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India and the Mobile Phone

India has the fastest growing cell phone users than anywhere else in the world. By 2015 India is projected to have 1 billion subscribers to cell phones, a number that would eclipse even China.

In the main cities and regions of India the cell phone market is pretty much a saturated market. The continuing growth comes from the rural and country side of India.

Originally government owned, India houses the 3rd largest telecomm network in the world. In the 1990’s government reliquenshed large stakes of it’s telecomm business to private investors. This has spurred better, more economical competition especially among the rural residents.

But the challenge to get these farmers and other rural customers are big. Sales reps from the Nokia phone carrier ride through parts of India in company labeled vans playing Bollywood soundtracks through loudspeakers. As sales reps they can’t sell phones or take orders but merely ride through the small towns to convince people why they need a mobile phone and more simply to “establish concept of phones.”

However the rest of the country is perfectly entrenched in all the extras a mobile phone can bring including Internet usage, cameras, and social networking apps.

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Mobile, cell phones

New York, New York

Grant Elsevin, 37, is a independent movie director and award winning screenwriter. He owns and operates L7 Works which is a film company that specializes in creative media formats such as independent films, shorts, music videos, and advertising experiments.

Phone: IPhone3GS

Subscription:  ATT 2 year contract (unlimited calls/unlimited texts/unlimited data use)

Average Monthly Expenditure: 160

Hours of Work to buy Phone: 1/2

Grant is a 37-year-old businessman and creator of a dozen scripts, movies, videos, and advertising trends. Living between New York and California, it is important for Grant to have as much information on him at all times. The Iphone provides him with the best way to store information, ideas, and contacts. His unlimited phone minutes provide him with freedom of mind to not worry about extra fees from talk, text, or media overage. Since he commutes largely from coast to coast, Grant has a very large contact list of about 2,000 people complete with pictures, email and home addresses, phone numbers, and birthdays. When he is at home, the Iphone syncs with his Mac Me service which automatically downloads all the information on his phone to a ‘cloud’ based backup storage that can be uploaded at any time if something were to happen to his phone. These extra backup utilities allow him to sleep at ease without fear of losing a prominent actors phone number after he had tirelessly cajoled them to read one of his scripts.

Being busy and constantly creating, writing, and producing new media adventures, Grant must keep a tight schedule of things he must absolutely do and people he has promised to call or meet. His phone reminds him of these schedules plus his mortgage payments and other monthly expenses that must be made in a timely fashion. Although Grant has unlimited minutes he seldom uses all of them, preferring to send text messages and emails to clients, producers, and/or lawyers. The ability to write what he is thinking has proven a beneficial gift to sway or deter whomever, however he feels, better than his sometimes bumbling oratory skills.

Grant also uses his Iphone for music and podcasts. News podcasts keep him up to date on world events without having to search for a television and the music on his Iphone allows him a range of ‘moods’ he can put himself into by the music he listens to whether in the car, on a plane, at the gym, or in his bed. Social network applications on the Iphone give him a chance to keep in contact with and quickly check on some of his friends without the need to converse as often.

Grant has recently started to use the video function of the 3gs to better understand how it may be used professionally and personally. However the camera application on the phone has been his most used application. Remembering faces but easily forgetting names, Grant takes a quick snapshot of everyone he meets when he enters their information into his phone so he can better remember who they are so most times he can reference that he knows and remembers them, before they even say hello.

Having all the proper information in his contacts list, Grant can easily assemble a team of writers, producers, and gaffers in either New York or California. And the readily available GPS function on his Iphone keeps him from getting lost when he is out combing the cities for new and neat set locations, actors homes, or meeting someone at a restaurant he has never been too. Keeping the Iphone close, he can always write down sudden ideas in his notes application or he can talk into the microphone feature of his phone so he can record a dialogue scene for his new movie without having to think, stop, and type into a laptop or home computer.

