Khan Academy Review

A lot of websites can help people out when studying. I recently reviewed Quizlet and gave it a good review. I would still recommend that but, there is one other helpful website I would put ahead of it. That website is, Khan Academy.

What I like about Khan Academy is that it is a very diverse tool to use. There are many different ways to use Khan Academy. You can watch videos that can help you and you can do practice problems afterward. There are also multiple different things you can study on there too.

Subjects include math, science, computing, history, and economics. They branch off into subcategories and include multiple different sub-subjects. I have used Khan Academy before and I found it very useful. The videos can range anywhere from three to ten minutes. They go very in-depth and I found them very useful. I also like how they give mini achievements as you go through the different lessons. It really makes you feel like you are learning a lot more.

One other benefit is that you can access it anywhere. It’s very convenient to your needs. You don’t have to go anywhere to practice your assignments. This is unrelated to college students but, if you wanted to start your kid off young around the age of five or so, it is a great way to start them. The lessons can be very elementary for young kids.

There are a few downsides to Khan Academy. There are a lot of subjects but, they don’t have every single subject. I have also recently noticed that it has been slow in some cases while using the website. It could be just a slight glitch on the website that day but, I still would recommend it.

Overall, I would recommend the use of Khan Acamedy. There are definitely more ups than down. I liked to use it in high school and I still found it to be useful. If you want to study for finals in a certain subject then I would highly recommend the use of Khan Acamedy.


Video Games and Violence, Do they correlate? Part 2

The age-old question “Do video games lead to violence” springs to life again. I have previously discussed this question before but not as in-depth as I could have gone. I covered the basics of what surrounds this topic, but the questions still linger. Now, I will go more in depth, I will survey multiple studies, gather the evidence and come to a conclusion that video games do not directly cause acts of violence, instead, they cause more aggression.

Before I get into the specifics of the data, I will go over some key terms that will help clear up any misunderstandings. Aggression is hostile or violent behavior or attitudes toward another. Aggression is used in a bunch of research and is very relevant to this topic because it is being compared and contrasted with violence. Violence is behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something. A video game is a game played by electronically manipulating images produced by a computer program on a television screen or other display screen.

The first thing to discuss is why are video games the main point of discussion? Somebody can make the argument that watching violent television programs can have the same effect? A very well constructed scholarly review by Jodi L. Whitaker and Brad J. Bushman titled A REVIEW OF THE EFFECTS OF VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES  is going to be our best friend when it comes to figuring out these answers. In their review, they state “people learn better when they are actively involved” (Bushman 1035). An example I’d like to bring is would you rather watch a basketball training video and that be it or actually do the exercises in the training video? LeBron James didn’t become great by watching Michael Jordan, he put the work in to be successful. In this scenario, at a young age or even any age in general, by playing the video game you are controlling the person that is doing the shooting, fighting or killing. Not only do you get put into the perspective of the person in the game, in some cases you get rewarded for doing certain actions. In the same review, they say “It is well known that rewarding behavior increases its frequency” (Bushman 1036). The theory behind this is if you tell people that what you are doing is good and that you are on the right track, then more people will do it. You don’t get rewarded for what someone else does on a television show. Also, in the article, they state “Experimental studies have shown that playing violent games directly causes players to behave more aggressively” (Bushman 1037). Long-term effects of built-up aggression lead to physical and verbal fights with others. People also have more aggressive thoughts as well. They aren’t the only ones to think that way too.

The APA (American Psychological Association) also has their own review. Their main object in their review was to let the public know of the effects of violent video games on children. They state that these video games increase aggression and have a negative impact on prosocial behavior. They also agree with Bushman in his review of the fact that playing the violent video game is bad because they are interactive unlike television shows or movies. The APA also writes an article about how violent video games are more harmful than violent movies and television because they are interactive.

