Monday, December 14, 2009

Yet Another Story About Google...

Google is slowly taking over our lives, not that it's a bad thing! We've seen Google all over the internet with its own email, aim, search engine, owning youtube etc etc etc. This is nothing new. But Google is now spreading its wings and heading to the phone world.
Competitors of Google like Yahoo and Ask Jeeves have a new friend: Apple. Apple has a popular line of computers, lap tops, mp3's (hello, the ipod!) and more. But with Googles new smart phone, the Droid, Apple has a new threat against it. In the article With a New Phone, Google May Challenge Apple, the features of this phone are directly compared to that of the iPhone.
"Google employees who spoke on the condition of anonymity because plans for the phone were supposed to be confidential said that the device, manufactured by the Taiwanese company HTC, was thinner than Apple's iPhone, with a slightly larger touch screen. It could be available as early as January, they said."
Well obviously this is going to attract our attention. A THINNER phone?? With a BIGGER touch screen! I immediately thought of people like my mom, who has a touch screen phone and can barely text on it because the letters are too small. Well clearly a bigger touch screen would be easier to text on, so maybe people with her kind of thinking will switch to that phone. Also, the fact that it is made by Google will automatically have people itching to get their hands on it.
Another interesting thing about this phone, that the iPhone doesn't have, is the ability to be sold "unlocked." This means that anyone who buys it will be able to choose a service provider. So yay now everyone who has the iPhone, but hates that it is on AT&T and not Verizon can switch to this phone and pick what they want. Google knows that we love having choices so this is a great appeal.
I honestly think that in a few years, everything will be controlled and bought up by Google. And maybe that isn't a bad thing? I only use yahoo for email, but I wouldn't mind switching to google. And I haven't been to Ask Jeeves in like 48235 years. I don't think that Google is something to fear... well maybe for Apple, but I think they are making great strides into the future, and reaching out into every industry that they can.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Addicted to Facebook/Twitter? You're not the only one...

I know what you're thinking, and yes... this couple did update their facebook and tweets the second they exchanged vows. People may think this is hilarious and shows commitment to their media outlet, however, I think this is ridiculous.
First off, I would like to think that the people that this couple would want to share their big day with would already be at the wedding. Regardless of that, the first thing that came to my mind is when my mom used to yell at me for constantly being on Facebook, as if i had an addiction or something. This is perfect example of a Facebook/Twitter Junkie.
All of that aside, I'm not blind to the humor that the groom was trying to achieve. His little stunt is a perfect example of how technology is taking over our society. 30 years ago, there probably wasn't even a lot of people who brought cell phones to weddings, let alone internet access.
Networking has always been an important part of our society. Whether you were looking to get a new job, or trying to spread the word about your business. Facebook and Twitter are HUGE social networking sites that can get your information out to millions of people almost instantly.
This year especially, Twitter has become an increasingly large site where people go to get their information. Some follow their favorite celebrities to see what they are up to, some follow their favorite sports teams, and some just follow their friends to discuss news or information just for fun.
I can see why this couple would bring these networking sites into their wedding. Though I still find it to be insane that they would do it in the middle of the wedding ceremony, I understand that they wanted to share their wonderful news with either people that couldn't make it to the wedding, or those that weren't invited, but were still interested in knowing what was going on.
So is this a new trend? Bringing Facebook and Twitter into our personal lives? What do you think?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Google's Take Over

