Station 11, Wolf by wolf and other good books

 

Good books abound…..

 

Station 11

What a great book by Emily St John Mandel – dystopian but different – winner of the 2015 Arthur C. Clarke Award and listed on many ‘best book’ lists. The novel follows the players in the Travelling Symphony, as they perform music and Shakespeare’s works in a world devastated by a flu virus, with few survivors. Their motto: “Survival is insufficient”. This haunting and compelling novel makes you appreciate what we have in our society and how beauty and art are vital for human existence. The backstories of the characters are intriguing and add to the emotional depth of this novel as their lives intertwine and play out.

 

“Visually stunning, dreamily atmospheric and impressively gripping….Station 11 is not so much about apocalypse as about memory and loss, nostalgia and yearning; the effort of art to deepen our fleeting impressions of the world and bolster our solitude.” – Guardian.

“Mandel’s message is that civilisation – and just as importantly, art – will endure as long as there is life. She tells us that when humanity’s back is against the wall, decency will emerge.” Independent.

“At once terrible and tender, dark and hopeful, Station Eleven is a tragically beautiful novel that both mourns and mocks the things we cherish.” –Neal Thompson.

 

Loved it – and fascinating to follow the development of the graphic novel “Station 11” within the novel. A film adaptation is in development. Recommended for Year 10 onwards.

http://www.emilymandel.com/stationeleven.html

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20170404-station-eleven

http://www.wordandfilm.com/2014/09/station-eleven-entertainment-time-crisis/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mary-pauline-lowry/you-should-read-station-e_b_5686596.html?ir=Australia

 

Wolf by wolf

YA novel by Ryan Graudin (female author). The novel has been compared to The book thief as well as The Hunger Games and is based on the premise: What if Germany had won World War 2? Set in an alternate Germany of 1956, it is the story of a young woman on a dangerous mission to kill Hitler. Experimented on at Auschwitz, Yael can now change her appearance at will – although she always leaves the 5 wolves tattooed on her arm to remind her of lost loved ones. Using her abilities, she transforms into Adele Wolfe, a famous long-distance motorbike rider.

Themes include history, love, loss, courage, heroism, hope, race, identity, community, human monstrosity and vengeance.

‘Ryan Graudin opens one of the darkest chapters in history and spins a what if
into an incredible tale of survival, identity, and purpose.’ – Victoria Schwab.

http://bit.ly/1MBJnmc

 

Amazon opens real bookstore

Amazon’s first brick-and-mortar bookstore has recently opened in Seattle (Amazon’s hometown). The store “integrates the benefits of offline and online book shopping.” (Offline indeed – what a term!). Amazon will use real people and also data from its website to decide which books to stock eg. customer ratings, sales, Goodreads ratings. All books will be presented face out with a sign for each with its Amazon rating and a customer review. The store will also sell Kindles. Amazon commands a market share of 30% of books sold in the US, however, the largest US chain, Barnes and Noble, has reported recent increases in core book sales. In 2015, ebook sales have fallen dramatically in the US. There are now more bookstores and some publishers are expanding their warehouses.

http://fortune.com/2015/11/03/amazon-bookstore/

http://fortune.com/2015/09/23/e-books-digital-publishing/

 

What would Mark Zuckerberg read?

This year the Facebook CEO decided he would read a book every 2 weeks……hmm maybe he’s not as addicted to Facebook as we thought he was 🙂 He believes that “books allow you to fully explore a topic and immerse yourself in a deeper way than most media today. I’m looking forward to shifting more of my media diet towards reading books.” He started A Year of Books book club in Facebook, where he discusses the books with other Facebookers. His selections focused on different cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies. The 20 books include: The three-body problem – by Cixin Liu (Chinese sci-fi novel– winner of the 2015 Hugo Award); The Muqaddimah – by Ibn Khaldun (Islamic history of the world from 1377); Sapiens – by Yuval Harari (history of humankind); The better angels of our nature – by Steven Pinker (why violence has declined).

http://www.businessinsider.com.au/mark-zuckerberg-book-recommendations-2015-10?r=US&IR=T#/#why-nations-fail-by-daren-acemolu-and-james-robinson-1

https://www.facebook.com/ayearofbooks/

 

