Amazon entering mattress business


Despite the seemingly infinite number of mattress brands, Amazon has just released its own mattress, creatively named “AmazonBasics Memory Foam Mattress.”

The newly released mattresses are currently sold exclusively by Amazon. The selling point is their impressively low prices, making them some of the least expensive memory foam mattresses on the market. Costs range from $130 to $350 depending on size.

In addition to there being countless mattress brands, there is a strangely large number of mattress retailers in the United States. In one area of Austin, for example, there are a reported six Mattress firms within a square mile of one another. In High Point N.C., there are two Mattress firms within less than 250 feet of one another.

If that’s not enough for you, there’s been a rising number of online mattress retailers such as Purple, Casper and Leesa. The selling point of many of these online retailers is that they are able to sell them for lower prices than those found at stores because they are being sold directly by the manufacturer.

While many of these online mattress retailers have lower prices than better-known brands, AmazonBasics prices are even lower.

Amazon is covered on the news on a near-daily basis. Even though Amazon is billions in debt, its stock price remains high and news coverage is almost always positive. Amazon has changed their perception of an online department store to a maker of everything in the last few years. Very few appear to be worried that Amazon seems to be putting everything out of business.

Very few news and review sources seem to mention that a negative aspect of buying a mattress online is that buyers cannot simply lie down on several mattress and pick out their favorite, they have to buy one without trying it and hope for the best. There’s a return policy, but it’s still a much more binding decision than lying down on a store sample for several seconds.

To add to this, very few news organizations have attempted to explain how all of these mattress retailers stay in business. Very few people actually buy a new mattress every five years as retailers recommend. Who is buying all of these mattresses? Are there mattress connoisseurs that buy new mattresses every week? There have been many conspiracy theories, but no definitive answers as to how they stay in business.

Were your Facebook data shared?


After tens of millions of people have had their Facebook data harvested and exploited by Cambridge Analytics, a data analytics firm with ties to President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, Facebook is attempting to redeem its reputation. Starting this past Monday, Facebook has begun adding a “see how you’re affected” tool to the top of affected user’s homepages.

The information was compiled after Facebook users granted a psychological questionnaire, hosted by a website called “This is your life,” access to their Facebook before completing the survey, according to CNN. The data, including location, friend’s information, and things user’s liked, was then sent to Cambridge Analytics.

According to The New York Times, Cambridge Analytics used the collected data to “help build tools that it claimed could identify the personalities of American voters and influence their behavior.” The firm obtained the data before 2015, but was hired by Trump’s campaign in 2016.

Records obtained by The New York Times say that about 300,000 people took the survey, but because the survey allowed access to user’s friends information, an estimated 87 million people have been potentially affected.

The new tool that is appearing atop affected user’s homepage is headlined “Protecting your information.” The users see a message explaining that some of their data was misused when Facebook shared it with Cambridge Analytics.

According to CNBC, the ex-CEO of Cambridge Analytics, Alexander Nix, was caught on camera saying that the firm ran all operations for Trump’s campaign. Despite this, Cambridge Analytics is denying any accusations.

Affected users will see a message at the top of their homepage addressing the breach.

Millions of users are appalled by the scandal and have even started a #DeleteFacebook movement. They want to voice their anger about their lack of privacy on the widely-used platform.

Christopher Deason, who owns his own computer business, said, “If I were just working my 9-to-5 at the local bank or whatever, and coming home and getting on Facebook to check on my friends and whatnot, yeah, I would delete Facebook.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify in front of Congress on Wednesday, April 9.

Facebook is the blue-collar LinkedIn


LinkedIn was designed to offer high-skilled jobs, so Facebook decided to offer low-skilled jobs. Facebook is expanding to 40 more countries to help people get jobs as well as help businesses get the needed extra labor.

Partnering with ZipRecruiter, Facebook hoped to bring more job openings to its social media platform. The feature has expanded to Britain, UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. There will be a Jobs tab on Facebook for all information on job offerings. There will also be a Jobs dashboard, Facebook Marketplace, and the News Feed that the business owners can promote with ads, additional information, ways to contact, and any other news they wish to share about their business.

Facebook will offer similar ways of searching for jobs by offering specific filters, such as industry, part-time or full-time, salary and proximity (just like LinkedIn).

