Social Media and IT

Social Media, what is it? How is it used? Why is it important for IT professionals to know about? These are the questions I will be answering in this blog post. I really don’t have much of an idea what this subject is actually about apart from the fact that it involves websites like Facebook, so this will be another aspect of IT we both can learn about during this post 🙂

What is Social Media?

It is the interaction among people in which they create, share or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. It is based on mobile or web-based technologies to create highly interactive platforms through which individials and communities share, co-create, discuss and modify user-generated content. So you have “social media” websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Second Life and the list goes on and on.

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http://www.deepspacemarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/social-media-logos.jpg

There are so many because a lot of people this day and age choose to do the majority of their socialising on social media websites. I came across an American study showing the average amount of time per day people in different age groups will spend on social media websites.

  • 18 – 34 year olds report spending 3.8 hours a day;
  • 35 – 49 year olds report spending 3 hours per day; and
  • 50 – 64 year olds report spending 2.4 hours per day.

http://www.marketingcharts.com/wp/online/social-networking-eats-up-3-hours-per-day-for-the-average-american-user-26049/

Just thought I would throw that interesting fact in there 🙂 to show not only the different social media websites but the amount of importance that the average person places on these sites.

Social media has been defined as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media

How is Social Media used?

There are many different ways social media is used one of the most common being personal use. It is a way for people to communicate with each other, keep up to date with what their friends and family are doing, share photos, ideas, opinions, anything they choose for all their social media friends to see. Creating themselves an online community for either personal fullfillment or to simply communicate and “catch up” with people they wouldn’t otherwise be able to (people in other countries). People also use the sites for entertainment, such as playing games, watching videos, looking at photos and shopping. The second most common use of social media is marketing for businesses and organisations. It is a way for them to not only put their name and brand out there but to also offer potential customers specials, keep them up to date with anything new happening and providing customers with the ability to give their honest opinion or feedback about their experiences with a certain business or organisation. In terms of marketing having a strong social media presence on the web is the key to tap into customers interest. If done correctly and thoroughly, marketing with social media can bring remarkable success to your business or organisation. Social media is also used for education, discussions, conversations between professionals in the same fields, uploading and sharing videos and so much more.

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http://www.2.bp.blogspot.com/-MpgCQHBDBpw/UIVOEx_nIWI/AAAAAAAAAHc/QSiAxAQ9Yf0/s1600/dreamstime_xl_19937378.gif

Why is Social Media important for IT professionals to know about?

There are a few different reasons that I can think of why social media would be important for us future IT professionals. One being marketing if we ever decide to start up our own business or one of our job roles in a business is to create and maintain their web presence then we definitely need to be very familiar with all the different kinds of social media websites, how they work, how to use them, what is the best way to use them, which ones are the most popular, etc. We also want to be able to help our future customers with any problems they may have, and thinking of the questions and help that is being asked of me now, helping customers, friends and family with their social media accounts may be part of our IT professional career. Social media is also a really great way for IT professionals to have discussions about problems they might be having, or ideas and opinions, as well as keeping up with the latest gadgets and news. I believe knowing about social media is just one of those things that sort of come with the territory of being an IT professional because it is such a big influence in the world and on the internet, with smartphones, computers, tablets and their apps. Since all of that falls under the title “information technology” it is definitely  something we need to be familiar with if we want to be classified as “professionals”.

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http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/images/i/000/003/991/i02/tech-grow.jpg?1369984051

So, Social Media is definitely one of the biggest influences on the internet, and something us IT professionals in training should know about because we will work in a world that live and breathe on these websites. I mean think about it, meeting a “professional IT person” who didn’t know what Facebook was, doesn’t make much sense does it!

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Information Technology in Context Reflection

I have been sick the past week and a half with the flu and a chest infection so I wasn’t able to attend this class, but what I understand this blog to be is a sort of reflection of what we have learned, things that have sparked our interest and what we have taken away from our Information Technology in Context classes so far this year. It has been a fun and interesting learning experience having different tutors teaching us different subjects every week, learning about the big wide world of IT.

Top three presentations that have opened my eyes to the world of IT and what to be aware of as an IT professional

1. First ever ITC class of the year – Craig

This was definitely an eye opener for me as part of my IT education for the simple reason that it was my first ever class of the entire year. Not knowing what to expect it was a good starting point to prepare me for the year I will have doing the BIT. Not only did I get my first experience in the bachelor class environment, which was very daunting going in because I thought it was going to be strict and information drilling, but I also received the reality check that I would have to step out of my comfort zone during the year. I believe this first class in a way was the biggest eye opener because I definitely got a slight feel of the environment that I will be starting my career in. Going over the course outline and receiving my first bit of homework (first blog post) which was a brand new experience for me and a bit of a scary one, now it’s safe to say I am a bit of a pro now considering this is my 13th blog post!

2. Copyleft – Clare

It is hard to choose just three presentations because they have all opened my eyes to different aspects of the IT industry. So I have focused mostly on the ones that I really found fascinating! The Copyleft presentation from Clare was definitely a fascinating one to me because I had never heard of it before and I unknowingly at the time completely agree with it. This subject made so much sense  to me and opened my eyes to some pretty amazing people trying to make a difference to the copyright act. Now, the copyright act does have a lot to do with the IT world because the internet is filled with other peoples work, photos, music, articles, papers, etc and it is very very easy to just copy and paste someones work and not think twice about it. We also have the big “internet based” one, piracy. As IT professionals we need to realize and come to terms with this to ensure not only our safety from being prosecuted but our friends, family and future clients. Depending on what we choose to major in, the internet could have a huge part of our everyday work life, it is already a part of our everyday personal life, so we do need to be careful!

3. Virtual Environment – Clare

Another presentation given to us by Clare which really amazed me and just had me thinking wow!! Had me thinking that we truly do live in an amazing, innovative time and it is only getting more amazing by the day! Learning about the Oculus Rift virtual reality, Google Glass was really awesome! Realizing the ridiculously awesome technology that is out there! Enough to make any IT professional in training fall into a state of absolute awe! Reflecting on the subject, what is real? What we define as real, (of course with a little help from the matrix) really spiked my interest because I have seen how blurred the lines of reality can become for some people and being able to research more into the subject really opened my eyes to the whole concept of “real” and “virtual”. This subject really reminded me why I chose to start a career in this industry, re-sparked my fascination with technology and the amazing opportunities and experiences they offer!

What during my time this year excited me about a part of the IT world

There have been a few bits a pieces throughout all of the classes that have excited me and pushed me towards a certain way in this industry. Having not being limited by the available opportunities in Nelson, since I plan to move back to Auckland when I have finished my mind is a bit all  over the place as to which direction I want to head in. I would have to say my favorite subject definitely would be Computer Systems Architecture, getting on the inside of the computer, the hardware side of things. This area really interests me and I love learning about the different little parts that makes a computer what it is, learning how to take it all apart and put it back together, learning about different problems and solutions, everything! I have also been excited by some subjects that have been talked about in our Information Technology in Context classes, namely ones that I have mentioned above. The new, out of the box thinking technology devices, software, etc things like that really do remind me why I chose to pursue this certain career. Although web design and systems analysis have been very difficult classes for me, some things said or that I learned in class have spiked my interest. Learning something new everyday I never know when I will come across a subject, program, piece of technology, etc that really excites me and that is an awesome feeling! Knowing that I have chosen the right direction for me!

Single most important thing I have learned this term during this paper.

To remember to be amazed at truly amazing things.

Some people this technological age really do forget to be amazed and let it sink in how innovative and special all this new technology is. I have said this before in my previous blogs, I heard it in a video I was given to watch and it really made a lot of sense to me. Finding myself seeing something that is really special and thinking it’s just another piece of technology. During this course I have had the opportunity to learn and experience some of the technology this century has to offer and it has definitely opened my eyes so much to the point where I remember to be amazed! Younger and younger generations are being born pretty much knowing how to use smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, etc and forgetting how unique those things are, how creative, how innovative and special those devices are! That’s why I definitely think that is the single most important thing I have learned! It fuels my passion and reminds me why I chose this career path.

So remember to be amazed!!

Internet of Things – Connect the World

Our second class presented to us by Todd was about “Internet of Things”, this is an interesting topic, but a seemingly complex one. As we don’t get very much time in class to absorb every aspect of what this topic is I haven’t got a full grasp on it, so I plan to learn more about it as this blog post moves along 🙂

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Definition:

A proposed development of the Internet in which everyday objects have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data. “if one thing can prevent the internet of things from transforming the way we live and work, it will be a breakdown in security.”

https://www.google.co.nz/search?newwindow=1&q=internet+of+things+definition&oq=internet+of+things+definition&gs_l=serp.3

Videos Review

We were given a couple videos on the topic to watch and review as part of this blog post.

