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> > > > > > >

83 anonymous and hacking ERROR 404___REBOOT_C:DRIVE CORRUPT scanning for errors Booting up_restart activated

87 what is anonymous? 89 your privacy in their hands >alt: anonymous ><section_break> 91 MOBILE COMMUNICATION > 93 technical breakdown_instant messaging and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s role in the London riots ><section_break> 101 A DANGEROUS DEPENDENCE_will it be our downfall? > 103 financial dependence > 107 can we cope? > 109 stuxnet > ><section_break> 111 MEDICAL DEPENDENCE > 113 technology as a bodily extension > 115 tempt one > 119 prosthetic > 123 x ray technology > ><section_break> 125 LIVING WITHOUT TECHNOLOGY >127 technology and the elderly; in the third world, in an amish paradise > ><section_break> 133 TECHNOLOGY IN FILM > 135 film tech_avatar,iRobot;wargames > 137 what did they get right? > 138 the ten greatest technology moments in film ><section_break> 139 TECHNOLOGY: THE FUTURE > 141 power hungry > 143 eye spy > 145 we can rebuild him > ERROR 404___REBOOT_C:DRIVE CORRUPT > scanning for errors > Booting up_restart activated > > >SECURITY BREACH >RUNNING FILE CHECK C:DISK >FULL CHECK REQUIRED> >30% >45% >78% >99% >99% >99% >ERROR_CORRUPT_DISK >REBOOT > >13091JD_NDKSL_ERROR CODE: 00000811830192 >_BOOTING UP FAILED > >SHUTTING DOWN </body>


DESIGNED AND WRITTEN BY Joseph Kozak CONTACT TYPEFACES Steelfish,designed by Typodermic Fonts Century Gothic, designed by Monotype Imaging Shonar Bangala, designed by Monotype Corporation OCR A extended. American Type Founders PHOTOGRAPHY Canon d6000 slr

Copyright Š 2012 Joseph kozak No part of this issue may be used or reproduced in any manner without written consent from the designer. Every attempt has been made to identify the owners of copyright of imagery and text used. Turn It Off and On Again: An exploration in technology

IMAGES USED All images not produced myself have been referenced throughout and additionally at the end of the publication with full website listings TEXT All text has been written by myself except for instances that have been made clear throughout. The following pieces of text from other writers are as follows; pg.5 Finding your way; wikipedia pg.72-74 Exactly what role did social media play in the egyptian revolution?; by Simon Mainwaring pg.82 Identity on the internet; Alex Masters-the independent pg.87-88 What is anonymous? ; Matthew J Schwartz-informationweek pg.95-100 London riots: How blackberry messenger played a key role; Josh Halliday pg.144 Eye Spy; Darren Quick-gizmag EDITING All image editing has bene produced using adobe cs5.5 software















mobile phone, a Samsung wifi 5.0 mp3 player, a Bush 26” inch TV, a 40” Sony TV and a Canon DSLR camera. To name a few. When you take the time to consider what you use you begin to realise just how dominant technology is in your life and these are just the physical things that you use. It is the way these are used that really allows you to see how often technology has an impact on your day to day activities.

Technology is a huge, unavoidable part of our lives, it is almost impossible to avoid as we interact with it in some way every day. This book is designed to discuss and showcase how reliant we have become on technology as a whole. I certainly have always had a passion with discovering new, innovative technology but have never really taken the time to consider why this is and why in general we are obsessed with finding new ways of either distracting ourselves or attempting to find an easier solution to a problem that doesn’t necessarily need to be solved.

Social networking is used through nearly all of the things that I use with such websites as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr to name a few being used every single day. The work I produce as part of my practice is entirely reliant on my laptop and the enjoyment I get from my free time is spent using my television or playing on the Playstation3. It makes me wonder how we ever coped without all of these ‘useful’ gadgets and how I would feel if they were all taken away from me in an instant. How would I produce work, what could I accomplish and would I spend my day more effectively?

From Satellite Navigation Systems to 3D televisions and electric can openers to touch screen portable games consoles. There seems to be no end to the vast amount of technology that is available to us and personally, I feel I have fallen into this trap. The trap of wanting something new, something to make my life that little bit easier. But has it really been that much help or is the enticement of bright screens, online usability and the ever increasing capabilities shadowing the fact that as human beings we are obsessed with making our lives that little bit easier. In this book I want to look at whether all of this really helps. Through case studies on myself and my use of technology I will hopefully come to a more conclusive answer to whether my life is improved significantly by the technology that I use.

Throughout the course of this book I want to find out just how much we use technology and how we would cope without it. I want to see how some groups of people live without any of the things that I use on a daily basis and consider whether we could live without it. Other things that will be discussed will be how technology has been predicted in the film industry and where technology is going now and in what ways it can be used in our favour to considerably help our lives.

The types of things that I use are a Tomtom Satellite Navigation System, a Sony Playstation 3, a HP MediaSmart Laptop, a Samsung Tocco Lite 2





An â&#x20AC;&#x153;umbrellaâ&#x20AC;? term adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to encompass any independent satellite navigation system used by a pilot to perform onboard position determinations from the satellite data. GNSS means any navigation system that satisfies stated international navigational requirements using satellite technology. A complete global navigation satellite system may include satellites provided by various states and commercial groups and be complemented by ground systems used to augment and monitor the satellites. IMAGE SOURCE: THEFAMILYCAR.COM


The Satellite Navigation System is a piece

of technology I have recently begun using. Using satellites in space it is capable of finding your destination and then plotting a destination route which is, apparently, the quickest way of getting there. Satnavs are notoriously known for causing misdirections and potential hazards by guiding the user to a dead end or a road that a vehicle should simply not follow. As people become more reliant over the use of the Satnav I begin to wonder whether or not this will have a negative effect on the way we think for ourselves. Gone are the days of planning and deciding on a route beforehand, as now we can simply enter an address and presume that it will guide us effortlessly to our destination. I have carried out a case study to see whether the Satnav is as useful as we are told it is. With the promise of the ‘quickest route’ from the Tomtom Satnav I will be able to see if it lives up to this or whether planning ahead is still

the best way to reach a desired destination. This is the exact Satnav that I have used in this case study, it is a Tomtom XL and inside this 5” item holds a huge amount of data and capabilities. As well as being able to find the apparent quickest route to a destination it is also able to save these journeys and find selected points of interest near to your current position. Where the Satnav really shows it’s true potential is it’s way of warning you of impending speed cameras and red light cameras. I’m unsure whether this is a positive 6

thing to have in the system or something it is causing drivers to drive more recklessly. Without this feature a driver may drive more carefully and abide to the speed limit to ensure they aren’t hit by an unsuspected speed camera. However with this warning light a driver may realise that they can break the speed limit but ensure they then revert back to the enforced limit when the warning light is shown. The Satnav certainly has it’s positive aspects but do they outweigh the negatives which can be seen through picking out it’s flaws and unnecessary features.


in this case study I decided to go on a short journey which I have done countless times. The first step of this experiment was to find the petrol station using the Satnav. After immediately turning on the Satnav I was able to go into the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Points of interestâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; section of the menu and find the nearest petrol station to my destination. It then found the Morrisons petrol station which is the one I usually attend and went on to plan the quickest route.

For the first step

The first stage of the journey was correct, turn right out of my road, follow ridgeway road until the junction. At the junction follow it straight onto and then turn left at the end of the road. So far ,so good. Turn right at the roundabout, by turning right into the roundabout would have put me into a no through road. The next direction which was given was to turn left. The main issue with turning left into this road would have been the resulting factor of driving down a public footpath. Clearly there are some issues with the Satnav system to get such a simple journey so wrong. I continued with my journey into the petrol station but was bombarded with the constant sound of the Satnav telling me to turn around wherever possible even as I sat in my car with the petrol station surrounding me.





optimise the growing of crops by reducing the amount of fertiliser and optimising the use of their land and crops that are available to them. Safety uses are one of the satellite navigational main tools, from the emergency services, shipping forecasts and also air traffic controllers. Without satellite systems providing navigation for all these uses the safety of these industries would be heavily tested. For example with around 6000 planes in the sky at any one given time it would be impossible for this to occur without being able to pin point their exact position. If the number of planes were to be reduced in the sky due to the lack of navigational systems then companies and the economy would be heavily affected by the lack of deliveries being provided around the world. But how do they work?

Although now we use Satnavs for the most simple of tasks such as finding our way to a shop or nearest petrol station. The original use of Satellite Navigation was for military use. The satnav allows for near perfect precision of missile firing to targets whilst also limiting the possibility of innocent casualties. It also allows the armed services to be directed through safe areas where there is heavily reduced visibility.

Until President Reagan confirmed that GPS could be used for more civilian uses it was predominantly used in military activities. It wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t until a Korean Jetliner was shot down as it entered Soviet territory that it was decided that GPS may be useful on a wider scale. It was first decided that the GPS could be used in airlines and the shipping industries to increase the safety of these activities.

Satnavs work through triangulation. A method which uses three satellites (or more) which are able to work together to pin point the users individual, exact location. Although 3 satellites works, the fourth satellite is used for error checking the other satellites. The four satellite receivers then measure the distance from the device to the other satellites and are able to work out a correct measurement by comparing the time the signal from the device was sent by and received by the satellite. This measurement is then multiplied by the speed of light and from this, the final distance is calculated. Because GPS and satellites are fitted with atomic clocks, the time is permanently correct and accurate which is why the timing is near enough completely incorrect. The loss of time in these systems is at most one second in 300,000 years. If for some reason a GPS is not timed accurately then it can be recalculated with the help of the other satellites that surround it.

The satellite navigation system is used across a wide range of services for instance in the agriculture industry the satnav is used to 9





Although SatNavs are used by around

15 million users and are deemed extremely useful, they are notorious for causing issues and accidents. According to a recent survey one in five users had said that the Satnav caused them to lose attention whilst driving and that one in fifty nearly got into an accident whilst using the device. According to the poll around 300,000 accidents are caused by Satnavs every year due to the user losing concentration or having to turn abruptly. The other way in which they have become dangerous is down to the user not updating the device frequently enough. The Satnav does not automatically update when a road has been altered or if there are roadworks in place, One of the most recent stories of a Satnav causing a death by driving is when the device informed the driver to turn right into a well known accident blackspot which he did not know about. 11

Due to the fact that the Satnav had not been updated to know the knew road layout and the driver not knowing the area or potentially not paying enough attention. The driver followed the direction and proceeded to turn into a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;no right turnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; corner which resulted in a horrific car collision. It is not known who is to blame but the end result was disastrous for both the manufacturer and the people involved who lost their 4 year old daughter. Have we become a nation that is so reliant on technology that we presume it can do all the thinking for you. In previous years we would have planned a journey in advance and would have known about the road change. However the user presuming the software was up to date thought no need to question it and simply followed the instructions of a computer system. It begs the question on where our reliance and dependance on technology should stop. Are we losing the ability to think for


ourselves and does it need a fatal outcome for us to stop and think? A recent study on our reliance on Satellite Navigation from the Royal Academy of Engineering has said how we are potentially at risk of being attacked by criminals and terrorists over our ‘dangerous’ over reliance on these devices in all senses. The shocking figures from this study include the fact that seven percent of Britain’s economy depends solely on satellite navigation due to it’s uses in transport, networking and emergency services. The way criminals or terrorists could exploit this is by simply jamming GPS signals. Bob Cockshott of the Digital Systems Knowledge Transfer Network has said how jammers can be bought for as cheap as £20. Different ways that blocked GPS could be disastrous is by delaying

rescue attempts in weather conditions such as fog. The blocking of satellite systems could potentially cause collisions between ships carrying large amounts of passengers or cargo which could effect the economy. In Korea, the blocking of GPS signals has already been used for political motives. North Korea claims to be in possession of a GPS blocking system which has a range of over 100km. The worrying thing about GPS is that armies rely so heavily on them to know if there are imminent attacks or potential invasions. So that if these maps were to be blocked then an enemy could technically invade without the knowledge of the country in it’s target. Other examples where GPS is such an important factor is in air-traffic control navigations. These cheap GPS jammers could be catastrophic if it becomes impossible for 12

workers to see the position of their planes in their air space. Jammers are not just something that is made by students in their bedrooms but they are actually imported from factories in China. These products are readily available to a mass market of potential hackers and worse of all terrorists which could result in disastrous consequences.





The further you get into technology, the further you go into gaming. That's the general rule.


Gaming has been a large part of my life for

a very long time. Ever since I received my first Playstation Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been hooked on playing the latest in gaming. The graphics of the game, the story line and the new technologies that go into it have always amazed me. I am sure that Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve spent a considerable amount of time playing games and I wonder whether this time is simply wasted time. Luckily enough the Playstation 3 records the amount of time you spend playing games so it is easy enough for me to find out just how much time is spent playing video games. If I had the time I would most certainly spend time every day on the Playstation as I find it a brilliant way to spend free time. However it makes me question whether I could accomplish more by simply not playing on it at all, whether that be through doing more coursework or getting involved in a more physical activity over being sat down for hours.



