The Internet of Things
This subject comes to its dramatic end with the huge topic of the entire Internet of Things what a sentence, what does this mean conceptually? This term Internet of Things (iot) originated in 1999 at the MIT Media Lab.
A theme involved was the idea that objects may gain a semantic interface, sensing and capturing information to process within itself and initiate some sort of action aka actuate. An example used was the alarms places on doors while you are away which activate a camera and capture evidence of who tried to get in.
This reminded me of that cat that tried to unlock his owner aka slaves phone.
Here is an example of actuation at work, the phone sensed that someone or something unusual was trying to get into the device and took a picture. This picture obviously wouldn’t be accessible to the cat or person trying to get in so this evidence made by the phones independent action is stored safely in the device and it proves very useful had it been a person trying to unlock it.
Does privacy exist anymore? I’d say barely. Are we being constantly watched? Maybe.
Mass surveillance is a concept where an entire population is being monitored on online behaviour, activities or other changing information usually by government organisations. This isn’t solely on the Internet but they also monitor other network media and communications networks like telephones, financial systems, vehicle and transit, international travel, government schemes and others.
Amongst these surveillance organisations are the hacktivists “Anonymous” in an AMA (Ask Me Anything) Q&A on Reddit a former black-hat hacktivist which means they were a Malicious Hacker. This former hacker had come across many distasteful and illegal findings in his work so this brings up the point that there is no privacy online, even if you were to delete your history that doesn’t get rid of anything in the end.
Mass surveillance is a tool also utilised in Cyber Warfare, where International organisations make attempts to harm another nation’s information networks with hardware attacks and hacking.
“Hackers solve problems and build things, and they believe in freedom and voluntary mutual help.” A quote from Eric S. Raymond a famous hacker. Hacking is a subculture of sharing secrets, information freedom and anarchy as an aesthetic choice. Eric goes as far as saying that the mindset behind hacker culture isn’t confined to just one area of expertise, there are individuals who apply these ethics to other things like art, science, electronics and music. He also states that there is a difference between hackers and crackers in that hackers build things while crackers break them.
The PC revolution led to the emergence of the hacker subculture and “Hacktivism”.“Hacktivism” is a term that reflects a community of modern protesters where skilled programmers utilise their abilities to combat social and political injustice. They do this by hacking government servers and network control frames. Since it’s legally ambiguous most hacktivists take on an anonymous identity, an example being the well-known, international network group “Anonymous”. Whose leader or founder Hector Xavier Monsegur (Sabu) was arrested back in 2011 admitting to being involved in the hacking of MasterCard and PayPal. Few other members’ names have been made known to the public but as mentioned before the anonymous identity is pretty important in this line of work.
Protest Movements in Social Media
Protesting against corruption and reporting it. You would assume this would be something easy to see yet true representations of a situation like this is rare in today’s legacy Medias all because of Gate Keeping which has put a muzzle on a lot of possible narratives, probably all due to fear of picking sides and the need to remain neutral.
Today in the present day Twitter and Facebook are the main platforms for getting stories out there that wouldn’t usually be heard on the News. This visibility helps individuals and then helps communities have their struggle heard. This can also be very surreal, being able to recognise places you might’ve travelled to when visiting family makes you think what if this was me?
In Zimbabwe last year changed the currency to something called Bond notes, US dollars are still being used but shop owners have the right to give change in this whole new currency which is worthless in other countries. I was there when this happened and listening to family and neighbours of my family talk about how “it’s happened again” and the anger these people had for their dictator, I knew protests weren’t far off.
In the lecture the Middle Eastern and North African protests known by the hashtag as #MENA, reminded me of this and how when the Zimbabwean civilians protested just by not going to work that day they were beaten by corrupt police for it and the fact that this was hidden by Legacy Medias and we only found out because of reporting’s from social media, Twitter tweets, videos of it happening spread across Facebook. Many relatives around the world felt this injustice and because of Gate Keeping finding a report of this is still difficult even though it has been years.
Social Media and the Transformation of Journalism
This week’s topic is all about how Social Media impacted Journalism in the current day, the differences in the aggregation of content between Journalists and Internet bloggers and how consumers become prosumers. In this area participation becomes a reward on its own because only by participating does value accumulate.
But because of the internet there is an abundance of content with zero filtering, individuals can curate what they wish at no cost. This is where participation rewards the creators, they can collect and aggregate as much content as they wish to support a narrative that they wish to create. While in journalism the constant filtering ceases the ability to create a new narrative.
Gate Keeping media involves a high level of control over what gets produced, curated and then shown to its passive audience, an example of this being News stations. There is a lot of policing and filtering of content and discussion over what deserves to be labelled as proper Media. “All the news that’s fit to print” a quote from the lecture by the New York Times perfectly explains the process of production for them and most journalism companies. But online it is the opposite and any narrative can be posted for any audience to view and engage with.
If you’re like me you never understood the war between Android vs Apple users, I used to be an avid user of cheap android devices for mobiles but now since jumping on the Apple bandwagon and getting an IPhone it has changed me. Suddenly I’m using my phone for anything and everything, before on Android the apps on the operating system never interested me.
