Apple vs FBI

Since this week is an open post and we have been asked to blog about an issue or an example that captured our interest in this module, I thought I would blog on the topic of security. I found this topic very interesting and didn’t really expect to. During the seminar the topic of the Apple and FBI news story was discussed, this issue really captured my interest. The story is that the courts ordered Apple to help the FBI hack an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooter suspects. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook replied with an open letter basically saying, no. However, just this Monday it was reported that the FBI may have found a way to unlock the iPhone without Apple’s assistance.

So why doesn’t Apple want to unlock the iPhone? It’s not that they don’t want to, they argue that the software to do so doesn’t even exist and would have to create it and by doing so, if it got into the wrong hands could put millions of people’s security and privacy at risk. With Cook stating “In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.”

Although others argue that if the phone can be unlocked the FBI have the potential to recover information that can prevent future terror attacks. Do you agree with Apple that they shouldn’t have to unlock this iPhone or to you think that they should be forced to unlock it?

Spotify

Spotify is the world’s most popular on-demand music streaming service, with around 75 million active users every month. It’s based around the concept of creating and sharing playlists. Like other streaming services, Spotify allows its users to access content via the internet, streaming music directly from Spotify’s servers rather than downloading it locally.

Spotify costs £9.99 per month (or £4.99 if your a student!) this covers the copyright costs of streaming the music and pays the royalties to the artists. However, it has been argued that these royalties aren’t enough, a Guardian report suggests that the average payment a signed artist gets after their label takes its share is a mere $0.001128. Meaning they need approximately 1000 streams to get just $1. This had led to high profile artists like Taylor Swift removing all their music from the service.

I believe Spotify is a great service for reducing piracy, being able to stream music as much as you want for a single fee per month is much cheaper than having to pay each time you want a new song. Do you think streaming services have helped reduce piracy?

Online Visibility

The statement, how visible am I online is not something I’ve often thought about. But when I think about it, I am actually not that visible. I signed up to Facebook when I was 14, since then I’ve had quite strict privacy setting on my account. This is mostly due to the influence that my parents and teachers had on me about online privacy. To check how visible I am online, I done a quick google search of my name and could find nothing about myself, other than that I share a name of a prominent businessman in Kankakee, Illinois who was kidnapped and held for ransom!

In terms of what I choose to share, it’s very little. My Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn all have very little information about myself on them, unless we are friends. The online online platform I use that isn’t on ‘private’ settings, is Twitter.

Rather ironically, while writing this post I took a break to procrastinate and went to my Facebook, to which I found that I had a new friend request, I didn’t recognise the person’s name so I went onto their profile to see who they were. It turned out to be a travel agent from Austria, with no mutual friends. So much for having a private Facebook!

YouTube Communities

Youtube, being one of the most visited websites in the world obviously has a large online community. However, it is not just one large community, youtube as a site is a hub for thousands of communities. Nowadays people tend to to go to Youtube to see the latest update from their favourite Youtubers, this makes them part of this youtube’s community. They watch and can interact with them or other people in this community though Youtube’s comment section.

The example of a Youtube community I have decided to use is a channel called ArsenalFanTV. Not only do I see it as a good example but as it’s a community of Arsenal fans, it’s filled with the best kind of people!

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ArsenalFanTV is basically a visualised version of a message board or forum for Arsenal fans. It was set up by Arsenal season ticket holder, Robbie Lyle as a way for Arsenal fans to voice their opinions to other fans. After every game, he interviews a selection of fans outside the stadium to get their views on the match. After doing so the videos are uploaded to the channel and there tends to be debates within the comment section, usually about how right or wrong the interviewee’s views were! These videos have since created a few notable characters who reoccur every week to give their opinions, which creates a love/hate reaction from the community.

If you want to check out ArsenalFanTV, you can do so by clicking here! 

Wikipedia

After struggling to think of what website I could use as an example of audience participation, I decided to give up and do what I do best and procrastinate. When doing so I somehow ended up on Wikipedia and I realised that Wikipedia’s whole concept as a website is user generated articles.

Wikipedia is described as being a free-access, free-content Internet encyclopedia, the running costs of the site are supported and hosted by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, meaning they’ll never be any annoying advertisements as there are on almost every other website on the internet.

The content of Wikipedia is available in over 250 languages and has over 500 million unique visitors each month, making it the 7th most visited website on the internet according to Alexa, a website which ranks internet traffic.

There are currently over 38 million articles on the site, most of which are all user-generated and can be edited by anyone. However, some pages of important people or sensitive topics are protected and can only be edited by certain people, as these pages may become victim of ‘Wikipedia pranks’. In which people post false information on articles. An example of this was during the 2014 Fifa World Cup, The Secretary of Defense of the Utimhoward-e1404323277611nited States of America’s article picture was changed to the American National football team’s goalkeeper, Tim Howard after a very impressive performance.

 

Media Convergence – Netflix

The best example of convergence that I could think of, that relates to my every day life and my course is Netflix. Netflix started as a DVD rental company in the United State, similar to LoveFilm (if anybody actually remembers them!) that we had here in the UK. They went on to grow and become the online streaming service we know and love today. Netflix’s impact on the television and film industry has been remarkable. Suddenly Netflix has become a service where you not only watch an old television series that you haven’t seen or cared about for the last ten years, but it also has become a respected content producer, with many of it’s original programming receiving critical acclaim.

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I personally no longer watch live television, any TV I watch is either through services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime, or ‘OnDemand’ TV, such as BBC iPlayer, this alone shows the shift there has been in the way in which people watch television. As a result, Netflix as a company have converged with this shift in viewing platforms along with the fact that people no longer want to wait up to a week for the next disk, of the four disk box-set of their favourite TV show to arrive in the post!

 

 

Factiva

Factiva is described as being the world’s leading source of premium news, data and insight. I have decided to share it as I have previously used it as a research tool for last semesters modules and believe it will be useful for the upcoming essay.

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Factiva lets you search for a topic and it will find all sources with articles that are all relevant to that topic which have been published in the particular date range you select, this can be form days to years. When searching, you are able to restrict your search to sources from a particular region, industry, publication or even author.

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When you search for a topic, you are given a range of statistics and figures regarding how many people were also searching it each week, giving you an insight into when the topic was popular in the news.

Now for the bad news, a subscription to the service costs $399 per month, what a bargain. However, luckily as students of University of Westminster we get free access to the service. To use the service you have to log onto the university library website, and click on ‘online access’, a link to it can be accessed here.

I would highly recommend Factiva, it was very helpful for me when doing essay work and hopefully you all can make use of it too!