schedules of most Americans.

So your probably wondering how any of this is even possible? Well, Alexa 3000 uses sensors to track EVERYTHING. What people are saying and when they’re saying it, and what news is going on the second it happens. Eliminating any news job that ever was. We no longer turn on the T.V. if a natural disaster occurs you can turn to Alexa and ask her what’s going on and she will give you a full report right then and there. Most importantly it’s accurate. With all this debate about fake news, Amazon thought it was important to invest in technology that would eliminate this stigma that comes around with sharing information. They nailed it. Unfortunately they took my job out in that process. Did I forget to mention that’s why I didn’t want to invest in this technology?

I never thought a piece of technology would be able to effectively tell stories the way newsmakers can. After all, a T.V. reporter has to interview, shoot and write most news stories. But this technology allows Alexa 3000 to already see everything that’s happening and capture it. The technology is even able to get interviews with those involved in the events and stories, most of whom are willing to talk anyways. Many of them expressed relief in talking to a piece of technology then a person, because like almost everyone, they also owned an Alexa 3000.

As I mentioned before, this technology provides a service that people can rely on for information. However, relying on that convenience impacts journalism in traditional media sources. If someone chooses to consume news stories through an AI service in the morning, that individual may decide not to turn on the local news station after returning from work. Moreover, continued reliance on an AI device’s service may breed familiarity and fondness for that specific style. Similar to how people may grow to love their station’s news anchors and reporters, Alexa 3000 is now that fond, familiar voice–ready to report on the latest news at any moment the user requests it. If you didn’t grow up with this type of technology, you might find yourself like me and think this whole thing is weird. However, it’s now the norm and something even I have to get used to.

Let’s switch gears and take a little bit about how this technology functions. So when you want to know something you basically ask Alexa 3000 and she projects all the information for you in a virtual screen that you can interact with. Here you’re able to read articles, watch news stories, and see what others on social media are saying. We no longer need the service of a reporter or journalist, and because of that those jobs and mine are no more.

I’ve considered working for the giant corporation Amazon, but I’m so bitter about how everything turned out I’m not sure I can. Plus I would have to go back to school and learn a whole new skill set. I’m torn.

So here I am jobless, and clueless. Others have found the transition to be a smooth one, Mainly those working in the government and technology. Those two go hand in hand nowadays. There are even laws being passed that force you to own an Alexa 3000 otherwise you can face multiple fines and jail time until you do. One for each household, that’s the rule. Crazy to think that something that started as a feature to help male like become more simple would turn into something that’s more involved in your life than anything else. The argument is that it makes life easier, and yes it does, but when is it too much? To have technology listening to your every word and following your every move and not having control of that is toomuch in my opinion. There’s even an Alexa 3000 in public bathrooms!! I mean come on that’s over kill. I mean it knows when you’re in the bathroom at home so I suppose it’s not different. What information can you possible gain and use from that? To each their own I guess.

The other day I was having a conversation with my mother about why she favors Alexa 3000 and she made some valid points. She needs help getting ready in the morning, and because Alexa 3000 is a full on person pretty much, it’s able to help my mom get dressed and ready for the day. It also helps my mom with grocery shopping and balancing her checkbook, weird concept right? These small tasks take a lot of pressure off of my mom who sometimes can’t remember where she left her car keys. Oh did I mention Alexa 3000 drives my mom to the store as well. I guess without this technology my mom would have to relay on her children and family members to help her with these basic needs. This is something her children can’t do for her because everyone of her five children live in different countries and aren’t able to move because of their jobs. That I can get and I agreed with her, and just for the record I was in town visiting so don’t think of me as someone who can’t help my own mother… Even though now that I’m unemployed I can… Alright maybe I should rethink some life choices. All in all though she’s pretty comfortable with her set up and I think at this point she’s very used to it. I could always ask her if she’d want my help but I think she’s turn my offer down giving me some reason that the technology is more efficient and can do anything I can do better and faster. She’s most likely right about that. Even my own Alexa 3000 runs my errands that I either don’t want to do or find I don’t have enough time to do myself. Who am I to argue with my mom about something that even I do myself? Seems kind of pointless because with all the points she made, she’s very much right. We are all reliable on this technology to get us through the day and without it we would feel completely lost.

