Discussion Post: Week 15

It’s time for our final set of presentations! What last adjustments did your group make in anticipation of your presentation, and what sorts of challenges do you expect to face? Are there any particular questions you expect to receive during the Q&A session? What other concerns do you have, and what strategies are you employing to overcome them?

As a reminder, please remember to submit your web portfolios no later than the start of class on Thursday of this week. Recall that you need to turn in two things: 1) the web address of your portfolio and 2) the short write-up about your rationale, as we discussed in class. You can find more information in the assignment guidelines posted on Blackboard.

We’ll start this week with a big aviation news item: American Airlines’ parent firm, AMR Corp., filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday. Company representatives were quick to add that the airline will continue to function as usual as AMR attempts to stay afloat by restructuring its operations, but the announcement prompted enough FAA concern that it will be substantially increasing scrutiny on the airline during safety inspections. One might speculate that they are working to ensure that any cost-cutting measures American Airlines might take don’t include compromising aircraft safety. Were a shutdown to ultimately occur, the loss of American Airlines, one of the largest airlines in the United States, could significantly harm airports that rely on American Airlines’ business. Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, for instance, could lose $1.4 million a month if the hanger devoted to American was shut down, as the company pays that hefty fee 12 times a year to land planes in the airport, to use its wide-body hangar, and so forth. Some have speculated that American Eagle may be axed for the sake of the broader organization, while others think that an American Airlines-US Airways merger may be the only solution. In the meantime, American Airlines workers are facing a potential pension plan disaster if the airline collapses.

The rest of the U.S. has faced some mixed news about our overall economic situation. Fitch Ratings lowered the nation’s credit outlook to “negative” this week, indicating that our trajectory remained rather unfavorable or, at best, stagnant, while Standard & Poor’s made a similar downgrade to U.S. banks. Shortly thereafter, however, stocks around the world (including here in the U.S.) soared on Wednesday when the world’s central banks lowered the cost of borrowing. This was a bold and somewhat risky move that some have cheered and that others have said only delays and worsens a potential future “bubble burst” while policymakers buy time. In any event, November was a disappointing month for retailers looking to open the Christmas shopping season with major sales. American factories, on the other hand, have seen a great deal of growth in the second half of 2011, which some analysts say demonstrates promise for the domestic economy. The news hasn’t been much clearer for individual workers: jobless claims spiked last week even as most analysts projected declining numbers, but the November jobs report showed a 0.4% unemployment drop to 8.6% — its lowest level since mid-2009 — which was also an unanticipated development. However, some have argued that the drop is misleading: some unemployed workers may have simply stopped looking for jobs, and therefore would not register in this report, so the number could easily return to its previous level next month.

As an extension of the economic news, law enforcement is taking stronger action against “Occupy” protests, with almost 300 people held in police custody after raids in Los Angeles and Philadelphia earlier this week. The Occupy L.A. encampment in particular remains a bit of a mess for sanitation officials, now that the protesters are gone: sanitation officials expect to carry off about 30 tons of trash left in a park outside City Hall. Some have claimed that the park was left in such disarray because the protests lacked leadership and blamed those involved for related defacement of public property. Others, however, point out that the protesters didn’t exactly have time to clean up when they were being taken by police, and argue that the protests were a great lesson in democracy which, when short-circuited, leave only an “empty, dirty park” behind instead. In any case, Los Angeles prosecutors had filed criminal charges against 19 protesters as of Friday morning, while over 200 still waited in jail. Regardless of how you feel about the protests, they’re not stopping just because of this incident. Some of the arrested Occupy L.A. protesters, many of whom have been ordered not to go near City Hall again, are already planning a wave of smaller protests at banks and country clubs in the area.

In international headlines, the Islamist party in Egypt made major gains in the country’s first round of Parliamentary elections earlier this week, while the Muslim Brotherhood predictably remained the frontrunners (although the margin was not as significant as expected). While those elections were mostly peaceful affairs, Iran saw much more violence in the past week, as Iranian protesters stormed Great Britain’s embassy, which was supposed to be guarded by Iranian security officers. In response, the United Kingdom (or U.K., which includes Great Britain) expelled Iranian diplomats from Iran’s embassies in the U.K. — the diplomats were given 48 hours to leave the country.

The U.S. has been dealing with its own diplomatic conflict, as a NATO-led airstrike killed 24 Pakistani soldiers along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in what appears to have been a friendly fire incident. NATO forces reported coming under fire before the strike was ordered, but Pakistani officials claim that the attack was unprovoked. In any case, Pakistan’s representatives are upset about this apparent violation of their country’s sovereignty, particularly given the support it has offered in the war on terror. In response to this incident, Pakistan has now authorized its troops to return fire without first seeking permission, further adding to questions about whether the tenuous U.S.-Pakistan relationship can be sustained.

