Imagine | Create | Inspire
Significant Changes in my Technological Lifetime
Forever Paid
           It is incredible the changes that in the short period that has been my lifetime that has occurred in terms of the technological world and its impact it has had on my environment. It is these changes that have shaped and inspired my passion for technology and my pursuit into a career in IT and marketing.

           I remember the first time we got a computer, one of very few in my area that had acquired one. It was so fascinating the endless possibilities that it could provide, with its now considered quite limited ability. A beautiful IBM powered computer with what I believe was roughly about 4 gigabytes of storage and 64 kilobytes of memory, it was a vessel of imagination. With the ability to create images with paint, surf the web as it were and that oh so addicting FreeCell a good deal of my childhood was spent behind that computer.

           If it wasn’t that, then it was in front of the TV playing the super Nintendo eating dried magi noodles in the summer heat, playing cricket 95. One particular childhood memory was Christmas in 1990 something, can’t remember which one, but I got a pocket Gameboy and Pokemon red. Additionally my older brother got Pokemon blue and the all illusive and spectacular Gameboy cartridge for the super Nintendo. Even though I had the advantage to be able to play anywhere being able to play on the super Nintendo meant being able to play Pokemon in color. Actual color.

           But from there technology has grown and developed exponentially, in all areas. With phones being the most distinguishable in terms of integrating and adapting to modern technology, they provide a great timeline of the technological changes. Firstly making things both portable and smaller has been the driving force with technological advancements and mobile phones embodies this. However as each new bit of technology came available mobiles reflected them through its changes. Some of the most notable reflections would include the development of color, portable mp3 players, internet capabilities, touchscreen and the most valuable for all those selfie lovers, the camera.

           When people think technology they focus more on the major devices like televisions, mobiles, tablets however there is a lot, lot more. Let’s take a look at appliances and within the household. Everyone’s now a barista with their own state of the art coffee machine, my washing machine now messages me when it’s done, air conditioners are no longer dangerous sticks rotating on a pole or from the roof, and who can go pass the Magic Bullet.

           Practicality is not the only development. Technology has played a major part in all industries. From mining, to tourism, transport and none more so than health and medicine. If someone had told me that my computer could print out body parts when I was a kid, I would be well scared, but that’s where we have come to.

           I can’t wait to see what happens in the near future, and as an IT graduate and an aspiring digital entrepreneur I hope that I can be a part of shaping it.
INFT3920 - Are Personal Couriers the Way of Our Future
INFT3920 Blog
           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
           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.

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
           “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.

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.
My Life on the Internet
Forever Paid
           Now let’s start off with the fact that I was skeptical and still am on the idea of social media and sharing ones life on the internet. I was quite adament on not participating and was very late in joining the online world in terms of using the various social medias available.

           My concerns would definitely be in regards to privacy and the idea that these are personal people&rsquos lives that have the opportunity to be seen by anyone. I do see it being up to the user in terms of what they would like to share but for me it is still a major grey area.

           My main issue would be on the sharing of other peoples live without their consent. Especially for when it is about a particular issue and using the internet to publicly air them out. Whether it be a comment on what someone did, an innapropriate picture or the various other forms of postable media, unless you were willing to say it to them directly and whether if the situation was reveresed would you like someone posting about the issue then it should not be allowed.

           The people I hate the most would be those who who make money, or in any way selfishly gain from sharing and voicing their opinions on others. Included in this would be the likes of pop culture journalist and to the more generic "keyboard warriors" who feel that they may become more popular if they discredit others just becuase what they are doing doesnt happen to be what they are doing, or simply because their own life is unfullfilling or unacomplished.

           In saying this, there is also a lot of potential that can come of participating in these particular rituals. Not only is it a good way to socialize (positively) but to educate, share content and compete healthly against others. Additionally from a marketing and advertising point of view it is a gold mine of opportunity.

           For me personally I have decided to give it a try as a way to help document my life. Not for others but for myself. I find myself nowadays quite busy and continuously forgetting what i've done and acheived. With my field of expertise in IT and my desire to work in marketing and advertising, social media seemed to be a given.

           I particularly enjoy all aspects of the creative industries and aim to delve deeper and spend more time perfecting my own craft in various areas including (digital) graphic design and creative writing. It is a bonus that these will help me in achieving my future career goals. Additionally as part of one of my courses for my degree I am required to write particular posts on certain issues. So each week there shall be at least a post, but like always I do aim to be writing more.
Shanghai Nightlife
           Its time to write about the nightlife in Shanghai. Boy, did it not disappoint. As I was only there for only a month, I tried to make the most of it and as a result I spent every night out, except for two in which I ended up being sick.

           But let’s start with bars. With a range of bars catering to all different types of nationalities and tastes the bars in Shanghai were something not to be missed. As I arrived on my first day, forgetting I just spent 14 hours on a plane, it was time to go out. With the older interns showing the way, they took us to spot which soon too became our regular. With endless choices of drinks and even shisha on the desert menu, each bar brought their own style.

           Next it was time to step it up with the nightclubs. With table service as the main focus, it was clear to show who had the money to spend on a night out. With some special help from some new friends navigating each nightclub was one drunken memory after another. Not as much dancing happened from my part unfortunately as the floors were packed.

           It wasn’t just one night club at a time though. It seemed we would always end up club hopping around the city as there was always a party on at each place. Finally ending up at what I believe Newcastle should introduce, after parties. A nightclub that won’t start getting busy until about three or four in the morning. With a few underground raves to add to the mix, these nights were not for the faint hearted.

           Moving onto the music, I’ve never heard so much Katy Perry before in a night out. But each bar had their own mix and each nightclub had their own DJ. Being able to see a few major performances, front row I might add, by DJ Snake and Taboo was also on the highlight reel. I did not hear much to or at all any Chinese music whilst out though.

