Thursday, December 6, 2007
Creating an online profile for social networking sites is a great way for individuals to communicate with friends and family and to stay in touch using the internet. People with common interests can share ideas and stories, recently social networking has taken off particularly by teenagers who are now using this medium of communication as much as, if not more than email. To create a social networking account are user is asked to supply a variety of personal details including their contact phone numbers, addresses, school details and personal pictures. Storing this type of information in the public domain is becoming an issue. Would parents allow their child to post this information about themselves on a shopping centre noticeboard or publish it in a newspaper? Regardless children are posting this information online without parental consent. In Facebook’s defence they do provide protection for their users by defaulting many data fields to be available to “only my friends”. Users would need to consciously change this setting to allow all personal information to be publicly available.
Unfortunately parents don’t always know what their children are doing online.
So all of this can some times go unnoticed.
Determining if someone is to be an online friend can be still be based on fictitious data. The anonymity of social networking allows users to create accounts using false information and there is no way this information can be verified. This is how predators are able to abuse the system. One example of this abuse resulted in the rape of a 14-year-old girl in Texas by an older man whom she had met on Myspace (MSNBC, 2006). In another case a sex offender in the United Kingdom used Facebook to groom a girl of 15 for sex. The offender won the girls trust online, and then arranged a meeting with the intention of having sex with the minor. As a result the man was convicted and sentenced to three years in prison. (The Sun, 2007)
In an attempt to minimise these types of incidents authorities have started to take action.
Following an investigation by New York's attorney general into the social-networking site Facebook, both parties have drawn up a new model for online interaction.
Under the terms of the agreement Facebook will:
• “Disclose the newly implemented safety procedures on its website as specified by the agreement. Ensure that all other public statements made by Facebook about safety are consistent with the specified language.
• Accept complaints about nudity or pornography, harassment or unwelcome contact confidentially via hyperlinks placed throughout Facebook’s website as well as via an independent email to email@example.com.
• Respond to and begin addressing complaints about nudity or pornography, harassment or unwelcome contact within 24 hours.
• Report to the complainant the steps it has taken to address the complaint within 72 hours where the complaint has been submitted via an independent email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Allow Facebook’s complaint review process to be examined by an Independent Safety and Security Examiner (ISSE), a third party approved by the New York State Attorney General’s Office, to report on Facebook’s compliance with the agreement.
• Provide a prominent and easily accessible hyperlink to allow a Facebook user or their parent/guardian to give feedback to the Independent Safety and Security Examiner (ISSE) about Facebook’s performance in responding to complaints.
• Submit to the Office reports prepared by the Independent Safety and Security Examiner (ISSE) evaluating Facebook’s performance in responding to complaints. The Examiner will report bi-annually and may recommend additional safety measures concerning complaint handling, as appropriate. DOC”
In a press release from the attorney general’s office, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal co-chairs the national social networking taskforce and believes that while the New York settlement is a step forward companies like Facebook need to do more. The task force is expected to urge:
• “Requiring age and identity verification for users 18 and older, and parental permission for users younger than 18.
• Implementing filtering technology to screen out sexually explicit, racist, violent or other mature images and significantly increasing the number of staff reviewing such images.
• Prohibiting sexually explicit and other inappropriate word and phrase searches.
• Hiding minors' profiles from adults.
• Limiting minors' search options.
• Removing inappropriate advertising targeting minors.”
Like many other moral issues government protection can only go so far responsibility for children’s safety also rests within the home. Parents need to be vigilante and aware of what their children are doing online Dr Michael Carr-Gregg an adolescent Psychologist and the author of “Real Wired Child” (Penguin 2007) identified seven rules for all families when it comes to social networking sites.
1. “Make sure that computers are in public places in the home and not in the child's bedroom.
2. Download a free internet filter and keylogger software.
3. When your kids are online, do a little ``shoulder surfing'' from time to time.
4. Check their social networking profile regularly.
5. Never meet in person the people you have met online.
6. Don't post anything that would embarrass you later.
7. Think twice before posting a photo or info you would not want your parents, teachers, future boss or landlord to see.”
