monthly-roundup-october-2016

Monthly Roundup: October 2016

As Halloween draws October to a close, in a place where no one can hear you scream, I will make sure to round October off by taking a look back at the articles published over the course of this month. Happy Halloween!

1.10.2016 – Kicking off October, I welcomed all of you back to Mother Nature and I would announce that this month would be just as busy as September, considering it would be quite a productive and busy month given my Film & Photography Course.

3.10.2016 – On Friday 23rd September 2016, me and my class headed up to Dungeness as part of our course, and considering that the trip was an hour and a half via coach, I can honestly say that Dungeness is actually really peaceful and quiet. Despite the fact that I have heard it is a depressing place, to me, that is a complete understatement, as Dungeness is not a depressing place, even if the huge landscape around it suggests otherwise. I published my photo collection of The Trek to Dungeness on this day following the trip just around one or two weeks before.

5.10.2016 – On this day five years ago, the iconic and revolutionary technology figure, Steve Jobs, best known for shaping Apple into the company it is today, sadly passed away on the 5th October 2011 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

14.10.2016 – As I collaborated with the famous GIANTLAND actor, Oli Regan, on the article surrounding Autism & Mental Health Awareness, I published an article based on whether Autism & Mental Health were overlooked, to which they actually were, and the article came about after a video surfaced of a man and an organisation who believed that Autism and Mental Health were curable, which they’re not, and I used the sole intention to publicly shame them for their disgusting beliefs of what they think works and what doesn’t where Autism & Mental Health is concerned. It is and always will be an absolute honour to work with Oli Regan, because without his help on this topic of discussion, this article wouldn’t have come to fruition and I thank him wholeheartedly for collaborating with me on this article.

21.10.2016 – To celebrate the release of her fifth studio album, JOANNE, following her remarkable comeback to the music scene, which saw her record: “Perfect Illusion” go straight to Number 1 around the world, with a few other singles that followed shortly after, Lady Gaga‘s highly anticipated fifth studio album, JOANNE, was officially released worldwide. As I had listened to and purchased the deluxe edition of the album on this day, I can honestly say I love Lady Gaga’s fifth studio album, JOANNE.

25.10.2016 – As Winter is fast-approaching, the coats, scarves, gloves and headgear comes out as the temperatures are set to drop, despite the weather being warm on some days. I also mentioned that Daylight Saving Time would come to an end on Sunday 30th October 2016 at 2:00 AM, in which the clocks would go back 1 hour, with the daylight hours being considerably shorter, with an extra hour of sleep included.

29.10.2016 – I published an article that was of serious discussion based on whether you thought drones should be used in the public domain to which I immediately said: “I Don’t Think So!”

Also on this day, I asked you all if you were prepared as the clock would go back 1 hour at 2:00 AM on Sunday 30th October 2016, to which I mentioned that I’m prepared to get back the extra hour as I needed it, also because of the fact I tend to get more work done with an extra hour in hand.

31.10.2016 – It’s been a long time coming, and after a long wait, BOXPARK is officially open in Croydon! I used the opportunity today to snap a large collection of photos during my lunch break and also after I finished my first day back at college after the one-week holiday. It’s absolutely lovely and so peaceful in BOXPARK. This photo collection would consist of 56 photographs, including 1 edited photograph based on an original version of one of the photographs I took of BOXPARK.

Thanks to all of you for such a productive and busy month, and I will try my best to get as many articles published when the free time becomes available over certain times during next month. Again, thanks to all of you for such a productive and busy month, and I will see you all in November.

Alex Smithson

remembering-steve-jobs-5-years-on

Remembering Steve Jobs: 5 Years On

It’s hard to believe it was five years ago today that Steve Jobs died. It doesn’t feel like it was that long ago. It really doesn’t seem real.

Steve Jobs, the man best known for shaping Apple into the company it is today with the Apple Mac, including the iPod product line and the iPhone and iPad product lines, passed away on the 5th October 2011 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Steve Jobs helped to redefine technology as we know it, as he introduced the Apple Macintosh back in the 1980s, which would forever change the way we use computers, then he introduced the iPod line in 2001, which increasingly grew over the years, and then, with the introduction of the iPhone, that was the complete game-changer and was the phone that would go on to compete with other leading phone companies, such as Samsung, LG, HTC, you name it, any phone company competed with the iPhone.

Then, in 2010, Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad, a device of which would go on to sell and become almost a computer in its own right.

I wanted to keep this tribute short as I don’t want to dwell and ramble on, so as a mark of respect, I want to say this:

“Thank you Steve Jobs for revolutionising and shaping this world with your iconic inventions. Thanks to you Steve, you have changed mine and everyone’s lives for the better and have also helped to shape our lives not just into something better, but into a far better perspective that even me and everyone else didn’t see in ourselves before. We miss you dearly, but you will never be forgotten, and you shall always remain in mine and everyone’s hearts forever. Thank you Steve Jobs. Thank you for everything.”

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup - May 2016

Monthly Roundup: May 2016

With this month being the least productive since the start of 2016, I will be making sure to take a look back at the articles that were published over the course of this month.

1.5.2016 – As the next couple of weeks were set to get warmer considering that Summer would be just a few weeks away, I welcomed you all back to Mother Nature for May. I also mentioned that I would be very busy with my college studies, which meant I would be publishing articles less frequently than the month before, considering that April was extremely productive. I did mention that I would be travelling up to London on Tuesday 10th May to the Barbican Gallery where Madonna was a few weeks before as I would be going to see an exhibition that would comprise of over 250 intuitive works produced by Martin Parr.

5.5.2016 – On the 20th April 2016, I ceased the opportunity to take some photographs for my Final Major Project, and I headed to the 96 George Street Building opposite Croydon College to snap a photograph from the viewpoint space that was free for use. I used the photograph for the featured image of this article, including showing it below in full colour, along with the details of the photograph. For instance, the dimensions of the photograph, including the make of the camera, not to forget to mention the F Number, Aperture Priority, including the ISO Speed etc.

