Author Archives: Alison

all done!

just finished updating the class page, and boy is it nice to be done!

the video itself wasn’t too difficult or time-consuming to make, but it was interesting seeing it come together! the video is a parody commercial and we used the information we found through prior research to create the dialogue. since none of us wanted to do voices, we used a text-to-speech converter which worked well enough, the only downfall is that unless played loudly, a few parts of the dialogue can be difficult to understand on the first watch. Overall though, I would say the video is a success!

it’s crunch time!

we’ll be presenting tomorrow in class!it looks like everything is coming together nicely, we’ve got videos and questions and interesting points to discuss with the class. we have an established structure and lots of things to talk about, though I’m still a bit nervous just because I’m almost always nervous before a presentation. but things look pretty good so far!

progress so far

it’s almost time! only a few more days for our presentation, and then it’s only a week until the final project is due. 

though we haven’t collaborated very much, the google doc is filled with resources we’ve found. everything is coming together, and I’ve learned some interesting things through my research! The biggest hurdle I’ve had so far is finding articles that weren’t just from conspiracy theorists, that had facts and details and credible information that wasn’t wholly opinionated. Microsoft has done some shady stuff in their time, and I’m kinda surprised by how hushed their involvement has been! The xbox one has legally been declared as a surveillance device by Germany and then Australia, and I only heard about it now. I’m really interested to see how the discussion we’ll be having goes, to see what some other people think about the xbox one. I don’t have one, and as far as gaming goes I’m more into nintendo’s style anyway, so it’ll be interesting to see the perspective of people who might be avid fans of the xbox. I’m a bit nervous about presenting, mostly since there has been so little contact within the group and partly because our topic has gradually changed over time so I find myself a bit confused at times at what exactly our topic is anymore. We’ll see how it goes I suppose!


It’s been a while!

Between juggling work on the future panel and the group project, things have been intense!! Regarding the final project, we’ve decided to follow Jim’s advice and focus primarily on the xbox one and next-gen gaming consoles in order to unify our research.  I’m looking specifically at the future of these consoles and the kind of impact they may have in terms of monitoring users. The xbox on is notoriously known for once requiring users to always have the camera on, with little explanation as to why. This policy was revoked but is there a chance it might come back? Would it become the norm, and might other consoles pick up on it? Gaming has changed so much since consoles first came out, and ill be looking at how much more change might be in store for the future of console gaming.

update 1

so begins the week!for our final presentation, our group has decided to focus on government surveillance of the web and possible implications for the future. we’ve chosen to look at a possible utopia or dystopia that exists for our future. we’re looking at how closely the internet is being monitored and how users are reacting. we’ve chosen to examine the xbox one and how tight the leash is around it’s user.

we are still in the early stage, still planning out specific topics and tasks. as time goes on we will form more solid posts (:

gloves of the future

this is totally from a post I saw on tumblr and it was really interesting! It’s the concept stuff for a type of glove that can operate similarly to a smart phone.


Concept for a new kind of device | posted by


Concept for a new kind of device | posted by


Concept for a new kind of device | posted by


Concept for a new kind of device | posted by


Concept for a new kind of device | posted by


Concept for a new kind of device | posted by


Concept for a new kind of device | posted by

Concept for a new kind of device | posted by





























Hand-Tech, Concept for a new kind of device

“Nanotechnology is an important emerging technology – it radically intervenes with our sense of what is natural – yet most people are still relatively unaware of its consequences.

Hand-tech is a speculative technological device wearable like a glove, that uses gestures as interface.
The fabric is woven with special sensors and mini projectors that read the hand’s movements and translate them into practical functions.
Using a sequence of gestures it is possible to take pictures, make videos and display information.
The glove can also translate the sign language used by deaf people (manual communication) into sound pattern (spoken language).
Hand-tech expands the communicative power of the sign language converting an iconic gesture into a concrete action.”

source: Francesca Barchiesi

personal impacts on moi

I’ve been on the internet for years, and I don’t particularly see an issue with that. My parents gave me freedom with the web, they trusted me and let me figure out for myself the good and the bad that came with the internet. I consider myself a good person, I do well in school, I’m well-adjusted, I treat others kindly, I haven’t really done any “bad things.”

