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  • amandakirstin 7:44 pm on June 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Death of Osama Bin Laden 

    In class we talked about how the internet changes the course of history and the way we get our news. Today there was a great example of this. The death of Osama Bin Laden was a huge  point in world history. It was breaking news on the web and television.

    Twitter and Facebook newsfeeds were flooded with status updates and picture postings about the death of Osama Bin Laden. Some were positive and rejoice-full, others seemed scared of what is to come, some were upset that he was killed rather than captured, others were humorous. Within about 12 hours of the news, 330,172 people “liked” the Facebook Page “Osama Bin Laden is DEAD”. Other similar pages such as “Osama Bin Laden is dead 5/1/11″, and “Osama Bin Laden is Dead” have hundreds of thousands of people who “like” the page as well. On Twitter the top trends were Osama, OBL, America, Navy Seals, Jack Bauer, Pakistan, Mission Accomplished, Abbottabad, and Wolf Blitzer.

    Barack Obama tweeted “About to address the nation. Watch live:” about an hour before he presented his speech. Millions of Americans tuned in to hear the President speak about the situation on television on live streamed on the internet.

    Another point of interest is that the compound where Osama Bin Laden had been hiding was a building of thick walls and no internet or cellular telephone connection. That brings me to wonder, if he had access to the internet, could he have been found quicker? As we are moving into the age where everyone has access to the internet, will our location be available at the drop of a hat. To go unseen when millions of people are looking for someone for a decade, what he seemingly did differently was to live without technology.

    Watching the riots and memorial services on the internet and television have been exciting. This is a time of great patriotism and the internet further allows the network of patriotism connecting Americans to Americans and Americans to the rest of the world.  I am anxious for more details to come about the death of Osama Bin Laden.

  • amandakirstin 7:43 pm on June 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Reaction to In-Class Video 

    I really enjoyed watching the video in class about credit cards that were stolen and abused. It made me think about the pros and cons of online banking. My parents always tell me not to buy anything online with my debit card. I never do, because I’m aware of the danger of making online purchases. However, I didn’t realize that people can steal your credit card information through online banking. Online banking is very convenient and easy to use. It’s possible to pay bills online, transfer money between accounts, and check an account balance with the click of a mouse. It nearly eliminates going to a bank at all.  The convenience of online banking and shopping is an advancement to shopping.

    I could not believe how easy it is for thieves to access and buy the information needed to steal someone’s identity and credit card information. That was a frightening wake up call. I think that’s something that people should be more aware of, and find a more secure solution to quickly.

    My bank has begun to capitalize on identity theft. I recently got a new debit card because my last one expired. When I called to activate it, they asked me if I wanted to sign up for an identity protection service. They offered it to me for $1 for the first month, and $15 for every month after that. My bank promised to advocate for me if my identity was ever stolen, but only if I paid the fee. I accepted the service for the first month, but when they charged me more I was quick to end the service. It’s as if my bank is taking my money at that point. I called the manager of the bank and asked what would happen if I didn’t pay the fee but my identity was stolen. By the habit of good customer service, they told me that they would help me solve the problems. So banks are capitalizing on the fear of identity theft of their customers.

    I was also surprised to hear that the people who steal identities use other people as a middle man for their shopping sprees. I would think the people would be suspicious when a stranger was asking them to receive packages and spend thousands of dollars to ship them across seas.

    I was also surprised that people who steal identities, don’t buy things for themselves. The example in the video was about a stolen credit card that was used to buy about $800 of dog food, I would have assumed they would buy things for their own good.

    The class on Monday was a fun way to teach us about the dangers of the internet. After watching that video, I will be monitoring my online account more closely, visiting my bank more often, online shopping less, and spread awareness to my family and friends of just how easy it is for someone to destroy their finances so quickly.

  • amandakirstin 7:42 pm on June 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Digital Divide Problems in Today’s Society 

    I feel fortunate that I am part of the 15% of the world who is using 88% of the internet connection in the world according to the video that’s attached. One part of the video said “imagine if it all stopped, or if it had never started…” I don’t know what I would do without technology, especially the internet. My entire life I have had access to a computer and the internet. My dad had a laptop that I can remember playing on when I was about 3 years old. When I was 11, I was given my first cell phone, and I have had six since then. When I was 18, I was given my own laptop and that wasn’t enough of a connection to the internet, so I got access to the internet on my blackberry a couple months later.  If I don’t constantly check my email on my phone I am so overwhelmed. After watching the video, I didn’t use my laptop or computer for just one hour. When the hour was up I had 28 unread emails,  4 BBM messages, 1 text message, and 3 Facebook notifications. My technology is my link to my friends and my work.

