Tuesday, April 28, 2009
TV sitcoms are very popular sources of advertisements, sometimes free, which reach out to the community, especially when a large part of the people are watching...
Looking at social networking from a less professional aspect of it now, I think exposure to sites such as Lastfm.com has really helped expand my iTunes list because once again, I was exposed to songs I wouldn't typically listen to but found as a recommendation from an international listener ( I love international music!).Pandora is also a great site, but the music recommendations are chosen by the website and not other users. Speaking of recommendations, I now started using a heavily advertised by Facebook but helpful site called LivingSocial where my friend's recommendations on books, movies, etc. are constantly updated and help me make a decision based on their judgement. Furthermore, sites such as Twitter not only expose me to updates of my friends but virtually anyone who has Twitter. I am now following a number of celebrities and sometimes listening to their recommendations on books and movies. MySpace, on the other hand also has exposed me to some great bands where I can learn more about their music, their preferences and recommendations all while listening to a couple of their tracks.
I believe that the net has anything that a person is looking for. I have learned about many great cooking websites from our classmates as well as networking sites from other classmates. Watching videos about how technologically advanced we have become has lead me to believe that interactive media has become a necessity in today's economy to follow.
***I would just like to add for you all to start using this search engine : www3.hoongle.org -> every time you do 20 grains of rice will be donated to malnourished children!
The internet is an endless source of information and resources. My daily usage of the internet consists of checking email, at least several times a day, checking facebook, and mostly doing some type of research. Three out of my five closest friends currently live outside of New York, one of them is just several hours away by car, while the other is overseas. Checking email frequently allows us to have conversations and communicate with each other on a regular basis. Even though it may be difficult for us to talk on the phone because of time differences, and schedule conflicts - emailing each other regularly makes us feel that in one way or another everyone is quite close. Also, I help come up with different projects for local youth groups, so many a times I spend my time doing research --> looking at other organizations and figuring out how they do what they do, looking for team building activities, and other useful information for youth group leaders. Throughout the day I tend to check the New York Times website regularly to get my daily dose of news. Additionally, I use the internet to instant message friends, check bank statements, and buy books.
Moreover, when the class first started out - we were instructed to blog about our social networking usage on a weekly basis. However, for me - from a week to week basis - it did not change too much from the initial blog post. Thus, I refrained from writing that I visited the same social networks this week as I did last week, but rather found different social networking sites and shared the interesting ones with everyone in class. Over the semester, I came acorss anobii, ning, friendfeed, italki, etc. And I came to realize that you can find social networking websites for almost any type of commonality or interest. Some of the students in the class also posted their findings - and shared websites about Twitter like twazzup, twitpic, along with flickr, living social, digg, TED, and slashdot, to name a few. It was interesting to visit these websites, look at what they have to offer users, and learn about the amount of people on these social networking websites.
Everyday - i continued to check my email several times a day and went on facebook once or twice a day. After we all signed up for Twitter in class, I started to check that once or twice a week. At first, I couldn't quite believe I was using Twitter, but as time went on I started to like it. We also signed up for MySpace, but I had a difficult time getting used to it. Even though I checked it about once a week and made an effort to making my profile page look a little bit exciting, I still had a hard time trying to get used to it. However, by visiting the websites the students posted - I learned about what is out there. There are a few well-known social networking websites - that most of the people are on, but it was interesting to see how many other types of social networking sites there are out there. People use social networking websites for different reasons - some to connect with their friends, others to market themselves in the business world. However, everyone uses social networking websites for the same purpose - to make connections with others and to feel a sense of belonging. I also learned about blogging. In the past, I had to blog once a week for my internship and sometimes it was fun while at other times it wasn't. Nevertheless, blogging about the readings for the class, being able to read about other student's understanding of the reading, what they found important - was a good way to learn the material. Not only, was I able to share my thoughts about the reading, but I could learn from the students - because sometimes I may have overlooked something.
So - all in all - my media usage has changed- I've become more aware of and learned about other websites and in addition to the websites i went on when the class first started - i also regularly check twitter and myspace.
