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Extension Cord Cord Health Health EffectsEffects Extension

Technologies’ Artful Perception

2011the Extension Cord 27 Artist Anish Kapoor’s reflective sculpture portraying how everyoneFall perceives world


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Table of

Technologies’ Perception pp. 17-20

Streamline to Failure pp. 13-14

A Tech’s Past pp. 9

Communication and Contact pp. 7-8

Office Conspiracy pp. 25-26

Telecommunications Timeline

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pp. 31


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Contents

Mario Goes Bad pp. 15-16

Surfing has nerver been better pp. 21-22

Games Do Travel pp. 11-12

Introduction Complication pp. 6

GTA Review pp. 27-30

Technology Quiz pp. 26-27

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About the Gustavo Salinas is a Mexican guy at LASA High School. He likes the burritos fromthe LBJ cafeteria and he likes to play soccer when he is not in the band hall.

Ben Fagelman eats nails and drinks tigers’ blood. He even watches desperate housewives. He loves entertainment and is an avid user of many entertainment gadgets. 3

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Authors Jacob Saslavsky lives in a refrigerator box. He spends his free time using a power outlit under a bridge to search on new technology advansments. He always knows about the new things.

Beck Goodloe is currently the sexiest man alive. He saves kitties from burning buildings and is a technology wiz who is definitely qualified to write about technology. Everyone should be more like him. Fall 2011 Extension Cord 4


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Letter to the Readers Dear reader, This is the first issue of Extension Cord. We thank you for picking up this magazine. The theme of this magazine is technology and we expect that you are interested in it as much as we are. As you go through the magazine you will find stories about new releases in video games, new music, and new computers and about technology itself and conspiracy. We hope you enjoy Extension cord. Sincerely, Beck, Ben, Gustavo and Jacob

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Introduction Complication The problems with new product introductions in apple

by Jacob Saslavsky

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costumer walks into an apple store to get his new iPod and is consumed by all of the iPhones, iPads, iPods, and laptops in the store. They never would have thought of how difficult it must be to orchestrate the process of releasing the new apple products, or how hard it is to get them where they need to be on time. For people like Laurie Weinstein this process is their life. Laurie Weinstein manages the new product introductions from operations standpoint for apple in the Americas. She always has work getting apple products to stores. She is also constantly dealing with the difficulties associated with product introductions. “I manage the new product introductions from operations standpoint. So that means that any shippable product that launches at apple an accessory a mac an iPad, iPhone iPod. What my team does is it makes sure it gets into all of our channels. The online

store, retail any reseller and making sure that it’s in all the stores when it should be at the time of the product launch.” Weinstein said. With a team of only 17 and 4-5 products being worked on at a time, working long hours is typical, and problems occur often. The little amount of time they have at times doesn’t help.

product. We do not want to land the product to early in the store so if we announce on Tuesday we do not want it to be there before Monday because if it is there over the weekend there might be people that do not understand the process they grab it from the back of the store and start selling it. So something that has gone wrong before in the past is that we have shipped and landed

“Some time I have as much as a few months. Normally, I know about something four weeks in advance, sometimes I have a couple of days [to get a product released],” “Some time I have as much as a few months. Normally, I know about something four weeks in advance, sometimes I have a couple of days [to get a product released],” Weinstein said. “Usually with every launch there is some problem but hopefully they are very small. The exact timing is tricky. So we will be very specific when we want to land the product in the retail stores. Usually we want it to be available at retail at that moment we announce early in the mourning a lot of the times so that when the stores open you can just go in and buy the

the product too early but luckily when it happens with our retail stores since they are apple stores we just tell them to hold it in the back we call it backahouse so they just hold it in the back of the store.” The real problem is when the retail store is not an apple store but instead is a BestBuy or some other store like that. When that happens they have to bring lots of people to make sure the store will not sell the product early. If the product does get sold early, since apple is such a large well known company, some person will blog about it and then more people who see that blog will blog and talk about it causing many mad people who want their iPhone or whatever it is early. “There have been times I have worked 48 hours straight on a project,” Weinstein said. “It is all so that people are getting what they want when we said they would be getting it.” As in many cases it is the people behind the scenes getting the important work done so that the people are happy. 1

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COMMUNICATION AND CONTACT.

