Archive for February 18th, 2008

Trend-spotting… searching for cool

Almost every day, I have my daily dose of the internet. This usually consists of social networking, email, news, and checking various websites pertaining to the newest things in popular and underground culture.  Since I’m not one for finance or ‘politics-only’ news sources, my favorite site to visit is the New York Magazine website, where I can read stories from emerging artists, to fashion designer experiences, to valid latest-celebrity news, and even to enjoyable political stories, etc.

Another site I frequently check is called Cool Hunting. On this site, I always find links to other places where I can learn a whole new area of expertise in searching for “cool.”  New methods of art and stories behind them can be found here, as well as new products arising from secret underground companies.

Aside from the websites previously stated, I also surf through websites that contain the digital form of magazines, just like  Underground hip-hop magazines and sneaker magazines are my usuals, but anything new that I can find will most certainly join my list of daily dosage…

Taste of the Internet Stephen McCombe 18 Feb 2008 1 Comment

doing homework

As I’m trying to do this blogging assignment, I am also trying to get in touch with a friend to go over our econ problem set. One of us is having terrible reception right now, and we have called each other 8 times back and forth. I can’t hear anything that he is saying, just static. I am willing to show the class my cell phone call log to prove that literally we called each other 8 times. How did people do homework 15 year ago?!? I think I’m going to write him an email, you know, the content is going to be the same, I’m just changing the medium. Or maybe I’ll IM him.

What is the difference between checking a problem set in different mediums? I’ll pick the four I would most likely deal with: 1) face to face talking; 2) cell phone; 3) IMing; 4) email.

1) When you face to face, this is classic interaction and it seems pretty straight forward. When I’m checking answers or working in a group, my main concern is to be clear and understood. In person it is very easy because we can show people how to do something if they can’t do it, and we can talk to each other, which allows us to articulate our ideas about as fast as we think them up.
2) Cell phone. Update, I just finished checking the problem set over a cell phone (his reception cleared up). While it is nice to have the instantaneous responses of conversation, I found it very laborious to try to explain a math question. I could tell my partner was also a little annoyed when I told him how to physically write out the equation (my tone suggested he did not understand simple division). If we were face to face, I would have just shown him what I wrote while I explained it to him
3) If I IM someone about homework, I hate the lag time between question and response. I’m sure we’ve all had the conversations when you are answering a question, but they type another question before you finish. There is an interrupted flow of dialogue because typing takes that much longer than saying. And if you don’t believe me, try to type an equation in AIM at the same speed you could just tell someone. I think talking is much faster.
4) Email was going to be my last resort if the cell phone reception problem didn’t resolve itself. Email is like trading monologues–it is great if you are trying to catch your parents up on a week of college and don’t feel like talking to them, but it is terrible for explaining complete homework because there are no fluid responses. While you can reply to emails, it is not the same as having a conversation or even IM conversations.
So in conclusion, if you’re going to do homework with me, let’s meet in person. Feel free to comment.

Uncategorized Brian Sommers 18 Feb 2008 3 Comments

Three Reasons Why People Who Hate Facebook Should GET OVER IT

Okay, so I read the article posted on the site, Three Reasons to Hate Facebookand I gotta say, I’m just tired of people whining about Facebook. I’ll agree that the addition of new vocabulary to our everyday speech because of Facebook (“Dude, I poked your girlfriend last night.””That’s a profile pic!””Did you see what I wrote on your graffiti wall?”) is slightly worrisome, but I mean really, it’s just a fad.

Remember back in the day when everyone had a LiveJournal? And your friends would get into fights over something one said about the other in a public entry? And now nobody cares at all? I feel like Facebook is heading in that same direction, especially with the addition of the applications deal. That is probably the one thing that Miss Annalee Newitz and I agree on. But even though applications are annoying, it probably takes about three seconds for me to delete all my requests. Plus, you can hide all those requests anyway.

The fact that one of Newitz’s arguments against Facebook was hinged on her own laziness ASTOUNDS me. She said herself that there are indeed plenty of privacy options that can be used on Facebook to keep all the people she’s slept with from seeing each other, but she’s just too lazy to figure them all out. And then the whole “social conformity” thing? PLEASE! Are we in middle school? Is putting your name in a phone book “conformist”? No. Facebook is practically the same thing. Newitz was upset because her employer was evidently using Facebook as a means of connecting all of their employees in a clean, clear, easy-to-use manner. Oh no! My life has been made easier because of Facebook! Give me a break.

So here’s the three reasons why people who hate Facebook should get over it:

1. It’s a voluntary site; if you hate it, then DON’T USE IT.

2. Privacy options are there for the people who are smart enough to use them. If you’ve got stuff you don’t want other people to see, then get off your lazy butt and hide it.

3. The “conformity” of the site actually makes it a lot easier to use; MySpace’s biggest problem is people covering their pages with useless graphics and crap that slow down your browsing speed. Conformity is not necessarily a bad thing.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

social networking Erin Gosselin 18 Feb 2008 3 Comments

Blu Ray vs HD DVD: VHS vs Beta repeated?

So this is the big piece of news this week as most of you probably know. HD DVD has essentially been buried in the ground by retailers, and by itself as well. I myself am happy that HD DVD lost the battle, if only because I already own a Blu Ray, and it make the format a lot more accessible to me. This will especially be the case when prices begin to drop on the actual movies themselves.

I remember when DVD first came out. My family received a DVD player as a gift from my uncle, with Gladiator on DVD. At this point, the machine was worthless if only because DVDs were so expensive in the early years. It was something ridiculous like 35-40 dollars for a single movie. Not worth it.

Right not Blu Ray is in that same position. But now that there is no longer an opposing format, it’s up to Sony to begin dropping prices. Look at HD Tv sets. Years ago a 32 inch High Def tv would run you back up to two thousand dollars. Now adays, a 32 inch tv will probably run you closer to seven hundred, and under. That said, Sony needs to pick up the pace now. Though I suppose things will really get started once previously “HD DVD ONLY” films start to pop up on Blu Ray.

Still, at least it’s over, and the consumer can finally get in on it without being scared of one format losing to another.

Taste of the Internet Elliot 18 Feb 2008 4 Comments

Links for class

Hi all – I’ve added a RSS Feed for links to websites that seem relevant to class on the sidebar. I’m running this through, a social bookmarking site that I highly recommend. If you ever find a link that you want included on the site, you can send it to my account – username jajasoon. You can also browse the links I’ve accumulated. And if you’re a user, post your username in the comments to share the love.

Class business &social networking Jason Mittell 18 Feb 2008 No Comments

Sites DOT MiddleburyThe Middlebury site network.