I can see this technology continuing to take over more and more careers. As well as completing every day tasks effortlessly. While I see the benefits to investing in this technology I can’t help but miss those days where we as people were more independent and worked for many of the things we wanted. Where we took the time to research what was going on in the world and come up with our own opinions and conclusions. Not have a piece of machinery constantly feed us information that we have to take at face value because we don’t have any other choice. We were once thinkers and innovators and go doers and that’s been washed down quite a bit. Is efficiency worth it if it means sacrificing those basic human instincts to be curious and learn more? I don’t think so.

This concludes my rant. I’m going to go job hunt now.

 

 

Vision Paper – Elena DeLuccia

Sleeping used to be so easy before the project. It’s supposed to change everything. I didn’t know what to expect when I signed on; most of us just needed the money – I know I did. It sounded like a luxury, too. All this power at the blink of an eye, literally. It seems, however, that we might have taken on a bit more than we were capable of.

It’s been about a month since I became a part of the project. They offered a bi-monthly pay of $11,000 to a dozen individuals who had the proper amounts of time, intelligence and stability. We will get our pay once we’ve spent two months following the instructions to a tea, and reporting all of our experiences. Other than that, we simply live our lives. I haven’t seen the others since we got implanted. We met, talked about how intrigued we were, danced around our hesitance, and exchanged contact information, in case the manual confused us. They told us that the manual will get smaller the more reports the test subjects give. We’ll be the ones to figure out the tricks to making it work. The manual now consists of pages upon pages of the neurological make-up of each section of the brain. Which neurons are supposed to fire where, what they mean, why they might do the things they do, and how we know it all. After this month, I’ll have only scanned a few pages at random. There are no guides in the manual about what to do when your intrusive thoughts kick in and lead you to videos or articles of someone driving off a bridge, or punching someone in an office.

Every thought needs to be controlled lest the computer catch on to that specific thought and bring you to some obscure part of the internet. I’ve unintentionally watched countless videos of people on bicycles crashing into things because when I see someone riding a bike I think: Hey, what if they just hit a patch of sand and ate shit. Lo-and-behold, hundreds of videos, articles, pictures, of hysterical and/or horrifying bicycle accidents. There are also, of course, the contacts that pop up. Aunt Sandy, Shithead, Patches Barber Shop. Aunt Sandy is the hardest to get off the phone. Shithead is an old boyfriend of mine whose number I was never ready to get rid of. He doesn’t ask too many questions when I accidentally call him since I’ve done it a fair few times. The first time I ever called him was the day I got home from the implantation. I explained to him the project so he wouldn’t think I was just the creep who calls their ex-boyfriend two years after last speaking. I had been spreading mustard on a sandwich wondering how much mustard a person would have to eat before their shit turned yellow. Then I thought about how disgusting it was that I always have involuntary thoughts about shit running around my head, following which, the ringing began. I reached to my back pocket for my phone which wasn’t there anymore. They took everything I had on my phone and transferred it to the chip, so it would feel the same: photos, videos, saved web pages, games, contacts, apps. I still technically owned a phone, it was just in my head. The ringing continued and I realized I had made a phone call, not knowing to whom.

“Hello? Hello? Devin? Why did you call me? Hello?” He took no time between each question, breathlessly moving from one to the next. I rolled my eyes and hoped that this wouldn’t trigger some Google search for ‘irritated looks’ or ‘sarcastic responses’. His voice sounded from the inside of my ears. It felt as though someone was whispering into my ear from behind, the sound circulating like wind through a tunnel deep within in my ear canal; I almost felt the sensation of breath down my neck, but there was no one around. What’s most unsettling was that I could have just as easily been having a conversation with myself. I had to constantly remind myself that he was real, and hearing me too.

“Yeah, um, hi. Sorry I didn’t mean to dial you.” No one said anything for a moment.

“The last time I checked you had me in your phone as ‘shithead’. How do you ‘accidentally’ dial shithead?”

“It’s just this whole thing. I’m sorry. I’ll go.”

“Okay, bye.”

Hang up, I thought, but I still heard the buzz of sound from the other line. Hang up. I thought louder, but still the buzz, and a few quiet breaths. I wondered why he hadn’t hung up yet. I began to blink ferociously and shake my head back and forth to get the phone call to end.

“Dev? Are you still there?”

“Sorry yeah. I don’t know how to hang up so can you please?”

“New phone?”

And so began the conversation where I explained to him everything. How I was selected out of hundreds of applicants to have a chip inserted into my brain that would pick up the electrical impulses from my neurons as they fired. The chip has all the capabilities of a computer; I, and the 11 other people selected, simply had to learn how to control it. The research goal is to get our thoughts organized enough to control an entire computer with our brains, thus giving us limitless knowledge and constant access to the rest of the world. Someday, the chip will hopefully sell with the ferocity that the iPhone does.

