We speak to Beth — Fine Arts/Arts student and Cyber Cycler

uhuruName: Bethany Kenyon

Brief Bio: I am from Canberra and am currently doing Fine Arts/Arts majoring in Sociology and Anthropology and double major in Photography. Recently took 18 months off to work and travel Canada and the US. I enjoy smoking the odd durry and leading people on on Tinder.

I choose cyber cycler. This is because I know what I am doing on the internet, but am by no means a leader of the cyber population

How often do you use the internet? Way to much. I think on average I would be looking at my phone once every hour. This is an average because sometimes it might be multiple times an hour (if I am oragnising something with friends or if I am traveling on public transport) or I could be without my phone for a long period of time (eg. Sleeping, working, phone out of battery)

What social media accounts do you use, and what content do you post? I use Facebook, snapchat, Instagram and tinder. I mainly post content when I believe it has comedic value.

Is it regular? Yes. I think I would post content on Instagram every two weeks and would send a snapchat once or twice a day. However I don’t tend to post on Facebook very often, unless commenting on pictures or videos. 

Do you take notice of personalised ads on Facebook? The only ads I would pay attention to are ones with clothes similar to what I have purchased online before. However, I have never purchased anything from such advertisements.

How do you feel about being automatically categorised in detail by Facebook? I was not aware of this and do not know much about the advantages. On initial though however, I personally think it may be over the top and perhaps a little invasive.

Do take any precautions when using the internet? Not as many as I should. All of my social media accounts are private and I only allow people I have met in person to follow me.

Is using the internet essential for your career? I think that there are very few careers that wouldn’t rely on the internet these days so I will assume that it will be important. I am unsure about what my career path is. Currently I am thinking about secondary school teaching which will require the internet especially in using it for correspondence vie email, teaching resources etc.

Spotlight on Crypto Currencies

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In this blog we talk a lot about ways to keep your data safe and how companies like Facebook have access to a whole lot of your personal data. So why not talk about an online system that is completely anonymous and doesn’t rely on personal data in order to function well?

Welcome to the world of crypto currencies, where instead of relying on a privatised monetary system, transactions are done via a blockchain. So what does this mean? This means that the middle man is completely out of the picture; no more banks needed, the transactions are done directly from purchaser to seller.

It can however be quite tricky to fully understand. In fact, we find it tricky to understand in full as well. Nowadays there are so many different crypto currencies with different legacies it is hard to keep track of. However, if you want to have a basic understanding of how it all started, we recommend watching the Netflix documentary called “Banking on bitcoin” which can be found here if you have Netflix.

Will this be the future of our transactions? Should you buy some now? It’s really hard to say. It is an extremely volatile market place day to day, however, if you look at it’s progression since it first started, it looks pretty promising.

Inter-web definitions pt 4: the Facebook edition

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Social Plug ins: are tools that other websites can use to provide people with personalised and social experiences. When you interact with them, you share your experiences off Facebook with your friends on Facebook.

The Ticker: The ticker is the section on the right side of your feed that shows updates of your friend’s Facebook activity in real time. This can be used to hover over status conversations that you may want to join in.

Boost Post: Have you ever come across a “boost post” option on a post you have made? Boosted posts appear higher in News Feed so there’s a better chance that your audience will see them. You can boost any post you create on your Page, including status updates, photos, videos, and offers. The cost to boost a post depends on how many people you want to reach.

Impressions: Impressions are the number of times a post from your Page is displayed, whether the post is clicked or not. People may see multiple impressions of the same post. For example, someone might see a Page update in News Feed once, and then a second time if their friend shares it.

Engagement: is the amount of likes or comments or anything similar a post has. It is the amount of interactivity your page or post has had with viewers.

For more definitions visit: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/facebook-terminology-glossary/

Will your career be made redundant by AI?

Elon Musk is one of the most innovative and influential figures, arguably, in the world at the moment. So if he fears the overtake of AI, how should we feel?

Well as always, it is up to us to make our own decisions. As Elon says himself, it is hard to imagine a world where AI dominates, because we have simply not seen it – only dramatised in the theatres. Although AI is said to still be at the start of its potential, there have been some incredible developments made.

Traditionally our minds are set to think that their developments are not of the creative type – oh how wrong we are.

As well as many developments in more mathematical and problem solving areas, there have been developments in the creative sphere as well. AI have now dabbled into the world of the arts and some are saying that their paintings/artworks look more convincingly human than artworks done by humans themselves. For more about AI art click here.

As well as painting, AI has also made developments in music. Much like the AI in the art scene, some say that this AI music generator can write as well as a human music composer. For more info about AI music click here.

We chat to Angela — Law student and Cyber Cycler

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Name: Angela

Brief Bio: I’m a Commerce/Law student in Sydney who drinks too much tea and is constantly battling to keep my pot plants alive

Choose one: Internet Queen/Cyber cycler/Net noob

How often do you use the internet? Multiple times during the day What social media accounts do you use, and what content do you post? Is it regular? I have facebook, instagram and snapchat, although I’m thinking of deleting snapchat. I post photos on all of them, maybe a couple of times a year. I would probably consider myself more of a lurker, as I check them regularly but don’t post very often.

Do you take notice of personalised ads on Facebook? Yes, and they creep me out. I’ve had ads pop up after mentioning it once in conversation with friends, and can’t figure out how they know to target me.

How do you feel about being automatically categorised in detail by Facebook? I’ve kind of accepted that it’s part of the deal, but it feels really creepy when they know things that I haven’t directly told them

Do you take any precautions when using the internet? Not really, I’ve kind of accepted that’s part of the deal if I want to use the services.

