Category Archives: Week Seven

The Library

The major difference between the university library and other libraries I’ve used in the past comes down to the ability to search countless databases for specific and peer reviewed articles. The Ryerson online library can connect me to an enormous amount of organizations that host scholarly articles for research, which really helps when it comes to researching topics for projects and essays.

High school libraries don’t even compare to this, as they have a limited selection of books and access online to only what’s in the library in the school. Public libraries get better, with a large selection of books and an online system to find the books in the library. It’s the university libraries that have access to scholarly organizations and peer reviewed articles, which are essential for research purposes.

Source: “Navigating the Library’s Electronic Sources.” Research Skills Workshops. Ryerson University, Toronto. 17 Sept. 2013. Lecture.

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Networking

Group: Ian (1, 2, 3), Cristian (4, 5, 6), Saria (7, 8, 9, 10, 11), Alejandro (12)

1. What is a computer network?

A computer network is a group of computing systems that are linked together through a number of channels to communicate and share resources amongst a range of users. It’s a group of interconnected computers that can all talk to one another.

Source:

Janssen, Cory. “Computer Network.” Technopia. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Nov. 2013. http://www.techopedia.com/definition/25597/computer-network.

2. Define and explain visually the difference between these different types of networks:

Local Area Network: A local area network covers a small area, like a home or office. It’s most likely based on Ethernet technology.

Wide Are Network: A network that covers a broad range of geographic area.

Internet: A global network that connects millions of computers, including over 100 countries.

Intranet: A limited communications network, sometimes a private network made from World Wide Web software.

Metropolitan Area Network: A network that connects two or more local area networks together but does not leave a town or city.

Virtual Private Network: A private network that uses a public network (the Internet) to connect users together. The virtual connections are routed through the Internet from the business’s private network to the employee.

Source:

a) “Computer Networks.” Contrib. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Nov. 2013. http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/~sfaiadh/computer_networks.htm.

b) “Internet.” Webopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Nov. 2013. http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/I/Internet.html.

c) Tyson, Jeff, and Stephanie Crawford. “How VPNs Work.” How Stuff Works. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Nov. 2013. http://www.howstuffworks.com/vpn.htm.

3. How do these two types of networks differ?

Peer to Peer: A network where two or more computers share resources without having to go through a separate server. Data is stored between computers and on multiple computers.

Server-based: In this kind of network, the server is the central base where users can access information and resources to share. Each computer that connects to the server is called a client computer.

Source:

Cope, James. “QuickStudy: Peer-to-Peer Network.” Computerworld. N.p., 8 Apr. 2002. Web. 1 Nov. 2013. http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/69883/Peer_to_Peer_Network.

4. What is the difference between a client and a server?

A client and a server are two parts of a common computing model. A user uses a computer (which is the client). The computer then sends requests to the server, which is usually located somewhere else remotely. The server takes the request and processes it, then sends back a response to the client.

Source:

“Difference Between Client and Server.” Difference Between. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Nov. 2013. http://www.differencebetween.net/technology/difference-between-client-and-server/.

5. What is the OSI model?

The OSI model is a theoretical model that explains how networks work. It contains seven layers (physical layer, datalink layer, network layer, transport layer, session layer, presentation layer, and application layer.

Physical (Layer 1) – This layer outlines the physical characteristics of network devices, which includes cabling, wiring, and fibre strands. Transmission of data from the physical medium is managed at layer 1.

Datalink (Layer 2) – This layer has four primary functions: a) communication with the network layer above, b) segmentation of upper layer datagrams, c) bit ordering, and d) communication with the physical layer below.

Network (Layer 3) – This layer has the job of handling routing and preparing data for transmission.

Transport (Layer 4) – This layer has the responsibility of recovering lost or damaged data.

Session (Layer 5) – This layer tracks connections (sessions) and keeps track of multiple file downloads that are requested by an FTP application.