           If you weren’t dancing and lucky to have a table you were playing what seemed to be more popular dice games. The locals can’t get enough of it and I managed to learn a few games also. It was really a strange experience going into a nightclub where the majority of people are sitting down and playing with dice, especially considering the amount of money each table would have to pay.

           All in all the nightlife in Shanghai is non-stop. With a few million people in the city, no matter what night of the week it is, something is happening somewhere. You just got to dig a little to find the true gems of the city.
All Part Of The Experience
           Second day of the second week done and time is just flying by. It’s scaring me that in 24 hours I will have hit the halfway point of my internship and my time here in Shanghai. I have tried everything I could and I still barely feel like I’ve scratched the surface. Mainly highs and an a couple unfortunate lows, but as we say it is all part of the experience.

           I attended my first Mandarin class today and truthfully I feel like I’ve learnt more on the street. It was good though as I now know how to bargain a little better, which will definitely come in handy when I hit the markets again.

           But work has been great experience. After writing my first assignment, it was amazing to actually try and get this experience into words. I hope that I can continue on track with it and help further pursue my career. I am already one project down and now being able to further that into another was quite exciting. There has been some major loss of sleep but it is worth it.

           On the lighter side of things, the absolute culture of this place is on par with none. There really is an old and a new Shanghai. Being able to visit a Buddhist temple during the day and then sit back and relax on the rooftop fifty plus stories high, highest at 93 so far, is incredible. The nightlife also, words can’t describe. Shanghai knows how to take care of people.

           So here’s to my thirteenth day here and I can only bet the next will be just as action packed. I have enjoyed meeting and getting to know the people I have been working with and building my Guanxi. Oh and as I have realised that I am supposed to be keeping a diary, I shall be posting more, hopefully, each day.

The only thing left is to get on the plane and start this 5 week journey.
      So I have, or I think have finished packing for my trip in two days and I have to tell you, it still hasn’t sunk in. In about 36 hours I am about to embark on my first solo international trip and I still don’t know whether I feel excited or worried.

      Over the last few months it has been hard work preparing for this trip. Getting passport and visa ready, enrolling and prior studies, packing and vaccinations. There always seemed to be something more to do, and I still feel like I have forgotten something. I would like to thank CRCC Asia and similarly The University of Newcastle for this opportunity and their support during this process. Additionally Newcastle Travel for again getting me great flights.

      The only thing left is to get on the plane and start this 5 week journey.

      I have been offered the opportunity to work with a Branding and Design company called Octopus Innovation. I honestly can’t wait to start, working in the marketing and advertisement sector which is something that I hope to further develop my career around.

       Cheers to meeting new people, having to repeat myself (then use google translator), trying anything to eat against the advice of my mother and to seize every opportunity. If you would like to follow use #TerribleTourist
Dougal Diary - Travelling to Atlanta
Dougal Diary
           Firstly I would like to say thank you to my travel size companion and trip photographer, Theo, for allowing me to use his blog for the next couple of days as we head to the National Relay for Life Leadership Experience in Atlanta, Georgia. Yeah that’s right, Dougal is going overseas for his first trip and I couldn’t be any more excited to represent Australia at the conference. I’m glad I don’t have to do a presentation like Theo though.

           We are currently on our, what seems forever, journey to America. Don’t know why we chose the longest non-stop flight, but thank goodness I managed to get a window seat. Poor Theo has to sit on the isle and unfortunately has to get up every time the person between us has to go pee.

           We are just at Dallas Airport now, and it is quite different to Sydney. Only one more short flight left and we are there. I can’t wait to see what our hotel looks like. I’m hope I’m not jet lagged, we have such a big day and weekend ahead of us.

           Keep following this page to keep up to date on my travels, I hope Theo doesn’t get sick of me posting on his website.

Yours Sincerely

The Fear is Real - Take the terror out of public speaking
      Have you ever had that overcoming feeling of anxiety, the sudden rush of adrenaline, shortness of breath, sudden onset of sweating? Then you may be remembering that scary moment in which you engaged in some form of public speaking. Well let me tell you that the fear is real.

      After an engaging session with a well versed toastmaster of 22 years, Mrs Annette Roberts, with her helpful tips was able to show us how to “take the terror out of public speaking” and make those butterflies in the stomach fly in synchronization.

      For me, public speaking is a daunting task, one that studies have shown, people were more afraid of then death itself. With my upcoming presentation in a couple of days I seeked support and was told feinting whilst I walk on to the stage was not the best idea.

      Alternatively deep breaths, a well-structured speech with a compelling hook, and the usual experience and practice is the recipe. Don‘t forget to be weary of your vocal variety so that you‘re not yelling or talking to fast and that visual aids can be supportive if they don‘t take focus away from you.

      How does this help however when you‘re put on the spot, don‘t know the answer or in those high pressure situation like an interview. Mrs Roberts gave some very insightful things to consider, such as answering the “who, want, where, when, how” and or the “past, present and future.”

      One particular method of answering that stood out was her “Point, Reason, Example, Point” method. It follows the structure of ensuring that you:
  • first answer the question directly (either yes or no)
  • give a reason as to why you feel this way,
  • back it up with an example (personal is better)
  • and then reiterate your decision (this is why I feel this way).
      With a few unlucky people who were picked to try out this method, it was interesting to see the significant difference it made in allowing them to just concentrate on the answer, without rambling into tangents or being distracted by the crowd.

      So instead of imagining people in their underwear (which in itself could be quite distracting), think of yourself walking out, the crowd smiling, listening and applauding, and that feeling that they are much better off due to your efforts to talk.