Online data – creative but risky

There is an increasing use of iPad applications for learning and creating(Chip Chicklets 2010)

In his seminar titled ‘Making is Connecting’  held in Denmark, David Gauntlett used Legos to demonstrate linkage and importance between making and connecting.

He suggested that teaching is no longer effective with the “sit back and be told” culture, where students are taught what to think, passing knowledge directly from teachers or television. He believes “making and doing” culture should be used, which gives our next generations tools and let them be creative in learning.

They connect to others in networks, both physically or virtually, and they will end up building and nuturing their own unique global network. For example, David used climate change as to illustrate how audience can achieve by self-learn with tools available, and the evidences are all online data, no matter its an opinion piece or a graph, a pie chart or a colour-contour map, these is all produced and shared among people, without boundaries through the internet. David believes ideas are out there for people to understand, and their mind-set will be change, to become concern of the issue, and even start campaigning for a change.

I think using tools, one can get creative, and changing others mindset is easier than ever, espcially with the well-established social networking sites. Nowadays more and more schools start to use different tools such as computer and interactive board to aid students learning. And the latest technology, is to use the iPad2.

“It’s not just the device that has an effect but how it gets used, the way students think about what they’re doing”, said Peter Goodyear, professor of education at the University of Sydney. It showed that private schools are expanding the use of new technologies in classrooms, rolling out iPads to help teachers and students with teaching and learning. Further information about this can be found in this article published on Sydney Morning Herald in January.

However several issues come to my concern, these include:

1.   Persistence of the data.

All data is being released into the digital sphere and will be kept there forever. Joe Salvo mentioned that the Information Age has ended, and he believes we are at the System Age. The information Age a period of history of separations between people because the existing data tend to be low-value ubiquity. The Systems Age is new data processing period, including sensing, collecting, and manipulating, which occurs at real-time with little or no human supervision. And hence all data once published can always be retrieved even I try to remove them.

2.   Searchability and replicability

The internet is a world of resource without boundary of countries, and it is easy to download or share files even they had copyright, including movies, songs, books. Bloger Coturnix raised the issues of the ways our connectedness affects book publication, as the internet offers writers more ways to start writing, get noticed, self-publish and embrace new forms

3.   Invisible Audience

The information may be useful for my assignments or even beneficial to the society. For example, Aleks Jakulin he thinks that “keeping medical data public would allow massive advances in medicine”, but there is struggle between data privacy and publicity, in understanding the diseases, the information of the patients will also be leaked out.

Try Google your name, you might find your own electronic footprint that you have left unconsciously, and it might not be compatible with the image you want to present to others, and might get your unemployed! So, readers, beware!


Visualisation video on Publishing and distribution

This week I attempted to work on Question2 from the lists for the final essay.

From the extra readings from week 10’s folder, I found several “essay” as an example approach to my final project, and I believe that making a short video will be really interesting. However I am not familiar with animations. So I made a short one based on question two here, and I will work on it using formats that I am more familiar with for it – images and texts.

Anyways, this video is mainly about how role of publishing has changed throughout history, and how authorship and challenged with the new media. This is the background information for now, you should watch it yourself to discover more!

Lastly, there is background music, which I got from the creative commons]. So turn on your speaker, and ENJOY!




Bibliography watch?v=_3tam2Pwyqk watch?v=d22Hvh-odGY watch?v=vxuCiuk2fes watch?v=ryisVf3Dbqs watch?v=lFZ0z5Fm-Ng

Visualise the invisible

To begin with, what is visualisation? It is a process to make something invisible visible. Sounds complicated? Let me explain more in this post.

Many ideas are abstract, and in fact idea itself already is an abtract and invisible thing. Here, I am going to dicuss two different representations of visualizations , including the use of objects and the use of non-objects.

Firstly, to present abstract idea, real object can help. In this article, the author managed to represent 200 calories using various food, including a big bags of tomato, a small fries, and several M&Ms.

Secondly, we can represent invisible object using non-objects such as imaginary lines, lights, music.

Timo has written in his blog that uses dotted line as an example to display key information element, including representation of hidden geometry, as movement, as paths, as expectation… Just like this 3 little dashes I just typed! This shows that dashed line made invisible objects, location and expectation into something that you can printed on paper! Here is an example:

[Even the butterfly hasn’t fly to the spot, but I have drawn out the predicted path of it.]

Another example of visualisation in this week’s reading is the series of audiovisual projects done by AntiVJ. The one I loved most is AntiVJ presents: Déshérence

It is a project with light projected onto a building, which made the building moves. For example, light projected on empty walls can give building window with flickering candlelights at the window pane. Or imaginary pictures, which made the building looked like it is collasping! Just like the dashed line that created something invisible, this audiovisual project created the interior of the building using different shades of light, which is really amazing, especially when the ‘bricks’ of the building ‘moved’ in and out! It’s just like a haunted house!

There’re many ways to visualize ideas, for example how do we show God? Objects may be a church, some believers, a cross, a bible, etc. can represent God. Non-objects can be worship, love, earth, prayers and much more! And even the non-objects can become visualised, for example, by drawing or writing it out. For example in this drawing, love can be shown by drawing a heart-shape and so on.

Take home exercise: You can challenge yourself and your friend in visualizing really complicated ideas! How about smell? Cough? Speed? Try to list out all objects and non-objects that can display these abstract ideas and see who can write up the the longest list!


I got you!

My blog title or the above words should have gotten your attention!

Nothing happens without attention. Philosophers have asked the question of whether the world is there, or is the same while we have closed our eyes. Without seeing it, feeling it, listening to it, or simply, concentrating on it, we will get nothing. Even the world has changed, we might not have noticed.

