Tag Archives: technology

eMAG’s Facebook dilemma

So, turns out Facebook might be a shady company. I know. Who’da thunk? While private users have begun to jump ship or at the very least to post memes about Mark Zuckerberg’s peculiar way to drink water, public pages – like eMAG – are having to make a pretty tough decision.

Yet another Facebook scandal

Alright, let’s start with a very brief, by no means, complete summary. Facebook is collecting user data, and this goes quite a bit deeper than what some people like to admit. Call logs, contact lists, even where people live. Pretty useful stuff, one might say. Would come in handy if you were to – oh, I don’t know – create ads to sway people’s opinion on stuff like the 2016 Brexit vote or certain presidential candidates in the US. Well, Cambridge Analytica found a way to collect this data and sold it to customers who in turn used it for… You can do the math. Of course, Mark Zuckerberg distanced himself from these practices in the senate hearing last month, but whether his company will change its data-guzzling ways is more than doubtful.

The convenience of networks

And this is where we all come in, actively this time. The development of Facebook’s user base hasn’t really changed all that much following the latest scandal, but a number of influential personalities have openly encouraged people to delete their account, for example Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and Space X. So there is at least a chance that the already sub-optimal public opinion about Facebook could lead to people leaving. The problem is, where to?

You see, people have been concerned about Facebook for a long time, but we’re all so invested in its ecosystem that moving on from it seems like a huge step. You’d have to find services that can do everything you’ve found in Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. And ideally, they should have a user base as all-encompassing as these apps, too. Facebook is all about being convenient. Looking for capable alternatives and convincing your family, friends and colleagues to actually use them is anything but that.

Ties that bind

For eMAG the issue is similar, but with a slight twist. For us Facebook’s massive reach means that we can use those existing networks to get word going when we have a promotion event, a new article ready, or our latest issue around the corner. People who are interested share it and all of a sudden 200 people most of our team members have never seen know our release date. That’s just neat! But doesn’t that also mean that we encourage people to stick around on a platform that has done enough shady stuff to deserve being shunned indefinitely?

We’re not pretending that we’re as big as Kanye, but this definitely is a problem that every influencer and page administrator on Facebook needs to be aware of. If you use Facebook for promotion, you bind people to that system and it’s gotten really tough to justify that now.

To leave or not to leave…

So, this is where we’re at. If we quit Facebook, we take the moral high ground. We also throw away most of the promotion work we’ve done since the magazine’s inception. If we stay, we are able to reach a modest, but ever-growing number of readers and can hope to reach people outside the campus on a regular basis.

If you know of any alternatives, please drop us a line, through Facebook, if need be. Every social network has to start with just a handful of users. Maybe you are one of them. We’re definitely open for a service that respects its users.

Text & Picture: Andreas Böhm

The future is now

Think back to your childhood for a second and try to remember the things that seemed strictly sci-fi to you. Cool tech people used in movies and stories like it’s the most normal thing in the world, but surely couldn’t exist in real life. For me, things like Star Trek’s holodeck and scanners come to mind. Turns out that these things are now just around the corner.

Reality and then some

wheel_(1)With the big splash Virtual Reality headsets have made over the last year, with the releases of consumer headsets like the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, the holodeck seems to be well on its way to our living rooms, but so far, VR also seems to remain a feature reserved for games. Augmented Reality (AR), the other side of the alternative reality coin, might prove more versatile. Interestingly enough, it was a game that finally introduced a larger audience to it: Pokémon Go. Instead of creating a virtual world for you to roam around in, AR adds things to the real world that you can then interact with in real time. In Pokémon Go this was still mostly a gimmick, but there’s a lot of potential in this technology. Here are some ideas.

Navigational systems…

GPS devices work pretty well for getting you to where you need to go, but having to constantly look away from the road to peek at the map can be pretty annoying. And dangerous! How much cooler would it be if you could see your route right in front of you? For cars, the windshield could act as a screen that highlights turns. And for pedestrians a similar system could be used with glasses. Although, I guess here your phone screen could work too. People might feel a bit self-conscious wearing something that makes them look like Geordi La Forge.

Tourist information…

You know those plaques on historical buildings all over Augsburg with information about why the place is notable? They’re kinda concise, don’t you think? And a guided tour takes forever. Wouldn’t it be much better if you could walk around at your own pace, check out places you really care about and go into as much detail as you really want? An interactive overlay could do the job. You just look (with glasses), or point your screen (on a phone) at a location of interest and the options pop up. Not just a boring Wikipedia page or a long monologue. No, just what you want to know, right in front of you.

