Error 53: Bad news for iPhone users


The Guardian and other newspapers are talking about an error that can happen and has happened to about 1,000 iPhone 6 users: Error 53. This error can literally “kill your phone.” erasing photos, data or making the cell phone completely useless.

Error 53 happened to the users that repaired their Touch ID button with a non-official company or individual or had their phones damaged, but not fixed because they were still usable. And even worse, the error seemed to appear to the users that updated the latest version of software, iOS 9.

Thousands of Apple consumers lost their trust on the product, but the company pledged that the “error 53” is to protect customer’s security, since it disables any kind of substitution on an iPhone made from companies that are non-official.

“This security measure is necessary to protect your device and prevent a fraudulent Touch ID sensor from being used. If a customer encounters Error 53, we encourage them to contact Apple Support,” stated the company.

But what about the phones that were slightly damaged or the people that installed the latest version of the software?

The article “Apple under pressure as lawyers pledge action over ‘Error 53’ codes” published by The Guardian affirms that consumers grew angrier after going to the Apple Store and complaining about the error and being told nothing could be done but to buy another phone to solve the problem.

Lots of iPhone users take their phones to get fixed by other sources rather than Apple, for their repair can be really expensive — in the UK to repair the home button the cost is £236, or $340 –- but they end up with a higher cost: having a phone that doesn’t work even after repair. Apple measures should take more in consideration their costumers that are with useless phones and continue with their customer’s security, as long as they work and can be repaired at any Apple Store.

More multimedia is a good thing


Most of us are familiar with John Oliver from “Last Week Tonight” and how he tackles prominent issues in our society, such as student debt.

In his segment, he utilizes statistics, interviews, excerpts from government documents and of course, a bit of comedy with a lot of sarcasm.

So why does this matter?

If you were to check how many views the video above has, you would notice that it has more than four million views just on YouTube. Not only does this show entertain those who watch, but focuses on the news and getting information out to the public.

So why is it that these kinds of media get so much more exposure than an article in a newspaper, whether on paper or online? I believe it is because of the multimedia aspect.

When the audience can see footage of what a news story is about, it leaves more of an impression than a boring article. Though many websites do include photos and videos for some news stories, it is still not enough. Reporting needs to make room for more multimedia outlets in order to make reading the news more interactive and bring in a bigger audience.

Google renovates its campus for future


Google has new ideas for renovations for its California campus. It has a sci-fi feel to it and plans to implement a lot of new technology. The plan is to display how far the company has come. There are plans for light-weight block structures that can be moved around as the company continues to grow. New inventions such as self driving cars, solar powered drones and robots.

The company is taking a huge step into the future, literally. It’s almost like a playground for the company research projects. Google is well known for the inspiration it provides for its employees. It is always moving forward and it keeps the employees in tune with their work. Sort of like a way to encourage workers to stay on top of their game.

“Different segments within the buildings’ canopies will ‘form small villages’ where employees can work or relax,” a Google representative stated. There will be a new parking lot and under used areas will be turned in to “native ecosystems” such as wetlands or re-integrated oak trees.

If the plans are approved Google will increase its square footage by millions.

Net neutrality and journalism


On Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to implement new rules regarding Internet neutrality. These rules make sure that Internet service providers allow open access to all legal content and applications.

What does this have to do with journalism you ask?

In the digital age that we live in, half of all Americans use the Internet as their main source for news. For the younger generations, up to 70 percent say it’s their main source for information.

Imagine if Fox News used Comcast as a service provider while CNN used AT&T. Depending on the amount of money either service provider could pay would determine the kinds of stories you are allowed read and block the ones they didn’t want you to see.

Big companies would be able to spend larger amounts of money for faster services while smaller, independent companies would be stuck with slower access because that’s all they could afford. People would prefer going to the larger company’s site because they would rather not have to wait longer for their videos, pictures or stories to load. In some ways that is a form of censorship. That is a clear violation of our First Amendment.

Thankfully, due to this recent ruling all information will still be available to everyone will any kind of Internet service.