“The Internet of Things”Dr John Barnett at TEDxCIT.
Where the web and the physical world meet.
This was the first video of the two that I watched, it basically explains what internet of things is, what it does, the pros and cons of it, and what to expect from it in the future. It was a very interesting, eye opening video, explained the topic in more detail so I have a better understanding of it now. It is an extremely complex thing! Here are some interesting and explanatory things from the video :-

“We’re about to connect the physical world to the internet. The planet and everything on it will become things on the internet of things. Not just web pages, real physical things that we can observe and control.”

What does he mean by things?

Literally everything and anything! Goods, objects, machines, appliances, buildings, vehicles, animals, people, plants, soil. Everything we come across in our everyday lives.

How will we do that?

Example: A chair, you want to know from anywhere around the world if this chair is occupied and who is sitting on it. To turn the chair into a device like a smart phone, “smart chair” you have to take a number of steps.
1. Give it a unique identity
2. Give it the ability to communicate.
3. Give it sensors, to sense for example: pressure (if someone sits on it).
4. Embedded electronic circuits, embed either in it or on it.

What will we do with it? (Pros)

“Limited by our imagination.”
We will be able to connect with things and learn about things in a completely new way.
-Monitor things: (observe things) example: monitoring a heart problem via smartphone app, informing a hospital if needed, relatives can see that your heart is still beating.
-Search for things: Reality searches with Google, asking questions like; “Where are my keys?” Because the keys are tagged, locatable objects on the internet of things.
-Manage things: In big cities, “smart cities”; if we know where energy is going and can predict usage, where citizens are, what their up to, what their health is like, can better manage traffic, maybe eliminate congestion. Better use of energy, better use of renewables, can better look after the health, safety and security of all citizens.

He talked about a few different cons but I think the one that was the most obvious but I think the most overlooked is something called “weapon of mass disruption”. We have all seen the damages that viruses, trojans and worms cause on the current internet. So, if all our energy systems, security, transport and health systems are part of the world wide web the possibilities for terrorism and hacking are magnified beyond belief!

It is scary to know that this is already happening! Every major global government and every major economic block is investing heavily into the internet of things. There are already hundreds of millions of things connected to the internet. We’re heading for hundreds of billions or possibly trillions. The one certainty is that it WILL change our lives.

http://www.ted.com/talks/kevin_kelly_on_the_next_5_000_days_of_the_web

The next 5000 days of the web – Kevin Kelly
In 5000 days all this amazing stuff has come, but we’re not amazed.

This video was a very interesting and informative one. Maybe a tad bit of an information overload, it was so much to absorb compared to the other one because it was not solely based on the internet of things but also touched on the 5000 days of the web evolution and 5000 days into the future of web evolution. The way he talked about things, very well put, described really well. Definitely a good video for us IT professionals in training to watch, how he relates humans to “the machine.”

“This thing that we’re making, this thing that’s happened in 5000 days that’s all these computers, all these handhelds, all these cellphones, laptops, servers – basically what we’re getting out of all of these is one machine. Our little handhelds are just windows into this machine.”

This machine is the size (in complexity) to your brain, so your brain works in the same way the web works. However, your brain isn’t doubling in power every 2 years. The machine use 5% of global electricity.

Machine = 1 human brains
(30 years from now)
Machine = 6 billion human brains

2040
The web will exceed humanity in processing power.

Our environment becomes the web everything is connected. Embedding the information of the digital nature of things into the material world. That’s where were going, this union, this convergence of atomic and the digital. In this new world if you want total personalization you have to be totally transparent.

Reflection

Having not been able to absorb or quite remember everything that was said in class, it is safe to say that with the help of the videos and online reading I now understand this topic a lot more, understand not only what it is but also what it involves. Imagine it, literally everything, and I mean everything you own being connected to the web, giving off some information accessible to anyone on the internet. This is where people really do have to understand that they will become completely transparent in the internet of things world, something everyone has to prepare for if this is the direction of the future. Like everything else to do with the internet there are pros and cons for this. I understand that it will provide the ability to monitor, manage and “realistically” search for things which can be extremely convenient for busy people. However, having absolutely everything on the world wide web such as our energy, security, transport and health systems creates an open buffet for terrorists and hackers, which can cause irreversible damage to some peoples lives. I believe in this situation the cons outweigh the pros, there is just too much risk in just making everything available for anyone with internet access. Already on the current internet people have problems with identity theft, hackers into bank accounts, social media accounts and email accounts. There are today hundreds of millions of devices connected to the internet, already giving anyone who knows how to look for it any information they want, in the future we are looking at hundreds of billions or even trillions of devices! Definitely something for the public to think about before they dive head first into something that could be a global disaster. However, that is just my opinion and the internet of things could end up being one of the most innovative and convenient things to come about since the internet itself.
Whether it will be the internet of things or whether it will be something else, we live in a technological age and we are all rushing into the future of technology with open arms. It’s going to happen, it’s inevitable, escape is futile :-).
We just need to keep an open mind and be prepared for anything. We need to remember to be amazed at truly amazing things cause that’s really what they are!

Virtual Environment – Blurring Reality Lines

Today, we had an awesome lesson presented by Clare about Virtual Environment. I really found this lesson fascinating! Probably because it’s such a cool technology, so SCI-FI! I haven’t really heard much about it, or looked into it very much either, playing Sims on my laptop is probably the closest I have come to it. It is pretty crazy thinking about how some of this amazing, innovative technology is not very far away from being mainstream, available to the public and will be considered “normal”, a part of everyday life. So in this post we will be looking at what the “virtual” future will hold 🙂

What do you think is “real”?

Yes, the infamous The Matrix movie had to put that in here :-). What do I think is real? Well, that is a hard question to answer because it is so complex. Like this quote I do believe that we “define real” by what we can touch, smell, feel, taste and hear. Like an object (toy, book, bag, etc) we can feel in our hands, we can smell and taste food, hear music and people speaking. Those are all real things, real right in front of you things. I believe “real” is more to do with our personal feelings towards objects, people, etc. I mean when your playing a game online, and your some super cool character, leveled right up, with so many magic spells and kill streaks, some people believe that’s real, personally I don’t. Online gaming is usually described as a sort of “escape from reality”, but with all this new technology being created where you can actually experience the game, see, hear, touch what is going on, how can we define the line between gaming and reality? I feel that this will sort of blur the lines more than they already have been. People who are not who they want to be in real life, can find some sort of achievement being a super cool, strong character on a game and respected by fellow gamers. A sense of belonging and self-worth. So it is very hard to explain what is real, because I believe it solely depends on the person, some people live lives that other people would consider “a dream” or “a fantasy” but to them it is “their reality”. I mean I hope the lines between reality and fantasy don’t blur as much as they do in The Matrix, but I’m certain that it will become hard for some people to separate the two, it already is sometimes. Every person is different, so every person will have their own opinion but what I personally think is real, are things that my senses tell me are real.

Definition of “real”

  • actually existing or happening: not imaginary
  • not fake, false, or artificial
  • important and deserving to be regarded or treated in a serious way

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/real

What could be two great things and two negative things about google glass?

 

This is really an amazing device, definitely something straight out of a cyborg movie. It just amazes me things like this are going to become available to everyone very soon. Imagine it everyone walking around with one of these bad boys on, haha so funny just thinking about it.

Great things

  • Provides maps (interior and exterior), turn by turn directions, reminders of important events, date, time, messages, emails, take pictures and videos, important news, hangout with your friends (they can see what you see), play games right in front of your vision. You see it immediately, clearly and it doesn’t stray you away from the task at hand.
  • Enables you to “handsfree” talk on the phone, even text. Connects to your smart phone via bluetooth so you don’t even have to look at your phone. Provides easy ways to make calls whilst driving or working.
  • So many features squeezed into a small, lightweight yet strong frame.
  • Built-in microphone combined with Google Now connects you directly to the search engine.
  • Works with both Android phones and iPhones.

Bad things

  • They will cost an arm and a leg to purchase at a whopping $1500USD.
  • To those who don’t wear glasses all the time, it is an uncomfortable, strange experience for them.
  • For the glasses to work you have to connect via Wi-Fi or have a smartphone with reliable data and Wi-Fi connections.
  • Poor screen resolution, strains eyes
  • Using bluetooth constantly on both your smartphone and glass will drain both batteries.
  • “Physically unattractive”

So, there are quite a few good and bad things about Google Glass. It is an amazing, innovative device but now that I have done some research into it and looking at the price of it I am no longer keen to rush out and purchase one. From the look of things Google are not doing too well with this product people are already waiting for what their going to bring out next, but for “nerds” this device will be very exciting!! Looking like something out of Star Trek 🙂

Googleglass

http://scm-l3.technorati.com/13/02/21/75131/Googleglass.jpg?t=20130221084141

Do you think that Facebook’s purchase of the Oculus Rift company is a good thing?

“Our mission is to make the world more open and connected. For the past few years, this has mostly meant building mobile apps that help you share with the people you care about. We have a lot more to do on mobile, but at this point we feel we’re in a position where we can start focusing on what platforms will come next to enable even more useful, entertaining and personal experiences.

