Useful? I hope so!

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From the moment I saw this week’s topic, I knew it will be the hardest to write about. Took long enough to choose the right subject to focus on. But as I have previously mentioned, in the second blog post, I am passionate about blogs and creative websites, so I am just going to go back to that topic and introduce to you more useful online resources.

In my spare time, I truly enjoy watching youtube videos, so I follow a lot of vloggers and I usually get notified whenever a new video comes up. So I have a compelling list of video blogs for different areas and domains that some of you might find interesting and useful not only for your module, but maybe for your free time hobby.

To begin with, for those of you who have to keep up-to-date with current events I can give you CitizenTube which is hosted by YouTube and it deals with current events and political events and issues from all over the world. 

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Philip Scott Johnson is one of those people who have a massive passion for art and he publicly shares on his YouTube channel, a fascinating collection of videos that put art in motion, like Italian Renaissance Art, Women and Men in Film or Faces of Fashion.

Last but not least, for my colleagues who have the same passion as me, meaning foreign languages, I am here to introduce you to some video blogs that can make spanish and french so much easier for you. TheSpanishBlog is basically like your personal native Spanish speaking tutor than you can just go to whenever you want to learn something new. The teacher’s name is Laura Garrido Eslava and she uploads spanish lessons on her YouTube channel as well as her blog.

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And also, for those french lovers, in my opinion, French From Beginners to Advanced is really the perfect place to go. 

So, as my last series of questions for you.. Did you find it useful? Does any of these resources seem appealing to you? Will you use any of them?

Once the King of rock’n’roll, always a King.

From the title, you might have figured out I’m gonna talk about a royalty, but as far as I know, everyone should be aware of who “the king of rock’n’roll” is.. It’s all about the great and loved Elvis Presley.

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All the king’s albums and recordings are currently owned by Sony BMG. What not anyone might know, unless you are a huge fan of Elvis, is that some of his songs have served as storylines for musicals, in which he starred of course. However, there is one musical in particular that could have entered the public domain on January 1, 2014, and this is Jailhouse Rock.

 

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On the one hand, according to the 1976 Copyright Act, the United States copyright law, the copyright term ends after 56 years. At first the content is being kept under copyright restrictions for 28 years which can then be renewed for another 28 years, and that means anything published in 1957 could have been free to use on January 1, 2014.

But on the other hand, in accordance with the new Copyright law of the United States, an author or an artist has the right to use their work in any way, but based on a time limit, which usually comes to an end after 70 years after the author’s death. This now means that anything published in 1957 will enter the public domain in 2053, including Elvis’ Jailhouse Rock.

The Creative Commons licence allows a piece of work to be distributed for free, so people can share it, use it and build upon it if and how they wish. So what would happen to the Jailhouse Rock musical if it was open to public use? Not much. My personal opinion is that not many will use it to make profit or change anything in it. So why not keep it copyrighted and this way we can respect and protect this valuable singer’s legacy.

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So what do you think? Can anyone use Jailhouse Rock for making any type of profit? Is it still worth investing money in it if it enters the public domain? Should it remain copyrighted just to protect the king’s inheritance?  

Online visibility

In my opinion, online visibility is not a positive side of the Internet. Personally, only thinking of the fact that someone can just type my name into Google and find information about me is frightening.

What do you think I did? (What maybe many of us did). I “googled” my name. As a result, all my accounts came up, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube. Almost every social media platform I previously registered on.

Everyone can choose whether they respect their privacy or not. As for me, my accounts are private on every social media platform I use. On Facebook, the only picture one can see when visiting my profile is the cover picture, unless he or she is part of my friends list, and my Twitter and Instagram accounts are private so my activity is not visible to anyone unless they send me a follow request.

All these social networks we use everyday offer us the possibility to define privacy limits. It is one’s choice whether a stranger can see his online activity or not. Nowadays, people are more comfortable with sharing their pictures or any other information in any way (Zuckerberg, 2010). You would rather see 14 years old children posing for a new Facebook profile picture than playing interactive games.

So, I believe that being able to make our accounts private is a way to protect our privacy from strangers. But on the other way, don’t you find it a bit horrifying that someone can just find any information about you online?

All the students in one room

This week, I’m gonna talk about an online community that most of you probably didn’t hear of until now. Its name is ‘The Student Room’.

The Student Room is UK’s biggest education community created for students to cooperate and support each other. As we all are aware of, every student needs help, doesn’t matter where he/she is from and the most suitable person to go for assistance is another student who deals with or overcame the same issue.

