Find a song when you only know the tune

Finding a song when you know the lyrics or bits of the lyrics is easy. You just google it! What if you only know the tune , though? Technology has come a long way and is so helpful now. I had this tune playing in my head and couldn’t for the life of me identify it. I worked out it was a Mum song because she gave me so much in terms of musical and film knowledge form her era. As it turns out it is the theme from Moulin Rouge by Mantovani or Percy Faith both of whom she listened to a lot along with jazz and big band music.

I succeeded by using Midomi. So easy. I just hummed my tune into the microphone and Midomi found it. I could then look it up on YouTube. I tried Soundhound which is a very good app but it didn’t recognise my tune. Midomi needs flash to work so it doesn’t work on an iPad. Shazam works if you have a recorded version of the tune. You can also try Siri or Google sound search but these 3 apps are pretty impressive and we are no longer left to wonder.

I thank my mother for continuing to teach me about music appreciation. Her legacy lives in in the technology age.

Technology peeves

access denied imageImage: Dreamstime

It used to be the Access denied was the most constant and regular annoyance you got with technology. Now we have a whole raft of annoyances to choose from. For some it’s the constant notification interruptions. For others it’s the constant spam and cold calls.

As soon as the New Year was rung in , I had non stop cold calls on my home phone and mobile phone. Over Christmas there had been a cease fire. I realised we still haven’t dealt  with this and it ought not be hard given most of the numbers are well documented on number look up sites as nuisance calls. The scams are getting worse, though and the people are becoming brazen. It’s a global problem which needs addressing as a matter of urgency.

Then there are the apps which suddenly won’t work wither because you have changed devices and the apps were not installed properly or they are no longer registered with the organisation for which the app has been created. So off you go re downloading things and then waiting in call queues.

Printers are probably the biggest annoyance. It is cheaper to buy a printer than the ink to fill one. You do not often need a printer these days but when you need one , you really need one. We need a better way of managing printers for those who might need one once or twice a year. The cost of printing a couple of sheets of paper is ridiculous and given ink dries up…not very clever of us.

Tech-Funnel has its top 10 pet peeves. Theirs includes so connections. Oh yes…watching the infinite wheel of death spin and spin and spin…MakeUseOf has its top technology annoyances and it includes passwords. Yes! Endless amounts of passwords and then you have to change them when you just mastered remembering them.

2019. I think we need to get onto these annoyances and make a real effort to a) make a very clear list of what annoyances we have with technology b) do something about it to make it a better technology world. We can all do this. We need to rectify  it because, truth is, we’d be lost without our technology.

 

Puzzle Craft 2

It was a massive achievement to finish the Imperial Castle and I certainly felt the love from the game! It all then seemed to go nowhere and I thought I was up for looking for a new game. I couldn’t see anything I liked so I went back to Puzzle craft 2 to have a look. There were still awards to be completed. There was still the networking I hadn’t done and , to my surprise, I was on the leaderboard! I get on leaderboards for anagram and word games, and I jolly well ought to, but with “normal” games I sink into oblivion. There were the challenges for me. I could finish awards and I could move myself up the leader board. I have since made a lot more money, collected more influence and gems and am up to level 206. I networked on Facebook but gave no permission to access friends list at this stage. Why? In the past networking has meant I have had things stolen from games which is just as alarming as having things stolen in real life. Theft is theft. I also do not want messages sent from the game under my name when I haven’t sent them. That is rude. I don’t know if Puzzle Craft 2 is like that or not but I am not risking it at this stage. Meanwhile I can still do the Royal Challenges and that puts a whole new look on the game. You have limited moves to complete moves which is why you really need friends to help you. Sometimes the challenges have tried to force me to use friends but I just cancel them. Bullying is not encouragement. My game, my life, my device and my list of friends. I have now completed 2% of the challenges but don’t understand why whatever else you do on the board after you have met the challenge goes nowhere. You are making moves for no reason because you are not collecting the resources. Sometimes you can turn them into coins or maybe into gems but not often. Why am I collecting wheat or whatever into fresh air? That does not make sense to me. With challenges you have to keep your tools well stocked and invest in magic tools which is easy because you get plenty of Influence with the challenges. You then have to work on the village boards to keep the tools going. I am actually enjoying this part of the game. I can more or less do as I please. I am not hampered by lack of resources which are being saved for the castle building and I can invest in workers which makes it all easier. I can use all the villages if I want to and I can vary it with Royal Challenges. I am not only enjoying myself, I am moving up the leaderboard too. That’s a bit random , though, because I don’t know what the game is counting as points to move me up the board and so I don’t know what to focus on. Googling hasn’t informed me either. This game can be a bit light on help sometimes but  that forces you to think for yourself so it’s not all bad. I’ll be with the game for a while longer now, so good, I can just have fun and keep my brain working. Puzzle Craft 2 constantly changes and challenges you to think in different ways. I like that.