This is where Oculus comes in. They build virtual reality technology, like the Oculus Rift headset. When you put it on, you enter a completely immersive computer-generated environment, like a game or a movie scene or a place far away. The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like you’re actually present in another place with other people. People who try it say it’s different from anything they’ve ever experienced in their lives.”

-Mark Zuckerbergs Facebook Page
https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10101319050523971

There are a couple different opinions online about Facebook buying Oculus Rift VR for $2 billion USD. People either think that it’s no surprise, Facebook are always looking for more ways to make money and compete with other social media websites like Twitter. Or people we’re completely surprised by it because Facebook apart from the mini-games they provide have nothing to do with gaming and Oculus Rift is all about virtual 3D immersive gaming. There are also people that are over the moon that Facebook purchased Oculus. My opinion is a bit of a mix of everything, mostly I don’t really see how Facebook can enhance Oculus apart from the marketing side of things, because yes they have never had anything to do with actual gaming before, and now all of a sudden they purchase a product which is most likely going to be the future in gaming. Although, after the announcement happened VR visionary Palmer Luckey defended the decision to join the large and controversial company, for someone who has made VR his lifes work he knows sure well that developing new technologies requires money, lots and lots of money! So I can kind of understand why he did it, to keep VR alive financially.

“The partnership accelerates our vision, allows us to execute on some of our most creative ideas and take risks that were otherwise impossible. Most importantly, it means a better Oculus Rift with fewer compromises even faster than we anticipated.” – Palmer Luckey, Reddit

This is a hard one, because of Facebooks lack of experience with gaming is cause to some what doubt their ability to enhance Oculus Rift. However, they have proven their abilities to grow businesses when they bought the photo sharing app Instagram nearly two years ago, there were 30 million active users, today there are over 200 million. Fortunately Facebook seems to be smart when buying other businesses and Mark Zuckerberg has said that they don’t plan to just throw Oculus out there to the public for purchase, it is a five to ten year initiative. He has fully acknowledged that Oculus was built to enhance gaming, but he hopes to enhance Facebook with it as well. So in conclusion, if Facebook helps VR financially, remembers the true value of Oculus is gaming and doesn’t rush to make a profit on it, this should end up being a good investment for both parties and you “nerds” out there have nothing to fear 🙂

http://www.gamespot.com/articles/why-you-shouldn-t-worry-about-facebook-buying-oculus-rift/1100-6418545/

Post a link to (or embed) an online video that demonstrates the use of either of these technologies and explain briefly what it is and why you have chosen it

What this video is, is basically going through the Top 20 games available to play on Oculus Rift. Why I chose it? Because for someone (me) that has never really looked into Oculus Rift VR before and never paid attention to what it actually does, this video is really awesome to see how games are presented on this device, so interactive and just awesome!! Has really made me want to play on the Oculus, and I’m not much of a gamer. This is truly a really amazing, mind blowing, innovative device and I can’t wait to be able to purchase one! It definitely will blur the reality lines a bit, but it does it in style :-). I also had no idea what sort of games you are able to play on it, so it’s really awesome to see the different kinds of games that really do suit what the Oculus is and what is does. To experience things unlike you will ever get to experience in everyday life, even on this world. Truly truly amazing!!

1367775740
http://www.riftenabled.com/files/uploads/1367775740.png

This has been a really eye opening, fascinating blog to do and research about! Gotta love technology and the way it has the ability to have you in an absolute state of awe. I honestly cannot wait for what the future of Virtual Reality and all the imaginative technology that comes with it!

Internationalis(z)ation and Localis(z)ation

I learn something new every week and this week was no different :-). We were given a lesson in Internationalis(z)ation and Localis(z)ation from Matthais, which was the first time we have had him for ITC. This was confusing but some parts interesting for me, some parts like websites available in different languages, the different keyboard layouts for different countries. I have never thought about these aspects of IT before, so it was interesting to have a play around and experience these different things. Anyway I will be looking further into this topic in this blog post, so hopefully we both learn some cool new things 🙂

Internationalisation ITC Class Powerpoint

Definition of Internationalis(z)ation and localis(z)ation

“In computing, internationalization and localization (other correct spellings are internationalisation and localisation) are means of adapting computer software to different languages, regional differences and technical requirements of a target market.”

Internationalization is the process of designing a software application so that it can potentially be adapted to various languages and regions without engineering changes.”

Localization is the process of adapting internationalized software for a specific region or language by adding locale-specifc components and translating text.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internationalisation_and_localisation

Image
http://www.cge-news.com/contenus//346/cms_pc/paragraphe/828/110831160729_ga21_fotolia_-morganimation.jpg

Details where the presentation left gaps

I am slightly unsure as to what gaps were left in the presentation presented in class, so am I simply going to explain some things further. Make more sense of things to help myself and whoever is reading to have a better grasp on the subject. Explaining things and answering some questions that were in the slideshow.

Locale
In computing, a locale is a set of parameters that defines the user’s language, country and any special variant preferences that the user wants to see in their user interface. Usually a locale identifier consists of at least a language identifier and a region identifier.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Locale

So when using your computer, you never really take much notice of the computer date, time, language and country setting. You choose what you want the computer to display and it displays it for you, making it an international object being able to adapt to the users wants. You are able to change region and language settings anytime, there are no set preferences. (Example in picture below). Pretty cool ae!

Languages/ Dialects/ Countries

Image
http://basementgeographer.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/languagetable.png

This is just a taste of how many different languages are spoken in numerous countries around the globe. In the world today, there are more than 2700 languages spoken and with over 7000 dialects. When different cultures meet and mix, new languages are developed. Now imagine designing systems, websites, etc for every single different language and dialects within those languages! That would be pretty much close to impossible, because you can never really create a whole system in a foreign tongue without having a person that can read/write in that foreign language, so you would have to have a person from every nook and cranny of the earth. Having a translation that is not 100% correct can lead to confusion and misinterpretation. Without having someone who reads/writes perfect; for example English and Chinese, you will not get a perfect translation.

Not only when designing systems, certain websites, etc do you need to know about languages but also time zones is another important one. Now, there are currently 40 world time zones. There are 24 standard time zones plus up to 16 maybe more areas of the world that use time zones divided into 15, 30, 45 minutes increments. There are exceptions though, for example; China, about the size of the United States, uses the same time throughout the country even though it crosses 4 standard time zones.

The last one I am going to get into is currency, just briefly to give you an idea of the amount of information every bit entails. There are a total of 178 different currencies in the world, the majority with their own symbols, symbols and currency layouts that also have to be incorporated into a system. Not only that but the exchange rate is changing every single second, so you will need to have a system in place that will be able to update prices, etc according to the exchange rate.

Why Anna, why would you pump so much information at me? Because it is important as an IT professional to understand just how much detail, work and information goes into something as simple as settings for languages, times, dates, currencies, etc. As it is all part of Globalisation and Globalisation is a part of Information Technology in so many different ways.

Software what software?

This information is used in different types of software to ensure users understand the software, and it is set up for their specific needs. There are operating systems, where you are able to change your preferences at anytime. Web applications, which can either be determined by the users IP address or some websites provide options. Weaknesses with this approach? Users could use programs such as a IP scrabbler or they could be a tourist in a different country, but not know how to read that country’s language. Stand alone client applications, are often configured during installation, however problems can be created from this because the users preferences cannot be changed. For example; you have a client who would like to see the application in their first language, so you oblige, but what happens when you need to change it back to english for yourself? You can’t because it is configured on installation.

Which types of businesses would benefit most from internationalisation?

Well, to start off with of course international businesses would benefit a lot, dealing with people of different cultures, all over the world, with different languages and currencies. A lot of international businesses advertise, sell, share information over the internet (e.g: Ebay, Facebook). So the internet I think will be the BIGGEST “business” that would benefit the most from internationalisation, it is used internationally every second of every day, it has to adapt, change, “morph” for the needs of different users all over the world. I mean, what would it be like if the webpages all over the internet came in only one language? There would only be users from countries where they speak that specific language. There are however, languages that are not available on popular webpages, the internet has not fully been able to provide for every user. I believe that one day it will be able to be used in every language, every different preference of users all around the world. There are also businesses that deal with importing and exporting goods from different countries, they would benefit from internationalisation having to deal with different exchange rates, languages, customs, cultures, etc. They would need to know all of these things to ensure they are trading legally and fairly. Another business that would benefit a lot from internationalisation is of course computer manufacturers, having to create computers to suit all users preferences. Computers that are sold all over the world, not only the computers themselves but their manuals and the manuals of their parts. A lot of globalisation goes into creating and selling a computer, exchange rates. Very overlooked, the computer manufacturers have to work out how much to sell the computer for in so many different countries, a price that is the same and that is fair. I think that eventually in the future the majority of businesses are going to have to adapt to the growing amount of different cultures in all sorts of different countries, internationalisation is the future for every business.

“Business process for internationalizing software

In order to internationalize a product, it is important to look at a variety of markets that your product will foreseeably enter. Details such as field length for street addresses, unique format for the address, ability to make the zip code field optional to address countries that do not have zip codes or the state field for countries that do not have states, plus the introduction of new registration flows that adhere to local laws are just some of the examples that make internationalization a complex project.

