Monday, December 5, 2011


Works in speech or writing, computer programs, databases, musical and theatrical works, pictorial art, architecture, applied art like all kinds of spiritual creation of a litterary or artistic production, is protected by copyright law. The law gives artists, writers, composers and other creative people the right to control how their litterary or artistic works should be used. Copyright is a sensitive issue in today's society and with the vast flowing amount of information that constantly progress with internet's exponential increasing rate, copyright has become something that is worth re-evaluating.

There are many who believe that the discussion must be about that copyright should allow for new creativity from more people while protecting cultural creators commercial exclusivity. Such a balance may seem like a fantasy, but it should be possible and i believe it's necessary. An overly expansive copyright is in danger of locking up large parts of our heritage when the copyright should be an incentive for creativity, an opportunity for writers, musicians and filmmakers to get paid for their work. Simon Whaley talks in his blog about what copyright actually is and what we can expect from it. He mentions on his blog, "As a copyright holder, you have the right to produce those words how and as you like, and you also have the right to give others the right to use those words". I agree with that but i'd like to ad that this is what copyright should be all about. What it shouldn't do, is to take away the ability to create something just because someone else has touched on that same subject before.

Edutopia also touches ont he subject that what teachers are allowed to show int he classroom for educational purposes are quite strict. "Fair use in the educational setting is defined more broadly but does not encompass all uses". As i mentioned, we are entering an age where information is claimed should be available to everyone at all times and if we want to really stand up to that and make it true, some of the laws needs to be re-evaluated.

The protection brought out by copyright is important and often good. That no one without your permission can sell your book, movie, art or music to make money on it is obvious. But copyright law also implies a cost for the making of new creations. All the works that are created today builds on a common cultural heritage with the same idea that a rock band finds identity in its musical references.

A good example is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, which ater a long time have passed on all their competitors in terms of scope and fast updates. Millions have jointly developed an encyclopedia that has become both popular and well used, but that have probably not been without obstacles. Every day, struggling individual wikipedia users are fighting to open our common heritage. For instance we are fighting against museums supported by tax money who keep photo archives that should belong to all of us.

The copyright includes basically a lot of good ideas and features, but back to basics, I think it is a better strategy, for example that it manages the lawmakers maybe initial thoughts about the balance between different interests in society, especially in light of the need for learning and knowledge. Are we talking serious about that we live in a knowledge society, then this should be almost self-evident.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I did this one with despair.

Iconic You

You can't really say it's an iconic picture but at least it's me. I just played around here with a few different programs here such as picnik, photoshop and wordfoto. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Future Wars are Fought on the Net

An attack against Estonia took place at ten o'clock in the evening without bombs, without tanks and without soldiers. Instead an army of computers sent in 2007 was the first wave of electronic "denial of service" attacks against government sites. The Estonian defense minister Jaak Aaviksoo discovered the attacks when he tried to read the news on the country's biggest online newspaper. When he tried to enter, nothing happened, and just like with most of the countries other sites, the newspaper's website was overloaded and had collapsed. In the following days the attacks intensified against the government websites and against banks. Estonia was the victim o a cyberattack. The attack against Estonia in 2007 was the first cyber war but certainly not the last.

In 2008 Israel and Palestine hackers was at war with each other and Russia invaded their neighbor country, Georgia. In 2010 Chinese hackers had hacked Google and gained access to a number of email accounts of human rights activists and journalists. I believe Hillary Clinton said something along the lines that an attack on a nations network is an attack on everyone.

There is no definitions of cyber war and many questions therefore arise; can you compare attack in cyberspace with an attack on the ground and is a war without physical destruction at all a war? Iran and China is blocking public access to the internet for instance. War is not only about wining the battle on the battlefield but also about controlling the information available and people's opinions. In cyberspace we can  see the blocking of websites to keep people in some sort of restrain. It therefore seems important that there is a cyber defense developed since our lives are more and more taking place in cyberspace.  

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Google Translate Fail

Just like a lot of poeple out there, I find google translate quite useless. It's good for translating single words sometimes or to get the gist of a sentence or text, but to translate something 100% correct is almost impossible. I started off translating a few words and sentences from Swedish to English that I would imagine to be difficult to translate. Those were words and sentences that you find in all languages but that cannot translate into another. Some languages simply have their own words for things based on what culture and traditions that country has. This culture or tradition might not exist in a another country and is therefore impossible to translate into that other language.