Anyways, the site was really fast in posting that story about the swine-flu virus and twitter being partially to blame for the panic that is currently being spread about it. Check out the article here: Twitter done killed us
Here is another cool posting that I thought you guys might enjoy. It is a video about this new speakers that are the size of paper. Check it out here: So tiny wow!!!
So check it out, slashdot.org. Cool site for both the nerd and aspiring nerds.
Also, found this great video on ted.com. This may be kind of contraversial but the name of the video clip is "Do schools kill creativity?"
Sir Ken Robinson references an idea brought up in the "did you know" video Profesor Strate showed us. He says that we have no idea what the future is going to looks like so how can we educate our kids and prepare them for it? To answer his own question he responds, "creativity is as important as being literate... and I think we squander our kids creativity too much."
Anyways, check out the video for the full scoop on why education is bad for creativity:
Education and creativity.
Alright. Fun times.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
To wrap this up, I basically wanted to state how today's busy society doesn't allow for us to spend a lot of time 'viewing' people's site and reading an often extensive autobiography about them to get to know what they're about. We want to glance, read, and move on. Twitter was wisely constructed.
Here, I found an interesting article that was brought to my attention by a tiny URL from one of my Twitter friends. It is basically about the impace that Twitter interactions actually could have on people.
Demi Moore uses Twitter to help prevent fan's suicide
Apr 3, 2009, 06:08 PM | by Alynda Wheat
Categories: Current Affairs, Movies, Web/Tech
A "tweet" may have saved a Demi Moore fan's life, CNN reported today. The actress, whose Twitter blog has some 380,000 fans, received an online threat from a woman who said she was "getting a knife, a big one that is sharp. Going to cut my arm down the whole arm so it doesn't waste time." Moore responded to the grim statement with the comment "Hope you are joking." The unnamed 48-year-old woman's suicide threat was traced to a San Jose, Calif., home, where she was taken into custody for a 72-hour psychiatric evaluation. Moore, who was in southern France where husband Ashton Kutcher is shooting the crime drama Five Killers, later informed her Twitter followers that the San Jose police were in control of the situation, and that she was "very torn about responding or retweeting that woman's post but felt uncomfortable just letting it go."
After I read this article I thought to myself, if this lady has posted the same thing with the same amount of friends on Myspace would Demi Moore pick up on it? Would it be brought to attention by someone else? I guess we'll never know but all I know is I'm glad she seen it.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Brain-Twitter project offers hope to paralyzed patients
Adam Wilson posted two messages on Twitter on April 15. The first one, "GO BADGERS," might have been sent by any University of Wisconsin-Madison student cheering for the school team.
The brain-computer interface allows people to compose a tweet by focusing on the desired letter.
His second post, 20 minutes later, was a little more unusual: "SPELLING WITH MY BRAIN."
Wilson, a doctoral student in biomedical engineering, was confirming an announcement he had made two weeks earlier -- his lab had developed a way to post messages on Twitter using electrical impulses generated by thought.
That's right, no keyboards, just a red cap fitted with electrodes that monitor brain activity, hooked up to a computer flashing letters on a screen. Wilson sent the messages by concentrating on the letters he wanted to "type," then focusing on the word "twit" at the bottom of the screen to post the message.
The development could be a lifeline for people with "locked-in syndrome" -- whose brains function normally but who cannot speak or move because of injury or disease.
Wilson and his supervisor, Justin Williams, made the breakthrough last month after hearing a question posed on the radio. Watch how the new technology works »
"Wouldn't it be great if you could Twitter just by thinking about it?"
That query sparked what Williams called the "a-ha moment."
"We can do that," said Williams, an assistant professor and the principal investigator at the lab in Madison, Wisconsin. "We can do that tomorrow."
In the end, it wasn't quite "tomorrow," Williams said, but Wilson had written the software to link existing technology with Twitter "within a couple of days" of starting on the project in March.
He sent Williams his first "tweet" -- or message -- from the brain-computer interface on March 31.
"I had set up my phone to get Twitter updates, and I walked in my door and got this message, and I knew it was really possible," he told CNN by phone. "My wife was sitting there, and I showed her the message and she immediately got excited about it -- and it's rare that I come home from work and she gets excited about what I have been doing."
