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Technologies and the future of writing

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Technology and the future of writing addressed five major questions writers should think about in terms of how the writing process is changing. As the course comes to an end, I have taken these five questions and really put a lot of thought into the concept of writing and where it is headed. I remember getting our first computer lab in elementary school and being absolutely thrilled. Looking back, that was just the beginning of a long journey into technology. I could not imagine going through school without technology; computers and the internet, It makes life so much easier and everything is just a click away. Through this module, I have opened my eyes to the other tools available to students that can be helpful and extremely beneficial. Such sites like zite and feedly – tons of articles on any given topic set up to weed out the bad and excessive amounts of info to give you exactly what you are looking for. I generally use twitter everyday but within this class, it allowed me to use it in a whole new light and connect it to a blog that is accessible to anyone. Overall, using Web 2.0 tools and creating an information ecology allowed me to become a better writer through technology and better use sources to generate ideas. So, here is my final president summing all of that!

PLEASE WATCH AT 10 SECOND AUTOPLAY!

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Who’s List is it Anyway?

We learned about copyright laws in several videos made during class.  We learned about the exceptions to copyright; such as for critical review or parody.  Recently, Jimmy Fallon parodied David Letterman’s signature Top Ten List, complete with graphics and font that are almost identical to Letterman’s.  (Spoiler Alert) He even ends it with “Jimmy Fallon is stealing his bits.”  This parody has become a hit.  Fallon showed us why copyright exceptions need to be made for parodies; it provides for some great entertainment.

The exception to copyrights for parodies has provided us with some great entertainment.  In an earlier post, I mentioned a parody of Gangnam Style featuring Bill Nye the Science Guy.  The copyright exception has allowed Weird Al to make a living.  It allowed for the video A Fair(y) Use Tale, which we used in class.  And it allowed Jimmy Fallon to make a hilarious knock-off of Letterman’s Top Ten List.

As many of us have already heard, Letterman will be retiring as host of his long-running late night TV show, The Late Show with David Letterman, whose name gave rise to The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn (now with Craig Ferguson).  Fallon paid tribute to the shows signature sketch, the Top Ten List.  Fallon presented the top ten reasons David Letterman is retiring.  His presentation wasn’t just a top ten list.   He stole every aspect of Letterman’s Top Ten List.  He read off of the same blue cards Letterman does (albeit with the Tonight Show logo), used a similar introduction, and used an identical font and background to what Letterman uses.  This identical copy of Letterman’s list made Fallon’s sketch a bigger hit; anything else would have been seen as a cheap knock-off, a half-assed try.  But Fallon played the letter of the law perfectly and has given us some wonderful comedy heading into the weekend.

 

One last note: David Letterman’s list is officially named The Late Show Top Ten List.  Why?  It was simply called the Top Ten List while Letterman was on Late Night with David Letterman on NBC, but when he moved to CBS, NBC claimed they owned the rights to the Top Ten List.  So Letterman changed the name and made the sketch his.

#CancelColbert: Racist or Not?

Stephen Colbert has made a living parodying controversial right-wing pundits.  Now he has his own controversy.  Last week, Colbert mocked The Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation by creating his own racially insensitive foundationTheChing-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.  Shortly after the segment aired, @ColbertReport, a Twitter account not run by Stephen Colbert, posted this tweet:

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The world took notice and the hashtag #cancelcolbert went viral last weekend.  People called for Colbert to be fired over the segment, claiming it was racist.  However, Colbert had a lot of supporters, with fans pointing out that the tweet was taken out of context and his foundation was mocking the Redskins for their hypocritical foundation.  So why did it go viral?

Today we live in a culture of sensitivity.  Every December, we hear the complaints that we cannot say “Merry Christmas” anymore; instead we must say “Happy Holidays” to accommodate for those who celebrate Hanukkah and Kwanza.  The University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux were forced by the NCAA to change their name, despite a lawsuit from the local Sioux tribe who felt honored by the nickname and wanted UND to keep the name (they lost the lawsuit).  Some argue that even the Redskins’ name controversy may be an overreaction; a poll by the Annenburg Public Policy Center in 2004 found that 90 percent of Native Americans do not consider the term “redskin” offensive and several Native America high schools use “redskin” as their nicknames.  Colbert aired his response last night, in which we defended the organization but agreed to shut it down, and brought Asian chief foundation officer James out to tell him he was being laid off. So was cancel Colbert and overreaction in an oversensitive culture, or do people have a legitimate point?

 

Source: http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/9689220/redskins-name-change-not-easy-sounds

Rule #13: Do not use Tinder to fall in love

Recently, classmate Becca Campina from my Introduction to Writing Arts class tweeted about this seasons The Bachelor. The tweet contained an article, discussing how the show portrays this years bachelor, Juan Pablo, to be a romantic, caring guy. This was until a camera man caught him saying “I loved having sex with you” to one of the top 2 finalists. Soon after, the Bachelor fans broke out into a craze, calling Juan Pablo a pervert, and conclusions were made about him only being in it for the sex.

