Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Communication & Cyberspace chapter 12,13,19,22 & Epil

The final chapters continue to talk about cyberspace.
using cyberspace in the classroom I think is a great idea but wouldn't it be slightly distracting? what will be the use of a multiple teachers when one teacher can teach many classes using cyberspace. I just think when it comes to learning people should teach other people? having the computer is a great extra but shouldn't replace the old fashion way of teaching. I think using other elements such as a computer enhances the students learning experience. currently I take an online class and although it is more convenient for me to do so i much rather has face to face contact with my professor and students. I feel like when I walk into an actual class room I'm more focused on the material that needs to be learned. In my online class i normally sit at my computer at home and can become distracted by so many other outside elements. I spend alot of cybertime as it is sometimes is nice to have a break and sit in a class room for a while with other people. from emails to ichat is nice to actually speak to my classmates and develop relationships with them. This understanding new media course certainly opened my eyes to alot to the previous unthought of cyberspace. I never really gave much thought to the time i spent there. I'd plug in time after time and it really has become second nature for me. Now I've learned the history of text, the Internet, cyberspace etc. My mind continues to imagine what the future of cyberspace might be. I guess only time will tell.

communication & cyberspace chapter 8-11

we read a lot about hypertext and cyberspace in chapters 8-11.
cyberspace unlike a virtual reality is just a virtual space that the Internet provides. Virtual is a 3d experience that involves your psychically sense and cyber space can be 3D but no actual senses are being physically stimulated. When you log onto the web and start surfing you have technically entered "cyberspace". "Internet communication" Anytime i get really into the social media sites i have i call it getting lost in cyberspace. I'm totally zoned out and al ot of people experience this when they play games that in love avatars. World of war craft is a good example. In this computer game players are allowed to create a character and roam around a virtual world with their character and preform different task. I had some friends who were hook of this world of war craft game. For them powering up (what ever that means) was a big deal and very important, this took this cyberspace very seriously. 
I find myself repeating what I say because as i read these books I cant help but think of the same things. The Internet truly shaped the society we live in today and it will continue to change. Today hypertext is used for everything. People don't even need to keep a journal because they can use hypertext to write notes and the same goes for school work. no one writes without hypertext anymore, it completely put the type writer out of business. hypertext allows us to use links to take people from one place to another. we can use HTML and all type of codes to manipulate how the text looks as well. I use to do a lot of this with my myspace profile. I write a word you click it and thus you are transported to another text and so on and so forth. Never really thought if it before this class.

Here is a video on how text is evolving. 

An Ever-changing Stretch of Landscape --- A Final Words to Understanding New Media

There's a quote in one of my favourite Japanese Anime "Kino's Journey" and it goes like this: The World is not beautiful, therefore it is (beautiful). The stories goes around as the main character Kino going on a journey on a motocycle named Hermes, spending strictly only three days and two nights in each city, stating that that's the enough amount of time to learn the most important things about a place, and without developing attachment and taking the risk of settling down.
Internet for me is quite parallel to this: it's imperfection makes it beautiful, as it has so much potential, like the world we live in ourselves.
Paul Levinson's New New Media made me realized the level of involvement I have, just like all the other regular participants in the digital world, in shaping the new landscape of internet. We explore the uncharted water, taking risks, trying out new technologies just like what our ancestors did as they sail into the area label "here be dragon". Through trials and errors as well as all sorts of arguments, the new new media landscape is essentially reflecting physical society: ever changing which makes it hard for all of us to catch up, yet we cannot keep it still because just like any living organization, its vitality depends on its growth.

A Communication Tool
I can hardly even imagine what would be the next level of tele-communication. Throughout the history we have achieved incredible things that our ancestors didn't even think about. New technology brought about new problems as there is a dark side in anything. However, I remain faithful that there are unlimited possibilities

An extension of life
You're alive to the point that you stop changing. Also, on the other aspect, you're a life to the point that you're forgotten and that you no longer have influence over others. Internet enabled a lot of people to extend their lives to another dimension. It's safe to predict that human will soon be able to realize immortality (through technology, not physically of course). With new media and new technology which opened up all the doors and tunnels, people are no longer constrained within one dimension of life, but can also expand their territory (even just virtually). The infinite space Internet provided became the canvas of all types of creativity, which might not have been available in physical world.

A Different View of the World
We now have a different sense of distance thanks to internet and new media: keeping in touch with friends on the other end of the world make you forget about the distance. (remember how people used to use post to communicate and the correspondence will have an interval of two months?)
The dark side of this is, of course, we no longer treasure the correspondence between friends anymore because of the convenience, as well as, we are loosing the art of crafting a beautifully written letter, inscribed with care and longing.

Whatever we can think of, will somehow be part of the future. What we need change as what we see/use change. The internet we're familiar with is undergoing evolution even as we speak, and there are new ideas popping up every second. We are no longer merely users of the internet, but also helps to shape it. It's a dangerous thing to know what we're capable of, especially when it comes to something as elusive as the internet.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

communication & cyberspace 5-7

Chapter 5 through 7 talks heavily about what virtual reality is, some concerns with virtual reality and the graphics that come into play with it.
Virtual reality is a computer simulated  environment that causes a three dimensional environment that you can interact psychically with.  This virtual world stimulates all the senses in your body making you feel you are experiencing what ever is going on in the virtual world. In my understanding new media course we discussed how army soldiers use the virtual world for training purposes to stimulate real life situations to better prepare them for battle. Personally, I think virtual reality sounds quite spectacular and we are certainly getting a taste of it with 3D movies and game consoles but it just makes me think of the movie total. The main character sits in a chair hooked up to all of these wires and he gets connected. The whole purpose for this is for him to be taken to an alternate state into a kind of virtual reality. The main character is experiencing a virtual out of body experiencing and begins to believe this created reality is real. In the future virtual reality may become this advance and that frightens me. what if people become so addicted to the virtual reality that they don't want to come back down to reality. This also reminds me of the movie "repo men" In the end of this movie the main character becomes unconscious and he is put in some kind of virtual reality. He woke up on a beach but in reality he was paralyzed laying on a metal bed hooked up so some sort of device.

