Category Archives: Communications

New Media and Democracy: Freenet
Date Created: July 29, 2014  Date Modified: July 29, 2014

Its been a long time since blogging on the New Media and Democracy theme, and its been a long time since I have published anything on this blog really; however today I found myself sharing to some technophobs the Freenet project.

This user was advocating that we as a public adopt a similar initiative, the fact there exists such a project is largely unknown in the broader community. Hopefully I have put this person onto technology they will actually use, and hopefully they will put others onto it.

Code is only of any use when it is being executed.

[REPORT] Redefining Information Warfare Boundaries for an Army in a Wireless World
Date Created: January 16, 2013  Date Modified: January 16, 2013

An old proverb: You don’t defeat nations with armies, you defeat them with ideas; Its a sad state of the internet when one nation spends more money on defence than all nations on earth combined, and consider the digital realm to be their battleground.

As a term, information warfare, or IW, remains in use worldwide, in the militaries of other countries as well as in some of the U.S. military services. The Navy now has an IW officer position, which it advertises as involving “attacking, defending and exploiting networks to capitalize on vulnerabilities in the information environment” (U.S. Navy, undated)…

…Social networks, as part of the information environment, are also a part of such conflicts or struggles. As noted by LTG Michael Vane, “Army forces operate in and among human populations, facing hybrid threats that are innovative, networked, and technologically-savvy” (TRADOC, 2010a, p. i). Internet-assisted social networking is now a part of the operational environment, as events in Egypt, Moldova, Iran, and even Pittsburgh have made clear. Social networks are a growing and increasingly relevant element of the information environment…

…Harkening back to the birth of the information operations concept out of command and control warfare in the late 1990s, this doctrine aggregates the areas of electronic warfare (EW), computer network operations (CNO), psychological operations (PSYOP), military deception (MILDEC), and operations security (OPSEC) as core capabilities, despite the fact that some of these concepts are quite dissimilar.
http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/MG1100/MG1113/RAND_MG1113.pdf

As net citizens, as world citizens; we need to fight this war on ideas with bigger and better ideas. The IP is mightyer than the sword.

[REPORT] The Google books settlement: a private contract in the absence of adequate copyright law
Date Created: January 10, 2013  Date Modified: January 10, 2013

I missed work yesturday so I had a lot of catching up to do today, this piked my interest because it references Lessig in the first sentence (and we all love Law professors who can internet like a pro). I will give it a more indepth read tonight when I have a bit more time…

The Google Books settlement has been hailed as an audacious and brilliant move by proponents and critics alike (Lessig, 2010; Samuelson, 2009a). Google’s goal of digitizing up to 20 million books drawn from participating libraries has been recast to cut authors and publishers in on the deal. With one comprehensive and complex legal document, Google, the Authors Guild, and the Association of American Publishers have crafted a deal that could transform the digital marketplace for books and could give Google a legal—and exclusive—method to clear rights for some copyrighted works neither it nor anyone else could acquire any other way, excepting changes to U.S. copyright legislation. The following discussion considers the circumstances that led to this settlement and explores its primary components, focusing on the amended class action settlement agreement of November 13, 2009, which in many respects remains similar to the original agreement of October 28, 2008. The settlement makes positive steps in the tricky areas of public access and digital rights, but it remains open to serious legal, economic, and cultural criticisms.
http://src-online.ca/index.php/src/article/viewFile/29/44

The end of a perfectly normal year
Date Created: December 30, 2012  Date Modified: December 30, 2012

I hold high hopes for 2013, I really do. Have a great new year however you choose to spend it.

Peace

This rant was posted in Communications on by .

[PAST] Old Media Trolling
Date Created: December 16, 2012  Date Modified: December 16, 2012

Purging out my email I noticed a few corrospondence that made me smile due to the supression of the incident(s) in my memory banks, currently giving me a chuckle is this from 2009, when I complained to the ABC’s Media Watch about a factual error being made on an ABC television programme:

Hi

I have been watching Mediawatch since its inception and I have noticed of late the focus seems to be focused on the ABC’s own reporters, this can only improve the ABC’s already excellent journalistic standards.

I feel then it is only appropriate that I draw your attention to an error reported today, the 17th of July 2009, on the ABC’s Playschool programme. The presenter was recounting a journey she took on Australia’s Highway 1, she mentioned a stop in Alice Springs—which is not on Australia’s Hwy 1. Could a correction please be aired to clear up any confusion to ABC viewers.

I would have like to have CC this to the Playschool email, but could not find it on there site, would you please be able to draw this to the attention of the Playschool Producers and Presenters on my behalf.

