IOT: Internet Of Things

Tags

, ,

Do you remember way back in the day when our grandmothers or even great grandmothers used to wash clothes, or wash dishes with bare hands? Now, we have washing machines and dishwashers. See how this has evolved in such a short period of time? We now have Internet Washing Machines, which are washing machines that can download different wash cycles from the Internet so you can wash your clothes to your preference. Now, who would have thought this was possible say, 50 years ago. People would have thought someone was crazy if someone told them that back in the day. This is the beauty of the ‘internet of things’. In fact, the term itself carries the meaning “physical objects connected to the internet” (Mitew 2012). The internet of things causes three main things:

1. The world is interconnected

“Eighty five percent of people around the globe who are connected online send and receive emails and 62 percent communicate through social networking sites” (Reaney 2012). Nowadays whether we like it or not, we are all interconnected. Also, we can connect so much easily with objects using the internet making our world interconnected.

2. The crumbling of physical borders

We can communicate with each other now with ease. In the past in order to pass a message to someone far away, one would have to write a letter, something physical. Presently, this is just an SMS (short messaging system) away. An example of this is corporate people who utilize video conferencing to carry out meetings with business partners overseas. It would cost a bomb for them to fly over just for a meeting. With the internet of things, there is no physical borders required, everything is done via wireless means.

3. Decentralization of information

“Decentralized intelligence helps create intelligent object networking and independent process management, with the interaction of the real and virtual worlds representing a crucial new aspect of the manufacturing and production process.” (VDMA 2012). Decentralization of information occurs in order for this ‘new aspect’ of production to happen. It is needed to create and innovate more intelligent objects.

Internet of Things

Internet of Things

Image URL: http://www.bit-tech.net/news/bits/2012/01/13/internet-of-things-government-cash/1

Our smartphones itself are like remote controls that connect us to the internet. We use it to go on our Twitter and Facebook and post statuses and updates on what we are currently doing. Something like this in the past would have required us to go home and get on the computer just to do so. Remember the days when people would write on their blogs about their daily activities? We do not need blogs as much anymore, because there’s Twitter and Facebook, accessible at all times at the palm of our hands. Whenever we want to tell someone of something interesting that happened at that moment, we can tweet it.

In the future there will be more of this and even more advanced versions of these smart objects that will be able to assist us in our daily activities. Life will become much less complex and we will live in comfort. However, is this really a good thing? Will humans learn to accept it in moderation and not go overboard resulting in humans becoming lazy and leaving everything to technology?

References

Mitew, T 2012, DIGC202 The internet of things, lecture notes, accessed 5/11/2012, http://prezi.com/nbpulyal3pvo/digc202-apple-vs-google/

Reaney, P 2012, Most of world interconnected through email, social media, Reuters, accessed 6/11/2012, http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/27/net-us-socialmedia-online-poll-idUSBRE82Q0C420120327

VDMA 2012, The Internet of Things: Smart Industry – Industry 4.0, accessed 6/11/2012, http://www.gtai.de/GTAI/Navigation/EN/Invest/Industries/Smarter-business/Smart-systems/internet-of-things,did=589872.html

Advertisements

Mobile World: Google vs. Apple

Tags

, , , , ,

First off, I would like to provide a brief history on both Google and Apple. Apple Computers was introduced on the 1st of April 1976 by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak and its first ever product was the Apple 1 which was hand built by Wozniak himself. Later, Steve Jobs observed the birth of Xerox Alto which was the first mouse-driven GUI (graphic user interface) personal computer and applied this knowledge to the production of Macintosh in 1984. A year later, Steve Jobs was kicked out of Apple only to rejoin the corporation in 1997. Bill Gates then decides to invest 150 million in Apple when it reaches its lowest point and the iMac was produced in 1998 which includes a mouse and keyboard, along with a series of successful products. Nevertheless, the most revolutionary was the birth of the iPhone on the 9th of January 2007:

This was the turning point saying a phone has got to be beautiful; a phone has got to be functional. – Nafis, F 2012

Google on the other hand, was introduced on the 4th of September 1998 by Sergey Brin and Larry Page as a search engine brand. There were other search engine brand before Google, namely InfoSeek, Excite, AltaVista, Lycos and Yahoo. Page and Brin did not know much about HTML at the time so their website had a very simple layout but it turns out people preferred the simpler interface and not long after, Google became the top search engine. In response to Apple’s iPhone launch, Google came up with a statement saying they will not be producing a G-phone but will be launching the Open Handset Alliance and Android and they did in fact launch it on the 5th of November 2007.

