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Category Archives: 2-travelogue

Cyborgasms – Sex and the Internet

In what ways have developments in new media changed the landscape that we may call the playground of sex, pornography and gender roles?

Required Readings:

Required Readings and Viewings:

  • Sex 2.0: Keynote by Melissa Gira Grant
  • Technesexual by Micha Cárdenas and Elle Mehrmand
  • A New Playground: Sexual Predators and Pedophiles Online: Criminalizing Cyber Sex Between Adults and Minors by Tyler Patrick Lovejoy [St Thomas Law Review 20 no2 311-57 Wint 2008]

New Media and The Digital Natives

We are no longer citizens of different nations, but citizens of the internet…

Required Reading:

  • We Are Digital Natives by Barrett Lyon – “Some Digital Natives are deeply affiliated with all sorts of interests that bring them together organically: Piracy groups, massively multiplayer online games, open source software development, cracking encryption, etc. Others become deeply interested in movements such as Anonymous, the RBN (Russian Business Network), or even terrorist organizations.”
  • The Future of The Internet and How to Stop it by Jonathan Zittrain – “The Internet’s current trajectory is one of lost opportunity. Its salvation, Zittrain argues, lies in the hands of its millions of users. Drawing on generative technologies like Wikipedia that have so far survived their own successes, this book shows how to develop new technologies and social structures that allow users to work creatively and collaboratively, participate in solutions, and become true ‘netizens.’

Recommended Viewing:

  • Born Digital presentation by John Palfrey – “As part of the Google D.C. Talks series, and in partnership with Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Professor John Palfrey offers a sociological portrait of “digital natives” — children who were born into and raised in the digital world — with a particular focus on their conceptions of online privacy.”
    (you can play it in the background, it’s not very visual)

Museums and the Web & Public Space and Interfaces

Feeling like picking up our class discussion? Then mark these events in your agenda:

Event #1: Wikipedia, Museums, Libraries, and Access to Art Collections

Wednesday, April 21, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM, 203 Butler Library,  Morningside Heights Campus, Columbia University.

Monday, April 26, 11:00 am, Columbia Law School, W&J Warren Hall, Room 101.

Event related to the Museums and the Web 2010 conference

Speaker: Liam Wyatt, Vice President of Wikimedia Australia

The availability of art images through Wikimedia and other openly accessible sources is often defined and controlled by license agreements and institutional policies asserted by museums and even libraries that hold the original art collections.  Re-evaluation and critical examination of policies that will enable museums to better contribute to and use Wikipedia or Wikimedia Commons, and for the Wikimedia community to benefit from the expertise in museums.  This session will provide a close look at rules, guidelines and examples that can be clarified to order to promote active engagement between the keepers of the collections and the scholars, publishers, and other members of the public who seek to benefit from them.

Event #2: The Polytechnic Institute of New York University presents:

WiFi Geographies: Designing Interfaces and Interventions or Collaboration in Place

Thursday, April 22, 2010. 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm, Dibner Building, LC 400, Five MetroTech Center, Brooklyn, New York

Speaker: Laura, Forlano, Phd, Cornell University.

How can we reformat our cities and public spaces – and the architectures and technologies within them — as sites of collaboration and innovation? This presentation examines the ways in which WiFi enables the formation of networks of socio-technical spaces that reconfigure people, work and forms of organizing based on a year-long empirical research project. This presentation will also report on an ongoing collaborative design project, Breakout!  Escape from the Office, which was presented by The Architectural League of New York as part of the Situated Technologies: Toward the Sentient City exhibition

Online collaboration–pre-conclusion.

YouTube Preview Image

Sorry about this temporary conclusion. In the end, the project finally started to give some results, but very slolwly. There’s a lot to learn from that, too (I know there was a reason). I will definitely post my conclusion, but I thought I needed to wait a bit more and see if I could reach the final stage or not. Thanks, guys.

Is Social Media The New Global Diplomat ?

Sorry about the delayed post … but I’m working on something that I hope is going to turn out to be amazing for the concluding travelogue and it is in two parts, so that is taking up a lot of time … I do have  a short podcast for this post which should be up later tonight!

However I do have a few questions for you all today & I’d love some feedback and input as it could help me with my conclusion -

A) Did you know that the Internet is one of the nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize this year ?

B) Do you agree with the statement that Social Media is or can become the new Global Diplomat ?

C) Can you think of any examples of communities, people, nations or groups using the internet and its various tools to open channels of communication and start a meaningful dialogue?

Siva Vaidhyanathan is on WNYC right now talking about Google leaving China

Tune in online if you can! http://www.wnyc.org/shows/bl/episodes/2010/03/24

Mobile Advertising: Location-Based SMS

So my several attempts at trying to use SlideShare failed miserably. Here is my first log for the Travelogue #4 in series of images. Sorry about the late post guys.

Marketing Peace: Aman ki Asha + Social Media

A few months ago, two media houses – The Times of India Group and the Jang Group of Pakistan – launched a new project called AMAN KI ASHA (Desire for Peace), a joint initiative to foster cultural and diplomatic relations between two countries that have been at odds for over 60years.