A broader approach takes into account cultural factors regarding for example the adaptation of the business process logic or the inclusion of individual cultural (behavioral) aspects”.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internationalization_and_localization

Which (kind of) countries would benefit most from internationalisation?

This question took me a long time to really think about, think about the meaning of internationalisation, what it actually entails, think hard about which countries would benefit the most and then it came to me. Of course Anna, countries like the United States of America, United Kingdom, even New Zealand and so many more would benefit the most. Why? Because countries like ours has so many different cultures living here, as do so many other countries. They would benefit the most because they have so many cultures to adapt to, increasing every year. Not only that but we also have a great deal of tourists every year without fail especially here in Nelson. We would benefit from internationalisation so we can become more “user friendly” if you will, so that people who come here for the first time from other countries can adapt more easily to living here, we are a beautiful country. Having anything from important signs, warnings, available TV channels, food at the supermarket in different languages. Having a culturally friendly environment so that different cultures won’t feel out of place or uneasy. I could be wrong, but it make sense to me that countries that are more diverse will benefit more, will have more “use” for globalisation.

What I have tried to do with this blog is to explain what internationalisation and localisation (globalisation) are and to answer some questions that were on the slideshow presented to us. This subject at first seemed like a really complicated one that confused me a great deal, but now having done research of my own and really thinking about the definitions of them both I think I now understand them better. I understand why as IT professionals this subject is important for us to know since our careers will be based on a very “internationalised” machine, a computer. I definitely think that internationalisation is the future, as many countries are slowly becoming more diverse, so many different cultures, we will surely become an “internationalised” world.

What is Interaction Design?

Today in ITC we were given a lesson on Interaction Design from Todd. It was a pretty different subject compared to what we have been doing, although in some ways I believe it is similar to the Innovative Thinking in IT blog we have done previously. I found it very hard to keep up with this subject as we didn’t have much time to go through so much. I haven’t really got a full grasp on this, I’m hoping I will learn more as I go along answering my blog questions 🙂

Now, I have been very confused with this blog because in our blog requirements it says both “interaction” and “interactive” design which are both different things. I have focused more on interaction design so hopefully I did it correctly 🙂

What is Interaction Design?

“…shaping our everyday life through digital artifacts for work, play and entertainment.”
– Gillian Crampton Smith (founder of the Computer-related Design MA at the Royal College of Art in London, which changed to Design Interactions)

“Interaction Design often abbreviated (IxD) defines the structure and behaviour of interactive systems. Interactive Designers strive to create meaningful relationships between people and the products and services that they use, from computers to mobile devices to appliances and beyond.”
http://www.Lynda.com

It all started with Bill Moggridge and Bill Verplank in the mid-1980s. To Verplank, it was an adaptation of the computer science term “user interface design” to the industrial design profession. To Moggridge, it was an improvement over “soft-face”, which he had invented in 1984 to refer to the application of industrial design to products containing software.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interaction_design

download (2)download (3)
Left: Bill Moggridge                           Right: Bill Verplank

http://static.dezeen.com/uploads/2012/09/Dezeen_Bill_Moggridge_Cooper-Hewitt.jp
http://www.designinginteractions.com/img/interviews/BillVerplank.jp

It wouldn’t be for another 10 years before other designers rediscovered the term and started using it.

So what is Interaction Design? Explaining it how I understand it to be, (with the help of research). It is a wide ranging, complex field that pretty much covers all aspects of human emotion and behaviour. It is to create usable, easy to learn, enjoyable interactive experiences between people and devices. It is not how the device behaves it is how people behave. Taking into account the device, the interface, the context, the people (users) etc. An interactive device could be anything from a smartphone, tablet, computer, iPod, MP3 player, it can even be a EFTPOS device. Anything digital or even non-digital we people “interact” with. There are good and bad interaction designs, a good design being one that we can interact with easily, understand easily, pretty much easy to use. Whereas a bad design would be one that is hard to understand and interact with.

I’m going to add the definition of “interactive design” just to be thorough!

Interactive design is defined as a user oriented field of study that focuses on meaningful communication of media through cyclical and collaborative processes between people and technology successful interactive designs have simple, clearly defined goals, a strong purpose and intuitive screen interface.

en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interactive_design

Example of bad interaction designs

p_t_20010222_identicalshttp://www.merges.net/theory/graphics/p_t_20010222_identicals.jpg

furnace-switchhttp://cs3240team18.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/furnace-switch.jpeg?w=224&h=292

Examples of good interaction design

BTA840_01_Product_100922http://www.breville.co.nz/media/ToolTips/BTA840_01_Product_100922.jpg

C00210http://salestores.com/stores/images/images_747/C00210.jpg

The differences between the good and bad designs are pretty clear. The bad designs are not only difficult to use but impossible to know what their functions are, not very good affordances. Whereas the good designs each function is clearly stated, the remote is ergonomic, fit’s into a person hand with the more commonly used buttons near a persons fingers.

Affordances

The definition of affordance is; a visual clue to the function of an object.

Examples;

353px-Perceivedaffordancesimages (1)
http://psysc613.wikispaces.com/file/view/Affordances.jpg/253439650/Affordances.jpg http://www.danlockton.com/toolkit/images/thumb/Perceivedaffordances.jpg/353px-Perceivedaffordances.jpg

Basically affordances are instructions on the device, item, etc telling you how to use them. As the examples shown above, using words and pictures to show people which way to open the doors and what kind of rubbish to put in which bin. Having an “interactive” device without any affordances is a recipe for disaster, people wouldn’t know what does what, how to operate and it would be a failure. An interactive device needs affordances to ensure the user experiences are the best you can possibly offer. Imagine a world where nothing and I mean NOTHING told you what to do and how to do it, we would be absolutely lost, reeking havoc, wouldn’t be a very easy environment to be in, so affordances are important in everyday life as well as in Interaction Design.

Interaction Design and affordances in IT

Knowing about Interaction Design and affordances are an important aspect when becoming an IT professional because you will deal with a lot of “interactive” devices as well as (depending on where you plan to head in your IT career) designing, testing and operating them. Couldn’t do that very well, without knowing about it would you? We as professionals also need to be able to provide adequate advice to customers, users, co-workers, etc if they come across any problems with their devices. We will obviously be dealing with a great number of desktops, laptops, tablets, smart phones as they are all part of being an IT professional. We need to know how to work our way around it all, how to operate it all, knowing what sort of interfaces, features, etc work best with users and how to fix problems of all sorts that occur with these and many other “interactive” devices.

As an IT professional we will definitely need to know about affordances and this also depends on where you head in your IT career whether you need to know how to provide suitable affordances on devices or whether you simply need to know what they mean and be able to explain them to those who don’t know. Not only will you use affordances in IT you will also use them in everyday life. They are everywhere! As an IT professional you don’t really want to be looking unknowledgeable pushing a door when it clearly says pull, so become familiar with affordances IT related and not.

Designed wearable Interactive Device in storyboarding

We were given a task from Todd to design a “interactive” device in storyboarding and post it in our Interaction Design blog. I worked with Angela and Jylesza, who are also doing the BIT and we came up with the “Focal Point” glasses. Made for people who need prescription glasses, but with added features just to make life that little bit easier. I have drawn examples (please take into account that I am not a good drawer), I have also explained all the added features.

“Focal Point” Glasses

Glasses storyboard 1Glasses storyboard 2
I can definitely see why this subject is important to know when becoming an IT professional, you also look at devices a lot differently knowing this subject more indepth. Although I haven’t fully got my head around it I have learnt some interesting things. I am definitely noticing more and less affordances on my devices and of those around me. Whether we are designing, testing, operating devices interaction design will definitely pop up for us “IT folk” in the future.

Copyleft, Is copying really stealing?

Imagehttp://2.bp.blogspot.com/-j6rGh9a8Du8/UUIbaH_klXI/AAAAAAAAAPQ/-_9rxS1lGiw/s1600/Copyright_copyleft.jpg

Switching things up a bit, we had a lesson given to us by Clare about Copyleft. I really enjoyed this lesson, it was very interesting for me as I had never heard of anything to do with copyleft before. I really like how Clare presented it as well, I was engrossed the whole time! I agreed a lot with this subject as well so I think that contributed as well. Anyway, I have a couple of questions to answer, so here I go 🙂

Do you think that copying is always theft or not? Explain you reasons?

To put simply no I don’t think that copying is always theft, sometimes sure it can be. There are a lot of grey areas when it comes to copying, so everyone has there own opinion on the matter. There are many different subjects that come under “copying”, so I will go through a couple important ones.

