Luka "Las Vegas" Vidovic's Blog

February 22, 2010

Mad Cow Energy Drink

Filed under: Uncategorized — lvidovic @ 10:43 pm

Here’s a video depicting the good and bad of energy drinks.

Blogging and Vlogging

Filed under: Uncategorized — lvidovic @ 10:37 pm

The Future of Property, Privacy, and Reliability in 21st Century Media

The past hundred years have seen extraordinary transformations in mass media. Independent newspapers, once praised by figures like Thomas Jefferson as a cornerstone of democracy, have given way to instant email updates, twenty-four hour television news, condensed Twitter headlines, and a deluge of hyper-local news blogs. While traditional forms of mass media persist as branches of immense media conglomerates, the digital revolution has, for the first time, granted the general public access to a global audience for a negligible cost. As a result, conventional views of property, privacy, and veracity within mass media have been called into question. While the long-term effects of this new media era remain debatable, the evolution of mass media seems to have, at least for now, moved further away from an Orwellian dystopia of extreme censorship and consolidation of property towards a highly collaborative, open-source model of media distribution. Thanks to blogging, vlogging, wikis, search engines, and other defining tools of Web 2.0, the concept, and problems, of democratized media has become a primary focus of the new millennium.

At the forefront of this media revolution is the blog. The rapid growth of the blogosphere has created a fast and inexpensive way for individuals to express their thoughts to the public without a great deal of technical skill or accreditation. Hundreds of millions have taken advantage of this new technology by blogging about everything from music and fashion to politics and humanitarianism. While some take advantage of the relative anonymity afforded by screen names and pseudonyms, others use blogs as an intimate means of self-expression in an otherwise impersonal digital world.

As traditional media outlets have become consolidated into vast media conglomerates and increasingly delocalized in their perspectives, one popular use of blogging technology has been to publish hyper-local news and information that major networks might overlook. These bloggers are often well connected in the circles they blog about, sometimes allowing a degree of authenticity beyond the reach of a major news network. Others are themselves journalists in major media outlets who, in their spare time, publish more comprehensive articles than the brief overviews published by their employers. These alternative news sources can provide readers with highly relevant information without the perceived influence of media conglomerates or advertising agencies.

While these technologies have diversified media creation and distribution, they certainly have significant pitfalls. Web 2.0 tools like blogs and Twitter have generated an abundance of unsubstantiated rumors, countless violations of intellectual property rights, and a large volume of irrelevant “noise” that masks more substantive publications. Due to the relatively unregulated, unverified, and uncensored nature of these digital media, false stories can reach millions of users in record time, as was the case during a recent Twitter hoax when word spread that airlines would fly medical staff to Haiti free of charge. Over the years, several court cases such as Doe v. Cahill have arisen where plaintiffs have attempted to hold bloggers responsible for their questionable posts, however, victims of blog and vlog libel have been unable to win a landmark decision regarding this issue. One of the few meaningful decisions regarding the limits of bloggers rights came in 2009 when Richard Horton’s request to have his anonymity as a blogger protected was rejected.

Businesses and firms have also struggled to both preserve their intellectual property rights and keep their employees from leaking important secrets or tarnishing the company image through online publications. In 2005, Mark Jen, an assistant product manager at Google, was fired for publicizing company secrets on his blog. One congressional assistant by the name Jessica Cutler was fired for blogging about her sex life. Other media outlets have struggled with the loss of intellectual property, from leaked albums to entire movie scripts. While these groups do have tools for fighting copyright infringement on sites like Youtube, the sheer volume of Internet data makes such a task nearly impossible.

One, often overlooked, pitfall in this media revolution is the possible overabundance of online information. With only so much time in a day, it can be difficult for an individual to sort through all of the data from an Internet search. There are often too many articles on any given topic to completely cross-reference, so drawing objective conclusions can be difficult when using online data. This situation can lead to a sort of confirmation bias, which, in turn, may perpetuate incorrect beliefs, promote ideological polarization, and prevent constructive dialogue between opposing groups, all of which could damage the collaborative spirit of Web 2.0.

