Tuesday, 6 August 2013

News update

BBC News - Hannah Smith death: Father says daughter was victim of cyberbullies 

Frankly I no longer even understand the motivation for this kind of activity.  In the old days trolling was fun precisely because your victim were just other trolls who happened to come to the internet. Now that everyone in the developed world is here its like all the rest of social life.  If you need to troll go to 4chan people!

In fact I am starting to think that perhaps people should require social media driving licenses, the really messed up ones can get a 4chan restricted license, the more radicals can use Twitter.  It seems to me today the problem is trolling are pushing themselves on Facebook where they don't belong, and media branding people are pushing themselves on Twitter, where frankly I don't think they belong.  Soon twitter will be domesticated, no trolling.  Once that happens an opportunity for the next thing will open, people need the high speed exchange of free radical ideas despite the trolling risk.  I wish I could get people who feel trolled on Twitter just to use facebook, but that is not how it seems to work.

BBC News - Amazon boss Jeff Bezos buys Washington Post for $250m

My take is that it will take a very long time to fully understand how bad this is.  The emergence of the web has made a small group of people so very utterly wealthy they can take over institutions of this scale as private enterprises.

One Direction and Directioners Fuse Online Powers to Battle Bullying  via @mashable

Just include this because One Direction now seems to be everywhere on the web.  When I started to track online activity in London I soon had to look up who One Direction are.  So the web is dominated by the same kind of fad players that TV and radio before them were, surprise surprise.

The downside to the internet of things, very dramatically shown:

BBC News - Luxury toilet users warned of hardware flaw

This is a very dramatic demonstration of the risks of the Internet of Things.  Someone can easily hijack this designer toilet with by using the first tablet app.  You think this is no problem?  Well it does sound more funny then threatening, but imagine you are staying in a classy hotel and all night the toilet is flushing itself again and again?  Not so funny.

Now imagine that you are the manager of a hotel where every single toilet in every single room is flushing itself every night?

Now imagine you the owner of a string of hotels all over the world where this has happened in each one?  Imagine you have a board meeting in a weeks time and a critical announcement about the stock value of the company is to be made?  Or imagine the next day a key political convention or peace talk was going to happen in the hotel, do you have the meeting?

In a complex world hacking of this kind, real world hacking will become a major problem.

BBC News - How wearable technology could transform business

Technology has almost always been about hands.  Its not just that has been because hands are the idea interface between face and unknown world, but it is also because this safety I think is hard wired in to our evolution.  People don't want the outside to come in unless it first passes via the hands. Look at the 19th century, or more specifically movies say about the Old West. I recall growing up to movies where guns, a hands based technology was cool while glasses, perhaps the most positive technology ever created were seen as bad.  Even in the 1970s my mother never wanted a photo taken with her glasses on.

I mean when I think about it I have classed technologies that had major resistance to them besides being life savings and easy to use.
  • Condoms
  • Glasses
  • Seat belts
  • Hearing aids
  • Helmets
All of these most interact with a different set of sense organs.  People generally don't like connecting a piece of technology to anything other than a hand.

Now here are some really stupid or pointless technologies:
  • Hand guns
  • SUV
  • Smartphones
  • Pagers 
  • Cigarettes

What I find amazing is the more I think of this, people love technology that works in the hand, even if it is useless or even destructive, while you have to almost beg or force people to use technology that fits around wait, over eyes, in ears, etc.

One exception has been ear plugs, which have created a public health risk for no good reason.  But I wonder if perhaps headphones give hands held control to ones ears.

Technology can be viewed as the hands mastery over what is feed in to the other organs.  The remote control means that TV can be interfaces directly between hand and eye, and the internet expands it.  The iPod and Walkman made sound a action of the hand.  More and more isolating hand to other organ has been popular.  But removing the hand has always been a difficult prospect, people like the layer of hand between them and their reality.  

I am suppose to have a long bet with Kevin Kelly on this issue, but I don't know if he has processed or not.


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