IoT – The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things, or more commonly known as IoT, refers to the connection of usually trivial material objects to the Internet – ranging from tooth brushes, to shoes or umbrellas. This connectivity allows things to broadcast sensory data remotely, in the process augmenting material settings with ambient data capture and processing capabilities (Mitew, T 2014).

From this definition above, we can gather an idea that this concept of IoT is about the expansion of information networks and society’s connectivity with online that has lead to a world in which there is increased machine-to-machine communication, that are collecting and exchanging data. Through communication between sensors and machines, these trivial objects can gather particular data about its users and then transmit it to those corporations for analysing. Daniel Burrus (2015) discusses this concept, saying, “the real value that the Internet of Things creates is at the intersection of gathering data and leveraging it”. These corporations collection of data using the IoT will be ‘leveraged’ for their own corporate and personal gain.

This infograph I have created highlights some ridiculous objects that are apart of the Internet of Things.

An Internet of 'Dumb'Things

References:

Mitew, T 2014, ‘Do objects dream of an internet of things?’, The Fibreculture Journal, University of WollongongIssue 23,

https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/460481/mod_resource/content/0/Do%20Objects%20Dream%20of%20an%20Internet%20of%20Things.pdf >

Burrus, D 2015, ‘The Internet Of Things Is Far Bigger Than Anyone Realizes’, WIRED, Article,

http://www.wired.com/insights/2014/11/the-internet-of-things-bigger/ >

Whistleblowing

Whistleblowing is officially defined as “making a disclosure that is in the public interest” of any activity that is deemed illegal or dishonest (FindLaw Uk, 2015).

From this definition, we can come to the understanding that these people engaging in whistleblowing, or better described as a ‘whistleblower’, are exposing truths that have been hidden from the public for different reasons, however are mainly due to ethics. A quite recent and very topical whistleblower was Edward Snowden.

Edward Snowden is a 31 year-old former technical assistant for the CIA. Snowden has been noted as one of America’s most consequential whistleblowers for his role in handing over classified material from one of the world’s most secretive organisations, the NSA (National Security Agency) (Greenwald, G et. al 2013). This leaked information exposed NSA for extensive Internet and phone surveillance, all of which was given and reported by ‘TheGuardian’ newspaper in 2013. In revealing his own identity in leaking this information, Snowden claimed noted:

“I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions, but I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant” (Greenwald, G et. al 2013).

Still to this date, people debate whether Snowden should be branded as a traitor, or commended on his stand for democracy, that everyone has a right to know the truth. Personally, I believe that he was right in exposing this unethical practice by the NSA of surveillance.

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(Link embedded in Screenshot)

References:

FindLaw Uk 2015, ‘What is Whistleblowing?’, FindLaw.co, 

http://findlaw.co.uk/law/employment/problems_at_work/500382.html >

Hacktivist – Anonymous

‘Hacktivism’ is defined as “the use of computers and computer networks to promote political ends, chiefly free speech, human rights, and information ethics” (Davis, D 2015). In analysing this definition, we can come to the understanding that hacktivism can either be used for good or bad, it just depends on those who are using it and for what purpose.

‘Anonymous’, one of the most notorious hacktivist groups of the 21st century, started from small beginnings of hacking and trolling, slowly realised their potential, growing into a serious political movement group. This hacktivist group has a particular target against those who are believed to be violating the freedoms of the internet. By hacking these various governments and corporations, they claim to be standing for the people, the freedom of speech and anti-censorship online and within society. This group uses a symbol in the form of a mask to highlight that they are one voice, that they all are speaking as one.

While traditional activists have criticised the group for its methods, few would argue that its ‘mixture of an anonymous society and collective action has proven to be powerful agents of change’ (Ryan, Y 2011). Personally, I believe that most of Anonymous’s actions taken are for the better good, and that they are successful in giving the people a voice to speak with.

References:

Davis, D 2015, ‘Hacktivism: good or evil?’, ComputerWeekly.com, 

http://www.computerweekly.com/opinion/Hacktivism-Good-or-Evil >

Ryan, Y 2011, ‘Anonymous and the Arab uprisings’, Aljazeera, May 19,

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2011/05/201151917634659824.html >

Social Network Revolutions

Activism – “The policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change” (Khan-Ibarra, S 2014).