The media is focusing on the most amazing part: how more people will have access to more job opportunities right at their fingertips. Facebook is just like LinkedIn, but with so much more. Job applicants who need the chance to grow their resume and educational level will be able to do so while also earning an income and improving the quality of their lives.

Facebook is just getting started, but what about LinkedIn? The news covering this information does not seem to mention the overlap it could potentially bring. Facebook has been to known expand on every endeavor the company chooses to conduct.

For example, Facebook became the new YouTube by posting videos on users’ newsfeeds, even when they weren’t searching for any. This new alternative has caused YouTube celebrities to post more on Facebook to increase viewers and feedback. So what if it suddenly wants to offer a range of white-collared jobs as well?

The news media need to mention how this could potentially lead to a bigger problem, regarding LinkedIn users and the site in general. However, for now, Facebook is enjoying the publicity and corporate social responsibility to help its users enhance their lives.

Trump releases JFK documents


After numerous tweets and pushback in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 26, President Donald Trump released approximately 2,800 records on the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy.

Today, people are in a unique position that allows them to care about this information more than some may have in the past. Because of the widespread use of the internet, almost everyone now has access to these documents. These documents can help solve some mysteries for Americans concerning the death of JFK, and students alike to help them learn more about the history and outcome of the assassination.

But, JFK was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963, which raises the question: after nearly 54 years, why do we care to learn more? The answer can be quite simple – accessibility.

Until recently, people would only have access to the information that was provided to them on traditional TV news, radio, magazines and newspapers. As a result, people could only follow a story as long as a predominant news outlet was continuing to cover the story. Today, however, that is no longer the case.

People have more access to information as a result of the mass use of the internet and data sharing.

President Trump has remained as unconventional as promised during his 2016 campaign trail. And while this case is no exception, it marks a new shift in data sharing that hasn’t been seen before.

Throughout modern history, the JFK assassination documents were held confidential within the federal government for a variety of reasons, most notably, for national security. As a result, none of these classified documents were either shared, nor discussed with the general public.

Trump broke this boundary, but he did something more – he allowed the news media to open a new dialogue and new platform for research. Because of the internet, people can not only engage and view these documents, but they can simultaneously conduct outside research from the comfort of their own laptop computers.

The release of these documents came as a surprise to many, but it showed how, as an online culture, people have shifted, and allowed themselves to be interested in topics that aren’t just breaking news stories or stories which only directly impact them.

In today’s news reporting, most people view these stories online. Through this new medium of sharing content, news organizations are able to include different types of news media such as videos, interactive photos and hyperlinks to outside sources – none of which are able to be included in traditional print publications.

When reading the news about the JFK documents, readers are able to click on a link leading them directly to the documents. This is something that, even 10 years ago, was not widely available or used.

Kid Rock considers run for Senate


Songwriter and singer Kid Rock expressed interest in running for political office on Wednesday.

“I have had a ton of emails and texts asking me if this website is real … The answer is an absolute YES,” he tweeted Wednesday afternoon.

In another tweet, the Michigan native said, “I will have a major announcement in the near future.”

The website Kid Rock referred to in his tweet features a photo of the 46-year-old wearing a hat, aviator sunglasses and a leather jacket. The website has a logo that reads “Kid Rock ’18 For US Senate.”  There is also sales of stickers, shirts, lawn signs and caps that say “Kid Rock for US Senate.”

The artist has been speculated to be a potential opponent for Michigan Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow, who is up for re-election next year.

A supporter of President Donald Trump, Kid Rock performed at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

“I’ll bet you he would generate as much excitement as Trump did,” said Wes Nakagiri, a Michigan Tea Party activist.

Considering that the media will do anything for an intriging story nowadays, Nakagiri is probably right.

Similar to President Trump, Kid Rock is a controversial figure.  He enjoys swearing and bashing groups of people that he is against.  In response to the uprising of white supremacists he said, “Nazis. F—ing bigots. And now again the KKK? I say F— all you racists. Stay the hell away.”

I believe that if the news media gives Kid Rock the immense amount of attention that President Trump was able to receive during the election cycle, he will easily be able to win the senate seat.

What reporters seem to be unable to understand is that negative news media attention does not necessarily hurt a candidate.  In fact, in can actually help a candidate by getting his name out to more people. Trump had a much greater amount of news media attention than Hillary Clinton. The fact that a lot of it was negative did not prevent him from winning.