These are the eight games that have taken up a fairly

considerable amount of my free time. With the number of hours spent playing these games adding up to over 320 hours it just proves that gaming is a big part of my life. Some games have had a lot of time spent on them over a long period of time, whereas others like Red Dead Redemption were played for 40 hours in just one week. This works out as over 5 hours every day, a huge amount of time dedicated to finishing just one game. So what is it about these 8 games that caused me to spend so much of time on? Over the following pages I will look into each of these games and explain what it is thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so captivating. Some of these games are story line based, others rely on competition and the others have a free roaming style which allows you to explore any aspect that the game developers have created. 17


Burnout Paradise is the seventh game in the

Burnout Series, created by Criterion Games and published by Electronic Arts. Burnout Paradise is set in a sand box style map which allows for the player to drive where ever they please. The game changed it’s format quite drastically from the last instalment where the races were chosen from a menu within the game. To begin with, I initially hated the new format as I preferred to just choose the races rather than have to find the races within the game. Another huge difference we saw within the game was the removal of multiplayer which meant that we could not play with a friend on the same console. The only way to play with someone else was to do it online.

This new way of multiplayer is something as a gamer we have to accept. With more and more people being able to get high speed internet connection, online gaming becomes inevitable. Personally, I preferred to be able to play alongside someone rather than play to a

voiceless and faceless competitor. The main downfall that this game did have is lack of story line, which there was none of. However, in a way I feel this may have slightly favoured it because it meant that you could put the game down and pick it up whenever you pleased without having to worry about whether you forgot what was happening the last time you played. The game was visually very impressive, with a shiny gloss added to near enough every aspect possible. There really was a huge jump in the way the game looked from the last instalment which made it much more playable and made you want to explore the entire map. This game had me engaged for over 50 hours, even though it was very repetitive in the nature of it, I think it was the will to succeed and achieve every trophy possible that kept me coming back for more. I was never content with coming second, so I played it again and again just to receive that first place award. 19

With a range of difference race and game styles within the a game there was always something that kept me engaged. The main types were; ‘stunt run’, ‘race’ ,’speed trial’ and ‘crash’. The crashes were what really set this racing series from the others on the market as they were unbelievably realistic and in some cases, exaggerated. Burnout Paradise was a revolutionary racing game that set the standard for the format of racing games in the future. Gone is the restrictive nature of the order in which you can play the game and now we are in a time in gaming where the user decides the flow of the game throughout.





Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, the

biggest and fastest selling game of all time is a game which I have spent a considerable amount of time on. The time spent playing this game has been quite different to the usual time due to it’s strong emphasis on online gaming. The actual main story line of the game is about the future of war in which power hungry Eastern European warlords with nuclear power bring havoc to the rest of the world, a scarily realistic possibility. The ‘campaign’ mode of the game was actually very short, only lasting around 6 hours but it is the time spent online that makes this one of my super eight. Playing online against at times around 500,000 potential competitors is something which has been the focus on a lot of games in recent years. With no real story line for the online gameplay, it allows for sometimes, very competitive players to prove their skills against relatively anonymous people from all over the world. In a way the attitude of some 22

of the online players did ruin the experience for myself as it started to take the actual ‘fun’ aspect of the game away from it. Call of Duty definitely revolutionised the way that people played video games. Whereas before, the emphasis would be on the main story of the game, with more people playing online the game was able to be transferred to this format effortlessly. I personally still appreciate a good, solid story line so felt cheated in the way that the campaign mode was so short, however it didn’t stop me from spending countless hours and nights playing online against a whole range of people of all different skills. Call of Duty will continue to be the dominant force in online gaming and I will undoubtedly spend more time competing against unknown gamers to try and prove that I am a better gamer than them.




Driver San Francisco is another game that really changed the way that games worked and were played out. With the game set in an almost movie style format it allowed for complete freedom and imagination to be explored throughout. As another sandbox style game you were able to

drive wherever you wanted to around the map, however what made this game so different is the way that you could change into and drive any vehicle that you wanted. Without ever having to actually leave the vehicle you were in. as the game was set in a dream like state, you could simply appear inside the


other car. Initially, I felt the format was ridiculous and would never work but as I began to appreciate the detailed story line and the e exploration in breaking away from the usual style of gameplay, it became one of my most played games, exploring the vast map and achieving every trophy possible.


Grand Theft Auto, a game centred around

violence, drug culture and high speed car chases. The way that GTA is laid out as a game is both captivating and engaging as you play an unruly character with no respect for the law. However through extremely clever story line writing, you feel for the lead character as he goes through the day to day lives of a gun bearing lunatic. The game not only kept me interested during the story mode and campaign but once I had finished it, I found myself continuously playing the game. Driving around, stealing cars and causing havoc amongst the streets of Liberty City took up hours of my time. GTA will continue to be a game that keeps it audiences interested by living a world which realistically would never happen.





The game is set in the 1950â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and the developers captured this era perfectly due to the attention to detail being spot on. From the music and clothing choices, to the style of cars which including everything from the way they drove to the interior and exterior aesthetic. This game set the standard for any other game in the market to reach.

L.A Noire was simply a visual masterpiece with one of the greatest story lines I have ever seen in a game. With new technology that allowed for the developers to produce photo realistic characters based on actual actors it made the game immediately more engaging. With fairly limited action in the game the emphasis was largely on the story line as you went through finding clues and solving crimes.

Out of all the games on this list, I would have put this game as number one for the detail, the visual effects and story line. The only thing that this game falls down on, which is just a small thing is the level of action involved. However, I think that this game gets past this due to the strength of all the other aspects of the game. This game just went to show that huge action sequences with explosions and gun fire isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t always necessary. A strong story line can be all that is needed for a game to succeed as greatly as L.A Noire did.

What made this game one of my super eight is that I spent countless hours on it, purely on the main campaign and story line rather than any online gameplay. Playing the game really allowed you to appreciate the cinematography and writing skills of the producers and developers. I do feel as though L.A Noire is a, to pardon the pun, a game changer. If more developers were to take on board this technology then you could see how video games would become more and more visually appealing and could potentially hit a larger market which could include films.





usual online addition in which you competed against other people. The detail that went into the working of the portals was astonishing in the sense that it completely engaged you within it as you began to, as the game says, ‘think with portals’. It made me think more about a game than I ever have which is something which I feel a good game should do. It should make the gamer feel involved in every aspect of it, whether that be the story line, the graphics or it’s format. Portal 2 met every requirement that a game needed and by the time spent playing the game it is clear to see that the developers did a brilliant job. The problems were challenging but the will to solve every single one without having to use tutorials is something that makes this game a complete success

Portal 2 is an award winning, revolutionary game that again didn’t focus on big action sequence. Portal 2 focused purely on the problem solving aspect of the game which followed it throughout. With an extremely intelligent story line and physics engine, Portal did exactly what it said on the tin. You used portals to solve problems and transport yourself and other objects across a complex map. The game had no online features but did have another complex multiplayer game which allowed for you to play with a friend.

In a way, the multiplayer part of the game is what made it such a brilliant game. Being able to play alongside a friend and solve problems together was a refreshing change against the





Red Dead Redemption is the third game on this list that comes from the developers at RockStar Games. They must be doing something right. With a huge open plan map for you to explore Red Dead Redemption met every criteria that is needed for a game to be successful in my opinion. With a hugely engaging story line, fantastic graphics and a brilliant online feature, this game had it all.

The game was set in the American West, with cowboys and bandits making up the majority of the cast. In a time where games are generally set in the present day or in the future, I was surprised to feel so engaged with a game that was set so long ago. The developers managed to capture the detail perfectly with a combination of the way the game looked, the lack of music, the choice of weaponry and the voices of the characters. I spent around 40 hours playing this game, in just one week. I think that just goes to show how engaging this game was that I was willing to spent so much time playing it in order to find out what happened next. What RockStar do so well in their games is allowing the user to decide the order in which the game flows. This is generally done by finding characters along the way and them providing you with additional quests and tasks to complete.






Skyrim is the newest and biggest of all the

games on this list, the map is nothing less than huge. With some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen in a game, exploring the map of the game was something I hugely enjoyed. And with a story line that seems never ending, the game has everything you could want in a game. The technology that went into the development of this game is exceptional, with every little detail taken into consideration from the hair on the animals to the individual voices from the many characters situated around itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vast world.



Skyrim is one of the biggest selling games of all time and what makes it so surprising is that there were no online features. This game is designed purely for the individual gamer to enjoy without any way of playing the game with people in the same room or across the world. In a time where online gaming has taken over it is a refreshing change to enjoy a game purely for your own enjoyment.


After discovering the large number of hours that I have spent playing video games, I have decided to undertake a case study that will help me determine whether the time spent playing video games is merely wasted. The types of things I plan on doing instead of playing video games is to read more books, spend more time increasing my design skills and participating in a more physically demanding activity.

Over the course of a week I plan on spending the equivalent time that I played on the games console doing other things. By recording the way I feel over the week I will hopefully be able to see how I could change the way I spend my time more productively. The types of things that I will record will be my general mood on a day to day basis, what I have accomplished whether that be through personal achievement or work related and my personal health.

I’m not sure whether I’ve actually enjoyed taking myself away from my enjoyment of playing video games. The first thing that I noticed about this was that I felt excluded from the gaming community. It is surprising how much can change when you have not been playing video games for just a short amount of time. I first noticed when I went into work and

someone asked me where I was or what I had done in a certain game, to which I was unable to answer as I hadn’t done anything. I can see why people feel the need to play video games almost religiously, if you fall behind, other gamers have passed another checkpoint and you then need to catch up to see what’s going on. The first thing that I did to take myself away from playing video games was to try using weights. I can’t say I enjoyed it at all, I don’t see what people find so enjoyable about working out. All I took from it was that you get hot, tired and it is incredibly boring. Why would you want to spend your free time getting hot and sweaty when you could be relaxed playing video games. I can see why people might work out in order to get fit for their own personal worth but as something to do as a hobby or to relax. I’m not so sure it’s something I’d like to do on a more frequent basis. What I did find, on a positive note, about spending less time playing video games was that I had considerably more time left in the day. When playing games, I find that an hour can go past extremely quickly and it is amazing to see how an hour can soon turn into several. It does feel like I am wasting the day afterwards and by not spending most of my time playing, I am more aware of time.


When reading, I am aware of the time and how long I have been doing one activity. However I think this may be due to the fact that I don’t feel engaged when reading, whether this is due to the type of material I am reading or that I need some type of imagery to keep me interested I’m not sure. The biggest positive that came from this study is that my worth ethic considerably increased. With the more time I had available I used it to continue working on projects more than I may previously have done. As there was no other distraction available I was able to use my time more effectively. I think I’ve concluded from this that gaming is something which can be enjoyed in moderation, not something that should have the ability to take over your life.




I’ve found this process fairly demanding as

it’s forced me to do things I wouldn’t normally intend to spend my free time doing. If I’m able to get some time for myself I wouldn’t usually spend it by reading a book or exercising. I’ve certainly challenged myself and I feel I have been fairly strong willed to entirely shut myself off from any gaming or the online gaming community. With having two consoles in the house the temptation to go on it is always there. The main thing that I have noticed from not playing any video games is that the time spent doing other activities seems to pass considerably slower. Due to this I find that I get bored much quicker and then use the time to actually do something constructive such as coursework rather than what is essentially wasted time. I’m unsure whether it is the technology that is what I’m reliant on or

whether it is the type of entertainment that I find engaging that the dependance relies on. I definitely think more studies are needed to ensure a more definitive answer to such a big question. Another way that I find myself wasting time on is the internet. To completely shut myself off from the online world will be a huge personal test for myself as I go on the internet for several hours every day. It is a strong dependance which has developed mainly due to social networking and user uploaded content. I visit websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Youtube every single day and from those websites comes redirecting links which inevitably causes you to spend more time on the internet. Over the course of a week I plan on limiting my internet usage to merely my email address and one news channel. This will be much more challenging than just restricting my gaming 38

but I feel it may bring about some interesting conclusions in regards to my dependance on technology as a whole. Firstly I will need to record the time that I actually spend online and the number of websites visited. It will be an interesting insight into how much time I really do waste by arguably one of the most useful bits of technology that we know of; the internet.


Ever since I can remember I have felt engaged and entertained by video games and the entire concept of them and when people tell me that they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t enjoy them I find it hard to think of a reason why. Why would somebody not want to spend a few hours in an alternate reality away from their every day lives? Some might say that it is because we want to escape our lives for just a short time with the opportunity to be someone completely different to our actual selves.

Some people might say playing games is just another form of a hobby to enjoy with friends. Much like a group of people might play football together, playing video games is exactly the same in the sense that you can enjoy yourselves with your friends. I feel that the idea of seeing a group of people playing games as an unsociable past time has long passed with the increased sales in games like Fifa and Call of Duty. As well as playing with your friends who you know in real life, playing video games also allows you to meet friends from all over the world with a clear shared interest in video games. Playing video games could arguably be seen as a place for people to gain some type of achievement away from their real lives. Getting to an elite level in Call of Duty is seen as a huge accomplishment in the online world, it is no longer seen as a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;nerdyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; thing to do but something that actually requires some skill. 40


With the huge growth in online gaming comes the issue of hyperreality

where some people find it difficult to differentiate between the real and online world. Games like World of Warcraft, Minecraft and Second Life have seen a surge in people spending a considerable amount of time playing computer games. The most notable way that people use to separate themselves from their actual self is to create an online avatar which is a virtual representation of who they are. Some people use them to give themselves a false sense of achievement when they cannot find it in their real lives whilst other people create them as an extension on their personal state whether that be mental or physical. The New York Times recently did a brief study which looked at the people behind their avatars. It was interesting to see how some people based the look of their avatar on themselves, whilst other people had completely changes the way that they look for their virtual presence. I personally donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have an online presence as I have not got into the gaming community so Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m unable to really see why people do it or to understand the need for it. The closest I have to having an avatar in a game is whilst playing the game Skyrim, a single player game which I have spent a considerable amount of time on. My character is in no way a representation of my actual self, in a way it is completely different to how I look, how I act and my physical state. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m unsure why I chose to create this character but it may due to the fact that I wanted to play as something cooler or better than myself. 41



TURN IT OFF AND ON AGAIN | GAMING This is a selection of real people and their online avatars, it is interesting to see how some people design their characters to look like themselves whereas some people have completely distanced themselves from what they truly look like.


