Student musings about digital media

This is a course blog used by students in the Multimedia Writing course at St. John Fisher College. In it, students are required to blog with analysis and commentary on news from the social media/ multimedia/digital journalism environment. Students are instructed to briefly summarize the news story or other item that the post is about, especially why it is an interesting or important development in the world of social media/multimedia. The instructions also call for including a link so that anyone interested in exploring it further can go to the original source.

On their behalf, I thank any readers outside of the class who happen to see this and read their entries. Comments appreciated!

Jack Rosenberry, St. John Fisher College


Getting You Started With Your New Iphone X

If anyone out there has the new iPhone X here are some tips and tricked to get you started on your new phone:

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1. Back up and restore

The first thing you want to do even before you turn on your sh8iny new device is back up and restore your old one. because how else are you going to either A: get your information onto your new phone or B: how are you going to sell your old phone if all of your information is on there. Backing up your phone is super easy all you have to do is connect it to the computer using your charging cable, open up iTunes and have apple software do the rest for you!

2. Set up Face ID

Yes, I know face idea is weird. But, it is still one of the most secure ways to keep your device locked. After all, your face is unique. When you go through your iPhones initial set up everyone thing will be the usual fanfare, until you hit the face id screen. all you have to do is follow the on-screen instructions and in no time you will be able to unlock your phone using the power of face id! and trust me, this set up is a lot faster than tapping the home button dozens of times to register a fingerprint.

face id setup

3. Update your apps

Finally, you have all of your information on your new iPhone, but whats this? all of your apps are being cropped by the display? Don’t forget to update your apps! The app store is where it always was so hit it and downloads section and you will see the apps that need to be updated, select check all your apps that are supported will take advantage of your gigantic screen you paid 1000 dollars for.appstore ipad

Now lets finally go through some gestures to get you started because you don’t have a home button now!

“Return Home:  Just swipe up from the bottom of the screen.

Jump between apps: Swipe left or right along the bottom edge of the phone to jump back and forth between apps.

App switcher: Swipe up from the bottom edge and pause for a second with your finger still on the display.

Close an app: If you need to kill an app from the app switcher you press and hold the cards until red (-) symbols appear in the corners.

Take a screenshot: Press the side button and the volume up button at the same time.”


Technology’s Impact On Consumer Behavior

Image Source: BestReviews

As we all know by now, technology is ever evolving.  In the 1990s, the computer and cell phone made their first appearance.  Then the smartphone arrived in the 2000s and rocked the world.  Now, businesses run differently and technology is greatly influencing the way consumers act.  From a business’ standpoint, it’s critical to know what technological innovations are/will be influencing consumer habits.


Growing ad networks

  • Google Ads first came along with its digital ads, then followed Facebook to compete.  Now, Snapchat as well as Instagram have implemented advertisements in their apps.  With all these avenues for advertisements, businesses need to understand their ad media and align it with their consumers’ preferences in order for the ad to be beneficial.  For example, a sponsored picture on Instagram or a sponsored video on Snapchat is a lot more appealing and intriguing to an audience than a boring blue Google hyperlink.

Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality

  • It’s all about brand engagement!  Snapchat geofilters are the perfect way for consumers to develop that new virtual experience, and in return gives the brand a great way to advertise!

Social Media Content

  • Like we know, technology is ever evolving, and we’re very aware that the growth of social media is right along side!  A human’s attention span is less than 8 seconds… LESS THAN 8 SECONDS!  People, including myself on occasion (I’ll admit it), are addicted to social media (shocker!) and brands need to understand how to fit in this new social world we have today.


  • Last but certainly not least, a chatbot is a computer program that conducts a conversation through audio or text, making it much more easier for companies to communicate with their consumers.  This definitely beats sitting on the phone with customer service with a woman saying every two minutes “Your call is very important to us, please hold” between that horrid elevator music playing.  Through chatbots, customer service satisfaction could increase drastically.


If brands can keep up with the daily changes of technology and social media, they’ll be prepared for anything that will come their way in the online world.


Source published on November 10, 2017 by George Beall via TheNextWeb.

No More Computer

What happens when the computers around you all but disappear? Is what said by Edward C. Baig of USA Today in an article for  This is a question ask because more home computers are disappearing because more people are going to Alexis and Sirri and other voices commend bots. This is giving people the ability to say something to the device and get your answer. This is eliminating the use of computers why would you go to your computer when you can sit on your couch and get the answer.

The Next step will be homes that are all run by computers. People still believe devices will play a huge part. They do certain tasks better than anything else,  provide a level of privacy, convenience, and security that cannot be matched,” Cromer says.But some of the regular features of our daily life may get computer-driven — without the tap of a finger. A person autonomous car pulls into their driveway and the garage door opens, the front door unlocks, and the lights inside the house flip on. The temperature is already set to their liking, and the ideal music for the moment starts to play, tuned to their every mood. They will be reminded of a conference call they had jumped on an hour later and are told it’s time to take their medicine.

