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Say whaaaaaaa?

To Infinity and Beyond!

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What is the future of the internet? The internet will be accessible everywhere and the internet will be part of everything. It is already evident in today’s technology that the internet is being incorporated. Even television sets have internet capabilities now. As information moves towards an online, so will our technology. Because we want to be connected all the time and not have to worry about leaving information at home or the office, the internet is the ideal candidate to facilitate the delivery of information. Google Glasses is a good example of this. Using augmented reality to determine where you are and then plot your route to where you are going. Or to view messages from contacts, make calls, virtually anything done on a smart phone will be done with Google Glasses. There is a strong possibility that our world will become one like in the movie Minority Report where advertisements are only shown to you based on your interests and information found online.

With information stored online, and the frequency of retrieval of information grows rapidly, the bandwidth and speed of the internet will increase dramatically as well. Like if you think the internet now is fast, we will think this is dial up internet speed in the future.

Here are some predictions by 6 web pioneers on the future of the internet that I found on http://mashable.com/2011/01/12/future-of-the-internet/:

Steve Case, Co-Founder of AOL


I think that it will continue to evolve. In 25 years it has gone from a first phase, which was really a pick and shovel phase, to simply building the basic platform, the basic technology, the basic network, the basic tool to do well. The second 10 years really was about expansion and really taking it to the mainstream. And … the last few years, and I think the coming decade really, will be about — now that the internet really is ubiquitous, people are relying on it in increasingly habitual kind of ways — how do you not just create Internet businesses, but create businesses that can impact every aspect of people’s lives using the Internet as a tool.

…Someday it would be great if instead of being e-mail, it would just be called mail. Instead of being e-commerce it will just be called commerce, just because it is so ubiquitous that it is just taken for granted, much as we take for granted electricity or water or other kinds of utilities.

We’re not quite there yet. But we’re getting there. When you get there, it’s less of a focus on the Internet and a particular technology or industry because that’s faded into a part of your daily life. It’s more focused on what you can do with that and how it impacts important things: education, transportation, health care, communication — big things that affect people’s everyday lives. We just scratched the surface in terms of the Internet as a platform to disrupt those non-Internet businesses.


Ryan Ozimek, President of Open Source Matters


I think that the needs of the world, especially the world that we [Joomla!] play in, have moved beyond the content management system or inventing the next cool feature for commenting on a blog.

I think what I’m excited about and where I see the future of the Internet going is more mobile, more focused on the cloud, and more about building really easy-to-use platforms that people can use to build the next generation of software that hasn’t even crossed our minds yet.


Jeremy Stoppleman, CEO of Yelp


If you really go far out there, ideally computing sort of fades away as something that you even notice. There’s talk of augmented reality and all that. But really what it gets to is that computing blends itself into our lives in such a way that it’s just always there. Whenever we have a question, the answer is just sort of presented to us and it’s done so in a way that is very unobtrusive. And some of the early things we’ve seen [with augmented reality], for instance with our Yelp Monocle Feature, you hold up a phone and see what businesses are ahead of you down the street.

But I think that’s a primitive version of “I’m thinking about what is down the street and somehow it is presented to me just automatically, without me necessarily even holding up a phone.” There’s just some way that it’s presented to me with technologies that I’m not even going to speculate [about] because it will just sound silly.

I think that the best technologies are the ones that we don’t really even have to think about. Over time, as the Internet matures, it will become something that is completely inter-woven [into] the fabric of our lives and not even something that we specifically tap into, but is just always presenting information to us.


Dries Buytaert, Drupal Founder


Dries_Buytaert

Initially people added a blog to their main website. I think the future is much more integrated, where social is part of everything you do, every website.

If you sum it up, it’s more websites within a single organization, more different devices that need to consume those websites with different experiences, and more social things. If I think about all of those things, it definitely feels like there’s going to be more complexity. More sites, more devices, more social, all of those things.

So it’s definitely going to be a more complex future, and that excites me in a way, because what I’m starting to see is that a lot of these organizations are starting to spend their dice on a single platform to manage all of that complexity around the web and to manage those experiences.


Barry Glick, Founder of MapQuest


In a way, I think the future of the internet will basically go away in the same sense that you couldn’t really ask the question, what is the future of electricity? I think certainly in the developing world and in parts of the world the Internet hasn’t reached, that’s certainly going to be part of the future, to get to be as ubiquitous as possible.