Yes Zuckerberg is super rich but Bill Gates is still the richest person in the world ($84.7billion). Mark is number 16 ($47 billion), with Google guys Brin and Page at 17 and 18. Philanthropy is a high priority with Gates (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) and also Zuckerberg. In 2014, Zuckerberg and wife Dr Priscilla Chan made a $120 million donation to improve education in the San Francisco Bay area, particularly for low-income students. In 2010 he donated $100 million to schools in Newark.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3325404/Mark-Zuckerberg-s-fortune-climbs-nearly-50bn-Facebook-founder-tops-list-richest-entrepreneurs-40-four-times-richer-nearest-challenger.html#ixzz3sTlFQGJ7

Victor Frankenstein

Science fiction horror film. Directed by Paul McGuigan. Stars James McEvoy as Victor Frankenstein and Daniel Radcliffe as his assistant Igor Strausman. The story is told from Igor’s perspective and shows his dark origins and his redemptive friendship with medical student Victor von Frankenstein. Working together on experiments to resurrect the dead, Igor witnesses Frankenstein’s journey to legendary status. Rated PG. Opens March 2016.

http://wegotthiscovered.com/movies/exclusive-interview-daniel-radcliffe-taks-busting-igors-hump-victor-frankenstein/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1976009/

http://www.slashfilm.com/daniel-radcliffe-victor-frankenstein-interview/

Wayback Machine, AI, YouTube Red and emojis

The Wayback Machine gets an update

An important part of the world’s cultural heritage now resides only on the web. The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine is used by millions to access 19 years of the web’s history – offering access to over 439 billion web captures including old web pages, video and images (1 billion pages captured each week). The Wayback Machine will soon be updated. When completed in 2017, it will have more higher quality webpages that are easier to find. “Taking the Wayback Machine to the next level will make the entire web more reliable, transparent and accessible for everyone.”

Update features: http://blog.archive.org/2015/10/21/grant-to-develop-the-next-generation-wayback-machine/

 

Google is letting Artificial Intelligence run search

Artificial intelligence (AI) is developing a prominent role in search. For the past few months, a “very large fraction” of the millions of search queries per second typed into Google have been interpreted by an artificial intelligence system, nicknamed RankBrain. RankBrain uses AI to embed vast amounts of written language into vectors that the the computer can understand. If RankBrain sees a word or phrase it isn’t familiar with, the machine can make a guess as to what words have similar meanings and filter the result accordingly. This helps Google deal with the 15% of queries a day which it has never seen before. Google aims to embed AI into every aspect of its business. Facebook uses AI to filter our newsfeeds and Microsoft is using AI to increase the capabilities of Bing.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-26/google-turning-its-lucrative-web-search-over-to-ai-machines

 

YouTube Red

YouTube Red is a new $10 per month subscription service, starting in the US this week before going international. All ads are removed from all videos, everywhere you watch (however, this does not apply to paid content, such as paid channels or movie purchases). YouTube Red will be available for YouTube, YouTube Gaming apps, Chromecast, Android TV, Apple TV, gaming consoles. You can download YouTube videos to your phone or tablet and watch them for up to 30 days without a connection. You can also isten to videos on your phone when your screen is off (good for music). Subscribers will also get a free monthly Google Play Music subscription and access to members-only original shows and movies from top YouTubers. The YouTube Music app will start soon as a dedicated place to listen to music on YouTube.

http://www.cnet.com/how-to/youtube-red-details/?ftag=CAD3c77551&bhid=23787909704659446143753669728655

 

Will you heart Facebook’s new emojis?

Facebook is adding 6 more symbols to help 1.5 billion Facebook users express themselves. Along with the Like button, we will be getting Yay, Angry, Haha, Wow, Sad and Love. Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook did not want to add the negativity of a Dislike button. The new emojis are currently being tested in Ireland and Spain. Emojis originated in ancient Japan and Japanese cell phone makers were using them in texting apps in the 1990s. “e” means picture and “moji” means character.

http://www.cnet.com/news/will-you-heart-facebooks-new-emojis/?ftag=CAD1c318f6&bhid=23787909704659446143753669728655

ICT and media news

Some ICT and media news – entertainment, social media, drones, Facebook and driverless cars…..

