Archive for the ‘ Blog 1 ’ Category

Blog 1 – The Semantic Web

I had never heard of the term “Semantic Web” before so I had to brush up on some knowledge before beginning this blog. The amount of data that is withheld online is so vast it is unimaginable. How could one individual sort out mountains of pages and seek what he or she is actually looking for? Well we have Google and that is fine for now (also has it’s problems), but what is the next step in evolution? Imagine jumping onto your computer one day and news feeds of exactly what you were going to search for automatically pops up. What if it correctly predicted your actions for the next few hours? That is like something out of Ironman, having your own personal Jarvis. It would be surreal, your experiences online would a be breeze like you are literally “surfing” because the Semantic Web can mimic your thoughts and actions.

Now combining the Semantic Web and The Internet of Things is a scary thought. Having said that I think it is already happening as we speak. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social

media websites. Who is it to say they aren’t placing us into categories which then can be managed and analysed by computers? (we already are for advertisements and suggestions) Obviously not to the vast scale of the Semantic web but the foundation is already there. We are already so protective of our privacy as it is with current networking websites that I don’t even know what would happen if it were connected to the Semantic Web and beyond (web 4, 5 +). It would break our form of Democracy, the Constitution, our right to privacy, everything of what it means to be human. Which brings me to my next point if data ever becomes machine understandable and all our physical characteristics and actions are stored. By this time we would be under the laws of communism unless a new form of government is brought to office. That in itself is already a blurring of humanity (whole argument in itself). You could not hide from the Government, machines would roam the cities and streets, your home. Where is your freedom? You are constantly being analyised and categorised by machines, every action you take may be misinterpreted for the worse. Machines are not humans, no matter how technological advanced they become simply because they do not posses one important human trait, emotion.

Damn I should direct a movie 😛

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Blog 1 – Facebook’s ToS & Privacy Policy

So I am one to admit I never read the ToS/T&Cs of any program or website I purchase/register to. My assumption has always been that by using common sense I would never breach any code or practice in the first place. I use the service how it was intended to be without abusing its features. All good and well but now that I think about it my assumption does not protect me from possible data collection, privacy rights and possible security threats that may lead to leaked information about myself or family and friends. It’s kind of daunting how billions of people in society live under the blanket of security. Where we trust organisations such as Facebook, Google, hell even our major banks or Governments with this information (PRISM anyone?). Sure there are laws and practices that “technically” keep us safe but should these always replied upon? How do we know for certain that our personal information cannot be accessed? A writing on piece of paper does not mean anything when an anonymous hacker from the outside can gain access to sensitive information at any given time. Sure you can take the proper precautions, but what I am trying to say is our information is never 100% secure. Well anyway that is enough ranting, onto the questions at hand.

What does Facebook say about how they will use your information?

Copied from Facebook’s Data Use Policy, they state:

We use the information we receive about you in connection with the services and features we provide to you and other users like your friends, our partners, the advertisers that purchase ads on the site, and the developers that build the games, applications, and websites you use. For example, in addition to helping people see and find things that you do and share, we may use the information we receive about you:

  • as part of our efforts to keep Facebook products, services and integrations safe and secure;
  • to protect Facebook’s or others’ rights or property;
  • to provide you with location features and services, like telling you and your friends when something is going on nearby;
  • to measure or understand the effectiveness of ads you and others see, including to deliver relevant ads to you;
  • to make suggestions to you and other users on Facebook, such as: suggesting that your friend use our contact importer because you found friends using it, suggesting that another user add you as a friend because the user imported the same email address as you did, or suggesting that your friend tag you in a picture they have uploaded with you in it; and
  • for internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research and service improvement.

What will they do if there is a breach in security on their site?

Facebook does not state officially what their practices for a security breach are. I did however find an article here which entails a security breach where Facebook exposed 6 million phone numbers and emails. According to this article, Facebook handles their security threats internally and with help of the White Hat program ensures that Facebook’s security are at the highest of standards. In addition to that Facebook also notified their corresponding regulators and affected users via email. To what was said in those emails, we will never know.

