Monday, December 04, 2006

Technolgy defined differently! :)

Technology has changed since my last technology entry! Isn't that impressive? There is this new kitchen gadget designed to where you can stick fresh or frozen food into a parchment paper bag, stick it into a machine and push a button and in 20 minutes you have a fat reduced meal and no mess. Sounds interesting, a little weird and a bit exaggerated.
I saw this thing on Fox 4 News this morning. It was launched by a "technology reporter," who had about 10 seconds, tops, to describe this thing that he obviously didn't know a lick about. It wasn't shown or described as glamorous as it is would have been on a cooking infomercial, but it was enough to spread the word.

Then I begin to think, how long has this thing been on the market first of all? Does it really work or is it going to be the first of five models trying to reinvent themselves and end up reposition their marketing strategy and segmented group in order to create income.

Was the person who came up with this idea passionate about people having there meals made quicker so they could get on to more important things, or was he/she just trying to come up with something that ignorant people would buy in hopes of improving their current life challenges but instead ending up 100 bucks short.

The reason I'm asking is because to me, I took one look at it and said I would never buy that thing even if you paid me! I’ve seen several similar products before this one, fail, I know it's overpriced, a waste of space and most likely it will fail my expectations.

Yes, I'm really cold in the matter, but there is so much competition out there and that product, I'll tell you right now, IT WILL FAIL MISERABLY!

People like the idea of technology and what services it can do for them but most people know not to jump on something the minute it comes out. They will wait for someone to buy it and if no one ever say's anything else about it, then the world will probably never here about it again. But if it makes a name for itself like, Apple did, it will be the talk of the town.

It's interesting how that works.
Technology is unique in its way of making simple life-tasks, simpler. The biggest problem with technology is the way as it evolves people evolve with it and feel that without the newest and bestest innovation, life is treacherous.

The problem with my theory is that there is a flip side to it. Though, the people who chase after the newest gadget may be searching for ways, in which, there life could be easier, simplified and more enjoyable, if they weren't choosing to follow and others were, they would miss out on future job opportunities, important current events and the ways in which the world would be slowly but surely changing.

Basically, if people didn't follow technology through trial and error (or through time), they wouldn’t be comfortable with the current infrastructure because it would be unfamiliar and new, and people don't like surprises, they like to ease there way in.
YES, I KNOW THIS IS A BROAD CONCEPT BUT CHEW ON IT.

AND ON TO MY MORE SPRITUAL SIDE...I believe that God inspires everything. So, it is unfair to say that the inventors of different technologies are just trying to find a way to make money or achieve fame or make life easier. If you think about it, all of the tools that are manufactured to make technology are based of supplies and materials that already coexisted. And we are the tools God works through and though we may have free will, remember who created us. THE ALL KNOWING WITH A PLAN.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Why a "cussing culture?"

Has technology changed our culture, as we know it, or has our culture changed technology? This idea can be argued both ways.

Personally, I think they play off of each other. As our culture changes quite frequently, technology must adapt in order to appeal to the masses, but in the same respect, as technology makes new advancements, our culture is forced to adapt and incorporate these alterations in their everyday lives.

The problem is, all of these ideas are so relative and I do have a point to all of this jabber!

Popular culture, meaning "the culture of the people," is the key defining reflection of our culture. Culture is in retrospect, a short-term lifestyle in which people talk to others in a certain manner, that reflects their set of values and importance. Though, culture changes quite frequently, its legacy remains forever.

In the 60's and 70's, don't think for a second that people didn't use profanity, have wild sex and talk in slang. People did the same things as we do today, but how often was it published in a news story or broadcasted across the country? Not often.
Okay never!

Today, there are certain words and forms of expression that are more widely accepted than ever before. As a nation, we are constantly being exposed to these so called, "sinful words" the moment we flip on the television set.

Media consultants are asking themselves, how can we get young people to start reading the newspaper? Well, some would say it would be "clever” for journalists to begin writing slang and using profanity, in order to be on the same mind track as their reader's...right? I don't know that I buy that theory. I think we have let profanity-use get a little out of hand and in many cases it is inappropriately used.