Right now the Internet has been very computer oriented. There’s been this association, like you need a computer to be connected, and I think that’s rapidly, of course, going away. You need a handheld device, and in the future you need a home entertainment system, TV, all connected to the Internet. So I think the Internet is going to be the invisible present power supply, and the boundary between some things that have boundaries today, like telephones, will go away. Television will go away. It will be the Internet, and there will be different display devices and different user interface or interaction devices, but that’s kind of how I see it.


Matt Mullenweg, WordPress Founder


If I were to wish for two things, they would be as much bandwidth as possible and ridiculously fast browser engines.

Reflection Time!!!!

The course of this module really opened my eyes to the internet. Not that I did not know what the chapters were about generally, but it gave me more depth and understanding of how it works and is related to the internet. It also gave me a greater appreciation for the internet, a tool that we use everyday. It has become a commodity like electricity. But many of us do not appreciate it because it is something that we expect to be of a minimal requirement in our lifestyle. It has also shown me limitless capabilities of the internet as it able to be incorporated with any other technology out there. If I had to choose the greatest technological advancement of all time, it would have to be the internet. Because the internet is limitless, so are the possibilities of new technologies limitless as now technology and the internet are linked. It is because of the internet that technologies depicted in movies about the future are now possible. THANKS MR CHOY!

Written by Jacob

April 20, 2012 at 6:43 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Who will Rule the World?

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Instead of comparing the 3 operating systems as a whole, this post is going to cover the comparison of just one technological aspect that the 3 companies have developed – the cloud system.

Here is a comparison found on http://www.intomobile.com/2011/10/03/cloud-comparison-apple-icloud-vs-google-vs-windows-live/:

Apple iCloud

The Approach: The cloud pushes content to your device.

Cloud comparison

Apple’s iCloud system will debut with iOS 5and Apple was very clear during its introduction that this won’t just be a hard drive in the sky. Instead, iCloud aims to make it easier for you to get all of your content to your Apple products without have to manually transfer things over.

This means that Apple’s iCloud will sync your music, apps pictures, videos, iBooks and other content between your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Mac without the need for wires. You simply sign up for iCloud when you’re setting up your device and you’re ready to go. While this approach may be different than some of the competitors, the end user is likely going to like iCloud a lot for many reasons.

First of all, this gets rid of a lot of the headaches of switching between Apple devices. If you buy something on your iPhone and want it on your iPad, you can go to the App Store, hit the Purchased tab and then download those apps to the tablet (different versions may cost more though). The iPhone 4 has been a very popular camera but transferring over photos can be a friction point but with iCloud, users will be able to use iCloud to transfer these over-the-air with Photostream and even push it to something like the Apple TV without wires. Other iCloud apps will include Mail, Contacts, iBooks, Documents and Apple will eventually open this up to third-party developers.

The Apple iCloud system will also let you cut the cord when setting up your new device, as you won’t have to plug it into a computer and boot up iTunes. Instead, you simply enter your Apple ID, go through a few menus and you’re off and running. The iCloud system will also enable a daily backup (over WiFi) and it comes with 5 GB of free storage. While that may not seem like that much, your iTunes content and photos don’t count against that limit, so it’s actually a decent amount of space.

Verdict: Apple iCloud will be very appealing to mainstream customers.

Google Android

The Approach: Store it all in the cloud, access from device.

Cloud comparisons

Google has been miles ahead of Apple in terms of cloud services on Android and it makes a lot of sense, as Google is an Internet software company and Apple is not. From day one, you have been able to set up an Android phone by signing into a Google account and all of your settings and contacts would “auto-magically” push to your device. We’re immune to it at this point but if you keep a lot of contacts with Google’s system, it’s actually quite amazing how easy it is to set up your Android phone. Further improvements include syncing your apps, WiFi settings and more just by signing in with a Google account.

Google is not even close to being done, as it continues to push the cloud capabilities of Android. It introduced Google Music earlier this year and this lets you upload 20,000 tracks to its servers and access these through an Android app or through your browser for streaming music. If you’re going to be in a place where you won’t have connections (like an airplane), you can pin tracks to your device and store these for local playbacks. Apple’s iCloud appears to be content to just push your already-purchased songs to your new device but it’s unclear when, if ever, Apple’s service will have streaming capabilities.