 

Media Consumer Survey 2015: Australian media and digital preferences

A snapshot of how Australians aged 14 to 68 years+ are consuming different media and entertainment, using technology and devices, interacting with social networks and responding to advertising. In 2015, using the internet has joined watching TV as our preferred source of entertainment. Low-cost monthly subscription services are increasingly popular (videos, music). And of course, our smartphones are our fave device.

 

Includes the renaissance of books, magazines and news! Preferred sources of entertainment: 60% watch TV on any device; 60% use the internet; 36% listen to music; 33% read books; 25% go to the movies; 24% play video games; 23% attend live performances; 17% read newspapers; 15% listen to the radio; 8% read magazines. 85% multitask while watching TV.

 

Our social selves – 80% have at least one social media account; 59% use social media daily; 51% say time spent interacting through social media is as valuable as time spent together; 9% use social media as the most frequent source of news (we are not willing to pay for online news).

Good short video: http://www2.deloitte.com/au/en/pages/technology-media-and-telecommunications/articles/media-consumer-survey-2015.html

https://www.radioinfo.com.au/news/deloittes-media-consumer-survey-report-2015

 

Social media or face to face: is one better than the other?

Many say that time spent on social media is as valuable as time spent in person, but others say we need 3 to 5 significant, close relationships to stay healthy.

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/social-media-or-face-to-face-is-one-better-than-the-other-20150827-gj8uwu.html

 

Selfie drones

Forget the selfie stick – soon a selfie drone will follow you and take a photo. Great for when you are snowboarding, surfing, riding a bike, dancing…. $150+

http://www.news.com.au/technology/gadgets/internet-of-things-selfie-drone-could-be-the-next-big-thing/story-fnjwul0i-1227539297321

 

Drones build a bridge you can walk across

Watch the 3 little drones weave a bridge using spools of rope. Meanwhile, a Dutch 3D printing company will use a 3D printing robot to build a steel bridge over a canal in Amsterdam. Futurists predict these robots will one day create streets and buildings on their own, with remote programmers replacing construction workers.

http://mic.com/articles/125584/watch-these-three-drones-build-a-bridge-you-can-walk-across

 

Facebook drones will beam internet from the sky

Facebook has built a giant solar-powered drone for its Aquila program, which will be used to provide internet access to remote parts of the world. It will hover up to 27 000 metres and can stay in the air for 90 days. Lasers will be used to beam data to the drone from a land-based fibre line.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-31/facebook-drone-to-beam-internet-from-sky/6661756

 

Facebook looks beyond the “likes” button

Facebook knows that people want to show empathy with posts that they read. They don’t want to just add a “dislike” button so they are working on other buttons – what exactly is still a mystery.

http://www.computerworld.com/article/2984465/social-media/facebook-moves-beyond-the-like-button.html

Possible buttons? eg. that sucks; enough already; meh…:http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/hey-facebook-here-are-the-new-like-buttons-we-really-want-to-see-20150915-gjnke8.html

 

Green light for driverless cars in Australia

Driverless cars will be allowed on public roads under legislation to be introduced to South Australia’s parliament this week – from cars which have adaptive lane-keeping technology, to fully driverless vehicles. Google expects its first commercially available self-driving car to be ready by 2017.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/in-depth/sa-gives-green-light-for-no-driver-vehicles-on-public-roads/story-fnw66tov-1227539319303

What’s new in ICT, education and popular culture?

Here is the link to my Moderation Day presentation on 13 August to Year 11 and 12 teacher librarians in Canberra, ACT.

What’s new in ICT, education and popular culture?

http://dckclib.wikispaces.com/Technology%2C+media+%26+popular+culture+updates

Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report

Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report is always interesting. She is a partner at KPCB, a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley, and this year marked her 20th report. Consisting of 197 slides, it’s good to read the various summaries around….here’s a summary of their summaries J

 

* 2.8 billion internet users globally (up 8% in 2014) with 39% of the world connected. Philanthropic organisations such as Facebook’s Internet.org and Google’s Project Loon will help connect the remaining 5 billion on planet Earth.