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by Ben Fagelman

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arch 2002: the launch of Friendster, the first mainstream social networking site. August 2003: the launch of MySpace. February 2004: the launch of Facebook. July 2006: the launch of Twitter. All of these new and young technologies are key players in the world of modern day communication. While all of these sites and sources are at the beginning of their lifetimes, these internet inventions are assisting many people that are nearing the end of their own. Kathy Thrift is the director of communications at the Texas County and District Retirement System (TCDRS); a pension fund that deals with almost every county in the state of Texas. Pension funds are a type of retirement plan, so the customers are mostly older. She deals with public relations and controls the flow of almost all public information that represents the fund. As technology advances, Kathy’s job is to implement new technologies into the workplace and display the ideals and views of the company. She wants to use these new technologies to make it easier for users of the fund to become interactive with their plan, get updates, and learn new information, as well as dealing with other aspects of public relations. Some of the Biggest Social Media Tools

need to utilize it.” Historically, the view of a company could only be shared by word of customers. Now, a collected view can be established. Thrift values this change. “Previously, the average Joe customer had the power of the word of mouth. This is the first time in history the Joe customer

getting quick feedback, and combating or suppressing potential harmful press. Thrift says, “Half the battle is knowing when to respond. If somebody is in an emotional rant against the company and they aren’t getting their desired attention, then it is best not to give it to them. However, if opposition is making a possibly damaging statement worth following, then response is usually necessary.” Another goal is to set good content calendars. TCDRS mixes in fun Texas oriented things with the other information, as not to hammer a message into people’s heads. “We want to keep users viewing our content. If we just put out the same ideological information about the company every time, then people will not continue to pay attention,” says Thrift. She understands the importance of maintaining balanced content. As the fund continues to have success with social media, the company looks to the future. Circles and hangout groups are coming into play, as well as the prospects of mobile technology and smartphones. Even location tagging via many apps is starting to have an effect. “It is exciting to think where my field is headed,” says the communications director. “I am really looking forward to the media tools and challenges that are to come.”

“A two way interaction is important in public relations. You have to listen to the customers.”

http://www.flickr.com/photos/webtreatsetc/4711888073/sizes/o/in/photostream/

Thrift stresses the importance of social media when dealing with customers and critics alike. “It’s instant, everywhere, and spreads fast,” the communications director says. ‘The internet is the fastest form of communicating ever, and we

has an organized following where they can talk about the company,” she says. Enabling the users to become fans or have an opinion of the company is one of the most important aspects of the job. TCDRS is looking into three main categories of social media: communities, blogging, and videos. “Communities are tools such as Facebook, Wikipedia, LinkedIn, and other sources where information can be openly accessed. Blogging is tools like Twitter where conversations start and can be tracked. Videos would be things like YouTube, which would be mostly informational,” Thrift explains. These three categories would work into different aspects of communicating with customers. Right now, the company has a successful Facebook and Twitter. A Wikipedia page is being worked on, and the company is thinking about YouTube and blogging as well. All of this is designed to communicate with the average Joe. “A two way interaction is important in public relations,” she says. You have to listen to the customers.” The pension fund wants to accomplish different goals with social media. They want to use it for getting the message out, spreading the message,

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A Tech’s Past

A look into the past of an average technologically adept IT guy.

he bags under their eyes gave one an inkling of the adventure that the four men had just undertaken. To some, the sight was odd, but to the gamers who strode purposely through the doors only seconds ago, they had reached their destination: Dallas, Texas. It was the annual LAN party that they had come for, and they had driven 19 hours from Michigan to get there. Several years ago, Chris Quick and three other friends left Michigan early in the morning, heading for the largest LAN party in the US (in Dallas, Texas). They were planning to stay the week, filling their time with video games, movies, and other technological time consumers. The LAN party consisted of everything one could think of. There were raffles for computers and games, areas where people could get up and stretch their limbs, and of course, hundreds upon hundreds of gamers eager to start their own adventures. Now Quick lives in Austin, Texas, working at “White Glove” (a high end technology service that works with businesses and corporations) as an IT guy. While this may seem like an average job, Quick’s work is vital in many processes that you take for granted in your everyday life. If it weren’t for IT guys like him, your money wouldn’t be able to move money from your bank account to your wallet because the bank’s computers weren’t working and television shows would air if the necessary technology wasn’t online. “IT work covers a broad range work everything from administering databases, to wiring network closets, to installing RAM in a computer. My job covers almost every aspect of IT” says Quick, but technology has never been his only interest. Quick grew up in Michigan around the Grand Rapids area. As a teenager, he showed a profound interest in custom cars as well as racing, joining a group of kids who called themselves Scared of Heightz. With Scared of Heightz, he traveled to many car shows, stereo competitions and many other car related events. “I was a licensed Divisional Course Control Marshal. That meant that I could go to any race course in the mid-west division and volunteer at a SCCA (Sports Club of America) event” Quick explained. On the courses, he cleared the rubble left behind by wrecked cars and was responsible for pit safety. Even to this day he enjoys watching racing and even hopes to get involved once again after the racecourse in Austin, Texas is finished. When he was not on the racecourse, Quick spent a lot of his time with another group of kids, the BoxHeads. “We were a bunch of like minded computer enthusiasts who would like to link all our computers together and play multi-player games for hours on end,” Quick said with reminiscence. As he continued growing and progressing through his local high

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Chris Quick in his office at White Glove’s headquarters.

