Category Archives: JOMC 240

Back to the Future

You, my astute readers, may have noticed that these blog posts have been written partially for your enjoyment…but mostly for my JOMC 240 class. ShOut OuT!!

All of JOMC 240 has been about how we can predict the future of technology.

We touched on the large possibility of virtual reality, triggered by the birth of the Oculus Rift. We talked about how technology will be effortlessly personalized to a point when the lights will come on when we enter the room, our favorite song will come on our wireless speakers, and a robot will immediately take off our jackets as we walk in the door and scream, “Honey, I’m home.”

HOWEVER: Can we trust our predictions?

I would like to say yes, but became more doubtful when I researched our historical track record. Behold. The list of failures quoted from historical non-failure figures.

1. “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.”- Western Union internal memo (1876).

Sure, Western Union, it’s 1876, but can we really make that bold of a statement? #embarrassing

Cell_Phones

2. “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” – Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM (1943).

Ummmm Thomas…..five? Let’s maybe guess between 1 and 100000000000000000000000000…..

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3. “Television won’t last because people will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.”- Darryl Zanuck, movie producer, 20th Century Fox (1946).

Amen brotha. I, as well as all of America, get tired of staring at TVs…computer screens….iPads…..iPhones…..

dog-watching-tv-o1

4. “There is no reason for any individuals to have a computer in his home.”- Ken Olsen, President, Chairman, and Founder of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) (1977).

I mean true. There is no reason for me to have my computer in class, the library, the car, a hotel room, or on the toilet……but I do anyways.

magnify-far

5. The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to no one in particular?”- Associate of David Sarnoff regarding the investment in radio (1921).

You could not be more FAR-OFF SARN-OFF!

6. Then finally we have this picture of the movie Back to the Future (1985). 

back to the fut

This picture says it all.

Anyways, I think it will be interesting to see which of our predictions came true. However, judging by this list of failure through history, the most important thing we can take away from this is to never say never. Never completely shut down an idea no matter how crazy it may seem, like the concept of music coming out of a box. Never assume you know so much about the world and the humans that live in it, because Darryl Zanuck, not everyone gets tired of staring at “plywood boxes.”

We just will have to sit back, relax, and let Mother Technology do her thing.

Until then, peace out playas.

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I Always Feel Like My TV is Watching Me….and I Got No Privacy

So as the end of the year approaches and I realize how much I have to do and that I’ve procrastinated and wonder if my life worth is really that important and how I’ll be in the library all night, I decided to write tonight on what my 12 page paper that’s due in 48 hours is about.

WHICH IS *pause for dramatic effect*

TV CONSUMER DATA COLLECTION PRIVACY!!!!!

Celebrating

So if you are unaware on how your favorite TV show comes on at the perfect time in your day or how strange it is that while you were eating your Lucky Charms at 10am, the commercial for Lucky Charms came on (when you were 7)…it’s because of consumer data monitoring brought to you by the almighty god of consumer trend monitoring: Nielsen.

Nielsen puts local people meters in family households, set meters, and/or has volunteers keep diaries of their television viewing habits. This information is then sent to the company where they can show networks what shows are popular, within what age group, and at what time advertisers/show creators should air their material.

Now the fact that a company is monitoring this may seem a little invasive…or at least it did to me. However, these Nielsen subjects know they are being monitored, they actively participate, and they agree/are protected by Nielsen’s privacy policy.

This action has been taking place for 65 years ever since the company shifted from radio to television in 1950, and is just the essential and accepted practice of the TV industry.

However, now as technology is changing, the Smart TV has been making its way downtown….walking fast…..faces pass…..(shout-out to my girl Vanessa Carlton)…..

….is consumers personal data being obtained the same way as Nielsen?

Do they know they are being monitored by Smart TV companies? To what extent is this happening and is this OK?

Well there have been a few infractions on some of the electronic companies we know and love…aka LG and Samsung.

In November of 2013, an anonymous blogger claimed that his family’s television viewing trends and personal information was being extracted by his Smart TV without him knowing. He provided evidence by taking screenshots of the transmission of files that he had uploaded to LG from his personal computer (which was connected to his Smart TV). Also the vocal recognition component of the device would record even when the device said it was off. Therefore his family’s personal conversations were being monitored and sent to a third party without them knowing.

