You are fired!

2016 iHeartRadio Music Festival - Night 1 - Show

On September 20, Bono, U2 singer was interviewed by Charlie Rose. During the hour interview, he told Rose:

“America is like the best idea the world ever came up with, but Donald Trump is potentially the worst idea that ever happened to America,” he told Rose. “[He] could destroy it, because of what we’re saying. America is not just a country. … American is an idea, and that idea is banded up in justice and equality for all”.

Three days after the interview took place the Irish band had a performance in Las Vegas, US.  During the concert while the band was interpreting their song “Desire” as Bono sang about the “preachers stealing hearts in a traveling show” and “promises in the year of election” huge American flags adorned the jumbo screens behind the band, and then the face of Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for president of the United States, appeared, while fake “Trump dollar” bills dropped from the ceiling onto the sold-out 20,000-strong crowd. (“What do you have to lose”, 2016).

Not sure if you know that U2 is a political band. A band that fights for the freedom of others who can’t do it themselves. Or who saves the lives of thousands with their humanitarian efforts.

But the attacks against the candidate Trump didn’t finish on Las Vegas concert, on Wednesday 5 of October during a concert in San Francisco, Bono faked a dialogue with the Republican candidate that had the crowd of thousands screaming support.

San Francisco Chronicle, reported the concert in his Politics & Policy section, in there they transcribed the dialogue between the candidate Trump and Bono.

“Now, candidate, you understand it’s not just Mexican people who are going to have a problem with this plan of yours. It’s everyone who loves the idea of America. Like the Irish, for example. Or the French. Or the Brazilians. Everyone who loves the idea of America. Everyone who believes what they read at the foot of the bottom of the Statue of Liberty.”

Then, as the crowd roared its support, Bono yelled:

“These guys have a message for you: You’re fired!”

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This was viral, people who attended the concert applaud Bono in the different social media platforms:

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff supported U2’s message in a tweet: “Incredible & riveting political statement as @u2’s Bono creates a pseudo conversation with @realDonaldTrump in a surprise set at Dreamfest!”

“#Bono vs #Trump at #DF16. Feeling proud to work @salesforce who give a chance to those types of initiatives,” tweeted Olivier Girard.

“Slay him Bono,” another person tweeted.

I don’t know where is going to take place U2’s next concert in US, but I am looking forward to watch what Bono has prepared for Trump on it. I hope there will be a concert before the elections.

And also more people is writing blogs about it. Also here’s the full transcript Alan Crop’s blog 

References

What do you have to lose. (2016). Retrieved from  http://www.u2.com/news/title/what-do-you-have-to-lose.

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A fresh face…

Chlöe Swarbrick a 22 years old girl who started a campaign encouraging Aucklanders to exercise their right to vote. Without realising it she was running for Mayor of Auckland.

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With  a small budget and using only the word of mouth and the media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and her website Chlöe came third in Auckland Mayoral race with 26,474 votes on the last Saturday 8th of October.

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Her campaign was based on the love Chlöe has for Auckland and her desire for a better city for her and all the people who live in it. Her principles policies were on housing, transport, sustainability and art and culture. During the three months of her campaign through social media, she encouraged people to talk to others, share her policy and also to talk about the future of the city. At the same time to encourage family and friends to exercise their right to vote.

For Chlöe the word of mouth is a strong thing people have:

“Word of mouth is about people talking, people believing in something, people critiquing, doing their research”

On the last 2 days of the campaign, Chlöe created a link where followers were able to change their profile picture and add the captions Vote Chlöe Swarbrick. Lots of people actually did it and showed their support to her.

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Her campaign was mainly on social media, and with the support of  19.062 followers on Facebook and 3,057 on Instagram her voice was heard and her posts shared.

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I reckon this viral campaign showed a success, after only three months of campaigning this unknown 22 years old journalist, achieved third place in a contest against experienced politicians. She got to be known in the city and not only by young people but by adult people happy to support her with their vote.

Maybe she needs more experience in politics or more time campaigning. I hope she keeps training herself and through her website shows the Aucklanders what is she standing for during the next 3 years, before the next mayor elections. Chlöe has an amazing future in New Zealand politics, she just needs more experience and dedication.

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Chris Trotter is comparing her with Helen Clark in his blog, have a look at it here

Is not too late to play!