Copying Information

As a student, with blogs and assignments I do this a lot. There is a fine line between copying with references to enhance your work and full on stealing someone elses work. When browsing websites, books, newspapers etc and you come across a quote or a paragraph that explains something really well or has a lot of meaning to you there is nothing wrong with adding it to your work to enhance the readers experience, or to explain things better than you can, as long as you give credit to the owner by referencing where you got it from. This is definitely not stealing! However, if you intentionally completely copy someone elses work without giving them any credit for it and try to pass it off as your own, this is stealing! It is unfair to the creator of the work, as they have put all their hard work into something and you have gone and copied and pasted it. There is a part in the New Zealand Copyright Act that allows copying in certain circumstances such as, researching or private study, criticism or review and reporting current events. However, there are certain rules to follow by with each situation to prevent yourself from copyrighting. These are totally understandable circumstances where copying someone elses work is used for a good purpose. Basically understanding that when you use something from a website, newspaper, book, etc that is not your own work remember to reference where it came from and don’t steal the whole thing to try pass off as your own. Not only can tutors, etc tell if you have copied someone elses work because everyone has their own writing style and way of explaining things, but it is also not fair to those people who have done all that hard work. Same thing goes for pictures, videos what ever you get off anything that is not your own work.

Piracy

There are a lot of different opinions on this subject, whether it is considered stealing or if it’s a simple case of copying. I fall into the latter, depending on what you use it for. If you are simply downloading movies, tv shows, music etc for your own personal use, to watch or listen to in your down time I believe that is absolutely fine. There is nothing wrong with that. However, if someone downloads a torrent with the purpose of copying and distributing them for a profit, this is wrong! I do not believe this is right, because this is gaining from someone elses hard work. A lot of the time people simply download to “test” out the movie, etc before buying, because these days they are very expensive to buy. So when you go to purchase it you want to know it is something worth spending your money on. Doing researching for my previous blog about Copyright I found out about Joel Tenenbaum who was charged $675,000 for P2P sharing 31 songs, works out to be $22,000 per song. Now, he wasn’t making any profit from this, he was basically just sharing them with people he wasn’t gaining anything from it. How is that right? They have pretty much ruined his life financially and dragged his name through the mud. I personally don’t think this is right, I believe someone who is actually gaining some sort of profit for stealing someone elses property is wrong and such be prosecuted accordingly.

“If “piracy means using the creative property of others without their permission- if “if value, then right” is true- then the history of the content industry is a history of piracy. Every important sector of “big media” today- film, records, radio, and cable TV-was born of a kind of piracy so defined. The consistent story is how last generation’s pirates join this generation’s country club-until now.”
― Lawrence LessigFree Culture: The Nature and Future of Creativity
http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/25159.Lawrence_Lessig

This quote from Lawrence Lessig a big fighter for political reform, including this big copyright, piracy dilemma is a very good one and is exactly right. Everything around us today has been either copied from something else or inspired from something else. So is copying really wrong? If everything around us is basically a copy?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmZm8vNHBSU

We have all seen the above clip, before pretty much every movie. I put this in here to point out that downloading a movie, etc via a torrent is NOT the same as stealing someones car, bag, TV or actually stealing a movie from a store. It is completely different, technically you are not stealing from anyone unless you are making a profit from it you are simply copying.

These are only a couple topics that fall under the “copying” heading, but they are the biggest ones, the ones mostly argued about. They are ones I have a strong opinion about.

Who was Aaron Swartz and what part has he played in the copyright debate?

Imagehttp://www.article-3.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Aaron-Swartz-Podcast.jpg

Aaron Hillel Swartz was an American computer programmer, writer, political organiser and Internet activist. He was involved in:

  • The development of the web feed format RSS

Imagehttp://www.macleans.ca/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/rss-icon.jpg

  • The organisation Creative Commons

Imagehttp://3.bp.blogspot.com/–gxJASaPhLA/T88WKtKTOpI/AAAAAAAAWfc/x2OdpV68_18/s1600/cc.jpg

  • The website framework web.py

Imagehttps://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-sK7dKvRPy0k/AAAAAAAAAAI/AAAAAAAAAB0/t__4oECu_b0/photo.jpg

  • The social news site, Reddit (he became partner after it’s merge with company, Infogami)

Imagehttp://www.thornybleeder.com/index_files/reddit-logo2.png

  • He also founded the online group Demand Progress, known for its campaign against the Stop Online Piracy Act

He was arrested for breaking and entering charges because he downloaded some academic journal articles from JSTOR. He was charged with two counts of wire fraud and 11 violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which carried a maximum penalty of $1 million in fines, 35 years in prison, asset forfeiture, restitution and supervised release. Two days later Swartz was found dead in his Brooklyn, New York apartment, where he had hanged himself. In June 2013, Swartz was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaron_Swartz

Clare told us this story in class and it is a really upsetting one, to know what he was fighting against eventually killed him, in an unfair, very sad way. There is a good chance that Aaron affected how we use the internet today and how we will use it in the future.

He was a co-created of Creative Commons which is an organisation which invented new forms of “copyleft” to let people choose to let their creations be free from copyright controls. It was this last motivation of his that was his downfall. He went to great lengths to make public domain information actually public and he successfully did this from the PACER service. However, years later he tried again using the Massachusetts Institute of Technologys (MIT) computer network to download around 70GB of papers from the academic database JSTOR. He was caught and ridiculously charged (listed previously).

He was a very smart, young man with so many promising adventures in his life. He felt very strongly about keeping the internet free, very strongly about the purpose of Creative Commons. It is a great loss for the world. He was such an innovative thinker, way beyond his time. It was what he was fighting against that killed him, I personally think it was not fair what they did to him for making “public information” actually public. I am glad I have come to learn about his struggles and efforts to keep the internet free and I appreciate everything he did.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/feb/11/aaron-swartz-icon-open-web-surveillance-nsa

Overall, I believe that copying is not theft, neither is “pirating” depending on what you are using it for. I believe that the internet should be a free internet now and in the future.

 

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand License.

Copyright, what is right and what is wrong?

A copyright lecture was an ITC class that was presented by Mark, however I was unfortunately sick and was not present for this class. I do though have great friends in the class who have talked to me about the lesson and I have read over the requirements on the NMIT online website. So I’m going to answer the questions the best I can 🙂

Copyright

Image
http://tsahaidesilva.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/copyright_585.gif

Copyright was originally recognized in a 1709 English law, which gave protections to both authors and purchasers of printed books. Modern copyright law has since expanded to cover a wide variety of creative works, and has the 1886 Berne Convention (international agreement governing copyright, which was first accepted in Berne Switzerland, in 1886. Berne Convention) and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (specialized agency of the United Nations,  “to encourage creative activity, to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world.” World Intellectual Property Organization) as the main points of international reference.
http://www.digitalnz.org/make-it-digital/enabling-use-re-use

Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA)

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a controversial United States digital rights management (DRM) law created October 28, 1998 by former President Bill Clinton. The reason behind DMCA was to create an updated version of copyright laws to deal with the special challenges of regulating digital material. Broadly, the aim of DMCA is to protect the rights of both copyright owners and consumers. The law complies with two treaties, the Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty which were both created by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and were ratified by over 50 countries around the world in 1996.
http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/Digital-Millennium-Copyright-Act-DMCA

What do you see are the biggest issues/problems with Digital Copyright today?

Because I missed the lesson I have got pretty much all of my information online, I have added the proper links to websites I have got my information off, since this is a copyright blog I will be thorough with my references :-). Basically what I see as the biggest problem with Digital Copyright is the fact that people who aren’t actually doing anything illegal are being branded as criminals, “pirates” or people who are doing very minimal things being charged ridiculously for them.

Because digital copyright has such a broad spectrum to cover, a lot of the time when they catch someone doing what they suspect is “illegal” the punishment is usually unjust and unfair. For example the “safe harbour” part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which covers all of the copyright infringement takedown notices, which means websites such as YouTube, Facebook and other companies that host content. They aren’t responsible for what users upload, the sites only responsibilities are to remove content, without question, in an “expedient” fashion and to have a policy in place to deal with repeat offenders. There have been circumstances because of this where people such as parents are being smacked with notices for filming their kids dancing to a song on the radio, only faintly audible. How is that fair?

Phone unlocking and jailbreaking, both notorious examples of the DMCA’s quizzical reach beyond what would typically fall under copyright. But aren’t these more issues of access than problems with a “copy”? For example a Kindle download; if you remove 1201, it’s still illegal for you to copy the file and give it to a friend, or thousands of strangers on the internet. But what is suddenly not illegal is breaking open the file to cut and paste a paragraph or two for a block quote in a paper, or summarise it for specific words or phrases.

Everyone knows the stories about massive fines charged against people who were caught file-sharing, such as Joel Tenenbaum. Who was charged something like $675,000 for sharing 31 songs, which is about $22,000 per song. This ruined a twenty somethings life financially and dragged his name through the mud for a bunch of songs. Over the top things like this happen because of something called statutory damages. Which happens when a decision is made before a trial that it’s hard to quantify, exactly, what damages were suffered, so prosecutors submit a range of minimum and maximum possible damages suffered and theres nothing stopping that range from being massively stupid, like $75-$150,000.

