Microsoft is expensive

I bought a new laptop last April, and there is no any Microsoft in it, so I bought a Microsoft office which cost me like 150 dollar, I take home and my roommate call me a idiot because she know a website that can download this Microsoft for free, which definitely annoyed me for the later days, I try to comfort myself by keep telling that the full price one is more safe for my laptop, or maybe the free downloaded one have virus in it, however, I’m still regret I didn’t call my roommate before I bough the Microsoft. If I can download a free one, why should I pay for150 dollar when other people can get it for free? Why pay for a 2010 version of software, when there will be a 2011 version come out soon? As a software consumer and a no income student, I just feel the 150 dollar is too expensive for me, if it is 30 dollar, I think I will just give the money and feel very happy and satisfied. However, the Microsoft just don’t want drop down their price. I have no idea about how to make software or how much money it cost to develop a new software, but if any laptop users need to spend 150 dollar to get their Microsoft office software, the Microsoft totally gained a lot money from us. So, it is not the fault of the people who do the download or the people who uploads the illegal copy, it simply because they asked too much. In addition, why I should pay 150 to get the whole pack of Microsoft office that include power point, word, excel, and entourage which I even don’t know what is it use for. Why can’t I just get Microsoft word only? In addition, what if the people cannot afford the software, when a laptop already cost them a lot? Then, illegal downloading becomes the only way they can access to the software.

microsoft office

AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike Some rights reserved by louisvolant

It is pity for Microsoft, and they are really unhappy for the revenue lost in China.  CEO of Microsoft Steve Ballmer in his talk at Beijing this Wednesday has complain about the situation in China, he argues that if people can afford a PC in China, they definitely can afford the software.

However, even the sell of PCs in China has the similar number between China (US$63.8million in 2010) and American (US$75million in 2010), the revenue from China is less then it get in Netherlands, which only have 3.5 million PC shipment in 2010, and fewer then 17 million population (Fletcher &Dean, 2011) The revenue in China is only close to US$ 2 million, compare with the $US36.2 million in American (Fletcher &Dean, 2011) . Personally, I think Ballmer didn’t know the situation in China.  Partly from the price, the price for a office (student and family version) is RMB 388 (US$ 58) and RMB48999 ($720)(for professional)

But average income last year in China is only US$4382, compare to the US$47172 in Netherlands, and US$47289(IMF, 2010). Microsoft want have same revenue from China, why they don’t they make the price cheaper for the Chinese consumer? A student in China usually has no income, and US$ 58 is a pretty high price needs to pay on the software. An American in China will see the price for Microsoft office is quite cheap in China, as the price in is US$149 in America, however, his income is about nine times more then an average worker in China.

This picture did much better then some anti-piracy ads

This picture did much better then some anti-piracy ads

Attribution Some rights reserved by jorel314

Some anti-advertisement just failed to outline the consequences, but only limited on the surface, such as telling people: if you buy piracy you infringe the law, and cop will come and find you! or materialize the intellectual property  as a handbag, or a car and hope to pass an idea of “piracy= crime”. They need to meet Manovich, and learn about language of new medias, as they are still stay at the era when things shifted is gone, digital information can be duplicated with cost nothing.I want to say, piracy is even less painful then borrow someone something that you need to concern if the thing might get dirty or destroyed , because piracy is like produce a car with nothing, but you paid millions on the car while others just can get it for free, while the car industy spent millions on the steel, wheel, design, engine, but you just need a simply click, it doesn’t matter if you download the pirated version as no one is actually lost its car, or $$$. However, if pople stop producing the real version, then that is the problem because you never will get the priated version.

When the entire world is facing the glorious industry that generated by Web2.0, none materialized property has embedded with the features of new media, including its modularity, automation, and transcending, which resulted the digitalized ideas are easier and convenient be shifted and duplicated (Manovich, 2001). It is so conflicting for me to think about the spreading of knowledge through commercial trade when knowledge is supposedly to be shared without boundaries. The ambiguity to choose between the free-shared piracy or pay- to – accessed information, has evaluated the knowledge through moral and commercial practices for people to decide which one to  sacrifice.

