The best way to listen to music?


I think music is something that is enjoyed by almost everyone. Almost everyone I know likes some kind of music, whether it be contemporary, pop, Christian, indie or country. So, I think most everyone would agree that music is pretty cool. However, what I see a lot of people arguing over is the best way to get music. There are a large variety of music services, some of which have similar features but vary in cost. In this digital age, we live in gone are the days of carrying around CDs. With these streaming apps, we have access to almost any song in the world all within one app.

One of the more popular music providers I have seen would be Apple Music. Apple Music has three plans to choose from; a student plan for $4.99 a month, an individual plan for $9.99 a month, and. Family plan for 14.99 a month that can include up to 6 people. Apple Music allows you to listen to a very large variety of songs with no adds. It also allows you to listen offline and allows you to download songs to your personal library (Apple Music).

Spotify is also popular, Spotify offers four account options. The first one is free, but you are required to listen to advertisements. There is also a student version which also cost $4.99 a month. However, you also get Hulu included. Spotify also has individual plans for $9.99 a month and family plans for up to 6 people for $14.99 a month. Spotify also has a massive library of songs that you can play ad-free and with unlimited skips and no advertisements. Spotify also allows you to download music so you can listen offline (Spotify).

Another music streaming service is Pandora, Pandora also offers a free version that requires you to listen to advertisements. They also have a plan called “Pandora Plus”, which includes no advertisements and unlimited skips. They also offer a “Pandora Premium” plan for $9.99 a month with all the same features. However, this plan allows you also to search and play any song as well as create playlists (Pandora).

Music is pretty awesome almost everyone has some genre of music they like. And in this age we live in, we have multiple options as to how we listen to music. Of course, the ones mentioned here are not the only ones, and pricing and plans do differ. We all have the option to have access to a wide variety of music.


Hacked Driverless Cars Revisited: Other Things Hackers Can Do That We Probably Haven’t Considered

In the In-class activity, we talked about whether or not we supported whether driverless cars should be connected to the internet. Due to hacking, it may not be good that a car is connected to the internet, and that is what my group argued in the response. We were mainly focused on how it can be used to kill or kidnap people. However, I was wondering if there were other nefarious possibilities that you could do to a car connected to the internet as well. I found answers thanks to an article on by Jamie Carter.

Accidents don’t even need to be created, a hacker can just slow down or stop cars on busy areas. Creating gridlock can be a very effective way of disrupting a city. Work can decrease as people are unable to get to work. Freight can’t travel from one point to another. A hacker can effectively greatly reduce the economic output of a city by causing minor disturbances in key locations that would cause the most traffic.

It’s also interesting to think about how that can be used militarily. Logistics can be very important for military operations. Being able to shut down the transportation of supplies is a key to warfare, and has been used plenty of times throughout history, such as German U-boats sinking supplies heading towards Britain in both World Wars. An equivalent to that which involves remotely accessing an enemy’s supply lines would be very effective.

References: Carter, Jamie, (5 March 2019,) “Hacked Driverless Cars Could Cause Collisions And Gridlock In Cities, Say Researchers”, Retrieved on 28 September 2019 From:

How will the Internet of Things affect music?

The first thing that many people think of when they think of music with respect of the internet of things is the assistance in song streaming with speakers, wearables, and smart home speakers, but the effect goes much deeper than that. There is an immense amount of potential in the types of advances in music streaming and playback in terms of enhanced instruments, in depth recommendations, and assisted composition and recording. One specific example of a piece of technology that is pioneering this is Prizm, which aligns song recommendations for different scenarios throughout the day. So, in operation, the technology would access the interactions that the user has and takes that information formulating it into a playlist for the user to listen to that day. It reminds me of the discovery playlists that one would find on their Spotify account each week with new artist recommendations based on their most listened to artists, albums, and songs. Eventually, Prizm will get to the point that it will be able to sense and recognize the moods in a given space based on the people and conversations present at a given moment.

This next advance that I feel would be really beneficial in the era of DIY recording and composing spaces is recording on one project from multiple different recording spaces. When I was recording my music just recently, I decided that the song that I was working on really needed a drum track in order to really bring it all together. Obviously in a residence hall, I would not be able to bring in a massive drum kit and be able to actually record and play without getting noise complaints from my neighbors. Instead this type of technology would make it possible for projects to be streamlined across different platforms, so that a drummer friend of mine will be able to access my project, record his drums in realtime. Along with the music recommendation, selection, and composition aspects, there is also the aspect that assists hearing impaired users especially with providing a surround experience of vibrations that will represent the audio music well, so the medium is more transferrable among all demographics.

The Rise of Internet of Musical Things

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Could a world of the Internet of Things be positive or negative?