I know young teens that will use cuss words in the strangest context because they think that it's "cool" to incorporate in their sentences, but a lot of times they don't know what there even talking about. I was guilty of that once...or twice. This idea of conformity is prevailing in our youth culture, today. Young teens feel the need to act like their peers in order to feel socially accepted.

The point is, this concept can be directly paralleled with our news media today. Most mainstream journalism editors are in resistance to changing their traditional ways of writing stories to the public, say's my class speaker, Eric Celeste. But at the same time there are the non-traditional editors that thrive on the fact that by using these forms of communication, they are able to connect better with a younger audience. The idea of attracting young readers has been the topic of discussion for years.

As our culture has moved from an industrial society to an information society, our language has dramatically changed in the process. Image and the way a person or an idea is portrayed are judged more on the way in which, the message was delivered, than the actual content within the message. This has become a major problem.

With all of these random theories in mind, the underlying ethical decision I am trying to make here, is whether news writers should be able to use profanity in their stories, without being criticized for the status quo "seven dirty words." Well, according to Celeste, if the words are used in an appropriate manner, than by all means "say what you really mean!"

Cuss words are simply strong words of expression and if they were incorporated into our print media, as a positive reinforcement, than perhaps our culture could re-precieve these words as worthy of a cause.

Celeste said that it is all in the form of context. If a cuss word is used in a story that seems misplaced, unnecessary or just completely ridiculous, than yes, this story has the right to be criticized; but if you are writing a story about say, Mayor Laura Miller, and in her interview, the "F" bomb was dropped on more than one occasion, than why doesn’t the public deserve to know Mrs. Miller true behavior and feelings about certain issues? Editors are "candy coating" these stories before they run, so that they can maintain this false image or reputation and not get crapt for a misconduct.

That’s the dummnest shit I’ve ever heard, if you ask me, I mean...that's bologna…hogwash…unacceptable!
Misleading the public by representing someone in a false light is irresponsible in itself, PERIOD.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Technology is on the Rise...

Patrick Seitz, a technology reporter for Investor's Business Daily , gave an excellent speech last Thursday in Technology Reporting.

I have never considered becoming a business technology reporter but I was intrigued by Seitz's point of view. Technology is virtually transforming every industry and it's important that the public is informed of future technological advances and business market status.

I was most interested in the way the stock market has become an easier and more accessible industry with the Internet that provides the necessary resources to stay current on stock shares since there is constant changes being made within the stockmarket.

By having the luxury of the Internet, it is no longer important to publish stock market charts in the newspapers, unless there is a particular major market being analyzed that readers need to be aware of. Otherwise, charts posted on the web are constantly being updated and therefore, provide the most recent data available.

Seitz touches on the way Investor's Business Daily , otherwise known as IBD, is different in the way that they focus on serving to the needs of the investor.

While publications such as, the Wall Street Journal, are more directed towards specific deals between companies and insider interpretations of the economy, IDB provides a quick read for everyone that is "time-starved," educates its readers on different business analysis systems and also new business companies emerging, as well as the proprietary data on stocks to keep a close eye on (including the top 100 stock markets).

For example, Founder of the IBD William O'Neil developed a system for stock analysis called CANSLIM. This acronym stands for the following:

Current Earnings
Annual Earnings
New Products or Service, New Management, New Highs
Supply and Demand
Leader or Laggard
Institutional Sponsorship
Market Direction

What this system can do is determine if a company has the necessary qualities needed in having a successful stock. Which is a great tool for people that are new to the stock market industry becasue it provides some kind of substance to a company, instead of just using you "wishful thinking...get rich quick mind".

Seitz says, "Instead of us being filters, they can be there own filter." Meaning, IBD will give you the most current, reliable business ideas and goals for the future, but it is the reader’s job to sort out and decide on where to go from there.

