NRL, Doping and a Diehard Fans Perspective

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I still remember when the news first broke in early February; I was in the local pub with a couple of mates with the news headlines on the TV in the background. A very rare occasion occurred that day in the pub. Total silence over the news that would rock not just my beloved National Rugby League (NRL) but the enemy code in Australian Football League (AFL), and quite possibly the rest of Australian sport.

As the news unfolded we learnt that the Australian Crime Commission (ACC), World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Australian Sport Anti-Doping Agency (ASADA) fronted a room filled with all branches of media and millions of people around Australia watching a nightmare for Australian sport unfold. They spoke of a nationwide investigation into the use of doping in our sports, and in particularly the two major codes of AFL and the NRL.

I remember looking down at my nice cold beer and the perspiration sliding down the sides of the glass and thinking to myself. This could be a great thing, finally a way of weeding out those players who use drugs, such as peptides to increase their performance with illegal substances. But then it hit, I was like the masses of fans who didn’t want their favourite teams or players to have any link to this investigation. My beloved Brisbane Broncos I had cheered for since virtually my very first memories as a child, it would be an emotional rollercoaster to see them go through such heart ache, in this doping scandal. That day at the pub just didn’t reveal concerns on my face but all faces that were at that pub no matter which club they supported.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-15/sports-ministers-briefed-over-acc-report/4520186

It was on the 15th of February that an article appeared on the ABC news website by, Samantha Donovan did I truly begin to understand the magnitude of what this investigation was going to do to my beloved NRL. Within reading just the opening few lines it really put things into perspective Samantha Donovan opening lines state “Some state sport and territory ministers say a meeting with the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) has convinced them the role of drugs and organised crime in sport is worse than they feared”. Not only was the NRL going to go through damage control over this investigation but at the time it meant every club was going to be investigated with fine tooth comb, from ASADA in particular.

This stage in the investigation to my own ignorance I still assumed that it was players going off and participating in these illegal activities and that this was not something that a club would participate in, as they would have to follow the rules and guidelines that come with enhancing a players performance by legal means. Yet on a bigger note, why on earth haven’t ASADA discovered this earlier? That question even today is still yet to be answered.

 

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-20/nrl-clubs-to-show-united-front-against-doping/4530762

Fast forward 5 days and yet again on ABC news website it becomes clear that 6 teams in particular will be targeted by ASADA and their investigation. “Manly was one of six clubs named in the ACC report – alongside Canberra, Newcastle, North Queensland, Penrith and Cronulla”. With this it gave me a sigh of relief as my beloved Brisbane Broncos were not involved but the idea now that it might not be players participating in the use of doping but in fact teams being a main participant in all of this in trying to enhance their player’s performance. The article moves on to show Dave Smith the NRL chief executive state “”We want to ensure a drug free game and the clubs are strong in their support of that aim”. Well again alarm bells begin to ring especially if you’re a fan of the six teams named, player welfare is something you would assume is one of the main focuses of any club whether its injuries to their health. Add to that the bigger picture as to why in the first place an entire club/organisation may have been apart in doping within the NRL.

As time would wear on the 5 of the 6 clubs named before would eventually be given the all clear in any wrong doing yet one team would begin to have their name dragged through the mud at the hands of the doping investigation. Months of scrutiny would eventually begin to bring to light the magnitude in which surrounds the Cronulla Sharks and their possible involvement in banned substances.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/nrl/selected-cronulla-sharks-players-accused-of-self-injecting-peptides/story-fni3fbgz-1226707886285

It was reported on the Daily Telegraph’s website on the 31st of August by Josh Massoud  that Selected Sharks players are alleged to have been instructed how to self-inject peptides as part of the clubs 2011 supplements program, one witness has told ASADA”. The report would rock the Australian Sporting world and confirm my worst fears that clubs did have an influence over the illegal use of substances in which players inject themselves. “In another key development into the club’s 11-week systematic regimen of banned supplements from two years ago, it can be revealed the architect of the program Stephen Dank, Darren Hibbert and some NRL contracted players allegedly administered the Cronulla injections”. Firstly, as this whole fight against banned substance in sport began. One thing has remained common across the board and that is Stephen Dank more than anyone seems to be at the centre of the administration of peptides at not just Cronulla but other various clubs as time would reveal. To me he should be dealt with first and foremost as again he seems to be the ring leader in all of this doping scandal in Australia’s two biggest codes of sport in the AFL and NRL. Cronulla’s entire situation is still murky and won’t become entirely clear until after the investigation is completed and revealed to the public.