What’s trending? Ask Facebook


When you look up a particular news article, it is because you want to know more about what people are talking about today.

A couple of years ago, I would have gathered this information by what was on the front page of my local newspaper, by what my parents and friends were talking about or what I saw on television.

These days, however, I know what’s  “trending” thanks to my Facebook news feed. What’s best about the “trending” section on Facebook is that it combines news both in the entertainment area and world news.

For example, this week I was informed about Kim Jong Un’s new haircut from “Kim Jong-un Takes Cue From Fashion Week, Reveals Ambitious New Haircut” as well as the death of Harris Wittels from “Parks and Recreation’ Executive Producer Harris Wittels Found Dead.” My point is that you’re being told what you need to know in every aspect of your life now and, to some extent, it’s great. But there are some issues that come up.

Once again, Facebook makes it easier to avoid interacting directly with other people in order to make friends, connections and now get our daily news fix. We are being fed what we need to hear, need to know and need to see. It is removing our ability to make our own decisions, start our own interactions and discussions with others. In a world where everything is being handed to you, how do you step back, analyze and maintain your media literacy in order to take control of the information you take in today?

‘Our Story’ offers news option


The Snapchat “Our Story” is nothing new to all social media buffs, but the use of it as a reporting device adds a different level when it comes to reporting.

Current events being placed on everyone’s feed brings a new dimension to finding out more about different events going on around the world because it allows real-time videos to be posted and a new point of view to be seen.

As an aspiring fashion writer, I loved seeing live coverage of New York Fashion Week right on my phone. It’s one thing to be able to read about the latest trends and who attended what show in articles online but it is another thing to be able to view behind the scenes from the point of view from supermodels or fashion magazine writers.

Snapchat story has been known to show other events ranging from concerts like the Electric Daisy Carnival to international news like the “Je suis Charlie” movement to holidays such as New Year’s Eve celebrations around the world.

Although much of this wouldn’t be considered hard-hitting news, I think it helps people learn more about things going on around the world and helps show a first person point of view instead of hearing it from a reporter.

Snapchat’s “Our Story” is just another medium that shows us a new dimension in news reporting. I think it will be interesting to see where the next level of reporting takes us.

It’s your Internet, use it without limits


The creation and development of the Internet has made many people’s lives so much easier. You can find literally anything that you are looking for, with the exception of some private documents held by the individuals or the government. Businesses, organizations and people alone use it for everything.

On Feb. 26, 2015, there will be a debate as to how fast the Internet can be for certain Web sites. It’s kind of like how a cellphone company promises you unlimited data but slows down after you have used a certain amount of LTE, or long term evolution. It basically determines the speed of how fast your phone processes information. Same goes for certain Web sites.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will meet to discuss whether the Internet will remain open, or net neutral, and continue to give all Web sites the same speed, or give the Internet providers the right to determine which Web sites are their priorities.

Some members of the FCC will be fighting for net neutrality, which is the open-ended Internet that we all now use and love. The others, including Tom Wheeler, chairman of the FCC, will be arguing for an Internet that is overseen by the government. He wants an Internet that prioritizes Web sites. In other words, Web sites that are used by a lot of people will get the higher speed while others will be slowed down or won’t be able to be used at all.

This change could cause havoc for people around the world. The Internet is not only for business but also for entertainment. Let’s hope for the best and keep the Internet in the hands of the people.

Site exposes false facts online


The Internet is possibly the easiest place to spread rumors and false facts.

News stories that have incorrect information are easily transmitted online, social media sites like Twitter allow rumors to go viral extraordinarily fast, and above all, few Internet users actually check to confirm what they’re reading is, in fact, true.

A new website, however, may change all of this. tracks the most popular stories swirling around the Internet, and deems them true or false.

The website is associated with Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism. According to the website, it “aims to develop the best practices for debunking misinformation.”

On the site’s homepage there is the list of rumors, along with their status – true, false, or unverified. The site also displays how many times that story was shared, essentially its popularity, and a further breakdown of how the story was spread if you click on it.

