Glastonbury Festival

I lived in England for almost a year. Although a year isn’t so long, I enjoyed my first music festival there, which is the Glastonbury Festival. I had the most amazing time there, but sadly, I met hardly anyone as I lived in Pomona College who knew about this great show. So, since it has been so under-rated,

To give you a short background and history of the Glastonbury Festival, it began in the 1970s, and was heavily infuenced by the hippy movement and such shows like Isle of Wight Festival. The festival is located in southern England, about six miles above a little town called Glastonbury, and is held usually around the end of June.

For further information, you should check out the official website, which is:

http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/

If you have enough time and money, you should definitely check it out.

Misfortune can be lucky…ask Mulan

When I was younger I vaguely remember a story my parents told me:

A man’s horse ran away, which he considered bad luck. However, a few days later, his horse returned home with a mate. What a instance of good luck! Later, when riding his horse, the man was bucked off and upon falling, broke his leg. He thought he had quite a bit of bad luck until government officials came to his town, requiring that all men go to war. Because his leg was broken, he didn’t have to go to war, which probably saved his life.

Recently I watched Disney’s Mulan again, and in it I noticed many elements of this story. There are many instances of people and things seeming unlucky that actually come back and save everyone.

The lucky cricket. Originally, the cricket ruined Mulan’s chances at impressing the matchmaker, so you think his name is ironic. However, the cricket helps Mulan save China- so you see, a little bit of misfortune can lead to a whole lot of good luck.

Other than that, the character of Mulan is interesting, yet very Disney in nature. She has not learned what is expected of her in ancient Chinese society; she’s spunky, free-willed and won’t accept unpleasant things that are out of her control. It is as if you placed a girl from the 21st century into ancient China. No wonder Mulan cannot impress the matchmaker in order to bring honor to her family- who she is on the inside does not match what people expect from her on the outside. In a different century, these traits would be valued much more.

So perhaps the theme of the movie is that “misfortune can bring you luck.” If that is true, I’m not sure I’m okay with that. That theme sounds like it belongs on the back of a fortune cookie, and it perpetuates the stereotype that all the wisdom of the Chinese culture can be spewed out in a bunch of one-liners

Final Project

Here is the Final Project Please do enjoy do let us know how you like the Blog and the Website. Thank you for being great.

Final Project!

Here is our final project!

It is a point and click adventure and was made by Max, Tommy, and myself.   Enjoy!

Final Proyecto

Here is our final project.  Nicola and I made a sophie project discussing how copyright laws affect creativity. In it we explore various ways that the law hinders musicians. We come to the general conclusion that, based on the opinions of mash-up artists and DJ’s, intellectual property is too strictly regulated. Alternatives to the law as we know it today are difficult to come by, let alone hypothesize. But, it is awful to think that artists are intellectually and creatively hampered. What does that say about the future of music?

Hooray

Feast your eyes, it’s our final project (we being Nate and Thomas).

Just download this zip file, then you can open it up in Sophie and explore the world of reality/identity crises. Just be sure to click on all of the green text (it’s linked to other stuff), because otherwise you will become very bored. Enjoy.

Even Pirates Pay

Here’s our (Than and Dorian) final project, Even Pirates Pay. We’ve designed this site to help you explore and struggle with the ethics of your file-sharing habits. The site mimics The Pirate Bay in appearance, but its functionality has been hacked in favor of directing you to articles that discuss issues of file-sharing and copyright. Enjoy!

http://peninsula.pomona.edu/cec/piratespay/

Here’s an informational video we put together to go along with everything else. It’s included as one of the random links.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqpvZ8Uekk8[/youtube]

Women in Technology

For our final project, we focused on a largely under- and mis-represented group in media: women. We discuss how women have empowered themselves, escaped social conventions, and made their voices heard through blogging and fan fiction. We also discuss how active women are in gaming, what a big influence they’ve had on the industry, and yet how female characters  in games  are still exploited and objectified. The evolution of women’s involvement in media and technology is broad and complex, and couldn’t possibly be covered here. Women are becoming more and more involved, and are a huge determining factor in the direction technology is moving. It’s important to analyze this evolution  and evaluate where they are now, so we can better determine the directions we need to move in the future.

In working on this project, it’s been cool to compare our skills now with when we began the class.  For previous projects, we were learning the basics of the programs. In this one, we actually got to take risks and fine-tune our creations. (We added music to the podcast and worked on changing the amplification, fading, etc. We played with the videos and cut them to more specifically match the music. And we’ve definitely improved our website, embedding audio and video players and manipulating images and colors.)  

Enjoy!