Another danger comes not from sexual predators but from the users themselves. Where older students get into trouble with online communities is not understanding that the information they post may stick around, becoming a paperless but permanent record of their character. (Wagner, 2006) A great injustice in the eyes of some are the old or unflattering photographs that make it into Google Image search. It is difficult if not impossible to get such things removed-or to chase down a trail of negative or false information once it’s been able to fester on the web. (Vise, 2005) It may be considered harmless fun posting questionable photos or stories of oneself in a blog, but to a future employer doing a simple background check it can be viewed as less than desirable behavior in a future employee. Users need to practice self-censorship when it comes to posting personal information online.
With the amount of personal information being stored online The National Security Agency (NSA) is pursuing its plans to tap the web since phone logs have limited scope (Anderson, 2007). Not only are potential employers gathering information from blogs, the NSA are filtering the majority of internet data in the US using Filters which search for key terms. These filters allow the NSA to data mine huge amounts of traffic both domestic and international. With the majority of web servers based in the United States users need to be aware said that the bulk of worldwide internet traffic has at some time gone through an NSA filter.
Businesses are seeing an opportunity to make money off these social networking sites. Myspace allows companies to develop personal profiles to create an online presence where their biggest customers spend their free time. Wade Roush an editor for Technology Review has concerns that.
“MySpace is undermining the "social" in social networking. The general expectation when one joins a social network is that its other members are actual people. On MySpace, this isn't always so. The movie Jackass: Number Two has a profile on the site, as do Pepsi, NASCAR, and Veronica Mars, the CW network's teen detective. The company interprets the idea of a "profile" so broadly that real people end up on the same footing as products, movies, promotional campaigns, and fictional characters-not exactly the conditions for a new flowering of authentic personal expression.
This is an example of how businesses are making their way into every corner of the internet wherever they can see a potential customer or a chance to push their brand. Businesses make money on the web, many companies are solely web based for example Amazon.com and Ebay.com, any information these companies can gather about potential customers strengthens their position in the market. Social networkers should be wary of this when providing personal information online.
In conclusion like any new medium, care needs to be exercised when it comes to personal security. While governments mandate safeguards aimed at protecting minors while online, the final responsibility lies with the parent. Parents need to be vigilant and educate their children in the dangers that exist when communicating with anonymous strangers online. Just as parents educate their children not to accept lifts with strangers. They need to work with their children to ensure their children understand that some information should be kept private. Parents need also to understand what their children are accessing on the World Wide Web and whom they are communicating with. Older Users also need to exercise care when posting personal information online. Users need to be aware that all information stored online can be accessed either legally or illegally by various institutions and individuals. Web users need to understand that businesses on the web are still businesses and that they are trying to make money at every point, they see every web browser as a potential customer.
Anderson, N (2007, June, 13). T&T willing to spy for NSA, MPAA, and RIAA. ARS Technica, Retrieved December 4, 2007, from http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070613-att-willing-to-spy-for-nsa-mpaa-and-riaa.html
Blumenthal, R (2007). Facebook to take stronger steps to protect kids. Retrieved December 4, 2007, from Office of the Attorney General Web site: http://www.ct.gov/ag/cwp/view.asp?A=2788&Q=397458
Carr-Gregg, M Caught in the net. (2007, December, 3). Herald Sun, p. Education.
Cuomo, A (2007). Retrieved December 4, 2007, from Office of the Attorney General Web site: http://www.oag.state.ny.us/press/2007/oct/oct16a_07.html
Dye, J (2007).Meet Generation C: Creatively Connecting Through Content. EContent. 30, 39.
Marks, P (2006).Keep out of MySpace . New Scientist. 190, 30.
Roush, W (2006).Fakesters. Technology Review. 109, 72.
Vise, D (2005). The Google Story. New York, NY: Random House.
