This week in my BCM206 lecture we discussed the concept of the Internet of Things. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail (follow the links for more information) but basically this idea can be explained as the connection of any device or thing to the internet. This can be anything from your clothing to a fridge.
This process can result in our things having the ability to interact with their environment, share information and make relevant decisions. One day perhaps your door will maybe share more information than you!
Thinking about this blogpost got me thinking about one of my all-time favourite short stories; There will come soft rains by Ray Bradbury. If you haven’t read it before,I highly recommend you have a read. It’s super short so you have no excuse not to read it.
Anyway, this story explores the day to day life of a fully automated and connected house after its original human occupants had left. It’s haunting in its description of the household’s mechanical workforce as they continue to go on as normal, trying to anticipate the needs of humans who are no where to be found.
A little off topic but it makes me wonder; as the internet of things grows, our things will begin to exist in a conversation that is entirely their own.
In 2016, Yahoo admired to being hacked, claiming that over 500 million accounts had been breached. It wasn’t until October this year that the true nature of the hack was revealed with estimates that really over 1 billion users had been affected.
So if you have a Yahoo account, this likely has affected you. Just saying.
When faced with anonymity, this type of situation is almost impossible to avoid.
It’s a testament to how far technology has advanced that most people now understand that there’s more to “hacking” and cyber culture than furiously bashing a keyboard.
Yet this concept seems to still be utterly foreign when shown on film. The below ringtone is just me having a little fun with the Hollywood trope of the anarchist-loving, super human hacker that still exists on the BIG screen.
It’s never been easier coordinate events and meet-ups with friends and family. With the touch of a button, it’s possible to communicate any information instantly (well, instantly when connected to WiFi) to a global audience.
Social media has played an enormous role in the ease of coordination of people; through personal, small events to large scale political protests. Yet something I’ve noticed that although this communication has never been simpler, there’s an online phenomenon of where hundreds, thousands (or more) people may say that they are interested in an event but often don’t bother to attend.
It seems commitment is just as fickle as always.
You may remember the short video clip of a young girl being dragged into the water by a Sea lion. This clip went viral back in May 2017 and was plastered on every news channel, social media platform and blog.
Yet for many people, Legacy Media channels were late to the game on reporting about the instance. The phrase “I saw it on Facebook already” was never truer.
ios vs. Android: The twin futures of mobile net
What is open-source software?
This refers to software of which its source code has been made available to anyone for any purpose. This grants customers the right to change, develop and distribute the software for any purpose.
As seen in the above analogy, Android is an example of an open-source system.
So, closed-source software is source code that has not been published and made publicly available. Customers do not have the right to change or distribute the software in any way.
Apple is a closed-source system.
Game of Thrones spoilers below.
It may not seem this way but we’re moving away from the Internet 2.0 into something very different. With the emergence of super popular social networking platforms such as Facebook and and dominate platforms like apple, we’re moving into a new phase of the internet.
There are four main characteristics of this concept:
- Consists of curated content
- Offers protection from open internet by filtering undesirable content
- Conveys idea that it is ‘the place to be’ as everyone who is everyone is already on these platforms
- Has a guarantee of quality.
So why do we call it a ‘Walled Garden’? This term has emerged because this change is changing the way in which we use the internet. We are no longer using the internet as it was originally intended.
What are the downsides?
- The owner of the platform determines how you use their platform. In order to access and use these platforms you need to abide with their rules. For example check out Facebook’s Policies.
- All content is tied to the platform. For example sharing a funny picture of your dog that you’ve posted on Facebook directly across to Twitter, is nigh on impossible.
- There are licensing fees. And they can be surprisingly expensive.
- Regardless of the fact that the internet is basically a copy machine, copyright is fiercely controlled in these walled gardens.
- Apps are not searchable by web search engines, which makes them very isolated from the rest of the internet.
But I wouldn’t panic yet. There may still be time to change away from this.