PBS has also commented on this topic in their own post. They discussed how scientists went about studying this topic. Similarly to other studies, they had kids play violent video games for a few minutes and then see if their behavior changes. They also tested to see if the kids had more aggressive thoughts by showing “the word “explo_e” as explode rather than explore” (Keim). This is an interesting theory. As I read through that part of the article, the first word I thought of was explore. Of course, I was calm at the time of reading so I decided that I would play a violent video game a day later and see if anything changed. Even after playing the violent game I still thought of the word explore. That may be because I had that thought of the word explore previously but I thought I would see what I thought a day later. Anyways the results from the 130,000 people studied is that they saw an increase in aggressive thoughts and feelings. Who was the person who did these tests? Our boy, Brad Bushman. Here is a plot twist though, “To Bushman, video games aren’t likely to be the sole source of violence, but an amplifier” (Keim).

You see these studies done by him and you think that he must think these games cause violence. These studies were done and they proved that these games cause increased in aggression. That doesn’t answer the question if they cause acts of violence though. In an article by Ohio State arts and sciences department, Bushman talks more about this topic. Some background on Bushman, he has been studying this topic for about 30 years now and has conducted more than 50 studies on violent media effects. In 2010 he conducted a study across the world with others to determine what the effects of violent video games had on people. The results of testing more than 130,000 people show an increase in aggressive thoughts, angry feelings, and physiological arousal. That means increased heart rate and blood pressure.

Clearly while going through this you definitely see that these games cause increased aggression. However, playing one game isn’t going to make you violent. I love the analogy that Bushman comes up with comparing violent video games to smoking. Bushman says that “A single cigarette won’t cause lung cancer, but smoking over weeks or months or years greatly increases the risk. In the same way, repeated exposure to violent video games may have a cumulative effect on aggression.” I absolutely love this comparison because, think about it, it is true. For the purpose of testing, they only play for a bit. If they played for a while it would most likely have a greater effect on them just like smoking would. In fact, Chris Furguson would even go as far to say these games help reduce violence.

In a CNN article, Chris Ferguson is a professor of psychology at Stetson University. He goes as far to say that these violent video games cause less violence. Furguson says that “you keep them off the streets and out of trouble” (Scutti). That is an interesting proposal but one that I could understand. If they keep playing these games they wouldn’t think to cause acts of violence because they would be entertained by the game. He even says that these testing methods are outdated and that new studies with better methods failed to find a correlation between acts of violence and increased aggression. Wow, bold statement. I mean I do understand why he would say that. You would have to test over a long period of time but, the results do show increased aggression in this kids. With increased aggression at a young age, that increases their chances of becoming violent adults.

So there it is a summary of some scholarly studies and some thoughts of some professors on this topic. So, what should be the takeaway? The takeaway is that these games do cause you to become more aggressive and do not directly cause a person to make a violent act in society.

To wrap this up I thought I would give my perspective on this situation. I personally feel like these games can definitely make you more aggressive but, that is if they make you upset. I’ve been playing violent video games since I was 12 and I do not consider myself aggressive, nor do my friends and family. Have I gotten upset with these games? Absolutely. However, I play other games like Madden and FIFA and those upset me sometimes too. I’m not doubting the research, I just think to put the blame solely on violent video games isn’t completely fair. Do they cause people to be more aggressive? The studies prove that. I feel that if parents monitor their kids’ behavior and don’t let things get out of hand, then everything should be fine.



My Digital Activity

During the semester we had to participate in different digital activities. These activities varied from googling yourself, making a twitter account or creating a blog. So I decided to make an interactive digital activity on quizlet.

Recently we talked about tipping points in my First Year Seminar class and I think the class and I found it very interesting. Some of the tipping points included driverless cars and AI decision making. What I thought I would do is create a quizlet based on those tipping points testing everyone’s knowledge on when we are expected to have this technology.

I realize the end of the semester is coming around but, I feel that doing this is a great way to test your memory.  Also, I feel like the class really involved in discussions so, they may appreciate this digital activity.

I could also see this being beneficial after this semester too. These tipping points are points of a lot of discussion outside of college. Having a knowledge of these tipping points and when they are projected to occur could help in a conversation. All you have to do to participate in this activity is follow the link I provided and give it a shot!

I also think that this activity will also expand your use of your own digital world. I’ve been using quizlet since 7th grade and I always found it useful. Adding quizlet to your supply of online tools, then what are you waiting for?