This is a video of some soilders using virtual reality for training.

Gleick Chapter 7-9, Epilogue

I can summarize this book in a few words: learn from the past. Gleick gives a great and detailed explanation on how different things were invented and the process behind. With this, computer scientist and engineers are able to perfect or enhance the current technology.

Gleick does have an optimistic view of what is to come because he believes that there will be an unlimited amount of information with just a click away. As time goes on, will there be an overload of information?

Gleick Chapter 4-6

Gleick’s book seemed at first like an overload of information but once it is broken down, it is much easier to comprehend. I did enjoy the brief history about the Chinese symbols. Chinese writing is always a fascinating one. Its graphic maybe pleasing to the eye but translation is very difficult.

A great point that was brought up is the current generation not using what goes behind having all the current information that is being accessed. Sad to say but I cannot remember a time before Google. I was not a part of the process that created the accessibility that is these current search engines and other websites throughout the internet. I can say that I appreciate it all.

Windows and Mirrors 7-9

The graphics and designs of internet have changed dramatically over the years. Art is playing a major part in the graphics and designs of the internet and it is ever changing. Terminal Time was also detailed in the book on how it uses voice recognition. Earlier before class, I was discussing how amazing it is that Google had a microphone in my Samsung galaxy tablet. The voice recognition was pretty good and it is almost like talking to the mirror on the wall and getting all the answers you need.

Windows and Mirrors 4-6

“Remediation is the making of new media forms out of old ones” (p.83).  My favorite form of remediation is when a novel or story is made into a movie. Nowadays, these are the few things that actually gets high ticket sales at the theaters

A great example of remediation would be instant messaging. I am sure everyone remembers how popular that was when it first came out. Today, there are so many new forms and better versions of instant messaging. There is even video chatting while instant messaging. 

Windows and Mirrors Chapter 1-3

This book was a much easier read than the previous. What stood out most with these first couple of chapters was how computers have become a reflection of who were or what we want to be and so there is a form of dependency upon it. Although computers were created by humans, I feel in the future it will seem to have taken a life on its own. Has it not already? We all may think that we have full control on how often we rely on the computer but who can really write a paper without researching it on the computer.

Another concept that can be reflected on was the term “windows”. How many times have we used and seen the word when referring to the computer and not thought much about it. The book was about to help the reader understand that we are not just looking at something but we must open our minds to look through what is in front of us to translate the deeper meaning.

Second Half of New New Media

I enjoyed reading the chapter on the dangers of new new media.  It just so happened the same time I was reading this book, I saw a tv show for the first time that relates back to the chapter.

Part of the danger of the internet is that you really never know who you are communicating with.  It is very easy to pretend to be someone else. People hide behind screen names, Photoshop, and images found online.  There is a movie, Catfish, which is about just that. I haven’t seen the movie, but from what I have heard, a young man starts talking to a young woman online.  They really hit it off and start an online relationship.  He decides one day to take a long drive to meet the woman in person.  His friend documents everything on video. 

Turns out the woman is in her forties, and looks nothing like the pictures she had posted.  He states that they did remain friends, and he decided to share his experience with everyone.  After the movie released he started getting many messages from other people about their similar experiences.  He realized that this deception is happening all the time!

MTV has adapted the movie into a show, Catfish: The TV Show.  A person who is having an online relationship with someone who they have never met in person can contact the show.  The same man from the movie goes with a camera crew and meets the person who contacted them.  They hear the story and do some online research.  They then contact the other person and meet them.  Eventually, they try to get the two parties to meet in person.  It is interesting to see the differences in appearance, and to hear why the person lied in the first place.  The couple episodes that I watched all had to do with negative body image, and low self-esteem.  One man pretended to be amodel when in actuality he was just an ordinary fellow. He was tall and husky, but not bad looking.  He just felt that the woman was too beautiful for him but he really wanted to get to know her. He felt he would never have that chance if she knew what he really looked like.  The other guy sent pictures of himself, but only certain pictures.  He gained a lot of weight at one point, and didn’t want her to know.  He kept putting off meeting her because he didn’twant her to see him so heavy.

Unfortunately, at the end of both shows both women only wanted to be friends with these men.  The question will always remain: if they hadn’t lied, or postponed meeting for years, could a relationship have evolved? Or, were the men right in assuming the women would not accept them because of their appearance?

First Half of New New Media

I found the trends of new new medias to be very interesting.  The author often gave the reader tidbits of his own personal use of the technologies as well.  This got me to thinking about my own history with new new media. 

I graduated from a high school in 2003, so my earliest memories of the internet are from high school. I may have used it in 8th grade but I just can’t remember.  In homeroom we had a lesson on how to conduct searches.  You couldn't just type in what you wanted to search for; you had to use quotation marks and the words “and” and “or” between words. We have definitely moved away from that now. 

My use in high school was for limited research and instant messaging.  My parents wanted me to stay out of chat rooms, but I was allowed to talk to friends using Yahoo Instant Messenger and ICQ.  Not many of my friends used this, but my boyfriend and I were on ICQ all the time.  Also, none of us had cell phones at this time.