6.5.2016 – As the weather on this day was absolutely peaceful, I was able to cease the opportunity to take some photographs of some of the blooming flowers that were in my garden. I did attempt for the first time with my Nikon D3300 with Aperture Priority, which delivered some fantastic results considering I never experimented with Aperture Priority on my own camera before.

15.5.2016 – On Tuesday 10th May 2016, I travelled with my Film & Photography class up to London on a trip to the Barbican Gallery. As it was the first time I had ever visited the Barbican Gallery, I was shocked to find just how massive it was inside the Gallery. There was so much information available at hand and whilst I was there, I was able to take photographs around certain parts of the Barbican Gallery where I was allowed, and I must say I was surprised. The damp and dismal weather that day didn’t stop me from getting a collection of photos together.

17.5.2016 – Over the years, I’ve known some people who can be thoughtless and heartless, no matter how hard you try to put yourselves out there for them, especially where your respect to them concerns. I’ve had my fair share of that experience and I’m not ashamed to say this, but I will not put myself out there for those who feel it’s okay to take others for granted, have a go at those who are trying to respect and help them and I will most certainly not put my neck on the line for some people who think it’s okay to treat me like I’m something they’ve trodden in.

I wrote this article based on how I felt not just over the few stressful and eventful weeks I had with my work, but also because I felt I needed to get everything off my chest about what I really thought about those who take others, including myself for granted, including the lack of equality, diversity and respect that goes amiss nowadays.

23.5.2016 – A hilarious Facebook Live video broke the internet within a few days after Candace Payne, who purchased a Chewbacca Star Wars mask for her birthday left herself in stitches due to the mask making a funny noise, which also left the internet amused and in stitches of laughter.

I thought it would be nice to write an article on Candace Payne’s hilariously infectious video because it made me smile and laugh for all the right reasons, given that the video put a smile on my face despite the amount of stressful and eventful weeks I had with my coursework. I also thought it would be nice to share this funny moment with all of you as Candace Payne brought me and everyone around the whole world 4 minutes and 4 seconds of happiness, joy and humour. Again to Candace Payne, thank you :-).

26.5.2016 – I published a note of sincere apology for all of you to see, as I wanted to apologise for not being as productive over the course of this month, considering I had a lot of personal things going on, including not being able to have the energy to publish as many articles as I hoped. I mentioned that the past few weeks hadn’t been easy for me as I had so much going on personal-based, but also a lot going on with my Final Major Project, which I’m ready to start wrapping up and finalising before the public show goes on at Croydon College from the 13th – 17th June.

28.5.2016 – Let’s face it. We’ve all been there. We have all worried that we might not be able to succeed in life and we have the dreaded existential crisis that may affect what we want to do in the future. We often worry about certain things that we shouldn’t worry ourselves over. For example, we may feel petrified of the thought of dying, including what happens to all of us when we are no longer here.

I wrote this article because I did, at certain stages, feel like that, where I wanted to give up, but I also thought at those stages in my life that my future was at stake and I couldn’t afford to give up now. I also know it’s not an easy ride where an existential crisis concerned, given that I have been there, but this article was about asking you whether an existential crisis had affected you, despite my experiences of going through an existential crisis of my own at certain stages of my own life.

31.5.2016 – As Apple released their first ever Apple Watch last year, I thought it would be nice to review the Apple Watch Sport considering I brought it a short time ago. With Apple’s first iteration becoming a part of the watch industry, the Apple Watch has been able to help those who own the Apple Watch Sport, the standard Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Edition and the Hermés version of the Apple Watch have the ability to track the person’s Activity in terms of exercise, steps taken, not to forget the amount of calories it tracks that you burn off over the course of 24 hours.

I decided to publish my review of the Apple Watch Sport 38MM 7000 Series Edition considering that I’ve loved and enjoyed using the Apple Watch Sport ever since I brought it, but I also wanted to publish my review of the Apple Watch Sport in case you are someone who has been looking to purchase an Apple Watch for a while. I wholeheartedly recommend the Apple Watch to every single one of you, as it’s absolutely useful for productivity and it has most certainly helped me to be more productive at what I do.

Thank you all for a good month. I sincerely apologise for not being as productive as much as I hoped but I will try my best to make sure I can get more articles published over the course of next month. Again, thank you all for a very good month and I’ll see you all in June.

Alex Smithson

Apple Watch Sport Review Image - Alex's Tech Review

Apple Watch Sport: Your Get Up & Go Daily Exercise Watch and Why the Apple Watch Sport Edition is Beneficial for You. (38MM)

As Apple released their first ever Apple Watch last year, I thought it would be nice to review the Apple Watch Sport considering I brought it a short time ago. With Apple’s first iteration becoming a part of the watch industry, the Apple Watch has been able to help those who own the Apple Watch Sport, the standard Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Edition and the Hermés version of the Apple Watch have the ability to track the person’s Activity in terms of exercise, steps taken, not to forget the amount of calories it tracks that you burn off over the course of 24 hours.

Having owned the 38MM 7000 Series Edition of the Apple Watch Sport for over a month now, I absolutely enjoy the things it can do. In this instance, I can play/pause music and skip or go back to the previous track, no matter whether I’m using the official Music app or even the Equaliser Music Application, TuneShell. TuneShell is like the Music app, but comes with the ability to use an equaliser, including being able to listen to previews of songs from the iTunes Store, not to forget to mention the ability to listen to songs or remixes through SoundCloud.

The things I can also do with the Apple Watch is that I can turn the volume of my iPhone up or down and as the Remote app comes bundled with the Apple Watch, this means I can turn the volume on my iTunes library up and down as well, including the ability to skip certain songs, including being able to play and pause.