TweetThis tweet got me thinking about how women in our society are constantly being degraded and just being looked at for sex, especially those in their twenties. Nothing speaks to this thought more than an app I keep hearing about: Tinder.  Tinder is advertised a dating website, it is apparent to most that the majority of people on the apps are there for hook ups.

The conversations back and forth through these apps can be very demeaning. A friend has Tinder on their phone, and allowed me to share some of the messages she has received on the app. One unidentified user stated “Hey. Want to sit on my face? ;)” Another said “I could tear up that ass”. The comments to the female user was unwarranted, as her photos only contain pictures of her face, not her whole body, and are in no was seductive. When asking her why she has the app, she replied that it was a confidence booster.

I came across an article written in the Huffington Post, called The Unwritten Rules of Tinder by Todd Luling. The article outlines 26 rules created by the Huffington Post about Tinder. Although meant to be funny, reading the article showed me how truly we are even highlighting discrimination towards women.

The very first rule states “Be good looking.” showing a picture of a Disney princess, where they could have just as easily showed a picture of, say, Ryan Gosling. Rule number 6: “If you have a friend who is hotter than you are, use a photo of both of you. Keep ’em guessing and it can only help you.” The image under this rule also showed a picture of 3 beautiful women taking a photograph together. Number 13 states, “Don’t use Tinder to fall in love. It is strictly for hookups.” This image is also of a woman, looking distraught with her mouth tensed and hands covering her eyes. Number 22 shows a picture of Snookie, famous reality TV show actor from the Jersey Shore, stating “It’s all about LOCATION so make sure you’re not in an area notorious for bad hookups.”

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If this is how an online publication like the Huffington Post views women on Tinder, how do they expect the participants of this app to act? Looking strictly at the first rule that simply states “Be good looking” is setting a standard that relationships are only valued on good looks. It is prefacing women to be treated like pieced of meat, being asking to “sit on [someone’s] face” or being told that their “ass” will be torn up. It’s okay, because the article goes on to tell women that if they are not good looking, they can just stand next to someone who is. This way, the user will still “like” them on the app so they are a match. The article then proceeds to tell users to only use it to find hookups, and show a woman looking upset, implying that we should remind our female audience to not get too emotionally attached, as woman can get, implied by the article. Lastly, they take a personal dig at Snooki, cautioning male users not to use Tinder in locations where girls like Snooki might be,  because the app finds people by closest distance.

So after all, does is this app really doing anything to boost people’s confidence or self esteem? Lastly, is this truly a dating site? It may appear to be boosting one’s self esteem, and the app may call itself a dating website but the facts do not lie. Those facts are proven by the article, showing that it is very demeaning towards women. It was apparent through some of the rules in The Unwritten Rules of Tinder by more than their wording, but the images they showed with the wording. In the end one thing rang true, with the amount of people on Tinder demeaning women, I would follow rule 13: not to use Tinder to fall in love.

Too Much Information

Classmate, blogger, and tweeter – Hillary Heck recently tweeted from the blog, Mind Shift linked to KQED homepage where you can find endless amounts of information through radio, television, blogs, articles, and so on. The particular blog post was titled – How Are Students Roles Changing in the New Economy of Information?

The title stood out to me while browsing through Twitter being as I am still a student and agree that the amount of information out there today is endless. The article stated that; “For students, this abundance of information means not only a changing role from the traditional classroom, but also a drastically different set of skills and expectations.”

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A reading done in class by Kevin Kelly claimed we are changing from book fluency to screen fluency and our students will need to learn and adapt to that. Many of which are already adapted perfectly fine and school is a bore to their daily lifestyles full of technology. But having all of the information at our fingertips and a click of a button away can be dangerous.

Students need to learn how to handle all of the information given to them. This is one of the main questions posed in our discussion of how writing is changing based on technology – how we handle the amount of information. We need to learn what to research, the correct way to do so, credible and non credible sources, and the consequences.

The article makes a point aside from the general idea of information, Shawn McCusker, author of the article writes; “At the core of finding and evaluating information from a wide variety of sources is the need to question and evaluate its validity to determine its true usefulness and worth. The student who actively challenges sources, as well as the thoughts and opinions of others in class, perches at the center of information processing. Social students excel in this environment as they collaborate and commingle ideas from individuals into greater community ideas, making them a potential asset to other students in their class rather than an interference.” As a future teacher, this could not have been worded any better.

 

How many iPhones will there be!?

Fellow tweeter and blogger, Shhannon Cahill recently tweeted from a popular site known as Zite – an article about the new and upcoming iPhone 6! Yes, iPhone six, already. According to Apple, the new iPhone will be their most massive iPhone launch yet! Personally, I think they say that about everything they launch but that’s just me.

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The above picture is the general idea and make of what an iPhone six will look like – similar to every other iPhone on the market. The article states, “In calendar year 2013, Apple sold 153.4 million iPhones, according to data the company revealed in quarterly earnings results.” Put that into perspective for a second.