I found this comic strip at I personally thought it was hilarious, and perfectly depicts our society. We rely so much on Google, and the internet, that whenever we want to know something or need information, we turn to the internet or any technology for instant gratification. We also believe that there is an answer for everything on the internet. While people think that sites such as Google are "amazing" because it has "everything," they often forget that it's a man-made creation.
I think this is a great representation of where our societies are headed, as far as advances in technology go, because we have so many advancements that make our lives easier, that we sometimes take advantage of it. From celebrities, to school work, to tv shows, to medical advice to death, people use this search engine for everything and anything imaginable. Google especially. The word "Google" itself has become both a noun and a verb. Whenever a question goes un-answered, the usual response is "oh well i'll just Google it later."
Not only has Google expanded to the far ends of the internet, but it has spread to new aspects of technology, like cell phones. Not only do cell phones now have access to the internet, but Google is making its own brand of phones as well.
The more we feed into this industry, and as our need to be up-to-date on the latest technology, I can only predict that our mass consumerism will help this company to flourish and basically take over all forms of the web. That is, of course, after Google teams up with Facebook. That team up would be unstoppable.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Movie Star Heart Throbs Help Fans Develop Healthy Relationships?

Okay, so let me first get it out there that YES I am a Twilight Fan... or one of the billions that is. And since the 2nd part of the series comes to theaters this week I found this topic appropriate. 'Twilight' hunks part of film's heartthrob history is about how the stars of Twilight, and past famous actors and actresses are immensely admired by their fans, so much so that they get those 'butterflies' in their stomachs just when they think about their idols.
"Girls have been falling in love with movie stars since the dawn of cinema. When teenagers became Tinseltown's prime marketing target, Hollywood delivered handsome heartthrobs any girl could love."
Hollywood makes these characters more appealing visually, which makes more and more people go to see the movie. Even in this Taylor Lautner New Moon Interview/Trailer, his character Jacob is shirtless about 90% of the time. Lautner even states that he had to add 30 lbs of muscle to get ready for this role.
The article even goes on to say how they play off the fans admiration for profit!
"As if adolescent emotions weren't enough, today's heartthrob crushes are supported by all manner of merchandising and gadgetry. 'It's so much more elaborate than it used to be,' says USC cultural historian Leo Braudy. 'Every movie comes fit with its posters and its icons and its bobble-head dolls.'"
The more that an actor is idolized through the media, the more the movie and company benefits by making toys, gadgets and more that can be marketed. I found this really interesting because it shows how many industries can merge together to benefit each other. Advertising industries use popular actors/actresses to promote the movies they are in, the movies lead to production of goods based on characters or events all that are bought by fans, who increase greatly due to advertising !
This especially adds to twilight because the movie series is based off of a book series, so there was already a large fan base from those who loved the books. I just found these connections really interesting!

Monday, October 19, 2009

This Bird Was Never Meant To Soar.

The whole world watched as clips of the 9/11 attacks played on tv in 2001. The whole world watched as the Columbia Space Shuttle crashed over Texas in 2003. And in 2009 the whole world watched as a little boy stuck in a balloon flew over Colorado... or at least they thought they did.
The most recent article I read about this situation was Sheriff: Boy-in-balloon was hoax, charges expected by Dan Elliott. The Heene family, who appeared on Wife Swap, apparently wanted more then their fifteen minutes of fame, so what better way to do that then by claiming your child is stuck in a balloon? Apparently anything could have been better. This claim led to the five hour search for six-year-old Falcon, the shut down of Denver International Airport, and spending $14,500 on the use of two military helicopters to aid in the 'rescue' of the boy.
When it first came out that the boy had hidden in the attic of their home, I was not so surprised. I really didn't think that this child, no matter how light, could be soaring in the air for 50 miles across two counties. However, I didn't think that this event had been planned two weeks in the making. Apparently, during one of the interviews of the family, Falcon was heard saying "We did this for the show." And this is now being called the "Aha" moment in the whole investigation. [Personally, I think this moment should have come earlier when the public found out that instead of calling the police first to report the missing child, Mr. Heene called channel 9 news. Hmm... ya think?]
I personally couldn't believe how low some people would sink to get their moments of fame. Using your 6 year old son? Did they honestly expect for him to understand what was going on? It's no wonder they got caught. All of this had been done to gain a deal for a reality tv show? I understand that people will do a lot to be rich and famous, but at what point does it seem okay to extort your child?
I think this proves how much of a high priority media is in our lifestyle. It's everywhere we look and it's becoming a part of everything we do, and people will go to great lengths to be a major part of it.
As for me? I think the only logical thing to do is have a son named Pigeon, and claim he was abducted by aliens in order for our up-coming shoe line to take off.

