Facial recognition regulations

The Vox article “Jeff Bezos says Amazon is writing its own facial recognition laws to pitch to lawmakers” talks about Jeff Bezos and Amazon drafting regulations for facial recognition technology, that they hope to be adopted by U.S. Lawmakers. The article states that this move comes after Amazon got in for their facial recognition technology “Amazon Recognition”, launched earlier this year.

It also talks about what “Amazon Recognition” is and how the tech came under scrutiny. The software is designed to match pictures of faces with other databases of facial pictures in real time. This caused outrage because when the ACLU used pictures of congressmen and matched them with a database of mugshots, it good 28 matches, all of them false and most of them involving congressmen of color.

The article does a good job explaining the topic objectively and reporting on what happened before the particular news and what significance all of this has. The article targets readers that are interested in how the tech world is changing as well as people that are concerned with privacy and surveillance.

Pirouline tasting

For our in-class writing assignment, we were tasked to describe the experience of tasting a certain food item. I chose to taste a Pirouline, a “Dark Chocolate, creme filled wafer.”, as the packaging proclaims.

The Pirouline looks like a long wafer roll, filled with chocolate. When I took the first bite, the wafer was tasteless but added a crunchy texture to the bite right away. After biting through the wafer, the chocolate cream was in stark contrast to the crunchy wafer, soft and creamy with a distinct dark chocolate taste.

What was interesting to me was, that while the wafer gave the distinctive texture of the initial crunch, it did not provide any flavor and while the chocolate did not give me any textural impressions, it provided all the flavor. So, for the food to provide the full experience of texture and taste both of these components are necessary, even thougheach of them only provides one distinct facet.

article #1 reflection

While writing my news article “The Case Antonio Brown”, the part of the process that I put the most effort in was writing a good and concise lead and then to be as complete as possible with my information throughout the article. The part that I should have put a little more effort into was to find good quotes from other new articles that would have enriched my story.

The most difficult part of writing this article was to strike the balance between being concise and featuring all the information relevant to the story. I think this is the biggest challenge of news writing in general because stories should be short but also as complete as possible.

The biggest problem was to strike exactly that balance but I think I was fairly successful at reporting all the relevant events without having the article be too long. 

scavenger hunt

Tasked with collecting a creatively bent paper clip and a musical recommendation from people around the Morningside campus, I set out on the quest to collect these items and hopefully meet some new people while doing that.

First, I encountered Kevin, a fellow Morningside student, who was studying on a bench next to one of the main paths on campus. I decided to ask him for a musical recommendation, mainly because there were no paperclips around to be bend. When I approached Kevin and asked him what song he would really want me to listen to, he reacted a little surprised and did not know what to say right away. After I explained it was for a class and not just a random question, Kevin opened up a little bit and told me that I should definitely listen to “Give it all” by Rise Against, a rock band. When I asked him if Rock is his favorite music genre, he replied: “Yes, I listen mostly to rock and punk.”

Happy that I found such a good musical recommendation, I proceeded to walk to the Lincoln Center, in hopes of acquiring a creatively bend paper clip. When I arrived at the building I first visited the business office administrator to acquire a paper clip. I then found Jason Hahlbeck, who was studying at one of the tables in the lobby and asked him to bend the paper clip. The result was a cool looking knot-ish object, shown below, that describes his “brain after a business law class.”

viral threats

The Vox article “The next global pandemic could kill millions of us. Experts say we’re really not prepared.” shines a light on a report conducted by the Independent Preparedness Monitoring Board, which states that there is a growing threat of a global pandemic of disease and that the world is overall ill-prepared to prevent or stop such a pandemic.

The report states multiple reasons for this state of unpreparedness, for example many of the things that make our lives easier on a daily basis like the ease of global travel would actually help to spread a disease around around the globe in the matter of hours. Paired with emerging social trends like not vaccinating children, these factors create a threat of global pandemics that could kill millions, according to the article.

The article is aimed at people that are unaware of the threat that pandemics pose to the world and does a good job informing about that threat and the basic concepts of diseases and how they spread.

The author does a decent job at staying objective but falls into subjectivity when talking about the severity of the threat and the wisdom of the report, which shows some preoccupancy of the author. This is understandable, given the seriousness of the matter, but takes away some of the validity of the article.

