The Future of the Internet…and Reflections..

The Internet has gone through many changes in such a short amount of time. From Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 to the semantic Web 3.0 of the near future, much is left to the creative imagination of what is to be the Internet ten to twenty years down the road.

Firstly, i would highly expect the semantic web to take root in our daily lives, integrating things, people and web pages into a seamless organism. Household items like the fridge, and the microwave would function intelligently with the Internet, to be able to pre-program cooking timings according to the type of food. Similarly, fridges may let people know that milk inside is about to expire based on a calculated time function from information found online.

Next, education may comprise more of the Internet instead of traditional texts and classrooms. Perhaps online technology would be improved so significantly that users may use Skpe or GoogleChat as the next vehicle to learning, instead of actual vehicles like the bus or train to school (hahaha, its the last post, i can afford to tell a joke?) Today, we cannot visualize attending class in our less than glamorous bed-attire; without make-up, for girls, and waxed hair, for guys. However, with new age Internet technology, pyjamas might just be the new school clothes.

Perhaps in the future, e-commerce and e-businesses would be abundant, displacing traditional businessess and retail shops, and even wet-markets. It may be plausible that grocery shopping could be done solely online, with aunties and uncles ordering fresh fish and vegetables from www.wetmarket.com. Think about it, in the future, the older, nonínternet generation would have passed on, leaving only the Internet savy (some may call lazy) generation of today. Online grocery shopping might just be the daily routines of tommorow.

Of course, in the post post post Internet age, avatars may be the norm. How cool would that be? Check out the Science-Fi thriller Surrogates, starring Bruce Willis incoporating avatars in daily lives; people getting fat and unhealthy in chairs, controlling avatars looking like supermodels. Check out the offical trailer for the movie here

 

 

Lastly, as this would be the last posting of this blog, i bid a tearful farewell to all those who have made the effort to come visit this blog (perhaps you would be the only one to see this Mr Choy) All in all, i had fun writing the blog, and learning about the Internet, learning some valuable information. At least now i know Tim Bernes Lee invented the World Wide Web.

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The Cloud on the Internet

Cloud computing is the new thing on the internet for those who wants to dump their heavy bulky servers into the garbage and swap those things with Clouds; akin to eating cotton candy, sweet air. Firstly, lets get an idea of what the Cloud on the Internet is all about with this video.

By definition, Cloud computing is the delivery of a service, rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a utility (pay as you use) over the Internet. Instead of hosting websites and different applications on servers based in a physical location in a company, businesses could use Cloud computing, and host and provide these exact same services on a space on the internet, via a service provider at a pay per use cost per month. Let us look at the many advantages of cloud computing.

  1. Reduced Costs- It reduces hardware costs, including deterioration
  2. Scalability- It enables businesses to increase or reduce space on the cloud based on demand rather than purchasing hardware servers and risk under-utilizing or over-utilizing it
  3. Automatic Updates- Service providers worry about updates, not you!
  4. Remote Access- Rather than having to run back to the office, information can be easily access anywhere
  5. Disaster Relief- When the company servers are down, Cloud computing allows for employees to access information as the information is stored uninterrupted by problems, in the Cloud

These are just some of the many benefits that Cloud computing can bring to the table for business people. However, there are also various disadvantages that i can think of if Cloud computing becomes a staple in my Internet diet.

  1. Requires constant Internet connection- without the Internet, there is NO WAY anyone can access the Cloud
  2. Limited features- At the moment, the Cloud has limited features and capabilities that some users may find unfriendly
  3. Stored data may not be secure
  4. Cannot be used for serious stuff- No right minded President of the company would put his entire staff’s payroll on the cloud. Neither would they share private and confidential information for fear of losing it to intruders.

Cloud computing therefore has its downfalls as well. In my opinion, i see the Cloud as a good way to share music and perhaps school project work and business applications. However, it might take certain prevention schemes before people trust the Cloud enough to consider it a safe platform for important documents etc.

Nevertheless, there is huge potential for this increasing Internet technology. The Cloud, if used and marketed properly could be the future of sharing information and services on the Internet…or…has it already become the Future of the Internet? Let me know your views..

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The Internet and Journalism

“The Internet is killing Print Journalism” This debatable tpic probably has no one conclusion, hence the “debate”. But first, let me introduce this arguments from both sides of the table. Firstly, proponets belive that the Internet is killing print journalsim because of the abundance of advertising space the internet is taking away from the revenues of news publishing companies. For one, advertisers are flocking in huge numbers towards online territory due to the large audience and widespread reach that the internet can bring, as opposed to newspapers, relatively limited in terms of reach and audience size. With the bulk of its revenue coming from advertising, print firms may lose much of its strength and power as advertisers decide against them, towards the cost effective online advertising method.

