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?

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The future of news  

News plays a much greater role in societal life than just a random post on your Facebook feed. Speaking about which, I aim to trace the future of news, keeping in mind the transformation of news. A newspaper cannot be replaced by e-news until you can use a tablet to swat a fly. Stanislaw Jerzy Lec said, “The window to the world can be covered by a newspaper.” Is the press dying in the digital age? I would say I disagree. Sure, maybe the costs are going higher and the profits are going down, but since when do we value news for its Profits and not its Purpose? Why do business magnates controlling the press run behind the wrong ‘P’? The number of people reading the newspapers in the UK has been decreasing at the rate of about 10% but at the same time the i experienced a gain of 11% readers.

Newspaper came and stayed. Then came the Internet wave and it stayed too! Then news took to social media and the upsurge continues. This tells us two things. Firstly, new formats of news have appeared and will continue to emerge but this does not mean that it outdates its predecessor. Newspapers, Internet and social media can co-exist and compliment each other. Secondly, news has catered to consumer needs by constantly changing its medium. However, what is the future after social media?

The answer is innovation. Innovation in press, internet and social media. The Independent has become the first national newspaper to go digital, but don’t foget that they also run the i which is a 40p newspapers! The Metro and Evening Standard operate free of costs. The Guardian operates on part-paid part-free basis on its digital front. Internet and social media have taken innovation to a whole new level. For example, Slow Journalism Magazine, attempts to explain and explore news after it has subsided from the mainstream and has escaped the concept of first and fast. Outlets like Vox.com are documenting news in a much more explained form. What’s interesting is that traditional news organisations are expanding their reach by using social media. For example, Sky news has its Snap Chat operation which has live blogs and feeds which are updated constantly through the day. Innovation also lies in the way newspapers are marketed, Metro went free and Independent has gone digital.

The above examples prove that news is transforming according to the needs of its consumers and innovation. Transformation of news is highly connected and dependent on media convergence. It is the interdependence among platforms where in lies the innovation in news. You will notice that it is not the death of press but the convergence of media which has just internally shifted numbers among its number of readers and its profits. It the purpose of the news that makes it novel; not its platform, not the format and not the economics of it. In all, through this module I have realised that components of media and its factors are interlinked and co-exist in the organisation. They are complimentary in nature and one cannot be explained without the help of the other, for example: media convergence and innovation, privacy and surveillance, copyrights and creativity, etc.

 

Don’t Stop A Meme’in

I want to talk about this weeks seminar because it actually somethings that I wasn’t expecting despite being part of the group leading the seminar and debates. One of the features of the presentation was ‘Make Your Meme’ in which the class were given the original image from popular memes and asked to create their own meme by giving it context. We thought this task would be relaxed and fun for the group but it actually proved that making a meme is a difficult job – especially trying to make a meme that is actually funny! This lead to the debate of ‘are memes actually funny’? Personally I don’t get memes at all, but they are this huge internet phenomenon and places like Facebook and Tumblr are flooded with them.

So what is the attraction? An answer we came up with is that it is very much to do with, firstly the structure, and secondly the context of the meme. By structure, we mean the elements that make up the meme such as repetition and lyricality. In truth it all comes down to semiotics, as is the same for all media products, and looking at the signs and symbol that are used to construct a meme that make them so appealing to this generation. On the other there is the context in which the meme is used. A lot of popular memes work because they are relatable such as being about student life. Sometimes they only work within a friendship group and their situation but to show it to someone outside of that clique, they wouldn’t get it or understand why it is ‘funny’.

Another thing that came up in seminar debate was a discussion about whether it is the words and text that are important to a meme working, or the image. To be honest, I think it is the text that is most important but the image gives it a relatable visual so that people understand the context in which the text is being stated. Memes are very much an internet sensation and we discovered today that they really aren’t that funny when you show them to a group of people publicly yet when scrolling though our online feed we would have an “LOL” moment.

We are the Future

This semester’s module I have found really insightful and interesting and I have learnt a lot from attending the lectures and seminars and doing my own presentation as well as listening to others.