Syria’s dealing with problems of its own: the United Nations says that the country is on the brink of civil war in the midst of governmental repression. With over 4,000 already dead from the escalating conflicts, though, civil war may have already arrived. Other national issues are a little less obvious. Transparency International publishes an annual index of corruption perception for 183 nations, in which India fell from 87th least corrupt to 95th this year, its most dramatic downgrade since its erosion began in 2007. Indian citizens have taken notice, with anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare leading the charge for transparency legislation by engaging in lengthy hunger strikes and calling for others to further pressure the government. Elsewhere, China’s “Underground Great Wall” is becoming a little clearer everyday. The thousands of miles of tunnels were dug by the Second Artillery Corps, “a secretive branch of the Chinese military in charge of protecting and deploying its ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads.” A small group of students at Georgetown University, led by Prof. Phillip A. Karber, a former top Pentagon official, have “translated hundreds of documents, combed through satellite imagery, obtained restricted Chinese military documents and waded through hundreds of gigabytes of online data” over the past three years in order to elucidate details about the tunnels.

Climate remains a big issue around the globe, with delegates from 191 countries and the European Union debating over when and how — or if — to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol with a legally binding agreement for all major greenhouse gas-emitting countries as opposed to only industrially developed nations. With the next Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report due in 2014, some countries including the U.S. are reluctant to support a major policy change without knowing what the change is likely to entail, which the IPCC report could ultimately dictate. Alternatively, the countries involved could extend the Kyoto Protocol for another five-year enforcement period (the current one expires at the end of 2012), but several countries have said that they will not accept new emission-reduction targets, and the U.S. withdrew from the Kyoto process a decade ago. The three biggest emitters, China, the U.S., and India, have all hesitated to agree to a new “climate road map” from the European Union, which would contribute toward extending the Kyoto Protocol. In the meantime, the second “climategate” scandal still lurks, which (as we’ve previously discussed) has fueled public skepticism about climate research and whether global warming is an actual problem or merely a political battleground. Perhaps as a response, some groups have begun framing the climate and our emissions as a “moral cause,” saying that our zest for reckless industrial advancement has hurt disadvantages people and the planet itself, neither of which had any choice in the matter.

Is your Facebook account still being used against you? Earlier this week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a settlement that will require Facebook “to respect the privacy wishes of its users and subjects it to regular privacy audits for the next 20 years.” Presumably, this means that information you’ve marked as “private” will no longer suddenly be opened for public consumption without your consent. However, skeptics are quick to point out top executives’ statements since the judgment that don’t seem to treat “privacy” with as much care as the FTC may have intended. For instance, consider Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg’s recent assertion that the Washington Post Social Reader is a good example of clear privacy settings when you first log into the service. As Forbes reporter Jeff Bercovici noted, if that screen says “This app shares articles you read and more on Facebook with: Custom” and your “Custom” category is set to “Only Me,” others can still see every article you read — those articles just don’t appear in their feeds. The only way to completely keep your reading activity private is to cancel sharing on an article-by-article basis. Additionally, Facebook has yet to fully address the issue of tracking users’ browsing activity when they’re not even logged into Facebook. Of course, sharing may eventually prove irrelevant in the privacy game, particularly if more employers start asking for Facebook passwords on job applications. Furthermore, Facebook isn’t alone in having privacy issues: there’s mounting evidence that Carrier IQ, whose software appears on 140 million phones on a wide range of devices, “secretly chronicles a user’s phone experience, from its apps, battery life and texts,” as well as a slew of other data such as location and keystrokes. If true, this would represent several million violations of federal wiretap laws. At least with Facebook, we can use not-quite-private information to examine trends in user behavior or to play games like Mafia Wars 2… even if the sequel isn’t generating quite as much excitement as the original game.

Okay, all of these were pretty serious topics — a number of big events transpired this week! — so let’s at least close on some brighter subjects. First, we should all expect to see the year 2013, apparently. Mayan experts now say that the ancient civilization never predicted 2012 as an apocalyptic event, but that the 2012 end-of-the-world predictions are nothing more than propaganda: marketers twisting the words of the two registered Mayan glyphic texts (out of over 15,000) that even mention next year. That’s good news for all the kids who will be watching NORAD’s annual Santa Claus-tracking activity on television throughout Christmas Eve… unless, of course, they downloaded the NORAD Tracks Santa app! The application, available on iPhone and Android devices, offers games like Elf Toss as users watch the countdown to Santa’s takeoff. The strangest story this week, though, may be the case of a dog who shot his owner in the buttocks. Yes, you read that right. The 46-year-old man, whom police have not identified, had been hunting in a canoe with his trusty canine companion and a friend when he left to place decoys 10 ft. away. The dog jumped and landed on the gun, causing it to fire 27 birdshot pellets into his owner’s backside. Amazingly, he was able to walk to a nearby road with his friends to wait for emergency crews, as his waders thankfully prevented more serious injury; hospital crews were able to successfully extract the birdshot from his behind.

That should do it for this week. You know what to do.