We talked about how he was my first phone call. How it was triggered by an uncontrolled thought about shit. He asked me to tell him what the 62nd number of pi was and what the capital of Uzbekistan is, two things he was positive I didn’t have in my repertoire of knowledge. It didn’t take long for me to figure out how to conduct a proper Google search in my head. Some thoughts are louder than others. I can close my eyes and see that the capital of Uzbekistan is Tashkent, and its neighboring cities are Urtaaul to the west, and Yalangach to the northeast. I’ve even mastered conducting these searches with my eyes open, although I haven’t yet learned how to focus on the person I’m talking to and conduct a search at the same time. Everyone now knows that I’m scrolling through Facebook or Twitter when I check out of a conversation. Last week I visited my parents to update them on the progress I was making with the chip. My dad raved about the government’s involvement in my thoughts and how this was the stupidest decision I had ever made. My mom still wants to talk to me about work and how my life is going. While my mother tries to explain to me the plot of the most recent book she’s read and my father tries to talk over her about the government knowing when I’m watching porn, I find something else to do.

“… but only in the third act of the book does she realize that he was poisoning their daughter all along and that’s why he stayed…”

“… every time you’re doing nasty things to yourself the government knows it because they’re probably off somewhere checking your temperature and sperm count…”

Facebook.com

I’m already logged in. I can still hear my parents talking, but it’s just like looking down at your phone and honing-in on whatever you have pulled up on your screen. It’s easier to pay attention to that.

“Nadine just give me a second to talk to the boy.”

“He’s heard it all before Alan just let me tell him about my damn book.”

I’m staring intently into my mother’s eyes as she talks giving her the idea that I’m engaged in her words but I’m looking at the most recent engagement picture on new news feed. Samantha Litto got engaged to this huge man with a perfect beer belly despite his young age of 27. The picture is of them on a boat standing next to each other, him pointing to her hand and her holding out her ring finger prominently. The bottom of her fiancé’s hairy belly is poking out of his t-shirt and I’m disgusted by it.

“I know, terrible, right? Guts everywhere and not a clue who did it, but I know it’s going to be the step father, obviously.” My mom continues, reading the disgusted look on my face as a reaction to her story. I tune back into her but the photo is still in the fore front of my mind and I have trouble getting it to close. My mother keeps talking as I mentally track the mouse to the ‘x’ at the top of the screen. Unfortunately for me, my mother gasps, remembering a new bit of information from the book, causing me to click on a video. The volume is already up way too loud, as I last had audio playing during the shower, where I need it turned up.

“AGH” I cringe and clutch my ears; my parents start to talk to me in a panic and I put my head between my legs with my hands still up at my ears, which doesn’t help at all, by the way. With my eyes closed though, I can concentrate. I can focus not on my environment but on getting the mouse to click ‘pause’, and then to move it to reduce the screen. The song stops and my surroundings become clear instantly. I slowly take my hands off my ears and my parents are dead silent. All I can hear now is the sound of the dishwasher running and leaves rustling outside of the glass door at the back of the dining room.

Slowly looking up, I see my father standing there, arms crossed and smug. My mother’s eyes are wide and she is clearly coming down from a moment of sheer panic watching me settle myself. I take a breath and look at them. My mom speaks up:

“Was that the government?”

Field Test – Elena DeLuccia

I had an interesting time with my field test! I originally planned to go to Ithaca’s gorges and get a one-minute 360-degree video at each, but with the very, very limited time I’ve had with finals, projects, my job, etc. it just didn’t work out. So, instead I decided to take the Nikon KeyMission 360 to New York City with me on my apartment search and make a quick stop at my favorite place: Lincoln Center. I wanted to go on top of the awesome grass field that rests above one of the buildings because that’s absolutely the best place, but it wasn’t open for the season just yet so I stayed in the main plaza.

In New York City, there are no tripods allowed without a permit. I tried to swing it but got caught by the cop that roams the premises – and I have the 360 video to prove it. I quickly decided to leave the camera resting on the fountain (under careful watch) in order to get a shot of the entire plaza. I know that height is a huge consideration when doing 360 video, so it’s unfortunate that I had to leave the camera at a child’s height, although I still think it gives you a cool look at the plaza.

I had a little trouble getting the camera to agree with me and record, but after a few tries I finally got it to work. I have two full takes that worked really well, but I just uploaded the first one since the plaza looks a little better.