GAENANK Name: Lucas Shaw Born: 1985 Occupation: Student Location: Texas Avatar Name: Gaenank Avatar Created: 2003 Game Played: EverQuest Hours per week: 55

Name: Andreas Fischer Born: 1980 Occupation: Designer Location: Vienna Avatar Name: Zero Cold Avatar Created: 2005 Game Played: City of Heroes Hours per week: 17


THALIA Name: Elizabeth Brown Born: 1979 Occupation: Systems Administrator Location: Missouri, America Avatar Name: Thalia Avatar Created: 2004 Game Played: Heroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Journey Hours Per Week: 10






Name: Jason Rowe Born: 1974 Occupation: None Location: Texas Avatar Name: Rurouni Kenshin Avatar Created: 2003 Game Played: Star Wars Galaxies Hours per week: 80


UROO AHS Real Name: Choi Seang Born: 1971 Occupation: Student Location: Seoul, South Korea Avatar Name: Uroo Ahs Avatar Created: 2004 Game Played: Lineage II Hours per week: 8 44

Name: Rebecca Glasure Born: 1979 Occupation: Housewife Location: California, America Avatar Name: Stygian Physic Avatar Created: 2005 Game Played: City of Heroes Hours per week: 30 IMAGE SOURCE: THENYTIMES.COM






One of the biggest online games on the market at the moment is Minecraft. With over 23 million people around the world known to be playing the game and with videos of the game on Youtube racking up more than a billion hits it is clear to see that this fairly simple online game has had a huge impact on the gaming community. Essentially Minecraft is an empty shell which allows for itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s users to design and create any thing that they can think of using just pixels.

It is such a simple concept but the world of Minecraft is something which has not been seen in years. The gaming community that surrounds it is one of the largest known with people being able to download and purchase game servers which they can play in. Again, Minecraft allows users to create an avatar of themselves which the world will know them of. A group of people known as the Yogscast have actually become famous through their journeys through Minecraft and their avatars have been produced on T-shirts and most recently, action figures. 47





The name that comes to mind whenever massive online multiplayer games is mentioned is World of Warcraft. A game which is played by 13 million active online gamers. World of Warcraft gives it’s players the opportunity to create an avatar of themselves in a digital universe where they can become something they want to be, an extension of their own personal self. The online community of World of Warcraft is a serious competition to a lot of people, with people spending a lot of money to upgrade or join online clans. Some gamers spend a considerable amount of time playing this game, with it being classed an addiction to some people and looking at the hours clocked by some users, it’s easy to see why.

The newest addition to World of Warcraft sold 1933 copies every minute, reaching a total of 2.8 million copies sold in it’s first day making it the fastest selling computer game of all time. Warcraft is the dominant force in the online gaming community and it will not be slowing down. 50


According to the UK Online Measurement company the average internet user spends around 30 hours on the internet per week. Most of the time spent on the internet is on social networking sites which take up a quarter of this time. The websites include Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr amongst other.

The biggest victim of the social networking bubble is instant messaging with just 5% of the average online user using IM, down from 15% three years ago. The top uses for the internet include social networking, followed by E-mails at 7.2%, then games at 6.9% and IM and Auction sites sitting comfortably at 5%. Other uses of the internet include software info, searching, news channels and adult websites. The internet is a huge part of our lives and without it, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not sure how people would cope. With the news and current social events directly at our fingertips it has never been easier to connect with the world. Or simply just waste time. 51




The internet is such a hugely useful tool for

many ways. The first examples I can think of is for large businesses such as Amazon and Ebay that would simply not survive without it. The internet has allowed for people to purchase a wide range of items from one website and have them delivered from all over the world. There are really no limitations to what can and cannot be bought online. Another way that the internet can be seen as a way of helping is through social networking. Stories about social networking are often read where a child is able to find their families which they have been taken away from. Without the internet it would be undoubtedly more difficult to be able to find friends and families that may not have spoken for a very long time. The internet is also a place for young entrepreneurs to get their name heard and seen to such a mass market. With the help of websites such as Twitter and Tumblr, users can upload their own content to the internet and have any and everyone see their content. With huge, well known celebrities currently using Twitter, there is a chance that someone important might see what you have to say. Other examples of the internet being a helpful tool is with the news. Never before has there been a quicker way of accessing current news stories. As soon as something happens the whole world knows and with the help of Youtube, people from all over the world are able to upload their own content without having to go through direct news channels. We have seen how the internet has helped in recent times such as during the London Riots where people were able to find out where the riots were occurring so that they could avoid certain areas. Twitter played a massive role in this time as people from all over the country were able to inform the public more than the actual news were able to. On a larger scale, in the uprising in Egypt, Facebook was able to be used to help people know what was happening whilst the news coverage was limited to a bare minimum. Facebook was such a big impact on this event that a child was named after it. I think social networking sites are criticised far too often when on a larger scale they have such a huge impact on current world affairs.





made this barrier of language much easier to get past and communicate easily. Social networking also provides any user with the ability to have their own personal space on the internet where they are able to collate and share things that interest them with the rest of the world. Before social networking, getting your own voice online was much more difficult as you would previously had to pay for individual web space and have some knowledge of uploading and setting up your own functional website. It is now much easier for people to access your online voice then ever before. From the birth of the internet has come a completely revolutionary way of communicating with people, this being social networking. With websites like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, to name a few, dominating the internet it is clear that we see this way of networking to be second nature. With the ability to talk to people from all over the world and to share a thought with hundreds of millions of other active online users it is clear to see why there is such an appeal.

As well as being so influential on itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s users from all over the world it also has a huge impact on the companies who have begun focusing on customer service through online networking. Many of the big companies have joined up to Twitter

and Facebook to connect on a personal level to their customers. This certainly adds something to the way a business works if the customers feel like they can talk to the company directly rather than what feels like somebody on a call centre. Although social networking has a big focus in a financial sense it also connects with people on a personal level. There have been many stories of people being able to find their families who they may have not spoken to in many years. Another way that social networking is able to connect on this personal level is that it has made it much easier to speak with family from all over the world that may not speak the same language. With many internet browsers now offering direct translations on websites it has


Social networking is also far cheaper for companies to advertise to a much wider audience. For a promoted Tweet on Twitter it would cost a company around ÂŁ120,000 ever single day. Although this does seem like a lot of money, considering they are reaching an audience of about 500 million people it is fairly cheap within the world of advertising. I feel that social networking is here to stay and it does seem to be one of the fastest growing businesses in the world at the moment. With the prospect of personal interaction with big companies, distant relatives and in more recent cases celebrity interaction it is clear why so many millions of people are drawn into the idea of being able to have a voice on the internet.







From looking at social networking giants

and their owners comes arguably one of the biggest changes that the internet has brought and that is online businesses. The internet has opened up the possibilities of huge companies to open on the internet. It is clear how big of an impact technology has had on the world when you ask someone what they think are the top three companies in the world at the moment. The main answers would include Google, Facebook, Youtube, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple and possibly Ebay. What this shows is how the big names in business in the world at the moment all have links to software and technology but most notably they have a direct influence from the internet which either helps the business grow or essentially allows the company to work. For example, Google, the most popular search engine on the internet has an estimated 450 million individual searches every single day. And with an estimated revenue of nearly $38 Billion it is clear that there is certainly a lot of money to be made from the internet. Although Google doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have many physical products which are sold bar their android phone, they make most of their money from advertising and companies paying to have their website higher up in search engine. Google also owns the most popular video website on the internet, Youtube, which receives over a billion hits every day. Again the money comes in mainly from advertising which is seen on more and more videos. Now to companies that actually are about physical products. For example, Amazon which is estimated to be worth $48 Billion relies primarily on the internet to keep their business running. With fast speed of delivery and a wide range of products on offer it 57

is clear to see why Amazon has been so successful. It also allows any user to sell through Amazon as a place to sell used items at a reduced price with Amazon taking 7% of the final sale price. Amazon is one of the companies, like Google, who are trying to become the most dominant brand in the market place by covering all aspects of selling that users expect. Things they have covered so far include; music download, film rental, ebook sales, clothing, electrical items and even food delivery which is just beginning. Ebay is another huge name in the world of users providing the items that are sold on the website. Ebay allows for users to sell their items to other users from all over the world in a much safer environment than selling privately. The online business market is a huge place for growth with many companies opening just for an online market as it reduces the cost of having to hold stock in a store compared to a large warehouse. Obviously there are still companies which do not become successful online but it is definitely the place to start up as we see by the huge revenues of these companies.




Name: David Karp Company Name: Tumblr Age when created: 19 Networth: $40 Million

Name: Naveen Selvadurai Company Name: FourSquare Age when created: 24 Networth: $80 Million


Name: Angelo Sotira Company Name: DeviantArt Age when created: 19 Networth: $87 Million

With the internet comes the growth of young entrepreneurs being able to get their name known online. There have been many stories of young people who have grown up with technology and the internet and seizing the moment to create something new and innovative. For example, David Karp set up Tumblr when he was just 19 years old. Essentially Tumblr is a place for being to upload whatever content they can, considering some rules, to a huge online market. Tumblr now has around 14 million users and visitors and is estimated at over $40 Million which at 24 is astonishing.

Another entrepreneur who started a company at 19 is Angelo Sotira who set up, again a website that is based on user generated content, DeviantArt. This website is a brilliant place for artists of all practices to upload their work and allow it to be viewed by millions of people. It is just one of many online places

Name: Matt Mullengweg Company Name: Wordpress Age when created: 18 Networth: $250 Million

for artists to have their work seen by a huge audience. Estimated at $18million, it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t slowing down. Drew Houston is by no means a name many people have heard of, but at just 23 he set up DropBox, the worlds biggest online storage space. Over 10% of all online backup storage is held by DropBox and they even received a nine figure offer from Apple who wanted to purchase it. Houston turned down this offer and it appears to be a wise move as it is now estimated at $4Billion and Drew Houston has a net worth of over $600million. Other huge companies including Mozzila, Wordpress, foursquare and Groupon were all set up by very young people with the oldest being 24. It is definitely a positive thing that has come from the internet, being that there is a place for young entrepreneurs to hone their craft and create a business. Not only does this provide them with a very healthy income but it

Name: Drew Houston Company Name: Dropbox Age when created: 24 Networth: $400 Million


has also created hundreds of thousands of jobs and also given people some new useful tools which are used by millions every day. As well as all of these big companies comes the smaller success stories. In recent memory we had a website which was confidently entitled, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The million dollar homepageâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. The idea being that companies could purchase an individual pixel for $1, there were 1 million pixels in total and each one was sold. Alex Tew is now a millionaire, after wanting to earn some money to get himself through university. However with one good idea comes many copies which have failed due to their being too much competition. What Alex Tew did was find a gap in the market and take it before anyone else. The internet is one of the most competitive places for an entrepreneur as a lot of the time it is who ever can get their first.

Name: Andrew Mason Company Name: Groupon Age when created: 27 Networth: $1.5 Billion


from uploading videos. For example, some of the most subscribed Youtube channels such as ShaneDawson and Smosh are taking home around $300,000 to $400,000 every year from their content.

When we talk about how the internet has

given a voice to near enough anybody that has access to the internet, we are really talking about User Generated Content. There’s no other way to describe it than when a website’s content is merely collated from the things that it’s users publish themselves.

The most watched video on Youtube, uploaded by a unique user, is ‘ Charlie bit my finger’ which has been seen by around 500 million people. This one video brought the uploader around the figure of £100,000. Considering that the video was recorded by the off chance of two children playing around and the video lasting just 56 seconds. Making £100k from this seems like a good business idea. Now, not everyone makes a lot of money from uploading their personal content to a mass market but the odd person can find that it can be life changing. The biggest story relating to this being from the singer, Justin Bieber, who after uploading an amateur cover of a song to Youtube was signed to a record label and is now the most watched person on Youtube with more than a billion views on his channel.

Possibly the most well known website of this kind is Youtube, the Google owned video upload website which has around 500 million unique active users. The website receives one of the largest numbers of traffic to any site, hitting an approximate figure of 92 billion hits per month. This translates to 2.9 billion hours on Youtube every month, or in easier to digest terms; over 325,000 years. It’s quite astonishing to consider the amount of time we actually spend on the internet watching videos from users which range from celebrities, to big businesses and to the average person who owns a video camera or mobile phone. According to Youtube, their facts and figures just get even more impressive, with an estimate of over 150 years worth of Youtube videos being watched every year by Facebook’s 850 million users on it’s website.


Although it may seem like the people to upload videos to Youtube are simply providing Google Inc with more money every time an advert is watched, in a lot of cases it is the user itself who takes home a healthy pay cheque 61

Other websites which rely on user generated content include websites such as DeviantArt, and Tumblr. The first two being based around the creative practices which allow for any artist, professional or not to upload their work for millions of people to see. Before the internet it would have been impossible to have a piece of work viewed by so many people however thanks to the surge in websites like this it has become much easier for people to view your work. However with it being so easy, the competition increases with millions of people signing up to these websites.











131 MILLION *According to Youtube as of press time



With almost anybody being able to access the internet, getting news coverage has never been easier. As we are so used to getting the news as quick as possible a lot of people are relying on websites like Twitter to provide us with the news as soon as it happens. Waiting for the daily news is no longer what people want so it has been an important transition for companies to begin putting more time into their online input. With news channels like the BBC, Sky and CBS all having large online voices.