Other articles of interest:
Former “sheriff of the year” arrested and sent to jail named after him
Exclusive: Comedy of Errors Led to False ‘Water-Pump Hack’ Report
Whizz Kids Crack UK Intelligence Agency’s Online Ad for Code-Breaking Spies
Lawsuit says NYC dentist seeks to muzzle patients
New Path 2.0 automatically chronicles, shares your life
iPhone 4S Users Rate Siri Top Feature
Meet Cluzee, Android’s next Siri alternative
Oh, for the Good Old Days of Rude Cellphone Gabbers
Chrome Overtakes Firefox in Global Browser Share … Or Does It?
New Google+ Ad Shows Off The Social Network’s Biggest Problem
Google Indoor Maps: 6 Uses, Good To Ugly
Toxic Levels of Arsenic Found in Popular Juice Brands
Horses could soon be slaughtered for meat in US
Obama Legalizes Horse Slaughter for Human Consumption
Burger King debuts thicker fries amid competition
Want a toy with that Happy Meal? 10 cents please
Rick Perry Forgets Two Things in the Same Sentence
Gingrich knows what he’d actually do if he won
Does Herman Cain think the Arab Spring is a bad thing?
A Setback for Electric Cars
Teen tweeter 1, Kansas governor 0
NBA players can use team facilities beginning Thursday
Walmart pepper spraying may have been self-defense
China, in Surprising Shift, Takes Steps to Spur Bank Lending
Payroll tax bills defeated in Senate. Now what?
Names proposed for new elements
The mystery of the humongous Christmas space explosion
Christmas gamma burst stupendo-explosion DEATHMATCH
Space Appropriator Congratulates NASA Administrator on Mars Rover Launch
Obama’s signature graces rover bound for Mars
Is Phobos-Grunt dead? Europeans end rescue effort
Military space shuttle receives mission extension
Stephen Hawking says mankind’s survival depends on manned space exploration
Liquid living worms survive space
Harvard researchers build flexible robot that can crawl, slither under a pane of glass
Many HIV Positive Americans Are Unaware
Obama to set new goal on fighting global AIDS
FDA Appeals Block on Cigarette Warning Labels
Moms have it harder than dads? “Multitasking” study says yes
Scientists’ Elusive Goal: Reproducing Study Results
Self goal? Heading football can lead to brain damage
Eating Fish May Be Good for Brain Health
Ways to Inflate Your IQ

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58 responses to “Discussion Post: Week 15”

  1. bcozza says :

    Akin to many in the aviation community, I am pleased with American Airlines’ decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this past week. Joining the ranks of Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and the remaining legacy airlines that have filed for bankruptcy throughout their tumultuous histories, American Airlines had little choice but to file for bankruptcy if it hoped to have a future. For a corporation and airline as large and storied as American Airlines, bankruptcy affords a unique opportunity for the air carrier to restructure its operations, renegotiate its contracts, and remerge from beneath its suffocating mountain of debt. Undoubtedly charting a similar course as the airlines that have gone before it and emerged from bankruptcy a better corporation, American Airlines’ future will be challenging, but facing almost certain economic collapse had it not sought bankruptcy protection, its future has never been brighter.

  2. rudyv12 says :

    I believe our group came together well and we developed a persuasive speech. There are still some bugs to work out such as timing constraints, but we have it under control. We worked diligently today and accomplished a great deal. Our last presentation is soon and we will be ready to finish with a bang! On a side not, that story of the dog unintentionally shooting the owner is hilarious. Murphy’s law at play. 🙂

    I’m ready for a the holidays!!!

  3. James He (@He42) says :

    Our group met up yesterday and we planned out almost everything. I think we just have a few more bugs to figure out and we should be good. I am disappointed to hear all this bad news about the economy. I wonder when will we be able to fix this or if we will ever be able to fix this. Our jobs are really at stake here. It might also be because less people are motivated nowadays and not as passionate about their professions as they were back in the day, but I might just be grouping the majority with the people I know. I will have to wait and see I am grateful I have a job right now though.

  4. bkershey says :

    I was interested in the story regarding Google +’s new advertisement. I have seen a number of advertisements for Google + in the past couple of months and I really have been blown away to a degree. After each one my usual reaction was, “Wow that looks pretty cool.” It led me to sign up for the network to experience the awesomeness for myself. Unfortunately, as opposed to the problems with the network that the story noted, I think the main problem is just that there isn’t enough people using Google +. The story notes that the problem with Google + is the management of friends into list. I believe the main problem is most of your friends don’t use Google + so you can’t even put them in list. I really do think Google+ has potential and could be an interesting challenger to Facebook, but until many more people see that potential and join…Facebook will continue its social network domination.

    • meshiach0machshevi says :

      Indeed. This is precisely why it is so important that “walled garden” services controlled by a single company are replaced by a free and open standard similar to bittorrent, email, the world wide web, or the internet itself.

      Companies will not be stayed from abuse by “competition”, because you can’t just open an effective competitor tomorrow, even a multi billion dollar company like Google is having trouble doing so. Competing walled gardens is not true competition. Real competition will come from a free and open protocol where any service, no matter how small, can effectively compete with all the others because, as with email, anyone using any service can interact with anyone using any other.

      Only a free and open protocol can protect our freedom.

      I’d also like to point out a gross mis-characterization on the part of Brian in his post. Those 30 tons of “trash” that the protesters “left” in the park were actually protesters’ personal belongings. Obviously these items were left behind when their owners were hauled off with ziptied hands behind their backs, and the police has chosen to call these items, including “books and CDs, luggage and boom boxes, mattresses and dining chairs, cellphones, electric razors, a small red guitar with its neck snapped”, “trash” or “garbage”. You’d leave 30 tons of unsanitary “trash” behind too if someone kidnapped you out of your bed and demolished your home, but something tells me you wouldn’t be feeling the guilt of a litter bug.

