Is it really censorship?

Topping the headlines this week not only in the local newspaper, but also on just about every website on the net is a lot of hoopla about this thing called “SOPA.” Admittedly, I was extremely uninterested about it because I simply didn’t know what it was about. I just recently learned the significance of SOPA and PIPA and thought it would be a suitable topic for the school blog.

We all use the web on pretty much a daily basis. The internet itself is something that we all take for granted, as it’s something that has always been accessible with the click of a mouse — literally.

SOPA and PIPA are two bills that Congress is going to be reviewing this week. SOPA stands for Stop Online Piracy Act, and PIPA is the Protect IP Act. The point of these two bills is basically blocking sites that are potentially related to piracy. Search engines would be forced to omit hundreds of thousands of sites just because of a potential piracy issue! Today I have noticed a lot of websites protesting SOPA by either completely shutting their site down for awhile as a protest, or by just putting a SOPA related article front and center.

It really is a big deal. If either of these bills gets passed it will change the internet for the worse. Not only would it block innocent sites, it would also do NOTHING to stop the sites guilty of what the bill is trying to abolish. Either of these bills being passed would not only ruin your surfing experience, but it would also put people out of work. Lot’s of work. As if our economy wasn’t bad enough, if SOPA or PIPA were to be passed, sites like Google, Yahoo, Reddit, Youtube, and even Facebook (Yes, Facebook!) could be shut down if JUST 1 unsubstantiated copyright complaint. Not only will the sites have to be very careful about what is put on their page (really, how can Facebook monitor who puts what on their profile?) but investors across the globe would stop investing into those sites just because of the potential risk.

This is just a small amount of information on SOPA, and PIPA. If you would like to know more about either of these two bills, feel free to check out this website:

What are your thoughts on SOPA? Voice your opinion now with an email to:

Getting what you pay for

Have you ever purchased that expensive ticket to a brand new movie that you’ve been dying to see, only to have it ruined by another patron sitting in front–or even behind– of you, talking loudly, or texting the entire time? It makes me feel like I threw away money, because honestly I was so busy thinking about how rude they were, it took away from my enjoyment of the show.

Well, I have been experiencing this in a couple classes lately too. I feel like we are in class to learn, not text or facebook, but apparently others don’t agree. I may be ranting so to speak, but I feel that it’s just rude to text in class.

Not only does it show a very large amount of disrespect to the professor, but when you are texting your bestie, you aren’t paying attention to what’s going on in the class. (Or even on the road!!) I can understand an emergency, that’s totally fine. But non-stop for an hour? Not only are you, the student who is paying to be there, not paying attention, but you are distracting others who are trying to.

My reason for this rant, is because I cannot think of a nice way to ask students who feel compelled to do everything in the classroom except learn, to stop or at least relocate to another area to limit from distracting others. Obviously the professor doesn’t want to waste time addressing the issue, so how can the students who are bothered by this say something in a polite manner? I feel like since I am paying for the class, I should have the right to learning, not have a student sitting in the desk in front of me browse their facebook the entire time. It just seems to me to be a Lose-Lose-Lose scenario, yet it happens every day.

What are your thoughts on the subject? Am I the only student who feels the urge to ask the texters to cease doing so during class? If enough of us have similar views, I’m sure there’s something we can do to get it worked out.