Presentation (Layer 6) – This layer takes the conversion of data and between platform independent formats to a format understood by the local machine.

Application (Layer 7) – This layer is the user interface. It shows data to people in a way they can understand.

Source:

InetDaemon. “What Is the OSI Model.” InetDaemon. N.p., 6 Mar. 2013. Web. 1 Nov. 2013. http://www.inetdaemon.com/tutorials/basic_concepts/network_models/osi_model/what_is_the_osi_model.shtml.

6. Identity 5 different network architectures, explain what each does.

Tiered architectures:

4 types:

One-tiered: This is when there is direct access from the client servers to the file server. This is a very efficient tier and it is very simple, but it is also not very secure.

Two-tiered: This is very similar to a one-tiered server but it is much more secure. It allows client servers to access certain ares of the file server when requested but does not have access too all information. This also allows multiple client servers to access it as long as they are accessing different parts of the file server.

Three-tiered of Multi-tiered: This adds another tier in-between the client and file server called the application server and this helps to organize the connection and control the high amount of traffic flow. This allows a lot of security and it allows the client server to have very fast access. The big problem with this is that it can be very expensive and complex.

Peer-to-Peer: This is when the peer server acts as both the client and the file server, and each is connected to each other. This is very simple and takes out any middle interfereance

Sources:

a) Janssen, Cory. “Peer-to-Peer Architecture (P2P Architecture).” Technopia. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Nov. 2013. http://www.techopedia.com/definition/454/peer-to-peer-architecture-p2p-architecture.

b) Howitz, Carsten. “What Is 3-Tier(Multi-Tier) Architecture And Why Do You Need It?”Simcrest. N.p., 1 June 2012. Web. 1 Nov. 2013. http://blog.simcrest.com/what-is-3-tier-architecture-and-why-do-you-need-it/.

7. Define and visual explain what the following terms mean:

Protocols:
A protocol is a system used to transmit data (such as index files) in order to determine the type of error checking than needs to be used. It is also used for data compression (useful for communication) in order to determine how the device will indicate that a message has been sent. Protocols on your computer or device must be agreeable with the right ones if you need to communicate with other computers.

Source:

“Protocol.” Webopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Nov. 2013. http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/P/protocol.html.

TCP/IP (transmission control protocol/internet protocol):
It is the communication language of the protocol of the Internet used in the intranet or extranet. It is a two-layer program of which the first layer of the TCP manages a message into smaller packets that can be transmitted over the internet and received by another TCP layer that reassembles these smaller packets into the original message.

Source:

Rouse, Margaret. “TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol).” Search Networking. N.p., Oct. 2008. Web. 1 Nov. 2013. http://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/definition/TCP-IP.

FTP (file transfer protocol):
A standard protocol used for the transfer of files between different computers on the Internet. FTP works in the similar way as the HTTP as it is an application protocol that uses the Internet’s transmission control protocol to transfer Internet files to its server to make it available to everyone on the Internet. “Commonly used to download programs and other files to your own computer from a different server”.

Source:

Rouse, Margaret. “File Transfer Protocol (FTP).” Search Enterprise WAN. N.p., Apr. 2007. Web. 1 Nov. 2013. http://searchenterprisewan.techtarget.com/definition/File-Transfer-Protocol.

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol):
A protocol used by the World Wide Web. It defines how messages are transmitted and the actions that browsers should take in response to different commands. When a URL is entered into the browser, the HTTP is what directs the web server to transmit the requested web page.

Source:

“HTTP.” Webopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Nov. 2013. http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/H/HTTP.html.

Telnet:
It is a user initiated command used for accessing remote computers. With this underlying protocol is allows for the access of another user to enter someone else is computer remotely. With telnet you are able to log on as a “regular user with whatever privileges you may have been granted to the specific application and data on that computer”.

Source:

Rouse, Margaret. “Telnet.” Search Networking. N.p., Aug. 26. Web. 1 Nov. 2013. http://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/definition/Telnet.

