A new blog about video game reviews/news and other random things.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Facebook buys Oculus virtual reality company for $2 billion

 Oculus VR, Inc. was purchased by Facebook for $2 billion on March 25, 2014.

The Oculus rift is an upcoming virtual reality head-mounted display that is still being developed by Oculus VR.

Oculus Rift got its start on Kickstarter (a website where virtual gamers helped raise $2.4 million in exchange for a developer's kit or a free gift from Oculus VR).

The company's co-founder, Palmer Luckey, has recently said last month that he had no intention of selling the company, according to The New York Times. 

"I don't think there's a reasonable number that would make me say, 'You know I was going to change the world with VR and try to change humanity forever but here's a number,'" Mr. Luckey told GamesIndustry International, a gaming industry website, last month. 

Some of those who donated are now branding the virtual reality company as "sellouts," and want a refund.

Donators are not happy that their money is going to Facebook.

The gaming developer community felt that the Oculus Rift company's vision was a new independent platform, but now they feel that it is Facebook's platform.

People thought the virtual reality gaming device would create a new gaming platform, like an alternative to Sony or Microsoft, but they did not think it would include Facebook.

Markus Persson, the creator of the smash hit construction game Minecraft, has backed out of his Oculus Rift plans because Facebook apparently creeps him out.

"We were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus, I just canceled that deal. Facebook creeps me out," said Persson on Twitter, according to Forbes.com.

Reactions have unsurprisingly been negative as the Oculus was supposed to be the future of gaming and now that Facebook has stepped in, everything is ruined!

It is unclear exactly how Facebook will influence the Oculus Rift, but some feel that it will venture to a more mainstream audience given Facebook's history.

To some gamers, the drawbacks of the purchase is that the device's full potential won't live up to the hardcore audience with the impact of Facebook.

People can't help but lose faith on the Oculus with how Facebook deals with user data, personal information, advertisements, and its casual-social games. 

Luckey has defended the sale on Reddit message boards saying that the company would be allowed to operate independently of Facebook and its advertisers, sell its virtual gaming hardware at a cheaper price, and keep the platform open to developers, according to The New York Times.

Mr. Luckey wrote on Reddit that he is 100 percent certain that most will see why this is a good thing in the long term, according toThe New York Times.

According to theverge.com, Facebook will not completely mold the virtual reality company's flagship product into its own image. 

Mr. Luckey has emphasized that the VR company will remain largely independent.

"Mark does believe in our vision of virtual reality, and we're going to continue operating independently, delivering what we've always wanted to deliver," Luckey told The Verge on theverge.com. 

The consumer version of the product is expected (but not confirmed) to become available in late 2014 or early 2015.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

My first video game review (for the Coyote Chronicle)


Outlast review: Prepare to be petrified

By Phil Ruddle |News Editor|

I’ve disconnected myself from the real world, turned off the lights, and raised the TV volume. I’m petrified.

Yet, I can’t look away while being on the edge of my seat and barely able to hold the controller.

“Outlast” is terrifying and one of the most original survival horror games in years, I definitely give it a four out of five rating.

This game provides a different spin as there aren’t any weapon upgrades, items, skill set attributes or even the ability to fight back.

Your only options are to run, hide, or die.

There are pacing drawbacks, the second half is not as good as the first, and some might not like the system of not being able to fight back but this doesn’t take away anything from the experience.

Outcast scares the living hell out of you.

You play as an investigative journalist (Miles Upshur) whose task is to investigate an asylum called Mount Massive after receiving an anonymous tip.

Miles is always willing to risk finding stories that no other journalist would dare to investigate and apparently there is a dark secret at the heart of the asylum that could be the story of his career.

Equipped with only a video recorder that can toggle night-vision on/off that runs on batteries, you must record everything.

The game doesn’t try to scare you with cheap tricks; instead, it terrifies you in its own way.

“You won’t know what is coming and when you think you do, it’ll fool you and scare the shit out of you,” said student Reece Cote.

The music gives you the feeling that you’re in a horror film with its ambient noise. You can hear your character breathing heavily after a near sticky encounter.

“The graphics are astonishing, very detailed, and not clumsy or rigged, just perfect,” said student Jonathan Salazar.

The gameplay makes you feel like you are playing like an average human because all you can do is run, climb, crawl, and peek from corners.

To avoid enemies your best options are hiding under beds, inside lockers, stalls, or in dark corners.

Time is spent activating switches, looking for keys and security cards to get to the next area to either uncover another note or find a way to get out while avoiding everything at all costs.

