ITC Reflection

The 3 blogging sessions I found the most interesting were “What is Real?”, Problem Solving and “The Internet’s Own Boy”. I like the idea of virtual and augmented reality and where these technologies are heading. I would like to see these technologies become more popular which would be the reason I like the “What is Real” blogging session as we looked at where these technologies currently are and where they are headed in the near future.

I found the Problem Solving blogging session interesting because it helped me realise how I attempt to solve problems and other ways to approach solving problems. I believe that this blogging session will help me in the future which is another reason I found it interesting.

“The Internet’s Own Boy” was the other blogging session I found interesting. This was not done in class but we were instead we were told to watch a movie created about Aaron Swartz and answer questions about it. I found this interesting because it explained his life and why he did what he did and also why the United States government acted the way it did to prosecute him. before this session I knew who Aaron Swartz was but not everything that he did and the complete reason why he was prosecuted by the government.

One thing I think should be added to this course is something to do with The Cloud and Cloud Computing. This is a growing area of IT at the moment and is not covered in many courses right now so I think that at least a quick overview during this course would be a good idea.

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Interactive Design

During this class Todd talked to us for the first half of the lesson on interactive design. This is how things are designed and how they work. It also includes how easy it is to figure out how to use it just from how it is designed. We were shown this video during the class which is a good example of a design that looks good and works well but is not that easy to use if you do not know how it works and is not that intuitive to learn.

Todd also talked about affordances. These are actions that a certain object lets us do. For example we know a door knob can turn to allow the door to open. This is an affordance to people that know how a door knob works but those that don’t may not be able to figure it out straight away. Another similar example is doors that have a bar on one side and a metal panel on the other. People that have come across this before will know to pull on the bar and push on the panel to open the door.

As Wikipedia says an affordance is an action possibility of which a person is aware. Until the person is aware of these affordances they are known as hidden affordances. For an affordance to be perceptible there has to be knowledge available to the user either through prior knowledge or instructions like push or pull to open the door. Affordances are now often applied to Human-Computer Interaction to describe how easy it is to use the interface and discover new ways to do things on the interface.

For the second half of the class we were split into group and told to design a product. Here is the product we came up with. It is a jacket that allow the wearer to control the volume of their connected smartphone and easily transfer your social media details with a handshake as long as both people have a jacket.

Internationalisation

What is Internationalisation?

Internationalisation is the localising the information on a website, program, video game or other digital medium for use by people in multiple countries or languages. This is a large problem for any company that is needing or wanting to expand into other countries as it is not an easy task to complete as it is not just translating the text but also making sure that any prices and numbers are formatted in the right way. In some cases it could also be changing the content to better match the culture of the country as some cultures have some colours or symbols that could mean very different things that what the company is trying to convey.

What types of businesses would benefit most from Internationalisation?

The types of businesses that would benefit most from Internationalisation would be those that have anything to do with countries outside the country that they are based in. That would include businesses that sell and/or buy products online and tourism as the most obvious types of business that would benefit most from Internationalising the content on their websites.

Which (kind of) countries would benefit most from Internationalisation?

I think that the types of countries that would benefit most from Internationalisation are the ones that have multiple languages and cultures within and just outside their borders. A good example of an area of the world like this is Europe. There are many different countries that have close trade agreements and easy travelling agreements. This means that these countries should have a lot of Internationalisation going on. Countries that benefit a lot from tourism would also have a need to internationalisation in order to attract more tourists.

One thing that was not covered in the presentation is that there are companies that focus on helping other businesses work through this process.

Copyleft

I don’t believe is always theft. There are uses of information that allow certain uses of copyrighted material to be used without the copyright owners permission but even outside these strict reasons I do not believe that copying is always theft. With the Internet as it is and information is so easily shared through it the laws around copyright need to be changed to catch up with the current uses of the Internet. It is hard to say where the line should be drawn when it comes to deciding what is theft and what is not but I still believe that the laws should be less strict than they currently are.

Aaron Swartz was an Internet activist and programmer in the United States that was involved in many different websites and protests. he was involved in the copyright debate by protesting the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) bill and helping develop the Creative Commons organisation. He also downloaded millions of US Federal Court documents from behind an Internet paywall and uploaded them for free on another website.

The Internet’s Own Boy

Q1:  What did he do that got him into trouble?

He downloaded academic articles from the JSTOR database.

Q2:  What were the possible motives mentioned in the film for his so called “crime”?

The motives mentioned by the prosecution were that he was going to release the downloaded files for free use by the users of the internet or to release them for sale to profit from them while the people close to Aaron believed that he was going to use them for volume researching purposes.

