A Storm’s a Brewin…Over Social Media and over Mexico’s Pacific Coast

As winds are blowing at over 200 mph towards Mexico’s Pacific coast, Hurricane Patricia is being projected as the “strongest hurricane ever recorded.” Not only is the storm brewing as it makes its way towards landfall, but it is also gaining headway in the digital communication and social media world. With communication mediums including e-mail, Twitter, Instagram and their website, just SMU alone has both notified and warned the community of the severe weather conditions approaching.

In addition, the SMU community has contributed to the frenzy of weather updates through personal communication methods such as Snapchats, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts. Cars floating along the Boulevard and Cox Business library being flooded are just some of the posts that have been circulating around campus, greatly contributing to the panic and fear of what is yet to come.

As a result of the storm, part of the SMU Cox Business library flooded, and was shared via social media with the student body.

As a result of the storm, part of the SMU Cox Business library flooded, and was shared via social media with the student body.

This SnapChat, provided by an SMU student, shows a car floating, rather than driving, down the SMU Boulevard.

This Snapchat, provided by an SMU student, shows a car floating, rather than driving, down the SMU Boulevard.













As a result, rather than focusing attention on the effects that Hurricane Patricia is having on its actual victims, social media is highlighting only the backlash effects that Dallas is experiencing. Although in this case social media is being beneficially utilized to get the word out about potential weather risks locally, equal media attention is not being given to where the storm is expected to devastate and destroy the lives of hundreds.


Twitter Campaigning: Social Media in the 2016 Presidential Election

Presidential campaigns spend millions of dollars each year on radio and television ads, but for the 2016 election this money is a waste. Presidential Candidates must look to social media for rankings, free advertisement, analyticVoter pin with the words"every tweet counts".s, fundraising, public feedback and opinion, engage with young voters, and immediate response to controversy.

More voters are receiving their news from social media and the 2016 presidential candidates are taking advantage of this medium. Social media is a tool for campaigns to reach out to Millennials and gain momentum in the polls and recognition in the news. Twitter has become imperative for candidates to use to gain the public eye and attention of potential voters.

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Combative Communications 101 – Presidential Debate Style

The candidates of the Republican Presidential Debate stand together after a combative, confrontational 3 hour dialogue.

The candidates of the Republican Presidential Debate stand together after a combative, confrontational 3 hour dialogue.

Although titled the Republican Primary Debate, CNN’s lengthy Wednesday evening production was much more of a “he said, she said,” Real-Housewives catfight-esque, combative communications performance than a Presidential deliberation.

Taking place at California’s Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, CNN hosted a whopping 16 Republican candidates for what resulted in more of a confrontational therapy session between the “cool kids” rather than an evenly distributed discussion amongst all of the candidates. And yet, the prime time debate averaged 23.1 million viewers, making it the most-watched program in CNN’s history. Is this statistic telling of the type of communication that attracts a majority of our nation’s population?

CNN’s combative questioning technique was designed to spark conversation, typically controversial, between two candidates in regards to comments that one has said about the other and vise versa. As the inquiries and accusations were being responded to, the network would publish the responses via Twitter, which only elongated the “he said, she said” conversation via social media. On the contrary, professor and CNN Political Analyst during elections Dr. Rita Kirk, noted that although combative, the debate technique forced candidates to be confrontational in a public forum. By forcing candidates to face the criticism that was made both by them and against them, it acted as a “check” on held them and a catalyst for accountability, which may have been the appeal to the American public.



Migrant Crisis: Social Media Used as a Network for Survival

Migrant women showing her daughter her smart phone use of social media.The migration of refugees fleeing from Syria and the Middle East has been recorded as the largest flow of migrants in Europe since WWII. You may be asking yourself how such a large flux of refugees are finding their way through foreign land’s boarder patrols like Greece and Hungary with increased tension in Europe and tightening rules and regulations. The answer is simple. It is the same way we find out if there are flight delays after a storm or road block near campus, SOCIAL MEDIA.

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Instagram Adds Creative Tools

Wish you could edit a photo and make it a tint lighter, or darker based upon a color? How about changing a photo’s look slightly to create a vintage look? Yesterday, Instagram’s latest update made these quandaries a reality.

Expect to spend another half an hour deciding how you’ll filter your next photo… Continue reading

Meerkat at SXSW 2015

What comes to mind when you think of a meerkat? Perhaps you envision a furry rat-like animal native to the African savannah?

Well the Meerkat app, with its fitting name, allows subscribers to view live streaming of videos through a link posted on one’s Twitter accounts. Meerkat at SXSW 2015 has allowed everyone from tech fans to celebrities to fall in love with its simplicity and fun.Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 10.43.33 AM Continue reading

Apple Pay: The Reason to Upgrade

Apple PayWill Apple Pay change today’s society? Forgetting your credit card or debit card will no longer be a problem with this new feature offered on both of the i-Phone 6 and the Apple Watch. Apple is always finding new ways to persuade consumers to upgrade their phones. This time it’s collaborating with several credit card networks and banks such as: Chase Bank and American Express to make people’s lives easier. However, will people be willing to buy a new phone just for this?

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Changes Company Mantra

Facebook’s motto has always been “Move Fast and Break Things,” which meant to always be creating new things and work out the bugs later. Instead of progressing the company in the fastest, most efficient way possible, that mentality has had a reverse effect on their productivity. Zuckerberg saw this and was compelled to change the company mantra.  Continue reading

North Korea Under Scrutiny with the U.N.