Summary

In summary I believe Facebook ToS and privacy policies are adequate to what their services provide, However they can be a bit vague at times, eg. when talking about how data will be stored even after the user has deleted his/her account (backup copies up to 90 days). Why do they do this? In general though I am content with their policies, especially these.

While you are allowing us to use the information we receive about you, you always own all of your information. Your trust is important to us, which is why we don’t share information we receive about you with others unless we have:

  • received your permission;
  • given you notice, such as by telling you about it in this policy; or
  • removed your name or any other personally identifying information from it.

Of course, for information others share about you, they control how it is shared.

The text stated in bold is worrisome. You cannot control how your friends and family do this. What about their family and friends and so on? Facebook does state in their ToS “WE TRY TO KEEP FACEBOOK UP, BUG-FREE, AND SAFE, BUT YOU USE IT AT YOUR OWN RISK.” Like a wise man said with great power comes great responsibility. That doesn’t actually make sense does it? LOL. Well use Facebook at your own risk and take responsibility when something goes wrong, Facebook cannot protect you from everything.

Blog 1 – Feed Readers

The Feed Reader I chose was Feedly seeing as it was ranked No.1 among the other RSS Readers listed in Googles suggested alternatives. I quickly registered and to my surprised the layout and design was pleasing to the eye. Navigation was smooth and load times are quick. They even allow you to change colour themes which I thought was a nice touch. Seeing as I had never used RSS or a Feed Reader before I had to familiarise myself with the technology. To be perfectly honest with you guys I never even knew what RSS was until I read about it. Sure I’ve seen the RSS logo around and what not but I never took the time to research it. I had always looked up my favourite websites manually and never thought anything of it. Since I discovered RSS I feel kind of silly, how could I have missed such a thing, I never knew such thing existed! I’m supposed to be a qualified IT professional in a years time, it’s worrying isn’t it :P. I can see myself using Feedly from now on but it could take some time getting use to. Changing my browsing habits of the last decade may take some time. Anyways I have only used Feedly for a couple of days now so the Pros and Cons I list may or may not be accurate.

Pros:

  • Easy to keep up with your favourite websites. Saves time.
  • Easy to manage your website in specific groups. At the moment I have three, one for my course group, one for other students and a personal group.

Cons:

  • May not list articles or updates that I want to read, spam in a kind of way.
  • No live feed or notification, need to manually click on “Today” to see if there are any updates.

Overall, not bad. 

Blog 1 – Proper Introductions

Hello to you all,

Thank you for visiting my blog page. I scribbled some information about myself in the About Me section up top but I never actually realised we had to properly introduce ourselves until I read the Blog 1 questions. So here it goes.

My name is Jason Chau and I am currently studying a Bachelor of Information Technology (Business Analysis) @ Nathan Campus. I will most likely be graduating mid next year but I may have a chance of graduating by the end of this year if I’m eligible for Summer Courses. I think this subject is about keeping up to date with the latest technology and gadgets that helps us find, share and manage content over the Internet. What I hope to get out of this course is to be able to recognise and be familiar with all these elements so that in the future I can form my own opinions on what is needed and useful. I have never maintained a blog but I have known it was becoming a popular trend these days. Personally I never understood what the fuss was about, until I enrolled into this course and saw how other students interacted with one another and thought, hey this is pretty cool. As to what job I aspire to having, at this stage I’m not quite sure. All I know is that I would love to get my feet wet in the IT industry so I can get a better idea of which direction to head towards. If any of you guys/gals can help me or give me advice in this area I would greatly appreciate it :). Other than that, my hobbies and interest include video games (stereotypical yes), fitness, basketball, cars and keeping up with the latest gadgets/technologies. I like to think of myself as a laid back open minded individual that goofs around a lot but can also be serious when necessary. Make sure to comment and follow! Yeeee blogging is funnnnnnyo!1!

Thanks for reading, hope you didn’t fall a sleep!

Jason

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