The web-based Android Market is another example of how Google utilizes the cloud to provide a better experience for Android users, as this enables you to browse, discover and buy apps on a computer and then have it automatically pushed to the device of your choosing. This is a somewhat small feature that doesn’t get mentioned often but it is a truly innovative feature that can only really be found on Android.

If you use the Google+ app, you’ll be able to have all of your photos automatically be stored in the cloud and rumors still persist of a GDrive, which would be a full out Dropbox competitor but with Google’s scale and clout behind it. Google’s mobile cloud integration is already quite stellar and look for it to continue to improve as things like Google Music and Google+ (maybe) become integrated into the full OS. While Google isn’t making a mainstream marketing push like Apple is with iCloud, you can rest assured that Android will always have access to great cloud services.

Verdict: Best mobile cloud operating system around and should continue to be for a while.

Microsoft Windows Live

The Approach: Store in cloud, Windows Live is your new ID.

Cloud comparison

Microsoft is also very familiar with cloud computing and it has improved the cloud capabilities of its mobile software with the release of Windows Phone Mango. Like Android, you could always sign in or create a Windows Live account on Windows Phone and it would pull in all of your associated information.

Windows Phone Mango now has system-wide tie-ins with Twitter and LinkedIn to go along with the built-in Facebook connection and this really makes a big impact on your People hub, as its easier to keep track of your connections across all of the social networks. This also transforms your Me tile into a social networking aggregate app which gives you one place to update all of your social networks (except for Google+).

Microsoft’s Skydrive is quietly a great service because it offers nearly anyone 25 GB of free cloud storage and it is deeply integrated into Windows Phone Mango. This means you can set your camera to have it automatically upload all of your photos to the online backup, as well as access pictures, documents and more on your phone. The tie-in is very slick and it makes getting content from this online backup as simple as if you were accessing on-board content.

Like Google’s Android, cloud computing also powers the voice-to-text services on Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform and it also powers a few other improvements to the Bing search app in Mango. There’s now a music-recognition service that’s similar to Shazam and a visual search engine in Bing which are made possible by the platform’s cloud powers.

Moving forward, Microsoft is going to place a larger emphasis on having your Windows Live ID be a major component in your computing life. With the upcoming Windows 8, you’ll be able to sign in with your Windows Live ID and it will automatically set up your device with all your apps and content. The cloud will also power continual computing between your desktop and phone by automatically syncing things like mail, contacts and calendar. The Windows Phone app store is now available online but you can’t push apps to your device yet but I’d expect that to eventually happen.

Verdict: Microsoft’s cloud services are strong if maybe a half-step behind Google, look for Windows Phone to continue to have robust cloud support.

Coming back to the 3 OS as a whole, it is very clear that Apple is always behind technological wise. But it always seems that Apple is at the forefront because of its mainstream appeal. Therefore whenever Apple releases any information about what new technology they are developing, the news hits mainstream and everybody hears about it. But the truth is, like the cloud system, Apple is never the pioneer nor the best. Android always had this drop down menu to view all notifications and other information at a glance, but Apple only had it in the lastest iOS. And yet people claim it is such a cool innovative feature when Apple used it. Apple was also sued by local company Creative for using their patented menu layout for the iPod. It seems to be that Apple is not an innovator but an adapter. They take existing technology and ideas and make it mainstream. Apple is also not the best at anything. Not to say they are not good at anything. But technological wise they lose out to the competitors. The only thing I can concede to Apple is their touch screen technology, and multi finger gestures. But other than that, nothing really. The main difference between Apple, Google, and Microsoft is the support of the people. We have to face the fact that the people support Apple more than the other two. And it is sad that people follow what is mainstream and defend it to the ends of the earth because if the competitors lose support and sales, and have to close down, the world will be missing out on great new technologies that Apple, as proven time and time again, could never think of.

Written by Jacob

April 20, 2012 at 6:04 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Extra Extra! Read all about it!

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Everything these days has got some relation to the internet no matter how weak the link, including journalism. As stated in the post about politics, the news has moved onto the internet is because traditional methods of paper, radio, and television does not appeal to the younger generation. Yes, these methods still have a place in journalism, but with the decline numbers of audience, soon news agencies will have to close down. So is the internet the saving rope of journalism? Yes and no.

