The premise of this episode is on the idea of what if the internet where to stop working? How would mankind react to it and how different things would be if it did stop working. The beginning of the episode opened up on Stan and the Marsh family getting ready for bedtime by Stan’s mom, Sharon. Each member of the family is using rather a desktop or laptop to browse the internet for different things. Stan is checking social media websites and a site similar to YouTube, Shelley is iChatting with her boyfriend Amir, who lives in Montana, and Randy uses the last few moments to check a porn site for the story. Upon waking up Stan finds out that the internet is not working. Shortly after Stan’s father, Randy also tries to use Stan’s computer to no avail. The entire family tries to access the internet with different devices but it just does not work. They visit the Broflovski family to use the internet and it is discovered that they also do not have internet. When they leave the house in a desperate attempt to use Starbucks free wifi, the entire neighborhood seems to have found out that the internet is no longer among them. It becomes a race to Starbucks as the rest of the neighborhood is rioting because they do not have internet. When they do finally reach Starbucks a crowd of people are outside Starbucks and are told that the internet also does not work. The people try to think of a way to find out what is going on with the internet but have no internet to check the news. The towns folk run to the nearest electronics store to see the news on the TV, but that turns out to be useless. The anchorman apologizes about not being able to tell the news since there is no internet to find out the news. The anchorman calls another station on live television to ask if they have internet. Upon the discovery that the other station also does not have internet it is suspected that this is occurring nationwide. Even though its an entire town crowded around the electronics store, Randy Marsh says “Jesus, we are all alone.” This is due to it being a small town in the mountains. The rest of the world seems so much farther away and almost non existent to this small community. Eight days pass and still no internet. The Marsh family is just sitting around not knowing what to do anymore and decide to take some course of action. They decide to go to Califronee Way on rumors that they have some internet there. Much like the gold rush, people from all around the country flock to California in hopes of a better life, a life with cat videos as far as the eye can handle. The episode transitions into black and white as the Marsh family is staying at a transient camp with the other travelers. Dreams of what each person are going to do when they get some internet is traded amongst the people. Then the thought of “What if they do finally get some internet but it is so small you can’t do anything with it?” They reach Silicon Valley to find what can be assumed as a few hundred thousand people also had the same idea to go to Californee. The internet has to be rationed out and people are given tickets to use the internet. When the number is called, the person has only a few moments to use the internet. The Internet is discovered to be a giant router that is blinking orange instead of solid green. No one that works with the Internet knows how to fix it. Randy talks to one of the Red Cross soldiers in order to use the internet privately so he can jack off. As Randy states, “I haven’t jacked off in two weeks. Once you watch two Japanese girls puke in each others mouth, Playboy doesn't cut it any more.” When the Internet is shown on live television Kyle thinks of a way to fix it. Primarily due to its resemblance to common routers. He then sets off to fix the internet. It cuts back to the refugee camp as the Red Cross workers are putting away the internet for the night. Randy notices this and sees it as an opportunity to use the internet. Randy sneaks into the building through a window and proceeds to look for porn. He quickly browses through different fetish sites to get his fix. Due to the loud moans Randy is making, the Red Cross workers rush in to stop Randy but it is too late. Randy climaxes before they can stop him and blames it on the ghost. As well as claiming that the semen coated walls were because of a ghost and the the semen was ectoplasm.
It returns back to the Internet again because Kyle is going to try get the Internet to work again. Kyle simply unplugs it and plugs it back in and the internet works again. When it shows the people in the refugee camp rejoicing that the internet is working again, Amir finds Shelley in the crowd. Now that they are face-to-face they are unable to talk to one another even though they are “internet dating.” The final scene is of Randy holding a press conference about preserving the internet in case it stops working again.
One of the major things that I took from this episode is something I think about a lot. What happens when the internet or technology as a whole stops working. Can people still function without cell phones? Can people still eat food without taking a picture and posting it online? Can people find things out by talking to a person instead of a post? I'm not going to lie, I'm as hooked to technology as the next guy but for many it is all they can comprehend. Especially small children that are growing up now. A library is an archaic idea that wouldn't make sense without the plethora of computers in the corner. Give me a compass and a map and I will be lost for a few days trying to go to the supermarket. So I feel like something, not as severe but similar to what the show depicted is a possibility. People would just not know what to do with themselves and kinda just wander around in hopes to fill the void.
Wow. Simply wow. This seems like an article ripped straight from the front page of the Onion. Yet this is the microchip infused society that makes technology so scary in its accomplishments. By connecting billions to one another it creates a society that doesn't know what to do when it is gone, much like this article has shown. For example, just yesterday my brother was packing books and stickers to send to two people he has never met or never even spoken to, vocally or text. Yet through a site called RedditGifts.com, it was something that thousands of people have done before him without a thought. Even though it is based on the generosity of people, these people still sent their address to a random stranger somewhere in the world. The thought of their "secret Santa" showing up at their door isn't even humored. Yet this is the world we are in. Going to dinner with a group of people usually amounts to everyone checking their phone at least once. So reading about people who can't make friends past a computer isn't surprising.
