As someone who doesn’t know much about the inner-workings of cars, I really appreciated the How Stuff Works reading on hybrids. Being able to see all the components and how they work together solidified the concepts for me.
Having read/watched all three links, I find myself asking a couple of questions: 1) Why are cars that are strictly gasoline-powered still so prevalent? From the readings, it seems to me that there are more advantages to hybrid/electric/hydrogen-powered cars than disadvantages; and 2) Might it be that one day people will look back and wonder why in the world we used gasoline-powered cars for so long? This question came to me as I was reading the Tesla electric car review, in which the authors suggest that the Tesla will be featured amongst exhibits featuring the greatest automobile innovations. Hopefully alternative fuel-powered cars will become the norm, so that the legacy of the past two centuries won’t just be one of gas-guzzling pollution machines.
The prospect of cars fueled by alternative sources is very exciting to me. I am not a huge fan of automobiles, I understand the benefits of automobiles, and the need for them in our modern world, but I just don't find them interesting or terribly beneficial to my life. When I think about automobiles, I get so overwhelmed by the stress of our rapidly diminishing oil supply. With the prospect of automobiles fueled by clean, renewable energy is so exciting to me because it alleviates that stress that the automobile produces for me. It feels like the future is upon us and the environment is ready for us to move forward.
I had no idea that you could make a car that only emits water. It's cool to think that hopefully soon, problems of pollution and gas prices and oil dependence could be eliminated. It was interesting to learn about the alternative cars, because I always thought hybrids were the only options. I didn't know about completely electric cars. That Tesla car (which I've also never heard of) looks amazing though. If I raked in the big bucks I would absolutely buy one of those.
The video readings were really interesting also. I started to think of my own experiences with home videos. We didn't get a camcorder until late, and the only thing we taped were gymnastics meets and hockey games. We don't have any home video of us doing normal things. I wish we did, but at the same time we have pictures. It's funny to think that maybe pictures don't match up to what a video camera can do.
It’s amazing, as with photography, just how far videography has come. In the little time since their invention, they’ve already developed into high quality low cost devices available to the masses. It’s also incredible how they have been combined with other devices, such as a regular photography camera, to make one product able to do several things and produce high quality work. YouTube, on the other hand, is such a unique tool. The fact that anyone can upload videos is the reason it is so powerful. It’s hard to believe that it has only been online for about 8 years. The mass amount of content on it already and how much continues to be uploaded daily is just plain astounding. It has set the standard for online video viewing, opening the door for many other people to make something of themselves on the Internet. It’s a very attractive idea for even me. I think it would be awesome to expose videos that I shoot myself to millions of other people around the world by uploading a video in just a few minutes. The user generated content covers just about every topic imaginable. As a knowledge-sharing platform, it’s genius.
I found it interesting to see the progression of home video recording that the Videomaker.com article introduces. There are so many incremental improvements made over the last fifty years or so! I found the most significant (or at least most relevant to my age) change to be between 2005 and 2007, when improvements in video went from being an advanced video recorder, to a camera that was also a video recorder, to a cell phone that also shot still and motion pictures. I think the implications of the last jump to the iPhone and its recording capabilities bring into play many of the ethical issues that surround sites like YouTube. Because millions of people own iPhones, there are also millions of people who are carrying around their own pocket-sized high resolution video cameras. People were talking in the Certification Magazine article about YouTube promoting violence, with bullying attacks appearing online. While these attacks still could have been taped with conventional recorders that only record video, there is a new availability to have instances like this taped in an unpremeditated manner; with people having access to video cameras constantly through their phones, they have the capability to record both happy and harmful events at a moment’s notice without being film/video aficionados.
I found a couple things interesting about the progress of home video. It made me wonder, did home video and corporate video - such as for newcasts, evolve at the same pace? I have a friend who was recently hired as a reporter and after bothering him about his segments not being online he admitted that their channel was finally about to make the switch from tape to digital and I was absolutely shocked. I realize this is very much a matter of economics, seeing as news stations must invest in such a large amount of equipment, a transition would be costly. But I wonder is this an isolated case or quite prevalent in smaller cities?
