Month: October 2015

The Internet of Things is Here!

When Ted first mentioned the Internet of Things, for some reason my mind went to the future. It was only after further contemplation that I realised that the Internet of Things is now. I tried to think if I might be interacting with some of these objects on a day to day basis and how this affected my life. In the video below I demonstrate an object in my life that is connected to the Internet of things (please don’t judge!)

While tracking your health and fitness could seem like an exciting concept, it’s important to think about who else can see this data. In terms of Fitbit the company often sells information to third parties with the subject’s name removed. Furthermore, this type of data has already been used in court, with one woman using Fitbit collected data in an injury claim.

Data from the body could be considered some of the most personal information, so it’s certainly problematic that Fitbit is using it to make a profit. This also leads to the question of what else this information could be used for. Is the Internet of Things a road to further convenience or a decline in privacy?

The Responsibilities of Hacktavism

This week’s lecture had me thinking, “Freedom to the people! Down with the institutions!” Ted spoke about Internet hackers and their ability to release important and hidden information to the general public. It seemed that these hackers were kind of like the Robin Hoods of the online world, except instead of taking wealth they were giving back the truth.

However, I’m inclined to be a tad cynical when it comes to this type of utopian thinking and so I wondered if the hackers had any responsibilities in sharing information. My mind went straight to the case of Edward Snowden.

Edward Snowden is a former NSA employee who leaked numerous classified documents detailing global surveillance programs in the U.S. If you don’t know much about this I suggest you watch this John Oliver clip (I know its long but its so worth it!)

What was interesting was that despite stealing the documents, Snowden didn’t want to take the responsibility of releasing them, stating in an interview on the documentary Citizenfour that, “Honestly I don’t want to be the person making the decisions on what should be public and what shouldn’t, which is why, rather than publishing these on my own or putting them out openly, I’m running them through journalists.”

This seems like a responsible action until you consider the consequences of giving a third party the power of censoring sensitive information. In fact, the New York Times actually failed to redact information that revealed that the U.S. was monitoring Al Qaeda in Mosul. In his interview John Oliver refers to this as “a fuckup” and tells Snowden he has to take responsibility for that mistake. Further, upon being asked if he’d read all of the documents Snowden replies that he understands them. Oliver points out that this is not the same as reading the documents, which again brings attention to the responsibility of hackers. Is it responsible for hackers to take the stance of Julian Assange and “let people fight with the truth”? Should they have to read all the documents they release and select the ones that are safe or should they release everything in the name of the truth?

The Cathedral and the Bazaar

After lots of technical difficulties I’m finally able to present my first ever soundcloud! In this recording I talk about the relevance of the Cathedral and Bazaar development styles to my digital artefact. You can check out More Than The C Word here and let me know your thoughts down below. Alternatively you can tweet us @morethanthecwrd.

I’ve discovered a lot of benefits of the bazaar style but I’m wondering if any of you have found downsides in your development of your digital artefacts. If you’re using the cathedral style instead I’d be interested in learning the benefits and limitations as I haven’t been experiencing it myself!

Wordpress and the Walled Garden

Finally my video about the walled garden is ready! This time I wanted to talk more about my digital artefact and how this theory applies to it. If you want to check out the website you can find it here! Otherwise feel free to follow us on Twitter (@morethanthecwrd) and Instagram (@morethanthecword).