Lights will turn off out of nowhere and doors will shut randomly. The game transitions will switch from locations to puzzles.

There’s gore, nudity, necrophilia, torture, hangings, beheadings, it’s got the lot.

When you think you are confident enough to keep venturing through without fear, the game throws a curve ball at you and makes you think quickly on your feet.

Most of the asylum humanoids are treacherous and evil, but some are more scared than you are, while others walk around without a care which looks harmless then all of a sudden they jump at you.

You feel a sense of accomplishment when you play the game without dying for a while.

“The game is not easy and I felt that was a good thing. It’s not too hard either, just about right,” said Cote.

The things you hear are extremely important so your ears are one of your most vital tools next to your camcorder.

A possible drawback is that you can’t fight back, usually putting you in situations where if caught and can’t run away, you’re going to most likely die. This puts you through trial and error situations which can take away some surprise when you restart the scenario.

Having the ability to fight back with things as simple as a flashlight, pencil, dust to blind the enemy to run away to restart would have possibly been suffice, but this part is mostly up to preference as some may enjoy it how it is.

It’s an indie game that is free with PlayStation Plus or $20 without. It’s a little on the short side (around 5-7 hours). There’s not many games that actually hit the scare factor in survival horrors, but this one perfects it, so don’t miss out.

- See more at: http://coyotechronicle.net/this-game-has-no-need-for-cheap-tricks/#sthash.2CrT21gS.dpuf

25 highest rated companies want interns


By Phil Ruddle |News Editor|

The above chart details U.S. companies that are hiring.

According to Glassdoor data, there are more than 4,700 companies in the U.S. that are hiring interns. Glassdoor has combined thousands of companies in reviews that are shared by interns which explain the above annual report. College students may be encouraged to apply immediately.

- See more at: http://coyotechronicle.net/25-highest-rated-companies-want-interns/#sthash.26svsQmO.dpuf

Student struck by vehicle


By Phil Ruddle |News Editor|
A female student who was crossing the street on campus near Serrono Village and Northpark Blvd. was struck by a car at about 10:07 a.m. Wednesday, Feb.19, 2014.

She was transported to the hospital, but authorities are told that she is in stable condition and should be admitted upon release soon.

When asked if any details could be revealed about the driver or how the incident occurred, CSUSB officer Lt. Walter Duncan replied that there is still an on going investigation in progress and the police report is incomplete so no more detailed information can be released publicly at this time.

- See more at: http://coyotechronicle.net/student-struck-by-vehicle/#sthash.lmDI2QDe.dpuf

Flexible curved screens soon to be released


By Phil Ruddle |News Editor|

All the iPhone 5s talk about ‘forward thinking’ has been revealed in recent weeks, but everything could soon change this November once LG releases its first curved-screen smartphone.

According to Reuters.com, LG Electronics Inc’s display unit explained Monday that it will start producing in mass of curved smartphone displays to launch a smartphone with new screens next month to catch up to bigger rivals Samsung Electronics Co LTd.

LG and others market the screens as unbreakable which, if true, may revolutionize the durability of smartphones.

The display will be six inches and will contain an organic light-emmitting diode (OLED) screen.

“The introduction of OLED Technology, allowing for “fold-able” or “bendable” designs, has the potential of starting a new revolution of product development, designed around a flexible screen instead of yesterday’s rigid screens and without the need for back lights, thinner and less power hunger screens can be produced,” explains San Casas, product engineer at Intelligent Computer Solutions.

Its been rumored that Samesung will introduce their smartphone with a curved display in October, according to techcrunch.com

Its not for sure clear what the true benefits of a curved flexible display will bring, although Samsung states a curved screen would allow more viewing space in the same footprint.

Curved displays can already be found in large-screen televisions in which both LG and Samsung Electronics started selling curved OLED TV’s this year for around $9,000.

These curved displays are still in the early stages of development however feature fold-able or bendable designs that allow mobile and wearable gadgets to reach new heights and possibly change the entire smartphone market.

“It has potential to be cutting edge, but it also treads the thin line of gimmicky and its taking a big leap from what we know as the standard smart device; whether or not it garners mass appeal is yet to be determined,” explains student Andrew Reveles.

Reveles has been using smartphones since the first iPhone was released, and has constantly upgraded to next best thing since as long as the upgrade was worth the cost.

In January, Samsung showcased a couple of prototypes with a flexible screen and a display that extended from the side of a device.

