Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Case Study Presentation: The Amazon Kindle

Last Thursday I presented a case study answering the question, "What is 'new' about new media? I used the Amazon Kindle as an example of a 'new' piece of technology in the new media industry. I began by giving a brief history of printed word, explaining that printed word has been a major component in the history of our society, especially in the realm of media. I also gave a brief history of e-books and e-readers (electronic books and readers). This helped explain the beginning of convergence in the realm of books. I researched the beginning of convergence in the world of books and found that it began with Project Gutenberg in 1971. This was the first time that printed books were put into a digital format. Although in the beginning they were limited by file size, only having the capability to digitize a 300 page book, the technology continued to evolve creating the ability to digitize any text imaginable. I continued to dive into the continued convergence of traditional books by discussing Amazon.com's selling books online as well as the beginning of e-readers.

I then discussed the introduction of Amazon's Kindle and how it was the first e-reader to really take off. I gave an overview of the product, discussing its features and capabilities. This helped give a better view of how this product is an example of convergence. The Kindle is completely digital and wireless. It also has wireless internet capabilities with its own network so that there is no hunting for wifi hot-spots, which also makes its wireless capabilities accessable in over 100 different countries. I brought to light the advancements that the Kindle has made in its three models over the past few years and how it continues to converge in the new media atmosphere. The Kindle gives the user access to thousands of books that can be downloaded in 60 seconds virtually anywhere.

I also discussed the Kindle's competitors, the Sony Reader and the iPad. I explained that the Sony Reader was the first completely touch screen e-reader and that it was originally cheaper than the Kindle. But even with these exciting differences, the Kindle is still the more popular of the two. I then discussed the iPad and how Apple's hopes are to have a big e-book market. Even with this, the iPad does not come pre-installed with the iBook software, which gives users the decision on whether to download the free iBook app or Kindles free app. I explained that this gives Kindle a major opportunity to expand their market and make even more profit.

All in all, the Kindle has been a great example of something "new" about new media. This is because it has taken an old form of media and made it digital, while encorporating the internet as well as the telecommunications industry through its wireless network. This also makes it a great example of convergence. Below I have attatched a link to the Kindle's main webpage, which gives a full overview of the product, as well as all of its capabilities and uses. It also gives a look into new innovations that the Kindle wants to encorporate into their newer devices and explains the benefit to these new features.


Skype: What is 'new' about new media?

Last Thursday, April 22nd, I presented my case study answering the question, “What really is ‘new’ about new media and how is it impacting upon society?” I decided to answer this question by using Skype as an example. I started off my presentation by giving a brief definition and overview of Skype. I explained to the class that Skype is a free online telecommunication service that allows users to communicate all across the world via calls, video messaging, and instant messaging. I researched the usage of Skype in today’s society and applied it five of the six characteristics of New Media; digital, interactivity, audience generated, narrowcasting, and multi-media forms. It is digital because Skype’s use of instant messaging is computer compressed and readable. There is interactivity between two or more people taking turns responding to each other. Skype is audience generated because it gives each user the ability to personalize their account. Skype is a form of narrowcasting because it is geared toward people who wish to communicate over long-distance, like families and business men/women who need to make conference calls. Skype also has many multi-media forms including video messaging, instant messaging, and phone calls.

I then went over a brief history of Skype and how it has progressed to where it is now. I also gave the class a brief overview of some of the benefits and features of Skype including Skype’s use of contacts, calls, messaging, and the brand new Skype Mobile. Skype Mobile was created March 2010 when Skype partnered with Verizon to allow free Skype-to-Skype calls and instant messaging through Verizon Wireless 3G smart phones. Skype Mobile is a form of new media because it converges many different forms of new media. Also, in any form of new media, there are always mishaps and room for improvement. Because of this, I briefly went over the controversy Skype had with surveillance issues in China.

I concluded my presentation by adding a little pop culture. I used Brad Paisley’s lyrics to his song ‘Welcome to the Future’ to help me explain what really is new about new media and how it has an impact on our society. In his song, he talks about how his Grandpa in World War II had to send letters to his Grandmother, but today we now have the use of video chat where we can communicate with others all around the world in an instant. It is amazing to me how far technology has come. Technology and new media is the future, and the future is now. I’m very interested to see where our society will be technologically in just a few years.

Below I have posted the official Skype website, as well as Brad Paisley's music video 'Welcome to the Future' if anyone is more interested in learning more about Skype or what Brad has to say about where our society is headed as far as new media is concerned.