Thus, the “share to make a better world” theory raised by Mark zuckgurg, and the statement of making a freer world that can be accessed universally  (Nelson& Berners-Lee, 2002) has become a utopia with the commercialized idea, since quilfied knowledge are charged with money. People paid to produce ideas, which then be encapsulated into softwares and demonstrated worldwide, to help improved the knowleage of others.

Isn’t the stuation of piracy projecting the social, technical, finacial conflicting between the hypostatizing concepts of  communism and capitalism?  respectively represent the utopia/ reality, free share/paid access, harmony/unrest, equality/ inequality, universual accessible/limited access, open codes/ close code. When regulations are made to protect to Hollywood motion pictures, serials number are demand unlock the software, where is the place that the culture flow heading to?

Reference that didn’t provide links:

Nelson,T. & Burners-Lee, T (2002), ‘Everything is intertwingled’, in Adam Brate (ed.) Technomanifestos: Visions from the information revolutions, New York and London: Texere, pp214-239.

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Ranking tactics on the formation of online ‘communities’

While discussing YouTube, José van Dijck argues that the site’s interface influences the popularity of videos through ranking tactics that promote popular favorites (Reader, page 94). How do ranking tactics impact on the formation online ‘communities’?

You are in the cover of Time magazine

"You" in the cover of Time magazine

Attribution Some rights reserved by David Fraíz

The homepage of YouTube has provided a directly delivered feature which adopted a ranking tactic. Videos are categorized into different blocks and the ones with the most number of views are designed to appear in the homepage of YouTube, just like mini-versions of  Time magazine, the face printed in the cover will most probably be read first by the readers. The ranking tactic thus created a “star-system” that each content provider or co-producer are encouraged to become the one in the top list, because the success of the produced content contributes to a physiological satisfaction (Van Dujck , 2009,52). Furthermore, creators are rewarded economically if they have gained a certain level of popularity. YouTube will contribute a advertisement banner besides the popular clip and shares its revenue with the content creator (Van Dujck, 2009, 52). As a result, the ranking tactic psychologically and economically encourage the creator to generate and upload more contents onto its site.

The “star system”, which is generated by the ranking tactic has created tremendous YouTube celebrities who stood out from the general content providers, and has generated small fan communities by interacting with their fans and subscribers. It created a celebrity-centered system where information is spread from an individual to the surroundings. However, even with the success-driven or commercial-driven phenomenon that generate the tension of competition within the user communities, there is still a large number of video creators who treat the process of work (create video for economic gain) with a sense of play (creating content for fun)(Van Dujck, 2009, 54). As a result, the process of making video has become an activity that mixes play and work to express personal taste, style, hobby etc, to enhance their sense of identity (Stebbins, 1992, 2).

In addition for normal content producer to get into the centre, the required to demonstrate more into the content, which stimulate their demand to improve their computer and film skills, and create a tendency from amateur towards professionals. For instance, use the top-rated clip of today as a case study. The video creator as an amateur, has produce his video by editing different sequences of shoot, inserting animation and subtitles, adding sound effect and credit scene to make his video more visually stimulated and worth viewing, apparently, he had done his research about the recent popular videos.

By encouraging productive activities, content providers increase their commercial value on their business, through the process of consuming behavior tracking, and potentially use the content providers as free laborers ( Van Dujck, 2009). Through collecting personal information and record information of usage, setting and recent viewing, for instance (Van Dujck , 2009, 48), user behaviors are extensively revealed, which could then become a Market research tool used to distribute the advertisement more efficiently. Thus, the power of chosen video that is owned by video consumers are gradually undermined by the platform owner, who targets the market of each online community by tracking the consumer behaviors.