Overall, it appears that George Orwell’s prediction of the future may ultimately prove wrong. Advances in mass media have allowed individuals to gain more expressive freedom, even at the expense of business and government rights. While large corporations may continue to assimilate traditional media outlets, the tools of Web 2.0 have generated a torrent of user-created media that would be difficult for any entity to quickly silence. For now, it appears that the value of property may take a back seat to the value of expressive freedom in the Web 2.0 era, but with the threat of Orwellian media waning, new problems will continue to arise. As control of mass media shifts from the corporation to the consumer, it may be more important than ever to build and preserve good relationships with peers, otherwise you, too, may one day find yourself on the wrong side of a blogger’s post.

Energy Drinks

Filed under: Uncategorized — lvidovic @ 7:54 am

Energy Drinks are so unhealthy for us. However, due to the strain of college classes, a lot of students end up taking them, me included. The biggest question I have is: Are energy drinks just liquid placebos that appear to give people a burst of energy because they think that is what it is supposed to do? Some people feel that energy drinks are just a combination of water and sugar. However, through my experience, I have found energy drinks to be very useful in giving me a bolt of energy. I really like to drink energy shots because they come in small packages, so you don’t have to drink as much to become alert. My favorite kind is 5-Hour Energy Drinks. What will be the future of energy drinks? Maybe someday, they will be something that will be free to the public. Maybe energy drinks will one day be incorporated in common beverages like orange and/or apple juice so that people can be alert while enjoying their favorite drinks at the same time. Despite what may happen in the future, energy drinks are an unhealthy habit that needs to be broken. Perhaps we should listen to the words of David Allen in Getting Things Done and organize our lives better so that we do not need to drink energy drinks to gain the needed enrgy to complete our tasks.

February 14, 2010

How Ahead of their Time are the Visions of George Orwell and Philip K. Dick?

Filed under: Uncategorized — lvidovic @ 5:55 am

I am just going to start with the obvious. Today’s world is not the one that George Orwell and Philip K. Dick predicted it to be. Advances in technology have allowed the individual to have more of a voice in society. Thanks to facebook, twitter, and blogs, people can voice their concerns and opinions to a larger audience, no matter how slanderous and degrading it might be. However, one still has to act oneself: How ahead of their time are the visions of George Orwell and Philip K. Dick? Perhaps there will be a day far into the future, where governments and organizations will find a way to use technology to gain more control over the public. Right now, technology seems to be giving people freedoms that they could not even imagine 20 years ago. Maybe its the presence of democratic systems of government that allowing technology to benefit the individual rather than the institution. With democratic systems comes free enterprise. Since their is more opportunity to make money by coming up with new technologies that the public wants, technogical advances end up expanding the freedoms of the individual rather than giving instititutions to powe to hinder it. As always, the answer comes down to forms of government.

February 8, 2010

The New Way of Getting a Job-Online Business Networks

Filed under: Uncategorized — lvidovic @ 10:15 am

With the rise of Facebook and Twitter comes a new wave of networking in the business world.  Companies, such as Microsoft, have created online business networks to match job applicants to employers. While the best way to get an employer to consider you for a job is to talk with or email him your cover letter and resume, that may soon be a thing of the past. With these new job applicant-employer networks, companies do not need to waste so much money on recruters to go find qualified people to fill job openings. They just need to sign in and let the potential employees come to them. For potential employees, these sites are very convenient as well. Instead of going to numerous career fairs and tirelessly searching the web for job openings, you can just log in to a business network, look up numerous job openings with one search and apply. Currently, it appears that the most popular business network is LinkedIn. However, the future of the market for business networks on the internet still needs to be determined.

January 30, 2010

What would I Dance to in a Nightclub

Filed under: Uncategorized — lvidovic @ 8:23 am

If I were in a nightclub, I would dance to Down by Jay Sean because it has a really good beat and has a good combination of music and rap. I would also dance to Give it up to Me by Shakira. for the same reasons as Down. Both of those songs also feature Lil Wayne, which is a plus. Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys is also another great song that I would dance to in nightclub. I guess that I pretty much like songs that have both vocal lyrics and rap lyrics to them.

January 26, 2010

Hello world!

Filed under: Uncategorized — lvidovic @ 12:55 am

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