Light Switch Problems

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When moving into my dorm at Lebanon Valley, one of the first issues that I encountered was what I believed to be a power outage. I was lead to believe this because when I first flipped the light switch the lights didn’t come on. After talking to other people in my hallway, we all seemed to encounter the same problem. When I investigating the issue further, I realized that there is a second switch located on the lights that then turned on the light.

This issue could simply be avoided by removing the second switch located on the light. This would be an affective use of a constraint, which limits the actions that can be preformed on a system. Also, this design challenges or doesn’t match our mental models of how light switches should work. For example, we often associate flipping a switch up as a way to turn something on but this does not occur with this design unless the switch on the light itself is also turned on.

In order to avoid this issue, many people tape the light switch on the wall so that they only need flip the switch located on the lights. Although this is a simple solution to the problem, it increase the kinematic load upon students and doesn’t create the ideal solution to the issue.

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New Hand Dryers Cause Hygiene Hysteria

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When brainstorming ideas for this weeks blog post, I came upon an article that discussed several issues with modern hand dryers. These dryers are meant to reduce the amount of bacteria spread between users by releasing bursts of hot air onto users hands. However, several studies show that these new bathroom gadgets are causing more harm than good.

Researchers got a real surprise when they counted the bacteria left on the fingertips after using these new drying methods. When washing hands with conventional methods by using paper towels or continuous-loop cotton towels, researchers found that bacterial count was reduced by about 45–60 per cent. But when washing, and then using a warm-air dryer actually increased the bacterial count by an average of 255 per cent. This then lead me to question, “How could drying your hands increase the number of bacteria on your skin?” When examined more thoroughly the researchers found out the answer to my question. The solution was that the bacteria that was already inside the warm-air dryers, due to the warm moist environment, is spread when the air passes through the nozzle onto the user’s hands or arms.

Along with this information, I too became critical of these air hand dryers f0r several other reasons. First of all, these machines are loud, really loud, and after your ear drums have ruptured you are often left with moisture still on your hands, which requires you to enter round two with this ear deafening machine. Secondly, there is often a single air hand dryer located in bathrooms and this can lead to awkward lines which nobody enjoys. Finally, these dryers are expensive. Infact, a new Dyson Airblade Hand Dryer(pictured above) retails at $1,199.

Overall, I personally am unable to discern who would fund the purchase, use, or installment of these new air hand dryers. Not only do they lack functionality, they also have several deficiencies that cannot convince me that they are worth the lofty price tag that they are paired with.

Bathroom Layout Is “Crap”

One of the most irritating systems that I use is one that I encounter almost every day. Whenever I go to the Lynch bathroom, located outside of our Digital Communications classroom, to wash my hands I encounter an issue. When I reach for the knobs on the sink, the automated soap dispenser located on the wall will release soap on to my arm. With a few modifications I feel that it would be very easy to resolve the issues with the current layout.

When reconstructing this interface it is important utilized the basic laws and rules related to interaction design to build a more affective system. Several solutions that are both plausible and effective include, repositioning the soap dispensers and designing new types of soap dispensers.

With a few modifications, the results of a poorly designed layout could be greatly reduced. These modifications would lead to a more pleasant and efficient experience for users.

Examining Online Dating

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Over the course of history, the way that we interact as humans has evolved significantly. More specifically, the way that we interact with our significant others has changed as well. One of the most prevalent ways in which this transformation has been made is related to the usage of online dating or social media websites. Recently, an Oklahoma State University football player met his current girlfriend though twitter and I claimed in a blog post that this was “Not Your Average Love Connection”. However, after examining several sources I found that this relationship is not as surprising as I initially thought. Within this paper I will examine not only the increase of online “love connections” but also the increase in the success rate of relationship like these.

Before examining the success rate of online relationships, it is important to observe the increase in popularity of online dating. According to a study conducted by Aaron Smith, senior researcher for the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project,

“One in ten Americans have used an online dating site or mobile dating app themselves, and many people now know someone else who uses online dating or who has found a spouse or long-term partner via online dating. General public attitudes towards online dating have become much more positive in recent years, and social networking sites are now playing a prominent role when it comes to navigating and documenting romantic relationships. These are among the key findings of a national survey of dating and relationships in the digital era…”(Smith)

This study shows a significant increase from 2008, when only 3 percent of the U.S. population had used online dating. Journalist Ronald Vyhmeister attributes online dating’s popularity to the fact that people do not have the time to go out on dates and lack the patience that is required with traditional dating methods. Perhaps more surprisingly is the fact that the audience for online dating has increased as well. People tend to generally associate online dating with teenagers, however has become popular among user who may be in their 40s, 50s or even 60s. Regardless of the reason why people are experimenting with online dating, it seems as if this social revolution is not going to reach an end soon. The current statistics show that everyday more and more people are turning to online dating or social networks to find friendship, dating and even marriage.

