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Week 13: The Last Post

Hey ya’ll!

Welcome back!

Over the weeks, we’ve learnt so much about the Internet. I went to class with really basic knowledge about the topic, I mean we use the Internet daily, even as I’m typing this post, I am using the Internet to play music in the background.

It’s amazing how far technology and the advancement of the Internet has come today. In week 1, we talked about the founders, and what the Internet was used for. Now, it has developed to something more than just research, but for entertainment, commerce, education and even socializing.

Though we are surrounded and immerse in the world of the Internet, there is still so much that we didn’t know. Like security wise, what is actually threatening our privacy, like Heart Bleed. The many tools that are actually helping us get through our daily lives. The power of the Internet, in bringing people together to start a social movement and bring about change. How it has changed what was traditional media, like journalism, allowing the citizens to be the people to bring the news.

And now, the future of the Internet, like virtual reality and Web 3.0.

I came out of the class richer with knowledge, and more aware of what’s going on online. This has also make me more interested in any developments of the Internet in the near future, as it brings so much promise, and it’ll be fun to see how the world has changed in the next few years.

And thanks to the Internet, I found a band called.. “The Internet”, here’s their music video to end this blog.

Thanks for reading all the posts!

And for the last time.. See ya~ Bye!

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Week 12: Future of Internet

Hey ya’ll!

Welcome back! You made it to week 12!

This week, we’ll be talking about the Future of the Internet.

The Internet has come a long way. A few decades old, and it has already experienced significant changes. From a small group of independent networks, now it is a global entity. It serves as a platform for business, communication, entertainment and education. In the past only certain computers could have internet with the assistance of modems, now you can be connected to this enormous network through dozens of different devices.

But where can we go from here?

One possible future is Web 3.0. Futurist John Smart, defines Web 3.0 as a convergence of the virtual and physical world. A Web development layer that includes TV-quality open video, 3D simulations, augmented reality, human constructed semantic standards, and pervasive broadband, wireless and sensors. Very Minority Report.

According to some Internet experts, Web 3.0 will enable the use of autonomous agents. An autonomous agent is an intelligent agent operating on an owner’s behalf but without any interference of that ownership entity. So, rather than having search engines geared towards your keywords, the search engine will gear towards the user.

However, can we really know what the Internet of the future would bring? We would like to think we know what the future would bring, but till then we’re none the wiser. Certain experts of the field made some predictions too, and they came out horribly wrong.

For example, in a 1998 issue of BYTE magazine, Edmund DeJesus made the claim that “[Y2K] is a crisis without precedent in human history.” So, here is a quick history recap about The Y2K problem, so most dates in computers were programmed to automatically assume the date began with 19, so 1975 or 1992. But when the date would turn to January 1, 2000, it was prophesied that computers would be so confused that they would shut down completely. I remember closing on New Year’s Day 1999, people were panicking and stocking up for fear of the Y2K bug, and… nothing happened.

Another example would be some predictions made by Raymond Kurzweil, Director of Engineering at Google and noted futurist in his book, “The Age of Spiritual Machines” from 1999. He thought that phones would already be auto-translating conversations for us by 2009. Though Google Translate can be impressively effective, we’re still a number of years away from being able to pick up the phone and understand what the person is saying in another language.

Docomo, a mobile phone company from Japan, thought that that technology wouldn’t be that far off too, they even made an advert for it!

However, we can’t ignore the developments the Internet has made, and we’ve definitely come a long way. In 1967 the Philco-Ford Corporation released a short film titled 1999 A.D., there are definite similarities to the technology we have today, like online shopping and paying your bills online, though it’s not exactly the same, but it isn’t too far off. Here’s a short clip:

The predictions were pretty accurate considering the film was predicting about the technology 30 years in the future.

Anyways, hope ya’ll learnt something new, till next time!

Bye!

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Week 11: Google Microsoft Apple

Hey ya’ll!

Welcome back~

This week, we’ll be talking about the Innovators a.k.a the titans a.k.a the Big Three a.k.a Microsoft, Google, and Apple.

These three has been battling head to head on everything from computers, hardware, operating systems, applications, entertainment, search engines and more.

Now, they are battling on who got the better intelligent personal assistant. What is it you ask? It is a mobile software agent, that can perform tasks for an individual based on user input, location awareness, and the ability to access info.

Examples of Intelligent Personal Assistants are Apple’s Siri, and Google’s Now.

Launched in 2011 by Apple, Siri uses a natural language user interface to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions by delegating requests to a set of Web services. So, people could use Siri to make reservations at specific restaurants, buy movie tickets or even get a cabHowever, in Siri’s original release, its functionality was limited to certain locations. So, people could only use it when they are in the U.S. or using U.S. English. As of iOS 6, Siri is now able to function outside of the United States. 