Thank you
B Levene

the response that followed:

Many thanks for your email. We appreciate tips from our viewers and look at all of them. One of our researchers will be in touch if we need any further information. Please be sure to keep us posted if you see anything else that you think should be on Media Watch

Kind Regards

Jo Puccini

Its your kids education

This rant was posted in Bad Taste, Communications, Media, Trolls, Video on by .

[REPORT] Social Media as a Tool for Inclusion
Date Created: November 6, 2012  Date Modified: November 19, 2012

I was quite interested in this report by the Canadian Human Resources and Skills Development Canada; Social Media as a Tool for Inclusion. I have looked into some of the issues around special-needs users of the internet, and have dealt with web accessibility in the front lines, but what piked my interest in this report was that it covered two demographics often overlooked–Indigenous and the homeless.

The objectives of the study were to determine the extent, nature and benefits of social media use by five vulnerable populations – Aboriginal peoples, people with disabilities, recent immigrants, the homeless and seniors – and by the institutions that serve them, and to explore the extent to which such media help to overcome social isolation and barriers to inclusion

The homeless are often an invisible demographic, and in a traditional web1.0 paradigm the notion of sitting down to a desktop computer to surf the internet is not seen as in the capacity for the homeless, however the more the net has moved onto devices the more uptake and more visible this demographic will be. The digital divide persists, but the advances of technology are making it easier for users with limited means to be able to access the digital realm.

…given the dire daily challenges of the homeless and those that serve them. It is surprising that no pertinent Canadian academic studies on this topic were unearthed, online or otherwise, during the course of this research. Nevertheless, anecdotal reporting indicates that the internet and social media are extensively used by the homeless, especially those under 30, and this finding resonates with those of several U.S. studies on the topic

Having dealt with homelessness first hand, I knew from my own experiences what benefits I gained from the use of social media–in fact the catalyst for me to create a Facebook account back in 2007 was part of a need to reconnect with those who I had lost contact with during my diaspora.Having dealt with homelessness first hand, I knew from my own experiences what benefits I gained from the use of social media–in fact the catalyst for me to create a Facebook account back in 2007 was part of a need to reconnect with those who I had lost contact with during my diaspora.

The number one issue for homeless people is loneliness; many have left behind them a trail of lost or damaged relationships. Facebook is seen to help the homeless regain contact with family members and actually help them rebuild relationships. A youth worker writes: “I frequently use Facebook as a means of staying in touch with youth who are homeless. They are often without a regular phone or address, but will find a way to update their Facebook status. This way I can continue to support them wherever they are at.”

UPDATE: If you are homeless in Western Australia, the Department of Housing have a homeless assistance hotline you can call: 1800 065 892 for help and assistance.

[REPORT] Digital Freedoms in International Law
Date Created: October 29, 2012  Date Modified: October 29, 2012

Released Monday from Global Network Initiative, is the following report Digital Freedoms in International Law, which addresses many of the issues relating to protecting human rights on-line. It looks into state driven censorship in oppressive regimes such as Saudi Arabia and it also highlights the lack of accountability corporations have in the digital eco-system when it comes to human rights violations:

…there are special problems in applying law generally, and human rights law in particular, to the new global, digital environment. Laws are still mainly drawn up for an environment with clearly defined territorial jurisdictions. And much of the control over the Internet rests in the hands of private companies, whereas traditional human rights law almost entirely focused on states. This raises problems of both “prescriptive” and “enforcement” jurisdiction, and of “privatised” (or semi-­-privatised) law enforcement, without adequate remedies.
Page 14

Also mentioned is the corporate sectors willingness to comply with take down requests, and that they have a moral obligation not to facilitate such:

companies should think in advance of possible risks arising from undue state demands made upon them, and they should take measures – including technical measures – to try and make it possible for them to deny or at least minimise their cooperation. They must afterwards help the victims of their enforced cooperation with such allegedly undue and illegal state actions, to alleviate the harm done as much as possible.
Page 23

I would however suggest that it is the corporate interests manipulating the states; tho this might be me speaking from a political, rather than a legal perspective.

[LINK] It’s complicated: copyright law and chaos theory
Date Created: September 12, 2012  Date Modified: September 12, 2012

Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice – Advance Access

via It's complicated: copyright law and chaos theory.

Lawyers hate HTML
Date Created: August 1, 2012  Date Modified: December 27, 2012

I had my first Law lecture this morning, prior I was in the Murdoch Bookshop stacking up on some tomes I will be needing on this endeavour (and a couple more I just wanted to get). I got home enthused to start reading this new type of littérateur that I will be battling over the next few years, and heeding the advice of my lecturer: That it takes a little bit of a learning curve to get use to legal writing, I decided to start on one of the law books that wasnt part of my required reading material, but was something that I felt more palatable for someone with my background in web–Internet and E-Commerce Law, Business and Policy.