To me though it is a complete shame that the NRL and its clubs, not just the Cronulla Sharks but other teams could have possibly included the use of banned substances in their programs in order to better themselves to the rest of the competition. It takes a way the true testament to the players and clubs that devote their times and money into programs that do everything by the rule book in order to better their players. As at the end of the day it is players welfare that should be at the for front of any club, whether it be NRL, AFL or any sport in Australia. However to this day I cannot for the life of me understand why it is that the ACC, WADA, and ASADA didn’t come out with this investigation sooner, as we now have learnt through the media a lot of the incidents described date back as far as 2011. News flash we are in 2013, why has it taken three major organisations to act now in the fight against doping in Australian sport. I agree this all needs to be dealt with correctly to ensure it never happens again, I just think this whole process has been poorly handled by the bodies in which are meant to ensure no doping takes place in Australia’s sport. Yes my beloved NRL and the clubs and players if proven to have participated in illegal practices, they need to pay. But there also needs to be an acknowledgement from the ACC, WADA and in particularly ASADA for their delayed reactions in this fight against doping in sport.

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Facebook Shares and its Future

Facebook is the most used and visited social media website in the world with over 500 million active user, with about half logging on at any given time of day (Miller 2011, p.5). It then comes with no surprise that Facebook is viewed not only as a social media website, but a business as well. Over the years Facebook has had an estimated value of $41 billion, which is indivertibly makes Mark Zuckerberg the most the youngest billionaire in history (Womack 2010, p.6). Therefore it is with no surprise that Facebook would become so highly anticipated to begin trading on the stock exchange, and discover the true value of Facebook. This essay will explore the value of Facebook’s shares when they first floated, and the value of them today. Whilst exploring the future of Facebook and Zuckerberg’s options now as Facebook begins the wild ride that is the global market. In examining these areas it will become clear of the effect of trading on the stock exchange has had on Facebook and Facebook’s future.

Facebook earlier in the year made its intentions known by way of planning to begin public trading, by way of registering its name of “FB” on the Nasdaq (Demos 2012). This would be the beginning of talks as to how much Facebook is truly worth with an estimated value of $100 billion in May (‘Facebook’s value takes $10B slide’ 2012, p.2). However no one would really be able to predict any of these details until the first day of trading on the 19th of May. With many high expectations, it would be known as a stumbling start out of the gates (Demos 2012). Shares would be priced at $38, in the largest initial public offering for a technology firm (Raab 2012, p.16). Despite this and a record volume of more then 575 million shares traded, the market would close with Facebook only gaining just a 0.61 per cent increase to end the day of trading at $38.23 (Raab 2012, p.16). With less than a sub par performance on its first day of trading, the overall anticipation of Facebook beginning trading would simmer out, and this overall trend Facebook’s shares have continued to go down dropping to just around $25 in September (FB: Stock Quote & Summary Data 2012). Furthermore Facebook’s overall value now is only estimated at only $50 billion (‘Facebook’s value takes $10B slide’ 2012, p.2). Thus demonstrating Facebook’s initial trading value and its net worth both before and after its time trading, it can be identified just what an effect it has had on the company. Whilst its numbers do appear to be down on expectations it is still well worth recognising that Facebook is still one of the most successful businesses and still the largest social media sites in the world (Demos 2012).

