The internet IN things

I was blown away at the video shown in the lecture – a possibility of what the future may hold. If everything was networked together, and can communicate via the internet – converting our messages into code these devices recognise. But what I did gather from this video is that well – how lazy is the human race about to become? If everything will be done for us by robots, would that make things easier, or make us lazier?

If you haven’t seen the video, watch it here.

In the article by Julian Bleecker, he describes that:

Once “Things” are connected to the
Internet, they can only but become enrolled as active, worldly participants by knitting
together, facilitating and contributing to networks of social exchange and discourse,
and rearranging the rules of occupancy and patterns of mobility within the
physical world.

What this means is that once we do start connecting regular ‘things’ or objects (such as a vacuum cleaner or cooking oven) we ‘rearrange’ the rules of occupancy and patterns of mobility within the physical world, (we are getting robots to do things for us).

In the video description Ericsson “believes that in the Networked Society, more than 50 billion things will be connected, in order to make our lives and our businesses more efficient and more enjoyable.” – source. As I mentioned earlier, would it make things more efficient? or make us lazier. What it does is make us rely on technology a lot MORE than we already do. What happens in the case of a solar storm? We would be sent back to the stone age. What about hackers? Turning on somebody’s oven and burning their house down. There’s a lot of consequences to come with a technology filled future.

What do YOU think our future looks like?


Apple vs Android

The creation of smartphones – where would we be without one? The creation of the term ‘smartphone’ incorporated a cellular mobile with PDA features. – The first device to do this was an IBM prototype developed in 1992 and marketed in 1994. So where’s IBM now?

The main two software giants Apple (iOS) and Google (Android) are one of the most profitable organisations on the planet due to their smartphone software. Apple incorporates a ‘closed’ style system software, where as Android is  ‘open’ sourced software based on Linux. – Which proved to be an ultimate or “GREAT SUCCESS”.

“Rubin said his startup, called Android, had the solution: a free, open source mobile platform that any coder could write for and any handset maker could install. He would make his money by selling support for the system — security services, say, or email management. Android would have the spirit of Linux and the reach of Windows. It would be a global, open operating system for the wireless future.”source 

You can find a list of android compatible devices here. The idea of open source software generates a much more customisation-based interface for users. More and more people are making the switch to android FROM Apple as there are so many other unique devices out there running Android, it’s just too hard to pass up the opportunity. Apple has a closed, operator controlled system, Apple still maintain some control after it is sold to consumers.

What do you prefer? Apple or Android? What Device do you have? COMMENT AWAY.

(I’ve owned a 3Gs, jailbroken, had enough of the random restarts, bought a galaxy nexus, rooted it, never had a problem – [oh and lightning speed] )

The Arab Spring and the #EgyptianRevolution

“We use Facebook to schedule protests, twitter to coordinate, and YouTube to tell the world” – anon.

As mentioned in the lecture and a recap, the internet is fast becoming a ‘political space’ – it enables fast mobilization, mass involvement and scaleable openness. When you think about it, it comparance to organising  a movement through a physical meeting, not everyone will be heard, not everybody will speak up. – Hold on to this point.

The beginning of the Arab Spring started in Tunisia through power of individuals. On the 17th of Dec 2010, a man Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire to protest his merchandise being confiscated and harassment by city officials.  – 2 Days later was the mark of mass protests and demonstrations organised online through social media to organise protests. The role of social networks here involve mobilization, coordination and dissemination all in realtime. This resulted in the stepping down of President Ben Ali – This lead to bigger things.

The Egyptian Revolution

Again displayed the power of individuals – Mohammed Saeed was beaten to death on June 6 2010 – images of his tortured body spread online – government claimed he choked to death. A Facebook group by the name of ‘We are all Khaled said’ was started by Google marketing manager Wael Ghonim. In 2011 26 yr old Egyptian VLOggER posts video on YouTube, starts channel, calls for mass demonstrations on JAN25 – This woman went by the name of Asmaa Mahfouz – A muslim woman who traditionally, would have no voice in her society or culture, but has one ONLINE. As I mentioned before, if this was executed in a PHYSICAL space, this woman would have no say.

The video goes viral resulting in mass demonstration on Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt. The governments reaction to this was to shut down the internet, – not that simple. The internet fights back, Google and Twitter launches a service that enables Egyptians to tweet by phone, recording messages and tweeting it. Weeks of protests go by, President Hosni Mubarak steps down.

The power of the internet. – ain’t it just amazing.

Assange, The Hero

Ted mentioned in the lecture about the soccer videos being taken down within minutes of it being uploaded – I can relate, I was 14-15 and thought it was cool to make a soccer video comparing two soccer players, it was only until recently I found out the video had been removed. – AND the amount of times I have looked for soccer highlights on YouTube hours after the game I either get pictures or receive an error message that the video has been taken down due to a copyright claim.

ANYWAY, I didn’t hear about Julian Assange until last year when I took JOUR101. As soon as I heard the concept of Wiki Leaks, I loved every bit of it. A site for whistleblowers exposing top secret documents to the public? I had to see this. The most memorable story (IMO) uncovered on Wiki Leaks was the footage of the American soldiers gunning down innocent journalists that was hidden by the American government.

According to this video over 90,000 documents about the Afghan war was published just over the weekend. That’s the beauty of Wiki Leaks, its anonymous and nobody knows who the whistle blower is.

Assange was just the founder, he works to keep the site live so people (like us) can post anonymously, leak documents or take the role of a ‘whistle blower’. Wiki Leaks maintains servers on different continents , passing information through different countries to keep it encrypted. Genius.

In the article by Raffi Khatchadourian, he describes it (WikiLeaks) as “not quite an organization; it is better described as a media insurgency. It has no paid staff, no copiers, no desks, no office. Assange does not even have a home.”

