Testing the VR waters – Ricoh Theta S

The Williamsbridge Oval Park & Recreation Center in the Norwood section of the Bronx – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

I decided to finally test out my 360 degree Ricoh Theta S camera in the park near my house. I have been looking for a camera to create VR content. I am still not sure if I should ditch the Ricoh and get the Samsung Gear 360. The Ricoh is one of the easiest VR cameras to use because of the simplicity of the design. However the video quality on the Ricoh, while pretty good when running locally on my computer or mobile phone/tablet, gets totally crushed when uploaded to Facebook or YouTube.

I hear that the Gear 360, while not as user friendly, is handled much better on social media sites like YouTube. The only reasons I didn’t snag the Gear 360 it hasn’t been officially released in the US as of yet and I wanted get started shooting during my summer break. Plus my older Galaxy S5 is not supported by the software app needed to run the camera. Call me cheap but I didn’t want to also have to upgrade my phone to the newest Samsung (approximately 600 -700 bucks) in order to get the full functionality. So now I am hoping that a firmware update to the Ricoh, or future change on Facebook and YouTube will improve the upload quality.


Old Apples don’t die, they multiply!


I am throwing out my Apple 9600 Power PC. I am amazed that it still boots up after 17 years. This machine got me through my graduate school digital media program. When I bought it the system had a “huge” 9GB SCSI hard drive and 1.5GB of ram. At the time is was a beast. Now before I tossed it I was able to back it up with a small 8GB Flash drive over a first generation Continue reading “Old Apples don’t die, they multiply!”


Life after ITP


As part of an alumni panel discussing life and career possibilities after graduation, I was invited once again to speak to students in the NYU Interactive Telecommunication Program. It was a great event, but I must admit to having a good laugh at the fact that I was the oldest person on the panel by far.

The funniest thing was when I mentioned the year I graduated a student in the front row mouthed the word “wow”. Dat’s right son, I’m a straight up ODG (Original Digital Gangsta)! Protect ya neck!


Speaking at the Grad Center

A colleague of mine, Michael Mandiberg, invited me to be a guest lecturer for a class he was teaching at the CUNY Graduate Center. The students in his class were PhD candidates within the CUNY Interactive Technology and Pedagogy certificate program. Over the course of the semester his class examined how people and technologies have shaped academic classroom and research interactions in the past, and how they are reshaping the university in the present.

I spoke on the topic of “The Digital Humanities & the Future of Academic Inquiry and Publishing”. Michael thought that my previous papers, interviews, and conference presentations on the topic of digital scholarship would help spark a lively debate among his students.


CUNY Career Opportunities for NYU-ITP Students

I was approached a few months back by the folks at NYU to be a part of an academic career opportunities event for students of the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP). I was asked to to introduce ITP students to the teaching opportunities available within the City University of New York (CUNY) system. My presentation highlighted the two schools I represent, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and LaGuardia, and how current students and alumni can work as adjuncts, teaching assistants, tutors, workshop organizers, application writers, interns, etc..

This felt very much like a homecoming for me. It was the first time I had formally presented at my old Alma Mater. I had forgotten how much I had enjoyed my time at ITP.


Webinar: Video Tips & Techniques for the Web and Social Media

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LaGuardia New Media Technology Update

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Last week I was part of a faculty panel that presented on the upcoming curricular changes to the LaGuardia New Media Technology major. In addition to the core web development classes we are now adding new tracks in digital journalism, ecommerce/entrepreneurship, game design/mobile app development, and digital media/VFX.

These are changes that I had fought for over a number of years and were outlined in the Periodic Program Review (PPR) which I produced over two years ago. The event was well attended and many of my new colleagues in seem extremely excited to begin this work. After so many years of being the sole full time teaching member of the New Media program, it is great to have additional voices involved in shaping the future direction of the major.


This is why I teach.

I had just returned from one of the many meetings that I have during the week to find a Facebook instant message from a former student of mine. I hadn’t seen or heard from Juan directly since a few months after he graduated. It was great to hear that he was doing fantastic and that I was able to play a small role in his success. At the end of the day this is essentially why I continue to teach. None of my other responsibilities as a professor even comes close to the satisfaction of helping students find their way in life, both personally and professionally.