Today’s media and communication technologies have given rise to the ability for anyone to congregate using a variety of social media platforms, to discuss topical issues at hand today.  With this rise, we can see a notable surge in activism, with people wanting to formulate social change around the world. Individuals are able use these media platforms to connect with those like-minded, sparking a large conversation on the various aspects of this topic.

These large online conversations have shaped activism, with people who were only tangentially involved on an issue, now being able to contribute to these conversations and find ways to participate in hope of creating social change. Although social media activism can be very useful in making change, Evgeny Morozov’s (2011) article discusses how these social media platforms are just tools for social change, and that for this change to actually take place, it ‘involves many painstaking, longer-term efforts to engage with political institutions and reform movements’.

A popular way in which attention is brought to these activist movements is through the #hashtag. ‘Petitions, protests, letters to politicians and those in power are disseminated through social media, but what brings attention to a movement or a hashtag is the high number of mentions of a hashtag, which is what brings it worldwide attention’ (Khan-Ibarra, S 2014).
CRUISERS

References:

Morozov, E 2011, ‘Facebook and Twitter are just places revolutionaries go’, The Guardian, Article,

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/mar/07/facebook-twitter-revolutionaries-cyber-utopians >

Khan-Ibarra, S 2014, ‘The Case for Social Media and Hashtag Activism’, PATHEOS, October 30, Article,

The Rise of Citizen Journalism

With the emergence and advancement of technological communications, has come the concept of citizen journalism. Citizen journalism is the idea of ‘private individuals doing essentially what professional reporters do – report information’ (Rogers, T 2015). With the help of new media technologies, individuals can collect, disseminate and analyse information and news through podcasts, blogs, websites and social media.

Those participating in citizen journalism is directly linked to the idea of produsage, which has been enabled by the shift towards a more ‘accessible media environment which allows for all participants to both receive and send information, on an almost equal basis’ (Bruns, A 2009). With produsage and citizen journalism on the rise, we can see “the journalist’s role as an annotational or orientational one, shift from the ‘watchdog’ to the ‘guidedog'” (Bruns, A 2009).

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 9.18.13 AM

References:

Bruns, A 2009, ‘News Blogs and Citizen Journalism: New Directions for e-Journalism’, Creative Industries Faculty, 

https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/439967/mod_resource/content/1/Bruns%2C%20A.%20-%20News%20Blogs%20and%20Citizen%20Journalism.pdf >

Rogers, T 2015, ‘What is Citizen Journalism?’, aboutnews, Article,

< http://journalism.about.com/od/citizenjournalism/a/whatiscitizen.htm >

iOS vs. Android

Introducing first…in the grey corner, weighing in at 5kgs, we have…..iOS

In the green corner, weighing in at a 7kgs, we have…..Android

Touch gloves..

Fight!!!!

In the technological driven society in which we participate in today, two mobile phone operating systems have long been dominating the field. Both Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS have been in a constant feud, trying to innovate and out do the other platform in order to capture more market share. Researchers and fans are frequently debating with each other in search of which platform is dominant over the other.

Apple’s iOS is designed as a restricted closed platform, controlling the entire platform, content and even the users. This walled garden that Apple creates for its users is more commonly used by those with little tech background, looking for an easily accessible system.

Android on the other hand have created an open sourced operating system where users can individually customize and edit their own device. This open system has more appeal with those who find themselves tech savvy, meaning a “coder could write for and any handset maker could install” (Roth, D 2008).

Personally, I have been loyal to Apple for as long as I can remember due to my lack of technological skills, however I do not find it superior to Google’s android. I think that in choosing which platform you want comes down to the type of system you are looking for, whether it is open or closed.

Screen Shot 2015-10-18 at 5.04.01 PM

References:

Roth, D 2008, ‘Google’s Open Source Android OS Will Free the Wireless Web’, Wired, 

http://archive.wired.com/techbiz/media/magazine/16-07/ff_android?currentPage=all >

Reflection

Thomas Carroll

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“Reflection is a generic term for those intellectual and affective activities in which individuals engage to explore their experiences in order to lead to new understandings and appreciations. It may take place in isolation or in association with others. It can be done well or badly, successfully or unsuccessfully” (University of Sydney, 2015).

