Farewell COM125 Blogging!! – Summary/Review

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It has come to the end of my blogging assignment for COM125 this semester. This, hereby would be my last post!

For somebody very keen in Journalism and expressing my opinions of things around me, I surprisingly have never blogged before this! I always wanted to do it, always told myself I should start a blog soon.

I intended my blog to be about Fashion, Beauty and General stuff, unlike blogs that are of personal thoughts. My dream was to explore the different kinds of fashion from all over the world and share them with people! I always tell myself, “next week!” or “after I am done with redecorating my room” or some kind of excuse. I have all this photos of fashion from all the places i have traveled to, waiting to be put up too.. But I never got to doing it! ): However… this blogging has pushed me to start my long time dream of blogging soon as it has resurfaced my desire! Thank You! 😀

I always wondered “where did people get the time to blog? I cant even get a decent 8 hours of sleep!!”. But also, I was always in awe of my friends who had blogs and updated them every week or so, and have the most incredible posts. Posts were insightful, funny and even sometimes a little saddening when they paint a picture of something terrible that happened to them (which always made me text or call them immediately after reading, to check on their welfare!).

Ok, so after all that rambling, this is how i felt when i came to know that i had to do blogging for COM125…

I think like many other students, I was very excited to start blogging. Though it wasn’t a topic of my choice, the whole idea of blogging was rather intriguing. Then it came to the mid of the semester, work starting piling up, deadlines were nearing and I felt 24 hours was just not enough! That is when blogging became a little troublesome.. ):

Nevertheless, I must say, blogging coupled with the researches I had to do for my blogs, and reading other students’ blogs has broaden my perspectives of the Internet. But definitely the honor of making me realize how awesome the Internet is goes to the course as a whole!

COM125 has taught me thinks that made my mind boggle and sometimes a little disturbed too.

Why disturbed you may ask? Well, it is because of the wide range of things the Internet and the “Internet of Things” can do. It has put the concept of multi-faceted to a whole new level. Augmented reality is one thing that still boggles my mind! About how amazing and convenient it is, but also makes me wonder, do we really need all these vast enhancements of technology at one go? Wouldn’t it, just like every other inventions, bring some disadvantages to the society and even an individual, which in the first place, it can do without? Oh wells! The human brain should never be idle, and thus such inventions and creations should always be welcomed, of course with the well-being of the society, economy and individual in mind.

Internet plays a huge role in all our lives, thus deserves to be known and explored better. If it was not for this module, I probably would not have learnt about Google Glass, the Incredibox (might seem useless, but is a lot of fun creating beatbox music), and even would have been clueless about cloud computing. Cloud computing is something that I first came across when i was updating my iPhone to the newest iOS a few months (or was it years??) ago. I could not be bothered with reading the details and instructions of cloud computing that was provided by Apple, at that time. Hence i disabled cloud computing in my iPhone and computer. However, after learning more in depth about it in class made me realize how much simpler cloud computing would have made my life if i had just knew what it was back then! The videos shown about cloud computing were of great help in making me understand the concept.

Well, its never too late to learn right? (;

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As a whole, COM125 has been an eye-opening course. Things that I learnt, will be taken with me all the way! (:

 

The Future Of Internet!!

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The internet has grown so much over the years. It has come a long way from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0 to the Semantic Web. I like where the internet is at now, but of course, I would love to see it grow some more and provide an even more interesting environment.

As studied in Economics,  whenever there is a competition, the consumers benefit greatly, for the most part. Hence, with the competition among The Big Brothers; Google, Microsoft and Apple, my guess would be that in the future there will be a lot more interesting and fun aspects of the Internet.

Hence, I would like to voice my opinions about a certain “relatively” new gadget: The Google Glasses  and a new gadget that people have not come to know about : COIN.

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It is an extremely cool gadget!! However… I kinda think it is an unnecessary invention. The glasses would definitely (though nobody would admit), isolate one from his environment and the people around him. As it is already, smart phones have the tendency to isolate and box one out from one’s environment when one is reading his texts, checking his emails or just fiddling with the phone. We have seen many times at a restaurant where a group of people young adults or even businessmen, when nobody is conversing, each one would retreat to one’s phone. That inevitably will quiet down the group and everybody would be preoccupied with their own agendas. therefore, though a Google Glass might not physically isolate one, the multitasking aspect of it, might just do so. Imagine, while conversing with someone wearing the glasses, he suddenly “talks” to himself about “I will be there in 10 minutes. Wait up for me.” Definitely you would be like “excuse me?!?”. Then you realize that he just “spoke” to himself to send a text to his wife. Oh My! Why all that hassle? Why can’t someone just use his phone to text, make calls, snap a photo, listen to music, do whatever the Google Glass can do, on his phone?

