Thursday, March 29, 2007

Bluetooth. MP3 Player- The Insignia
You know, the bud that people have sticking in their single ear and seem like they are talking to themselves. Well great news for music fans! The Insignia 4-Gigabyte mp3 Player is now connecting the ears to the player wirelessly through a bluetooth connection. So, no worries, music and podcast fans you too can walk around wirelessly carefree from being tangled in your jacket or bunching wires in your pocket.
Of course you do have to spend more to get the bluetooth headphones.

This mp3 player is impressive since it is only $160; it offers bluetooth capabilities, and an alleged 20 hours of battery life, and a FM tuner.THese features beat the iPod in price and capabilities. The Insignia can only be bought at Best Buy, however, you can safely assume the only place you can purchase this.

The Insignia is also able to play movies and store up to 14. If 4-gigabytes is not enough space for you, then you can also purchase a memory card. It has a MiniSD slot that can let you insert 2 additional gigabytes of music or videos.

There are problems with the Bluetooth options. There are countries and cities in the United States that are attempting to pass legislation regarding no use of electronic devices while crossing the street. This makes sense since people are walking down the street with the buds in their ears and their phones glue to their head. People are not aware of the world around them, they are aware of ‘Furgylicious’ and Tim McGraw’s latest song. This is something to think about.
The more people are creating ways to be discrete the harder it is to make people make more attention.
(picture from

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Advertising in the US v. Germany

While in Germany over spring break my friends and I noticed the abundance of advertising wherever there could be a poster, billboard or flyer. Sure in the states we experience a constant feed from the media. BUT, it seemed that on the back of every chair in every metro station there was something that was trying to be sold.

Now I had never been to Europe before and had no idea what to expect when it came to advertising. In their defense, of course the highest amounts of advertisements were in larger cities like Frankfurt and Munich. However, even in the historical cities everywhere you looked there was an advertisement. Most were subtle in places like Trier and Augsburg. In other places, they screamed at me enough to notice.
Compared to the Unites States the advertisements reflected the cultural differences. For instance one can see the difference between media violence in the United States and the high level of comfort the Europeans have with the human body.
This is a cultural difference by far. While society in America is alright with blood, guts and gore, Europe is alright with the human body being in advertisements in ways the Americans would probably view as obscene.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Facebook, MySpace, Social Networking

Over the course of the past few years there has been a slew of social networking sites online that have given people the ability to have their own website where they can post personal information as well as have friends that can look at their profiles. In a world where people fight for privacy it seems odd that others are putting themselves out there. I am one of those people but I try to keep perspective on what I am posting as well as what information I give to the world.
With MySpace having over 90 million visitors every month there are people out there that use it for stalking tools.
So the question is:
How can we use these sites for positives? It seems that everyone in society around us is bashing and using them for personal gain only. The culture of the United States does reflect a selfish and materialistic society. Thus, the MySpace and Facebook pages possessing egotistic representations of people.
The World Wide Web has some wonderful advantages, you can express yourself freely and however you want to without restriction, unless of course it is slander, libel or talks about harming someone or a group of people. You can talk and discuss religion, your personal philosophies as well as aimless venting about technological advances and society.
Positives always outweigh negatives but everyone has a different perspective on what is positive and what is negative.
Should a sixteen year old be able to have pictures up online with them and their buddies in bathing suits? What about sexual predators? They have the ability to look, and have contact with all of these minors, that are 'legally' allowed to have a site.
The sixteen year old would probably say that it is all about freedom of speech and the pictures were just of them swimming at a pool party. The predator would have the argument that they are trying to be accepted again into society, thus they need socialization.
Child molesters and confused teenagers aside. MySpace and places like YouTube have given many bands and even want to-be actors the opportunity to display their work.
A band can play their music online and give fellow MySpacers the option to listen or host their songs on their site. Adding to promotions. Word of mouth is now being replaced with a click of a mouse. One person can have an artist’s song and have 10 friends visit their site that day. Five like the song and visit the band's site, maybe add the song, add the band as a 'friend' or even buy the CD.
Social networking- business or pleasure? Are you willing to put yourself out there as a product, because that is ultimately what we are doing now. Displaying what we have, are you single? Divorced? A vegan? Maybe you are a nondenominational 35 year-old night student that loves to go four wheeling on the weekends and loves life?
We are turning into a globalization turntable of products. If we do not like what we hear or see, the next one is just one mouse click away.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


I was fortunate enough to go and visit Germany this past spring break with some school friends. We ventured to countless museums and cathedrals, but a memorable technological stop was the Mercedes-Benz Museum.
The host that we stayed with in Stuttgart referred to the Mercedes-Benz Museum as the ‘alien building.’ As we got off the train and walked toward the vicinity I noticed the description was extremely accurate.
Upon entrance into the museum we were given headphones and mp3 players, and ventured up the elevator. Upon exit the mp3 receiver immediately began playing an introduction on the history of travel beginning with horses as the original means of transportation, and then going into the first mobile carriages and cars. This was interesting and abrupt, but it was easy to adjust to.
As you walk around the room you have the option to aim your receiver at numerous exhibits, and you can have information sent to your receiver hearing more information about the car, boat, or gadget. I feel this allowed me to personalize the tour to my liking. In the world where we want it our way all the time, this tour gave me a sense that I was the only one in the room.
After two hours I was fed up with the headphones and the narrator talking to me in my ear. When I looked around, and was becoming aware that others where in fact around me, I saw that everyone else was in their own world of discovery.
Even though as a society we sometimes feel that we are venturing further and further from human interaction, sometimes it is for the better, we are able to get more out of it by being alone and venturing into our own worlds. The audio guides gave people the freedom to roam around and really get a feel for the time and the history of Mercedes-Benz.