8. What is a router?

A router is a small device that joins a number of different networks together and forwards data along these networks. It connects two or more networks that the router operates. Home networks use the Internet Protocol router. It is commonly connected to LANs or WANs. It is a critical device that keeps the networks connected to the Internet. Most Internet users use LAN (local area network) or a WLAN (wireless LAN) in order to connect all computers to the Internet without paying a broadband subscription.

Source:

a) Mitchell, Bradley. “Router.” About.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Nov. 2013. http://compnetworking.about.com/cs/routers/g/bldef_router.htm.

b) Beal, Vangie. “All About Broadband/ICS Routers.” Webopedia. N.p., 28 Aug. 2009. Web. 1 Nov. 2013. http://www.webopedia.com/DidYouKnow/Hardware_Software/2005/router.asp.

9. What is a network firewall?

It is a software program used in order to protect your computer from unauthorized access. They could also be hardware devices. They guard the computer’s internal and private network from outside access. A firewall works closely with proxy servers that make network requests on behalf of users. These firewalls provide extra safety LAN addresses from the outside Internet. “They help screen out hackers, viruses, and worms that try to reach your computer over the Internet”. School students that are unable to access Facebook and social networks at school often use proxies.

a) Mitchell, Bradley. “Firewall.” About.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Nov. 2013. http://compnetworking.about.com/od/firewalls/g/bldef_firewall.htm.

b) Rouse, Margaret. “Firewall.” Search Security. N.p., May 2007. Web. 1 Nov. 2013. http://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/definition/firewall.

c) “What Is a Firewall?” Microsoft. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Nov. 2010. <http://www.microsoft.com/security/pc-security/firewalls-whatis.aspx&gt;.

10. What is the difference between a web and ftp server?

Web server: A server used in order to communicate with web browsers as it usually uses the HTTP communication protocol. The web server is able to transfer HTTP request but not actual files as with FTP. FTP (file transfer protocol) is what allows the transfer of files from one computer to another.

Source:

“What’s a Web Server? How Does a Web Server Work?” Geek Explains. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Nov. 2013. http://geekexplains.blogspot.ca/2008/06/whats-web-server-how-does-web-server.html.

11. What is an IP address?

An IP address is an Internet protocol. It is designed to allow one computer to communicate with another via the Internet. It allows billions of users to be differentiated from other devices. “In the same sense that someone needs your mailing address to send you a letter, a remote computer needs your IP address to communicate with your computer.” They serve as a permanent Internet address in order to allow other computers to communicate with you. There are two different types of IP addresses. There are the static IP addresses and the Dynamic IP addresses. A static IP address is used for online gaming where users are able to communicate with other computers faster. They are less secure than Dynamic IP addresses because they are easier to track. Dynamic IP addresses are temporary and are assigned each time the computer accesses the Internet.

Source:

“What Is an IP Address?” What Is My IP Address. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Nov. 2013. http://whatismyipaddress.com/ip-address.

12. How do you transfer files from a computer to a server? Create a small tutorial to teach us how to do it.

In order to transfer files from a computer to a server, several conditions have to apply first:

the server must be running– meaning that the server is connected to the internet, has space/memory to place files, and owns an IP addres.
the user has to have access to the internet– without access to the internet, then it is impossible to load files to the server unless it is a local server which only needs access to the router.

If these two conditions apply, then accessing the server is possible. There are different ways to place files in a server and it depends if it is a local or a far away server. What stays true though is that to access any of them you need an

  • IP address or host name
  • know the type of protocol being used (SFTP, FTP, FTPS, etc)
  • username
  • password

to access the server, generally the web browser is used but there are other softwares where it can grant you access like WinSCP (and variations of it for MAC and Linux). Anyway, using the web browser, the user has to put the URL/host name or IP address in the address bar to go to the server. Once there, it should ask for a username and password (which is set when installing the server). Once in you can change your password, and have access to all or some of the files there (depending on the user’s credentials). Now, the server has to have a button or a link that takes you to the uploading section of the page and make your transfers there.