For news agencies it provides a new entry into the market. CNN, CNA, BBC, etc all have websites dedicated to the news. Not only are the updates on stories quicker than print or telecast, they are able to post videos and pictures to further aid in telling a story. There are comment sections for readers to add their opinions and discuss with the writer or other readers. It can create a news community where discussions can take place. Also it archives all the stories so at any time you can go back and read the story. It also gives the readers the ability to read stories on the go. And most importantly, it reduces the use of paper, ink, oil, and electricity which is always good for a company to be more environmentally friendly.

However, online journalism allows anybody to be a journalist. Therefore not all sources are credible. While professional journalists in reputable news agencies go out and gather information by interviewing experts and other forms of research, a 13 year old kid could be covering the same story but gathering information by reading other sources, piece them together, and tell the story. The kid’s story definitely would be way less credible than the professional journalist, but how can you tell on the internet? And so journalism can take a dive into amateurism because readers may take the 13 year old kid’s story and preach it like fact.

So will online journalism take over the traditional methods of news telling? I don’t think so because we still need something to read on the toilet.

Here is an interesting read on how the internet has “hamsterized” journalism that I found on http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2011/06/has-the-internet-hamsterized-journalism.ars:

Has the Internet "hamsterized" journalism?

Hey there newspaper reporter—has your broadband-powered job got you filing not only conventional stories, but blogging, video blogging, Facebooking, podcasting, picture posting, and Tweeting? If so, you’ll be happy to know that the Federal Communications Commission earned its keep this week by coming up with a term for this ever growing set of digital duties: the “hamsterization” of American journalism.

“As newsrooms have shrunk, the job of the remaining reporters has changed. They typically face rolling deadlines as they post to their newspaper’s website before, and after, writing print stories,” the FCC notes in its just released report on The Information Needs of Communities.

Motion for motion’s sake

The good news about this online convergence, the survey observes, is that it allows print journalists to produce short and longer versions of stories, the web versions of which can be continuously updated as the situation develops.

But, “these additional responsibilities—and having to learn the new technologies to execute them—are time-consuming, and come at a cost. In many newsrooms, old-fashioned, shoe-leather reporting—the kind where a reporter goes into the streets and talks to people or probes a government official—has been sometimes replaced by Internet searches.”

Thus, those “rolling deadlines” in many newsrooms are increasingly resembling the rapid iteration of the proverbial exercise device invented for the aforementioned cute domestic rodent. The observation was first made by Dean Starkman in a Columbia Journalism Review piece titled “The Hamster Wheel.”

The “Hamster Wheel” isn’t about speed, the report quotes Starkman as saying. “It’s motion for motion’s sake… volume without thought. It is news panic, a lack of discipline, an inability to say no.”

Journalists complain that where newsrooms used to reward in-depth stories, “now incentives skew toward work that can be turned around quickly and generate a bump in Web traffic.”

“None of this is written down anywhere, but it’s real,” Starkman contends. “The Hamster Wheel, then, is investigations you will never see, good work left undone, public service not performed.”

Bureaucratize the phrase

These observations impressed the team leader of the FCC document, journalist Steven Waldman. “Since I now work at the Federal government, I decided to bureaucratize the phrase a little bit,” Waldman told the FCC at Friday’s Open Commission meeting, where the report was unveiled. “And we are now referring to this as ‘hamsterization’.”

It isn’t likely that the Commission is actually going to do anything about this reporters-as-hamsters problem. The FCC, it should be remembered, has statutory authority over newspapers only to the extent that their owners try to buy radio or television stations. So most of the recommendations focus on TV and radio signal regulatory reform.

But the document does wonder about any further deregulation of the government’s always controversial newspaper/TV-radio station cross ownership rules, which the FCC voted to loosen in 2007. The latest rules make it easier for entities to own newspapers and TV stations in the top 20 Nielsen Designated Market Areas of the US. But they are being challenged in court, and the Commission is currently reevaluating the provisions, as it must all of its media ownership caps every four years.

“It is easy to see how newspapers and TV stations merging operations could lead to efficiencies and improved business models that might result in more reporting resources and therefore help reach the policy goal of enhanced ‘localism’,” the report observes.

On the other hand, it is also easy to see how such mergers could simply improve the bottom line of a combined company without actually increasing the resources devoted to local newsgathering in a community. Therefore, we are not persuaded that relaxing ownership rules would inevitably lead to more local news, information or reporting or that it would inevitably lead to less.