The Activity app is the most beneficial way of keeping track of your health, as well as the amount of calories you burn off, the duration of time you spend exercising, including the amount of hours you stand. Bundled with the Activity app is Workout. Workout comes with a range of exercises you can use, which are:

  • Outdoor Walk
  • Outdoor Run
  • Outdoor Cycle
  • Indoor Walk
  • Indoor Run
  • Indoor Cycle
  • Elliptical
  • Rower
  • Stair Stepper
  • Other (If you’re planning on creating your own exercise regime that you can work with).

The ability to be notified of a text message, tweet, status update or even a notification, including being notified of progress updates by the Activity app with Prominent Haptics is a bonus, as this means I never miss out on a single thing. Gone are the days where I would have to keep taking my iPhone out of my pocket each time there was a notification, now I can raise my wrist to see the most recent notification available, including the time and also the amount of battery I have left before charging the device. This also includes being able to raise my wrist to track my activity, in terms of exercise minutes, standing hours and also the overall amount of calories that have been burned off each and every day.

The ability to track my heart rate (BPM – Beats Per Minute), including being able to track my activity, as well as being able to find out the latest updates on the weather forecast with Glances helps me to stay productive throughout the day and is beneficial for you in mind, as this can help you to keep yourself on top of the things that keep you productive throughout each and every single day.

What other kind of functions/abilities work with the Apple Watch?

It has a large range of functions you can use, such as Maps, Calendar, the Weather app and even the Camera app. The Camera app is bundled with the Apple Watch and even has the ability for you to take the perfect photo without you needing to hold on to your iPhone. All you have to do is press a button on the Apple Watch to take a photo and it even comes with a 3-second countdown timer that allows you to get the best group photo or group photos you want without your photo or photos becoming compromised.

There’s a lot of fun to be had when it comes to the Apple Watch, because if any friends of yours have an Apple Watch as well, you can send sketches to your friends, even taps and also your own heartbeat, which are just a few of the ways you can communicate. With Emojis, Apple allow you to send your friends your own customisable Emoji expression just by adjusting the emoji’s expression with the digital crown. This is also beneficial, because if you wanted to send your friends an Emoji that you customised and they didn’t have an Apple Watch, they will still be able to respond and even send the same Emoji back with their iPhone’s, their iPad’s or even with the use of an iPod touch. As I said, there is a lot of fun to be had with the Apple Watch.

You can also switch up the standard Apple Watch straps for a massive range of different watch bands, as there are customised watch bands available on sale. For instance, the standard leather watch straps, including many other watch straps, such as the fluoroelastometer watch straps, the same type of material Apple use for their own standard watch straps for the Apple Watch Sport, the standard Apple Watch, including the Apple Watch Edition. If you’re someone who likes to dress casually for the occasion, there are a range of casual straps you can buy, and not only that, but you can also customise the Apple Watch with the Milanese Loop watch straps, which are available online and in other available store outlets. It’s amazing what you can do with the Apple Watch.

Other functions, such as the Weather app are useful, especially when you’re on the Watch screen, as it puts up the times for Sunrise and Sunset, and not only that, but the ability to take calls with the Apple Watch is a must-have for anyone as this means you can speak to a friend of yours directly from your Apple Watch if your iPhone isn’t nearby.

You can receive your usual notifications through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on your Apple Watch if your iPhone is nearby and the best things that it’s capable of doing are being able to use any alarms from your iPhone to wake you up, and you even have the ability to keep track of the world clocks you have added in the iPhone’s Clock app on the Apple Watch.

The ability to add photos to your Watch is possible through the Apple Watch iPhone app, as you can choose which photo collection you want to synchronise and it will synchronise your chosen photo album to the Apple Watch.

Other features, such as the Wallet app comes bundled with the Apple Watch, which is useful because if you have added any credit cards, plane tickets, vouchers or even event tickets to the Wallet app on your iPhone, these will appear on your Apple Watch and all you have to do to get instant access to your Wallet on the Apple Watch is to double press the side button below the digital crown to bring your credit cards, plane tickets, vouchers and event tickets up. Another feature that is a part of the Apple Watch is the Stocks app, which, just like the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, can tell you what is currently happening in each stock market, from FTSE 100 to AAPL, even to GOOG and YHOO.

To top it all off, you can even customise your Apple Watch Face, which includes the ability to create a Watch Face from a photo album, including the ability to look at your emails from your Apple Watch, not to forget to mention being able to instantly install any compatible Watch apps that are compatible with your iPhone’s standard apps.

Overall, I absolutely love the Apple Watch, not just because of what it can do, but I feel it has helped me in the long run with the things I couldn’t do before that I can do now and I strongly believe this will help you if you’re someone who is looking to purchase the Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch Sport, the standard Apple Watch and the Apple Watch Edition are available in 38MM and 42MM and range in price. To find out more about the Apple Watch, you can click here. If you’re looking to buy an Apple Watch, you can buy one from the Apple Store and at many other store outlets, such as Currys & PC World, and even at other outlets, such as Argos, Very.co.uk and even Amazon.

If you enjoyed my technology review of the 38MM 7000 Series Edition of the Apple Watch Sport, then please feel free to submit feedback. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Apple Watch Rating: 10/10

Performance: 10/10

Responsiveness: 10/10

Battery: 10/10

Overall Performance: 10/10

Monthly Roundup - April 2016

Monthly Roundup: April 2016

As I’ve been extremely productive and have been a very busy bee as usual, I will make sure to take a look back on the articles that have been published over the course of this month.

1.4.2016 – As March ended on a productive note, I had made sure to welcome you all to April on Mother Nature, as this month would be set to get a little warmer considering the wintry spells had finally passed.