I own a server, and I can access it locally too which is very convenient and faster. how this works is that your computer , since it is connected to the same router as the server, files can be transferred instantly, and without the hassle of going into the browser. Instead, the server folder appears on the explorer window (Windows), on the finder (mac) or on the nautilus (ubuntu/linux).

There is a third way. Only if the user has a software like Adobe Dreamweaver. If the server is used to store a website, then synchronizing the server with dreamweaver would be a great option since the software would take the data needed for the site. In the ‘Manage Sites’ panel, there is are several options. first the site has to be created into a root folder so that the website can have a firm location and source. then after the site is established, the user can go into the servers tab, and set up the server through the FTP (File Transfer Protocol) option. this way, the user inputs the address of the server, username and password, and the program does everything for you. the user will get two windows where he/she will see a nested list of folders inside the server in one, and another with the files in the computer. Once this is done, the user only has to drag the files from one location to another.

-one very important note- The file transfer speed for the computer to server and vice versa will be directly affected by the speed of the internet, so beware of large files. sometimes it is good to compress files before placing them in the server to make things faster and easier.

a) “Dendrome Project.” Dendrome Project. 01 Nov. 2013 http://dendrome.ucdavis.edu/help/faq/?faq_id=16.

b) “WinSCPFree SFTP, SCP and FTP client for Windows.” Connect to FTP server or SFTP server. 01 Nov. 2013
http://winscp.net/eng/docs/guide_connect.

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Weekly Presentation

Cyborgs – Cristian (Nov. 29)

Cyborgs are humanoid robots that are part machine, part organic parts. Under a different method of thinking, cyborgs are also any humanoid creature that uses technology as an extension of themselves and their body, which includes us and our use of consumer technology as a commodity. In that sense, we’re cyborgs already.

In fiction, cyborgs are usually represented as a creature that’s part machine part human (Terminator, Robocop) and the applications that arise from such a combination. A researcher put magnets in his fingers and was able to control electromagnetic currents, so when his wife performed the same surgery, they were able to communicate with one another without speaking to each other. He could feel her hand raise. The couple used technology (magnets) as an extension of themselves to perform activities that would be otherwise impossible.

In the world of new media, there are huge applications to this. We could one day create technological art pieces using our minds and controlling things telepathically. The increased use of humanoid technology could help us achieve products (be it art or technology) that we couldn’t before.

Artificial Life (Nov. 22)

Artificial Intelligence – Bram and Raine (Nov. 15)

There are three types of artificial intelligence; symbolic, sub-symbolic, and statistical. Symbolic consists of knowledge taught by humans, and it has millions of triggers that react to different conditions and scenarios. Sub-symbolic uses fuzzy logic to determine the results of decisions by using a structure similar to the human mind. Statistical artificial intelligence is programmed with functions that can analyze data and create its own conclusion (this is the modern type of artificial intelligence).

I think artificial intelligence has huge implications for not only advancements in technology, but implementation in consumer technology. Eventually, when the cost is low enough to develop software for it, I think artificial intelligence will be implemented in our technology in such a way that unifies it. Imagine a smart home; when you walk in the door your AI assistant recognizes it’s you and relays social networking notifications via audio through the house. You can speak to this AI; schedule appointments, record TV shows, make a grocery list, warm the oven up.

AI is used in consumer technology today, albeit very basically. Siri and searching on Google are fantastic examples of the technology, and we’ve already realized how much it’s assisted our lives. As we can build technology to become more aware and intelligent, we could replace human labour with robotics to reduce costs and take people out of hard working situations. There possibilities are endless.