When I got back home, I uploaded the video into Nikon’s KeyMission Edit Application that I downloaded for free on my Macbook. I actually edited the sequence down on there and since it had a function for saving the video in the correct format for YouTube, I uploaded right after. I decided not to add any background music because I wanted the audience to hear the natural sounds in the city to feel like they’re there, on 65th, sitting on the fountain with people surrounding them.

Enjoy!

Groh: Field Test

For my field test I created a chat bot that explains drone law. The goal of this messenger bot is to break down the basics of drone law so that novice flyers won’t get in trouble when they fly their drone.

https://www.messenger.com/t/287519685033756/

Drone law is very complicated. There are many rules that most people don’t know exist. Some of these laws are counterintuitive to what most people think the purpose of flying drones is for. The FAA stresses safety as one of its major concerns, which is why people aren’t allowed to fly directly over other, flying at night is prohibited, there is a maximum flight altitude and pilots must keep their drone in their own line of sight. There aren’t places that thoroughly and simply outline these rules, so DroneBot attempts to clear any confusion and prepare pilots to fly safely and legally fly while still having fun.

Creation

I used chatfuel.com to create the chatbot. This website has an easy to use interface. All I have to do is input keywords and its subsequent response.

As far as my experience goes, Chatfuel does not have a limit on the number of answers you can input.

The program also allows you to insert ‘blocks’. These are links that users can interact with. I decided to include a slideshow of five different drones with their price and websites so users can learn more about the specific drone.

I also included blocks that were designed to give the user an idea of what questions to ask. I included three tip boxes that pointed the user in different directions. This also served as a good tool if the user asked a question the bot couldn’t answer because the bot provided questions they could ask that would guarantee a response.

 

In total, I had nearly 80 responses prepared to answer any question a user might ask. Each answer is triggered by at a least a couple of different key words or phrases.

Results

I sent links to friends, family and professionals to test out the bot. I got a lot of feedback from friends and families but very little feedback from professionals.

There were 12 different users who chatted with DroneBot. An interaction is qualified as a question a user asked or any time a user clicks on a block.

Interactions Obscenities/Non Sequiturs Adjusted for Obscenities/Non Sequiturs
User 1 9 0 9
User 2 40 17 23
User 3 10 0 10
User 4 11 7 4
User 5 20 7 13
User 6 8 0 8
User 7 4 0 4
User 8 15 0 15
User 9 12 0 12
User 10 16 3 13
User 11 28 12 16
User 12 10 0 10
Average 15 4

11

 

The questions users asked varied. There wasn’t a common thread between questions.

 

Analysis

I think the number one reason for the lack of engagement with the chat bot was because the topic is too niched. Drone law, as stated in the beginning, is new and unknown to most. Initially, I thought that people would ask a lot of questions because they didn’t know anything about the topic. I learned that people didn’t asked questions because they didn’t know about the topic. Users can’t ask questions when they don’t know where to start. A common response I heard was “I wasn’t sure what else to ask.”

Another reason for the small amount of interactions is because users would be deterred from asking questions if they received the message that the bot didn’t understand the question. Users may have thought that they exhausted all the questions they could ask. Another reason may be that they didn’t know what else to ask. This is directly related to the first reason I gave. If people don’t know what questions to ask in the first place, and a couple of their questions didn’t get responses, they may have been discouraged to continue.

I also noticed that it was common for people to test what kind of response the bot would give to obscenities or non-sequiturs. While not everyone went down that route, those who did generally asked a lot of those questions.

One of the toughest problems I encountered was developing the syntax for what the program recognized to give a response. I realized that everyone asks the same question in slightly different ways. Users would ask “where is the best place to fly” and “where can I fly” but only the question with the most similar keywords would get a response. Another example of this concerns when people should fly: “when can I fly”, “what’s the best time to fly”, “when should I fly”. This was the case for many questions. To account for this, I attempted to come up with every variation of a sentence I could think of. However, as is typical with these sorts of things, there is always a way to ask a question that I didn’t anticipate. As this happened, I would update the bot as it was stumped. This quickly became the most common maintenance I would do.

Since I knew people would get run out of questions, I tried to prompt users with questions or direct them down certain avenues. This quickly failed. I learned that people didn’t follow my direction. Either they had their own agenda of questions in mind or they didn’t read the entire response. Most users failed to ask the follow up questions I provided. However, I did have some success doing this. Some users did read the entire response and followed the DroneBot’s directions. Users who did this asked on average four to six more questions. 