From this definition of reflection, we can come to the understanding that this process of reflecting on ones own experiences and work can be beneficial in many ways, including, identifying possible inadequacies or areas for improvement, understanding your own strengths, applying what you have learned from one situation to other situations and lastly transforming an experience into learning about individual values and beliefs. In applying this process of critical reflection to the development of my project, I hope that I can satisfy all of these above benefits, successfully analysing and learning from this experience as a whole.

In the initial brainstorming of my major project, I had focused on exploring Australian artist, Ian Burn’s works. From looking at Ian’s works, I was particularly inspired by his use of found objects such as wood, toys, motors, carpet etc. Most of Burn’s works give an insight into the contemporary visual world in which we inhabit, inspiring viewers to have a ‘playful spirit when investigating his art’ (Melbourne Art Foundation, 2012). I wanted to also promote this ‘playful spirit’ within my work through the use of similar found objects as Burns.

Through further research on Ian Burn’s artworks, I finally came up with the idea of recreating a childhood memory of playing with toy cars and creating city’s to race around. In order to add depth and wonderment to my work I came up with building a ‘line following robot’ using an arduino. This would hopefully encourage the audience to reflect on their childhood memories of playing with toys, as well as inspire wonderment in the individual through the robots self-navigation around the line track. In creating this robot, I wanted to challenge myself in using some learnt techniques on how to program an arduino.

I began researching ways in which to build and program this robot. I stumbled upon a great arduino tutorial on programming and building a line following robot that uses Light Receiving Sensors and an LED to detect and navigate a black line course. For my prototype I wanted to have completed a working circuit and code for my two sensors and one LED that would be able to distinguish between the black absorbing line and a white reflecting surface. I firstly gathered up all the components that I would need for my robot. Next I began assembling the circuit using wires, resistors, LED and sensors. Once this was completed I connected the arduino to the computer to begin coding. Using the programs tutorials and examples, I began creating code for the LED and sensors. This was a very tough process, which was based on much trial and error of the various integers.

IMG_3172 IMG_3173 IMG_3174

When it came to presenting my prototype to the class, I explained my idea with the aid of my sensor prototype that highlighted the robots ability to detect between white and black. I received a good response from the class, successfully promoting wonderment. The one suggestion I received was to create a track and city out of found objects, just like children do, thus further reflecting Ian Burn’s artworks as well as encouraging the reflection of childhood memories within the viewers.

In further development of my of my major work, I will have to design and build a frame for my robot. I plan to make this out of wood as it it’s materiality is easy to shape, drill and attach my circuit to. I will next have to attach my two servo-motors and wheels to the circuit and frame. I will then need to begin the timely process of coding each motor in partnership with a sensor so that the speed of the motor will change depending on the location of the sensor. In finishing up my work, I will add some final touches that will make the robot aesthetically pleasing and more toy car like. I will finally construct a city out of knick-knacks and found objects that the robot can navigate around.

In critically reflecting on the development of my major work, I have come to the understanding on improvements needed, my strengths and weaknesses, overall turning this self-reflection into a learning experience.

References:

 University of Sydney 2015, ‘Reflection’, The University of Sydney, Article,

< http://sydney.edu.au/education_social_work/groupwork/docs/Reflection.pdf >

Melbourne Art Foundation 2012, ‘CLOUDS IAN BURNS’, ArtFoundation,

< http://melbourneartfair.com.au/2012-clouds-ian-burns/ >

A Moment of Reflection

“Reflection is a generic term for those intellectual and affective activities in which individuals engage to explore their experiences in order to lead to new understandings and appreciations. It may take place in isolation or in association with others. It can be done well or badly, successfully or unsuccessfully” (University of Sydney, 2015).

From this definition of reflection, we can come to the understanding that this process of reflecting on ones own experiences and work can be beneficial in many ways including, identifying possible inadequacies or areas for improvement, understanding your own strengths, applying what you have learned from one situation to other situations and lastly transforming an experience into learning about individual values and beliefs. In applying this process of reflection to my experience of blogging throughout this semester, I hope that I can satisfy all of these above benefits, successfully growing and learning from this experience as a whole.

