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Week Eight

Security

When it comes to security, specifically online security, then I would say that I am pretty cautious about the information I allow online or store in my laptop. I’ve saved passwords on my Apple laptop via Chrome and Safari for the six years since I’ve had my own personal MacBook, but I feel confident about storing my passwords here because one needs my laptop password to access any other information on here. However, I have become more cautious over the years about my online information as I’ve witnessed others struggle with hacking or scamming.

One thing mentioned in the video lectures from this weeks module was to always install software updates on our computers when available. Of course Apple makes it pretty quick and easy to update our laptops, but I typically find myself clicking the “remind me later” option instead of “update now” or “update tonight” options because I just don’t want to wait 10 minutes to go through that process. After learning that software updates are protective of our online activities from Dan Gillmor, I will definitely be taking that simple step of added security from here on out.

One thing I’ve always been cautious about when it comes to laptops in general is the camera. After watching Abduction released in 2011, I’ve always had a slightly uncomfortable feeling with the fact that other people can gain access to my MacBook’s front facing camera whenever they please. In the movie, the front facing camera’s green light appears in the middle of an important conversation and is not noticed by the main characters until its too late and the private information had been openly discussed. Of course in order to access that computer’s particular camera a link had to be clicked first, but one can never know which link is attached or interfered with by a hacker. I’ve only seen my front facing camera turn green one time without having done it purposefully, but I quickly covered the camera with my finger and restarted my laptop to get whoever was on the other end out of my bedroom.

Its easier to access metadata than it is a front facing camera on a specific laptop connected to a specific wireless router, but all personal information is important and users should feel safe communicating with others online when needed. According to ProPublica, there are possible programs that encrypt all messages so that the data being shared is safe until in the hands of the one receiver. However, it is not possible to completely hide yourself from mass surveillance even if one is taking precautions when downloading items from the internet and sharing data via online systems. As technology continues to advance so will hackers’ ability to access information that is not theirs. It is going to be an ongoing battle that only time will be able to tell. Until then, I plan to continue to store my passwords safely in my hard drive’s memory,  update software installations when possible, and keep track of all credit card transactions that show up in my bank statements. I’ve witnessed hackers inside of a Starbucks on multiple occasions as well, so remaining cautious about which wireless systems to connect to will always be a priority of mine as well.

Coding via CC Search
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Week Seven

Law & Media

The law, being a standard set of rules that everyone and everything has to abide by, is most definitely going to effect media as well. Especially considering the fact that media gives people such a large reach to express themselves and utilize freedom of speech, having rules and guidelines is expected and helpful. However, it seems to me as if social media is actually affecting old school media, such as journalism and news papers, more than the law is effecting it.

With defamation, or lies, at the heart of social media, a lot of news has become misinformation, slander, and gossip. Specifically when it comes to public figures, defamation can make any lavish industry a destructive lifestyle. However, its not only public figures who are harmed by defamation. Anybody can come under attack of lies and false information so easily being spread through social media these days.

The reading that stood out most to me regarding law and media was about 13-year old Megan Meier who committed suicide due to cyberbullying (or defamation). Because the cyberbullying took place on MySpace through online hacking, the website had a certain responsibility when it came to the case against Meier’s online attacker, Lori Drew. Drew broke MySpace’s terms of service when hacking into Meier’s profile and because of this it was up to MySpace to criminalize the case.

How did the law help the media in the case of Meier and others’ against Drew? Well, because of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and other laws, Drew was charged for hate speech and intent to harm others through social media (put simply). Free speech is one thing, but hate speech is a completely other problem. Unfortunately, in today’s day and age users have access to many sites that offer them easy access to voice their opinions regardless of whether its something nice to say, true, or hurtful.

When it comes to topics such as defamation and online censorship, I think it is the government’s duty to do everything they can to protect their citizens and more specifically their youth. Freedom of speech should only be allowed to a certain extent. Intent to harm others should not be protected under freedom of speech, its the people targeted that should be protected against online attacks. There is a difference as to what information should be allowed to be kept concealed from the government and what should not. The government is not interested in whether or not an incognito window has the word “boobs” typed into the search bar. But should they have the ability to be aware of whether or not the word “bombs” is being typed into the search bar?