For example, a student my leave a lecture hall after a 2 hours lecture remembering nothing. If you are a facebook user, do you remember the first advertisement that appears on the right column of your profile picture? If you tweet, what is the last status you have updated? Without attention, one will not take in and absorb things they have seen or in contacted with.

In fact, information is not a scarce resource but attention is. Multiple authors have observed that the information economy can be characterized as an “attention economy”, where the scarce resource is not information, but rather attention to absorb the information.

Because of this, Howard Rheingold made up the word “infotention” in his blog, which describes the psycho-social-techno skill/tools we all need to find our way online today, a mind-machine combination of brain-powered attention skills with computer-powered information filters.

Nowadays, information is overflowing all the time. We all need infotention in order to find useful information among the sea of data. NPR found that the average person today consumes almost three times as much information as what the typical person consumed in 1960, according to research at the University of California, San Diego.

Look at the following picture.

ET and Mac (Photo: Decal 2010)

Answer these questions on your own time

What do you think when looking at this picture? Which get more of your concentration? The Apple logo? Or the ET cartoon character?

Actually I might not have 100% of your attention. First, looking at the ET might bring you back to the memories about the the film ET. Secondly, looking at the Apple logo, you might start thinking about Apple’s new products, perhaps the iPad2. Thirdly, you might think “Oh! Such a lovely sticker! Where can I buy it”. Fourthly, you might want to concentrate on the ET but since its finger is pointing at the logo, you can’t stop yourself from diverting your attention to the sign.

If two out of four of the above suggestions have occurred to you, you has lost your attention to understanding the picture as a whole, or put it this way, you are not mindful.

According to Dr. David Rock, practicing mindfulness is important. The key to practicing mindfulness is just to practice focusing your attention onto a direct sense, and to do so often. It helps to use a rich stream of data. You can hold your attention to the feeling of your foot on the floor easier than the feeling of your little toe on the floor: there’s more data to tap into.

“The more mindful you become, the better decisions you will make, and the more you will achieve your own goals … the less your mind wander and the happier are”, said Dr. Rock.

So, from now on, start to be mindful. And to begin with, please be mindful about being mindful!

Archiving the archivable archive

How do people record, store and find what they need in archives like this?

When we talk about archives, you might think of a huge stack of yellowish paper with faded ink and artisitic handwriting on it. In fact, with the internet, we are archiving all contents we published.

You have become a accidental archiver when you update your facebook statues, upload a video on youtuve, share a news online or post a picture on Tumblr… Once published, all of these will become archives that exist forever in the online world. Not only instantly accessible to the public, but remain as a kind of real-time archives immediately.

Before the development of the internet, people keep records of history and ideas by writing with ink, and storing them will be problematic as paper turned yellow, ink blurred, pages missing, etc. With the web 2.0 well-established, all content become archivable and nothing will be lost.

The following link is a mind map I created to relate some ideas on Archive Fever:

To conclude, archives changes how data are stored, expressed, distributed and used. This fever has no stopping to it! See how my phone beeps when I received notification from my Twitter and Facebook! Do you have the same experiences?

The fall of print and online publications, the rise of eTablet applications


Print publications are considered out-of-date long time ago and it is reported on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald on 8th this month, that UNSW has threw away libraries books that no one has borrowed for five consecutive years. However you didn’t, hear me wrong, online publications are also considered as out-dated.

From the readings this week, David, C. (2010) reported that Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corporation, is going to introduce charges for access to all his news websites, including the Times, Sunday Times and the News of the World. Also, the New York Times is planning to introduce a pay wall to its website later this year after being freely read online since the establishment of its website.

What does this imply? People are now using eTablets such as iPad, Kindle and so on to get free or a minimal subscription fee to gain access to applications for various newspapers, books and magazines.

“Online measurement is going through rapid change, and that has huge implications for media planners and buyers. In some ways it will make their work easier, but it will also present new challenges” written by staff of the online magazine, Media Life (2010).

With the instability in market of the traditional publication companies, they can’t just wait until bankrupt but to start putting works into the electronic format, adding new interactions functions, and videos to accompany the content. Some companies even published eBooks only, reducing the price for the publication process in order to survive in this competitive environment.


First Japanese anime applications for iPhone, iPad (photo: From 2010,, 25 October)


Not only American publications are made into electronic applications, even the Japanese has participate in this media revolution. Ishaan (2010) has reported that not only American magazines, but Japanese magazine has launched their own electronic applications. ASCII Media Works, the Japanese publisher of Gunslinger Girl and Yotsuba!, are set to launch a new digital manga magazine titled Dengeki Comic Japan, the magazine will launch on the iPhone and iPad and will later expand to the PC platform.

It can be seen that traditional and pure online publications are now facing serious threats from application developers. I predict that in the near future, they will get out compete and be eliminated by the market. As the Apple products keep on updating and having more and better features, launching from originally once a year to once a few months. Probably iPad10 will be launched sometimes next year! Can you image what will our next generation be reading? They might not even know what a book is!


David, C., 2010, ‘Dialing in a Plan: The Times Installs a Meter on Its Future’, The New York Times, January 20, viewed on 13 March 2011, < meter-on-its-future/>

Ishaan, 2010, “ASCII Media Works Launching Digital Dengeki Mag”, weblog, August 14, viewed on 13 March 2011, < >

Media Life Staff, 2010, “What the future holds for online measurement”, Media Life Magazine, June 10, viewed on 13 March 2011, < >