The Commission should also “consider looking at shared services agreements with the same question in mind—whether the arrangements contribute to the overall media health of the community,” the survey’s recommendations in this area conclude.

Written by Jacob

April 20, 2012 at 5:20 am

Posted in Uncategorized

“Yes We Can” Use the Internet for Politics

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Gone are the days where politics is only covered by news channels and newspapers. Make way for the king of communication mediums, the internet. Sadly as generations go by, the interest in watching news channels or reading newspapers is diminishing. It just does not entice the attention of the people anymore. We have become a people of technology where the more services and functions you can cram into one technology, the better. We do not want to sit at the TV and wait for a particular story. We want to read the story as and when we like. And not only that, we want to give our opinions or listen to other people’s opinions.

So where does politics come into all of this? When the elections are coming, that becomes the main story for the news all the way till the election is over. And it is the news that provides us with the story and coverage of the various parties involved in the election to help us make an informed decision as to who we would vote for. The internet has been around for a long time, but it was only in 2008 where Barack Obama used the internet so cleverly to aid his campaign that politics started to catch the attention of the people once again. He used social media to interact with the people, which gave him great access to the younger generations. And what social media allowed him to do was to communicate with the people in an informal setting, at any time, anywhere. He could have been in California doing a rally, but he could use an online streaming service to communicate with people in New York. Or he could even live stream his rallies to the entire country. We all know that we are braver behind a screen; it is anonymity courage  that allows us to say what we would never say in person. And that can also be applied to when the people ask questions to the politicians.

Even news providers have moved on to the internet. It allows for instant updates on stories or breaking news. Also they make their website into a blog format where readers can comment on stories to provide feedback or opinions. So when CNN covers Barack Obama on his campaign and posts a story on their website, readers can give their honest opinions which can affect what other readers think of Barack Obama. It also allows Barack Obama to track on what the people are saying and pick out common concerns the people have without having to talk to them at all. I would not be surprised if election candidates start creating apps for smart phones.

Here is a good read on how the internet has changed the American politics that I found on http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2010/04/how-technology-changed-american-politics-in-the-internet-age096.html:

THE INTERNET ERA

An early moment in any timeline about modern tech development in politics is the February 1997 creation of the GOP Internet forum FreeRepublic. To put it in perspective, 1998 was the year Google was founded. It was also the year that MoveOn was created for progressives as a political community formed in response to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

Another early note: I would be remiss not to include the now famous 1999 Al Gore interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s “Late Edition,” when the the vice president declared, “I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country’s economic growth.” Though technically not claiming credit for the Internet, Gore’s comments would become famous.

2000

Following Sen. John McCain’s 2000 primary win in New Hampshire, the New York Times ran a story with this headline: His Success in New Hampshire Brings McCain an Overnight Infusion of Cybercash. The story cited figures released by the McCain campaign that suggested he raised more than $500,000 over the Internet in less than 24 hours after the polls closed. This was a significant moment for online fundraising.

The 2000 election year saw the Bush campaign make innovative use of phone bank technology for get-out-the-vote initiatives. It also used email lists to drive voters to action.

That campaign year was notable for the use of online ads. A study from AdRelevance, Nielsen Online’s service that tracks advertising activity, was reported in USA Today on October 30, 2000. It suggested that “Republicans used a more ‘targeted’ approach, while Democrats relied on a ‘broad reach’ effort. The Republicans, for example, ran more than 20 unique banners on 35 sites…the Democrats achieved all their exposure with a single banner ad on Yahoo.”

The AdRelevance study also reported that Republicans used online marketing tools to build a database of 700,000 names.

2001

2001 saw the emergence of popular political websites such as the Libertarian-leaningInstapundit and liberal community website MyDD. The latter was established by Jerome Armstrong, who would go on to work on Howard Dean’s presidential campaign. Armstrong’s writing on MyDD also featured one of the first references to the online-based political activism term “netroots.”

2002

2002 saw the rise of one of the web’s most popular bloggers, Markos Moulitsas of DailyKos. Two years later, Moulitsas would be among the first bloggers given press credentials to cover the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

2003

February 2003 saw a tectonic shift in how political campaigns are run, thanks to the rise of Howard Dean and his campaign’s use of Meetup to empower supporters to self-organize. The Dean campaign also created a YouTube-like online video site call Dean TV, experimented with SMS, used an online event tool called Get Local, and created a pre-Facebook-style site called Deanlink, among other pioneering innovations.