That's because using the brain to post Twitter messages is potentially much more than an academic exercise or a party trick -- it could help paralyzed people communicate.
"These are people who have ALS, like Stephen Hawking, or they have a brainstem stroke, or a high spinal-cord injury," Williams explained. "There is nothing wrong with these people's brains. It's a normal person, locked into a lifeless, useless body." (The British physicist Hawking has ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.)
Hundreds of thousands of people suffer from locked-in syndrome, Williams estimated.
Many of them want just the kind of ability the brain-Twitter project seems to offer, said Kevin Otto, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Purdue University in Indiana.
"The interesting thing about this project is they are directly addressing some of the patient desires," he said. "A lot of people think [locked-in patients] want to walk and want fancy prosthetics, but a lot of times what they want are bladder control and basic communication skills."
Otto, who was not involved in the University of Wisconsin project, called it "a very important incremental step to take two existing technologies and marry them together like this."
Williams had been working on brain-computer interface technology "for many years," he told CNN, before the idea to use Twitter.
"The technology we were developing was 10 or more years down the line, so we started wondering, 'Is there something we can do now?' "
His lab at the University of Wisconsin -- like those at Brown University, Purdue and the Wadsworth Center in Albany, New York, among others -- is developing ways for locked-in people to communicate. Projects range from manipulating a cursor on a computer screen to operating a robotic arm, and they can include devices physically implanted into a brain.
But the Twitter project has a lot of advantages, Williams said.
"Twitter fits so many of our needs and patients' capabilities," he said. "Their first interest is in being able to communicate in a normal fashion, and at a distance."
Twitter is simpler than e-mail, he said.
"If I am locked in and I want to e-mail someone, the format is all wrong. You have to be able to select recipients and group them, copy, paste, send. ... We don't think about that much as normal people, but it can become unmanageable.
"Twitter takes care of all those things. They just have to get [the message] to a location where people can come and find it," he said.
Locked-in people communicating by tweet might have followers who don't even realize they are disabled, Williams said.
"Nobody's going to notice that the person at the other end is disabled. They might not have any idea. And that might be very empowering for people," he said.
The interface is not unlike the method the French journalist Jean-Dominique Bauby used to dictate his novel "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" -- later turned into a movie -- after a massive stroke left him paralyzed except for his left eyelid. Bauby's caregivers recited letters of the alphabet; he blinked when he heard the one he wanted and they wrote them down.
The brain-Twitter application flashes letters on a screen while the user, wearing a cap fitted with electrodes, concentrates on a letter.
"When the letter that you are concentrating on flashes, we can pick that up," Williams said.
Williams declined to say how soon the interface could be available commercially, noting it has not yet been used by anyone with locked-in syndrome.
"I'd hate to speculate about things being on the market," he said. "Adam [Wilson] is going to graduate in May, and his next role is to start preclinical trials with subjects in New York and Germany."
But Williams said he is excited about the development.
"We were interested in seeing what we could do right now to help people," he said. "The field has come far enough that we need to start getting to people in their homes."
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tyler Cowan: marginalrevolution.com
Mr. Cowan in the article is described as an economics professor at George Mason University and also a MONEY contributor.He discusses many issues that are economic and behavioral so I've observed that most of his blog is commentary on the crisis that we're in.
Brad DeLong: delong.typepad.com
Mr. DeLong is a Berkeley economics professor and when Clinton was president he was the deputy assistant Treasury secretary. He appears very liberal and as Money magazine described " you'll get a vigorous defense of liberal-leaning, interventionish economic policy, plus vivid prose." I think that paints the picture.
Paul Kedrosky: paul.kedrosky.com
Mr. Kedrosky is a venture capitalist vet and he uses his blog to point to interesting economic ideas around the web. Out of the four bloggers mentioned in the article, I found him the most helpful to me and what I'm looking for. I love the following quote that I think suites Mr. Kedrosky's approach and descriptions well on his take on global finance :"It's kind of like a traffic accident where the parts are still flying through the air.And when it comes back down, it's going to be very different."
