Categories
BCM206

THE INTERNET OF THINGS: FROM NETWORKED OBJECTS TO ANTICIPATORY SPACES

“In simple terms, the IoT stands for the connection of usually trivial material objects to the internet – ranging from tooth brushes, to shoes or umbrellas” (Mitew, T. 2014).

We could describe the regular household as a representation of the impact of “The Internet of Things,” which is a term to describe the “ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction” (Wikipedia. 2019).

Companies are now single-handedly using the IoT as an advantage to connect households with multiple devices from the same brand.

Chet Pipkin, the CEO and founder of Belkin has a very positive outlook on the future of connecting technologies in the house, stating “The world is made up of trillions of things — cars, planes, jet engines, exercise equipment, the items on my desk. And then there’s the Internet. This category is about all of these things and the Internet, as we know it, coming together. Anything I can do over the Internet blended with my things” (Forbes, 2014).

As technology becomes more and more integrated into our networked home, we find that everything can be connected, making home-life just a little bit more easy to control. Is that such a bad thing?

Forbes. 2014. Everything Is Connected: What ‘The Internet Of Things’ Means Now. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorikozlowski/2014/04/23/everything-is-connected-what-the-internet-of-things-means-now/#372912f725a1. Accessed 1 November 2020]

Mitew, T. (2014) ‘Do Objects Dream of an Internet of Things?’, Fibreculture Journal, 2014 (23), 1-25.
http://twentythree.fibreculturejournal.org/fcj-168-do-objects-dream-of-an-internet-of-things/ Accessed 1 November 2020]

Wikipedia. 2020. Internet of Things. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_of_things. [Accessed 1 November 2020].

Categories
BCM206

Dark fiber: exploits, botnets and cyberwar

Whilst last week’s topic was related to illegal activities online such as hacking, this week we discussed botnets and cyberwar. I found this weeks materials really helped me with the understanding of the topic, especially Arthur’s 2013 online article ‘LulzSec: what they did, who they were and how they were caught’. Within this, there is discussion regarding Fox.com, who was targeted by a new hacking group which had been formed in private online chatrooms of the hacking collective Anonymous. This is really helpful in understanding what Botnets are. They are networks of hijacked computer devices used to carry out various scams and cyberattacks. As you can see, this doesn’t just happen in high-profile cases, people are hacked everyday, which is why this is such a relevant topic in terms of increasing awareness of technology.

Categories
BCM206

Anonymous resistance: hackers, lulz and whistle-blowers

This week’s topic was super interesting to me. It was interesting to look into a topic that I hadn’t really done much research on before and that I didn’t know heaps about. Hacking and whilst-blowing are terms that are becoming more prevalent in society, especially as technology grows. Hacking refers to an attempt to access or control a computer network system for data collecting or attacking. This week’s topic got me thinking about some of media’s most talked about hacking scandals and I think chatting about 3 major ones in this piece would be really helpful in the understanding of the topic.

Adobe 

Date: October 2013
Impact: 153 million user records
Details: As reported in early October of 2013 by security blogger Brian Krebs, Adobe originally reported that hackers had stolen nearly 3 million encrypted customer credit card records, plus login data for an undetermined number of user accounts.

Canva

Date:  May 2019
Impact: 137 million user accounts
Details: In May 2019 Australian graphic design tool website Canva suffered an attack that exposed email addresses, usernames, names, cities of residence, and salted and hashed with bcrypt passwords (for users not using social logins — around 61 million) of 137 million users. Canva says the hackers managed to view, but not steal, files with partial credit card and payment data.

Dubsmash

Date:  December 2018
Impact: 162 million user accounts
Details: In December 2018, New York-based video messaging service Dubsmash had 162 million email addresses, usernames, PBKDF2 password hashes, and other personal data such as dates of birth stolen, all of which was then put up for sale on the Dream Market dark web market the following December. The information was being sold as part of a collected dump also including the likes of MyFitnessPal (more on that below), MyHeritage (92 million), ShareThis, Armor Games, and dating app CoffeeMeetsBagel.

Categories
BCM206

Networked Insurgencies

‘Use social media for mobilization, coordination and dissemination, scale up fast because anyone can contribute in any capacity.’ -Travis Wall & Teodor Mitew

Having studied BCM112 already, I have a bit of backup knowledge about the topic of collective intelligence and memeactic warfare on the internet. It’s a super interesting topic that I was actually excited to explore and unpack a bit more. I want to talk about this in terms of the US election campaigns and the social media revolutions and warfare that accompanies this battle. Haddow (2016) goes into this in awesome detail when referring to the 2016 presidential election and how meme warefare became a huge deal during this time. As he states, “These shareable, sometimes pithy and often puerile units of culture have emerged as the lingua franca of the 2016 election, and have given the American people an entirely new way of articulating their beliefs”. This basically means that we, as a generation,  are communicating our beliefs in the new way we know how, no matter how harmful this may become. 

Categories
BCM206

Feudalism 2.0: living in the information stack

Within this week’s BCM206 lecture, we drew comparisons to the modern era and the class-based Feudalistic system of the 9th-15th century. According to Oxford Languages (2020) Feudalism is defined as “the dominant social system in medieval Europe, in which the nobility held lands from the Crown in exchange for military service, and vassals were in turn tenants of the nobles, while the peasants (villains or serfs) were obliged to live on their lord’s land and give him homage, labour, and a share of the produce, notionally in exchange for military protection”. The comparison starts to come in where traditionally the class systems represented kings, lords and peasants, whereas now it represents investors, techs and entrepreneur startups. Instead of land we see the environment being the internet.

A super interesting look into this week’s topic is explained in Amy Goodman’s interview with Russell Brand.

While investors may incorporate aspects such as monetary means and resources for entrepreneurs to develop platforms, online users (modern-day ‘surfs’) actually create content which means that we don’t really needs the platforms, the platforms actually require us to function. Lawrence Lessig explains this exrtremely well with his descriptions of “Disney creating something very new, based upon something relatively new”.  Disney was always parroting the feature-length mainstream films of his day. . Early cartoons are filled with knockoffs and retellings of ancient stories. Disney added to the work of others before him, creating something new out of something just barely old. This can also be seen in the Brothers Grimm tales.

Categories
BCM206

The attention economy and the long tail effect

Feel like quitting your job and starting your own business online? That’s exactly was Jeff Bezos did and now his net worth is a growing US$157.4billion. Bezos saw the growth of the internet and realised more and more people would be going online in the future, and so Amazon was created; the world’s largest internet company. How wild is that?

The term ‘Long Tail Effect’ was coined by Chris Anderson in 2004, allowing businesses to profit from selling a smaller amount of ‘hard to find’ items to many customers instead of selling large volumes of a reduced number of popular items.

Before the internet, there was no other way to buy something other than physically going into a shop and purchasing it. Since the internet, there have been endless possibilities and you are able to buy pretty much anything if you look for it and this is evident through the emergence and rise of mass social media. ‘The internet imposes no barriers to entry, no economies of scale and no limits on supply’ (Clay Shirky).

Mitew, T (2020), ‘The Attention Economy and the Long Tail Effect,’ lecture slides week 6, BCM206, University of Wollongong

‘Long Tail’, https://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/long-tail.asp, Accessed September, 2020

Categories
BCM206

The chronic task of sorting: information flows and liquid labour

This week’s discussion revolved around liquid labour and the evolution from a standard workplace environment to one that requires its workers to be available 24/7 due to an increase in technology and structure free from space and time. Whilst back in the “old days” we saw people travelling to and from work and only calling the boss if they were sick. In present times, the constant flow of information made available through iphones and gadgets allow us as a society to be fully reachable whenever someone feels like picking up the phone. 

Deuze sums this up nicely in his statement “adapting to changing management practices, new technologies, and cultivating creativity and talent cannot be necessarily tied to a nine-to-five working weekday” (2006, p 4). This highlights how the expectations of workers these days has shifted into a more intense pattern.

When reflecting personally, I am able to see the initial attraction to working from home due to the latest COVID-19 outbreak. However, overtime I have realised the constant pressures that accompany a shifted working environment and the added pressure of relying on these technologies that see no space and time. 

Categories
BCM206

The Civilisation Of The Mind

This week’s topic ‘The Civilisation Of The Mind: Understanding the Network Society Paradigm’ took me a while to figure out but when I did, it really put everything into perspective for me. A quote that really resonated with me was that “cyberspace is a consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators” (Gibson, 1984). The universality of cyberspace was made obvious following on from last week’s lecture with the ever-growing, fast paced nature of technology allowing everyone to feel connected and always technologically active. 

This week, I’d love to touch on the free-flow aspect of information on the web and how this affects human beings today. There are many amazing aspects of the evolution of the web such as the formation of new aesthetics e.g. cyberpunk hackers and transhumanism, however, there also has been a debate on whether this information should be freely given. Whilst Tim Berners-Lee has stated that the web was “designed for a social effect- to help people work together” (1999) there is also the possibility of hacking and cyber-attacks.

Despite the pros and cons of the evolutionary cyberspace frontier, we can’t deny that it holds a strategic space in peoples minds. 

Made with ImgFlip

Categories
BCM206

The Femme Edition

#BCM206 Pitch!

When I was thinking about what I wanted to create for my BCM206 pitch I knew I wanted it to be something meaningful towards women in the media whilst also contributing to my portfolio and encouraging my writing passions. This is how the idea for the ‘The Femme Edition’ came about. Although I started this concept last semester, I realised that my first attempt was unsuccessful due to my lack of motivation wards the project so after researching the hole in the market for women on the web, I was ready to start again! As shown in this quote by the Harvard Business Review “women are far less likely than men to be seen in the media with women making up a mere 19% of experts in news stories” (Rattan 2019) so let’s make a change! The concept is to create a WordPress blog for women, encouraging their voices and discussing all things literature and women in the media. This blog will have weekly posts regarding female authors of the moment and their thoughts on the current state of literature. When creating my blog, I had to think about my audience and why they would want to look at my blog in particular over the thousands of other mediums out there. I specifically targeted 18-25-year-olds and surveyed them through interviews, receiving 100% positive responses. The most popular answer to my question “would you read a blog designed for women in the media” was “yes” and when asked why Ally* stated, “because it would inspire me and make me feel more confident”. Taking this fast, inexpensive, simple and tiny method, I turned this into an easy and no-cost WordPress blog in order to reach a larger audience and engage specifically with university girls with simple, engaging posts.

Harvard Business Review 2019, Tackling the Underrepresentation of Women in the Media , Rattan A, viewed 18th March 2020

Categories
BCM206

Nerves of Iron Wire

A global nervous system: from the telegraph to cyberspace

The universe has many strings and chords that are connected. Just like us humans we have many wires and chords in our brain that allow us to feel emotion and to make us feel alive with movement. Technologies such as the telephone, the internet and the mobile phone also help us feel connected with the world and were an incredibly innovate and magical thing to strike the European nation when it first emerged in the 1800s.

Living in world today its hard to believe a time where mobiles and the internet didn’t exist. In 1837, Samuel Morse changed everything. He invented the first dot-dash telegraph that enabled communication to be accessed globally through long distance. It developed from just lines and dots to letters and numbers that make sense! This first step in electric communication technology mystified people, individuals struggling to understand how one could send the written or spoken word across the sea but not a physical entity such as a meal.

“A net-work of nerves of iron wire, strung with lightning, will ramify from the brain, New York, to the distant limbs and member”- The New York Tribune, 1895

I would like to touch on a quote by Nathaniel Hawthorne which really cements this phenomenon that sparked in the 1800s. Hawthorne states in ‘The House of Seven Gables’ (1851) that “the round globe is a vast head, a brain, instinct with intelligence! Or, shall we say, it is itself a thought, nothing but thought, and no longer the substance which we deemed it”. Before this innovative period off invention, one couldn’t t possibly understand how we could communicate across the globe as fast speeds with something that couldn’t be touched. This description of the world as a brain or. system of nerves and thought is incredibly interesting as it puts a mans invention a the centre of all communication development from 1851 onwards. How cool!