    In my high school history classes we spent quite a bit of time talking about the social class divides. The richer continue to get richer and the poorer continue to get poorer. The digital divide is a very similar circumstance. I think the digital divide may be worse than the problems that occurred as a result of social class divides in the past because there is no middle class in the digital divide, either you have access and benefit, or you don’t.

    The good thing is that there are ways to end the digital divide. As the video points out, there are companies that are working towards giving every child a computer for a low cost. I don’t think the digital divide is something that comes to mind when listing the problems that the world faces today; however, it is a real and growing problem. Think of all the times and ways that you use technology in one day, or even one hour. Would you be successful if you did not have access to all the technology you have had throughout your life? If everyone was given a computer and access to the internet or a smart phone, the possibilities of success around the world would be more fairly distributed. We, the upper class of the digital divide, have the ability to step up and raise awareness of the social problem and money to fix the social problem.

  • johnnymac149 5:50 am on June 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , music   

    Stealing Music

    One of the biggest pop culture movements in the past hundred years of the USA is the music industry, but in the past 10 to 15 years, the best thing a citizen can do is to download the music of their favorite artist for free. People love music and whether they are making it themselves or just enjoying listening to it, everyone just wants to enjoy the pleausre music brings to them.

    While beginners and more expert circuit benders tinkered in workshops, small bands of musicians were huddled in the corners, preparing their homemade instruments for an all-out exposition of exploded instruments. At one point near the end of the night, a musician called Computer at Sea and introduced as “the handsomer Dan Deacon,” though that would only barely approximate his sound, began his set by excitedly rallying the audience the only way that would have made sense,  inviting them up to play his instruments. My hand shot up before he was finished asking, and soon it was on a keyboard, on a Simon Says knockoff, and there were all the other hands surrounding the table’s electronic feast, bathing in the torrent of sound and light and energy of our own creation. It wasn’t just the most fun I’d had at a concert in a while; it was the best kind of fun. As the internet continues to grow day in and day out, everyone wants more and more music, whether it is from the artists or whether it sounds like the artist and other kids are just using buttons to make the music themselves and reck the benefits. The day that the internet stops figuring out how to get movies and music out to the public is the day the internet dies. Everyday millions of people try to get movies still in theaters or get songs, albums they don’t want to purchased downloaded onto their computer. The internet gives people the opportunity to get and listen to things for free that kids back in the day when we all grew up that we had to pay $20 dollars a CD for. The internet is great for this and in the long run it may destory music, but most likely artist will learn how to earn money via the internet.

  • johnnymac149 5:41 am on June 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: hacking, piracy, SecurID, security

    Security on the internet is something that many people seem to over look, and this is not just someone giving out their email address or too much information on facebook. This has to do with major companys and the fact that they are vulnerable to hacks and people stealing their clients information.It’s the latest twist in a security, breach saga that started in March, when RSA, a division of EMC Corp. Which is a fortune 500 company, disclosed that hackers had broken into its systems and made off with information about its SecurID products. People assume that their information is private when it is on the computer, but their are people out their that understand computers and how they work better than most Americans, and they are criminals. Sure they aren’t on the street mugging you, but they might as well be. This people are smart and smart criminals are hard to catch. Instead of breaking into your house and taking all your valuables they are breaking into your computers, taking your passwords, social security numbers and than spending your money and destroying your credit and life by the information that is leaked out onto the web. The worst part is that this isn’t happening on sites that normal people don’t go to, they are going down on sites that millions of people use everyday becuase the name itself makes you feel safe and that is the reason this thefts are able to get so much information about a single person because the people giving out the information have so much faith in the brand name of the website.

