All posts by pbourne1

Looking for needles in a haystack

Trying to find quality information on the internet can be like sifting through garbage looking for that one good piece of information.  When writing a paper, especially an academic paper, your references have to be of good quality and reputable.  Most peoples first stop when it comes to doing research is Google.  Here is the problem that comes along with using the internet, anyone can post anything on the internet.

I do not completely agree with Rheingold's point of view.  The internet is a tool and yes people need to be taught how to use it.  By the time someone is in college they have already established very poor habits.  And who is to decide what is the best way to use the internet?  I do believe that people have a responsibility not purposefully place false information on the internet, but regardless of how crazy something may be, people should be able to place what they want on the web.  For anyone who is somewhat knowledgeable about how to use the internet, it is easy to sift through the good and bad on the internet.  I've learned many skills in this class that will benefit me for a long time on doing just that.

Some of the things I do this is verifying that any site I use is a reputable site.  Once that's done verify that any article I cite has an author.  I also like to check on other works of that author to make sure he or she is not crazy.  If need be, I check to see who owns the actual website.  It is a lot like being a detective, looking for detractors from an author or an article.

garbage on the net

I own my data!

The terms of service agreement for certain websites I believe are made to be long winded and difficult to read.  I do not believe that these companies want anyone actually reading them because people would discuss them.  Once people start talking about something it become a topic that people would harp on.  With companies taking and owning things that someone post online, people give up those rights of ownership once they click on the terms of service agreement.

The idea that Coursesmart is snitching on me if I did my homework or not infuriates me.  After reading the article by

The use of drones in the war against terrorism

Since 9/11 there have been over 500 drone strikes killing over 3000 "terrorist".  Not included in that number is the nearly 400 civilians that have been killed by these target C.I.A. killings.  Is the War on Terror an actual legal war?  Congress has not declared war since World War II.  Believe it are not, there are actual rules to war.  There is International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) who reports on violations the law.  So, if the United States was technically not at war and killed over 3000 people without due process, is this a crime?

Terrorist have made it well known that they want to do harm to the United States and its citizens.  The use of drones have kept our armed service men and women safe and out of harms way.  The C.I.A. has been using drones in their targeted killings program to successfully find and kill high value targets (HVT) in terrorist organizations.  By  using drones it is saving the American tax payer millions of dollars.  To do this type of thing with "boots on ground" would cost more in money and lives.  Drones have given the military and the C.I.A. a capability that they have never had before.  The ability to do long term surveillance and to strike a target  without worry about the loss of American lives.  Drone pilots can literally be in a completely different country from where the actual strike occurs.   I wonder if drones did not exist would we be so quick to go into combat, if American lives where in danger?

Are the drone strike even affective?  Even with killing over 3000 terrorist we still have the existence of Al-Qada, and newer groups such as ISIS who has run a muck though out Iraq and Syria.  Some would say we are creating more terrorist than we kill.  The civilians in Iraq, Yemen, and Pakistan have also paid a toll for our use of drones.   Would there be so many civilian casualties if there were actual soldiers there instead of drones?

There are no easy answers to these questions, but that doesn't mean you ignore them either.


Marlboro Man

This ad is clearly an ad for the Marlboro cigarette company.  This ad was used circa 1950 and of course would never fly now.  In the forefront you have a white bearded, rosy cheeked, Santa clause smoking a Marlboro cigarette.  Lets first figure out who Santa is.  This is the man who magically delivers toys to all the worlds children in one night.  Flying a sled pulled by magically reindeer he shimmy s down chimneys to leave toys under Christmas trees for every girl and boy.  While living in the North Pole he makes toys all year long by employing hundreds or maybe thousands of elves!  This man is clearly the best man to ever walk the Earth, and he smokes Marlboro s.

Who is this ad for?  I could not possibly imagine this was targeted to adults.  Most adults in my opinion do not care if Santa smokes Marlboro cigarettes or Newports.  So I can only conclude this ad is targeted to children.  Young children who believe that Santa is the best thing in the world and if he smokes those cigarettes then it must be ok for me to smoke them as well, especially Marlboro.  For adults who see this maybe they can relate, because truth be told, they are the actual Santas for their children.  Possibly after working extra hours to make more money for toys for their kids, have a cigarette just like Santa.

Above the photo of Santa you see the words, "May all your dreams come true this Christmas."  This textual portion of the is also aimed at children.  It is children who dream about Christmas and all the toys Santa will bring them.  In the bottom right of the ad you see the Marlboro name/logo and under that the usual surgeon generals warning written in tiny letters.

As morally empty as this ad is I do believe this ad was effective.  Gets the kids smoking early and it justifies adults smoking Marlboro s.  Santa is a heck of a spokesman and you don't even have to pay him.


No Social Media While Working

Yes, I do believe social media has a place, just not at work.  After reading the article about pros and cons of social media,, it should be obvious to any company that it should not be allowed.  The pros are so few, provides an opportunity to widen business contacts, expands market research, implements marketing campaigns, delivers communications and directs interested people to specific web sites - See more at:  But as far as the cons, there are to many to list on this blog.  As far as from a business aspect the ones that stick out to me are the possibility of employees representing a company in a poor light.  A disgruntle employee can cause serious damage to a company by leaking company secrets on social media.  By letting employees use social media at work, opens your network to cyber attacks, viruses, and phishing schemes.  The amount of bandwidth needed for all employees being able to use social media will end up costing the company a lot of money.   Not to mention the countless hours of loss productivity, the inter-office problems that come along with it such as social media fighting.

I do believe that a company can use social media to their benefit if done correctly.  Not just anyone or everyone should be allowed to represent a company on social media.  I think a company should have social media division, possibly part of their marketing or IT departments.  This way everything is monitored, they know exactly who and how this person is representing the company.  This also keeps network security breaches minimal and can be quickly quarantined.

In my opinion social media can be a good thing, but the risk is substantially higher than the reward for any company to allow that go on during working hours.  Facebook can wait until after work.