Wagner, C (2006).Blabbing on your Blog. The Futurist. 40, 7.
(2006, June, 20). MSNBC. Retrieved December 5, 2007, from Girl, 14, sues MySpace over alleged sex assault Web site: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13437619/
(2007).Facebook perv caged for three years, The Sun. 12.
Monday, December 3, 2007
Sunday, December 2, 2007
This first Photo is once again of me and some really good mates Ive used a stamp effect on us and I have put us ontop of the brisbane skyline at night both of these are my photos taken on a 10mp camera.
This photo is one taken of a friend of mine at a pool party late at night and I have superimposed him onto a beach landscape just to give it a much more summery feel. The caption which reads "DONT ASK" is in reference to how funny a night it was. The becah landscape was stolen from the net and the photo of geoff was taken on an old 3mp camera of mine.
This next photo is a represenation of HI TECH it may not be much now but in the 1960's these tanks were the very latest in technology. This photo was taken in Vietnam earlier in the year when I went to vietnam I have used a poster filter on the tank to make it stand out I have also added the word saigon which was what Ho chi min city was called during the war.
This photo was taken with a 10mp Camera.
This photo is of a news camera but from an angle no one usually looks at with a weird sky background this is trying to represent how the news is not always the full truth but its sometimes lies like how the sky isnt purple. To create this phot I changed the Hue of the whole picture
This Games photo is a fun little creation of mine showing several console types all connected I did this by stealing images online and superimposing them on to the image of the PSONE console game.
I really like this Success image its an photo I took at the Alley surf spot on the coast and I have written the words Success on the wave using the pattern of the rocks in the foreground. This photo was taken on a 8MP camera
The last photo is a representation of celebrity and how people who are chased by the paparazzi must see their lives. Its shows the paparazzi but they are very blurred and none of them stand out more than the other. This photo was stolen off the net and a Dark strokes filter was used.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
who owns the internet
The news and observer
I think people will always have a computer in their homes but their has to come a point where people do not want to be dependant on a machine for everything. They want to go to the store to pick the milk they want, they dont want the fridge to order the same milk every week we naturally as humans want to feel that we are in control and I really think that in 10 years we will still have the interet and yes you can order everything you nwant on the internet without ever leaving your chair. The fact of the matter is we are humans and humans need human interaction.
I think that devices such as the digital cmaera will still be around but as we get older in terms of our lives on the internt we wont be posting as much as we do know because we will know the hazards of putting all your personal information online for the world to see. We are still in the honeymoon period when it comes to personal homepages like Myspace and facebook we are going to hit a rough patch and that is when we are goint o see a big change in how we share pictures over the internt and how we talk about they things we do online. I think our generation whatever we are called I dont know are ruined when it comes to the internet we are the ones who have made it a wonderful place to share information when in actual fact its not and the secret to a good life should surely be less dependance on computers. I perosnally know I spend to much time on the internet just doing crap all, but we do. I think our kids will have a much better chance in getting the balance right.
Sounding a bit doom and gloom I know but I really think the internet is not the be all and end all of life its merely a tool to express whats happeing in the real world. I actually just finished watching existenz this morning and that movie with the bland real world and the colourful computer world is a perfect example of how some people are taking the digital age way too far. The thought that it was more important to pay the game than to live life and be in your own body is not a healthy way to life.
Firstly the telephone where people could all of asuddent transmit what they thought to people all over the world (eventually)but only to one person at a time. Then the second age where the Internet allowed people to transmit information to millions of people in every country around the world. This allowed for a transparent world to be born. where information can be transmitted where ever a cable has been laid. However the further we march down the digital road the more dependant we are on it and were we to loose phonelines or worse electricity where would we be in our digital world then. This emergence of the digital world has to stop somewhere or we will find oursleves stranded when the inevitable does happen.