In general, the concept seems like a great idea. It exposes sources for misinformation and falsehoods, therefore further inspiring the Internet to be more credible. The website is a good start for digital journalism, to put more responsibility on journalists to make sure their information is correct and to double-check their sources. Although the website mainly focuses on absurd rumors now, hopefully it will extend to all news sources and in more depth in the future. But for now, it’s a great addition in the credibility of digital journalism.

Visit the website here:

Interactive storytelling, our future


Journalism is certainly an industry that is suffering. Not that it will disappear, but the print field is pretty much condemned with a possible execution date. It is interesting how the evolution of the field has paralleled the transformation of society and the modernization of the different technologies. Thus, with the passage of time, it hasn’t been surprising that the industry and its professionals have had to adapt in order to deliver and enhance the value of the product they have to offer.

The New York Times has been extremely successful in doing so. After transitioning to the digital platform as many other newspapers have done as its plan B, the NYT had yet another plan A under its sleeve. The company was clever enough to take advantage of not only the technologies available, but the tools and opportunities the platform had to offer like no one else before. It embarked on a project, which ended up being an overwhelming success, thus changing the way of telling stories and challenging other media enterprises by setting a high standard to look up to.

image[2]“Snowfall” was released in December 2012 and it brought with it everlasting reviews hailing the piece as the future of journalism.

Based on the story of group of skiers and snowboarders trapped beneath an avalanche in Washington state’s Cascade Mountains; the piece is formatted in the form of an eye-popping multimedia feature.  At its peak, reportedly as many as 22,000 users visited “Snow Fall” at the same time. It also received around 2.9 million visits for more than 3.5 million page views.

Unlike a standard online article, which doesn’t diverge much from the original print layout, Snow Fall, a multi-chapter series by features reporter John Branch, it’s a visual feast, which integrates video, photos and graphics in a logical and almost effortless manner.

Screen shot 2014-10-03 at 10.55.08 AMAs you scroll through the various sections of the content you don’t get the feeling that the mix of elements are just tacked on.

The media elements are well planned and placed, embedded in a redundant fashion reinforcing the written statements and even developing further on the facts.

Future or not, it sure turned out to be successful. And people can’t get enough of it.

A few months later, The Washington Post, refusing to be outdone, made ​​his own version of “Snow Fall” with “Cycling’s Road Forward” — a media report of similar characteristics, which featured a young rider named Joe Dombrowski. As with the NYT skiers, Dombrowski’s story surprised by the use of unconventional tools that worked for embellishment and support on the retelling of the events. For example, The Post detailed one of Dombrowski’s training rides near Nice, France, using satellite imagery and explored his ride out of Lance Armstrong’s shadow.

Clickbait changes news … for worse


The world of news has certainly been changing rapidly with the onset of the Internet.

Unfortunately, I would have to argue it has changed for the worse. This is mainly because of a phenomenon known as “clickbait.”

It is nearly impossible to scroll through a Facebook feed these days without seeing a headline reading something like “You’ll Never Guess What These Guys Found While Digging in their Yard!” That’s clickbait. That’s also a real headline. The “crazy thing” they dug up was an animal bone. With a headline that provocative I assumed it would be a lost monument or an ancient artifact.

Of course, the entire reasoning behind clickbait is to gain website hits. The more hits a site gets, the more advertising money it receives. It’s an understandable business strategy, but sensationalizing mundane stories that can hardly be called news causes more important matters to be ignored. The reason true news stories get lost in the depths of the Internet is twofold: their headlines either aren’t “intriguing” enough to merit a click, or they are simply drowned out by the sheer number of sensationalist news websites.

One such website, Buzzfeed has become so notorious for this, that noted faux news source The Onion created an entire website called “ClickHole” to mock it. It is both funny and sad knowing that if you put the sites’ respective headlines next to each other without the domain name, it would be impossible to tell which was real and which was fake.