  • Tu Nguyen 5:40 am on June 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply

    Twitter: Change the world with 140 characters 

    Twitter: a website that offers both social networking and microblogging service.
    Tweets (n.) text posts including up to 140 characters displayed on the user’s profile page
    Tweets can also be a verb.
    Twitter was launched in July 2006, 2 years later than Facebook and 3 years after MySpace, but let’s see what Twitter has gained. 105,779,710 registered users. Approximately 300,000 new users per day. 180 million unique visitors come to the site every month. There are averagely 55 million tweets a day. 37% of active users tweet via phone. In 2009, Twitter grew from 25 to 175 employees.
    Looking at those statistics, I can’t help myself from saying “wow!” Twitter is rocketing and has found it stand in the social networking market.
    Students tweet. Businessmen tweet. And now politicians tweet. For example, Newt Gingrich kicked off his running for president 2012 thru a tweet including a link to a Youtube video. Admittedly 140 characters provoke the interest and excitement in me though I don’t tweet (but I do have Twitter). According to Scott Simon, the ideas of short message up to 140 characters have been existing long before. It is our shout. For example, Paul Revere yelled, “The British are coming! The British are coming!” Lincoln’s Gettysburg statement doesn’t reach up to 140 characters, “Government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth,” or “with malice toward none, with charity for all, let us strive to bind our nation’s wounds.” From famous old “tweets” to modern tweets, they use words not to clarify, but hide ideas and emotions in 140 characters. If one tweets “@ravecinema watching #Hangover2. Yay!” It means he/she is at Rave cinema to watch the movie Hangover part 2. Also, all her happiness and enthusiasm are put in one word “yay.” The post is short but contains enough subject, location, and – more than the ordinary news – emotions.
    We can’t deny the convenience of Twitter and how it has changed the way we interact – everything in 140 characters. But once it is, for instance, the Magna Carta (an English charter issued in 1215), being able to compress the whole charter in a tweet would be #phenomenon.


  • johnnymac149 5:34 am on June 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    twitter finds a place in classroom

    The first room when you walk into a classroom nowadays is to take your cell phone and turn it off or put it on vibrate if you can’t get away from technology. Classes across the country are learning how to take this technology and involve it into the classroom so instead of getting in trouble you get extra points for participation points. A survey of 1,920 U.S. teachers published in April found that 2% of them use the micro-blogging site in college lectures. About half those polled said the use of Twitter and Facebook in class is harmful to the learning experience, according to the study from consulting firm Pearson Learning Solutions. Teachers are starting to realize that you can not fight the cause, which is not a trend, because the social networking of the world is actually taking over. Teachers are learning to use their students habits as a way of study instead of using it as a reason to send them to detention. Teachers have realized that during class discussions only a certain amount of students participant during the discussions but with twitter being involved, students have more confidents to type their opinions instead of actually having to say them out loud. In my personal opinion it is a positive for participation but overall for the real world this is not preparing the students to interact in real life situations. For example, when you are in a meeting to talk about a possible client or to discuss what to do next for a business, you have to speak up not just type something on to your twitter account. I think it is great that the students can get their opinion out in the classroom but in the long run how good is this for the student in the long run. Sooner than later this kids are going to learn that they need to have person to person talks and not just type sentences into a computer. The idea is good but the actually action may be harming the students more than helping them in the long run.

  • mgerschman 3:42 am on June 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Apple DUI app banned 

    Apple recently announced that a new app that identifies DUI checkpoints has been banned from use. The issue here for most average citizens is of course whether or not this app is a positive or negative proposition. Naturally for anyone who likes to go out and consume the occasional alcoholic beverage this application seems pretty awesome. Of course the devil’s advocate, or another large part of society, will argue that this type of app encourages drunk driving and perhaps even aids drunk drivers in getting away with such an act. This is a completely understandable argument as there is no doubt that driving under the influence is an extremely serious and potentially deadly crime. However the question of non-governmental organizations assisting authorities rather than the general public is a sensitive one as well. Ultimately I agree with the decision to ban this application as the potential for danger that comes with drunken driving is far too great to justify making this application available to the general public. The greater discussion here is whether or not the government should be able to impact the actions of individual businesses and when, if ever they cross the line. Drivers, whether intoxicated or sober, are often pulled over for exceeding the speed limit despite the fact that all other drivers in their general vicinity were doing the same. As such, would it be acceptable to produce an app that locates hidden police cars on major roadways so as to help drivers avoid speeding tickets? Naturally the crime of drunk driving is far more serious than simply speeding, but the issue of where the line is drawn must at some point be determined. My guess would be that most people would applaud Apple’s decision to ban this app, as I do, I am more interested in whether or not there is much of a voice for the alternative. Please feel free to discuss regardless of your opinion on the issue.