school, he contemplated what he intended to do for the rest of his life. “Most of my friends grew up with computers starting at a very young age. I was more interested in electronics; stereos, televisions, circuit repair,” Quick said. Drawn by his love of technology spurred by his time with the BoxHeads, he took a 2 year vocational course in electronic repair. Coming out of high school, he got a job at Verizon Wireless. Here he passed his days repairing broken cell phones, laptops, monitors, and even working customer service, which would later aid him in his future job. “As time progressed, cell phones were being repaired less and less,” said Quick. Eventually, business slowed, and Quick was laid off from his job. At that time, he was taking classes at the local community college, but after the severance from his job, he could no longer afford classes and was forced to drop out. Now stranded without a job or a purpose, he needed something new, something different. Looking to do something slightly different, he took a class in Microsoft, Cisco, and security, which led to his current career in IT work. Currently, Quick enjoys many of the luxuries that most citizens share. He has a house, a new car, and a steady job. He still enjoys the little things though, visiting with his old friends (one of which moved to Seattle, and the other two who are still in Michigan), going to international LAN parties, and of course, waiting for Austin’s new racecourse to be completed so that he can relive his high school days. “Sometimes I [like] to think I am special, but I am actually a regular guy who knows how to do special work.”

By: Beck Goodloe

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EVOLVING. AND ITS NEW GENOME IS PANASONIC.

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GAMES DO TRAVEL

“It’s good business to those that know what to do”

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ts 4:00 in a Saturday morning when Cesar Salinas gets out of his house to deliver 10 games all over TX. Every Friday, family


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ily and friends call him to see if he has Modern Warfare 3 or Grand Theft Auto 5 available for the weekend. If they are available then he makes the many hour drive to get money for his family. Cesar Salinas works in construction every day of the week from 4:30 am to 7:30 pm to support his family. He and his wife weren’t able to pay bills because of how much he gets paid in construction. After a while he saw people working two jobs and he thought of the perfect additional job that would get him fast money. In Mexico, movies, games, Cd’s get released earlier than in the US. He orders games from Mexico about 2 weeks before the games get released here and then games get to his house about a day before the game releases.People all over Texas know him and order games from him. Then every weekend he travels all over Texas delivering

games. Many of his costumers are satisfied by his work, especially his nephews Or my cousins. The costumer that is satisfied is my cousin, Miguel. ““It is very fast delivery and games are good quality which tells me that they are not copies or are pirated” he

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said when he got the copy of Modern Warfare 3. We Decided to take the experience and with his permission go with him to his job. It was 3:30 in the morning and a huge alarm sounded in my ears. It was Cesar waking me and my brother up from bed. He said “ We leave at 4 exactly so hurry up”. We woke up and got in the car. We stopped at the local gas station and got gas. We got breakfast tacos and started our journey to Dallas TX. By 10 a.m we arrived at Mr. Garcia’s home and sold him a copy of Modern Warfare 3 and a copy of Mario Kart 7 for his daughter. Cesar got $75 for both games. Then about 50 miles from Mr. Garcia we arrived at Game-stop. Their he sold 4 copies of Modern Warfare and 2 of Gears of war 3 for $300. Then we came back to Austin for the final sale. We arrived at Muller Park and looked for Daniel Scott. He was going to buy a Xbox 360 with kinect that he missed and could not buy at the black Friday sales. He was willing to pay $400 for the bundle and a Xbox live Membership card. Unfortunately we did not find him. We drove back to Cesar’s house and posted and ad on craigslist.com and 10 minutes later we had a person interested. We drove to the St.Johns neighborhood and found Miguel. He always wanted it and his dad agreed to buy the Xbox. In the full day he made $775. Enough to pay a months rent and for more games coming next week. 1

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ur ways of watching home movies used to be simple. These methods have historically comprised of buying or renting DVDs for a cheap price. Today however, the big players of the movie industry are attempting to change everything. They think that convenience means streaming and the ability to watch movies from a device such as a computer. On the contrary, growing issues with the lack of good compatible technology with the futuristic idea of streaming has forced people to buy expensive devices and stripped down versions of movies. With streaming subscription services, you pay more and work more for fewer flicks. In reality, the idea of streaming movies is moving us straight back into the past. Perhaps the biggest problem with streaming is the issue of its terribly small movie libraries. Jon Healey from the Los Angeles Times says, “Subscription services are hamstrung by incomplete and unpredictable collections.” This is true for many of the streaming subscription libraries. Many movies available to stream are bound by low ratings and strange genres. These streaming services are unable to filter their movie selections well. Because the movie files’ large sizes, they take huge amounts of data to store on a company’s servers and require even more to transport the data to the countless devices that are said to support streaming. Acquiring additional server space would be expensive for many companies, so the small selection size stays that way. Many people think that it will be easier to get the movie they want from their computer rather than going and getting a DVD. According to Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, “We have 100,000 movies on DVD and 12,000 movies to stream.” With this small reservoir of streaming flicks, many smaller independent movies are left out of the mix. There is a similar problem with older classic movies. Recently, Netflix made a deal with Starz Entertainment.

