Tag Archives: gaming

The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet

As a heavy user of both the Internet and the Web, it is surprising to think that until I read Chris Anderson and Michael Wolff’s article, The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet I considered the two words synonymous. As the article explains, the two words are extremely different on numerous levels. Today’s blog entry will examine the key differences between the Internet and the Web, the different uses for both and have each of this platforms will look in and affect the future. To fully understand the article and this blog, we must begin by defining the two terms which will be frequently used, the Internet and the Web.

As defined by Google, the Internet is “A global computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities, consisting of interconnected networks using standardized communication protocols.” At first thought, one may think the same definition would fit for the Web. When thinking of this definition, one must remember Web really stands for World Wide Web and as Princeton University explains, a “computer network consisting of a collection of internet sites that offer text and graphics and sound and animation resources through the hypertext transfer protocol.” After understanding these definitions, the difference between the two words becomes slightly more obvious. After all, the definition of the Web itself uses the word Internet right in it which should say something to readers. From this, and the idea presented by Anderson and Wolff that, “one [can] spen[d] the day on the Internet — but not on the Web”, we can conclude that the Internet can function without the Web, but the Web cannot without the Internet. The Internet and the Web can be compared to a battery and an iPod. The Internet represents the battery, which can exist on its own and has power to run other devices. The Web on the other hand, should be considered as the iPod, which runs on a battery (Internet) because without the power the battery offers, the iPod cannot function. This is the idea Anderson and Wolff were hoping to instill on readers when they commented on apps like Xbox Live, Netflix and Skype.

So now that we understand the difference between the Internet and the Web, we must ask ourselves what are the respective uses for both platforms? We will begin by examining that which is considered “dead” by Anderson and Wolff, the Web. Using the Web means physically sitting on your computer, using a browser such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox. As Anderson and Wolff explain, HTML is the dominant programming language for the Web, which is not the case for the Internet. Some daily tasks that could be accomplished using the Web might include posting on a Wiki or researching information. Since the Web is considered open, the idea is to access numerous websites easily. Recently, a statistic has shown that users are no longer accessing a big number of sites and instead, “the top 10 Web sites accounted for… about 75 percent [of pageviews] in 2010.” It is statistics like this that allow the Internet to prosper. The biggest website ever is Facebook, with over 500 million people connected to the social network. The reason the Internet is slowly killing the Web is because more and more users are accessing sites like Facebook through their “bedside iPads” or mobile phones. Using Facebook is only one the apps a user of the Internet can take part in. As Anderson and Wolff mention: Xbox Live, Skype, Twitter and Pandora are only a handful of the available options a user can indulge in without every accessing the World Wide Web. There is no doubt that the Internet and the Web have changed drastically, but how will these platforms look in and affect our future?

As Anderson and Wolff predict, the Web will likely die in the future. The pair point to a hypothesis by Morgan Stanley that suggests, “the number of users accessing the Net from mobile devices will surpass the number who access it from PCs… within five years.” Assuming Stanley’s assertion is true, the Web will certainly die. With that said, ridding the world of the personal computer will be difficult due to game likes World of Warcraft and League of Legends. The two games, which require a personal computer to play, cannot be played on handheld devices. The two games alone have a combined total of about twelve million players. For the personal computer to be completely abolished, games like this will somehow have to be moved to handheld devices, which will be no easy task. Like when most outdated forms of technology die, lovers of the old technology will attempt to keep it running only forcing a slow and extremely painful death. The death of the Web seems inevitable with companies like Apple quarterly reporting mobile phone sales in the double digit millions. Although the Web may have made the Internet popular, the Internet shows no signs of slowing. With sites like Facebook or Twitter and applications like Xbox Live or Pandora fuelling the Internet through handheld devices the popularity of the Internet on handheld devices will only grow.

For the majority of users, losing the Web won’t be a terrible loss. A person like myself who has a general love for my personal computer and plays World of Warcraft and League of Legends will have serious problems parting with their computer. Unfortunately, it seems inevitable that one day this will occur. More and more people are accessing the Internet through “the screen that comes to them” which is slowly killing the Web and drastically changing the idea of computing as a whole. As for Stanley’s prediction of five years, I believe (and hope) it takes longer than this for the personal computer to be abolished, but only time will tell. In times of drastic change like this one can only ask questions. What has technology become? What will come next? And of course…

What Have We Turned Into?