With all this new technology and the more and more advance in technology. I feel as that this will make the human race lazier because at some point people will be able to do nothing and make money or use the bathroom without getting off the couch. I know a lot of technological advances are good but a what point do people just say ok this is just going too far and we are going to become so dependent on a computer system to do everything for use.

Face ID cracked already?


Hackers are already claiming to have cracked FaceID, which uses facial recognition to allow access to your phone. It’s unsettling to hear that in such a short time because hackers have already found a way to threaten users’ privacy, since Apple’s release of the iPhone X. WIRED reported that a vietnamese security firm, Bkav, claimed to have found a way to crack FaceID in a blog post with a video showing how the firm achieved this.

Bkav tricked the iPhone into unlocking by using a combination of a composite 3-D mask, silicone, makeup, and simple paper cutouts. Even better, the firm claimed that the mask only cost $150 which is pretty cheap compared to the expensive security Apple used for the iPhone X and the phone’s overall price tag.

The comforting thought about this discovery however, is that the process requires a lot of time and effort. Plus the hacker would need to specifically target and have access to someone’s face in order to pull this off.

This means that an everyday user might not have to worry about Bkav’s claims as much compared to a higher profile figure. That still doesn’t mean that this claim worries me in the slightest.

While it may be more far fetched to go through all the trouble of making the mask, someone could simply snatch the user’s phone and hold it up to their face to unlock it.

The idea of FaceID is nice in theory but puts me on edge as an iPhone user. I prefer the touch ID because if someone was trying to get into my phone they physically would have to get my thumb print or know my passcode.

Circa: Reinventing the Alarm Clock in the Smart Phone Era

In a world where most Americans have a sidekick in their pocket, it’s hard to create products that our phones can’t do. In spite of this, the company Circa has been leading the charge in smart alarm clock technology.

Circa has all the functionality of an alarm clock, with some new bells and whistles. It has a touch screen interface, Spotify connectivity, and even a white noise feature to play while you’re sleeping. Though this may be exciting, many consumers may ask “why?” Why buy a smart alarm clock when we have smartphones. This is a valid point. In terms of aesthetic and functionality, I’d buy a Circa just to have my nightstand looking sleek.

If you’re interested in the product, you can find Circa Labs on Kickstarter where they’re still looking for donations. If you’re looking for more functionality, wait a couple months and I’m sure Amazon will release a smart alarm clock with Alexa functionality.


The Best 2017 Online Black Friday Deals

Black Friday, the day after thanksgiving where most retailers have their best sales of the year.   How many of you would rather stay home, and eat leftover turkey?   I know I would.  Amazon, Best Buy, and Wal-Mart are a few retailers that have amazing online deals for Black Friday this year.  The best part about these deals is some of them have already started!  Let’s take a look at some of them.

TCL 55-inch 4K Roku LED TV $400 ($200 off)


Smart TV’s are in, and once you own a smart TV you can never go back!  Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon, and the list goes on.  For a TV of this size this deal will be hard to find anywhere else.

Amazon Echo Show + Cloud Cam $300 ($50 off)


The echo show and cloud cam is basically Alexa, but with a camera, and a screen.  It allows you to monitor your home from afar.  Pretty cool!

Apple iPad and iPad Mini ($80-$125 off)


Both the standard and mini are going on sale this Holiday season.  I still don’t own one of these.  Maybe this year with this deal, i’ll change that!

Apple MacBooks and iMacs $800 ($200 off)


Apple products are known for being overpriced but for this Black Friday it looks like the MacBooks, and iMacs got a good deal going on.  You can safe $200.  If you’re a student don’t forget Apple has student discounts, so get your student ID’s out because you can save a whole lot!

Do you like Black Friday? Do you like going to the stores on Thanksgiving night and Friday Morning? Or do you prefer the online deals instead?

Following a Hashtag

Some Instagram users have noticed the new ability to follow a hashtag rather than only being able to follow accounts. The Next Web spotted a tweet by one of the users testing this ability and discovered how useful this tool may be.

Hashtag following will allow you to follow whatever kind of topic you could want to. Instead of it being a really big influx of posts on your feed, Instagram has kept it to just top posts and stories.


Not everyone has the ability to use this tool because it is still in the test phase. I wish I were one of the ones chosen to test it because I think this tool is really unique and really helpful. From a media professional point of view, it can help you track your business in a new way by following posts using the unique hashtag you created. This can also help you gauge engagement and how well a campaign may be going. It can also keep you up to date on whatever topic is important to you or your readers/clients.

This tool could also be good to use for Twitter. I think Twitter should create this feature because a lot more hashtag usage happens on Twitter and I feel like the users would get a lot out of it. A lot of companies use hashtags as a way to start a conversation with consumers and then track its progress and also join in on the conversation. It would be nice instead of having to search it, to just follow it and have it pop up like everyone else you follow does.

Just like how in media classes students tweet out a class hashtag and then need to keep up with the classmates using it in order to be able to comment appropriately.