In conclusion, the ranking tactic that is adapted by platform providers has physically and economically encouraged users to continuously create contents and distribute them into the platform that in turn, improve the economic value. Meanwhile, a more competitive environment is generated by this ranking system within the user community and requires armatures to improve their video skills. Users as content provider has combined work and play into the video making, which has enhanced their identity.

Reference

Dijck, José van (2009) ‘Users Like You? Theorizing Agency in User-Generated Content’, Media, Culture and Society, 31 (2009): 41-58.

Stebbins, R. A. (1992). Amateurs, professionals, and serious leisure. Montreal, McGill-Queen’s University Press.

YouTube, 2011, most popular in YouTube, accessed in 4th of May, 2011, fromhttp://www.youtube.com/

YouTube, 2011,GUY BUG in channel of Ray William Johnson, accessed in 4th of May, 2011, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cb3hoZu3hzY&feature=topvideos_entertainment

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Creative Commons

Explain why you chose the Creative Commons license that you added to your blog and discuss the relevance (or not) of adding the license.’’

By inserting the Creative Common license into the blog, readers are visually informed through the small image of CC above that they are allowed to develop and distribute the works from this blog by sharing the credit, which is still under the protection of copyright law(Creative commons, 2011).

There is two purposes in the insertion of the Creative Commons license into this blog. The first is to contribute to this piece of work through others. An idea or a research that is developed by me could possibly inspire or assist with the works of others. Thus, time and capital that are needed to be spent on the same research that is used to extend a certain piece of work can be reduced and be committed into other areas of work. Secondly, only by making the work available for others then can the original work receives comments and feedback that can enhance future development. As a result, the blog can be enhanced and its meaning and perspectives can be extended or expanded. In other words, the use of Creative Commons licenses can become a communicating tool for property owners to exchange and advance on each other’s creations, which actively and optimistically generate further development of certain contents.

Henry Jenkins argues that the process of information sharing and distribution among the fans’ community has reflected a “collective intelligence“. Each fan does not necessarily need to follow their idols to know the newest information about them. Instead, fans collect information from other fans or fans’ websites to keep their information up-to-date (Jenkins, 2006, 127). The notion of “collective intelligence” can be applied on the use of Creative Common license, in which  Individuals are allow to develop their own works based on the others’ work without spending more time to do the same research again. However, to share a credit is necessary under the condition of copyright law. Metaphorically, the use of Creative Commons license makes a certain property form the “stagnant water” into the water that flows in the sea, where it is able to feed the fishes with more oxygen and nutrients.

We love creative commons!

Attribution Some rights reserved by steren.giannini

The relevance of adding Creative Commons license to the blog and other media texts that are produced by active online scholars and bloggers for instance, are significant. Properties have been re-situated into an overlapped space between the public domain and the privatized ownerships that are protected by the copyright law.  The situation is quite similar to the market economic in contemporary China where market is control by the government for standardization and is partially opened for free trade. The “mixing” between the commons and original property is still under the control of legislation (copyright law), but the Creative Commons license has made the property more open to the other sources and creators, which contributed to its future transcendences (Lessig, 2005, 352). Furthermore, the use of HTML code in the Creative Commons license has opened up the closed architecture of copyright law, and constructed it with more active motivation towards individuals, and generated the participation for further content development(Lessig, 2005, 358). Thus, the properties are available to flow between individuals who obtained the Creative Commons license, which can eventually change the landscape of digital creations (Creative commons, 2011).

Reference:

Creative commons, (2011), license image creative commons, accessed in 14th May 2011 from http://creativecommons.org/choose/results-one?q_1=2&q_1=1&field_commercial=y&field_derivatives=y&field_jurisdiction=&field_format=&field_worktitle=&field_attribute_to_name=&field_attribute_to_url=&field_sourceurl=&field_morepermissionsurl=&lang=en_US&n_questions=3

Creative commons, (2011), “about” in Creative commons,accessed in 14th May 2011 from http://creativecommons.org/about

Giannini,steren. Image of we love creative commons,accessed in 14th May 2011 from http://www.flickr.com/photos/steren/2732488224/sizes/m/

Jenkins, Henry. (2006). Convergence culture: where old and new media collide. New York, NY [u.a.], New York Univ. Press.