Many other celebrities such as Kanye West, Mark Zuckerberg, Dwayne Johnson and Oprah Winfrey have been talking about running for public office as well.  If the news media decides to give all of these people coverage, they too are not far from the White House.

A 2020 presidential election with Kid Rock on the Republican ticket and Kayne West on the Democratic ticket is not something that far out of reach.

‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ banned … again


The Biloxi School District of Mississippi has chosen to remove the controversial “To Kill a Mockingbird” novel from the eighth grade curriculum. The move was done after the county received complaints about the book’s language being uncomfortable and inappropriate for a classroom setting.

In response, several acclaimed writers and literature enthusiasts took to Twitter to express their disdain. They upheld that the book’s primary purpose was to make the reader uncomfortable: only then would the book’s setting and culture (1930s in the deep south of the United States) be significant and impactful. Quotes supporting this idea include:

“If to Kill a Mockingbird makes you uncomfortable you may want to contemplate your life & search your soul.” (@marybschneider)

“If To Kill a Mockingbird makes you uncomfortable, you are the target audience” (@WIBC_StanLehr)

“If we are going to solve the racial problems we have in our county now, we have to confront the truth of how we got to where we are.” (Barbara Shoup, novelist)

USA Today did well to cover both the event and the outcry over it on Twitter. Its coverage provided details of the event and the book’s controversial history, for those unaware that the book had been banned before. They also gave a basic synopsis of the book and why it was unsettling to some, which was a good transition to the public response to this kind of reaction.

The Twitter outcry provided good insight as to why many believe the book is important and should be taught in schools, so including a variety of tweets in the story was wise of the USA Today writer (Shari Rudavsky). It gave readers a decent understanding of the other side of the debate, providing them with plenty of room to form their own opinion on the complicated matter.

Pandora CEO and co-founder out


After a rough weekend, it has been confirmed that Pandora’s CEO and co-founder Tim Westergren will be stepping down as CEO.

Techcrunch reported that Westergren became CEO of Pandora shortly after its founding for two years and stepped back into the role in 2016, stating that Pandora was “on the cusp of realizing an extraordinary vision.”

Due to the recent tumultuousness of the music industry, licensing costs have continued to be a problem for the company, which has struggled to expand outside of the U.S. companies like Spotify and Apple Music have also been putting more pressure on Pandora.

Naveen Chopra, the company’s CFO as of February, will be filling in as interim CFO while the board of directors searches for a replacement.

President Mike Herring and CMO Nick Bartle will also be leaving the company. Westergren’s will also be leaving the board of directors. He will be replaced by Jason Hirschhorn, the CEO of “digital content curation” company ReDEF Group, who worked at Myspace, Sling, and served as MTV’s Chief Digital Officer.

This has been a widely covered topic, especially considering the recent shakeup that happened at Uber. The tech industry is seeing a shift in the kinds of people they need in positions of power, perhaps in an attempt to focus on the newer generations of users.

There is a consensus among people of all levels that the future ahead is wildly unpredictable. Whoever takes over for Pandora will certainly feel that.

From the athlete (directly) to the fans


The Players’ Tribune, founded by New York Yankee legend Derek Jeter, gives athletes the platform to speak directly to the fans, without input from the news media.

“My goal is for the site to ultimately transform how athletes and newsmakers share information, bring fans closer than ever to the games they love.” Jeter says on the website’s About page.

Athletes, from a wide variety of sports, have reserved the website to use for big announcements. One of the their most popular posts came from NBA Forward Kevin Durant, when he announced to sign with the Golden State Warriors during last summer’s free agency period.

Durant is one to be known for not being completely transparent with the news media and the reasoning behind using the Players’ Tribune but opened up about the press on Bill Simmons’ Podcast on the Ringer.

“I wonder like, what are your motives when you talk about this stuff?” Durant told Simmons. “What are you trying to get out of it? I know that me, I love talking about basketball. My thing is, I want the casual fan to understand what we go through because it’s not as easy as you think.”

The two later discussed how Simmons did not get angry when he and Durant got into a Twitter fight.

“You’re a real guy.” Durant told Simmons. “Some of these guys are so sensitive. Their egos are too big. But, you know, we can talk about that another time.”

The website has changed the way athletes are able to communicate with fans, in less serious ways as well.

