Talking to Cows!

You see in the movies when it is based in the future. There are hover cars, houses that talk to you and we might even see a couple of weird aliens that live in harmony with us. Is this all a myth? I think not!! The future is coming!

Here I thought I was getting to know and be comfortable with the terms of DIGC202… Then this thing had to come along! THE INTERNET OF THINGS!! (iot)..

So from what I can gather iot relates to the advanced connecting of everything from your mood to your door locks to a network. There are billions of iot devices and this number will continue to grow in the future.

The amount of money that the iot is worth is massive! It is predicted to be worth 15 billion dollars by 2020. This is such a big money maker, and it is continuing to grow. So tell me… how do you feel that soon we may be rely on a machine to do everything?!? Deborah Lupton was right when se used the term ‘human machine’!

I found Lupton’s discussion about the Body-Machine metaphor very interesting. It comes from the definitions that are made for the ‘quantified self’ that refers to humans as a machine through the use of terms. The example, which is used in this weeks reading by Lupton is perfect to describe the metaphor. It looks at definitions from such sites as Wikipedia of a quantified self. Wikipedia: ‘The Quantified Self is a movement to incorporate technology into data acquisition on aspects of a person’s daily life in terms of inputs (e.g., food consumed, quality of surrounding air), states (e.g., mood, arousal, blood oxygen levels), and performance (mental and physical)”. The terms used in this definition literally describe us as some sort of machine.

But I want to go back to these cows that Ted mentioned in the lecture because this is where I go crazy!! I am from a farm and often we loose animals unexpectedly and each animal you loose, the more money you loose. This is genius. You can put biochip transponders in the animal to tell when a cow is ill, needs vaccinations etc. It is funny that we also track our body! We watch out moods, sex life and eating patterns except we can talk and express ourselves.

Technology is playing a key role in our everyday life! But if people are still experimenting on it why shouldn’t we enjoy the fruits of technology and the Internet? The Internet of Things is a key example of how we are moulding our lives around the life cycle of technology. But are we ready for this kind of living? Does everyone have a choice?


Get out while you can!


Due to the massive increase we can understand why this reliance on the internet is the reason more and more cybercrime is happening around the world. Many nodes being connected often 24/7 have created a massive platform for crime. So why do we do this to ourselves? We may think that the information we share is to people we trust. But look at the scandal with the nude pictures being leaked at the moment. And this kind of stuff doesn’t happen just to celebrities! Everywhere our personal data is being look at by someone who it is not intended to be looked at. It seems more clear now… we can all be posssible victims of cybercrime.

The Australian Crime Commission explains that cybercrime can take two forms. The first being crimes where computers are the essential part of an offence such as online fraud and identity theft. The second are crimes directed at computers or other information communications technologies such as hacking. So to put it into perspective of how vulnerable we are to cybercrime, if you put your emails online to buy something you can be a victim of money laundering, you sign up to a social media page you are more at risk being cyber bullied and even a child signing into Facebook can be a victim of child grooming.

The reason this is such a simple crime that can be so harmful is because the web is global, easy to access, contains so much personal data among other important data and it is anonymous! This is why it is increasing at such a rapid rate. In India there was only 23 incidents of cybercrime reported, last year there were around 72,000 reported! I think we all might be in a little bit of trouble if people keep exploiting the Internet. SO I say to you all if you want privacy you best live in cave with no internet/technology because it will only get worse from here on in.

Produsage and the Wiki way it works!

This weeks topic for me has come up in many of my media subjects. Produsage, aggregated media, citizen journalism and gatewatching/keeping are all terms I have heard many times. All related to the way we use and receive information through the network is based on communities of collective intelligence.

There has been many arguments on whether collective intelligence is credible information or is the web a major advantage because it is a quick and easy way to distribute information. Also there is the ongoing issue of those who think online journalism and other online publishers are harming traditional media and other paid professions. The example I want to look at is Wikipedia. A little bit of background information is Wikipedia is a site that was launched in 2001 and  is free access and free content Internet encyclopaedia. Wikipedia basis itself on the characteristic that almost anyone who can access the site can be an editor of many of the articles. This collaborative process of Wikipedia is defined as by Axel Bruns as ‘produsage’. Produsage is ‘the collaborative and continuous building and extending of existing content in pursuit of further improvement’.

As traditional media is a material distribution it therefore needs a careful revision of its content to avoid any issues with misreporting and also the costly process of recalling products in case of content errors. New media’s distribution of content is immediate and there is an increase of networking that allows consumers to coordinate. One major issue with new media forms are that the customers confidence is undermined in the quality. So when we look at Wikipedia we can see that this aggregated form of media is more than often not classified as a credible source as anyone can have a say whether they are professionals or not. But my question is: Does this mean that produsage lowers the quality of content on these online communities? Although Wikipedia is online, wasn’t the traditional encyclopaedia production much the same. One person spoke/produced their view or gave their information on a topic and then others added on it to form a well informed entry. Wikipedia is offering many peoples views which are more diverse and more informed definition or point of view than those who have been deemed as credible. This is not to say that some have more credibility that others but collaborative intelligence is something that can change the way we perceive something or deliver information on a topic that others do not know. Its people helping people!

Bruns suggests that we educate produser to ensure everyone is educated in the process and etiquette of collaborative information online as it is very powerful. Bruns suggests  a focus on what can be described as the C4C: creative, collaborative, critical and communicative. Although the internet has given us the freedom to get information and broadcast our own information to such a large audience there should be some form of filter to ensure that people do this with care. As Bruns mentions there should be an aim to provide ‘all the news that’s fit to print’ and therefore provide quality news and content!




