Washington State has to play the add-value card, not low-cost-leader ace

24 11 2009

The issue raised in this article was outsourcing and/or off-shoring Washington State jobs in the name of lowering labor costs. Author was complaining about Washington state companies, such as Boeing and Microsoft, for hiring out of state or foreign workers with lower pay.  

Unfortunately, enterprises are in the market to make more and more profit, in other words companies are providing services to make money. They do pursue the same idea whether they are a mom and pop store or a business giant such as Microsoft.

I do agree with Mr. Talton`s recommendations to end outsourcing of the Washington jobs. His ideas are right on the subject and I am sure the politicians in WA State are also aware of the same issues. What is left for big businesses to do is to work closer with public schools and community-based organizations for improving the education system in Washington. My idea of improving the education system includes giving teens an internship opportunity programs to explore on their choices of professions. A good education system should guide them to their dream job. They should be in the job field because of their passion not because of how much that position pays in a year. Lack of domestic education system is one of the reasons for businesses to hire foreign workers.





First Amendment Assignment (CMST)

21 11 2009

My Age Group

My girlfriend: When I asked her if the congress was about to make a law and I read her the description of first amendment, she quickly recognized it and  approved it saying that, she thinks that the democracy is not safe unless people can freely express ideas and criticism of government without fear of retaliation.

My friend: When I asked him if the congress was about to make a law and I read him the description of first amendment, he asked  me to repeat the description and approved it saying that he thinks it is a good sign if the congress is working  on this kind of  issues because it gives more power to people. He did not recognize that it was the first amendment.

My Parents’ Generation

Actually, I was able to find a couple who are husband and wife (both high school teachers), both of them agreed with the freedoms, they support them all since people need to speak freely, they both recognized the law and identified it as the first amendment.

My Grandparents’ Generation

I was able to find a retired couple in my neighborhood (in their sixties). They also  did approve the law, saying that people should be able to practice their religion whether the government tells them or not. They did recognized the law because they studied it for their citizenship exams.

  • How were their answers similar and different: I found two couples when I was doing my research and their answers were the same. Only my friend`s answers was slightly different. I am thinking he answered the question the way he did because he is a high school drop out.  
  • Consider the demographics of those you interviewed: Were there similarities in how men answered versus women? Did people in similar age groups answer similarly? Any patterns at all?

I interviewed two couples, my friend and my girlfriend on this subject. All of them like the idea of having freedom and  couples (two people) answered similarly to the question  

  • Share how your subjects judged the freedoms–summarize their responses and spotlight any major points of interest.

My neighbors were two retirees in their sixties and they were much more concerned with religion than the other people I interviewed. Therefore they were more concerned with the “religious freedom” section of the law.





The Making of a Design Thinker

16 11 2009

I agree with author`s view of today`s designers. In times which we are living in designer`s role appears to be more important than just designing a product. They have to make a connection between the product and people. Because the competition is so high between the companies, they have to make a better product and provide better customer service than their arrivals. Therefore designers have to be present in every step of the way in development process.

A different view that I looked at this article made me think that a good things in life never die. If a company is coming up with a new product (not the improvement of an existing product) every six months it would make me think that something is wrong with it. Besides who is really paying the price for the new design?





Intellectual Blog Post (CMST)

12 11 2009

Napster versus Metallica

Summary of the Story between Napster and Metallica:

JANUARY, 1999,Shawn Fanning (17 year-old) drops out of Northeastern University after the first semester of his freshman year to finish writing the software for Napster. Napster provides the software and a directory of what music is available on members’ computers. Napster members, for example, freely exchange music over the Web in digital form. Napster does not house or store the music itself, an arrangement the company feels shields it from copyright infringement. A “fair use” loophole allows some small-scale copying of material and exchange, for instance, between friends, when there is no commercial impact or intent.

