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27, 2005

Chapter 11 Oral Presentation

Governments Get Nervous; Big Business Gets Nosy

As time passed by after the creation of the internet governments started to censor the information their citizens saw and big businesses started to track their consumers.

The Great Firewall: "2003, the government of China flipped a switch, figuratively speaking, and indiscriminately turned off access to thousands of weblogs. The Great Firewall, already in use to block specific news and information sites the government didn't want its people to see..."(210).

China is not the only country that censors at times what its citizens see. Other countries who do this are Saudi Arabia, France, and Singapore. A good point at the end of this section on "The Great Firewall" is that even the United States is pushing for "surveillance capabilities that would surely have a chilling effect on politically off-center speech" (210).

This is as scary thought! Is the privacy and freedom we thought we got from the internet disappearing?

Cookies: The "supreme irony", as Gillmor puts it, is that right now the ones doing the surveillance in the US are the big businesses. How do they do this? Many people who don't have a clue that they are being tracked ask this question, and it is such a simple answer; 'Cookies'.

In the mid 1990's Netscape created 'cookies'. Cookies allow the owner of a website to see where and when you have been on their website. 'Cookies' are actually little text files that imbed themselves in your internet or hard drive. I like the quote from Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig that they should be named "Network Spy". Here is a good website that explains, more in depth, what cookies are. Also here is a Microsoft (big business) website explaining what cookies are.

Now there are two sides to the cookie in this case, no pun intended ;) Cookies memorize how you have personalized a page. For example if you customize your 'My Yahoo' page. Cookies make sure that the page is just like you designed it when you come back to it time and again. Yes I am sure you see the downfall of cookies, a little infringement of privacy. The information cookies store and gather about how you surf the web can be subpoenaed.

You can actually view and set the filter of 'cookies' by opening a browser and going to 'Tools' and the 'Internet Options'. Depending on what version browser you have you can go to 'Privacy' and set the filter. As well as you can go to 'General' and then view all the cookies on your computer. Here is a sample of what is on my computer:
EBay, Google, Ticketmaster, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Hotmail, Facebook, and the list goes on and on. Try going to 'General' then 'settings' in temporary internet files, and then 'view files' on your own computer and see how long the list is.

In conclusion this section in Chapter 11 expresses that the internet is starting to be controlled like many other things in our lives; by both the government and big business (so what’s new?). When the internet was first created people thought that this was finally their outlet of free expression. Not only can you look up whatever you want on the internet but you can express your opinions on the internet. People thought that this would be a totally free thing. Apparently now this is not the case. Some countries censor what their citizens see and we are losing our freedom of privacy and free speech by being tracked; scary thoughts in this age of technology.

Posted by AshleyWelker at 05:57 | Comments (3)

11, 2005

Cover Entry Portfolio III

This portfolio is short. I have not found much time to blog because I have so many class. I will try harder on the next one to keep up with everything. For all my readers I apologize and I will try to keep up for these next couple weeks.

It Ain't Neccesarlity So: Coveragve, Depth
Gertrude: Coverage, Depth, Timeliness
Media Law: Coverage, Depth
Ap Guide: Coverage, Depth
Crime: Coverage, Depth

Xenoblogging:
Ashlee L.: http://blogs.setonhill.edu/AshleeLupchinsky/2005/11/pseudocolor_cli.html (it has not shown up yet)

Posted by AshleyWelker at 09:14 | Comments (0)

Crime

I liked that Dr. Jerz gave us those handouts on Crime and Crime reporting. It is funny now to watch Law and Order and I am like, "Oh there are in this stage of the process" or when they say arraignment part 20 I actually know what and where arraignment is in the process. I really enjoyed the exercise where we were given a bunch of facts and told to write a story. Personally I did not have as hard of a time on this as I thought I would and I though I got a pretty decent story out. It is hard to work under time constraints though. Crime reporting, as I have found out with many things in this class, is just another way of reporting but it is different from what we have learned thus far. I have enjoyed crime reporting the most so far in this class. I don't know why but I find it easier to write and more interesting at times. I wish we could take a field trip to like a court room and see a trial or something :)I look forward to the lab on crime in today's class.