-Bianca & Lauri

Final project: You vs Us vs Them: A HuluTube Postmortem

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X21xU6b8xUc[/youtube]

On April 15th, YouTube channel therealweeklynews posted a sensational video claiming that YouTube would launch a major redesign of its front page “in the next couple of days” as part of a plan to highlight content from its corporate partners and (allegedly) phase out user-generated content to make the site more like the network-only web-syndication site Hulu. The video was inspired by a March 30th report on business blog Silicon Alley Insider (by way of ClickZ) announcing that YouTube would be redesigned to “make the site more attractive to the content creators who make the kind of stuff Google could actually sell ads against.” Supposedly, the new site would feature three tabs for content from its corporate partners (“Movies,” “Music,” and “Shows”) and only one (“Videos”) for user-generated content.

While the details of these reports turned out not to be entirely accurate, something did change on April 16th. YouTube launched a redesign which, among other things, features a “Shows” tab as “a new destination” for corporate content. The YouTube team emphasized that this would not impact user-generated content on the site, stating: “This addition is one of many efforts underway to ensure that we’re offering you all the different kinds of video you want to see, from bedroom vlogs and citizen journalism reports to music videos and full-length films and TV shows.” On the same day, CNET News reported that YouTube had struck new deals to host content by a variety of entertainment companies, including Sony Pictures, CBS, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Lionsgate, Starz, and the BBC.

Even though the “changes” did not emerge as expected, the “HuluTube” video nevertheless sparked a controversy among YouTube video bloggers, partners (users who earn money by placing ads on their videos), and community members. In “You vs Us vs Them: A HuluTube Postmortem,” we collected voices from the YouTube community with the following questions in mind:

  • What defines “community” on YouTube?
  • How can corporate content and business interests coexist with a community of user-generated content creators?
  • What do “you” actually mean to YouTube?

Three weeks later, the debate rages on. therealweeklynews recently responded to his responders, accusing the YouTube partners speaking up in defense of YouTube, several of whom are featured in our video, of being “corporate shills.” YouTube partner TheArchfiend responded again, speculating that therealweeklynews might himself be a “shill” for YouTube. But setting aside the name-calling for a moment, we ask you to step back and consider the larger issues at stake.

The HuluTube controversy points to a growing tension between YouTube’s user community and its shareholders. On Friday, April 3rd, financial services company Credit Suisse estimated that while the site’s revenue is up overall, YouTube will lose $470 million in 2009, largely due to the bandwidth costs of hosting user-generated content. While the Web 2.0 revolution, exemplified by sites like YouTube, has changed the way we navigate and communicate online, it has yet to present a sustainable business model. Farhad Manjoo writes for Slate:

“User-generated content” is proving to be a financial albatross. Two years ago, Time magazine named “you” its Person of the Year for doing your small part in fueling the Web 2.0 revolution. The magazine argued that by collecting and distributing the creations of millions of individuals, the Web is upending the way we learn about what’s going on in the world around us. There’s no doubt this is true…. Yet even though they’ve changed the way we live, sites that collect and share content produced by all of us haven’t done the one thing many tech evangelists said they’d do–make a ton of money. Or, in many cases, any money. There’s a simple reason for this: Advertisers don’t like paying very much to support homemade photos and videos.

Daryl Horner inadvertently put it best when he said, “This is a machine…and you are the most important part of this machine.” In the context of his video, this comment was part of an argument that viewers aren’t clicking on ads often enough to support the site (and, by extension, partners who personally benefit from ad revenue). While this may be true, users aren’t the only factor in the equation. The content of user-generated content is also at issue for advertisers. As Manjoo (and vlogger John Green in our video) point out, YouTube’s most popular content doesn’t always sit well with advertisers–they don’t want their products associated with a water-skiing squirrel. As long as YouTube continues to depend on ad revenue, it appears that some form of compromise is in order.

Yet the question of who YouTube’s most valuable users really are, and of who is selling what to whom, is not easy to answer. No matter who “you” are–an independent video-maker, a corporate content provider, a partner, a troll, a commenter, or simply a passive viewer–you have something at stake in YouTube.

We encourage you to add your voice to the debate.

“New Video Game Technology Finally Allows Rendering of Smaller Breasts”

Something that I was shocked by, working on our final project, was how women’s bodies are designed in video games. Think Lara Croft: not even Angelina Jolie looks like that. It’s definitely not your typical body type. There aren’t even slightly unattractive or overweight women. In many games, like SecondLife I think, you don’t even have the option of changing your character’s breast size. So it was ironic to come across this article on the Onion.