Monday, April 21, 2008

News Report 10: MySpace's Collaboration With Top Record Companies

According to an article found on the New York Times website entitled “Three Record Companies Team Up With MySpace for Music Web Site” just that is planning to occur. On April 4, 2008 Jeff Leeds and Brad Stone wrote about the launch of a music website created by MySpace in conjunction with the top recording companies. The companies will use the website to make their entire music collection digital in a way to compete with the iTunes store. Myspace wants to differeniate itself from facebook by remaining a good site to discover music and network with other music fans. The site intends to be a complete stop for all music through the addition of streaming music, shared custom playlists, and downloadable tracks. Over the past couple years album sales in the United States alone have been dropping and the amount of individual digital tracks purchased has increased. However, overall music sales have decreased and there is a strong need to compete against Apple’s strong business model.

MySpace has become a place where people look to discover new music. I think that from a business perspective the record companies are trying to diminish their losses and recognize the new shift that has occurred in the music industry due to the presence of technology. I believe their sales will most likely increase because of this new website. From a music fan point-of-view, I think the new website is a good idea also. I find new music through MySpace and usually wonder how I can download the track to my mp3 player. These songs are often not available to purchase online. This site might make that easier, however; if the music selection on this website is limited to only artists signed by the top 3 record labels there still might be a lack of selection and a big problem. MySpace has become known for Indie music and hopefully this site would make that Indie music available without stealing the profits from the artist. Through this venture, MySpace is definitely taking leaps to become a tough competitor with,, and Apple iTunes. (WordCount: 345)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Reading Report 5: Web Hoaxes, Counterfeit Sites, etc.

This article, Web Hoaxes, Counterfeit Sites, and Other Spurious Information on the Internet, was very informative and eye opening. It is very interesting to learn that I've wrongly assumed websites are displaying facts when they may be counterfeit or fake. I only seem to question material on websites when they are very poorly designed and do not look professional. However, the article helped me realize how cautious I have to be when researching or reading material online because the internet is becoming more and more unreliable. Also, it is becoming easier to design websites, which makes it easier to make websites look professional and believable. I think that websites that might be counterfeit or not should be carefully monitored especially with the ongoing terrorist threats and war. These sites, that may be a joke, could potentially be taken seriously. These monitors should be warning internet browsers about certain fake sites so that people don't fall prey to the misinformation. Furthermore, it seems like a lot of these sites are purely for entertainment and humor rather than to deliberately misinform readers. For example, the article wrote about a site some creative writing students made up to make fun of current events; this is clearly harmless fun. The article talked about categorizing websites which would be extremely difficult to categorize all the pre-existing websites and try to keep up with every website added every day. Ultimately, I found the article rather monotonous because I can not imagine who would take the time to categorize the billions of websites out there and have everything remain up-to-date. It seems like an impossible feat. (WordCount: 268)

Monday, April 7, 2008

News Report 9: Library of Fear

According to an article in The Edmonton Journal, published on April 5th, 2008 by Jim Farrell, an area surrounding an Edmonton, Alberta, Canada library is extremely dangerous. A man stumbled into Stanley A. Milner Library and collapsed on the ground apparently due to a stab wound in the stomach. The victim had been involved in an altercation with another man outside the library and came into the library as a place to receive attention. A security guard used CPR to revive the man and get him breathing again. The man was taken to the hospital and no one had been arrested yet. The library is located in downtown Edmonton and the area has been increasingly violent with assaults and muggings becoming more common. A security guard claimed, “It’s the library of fear.”

Libraries are known as a safe place, but this is definitely an extreme definition. It is very scary for the residents of Edmonton that their library is becoming surrounded by frequent criminal activities. I have read of several libraries updating their facilities to attract more visitors and welcome younger generations. This library is definitely in a predicament. I would be hesitant to visit especially by myself; libraries should be a place where the patrons feel safe inside and out. I think the Edmonton authorities should take action to restore their library and downtown area to the safe-haven for people and readers alike. Increased security and perhaps renovation of the facilities will make the area more attractive for visitors and less attractive for criminal activity. (Word Count: 255)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

News Report 8: Appointments Made Easy

In the article found on the New York Times website entitled “Making Appointments for Doctor or Dinner” Bob Tedeschi informed readers of new online booking companies. These companies take one of the most dreaded business tasks, setting up appointments, and make it incredibly easy with their online interface. The companies HourTown, Genbook, and BookingAngel are especially helping small service businesses that waste a lot of time by playing phone tag and writing e-mails to set up appointments. The way it works is that the person trying to book an appointment will have access to a calendar and can mark all the times they will be available for an appointment. The business they are trying to book with will go in and look at those times and send something back to them confirming which time works for them.