I think that law within the media is so complex that it is overwhelming. There is a certain duty that our people have to protect each other and provide a healthy environment to grow up and survive in. Some media laws such as rights to copyright materials and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act are helpful and in the correct place. But I feel as if there is much more ground to cover as social media continues to dominate this world and give users such easy access to others and sensitive information.

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students Week Six

Wikipedia – Woolsey Fire


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Learning how people contribute to Wikipedia and the process behind editing or adding information to a page has given me a greater respect for the website as a whole. I was taught not to use Wikipedia as a source in the past, specifically in high school, because anybody can edit it and add their own information to pages, and it is therefore not completely reliable. However, it is now clear to me that there is a lengthy process behind adding new information to a Wiki page and that all of it has to be properly sourced.

When brainstorming Wikipedia pages that I could look into editing or adding information to I realized that I do not necessarily have a lot of knowledge regarding one particular topic. So, the deciding process of this assignment was difficult for me. I’ve worked at Starbucks for almost four years, so I looked into their page for quite some time trying to find some details I could edit or update. However, it seemed to me, after reading majority of the Starbucks sections twice, that it was completely up to date and probably too mainstream of a page for me to edit.

Eventually I landed on the Woolsey Fire page which took place in Calabasas and Malibu, California in November of 2018. At that time, I was attending Pepperdine University in Malibu and was living in Calabasas, California, so I experienced this devastating wildfire first hand having been evacuated for 15 days.

I read the entire Woolsey Fire page and found a few mistakes that urged me to find the correct articles with the information I remembered. The first thing that grabbed my attention about this page was the information regarding animal safety during the fires. People living in the Agoura Hills/Calabasas areas were evacuated first, but the fire quickly moved west and all of Malibu was evacuated soon afterwards. At the time, attention from those living in the evacuated areas was quickly turned towards a winery called Malibu Wine Safari. This safari-like wine tour is located in the heart of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area where the fire was spreading and many people quickly became concerned about the safety of the many wild animals living at the winery. Thus, Stanley the giraffe, an uncommon visitor to Malibu Wine Safari, became a headline on the news the first day of the fire on November 8th.

A giraffe being in danger in Malibu was not mentioned on the Woolsey Fire Wikipedia page although other animals were, so I decided to make an entry of this and cite it with a popular news article that I remember having read during all the chaos. To do this, I headed to the Woolsey Fire talk page and added my suggested change along with one other addition to a list of celebrities whose houses were among those destructed from the fire.

My suggestion to the Woolsey Fire talk page

After waiting a full 24-hours for a response on the talk page, I checked back to see that no comments had been made. Therefore, I published the two changes I submitted to the talk page on the morning of February 27 and began to wait again.

After another 24-hours I checked back into my edited Wikipedia page and was happy to find both of my edits still there! I honestly was not expecting my Malibu Wine Safari comment about the giraffe to be reverted considering the first submission listed the animals to have been located at “Malibu Wines” and not “Malibu Wine Safari” which is coherently incorrect. My submission including Caitlyn Jenner to the list of celebrities whose homes were destructed was less important of a change to me, but still made the cut which I am pleased about.

Both of my Wikipedia edits are visible in the bottom two paragraphs

As an overall experience I would rank this one as a good one. The training modules from Wiki Education were not as time consuming as I would have expected and full of helpful information. If I were to have skipped the training modules, I would have found myself completely lost and confused regarding the Wikipedia editing process. Although I did not utilize all of the editing skills that I learned about, I think that this editing process was lengthy enough, having taken me over three days to complete, and a useful skill to have had practiced in a classroom setting. All in all, I am happy to have a better understanding of what goes into editing a Wikipedia page. As I have mentioned before, I have a newfound respect for the website and all of the effort that goes into adding or editing information. It is a much more reliable source than I was lead to believe and am happy to have a better understanding of the layouts of all the pages and the easily accessible sources listed at the bottom of every page.

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Week Five

Curation

Knives Out movie poster – IMDB

Forbes Knives Out Tops $300M: This Year’s Most Promising Original Movies
Forbes is known to be a credible source.  Their article discussing Knives Out‘s current success rate has many different angles all proving the same thing – that Knives Out is one of 2020’s most promising original movies. Using monetary facts from Knives Out‘s box office ratings, comparing and contrasting the movie agains other current headliners such as Frozen 2, and discussing Lionsgate’s marketing tactics leaves this movie review to be considered credible and well-rounded.