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to failure By Ben Fagelman

Starz would give Netflix more access to mainstream titles such as Spiderman 3 and Superbad (I do not know about you, but I personally thought Spiderman 3 was AWFUL). With this hemmed down lot of mostly mainstream, trashy movies, more often than not you will not find the movie you want on streaming libraries, leaving much desired. Another big issue with streaming movies is the obscene cost of everything required to sustain a subscription. First of all, the actual subscription prices are outrageous. According to Michael Liedtke from USA Today, “The cheapest package that combines Internet video and DVD rentals (one disc at a time) will cost $16 per month — up from $10 per month under the old system.” Talking about Netflix at the time, Liedtke tells of the recent rise in price for the company’s streaming packages. The company upped the price of its basic package by more than 60% and increased the other packages accordingly. The aforementioned Ted Sarandos of Netflix told of the company’s expectations of losing subscribers. However, over the quarter during the price raise, Netflix lost almost a million subscribers, far exceeding their expectations. Another expensive ordeal of dealing with subscriptions is the cost of the streaming-capable devices. According to BestBuy. com, the average Blue-Ray DVD player is about $70 - $80. However, the average Wi-Fi enabled player that can stream from companies such as Netflix or Hulu cost $160 -$180: More than double the cost. Other streaming capable devices such as computers can cost hundreds of dollars. Even phones and tablets are coming out with apps that support streaming. While the apps are usually free, the phones that can support them can cost a lot of money along with the data plan needed to support the streaming.


DVDs are much cheaper in that you pay for what you want. If you just want a single DVD, you will not have to pay a monthly fee to rent it. Not to mention the fact that normal DVD players grow cheaper as more become compatible with streaming. At this point in time, there is no reason to pay more for streaming. Another problem is accessibility. Recently Netflix announced a splitting of the company. The streaming aspect of the company would keep the Netflix name while the mail-in DVD services turned into a separate company known as Qwikster. Before initiation, there was an immediate outrage from subscribers halting all thoughts of the split. Editors from a Bloomberg article say, “Convenience matters. Straddling DVDs and streaming might be more work for Netflix, but it’s a boon for customers wanting movies in both forms. Consumers cherish companies that make life easier.”

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While you can access movies directly through your device, the troubleshooting needed to watch the movies at full capacity is painstaking. Problems have created countless forums that discuss technological issues of streaming. One of these sites, the AVS Forums, talked about many devices having troubles playing the movies. “Connection plays into a large part of availability. If you do not have a good connection due to issues such as location or data plans, you will not be able to watch any movie through streaming.” Another problem is the advanced devices not being able to work. Because many things they are able to do are experimental, there is often a large margin for error. If we overcome the problems presented by in the technological aspects of the business, I see a plus for the streaming industry in the area of accessibility. If they could bypass these problems, you could save yourself an unwanted trip to the store. Overall, I agree with DVDs not because they are the greatest things to happen to the movie industry. I stand by DVDs for the fact that there is no superior way of watching movies to this very day. 1

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Netflix: One of the biggest streaming culprits. http://www.flickr.com/photos/rustybrick/4812379642/sizes/o/in/photostream/

A common side-effect of using streaming to watch movies. http://www.flickr.com/photos/winni3/4240506008/.

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ow would you feel when you buy your kid a video game that is rated M for mature audiences and a game that is rated Adults Only. They are basically the same thing. The video game rating companies have made the ratings with a little bit of difference. The video game ratings are not so strict as they should be. The game Grand theft auto is rated M for mature audiences or 18 years old and above. Their are many games way more violent than this game that are rated T for teens or 13 and up. The ratings are way low and should be able to go up . These games are really addictive and many people might say that the game is very violent and harmful to kids. Studies have shown that this specific game(Grand Theft Auto) have given kids more anger issues. Most of these issues come from the character in the game being shot, or caught by the police. This game has been in study for a long time and many of the results. A lot of research has shown that kids get angry at this game and get lower grades than those that don’t play the game. This is a concern that parents have with their kids. Many of these adult games are being played by little seven year old’s and its changing the kid’s life as some games like grand theft auto, corrupt children’s minds in school and “trains” kids to murder people. The game grand theft auto has sold more that 2 million copies and

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many of them were to under age people. The game starts of when your character runs into the military base and talks to a undercover gang leader. He then transports drugs from the base across town to other gangs and trading them for their properties. As the game goes on the gang leader is gaining properties that once you are almost finished the game he does not pay you the millions and millions of dollars he owes you for helping him and you have two choices. Either shoot the guy and get your revenge for him not paying you, or go to the police and sue him even though you have committed about 50 crimes. These games are very violent and parents are concerned about their kids playing these games that once the parents don’t buy them the kids get really mad. The games train kids to do the kind of stuff the characters do ans d parents get worried about these games. 1