Barry Ritholtz: ritholtz.com
Mr. Ritholtz is the CEO of a quantitative research firm. He points out what he thinks is a misleading economic statistics and what he sees as the government's "criminal" bailouts of financial giants such as AIG. In other words, he's blunt and to the point and to me, that's very important when I'm looking at someone's opinion, on especially most importantly, monetary situations.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
This is what it says on their website, GroupTweet:
So how does it work?
- Create a new Twitter account specifically for your group (e.g. initechwebdevs or smithfamily). If you want to make this a private group, make sure that updates are protected in the settings.
- Register your group's new Twitter account at GroupTweet.com
- Tell all group members to follow the group account you created at Twitter. Note that the group account must also follow the group members. (If updates are protected, you will need to approve each follow request)
- Members can broadcast a message to the whole group by sending a direct text to the group's Twitter account. For example: 'D initechwebdevs Just committed the latest code to the repository'
That's it! GroupTweet is constantly listening for direct texts sent to your group's Twitter account. When a direct text is received, GroupTweet instantly publishes it as a tweet from the group account. Since all of your group members are following the group's Twitter account, they will each receive the message. Easy-peasy!
Have not tested it out as of yet...
Another website I found is called Twitter Campus... although I have found numerous problems with it. It seems as if the website is kind of new, because for some reason I can't seem to figure out how to add Fordham to the list. It does say thought that Emerson has the most amount of students on Twitter... hmmm, we should beat them Ashton Kutcher style!
Oprah Winfrey, one of the world's most powerful celebrities, has faced a web backlash after becoming the latest star to join Twitter.
Oprah Winfrey is the latest star to join microblogging site Twitter
The American talkshow host sent her first "tweet" on Friday and has already amassed more than 350,000 followers.
But users of the microblogging community have blamed her popularity for causing the site to slow down.
Some estimates suggest hundreds of thousands new users may have joined Twitter after Winfrey promoted it on her TV show.
Her profile has also allegedly been the target of a 'worm attack' - which hijacks users' profiles and sends rogue tweets from their accounts.
It has spread messages mentioning Winfrey and actor Ashton Kutcher in what appears to be a deliberate attack on celebrities with profiles.
Follow @SkyNews on Twitter
But users seemed to turn on the famous interviewer, claiming her popularity was overwhelming the site and making it hard to use.
Twitter founder, Evan Williams, who appeared on Oprah the day she launched her feed, was forced to publicly deny the problem was caused by her profile.
He told followers her arrival had a "huge effect" on Friday but his team "kept it under control".
"Site slowness today had nothing to with @Oprah," he insisted.
Users have mocked Winfrey's slow arrival on Twitter by proclaiming they were "here before Oprah".
Boston cops on Monday night branded a 22-year-old med student engaged to be married as the "Craigslist Killer" who murdered a pretty New York masseuse and attacked at least two other escorts in hotels.
Cops said the brainy blond doctor wanna-be, who grew up in upstate Sherrill, N.Y., and went to SUNY Albany for his undergraduate studies, has no rap sheet, but they think he has preyed on sex workers for a while. Police begged other victims to come forward.
"He is a predator," said Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis. "There may be other victims out there, and we want to help you."
The slain 26-year-old New Yorker advertised her services on craigslist and was shot in a posh Boston hotel last Tuesday.
Markoff also will be charged with kidnapping and robbery in an attack four days earlier in another luxury Boston hotel on an exotic dancer who advertised online.
Markoff, the son of a Syracuse dentist, is engaged to marry Megan McAllister, a fellow med student he met while they were at SUNY Albany. A Web page devoted to their planned wedding later this year recounts how they volunteered together at an area emergency room and enjoyed their first date on Nov. 11, 2005. McAllister could not be reached for comment.
Brisman's mother was glad to hear there was a break in the case, but she was too distraught to talk.
"Her mother was very pleased, but when she saw the pictures [on TV], she broke down and was just crying. We turned it off. You have no idea how fragile she is," said family friend Mark Pines. "It is great that they found him, but it's not going to bring back our girl."
Cops credited "high-tech leads and old-fashioned shoe leather" for the arrest. Cops stopped Markoff at 4 p.m. Monday as he drove south of Boston on Interstate 95, Davis said. He agreed to come in for questioning and was arrested at headquarters.