So, basically the biggest problems I see with Digital Copyright is the fact that people either get punished for not doing anything wrong, a mother sharing a video of her kids dancing or they get extremely punished for doing something very minimal wrong, like sharing 31 songs.

http://gizmodo.com/5989166/everything-wrong-with-digital-copyright/all

http://gizmodo.com/5937556/recording-industry-succeeds-in-ruining-a-kids-life-over-31-stupid-songs/all

What is fair and what is not?

Looking at the links that have been provided on Moodle, and doing a bit of research myself, has helped me learn things but also helped me get confused. There are a lot of things happening around the world, trying to sort out the constant what is copyright and what’s not battle. Some laws and acts are put in place to help the population such as Fair Dealing in the Copyright Act of New Zealand;

“Fair dealing” exceptions to infringement

A “fair dealing” with copyright material does not infringe copyright if it is for the
following purposes:

• research or private study;
• criticism or review; or
• reporting current events.

What is “fair” will depend on the facts of a particular case. Factors to take into
account when considering if a dealing is fair, include those listed below under
“Research or private study”.
Only the person doing the copying can rely on a fair dealing defence. It is not fair
dealing to copy for someone else’s purpose. For example, copying for another
person’s research is not fair, unless that person initiates a specific request for you to
make that copy on their behalf, for such a purpose.

Research or private study

Copying of copyright material does not infringe copyright if it is for the purpose of
either research or private study − and it is fair. No more than one copy may be made
on any one occasion.

The terms “research” and “private study” are given an ordinary meaning. In one
case, “research” has been described as “a diligent and systematic inquiry or
investigation into a subject in order to discover facts or principles”. In New Zealand,
research need not be for private purposes and may be commercially motivated.
Private study is generally personal to the person studying.

The Copyright Act lists several factors that must be taken into account in determining
whether copying for research or private study is fair. These factors are:
• the purpose of the copying (for example, copying for commercial purposes is
less fair than copying in connection with a course of study);
• the nature of the work copied (for example, it may be less fair to copy from a
work resulting from a high degree of skill than a mundane work);
Copyright Council of New Zealand
http://www.copyright.org.nz

3
• whether the work could have been obtained within a reasonable time at an
ordinary commercial price (it may be fair to copy all or part of a work that is not
available commercially, but unfair to copy where you can buy it);
• the effect of the copying on the potential market for or value of the work (for
example, where a person copies a work that is available for sale or licence); and
• the amount and substantiality of the part copied (for example, it is less fair to
copy a large or important part of a work than to copy a small or unimportant part).
It is likely that a court would also refer to the above factors for dealings with copyright
material which are not copying.

http://www.copyright.org.nz/viewInfosheet.php?sheet=338

Which helps us define the line between using, parts, links and quotes to enhance our work as students and full on stealing someone elses hard work. As a student I appreciate this as Fair Use because a lot of the time (including this blog) I use bits and pieces from different websites to help explain things and explain my point of view a lot better than I can. I think a lot of students, teachers, tutors do this as well, because name a subject and there will be someone on the internet that has given a lecture or explained the subject better than you can.”the nature of the work copied (for example, it may be less fair to copy from a work resulting from a high degree of skill than a mundane work)”, which is exactly right, if you have bits of information from different websites and one of them is from a highly educated person or a professional on the subject and the other is from a blogger or someone who is just having a “rant”. Using the educated choice could be considered as cheating because you are taking what professional on the subject has said whereas if you use something just from let’s say a blogger, an unprofessional person whose opinion is worded in a way that makes sense to you, or what they have said has a lot of meaning to you, explaining it better than you can. Being careful when choosing what information you use and where you use it from is crucial when following the Copyright laws.

However, there are some laws and acts that could be approaching that will not help the population in fact could make things a lot harder. Such as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) which is a trade agreement that is being secretly negotiated between 9 countries. Which is essentially the United States SOPA (is about theft of United States property, concerns websites and services located outside USA, which may get visitors or traffic from within the US) and ACTA (is about any internet content in any country) like policies, taking them and forcing them onto the rest of the world. Forcing them to sacrifice free speech and privacy in exchange for access to commodity markets (like tobacco and textiles). “But with TPP, the United States is trying to export the worst parts of its intellectual property law without bringing any of the above protections.” If TPP passes, it will be even harder to fix the existing problems is U.S Copyright Law. “TPP will undermine innovation around the world – kicking the ladder out from under developing countries.” Does this really sound like something that would be helpful and beneficial to the millions of people in those 9 countries, and after it is accepted in those countries what’s stopping it from being accepted by the rest of the would. Since America seems to be a real trend setter these days.
http://boingboing.net/2013/04/29/whats-big-corrupt-terrifyi.html

Imagehttps://www.eff.org/sites/default/files/TPP-banner.png

What are/is your solution(s) to these?

My solution to this is simple either provide easy legal alternatives or getting rid of these ridiculous fines for minimal offences. We have to realise that pirating is not going to slow down or stop anytime soon since it is an easy, cheap way to get things you want. I believe that people who “pirate” for their own personal use, to watch or listen to music is absolutely fine. People who are downloading for profit are the people that should be punished they are the real “pirates” who are stealing. So why not provide an easy alternative for those people downloading for personal use? That way the real criminals who are doing this to put money into their own pocket are rightfully punished, the ones that deserved to be punished. The issue of copyright is simple, people just need to give credit to the people who originally created it (text, picture, webpage, etc) , with for example; links, referencing, names, dates, numbers. I’m not saying they should create a new law but to simply fix the bugs in the current one. There is no need for anything new, especially for the United States to come in with their ridiculous “way of fixing things” and taking over the world, removing freedom of speech, taking over the internet essentially. Fixing the existing laws and acts put in place to prevent copyright, weeding out the bugs and putting in place more specific offences and punishments. I know it is difficult to define the line between non-criminal and criminal. Prosecute those who are intentionally stealing, and it is easy to tell between the two. Someone like a mother uploading a video on YouTube of her kids dancing to a barely audible song on the radio which is easily mistakenly done, compared to someone who intentionally uploads a TV episode or a movie. I mean it is pretty easy to tell who is in the wrong there.

What is your opinion of the current NZ and overseas legislation attempting to protect the owner of the work?

I believe that the legislations here in New Zealand and overseas need to be fixed up a bit, have things more specific, which I know is not an easy task! But I really believe that they have the right idea they just need to make them work in a more fair, just way.

Many politicians see the threat of so-called “piracy” as so significant that they’re willing to suspend conventional civil rights.

“The point was that eventually the measures employed in trying to fight such “wars” ends up crossing the lines that society draws around civil liberties, and the intangible cost to society becomes greater than any actual benefit. Professor [Lawrence] Lessig contends that the “Copyright war” has now reached that point”.
– Matthew Poole’s review of a Lessig talk on PublicAddress.Net

A lot of copyright law is being unduly influenced by large media companies.

There are many organisations trying to fix Copyright laws, and the CFF is just one of them. Internet NZ, Consumer NZ, and others are already pushing for due process to be carried out in New Zealand, and there are others pushing for fair changes to copyright laws. There are many viable solutions to this issue — all that is needed is for Copyright Law to be adapted so it makes sense for the 21st Century.
http://creativefreedom.org.nz/copyright/

I took this from a website off Moodle, because it makes a lot of sense to me and touches on some good points towards what I am trying to say. That the Copyright laws don’t need to be thrown out, they just need to be “adapted so it makes sense for the 21st century”. I mean things are very different now, we are a technological age and we live on the internet, so this law definitely needs to be updated. It desperately needs to sort out the whole copyright, piracy, stealing dilemma that is a outgoing problem that will not be solved until specific laws are put in place. Not only to stop criminals but to help those non criminals not really doing anything wrong from getting wrongfully prosecuted.

This has been a difficult blog for me to put together because I missed the lesson but I have tried the best I can, using the resources on Moodle and from my own research.

Overall, we need to know what is right and what is wrong and those who are in the wrong need to be correctly punished. Those who are not in the wrong need to stop being punished. We want a fair law not a freedom of speech take over. We need an update, not a change.

The Treaty of Waitangi, another history lesson or an interesting eye opener?

We had a brief class with Craig about the Treaty of Waitangi and historical events that happened at the same time in other countries. This was a pretty cool lesson because I am a fan of history. However, I have never really been too fanscinated with New Zealand history because we are such a young country compared to so many. This blog will also be a fairly structured one as I have questions I need to answer, this topic has always been a difficult one for me so please go easy on me 🙂

1. How do you feel about your understanding on NZ history?
Is your historical information researched based or do you rely on media?

I feel that my understanding and knowledge of NZ history is quite bare. I have had lessons on different aspects of NZ throughout my schooling but have never really let it sink it. It is probably not a great thing to say but it doesn’t interest me. I have been told before that it’s because New Zealand is such a young country, whereas countries like England (whose history I am totally obssessed with) is quite an old country, rich with history. I know some historical information from having to do research for assignments and some from the media that I see on Facebook or the news. I am part Maori and when I was younger used to embrace it, but for some reason it has really taken a back seat in my life.