  5. jamoliah says :

    I think my group is doing well on our project. There is still a lot to be done before Thursday I’m not afraid of those time constraints. An interesting challenge that were facing is the discussion of serious and sometimes horrific subjects in a pleasant manner. Hopefully we’ll do a good job of conveying the importance and seriousness of the topic without leaving the audience in the fetal position. Well, wish us luck!

  6. Derek Stewart says :

    Our group is working very well together and looking forward to sharing the stage on Thursday! It is unfortuante American Airlines filed chapter 11 bankruptcy, but I agree with Brad that it had to be done. Everyone within the aviation community saw it coming; I mean what do you expect when they stopped reporting quarterly financial statments! Amidst the bankruptcy, I believe they will dig their way out of this and potential rise again to become one of the largest airlines in the world! I hated to see Gerard Arpey step down as CEO; hopefully Horton, new CEO and presidnet, can live up to the name and follow in his footsteps.With that said, I am glad the semester is coming to an end and ready for christmas break!

  7. mfbecks says :

    It was a little harder for our group since we only have four members to begin with and one of our members didn’t show up on the the group work day. Hopefully we will be able to get back on track this week for our presentation on Thursday. I hope that going into bankruptcy will help AMR come back stronger. I think they were over extended and paying employees much more that the industry standard which caused them to sink into the red. I think with some reorganization they will be able to eliminate some of their unsecured debt and reorganize some of the contracts with the employees and their unions. This was also a big weekend for Purdue sports as Purdue Volleyball defeated Morehead State and Louisville to advance to the Sweet 16. Purdue Women’s Basketball defeated #4 Texas A&M (defending National Champs). Also, and very unfortunate as I was there, Purdue Men’s Baskeball let a huge win over #11 Xavier slip away as they allowed Xavier to go on a 30-8 run at the end of the game and went on to lose by 3 (66-63). Hopefully the team can move forward and use this to learn from their mistakes. Robbie Hummel also had to leave the game with severe body cramps and was actually carted off the court, so hopefully he has a speedy recovery from the dehydration.

  8. stlbirds says :

    Referring to the story about the dog shooting the hunter in the back while hunting. At first it was surprising to hear that the dog shot the hunter. While growing up a hunter my dad always preached to me to let the bird and game fly up a ways before I shoot in order to protect the dog. With the dog jumping into the boat and setting off the shotgun I can see how it easily could happen. I feel that the accident also could of been prevented. The firearm’s safety device should of been engaged and also unloaded while not in use.

  9. burnscp says :

    I too was pleased to hear the news of AMR filing for bankruptcy. On top of being able to lower their labor costs to a more reasonable level, they will also be able to get rid of their leases that they’re tied into which will make room for the new fleet they have purchased. Once they get through this difficult period I think they will become one of the best carriers worldwide.

  10. Mike Tuccori says :

    Some of the challenges I expect to face for the group presentation is group cohesiveness. Giving a presentation as a group can be difficult when transitioning between presenters and information. My group plans to deal with these challenges through a meeting of practice. For questions, I expect to hear detailed, technical questions relating to our topic. I don’t expect anything less than technical because this class is full of them. Transitioning over, American Airlines will have a ripple effect on a many things-directly and indirectly. Being such a big player in the industry, I wonder if the government will have to actively step in if the industry as a whole is threatened. I suspect that the employment rate may very well be due to people not reporting their statuses. Searching for jobs that are not available can be a very stressful and frustrating process. I guess a lot have decided to take a break, and try other methods. For Facebook, I was unaware that they have access to information of users when users are not logged into Facebook-seems illegal. I hope that is addressed immediately.

  11. Merry Hetzer says :

    As I was scanning the topics listed, I saw this title and it stuck out to me: “Obama Legalizes Horse Slaughter for Human Consumption.” And this topic immediately made me sick to my stomach. I’m not sure why killing and eating horses bothers me but not other animals like cows, pigs, turkeys, chickens, and many more. But to me, horses are not something we should be eating. On November 18th, Obama signed a law, lifting the ban on slaughter houses for horses. I think this is absolutely disgusting, and I will not take part in it. I think Obama could have focused his energy into something a little more useful.

  12. Jillian Straub says :

    I’m hoping that our group speech goes well; I think it’s a little bit harder for us because I wasn’t able to make it to class the day groups were assigned so I just met my group this past Thursday. We fortunately are presenting Thursday instead of Tuesday, but it still isn’t very much time. Our first meeting went very well and we seem to have everything organized pretty good I think we will still do okay.

  13. cmaus90 says :

    This is sad news for 2012 conspiracy theorists everywhere. That combined with the fact that the rapture not only failed to come once, but twice this year makes it a hard year for conspiracy theory in general. Although I have to admit I had always been a bit skeptical about a calendar that was thousands of years old that had predicted the end of the world. I prefer the theory that whoever was in charge of carving it simply lost interest and decided to come back and work on it later. This seems reasonable seeing as he had thousands of years to work on it before the time actually caught up to the calender. Whatever happens in 2012 I hope to make it a great year. and I still hold out hope for those alien conspiracy theorists. I want to believe.

  14. melvinallen says :

    I think presentation 4 is coming along well. Our group has definitely been working together well also. As far as adjustments, We pretty much knew our topic since the beginning, but the distribution of sub topics within our speech were the only things that needed some adjusting. I really don’t see our group facing any challenges besides getting comfortable with each others speaking styles, but nothing a little practicing can’t fix. All in all I feel this presentation will go smoothly.