Imediatly I scanned the contents for a topic that I could relate to; Chapter 6 – Domain names and trade marks. Reading the section on WHOIS was where I started. Everyone who works web knows WHOIS, so reading this very legal run-down of something that we as webbys take for granted is… refreshing in a sense. Then I got all academic on the shit and I saw the real problem–well from my pedantic web paradigm anyway. I went to look up one of the references in the United States-Australia Free Trade Agreement, Art 17.3.2 and clicking on that link you see why Im pissed off. Numbered paragraphs that should be ordered lists!, no text anchors!, emphasis where it should be italic!. These things matter if this were a published print document; all hell would break loose if this were printed like this. But on the web, do the document custodians care? Are they even aware that HTML markup can be used to present the information in a more accessible manner?.

I am yet to look into W3C giudelines for web content; due however to the differing nature of legal style requirements in jurisdictions arount the world, I doubt an international standard could be reached specifically relating to Acts. Surely tho, the same W3C guidelines for ordered lists on other web content would apply to the layout of a legal document?. Emphasis and Italic however I see it as a breach, an Act must be written in italics by legal style convention (law?), not emphasised when read or interpreted by a text reader. What this neglect in the article of the USAFTA linked is a clear neglect the legal community have for the web community, or at least HTML.

UPDATE: When going over some online sesources provided for the unit, I came accross the below image. Please feel free to comment.

Image to point out the Short Title of an Act

There was no Alt text , title, or description of this image on the LMS.

An image to outline the correct citing of cases

This image was much worse not only did it not contain any attributes in the HTML to assist, it could have been built as a simple interactive app that would be able to meet an accessable standard

[PDF] Privacy and the internet: Australian attitudes towards privacy in the online environment
Date Created: May 2, 2012  Date Modified: May 2, 2012

Australian Policy Online released on Monday a document containing many statistics regarding Australian’s attitudes toward online privacy. Some key findings were:

  • 85% of online Australians believe data breach notification should be mandatory for business
  • Australians nominated identity theft (86%) and loss of financial data (83%) as their areas of greatest privacy concern.
  • The financial sector is most trusted on privacy (42%), followed by government and the eCommerce sectors
  • Social media is the least trusted industry on privacy (1%). In fact, 61% of respondents nominated the social media industry as having the worst privacy practices
  • Overall, women feel more secure than men online, and younger people (18-29 years old) feel more secure than older people (50+ years old)

I have yet to read the full text, so I will reserve any summation and/or analysis until I have.

The full PDF is available to download from the following URL:
http://apo.org.au/node/29266

Finally Its Released! (no, not Skyrim)
Date Created: November 20, 2011  Date Modified: May 2, 2012

I have to admit, the last week my major focus has been Skyrim–tho Im not here to mention that!. No the other big release recently (and its not Saints Row 3 or MW3 either!) was Android 4.0, and my reaction is a bit mixed.

Not all Android compatable devices can take this upgrade OOTB, so Im carefully looking into what can take it and what wont. I doubt I will be utting Android on my Sony E-Reader, but Im itching to get an update on my phone–even if I have to h@x the core (to use a Drupal colloquialism)..

So what will this new Android offer me over the last version, well for me the biggest letdown with the Android OS was multitasking. The new version aims to rectify this, according to Android’s own site:

Multitasking is a key strength of Android and it’s made even easier and more visual on Android 4.0. The Recent Apps button lets you jump instantly from one task to another using the list in the System Bar. The list pops up to show thumbnail images of apps used recently — tapping a thumbnail switches to the app.

http://www.android.com/about/ice-cream-sandwich/

So there is the claim that it will multi-task better, however you just cant go by what the developers managers marketing assistants say so I will be eagerly awaiting any improvement with the Android OS.

Joomla! as an intranet?: YES WE CAN!
Date Created: October 24, 2011  Date Modified: November 22, 2011

I was approached a few weeks ago by the Equal Opportunity Commission to build a Joomla powered Intranet–at first I had apprehensions: Joomla is not the greatest of CMS software for this application, and all government departments are running MOSS2010, so It would be simple logic to go with SharePoint for the intranet too?

Adding to the complexity of this project it was also suggested that the Joomla run on a WAMP stack–but with the server being SBS2003 I decided to put it together thru IIS instead of go and install Apache on a system that didnt require it.

The system installed without a hitch–its not the first time I have put together a J! on IIS, but its the first time I did so for an intranet. Hopefully this makes business run a bit smother down there at EOC.