COIN – A new single transaction card to replace credit cards. 

This! I would say is a brilliant and very practical invention. According to the concept of “The Internet of Things”, more objects are embedded with sensors and gaining the ability to communicate. COIN is one single card that has all our other credit cards’ data and bank account. Hence, this one card can do the magic of all the cards one have, thus avoiding the hassle of going through one’s wallet to search for that one credit card to use. Bluetooth has enabled smart phones to alert the user when he is away from his COIN or helps to disengage the COIN when it is inactivate for 10 mins or more after making a transaction. It is a practical invention that would help many people. However with everything else, it also comes with some minus points. Firstly, COIN cannot be used in Canada, Mexico and most of Europe that uses Chip & PIN. Secondly, the use of alerts to remind the user that his COIN is left unattended or lost, itself might be an issue if one loses his smart phone along with his wallet that has his COIN in. Hence, in that case, the alerts would not be so useful. Perhaps, the inventors could arrange for alerts to be sent via phone at their office or home line, emails and to a kin’s mobile number too. This way, there would be various avenues from where one could be alerted about one’s lost which would increase the chances of the person being notified. Hence,  I would not say that it is a perfect invention, it definitely would need some tweaks to make it even more efficient. But for now, as the inventors might be testing the waters, i think COIN would do just fine. (:

 

 

 

“We are too young to vote anyway, so who cares?” – Young Adults’ and Youths’ Apathetic Attitude Towards Politics.

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Well, before I start with what I think about their apathetic attitude towards politics, I must admit that I was terribly apathetic towards politics, whether its local or foreign politics. I must also admit, I am not proud of it, but I broke away from it and have slowly been working on my Political interest.So why was I apathetic? My only reason, is that “I cant vote, so why bother about it now? I will do so, once I hit 21 and can vote!” Hence, I have turned 21 this year, so I am slowly picking the interest on Politics up. Also, the recent Presidential Campaigns that happened in the USA, fueled my interest (thank god for that!).

But anyways, why are some young adults and the youth out there, apathetic towards politics?

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Well, lets try to make sense out of this phenomenon…

Firstly, majority of the youth are of underage to vote. Voting is one way, and probably the only way one can make a difference or have a say in the politics of their country. If we are unable to even do that, why do we have to worry and crack our heads over politics? A common thought among the youths would be that; “when I turn 21 or am legal to vote already, then I will care about politics and find out what is going on in that realm”. Even when we accidentally come across some information about the politics in Singapore, or the recent Presidential Campaigns in USA, we rarely treasure it as worthwhile information and thus let it go through one ear, and out the other.

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However, interestingly and honestly not surprisingly, I think when youth hit a certain age where they know they can argue for their rights and debate about issues, they tend to eavesdrop on some specific political issues. This abnormality would probably start at around 18-19 years old, and pick up from there. Why do I say “eavesdrop”? That would be because, they probably never intended to pay attention to such topics, but somehow come across them and pick up an interest on it. This is especially seen in young men serving in the National Service (NS). I have come across many friends who never bothered about the politics of Singapore or about who is serving in the Ministries of Singapore. Nevertheless, when they enter NS, they gain this interest to know more about the country they are serving, the country that they pledge to give up their leisure lives to protect and the country that has kept them and their family relatively safe. Hence they talk to and discuss with their Majors, their Sirs or even the older recruits in their camps about such things and learn more about it. It is at that phase of their lives, they come to realize they are no longer boys, but men, and ignorance of politics is not of bliss, but of stupidity instead.

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Unfortunately, for girls, they are no such structured opportunities. However, one major change of situation that promotes discussing such topics would be Junior Colleges (JC) and University lives. Girls tend to mature at the age of 18-19 (supposedly) and thus the interest kicks in then too, as mentioned before. And at this age, some girls are in JCs (like me), and realize its about time to figure things out about Politics. This came in even more vital, when we had to know more about Politics for one of the A-level papers we had to take; General Paper (GP). That is when at least, I took a little (very little indeed) interest in Politics, and that was only because I needed it for my examination.

Also, besides not being able to vote, young people naturally trust their parents and the older family members to make a good decision in voting. Hence, they tend to leave it in their hands, the future of the country and Politics of the country. Once parents have voiced their preference of candidate to run for Parliament, youths tend to trust their choice and build this assurance in themselves. I am not trying to say that parents make faulty decisions or that they always vote for the wrong candidate. I am trying to say that youths and sometimes young adults, believe that parents will take care of “all this voting business and knowing about Politics well to make an informed decision” . Thus not seeing the need to read up and know more about Politics, on their own accords.

