Movie Makeover

In response to: 


Studios and exhibitors unveil digital cinema network

After reading the L.A. Times article above think about what this type of effect an innovation like this might have on the movie industry, or maybe even more relevant, on the movie theater industry.  Is digital delivery a good thing overall or will it create difficulties for some?  Think of this in terms of the enabling, limiting, motivating, and inhibiting factors that come up with this technology.




Movie theaters are the staple of American past-times. Being around for decades, technology with movies is constantly and drastically advancing. But what about the movie theater? Well, a huge step is coming into play, a digital and satellite delivery system to beam movies, promotional content, and live events directly into movie theaters. This has been long-overdue. A cost- efficient way to stream movies (etc.) inside theaters. 


The enabling factors include that many theaters have already installed digital projectors in their theaters. The move to satellite streaming has been a direction that many institutions have seen coming for awhile now. With the television industry being so reliant on digital satellite delivery to consumers, it was only time it hit the big screen.  It certainly acts as a motivating factor to apply this innovation. For one, it saves a substantial amount of money. Currently, movies theaters have to physically retrieve the hard-drives for these upcoming movies to show to the public. This not only is costly, but a huge waste of time. According to the article, 10 years ago it cost $2,500 to deliver the hard copies to theaters. With the innovation of digital delivery, it would cost around $50-$125. Time is money. The quicker you can show your audience the movie, the better. The less middle men you involve with the process of distribution to the theaters, the better. There are very few limiting, or inhibiting factors to the innovation of this technology being in movie theaters. It brings in technology that has been lacking in the movie industry for years. One difficulty that comes to mind is quality control. Satellite is not perfect, buffering and staling are the biggest concerns I have for digital delivery in the theater. When watching satellite television at home, buffering can make or break the experience. This would only be amplified in the movie theater. Consumers are paying for the big screen, perfection is not only expected, but required. 


The innovation of this technology being applied to the movie industry is going to have a huge impact the entire process. If done correctly, I think that this is a great move that producers are making to create an easier process of getting the movies to the audience. However, digital delivery can have its drawbacks. I look forward to seeing how the industry adapts to this huge makeover. 



Digital Billboards

In response to:


Electronic billboards called another distraction


The link above is about three years old, but read it anyway and see if it still applies. It is about digital signage on the roadways. Electronic billboards. Should there be laws to outlaw them? Are they really distractions to motorists? What effect would banning them have on the digital signage industry? Is banning something that may seem dangerous the best thing to do? Don’t digital signs save paper? Give consumers more up-to-date information? Read and comment.




Technology is advancing in more ways than one. With all the pros of useful technology, there can also be cons. Electronic billboards are a new wave of PR and marketing in the new era. With the idea of having more advertisements, and less use of paper, marketing departments of every industry are jumping to use them. Yes, electronic billboards are great for getting drivers attention on the road, but are they too good at their job?

After reading this article by Matt Richtel, Electronic billboards called another distraction, Richtel claims that drivers are too distracted by these glowing billboards, and it is becoming a safety hazard.  There are no studies that show that electronic billboards are any more a hazard to drivers than traditional billboards. These billboards are “television on a stick” and their job is to distract drivers, whether it’s for a second, or a dangerous 5 seconds is the question.  The arguments is based on that drivers are not allowed to text and drive because it is dangerous and distracting, how would looking at a billboard with the glow of Times Square be any different. Moderation is everything. If you are using advertisements that are videos, or flickering lights, it is definitely a safety hazard to all drivers. However, if they are just portraying a similar image that would be printed on a billboard, I do not see the harm or distraction that it imposes on drivers that is any more than traditional printed billboards. It allows for more advertisement on one billboard rather than only one. Plus, you don’t need to have crews of men constantly manually changing the advertisement.  It gives consumers instant information, which in many cases is extremely helpful. Amber alerts and traffic alerts are just a few ways that digital billboards could drastically make a difference. There should be laws and regulations on these billboards that keep advertisements from getting carried away.  With safety guidelines that keep advertisements in check, I think electronic billboards can be very useful.

Anything can distract a motorist, but that doesn’t mean we need to ban useful technology because of it.  I understand the concern from the critics of the use of this technology, if not used properly it can be dangerous to drivers. It will be interesting to see what further studies come out with on this issue. 


In response to: 

Bill would create royalty market for broadcaster payments to musicians


The link above discusses the issue of paying royalties to copyright holders of music. Read it carefully to make sure you understand the issue and then comment on whether you would be in favor of this type of law or against it. Would this be an inhibiting or enabling factor in the radio industry. We already have radio, of course, and probably always will. But what type of effect might this law have on other technologies. As you read this you need to take note at ASCAP and BMI are organizations that protect the copyright holder. They do not, however, protect the performer. Anyway, read and comment.




