Webcam hacking.

cr:ZBros Productions

This short film was inspired by a true story and even though this movie was obviously set up in the most self-evident way, the issue of webcam hacking  through malware is a real problem that a lot of people deal with or are paranoid on. To the level that they install tools such as ‘Camera lock’, ‘Microphone lock’ and many others, in order to feel protected.

I believe this relates to Week 6’s post on Online visibility as it relates to privacy. If we were to think about it, it’s common to think that since it is our personal item, nobody should have access to any information it contains without our permission. But programs to hack into any computer are available everywhere on the Internet, from tutorials to people that would do it in seconds.

In the last few years it aggravated substantially and it does not show any sign of stopping as we are advancing in technology, all we can do it try and protect ourselves the best we can.

Personally, even if I have been aware of this problem for quite some time, I never put a sticker or a post-it on my laptop’s webcam, but I do have a lot of friends that do so.

So what can you do to protect yourself? If you have a PC and an external camera you need to set the firewall properly, always scan your computer for malwares and the easiest of them all, put something over it.

Others cases here and  here.

 

 

 

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Netflix

I believe this is a solid example even though we may find those movies somewhere online illegally. There is something extremely satisfying about Netflix, it’s ‘ability’ to find movies and TV shows on my liking and to be there for me for 3 days in a row.

Netflix is easy, it’s accessible and it does enough for its money worth. And their advertising works perfectly because after the free month that you can get, you will get so used to it that you will most definitely pay and extent your stay.

If these films that are under strict copyright control would be shared under a Creative Commons license and free of charge many more people would have an account, but their success is already massive which would not affect grandly their financial department. Movies and TV shows are uploaded as fast as lighting on it, even if it aired less that half an hour ago, and that is only because they have bought the rights to do so.If it were to not be under Creative Commons, it would not exist.

Even though Netflix is a Creative Commons license and these movies are allowed on the internet for our entertainment, whenever and whatever, in change of a appropriate amount of money, leaking films and so, obviously do not help them, but hence their quality will always out-do any other website, Netflix deserves the love it gets.

 

Online command.

cr: Donkey Hotey

Because I have been on social media for so long, ever since I was 12 years old, I believe that I have made a lot of mistakes along the way and that now that I am 19, I am trying to become more self-aware and restrictive with the information I share online. My first social platform was ‘Netlog’ (now ‘Twoo’) I mostly got an account because my bigger sister had one and I wanted it as well, because that is what young siblings do. After that I got into fan sites of various bands but this time I did not use my name or any real information, and I stuck with this for all websites I do not use for actual socialising now such as ‘Tumblr’, ‘Twitter’ (even though I should create a professional account soon) etc.

As a media and communication student, I started analyzing my behavior online much more and I realized that I have never been actually active on them, I only have a few pictures of Facebook, no vital information, everything is hidden from the public, but obviously with a little access to the database you can see it anyway.

If you search me on google only one picture will come up, my ‘Facebook’ profile, my blog, my posts for this blog, ‘Pinterest’ (it uses my real identity because I made the account through ‘Google +’), ‘Academia’ and my results for the Baccalaureate. Which is quite a lot, but nothing compared with a friend that found out that half of her life is on ‘Google’, creepy isn’t it?

 

Reddit

Reddit is one of the largest and arguably most active communities in the world. Just last month it had over 113,479,771 unique visitors. With over 600 subreddits being created every day, and hundreds of reddit meetups hosted every year all around the world, the community just continues to grow. It’s truly taken on a life of its own.The most impressive stat? This entire time, they’ve only had one community manager at a time for the entire platform.

Reddit is basically a platform for sarcastic and logical people that self-select to be apart of the community.

Reddit is one of the last major sites still centered around the early internet’s link culture — much of Reddit’s content involves linking to external sites — which, unlike Facebook’s increasingly insular “we want to be the internet” endless News Feed scroll, doesn’t translate very well to smartphones.

I’ve yet to encounter a site as large as reddit that has comparable strength of community. Admittedly, 4chan would be the closest, but there’s a very different, err, culture, there.If users see how much the staff cares, they’ll care too. This especially mattered when someone didn’t have a great experience. A free shirt, stickers, poster, or postcard signed by the team pays dividends far bigger than their cost and some postage. Which definitely adds up to the whole user experience.

Fine Brothers Entertainment

The Fine Bros are a YouTube channel  started in 2007 that has developed tremendously throughout the last few years,having over 13 million subscribers and 3.8 billion views and Fine Brothers Entertainment Company, a full service production company of digital series, television shows, and feature films.

Started as a parody account of short films in which the brothers acted in, it soon evolved into what will later on become their mark in YouTube history, reaction videos. Their first big hit series was ‘Kids react to’ which was extremely engaging to the audience, hence they were the ones to choose what the kids next reaction should be on. This created a tight relationship between the producers and the public.

Nowadays, besides ‘Kids react to’, they added ‘Youtubers react to’, ‘Adult react to’, ‘Teens react to’ and ‘Elders react to’. With this diversity they can reach massive audiences, no matter what age, which is an impressive act, as no other YouTube channels have accomplished this.

l personally used to enjoy watching their videos, but after the controversy, the Fine Bros with their attempt of trademarking the word ‘react’, which is pointless in my opinion, I have started to watch them less. But from time to time, I do go back to my favorites.

Here is the most viewed upload of theirs:

Middle Earth.

the_fellowship

One of the most famous movie series is of course, the good old, The Hobbit, with its sequel Lord of the Rings, which is in my opinion, a great example of media convergence.  Both based on two of the best sellers books of all time, J.R.R Tolkien, published these masterpieces between 1937 and 1955.

But this saga is not just books and movie, it transcended into web sites, mugs, games, loads of rings, armours, cups and everything you could ever dream of on both official merchandise sites Hobbit and Tolkien, and soon to be revealed theme parkThe Battle for Middle Earth, the game developed for the franchise, does an excellent job of this. The player can explore the conventional story line, but there are also new things to explore, little things mentioned only in passing in the original novel.

Thanks to Tolkien and the adaptation of Peter Jackson, who made an remarkably accurate representation and transition from paper and imagination to real life.

These stories have circled around the world and sparked creativity in thousands of children, me included. But I do believe the adventure that it holds to be timeless. And as the #1 rule of the fandom goes : ‘ A fan is never late, nor are they early. They arrive precisely when they mean to.’

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Do you agree that high-grossed series are perfect examples of media convergence? Are you a tolkinier?

Open up your mind

An interesting online resource that I would recommend is ‘Brain Pickings’, an amazing online blog founded by Maria Popova which features her writing on culture, books, and eclectic subjects off and on the Internet.

What I adore about her book reviews is that she gives in depth analysis of them and completes them with extensive quotes. If anything interesting is happening in the cultural world, she will post about it. Reason why I believe her work is extremely helpful for us, students, because it can help us think outside of our work for university, it is a way to relax as well as to extent our knowledge. Her intent is to open us up into our mental pool of resources — ideas, insights, knowledge, inspiration — that we have accumulated over the years just by being present and alive and awake to the world, and to combine them in extraordinary new ways.

You can visit the Brain Pickings site and subscribe to their newsletter in addition to following Maria  on Twitter and Facebook. This is entirely free site (although I have to admit that I frequently end up purchase the reviewed books) and if you like it, you can lend your support via a Paypal donation.

Here is one of my favorite posts about Conversational Do’s and Don’ts in the 1866. I believe this is an interesting read for us, media students, because we all need to develop outstanding conversational skills that will later on help us evolve in our careers.

Did you know about this blog? Do you have any favorite posts? Or did you just find out about it? If so, what do you think about it?