Not much will be different with the upcoming iPhone other than the processing system, phone chip, and possibly the quality of the glass and camera. The usual stuff, as is every year. But this goes to show how dependent we are as Americans on technology and will do anything to have the latest and greatest out there.

When thinking of the newest iPhone, I automatically recall the Ferguson videos, Everything is a Remix. A remix is created from something that was preexisting and made to be better. An iPhone is just that, a remix of the previous version with new updates appealing to the target audience.

So why do we care, why do we have to have the remix of what we already have. We care  because we are dependent on technology and feel as though we need it on a daily bases to do just about everything. Checking emails, typing whatever it may be, texting, communicating, and so on. All of these things are done on a smart phone, an iPhone which was once done with paper and pen.

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What will the slogan be for the iPhone 6?

How many iPhones will there be before there is no more to remix?

Disney > Pixar

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Pixar Animation Studio’s partnership with Disney has created the highest grossing children’s movies around. Pixar was founded by George Lucas, Ed Catmull and John Lasseter in 1979 to take computer graphics and create a whole new way of experiencing feature-length family films. Joined By Steve jobs in 1986, Pixar was able to fund their first minor films such as Luxo Jr., Reds Dream, Tin Toy, and Knick Knack before partnering with Disney in 1991 to make a computer-generated animated movies. Disney-Pixar’s first real hit was Toy Story, released in 1995 made 30 million dollars,nearly breaking even their budget, and just under 362 million dollars worldwide.

In the popular documentary, Inside Pixar, John Lasseter tells the audience that it takes Pixar about 4 years to create an animated movie. Between Toy Story’s release in 1995 to 2009, Pixar has released “ten feature-length motion pictures: Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredible’s, Car’s, Ratatouille, WALL-E, and UP” according to, Is Pixar Out of Ideas? by Jason Bailey. Since then, 3 of the 4 films released were sequels to the previous movies such as Toy Story 3, Cars 2, and Monsters University. Rumor has it that Pixar will also be releasing a sequel to Finding Nemo called Finding Dory. The only original movie since then was Brave, which was not as popular as past movies.

Is it that Pixar is out of ideas? Disney strayed away from their classic cartoon look of Lion King or Snow White, and started making animated films like Princess and the Frog and Tangled which were released in 2009 and 2010. These movies have a similar animated look to those of Pixar, taking away the special style of those movies. Princess and the Frog and Tangled were also released right around the decline of Pixar. With Disney Animated Studio’s cranking out such popular movies, Pixar doesn’t stand a chance.

The newest Disney Animated feature-length film, Frozen was released in November of 2013, and since its opening, the songs and characters from the movie went viral. The craze has not only surfaced with children, but also adults all around the world. The movie was just named the highest grossing animated film ever bringing in 1.072 billion dollars worldwide.  The movie features two sisters, one with magical snow powers. Between the captivating characters, extraordinary talent and catchy songs such as “Let It Go“, it was no surprised that this animated film captured the hearts of people all over the world. It is possible that the success of Disney has contributed to the decline of Pixar’s movies. With extreme hits like this, how can Pixar compete?

Less Ink, More Money

 

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14-year-old Suvir Mirchandani came up with a brilliant idea on how the government and generally anyone who prints save tons of money. As many students know, when turning in a paper – most teachers generally as for Times New Roman font. Right? Right! Why, who knows  – because they can read it, it looks professional, who knows. But in reality, who cares what font you type in as long as it is done and people can read it but that is just my personal opinion.

Anyway, according to CNN Suvir’s idea started with the following, “interested in applying computer science to promote environmental sustainability, Suvir decided he was going to figure out if there was a better way to minimize the constant flurry of paper and ink.”

His study consisted of testing four different popular fonts; Garamond, Times New Roman, Century Gothic and Comic Sans. Through his findings –  Suvir figured out that by using Garamond with its thinner strokes, his school district could reduce its ink consumption by 24%, and in turn save as much as $21,000 annually. Pretty amazing right!?

Through our class, we have been focusing on the impact technologies have on writing. Typing is done through a technology – the computer. As a college student, I type at least one paper a night and end up printing it in Times New Roman per professor request, so I could be saying myself millions (well maybe not millions but close)! This idea of changing from handwritten to typed and now from typed to printed but in a better way.

Bolter expresses the concept of writing in the late age of print and how the remediation of print is occurring. Typing and printing documents is something that is not foreign to us, we do it all the time. But when we do it, do we really think about what we are printing and if it is necessary? Speaking from personal experience, I work in an office where paper is endless and comes from every direction – we are trying to get away from that and move to online, emailing, and so on. The amount of pointless information we print is a joke and if we are going to do – lets save some money!

I think this concept of changing something so simple as a font type to save the government millions is brilliant, and it only took a 14 year old to figure it out! If the government could save that much money by changing something so small – what else can they save money on and put to better use?

Next time I get asked to type a paper, I will happily type it and print it not in Time New Roman but in Garamond. Just saved myself a few bucks! Think about it the next time you need to print something – is it worth printing, do you need it, if so save some trees and save yourself some ink and doing all that saves YOU money. Woohoo!

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