Interacting with Online Media

•September 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment

by Xiomara Nunez

Everyday people around the world interact with each other in various way; in person, over the phone, text messages, and online. Although the media used serves the same purpose, everyone uses them for different reasons. One of the most used social mediums is Facebook. I too am guilty of spending an unnecessary amount of time on Facebook in order to avoid things I have to do. I not only use Facebook to kill time, but to stay in touch with friends from high school. Much like myself, my roommate Shelly uses Facebook to kill time, but also to keep up with her family and friends from high school. I also use other sites, but mainly online. I like to use cnn.com to obtain information locally and worldwide. Also, I use StumbleUpon and YouTube for entertainment. My friend, Kim, mainly uses Facebook, Skype, Deviantart, and Gaia Online, but with a purpose. She uses these in order to get information, communicate with friends and her boyfriend, or just for entertainment. Interacting with others online is done differently by everyone and although some might not realize it they are deciding what is popular and what others should see or look into. For example, if someone posts something they find interesting on Facebook someone else will see it and possibly look it up which will give feedback to whatever was originally posted. Also, like on YouTube and StumbleUpon once you watch or like content on these sites similar content is suggested to you. The way people interact online especially in social sites affects the content others see even if they realize it or not. People spend several hours on Facebook, YouTube, or other social sites and media simply for entertainment, to kill time, or to connect with friends. Whatever the reason may be, social sites are a big part of people’s lives today.

Radio Magic

•September 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment

By Ashley Payne

Before I started my internship at the radio station that I now work at, I never thought twice about the way they run things. Which is strange since I know from being on the TV staff here at Baker that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to productions. I’m sure the things that I’m blogging about should be no-brainers, but most people wouldn’t think of them unless they were going into the profession.

First off, there is no “graveyard shift.” Yes, the DJ’s that you know and love are on at the hours that normal people are asleep, but they aren’t actually there. Stations have normal business hours like everyone else. The fact is that there’s this magical thing called “Voice-Tracking.” For those of you who don’t know that is, it’s radio jargon for “recording your voice.” I’m sure there are big stations somewhere that can afford and find people crazy enough to work late shifts, but not every station can.

This leads me to my next radio magic revelation: DJ’s aren’t always live. I’m not saying that they aren’t EVER live. I just mean that there are some instances where they have to record parts, or all, of their show.

As for my last point, there are typically at LEAST one or two shows that are syndicated at each and every radio station. The definition of syndication is: The sale of the right to broadcast radio shows and television shows to multiple individual stations, without going through a broadcast network. While it may seem like those specific shows you hear are done at your favorite radio station, they are actually just paid to say the radio name and other random bits of information to seem like it’s specifically from that station.

So, like I said, these should be no-brainers, but most people like to stay in the dark about the ins and outs and not ruin the radio magic.

Phone Calls vs. Text Messages

•May 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment

By Alesha Miller

I don’t know if I should have born in the ’70s or ’80s instead of the 90s, but my generation definitely does not like to pick up the phone and make a simple phone call. I still enjoy making an actual phone call and hearing someone else’s voice. Sometimes when conflicts occur, people text and the receiver takes the message in the wrong context. It’s easier to talk voice to voice, at least in that situation.

A lot of people in this generation say they don’t like confrontation. People hide behind text messages instead of having a real conversation, if not in person at least over the phone. I strongly think that people in this generation should make a point to make phone calls to one another. In text messages, a real connection can be completely lost.

Alternative to PowerPoint: Prezi

•May 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment

By Alesha Miller

Today when people give speeches, many use visual aids. One well known visual aid use very often is PowerPoint. But does PowerPoint still grab the attention of those listening to the speech? Gary Chapman from the University of Texas wrote about what he called “The Ten Sins of PowerPoint.” He made points saying that the changing of slides and all of the colors can be overbearing by the transitions used. He said, “it shifts attention from the speaker to the screen, which detracts from the speaker’s ability to engage with his or her audience.” It is also distracting when a speaker reads straight from his slides. That becomes boring to those trying to listen to the speaker. Another thing people do when giving speeches is putting too much information onto one slide, which can be overwhelming.

