Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Final Exam: The Good, The Bad, and The Internet

Being born in the 80's, technology has had a big impact on my life. As a sophomore in high school, I bought my first computer and smartphone. Since then, there hasn't been one day where I haven't used the internet to check my email or a social network site, and those rare occasions when I didn't have access seemed excruciatingly long.

As I began growing up with the internet as part of my life, I had many experiences related to it. From building a computer and hacking my phone, to running virus checks and always having to reformat my HDD due to those virus (before buying a Macbook), I became the go to person in my family for technology related problems. While I love the internet and the way it has facilitated modern life, the problems keep surging up as we grow dependent on it.

One example of our dependency on the internet, is Facebook. Even amongst the privacy issues where the FTC got involved, and many users complaining when something is changed, the amount of users continues to increase. Facebook and other social network sites are great for keeping in touch with friends and family, and sharing what you wish, such as photos, thoughts, and your location. Social media has grown so that it now affects politics. Reminiscent of the protest in the 60s is OWS (Occupy Wall Street). They are peacefully trying to bring awareness and change to the corruption that politician are part of. Twitter and YouTube not only allows for the protester to communicate with each other, but it allows the public to see how the government is reacting to it, brutally at times. As a business student, the more I learn about business practices, the more I understand the importance of OWS. Although the mainstream is influenced by politicians, thus influencing many of its viewers, I am glad that I have the internet so that I can choose what I believe in.


While the conveniences brought forth by the internet are large, there are many problems, and a recent problem affecting millions of people is identity theft. It is such a problem that even celebrities have been victims, Bill Gates included. In 2003, about 10 million Americans were victims, and it even cost businesses about $50 billion dollars. While the technology to protect yourself has also gotten better, this was almost 10 years ago when the majority of the population didn't have a smartphone. Now that companies use smartphones to complete transactions, and many people have purchased such things as apps or ebooks on it, it is likely that sensitive information such as emails, passwords, and credit card information exist on your phone. This is scary, more so now that recent news of a unknown program included in many phones that records everything you do and sends it to an unknown location. The company behind this program, Carrier IQ, states "says that the software is designed for diagnostic purposes" but software researcher Trevor Eckhart videoed the software recording each keystroke and phone numbers called on his HTC Android phone. Even if this information is not being sent to the company or the government, it is scary , known or unknown, that it exists and is accessible to hackers.

Although hard to imagine what life will be like in the future, it is plausible that the internet and technology will continue to increase its influence and our dependency on it around the world.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Third ds106: 1 Quote a Day

 1 Quote a Day is Writing Assignment 189. It was submitted by mome. The assignment description is:

"Quotes are awesome. They recall a time, a trend or can identify you with a certain group. Type up a simple line/quote/text-based meme today without divulging the source (or completing the quote). People who recognize the line can respond in the comments! "

I know we are not supposed to reveal the back ground of the quote, but I wanted to explain my reasoning since it's from a song I am fond of so I apologize for disobeying the directions. Plus, writing a blog post of 2 sentences seemed bogus.

"I learned working with the negatives could make for better pictures."

This quote is from Drake's new album Take Care, which sold 631,000 copies in its first week. This quote, apart from being from one of my favorite songs from the album, holds a lot of meaning personally since I have been going through some negative times regarding love and what not. It reminds to look for positivity no matter how bad life may seem.

Second ds106: My very own Spubble!

 Your very own Spubble is Visual Assignment 190. It was submitted by Jim Groom. The assignment description is too:

"Learn to love yourself, grab a picture of yourself in which your body language, actions, gestures, etc. suggest one thing and then play off that using a speech bubble. Ideally the result would make people laugh---but I must acknowledge there are other possible emotional responses that may be just as acceptable. Think of it as lolcat, save it's a human (namely you) and there is nothing compelling anyone to abuse the letter z in the speech bubble text."

I was inspired to do this assigment after I saw my friend Walter's blog post.While he used Picnik as reccomemnend, I felt that I wanted to do it by hand so I used Paintbrush for Mac OSX.

I was inspired to do it by hand to make it look like the old school Yo! MTV Raps logo, but in this picture I was doing a rock sign with my hand even though my clothe was more hip-hop style, both music style that I enjoy, thus I wrote Yo! Rock on!

Although embarrassing, and not quite similar, I like the way my spubble turned out.

First ds106: Triple Troll Attack, GO!