Lessig, Lawrence (2005) ‘Open Code and Open Societies’ pp. 349-360 in Joseph Feller, Brian Fitzgerald, Scott A. Hissam and Karim R. Lakhani (eds) Perspectives on Free ad Open Source Software. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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Illusion Vs. Reality

illusion

Attribution Some rights reserved by tinou bao

Inspired by the philosophic perspective form creative nihilism, the blogging sphere in the era of Web 2.0, that realised the illusion between the truth and reality among tremendous bloggers, can be interoperated as the “Zhuangzhou’s dreaming of Butterfly” allusion in the warring state period of China 2000 years ago. An celestial Taoist named Zhuang-Zhou once dreamed about himself become a butterfly, which then enlighten him about the nihilism within human’s life as it is impossible for human-beings to differentiate the reality and illusion: the same as the butterfly created a illusion within the dream of zhuang, who can also become the illusion within the dream of the butterfly.

Illusion: Blogging breaks the mainstream monopolies

Reality: It is hard to be heard, and its more about digitalized commodification.

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intertwined between Meida and Blog Spheres

Lovink (2008, p23) argues that bloggers are creative nihilists  who celebrate the death of centralized meaning structures and ignore the accusation that they would only produce noise”.

Blog is defined as the digitized voice of a person that has become massively distrusted to the non-marginal sphere of internet, which emerged the illusion about the death of the centralized meaning structure (Lovink cited on Dave Winer, 2007, p4; Lovink, 2008, p23). However, it could be argued that the centralized structure that is generated by the mainstream media is not gone with the birth of blog. Instead, it is gradually absorbing the format of blog to promote its accessibility towards the increased online audiences, and still playing a significant role as the major information creator. As a result, more professional journalists have actively participated in the blogsphere and have become creative nihilists, producing the “noise” which is established in the mainstream media that can be heard for the public. This short blog will use one of the lifestyle blog in The Age as an example to illustrate the shift of central meaning structure on its adaptation of blog format.

Mainstream media has gradually changed its distribution by establishing online newspapers. Meanwhile, it has also created blocks of blogs to attract more audiences and advertisement readers. The Age is one of Australian’s major newspaper companies that sets up its online newspaper, which has similar contents from its print newspaper but contains more connectivity through its multiple link such as the tweeter, Facebook and other article links and the links of other cooperative newspapers (Flew, 2008, p148).

Besides the print newspaper, online Age is more focused on its cooperation with new digital technology and the new gross-rooted blogging phenomenon to increase the accessibility for the audiences. The new created blog blocks contain various blog entries that are categorised  into different themes such as lifestyle & leisure, entertainment, and technology. Moreover, all the blogs allow discussions and comments. Besides centual meaning structure that is reflected on its news section, the adaptation of blog has provided a mainstream media like The Age with more connections and communications with the audiences.

lifestyle blog

Attribution Some rights reserved by Geoff Peters 604

However, not all the ordinary bloggers can write blogs for the mainstream newspaper. The writers for the blogs of The Age are mostly professional writers. For instance, Paula Goodyer is one of the writer under The Age who is the blogger of Chew on this, a lifestyle blog of the online Age. As a freelance journalist, Goodyer also writes a lifestyle book. With a profession in both newspaper and blog, she becomes an excellent hybrid beneficiary from the hybridization of mainstream media and blog. Thus, her blog could cross between the fluid boundary between mainstream media sphere and blog sphere to attract both newspaper and blog readers.