With technology constantly surrounding us and people spending more time using their phone for the internet rather than actually talking on it, these online booking agents will be incredibly attractive to use. It can be a bothersome process to try to book an appointment if you are trying to book with smaller service business that might only have a couple of employees. This can also be an important feature of a business that does actually have an appointment maker. These businesses can market this addition to busy professionals who do not have time to book their appointments by phone. If they simply enter their availability they will get a response which will fit their schedule. I think it is a good idea and I would probably use it on occasion, but I like the interaction with the business. The service will make business less personable. (WordCount: 282)

Article published March 31st, 2008

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Reading Response 4: Will Wikipedia Ever Make the Grade?

I had no idea before reading this article how content of wikipedia was actually checked. I admit that I use wikipedia fairly often to retrieve information and it never occurs to me to second guess my findings. I immediately take the information as valid if listed in wikipedia. Since the information is updated by users, I assume it can be very easy to put in false information. After reading the article “Can Wikipedia Ever Make the Grade” I have realized that there are people who are constantly checking the validity of new posts, editing or deleting, and then contacting (in the nicest possible way) the false reporter to make sure they have their facts straight. Apparently scholars doubt the information posted and are skeptical, but I believe they should join the wikipedia crew and share their knowledge with everyone to help make the online encyclopedia more credible. I did not know that original research is discouraged from being posted, which could lead to the fact that scholars are not so keen on posting. Furthermore, some scholars post and things they write get edited and chopped down, this could also make scholars dislike the process. It makes me wonder who the person is editing the posts and how they are expert in that field. The article stated that topics like science are more accurate than those about law and art. Science is all about facts, formulas, and numbers which can be hard to get wrong. I can see how it could be easy for posts to get messed up when they are covering areas that are lacking in cold, hard facts. The article does not make me want to stop using wikipedia, but it does make me think twice about using it in research and where the information is coming from and if it is all completely accurate. Furthermore, the ease of use and conciseness of the text make it extremely appealing to refer to when trying to find information...wikipedia makes the grade for me. (Word Count:329)

Monday, March 24, 2008

News Report 7: Government taking $44 Million Technology Risk

John Markoff, a writer for the New York Times online site published an article on March 24, 2008 about a technological breakthrough that will most likely occur due to a new grant by the United States Pentagon of $44 Million to Sun Microsystems. Sun Microsystems wants to experiment with replacing wires that connect internal microchips in computers with lasers. Lasers will have the ability to communicate information faster between chips and will increase speed of processing for computers. If this technology proves successful, computers will be much more efficient and able to be “faster, more energy-efficient and more compact.” The plan seems to be risky, but they expect if it works for the performance of computers to be a thousand times faster.

This technology is really great and can definitely improve the functioning of computers. I imagine that computers will be able to handle the multiple things users try to do at a time way better. Hopefully there will be less computer crashes and every computer will be a much better performer. The article claims that it will be cheaper to produce these computers using this technology, but I think that companies will take advantage of this and just increase the prices to make higher profits. This technology will completely change the way get information. It will either decrease the amount of time that we spend on computers or it will increase the amount of things we try to do at one time. I hope with the $44 million grant that every succeeds as planned and in the future we will see cheaper, quality computers available to everyone. (Word Count:268) Replacing Wire With Laser, Sun Tries to Speed Up Data

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

News Report 6: TiVo brings YouTube videos to the TV

From an article published on the New York Times website on March 12, 2008, Brian Stelter discussed a new breakthrough in the technology and internet fields. TiVo and YouTube are joining forces to be able to bring YouTube videos to television screens. The videos offered on YouTube will be able to be accessed from TiVo subscribers that have up-to-date TiVo boxes that can support this new advancement. There is a lot of content on the internet and especially on YouTube that is causing people to spend more and more time on their computers and to abandon their televisions. Currently users can watch almost anything on their computers because the internet makes things incredibly accessible. TiVo working with YouTube will combine all ways to watch videos and television shows. Recorded programs, YouTube videos and playlists, movies, cable, and satellite will all be able to be watched from one component.