The brief history of mobile devices started with the first ever mobile cell phone in 1983, the Motorolla by Dr. Martin Cooper. Then came the first 2G phone, the Nokia 1011 in 1992. Followed by the first ever smartphone, which is the Philips Ilium Synergy launched in 1997. In 2001, there were the first 3G networks in Japan and South Korea. Finally in 2007, the iPhone which has revolutionized the course for mobile communication. I quote Steve Jobs himself at the iPhone premiere on January 9th 2007, “Three things: a widescreen iPod with touch controls; a revolutionary mobile phone; a breakthrough internet communications device” (Mitew 2012) on a single platform; iPhone. The iPhone lets Apple have complete control over content and user, because everything is controlled. For example anything from iTunes has to be paid for and only Apple products can work with Apple products, be it software or hardware. This is one limitation of Apple products.

One limitation which Google has exploited by excluding that limitation in the creation of the Open Handset Alliance, otherwise known as Android. The Android software on phones have no control over content and users because any Android phone can use the software and download applications such as games from the store for free. Google’s concept was to make browsing and using applications easy and fun, because they feel the easier it is to utilize, the more fun people have using it. “Christmas Day 2007… That morning, people unwrapped their iPhones, powered them up, clicked on the easy-to-use Safari browser — and pointed to Google. In 24 hours, the iPhone, which accounted for fewer than 5 percent of all smartphones worldwide, drove more traffic to Google than any other mobile device.” (Roth 2008)

Mobile web usage statistics

Mobile web usage statistics

Image URL: http://www.valuewalk.com/2012/09/googles-chrome-android-are-undervalued-morgan-stanley/

As we can observe from the graph above, Google’s strategy seems to be working just fine. Mobile web usage on Android phones have not only surpass usage on iOS, but is also rising in numbers. On the other hand, mobile web usage on iOS seems to fluctuate. What we know for sure is, that since Android was launched and in the five years it has been in use, it seems to be doing fairly well thus far. Lets hope Google can keep this up, but my question is whats next in store for Apple?

References

Mitew, T 2012, DIGC202 Apple vs Google, lecture notes, accessed 31/10/2012, http://prezi.com/nbpulyal3pvo/digc202-apple-vs-google/

Nafis, F 2012, Apple vs Google, lecture, DIGC202, Global Networks, University of Wollongong, delivered 29 October.

Roth, D 2008, ‘Google’s Open Source Android OS Will Free the Wireless Web’, Wired Magazine, accessed 1/11/2012,  http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/magazine/16-07/ff_android?currentPage=1

Arab Spring: Social Networks Revolutions

Tags

, , , , ,

Arab Spring

Arab Spring

Image URL: http://mihalakas.wordpress.com/2011/11/17/why-the-arab-spring-should-not-fear-tribalism-and-factionalism-institutionalizing-diversity/

With reference to previous posts in this blog, we can observe that social networking websites are of great importance to our modern daily lives, bringing competition to industries, giving us convenience and the freedom that we might not have elsewhere. Here I will talk about the power social networking might contain in contributing to the recent success of social activism. Are these really social network revolutions which rely on social networking websites to be successful? Or is social networking is merely a tool in the revolutions that will soon evolve to some other tool? Scholars seem to be taking sides on this, each with their own justifications why.

Morozov (2011) carries the opinion that “these digital tools are simply, well, tools, and social change continues to involve many painstaking, longer-term efforts to engage with political institutions and reform movements.” On the other hand, Gladwell (2010) states “social networks are effective at increasing participation—by lessening the level of motivation that participation requires.” Popova (2010) on the other hand, rationalizes that “while awareness is certainly not a sufficient condition for activism, it is a necessary one.” As we can see, some scholars feel that social networks are not necessary in activism because it does not help increase participation, however others feel that though social networking alone may not be enough, it is definitely necessary for activism to take place.

This brings me to the Arab spring, which refers to the revolutions motivated by social networks which started in Arab. It sparked in the small country of Tunisia, when Wikileaks revealed corruption of the Tunisian government and the lavish lifestyle of the dictator’s son. A month later, street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi was harassed by officials who confiscated his merchandise, leading him to set himself on fire on December 17th 2010, dying in the process. This led to news of planning travelling like water through social networking websites and mass demonstrations on the 19th of December 2010 in protest of how the officials had acted. News of the demonstrations spread like wildfire through social networking informing the whole world about what was going on in Tunisia. The government reacts by taking control over the Internet flow, however power of the people leads to President Ben Ali’s stepping down after less than a month of protests.