Even if you don’t want to do my quiz, Quizlet has plenty of other question sets that you can go through and do. If you so desire, you can even make your own for this upcoming finals week. The best part is that Quizlet is free! There is an option to pay but it is not necessary if you just want to make flashcards.

I hope you check out my quiz at I would love to know what you got on my test. I highly recommend that you check out Quizlet because it is a very useful tool to use!


New Technologies Usually Excite Me, Not This One

I’m getting a new phone for my birthday but, that doesn’t interest you. My point is that I am usually excited by about new technology and sometimes receiving it. The topic I want to discuss is the concept behind self-driving cars. I recently read over in a report titled Deep Shift Technology Tipping Points
and Societal Impact and noticed that there was a self-driving section in the report. I have never been high on the idea of self-driving cars. I do not like not being able to have control over the car and I am always afraid it will get hacked or something.

In the article goes into some interesting details. Driverless cars will equal about 10% of the cars on a U.S road by 2026. I find that really interesting that already we are hearing about these cars so soon. Think about it, in approximately eight years, we will see a lot more of these cars on the road. We are even seeing some self-driving cars right now. Look at Japan. In a CNN article by Daniel Shane, he talks about how Nissan is already putting some of these cars on the road in Japan by 2019. These cars will have all of these cameras and sensors to make sure that the car can navigate correctly.

It is not only Japan and Nissan who are looking towards the future, GM is as well. In an NBC article by Phil LeBeau, he talks about how GM wants to get self-driving on the roads by 2019 as well. In fact, they have some Chevy Bolts on the road being tested in the San Fransisco. It seems as if they want to make this a taxi service? Maybe just for now.

Going to back to the original article, these cars do have some positives going for them. Safety will definitely be improved or else if something goes wrong we could have some big lawsuits. These cars would also be electric and won’t be giving off a lot of air pollution. Some negatives are that truck and taxi drivers will more than likely lose their job. We now get to which I think is the biggest negative and that is the possibility of somebody hacking your car. I’m sure that somehow GM and Nissan will figure out ways to counter that but hackers are always thinking. If it was not for the possibility of hacking or the car just responding incorrectly, I would be all in but, that’s not the case. We have a lot of time to perfect this right now though. I think we will be in good hands down the road.

The Infographic Experience

Recently I made an infographic on a blog post I am currently working on. Don’t worry, it will be out soon. Anyways while doing that I learned a lot about infographics. It is a various useful tool to help organize information. I used my infographic to demonstrate different statistics on video games. I discussed different stats like how many hours people play video games and what video games are the most popular.  The way they have set up is really helpful as well. You can choose from various different types of charts and they are very helpful for whatever type of data you are putting on the graph. I would definitely recommend using Here is my Infogram that I made

Converse Vs Walmart. So What Happened?

A court case that happened 3 years ago? Why bring it up now? It is because I felt like it. So, why did this come about in the first place? Converse sued them because they were selling copycat shoes in their stores. Walmart says that the toe caps, toe bumpers, and stripes are their own so, they cannot sue them. Sounds like a Judge Judy case, let’s continue.

The website does a good job of breaking it down.  Not only did Converse sue Walmart but, they sued other 30 other retailers as well. They got off the hook but Walmart is still fighting back. They say that they wanted to keep their every day low prices. Converse has been around for 109 years. It seems to me like a lot of brands rip off their shoes often. To add on to this adventure, they want stores to stop selling the knock-off brands as well. This is making this situation even more interesting.

The reason Converse is so upset is that this fake knock-off is putting a bad taste on the real Chuck Taylors. The solution was to have Nike buy them out for 309 million dollars. They then saw various NBA players wear their shoes such as Lou Williams and Kyle Korver. Not too long after, they came out with a new Chuck Taylor to help boost their sales. It is called the Chuck Taylor All Star. Not only that but, they also entered the skateboarding market as well. They made their own skateboarding shoe as well.

One final reason why Converse was so ticked off by this was that this certain shoe was their first real success back in 1917. They were custom for basketball all start and his name was, believe it or not, Chuck Taylor.

After all of this conflict, Converse comes out on top and is the news undisputed WWE champion, whoops, that is the wrong category. The point is, Converse won the case and now Walmart cannot sell the rip off shoes in their stores anymore. That is until someone else tries to rip off some other shoe of theirs.