Posted by AshleyWelker at 08:58 | Comments (0)

AP Guide Chapter 9-10

I like how simple the AP Guide is. The chapters are short and to the point. These are great chapters because they discuss important issues in when we write a news article. First we need to be "colorful". This means that we need to use imagery and description to add color to our stories but they do warn do NOT go over board with color or then the story does not turn out right. Next we are not supposed to use clichés that often. I understand the point of this chapter totally. I myself am a cliché freak, I admit it. I am sure I use some everyday when I speak. I do not use them in my writing though because they just don't fit there. Now the book doesn’t state never ever use a cliché but it says only use one in a story or avoid them if you can. Also I so understand the section on how it is better to use clichés in sports because you can only say strike or win so much before people will get bored of it. When I think about using clichés in sports I always think of the announcer for the penguins on TV. He always says great little things instead of saying Goal! I also noticed on Monday night football this past Monday Al Michales used a lot of clichés because there are only so many words for the term sacked. These are good chapter to focus on when writing a news story. You don't want to be to colorful but you want to use color and then try to avoid using a lot of clichés.

Posted by AshleyWelker at 08:51 | Comments (0)

Media Law

I really liked this chapter in the AP stylebook on Media Law. Now I myself am not a journalism major but I really do like the AP Stylebook. It is really helpful and not only does it have definitions and terms but it also has the section on sports writing and media law. It is funny after I read the chapter on media law I can't stop using it in every day life. If I see on the news or on a TV show some one using slander that they could be liable for or a fictional court case of law and order because of media law I think to myself "I read about that!" Also now I understand when things like that come up. At first when I saw the media law chapter I was like this will be boring because it will just be a bunch of laws. But it was not boring and it gave great information in an easy way to understand. As for the AP stylebook I may actually keep the book because it is so helpful.

Posted by AshleyWelker at 08:46 | Comments (0)

All of It Ain't Necessarily So.

It has been awhile since I have blogged. I apologize. I have been sick and I have 8 classes and it is so hard to keep up on everything. For freshman and others reading this take my advice NEVER take 8 classes, even if it seems like it is the only was to graduate on time. So here is an entry on the whole of It Ain’t Necessarily So.

Prologue/Introduction/Chapter One:
Personally I liked this book. Many people had problems with it saying it was bias. I can understand that point but never the less I really enjoyed the book. These chapters were a good set up to what we were going to read these past 2-3 weeks. I liked in chapter one how they discussed “stories that aren’t covered”. This is a good point. Yes the book may be biased but isn’t this a good point? The media gives us the statistics that they want us to see. Thus some stories are not told.

Chapter 2 and 3:
“Readers ignorant of the operative definitions would have misinterpreted the results to make them seem worse than they really were; thus they would have been victimized by manipulation of the numbers” (58). I really like this quote. It really is true but people don’t even realize this. I admit I don’t even realize when I am manipulated by numbers. They give the example that poll questions are made to be answered one way or another and that can skew the numbers.

Chapter 4 and 5:
“It’s not that the same bit of data can be read in (at least) two ways” (86). I enjoyed chapter 5 a lot and their examples they use in chapter 5. Reading this book has really opened my mind to statistics and this chapter is a big reason. For example the statistics of the cases of diagnosed AIDS in women. The CDC only gave a percentage of women and not the raw data. If you actually look at the raw data you find that the raw data shows a different story about what the percentage seen in the news said. The raw data shows that the actually number of cases of women diagnosed went down, but also did the whole number of case men and women went down, because of this the percentage went up because the women’s decrease in raw data was not as much as the raw data of all the cases.

Chapter 6 and 7:
I blogged on this entry before on the day we did not have class.

Chapter 8 and 9:
“In other words, statistical information is inevitably one level removed from reality. We don’t learn directly about the subject of interest; instead we receive indirect information concerning reports about that subject”(134). I never realized this before when I was reading statistics in the news. It makes good sense though. They used the example that the rate of people reporting crimes has gone up but that doesn’t mean that crime has actually gone up. Yes the report is real but in a sense it is also like a half truth. I belief Kevin Hinton did his presentation and discussed half truths. I totally agree with him that at times we only get half truths.

Chapter 10 and Conclusion:
Like I stated earlier personally I enjoyed this book and I learned many things. Usually when I read statistics I don’t give them a second thought and I belief them. A lot of readers do this, but this book tries to separate the “good” facts vs. the “bad”. The book gave several great examples on how at times statistics are skewed. They can be skewed because the wording of the question is not good or because they give us a half truth. I never realized before that statistics weren’t at times a good measure of actual raw data but we are never given raw data. Many people did not like this book because they thought it was biased. I don’t think they were trying to be biased, when statistics are skewed they are skewed.

Posted by AshleyWelker at 08:44 | Comments (0)