Ahoy Ahoy Matey

I guess this will be my last post for the semester, it was really nice and fun to know friends in classes and learned new things thorough this wonderful subject. Now i’d like to talk about the idea of piracy where it is usually involved with the grey or black market, however it shows cultural purposes. I guess I’d like to use the example of Photoshop CS5 to describe how piracy in the black market has its advantages for users or students like myself. Firstly, here’s a link to the Apple main website where it shows the price of the software Photoshop CS5 :

http://store.apple.com/au/product/H1326ZP/A

Well, as you all can see, it is priced at 1169.95 Aus $. And this is just the basic version. I mean, what? Well, I would say this is some of the reasons why piracy is still present in our society. Yes, Photoshop CS5 has been known world wide for its wondrous features and possibilities, however, with the price of more than a thousand Australian Dollars, not many students like myself can afford it. Therefore, people resort to pirated version that only costs around 10Aus Dollars or less. Frankly saying, I am not saying that buying the pirated version is correct, however, the price forces people to resort to piracy. The college i studied in when i was in Malaysia had Adobe Photoshop CS4, and when i asked my teacher where he got the software, he told me he downloaded it for free online. And now the whole college is using Photoshop Cs5 for free.

In the reader, it discussed about piracy in China and Brazil. From my knowledge, the Brazilian movie, Tropa De Elite has gained its popularity and sales mainly from pirated versions even before the movie was released in cinema. Furthermore, the other example used in the reader where in China, pirated DVDs are used as a method to gain access to art films. From my experience, this shows similarity in Malaysia because in Malaysia, there are very little art house films shown in the cinema’s, and there are cases where through buying pirated DVDs, we may come across films that we may have never heard before. Therefore, this shows how piracy helps in cultural aspects.

Now I’d like to talk about piracy as theft. I’d like to agree on this point that people who download music, movies, softwares off the internet for free are actually stealing from the owners themself. But, my other point is, who are the real owners? I mean, we wouldnt download a R5 copy of a movie, or a cam corded movie from the internet right? Like myself, I just watched Pirates 4 yesterday, and it was awesome. I paid my 23bucks and paid for popcorn and a drink, and I watched the movie. SO i guess i did my part? And, for most people out there, im pretty sure no one would download a cheap copy of a movie that they were really interested in right? On the other hand, what do we download? (movie wise) I guess, we’d download movies that are actually bad in reviews, actors, show no interest to us, so we can watch them anytime we feel like it, movies that we’ve never heard of? Like recently there was this movie, Gnomeo & Juliet, 5.8 for an animated cartoon, well, I can only say, lousy. The story line was directly taken from Romeo & Juliet, but made into a happy ending bla bla bla. Well, my point is, I woouldnt pay 20bucks to watch it in the cinema, and not 15bucks to buy it from Jb Hi Fi. Would you? I would argue as well, movies only last like 2 hours (roughly), so after you watch a movie, what do you do? You probably would watch it again if it were something like Black Swan or Inception to get the ending, but other movies? Like Saw 4, Scream 4, Meet the Spartans??? However, I guess I could argue that downloading them for free will also affect the producers of the low quality movies. The money they put into the production, cast and crew, props, effects and so on. Frankly saying, I cant really think of a solution for piracy as theft, but, I can only say this, if movies were already predicted as bad movies, please, dont produce them.

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My work, IS MINE!

Well, this week we were asked to decide whether the content of our blogs on WordPress.com would be classified as CC (Creative Comment) or Copyright. Most of my friends in the tutorial marked their blogs as CC where their content can be used by others and no legal actions would be apprehended if their works are either cited with reference to their names, not used for commercial purposes and so on. Guess I’d like to be the black sheep here, but I believe that Copyright has its advantages and disadvantages. From a reading of my other subject, it gave a case study where a woman posted a video of her son doing a funny dance to a song by “Prince” the song artist, and in the end she got a fine of 100,000$ and the video was removed without any consideration from the owners of YouTube. In my opinion, the Copyright wars has certainly been hard to debate due to the fact where the remix and sharing culture come into place. There are many top trance DJs out there who actually make remixes of other DJs and post them on YouTube. Here’s an example of one of the current top trance DJs in the world, Shogun- Save Me, who has been remixed by IIya Soloviev.

