Dynames Productions Blog

A blog to showcase my creative and technical work. Talk about what I like to talk about.


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Social Media may be Distorting Us

Hey everyone,

Been a while since I wrote a post on here. This time I thought to write on the topic of social media.

Now let me first get this out of the way, I have nothing against social media. Social media is a tool, the meaning to that tool is given through how it is used. My main concern lies with the usage and the meaning it’s users (not all though) maybe giving it.

To start of, what sparked my interest in writing a quick post about this is thanks to the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HffWFd_6bJ0

In the video the main worrying point discussed for me was the fact that social media can act a lot like drugs or alcohol, giving instant gratification with the chance of becoming addictive.

This is not false, social media definitely has that gratification feeling to it that generally is similar to say alcohol. When you are drunk, you are taken on a “ride” thanks to the release of dopamine in your brain. Social media does the same. But unlike alcohol which is less likely to be consumed 24×7 by everyone, social media can affect many for a lot of their time during the day, and it can even be 24×7.

Let’s look at another video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QWoP6jJG3k

The main point in this video is talking about the importance of “fame” to young kids these days who use social media. Because let’s be honest here, we all like having our work be acknowledged. Knowing that someone out there acknowledged our work is definitely going to give us some gratification. But as the video also discusses, there is also the opportunity to have your work be slandered online, or worse, you could be cyber bullied.

There is also the interesting point of day dreaming and imagination in that video. According to the video, teens don’t tend to drift off as much as they would have in the days without social media or any of the technology we have today. I agree that it helps train the mind to be more empathetic, but it also keeps the imagination healthy and alive. Why else do we see kids losing their imagination as they grow up? This would be one of those reasons. They are too busy trying to obtain “fame”/instant gratification online for causes that may mean nothing in the long run.

Social media as I said before is a tool. The meaning is given to that tool through its usage. People who use social media to help share causes they care about to BETTER THE WORLD, or help share useful and practical knowledge, in my opinion you are doing it RIGHT.

To those that use it in the hopes of being famous, thinking only about the likes, use it as a means to bully others or drown out MEANINGFUL content with junk posts, you are doing it WRONG.

Social media definitely has distorted us, and by effect our society to some extent. I can understand more and more now why the Millennial generation is called the Me generation. By the way, I’m from the Millennial generation.

Another good point brought up in the second video is the change in values being taught in shows these days. I don’t necessarily agree or disagree to the values being taught by the older TV shows, but one thing is abundantly clear that media has a HUGE effect on our minds. This also proves that media is just another means of controlling the populace through the messages shows send out nowdays.

Personally I’m glad I didn’t have a cell phone until I was in my 20’s. Nor did I have any social media accounts despite the pros I would hear about it from my friends at times. It kept me away from all the social media craze, it gave me moments to myself to be imaginative, creative and it also what helped me develop my interest in writing and some other creative hobbies. Had I been part of that social media craze from a much younger age, I’m sure I would be a very different person today.

To end this post, I have another video. This one is rather comedic, but also true to some extent and very well animated: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZfvogC6G3k

~ Mohit

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Check out my other blog here: http://lightexistenceblog.wordpress.com/

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Our culture’s obsession with money: killing our soul as well as the planet?

Reblogged from “Beyond The Dream” blog.

BEYOND THE DREAM

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“Money is the root of all evil”. That’s a truism that isn’t technically true. Money itself is neither good nor bad — it’s neutral. And, in spite of what we tell ourselves, it has NO inherent value other than that which we ascribe to it. It’s just a dirty old scrap of paper or a lump of metal that we all pretend has some special worth and so we devote our lives to acquiring as much of it as possible.

Many people become so hardened by their relentless pursuit of wealth that they cease caring who or what they have to trample on to get it. People are actually willing to KILL in order to amass money, and frequently do. I recently read about a British guy who was selling fake bomb-detectors to countries like Iraq. He knew they actually didn’t do anything, and he surely must have known that…

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Energy Monitoring Application – C#

Note: This is only meant to be a written demo explaining certain aspects of the application. Since this device uses a special hardware component that is no present with me, random dummy values will be used for voltage measure readings and calculations.

Application information:

  • Name: Energy Monitor
  • Coded in: C#
  • Development Environment: Visual Studio 2010
  • Platforms: Windows
  • Special Note: This application is meant to be interfaced with a hardware component that has various input and output plugs to it. It would plug into the wall outlet, there the appliance you wish to measure would plug into the hardware device. Through a transmitter, it transmits information to a USB receiver plugged into your computer.

Purpose of the Application:

The purpose of this application is to be able to measure a certain amount of energy being used up by an appliance in your home and give you a general overview on how much that appliance would cost you to maintain in your house by the seconds, minutes, hourly, daily, monthly and yearly.