  15. vmgray says :

    i really appreciate my group coming. We have been working together pretty smoothly. We did our first run through on Saturday. During this time, we learned about what we needed to change in our project. We have all been on top of meeting deadlines and just making sure our parts are done. I’m happy that we aren’t doing things at the last minute like my other groups. My Com 315 is the best group that I’ve had this year. Can’t wait to present.

  16. cengland42 says :

    In regard to employers asking for Facebook passwords and login information, I think they are either going too far or screening people. Maybe they are checking to see if they are dumb enough to just hand out passwords and personal information. I can imagine an employer asking if social networking is a big part of their lives but go so far as to ask for their passwords seems just a little invasive and makes the organization seem paranoid.

  17. Chris Gerber says :

    The parent company, AMR Corp., the parent to American Airlines, filed for bankruptcy this week. Many people view bankruptcy as an evil thing, but it usually helps in many different ways and will usually save a company from completly going under the table. If there was no bankruptcy, no company would ever fail; this would not work in society. American Airlines actually needs this to ensure cost cutting measures. If American were to shut down, one of the largest industry names would take a huge chunk of money from an economy that is already in trouble. Not only would the airline be hurt, but main hub airports would also suffer terribly. Delta did it, and look where they are now compared to where they would have been…not existing.

  18. Shawn Farrington says :

    Our group met up tonight to discuss some last-minute details. We went over our outlines and visual aids to make sure everything made sense and make any necessary corrections. With it being pre-dead week, it’s difficult to get everything done and meet up because contrary to popular belief, dead week is far from what it sounds like – as we all know. But we got everything hammered out and we’re on our way to putting on a great presentation come Tuesday.

  19. bmonroe16 says :

    In response to the American Airlines article, how is it that all of the airlines seem to be failing? Don’t we need them to fly around the United States? Or are people just not flying anymore? There has to be at least one that is doing well. I’m also curious as to why we haven’t seen a ‘bail out’ for the airlines, as we’ve seen for the auto companies.

  20. greene4 says :

    I feel like our group will get better, since I didn’t go to class on the workshop day, I might not be as coordinated as the rest but I will make sure I am well prepared for the presentation. In other news, the lady from walmart pepper spraying everyone was unreal. I don’t believe it was a self defense because in the end she was trying to get the items she purchased. We will see how the investigation go in order to find out whether she was proven guilty or innocent.

  21. falkhali says :

    I think the Google Indoor Maps is a pretty cool feature. I’ve been lost in malls and airports so many times that this could actually come in handy one of these days. The problem is though, just how accurate is it, and will all store names in a mall be displayed for example?

  22. mporter7 says :

    I love hearing people talk about what they think will happen in 2012. I personally thing it is all just a ton of hype. I don’t expect anything particularly exciting to happen. There will probably be some stories about small groups of people doing something stupid and getting out of control, but that will likely be the extent of it.

  23. macupp says :

    During our group meetings in class we came up with a lot of good ideas. Now we have to collaborate and put it all together to have a good speech on tuesday. I’m excited about this speech because it gave me the chance to be creative and for our entire group to be creative. I think everyone will enjoy our group presentation.

  24. jordanthielker12345 says :

    In regards to the American Airlines bankruptcy, I think it is impossible to completely eliminate an airline of that size. As was stated, so many airports rely on the income that American provides especially in a time of financial crisis. In this situation, I feel that the government will be a financial backer and support the airline while a restructure of operations and management is implemented or there will be a merge. Also, the FAA itself will take a closer look at operational procedures and inventory so that corners are not cut in regards to safety.

  25. tsamadif says :

    Althought AMR filed for bankruptcy, this is going to prove to be beneficial for American Airlines. They are going to be able to get out of all their airplane leases and being that they have one of the oldest fleets of aircraft, this will be very helpful. They will be able to reconsider what they are going to do when it comes to improving their fleet. Also, they can continue to rebuild their company and get rid of their debt in a more efficient manner than struggling just because they are too stubborn to file bankruptcy.

  26. Chris Reed says :

    I’m gonna talk about the iPhone 4s favorite feature Siri. I used my friend 4s and thought siri was a really cool feature. They also built in some interesting responses to phrases such as “Will you marry me?” and other funny ones. One response is “Marriage is not included in my end user license agreement. This feature is really cool and definitely makes the phone nice!

  27. shelbyfoster says :

    I really like the idea of expanding Google maps to indoor facilities. I have noticed a lot more often lately that big public buildings such as malls are starting to put big QR codes near their entrances that you can scan with a smart phone that will bring up a map of the building. This is very useful, and I guess it was only a matter of time that it would get incorporated into Google Maps. The main problem I see is that many GPS systems do not get very accurate reception inside of some buildings, but with advances in WiFi location technologies I think this can be avoided.

  28. dparkerr says :

    I think that if American Airlines goes out of business that could mean disaster for the airline industry & the general public as well. It will have a snowball effect. The airports would have to charge other airlines more money to make up for the loss of American Airlines. There would be fewer jobs due to American Airlines going out of business and in turn, the general public will have to pay more money for airplane tickets because a major player is out of the game and its competitors now have less competition. In my little experience on planes, I have notice American Airlines is a significantly cheaper airplane ticket and still a very nice ride to my destination. I hope that this airline does not go out of business, because this will not help the economy or the general public opinion anytime soon.