So what else could someone use as a visual aid besides PowerPoint where everyone has already seen the exact same slide transitions and themes used in the design aspect? They could try Prezi. According to Wikipedia, “Prezi is a web-based presentation tool using a map layout and zooming to show contextual relationships which addresses some of the shortcomings of Microsoft PowerPoint.” Bringing something new to the table could be more interesting and engaging to audiences. They may pay more attention to the presentation, just because it is something new that hasn’t been used much. So next time, when you’re looking for a new way to present, be spontaneous and break away from the old and average PowerPoint and try Prezi, which you can find online, instead!

Vending Machine Makeover

•May 10, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Megan Perry

Who has not ever stood around a soda vending machine rummaging through pockets searching for change?

The machines traditional set up is standard across the board. A six-foot box in which a person inserts coins, presses a button, and out falls a pop. Fairly simple. Nothing too exciting or innovative.

This was all true until PepsiCo revealed a potentially new and interactive vending machine, which allows for endless possibilities for consumers.

Calling it “the next generation in interactive vend technology,” this new machine allows users to  touch a screen and buy not only their drink, but also a gift. This gift comes in the form of a mini video or text message. All the pop purchaser has to do is enter the recipient’s name and number then the gift is sent directly to them. A code is also generated for those at the machine providing instructions on how to redeem the beverage at another social vending machine.

I am impressed with how even the pop industry is finding ways to access people through the social media. It just goes to show how something which has stayed pretty basic since its creation can still continue to evolve.

Radiation Exposed

•May 10, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Megan Perry

It is difficult to find a person today who does not own a cell phone. Children as young as 9 are given phones to get in contact with who knows who, and those as old as 79 can be seen chatting away. Home phones are becoming obsolete, while phonebooks are shrinking. All this is occurring as the world has become a mobile mecca.  Since this is nothing new to most people, a possible lawsuit from the cell phone industry against San Francisco is.

A vote last June by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors required all cell phone stores to have postings of the Specific Absorption Rate of each mobile. This would allow potential buyers to see up front the amount of radiation coming from the varying devices. After much argument of this proposition, another decision was made to instead have more of a tip sheet available to consumers on how to avoid radiation exposure from headsets and speaker phones.

Before reading this article, I honestly have never considered the potential radiation damage I am causing via my phone. Do not people have a right to know what they are getting themselves into? Now this may not be as extreme as a surgeon generals warning on a cigarette box, but the purpose is the same. If a device can cause damage, should a person not know what risk they are putting themselves and family members in?

Blurry iPhone 4

•April 24, 2011 • Leave a Comment

By Alesha Miller

With as great as everyone thinks the iPhone 4 is, and for as great as it should be, you would think Apple would have upgraded the camera on the phone as well when updating the phone from a 3gs to a 4. People expect things from Apple to be high tech and awesome.

Recently, I’ve noticed that I like to take photographs with my iPhone 4 rather than with my camera. It’s got better quality than most phone cameras, or so I thought. It takes great pictures when one is outside, but when a picture is taken from the camera phone indoors, it turns out very grainy and it’s not very good. So the advantage on the iPhone 4 is to have two camera phones on the phone. There’s one on the front, and one on the back. I thought I was the only one having this issue with the iPhone 4 camera, but I am not, which actually makes me feel a little bit better.

One person said the following on http://www.mac-forums.com: “So … here’s the scoop … my iPhone 4, with the latest version of iOS installed, everything upgraded, etc., and not jailbroken, takes rotten pictures about 99.44% of the time … very blurry. when I activate the camera, the view is extremely sharp for half a second, then it gets blurry. If I futz with the zoom, same thing happens — it’s sharp for a half-second, then goes blurry again. Same thing happens when I toggle between video and still modes. The results I found with Google say that if the factory reset doesn’t fix the camera, it’s a hardware problem.”

This is very similar to what happens to my phone! I usually think my photos come out fine until I upload them to my computer or Facebook, then they are a grainy, blurry disaster.

The main thing I have learned about this is, if I am going to take good pictures, I should plan to use my actual camera. It just really stinks that I can’t use the one on this expensive phone without maybe taking it back to the store and replacing it. Especially when my parents bought for me this nice item for Christmas. I’ll be happy with what I have.