Also on this day, I published a tribute article which paid tribute to the nation’s most loved Agony Aunt, Denise Robertson, who sadly passed away at the age of 83 from pancreatic cancer on the 31st March 2016, with the news of her passing being announced just 24 hours after the news broke of Ronnie Corbett passing away.

2.4.2016 – After a lot of widespread anticipation, following its historical début on mobile, which saw 1 million users in Japan getting their hands on this app within 3 days of its release in Japan (17th March),Nintendo finally released their first mobile application, Miitomo, to the world. The release of Miitomo came exactly two weeks after it was released in Japan, and within less than 24 hours after its release worldwide, Nintendo’s first ever mobile application on the iTunes App Store and Google Play débuted at Number 1.

Also on this day, I published an article that was based on finally setting your creativity free, as it was based around how we all have ideas of being creative, but would leave us wondering how we would all set that creativity free.

3.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article based on the truth that I had about abstract art, which was me answering that it was interesting and innovative. This article was based around an abstract art piece I created using a pen and a piece of paper, which took less than 24 hours to produce. I also made sure to create different colours of the same abstract art piece that I had finished, and I had made sure to do some significant editing, using the editing skills I currently have to make it look exactly as to how I saw it on paper, so that I could reproduce the same appearance I saw in drawing form, but in the form of a digital version as well.

Also on this day, I published my first Quote of the Day, which would be useful as I wanted to make sure to inspire you all and to put some light in your day.

4.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article that I wanted to make sure would be short, but would be inspiring as well, as the article I published was based on doing something for the first time in this world, which was for you to do you and to be happy. It was my way of saying that you should be you, be happy, but most of all to be yourself.

Also on this day, I published another article which was based around three key factors of life, which were Strength, Courage & Willpower, and it was based around just how powerful they can be in all walks of life.

Ending Day 4 of the month on a high note, I had made sure to publish Quote of the Day #2, which was based on redefining ourselves for the better in this world.

5.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article which was based on how, over the years, we had all seen some disaster films, but the question was whether they were feasible in terms of real-life situations.

Also on this day, I published an article which was based on whether protective headgear should be worn at all times in boxing, following the news of the boxer, Nick Blackwell, who collapsed shortly after a boxing match between him and Chris Eubank Jr., the son of Chris Eubank Snr.

To end this day, I published Quote of the Day #3, which was based on helping you all to believe in yourselves, including being yourselves.

6.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article that was based around expanding your horizons with all-new ideas. This article was also a 5-Step Guide that I created which was my way of being able to show you how you could broaden your horizons with all-new ideas.

Also on this day, I published an article that was based around the April showers, considering that the name of the article, which was called: “April Showers Bring Blossoming Flowers” was based around the small showers we were getting, which brought along with it some gusty winds.

To end this day on a high note, I published Quote of the Day #4, which was based on aspiration and inspiration, as well as inspiring anyone to do better.

7.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article that expressed my excitement for the Summer Break, given that the time has been flying like clockwork and that the long holiday break was not far behind. I mentioned that although I may not be partial to the spells of hot weather, I did mention that I do love the thought of lovely Summer days where it’s nice and sunny and where it is also absolutely peaceful.

Also on this day, I published an article that was based on music, as well as wondering how we’re able to relate our lives to songs. I talked about how it was the first thing we would make sure to listen to everyday, as well as how there would be something about music that would make us feel connected.

Hailstones Bring Showering Flows was based around the unexpected flow of hailstones that we had where I live and it came down so fast that it had felt like a torrential downpour during a thunderstorm.

To end the day on a good note, I published Quote of the Day #5, which was based around not the kind of people we become, but the kind of people who we choose to become in life that would really matter.

8.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article based on the two-week holiday, in which I asked you how yours went, given that I had two very productive weeks, which I had absolutely loved.

I also talked about success, as well as asking you all how good it felt to achieve something, given the joys and excitement of being able to succeed at something that we may have worked so hard for.

As the two-week holiday was quickly drawing to a close, I asked you all if you were ready to head back to school or college, considering that I felt more than ready to go back to college after a productive and relaxing break, given that I was able to recuperate fully considering I had a huge amount of energy that I still had on hand despite the productive and relaxing holiday break that I had.

To end this day on a high note, I published Quote of the Day #6, which was based on determination, success, as well as working hard for something, not to forget to mention the chances of being able to follow your dreams.

9.4.2016 – On this day, I published three Weekly Logs, the first two of which were based around the Light Play Project that I completed and passed, which was based around darkroom experimentation work, while the third one was based around the first week of the Ghost Stories Project, which would be based around the Uncanny, as well as a mixture of different backgrounds, such as supernaturalism, ghouls, as well as mysterious things, not to mention tension, including strange and horrid backgrounds.

To end this day on a high note, I published Quote of the Day #7, which was based on excelling in life, as well as working hard and producing something new, including being stronger than you think, not to mention believing in yourself, including being yourself.

10.4.2016 – On this day, I published three more Weekly Logs, two of which were based around the Ghost Stories Project, including the third, which was based around the first week of the Stop-Frame Animation Project.

Also on this day, I published an article that was based on an upcoming newspaper called: “The Word: Telling it As it Is.”, which would be launching on Friday 27th May 2016. As The Word is currently being funded on the crowdfunding site, crowdfunder.co.uk, I thought it would be nice to contribute and spread the word of this new community-based newspaper, as I wanted to make sure I could do my bit to help out. After a friend of mine sent me a logo of the name of the newspaper, I offered to help out by giving the logo a complete design overhaul, so that it would be bold and professional, but also create an in-your-face approach, so that it would be the community-based newspaper that people will read and enjoy.

To end this day on a high note, I published Quote of the Day #8, which was based on being yourself, including always being confident and to always to do you, which is what matters.

17.4.2016 – As I was requested by one of my friends about drawing them, I thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and draw them. I published the final version of this drawing on Mother Nature as this was the first drawing I had done that didn’t require a single photo reference, but was all from memory. I loved the final result of the drawing as it was how I wanted it to be.