The Triple Troll Attack is Visual Assignment 138. It was submitted by Darth Ba'al. The assigment description is to:

"The assignment is to take a photo, a quote from a different character than the one in the picture, and a name from a third character different from the other two, place the quote in the picture, and "sign" it with the third person's name. The three characters are to be from three different, but similar in genre, series."
This is originally known as "troll quoting," and one of the first ones was speculated to have been seen around late 2010. Unfortunately, I do not whom it was by.

This was the first ds106 assignment I actually saw, unfortunately I don't remember which one of my classmate made it, but it was really funny so I decided I wanted to create my own. As much as I like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, in my pre-teen to teen years, I really enjoyed cartoons such as South Park, Family Guy, and The Simpsons. Coincidentally enough, it seemed that the funnier characters from each show were the always fat ones. Thus my creation:

There wasn't much to creating this. The most difficult was actually painting over the background with black, and thinking of a funny quote.

The quote itself is from The Simpsons but can anyone tell me from which character without looking it up?

Thursday, October 13, 2011


In this modern era, where most cellphones are expected to include high-quality cameras, some might forget how important the creation of video truly is. Camera phones are already replacing point-and-shoot cameras, creating a new market for high quality cameras, such as DSLRs. From watching TV at home or on your cellphone while riding the trains, videos are an useful way to get your message to a wide audience.

Watching some 1seg TV on the train
Image: Watching some 1seg TV on the train by kalleboo by CC Licensing.

What is capitalizing off an growing camera phone market, and popularizing it at the same time, is YouTube. While TV is used by many big corporations, YouTube allows the average person to post any kind of video they want, except for nudity of course. Disregarding Music Videos and movie trailers, what is really fascinating on YouTube is a vlog, a video blog. It is very useful to not only express yourself, but also as a way either gain exposure in hopes being famous, boost your business, or to simply vlog as a way to update your relatives and friends if you are studying abroad, such as Megan Chun who will study in Norway.

A really interesting vlogger on Youtube, who is also one of the most subscribed, is Nigahiga. A half-Japanese vlogger who is making a parody of another famous channel on YouTube, EpicMealTime.

Due to the availability of cheap high-quality video cameras, and YouTube, along with the rise of the internet, there are normal people gaining their own respective fame where it would otherwise not be possible. Video alows us to capture and share thoughts and emotions where words and pictures might otherwise not be enough.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Power of Fans

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, a time without internet and cellphones, there were many protests against the the social and political injustices of the Vietnam war. It was also an era that gave birth to some of the most famous musicians such as the Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, and the Rolling Stones.

Fast forward to now, 4 decades later, a time where the majority of people use cellphones and computer on a daily basis. A time where the technology and the internet has empowered the people; empowered the fans. In a pop culture era where big record labels and mainstream media encourage their artist and their fans, to accept monotonous music as the norm instead of encouraging opinions and creativity, one artist made a difference.

Lupe Fiasco, whose real name is Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, rose to fame in 2006 following the success of his Grammy Award nominated debut album, Food & Liquor. His father's Black Panther ideology has influenced Lupe, and can be heard in many of his music as he speaks about social injustices, and never dumbing down his own opinions, but the record labels were only satisfied with that, which lead to his 3rd album, Lasers, being delayed for 2 years.

His fans weren't pleased with that, and through an internet forum, they began discussing what they could do. As the fans became more restless, the ideas to make the record label release Lupe's album began to grow. In 2 months, an online petition was signed by 28 thousand fans, yet the record label didn't respond. Never giving up, the fans went on twitter and created #FiascoFriday, a hashtag for the protest they planned on October 15th, 2010. Lupe Fiasco himself became involved and twitted that if the fans will be there, then so will he. What was meant as a protest, became a celebration for the hundreds of fans who showed up in New York, after record label finally gave an official release day for Lupe's album.

In an interview, Lupe said that it was an "amazing, humbling, and inspiring" experience to know "that your music is actually something that people want. And it's something that is successful, not in selling records, but the way it moves people and inspires them to do better for themselves."

When the fans were asked "Why don't you protest something that's really worth it? Child hunger, poverty, or whatever." The response was, "You listen to Lupe Fiasco’s music, that's what he talks about. He addresses that." When music is allowed to be creative, it will empower the fans.

"I really think the war on terror is a bunch of bullshit
Just a poor excuse for you to use up all your bullets
How much money does it take to really make a full clip
9/11 building 7 did they really pull it
Uhh, And a bunch of other cover ups
Your childs future was the first to go with budget cuts
If you think that hurts then, wait here comes the uppercut
The school was garbage in the first place, thats on the up and up"