Another interesting aspect is how much power home video gives to the user. As the History of Video Now and Then mentions, with the iPhone users were able to do things only television stations could do before - stream video instantly. This dramatic shift of placing power in the user has rather large implications for news media I believe and I am interested to see how greatly this could impact them. You can see it now, with things such as CNN's iReport, but will user created videos have an even large place in news media in the future?
I really liked the readings on camcorders and home movies. Video recorders allow you to take so many videos, and long ones that is, that you can keep and view just like pictures. Just like digital cameras, personal camcorders allow you to record those little moments that you otherwise may forget. These are moments such as babies walking around the house and playing with toys, or adventures you and your family went on while on vacation. Unlike pictures, however, videos let you capture a "full experience" of both seeing and hearing. Growing up, my mom took videos of us doing literally everything from swimming to doing gymnastics in the house, and even just playing in the backyard. These are so much fun to look back on today and see videos like my third birthday party, where I had a pony brought in my backyard for everyone to ride. Without that video, I actually would not have remembered this experience. In addition, these videos allow my parents to remember experiences of me and my brothers growing up since we grow up so fast that they tend not to remember a lot of the younger years. This lets them not only remember what we looked like from pictures, but also how we acted and what funny things we said.
I very much enjoyed the links to the readings about videos. The technological emergence of home videos is amazing. I can remember when my parents had the huge black video device that had the cassette tape in it. Now, that seems so ancient to us. We have so many cassette tape videos at my house and I am glad we do because the home video on them is priceless.
I am a strong believer in the fact that the people creating the content on the internet largely shape the culture we live in. YouTube is a perfect example of how it has shaped the internet and a global culture. Users can create and upload videos and share them with people across the globe. This kind of global understanding creates an idea of quality between people and increased sense of transnational culture. I also have watched the youtube video "An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube", it was completely and utterly inspiring and empowering. People were able to link and connect in ways we as a world have never been connected before. When the video talked about the “Soldier Boy” dance, I could remember watching and learning the dance on YouTube and performing the dance with all of my friends in high school. Today, people are still doing similar dances, just to different songs. For example, Gangnam Style, Harlem Shake, and The Wobble dance are learned and performed by millions of users. YouTube allows individuals to connect on a very deep level and creates new forms of community and self-understanding. The concept of video taping has been brought to an entirely higher level of communication across cultures and across the globe. I am most thankful for video on the iPhone for numerous reasons. I was able to video tape my most memorable experiences when I traveled abroad and I know it is also valuable for my aunts and uncles for videotaping for example their children's first crawl or first steps. It's so convenient to have a video camera right there with you in your hand, ready to capture any important moment.
The car articles were interesting and they brought up what I think is the major driving factors of technology: convenience. With the hydrogen battery, they talk of the ability to power whole neighborhoods, which is driven by convenience, as opposed to the difficulty of connection to a power network and plan, and there is the limiting factor which is the thing holding it back, the convenience of refilling said batteries. Electric cars are held back by the accessability to charging stations as well. It's not that technology isn't there, but it is not available, people do not want to pay for the convenience yet. The technology itself is incredible, but it will not be widely accepted until people can get it and use it easily. What is being done, making it look nice and playing-up its advantages is helping shift the public opinion to push for those stations and those cars, but convenience is key.
I really enjoyed learning more about both of these technologies. I knew some about alternative energy vehicles but the howstuffworks article was very informative. I liked the top gear segment and thought it was great that the host encouraged the kids to look at hydrogen fuel cells. I knew about the Tesla model s and actually had read a review similar to the one we were sent. I think being able to style a hybrid car like that along with many amenities that the Tesla offers will help purchasers find their ideal car.
This page contains a single entry by Capper Nichols published on April 1, 2013 10:40 AM.
"Telegraphy--the Victorian Internet" - T. Standage; "The Telephone in America" - Claude Fischer; "Mobile Telephony..." - Imar de Vries was the previous entry in this blog.
"What Computers Mean for Man and Society" - Herbert Simon is the next entry in this blog.
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