“We fell into this by accident,” Dean told Wired magazine. “I wish I could tell you we were smart enough to figure this out. But the community taught us. They seized the initiative through Meetup. They built our organization for us before we had an organization.”

According to the Wired piece, in February 2003 there were 11 Dean meetings around the country organized through Meetup. By late fall, there were more than 800 monthly meetings on the calendar.

 

Zephyr-Teachout.gifZephyr Teachout

Zephyr Teachout, director of Internet organizing for Dean For America, told me that of all the online tools experimented with and deployed during the campaign, the meeting tool was the most exciting.

 

“The meeting tool was completely opposed internally when we started designing it in May 2003,” she said. “If you ask people what [they] do for a candidate, now I think most people know that they can go to events and get other people to support them whereas 10 years ago it wouldn’t even be possible. It’s really changed people’s sense of possibility in terms of their potential interaction with a campaign.”

Another significant technical innovation in 2003 came when Arizona became the first state to implement online voter registration.

2004

2004 saw the launch of the successful Democratic online fundraising outfit ActBlue. The summer of 2004 was also marked by the Rock the Vote campaign that registered an estimated 1.2 million new voters. The campaign included a partnership with Motorola that launched a large-scale mobile political project which enabled people to sign up to receive information on their mobile devices.

That same year, the Washington Times had reported in August that Daily Kos received about 200,000 visitors a day during the Democratic National Convention.

And on September 9, bloggers for the right-leaning site Power Line published a post suggesting Dan Rather’s “60 Minutes II” report on George W. Bush’s National Guard serviceincluded some fraudulent memos. The post and the more than 500 other sites that linked to it are credited with exposing the report and later causing CBS News to apologize, leading to Dan Rather’s resignation. Time Magazine named Power Line Blog of the Year.

2005

In early 2005, three former PayPal employees, Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim created YouTube. The popular video sharing site has significantly changed political campaigns, by allowing citizens to post their own video from campaign events, including politicians making faux pas.

By May of 2005 a new site called The Huffington Post was launched by Arianna Huffington, Kenneth Lerer, and Jonah Peretti that would add a new dynamic to online political coverage.

Today, politicians with blogs are very common, but in 2005 Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston established the first Congressional blog with the help of rising GOP Internet guru David All.

In 2005, another GOP Internet tech star, Patrick Ruffini, the webmaster for the 2000 Bush campaign, launched the highly successful “eCampaign” operation while at the Republican National Committee.

2006

By 2006, political campaigns online were widespread and in full force. In June, one of the first to test out the use of YouTube for their campaign was Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston. He posted a video of what his campaign called Mailtube, an attempt to reach out to constituents through the use of online video.

YouTube started to take hold of the political imagination when, on August 15, 2006, then Sen. George Allen (R-VA) called opposition campaign volunteer S.R. Sidarth “macaca.” The videowent viral and is seen as a major turning point that led to Allen’s electoral defeat.

2006 was also the year that the Rightroots coalition was created to support GOP candidates online. The site raised over $300,000 for different candidates.

2007

Zephyr Teachout said the initial use of most technologies is not where it ends up having an impact. She cites the Dean campaign’s use of Meetup and email as examples. Echoing this point, 2007 saw some of the most notable uses of technology in political campaigns. One example is how Barack Obama’s team took the social networking suite developed by the Dean campaign to a new level with Blue State Digital’s creation of My.BarackObama.com.

Facebook gave rise to an enormous constituency of political activity in 2008, and upstart Twitter dipped its toes in the campaign waters. One of the biggest tech innovations of the year came on July 23, when CNN held the first YouTube Debate for the Democrats in Charleston, S.C. The Dems were followed by the GOP’s November 28 YouTube Debate in St. Petersburg, Fla.

2007 also saw an innovative use of distributed online video by Mike Huckabee’s campaign for the GOP nomination. Ron Paul, building on Howard Dean’s pioneering fundraising efforts, created the money bomb which raised $4.3 million in 24 hours on November 5 largely through online donations. Paul did it again on Dec. 16 when his campaign brought in $6 million in 24 hours, which Fox News called the biggest one-day take ever.