On the face of it the project seems to be a noble one, attempting to bring together people and cultures that are historically entwined and share many commonalities. It is spearheaded by two large media conglomerates that have the means and power to bring together many influential and important people from both countries in order to have a meaningful dialogue. The push has been largely cultural so far with print and broadcast media being the main outlets for the campaign.

The photo posted above, alongwith the official articles and television commercials that can be found on youtube and elsewhere on the web attempt to mingle identities, icons and highlight the similarities of the two nations that were formerly one.

For me, personally the campaign, which I consider a publicity gimmick,  became interesting when someone directed me to their Facebook Page, which has a mere 16000 + fans. This led me to explore the websites set up by each media group respectively, and then the blogosphere to see what buzz this’ long-awaited’ campaign was creating online. My finds(and lack thereof) have been quite intriguing so far …  so through this travelogue I aim to the following

a) Discuss the various voices of dissent, cynicism and negativity that I can see  online

b) Video Interview and discuss with young Indians and Pakistanis the potential of such a project offline and online

c) Figure out how to better the digital footprint of this  project and how important is the social media aspect of such an initiative (which so far seems untapped)

Most importantly though, I”m wondering, is this just clever marketing? Or can non-governmental corporations create borderless media / mediums via which we can promote and produce better communication and peace processes between nations ?

** Introductory Podcast  coming up as soon as it converts to MP3 without freezing my computer **

Copyright in China, 960–1279

I am in Taiwan for Spring Break (woo hoo!) and I came across something yesterday while visiting the National Palace Museum that made me think of our class:

Apple’s Anti-Porn Crusade: The Real Motive and Squashing the Weak

My title may have been somewhat misleading. Yes, I did do more secondary research on the real motive behind Apple’s banning of “overly sexual content”, but “squashing the weak” has more to do with the lack of response I have gotten from Apple.

The first thing I did was I went to the Developer Forum under Apple’s Support page. In the Apple’s developers support forum, I was unable to find any questions or discussion surrounding Apple’s banning of sexual content-related apps or any apps for that matter. I cannot say for sure, but I am leaning towards concluding that Apple may have removed these posts or discussions for the sake of making this matter more down-low and under-the-cover. I cannot imagine that nobody has asked a question regarding this matter. So I dug a little deeper. Let’s try to ask a question myself. Well, as soon as I tried to post something to the forum, I got to the “Apple Discussion User Agreement“. Typically, I would ignore something like this and just click agree and move on. But WAIT! Let’s read a bit deeper into what can be discussed on this forum. Under Section 2: Submission, Apple Discussions is here to help people use Apple products and technologies more effectively. Unless otherwise noted, do not add Submissions about nontechnical topics, including:…2. Discussions of Apple policies or procedures or speculation on Apple decisions.” In other words, I am not allowed to post anything or ask questions about why Apple is banning sexual apps from the App Store, or what the boundary is. It also states in the earlier part of the agreement that “Apple retains the right, but not the responsibility, to edit or remove any Submission, including those deemed by Apple to violate the Agreement.” In other words, what I thought previously was true. Even if a person was able to successfully post a question regarding Apple’s decision or policy without getting it banned, it WILL get erased by Apple.

Discouraged by running to one dead end, I decided to go Apple’s iPhone Dev Center. This really confused me. It seemed like the site was really for developers (as it should be) and included mostly technical information regarding coding and programming. I looked around for anything involving content restriction or what sort of content is allowed, but failed to find any information regarding this. So it seems that my second stop got me nowhere as well. Perhaps an information is hidden deeply in that pile of instructions and guidelines about programming, but it is so well hidden that I cannot actually reach for it. It’s almost like a hidden treasure.

So I thought let’s contact Apple directly. I went to Apple’s “Contact Us” page. There is no contact number or e-mail for developer’s or about App Store specifically. The only one that seemed even remotely close, was “U.S. iPhone technical support”. I called the number, but apparently you need to own an iPhone to get to talk to representative, because it told me to enter a case number or iPhone number.

Looking around blogsphere, I was able to find what the e-mail that bans an app looks like:

The App Store continues to evolve, and as such, we are constantly refining our guidelines. Your application, Wobble iBoobs (Premium Uncensored), contains content that we had originally believed to be suitable for distribution. However, we have recently received numerous complaints from our customers about this type of content, and have changed our guidelines appropriately.

We have decided to remove any overtly sexual content from the App Store, which includes your application.

Thank you for your understanding in this matter. If you believe you can make the necessary changes so that Wobble iBoobs (Premium Uncensored) complies with our recent changes, we encourage you to do so and resubmit for review.

iPhone App Review

So this is not something that was set up “originally”, but only implemented and enforced recently. Actually what is more odd is that by digging around I was able to find out that Apple did ban such Apps in the beginning, but changed their stance and decided to be more open and flexible about such boundaries. This is very concerning because it doesn’t just show that Apple changed their decision on what they define as appropriate, but their definition can be flexible to best serve them.

So in conclusion, I ended up running in circles in my personal research to contact Apple directly or find something about from them. Meanwhile, after running into dead ends, I had my friend who actually works for a company that develops games for iPhone to contact Apple directly. I will include this information in my wrap-up post on Monday if I hear something back.