The makers of GHS Assassin bring to you PhotoSmash!

PhotoSmash is an application that allows you to remember what matters by sharing all your favorite event-oriented memories with your friends and family. During the event, PhotoSmash will prompt you to complete various picture challenges and once you’re done it will compile everything into a personal video to be shared around the web.

The basic application will be free to use, however users can unlock the full application and gain access to longer videos, customizable text and audio, and even the opportunity to create their own challenges for their event. PhotoSmash is a new and creative way to share your memories!

Join the social revolution and be one of the first to use PhotoSmash!

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“Social” Media

Social media is entering a new generation. A state where social media sites don’t connect people so much as they do showing off information and most liked content.

Social media sites are no longer an acurate representation of a person but rather of a platform for distributing infromation the site believes is valuable to the user. Yes I use sites such as Facebook to stay in touch with friends on the west coast, in Europe and in China (shh don’t tell the Chinese government), however when I view the Facebook news feed I see more and more about current events, funny links and other information I would like to see (I do actually like most of what Facebook provides because it interests me). But what I don’t get to see is what my friend in China or Turkey or Seatlle is actually doing. Moving away from the news feed, my profile can be accurate representation of who I am as a person to some degree. It shows my interests, my likes, my favorite books and movie…. but it still fails to encompass who I am as a person. I am still just a number in a database with arrays of information. A person (or computer) could read every post, comment and like and still not know who I am as a person. Some times its because I change my personality on the internet, other times its because I’m only provided with information Facebook thinks I want to see.

To build a social media site that actually knows you as a person there would have to be a great deal of privacy. Many users won’t want everyone on the web to know who they are, they don’t even what all their Facebook friends to know everything about them. The site would be so complex that users wouldn’t enjoy using it. For these reasons, althouth it would be possible to build a social media site that knows what you are truly like as a person, there would be no customer demand for such a product. Instead, social media (and technology in general) should be used to connect people together. People. Not people and robots. People to people. Yes the information provided by Facebook is usefull, but that is not social media. There can be other places on the web, even other places on Facebook, to gather that infromation. But a social media site should provide a clean and easy way for users to communicate with each other. The connection between people should be the front of a social media site with recommendations about other infromation separated.

This new generation of social media is drifting away from the fundamentals of what it means to be social media. Instead these sites are creating a separation between people and helping people connect with computers rather than with other people. It is unrealstic for a social media site to reflect who a person is, but they should allow users to interact with other users.

Privacy in Education

When debating the right to privacy on the federal government level the debate is over whether the information gathered through data mining is being used securely and is effective in preventing crimes or catching wanted suspects. At school there are two debates, data mining by the district to protect students and data mining by third party applications kids use in school. Data minning for safety of the school is one thing, but storing personal information, almost always without the user knowing, is the large problem the public is blind about today.

When reviewing applications on PrivacyGrade.org the term “used for advertising” is used to frequently. Many applications, without the user knowing, track data on the person to be sold to advertisers. For developers this can be a source of income, allowing their product to remain free for all users. When creating a product the company must always be focused on profits, because without profits the company will go bankrupt and sink the product with it. However, companies, big and small, across the world are focusing too much on profit and not enough on the delivery of the product to consumers.

The majority of parents across America would rather pay a small annual fee to ensure their child’s information is kept secure than allow companies to store, acess and sell information from the child without the parent’s permission or knowledge. The big challenge will be educating both child and parent about the effects of data minning, when it occurs and what the companies store. Some critics believe there is no big deal for companies to sell information to target advertising. However, whenever data is stored and transfered there is always the risk of hackers milaciously copying the email. If hackers gain access to the abundance of personal information the effects could be both emotional and phsyical. As a parent, how would you feel if a hacker could track your child’s location because they downloaded a game to their phone.

In my opinion selling users information is morally and legally wrong. No matter what age, selling users data is not acceptable. Not only is there risk of hackers but also that the company entrustsed with the information, wether given by the user or not, could misuse the data. There is also a legal argument against selling user data. Storing information without the consent of the user is illegal according to the 4th Ammendemnt and various U.S. Supreme Court cases. The Supreme Court ruled that only information given voluntarly can be stored. Companied argue by accepting the terms and conditions the user is waiving his or her rights and voluntarly surrendering all information collected by the application.

The difference between user inputed information and data collected from the application itself (such as location, changing phone logs,  accessing the storage drive, etc.) becomes extremely important in the battle against data minning in free products. For data provided by the user, education the public can solve the issue. However, when the user doesn’t know information is being collected, stored and sold then the company itself must re-evaluate its goals and mission statement.

The Misery of Technology

Technology is a tool that can be used to enhance a student’s education, but when it gets out of control technology can be a ravage beast that destroys any chance for a healthy learning enviornemnt.

  1. The computer labs at school are a perfect example of how technology can rob students of valuable learning time. The computers are slow and won’t load, the teacher isn’t familar with how to open a document on the computer and specialists will take a good hour to come (and classes are only 58 minutes). However, teachers constantly book classes in the computer labs for essays, orals and research.

  2. Schoology is another perfect example of stealing student’s valuable time. Every day students waste 10, 20, 30 minutes trying to naviagte the confusing pathways of schoology just to find out what homework they recieved. Using technology that takes 30 minutes to do something a student can write down in the GHS Planner app (or in the actual planner until Slate & Tablet releases an Android version) in 30 seconds.