As well as getting the news as quick as possible, people want to find out more than just what they are told by the news reporter. With the help of websites like twitter, facebook and youtube, it has given a place for people to put their own content up for people to access. We have seen how the internet has helped dramatically in regards to the news during the time of the London Riots of 2011. When the riots were at their worse, Twitter saw an increase in traffic from the UK by over 14% and had around 3.4 million visits from the UK alone per day. It just goes to show how people are not happy with just getting an over view of the news twice a day. With the help

of iphones and android devices, people are able to access the news any time of the day where ever they are and where they couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have reporters everywhere the general public acted as their own news coverage which was followed by millions. We have also seen how important the internet has been during the riots and protests in places like Egypt, Greece and Syria. Where the news coverage was sometimes scarce and we werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t allowed to see what was really happening at times, people were able to upload their own videos of the terrible things that were often happening behind the cameras. The news coverage that we see now sometimes relies primarily on public content as it takes only a few minutes to film and upload a video to the internet to be viewed by millions. We are definitely in a good time to get the most up to date news coverage ever thanks to the internet and social networking. Referring back to the London Riots in 2011, the news coverage that was provided by the public on Twitter actually worked as a safety measure to advise people not to go to certain areas in and around London. 63







Internet activism has been a fairly new way for people to protest and have their voice heard by the public. Social media and networking are generally the methods used with websites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and emailing used to help share thoughts and opinions much faster through the different channels relating to the movement. Other ways the internet is used in protesting and activism is through fund-raising and organising.



In Egypt, Facebook was a huge part of being able to organise large numbers of people to meet and rally and key places around the country. Without social media it wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have been able to be anywhere near as successful. What social media allows for is the inviting of hundreds and thousands of people to a specific event with the intention of generating the biggest buzz and getting the biggest number of people to actually attend the event.



As well as social media being a key role

in internet activism there are also websites which are dedicated to bringing news and content to users in countries which have been made inaccessible due to the laws surrounding privacy. The websites include BurmaNet, Freedom News Group and most well known, Wikileaks. Wikileaks is world renowned for releasing documentation which would usually be kept private to the general public for ‘safety purposes’.

Anonymous’ main goal to fight back against the government. Since Anonymous have been using this as their logo sales of the mask have sky rocketed and have been seen worn by protestors all over the world. With over 500,000 followers on Twitter, Anonymous have become a household name and with the central image of the Occupy protests in recent times it seems as though internet activism will continue to grow as more and more people spend more time online.

In recent times we have seen how internet activism has spread to the real world of protesting. The formidable hacking group, Anonymous, use the mask worn by a character in the film V for Vendetta as their main logo and identity. The film V for Vendetta, being a modern interpretation on the story of Guy Fawkes plotting to blow up the Houses of Parliament relates directly to

To conclude, internet activism is by far the biggest growth in protesting in recent memory as it allows for users to share their thoughts from their own home in sometimes complete anonymity. And with groups like Anonymous being at the forefront of this movement it is clear that the internet has a much more powerful presence in modern protests than some people expect.







density of information flow (the number of times that people hear things) and of the emotional density (as individuals experience others’ perceptions about events, or ‘social contextualization’) leads to an increased likelihood of radicalization: when people decide to join the revolution instead of watching it.”

The January 25th revolution in Egypt was an incredible achievement by its people and a truly inspiring example of the power of peaceful protest. Yet the work towards an effective transition to democratic government within Egypt has just begun. Meanwhile a debate continues to rage in the blogosphere as to the exact role played by social media. While commentators such as Brian Solis and myself have argued against the offhand dismissal of social media by Malcolm Gladwell,Evgeny Morozov and Will Heaven, Jeff Jarvis and Jay Rosen made the sobering point that it’s silly to argue the issue in absolutist terms. Rosen argues “Factors are not causes,” and insists that social media was neither fully responsible for the revolution in Egypt nor irrelevant, and that social transformation is far more complex involving a high degree of mystery.


With sobriety and complexity in mind, I want to take a closer look at the specific role that social media played in terms of scaling awareness and support among anti-government protesters that ultimately resulted in the resignation of President Mubarak. The role of social media is critical because it helps to spread cognitive dissonance by connecting thought leaders and activists to ordinary citizens rapidly expanding the network of people who become willing to take action. Brian Solis describes this process as creating the necessary “density” of connections, writing “If unity is the effect, density is the cause.”Similarly, Stowe Boyd writes: “Ideas spread more rapidly in densely connected social networks. So tools that increase the density of social connection are instrumental to the changes that spread. […] And, more importantly, increased 72

So how was such density achieved in Egypt and what impact will it have beyond its borders? Let’s consider this question in three dimensions -- vertically, horizontally and in the compounding effect social media generates from one country to another. i) Vertical Threshold: Compared to United States and Europe, social media has little penetration in the Arab world. In fact, there are only 21 million Facebook users across the Arab world. So how did social media play such a significant role in fueling a popular revolution? Let me explain by way of an example. As many commentators have noted, one of the early catalysts for the January 25th revolution in Egypt was a Facebook page created in honour of Khaled Said, a young man who had been brutally beaten and killed by the police. This page became a focal point around which 470,000 “fans” organized their dissidence while aYouTube video about his murder was viewed by more than 500,000 people fueling further public outrage. Inspired by the protests against and the eventual overthrow of Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali on 14 January 2011, the Khaled Said Facebook page then became a focal point for the dissemination of popular protest throughout Egypt. As such, the limited penetration of social media within the country was overcome by the fact that it first scaled vertically through key Facebook sites such as those of Khaled Said, 15-year old Asmaa Mahfouz and later, Google executive Wael Ghonim. ii) Horizontal Expansion: Buoyed by the success of Tunisian protesters and emboldened by the courage of young protesters on their own streets, social media also helped expand the ranks of Egyptians in Tahrir Square from young, well-educated students to doctors, lawyers, judges, Christians,women and finally State TV personnel.





Such alignment around shared values counteracted attempts by President Mubarak to divide local and foreign support for the protestors. Tweets, Facebook posts and You Tube videos flooded the Internet also serving as critical, transparent content for the dominant Egyptian media outlets such as television including Al Jazeera English (AJE). iii) Compounding Effect: From Tunisia to Egypt to Syria to Iran to Algeria and China, social media is also playing a pivotal role in scaling connections between people, in achieving density, in disseminating courage and in countering misinformation generated by oppressive regimes in many countries around the world.

for the sake of their country’s future, they are challenging the monopolies of power that have impoverished the lives of millions allowing them to re-assert their core belief that government officials are democratically elected to serve the interests of the people. Thomas Friedman, columnist for the New York Times, observed thousands of Egyptians volunteering to clean up Tahrir Square in the last 48 hours and wrote about the experience quoting the aphorism that “in the history of the world no one has ever washed a rented car.” As he concluded, Egyptians are now re-taking ownership of their national identity, pride and country after thirty years of an oppressive regime.

The most powerful consequence of this revolutionary tide is to challenge the false separation between a country’s ideals and its interests. By allowing citizens from all professions to align around shared values

Just as Egypt followed Tunisia, citizens of other Arab counties are rising to the challenge of shaping their own futures in the face of political and military might. Social media did 74

not make this happen single-handedly, but by enabling people to connect more rapidly around shared values, it is shifting power back to the people and allowing them to re-align the interests of a country around the values that serve all its people. This phenomenon and the contributory role played by social media are a powerful demonstration of what I call aWe First (as opposed to Me First) thinking and behaviour. This mindset involves a fundamental recognition that communities, companies and countries must now embrace and demonstrate an expanded definition of self-interest that includes the greater good. To do otherwise not only threatens their own survival, but invites a revolution led by those united by shared values and connected by social technology.


With the internet comes the inevitability of their being dangers and crime which occur as a result of it. For example the internet has caused a huge surge in the growth of pirated content with websites openly holding entirely illegal content whether that is uploaded by the website itself or through user generated content. Some of the examples of this include Thepiratebay, Mediafire, Rapidshare and Megaupload which was recently shut down in the largest operation of its kind.

The company itself was designed as a way of users being able to store their own personal content and share files with their friends and families across the world. However users had abused this power and were using it to upload illegal music files. Megaupload knew what was going on but continued to allow this to happen which resulted in the entire company being arrested and money worth $50 million being seized including large amounts of cars and guns. The illegal music and film industry is a huge burden on the legitimate companies that work so hard to make money from their craft and through sales. Although the world of illegal downloading is a huge problem it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t go anywhere as far as the other dangerous things that occur online. For example, religious extremism is well

known on the internet with websites preaching hate being set up all of the time. These are very dangerous websites as anybody can access them and potentially be brainwashed over the course of their time online. Online grooming is another massive area which has constantly been in the news. The trouble with the internet is that you have no identity, nobody knows who you are and young, defenceless children can easily be drawn in by the fake identities that people create for themselves online. Identity theft is something else that has become an ever increasing problem. With people entering more and more of their personal information online, it opens up the possibility of hackers gaining access to your personal data which would include your credit card details, bank accounts and your address. The hacking group Anonymous is one of the most formidable hacking groups in the world today. They have groups set up all over the world and have the ability to take down near enough any major website they can get through. In recent times they have managed to shut down the CIA, FBI, the Whitehouse, Universal Music and they have also hacked into the Syrian Presidents personal email address. 75




Arguably one of the most well known issues that comes from the internet is online piracy. This includes anything from downloading music and films to entire software packages. According to a survey, in 2008 more than 40 billion songs were downloaded illegally, which makes up a staggering 95% of all legitimate sales of downloaded music. This works out at around $48 billion in lost sales towards the music industry which is a huge burden to struggling artists. It is difficult to find someone who can honestly say they have never downloaded anything illegally.

But is it their fault? After some personal research I found that Google is a key player in the world of illegal downloading, whether that is accidently, we can’t be sure. For example if I search ‘Ed Sheeran +’ the first thing that Google flags up in their predictive search is ‘Ed Sheeran + Zip’ and ‘Ed Sheeran + free’. If you are fairly ignorant to how the internet works then why wouldn’t you click a link that takes you to a safe website with a free download?

There are a number of websites that offer free downloads which don’t just include music but pretty much any digital file you could think of. The big names in the online piracy world include Mediafire, Filesonic, RapidShare and Megaupload. Because these websites promote themselves as places to share your files with friends, family and business partners. The emphasis being on ‘your files’, obviously many people abuse this right and begin to upload files which are copyrighted. These companies know that people are using their service to share illegal files yet still they continue to allow people to use it this way. One of the companies that allowed people to use it illegally for too long was potentially the biggest of all, Megaupload. After many weeks and months of investigations the FBI finally shut it down and took the company worth $175million offline permanently and seized assets worth in estimation about $50million. It seems like the world of illegal downloading definitely pays 78

well when you’re on the winning side of it. However for the legitimate film makers and musicians it hurts them. In recent times there have been several different acts that the government have tried to pass to prevent the amount of illegal copyright infringement that happens on the internet. These include the Stop Online Piracy Act (sopa) and the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement(acta). Both of these acts have been hugely protested against as even though it would prevent illegal downloading it would also have a serious affect on people who use these websites legitimately. When, with the help of one of these acts, Megaupload was shut down it began another online battle between hacking giants Anonymous and the government and any other big company that stood against what they wanted. Which will be discussed shortly.







possible for people to discuss sensitive subjects, such as medical conditions, physical abuse and sexual orientation, without these actions affecting their everyday lives in a negative or potentially harmful way. There are many positive ways to use anonymity on the web, but there can sometimes be very destructive side effects too, such as bullying, racism, accountability, impersonation of an individual or individuals, even stock market manipulation. These are all bi-products of a digital world occupied by anonymous individuals who believe they are unidentifiable. When this kind of damaging activity is carried out online, how can the offender ever be held accountable for their actions when they are almost entirely untraceable in a virtual world? A lot of the time they simply cannot be identified and therefor cannot be held accountable. The offending individual hides behind a pseudonym, masking his or her true identity and protecting themselves from the repercussions of their actions. This all sounds very complicated to achieve, but in reality it’s as simple as setting up an email address, creating an online profile under a false name and carrying out malicious acts from a random, nondescript location.

Ever since its creation over forty years ago, the Internet has remained a predominantly unrestricted place. It is a place where anyone can present themselves in any form they choose, but what happens when your digital identity begins to merge with your real-world identity? Are those who choose to hide their real names in danger of losing anonymity online?