Seitz also confessed an interesting rule for technology reporters, like himself, whereby, you are not permitted to own stocks in a company that you write about, until 3 days after its publication; unless of course it was a pre-existing position.
This to me doesn’t seem like much of a hindrance, considering there are multiple other stocks that someone could invest in.

Seitz says, though the rules in my company seem heavily restricted, "I feel good about providing a service to the public."

Plus, a technology reporter could easily, effect and manipulate specific stocks with insider information that they may or may not plan to publish and run. I think the rule is smart.

Seitz say's that since the average reader for the IBD is a millionaire, they refrain for covering companies that are "underperformers."

First of all, obviously IBD is not really providing a service to the masses, if only the three-figure men get to play. Well I guess in a way it's the people with the money who are most interested in the new technology and stock market components are doing.

Secondly, I think that in this attempt to only cover top-leading companies in the market, it is very important for these companies to constantly be reinventing and/or innovating themselves in order to keep up. And unless, a smaller company, within a larger conglomerate, is on the rise, IBD will fail to mention most all of them.

For instance, though Google hardly made a dime for their new launch, youtube.com this added element in their company has brought a great deal of publicity and added further attention, as a result.

In agreement with Seitz Google competitors are being forced to revolutionize themselves in order to keep up with the grueling competition. In my opinion, the focus of these large companies has switched from how can we sincerely fulfill the consumer’s needs to “how much money can we make off this scam or "promotion.”

Seitz makes it clear in his speech that his job is to research and inform the masses; meaning he has no responsibility for his reader’s next business venture or stock share.

Seitz’s views on the way technology is constantly changing and adapting to people’s lifestyles, gives him a great opportunity to continue researching and scoping out existing and emerging companies, which then allows us to weed out the good from the bad and the effective versus the ineffective. It’s a “win-win situation!”

Monday, September 25, 2006

MySpace.. My Blog...still public domain!

After reading Trent Lapinski's article, “MySpace: The Business of Spam 2.0 (Exhaustive Edition),” I still don’t understand what the big deal is! I now know that there was some sketchy business planning and debatable elites of the company, but they can't be that dumb, seeing that they have developed what now is a multi-million dollar business that
”everyone and their dog want to be a part of it."

MySpace is a social networking website that puts me in contact with new friends, old friends, work associates, acquaintances, family relatives, "friends of the family," and even people across the world that I’ve never met. It also features interactive network of blogs, photos, music, videos and personal profiles.

Call it a "marketing scam" for internet Spam, spyware, adware, advertising, etc... I don't care. It allows me to network and be in contact with people that I probably would never have heard from again if it wasn't for MySpace. And plus it FREE.

So, of course there are going to being pop-up ads all over the place. Add dollars are virtually the center to all businesses. When we watch TV, we are constantly being interrupted with commercials right? What's the difference?

Web 2.0 is the new Web 1.0. It "represents" or refers to a "second-generation" of Internet-based services. Web 2.0 features communication tools and social networking sites that allow people to network, share and transmit information online in ways that were never possible beforehand. It marks the end of the soft-ware adoption cycle and the beginning of using the Web as a platform to combine information and features from independent developers. I think that is genius!

I don't feel threatened, violated or invaded by MySpace's "marketing scheme." I have the option of never looking at the site again, or looking at it every hour. And plus, seventy percent of the mail that I get from MySpace is friend requests, not ads. And the ones that are junk are not even a fraction of all the other junk mail I get. It’s simply click in the box and press delete or by a spam blocker if it is just unbearable.

Fake MySpace accounts are stupid. I'm never going to do a search for pop icon Jessica Simpson and expect it to be her! That's not my individual purpose for signing up to MySpace. And that’s all I have to say about that particular aspect.

MySpace services to me, represents unity in our society, in my opinion. This so-called “Spam machine” is in essence, unifying people across the world. Granted, there are always going to be the people who try to spoil the fun for everyone else and create false accounts or whatever. But I know that my friends are who they say they are and that's all that matters to me! The elites can rack in all them money they want as long as I can stay on as a user and not have to pay a dime.