The break came hours after police released new security camera photos showing the clean-cut, 6-foot-tall suspect strolling casually to and from the three crime scenes peering into his BlackBerry.
Markoff is expected to be charged in that attack, too. Cops say Markoff's first known attack was April 10, when a 29-year-old woman who advertised as an exotic dancer on craigslist was attacked at Boston's Westin hotel. She was bound and robbed of her debit card and $800 in cash.
Four days later, Brisman was shot multiple times in a 20th-floor room of the Copley Marriott, apparently because she fought the thief's attempts to restrain her with plastic handcuffs known as "zip ties."
Residents of the sprawling 800-unit High Point apartment complex where Markoff rented a third-floor flat earlier this year mostly described Markoff, who was on the golf and bowling teams in high school, as an average Joe, but several said there was something not quite right about him.
"The guy was friendly enough. He'd say hello when you saw him and he supposedly had a girlfriend," said John Uva, who has lived in the building for two years.
"But he was never really around much, and there was a creepy factor to it."
Monday, April 20, 2009
An article I came across...
MySpace launching citizen journalism site
Partners with sibling Fox News for uReport hub
By Mike Shields, Mediaweek
April 20, 2009, 05:54 PM ET
Fox News launched its uReport program two years ago on the heels of similar initiatives from CNN (iReport) and MSNBC (First Person). Each program encourages average users/viewers to contribute photos and videos of breaking news events. From time to time, user-submitted material was used on-air during Fox News broadcasts.
Now, Fox News is looking to unearth citizen journalists within the vast and likely younger-skewing MySpace community. Initially, the new uReport channel is soliciting content from users for the pre-set categories USA, World, Entertainment and Politics -- while enticing them with the possibility that their photos or footage will be used by Fox News or Foxnews.com. Any user can upload content, though Fox News staffers will curate and edit what content makes it onto the MySpace uReport community -- as well as the network's own properties.
Besides user-generated fare, the new channel also serves as a promotional platform for Fox News, featuring links to profiles of Fox News anchors and hosts like Greta Van Susteren and Bill O'Reilly.
I was looking at news articles about social media and I came across this one. Apparently, according to Hollywood Reporter, MySpace is partnering with FOX News and launching a uReport community. This website will celebrate journalism of the average citizen. Users can upload pictures and videos to supplement current news - the article mentions that their content may be aired on FOX News. Even though uReport will celebrate the talents of the average citizen or aspiring journalist - I think websites like this - raise a real concern. The question becomes: How important is news anyway? If anyone can post something they consider newsworthy - sometimes it is good: local communities may benefit by knowing what is going on in their neighborhood, while learning about other things going on in the world. Sometimes - newscasters may leave some newsworthy information out of the news and people may be able to fill in the blanks through uReport. However this poses a question - how effective are journalists? are newspapers, television newsports and radio broadcasts necessary? While some may argue no, I think they are still important today. People look towards those mediums to find out what is going on in the world, even if a website like uReport allows people from across the world to share and spread news.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Oprah Winfrey, the inventor of hugs, kisses, and motivational posters staring kitty cats, joined up on Twitter, and also pledged to give 20,000 mosquito nets on World Malaria Day. Not to be outshined by Kutcher, CNN, God or anyone else that gets in her way, Oprah obviously had to double the highest pledge amount. I know that it sounds like I really dislike Oprah and this whole publicity stunt by these celebrities, I do have to admit that there will be probably be a record amount of mosquito nets donated this year. CNN upped the ante and pledged 10,000 even though 1,000 was agreed upon by the loser. Ryan Seacrest couldn't miss out on all the fun so he too pledged to donate an undisclosed amount of nets. All in all, Kutcher did manage to get a whole lot of mosquito nets donated with just a little social networking and a computer.