Media Take Over- People Are Catching On

So this may not be the best picture ever because I had to scan it, but I thought it was really necessary to blog about. This "Mutts" comic-strip (by Patrick McDonnell) was in last Sunday's Newsday (10/11/09). Looking at it, I think it is pretty self explanatory. Advertising has taken over everything! McDonnell is not using his comic to advertise something, but to show how ridiculous the industry has actually become.

Seeing this made me automatically think of the hot summer days lying on the sand of Robert Moses field 5 and seeing the planes fly over head with big banners advertising a type of beer or a sale at a local store. It never really clicked on how absurd that really is until now.

Leave it to 'man' to take something as serene and natural as nature and inundate it with media. Thinking more into it, I realized how advertising is literally EVERYWHERE.

Driving into the city, I get so excited to go shopping or see a play, and for half of the ride there I'm stared at by hundreds of billboards. Listening to the radio, I hear the hosts talk for twenty minutes about their phones before I realize they are trying to sell me something. It seems like companies will buy whatever space they can to get their name out there. Before we know it cars won't be available in black or red, they will come in either a McDonalds, or a Wendy's. Clothes (other than advertising the store or brand that makes them) will have pictures of new inventions that minimize the use of your washing machine, or the blanket with built in cup holders. Competition in the advertising world has yet to make its peak, which is frightening because no one will know how far it will go.

So I COMPLETELY agree with what McDonnell is trying to say. This industry has outstretched itself so much that there is nothing that it can't do. Just like Mooch (the cat in the comic-strip) I have to ask... Where does it end?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Oh Boy Obama

(Video Clip from So the newest and hottest information is about Barack Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize. A lot of controversy is flying over this topic because many people feel that he has accomplished too little (or almost nothing) to deserve this award. While he may donate the money to charity, I can't help but to wonder if he should have won it. To be completely honest, I never really kept myself up to speed on any politics until this election, partly because I had to, and partly because I was so close to being able to vote that I thought now would be a good time to pay attention.
However, with that said, I know that I myself am very impressionable by the media. Its not a bad thing, it happens to everyone, but when I came across the NY Times article Another Fine Mess: Comics Whack Obama by Mark Leibovich, I was immediately interested in how easily it is to be swayed by the media. The video above is of a recent SNL skit [Oct. 3rd 2009], which was mentioned in this article. Here, "Obama" defends himself against the allegations that he turned the US "into something that resembles the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany." However, he defends himself by saying that this isn't true as he has done nothing in office. The video goes on to show that he has done nothing that he promised while campaigning such as closing Guantánamo Bay prison, or bringing home troops from the Middle East.
The video goes on making anecdotes about the 2016 Olympics and so on, but I couldn't help but to think of how many people this could have angered. How many people probably voted for him and then saw this only to feel like he really has accomplished nothing? And it doesn't just stop there. Shows on television, The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, is also mentioned in this article. A point made by Stewart is when he addresses the president by saying, "All that stuff you've been putting on your plate? It's chow time, brother. That's how you get things off your plate." Implying that while the president has a lot to deal with at once, he can take care of it if he started to work on them.
The president will always be a popular target with the media. Whether he's calling Kanye a jackass (yes I had to bring that up) or winning the Nobel Peace Prize, he will always be in the limelight. Bob Lichter, of George Mason University's Center for Media and Public Affairs, put it best when he said, "The danger is that Mr. Obama is going to be defined by inaction and not living up to expectations."
I personally believe that it is whether or not people believe everything they hear on the news or in the media that can draw or repel people to follow the president. I believe that if he continues to do what's best for our country, than he will truly be a good leader. Results are more important then how he is portrayed to us.