Stolen privacy

A couple of weeks ago we talked about the online privacy. I did some researches after that and what I found freaked the **** out of me!

Basically there are some hackers that are able to hack your computer sending you an email or adding you on Skype or on some social-online-chats-whatever. Once they got into your personal laptop, they can have access to your webcam and your microphone, seeing every thing you do in front of your computer and listening to every word you say (in the area where the microphone can reach your voice of course).

I know it sounds like the plot of a horror movie, but unfortunately it is for real. The problem is that once they get into one computer, they can easily gain access to all the other computer that have something in common with that one (for example, if my computer is hacked, and a friend of mine comes over to my place and she connects with the same wifi I used, they can hack her computer as well passing through mine).                              Personally I don’t use online chats, nor I accept people that I don’t know on Skype, but who knows if someone in my University (so it is very likely that we’ve been connected to the same wifi line at least once) use those websites or accept people they don’t on some social networks?

Have you ever heard about it before? In the US there have been lots of cases like this. I got so scared that I sticked a piece of tape over my camera, I swear, and I’m not gonna take it off. No way.

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The Life of Pablo

On February, 14th of this year Kanye West released his new album “The Life of Pablo”. Unfortunately, not everybody had the chance to listen it because Kanye released his album on TIDAL only. TIDAL is a music streaming service based on a membership subscription only. If you are not a member, you can’t have the pleasure of listening to Kanye’s new songs.

TIDAL is own by Jay-Z and some other artists as minor investors. Jay-Z believes that Spotify, the known music streaming app, exploits the artists; if you buy the membership on Spotify, a part of the money goes to the artist but a big percentage goes to the app itself to pay for the service.

Several artists as Rihanna, T.I, Beyonce, Kanye West and many others started releasing their new hits on TIDAL only, as a marketing strategy in order to re-launch the app.

I think that TIDAL is  the perfect example of a website where you have to pay in order to have the access to some data. I think that it works somehow.. But it depends from the situations. Rumor has it that Kanye lost almost 10 million dollars not releasing the album like on iunes or Spotify; the first day after the release over 500’000 copies has been illegally downloaded from the Internet.

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Settings –> PRIVACY!

I have a good story to tell about online visibility and invisibility. A friend of mine was studying in an important University in Italy and once graduated he was planning to go to the US to do an MBA. He spent his whole life planning this MBA, he desperately wanted to go there; he studied a lot, he did lots of internships and he hired a tutor to complete the application in the best possible way. Long story short, they didn’t accept him despite his amazing resumé and his excellent grades because they found him on Facebook and he had a picture with a joint in his hand. The “fun” part of the story  is that he doesn’t even smoke, it was just a joke.

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From that episode on I have always been scared of sharing my private life online, not because I have pictures of me wasted in a club or smoking weed but only because I believe that my private life should remain private. In each of my profiles as Instagram or Facebook everything is set up as private. I share my pictures and my information with my friends only and I don’t want strangers to be able to look into my life.

 

Tumblr

Tumblr is certainly one of the most iconic and known websites that can describe the meaning of online community. Tumblr is a microblogging and social networking platform where people can share multimedia files. Users can follow other users and create their own blog with their pictures and videos, and reposting the others’ ones. There is a special feature called Queue that allows people to share their posts at the time they prefer; for example, I can create my own post with a picture or whatever and ask the system to spread it several hours later, or also days. There are also the tags, as in Twitter or Instagram (#). Many famous people use it, they share their pictures and their videos and they are followed by millions of people. One of the most popular blog on Tumblr is Kylie Jenner’s one (Kalifornia-Klasss). Today, Tumblr registered over 280 million blogs and more than 130 billion posts in total, with an average of 56 million posts shared every day. The standard user is between 16 and 25 years old. I personally think that this platform is amazing and has a great power over the internet and it is the perfect example of an online community that creates a great platform.

Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

As everybody knows Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia, launched on the web in 2001, available in over 280 languages and with more than 35 million entries. Every page can link you to many others making your research way easier than using the books. But what does it have to do with the audience participation? Well Wikipedia basically exists thanks to its users. Users can donate money in order to support the website. They can also add notes and parts to the already existing pages; they can also add pages themselves. Obviously everything that is written down form the users will be double checked from the experts first and if they agree that it is right and correct, it will be published then. I personally find this website one of the most important talking about the audience participation in something online not only because it has EVERYTHING inside (from the recipe of a typical dish, to the most famous actor, ending with the explanation of one particular event) but also because it is very well done.

Fun fact: no matter what page of the encyclopedia you are in, you can get to the Adolf Hitler page in less than seven clicks. Try starting from here for example.

Internet Protocol Television…. Also known as Netflix

Watching TV shows and movies comfortably in bed or on the sofa is the new “going out”. More and more people everyday subscribes to Netflix or Apple TV or platforms like those which guarantee you to watch all the newest movies and the newest TV shows on your computer instead of buying DVDs or going to the cinema. This new method is called Internet Protocol Television. It seems quite obvious and not so new to us but actually it is not. The Internet Protocol Television was born in 1995 but it wasn’t that popular. In 2008 it started gaining success in the first world countries but it still hadn’t the importance it has now. With the invention of Netflix and Apple TV and Sky Go and all these we all know is now one of the things we can not live without. Actually Netflix started as a DVD-by-mail service in 1998, and became a streaming service only in 2007; now it has 75 million subscribers, its own TV shows and movies and streams in over 190 countries. To access its services you have to pay from 8$ to 12$ (in order to have the basic account or the premium with some more facilities) and you can watch everything you like at home. I find this invention one of the most interesting and useful and the perfect example of media convergence.

Jstor database

In the United Kingdom (and in the US), the method of studying comprehends written and oral exams and assignments to do at home. The assignments are basically essays and presentations. To complete them you have to research and read lots of papers, journals and books, and you can find most of them online. When it comes that I have to write an essay, one website that has always helped me with my work is http://www.jstor.org which is an online database where, through several filters, you can find articles and journals. It contains every single article range from science to medicine to law to biology and whatever you need. All you need is to log in with your University ID account and you immediately have access to hundreds of thousands of sources. I think this website is very helpful for students like me who have many essays to complete and not much time to go searching for information in real libraries. Also, JSTOR has now added to its database a new area completely dedicated to the books. I find this online library amazing and very helpful; just imagine that no more than ten years ago nothing like this existed and if someone wanted to read a single article had to go to a proper library and spend hours looking for it, now the only thing you need is a computer and an internet connection.