In Egypt, Khaled Mohamed Saeed gets beaten to death on June 6th 2010 and the government claims he ‘choked’ to death. This provoked Google Marketing Manager for MENA, Wael Ghonim created a Facebook group titled “We are all Khaled Said”. News travels and soon a 26 year old Egyptian vlogger Asmaa Mahfouz puts a video up on YouTube calling for mass demonstrations on January 25th 2011. The video goes viral and hundred of thousands of people appear in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt on the day of the demonstrations. Again, government reacts but after weeks of protests President Hosni Mubarak also steps down. Syria’s citizens organize protests through social networking and start protests on January 26th 2011. Yemeni Tawakkol Karman organizes protests for press freedom in January of 2011 and her arrest soon unleashes mass protests in Yemen to free her. She later wins the 2011 Nobel peace prize.

In the case of the Yemeni woman who won a Nobel peace prize, people would not have come to know of what she caused in Yemen if not for social networking because it would be physically impossible to bring that huge number of people together in such a short period of time. This is my take on the matter, but it is a very subjective matter which shows people having different perspectives when it comes to social network revolutions. Nevertheless, one thing we cannot deny is the fact that social networking has definitely affected activism and revolutions in some way or another.

References

Gladwell, M 2010, ‘Small Change: Why the revolution will not be tweeted.’, The New Yorker, accessed 28/10/2012, http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/10/04/101004fa_fact_gladwell?currentPage=all 

Mitew, T 2012, DIGC202 #mena#arabspring: the social network revolution, lecture notes, accessed 28/10/2012, http://prezi.com/ikufthacaunr/mena-arabspring/

Morozov, E 2011, ‘ Facebook and Twitter are just places revolutionaries go’, The Guardian, accessed 28/10/2012, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/07/facebook-twitter-revolutionaries-cyber-utopians

Popova, M 2010, ‘Malcolm Gladwell Is #Wrong’, Change Observer, accessed 28/10/2012, http://changeobserver.designobserver.com/feature/malcolm-gladwell-is-wrong/19008/

Counter Networks: Hacking Culture

Tags

, , , , ,

The infrastructure of the Internet, the source of our information network gives us limitless space, “free flow of information” and convenience for everyone to utilize. This has given birth to yet another culture as a result of the rise of technology, the ‘hacking culture’. Also known as counter-networks, it consists of online activism, whistle blowers and such. Cyber-libertarians are part of online activism which focuses on “information freedom” for everyone and utilizes the “net as an electronic frontier” (Mitew 2012). These cyber-libertarians utilize hacking in certain areas in order to gain this information which they believe should be shared by everyone freely on the Internet.

Hacking culture came about from the discovery of ‘cryptanalysis’. The first emergence of cryptanalysis however, was through the Enigma machine. The Enigma machine was created in “1923 as a commercial product produced by German named Arthur Scherbius” (Guba 2012). It led to the German military use of the enigma in World War 2 to encipher and decipher codes without being understood by the intelligence agencies of other countries. Nevertheless, this did not last because soon after, Polish mathematician Marian Rajewski hacks the Enigma machine managing to decipher it successfully. That incident would later prove to be the first ever trace or resemblance of the term ‘hacking’ in history.

Anonymous Hackers

Anonymous Hackers

Image URL: http://www.cityhyd.info/2012/05/30/hackers-group-anonymous-attacks-indian-govt-sites-and-twitter/

Later in the 1960s, there was hacking through “electronic phone network switchboards”, also known as “phone phreaking” (Mitew 2012). This was when there was the existence of telephones and telephone lines. Fast forward to the 21st century, now with the presence of the Internet, there are hackers who decipher information technology codes through computers, to hack into phone switches, mainframes and even government servers. From this, we can observe that the evolution of hacking has been parallel to the evolution of technology. This led to the development of a ‘hacking subculture’ which involved hacker magazines and ‘leet speak’ among others. Examples of hacker magazines are such as Phrack and 2600 which was started up in 1985 and 1984 respectively. Leet speak on the other hand refers to hacker slangs, which are certain way of typing words only hackers would understand, for example words like “n00b” which stands for ‘newbie’ and “w00t” which shows a sort of cheer of excitement.

An example of the capabilities of hacking is the story of WikiLeaks, which was started up by Julian Paul Assange in 2006, on his misson for “total transparency” (Khatchadourian 2010). Assange utilizes hacking in order to gain top secret  information from governments all over the world and anything else they are trying to feed the public falsely, hide or cover up. He feels people should know the truth about what is going on in the world and that governments who are corrupted should have their wrongdoings unveiled. This is very beneficial as citizens everywhere deserve to know the truth of what is going on in the world. Assange, “a cryptographer of exceptional skill”, also pioneered  the hacker subculture’s first few rules, which were “Don’t damage computer systems you break into (including crashing them); don’t change the information in those systems (except for altering logs to cover your tracks); and share information.” (Khatchadourian 2010).