And much more

This doesn’t have to be a thing for tourists only. Look at the sky to get the forecast for the next few hours. Walk towards a bus stop and immediately see how that line can get you to your destination. Point at the cinema and see what movies are on this evening. These are just a few ideas for how AR could be used in the near future. It might still be a while until we finally get our very own dedicated holodeck, but at least this gives us all ample time to plan the layout.

Text & Picture: Andreas Böhm

On air

We’re going to be on the radio! This thought was as exciting as it was scary for us eMAGers who are used to having all the time in the world to create beautiful sentences with sophisticated syntax and impressive vocabulary. So the prospect of having to come up with elaborate statements in a matter of seconds was somewhat intimidating.

Who’s behind Kanal C?

Ronja and Laura from the Kanal C student radio made us feel very comfortable in their ‘base camp’ at the Alte Universität. It was quite obvious from the start that everyone’s welcome at Kanal C, so we weren’t surprised when the two girls told us that their team was made up of students from all kinds of programs. Some get involved with Kanal C to gain experience in producing and hosting radio shows, while others are there just for the fun of it. And we can’t deny we got the impression that the Kanal C team does have lots of fun producing their shows.

Kanal-C-Logo-Rund.jpg

Just another radio station?

Before we were interviewed, we were allowed to have a look at the recording studio. Here, Kanal C records passages that are later played in the show, which is broadcast both from the studios and on the frequency of Radio Fantasy (93.4 MHz). Each show is hosted by an anchor who’s supported by a co-anchor. Before you start hosting the live shows you need to practice and get an overview of all tasks that are involved in producing a show. Reports have to be written and recorded, including local and global news that always have to be up to date. Just like every radio station Kanal C offers traffic reports and weather forecasts, but also information about current events in Augsburg or at university. And, of course, Kanal C focuses on its young listeners and updates you on new apps, games and movies in the theaters. If you’re an indie, alternative or hip hop fan, Kanal C is the perfect radio station for you. They played Milky Chance and X Ambassadors long before they conquered the charts and they keep an eye on the local music scene, interview young bands and artists and report from the Modular Festival.

IMAG0532Listen in or become a radio celebrity yourself!

It’s obvious that the Kanal C team puts a lot of time and effort into their shows, but with up to 7,000 listeners their effort certainly isn’t in vain and twenty successful years also speak for themselves! So why not listen to the radio at 9:50pm next Monday? And don’t worry – if you can’t make it, you’ve still got the chance to listen to their podcast on https://kanal-c.net/. We’ll definitely be glued to the radio next Monday when they’re airing their show!

Oh and by the way: if you feel like hearing your voice on the radio, just send the team an email (info@kanal-c.de) or drop by during one of their team meetings on Tuesdays at 8pm at the Alte Universität. They’re always on the lookout for potential new members and they promised us they don’t bite! 😉

Authors: Noemi Hehl & Henrike Wilhelm
Pictures: Noemi Hehl & Kanal C

Remake, reboot, recycle?

Up until a couple of years ago, it seemed that Hollywood would never run out of new ideas. Yes, there was the occasional book turned into a movie, but at least that was a story nobody had seen on the big screen before. This all changed, though, and now it feels like every single film coming out of Tinseltown has been made at least once before. I know Hollywood is packed with green liberals, but this shouldn’t be a reason for recycling every last story that has ever existed. So why are there hardly any exciting new projects released by Hollywood studios anymore? Honestly, I can’t answer that, but it really does bug me since I used to love going to the movies.

When I was younger, my Saturday afternoon ritual was going to the cinema. Sometimes I went to see the same film two, three, or in the case of Titanic, even four times. Nowadays, I never think of doing this anymore. One reason is that seeing a movie has gotten super expensive over the last couple of years. Yet the other, more important reason definitely is that there is really nothing new playing anymore. First all the old horror classics of the 1970s and 1980s were remade; then they turned TV shows into films. After this they made tons of sequels of the same old film and now they’re booting comedies that had long been wrapped, like the new Bridget Jones movie or the Zoolander sequel released last year.

remake

At the end of the day, you really wonder if every screenwriter in Hollywood is too lazy or just too busy spending their millions to actually think of creative new scripts. Especially considering that this is not only happening with the cinema, but also TV shows. I’m the first to admit that I was thrilled about the reboot of The X-Files. Yet the outcome was more than a letdown. This was their chance to finish the show on a high note after the lame season without David Duchovny back in 2002. Yet they actually managed to tarnish the series by kind of making a parody out of it. This is exactly why I loathe remakes, reboots, prequels, and sequels. Most of the time, they take something awesome or even perfect, like The Lion King, American Pie, or Halloween and turn it into a disaster that makes you want to pretend that you’ve never even seen it.

