Tech News This Week: March 5 – 10th

This week included a lot of news in the Tech Industry including the new WikiLeaks! Here the run-down on the tech headlines for this past week.

Wendy’s Kiosks

This week, food chain Wendy’s announced it will be installing self ordering kiosks in over 1,000 of their stores! This isn’t surprising with McDonald’s doing the same. These kiosks will appeal to younger customers who are tech-savy and prefer using tech to order food. The kiosks will also help shorten lines during peak times. However, a con of this new tech is that it could put Wendy’s workers out of work.

This is a popular topic in any industry. Will machines eventually do our jobs for us and put workers out of a job? In society, we are already seeing this happen. For example, with all the fitness technology like fitness bands, and food tracking & fitness apps, who needs to have a trainer in person? This is a topic that will continue to pop-up over the years to come.

Facebook Dislike Button?

Facebook has finally come out with a dislike button, sort of. In the messenger, you can now add emojis to express your mood/feeling. Included is a thumbs down hand/dislike emoji. The reason Facebook hasn’t added a dislike button for posts is because it doesn’t want to get negative reactions. Honesty, having a dislike button won’t make a difference. If a person really dislikes something, they comment and express their opinion. So whether Facebook has the dislike button or not, there will negative reactions to posts no matter what. I mean, look at Twitter! No matter the positive users, posts, and hashtags, there are always those who are negative.

WikiLeaks

On Tuesday, March 7th, WikiLeaks released thousands of CIA documents. This was the largest CIA leak in history. The documents released pertained to CIA software tools used to break into cell phones, internet connected devices (TV), and computers. Described in these documents was how they could target and crash specific computers. The source of these documents was never released nor if the CIA has used these tools against Americans. This brings up the question on many Americans minds: What’s preventing the CIA from spying on anyone’s devices? We have seen bugged phones and computer software for tracking in Movies, which is supposed to be make believe. But now, it is becoming a reality. Are we safe from CIA spying? Who knows!

The topic of spying and recording without one’s permission is a hot topic right now. This past week, President Trump made accusations, without evidence, that former President Obama and his team, bugged the Trump Tower phones during the election. Officials, including Obama, have denied these claims. In my opinion, Trump made these claims to create buzz about a hot topic without cause. If you are going to make an accusation like this about a former President, you better have evidence to make your claim!

Google Play Music Original Podcast

Google Play Music created its first Original Podcast. The name of the podcast is, City Soundtracks, which is available on both Google Play Music and iTunes. With each episode, you are guided through a major city with the music it is known for. The first three episode feature Austin, TX, Los Angeles, and Oakland, CA. The podcast section of Google Play Music is fairly new, only launched last April.

These are some of the tech headlines this week you should be aware of. So, next time you go to Wendy’s, keep a look out for those kiosks! Always stay up-to-date with tech news!

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Why Parks & Rec Was The Best Political TV Show

From the West Wing to Scandal to House of Cards, there are plenty of politics-based V shows over the years. The ins and outs of politics provide plenty of dramatic fodder for writers to use when creating storylines and characters. It is such a rich field to draw from that there have been a number of award winning political TV shows, but most of those have been dramas, and they tend to focus on national and global politics. Although the characters can be compelling and the plots intriguing, no political show has grabbed my attention like Parks & Rec.

Starring Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, the deputy director of her small town’s parks and recreation department, the show has plenty of funny moments and lots of heart. It’s because of this comedic lens that Parks & Rec captures local politics better than any other show. As Leslie Knope navigates the waters of local politics she attempts to fund the building of a new park. The show does a good job of illustrating how one small municipal improvement can become a political miasma. Finding money in the city’s budget for things like environmental impact studies and community focus groups can become a huge obstacle for a small parks department.

It is this kind of honest portrayal of local governance that makes this show so much fun for fans of political stories. When Leslie runs for a seat on her local city council the show begins to dive into the insane world of political campaigns. Even for a small campaign there are lots of issues to overcome. Leslie finds herself battling against opponents with more campaign funding and reporters that start crazy rumors. The way that characters help her overcome these roadblocks with innovative ideas and legal loopholes is a much more honest look at what goes on in the hallowed halls of government.

Once Leslie (five year old spoiler alert!) wins the council seat she faces even more pushback than when she was a simple bureaucrat. Because her political initiatives need the full backing of the city council she finds herself fighting and compromising in entirely new ways. There are several plots that involve her going head-to-head with other council members that block her plans for their own political and financial gain. Although the stakes are much smaller at the local government level, it is a good representation of how a good idea can get bogged down among bad actors.

The show also includes a great extended cast of characters that showcase all the crazy personalities in local government. The administrators and employees of the city government have their own lives that often get in the way of government and politics. Leslie Knope’s love interest is a failed former mayor, and his political past causes him to second guess decisions and take flak from journalists. Because of his struggles overcoming his past he brings a different attitude to governing than Leslie Knope – another good illustration of how people and politics intersect.

The stories do come with a lot of love and heartwarming details that makes the politics easier to handle. The love story arc of Leslie and Ben take a couple of seasons to blossom, but it’s because of their strong partnership that they can overcome the haters in their lives. It goes to show that having strong family and friendships can help people work hard to improve their communities and cities.

Finally, the side characters of Andy (Chris Pratt) and April (Aubrey Plaza) are one of the most adorable TV couples. April learns to climb the ropes of politics from Leslie, but it is her strange relationship with her childlike husband. Andy’s enthusiasm for the simple work of being a parks department admin assistant make local government seem so much more fun that it probably is in real life.

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