A. I think the Internet has been a great tool in allowing news to be published by not only the old traditional media but also new types as well. However I do not thin that unofficial blogs and peoples personal homepages or anything of that ameture nature is goin to tae over the fact fact that we still get our news from the large news coprporations. Yes new media outlets do offer fresh opinions but they are not going to wipe out ther media giants of this world.
Q. Check out the local IndyMedia website. What kind of news is there, and do you think a website like that has a place in your life?
A. A website like this with independant community based political news is a great way for people to get their voices heard on an international level without needing the approval of commercial new outlets. In my own life I could see it coming in handy If i was trying to find out information on an event which was clearly not covered by the mainstream media but apart from that it doesnt bemnefit me personally. But I can see how it is a great resource for people in developing countries or countries where the news is government run.
Q. Do you think the internet is (was?) an effective tool for politicians to reach out to their intended audience?
A. I think it was a great marketing ploy by both parties in the recent federal election to use the internet to make certain anouncments and proposals. Particularly those aimed at the youth of Australia. I think it was a step that logically had to be made the youth of Australia are becoming the online generation. For the politicians to not embrace this new media would be a perfect example of the old fashioned establishment not keeping up with the times. In thining about it, it was a stepo that had to happen every single company aims to sell themsleves online so why wouldnt political parties do the same. Long over due I say.
Q. What do you think about blogs as a way for people to get information out? What about their role as political commentary?
A. As i said in the question above I cannot see blogs taking over the way we get our news. Yes RSS feeds off other peoples blogs in homepages like pageflakes are a great way to read news but they have one major flaw. The news you are reading is still just spouted out of somones mouth without any backing. That is why the major news networks hold such a stronghold because they check their facts and backup everything they say that is the reason they are a news corporation. Blogs are a great tool for uploading and announcing personal information but when it xomes to the news I think people will stick with what they know. When its looked at in a commentary sense they are a good thing but in a reliable news sense then yes.
Today’s topic of Digital democracy is an interesting one because now that every person with a computer and the internet has the ability to say what they feel to whomever else in the world wants to hear it. It allows for a much more transparent democracy because now nobodies voice is suppressed by local authorities like in
Unfortunately I missed this lecture due to unforseen circumstances but I am Quite a fan of Electronic Music so the ideas are not that unknown to me. Electronic music takes on many forms from the original theme music to computer games in the 80’s to the latest dance hits coming out of labels such as The Ministry of Sound. The question is all computer based music (ie in a digital format) electronic. I’m going to say no because the term electronic music for me anyway means music which has not been created using traditional vibration methods but through computer signals. Traditional analogue music or sound is created by vibrations either on a drum or in a guitar string these sounds are made by the movement of air in such a way that it makes an audible sound. Electronic music is completely different it is made solely by the computer there was no initial audible vibration. the fact that electronic music is in a digital format like that of acoustic music which has been digitised is not the same thing granted they are both in a digital format but one was electronically made the other was acoustically made. We as a generation are becoming more ensconced in the digital realm with more and more people listening to digital music which has been digitally compressed to limit the frequency ranges of the music we listen to. In that way we are loosing the quality of life that we hear but it is really only affecting that aspect of our lives most other things are still preferred in the analogue format such as books and the reluctance of people to read book on their IPODS or new reports granted news websites are popular people still buy the paper on a Sunday because its easier than going online.
Today’s lecture saw us look at The Free Software Foundation and how it was created by students at
Sunday, November 25, 2007
The next topic was the study of videos games, Not e this is not how they affect our lives that has been done to death but how they are as a piece of literature how they are structured and how they keep the player addicted it was really interesting to know that new game developers use dedicated developers who work on making the games addictive.
When I think about summer I think about last summer, when I went to every festival under the sun and had the best time with old friends and all the new ones i made along the way. (Many of which are never heard or seen from again). This photo was taken using an 8mp digital camera and then shrunk down to 640 x480 for use on the net.
