The ever-growing popularity of streaming services such as Netflix could threaten already established forms of media such as cable television.
By Zachary Rhine
News and Feature Editor
In 1900 the word “television” was coined and added to the dictionary. In the 1930’s the first television networks such as ABC and NBC began experimenting with national broadcasting programs. By the late 1950’s, televisions were in the homes of over half of all Americans.
Because technology has been so readily available to our generation ever since we first learned to walk and talk, we often forget just how new of a form of media it is.
But media is constantly changing, expanding, and evolving. Dials on the TV were replaced by remotes. Soundless, colorless movies were replaced by action-packed blockbusters.
But sometimes what is new isn’t always for the best. As human beings we often get distracted by the new, shiny toys and forget how enjoyable our old ones are.
In 1997 a small company was founded that would later go on to colonize the modern on-the-go streaming services. This company would become known as Netflix.
Netflix is a DVD rental and internet-based video-on-demand service provider that has grown increasingly popular in the 2010’s.
Last year a study found that 6.5% of Americans canceled their cable; all while Netflix hit an all time high in the number of their subscriptions; ending the year with 75 million subscribers, according to CNN.
The Huffington Post contributes this to the fact that while more people are moving away from the traditional cable television outlets, providers are still increasing the cost of their bills.
I, like many people that I know, have both cable and Netflix. Both provide something that the other does not, and both excel in areas that the other struggles in.
Netflix is nice for “binge-watching” old TV shows I’ve never seen or need to catch up on. But cable TV has live events such as the SuperBowl and award shows.
The question we must ask ourselves now is: Is Netflix worth losing a part of this culture we as millennials have created?
By Alex Zelger
Bethesda Softworks knows how to handle the release of a franchise game. On June 3, 2015, Fallout 4 was announced out of the blue. After being developed secretly for nearly 7 years, the bigger shock to fans was that the game was almost complete with the release date November 10, only 4 months away.
The game takes place 272 years in the future in the nuclear wreckage of Boston after a great nuclear war. Wandering through the wasteland, several famous landmarks like Fenway Park, Freedom Trail, Paul Revere’ house, the USS Constitution, and Bunker Hill can be found and explored. Not only is the wasteland full of historical monuments, it also houses creatures such as super mutants, zombie like radiated humans called “ghouls”, giant roaches, mutated bears, scorpions, lobsters and so on. If that sounds like your cup of tea, you will be happy to know that is not even half of the ridiculous creatures you are able to encounter.
The gameplay features a single player first person shooter that has over 100 hours of gameplay. Roaming the wasteland will lead you to different factions looking for you to complete quests for them, along with many other insignificant characters handing out side-quests. Occasionally you can find a character that wants to tag along and assist you with your journey.
Fallout 4 is riddled with new features like weapon and armor customization, base building, and a major rework of the character upgrade menu, just to name a few. Base building, in which your character can build defenses at settlements to fend off bandits and raiders is easily one of my favorite additions to the series.
Overall, the game plays and feels great. The clunkiness of the gameplay from previous Fallouts have been almost completely removed. I even tried to go back and play a little bit of Fallout 3 and it almost felt unbearable to play after getting used to Fallout 4 changes. With that being said, Fallout 4 gets a 9/10 and is easily my 2015 game of the year.
By Isaiah Workinger
Prior to the release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, EA DICE has released Star Wars Battlefront, a first person shooter game that puts you right in the middle of the fight between the Empire and the Rebels.
Star Wars Battlefront includes everyone’s favorite characters such as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Darth Vader. The weapons and gear are accurate to the movies, too, which helps to bring a legitimate feel to the game, and that is what a lot of the games buyers are looking for.
This game was designed for Star Wars fans. This is why the game hasn’t gotten the 10/10 reviews you see with other first person shooter games. You almost have to like Star Wars to have an appreciation for the game. If you’re a person who doesn’t like Star Wars, you most likely would not purchase the game.
This is what sets it apart from games like Call Of Duty. Battlefront involves lots of things you see in the movies which does not allow for as much diversity and you could put in other first person shooter games that can do whatever they want.