My first experience communicating with other people online came from Neopets in the 5th grade. There I made neofriends, and we would send neomails and take care of each other’s neopets, trading items and playing games together. We formed guilds and generally, we had a lot of fun! My parents didn’t mind that I was talking to people online, they trusted my judgement and knew I would never give out personal information, and I didn’t. To all my friends out there, I was bloobee_bopeep. I didn’t know their names either, just usernames, and none of us minded.

We stayed friends all through middle school, even though we grew out of Neopets we still kept in touch through Skype. At this point, there were only three of us and we were totally comfortable with first names, we were a trio of Matt, Julie, and Ali. Even my parents knew who they were, and they would ask me questions sometimes like “How’s Matt and Julie?” and whatnot. I still had other friends and my life didn’t revolve around these people, but it was still always nice to come home from a long day at school to talk to them about my day while listening to them talk about theirs.

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment our friendship fell apart. Julie was the first to leave, signing on less and less frequently and for smaller intervals. Eventually she said she was too busy with school and that was that. It was just Matt and I until it wasn’t. Life moves on.

Internet friendships are so so important for me. They don’t last forever, but neither do other friendships. I hear people be so critical sometimes, saying things like “friendships don’t count if they’re online” and that’s harsh, why isn’t a friendship real just because it’s through a screen? I saw that one of the discussion questions for this week was asking about how we would be social if there was no social media, and honestly I don’t think I would be all that social. I prefer talking to people online. It’s not that I can’t talk to people offline, I do, but I also like being able to talk to people online. That’s how I communicate with most of my friends and we’re all comfortable with that. Without social media, I would probably do whatever it was I needed to, talk to the people I needed to, do what it was that would be expected of me. But I wouldn’t have that outlet that social media provides. I wouldn’t be able to just take a breather and relax in bed with my laptop while skyping with my best friend on the other side of the world.

The internet does so much for us, and I don’t understand why there has to be this division between online and in-person communication. They’re different things, yes, but they’re both means of communication and there isn’t a standard “better” or “worse” method, only what the people in question enjoy.


on digital identity

the panel discussion was very interesting to me, as it’s a more personal topic than previous ones and the discussion was very engaging.

I am a very private person, I’m shy and I don’t share a lot about myself. I’m introverted and prefer reading alone in my room than going out somewhere. That said, I love the internet and all the people I’ve met online. I’m able to interact with people, make friends, and communicate without having to step out of my comfort zone. I feel like I’m more myself online than I am in person.

I’ve perfected the art of wearing masks, and that’s what I do when I’m around people. Who I am in the classroom vs. with friends vs. with close friends vs. with family, I act very differently. I know what is expected of me and that’s how I behave, but when I’m online there aren’t really expectations. The people I talk to have never met before, and in likelihood, never will. I can post whatever I want to, I can talk with whoever I want to, and so long as I’m smart about it there are minimal repercussions.

One of the main topics we discussed in class was whether or not the online self is authentic. My stand on the issue, is that though the internet leaves room for lying and putting up fronts, so does face-to-face confrontation. It’s not the medium of interaction, it’s the person.

on presentating privacy

This week was my first time on the panel, better late than never!! I’m typically awful at speaking in front of others, so I would definitely say it was helpful to have been able to see others present before me. Discussions were casual and thought-provoking, an awesome blend that helped make the panel more comfortable.

The discussion on Tuesday was the most interesting to me, particularly the later half of class when we talked about how we act online vs. in person.  The point was brought up that while we may present ourselves differently online, who’s to say we don’t do the same in person? I know most of us will act differently around friends than when around family, or in the classroom, or in the workplace. The internet has a rep for being a place where bad people lurk to prey on the innocent youth, and while there definitely are bad people online, these bad people exist off the net too. Not everyone online is lying, I’ve met some fantastic people online that I’ve become friends with and our friendships are still real.

On Thursday we had tried focusing more on openness, and the point was brought up that people prefer to share their thoughts and accomplishments more than they want to hide it. It’s interesting to consider how much we fear the dystopian, Orwellian society where the government knows and watches everything, when here we are willingly giving up our information to sites like Facebook and Google.

Overall, I thought the panel went pretty well! I often have difficulty forming my thoughts into words, let alone a coherent argument, but it was still a provoking discussion with the class and I don’t feel like I was a complete buffoon up there.