Transmedia – Saria (Nov. 8)

I’m so conflicted about transmedia – I hate it and I love it. Transmedia is the method of telling multiple different stories from a franchise, spawning multiple different mediums. A fantastic example would be the Batman franchise. There are comics, video games, films, and animations that all feature Batman as the main character but have him in a completely different story.

I hate this because of my love for the absolute. When a television show or movie is made with a specific story and that story finishes, I want it to stay that way. For instance; Star Wars. The complete Star Wars series, from episodes one to six were envisioned and created by George Lucas. Lucas is the “god” of the Star Wars universe, without him the Star Wars universe doesn’t have its original vision, which makes it feel betrayed in a way. I don’t want to see Star Wars done by someone else because it’s not Star Wars anymore. There are tons of video games and books written set within the Star Wars universe but telling different stories of events, not by George Lucas. The problem with this is technically none of these stories are “real” within the fictional Star Wars universe, they’re just a professional version of fan fiction. This isn’t the same as a continuation of the original Star Wars stories on other mediums, that’s multimedia. If George Lucas made more Star Wars in comics or books, that would be okay because he’s the one making it. As soon as someone else makes it about a different story though, I don’t like it. I want my original stories to be absolute.

I love Transmedia, though, because it can reach consumers from all types of markets. The comic book reader, the film critic, the television fanatic, the avid reader; they can all enjoy Star Wars and different stories about characters on Star Wars (even though they aren’t done by George Lucas). Technically, it’s still Star Wars, and more people will have access to content from the franchise. Transmedia can also spawn better stories from that franchise. Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” trilogy is arguably Batman’s best foray into media of any kind, surpassing that of even the original Batman from the very first comic books. Nolan didn’t invent Batman, but he made the best story about Batman. I know this contradicts my earlier statement, but if someone with enough respect and admiration for the original franchise wanted to make their own story it can be okay. More often than not though, it becomes a disgrace to the franchise (“The Bourne Legacy” is a great example of this).

In today’s world, people have access to various mediums on one device. Computers can play movies, television shows, download books, comic books, and animated series. With this availability, it’s no wonder transmedia is so popular; when a consumer likes a franchise, they yearn for more stories set within the universe that can satisfy their cravings. Although the stories may not live up to the original, they can still be good companion pieces to the franchise. In today’s world, a story simple doesn’t stay a story anymore, it becomes an event; transcending all forms of media.

Gaming – Alejandro (Nov. 1)

Gaming is a huge industry in the media and technology world. It’s one of the only mediums that are truly interactive. Instead of just absorbing content, the consumer can interact with the content and influence the direction the content (game) will take. There is no other media form as cognitive as gaming, no other medium that has consumers making split decisions and stimulating their mind as if they were interacting with someone in real life. Therefore, video games are also huge methods of tinkering. Players can become curious and see what impact their in-game decisions will make. Although there’s usually a storyline to follow, a good video game would not be complete without extra areas to explore and things to tinker with. Humans are naturally curious and game developers take that into consideration when building their environments. Who wants to play a game where you have to follow an absolute strict set of rules and not go off the beaten path? Character customizations, weapon/vehicle choice, and interactive characters all create a richer experience for the gamer.

Not only are video games fun but we learn from them greatly. We learn how to think quickly and logically, see the consequences of our actions, and be apart of an environment that promotes creativity and character studying. I think gaming could be applied to learning in schools as well. I’m a strong believer that teaching yourself something is the best way to learn something, as you develop not only an understanding of the content but an understanding of how to learn it. If children could learn certain things through self discovery in video games I think it would benefit them greatly. Science programs could be applied to this, making children more interested in taking up a career in the industry. For instance, there could be an educational game where the child has to build a rocket and fly off Earth. They would go collect the rocket parts, put it together, and angle it in the right way to leave earth. The child would not only have learnt some basic physics but would feel good about it too. There are a lot of possibilities for gaming in education.

