Technology: helping the spread of news (part 4)

In our previous three blog entries, we discussed how technological advancements like the printing presssteam engine, telegraph, radio, and television (see beow) have helped spread information and the news to the public-at-large.   In our final entry, we will continue the discussion on how technology has helped shape the spread of information and the news.

1947-Farnsworth-GV260-10in

Source: http://www.wired.com

Like the television set, the Internet (see picture below) was another revolutionary advancement in technology, in terms of, spreading information and news because the Internet is able to connect people from different countries with each other.  For instance, I can talk to my cousin Vivian in Taiwan by e-mail or through the social networking site MySpace by using the Internet.

how-to-use-the-internet

Source: http://www.google.com   

Another, aspect of the Internet that helps spread information and news is the fact that many newspapers like the ”New York Times” and the “Washington Post” have websites that carry their news stories online and often send breaking news alerts to people who subscribe to their e-mail alerts.  Smaller papers like the “Army Flier” in Enterprise, Alabama, which serves the Fort Rucker community also uses the Internet to spread news and information to the soldiers who live on the base.  My father, Robert Morse, interestingly enough, got his picture in this newspaper and its Facebook page when he attended Warrant Officer training in September.

Overall, as one can see, technological advancements like the printing press, steam enginetelegraphradio, television, and the Internet has helped spread news and information more easily and effectively to the masses.

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Technology: helping the spread of news (part 3)

In our previous two blog entries, we discussed how technological advancements like the printing presssteam engine, telegraph, and radio (see below) have helped spread information and the news to the public-at-large.  In this entry, we will continue the discussion on how technology has helped shape the spread of information and the news.

Girl_listening_to_radio

Source: Wikipedia

While, the telegraph and radio were helpful in spreading information and news to the public-at-large,  the television set (see below) provided a whole new means of providing information and news because it was the first time the public-at-large was able to see live images of a person or persons telling the news.  According to Mitchell Stephens, author of “The History of News“, television broadcasting began on July 1, 1941 and the Federal Communications Commission allows eighteen television stations to begin broadcasting their signals.  NBC (National Broadcasting Company) and CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System) (who orginially started out as radio stations) were the first broadcast in New York City with CBS broadcasting newscast in two fifteen minute intervals to a small audience.

1947-Farnsworth-GV260-10in

Source: http://www.wired.com

Mitchell Stephens also mentions that by 1949, there are over 100 television stations in the United States and that the first newscasts were done by Douglass Edwards (“CBS TV News”)and John Cammeron (NBC’s “Camel News”).   

Overall, as one can see, technological advancements like the printing press, steam engine, telegraph, radio, and the television of news and information.  In the next blog posting, more advancements in technology will be discussed to help people further understand how technology has helped in acquiring news and information more easily and effectively.

Technology: helping the spread of news (part 2)

In our last blog entry, we discussed how technological advancements like the printing press and steam engine (see below) have helped spread information and the news to the public-at-large.   In this entry, we will continue to discuss how technology has helped shape the spread of information and the news.

Steam printing press, West Sussex Gazette, Arundel, c1890

Source: http://www.westsussex.gov.uk/apps/eLearning/medium_image.jsp?imageid=1311

Like the printing press and the steam engine, the invention of the single wire telegraph (see picture below) by Samuel Morse (who also invented Morse Code) in the 1830’s was another technological achievement that helped spread information and news around to the public.  According to Mitchell Stephens, author of “The History of News“, Morse showed off his invention to a group of people congregating at a railroad station in Washington D.C. by announcing the presidential and vice-presidential nominee ticket for the Whig Party in 1844.    

180px-Morse_tegraph

Source: Wikipedia

Another technological achievement that happened around this period, according to Mitchell Stephens, was the creation of the first transatlantic cable  by Cyrus W. Field (see picture below) in 1858, which established a faster means of communication for talking with people in Europe from the United States, as opposed to, the old fashion way of sending handwritten letters from the United States to their destinations in Europe by ships. 

p_field_01

Source: PBS

Perhaps, one of the most important technological advancements to help spread information and news around easier and more effectively was the invention of the radio in the 1890’s.  Mitchell Stephens mentions in his book, “The History of News”, that Guglielmo Marconi patented his “wireless telegraphy” or radio in England in 1895.  Further, improvements on this new technology,  would lead to the creation of radio stations.   The first radio station in the United States was KDKA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and it first broadcasted the results of the 1920 presidential election between Harding and Cox on November 2, 1920.   The radio would become a popular medium(see picture below of girl listening to radio)  to find information and the news. By 1927, according to Mitchell Stephens, there would 733 radio stations operating in the United States.

Girl_listening_to_radio

Source: Wikipedia      

Overall, as one can see, technological advancements like the telegraph and the radio have helped in the spread of news and information.  In the next blog posting, more advancements in technology will be discussed to help people further understand how technology has helped in acquiring news and information more easily and effectively.

Technology: helping the spread of news (part 1)

Advancements in technology over the years have helped in the  spread of news.  From Pi Sheng (see picture below) being the first person to use moveable type in 1041 C.E. in China (some 400 years before Johann Gutenburg introduced the printing press to Europe in 1450 C.E.) to the use of blogging by reporters, atheletes, entertainers, and students today (2000’s), technology has opened the door for people acquiring news and information more quickly and effectively.

foto_picheng

picture of Pi Sheng and his apprentices.  Source: http://www.picheng.com.br/picheng_english.html

Though, Pi Sheng was credited with inventing the moveable type, according to Mitchell Stephens (author of “The History of News“), “the invention is not a big success.  Chinese has too many different characters to make such a system practicable. ”  While, Pi Sheng could not utilize his invention for the Chinese people, Johann Gutenberg was able to utilize his invention, the printing press to help his fellow Europeans (mostly, elites and religious monks) print things faster.  The printing of the ”Bible“ (see below), in particular, benefited from Gutenberg’s printing press because people had better access to it because more copies were available to them to acquire. 

