So last week I turned 19, and thus a birthday-related post was obviously necessary! Spent the day running around the city redeeming free birthday food with my uni pals, managing to score a burrito from Salsas, boost juice from Boost and a 6inch sanga and drink from Subway. Unfortuately I was too full for free churros from San Churro, wehhh. After a long day, I came home to more food and more of my favourite people. The following Saturday saw a birthday gathering with my co-birthday-girl Tori (aka Torz, Tortellini) and a group of our closest friends from school. Thanks to all of those who made my day/week special!
Shoutout to my boyfriend Riles for the beautiful flowers and my parents for the super cool ‘pouffe’ which feature in this Instagram snap I posted!
Feeling like my bedroom is looking fresh with some new birthday bling! #flowers #pouffe #ishka #hippievibes #decor #cutest
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With an abundance of heavily weighted essays to complete as well as birthday festivities, I ran short of time to analyse this week’s reading. Here are a few key take aways nonetheless:
‘The most extensive computerised information management system existing today is the Internet. The Internet is a global distributed computer network.’
‘Prior to its usage in computing, protocol referred to any type of correct or proper behaviour within a specific system of conventions’
‘At the core of networked computing is the concept of protocol. A computer protocol is a set of recommendations and rules that outline specific technical standards.’
‘The protocols that govern much of the Internet are contained in what are called RFC (request For Comment) Documents,’ of which are ‘published by the Internet Engineering Task Force.’
‘Other protocols are developed and maintained by other organisations.’ For example the World Wide Web Consortium was created to ‘develop common protocols such as Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and Cascading Style Sheets.’
‘Now, protocols refer specifically to standards governing the implementation of technologies.’
Unfortunately I was unable to attend last weeks symposium, but here’s what a few of my media pals had to say about it (killing two birds with one stone for the sake of the participation form… genius!)
Evan sidesteps the main discussion around databases and instead focuses on an interesting quote raised: ‘In 8 years time we could have cars that drive themselves, and remote control camera’s. We will have remote control cameras.’ – Adrian Miles Evan highlights the benefits that remote control cameras will have for content creators, in terms of a budgeting, time-efficiency and safety features. I certainly hope such a technology becomes accessible soon as it definitely sounds like it will make our lives, as future industry professionals, a great deal easier.
Nethaniel discusses the levels of the media industry food chain, of which was also raised by the panel in the symposium. Individuals who’s work depends merely on practical skills, such as graphic designers and cinematographers, are supposedly at the bottom of the food chain, and receive the lowest income. Conversely, directory/consultant type media professionals who have an educated understanding of the functions and changing nature of the industry are at the top of the of the food chain, and are those who rake in the big bucks. Whilst their monetary value might vary, I believe both roles are almost equally important as the industry as they both heavily rely on each other. The big boss media guys would be nothing if they didn’t have the practical minds of others to make their ideas come together.
Similar to Nethaniel, Steph outlines the differences between design students and media students in terms of how they are taught and subsequently apply knowledge. According to the panel, designers are taught in a strictly technical way, learning practices that will have an effect on the future. The media course, however, supposedly focuses more so on the past and history of the subject, enabling students to think conceptually and critically about the shape of the industry today. I don’t really get this, though, as our course thus far has probably had equal emphasis on the past, present and future of the industry. Say whaaaat?
Giorgia discusses what it takes to write a good essay – some worthwhile notes for the
dreaded final assignment. To quote Giorgia, who quoted Adrian, ‘a good essay is not an opinion, it is an informed, evidence based argument. It is not reflective so much as critical and analytical.’
Amy has a good summary of some of the key points of the reading revolving around database logic. She outlines the idea that webpages are continuously unfinished, and the fact that websites are collection of elements, rather than a flowing story.
Angus expresses a enlightening outlook on the Internet as a database sytem, arguing against the idea that the Internet is no home for narratives/stories. He claims that the origin and evolution of the Internet is a story in itself – how it came to be, and how it has grown. Although the story of the Internet continues, it has defined ‘chapters’ that certainly contain a beginning middle and end. He secondly states that the Internet has stories within it, each of which is created by the user.
The tragic story of the loss David Cassai, the victim of an unprovoked attack in 2012. Awareness much be raised about how severe a single punch, or any act of senseless violence, can be. Please support the ‘STOP. One Punch Can Kill‘ campaign.
Credit to Vincent Petrilli and Jack Wright for the documentary.
This week’s reading revolved around the ‘poetics, aesthetics, and ethics’ of the Internet as a database. So what is a database? The standard definition of the term is a ‘structured collection of data,’ however this model can vary (hierarchical, network, relational, and object-oriented) from one instance to another.
New media technologies are recognised for often adopting a database structure, rather than a linear, narrative form. Immediately, the hypertext system of the Internet springs to mind. Like a database, a webpage is made up of a coded, HTML file which consists of a sequential list of instructions for individual components. This material then correlates to what we view online – a collection of items such as text, imagery, video and links to other pages. They could not exist without the specific coding in the HTML file, as one tiny mis-type could result in a significant error. In this sense, HTML coding is much like human DNA, in which sequencing of nucleotides code for specific traits on the body. Does this mean human genetics can be classed as a database system?
I think where they differ is the fact that webpages are continuously unfinished and infinitely changing. HTML files have the capacity to be edited post publication on the Internet – new content or links might be added. This is another feature of a database to which the Internet complies, whereas the human genetics system does not. The DNA we are born with remains our DNA for life, and generally we cannot alter it.
I know this is only the tiniest slice of what the reading was about, but it was just an interesting comparison that came to mind.
After attending this symposium and eventually getting around to reading week nine’s second text, the relevance of the power law distribution became a whole lot clearer. The example of how the practices of both music industry and consumers has changed, as discussed in the reading and symposium, is perhaps the best way to clarify what it’s all about. Examine the following power law/long tail:
The big hits in the music industry can be found in the ‘head’ of the power law. These are the mainstream artists and/or songs that are replayed on the radio millions of times across the globe, and independently generate the most revenue. On the wider scale of things, there are fewer of these big hits than there is music commercially available all together. This fact leads us to acknoweledge the ‘long tail.’ In the lower tail of the long tail resides the rest of the music out there, typically those less known or obscure. Collectively, the long tail generates greater revenue than the few million-dollar hits found in the head.
In the past, music was only accessible on physical media, like CDs and records. Not all producers had the opportunity to mass produce CDs or gain access to major distributors, consequently limiting the consumer’s access to their music all together. Today, however, the music industry has completely transformed, with digital media and the Internet opening up so many opportunities for both music producers and consumers. It is much easier now for small music makers to get their content out there, through uploading their content for download on platforms such as iTunes, Spotify or Soundcloud. This gives rise to many more obscure artists and enables consumers the access to a broader, more diverse range of music. It is also great in the sense that old tracks do not disappear from the music scene like they did previously.
Long live the long tail! Pretty cool stuff.