Monday, April 26, 2010

Media in The Classroom

Last Thursday I presented a case study based on the question; what is new about new media? As a future educator myself, I felt the most effective way to answer this question would be to present something that would affect my future.
Over the course of the semester, we have discussed all aspects of new media and new technology that is in our lives today. Whether it be the new Ipad, satellite radio, 3d movies, or the explosion of social media, they are all intertwined in our everyday lives, but have any of us thought about where we are sitting right now, or where we spend the majority of our day? The classroom. The new media and technology is becoming a bigger part of our learning experience, even right now I’m using technology in the form of a PowerPoint and new media of YouTube to give this presentation and make a blog post. Online learning in the form of elearning, virtual worlds such as second life used to teach classes, social networks along with blogs, and multimedia presentations are making up a large part of the classroom, extending for the kindergarten age all the way to the college classroom, and it isn’t going anywhere.
Each one of these new media outlets is opening doors and presenting new opportunities to the future of our children and the future of the education world. Like I said in my presentation the technology is here to stay and we must get used to it and learn to incorporate it into our everyday lives. It is amazing how an elementary student is more computer savvy then I was the day I graduated high school. The question I present to everyone, is this too much too soon, and what will this technology craze at such a young age lead to in our societies future?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Impact of the iPhone by Sandra Aderibigbe

For my case study I decided to evaluate the impact of the iPhone. I briefly explained the history of the iPhone, some of the features that make it stand out, and the impact it has on the consumer, manufacturer, and technology itself. My main point was to point out that the iPhone was revolutionary in the sense that it shifted the focus of cell phone companies from the network to the actual cell phone itself. Prior to the iPhone, most carriers were only worried about the network and services. The iPhone was one of the first phones created for the pure enjoyment of the consumer. It offered a mini portable computer, and mp3 player, and countless applications that you could download to personalized your phone to fulfill your needs.
The discussion question that I asked was “Why do you think the iPhone continues to stand out amongst other phones. Many people first pointed out the fact that the internet ran very fast and looked just like how the internet would on a computer. Others pointed out the fact that the iPod had countless applications that one could use. There is basically an application for just about anything including various games but also useful tools such as maps. Others liked the fact that it had an MP3 player on it but specifically iTunes. A few people pointed out the fact that you can sync your iPhone to your computer, and its very easy to back it up. Lastly, people pointed out the fact that when the iPod does update their phone you don’t have to go out and buy another one, you can just download the update from iTunes.
The iPod is a phone that continues to evolve in very many ways. Because the iPhone is so advanced, in order to keep up with technology, many cell phone companies are finding ways to make better phones that consumers will love and purchase.

AT&T and Communication Infrastructure by Lupita Salgado

The roundtable discussion following my presentation last Thursday, which answered the question: “What social and economic forces shape communication infrastructure”, answered a couple of questions and while raising others.

No, AT&T shouldn’t be hurt as the end of their contract with Apple approaches and they lose exclusivity to the iPhone. This is not only because they have many other high quality products and services to offer, but because they will not lose existing customers to other cell phone companies.

Recently, there have been several complaints about the quality of service AT&T has been offering and whether or not they can keep up with its customers (because of the network overload created by iPhone users). However, AT&T has responded quickly. They have launched Femtocell, a product that provides better cell phone coverage in your own home. However, what incentives has AT&T provided to its customers to go out and splurge $150 on a mini-cell tower whenever their families on the other side of town receive excellent service without paying for anything other than their standard monthly wireless bill? Although this may not be AT&Ts most economical idea, many students don’t believe that existing AT&T customers will leave for other service providers.

One major reason named by students is the expense of breaking a contract; it’s just not financially worth it. Some students have not experienced problems with AT&T at all. This may be because problems are occurring in densely populated cities, which AT&T is trying their best correct these problems. So if you’re currently experiencing problems with AT&T they are soon to be over anyway, no reason to switch just yet.

