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Is cyber bullying a serious issue we should be concerned with?
INFT3920 Blog
Inspire
           Welcome to the age of the Keyboard Warrior, were users alike have access and the opportunity to voice their opinion on anything and anyone. With high speed internet and mobile connectivity, people are able to gain real time information from anywhere. Can this high accessibility lead to increased cyberbullying?

           Yes, yes it can. With these new opportunities, of course it can lead to potential increase in cyber bullying. With the ingrained idea of freedom of speech, we as users feel we have the right to access and openly comment on anything as we please.

           But I feel it is dependent on the severity of the comment. There is a different between, “This meal was bad, ” to “No one step foot in this restaurant, I can‘t believe they‘re allowed to serve food, ” to and even further extreme of “If I see that chef on the street, I‘m going to break his leg for that f***ing desert.”

           This is where we need to curb our enthusiasm and understand the meaning and power behind our words. It is up to users as a whole to help educate themselves and others on general etiquette of the internet, and to understand that there is (or should be) a consequence to these actions.

           The internet can also provide the complete opposite. There are so many opportunities that this ability to openly communicate has in helping the very situation of cyber bullying. Many various organizations and support groups use the internet to offer support to those suffering from cyber bullying. We need to shift from the idea that there is a problem and focus on using this technology to educate users of the internet.

CyberSmart - http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/
           This is a fantastic website that has age specific applications and programs that are great in educating people on all aspects of cyberbullying and the different ways in which it occurs. I really find the 0-7 interactive games to be quite beneficial in teaching them the basics and the more sophisticated teen programs that delve not only be safe but being wise in terms of how they use the internet and their devices.

AntiBullying Network - http://www.antibullying.net/community.htm/
           This website has a great amount of information for all situation. It‘s a great example to show how the internet can provide information on the matter. It‘s great in providing resources for specific groups in identifying, understanding and supporting situations were bulling may occur.

CyberBullying Info - http://www.cyberbullying.info/office.php/
           This is a nice interactive web application that provides great resources as well as teaching users each aspect of cyber bullying.

           There are many, many more websites and opportunities out there that can aid in the fight against cyber bullying. Even where most people feel that cyber bullying starts, the world of social media has the potential to help. There are many support groups out there, and you can start simply by educating yourself and sharing with your peers.
INFT3920 - Are Personal Couriers the Way of Our Future
INFT3920 Blog
Imagine
           The FAA that controls airspace operations in the US has approved drone deliveries under certain conditions - does this mean that Amazon's vision of personalised delivery by drone and avoiding postal and courier services is now possible? And would that be a good idea?

           Is it a bird, is it a plane, oh wait it’s just a postcard from my aunt. Are drones the way of the future? Absolutely, with general progression of technology and the new age it seems only natural that we would take personal couriers to the sky. Anyone else thinking that there could be a market in owl shaped drones? Patent pending on that piece of wizardry.

           As people have already tried to argue, there are great possibilities that could arise from the use of drones, as heavy weights in this field, Amazon, have (tried) to demonstrate.

           This is not new technology, we’ve always (well during my lifetime) had the option of air mail. But that’s not all, the military have utilized these services to capture intelligence and delivery supplies. If they ever need a Magic Bullet (pun intended), now Amazon has got them covered.

           But with this new sense of possibility, always comes responsibility. The FAA have provided clearance for commercial drones to be used, with restrictions they feel appropriate enough. Even then, Amazon has already complained that this is too late, as technology has already advanced beyond this new revelation.

           However will there ever be a way to fully control this new method of courier services. There are so many things that need to be considered in terms in allowing commercialization of this service. With the biggest issues, as always with new technologies and processes, is securities and vulnerabilities.

           Firstly interception, it doesn’t seem to be that hard to think that I could intercept someone’s package. Mobile apps, tech disrupters, possibly just a fishing net on a large stick. Secondly how are you able to monitor all devices, or to stop someone from throwing an Amazon sticker on the device and flying it? If it goes fully personal, it will be impossible to truly regulate and manage all transport of packages. The ease of terrorism and attacks just seem too convenient.

           Additionally how are we able to regulate this with our current usage in aerospace? I’m assuming that a bird is nothing compared to a drone in terms of being sucked up into the engine.

           There is a value in our current systems. The postal service whether it be UPS or Australian Post ensure that your packages get to you safely, in every sense of the word. The reason you don’t have a bomb at your doorstep, or anthrax in the envelope is that it is securely scanned at each destination before it arrives to you.

           Even with these new possibilities of vulnerabilities and insecurities, which are present in most to everything we do as a society nowadays, I still see that whether Amazon managed to succeed in commercializing it now, in the not too distant future, this idea will become a norm.
INFT3920 - Are Free Streaming Services Ruining the Music Industry
INFT3920 Blog
Imagine
           The head of Ministry of Sound has stated that free streaming services on Spotify or Pandora are going to ruin the music industry. Do you agree that streaming and other digital delivery methods are destroying the possibility of a vibrant music industry?

           Being a modern day pirate and growing up in this technological world where information is so readily available and “file sharing” such a common practice it is hard to think of people of actually paying for music and movies in today’s society.