At the same time I think it is important to maintain proper etiquette and set your own ethical standards. Another words, it is solely the users responsibility to protect themselves on the Internet. As we know the Internet is a world-wide enterprise and whether your logging into your bank account, email or photo gallery, realize that, all of your personal information is now "fair game" to anyone and everyone.

MySpace is no different. I think the concept is clever, though probably preconceived by Friendster, an overall great idea. So, yes, I give MySpace.com the ownership of all of my pictures, information and messages. You know why? Because I will never put something on my page that I think misrepresent me, or presents me in a way that is distasteful or misleading. If I found that something in particular, was too personal or inappropriate to be in "the public media," I wouldn’t dare put it up on the Web. That’s just pure ignorance at its best

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Technolgy Defined

Technology Defined
Technology is simply a way of life. How many people can you think of that don't have an alarm clock to wake them up in the morning's for work, a microwave to heat up their coffee when their in a rush against time and some sort of transportation device to get them from point "A" to point "B" before they get fired from their job.

Technology is defined as something developed by man, using things that we already have, to make life easier, quicker and more accessible. Ultimately, we use technology for better survival because we can.

Basically, it is a "survival mechanism" if you think about it. We don't have venom to shoot at people when are our lives are threatened, so we use guns or knives instead. The problem with this concept is as technology advances and evolves, and people gain more curiosity, of what they can construct next, problems occur that can threaten the laws of nature.

Technology contradicts itself and/or people take advantage of technology all the time. They abuse the product for their own specific survival needs and not for the needs of others and/or our planet. Technology has been a way of life for centuries...from the beginning of time when people were using stone tools in Kenya (900,000 B.C.) to hunt and eat. Instinctually, humans are always searching for a faster, more efficient way of doing something. It's human nature to think that way but have we, as a society, taken advantage of this power we obtain.

It's good to know, we have clothes that were manufactured so that our private parts aren't exposed in public and we are indeed, following some sort of code of ethics. And we have shoes to help protect our feet in several types of terrain. But when scientists talk about cloning another human being for the sole purpose of making anatomy and genetics seem plausible and for the greater good, it sort of threatens my existence and my whole life philosophy. If perhaps, man can create an exact replica of me, "myself," could this, in a way, devalue my existence?

From a psychological perspective, people are trying to find a logical explanation for everything in existence, so that they feel superior and nothing can hurt them or come above them because they can control all things around them. Am I getting too carried away here?

What am I saying? :) Technology is a wonderful tool! Seriously! It has helped us do things that people never thought possible but where is the line being drawn? How far is too far?

"I mean, I wouldn't be sane without my cell phone; which is interesting because a decade ago most people didn't even own a portable phone" (maybe a car phone). But, they still found ways to survive. So is technology a crutch to some, or is it necessary for our new world and age?

Think about the fascination with computers today. A computer can now, not only talk to people live, across the world, but people can actually see each other by using a web cam. I can meet friends from Moscow, Japan and Austria, without ever setting foot in those places; or I can simply meet some one that lives a street over from me. With technology at our fingertips, the possibilities are endless!

As computer prices have decreased in price juristically, from say, 10 years ago, more and more people are able to buy them and be apart of this so called "international connection."

There are pros and cons to everything in life...technology has thus, proved this concept. And as technology grows people will change and adapt to the new advancements. But the real question is will the earth be able to preserve itself in the mean time?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Mass media is taking over...

In exactly one year, I will have a chance in becoming a well-known, well-respected journalist because I will soon have all the tools and knowledge I need "for presenting bare facts to describe news events." Then I will sign my very first contract for my very first job offer based in Indiana and I am ready to inform the people.

Does it really work that way? Well, considering WNDU16 is owned by NBC, which is owned by General Electric...I would soon be entering the corporate world.

Media Convergence is a term used by journalists that describes the merging between mass media groups and the concentration of media ownership. There are five major media powerhouses that include, Time Warner, Viacom, TCI, Disney and New Corps. Then there is General Electric and Westinghouse. All of these companies joined together own over ninety percent of the U.S. media market.

