Multimedia StoryTelling

By the students of MCJ300 at The University of Southern Mississippi

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CISPA passed in House

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Does anyone even remember CISPA? I first saw that on my News Feed the other day and had no idea what that one random guy who I’m not even sure why I accepted his friend request was talking about. What about the Boston Marathon bomber? What about that explosion in Texas? Why are you talking about this CISPA thing that no one cares about? And then I remembered.

Ok, how many people remember SOPA? It was closely associated with PIPA. I think those got a bit more media buzz than CISPA. SOPA, which stands for Stop Online Piracy Act, is a proposed law that was first proposed to the House of Representatives in October of 2011. At first glance, it sounds like the bill just wants to help put an end to illegal activity occurring online. PIPA, or PROTECT IP Act, has pretty much the same story. Seems simple and innocent enough, right? Well, everyone I knew hated SOPA as well as PIPA and couldn’t believe the United States government was actually trying to control our privacy online. It was a violation of the First Amendment and everyone has a right to privacy and all this other stuff that feels like so long ago now. Everyone was happy to know that in January 2012 plans were postponed to draft the bill for SOPA and a vote on the PIPA bill would also be postponed. Yay, in Internet is safe once again.

Then CISPA came alone. If people thought SOPA and PIPA were bad, then they would have lost their minds with CISPA. The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act allows private businesses to share their customers’ personal information with any government entity. What? How was there not more press about this? Well if the American people didn’t let SOPA and PIPA pass, there is no way CISPA would get through.

As of Thursday, April 18, 2013, CISPA was officially passed in the House of Representatives. Shocker, I know. The biggest wonder is how almost no one heard about it. This is making news in the United Kingdom, but no one in America seems to know a thing about it. All day today I have been asking my friends what they thing about CISPA passing, and I always had to give them the same history lesson that I just typed out so they could remember and realize what CISPA was. This is big news people! If CISPA does pass and become a law, there is no more “right to privacy.” As if the government doesn’t keep a close enough eye on people already. The Interent, the largest center for information, multimedia, the biggest database in the entire world is slowly on its way to being monitored by the United States government. One thing that so many people love about the Internet is that it is not censored, it is not regulated, and the government does not have its hand shoved right in it. If CISPA is allowed to pass, will that still be the case? Please get educated about CISPA and tell your Congressman how you really feel. We can’t let this pass.


Written by yolandacruz93

April 19, 2013 at 7:13 pm

New Samsung Galaxy S4 “Phone”

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My Facebook news feed was littered with people proclaiming how they couldn’t wait to preorder the Samsung Galaxy S4. Seeing all these status updates just made me wonder if it was too soon for a new Samsung phone. Didn’t the S3 just come out? Or is it just all my friends prefer Apple to Samsung?

Regardless, I decided to do some investigating and see if the S4 would really be that much better, and it looks to be a pretty good model. There are the standards like optimized retina display, more megapixels in both of the cameras on the device, enlarged screen for more viewing, and so on. As I watched the video made by Samsung detailing all of the improvements to this new model, something occurred to me. No where in the video does it mention that it is an actual phone.

I suppose with technology we have done as much as we can with an actual phone service. We already have speaker phone, speed dial, and blue tooth enabled headsets. It seems to be that now we have done as much as we can on the phone aspect of this device, now the manufacturers seem like they are just trying to cram as many features into one device as they can, and most of those features have to do with multimedia.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 has two 13 megapixel cameras and a 1080p screen. Multiple phones can be used to create a stereo system for any time your friends decided to have a random dance party in your living room. All of our concerns with phones now are about multimedia. How good are the pictures I can take? Will the sound be good in my videos? How many songs with my phone hold? It’s all about multimedia. It has taken over our lives.

I’m not necessarily complaining about it. It is more convenient to not need to carry around one device for calls, one device for music, and a completely separate camera for taking pictures. I honestly wouldn’t mind getting this new phone for myself. I just found it interesting how multimedia has become so important to us that now mobile devices completely focus on that and no longer about how it works as a phone.

Written by yolandacruz93

April 18, 2013 at 3:14 am

First Annual South City Records Music Festival (Video Assignment)

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South City Records organized its first music festival in downtown Hattiesburg, Miss. The event took place on April 13, 2013. This festival was completely student run, and organized in roughly two months.

South City Records gives the Entertainment Industry students at the University of Southern Mississippi hands-on experience in how to work in a record company. The faculty advisor for South City Records, Drew Young, actually owns his own record label as well, so he tries to model South City Records to work like a real-life record company. This festival gave the students even more experience with how to deal with sponsors, booking bands and locations, and even doing some of the grunt work too.