The benefit of his phone is that he can do more things without the need for anything else. This allows him to search for inspiring things to write about and new ideas to try without the confinements of having to wait to get home. And the size of the phone allows him to do all these things with a device that easily fits into his pocket.

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Mr. Telephone Man

I did a lot of growing up at my grandparents house and when it came to the telephone, it was like a trip to the candy store if I could answer it. But I don’t remember a lot of answering or being taught how to answer a phone because, like now, I’m allergic to telephones (I’m being silly). I never really got into telephones until my teenage years when I talked all the time to everyone. But that need to talk on the telephone played out and now I’m one of the few people who screens calls, calls back 2 days later, and is very good at cutting phone conversations short.

There are two people that shaped how I ended up this way. First my grandfather. I don’t think he ever liked the phone. And I don’t believe we’ve ever had a phone conversation more than 3 minutes. He’s all hello- how you doin- are you still in school-you’re not going to graduate until your my age-love you-bye…..in other words, he says hello, asks how I’m doing, cracks a joke, and quickly gets off the phone. And I love it. So when I was younger, I’d say hello, ask how they were, and then get the phone yanked out of my hand by an adult because I was ‘playing’ on the phone.

Then there was my mom. Chronic phone talker. Talking to girlfriends, my dad, aunts, and uncles, she is always on the phone. From here I learned that the phone can be used for more than just the bare minumn of conversation but could actually be used to better relationships and share things with people you may not share with them face to face.

Were their ever specific examples of phone etiquette taught to me? Perhaps. But I was always an observant child so for the most part I just watched what the grown ups did and copied that.

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Digital Audio

The poor poor record companies. As someone who was at one point interested in the music industry, I have absolutely no remorse for the problems they are experiencing with digital audio. Instead of embracing digital audio (before the days of Itunes)  the days of Napster, Bearshare, and Limewire should have brought about a new strategy. Instead of seeing the popularity of illegally downloaded music as a sign of their bad products and stupidly priced CD’s (17 bucks, really!?) the industry could have taken a new approach and used the new found technology of digitizing audio products to capitalize on the consumers willing to buy digital audio…but instead, the industry decided to sue consumers for thousands and thousands of dollars. And instead of reducing the prices of CD’s, they chose (and still choose) to sell CD’s to stores at the same ridiculous prices in which true record stores (the places that actually PROMOTE the buying of GOOD music) still have sell their CD’s for 17 bucks to stay in business. And then people wonder why a consumer would rather download an album at home, at whatever time, for 10 dollars instead of going to the record store to purchase a CD for 17. My personal belief is that people who download music illegally, end up BUYING the music they ENJOY.

But now the industry seems to be more in tune because of Itunes. I haven’t bought a physical CD in at least 2 years. I download all my music from Itunes and put it on my phone or Ipod. A few years ago I transferred all of my CD’s onto my computers hard drive. I did this because at some point, I’m throwing all these CD’s away because I’m tired of packing around 1000 music CD’s every time I move or having to find storage for them. The convenience, the ease of transferability, the superior sound, and easy transportability make the popularity of digital audio one of the best things to happen to consumers.

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Video and its use by everyday people adds to the already available forms of still imaging and audio products to record our histories and happenings. I’ve used it before, as most people, as a way to record important events in my life to later look back and replay those events. I believe as home video continues to become cheaper in both recording and editing, it will become an even more popular form for us to put our pasts in recorded form. So instead of those large photo albums, you may have a collection of video albums.

Of course, video is widely popular now. It is everywhere from our web-cams to our Iphones. Home video will increase what we record and ultimately give end users a greater power in what we see, not only on a personal level but on a world level. Think of the increased power of the Green movement in Iran because of the video images of chanting, protesting, reckless violence against the movement, and even more moving, death against an innocent protester. Imagine the increased power of grass roots organizations and people of lesser means to be able to record and document their struggles and successes to a larger audience.