This FMRA (Free Market Royalty Act) will have many pros and cons to the radio industry. Which these changes musicians would be able to reject offers that they do not find to be acceptable, which will push to equalize bargaining power.

This is an enabling factor for many performers. They will get more of a direct payment for what is created and shared with the public. Radio broadcasters claim that this jeopardizes free over-the-air service (inhibiting factor). I think that this is a great step when it comes to performance royalties, but I do question the effect it will have on smaller independent companies. Without adequate offers from broadcasting moguls, would what they produce be heard by the public? Many independent companies are going to be left out, which is another inhibiting factor.

Performers need more protection in this industries, and this FMRA is working on protecting them. Technology is continuing to advance, and music is being streamed in more ways now than ever before. This Act will definitely effect it. I fear that the independent companies are not going to be represented to the best way possible. It will definitely be interesting to see how it develops if the Act is passed. 



In response to:


The Future of TV 

We have been discussing digital TV and its various forms — digital, cable, DBS, IPTV.  The link above is to an interview with Brian Roberts from Comcast, one of the largest media companies in the country.  The interview focuses on what the networks will have to do to stay competitive in a world full of competition that is making more and more content available free to consumers. 


Read this and decide what you think about what Roberts says.  Do you agree with him?  Why or why not?  Do you have any ideas of your own about the future of the networks? As always, think about this in terms of enabling, limiting, motivating, and inhibiting factors.




Staying competitive in a fast pace world leaves lots of room for error. Available content that consumers can get for free is the current battle of television ownership and programming. Personally I agree with Brian Roberts, TV is going to change more in the next five years than it has ever before. With upcoming technologies, including portable devices and Wi-Fi, cable seems to be becoming old-fashioned. Pickiness is the new trend, you want exactly what you want, and no one wants to pay for it. 

With competitors such as Areo, these huge companies, such as Comcast, have to watch their back. Areo allows live free streaming television on phones and computers to consumers (With a monthly subscription fee). Companies like these raise a question to consumers on why they are paying for hundreds of channels, when they only want a handle of them. According to Brian Roberts, “you can’t just buy the sports section of The New York Times. You take the whole paper”. Areo is currently fighting lawsuits against Time Warner over this very topic. Comcast is moving everything to the cloud, the enables the consumer to have easier upgrading. Technology is making everything faster. I agree that Comcast needs to focus on broadband subscriber-ship. With the decline of cable subscribers. Roberts also mentions that he sees the future to be filled with devices. Cables and cords will be the thing of the past. This motivates the competitive nature of all these major corporations to step their game up with broadband (or at least it should). There is no telling what the next five years hold with technology, but it is definitely is a direction of personalization. Consumers want to pick and choice the exact channels they want constant access to. I would not be surprised if that is what television becomes. More and more companies are going to figure out ways to do this, which major companies, like Comcast, will have to be on top of to survive. 

There are many uncertainties when it comes to “what’s next”. But, that being said, competition and the fight for live-streaming on wireless devices will be the thing of the future. Brian Roberts, of Comcast, understands that, as well as other companies. Similar to how cord-phones are a thing of the past, so will cable television.

Unlocking Cell Phones

In response to:

The Obama Administration Pushes the FCC to Allow Phone Unlocking

There are a couple of “policies” that contribute to the culture of cell phone usage in the United States.  One of those is “unlocking” a cell phone in order to do away with the restrictions that a manufacturer or carrier place on users, and another is the freedom or lack thereof of choosing a cell carrier.  The article above deals with these.  Read it and then comment on the issues in terms of the motivating, limiting, inhibiting, and enabling factors we have discussed.


With cell phones being our constant companions in today’s world, wouldn’t it be nice to use them with whatever company we want? WE spend hundreds of dollars per phone, and we are strapped to the company we purchased them from. After you spend all this money on the your brand new cell phone, you cannot change phone companies. You not only bought the phone, but all the strings attached to it. President Obama’s plan on removing the limitations on cell phones is overdue for this day and age.

There are several enabling, limiting, motivating, and inhibiting factors to this pending policy change. Enabling factors to unlocking cell phones is that it would not affect service agreements that the providers has with the consumer. With the requests to the FCC to “immediately initiate the process of setting rules that protect Americans’ investments in mobile devices” they would allow cell phones to be used with any “compatible network”.  Limiting factors for unlocking cell phones are a few change in the Library of Congress. The new elimination of exemptions under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that allowed consumers to unlock new mobile phones without the cell phone carriers permission. Motivating factors of this change would be freedom to the consumers. Consumers could use their cell phones to whatever provider they desire, and would have an easy transfer between compatible networks. The only disincentive of this would be for the cell phones providers, they no longer will have consumers “locked in”.

