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).

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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 >

The Walled Garden

In today’s day and age, data storage is virtually all digital, with ‘less than two percent of all stored information being non-digital’ (Cukier & Mayer-Schoenberger 2013). This exponential growth and availability of data floating around the endless digital space is better known as ‘Big Data’. This term big data is surrounded by the idea that all things offline will gradually, and eventually, be fully connected to the Internet, such that there would ‘no longer be any human or social activity that is beyond digital capture’ (Sampath, G 2015). With all this data circulating around the digital space, also comes those who are controlling this content and in turn creating ‘Walled Gardens‘ for their users.

Sourced: Hughes, T 2014 – http://appcarousel.com/blog/walled-gardens-are-back-fashion-all-right-reasons

Within these walled gardens we can see the garden owners creating ‘Stacks’, which are vertically integrated garden walls that allow for control of information, surveillance over information flows and censorship of undesirable information. Bruce Sterling (2013) refers to this idea as “the Internet had users, stacks have livestock”. This concept of the walled garden is closely linked to traditional ‘Feudalism‘, being referred to as ‘Digital Feudalism’ in this modern age.Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 2.48.24 PM

References:

Cukier, K.N & Mayer-Schoenberger, V 2013, ‘The Rise of Big Data: How It’s Changing the Way We Think About the World’, Foreign Affairs,

< https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2013-04-03/rise-big-data >

Sampath, G 2015, ‘Does the Internet of Things herald an era of digital feudalism?’, livemint, 

< http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/zy9mGHaOAnugUTuCKysGqM/Does-the-Internet-of-Things-herald-an-era-of-digital-feudali.html > 

Sterling, B 2013, ‘Webstock’, Vimeo,

< https://vimeo.com/63012862 >

Niche Markets are moving on up

The increase in societies online presence has resulted in a dramatic shift in the consumption of media globally. Physical media such as books, print and DVD’s have been replaced by online media sources allowing for easy access to aggregations of data. This accessibility online has given people unlimited and unfiltered access to culture and content, and audiences have begun to buy content that isn’t necessarily best selling, commonly described as the ‘Niche Market’ (Concept Drop Team 2003). This development of niche markets is explained by Chris Anderson (2004), highlighting how physical shop fronts are limited by opening hours, accessibility and the buying of only ‘mainstream hits’ due to shop space, resulting in online aggregators controlling the market with their unlimited accessibility, time, space and ability to offer mainstream and niche data.

This shift from ‘Mass Markets’, to a ‘Mass of Niches’ is described as ‘The Long Tail Effect‘ (Anderson, C 2004). This effect is derived from the power law distribution curves, highlighting how the sum of niche market sales are always greater in comparison to the smaller collection, but more popular mainstream market.

References:

Anderson, C 2004, ‘The Long Tail’, Wired, Issue 12.10,

< http://archive.wired.com/wired/archive/12.10/tail.html >

Concept Drop Team 2003, ‘Niche Markets and the Digital Age’, Conceptdrop

< http://conceptdrop.com/blog/24-niche-markets-and-the-digital-age/ >

Our Office within our Homes

Global communications have brought around fundamental changes in world perceptions, culture and daily life. An aspect in which has dramatically changed is the modern day workforce. These “new media technologies have been marketed as giving us the freedom to work where we want, when we want, in so-called ‘flexible arrangements’ that apparently suit the conditions of the modern office” (Gregg, M 2013). This redesign of labour can be linked to the concept of ‘presence bleed’, where firm boundaries between personal and professional identities no longer apply” (Gregg, M 2013). Characteristics of this condition include checking emails outside of work hours, and taking unfinished work home.

The accessibility of the Internet provides individuals the option to be connected 24/7, allowing for them send and receive information using tools such as laptops or tablets. This has resulted in the modern workplace to move from tiny office spaces, to the comfort of ones own home.

References:

Gregg, M 2013, ‘Presence Bleed: Performing Professionalism Online’, ACADEMIA, 

http://www.academia.edu/1513344/Presence_Bleed_Performing_Professionalism_Online

Our Network Family

As ‘Global Communication Networks’ have developed over the years, so has the idea that these individual networks have been shaped into one ‘Global Nervous System’. This modern global connectivity is described as a ‘Global Village’, in which ideas and practices can be freely exchanged and appreciated (The Levin Institute, 2015).

This nervous system is made up of individual ‘nodes’ in which are identified as a point in a network which branches or intersects. These nodes can be thought of as individual users or groups, and the links between these nodes are the relationships and flows of information (Krebs, V 2013).

With this idea of nodes in mind, comes the topical issue of censorship and restriction of information to these users. The concept of ‘Gatekeepers‘ filtering information and access to nodes is considered. Cyberliberty challenges this restriction, believing that the ‘internet should be a Libertarian Utopia’ (Mitew, T 2015). That each individual node can broadcast to the entire network un-restricted and un-filtered.

1470246

References:

The Levin Institute, 2015, ‘Global Village’, Globalization101, The State University of New York,

< http://www.globalization101.org/the-global-village/ >

Krebs, V 2013, ‘Social Network Analysis, A Brief Introduction’, Orgnet,

< http://www.orgnet.com/sna.html >

Mitew, T 2015, ‘Understanding the Network Society Paradigm’, DIGC202 Lecture,