– Ian McDougald

Photo: http://mywindowshelp.com/2011/windows-help-for-network-errors/

Works Cited

Anderson, Chris, and Michael Wolff. “The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet.”Wired.com. Conde Nast Digital, 17 Aug. 2010. Web. 30 Mar. 2012. <http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/08/ff_webrip/all/1&gt;.

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Loser Generated Content: From Participation to Exploitation

Well, I guess I’m a loser. I guess billions of people around the world are losers for that matter. Todays blog entry will examine a paper written by Søren Mørk Petersen called Loser Generated Content: From Participation to Exploitation. More specifically, the entry will examine three claims made by Petersen. Firstly, we will examine Petersen’s claim of relational thinking and how this relates to Web 2.0. Next, we will look at general intellect and capitalism, subjects raised often by Petersen throughout the paper. Finally, we will analyze Petersen’s harsh criticisms of Web 2.0 and its users. Petersen who claims Web 2.0 is “transforming users into losers” makes numerous valid claims, but also leaves himself open to various criticisms as well.

Relational thinking is never specifically defined by Petersen. He does offer an example about Flickr attempting to explain the concept, but even after this attempt one may still be confused. As outlined on the official Relational Thinking website there are three steps to relational thinking. Step one, “learning to see public policy and personal issues through a relational lens.” Step two, “changing goals, values and practices of organisations.” Finally, step three, “developing an analytical framework appropriate to relationships.” After understanding this outline, Petersen’s example begins to make more sense. Each of his three steps on Flickr represent a step in the relational thinking process. With that said, I don’t know how many people on Flickr take this three step process when uploading an image. Personally, I don’t have Flickr so I can’t speak for myself, but I can’t imagine that each and every Flickr user is so concerned with the relations that are created through uploading a photo. Even more confidently I can assume that it is rare for a Flickr user to “be contacted by other parties who would like to include the photo in a magazine or a Web 2.0 tourist guide” (Petersen). Examining such a claim leaves me feeling somewhat insulted to be called a loser, and I certainly don’t feel assertions regarding general intellect or capitalism should induce such name calling either.

Petersen makes a strong, passionate assertion when he states, “automation and hereby the mobilization of the general intellect are primarily fostered by machinery, infrastructure and communication technologies”. A valid statement which undoubtedly most people can relate too. When Petersen furthers his assumptions to suggest, “this creates the capitalistic vision of a world market but at the same time, according to Marx, also creates a capitalistic nightmare”, our agreement ends. To jump to the conclusion that our expanding automation and mobilization are creating a world market is extremely fallacious through cause and effect. There is no denying that automation and mobilization are occurring, I believe less would say the same about the capitalistic vision of a world market. Even assuming both of the cases were inevitable, it is fallacious to directly tie A to B without adequate justification between the two. Surely Web 2.0, rapid growth of technology and automation have had a serious impact on capitalism and the economy as a whole, but I highly doubt that this alone will lead to “capitalistic nightmare.” Two claims down and I am still considered a loser? Is it really Web 2.0 that has made us “losers” or have ‘users always been losers’ to the corporation?

There is no doubt that numerous people put plenty of time into their personal profiles on Facebook, Flickr, MySpace, etc. Sure these are online and sometimes just for fun, but in many cases are important professional ways of being seen or even making a few dollars from home. These services must of course be provided through companies who host the sites, and the goal of any corporation is of course, profit. In exchange for the services provided by the companies, users are shown advertisements, which are often targeted directly to the user based on recent clicks. Additionally, on rare occasions the companies may ask you to use a picture or some piece of information you provided on your profile. This doesn’t sound much different than similar companies who don’t exist online. Readers Digest for example, encourages readers to send them pictures or stories which they will use in upcoming copies of the magazine. Like most magazines, RD contains advertisements and numerous people are still willing to pay for the newest addition. So does this make users losers? Or is this simple a part of being society? To live, someone will always be making money from the human race. In turn, they will spend their money on a product which will bring money to someone else. The economic wheel is endless and Web 2.0 is only a small part of this, not a deadly database of losers.

So call me a loser if you wish Mr. Petersen. Personally, I believe I am just a contributing member of society. A society which has begun to move online. A society which is changing and evolving at an alarming rate. A society, where labour is being replaced by technology yet we are still functioning properly. The world has gone through numerous massive changes and Web 2.0 is just a very small phase which will likely pass sooner rather than later, to make fallacious assumptions that Web 2.0 will lead to “capitalistic nightmare”, in my opinion Mr. Petersen, makes you the loser.

