Grandad, what’s the WiFi password?

Visiting my grandparents as a child is one of my greatest memories. When my brother and I were young they would spoil us rotten. Food, tea, and free control of the AUSTAR remote. It was basically a kids dream come true. Before my Pa even had the internet in the house, we were glued to the telly, watching Cartoon Network and flicking to the History channel just to impress the passers-by.

This was the status-quo for many years but when it truly changed wasn’t when Pa got the internet wired to his computer, but when my brother and I got our first smart phones. We just wanted the WiFi password. The key to the information kingdom. A free pass to browse the World Wide Web at our grandparents house with no parents over our shoulder watching.

My brother and I being small, naive children on the big scary internet, had no concept of bandwidth, or datacaps, let alone how many gigabytes in a Youtube clip. Poor Pa only had 4GB a month. Now it’s hard to imagine what you could actually do with 4GBs but to my grandfather it made perfect sense. He only ever needed to reply to circa 2005/6 chain emails, and look up the golf. So when we exploded his data with a few funny videos and some browser based flash games, we capped his WiFi almost instantly.

Looking at the internet usage stats provided by the ABS, I told my grandfather that his average internet use was bellow the mean for his age.

internetabs

Pa told me he spends less than 2 hours per day on the internet and all he does is send ad receive emails.

I said ‘Pa, why don’t you get Face Book to keep in touch with your friends?’ Many of my grandparents friends are over the age of 75. ‘Harry, none of my friends are smart enough to use Facebook.’ he said. E-mail is his primary means of communication on the internet.

We had a look at his Inbox of emails so I could Investigate further. On a daily basis, Pa receives up to 3-6 e-mails from friends along with the occasional update from the bank or ISP. His friends send jokes, puzzles, news stories, family photos and most surprisingly, memes.

My personal Inbox however, was vastly different. Zero emails from friends, and a plethora of bills, notifications, postage tracking, and spam. emails aren’t for or from my friends. Usually a new e-Mail means a new headache for me. I use emails to formally contact adults or companies or to receive auto filled pages from Face Book about the stats on my page. This bombardment of emails has made this medium (at least in my personal case) antiquated and fatigued.

email

With his new iPad, my grandfather does like most of us technologically savvy humans do. He sits in front of the TV watching golf and reading the emails from his friends. The only difference between him and myself is just the social medium we use.

 

And just for fun …

10 Chain Emails That Haunted Your Youth! Read and Send to 10 friends or you’ll live 10 years with bad luck!

 

 

 

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That can only meme on thing

The new distributed network paradigm has become apparent in large businesses. Large office work forces have been utilizing new networking programs to connect on the job. Facebook is being used socially and professionally, blurring the two worlds together. Some companies are creating their own platform for employees to use.
‘Sametime’ is like a
half-way house between phone – which is disruptive – and email – which is
too passive.
-Interviewee, large professional services firm
New technology has the capacity to facilitate the connections in a distributed network of employees.
Reference: Peter, Richard,, B, R,, 2008. Network citizen. 1st ed. 136 Tooley Street, London, SE1 2TU, UK: Magdalen House, p46

“Have you ever retired a human by mistake?”

https://prezi.com/embed/xqnm-pteb0on/?bgcolor=ffffff&lock_to_path=0&autoplay=0&autohide_ctrls=0&landing_data=bHVZZmNaNDBIWnNjdEVENDRhZDFNZGNIUE43MHdLNWpsdFJLb2ZHanI0cTFNaEMwZ05Md05GalVzZ00yaVZpY0dRPT0&landing_sign=eeiabpEzmDGRgZvAsPJUYe4ImQaIOWxhDE1CpJ33EM0

Cyberpunk is a fantastically interesting genre and sub-culture. It can easily be summed up with the quote,

High Tech, Low Life.

It’s about the future of technology as an extension of humanity. A way to imagine the merging of our physical work to the world of cyberspace, the internet and computers.

The genre has plethora of tropes that it uses both aesthetically and in their narratives. Blade Runner directed by Ridley Scott is a well known Cyberpunk movie. Themes include, rouge androids, Special police units, Off world colonies, and the nature of memories and true Artificial Emotions.

Blade Runner is a fantastic movie and well worth a watch even today.Cyberpunk is rich in narrative styles and is still a visually stunning genre.

Only 1900s kids will get this meme

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The invention of the telegraph allowed humans to send information via Morse code in the mid 19th century. Suddenly messages could be sent across the oceans to far away counties almost instantly. The materiality of words had been forever changed. Information was extracted from written words and sent though wires.

Now lets look at memes for a moment. Memes are by majority a visual medium. Photos of gorillas on facebook, edited vine videos, top text/bottom text pictures. Yes they all have a visual component but is that truly necessary for the meme to carry its meaning?

Take my OC meme above. If you’ve translated it to English, and you understand what it means (ayy lmao) then hasn’t it worked? A meme can distilled into just words and still effectively carry it’s message without any visual or auditory component. Of course this is all dependent on the reader to have prior knowledge of the meme or context.

Ten word telegrams cost around $100 back in the day. How much are modern memes worth now?

Time to think.

When our lecturer Susan asked us all “Where are you in your lives now?” I couldn’t help but laugh.

It’s that question I’ve been asking myself for a while now. I’m not convinced that I could be the only Uni student living out of home with little, to no money, trying to cook decent meals each night, sitting up with my roommates discussing our meaning on the earth, drinking $10 plonk and wondering aloud “What is the point of all this?”