  29. weissapurdue says :

    I wanted to comment briefly on this final week of presentations. I am really looking forward to seeing how well each of us is able to use our presentation skills in a group format. As far as our group goes, we have done quite well up to this point preparing for our presentation. Brian mentioned a few times in class that it is important to ensure that the speech flows in a manner that allows each individual in the group an appropriate amount of time to speak. One of the hardest things I have come across in the past when giving group presentations is that one or two people tend to take up much more time than the others. I will make sure to remind my group members to keep an eye on the time this week. Looking forward to it!

  30. moormanja says :

    With the article that talks about how happy meals are going up by 10 cents who cares. It’s 10 cents that you won’t really notice missing. The best thing about getting the happy meal is the toy that is in it so I would pay the extra 10 cents just to get the toy. Sure I haven’t bought a happy meal in probably 13 years, but still they were the best. I know that kids still love to get toys in their meals because whenever I’m around kids in a McDonald’s or a Wendy’s the kids want the toys right away over their food. So the toys are a great marketing trick and if it costs 10 cents more to have the toys, I bet 98% of the parents won’t care or won’t notice the change just to give their kids the toy.

  31. brad5627 says :

    Naturally I’m going to have to comment on AMR and american. Of course the airline is gonna file for bankruptcy, it was the only one that hadn’t filed for protection. But, as for talks of cutting off american eagle, I really don’t think that will happen. Honestly, regional airlines are super useful. The airplanes use less fuel, can cover the same distance, carry a respectable number of people, and can operate into smaller airports thus servicing more remote areas. So, instead of cutting american eagle, it may end up being their biggest asset. American Eagle, if it continues to operate the way it is, might keep AMR afloat. I’ve heard from a few different places that the regional market is stepping up and the major routes are stepping down and being picked up by the regional carriers, fortunately AMR owns stakes in both. So, with one failing, hopefully the other one can succeed.

  32. kylejnewton says :

    Our group is working well together! It’s tough finding time during a busy couple of weeks when everyone can meet to run through the presentation and work out any kinks, but we are planning on meeting tomorrow and I think we will all feel better about it after that happens! I’m looking forward to giving the speech on Thursday and being able to cross one more thing off of my to-do list for this week and next.

    I enjoyed the presentations today in class. The Santa one was particularly entertaining and set the bar high for the rest of the group presentations.

  33. Teju Shyamsundar says :

    I think our group is working very well together for the final presentation. We have a fun topic, and pretty much everything is ready to go for our presentation Thursday. I think it will be fun giving the speech, and will be a great way to end the semester. As far as the web portfolio, I still have lots of work left, but should be able to get it done on time.

    I am glad American Airlines decided to file for bankruptcy. This will definitely lower labor costs, and figure out how to deal with the new aircraft which they have purchased. Once American Airlines restructures itself and comes up with a new business plan, maybe they will become successful again.

  34. aheeb says :

    We just did our speech yesterday (Tuesday), and I was pleased with the way it turned out. The class seemed to be very attentive about the topic, and our presentation went really smoothly. Our topic that we chose was the North Pole’s preparation for Christmas Day. Our group did a really good job working together and making this last presentation as smooth and as fun as possible.

  35. tgoe1 says :

    Our group presented on tuesday. I felt we did a great job preparing our presentation and I was quite happy with the result. We could have used some more work in transitioning from speaker to speaker, as several of us stumbled through that section, but all in all our presentation when smoothly. We were able to integrate a cool video into our powerpoint which added to our success and I felt people really gained something from what we presented.

  36. ndirenzo19 says :

    When the new Iphone 4s was first released I was kind of skeptical about how many people would actually buy the phone because of the minor upgrades. After using my roommates new Iphone 4s I believe the new features are definitely worth the $200.00 price tag. The most popular feature, Siri, combines functionality and humor. When asked “Where is the best place to dump a body”, Siri replies with a map marking local dumps, state parks, and large lakes. I suppose this function could also be used for useful things like getting directions and scheduling meetings too.

  37. usernamesuck says :

    American Airlines has known that this was coming for a long time and probably just turned a blind eye because the shot makers were still living comfortably. I hope that it all works out for them though because we just had a lot of Purdue grads go to American Eagle last semester. For their sake and my own I hope that it all works out. The government needs to let them run their own course though. We do not need another bail out like we did for the auto industry. It is not that airlines cannot survive, it is just that they need to adapt to the changing market. Maybe they should ask Southwest to tutor them.

  38. jkinnamo says :

    American Airlines recent file for bankruptcy has come as a huge shocker to some but I believe it can be very beneficial for them. There recent file for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection will allow them to get out of their high debt and contracts in which they have built up over the years. This will allow them to renovate to a more modernized fleet. They will be able to rework their contracts with companies and ultimately come out better. They will also be able to change the ways of the company to fit a changing market of the aviation industry to regain lost customers. I believe when it is all said and done American Airlines will be able to come out of this bankruptcy claim and work their way back up to competing with the top airlines out their.

  39. rotosteckel says :

    Gotta say, that story about the dog shooting his owner in the backside made my day…er…night.

