Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Convergence and The iPhone

Convergence and The iPhone by Jacob Petersen, Katie Jacob, Katy Juarez, and Molly Grimes
Thanks and gig 'em!!! :)

Group 4: Narrowcasting and the Creation of New Media

Video Podcast: E-Books vs Traditional Books


By Zach Drew, Russell Stone, and Taylor Schuett

Obscenity and the FCC: a study in TV broadcasting

By John Coleman
Lacy Davis 
Martin Hinojosa
Matthew Reagan
Natalie Villarreal

New vs Old Media Video Podcast

By Kyle Bridges, Jared Jones, Ceci Stevenson, & Sam Stroud
Disney Narrowcasting- Visual Podcast
By: Madison Albert, Brittany Bartlett, Brittany Bluestein, and Erica Flanagan

Monday, April 23, 2012

Narrow-casting, Twitter and Facebook

Lauren Guthmann, McKenzie Mendenhall, Jordan Blair, 
Abbie Goldberg and Paige Goodson

Freedom of Speech vs. Obscenity and Indecency

Melanie Grover, Haley Parker, Caitlin Red and Rachel McCormick

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Infinity Ward and Violence

Today I will be discussing the video game developer known as Infinity Ward and answering the question of the week:  How are gaming and mobile technologies impacting society?
Infinity Ward has been around since 2002.  They were acquired by Activision and are best known for their work on the Call of Duty series along with Treyarch.  Each of these developers has made different forms of war-themed video games that prove to be revolutionary in their realistic technology and their clear usage of modern weaponry.  In fact, the war-themed video game has become so revolutionary and so realistic that U.S. military uses it in training and recruiting.  Infinity Ward has created Call of Duty, Call of Duty 2, and the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series.  Call of Duty is known to be a popular military gaming series that is set in wars such as WWII and even WWIII.  There have been some controversial missions and subject matter that leave critics wondering what society might take from games with such graphic violence.  Violence in video games has been an issue in the media for as long as games such as Grand Theft Auto and Doom have been about.  There have been studies on gamers to see the effects of violence, such as asking general questions like “How do you feel when you shoot an enemy soldier and kill them?”  Even in the Media Now text it discusses how the media points fingers at games when there is a shooting even when there is no clear evidence.  It does, however, discuss how teenagers, “obsessed with ‘Doom’, gunned down 12 of their classmates”.  Therefore, this is why there is a huge debate on whether violence in video games has negative effects on society.   All in all, Call of Duty is a very popular gaming series that can be misconstrued as a ’violent video game’.  

The Xbox and Gaming

Today I will be telling you about Microsoft's Xbox and how far gaming systems have come in the last 12 years and how it's impacting society. Bill Gates said himself that "a gaming/multimedia device was essential for multimedia convergence in the new times," and in 2001 Microsoft released their first gaming console, the Xbox. With this gaming console came the introduction of Xbox Live. When Live was first integrated into the gaming console all users were allowed to do was download arcade games and play with other users online. At the time the online service required a broadband Internet connection, which was far less available compared to today. When Microsoft released the Xbox 360 in 2005 it also came with better graphics and an upgraded online Live service. Not only could users download arcade games and compete with other users, you could now stream TV shows, movies, and music. It allowed specific regions to access streaming applications such Netflix and Hulu. Xbox live is a subscription based service and the user had the option between Xbox Live Free and Xbox Live Gold. The free service provided very little to the user, but the Gold service made a plethora of applications available. A few of these applications include Facebook, Twitter, ESPN, MLB Live, and soon Skype will be a part of this. In 2010, Microsoft introduced the Kinect. The hands free device allowed users to voice commands and play games without even touching a game controller. The Kinect is equipped with a camera and a microphone, so when Skype becomes an authorized application on the Xbox, user-to-user communication will be extremely easy and convenient. Gaming consoles today are now becoming the hub of multimedia. Gaming systems with limited online and media capabilities are now able to stream videos, music, movies and give users access to social networking sites. Gaming consoles today are changing the way we communicate we with one another and it's exciting to think about what new features the "next generation" consoles have in store for the future.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sony's PS Vita and Mobile Gaming

Today I will be discussing Sony's PS Vita and how it impacts our society.