Psychologist’s view of UX

how memory worksImage: Today I Found Out 

Understanding user experience is critical these days. Most of us are connected and using devices. Many of us have been using technology for a very long time. We all come with our habits, views and perceptions of how technology should work. UX (user experience) is about working with real people so they can use your software and can easily access your website. We have all been there. The app which leaves us clueless as to what to do next or find what we are looking for. The website which gets us so frustrated because we are following the links and they are not going to where we want or worse, take us back to exactly where we started. In my opinion a circular website is the equivalent of smacking people in the face. It’s rude. At least put up a message that you are working on something or traffic volume is too high or whatever the truth is.
There’s a very good article by a psychologist which looks at UX from a psychological point of view. There are 10 main areas and each one is explained very efficiently. If you are planning screen services of any sort for anyone then it’s good to look at the psychology of it as well as the visual impact and functionality of it.

1.People don’t want to work or think more than they have to
2.People have limitations
3.People make mistakes
4. Human memory is complicated
5.People are social
6. Attention
7.People crave information
8. Unconscious processing
9. People create mental models
10. Visual system

The article in UX Magazine explains it all really well. It’s worth a look.

Solbot Energy Rush

Solbot Energy Rush is a mobile game where you collect orbs to create renewable energy. It is , at least, a game which focuses on 21st Century energy issues. There is information accessible from within the game to give you tips and ideas for creating a more sustainable planet. To be a true educational game I’d like that information to be coming up as I play. The little robot changes colour as you go through the game levels and you collect the energy orbs which match the colour of the robot. It’s a drop down and collect game and then you need the navigational skills to be able to avoid the energy balls you don’t want to collect.

It’s a good game to have on your phone to fill in time if you are having to wait for something. It didn’t work so well on my iPad Air which I have had since 2015. It kept hanging. That might not be the game’s problem. I am on an Australian nbn connection which can drift in and out at times and then create lag on some apps. We are still putting in the infrastructure for our nbn and these sorts of things cause band width problems.

On my phone Solbot Energy Rush has worked perfectly fine and has been advantageous to me to build up my thumb skills. I don’t naturally use my thumbs on my phone as some people do. One of the advantages of playing different games is they get you good at screen skills. There are times when the robot moves of its own accord and I have been blown up by bad energy. That doesn’t bother me because its’ part of the repetitious learning in games to enhance your skills.

I quite like the graphics. I think they are well designed for a phone screen which has such a small screen real estate. Everything stands out well and is placed appropriately. You don’t make inadvertent clicks because the graphics are in the wrong place. I haven’t minded the adverts either. There have been things I have seen which have interested me and I have already downloaded one of the games which was advertised. For me  it’s good because I won’t naturally go looking for that type of information.

My favourite phone game is Bejewelled Blitz and I find Solbot Energy Rush to be another good option. It’s a Unity built game by Freakout games.  They  have a Facebook page  and are on Twitter @freakoutgames. They are pleasant and polite to deal with. They were keen to resolve my iPad issues with the game so they take user experience seriously. There’s another review of this game on XNVR. In the end, you find the games which suit your needs but this one is worth a try.

You can get the Apple version for iPad and iPhone from the App Store here and the android version  for  other tablets and phones  from the Google Play store here.

 

 

Josefine Grimm-Blenk

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