The sentence I have translated here are "denna rätt är lagom kryddad", which kind of means; this dish is well spiced. The word "lagom" is a word that only exist in Swedish. It means something that is in between too much and too little, in other words it's something that is middle-ground. Sweden is the country that is famous for always being in the middle. You should not make more money than anyone else, you should never do better than anyone else, never be louder, funnier etc. And if you are making more money, doing better, being louder, being funnier, God forbid that you let anyone know about it. This is why living there can be quite frustrating. Everyone should be equal and the same to the point where it become ridiculous. In many ways it is similar to Japan. I thought therefore that a sentence containing this word would demonstrate this. The very simple word for dish has also been mistaken with "law".

A classic example of when google translate has been suspectedly used is when going to restaurants, bars and shops here in Japan. Some of the signs that have been put up is hilarious and has clearly not been double checked by anyone.. This is very funny..


Tuesday, November 15, 2011


This assignment was pretty fun to do, and also very easy. I used Picnik to upload, crop and put the bubble and text all together.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Question for final

As an addition to my previous blog post, here is a question for the final exam.

Q: What is "Websense" and what does it offer?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Privacy & identity online

It's scary to think that everything we do online can be tracked or watched by someone else. Everything we do online is stored and saved and can get back at us at any time. Malware in programs and apps that we use are also getting much more common and increasing with an exponantional rate as internet is used more and more for everything we do in daily life. There are a number of things that can be tracked about what we do online and I thought I would write about some of that here because although this might be old news to some, a lot of people don't have a clue.

They know where you live:
Open your browser and type in the address bar. When you press enter, the page that appears is the Japanese google page, www, How can google know that you live in Japan? Google cannot only figure out in which country you live, but also in what city. Other sites may be able to do this too. The technology that makes it possible is called geo-location. There are companies that specialize in helping sites to link geographic information to Ip addresses. The companies have large databases with information on where routers and servers are located and what IP addresses they have.
Even if your IP address is not in the database, companies can still make a very good guess on where you live.

They know how you surf:
Whois, is simply stated, a directory of information that makes it possible to determine to which internet supplier a certain IP address belongs.

They know how your computer looks like:
When you visit a website, your web browser gives out information about your computer. The idea is that the website will be able to to use the information to customize web pages for you. The information disclosed is on what web browser you use, what operating system you have and what resolution and how many colors your monitor is set to display.

They can see what you're looking for:
The American security company Spi Dynamics has shown that with simple means, a website can find out which searches you've done on the internet and what sites you've visited. Having said that, maybe there isn't such a big reason to worry though. Technology cannot find out all the sites you visited or all searches you have done but can only be used to confirm that you visited a particular site or have done a particular search. Spi Dynamics says that it is bad enough and provides a frightening example of how technology could be used. The FBI would secretly be able to check if a person who visits its website at some earlier time have done a search on the word "bomb-making" on google for example and would then be able to register the person's IP address.

They can see your clipboard:
A site can also see what's on your clipboard in windows. In this case it is best to have in mind for next time you cut or copy information in windows, otherwise you risk that any website you visit snaps up the information without you knowing it. Enter a piece of text in Word or Notepad, highlight the text and copy it to the clipboard. Open your browser and go to spyber, a little way down the page is now displayed the content of your clipboard. Basically never have any important personal information such as user name, password or account number on the clipboard because it's very easy for others to view that information.

The question iv'e been asking myself though lately, when you come to the point where you are scared of being tagged in a photo from previous weekend every monday for the whole world to see, is it worth using anymore? The problem with social networks like facebook and twitter are also of course that there are so many malicious links and virus spreads. Basically, every single step we take out in the world of cyberspace is being watched. I've tried keeping my facebook usage to a minimum these days and have privacy settings for everything and everyone and I intend to keep it that way.

Monday, October 31, 2011

We Are All Artists

I enjoyed listening to timmmmyboy in We Are All Artists because it cleared a lot of thougths I had about  ds106 and what it's all about. In the beginning of the interview a lot of thoughts are shared about what creativity really is and who is and who isn't, what does creativity derive from and what is a good creative piece of work?

Creativity is something we often talk about but rarely understand. Many believe that only certain people have the creative "gift", they find themselves to be unimaginative and boring. However, this is completely wrong in most cases I find. All people are creative, but most do not notice theircreativity and develop it to its full potential. To develop creativity is surprisingly easy I've come to realize in this class.

What is creativity anyway? I asked around and googled a lot and got that it's the ability to solve problems with new methods ar create new products in areas such as art or technology. Central to the concept of creativity is innovation, combining things in an unexpected way, or create completely new things with new uses. It frees itself from the old limits, sometimes by going around them, sometimes by changing the problem so that they no longer apply.

