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Thoughts on Media in Society

May 1st, 2007

Well, it has been awhile since I've written here, mainly because it wasn't for a grade anymore. And I seriously doubt any one will read this, I had to write this post.

Now I'm a huge fan of Kevin Rose's site, digg. Now there's a digital riot as it were. Digg took down some posts about the subject of this post. That seemingly meaningless string of characters is used to decode the encryption on most HD-DVDs. Now the users of digg got pissed and started posting post after post with the key in it, and now Kevin Rose's blog said that they wouldn't take down any of the posts with the key in it. Looking at the main page, and the second, third and I believe fourth and fifth pages are just bunches of posts about the key.

Personally I think its great that the users are fighting back and making their voices heard. But seriously, is digg the place to do it? I love reading the site everyday, but now is anyone going to take digg users seriously? I guess we'll just have to wait till the riot quiets down a bit and see where everything goes.

But to the digg users out there, I salute you. Keep doing what you think is right, and maybe, just maybe you'll make the internet world a better place.

December 12th, 2006

Well since the semester is now just about over and its finals week, I thought I should try to get one more post out. I'm sitting her on my futon with Child Psychology pouring out of my mind I'm shuffling through my 9000+ songs (about 50GB for those of you keeping track) looking for something I actually want to listen to, and I still have another subject to study for tomorrow morning. Two finals tomorrow and its half past 4 in the morning.

I haven't posted much lately, and if you read the previous posts about me being lazy you know why. I'm not going to make any kind of excuses for my laziness. I just wanted to say that this class was informative and I learned a lot about digital self, as well as what goes on in the world. And if I put half as much effort into the second half of this semester as I did with the second half of this semester I think I would have done better.

I think really right now the biggest thing on my mind was the death of James Kim. Though there has been much to talk about that I wanted to blog about, he is what has been on my mind lately (not including relationship problems) I just really respected him and he was a good guy on the very large staff at cnet.com I've never met the man before, but I just had an instant bond with him. I don't mean to sounds racist or anything, but I think it was because he was Asian. As a psych major this makes sense to me, but if you don't do any spelunking in the human mind, humans just have a natural sense to go towards people that are like them. But enough of the psycho-babble.

I just wanted to say something about how that whole story broke out. After the initial coverage on the Crave blog (which Kim co-ran with someone else) it then exploded on digg's front page getting several thousand diggs during the first few hours. After that local media caught it, then it went to the big cable news outlets. I was speaking with a friend about this, and he said if it were anyone else, like just a joe blow, it probably wouldn't have had the same kind of exposure. In a small way I believe this to be true. James Kim and his wife weren't by any means famous, but Kim's name was relatively well known on the internet.

When I found out that they had recovered his body, it just really saddened me. I didn't expect to be so sad when I found out. I guess my hopes had been really high when they found his wife and kids to be fine a few days before.

Ha ha. I know this isn't a personal blog, but I wanted to get those feelings out there with people that are techy like me, lol.

Well with that, I'll try to get another post out before the final, and if not, farewell my friends who read this. If I decide to keep this blog going, I'll probably switch to Wordpress just to get a better server and move away from the teenie-bopper-ness of livejournal. And maybe it'll update it more ;)

Thanks for the class Lilly. Definitely an experience.

December 6th, 2006

If you haven't been following the saga with James Kim and his family here's an update. Kati Kim and their two daughters were found in good condition last monday in their car. James had left the car early sunday morning to go look for help. after they have found Kati and the daughters the search was renewed looking for James. This morning the searchers had found James' body.

I cannot express how I feel. He was just a guy, you know?

Here is the most updated page with all the information:

and CNET's news.com should be the first page to be updated.

My prayers go out to James and his family.

November 30th, 2006

Well I don't consider my blog to have a very high readership, especially since I haven't updated much. But I thought I should help spread the word. One of CNET's Editors, James Kim and his family has gone missing. He went to Seattle via car with his wife and two kids. They left Oregon Saturday afternoon and haven't been seen yet.

Those with information about the Kim family's whereabouts are asked to contact San Francisco police immediately at 415-558-5508 during normal business hours and at 415-553-1071 after-hours. Portland police can be reached at 503-823-4000.

My heart and prayers go out to his family and I hope all is well.

Most of this info was from this post at Crave.

November 27th, 2006

I know that this blog is made for a class. But seriously, a blog is something that someone chooses to write in as they choose. Yes this may seem like an excuse for my laziness, but seriously I should be able to post in my blog whenever the hell I want to. Maybe one day its a slow news day and all I've read about is how a couple of EB employees fake a PS3 robbery or how how those crazy Japanese keep making strange gadgets (no offense to my friend Tomoyo) Or sometimes you've got those crazy 8 page papers that you've managed to forget that creep up on you.

But here for the first time ever (on this blog) I'm going to admit I'm lazy. I do keep another personal blog (kept within the confines of the "friends only" option) and I barely post on there. The last time I posted there was Oct. 28th. I only post in there when I really feel like it. And I feel that it should be the same in here. Yes I know its for a grade. I propose a system where the grader (in this case, Lilly) checks at the end of the semester or at the end of the week. Granted that this is more work for her and I guess the procrastinators will wait to make like 50 posts at the last minute.