2.How do you feel about the Treaty?
-What emotions does it bring up for you?
-Is it a them vs us opinion?
-Is it an important NZ document?

I don’t really have any strong feelings towards the Treaty, it is an important New Zealand document, it is a reason why we are where we are today. However, it doesn’t bring up any emotions for me, but I do respect the decisions and sacrifices that were made for this country and my culture. Personally I don’t think there is a them vs us, to me it is us, because let’s face it there is a part of both in nearly all of us. So my opinion on “them vs us”, I have never heard it being said like that, their all a part of our past. I suppose when the treaty was being signed it was to some degree thought of as “them vs us”.

3.Review one of the documents you were shown, post about something important or eye opening you have learnt

Imagehttp://www.iaa.govt.nz/images/treaty2.jpg

I read the document “The Journey of the Treaty” and it really opened my eyes to how much the treaty itself and the people involved had to endure over the last 150ish years. “Nine surviving documents comprising the Treaty have been moved around New Zealand and have been forgotten about, threatened by fire and eaten by rats”. This actually surprised me a lot that a document so important to our history was so mistreated over its lifetime. I had no idea but have always wondered why it was missing so much. “The original English and Maori drafts of the Treaty have both disappeared”. This really amazed me, very mysterious :-). But also quite saddening to know that we will never know what was written on the original English and Maori Treaties. “The Treaty of Waitangi originals were hardly seen again until 1908, when Dr Thomas Hodson came across them in the basement of Government buildings”. How shocking is that? Something so important just so easily forgotten in a basement!! Someone just randomly stumbling upon it, really makes me a little bit disappointed that it was treated in such a way. The Treaty has been repaired many times over 1913-1980, a long time and a lot of repairs, some of which actually made it’s condition worse! The Treaty has finally got a home in the Constitution room at Archives New Zealand, which is nice to know it finally is having the care and upkeep that it deserves.

Imagehttp://www.danielreeve.co.nz/Waitangi/images/Waitangi.jpg

What also opened my eyes is how much these men and women endured over the period of the Treaty signing. For example; Governor William Hobson suffered a stroke which left half his body paralysed and yet he still continued to his best efforts to see that the Treaty was signed. Using his left hand (he was right handed) to sign and seal some copies of the Treaty, left a strange signature due to the fact that the right side of his body was paralysed. This is really amazing that even through something as serious as a stroke, their commitment was great, they are the reason why we are where we are today. Crazy when you think about it like that!

Imagehttp://www.teara.govt.nz/files/36339-atl.jpgImagehttp://www.treatyofwaitangi.net.nz/HobSigMontage.JPG

 

4. How does New Zealand history fit in with what was happening globally in regards to the Treaty happening and not outright domination? Yet this still ending up with the Maori wars

This has been very interesting for me because I have never thought about what other parts of the world were going through at the same time, the differences, the similarities. I tried to focus on events that were happening the same year or very close to when the Treaty was signed, 1840. So let’s begin!

Lebanon

  • 10th September 1840: Ottoman Empire (now Turkey) and British troops bombard Beirut (the capital and largest city of Lebanon) and land troops on the coast to pressure Eqyptian Muhammad Ali (who took over their lands in the first Turko-Egyptian war) to retreat from the country.

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(picture above, extent of Muhammad Ali’s rule in 1840)
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c4/Egypt_under_Muhammad_Ali_map_de.png/524px-Egypt_under_Muhammad_Ali_map

  • 14th October 1840: Bashir Shihab (most powerful figure in Greater Syria during the first part of the 19th century) leader of the Maronites surrenders to British forces and goes into exile in Malta (a small island in the middle of the Mediterranean).

Image  Imagehttp://www.nationsonline.org/map_small/malta_small_map.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/11/

Ireland

1840s – 1850s: The Great Famine of the 1840s caused the deaths of one million Irish people and over a million more emigrated to escape it. Sometime referred to as “Irish Potato Famine”. The rumoured cause of the famine was a potato disease commonly known as “potato blight”. A census taken in 1841 showed a population over 8 million. In 1851 after the famine another one was taken which showed a population of approximately 6,552,385, a drop of almost 1.5 million in 10 years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1840s

Imagehttp://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/29/Ireland_population_change_1841_1851.png

Canada

23rd July 1840 – 25th April 1849: In July 1840 the Province of Canada is created by the Act of Union. In February 1841 the two colonies of The Canadas are merged into the United Province of Canda. In March 1848, the first Joint Premiers of the Province of Canada are elected under a system of “responsible government” (Canadian meaning of Responsible Government). In April 1849, James Bruce 8th Earl of Elgin, the Governor General of Canada, signs the “Rebillion Losses Bill” (basically a compensation for the victims of 1837 Rebellions), outraging Montreal’s English population and triggering the Montreal Riots.

ImageImagehttp://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/en/article/rebellion-losses-bill/
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5Ar-rMLlpYM/T6xb2lNw7CI/AAAAAAAAXcU/OE-61PAo6rw/s1600

China

1839-1842: The First Opium War also known as the Anglo-Chinese War, was fought between Great Britain and China over their different views on diplomatic relations, trade and the administration of justice for foreign nationals. Prior to the conflict Chinese officials wished to end the spread of opium and confiscated around 20,000 chests of opium (approx 1.21 million kgs) from British traders. In 1842 the Treaty of Nanking was signed establishing Hong Kong as a British Colony.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Opium_War

Imagehttp://blog.holachina.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/british-ships.jpg

America

1846-1848: The Mexican-American War was fought between the United States and the Centralist Republic of Mexico. In 1845 America won and gained undisputed control over Texas and portions of Arizona, California and New Mexico.

Imagehttp://mexicanhistory.org/mexusmap2.jpg

1848: The Seneca Falls Convention (first convention for women’s rights) was held in Seneca Falls, New York. Discussed the social, civil and religious condition and rights of women. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seneca_Falls_Convention)

Imagehttp://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l3mjxdjvoy1qagi24.jpg

1837: Panic of 1837 triggered by the failing banks in America is followed by a severe depression lasting until 1845. Profits, prices and wages went down while unemployment went up. It was caused by a variety of things, speculative lending practices in western states, a sharp decline in cotton prices, a collapsing land bubble, international specie flows and restrictive lending policies in Great Britain. Basically the years 1837-1844 were years of deflation in wages and prices.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panic_of_1837

Imagehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panic_of_1837

That is just a speck of the major events happening around the world in the 1840s, not a good time! Now my understanding of this question is a bit hazy but I’m going to try and answer it the best I can :-). As you can see from the wars that were happening globally at the time, they were “settled” at some point with a treaty or an agreement not complete domination. The Mexican-American War, similar to the Treaty of Waitangi in the way that Americans wanted Mexican land, they believed it was theirs so they took it at first by force but then it was settled (they won) and they gained land. A similar situation happened to the English and Maori, the English wanted Maori land, there were many treaties signed but the Maori felt like they were being cheated so there was force, in the end they came to an agreement. So, what was happening in New Zealand in 1840 was pretty much happening all over the world. Craig mentioned in class “don’t think the Maori people didn’t travel the world”, I believe they did, they would have seen what was happening globally. They would have seen similar arguments, outcomes, wars. Probably got some ideas as well! My personal opinion is that the English organised the treaty because they were surprised at how strong the Maori actually were, they saw France as a threat to this land they wanted and the Maori saw a way to still have wanted land without the risk of becoming extinct by the British forces. So, the treaty was signed instead of resorting to “outright domination”.

 

5. How could this global perspective help ease tensions in NZ, allowing us to remove the “us vs them” mentality and see that we were apart of something bigger.

This global perspective would definitely ease tensions in New Zealand! It comes down to the simple fact that we are not alone!! Constantly, then and now around the world there have been an uncountable amount of similar occurrences as we had here in New Zealand. I mean as “New Zealanders” (taking into account our “young” history) we have got it pretty lucky compared to some other parts of the world, who to this day are still fighting. It’s pretty silly to define New Zealand as a “us vs them” country when there is a part of so many different cultures in us. I have both Maori (my mum) and English (my dad) in me as well as so many other people in this country. We need to realise that just because it’s our own country doesn’t mean what the English have been doing to the Maori people for years is ok. We are all part of this country, we need to accept each other as equal parts of this country. With all the chaos in the world we just need to take a step back and take a look at the bigger picture!!

6. What does the united nations have to do with the Treaty?

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the United Nations adopted this declaration in September 2007. It was described by the UN as  “a landmark declaration that brought to an end nearly 25 years of contentious negotiations over the rights of native people to protect their lands and resources, and to maintain their unique cultures and traditions.” The declaration includes both individual and collective rights; cultural rights and identity, rights to education, health, employment, language. It declares discrimination against indigenous peoples unlawful and promotes their full and effective participation in all matters that concern them. The declaration explicitly encourages harmonious and cooperative relations between States and indigenous peoples.

http://www.hrc.co.nz/human-rights-and-the-treaty-of-waitangi/united-nations-declaration-on-the-rights-of-indigenous-peoples/

In 2010 arguments and disagreements carried on between the Maori and English, which provoked the United Nations attentions. “I cannot help but note the extreme disadvantage in the social and economic conditions of Maori people, which are dramatically manifested in the continued and persistent high levels of incarceration of Maori individuals,” James Anaya, UN Special Rapporteur on indigenous people. Who was visiting New Zealand over a six day period, welcoming the country’s recent endorsement of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. “This declaration, far from affirming rights that place indigenous people in a privileged position, aims at repairing the ongoing consequences of the historical denial of the right to self-determination and other basic human rights,”. He highlighted the process for settling historical and comtemporary claims based on the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi.