In North Korea, a state news agency has lashed out at the United Nations by using homophobic insults about a man who led an investigation. The insults in the report stated, “As for Kirby who took the lead in cooking the “report”, he is a disgusting old lecher with a 40-odd-year-long career of homosexuality. He is now over seventy, but he is still anxious to get married to his homosexual partner. This practice can never be found in the DPRK boasting of the sound mentality and good morals, and homosexuality has become a target of public criticism even in Western countries, too. In fact, it is ridiculous for such gay to sponsor dealing with others’ human rights issue.”

North Korea will always be under scrutiny as its country does not have a good relationship with the United Nations. However, attacking them with homophobic slander is not under ethical human rights standards. North Korea propaganda is well-known for its abusive language and insults against foreign critics. Earlier this month, the  state newspaper Rodong Sinmun called South Korean President a “bitch,” and in 2009, KCNA reported that a North Korean official had labelled Hilary Clinton a “funny lady” who was “by no means intelligent.”


How Can Children in Indian Be Denied An Education?

In New Delhi, school authorities have a notorious record for discriminating against children from marginalized communities, denying them their right to an education. Within these four Indian states, they are discriminating against Dalit, tribal and Muslim children. According to Human Rights Watch, “the discrimination creates an unwelcome atmosphere that can lead to truancy and eventually may lead the child to stop going to school. Weak monitoring mechanisms fail to identify and track children who attend school irregularly, are at risk of dropping out, or have dropped out.”

An eight-year-old tribal boy from Uttar explains that “the teacher tells us to sit on the other side, if we sit with others, she scolds us and asks us to sit separately, the teacher doesn’t sit with us because she says we are dirty.” This discriminatory behavior saddens me because in the United States, children being educated do not receive discrimination to this level or even at all.

Instead of encouraging children from poverty-stricken communities who are usually the first out of their families to receive an education, teachers mistreat and neglect them. I think that the Indian government should enact more effective measures in order to monitor the treatment of vulnerable children. According to the Indian government, almost 80 million children drop out of school before they get the chance of completing elementary school.

Foursquare is Splitting Up: Introducing Swarm by Foursquare

Swarm by Foursquare Everyone’s favorite check-in app is undergoing a transformation. According to the company blog, the company is splitting up Foursquare into two separate apps. Foursquare will maintain it’s discovery features while Swarm by Foursquare will focus on more social aspects. No longer will users have to navigate both aspects of the original application. This new “unbundling” will allow for separate experiences.

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Crowd-funding platform MoolaHoop empowers female entrepreneurs

Empowering female business owners to start, build and expand their business, the rewards-based crowd-funding platform MoolaHoop is designed by women for women. The site allows women entrepreneurs in need of modest startup capital to develop online campaigns.

Crowd-funding platform MoolaHoop empowers female entrepreneurs.

Crowd-funding platform MoolaHoop empowers female entrepreneurs.

Founders of the dallas-based site, Brenda Bazan and Nancy, created an online platform enabling women to leverage the “power of the crowd” in order to grow their business and achieve financial success.
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The Rise of Arab Spring

The occurrence of Arab Spring on December 18, 2010 sparked a new revolution in Tunisia along with other countries.

It began with the self-immolation of Mohammed Bouazizi in protest of the injustices of the police. Retaliation occurred against the corrupt power. The main target was the corruption of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. This movement represented more than a political revolution but also a social media revolution that inspired others to stand up for theirrights.

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Amazon Take Over: Amazon Deliveries in the Works

Amazon: Online goods provider, cable cutter and shipper?

It’s beginning to look a lot like Amazon is taking over the world. A few weeks ago, Amazon introduced Amazon Fire TV to the Amazon Expands Grocery Delivery Service To Los Angeles Areamarket in order to compete with Apple TV, Roku and other cable cutting devices. Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal published an article describing Amazon’s plan to now compete with shippers such as FedEx and UPS.

With all of Amazon’s new ventures, the company aims to offer the same service as their competitors, but with an added twist. With Amazon Fire TV, they added a speaking component to their remote, and with Amazon deliveries, they are hoping to offer same day as purchase delivery. Continue reading

OnDot CardControl App Helps Secure Credit Cards

OnDot CardControl AppEveryone has lost his or her credit card at some point, and whether it was left at a restaurant or on the subway, the first step is to cancel it. Now disabling lost credit cards is as easy as pressing a button. The OnDot has a introduced a mobile application called CardControl. According to the company website, the OnDot CardControl app allows users to control credit card preferences on their cell phones.

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Will The Comcast-Time Warner Deal Affect Communications Infrastructure?

Close to Sealing the Deal

Close to Sealing the Deal

Another major merge between the two largest cable companies is creating a setback, especially for our wallets. Comcast, the nation’s largest cable company wants to buy Time Warner for $45 billion dollars. If this communications merge were to happen, Comcast would shovel 70 million subscribers, which is about 30 percent of television viewers in the United States. So, why is this an issue?

The last time a deal like this was announced was in 2011 when AT&T tried to merge with T-Mobile, which affected the communications infrastructure. That deal fell through when the Department of Justice sued to block the deal. The Department of Justice “argued at the time that the AT&T deal would decrease competition, hurt consumers and squash innovation.”

The Comcast proposal creates another threat, placing a strange hold on several growing businesses such as internet services and broadcast television. Essentially this proposed merger “would create a behemoth of a monopoly, crushing networks, broadcasters and any content provider looking for a path.” Continue reading

Streaming Music Hits Its High

Digital Music Hits A High

Digital Music Hits A High

No longer do you see people listening to their Walkman’s when running down the street. That’s because the days of buying CD’s is long gone. Today, there are millions of songs available to download for free online. Streaming music has taken over due to its continuous inflow of new tracks and the fact that you pay nothing to add it to your most current playlist. Digital music is dominating the music business, from professional musicians to radio broadcasters. Continue reading