The Last Entry

19 Apr

After 14 weeks of learning in COM 125 I have realised how much the Internet has revolutionized our lives. Sometimes due to it’s innateness, I tend to forget how much the Internet has improved my life. Today, I am grateful that through this class I have learned immensely about the Internet and its capabilities for the present and the future. I am both excited and skeptical of what the future might hold for the Internet. However for the meantime let’s take one step at a time, keep calm and carry on.

And of course, what better way to end off my last post but with a video. Hope you enjoy this video on how “Keep calm and carry on” came about. Have a great day! :]

 

 

Just because this is the end, I thought it would be nice to end off with a song. Enjoy and farewell! :]

 

The Future

12 Apr

How would the Internet look like 10 years from now? How about five years down the road, will we all be wearing sleek google glasses?

The possibilities are endless. A decade and a half ago, the Internet seemed like a Utopian idea, but today the Internet has become innate to us, to the extent that if given the chance, some people might want it inside their bodies. Global access has never been this easy and communication has been brought to a level where accessibility becomes just a click away.

Starting from the web 1.0, web 2.0 to web 3.0, the Internet will continue to evolve in ways we could have never imagined. Currently, the Internet has already infiltrated our lives providing immeasurable platforms for businesses, communication, education, entertainment and health. Overall, we cannot deny the fact that the web has made our lives easier.

Here’s a video of how Internet has made grocery shopping much easier for the Koreans.

 

 

However, there will always be two sides of a coin, as such, recently, there has been much discussion on how the Internet could evolve for the worse. Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Web, contributes his own opinion on this:

“The Web as we know it, however, is being threatened in different ways. Some of its most successful inhabitants have begun to chip away at its principles. Large social-networking sites are walling off information posted by their users from the rest of the Web. Wireless Internet providers are being tempted to slow traffic to sites with which they have not made deals. Governments—totalitarian and democratic alike—are monitoring people’s online habits, endangering important human rights.

If we, the Web’s users, allow these and other trends to proceed unchecked, the Web could be broken into fragmented islands. We could lose the freedom to connect with whichever Web sites we want. The ill effects could extend to smartphones and pads, which are also portals to the extensive information that the Web provides.”

If that will be the future of Internet, what are we doing as netizens to protect and prevent the possible deterioration of the Internet as a whole? If we continue at this rate, what would happen to the virtual world in the future?

Right now the web is endangered of threats we could have never predicted. Tim-Berners Lee suggests:

“Linked data raise certain issues that we will have to confront. For example, new data-integration capabilities could pose privacy challenges that are hardly addressed by today’s privacy laws. We should examine legal, cultural and technical options that will preserve privacy without stifling beneficial data-sharing capabilities.

Now is an exciting time. Web developers, companies, governments and citizens should work together openly and cooperatively, as we have done thus far, to preserve the Web’s fundamental principles, as well as those of the Internet, ensuring that the technological protocols and social conventions we set up respect basic human values. The goal of the Web is to serve humanity. We build it now so that those who come to it later will be able to create things that we cannot ourselves imagine.”

The Internet will continue to redefine our lives, but how we manage its innovations will be another issue. The web will also flourish to provide us immense global accessibility but privacy concerns will be faced. Hence, as users we should begin to respect boundaries and privacy of one another. Apart from the fact that openness and convenience the Internet has given us, we should learn how to draw the limitations. If we want to save the virtual world and preserve its endless benefits for the next generation, we should begin appreciating and respecting the web. The future begins now, and the future is in our hands. How are you going to help preserve the Web?

Battle of the titans

6 Apr

Apple produced the iPhone, Google came up with Android and Microsoft created the Windows phone. The battle goes on and on, from tablets to TV, laptops, computers, the list continues. But who is leading the battle so far?

First, Apple continues to dominate the entertainment and hardware devices relying on their state-of-the-art iPad, iPhone, iTouch, iPod and iMac. No doubt, other companies continue to compete, Apple offers sophisticated, user-friendly devices equipped with a sleek interface. Here’s a video on the new iPad 3.

Apart from Apple’s success, critics complain on Apple’s restricted operating system creating a Mac-sist environment, which excludes and discriminates other brands. However, now that Apple’s key visionary, Steve Jobs is gone, how long is Apple going to survive? With companies constantly innovating like Google, Apple has to watch its back.