* 2.1 billion smartphone users (up 23%) with India, Brazil and China leading growth.

* Internet and smartphone use is still growing, but more slowly than in the past. India now leads internet/smartphone growth.

* The top internet companies are platforms where third party developers and merchants bolster value: 1. Apple 2. Google 3. Alibaba (China) 4. Facebook 5. Amazon

* Top global apps in usage and sessions are messaging apps. Most used apps: Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, Line (Japan), Viber. New internet users will most likely use a messaging app when they use the internet for the first time.

* Asia’s messaging apps eg. WeChat (China) and Line (Japan) pioneered many features eg. video calls, payments, media. Messaging has become a platform not just for communications, but for commerce and computing.

* Vertical portrait video viewing is growing fast. Question: Are most selfies vertical?

* User generated content creation is exploding…even more! Pinterest creations are up 75%; video game broadcasts are up 83%; stories written on Wattpad are up 140%; Airbnb reviews are up 140%

* US youth aged 12-24 used less Facebook and Twitter and more Snapchat and Instagram – a shift from text to visual social media.

* 87% of teens say their smartphone never leaves their side.

* Consumer drones are increasingly popular globally – not just for hobbyists and videographers, but for commercial ventures, disaster response and infrastructure inspection.

 

http://thenextweb.com/insider/2015/05/27/mary-meekers-2015-internet-trends-report-internet-is-still-growing-but-slowing/

http://techcrunch.com/gallery/best-of-meeker/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/miguelhelft/2015/05/27/a-few-highlights-from-mary-meekers-internet-trends-report/

ICT news

Mapping the future: the future of the internet

The World Economic Forum has many interesting articles about world trends – great for global studies classes. By 2020, there will be 26 billion devices on the Internet of Things – all connected to the web, giving and receiving information. Who should oversee our online world? Should core infrastructure remain in Western institutions? Do the real dangers of the internet lie with the emergence of monolithic platforms eg. Google, Facebook? Can existing laws about copyright, libel, data protection and freedom of expression be effectively enforced online?

http://reports.weforum.org/outlook-global-agenda-2015/future-agenda/mapping-the-future-the-future-of-the-internet/

http://www.weforum.org/reports

 

“The internet will disappear”

Google chairman Eric Schmidt states that the internet’s presence will become so all-encompassing that we won’t even be aware it’s there. With devices, sensors, wearables etc, the Internet of Things (IoT) will be highly personalised & interactive.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/01/23/ericschmidt-internet-will-disappear_n_6530574.html

 

Internet.org

Two thirds of the world is not connected to the internet. You have probably seen the ads recently on TV –  Internet.org (a non-profit organisation founded by Mark Zuckerberg) will bring the internet to developing nations, in partnership with local carriers. It was launched on Android phones in Colombia and Ghana in January and India in February; also available in Zambia, Kenya and Tanzania. Users have free access to websites and services – news, local info, education, books, health info; sport, job search. Services include BBC News, Wikipedia, Facebook, Wattpad.

http://www.internet.org/

 

Facebook suicide prevention

Facebook has 1.4 billion users. Working with mental health organisations, Facebook will add new tools in the US (and then globally) to assist users who express suicidal thoughts. If someone posts something that indicates self-harm and it is reported to Facebook, they will be sent messages that encourage them to speak with a mental health expert and offered support. Resources will also be offered to those who flag the posts.

http://www.theverge.com/2015/2/26/8113735/facebook-suicideprevention-feature

 

What are the most important features of digital content to improve student learning?

Center for Digital Education Survey (2014). 1. Enables interaction among students or between students and teachers (44%) 2. Is adaptive or personalised (22%) 3. Is project or problem-based (16%) 4. Is game-based (12%) 5. Includes video (6%).

http://www.centerdigitaled.com/paper/Curriculum-of-the-Future-How-Digital-Content-is-Changing-Education.html

 

Apple iWork

Apple is to challenge Office 365 and Google Apps by offering their productivity suite (Pages, Numbers , Keynote and 1GB of storage) free to Android and Windows users via a browser.

http://www.theverge.com/2015/2/15/8043569/iwork-apps-apple-nowavailable-android-windows

 