When I graduated and went to college my father gave me a laptop, but it never occurred to me to get a cell phone.  I came to Fairleigh Dickinson University as a freshman and EVERYONE had a cell phone! I used to give my new best friend’s number out so that people could reach me!  I also built a MySpace page. I really enjoyed MySpace.  The customization options were vast; I even learned a little bit about coding so that I could make my MySpace very unique.  LiveJournal was also popular at that time too. I started one but lost interest in it very quickly.  My friends were using it like a journal or diary.  I had never been interested in diary keeping as a girl, so I didn't keep the blog for long.

As soon as Facebook was available my best friend and I joined up.  We were some of the first people at FDU to have a Facebook profile.  I also started using AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), since that was the chat program everyone else was using.

Ten years later. I no longer keep my MySpace active, but I am sure it’s still there, waiting for me to sign in.  I am still very active on Facebook.  I use it to keep in touch with high school friends, family, and now old college friends as well.  I used to play games on Facebook, but have since moved to playing them directly off the Zynga website.  It took awhile, but I eventually joined Twitter. I don’t use it much, but once I start blogging next semester I will use it to promote my blog.  I also don’t use AIM anymore.  I still have it downloaded on my computer, but no one is signed on anymore.  I use my smart phone to text, send FB messages, and a couple friends and I use Google Talk.

When Google + was first released it was on a limited basis.  A friend who works in the industry invited me to join. It was pretty neat to be among the first to have a Google + account.  I don’t use it much, but I may have to change that.  I use Google Docs, I also have a Yahoo account so that I can use the Yahoo Group function.

It didn't even occur to me how much of new new media I even use until I started writing this. I almost forgot, I have a LinkedIn account too! I find myself riding the same social media wave as everyone else.  I don’t know how we keep up with all of this.  In today’s world, to be successful you really need to be proficient in multitasking!

Communication & Cyberspace chapter 8-11

I'm the sure that people in the early 90's knew what a power force the Internet would become. Back then there were only about 20 million Internet users world wide. Today there are billions on Internet users through our the world. (and their all on facebook) Joking. But really the Internet has become every ones main source of information. People can do any and everything on the Internet from paying bills, shopping and even socializing with friends or even strangers. commercial business has even took to the Internet to reach consumers. With the constant growth of technology comes the constant change in technology. It's a different world that we are living in and many have already become accustom to our new digital age. The Internet is a wonderful thing but its use i must admit is becoming abused. To many people are devoting to much time on the net. Their are also dangers online as well. Even though there are regulation on the Internet somethings do slip. People can say and do almost anything they want. For example Dr. Lance Strate, my professor at FDU stated that someone added his name unbeknownst to him on a project he had nothing to do with. and just recently a man was sentence to ten years in prison for hacking into emails and stealing personal pictures and information.

Christopher Chaney hacked through the security question portion to gain access to the email accounts. I can't imagine someone breaking into my personal information but with the Internet one must be so careful because things like this do happen and its scray. Now that the Internet plays such a big role in every ones lives i think educational programs should be implemented so that people know how to fully protect themselves from things like this happen or a program for people who don't know how to cope with the ugly side of the Internet. The trolling, bullying etc. These things are might unfortunately always be around on the Internet but we should teach people how to avoid these things if its even possibly to do so?

Cybernetics, and system theory 7-9 & Epilogue

Better late then never :) here are my reviews of the Informations final chapters.

In these last few chapters read about mathematics and what caught my eye was in chapter 7 when the question is asked, "can machines think." Now machines do what we instruct them to do. When set them up or give a specific machine a task and that's what it does. But to think for itself? My toaster automatically toasting bread with out me telling it too by pushing the bread down? I don't know about that. can we teach machines? I mean my google search engine pre populates itself but that's because its trained to save my common searches. maybe it is like the mouse in the maze. You know teaching him which way to go through to reach its destination. but computers thinking like a person thinks? sounds like a creep syfy movie. I honestly think we already live in the age of the intelligent computer but I don't think we need to worry about a machine invasion just yet.

"There have been many variations of the Turing test proposed, some by Turing himself, and there are annual contests based on the Turing test. Thus far, no computer has passed the Turing test (by general consensus), although some have come close."

This reminds me of the movie Irobot with will smith. Where robots that sort of resemble humans assist them in every day life and one of the robots go "rogue" and actually is able to think for itself and does as it please with out needing instruction.

I found this cool video on how to survive a robot apocalypse
Please watch to educate yourself just in case some kind of robot uprising happens in the future.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Creating A World with New New Media

I thought I posted this but I obviously didn’t…so I’m putting the two pieces together and combined them into an entire post about the New New Media book by Paul Levinson.

It’s almost as if reading a history book. Levinson’s New New Media came out in 2009, covering the developments and new phenomena in the media/communication field. It must be a fantastical experience to read the book, I dare say, back when it first got published. Now, looking back, all that the author predicted and explained make much sense to us, the generation that has immersed themselves deep into the new new media, different from the traditional new media, as Levinson explained, we are no longer using media merely to get information and communicate with a global community but also to expand our territories and explore new zones that has been created by the internet. In the new new media sense, consumers and audiences of information are also contributors.

