Everywhere Internet

Imagine the amazing world where all of the machinery in your house, company and car would connect to the internet. As soon as you are driving back home, all the rights at home would automatically be turned on. In the busy morning, when an alarm clock makes a sound, a cup of coffee would begin to be ready for you. When one of your family members comes closer to door of the entrance, the door would automatically be unlocked but, even if the person except your family members stands in the entrance, the key would not open. This is the world that Internet of Things could produce.

I found a quite interesting case that Internet of Things is used; that is “Peeko Monitor” which has been developed by Rest Devices in the US. This is baby pajamas with a sensor in order to detect Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in the early stage. How it works is that as soon as the ventilator frequency of a sleeping baby reaches at a caution level, it will contact to parents by email or call, or directly report to 911 (emergency number in the US).

This is just one of so many examples of Internet of Things. There is more smart machinery that Internet of Things is used in the modern technological society. So, it seems that the aggregated data from this machinery can make consumers, corporations and even networked cities functioned efficiently.

However, Internet of Things accompanies a big assessment at the same time. An important concern regarding to users’ privacy and security can be accompanied by collection of data. It is not just collecting data from each user and leaving it. So then, who needs to take a responsibility of protecting their data? Of course, this is a product maker’s responsibility.


Do I choose iPhone or Android?


Even though it has been ages since the emergence of Smartphone, the never ending competition between Google Android and Apple iOS has continuously been occurring on the internet. Which one do you think will win, or be more wonderful? Certainly, they say that a higher performance phone can be iPhone and iPad, not Android phones.

As for me, I have actually been sticking with my Android phone since I came to Australia, I never ever give up my dream that I buy iPhone in the future. The reason for it is because many of my friends in here started to change their phone to iPhone and when I was back in Japan almost all of my friends keep telling me that iPhone is necessary for allowing their job hunting to go smoothly. I am now struggling to decide whether or not buying iPhone5s.

In order to make a final decision, I want to research for myself on the differences between Android and iPhone. According to Roth (2008), iPhone is so-called a closed platform which secures the users more strictly than Android which is called an open platform. Why are they regarded like this? I was reading this article (Apple vs. Android: The Open Factor) and found out the reason. It is because Apple tightly controls iOS ecosystem so the iPhone and iPad are both a locked down device. You can only load music, games etc through Apple’s iTunes App Store. Apple seems to have a never-changed strong philosophy. Android, on the other hand, is different in an open system allowing the users to install software from any source.

However, although there are a lot of advantages and disadvantages on each device mentioned above, which one people will choose really depends on their preference, maybe depending on design or size etc? What do you all think?

The Power of People and Social Media

What if there was no social media, but only traditional media such as fax, television or telegraph existed in this modern world..I often daydream this situation somehow. And always the answer for my imagination is that traditional media do not possess a fast-acting property, resulting in the fact that unlike the current social media, it could not widely spread the information to the whole world and allow us to express our free speech in media. Moreover, old people could hardly expect that freedom of expression of opinions leads to mobilization of the public in the world.

As for an example, the reading for this week describes “#arabspring” which is so-called “Twitter revolution.” As you know, this is a grassroots movement where a number of cyber-activists took part in the Middle East, especially in Tunisia and Egypt. How it took place is using #hashtag which can allow us to spread the real time situation of demonstration to the world. As a result, the movement has happened immediately.

What you should make a topic is not only Arab Spring, but also censorship in China, which is also influenced by powerful social media. The key person is Twitter-like micro-blogging service, “Sina Weibo.” It succeeded to provide most of the Chinese citizens with freedom of speech, leading young generation to enforcement of censorship abolition movement and the movement for democratization against the Chinese government. Such a strong Chinese government is swayed by the new media.

Having looked at two cases, I think hard that the power of people with social media is extremely strong. Social media which seems just like a tool of communication can be a powerful weapon changing the world easily, when connected with people with strong feelings of changing something.


Be anonymous


Wikileaks, I have never heard of such a challenging website before but I found it quite interesting and I like it. This website is the one which attracts worldwide attention since it was born in 2006 as an international whistle-blowing site by anonymity. The purpose of existence of this website is to support protection of human rights by revealing unethical behaviour of governments and organizations. The whistle-blowing information sent by an anti-establishment political group and anonymity source of information is estimated to exceed 12 million.

According to the reading in week9, The New York Times also describes Wikileaks that people can freely see an online source of information and documents that governments and corporations around the world prefer to keep secret. One of the significant examples is “Collateral Murder” in 2007. One of the public video reported that the US helicopter pilots fired on about 12 individuals and they seemed to act “trigger-happy behaviour.”