I think this is a good idea because I am seeing in my life I spend most of my time on the computer. YouTube is a site that I go to multiple times daily; I rarely turn my television on. TiVo is taking advantage of YouTube being such a strong site. I think this will be good for existing TiVo users that have the box that has the right specifications. However, as far using this as a marketing tool to get more people to buy and subscribe to TiVo I don’t believe that this gives people an incentive to run out and drop some cash on this product and service. Computers are a part of everyday life and if YouTube is free to watch on a computer it would be extremely stupid to pay money to watch it on a television set. (Word Count: 290)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Reading Response 3: The Infodiet: How Libraries Can Offer an Appetizing Alternative to Google

Steven Bell’s article published in the Chronicle of Higher Education was a spot-on article that clearly stated how Google is competing against academic libraries for university students’ use in research. Bell stated most of the reasons why students are more inclined to using Google than complicated databases and on-site research in libraries. Academic libraries pay a lot of money for subscription to these databases, but students rarely take advantage. Bell made the point that Google does not always provide accurate information on the questioned topic; Google was designed to provide the most hits on the search topic, but it not always trustworthy to use when writing research based papers. Databases are not as user-friendly as Google and it can be intimidating for university students especially when a lot of the time they are not shown how to use them. Bell believes faculty members should play a part in getting students to use the valuable resource databases provide.

I believe like most of my classmates that Google is the way to find information; it produces lots of results and is extremely easy to use. Although, when trying to find information for school projects and papers Bell is right… Google’s information rarely is substantial enough to even think about using in that context. I think it is a good idea to make databases more like Google. Not a lot of students like to ask for help at the library; we are a technology-savvy generation and it makes us feel incompetent when we can’t find what we are looking for. Asking for help is admitting that we have given up. Bell made a point to get professors to require database articles in papers and I have already seen that at UNCW in some of my classes. It has been helpful when librarians have come into our classes and demonstrated how to use the library website and databases. It has not happened a lot, but it would definitely be a better resolution than making a library class required for graduation. I think UNCW is moving in the right direction to make more students information literate by providing classes, but simplification of databases could really help students prioritize research engines. (Word Count: 364)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

News Report 5: A California Library Steps Out of the Box

Onell R. Soto, of the San Diego Union-Tribune wrote an article with a basis on a new library located in Encinitas, California that has challenged the mundane design of libraries, as well as the items they carry for patron check-out. The library has been designed around the fact that the ocean is in such close vicinity. The new library boasts much more room than the older library which it replaced, making it more comfortable to hang out and read and do other things. The designer of the library wanted it to be a place that was welcoming and embracing the ocean atmosphere of the California coast. The new library is among one of the first libraries to have video games available for check-out. It is a major attraction for kids to come to the library where they will be surrounded by books, which will hopefully encourage them to check-out books and read more. The new library is intended to be a community gathering place and encourage everyone to be more involved in reading and stimulation of the brain.

I think that this new library and all its features is an excellent way to get the community more involved and active. The design and aesthetics is a very important part, it is what attracts people to the building and keeps them inside. The ocean views will add to the serenity of an already peaceful place and keep the citizens of the community coming back to experience a getaway. The items that the library carries are what bring the people to the library in the first place. I think it is a good idea to have video games to check out; kids will want to go to the library and this will increase their exposure to books. Even if they are only going to check out games, they will hopefully draw their attention to books also and keep returning for more. In the future I hope to see more libraries like this one in California that aim for difference and pleasing the everyday person. (Word Count:342)

Original Article: Brand-new library features books, games, great views

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

News Report 4: Publishing Co. Posts Free Online Books

HarperCollins Publishing Company is planning on utilizing the internet to boost web sales. The publishing company is beginning to post entire books online; these are new books to the market. Hosting the entire book online will give the interested reader the opportunity to read it before they buy. This is no different than going to a book store, perusing, flipping, and reading through books. HarperCollins Publishing believes, “The best way to sell books is to have the consumer be able to read some of the content.” They are hoping that this will increase the sales of books. does something very similar, but they limit it to the table of contents and only one or two chapters of the book. The books will not be available for an extended period of time, only about a month, and they also will not be downloadable or printable. One of the featured authors will have a new book on the site every month.