Such is the power of anonymity on the web, that it has made it possible for people – some of whom might normally be restricted from communicating with the outside world – to speak out without fearing the repercussions of their actions. Actions that could put them in danger if carried out using their real names. Concealing one’s true identity online has made it possible for free speech to break through the physical barriers enforced by governments and dictatorships across the world, as we have seen recently in places like Libya, Egypt and Iran. Being anonymous on the web also makes it

Thankfully, things are starting to change. The rise of identity-centric social networks like Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn, make it increasingly more difficult to live an anonymous life on the Internet. These platforms are inherently social and rely on you, as a user, to establish a network of friends and acquaintances. This effectively creates an online version of your real life that relies on your true identity in order to function. There are still services like Twitter, where users often juggle multiple accounts, but this has led to an ever increasing quantity of spam content that will likely be the nail in the coffin for Twitter and its contemporaries in years to come. There are so many false identities used on these services that they no longer serve their original purpose. The emergence of single sign-on plugins, such as ‘Facebook Connect’, have rapidly increased the adoption of real world identities across the web. They enable users to auto-fill profile and registration form details on third-party web sites by securely linking to their verified Facebook profile information. This means users 82

no longer need to memorise dozens of user names and passwords, whilst increasing the use of their real identities at the same time. Rather than opting to start a new profile from scratch and potentially register under a pseudonym, it is now faster and more convenient to simply signup via Facebook Connect instead. We are already beginning to see positive side effects due to these new levels of transparency. Bullying, offensive comments and other forms of abuse are becoming less widespread now that people are no longer able to hide behind a mask. Offenders are often discouraged when they are no longer anonymous, so the benefits are immediately obvious. Not quite so obvious however, are the negative side effects that can occur when your personal history collides with your online identity. If you have lived a squeaky clean life, both on and offline, then chances are you have nothing to worry about when using your real identity on the web, but what happens when you have a confidential history, criminal conviction, or have been impersonated by someone who has subsequently tainted your reputation? In an online world that never forgets anything, can we ever be forgiven for our mistakes, or will they follow us around forever like a trail of digital breadcrumbs? The Internet is a place where everything is indexed, archived and often publicly available. A mistake made during a person’s rebellious teenage years could permanently tarnish his or her online records for the rest of their lives, regardless of how much time has past. We’ve all heard stories of employers screening job applicants via Google and Facebook. Would it be unfair of them to judge you by your past mistakes, exposed by a social network that remembers everything you’ve ever done? I think so. These questions are becoming increasingly more important as our identities, both on and offline, continue to merge into one. Now that our actions on the web are more public, we need to make sure we manage the personal information we publish going forward, so that we can control what others see when looking back at our online and real identities.




So how does Anonymous work?

There is not one main leader of a group but there are small groups and individual members all over the world who act under the name of the main group. However when they want to plan a larger attack, like the ones in retaliation to Megaupload, they are able to work together as a tight unit in order to make their attack as effective as possible.

As mentioned earlier, the hacking group Anonymous retaliated harshly to the shutting down of Megaupload with a ‘killing spree’ of websites. Some of the websites that were shut down including the FBI, the Whitehouse, the CIA, universal music and many other big names which were related to either SOCA or ACTA and wanted to see illegal music download sites shut down for good.

Anonymous claim that what they do isn’t for financial gain or to harm people that have done nothing wrong. Their motto is a formidable one; ‘We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us’. This should be taking with strict warning as in recent times Anonymous have claimed to have hacked into the LAPD’s computer systems and released the names, addresses and any other details, financial or not, of their Police Officers. As well as the officers they also revealed the name of all the prisoners and the dates of their releases. This goes to show what they are capable of and how dangerous they can be. 84

Future plans of attack from Anonymous could shake up the internet worse than they have ever done before. The plan is entitled, ‘Operation Global Blackout’. With the aim of shutting down Facebook’s 6,000 servers which would deem Facebook not usable by its 850 million users. As Facebook prides itself on never failing it is a huge problem for them. One of the most publicised stories of hacking in recent times has been the huge attack on the Playstation network. The attack meant that every users details were taken and for people that had spent money online, their card details were also taken meaning the hacking group could have easily spent millions of stolen pounds from innocent victims. With the ability to take near enough anybody’s card details from the internet it certainly begs the question as to whether we should be so open to enter our card details onto every website that asks for them. As Anonymous have been known to have hacked the Syrian President’s email address it makes you wonder how far they will go and how potentially dangerous their actions could be in.






as they rose up to help overthrow the ruling dictatorship.) By early 2008, Anonymous-which reportedly grew out of the anarchic 4chan imageboard website--was already pursuing online attacks as a form of nonviolent protest. By 2010, it was launching regular DDoS attacks against pro-copyright websites. But the group really came to public prominence during its defense of WikiLeaks and its charismatic--if reportedly mercurial--leader, Julian Assange. WikiLeaks, of course, came under fire from the U.S. government after the site obtained video footage from a U.S. helicopter strike in Iraq that killed two Reuters employees, as well as two children. Next, Assange began to coordinate--together with major newspapers in multiple countries--the release of hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. government cables beginning in December 2010. IN THE BEGINNING The Anonymous “hacktivist” collective, known as much for its self-branding as its anythinggoes, anti authoritarian sense of online comeuppance, first came to public attention in January 2008. The occasion was an internal Scientology video starring Tom Cruise, which had been leaked to YouTube. The church, saying that the video was copyrighted, requested that YouTube remove it. Members of Anonymous, however, took issue with that request, and as part of what it dubbed “Project Chanology,” reportedly began launching distributed denialof-service (DDoS) attacks against Scientology websites, blanketing church centers with prank phone calls and faxes, and “doxing” the church by releasing its sensitive documents into the public domain, for example via peer-to-peer networks. On January 21, 2008, a YouTube post set the template for future Anonymous proclamations. The video, in this case criticizing the Church of Scientology, includes the now-common Anonymous sign-off: “Knowledge is free. We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.” By the next month, Anonymous claimed that 7,000 people had staged protested outside of Scientology centers around the world, many of them sporting the now-famous, black-and-white Guy Fawkes mask, as worn by the protagonist of the film V for Vendetta to hide his identity. (Notably, in the film, the masses also wore it

The government-orchestrated reaction was swift. PayPal and credit-card processors MasterCard and Visa blocked payments to WikiLeaks, which relied on donations to lease server space and pay staff. There’s a short lifespan for a whistle-blowing website that can’t remain online. In response, Anonymous mobilized, unleashing its so-called Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC) tool, with which anyone could participate in Anonymous DDoS attacks by lobbing packets at designated website. From there, meanwhile, Anonymous expanded its focus, and backed by what appear to be numerous international chapters, has tackled everything from cartels in Mexico and child pornography file-sharing sites, to takedowns of Israeli government servers and U.S. law enforcement agencies. OPERATION PAYBACK Operation Payback was an effort to back WikiLeaks. But was it effective? Anonymous isn’t dedicated to knocking power grids offline, or crippling hardened military communications networks. Rather, it’s online activism in the form of a PR campaign. Notably, the group launched DDoS attacks against the websites of MasterCard and Visa, highlighting their refusal to accept donations bound for WikiLeaks. But rather than disrupting those companies’ payment networks, which would have hit their bottom lines, WikiLeaks’ supporters merely knocked the companies’ public-facing websites offline for anybody to be able to use.


The Aaron Barr Takedown One of the most fascinating chapters in Anonymous history concerned Aaron Barr, the CEO of HBGary Federal, who’d bragged about how he’d infiltrated Anonymous, and was set to reveal the identities of its key leaders. Anonymous responded by hacking into HBGary’s email server less than 24 hours later, and claimed that a 16-year-old girl had socially engineered the social-media-friendly Barr. Anonymous (including future LulzSec leader Sabu, the rumor goes) then released a slew of emails claiming that HBGary had been retained by Bank of America--on the recommendation of the Department of Justice--to help it wage an anti-WikiLeaks campaign, after the whistleblowing website claimed to have damning emails about the bank’s practices. Other emails, meanwhile, detailed secret cyber-warfare tool-building programs, as well as legally questionable activities. Barr, meanwhile, cancelled his appearance on a DefCon July 2011 panel titled “Whoever Fights Monsters: Aaron Barr, Anonymous, and Ourselves.” LULSZEC: SPAWN OF ANONYMOUS Arguably, the Anonymous hacktivist offshoot group known as LulzSec--lulz being slang for “laugh out loud,” typically at the expense of others--out-lulz’d the Anonymous collective through the audacity of its public relations campaign, combined with near-constant doxing. The group became widely known not only for its witty proclamations--delivered via


Pastebin and Twitter--and nicknames, but also for its aggressive use of ASCII art, as well as group members’ erudite handles. Authorities ultimately arrested a teenager, Jake Davis, in Scotland and charged him with being LulzSec’s PR director, Topiary; the group’s leader, Sabu, remains at large and active in with Anonymous-related operations. OPERATION LAW ENFORCEMENT While LulzSec announced its retirement, or at least the retirement of its brand name, members of the group went on to commission--and likely, participate in--a co-branded effort with Anonymous dubbed Operation AntiSec. The new effort was ostensibly devoted to taking down established information security vendors, on account of their scaremongering techniques. But practically speaking, many of the group’s exploits have involved hacking into law enforcement agencies’ websites and databases, defacing those websites, and releasing personal information on law enforcement personnel. Targets have included organizations as diverse as the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the Zimbabwean government. FAKERS DOG ANONYMOUS How do you operate an online group of hacktivists that embrace anonymity and pursue a common purpose, while preventing anyone from labeling any type of attack or data dump as being Anonymous-led? That operational--if not

existential--issue has bedeviled the group. Or, perhaps for a band devoted to online protests with heavy doses of anarchy and irony, it just enhances its profile. Notably, a Facebook porn spam attack, a file-sharing site (Anonyupload. com), and a plan to attack the New York Stock Exchange all turned out to be fake, or at least not the work of Anonymous. Ultimately, a handful of Twitter channels appear to broadcast accurate information on Anonymous operations. Anything else, however, remains more suspect. DRUG CARTEL If the various operations orchestrated by Anonymous seem filled with machismo and bluster, some apparently step over the line, even for the group’s apparently freewheeling figureheads. Notably, after the alleged disappearance of a pro-Anonymous activist in Mexico, Anonymous announced that he’d been kidnapped by the Zetas drug cartel, and Anonymous promised to publicize the name of every Zetas informer or collaborator that it could get its hands on. But warnings from security experts that any such moves might put not only Anonymous members but also Mexicans caught in the middle at risk seemed to kill the so-called “OpCartel.” ANONYMOUS IN HOLLYWOOD Is it ironic that the mask worn by Anonymous members comes from V for Vendetta, a 2005


film produced by Warner Brothers, which is part of the MPAA, which backs the type of procopyright interests that would seem to offend the beliefs of Anonymous. In fact, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each mask actually works its way back to the studio. On the other hand, even if the mask sales put a little more money in the Hollywood coffers, having a globally recognizable brand is no doubt priceless for Anonymous. MEGAUPLOAD RETALIATION When the FBI knocked file-sharing site Megaupload offline for allegedly infringing copyright laws and building a criminal enterprise that helped its eccentric founder, Kim Dotcom, book profits of $175 million, it didn’t take Anonymous long to register its disproval. A statement from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) lauding the takedown probably just fanned the flames, as Anonymous members joined together, allegedly knocking the websites of the Department of Justice, FBI, Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the RIAA, and Universal Music Group offline.


Online privacy is something that has become a huge issue which affects nearly every online user. Some of the biggest companies in the world rely on what you put on the internet. If you search something on Google, they know what you are looking at, they can direct adverts to you as an individual user. Whereas before, adverts might be aimed at a wider target audience in recent times companies can advertise to the people that are actually interested and don’t just happen to fall into the typical age group.

One of the biggest companies that use this data to help advertising is Facebook. Something as simple as the ‘like’ button is all it takes for them to create an individual profile on every user they have. You’ve probably already noticed it happening as you browse the internet. Have you been talking about a certain mobile phone or clothing company? Then you might have noticed adverts appearing that seem to fit perfectly to what you want. If you go on Amazon or Ebay and search for something, maybe a new TV or a pair of headphones. Go to any website that has adverts on the side and you might just notice that exact same item being advertised to you from a range of companies. It is just a way that companies are ensuring the money spent on advertising isn’t merely wasted, but it actually has a purpose.


There are a range of ways that the privacy of users can be used against each individual user. For example malicious software and spyware are often used as a way of phishing in order to gain user information from their computers. The types of things that can be taken from their computers includes user names, passwords, credit card details and bank account numbers. Social Media sites have constantly been under pressure by government action to increase their privacy levels in order to make it easier for people to create more anonymity for themselves. Recently Facebook came under fire for having around 7.5 million online users which are under the age of 13, which clearly goes against the terms and conditions of the company. They also had an update which meant that the user’s privacy settings were reset to a minimal setting allowing for anybody to view any users full photo’s and information. People put so much information online but sometimes seem to forget about who sees it. In a recent study, it was found that many employers will search the potential employees name on Facebook to see what they’re talking about or what kind of photos they are uploading. An employer can now judge you on your online presence before ever actually meeting you.








messaging and social media being a brilliant method of getting news, especially during the London Riots. Another method that social media was used at the time of the riots was with BlackBerry Messenger (bbm) as this software is used only with BlackBerry users and the only way to access messages is to be added to that persons contacts it made talking about the riots a fairly private thing. It is known now how young people were using this service to arrange times and places for meeting up with each other and to inevitably cause further destruction. As well as instant

Because of its strict privacy issues it became extremely difficult for the police to track the movements of the rioters and after some considerable persuasion from the police Blackberry took down this service in an attempt to prevent further groups appearing around the country. Obviously Blackberry never intended for this service to be abused by itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s users but it took far too long for them to come to the decision to shut down the service. This seems to be a recurring theme throughout when looking at the negatives that come from the internet. The way people abuse what is given to them is what allows for these incidents to occur. If people were to use the technology in itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s intended format then it wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be an issue however it seems that people cannot help themselves when it comes to using the internet how they want to use it. 94


In October 1985, on the Broadwater Farm estate in Tottenham where the death of Cynthia Jarrett sparked riots that culminated in the brutal murder of PC Keith Blakelock, a community leader stood on his chair at a packed open-air meeting. The man bellowed into a megaphone to the 150 residents in front of him: “You tell them that it’s a life for a life from now on. This is war.”