Conclusions

Chat bots take a lot of trial and error. Since there are so many ways to ask the same thing, there is a lot of room for miscommunication. A chat bot is only successful if it can answer any question or guide its users in a certain direction. Lots of data is necessary to do this and that data comes from field tests like this one.

Also, messenger bots that deal with niche subjects aren’t ideal. People don’t know what to ask or how to interact with it. The result is little user engagement.

With all this being said, I believe my bot was successful. I conducted a field test, acquired data and adjusted my bot’s answers as users asked new questions. With over 80 responses prepared, users who thoroughly engage with DroneBot will come away with enough of an understanding of drone law to avoid most legal issues when flying.

Groh: Future of Media

James Groh
NTNM SCI-FI

Contacts

Present Day
“When they told me I was going to be the first to try it, I was excited. All I could think about is how much more dynamic my story telling would become. A first person point of view.”

“It’s not your fault. You had no idea what would happen. I mean maybe you could have gotten the idea from how people reacted to the glasses but that’s a totally different story.”

“I just don’t know what to do. No one will hire me. I can’t go out in the public. You’re all that I have.”

Flash Back 1 year. Commercial on T.V.
“You’ve heard of Google glass and the Snapchat glasses, but you have never seen anything like this. Capture all the world’s glory, every moment in high definition. Sign up to be apart of something bigger than yourself. Change the way you and everyone else sees the world. Call now to sign up for the trial version of the next big thing. There are a limited amount of spots. Call now! (111) 867-5309.”
Fast-forward three months.
“Congratulations. You can leave those in for a couple of weeks and then after you can come back to us and we will take them out and give you a new pair. Sound good?”

“Yeah thanks doc. I really can’t wait to tell my boss. The way I photog is going to blow his mind.”

“Your boss will love it. You will be able to capture video that no one else will be able to.”

Ben rushed to his work. It was three months of trial and error but the product was finally ready to be used in a real world setting. His contacts were fully functional, didn’t hurt, and seamlessly connected to his computer.

He rushed into his boss’ office.

“Mark! Mark! Boy do I have something to show you. I have a way that is going to change the very face of the news,” Ben exclaimed.

“Yes? I’m listening,” his boss said.

“You don’t need a camera to shoot the news anymore. You don’t even need those ugly glasses. I’ve got these contacts that act as a video camera. All I have to do is close my eyes for three seconds. Then, when I open them they will be recording. No red light. No beeping. No bulky equipment. I am the camera now. I can give people the first person view of everything.”

Ben was incredibly excited about this new technology. He had just graduated from the Groh School of Communications. He had read about the impact that the video camera had on news and then drones and 360-footage. This time, he wanted to be one of the pioneers of a new way to tell stories. He wanted to become the expert.

“See the best part is that I can connect it to your computer or control board to broadcast live.”

Ben opened up his computer and showed the live recording of his conversation with his boss. The boss was impressed and immediately gave Ben an assignment to cover.

“There’s a protest going on right now downtown. I need you to go down and cover it. Do you think you can do that?”

Ben jumped at the opportunity. He was already half way out the door when he answered.

“Yes I can do that. I’m half way there already.”

Once Ben got there, he quickly assimilated into the crowd and began to record. The footage was incredible. He got impossible to get close ups. He was capturing angles never before possible. He went back and his boss was incredibly pleased with his footage. This got Ben promoted to lead photographer.

He continued to do this for a few weeks.

“Ben, great job so far. These past few weeks, ratings have skyrocketed. There has been a shooting downtown. Police aren’t allowing media very close but bystanders are everywhere. I need you to go down and get footage of the body and anything else you can get.”

Ben was slightly concerned with this idea, but he had only been working at the station for two months and didn’t want to give anyone a reason to fire him. Ben went down to the crime scene and got the footage of the body.

The next day, Ben was on assignment at another march. However, this time when he was recording he witnessed two marchers from the anti-smoking group beating smoking cigarettes during the pre-march instructions, something that was closed off to media. The video aired on the news and the marchers were in an uproar. Not only did they receive incredibly bad publicity, it made them question how someone could have gotten such an intimate view of their preparations.

A few assignments later, Ben was assigned to go to court to cover a trial. Ben knew that there were many laws about having cameras in courthouses, but his boss told him to upload it to social media under a fake account. The station would use what was believed to be a random social media post as its video to avoid getting in trouble. This all happened flawlessly. Ben got the footage; the news station didn’t get in trouble. The courthouse noticed though and issued a statement that the culprit of the hidden video would be punished to the fullest extent.