I believe this is a good idea to offer books online for free to look through. Recently, I purchased a book through that I browed the first couple chapters and the book was a lot different than those two chapters. I was disappointed in my purchase. However, this will give readers a good chance to really see what the book is about. If readers like the book, they will be enticed to buy it because it is only available for a limited time and they would probably like to have it to reference in their personal library. This also gives authors greater exposure and since the website will be linked to perhaps the books will have a higher chance of purchase. I think it is a good idea and if it ends up being profitable for HarperCollins, which is already a big name publishing company, I think in the future we will see more publishing companies beginning to do the same thing. (Word Count: 324)
Article: HarperCollins Will Post Free Books on the Web by Motoko Rich posted February 11, 2008 at

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

News Report 3:'s Kindle Ebook Viewer

On November 11, 2007, Chloe Albanesius, a writer for PC Magazine wrote about’s introduction of the Kindle wireless reading device. It has the ability to hold up to 200 ebooks and it has access to over 90,000 different choices. The retail price of the Kindle is $399. It has 256 Mbytes of storage capability and owners can buy additional storage through SD memory cards. The Kindle wanted to give the reader the experience as similar to that of reading an actual book; the dimensions are small and comparable to that of small books. The device contains Wi-fi which provides access to newspapers, wikipedia, blogs, and many other informative websites. Books can be purchased through

This technology is one more thing that is contributing to more and more books becoming paperless. This device sounds great, but it is a bit expensive. I wonder if it is really worth the $399. With that much money one could buy at least 40 books if they cost $10 a piece. Then you have to purchase books from to read from the device, which is probably not very comfortable. I would much prefer cuddling up with a book as opposed to a hard piece of technology. Furthermore, it is not a device that would be optimal if you like to make notes in the book or margins. Also, the amount of e-books offered currently comes no where close to the mass amounts of books published. It might be difficult to find exact titles that you want to read from the Kindle; my suggestion is to just go to the library and check it out for free. It sounds like a good idea, but does not sound too promising.,2704,2219176,00.asp (Word Count: 286)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Reading Response 2: Information Navigation 101

In the article retrieved from Chronicle of Higher Education, Information Navigation 101 explains how the majority of college students are information illiterate. College students depend on searches through Google and Wikipedia for their source of information when doing research. Many college students are very technologically savvy, but when it comes to performing scholarly searches they are ill-equipped and unprepared to find relevant information. University libraries offer access to many online databases and college students usually do not know how to use them. Universities are now trying to measure the adequacy of students’ knowledge in finding information through tests and courses. They will combat the lack of researching skills with classes and presentations offered by librarians to equip the students.

Before coming to college I had never used online databases as a way of finding information for papers and things related to classes. Since I had no experience using them, I reverted to what I did know... using search engines to find information. I agree with the article that most students just do not know the new resources available to them once they reach University level, much less do they know how to use them. These resources are not self-explanatory, but somewhat difficult to navigate. I do not think that schools should require a course about research, but perhaps every freshman should be informed of the tools available at their disposal. They need to be taught about online databases and how to use them. I have seen in the past two semesters a librarian coming into my business classes and explaining the good databases to use and how to use them. These sessions were very informative, but somewhat late on delivery. I am a senior and it is a bit late in the education career to be learning all this information. We should have been told at the very beginning so as to take full advantage during our college careers. I agree with this article that most students are somewhat information illiterate and that Universities should take some course of action to make them aware of tools they can use for research. (Word count: 350)

Thursday, January 31, 2008

News Report 2: Golden Compass Controversy

The article found from the American Libraries website entitled “Golden Compass Returned to Calgary Schools” mentioned the removal of The Golden Compass from library shelves at Catholic schools. The book was originally taken off shelves near the release of the book’s feature film to the theaters. Reasons for removal were due to the book’s negative views towards organized religion and church. The book also contained “underlying themes of abuse, torture, and death.” Parents were concerned with the book being available for their children. The book has now been returned to the shelves in Calgary schools and it is a job of the librarians to monitor books and inform teachers of books containing potentially offensive content. The decision to place the book back on the shelves was made because this book could be used in a sensitive manner. The themes of the book could be taught and discussed in reverse way at these schools under strict guidance by teachers.