Next, Google’s supremacy as the Internet’s most prominent search engine continues to intensify its reign on the web. With its extensive selection rapidly increasing, Google provides more choices for consumers. Aside from the Android, which has been competing with Apple’s iPhone, Google has yet to introduce iPad’s rival. Set to release in July 2012, Google’s Nexus will try its luck in establishing its own name in the tablet industry.

Currently, Google tools such as Google Maps, Google Ads, Google Docs and many others are gaining much recognition as users praise Google’s brilliant idea of integrating diversed services on a single platform. However, Google’s domination on the Internet requires constant online connectivity, once users are offline, they lose connection to Google’s platforms.

Lastly, Microsoft, the prominent underdog tries to fight its way by relying on the Xbox, Windows and Windows phone.

But, are those three enough to survive the battle? To ensure it stays in the game, Microsoft will be introducing Windows 8 this fall. But what makes it different from the previous Windows series? Windows 8 boasts an efficient system, which allows users to synchronize all other devices such as the TV, PC, tablet, phone or any other device. In addition, David Goldman reviews:

“Your office desktop will probably still have a monitor, a mouse and a keyboard, but those are just accessories. As mobile devices get better and faster, they’re taking over more of our computing tasks. Soon, a smartphone — or a tablet — could be your central device. Plug it into your desktop dock in the morning, then take it with you at night, and you’ll have have an extremely portable, all-in-one computer.

That’s the world for which Microsoft is building Windows 8. It can run everything from a touchscreen app like Angry Birds to resource-intensive software such as 3-D games and video editing tools. That sounds simple, but it’s an all-in-one approach Microsoft’s rivals have chosen not to pursue.”

Microsoft might be the underdog but Windows 8 might just be its saving power. But out of the three, which one do you think would most likely survive the battle in the near future?

Online Campaigning

23 Mar

The political scene took a turn since the advent of the Internet. Politicians and their parties no longer rely solely on traditional methods, instead, online campaigning invaded the Internet with the purpose of reaching netizens in the comforts of their homes. For instance, during Singapore’s GE 2011, Facebook and Twitter became one of the most popular social media platforms for voters to post their views and comments about candidates. Various comments, photos and video posts were practical examples of how citizens updated each other on their candidate’s progress and speeches in real time. In some cases, Facebook users were even much faster compared to Straits Times journalists in uploading information about recent rallies.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane…

Aside from the PAP’s victory of winning 81 out of 87 seats, the opposition’s gain of 6 seats in the parliament creates a mark in Singapore’s political history. One of the most unforgettable battle of candidates would be PAP’s Tin Pei Ling and the opposition’s Nicole Seah. Here’s a video of how both candidates respond to the press.

The video above was just one of the many interviews showing the distinct contrast between Tin Pei Ling and Nicole Seah. However, all the buzz and talk stirred online created an army of Tin Pei Ling antagonists while Nicole Seah gained her own loyal pool of supporters. Facebook was one of the platforms where supporters promoted Nicole Seah while diminishing Tin Pei Ling. This includes Seah’s Facebook page, which became the second most ‘liked’ page in Singapore next to MM Lee Kuan Yew. These are just a few of the many evidences presenting the Internet’s power over politics as a whole. Today’s social media platforms depict its functions as an avenue for citizens to connect and discuss on personal views on politicians their campaign journey. In particular, the Internet serves as an outlet for the younger generation to engage and express their opinions at expense of their own convenience.

Kony or phony?

21 Mar

Recently, Kony 2012, the most controversial video of the quarter, has stirred a viral buzz in the world of social media as one man’s concern garnered millions of viewers with a simple 30-minute HD video. Jason, Kony 2012’s director and his team of invisible children began this project 9 years ago in their mission to stop Kony and ensure his imprisonment by this year. They claim that the only way to do so was to make Joseph Kony famous by establishing him as the world’s worst war criminal. In this way, U.S. and international efforts to stop Kony could be bolstered. But just days after the launch of Kony 2012, critics and netizens from across the world began disparately reacting on the issue. Supporters continued to declare their undying support while critics began to expose hidden facts about the movement.

In reality, Kony was passé. Whatever he did was true but it had been a decade since he committed the said crimes. Critics claim that apart from the clear efforts seen in creating awareness about Joseph Kony, the movement emphasises on the idea of how Africans needed the Westerners to resolve issues on their behalf. But in truth, they did not want help. Here’s a video to shed light on the other side of Kony 2012.