Having thought about hacktivism revealing sensitive information of government, the relationship between it and Chinese censorship of social media which I am currently doing research on needs to be concerned. Of course, the Chinese government has blocked an access to this kind of website. The fact that Chinese government blocks this type of website leads to lack of information transparency. Consequently, people would not be able to watch any corruptions within the government or corporations, causing many social problems such as inequality in each state of China.

Therefore, it seems that we should promote more and more anonymity information in order to eliminate these corruptions.

Gatekeeping vs Gatewatching

Before the diffusion of social media including the internet, so-called “gatekeepers” have filtered everything released in the media. Therefore, gatekeeping is used in traditional journalism. Journalists are required to get approval of their contents by their editors. Then, editors act as a gatekeeper who can decide what is the truth and newsworthy.

However, now as gatewatchers have emerged, there are no longer contents which are filtered. What we call “citizen journalists” are actually gatewatching, observing a social media platform and controlling all the news. As a result, there has to be the inevitable fact that people tend to believe aggregated information on social media from many different individuals, in spite of whether or not the information is true.

This can implicate that we do not necessarily rely on just one particular journalist to get information from. Thus, I really like the idea of what journalism scholar Herbert Gans mentioned “multiperspectival news reporting” (Bruns, A, 2009, ‘News Blogs and Citizen Journalism: New Directions for e-Journalism’). Although these news reporting might contain bias as they are created by amateur citizen journalists, what we as a world citizen really want is an up-dating news report every single minutes, which mainstream journalism cannot reach. Just like in Twitter-like Sina Weibo in China, Chinese people are against the government, demanding the improved quality of life (http://blogs.aljazeera.com/blog/asia/chinese-citizen-journalism-succeeds).

On the other hand, I am a little bit wondering how the conventional journalists who have been getting paid by their publications could make their living in the near future when more and more citizen journalists will release more free news reporting.

Respecting a traditional tool


“With the diffusion of electronic books and portable information devices in the world, a traditional printed book would disappear within 5 years.” This is the theory of the American scientist, Nicholas Negropunte insisting in the CNN program. He established the peace project where they provide each child with one laptop in developing countries.

Certainly, it is overwhelming that e-book is easy to manage and carry as well as convenient with multimedia characteristics. In addition, everyone in the world could probably be an author of e-book and publish it without professional writing skills. At the same time, everyone in the world can peruse it, even without payment. This is so-called “mass amateurization.” According to the reading in this week, Clay Shirky also emphasizes that “in a world where publishing is that efficient, it is no longer an activity worth paying for.”

However, my argument starts from here. I think that a printed paper book is a persistent medium which will stay forever in the future even though people like Nicholas exaggerate print medium would disappear soon. Why do I think so? This is because in comparison with digital devices which are shapeless, there is a strong feeling for book lovers that they want to own the book they love. Purchasing an e-book just means that purchasing the right to access to a particular data, resulting in them feeling different sense of possession. Moreover, a certain survey (http://dailybruin.com/2012/01/11/_benefits_of_paper_still_outweigh_ebooks_/) shows that “74 % of the students still prefer printed books over their digital counterparts, and only 13% of the students prefer to buy e-books.”

Although the same things may possibly be written in both a paper book and electronic book, each of them has various advantages and disadvantages. It can be easily expected that further improvement of technology leads to decreased demand of a printed book. However, we should become the reader who can efficiently utilize positive points from both of them.



Shirky, C. (2002). Weblogs and the Mass Amateurization of Publishing

Thinking of others or enjoying yourself?

“Tokyo has been chosen by the International Olympic Committee to host the 2020 Summer Games for the first time in 54 years.” In the early morning today, I heard of this big news from my friend’s post on Facebook, not from television, newspaper or radio. And also I used my smart phone to check it outside home. As soon as seeing the news, I continued to post the information on my Facebook, spread it to all my friends and got many comments or likes as if I have known the news.


But, what is the meaning of such things we unintentionally do every day? How can it actually have an effect on other media? In our modern society, smart devices such as smart phone presto become widespread, resulting in a drastic increase in the number of social media users such as Facebook or Twitter. In the information transmitted from social media, each individual’s opinions, ideas and interests can be latent. Further, due to the information transmitted within people’s connection or communication, some big trends, rumors or unfavorable criticisms might potentially be formed.


As a result, people could produce a new and more creative website or platform which allows them to exchange information on their own. This could happen, completely because social media has no cost to users. However, there is an ironic story that social media might passively delete the existing organisations and individuals. For example, the news that my friend posted on her Facebook. The meaning that I was able to know the information by one click of the application of Facebook should imply that I do not have to take the trouble either to browse a newspaper or to turn television on. In other words, they consequently might reduce the jobs at newspaper publishing companies and television stations.


Although it is certainly a good thing that each individual can have freedom of speech and information transmission, how many of organizations and individuals can be hurt by such media convergence?