           Many people nowadays would argue that the major benefits of providing a free service is beneficial in the sense that people are able to easily access and become more aware of the product (the songs) that are out, so that they may in turn be more willing to purchase other items of merchandise or go see a live performance.

           On the other hand the idea of purchasing the music physically was the initial sale of merchandise. From which the musician was then able to produce further music.

           I would argue that people are would be less inclined to go out of their way and listen to the song if it was not for free. For the artist that means they have lost an entire market of people who are not only not purchasing merchandise but have not even heard of their songs, losing great publicity and recognition.

           I feel that as pirating music and freemium model businesses allows free access to their music that artists need to evolve with the industry and additionally focus on other aspects of music production and develop an understanding of the ever-evolving audience. This applies to not only music but to the print and movie industry also.

           Great examples of new adaptations and understanding would be:
Allday told his broke fans that it was okay to torrent his music for free, however if you had the money that you could order the song and that there was additional packages available (Maskovitch, 2014).
Kanye West (yes I am using Kanye West as a reference, you can’t deny his ability) full length feature films of his album Runaway, and his supposed “immersive” full feature film for his next album (West, 2010). These additions compliment the music as well as provide an edge of other artists when it comes to the listeners parting with their cash on more than just the audio experience. They will download the album and then pay to see the accompanying film.

           It is hard to stop the inevitable. Unfortunately with this day and age it is hard to stop people from downloading music and essentially wanting things for free. It is in our nature to do so. As Shuman says during an interview “I’m not going after people who are willing to pay today, and I’m gonna stop them from paying. That’s not our intention.” (Dredge, 2015) We’re looking at a new way of consuming music, and obviously I have to get people excited about a new product.

References:
Maskovitch, G. (2014, June 17). Allday: If You’re Broke, You Have My Permission To Torrent My Album [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://musicfeeds.com.au/news/allday-if-youre-broke-you-have-my-permission-to-torrent-my-album/
West, K. (2010, October 21). Kanye West - Runaway (Full-length Film) [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jg5wkZ-dJXA
Dredge, S. (2015, March 11). Free streaming is ‘killing music industry’: Ministry boss [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/mar/11/ministry-of-sound-streaming-switch-off-free?CMP=ema_827
INFT3920 - Should Edward Snowden be pursued or be provided immunity?
INFT3920 Blog
Imagine
           “Sometimes the good guys gotta do bad things to make the bad guys pay.” (Macht, 2012)

           First and foremost, Edward Snowden, no matter what the intentions, broke the law. Not only did he break his oath, the Oath of Office, or appointment affidavit, which he took like all other federal government employees but he also broke the U.S. Code, in particular “Disclosure of classified information” (U.S. Code)(2013)

           However there are always many different sides to the debate.

Words from the President:

           Within the interview ran by Charlie Rose the president of the United States, Barack Obama, explains in his own words his view on the processes of NSA in relation to the development of the documents provided by Edward Snowden.

           “We don’t have to sacrifice our freedom in order to achieve security.” (Rose, 2014) He puts forth the idea that with certain “trade-offs” we are able to achieve balance of the two. He states unequivocally that the NSA cannot listen to conversations without a warrant provided by the Fisa due to probable cause by rule and law. This is applicable to only Americans, what about the rest of the citizens of the world.

           This contradicts a statement by Edward Snowden, “I, sitting at my desk, ” said Snowden, could “wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email,” (Greenwald, 2013) in which outlines that government officials had the opportunity to do so.

           My personal opinion is invalid in the matter as I have not acquired enough information to qualify a response. However some notable things to point out is that in terms of whether he did a bad thing, besides the fact he intentionally broke the law, are to be considered. There was other ways in which he was able to disclose the information besides to a journalist. He had the ability to officially disclose it to the proper authorities. However his intentions were to never leak the information to a foreign government, or to a specific group in general that may use the information that could compromise the United States. Instead his actions were aimed at informing the general public as a whole in matters he believed should not be privatised by the government. He wanted to ensure that the information would not be hidden from the public if he went through the appropriate channels.

           The idea of whether his actions were ethical or unethical is up to further debate. Is it ethical to break the law, to break an oath, to intentionally go against company policy? Most would say no, so how is it different in this case. My argument is with the structure that he is within. Was the NSA itself acting ethically, and if not, for those working for them are their jobs in themselves and the rules that govern it ethical? Is an action considered acceptable if it contradicts an unacceptable rule?

           As to whether he should continue to be pursued by government courts, in the eyes of the U.S. government he has still broken the law. His return with immunity is what I would consider to be public opinion and if he was granted such would mean that the government would have to concede that the NSA was acting against regulation.

References:
Macht, G. (Actor). (2012, April 3). Suits. Dogfight [Television program] [Transcript]. Orlando, United States: USA Network. Retrieved from http://www.usanetwork.com/suits/episodes/12-12
Rose C. (2013, June 17). Charlie Rose interview at the Whitehouse [Video file]. Retrieved from: http://www.charlierose.com/watch/60230424
Greenwald, Glenn. (July 31). XKeyscore: NSA tool collects nearly everything a user does on the internet [Web blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/31/nsa-top-secret-program-online-data
The United States Code. (2013). Disclosure of classified information (Title 18. Part I, Chapter 37, Section 798). Washington, D.C, United States: U.S. Code.
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