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Are we slowly losing our minds? Our perception of technology is changing, as is our dependance on it. But how is this affecting us? By: Beck Goodloe The bell rings. School is out. The typical daily hustle and bustle of children hurrying to get home ensues. Slowly, the crowds disperse as one by one the kids are picked up or bussed off to their respective houses. When they get home, a consistent daily routine begins. A soda is opened; a snack made; a computer started. The rest of the night is filled with multimedia entertainment, instant messaging, and word processors as each child sits in physical isolation. It is true that children are big users of Internet and technology, but they only make up a part of the 2 billion users worldwide. Technology has come as a tainted gift, and though many see it as a blessing, I see it as leading to a negative impact on our society. In a study published by the prestigious journal Cyberpsychology, 173 students attending the University of Melbourne in Australia were subjected to a series of tests to expose underlying gambling and Internet addictions. In the results of the experiment, 10% of the students showed increasing signs of “internet addiction.” In response to the study, Nicki Dowling, a clinical psychologist stated,

“Technology use was clearly interfering with the students’ daily lives, but it may be going too far to call it an addiction,” says Nicki, who prefers to call it “Internet Dependence.” Regardless of the name, technology’s prominence is growing throughout every aspect of society. We see it when we go to the grocery store or drive our kids to school in the form of stoplights. We see it in the park and in our bathrooms and kitchens in the form of remote control toys, toilets and microwaves. Functioning without technology has become arduous in our modern society. Our children are not immune to the effects, nor are they oblivious. “Texting and instant messaging my friends gives me a constant feeling of comfort,” said a student attending the University of Maryland when asked to record all connections he/she shared with technology during a survey conducted by the International Center for the Media & Public Agenda. “When I did not have those two luxuries, I felt quite alone and secluded from my life. Although I go to a school with thousands of students, the fact that I was not able to communicate with anyone via technology was almost unbearable.” In the early months of 2009, the students of the Resurrection School in Sunnyvale, California took surveys that addressed the effects that http://goldberg.berkeley.edu/art/big-images/

Our perception of technology has, over time, been diluted so that we now see it as an entire part of our lives.

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Opinon http://images.google.com/imgres?q=phone+booth&hl=en&safe=strict&biw

In this photo, we can see the contrast between the deveoped and undeveloped worlds.

technology has on their peers and themselves. In reference to the survey, Susie Abreu (a student at the Resurrection School) said, “We try to find the happy medium, but we don’t know where it is.” When the students were asked to categorize and weigh the effects of technology on their every day lives, their responses were broken down in five distinct categories: • Procrastination: As all technologically adept students know, computers, TV’s, and phones are all perfect distractions from certain tasks. Technology causes students to “put off” their work and spend hours surfing around the approximately 255 million websites around the internet. • Motivation Loss: With everything computer related going on around them, it is sometimes hard for kids to pry themselves from their pixilated screens to throw a ball or paint a picture. Most just prefer to settle down to the flow of the Internet and allow it to take them where it wishes. • Addiction: How can you stop? There is so much out there to learn, to observe, to buy…Craigslist, eBay, Amazon, Gazelle, Blogger, Gmail, Yahoo. There are so many things to read and look at. The seemingly magnetic pull from the information highway is addictive. Once you are on, it is hard to get off. • Misinformation: With the amount of information flowing around the Internet, there are bound to be thousands of falsehoods and refutable studies that may find their way into students’ papers, or maybe even the school news.

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• Perversion: It is impossible to regulate the Internet thoroughly. Schools have tried, but there is always a way to break the rules. With the number of inappropriate websites around the internet, it is very easy to find your way into something that you never intended to. In retrospect, it is easy to see that our students are aware of the problems afflicting them, yet they have no way to act on their knowledge. They have grown up in a technological society, and have thus been naturally bred to accept their surrounding environment. As our world and its technology evolve, personal productivity, focus, and the quality of social interaction decrease. With the creation of email in 1971, AOL in 1997, Friendster in ‘02, Myspace in ‘03, Facebook in ‘04 and Twitter in ’06, our chances of becoming distracted grew exponentially. Human nature demands we take part in the explosion of change going on in our surrounding environment, and it is nearly impossible to say no. A few years ago, one of the most important emails in Kord Campbell’s (a website start-up creator on the verge of a large deal) life landed in his inbox. Because of a flood of other emails, Facebook messages, NFL alerts and chats, he overlooked the important email while attempting to deal with the information inundating his mind. It was 12 days before suspicion overcame his thoughts. He searched his inbox for the missing message and found it. Luckily, he was able to salvage the multi-million dollar business deal that he had missed. There are innumerable events that mirror Campbell’s situation. To what can we attribute this? Attempted multitasking. New research