The blog Chew on this is about healthy food and lifestyles. Considerable food lovers visit her blog and leave comments which Goodyer will reply to encourage more active interactivities with her readers.  In addition, various links of other blog entries, twitter and Facebook pages are also featured in her blog to enhance the connectivity of her blog, which will eventually contributed to increase the reader group of The Age. Chew on this is an ordinary blog that settled within a mainstream newspaper website. It is not renowned but it demonstrates an excellent example of the transformation of centralized media conglomerates and the rise of the blog sphere in contemporary mediascape. The Age as a content-based newspaper has dismissed the central meaning from its news by the increased connectiveness through the blog practice. Hence, mainstream newspapers have created their own blogs and bloggers. The boundaries between mediasphere and blogsphere becomes fluid (Lovin, 2007, p3) and changed the format of centralized meaning structure to access more audience (improve the connectivity). Its privilege is still exclusive as ordinary bloggers are unable to employ this tool but the boundaries between the professional blogger and amateur blogger, the media sphere and blogger sphere are blurred.

Furthermore, Gianni Vattimo argues that nihilism (Lovin cited on Vattim, 2007, p3) is not the absence of meaning but a recognition of the plurality of meaning. The blog is not noise that is produced by the creative nihilists nor is it meaningless. Instead, it is utilized by the mainstream media to attract more readers. By separating blogs into different themes, the attraction is diversified and maximized. In the case of Chew on this, readers who have similar hobbies or interests as the bloggers, for instance baking and exercising, will visit the blog frequently. The blog has created and purified meanings about how to make a better life and it is delivered from blogs to its readers. There is an incredible interactivity being promoted through the article links, tweeter links and Facebook sharing links. Thus, the “Noise” makes sense and are spread far and wide which started the new paradigm of meaning distribution (Lovin, 2008, p22).

In conclusion, the format of blog that is adapted by the mainstream media has generated more news readers to read and observe the central meanings distributed by the newspaper. The blogger employed by the mainstream media has features of both professional and citizen journalism and becomes the successor who benefit from the convergence and blurring between both the major mediashere and blogsphere. The content created from the online mainstream media with its adaptation of blog format has reached a higher volume that can be heard by the public.

Reference:

Geert Lovink (2007))’Blogging, The Nihilist Impulse’, in Eurozine, accessed in April 20th form http://eurozine.com/pdf/2007-01-02-lovink-en.pdf

Geert Lovink (2008) ‘Blogging, The Nihilist Impulse’, in Zero Comments: Blogging and Critical Internet Culture (pp. 1-38), London: Rout

Terry Flew (2008) New Media: An Introduction. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

The Age.com (2011) accessed from in 22nd April from http://www.theage.com.au/

Life & style (2011) accessed in 22nd April from http://www.theage.com.au/lifestyle

Paula Goodyer (2011)Chew on this in The Age.com accessed in 22nd from

http://www.theage.com.au/lifestyle/wellbeing/blog/chew-on-this

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Social Networks and Online Privacy

Analyze critically the following statement by Mark Zuckerberg while comparing it to privacy issues raised by online social networking collaborative practices:

Mark Zuckerberg’s statement (YouTube, 2010) about more control with more sharing can correspond to a freer and accessible Web in the vision of  Tim Berners-Lee (Nelson and Burners-Lee, 2002, 229 ). Despite the differences in focus with Zuckerberg being more favorable on data uploading, whereas Berner-Lee’s discussion more concentrated on the accessibility, undoubtedly, both of them as software engineers, have demonstrated their view on having a freer information sharing platforms for the public. Towards a different cognition of online information exposures, the social network of Facebook has accelerated the circulation and exposure of personal information, which may hardly be known before the invention of social network. Clay Shirky, an expert in new media, states in the video below that the online social networking collaborations have profoundly changed the definition of privacy as people published their personal information online(YouTube, 2007,0:57). The private information once exposed in the social network, makes it available for the others to access, which unobtrusively and imperceptibly be treated as public information  that can be spread over the public domain.

When Mark Zuckerberg states that “when people have control of what they share, they are more comfortable to share more”, it displayed a huge ignorance about privacy, as the control of people to share is invalidated after those information are published in the social network, where information are treated as public and be transported into a non-marginal space named public domain. One that everyone can access and potentially ship to commercial oriented websites. As a result, business companies are able to obtain the personal information (for example, email address and hobby ) from their potential customers for free, which may significantly attribute and equip their viral marketing strategies.

