Hacking- a piece of cake for M16

Posted in Technology Updates with tags , , , , , , on June 4, 2011 by alexandrachambers

Its not just the photo-bomb that is gracing computer screens of the world, now there is also cupcake bombing!


Britain’s Telegraph newspaper has released an article informing that the M16 British Intelligence hacked into an online al-Qaeda magazine replacing bomb making instructions with Ellen DeGenres’s top  cupcake recipes!


Scanning or scamming?

Posted in New media interest, Technology Updates with tags , , , , , , on June 3, 2011 by alexandrachambers

‘Three top French publishers say they are suing US internet giant Google for scanning thousands of their books for its online librarywithout permission.’

Many, if not most users of the Internet would use google search applications for a range of different categories.  One of the most recent, added in 2004 initially called Google Print, Google books archives and allows access to a huge range of texts uploaded and available to view on the Internet.  They have either Partner companies or a library where users can access a range of texts uploaded but  ‘carefully respecting authors’ and publishers’ copyrights’….. well obviously not.

The French publishers beg to differ, Google seems to have done this before.  French publisher La Martiniere successfully sued Google in 2009.  Maybe they thought that because they convinced Hachette Livre, the biggest publisher in France, to scan the entire collection, that anything else was sure to be legal, who knows…?

Apple faces the copyright crunch

Posted in New media interest, Technology Updates, Users' interest with tags , , , , on May 31, 2011 by alexandrachambers




Apple has been demanded by Samsung to show their most recent models of ipad and iphone 5 in a bid to reduce the risk of copyright.  They claim not to want to be sued by Apple for product design and implementation, but could this just be a clever way of releasing products with the same features simultaneously??


Apple has the competitive advantage from a branding point of view, but if Samsung can put up a fight, (or demand one) then this may just be an advance in the direction of the telecommunications battle between Apple’s popularity and everyone else….

Out of the system

Posted in Assigned Questions, Users' interest with tags , , , , , , , on May 28, 2011 by alexandrachambers

A) Burgess and Green argue that: ordinary people who become celebrities through their own creative efforts “remain within the system of celebrity native to, and controlled by, the mass media” (Reader, page 269).

YouTube is a fabulous medium for video collaboration.  ‘Operating as a coordinating mechanism between individual and collective creativity and meaning production’ (Burgess and Green 2009: 37), it offers users the opportunity to “Broadcast Yourself”(YouTube) with the ability for global viewing and dispersion.

There is a vast range in quality and purpose for use of the uploaded  media found on YouTube.  Both professionally filmed, cut and edited clips whose producers use YouTube as a marketing tool to access a new distribution channel, and many home videos clips or amateur films that use YouTube as an ‘interpersonal, playful and identity forming use of information Communication Technology (ICT)'(Burgess and Green 2009:25).  Amateur film provides a fine example of the kind of ‘celebrity native to, and controlled by, the mass media'(Burgess and Green 2009:23).  Mass Media celebrities often remain so only in their respective media distribution channel and their fame is manipulated by users of the channel and it ‘ranking tactics'(Van Dijk 2009), however there are a select few that transcend the boundaries of new media and revert back to old media for their fame.

One example of a celebrity who has stepped out of the system is Greyson Chance, a twelve year old boy famed on YouTube covering the Lady Gaga song ‘Paparazzi’ at a school concert.

After seeing this YouTube clip Ellen DeGeneres invited him onto the ellen show and has also signed him to her new record label eleveneleven.  She aims to uncover new musical talent, ‘DeGeneres said she will continue to use her show as a platform to find new artists, whom she will sign to eleveneleven.’ (Goldsmith http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/content_display/industry/news/e3i653c072dd63127c85ae3e6ea3c3c7f7e)

This kid has certainly become a celebrity outside of YouTube, uncovered by an extremely popular daytime talk show, yet is still ultimately, being manipulated by the mass media.  To some extent any musician who signs on with a producer or record company does so in the knowledge that they are not fully in control of their fame and celebrity status, yet their ‘ability to pass through the gate-keeping mechanisms of old media'(Burgess and Green 2009: 24) deem them independent of new media’s ‘internal system ‘(Burgess and Green).

The question is not of escaping mass media’s hold on the creative efforts of ordinary people, it is a question of discovering a plethora of emergent talent and displaying it to global audiences.

Audiences are under the assumption that although ‘governance and power'(Van Dijk 2009) remain in the hands of the mass media, creative efforts do not have to remain restrictively native to the system on YouTube.  Those ordinary people discovered as celebrities will always be accredited as being realised first on YouTube, but the ‘homegrown'(Burgess and Green) talent should eclipse any claim that their celebrity status ‘produced and captured'(Burgess and Green) solely to the mass media industry.

It seems that much of the celebrity ’emancipated'(Van Dijk 2009) from the system is the commercialization of raw talent in the performing arts. However some ‘YouTube celebrities famous for being notorious, obnoxious or annoying’ (Burgess and Green 2009:24) will never translate to celebrity status that is anything more than ‘most popular'(Van Dijk 2009) with millions of views.

Jean Burgess and Joshua Green, ‘YouTube and The Mainstream Media’, in YouTube: Online and participatory Culture, Cambridge:Polity Press, 2009.

Blurring Borders (and crossing them)

Posted in Users' interest with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2011 by alexandrachambers

‘Media globalization promotes new opportunities for shared information, borderless communication and global commerce.’ (Flew and Cunningham)  The recent rise in online media has fueled the collaborative dispatch of information to a variety of media outlets and makes it possible to instantly view and access media from across the globe, in the comfort of your own home.  National borders are virtually blurring, yet physical country demarcation is becoming more distinguished.