Wait, We Break Copyright Laws?

Well, not really but there is more to it than you think. For those of you that don’t know, copyright is the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute the matter and form of something. In this particular post, the examples have to do with photos and articles.

I am going to out on a limb and say that you most likely have a Twitter account or a Facebook account. I will also go out on a limb and say that at some point you shared an article that you found interesting and shared it on one of your social media accounts. Did you ever think that you could be at fault for copyright infringement? Probably not, and you should be fine because the person who originally posted the article or photo will be the one at fault. This seems like this happens a lot, why don’t we hear more about these copyright infringements? In the article titled Does Sharing A Link To Online Content Amount To Copyright Infringement?  Justin Goldman, who works for Getty Images, took a photo of Tom Brady and other parties tweeted it out without giving him proper credit. Another example would be The Washington Post and just about every other news source uses President Trump’s tweets. It seems pretty simple, give the person or publisher credit and you don’t have to worry about them coming after you. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has some different views on this subject. They ruled that if you use sharing links with copyrights for profit may infringe copyright laws. Basically, they are saying that the person who publishes the work better make sure that it is done legally or else they could be at risk of copyright infringement.

The drama doesn’t end here. Now we have a photographer going after somebody big and that somebody is CBS. In the article Photographer Sues CBS for Copyright Infringement, CBS Sues Back we have photographer Jon Tannen telling writer Alex Gleitman to take down his post including Tannen’s photo even though Gleitman says he gives him credit. He then decided to sue CBS and CBS countersued him for $150,000 for being a hypocrite for using copyrighted still frame without permission. This is one of those situations where you look and just hope they stop because you are embarrassed for them.

My thoughts on all of this are why don’t people give credit where credit is due? If people did that, we wouldn’t have these problems. Also, why don’t you just check to make sure what you are doing is legal. Is it too much to ask? Maybe so but, my dad always said, any job worth doing, is worth doing well. Don’t steal that or I will sue you.

Grammarly and Hemingway Editor Review

You have a paper due 11:59 P.M. that night. Every single college kids worst nightmare. Well, at least one of them. Anyways you have to rush to finish the paper and mess up a lot of grammar. Luckily, we have to writing tools on the internet for free. In this article, I will review the two free writing tools, Grammarly and Hemingway Editor.

First up is Grammarly. I will start with my likes first and the segway to my dislikes. What I like about Grammarly is how easy it is to install. Go to your web browser, type in the website, make an account and then install the extension. It’s really easy and free! In terms of Grammarly itself, I have found it to be very useful. One thing I like about it is that it asks if you are a student, teacher or a writer and then proceeds to ask you if you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced. After selecting your two options it tells you what it will look out you while you write. My dislikes include the fact that you have to pay to unlock all of Grammarly’s features. It is $30 a month which is pretty expensive for a grammar editor. Overall I would recommend the free version. It gets the job done and it is an easy process to install.

Next up is the Hemingway editor. What I like about this writing tool is that it gives you more suggestions on what to do. The problem is, it doesn’t always tell you exactly what to fix. Sometimes it will just say it’s hard to read. That’s great but what if you review that sentence multiple times but can’t find something wrong with it. It’s confusing sometimes but it does give some helpful insight at the same time. It also points out when you are using “fluff’ words and when you are using the wrong tenses. While you need to pay for Hemingway Editor to get all of its features, it is a surprisingly reasonable price. It is only $20 which I find to be very reasonable. I do not all the full features that you would obtain. I do however know some of them. If you upgrade you can edit anywhere. It also includes the ability to send your papers to others with the recommended edits and then others can tell you how you could potentially fix that.

Overall I think both are great for being free. I would pick Grammarly because once you install into your web browser, and you see suggestions everywhere you write. After writing this article, I can definitely see a difference in certain things I used to make mistakes with.