As a side note, Oprah is definitely getting ready to take over Twitter as she had around 73,000 followers before a single Tweet went out. Bullsh*t. Someone follow me already. I'm just sour because I am incredibly jealous that only 36 people want to know that "I like to rock the party," which was my last tweet, but 73,000 pepople want to hear Oprah say "hello." Why do you have to be famous or incredibly good at social networking to get lots of cool followers? I guess I should work on forcing freinds to join up so that I feel like someone is actually listening. I just wish Tony Hawk followed me back, because he is the man. Oh well, watch out for Oprah, she catching on. Sorry for ranting, I just want to be loved on Twitter.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Of course, taking a big picture perspective, we might say that the bias of electric technologies has been towards greater convergence of technologies and services--this is a point McLuhan made decades ago, and Mumford before him. It's not that the internet was inevitable, there are many different ways that things could have worked out. The evolution has been dynamic and fluid, and chaotic, like a stream, but like a stream, it has followed a certain, unmistakable direction.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
For example, I grew up in and around NYC nearly my whole life so I would spend a lot of time in the city. When I would go out or take the subway, everyone kept to themselves and I rarely bothered anyone. Sure I got into the occasional conversation with a stranger but for the most part, I felt it was rather difficult to spark up a conversation with a stranger unless the social situation was conducive to do so.
My uncle on the other hand did not play by the same rules. He was raised with a community that let down there social walls and talked freely to one another. He looked at every situation as a way to interact with people. He was not limited by social stigmas that inhibited face to face contact with people. Grumpert & Drucker write:
“Once upon a time, not so many years ago, people could go out into the city lights when the fancy struck them, when they had nothing better to do, when it occurred to them that it might be fun to be with others. They wandered out to the square to talk... to the park to stroll among others... to the public realm to vanquish loneliness, discuss politics, or simply talk. But it is no longer that time past, and old and familiar have become hostile and menacing”.
Because the “familiar” has now become hostile, many of us have reverted to digital communication to get our social fix. We feel less anxiety through cyber communities that break down the sometimes scary social boundaries necessary in the real world:
“there is something seductive about electronic communication with others, and we in the United States have begun to rely on mediated communication and even to prefer that mode to the old, particularly because it is safe, forgetting that there are qualitative differences between the two (Grumpert & Ducker)”.
We are losing the desire to interact face to face, something my uncle managed to avoid doing. He kept the old way of communicating and did not have the option of digital communication to fulfill his basic human need for social interaction. So what does it all mean?
I think the answer is very unclear and will be until this digital age plays itself out a little further. But I can speak for my own experience and say that I think there is a real danger for people who rely too much on digital communication to lose the ability to interact in the real world. Because of the ways in which we communicate on the net is so different from face to face interaction, spending too much time online could cause a type of social disability. Beyond this, I just think that real contact with human beings is necessary for people to be happy.
Here's an article about how there are applications in the works for Blackboard. This could be pretty useful to students and teachers alike. By the way, I love this website, it's a blog about new apple products. Lots of stuff about the next iPhone :)
I also thought I'd share something I found to be interesting. Last class when we shared what was new in our online worlds, I didn't really have anything to say because I had given up Facebook and Twitter for a week. It made SUCH a difference! I never realized how much time I really spent on the two. I allowed myself to be so distracted from doing work, class, and even from face-to-face communication. I didn't slip up at all during the week, but even the smallest things made me want to just check my notifications. Really stupid things; like I went to a party and knew there had been pictures put up of me and I wanted to see them... so dumb. It reminded me of something that chapter 1 said about playing alone on the Internet and chapter two when it talked about online addictions. Even though I'm talking to my other friends and even famous people through Twitter, it is still time wasted where I could be doing something productive or hanging out with others. When I think of how much time I have probably spent alone in my room at my computer, it's kind of scary! I'm making connections to others, but at the price of losing connections to those who are right here in front of me! I definitely think that by giving up my social networking, even if only for a week, has helped me to see where my priorities are. There really is too much information! Facebook and Twitter help me to get to know people who I don't even really care about, yet I am addicted to that information. It is just so easy to press refresh that I can't help but look and see what new information is available. Nowadays there is even a website for those addicted to the Internet and want recovery! I am so curious as to where this Information age is going. What if there really is too much meaningless information as Postman suggests? I can only wonder about the future.
I just signed up for it - so as of now i do not know much about it yet. But as I'm exploring it, I've discovered - that the website links together Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Flickr and about 56 other services. These websites range from providing status updates, to sharing pictures and videos, bookmarking, news and a few other random things.