You Shaved Nice Today!

The title says it all, these days, the Internet is almost literally integrated into everything, mobile phones, watches, wristbands and even fridges! There are so many house hold objects that now depend on technology, and people take that for granted.

People don’t realise the amount of technology and social progression that goes into everyday tools and objects, and Neil DeGrasse Tyson exemplifies this by saying, “No one goes up to you and says, ‘Hey! You shaved nice today! The act of doing it perfectly, is the measure of it going unnoticed“. It doesn’t really have anything to do with The Internet’s integration, but it’s a great speech that you should check out!

For The Lulz

Last week for DIGC202, I talked about Anonymous as a new form of protestors acting unethically for an ethical goal, and as damaging as this collective can be, Anonymous is rather mature compared to groups such as LulzSec.

LulzSec is a “black-hat computer hacker group”, meaning that they essentially hack ‘for the lols’. I’ve been interested in computer hacker groups for a while, the use of technology for ‘political action’ was a new concept in a field that I had immense interest in.

Lulzsec really differs form Anonymous, because they are organised, and have people in charge. The most notable differences however, is not within the hierarchy, but rather in their morals. Since they’re a ‘black-hat’ computer hacker group, their goals are not in line with their morals or any political influences, but instead enjoying hacking for the fun of it.

We Are Anonymous

With the online world expanding every day, and the concept of protesting online through clicktivism becoming a common thing, it wasn’t long until it was possible to terrorise or to unethically protest an issue online. Today’s version of protestors breaking and entering to cause havoc are online hackers, and the most prominent example is the collective known as Anonymous.

Anonymous is an online collective of hackers that all have a common goal of hacking ‘for the greater good’. They work together unethically to achieve an ethical goal. and this is why there’s a huge divide in the public concerning whether this group is a group of good or bad people.

The idea behind anonymous is great, because it’s not an organised group with a regular power hierarchy, almost anyone you know, could be in anonymous. You don’t even have to be a computer wizz to help out.

I’m (not) Helping Change The World!

Being a Clicktivist is the modern day version of a protester, because it requires minimal effort, and it’s easy to accomplish. However, there’s huge debate in whether clicktivism actually accomplishes anything. Popular scholars such as Henry Jenkins and Steve Wilkinson sit either side of the issue with their own valid arguments.

So to vocalise this issue, I decided to have a little debate with my friend Alec Bennett (alec1995.wordpress.com) about whether popular social media campaigns such as KONY 2012 and The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge actually accomplished anything through social media.

I AM THE GATEKEEPER

Unfortunately i’m not talking about the Gatekeeper from the classic game ‘Atmosfear’ in this blog post, so if you’re an enthusiast, turn back now! Instead, i’m here to talk about the concept of gatekeeping, and how we’re all actively a gatekeeper online. The concept refers to the actions you take online to read and find information, and actively decide to trust certain sources over others.

Reddit is new type of platform that’s starting to become very mainstream online, and the way it works, can perfectly describe your role as a gatekeeper. It works like a democracy, through a system of upvotes and downvotes. It has so many different ‘sub-reddits’, which you can subscribe to, effectively deciding what content you want to see.

Apple vs Andriod

The Apple vs Android battle for mobile phone supremacy has torn friendships apart. Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s still a huge issue! Ever since Apple brought out the original iPhone and completely changed the smart phone industry, and Google bringing out Android to compete with them, having the latest smart phone was always a big deal.

Just the amount of reviews and videos about them online can prove it! It almost reminds me of the Mac vs PC debate. This week I decided to take a look at the Apple vs Android mobile war that’s tearing friendships apart.

Welcome To The Apple Empire!

Buy the new iPhone, iPad, iMac and iPod all for every dollar you have, and have the freedom* you need for the 21st Century!

* Freedom not included

This week we talked about The Feudalisation of The Internet, and I thought that Apple was the most obvious, largest, and most commonly known example. Everything Apple does is innovative, but also restrictive at the same time, and here are some examples;

  • iPhone: Creating a digital phone with only their software
  • App Store: Creating their own marketplace with their own currency
  • iPod: Compatible with their software only
  • Development: No complete freedom in App Development
  • iMac: Restricted in terms of software

All of these items are innovative in their own way, but like I stated before, they also restrict you in so many ways. Ted said it best himself in the lecture, “You’re free to do what you want, but it’s controlled by the manor (Apple)“.

