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


Fitbit’s Ionic Smartwatch Release


The Ionic Smartwatch, Fitbit’s newest gadget, is set to release October 1st and fitness fanatics everywhere have their criticisms, myself included.

As mentioned in Techcrunch’s Article, Fitbit has already established itself as a leader in wearable fitness. Blaze, the company’s first smartwatch, made its way to the top of Amazon’s Android-ready smartwatch charts in 2016. Fitbit predicts the same support for Ionic, since it is of particular interest to Android users.

Ionic is more like a wristwatch than Fitbit’s other fashion-minded products, yet isn’t quite a ‘smart’ watch. I wear my Charge 2 everyday and I love it, but none of Ionic’s features are calling me to upgrade.

It has an array of sensors for tracking your fitness and movements. It includes Pandora integration and Bluetooth support for headphones. Its battery life is stellar, allegedly. However, the smartwatch apps exclude messages, phone, mail, and maps. Notifications will alert you to incoming messages and calls, but you’ll need your phone handy if you want to interact with them. With my Charge 2, I am able to receive these notifications, which is a huge plus for me. If the new one can’t do what mine already does then what’s the point of it?

At $300, it’s only $29 cheaper than the non-cellular Apple Watch Series 3, and there’s really no comparing the features on the two. They both have their strengths, but truth be told, I’d be much happier using an Apple Watch as a fitness device than Ionic as a smartwatch.


Apple’s Stocks are Down in wake of iPhone 8 Launch

I posted this article in a previous tweet a couple of days ago but I thought it would be great to expand upon what I’ve been saying the last couple weeks. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are not the only phones Apple has released this year; along with these models comes a new kind of phone, the iPhone X.

Now, while the iPhone X doesn’t really do anything special we have never seen before (Face ID has exacted in other forms, aka retinal scanning in multiple Samsung Galaxy phones) It is created with that Apple person that so many people love.

And, love it or hate it, it will be relapsed in a month or so. But that’s not what we need to talk about today. Just a couple days ago Apple relied the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus which resulted in not so long lines at the stores (which are usually backed up down the street and back).

Even Apple is feeling the strain with their market value falling as well (instructed in the article by Seth Archer of Market Insider). But this is all ok. Why? because there are two iPhone models for a reason. Not everyone can avoid the new shiny iPhone and with this new fashion to the iPhone line up (the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus) they won’t need to.

The iPhone X is what I’ve said before: a luxury product. Not everyone is going to get one and not everyone should get one.

Article Link:


Turned up to 11

Love it or hate it, Apple released a new operating system for iPhones and iPads, IOS 11.

The recent release on September 19 has initiated online discussion over the pros and cons of the system. The IOS 11 offers new features such as a new control center and other updates to Apple software.

However, one problem continues to emerge. Despite the great features, IOS 11 is killing user’s batteries.

In addition to the trusted Low Power Mode, Research shows that the following tactics will help improve battery life:


  1. Check app battery usage

Go to Settings > Battery and a list will appear that specifies which apps are using a lot of battery. This way when your battery is getting low, you can limit the time spent on that app.


  1. Lower your screens brightness

It’s a totally clache method but it actually works!

By going to the control center, you can reduce the screen’s brightness. The display is the biggest aspect that can drain your power. Adjusting the brightness does not exist in settings as Display & Brightness. With IOS 11, it can now be located under Settings> General> Accessibility> Display Accommodations.


  1. Axe Notifications

The phone and display will be disturbed less if the amount of notifications received is restricted. Every time a notification is received, the phone lights up and power is lost.

Go to Settings> Notifications to turn off the apps you don’t need to see right away, or ones that are displayed on the lock screen. Users can tell their phone to show certain notifications when the screen is unlocked by going to Show Previews and selecting When Unlocked.
These are some ways to save battery life on any device with the IOS 11 update, other than Low Power Mode. For more about the IOS 11 or tips to save your battery click the links below.