Clay Shirky (2007) again argued that the online sharing of the social network has labeled that every piece of information can be accessed from the those particular social network online as  “acceptable” by its owner. As a result, social networks became a platform that collects a tremendous amount of personal information, which enables other Internet users’ accessibility to those confidential information. For example, the clip below is about a stalker who use the name he found on Facebook to start his stalking practice, thus information like home address and phone numbers etc is purposely exploited for strangers to practise their bizarre hobbies.

Jeffrey Rosen, a law professor at George Washington University, mentioned that the discussions raised on social network have create an “collective identity crisis“. The Social network is eroding the way that identity is used to be constructed; by sharing the confidential moments, personal information is exposed and exploited as an identity construction tool. Since the end of  Renaissance Movement,  individual value is revitalized and used as a tool to identify individual, people are more recognized themselves by what they did or what they want to do (Rosen, 2010, 2). Presently, when entering into the era of Web 2.0 ,  when rumours  and reputation is so easy to construct and destroy, the online sharing activity is beginning to threaten the process of identity constrictions, which can be significantly reflected from the  younger generations, who actively engage with the social networks and try to share everything, even their suicide moments.

Boyd (2008,p18) defines the concept of privacy as information are under control but not actually keeping the information as a secret that tells no one. The statement raised by Mark Zuckerberg needs to be considered with more private information control, as Shirky states that accessibility is not equivalent to acceptability and stricter online regulation needs to be developed to protect personal information from commercial or strange online practice. In addition, youths need to be more encourage to be involved in social activities rather virtual sharing.

Reference:

Boyd, Danah (2008) ‘Facebook’s Privacy Trainwreak: Exposure, Invasion and Social Convergence’, Convergence: The International Journal into New Media Technologies 14.4 13-20.

Madkour, R (2008)” Report: Teen commits suicide online” in Associated Press, 2008 accessed in 17th April from<http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27841948/ns/technology_and_science-tech_and_gadgets/>

Nelson,T. & Burners-Lee, T (2002), ‘Everything is intertwingled’, in Adam Brate (ed.) Technomanifestos: Visions from the information revolutions, New York and London: Texere, pp214-239.

Rosen, J (2010)“The Web Means the End of Forgetting” in The New York Time, accessed in 3rd April, fromhttp://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/25/magazine/25privacy-t2.html?pagewanted=1&_r=3

Shirky, C (2008) “Facebook Killed the Private Life”in YouTube channel of SwichedShow, accessed in April 17th from<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azIW1xjSTCo&feature=fvwrel>

YouTube (2010) “INTERNET STALKING IS FUN!” in YouTube Accessed in 17th April, 2011 from<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICGLAZSSUtI>

YouTube(2010) “Mark Zuckerberg on Making Privacy Controls Simple ” in YouTube accessed in April 3rd , 2011 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWDneu_w_HQ

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Past and Future

A rethought of the past future theory raised in both lecture and tutorial.

1) Culture always builds on the past.
→ Yes, but we also have culture built on present, such as the graffiti and pop-art.

Graffiti Melbourne

Some rights reserved by ryanscottdavis

2) The past always tries to control the future

→ Yes, like the one child policy,
Past is already past, past can direct the way of present
Future may capable to control the present, such as the deadlines in the future control the workload in present, but may not rewrite what is already written.

3) Our future is becoming less free.
→ It depends on the perspective, top down control (e.g regulations) or bottom up forces (e.g long tail creates the demand of niche markets)

4) To build free societies you must limit the control of the past.
→ Sometimes, control is good. Especially after I received the shoes I bought from Ebay. It is NOT the one I saw in the picture from the web browser! Thus, Ebay need more control.

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”——A quote from <Kung Fu Panda>

so, work hard and treasure the gift.

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