The first chapter caught my attention because I’ve been quite involved in the theatre blogger community who regularly would have “tweet-up” and special nights. Levinson coined the phrase "citizen journalist" (p. 17) to describe the nature of bloggers. IN the beginning, my high school aged cynical self thought bloggers are merely a group of people who have too much time on their hands and are too full of themselves to be able to hold their unworthy thoughts to a minimum level. However, after reading this book, as well as experiencing the communications with fellow bloggers, and further more, writing blogs myself for, has turned my opinion around. For example in theatre bloggers community: bloggers are volunteer commentators. They write out of passion and personal beliefs, unsponsored by producers or press. As a result, their writings are truthful and reflect average theatregoers. Amongst the community, the bloggers’ voices are actually more credible sometimes than big time critics from NYTimes because of their lack of agenda. A log of blogs enjoys large followership depending on their content and the quality of their commentaries. They also receive a great deal of respect from organized press and theatre professionals because they learned the impact of citizen commenters.

Of course, from blogging we automatically think of the recently emerged Tumblr and Pinterest, which are a lot like blogging but with faster pace and much more visualization. My belief is that the nature of those commendations is similar in the ways they influence social trends and even politics.

After Blogging, Levinson focused on YouTube, which raised an interesting and serious problem ignited by new new media which had exponentially faster pace than old media: the issue of copyright. YouTube has a great deal of influence among young people (especially those with smartphones and are willing to do video commentaries on pretty much anything at all). YouTube now also involved a large amount of advertising because of how much views they got every day.

There are tutorials of doing mostly anything on YouTube, and whatever song you can think of, there are millions of videos and covers on that site as well. It’s a multimedia crowd-sourced archive.

…which is quite similar to what Levinson introduced next: Wikipedia. I’m always holding doubts over whatever I read on Wikipedia because all of the entries are written by the crowd. Of course, the faith stands that most of the contributors for each of the entries are passionate about said subject, and will stay responsible for their “publication”. For me, I believe the trend of readers contributing to most of the contents on the internet is making the internet a better and more responsible place because most people are concerned about what they put out there in the universe of the unknown.

The next focus is on Digg. I’ve never heard of it before reading it in Levinson’s book. However, upon getting familiar with its function, I recognized a lot of the more recent sites including Reddit. And It’s interesting how the content of the site is evolving according to popularity and the amount of support it got. Similar style of regulating site content is applied by a lot of different industries. The news stories, or any other contents in a certain website, now enters a vicious circle of: if a story is popular, it gets promoted more and more, yet if a story got dropped to the bottom, no one would actually see it. We might lose a lot of gems in doing so, but it’s the reality.

Social Networking came next, a more dynamic evolution of how people communicate with each other; make connections, contributing to the content simultaneously. The fall of myspace might had been the fact that it lacks the dynamics Facebook processes, as well as Facebook’s constent changing.

“You are alive, right to the moment that you stop changing. “ that’s one of my favourite quotes, and I think it applies to the evolution of social media. People are complaining about the new formats and regulations of Facebook, but I fully embrace it and consider it one of the most important and positive invention of this century: as long as people don’t get enslaved by social media, it can do much good to our society as it has done me.

Twitter had became my passion in the last few years. I discovered uncharted water in the ocean of internet and made new friendship as well as solidified old ones through twitter. Twitter, with its limited content and spontaneity, you can read much about a certain person’s characteristics based on what they tweet, and discover their passion by looking at what they favourite and what they retweeted. The author Paul Levinson is definitely a twitter fiend, as his information sometimes would flood my feed. Levinson calls twitter "the epitome of immediacy" (p. 134), and I agree with him completely.

One time I went into an argument with a fellow tweeter who’s been complaining about how social media like twitter has caused us to lose personal, physical contacts. Through knowing like minded people on twitter, I was able to discover people who I wouldn’t be able to strike a conversation with on the street. The safety and personal space provided by Internet gives us courage to talk to strangers and discover amazing friendship. If we talk about personal contacts, well, I’ve became good friends and go on brunch dates with a couple of friends…we met initially through twitter. Of course, that wasn’t the initial use of twitter by journalists and organizations. Twitter is a faster version of blogs from which industrial professionals discover new trends and what people’s reactions were towards a product, or an event. I don’t believe there’s only one single minded function in anything, and that certainly include twitter. The mere existence of it proves the evolution of communication has brought us to a stage of “bending space and time”

Levinson also talked about Second Life, an Internet phenomenon that I personally believe made no sense because that was merely a hi-tech, more visually appealing version of make believe. We as a species has been doing that all through history. The creation of it feeds in the need for people to escape, but it has to little practical function to carry on.

New New Media also expanded its horizon from visual to audio, for instance, podcast. IN the end, all the senses will be activated in a larger, universal scale, the recent rise of google hangout, different types of video chats are mashing together all our senses to flatten the world and make people’s distances smaller.

There are unquestionably dark side of anything, new new media includes. We talked about trolling, bots, spams, etc in class. I believe those downsides of new new media are just reflecting the reality: there are always antisocial forces existing in the world; but they don’t cancel out the greater good we can do with new new media. Education of online etiquette and mannerism should become a greater part of elementary education nowadays because of the wide usage of digital media. A society consists its builder, its regulators, and its breakers: as virtual as it is, new new media creates a rather similar world with the one we used to know, and I’m optimistic about it becoming a great one: it’s young, it’s amendable, it’s full of potential; and the most amazing fact is that WE all created it ourselves.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

What’s Newer than "New New Media"? (Chp 6-10)

As I previously mentioned it’s extremely hard to keep up with the growth of the many forms of communication created by the internet. Change occurs frequent in technology that even new formats and series are created. Look, were on our iPhone 5 and the first iPhone was released in 2007. Apple created 6 iPhones since then. That’s a new iPhone every year! How can we possibly keep up with the momentum of technology?