First of all you need an overview of the PS Vita and what makes it such a dynamic product.  First of all it has the ability to connect to Wi-Fi or 3G networks via AT&T's mobile broadband network.  This will allow gamers to connect with their friends online and get real time scores and updates in the games that they are playing.  Another big feature are the new front and rear cameras.  With these cameras the PS Vita can use the background that you are currently looking at in real life as the back drop for your game.  The front camera can put you in the game as well.  One of the biggest selling points for the Vita is its Cross Play function.  This gives you the ability to pick up whatever game you've been playing on your PS3 console, and play it on your Vita right where you left off.  This feature also allows you to connect with your friends from your Vita while they are playing on their PS3 system.

Now what makes this so troubling is the fact that children in our society are already spending too much time on video game as it is.  With the known correlations between excessive gaming and negative side effects, the fact that kids never have to leave their game consoles could be seen as a bad thing.  For instance a kid that spends a lot of time playing games on his Vita with his friends online, especially violent games, could be seen as over exposing himself to violent material that he doesn't need to be exposed to.  But you can also look at this another way.  This kid could also be developing team work skills with these friends that he is playing online with.  He could also be developing hand eye coordination with the use of the dual joystick control available on the Vita.

All in all I think it ultimately comes down to what you do as a parent.  If you think your kid is playing too many video games, make them go outside(without his portable game console of course) and play with their friends or siblings.  I think that Sony is just practicing good business by seeing a need that gamers have, and filling that need with a supply.

Economic Growth of Online Gaming

For our class today, April 19, I will be discussing the growing infrastructure and competitive market of the online video gaming world. My focus is on the company Blizzard, the owners and creators of Call of Duty, Star Craft, Diablo and my main topic World of Warcraft. The topic for this week is mobile media and web 3.0: how are emerging technologies impacting society? I aim to answer that question by discussion the game World of Warcraft (WoW). This game started online back in 1994 and has grown into a powerhouse of Massive Multi-player Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG) that collect hundreds in revenue from those who play.
                We may not see the internet as an emerging technology, but the impact it has on our daily lives is hard to miss. When it comes to Web 3.0, online gaming is very much affected by this. A gamer will choose to play online with anonymous players and live in a world that has been created for them by a team of graphic designers, tech systems and the video game creators. Game companies can host their products for free on the internet, or like Blizzard has found out, gamers will pay for the best. To play a WoW game, the game price is from twenty to forty dollars. If the player wants to take their skills on the internet,  which is the point of MMORPG, then the monthly subscription fee is fifteen dollars. Fifteen dollars multiplied by twelve months means a gamer will pay one hundred and eighty (180) dollars a year to play against other people they have never met. Based on data In 2011*, World of Warcraft had twelve million (12, 000,000) active gamers.
$14.99/month x 12 months = $179.88 year subscription to World of Warcraft
$14.99 x 12, 000,000 players = $179,880,000 subscription profits for one month
$14.99/ month x 12 months x 12 million subscribers = $2,158,560,000 revenue from online subscriptions in one year.
                The economic revenue for online gaming is a considerable amount, probably more than the developers were ever thinking they could make on a venture like this. The online gaming technology has turned a generation from playing outdoors to using LED screen as entertainment. The emerging technologies can be seen as a double sided coin: one shows technological progression while another shows social regression.

*Note: the active member figures given by gaming companies are not completely accurate (trial members are considered active members even if they never pay after the trial) so figures are rounded to create an idea of the membership base.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Walt Disney Company

Today, I will be presenting to the class The Walt Disney Company and their global Dominance relating to the question of the week which is: How does globalization shape media product and industry?
My presentation will brief the different media holdings that the The Walt Disney Company has so that everyone has a better understanding of how dominant the company is. Further we will dive into how Disney goes about reaching the world on global and local levels. These efforts include the film, tv, internet, theme parks and consumer.The conversation that always immediately follows this different divisions are what are there effects. Because Disney is an American company, its influences are heavily american. As an american its harder to understand how problematic that is because that's life how we know it. In other our culture is pushed over theirs. In addition to certain themes that we see repeated in the content of the productions and films, there also leads to criticism of how accurate their journalist division is. The question can be brought up: Are there any bias in their news and are we not getting the full story.