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich couldn’t believe it when he saw his band’s track “I Disappear” pop up on Napster. For one thing, the song, for this summer’s Mission: Impossible 2 soundtrack, had yet to be released. For another, it wasn’t even finished. Ulrich, a noted studio perfectionist, was enraged. “We just felt that it was time for some artist to stand up and stomp their foot on the ground and go, ‘Wait a fucking minute — the line has just been crossed,'” says Ulrich. So on April 14th, Metallica became the first band to sue Napster. Rock band Metallica sues Napster for copyright infringement and three schools–Yale University, University of Southern California, and Indiana University. The suit alleges that Napster has violated three different areas of the law: copyright infringements, unlawful use of digital audio interface device, and the Racketeering Influenced & Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

http://www.wired.com/politics/law/news/2000/04/35670

Van Slambrouck, P. (2000, July 13). Clash of Net freedom vs. property. (Cover story). Christian Science Monitor, p. 1. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.

http://www.businessweek.com/2000/00_33/b3694003.htm

Thigpen, D., & Eliscu, J. (2000). Metallica Slams Napster. Rolling Stone, (841), 21. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.

My opinion on the issue: I think Metallica has every right to defend their art-property from being stolen but instead of going after Napster in public, Metalica should have pursued the issue  as a professional establishment.  We, as a society,  have  to encourage new ideas and creativity. The best way to encourage new ideas and creativity would be giving owner ship to the creator(s). That is exactly what intellectual property rights does. So in general Metallica was just defending their property rights from being stolen.

Intellectual Property means to me:  Physical or non physical product that is end result of intellectual thinking and/ or experimenting process.

 When I was studying in Engineering Graphics Program one of my class projects required team work for  reverse engineering on a control unit that belonged to a video game console. When my teammate contacted to the manufacturer of the unit for more information, he got a warning; saying that, all the intellectual property rights of the control unit has been reserved by the manufacturer and it is illegal to make a copy of it.





Book Review (APDZ311)

9 11 2009

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This paper reviews Twentieth-Century Design by Jonathan M. Woodham.  He is a professor in the History of Design Department at the University of Brighton in Britain  Woodham is also the director of the Design History Research Centre at the university and a chairman of the Design History Society.  His other publications include Twentieth-Century Ornament: Decoration from 1900 to 1990, and articles in The Journal of Design History (OUP), and Design Issues (MIT).

My Opinion of Twentieth Century Design

Although title of the book is “Twentieth-Century Design” the book mostly focuses on interior design in twentieth century.  It utilizes a great many pictures and graphics to describe interior design. Woodham gives a lot of information about U.S. and European museums, exhibits, fairs, conventions, design schools and design organizations.  There was very little information about product design itself.  It was hard for me to keep my focus on the content because there was too much of detailed information on the academic side of twentieth-century design.  Such as who is who in the field and which design school did they graduated from.

Nevertheless, I would recommend this book to anyone who interested in history of interior design.

 Twentieth Century Designs Thesis

The writer “seek[s] to reveal the limitations of studying design in overly neat decades or movements by addressing a range of themes such as ‘national identity,’ ‘heritage and nostalgia,’ and ‘post modernism’.” (p. 9)

Summary of Content

Though Woodham’s argument spans ten chapters. I will summarize the most important out of them.  Woodham starts out by explaining the meaning of “Taylorism” [(a system which sought to achieve industrial efficiency on the factory floor [p. 12)] and “Fordism” (Henry Ford`s innovation of the moving assembly line for the Model T Ford automobile in 1913 [p. 12]) as a gateway into twentieth-century design. It states that because of companies like Sears Roebuck and August Stukenbrok (in Germany) mail order catalogues spread consumerism around the world (p. 17).  

In the second chapter, “Design and Modernism,” Woodham explains that the Modern Movement developed in two main phases. The first originated in the theories and the practice of the late nineteen century, years before the outbreak of war in 1914; second phase—known as the “International Style— ran from 1920s to through 1960s (pg.35).  The “Commerce, Consumerism and Design” chapter points out that American industry later started to pay attention to consumer psychology instead just making products aesthetically pleasing.  Mass media began to be utilized as stimuli for consumption.  American industry discovered the term “planned obsolescence” (meaning the product life cycle).  

