Information Graphics

Information graphics is a visual way to represent information, data or knowledge. Also, information graphics is conceived not just for professional, but for anyone who is interested in communication visually (2012).

Nowadays, our everyday life is filled with a massive flow of information. The words and sentences cannot draw our attention if it is tedious or bored. However, if information can be gathered and represent a visual picture, people can easily and willingly to receive information.

The first visual information graphic comes up with my mind is PassportStamp, which is a webpage to create your own map of visited places and share your travel experiences with friends. Almost my friends have ever tried this page to create a picture to show their travelling experiences.

(From Website, http://www.passportstamp.com/)

 

Another example of information graphics, which could represent the information clearly without any literal expression is used to contrast two objects.   ”How does 200 calories look like?” is a collection of photographs what types of food items that contain exactly 200 calories, sorted from low to high calorie density . The picture clearly shows, a plate of broccolis contains the same number of calorie with a few chips. Therefore, when people see the picture could have a clear acknowledge of these two items.  Especially, for the on diet people, this type of pictures could give them a suggestion.

 

(From Infosthetics)

The graphics represent information visually and understandingly, which is widely surrounding used in media systems. For media thinking, information graphics are almost same as media archives. The single picture could represent a massive flow of information but simplicity.

Reference list:

Rendgen, S. (2012), Seeing is Understanding-how complicated ideas can be communicated via graphics.

<http://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/design/all/04984/facts.information_graphics.htm&gt;

Infosthetics, ‘How does 200 calories look like’,

<http://infosthetics.com/archives/2007/01/how_does_200_calories_look_like.html&gt;

 

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Piracy

Piracy, could be defined as unauthorised reproduction of a copy-righted book, a film, a patented invention and an actual trademark. Online piracy is a pervasive problem, no matter access with social network, public websites or P2P files, it still exists.

The picture shows that different kinds of piracy weighs different percentages in America. The study found that almost one-quarter of global Internet traffic (23.8%) and more than 17% in the U.S. involves the theft of digital assets (2011). Apparently, the infringement of using bittorrent weighs the most .

Online Piracy, means individual can freely access copyrighted contents without monitoring. For example, people can download the movies, musics and articles without restriction and payment.

Apparently, free downloading is an unethical action, it breaches the law of protecting individual intellectual property. Thus, US raised an act, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which aims to tighten anti-piracy legislation by forcing internet companies to block access to foreign sites offering material in breach of US copyright laws.  The supporters raise that the SOPA could protect the intellectual property effectively. However, there are still some criticism against the SOPA, it says the SOPA cannot fix the genuine problem of online piracy  because block the illegal websites cannot restricts sharing files between individuals (2012). For example, there are still literally hundreds of programs that can rip music, such as radio station and applications of Apple  etc. Even some of the content providers also make and sell equipment to easily copy whatever you want at a small cost, such as Sony. Moreover, some critique points out that this SOPA bill just want to control the media stream.  Also, some companies do not support this bill because it will impact their business, for instance, individual may cannot use PAYPAL in the foreign shopping websites.

Empirically, the function of copyright law is to decline piracy and incentive creative work. However, the restriction of sharing files on the Internet more impacts declining creative outputs in the US market (Kain, 2012). Sometimes, the most pirated movies would be the best seller. It could be argued that higher minus piracy may impact the entertainment industry.

Interestingly, when we first met the word, online piracy, we may think that we should establish the laws to against it. But actually SOPA and ACTA cannot change the situation effectively. Also, the inappropriate laws or bills would lead recession of media reproduction.

Reference:

Internet Research- Piracy on The Internet (2011),

http://www.undercoverstrategist.com/blog/internet-research-piracy-on-the-internet.html

Kain,E.(2012), Does Online Piracy Hurt The Entertainment Industry?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2012/01/21/does-online-piracy-hurt-the-economy-a-look-at-the-numbers/

SBS News (2012), Factbox: The ‘Stop Online Piracy Act’ explained.

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1619481/factbox-the-stop-online-piracy-act-explained

Infotention

(Reference: http://www.infotention.com/2011/11/the-architecture-of-infotention/)

Infotention, which is a combination of attentional discipline and information-handling tools is a method for turning information overload into knowledge navigation. According to Rheingold, infotention is like a mind-machine which combines brain-powered attention skills with computer-powered information filters (2009).

It should be supposed that there is a plenty of information for us to acknowledge and accept in the digital time.  Information is online anywhere, websites, blogs and social networks. According to research at the University of California, San Diego, the average person today consumes almost three times as much information as what the typical person consumed in 1960 (2010). Thus, we also need to concern what kind of information is worth our attention. For example, the farmer in the ancient time, should forecast the weather and harvest time by themselves. However, the farmer in the present time, they could know the weather via weather forecast radio and evaluate the time to harvest by electronic devices.

