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


The RISE of Spotify’s New Feature


As a huge music fan, I’m thrilled to hear about any new program that will allow me to discover new and up-coming artist. Spotify is helping its consumers do just that with the launch of their new program RISE which was announced Friday October 20th.

Sarah Perez, a writer for TechCrunch, explained to readers the importance and what the program does in her article.

Spotify said in their news release, that the new program was created to “identify and break the next wave of music stars,” to the company’s listeners. They will achieve this by marketing the new talent in order to help the artists be heard.

The company also said, that they would host live events and release audio and video content for each RISE artist. Starting off the new program are music artists: Kim Petras, Lauv, Russell Dickerson and Trippie Redd. RISE is said to add four new artists every three months or so, and totaling in 16 artist per year.

I’m excited to check out these artists and learn more about them and their background in the videos Spotify will release.

I think that RISE will certainly help in introducing Spotify users to new music and I’m interested to see how this program plays out compared to other brands who have similar features such as Apple Music’s Up Next.


Apple Sued by Japanese Company

On October 20th, 2017 Apple was sued by a Tokyo-based company, Emonster who filed the suit on Wednesday in US federal court. They made this statement about the suit, quoted from the company’s CEO, Enrique Bonansea, who is a US citizen living in Japan:

“Apple made the conscious decision to try to pilfer the name for itself.”

Image result for Animoji apple

The app that Emonster owns is on the IOS platform and its called Animoji, which launched in 2014. The app lets people send emojis, animated like GIFs. However, the Animoji feature on the iPhone 10 lets people use their face and facially superimposes it onto the desired emoji of choice. The ariled listed above talks about this and continues to write that:

“Although Emonster has owned the trademark for Animoji since 2015, Apple filed a petition this September to cancel the trademark, so the registration is now under review.”


Image result for Animoji apple

The Emonster company is seeking an unspoken amount of “damages” in the suit but it’s clear who is going to win. Apple has gone through this before and with a team of lawyers behind it, it’s going to be hard for a smaller company like Emonster to win the suit.  Apple hasn’t commented on this lawsuit yet.

How to Improve the iPhone for everyone.

People love their iPhones. There are some improvements that every person in the world would like to see.  David Nield from writes for on some of the changes that he thinks that could make the iPhone better.

When it comes to the face recognition, yes it is the new and a proved way of security on the iPhone, but before that, it was the fingerprint ID. This worked fine because you could use the fingerprint ID from any angle. This is not so with the face ID  you have to look at it just right. That can be a significant pain for people. David wrote in this article ” Why not have Touch ID and Face ID on the same phone, to give us all the choice?”

One spot where Android is still way ahead in is the Wireless changing.  The iPhone is still trying to catch up in that way. The way people can charge the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and, X  fast is you have to buy a bulky charger and cable this will bring your phone from 0 to 50 percent in half an hour. Where Android gives people the option of both the wireless and cable chargeing for their phones.

One more thing that could help Apple sell its phones if the price dropped. Asking people to pay 1000 dollars for a phone is a little much. One way to change this is getting rid of some of the extras that your phone may not need to have, that a tablet or a computer can do and may have already.

People love the things that the phones can do but at some point, it has to go too far.They are talking about putting in virtual reality in the phones.I just wish these big phone companies would understand that the phone at some point still has to make a phone call. With the phone companies trying to put more and more in the phone there will be no room for the phone to be able to make a phone call. That would defeat the reason for having the phone in the first place.



Is Facebook Marketplace the New Craigslist?

Recently I’ve noticed Facebook has added a new feature to its site, and it’s called Facebook Marketplace.  Users can sell almost anything.  Furniture, appliances, video games, clothing, instrument, phones, TV, and even cars.  If you want something used, and at a good price, chances are you can find it on the Marketplace.

To access Marketplace hit the middle button on the bottom, to the left of the notifications button.  This will appear once you do so.


As you can see you can search in the search bar for anything you are looking for.  You can set up the search from location, and the amount of distance you are willing to search.  Also you can customize the search with a certain category, and price.  There is even a free category if you’re feeling lucky.

Recently my mother has been babysitting a 2-year-old.  She expressed to me that she wanted to buy a stroller for her, but didn’t want to spend too much money since it’s only a part-time job.  I suggested we tried the Facebook Marketplace.  We were both skeptical at first, but we gave it a try.

Look at that, tons of strollers pop up!


We ended up finding a decent priced one for $20 in Farmington, which is just a town over from where we live.


We contacted the seller, who was an older women who had the stroller for her granddaughter, who is now to big for it.  The messages go straight though to Facebook Messenger, which was very convenient.  We set up a time when we could pick it up, and pay for it.  My mother and I but had a little bit of anxiety about the situation.  We made my dad come along with us, just to be safe.