As we also had lovely weather on this day, I ceased the perfect opportunity to get a photo of the lovely silhouette sunset shift just before nightfall was due to commence.

20.4.2016 – The week before, I ceased the opportunity to take a collection of photographs around Croydon whilst I was on my way home from college via my 367 Bromley North bus. I used the Camera+ app (Recommended) to snap up to almost 40 photographs and I was absolutely pleased with the collection of photographs that I created and published on Mother Nature.

21.4.2016 – As I had photographed one of my friends at college the day before, I ceased the opportunity to take a few photos with the Canon EOS 1200D (provided by Croydon College), including my iPhone 5 and because of the lovely Spring weather, this meant I was able to set the aperture correctly to produce them. I also listed below in the article: “A Bright & Peaceful Spring!” the details of the photograph, which showed what the focal length was, including the exposure time and the F number, which was 5.6.

In light of the sudden death of the iconic music legend, Prince Rogers Nelson, who died at the age of the 57 on this day, I had made sure to pay my full respects to him by publishing a tribute article that would give me and all of us the chance to remember him forever in our hearts as the iconic music legend he truly is.

22.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article that was based on my own views of my generation, as well as how my generation has changed how we live. I won’t deny that I didn’t hold back, but I wasn’t afraid to make my feelings known to those who treated others like dirt. I must admit, having a go at some of the secondary school students from a high school that’s near to where I live was a forced to be reckoned with, but after I lost my temper at the secondary school students, they never did anything to me, nor did they even say anything to my face as a result of how angry I was, but I did, however, receive an apology from some of the high school students for the way they were treating each other, but even though that apology was aimed at me, it was more or less aimed at everyone else on my bus, which just goes to show that if you cannot be considerate of the passengers who are on board the same bus as you, then the simplest thing is to not board the bus.

26.4.2016 – As the Croydon-born talented musician, also the winner of The X Factor 2014, Ben Haenow, kicked off his One Night Tour on the 15th April 2016, which ran until the 23rd April 2016, everyone was full of excitement, including myself, as he came back to his hometown, Croydon, on the 19th April 2016, to perform his One Night Tour at Fairfield Halls / The Ashcroft Theatre, which promoted his self-titled debut album, Ben Haenow, which was released on Friday 13th November 2015. This Special Tour Review was my way of saying a massive, massive thank you to Ben Haenow, Alex Haenow and James Plimmer, as this was my first ever time going to see a musician perform on tour and for Ben Haenow, Alex Haenow and James Plimmer to put on such a perfect night, I absolutely loved it. Thanks guys!!! Also again, thanks so much to Ben Haenow, Alex Haenow and to James Plimmer for getting photos with me on the night, it means so much :-).

29.4.2016 – A few weeks before, it was reported and confirmed that David Gest, who had recently made an appearance in the Celebrity Big Brother house, had passed away at the age of 62 at a London Hotel on the 12th April 2016, just before 10:20 AM. The news of his death seriously shocked me and I was absolutely gutted, as this news came nearly two weeks after we lost Ronnie Corbett and Denise Robertson, but when I heard the news of David Gest’s death on the 12th April, I was absolutely shocked and upset. I paid tribute to him by publishing this article as I wanted to make sure he was remembered in our hearts forever and also for the footprints he left on our hearts.

30.4.2016 – On Thursday 28th April 2016, whilst I was around Croydon during my lesson taking photographs as part of a concept I will be producing for my final piece towards the end of the first year of the two-year UAL Level 3 Diploma Film & Photography Course, I took just a few photos around some parts of Croydon that I hadn’t photographed properly before, and as I took these photos, these would help me to develop my ideas further for the concept I will be aiming to produce. I published this photography article as I wanted to give you all an in-depth look at the kind of concept I have in mind, as well as using the photos I took as ideas for how I could produce that concept for my final piece, but in a completely realistic setting.

This Monthly Roundup has officially drawn April to a remarkable close. Although we lost quite a few notable icons over the course of this month, they will never be forgotten in our hearts and will always be remembered forever in our hearts.

Thanks to all of you for making this month an extremely productive month for me and I’ll see you all in May.

Alex Smithson

Miitomo. Out Now.

Miitomo. Out Now!!! (My Review of Nintendo’s First Ever Mobile App)

After a lot of widespread anticipation, following its historical début on mobile, which saw 1 million users in Japan getting their hands on this app within 3 days of its release in Japan (17th March), Nintendo finally released their first mobile application, Miitomo, to the world. The release of Miitomo comes exactly two weeks after it was released in Japan, and within less than 24 hours after it was released, Nintendo’s first ever mobile application on the iTunes App Store and Google Play débuted at Number 1.

I’ve been playing around with the Miitomo app for 48 hours now, and I actually love it, it’s really cool, and I quite like the fact that you get rewarded everytime you achieve something good, especially where the games are concerned, as they do games inside the app, which allow you to use any game tickets that you were given upon using the app for the first time.

Since its release on the 31st March in the United Kingdom, the United States and everywhere else in the world, a lot of users around the world have been creating funny memes, using their own Mii‘s, which has resulted in the app going viral within a matter of a few days. I decided to put my own spin on the Miitomo meme effect that has gone viral on the web by making my own one for this article’s featured image. I wanted to create a kind of cheesy but interesting approach for this article by getting my Mii to do different poses and funny facial expressions :D.

I have always loved Nintendo for their creative and innovative ideas, as they have revolutionised the way we play games. For instance, when the Game Boy Advance came out, that changed the way we play games, and the Game Boy Advance SP (SP stands for Special) was no different, but it was the Game Boy Advance SP that eventually paved the way for the best-selling handheld console, the Nintendo DS.