 

 

From Kony 2012, we learned about citizen journalism and whether we like it or not, it has changed the world we live in. Gone were the days when newspapers and journalists opinions were all that mattered. Today, anyone can be a journalist, but whether people believe them or not is another question.

Citizen journalism enables anyone to be journalists given the various social media platforms available. However one of the main concerns of citizen journalism would be credibility as more often than not, sources are uncorroborated. As consumers, we should be cautious of the information we receive. Given the recent flood of citizen journalism, one can evaluate news based on its accuracy, authority, objectivity, currency and coverage. If news sources fail to encompass these features, you can forget about it and look for another source.

Personally, I believe that newspapers are still the most credible news source. Nothing beats flipping the newspapers even though your fingers turn grey after a few pages. The newspapers continue to provide up-to-date, reliable information and updates across the globe. But as students, do we still have the time and interest to flip the newspapers? Or have we become too reliant on various social media sites on our smart phones that we overlooked credibility altogether?

Podcasts

16 Mar

Here’s a common craft video to begin my blog post on Podcast. Enjoy!

Podcasts are a collection of digital media files, which are distributed over the Internet using syndication feeds for playback on portable media players and computers. Podcasts are also considered as portable on demand broadcasting collection, which allows users to generate content using feeds.

The first time I subscribed to a podcast was overwhelming due to the variety offered on iTunes. My first subscription was the Ellen DeGeneres show. The podcast video was simply two minutes long but it basically showed the highlights of the day’s episode as it was fast-forwarded throughout. The podcast video was a disappointment, I did not really enjoy the episode as it only gave me a glimpse of the show. Consequently, I subscribed to another podcast, etsy.com. The first podcast I watched on etsy.com was on Alabama Chanin, an all-grown American clothing designer who produces hand-sewn pieces. It was an unexpected discovery of how a company like Alabama Chanin actually exists. In general, clothes are mass produced but it was surprising to uncover a one of a kind designer who continues to flourish in today’s vicious fashion industry. Here’s a sample of one of their unique hand-sewn pieces.

Podcasts are also associated with RSS (Rich Site Summary) feeds which function as web feed formats used to publish frequently updated files such as blogs, news headlines, audio and video in standardized formats. Normally, RSS feeds contain full or summarized content for users to subscribe. RSS readers works as a software which allows users to check feeds for regular updates, at the same time downloading new files publicized. RSS feeds eliminate the need to manually check on their subscriptions one by one, instead users simply subscribe to all their favorite websites, and subsequently all new content will be pushed onto their browsers when it becomes available.

However, some users might deem RSS feeds as troublesome because it creates higher traffic and demands on servers. Do you think RSS feeds are an advantage or disadvantage?

Microsoft Surface

12 Mar

Last year, Microsoft introduced one of their smartest creations, the Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft Surface. Who would have thought that tables could become interactive touch screens?

Microsoft’s collaboration with Samsung offers a platform, connecting people together in a 360-degree interface. With its innovative PixelSense, the Surface enables users to respond and touch real life and virtual objects. It allows users to integrate multimedia content on an accessible platform. Its almost like a full-sized iPad, however with its 40 inch interface, the Surface builds on multimedia technology offering an outstanding interactive experience.  Here are some of its functions:

1)   Makes content more engaging. Gives customers immersive and collaborative ways to engage with photos, videos, documents, maps, custom applications, and more. It also connects with customers through games and pastimes.

2)    Plan and simulate. Brings life to real-time “if/then” modeling and visualization, simulations and calculations—perfect for financial services, healthcare, and other consultative environments.

3)    Makes learning more fun. Enhances the education process with rich visualizations that encourage teamwork and learning.

4)    Transforms the shopping experience. Makes shopping more immersive by connecting customers with more options, recommendations, product and service comparisons, and personalized service.

5)    Have some fun by putting Surface in restaurants, bars, hotel lobbies, and other venues, associating memorable experiences with your brand.

6)    Communicate and connect. Gives people an efficient and intriguing new way to get the information they’re looking for—like maps and tourist destinations in a hotel lobby. Or use it to help them exchange personal information so they can connect with each other and to your business.

The Microsoft surface redefines multimedia technology on a large-scale unlike the smaller tablets and mobile phones on the market. The table opens a whole new platform for future improvements and inventions promoting multimedia and the Internet on large-scale devices. Who knows maybe in the near future, 3D holographs could even be integrated into the Microsoft Surface table refining the multimedia experience altogether.