In class we talked about how the Internet of Things is the use of sensors and networks that connect with each other or a cloud. Devices in the Internet of Things could give data to big companies and governments. It’s a world filled with data recordings and technology tracking. These objects could be everyday items.

A world where electronics are at our fingertips would be crazy. I for one would be in favor for efficiency, but it appears we are slowly moving toward a world where more efficiency would mean less privacy. For example if we all had self driving cars, would they even work? Who would be responsible for an accident? What if something goes wrong? All these questions and lots of risks.

Maybe whether or not self driving cars work is not in question. If our cars are connected to the internet, will the government or big businesses be able to see our cars data. That’s a scary world.

First and foremost, there are too many challenges for the internet of things to be a realistic. The major problem is financially. As we discussed in class, technology is not at a level where it is disposable yet.

I personally wouldn’t be in favor of an Internet of Things world. The reason I say that because I am already on my phone too much as is. I can’t imagine sitting in a restaurant and my soda can have electronics on them. As this expands, people personalities become dimmer and their communication skills begin to disappear. Today, more so than ever, people are glued to their electronics and rarely look up to talk to each other. I think a world where every day items become data driven is a scary one. It will be interesting to see.



How scams on Instagram are getting popular

I’ve noticed a lot of direct message requests recently from people who claim to make thousands of dollars a week, and want to get me in on the action. These are obviously pyramid schemes, but how do these schemes get popular? Lauren Monitz says “fake accounts buy likes and followers and post consistently until their profiles seem like the real deal.” (2019, yahoo finance) Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish a scam from the real deal. Often, it’s good to keep in mind if something is too good to be true, it probably is. One thing that gets me every once and a while is giveaways. When coming from legitimate company, these giveaways are a good strategy to generate excitement and get new followers. However, there’s hundreds of influencers who buy these products, post pictures of them for a giveaway, and never actually select a winner. It’s even more malicious when they do select winners, require a shipping fee, and never send the product. I was fooled by this before. These people can make thousands off of this, and often get away with it too. I’ve also seen people collaborating with companies and never getting paid for it. As Monitz says “Someone reaches out, offering to hire you for a high-profile photoshoot or campaign for a brand, but the offer isn’t real.” (2019, yahoo finance) These scams are elaborate; people go as far as to make fake schedules and personal  phone calls (Monitz, 2019, yahoo finance). I think the best thing to keep in mind is to look for other people, real people, who have had a good experience with said company before allowing the conversation to continue. If something feels like a scam, it probably is. Never give out any financial or personal information unless you know for sure you’re dealing with a reputable company.


Drone is the future of towing companies.

Currently, a towing company in Texas is planning to use drone to help their business. If a customer has a car breakdown, the company will utilize the drone to help themselves assess the problems that the customer has by sending photos and videos of the problem back to the headquarters. This method will help provide more aids to customers from a far distance. This will help make service better, and release customers’ burden by providing instant support. (Shankland, 2019)

With drones bring use for delivery service, to expand its functions to other departments is possible. This will improve traffic’s condition in many sorts of way. It lets the customers to handle their own situations as well as releasing the traffic jam since the car can be fixed faster through air support.


IoT and the Streamlined Future

As I was taking notes on Wednesday’s lecture about the Internet of Things (IoT), I began to see parallels between this class’s curriculum and content and that of my MGMT 301 class. In MGMT, we have been using Elon Musk’s enterprises and Mary Bara of General Motors to exemplify the characteristics and roles of different types of management and what it looks like when they are conducted successfully. Mary Bara had stated in a conference that the three biggest factors for success in the automotive industry going forward would automation, electrification, and connectivity. Elon Musk has already helped push the automotive industry toward electrification with the line of all electric vehicles, automation with their autopilot technology, and connectivity with features such as EVE, a control center for news, weather, and home systems monitoring. With the rapid development of IoT technology and applications, Tesla and the following wave of automotive electrification opens doors for countless uses and advantages of IoT technology across the board. Application of such technology is already present in homes with assistants like Alexa and Home, and appliances like Nest and Ring. In manufacturing, systems are engineered and set- up to coordinate seamless autonomy via communication between other systems within the facility’s network to ensure maximum manufacturing efficiency. Technological interconnectivity and programmability enables efficiency and provides the means for innovation across many aspects of our day-to-day life. With these possibilities there also come drawback such as increased potential for cybercriminals and a larger data cloud possessing more information and from more individuals. However, like many revolutions in the past, the revolution of the internet is not immune from the potentiality of averse effects. The American industrial revolution brought great manufacturing potential to the country and some other parts of the world, but it also allowed for the mass production of arms and military good during the second world war which would then be used to kill hundreds of thousands of people. It also brought about mass consumerism which has had its fair share of environmental impact. At the end of the lesson, Prof. Pursel asked if we think the evolution of the IoT will bring about an era of downturn in which technology further enables human laziness or of it would cause an era of enlightenment in which humans utilize optimized technological networks to increase our potential as a species. I am of the notion that humans will continue to evolve in culture and in our ability to utilize technology. If humans are to die out, it will much more likely be from overstimulation of the physical resources and capabilities at our disposal than it would be due to our failure to invent and innovate due to the ease at which trivial tasks can be completed by technological assistance.