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Opinion

Photo by Mark Kelley (On Flickr)

tasks or passages after being exposed to a brief interruption, than people in their 20s. The experiment consisted of an image or scene that the patient studied for a short amount of time. A picture of a man or woman’s face then interrupted the image and the patient was required to identify their approximate age and gender before they answered questions about the original scene. Researches soon found that older patients had a harder time re-establishing contact with the first image. Though this experiment does not incorporate all the elements and factors of today’s society, it shows an obvious inability to both multitask and retain long-term memories at the same time. We also have to take into account that this was a very primitive test. In the experiment, there was only one factor (the image of the face), that distracted the patient. In everyday life there are thousands, if not millions, of events occurring that could possibly take your attention away from what is at hand. As technology evolves, our dependence is steadily growing. In our modern schooling, we are taught to utilize a vast number of technological resources that are at our disposal. For example, as freshman in high school are taught to solve equations, matrices and other mathematical conundrums by hand. After proving their proficiency at this skill, they are then taught to solve the same equations with a few strokes on a calculators keyboard. One might argue that being without a calculator when a mathematical problem arisesis a rare occurrence in the real world, but this type of education causes us to rely on technology to accomplish tasks. Technology is the glue that holds the continents, and thus our world together. It accounts for all the communication, travel and transport from one place to another. Without technology, our world would crumble. We would be forced to life a more primitive life, reverting to the ways of our ancestors. Cities would cease to exist, and many would become nomadic, moving from place to place, exhausting the natural resources at each. Life would never be the same again. We have to face the facts. Our dependence on technology has passed the line of acceptable. Getting it back to a reasonable balance is the challenge. I am not calling for the abolition of technology. That would be preposterous. I am asking for a decreased dependence on it. Take a break; get to know how it feels to be without, so you can appreciate what it feels like to have. Maybe you could take a week to unplug, go camping, fishing, just something that would get you away from the sprawl. The best remedy is time, so maybe we should take a little bit out of each of our days to free ourselves and understand how technology affects us, so that we can acknowledge our dependence on it. In summary, let us respect technology; and learn to once again, respect the essence of our own physical existence in a world that lacks the distractions of technology.

Maasai tribesmen at the San Diego Wild Animal Park shows that we humans are not actually as good as we think we are at multitasking. In fact, we cannot multitask at all. What we think is multitasking is actually your mind switching its attention at almost unfathomable rates, but it will never actually focus on two things at once. According to Earl Miller, a Picower Professor of neuroscience at MIT, “People can’t multitask very well, and when people say they can, they’re deluding themselves.” In a lab at the University of Michigan, researchers placed subjects in MRI scanners and monitored their brains while they were performing certain tasks. When asked about the experiment, Daniel Wiessman, the head neuroscientist of the experiment, explained that the person inside the scanner would be performing projects having to do with numbers and colors on the screen. “If the two digits are one color — say, red — then the subject decides which digit is numerically larger,” Weissman said. “On the other hand, if the digits are a different color — say green — then the subject decides which digit is actually printed in a larger font size.” The point is that our brains cannot focus on both numbers at once. In one way or another, our brain differentiates the two numbers from each other, and then, after identifying the properties of the first one, compares it to the second one. The results of this test and others like it backed up the idea that multitasking is impossible. While we may think we are doing several things at once, we are slowly running our brain into overdrive, which may lead to some long-term effects. On October 3, 2011, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (a highly respected journal in the scientific community) published a study on how doing two or more things at the same time can take a toll on your memory and information retention. The results of the study showed that people between the ages of 60 and 80 have much more trouble remembering

“People can’t multitask very well, and when people say they can, they’re deluding themselves.”

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Opinion

Opera: Surfing Has Never Been Better by Jacob Saslavsky

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http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/1314/wikimediabrowsersharepi.png

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ou may be one of the 70 million people who use chrome and have no clue there is a web browser out there named Opera. Opera is one of the oldest web browsers, and it is amazing. It is super-fast, has cool features, and is secure. All of this makes Opera the best web browser out there. Every so often most of the major web browsers are put to the test to see whose has the best features, configuration, extensibility, performance (speed), and other things that are desirable in web browsers. “For a long time, Opera’s main selling point was raw speed. “The company was proud of how its browser rendered a page faster than any other. This domination continues,” according to Peter Wayner. Many of the major web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari compare with these traits as well. Even against this tough competition, Opera comes out on top for being the fastest one. Opera’s newest updated version 11.51 has a whole lot of cool features to make it easier to use and better to use. For example, a turbo mode makes your internet connection faster if the computer connects to a slow network. It can do this by compressing web pages off of Opera’s own servers, so that much less data is used, which makes everything quicker. What is incredible is that all you have to do is click a button and turbo mode turns on. There is no searching for some impossible to find thing. It is just there in the bottom left hand corner. The panel is wonderful. It is instead of how many web browsers have big top tool bars that take up space creating less space for the web page. The panel is an openable side tool bar with all of the things

web browser percentage that visited wikimedea

that might be put on the top toolbar and more. Another great feature is the customizability of Opera. Almost anything is customizable. The way the panel is laid out, how the toolbar looks, what the buttons do, what your default search engine is, what your background looks like, and many more things are all