Over whoops and cheers from the residents, he turned to a huddle of police officers standing 50 yards away and warned: “I hope you’re listening. There is no way I am going to condemn the actions of the youth on Sunday night.” Twenty six years later, police officers are still listening – but the megaphones and open-air meetings have been largely replaced. This weekend’s north London riots, the Daily Mail announced on Monday, were “fuelled by social media”.


But is this necessarily the case?

Certainly, the first online gathering of people mourning – and soon vowing to avenge – the death of Tottenham resident Mark Duggan took place on Facebook. Some of those behind the page, which now boasts more than 7,500 fans, launched into action shortly before 10.30pm on Saturday evening – more than five hours after the first public show of protest, outside the police station on Tottenham High Road. At 10.45pm, when rioters set a double decker bus alight, the page posted: “Please upload any pictures or video’s you may have from tonight in Tottenham. Share it with people to send the message out as to why this has blown into a riot.” However, otherwise, if there was any sign that a peaceful protest would escalate, it wasn’t to be found on Facebook. Twitter was slightly more indicative: tweets about an attempt to target Sunday’s Hackney Carnival were spotted by police and the event was abruptly cancelled. Scotland Yard warned on Monday afternoon

Just got the word that boys are making way to #croydon, make it happen boys! Burn the place to the ground #Lewisham #Hackney #londonriots




that those “inciting violence” on the 140-character social network would not go unpunished. Deputy assistant commissioner Stephen Kavanagh confirmed that officers were looking at the website as part of investigations into widespread looting and rioting. However, the most powerful and up-to-theminute rallying appears to have taken place on a more covert social network: BlackBerry Messenger (BBM). Using BlackBerry handsets – the smartphone of choice for the majority (37%) of British teens, according to last week’s Ofcom study – BBM allows users to send oneto-many messages to their network of contacts, who are connected by “BBM PINs”. For many teens armed with a BlackBerry, BBM has replaced text messaging because it is free, instant and more part of a much larger community than regular SMS.

might be surprised to read about “Twitterorganised chaos”. Why BlackBerry Messenger was rioters’

The free, secure BBM service was an easy way to share information on where riots were and what police were doing.

communication method of choice.

Hours after the riots in Tottenham on Saturday 6 August had finally abated and London’s streets had returned to relative calm, a message pinged out, first on to a few phones, then dozens, then hundreds if not thousands across north London. “Everyone in edmonton enfield wood green

And unlike Twitter or Facebook, many BBM messages are untraceable by the authorities (which is why, in large part, BBM is so favoured by Emirati teens to spread illicit gossip about officialdom). One BBM broadcast sent on Sunday, which has been shown to the Guardian by multiple sources, calls on “everyone from all sides of London” to vandalise shops on Oxford street. It said: “Everyone from all sides of London meet up at the heart of London (central) oxford circus!!, Bare shops are gonna get smashed up so come get some (free stuff!!!) fuck the feds we will send them back with our riot! >:O Dead the ends and colour war for now so if you see a brother... salut! if you see a fed... shoot!” Another sent shortly before the outbreak of violence in Enfield on Sunday afternoon reads: “Everyone in edmonton enfield wood green everywhere in north link up at enfield town station at 4 o clock sharp!”. Jenny Jones, the former deputy mayor of London, blamed an under-resourced force for missing the tweets and the status updates. “It’s quite possible if they had more resources they could have picked up on this,” she said. But maybe they were looking in the wrong place. Just as Tottenham residents in 1985 lambasted the media for scaremongering about protesters – the Daily Express suggested some had been trained in Russia – today’s rioters

swapped a pin, they can share messages as often as they like, and at the touch of a button send a broadcast (or “ping”) to everyone on their contact list. This extraordinarily efficient – and secure – communications network was a key tool for many who took part in England’s riots, as an easy way to share information on where other looters were, safe routes home, and what the police were doing. While the government debated whether to shut down Twitter, or prosecute Facebook users, it was BBM that was actually playing a substantive role in the riots, according to those who took part. One ex-gang member received her first piece of information on the riots while sat behind the wheel of her family car. “BlackBerry. Nothing but BlackBerry,” the 22-year-old mother explained. “No one was on their computer, everyone was on their phones. BlackBerry’s how we knew what – everything was happening.” She explained how she and others like her from economically deprived communities across England were able to afford a handset once limited to business people. She doesn’t have a monthly phone contract, but thanks to BlackBerry she can own a smartphone on pay-as-you-go. “I pay £5 [monthly] then I get to use it [BlackBerry] for a month. I can go on the internet as well, for a fiver. That’s why on everyone’s phones, pictures were being sent around, so much stuff, you know.” Being able to keep up with friends 24 hours a day for only £5 a month and the low cost of a handset were major draws for many people interviewed by Reading the Riots researchers, especially as many were from families on low incomes. The cheap price of the new Curve handset helped, too: a new Blackberry Curve 8520 handset without a contract can cost £110, versus £426 for the high-end BlackBerry Bold or £480 for the iPhone 4S. Furthermore, on the black market a Curve 8520 will on average cost £60; according to one participant in the August riots this price can drop to as low as £40.

everywhere in north link up at enfield town station at 4 o clock sharp!!!!,” it began. “Start leaving ur yards n linking up with your niggas. Fuck da feds, bring your ballys and your bags trollys, cars vans, hammers the lot!!” The message was sent through the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) network: a free mobile phone messaging service open to anyone with a BlackBerry smartphone. Once users have 97

The low price of BBM was one draw to the predominantly young rioters who used the handsets for everyday communication anyway – but the network came with other advantages too. “BBM jumped in with this quick, free service when network providers were still charging 10p per text message; the only drawback was the service was exclusive to BlackBerry handsets, and so of course everyone had to get one,” explains the social media consultant Tara





Jane Seton. Many young people did: Ofcom statistics confirm BlackBerry was the favoured smartphone of teenagers, cornering 37% of the youth market (44% for teenage girls). The same report shows how important instant messaging is for the group: 72% of teenagers use smartphones for instant messaging – often never even touching web services or other social networks. “I don’t know about Twitter and Facebook, neither do I have an account with them,” says a former supermarket worker who took part in looting a branch of Carphone Warehouse. “All I know is that the BlackBerry was enough to give me enough information, or tell me at the time, of what was going on, where to stay wary of and what sort of things were targeted.” The pattern of BBM usage appears consistent across the England riots, although London seems to have had the highest penetration. BBM was used by some rioters interviewed in all the towns covered by the research project, but its use was higher in London. Anecdotal evidence suggests this is partly due to a lower average age among interviewees in London, but there are suggestions that BlackBerry’s popularity among young black people, through the urban music scene, could also explain the trend. BlackBerry has been an urban icon since 2008, particularly on the underground funky house scene, where a series of songs have been produced about the handset – including one from the veteran garage emcee Maxwell D, BB Hype. Maxwell D, a founding emcee of the pioneer garage crew Pay as You Go, said: “Every poor youth in the ghetto has a BlackBerry. It was just a common thing: you buy a BlackBerry and you’re on a BlackBerry hype [following the trend]. It became fashionable; everybody had to have it … When I go to a dance I ask who has a BlackBerry and everyone will just take out their phone.” He added: “The main thing about the phone that everybody was gassed [excited] about was BBM – that was the main feature. It’s just become the normal way to communicate … Everyone has BlackBerry for BBM period – BlackBerry is not a status phone; it is the cheapest way to communicate. It’s the best social networking phone out there.’’ Broadcasting on BBM was particularly effective in organising people on the streets and identifying targets with – as one rioter put it – “military precision”. The “broadcast” feature

allows users to instantly send the same piece of information to all their contacts, sometimes running into the hundreds. On the morning of Monday 8 August – the day of the most intense rioting in the capital – many Londoners awoke to find BBM messages providing a roadmap for the impending

disorder. Hackney was scheduled to begin at 5pm; Peckham, 6pm; Clapham, 9pm. As the night progressed, there were live updates, many of which encouraged people to head to Croydon and Ealing, which suffered the worst disturbances. Some rioters even set up riot supply stalls using BBM broadcasts, according to one participant: “I got a broadcast from Birmingham: ‘Ah, who wants to buy rioting kits?’” he said. “Gloves, masks, petrol bombs: £5. I was like: ‘wow’.” BBM broadcasts were also used by Tottenham residents to share information about the circumstances surrounding the death of Mark Duggan, the event that sparked the initial riots in the area that eventually spread across the nation. These broadcasts detailed mistrust in the police and the IPCC over Duggan’s death. “At first people were sending around broadcasts about Mark Duggan, ‘cos I knew a couple of people that knew Mark Duggan, so they were sending broadcasts saying ‘he was a good person’, ‘he’s innocent’,” said one person who took part in Saturday’s protest. “After a couple of days into the riots, people were sending messages saying, basically saying ‘fuck the police’, ‘get your 100

bandanas, meet up at a certain particular point, tube station, or whatever, at a particular time, and we’ll go and riot in a certain area that hasn’t been touched yet.’” One real advantage of the BBM network for rioters – and also for Arab spring activists in the Middle East – is the network’s security. Unlike Twitter, where messages are usually public, and Facebook – whose privacy settings are not used properly by many users and which for technical reasons is easier for authorities to access at a later date – BBMs are private to recipients and encrypted during transmission, a fact of which many rioters were aware. “A friend explained to me that they’re closed servers and no police or anyone can monitor them,” said one 23-year-old from Newham. “Because it’s not open, it’s not a public server so no one can know, they can’t track them; like if you put it on Facebook anyone can see that, the police can see that and stop it straight away.” Not all rioters thought this way, however; some threw their BlackBerrys away after the riots for fear of being incriminated. The presence of encrypted, hard-to-track but easy-to-use communication devices in the hands of thousands of young people prone to riot was the result of a series of unintended consequences, according to one legal expert. “BBM’s security measures weren’t designed to circumvent the authorities – it’s the result of two unintended effects. BlackBerry’s original key market was not teenagers, it was business users, for whom security is crucial as they transmit confidential information,” said Mike Conradi, a partner at DLA Piper. “Since then, young people have taken to it in droves as it is cheaper and has more functionality than texting. These rioters weren’t using BBM because they thought it was secure, they were using is because it’s what they use every day.” Conradi also suggested authorities and BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) alike might find the current situation – unintentional or otherwise – difficult to alter, owing to the legal protections all BBM users are entitled to. “It’s legally questionable whether RIM could take any action to monitor BBM messages,” he said. “It would be unlawful for RIM to identify users sending such material without appropriate authorisation from police or the courts, as this would involve searching users’ messages. So, oddly, RIM could face more legal issues if it tried to take action than if it does not.”






IMAGE SOURCE: FOREXSTOCKMARKETHOURS.COM Our financial dependence on technology is a dangerous thing that can affect us all in one way or another. In 1929 in one of the biggest Wall Street crashes ever, new technology was to be the downfall. In the beginning, investors saw new technological advances as a sure way of gaining a healthy profit, with the emergence of radios, telephones and power grids being built sparking new employment prospects and room for financial gain.

In 1929, on Black Tuesday, the average stock market price fell by 12.8% . Due to the panic this caused, people flooded the telephone lines and the systems and telegraphs were completely to capacity which caused them crash as they were unable to cope. It appeared as though the new technology that investors had favoured so much previously was now, unintentionally, being used to make the situation worse as the panic struck. Black Tuesday was seen as a day of chaos in which investors flooded the exchange 103

with frantic calls and orders to sell as the price was dropping so drastically. The technology of the new era was now being used against the investors as the difficulties increased. Technology certainly has an impact on a financial level as new technology favours investors as they see something develop and potentially turn into a big money maker. We can see how technology in the financial sector can affect the stock market by looking at the game retailer, GAME. With the increased sales of online purchases and downloadable games, in store retailers found it difficult to keep up with the way technology was moving and therefore found themselves dropping off of the stock market extremely quickly. GAME themselves blamed it on the lack of new gaming consoles being released on the fall of the company.





dependence on technology it is impossible to ignore our dangerous dependence on technology within the military and aircraft control. The military relies extremely heavily on sensory equipment that prevents potential danger to a country or army base. Although these technologies are fantastic in preventing attacks, there is obviously the potential for huge downfalls. With cyber warfare, the danger of attacks to computer software is becoming ever more prominent. It is already happening in Korea where satellite jammers are being installed to prevent other countries from knowing what their missile launch plans are.

was nothing less than complete panic. As the technology on the planes connected to the control towers allowed for the officers to see specific speed, angles and heights of the planes, it also meant that when something was turned off all this information was lost.

Other situations where we can see how technology and our dependence on it was dangerous was during the terrible events in American during 9/11. With air traffic controllers patrolling and watching every plane in the sky, when something went wrong there

Is our dependence on technology more of a danger than a positive? Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not sure it is that much of a definitive answer. There is the potential for all of these technologies to end in disaster but with more progressed technologies comes more developed ways of damaging these

When looking at our

With a simple procedure of disconnecting the system, the air traffic control had no way of knowing what the hijacked planes were doing. Due to the complete reliance on technology during this time, the air traffic controllers were oblivious as to what was happening and did not have a way of preventing what was about to happen.


and getting into the working hardware of these so called preventative pieces of technology. I believe that our over reliance on technology is both dangerous on an individual scale and to that, that covers areas and industries that are there to protect entire countries. Clearly these technologies can be fantastic in ensuring the safety of civilians, for example in the military there are pieces of technology that are there to detect the enemy and stationary explosives. These pieces of technology are depended upon by the military in order to keep them protected and safe, but again, once satellite jammers are put in place; these pieces of equipment would become redundant. But is our dependence becoming too dangerous and will it eventually become our downfall? With every new piece of technology comes another way that it can be used against us.


to reach many power plants all over the world. What is so dangerous about this virus is that what it is capable of is complete destruction. Although the security on a power plant is one of the highest known, the Stuxnet virus is able to stay dormant until it finds one of the few seconds where the security is down for resetting. The virus can then get inside the system and turn up the heat on the reactor to it’s fullest and the most dangerous thing of all is that the computers will say that everything is fine. This virus is readily available to download online and be altered by any would be hacker. In 2009 the United States discovered that both China and Russia had managed to get into their electrical power grid and had left behind software that has the ability to potentially damage the system.

term Cyber Warfare is used in circumstances where hacking is used due to political motivation to sabotage. In some instances the warfare refers to the act of getting secrets which are classified from other groups, whether that by rivals, enemies, competitors in a similar market, military and political.