Another ad also showed the consumers their possible potential vision: flexible displays on a tablet that can fold into a phone.

At first its a normal tablet, but when you fold the display from left to right, it takes the shape of a smartphone.

You can view this ad inside of Samsung’s full Keynote CES 2013 press conference at youtube.com

This could potentially launch the production of a device with a large display that can fold up to fit inside your pocket.

The issue that erupts is cost value, as technology firms have yet to find out how to mass produce the parts cheaply and come up with display panels that can be heat resistant and thin.

“Portability seems to be key to students. You can see a rise in tablets being used in classes. Should Apple, Samsung, or another company find a way to provide this at a reasonable price while maintaining product integrity it may benefit students positivity,” explains Reveles. “Gone will be the days when students will need to explain to their parents how their new phone no longer functions because they were designed with breakable displays,” said Casas.

- See more at: http://coyotechronicle.net/flexible-curved-screens-soon-to-be-released/#sthash.Y9fUXGjX.dpuf

Take notes the smart way with Evernote


By Phil Ruddle |News Editor|

Evernote is a note taking app that keeps all of your notes in a ‘cloud’ library which syncs to any device that Evernote is installed.

This tool is for any college student, it keeps all of your important files and work all in one searchable place.

Evernote lets you record audio, capture photo, video, and it keeps them all in your personal notebook library.

If you aren’t heavily invested into an ecosystem such as Apple or Microsoft products, then Evernote can be installed on any device.

It doesn’t matter whether you have Apple, Android, or Microsoft, Evernote is guaranteed to work. This note taking app is free as well.

Its hard to keep track of things as a college student, and the more things you do, the more information you’re going to have to store.

You probably have saved Microsoft Word documents on your Windows 7 computer at work, saved notes from a lecture on a laptop, pictures on your smart phone, and important files such as PDFs in your e-mail.

With Evernote you can now keep everything in one place.

The app is constructed around how fast and easily a user can capture an observation and place it into a search filing system via Evernote library.

Students may find keeping record of notes accessible through taking pictures, like documenting photos of pages from a textbook or a screen shot of lecture notes on the white board.

One interesting feature that stands out on Evernote is the document page camera.

What it does is allow you to take a picture of an item/document that contains any kind of text on it.

This could be hand written or notwhich then gets stored into the Evernote library.

You can search through your Evernote library for any word that was on the photo you took and the file of the image will instantly come up.

It will go through all the notes in your library and highlight the word in that photograph you captured.

Evernote let’s you take specific snapshots of article pages from websites with the web clipper tool.

It connects with the Google Chrome browser and lets you draw, edit, and add clip art all over the page before you save it into your Evernote library.

You can also put timers on specific notes or files to notify you at a specific day/time and never miss another assignment again.

With Evernote you can work together on a group project, store all files, study guides and notes in a shared notebook.

The shared book will keep everything that each group member does up to date and everybody in the group can access it.

They can edit, add, remove anything they want and it will all sync up automatically and get updated.

The essence of Evernote makes everything accessible all in one stop.

- See more at: http://coyotechronicle.net/take-notes-the-smart-way-with-evernote/#sthash.PoVqbYfv.dpuf

Find new job opportunities with the career development center


By Phil Ruddle | Staff Writer |

Getting a summer internship is very important to many students.

“Internships are the opportunities that help construct a future. They teach me very much about the professional world and myself,” explained Reece Cote, a National Exchange Student.

Cote is double majoring in Management and Marketing and is graduating with both degrees at the end of 2013 at the age of 21. He wants to work as a talent agent one day and came out here from Iowa State University to study and get an internship in LA to help build up his resume.

There are other students’ out there with no internship experience and do not know where to look or what to do it seems. Some students don’t even have a resume or even know how to write one.

The Chronicle has explored the matter in order to help students learn how to get a summer internship. I spoke to a past student who obtained an internship with some help from the Career Development Center.

“I would much rather be doing an internship than have an open summer. I have had my time of fun when I was younger but it’s now time to start focusing my future and what I can do to improve,” said Cote.

Cote already had his resume and career direction set up, but went to the Career Center for further guidelines and ideas.

The Career Center will help you with anything you need to know to get that internship this summer and will guide you in the right direction. It doesn’t matter how lost, confused or new you are to this.

If you are also looking for an internship, then you need to visit the Career Center, which is located on the third floor of University Hall and is open from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Career Center has various workshops that help you build up your resume, prepare for interviews and have different job opportunities for everyone.

