Monday, November 25, 2013

Week 13 - Reflection

heheheheh finally reflections!!

Well, reading about what people have to say is fun. So is the commenting part. Blogging stuffs are a drag, no offence. But because i dont really like writing generally. I mean i can blab about stuffs but when it comes to academic writing, my mind just turns blank. Lazy brain i have, I know.

Honestly, i do enjoy doing this module. It has shown me so many things about the Internet. And to think i thought i already knew enough about the Internet. My first thought when i saw the name of the module was "whattttttt, UB is making me waste my money. Again!" Because well, intro to Internet, i think my parents are the ones in need of taking this module haha!

I like the fact that the lecturer shows a lot of videos during lectures rather than just talking non stop for 1.5 hours. I feel that I learn a lot more because, lets face it, videos are a lot more interesting and exciting to watch rather than to listen to your lecturers talk. (No offence to any lecturers, i know you all try your best to make it interesting but we're just wired to like animation/videos more. Im sorry!!! T_T )

One of the few important takeaways from this module is ebusiness! I am now confident of opening my own blogshop now that i know what makes a good website. And also internet security, how not to get scammed and of course, how to prevent viruses from attacking my precious Apple laptop (so expensive btw.)

Thats all i have Mr Choy and fellow classmates! No more next time tehee! (:

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Week 9 - Internet Politics

One very prominent figured that has successfully used to Internet Tools is Barack Obama. He is one tech savvy politician and I would say that he won the elections partly due to it. He is one of the first politician who so actively used Twitter and Youtube to connect with people. And the people are lovin' it! It somehow bridges the gap and makes the people feel closer to the president. This also makes the younger generation more interested in him because they are finally able to relate and also partly because the younger generation is very active on social media websites. This proves successful because Obama won the past two presidential elections and most of the votes were from people under the age of 35. 

Obama's twitter has currently over 40 million followers today, More than any politicians in the world. He keeps his twitter updated regularly every single day with posts about the country and the things he supports. His Youtube account has over 500,000 subscribers and all these platform are used to engage with the people. He also organises Q&A sessions on Youtube to further reach out to his people.

Okay, enough about Obama. I pretty sure you get how cool/awesome he is as a politician. How about something closer to home? The 2012 Singapore elections. I was never interested in the politics but then it flooded the television, radio and so many of the social media websites. I could not avoid it even if I wanted too. And then in school, suddenly everyyyonneee was so knowledgeable about it. Facebook was particularly prominent because everyone was posting about different political parties and their view on it. 
However, this might be quite a bad thing. For people who doesn't know much about the elections or have particularly strong opinions about it, they might be swayed into voting for someone they dont really know about. 
All in all, I feel that the Internet is good for politics. It gives the whole thing a more human touch somehow in my opinion. It also allows the younger generation to find out more infomation about as we all know, gen-y kids dont really like reading the paper.

Till next week.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Week 8 - Multimedia

Check out the new interactive PlayStation 4 by Sony! Warning: you would totally wanna get one after watching the video cause I know what I want for Christmas already. 

augmented reality
  1. 1.
    a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user's view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.

The above video is therefore considered as augmented reality. Its basically interacting with cute little robots besides the playing of video games on the playstation. 

Multimedia has came a long way from the pixelated consoles such as the Atari 2600 that came from the 1970s which feature games that requires the imagination of the players to think what each pixel represents, to Nintendo Entertainment System which has cartoon like graphics and bit sounds and now, the Playstation 4 which exceeds what we had never expected multimedia could have ever achieved. It not only features interactive motion detectors, but it can also play games that has graphics that is life-like and also produces tremendous sound quality. I am thoroughly impressed how far multimedia has come. 

First: some video game in Atari 2600
Second: Mario Brothers game 
Third: Call of Duty. 
Fourth: The Last of Us

Look at how the graphics of multi media has evolved over the years. See how realistic the faces of the characters are in the Last of Us.