I remember waking up on Christmas Day in 2005 unwrapping and unboxing the Nintendo DS, along with the Super Mario 64 DS game that came bundled as another Christmas present, and I absolutely loved playing on the console, especially the game, and it just goes to prove how the handheld console revolution has evolved for Nintendo since the original Game Boy was released all the way back in 1990 in Europe.

But with Miitomo, this will help to redefine and shape Nintendo’s way of developing games for the future. It’s such a fantastic app to use, and I wholeheartedly recommend it. You can link your Nintendo Network ID to Miitomo, including your Facebook & Twitter accounts, which is also useful if you’re looking to add some Facebook friends you know that may use the app, including some of your Twitter followers.

To download Nintendo’s first ever mobile app, choose the designated App Store below to be directed to your chosen App Store:

iTunes

Google Play

Overall, I absolutely recommend you download the app if you’re on the iTunes App Store or Google Play, I highly recommend it. It’s such a fun-filled addictive app that will keep you going for hours on end.

If you’ve downloaded Miitomo on your Android or iOS device, please let me know what your experience with the Miitomo app has been so far :-).

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup - October 2015

Monthly Roundup: October 2015

As October draws to an energetic and remarkable close, I will now take a look back on the articles that have been published over the course of this month.

1.10.2015 – I welcomed you all back to Mother Nature, where an Autumnal Dawn broke and a cold and chilly working season had begun. I also mentioned that the clocks would be going back towards the end of October, given that it would be like it has been every year on record, while October would become a lot colder, and if not, a lot busier than usual.

3.10.2015 – Following a tangent that I went on a few days prior, I wrote an article that focused on the bad bus experience I had, when I suffered a nasty fall on my 367 Bromley North bus, which resulted in me having a juicy bruise on my right elbow, with a winded chest. As this accident had happened the year before, I wanted to take the opportunity to write the article so that I could talk about how my bad bus experience affected me, and what I wanted the bus drivers to do in the future, to prevent this bad bus experience from occurring ever again.

9.10.2015 – I remember asking you all how music shows our emotions, and how it affects us as well. Well I mentioned how many of the songs that you hear by a very huge number of musicians, they would create their music in a way where certain songs can capture elements of happiness, sadness, anger, but also capture a kind of feeling where you can relate to that musician in terms of certain life experiences.

16.10.2015 – 20.10.2015 – He’s back!!! After being hard at work and being all-hands-on-deck on recording his own music for his upcoming debut album, including shooting his music video for Second Hand Heart, Ben Haenow is back with a bang!!! Second Hand Heart, which features the Piece by Piece American musician, Kelly Clarkson, has a vibrant, energetic beat and bass that will really give you goosebumps on its first listen. On the 20th October, Ben Haenow finally released his much awaited music video for Second Hand Heart, which is absolutely fantastic.

19.10.2015 – Following a formal debate that was discussed in my English lesson the Monday before, I took the opportunity to share my own views on why I felt that violence was never the answer to any problems.

Also on this day a year ago, the world lost a national treasure and an icon. Lynda Bellingham, who was most famously known for being a regular panellist on the TV talk show, Loose Women, from 2007 until 2011, sadly passed away a year ago from colon cancer. I took the opportunity to pay my respects further, considering that she is always thought of and loved even after a year, and she left behind a legacy of her own, she will never be forgotten. We love you Lynda xxxxxxxxx.

21.10.2015 – Coming just a little over a month after Apple released iOS 9, which brought with it a revamped user interface and a software update for doing, Apple finally released iOS 9.1 to the public. This update, for the first time, brought with it a large bundle containing over 150 all-new emojis with full support for Unicode 7.0 & 8.0 emojis, and also for the first time, Apple included the most-requested middle-finger emoji, which has, in so many aspects, been on the cards for a very long time.

25.10.2015 – After sending Facebook & Twitter into a frenzy with her 30-second advert of Hello, Adele, after four years, came back with a bang. After the advert aired, Adele announced shortly after that this record would be available by the week’s end, and just like clockwork, the record was released, along with a comeback video for the new record, and during the course of the week, Adele announced her comeback album, 25, which hits all retail and digital stores on the 20th November.

28.10.2015 – After working hard behind the scenes on his EP, Vander is back!!! Last year, you might remember me telling you all about Vander, as he released a free download of his single: “Back to the Sun” last year. After I gave his Back to the Sun record its first listen, I knew straightaway that it would instantly grow on me, and it did, and I had a very good feeling that more of his music was to come. The Special Music Feature article was commissioned by the man himself, Vander, and it gave me the absolute pleasure to talk about his EP in full detail.

31.10.2015 – Happy Halloween everyone!!! As Halloween is the time of the year where everyone goes out celebrating fright night, I thought it would be good to celebrate Halloween with all of you. As Halloween is also the time of the year where everyone dresses up to go to Halloween parties, and to celebrate a yearly event, it’s often known that Halloween can be a bit of a scary part of the year, but also exciting at the same time, considering that there are often good elements of Halloween that connect well together.

Thanks so much to you all for a fantastic and energetic month, and have a Happy Halloween, and I’ll see you all in November!!!

Alex Smithson

🎃

iOS 9.1. Available Now.

iOS 9.1 | Available Now. Go & Get it!!!

Coming just a little over a month after Apple released iOS 9, which brought with it a revamped user interface and a software update for doing, Apple have finally released iOS 9.1 to the public.

This update, for the first time, brings a large bundle containing over 150 all-new emojis with full support for Unicode 7.0 & 8.0 emojis. For the first time, Apple have included the most-requested middle-finger emoji, which has, in so many aspects, been on the cards for a very long time.

Also, a very large number of bug fixes and improvements have been made, which also includes stability across the iOS 9 Software, including improved performance while on the Multitasking User Interface (UI), as well as stability across apps and certain software functions, such as CarPlay, Music, Photos, Safari & Search. This is really good as this can streamline and improve the entire look of iOS 9 altogether.

