Category Archives: Other

farewell

I wanted to write a standard farewell post for the readers of this blog, at least for a while.

The Net Communications experience is drawing to a close in some 10 hours. Thereafter, I am forbidden from editing, or adding to this blog. So as such, this will be our last chance to speak for a while.

For my NetComm compadres, I wish you well in your final few weeks of semester – I’m sure you’ll all find it of some comfort that I am done for the semester with all four or my final assignments due tomorrow at 5pm. Ha!

For now, I’ll leave this little quote that I came across earlier in the semester. I hope you find it as comforting as I have.

Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.
~ Walt Whitman

Best wishes,

//nickkotzman.

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the winds of change

… are blowing through this blog.

As we enter the final ten days of this subject, I’ve decided to rearrange parts of my blog. I’ve been informed that the 500 word suggestion per ‘assessable posts’ is less of a suggestion and more of a rule. In light of this information, I’ve scaled back my posts and hopefully made the argument clearer.

If the comments on edited posts no longer correlate with the content, I’m terribly sorry, but such is the manner of the internet: constant flux… ever changing… etcetera, etcetera.

Thanks for checking in on my blog throughout the semester. I hope you’ve found your visits here to be worthwhile.

Kind regards,

//nickkotzman.

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net neutrality

I came across this story when I was watching Hungry Beast last week, and it seemed appropriate to repost it here.

The video opens with a short and simple description of the internet: its a network which joins my computer to yours and your computer to your friend’s, and so on. But what the video rightly point out, is that the connections between computers that make up the network are owned by ISPs.

What surprised me in this video was the realisation that ISPs have the ability to control so much of the ‘free’ information that we take for granted. Especially in Australia, with only two major ISPs (Telstra and Optus), we are susceptible to the disadvantages of a duopoly.

The thought that ISPs could start providing preferential access to information hosted on servers in the United States or in Asia is a concerning one. As John Perry Barlow is quoted towards the end of the clip; the internet is also very difficult to regulate. While the Australian government would be able to introduce regulatory laws at a federal level to influence the control of individual Aussie ISPs, the Australian Government would be unable to influence American ISPs or Asian ISPs in the same way.

We take the “level playing field” of the internet for granted, but it’s something that needs to be protected. The only question is, by who?

//nickkotzman.

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internet piracy

I was looking to learn more about the basics of internet piracy when I came across this short video. The presenter’s humour is not ideal, but the content of what he’s saying is really worthwhile.

I think what’s most interesting about this video is his differentiation between ‘piracy’ and ‘theft’. He describes that when an individual downloads an mp3, it’s not theft. Something needs to be owned, and have that ownership withdrawn for theft to occur. With mp3s, you are merely downloading a copy of the file, rather than the single file itself. He goes on to describe the premise of ‘piracy is theft’ that underlines so many of the guilt-inducing anti-piracy advertisements rests on a big assumption: that you would have paid for the mp3, if you couldn’t have downloaded it.

Have a look and let me know what you think.

//nickkotzman.

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revolutions via social networking

In my weekend browsing of my favourite websites, I came across this little gem.

Cory Doctorow examines the use of technology and online software (like Facebook) for organising activist rallies.

Autocrats’ use of technology against the Middle Eastern uprisings has been a wake-up call to a large group of technology activists and activists who use technology. As I write this, the net is alive with privacy-conscious activists building organizing tools that preserve anonymity, that fill the gap when governments pull the plug on the net, that prevent eavesdropping and fight disinformation.

Doctorow makes an interesting observation. With platforms like Facebook and Twitter being used and cited as vital components to political revolution, a key feature of these services has been forgotten – that they were not built for uses like these.

[Despite] the immediate convenience of Facebook [there are] long-term risks of putting our freedom in the hands of private concerns who’ve never promised to preserve it.

The difference between corporations like Facebook and Twitter and foreign Government agencies, is that the former have no obligation to maintain the anonymity that its activist users rely upon to carry out their operations.

Have a read:

http://www.locusmag.com/Perspectives/2011/05/cory-doctorow-techno-optimism/

//nickkotzman.

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‘blog’ is a funny word

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the greatest movie ever sold

This TED talk isn’t entirely relevant to Net Communications, but it’s quite pertinent to the degree that many of us are doing, Media and Communications.

In this 20min video, Morgan Spurlock – the guy who did Supersize Me – talks about his next project: a movie entirely sponsored by product placement. No other investment other than advertising firms who wish to promote their clients’ products…

Open a cupboard? Full of Kellogg’s cereal.

Open the fridge? Full of Coca-Cola.

Etcetera. etcetera.

Spurlock asserts that anything can be sponsored by advertising firms, and despite the lack of interest he initially encountered when approaching a number of top tier advertising firms, Spurlock shows that truly everything can be sold… including the TED talk itself!

Anyway, worth a look, irrespective of anything else, he’s an excellent presenter. Enjoy!

//nickkotzman.

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