Similarly, in Radio broadcast, Clear Channel Communications is the big-dog that owns nearly twelve hundred radio stations and thirty broadcast television stations in the U.S.

Clearly, news coverage on the air has a similar agenda and is not necessarily one that covers all of the demographics fairly. We are talking about five head honchos that have a certain fashion for delivering the news to people and are happy, as long as their pay checks are rolling in.

The problem here, is that if there was for example, an issue with how the CEO of Disney is being accused of drug trafficking, but it would probably never air on ABC because Disney owns ABC and they would want to keep their jobs.

I think that some journalists have chosen to be followers and can tolerate working for a company that has a set agenda and other can't stand the fact that news is getting out improperly, unethically and unconventionally, and there is not a single thing they can do or say about it. As long as they are under contract they must follow the rules of the newsroom and blend in with rest of the robots.

This could be why blogosphere has become so widespread. People no longer trust the media and are more interested in sharing their own ideas and feelings about issues than having someone doing it for them.

This global media convergence, in my opinion, has had a major influence over people's political, economical and social status and has thus molded a lot of the culture we live in today.

I would suggest that people go online read a few blogs, become part of online discussion boards that interests them and then compare it to what we see on network television every morning.

What's the difference between a random blogger sitting in his robe on the couch in Alaska or ABC News covering a story on Katrina? I think all of the information is coming from the same source. But at least bloggers get to form and share their own opinions and have nothing held against them.

We need to go back to following the Emancipatory Model of Journalism, which informs people of real issues, those who are affected by them, a voice from the community (of all demographics) and finally a plan for resolving the issue.

If journalists and the members of society were to follow this code of ethics, journalists would be well respected and as a result, inspire the community to be "responsible members of society."

Thursday, June 22, 2006

"The Dan"

Dan Rather, former anchorman for CBS evening news, after working for 44 years with the network abruptly resigned only six months after a story on Bush's military service was publicized which, harmed the reputation of CBS in 2004.

Rather was either let go or told to resign…or whatever…we will probably never know what really happened…but two years later he has been eagerly asked to join the media industry once again by internet millionaire, Mark Cuban.

Now, Maverick’s owner, Mark Cuban, is currently starting a new form of media called HD (high-definition) Net. Cuban wants Rather to be the main producer and Cuban trusts that he will do a damn good job of uncovering corporate crime. According to Cuban’s blog posted on June 19, “Right is its own defense (referring to Dan Rather) I’m going to do what I think is best. Period end of story,” Cuban said.

Since then, there are so many questions and assumptions people have made regarding this issue including: whether the documents about the President, presented to the public were fraudulent or altered in anyway. Was Dan Rather reporting on CBS’s agenda or did he have his own take on the situation?
As a result, blogging has become a problematic invention. Is a blogger considered a journalist...or even more mind boggling…can a journalist be a blogger?

I read this book in a Bias and Objectivity class I took written by former CBS anchor, Bernard Goldberg called “Bias.” According to Goldberg, Dan Rather (which he called “the Dan”) were close friends for many years…until Goldberg realized how bias and self-absorbed Rather became.

Bernard Goldberg would argue that, with nearly 30 year of working with CBS News and winning six Emmy awards at the network, the media far too often ignores their primary objective…to inform, educate and entertain the public in a fair and balanced manner.

When Goldberg came out of his coma and realized how far the news had been slanted leftward, he immediately attempted to petition to reporters (including Rather), producers and network executives for more balanced news coverage. His tactic though, was never instantly resolved and ended up being a huge mainstream downpour consisting of only left-wing views.

The continuation of this misleading bias in the news has lead Goldberg to believe that liberals have taken over news media and have swayed mainstream news reporters to solely cover liberal-based topics and sweep conservative issues “under the rug.”

Goldberg instantaneously caught on to this scandal and was determined to bring it to an end by convincing people that news networks no longer inform you of what is going on in the world but instead filter and edit out what they believe should be heard.