But on IPhone everything is minimalistically set out for you, while it’s the easier device and nicer to look at compared to my Huawei mess of a phone there is little people working on the iOS because only Apple developers are able to, unlike with Android which has millions of Independent developers constantly competing by improving the operating system for the customers.
The war between iOS and Android is seen as more of a clash between philosophies than a literal war, imagine using your phone as a weapon. We all know the classic Nokia would win there. But this is more about freedom vs comfort as mentioned in the lecture and closed and open platforms. Makes you think which do we put on a pedestal, the freedom of choice or the comforts of what is already known.
The Peasant vs The Manor
In this week’s topic IFeudalism: The Feudalisation of the Internet, permission control played a big role in production of content.
This idea of the peasant doing all the work, creating content for the platform while the feudal lord controls what is shown to the public. The feudal lord has all the power on that land while the peasant has no ability to sell or leave the land without permission from that lord.
There is also a sort of compulsory taxation from the content produced on that platform which made from the hard work and determination of the peasant then that value generated is extracted by that feudal lord and they continue to live off of that.
This reminds me of the infamous gaming channel Machinima on YouTube and other social media platforms where the peasants in this situation aka the young gamers who want fame and money don’t read the contract correctly and end up signing their lives away to the feudal lords who dictate your content produced and control communication on that YouTube platform which is similar to this notion of The Walled Garden but gone wrong.
Mass Amateurization is the webs natural pattern of creating numerous amateurs in a range of subjects which then destroys the notion of being an “Expert”. This is mostly in relation to opinion based content, everyone having an opinion means no one’s opinion matters much at all.
This is commonly seen in YouTube comment sections, the worst and best place to be depending on the content creator’s fan base (Think Pewdiepie followers vs VideoGameDunkey’s – the good being Dunkey’s). But if you browse the comment section of a viral dog or other animal video you will see statements ranging from “This is abuse”, “This animal is sick because I know this because…”, “Why is everyone on YouTube suddenly a veterinarian?”
You cannot summarise a dense topic like this into one sentence but you could say that everyone has opinions on every niche market that exists because there is an abundance of information broadcast to entire networks. Leading to facts and opinions losing their value as more and more information is being shared over the Internet.
While Labour is a term that brings forth images of sweat inducing hard work, the conjoining of the word Liquid changes the notion up a bit.
The easy access the Internet gives us enables a constant connection to a hive mind of knowledge through various platforms. This allows users to work absolutely anywhere, how often do you see people working in cafe’s on their laptops? Free Wi-Fi hot-spots have become a necessity to many, and how many people do you overhear on their phones discussing business related things?
In a way you could say our lives have become complicated by technology, there is no longer a clear divide between the workload and your personal life.
So when does the work day end then? The notion of personal time is invaded by this inevitable flow of knowledge and information processing.
Along with this blurry line between work and home there is a constant nagging to answer texts, phone calls, and reply to emails as soon as you receive them as to not cause a hindrance to someone else. This creates an endless loop of response, receive, response no matter what your location there is a presumption that feedback will be instant.
Constant availability is a struggle in a way because of how it disturbs peoples balance, but also depending on your circumstances some individuals might be more prone to the negative effects of Liquid Labour. If they don’t have kids, a spouse, or any at home responsibilities that involve taking care of another life then that person can get bombarded as they might be seen as having no obligations and nothing of importance to do which of course is false.
“But work-life balance isn’t just about how much time you spend at the office versus at home or in lifestyle activities.
It’s also about how deliberate rest enhances your ability to do your best work.” (Fitzimmons, 2017)
http://www.smh.com.au/comment/what-we-get-wrong-about-worklife-balance-20170426-gvskt7.html Caitlin Fitzsimmons
“Computer networks offer real-time interaction among people and processes without regard to their location. This capability coupled with virtual environments (VE) makes telepresence applications, distance learning, distributed simulation, and group entertainment possible.” (1995)
VR is computer technology that relies on physical space/environment, sounds and ambient surroundings to create a realistic simulation for the player separating our minds and bodies from the real world for a moment. Virtual reality has been used in gaming in just about every genre from horror to comedy eg: Trump Simulator
Outside of the fun and hobbies spectrum of VR there has also been games tailored specifically for Military Training education.
T.R. Witcher in the article “Virtual Reality games fuel a military training revolution” states that to bring in and maintain a workforce you have to instruct in a way that is native and familiar to the learner’s generation.
The average age of a sailor in 2017 is around 20 years of age, so this is a generation that has grown up along side some big technological advancements eg: dial up Internet to Wi-Fi.
Link to Dial up for nostalgia
When working with your average computer for training, it could be very linear. With Virtual Reality there is a sort of freedom added in movement and decisions, allowing that recruit to make informed decisions and learn much more than if it was on a desktop computer.
Virtual reality although not real allows players to have a very real experience, even if graphics were not similar to real life it would still feel like those events were taking place so either way it would provide an intense learning experience, or you could just play golf instead.