    I’ll admit I’m one of those “skeptics” when it comes to Facebook…in that I operate on the idea that positively everything is public. Doesn’t stop me from using lists, but I’m under the impression that if you shouldn’t put/tag ANYTHING up there that you don’t want your boss to see…or at least can’t explain away with an “artistic” label.

    Cluzee is Android’s next Syria alternative…eh? …I think that by 2012 we can probably set two smartphones next to each other, and they will have a verbal conversation. I could actually see that as an app for a “forever alone” person. “Talk to your phone, not just on your phone…it’s your friend.”

  40. Jake Gebuhr says :

    I believe our group presentation went well. I definitely agree with what was talked about in class – these group presentations somewhat reduce anxiety because you talk for a bit less time and have others speaking with you. This fact helps to improve delivery as well as ensuring we were within the time limits while not skimping on anything.

    It was a sure thing that American Airlines would declare bankruptcy because, like the other major carriers, they needed to completely reorganize due to the bad economy and fuel prices. Like many other flight majors in the class I just hope it turns out well.

    I have never been a fan of Facebook, and only keep one to communicate when necessary with those who refuse to communicate any other way. For instance, I closed my Facebook over a year ago then got a new friend last month who was constantly texting me. I reopened it just to save myself money on the cell phone bill. I keep nothing on it that I don’t want the whole world to see, because that is what happens. Never put anything on Facebook that could keep you from a career or something else, and never give away in a “private message” your cell phone number or you will get called every week by “Rachel with cardholder services” attempting to steal your credit card numbers.

  41. spkuo says :

    Moms have it harder than dads? “Multitasking” study says yes.
    I have to agree with this article. I think my mom is like that as well. Before we moved here, my mom was a business woman, and on top of that, had to take care of my brothers and I. My dad only worked, but that’s understandable. When we moved to the U.S., my mom decided not to work anymore so she can take care of my brothers and I, since it was a new place/culture for us. She wanted to make sure we would adjust and get accustomed to things. Even though my mom is a stay home mom, she still, shockingly, had a lot to do. I don’t know if it’s because it’s an Asian custom or something, but I find her at times more busy than my dad who works. Everything must be so stressful for her, before and now. To me, my mom’s like ‘supermom’ who can do anything and see everything. Haha, sometimes that’s good, sometimes that’s not, but I do hope she relaxes more. I hate to see my mom so stressed out about things.

  42. vsabatel says :

    I would like to comment on the final round of presentations. I felt more comfortable preparing and presenting presentation 4 more than the previous presentations. I don’t know if it was because I was working with the group, which takes some pressure off each individual or if it was because it was my 4th time giving a presentation in this class. Overall I think our group did very well. We all got along great, worked hard together and executed the presentation as planned. I felt that the other groups did very well as well. I think it is very beneficial to have to give a presentation in a group as it practices to improve on both techniques. I was very pleased with this round of presentations. And satisfied with my work in class overall, I really learned a lot.

  43. begardner says :

    Well all the presentations are wrapped up and the same can almost be said for another semester of school. It is often hard for me to believe how fast time flies around here. Winter is just getting started but it will be warming up again before I even realize it. Back to the presentations, I thought everyone showed real progress throughout the semester, which is the ultimate goal of the class. It is almost like a fine tuning of our presentation skills just before we enter the job market. I hope everyone breezes through finals and enjoys their winter breaks!

    • abemccullough says :

      Its nice to be done not only with presentations and class, but almost with the semester. I agree that many people showed improvement in their public speaking skills over the course of the semester. From the first speech to the last I managed to improve something every time even if it was just my level of comfort in front of a group of my peers.

  44. han39 says :

    I think we did well on final group presentation. One thing I worried about was what if I freak out but, I didn’t. Also our group visual aids were good and contents. I think I got really better in presentation from before I took this class. I know there are lots of things to improve, but still I am better presenter I think. Thanks to Brian!

  45. lopurdue says :

    Our group final presentation was awesome in my mind and I think I pulled out a good one this time comparing with all the presentations I did before. This should be the best one I have done in this semester. People asked our group questions and we answered it pretty well with the information we had. I really enjoyed all other presentations. By the way, thanks Brian and Becky for bring us such a great semester!!!

  46. bmasuoka says :

    Our group project I thought turned out great! We always had trouble getting together with me having work and others having classes and other personal things to do. However, we were able to all meet up once, a couple days before our speech to really put it all together efficiently. Yet, we all still had to practice our own parts by ourselves on our own time and I could tell everyone put in a good effort and did so. I had fun doing the group project it actually went really smooth and there were no problems at all. I believe it was the topic choice and just everyone working together productively to make our presentation a success. Just always remember to fly the 787 Dreamliner!

  47. kaileenkraemer says :

    I spent more than a little while reading all of the very interesting articles at the bottom! I must say that the 10-cent charge for a toy for Happy Meals is a little too strict. They also made a big change when including both fruit and fries (though a very small portion of fries) in Happy Meals, which seems adequate as a further an attempt to reduce childhood obesity. Now McDonald’s is practically choosing parents’ choices for their kids for them, so there shouldn’t be a further issue.

    From a dentist seeking to muzzle patients, a politician who mistook the voting age to be 21, and a teen’s defacing tweet that she won’t apologize for, there are very interesting articles up there.