New York Times – The Hunt a Satire with Elites Killing ‘Deplorables,’ is Revived
The New York Times is also known to be a credible source. This article discusses a movie that has yet to be released, The Hunt, and why it was put on hold last year. Due to the numerous mass shootings in America during 2019, Universal decided to table the horror flick’s release date because of fear of criticism. It is now set to be released May 19, 2020 using “forthrightness” as their new marketing tactic.

 

Sonic the Hedgehog movie poster – IMDB

The Washington PostThe Sonic the Hedgehog movie is about loneliness and the limits of doing everything yourself
The Washington Post is also known to be a credible source. Their article about the new comedy, Sonic the Hedgehog, discusses how it is more than bringing a video game to life. The movie’s underlying meanings go deeper than the comedy of the film, but discuss the serious topic of loneliness and what it means to go through life alone as opposed to with a companion. *Warning – this article includes spoilers.*

 

The New YorkerPromotional Tie-ins for the New Little Women Movie
The New Yorker’s comical take on the promotions for the new Little Women movie brings some lightheartedness into their Daily Humor section. Each comical tie-in modernizes the traditional Little Women characters whilst also promoting the movie.

The Atlantic – Dolittle Is One of the Worst Movies in Years
According to David Sims of The Atlantic, the new Robert Downey Jr. film, Dolittle, did not ring in any praise. From the plot, to the characters, to the script, Sims review puts the remake to shambles, but uses facts along with opinion.

During this week that I spent curating articles about movies, TV, and their reviews, I have found that a lot of statements made are factual and not just opinionated. At the beginning of this class, and throughout my first several blog posts, I have discussed a number of movie reviews that are quite opinionated and sometimes throw in monetary facts about the films. However, this week my horizons expanded through the news sites I used and the types of articles I read.

Oscar Winners 2020 – ABC

Not only did I go out of my way to discover more credible sources other than E! News, which I discussed in my 24-Hour Media Use blog post, but I found much more varied types of articles. Originally, looking back, I did not expect many credible news sources to discuss the entertainment industry very much, but in actuality it is a popular topic among all news outlets. I saw numerous articles written about the Oscars which took place February 9. From predicting nominations and wins, to discussing the results of the awards ceremony, entertainment news is definitely a popular topic for even the most prestigious of news outlets. I had no problem finding articles about movies and TV shows from every source I have used for this blog post and will continue to utilize them in the future.

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Week Four

Analyze – Allie Gemmill’s ‘Birds of Prey’ Failed to Take Flight

Image via Warner Bros.

Within the first month and half of this new year, 2020, the film industry has already had some big ups and some big downs. Unfortunately for the DC Comic’s spin-off movie of the 2016 major box office success, Suicide Squad, Birds of Prey has not been off to as successful of a start. It’s opening night only brought in $13 million which is about $120 million shy of Suicide Squad‘s $133.7 million opening weekend. Although Birds of Prey still has one more day to reel in some more views, about $13 million is nowhere near enough to make an impressive first impression. According to Allie Gemmill of Collider, “it is unclear why Birds of Prey is taking such a hit … [because] the film scored plenty of praise from critics and audiences alike.” With an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes and popular stars such as Margo Robbie playing Harley Quinn, the unimpressive opening weekend is a surprise to us all.

This article about Birds of Prey by Allie Gemmill is honest and semi-verifiable leading me to conclude that it is a decent review. Collider is a website that focuses on entertainment news, analysis, and commentary, along with original features according to Wikipedia. It has been under several people’s ownership including Complex and Marc Fernandez. The author, Allie Gemmill, was easily found on Muck Rack which is a website similar to LinkedIn, but specializing in public relations and hiring freelance journalists. Gemmill’s impressive resume on Muck Rack includes working for Disney and writing for TeenVouge, Yahoo, MSN, and more along with Collider. Because Gemmill has experience helping write scripts for TV shows and movies, her reviews for movies and the entertainment industry are deemed to have a substantial backing.

Image via Warner Bros.

Throughout Allie Gemmill’s review on Birds of Prey release weekend, she hyperlinked all of her sources used to make statements in her article. Majority of the linked sources brought readers back to Collider with reviews and articles written by other journalists. These linked articles also include hyperlinks back to Collider along with some to Twitter using many verified voices speaking out on the same movie. It was disappointing to see that her sources consistently lead readers back to her employer’s pages. Without utilizing outside sources, it is difficult to feel as if Gemmill’s opinion is well-rounded and non-biased. It seems as if Collider is capitalizing on its journalists referencing back to themselves in order to gain more views in general.

