Journalistic Storytelling via Games and Virtual Reality

November 8, 2015

Emerging opportunities in virtual reality and lower barriers of entry into game creation are enabling new methods of storytelling for journalists, reaching audiences in an entirely new form of commuication.

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What’s Hidden: The Invisible Processes Behind an Online Store

October 19, 2015

What makes eCommerce so distinctly different from physical retail outlets is that each store essentially has two ‘sides’. When you browse or make a purchase through an online store, you’re interacting only with a virtual storefront – a digital representation of the store’s brand and, of course, its products. This is supplemented by the store’s real-life back end which is responsible for everything the site does from creating a brand, marketing the store and shipping products out to customers. What’s interesting about eCommerce is that this entire transaction process, as well as many other efforts involved in running the store, are completely invisible to the end user.

Babak’s background in design and tech paired with his business partner’s experience in automotive retailing quickly lead to the concept for Automotive Superstore. Once they’d decided on the name, they met with an accountant and registered the various parts needed to start the business. Following this, having the site developed and sourcing suppliers for all the products they intended to stock took the better part of two years.

Automotive Superstore has now been trading for roughly two months, and the plan for the rest of the year mainly focuses on preparing marketing material in order to grow the business and further define the direction of the store in future. The office Babak is using is shared with several other companies and startups, one of which invested venture capital into his business to kickstart the project, as there were a large amount of startup costs involved. All stock for the store is stored in and fulfilled from a warehouse in Hornsby, roughly 30 minutes from the main office on Circular Quay.

While none of this can be seen on the virtual storefront, Babak’s work ethic shows through in his personality and it’s very noticeable in the interview that Babak is truly proud of his business and has a passion for what he does. With eCommerce becoming an increasingly common alternative to brick-and-mortar retail (or a complement to it), more and more eCommerce stores can be seen launching each and every day. In fact, eCommerce sites make up 10-12% of the internet. The marketing involved in an eCommerce startup can make the difference between millions of hits and zero hits on any given day. In the chaotic mass of the internet, literally millions of eCommerce stores go unseen by anyone as their content simply isn’t as prominent as other sources. Needless to say, this isn’t Babak’s case – and I’m certain you’ll be seeing more of him in future.

 

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Korea’s Culture Shock: The Recent Influence of Korea’s Culture Over Western Society

September 5, 2015

There’s no denying Korea’s on Western culture over the past few years. By now very few Westerners will have encountered some element of South Korean culture, whether it be via fashion, film, technology or the unique genre of music known as K-Pop. Korea has become increasingly prominent in these industries,…

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Australia and Our Reputation for Racism

September 2, 2015

Considering all of Australia’s population can be traced back to other countries if you go back far enough, it seems strange that we’ve come to be one considered one of the most racist countries in the world. Because of how hugely multicultural Australia’s population is, it would make sense for…

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A Serene Workplace

August 31, 2015

When I met Luke, he was at the back of his farm trying to catch two chickens which had escaped their enclosure. This farm project started by simply growing vegetables in a neighbour’s backyard; and this quickly blossomed into a much larger opportunity being invested in by that very same neighbour….

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The Rise of China and its (mostly positive) impact on Local Business

August 14, 2015

Over the past few years I’ve seen plenty of healthy debate among small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs about the impact of ‘China’; more specifically, the ability to import a huge range of China-made products at low cost in order to sell them locally. Sites such as Alibaba and DHGate are examples…

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Pancakes are delicious, and that’s all my Reddit bot can say.

May 15, 2015

In reflection to Week 10’s lecture about non-human Twitter accounts, I decided to create a Reddit bot: /u/ReallyLikePancakes. Much like Twitter bots, there are already numerous Reddit bots including AutoWikiBot and CoinFlipBot. My ability to actually make an app that does this properly is pretty limited, so the bot itself isn’t exactly…

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Digitized Vinyl: Daft Punk – Around The World 12″

May 15, 2015

As a reflection on the transitions between physical and digital media, I decided to convert a physical vinyl copy of Daft Punk’s ‘Around the World’ into a digital audio format on both Youtube and Soundcloud.

Basically what’s happening here is the record (consisting of one long, spiral groove towards the center) spins on the platter, and the needle at the end of the tonearm is tracking the groove. This needle oscillates side to side at the same frequency as the sound which was recorded to it (if you look at a vinyl groove under a microscope it pretty much looks like the soundwave itself is embedded in the vinyl). The needle contains a magnet which is moving in relation to a coil in the cartridge (I can’t explain this part in much more detail because I pretty much failed Physics) which converts the side-to-side movement of the needle into an electrical signal. This signal is then transferred to a pre-amp, which is really just an equalizer to lower the high frequencies and boost the bass frequencies, as it’s hard to fit low bass frequencies in the small grooves of a record. The signal from the pre-amp then heads to the amplifier (all speakers that require power have an amplifier built in), which dramatically boosts the signal of all frequencies (as the signal from the turntables cartridge and consecutively the pre-amp are very, very quiet). Finally, this electrical signal is applied to the speaker cones, causing them to vibrate in tune with the recording and create the soundwaves which go to your face holes. I’m sorry if this example is confusing, I tried :p

This video itself is an interesting example of media transformation, as this song was in a digital form to start with, due to the nature of its production. So the digital track was converted to an analog sound to be recorded to the vinyl, which was then transformed back into a digital format by the turntable’s ADC (analog to digital converter) to be sent to the computer via USB. Media transformation at its finest!

This is the 12″ single of Around the World from 1997, played on a Pro-Ject Debut Carbon turntable with the Ortofon OM 10 cartridge and captured in Audacity via the turntable’s USB output.

This video is super interesting to watch if you want to learn more about how vinyl records are made.

This is my second original YouTube video post.

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‘Civilian journalism’ in concerts

May 11, 2015

This is my pet peeve at concerts. You pay somewhere in the region of $100 to see your favourite artist, only to have your view obstructed by these guys filming the entire set; after which they realize that their phone’s microphone made the whole thing sound like Chewbacca with a throat infection…

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