I understand what Lilly is having us do and its a great cause for our future. I just kinda wanted more flexibility in our blog posts. But for the rest of the semester I shall try to get all my blog posts out. And I just needed to get this out. Congrats to the people that resisted the turkey coma and the black friday bruises to continue with their blogs.

Time to get off my ass and make some posts.

November 14th, 2006

Ok, well not really. But something close to it. According to this post by Michael Castellon, KFC decided to make a giant picture of the Colonel himself and large enough that it can be seen from space. They put it near Nevada's fabled Area 51. Pics after the break.

is this really necessary?Collapse )

Okay so what's the point you ask? I have no idea. I for one really just think this is just wasted money. Who the hell are they trying to market to? Aliens that crave for the Colonel's 51 different spices? Or are they teasing people up in Heaven that can't have their Popcorn Chicken? Honestly, who is this ad marketed to? If I'm on a cross-country trip on a plane, the last thing I want to see on America's great land is an advertisement for for fried chicken. As we all know (or don't) that KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and even Long John's Silver are all under the Yum! Brand So are we going to see 87,500 sq ft Crunch Wrap Supreme or a 100,000 sq ft Deep Dish Pizza? The next thing we're going to see is the Rushmore Monument defaced with giant D&G glasses and enormous gold chains.

Please America, stop this obsession with advertisements in places they shouldn't be.
Well it's been awhile, and I've probably lost some points for not posting, but I will catch up, or else I wouldn't be able to live with myself.

Well orgasms. Quite the interesting subject. If you haven't been following the latest happenings in the PMP (portable media player) world, Micro$oft has just recently released (like today I think) a new PMP dubbed the Zune. The Zune is the fabled iPod killer, though it will be hard to compete with the 70% market share that the fruit player has. But more on that later.

The following news site Newsvine has an article about the installer program for the Zune. Some people were able to pick up the Zune before the release date and tried to install it. The install was crap and a lot of people had problems with trying to install it. But what drew more attention was the image in the background (after the break.)

interesting photo...Collapse )

So what do you think she's doing? Listening to some really bad music without headphones? Wondering how the Zune is going to "kill" the iPod? Is some unknown person pleasuring her off the screen?

Well I guess its all up to your interpretation. But hey anything to sell a product, good stuff Micro$oft. Sex does sell!

November 7th, 2006

Well, not exactly. Meteorite Flo, or m-flo as they're known, is a hip-hop/rap/r&b group straight out of Japan. They have been around for quite some time now, starting in the late 90's. I first got into them, now don't laugh, but by playing Dance Dance Revolution where one of their songs was featured. Their music was like nothing I've ever heard before. It was a combination of smooth rapping along with some great vocals. From there I did some research online and found some songs and instantly I was hooked to the hip-hop sensation.

m-flo (it is properly spelled with the lowercase m) is as of right now a duo with Verbal and Taku Takahashi. Verbal handles the rapping vocals, while Taku is the man behind the turntables dropping the beats. For their first two albums they had a third member, Lisa, who was their songstress. Though she also had a mean rap she occasionally used in some of their songs. The trio met each other in an international school in Japan. After they met they started as an underground group mainly playing for hip-hop clubs and the like. After they were discovered they released their first album, Planet Shining (which I'm proud to say I actually own, like the real life plastic CD that cost me like $35 dollars to import). And from that first CD they exploded. Releasing four studio albums over the span of five years. But that doesn't include all the remix albums, singles, collaborations, dvds, and even vinyls. They have been quite busy over the last few years.

The reason I'm writing about m-flo, is that I want you guys, my readers, to get into some music not from the US. Sure domestic music is great and I'm not saying you should stop listening to it. But getting out there in the world and learning about music internationally.

Now for some media:

from the last album that the original trio did, it was a "best of" album. From left to right: Verbal, Lisa, Taku

this is actually the song that got me into them in the first place.

November 6th, 2006

Or, well at least Lilly has been waiting for it.

As many of you may remember, or not, I was the production assistant for the crew sent by Juma Entertainment to film the first day of many for the finalists of the Chevy Challenge. The day for the lack of a better word was interesting, very interesting. I guess I'll start at the beginning. I picked up the crew at San Jose International at around 8 AM. There I met the producer Marie and her video guy Robin. Both were tired from the early flight out of LAX but were both excited to be out here. We got their luggage and we went to my small car. Amazingly enough all their gear fit in the hatchback, good thing I got that 12in sub out the night before.

From there we went to school. I honestly had no idea why these people were here so I asked. They were to film the reactions of the people who were selected as finalists in the Chevy Challenge. And surprisingly enough, I remembered what Lilly had said about it and suddenly regretted not joining. But moving beyond my regret, we get to school faster than I thought we would and were now looking for something to eat. We walked by the Jazzland Cafe near Sweeny Hall? I'm not quite sure. What really got me was their reaction to premade food. They didn't like it, not all at. I found that kind of strange, I don't know, its just whenever I'm on a trip fast food is my friend, but I guess its not the same for everyone. So I led them to the Novel Cafe on the first floor of the Library. They grabbed some food (still didn't like it) and we went to Lilly's office.