Paul Levinson distinguishes “new new media” from “new media”. The traditional “new media” are in forms of print, audio, audio-visual, and photographic. As mentioned in Windows and Mirrors, Text Rain, Wooden Mirror and magic book were applications of new media. In today’s generation “new new media” would be in reference to Blogger, YouTube, Wikipedia, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.  In a current college student’s life, the internet has taken a significant role in their lives. The internet has transformed from being a specialized system to the network that structures how we engage daily with the world. It’s evident as to who reads a newspaper in comparison to conducting research online. This definitely shaped our view on communication. “New New Media” is so consuming in today’s world. It appears in so many forms including but not limited to:

  • Blogs
  • Micro blogs
  • Forums
  • Message boards
  • Social networks
  • Virtual worlds
  • Bookmarking
  • Tagging
  • Video sharing
  • Podcast portals

The term "Media" has truly redefined itself throughout the years. The book provides valuable connections between "New New Media" and our simple means of "Media". The rapid changes in technology and communication shifts our view on media and communication overall. 

The following video is entertaining and definitely takes the opposite view on New Media compared to what was discussed throughout the semester. Check it out: 

So it’s safe to say social media plays an integral part in our everyday lives and will continue to make revolutionary impacts!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

New New Media...Chapter 6-10

This was book was my favorite of all because it is current and relatable. It just seems that new new media has taken over. From Facebook to YouTube, it is much easier and faster to get connected and updated. But it can be overwhelming at times. Every day it’s a new form of social media that young adults are raving about. At the moment it is instagram. Do I really need to see pictures of what you are doing every day? YES! J

Social media has become so popular, it is now a form of business and people are making millions. Imagine just making money off the videos you make. This is what YouTube has become. My mother just recently created a Facebook page and even though it is for her real estate business, she is more active on it than I am. There may be different new media coming out every day but a select few has shown they are here to stay.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

New New Media Top 10

New New Media is taking over and it's becoming the future of entertainment. Youtube is the number one website visited to find hilarious videos made by random people or shows. Youtube can now be accepted as a reference to some professors for papers. It's easy access and easy publishing, allows anyone to join in on the action. I personally like the general idea of youtube, simply because it allows the world to be creative and show their work publicly. The main reason I worry about this free webpage, is that maybe one day it won't be. Youtube links you to the world visually. It has footage from all over the world, and just the other day I saw a Brazilian television show skit that scared people. This is another webpage much like Facebook that plans on consuming the viewers.
Levinson describes how Youtube, can easily put companies like itunes out of business. It makes perfect sense, I used to use itunes to hear samples of music before getting the song, but Youtube has the entire song plus some made up video by a fan. It also took down MTV and Fuse channel ratings because it has all the music videos stored into it. MTV began to focus on reality shows instead of music, which is why I used to watch it in the first place. Since they began their reality phase MTV has been dead to me. Fuse began interviewing stars almost every time, and they probably still do, but I found it quite boring a few years back so I stopped watching that also.
Levinson also makes a great point about copyrighting, because its difficult to know what's allowed. I haven't posted any of my films on Youtube yet simply because I think they'll be taken down. I personally haven't done much research on my behalf but I hear about it all the time. My job at FDU is to post many videos on youtube about their sports, but I wasn't allowed to use copyrighted music, just because they think it may be taken down. How do people post their fake videos with song lyrics or movie clips then without being banned? It's the same thing, it's not like the web can determine whether your going to sell your product or not.
Levinson talks about the dark age of the internet referring to multi-media, and the main reason it's so dark is because it's unpredictable. Craig's list is a hit or miss, you may never know what your getting especially when it comes to tickets. The internet isn't safe for anyone. It's choices made at your own risk. Their's no way to protect anything you have on the internet and theirs no way to make sure anything you do on the internet is 100% safe. As technology advances, more and more scammers and hackers are born. My biggest fear is making money entirely electronic, imagine if someone just stole your account and cleaned out your wallet. The internet isn't a place to be trusted.

New New Media Top 5

New New Media is becoming a pure addiction to so many. The young population can't seem to stay away from it, and now with smart phones allowing you to keep up with it every second of every given moment, it may be impossible to stop. I personally don't care much about social media, I don't use it as often as some do. I see people at work everyday on their phones texting and posting up twitter feeds every second, and I work at a restaurant that is constantly busy. It's rather frustrating, I think the main response from social media was to inspire laziness and procrastination. Employees today spend more time on their phones then actually doing their job. I can't even recall the number of times I have to order people to do their jobs today.
I've been working in the same restaurant for over 6 years and I've seen the progression of how social media has effected employees. Levinson seems to only be describing how well these social media pages are doing. He does not even realize that he's joined the crowd of people who have been lured into it all. He even describes that he's made pages for his fictional characters from his novels, is this the new way of having fun? Facebook hasn't just become a way to socialize, it's become a new way to create an identity. Sooner or later we might not even need a social security number, you might as well have a child, and be asked to create a Facebook page for your new born.
On the last episode of Two and a Half Men, Ashton Kutcher's character wanted to create a fake identity so he made a Facebook page for him and he was done. I think social media is growing far to fast and smart phones are making it even worse. It seems that some people don't believe in privacy anymore, they want to inform the world about their everyday task, by the way those are the people I hate the most. Some of the new applications are rather interesting, like Four Square, which allows you to tell people where you are, but is I see no point in why people enjoy Twitter, it's like posting a text to all your friends.

Final Blog Post...

I am blogging right now, so it's definitely evident how instrumental blogging has become in this new media world. The second half of the text discusses blogging and it's MANY benefits. Personally, I admire the field of blogging. Journalism is such a hard career to get into. So, blogging made becoming a journalist so much more easier and much more rewarding. Of course, everyone with a blog can't be called a journalist but the act of sharing news (fashion, music, current events) on such large yet different scales is pretty amazing. "The personal control that the writer has over his or her blog means that the blog can be about any subject" (p.83). Blogging has given lots of people the freedom to state their opinion and make money off of it. As a result, it's also caused professional journalists to step up their game because there's a lot more competition now!