Apparently, information and its flow can be accurately and transparently recorded and counted in the computer software. However, attention is more complex, a progress that can occur only one moment in a mind.  In the economy way, the scarce resource would get the attention firstly. Thus, it will arise a question that is there any information is scarce on the Internet? Definitely, there is. Individual would put something they will be interested in on the internet with private desires. Therefore, allocating attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it (Erard, 2009). Especially, the Farmer example above is the best elaboration.

In a contradiction, we have already experienced about attention spans, but digital-age changed out attention span. Technology, the Internet, The iPhone shrivelled the attention spans. Nicholas Carr, argued that the Web use would practically cause brain damage, and the technology is pushing even more distractions and interruptions on us and thus will never return to us our attention span (2010).

Reference list:

Erard, Michael (2009) ‘A short manifesto on the future of attention’, Observatory <http://observatory.designobserver.com/entry.html?entry=10297>

Heffernan, Virginia (2010) ‘The Attention Span Myth’, New York Times, <http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/21/magazine/21FOB-medium-t.html>

 NPR (2010) ‘The Price of Putting Your Brain on Computers’ <http://www.npr.org/2010/12/29/132369113/the-price-of-having-your-brain-on-computers>
Rheingold, Howard (2009) ‘Mindful Infotention: Dashboards, Radars, Filters’, SFGate,<http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/rheingold/detail?entry_id=46677>

Fever

Archives, which constitute a network of information and data are available for people access later. It makes up a large part of publishing, also offers the range of possibilities of what we can do. For example, in a big picture, the archives could be documents, laws, institutional records; in our daily life, the archives could be mobile phone contacts, address books; also in the media distribution channel, it could be websites, newspaper and E-reader.

Jacques Derrida, the philosopher and author of Archive Fever (1997, Chicago: University of Chicago Press), suggests that media archives which interacts with each single identity. For example, website could stimulate individuals to read newspaper if the contents are unavailable online. Also, website reading could destroy the physical publishing.

Fever, means a kind of desires which regaining moments of inception, to find and possess al sorts of beginnings (Sharon, 2007).  Archives fever represents different ways of publishing would constitute our modes of living, also different forms of information persevered and distributed to the public, which would impacts individuals, either in the big pictures, or in every moment of daily livings.

Apparently, it could be recognised almost everyone has started to construct individual archives. For example, university students would like to post the status and pictures on the Facebook. Sometimes, Facebook could be regarded as a virtual discussion place for group work or team activities. When we started to upload something which we could see in the future, it should be a start of archiving.

Archives never closed, it would open for the future. It should be concerned is social network websites wields extraordinary and often unacknowledged power to control distribution of information, individually and collectively (Jon, 2003). Also, if website is public archives, individual security and privately owned information will be threatened. For example, Wikileaks lays the basis for authority.

However, it could be believed that online resource will have opportunity to make the stream of information more transparent in the future.

References:

Stokes, Jon (2003) ‘Reading Notes: Archive Fever’, Ars Technica, June 27, <http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2003/06/130.ars>

Howard, Sharon (2007) ‘Reposted: Archive fever (a dusty digression)’, Early Modern Notes, September 25, <http://emn.sharonhoward.org/2007/09/reposted-archive-fever-a-dusty-digression/>

Assemblage

Assemblage could be a relational network of elements or actants in a flat ontology. For print publishing, it could be identified as assembling of elements or relations to make media platform new. Apparently, the transformation of history print publishing to contemporary print publishing has already emerged, and no one can heading  the new invention.

Firstly, I will talk about something about assemblage. Basis of French thinker, Bruno Latour’s Actor Network Theory(ANT), mentioned in his book said that you should treat all things(human actants, non human actants)equally when you analyse an assemblage. Otherwise, considering all the relations as these come into a network of assemblage, one element changes, the relation will changes respectively. Similarly, when the elements/actants changes, the network(assemblage) changes or it forms parts of a lager assemblage. According to Latour, it also remind us the political system will constantly reconfigured, because the new relations created, the new party formed. We should remain suspicious of all spokespersons speaking on behalf of things (2010).

Put differently, no entity can be absolutely isolated, because it is always involved in multiple relations of one sort or another (Steven,2007). For print publishing thinking, every elements involved depend on each other. For example,  the advent of E-reader depends on the Internet working.

Traditionally, the print publishing assembled of human actants (Publisher, Reader and Writer) and non human actants (Book, newspaper and magazines etc). Nowadays, E-reader publishing and multimedia publishing has already emerged. The larger assemblage of media has already formed. The printing publishing is not just the psychical paper, it could be e-reader ( Kindle, Nook), the distribution way is not only the psychical book store or retail store, it could be online bookstore (Amazon) or Apple store. Especially, the new advent of social media could be specifically mentioned. It involves a large amount of population and social network websites to meet together. One point we can make sure is the assemblage of print publishing is changing larger.

