‘Nikki’ is in a relationship with ‘Technology’

I think the concept of ‘The internet of Things’ is an interesting one, but I am still yet to completely get my head around it. Bleecker (2006) states that:

“Once ‘Things’ are connected to the Internet, they can only but become enrolled as active, worldly participants by knitting together, facilitating and contributing to networks of social exchange and discourse, and rearranging the rules of occupancy and patterns of mobility within the physical world”.

While I can certainly appreciate this, I feel that his following statement outlining that ‘Things’ in the pervasive Internet, will become first-class citizens with which we will interact and communicate. To me, while the concept is intriguing, it is almost seems a little far fetched.

In this ‘Internet of Things,’ devices, systems and machines will not only communicate with humans, they will also communicate with each other. I certainly agree that our lives have been altered through the increasing advancement of technology, however, the way in which these items are seemingly personified in this sense is a little exaggerated in my opinion.

The idea of everything being connected to the internet is not new, but it’s increasingly becoming a reality. When you think about it, the internet is no longer a network of computers; it has evolved into a network of devices of all types and sizes – such as cars, refrigerators, smartphones, toys, cameras, medical instruments and industrial systems – all connected, all communicating and sharing information all the time. However I still feel that these devices have been created and designed for human use, and thus we still remain the commanders of the relationships.

There are really two sides to be considered in this argument. The technical utopians have portrayed the Internet of Things as a good thing that will bring untold benefits. They are supported by all the companies that stand to benefit by the increasing connectedness of everything. On the other side are the sceptics who warn of the dangers inherent in not only having an ever growing Internet of Things, but our increasing reliance on it.

So where do you sit with the argument?

Reference:

Bleecker, J. (2006) ‘Why Things Matter: A Manifesto for networked objects’ [URL: http://www.nearfuturelaboratory.com/files/WhyThingsMatter.pdf]

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I DON’T KNOW WHAT WE ARE YELLING ABOUT!

The Apple vs Android debate has caused one of the biggest first world problems of our time. Your phone is no longer just a device on which you make a phone call…it’s a lifestyle.

The ‘Great Debate’, as it has been dubbed, has grown to epic proportions with the Apple and Android brands seemingly having developed personas along the way. With Smart Phone Camera ‘Shoot Outs’, ‘smack downs’ between Google voice search vs. SIRI and reports of SIRI and the iPhone 5 vs the world – things seem to be getting a little over dramatised and out of hand. In this weeks reading, Andy Rubin himself said that the Android device ‘would have the spirit of Linux and the reach of Windows’.

So apparently technology now has spirit… has society forgotten that we are discussing electronic devices?

The two companies have taken entirely different approaches to the mobile war, however in my opinion, people are buying into the brand, as much as they are into the technology. Apple’s iPhone’s allow only Apple-approved applications (apps) on the handset. By contrast, now that it has moved into the phone business, Google gives Android away—it does not sell it—to be installed on dozens of phone models made by a host of phonemakers, including Sony, Motorola, Samsung, LG, HTC and others. Android’s code is open, and the phonemakers can tinker with it to suit their needs (though Google tries to maintain a basic set of standards, so that an app built for one Android phone will work on another). Anyone who can create an Android app can get it into Google’s Android Market, the equivalent of the App Store. Apple is renown for its sleek sophisticated and trendy style, but far more sealed and controlled.

Appleism isn’t quite a religion, but it features almost a God-like leader, the late Steve Jobs, who millions of individuals praise every day. On the contrary, the ‘Googlers’ or ‘Droids’ of the world worship at an entirely different alter, and I am sure, wouldn’t have it any other way.

I myself, am a fence sitter. I have found myself caught somewhere between the ‘smack downs’ and ‘shoot outs’ of this first world problem and will either have to ‘Google’ or ask SIRI how to get out.

Reference:

Roth, D. (2008) ‘Google’s Open Source Android OS Will Free the Wireless Web’. Wired, June 23. [URL: http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/magazine/16-07/ff_android]

Image sourced from: http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/400x/26682592.jpg.

Activism 2.0

The use of social network sites is growing at an exponential rate. However, the growth that is occurring cannot merely be perceived on a subscription level. The increasing functionality of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube is leveraging growth in the ways which society use social media. This increasing functionality is in effect, developing a foundation upon which future possibilities of the internet and the philosophies which extend from it are created.

I agree with Maria Popova’s (2010) statement in that the hierarchies which exist within the social web of the internet, are particularly useful in promoting an understanding of causes. While awareness is certainly not a sufficient condition for activism, it is a necessary one, and the social network platforms available in modern times offer a place in which to draw attention to an issue and convey the messages to a far wider audience than ever before.

In reflecting on the use of social media in the Arab Spring in the article by Morozov (2011), it is of my perception that social media was employed as a tool to assist the movement, however it was not the reasoning behind it. The use of platforms such as Facebook and Twitter during this time were essentially an effective aid to help carry the notion of engagement with political institutions and reforms. However, activism, whether online or offline requires reasoning and passion and desired for change by those involved. These three motives are what drive a reform and a revolution. From a marketing perspective, it could be seen that social media is the execution or strategy which is used to reach an objective. This is not to say that the role of social media in such movements is not valued. In fact, my view is quite the contrary. As our society becomes ever increasingly saturated in technology, the ways of life, including standing up for what you believe in are consequently becoming more prevalent online.

Social media is the tool which carries the voice. It is the users which create the message.

Reference:

Morozov, E. (2011) ‘ Facebook and Twitter are just places revolutionaries go’ The Guardian, 7 March. [URL: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/07/facebook-twitter-revolutionaries-cyber- utopians].

Popova, M. (2010) ‘Malcolm Gladwell Is #Wrong’ Change Observer, 10 June. [URL: http://changeobserver.designobserver.com/feature/malcolm-gladwell-is-wrong/19008/].