Program Functionality:

Initial Screen:

initialScreen

The image above is the initial screen that a user would be met by upon opening the application. Below is a list of what the buttons do:

  • Begin Analysis: Takes the user to another screen where they can begin analysis on a selected appliance.
  • Load Results: Allows the user to load a previously saved report for further analysis.
  • Help: Explains the function of the buttons on screen.
  • Credits: Displays the various people involved and their position on the project.
  • Exit: Closes the application.

Main Screen:

mainScreen_1

The image above is the main screen that the user is presented with after getting past the initial window. Below is a list of the button functions:

  • Program New monitor: Allows the user to set a certain memory value for a particular device (for example: Value 34 maybe for a desk side lamp).
  • Calculate Report: Allows user to input their base electrical bill amount that will be used to calculate various monetary values for user consideration.
  • New Analysis: Starts a new analysis.
  • Load Results: Allows the user to load a previously saved report for further analysis.
  • Graph Results: Visually real time graph the result of the analysis.
  • Home: Goes back to the initial screen.
  • Help: Displays step by step procedure to enact for an analysis. This dialog window also explains additional button options such as “Graph Results”.
  • Exit: Closes program.

mainScreen_2

The above image is the same screen as the main screen, but there are additional fields and buttons in there. The additional field are the following:

  • Fields:
    • A field to input base cost of the electrical bill.
    • A text box to show the calculated values, what the input value was and when this analysis was conducted.
  • Buttons:
    • Retrieve data: This button retrieves the input base cost value and uses it in the calculation of the different costs associated with the appliance being measured for.
    • Save Results: Gives the user the option to save the analysis report as a “.rtf” file that can be re-opened in the application, or in any compatible text editor.

As the user also has the option to graph the results, below is what that would look like:

mainScreen_3

The following is what has changed in the above screen:

  • A real time graph is introduced displaying the costs of the appliance over time.
  • Buttons:
    • Take Snapshot: Takes a still image of the graph and saves it for future reference.
    • Open Snapshot: Opens any previously saved snapshots.
    • Magnify Graph: Allows the user to magnify the graph with the options to display in the following time metrics.
      • Seconds
      • Minutes
      • Hours

Conclusion:

This was a great senior project for my University (sort of like a thesis). It was also my first project done in C#, that meant a lot of learning was involved in the process of making this application to go along with the hardware aspect, though that particular part of the application was handled by someone else. It was both challenging and satisfying to work on an application I consider to be huge in magnitude for a first timer of the C# language.


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Movies & Video Games Inventory – Database

Note: This is only meant to be a written demo explaining certain aspects of the database application.

Application information:

  • Name: Movies & Video Games Inventory Application
  • Coded in: SQL
  • Database Engine: Oracle11g
  • Development Environment: SQLPlus & Apex
  • Platforms: Any that is able to run Oracle11g & has a web browser to use Apex with.

Purpose of the Application:

The purpose of this application is to store an inventory of different movies and video games in the user’s possession. Then through the web graphical interface designed in Apex, the user will be able to view the information in the database.

Program Functionality:

Database Structure – ERD:

Note: If observed closely, you will notice that there are two relationship crow’s feet extending to Movie table from Genre table, and two to Video Game table. This is because of the two genre columns in the Movie and Video Game table. The two columns are there to acts as a primary and secondary genre.

Movie_VidGames_Inventmanagment_DBERD

Tables in SQLPlus:

sqlPlus_Tables

Viewing entries in Apex:

viewingMovies

In the image above, the entries are shown via a table list format. Initially all the entries are shown, but there are a series of buttons at the top that allow for users to view entries by genres. There is also a search bar to let them directly search for any entry they maybe looking for.

The table also has the feature of organizing data through column priority and searches. For example, if you wanted to organize the columns in ascendant format through the ID column, you can. If you wanted to search the columns for a particular entry, you can.

The user also has the option to view entry details by pressing on the ID of the entry they are looking for.

Majority of the same options are applicable to the Video Games tab.

Viewing entry details in Apex:

viewingMovieDetails

The details will display the information stored in the various columns within the Movie table. As the information is spread across various tables and stored as numbers in the Movie table aside from a few things, it is retrieved using joins and displayed in the appropriate column. This page also displays the movie front and back cover in full size.

Majority of the same features are applicable to the Video Games tab.

Room for Improvement:

This database program can definitely be improved upon as I see it right now. Some thing(s) I see that could use improvements are:

  • Add an ability to keep track of whether you have loaned the item to someone or not.
    • Who have you loaned it to?
  • Improving UI design
  • Potentially adding in some metrics features via Apex.
  • Add in edit, insert & delete features for general movie and video game entries (features already exist for their image covers)
  • Look to compressing down the image sizes to help save space in database as well as display at a good quality.

Conclusion:

This was a great project to work on in my down time. It is also quite practical for personal uses as it helps keep an inventory of my movies and video games. No doubt in the future this will see some modifications, and maybe a brand new face to the interface.