And also a quick shout-out to Paul Levinson for making a reference to one of my favorite shows in the world: The Wire. LOL! Stringer Bell actually happens to be my second favorite character so it was nice to see him mentioned and used to make a point.

Anyway, towards the end of text, Levinson discusses less popular social mediums like FourSquare, Myspace, etc. I never really got into Foursqaure, I find it rather creepy. Most of the time people just use it to brag /prove where they are at. As for Myspace, I definitely remember when I was obsessed. When I was in high school, a person's Myspace defined them, everything from your profile page music, the pictures in your albums, to  the crucial importance of your top 8. Haha. Thinking back, Myspace was one of the most innovative networks ever created, it's a shame it didn't last. :(

Thankfully, Levinson also discusses the negative aspects of new media like cyber-bullying, spam, and craiglist scams to name a few...Has anyone ever seen the Lifetime film, the "Craiglist Killer".....

It's a crazy movie but it's based off the life of Phillip Markoff. The movie really scared me. About two years ago, I sold my blackberry through craigslist. I made the man who was buying it meet me at a very busy mall. I called my friends and told them if they didn't hear from me in a few minutes then something was wrong.. LOL. Luckily, the transaction went smoothly.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was by far the most easiest to read and most practical. It's been nice learning with you all. Good Luck on your remaining finals and have a great holiday break!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hippies to Hacktivists: The Wave of Hackers, Hacktivists and Anonymous

Hippies to Hacktivists: The Wave of Hackers, Hacktivists and Anonymous

FINAL PAPER: Hippies to Hacktivists: The Wave of Hackers, Hacktivists and Anonymous

                                                            “We are Anonymous.

                   We are Legion.
                     We do not forgive.
                   We do not forget.
                    Expect us.”-
                 The Anonymous Mantra
Since the early 50’s computer scientists and code writing experts have had their own brand of internal fixers.  People who harbor the knowledge to be able to use their computer skills to openly repair and mend a technical problem that is computer based beyond the scope of what many of us can accomplish using computers and the Internet.  They also have the power to destroy and reek havoc through their actions online.  These individuals over the years have developed in what many see as computer hacktivists, hackers with altruistic motives dedicated to preserving  the integrity of the Internet and the freedom’s that are available online.  Perhaps the Hippie movement of the 60’s has evolved online to find and define a new movement that we now call hacktivism and in many circles they are perceived as guardians of the new information world over the Internet….modern day Robin Hoods.  In order to understand this new breed of hacktivism we must take a closer look at the hacker and his psyche along with the ways they have evolved into a new grouping of online hacktivists who claim to be keepers of our freedoms over the internet utilizing terroristic methods online attempting to protect out freedoms of speech while preventing censorship.  From this group of cyber techs comes a whole new group that we will explore.  They call themselves Anonymous and to this day they claim to protect even more of our freedoms by singling out certain online communities that they regard as dangerous to our online Internet freedoms.  To better understand this grouping of advanced online new age Hippies we must first understand the mindset of the hacker and how they have evolved into what is now known “hacktivistically” as Anonymous.  Let this journey begin.

Many hackers of today are not only fixers that have arisen from the 1969 creation of ARPANET, the prototype for a series of computers with intercontinental connections developed for military communications by the US Department of Defense but they also carry with them a manifesto or code of hacker ethics that many of them believe in and live by through their actions over the Internet.  Are they Robin Hoods of the computer era willing to try anything for a few hours of notoriety?  Are they autistic geniuses or angry adolescents?  Perhaps political activists?   Whatever they may be they have taken what many of the 60’s Hippy movement accomplished in that time and brought many of the same tactics to the playing field of the Internet where their skills can be tunneled into devastating proportions of manipulation sometimes for the sake of a cause or sometimes just for the sake of getting that high by solving complex computer codes and unraveling websites.  They then place their banners for thousands to see and view once their pirating charade has been accomplished.  Hackers have had their own language and jargon over the net that has evolved into what many people refer to as the computer hacktivist.  Some of the terms make complete sense and follow a common profile of computer guru’s who enjoy creating havoc and chaos.  The HACKER is followed by a group that is similar called CRACKERS.  The difference lies in their motivation.  Hackers CREATE while crackers DESTROY.  Antifork, an Italian hack research group ( defines hackers with “superior knowledge, research and ultimate perfection.”  These bands of fixers require planning and organization as well as acuteness and inventiveness.  Many came out of computer science developers from MIT and University of California at Berkeley.  Their movements have been based on the OPEN SOURCE protocol of the 1990’s mostly those who knew the intricacies of UNIX based computer programming. To be a hacker you must be engaged in work that constantly challenges the user both on a code breaking level and website innovation strategy.  Most of what became the Hacker Manifesto was established by Lloyd Blankenship written immediately following his arrest and first published in January of 1986.  Anger is directed towards the STATUS QUO.  Solidarity comes by knowing you are part of a group or hacker community seeking solidarity.  The hacker emerges as being part of an underground Internet community well versed in decoding and breaking through any kind of Internet code or website. 
According to Raoul Chiesa and Stefania Ducci in their book PROFILING HACKERS the creed is broken down into several sub categories for better understanding. They are: 
*TOOLKIT/NEWBIES: the techno novices that pose little know-how and technical savvy.

*CYBER-PUNKS: capable of some programming writing skills that may be used for defacing websites and robbing credit card numbers while also spamming.