  • JayelMcGuinn 3:22 am on June 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Net Neutrality in The Netherlands 

    Remember earlier in the term when we discussed the debate surrounding net neutrality? To refresh your memory, net neutrality is the guiding principle of the free, open internet by which no discrimination exists in the presentation of information to the public. In other words, it prevents internet providers from blocking, speeding up, or slowing down web content based on its source ownership or destination. The main debate over this regulation has come from large telephone service providers who want to favor their own search engines by slowing down those offered by their competitors. Some claim that net neutrality regulation “slows things down”, however, that hasn’t stopped The Netherlands…

    Today, The Netherlands officially turned net neutrality into law and is only the second country to do so in the world, alongside Chile. This means that service providers will not be able to obtain preferential treatment for their own search engines. Personally, I think that net neutrality is a positive endeavor because it makes all information equally accessible to internet users. At the same time, some people see this as a negative component of the law. For instance, prior to the finalized decision being made in the debate in The Netherlands, some members of the SGP (a Protestant Dutch political party) expressed concern that with net neutrality being signed into law, internet content filtering may face more restrictions that would prevent it from existing. Specifically speaking, users would not be able to block such things as pornography or unwanted violent/crude content from being accessed on their computers. However, the Netherlands minister of economic affairs, Maxime Verhagen, affirmed that “as long as customers specifically choose to have such content filtered on idealogical grounds, ISPs are free to do so.”

    The conclusion of this article mentions the fact that countries like France and the UK have decided to disregard net neutrality to start censoring the web. I think that this is unfortunate for internet users native to those countries because their ability to harness information will suffer as a result of it. After all, it is the network’s job to move data throughout the cyber sphere, not to choose which data is privileged with higher quality service. Even worse yet, France is actively trying to enact world-wide censorship of the web which takes on a whole new level of privacy and restriction. In an age in which the internet and technology in general are taking great steps in becoming increasingly more advanced everyday, it seems unfit for such laws to be put into place. Personally, I feel that net neutrality should be turned into law throughout the world. But what do you think?

    • mgerschman 3:52 am on June 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I completely agree with you regarding net neutrality. This concept would never be allowed in non-online forms of business and I do not see why it should be in this form either. I think that some countries are relying on a few businesses to grow their economy and will help them by doing things like this but I certainly don’t think it’s right.

  • mgerschman 1:27 am on June 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Palin on Twitter 

    As part of her Freedom Tour around the country, Sarah Palin was in Boston recently visiting several famous locations and spending some quality time with local families. In an attempt to display her vast knowledge of American History, Palin reminded all the proud Bostonians of the local and national hero Paul Revere whose midnight ride warned the patriots of an oncoming British invasion. Except Palin may have been a little sleep deprived as she slipped on some of the details of the story. Palin said that Revere rode to a British camp to warn them that “we were gonna be secure…free…and armed” and that there was plenty of gunfire and yelling involved. Naturally the media tends to jump all over these stories but one TV personality in particular, Jon Stewart of The Daily Show chose to bring the story straight to Twitter. Stewart and his staff created a “hashtag” (#) which has become a popular way of summing up the point or general subject of an entire tweet, facebook post, or text message in one or a few words. Personally I think hashtags are pretty annoying and shouldn’t be used by anyone other than high school girls, but they can be a useful format for the masses to reflect on a subject very quickly. In this case Stewart created the #AccordingtoPalin hashtag which quickly traveled all over the social networking site and received an overwhelming response from the public. Tweeters provided such offerings as “The Bay of Pigs invasion secured our access to necessary and tasty pork products” and the show itself added to the fun with “The moon landing of Lance Armstrong shows what ordinary Americans can do when government just gets out of our way.” While this may all be in good fun one has to wonder what effect this slip up will have on Palin’s potential run for presidency, which she has not declared to be her intention. Not only do television and radio allow news to travel throughout the country almost immediately, Twitter and other social networking sites allow the masses to participate instantly as well as allow potentially irreparable damage to be done to someone’s reputation. I wonder, assuming she was going to run in the first place, how much of an effect this will have on that decision and hypothetically that campaign. It is remarkable to think how quickly a person’s reputation and life can change in this day and age.

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