NBA Hall of Famer, Shaquille O’Neal, collaborated with the Lakers’ team photographer to go through their archives and pick his favorite pictures from his time in Los Angeles.

It is interesting to note how a mistrust in the news media lead to Durant using the website as his platform to the fans.

Jeter may have wanted to change the way athletes and newsmakers share information, but his website and bad experiences between athletes and the news media members may have created a different result. The Players’ Tribune can inadvertently lead to a slimming down of the newsmakers to his equation.

Ken Bone’s moment of instant stardom


Forget the policies. Forget the candidates. Forget the issues. The real winner of the presidential debate was Ken Bone.

The red cardigan wearing, average Joe looking, plump man was the hero America needed in this ruthless election cycle.

He was a breath of fresh air from America’s two favorite candidates attacking each other’s character and families.

He has been praised everywhere from Twitter to broadcast news networks. All for asking a relatively simple question about energy policy.

Ken Bone has just signed an endorsement deal with Uber. He literally got it, because he has become America’s newest meme and social media darling.

There has always been the overnight celebrity phenomenon in the news media, but the Internet makes the process so much easier to happen.

Before the age of the Internet, it was the mostly the press who could influence overnight stardom, but social media have made millions of more people have a voice in this process.

Journalists and businesses have to adapt to this. When someone becomes an overnight celebrity they need to get involved with them. Whether it be giving them a sponsorship like Uber or by running stories about mundane aspects of their life; like why Ken Bone wore a cardigan.

Overnight celebrities offer companies an easy way to get money and viewers. They need to embrace them to get the hits and exposure to thrive.

Swift unrecognizable on Vogue cover


Taylor Swift is on the cover of the May issue of Vogue. She looks completely different than usual in a rock and role style outfit and a completely different hairstyle. Taylor has already been on the cover of Vogue several times before, yet this is a new change for her.

This cover has gotten a lot of attention since it was released to the media. Swift is well known all over the world, which is probably a reason as to why her cover is attracting a lot of attention. But the main reason as to why everyone is taking about this specific one is because of her hair. Taylor has rocked many long hairstyles but no matter what she still manages to look awesome and have people talking about her.

Another reason as to why her Vogue cover has gotten a lot of attention is the story inside. Taylor mentions that for the first time in 10 years she does not have a specific plan of what she wants to do. She did not mention any new music yet, but she for sure is working on something very soon.

Additionally she addressed Kanye West’s new song where he says he made Taylor famous. For this we have to rewind to seven years ago when West argues at the MTV Video Music Awards that Beyoncé should have won the award instead of Taylor.

Overall, Taylor Swift will continue to attract the news media’s attention. No matter if it is posting pictures on Instagram with her boyfriend Calvin Harris or changing up her style for a magazine cover.

NBA player center of cheating scandal


A video surfaced last week of Los Angeles Laker Nick Young allegedly admitting to cheating on his rapper fiancee Iggy Azelea.

The NBA star was secretly recorded by a teammate, D’Angelo Russell.

Russell recorded Young allegedly boasting he had sex with a 19-year-old girl. It is unclear how the recording was leaked. He recorded the conversation when the two were sharing a hotel room on the road during the current NBA season.

With the leaked video, news stations are wondering what Iggy Azalea is going to do. Specifically, one questioning her response is “Inside Edition.”

I’m a big fan of “Inside Edition,” but it is not the show’s turf to ask the public what Azalea should do.

She is obviously going through a trying time and is probably very hurt by the possibility that her fiancee is a cheater and asking for public opinion about it does not make it any better, nor is it any of their business.

On Wednesday night, before the Lakers played the Miami Heat, Young went before the cameras and told reporters, “I don’t wanna get into my personal life right now.”

Russell expressed regret over the situation: “I feel as sick as possible … I wish I could make things better right away, but I can’t.” He has said he apologized to Young for the recording.

Inside Edition even took upon themselves to create a poll to ask the general public what Azalea should do.

It is no ones business what Azalea and Young do with their relationship but theirs. “Inside Edition” and other news outlets should step away from the public decision making.

Not much attention for iPhone release


A few days ago, on March 21, Apple announced at their famous press conferences the new iPhone Se.

Now you may be thinking, but didn’t they just release the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus? Well, yes, and that is exactly what everyone else is thinking, too.