To view job opportunities first one has to sign in through CoyoteLink. To access CoyoteLink, all you have to do is register an account with your student identification and create a password. This account can also connect with an existing Linkedin or Facebook account so you can sync up your resume.

Once you upload your resume you can start sending them out to employers through CoyoteLink.

There are almost daily postings for jobs and internships. To minimize your search results by searching through sections by part time, full time, on campus student employment, internships, contract, temporally, volunteer or by major.

Cote linked up his Linkden account with CoyoteLink and continuously started sending out resumes to employers of his choosing.

Finally he landed an unpaid summer internship for talent management at Venture, which is the career direction he was looking for.

“In my opinion, the best way to get your resume out into the real world is based on how hard you work at it. I get my ideas and guidelines from the career center, but anybody can do that. Its my job to send them out,” explained Cote.

No one is going to get a job for you or hand you one. You have to work for it and make yourself known on your own.

Further assessment on help choosing a major or a career can be achieved via appointment through various tests and in depth evaluation with a Career Center adviser.

Even more assistance from the Career Center on a walk in basis includes interviewing techniques salary negotiations and job search/internship strategies.

Should you have any questions or issues, please feel free to contact the Career Center at 909-537-5250.

- See more at: http://coyotechronicle.net/find-new-job-opportunities-with-the-career-development-center/#sthash.H0mEueTN.dpuf

Let the stalking begin; privacy issues arise with Google Glass


By Phil Ruddle | Staff Writer

Last week the Chronicle published a feature about an upcoming new era to technology called Google Glass.

If you missed it, you can find part one at coyotechronicle.net.

In last week’s issue, we learned all about Glass and its features as they are computerized glasses that can take pictures, record video, give you directions and translate foreign languages.

However, the issue of privacy arises when you snap a picture or record someone in public without their permission.

There is no LED light in the front of the device that is blinking or making any indication of telling anybody that its recording.

The product is in its early stage, so it will be rare to see it on the streets right now, but just wait until this device goes mainstream and a lot of people get their hands on it.

Basically, just imagine people wearing these going into public areas such as restrooms or theaters.

Does this sound like a potential problem?

Could this possibly be the ultimate spy device? James Bond? Ethan Hunt?

It has been referred to in the media as “the ultimate creepy stalker toy,” “the end of privacy” and “an evil device.”

Slate.com technology writer Will Oremus explains that its easy to see why people think Glass is unethical to privacy, and more so if you have never actually used the device.

Oremus has spoken to privacy experts of Google to which he concluded that Google Glass is a “terrible spy tool.”

Right now the product isn’t mainstream, it’s rare, so basically it’s noticeable.

Oremus explains that when testing the product, heads turned, eyes squinted, people got confused and others went into excitement.

Spying with this product may not work so well right now as the default way to activate the device is by voice recognition.

If your cover wasn’t blown with your geeky looking glasses then maybe it would have been with your voice commands.

Less obtrusive ways with the device could be done by jerking your head skyward to activate the device, then instantly putting your gaze back to its original stance. Or you can Click the default to locate the button on the frame of the device to take a picture or hold it down to record.

You can’t be too far from your subject, Glass’ camera does not zoom in and the battery is also only sufficient enough to record for about half an hour with 12 gigabytes of memory.

The device doesn’t sound as great as Google is making it to be.

Compared to the iPhone that lasts all day, the Glass’ can secretly record sounds from your pocket.

Thad Starner, wearable-computing pioneer and computer science professor at Georgia Teche, makes Smartphones that are more effective as surveillance tools than Glass will ever be.

Starner explains that after working with Google on the Glass project since the early design stages, “Privacy has been the goal from the start and the team-intentionally built in social cues like the glow of the video screen to alert people that the device is active.”

You could always customize your Glass illegally or make your own Glass device that syncs up to your jail broken Smartphone as others have already done and broadcast over the net.

A true techie could transform Glass into a good spy camera as hackers everywhere already were part of the Glass Explorer beta tests.

It’s noted by Oremus that someone rooted Glass so the screen would stay off while it’s recording while another made an app that lets you snap a picture with a wink.

This is why Google launched the Explorers program first instead of releasing the product on shelves to the public as they wanted to know the loopholes thoroughly as possible so they could prevent them upon release.

Unfortunately there has been a lot of talk about this being the end of privacy that could cause everyone to go against the device as even businesses want to ban them from their premises.