Most anticipated technology of 2015

The Apple Watch has been launched (available late April); USB 3.1 Type C – faster, reversible, no “right way up” – yay!; lightning accessories for Apple’s port eg. wireless speakers; Windows 10; self-driving cars; Oculus Rift virtual reality headset; Sony Project Morpheus (VR for Playstation)…..

http://www.cnet.com/au/pictures/most-anticipated-tech-of-2015/

 

Top 10 emerging technologies of 2015

Next-generation robotics; emergent artificial intelligence; “sense and avoid” drones; digital genome….

http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Top10_Emerging_Technologies_2015.pdf

 

No punctuation is funnier

What. Vs What? A written statement can be funnier when there isn’t any punctuation. The informality and open structure of text messaging has led to stylistic changes – full stops, commas, capitals and other punctuation are used infrequently, especially on Twitter. It is a style that can remove emotion from a sentence or present a feigned nonchalance.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/19/twitter-grammar-no-punctuation_n_6785766.html?ir=Technology&ncid=newsltushpmg00000003

Online viewing habits in Australia

Interesting data about our devices and viewing habits….

 

Australian Online Landscape Review (Nielsen Report: data for Jan 2015)

18 011 000 people online; 50+ age group = 33.5% of online Australians; 2-34 yr olds = 38.2%; users spent an average 36 hours online in January; 3.2 billion streams watched; 63% of daily browses came from portable devices (smartphones more than tablets).

http://www.iabaustralia.com.au/uploads/uploads/2015-02/1424642400_d9371e6886fcee7b6731413517a15ecb.pdf

 

Top sites in Australia (March 2015)

1.Google.com.au 2. Google.com 3. Facebook 4. YouTube 5. Yahoo 6. eBay 7. Wikipedia 8. Linkedin 9. Twitter 10. Live.com 11. Amazon 12. news.com.au 13. Paypal 14. Bing 15. Gumtree 16. Commbank 17. smh.com.au 18. abc.net.au 19. realestate.com.au 20. Reddit 21. Pinterest 22. Instagram 23. bom.gov.au 24. imdb.com 25. Westpac

http://www.alexa.com/topsites/countries/AU

 

Australian Multi-Screen Report Q3 2015 (Nielsen Report Dec 2014)

TV is still the centrepiece of viewing; Australians watch nearly 97 hrs per month of TV; internet is in 80% of homes; smartphones are the most common internet-connected devices in homes (91%) – tablets (60%); 74% of people aged 16+ own a smartphone; 45% of homes own tablets; 13.377 million watch some video on the internet each month (7h30m per month).

http://www.nielsen.com/au/en/insights/reports/2014/multi-screen-report-q3-20141.html

 

Australian e-Generation Report (Nielsen Report Feb 2015)

2-15 yr olds spend av. 11h12m online each week; 13-15 yr olds = 18.7 hrs/wk; children go online at an increasingly younger age due to tablets, apps and smartphones; younger children use tablets; teens have all devices; 9 in 10 homes own laptops; 6 in 10 have wifi; 7 in 10 own tablets.

http://www.nielsen.com/au/en/insights/news/2015/childs-play-connected-aussie-kids-spend-up-to-equivalent-of-three-school-days-online.html

 

Password reset

Web security firm SplashData analyses several million leaked passwords each year. Most popular in 2014 and 2013 was  ‘123456’ (in 2012, ‘password’ won). Other favourites; ‘qwerty’; ‘trustno1’; ‘letmein’; ‘abc123’. If ‘123456’ is too short, just add ‘78’. Eventually we’ll see the end of passwords. The Fujitsu Purse Wallet identifies the vein patterns on your hand and the Bionym Nymi wristband uses your heartbeat as a password.

http://splashdata.com/press/worst-passwords-of-2014.htm

 

Internet Trends Report and The Conversation US

The Conversation launches US service

The acclaimed Australian news analysis website The Conversation launched its US service last week – following the UK launch last year. “The 3 newsrooms will work as one, sharing content and ideas from 14 000 academics. Australian academics and institutions will benefit from the increased global audience and opportunity for collaboration” – and readers will have increased access to quality information on current topics.

http://bit.ly/1wD90d0

https://theconversation.com/us

 

