Ayo Technology

•May 6, 2012 • 1 Comment

Yogi Berra once said, “It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future.” With that said, here is my analysis of Epic.

Where they got it right: The media sensationalizing the news and personalizing it to the individual has been going on for years. MSNBC is catered to the liberal and Fox is catered to the conservative. The next likely progression is that it would be personalized on the internet. Epic also hinted at the end of the New York Times and print media. In a sense this could be true. The decline in newspaper is increasing every year, and by 2014 or 2015, when everyone has an iPad, print newspapers could be absolute. Also, their logo was pretty cool.

 Where they got it wrong: Epic assumes that Microsoft, Google, and Amazon will be the major players in the future, and have Google winning out. I think they got it half right. I believe the four major players will be Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Apple. No one knows who is the most powerful company now, but looking at the trends, Facebook and Apple seem to be in the lead. Facebook almost has a billion followers, and Apple will soon revolutionize the text book industry.

Googlezon is interesting but to me it is not realistic. Personally, I don’t see the logical merger because both companies are in completely different businesses. Financially, I don’t see how these two companies can work out a business deal. There plan of personalized news would assumedly be free, Google already makes money off of the ads, so I don’t see the money to be made for both companies. Does Google really need Amazon and vice versa.

The final point is that Google will be the default news feed for everyone. Personally, I believe that the future of the news will come from each other. During the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Obama joked about the Huffington Post winning the Pulitzer Prize saying, “You deserve it, Arianna. There’s no one out there linking to the kind of hard-hitting journalism that HuffPo is linking to every single day. And you don’t pay them! That’s a great business model.” This is why I think Facebook and Twitter will become the default news instead of Google. Through social media, friends will link articles, comment on stories, and break the news before any major news site. Because people use social media more, they will get the latest information from them for the breaking news.



Fire With Fire

•May 6, 2012 • 1 Comment

In the beginning of the semester, we watched a video on Anonymous. My initial impression was mixed on them. In one sense society needs a group to counter or keep in check the government. They are the policemen of the internet, and for any injustice that takes place, they respond. On the other hand, they behave like a terrorist group. The video showed them picking out individuals during the Occupy Wall Street Movement and posting their personal information online. I think it’s funny that members have to come out and say, “we are not a terrorist group.” Just that statement alone kind of makes them a terrorist group.

So this begs the question, do we really need Anonymous? What have they really done? My point is that individuals in society step up and fix the problems that government or corporations create. When the government started shutting down Napster and Kazaa, torrents took its place. When Myspace become stale, Facebook took its place. And when Facebook upgraded to timeline, individuals stepped up and created social fixer which promises to make Facebook infinitely better with one browser extension. The point being that even though megaupload and piratebay has come under government attack, society will step up and create alternatives. It seems that there is no need to form a group on the internet, plan protests, and promote their way of thinking. Recent events have shown that individuals are taking actions in their own hands. They see a problem, create a solution, and share that solution to everyone.

The lure of Anonymous is unquestionable. From their logo and mystic to their counter-culture approach, they have captured numerous of followers making them national news and even earning a spot on the Times 100 most influential people of 2012. Yet, Napster, Facebook, and Kazaa, were all created by individuals or groups of individuals who wanted to create something or fix a problem they saw. Does society really need a group like Anonymous when individuals of society are creating the real change?


Fight for Your Right

•May 6, 2012 • 1 Comment

The new trend in marketing is personalized marketing. With the advancement in technology, it is easier and easier to keep track of customers, personalize messages and form personal relationships with individual consumers. In my CRM class, we had to analyze a database of about 100,000 customers. With the database program, we could analyze the broad aspects like respondent rate and the profit margin to the specific aspects such as which group of customers were the best and which individuals were the best customers. With one or two commands, a person can analyze a database of 100K, 1M, or 10M within seconds and pick out individuals that fit the criteria. With first hand experience, not only is it easy to do, but it is also easy to learn. Marketers are now tracking consumers like the government tracks criminals.

In class, we talked about the issue of privacy. While at first I have no problem with it, the more I think about it, the more dangerous it could become. There are numerous cases where children are tagged on the no fly list. Before, if a person had a similar name with a suspect, they would get banned. Today with the technology and the storing of personal data, the idea of profiling could change. New categories such as phone calls, search history, or recent purchases could be thrown in the database, and if a person’s history lines up with a suspect, that person could be blacklisted. The problem I have with the privacy issue is not the fact that Google or the government is saving our history or listening in on our phone calls, but the potential mistakes and disasters that they could cause.

The main problem with large databases is that the information is often incomplete or the data may be dirty. Take Mikey Hicks, an 8 year old boy scout who got put on the no fly list. If The Federal Government knew his age, how he looked, or had more information, he would not be stopped from flying or subject to an aggressive frisk. There is no telling how many mistakes or potential mistakes will occur. The scary thing is that the trend will move past names and into personal information such as our web history. With the ease of tracking and narrowing down large databases to a few suspicious candidates based on certain criteria, I can only imagine how many more mistakes the government will make.



The Message

•May 6, 2012 • 1 Comment

During the semester an activist joined our class and discussed his viewpoint on practically every topic. Whether he knew it or not, there was a serious disconnect between him and the majority of the class. To me, the problem with the activist wasn’t his race, age or even his viewpoints. There were older people, of all races who gave opinions that I completely disagreed with. The difference was that I actually listened and thought about what others had to say. So the main question is why is there a complete dismissal on one hand, and an acceptance on the other. Here are my two underlying factors.