The audio and visual effects in this game are exactly what you would expect them to be like. It feels like you’re in the movies. Though the game doesn’t have a story mode like the movies, it has the same characters and maps to play on.
If you’re not a fan of the Star Wars saga you might be a little let down with this new game. The fact that there is no serious solo player action like a story mode lets down a lot of gamers. A campaign is what a lot of COD players like and look for in first person shooter kinds of games.
On the overall appeal of the game the graphics are completely amazing. Every explosion looks legit and the maps are huge and have great concepts.
If you are a gamer looking for online gameplay this game fits right in for you. There is a huge 20 vs. 20 player game mode that allows for huge battles. The diversity of the game modes is also an advantage of this game because of all of the different ways you can play.
All of these things add up to Star Wars Battlefront being a great game. No matter who you are you can pick up a controller and have a ton of fun.
While cell phones have become such a major part of modern culture, they also have a much deadlier side.
By Carly Guise
Cell phones: they’re great, nice and convenient for sending a text to a friend saying that you’ll be there in 10 minutes. They’re great when you need to let your mom know that you’re on your way home from soccer practice. They’re great when you have to make a quick call to let your boss know that traffic’s crazy and you’re going to be a few minutes late to work.
They’re great until they force you to take your eyes off the road for five seconds. They’re great until you swerve into the lane next to you, almost taking someone else out. They’re great until you don’t come home. They’re great until you can’t remember that the little block of metal resting in your hand is the reason why your car ended up flipped over in a ditch on the side of a deserted road.
The reality is, while it may not happen to you, texting while driving makes a crash up to four times more likely. Also, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institution reported that driving distracted is actually six times more likely to cause a crash than driving intoxicated.
While 97% of teens agree that texting while driving is dangerous, 43% “do it anyway,” according to AT&T’s Teen Driver Survey.
But those who “do it anyway” may not realize just how costly their actions can be. Every day, 11 teens die because of texting and driving. Every year, cell phones are involved in 1.6 million auto crashes, causing half a million injuries and 6,000 completely preventable deaths, as reported by the United States Department of Transportation.
The situation is so serious that many states are trying to put an end to texting while behind the wheel all together. The Governor’s Highway Safety Administration reported that 46 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands all ban text messaging for all drivers of every age. 37 states, including Pennsylvania, ban cell phone use in its entirety for both novice and teen drivers.
But while states are certainly making steps in the right direction, there needs to be a full-out ban on cell phone use for everyone behind the wheel, not just teenagers.
Up to 48% of kids age 12-17 have reported being in a car where the driver had been texting or talking on a cell phone while driving. 15% of teen drivers have said that they have seen their parents text while driving, and 27% of adults admitted to having sent or received text messages while driving (www.textinganddrivingsafety.com).
Children have always followed the examples that their parents set, so why are we giving them a chance to set a dangerous one?
Texting while driving is dangerous, we know this. There are countless statistics and facts to back this statement up. But there are some that still choose to do it, and we need that to be stopped immediately, before someone’s son doesn’t come home ever again, before someone’s daughter is only known for how she ultimately met her end.
By Ian Adler
Star Wars fans had been waiting and hoping for a continuation of the Star Wars franchise for seven years since the latest film, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. After the purchase of Lucasfilm, Star Wars’ notorious production company, by Disney in 2012, the rumors and confirmations of Episode VII spread like wildfire over the Internet, news, and Star Wars fanbase.
I first took note of the reboot of Star Wars culture after shopping at Kohl’s, where a year or so ago, shelves were filled with Star Wars graphic t-shirts on sale. Now, the stock ranges from Star Wars BBQ tongs, children’s toys, and onesie pajamas. The enormous commercial market for Star Wars helps make being a “Star Wars nerd” much more appreciated.
“Star Wars is back,” senior Isaiah Workinger said. “It’s prevalent and I’m excited.”
The release of Episode VII is set for December 18, and already $48,000,000 was profited in the first 48 hours of ticket presales according to Statistic Brain Research Institute, including my two ticket contribution. With the series beginning in 1977, Star Wars has brought in a total of around $28,000,000,000 in revenue from all of their assets, which include toys, movies, and TV shows.
