The highly anticipated new Coldplay single was released yesterday, entitled “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall.” Being a huge Coldplay fan, I was able to hear the amazing tune the moment it hit the radio… Oh YouTube, how I love you.
However, what I found most impressive was the lead up to the release. As we debated early on in the Net Communications course, the internet can potentially murder the music industry through the abundance of illegal downloading and peer-to-peer file sharing networks. But in this instance, I’ve got to assert that the world wide web has done nothing but promote awareness and anticipation. I ‘liked’ Coldplay on my Facebook, meaning, as I’m sure you know, that I receive occasional updates from the band’s management team on my News Feed. A few days before the new song’s release, videos such as this one below started popping up on my page; little snapshots of the tune serving as a teaser.
In just a few hours, each video had 90-100 THOUSAND views, sparking huge discussion over the details of the song. Fans were in a frenzy, setting dates in their diaries for the release, listening to old Coldplay hits in preparation, etc etc.. all from a quick few YouTube video postings. I know that there are many criticisers out there hating on the internet for the sheer accessibility of free music, but really, as this latest case demonstrates.. what’s the harm in a little publicity?
I’ve just seen this incredible news article on ninemsn.com and felt compelled to share it with my Net Comm buddies! You can read the article here (http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/8256855/teenager-sells-one-of-his-kidneys-for-an-ipad2), but basically the gist of it is that a 17 year old Chinese boy, Xiao Zheng, sold one of his kidneys to a supposedly very shifty, illegal agent for 22,000 yen (US $3,900) so that he could buy an iPhone and an iPad 2. How crazy is that?!!
Image source: http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/china-ipad-2-sells-out-in-four-hours-09-05-2011/
The more I think about it, the more it saddens me. Firstly, of course it’s heartbreaking that this young boy felt that literally selling a part of his body was the only option he had to raise enough money to purchase what he wanted. Furthermore, it’s terrible such organ-trading organisations exist on the black market and that Zheng was able to access these advertisements online. But what is similarly concerning to me is that Zheng wanted these technological devices SO badly, he resorted to such an extreme to purchase them. As the ninemsn article said, Apple devices are seen as “status symbols” in China. It’s not just China though, it’s everywhere. This story alerted me to e the sheer influence Apple’s products have over us, subconscious or blatant. Opening up your MacBook at uni or whipping out your iPhone on the bus home suggests today that you’re modern, cool, sophisticated, affluent, and cultured- everything Zheng clearly wanted to embody. I fear this emphasis on owning technological gadgets as a symbol of status and modernity will only increase as society becomes more and more reliant on technology, Internet, and the products of Steve Jobs.
Whilst updating my Twitter today I was alerted through a tweet of this amazing website http://thisguyhasmymacbook.tumblr.com/ (oh internet, you and your ways of informing us!)
Basically, this Tumblr blog centres around Joshua Kaufman, a regular citizen from San Francisco who installed the ‘Hidden’ application, a theft-tracking program that can determine the whereabouts of the laptop via Google Maps and take screenshots of the computer’s activity, on to his MacBook in case it got stolen. And look what happened- his house was burgled, the computer was taken, and through ‘Hidden’, Kaufman began to receive grainy photos of the robber as he used the stolen laptop. Kaufman uploaded them on to his blog and onto social media. The site went viral, police got involved, and ten days later the thief was identified and arrested because there was a screenshot of him logging into his Google account with his email address… haaaa.
Image sources: http://thisguyhasmymacbook.tumblr.com
It’s an absolutely amazing story. The power of the Macbook, hey?! Who would have thought a little app you can download online would have the potential to actually retrieve your stolen goods and, furthermore, end up identifying the burglar? As well as showing the power of Macbook and its screenshots, this story brings up a whole other issue I’ve never thought of. In an interview, Kaufman said he went to the internet to find his laptop as he was “frustrated” with the lack of assistance at his local police station and “thought I should try and get some attention from the media”. This seems to be one of the first of many, I’m sure, cases in which people are resorting to technological devices rather than police to solve their own crimes. Although Kaufman’s story seems to have been quite efficient in locating his Mac, surely we can’t disregard the role of police in our society. They are there for a reason, we can’t allow the internet to fully protect us. But regardless- an incredible story!
‘Hidden’ available at http://hiddenapp.com/