Below is the full changelog, which gives a full rundown of the improvements made, the new features that have been included, as well as bug fixes that will squash and knock the kill switch on the pesky bugs.

This release includes new features, improvements and bug fixes, including:

  • Live Photos now intelligently senses when you raise or lower your iPhone, so that Live Photos will automatically not record these movements.
  • Over 150 new emoji characters with full support for Unicode 7.0 and 8.0 emojis.
  • Improved stability including CarPlay, Music, Photos, Safari, and Search.
  • Improved performance while in Multitasking UI.
  • Fixes an issue that could cause Calendar to become unresponsive in Month view.
  • Fixes an issue that prevented Game Centerfrom launching for some users.
  • Resolves an issue that zoomed the content of some apps.
  • Resolves an issue that could cause an incorrect unread mail count for POP mail accounts.
  • Fixes an issue that prevented users from removing recent contacts from new mail or messages.
  • Fixes an issue that caused some messages to not appear in Mail search results.
  • Resolves an issue that left a gray bar in the body of an Audio Message.
  • Fixes an issue that caused activation errors on some carriers.
  • Fixes an issue that prevented some apps from updating from the App Store.

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

From what I’ve seen of this update since I downloaded and installed it today, it’s much, much better now, as it’s now stable to use, and I haven’t experienced any bugs with the software at all, it’s absolutely worth updating to iOS 9.1 as it will improve the stability of the OS, and has also received a large number of bug fixes, improvements and new features which will, in turn, make your iOS experience much better than before. I highly recommend that you update to iOS 9.1, I guarantee you that you won’t be disappointed.

To update your iOS Device, go to the Settings app, then to General, and then to Software Update, where the update will be available to download and install.

Until then, enjoy the update!!! I guarantee you’ll love using it.

Alex Smithson

© Apple 2015

© iOS Logo Copyright of Apple.

© The iOS Logo, that’s including the changelog that was used in this article are courtesy of Apple. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

10 Weeks with Windows 10

10 Weeks with Windows 10

Exactly 10 weeks ago today, Microsoft Corporation released the last version of Windows to the entire world, and that last version of Windows was Windows 10. Windows 10, in the 10 weeks since it was released, has been installed on up to almost 100 million Laptops and PCs across the world.

Also in that 10 weeks, Windows 10 has revolutionised the way we use our computers, and not only that, but also alongside Windows 10 comes the most recently released version of Microsoft Office 2016, which has seen quite a large overhaul in its UI (User Interface) across all editing software programs, such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft OneNote, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft Access and Microsoft Excel. Since Microsoft Office 2016 was released on the 22nd September, the UI has been given an overhaul to match the design specifications of the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch versions of its Office apps.

I have had absolutely no problems with Windows 10 at all, I have found that getting around the Windows OS is a whole lot better than before, and not only that, but the idea of automatic Windows Updates (which I must admit I wasn’t too sure about at the time) actually sounds like a good idea. I have noticed that for every cumulative update that has been applied, I have noticed quite a lot that Windows 10 is getting faster and faster than before, but to make things even better, having Windows 10 and Microsoft Office 2016 work perfectly together. I can craft documents and alter them to how I want them to look, and not only that, but I have noticed that in the time that I’ve used Microsoft Office, every bit of Windows and Microsoft Office just keeps evolving and becoming something a whole lot better.

The whole user interface of both Windows 10 and Microsoft Office is much better now, and for both the OS and Microsoft Office to be reworked entirely from the ground up, I’d say that Microsoft Corporation have done a fantastic job with the best of both. It has taken a while for Microsoft to get to this point, and I must admit, the very long wait has absolutely been worth it for them.

The Start Menu came back with a bang, after three years of being away from the scene, and was also given a near-complete overhaul, as the metro app design has been taken from Windows 8 and merged with Windows 10, and as well as that, much of the design aspects from Windows 7 have been put together with Windows 10, which combines the best of both Windows 7 & Windows 8.

Also introduced in Windows 10 was the ability to create clean and new desktops while on the same account. This meant that if you wanted to spread out the software applications that you wanted to use, without it cluttering up on just one desktop, you are now given the ability to click: “+ New Desktop”, which adds the ability to declutter your current desktop, while using the specific software applications on other desktops, all on one Microsoft account.

With Windows 10 also came the alternative voice assistant to Apple’s Siri, and that was Cortana. Cortana is mostly known for being the voice assistant on any Windows Phones, and is often a useful voice assistant for those who may be on the go, or if that person is just simply looking up information about a person, whether that person may be a musician or not.

A top feature of Windows 10 that just couldn’t be left out was Microsoft’s all new Edge browser. Microsoft Edge is the newborn alternative of Internet Explorer, with some, if not a lot of familiar features you may have known or used with the classic style Internet Explorer browser.

How as Windows 10 been on me? Windows 10 has been completely reliable on me, I have had no problems with the speed of the OS, and not only that, but I have found that Windows 10 has become much easier to use, as the OS is quite easy to access. In the space of 10 weeks alone, I have found Windows 10 to be really accessible, easy to use, and also powerful to work with, as you can work on something whilst doing other things as well. Microsoft have most definitely redefined multitasking with Windows 10.

Aside all of the new features comes the all-new Action Centre, which is like the notification system that Apple have made for their Notification Centre, but this Action Centre is useful if you are willing to keep an eye on certain things, such as the emails you receive, the notifications you receive from the likes of apps, such as Facebook or Twitter, or if you are someone who is security conscious when it comes to laptop and PC security, then Microsoft’s Windows 10 OS will notify you of any app notifications or problems via the Action Centre. Also included in the Action Centre is the ability to use Tablet Mode, so if, for example, you have a laptop, PC or tablet that has touchscreen support included, then Tablet Mode will be very useful and beneficial for you to use.