It is possible to easily access international news media on the internet, it is possible to quickly book international flights, you can purchase goods from overseas through online stores and all these things can be paid for via internet banking.  It raises the question, in this period of an increasingly fluid, free-flow of information, why is it becoming harder to actually do all these things manually and in person?  Time is money.  The Internet saves time, which is wonderful, but it also slackens verification.

It seems that with the rise in the exchange of digital information, identity is becoming less objective and can be measured in terms of an Internet presence.  It is easy to create a phoney facebook page, twitter account, or website leaving a large portion of the unaware audience under the assumption that whoever they are subscribing to is real.

In the scheme of identity fraud and easy falsification of information on the Internet, it is no wonder that border security has tightened, it seems the only place left that is monitored strictly enough for you to be caught is the airport!  For this reason, i decided to print off a visa application form rather than filling it out online, and I went in to deliver it personally.  It did make me wonder, all my information is stored online, how easy would it be for someone to hack in and become me…?  Hopefully not too easy, i would really like to pass the border for my holiday……

Mirror mirror… managing myself

Posted in Assigned Questions, Users' interest with tags , , , , , , , on May 16, 2011 by alexandrachambers

Week 7

Lovink (Reader, page 222) also argues that: “No matter how much talk there is of community and mobs, the fact remains that blogs are primarily used as a tool to manage the self”.

Blogging offers readers and bloggers alike the chance to explore, analyse and speculate the happenings of everyday life. There are a vast range of blogging categories used to communicate and address a range of interest groups.  Ezra Kleine states ‘Blogs are fun’ (Lovink: Blogging,the Nihilist impulse 2007:23), and for some bloggers that is their exact intention.  Rather than picking one blog to explore this idea i have chosen four.  I believe there are two types of blogs, exploratory and informative.  They can be broken into two types within that.

In exploratory blogs ‘the sharing of thoughts and opinions'(Lovink 2007:28) can be seen in;

  •  futile blogs resembling journals with little intellectual value and ranting blogs of life that are used to ‘manage’ (Lovink 2007:self indulgent reflections of their diarised lives;

  • and interest blogs, which aim to enlighten and excite the reader with ideas and comments surrounding a theme.

Then there are informative blogs ‘to produce and distribute news’ (Flew 2008:166);

There is no doubt that blogging has seen the rise of the ‘citizen journalist'(Flew 2008:143) who can prove themselves as an information delivery portal to a global audience.  However, the statement Lovink raises the blog as a resource used for the most part, to ‘manage the self'(Lovink 2007:28) and all of the indulgences and interests which pertain to it.  If it is true that ‘blog readers indulge in exhibitionists insights and can’t get enough of it'(Lovink 2007:28) then how can the blogger be recognised as having any form of writing credibility?

The only way i see to dignify a blogger, is to recognise their efforts outside of their online diary with an unbiased recounting of an event that demonstrates their neutrality, for example newspaper blogs and photographers blogs.  Problem is demonstrating journalistic credibility is not the point, majority of blogging is all about personal reflection and interpretation.  That is the beauty of it.  While blogging journalists and aspiring writers are free from the Frankfurt School’s ‘political economy theory’ where corporation ideals are reflected in publications, and where all other opinion and inference is censored.  This idea that ‘the media will serve the economic and political interests of whoever owns and controls them’ (O’Shaughnessy & Stadler 2008) often inhibits the dissemination of information, therefor, blogging creates an accessible means of their knowledge projection.

In Lovinks chapter Snake Eyes and Boxcars it states that ‘blog content is usually emotional in some way, supportive and often melodramatic, but that cannot be said of the techno-networking act itself'(Lovink 2007:31).  The blogs themselves are therefor accepted as a tool to manage the self, but the act of blogging (and its software) is simultaneously acknowledged as a successful means of content creation and propagation.

While blogs create communities of futile ramblings, constructive reviews, specified entertainment and regular updates, they simultaneously create a place free of restriction and social, political or economic constructions that dictate publication.  The idea of a blog is not necessarily to inform or transmit fact and news, it is an expression, a ‘conversation'(Weinberger:Lovink 2007:30)
between one or many that manage the interests of both the self and any ‘other'(Lovink 2007:30) who reads it.

Flew, T 2008, “Citizen Journalism” in New Media: An Introduction, Oxford University Press: Melbourne.

Lovink, Geert. “Blogging, The Nihilist Impulse”, in Zero Comments:Blogging and Critical Internet Culture, (2007) London: Routledge.

O’Shaughnessy, Michael & Stadler, Jane, 2008, ‘Media & Society’ (fourth edition), Oxford University Press, Australia.

Air- an efficient way to travel

Posted in Technology Updates, Users' interest with tags , , , on May 11, 2011 by alexandrachambers

My recent booking of flights to China for the mid-year break was facilitated by, you guessed it, the Internet. A click between page tabs allowed me to compare airlines far more quickly than trundling off to a travel agent. Sitting down to talk to them about where i want to go only to be convinced of what i want to do seems like time wasting. So there i was yesterday scrolling through Qantas, China Air, Singapore Airlines etc. at 12pm and by 11:30pm my, and two other friends’ flights had been booked and paid for! Now you couldn’t do that at midnight back before internet bookings. It’s just another example of how the Internet enables time efficiency and collaborative comparisons. With all that spare time saved, it meant i could procrastinate happily on facebook.