You would think society will keen on cues that alert us when someone is recording using Glass, the same way we are cautious when someone holds their Smartphone with the lens pointed in our direction.

Jerking your head, speaking to yourself, or pinching the frame of Glass will probably cause some attention.

Nether the less, we should all realize that serious privacy threats will most likely be un-viewable to sight completely as the real privacy criminal stalkers will be spying on us nearby with their hidden equipment stashed away in somewhere on their body, clothes, bags or everywhere else other than your face.

- See more at: http://coyotechronicle.net/let-the-stalking-begin-privacy-issues-arise-with-google-glass/#sthash.4XgW7gqu.dpuf

Goo-goo Ga-ga for Google Glasses


By Phil Ruddle | Staff Writer |

Attention nerds, techies and developers.

Google has been under development for its own ground-breaking technology device called “Google Glass.”

The much anticipated Google Glass are computerized glasses that can take pictures, video, give you directions while traveling and even translate foreign languages.

“Google is trying to incorporate the convenience factor by using an everyday accessory such as glasses,” said student Andrew Reveles.

With Glass, Google is trying to advance technology, push the limits and surpass smartphones and tablets.

It syncs up with your smart phone and you do have to have your phone with you at all times for it to work to its true potential.

The product is extremely light as it weighs about the same as a standard pair of sunglasses; it also comes with slide-in tinted lenses if you want some sun protection, or clear lenses if you want the eye-wear look.

The screen display sits right above the eye and can be adjusted by a pivoting arm.

There isn’t a set price yet, but would it be useful for college students?

“Glass isn’t necessarily something I need, but more of a ‘want,’ I wouldn’t be looking to spend more then what I would on a smart phone. I’d say the most I’d spend is around $200,” explained Reveles.

ReadWrite Technology writer Taylor Hatmaker was one of the lucky 1,000 non-Google employees to pre-order Google Glass in which she described the experience like “having a tiny TV overlay above your eye.”

You are still able to easily make eye contact with others and see the world as you would with a normal pair of glasses.

The display of Glass can be checked by simply glancing upward. To activate the screen all you have to do is a simple head nod, tap the right side or use voice control.

This device creates a new method for the usage of everyday life, but would it still be stylish for students to wear?

“I probably wouldn’t wear it as of right now, given it’s not such a mainstream product, it will garner a lot of attention. In time given that technology is advancing at such a rapid rate, I don’t think that it will look out of the norm,” said Reveles.

According to policymic.com, Google is reportedly in talks with start up eye-wear company Warby Parker to redesign the specs to make them trendier.

Students and average consumers can benefit from the product as Reveles explains, “I think the most convenient use of Glass is that the fact that it’s hands free. I could see myself using it most while driving, being able to keep both hands on the wheel and both eyes on the road, while navigating or sending a quick message.”

Students could study notes while they walk through campus, run at the gym or doing something where you can’t use your hands.

Hanging out with someone far away for instance over video becomes a new experience as they can watch what you’re doing through full first person while you see the display of their face in the corner of your eye.

Although this product is still in its infancy Reveles thinks it has true potential.

The way you see Glass right now is in its current first generation that can be compared with the time when the original first generation iPad was released.

A consumer version will be available sometime in 2014 at an unknown set price.

A video demonstration of the product can be found directly on Google’s website google.com/glass.

Next week the Chronicle will explore the important issue of the product’s privacy.

- See more at: http://coyotechronicle.net/goo-goo-ga-ga-for-google-glasses/#sthash.T4zEnh2z.dpuf

SLIP into a new world this summer


By Phil Ruddle | Staff Writer|

Dany Doueiri talks quickly, he moves all over the place, he’s always in and out of his office, he is a man in constant movement, but he is always helping students. They line up outside his door patiently waiting for their turn to speak to him. Never had I met a man with such aptitude and energy to help students outside his office hours.

It all made sense to me once I discovered he was one of the original founders of Summer Language Intensive Programs (SLIP) offered during the summer at CSUSB, which will be entering its seventh year.

“We are the most affordable and one of the most rigorous summer language intensive residential programs in the nation,” explained Dany Doueiri, World of Islam professor.

SLIP consists of four languages, Arabic, Persian, Korean and Chinese that teach language and culture.

This program contains two components with one being a residential program here at campus in San Bernardino while the other is a study abroad program.

This year, CSUSB will have two study abroad programs, one in Jordan for Arabic and one in Turkey for Persian.

CSUSB cannot take students to Iran to study Persian due to political situations so the students are alternatively sent to Turkey where there is a large population of Iranian refuges.

