Archive for septembre, 2010

Dicriminating social media?

According to several posts published these last days, social media could increase divisions  and discrimination between internet users instead of creating equality…

Danah Boyd writes about how a Facebook profile can be used against a potential candidate by future employers, thus creating discrimination :

Should employers have the right to discriminate against you because of your Facebook profile? One might argue that they should because such a profile reflects your “character” or your priorities or your public presence. Personally, I think that’s just code for discriminating against you because you’re not like me, the theoretical employer.

Then, The Economist explains how social networks can be assimilated to ghettos when they keep their members from communicating with other communities :

A generation of digital activists had hoped that the web would connect groups separated in the real world. The internet was supposed to transcend colour, social identity and national borders. But research suggests that the internet is not so radical. People are online what they are offline: divided, and slow to build bridges.

Finally, Cyceron, on his blog, writes (in French) about how new media create a new dominant elite in the society, making the difference between those who know how to use new (social) media and those who don’t…

On retrouve avec le web 2.0 toute cette utopie dangereuse du possible qui rejette implicitement dans le camp des fainéants ou des inaptes, tous ceux qui ne prennent pas le train de la technologie. […] En réalité, les nouvelles technologies consacrent surtout l’avènement d’une nouvelle classe dominante : ceux qui les maîtrisent.

Will they prove to be right ?

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When the web gets real

After a nice summer reading a lot about web and other stuff, I’m back to blogging with 3 different posts that I found meaningful in the way they illustrate how web/virtual and reality mix more and more…

« Alors que la quantité de données disponible ne cesse de croître, les cartes sont un bon moyen d’en réduire la complexité.  Elles permettent également d’analyser un problème sous différents points du vue. Elles offrent un potentiel passionnant pour la transmission d’informations, surtout si les citoyens ont eux-mêmes la possibilité d’en ajouter, ou de créer leurs propres cartes — possibilité qui n’existait que pour les entreprises et d’autres organisations. Bien que cet activisme cartographique (Maptivism) n’en soit qu’à ses débuts, il montre une nouvelle forme d’engagement citoyen pour plus de transparence et de participation. »

A GPS reckoning taken by a user’s phone is sent to the Marmota server, which creates an AR layer that is sent back to be unpacked and overlaid. The over-layer is rich with topographical information, including feature names (mountains, peaks, ranges, rivers and other geological features), county names, altitude, latitude and longitude, hiking routes and roads.

The system operates against features up to 500 kilometers (just over 300 miles) away, and works from latitude 60 degrees north to 60 degrees south, or roughly from Calgary, Canada to Ushuaia, Argentina.

“I’d say very few people know about geotag capabilities,” said Peter Eckersley, a staff technologist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco, “and consent is sort of a slippery slope when the only way you can turn off the function on your smartphone is through an invisible menu that no one really knows about.”

But when we finally will be unable to know where we are without the web and a GPS, how will it affect the way we live …. and talk? This last (long) article by Guy Deutcher is a great analysis of how language affects the way we deal with reality (I love the second part of the article about Guugu Yimithirr-style language…).

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