“The Internet of Things has evolved into a nascent conceptual framework for understanding how physical objects, once networked and imbued with informatic capabilities, will occupy space and occupy themselves in a world in which things were once quite passive.” (Bleecker, 2006). The iOT is understanding how objects start producing and sharing information more actively than humans. An example of this very process is ‘SIRI’ the in-built intelligence assistant that enables iphone users to speak using voice commands. Siri basically has the answer to everything. With the continual technological milestones we are reaching, it is a strange concept to think that we are moving closer and closer to the interaction with objects- buts that technology. They have taken our muscle power and now our mind power as well – scary.
Bleecker, J. (2006) ‘Why Things Matter: A Manifesto for networked objects’
For me who is not fully versed in the technological world (yes I know), I had to find out the meaning behind dark fiber before I could even attempt this post. A dark fibre network or simply dark network is a privately operated optical network that is run directly by its operator over dark fibre leased or purchased from another supplier. Dark fibre networks may be used for private networking, or as Internet access or infrastructure. This notion is closely relate to the sensation of hackers, botnets and cyberwar.We have learnt that the Internet doesn’t like deletion – well apparently. We are living in a world where our every move is traceable. Whether it is the government spying on us or a person purchasing botnets to gain access to personal information such as credit card details, this data collection has become part of a dynamic system of total surveillance. When it comes to the internet, permission is not needed – people can take what they want and as they please… given you know how to.
Hacking has become a major 21st century problem thanks to the amount of personal data that now resides on the Internet. And this problem has become a major problem for just about everyone, we are all susceptible to it. When your hacked, if your lucky enough to get hacked it can be the most irritating thing. This happened to me back in probably 2007 when my yahoo7 email was hacked. While personal information being taken is a scary thought, it also highlights no matter how secure the network may be, when it comes the ‘big wide web’ your privacy will never be protected. Everything is traceable. Julian Assange made this all too real. The founder of wikileaks essentially a whistleblowing website, gained mass attention when he published large datasets of censored or otherwise restricted official materials involving war, spying and corruption. The site has since published more than 10 million documents and associated analyses. Despite whether you think what Assange did was ethical or not, it is very naïve to think that he is the only one uncovering unauthorized information as we speak.
Hahstagging? What it is?
Hashtagging has be defined as a word or phrase preceded by the hash mark (#), used within a message to identify a keyword or topic or facilitate a search.
Before the emergence of social media, particularly Twitter, hashtagging wasn’t even a thing. The first hashtag was created by Chris Messina, a social technology expert who created the hashtag #barcamp back in August 2007.
His tweet read-
?how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]??
The idea behind this was comeing up with a way of gathering discussions and online exchanges regarding Barcamp, a technology unconference gathering activity that spans worldwide. Since the humble begins of the hashtag, this function has spread to almost every other social media platform as a function ie facebook to track trending news and Instagram to collate similar posts. Hashtags have become the way of tracing the latest news stories and events. Twitters immediacy has given it the power to broadcast news faster than traditional news programs are even able to catch them. Even so, twitter is now being implemented as a primary resource for legacy media – the tables have turned!
Take Egypt for example, in January 2011, activists in Egypt called for an uprising against government corruption and the rule of president Hosni Mubarak. On January 25, ‘the day of rage’, the hashtag, #jan25 was created and Egyptians took to the streets to protest. On January 27, in response the Egyptian Government cut off the internet entirely. However, twitter users had set up a phone number that allowed citizens to call up and record a message that would transcribed into a tweet using the hashtag. This is just one case that shows the power of social media and no matter how draconian the laws may be, social media and the power of people behind it can ignite change- in this case the resignation of Hosni Mubarak.
I find the whole notion of social media used for citizen journalism a compelling phenomenon. While I am not one to voluntarily use twitter by any means I do understand the power it olds in delivering uncensored news in real time. As put forward by Axel Bruns, at the heart of “mainstream journalism offers news as a product: a collection of easily digestible reports based on research and ready for consumption.” This largely relates to legacy media, which gives us the mass mainstream broadcast of news we hear everyday. The problem with this, however is it relies on gatekeeping and a one to one mode of communication. Distributed media, however has allowed individuals anytime, anywhere to contribute to the conversation, thus what we have is citizen journalism.
“Consumers have become prosumers, where the ecology of participation is its own reward”
As further iterated by Bruns, “citizen journalism provides news as process: a continuing and necessarily unfinished coverage of topics and events inviting user participation aiming to achieve what can be described as ‘deliberative journalism”. The role of social media in journalism, has essentially transformed the industry, whether the ‘Arab Spring’, which could be consider the catalyst for implementing social media for political reform or a current examples such as the ‘Black lives matter’ campaign, it is no doubt that social media will continue to be used as a political tool of social engagement.
Bruns, A. (2009) ‘News Blogs and Citizen Journalism: New Directions for e-Journalism’
When it comes to technology, particularly mobile phones there are really only two competitors that are concerned – Apple and Android. Apple released its first iphone back in 2007, while android not far behind released their very own HTC version a year later. The difference between these two devices lies in their operating system. Apple is considered a ‘closed device’, meaning it has complete control over the iOS system, control over the app market and control over developers. Android, however is an ‘open device’ which means it has millions of independent operating systems, app developers and independent app markets. iOS and Android today have continued to polarize the market because of the systems they are built on. While android is currently running the race in terms of popularity this may be due to the fact that apple has to compete with the plethora of android devices available today – Samsung, HTC, Motorlla etc. Whether you’re an apple fan or an android fan, it really just comes down to personal preference. So where do you lie?
Feudalism explains a combination of legal and military customs in Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries. It has been defined broadly as a way of structuring society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour. Feudal lords controlled all aspects of land use and decided how citizens were to use the land. This notion can be related to the ‘centralized network’ that was present before the Internet. This network relied on centralized control over information flow much like how feudalism explains control. However, with the move to the prevailing distributed network, which involves multiple terminals connecting with each other, making all nodes equal has since handed the control to the end users, giving us the freedom. Though t
here are still some exceptions in the case of ‘walled garden platforms’ like Facebook and Apple app store where content is tied to the platform and the ‘garden’ owner controls how you use it.