I know I shouldn’t give up on Hollywood just yet, and if you’re also sick of remakes and a seemingly endless amount of sequels, neither should you. Because who knows, maybe there will be an awesome ten-IMDb-stars-out-of-ten movie released real soon that’s neither a remake nor a reboot, not based on a book and hopefully not even based on a true story. Just a great film brought to life by the mind of an inventive screenwriter.

Author & Picture: Alisa Lechky

4 shows you need to watch before you die

Yes, I admit it. I’m a total series addict! Watching my favourite shows is pure joy for me and the best way to relax after a stressful day. Having to wait from week to week until the next episode airs is sheer torture for me and God forbid if my favourite show takes a TV hiatus and the next summer/winter/autumn/spring/whatever break approaches. So here are four of my favourite shows that’ll most probably get you hooked in an instant as well.

outlanderOutlander

I only recently started watching this brilliant historical-drama show and finished the first season within a few days – binge-watching alarm! If you like Game of Thrones you’ll love Outlander! Based on the novels by Diana Gabaldon it revolves around the British combat nurse Clare Randall who mysteriously finds herself transported from her own time in 1945 back to Scotland in 1743, where she’s immediately thrown into an unknown and dangerous world. She encounters a young (and very, very handsome) Scottish Highlander and is more and more torn between her two irreconcilable lives.

Jane the Virgin

Funny, romantic, satirical and really captivating – that’s Jane the Virgin. With its sweet telenovela mocking style you’ll feel pure joy watching it. It’s about the young virgin Jane who accidentally gets artificially inseminated! It’s as crazy as it sounds and I promise this show will brighten your day!

The Walking Dead

Nothing new, but still not on everybody’s list – even though it should be! Every episode leaves you longing for the next one. It’s based on a comic book series and as the title already says, we find ourselves in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies. A group of survivors struggle to get along with the new world. But it’s not only the zombies who are a danger – some humans are even more dangerous. Also you can never be sure which of your favourite characters is going to die next. No one is safe! So if you’re looking for a show which gives you the creeps, but in a very good way – The Walking Dead is perfect for you!

Modern Family

I love, love, love it. Seriously, this is the funniest show you’ll ever see and it will leave you with stomach ache from laughing. The genre is a ‘mockumentary’ (nope, haven’t heard of it before either, so let me google that for you: “a type of film or television show in which fictional events are presented in documentary style to create a parody”), so the characters are frequently talking directly into the camera. The storyline revolves around the lives of Jay Prichett, and his family which includes his second wife, his stepson and infant son as well as his two adult children and their spouses and children. It’s currently airing its seventh season, so you have a lot to catch up on!

Author & Pictures: Katja Rollinger

Pokémon Go

Be honest, there is nobody on this planet who hasn’t heard of Niantic’s latest app: PokémonGo. There are millions of lovers, but probably just as many haters out there. But what is the hype really about?

Since the mid-90’s people all over the world have been fans of the Gameboy game seriepoks. Niantic and Nintendo have long refused to offer games for anything but their own gaming devices. At the beginning of July this year, a dream for many Pokémon fans worldwide came true: being able to actually integrate your game into your life. The very handy side effect of having to walk around your area or even explore new parts of your city (namely exercise), has been accepted widely.

It’s about catching them all – obviously. But there is more to it and it’s a tiny bit different than the original. There are no missions to go on and you can’t really train your Pokémon in the traditional way. You can battle gyms, though: in real time! (For non-Pokémon-traditionalisteamts: that means you have to actually hurry to do your move. Otherwise your opponent might just win without you even having used one single move.) No Pokécenters, marts (you get Pokéballs at Pokéstops, as well as other goodies) or hometowns of players exist in this game. There are teams to choose from: red, blue or yellow (probably because of the three original games/legendary Pokémon?). After choosing one, you will take over gyms with this team – but you also have to defend that said gym against opponents of the other teams.

To start the game, there will be a professor – just like in the originals – who will offer you one of the three starter Pokémon. This time, though, you can also catcScreenshot_2016-07-13-12-44-00h all of them, so you don’t have to miss out on one! (Yay!) Pokéstops: You want to visit as many of these as possible, as they’re your immediate supplier of Pokéballs, which you need to “be the very best.” The main point of Pokéstops and gyms, though, is to level up the player. This time, it doesn’t matter that much, what level your Pokémon are, but rather what level you are. The higher the level you are, the higher level Pokémon you’ll find. All of the creatures can be found in their “natural surrounding”, meaning you’ll find a Squirtle close to water and a Rattata or Pidgey basically everywhere. You just have to explore new areas to catch different types.

Sounds like fun? Try it! There’s even going to be a Pokémon tram in Augsburg which only allows players to get on. Go on, you “Gotta catch ‘em all!”

Author & pictures: Susann Tallmadge