In addition to the new movie, Star Wars: Battlefront was released on November 17, with gamers flocking to their local stores to pick up their copies. The game is a continuation of the popular Battlefront series that reigned over Playstations, Playstation 2’s, PC’s and Xbox’s since 2004.
With all of the excitement around the new movie, we have to question, will it reach our standards? Or will “true fans” of the galaxy far, far away be left wondering, “That was it?”
From the battle between armies of Jar-Jar Binks’s and poorly CGI’d droids on a grassy field, to Anakin Skywalker’s widely accepted sub-par acting abilities, and the mismatched victory of Obi-Wan over a four armed lightsaber wielding robot, Episodes I, II, and III aren’t usually seen as the highlight of the Star Wars series.
“I think they were kind of bad,” senior Brian Treible said. “ There was a lot of CGI and there was unnecessary stuff in it like Jar-Jar Binks.”
Personally, I don’t think that those three films were as terrible as everyone makes them out to be, but I very much understand the favoritism of Episodes IV, V, and VI.
“Obviously Episode IV, V, and VI made Star Wars what it is,” Treible said. “I heard from people that were around when the first episode came out that they went to movie theatres multiple times just to watch it.”
“Even though Episodes IV, V, and VI were made first, I feel like they were ahead of their time,” senior Judge Kunce said. “I like the graphics and effects. I thought they were better than those in I, II and III, even though those were more modern.”
While some doubt lies in the previous letdowns of the series, many fans are quite confident the movie will impress even the strictest of critics.
“I think it’s going to be really nicely done,” Treible said. “They actually have props in this one, and J.J. Abrams is good, he did the Star Trek movies.”
“I am very much looking forward to the new movie,” Kunce said. “I didn’t want to study into it too much because I just want to find it all out for myself when I watch the movie.”
The trailers leave lots of speculation, leaving Treible questioning “Where’s Luke? What’s Luke doing?” Luke’s face never appears in the three official trailers released, but we can hear his voice and see his hand upon R2D2.
“When I watched one of the trailers, I think Luke was talking and I want to find out what’s up with that,” Kunce said. “He said something about ‘My sister has the force’, so I just want to find out when I see the movie, I’m excited for that.”
We were also introduced to the new antagonist, Kylo Ren, a Darth Vader admirer who plans to “finish what you (Vader) started.” The new main protagonists include Rey, the possible daughter of Han Solo and Leia, and Finn, an ex-stormtrooper who appears to be a new member of the Rebel Army.
While new characters are introduced, the original cast members also make some appearances. “They got Han Solo back, they got Chewbacca back, they got Luke back, Leia, all those good characters,” Treible said.
Personally, I’ve watched the third trailer at least 20 times, and it hasn’t failed to give me chills yet. I think that the suspense the trailers leave us with is all part of the plan to entice doubtful fans, but I myself am entirely confident that the Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be one of the most thorough and impressive movies of the decade.
May the force be with you all.
By Molly Merson
Social Media Editor
Apple has announced the release of the new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, with many new exquisite features that the regular iPhone 6 and 6 Plus did not include.
The new device includes four microphones for improved video quality, along with a higher megapixel front-facing camera for better quality selfies. There is also a new color introduced to the sleek iPhone style. The color options consist of rose-gold, silver, gold, and space-gray.
In addition to design, a stronger glass screen is now in place to reduce screen cracking or scratching. The 6S will also have a 7000 series aluminum casing, the strongest material ever used for an iPhone. “There isn’t much of a difference that I noticed, except it’s 3D now.” Junior, Stephen Tierney said.
For those who spend a lot of time on the internet, the iPhone 6S now has a feature to connect to WiFi networks twice as fast as before. “It’s a lot faster, and force touch allows you to now peek into files without opening them,” Mr. Smith said. “I wouldn’t switch to any other phone.”
Users now have the ability to take live photos that piece together like an animated GIF video. There are also a few exciting announcements for emoji emoticon users.
The commonly used “emoji” included in the iPhone keyboard now includes a taco, unicorn, hotdog, and many other anticipated emoticons. The new phones were released September 25, 2015.
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