Gemmill also utilizes numerical figures and comparisons to other box office hits that coincide with Birds of Prey such as DC Comic’s Suicide Squad featuring Margo Robbie as Harley Quinn. She ends the article with an up to date list of the weekend’s box office ranks to show how the movie performed in comparison to competing titles. Although Birds of Prey fell short from their DC Comic’s parent movie, it ranked number one in comparison to competing titles today such as Dolittle with Robert Downey Jr. and the new spin-off Bad Boys For Life.

‘Suicide Squad’ (2016). Courtesy of Warner Bros.

One topic Gemmill did not touch on was Birds of Prey‘s advertisements leading up to its release this past weekend. Suicide Squad dedicated over $75 million of its budget to the campaign process according to Medium back in 2017. Regardless of how the film’s reviews actually played out, the excitement leading towards the release of the film created enough steam to gross over $745 million worldwide. The campaign process of a film is just as important, if not more, than the quality of the film itself. The buzz $75 million had the power to create for Suicide Squad made the movie that much more successful overall. The advertisements for Birds of Prey clearly fell short considering its first weekend barely broke the $10’s of millions. Finding more angles to report on rather than just facts and rankings regarding the newly released film would have given Gemmill’s review more substance. There is still a sliver of hope left for Birds of Prey, but typically, a film’s opening box office weekend speaks loudly within all the Hollywood gossip and chatter.

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Week Three

News & Opinion

This week our focus is surrounding the difference between news and opinion. Regarding movie and TV show reviews, majority of the content available on the web discussing new productions’ releases would be considered opinion. This is because each and every viewer will view the same TV show episode or movie differently due to their own personal experiences, thoughts, preferences, and biases. However, there are lots of articles that can be considered news worthy about the entertainment industry, they’re just more difficult to find. So, lets dive right into that process.

“Disney’s Frozen Receives Price Drop on Xbox Video” by BagoGames is licensed under CC BY 2.0

First, lets head back to 2013 to discuss the release of the “top-grossing animated film of all time” at that time – Frozen (hollywoodreporter). According to the Hollywood Reporter, the release of the musical tale Frozen back in 2013 broke records after earning $1.28 billion globally. Breaking records such as being the top-grossing animated film of all time is definitely considered to be news worthy. The numbers earned from the release of the film Frozen could not lie and therefore, neither could the Hollywood Reporter. Flash forward to November of 2019, Frozen 2 broke seven records within its first week of being released. Anna and Elsa’s second adventure wrangled in over $358 million worldwide in only seven days (hollywoodreporter). And after only one month in theaters, the movie had “nabbed over $700 million worldwide” (forbes). These outstanding numbers speak for themselves by saying that Frozen 2 is an exceptional movie that deserves the public’s views. However, thats not what all the reporters were saying about the film.

Erik Kain for Forbes wrote an article discussing the “5 biggest problems with Disney’s disappointing sequel.” According to Kain, Frozen 2 had too many fundamental problems with the story to be considered worthwhile. With problems from its mess of a plot to its unmemorable music, Kain’s opinion of Frozen 2 is not a good one (forbes). Although Kain’s arguments have some stance to them, I’m not sure his personal opinion has a greater stance than the undeniable monetary revenue that the film had received. So in this case, with the Hollywood Reporter’s facts as backing, Frozen 2 is worth the watch regardless of Kain’s less than satisfactory report. Although both articles stem from credible news outlets, in my opinion, why would a middle-aged man’s opinion about an animated film made for kids warrant any power anyhow?

“AVENGERS ENDGAME | unofficial artwork” by PL Boucher is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Another recently successful Disney movie was Avengers: Endgame. The capstone to the 22 movie Marvel universe was, and still is, a very highly rated film. The 2009 movie Avatar had held a 10-year reign as the biggest box office champion until the release of Avengers: Endgame in April of 2019 (variety). After one weekend in theaters, only two days, Avengers: Endgame crossed $2.79 billion at the global box office (variety). Until then, the highest grossed global box office record was held by Avatar after receiving $2.78 billion within its first weekend (variety). After beating out a 10-year hold on a global box office record, it is safe to assume that Avengers: Endgame is a great movie, right? Well, according to many top critic reporters, yes!