As we arrived the stroller was waiting for us in the driveway, and the cutest old woman came out to greet us.  After inspecting the stroller, and making sure it was as nice as the picture, we paid the woman and went on our way.  Not as scary as we thought!

I had a great experience with Facebook Marketplace, and i would use it again.  Have you used Marketplace yet?  Would you use it?  I would be interested in what you guys think.


Garmin Speak with Amazon Alexa

Introducing Garmin’s Speak with Amazon Alexa!

Garmin Speak™ with Amazon Alexa

I’m sure everyone has heard of, or even has an Amazon Echo, aka Alexa.  The first generation of Echo made it’s debut in 2015 and gained instant popularity.  It only gets better, Garmin, a company that manufactures GPS navigation technology, has partnered with Amazon to bring Alexa along for the ride with you in your car, calling it Garmin Speak with Amazon Alexa.  The device the size of a car charger and can be hung from your windshield, yet not distracting you from driving.


Nifty Features of Garmin’s Speak with Amazon Alexa

  • All you have to say is “Alexa” to get it’s attention
  • Play music via bluetooth or the AUX cord
  • What’s the weather like? How’s your favorite sports team playing? Any breaking news? How’s the stock market doing? Etc.
  • Order things or make a to-do list
  • Turn to turn directions (visual & spoken)
  • Control smart home devices like your locks, lights, thermostats, etc.
  • Passengers can be entertained with a variety of games, jokes, trivia, etc. (useful if you have little ones in the car or are on a long road trip!)


Options are endless!  Great invention to help drivers not look at their mobile devices while driving.  This could easily help save a lot of accidents.  With an iPhone for example, you have to hold down the home button to speak to Siri. However, it’s all talking with Alexa, so there’s no need to pick up the phone at all!

Try out Garmin’s Speak with Amazon Alexa for just $150!

Source published on October 18, 2017 by Abhimanyu Ghoshal via NextWeb.


Phones down at McDonald’s

In a continuous effort by McDonald’s to get customers to put down their phones and start stalking, they have created a new initiative and the name of the campaign is “Phones Off, Fun On.”

An outlet in Singapore is targeting kids and parents to encourage them to lock their phones away in an phone box. Instead of people using the boxes, they are posting pictures of them with comments about never seeing a phone in them.

With technology updating and growing every single day, so is the role it plays in our society. Many people now a days can’t even sit down for a meal without looking at their phones at LEAST once.

McDonald’s built 100 lockers for phones and due to the lack of use so far, it may have been too much to start with. However, they also created a little design for the corner of tables to keep your phone in while you eat, which sadly, isn’t going well either.


I’ve always found it a little ridiculous the lack of true communication that happens between people face to face now. Especially during a meal where you are sitting face to face with someone yet choose to ignore them in favor of what’s on your phone.

In some of my classes so far, I’ve had challenges where I’d have to go without the use of technology among other things. One challenge was 8 hours and one was 24 hours. The 8 hour challenge was a lot of fun a, but for the 24 hour one I did struggle with a lot.

I love what McDonald’s is trying to do for our society. There are so many times when I go to eat with someone that they are talking with other people on the phone or watching videos which makes me feel the need to be on the phone too. I start to think, what’s the point of eating with someone else if we are going to ignore each other?

I am hoping that this initiative gains some success and can spread to more areas to promote communciation and family time. It is sad that we need something like this in order to talk to one another.

Twitter Boycott Leads to New Anti-Abuse Rules

This week, many actors and actresses have denounced Harvey Weinstein, as it has come to light that he has sexually harassed and abused many people throughout his time in Hollywood. Twitter was abuzz with angry tweets about Weinstein and the people who were bystanders to his actions. Rose McGowan was particularly active on Twitter, accusing Weinstein of rape and tweeting about the people who knew what he was doing but said nothing. She was one of the most vocal people, calling for the Weinstein Company to be dissolved. Twitter suspended her account, citing that she has “violated the Twitter rules” because one of her tweets included a private phone number.

After the suspension, many Twitter users began a 24-hour boycott of the platform. This incident with Rose McGowan has brought negative attention to how the company solves abuse problems. In the past, Twitter has suspended users who share threatening messages that they themselves have received.

CEO Jack Dorsey said that Twitter will take an aggressive stance in enforcing its rules and that it will unveil new rules to stop the unwanted behavior that occurs on the social media. These new rules will center around: “unwanted sexual advances, non-consensual nudity, hate symbols, violent groups, and tweets that glorifies violence.” Hopefully, Twitter will use this opportunity to better their platform and the way it responds to abuse.