So what does this mean for us? It gives normal everyday people the opportunity to expose both non-government and government organisations for any wrong doings. It emphasises people power, it gives everyday people power over large organisations.

PS watch out for the new TV show on channel 10 about Julian Assange – I wonder how much they’re going to bend information and how much of it is going to be true. Would be an interesting watch.

Twitter and the importance of #hash-tags

I never really quite understood Twitter before this subject, had no idea what ‘trends’ were, the meaning of ‘hash tags’ and just the whole idea of it never really appealed to me. This, has however changed. A shift from ‘gate watchers’ or ‘authority figures’ to people (ordinary citizens) informing and telling others about news.

People would normally go and watch TV to get the latest update or report on the daily news, it would be from one source of information. There would be one person sitting in the chair at the news desk and people would listen to this authority figure and gain the news for the day – and that was it. This creates the notion of ‘one-to-many’ communication (one person giving information with the audience receiving it).

What does it actually mean to have no gate watchers or authority figures?

As mentioned in previous posts, new models of media are increasingly becoming apparent in today’s society creating the notion of ‘many-to-many’ communication channels (audience sharing information amongst themselves). As we all used to sit (I’m sure many people still do) get spoon-fed the news of the day and hold that same opinion with no intention of spreading it. TODAY, we can see a shift from passive audiences to active audiences. Twitter allows us to do this.

By examining trends, hash tags and the type of people creating these tweets, it is easy to examine the wide spread active audience. By simply searching a topic on Twitter, you’re able to gain insight to other people’s views, opinions and thoughts on the topic. How? Through hash tagging. I’ve seen on the news report before, “what are your thoughts on (insert topic here), tweet or hash tag 9 news”.

Amazon’s Long (really long) Tail

[click image for source]

This week’s lecture and seminar focused on the long tail and the shift from buying online rather than a physical retail outlet. As we are actively engaged more and more online, it’s hard not to put past online shopping. I mean who hasn’t purchased something online? The sheer excitement I get when I get a package in the mail is well just overwhelming. – But that’s beside the point.

In the magazine article written by wired magazine about the longtail presented a very interesting case study – the story of British mountain climber Joe Simpson. Simpson wrote a book in 1988 with only modest success and lives short in terms of memory of consumers.

“Then, a decade later, a strange thing happened. Jon Krakauer wrote Into Thin Air, another book about a mountain-climbing tragedy, which became a publishing sensation. Suddenly Touching the Void started to sell again.” – SOURCE

Basically, Touching the Void started to outsell Into Thin Air 2 to 1. Why? Amazon. Just through recommendations, people who liked one book, it suggested the other – and then people reacted. This can’t happen in physical retail stores. Sure we could listen to the advice of the store clerk, but what does he/she know? They may not read the same books you do – and coming from one, centralised opinion. Whereas on Amazon (still happening today), people are listening to others who are on the same power-level with similar interests and views on that particular genre.

“It created the Touching the Void phenomenon by combining infinite shelf space with real-time information about buying trends and public opinion.” –SOURCE

Now let’s take borders for example, they have:

–          Limited warehousing

–          Limited opinions

Amazon has:

–          Large warehouse space (also no physical point of sale)

–          Endless opinions and reviews

Traditional communications channels such as publishing a book imposes threats such as high cost of entry (costs to publisher, labour, physical production of book), high risk (will people buy it?), high cost to the USER (people buying high priced books due to all costs involved in producing it) and a quality filter (has to be high of quality in order to get published, make sales etc.). In comparison to the internet, it has zero/low cost of entry and anyone is able to post at free will. As I mentioned before, we can now easily publish our own book online free of charge through Amazon, splitting profits 50%, much MORE than if you were to publish a physical book. What we are seeing here is a shift of control from institutional to consumer control.

“The internet imposes no barriers to entry, no economies of scale, no limits on supply” – Clay Shirky.


Effects of media convergence

[click image for source]

This week focused on media convergence and the impact on platforms and content – the switch from ‘analogue’ to digital data. One quote which jogged my memory of BCM112 was one by Henry Jenkins:

‘by convergence I mean the flow of content across multiple media platforms, the cooperation between multiple media industries, and the migratory behaviour of media audiences’.

but what does this quote actually mean? My interpretation is that media convergence means that content is being more available across many different and new media platforms. By media platforms what Jenkins means by ‘platforms’ is the medium in which we are accessing this information and content from. (i.e. computers, laptops, smartphones, kindle etc.).

In recent years we have witnessed an increasing change from analogue to digital data, in other words, a change from tradtional media to new, digital forms of media. Analogue types of media can include newspapers, radio, cinema, television and just standard social exchanges. We can see this happening todays business environment, I had just read the other day that Lexmark quitting the consumer printing business.

LEXMARK is jettisoning its inkjet printers and laying off 1,700 workers as paper becomes increasingly passe in an age of ever-sleeker digital devices and online photo albums on Internet hangouts like Facebook. – read more HERE

How many of us go hang out with friends or spend time with family and we’re all just sitting there on our portable devices? – I have this problem at home, we sit together to ‘watch’ TV whilst everyone is on their iPad, laptop or phone.

Not so long ago in a scary past, we actually had to be physically there to communicate with others within your network. Now, we have SMS, IM, facebook, and other forms of social media to do this for us without actually being physically present.

What does this media convergence do to platforms? Well we can see all seperate platforms start to merge into one. For example, who has a camera, Mp3 player, video camera, a calender, a GPS, a wireless access point, games and social media platforms all on their phone? Well my Samsung Galaxy Nexus does (this is NOT an advertisement). All these platforms used to seperate with only one use, now, we can do all this on one device, I wonder what other platforms will start merging in the near future?