Whether here on campus or overseas, students can earn 12 to 20 units for the whole session/program.

The domestic program on campus runs seven and a half weeks for all languages and nine weeks overseas.

Students who participate in the domestic SLIP mostly do so during the summer and then continue their language studies in the academic year. Sometimes students choose to study abroad the following year.

Participants vary from high school students, to military, to graduate students and others just do it for the love of doing it.

The program is supported by several grants with the first being called Star Talk which is available only to U.S. citizens, but this does not apply to the other grants.

Another is called Project Go, which is a military program for ROTC students, cadets and various branches of armed services. It is anticipated that Hindi will be added to Project Go in 2014.

SLIP expects to have 125 students this year for both domestic and international segments, which could still increase by the time summer actually arrives.

But what do students actually do at SLIP?

In the domestic program on campus, students are engaged in countless activities including language class, complete lab work, folkloric dance, calligraphy, cooking classes, pottery, art, field trips to local communities that speak these languages, guest speakers, camping trips and movie nights.

There is a banquet at the end where a celebration emerges with about more than 700 people.

In the study abroad program, activities are similar to the domestic program, but include opportunities for community service and internships.

Students then go back to the dorms and interact with native students of the language they are learning or other students who learn the language.

“All of our curfew efforts in the past have failed and we are happy about that because it’s the only program to my knowledge where teachers beg their students to stop studying,” explains Doueiri.

SLIP started with 19 students in one language and now has four languages with over 125 students in the past seven years.

This trip sounds like it could be tons of fun, but what about money? How much is this all going to cost?

There are three different costs in the program:

The first is tuition where undergraduates pay around $2100, which is about regular basic tuition, while graduate students pay around $2600.

The second cost is the program fee itself, which is $1500 for just domestic on campus.

This will cover food, entries to events, guest speakers, music, art classes, tutors, camping trips cooking classes and supplies.

“This is cheaper than any summer program, any summer camp including YMCA, and this is not only language programs, any program,” explained Doueiri.

The third cost is the housing fee, but this is not a requirement.

You can be in shared housing for about $675 or in a single room for $1300.

Even at the highest rate for the domestic program, it is still less than 50 percent of any other comparable program of this category in the nation. The cost will never exceed $4500.

In addition, out of 100 of students in the domestic program, about 75 percent of them get some form of grant or scholarship to help reduce the cost.

“Administrators and faculty at CSUSB in the program all help students push for these grants, and all work very hard to receive/solicit grants, to make it affordable and a life changing experience, truly,” said Doueiri.

The program staff and facility all work extremely hard to make the program the life changing experience that it is today.

“We start as a family and we finish as global citizens, ready to appreciate and understand the complexities of our ever shrinking global village. We treat our students like our children; we want to make sure that the students capitalize on this golden opportunity that our campus, with all of its departments offers to them,” said Doueiri.

For more information you can go to http://flan.csusb.edu/SLIP or email slip@csusb.edu

- See more at: http://coyotechronicle.net/slip-into-a-new-world-this-summer/#sthash.IBjU3Qsp.dpuf

Part 2 of a Special 2 part series: Campus Police speak out about danger zones


By Phil Ruddle |Staff Writer|

Last week the Chronicle published a feature on the campus website that most people didn’t even know existed.

If you missed it, you can find part one at coyotechronicle.net

In last week’s issue, we learned about the crime map which let students visit their campus website and view what crimes occurred on campus and where.

In addition, the crime map gives you access to reported crimes on campus from the most recent month all the way back to 2008.

The Chronicle found an noteworthy pattern of crimes last week in part one where multiple crimes were reported in month’s succession in the same exact area at University Village.

After speaking to campus officials the Chronicle discovered these patterns to be a coincidence, but still a problem to the police in which they have taken steps to resolve.

I sat down with LT. Duncan who has been working at CSUSB since April 2004 and Detective Herrington for more accurate answers.

I asked about the seven vehicle burglaries in UV during the months of April-August 2008.

“We can’t go into much detail about most of these crimes, but in that particular instance, a male admitted to four of those seven vehicle burglaries and he was not a student here,” explained Herrington.

Herrington also spoke about the aggravated assault and rapes that happened in the months of May, June and August 2008.

“The aggravated assault was a domestic dispute between a boyfriend and girlfriend. The male was student here, but not the female. The rape incidents were just typical party drunken nights,” added Herrington.