And here’s the original version by Shogun

I guess these two examples show how the remix culture goes against the Copyright wars where original versions of songs, videos and so on have been remixed to create new but not entirely new content.

Therefore, I have chosen my blog to be marked as Copyright because I believe that my work should entirely be mine and those who wish to use my work should pay me. I mean, if i were as popular as Shogun, I would want to be paid for any remixes or copies of my songs because of all the hard work and pure genius I’ve come up with. However, there will be no conclusion to the right and wrongs of Copyrighted products because of many other factors like piracy, remixing, downloading and so on.

Wonders of YouTube

Miller discusses on the quality of YouTube videos where the videos posted are usually in low quality. In the tutorials, we discussed on the advantages and disadvantages of low quality video streaming. Frankly saying, I would agree that low quality audio streaming certainly has its advantages where, with the low quality of the videos, it allows people to view the videos at a faster pace and can then be able to choose the quality of the videos which are now offered in High definition, High Quality and so on. I am from Malaysia, and the Internet speed is really slow there, therefore, if YouTube video quality’s were really good, it would take ages for a video to load. From my personal experience, a normal 2 minute video clip would take about 5 minutes to load. However, this depends on the viewers as well where the quality of videos have their own significance. As an example, when viewing lectures from Lectopia on the Learning Management System of Melbourne University, video quality’s should be above average because it acts as a form of revision for students and the lecture details are really important.

YouTube offers video quality’s of a few ranges and this, to me is really helpful for viewers because depending on the videos and purpose of viewing the videos, it differs individually for every viewer.

As mentioned earlier, it depends entirely on the viewer to determine which video quality best suits their needs. However, YouTube has been a really useful form of entertainment and information because with low quality as the default video quality, it allows streaming to be rather easy and convenient for users all around the world. Another example would be, I watch YouTube videos a lot, and there is this competition for the PlayStation 3 Marvel vs Capcom 3 game that goes on in California every month. Each video goes on for at least an hour, therefore, with the low quality set as default, it allows me to load and watch the videos whenever i please without worrying about my Internet quota being used up quickly and without worrying about the loading speed.

This is just an example of a really long video on YouTube but in low quality. Personally, the quality does not really affect much of the video because it still gives a clear and average quality for normal users like myself.

Baby Baby Baby Oh…

Well, week 9’s readings cover the concept of ordinary people like myself becoming celebrities through their own creative efforts through YouTube and so forth. These ordinary people use the help of YouTube to promote their fame and gain popularity from the world. There are two main celebrities that will be used as examples to show how ordinary people can and indeed have become famous celebrities with the help of the new media, or better yet, YouTube.

Justin Bieber has been known as a world wide pop artist sensation. Here’s a video of Justin singing to Usher on YouTube.

Justin Bieber has gain famed and popularity through YouTube by singing cover songs for world known music artists like Chris Brown, Usher, Alicia Keys and so on. His story merely starts off as a 12year old boy who sings well and posted videos of his talents on YouTube. With millions of viewers and followers, a manager took up Justin Bieber and gave his mix-tape to Usher. From then on, Justin Bieber became a world known pop sensation artist and has gain fans of different age groups. I would like to add the point where Justin Bieber gains his popularity not only from concerts, CDs and so on, he still does from YouTube and this can be seen as a phenomenon scenario because in the era of new media, YouTube can not only be treated for a talent seeker, but also a promotion tool. Justin’s video views have even topped YouTube’s top 10 most watched videos, standing at almost more than 500million views. Therefore, with the many top videos like Numa Numa, Charlie bit my finger and so on, this shows how new media has been fully utilized to promote the music music artists create to gain a sense of fandom.

Another example that would be adequate to discuss ordinary people becoming famous through YouTube would be Peter Chao. This figure has been famous throughout the YouTube universe because of his funny ascent and topics that attract audience. Despite the fact where there are many vulgarity and inappropriate context, Peter Chao has gained many fans throughout the world and this then shows how YouTube allows the idea of stardom to be present for ordinary people like you and me.