Dont you want your own PS4 now?
Till next time.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Week 7 - Internet Security

There are many various steps that one can take when it comes to increasing the privacy on your laptops, phones or any devices that one uses to connect to the Internet. However, after doing some research, I have cross referenced all the data that I found online and came up with the six most effective steps. There was much information available online in how to increase your privacy but these are the simpler and recurring ones but they serve as well as the more complicated ones. These steps are taken to shield yourself against potential hackers and identity thieves and in some way, the government.
1)    Hide in the network.
Implement hidden services such as Tor. Tor is a free software that is available online for enabling online anonymity. What the program Tor does it that it directs Internet traffic through a free, worldwide, volunteer network consisting of more than three thousand relays to conceal a user's location or usage from anyone conducting network surveillance or traffic analysis. Using Tor makes it more difficult to trace your Internet activity, including "visits to Web sites, online posts, instant messages, and other communication forms", back to the user. Anyone can use this to conceal their identity and Internet activity from most surveillance and traffic analysis. This can also be used to protect users against the amazingly brazen efforts by commercial companies to track the customers’ online behaviour.
Another option for becoming anonymous online is logging on through a personal virtual network. Software programs such as proXPN VPN and HMA! Pro VPN creates a secure, encrypted Internet connection and masked IP address for a home computer, laptop or any other devices. The software can act as an extra layer of protection if one is going online over a public Wifi network at a coffee shop or airport, which might not be password protected.
2)     Encryption
Popular email programs such as Microsoft Outlook and Gmail already have built-in encryption. So do websites that use Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) which is the latest communications security protocol. One can tell whether a website has HTTPS protection by looking at the site's URL in the browser's address bar. If the URL starts with "https" instead of "http" it has an extra protection, called secure socket layer (SSL), built in. Sites with HTTPS encrypt personal data and other sensitive information that users may share on the site. What the Transport Layer Security (TLS) and its predecessor, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is, is that they are cryptographic protocols that are designed to provide communication security over the Internet. They use X.509 certificates and hence asymmetric cryptography to assure the counterparty whom they are talking with, and to exchange a symmetric key. This session key is then used to encrypt data flowing between the parties. Another method to go to the Electronic Frontier Foundation website to download extensions for Chrome and Firefox that add HTTPS protection to the browser regardless of the sites that one visits.

3) Shield your IP address. 

After encrypting all the important data, the next step is to shield your IP address. The most effective way to do so is to download software programs such as AnchorFree's Hotspot Shield or Easy-Hide-IP that mask any device's IP address. Both programs have been proven to render all the devices undetectable by the NSA, hackers, police, Internet service providers, or anyone else bascially.

4)     Shop online with a virtual or single-use credit card number. 
Online or virtual shopping is the ‘in’ thing these days. Everyone is buying everything off the Internet because it is so much more convenient. The only downside is that one had to wait a few days for the delivery to arrive. It saves one the trouble, effort, time and cost of travelling to buy something that they can get off the web. This is the reason why the Bank of America's ShopSafe and Citibank's Virtual Account Numbers programs came about. These programs are created to shield customers' account information by generating a virtual credit card or single-use credit card number for online purchases. The virtual cards may be good for a single purchase or pre-set period of time. This prevents hackers and scammers from getting one’s credit card information.
5)     Keep anti-virus updated. 
Everyone hates what the updating of the anti-virus does to their computers, but if one does not have anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-phishing software on the devices they use to connect to the Internet, chances of them getting hacked are a lot higher.
6)     Monitor your stuff
What one can do is routinely monitor their bank statements, credit card bills and other accounts so if hackers or identity thieves have used your information. When you can spot it, take the necessary steps to correct it. Credit card companies also do monitor customer accounts for potentially fraudulent activity. But ultimately, it is up to oneself to pay attention to your own accounts.
And there you have it, 6 easy steps to shield yourself on the Internet. Hope it helps!
Till next time.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Week 5 - eLearning

Back in my poly days, everyone looks forward to eLearning week because it meant 1 week of holiday for all of us. I never really understood the use of eLearning until now. 