Duncan explains that 99 percent of rapes that happen on campus are the typical date rape where everyone is intoxicated.

“Rape is a much broader term then most think and there has been only one account of a rape on campus that had to do with force or fear,” said Duncan.

Duncan continued to explain that there hasn’t been a report of the same person being raped more than once or a repeated rape offender.

Majority of thefts, rape or anything of the sort is usually accountable by the friends or the people that the students invite into their home originally.

The different crimes on the crime map are just crimes that were reported.

The police investigate each crime that is reported, but it could end up being absolutely nothing where no charges are pressed.

Herrington explains that in 2012 about five rapes were reported.

The reported crimes still stay on the crime map whether they end up being crimes or not.

The reason they stay on the map is because campus police are required by State law in the Clery Act to do so.

Campus police have the ability to report or investigate crimes, but not to remove reported crimes.

“We recognize that we had a lot of crimes in campus housing, apartments and parking around them, so we implemented a sub police station in Serrano Village that is manned with a sergeant police officer whose primary duty is to patrol housing,” explained Duncan.

In addition, the sub unit police station has their own community device, which are student officers who patrol housing.

This is not 24/7 because they are college students, but police are always on campus with 24/7 surveillance.

An officer is always patrolling around housing. They even have random patrol coordinates so potential criminals cannot track or memorize police patrols sweeps.

Duncan created the crime map after getting the idea from San Francisco State University.

There is no denying that San Bernardino can be a dangerous city.

But our campus police have stepped up and have somehow been able to decrease crime around campus.

The crime map doesn’t lie, check it out and you will see how much crime has gone down at CSUSB from 2008 to now.

But, campus police is doing their best to keep us safe.

Here’s something that may comfort you as Duncan explains, “In 2012, CSUSB was dubbed the second safest campus of a four year university in the state of California that includes public and private universities with number one being Cal State San Marcos.”

Absolutely anybody can report a crime at CSUSB, and that is how campus police is able to keep us safe, so if you witness anything you should report it at our campus tip line.

The tipline is maintained by the University Police Department that allows callers wishing to remain anonymous to leave information concerning crimes, drugs or suspicious activity on campus.

The tipline is (909) 537-7786 and their email is reportcrime@csusb.edu

If this has made you more uneasy about crime on campus, note that Duncan and campus police have taken steps to keep CSUSB one of the safest universities in California.

- See more at: http://coyotechronicle.net/part-2-of-a-special-2-part-series-campus-police-speak-out-about-danger-zones/#sthash.12dncviB.dpuf

2nd feature story for the Coyote Chronicle

Part 1 of 2: Crime map shows danger zones


By Phil Ruddle |Staff Writer|

How safe do you feel when walking around campus at night?

Do you often get that feeling that someone is following you? Or that the worst imaginable is about about to happen?

If so, are you aware that there have been multiple instances of crime at our campus every single month?

And these are just crimes that were reported.

There is an interesting feature on our campus website that perhaps not all students know about.

There you can find that the campus police have a map of the campus titled Crime Map which designates all of the different crimes that took place throughout the month.

It allows you to look at every single month from April 2013 back to March 2008.

The map contains a key that depicts instances of crime as low as a traffic collision to as high as rape, assault and homicide. It sorts these labels by using different shapes and colors.

In addition, it specifically marks on the campus map where and exactly what crime took place there.

Most recently in this month, April 2013, only four crimes were reported. This is relatively low, but if you navigate back one month, the crime doubles to eight.

These eight crimes entailed two accounts of simple assaults in Serrano Village (SV) and a reported six larcenies spread throughout classrooms.

None of these crimes seem too serious, but in October 2012 a homicide was reported in yet again at Serrano Village.

Right next to SV, a rape was reported in Arrowhead Village housing (AV).

In this same month there were two grand theft autos and three vehicle burglaries in parking lots B, C, and D.

In addition, four larcenies, one burglary and three traffic collisions were also reported in October 2012.

All of these crimes occurred in the same month and shows exactly where on the map.

Does your feelings regarding your safety now change that you have learned this information?

Twenty-year-old student Kaitlyn Randell sounded off on the issue.

Randell said she didn’t even know that the crime map website even existed.

“I thought there was going to be a lot more crime reported on campus, but after I saw that there was a rape incident exactly where I live in University Village I thought twice,” said Randell.

Were you shocked to see the amount of crime that happened on campus?