Reference reading:

‘Actor Network Rochambeau’, any-space-whatever blog, <http://www.anyspacewhatever.com/actor-network-rochambeau/>, November 14, 2010 (on Latour)

Shaviro, Steven (2007) ‘DeLanda: A New Philosophy of Society’, The Pinocchio Theory.

Newspaper In Relation To The Newly-shaped World

Briefly, modes of publishing could be seen as print publishing and digital publishing. Print publishing (also called physically content) is a traditional way to make public known. For example, legal documents, books, newspapers and government and institutional records could be genuinely touched by public.

Otherwise, digital publishing, because the content is electronic, it generally could be distributed via Internet and e-bookstores. The consumer could read the published content on a website, in an application on a tablet device (Kindle and Nook), or in a PDF on a computer.

With the advent of Internet, reading habits had been changed to different ways. Public could choose web site reading, e-reader reading and free online reading. We have to say, e-reading is the most convenient way to access information mostly without paid. It partly destroyed the traditional print publishing mode, especially newspaper industry. With worldwide financial crisis, newspaper cannot rely on advertisement uniquely. Therefore, newspaper industry should find a new way to keep business go on. However, there is a problem we should figure out, a plenty of news online are fake and fictional. For example, some news happened in Iraq wars made up by the unscrupulous journalism. Therefore, newspaper industry develops a way, ‘paywall’, to maintain their business in short run. ‘Paywall’ means online newspaper will provide free news in some section, but if individual wants to get more valuable and accountable news, they should pay for them. New York Times advocated this way to keep business go on consistently, and recently it announced the estimated subscribers reached 250,000(Gillmor,2011).

Interestingly, with increasing costs of print publishing, most institutions and individuals target  online publishing to receive revenue and capture the market. Apparently, there is a increasing number of online blog posts nowadays, and some of  famous blog writers employed by a institution as a way of advertisement to gain profit.

Paywall: Points&Counterpoints

Reference:

Gillmor,D. (2011) ‘The New York Times paywall: the faint smell of success’, The Guardian, August 3, <http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/aug/03/new-york-times-paywall>

Rupert Murdoch(2010), Paywall: Points and Counterpoints,

Reading Habit Has Been Changed

Open publishing is different from old traditional publishing, it aims creating a transparent way to disseminate information and creating news to general public. Overwhelmingly, the Internet is the best choice to achieve open publishing than any other ways, such as newspaper and books. Fundamentally, Internet sites could open publishing software allow anyone to get access with free content and upload the unsolicited  information directly without monitoring.

For economical and convenient thinking, more and more people are falling into using tablets to read books and receive information. Actually, I become one member of  them last year when I started my Uni study. Initially, I found if I print all readings and lecture notes, it would be heavy and easily lost. Therefore, I chose use ipad to take notes and reading articles. Coincidentally, my friends recommended me a bestseller book,and I just tried to search in the apple store and I got a free version to read. And now, I become a genuine e-reader.

Let’s have a macro look on E-reading. Apparently, the traditional concept of a ‘book’ likes magazines and periodicals has been changed under pressure of tablets devices, Naughton mentioned in his article. The advent of ipad and other tablets devices, in other words, could be called like e-books (2010). And that also could save the books with embed pictures and videos. We have to say this is a fascinating change for most people who are frequent book buyers. The advent of ipad and other tablets devices could make reading easier, cheaper and more convenient. For example, everyone could read books when they have lunch or get on the buses. E-readers could get access a variety of books than going to physical book store and they don’t have to wait for unavailable books at that time. Otherwise, Kindle and Nook, which are available to offer the e-books just replicates the experience of reading a physical book, they do not change the experience of reading print, Wortham mentioned in his article (2010). Also, she advises e-readers could comment and discuss the e-article and share with others via social network, such as Twitter and Facebook.

Surprisingly, an innovative software, Voiceover, invented by Apple could help more blind readers to have sound reading experiences(2010).

 

Reference:

Naughton, John (2010) ‘Publishers take note: the iPad is altering the very concept of a ‘book’ The Guardian, December 19, <http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/dec/19/ipad-publishing-kindle-books-apple>

Wortham, Jenna (2010) ‘Social Books Hopes to Make E-Reading Communal’, New York Times, November 11, <http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/11/social-books-hopes-to-make-e-reading-communal/>

National Public Radio (2010) ‘E-Book Boom Changes Book Selling And Publishing’, December 21, <http://www.npr.org/2010/12/21/132235154/e-book-boom-changes-book-selling-and-publishing>

Picture reference:

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/11/social-books-hopes-to-make-e-reading-communal/

 

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