Here is my list of pros for using eLearning:

More Flexible – eLearning can be done in short chunks of time that can fit around your daily schedule. Unlike public scheduled and in-house training, you don’t have to dedicate an entire day to the training that has been organised by the school. Instead, you will have a set amount of learning, normally divided into modules, with a deadline in which to do them in. This way, if you want to do all of the learning in one day as you work better this way, you can. However if your schedule doesn’t allow you an entire day off your everyday tasks – then you can easily spend an hour or 2 here and there at times that suit you.
Mobile – As eLearning can be done on laptops, tablets and phones – it is a very mobile method. Learning can be done on the train, on a plane or any other time that could normally be wasted. Whilst you used to be confined to the classroom, the whole world can now be your classroom.
No Travel– As just mentioned, eLearning can be done wherever you have a device capable of doing so. Therefore again you can fit it in to your schedule, but also save money on the costs of travel. Furthermore, it saves the time getting dressed and travelling to school!
Lower cost – As you aren’t using a trainer’s time or any room or equipment, eLearning tends to be the much cheaper option. If you already have a device capable of carrying out the training on, then the savings can be considerable. Therefore if you and your company are on a budget, this can be the ideal option for you.  Equally for companies that have thousands of employees then it can reduce the cost per head especially on areas such as Money Laundering, Compliance and Microsoft Office training.
Tailor it to you – eLearning courses aren’t confined to be fixed to try and suit the needs of the majority. If you feel you already know a particular area well and don’t need to spend an hour on it again, then you can skim over it and concentrate that time on something you feel you need to work more at. Everyone is able to learn at their own pace – a massive factor that only eLearning can provide for.
However, all these are not without its cons:
Lack of Control– Learners with low motivation tend to fall behind when using eLearning as there are no set times to be doing it and they are responsible for the organisation themselves. A lack of routine or fixed schedule can mean eLearning becomes complicated with various deadlines often given to different people at different stages of their learning.
Learning Approach – It doesn’t appeal to all learning styles so some learners will not enjoy the experience – especially strong activists and pragmatists.  It is still a challenge to make eLearning appeal fully to these groups as different people learn better or worse using different styles. Some may prefer images, some prefer just reading words and some prefer to talk about or actually do a task in order to learn.
Isolated – A lot of questions are a lot easily answered when face to face with someone when you can guarantee an instant answer. eLearning often doesn’t allow that with trainers often having to answer numerous questions all of the time and only doing it within working hours – where a lot of learners may prefer to do their learning out of working hours. This feeling of isolation can often demotivate individuals as they feel they don’t have the support and reassurance that the physical presence of a trainer or friend provides. 
Technology Issues – With heavy reliance on computers that eLearning brings, comes the potential risks that comes with it. Firstly, you need to ensure that all learners have a device that is able to support the training modules. Some eLearning tools require software such as Flash that devices like iPads don’t support. So all requirements need to be set out at the beginning. Poor internet connection and unavoidable general random faults also can interrupt learning and so need to be planned around.  This is especially true if it is a global roll out as Internet connections and power reliability changes dramatically between countries.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Week 4 - eBusiness

The internet has made many things easier such as communicating with friends and family and
banking. In these examples the internet saves time which in this day and age is a big convenience. 
The internet has allowed the development on online businesses which sell their products to a 
worldwide audience. Online businesses don’t have overheads associated with a shop front meaning 
they often have lower prices than a traditional shop. However lower prices don’t always mean you 
are getting the best value or that it will be the most convenient shopping experience. 

I have a love hate relationship with businesses that are online. I mean, people used to have to leave the house to go out and shop and buy things. And these small shopping trips, unknowingly, give you some form of exercise (or at least i believe so). You have to walk, climb stairs and maybe perspire a little because you're on the sunny island of Singapore.  

This happens to ALL of us, sadly.

With most of the businesses going online, my level of laziness has increased. Im turning more and more into a sloth each day. 

Here's a list of the pros Ive came up with of eBusiness and Online Shopping:

1. You dont have to leave the house and you can doing your shopping in your PJs.
2. No perspiring, no squeezing with the crowd, NO QUEUES. 
3. All your stuff, delivered to your door step.  
4. There is soooo many thing available online. You can get food to clothes to even cotton buds. 
5. Everything is sorted so nicely for you online, no need to flip through the racks of clothes individually.
6. For the really shy people, NO need to speak to the sales people to find your size! And no one trying to talk you into additional purchases.
7. Its open, 24/7. 

Okay, maybe i have more love for online shopping than expected. 