“Yes and no, traffic collisions is not a surprise because there’s a lot of dumb drivers out here even though I don’t drive. I was mostly surprised at the larceny, especially after looking at this recent month on the crime map,” said Randell.

Randell continued to explain that she will now be checking the website more often because it makes her more aware of what is going on around her in which she will be more cautions in the areas she knows to be more crime hostile.

As you navigate through this map you start to see a pattern, the most hostile crimes all keep occurring in the same areas, such as parking lots and campus housing/apartments in SV and AV.

The most interesting findings on the crime map was back in 2008 where multiple violent crimes were reported in months succession in the same exact area.

It starts in April 2008 where a reported 26 crimes occurred on that month alone. Specifically in the on-campus apartments University Village, seven reports of vehicle burglary were reported.

One month later, May 2008, an aggregated assault and larceny was reported in UV the same area as the vehicle thefts.

Skip to the next month, June 2008, a rape and larceny were reported in the same exact spot yet again.

The following month, July 2008, surprisingly reported zero crime in the whole perimeter of UV.

But in August 2008, two months later since the previous rape, another rape was documented in UV in the same exact area. A simple assault was also reported.

This comes up to the question of what happened during these months because multiple serious violent crimes occurred in the same exact spot in consecutive months.

After viewing the crime map it looks as if crime has died down a lot at our campus since 2008, or at least the crime that has been reported has gone down.

Next week the Chronicle will talk to CSUSB police and detective units to find out more about the most recent and serious crimes reported.

- See more at: http://coyotechronicle.net/part-1-of-2-crime-map-shows-danger-zones/#sthash.kqV2rba2.dpuf

My first feature story for the Coyote Chronicle @ Cal State San Bernardino

Issues our campus face with being green

Original story link: http://coyotechronicle.net/issues-our-campus-face-with-being-green/

By Phil Ruddle |Staff Writer|

Our campus is the home to thousands of students and must be kept clean in order to maintain a healthy living environment.

But is the campus being efficient when it comes to disposing waste? What happens with all the left-over food at the end of the day? Does it just get thrown out or do they keep them until the food is gone? What happens to all of the paper waste, recyclables and cans/bottles…?

Norwegian international student Tonje Lystad said, “I really think that they just take all of the food that doesn’t get eaten, put it in one giant trash can, and throw it in the dumpster.”

That’s a possibility, but when asked what she believes should be done instead she replied, “They should just make a compost pile and teach more students about it.”

Much to our surprise the food court employees in the Santos Manuel Student Union use an automated food waste tracking system at the end of every day.

What cleanliness methods are we using?

“We are using a system called Lean Path. This dishwasher/cook will weigh the amount of food that was wasted, upload the information to our Sodexo data and help figure out what’s driving our waste,” explains Emily Orquiza, Marketing Coordinator of Sodexo at our campus.

But how do we re-use this food instead of just tracking what was wasted?

“The kitchen and Commons needs to be re-done in order to incorporate composting equipment,” explained Dave Janosky, general manager for Dinning Services.

There basically is no way for the employees to transport the waste back to the farms because the entire kitchen structure is not set up to do so under health policy.

“The food in the Commons is always cooked to order. There are no left overs; we follow that style always,” said Janosky.

The only time food is ever preserved in the Commons is in the Deli. There is a strict protocol used that must be followed called Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points. This makes sure the food is cooled properly, stored, wrapped all at the right temperature, etc. Three days is the max that it can be preserved for.

How does our campus cleanliness compare to other campuses?

Student Stephanie Archambault is from Northern California and doesn’t think our campus is very eco-friendly.

“There are not as many recyclable bins or even enough regular trash cans,” said Archambault. “I’ve seen people throw their recyclables in the garbage all the time. No one cares to take the extra effort when it’s right in front of them. Things are just more green back home, everything is recyclable, even napkins.”

However, our campus is taking steps toward becoming more environmentally friendly.

“We’re currently in the process of working with the university to establish a recycling system,” said Orquiza.

Sodexo does not operate the recycling on campus and is trying to incorporate it in order to take more steps toward being eco-friendly.

Even though students such as Archambault don’t believe our campus is as clean or environmentally friendly as other schools, our school is working toward a more eco-friendly approach to waste management.

Lystad explained it perfectly, “I think our campus is very nice compared to the rest of the city. Everything around or outside the school is dirty, but when I step onto campus everything changes, it’s clean again as if I entered a new world.”

- See more at: http://coyotechronicle.net/issues-our-campus-face-with-being-green/#sthash.6zdHJQ1N.dpuf