Blog 1 Pt. IV

In what ways do you think that Web 3.0 technologies (i.e., the Semantic Web) will change a user’s experience when using the Web? What implications will there be for privacy when the Semantic Web is coupled with “The Internet of Things”? Do you think there will be a blurring of what humanity is when data becomes machine understandable and the world is full of completely pervasive computer/sensor devices that collect data on just about every characteristic of the physical environment? Look at how other students have answered this question and comment on their blogs.

In terms of the ways that Web 3.0 will change a user’s experience, I think the process of using the web and getting it to work for you will become much more streamlined. It will seem more as though it is more ‘personalised’ and intelligent, almost seeming like a personal assistant.  One example I read about whilst researching this attempted to show how you could read a whole sentence to a search engine and it would respond accurately despite how advanced the sentence was.  Several time consuming tasks will be able to be accomplished while taking a fraction of the time and effort previously required.
In comparison to the Web 2.0 I also think the presentation, organized and delivery of information and content will be much more ‘elegant’ as well as the way the users interact with it.

In terms of privacy obviously there must be high levels of security with the amount of personal data that will be consistently being uploaded to the Web. This data combined with the information contained in the “Internet of Things” must be heavily secured otherwise breaches of security could have severe consequences. As the technology advances, I believe that the privacy concerns will be addressed as the law will find a way to catch up the technology though as the recent NSA scandal shows, their has to be boundaries to avoid a violation of that privacy (check out the PRISM program to see how your Web 3.0 data could be used without your knowledge http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ro3L41SagTA ). Those ‘anonymous’ users of forums/blogs/sites/services are now able to be tracked through the meta data that is sent and these methods of tracking are only going to become more effective.   This balancing act between taking precautions and violating ones right to privacy may take time to adjust and will always be on-going but just as Web 2.0 has shown, it is possible to have the two co-exist.

Humanity will always be clearly defined and able to be distinguished from the machines imitating them, however advanced these imitations may be. Unless these machines are able to think (not simulate though, but obtain genuine inspiration and think for themselves) then humanity will always be able to be separated despite any blurring that may occur. That being said, I am by no means saying that computers will not be able to pass off convincingly as humans or make particular logical decisions, but these decisions will simply be part of the programming and regardless how advanced a level of AI it may possess, it cannot replicate the in depth and complex nature of the brain.
At the end of the day, despite all of the 21st Century bells and whistles, modern technologies are just tools are created for humanity to utilize and will remain that way for a long time.

Posted in Blog 1. 2 Comments »

Blog 1 Pt. III

Carefully read the Terms of Service and privacy policy for a social network on which you have an account. What does it say about how they will use your information? What will they do if there is a breach in security on their site? Write a blog post summarising your findings. State your opinion on whether you are happy with the Terms of Service and are comfortable with trusting the social networking site with regard to privacy and security. Look at how other students have answered this question and comment on their blogs.

 
The Privacy section shows that Facebook not only has the information which must be entered by the user in order to register for a Facebook account  but also stores seemingly irrelevant information. This excerpt was taken directly from the Facebook website and outlines some of the information that is frequently collected.

(https://www.facebook.com/about/privacy/your-info)

  • We receive data about you whenever you interact with Facebook, such as when you look at another person’s timeline, send or receive a message, search for a friend or a Page, click on, view or otherwise interact with things, use a Facebook mobile app, or purchase Facebook Credits or make other purchases through Facebook.
  • When you post things like photos or videos on Facebook, we may receive additional related data (or metadata), such as the time, date, and place you took the photo or video.
  • We receive data from the computer, mobile phone or other device you use to access Facebook, including when multiple users log in from the same device. This may include your IP address and other information about things like your internet service, location, the type (including identifiers) of browser you use, or the pages you visit. For example, we may get your GPS or other location information so we can tell you if any of your friends are nearby.
  • We receive data whenever you visit a game, application, or website that uses Facebook Platform or visit a site with a Facebook feature (such as a social plugin), sometimes through cookies. This may include the date and time you visit the site; the web address, or URL, you’re on; technical information about the IP address, browser and the operating system you use; and, if you are logged in to Facebook, your User ID.
  • Sometimes we get data from our affiliates or our advertising partners, customers and other third parties that helps us (or them) deliver ads, understand online activity, and generally make Facebook better. For example, an advertiser may tell us information about you (like how you responded to an ad on Facebook or on another site) in order to measure the effectiveness of – and improve the quality of – ads.

They also use that data that has been obtained to suggest particular things to you including advertising as stated on their privacy page. It even specifically states that Facebook may use the information to deliver relevant ads to you. This however, is to be expected as advertising is one of Facebook’s primary means of income in a predominantly free website although some users may still consider that their privacy is being invaded.