Drone Deliveries

Posted on 9-11-2017 on an Article by Matt Hughes, Stated that cannabis deliveries cannot be drones, aircraft, watercraft, rail, human powered vehicles, or unmanned vehicles. The State of California said that all Cannabis goods must transport in a commercial motor vehicle or trailer. This does stink for a startup pot delivery companies like Eaze and M delivers that have the pot-drone delivery market to themselves. With the Federal rules being more relaxed the deliveries would have been possible. But to make the deliveries possible the cannabis goods must be in an enclosed motor vehicle, may not be visible to the public during deliveries, be left in an unattended motor vehicle unless the vehicle has an active alarm system. Vehicles used for delivery must have a dedicated, active GPS device that enables the dispensary to identify the geographic location of the vehicle during delivery. Beside that the Federal Aviation Administration rules require drones to fly within a pilot’s sight. That law essentially puts the brakes on all drone-powered deliveries. For all those people who use the cannabis goods for whatever you should go and get it or have it delivered to you by the local UPS and or FED EX companies. On top of that people could just shot the drone done and take your cannabis goods and use the goods for themselves. So you would have paid for their cannabis goods.

Facebook and Twitter at the center of Russian Investigations

Since the President Election in November of 2016, one of the biggest story’s has been the allegations that Russian officials may have minupulated the outcome of the election. Now arguably the two biggest social media platforms are at the center of these allegations.

Both Twitter and Facebook are under investigations by congressional committees who allege that Russian officials used fake accounts and purchased ads related to social issues in order to try and influence the results of the Presidential Election.

U.S. government officials are saying that both companies have not been completely forthcoming, as well as not handing over all necessary documents.

Representatives from Twitter are scheduled to explain the role the their company played to staff members of the Intelligence Committee.

Facebook meanwhile has come out this week with a video statement from CEO Mark Zuckerberg addressing the investigation and Facebook’s involvement.

“We support Congress in deciding how to best use this information to inform the public, and we expect the government to publish its findings when their investigation is complete” said Zuckerberg.

I think this article is important from the standpoint of there hasn’t been anything like these allegations before. A foreign country using fake social media accounts to try to affect a Presidential Election is unprecedented in my opinion. It will be interesting to see the results of the government’s findings and what the possible disciplinary outcomes are.

Article published on September 22, 2017 by Ryan Lucas of NPR.

New Features with iOS 11

Finally iOS 11 is here!  There is 15 new features that can improve your iPhone skills.  There is a couple of features I’m excited to try.  Here are the top three i’m interested in trying first.

Emergency Mode


To activate emergency mode you have to click the home button five times.  Emergency mode will disable touch ID and will allow access to medical information and 911 from that screen.  It should be interesting to see if people will actually use this feature.  Who knows, it could save a life!

Record your screen from your device

With the new feature you can now screen record.  You will find the button in the Control Center once you add a custom shortcut.  Now you can easily save your friends Snapchat’s.  Will be interesting to see if Snapchat will update and notify you if someone record’s a snap.  Currently Snapchat does send you a notification if you screenshot someones message.



YES! Finally you can save GIFs to your photo library.  As someone who loves GIFs, I’m really excited about this one.  I would often try to save GIFs on my phone, and then remember I can’t save them, but not anymore!

Here is a list of other features to look forward to with iOS 11.


Fox Sports Transitions to Online Video

fox sports

Fox Sports has been looking for ways to grow alongside the media. They sure might’ve found their answer with the transition to online video. Who wants to read about a game when you can watch or hear about it?

While this an incredible idea to bring everything to the ever-growing Internet, Fox Sports has eliminated 20 jobs in writing and editing. Those jobs are now being replaced with video production, editing, and promotion. Affected employees are encouraged to apply for these positions, however there’s no guarantee they’ll get the job.

By producing these videos online, it gives Fox Sports an advantage of advertising on the web as well as on television through commercials. While social media continues to grow, so will the popularity of advertisements Fox Sports chooses to put on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

Fox Sports isn’t the only news outlet that is making this transition to online. Vice Media Inc., BuzzFeed Inc., the New York Times and more are using video rather than writing. So far it seems to be working well for Fox Sports; the gap between ESPN and Fox Sports is narrowing.

I strongly agree with Fox Sports’ decision to transition to online video. I’m honestly surprised it took them this long to make this move though considering how much the Internet and social media has grown over the years. Hopefully they keep growing as a news outlet and catch up to the ESPN ratings.

Fox Sports Cuts Web Writing Staff to Invest More in Online Video

Source published on June 26, 2017 by Lucas Shaw on Bloomberg.