In hacking there are two categories of hackers, which are the “white hats” and “black hats” (Nafis 2012). Most hackers have almost the same purpose, which is to find out the truth and other top secret information with a purpose to inform the public of the truth. However, these are the white hat hackers who are the good guys of the hacking world. They not only find the truth but also put up good defenses against the black hats. Black hats are the evil hackers on the other hand who wish to bring down websites and serve their own selfish purposes. They are the dangers of hacking now in our modern world which just goes to show that just like everything else in life, counter networks or hackers also have their fair share of benefits and disadvantages.

Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like.

My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.

I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto. You may stop this individual, but you can’t stop us all… after all, we’re all alike. – The Mentor, 1986

References

Guba, A 2012, Enigma, The Core Memoryaccessed 26/10/2012, http://www.thecorememory.com/html/enigma.html

The Mentor 1986, The Conscience of a HackerPhrack, accessed 26/10/2012, http://www.phrack.org/issues.html?issue=7&id=3&mode=txt

Khatchadourian, R 2010, ‘No Secrets: Julian Assange’s mission for total transparency’ The New Yorker, 7 June, accessed 26/10/2012,  http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/06/07/100607fa_fact_khatchadourian?currentPage=3

Mitew, T 2012, DIGC202 Counter-Networks, lecture notes, accessed 26/10/2012, http://prezi.com/hotqlxztvxdb/digc202-counter-networks/

Nafis, F 2012, Counter-Networks, lecture, DIGC202, Global Networks, University of Wollongong, delivered 22 October.

21st Century: Of Citizen Journalists and Gatewatching

Tags

, , ,

Essentially, traditional journalism functions through a structured “news media house with preconceived objectives to package, report news, issues and people which they would sell to as audiences” (Biriwasha 2011). This describes traditional news reporting, which is very structured and works as a business would to satisfy the audiences need for knowing latest news and information. However, due to the rise of the information age and the existence of technology such as the Internet and the WWW (World Wide Web), there is a much more improved and evolved version of journalism today known as ‘citizen journalism’. Now, regular everyday people can become journalists just by reporting news and information using social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter among others. Thanks to these websites, citizen journalists can provide news and information with a lot more speed than traditional journalism. Citizen journalism defined with simplicity is, when “individuals do essentially what professional reporters do – report information.” (Rogers 2012).

News essentially in real-time without having to wait for the newspaper. – Nafis, F 2012

Those days and even presently, with traditional journalism the process that any piece of news has to go through is ‘gatekeeping’. This is because traditional journalism involves extensive research on a specific story and compiling all the gathered information to come up with a news report that includes all the details. It is a more centralized way of organizing news to be spread through just one platform. This is why it goes through the more centralized process of gatekeeping. Gatekeeping works as “filters for news items which were considered to be unimportant, uninteresting, or otherwise irrelevant for audiences.” (Bruns 2009).

The process of gatekeeping is very centralized and structured as I mentioned earlier, traditional journalism involves a very structured process and environment. This is because it involves more editorial filtering, where editors get to decide or allow what piece of news should be conveyed and what piece of news should not be part of the information spread. Hence, editors decide which stories are newsworthy enough to be published  and act as the gatekeepers for independent newspapers and broadcasters. Governments can also act as gatekeepers but only when it comes to public newspapers and broadcasters. Gatekeeping is very centralized because again, all the approved newsworthy stories will be published using one platform.

Citizen journalism

Citizen journalism

Image URL: http://communicationandmediastudies.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/gatekeeping-vs-gatewatchers/

However, with the rise of citizen journalists there is a new process that follows nowadays, which is now known as ‘gatewatching’. Gatewatching works based “more on information search and retrieval skills especially in online environments” (Bruns 2009). Gatewatching unlike gatekeeping, is more decentralised as it points at, searches for or highlights something. Gatewatchers want to organize what information is consistent among the abundance of information because when a vast majority of people are saying the same thing, there has to be a certain level of truth in it. Citizen journalism is decentralised because the news and information comes from a variety of places, not just one platform. Then, with the decentralized information being collected from all these different sources, gatewatchers organize it to find out what is real and what is not.

Citizen journalism is threatening the very existence of traditional journalism because there are no filters which means it is often easier to get more details on a specific story using citizen journalism. Although not all information provided by citizen journalists or the details of it are accurate, gatewatchers get to do their own research and decide for themselves what is true instead of being fed information by gatekeepers, which could be just as inaccurate because gatekeepers decide what the truth is before the news is spread by traditional journalists.