A year later, Google launched Google Now. Similar to Siri, it uses natural language user interface to answer questions and so on. On top of that, Google Now is implemented as an aspect of the Google Search Application. It recognizes repeated actions that a user performs on the device such as common locations, or repeated calendar appointments to display more relevant information to the user in the form of “cards”. However, commentators noted that the predictive power of Google Now reveals “exactly how much data and information Google actually has about [users’] routines and daily lives.” Scary~

Now, Microsoft just launched their intelligent personal assistant, Cortana, at the Microsoft BUILDDeveloper Conference on April 2nd, 2014 by Microsoft corporate vice president Joe Belfiore in San Francisco. Somewhat a combination of both of the intelligent personal assistants above, Cortana will replace the built-in Bing search feature and act as a digital assistant similar to Siri. It will borrow from Google Now’s “contextual power” by relying on multiple data sources from Bing, Foursquare, and information stored on one’s phone. One thing different about Cortana, compared to the other two is the feature called the “Notebook”. It is where personal info such as interests or contacts will be stored for access by Cortana. Then, Cortana will be able to draw upon it to learn about the user’s specific patterns and behaviours. The user will be able to view this information, with the aim of offering greater control over privacy settings, ” a level of control that goes beyond comparable assistants.” 

So, we know that Apple got Siri, Google got Now, and Microsoft has just joined the party, with Cortana.

Let’s look at all 3 of the Intelligent personal assistants, maybe you’ll find a favourite.

Hope ya’ll learnt something new,  till next time!

Bye!

Resources:

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/software/microsofts-cortana-to-take-on-rivals-apple-and-android/articleshow/34083467.cms

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Week 10: Internet & Journalism

Hey ya’ll!

Welcome back to my blog!

This week we’ll be talking about Digital Journalism. What is it you ask?

Digital journalism also known as online journalism is a contemporary form of journalism where editorial content is distributed via the Internet as opposed to publishing via print. Besides the difference in platforms, online news can be presented solely or in combination of text, audio, video and some other interactive forms like hyperlinks, and can be disseminated through social media, and other platforms.

It has democratized the flow of information that was previously controlled by traditional media including newspapers, magazines, radio, and television. A greater degree of creativity can be exercised with digital journalism when compared to traditional journalism and traditional media. And this have given excess to people to write their own news.

However, the lack of control of the online media has also opened the doors to non-credible news sources.

Let me explain, even though I may not be the best person to.

For example, citizen journalism sites like STOMP, don’t even write about the news. Half the time, the “news” posted are random things that are not credible, accurate, objective or even well written.

The problem with these “citizen journalist” is that it insults professional, paid, rigorously trained, working journalists then equates them with people who thinks they know what journalism is all about, have a hand phone camera and wish to make a quick buck. STOMP is no longer a “citizen journalism” platform but a place for people with only a modicum of training in writing, or none at all to air their complaints.

This in turn gives actual proper citizen journalist a bad name. With the Internet, it’s meant to give people a chance to give the world their own perspective of a current event. An alternative view, that helps shape people’s understanding, unfortunately people has abused that power to use that medium to give bias views, and packaged it as actual news.

As seen on their website, “Award-winning STOMP, or Straits Times Online Mobile Print, is Asia’s leading citizen-journalism website with user-generated material fuelling its success… STOMP connects, engages and interacts with Singaporeans in a style and approach that is different from conventional news websites. Its strong growth reflects not only its popularity but its resonance with Singaporeans.”

HOWEVER, I do not have a problem with citizen journalism, just with certain sites that should have been closed down a long time ago. I like the concept of getting information from other informed citizens. For example, Arab Spring and Egypt. I also value the information I get from professional journalists.

All this though, needs a certain amount of control.

To allow people to just freely upload their “news” may not be the best way to go, I believe that all these should be vetted through by a professional editor/ gatekeeper, and hence ensures the quality of the information that we will be given. Though it defeats the purpose of us being able to access all this information freely and without any editing, it is important to keep in mind, that all the things we are presented are objective, accurate, current, have equal coverage and from a credible authority.

So, here I want to show a TED talk by Andrew McGregor, to look at when Citizen Journalism is done right, and how it can actually help people.

Hope ya’ll learnt something new!

See ya’ll next time!

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Week 9: Power of Internet for Politics

Hi ya’ll!
Welcome back~

Ponds-clapping

 

This week, we’ll be looking at the power of the Internet for Politics. However, to understand how Internet would affect politics, we must first understand what politics really is. So, Politics are the activities and social relations involving authority or power of government and organizations. Political power comes from many sources like Legitimate, Referent and Expert Power.

However, with the introduction of the Internet and Social Media, there is a shift of these powers to the people.

So, we’ll look at the case study of Arab Spring to analyze how the Internet had changed the playing field of politics.

The Arab Spring is a term for the revolutionary wave of demonstrations and both non-violent and violent protests, riots and civil war in the Arab world that began on 18 December 2010. The Arab Spring is widely believed to have been instigated due to the dissatisfaction with the rule of local governments.

The situation was occurring in Syria, Egypt and Tunisia. So, a considerable amount of attention has been focused on the concept of democracy and collective activism, which continues to unravel in front of the rest of the world across mass media. Equally important has been the role of social media and digital technologies in allowing citizens within areas affected by ‘the Arab Uprisings’ as a means for collective activism to circumvent state-operated media channels

Looking at the rebels, being capable of sharing an immense amount of uncensored and accurate information throughout social networking sites has contributed to the cause of many Arab Spring activists. Through social networking sites, Arab Spring activists have not only gained the power to overthrow powerful dictatorship, but also helped Arab civilians become aware of the underground communities that exist and are made up of their brothers, and others willing to listen to their stories.