There are many possible reasons as into why youths and young adults might not really bother about Politics. Nevertheless, there will come a point where each and every member of the society, after going through the ignorance phase, see the need to educate themselves about Politics, especially he local Politics. In my case, I guess I have reached that very point of my life the day I turned 21 and knew that in the near future, it will be my turn to vote!

Citizen Journalism – The Truth!

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In class this week, we learnt about citizen journalism. Citizen journalism would be the new face of reporting news for years to come.

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Paul Lewis’s talk on TEDxtalks show was rather eye opening to citizen journalism.  Local news company reporters are warned and swear to reporting only the good things about the government, the police, the ministers and such. They never got the liberty to report about the bad things these “so-called-good-people” have done. The things that are done behind closed doors, under the table and off record. Hence, when investigating reporters go out there and reveal the truth, they get warnings from higher authorities to pull that story or article down. They even sometime get “hate-mail” from those who were accused in their reports about threats of ending their lives and asking them to “watch out”.

However, now citizen journalism have given the taboo of reporting the Truth, a little leeway. Citizen journalism has allowed people to tell the truth, to tell the raw truth even if it hurts a certain group of people or just even one person. Nevertheless, respect for their privacy and integrity of the accused of course has to come in play when one is reporting against them.

But still, some citizen journalism sites have come under fire in societies that are not prepared to take face the raw truths in the expense of their privacy.

For example, STOMP became an issue when people were posting irrelevant pictures of people cuddling and public display of affection (PDA). The people pictured always shot back saying “why invade our privacy. If this were in America, this PDA would not be a problem!!” Then the public shoots back, if it is a private matter why are you doing it in public? By doing it public view, it is not private anymore. And lets just face it, as much modernized Singapore is becoming, it still does not mean we are America! We Asians have a culture vastly different from the Westerners. It is up to us to uphold our cultural values and behave as so. So just by being caught doing something that is not very accepted in Asian countries yet, do not try to defend yourselves saying “In America, this is fine, this is cool!” and such.

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But also, on the other hand, citizen journalism in Singapore has shed light on things many people are unaware of because nobody really talks about it or want to report about it. For example that got parents terribly shocked was the video footage of the Play School teacher abusing  small child in class. Somebody had put that up in the net and it went viral online before the news and newspapers reported on about it. If it was not for the video footage, such horrible acts would have gone unnoticed. Such things do happen in Singapore, though we are known to be one of the safest and rigid society, here and there slips do happen. It might seem menial to report them on national news and papers, but it is still an issue of the society that has to be addressed. Therefore, with the help of citizen journalism, such events are brought to light buy going viral online first, before reporters do thorough investigation and report upon it. Lately, there have been so many cases of fights, abuses, harassment that have been brought to the public’s attention via various video footage online.

Hence, citizen journalism FTW!

 

Multimedia is indeed Multi-faceted!

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Multimedia has become so powerful over the years that one can strongly believe that one’s life would not function effectively if there was an absence of it.  So as discussed in class, I wanna expand on some ideas that were brought up.

So here goes!

1) It is ENGROSSING, demanding DEEP ENGAGEMENT!

This is thereby true. Multimedia have become sophisticated, yet relatively easy to use over the years. With the help of manuals and and various courses provided by schools and communities, one can easily pick up the skills to use multimedia. How is it engaging? It provides us with a second chance of a new reality – Augmented Reality. Augmented reality has made people more aware of the things in their lives than ever before. Some, might however argue that multimedia and augmented reality can instead make us less aware of our surroundings as we are too engaged into our gadgets. On the contrast, multimedia and augmented reality have made us more engaged with them. Furthermore, it is engaging, to start off with. Things that took many resources and time to do, could be done in a matter of seconds and/or minutes. For example, writing a grocery shopping list. It used require a paper and a pen, and the constant remembering of where we left it, PLUS the constant reminding of going to the super-mart to do your grocery shopping. Now, it takes seconds to type it into your phone, put automatic reminders and make a new list instantly when you need to get a new item. Its got us engaged into doing these things really quickly and effeciently, then we can put it at the back of our minds and carry on with our lives knowing the gadget will remind us with an alert when its time to shop.

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2) The DISADVANTAGES of Multimedia – “LOST IN CYBERSPACE“!