Quiet Hours is also a new feature in the Action Centre, which is useful if you don’t want to be bothered by the sounds of notifications, though these notifications won’t be shown, but will instead show up in the Action Centre once you click on the Action Centre icon near the clock’s time.

My final thoughts on Windows 10 after 10 weeks? In contrast, I think that it has absolutely been worth upgrading to Windows 10, because I’ve not come across any of the small problems that I had with Windows 8, and I have found that the jump to Windows 10 from Windows 8 has absolutely been worth it. Windows 10 is every bit amazing, as it hits all the right notes with some of the classical features from Windows 7 and Windows 8.

My question to all of you: How has Windows 10 performed for you over the course of 10 weeks?

My overall rating of Windows 10 altogether: 10/10

Alex Smithson

© Microsoft Corporation 2015

© The Official Windows 10 Home/Pro Wallpaper, the Windows 10 Logo and the Microsoft Logo used in the Featured Image are courtesy of Microsoft Corporation. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

iOS 8.4 - Available Now.

iOS 8.4 Available Now. Go & Get it!!!!!

Coming just weeks after iOS 9 was unveiled at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (also known as WWDC), iOS 8.4 has just officially been released to the masses. With this update comes the official Apple Music service, as well as many of the other new features that are now available in this update. This update came two hours early ahead of the usual release time that Apple have normally stuck to since the first ever iPhone, iPod touch and iPad were released.

Also, the Music app has officially been redesigned and includes new features, such as Recently Added, which is seen most commonly in iTunes. As well as that, the music player has finally got a mini player as you would most commonly see in iTunes as well, and to top it all off, Up Next and other further features in the Music app have finally been added.

Upon opening the Music application, you’ll be greeted with the Apple Music logo and background, with two options that will come up, giving you the chance to choose whether you want to start your 3-month free trial with Apple Music today, or if you don’t, you get the chance to just go to your music library.

Here is the full changelog for iOS 8.4, covering the features that are new to the software, as well as the music application’s icon being given a redesign, ready for the iOS 9 update coming in the Autumn:

This update introduces Apple Music — a revolutionary music service, 24/7 global radio, and a way for fans to connect with their favourite artists — all included in the redesigned Music app. iOS 8.4 also includes improvements for iBooks and bug fixes.

Apple Music

  • Become an Apple Music member to play from millions of songs in the Apple Music catalogue, or keep them offline for playback later.
  • For You: Members can see playlist and album recommendations, hand-picked by music experts.
  • New: Members can find the latest, greatest new music available — direct from our editors.
  • Radio: Tune in to music, interviews and exclusive radio shows on Beats 1, play radio stations created by our editors, or create your own from any artist or song.
  • Connect: See shared thoughts, photos, music and videos from artists you follow, then join the conversation.
  • My Music: Play from all your iTunes purchases, songs from Apple Music, and playlists in one place.
  • Completely redesigned music player that includes new features such as Recently Added, Mini Player, Up Next and more.
  • iTunes Store: Still the best place to buy your favourite music — one song or album at a time
  • Availability and features may vary by country.

iBooks improvements and fixes

  • Browse, listen and download audiobooks from inside iBooks.
  • Enjoy the all-new Now Playing feature, designed specifically for audiobooks.
  • Books that are Made for iBooks now work on iPhone in addition to iPad.
  • Find and pre-order books in a series straight from your library.
  • Improves accessibility of widgets, glossary and navigation in books made with iBooks Author.
  • New default Chinese font.
  • New setting to turn off Auto-Night theme in your library.
  • Resolves an issue that may have prevented Hide Purchases from working.
  • Resolves an issue that may have prevented downloading books from iCloud.

Other improvements and bug fixes

  • Fixes an issue where receiving a specific series of Unicode characters causes device to reboot.
  • Fixes an issue that prevented GPS accessories from providing location data.
  • Fixes an issue where deleted Apple Watch apps could re-install.

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:

http://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT1222

After an extremely long wait, iTunes Radio has officially arrived in the United Kingdom, and can now be found next to the playlist icon. Also, Beats 1 and many other various radio stations are now available within the Music app. Apple Music Connect is also a welcome of open arms, meaning that after some time, you can now follow your favourite musicians, either through tapping on the “Follow” button, or by tapping on the “Automatically Follow Artists” button when you add the music from your iTunes Library to your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad device.

At last, after a long wait, landscape mode for music videos has officially returned to the Music app, a commonly used feature that was in iOS 6.

The Music application has had a major design overhaul and has also been more of a focus for Apple, considering that the Apple Music service has just officially been launched today.

Below are the screenshots that show iOS 8.4, and the redesigned Music application all in action (including iTunes Radio UK & Beats 1 Radio).

I have checked in the Music app, and it’s a luck of the draw, if you feel that you don’t want to subscribe to Apple Music, there is an option to say no, as Apple have put an option below the “Start 3 Month Free Trial” button, saying “Go to My Music”. This is a wise move from Apple, as this means that you don’t have to worry about it, you can still use the Music app for free, and making purchases in the iTunes Store and the App Store, including the desktop version of the iTunes Store mean that you can still use iTunes and the Music app for free without having to pay, unless you’ve already started the 3-month free trial with Apple Music today.

If you haven’t already, please make sure to go ahead and upgrade your iPhone, iPod touch (5th Generation) or iPad to the latest software. This iOS update is much better now and is worth the upgrade. It is also the most stable software update that Apple have released before the final version of iOS 9 arrives in the Autumn.

To update your iOS Device, go to the Settings app, then to General, and then to Software Update, where the update will be available to download and install.

Until then, enjoy the update!!!

Alex Smithson

© Apple 2015

© iOS Logo Copyright of Apple.

© Any of the logos, including the screenshots that have references of musicians and their album artwork, that’s including the changelog that was used in this article are all courtesy of Apple. No Copyright Infringement Intended.