You’re Not as Private on The Internet as You Think

So we are in November and Christmas is creeping up on us. You have to start to shopping for Christmas presents. You go to buy that new video game and you see an ad on the right side of the screen. It’s an advertisement for a new type of clothing. That’s cool and all but have you ever thought that the advertisement is spying on you? That’s right, an article written by Jennifer Langston-Washington called “Anyone can track you with $1,000 of online ads” tells us that like the article title, anyone can track you if they pay $1,000 for ads. An example given in the article was that your boss spying on you doing your working hours. With that being said, if your boss cared enough to spend $1,000 on an advertisement to see what you are doing, they could.  In fact, a research team went out to see if they could do it and they did. They discovered that “that an individual ad purchaser can, under certain circumstances, see when a person visits a predetermined sensitive location.” (Langston-Washington, Jennifer) Well, what is considered a “sensitive location”? An example is a hospital someone might be in or if someone has their location turned on, on their phone. They also found that they could see what apps people were using. It’s amazing that they don’t even have to click on the advertisement to enable the tracking, it happens which is pretty scary.
Discussing the various ways people can spy on you with ads is already scary enough. How about cybersecurity failures? “The Decade of Security and Privacy”  by Danielle Sabrina, she talks about these various threats. Do Target and Equifax remind you of anything? How about the fact that they lost our credit card information to cyber thieves? Obviously, Targets scenario was no one close to as severe as Equifax because you can switch your credit card. With Equifax, they lost over 145 million Americans social security numbers, bank account numbers and more important private things. If I could summarize all of that in two simple words, those words would be ‘not good’. At least we can that the government is taking some steps by spending $90 billion in cybersecurity efforts.
Is there anything we can about this? Are we screwed and we are going to have to sit back and hope that we do not get hacked? No need for trepidation, for we have Blockchain! Basically, Blockchain is using different computers and networks to safely secure your private information.  Blockchain is a technology, not a company. Most notably in the article, FortKnoxster is the company that uses this technology. Their goal according to their CTO Mickey Joe Nathan Johnnyson (cool name by the way) wants to make sure that their customers “have a secure place to store their information” and “want to make sure no one is listening in or tapping into the lines of communication.” They want to end all of this spying that anyone can do with $1,000 advertisements. Who honestly cares enough to spend $1,000 to spy on someone? I mean it is outlandish but, people still do it anyways. At least now we are in pretty safe hands.

Net Neutrality and You

What is net neutrality and what does it mean to you? Net Neutrality is the regulation that says that Internet Service Providers (ISP) must treat all data the same. Basically, this means that web sites can not charge you extra for a faster experience on their website or a little benefits like that. Now that Trump is in charge he said he promised to shake things up.

In 2015 the FCC voted to regulate broadband internet. This has allowed them to enforce Net Neutrality just like any other public service. With Trump coming into power, he and his administration will look to turn Net Neutrality back into an information service. Well what does this mean? ISPs would manage their customers data differently. The government would not be involved anymore and it would be up to trade groups and industries to determine what is fair and unfair. In addition to this, “Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) will expire at the end of 2017 and along with it the federal government’s ability to spy on the communications of foreigners outside of the U.S.” (Greenemeier, Larry) Trump also wants to increase cyber security. This is what Trump planned to do in his first 100 days. An article after he officially became president helps summarize what has happened since then.

Recent activities favors the internet companies over customers. The U.S. Senate voted last week to allow internet service providers to sell data about their customers’ online activities to advertisers. (Ali, Christopher) Last week was late March 2017 which is when the article was written. It used to be about what is best for society. Now, it is what is best for business. Today a few companies own the media market. Companies like Comcast and Time Warner make a majority of the money and while the public does not get to see some of that money. In addition to all of this, we need to worry about apps as well. There was an investigation about phone companies not having mobile data with apps like Spotify. Another point that we should all know is that the U.S.A has a budget of 445 million dollars for public broadcasting. That means that it relates to about $1.35 per person. Other countries? Germany spends $143 a person and Norway spends $180 per person. This means that broadcasting will not get the exposure it needs in the U.S.

This seem like a disaster if Trump decides to go through with less regulations on net neutrality. Companies could have the power to make us pay for things we did not have to previously. We can not have few companies run the market or else we will see a decrease in what we are able to say. Just to quick paraphrase Nicholas Johnson. He said that “no matter what your first reform is, your second reform should be about media. His point is we need our voice to be heard so that our wishes can be fulfilled. I like his thought process because believe it or not, it makes sense.