  3. If teachers relax their policy of student use of devices in the classrooom then technology could become an enhancement to the student’s education. Allowing students to their smartwatches, phones or laptops to quickly research relevant informnation provides multiple persepctives and thus increasing the vertical (rather than just horizontal) depth of the student’s knowledge. However, there is a catch with this. The student can missue this policy to check the numerous social media apps such as facebook, iMessage, snapchat, WhatsApp or dormChat (wait just kidding, students can’t use that becasue a bad development release strategy means only students in select universities can use the app until the developing team adds new ones).

There is a clear balance to be struck here between the use of technology in the classroom and traditional methods. However, the common thread through out is leaving more up to the students. When we are given access to our own personal devices we are more likely to be able to use it efficiently, rather than the slower computers the school offers which become a hindrance to everyone.

Top 5 Bootstrap Tips and Tricks

Learning Bootstrap can be a pain and tedious task, even for the most skilled programmers. These 5 tips and tricks will help you along your journey!

1.  Read the documentation

– No matter what language, api or plug-in you are using in your code, the most valuable and most important part of implementing said tool is by reading the documentation. Alright, sometimes the documentation is awful, but a lot of the time it is a great and is an invaluable tool. Bootstrap’s website has decent documentation to help get you started and understand the components of Bootstrap.

-I  highly recommend finding the “Getting Started”, “CSS” and “Components” pages on the Bootstrap website. The 1b. trick is to download Bootstrap before using it…

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2.  Practice. Practice. Practice.

– Once you familiarize yourself with the features of Bootstrap the next thing you must do to use it efficiently is to practice. Wether you were tasked with a project or are making your own project, play around with the features for a little bit before tackling the project you are tasked with. This allows you to make mistakes and really explore how to change and use what Bootstrap offers to your own needs.


3.  Understanding the classes .row .col-md-x and .hidden-x

– The root of Bootstrap is the row and col-md-x classes. These two classes will help make your transition from a desktop to mobile site. The way this works in a nutshell is to use the col-md-x class you must first create a div with class row and then inside that div have columns. Here the ‘x’ can be any number 1-12 and the total number of x’s in the row must add up to 12. A div with class col-md-6 will take up half the page on the desktop site. Once the size to collapse the page into mobile version has been reached the columns will stack instead of continuing to shrink giving your site a beautiful lookclasses

– Another great class is the hidden-x class. In this case x is either lg, md, sm, or xs – standing for the different screen sizes. This is class comes in handy when you want certain aspects of the website to disappear on certain versions.

– To find out more about these classes read the documentation here


4.  Extra features

– Bootstrap offers much more than just the backbone of a collapsable website. On the Bootstrap website you will find great templates for a carousel, navbar and jumbotron. To use these features in your next website simply open the template and inspect the source code (in Chrome right-click —> inspect element or save and open in notepad or text editor). Copy the section of code you need and paste into your project file. Now you can edit just the parts you need!Extra Features


5.  Editing the css file

– Finally, editing the Bootstrap css file can be beneficial. Before modifying the bootstrap files I highly recommend making a copy in case you delete something. If you feel sufficient enough in coding and can understand what the css Bootstrap provides for you means then dive right in! Personally there were some aspects that annoyed me, yet were not fatal. For example the Bootstrap css was giving all my div’s a white background color and provided the html with a font-family I did not wish to use. For these aesthetic changes go ahead and change them. However if you do not know what the code is doing then just let it be, or you might alter the true heart of Bootstrap’s capabilities


I hope these Top 5 Bootstrap Tips and Tricks have been helpful! Feel free to comment below with questions or comment!

cout << “Happy Coding”;

Ben

Three Innovations in Finance Sector

1. Mobile Trading (such as E*Trade App for iPhone and iPad)

One of the largest innovations in the financial sector in past five years has been the use of technology to give trading access to anyone anywhere. Mobile trading platforms, such as E*Trade, allow users to trade and watch their investment directly from phone or tablet in the comfort of their home. Such a platform is ideal because it means an investor can buy or sell at a moments notice, even while on vacation. Along with convenience, a mobile trading platform can bring more users to the market because they can invest themselves without having to use a broker. 


 

2. Risk Analysis Software (such as OpenGamma)

With algorithms becoming ever more complex and more reliable to model and predict human nature, UK start-up OpenGamma set out in 2009 to create a risk analysis software for a given market. This technology is invaluable to financial sector because it can guide companies in where to invest their money and warn them of possibly dangerous or risky markets. OpenGamma is used to help firms fully understand a market in order to evaluate and the risk.

OpenGamma helps financial services firms evaluate, understand, and manage market risk in an open, transparent manner.


 

3. BitCoin

Bitcoin is a “crypto-currency” that has the potential to be powerful. Bitcoin has risen in value tremendously, although the currency has succumbed to hackers and caused major busts. Despite these boom-bust cycles, Bitcoin could become a reliable and more efficient currency than paper money. Using Bitcoin as a currency can make banking and transactions low-cost, widespread (access to everyone world-wide through a single common currency), faster, more secure and easier. Although right now the more secure part is not living up to its standards, the currency still has potential to become a large technology in years to come. Thus, Bitcoin is a major innovation in the financial sector in the past five years


 

Sources:

http://bankinnovation.net/2014/04/four-technologies-that-will-revolutionize-financial-services/

http://www.opengamma.com/about-us

 

System.out.println(“Happy Coding”);

Ben