The “Design and National Identity” chapter talks about the symbols that often used in English and German media such as a British boy with a cricket bat in his hand; a German boy uniformed in militaristic Hitler youth apparel.  Other chapters in the book take a detailed look into developing business organizational techniques and more efficient modes of production.  The housing boom, urbanization, the Mc Donald’s success story, and mobilization also mentioned.  Products such as Coca Cola and McDonald’s fast food supplemented the idea of corporate projection and identity creation.  The “Pop to Post Modernism” chapter discusses redesigning products in a futuristic way and combining them with attractive colors, a shift back from the “Commerce, Consumerism and Design” period.  The last chapter talks about design and social responsibility. E.g. consumer protection agency`s role in designing products and their relation to social responsibility.  Also the present movement towards green, environmental friendly design is mentioned in this chapter.

Analysis and Evaluation

 This is not a well written book because the author fails to support his thesis statement.  According to the introduction, Woodham is planning to “reveal the limitations of studying design” through his argument. There is no single section or chapter in the book that functions as an example of this limitation of studying design.   Instead the author talks about design schools of thought and societies in different countries, and doesn’t make the necessary relations from these discrete investigations back to his original point.  He devotes a lot of time to context, like the two world wars, but doesn’t go into enough depth about the difficulties in studying design during the war era.

Conclusion

I would not say that this was one of the best books I read about design. I thought that there is too much information that is not strictly relevant to Woodham’s thesis cluttering his argument. It would be a better work if the author lightens up on the back ground information used to support his points and focuses on the alternative perspectives he is trying to impress on the reader with direct dialogue.





INTERNET AND WIRELESS MEDIA SCAVENGER HUNT

30 10 2009

My topic on this assignment is called Net Neutrality. So what is Net Neutrality? In simple words, charging a universal price for an  internet connection with all types of  content and the service. In another words, it does not matter what content or type of service they are providing, telecom companies should charge its users the same amount of money for the internet connection. Currently, there is generally network neutrality in the U.S. but there are no clear legal restrictions against this. 

The Net Neutrality debate erupted in 2005, when AT&T Inc. suggested it would like to charge some web companies more for preferential treatment of their traffic. Google and Amazon said, against AT&T`s suggestion, that all traffic must be treated equally. 

www.wearetheweb.org, www.sourcewatch.org, www.timwu.org, www.en.wikipedia.org, (2007). Recent Action on Net Neutrality. Congressional Digest, 86(2),45. http://168.156.198.98:2136





Week 5 Blog Assignment (APDZ311)

24 10 2009

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I am going to evaluate my microwave oven against Nielsen’s ten heuristics.

Visibility of system status:  The oven has a little lcd display that informs the user what is going on at any time. It also has this beeping sound  that goes off when its task is complete. So this product passes from the first elimination point.

Match between system and the real world: Although it does not follow visual conversation trough its lcd screen, this oven has a display on the side that allows  the user make sellections, such as E-Z choice, auto defrost, start, stop etc. Because it could not follow real-world conversation this product fails in this category.  
 User control and freedom: This product has off /cancel button on the right bottom corner with red line marked. The off button doesn`t clearly states “emergency exit” but most of the users would escape the unwanted state by pushing off button. Therefore the microwave gives the user control and freedom.
  Consistency and standards: This product does not use different words and actions for the same operation. It follows the same routine every time, delivering consistency and same standards.
Error prevention: This is a pretty good designed product to prevent errors. The user needs to shut its door in order to get it runing. It displays the operation that is in trough the lcd display.
Recognition rather than recall: It does minimize the user’s memory load by making objects, actions, and options visible. On the control panel, to the right of the product, every option is clearly marked by the manufacturer. Because of that user does not have to remember the information dialogue from one part of the conversation to another.
  Flexibility and efficiency of use: Because this product is a kitchen appliance, it is operateble by experienced and inexperienced user at the same time. Inexperinced user might need extra second or two to get a task done. 
Aesthetic and minimalist design: The product does not contain information which is irrelevant or rarely needed, such as outside temperature, humidity etc. Therefore it passes aesthetic and minimalist design criteria.
Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors: Although the microwave does not display an error message, it lets the user recover from an error by pushing off cancel button.
Help and documentation: The product does come with users manual from manufacturer, but it can be used without the manual. It does not supply a selection menu on the lcd display. All the selections are visually displayed on the right side of the oven.