Once we got there, they had some talks about what was going to go down that day and what not. I was just standing there for the most part currently wondering what I was going to do that day. My girlfriend said to me the night before I was probably going to be a lackey for them for the the day, and at this point it really did seem like that. They interviewed Lilly and got some action shots. It was cool seeing the behind the scenes of the filming process. I felt really kind of useless during the beginning part of the day. I didn't do much just standing around and trying to keep out of the background in the shots they were taking.

After the action shots with Lilly, we headed outside to take some b-roll. B-roll stands for background roll, just some extra stuff they shoot as filler whenever they need something random. For example a narrator speaking for just something to show between shots. We shot a good amount of b-roll. After the b-roll was shot, we headed back to look for Lilly and maybe look at our classroom. So here's a little neurosis on my part, I really can't remember for the life of me when classes start and end, especially if I don't go to class. That day was no exception. I look into our classroom and think, hey its almost empty. I look to my watch and think yeah classes should be over. So I walk in with Marie and Robin and the professor was still there and he said to us, "what are you doing, we're still in class" and at the point I think my face turned a nice shade of red. Haha, well that was bad, but it was okay.

Soon after the fiasco, we start getting ready to film within our classroom. As people start to walk in, there's kind of a strange tension in the air. I don't know how to quite explain it and for the most part I thought it was just me. But it was really cool to know what was going on before everyone else knew. Right before our "press conference" I was given a crash course on how to operate the boom microphone. A boom microphone is essentially a "shotgun" microphone placed on the end of a stick. It seemed simple enough to do and I was excited to finally get to do something. Now I know what you're thinking and no it is not as easy as it looks. It's actually quite hard holding something that long, steady for than a few minutes at a time. I now have a new found respect for the sound guys that hold boom mics for hours at a time. I could barely do it for the few times they had me doing it through out the day. Maybe I just wasn't used to it, but damn my arms were all shake-y, and I felt really weird. Also it might have been the fact that I didn't eat anything through out the day. But other than my tremor filled arms, the shoot felt like it went really well. So I stood around with boom in hand ready to jump at anything robin told me to focus at. So we did that in the classroom for a few minutes, actually the entire class time. But even more after the class time was up. So we moved to several different locations doing interviews and meeting new people.

Actually, the day went by kind of slow. Everyone else had a lot to do, but there I was just waiting on my next instruction. Then we came to the conference call with the local radio station. There I was instructed to use my head as kind of like a fulcrum where I would balance the boom on my head and control it with with my arms. Who ever invented this position was a genius and at the same time a lunatic. This position by far was one of the hardest positions to keep still and not make any movements. The interview over the phone didn't last very long, 10-15 minutes max. But those few minutes were hell for me and my tremor-y hands. But it did pass and after we went to film some more shots from Lilly.

This is where it felt kind of strange for me. Lilly speaks of how a reality show is shot and it is as far from reality as it could get, and I witnessed it for the first time that day. Were filming Lilly again and this time it was supposed to be before we had made the announcement. Mind you this is like three or four hours after the real announcement. Lilly made all kinds of references to time and everything, like saying around 12 etc. etc. But the thing is, the sun was setting behind her. Well not exactly behind her, but the lighting was not exactly 12-noon lighting. It was more like "hey the sun's setting we need to get this shot before it does." But hey thats how things go, reality is never really real.

After that scene with Lilly, some more b-roll was shot and eventually we headed over to Gordon Biersch to kick back with a few beers and finally some food in my stomach. There Marie, Robin, Lilly, and myself got to know each other just a little better before I had to drive Marie and Robin back to the airport.

After all was said and done, like I said before, it was quite and interesting day. I learned a lot about the behind the scene work and how it was to be a producer and the skills necessary to be a good one. Looking back now at it, I would have liked to do more than just be the lackey and hold the boom around. But I did have fun doing the job and thats what matters right?

November 4th, 2006

(no subject)

So is the CD really dead? The CEO of EMI music seems to think so. Check out this article at Torrentfreak.com Like we were talking about at the beginning of the semester, technology just evolves faster than what people are used to and is increasing in speed every day. During the 80's when the CD was cutting edge technology people never thought they would get rid of their music collection in cassette tapes or vinyl. And here we are again at another junction in the media format wars. Is everything eventually gonna go the way of iTunes and its digital media distribution method? At this point in time, I seriously think so.

But at this time we are in the middle of a format war with high def content. It just isn't feasible yet to transfer 50GB worth of stuff over current internet access lines. With the advent of Blu-Ray Disk from Sony and the HD-DVD standard coming out it'll be interesting if the audio disk and the standard definition DVD will still stick around. I'm sure that it will in the form of blank media, but not even to the extent that it is today. I, myself haven't used a blank CD in a while, all the burning I've done in recent memory is with blank DVDs. Stuff is just getting larger and larger making the older technologies obsolete.

The CEO guy thinks that the audio CD has gone the way of the 8-track and tape cassette. I think its time to bust out those iTunes Media Store gift cards for christmas and melt those CDs for the plastic thats goes into my Portable Music Player (PMP)
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