 

Even though the popularity of online dating through social media and dating sites has gained in popularity, I was very skeptical in the success rate of such sites. A study done by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, or PNAS, negated my skepticism.  According to this study,

“This study examines the marital status and satisfaction of 19,131 people who tied the knot between 2005 and 2012. Of the nearly 20,000 respondents, 35 percent met their spouses online. Within that group, nearly half met through online dating sites, “whose number of users has increased dramatically just over the past decade,” according to the research. Others reported meeting their spouses through social media, chat rooms, and e-mail, among other online venues. And while the research found that nearly 8 percent of marriages initiated offline ended in breakups, couples who met online reported lower rates of separation and divorce at only 6 percent.”(Choi)

After reading and examining this study I was able to conclude that online dating is not only becoming more popular, but also it is becoming more successful. Even though I had thought the relationship that I highlighted on blog earlier this semester was “one in a million”, in actuality statistics and studies show that successful online “love connections” are made every single day.

Overall, the increase of Internet usage has revolutionized how we work, play, search, shop, study and communicate. This increase of Internet usage, has also lead to a change in the way that people meet significant others. Initially, I surprised when first examining a story that discussed a successful relationship that was started through Twitter. However, after examining several studies and statistics it has become apparent to me that online dating has become a part of our culture and is not only becoming more popular, but more successful as well. This can be largely attributed to the increase of Internet usage and the lack of time for people to participate in traditional dating practices. For me, it is a revolutionary concept to think that meeting the love of your life could literally be one click away.

Peyton Manning “Regretfully Declines” Fan’s Invite

Several weeks ago NFL star quarterback Peyton Manning received a wedding invitation. However, this was no ordinary invite and unfortunately Manning couldn’t make the wedding.The request came via a fan and Manning even sent his RSVP weeks late. For this fan though, they received  the souvenir of a lifetime.

Manning’s note “regretfully declining” the invite to a female fan’s wedding was posted online on Monday. The RSVP has been viewed more than a million times since and reached the top of Reddit’s front page. Here it is, complete with a “Best Wishes” and Manning’s autograph:

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After seeing the note, as a fan this is just a testament of how Manning is not only a great player, but also a great person. This was seen first hand by this fan who couldn’t be too disappointed by receiving the note and autograph by Peyton. 

NBA Player Apologizes After “Dis” On Twitter

NBA: Preseason-Los Angeles Lakers at Los Angeles Clippers

 

As an NBA veteran and a stereotypical tough guy, its no shock that Matt Barnes of the Los Angeles Clippers was ejected from his team’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night. He was ejected after engaging in a minor scuffle when teammate Blake Griffin got tangled up with Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka, Barnes rushed over to deliver a hard two-handed shove to Ibaka’s chest.

Shortly after he was sent to the locker room, Barnes posted a tweet using explicit language in which he said he was going to stop helping out his teammates due to mounting fines from the league. The post read: “I love my teammates like family, but I’m DONE standing up for these n***ers! All this sh*t does is cost me money..” Then, to no one’s surprise, Barnes returned to Twitter to offer this apology on Thursday

As a sports fan myself I enjoy following sports icons on Twitter because its a way of actually getting a sense of what a player is like of the court, playing field, etc. In some cases such as this I can’t help but wonder if each player should have an agent or representative who has to approve each of their posts on social media to help avoid incidents like these.

NBA Releases New Series of Commercials

I seemed as if it would be tough for the NBA to top its enormously successful 2012 holiday commercial, featuring some of its biggest players performing “Carol of the Bells” using only bouncing basketballs. But this year, the league has taken its holiday spirit to the next level with its latest ad which is a performance of “Jingle Bells,” featuring NBA stars and five hoops rigged with sleigh bells.

The video stars James Harden (Houston Rockets), Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder), Steve Nash (L.A. Lakers), Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls) and Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors) shooting three-pointers at the hoops in a carefully planned pattern. The result is a remarkable rendition of the Christmas classic, concluding with a slam dunk by Miami Heat’s LeBron James. The spot is a promotion for the Christmas Day uniforms that 10 teams will wear on Dec. 25.

This ad is just another example of how TV advertisements have changed and become more creative and interactive in recent history.