I must say that I was very excited when my book Understanding New Media by Robert K Logan came in the mail. Although there is much to catch up on (around 30 chapters), it has been pretty entertaining. I have not yet finished catching up, but I skipped to chapters 34-43 for this blog.
Everything I have read in these chapters has been extremely insightful to think about. Chapter 43 started with convergent technologies, giving a list of some examples of hybrid technologies. Ones that were obvious that we have talked about in class thus far include clocks (embedded in almost all "new media" devices), radio (the convergence of radio and the Web through Web radio or a satellite through satellite radio), and television (the convergence of television and computing with DVR's and television and the cell phone with mobisodes).
Chapter 35 was interesting to read about because it discussed the malfunction printer, photocopier, scanner, and fax... all in one. This type of new media shows how technology has become so advance throughout so many years.
Of course chapter 36 was interesting to read about because it was all about how cell phones have boomed since they were first invented. It is interesting to note that 3.3 billion people worldwide use cell phones today. It was fun reading about the Iphone and its definition dated back in 2007 as well because I own one myself. The one sentence that stuck out at me was on page 220 when Logan states that a cell phone is a telephone, "but it is also a text messaging receiver and sender, a still camera, a video camera, it displays still shots and video, it's a radio, a TV, a juke box, a message center, a video game player, a destination finder, a bank for credit card holders, an Internet terminal, a hand-held computer with a hard drive, and a collaboration too." I am aware that my phone is capable of doing all of these things and it is hard to believe that people did not have this type of technology before I was born in the beginning of the 1990's. Cell phones have made life easier who are always on the go, but as Logan describes, it can also cause problems. For example, "at diner at a fine restaurant is the invasion of privacy when one is forced to participate in the phone conversation of a rude individual at another table who speaks at a high decibel level, destroying the intimacy of the dining experience." This chapter also talked about the social impact of the camera cell phone. I used to own a "real" camera when camera cell phones did not come out yet, but with an Iphone, nowadays, it is not necessary to own a camera at all. Iphone cameras in particular have great quality. Like Logan describes in this chapter, it is extremely easy to snap a photo in any situation, whether it be for entertainment, journalism, or for a crime scene.
Reading about the personal computer in chapter 37 and learning about it in class was riveting. Looking at pictures in class of the first computer was shocking. It was so larger I would have no idea how to work it if it was in front of me. The first sentence that made my smile in this chapter was the first page of the chapter when Ken Olsen in 1977 said, "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." He was so wrong. At first computers were meant for the defense department of the government and universities teaching statistics for the use of mathematics, scientific data, and print. Oh, how times have changed. In recent years, the microcomputer has come into view with new computer software as well. I loved the fact that a woman names Ada Lovelace invented the first computer programs.
PDA's are personal digital assistants used for more of a business-oriented person, as described in chapter 38. They now have a miniature keyboard and mouse, with a scroll device instead of arrows. Palm pilots are an example of this, which I believe have fallen off in more recent years. I love technology and I do not ever remember asking my mother for a palm polite. I feel like cell phones can do this just as well. A cool invention was the pen computing, where a the computers userface is a pen or stylus.
The Internet in chapter 40 was a huge chapter in this assignment. There is so much to say about the Internet. For one, I do not think I could live without it. It is so helpful and I use it so many more times than I can remember in one day. Like Logan says, "it is an integral part of modern life." The Internet can do so many things that people are not even aware of. One important aspect is that it shares information both synchronous and asynchronous in formats such as text, graphics, video, and audio. The Internet was first used for the military as back up incase communications failed due to nuclear attacks by the Russians. It was amusing to me how there can be electronic crime and punishment on the Internet, as no one can take advantage of this medium. When someone violates the rules and protocols of Internet usage, a warning is first issued. But if this continues, that person would be banned from participation or removed from a group. This is essential to keep groups functioning and fair. With the Internet, information can be made instantaneously. For example, the most common things that I google end up becoming ads on my Facebook and Twitter, two websites that I am on everyday, trying to make me aware of their products and what they have to offer.
Chapter 41 has to do with the Internet, but with different forms of communication. Insant Messaging is something that I no longer rely on or use nowadays, but email and SMS (short message service) is something that I use daily. Back in the day, all three of these would be considered one-to-one communication, but as it continues to grow, it can be considered one-to-many, many-to-many, or even many-to-one. People in my generation are huge on SMS messaging on their cell phones. If someone wants to ask a quick question but does not feel like talking on the phone, SMS can be an alternative way to communicate by typing the question to that person. Email and Gmail are very popular within the last 15 years and will continue to be popular for many more years to come.
The World Wide Web discussed in chapter 43 is also one of the most important chapters in this assignment. The World Wide Web are websites such as Google that give instantaneous information to anyone who is available to it. The "WWW" was formed only after the Internet. It creates an information environment which the world has never seen. One negative of the WWW is that there is much misinformation and disinformation that can fool millions. This is where many rumors start about celebrities, for example, that Justin Beiber was trampled to death by his fans. The WWW is where social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Friendster, and many others started. The World Wide Web shapes the lives of many people today.