Youtube Vlogging!

Youtube was a massive game changer when it came to video production, and it completely changed the video industry. It removed a vast majority of filters that were in place between producer and consumer, now the producer could film, edit, and publish their own work and get it to their audience on the same day. The success of a Youtube channel relies on an attention economy.

Youtuber channels such as CaseyNeistat are a great example of a successful vlogging channel, receiving a majority of the attention, while other vloggers such as Danger Dan don’t receive as much attention, but in my opinion, have almost the same quality! Danger Dan is well worth checking out, especially that video in particular as he talks about his perspective of this issue.

It’s because of how Youtube works that’s made it so successful, it’s essentially a platform for prod-users. While Youtube is a great platform, and there’s so much content, there’s only a small percentage of channels that get a large amount of views, and this is The Long Tail effect in practice.

Death to Polaroids!

This week i’m going to be discussing another case study of how the topics in this weeks lecture has had a real life affect one someone.

This week we talked about how the technology available to us has created an environment where we can essentially work from anywhere, at anytime. We can check emails, forums, write online and make business calls while binge watching Suits on Netflix.

Jessica Naous pointed out on her blog over at jessiccanaous.wordpress.com that the line between work and home and been blurred by this. And this is what i’ve decided to talk about today.

The Evolution of Network Topologies

This week I decided to change things up a bit. I decided to do more of a ‘case study’ regarding network topologies to further explain and show how they’ve evolved, and what each are capable of.

The evolution of network topologies is what makes the internet so great. The fact that it evolved from a controlled ‘star-shaped’ topology to a more ‘distributed network’, means that so much more is possible. A great example to show the extent and possibilities is to examine file-sharing websites. If we examine MegaUpload as a star-shaped network, and The PirateBay as a distributed network, we can already agree on a winning website.

With a star-shaped topology, MegaUpload controlled the content, which means to exchange files, you would need to bypass MegaUpload’s servers. This would ultimately be their downfall in 2012, when their servers and equipment were seized, resulting in the closure of the website.

Meanwhile, over at The PirateBay, because they work on a distributed network, their website could essentially run forever. The fundamental difference between them, being that because of their different network topologies, no files need to bypass The Pirate Bay’s servers, it acts instead similar to a search engine. This is how the website managed to withstand so many legal threats, and is still online today.

If you enjoy listening to crazy people ramble on about stuff they actually like, then here are some more thoughts on the topic:


 

References:

Bruns Axel, AB 2007, ‘Produsage: Towards a Broader Framework for User-Led Content Creation’, Proceedings of the 6th ACM SIGCHI conference on Creativity & cognition

Ernesto, 2014, Pirate Bay Hits Historic 10 Million Torrent Milestone, TorrentFreak, Weblog, April 21st, Viewed 25th April 2014, <http://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-hits-historic-10-million-torrent-milestone-140421/ >

No Author 2014, thepiratebay.se, Alexa, Viewed 3rd April 2014 <http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/thepiratebay.se >

Moore Christopher 2014, ‘Audiences: Power, Access, and Participation’, Lecture Week 5 BCM112, UOW, 1/04/2014

Mott Nathaniel 2013, ‘Is the Pirate Bay a bastion of internet freedom or just an illegal downloads site?’, Pando Daily, Viewed 3rd April 2014, <http://pando.com/2013/08/12/is-the-pirate-bay-a-bastion-of-internet-freedom-or-just-an-illegal-downloads-site/ >

No Author, 2005, Legal Threats Against The Pirate Bay, The Pirate Bay, Viewed 24th March 2014 <http://thepiratebay.se/legal>

Ann Harrison, 2006, The Pirate Bay: Here To Stay?, Wired, Viewed 24th March 2014 <http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2006/03/70358>

Klose 2013, TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard, online Video, 8 February, The Pirate Bay, Viewed 25th March 2014, <http://watch.tpbafk.tv/>