In other 2007 notes, Slatecard was created by David All and Sendhil Panchadsaram as a website that funneled contributions to conservative candidates. All also started the group blogTechRepublican, focusing on the intersection of Republican politics and technology. (In April 2009, TechRepublican was awarded the Golden Dot Award for the Best Blog in National Politics).

Another tech innovation launched in 2007 was the Ustream.tv platform for live online interactive video broadcasts. The technology was been widely used by politicians, including by Barack Obama when he appeared with Oprah during a South Carolina rally which included 74,000 participants.

2008

Supported by online campaigning, the Democrats had a good election year in 2008, taking large majorities in both houses of Congress and celebrating the election of Barack Obama.

Tech innovations played a big role in the election successes of the Dems. One notable highlight was the August 28 text from the Obama campaign:

“Breaking news: the text message is out and it’s official… Barack Obama has selected Joe Biden to be his running mate!”

In October 2008, the Obama campaign released its free Obama08 app, which organized a person’s iPhone contacts to enable supporters to call friends located in important electoral districts among other features.

While much of the attention in 2008 was on the Democrats, in the spring of 2008 The Next Right was formed as a GOP imitation of the huge left-wing community Daily Kos and MyDD.

In other significant tech innovations, Facebook Connect was launched in July. Connect is a set of APIs from Facebook that enables Facebook members to log onto third-party websites. The release of the API paved the way for the David All Group development of the award winning Act.ivi.st, which integrates with a campaign and sends out messages to the online communities including Facebook and Twitter.

 

David-All.gifDavid All

“The idea of web surfing is so dead,” All told me. “Once you get people to a website, it’s rare they are going to go back too often. But, every single day they are going to be logging into Facebook and they are going to be engaging with that community. So if your news can be liked or commented on and engaged with it is really powerful.”

 

2009

After one of the biggest election years in modern history, in March 2009 New York’s 20th congressional district held a special election. Democrat Scott Murphy’s successful run was supported by a new tech innovation from Google, theGoogle Blast Advertising Campaign, which blanketed sites running Google AdSense with Murphy ads targeted to people in his district.

2010

With elections fast approaching, we’re bound to see new kinds of tech innovation that will turn heads this year. I recently wrote here on MediaShift about how the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts was aided by a smartphone app created for GOP candidates called Walking Edge. It offered Brown’s canvassers a database of where undecided voters and supporters live. The app used geo-location tools and Google Maps so that after canvassers made contact with a person, they could update the database in real time.

The Walking Edge falls squarely in what Zephyr Teachout describes as the “data oligarch” model, which is designed to create massive databases. But Teachout said there is also the potneital for the Internet to allow for more civic organizing.

“[The Internet is] one of the greatest collective action problem-solving tools in world history,” Teachout said. “These are constantly in tension with each other.”

Written by Jacob

April 20, 2012 at 4:52 am

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Everybody likes Multimedia

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Multimedia comes in many different formats. It can be almost anything you can hear or see like text, pictures, music, sound, videos, records, films, animations, and more. On the Internet you can often find multimedia elements embedded in web pages, and modern web browsers have support for a number of multimedia formats.

Multimedia has unlimited application possibilities. It can used as shopping directory where the board has a touch screen and visitors can type in searches to find particular stores. Or used as billboards, displaying images or videos. It can also be used as message boards like in the picture below, or for educational purposes.

Large touch-screen display in a hotel lobby at the Tides Hotel at Folly Beach, S.C.

A very common multimedia technology is the smart phone. It is able to play videos, music, show images, web browse, draw, record, and many other functions.
3D will most probably be the next media to be included into our everyday devices, like computers, mobile phones, and television although there are already models of 3D TVs just that it never took off.
Here is an interesting interactive multimedia technology that I found called the Sifteo Cubes

Written by Jacob

April 19, 2012 at 4:10 pm

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The Enemies at our Gates

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Just like how we lock our homes, keep our bank pin numbers and statements, credit cards, passports, and IC safe from other people, it is important that we do the same for our computers. As the video explained how the various malware works, you can see why it is really important, especially in this day and age where a lot of sensitive information is stored on our computers, to prevent malware from entering our computers.

Security mail services vendor MessageLabs reported on Monday that in January 2007, one in 93.3 e-mails (1.07 percent) comprised some form of phishing attack. There were fewer e-mails–one in 119.9, or 0.83 percent–infected with viruses.