But Susan has given me the opportunity to think about this ambiguous question. Media Space. How does my current space in time relate to media. Time and Space. Maybe now I can try and answer Susan’s question.

We humans are physical, three dimensional beings, living in a reality of a material world. Everything we perceive is physical and tangible. Granted there are exceptions (that prove the rule) like the internet. Media.

Our physical lives change the way we engage, interact, experience digital media and the internet. We have Wi-Fi for instance. Secure safe zones where we can digitally connect ourselves though devices like phones, computers, consoles. Wander too far from the zone and you’re in the wild. No bars as they say.  Now every phone has 3 or 4G connectivity so wandering out of these WI-Fi zones has an illusion of safety. You can roam the streets, constantly connected.

Before Wi-Fi, internet came in copper wires that were plugged into terminals. Internet cafes, library computers, the information superhighway, were the digital portals of our ancestors. From confinement, to freedom; we’re endlessly connected and free to roam. (Just don’t turn on data roaming or the provider you’re with will rack up your data bill and we’ve all been there)

Media Space has expanded. It’s all around us now. We can access an immense database of knowledge with spectacular ease. Just pick up your phone and google something you didn’t know. Or open a new tab and search a random Wikipedia page. By the time you’ve learned something new, come back and read the rest of this post so I can get to my point.

Technology is an extension of ourselves as humans. Media Space is (or I should say ‘Can be’) surrounding us at all times. I mentioned above that this was about Space and Time. As humans beings we are subject to the arrow of time. Elliot puts it nicely.

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future

T.S Elliot

The future is a culmination of all things past and everything present. The extent of our potential knowledge is dictated to us by time. We are here, in this time. We are Now. This is the Media Space we are in. Not physically but temporally.

Thank you to Susan for prompting this long awaited ambiguous answer.

International Education: Why we’re failing.

Australia has been a bright hope for international students. A wealthy and safe country for students from nations across the world.

Australia sit’s among the top 15 best educational systems in the world today, which is of huge appeal to young foreigners, who are looking for work, education and money.download

Despite this, there have been growing concerns for international students as to just how safe it is in Australia.

In 2009 there were 120,913 Indian students enrolled for qualifications in Australia. 1447 of these students were victims of crime, including assaults and robberies.

This made significant waves in the media during the time.

Indianbashing
Click for full story

In Australia, there is no support system for international students in situations as bad as these. A similar case has occurred recently with a dispute with a 7/11 employer who withheld $21,298 for a foreign worker.

This has been ascribed to Australian’s sense of ethnocentrism. Our belief that our culture is superior to foreign cultures has been blamed for the attack of Manrajawinder Singh and the unjust pay of 7/11 employees.

However, despite the attitudes of some Australian’s the Center of research for Social Inclusion found that foreign students ” interested in getting to know ‘Australians’ and curious about their lives.” (Kell & Vogl, 2006, p6). Despite this, international students felt that Australians didn’t want to get to know them.

A 10 page cover story form the Indian magazine Outlook, titled “Why the Aussies hate us.” did tremendous damage to Australia’s reputation. 1264974337523

The outrage expressed in India was directed at the Australian government for not taking the motive to the attacks seriously. “smug and superior attitude of the Australian Government for denying there was racism and then telling Indians not to hype this up” (Mehta,2010) The rest of the article looking at this magazine can be found here.

This comment and the articles are highlighting our ethnocentrism. And this is not helping Australia’s image in the global world. Australian universities other educational institutions  pull in a large portion of international students which grow our labor force and raise the skills of citizens or people attaining citizenship. However, safety and security as well as the exploitation in housing and employment.

This is a problem Australia is still facing. In the International Media and Communcations  tutorial the class discussed a few idea about the situations. It’s clear that this debate will continue for a while to come. At it’s core it’s about our countries view of itself and how well we welcome outsiders. Racism is a pressing issue for Australians and sorting out our differences is going to make a difference on a global scale.

 

References:

World education rankings: which country does best at reading, maths and science? | News | The Guardian. 2015. World education rankings: which country does best at reading, maths and science? | News | The Guardian. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2010/dec/07/world-education-rankings-maths-science-reading. [Accessed 02 September 2015].

Indian Magazine Reports On Australian ‘Hate’. 2015. Indian Magazine Reports On Australian ‘Hate’. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.smh.com.au/national/indian-journal-focuses-on-hate-20100131-n6ju.html. [Accessed 02 September 2015].

Peter, Gillian, K,V, 2006. International Students: Negotiating life and study in Australia through Australian Englishes . Center for research on social inclussion, [Online]. -, 6. Available at:https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/455993/mod_resource/content/1/Week%203_Kell%20and%20Vogl.pdf[Accessed 01 September 2015].

Court action after alleged underpayment of overseas worker at 7-Eleven in Brisbane – Media releases – Fair Work Ombudsman . 2015. Court action after alleged underpayment of overseas worker at 7-Eleven in Brisbane – Media releases – Fair Work Ombudsman . [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/2015-media-releases/february-2015/20150209-haider-litigation. [Accessed 04 September 2015].

 

Batman v Superman: Transmedia fight of the century

This meme is not a lulz meme. It is an example of Transmedia narratives.

DC’s Superman and Batman narratives have existed in multiple mediums for years now. There are comics, tv shows, video games, and even graphic novels about both characters individually. Batman and Superman have appeared together in Superman/Batman comics, in the animated tv shows and even in Injustice: Gods among us.

In 2016 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will be released and the stories of Batman, Superman and Batman/Superman will be expanded in a Transmedia narrative. Spreading the story across a new medium.