The Millennial Mindset: In class we examined the #fixyoungamerica chalk drawing at the Manoa campus. The first impression was that the site was a scam, and it needed serious improvements. The episode that went down in class says two things about our generation. First is that we are very quick to judge, and secondly we are very picky and decisive about what we like and dislike. Imagine growing up in an environment were everything is surrounded by ads. Naturally, the ads become like white noise, and companies/organizations are forced to produce creative and relatable promotions. If they don’t, millennials immediately reject it and move on to the next one.

 Relating to the Millennials: To make fixyoungamerica credible, the founders decided to make a video pleading Stephen Colbert to help them with their cause. The main problem with there plan is that getting Stephen Colbert won’t fix the problem, it just covers it. The design was wrong from the beginning, and while similar in age, the founders could never relate to people their own age. Basically they had no credibility among our generation. This point could be summed up in one saying, real recognizes real. Their website had so many problems, and our class quickly deemed it a scam.

So relating it back to the premise, the main problem with the Activist was that he was born “outside of the sub” and he was too far removed, or couldn’t adapt to life “in the sub”. Because he could not relate to life in the sub, it was like fixyoungamerica all over again. Before listening to his points with an open mind, I could see people dismissing him almost immediately. If a person has no credibility to the group and cannot relate or connect with the group, the group quickly rejects that person and moves on.


My Name Is

•May 4, 2012 • 1 Comment

One of the most fascinating parts of this class is the idea of a name. No one seems to know the name of anyone that is not in their specific group. Today in class, this was the first time that I actually made verbal interactions with people outside of my group. The interesting part is that no one made any attempt to learn each other names, but we actually preferred using nicknames (albeit not to their face). There are the old ones like the Activist, and the Cynic, the new ones (based on our project) like the walk out group, the asexual girl, the App group, and the beach group.

The first question is why does this continue in our class and why does no one stand up and say they want to be called by their name? The only complaint was that the nickname was wrong. The activist didn’t want to be called a politician but game himself his own nickname, the activist. The second question is how did this happen or more specifically why are there no consequences for stereotyping each other. I read this article below and things kind of make sense to me.

One perception of our generation is that racism, stereotyping, and sexism for the most part has lessoned. The perception is that we are more open and accepting to differences than ever before. Although as a society we have improved through laws made and social awareness spread, overall I don’t think things really changed, I think the problems have just evolved. Like the article pointed out, saying denigrating things is not acceptable, yet saying it in a joking or ironic way is ok. And the problem is that no one can really defend themselves without looking conceited or to stuck up to take a joke. Our class is the perfect example of how we all deny being racist, a bigot, or stereotyping people, yet it is more out in the open than ever.


Price Tag

•May 4, 2012 • 1 Comment

Oscar Wilde once said, “What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.” In many ways, I believe this statement applies to the cost of Facebook. In class it was pointed out when the product or service is free, you are the cost or product that is being sold. The argument goes that it doesn’t cost any money to sign up, yet Facebook just made $3.7B last year and announced its IBO of $5B. The way Facebook made all this money was by advertising its 900 million users to various companies. The cost of using Facebook is a couple of dollars a year; however the value that Facebook provides far surpasses that.

 The greatest value Facebook provides for me is the ability to stay in contact with friends in other states and across the world. Before Facebook, the only way to keep up with friends was through the phone or physically visiting them. With Facebook, you can visually keep up with your friends through status updates, pictures, videos, and chat. Whether it is a good thing or not, Facebook provides the illusion that you are in someway part of each other lives. To me, the value of feeling connected to people half way across the world is priceless.

When you deal with cost and value, it is never that simple. The cost is not just the money they make from you, but the pictures, videos, messages, and everything they own. The cost is annoying friends, pictures and updates that can prevent companies from hiring you, spam, etc. While I can see that for some people the costs outweigh the value, I believe for the majority the opposite is the case. And the value that it provides is worth far more than the cost per year.



Losing My Religion

•May 4, 2012 • Leave a Comment

There are lies, damn lies, and statistics. Mark Twain popularized this saying about the pervasive power of numbers used to bolster weak arguments.

In class, one of our fellow students gave a presentation showing that technology is a religion. He first set up the characteristics that all religions have in common, and showed how technology fit into each of those categories. I can’t disagree with those points, just like I can’t disagree when someone uses statistics to prove a point. However, there is a reason why people do not except technology or Scientology as a real religion. My belief is that all of the world’s major religions have attributes like spirituality, a book or guide, and human devotion that have become synonymous with the word “religion.” And that changes the meaning of the word and evolves the word to more than just its definition. So when our friend argued that technology is a religion, in one sense he was arguing on the technical definition, while some of us believe in the functional definition.   

 In the first class, there was a discussion on whether the Royal Wedding was real. Technically it had all the requirements to make it real. Officially, Prince William is really married to Kate. However, there was the feeling that elements of the wedding were staged almost like a reality show. Whether it was the cameras that were set up to get the right shot, the commentary from every major news organization in America, or the channels that broadcasted it all around the world, the point was that it didn’t feel like a genuine wedding. This same argument can be made for the Kardashian wedding, every Bachelor/Bachelorette series, and every reality couple that marry on television. On the technical sense sure its real, but in reality is it?

For the record, while I don’t believe that technology is a religion, I do believe that the Royal Wedding was real. I don’t know what that means.