Monthly Archives: March 2014

Aaron Swartz

When the government is accused of killing someone, the issue has to be serious. This is what Aaron Swartz’s father says the Government did to his son. Aaron Swartz was the co-founder of the popular website Reddit. Aaron committed suicide in January of 2013. Before his suicide he could have possibly faced years in jail because of his violation of MIT’s open network.  Aaron believed that citing every little thing is not necessary because there should be internet freedom.  The idea that all ideas originate from others and you shouldn’t always have to give credit unless you directly and blatantly copy someone. 

This view point suggest that Intellectual property should be revisited. The American Intellectual Property Law Association says”Our legal system provides certain rights and protections for owners of property” (AIPLA). This law provides little allowance for internet freedom, thus causing a problem for bloggers and others that write pieces of work using others work on the internet.

AIPLA. (2012). An overview of intellectual property. Retrieved from http://www.aipla.org/about/iplaw/Pages/default.aspx

Wihbey, J. (2014, Jan 08). Aaron swartz and the cause of openness. The Boston Globe. Retrieved from http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2014/01/08/aaron-swartz-and-cause-openness/z0YezDMOlhuZRaR3TlmQqO/story.html

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Privacy: Where Do You Draw the Line?

With so much information on social media these days, it’s compelling to ask, “What should be kept private?” That’s hard to answer but I’ll tell you what I think.  I believe that where you live should be private simply because of safety issues.There are too many creepy people out there to give home addresses out at free will. It should be a person’s choice whether they want to provide their address to people or not. I also think that any sort of financial information or paperwork concerning you (birth certificate, social security card etc.) should be private.  This sort of information being provided could lead to identity theft. Finally phone numbers should be private information.  It is extremely irritating to get phone calls at all kinds of times from different companies trying to sell you items and what not. 

Social media however makes some things that are considered private available to people.  I personally do not believe there is a problem with company or the government obtaining information that you provided.  On all social media websites there is an option of settings where you can adjust what you do and don’t want people to see. I think if you put it up there then people should be able to see it. If you don’t want that information up there, change your settings, turn of GPS tracking or delete your account.

Instatweet?

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Social networks in recent years have been revolutionary not only in connecting people over distances but also in the spread of world news. Instagram and Twitter are two of the top social networks. While Instagram only shares pictures and videos, Twitter shares short messages in less than 140 characters called “tweets” and pictures. Instagram is useful in the spread of world news because you can see pictures from important events. Some people are more likely to look at pictures than to read about certain things so it is a good way to spread news for visual people. A disadvantage of Instagram however is that there is no way to re-share something you see unless you screenshot it. That can be time consuming so a lot so people won’t do that. The video feature on Instagram would allow you to share a news clip or something similar so that would be a benefit to using Instagram. Another disadvantage of using Instagram in terms of world news is that there is no way of really checking the validity of what is being shared. There are many things on Instagram that get circulated that are untrue.

Contrarily to Instagram, on Twitter you can “retweet” something or share what someone else has shared immediately. This would help spread news more rapidly and effectively. For example, Ellen Degeneres tweeted a picture at the Oscars last weekend. That tweet had over 2 million retweets by the end of the Oscars. Also, Twitter is used by news stations and political figures. This is beneficial because you can get information right from the source. Instead of hearing that a political figure said something, they can express it themselves on Twitter. The fact that Twitter limits posts to 140 characters is good because the tweets are short and to the point. You can get main ideas about events across as opposed to reading a whole news report about an occurrence. On the other hand, Twitter has been used to get peoples’ own agendas across. Many prejudice, biased things have been written on twitter which could make one question the soundness of some of the tweets written.