Cell phones are mandatory in today’s world. Not having a cell phone is no longer an option, and smartphones are becoming more and more necessary (previous post highlights that). Limiting consumers with cell phones should no longer be an issue. One should not have to cut off an arm and a leg to change providers by purchasing a brand new phone for no reason at all, except to please the provider.

Changing the Rules of Cell Phone Use in JCPS

In response to: 

Jefferson County Public Schools and Cell Phone Usage

the Jefferson County Public Schools have a cell phone policy that has recently been changed.  Read the article above that deals with the changes in JCPS policy and determine what you think about it.  Is it good, bad, or doesn’t matter? Whatever your opinion make sure you have a reason for thinking as you do.



Technology is changing, as well as the world around it. Society has become more and more dependent on cell phones, tablets, computers, and the technologies of tomorrow. Is the education system in Jefferson County doing its best to prepare our kids for the world today, and for tomorrow? When I first saw that the article supported cell phone usage in schools I was shocked. After reading the piece, my views took a different stance. 

It can work, yet I have a lot of reservations. My original view when looking at the article was that it was a bad idea. Especially with social media being as popular as it is today, what was going to stop kids from constant socializing if they were ALLOWED to be on their cell phones during the school day? When I was in high school, not having your cell phone on your desk took away the temptation of surfing the web for the latest gossip, or texting friends. Once I read the article there were a few points made that made me second guess my opinion. If done correctly, with the right rules and regulations, it makes sense to let kids use smartphones in school. We are living in a world run by technology. Whether we like it or not, they are going to be a major part of our social, and professional lives. Kids in school are growing up in this age, and need to be prepared to use all the tools necessary to thrive in this world, and that includes smartphones. They are basically computers in your pocket, why not tap into that amazing piece of technology and use it in a productive way. For this to be successfully however, the teachers will need to be able to control the use of cell phones. With the temptation being at student’s fingertips, it can be very easy for this privilege to be abused, and even damage a student’s education. If there is a way to monitor the cell phone use, I would support cell phone use in public schools. With that being said, I do not know how that can be done. They mentioned in the article that they would have “instructional time” and “common time” where students have to use their phones for education, but will get free time too. I do not know how this will work when you have no way to tell what a student is doing with their phones at every point in the day, but in an ideal world this would be great. On another note, the fact that cell phone use in the classroom is taboo, it is almost more tempting to use your phone because it is forbidden. Making the cell phone no longer a secret may lower the feeling for students to abuse it. 

In my opinion, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered before the educational board should pass this rule. It definitely has potential and with the right protocol it could be successful. But, it can definitely backfire if not done appropriately. This is a digital world, and using the right tools can help our children be better prepared for it.

The Newspaper

In response to:

Of all the technologies discussed in Chapter 2, select the one that you think has the most surprising history and explain why you feel that way.


Technology has drastically progressed throughout history, and there are many amazing stories on how each techology has built on each other. Out of all the technologies from Chapter 2 of Communication Technology Update and Fundamentals, the story of the Newspaper is the most surprising to me. It was an important way to spread information not only when it was first developed, but even to this day.

Many people could not tell you the first Newspaper in North America is. If you asked me I would assume it was the New York Times, or some other famous newspaper. Publick Occurences, Both Foreign and Domestick was shockingly the first newspaper created in North America. This newspaper was produced in 1690. When first developed, the newspaper was not very popular, which I found very surprising. You would think with one of the first technologies to be able to mass produce and spread information, that it would have been an immediate hit. But, you have to take the times into consideration. Illiteracy was very common during this time period. Education was a luxury, not a given right. No one could afford to buy a newspaper that they couldn’t read. Not only were the newspapers themselves expensive, but it was very expensive to be able to learn how to read. According to the text, it wasn’t until the 1800s, that newspapers started to grow. The Industrial Revolution made the newspaper more accessible to the general public instead of the just the wealthy. This is still surprising to me. I did not realize, or take into account, that the literacy rate drastically improved during this time period. Yes, the newspaper became cheaper because of the better ability to mass produce the printing process, but I never knew that during this time the middle and lower classes had the education to be able to read the newspaper. Wars seemed to speed up that process. The only way people could really get information on the Civil War and the Mexican War was by being able to read. I suppose this gave people an incentive to learn how to read. Also according to the book, during the 1950s, newspapers more than doubled in sales. This came to no surprise to me. This was considered the “Golden Era” television, the American Dream, everything was in full bloom. Education was not only accessible, but became mandatory. Illiteracy no longer was a problem. Even today, newspapers are still popular, many even branching into even newer technology.

The newspaper was the gateway of mass communication, and its story is one I never heard of. I was always taught how the television, telephone, and even printing press were created, but you never really hear about the history of the newspaper. It is a cools story that mirrors how society grew through history. I was surprised about a lot of problems the newspaper faced. This has given me a deeper insight on how important the newspaper has been to society.