An important aspect of creating an online presence is building an audience to reach out to. A central point I gathered from Aaron Baldassare’s (2012) article is that “it is crucial to focus on the quality rather than the size of your blog audience. In exploring this tip I felt that this is tied in closely with using the BCM240 hash tag, directly linking my work to my peers who follow this tag, creating an aggregation of information. Instead of targeting a large online audience using multiple hash tags, I opted for ‘quality’, only using the one tag. In exploration of more ways I might have been able to increase my follow base, I could have posted links to my work on other media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook, further expanding my viewers and increasing the feedback and engagement I get from outside audiences. Another tip I gathered from this article is to “get involved in the relevant community” (Baldassare, A 2012). I felt like this was a strong aspect of mine over the course of the semester, reading and interacting with other blogs and peers. Interacting with this BCM240 community helped improve the quality of my writing through informing me of the various topics they were covering in their blogs. In combination with this, the ability to comment on my peer’s works, as well as receive feedback from them viewing my blog benefited my learning experience as a whole.

Another crucial aspect of blogging is the developing of a writing style and voice. Janine Warner (2015) discusses in her Dummies article the significance of maturing a writing style and voice through “trying to write the way you speak,” remembering that blogging is in actual fact a “conversation”. I think this was the aspect, which I struggled with the most, attempting to create and reflect my personality in my own writing. Being introduced to blogging at the beginning of last year, I was unsure on how to structure a blog as well as the tone to use in my writing. As I have developed my online presence over the course of my University degree I have found that my writing has been shaped from formal and ridged to a more relaxed, informal tone and style. In developing this voice, Warner (2015) suggests to always “consider your audience”. In considering my BCM240 audience I have been aiming to write academically in order to engage this target audience, however, using a loosened style of writing that reflects my personality. As I widen my audience through the posting of my WordPress links on multiple platforms, I will have to ensure that I am using “plenty of references or glossaries” to help these new readers follow along (Warner, J 2015). As I continue blogging and building my online presence, I aim to develop this writing style further, eventually gaining a solid blogging voice.

When it comes to blog design and layout, Marie Asselin (2014) adds “Everybody loves discovering great content, but who likes stumbling around a clumsy design that makes it hard to access the content?” Upon beginning BCM240, I was blissfully unaware of the importance of blog design, offering all my readers a plain blog page with clustered content and no tabs helping the viewer navigate the page. Throughout the course of this subject I have slowly altered my page to give the readers a more pleasant experience than previous. Asselin (2014) highlights in her article the “significance to a well-edited navigation menu, acting as a gateway to everything”. This was one of the major changes I incorporated in my blog page, adding a menu for my viewers to navigate between my hash tags. In thinking of more editing that could be done to my design and layout, I would like to add more to my side menus, linking my twitter and email address, allowing for viewers to either contact me for queries or to follow my twitter activity.

An aspect that I felt I was strong in was exploring outside of the set readings in search of additional resources to aid my blogs in the topics I covered. These additional sources found added a bit more depth to my writing, either backing up my writing or adding further readings for viewers to explore in order to gain a better understanding of the topic. The broad nature of each topic question was good allowing for me to back myself in choosing which aspect of the topic I decided to tackle. This was good for my personal growth as a blogger as I could delve deeper into aspects of topics that I found more interesting, further personalising my online presence.

Through reflection of my online presence, I have been able to turn my blogging experience into a learning occurrence in which I have gained a greater understanding of my strengths, values and beliefs, identifying inadequacies and areas for improvement, and overall learning from the experience in order to inform future blogging situations. This practice of self-evaluation has been of great value to my growth as a student as well as a blogger.

References:

 University of Sydney 2015, ‘Reflection’, The University of Sydney, Article,

< http://sydney.edu.au/education_social_work/groupwork/docs/Reflection.pdf >

Baldassare, A 2012, ‘How to Build a Blog Audience: The 12 Laws of a Great Start’, Falconer, November 16, Article,

< http://falconerwebmarketing.com/build-blog-audience/ >

Warner, J 2015, ‘Writing A Good Blog’, Dummies, Article,

< http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/writing-a-good-blog.html >

Asselin, M 2014, ‘Tips For Creating An Effective Blog Layout’, Food Bloggers Of Canada, June 4, Article,

< http://www.foodbloggersofcanada.com/2014/06/the-five-most-important-elements-of-a-blog-layout >