I used to be a nanny of 3 boys and one of them, Roman was attending primary school.  I helped him sometimes with homework and part of it was to go to the school website and on it play games to practice maths and grammar.  I have never seen this before, I have to confess I fell tempted to use his login and play myself having fun while practising my grammar which at that time was a little bit similar to the one of my 8-grade kid.

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During my childhood the way I learnt at home was with my mum, she made the game, I have to do my maths and as a reward, I received a chocolate, ice cream a kiss and sometimes a big gift.  Same happened with grammar. She used to take my notebooks and in a separate piece of paper she writes down my misspelling words, then I have to write down repeatedly to remember the correct way to do it. Internet wasn’t at everyone’s reach and I think the online game learning either.

When I came to New Zealand I realised my English level was the same as compared with intermedia kids, so I started to read kids books, and also I bought some computer games on sale to practice it.  After my experience with  Roman, this was my second experience in gaming as a learning tool.  I really enjoyed it, and I felt how my brain was challenged to think quickly to achieve the goals on time and accumulate more points to get to the next level. Also, I can tell I have learnt from these games.

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My 3rd experience gaming was in my Digital World class, In there I learnt a little bit about how the US government is designed and works while we play in teams a game called Branches of Power. It was a friendly game. I had fun during the practise exercise.

However, I am not a gaming person. I prefer another learning tools and despite educational games can teach you lots and help you learn in a faster and an enjoyable way I think is really easy to get addicted to  and lost the purpose of them.

According to Sue MacDowall what makes learning through games so engaging, can be explained in 3 points:

1gaming-ed-Games provide a sense of autonomy and creativity: You can do missions, customise levels, customise the world and you can think about the future in the game.

2-Games provide challenge: Games required focus, concentration and hard thinking.

3-Games provide purpose: You are actually learning while having fun.

You can read more about it on her blog 

Be trendy or not?

I am a happy, desperate, grumpy owner of an IPhone 5s. Happy because I can check my Facebook, post photos on Instagram and chat with my friends and family all the time, even when I’m not at home. Desperate and grumpy because since the last 4 months or maybe more my iPhone started to act funny.  Sometimes I can’t unlock the screen, or it just turns off while I am trying to snap the best selfie. Also because the screen gets frozen for a long time and I can’t check or do anything on it. The only solution to some of my iPhone troubles is to restart it and wait.

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Rumors about the release of the new iPhone started a long time ago, and with them, I started to have the feeling I need an upgrade for mine.

I decided if I am going to expend a grand in a phone I need to know all about it.  So I started to check and follow all the news about the Apple’s event where the new iPhone features will be revealed to people.

On August 30 Stuff NZ published an article wrote by Hayley Tsukayama

“In the past, Apple’s alternated between offering major updates for the iPhone and smaller, more incremental updates. According to that schedule, Apple should be offering a significant update to the iPhone this year, and call it the ‘iPhone 7′”.

When I read this I thought ‘Oh my God! A lighter and smaller phone, with lots of new updates, maybe waterproof, as I’m so afraid of my phone falling into the toilet’.

On September 7, Chirs Keall from NBR wrote:

“One analyst says the new model will also get IPX7 waterproofing (that is the same as the Apple Watch and the ill-fated Samsung Galaxy Note 7.”

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After reading this my expectations grew up! I can take photos while swimming, be in the rain with my phone and also take it with me when I go to the loo. However, not everything in the article was good news. The article also says that Apple may take off the headphones jack. ‘It can’t happen I thought’ I bought a beautiful Bose headphones not long ago, so it means I won’t be able to use them anymore, and because all is a business for Apple they will sell the adaptor meaning more money to spend on my upgrade.

On September 7, Apple’s event day the new iPhone 7 was revealed. I read in the guardian and article from Samuel Gibbs:

“Apple has unveiled the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, its next-generation smartphones, which have a similar aluminium look but now waterproof with new insides, new pressure-sensitive home button, new dual-camera features and no headphone socket”.

Wohoo! A waterproof phone, with a better camera! Who cares about the headphone jack, let’s the selfies on the water start! In spite of this blogger are calling the future buyers consumerists!

Citizen Journalism, a power of information or a disastrous misinformation?

Before the smartphones and the data usage, even before the internet, it wasn’t easy to have access to the news. The way we used to hear that something had happened was on the television, the radio or the newspaper. It meant we needed to wait, sometimes a week, a day or a couple of hours to be informed of what had happened in town, in the country or around the world

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Once the internet was at people’s reach and technology started transforming the way we interact using our phones people became part of the news by taking photos, making videos, writing blogs, giving opinions and reporting breaking news. In the beginning, the people needed to wait to get home and upload the information on the social media through their phones and PC, nowadays thanks to the data, it is possible to do it at the same moment the event or new is taking place faster than the news team.