Matthew Norman for Evening Standard, Go London reviewed Avengers: Endgame only six days after its release. “The only complaint about Avengers: Endgame is that it raises the bar so high that there may well never be a superhero movie to match it” (evening standard). Like Norman, so many others reported positive reviews about the final movie. With opinion and fact backing this film, it is safe to say that it is worth a watch.

Again, movie and TV show reviews can be difficult to rely on no matter how credible the news outlet may be because really these reviews rely solely on opinion. When looking at the facts about the revenue Frozen 2 and Avengers: Endgame brought in in just their first weeks in the box office, one could conclude that the numbers prove that the movies are great and they will like it! But even then, nobody can be sure that a highly rated or highly grossed movie will be to their liking because every individual’s preferences are unique and different.

If you missed the embedded links within the article, you can find the discussed reviews here! Hollywood Reporter. Forbes. Variety. Evening Standard.

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Week Two

Picking My Blog Topic: Gabriela’s Guide to Good Movies & TV Shows

When beginning the process of choosing a blog topic for this class I knew right away that I wanted my topic to be in close regards to the entertainment industry, but even more so current popular TV shows and movies.

“Disney Channel Countdown” by Paul Clements is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

I’ve been a movie and TV buff for as long as I can remember. I’m sure majority of kids go through a phase where they want to be on Disney Channel or in the film industry, but my phase has yet to end. I’ve always struggled with the idea of “what I want to be when I grow up.” Mostly because so many different occupations intrigue me and I have a lot of varied skills that could help me do well in a multitude of careers. However, why would I choose only one career that interests me when in actuality they all do?

“Cheerleaders” by NAPARAZZI is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

My dream to become a successful actress is because I want to be a lawyer, and a doctor, and a model, and a high school cheerleader. As an actress, you have opportunities to take on all different types of roles such as those career and character options. Because the film industry has excited me for as long as I can remember, I spend a lot of time watching TV and movies. Besides the fact that it interests

me and is something I aspire towards, I really enjoy breaking down different elements of these productions and seeing what I could do differently, and maybe even better, if some of those rolls were mine.

 

 

And this, brings me to my blog topic. I have a secret super power where I have the ability to predict what is going to happen in almost any TV show or movie. This may seem like it dulls the process of watching a thriller, mystery, or really any show ever, but it actually leaves me with a really high standard for what I consider to be a goodlet alone a great, production. Therefore, I will be blogging and reviewing TV shows and movies that are gaining a lot of traction in today’s pop culture and let you know if its really worth all the hype.

A popular entertainment news outlet that I have previously mentioned in another blog post is E! News. E! follows everyone and everything that is pop culture. However, they not only follow it, but they create and start some of the more popular conversations being had in media and in pop culture.

Penn Badgley “Easy A” by canmark is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

For example, have you heard of the show YOU on Netflix? Its cast consists of popular actors such as Penn Badgley, known for his role in Gossip Girl, and Shay Mitchell, known for her role in Pretty Little Liars. E! News has been discussing and hyping up this show, YOU, since it was first released in September of 2018 and was renewed for a second season later in 2019. The show follows a serial killer, stalker within his own mind so the viewers can gain an emotional attachment to him and maybe agree with or justify the decisions he’s making. However, when has it been socially acceptable to encourage a serial killer, stalker to continue on that path? Well, since E! News decided YOU was the new hip, cool show that everybody needed to be discussing.

Media has so much power in todays society that revolves completely around popular culture. If one of the Kardashians talk about a brand or product on their Instagram, the next day that website is out of stock. Nobody cares whether or not the product is good for them or if they need it, just that the Kardashians use it and so shall we. We need to take back that power and tell the media what they need to be discussing, not vice versa.

Thats why my blog is going to be discussing the real good TV shows and movies that are out there, but are not receiving the attention they

“DVDs – Sept. 2015” by CCAC North Library is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

deserve. The only genre of film or TV that my readers can expect not to hear about is horror. Personally, I do not understand or agree with purposefully putting fear into our hearts and minds. Therefore, any horror genre I stay away from. But, if you are interested in any of the many more genres out there, such as comedy, romance, thriller, action, adventure, and others, then please stay tuned for Gabriela’s Guide to Good Movies & TV Shows.

 

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