Q3:  What does each motive imply from a MORAL and LEGAL point of view?

The release of the documents for free while could be seen as illegal by some was morally ok because the articles should be in the public domain since they are created for that purpose.

The sale of these documents would be both illegal and morally wrong but the use of the articles for researching purposes would be morally and legally fine.

Q4:  Why were understanding his motives so important?

Understanding his motives for downloading the articles would decide whether he was downloading them for illegal or legal purposes and whether they should be prosecuted or not.

Q4.1: How many charges did this end up giving him?

He was charged with 13 felony offenses.

Q5: What was wrong with the SOPA bill?

It would give the big corporations the ability to censor any content that they felt infringed upon their copyrights without a trial of any kind.

Q6: Why did it look like the bill would be impossible to stop from passing?

Most of the previous bills had all gone the way of the big corporation with the money and ignored the opinion of the public.

Q7:  What were some of the significant factors that helped raise awareness for dismissing the SOPA bill?

The users of the internet spreading the word about the bill and blackout of big websites that caught the attention of members of Congress.

Q7.1:  What’s the important message about this victory to those of us in the “new world”?

We are free to create what we want to create without having to worry about having our content taken off the internet by corporations for copyright reasons without having any form of defence.

Q8:  “Bringing public access to the public domain”  “books are our cultural legacy”.  What are these statements have to do with his passion … (37:25)?

His passion was making the world a better place and information. He believed that he could make the world a better place by making this information available to the public.

Q9:  What does Q8 have to do with Jack Andraka?

He had a discovery and created an early test for Pancreatic Cancer that will save lives. He made this breakthrough using research articles from JSTOR.

Q10:  What’s the most important question on this list? Why?

I believe that question 4 is the most important. Without understanding his motives you cannot decide whether or not he should have prosecuted and what he stood for. People close to Aaron seem to believe that the prosecutors did not understand his motives properly and if they did they may not have proceeded with the prosecution.

Copyright

The biggest problems I see with Digital Copyright today is that it is hard to enforce the copyrights and that the legislation around this has not yet caught up with the way that information is shared around the world. The current legislation is trying to apply physical world theft laws to the digital mediums that are more widely used with the Internet today.

I believe that the legislation around the Digital Copyright problem needs to be changed to address the differences between physical and digital mediums.

There is also the issue that the owner of the copyright is not the creator of the content and they owner of the copyright can abuse the copyright they hold. This means that often the legislation is not protecting the people that create the content but the big corporations that buy the copyrights.

The current legislation allowing the US government to shut down websites anywhere in the world that break these copyright laws is outside the scope that they should be allowed to work within. Why should a government be able to give itself the ability to take down content that is hosted in another country?

An example of Fair Dealing is critique. I watch a number of critique type videos on YouTube and it is a fair use of copyright material as it helps the consumer make a more informed choice of what they are buying. There is also a good example of the copyright laws being used to censor this type of content here.

Another example is the use of copyrighted content in research. Almost all kinds of research build on what someone has done so being able to use their content and build on it as long as it is referenced is a fair use of the content.

What is real?

I believe real is what we can interacting with using our senses. This could be seen in different ways for different people but for me it is not what we see inside a 3D world but the physical world around us.

Google Glass is a Augmented reality headset where a small screen covers part of one eye. There are both positives and negatives for this technology. Two of the positives I can see are that it could help us to connect with the world around us and there is a possibility that they could be used in the medical profession by showing information on the patient on the Glass screen rather than constantly having to spend time checking paper or computer records it could be showing automatically and updating as the computer system finds more of their records.

One of the negatives of Google Glass is the loss of our privacy. Since they have a camera on them they are able to record video and take pictures which many people see as a breach of their privacy. Another negative is that is creates suspicion around what you are doing on it because few people currently know how it works but this is likely to change when more people start to use it and learn how it works.

Where the Google Glass is using the functions of a smartphone and performing them in a different way Microsoft’s Hololens is taking a very different approach. It is a single device which projects the AR image onto a screen that goes across both eyes of the user. It can be used to project images onto surfaces or in midair where the Glass cannot.

I believe that the Oculus Rift and other VR headsets will have uses outside of gaming once they become more available to the public and more people are able to develop uses for them. One use already created is a 3D earthquake viewer that Clare showed in class. It shows a history of earthquakes and allows the user to zoom into where they are and select them to show the information about them. I like this use of the Oculus Rift as it is a more intuitive way of viewing information that can tend to make little sense if you are just looking at the numbers. Using this approach you are able to more easily see where the earthquakes are happening over time and see patterns. Here is the video we were shown in class demonstrating how it works.