SariKayla's blog

does anyone here use "skype"?

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Has anybody here heard of the software Skype or does anybody in fact use it?

...I was hanging out in my friend's room the other day, when suddenly she told me that she needed to "Skype" her boss. Obviously, I was startled and quite confused...Apparently it is a recent form of communication that was first introduced back in 2003. It can be used to contact any number worldwide, at a cheaper cost, and from your computer. It also offers video-chat, for "Skype to Skype" users. This program appears to resemble the Macintosh "IChat" program, only with additional features, such as being able to contact a wider variety of people.

new media and relationships

Today's class discussion has been one of my favorites thus far. I really enjoyed spending time discussing topics and issues that I can fully relate to in my everyday style of life -- therefore I want to further discuss some of the things I began thinking about right here on our class blog--

As we discussed the significance of worldwide forms of communication, such as the existence of Facebook, Instant Messenger, and Cellular Text Messaging, I started to think about the affects these technologies have had on myself, and my relating to others. When touching upon the reading, the very significant point that "virtual technology can be so distancing from the real world that we don't make connections in the same way anymore." I thought about the relationship I had with a former boyfriend of mine, and one of the most disturbing, as well as fascinating realizations I had after we broke up: our relationship was based on technology, and the societal development of new media was responsible for the reduction of romance and dating.

Personal Attacks

Today I have spent lot of time reflecting on our class discussion from last Monday, regarding personal threats that may appear on blog sites. Unfortunately, as we acknowledged, verbal and physical attacks are common issues that present themselves in our society on a daily basis. I immediately thought about the article we read, titled: "Death threats against bloggers are NOT 'protected speech'" as I came across a related issue last night. I was at the Mickey Avalon concert, which took place by the CMC senior apartments. A close friend of mine was pushing through the crowd (just like everybody else was doing), in hopes of getting to the front and having the honor of shaking Mickey Avalon's hand. A drunk, and seemingly irritated boy started yelling at her for cutting in front of him, and purposely poured his entire cup of beer all over her head. Understandably startled, and attempting to defend herself, my friend asked him what his problem was, and yelled at him for spilling his drink all over her, simply because she was pushing through the crowd like everybody else. Next, my friend decided to walk off and get away for a bit, as she decided to sit down on the curb and take a breather. The boy followed her and suddenly kicked her really hard in the back, yelling a bunch of terrible things at her.

Project Proposal: Google Earth

I intend to focus my critical project on the technology of "Google Earth." For those who are unfamiliar with this, Google Earth is one of the more recently developed aspects of Google, where a search engine of maps, satellite imagery, and three-dimensional buildings and geographic locations can be present. As the site's homepage acknowledges, you can: "Fly to your house. Just type in an address, press search, and you'll zoom right in. Search for schools, parks, restaurants, and hotels. Get driving directions, tilt and rotate the view to see 3D terrain and buildings."

I propose to research and provide a detailed analysis of the functions that Google Earth offers, in addition to the companies and people in particular that benefit from the site. I hope to discover the positive and negative elements to this form of technology, as well as the people and places most likely affected. Above all, I will question the existence of Google Earth -- how our society as a whole may or may not benefit from this form of technology, and whether the program is an invasion of privacy for many individuals.

machine-like bodies

As we discussed in class yesterday, our society is becoming more cyborgnated, and we are becoming less aware of this matter. While reading Stone's "Will the Real Body Please Stand Up?" I began to think more deeply about this notion On page 187, the line: "The socioepistemic mechanism by which bodies mean is undergoing a deep restructuring in the latter part of the twentieth century" really stuck out. I thought about my grandfather, who several years ago had a triple-bi-pass surgery and a pacemaker put into his heart. I also started to think about my mother's best friend who has recently gone deaf in her left ear, and will soon be undergoing a procedure known as the "Cochlear Implant" -- where an electronic device, resembling a microphone will be drilled in through her skull and placed behind the external ear to enable her to hear again. I thought about the increasing number of people who are commonly undergoing procedures like these on a daily basis -- as if it is natural to have forms of metal and electronic devices implanted in our bodies to save us from some sort of illness or disability.

Our culture and technology

After class yesterday, as I came back to my room and sat down to work on a paper, I really started to think about how lucky we are. While Professor Fitzpatrick wrote her college papers on a typewriter, we have the power to use Microsoft Word -- with the options of spell-check, a thesaurus, and a number of different fonts and other useful tools. And before all of this, papers were hand-written. Research was done in the library through a supply of books and newspaper articles. Nobody had the power to type his or her essay while simultaneously researching information offered on the Internet.

project proposal: the gossip blog

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I propose to focus on the nature of tabloid blog-sites, otherwise referred to as celebrity gossip forums. Recently there has emerged a tremendous popularity among sites such as PerezHilton.com, Defamer.com, and http://www.x17online.com, which offer the latest celebrity buzz -- from couple's news to personal struggles with substance abuse. These web pages offer a number of daily blogging, with recent updates, and may in fact be perceived as the unedited versions of magazines such as US Weekly, Star, and In Touch.

While I am afraid to admit that I have a history of being addicted to tabloid buzz and celebrity gossip, I also find it fascinating that there exist people in this world with such a deep passion and obsession with this subject, spending countless hours updating personal sites with information regarding Britney Spears' or Paris Hilton's latest mishaps. This concept connects to those displayed in our first class reading assignments, "Portrait of the Blogger as a Young Man," and "You've Got Blog: How to Put Your Boyfriend, Your Business, and Your Life On-Line." I hope to gain a deeper understanding of why one's blogging fetish may form into an obsession that feeds into the addiction of our society at large.

Forking links?

The structure of "The Garden of Forking Paths" was difficult to follow -- however significant in connecting theories that regard the universe and new media. While it is apparent that Borges uses several references to time and reality, it is also significant to recognize the connections offered in regards to present day technology. Lines such as: "Absorbed in these illusory images, I forgot my destiny of one pursued/. I felt myself to be, for an unknown period of time, an abstract perceiver of the world" and "I leave to the various futures (not to all) my garden of forking paths," immediately brought images of web links to mind.

attached to our technology?

This may be completely irrelevant, but I have to say, I really enjoyed today's form of class interaction. I liked that we broke off into small groups with the mission to analyze and gain a deeper understanding of one designated question. One of the most significant questions that arose during the discussion was: "What would happen if we became so dependent on a system like the Memex, and then it failed?" I think this is a concept that should be further touched upon at some point, as it fully connects to the overall notion that our society has become heavily dependent on, and influenced by computers and other technological devices.

The World of Blogs and Blogging

First off, I have been completely unaware of how significant blogging can be for members in our society. After reading the two articles, especially "You've Got Blog," it occurred to me what a large role blogging plays in many lives. I further developed my understanding of this phenomenon as I read the passage that states, "Getting blogged by Kottke, or by Meg Hourihan or one of her colleagues at Pyra, is the blog equivalent of having your book featured on "Oprah": it generally means a substantial boost in traffic enough, perhaps, to earn the blog a mention on Beebo.org, which has functioned as a blog best-seller list." From this it became apparent to me that blogging is not only another technological advancement in our world of communication, but an outlet for everyday people to offer personal insight into particular concepts.

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