When the iPhone 6 was released out into the world, people were running to the store and could not wait to get their hands on one. They were per-ordered months in advance and the media was talking about it nonstop. However when looking at the news media now, after the release of the iPhone Se, there has not really been that much attention geared towards it. The media is now more focused on dealing with bigger and more important issues, such as the presidential campaigns and the attacks in Belgium.

Looking at CNN, an article can be found about a study done with the iPhone and other Android phones and how the “Siri” responds to crisis modes, such as “Help me, I was just raped.” This study is very important, but again, not front page news.

I believe that the reason as to why the news media has not covered the release of the new iPhone Se that much, compared to the previous iPhone models may be due to multiple reasons. The iPhone Se, looks very similar to the iPhone 5, and therefore it not a new design, secondly there have already been so many iPhones, maybe people/media are finished and do not want another iPhone. Lastly right now in the world there are a lot of important events that are much more serious than an iPhone release.

Maybe once people are able to start buying the actual iPhone Se, then we may hear more about it in the media.

‘The Milkshake that almost killed Castro’


I have recently got into the habit of becoming more informed of what’s going around worldwide by consistently updating myself with the latest news that CNN and The New York Times have to offer. I have, however, been recently disheartened about the current explosions in Brussels and distanced myself away from the news.

It has come to my attention that individuals, similar to myself, also feel the weight of the information overload about the situation in Brussels. Every few hours, the headline changes from the city’s current death count to the identification of the bombers who staged the phenomenon.

It’s great that the Internet allows its users to stay informed on stories that make the breaking news headlines, but there are also times when there’s a much needed break from all the tragic events occurring in the world.

I never really go past the opinion section of CNN, but I decided to scroll all the way down to find out whether I can read something a bit more uplifting and a little less depressing than what I’ve come across the past few days.

A video called “The Milkshake that Almost Killed Castro” appealed to me, and without any hesitation, I clicked on it. The concept of the short video is great, the title is extremely intriguing, the material is timely (with Obama currently in Cuba), and above Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 9.39.37 PMand beyond everything else the content is factual and informative.

Within a minute and 32 seconds, the video was not only able to keep its viewers attentively watching, but was also able to effectively discuss the CIA’s many attempts of assassinating Castro.

The video opens with a sound bite that introduces the context of the topic. The first thing that’s heard is the voice of a young man as he narrates, “March 1963: The CIA is planning to kill Fidel Castro using his greatest guilty pleasure- a milkshake.”

Everything about the video is contemporary, which does somewhat limit this resource to attract a younger audience. Other than that, as it is found in the very bottom of the web page, it’s also not something that can be found right away.

But, if you just so happen to be feeling drained with the excessive amount of tragic news you are hearing, it’s really worth your time to check this video.

A winning year for women at Oscars


I found it really interesting that while other news websites were talking about the highlights of the Oscars being about the racial diversity speech of Chris Rock, which was also important, Vox decided to also talk about a gender issue that has confronted many women on the cinema industry: the lack of women winning categories in the Oscars. This year, as the website pointed, it was the best year for women “in ages.”

Vox pointed that for the first time, a woman — Sara Bannet — won the category of Visual Effects Supervisor, for the movie “Ex Machina.” The category is usually dominated by men. Also, many other women won the categories of Documentary Short, Live Action Short, Production Design, Makeup, Costume Design and Film Editing.

What was also interesting is that Vox pointed that the awards itself were not the biggest accomplishment for women of the night, but the stories that the movies focused on. Usually, two women won the Oscars for lead actress and best supporting actress, and sometimes the woman does a part in which she supports the man in the movie.

This time, Brie Larson won the category of Best Actress for “Room” in which the story is centered on a woman. Other movies were also centered in a female figure, like “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness,” “Amy” and “Inside Out.”

Other than movies, there was a presentation at the Oscars by Lady Gaga in which she focused on sexual assault both for men and women and for women specifically on “Mad Max,” “Room” and “A Girl in The River.”

Other issues still have to approached in the Oscars, specially the racial diversity – no women with color won the Oscar this year, Vox pointed — for all the genders. The focus that the news website gave to the event was interesting and it analyzed the Oscar in a different journalistic way.

Instagram star quits social media


Australian model and Instagram star Essena O’Neill announced she was quitting social media this week via YouTube.