AT&T has always provided communication services and they have continued to provide services as new technological advances in communication are created. They not only make it a point to provide people with what they need, but they also do their best to maintain connected to the different facets of technology that have come together to create communication as we know it today, (such acquiring McCaw Cellular Communication and their relationship with NPR-a computer maker). We now can call, text, email, IM, tweet, and do all sorts of instant forms communication from a single device. It's thanks to service providers like AT&T that we are able to do so.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Universal Service Goes Mobile, By Lacy Muntean

On Thursday, April 15, I did my presentation on Universal Service. Universal Service is the idea of providing quality telecommunications services at just, reasonable and affordable rates for all consumers. The question of the week was, "What social and economic forces shape communication infrastructure?" I answered this question in my presentation by showing how Universal Service is being carried out what what the future plans are. Free cell phones are now being offered to low-income Americans. Our government is working to provide free high speed internet to this same group. As more and more telecommunications services become available to everyone, newer technologies will need to be created to satisfy consumers. People want the newest and coolest things, and when everyone has access to them, they lose their appeal. As things that were once considered luxuries become more readily available to everyone, no matter what social class, there will become a recurring need for new and more advanced technologies within telecommunications.

During my presentation I defined Universal Service, stated its goals, and gave two examples of telephone providers that are providing free cell phones to low-income Americans. These two examples showed the difference between the first provider of free cell phones and the most recent provider to offer the same service. Safelink provided only 60 (or more depending on the state) minutes to low-income Americans, but Assurance Wireless has increased the number of minutes to 200. As the realization that a cell phone is a necessity increases, providers work harder to provide low-income Americans with more services related to their cell phones.

The discussion question I posed to the class was "Do you feel that a cell phone is a luxury or a necessity, and should they be provided to low-income Americans?" A majority of the class felt that cell phones have really become a necessity. They are needed in case of an emergency, if someone loses a job and for many other reasons. One student stated that if someone already has the tools needed, such as a cell phone, the service should be provided for free. He felt that a cell phone is not a necessity. Another example he gave was if you already have a computer, internet should be provided, but if you don't have the means to purchase a computer, the services should not be provided.

To learn more about Universal Service, go to:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Last Thursday on April, 8th I did my case study presentation on the up a coming sources of Wi-Fi and where it is headed in the future. To answer the question of the week, “Who controls the network?” I proposed the idea that although Wi-Fi doesn’t have direct control over who controls the Internet, it indirectly controls the Internet by giving consumers (us) more access to the internet. I believe that no particular person or organization has complete control over the Internet. The government can keep putting more restrictions over the Internet, but inevitably we are the ones who control the Internet because we are the ones who keep changing it.

I went through the different phases of the Internet from the WiFi form 802.11 to 802.11g to WiMax. To me the most interesting form of wireless Internet, or the one I believe will have the most effect on people the years to come is WiMax. The thought of having wireless Internet available to a whole city, and eventually even a whole country in the years to come amazes me. Wi-Fi technology has a lot of security issue that pose a problem with owning a wireless Internet, but if it is password protected you should be OK, but it is good to keep in mind the different risks you are taking as well as how you are protected under Wi-Fi. (For example, with the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and with the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.) With technology like this, and more and more people having access to the Internet requires more restrictions by the government, but a more versatile and changing Internet in the end.

“Will the future of Wi-Fi cause the Digital Divide to get larger or smaller?” This is the question I proposed to the class during my presentation. I got very interesting feedback, but this seems to be an overall concern with how fast technology is growing. I believe that with more access to Wi-Fi that there will be a number of people where the Digital Divide’s gap will close especially among the older generation because the Internet will be even more prominent in society and even a bigger number of people have access to it. I also believe that with fast growing technologies, technologies are only going to be cheaper. Soon I believe a computer could be like a radio where almost every family owns one, and in fact they are even putting computers and Wi-Fi in vehicles, like the radio. One thing that I do think is discouraging for the Digital Divide is the facts that as technologies keep advancing; it is hard to keep up with it if you are just beginning to learn.

My case study presentation really taught me a lot about Wi-Fi, more than I ever thought I could know about it. I’m really interested to see where the 802.11 technologies will lead us in the next 10 years and what Internet access will be like. In the end I will be more and more restrictions placed on the Internet society, but its quick advancing and educated users will lead government protection in the dust.