When information is scarce, content is everything; when it abundant, coherence is everything. – Mitew, T 2012

References

Biriwasha, CKM 2011, Is Traditional Journalism Facing A Demise?’, iZivisoMag Weblog, weblog, accessed 20/10/2012, http://ziviso.wordpress.com/2011/09/19/is-traditional-journalism-facing-a-demise/

Bruns, A 2009, ‘News Blogs and Citizen Journalism: New Directions for e-Journalism’, accessed 19/10/2012, http://produsage.org/files/News%20Blogs%20and%20Citizen%20Journalism.pdf

Mitew, T 2012, DIGC202 Bridge made of pebbles: Social media and the rise of gatewatchers, lecture notes, accessed 19/10/2012, http://prezi.com/sh7b7p0osscz/digc202-social-media-and-the-rise-of-gatewatchers/

Nafis, F 2012, Bridge made of pebbles: Social media and the rise of gatewatchers, lecture, DIGC202, Global Networks, University of Wollongong, delivered 15 October.

Rogers, T 2012, ‘What is Citizen Journalism?’, accessed 20/10/2012, http://journalism.about.com/od/citizenjournalism/a/whatiscitizen.htm

Social Media: ‘Bridges Made of Pebbles’

Tags

, , ,

We know that information is always highly valuable in any society. The evolution of how information spread started of from the form of  “‘one to one’, to ‘one to many’ and now, ‘many to many” (Nafis 2012). One to one would refer to a time very much before books even existed where the spreading of  information was by word of mouth or gossip, by human communication. One to many refers to the time when media such as books, newspapers, radio and even news in the television were few of the media people relied on to gain information. However, with the rise of the Internet and social media in the 21st century, the spread of information has turned into a many to many form. Thanks to the Internet, there are blogs, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter and even forums nowadays, causing information spread to be from many people to a whole bunch of many other people.

Information avalanche

Information avalanche

Image URL: http://socialmediasolutionsllc.com/blog/promotional-contests-and-social-media-a-precarious-relationship/

Social networking websites which people use to socialize, has evolved to a platform where people share whatever new information they have learnt. A huge number of different people put up information and this causes us to see many different sides of just one story. Hence, social media creates an “information avalanche” (Mitew 2012) which causes information to be abundant. This diverts the focus of the public on having the need for information to having the need for fast and accurate information. In the past, it is difficult to spread information to the masses, which made information valuable and caused people to focus on looking for information. Now, information is everywhere to be found, everyone is focusing on being the first to get the information. If your organization is known as the first to present the latest news, of course people are going to tune in regularly because its human nature to want to be the first who knows the latest news.

Nevertheless, even with the speed of information people also tend to focus on the accuracy of the information presented as everyone wants to know the truth. However due to the amount of sources providing an abundance of information causing the information avalanche, “it is becoming difficult to determine how credible or valid the information is” (Nafis 2012). Social media such as Twitter come into the picture with applications such as hashtags, which allow users to label what they tweet about and by clicking the hashtag, one will be able to see all tweets on that particular topic. By using the hashtag, we can observe the consistency of information available and it will provide what is the truth and what is not because information which is consistent is bound to be accurate. On the other hand, Facebook has the group application which allow people to talk about the same issue in one group where all group members will get notifications of all posts on that group. Twitter proves more convenient although both websites provide a certain organization for the information.

Credibility is an issue, but with millions of people saying the same thing there has to be some truth in it. – Nafis, F 2012

For example in Twitter, “the sum total of those tweets added up to something truly substantive, like a suspension bridge made of pebbles” (Johnson 2009). This is what is meant by “bridges made of pebbles”. The concept of how social networking websites provide us with accurate information is explained using this metaphor. The ‘pebbles’ represent the numerous amount of information provided by many different people on social networking websites. Consequently, the ‘bridges’ are the whole organization of information which leads to informing us what is true and what is not. These ‘pebbles’ create the’bridge’ thus making up the phrase or metaphor “bridges made of pebbles”.  Not only are social networking websites so useful in the spread of information from many to many, but also useful in helping us gain fast and accurate information.

References

Johnson, S 2009, ‘How Twitter Will Change The Way We Live’, TIME Magazine, 5 June, n.a., accessed 6/10/2012, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1902818-2,00.html

Mitew, T 2012, DIGC202 Bridge made of pebbles: Social media and the rise of gatewatchers, lecture notes, accessed 6/10/2012, http://prezi.com/sh7b7p0osscz/digc202-social-media-and-the-rise-of-gatewatchers/

Nafis, F 2012, Bridge made of pebbles: Social media and the rise of gatewatchers, lecture, DIGC202, Global Networks, University of Wollongong, delivered 2 October.