These people who are playing journalism are known as “Citizen Journalists”. They are everywhere around the world, ready to snap, film, report or analyse worthy news.  There are a number of platforms available  to the public which they can use to upload content and everyone can source information directly from them. Even though there are lots of information available make sure the information you are interested in is true and has been verified before sharing it.

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Twitter plays an important role in citizen journalism, with a tweet and a hashtag the report can be viral before the news hits the press.  An example of this includes Osama bin Laden’s raid and death, one of the biggest news stories of 2011 was reported in tweets by a local IT consultant one day before Barack Obama announced it to the world.

The rise of citizen journalism is incredible; information is on every social media platform.  It starts as an independent way to tell stories, allowing other citizens to comment and to be able to add more information, but unfortunately, has been affected by inaccurate reporting. These people work for free, only a few portion of them get paid for the information they find and share.

A Citizen journalist could be an extra pair of eyes in places where the media doesn’t have access like the conflict in Syria.  They document attacks in towns across the country, this information unfortunately cannot be verified by a professional journalist, so sometimes the ethic or reliability of the information is an issue.

In his blog , Jeremy Porter is presenting the citizen journalism as a perfect example of freedom of speech-press and encourage people to decide if the information has or not a value, to keep going reading or go somewhere else to find more.

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Citizen journalism is going to continue to grow more and more, it is an unstoppable phenomenon, there is no one controlling these people playing to be a journalist. There is no way to make them understand this is something they need to do with professionalism especially when the information reported has big consequences to a person, organization to the world.  Yves Eudes, a reporter from French Broadsheet Le Monde, once said:

“I need to know how to write or take a photo and I need to be good at analysis,  learning how to use tools is different from saying everyone is a reporter. Anyone can make bread, but it’s lousy bread. You need to spend time like a true, professional baker to learn to make good bread.”

 

References

Krotoski, A. (2011). What effect has the internet had on journalism? Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/feb/20/what-effect-internet-on-journalism.

Townson, P. (2013). Blurring the lines between professional and citizen journalism.                Retrieved from http://www.dc4mf.org/en/content/blurring-lines-between-                       professional-     and-citizen-journalism-0.

Goulart, D. (2015). What can mainstream media learn from citizen journalist?. Retrieved from http://journalism.about.com/od/citizenjournalism/a/whatiscitizen.htm

Is not about them, is about Colombia and its people

Colombia’s government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia FARC, the largest rebel group in the country have signed a deal to end more than 50 years of conflict, the final agreement was announced on Wednesday 24th of August. This signifies the end of the last major guerrilla struggle in Latin America.

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Colombians need now to decide if the agreement will take effect or not, there is a referendum taking place on October 2nd where they will vote if are agreed or not with the deal signed in the Habana, Cuba.

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However, although it sounds incredible the deal has strong political opposition lead for Alvaro Uribe, the country’s last president and who has been the President Juan Manuel Santos‘ political fiercest opponent since 2012. He argues the FARC are getting too much indulgence and not facing harsh enough sentences. He is using his power and influence to persuade his followers and political supporters to vote “NO” on the referendum. If the final result shows the people don’t approve the deal, Alvaro Uribe suggests to come back to the negotiation stage and give less to the FARC, for sure after four years of negotiation the FARC won’t sit again at the negotiation table to make changes or have less. Therefore, the result could be the continuation of the conflict that already had claimed more than 220,000 lives and displaced more than five million people.

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A man wearing a mask depicting FARC, Commander Timoleon Jimenez, marches with prison bars made of paper and message that reads in Spanish; “I want peace and jail time for the bandits”, during an anti-government protest against President Juan Manuel Santos’ government lead by Alvaro Uribe

Uribe has mobilised his party, the Centro Democratico, to collect signatures as part of its “civil resistance” campaign.  On the other hand, President Santos has taken advantage of his presidential bully pulpit to talk about the benefits of peace. The Colombians have engaged in the fight, a clear sign of Colombia’s vibrant democracy.

President Santos himself has had low approval ratings in recent months, with his support falling to an all-time low in May. An August survey found that 65% of Colombians disapproved of his management of the peace process and that 76% of his countrymen did not back his management during the first two years of his second term in office. Dissatisfaction with Santos, the underperformance of the economy, and a vociferous “No” campaign have all helped push down public support for the deal in recent weeks.