According to their website, “over 70% of all students” use it every year and you would be surprised at how welcoming and amiable are the members of the website. The Student Room offers you, as a student, the opportunity to ask for a piece of advice from other students from any other university either if you have problems organising your finances, if you are looking for a job or a place to rent, or even when you’re preparing for an exam. It is equally opened to personal discussions about relationships or health, but another valuable fact is that there you can make friends and talk about your common interests.

Did any of you hear about it before? If not, check it out and let me know what you think about it. Also, if yes, tell me if and how it helped you.

Question and Answer

 

Few days ago, I was sitting in front of my computer trying to figure out what this week’s blog post should be about. I could not find my inspiration, I could not focus because of my boisterous cousin who was watching his game vloggers on YouTube. And then it hit me… I watch YouTube vloggers too so I know pretty much how these work, why not discuss it?

There are different types of channels on YouTube. Some are educational, others are creative and some are just fun. But there is one thing that almost all of them have in common.. “Q&A” videos.

What is a Q&A video? By definition, Q&A translates as ‘Question & Answer’. On YouTube, it is a video in which a vlogger answers questions asked by the audience either on their personal Twitter account or in the comments section of a previous video. There are sessions of live Q&A that can be found on YouTube like this, but filmed by less outstanding vloggers. However, there are videos like one of Zoella’s many Q&A’s or The Dolan Twins that have more views and are more popular among their audience.

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These types of videos allow the audience to interact with their favourite vloggers. Although there are so many people asking questions that you have to be lucky for yours to be chosen, for some it is worth trying.

It seems to me that the numbers of bloggers and vloggers are continuously raising, that nowadays everyone would like to be a successful one.

So would you like to be an acknowledged vlogger and deal with the challenges that this comes with? Would you like to answer questions from your audience? Or do any of you already do this?

Technological convergence: from calling to everything

The world has been through many transformations along the years, be it technological, economical, cultural or social, but in my opinion, the technological convergence has been the one to affect the world and people’s lives the most.

First, think about the evolution of the TV, from black and white to 3D images right in your living room, from octagon to smart TV which by the way is the gadget which best illustrates the technological convergence between computers and television.

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Furthermore, we all know and use the famous smart phone, but not many of us know its past and how we came to use it. The very first mobile phone was invented in 1973 (you can read more about it here) and its name was “Motorola 8900X-2”, quite complex compared to “Iphone 6”, isn’t it? 

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Not many of us were born before 1990s and we can only know about the old style ‘brick cell phone’ from the pictures, but I’m sure you all remember Nokia 1100 or Motorola V3 with the catchy song Hello, Moto and if not here they are..

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In the past, you could use the phone to just call someone whereas these days a phone is more like a computer that fits in your pocket. Now we live in an era when you can connect to the internet wherever you are, either using wireless connection or mobile data, listen to music without carrying your walkman (does anyone even use those anymore?) or take high-quality pictures even if you forgot your camera, and all these only by using a phone, which these days it’s almost impossible to leave your house without.  

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Have you ever got lost in a big city the first time you went there? Of course many of us did, it’s inevitable. But these days smartphones come with voice guided navigation which makes it kind of fun to get lost and also, you can save money on buying a map or a GPS device. Moreover, a busy person with no time to watch TV can still keep up with what’s going on in the world as now you can download any news app on your phone. Last but not least, let’s not forget about the note app, which saves you from carrying a notebook around and can be useful for any idea that comes to your mind or even for writing your grocery list.

I think during these past years technology has massively changed and once with it so did people’s lives. So, don’t you think that even though for some these smart phones or smart TVs might seem complicated and difficult to use, in one way or another, they make our life easier?

News in Levels

I am a big fan of blogs, and I follow some, so I could suggest a few that would raise your interests, be it about science, arts, politics, history, learning a foreign language, or even mathematics, but as students here come from all over the world, and English is not everyone’s first language, I decided to inform you about a not so popular website called News in Levels.

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News in Levels is a website that writes news for students. It has three levels and when you first visit it, they ask you to go through a mini-test so that they can decide which level is the one that suits your English knowledge, the one you should read. This website has been created to improve one’s reading and listening skills. The editors repeat the same words in one level and that way by listening or reading their news everyday for three or four months, you can understand all the words they have been using in that specific level. After that, you can go to another level and use the same method.

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This website also has an extension called Grammar for Speaking which is an online video course that can help fix a student’s insecurities in English grammar. It also comes with a Jokes section where you can read jokes, bad or good, also in three different levels. Another extension is called Videos in Levels which this time comes with 6 levels. The videos are based on numerous interesting topics, like animals, cooking, documentaries, music, hobbies, history and many more.

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I honestly had a hard time thinking of what online resource I could choose, that could be interesting as well as helpful for my fellow students. So please let me know what you’re thinking about this website.