The attacks that revolve around the military are committed when computers and satellites are used due to the danger of their equipment being interrupted. Other large scale factors that can be affected include fuel, power, communication, electric and water. Anything that is connected to some type of computer has the potential of being attacked by malicious software. The biggest piece of software that has the potential of shutting down entire power grids, train station, stock markets and even nuclear reactors is called Stuxnet.

Cyberwarfare is an increasing problem and according to one of the biggest internet security companies, McAfee, there are 120 countries who have invested money into developing new methods of using the internet as a potential weapon with the targets being the financial sectors and government computers and systems. According to the United States Joint Forces Command ‘Cyberspace technology is emerging as an instrument of power...who may use it to attack, degrade and disrupt communications and the flow of information’. To prevent any serious attacks on America, the President has the power to use a ‘Kill Switch;. This bill allows the President to have emergency powers over certain parts of the internet if an attack is imminent to shut the internet down so that nothing can get in or out. One of the biggest attacks in Cyberwarfare came in July 2011 when the South Korean Communications company was hacked which allowed for the personal details of 35 million people to be stolen. Although we are yet to see a life changing attack on the way we live due to Cyberwarfare, with the emerging development of Stuxnet and the fact it could so easily fall into dangerous hands, it’s never felt so imminent.

In July 2010 it was discovered to have infected computers in factories and had then managed 107





If technology was to be taken away from us in it’s entirety, how would we cope? Would we be able to go through our lives like normal or would we find it almost impossible to get anything done. I for one would notice a huge difference in how I have to go through my day. For example, how many people use their mobile phones as an alarm clock in the morning, I for one have never used an actual alarm clock since getting a mobile phone. The ability to set multiple alarms and ‘snooze’ settings has a much looser system which we can all relate to.

Huge amounts of computer software which has become available for free, to some extent, has turned even the most technophobic person into a savvy computer user. Spending time on the computer has become for me, something that I do instinctively. To turn the computer on and spend an excessive amount of time on it is now the norm for me. Most of the things I do revolve around technology, for example the social networking I am involved in, the online gaming and the work I produce relies entirely on the technology that is open to me.

The next thing which we would notice is taken away from us is that our mobile phones would be taken away from us. No more news on your fingertips, gone would be the days where we would immediately know when something happened and essentially I imagine we would feel completely disconnected from the world. Having been so used to being able to phone somebody or send a text message from wherever you are it is understandable that this would be a huge change in our lives. We would be forced then to use landline telephones or to go back to the old style phone boxes. I think this might be one of the biggest changes to people’s lifestyles as it has almost become a necessity to own a mobile phone.

We definitely take technology for granted and as soon as it does stop working, we immediately blame it. We never take into consideration the intricate process and details that go into something we use on a daily basis and whether we are pushing the technology beyond it’s capabilities. Countless times I have opened too many programmes at once and near enough over heated my computer to the point where it crashes. Only recently, after researching, did I stop blaming the computer itself and realising that sometimes the technology does not advance as quick as you want it to. We are always wanting more.

Another thing that would hugely affect us is if the technology of computers was removed. With nearly 90% of all homes known to own at least one computer it is clear that to own a computer has almost become an essential item to have. With the endless abilities that the computer has to offer it is understandable to see why we have grown so attached to them. 110

I want to look at groups of people who don’t use technology, who wouldn’t be affected by the loss of it. There are groups, albeit rather small amounts, of people who don’t own mobile phones or computers. These include some elderly people and those living in third world countries, which will be discussed on the following pages.








IMAGE SOURCE: UPMC.COM Technology has allowed for huge advancements in the medical field with some people depending on it to go about their day to day lives. The easiest way to look at it is as technology being a working bodily extension. In the simplest sense, technology being something that the body relies on. Arguably the most well known case of this is with the scientist, Stephen Hawking. Hawking has a motor neurone disease which he was diagnosed with at only 21, he was told the life span of someone with his specific disease would be no more than 10 years. However Hawking has now lived past 70, an astonishing feat for someone with this disease.

Without the help of technology, it is unknown whether he would have had the strength to live so long. With Hawkingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s disease, he is completely paralysed with the only part of his body with movement being one of his cheeks. The technology that was created for him so 114

that using only the minimal nerves available he can communicate with people which allows for him to still remain one of the most prolific scientists in the world today. Another great piece of technology that has allowed for people to live longer and in some cases rely on is the pacemaker. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s main purpose is to use electrical impulses which are delivered to the heart, to help regulate the beat of the heart for people that have irregular heart beats. The only real downfall of having a pacemaker is that there are some lifestyle changes that would need to be made. For example contact sports would need to be stopped, a variation of a seat belt would need to be used in order to reduce strain on the heart and the magnets in headphones have been reported to cause interference which could affect the way a pacemaker works.






Tempt One is a graffiti artist who suffered from the same disease that Stephen Hawking did, Tempt One was diagnosed much later but it had the same affect in the sense that he is now paralysed from the neck down with the only available movement being through his eyes. As his former career was produced by movement through painting and design the companies, Free Art & Technology Lab, Graffiti Lab and Open Frameworks team engineered and developed a software called The EyeWriter.

This fairly simple piece of technology follows the movement of the eye and allows for Tempt One to draw graffiti virtually and then for a separate piece of robotics to transfer the drawing to an actual painted piece. Although this piece of technology does not keep him alive it does give him a purpose to want to live. If technology can give someone with such a life altering disease a reason to live then I feel that technology can definitely help the way that we live in a more general sense. Technology is a brilliant tool that when utilised in a positive way can do great things that can give people a new lease of life when they wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have normally been able to due to the circumstances they may be living in. Tempt One is an ideal example of how technology can help you do what you love best even if you physically canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. 117








IMAGE SOURCE: RUNNICKRUN.ORG Prosthetic limbs are another brilliant piece of technology that has allowed for people to live their lives to a more normal level. The growth in technology of prosthetic limbs has meant that people that have required amputations do not need to live a life spent in a wheelchair or without the ability to do such simple tasks of picking things up. We have seen many stories of injured servicemen who have had limbs removed to then be able to walk or run marathons thanks to the brilliant prosthetic limbs that have been given to them. These are another clear example of how technology can work as a functioning bodily extension that offers people a whole new lease of life when they feel that everything has been taken away from them.

Other ways that prosthetic limbs have been used for a great purpose is for those who intend to race in the paralympics. Special prosthetic legs that have a bend in them which 122

allows for people without any legs to run have been produced with the strength to carry a grown man. These specially designed limbs give people who would have never been able to walk again, to be able to compete amongst some of the best in the world. Prosthetic limbs are something which has been in continuous development to help sufferers feel more â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;normalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; after injury or illness. One day it will be possible for the user to control the arm by just thinking about it without the need for motors and hydraulics, but this will be discussed later. When you get a chance to see how technology has helped shape peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lives it is clear to see how the positives can out weight the negative aspects in the argument. You could argue that it is the technology that caused the injuries of the servicemen, but you cannot doubt that the technology has helped them get through it.




The X-Ray, CAT scan and MRI scan have been one of the greatest medical technological advancements that we have ever seen. With the ability to not only prevent potential problems within the body but also to help doctors see what is wrong in regards to a fracture, the X-Ray machine has been a huge help within the medical field. When somebody feels as though they have injured themselves the doctors can now look specifically into the area and address the situation. By seeing the broken bones the doctor can pin point the injury and decide on the best possible solution to the problem at hand.

Other ways in which X-Rays have been used to great medical advancements is with the MRI scans that allow for doctors to see what is wrong with a patient on a more biological level in regards to seeing diseased organs for example. Without technological advancements such as these, diseases could easily go unnoticed for far too long which could result 124

in the patient being undiagnosed inevitably ending badly. Other ways that X-Rays are used away from medical usage is in the security field. In airports and post depots items are scanned to see whether illegal and often dangerous items are being smuggled into the country. And in airports, the scanning of people before flights have been implemented as a way of increasing security measures. Technology is definitely a dominant factor in the development within the medical sector that allows for doctors to prescribe and see symptoms of patients much quicker than in previous times. X-Rays are certainly a preventative tool in both the security and medical fields and their main tool is to keep people safe. Whether there is a dependence on them is debatable to the different uses.










According to the UK communications Watchdog Ofcom, older people are still feeling excluded from digital life and the industry needs to look into making it more accessible for them. In a survey, over 75% of elderly people did not know what the mobile technology 3G was and could not explain what it did. As technology develops faster and faster it is understandable that elderly people feel like it just simply rushes past them.

Another reason for the elderly feeling like the technology is not accessible is due to the prices of the items which are still too high according to Ofcomâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Consumer Panel. Another term that elderly people were not aware of was, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC; digital switchoverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; , with less than a third of people knowing what it actually meant. Even though some of the elderly people were interested in keeping up with the developments of technology, 20% of people questioned. As with growing old, deteriorating symptoms become more inevitable. Twice as many people with disabilities have said they found the use of mobile phones extremely difficult. Elderly people should still have the right to be able to use the technology which so many people take for granted. However it seems as though the industry are not taken this into consideration.


Speaking from personal experience I know how difficult elderly people find it to grasp and the technology. I was once playing a video game and my grandparents could not distinguish whether it was real life or a virtual reality. The technology has changed so quickly that it is hard for the elderly to keep up. Imagine never using a mobile phone or a computer and within ten years you see the birth of the tablet computers, 3D video games and high definition hand held video cameras. It is understandable how frustrating not being able to get to grips with the technology must be. If we cannot use a piece of technology immediately we become annoyed by it or angry. The feeling of not even understanding how something would be used or even understanding the concept behind it is an alien thought for myself because as far as I can remember, some form of technology has always been available, whether that be a personal computer or the original gameboy hand held console.


In western society we take the internet for granted every day, never questioning or complaining until something goes wrong. If the internet is slower than usual we are quick to be annoyed however in Africa only 4 out of 100 people actually use the internet at all, with only 1% the country receiving broadband. In Africa the amount of technology is extremely limited compared to what the majority of the rest of the world receives. Before we are quick to complain to our internet providers that at certain times of the day the internet is running slower, we should take into consideration the fact that some people are not even connected.

I can barely imagine a world without the internet, but for some people it is simply the norm. People coped without the internet before, is it still possible to manage without it? There are known tribes who live without technology and have not taken on board the way which the majority of the rest of the world lives. Whether they live a more pleasurable life is not known but the fact that these tribes are still around today goes to show how technology does not shape the way the entire world lives. 129







Some groups of people choose to live

without technology as their way of life. Amish people have been known as simple living and plain dressing people who choose not to adopt modern technologies and live a lifestyle that is best suited to much older times. There are approximately 250,000 people who live under the Amish way of life and the numbers are surprisingly rising quite dramatically, as in 2008 there were 210,000 members. They are a very religious group of people with members being baptised at around 16 - 18 and once this has happened they must only marry once and it must be within the Amish faith. They live a lifestyle that revolves around hard work and family. Work generally takes place on a farm which may involve duties to the crops or building. Education has been an issue within the group as they believe the children do not need to be educated past the eighth grade as they feel up to that age they have learnt all they

need. In more recent times, some members of the Amish community have begun to adopt a more modern way of life. Issues such as taxes, education, law and technology have all been things that have affected their ‘simpler’ way of life but it just goes to show how much of an impact technology has, that it is able to affect a group of people who actually choose to not use it. Amish people do not hate technology, they simply feel that it is not an essential way of life. However there are aspects which they have adopted, for example lightbulbs are used sparingly and electric fences are used to keep cattle at bay. Technology that is used purely for pleasure, such as television or film is not allowed and other rules include no use of cars, wrist watches or unnecessary lighting. You certainly wouldn’t see the Amish people using social media any time soon. 132






I Robot represented the frightening world where we rely primarily on robots to cater for our every needs. However after a malfunction in the system of the computers, they begin to turn on their owners and act as a serious danger towards the public. Obviously this is a clear exaggeration on what could potentially happen but the message it shows is how dangerous our dependance on technology can be.

IMAGE SOURCE: FANPOP.COM Film and Cinema has always been a place

for people to predict and come up with technologies that would simply not exist in the real world. The art of cinema is that there are no limitations to what they can imagine. The main difference being that in cinema, they do not need to worry about the designing or how it works, as long as it is explained in the film, it can work. There have been countless films that have represented technology over the years and it is interesting to see the things that the film makers have come up with. For example, the film Fifth Element showed flying cars for one of the first times in cinema. For years the site of flying cars has been something that has been seen in cinema however it’s something which has never been realised. Other films which have shown extreme cases of technology include I Robot, Tron Legacy and Avatar.