Colombians are being influenced by the big opposition President Santos has from his successor Alvaro Uribe, the opinion about the peace process is being biased and we don’t know what decision will be shown at the ballot box the next October 2nd.

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As a Colombian I am sure this won’t be the end of the war, there are more guerrillas in the country, but once the biggest one disappears and is incorporated to the society it may make the others follow its lead and cease the fire too.

The referendum is not about Alvaro Uribe or Juan Manuel Santos and the party each of them represents, is about the future of Colombia, is an opportunity for the country to start a new page in the history books.  If the “YES” wins it will be the end of the biggest and longest conflict of the Americas, and Colombians will have the opportunity to build a better country for the future generations.

As well as Jose Maria Vera wrote in his blog 

It is time to address the major issues facing Colombia. The usual ones. The distribution of land and its use, predatory resource extraction and the production model, the right to health and education for all, and the right to justice. In peace.

I think we had enough and is time to bet on the peace. I hope everyone in Colombia comes to the same conclusion.  The enemies are giving us their hand and we have to take it and make peace with them. I hope the next Sunday, October 2nd will show the world that Colombians in a unified voice gave to their motherland a new life with a simple “YES”.

 

References

Explaining Colombia’s peace plebiscite (2016). Retrieved from: http://colombiapeace.org/2016/08/16/explaining-colombias-peace-plebiscite/

Santos v Uribe (2012). Retrieved grom: http://www.economist.com/node/21552204

Otis, John. (2012). In Colombia, the war between presidents. Retrieved from: http://world.time.com/2012/07/13/in-colombia-the-war-between-the-presidents/

Woddy, Christhoper (2016). Colombia has reached a historic deal to end a 52-year war, but the next battle will be at the ballot box. Retrieved from: http://www.businessinsider.com.au/what-comes-next-for-colombia-farc-peace-deal-agreement-plebiscite-2016-8?r=US&IR=T

Vincent, Peter (2016) . The best deal for Colombia. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/29/opinion/the-best-deal-for-colombia.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FColombia&action=click&contentCollection=world&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=collection

Poké what?

After what appears to be a long wait for many, July 2016 was finally the month the world got to see the one game that has taken over people’s lives, regardless of age and gender.

What I know about this game is, firstly you need to download the Pokémon Go app on your smartphone or electronic device and try to capture little creatures as they appear on your screen, and you need to be outdoors and walking around to find them. Then with a “poke ball” the little thing can be caught so the player can then gain experience points that can be used to power up the Pokémon and evolve them. The ultimate goal of the game is to capture all 150 Pokémon, effectively compiling a comprehensive list of Pokémon on the phone or electronic device.

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Thanks to the app, the percentage of people going outdoors has risen throughout July 2016, lots of them going to the main parks, beaches and attraction sites where the Pokémon can be found.  Is very easy to recognise these people because they are virtually stuck to their phones while walking in small or big groups. Since the app released, it seems like the users are somehow being friendly and active. However, this can be a positive effect I find from the game, I am still thinking that is not necessary to have it in order to be an active or friendly person. I think there are better ways to be social like join a club (book club, language club, sports.) and some of them will give you more opportunities to share with people compared with Pokémon Go where you are only interested in what is happening to your phone or device.

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Meanwhile, police are calling for people to be more careful while playing Pokémon Go, signs like “Don’t Pokémon and drive” are now on the highways; car accidents have been reported in some countries like Australia, Japan and US. Also,some people have been robbed while looking for the little creatures in an unsafe neighbourhood, and also there was a report where some girls were offered to be taken by a stranger to places where they can find a ‘high-level Pokémon’ and ended up being harassed.

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I feel good I’m not the only person who thinks this is a wrong way to find fun outdoors, in this blog  the author explains how wrong the Pokemon players are going out to play on a phone instead or being enjoying the beauty of the places they go to chase the little monsters.

I understand phones are taking out people’s attention; there are lots of apps and social media to look at. But since I am not a game player, and the few social apps I use, (Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) are enough for me, becoming a Pokémon Go App user is highly unlikely. I Don’t want to be around the streets looking like a zombie while chasing little monsters that I briefly know, I am not interested in training them, have battles or be part of a virtual colour team. So, no, no, no! I won’t  Poké and Go anywhere.

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