*INTERNALS: used within corporations to solve complex computer codes and problems.

*CODERS:  Designers of codes that can write them to destroy Internet entities.

*OLD GUARD HACKERS:   Their interest lies in intellectual and cognitive sides of hacking.  They’re mostly from the school of the original hackers and usually don’t seek to destroy but mainly base their craft on curiosity.

*PROFESSIONAL CRIMINALS AND CYBER TERRORISTS:  This grouping usually is the most dangerous and can be seen breaking into government high security agencies while reeking havoc on many government military installations.
Hackers are also usually profiled in unique ways that better identify them to law enforcement agencies and Internet watchdog groups.  They primarily go by a set of motivational characteristics that include:  1) a dependency and compulsive need to hack.  2) Curiosity as to what can be found on the Net.  3) Boredom of offline life and going for the adrenaline rush they achieve by conducting illicit activity.  4) Seeking highs from hacking into government agencies, bank and many other institutional organizations.  5)  Peer group recognition with acceptance in their hacking community and advancement in their hierarchy.  Finally, 6) achieving a certain type of pride and generosity by finding holes and uncovering them in more secure systems.  Much of what is mentioned above was originally discovered and studied by the HPP-Hackers Profiling Project which began between 2003 and 2004.  Much of this study was instituted by the UNICRI-United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute. (   More and more the political activists motto that was followed so closely by the Hippy movements of the 1960’s have found their ways into the profiling of modern day hackers who at some later time evolve into what we might now label as hacktavists dedicated on using their skills to communicate a political message or gain some kind of social goal within our world.   Over the years we have seen this evolution take shape as the more intense and grand acts of cyber hacking and cyber terrorism become more socially motivated.  The extended version of hacker identities have also been broken down into three groupings as well known as:  1) White hats-those who hack for what they believe are good causes, 2) Black hats-Those who hack for shear havoc and chaos motivated reasons and 3)The Gray Hats which combine their motivations for hacking for both good and bad reasons.

According to the New York Times (Thursday, December 6th, 2012; Section B) there is yet a newer wave of hacker that has been associated with the hacktivist group Anonymous seeking to wreak havoc through a lucrative online crime called RANSOM-WARE.  Here the hackers have found ways to break into a person’s computer online leaving a message that they have caused a DDoS or Distributed Denial of Service within a computer usually leaving a ransom message demanding that the computer owner send a particular amount of money to an online address in order to continue use of their computers.  This Ransom ware stops a person from using their system and prevents them from being able to access valuable software and programs while online. The hostage is your PC and the hackers have developed savvy ways to take control of your computer causing the owner to seek out technicians that must completely wipe away the contents of a hard drive and sometimes cause the loss of valuable information.  This has been the latest rash of terroristic attacks taking place over the Internet with many victims falling prey right here in the United States.  This form of Ransomware has been attributed towards one of the largest and most politically hacktivistic lurkers on the Internet.  They call themselves ANONYMOUS and ride again with the mantra motto:
“We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
Expect us.”-

According to Andy Greenberg author of THIS MACHINE KILLS SECRETS, defining the Anonymous hacktavists is as follows:  “They are more than a traditional organization, it functions as a loosely organized movement, or even an elaborate participatory memes (a catchphrase or image that has become inadvertently popular, thanks to the viral quality of the Internet, and whose meaning is typically lost on mainstream Web users.  Often serving as in jokes for Anonymous supporters, many memes, computer games originate from discussions on bulletin boards and cyber chat rooms.)”    Those who took part in the groups and anyone called Anonymous joined in crowd-sourced swarm attacks on whatever target offended its values, tenets like freedom of speech and anti corporation values. 

Some of the victims over the years since the movement emerged have included Tea Party and its billionaire corporate supporters, the Koch brothers, the anti–homosexual extremist Westboro Baptist Church, Sony Corporation, Mastercard and Paypal. The group has gone as far as to attack the Church of Scientology which they believed was bullying a smaller entity or acting with corrupt impunity.  The Anon (Anonymous) attacks have gone so far as to “flood their victims servers with fraudulent data requests that paralyzed the machines like flies choking the mouth and nostrils of a Goliath elephant”, according to Greenberg. 

The HPP of most Anonymous members appears to be revealed as young teens some as young as fifteen years old.  Police have attempted to squelch these individuals only to be greeted by Anon to recruit more and harden the groups culture of strong anonymity.  According to Greenberg Anonymous relays the activist cry, “Anonymous wants you…Get your ass behind a proxy and join the raid.”

Specific raids on the Church of Scientology have gone on to warn: “Hello Scientology.  We are Anonymous.  Over the years, we have been watching you. Your campaigns of misinformation, suppression of dissent, your litigious nature, all of these things have caught our eyes….Anonymous has therefore decided that your organization should be destroyed.  For the good of your followers, for the good of mankind—for the laughs—we shall expel you from the Internet and systematically dismantle the Church of Scientology in its present form”….”Knowledge is free…We are Anonymous.  We are Legion…We do not forgive…We do not forget…Expect Us.” Furthermore many of the members of Anonymous carry themselves with the trade mark of the Guy Fawkes mask that was so adorned in the motion picture “V for Vendetta”, produced by Uber producer Joel Silver and his company Silver Pictures through Warner Brothers.  This mask has been carried and seen at many rallies of protest including the Occupy Wall Street Movement that took place in cities most recently nationwide.  The reference to Guy Fawkes is interesting as it refers to the radical anarchist that was put to death on November 5th for his acts against government. Anonymous has somehow grabbed onto this trademark to help them identify themselves to the larger masses of Internet users and establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with online.  The movement of Anonymous has been systematic while they fiercely guard their names and identities openly congregating in online chat rooms and crowd sourced documents that use pseudonyms.