SO long story short, LG revised their privacy policy to say the ever so polite message: “If you don’t like our data collection methods….then don’t buy our product.” Now there’s more details to this story, but for you all, that’s the basic gist.

Then in 2015, Samsung had the same problem with the vocal recognition component. The fact that consumers’ in-home conversations were being transmitted to a third party through a little microphone on their TV remote was concerning. However Samsung rectified their privacy policy, and all was fine in the world.

Again……:

Celebrating

What we should think about and take from this is the fact that televisions have UPed their game on how they can obtain personal data. LG and Samsung can make bank off of all encompassing data they receive on John Smith who makes $1 million a year, as they learned from the banking information they extracted from the TVs Internet component, drives a Porshe, they saw through the pictures he uploaded on the the photo album application, and just basically what he watches on Netflix….

What do you all think about this issue? Is this ethical? Does this make you think twice about buying a Smart TV?

Chinatown meets Chinatown

For all of you who haven’t been to the Big Apple before (translation: NYC) and haven’t gone to Chinatown, the streets are lined with shops that sell nice designer bags, high-quality, a lot of them, and the best part…for a much lower price.

Well this lower price isn’t because the bags aren’t scented with designer cologne, have three spotlights on them, and have fourteen sales ladies with slight New York twangs trying to sell them to you. This is because they are knock-offs.

This is just how Chinatown works and that’s why everyone loves the place! (There are obviously other reasons…like food, culture…..but pretend like I just made a true statement).

Well in the REAL Chinatown, I wouldn’t expect this to happen. I just thought selling knock-off brands was a trend indicative of big city’s Chinatowns. I also thought that there were knock-off devices like computers, iPads, and ummm…I don’t know….THE APPLE WATCH.

Well I thought wrong on both of these points.

After Apple’s iWatch preview in Hong Kong months before its release that will happen in April 2015, the place was quiet. People came in to the Apple store the day of the preview…to buy iPads…or casually buy a new iPod nano..

They seemed unimpressed.

This may be because the Chinese have been manufacturing and selling the knock-off version of the iWatch.

It is 360 yuan, which is equivalent to $58 (1/8 the price of a real one). It came on sale in mid-March and have been consistently sold out.

One of the versions has a SIM card, can send text-messages, make calls, take pictures, and go on the internet.

Some people like the knock-off brand saying that it does basically the same thing. They also don’t really value the iWatch because “none of their friends have them” and their price is not worth their value in their lives.

Meanwhile, those who don’t want the knock-off iWatch say that it doesn’t work very well and why not spend that much more if you want a device that actually works well.

The point is, as of now, the iWatch isn’t popular…and the Chinese recognize that they shouldn’t waster their time buying the gadget for its full price if they aren’t going to use it at the moment.

What do you all think? Would you want to buy the fake iWatch at a Chinatown near you?

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/10/us-apple-watch-china-idUSKBN0N10JW20150410#

Emoji-tion

Emojis have taken over the way we communicate. Ever since they were invented, they replaced the classic emoticons made with a series of : and ). This evolved over our beloved aim chats.

Emojis are a way to spice up a conversation, replacing full sentences, or just convey an interpreted emotion.

That being said, users complained that in the emoji section there was not much racial diversity, their flags weren’t there, and it didn’t include same-sex families.

There are a range of Apple device icons like the iWatch and are now 32 countries’ flags that come with the new ios 8.3 update.

This is only an update on the sacred emoji keyboard that already exists, however it also shows that technology without a doubt evolves with the times.

The fact that there’s same sex couple emojis and increased diversity welcome a culture of equality and changing technology.

What do you all think about this update? Do you think this keyboard change has any societal impact at all? Or is it the emoji creators just trying to promote their product?

Facebook…and its Plan for World Domination

After reading an article that I was assigned for my class, I immediately sprung to the realization of, “HEY, I’ve blogged about this before!!”

Yes my dedicated fans and readers, this article was on Facebook’s intentions is the Oculus Rift. SO we can pick up where I left off in my previous post: https://talagoudarzi.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/the-virtual-reality-of-it-all/

Yes folks, Facebook’s overlord, Mark Zuckerberg bought the virtual reality device company, Oculus VR for $2 billion.

Now when I wrote my blog post in February, Zuckerberg’s intentions were only briefly mentioned. The article on the device itself just explained the obvious potential he saw in the product.