Whilst it is difficult to single out any one reason or factor for the lower then expected share value and company net worth, it can be noted that the overall global economy has been suffering for some time (Goodwin 2007, p.288). People aren’t as willing to take such a large risk in investing into any company let alone a social media giant like Facebook, they would rather hold onto their money and save it for a rainy day (Goodwin 2007, p.289). Add to this that Facebook isn’t as popular as what it once was, a very real outcome for Facebook is that it could quite indeed become as outdated as what other social media websites have before it. For example MySpace at one point it was the most used and innovated social media giant and looked like it was only going to continue to grow (Randazza 2009, p.185). However after the take over from Rupert Murdoch MySpace would become renowned for copying all its new and brilliant ideas from Facebook, it can be said that it is a realistic outcome for Facebook to become just as out dated as MySpace (Randazza 2009, p.187). With the rise of social network sites such as Twitter it shows just how real this idea that Facebook can become redundant, despite the fact that both Twitter and Facebook have been able to work side by side for sometime now, it is without a doubt that a social media website could be developed to crush both websites (Randazza 2009, p.75). Despite these factors being quite bleak for Facebook’s future, Facebook could indeed have a alternative outcome. As long as Facebook is willing to battle it out on the Nasdaq, and continues to be open to ideas of reinventing its self and some how continue to be relevant in people’s everyday lives, Facebook could indeed defy the odds and remain relevant (Randazza 2009, p.76). Whatever Facebook’s outcome might be, it all lies in the hands of its creator Mark Zuckerberg.

Mark Zuckerberg has many options, he could cut his loses and sell Facebook and still be considered a billionaire and genius, or he could indeed continue to keep running Facebook the same way as it is ran today (Miller 2011, p.139). However Mark Zuckerberg isn’t that dumb, over the years we have seen Facebook continue to evolve by way of simplicity and even the creation of new and somewhat exciting technology (Miller 2011, p.139). This giving us great insight into the fact that Facebook is willing to continue to evolve and maintains the interest of all its users, something that it must do in order to survive. It has also been stated by Zuckerberg him self that he see’s Facebook as a project that he personally wants to be involved in for 10-20 years (Woog 2009, p. 36). These are all signs that Zuckerberg is willing to stand by Facebook despite whatever its financial status might be. It is hard to predict exactly which option Mark Zuckerberg might take, but one thing is clear all his intentions seem to point to the idea that he is willing to stick by Facebook (Demos 2012). His continued hands on involvement and overall determination help to support this idea, it is quite obvious that he still see’s great potential for Facebook, and has made it well known that he wants Facebook to be a household name.

 

Reference List

Demos, T 2012, ‘Facebook to list shares on Nasdaq”, FT.com.

Facebook’s value takes $10B slide, 2010, Edmonton, Alta., Canada.

FB: Stock Quote & Summary Data 2012, Viewed 16 September 2012,
< http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/fb >

Goodwin, B 2007, Using Political Ideas, Fifth Edition, John Wiley & Sons Ltd, England.

Miller, D 2011, Tales from Facebook, Polity Press, Cambridge.

Raab, C 2012, Facebook fizz Mark Zuckerberg, Darwin, N.T., Australia.

Randazza, J 2009, Go Tweet Yourself, Adams Media, Massachusetts.

Womack, B 2010, Facebook becomes third biggest web company, Jakarta Globe, Viewed 10 September 2012,
< http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/technology/facebook-becomes-third-biggest-us-web-company/406751 >

Woog, A 2009, Mark Zuckerberg: facebook creator, Kidhaven Press, New York.

Assignment Topic

So apparently we are required to post our topic on our blog. I have chosen a topic that I feel I know a fair bit about and am still tracking as we speak. This being topic 1, since Facebook has begun trading on the stock market we can see that this social media company may not be all that its cracked up to be.

Admittedly it has been sometime since I have attended a tutorial, this being mainly due to personal reasons. But finally I will be able to get back into it and will be attending this weeks tutorial.

Tutorial 6: Political participation via the internet

Signing an e-petition:

Petitions are oe of the traditional forms by which citizens can make direct requests to Parliament. This can be done in various ways either by physically signing a petition document, or more recently by signing an e-petition online. E-petitions can be accessed online from the Queensland Government website, which can be easily accessed by all members of the public.

http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/petitions/e-petitions

Respond to a proffesional blogger at a major news site:

Major news sites have many different ways of being able to voice opinions or respond to certain news stories. Many use social networking websites such as Facebook and more so Twitter add to this blog sites all giving their audiences the option to voice their opinions and views.

http://www.news.com.au/blogs

What is Barak Obama up to today? Can you send him a message about the importance of freedom on the internet?:

There are many ways of being able to contact people of such caliber as Barak Obama. Most modern day politicians all utilise the wonders of social media websites. Sites such as Twitter can offer exact locations of politicians and giving their audiences the chance to interact with them, Barak Obama is no exception to this as he is an avid user of Twitter. Adding to this it is possible to get in contact with Barak Obama through the white houses website too.

https://twitter.com/BarackObama

http://www.whitehouse.gov/

What are the Australian Government’s plans to censor the internet (the so-called “Clean Feed”)?:

The Australian Government are continuing with their plans to enforce internet providers to censor parts of the internet for all Australians who have a content blocking system, which have been labeled “clean feeds”. This would aim to block the access of pornography and inappropriate content.

What place does censorship have in a democracy?:

With there being many controversial views on this particular topic. It is only natural that social media forums are the front of this, as they are often in the firing line of this, however it doesn’t mean that censorship should be brought into lessen the effects that social media can have. Social media creates discussions about anything and everything including censorship. This allowing people to voice their opinions that being a type of democracy.

When will NBN get to your place? What are the benefits?:

National Broadband Network (NBN) work will commence within the next three years and being estimated to be completed the following 12 months after installation begins. With the introduction of NBN in Australia it will not only bring high speed broadband and telephone services. But also help in such areas as phones, teleworking, education, online health, entertainment and business solutions.

http://www.nbnco.com.au/rollout/about-the-nbn.html?icid=pub:hme:about-nbn:hro:img

Find out who your local, state and federal representatives are. Send one a message:

Information on your local, state and federal representatives can be easily found on the Queensland Parliament website. All members contact details and locations of their offices are always kept up to date, allowing any citizen to get in contact with any of there local, state and federal representatives.

http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/members/current/list

Look up the Queensland or Australian Hansard to find the last time your local member spoke in parliament:

The current member of Capalaba is Stephen Davies, who is a member of the Liberal National Party (LNP). Elected on the 24th of March 2012. He last presented to parliament on the 7th July 2012, when talking about the electricity amendment bill.

Let your local member know what you think about their last speech.

With today’s modern technology it has greatly effected the way in which we can communicate with politics. The local member of Capalaba can be easily contacted through both Facebook and his email.

http://www.facebook.com/SteveDavies.LNP

capalaba@parliament.qld.gov.au

 

Lecture 6: Hackers

This weeks lecture looked at some of the ways in which we have freedom of speech and a sort of democracy on the internet. However it wasn’t this particular topic that interested me the most. In fact it was all to do with that of computer hackers. When the word hacker is used I immediately think of someone working to steal my identity and all of my money by hacking into my computer. However as this view can be accurate in definition a hacker does a lot more then just that as I discovered in the lecture and with some further reading.

Hackers can be defined as people who were originally computer programmers, who had a desire to understand the intricacies of computing systems. They would move freely through machines and their networks to find obscure and hidden information. Once I saw this definition of a hacker it would confirm the ways in which I viewed a hacker to be, yet it wasn’t until a look at some of the readings for the week would I understand that hackers are much more then just people looking into other people worlds.It wasn’t until I saw this did I start to understand more about what a hacker actually does.

Hackers have a been labelled by the media with a bad name by exposing the word through various media points such as newspapers and TV news headlines, hacker has become the word of computer criminals attacking the world. Yet by chasing hackers gives authorities the illusion that they are doing something about computer crime (Gold and Cornwall 1989: vii, xiii).

Whilst I am still of the opinion that hackers are people who will always continue to be viewed as people who are the criminals of the computing world. I do understand that hackers are also people who reveal some of the truths of the world and are also inventors of computing systems of their own that even end up being sold in the world. Its the people who hack and steal information of privacy and steal from ordinary people that earn hackers everywhere a bad name.

Gold, S. and H. Cornwall (1989). Hugo Cornwall”s new hacker”s handbook. London, Century.

Week 5: Social Media Survey

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Week 5’s tutorial, I produced a survey on social media/networking. During the week I researched the topic of Facebook starting to become stale and people starting to turn to other social media websites. I used this notion to develop a series of questions to find out if my peers felt the same way about Facebook becoming unpopular. I composed a quick survey consisting of 5 questions to monitor some of the responses I would receive and see if their was an overall trend.