‘Cloud Computing’ and the ‘Long Tail’

Tags

,

Cloud computing is a metaphor describing how we store and access information presently – Nafis, F 2012

Examples of cloud computing are file sharing sites such as 4shared.com and mediafire.com. It is the new way of storing and accessing data with convenience consisting of a huge amount of space for storing information. Due to the emergence of cloud computing, it has become increasingly easier to produce our own works and publish it on the Internet or World Wide Web (WWW), as well as access information which is not necessarily available in stores. As I have explained in my previous post, those who produce their own works are known as content produsers or ‘prosumers’ and here, we discover the effect of ‘prosumers’.

Cloud computing leads to the shift from industries attempting to satisfy mass market to attempting to satisfy niche markets as well.This is because due to the abundance of information,it becomes easier to satisfy niche markets. For example, a music shop like Rock Corner and iTunes online store. Rock corner can only hold so many CDs, because there is limited space which means only CDs which have high demand from the masses will be available in the store, since there can only be a selected number of CDs. However, iTunes which is Apple’s very own online music store can satisfy all the niche demands because there is an unlimited space for storage of music. There will be music which can be found in Rock Corner and so much more, available in iTunes, which is also more affordable and easier to access. This is because “traditional retail economics” such as Rock Corner, “dictate that stores only stock the likely hits, because shelf space is expensive” (Anderson 2005).

A “mass market always beats a niche market” because traditional mediums are costly but now there is a “mass market of niches” (Mitew 2012) due to cost effective and easily accessible means such as the Internet. This is exactly what the ‘long tail’ concept describes. Observe the graph below for a clearer picture:

The 'Long Tail'

Explains the ‘Long Tail’ effect

Image URL: http://www.longtail.com/the_long_tail/faq/

The image shows the reason why niche markets eventually surpass mass markets. It is because even though niche products are so much cheaper, niche products eventually get more hits because of the products are in abundance compared to mass products. Consequently because of this ‘long tail’ effect, industries must be more innovative in finding ways to get people to purchase their products. They must bring back the demand by making their products worth spending that extra money on. An example of how this can be done is by using one of the eight generatives suggested by Kelly (2008), which is “Immediacy”. It is one of the things people find worth paying for because it is a basic human trait to thrive on being the first person to own a copy of a new single or what not. Having a CD delivered to you first for you to be the first to hear it in the world is something people would actually pay for. Then again, this is just one of the few other intangible values you can instill to your product to make better profits.

References

Anderson, K 2005, ‘Long Tail 101’, weblog post, Wired Blog Network, The Long Tail, accessed 29/9/2012, http://www.longtail.com/the_long_tail/faq/

Kelly, K 2008, Better Than Free, accessed 29/9/2012, http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/kelly08/kelly08_index.html

Mitew, T 2012, DIGC202 Into the cloud: the long tail and the attention economy, lecture notes, accessed 28/9/2012, http://prezi.com/nm7rgdlnxhdf/digc202-into-the-cloud-the-long-tail-and-the-attention-economy/

Nafis, F 2012, Into the cloud: the long tail and the attention economy, lecture, DIGC202, Global Networks, University of Wollongong, delivered 24 September.

The Convergence of Media

Tags

,

In the world of media convergence, every important story gets told, every brand gets sold, and every consumer gets courted across multiple media platforms. – Jenkins, H 2006

Based on my understanding of the reading by Jenkins (2006), media convergence is the “flow of content across multiple media platforms, the cooperation between multiple media industries, and the migratory behavior of media audiences”. This refers to the fact that information is transferred through more than one form of media and different forms of media come together in satisfying the audiences. Also,  audiences are able to have a certain degree of power in determining the way information flows through these media.

An example of the cooperation of different media industries can be the e-book, where old media and new media technology converge to make it more convenient for consumers or audiences. Books are an old and traditional form media of spreading information such as stories, novels, poems, plays and et cetera. Using new technology, people have now come up with e-books which can be found through media such as the Internet. Websites such as Scribd.com and gutenberg.org are namely few of the websites which provide free access to e-books for online reading.  As we can see from this example, “convergence alters the relationship between existing technologies, industries, markets, genres and audiences” (Jenkins 2004).