According to ABC News, O’Neill, who had more than 700,00 followers on Instagram and 260,000 subscribers on YouTube, posted a shocking confession announcing that social media made her “miserable” and that online and mobile-sharing platforms can be unhealthy. She decided that she wanted to shut down all of her accounts.


According to CNN, O’Neill’s social media friends Nina and Randa Nelson published a YouTube video alleging she was doing this as a stunt to get more followers.

All social media platforms have been exploding with both support and opposition for O’Neill’s stance. This debate has been a hot topic for news organizations alike.


I support O’Neill’s stance because her issue with social media is situational. She said that she didn’t like how the pressure to be perfect influenced her mental health. She also said that she wanted to set a good example for her younger sister and show her that she doesn’t have to be perfect and likeable online to be happy.


I do think that social media outlets are informative and necessary in this day and age for the spreading of information. Although, I don’t think that personal business accounts like O’Neill that promote unrealistic body images and clothing brands are necessary.

The age of tragic selfie


Accompanied by the popularity of the social media, selfie photography is the most common way of showing one’s life to the world. People may see loads of them posted on Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms.

Recently, many people have become concerned about the safety issues involved in taking a selfie because there is a rising number of selfie-related fatalities. It was reported that two men in the Ural Mountains, Russia died of posing for a photo while pulled the pin from a hand grenade. Also in Russia, a university graduate fell to death after trying to take a selfie while hanging from a bridge.

A handful of other selfie-related death incidents have been reported from elsewhere in the world. In the U.S., recently a man died after shooting himself in the neck while taking a selfie.

According to a BBC news report, at least 12 people have died this year while taking pictures of themselves, making the practice more deadly than shark attacks, of which there recorded eight deaths in 2015.

It sounds striking to me that people would risk their lives of taking some pictures, in order to obtain a three-digit likes?

“The more extreme it is, the more likely you are to stand out and get lots of likes and comments”, said Jesse Fox, a researcher at Ohio State University. “The pictures that people post on social media can tell an interesting story about their personality.”

I think the ultimate goal of life is to living in reality and connect with real human beings. One may utilize internet to make up for some fulfillment that reality cannot provide. The fulfillment includes ideally living in a world free of anxiety and presenting an ideal self. People who put their lives on risk to take a selfies in order to woo their virtual friends apparently confuse which world should take priorities. Likes is not the measure in real life.

Internet changed meaning of feminism


Ever since Charles Fourier first coined the term “feminism” in 1837, the public’s view on what feminism is has changed drastically. Most people know that feminists strive for equal rights for women, but if you were to ask a group of women if they were feminists, more than you think would say no. Why would women say that they aren’t a feminist if they believe in the same things?

Unfortunately, the Internet might be to blame.

In the 1990s, many viewed feminists has man-hating women who believed women were superior, but those women were not true feminists. In fact, they were mostly likely misandrists. But no matter whether they were or were not true feminists, that is what many believed feminists were.

Fortunately, many began to question what feminism really is, causing significant role models to step up and clear the air on what feminism really is; however, there are still many who don’t understand what feminism is, but still advocate that their misguided views as feminists views on blogs and other outlets. It is because of these rants on Tumblr, Facebook, and other social networking sites that give feminism a bad name.

As a response to the confusion on what feminism really is and what they strive to accomplish with women’s rights, it is our job to shed some light on this subject instead of just leaving it to the misinformed bloggers.

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.

Yahoo! News has a problem


If I’m feeling crotchety and in the mood to get myself all disgruntled about journalism, I know the first place I need to visit: the Yahoo! News homepage.

On the screenshot below, I invite you to marvel at the juxtaposition of headlines:

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 6.46.34 AM

A story about what could possibly be the largest-ever human exodus — I repeat, the largest-ever human exodus, a staggering story with widespread societal and environmental implications for more than 13 million people—is sandwiched between stories about a celebrity and an infamous dictator marketed like a celebrity. Without discussing the merits of entertainment journalism as a whole, I think it’s safe to say that those headlines should not be grouped together in the same category, at the bare minimum.

What’s more, we need to keep in mind the way that a company like Yahoo! structures its homepage. Headlines are placed in a purposeful order of importance, based on which articles the company thinks its readers should see most. According to the above order, Iggy Azalea’s absence from social media deserves more exposure than human-inhabited islands’ absence from the face of the planet.

Call me remarkably crotchety for my 19 years of age … but by golly, what the devil is going on here?