Here's a quick video with more information on Wi-Max -


Robyn Wooderson

Facebook Case Study Reflection

Last Thursday April 8th I presented a case study to the class over one of the largest social networking sites used across the world, Facebook. In order to answer the question of the week, “Who controls the network?” I concentrated on Mark Zuckerberg’s product Facebook and the websites control of the social part of the internet.
I believe that Facebook does control a large portion of the social networking sites mainly because it is the extremely common and has easy to use features. Almost everyone has a Facebook, whether it is for personal use or to even promote another person or a store’s products. There was not one person in our class that admitted to not having a Facebook. This is a small scale example of how common the social networking site is. With Facebook one can remain in contact with someone across the room, city, state, country, and even world. There are only four countries in the world right now that have restrictions against Facebook. When an advertisement comes on the radio, television, billboard, etc. it now includes the common phrase, “Find us on Facebook and Twitter.” Everyone wants to remain connected and with Facebook it is the most popular way created yet.
In class I did not have time to propose any of my discussion questions. If I would of have had time I would have asked “Do you think Mark Zuckerberg has invaded our privacy?” The reason I wanted to ask this question was because after researching Facebook’s privacy rules I realized that the regulations are not as strict as I thought. I also learned that Facebook has a lot of control over what they can obtain from your computer, cell phone, MP3 player, etc. after you log on to Facebook. To answer my own question, I believe that Mark Zuckerberg has invaded our privacy but we have allowed and agreed to this in order to use Facebook.
After researching Facebook for my case study, I learned that Facebook does have a lot of control over social networking sites and also over our privacy. Unless you manually change your privacy settings online, Facebook is allowed to access
almost everything they want to know about you. I also learned that every time you post something on Facebook they analyze it and generate the advertisements on the side to “fit” you best. In conclusion, I believe Facebook does control the social network of the internet and will continue to until another site is created bigger and better. However among the website Facebook.com individuals have the option to control some of what happens on Facebook.

Links relating to Facebook:

Facebook's Privacy Regulations

Facebook's Safety Center

The Face Behind Facebook

-Jocelyn Lidrbauch

Monday, April 12, 2010

Google Case Study Reflection

On Thursday April 8th I presented a case study over one of the largest multinational public Internet search technology corporations in the world, Google Inc. To answer the question of the week, “Who controls the networks?”, I focused on Google and specifically their control over the internet through their large selection of inventive Internet-based services and products.

I believe that Google Inc. does control large portions of the internet primarily because their products unite many very useful and popular services that millions of people use every day. One of the main reasons that Google Inc. has become so popular is because they make online services convenient to users, and who doesn’t want internet use to be made convenient? They are the “masters” of converging all of their services so that you can easily log into your Gmail, for example, and then utilize each of their services (Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Search, Google Translate, etc) from one convenient location. One of the reasons that the Google Search is the most popular search engine in the world is because it’s said to be the most thorough and the easiest to operate and manage. These characteristics carry through to all of Google’s other services which is why they are one of the most successful companies on the Internet.

In class, I proposed one of my discussion questions, “Do you think that Google has too much control over the Internet?” and I thought it was very interesting that no one said “yes”, or at least no one voiced this opinion out loud. In order to prompt more discussion I asked if people would rethink their answers after knowing that Google’s search engine isn’t even a comprehensive search of the entire web, but just a search of Google’s own index; this means that technically Google does control what people see when they use their program. People still didn’t seem to think that Google has too much control in this area and I think that’s very interesting! Most people just commented that Google’s search index still seems thorough enough for them and that they feel like their results are “comprehensive enough”. I didn’t have time to propose my other two discussions questions, but I am interested as to what other people do think about where Google will expand next. I could definitely see them expanding to having an online radio/song search engine similar to Pandora.

In this case study, I learned so much about Google and especially their search engine program and advertising strategies. I was very surprised that Google’s search engine pulls information from their own search index and not actually the entire web; in fact, this startled me the most and led to my personal view that Google controls a large portion of the internet. In the end of class when we proposed our summaries I stated that I believe that individuals ultimately control the Internet. From the individuals who choose which search engine to use, to the individuals who invent the search engines, like Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the co-founders of Google Inc. The government will continue to attempt to regulate the Internet and its content, but in the end it is in each of our own hands.