Ben did this a few more times. He covered court cases and murders more and more. The station continued to use the fake social media posts as their footage. It worked well until a cop who had been on call for a few of the homicides was in court for one of those homicides. He recognized Ben. The cop also had a niece who had been apart of a failed test for video camera contacts. The officer confronted Ben. After a while of talking, Ben was itching his eye and a contact fell out. The cop noticed it looked differently from regular contacts. He asked Ben where he had gotten them, and Ben slipped.

“I got them from Occulot- I mean from my eye doctor,” Ben was flustered. He knew he just gave away very important information.

The office replied. “You got these contacts from Occulotum? You know, I had a niece who volunteered to be apart of a test for them. About video recording contacts. These wouldn’t happen to be the same ones would they?”

Ben knew he was caught. He stammered. He fumbled over his words, but he couldn’t speak an intelligible sentence.

The cop with a grin on his face said, “I thought so. You are under arrest for illegal videography.”

“Wait, you can’t do that. You haven’t proven that yet.”

The cop replied, “You have already told me more than I need to know.”

Ben went to court and lost his case. He was charged with illegal use of video cameras in a prohibited space and invasion of privacy. Since Ben was a member of the media the case got a lot of attention. His company fired him, and he found it hard to find work again.

Present day
“Mom, I just don’t know what to do. I spent all my life trying to become a journalist and now no one will hire me. My reputation is ruined. My face is all over the news. I didn’t ask for this.”

“But neither did those people you filmed. They were all blindsided too. You broke the law. And sometimes, just because it’s a new toy or gadget doesn’t mean it’s a good one.”

Groh Assignment 5

One way to use the an arduino system would be to give sonar capabilities to blind people. Using the Lidar Lite, you could give blind people glasses that emit a sound near their ear that indicates the proximity of people. The sound becomes more frequent as objects become closer. The glasses would have a 10 foot radius. The glasses need to be able to see relatively far away but not too far away to confuse the user into thinking there are objects in their immediate vicinity when that is not the case.

You could also add an imagery sensor to the bottom of the normal white cane that blind people use. The specific arduino for this is called the Altitude Pressure Sensor Breakout. This would indicate changes in altitude so a person knows when they are about to walk off a curb or about to encounter stairs or some sort of incline.

Assignment 4 – DeLuccia

Drones are way more intense than I thought after seeing yesterday’s demonstration, but I know that they’re such an important part of my industry right now! As a film and TV production manager, drones are actually super important in my line of work. They can replace the immense expenses of a crane for certain shots, or even helicopter sequences to get an overlay of a city or landscape. Even though drones are expensive and so are the operators, it costs at least $20,000 less than a crane would – saving studio executives and producers like myself a LOT of money. This leaves more room for VFX, shooting time, and maybe even bigger key stars. The downside to this would be that audio issues may occur because of the sound of the drone, if it’s close enough to the actors and if the scene has dialogue. There’s always ADR (recording the actors’ voices later, in postproduction, to match their mouths) but we try to avoid that as much as possible.

Even in corporate work, filming with drones is almost essential now to get shots that you wouldn’t have been able to get in the first place. It boosts your resume and gets you hired on the next job, although it might pigeonhole you a bit.

Lynda Requirement – Elena DeLuccia

This was my first time using Lynda! I chose to do the “Data Visualization Storytelling Essentials” since I really loved this course. Even though it most likely won’t play a part in my career in film and TV, I just liked being able to create different data visualizations. I find going through data and creating a story from it so interesting. So this was definitely a great thing to do.

I loved that they suggested drawing out the visualization before anything else. As a graphic designer, this is something I often do – but not something I thought of doing before creating visualized and interactive data. I thought that this was really a way to innovate and improve my skills. When I was doing my final project on women in film and TV, it was helpful to draw out what data I thought should be included to coincide with my story and improve the experience of readers. This also tied into the Lynda lesson of having your visualizations interact with your story. Maybe my readers would want to learn more if they actually saw the data – so that’s what I aimed for! Insightful tables and graphs that tell the user “Go, learn more about this!” without blatantly shouting at them – that was the goal. The lesson that stuck with me the most though was the instructor talking about making your visualizations aesthetically pleasing while also keeping everything factual and learnable – or what they called Eye Candy. I tried my best to keep everything like that, although it is a perfectionist tendency on my part for them to be that way regardless, just because that’s how my brain works being a film and television person.

Overall, this was a really interesting course, and I think it helped me for future data visualizations that I choose to do! I have one coming up in my social media course, so I’m really excited to show my new skills.