Technology improves higher learning – it doesn’t kill it

Gavin Moodie (RMIT) believes that MOOCs are unlikely to “disrupt” universities any more than print books did in early universities. Rather – “informal, open and online learning will be absorbed within exisiting universities to augment and improve their practices”. Interesting info about libraries and how they were changed by print…early libraries were closed to undergraduates – at Cambridge they were fined for entering them in the early 17th century! In the 18th century books were so numerous that a pedagogical role emerged for libraries, helping students navigate texts.

http://theconversation.com/technology-improves-higher-learning-it-doesnt-kill-it-29657

 

Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report 2014

The tech analyst’s influential report comes out annually mid year. She notes the biggest trend is towards mobile devices with sensors that enable users to share a huge range of information. This big data  can in turn be used to solve problems and create new products, but privacy and other rights could be compromised.

http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/business-it/mary-meekers-2014-internet-trends-report-is-a-must-read-20140529-zrrdf.html

http://torquemag.io/mobile-devices-are-the-big-story-in-mary-meekers-2014-internet-trends-report/

 

Interesting insights:

 

* Internet users globally growing at less than 10% a year, but initiatives like Google’s Project Loon and Facebook’s Internet.org hope to increase this

* Mobile usage continues to grow strongly – 25% of all web usage

* 30% of all mobile users are now smartphone users

* Tablets are growing faster than PCs ever did

* Unbundling of web and mobile apps – users now want simple apps that do one thing well

* New smartphone sensors (eg. accelerometers, compasses, barometers, heart rate sensors, GPS etc) are fueling the Big Data Age; it is hard to analyse all this Big Data

* 34% of the digital universe is useful but only 7% is tagged

* Cybersecurity is getting harder

* Mobile interfaces are changing everything – transport (Uber), restaurants (Yelp), accommodation (Airbnb), music consumption (Spotify)

* Many developing countries leapfrogged the laptop/PC era and went straight to mobile

* Social networking is changing from broadcast to private sharing – rather than sharing a little with a lot of people, we are sharing a lot with a few close friends. Giant international messaging apps have risen (Snapchat, WhatsApp etc)

* Music streaming up, digital song sales down for the first time (files are a nuisance; streaming is easier)

* Huge interest in cryptocurrencies (eg. bitcoin)

* Photo sharing is huge – we also upload fitness, events and computer code

* Decreasing cost of digital storage

* 84% of mobile owners use devices while watching TV

* Viewers are ditching traditional TV for online video content

* TV channels growing fast as mobile apps

* YouTube channels have huge reach and growth; YouTube stars are the new movie stars

* Rise of BuzzFeed (top Facebook news publisher)

* New genre of video – “Spectator gaming” – watch others playing – Twitch is top video streaming site

* Top 5 internet properties are from the US – Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, Wikipedia – but majority of their users are from abroad

* Top public tech market leaders – Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Tencent (China)

* China is becoming a tech superpower with many innovations eg. WeChat

 

Summary of slides (54 slides): http://techcrunch.com/gallery/mary-meeker-internet-trends/

Full report (164 slides): http://www.kpcb.com/internet-trends

Aussie Teens Online Report

ACMA (Aust. Communications and Media Authority) recently released a research snapshot: Aussie teens online (14-17 year olds).

Good infographic: http://www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/aussie-teens-online
Report summary: http://www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/engage-blogs/engage-blogs/Research-snapshots/Aussie-teens-online

• 69% of their mobile phones are smartphones.
• Mobile phones are increasingly used for online activities.
• 23% go online with a tablet; 74% with a laptop/computer; 56% with a smartphone.
• Wireless hotspots are increasingly used for internet access.
• 72% go online more than once a day.
• The top 5 internet domains visited (Dec 2013): Google (including Search, Chrome, Mail, Maps, Earth etc); Facebook; YouTube; Mi9 (including Skype, Xbox, ninemsn etc); Microsoft.
• 90% went online for entertainment activities – the most time spent online was at YouTube, then Facebook & Skype.
• Teenagers are not the dominant group in social media forums (other age groups outrank them) – they account for 7% of Australians who use social networking.
• Teens in Aust. and the US are moving away from Facebook (70% in 2012 to 58% 2013).
• Teens access a range of online forums – Wikipedia, WikiHow, Tumblr, Blogger, ninemsn Entertainment videos.