Software Available to Students

As college students, a lot of us are just plain broke. Which can be a problem because often there is certain software we might like to try or learn in order to make ourselves more marketable for jobs.  A lot of this software is through the roof expensive and definitely out of our budget. However, what I find a lot of people are not aware of the large variety of software available to students for free all you have to do is sign up.

First, we have software available to us through the university. Through the university, we get Microsoft office, which includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, etc. We also are able to access Adobe creative suite, which includes a vast quantity offered by Adobe, including Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Audition, and more (Penn State).

While what the university offers us is really cool. There are other companies that offer free software use for students. For example, Jet Brains, which is known for its programming and software development applications. Offers students the ability to use a larger variety of their applications for free. Which is a really good deal considering a license to use some of their software can cost about $400+ a year. In order to sign up, you will need to verify that you attend Penn State using your Penn State email. Student licenses only last for a year, but, you have the option to renew them at the end of each year (Jet Brains).

More art inclined majors will also be happy to know that they can get professional-level design software for free as a student. Autodesk is known for there digital design tools, offers students access to software like AutoCAD, which is used in drafting. As well as Maya, which is a professional 3D animation and modeling software. They also offer other software such as Revit and TinkerCad, for student use for free. All students need to do to access the software is make a student account (Autodesk).

We might all be broke, but at least being a college student has its advantages. We can get lots of really useful software for free and all we have to do is make an account. If you are interested in using software but know you can’t afford it, I would really encourage you to look into it and see if the company allows for free student access.


What Happens To Digital Content?

In this everything is digital world we live in, a lot of the entertainment content we buy is digital. Some of us have a large selection of music that we have purchased over the years. And nowadays a lot of people even buy their movies digitally. It is no surprise, digital content offers a myriad of benefits over traditional CDs and DVDs. For example, you can carry your entire music library on your phone instead of having to lug around a couple of CDs. And you can watch the movies you buy anywhere you go. These are all really great upsides of digital content; however, there is one potential problem.

Think of the company you get most of your digital content from. For most of us that would probably Apple or Amazon. Now consider what would happen if Apple or Amazon shut down? While that is unlikely to happen anytime soon it is a possibility in the future. In an article written by Adrienne Lafrance, for The Atlantic, outlines potential problems that owning digital content can have. She states in her article that when you purchase something digitally, “you’re not buying it, exactly. It’s more like renting it indefinitely” (Lafrance, 2015).

There are some indicators that we do not have as much rights with digital content as we do with physical content. In Lafrance’s article, it is stated that with physical content, we have the option of repurposing content whether that means we give it away or sell it. However, with digital content, there is no way to give it to someone else or sell it (also copyright laws often forbid this). So, in a sense that movie or album you “bought” is not really yours (Lafrance, 2015).

I find the concept of not owning digital content to be somewhat scary. I know it’s a longshot that amazon or apple will go out of business in my lifetime. But, I still don’t like to think that all the money I’ve spent has been on something that I don’t actually own. If Amazon were to go out of business, there is a good chance we would all lose all our content everything from movies to books (Lafrance, 2015). Most of us probably “own” digital content but, have you ever thought about what would happen if the company you bought it from shut down? Or a more interesting question, perhaps what happens to it when you die?


LEGO Reaches Renewable Energy Landmark

It seems like now more than ever, the news we hear about our climate is. . . not great. lists “deadly heat waves, extreme weather events, and threats to life on earth” along with “Global sea levels are rising. . . Surface temperatures are setting new heat records. . .glaciers are in retreat globally. . .” in the long list of negative effects on our Earth due to human activity.

As individuals, there is only so much we can do ourselves to halt the rising temperatures on Earth. It’s nice to see large corporations, like LEGO, step up to the challenge. According to, the LEGO Group is using a combination of wind and solar energies to power their entire manufacturing facilities. On top of that, notes that LEGO is even three years ahead of schedule. With global temperatures on the rise, it seems like every second counts. If more corporations would follow suit with where they get their energy, maybe the planet would be a better place.

Climate Change

LEGO Achieves its Goal of 100% Renewable Energy Use 3 Years Ahead of Schedule