Monday, February 22, 2010

A second quick post for today

I saw this and thought it was too good not to share! I think if I were going to buy an island I would want one with more sunshine and less pixels! :)

Be careful Pennsylvania students, Big Brother really is watching!

I saw this article online while browsing for Apple related news (I think I need a mac intervention!) I couldn't believe what I was reading as I made my way through the article and subsequint searching that found more articles on this case. The case involves 2,000+ macbooks bought by a Pennsylvania high school that it distributed to its sudents and allowed them to take the computers home. In an effort to "locate stolen computers" the school employed a software that turned on the webcams on the computers and took still pictures INSIDE THE STUDENT'S HOMES! Some students were even called into the office for improper behavior that was recorded while in the homes. I cannot imagine the level of violation that the students (and parents for that matter) must feel about this. I don't know about the rest of you, but if I found out that my school was taking still pictures of me inside my home without my knowledge I would raise a stink like they have never seen the likes of! I think this case raises all kinds of issues about cyber privacy and where the line is drawn.The school is being brought up on charges that are similar to illegal wire tapping, but I think that this is another level all together. I can only imagine what other kinds of images that were captured that the article didn't talk about as it only addressed images of the students themselves (dads in their shorts staring into the fridge, moms getting dressed for work, creep city!) What do you all think about the rights of the students and of the school in a situation such as this one?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The new "Face" of Victim Harrassment

I never cease to be amazed by the lengths that some people are willing to go to make others suffer. This article, found on Yahoo news, has to be a new level of cruelty. As new forms of communication and social networking become more popular and readily available, I suppose that they will continue to be used in destructive ways. I cannot fathom what it would be like to loose a child and then be mocked on Facebook and Twitter (of all places) by my child's murderer. I think we like to assume that once someone is behind bars that they can no longer cause the victims pain, but global networking has changed even that it would seem. Can you imagine someone on the outside, a family member of a murderer perhaps, actually doing this for them? It chills the blood.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Oh, new technology, how I love you but hate your cost.

One of the most pressing issues when deciding on a new piece of technology is the cost. As a college student I often have to wait several months (or even years) to get a shiny new gadget because of the often gasp inducing price. The following article breaks down the cost of these new devices by how much it costs to actually manufacture them. I was pleasantly surprised that the iPad (my current object of techno-lust) sells for pretty close to its actual cost and was surprised at the mark-up on other devices that I thought were pretty affordable (nearly double cost for the iPod shuffle!) I find it facinating that you so often see information for the mark-up on other luxury items like diamonds and cars, but this was the first I had seen on electronics. It is a real eye-opener when you start to consider what you are really paying for on so many of these devices (I had always assumed that you were paying for the actual technology involved, but one of the chips was only $5 to make!)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Books, Books, Books!

Regarding the reading list for this semester, I have the good fortune to live next door to Megan who has ordered most of the books from the reading list and has agreed to share with me! (Thank you Megan!) There are 6 here with more on the way and we have each selected 3 to read first. I am starting with Gamer Theory, Orality and Literacy, and Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life and Beyond. I am starting with Gamer Theory because I am a gamer and it had what was possibly the best two reviews on Amazon (I will include a link, hilarious!) I think the plan is for us to switch after we have finished the 3 books that we are reading.
I really haven't read anything like this book, I tend to turn my brain off and read mostly sci-fi, horror and low fantasy books when reading on my own *sheepishly* I have long been telling myself that I should be reading books that have more content now that I am in grad school, hopefully this will be a kick in the seat to get me reading more than Neil Gaiman and classwork! I like to read the reviews of books before I read them (I am such an old man sometimes) and Gamer Theory's gave me a good laugh. I think that the three reviews on Amazon are a perfect example of the varied responses that a piece of academic writing can receive when the public and post reviews.