I believe as the Disney company grows we will see less room for different ideas and opinions. The Disney Company's efforts to the own all parts of media will deny us the opportunity to see the different cultures and opinions of everyone

MTV: Regionalization & Localization

My presentation that I'll be doing later today is over MTV and its use of regionalization and localization to compete in the global market place. Regionalization links nations together based on geographic, cultural, linguistic, and historical commonalities. (Straubhaar, LaRose, & Davenport, 501) Localization goes hand-in-hand with this because its main use is the taking of a product and adapting it towards a specific local market. I’ll be looking at MTV’s history as a growing business entity which forged its own generation, the “MTV generation,” and I’ll note its content changes throughout the years. Next I’ll chronicle MTV’s exponentially growing global expansion of the channel while providing examples, like the UK’s Geordie Shore, which showcases the localization of a foreign product. Due to time constraints I’ll mostly be looking at MTV China to show the policies of Viacom, MTV’s parent owner, when it takes MTV into a foreign country. They believe in keeping complete ownership of the channel but also understand that if any success is to be had, locally produced content must be made to successfully market towards the Chinese audience. This includes using local VJ’s, DJ’s on the TV, and airing Chinese music videos as the majority content. MTV also partnered with local businesses like CCTV and SMG to make a Chinese music award show and style award show financially feasible. In conclusion, MTV continues to prove its worth as an excellent example of the global marketplace at work. Despite its seemingly low-brow, questionable content, its popularity is a product of the “give the people what they want” mentality. If people stop watching the channel, it goes away. I believe the main goal of the producers of this media content is, essentially, financial gain based on a competitive market economy and not one based on American indoctrination of a foreign people. Localization only helps to further discredit the notion of a complete westernization takeover in the ever growing globalized world.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Facebook in a Globalized World

My presentation will attempt to answer the question “how does globalization shape media products and industry?” I will attempt to answer this question by viewing Facebook as an example of a social media industry. Globalization is defined as: reducing differences that existed between nations in time, space, and culture. Not only has globalization shortened the connections between individuals world wide, it has also caused a shift in social interaction and business enterprises. These endeavors have changed from a primarily local and/or regional focus to an international focus, or market. Jack Welch, former CEO and Chairman of General Electric, once said, “Globalization has changed us into a company that searches the world, not just to sell or to source, but to find intellectual capital - the world's best talents and greatest ideas.”

With over 100 Social Networking Sites available on the web, and over 1 billion users from virtually every country on the planet, it is evident that social networking has played a major role in the development of globalization. Some have voiced concerns that social networking has had negative effects on our society, especially children. Children growing up in our globalized society have come to consider themselves “citizens of the world” and have weaker connections to their physical home. Other fears have also been addressed that children are not developing healthy social relationships; instead they are forming relationships with the “absent other” in cyberspace. Regardless, on Facebook alone there are over 845 million users, which is roughly 8% of the entire world population, and is translated into 77 languages. Facebook is the dominant social networking site provider in 119 of the 134 countries where it is available and shows no signs of slowing its domination. One example of how Facebook has had a positive effect is found in the tiny town of Obermutten, Switzerland. Facebook has been used to stimulate their economy, primarily through tourism. I encourage you to view this video to learn more à http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzAG9_iKgRE.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Skype, a Social and Economic Force Shaping Communication Infrastructure

Today, I will be responding to the question of the week: "What social & economic forces shape the communication infrastructure," and the case study I will present is over Skype. Skype is a computer program that transforms a computer into a telephone using VoIP (Voice-over-Internet Protocol). Utilizing the transmittal of voices over the Internet, Skype converts voice signals into data, sends it over the Internet from the host computer, and then restores the audio on the receiving computer. As an innovative VoIP technology, Skype produces quality services that are influential in the telecommunication industry. Some of the most popular Skype features are calling landlines/mobile phones, video calling, instant messaging and SMS text messaging. Each feature offers users a different way to communication over computers, mobile phones or Skype-ready TVs. With its increasing popularity, Skype has become more prominent in the classroom and business world. This expands the possibilities of how we use Skype in the future.

My main argument is how Skype shapes communication infrastructure through the services it provides. Skype is shaping communication socially by connecting users with each other, regardless of location and technology format, extending relations all over the world. Skype is also shaping communication economically by providing costumers with a free or very inexpensive way to communicate. In a world where people want things fast and free, Skype is helping set the standard for communication and Voice-over Internet Protocol.

For a better understanding of what Skype is, I recommend watching this short YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1mflr-kQlk

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Viral Videos in Politics and Advertising

Today, I will be discussing viral videos and their relationship with political and advertising campaigns. As the internet grows and becomes the most significant device for providing information it is necessary to analyze the usefulness of viral videos in politics and advertising; whether or not they are effective and how they become so wide spread. While discussing viral videos it is also important to look at Web 2.0 which is the way of using the internet for collaboration and sharing of data among individual users. Daniel Gayo-Avello helps define the importance of social media in a study and how it is becoming an important channel for information on the internet. Viral Videos are the distribution through sharing. A viral video is a video which is spread through online sharing and social media outlets. Through analyzing the “Yes We Can” video that was released during the political campaigns in 2008, Kevin Wallsten did a study on the influence that viral videos and found that bloggers played a larger role in spreading the video than journalists did. Furthermore, to see the effectiveness of viral videos, there was a study conducted by Kristen English and also a Newsweek article that stated that viral videos didn’t play a key role in influencing the public and increasing votes. Much like in advertising, there was a study of the Evian Skating baby commercial that went viral, but didn’t increase the profits for the company.  Through the use of Web 2.0 videos keep making their way through the network and becoming viral. However, through evidence, the number of views does not determine the attitude or influence that a person will take from it.

