Odyssey Online

Entries Tagged as 'Essay on Technology'

Internet as Leveler & the Internet for Readers

June 18th, 2012 · Comments Off on Internet as Leveler & the Internet for Readers

…ahhhh,  mid summer blogging after a commencement filled lull…two articles to feature that touch on key underlying assumptions about networked information technology.  The first to note is by James Curran, and is titled Why Has the Internet Changed So Little.  His point is that while the technology has changed quite a bit, society hasn’t–that the idea of the Internet as a leveler in terms of social equity, access to information, access to power is more optimistic myth than biting reality.  Also in Atlantic Magazine Alexis Madrigal argues that the number of readers is growing, that the Internet as the grim reaper for reading is much overstated.  Madrigal acknowledges that the data he is looking at doesn’t account for the quality of the reading, but optimistically notes that the notion of the Internet ending reading may be a kind of inverse nostalgia.  Both are good pieces for a summer evenings pondering all things ‘net…

Tags: Essay on Technology · Information Studies

Friday Blogging, Internet Innovation or No?

December 2nd, 2011 · Comments Off on Friday Blogging, Internet Innovation or No?

Derek Thompson has published an interesting piece in the Atlantic on whether the Internet is really  a technological breakthrough of historical proportions, or not…he engages such interesting questions as whether we are, at this point in history, in an “innovation rut,” and makes the interesting point that on the Internet we become the commodity.  That our use of the Internet creates information that various vendors can use…hello Google. A good read for the weekend…

Tags: Essay on Technology · Google

Julia Jackson on Reading

November 28th, 2011 · Comments Off on Julia Jackson on Reading

…a thoughtful article here on a topic sounded off on here (Odyssey Online) about reading, and reading books.  Julia Jackson has published a piece on reading via digital devices (versus reading a print monograph) and whether a transcendent reading experience is possible with the former.  Is there something in the hyper-connectivity that simply short circuits a reading experience powerful enough to be like a religious experience?  Or is this yet another case of resisting a technology to better understand circumstance…

Tags: Books · Essay on Bibliography · Essay on Technology

Adam Gopnik on “How the Internet Gets Inside Us”

March 1st, 2011 · Comments Off on Adam Gopnik on “How the Internet Gets Inside Us”

This is a review piece by Adam Gopnik, on 9 books about where the Internet is leading folks, and, more generally, society. Gopnik divides the book between the “Never Betters” (with the Internet  “…information will be free and democratic…cookies will bake themselves”), the “Better Nevers” (as in better it never happened), and the Ever Wasers (the Internet doesn’t really represent anything new).  His reviews are concise, eye-openingly sardonic, and Gopnik has many useful insights on technology himself.  One great one-liner for thinking about technology: “Yet surely having something wrapped right around your mind is different from having your mind wrapped tightly around something.”  This is a highly recommended article.

Tags: Essay on Technology · Information Studies · The Academic Internet

Watson as Search Engine

February 16th, 2011 · Comments Off on Watson as Search Engine

…this in the current issue of Nature, an article on Watson, the computer that recently did so well on the game show Jeopardy. The thesis is essentially that Watson could be a prototype for the next leap in search engines, namely, engines that are able to finally actualize natural language searching.  That is, computers you’d converse with and be doing so search databases.

Tags: Essay on Technology · Information Studies · Research How-To

Information Overload

February 7th, 2011 · Comments Off on Information Overload

…this from the Boston Phoenix around Christmas, a convincing and frightening piece about how federal, state, and local governments are “drowning in data.” From the article, “Even with millions being spent on storage solutions, public workers warn that at the bottleneck of information flow sits a good old-fashioned shortage of manpower.”

Tags: Computer Security · Essay on Technology · Information Studies

Two Spaces After A Period

January 25th, 2011 · Comments Off on Two Spaces After A Period

…while somewhat outside of the state purpose of Odyssey Online, these article and rebuttal caught my eye.  On January 14th Farhad Majoo argued, with noteworthy verve, that one should abandon the practice of putting two spaces after a period in a sentence.  His argument is based on the notion that A) the practice is ugly, and (more importantly) B) that it is a habit left over from typewriters. Like the qwerty keyboard, putting two spaces after a sentence is a practice that writing with digital appliances renders pointless. If nothing else it does illustrate, nicely, those moments of  interesting cross-generational persistence when analog processes won’t die…

also interesting is this rebuttal which matches Majoo’s emotional swipe for swipe (and offers an interesting rhetorical parsing of his argument)…

Tags: Essay on Technology · Licklider's Legacy

Network Neutrality Update

January 24th, 2011 · Comments Off on Network Neutrality Update

Happy new year and welcome back to Odyssey Online and blogging in 2011.  An update on a topic vital to the future of the Internet…back on December 22nd the FCC created a new set of regulations to “…prohibit broadband providers from interfering with Web traffic and discourage them from giving some Web destinations preferential treatment…” effectively a version of Net Neutrality.  The ruling was widely decried by people on both ends of the political spectrum. Verizon has now challenged the ruling in court, and this piece by Brad Reed in Computerworld is a good summary of the lawsuit, and what the FCC rulings really is and does.    Chloe Albanesius has a useful article in PC Magazine about what is likely to happen in the near future (taking Verizon’s lawsuit into account), and Ars Technica has an interesting piece on the support for network neutrality from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the National Council of Churches

Tags: Computer Security · Essay on Technology · Information Studies

Christine Rosen on Multitasking

December 14th, 2010 · Comments Off on Christine Rosen on Multitasking

…okay, going back to 2008 for this, but what Christine Rosen writes is worth going back for. Christine Rosen is one of the writers for the New Atlantis, and one of her specialties is writing about the real impact of networked information technologies in people’s lives.  Her observations are insightful, and often disturbing, as you ‘ll see in this essay The Myth of Multitasking.  With the holidays upon us, and with the season one that ideally lends itself to reflecting upon one’s life and ways, the essay is worth a look.  Further, we have a number of titles in the collection that can be recommended as spring boards for long winter nights spent offline, doing one thing at a time:

The Postman text is a classic on the topic…

Tags: Essay on Technology · Information Studies · Recommended Book

Do Not Track for Web

December 13th, 2010 · Comments Off on Do Not Track for Web

From Atlanticwire, a sampling of reactions to a Federal Trade Commission proposal that companies be regulated  in their ability to track one’s treks across the Internet.  For truly thoughtful commentary on what happens and should happen to the information one leaves in one’s tracks across cyberspace, see Viktor Mayer-Schonberger’s book Delete: Virtual Forgetting in the Digital Age…

Tags: Computer Security · Essay on Technology · Facebooked

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