Is using the internet essential for you career? How so? As a student, it’s invaluable for research and collaboration, and moving into a career in law, email with clients and the internet for legal research are essential

Since Facebook make lots of money out of your data, do you think you should too? No, I don’t expect money from my data, it’s kind of the ‘payment’ for me to use their service. I feel more like this for something like Google, where I feel a tangible benefit for myself, with the emails or calendar and everything I use there but for Facebook, it definitely feels like I’m not getting as much, sort of benefit, for how much they’re making off of my info.

Inter-web terms; pt 3

For our third definition post, we are going to talk about terms to describe some of the scarier aspects of the internet; hackers.

Blog:

A blog in its simplest terms is an online column. This is a blog. You can create your own blog through creating an account with a web host such as wordpress.com (this site) where you can make your own website for free.

Phishing:

Phishing is the term used to describe a type of email that “lures” you in to entering personal details such as your DOB, bank account details, address etc. This term is used as the act is trying to “fish” for your details through either asking you to confirm log in account details for different sites. Very sneaky one.

Trojan:

This term is used to describe a particular type of hacker, and yes it is named after the ancient Trojan horse tale. This type of hacker masquerades as a legitimate file or software program and then, after getting the users permission to download, activates a virus. It can sometimes come in the form of a movie file or anti-malware programs. A way to steer clear is to never open anything that looks a bit suspicious in your junk emails.

Malware:

As mentioned in the above definition, malware is a term used to describe any malicious software designed by hackers. This includes Trojans, Phishers, any keyloggers and more.

Inter-web terms pt 2

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Last week we posted some colloquial internet terms that are referred to when talking about the internet. This week we look at some more formal and practical terms to define:

What is a Domain name?

To put it simply, a domain name is the name that comes up in the web address bar. An example of this would be www.facebook.com. How do you get to own domain names? Well, you have to buy them. Usually you buy them on a yearly basis and they can cost anything from a cheap $10 a year to $100 plus. If you are planning on buying a domain name, you do need to make sure that you buy it in the right country or on an international scale depending on your intentions.

What is a Web Host?

A web host is a computer that is used to transfer  data

What is an IP address?

An IP address is a numerical naming system used to identify computers that are using the internet. They look something like this 207.168.6.12

What is a Bit?

A Bit is a single digit in the binary numbering system (base 2). For example: 1 is a bit or 0 is a bit.

What is a Byte?

A Byte is generally made up of 8 Bits.

Tune in for more definitions next week!

Inter-web terms

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Have you ever come across the term “surfing the internet”? If you have read any of the articles on this site then you would be quite familiar with the term. But what does it mean? The term “surfing the internet” was first used in the 1990’s and has since become an idiom. However, you could use ‘surf on the internet’ with pretty much the same meaning. The English language is flexible like that.

Do we use this term these days? Well that depends on the context. It is still a very well known and referenced saying, but it is a little old fashioned to be used in a serious contemporary context.

What is the definition of a “hacker”? Merriam-Webster defines a hacker as an expert at programming and solving problems with a computer, and/or a person who illegally gains access to and sometimes tampers with information in a computer system.

What does the term “online data” comprise of? Webopedia defines the term as; Online data storage refers to the practice of storing electronic data with a third party service accessed via the Internet. It is an alternative to traditional local storage (such as disk or tape drives) and portable storage (such as optical media or flash drives). It can also be called “hosted storage,” “Internet storage” or “cloud storage.”

For more inter-web definitions and explanations, stay tuned.

 

The Bachelorette and Facebook

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With Sophie Monk the Aussie icon being this year’s Bachelorette, it’s hard not to watch. The bachelorette is all about judging men’s characters in a short amount of time to find the right romantic chemistry. Poor Soph has to do a fair amount of culling with the wide variety in personalities she is presented with. From good first impressions that later show to be complete duds, to slow burns that catch you off guard. This show is the ultimate compatibility and personality test. So how does Soph do it? Well whether she gets it right or wrong, she has to make quick assumptions that lead her to the right man. She has to quickly categorize her potential suitors to assess if they are the best pick.

 

So what if it was Facebook who was categorizing these bachelors like they do for each normal Facebook post? We have a sneaky idea that it might be something like this.

 

It can be quite surprising what Facebook categorizes each user as. They do this by through using a user’s cookies that are used while browsing sites other than Facebook. How can they do this? Simple. The Facebook pixel. Some precautions to take if you don’t want to be categorized by your internet browser history would be to search on incognito and make sure that you are logged out of Facebook when you are looking at other sites.

Facebook wants to show us whatever will keep us scrolling

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Does spending time on apps and the internet actually make us happy? We find that hard to believe. So why is it that we are constantly spending time online? Research from http://www.timewellspent.io/ shows that;

  • YouTube autoplays more videos to keep us from leaving.
  • Instagram shows new likes one at a time, to keep us checking for more.
  • Facebook wants to show whatever keeps us scrolling.
  • Snapchat turns conversations into streaks we don’t want to lose.
  • Our media turns events into breaking news to keep us watching.

So why is it set up this way and how can we change it? The first part of the question is quite simple; time = money. The second part? We don’t have the answer yet. There are so many reasons why this structure should change. But how can we innovate change when people don’t realise their actions are part of the problem?

The only place we can start is getting people to actually give a damn. Give a damn about your data! Give a damn about your happiness! Give a damn about your life!