Monday, February 18, 2013

Is the Easiest Card the best card?

by Tom Carreras

I found an interesting article about easy cards on BBC's website. It is about "easycards" in Taiwan that do everything - open your office door, check in at school, ride the bus, go to a hospital, or even buy lunch. Kids have them, adults have them, and they are extremely popular.
Everything is tied to this one card

While on the surface this might not seem entirely relevant to the class, to me it is paralleled by things like Google accounts or the ability to have an account on so many sites simply with a facebook account. They are very versatile accounts to have and make the prospect of having the account hacked more worrying. Also, the easycard seems to be something that could feasibly be on the horizon for other countries - perhaps America too?
Everything all tied to your facebook...a good thing?

I personally use my facebook to log in at other sites - but typically it is for sites I would not use as often and therefore do not want a completely new account and password for. I personally enjoy the convenience factor of it - and the Easy card definitely is in that vein. I find it to be very interesting personally. However, the fact that it contains so much important information - with newer models having your picture and name - and is a physical object make me think that it is probably not something that would be as practical.

What do you think? Will easycards (or something like it) emerge in America in the next few years? What do you think of facebook integration on other websites?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Diminishing Human-to-Human Contact

As I began reading Critical Literacy in a Digital Era, I was concerned after reading about Moore's Law.  Barbara Warnick wrote, "If Moore's Law continues to hold true and our technological capacity does indeed accelerate exponentially over time, then the creation of virtual environments, diminution of human-to-human contact, and relegation of work and labor entirely to computing devices appear to be logical outcomes" (Warnick 4).  After reading this and giving some thought to it, I was most concerned about the prediction of taking away human-to-human contact.

Looking at my mapping project for class, I saw how often I communicate through technology (whether it be on my cell phone, texting and calling, or a laptop for emailing).  I am a really big "people person"; I would much rather talk to people face-to-face, than on my cell phone.  I see how technology has already reduced human-to-human contact; but, if Moore's Law is correct and diminishes human-to-human contact even more, I think people won't know how to properly communicate and interact with others face-to-face, especially the younger generation.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Random Musings on Sunday Morning

So, while trying to think of what to blog about, a conversation that me and a friend of mine had a couple weeks ago while setting up for Church.  First off, the space we meet in is not in fact our space, so we have to haul in all of our sound equipment and set up every week.  This usually involves several large carts filled with cables, huge subs, mains and LOTS of cables, as well as a box full of microphones.  As we were talking about our usually nerdy stuff, one of us (I don't really remember who, could have been me) pointed out that what we were doing required highly specialized skills and knowledge, and we were doing it without even thinking about what we were doing.  Most people don't know what any of this is, let alone how to set it up or use it.

This got me thinking, surely we are not the only people with specialized skill sets that we have based purely on our interests, not necessarily something we learned in one of our major classes.  I am sure everyone reading this has some sort of specialized skill or knowledge they have developed without realizing how specialized it is.  They also have those circle of friends, be it in real life or on the internet where outsiders wouldn't be able to understand any of the conversation.  We have specialized language that we use that most people wouldn't understand,  for example, me and my friends will talk about pre-amps, XLR cables, 1/4" cables, snakes (not the slithering animal), frequencies and how to use the EQ to eliminate feedback.  Chances are most of you won't understand half of that, but thats my point, and that is why I think this relates to Digital Literacies.

Each of our specialized skills, and knowledge probably come with a set of technical terms, or jargon.  I think this is partially due to the internet and vast amount of knowledge at our fingertips that we can search through and educate ourselves on topics that interest us, and therefore accumulate this specialized knowledge and skills.