His best seller, “Bias”, accredited him greatly to some audiences but at the same time created great tension with his former colleagues at CBS. Dan Rather, also known as “The Dan,” did not find Goldberg’s concerns to be appropriately addressed publicly and made a consciousness decision to work against his former affiliate.
According to Goldberg, any reporter whose reputation is put on the line for bias behavior will do anything in their power to overcome and alleviate the situation.

When Goldberg informed Rather that he had written a piece for the Wall Street Journal, knowing that Rather would not be thrilled by it, “The Dan,” says, “We were friends yesterday, were friend today, and we’ll be friends tomorrow.” This clearly was not the case. Goldberg is now considered “a non-person,” for ragging on all of his colleagues mainly because they all practice liberal reporting and refuse to confess their wrong doings
The NY Times’ Best Seller, “Bias” really made an influence on the way I view different networks in the media and journalism in general. Bernard Goldberg worked across from Dan Rather for over a decade and has nothing nice to say about the man.
But then I read the first two paragraphs of an article written in a Reuters news report that say’s, “”NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Calling it a "sad, bloody story," veteran "60 Minutes" correspondent Mike Wallace expressed regret about Dan Rather's departure from CBS News but said Rather wasn't finished yet.””

CBS News tribute Dan Rather and state, “His day-to-day commitment to substantive, fair and accurate news reporting and his tough, active style have earned him a position of respect among his peers and the public. Often referred to as "the hardest working man in broadcast journalism,"

I don't think people realize how this scandal has massively affected the journalism industry. People are having a hard time choosing information in which, they should believe or disregard. Reporters are now seen as the enemy in a lot of cases…the ones that are forcing false information into our heads and as a result are influencing our culture to their likings.

I honestly do not know what to believe…I didn’t know the guy. But from what I understand he has people that idolize him and people that despise him….not just that despise him…but public enemies that will do anything to ruin his reputation and career (like Goldberg mentions)….how does this man sleep at night?

All of these moral and ethical standards are coming into play and it is in my opinion making journalists seem insignificant, unnecessary and self-centered advocates wanting to voice their own opinions politically, economically and socially….in hopes having some sort of control or influence over the nations whereabouts.

Now granted, I know for a fact that not all journalists have ulterior motives (and the ones that do are spoiling it for the rest of us); but all journalists do have their own bias that was formed by either there upbringing, background or life experiences that will unfortunately slip into the cracks of some of their news coverage…I think Dan Rather fits in neither category...he is one of those people who thinks he is always right in his decisions…and his ego will therefore, follow him through his journalism career.


From a futuristic perspective, the Internet is the most utilized and talked about, form of media that people are going to, to get their news...and as we all know…there are several immoral and/or unethical content that already exists on the web. The main question of my concern is…how is this event going to add to the already corrupt media outlet and how will it affect future journalists?

And also Mark Cuban’s new “High-definition Net” invention seems to be the newest discovered form of media. We can soon get our news, sports and movies in high-definition according to a recent interview with Cuban (pcworld.com). Cuban made it sound huge….like everyone is going to get HD, prices will decrease for common folk, all the TV networks (their still working on Comcast) will get on the band-wagon, PC’s will sell out and it will be the newest technology available.

Is it only another outlet for bad press and media to corrupt or could it be a “clean slate” for future journalists? Well…Dan Rather will be the investigative news producer starting out…and people will either learn to love him and trust him for their news or they will learn to tolerate his input….because I can guarantee that if he signs with Cuban...he’s going to be around for a long while.

Sites:

http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx? type=televisionNews&storyID=2006-06-22T064819Z_01_N22306059_RTRIDST_0_TELEVISION-WALLACE-DC.XML&archived=False
http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,117430,00.asp
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/02/25/eveningnews/main502026.shtml
http://www.cnn.com/2006/SHOWBIZ/TV/06/20/television.news.rather.ap/index.html
http://blogmaverick.com/entry/1234000377073756/