Not many surprises really….and 6 in 10 are going online for research and information! The internet is a natural and essential part of their (and our) lives….more support for BYOD.

Internet ethics?
You may have read about Facebook’s unethical experiment, where it secretly manipulated 700 000 users’ emotions via the Facebook news feed, in order to study “emotional contagion through social networks”. The researchers wanted to see if reading fewer positive posts made people less likely to post positive content (and the same for negative messages). They found that social networks can indeed propagate positive and negative feelings. And apparently we agreed to this “research” via the Data Use Policy when we signed up. A good article for discussion for psychology, sociology and legal studies classes.
http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2014/06/facebook_unethical_experiment_it_made_news_feeds_happier_or_sadder_to_manipulate.html

How good is the internet?!

In 2014, the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project, together with Elon University, are releasing 8 reports to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the creation of the World Wide Web by Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

 

14 May: The Internet of Things will thrive by 2025

Many experts believe the growth of the Internet of Things and embedded and wearable devices will have widespread and beneficial effects by 2025. Networking of everything and everyone continues through the proliferation of smart sensors, cameras, software, databases, massive data centres, tagging and analytical mapping of physical and social realms. People receive information from portable, wearable & implantable technologies.

 

There will be sensors that provide patients’ vital signs; devices giving feedback on our fitness; smart cities with GPS readouts for traffic and pollution; sensored roads & infrastructure that provide alerts when repairs are needed; smartphone apps for adjusting household heating etc; readings from forests, oceans, soil, resources.  Voice and touch commands will increase. However, there will also be privacy concerns with higher levels of profiling and targeting, as well as equity issues. Disruption of business models will occur – notably in finance, entertainment, publishing and education. But maintaining all this? “We will live in a world where many things won’t work and nobody will know how to fix them.” (gulp) – Howard Rheingold.

http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/05/14/internet-of-things/

 

11 March: Digital life in 2025

Experts predict the Internet will become ‘like electricity’ — less visible, yet more deeply embedded in people’s lives for good and ill.

Good things:

Effortless information sharing; more global relationships and less ignorance; Internet of Things; augmented reality; political awareness facilitated with more uprisings (Arab Spring); increased awareness of  massive disparities in health care, clear water, education, food, and human rights. The internet may even become “the internets”, with separate channels and layers of privacy.

An internet-enabled revolution in education will spread more opportunities, with less money spent on real estate and teachers – “the biggest impact on the world will be universal access to all human knowledge” (Hal Varian, Google). He states that cheap mobile devices and tools such as the Khan Academy will have a huge impact on literacy & numeracy. Access to the internet will be a human right and with global perspectives, there will be breakthroughs in many issues such as poverty, inequality and the environment (Tiffany Shlain).

Bad things:

Equity issues; loss of privacy; commonplace cyber-terrorism; mob mentality; governments will try to assert political and social control;  people will lose their grounding in the realities of life and work; too many superficial interactions (not face-to-face). Privacy may end up being only for the privileged. The increasing proportion of non face-to-face online human interactions will lead to less respect and integrity in our relations (Bob Briscoe).

http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/03/11/digital-life-in-2025/

http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/03/11/15-theses-about-the-digital-future/ 

 

27 Feb: The web at 25 in the US

The overall verdict: The internet has been a plus for society and an especially good thing for individual users.

Personally – 90% say it has been good; 6% bad; 3% both. For society – 76% good; 15% bad; 8% both.

The internet would be harder to give up then mobile phones, TV, email, landlines and social media. Most internet users thought online communication had strengthened their relationships and that the environment was kind.

http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/02/27/the-web-at-25-in-the-u-s/

 

Upcoming reports – net access & copyright; killer apps in the gigabit age; cyber attacks; security and privacy; artificial intelligence and robotics; corporations most likely to succeed:

http://www.elon.edu/e-web/imagining/surveys/2014_survey/default.xhtml

 

Imagining the Internet

Insights into the internet’s future and past:

http://www.elon.edu/e-web/imagining/#