In this article, it shows that different social networking sites appeal to different teens primarily due to the ability to personalize it. For those that enjoyed that Facebook, it was mainly due to the "clean" and simplistic design. Making every profile similar, that only shows a difference on the information and pictures the owner has allowed to show to other users. While those who enjoyed MySpace enjoyed it because of the massive options to make it seem more personal and allows a person to express themselves. Able to change the font, color, add music, and a plethora of other options. Yet the odd thing this article does is that it insinuates that only people from urban settings enjoy the flair of MySpace do to hip hop music. That it essentially goes hand in hand with the extravagant lifestyle that is depicted in rap music. This seemed like a completely off topic point that discredits the author.
The main point that this article is trying to present is the rate and changes of the use of social media by young adults. The article also brings up points that more adults and young adults use social media then years prior. Then main difference between the two groups is the "life span" of their profiles and which websites are used. For example, "Young profile owners are much more likely to maintain a profile on MySpace (66% of young profile owners do so, compared with just 36% of those thirty and older)" (292). This may be linked to the increased owner ship of smart phones by young teens. But this also provides benefits as more young adults are using the increase access to the internet to read the news and discover what else is going on in the world.
This article talks about a man named Brad Neely essentially making his own copy of the soundtrack for the movie Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. What he did was create his own dialogue to the movie making it into a more dark comedy then its original rendition. As well as having a plethora of pop culture references and making each character more obscene. Yet even though people paid to see this version, intentionally, as far as the article states, it remains in the gray area of whether or not it falls under fair use. Primarily due to fact that it was intended to be a parody rather then considered Neely's work.
In the comic, it follows a woman who seeks to make a documentary on the lives of New Yorkers. Rather they be any random person or the elite of wall street. Yet she is plagued by an impasse. What can she legally have in her documentary due to copyrighted material. Relating it to a minefield since she would only really now exactly what couldn't be used after it was featured intentionally or unintentionally. Even if it was under fair use, there is the potential that the right's holder may not deem her project to fall into that category. Thus making her project extremely difficult to create without accidentally featuring copyrighted material.
This is the circumstance that many people are facing in our current consumer world. Recently this was a big issue for content creators on YouTube. For those who don't know, people can make a living off of making YouTube videos, a comfortable one too. Yet recently, an automated program implemented by the YouTube developers would take down videos and re-upload them under the right's owner name. Now for those who would upload "let's play" of video game footage, this was a major issue. Since this was their product that a retail store would sell. Even though the videos where under fair use, this was a mass problem for them. Some companies would even say publicly "you can upload videos of our game," content creators would still have an issue since some other company may hold rights to the music, a certain sound bit, etc. Making them have to essentially become a legal expert, involve a lawyer, or simply concede to the claim of ownership.
Bret Dawson, much in contrast of Michael Eisner, believes that copyrights hinders human ability. He used the Anthrax incident to show that a patent of a chemical mixture can cost many people their life. Yet with the increase of corporate influence on the day to day life of human beings, they have the power to say "No, this is ours and ours alone. If we can't fulfill the need, well then no one else can." This is the point Dawson is trying to push across the article, the more patents and copyrights are put in place, the more things are restricted. And when corporations have power to regulate who and what is using their protected material, there is no end at which this can extend. "It would mean the Viacom's and the Disney's and the News Corporation's of the very near future would own great volumes of information about your comings and goings, enormous databases full of your private life" (Dawson ¶28).
This is the sad truth we live in today. With an increase of news reports that Facebook owns us and that the NSA is tracking us, its astonishing. From the moment we are born to the day we die, we are bombarded with adverts from private industries. Nearly everything we own is branded with a companies logo or name blatantly on it to advertise to other potential buyers that person may come across. We dream of owning this type of clothing or this brand of car. Unbeknownst to many, most digital media we purchase isn't even owned. What is purchased is a license to use this media. We know logos before we know words. That is the most disheartening aspect of this situation.
The essence of Michael Eisner speech was to make the United States Congress aware of a problem that has been created due to the "digital era." That problem is piracy of intellectual property and how it has more gravity then what is currently believed by many people. Essentially, Eisner used statistical information such as copy-righted related industries amount to nearly $530 billion, representing 6.3% of the U.S. GDP to show that these industries need to be protected. Eisner also brings up the fact that piracy has always been an issue for these industries and brings up the example of being able to purchase "bootlegged" version of movies on the street. By the end of his speech Eisner also provides ways of preventing piracy in both a defensive and offensive manner.
Much has changed in the 14 years that this speech was given and it's surprising how only a few people understood the route the internet was heading at that time. Now more then ever piracy is a massive issue with no real way to solve it completely. Now a person can download anthologies of whatever they seek to own off of the internet. Even the people who created the websites to "pirate" this content, are making plans to move into space to avoid government's laws and regulations. But its to late to stop this derailed train. At this point piracy has become too common, were any regulation put on it, someone finds a way to work around it.