Net Neutrality

Today, I will be talking about Net Neutrality. Net neutrality means that Internet Service Providers cannot discriminate or block the transmission of lawful Internet content. Since ISPs are between users and the net, it is theorized that ISPs could control access to websites. However, opponents to Net Neutrality would be quick to point out that for the most part, ISPs have not engaged in this practice. “But, why leave the opportunity open?” supporters would say. Supporters of Net Neutrality mainly argue from a business standpoint, and they think that ISPs have a great incentive to regulate content. They would most likely do so in order to promote their own services. Opponents argue from a technical side, in the sense that, the Internet’s normal functioning depends on regulating the transmission of data packets. In other words, the Internet is efficient because data is regulated.

The FCC has enacted and put into practice a policy that has been described as Net Neutrality lite. This policy states that ISPs must be transparent in their operations and wired services cannot block or discriminate the transmission of lawful Internet content. Neither sides are in much agreement about this policy. Supporters state that it is too lenient and contains loopholes, and they question the FCC’s ability to enforce it. Opponents argue that the FCC has enacted a policy that has too broad an authority. Verizon has already gone so far as to sue the FCC for this policy, twice! Their first attempt was denied on the basis that the policy hadn’t been officially published, but their second attempt was only several days after publishing. The case has yet to be resolved, and the courts will decide the outcome.
This policy will likely continue to be debated, and Net Neutrality will continue to be a hot topic of today’s Internet.

The Great Firewall of China

                In class today, April 5, 2012, I will talk about internet censorship, specifically the Great Firewall of China, the largest and most effective internet censorship project to date. Officially known as the Golden Shield Project, development of the Great Firewall of China started soon after internet came to China. Started in the 1990s, the original idea was to have a comprehensive surveillance system that included speech and facial recognition, video monitoring, etc. It seemed like a mix of 1984 and V for Vendetta. However, this ultimate goal was never reached. The internet expanded so fast, that it was hard enough for the Chinese to keep up with the firewall, that they did not have the time or resources to implement everything else. The project was officially done being installed and integrated in 2008, but it is still updated almost every day.
                The Great Firewall uses four main techniques to keep people in China from accessing censored material:
1.       IP Blocking
2.       TCP Connection Cut-Off
3.       URL Blocking
4.       Content Scanning
Together these methods work to make sure that you cannot access anything that they have on their “blacklist”. The thing is, things on the “blacklist” change everyday, depending on what’s going on in the world. For instance, some news sites may be available most of the time, but if one day they have an article about riots in Tibet, the site will be blocked that day, and become available again when the article goes away.
This project has signifiganctly impacted the effect of the internet in China. Everyone and everything from your common citizen to mega companies like Google have to deal with it. The system is so effective and high tech, that China has made a business out of exporting its technologies. The Great Firewall of China has taken internet censorship to the ultimate extreme.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


In today's class, I will be presenting on the Slingbox and how innovations in technology have changed the way that we watch television. I will start by discussing television through the Internet and how over the last decade, our mediums of watching a show have changed drastically. Then I will introduce a product that continues to change the way that we are able to watch our favorite shows. This product is the Slingbox. I will explain how it functions and is able to stream live television to a portable device such as a mobile phone. I will discuss pricing of the Slingbox so that the class can gain an understanding of how much this technology costs. After that, I will talk about the history of the Slingbox. When it was founded and how the Sling Media industry has progressed since its inception. The uses of the Slingbox will be discussed after the history. The uses include traveling for business or pleasure and not wanting to miss a second of your favorite sports team’s game. I will then show products similar to the Slingbox and show that though this is a recently new technology, there is still competition. Some of these include the “Vulkano Flow”, “TV2Me”, and USB TV Tuners.