The students in South City Records worked with such dedication to organize and execute this event. They were so proud of what they had done. The festival managed to attract a decent crowd and everyone seemed to be having a good time. They are anxious and excited to start planning their next event, and I am personally excited to attend it and see how great of a job they do once again.

Written by yolandacruz93

April 17, 2013 at 3:04 am

“Accidental Racist” Causes Controversy

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On Monday, April 8, 2013, Brad Paisley released his new single “Accidental Racist.” Featuring guest performer LL Cool J, the song talks about the issue of racism. In the song, Paisley takes on the role of a white Southerner while LL Cool J acts as an African-American from the North. The song addresses the issues of slavery and racism in the past and how they still connect to present day.

While to me it sounded like people should be praising this song for trying to break down barriers, ever since the song’s release the news media has been attacking this song for how misguided it is. Some have said that racism is a sensitive topic that needs to be talked about carefully, not in a country music song.

I heard a lot about how bad this song was and how releasing this song was a mistake, but I can’t quite tell what the issue is. I had no problem at all finding videos of people talking about the song, but I couldn’t even find the video for the actual song. From what I have heard of the song so far, it seems as if Paisley was actually trying to portray a positive message. It talks about how we should not judge others simply by their appearance. It probably could have been handled a better way, but at least it gets people thinking about the issue. At least, hopefully it does. Paisley wanted to people to think about how in our “modern” society, racism is still such a big issue. Instead of talking about why this is still around, people are just focusing on how this song shouldn’t have been released. I just hope with all of the publicity this song is getting, maybe people that wouldn’t usually listen to country music will listen to this song and think about this issue that we still have to deal with every day.

Written by yolandacruz93

April 10, 2013 at 7:24 pm

2013 Mississippi Science Olympiad Audio Slideshow Assignment

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The Mississippi Science Olympiad was hosted on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi on Friday, March 22, 2013. This is an audio slideshow I had to create for my MCJ 300 class covering the event. This video is for educational purposes.

Written by yolandacruz93

April 2, 2013 at 3:54 am

Photo Assignment: Spring Is Here!

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allergy canted_path sunglasses

Almost like a switch, it went from being cold and blustery to warm and sunny once Spring Break came around. The weather is warming up finally, and it shows all around.

The first picture is one of local stores stocking up their allergy medicines. Spring does have its downsides, such as runny noses and watery eyes. No need to worry. The stores are making sure to offer medicinal relief so you can enjoy this wonderful weather. This picture uses repetition and a slight diagonal.

The second one is of the trees in bloom on the Southern Miss campus. The sun is shining through the branches and leaves, making for too beautiful of a day to be cooped up in class. This photo uses the rule of the thirds because the path is in the lower left third of the frame. It’s also an example of a long shot.

The last photo is an example of an extreme close up. The picture is of a bikini top with a sunglasses pattern on it. With spring here summer isn’t too far off, so everyone better get ready for those days laying out by the pool or on the beach.

Written by yolandacruz93

March 18, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Video Game Simulates Autism

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“You have books and games that are not just about entertainment. I think it’s about time that games did the same.”

This is a quote from Vancouver-based video game designer Taylan Kadayifcioglu, according to ABC News. Kadayifcioglu, who also goes by the name Taylan Kay, developed a game with his two other teammates called “Auti-Sim.” This game is meant to mimic what it is like living with hypersensitivity, a common symptom of autism.

Anyone can play the game online. In “Auti-Sim,” the user walks around a playground other children are laughing and playing like normal. However, if the player gets too close the laughter gets loud and jarring and the children’s faces become distorted. The user escapes this overwhelming situation by retreating to a quieter, more secluded area of the playground.

“Auti-Sim” was created in only 12 hours in Vancouver’s Hacking Health Hackathon. The Hacking Health Hackathon is a computer programming event encouraging technology experts to mix with health care professionals to find tech-based solutions to health issues. Kay did not want to create a game that would be just for fun. Instead, he wanted to design one that would be educational and raise awareness about the daily challenges for people with autism.

Often times with mental disorders such as autism, those who do not have the disease cannot empathize with those who do. People without the disease don’t understand why others with autism are usually antisocial and have such a hard time interacting with others. I feel this game is breakthrough in using video games for educational purposes. The virtual realities created in video games are not exclusive to fantasy worlds. Video games are no longer just about putting yourself on the battlefield in World War II or becoming a rogue warrior who collects and trades items to gain achievements. Now virtual realities can reflect harsh realities that most people would not be able to experience.

While this demo version of “Auti-Sim” is limited to recreating a hypersensitive world, Kay and his team are working to develop a full version of the game. This full version would allow the user to experience a wider ragne of autistic symptoms. Kay and his team also hope to make the game available to the public for free.

Written by yolandacruz93

March 15, 2013 at 6:10 pm