Project Gutenberg

The Project Gutenberg logo is on the left

Image URL: http://www.publicdomaintreasurehunter.com/2010/03/09/can-i-really-do-anything-i-want-with-the-books-that-i-download-from-project-gutenberg/

Scribd.com also allows users to upload any kind of text document they wish to upload and enables them to share whatever they upload with other users. This is where the behaviour of media audiences evolve. Back in the day, before all these new technologies existed, consumers or audiences did not have much of a choice on what the media provides, as in the case of books again. We purchase a book and get whatever is in the book as determined by publishers and authors. Now, with the Internet and new technologies such as smartphones which we can use to go online with convenience, we can be authors as well and publish our works on these websites which allow us the liberty to do so.

Scribd.com logo: old and new

Scribd.com logo

Image URL: http://www.web3mantra.com/tag/logos-design-inspirations/

“Prosumers” are a mixture of consumers and producers of the media and this word depicts the way society nowadays deal with media. This is because consumers can produce their own works and publish it in the media as well. As i mentioned earlier, Scribd allows users to publish their own text documents on the website, and this means  users are the producers of the documents that they are uploading onto the website and it can be consumed by other consumers. At the same time, the users are also consumers because they utilize the website to view and documents uploaded by others as well.

Therefore, Scribd is a very good example of how the “prosumer” (Mitew 2012) is formed. We have come a long way in the sense of media, from “analogue to digital data” (Mitew 2012) and as consumers ourselves, we can notice how media convergence has drastically changed they way we gain and share information and the way we come in contact with media.

References

Esengulov, A 2008, ‘The Best 6 Sites to Get Free Ebooks’, website, accessed 22/9/2012, http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/the-best-6-sites-to-get-free-ebooks/

Jenkins, H 2006, ‘Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide’, pp 1-24New York University Press, New York,  accessed 21/9/2012, http://www.nyupress.org/webchapters/0814742815intro.pdf

Jenkins, H 2004, ‘The Cultural Logic of Media Convergence‘, International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol.7, no.33, pp 33-43, accessed 21/9/2012, http://ics.sagepub.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/content/7/1/33.full.pdf+html

Mitew, T 2012, DIGC202 Transglobal entertainment and media convergence, lecture notes, accessed 22/9/2012, http://prezi.com/zcvqfdos9uga/digc202-transglobal-entertainment-and-media-convergence/

Copyright: Protection of Intellectual Property

Tags

, ,

Knowledge is power and it is clear that information is precious and it is also clear that people are just so hungry for information. – Nafis, F 2012

The quote above shows the importance of information these days, as I insinuated in my previous posts, we live in the information or knowledge era where people seem to value it over most other things. People crave the latest news, gossip and everything that involves information, especially information technology, as it is the fastest evolving form of information in the 21st century. Information plays a big part in intellectual property,as explained below:

Intellectual property: Commodification of information as a product. – Mitew, T 2012

Due to the presence of intellectual property, there is a need for the existence of laws to protect the rights of those who own the intellectual property. These laws are known as copyright laws. The first ever appearance of copyright law was back in the year 1710, known as the Statute of Queen Anne which grants owners monopoly of the intellectual property for 14 years after its publication. More than 150 years later, in the year 1886 there was the Berne Convention which granted monopoly over intellectual property for at least 50 years after its publication (Mitew 2012). Ever since, there has been a massive amount of innovation which contributed to the birth and development of technology, as well as the Internet, thanks to all the innovators out there.

Copyright is needed to reward the best director, author, etc., but again its becoming difficult to define it because its not clear as to who owns what. – Nafis, F 2012

Now, there are various forms of copyright law due to the Internet and technology resulting in digital property which makes it much easier for the infringement of copyright and much more difficult to control the distribution rights of any form of intellectual property. Modern copyright laws include the Digital Rights Management (DRM) (Mitew 2012) which allows control over access to content . An example of this is Apple’s iTunes store where songs, music videos and movies must be paid for in order to listen to or watch. A copyright law that strengthens this is the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) enacted in 1998 which makes circumventing the Digital Rights Management (DRM) a criminal offence (Mitew 2012).

Types of Copyright

Various forms of copyright

Image URL: http://www.ithenticate.com/plagiarism-checker-blog/bid/76228/Should-Copyright-Protect-Ideas-or-Words-in-Academic-Publishing

These are few of the copyright laws which help protect intellectual property nowadays even though there are loopholes such as the Internet. The laws are a huge help in protecting intellectual property though it may not be bulletproof. Another form of copyright is the End User Licence Agreement (EULA) (Mitew 2012) which is a binding legal contract expanding control beyond standard copyright .This is because one has to agree to the End User Licence Agreement (EULA) before being able to utilize the software. For example, it appears when playing an online game and a gamer would have to click ‘Agree’ in order to play the game. This also means that at the end of the day, people have permission to play the game but not own it. However, it is difficult to uphold these laws, as in the case of Time Warner Corporation owning the rights to the song “Happy Birthday To You” (Mitew 2012), which is sung by people everywhere nowadays, supposedly ‘illegally’. 