Secondly, the internet is said to undermine the credibility of print journalism. In traditional days before the World Wide Web, print media was able to hold tremendous power as they were one of the few avenues people could turn to for information. However, as the internet became more and more widespread, more and more a common objectof usage among people, the power and credibility of print journalsim declined. No longer is print the only source of information people turn to. Let me illustrate in a simple few steps how, nowadays, we manage information that we receive.

  1.  Tommy gets his daily dose of news by reading Yahoo!News/ Twitter/ Facebook
  2. He searches through Google for other articles about the topic
  3. (If important and relevant topic) Goes through Facebook to see if his friends have any updates regarding the topic
  4. Uses Facebook or Twitter to disseminate the information

Perhaps many of us go through similar routines of news management, but in general, the pattern would likely stay the same. Furthermore, with this method of receiving and distributing news, most of us do not even know if the news that we receive is accurate as there may be certain tweaks by anyone in the news dissemination process (step 4). With the internet, and the socially interactive Web2.0, many web pages are already interative sites for people to voice their opinion. WThe more voices of the Internet age is thus undermining the credibility of the sole voice of print journalsim before the widespread use of the Internet.

However, opponents of the stand may fight against this claim and argue that indeed, while the internet does provide many different voices to the same topic, this provides diversity, and “the other perspective’. This prevent a dangerous situation in which a powerful media distributes false information to an unknowing and guilible audience; media hegemony.

Perhaps, then, the issue at hand is not whether the Internet is killing print journalism, but  whether, by taking over some power from the print companies, it is actually making the world a better place? What are your views on this topic??

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The Internet and Politics

The use of the internet in politics has been increasing in recent years as more and more people, young or old, are getting into the already enormous online buzz. We have seen how President Obama of the United States of America won his election as the first black President of the US through his excellent use of online technology. This victory shows how the internet can play an important role in disseminating information to its users, and how people can adapt their communication strategies to encompass this influential form of social media.

Power is said to be in the hands of consumers of media, as these consumers are able to record and playback videos and audio at thier own convenience. In reference to political speaking, this may be a boon or a bane depending on how a politician adjusts from the traditional way of not only engaging his immediate receivers of the message, but also taking into consideration how his message will come across when view on content communities like Youtube, or Dailymotion.

In Singapore. General Elections and the Presidential Elections in 2011 marked a time whereby the internet was used like never before in politics.

With a new generation of first time voters, politicians from the various competing parties in the General Elections were extremely active on Facebook and Twitter. For the first time, political parties were allowed to use social media to reach out to voters. There were surprising successes such as Nicole Seah, the 24 year old charismatic and youthful voice of the National Solidarity Party, who set the Singaporean online community alight with her commitment and hard work. Online streaming websites like Youtube allowed voters who could not or were too lazy to go to rally speeches to view them in the convenience and comfort of their homes. Here is a Youtube video of a Nicole Seah speech that attained a whooping 200 000  plus views.

Inevitably, there were failures as well. Tin Pei Ling of the Incumbent People’s Action Party typified a politician whose reputation was harmed by the Internet. Apparantly, she uploaded a picture of her carrying a katespade bag and this was met with disapproval with citizens, many of whom were already concerned about the exhorbitant pay that the Menbers of Parliament were receiving. This led to resentment against her party and her person, showing the devasting effect the internet can have on those who are careless when using it. Here is a video on a crowd booing the PAP and chanting “kate spade!” when Tin Pei Ling began her speech in mandarin.

The effects of the Internet on politics is truely not to be taken lightly, and it is apparant that future elections, whether in Singapore or in other countires, would rely heavily on the use of the Internet. Therefore, politicians would do well to utilize this double-edged sword to their advantage. What are your views on the internet influencing politics?

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Multimedia – Comparing Apple and Samsung

Today’s blogpost would focus on Multimedia marketing techniques, and how companies, namely Apple, and Samsung differs in the use of multimedia in their marketing strategies. Firstly, let us all gain a deeper understanding about what this term means. Multimedia is simply multiple forms of media integrated together, such as text, graphics, audio, animation, video, data, etc. An example of multimedia application on the internet would be a Beethoven webpage comprising of text regarding the musician, audio files of his music compositions, videos of his playing, perhaps incorporating a comments section for interactivity.