In my opinion, Peter Chao has gained fans and haters at the same time because of the context of his videos where he goes against many issues occurring around the world. However, with haters and lovers of every issue, he gains his views and income from the advertisements linked with his videos and so on. Furthermore, with his videos posted on YouTube, he uses the opportunity to sell merchandise for followers who are willing to be a part of his so called “Peter-Chao nation”. Therefore, YouTube does not only act as a form of talent seeker, but also a promotion and marketing tool. Therefore, this supports Burges and Green’s claim where ordinary people through their own creative content can achieve success and become celebrities. However, it is with the help of the new media, specifically referring to YouTube where it has created wonders for people all around the world.

 

 

Gossip Boy

Bloggers are being called nihilists where they do not put much attention into the content of their blogs, but rather prefer to be heard (Lovink). However, blogging has become a whole new “beginning of new social paradigms” (Lovink) where bloggers are free to write on information or thoughts they have regarding a certain issue and readers then comment on the blogs or topic despite having true knowledge of the situation (Lovink). Personally, I agree with the reading where Lovink tries to describe how bloggers are a form of nihilists and area  group of people who “only produce noise” (Lovink). Bloggers given their freedom of speech to write on anything they desire purely post blogs for the fame and popularity, the comments by other bloggers or readers are a good example of `people shouting at one another with no conclusion’. Here’s an example of a blog by the infamous Perez Hilton who has a blog mainly on celebrity news and gossips.

http://perezhilton.com/2011-05-06-justin-bieber-still-touring-japan

The blog posts talks about Justin Bieber going to Japan for a good cause, whereas in the comment section, due to the many fans and non-fans of Justin Bieber, the comments are merely people shouting at one another without a particular or good reason. Therefore, such an example strengthens the claim “these people go public while still hiding their “real identity”” (Lovink).

Most bloggers or those who comment on blogs, act such a way where they do not worry about their image because their identity is unrevealed therefore giving them more room for furious discussions and topics. However, the role of bloggers are truly crucial because they play an important role in influencing people, however, they have limitations (Lovink). Bloggers give immediate interpretation of the situation and have more motions as compared to newspapers. Bloggers maintain their reputation through representation in their blogs and not their content (Lovink). Therefore, from a blogger’s point of view, popularity and presentation of the blogs shows more significance as compare to the content published. Another example would be blogs that write purely on gossips and assumptions of celebrities.

http://www.thesuperficial.com/lady-gagas-judas-so-incoherent-the-catholic-church-doesnt-mind-05-2011#comments

These gossip blogs mainly make assumptions of celebrities and criticize their performance. Furthermore the readers who participate in the blogs then comment on the issue at hand regardless of the fact that many others will be viewing the blog as well. Bloggers who write about gossip merely understand the concept of “nihilism” (Lovink) where they believe that the media gives them the freedom to be listened by others. These bloggers have the motive of only wanting to be heard by the public, and like Perez Hilton, be popular and well known for gossiping. Whereas to them, the content of their blogs and the comments given by readers only play the role in allowing them to gain popularity rather than the truth.

As a conclusion, bloggers are mainly concerned with their popularity and presentation of their blogs, but not the content they produce. They prefer to be heard by the public rather than give the public the real truth.

Lovink, G, Zero Comments: Blogging and Critical Internet Culture, Routledge, London. 

BLogging

WordPress has certainly become a main blogging tool for many users, the interface of the website allows users to link data, videos. WordPress has been conveniently designed for users, where it is `user-friendly`, therefore contributing to users to interact more with the Word Wide Web. Helmond (2007) discusses regarding the interface of WordPress where many users might not be aware of the database WordPress consists off and the importance of the database of WordPress. As an example, Helmond (2007) states that YouTube videos and Flickr content of users are all stored in database as well. Therefore, the security present on WordPress mainly acts as a form of security to prevent viruses to be uploaded or downloaded by users (Herald 2007). Users like myself, are usually unaware of the database behind a certain website like WordPress. However, with further consideration, there are truly many forms of database and security measures present on WordPress. Theses security measures are truly helpful because they allow users to be safe from viruses.

The interface of the website allows users to experience a continuous blogging experience (Herald 2007) where users are able to have all the functionalities offered by the website to have a wonderful blogging experience. Users are able to link websites, YouTube video clips, images and so on into their blogs with the ease of a click of a button.