Links to the two Google videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ka4tCkYXHiE - How Search Ads Work

Http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNHR6IQJGZs - How Google Search Works

-Emily Walters

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Satellite Radio and the Wireless Advances of Radio

On March 4, I presented a case study that summarized the merger between Sirius Satellite Radio and Xm Satellite Radio, and how satellite radio has become a template for a wireless culture. The two companies were the only two in their industry, and now that they have combined, .many think that they have formed a monopoly of sorts. Both separate entities offered over one hundred channels that varied from different music genres, to sports and news broadcasting. Also, many athletic events were given their own channel so that fans could listen in their vehicles or at home without using a tv. Both required a special installation to access their services and they had very competitive prices that were based on a monthly payment. More recently vehicle makers had been making deals with the two companies so that their service automatically came with the purchase of the car, and the installation was built right in the vehicle. Due to the amount of money that it took to start up this industry the businesses were not reaping any profit and eventually in 2008 they were forced to merge. After the merge, most recently in 2010 they have begun to see the profits of their services. Now they the Sirius Xm Satellite Radio company is working on reaching more customers, and designing their stations to be more user satisfying and run by the listeners.
The question of the week that was asked of us was, “How do older media serve as a template for wireless culture,” and this raised many new questions in class. I chose the Satellite radio industry because I think that it has done exactly that, and taken a somewhat outdated source of entertainment and made it technologically advanced and available to people everywhere. Also proposed to the class was the question of “who owns the media.” When radio first took off the main producers were companies like RCA and AT&T, companies that no longer have an interest in this medium. Today with every radio station playing songs based off of requests, satellite services that have a hundred different channels, and technology that allows you to only listen to the songs you want, it seems as thought the listeners own the media. If the producers were in charge of the media there would be a few select stations and we would be forced to listen to whatever they decide to play. The radio has come a long way from family shows and in home systems. We now have so many ways of accessing music and new technological advances in the franchise that it is obvious how the oldest form of radio was merely a template for our new wireless ways of living. With that being said, it is obvious how satellite radio is providing for the customer based off of the customers preferences and I encourage you to invest in their product if you enjoy music as I do.

Useful links:




Monday, April 5, 2010

HDTV & 3D Television

Thursday April 1st was the day that I presented my case study over the way that Television has been affected by older media forms. Television has come a long way ever since it was created in 1946. The biggest difference that comes with today’s televisions is that they are beginning to be developed to be viewed in HDTV and in 3D. Thanks to the development and evolution of old media, new media forms come equipped with high quality technology that makes the audience seem as if they were viewing live. What I did was present a brief history of how television was invented and the changes it went through leading up to the newest form of television which is in 3D.

Something that I noticed about my presentation which really enthused me was that everyone was really talkative about my topic. Everyone had heard about this new version of television and everyone had their own opinion. I felt that my presentation had a nice flow to it and I felt that my discussion really interested my classmates. I felt that the other presenters had really interesting topics and it was good to learn about who and how the rating of television programs is processed. Another thing that I really enjoyed was hearing about the PBS corporation and taking down a trip through memory lane as I we heard about our childhood programs like The Magic School Bus. These presentations really enhanced my knowledge over the media and how the older forms have informed the new media markets. If it wasn't for the past, all these new forms of technology would have never been possible. It was interesting learning about these other corporations and the way that they have been changing over the years. In response to the question "How do older forms of media inform new media markets?" I would have to say that they inform them through the mistakes that have been made and also by the changes that have been made. The past is of course the foundation to many of these inventions and without them these new media markets would have not been possible.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Nielsen Company

This past Thursday on April 1st I presented on the Nielsen Company’s rating system for Television. Nielsen rates television shows on how many people are watching and they also measure more than 40% of the world’s viewing behavior. They use a national sample, composed of a cross-section of representative homes throughout the United States to count the number of people watching TV. Arthur Nielsen introduced the Audimeter (his first metering device) in 1936 when there were only about 200 television sets in use worldwide. His measuring service was officially established in 1950. Today is common for households to have multiple TV sets and the measuring systems are constantly evolving to keep up with today’s innovations surrounding televisions and their programs.

The theme of the week asked the question: How do older forms of media inform new media markets? In the beginning the Nielsen Company just focused on rating radio programs because that was the most current media. Then entertainment advanced to television so they moved to monitoring TV programs as well. Currently people are now watching TV from their cell phones and iPods. Nielsen is now trying to find a way to monitor the use of these mobile devices.

Before my research on this type of rating system I had no idea how television stations were finding out which of their shows were being watched the most. The question that sparked the most class discussion was the one asking how they felt about Nielsen putting “miniature meters” into their mobile devices and tracking what they are watching. A few students believed that doing that would be crossing the line and was an invasion of privacy. I think people would be more comfortable with this type of technology if they knew more about it and were able to give consent to the company to allow them to do this. Nielsen plans to do away with all of their paper diaries by 2011 and so they are trying to keep up with our fast paced world and the future.