This is the link to a separate blog I made featuring my final application idea!
My Final Project Blog

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Revised Final Project

So I’m not quite sure yet how to present my final project (I think it would be cool to make a promo video… infomercials are my favorite. I’m actually not allowed to have my credit card with me when I’m watching TV late at night… okay, drunk…) BUT ANYWAY. I decided I need to clear a few things up.

Instead of JUST making this app about the pool, it would be helpful if all of Burns Rec had an app. This app could feature aerobics class times, maybe develop a system for checking out a workout towel, the number of available treadmills would be posted, as well as a scale system of how busy the gym was from 1 to 5. In terms of checking out a workout towel, I think one should use their myLMU credentials to link the app to their student account. (Much like how one has to enter this login info to use the computers in Hannon Library). The Burns Rec app would feature updates on the actual indoor fitness center as well as the outdoor tennis courts and pool.

Apple's LMU application

It is my understanding that LMU already has an app for the university that features news, images, videos, maps, athletics, kxlu, events, and emergency folders. This Burns Rec app could just be a section heading under this previous LMU app to simplify funding. Since the LMU app is free to download, I assume the university has some sort of deal with Apple, and the university funds it. Should adding this category cost the university more to create, perhaps the app could now cost 99 cents to download.

The app would be updated by the Burns Rec staff. The lifeguards rotate every 20 minutes, so when a guard rotated down from sitting on the tower, they could take a quick survey of how available the pool was and submit it to an online database that would update the app. (Now I have to research how apps are updated as well!) Therefore, every 20 minutes, the app would refresh and new stats on the pool would be posted. Those working in the fitness center could also count how many treadmills/ellipticals were available as well as rate the crowdedness of the gym when they walk through on their rounds.

I just want this app to be as helpful and user-friendly as possible! Please let me know if you have any suggestions! You’re welcome gym guidos!

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Final Project – Draft #1

For me and my roommates, nothing is more annoying that packing up all your swim gear, putting on your favorite suit, and grabbing that warm towel from the dryer only to find that there are no lanes open at the LMU pool for you to do your workout.

Since I also work as a lifeguard on campus, my friends usually text me to check up on the status of the pool: how crowded is it/warm is it/is the water polo team there so I can check them out. I can only update them on these things when I’m working my shift, which is during the week and only in the afternoons.

For my final project I want to create an app for the LMU pool. This app will allow people to check pool hours, how crowded the pool is, how many lanes are open, what time the water polo and swim teams practice, events being held at the pool, outside temperature and pool temperature, etc.

Hopefully I can save a few eager swimmers from showing up when the pool is closed or chilly after a night of not being covered!

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Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should…

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After reading Jaron Lanier’s You Are Not a Gadget, I was overwhelmed with thankfulness. When I began reading all I thought to myself was “Here it comes… I’m about to be lectured about how I’m not in touch enough with … Continue reading

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If “Inception” and “Avatar” had a baby…

It would be Second Life. This lovechild is a world of digital characters capable of buying land, attending dance clubs, concerts and classes, getting married and having children. The difference between this simulation and other virtual reality creators like The Sims?
Dr. Richard Gilbert, a member of the Psychology faculty at Loyola Marymount clarifies,

“Second Life is NOT a game, it is a culture.”

Upon registering for a Second Life account, one must pay a registration fee of $9.95 and must continue to pay a monthly subscription if you wish to own and keep land. The introduction video on Second Life’s website boasts that this virtual realm is a “place to connect, to shop, to work, to love, to explore, to be different, be yourself, free yourself, free your mind, change your mind, change your look, love your look, love your life.” To me, the video (and overall concept of Second Life) is unsettling.

It began with Dr. Gilbert introducing us to his Second Life avatar, Griffith Parks, who you can also meet in this video of LMU in Second Life.
The avatar is a young, brawny, slim, sleek, dark-haired mysterious looking sexualized creature. Representing Dr. Gilbert. It was this that first tipped me off that Second Life will not be used as honestly for academia as it was being marketed to us. Yes you can change your avatar (who are hyper sexed up versions of normal people), but when Dr. Gilbert meets someone on Second Life, does he really tell them he’s a middle-aged man with gray hair, and not a 20-something year old stallion? I’m guessing not. (No disrespect to Dr. Gilbert, I’m sure he was quite a looker in his day.)

Second Life just seems plain ol’ creepy. You have too much freedom to be whoever you want that this seems like a whole new channel for lies and deceit. After watching the movie “Catfish” last week, I have become probably overly critical of virtual realities like this. In the movie, a young man starts an internet relationship with a beautiful young girl named Megan. When he starts noticing inconsistencies in Megan’s stories, he decides to drive to her farm to meet her in person. *SPOILER ALERT* Upon his arrival he finds out that Megan, and 16 more of her family and friends, are creations of a middle-aged married woman with two handicapped sons. Her husband has no idea that she created a profile for 17 people, and personalities for each of them. As if this is not strange enough, the part that really bothered me was the sexual conversations that the young man and “Megan” have.

Second Life just seems like a place for disillusioned people to get the interactions they cannot get in the real world; including sexual encounters. And while the creators of Second Life require a member to be 18 years of age, there is no way they can restrict younger teens from creating an account.

A second thought I had while listening to Dr. Gilbert’s presentation was how long will it be before his “perfect” world becomes an untracable medium for groups like the Mafia and Al Qaeda? All they have to do is make a virtual conference! The truth is, no world can ever be perfect, real or virtual, and there will be sexism, racism, and hate in Second Life interactions that I fearfully believe will create more problems with diplomacy in our real world.

The only reason I believe Second Life should be used is as a supplement to real life, not a replacement. One should attend real life class AS WELL as virtual class. One should be able to hold down a real job if one wants to have a job on Second Life. We cannot create a new world to distract us from the problems we have in this real one, we must deal with them. I support the idea of overcoming physical constraints to attend a conference or concert, but I just know that people will not be able to use Second Life in moderation.

Check out this preview of the movie “Catfish”… I highly recommend this movie to any social networking user, its fascinating.

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Live Twitter feed from President Burcham’s Inarguration

Read my comments as I watched LMU’s 15th President become official!!!

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Live Blog of the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards!

click on this link to view my live coverage!!

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