“Social media tools are not a replacement for real-world action but a way to coordinate it.”

Now information is seen as a weapon.

When the Syrian regime attempted to control traditional media and frame its message through press conferences, rebels used YouTube and social media to provide real-time footage of the conflict, portraying the regime in a negative light.

It is this enriched content that makes YouTube one of the most explosive forms of social media, as there is a vast difference in sometime saying what is happening via Twitter or telling you how they feel about it via Facebook and them actually showing you via video. In Syria, disabling the cell network to counter this reality would only play into the rebels hands, but it was this cell network that was being used so effectively against the regime. 

Today a blogger can impact an election, an Internet posting can recruit a terrorist, and an audiotape can incite fear in the strongest of nation-states, all with little capital investment and certainly without the baggage of bureaucratic rules, national values (truthful messaging), or oversight.

And this is how the Internet shifts the power from the government to the people.

Good Power

Hope ya’ll learnt something new.

See ya’ll next time!

k bye

 

Resources:

http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/what-the-arab-spring-tells-us-about-the-future-of-social-media-in-revolutionary-movements

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_Spring#Social_media_and_the_Arab_Spring

http://www.policymic.com/articles/10642/twitter-revolution-how-the-arab-spring-was-helped-by-social-media

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Week 8: Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

Hi ya’ll!

Welcome back to my blog!

applause

 

So, this week, we’ll be talking about Virtual Reality. What is it you ask? It is sometimes referred to as immersive multimedia, is a computer-simulated environment that can simulate physical presence in places in the real world or imagined worlds.

One of it’s many uses are to train air force pilots. Imagine if they have to fly a real plane on their first try.

So, the air force pilots would use what they call a flight simulator which are designed to teach flying skills but within a safe environment. It contains a cockpit and controls which are seen in real world aircraft and replicates the movements associated with flying. The pilot controls the simulator by using a joystick which has force feedback thereby allowing him/her to experience how it responds when he/she moves this joystick.

The whole purpose of the flight simulator is for the pilot to experience a sense of immersion and to feel as if they flying a real aircraft with real controls and under real life conditions. This means that the simulator must contain the same set up as seen in an actual aircraft, e.g. helicopter and move in a realistic way.

 

If not then the training session breaks down as the pilot suddenly becomes aware that the movements of the simulator are inconsistent with their mental model.

Faints

This is why it is important that the simulator is programmed in such a way that it mimics the movements of a real aircraft via force feedback which enhances the pilot’s experience.

These flight simulators are used to train military pilots for combat missions which includes co-ordination with ground operations, emergency evacuation, e.g. medical and flying whilst under fire. So their flight simulators have a more sophisticated environment called Advanced Synthetic Environments (ADS) which will integrate computer models, actual war fighting systems and weapon system simulators.

On the topic of Virtual Reality, I thought I would share a music video by KPOP group 2NE1, their song Come Back Home. The plot talks about a man being stuck in a Virtual Paradise, and that his girlfriend wants him to come back home to her. I thought that it’ll be a nice way to end of this post with some music.

Check it out!

Hope ya’ll learnt something new, and I’ll see ya’ll again soon!

Hugs2

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Week 7: Internet Security

Hi ya’ll! Welcome back to my blog!

This week, we’ll be talking about Internet Security! What is it, you ask? It is a branch of computer security specifically related to the Internet. Internet Security is very important, as the Internet represents an insecure channel for exchanging information leading to a high risk of intrusion or fraud, such as phishing. Phishing is attempting to get sensitive information like usernames, passwords and credit card details while posing as credible websites.

So, I’ll talk about phishing scams. One of the most common phishing scam is called The Nigerian Scam or the 419.

It starts of as an email too good to be true. A member of a rich Nigerian family, wants to give you a large sum of money, whether it be for charity, or for your help in some menial task. Though the sum is huge, and suspicious, people still fall for this money transfer con.

Often using your emotions and willingness to help against you. They will promise you the sum of money if you provide help, which is odd in itself. A rich family somehow can’t settle their own problems and needs to find a random stranger online for their help with bills?

The more you are willing to pay, the more they will try to get out of you. You will never see any of the promised money, because it’s not even real. Apparently, this scam isn’t even new; its variant dates back all the way to the 1920s, when it was better known as ‘The Spanish Prisoner’ con.

The reason why this Nigerian Scam is called the 419, is because it refers to the article of the Nigerian Criminal Code dealing with fraud, and this con continues till this day.

Due to the increased usage of the 419 scam on the internet, it has been used as plot devices in many films, television shows and books.

Shocked2

In Series 6 Episode 3 of The Real Hustle, the hustlers demonstrate the 419 scam on some people. The scam starts at the 9:11 mark.
Here’s the clip:

Anyways, hope you’ve learnt something about Internet Security.

Till next time!

pug-bye