While it is obvious that hackers sometimes do their mischief just for the thrill and excitement of the act, Anonymous attacks can be observed as having specifically political motivation taking hacking to an entirely new level in an attempt to make what they call greater change and protect our freedoms over the Internet. Whether you believe this mantra motto or mission statement the obvious still is relevant in the listing of attacks that have taken place over the internet by Anonymous.  Here are just a select listing of specifically motivated attacks that Anon has taken responsibility:
 (Courtesy of Parmy Olson’s WE ARE ANONYMOUS, Little Brown and Company, NewYork, 2012):
*Habbo Raids-this amusement site was hacked by Anonymous due to the fact that they barred a two year old toddler affected by AIDS from entering their parks or swimming pool.  Their site as taken over and plastered with Internet slang while flooding the site.
*Hal Turner raid:  White supremacist Hal Turner had his website hacked and was forced to pay thousands of dollars in bandwidth bills due to it.  He attempted to sue for his bills but the case eventually ran out of steam in court.  No legal action prevailed.
*Sarah Palin Email Attack:  September of 2008 saw to the hacking of Sarah Palin’s website by well known Anonymous member Rubico.  His attempts to invade Ms. Palin’s email account turned out to be frivolous in trying to find incriminating information that she might have passed on during her political career.  Her passwords and email information were revealed publically on various websites worldwide.
*No Cussing Club Invasion-January 2009 saw to it in attacking the website of the No Cussing Club in California run by teen McKay Hatch, a website against profanity. Hatch’s home address, phone numbers and other personal information were disclosed over the internet along with a series of hate mails and obscene phone calls that were made to the homes of members.  Also, bogus pizza and pornography deliveries were made using members credit card numbers.
*Iranian Protests Against the Current Elections:  Anonymous launches an Iranian Greet Movement  Support site with the help of Pirate Bay and other Iranian hackers to protest the rigging of elections of Iranian presidential candidates.  Thousands of protestors took to the streets as the Iranian government attempted to censor news about the riots over the Internet.
*Zimbabwe Attacks:  Website of the government of Zimbabwe were systematically attacked by anonymous and flooded with spam, flames and other information to jam their site in protest of censorship due to Wiki Leaks documents.
*Attacks on Fine Gael Website:  Anonymous systematically attacks the Irish political parties website Fine Gael, a labor party group in Ireland replacing many of their pages with text that reads: “Nothing is safe; you put your faith in this political party and they take no measures to protect you.  They offer you free speech yet they censor your voice.  WAKE UP!”
*Arab Spring Activites:  Many sites were hacked and defaced during the Arab Spring movement as Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Middle Eastern governmental websites were singled out.  Many of these attacks coincided with what was happening in Egypt as many demonstrators utilized Facebook to organize and rally.  Tunisian government officials attempted to respond by arresting online activists and bloggers within their country while questioning the attacks.  The retaliation effected Anonymous directly as their website was placed into DDoS around January 5th of last year. *Occupy Wall Street:  Many Guy Fawkes masks were observed during the Occupy Wall Street movement rallies that occurred worldwide in many countries.  The masked protestors use of these masks were a clear message that they had connections to Anonymous and were involved with illicit hacking activity during the course of the movement. 

The continued hacking attacks by Anonymous have once again proven that the hacktivist movement worldwide over the internet has greatly evolved from a small group of techno savvy computer users that have just been using their skills for kicks not really attempting to cause much harm and doing most of their mischief for the sensation of the hack while acting out as a band of vandalizing youth.  Hacktivism and the Anonymous movement have evolved into a lethal and very threatening force over the Internet evolving into a movement beyond the scope of just hackers. Anonymous clearly has patterns and select motives for their attacks and has taken hacking intoan entirely new level using their skills the same way the Hippie Movement of thesixties used demonstrations and riots to protest the war and other political decision making that occurs inside large government and bureaucratic organizations.

We have seen since the 1950’s and beyond a movement of protestors that can now take their politically motivated mischief to an entirely new level hoping to make change. In some ways by doing this online, the risk to human life similar to what happened during the sixties movements occurs less but there are much greater financial and technical consequences that take place due to the work of Anonymous and its band of computer pirates.  Most of what Anonymous and many of the hactivists protest are in response to groups that are looking to censor and prohibit certain freedoms over the Internet.  In some ways this might lead to more positive and less restrictive attempts by governments to control the internet and prevent freedoms of speech. Either way you look at it, there must be some sense of observation that Anonymous and Internet hackers hold a particular space….a particular function and role over the world wide web in helping to control and keep the web safe for some of the billions of users that have taken their campaigns to the bandwidth hoping to muster up change through global dissemination of information that the Internet provides to us all. Are the arrests of these individuals a test of how free the internet remains or are they signs that the Internet may be eventually controlled by governments and politically minded bureaucrats?  These are questions that will continue to arise as we evolve over the Internet as a better educated and closer knit global village takes its course online. Hackers, hacktivists and Anonymous play a large role in helping us protect some of the freedoms we've learned to nurture online and in some ways take on a Guardian Angel role to the online community.  Either way they have become the new Robin Hoods of a vast movement that has evolved online and effectively learned how to use their skills to help rob from the rich and give to the poor-in some cases using their political viewpoints to help guide any kind of restrictions to our web browsing freedoms.  Until there is some kind of larger entity out there to help retain these freedoms, Anonymous and online hacktivists are the new and subtle voices of our freedoms to speak without being censored.  Good or bad, they are everywhere.

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