Throughout the module it has really made me ponder on the idea of how much we, as a generation have shaped and is still shaping the concept of the internet and social media platforms. If you think about it we as the consumers/public have so much power, and sometimes we don’t acknowledge how we affect things collectively. We have the power to determine whether a new social media activity takes off or not. It’s kind of cool that the power is in our hands, in that sense.

What I also find interesting is how the internet, unlike many things in our generation, is permanent and inevitable. We cannot really escape from it, even if people want to take a break from it, I’m sure they will find themselves on it in a couple of hours. But is that a good thing?imagee

I would say that it is scary to think that the activities we do on the internet is monitored and our privacy isn’t really that private. I think in the future it will be interesting to see if there is still that 50/50 balance of ‘US’ and ‘THEM’ in the internet world’s future.

By Demi Bailey-Paul

 

 

Could you survive ?

To be honest at first I didn’t think I would enjoy writing these blog posts, I thought it would be a complete bore. However this has not been the case and instead I have found it very interesting, reading other people’s thoughts and opinions has been very fascinating and educational. For this blogpost I didn’t know what to write, so I decided to focus on my favourite lecture from this module which was media convergence.

This topic made me realise how much technology has advanced within our society, and how teenagers are fully immersed in their phones they forget to appreciate the little things in life. For example as soon as I wake up the first thing I do is check my social media accounts, Facebook first, next twitter and lastly Instagram. This has become my routine every morning, and if I ever forget to do this, I feel as if I haven’t started my day right. This just shows how addicted I am to social media, even after I have my morning check-up , I still have to look at my phone and my social media platforms constantly throughout the day.

And so sometimes I wonder whether or not the advancement in technology and the media is a good thing? Yes there has been positive outcomes, such as the ability to connect with your family and friends at the click of a button. But personally I think the negative outcomes such as bullying, identity theft and privacy breach outweigh the negatives. Ask yourself this question would you be able to survive without the internet, social media and our mobile phones?

 

 

 

Are we victims?

Technology 1

An interesting topic that arose during this module is the impact of technology on our lives. Whilst doing research on this module, I have come across academic texts, articles, and Youtube videos arguing that mobile phones have a negative impact on our relationships and sense of self, and, rather than improving the way we communicate, technology makes us selfish and separates us from the rest of the world. It is also suggested that technology has negative effects on our health, such as poor sleeping habits, neck and head pain, loss of eyesight and hearing, and stress. Kenneth Gergen (1991) described the immersion in technology as ‘social saturation’, implying that we are too consumed by technology.

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However, I strongly disagree with the idea that technology has an overall negative impact on our lives. Instead of being victims of the huge developments in technology that have taken place throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, we are in fact benefactors. Digital communication has changed the nature of our social connections for the better – today, we can interact with people from across the globe, connect with more people, and strengthen our relationships through use of technology. We have been introduced to incredible new concepts that we could never have imagined even 10 years ago.

Whilst it may be true that we feel we are unable to escape from the constant call of communication, whether this be replying to a message, answering a phone call, or sending an email, overall the expansion in the abilities of interaction have had an extremely positive effect on our society. As Gergen said: ‘a new culture is in the making’ – we just need to learn how to adapt to these amazing developments.

Blog Post #8 – PRIVACY & The Internet

What I found most interesting about this module is Privacy and how half the people feel comfortable sharing all there information for the world to see and the other half have everything private and wants to be in control on who see’s there posts.

Facebook VS Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr & Snapchat

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I also found it intriguing how more people would have there Facebook private, however have there Instagram and Twitter profiles visible for anyone to see. Is this just because what society has planted in our heads over the years of social media’s growth, that Facebook is meant to be private and for family and friends but when it comes to Instagram and Twitter it’s completely safe to post whatever you want and have anyone view it? In my opinion and what I have seen we all feel less safe on Facebook than we would on Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr, for example if someone added us on Facebook who we didn’t know we would question why that person has added us and usually you choose to decline the request if you don’t know them however if someone followed you on Twitter who you didn’t know or on Tumblr you wouldn’t think of it in the same way, instead you would just be happy because you just gained another follower. I think Snapchat is similar to Facebook in terms of privacy because people see Snapchat as quite a private thing that is just for friends and family. However ever since Snapchat has started to update and become more based around stories people have become more known to add and accept people they don’t know as they want loads of people to view there snapchats.