I guess what makes a good website to shop at is the interface. Compare these two clothing shops vs

Lovebonito seems so much more professional and its so must easier to navigate doesn't it? Another important thing to note is the checkout process. Why? Because studies have shown that a whopping 63% of online orders collapse after people add products or services to their shopping carts.

When your checkout is easy to use:
  • less visitors get frustrated and leave before paying
  • more visitors who start out thinking "maybe", end up clicking ‘buy’
  • people keep coming back for more AND tell their friends about you too
  • you spend less time and money fixing customer problems.
A lot of research has been done to find out what makes a good web checkout. Here’s what online shopper/s say (aka ME):
Make it quick
The fewer clicks the better. Ask customers for the minimum information you need and only ask once. Offer a “Save for later” option so they can come back and finish another time.

Avoid surprises
Half way through checkout, don’t tell your customers they need to create an account to continue. And don’t try to sell them something extra or better.
Provide information at every step
From the start of checkout, all the way to the end, show the cost including tax and delivery charges. And provide details on your delivery and payment options.
Be clear and detailed
Give customers all the details they need during checkout and when you confirm their payment – including delivery charges, returns policy, how to contact customer service, etc.

Instill trust
People are more likely to buy if they know their personal and financial information is secure. So display a trusted payment option like Paypal on your homepage and through checkout.

So what are the other things you feel make a blogshop good? Do leave some comments! (:
Till next week.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Week 3 - Social Networking

Nowadays, Networking isn't just going out for drinks or coffee with people and hope that they would give you business. That still works for maybe the contractors who mostly speak hokkien and uses that phone just to call and text. (Maybe im being stereotypical but hey, you get what I mean) .
Because of the rise of the Internet, many people and businesses have made used of that platform to expand their network. This is called social networking. It makes the world more open and connected.

Social Media is probably one of the easiest topic to blog about since my generation uses it e.v.e.r.y.d.a.y. It can be the equivalent of insulin to a diabetic person. Social Media allows us to express ourselves, allows anonymity, and because it is so diverse, the possibilities are endless. Heres a picture that explains the different type of social media in a nut shell!

Social Media has become massively popular in recent years and for good reasons. There are a lot of benefits from using social media. While not everyone will agree that it is a good thing and that there certainly are some cons to it, on the whole, it would be fair to say that the benefits outweigh the negatives. This is a big part of why social media has become so popular. 

The main pro of social media is that it allows you to interact with far more people than you would otherwise be able to. This means that you can be exposed to a far wider array of opinions than you normally would be able to. Furthermore, you will be able to share your opinions with so much more people.

These interactions have certainly made the world smaller since the Internet has allowed people to connect with one another so much easier. That being said, there are people like me for example, who only interact with the people I know in real life over the Internet. This could be due to my upbringing with my parents constantly drilling to me that the Internet is a scary place and that I should not talk to strangers. 

Another great benefit of the social media is that it makes it so much easier to organize events. In the past, getting the information out to the people was such a chore. Nowadays, with things like Facebook Events, all one has to do is to type the details of the event into the box and invite all their friends to the event and voila! The word is out and all you have to do is to wait for people to RSVP to the event. 

However, this is not all perfect. One of the setbacks about this is, how to prevent the people that you dont like from turning up to your event? How do you stop them from seeing the event on fb? Despite this setback, it is definitely one of the easiest and fastest way to get the word of an event out.  

A lot of people are starting to use social networking for business reasons and this is proving to be one of the most valuable uses of the internet. Social networking is just another means to network and its open news that networking is critical for things like finding a job. This is why we are starting to see a rise of sites that specifically for networking professional reasons. The advantage here would be that once again, you would be able to network with a lot more people that you would normally do in person. 

Perhaps the best reason for social networking is that it is fun. People can and do spend hours a day on social networking sites interacting with their friends. It is a good way to stay in touch and to find out what is going on in their lives. In addition, there are all kinds of games and similar things that you can do on these sites. There isn't really a useful purpose for using social media, but you use it simply because you enjoy using it. Ultimately, this is why most people use it.

This is probably the scariest thing one can say to a gen-y kid. haha!

Till next week.