On the other hand, WordPress relies on the community that participates as well, where WordPress relies on feedback, comments, bug reports and so on from users to help WordPress improve their security (Herald 2007). Users play an important in aiding the database where it helps provide feedback to the producers of WordPress, and the participation of the users act as a form of feeding information to the database as well. In my opinion, the database relies heavily on the participation of the community that participates in WordPress. Users who use the website tend to know what needs to be improved and what is required for WordPress to be safe for users to blog. Thus, this requires the participation and cooperation between both the users and the producers of WordPress to help improve the database of the website.

Blogging has certainly become a new form of media for many users, it can be treated as a personal diary for those who blog regarding their everyday lives to others, and even for professional journalists who post current news and receive comments from the public. Therefore, this contributes to how we interact with the World Wide Web where we interact more conveniently with one another. Furthermore, with the security measures taken, it allows users to have a sense of safety when posting information on WordPress, instead of being conservative regarding information, and hence destroying the whole purpose of blogging as a whole.

Helmond, A 2007, Blogging for Engines: Blogs Under the Influence of Software-Engine Relations, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam.

Jurrasic News

The news has certainly changed drastically from merely traditional methods of printing on paper to online news, where journalists and bloggers act create “mainstream news” (Russell et al. 2008). The evolution of digital technology has certainly allowed the society to become more interactive with the news, and allow journalists or bloggers to publish news to the public. Hence, the question of whether bloggers with the benefit of editing their blogs and information, with the help of popularity, help spread and give news to the public easier as compared to traditional methods of printing in newspapers (Russell et al. 2008). Personally, I would argue that bloggers certainly have the upper-hand as compared to traditional newspapers. This is due to the fact where publishing news online, allows news to be read and spread to the public much more efficiently in the fastest period of time. Therefore readers are able to acquire the information regarding the news and have their “own voice” (Russell et al. 2008) regarding the issue at hand.

http://blogs.ft.com/rachmanblog/2011/05/conspiracy-theories-about-osamas-death/

The link above can be used as a good example to show how bloggers and their followers interact at a faster pace as compared to newspapers. The incident of a certain news will have certainly received more comments and interaction from the public as compared to the traditional newspaper. Furthermore, bloggers update and edit their information, therefore having more freedom as compared to newspapers confined by “various forms of self and government censorship (Russell et al. 2008). In Russell et al.’s (2008) statement, he argues that the media is limited where interaction and opinions are not able to circulate amongst the people, however, with personal blogging, it then allows information and opinions to circulate easier and more frequently. Blogging certainly can be seen as a very effective method to determine the opinions of the public and achieve greater knowledge of the news at hand.

http://www.malaysia-today.net/mtcolumns/40185-the-arguments-by-narrow-minded-muslims

Here’s another example of interaction between the online news media and the public. The example shown can show how Malaysians are truly raged about the situation regarding the Muslim issue in Malaysia. However, when viewing the comment section of the website, it can be seen how the public is enraged with the situation, and calls the Malaysian Muslims “narrow-minded”. Furthermore, as Russell et al. (2008) states in the reading, video and text blogging certainly act as a form of contribution to determine the true story behind the news. Bloggers are able to receive and edit the information they have regarding the issue at hand, without much time consumption. Thus, bloggers are then more reliable in the sense of time, and popularity.

However, blogging has the advantage of editing, thus giving it disadvantages as well. Therefore, mainstream newspaper company’s have certainly taken a leap into this new profound form of spreading the news to the public where they try to enhance their DIY products online (Russell et al. 2008). In my opinion, it is really important for mainstream newspaper company’s to start creating online blogs and online news, due to the fact that it gives the public a quicker and more efficient version of the news. Furthermore, mainstream newspaper company’s that have blogs tend to create a sense of authenticity as compared to DIY blog writers who can alter information in order to gain popularity.

As a conclusion, bloggers with their many benefits certainly allow the public to comment and have a say in the matter as compared to traditional newspapers. However, mainstream newspaper company’s should move towards “modern journalism” (Russell et al. 2008) where they share the same characteristics with a DIY blog writer, however, with more authenticity.

Russell, A, Ito, M, Richmond, T & Tuters, M 2008, Culture: Media Convergence and Networked Culture, eds K Varnelis, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.