“Opera comes out on top for being the fastest one.” customizable. When you open a new tab in the window, it brings up speed dial, which is a place you can put web browsers that you commonly use, so that there is no need to type in the same website time after time. This makes it take less time to browse the internet. In addition, Google searches can be done straight from the speed dial page making everything much quicker Opera has an incredible reputation for their great security. Opera fixes any security issues as quickly as possible that way no one gets affected. Another helpful part is

Opinion

not very many people use opera so it is not a major targeting place for viruses and technology criminals. Opera cannot support dangerous technologies used lot by hijackers on the internet, thus preven ing many cyber-attacks. This is unlike Internet Explorer, which is crawling with viruses and hijackers trying to steal money from clueless individuals who still use the web browser. Some people have the feeling that if they already have Firefox and Chrome what is the point in getting Opera since Firefox and Chrome already work. My point is there is no reason to use Firefox or Chrome if pera has all these interesting features and customization, is incredibly secure, and is faster than either one. As Peter Wayner puts it, Opera is “Best for: Raw speed and innovation. Worst for: People who can’t imagine straying from the pack.” That is because Opera has great speed and has great innovation. 1

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Quiz

How Much do You Know About Technology 1) Who were two of the people that started apple?

5) What Company owns You Tube?

A) Mike Markkula, Steve Jobs,

A) Dell

B) Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak

B) Apple

C) Mike Markkula, Ronald Wayne

C) Yahoo

D) Jef Raskin, Mike Markkula

D) Google

2) How many bytes in a gigabyte (Rounded)?

6) What company owns Zappos?

A) 100,000,000

A) Amazon

B) 1,000,000,000,000

B) Google

C) 1,000,000,000

C) Apple

D) 1,000,000

D) Microsoft

3) Which one of these is not a web browser name?

7) Where is Oracle’s main office?

A) RockMelt

A) Redwood City, California

B) Safari

B) Atlanta, Georgia

C) Opera

C) Miami, Florida

D) Zoolu

D) Tulsa, Oklahoma

4) Which one is not a co-founder of Facebook?

8) who were the founders Google?

A) Mark Zuckerberg

A) Robin Li and Sergey Brin

B) Eduardo Saverin

B) Larry Page and Sergey Brin

C) Peter Thiel

C) Larry Page and Susan Wojcicki

D) Dustin Moskovitz

D) Robin Li and Susan Wojcicki

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Answers 1) B

2) C

3) D 4) C

5) D

6) A

Quiz

7) A

8) B

If you Got 0 - 2 Answers correct, you know almost nothing about technology.

If you got 3 - 5 Answers correct, you know some about technology.

If you got 6 - 8 answers correct, you know about technology.

Fall 2011 Extension Cord 24


Is your coworker a secret agent? Here are some hints and clues to help you tell. There’s always that one person that you can’t trust. He has the corner office, stays to himself, never shows to office events. During lunch, you can hear him eating, but you can’t see him. You have walked by a couple times, but he always has is back to you. You find yourself wondering what he really does. He always brings fish to lunch, which stinks up the office, and it sounds like he always has a cold (he probably goes through a couple of Kleenex boxes a day). He’s big though, athletic looking too. You think he might be a secret government agent, but you really aren’t sure. Here are a few indicators to help you tell. 1. Coffee mug: In itself, this one item may not mean a lot. Many workaholics use coffee to help keep themselves awake. Coffee contains large amounts of caffeine, which as we all know helps to keep you awake. What you probably did not know is that it sharpens your senses. In coffee beans, there are certain minerals and nutrients that stimulate your senses, increasing your ability to see, feel, smell, and so on. Government agents love using coffee to heighten their senses in order to prevent a surprise attack from an unknown foe. 2. Empty sandwich boxes: Leaving sandwich boxes on their desk is a tactic used by many agents in hiding. If they do not wish to be found, they often leave these boxes for the people they know will be looking for them. Inside these boxes are planted DNA, saliva specifically. Knowing that the people tracking them will first confirm that it is him/her, the agent leaves sandwich a sandwich crust eaten by someone else so that the trackers will be thrown off their trail when they test the DNA.