Internet news has simply become “who can write the most eye-catching headline” instead of “who can write the most accurate and compelling news story.” At this point, it is impossible to tell if the internet will reach a breaking point with clickbait, but for now it reigns supreme. I can only hope that this is another trend that will fall by the wayside and that true news will return as king once more.

People take advantage of Flight 370?


The missing Malaysia flight MH 370 has caused quite the news media rampage. This mysterious, mind boggling event of the missing flight is currently an all consuming topic. However, there are people out there taking advantage of this tragic event.

On Thursday, March 20, reports ran rampant over sites such as Facebook and Twitter, that the missing flight had in fact been found. News feeds were overwhelmed by links such as “Shocking Video Reveals Found Flight MH370.” All that had to be done in order to access these supposed videos were to share the link and sign up for something.

Many people fell for these tricks; liking and sharing as fast as they could. Fake CNN Twitter accounts were then created to further these false claims.

Cyber hackers are exploiting the intense interest in the missing planes. By having these fake videos in which people need to sign up to view, they are in fact granting the ability to hack the user’s system.

After spam e-mails became widely known to be unhealthy to the user’s server, hackers had to become creative. Most hackers today rely on social media and the most prevalent news stories or trends.

Another widespread scam surfacing on social media websites is relating to health and weight loss. With our generations’ large focus on health, it is no surprise that hackers look to target people using an ad that claims to be “the miracle weight loss pill.” These ads guarantee quick and easy weight loss at a low price. Once someone clicks on the link they are immediately send to a scam website that clones a reputable one.

In conclusion, it is important to watch what you share and like on Facebook and other social media websites. Only listen to reputable websites such as for updates on the latest news stories. If something is serious, and happening, especially with such a large story such as the missing plane, it will have been reported in several other places besides Facebook in which you can check.

Did media cause school shooting hoax?


On Thursday, March 6, 2014, around 2:30 p.m., a call was made to 911 claiming that a student at Beverley Hills High School was being held hostage by a student gunman.

After the school — and surrounding schools — were placed on lockdown and, after much investigation, it was determined that the call was a hoax.

Is it possible that the media are to blame for this inappropriate prank?

After all of the recent school shootings, such as those at Sandy Hook, many precautions have been taken at schools around the world. In addition, media attention over such situations have thrived.

Due to the increase in media attention and the extra focus on safety in schools, students may now be seeking their own personal source of attention through these events.

Because of the hyped up nature of the crime, students see the potential for the magnitude of reporting these events.

Besides the hostage hoax at Beverley Hills High School, an anonymous bomb threat was reported through social media site, Yik Yak, at San Clemente High School. This, too, turned out to be a hoax.

With the feared epidemic of school shootings, comes a possible epidemic of reported fake shootings. With the rise in recognition of the topic, comes a bigger gain of attention for each reported crime. Students know that all threats and tips will be treated with the utmost importance and seriousness.

This developing popularity, may be increasing the amount of fake tips, which in turn, can lessen the validity of future reports.

Twitter hires first head of news


Twitter just made a big move by hiring Vivian Schiller, NBC News’ chief digital officer, as its first head of news and journalism partnerships. She also has had prior experience at CNN, The New York Times, and National Public Radio.

Schiller will be the person who connects Twitter to prominent news organizations. Twitter executives have been saying for months that they want to help media companies distribute news and now they have the right person for the job.

It is also said that she was hired due to the fact that there have been complaints about Twitter’s Board of Directors being mostly made up of white men. Her hiring adds diversity to the company.

Twitter has been hiring a number of prominent people to be heads of other departments like music and sports.

I get the feeling that this is just another step towards social media taking over journalism. A head of news and journalism partnerships at a social media company is already very different from how social media have been operating in the past, not to mention the fact that high profile people, like Schiller, are leaving their high profile jobs, like at NBC, to work there.

I also feel that this is a strategy for Twitter to be on top of all other social media sites. If Twitter is hiring people to make stronger relations with other companies, then that means it will have the support from multiple diverse organizations.

Journalism is a important part of society, and if Twitter is taking that leap to make it a prominent part of their site, then it will be more widely used by people.