Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Discussion on Argentina

The class discussion that followed the presentation went well and surprisingly, a lot of folks were involved unlike some previous presentations. I asked the class if they thought that the United States had/has anything to offer the world- culturally speaking- considering that many other nations had contributed timeless forms of artistic expression to the world, such as the Argentine Tango. Unfortunately, there were very few responses. However, there was one response that was caught my attention: democracy. For whatever reason, I had not considered it simply because it did not strike me as a form of art. But surely, governance is an art that should garner a great deal of attention and critique. Nevertheless, it is definitely an idea that as certainly inspired art and the world will no doubt admire for centuries to come. Secondly, a discussion followed concerning whether or not the students thought that the United States could be considered to have a large degree of cultural proximity within its borders. Many of my colleagues were of the opinion that the constant bombardment of media in our own nation does not necessarily allow us to determine whether or not we function with a certain degree of cultural proximity. However, we also noted that several English programs (UK Pop Idol) have enjoyed success as spin-offs within our borders (American Idol). It was a fun discussion and was a lot more pleasant than I had imagined it would be. 

Monday, April 21, 2008

Argentina: A Study of Cultural Proximity and US Cultural Imperialism in Media

This case study will focus on media in Argentina. It goes without saying that this is an incredibly broad topic- thus, I will specifically address the paradox of the Argentine government's desire to maintain cultural proximity and control through the exploitation of print media while allowing the ever-increasing culturally imperialistic influence of foreign investors and media to reign in technology and other forms of entertainment media. The recent surge in US and European influenced media is largely due to the economic crisis that occurred there in 2002.

I have chosen to study Argentina because I spent a semester studying abroad in Buenos Aires- the capital city- and became slightly obsessed with the culture and traditions that exist there.
To begin, I will brush up a bit on the main ideas of global media as they pertain to my study, and then I will begin to explain the current situation with the Argentine government. This will serve mainly as background and will only be helpful to place the audience in the right frame of mind.

Secondly, I will give examples of current media and technologies that are becoming increasingly popular in Argentina such as the mp3 Cellular Phone craze that has ignited as of recent. Also included is the notoriety of French film in Buenos Aires, where French films enjoy an unparalleled success outside of France.

Continuing, I will give examples of the Argentine government's attempts at maintaining cultural proximity, especially noting the Argentine media's usually harsh criticism of the government. I will show how the economic crisis of 2002 has allowed some foreign investment in media and how the government has opted to place a 30% cap on that investment. Furthermore, I will show how recent presidents have chosen to can political investigative journalism within the government through the use of threats or other means.

Lastly, I will give a brief example of Argentina's chief world export in media: the music of tango. The tango is considered the gem of Buenos Aires, and has enjoyed huge success in many regions of the world. The rise of Carlos Gardel, a ragingly popular tango musician, contributed to the success and preservation of tango.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Globalization- Fox entertainment and The Simpsons

The Simpson's series was created by Matt Groening for the Fox broadcasting company. The Simpson's televisions series has been called Americas first family but if you look into it you can see that it has become part of many other cultures as well. The show has been shown in sixty different countries in twenty different languages with sixty million spectators every week. Culture proximity takes part in this because countries wish to have the media shown in this instance The Simpson's be changed to fit their culture. In some countries the language is changed in others certain things can not be shows and others are added for example some countries Homer's love for beer turns to love of soda. Fox has done a wonderful job globalizing the show and its popularity continues to grow. Even the movie that came to theatres was aired in seventy one markets. There are a few issues related to the show and some countries dislike the Americanized show being shown in their culture but overall the show has gained much success and has become a very globalized series for Fox entertainment.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Future of Cell Phones: Case Study Wrap-Up

What We Discussed in Class:

On Thursday, 4/10, we discussed the case studies over ownership and infrastructure. I discussed that if I were in a cell phone company, I would make sure that the company would be pushing toward an open-access approach. If they were not already doing so, then I would want to make sure that they were bidding on a license for the open-access frequency bands. The companies should also be pushing toward newer innovations as far as products go as well as business and service. I also stated that if I were in the FCC, I would also be pushing for the open-access approach (similar to the companies) but I would also be monitering the 2013 deadline for companies that acquire the licenses (they must serve 40% of the population they reach). We also discussed what will happen to companies that do not move toward open-access: will they lose business and fall behind or will they be ok? We decided that the business is moving toward open-access and if they do not jump on the bandwagon, then they will fall behind.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Future of Cellular Phones: Ownership and Infrastructure

This case study analyzes the cellular phone industry as it moves from current technologies and innovations to future ones. It begins by examining the current infrastructure (walled garden approach) of the industry and how it compares to the infrastructure expected in the future (open access approach). Then it goes on to describe the current ownership as compared to the future ownership in the cellular phone industry. Finally, the presentation concludes with looking at products expected to be available in the future along with their different technologies.

Monday, April 7, 2008

YouTube Case Study

The video webhosting site YouTube provides a service popular to many and frustrating to others. The balance between protected, copyrighted material and fair use reviews, parodies, etc. is always called into question in YouTube videos. YouTube, owned by Google, has made several attempts to avoid lawsuits by making agreements with large media companies regarding their protected material. However, this has not satisfied some media companies, and Viacom International sued Google YouTube last year for $1 billion in damages, arguing that YouTube was committing secondary copyright infringement. YouTube argued protection under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 and instituted the Video Identification System. The debate between YouTube's proper position in the copyright-fair use spectrum is yet to be settled.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Online Gaming in Today’s Society

In the last five years online games or massive multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs) have become one of the major staples for online entertainment. Some of these games such as World of Warcraft have millions of subscribers with tens of thousands of individuals playing at any one time. While many online game advocates say that such games help to better connect people many critiques say online games are doing quite the opposite and are causing more harm than good. During the presentation I will be focusing on the history of online games, the positives and negatives of online game play, the costs as well as revenue these new games have created, as well as the influence the companies that control these games have on the global internet community.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The One Laptop Per Child association is a non-profit organization that is funded by a number of sponsor organizations including eBay, Google, AMD, Marvell, News Coproration. The goal of the foundation is to provide children around the world with new opportunites to explore, experiment, and express themselves. The project began January 2005, and the laptops were first availabe by November 2007. During the presentation, i will foucus on its mission, history, how it works and what it does, as well as how it is primary aim is to reduce the digital divide.