However this article (http://www.fastcodesign.com/3044350/facebooks-10-year-plan-to-become-the-matrix?ncid=newsltushpmg00000003) elaborated on Zuckerberg’s scheme….to create the Facebook Matrix.

His goal, aka the company’s goal, is not to merely create a platform where users can like posts, share videos, and upload picture albums, but it is to turn all these aspects of daily life into a virtual reality.

Michael Abrash, the head guy in creating the Oculus Rift, says that Facebook has been planning this virtual reality demise for years now based on three pieces of evidence:

1. It developed Parse, which is a platform that through just figuring out a small code, Internet developers can tap into the entire Internet’s ecosystem.

2. It discovered an “algorithm” that can identify and track numerous sports games happening at the same time.

3. Facebook, aka Abrash, has already come up with ideas to modify and transform the Oculus Rift’s realm of possibilities. Currently and originally, the device was meant for video games, however Abrash perceives that the Rift will be used to complete every day tasks through the goggles…like taking a physical picture while snorkeling through virtual reality:

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Basically, the conclusion of the article is Facebook wishes to trap us within its walls. It’s no longer a matter of logging onto Facebook, getting lost for a couple of hours in its world, and then logging off to return to reality.

Now, the user can never log off….muahahahha.

Keeping up with the Kreatures

HAPPY EASTERRRRRR!!!! WOOOOO!!!!!

Last night, Easter Eve, I tossed and turned. How could I sleep when the Easter Bunny was coming that night?

I had the same chronic problem every year, specifically on Christmas and Easter Eve….and somewhat the eve in which I would lose a tooth back in the day.

Well when I was growing up, there was no way of telling that if I woke up in the middle of the night, the presents would be there or not.

I never dared to venture downstairs because my mom always warned me that if I did, my presents would “magically disappear.”

HOWEVER, in 2009, children of the internet era rejoiced, for there was a way in which to see when Santa and the Easter Bunny came along…and that was the NORAD Santa Tracker and the Easter Bunny Tracker.

This approximated when the Easter Bunny and Santa came to town. It tracked when both left their point of residence (aka the North Pole, and where ever the Easter Bunny lives) and came by your town.

CAUTION SPOILER ALERT: PROCEED IF YOU FEEL SAFE PROCEEDING

Yes. Both of my men Santa and the Easter Bunny aren’t real. Yes. I cried myself to sleep every holiday eve after this. However my dark past is not the point. The point is the internet culture that has taken over our holidays.

Now tracking Santa and the Easter Bunny on a device called a GPS (not a roadside map like the olden days) has become a normalcy.

Each generation continues to adapt to the internet technology of its time. This happens to much so that it embeds itself in the inner cultures and traditions of families.

Who knows what new technology or website gadget will become apart of our kids Easter.

But I’m just going to get back to eating my Easter candy and start looking at the Easter Bunny tracker to approximate when he’s coming next year.

Peace.

The Bracket Game.

So I have never been in to the online bracket game. I admittedly know nothing about basketball. I’m that random girl that is paying more attention to the songs playing at half-time than the actual game. That being said, it is not surprising that I have never filled out the online NCAA bracket.

My family had never really been into it either. My brother was the online exception, my 14-year-old sister (well that would be a little weird if she was into that), my mom…..um not a chance, and my dad just talked smack about all the teams throughout the entire tournament.

However, I came home this Easter to find out that the only one to not fill out a bracket this year was me.

The point is that this NCAA bracket that everyone fills out every year has become not just a fun little gamble game that every other person fills out, creating a competition with their office. Little girls are doing it (again aka my sister) and people are thus glued to their phones, their iPads, the TV, and ANYTHING to broadcast the game.

Over 6o million of people fill out brackets now. Filling out this bracket has become a natural “social norm.”

An entire industry has arisen from the ashes. There are online courses, analysis websites….the whole 9-yards.
Its gotten to a point where even the president plays it!
barrack-obama-2013-ncaa-tournament-bracket
This bracket phenomenon is just an example how little games and competitions like this can start and quickly form on the internet. With the power of technology and social media, people can compete against each other from opposite sides of the world. It has spawn new online businesses to aid the participants, it has helped the NCAA tournament, and it has attracted attention to college basketball from around the world.
What other social media trends or competitions do you know of that have this sort of widespread power? What do you think this says about online competitions and what kind of social power do you think this has?