140px-Family-bible 

Picture of Family Bible.  Source: Wikimedia 

Later, the printing press was used to print pamphlets, letters, almanacs, Latin grammer books, and eventually newspapers in Europe.   In fact, Mitchell Stephens mentions in his own book that Christopher Columbus‘ own letters (see reproduction below) on his discovery  of America in 1492 (technically, a rediscovery, since Vikings originally discovered America in 986 C.E.) found distribution, thanks in large part to the printing press, before Columbus returned a year later from his travels in Barcelona, Spain

f2930t

Source: http://www.usm.maine.edu/~maps/columbus/f2930.gif

Like Columbus’ letter, Martin Luther’s “95 Theses” (1517 C.E.) also found wide distribution because of the printing pressStephens states that “word of these Theses spreads through Europe in a month”.

Newspapers also found popularity through the use of the printing press, though the process of producing them was slow at the time.   That all changed with the introduction of the steam engine in 1814.  The steam engineaccording to Stephens, was “first used to print a newspaper, the ”Times of London”.  Before its use, the “Times” prints 250 sheets an hour, with the steam press (see example below), 1,100.”     

Steam printing press, West Sussex Gazette, Arundel, c1890

Source: http://www.westsussex.gov.uk/apps/eLearning/whiteboard.jsp?imageID=1311

Overall, as one can see, technological advancements have helped in the spread of news and information.  In the next blog posting, more advancements in technology will be discussed to help people further understand how technology has helped in acquiring news and information more easily and effectively.

Blog 4: The little people inside your computer

Imagine, if a group of people were residing inside your computer and basically, doing all the normal stuff we do like eating at a local diner or riding a bicycle in a park. Think, this is crazy. You’re right, but in the world of Mainframe Entertainment’s (now called Rainmaker Entertainment) Reboot, however, there are whole cities with people living inside a computer just like mine and yours. Reboot is about the adventures of Bob the Guardian, Dot Matrix, Enzo Matrix, Frisket, and Phong (see list of characters) as they battle the evil autocratic Megabyte and his chaotic loving sister, Hexadecimal (see picture of both computer viruses below), who has a love/hate thing for Bob.

Reboot, which came out in 1994, is considered the first animated series to use computer graphics imagery or CGI, according to Wired.com’s article (written by Rogier van Bakel), “Before Toy Story there was Reboot.” When you first take a glimpse into the CGI world of  Reboot, you will see a world filled with lots of imaginative characters, computer related humor, and visually colorful graphics. Despite this though, Reboot does have a few kinks with regards to the animation in the early days (i.e. characters look either too block-like or not realistic and little or no shadow effects). A lot of these problems were rectified as the series progressed. In the end, Reboot is a charming series with lots of good characters and wonderful animation.

The episode, I selected is an episode, I really like because it highlights the creativity and imaginative storytelling of the series, really well. The episode is called Painted Windows and it starts out with Hexadecimal breaking into the Princple Office’s archives and stealing an old paint program to cause mischief and mayhem. Within a matter of  moments, Hexadecimal causes complete chaos to the city of Mainframe (the city where our heroes live) by flooding the streets with paint, turning Megabyte’s lair into a place to hold sun flowers and him into a jester (she also pastes Megabyte onto the sky), erases Phong’s face and replaces it with a green apple (Phong too, ends up pasted onto the sky), and Enzo ends up turning into a VidWindow (VidWindows act as a form of face-to-face communication).

Bob comes up with a plan to undo all the destruction that Hexadecimal has caused, by tricking her into giving an interview with Mike the TV (see picture below), while Bob quietly sneaks off and undoes all the problems. At the same time, Dot and Enzo head to the Princple Office and wait for Bob’s signal to break the link between the archives and Hexadecimal’s lair, where she is controlling the paint program. Hexadecimal, however, soon gets suspicious and realizes that she has been tricked and targets Bob.  When Bob sees her coming, he freaks out and uses the paint program to remove her mask, not realizing that by removing Hexadecimal’s mask, her powers become unstable and could obliterate Mainframe.

Realizing his mistake, Bob tries to use the paint program to re-paste Hexadecimal’s mask, but is thwarted by Dot, when she broke the link after Bob fixed all the mess that was done to Mainframe. Thinking quickly, Bob uses his key tool called Glitch to close the file that contains Hexadecimal’s mask and than copy and paste it back onto her face. The removal of the mask caused damaged to Hexadecimal’s already fragile mind and Bob decides to leave Mike the TV behind to keep her company.

Overall, Reboot is a fun and imaginative series filled with quirky characters, computer related humor, and visually colorful graphics. The episode, entitled, Painted Windows, in my opinion, does a good job at highlighting, the creativity and imagination of the series because of the use of computer based humor and colorful visuals, especially with regards to Hexadecimal hijacking a paint program and going wild with it, in Mainframe. In the end, I recommend Reboot for people who enjoy computers, good CGI animation, and lots and lots of humor.

ETA: I commented on Megan Pettry’s blog, Andrew Steward’s blog, and Danyeal Hughes blog.

ETA 2: I thought this video memorializing the late Tony Jay (voice of Megabyte and Judge Frollo from Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame) was very touching.