Image

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp/story.asp?NewsID=35415&Cr=indigenous&Cr1=#.UzZjRPmSxLE

I believe that is a fair declaration, that finally after so many years of “he said, he said” between English and Maori, the Maori are starting to get their side of the agreement. The UN has really put forward a declaration to be proud of. Allowing the Maori culture rights, after so many years of discrimination. The United Nations part in the Treaty of Waitangi these days is inforcing the rights Maori people were promised.

7.Read the document that outlines the Treaty. What clause seems to be the most significant to you. Why?

Article the third
English Text
“In consideration thereof Her
Majesty the Queen of England
extends to the Natives of New
Zealand Her royal protection and
imparts to them all the Rights and
Privileges of British Subjects”.

Why is this significant to me? Reading over the English text of the treaty, has made me oddly quite fustrated because of the fact that so much was promised to the Maori people and nothing was delivered. They gave up their land, their homes and got pretty much nothing in return. As it says above they were promised protection, rights and privileges of British subjects but it has taken over 160 years for the treaty to be reinforced. It is quite saddening to read the treaty and know that really to be frank it was a bunch of lies. I have never really had much interest or care towards the treaty, but reading it especially this part has made me feel quite disppointed. Why were they not given what they were promised? Did the English intentionally do that? Knowing that the UN has started to inforce Maori rights is a relief. I have heard a few times that life being a Maori way back in the day wasn’t easy, they were discriminated against, they weren’t allowed to express their culture, their language. So, this part is significant to me because it reminds me of all the struggles and hard ship Maori people have been through just to be who they are and to get what they were promised.

8. Why is the treaty still relevant today? Why is it still legal and binding today?

I found this, someone wrote on a webpage and I think it is very interesting and well put.

“Outside the Treaty of Waitangi the government has no other written constitution to govern. When David Lange broke ties to the queen, he unwittently severed any further right to govern.

I can’t think why the Treaty should be judged because if its age. Our whole system of government is based on archaic notions such as the royal perogative. If age is a disqualification, we need a new constitution, this time at which both sides have a lawyer.

The Treaty of Waitangi was an agreement made between the Crown and the existing nation of inhabitants of Aotearoa. It is therefore dishonourable that anyone should abandon it for the sake of convenience. What lacks in this argument is perspective – if this was the case now between modern NZ and an advanced power who wished to colonize us only to abandon their promises.

Absolutely it is. Someone said the treaty was between “a group of Maori tribes and Queen Victoria”. It was, and still is, between the Crown and the Maori who signed it. What’s hilarious is that a lot of English seem to think the Treaty is some terrible thing that gives Maori all sorts of privileges. In reality, it gives us the privilege to be here. Before the Treaty, the Crown had no right to enforce any law here and that’s one of the reason’s it was signed.

The Treaty should stay, could you imagine how dysfunctional the country would be if we stop adhering to what it relates to? There would be no government, no protection to anybody and I bet there would be a big war. We didn’t sign it but I still see people are listening and obeying the rules of the government which is saying something!”

http://www.politics.org.nz/webapps/cid/23106/44861/vote/vote-debate.html?questid=114

Why is the treaty still relevant today? Because it is what our whole country is based on. It is the foundation of our government. The treaty gives everyone a place to belong. The right to be here for those whose ancestory is not from the local indigenous peoples stems from the relationship made with those peoples. It may be old pieces of paper to some, forgotten about for years almost destroyed by fire and rats. To others it is our governments first stepping stone, it is the reason why we are where we are today. Why would we put aside something that was kept this country running for years. The Treaty itself has been incorporated into New Zealand law as far back as 1865, although there have been arguments to take these incorporations out of NZ law but it was indicated that even if it happened, the Treaty may still have been legally binding. I personally believe that it’s good the treaty is still relevant today and it should be for many more years. We can’t ignore our history, the hard ships, the wars, the arguments both English and Maori have had because of this treaty and we want to put all that aside for something new? That will no doubt suit the governments (John Keys) agenda (no offence intended). Even if we don’t include it in New Zealands law it is still the founding document of New Zealand as a nation and we should embrace it.

http://nwo.org.nz/files/TheRelevanceOfTheTreatyToday-KMP.pdf

Business point of view

Business systems was the ITC lecture given to us this week by Sandra, and I loved it! The reason I think I enjoyed it (other than the fact it was the last class on a Friday) was that we were covering a lot of accounting and business terminology. I have a background in Business Administration which covered accounting, so I knew a lot of what was going on which was a nice change of pace for me :-). It is important for us as IT professionals to interact with businesses in the future so an understanding of business terminology is crucial.

1. Explain the purpose of the following documents

Purchase Order: Is what the purchaser gives to the supplier to show goods ordering or services providing, price, dates, order number, delivery address etc.

Invoice: A list of ordered goods or services with a statement of how much money is owed.
Tax Invoice: Also a statement of how much money is owed for goods or services but shows whether it is GST inclusive or exclusive.

Statement: Monthly statements given to credit customers, summarising tax invoices, any credit notes, payments received and how much is owed.

Remittance Advice: Payments made to suppliers are accompanied by Remittance slips, helps the supplier identify and reconcile the payment.

Credit Note: Issued to either customer or business if goods have been returned or they were over-charged for their purchase.

Bank Deposit Slip: When a deposit is made at the bank, a bank deposit slip is completed. A copy is kept by the bank and the other given to the business.

Cheque Requisition Form: Gives the authorisation for writing a cheque, includes requisition number, payee’s details, amount, reason for payment, name of person, authorised signature and name.

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2. Using the documents above , explain the flow of documents in the following situations.

Our business buying goods on credit and then paying for them the next month

When our business is buying goods we receive a Purchase Order, which will go hand in hand with a Purchase Requisition Form basically it’s a form from the business approving this purchase. If a Credit Note is needed we will receive it. We will also receive a Tax Invoice because it is important the supplier provides us with an invoice outlining whether it is GST inclusive or exclusive. We will receive a Statement, it will outline how much we owe the supplier considering that we are paying next month. We will then begin the process of payment this is where the Cheque Requisition Form comes into play, to approve the payment via cheque we are going to make to the supplier, we will include Remittance Advice. Sending the supplier a Remittance Slip so they can identify and reconcile our payment. Bank Deposit Slip  could also possibly be a part of this process, if the business decided to deposit money into their own account to ensure they had enough for payment, or to deposit the payment into the suppliers account.

Our business is selling goods on credit and receiving payment for them the next month

Very similar to the previous process just from a different point of view. Our business sends the customer a Purchase Order entailing goods ordering, price, delivery address etc. If goods have been ordered wrong or if we have over-charged the customer we will issue them with a Credit Note. The business will then send out their Tax Invoice and then Statement, also considering they plan to pay next month. The next bit of the process would depend on whether it is a cash or credit sale. In this case it is a credit sale, so we would receive payment from the customer with either EFTPOS or credit card, they will also include a Remittance Slip. If it was a cash sale other documents like Bank Deposit Slip, would be used.

Links to Inland Revenue’s webpage
(I was unsure about which “Internet Tax Guide”, so I linked all I could find) 🙂

IR320 Smart Business

IR1010 Business Support in NZ

IR375 GST Guide

IR335 Business Guide

IR1022 Online Trading

4. List the information required on a tax invoice
http://www.ird.govt.nz/gst/work-out/work-out-records/records-tax/tax-info/

  • The words “Tax Invoice” in a prominent place
  • The name (or trade name) and GST number of the supplier
  • The name and address of the recipient of the supply
  • The date the invoice was issued
  • A description of the goods and/or services supplied
  • The quantity or volume of the goods and/or services supplied
  • It must be either GST inclusive or exclusive

5. Reflect on the importance of IT professionals understanding business terminology and document flow. 

We discussed this a bit in class, so we all have inputs into why it is important. I believe it is important because of how closely entwined the business and IT departments are in most organisations. The admin people need the computers, IT people fix and maintain those computers. Also, in some businesses the IT department install and maintain accounting software, knowing how the programme works is crucial so they need to know about accounting and the terminology. IT professionals also have to know how to communicate with customers, they will find that they will have their own customers, the way they act reflects directly on the business. When designing programmes, organising software for the business IT professionals need to know which ones will suit the business, which ones other departments will know how to use. So, to be a successful IT professional in a business environment we need to understand not only business terminology but also how the business works. Understanding things from a “business point of view”.           

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