Tag Archives: technology

China’s Great Firewall

While many people and countries view the Internet as a place of total freedom to say whatever they want – often without fear of reprisal – inside of China’s Great Firewall there exists an extensive system of filters and controls. The system is often quite subjective, and at times even contradictory. Nonetheless, for the 700 million Chinese, use is growing exponentially.

This summer, China’s fast-growing digital media sector set 68 categories of material that are censored. The guidelines ban material that include excessive drinking or gambling, sensationalizing criminal cases, ridicules historical revolutionary leaders, current members of the military, police, judiciary, or anything that promotes and publicizes “luxury life.” Also banned are material associated with prostitution, rape, affairs, partner swapping, and sexual liberation.

Despite the restrictions and bans, China’s Internet continues to expand. While China bans Facebook, Twitter, and Google apps, the use of WeChat in the country is expanding. In China, WeChat is a super-app that does virtually everything a user needs, all from within the app itself. Need a service? Want to schedule a lunch? Transfer funds? Post a review? Buy something? It is all contained within the app, making it powerful, and also a little scary. Advertisers love it, but all data must be shared with the Chinese government.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the freedoms of the Internet. Are there downsides to this?
  2. View the NYT video on WeChat in China: https://nyti.ms/2jZdURP
  3. How does the Great Firewall impact global marketing?
  4. Show the TED Talk about China’s Great Firewall: https://www.ted.com/talks/michael_anti_behind_the_great_firewall_of_china
  5. What are the implications for global commerce?

Source: New York Times

 

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Driverless Cars Deliver Pizza

Are you hungry? Want fast delivery of pizza, but don’t want to talk to anyone? There’s a solution for that.

Domino’s and Ford have formed a partnership to use self-driving Ford Fusions equipped with sensors, electronics and software, to deliver pizza to Domino’s customers in Ann Arbor, Mich. In the next few weeks, the companies will be able to see first-hand how customers respond to the new driverless delivery technology. What happens in the final 50 feet? Do people want to go outside to take delivery? Is it taking delivery simple to understand?

The cars will have safety engineers and researchers inside to monitor activities and customers’ reactions. Customers can track the delivery car through GPS, and when the car arrives, a text message will be sent to customers about how to retrieve their pizza.

Testing automated deliveries to homes and businesses goes far beyond just pizza. Deliveries from online shopping already total in the billions of dollars, and there is even more application in the future. Need roofing materials or building supplies? What about cooked meals, or ingredients for dinner?

One big advantage of the autonomous deliveries – no tipping required!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What do they have delivered to their homes now? What would they like to see delivered in the future?
  2. Show video: https://youtu.be/hANXIPxN1ME
  3. Ask for reactions. What would be their behavior for this type of delivery?
  4. What are the advantages, and disadvantages of driverless delivery?
  5. Form students into teams. Have each team develop a list of possible research questions that Ford and Domino’s would use to evaluate and revise the service.

Source:  New York Times, Associated Press, other news sources

 

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Farewell to the iPod

The iPod is officially dead. Yes, you read this correctly. After 16 years, with more than 400 million units sold worldwide, Apple has pulled the plug on the iPod Nano and Shuffle, removing the product line from its online stores. To many people, the iPod was a revolutionary device. The portable device with its iconic white headphones enabled people to take their full music library anywhere, giving listeners control of playlists and music.

iPod launched in 2001 with a unit holding 5 GB of data for $399, quickly followed in 2002 with a 10 GB unit at $499. Things really changed when Apple launched the iTunes Music Store in 2003, setting off a landslide in music downloads as well as music piracy concerns. In 2007, Apple launched the iPhone, which included capabilities beyond just making phone calls, incorporating music capabilities in the phone.

How many iPods have you owned?

R.I.P. iPod. You changed the world of music.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various products and services into each stage.
  3. Next, discuss the iPod and it’s journey through the product life cycle: http://www.macworld.com/article/1053499/home-tech/ipodtimeline.html
  4. Show Apple’s online store: https://www.apple.com/. What product line is missing from the store?
  5. Poll students: Who had an iPod? What do they use now for music?
  6. Show first iPod commercial: https://youtu.be/mE_bDNaYAr8
  7. Next, have students brainstorm on how to reposition or revise products/services to that they can move into an earlier stage of the life cycle.

Source:  Wired, other news sources

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