It also shows that Facebook has backup copies of data even when deleted (they reference this to be similar to the Recycle Bin in Windows or the Trash in OS X) though it is stated that this is not able to be viewed or used by others.

Depending on the type of security breach, the response of Facebook may differ. For example in this case (http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/22/facebook-breach-letter/)  Facebook responded by emailing the users who’s security had been breached and explained the current situation and apologised.  Facebook also has several pages including a Facebook Security page to keep its users current on any potential threats or system bugs at any given time. Certain breaches may also be solved by the Facebook team under the hood without the user clearly/knowing what is happening.

In terms of whether or not I am comfortable with the terms of service and the way that my data is used, that is difficult to answer. I can understand why many people dislike Facebook in the sense that they consider the information and data collected to be unnecessary/unsafe and that is a concern that I too have, however, personally most of the information that is collected from me I don’t mind sharing and is not being published or used for purposes that I oppose. With that being said, I consider some of the information gathered or being used to be irrelevant. However, the company provides a majority of their services free of charge and uses this information as a means of profiting.

This is the price you pay for using the services of Facebook as they use this information to their advantage, for the purpose of advertising amongst other things. It does make me uneasy in the grand scheme of things that one company has such a vast amount of information on over 1 billion users though, if the data collected was being misused the results could be catastrophic; so I can certainly see both sides of this situation.

In short, I think people need to be aware of what information is being collected, how it is being used and then judge for themselves as to whether or not they have a problem with it, but at the current time I personally don’t strongly object to the Terms and Services and trust the network with the information that I have provided, though my opinion may change at a later date.

 

Blog 1 Pt. II

Pulse

Pulse is available on numerous platforms

Use a feed reader of your choice to subscribe to several feeds for sites that you frequently visit. Write a blog post about your experience after using a feed reader every day for a week. What are at least two benefits and drawbacks of using a feed reader?

I have been using the feed reader Pulse for my devices for quite some time now simply as a way to obtain and select from a wide variety of content. I have always found these applications to be quite useful as they provide for me what I consider as essentially my own personalized magazine with content only I am personally interested in.

One of the benefits of these readers is the way that content is presented. Pulse in particular (in my opinion) displays the information in an organised, visually appealing and easily accessible manner. On mobile devices this is a large factor to me as a consumer. Additionally the fact that so much information is able to be accessed almost immediately after hitting the web is fantastic and all I need to do is open Pulse up and start browsing. Personally these applications nearly replace the need to manually search for news and information over the web and provide the added bonus of removing the clutter and content that doesn’t appeal to me. As I use Pulse mainly on my mobile devices (there is a HTML version of the application), this allows me to take vast amounts of information and stories that are tailored to my taste around in a mobile form factor which is more appealing than carting around books and magazines to me at least.

The issues that I have with the readers are relatively small and are slowly being fixed (primarily through version updates and patches) over time, some of the websites I would like don’t have RSS feeds available currently though these are continuously being updated and will presumably eventually be available.

Also, though I subscribe to feeds which I find relevant and interesting, this does not necessarily mean all of the information presented is appealing to me. . This however, is nit-picking slightly as there is little that could be done to easily fix this issue at the moment and it appears that the issues are becoming less frequent.

Certain features are restricted within the application until signed up to a Pulse account which could also turn off many users although I had an account prior to this week so there wasn’t an issue.

Lastly, the primary problem with these readers is that because there are so many out there from a variety of third parties (Google Currents and Flipboard spring to mind), each has their own advantages, weaknesses and differences. Pulse being a relatively popular reader has few disadvantages but bugs, different various and a lack of updates could significantly detract from the overall experience.

Blog 1 Pt. I

Write a short post introducing yourself on your blog.  Answer the following questions:

  • What degree are you doing?
  • How soon until you graduate?
  • What do you think this subject is about, and what do you hope to get out of it?
  • Have you ever maintained a blog before?
  • What job are you interested in once you graduate?

Greetings Blogosphere!
Well as introduced on the previous blog post, I’m Daniel Schwass and I am currently a second year IT student studying at Griffith, Nathan though I am unsure if I’ll stay exactly where I am or transfer/take up another degree or anything like that.
As I am only in second year now I have a couple of years left of my degree to complete.

I consider this course to be largely about the different components of the Web (both 2.0 and 3.0) and how this information can be organized, displayed and shared to other people. I would hope to get a deep insight into these matters and understand these concepts thoroughly so I can be prepared in the event that this knowledge is required later on.

I have maintained blogs in the past on a few different websites (MySpace ftw) and have some experience and familiarity with them though this is my first blog used for university purposes so only time will tell how that will differ!
Currently I am still deciding what particular field I would prefer to work in so I cannot be 100% sure what type of job I would like to acquire upon graduation. I am looking at all options currently as I progress through the different subjects and am attempting to get a taste for everything before choosing a definitive field (although I did enjoy Information Systems & Web Design quite a bit).