The film Avatar which brought in over a billion dollars making it one of the biggest earners of all time played on the idea of an extended reality to our every day lives. With a technology that allows for it’s users to put themselves into the mind of another lifeform. All of these ideas are hugely engaging from a film goers point of view however the reality of them actually being implemented is far from being realised. Other films that use technology as the basis for the key story line are WarGames, which focused on the hacking of US military computers highlighted the dangers of computer hackers a long time before it became such a severe military issue. The Bourne Identity Series and most recently the new film in the Die Hard franchise has used technology to determine the ‘bad guys’ in the film. In a world where online security is at it’s weakest the film industry has realised this as it’s something which we can relate to more than other potential threats. Just like the industry has to keep up to date with what new technology is available, the film industry needs to relate to what is happening in the real world just as much.



Even though the film industry does invent

technologies that will never be realised, they sometimes do get it right. For example, if we look at the film, The Island, one of the main pieces of technology that they used was that of the interactive desktop computer. This piece of technology was unheard of and to people watching it, it seemed modern and quirky. Only a matter of years later we saw the birth of the ipad, the best selling tablet on the market today. And after one tablet was introduced, it started the ball rolling for a range of other companies to start manufacturing more hand held devices like those seen in The Island in 2005. Other examples of films that have predicted the future of our world is in films like War Games and Die Hard which looked at the way in which hacking can cause the inevitable destruction of entire companies and cities. War Games came worryingly close to the future in the way that viruses like Stuxnet have the ability to cause extreme acts of terrorism.

The TV series Knight rider was also years infront of what technology had to offer. Although exaggerated in the sense that the car was voice activated and could communicate with the users. There are cars available on the market today that do use voice recognition to activate them. The same technology can be seen in recent mobile phone devices that use face and voice recognition to unlock them or even start applications. Another piece of technology that was unheard of at the time of release of the programme it was featured in is the mobile phone. In Star Trek the members of the space ship enterprise communicated using what appears to be ‘flip phones’, something which became extremely popular around 2005-2006. It’s not clear whether companies took direct influence from movies but an example of where it is clear is with the toy, Furbie. This interactive toy was directly based on the film; Gremlins’ which centred around a small toy like animal which 137

needed to be looked after and cared for by it’s owner. The most recent way that we can see technology from film coming into the real world is with interactive adverts. Like in the Minority Report where the adverts changed depending on who looked at it, a recent charity advertisement in London showed a different image depending on the gender of the person who was looking at it. This directed advert technology is an ever increasing market that will make it easier for companies to target only the people that they want the advert to be seen by.













This tiny microchip could potentially change the way that we can produce electricity and could power entire houses. What this is, is essentially a solar panel, a solar panel which appears completely transparent to the naked eye as it is only 100 - 200nm (nanometres) in size. It would allow for the natural light to flow through like a window does but would also collect enough energy from the sun to help produce electricity. It would essentially be like tinting a window with a purpose other than blocking light.

Although the actual microchip currently collects only 1% of energy required to make it efficient, there is the potential for it to rise much higher but it would come at quite a cost. As a piece of technology in the works, it just goes to show how technology could change in the future in regards to creating energy which is sustainable. The scientist behind this creation is Dr Bissett, who has also proven that 141

this material can also be applied to windows as a spray which would make applying to larger areas much easier then having to print onto every window individually. With the current environmental situation that we are in it is imperative that new ways of producing electricity and energy are created to be able to sustain the amount of energy that we are using. This is the future of our lives and technology like this is something that will continue to be developed on in order to make a difference to the way we live. Imagine if the Burj Khalifa in Dubai was covered in this material, all 828 metres could potentially be used as a way of producing electricity with the cost of running said building being reduced hugely.







According to TU Viennaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Professor Bernhard Lendl, because only a few of the hundreds of millions of photons hitting a sample trigger a Raman scattering process and these scattered particles of light are scattered uniformly in all directions, only a tiny fraction travel back to the detector. This meant that any sample to be analyzed had to be placed very close to the laser and the light detector. By using a highly efficient telescope and extremely sensitive light detectors, the TU Vienna team has been able to extract as much information as possible from a very weak signal, enabling samples to now be analyzed from a distance. In tests on frequently used explosives, including TNT, ANFO and RDX, the team says their new method was able to reliably detect substances even at distances of over 100 meters (328 ft).

Contrary to what some cartoons might have led you to believe, explosives arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t always emblazoned with the letters TNT making them easy to identify. Some people will actually go to the trouble of disguising explosives by placing them in nondescript containers. This means that to analyze them, some close quarter examination that puts someone at risk is usually required. Researchers at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna) have developed a detection method using laser light that allows explosives to be detected not only from distances of over 100 meters (328 ft), but works even when the explosives are hidden inside an opaque container.


Like a similar system developed at Michigan State University, the technology developed at TU Vienna relies on Raman spectroscopy, in which molecules can be identified by exposing them to laser light and analyzing the color spectrum of the resulting scattered light bouncing off individual molecules. 144

Just as impressive - and potentially life-saving - is the ability to use Raman spectroscopy to see through the walls of a nontransparent container. Although the laser beam is scattered by the container walls, a small portion of the beam will penetrate the container where it can trigger the Raman scattering process. The tricky part is then distinguishing the light signal of the container from that of the sample inside. The researchers solve this problem by using a simple geometric trick. Because the laser beam hits the container on a small, well-defined spot, the light signal emitted from the container stems from a very small region. In contrast, the light that enters the container is scattered into a much larger region. Aiming the detector telescope just a few centimeters away from the point at which the laser hits the container ensures that the signal being measured is coming from the contents rather than the container itself. Although the system has obvious applications for the detection of explosives for airport security and the military, the TU Vienna researchers say their method could be used to identify substances in cases where it is hard to get close to the subject - studying icebergs or for geological analysis on a Mars mission, for example.







completely compatible within the body as not to cause further damage to the person who has the embedded interface. The interface would need to be able to manage thousands of complex and individual nerve endings and would need to flow so fluidly in order for the nerves to actually be able to work alongside a prosthetic limb.

Scientitsts have developed and created a

tiny interface that has the ability to change the way in which prosthetic limbs work in the future. It is a small, porous, flexible, conductive material that is compatible with the human body. It essentially would work as a functional junction between the nerves of the human body to that of the prosthetic arm or leg. If this was to become one hundred percent successful then it could potentially make it possible for the human nerves to be connected directly to the artificial body part which means they could control it directly through their own nerves and movements. Due to the delicate nature of the nerves it is hugely important that the interface is

Although this hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t been realised yet, there are recent developments in prosthetic technology that do come close to hitting this target. For example prosthetic joints have been produced that near enough replicate the exact joint movements of a knee or shoulder. Other prosthetics use hydraulics or motors to help move the body parts in a seemless way that would make it difficult, when covered, to know that it was false. With the advancement in cosmetics comes even more realistic limbs as they can be covered in material that feels and looks like skin. Some are so realistic that it becomes unnerving to realise that it is actually a false limb. Other prosthetics have been produced for specific purposes, such as the curved legs that allow for people without legs to be able to run like olympic athletes. Although these are astonishing feats in the medical world, it still stands that the amputee has to simply wear the prosthetic rather than it to be a part of it. The thing that scientists are trying to produce is a method of making a prosthetic limb part


of the actual body. The difference between a prosthetic limb and a real limb, is that the real limb is controlled by what the person wants, by following commands. They want to be able to connect the actual nerves to the false limb so that just by thinking about it, the person can move the limb to do exactly what they want. Just thinking about it is complex enough, when you walk you never think about which leg goes first, it is just a natural reaction. Much like writing or playing a video game, you are thinking about what to do, not about what your fingers have to do. The movement of your body parts happens as you think about doing something that requires them to move. Prosthetics also have no feel of touch, there is no way to know whether it is doing what you wanted it to. So this is something that the scientists will need to consider in the development of an interface to attach both a real and false limb together. The difficulties are definitely there as it would need years of testing and once it had been implemented , it would require the user to have to train how to lift again, from a light cup to various other weights. The main issue of creating something like this is the difficulty of connecting the false arm to the real arm but once they have got past this issue then there will be the potential for people to control their false arms by simple thinking about the action rather than how to move the arm.


So, what have we learnt? Technology has it’s positive traits but it also has a large amount of negative aspects which fall hugely under our dependence on it. The main thing that has come from this look into technology as a general overview, into specific case studies and as a personal insight is that it is us that has allowed for technology to have such a strong hold over us. Technology does not force us into using it and becoming solely reliant on it. Our ability to use it every day for the most meaningless of tasks is something that we have caused. From spending countless hours every single day on the internet to using satellite navigation devices to guide us on some of our most familiar journeys. We have become so dependant on technology that we have almost forgotten how to function without it. If we were to take away technology and have to use old forms of communication and guidance, would we cope? How many people actually know how to use a map correctly and when was the last time you sent a letter by post? Technology has sped up the process in which we do things but in the long run, the amount of time we spend complaining and moaning when something doesn’t work can be added up to a large amount of time. Probably more than if we didn’t use it.

When we look at the dangers that come from the internet, those being hacking, viruses, cyber warfare and privacy. It is not the technology that is the danger, but the people that use it. So can technology be blamed for the dangers that the world is now open to or is the blame entirely on it’s users. I would argue that the enticement of technology and it’s capabilities have brought out the worst in some people and others have taken the opportunity to use it for financial gain, but in the same line, affecting many people through fraud and privacy breaching. Technology isn’t all bad though. As we have seen, there have been medical advances that have changed the world and people’s lives for the better. Through x-rays and radiography, to prosthetic limbs and technology allowing the paralysed to live again. The medical world has favoured hugely thanks to the technological advances that have come in recent years. Overall, I would say that technology has had a huge beneficial affect on the world and the only downside being that there are groups of people who use it for negative affects. It is not technologies fault though, it is our fault. We choose to become drawn in by it and we choose to let it take over our lives. Technology does not have the ability to control us, but we have the ability to let it.



IMAGE REFERENCES SATELLITE NAVIGATION pg.3 motorway pg.5 steering wheel pg.8 no entry pg.9 satellite in space pg.11 car accidents GAMING pg.13 game controller pg.19 burnout pg. 21 call of duty pg.23 driver san Francisco pg.25 grand theft auto pg.27 l.a noire pg.29 portal 2 pg.31 red dead redemption pg.33 skyrim pg. 41 avatar pg. 43 avatars pg.45 mmorpg pg.47 minecraft pg.49 world of warcraft SOCIAL MEDIA pg.65 egyptian crowd pg.67 rioter pg.69 rioter shouting pg.70 bloody hand pg.71 egypt facebook pg.73 protester pg.74 egypt facebook ANONYMITY pg.77 man in headphones pg.79 laptop pg.83 anonymous mask pg.85 anonymous mask pg.88 anonymous masks pg.89 v for vendetta INSTANT MESSAGING pg.96 rioter pg.98 burning bus A DANGEROUS DEPENDENCE pg.101 - 104 stock market pg.105 control room pg.110 power plant MEDICAL DEPENDENCE pg.111 old hospital pg.113 stephen hawking pg.114 pacemaker pg.115 -117 tempt one & glasses pg.119 prosthetic pg.121 soldier prosthetic leg pg.122 prosthetic running leg pg.123 skull xray LIVING WITHOUT TECHNOLOGY pg.125 elderly hands pg.127 elderly man on laptop pg.130 third world children pg.131 amish men pg.132 amish workers TECHNOLOGY IN FILM pg.133 tron pg.135 avatar pg.136 irobot pg.137 minority report pg.138 technology in film-variety TECHNOLOGY:THE FUTURE pg.139 old laboratory pg.141.-146 scientists -variety & & bop, uiowa.edi


<DOCTYPE html PUBLIC -=//wc3/TNP/EN:BOOKPROj> <TITLE>TURN IT OFF AND ON AGAIN</TITLE> > > > <body> Why isn’t it working? >A question asked every single day, > when something doesn’t work it isn’t our first intention to try and fix > the solution but it is to blame it. We have become so reliant on our tech> nology that when something doesn’t work we don’t really know how to operate. > Imagine a life without the internet, a world with no mobile phones or com> puter games and without an entire library at our finger tips. When did this > dependance on technology start and why has it grown to take over our lives? ><br/> >This issue opens up on our world surrounded by computers and screens and >looks into the way it has helped the world but also created some irreversible >problems. Our dependence can be a dangerous thing but is it all bad? With >huge medical advancements in recent years, how can we say that technology is >a bad thing when it does so much good. It is an on going debate but this issue >brings it together in a serious but sometimes light hearted, manageable >manner that will hopefully allow you to come to a decision on where you stand >on the technology debate. > > 1 POWERING UP > an introduction > > 3 SATELLITE NAVIGATION > 5 finding you way > 7 getting lost? > 9 history and it’s original uses > 11 issues with satellite navigation systems > <section_break> 13 GAMING > 17 super eight; burnout, call of duty, driver, grand theft auto, LA Noire, Portal2, Red Dead Redemption, Skyrim > 35 a case study > 41 avatars and hyper reality > <section_break> 45 MMORPG_massive multiplayer online role playing games > 47 minecraft > 49 world of warcraft <section_break> 51 THE INTERNET_wasted time? > 53 the internet helps - business > 55 getting to know each other_social networking > 57 making money in the big leagues > 59 young money_internet breeds business > 61 diy internet_user generated content > 63 - News in a digital age ><section_break> 65 SOCIAL MEDIA_how the most used tool on the internet helped shape a nation > 67 online revolution ><section_break> 75 ANONYMITY_dangers of the internet > 77 you wouldn’t steal a car > 79 cyber trolls_an offensive online army fuelled by anonymity and hate

Turn It Off And On Again - Digital Version  

A digital version of my published book which discusses our dependence on technology on a range of subjects and levels. From personal involve...