The case of Antonio​ brown final

 After months of controversies and antics, Antonia Brown was released by the Raiders and signed with the Patriots over the weekend. 

Ever since he started training camp with the Raiders, there always seemed to be something going on with Antonio “AB” Brown. First, a cryotherapy visit gone wrong left the star wide receiver with blistered feet that didn’t allow him to practice for most of training camp. 

Then, just when his feet seemed to get better, the NFL banned his decade-old helmet and AB did not seem to be willing to play in any other helmet than the one he’s always played in. Many fans got mad and did not understand why AB would not just get a different helmet and move on, the newer helmets have to be better and safer after all? 

As Nate Jackson wrote for Deadspin, no helmet on the market is so safe that it can actually completely rule out concussions for the player wearing it and Antonio Brown “is a finely tuned instrument. Throw off one key and the whole thing gets retuned. Who knows if it ever sounds the same again?”.

Brown finally decided to wear a newer helmet, which came with a hefty new endorsement deal with the company Xenith and started practicing. Fans thought he finally settled in with the raiders and is ready to chase a Super Bowl.

But the drama continued. Last week, it was reported that Brown and the Raiders’ general manager Mike Mayock had an altercation which was, according to the Washington post, over the fact that “ Brown had been fined by the team for unexcused practice absences and posted a picture of the fine letter on social media, voicing his displeasure.” and the Raiders were planning to suspend or even release their superstar pass catcher. Towards the end of the week the problem seemed solved when Antonio Brown apologized to the team and Raiders quarterback Dereck Carr told NBCNews that the team was “all excited to move forward.”

Finally, this weekend the Antonio Brown saga with the Raiders finally came to a finale. After asking the team to release him via Instagram post and getting released shortly after, Brown posted a controversial video on YouTube that showed him celebrating being released. That did not scare off the New England Patriots, who signed Antonio Brown only hours after his release. 

Only time will tell if the Patriots, who are known to not be scared by difficult personalities, have made the right move by acquiring Antonio Brown but their receiver corps is definitely one of the best in the league now and it would not be the first time that signing a drama-heavy talent like AB worked out for them in the long run. 

Immigration on hold at the border

The Vox article ” The Supreme Court just let Trump close the Mexican border to nearly all migrants seeking asylum.” sheds light on a Supreme Court order delivered on Wednesday, essentially closing the border to all migrants by halting immigration applications and requiring immigrants to first apply for immigration in the countries they came through before.

This decision reverses year of asylum practices, where any person who currently is in the U.S. or arrives in the U.S. would be allowed to seek asylum in order to protect themselves from persecution in their home countries. It also did not follow the usual practice of letting a decision made by the executive branch be presented to the public for comments before taken in effect, which has not happened with this order.

The article is well written and explains the matter at hand as well as the consequences for migrants at the southern border, especially for a younger, politically engaged audience. The author also does a good job of telegraphing the seriousness of the matter without being losing objectivity.

Soccer Politics

Deadspin’s article “MLS Escalates Dumb Fan Feud, Suspends Portland Timbers Supporters For Waving Iron Front Banners” brings light to the fact that the MLS has banned part of the Portland Timbers’ ultra group “Timber Army” for violating the MLS policy which outlaws any kind of political banners during MLS games by flying a flag displaying the sign of the 1930s anti-nazi movement from Germany called Iron Front.

This ban caused nationwide protests and push back from the MLS fan scene, arguing that displaying anti-racist and anti-fascist sign should not be considered political. I think this article is newsworthy because it shows a fundamental dilemma that the MLS has. In order to make the league as marketable as possible, the MLS does not allow political signage in their games but like most other soccer fan scenes across the globe, ultra groups of MLS teams are politically engaged and use the stands as a platform to show their stance against racism and fascism. The league’s attempt to not offend anybody led to most of their current fans being outraged and might hurt the attendance of their games.

This article was aimed at sports fans in general and the informal style of writing and reporting makes it accessible for most age groups but also makes the article appear less valid. Overall, the author stays objective but gets caught criticizing the MLS inputs of the article. He describes the situation and problem at hand well and does a good job showing what consequences this band might have. A little less subjectivity would give this article even more validity.