    My group’s presentation went well- the hardest part for me was trying not to laugh out loud at the humorous tone of our speech while standing up in front of everyone. I enjoyed working with my group and everything went smoothly on our presentation day.

  48. lwinters26 says :

    I read the article about how fish can improve brain health. I guess this could be really good news for me especially since salmon is like one of my favorite foods at the moment, and I love to eat tuna directly out of the can. Those two were on the list of good kinds of fish, and I cant ever get enough of them. On the other side of this story that makes me wonder a little, is that my grandma has been diagnosed with dementia. As far as I know, she has eaten fish every friday for years. I know the study said fish needs to be consumed twice a week, but I still feel like once a week has got to be better than never. I would like to know what it was that has caused my grandma’s dementia, because her high consumption of fish didnt seem to do anything good at helping to prevent the disease. I probably will never find the answer for her case, but it is always going to be something I will wonder about.

  49. jykim315 says :

    Another large airline is going down… It is not very surprising since there is a huge competition in US market. I am from Asia where national carrier has been dominating market for years. However, competition is increasing in the Asian market as well. There are competition among large airliners from different country, low cost airliners and national carriers. As other student commented, chapter 11 bankruptcy can relieve some pressure to AMR(American Airline). I hope AMR cut a good deal with labor union to reduce their operational cost. Personally, I expected American airline to merge with US airways. United and Continental airlines merged together to reduce overhead and other operational costs. I thought AMR was going to follow same road…

  50. fiddlestix22 says :

    I feel that we were pretty prepared for our presentation. We decided to split our topic of Web 2.0 into sections that each person might have a better understanding of. So the CIT majors got the technical side of the issue and the Aero majors got the overall business benefits. We then brought all of our information together and made sure the organization and flow made sense, and creating transitions between each person. I feel our transitions were really helpful for moving from one point to the next and letting the audience know where exactly we are in the presentation.

  51. zjaw3150 says :

    I was quite pleased with our group’s performance on Tuesday. I did have some slight concerns about the transitions and time constraints, but in the end everyone did an excellent job at delivering their parts!

    It’s a little relieving to hear the hacked water pump from last week wasn’t hacked after all; however I still think it was a good reminder of caution to those in charge of infrastructure security.

    Apparently we can’t trust man’s best friend now either, lest they literally shoot us in the rear. Of course, properly securing the gun when not in use might have helped too. I’m sure the hunter won’t be forgetting that any time soon.

  52. khabenic says :

    I wanted to talk about my group’s presentation, even though all presentations and the class is over. I really enjoyed the group of guys that I worked with and the topic for our presentation; animal shelters. I have a deep and personal interest with animals and their welfare, and it was really nice to see how much other people care, including my group members. In all honesty, my group put together our presentation in a few days and we were all a little worried about how things we turn out. After we finished presenting, I felt really good about everything. The whole presentation came together really well and all of us came prepared. That presentation was one of the best group presentations I have ever been a part of.

  53. robpingry says :

    The final week of classes wrapped up this week. My last bog post talked about how dead week is never truly dead, this semester was no different. I spent most of my days working all day on projects and most night planning for the next day. Its a gauntlet of school work and it takes a lot of energy just to keep my head above water, but I feel accomplished. I am proud of the presentations, graphic models, and especially proud of the website I made for COM 315. All of these projects throughout the semester wouldn’t be so bad. The worst thing about dead week is they all come crashing down at once. It’s over now and I’m on to the next challenge, witch is finals week.

  54. Colin Patterson says :

    Our presentation will be over an imaginary program that we will be “pitching” to a board of possible investors. With that in mind, many of the specifications of the software will be made up. I was a bit nervous that questions would be asked regarding very specific details about the project. Luckily, after we had our presentation, no questions that were too specific popped up. Our plan was to just make things up, and possible lie about what kind of capacity certain pieces of hardware. Our presentation went over well, and our Q&A section didn’t contain any surprises.

  55. abemccullough says :

    As a pilots its sad to hear about American and other airlines struggling in the current economic situation. The aircraft won’t just disappear because the company goes out of business though, and neither will the pilots or the routes that they flew. Change may be in store, but after some initial chaos things will most likely calm down again. The demand for the routes that American supplies is not going to vanish overnight – people still want to fly from one place to another, and if American is not supplying the routes another airline will quickly fill the void. Aviation is incredibly difficult to make a profit in. The overhead costs are huge to start a company by buying aircraft and training pilots, and an accident is often enough to shut down smaller airlines. Many airlines have gone out of business, and many more will follow suit. Nobody hears about Pan Am anymore, but Pan Am was once the premier airline with the best service, richest clientele and most exotic routes.

  56. davidjames1187 says :

    I have to say, our group came together very well and tackled the whole presentation with equal work. Every person had plenty of input, and although we only met twice, we got a lot accomplished. I was also very impressed with our presentation, given the fact that we discussed a very difficult topic, we stayed organized and stuck to the script. I was also very impressed that both Cody and James stepped up to answer the questions during the Q and A, and they were very knowledged with their approach. All in all I think we tackled every problem on the rubric and delivered a very good speech as a group. So thanks James, Rudy, Jin, and Cody for sticking to it and accomplishing it as a group.

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