Remix Culture – Cristina (Oct. 25)

Remix culture is about mixing together existing products to make new ones. In the modern world many things made are not technically “original” anymore. Most films are not original thematically or archetypically anymore. A group of characters in one film can be easily compared to a group of characters in another film (Heroes and Lost). Likewise, themes and story lines can be compared as well (Pocahontas and Avatar). In today’s media storytelling, artists borrow ideas from other artists all the time. Because of this, these “remix” skills have surfaced amongst artists that bring together unoriginal ideas to create an original product. YouTube is a fantastic example of this, where amateur videographers almost never create their own original songs for their film projects. Instead, they’ve developed the skill of mixing produced songs to create the sound they want to set the tone they want for their film. If they need a setting with a big scope they could also set their actors against a green screen and take the background from another film.

Under the context of new media and technology, there are huge possibilities for remix culture. Wikipedia is a great example of this culture, where people from all over the world come together to add and change information. Blogs and websites are fantastic sources to post content that has been remixed by an artist. Major musicians use remixing in their songs all the time too, called “sampling”, which is taking another song and mixing it with their own. Their new song is technically “original”, but some of the content within that originality is not. In the future, I expect this culture to only keep growing as more people enter various industries and the history of the work of others becomes larger. There will be more pressure to create “new” things, which will be harder to do considering there aren’t a lot “new” things left to cover.

Simulations – Danny (Oct. 11) 

Danny’s presentation was about the use of simulations as real world applications. A ton of different industries are using simulations as apart of their training programs to allow workers to be prepared in their field without having to risk them failing as a novice. What I didn’t realize was how many industries use simulations, and to what extent they use them. First responders have to clock a certain number of hours in simulations to be ready for their days on the field, and pilots have to spend hundreds of hours in a virtual plane before they can even sit in the real thing. Simulated learning is apparently working very well for industry companies, allowing them to save money on training as well as the health of those involved. This relates to new media research in the way that it’s an evolving technology with an impact on the way those in our society are trained for the work force and taught important skills. Simulation learning offers a new way to learn.

Ethnography – Erich (Oct. 4)

I found this topic a little hard to understand. From what I understood in Erich’s presentation as well as a bit of research I did at home, ethnography is the study of human behaviour of a particular culture from the perspective of those being surveyed. This doesn’t only apply to cultures such as past civilizations and the way of living in different parts of the world, but how people live and behave within certain circumstances. For instance, would customers be more inclined to visit a Wind Mobile store if it was closer to a Futureshop or Bestbuy because of the similarities in products? If you had a friend in your calculus class but hate sitting in the front row, where would you sit if he wasn’t there and if he was, would you sit in the front row with him? These are quite random examples but show the vast area of research ethnography can cover. The cultural behaviour of people in different under different circumstances is essential to new media research and attempting to predict which mediums will fade, which mediums will gain interest, and which mediums will be next. In the 1920s film was a medium meant only for people with a less than ideal lifestyle, mostly immigrants who needed cheap entertainment to take their minds off their mindless jobs and less than favourable wages. Film was a “lower-middle class” form of entertainment, but when the culture of urban cities shifted during the second world war, more people of higher class needed entertainment to take their minds off things and film as a medium became increasingly popular.

Social Media – Seif (Sept. 27)

In Seif’s presentation he talked about the sheer scope of social networking and some insight into the effect it’s having on our personal lives. According to his research, “social networking is the number one activity on the web.” That’s absolutely huge, considering the number of people connected at any given second. The use of social networking is beginning to have an effect on our personal lives too, as anything we do that’s digitally captured remains online forever. This is particularly troubling, and as Seif mentions “there is no escaping it.” For anyone who’s read 1984 by George Orwell, the presentation certainly brings to surface Big Brother and the state’s lack of escaping penetrating technology. Although I don’t agree that “there is no escaping it”, Seif does make a good point about how fast social networking is growing and how documented our lives are becoming online. It’s now more important than ever to protect your reputation and learn the skills of self presentation, because now the entire world wide web could be watching.