Being lost in cyberspace, is not a relatively new phenomenon. Since the invention of computers, this problem has been around, however not spoken about as much as today. Why could that be? It could be because in those years, being “lost in cyberspace” – meaning being addicted to the computer and not finding a way out, occurred mostly among adults. Adults had a rather easier way getting out of the addiction over years. However, now.. more and more kids and teenagers are getting hooked and thus finding it hard to release themselves from the grasp of the internet or the multimedia function of it. Internet addiction among teens have been on the rise too, with video games and such. Furthermore, tech geeks nowadays find various new ways to use multimedia to invent something new or come up with something interesting, that automatically get other people interested too. With the rise of social networking sites, more and more multimedia based improvements and even new sites are coming up. For example, Instagram recently introduced their new feature – InstaVideo. From only being able to capture photos, they have upgraded to allow users to upload short videos too. Hence catering to the multi-sensory aspect of multimedia. Furthermore, more and more such sites have been popping up, such as Pinterest. Therefore, this uproar of million of such sites that incorporate multimedia, that constantly upgrades itself, and also have new features. have kept youngsters and probably even some adults hooked to them. So hooked, that they are accused of being “lost in cyberspace”!

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Hence multimedia has its ups and downs. It is in our hands to use it wisely and ensure that something that is suppose to help us, does not become something that will harm us.

Get an anti-virus jab for your computer. Protect yourself, before its too late!

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Internet security is no joke. However, prior from attending class that week, I always thought getting an anti-virus software for my laptop could wait.

Wait, till perhaps Christmas is over? Oh, but then I will be going away for  vacation.

Ok, next year Jan then.  Nah, can’t again! Would be busy during my birthday week.

FINE! After that in February then!

And this is wait happens when someone who does not consider antivirus software, as important. However, after learning more about the dangers of these viruses, phishing and all kind of cookies (Why do they call them “cookies” anyway?!? it gives the real delicious sweet cookies a bad name!!). Hence, panicking,  I ran to my father and asked him to get me an anti-virus software quickly before my laptop dies on me. And all he could say was; “You already had your software updated like months ago!”

And that’s when, I could breathe a little lighter! (:

So anyway, how serious are these phishing and cyber crime cases in “Oh-So-Save” Singapore? Well, lets find out!

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According to Yahoo.com “more than 1.4 million people are estimated to have fallen victim to cybercrime in Singapore in the past one year as “new” forms of cybercrime surface” according to the Norton Cybercrime report for 2012. A survey showed an increase in cybercrime found on social networks and mobile devices. This thus provides a clear sign that cyber criminals are targeting the more popular platforms, according to anti-virus firm Norton by Symantec. “Cybercriminals are changing their tactics to target fast growing mobile platforms and social networks where consumers are less aware of security risks,” Effendy Ibrahim, internet safety advocate and director for Asia for Norton by Symantec, said.

The 2012 Norton Cybercrime report also indicates that most internet users take the basic steps to protect themselves and their personal information by deleting suspicious emails and being careful with personal details. However, it says other core precautions are being ignored with 41 per cent not using complex passwords or not changing their passwords frequently.

Hence, in my opinion, schools should always, at least once a year, get professionals to come in and educate students and teachers on how to protect themselves from fraud and of course from viruses. I believe, many students and even working adults tend to take anti-viruses simple and never gave the much anted attention and need to it. And that is why cyber crimes have been increasing over the years in Singapore and not really significantly dropping. The basic steps of deleting and not opening suspicious emails and actions like blocking pop-ups would not be sufficient enough to protect oneself.

Therefore, as mentioned before, viruses on computers and cyber crimes are of no joke. One should always protect oneself and carry out the necessary steps to do so, immediately once one buys a new computer.

An Escape to Truth – An Interactive TV Production

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This is a movie I made a few years ago while in JC. It was made for a project for my CCA’s (New Media Arts) exchange programme to Finland. It was interactive as viewers got to vote for the ending, and hence we filmed (and the story) developed according to the votes. Hence, would the use of YouTube, an internet tool, we could make our project interactive. also, it was available for comments and “likes”, thus helping us improve on our filming. Please do watch them. Sit back and enjoy. Hope you all will enjoy it. (: P.S There are four episodes. P.S.S Feel free to pass me an comments or feedback about the episodes. I would be directing and filming another such project for my juniors in the end of the year. Hence, I would love some constructive feedback comments. Thank You! (:   Escape to Truth (Episode 1) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GP_e_XzOA_w Escape to Truth (Episode 2)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf5Fdi3Nxr0 Escape to Truth (Episode 3) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6-XsbY7JQU Escape to Truth (Episode 4)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsMTclsqXqM