DIGC202- Everything is connected

In the last DIGC202 class of the semester, we looked into the concept of IOT (short for internet of things). In all honesty, I had literally no idea what this meant. After an hour of research, I finally began to understand what it was.

The internet of things is the term used for the idea that any device could be connected to the internet and to other devices. Gartner, an analyst firm, has predicted that there will be more than 26 billion connected devices by the year 2020. One criticism that has been raised about IOT technology is security. Joseph Steinberg, a cybersecurity expert and current CEO of SecureMySocial, believes that devices are already beginning to track what we do! The internet is a frightening enough place already as it is, so lord only knows what it’ll be like by 2020!

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Thanks for following my posts this semester!

Peace out!

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DIGC202- Cybercrime and Nigerian Scams

As we move into an increasingly tech-savy world, Cybercrime is becoming an increasing problem. Look at the recent leaks of Hilary Clinton’s e-mails, for example. Another example of cybercrime, which I would like to briefly discuss, is the infamous Nigerian scams.

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Nigeria has become infamous for their internet scams and are so notorious that there is a large scambaiting community, dedicated to engaging in conversations with said scammers, simply to waste their time.  Even though many are aware of a scam when they see one, there are still many who fall prey to these scams. The fact is that, as amusing as these e-mails are, they are still serious cybercrimes, which affect many people. Statistics from Scamwatch indicate that $1 390 619 was lost to Nigerian scams, this year alone.

As we move to an increasingly technological world, it is essential that people become wary and sufficiently equipped to avoid any form of cybercrimes.

DIGC202- Hacktivism & Snowden

In the beginning of June 2013, a report was published by The Guardian that stated that the US National Security Agency  (NSA) was secretly accumulating phone records of millions of Americans. The individual responsible for the leak of information was later revealed to be former NSA employee Edward Snowden. This leak arrived only a few years after the equally controversial WikiLeaks publications by Julian Assange, which has just recently released documents of Hilary Clinton’s private speeches. So its interesting that people were as surprised as they were, when the Snowden leaks occurred.

The idea of hacktivism, represented by Snowden and Assange, is one that continues to split the public. Some would say, that Snowden and Assange are heroes and consider them to be the modern robin-hoods. Yet others would consider them to be traitors who endangered thousands of lives. The fact of the matter is that hacktivism is a rising form of protest, which has changed the way we consume the internet and how governments operate.

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DIGC202- #BlackLivesMatter and Social Media

Since the invention of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, there have been many protest movements that have been either formed or boosted through the use of social media. From the Arab Spring to the Black Lives Matter campaign, many recent protests have used social media as a tool to create and spread awareness. The question that remains, however, is whether its’ truly effective.

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The Black Lives Matter campaign began in the summer of 2013, with a simple hashtag #blacklivesmatter, posted by Alicia Garza, a labour organizer from Oakland, California. It says a lot about how we take social media for granted, that a simple use of a hashtag, can evolve in the space of 4 years, into a globally-recognized protest movement. The success of the movement is also an example of how globally interconnected we have become and the significance of social media.

DIGC202- The Dark Side of Citizen Journalism

In a society where we have instant internet access and high-quality cameras on phones, the journalism industry was always going to struggle. Now, we live in an age where the line between everyday journalism and professional journalism has become increasingly blurred. Citizen journalism, for all the good it does do, does have a very dark side.

For those of you who haven’t seen the excellent 2014 thriller “Nightcrawler”, there is a very real industry of people who literally ‘chase crimes’ and film said crime scenes, which they then sell to local television networks. Now, these crime-chasers often push moral boundaries, like arriving to a crime scene before police and taking shots rather than helping victims. It’s a very dark area of journalism and worryingly anyone with a camera can participate and in this age that would be almost anyone. Everyday, we see videos of public racism, abuse and violence. The question we always ask when seeing these videos is: why are you filming when you can be helping?

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DIGC202-Battle of The (mobile) Operating Systems

Coming off Apple’s highly anticipated IPhone 7 launch a few days ago, now is a perfect time to re-examine the long-lasting battle between Apple and Android.

Everyone knows that in the market of mobile software, Android and Apple are the major figureheads. I mean, honestly, does anyone actually use a Windows phone? However, the debate still goes on, regarding who is better than who and the fight for total market dominance continues. For a number of years, particularly in the last decade, it always felt like Android were playing catch-up to Apple. Yet, in the last 5 years, Android have started catching up and the two have never been closer until now. But what are the differences?

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One of the major differences between Android and Apple is the open-ness of its operating systems. It is well-known that Apple is very restrictive with customization and general content, whilst Android is generally more open, to an extent.

 

To conclude, I’m going to leave you with a question: Do we choose safety or do we choose freedom?

 

DIGC202- Walled Garden

Remember the frustrating moment when you were in high school, when you would come across the blocked site page when trying to access sites such as YouTube or Facebook? Yeah, me too. It was everyone’s pet peeve. Talk about first-world problems.  This is what is often referred to as the walled garden, where certain areas of the internet were restricted by a particular internet service provider, such as the infamous DET portal.

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Facebook also has its own form of wall garden, in that it monitors all information and data uploaded on the platform, and will remove and censor any “dangerous” or “inappropriate” information that is uploaded. Whether we like it or not, within these “walled gardens” we are always being watched.

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DIGC202-Attention as a currency

In the last lecture, we discussed the fascinating idea that an individual’s attention has now become the principal form of currency, in the ever expanding digital landscape. Which makes sense really, considering how the consumer’s attention span has changed over the years, due to the overflow of information and content available to us.

With the emergence of digital media, traditional media platforms are having to adjust to the fact that money is no longer the endgame: the goal now is to grab the attention of the consumers. If something doesn’t interest the consumer, they can simply change the channel or station until they find something they like. If not, they can simply go online and search specifically for what they want. Sometimes, though, even the consumers don’t know exactly what they want. These are some of the reasons why attention is arguably the most valuable currency in the changing media landscape.

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