With an incredible response I learnt that 100% of my peers all used Facebook, with a split usage rate of extremely often and moderately often. To expand upon the preferred social media websites and the usage of them, I thought it would be wise to see the reasons for why my peers use social media sites such as Facebook. The results were quite interesting in that 75% of people would use it to keep in touch with friends and family. Whilst 62.5% of people would use it to keep up to date with news.

This analysis of my peers, personal use of social networks and the use of them tends to contradict what i discovered in my further readings of articles of Facebook being on the decline. Maybe Facebook’s fate isnt going to be similar to the fall of Myspace.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GF9R8K5

 

 

Lecture 5

Last weeks lecture raised a brief idea of the content that is accessible by children through the internet and social media websites sometimes allowing inappropriate content to be exposed to children. My generation (generation Y) has grown used to a lot of the content displayed on social media websites. However the parents of our generation have never had anything like social media before and are seen to worry about some of the exposure there children are faced with on social media websites.

Some action in which parents might enforce are; having their computer set up in a common area of the house, or by blocking certain websites that they don’t want their children to visit. An example of some of the content in which parents have begun to crack down on is that of pornographic content, illegal downloading, and content that might be age sensitive. These areas are somewhat easily accessible by social media websites such as facebook and youtube.

With this said I personally believe it comes down to the families alone, allowing kids to use social media and the internet has to be embraced. This is not to say that the content in which children may view shouldn’t be monitored regularly. The use of what some call “nanny programs” can help in this monitoring of content.

Week 4: Cyberspace

 A discussion that came up in our lecture for week four was that of ‘Cyberspace’. Honestly I have never given much thought to the word ‘Cyberspace’, I always just thought it was some sort of computer or internet term. However during the lecture and some outside reading I would learn that ‘cyberspace’ has much more to it then just that.

I found many definitions of ‘cyberspace’ but all would be similar in details. I manged to define the word as an electronic medium of computer networks, in which online communications can take place. After I discovered the definition of ‘cyberspace’, I found that the concept of the word had been around much before the word was used to describe the concept (Thill 2009). In fact the concept was first used by people such as Vernor Vinge and even earlier by John Ford. However the creator of the word was William Gibson. Many have criticised the word being used, Gibson would latter explain that the word was simply used as an “evocative and essentially meaningless buzzword”(Thill 2009). He would later also state that it was used to cipher all of his “cyber musings” (Thill 2009).

‘Cyberspace’ would later become a de facto synonym for the internet, and later the world wide web, during the 1990s (Thill 2009). The word ‘cyberspace’ has played a vital role in all uses of today’s technology, with ‘cyberspace’ being used in everybody’s day to day lives.

Source:
Thill, S, 2009, William Gibson, Father of Cyberspace, viewed 20 August 2012. <www.wired.com/science/discoveries/new/2009/03/dayintech_0317>

Ye Old Internet Communities: Myspace

Myspace was one of the biggest social networking websites in the world, with millions of young users flocking to the website to make it one of the biggest ‘internet communities’ the world has ever seen. Myspace was a pioneer in influencing and promoting pop culture and music on the web. However it wasn’t long before new social media sites would be looking to tap into the market that Myspace had dominated. Needless to say social media website Facebook would surpass Myspace and become the ‘new internet community’ to dominate the social media market. This is often put down to the fact that Myspace was unable to keep up to date in being relevant in our everyday lives. In other words (Chmieleski & Sarno). In social media words Myspace lost its followers.

A survey published by The Telegraph in the U.K states that “Myspace loses over 10million users in a month at the start of 2011”. Whilst this statistic is slightly out of date, it demonstrates just how far Myspace has fallen and how redundant has become in to the world.

Social media websites such as, Facebook and Twitter are able to stay relevant today because they understand that by innovating themselves helps them to keep fresh and relevant in everybody’s day to day lives. It will take something special to knock both of these ‘internet communities’ like Facebook and Twitter off the top, and make them as irrelevant as an ‘old internet community’ like Myspace.

Barnett E 2011, ‘Myspace loses 10 million users in a month’ The Telegraph, 24 March, p.16.