“We define everything that is on the phone” Steve Jobs

“We define everything that is on the phone”

Steve Jobs

Initially the Internet was created to share and access content from other nodes. But soon enough companies came in trying to make money off it. An open source allows the collaboration of other nodes to use the creativity of other sot alter and improve previous ideas. As shown in the readings we can see Android is based around an open source, it is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. On the other hand we have closed sources such as Apple that the source code is not available to the public. Apple has restricted applications, music and operations that they are only able to sync with other Apple devices.

After the introduction to the IPhone which Apple wanted to differ to a computer where you could call and be online at the same time, the creation of the App store was not far behind to allow outsiders to write software. Which may seem similar to Android but Apple pick and choose which Apps they want and can delete them whenever they want. These closed form of applications caused many ‘jailbreaks’. ‘Jailbreak’ refers to ‘the process used to modify the operating system running on an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad to allow the user greater control over their device, including the ability to remove Apple-imposed restrictions and install apps obtained and other content through means other than the official App Store’. Many think these jailbreaks restored the initial purpose of sources, to be open and free. But in the end Apple is a company that aims to make a profit. In retaliation to the jailbreaks Apple denied service to any device that has installed any unauthorised software and may ‘brick’ the device which would end in the device being worthless.

Jailbreakers believe that Apple is denying the simple freedom that users are meant to have through controlling what gets installed on devices. Those for the closed encoding on Apple’s applications believe this allows Apple to maintain security, quality and reducing flaws, spam and malicious apps. Also the jail broken devices are rendered worthless.

So what do you think? Are the hackers right to make Apples applications more available or are they damaging a good source?

Here is an article on a jailbreaker that hacks into Apple: click here

The King has spoken!

This week was all about feudalism and also the term the ‘walled garden’. The Internet as we know is huge!! Each user has easy access to the Internet and also broadcast anything they want for often a small price or free. This has created a problem for those money hungry organisations that attempt to create barriers unless you are using their device or are subscribed to their site. ‘Walled gardens‘ refers to the refers to the control that is put on a site or device that determines the information and sites that each node is allowed access to. This could be restricting inappropriate content from minors or restricting certain devices/users from certain sites to make them pay for content. These ‘walled gardens’ create an image as said by Ted in the lecture that the ‘garden owner controls how you use the content’. Are these ‘walled gardens’ a threat to our freedom? If so why are sites such as Facebook, Tumblr and even Google so popular?

The term ‘feudalism’ goes back centuries where it was based around a comprehensive social system which defined authority and property rights, in other words what should be public space becomes controlled by private interests. The internet is more than often seen as public space! We expect freedom, ease to gather information and content and hardly any restrictions! Although we seem far from the days where the king owned everything, we can still relate to this in terms of the Internet! The king is now the government, the tenants-in-chief are media owners, the knights are large organisations and the peasants are the nodes!



You’ve still got mail!


‘For some employees, smartphones and computer tablets have become digital leashes to the office. They’ve made it easier to stay in touch with what’s going on at work from almost anywhere, which has made it increasingly more difficult for some workers to disconnect…‘ HANSI LO WANG, 2011

Wang’s statement above was written in 2011, which in reality was not that long ago but technology has come a long way from then. Still we can see that smartphones are allowing us to do close to anything even be in 2 places at once. We are connected 24/7 which makes it easier for people to work from anywhere… at home, in the car or on the street. Smartphones and laptops are like mini work desks where we can fit paid work into our personal life, but the hard part is finding room for family time or a bit of you time. Yes, it is good to be able make our work lives more flexible but is it taking over our social lives?

Gregg in his paper this week ‘Function creep: Communication technologies and anticipatory labour in the information workplace’ uses the term ‘presence bleed‘. Presence bleed appears when the line that sets work life and personal life apart is blurred and often turns into one life. Many people may think they are not like this with their work ethics but even checking your emails in bed, before breakfast or whilst watching the kids can classify as work. This concept of ‘checking’, checking emails, checking missed calls, checking voice mail all is an obsession of work. Days off have lost their meaning as people do not want to fall behind. Do we like the fact that people are being more prompt, or are they setting everyone else up to fail with high standards and lack of social life? Is this what society should be like?

Shrinking the world!

My DIGC202 lecture this week got me thinking about how the ‘telegraph caused a dramatic shift in world-perception’. It created an interest in what the world was like through the simple communication to foreign people and being able to receive messages from other countries across the world. After thinking and researching the topic I found the name Tom Standage. Standage is an English journalist/author who published many books, but in particular I want to draw attention to ‘The Victorian Internet’. This book focuses on the developments of the telegraph, much along the same topic as our lecture this week. When I was listening to lecture I was generally thinking about how much of a development we have made from the dot-dash code to people being able to share their feelings each minute of every day to absolutely anyone through the Internet.
Standage proposes that although it is amazing how we can easily communicate to people around the world today he argues that if the Victorians from the 19th century saw today’s Internet and communication tools they would be not as shocked as expected from our developments. This is due to their developments in telegraphic communication in the mid-19th century that changed society more than the internet developments today. Standage opinion does provide a great topic to discuss about the advances from telegraph to cyberspace. Although we use cyberspace constantly it has progressed much slower than the telegraph did. The telegraph made the world smaller, created interest in far-off places and allowed people to follow events in real time. Do you think that we can build cyberspace much more or will be another platform created?