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From Ross

I was particularly interested in Williams' assertion that planned flow is the defining characteristic of broadcasting as a technology and cultural form. While watching a show on ABC like Desperate Housewives we might see an advertisement for General Electric home appliances, in the same episode we might see one of the characters driving an SUV, during the next commercial break we might see an advertisement sponsored by the car company. This calculated series of sequences is so interwoven into the fabric of modern television that we hardly notice it unless we carefully examine what we watch. While reading the article I began to wonder if the idea of flow will become insignificant or evolve in some wa due to the surge in popularity of a particular form of technology: Digital Video Recorders. With these devices audiences are free to record only the programs they want to see. And perhaps of more significance is the capability to fast forward through commercials. To be sure, this disrupts the carefully planned flow. How will advertisers get around this? Will product placement in programs become more prevalent? I think this would be a good technology to explore further. In the Smythe essay, he argues that the boundary between the individual worker and consumer has dissolved. We work during the day to produce commodities or provide services, and our time off work is not really free. We are bombarded with advertisements almost everywhere we go--the bus, television, movie theaters, etc. It is now common to see a television in almost any facility. For example, some doctor's offices have televisions in the waiting room displaying advertisements for prescription drugs. Even when we are looking for medical help, we are being targeted by pharmaceutical companies hocking their latest wonder drugs. Schafer's piece on soundscapes provided a perspective on sound that I had not previously considered. Our environment is a musical composition, it fluctuates, changes tone and mood. The idea that we all contribute to the composition is one that intrigues me. How do we contribute to the composition in ways that are aurally pleasing and what actions are detrimental to our soundscape? Additionally it will be interesting to mull over the ways new mobile technologies are contributing to our sonic landscapes.