The difference in the ratio of phishing to virus attacks is partly due to virus attacks becoming more targeted and no longer occurring as one large outbreak. This includes the recent Storm worm and Warezov attacks, according to MessageLabs.

Phishing attacks have become more sophisticated, according to MessageLabs. As online merchants and banks have shiftedtoward two-factor authentication, there has been a rise in sophisticated “man in the middle” phishing tools and Web sites, though such attacks are still quite rare.

Two-factor authentication often involves the user keying in pseudorandomly generated codes–for example, from a key fob–as well as entering a password. This is designed to foil attacks where information is harvested using keyloggers; the code can be used only once.

One particular form of man-in-the-middle attack tries to circumvent this by effectively hijacking a user session. Users are duped into visiting a spoofed portal, hosted on a compromised machine. Information entered, such a bank details and codes, is relayed through the compromised machine to the real bank site. Once the users have validated themselves on the real system through the compromised relay, hackers kill the user connection through the relay and take over the session.

Phishing e-mails are also becoming more personalized, according to Sunner, making such confidence tricks more believable. This includes phishers sending links to people for spoof sites of banks that the intended victims actually use, as opposed to randomly hitting a section of the population.

Here are some ways to heighten your computer’s security:

Antivirus Software- Install it and keep it up-to-date! 

Most antivirus software can be set to automatically update the virus definition files and you should use this feature. If you’re using Trend Micro OfficeScan, definition files are automatically updated from the UITSC server.


Keep software, such as Microsoft XP Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Mac OSX.x, and Firefox patched and up-to-date.

Use a complex passwords (see Creating Strong Passwords.)


Install and use a firewall.

This is more critical for laptops that travel on and off the Tufts LAN. You can use the Microsoft firewall, located under Start,SettingsControl Panel.


Be a suspicious user.

  • Email attachments – Don’t open attachments directly from your e-mail. Instead, save them to a location on the hard drive where your virus scanner will have the opportunity to examine it before you open it.
  • Be cautious when clicking on links in emails. To preview the true link path, hover your mouse cursor above the link and looking at the bottom of your email window. If the URL appears to be garbage text or includes a long string of numbers before the actual link, it’s probably not legitimate (see Phishing ).

virus1

  • Never “unsubscribe” to junk by clicking a “remove me” link in an email.
    “A 2002 study performed by the FTC demonstrated that in 63% of the cases where a spam offered a “remove me” option, responding either did nothing or resulted in more email”.
    – http://www.webroot.com/resources/spywareinfo/glossary.html 
  • Consider a “trash” email account to use for web registrations.


Be a cautious Internet surfer.

  • Do not click “Yes” or “No” or “Cancel” on pop-up windows. Clicking can cause a drive-by download, where software is dropped onto your computer, without your knowledge, no matter which of the three responses you choose. Instead, find the page on the Taskbar, right-click on it and select Close.
  • Use the built-in popup blockers that come with most current Internet browsers.


Be a conservative and informed downloader.

  • If it’s free (and the site doesn’t end in .org), be suspicious.
  • Do your homework.
  • Do a search on the product/service name.
  • Look to user forums for the true story.
  • Take the time to read the license agreement – be suspicious of extremely long ones.
  • Take your time installing applications and look for tricks that ask your to sign up for email notifications or install other applications (browser toolbars, desktop weather info, etc.).

Recognizing the Signs

How can you tell if your PC has been compromised by an intrusion, virus, worm, or excessive amount of adware and spyware? The most common signs are:

  • Your browser home page has changed and reverts to the new one after reboot, even if you manually change it.
  • Mistyping a URL redirects you to an odd (sometimes pornographic) web site.
  • You have new toolbars, favorites and/or icons on your desktop without any action by you.
  • Some sites, such as Microsoft Updates or reputable antivirus and spyware removal sites no longer connect/function. Clicking their links leads you to what appear to be junk sites.
  • Tons of pop-up ads – may even pop up when you aren’t actively on the web.
  • You’re PC slows to a crawl and takes forever to boot.
  • If your intrusion includes viruses, your antivirus software may also be disabled or unable to update.

Written by Jacob

April 19, 2012 at 3:37 pm

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My Video Yo!

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Here is a video montage of photos I took at my cousin’s wedding that happened two years ago. Enjoy!

Written by Jacob

April 19, 2012 at 3:01 pm

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