But home videoing could potentially be a growing political and legal concern also. Think of the power of a regular person in an extraordinary situation and what video could do to enhance our view of that event AND the person who documented that event. Now imagine a person potentially violating someone’s privacy by videoing and then displaying that video to the masses, such as any famous person’s sextapes that they do not want to get out. Or imagine someone sitting at dinner having a conversation and someone whipping out a small camcorder and videotaping that. If you are in a public space, is everything you discuss, even if it’s at a whisper, public also? Yes, home video can be very useful but it also could turn alot of people into potential spies and people who think they are having a private moment, being spied upon.

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My first computer was a Commodore 64. I don’t remember using it much for anything but video games. I know I may have done some basic math problems on it too but that’s about it. I did buy a game programming book and which had the code to write certain types of video games (basic games like a ball bounces off the screen and you try to block it with a hypen looking stick). Yeah, I think most of the programs were about 30-80 pages long and I did two of them. After I copied the first one and got it going, I thought it seemed like an awful lot of work to type in 30 pages of programming (that I had NO IDEA what is was) for such boring games.  But the C64 had some really cool games like Summer Games and Winter Games, which were Olmypic games like the triple jump and javelin. I remember I was the only one in the neighborhood who had one so a few of my friends would run down to my house and we’d play it all friggin day. So my first computer was just an extension of a video game. And all the games came on a floppy disk. But they were about as big and square as a CD case. So when I was older and my parents bought me a PC, the first thing I did, was buy a video game.

Funny how now, I use my computer for everything. I think how I wouldn’t be able to take this online class without it. I think I”m in front of my computer more than my TV now a days. I get my news, my sports updates, I watch all my HBO and cable shows through my PC, I pay my bills, I do email, I chat, my whole music collection is stored on my pc….I type papers, I do video editing, music editing, web pages, and I’m even searching for a new apartment with my PC.

I have an old PC that is hooked up to my television so I use it to store movies, play music, and watch recorded TV.

I’m not sure when it changed for me, but it was about 10 years ago I really started getting into the technology and the way pc’s work. I’ve built a few myself and feel pretty comfortable with the inner workings of most pc’s. But it wasn’t until then, that I realized that the PC is way more than Myst and online video games. The PC is becoming a computerized conversion box of everything digital. I just have a feeling at some point there will be (if not already) a way for a computer to hook into your utilites and their power source (gas, electric, water) and control the right amount of power to be used depending on what device you’re using and what time of day.At some point the PC will convert everything for us.

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Streaming Media

Streaming Media is a media that is still being explored. It’s affect on TV and Cable, I believe will be minimal because TV and Cable will eventually adapt this form of media into its own form. As of today, you can watch streaming movies from Netflix with certain TV’s. As the ability to stream more and better quality videos and music continue, so too will the importance of the streaming. However, as I have said before, the impact of streaming media as with all digital formats will be on the creation side. Even with the still new forms of streaming media outlets like YouTube and Hulu, millions upon millions of people have seen amateur, upcoming, and random videos and audio mixes of people who before the beginning of this decade would not have a platform to showcase their creations. As YouTube becomes more popular and more ‘acts’ and clips are watched, the prospects for finding creative people may be harder, but it will EASIER for them to publish their works.

For example if I have a small, short movie I have completed, I can showcase that through YouTube with possibility of over a million people watching it. The cost to me is considerably less than would be if this avenue was not available.

Furthermore, as more and newer people come into the digital age, soon the idea of personalizing video and audio content will become more and more important. Pandora, a radio streaming application, will allow you to pick your favorite song and then it plays that song and songs that it feels are closely related to that one. In other words, you get to be the owner of your own radio station. This is the future of the way we will entertain ourselves.

I watch 90percent of my television shows on-line. I cut my cable two years ago and have not missed it because I can stream or download most shows I like on-line. As a matter of fact, I can even watch LIVE shows and games, like UofL basketball on most nights they play through a FREE service on ESPN.

So I believe streaming media is the new waive of media. I believe it will personalize how we watch and listen to movies and music and I believe it will allow a larger group of people to produce and distribute their work.