Due to my experience in Christian school for the majority of my educational career, I can definitely see where parents and teachers would be concerned with having a book accessible to children that could be negatively influential if taken seriously. I remember questions being raised when the first Harry Potter book was released. Some parents forbid their children to read the book, but it was never taken off shelves. I think these books are valuable education tools. They are written extremely well and themes can be picked out that can be used to teach morals. If children want to read the book they should be allowed; it would be a good idea to have the child read it along with the parent so if a sticky situation arises they will be there express their view and discuss the topic. I don’t believe that books should be taken off shelves. Everyone should have free access to all books to help broaden their knowledge. If books were taken off shelves it would be possible for people to have a narrow view of subjects making them almost naive to other subjects. (Word Count: 346)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Reading Response 1: Will Librarians Become Obsolete?

The article by Will Sherman, 33 Reasons Why Libraries and Librarian are Still Extremely Important really opened my eyes to the need of libraries and librarians in the technology-driven world that we now live in. As the internet becomes more accessible and houses more and more information with each passing day, the library and librarians still hold incredible value. Libraries are embracing technology and using it to help their searches; librarians are one of the best teachers to help people with their searches. Librarians are trained to help people find information; the internet is a good tool with plenty of valuable information. Librarians can use this tool and guide people in their internet searches through databases and web searches. There is a need for libraries because the resources they carry are more than just books. They provide access to databases and archives which can only be accessed through libraries; these databases are not publicly available on the web and provide great scholarly information important to research. A library is a much easier place to retrieve information than the internet, librarians are available to help patrons search and they are able to get information that will actually be of use. Not everything is accurate and reliable when found on the web. Books and articles have to pass certain set standards to be in a library; therefore providing information that does not have to be questioned.

Libraries are adapting to the culture changes by providing an atmosphere for group studies and social interaction. The library will also continue to be a safe haven for learning and reading. A physical book is an approach to learning that cannot be replaced; it’s a different medium that is much more comfortable to read in any setting. E-books are not something that a person can just cuddle up with a on a rainy day. Furthermore, book accessed through libraries are completely free of charge and internet access is not. Therefore the library provides service and products that are available to everyone.

The article was very interesting. Before I read the article, I thought that in this age of technology the library would soon lose the need for existence. After reading this article, I believe that the need for libraries and librarians will be long-term. I do not believe they will become obsolete, at least not for a severely long time. Information is very easily accessed through the internet, but the article brought up several points that had not crossed my mind. I think I will have a new appreciation for the library and the many things they offer to the mass public. (Word Count: 436)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

News Post 1: Free Wi-Fi Hotspots Make Information More Accessible

The source of my article is the Technology section of the New York Times website (posted on 1/23/08) and can be accessed through . This article is titled “AT&T Expanding Free Wi-Fi Offer” and the article states that AT&T is extending free Wi-Fi to their broadband internet customers at their 10,000 hotspots. Hotspots have popped up all over the world as the demand for internet access has increased over the past few years in relation to people’s constant need for up-to-date information. However, most Wi-Fi internet hotspots are only available after paying a daily or monthly access fee. AT&T is planning on changing this for their broadband customers. The article states the service will be very beneficial to their customer’s using the iPhone and other mobile phones with internet capability. Many more people today are using their mobile phones to access information via the internet. If these users want to use the internet on their mobile phone they must purchase the broadband service; in the past, they would have had to pay to additional fees to access the Wi-Fi hotspots. This change will allow those AT&T customers free access to the internet at most everyday, public places such as airports and restaurants that host AT&T as their Wi-Fi provider. This is significant in the information technology world because making those hotspots free of charge will encourage the use of computers and mobile phones to access the internet more frequently than they had before. This also a very competitive move by AT&T that is aimed at enticing new customers to sign-up with AT&T or to drop their mobile phone service providers. This new movement by AT&T would make information more readily available to more people at more times. This is an incentive to gain more customers, making the number of people accessing the internet at no extra charge much bigger. Information is out there and people want to access it; everything is changing on how that information is accessed. It has evolved over the years from books, to newspapers, radio, television, computer databases, internet on computers, newspapers on the internet, blogs, and now internet on mobile phones. It is hard to imagine how information will be accessed in future decades or even years. (Word Count: 373)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008