The word Hi tech brings up images of my mate and his brand new DJ decks he spent $5000 on brand new state of the art equipment he had no idea how to use but now about 123 months later hes getting paid to DJ at different functions around the coast. But ill never forget the night he got all this equipment set up in his room and had no idea how to use it or what half the buttons even did. Its a perfect example of Hi tech gone too far. This photo was taken using a 10mp camera with no flash indoors and then shrunk to 640 x 480 for use on the net.
When trying to find photos of friends you can never find one with everyone you want but this is a great one. as its the four of us who all knew each other at school. Now 3 years on we still all get along great even though a few of us went overseas for a while and everybody changed were still the best of friends. This photo was taken with the same 10mp camera with a flash and then shrunk down to 640 x 480 for use on the web.
The word University reminds me of what I used to think University would be like full of all these new people i would meet and start making friends all over again. but quite the opposite happened by going to a school locally yes i did make some new friends but to this day my close friends are all people that went to my school everyday at the Uni bar or around campus ill run into people i went to school with and it feels great. So to some it up my time at Griffith hasn't felt any different to school which has been great. not sure what camera was used for this photo but it appears to be a professional photo which I found on the web at 2000 px wide
Ok so I stopped looking for an unconventional image when I stumbled across this one on Google not sure exactly what is supposed to be saying but i just thinks its hilarious . The blurb said it was from Korea so who knows whether its warning girls to look out for perverts or not. Not sure what the photo was taken with but it was found on the web at 400px wide.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
1. The creator of the love bug virus was a 24yo computer student who claims he accidentally released the computer virus to the world and he meant no harm as it was meant for a project.
2. John Vaaler a Norwegian inventor patented the idea in Germany in 1899 and in America in 1901 however it was an American company which designed the paper clip which we all know today.
3. The Ebola virus gets its name from a small river with the same name where the virus first broke out.
4. The largest ever earthquake was recorded in Chile in 1960 at a whopping 9.5 on the richter scale
5. one terabyte is 1073741824 kilobytes
6. The invention of email cannot be pinned down to one exact date because it has
been under constant development since the inception of APRANET it was finally released to the public around 1990
7. The NRI kingdom was unique because it was at the forefront of the copper age in
Africa at around 10AD long before other African cultures.
8. The most efficient way to contact the prime minister of Australia is to contact
either his parliament house contact on Tel: (02) 6277 7700 or his Sydney office on
Tel: (02) 8226 8400 he also has a contact phone nuber at the bennelong office in Sydney
02 9816 1300
9. Stephen Stockwell is a member of the Brisbane punk band the Black Assassins
10.Web 2.0 is the eventual complete move on to the web web 1.0 it shall be called was when companies moved online web 2.0 is where companies are being developed online and that is there sole platform a perfect example is the obsolescence of encyclopedia websites for Google and wikipedia a completely online resource we as people are using web based companies to buy things for our web another example is 2nd life where people are moving and living in an online arena.
A further look at how search engines work are that they look at how many times your search terms come up on a website and Google's unique way is to then rank those in how important those sites are by the number of times that site has been reffered to or linked to by another site thus giving a page credibility and popularity. This popularity of a website in the search terms comes from the author and the institution they have written or published for on the internet. Universities hold a lot more credibility than hobby clubs or personal websites. but then if its a hobby or personal information you are after these are sometimes preferable. I am a Googler through and through although i got on the bandwagon late about 2004 i have never searched with anything else . I do however understand that there are other ways to search out there and they can be useful, I am always aware of who has authored the website I am looking at.
Monday, November 19, 2007
(I finally joined due to the number of requests from friends in my email inbox)
I clearly say i dont use facebook and you should checkout my myspace.
I really started using myspace as it was a great way to listen to music at uni and to keep intouch with people who moved away after school I really dont have any friends on myspace that I havent already met in real life. I cant really see the point in talking to people I know when I have a heap of friends online that I do know. I know the internet is going to be a great tool when I move overseas in 6 or 8 months time but the only but my only worry is missing my cable connection at home and moving to slow broadband in the Middle East.
FYI probably moving to the middle East to get a Job in September.