These are just a few examples of copyright laws, as there are many more out there. These laws make it much more difficult for us to access intellectual property, however modern technology has made it so much easier for us to gain access, although the access gained is, most times not necessarily legal. It is important to have copyright laws, but the distribution of intellectual property can never be completely controlled. As in the case of Apple iPhones, if  one ‘jailbreaks’ the phone, it is illegal but allows the user free access to the applications that are offered by Apple for iPhones.

Here is an interesting video I would like to share, showing an example of how intellectual property is protected or claimed in the Science industry:

It is something that companies can make a lot of money off. – Nafis, F 2012

References

Nafis, F 2012, Copyright, lecture, DIGC202, Global Networks, University of Wollongong, delivered 10 September.

Mitew, T 2012, DIGC202 Intellectual Property and Content Control, lecture notes, accessed 25/10/2006, http://prezi.com/bm5k4k0atb2g/digc202-intellectual-property-and-content-control/

ThomsonReutersCorp 2012, Thomson Reuters Intellectual Property and Science – The Innovation Lifecycle, accessed 14/9/2012, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibfrzjb_fB0.

Liquid Labour: Network Citizens in Economies

Tags

,

…From industrial labour, factory machines, assembly line to liquid labour, computers, information processing; free information flow requires local decision making ; free flow of capital + information = liquid labour… – Mitew, T 2012

The quote above explains the concept of liquid labour and what it means. It shows that liquid labour refers to the free flow of information which requires no physical labour, and this is proven with the fact that, “between 1996 and 2006 employment in knowledge-intensive services in the UK increased from 37 per cent of all jobs to 43 per cent. At the same time,high-tech manufacturing declined from 443,300 jobs in 1996 to 288,000 in 2006.” (Bradwell & Reeves 2008). Hence, we can see that liquid labour is taking over manual labour little by little. This is probably due to its convenience and efficiency, for example, people nowadays will not require the services of a postman as much anymore, as there is the much cheaper and faster way of relating information: E-mail! Another example would be factory workers who are laid off due to being replaced with machines.

From what I comprehend, network citizens refer to ‘us’, the people who use networks or are involved in any networks because a huge number of people are now network citizens due to the fact that, in present times, almost every job requires some form of networking or another. For example, it would be a plus to state that you are ‘technologically savvy’ in your resume, as most jobs require the a basic knowledge of information technology. This brings me to my point, which is to relate network citizens to economies.

The coincidence of technological, social and labour market change is significant for the way we think of organisations because it changes the cost of their operation. In economic terminology, it changes their transaction costs. – Bradwell and Reeves, 2008

The fact that technology and knowledge are right at our fingertips, it enables people to work more efficiently and in return, this requires less manpower. Hence, less manpower required leads to less cost being required, as less workers are being paid. Therefore, when less labour costs are required, more profit will be gained and this will effect economies positively. Corporations can make more profit from enforcing liquid labour which shows that it would definitely be the better option. Even social networking websites are being used largely in workplaces as of today, indirectly contributing to economies as well, because “social networks and dynamics can be as important as, and often are more important than, formal hierarchy and structure, in determining how information flows and innovation emerges in an organisation” (Bradwell & Reeves 2008).

Social Networking Websites

YouTube, Facebook, etc.

Image URL: http://www.gatewayinternetmarketing.com/content/social-networking.htm

However, there is also a minor disadvantage with having ‘technologically savvy’ employees in organizations or corporations, as when work is done using computers especially, employees will often be found on social networking websites for non-work-related purposes. “For example, a survey by the Creative Group of marketing and advertising executives in the US found that 57 per cent believe it is permissible for employees to browse non-work-related websites during business hours” (Bradwell & Reeves 2008). This shows that liquid labour may not always be as effective as industrial labour, as it makes us less productive and more lazy.

References

Bradwell, P, & Reeves, R 2008, Economies. In Networked Citizens , pp. 25-31, accessed 6/9/2012, http://www.demos.co.uk/files/Network%20citizens%20-%20web.pdf

Mitew, T 2012, DIGC202 Liquid Labour, lecture notes, accessed 25/10/2006, http://prezi.com/jzxu5yetufdf/digc202-liquid-labour/