Creativity is notoriously complex to define, in part precisely because it is closely linked to what Douglas Hofstadter calls, "to jump out of the system", a creative solution to create something entirely new that did not exist or could be predicted before. It creates its own rules which also makes it difficult or impossible to set up rules for how creativity works.

I am one of those who don't think of myself as creative. I am a person that gets easily stressed if something isn't 100 percent clear, I am a perfectionist and picky with a lot of things, which I see as a good trait although it can be my downfall sometimes. This is why this Cyberspace class and ds106 has been good because it is teaching that the future is all about innovation and starting new ideas and projects and go outside the frames of what has already been done. There are no straight guidelines to be set. What calmed me down a lot when listening to timmmmyboy was when he started talking about how ds106 is a vague project. With vague, I believe he meant that no one can define it entirely or know where it's headed to or what it will end with.

Shit My Dad Says is a good example of how we create todays popular culture. It was funny that it was mentioned because it is one of the few twitter accounts I actually followed with excitement. It started off as a twitter account and the guy behind it is now famous with a book released and tv show coming up. The only bad thing with ds106 is the quality of the work put out there. Art might take a turn for the worse in terms of quality. There is less amazing art work out there because everyone is led to believe they can do something amazing which is not always true. Some good sites to start working with are Aviary, Photoshop and Brusheezy although I find Photoshop quite difficult yet, it is an amazing tool. Essentially, internet is great because it opens up to a lot of creativity although it can also be a base for a lot of rubbish.

At the end of the interview with Tim Owens, he questions what makes an assignment interesting? It might not be the big things or something amazing but it is the little things. Everyone can learn how to do these assignments but to make it stand out from the rest is the tricky part. Finally, he mentions that what is important is that ds106 offers a sense of training and habit which ultimately is one of the best things about it and I agree with that.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Four Icon Story

This is supposed to represent a movie that was released end of the 80's and is set in a prison...
Maybe this is a clue:-)

For this assignment I used aviary/vector editor to bring the pictures together. It's a web based photo-editing app that is easy to use.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


I will write a little bit about the topic I find very interesting and is very much linked to the future in audio. I find electronic music very facinating as it is by many considered to be not real music. Electronic music is interesting because it is new and goes hand in hand with technology and computers. Although it has existed for a long time, ever since Kraftwerk put it on the map, but has in the latest ten years exploaded. Nowadays everyone is a dj, or at least claim to be one, because with technology it has enabled us to do everything in a much easier way than before when special skills was needed to create music.

Three blogs or web pages who also mention music and audio in an interesting way are Residentadvisor, iflyer and native instruments. Resident advisor because it is the biggest electronic music magazine which is web based. All information on artists, tourdates, music events and clubs close to where you live can be found. It recently just launched in Japanese and are now also available in Japanese. Native instruments is very handy as you can find everything from what product or technology to use to various news or product support.  

AUDIO Tokyo Electronic Music Festival
Image: AUDIO Tokyo Electronic Music Festival by localjapantimes through CC licensing.

The reason why I am saying all of this is because digital storytelling is a craft that uses the tools of digital technology to tell stories about our lives. Done properly, storytelling can be a powerful evocative and emotional way of communicating themes and stories, often touching us in deeper ways than one-dimensional videos that rarely probe beneath the surface of poeple's lives. What better way of communicating that than through electronic music.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How fans use social media

I will be talking about how fans use social media as a tool for making their favorite artist benefit from a rumor they've spread or creating a bad rumor about the artist having bad consequences on the artist itself. I also want to mention a few things about the topic in general.

Social media is today a major meeting place for people all over the world. Uses of social media has increased in recent years. From having been used almost exclusively for communication between friends and acquaintances are now companies, organizers and even music artists and fans starting to use social media as a marketing tool.

For a record label, a new talent is only a few mouse clicks away when a video on Youtube might include a potential future superstar. An unknown artist has thus the possibility of being detected by both new listeners and professionals, either through direct exposure or through a chain of people, through which the video or the song finally reaches an influential person in the music realm. Already established artists can also use social media, for example, maintain contact with their listeners. This can be done through daily Twitter posts or pictures and videos that are posted on Facebook or Youtube. Internet and fans using social network has brought a radical change for music artists. 