After this discussion about the Slingbox, I will talk about websites that offer television to be watched after the live airing on standard television. I will reveal something that I found in the book that I thought was interesting on how television networks are allowed to count Internet viewers within three days of the original airing as part of their ratings. Finally, I will ask if there are any questions that I could answer that may have come to mind while listening to my presentation. I will present the discussion questions and come to my conclusion about the Slingbox, internet television, and the direction in which technology is taking us.

The Freeze of 1948

            Today in class, March 22, I will be talking to you about the FCC’s issuing of the temporary freeze in 1948, as it relates to our topic of TV.  The freeze of 1948, which was issued by the FCC, was intended to last six months to give the FCC sufficient time to deal with matters regarding giving licenses to new stations and creating standards for them all to follow. Six months was suppose to give the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) the time it needed to study the issues that were arising and create a blueprint, so to speak, for the future stations that were seeking a license. However, do to circumstance beyond their control, such as the Korean War, the FCC was unable to lift the freeze in the six month time period that they had hoped to.
             The FCC had five major issues on their hands: the freeze the FCC put on new TV stations in 1948, reservation of channel space for educational-  noncommercial television, the reduction of channel interference, establish a national channel allocation map or scheme, and opening up of additional spectrum space. Some of these issues were more difficult to solve, some very easy, and some differed from city to city. The freeze was finally lifted after the Sixth Report and Order was issued, which expanded the channels for very high frequency channels, ultra high frequency channels, and educational channels.
              By the time the freeze was lifted, the war and Great Depression had also ended, which was changing the day to day life of Americans, giving them more leisure time. This new leisure time was filled with television and many new fads such as Davy Crockett and Elvis Presley emerged. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Internet Television: Hulu

Today I will be talking about internet television and specifically about Hulu. Although internet television was around before, it gained notoriety in 1994 when ABC World News began broadcasting their shows on the internet.  After this pioneering broadcast, there was a steady increase of networks putting their shows on the internet as well.  The biggest breakthrough of internet television came in 2005 when the site YouTube began putting videos on their website from many different shows and networks. People knew that if they wanted to see a clip from a show they missed that they could easier find it on YouTube.
            After YouTube was somewhat restricted through copyright laws and impending lawsuits, NBCUniversal and News Corp. had an idea to create an internet television website that would allow consumers to legally watch their favorite shows and movies. This idea turned into what is now known as Hulu. Hulu is an internet television website where people can watch most of their favorite TV shows and movies for free. Since it’s start on March 12, 2008, Hulu has expanded greatly and has titles in their libraries from networks such as NBC, ABC, MTV, Comedy Central, The CW, and Fox. There are many great features such as Hulu Desktop, Time-Based Browsing, and Recommendation that allow consumers to have the greatest viewing experience.  In addition to television shows, Hulu also has hundreds of movies, documentaries, and even original programming that is sure to leave the viewer with plenty of interesting options to watch.
            Recently, Hulu launched their newest venture called Hulu Plus. This is a subscription-based service that gives consumers even greater choices of shows and movies to watch. The service is $7.99/month and also allows consumers to watch it not only from the computer, but from their video game console, connected TVs, smart phones, iPods, iPads, and more.
            Hulu has completely revolutionized the concept of internet television. It has given networks a way to stream their content online without losing revenue or viewership, and has allowed them to keep up with the fast pace of new media and technology. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Motion Picture Code of 1930

Today, March 8, 2012, I will discuss the Motion Picture Code of 1930 or the Hays Code (which I will call it for the sake of my presentation). I found this topic to be most interesting because I had never thought to ask where movie ratings come from and learning a little history on film has helped me to appreciate what we view today.
My presentation will start off with a little history about William Harrison Hays. I will then move on to tell you a little about his beliefs and his mission, or the reasoning behind the Hays Code. After explaining the creator of the Hays Code, I will move on to everything the code entailed. The restrictions of the code are lengthy and I will list and elaborate on all of them. Hays came in just in time to “save” the film industry, at the time in the 20’s the film industry was being greatly ridiculed for its “party hard” casts and other offensive behavior. The film’s audiences were greatly devastated and ready to give film up completely when Hays stepped in and created the Motion Picture Code of 1930. The Hays Code was strict in many ways; however, in the 1920’s the audiences vastly differed from that of today’s audiences. The Hays Code did serve its purpose for the time being and did a great job of doing so. The Hays Code was in effect for almost 40 years, when the MPAA came in with a ratings scale and put an end to the code and birthed the ratings similar to what we follow today.
The impact on the film industry was minimal; however, the film companies did greatly resent the Motion Picture Code of 1930 because of the many restrictions that the code placed on them. Hope you enjoy my presentation and look forward to your questions and comments.