Although, your claims do raise one very good question…

What Have We Turned Into

– Ian McDougald

Photo: http://www.freeiconsdownload.com/Free_Downloads.asp?id=548

Works Cited

Petersen, Søren Mørk. “Loser Generated Content: From Participation to Exploitation.”www.firstmonday.org. First Monday, 3 Mar. 2008. Web. 29 Mar. 2012. <http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2141/1948&gt;.

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We Invented The Remix

“The remix is nothing less than a new way to communicate. It requires you to do nothing more than change the way you look at something” (Mason, 80-81).

As an aspiring DJ and music producer, the idea of remix culture is very prevalent. Personally, I think a good remix can only make something better. Surely, the entertainment corporations might disagree, but that’s more likely because they hadn’t been able to create successful, profitable remixes. Today’s blog entry will examine how remixing affects originality and how remixing has affected our  culture.

In his book, The Pirates Dilemma, Matt Mason wrote, “the remix can and has devalued the idea of the original idea” (Mason, 84). When suggesting such, Mason was referring to entertainment corporations focusing less on original ideas and more so on remix ideas. In such context, the quote makes perfect sense. But, in many cases, a remix is just using a past product and applying a new original idea to it. For example, the song Good Feeling, by Flo-Rida is essentially a remix of a remix. The original song, Something’s Got a Hold on Me, by Etta James was remixed by Avicii in his club hit, Levels. Flo-Rida then built on the success of Avicii’s hit by remixing it into Good Feeling. With that being said, the final product of Good Feeling was still an original work. The definition of original can be thought of as: “new, fresh, inventive, novel” or “created, undertaken, or presented for the first time”. With that being said, it would appear that both Levels and Good Feeling are original. They both were new and fresh, also they both were the first presentation of a specific remix. In this case, the rights were acquired legally and the money is divided fairly. A powerful artist like Flo-Rida or Avicii have both the money and the power to acquire such rights and create an excellent remix. Many people can, and have remixed big songs like Levels, but the legality of doing so is the difference between Flo-Rida and the numerous YouTube users you who remixed the song.

A YouTube search of the word ‘remix’ returns an astounding 2,380,000 results. That just goes to show just how much the general public have become DJ’s, VJ’s and editors of media. There have been more remixed works recently due solely to one thing: technology. Without technology, the idea of a remix would require expensive equipment, a vast knowledge or the medium of which you are remixing and more. Thanks to technology like Virtual DJ and iMovie remixing music and video is simple enough that an everyday computer user can do it. With everybody remixing, one would think that the quality of available remixes wouldn’t be very good. Interestingly, this is not true. Even remixes found on YouTube, or music sharing sites like Beatport have brought forth some of dance music’s now biggest stars including Avicii, Nicky Romero and Hardwell. A remix is almost like a theory. In science, a theory is proposed and tested. If possible changes can be made to improve the original theory, they are implemented to make a new, better theory (Woodward and Goodstein). In some ways, remixing does just this. Takes an original product, and changes it with the intent of improving it, or showing it to a different audience. The fact that we have become a remix culture cannot be resisted, because even unknowingly, we are apart of it.

This remix culture shows no time of slowing down, but like many other technological dilemmas it raises the question; what’s next? At some point in time there will be a remix of everything, and you can only do so many parodies, remixes and edits before there is no original content remaining. If the entertainment industry continues to focus on remixing, like the public does, there will be no artists left to produce completely new content for people to remix. Some think the remix culture is a problem, others think it is excellent, the truth is the remix culture is a phase, no more than a paradigm, and we are just waiting for it to end so we can move to the next paradigm.

With that said, remixing certainly has, and will leave its mark on us. It might even make us ask ourselves…

What Have We Turned Into?

– Ian McDougald

Photo: http://www.ftw-design.com

Works Cited

Mason, Matt. The Pirate’s Dilemma: How Youth Culture Reinvented Capitalism. New York: Free, 2008. Print.

Woodward, James, and David Goodstein. “Conduct, misconduct and the structure of science.” American Scientist 84.5 (1996): 479+. Academic OneFile. Web. 20 Mar. 2012.

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