Category Archives: Ubiquity

Unfound, unused data is just clutter

Data is not information unless you can find it. But information can’t be applied to knowledge in the absence of the means by which to use it. Access must yield meaningful information in order to turn bits of code into valuable and actionable business information. I like to think about it this way: libraries house rich caches of data in the form of books, but finding the exact piece of information you seek requires some level of research and library science expertise. Wouldn’t it be ideal if the information you seek could somehow be collected and organized for you, in the format and context in which you want it? And wouldn’t it be even more helpful if it was assembled for you, not just from the local collection, but from libraries in Singapore, Milan, Minneapolis and Copenhagen? Some early examples of this new approach to information management illuminate its enormous possibilities


Being buried in data isn’t a new problem, but the issue has grown exponentially in recent years, as more and more data pours through corporate networks and the Internet. IDG recently dubbed this phenomenon the “digital big bang,” and a quick look at data growth shows why. In digital terms, 161 exabytes (or 161 billion gigabytes) of information was created, captured and replicated in 2006. But by 2010, this number will explode to an estimated 988 exabytes. Much of this data will be created by you and me, individuals. IDC found that 70 percent of the data is created by end users and over the Web. In one day, YouTube streams more than 100 million videos, while 1 billion MP3 files are shared over the Internet daily. The increasing convenience and ubiquity of digital devices also add to the explosion.

Web 2.0 flips the information delivery model upside down–it’s now about global access, and information at your fingertips, aggregated from sources that you don’t even necessarily know about, or care where they exist. Based on a set of search criteria, information in all its rich forms–media, video, audio, images, documents, text–all will be assembled together in context and delivered to users and applications for real-time experience….As information is effectively harnessed, hidden insights will appear that were previously buried in mountains of unorganized data, and more and smarter discoveries will result.

Read this perspective from EMC’s Chief Development Officer Mark Lewis (via C|Net)


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Filed under Aggregate, Media Evolution, Productivity, Search, Tools, Ubiquity, User generated content, web 2.0, When New Meets Old

Maybe the utlimate question…are we any better off?

We spend hours keeping up with our e-mails. One person tells me, “I look at my watch to see the time. I look at my BlackBerry to get a sense of my life.” Think of the BlackBerry user watching the BlackBerry movie of his life as someone watching a movie that takes on a life of its own. People become alienated from their own experience and anxious about watching a version of their lives scrolling along faster than they can handle. They are not able to keep up with the unedited version of their lives, but they are responsible for it. People speak of BlackBerry addiction. Yet in modern life we have been made into self-disciplined souls who mind the rules, the time, our tasks. Always-on/always-on-you technology takes the job of self-monitoring to a new level.

Read Sherry Turkle’s Can You Hear Me Now? from Contribute your knowledge of Sherry Turkle to the Whats New Media Wiki.


Filed under Media Evolution, Productivity, Technology, our Mirror, Ubiquity

Ubiquity has an up and downside

Americans are enthusiastic about new tech like mobile video and high-definition broadband but at the same time express trepidation about nonstop access to the Net, according to a new poll.

Read this item from Previously from WNM: Tech Addiction, the price of “Always On”

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Filed under Technology, our Mirror, Ubiquity

Defining Robots’ Rights II

An ethical code to prevent humans abusing robots, and vice versa, is being drawn up by South Korea….The Ministry of Information and Communication has also predicted that every South Korean household will have a robot by between 2015 and 2020.

Read this article from the BBC (or a similar one from New Scientist). Previously from WNM: Defining Robot Rights and The “appropriateness” of machine relationships

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Filed under Anthropotropism, Technology, our Mirror, The Politics of New Media, Ubiquity, When New Meets Old

Online Data Risks: Loss, and loss of privacy

When you store all the ephemera and all the hard work you’ve done in your life in an electronic machine you’ve never seen, you don’t just risk exposing your whole life to prying eyes. You risk losing all those records, thoughts, and pictures that make up your whole life. You risk losing a legacy that will live beyond you into your children’s generation. And in some ways, that is a fate worse than death.

Read Annalee Newitz’ Data Crash 2027 from Alternet.  Plus, just how much data are we generating?

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Filed under Digital Commons, Identity, Privacy, Technology, our Mirror, Ubiquity

You’ve got mail…and so do they

This week, NOW reports on new evidence suggesting the existence of a secret government program that intercepts millions of private e-mails each day in the name of terrorist surveillance. News about the alleged program came to light when a former AT&T employee, Mark Klein, blew the whistle on what he believes to be a large-scale installation of secret Internet monitoring equipment deep inside AT&T’s San Francisco office. The equipment, he contends, was created at the request of the U.S. government to spy on e-mail traffic across the entire Internet. Though the government and AT&T refuse to address the issue directly, Klein backs up his charges with internal company documents and personal photos.

More (including video) from the PBS program NOW. Discussion at MetaFilter. Previously from WNM: Digital surveillance systems: We (may) reap what we sow; Judge rules the NSA phone and Internet surveillance unconstitutional; Don’t ask, don’t email. A Pentagon email surveillance program.; The Surveillance Society

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Filed under Anonymity, Privacy, Technology, our Mirror, The Politics of New Media, Ubiquity, Virtual Communities

Are you ready for your ‘digital perception augmentation’

Digital memories can do more than simply assist the recollection of past events, conversations and projects. Portable sensors can take readings of things that are not even perceived by humans, such as oxygen levels in the blood or the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. Computers can then scan these data to identify patterns: for instance, they might determine which environmental conditions worsen a child’s asthma. Sensors can also log the three billion or so heartbeats in a person’s lifetime, along with other physiological indicators, and warn of a possible heart attack. This information would allow doctors to spot irregularities early, providing warnings before an illness becomes serious. Your physician would have access to a detailed, ongoing health record, and you would no longer have to rack your brain to answer questions such as “When did you first feel this way?”

Read A Digital Life from Scientific American, commentary from ZDNet.

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Filed under Anthropotropism, Media Evolution, Technology, our Mirror, Ubiquity