Social media like Facebook, Myspace and Twitter have for some time been used by fans as well as artists to make themselves known in their own means or fans to market, bring their favorite artists or degrade those who are not popular for some reason. It has been shown that through Facebook a large number of artists have fallen or risen in popularity because of fans and regular users daily posting

An example of an artist who embraced Twitter as a way to market their music is Imogen Heap. She asked he hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers for help when she would write a biography to promote an upcoming album. She received more than two thousand submissions from her fans. As thanks for their help and additional marketing, she published small sound clips in her tweets from the upcoming album at the time.

When I got assigned to the group I'm in, it was already decided that our topic on fans and social medias was gonna be about AKB48 as there are a few example of fans shaping the popularity of the group. But because I wanted to mention other things in this blog post, ill only be presenting a few things related to this girl group. What I find more interesting is how groups in general or fans today can use social medias to get them to a certain status.

Finally, an example of a fan making profit for its idol in some way are this guy who bought a whole lot of cd’s increasing the sales for his favorite group, AKB48.

Akb48 has had a lot of success from social medias with fans literally choosing who out of the 48 girls they prefer to be the next leading singer of an up and coming single and to top it off, a digital version of all the 48 members faces has been created to meet the needs of the fans and give the group even more popularity.

It is safe to say that today it lies in the hands of the fans whether an artist can do a breakthrough or not, how fast it is going to take before the breakthrough will come or how long they are going to last on the market.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Popular Culture

Pop culture could be defined as the types of entertainment that most people in a society enjoy, for example films, tv programmes and popular music. It is the cultural activities or commercial products reflecting, suited to, or aimed at the tastes of the general masses of people. This documentary of Pharrell in Tokyo represents pop culture in Tokyo from a fasion and music perspective and what is important for Tokyo youth right now.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Singularity

I have just read something quite interesting about what could best be described as the future in technology. On page 291 in the future visionary Ray Kurzweil’s book, The Singularity Is Near, there is a drawing of a sweaty man sitting at a table and write down the qualities that distinguish humans from computers. He puts up his claims on the wall, but one by one they fall down as the computers are conquering new territories. "Only people can understand speech" and "Only people can compose by Bach" has already fallen. "Only people can play baseball" and "Only people holding press conferences" are, however, something that will stick on the list for a little longer. You understand that it is intended that the reader, like Kurzweil himself, will smile at the hopelessness of man's situation.

Ray Kurzweil is perhaps not known outside a limited circle but some have started to open up their eyes to who he is. He is a successful information technology pioneer with a series of technological breakthroughs on the merit list, among other things, he developed the first program that can scan text and read it with synthetic speech. 1990 he stated that a computer would defeat the world champion in chess before the decade was over, and got right (IBM's Deep Blue beat Kasparov in 1997). Since then he has presented his technological visions in a number of books. Kurzweil is at the front among those who formulate our contemporary view of artificial intelligence and future technologies.

 The book he has written, The Singularity Is Near, is based on the idea that technological development follows an exponential curve that we have only seen the beginning of. Kurzweil presents the following scenario. To simulate all nerve impulses in the human brain a PC have to perform 10^19 calculations per second. With the current pace of development, Kurzweil says such computers could be common around 2020. 2030, a computer's capacity is supposed to meet all living human brains. In 2045, something will happen according to him that is called "the Singularity" - a big bang of artificial intelligence that will surpass everything we could ever imagine.

In, The Singularity Is Near, Kurzweil wants to show that research in computer science, genetics and nanotechnology is approaching the point where the exponential curve bend up and takes off. The next forty years of development in these areas will change the human condition more than it has over the last forty thousand years, he says. For Kurzweil all this is interesting for one reason only: the opportunities it gives us to build on the human body, and the rest of the world, as we want it. Kurzweil hope that genetic engineering will allow us to slow down the aging process and eventually abolish death. Millions of tiny nano-robots will circulate in the blood vessels and clean up cancer cells. And ultimately sees nanotechnology out to give us the ability to manipulate all matter atom by atom and molecule by molecule with the same ease as the pixels in a computer program, so that we can put together anything from a handful of loose atoms, a gold bar or a steak or whatever we are able to wish. Ultimately, we will end up becoming robots.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Doug Engelbart & Ted Nelson

Doug Engelbart, inventor of (amongst many) the mouse, windows and hypermedia.
Good page where most information on Doug Engelbart can be found.
Some pictures on the most significant invention from Engelbart.
Short tribute video on Engelbart.

Ted Nilson, pioneer of information technoloy.
Coined terms such as, "hypertext" and "hypermedia".
Some short information about Ted Nelson and his most important contributions.
Ted Nelson demonstrates his biggest project ever, Xanadu.