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3. Orange: Citrus, like coffee, also stimulates the brain, but in a different way. After the citrus is consumed, it stimulates the right side of the agent’s brain, in essence increasing their creative ability. This is often used by agents before hand-to-hand combat in order for them to be successful, so it is always handy for them to have an orange or two at hand at all times. 4. 2 tape dispensers: No normal office worker needs two tape dispensers, that’s just too much tape, but secret agents always need something to bind an intruder. As many of us know, yellow tape is much stronger than clear tape and has the tensile strength of a gorilla. In the movies, agents tend to use duct tape or scotch tape, but in real life, office tape is less conspicuous and just as effective, which is why many modern agents prefer to use it instead of the typical duct tape. 5. Spanish flag and/or books: Expression of allegiance to another country is always a big sign for either a secret agent or spy. In the desk above, we see a Spanish flag (which may show an allegiance to Spain) and a Spanish dictionary (which might mean the person is trying to learn Spanish, since all secret agents are fluent in multiple languages). 6. Blank CD’s: This is a perfect indicator if you work at a prestigious firm or a company that deals with money. A blank CD means that there is information the agent wants but does not have. The agent would use these CDs to copy information and take it back to his “handler,” thus agents often have blank CD’s to be ready for certain situations.


Extension Cord 7. Too many pens and pencils: Recent research has shown that one the most harmless seeming things a person can have is a pencil or a pen, which is why it is often an agent’s favorite weapon. Most trained fighters can kill you with more than 30 different techniques using a pen or pencil, so agents tend to carry around a few in their pocket at all times and often have stashes in places where they spend a lot of time. In addition, as mentioned in the introductory para graph, undercover agents in office places often sound like they always have a cold. They do this to feign weakness to anyone that may be observing them. They also tend to use lots of Kleenex in order to remove and fingerprints or dead skin that might lead the enemy back to them. Finally, undercover agents ALWAYS have the corner office.

Conspiracy

They do this as a means of protection do to the fact that if they are ever attacked, that only have to defend two sides as opposed to three or four, since the walls protect two of their sides. If anyone in your office shows any three of the given traits or more, they are most likely a secret agent. While this information may comfort you greatly, the best course of action would not be bringing this information to the police, as that would only draw you into the middle of the conflict. So hold on to this information as a solace, but tell nobody, and under no circumstances should you reveal to the agent that you know of their identity. Stay safe, but collect knowledge is my motto, and it is best that you stick to it. 1

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Review

review By: Gustavo Salinas

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Health Effects

T

he game Grand Theft Auto Vice City Stories is a very addictive game that many adults and youth enjoy. Grand Theft Auto Vice City Stories has been around since November 6, 2006. Its a very old game but people don’t get tired of it. Vice City, 1984. Oppor-

tunity abounds in a city emerging from the swamps, its growth fueled by the violent power struggle in a lucrative drugs trade. Construction is everywhere as a shining metropolis rises from foundations of crime and betrayal. As a soldier, Vic Vance always protected his dysfunctional family, his country, himself. One bad decision later and that job is about to get much harder. Kicked Fall 2011 Extension Cord

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Health Effects

out onto the streets of a city between glamour and gluttony, Vic is faced with a stark choice - build an empire or be crushed. [Rockstar Games] The game starts when you have come back to Vice City from war and you return to the military bas in Vice City. You go into your officers cabin and you find him smoking weed. He says that if you don’t say anything you will get paid extra. He orders you to o and pick up a package in the airport. Once you get you go to your cabin and hide the package under your bed. For that mission you get $50. After a few missions you come back to the military base and the chief in charge orders you to leave the premises for breaking the rules and bringing drugs into the facility. If you come back you get shot. You go and work for Ricardo for 2 years and get extra cash. Most of these missions involve you getting a package and killing someone for money. Once you have advanced about 15% of the game you get the multi-player feature where you can race them in a quad race and get money from them. Another is called Hunter where you get a position, its a Hunter or a Runner. The hunter has to kill the Runner so that they get their money. 1

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Fires, Beacons, and Smoke signals begin Prehistoric Era the technology of telecommunications. Prehistoric people had accomplished the transmission of signals over a distance.

Health Effects

by Ben Fagelman Pigeon posts are created, enabling trained birds to carry mail across long distances.

600 BC. 500 BC. 400 BC.

1500 AD.

The electrical telegraph transmits messages through a specific code, allowing users to send complete messages extremely quickly. The invention of radio allows messages, music and ideas to be publicly brodcasted.

1838 AD.

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Heliographs come into play, using a combination of sunlight and morse code to communicated up to ten miles.

During times of war, maritime flags were used to display the status of armies and navies.

1876 AD.

The invention of the telephone. Conversations can now be made instatly

1937 AD.

The first broadcasted motion pictures come to life and televivion is born.

1896 AD.

Satelite Phones allow people to talk wirelessly across the globe, fully driving the field of telecomunications open.

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Mail is invented, allowing complex ideas to spread faster than the average traveler.

1964 AD.

1983 AD.

Fiber-optic telecomunications enable wired signals to be transmitted faster with a higher bandwidth. The internet is created, allowing users to access a global system of interconnected computer networks. Information is spreading faster than ever.

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The first issue of Extension Cord.