Now that we all have a greater comprehension about what Multimedia is basically about, let us continue with the analysis of the online marketing campaigns of the two mobile giants, Apple and Samsung, dominating the lion’s share of the mobile phone market today with their ingenious mobile devices, the iPhone, and the Galaxy respectively. I have visited both the companies’ webpages and noticed certain similarities as well as stark differences as well in their respective online strategies.

The Apple website explodes into your face with its huge high quality pictures of the iPhone, its hug bold letters just jumping out at you screaming “GET THIS PHONE, ITS AWESOME!”. On the other hand, the Samsung page exhudes a contrastingly lighter feel. A picture of the Galaxy probably takes up half the size that Apple gives generously to its prized product.

Again, the difference is seen in the type of text that is used in marketing the two mobiles to site visitors. The Apple website shows phrases such as “The Most Amazing Phone Yet”, “Even faster than everything”, and “It might just be the best camera ever on a phone”. Pretty narcissistic if you ask me, but hey, they are the ones making the millions. Self-confident would probably be the word that pro-Apple fans prefer i guess?

Meanwhile, on the relatively calm and peaceful website of Samsung, plenty of adjectives such as “Gorgeous”, “Stunning”, “Sharper” are used. However, in comparison with Apple, these words might as well be describing a piece of bread.

Finally, the Apple website front page boasts an exhorbitant 4 videos compared to a big fat zero on Samsung’s side. In addition to the videos found in front, the next page on the iPhone 4S presents another high definition, highly interesting and engaging introductory video about the iPhone 4S. Lets take a look at the video below

Comparisons between the Apple and Samsung website has left me extremely curoious as to why Samsung have been able to sustain such a high output in the sale of the Galaxy with their sub-standard website (in my opinion). I personally would prefer the strong and confident demeaner that Apple portrays to its audience. What are your views on this matter? Does a company’s website truely reflect what goes on in the sale of its product? or have i missed out some important point that i could be enlightened on? Would appreciate your comments..!

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Hacker 101

After seeing the video on Kevin Mitnick and hacking in the COM125 lecture this week, my interest was perked about the world of computer hacking. Therefore, i decided to make the week’s blogpost about the 101 of computer hacking, from the who to the what to the how to prevent it.

Firstly, lets start of with the definition of computer hackingHacking means finding out the weaknesses in an established system, such as office and businness online systems, and exploiting them. A computer hacker is a person who finds out weaknesses in the computer and exploits them for his own purposes, which may range from profit, to pleasure and entertainment. There are several types of hackers, namely,

  1. White hat- AKA ethical hacker, breaks into security for non-malicious reasons, for example testing his own security system. (Kevin Mitnick of today, and Steve Wozniack, co-founder of Apple are examples of white hat hackers)
  2. Black hat- A hacker who violates computer security for little reason beyond maliciousness or for personal gain, breaking into secure networks to destroy data or make the network unusable for those who are authorized to use the network. Black hats are the hackers that are dangerous to our society. (Examples include Gary McKinnon, who was declared by the USA as the biggest military computer hacker ever after he hacked the security system of NASA and the Pentagon)
  3. Grey hat- A combination of a Black Hat and a White Hat Hacker. A Grey Hat Hacker may surf the internet and hack into a computer system for the sole purpose of notifying the administrator that their system has been hacked, for example. Then they may offer to repair their system for a small fee.
  4. Hacktivist- A hacker who utilizes technology to announce a social, ideological, religious, or political message

The Black hat, White hat, Grey  hat and Hactivist hackers are just four of the many different types of hackers on the internet. They may have different ways of hacking, and even different purposes, but the commonality is that they know computers, and are able to get access to websites and information and put people at risk of inconvenience.

Profecient hackers have a lot of power at their disposal, and as Spiderman says ” With Great Power comes Great Responsibility “.  We common people, on the other hand, have our own responsibility to the the least we can to protect ourselves against unwanted intruders and viruses. These are 7 ways to prevent computer hacking

  1. Use strong passwords/ change passwords frequently
  2. Install anti-virus software
  3. Implement a firewall
  4. Conduct a vulnerabuility test
  5. Clear the cookies
  6. Avoid spammy websites
  7. Keep operating systems up to date

These are the few ways that one could prevent himself, or at least try to , against computer hackers. However, in my opinion, if the NASA computer system was defenceless against 16 year old Jonathan James who stole software worth around 1.7 million, what luck do we have? What are your views on computer hacking? Have you hacked or been a victim of hacking before?

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Dreaming in the toilet- Video Post

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