Internaut!

We need to scrap internet charges in public libraries in Ireland. These are the new membership charges, and have replaced the library book charges, albeit optional. Given how the internet has reached into every area of our lives we need to realise that a free ten minute slot will not meet our needs. There are so many projects out there that we could be working on. One crowd-sourcing project example is duchas.ie which has hundreds of thousands of pages which need to be transcribed. Open up the floodgates. Make users register to use a computer and perhaps have a section for others, for example, tourists. I am completely in favour of retaining library staff and of course hiring more where needed. Letting the machines do the librarians work for us is not the solution or the answer while bandying about the added benefits of extended opening hours. People enrolled in higher education have full access to technology and have cheap student deals for internet. Everybody else pays through the nose. Well at least until the proposed Broadband 2020 comes into play. There is a lot of money to be made online. These are the newly styled books. Don’t let people become technologically illiterate! If there are queues to use the library internet so be it. Introduce card deals for I.T., make people book in advance. Providing free library apps does not go far enough in this day and age. People across the lower socio-economic spheres are being denied internet access simply because they cannot afford it. And like it or not everyone in the internet era has a valuable contribution to make with the right tools and know-how!

The Best Online Pharmacy. Buy Cialis Without Prescription – Orders-Cialis.info

Why buy cialis on the internet is really beneficial for you?

So you’ve decided to order cialis and do not know where to start? We can give you some advice. First, ask your doctor for advice in order to properly determine the dosage, when you do that, you need to decide for yourself exactly where you will be buying the drug. You can buy cialis online, or you can just buy it at the pharmacy. Buy cialis online has a number of advantages, one of which is price. The cost of the Internet will always be lower than in stores, and when combined with the free shipping, it will be the best choice. Besides the price there are a number of advantages over conventional pharmacies, one of which is anonymity. Also, you can always check the online store on reliability, read reviews about it and the opinion of other buyers. Read more.

Playing with tools…story tools :)

In my dissertation I hope to use some tools namely authoring tools to tell stories with the user/consumer at the centre of the design.  Basically the user/consumer will be able to direct the story.  As a child I loved to read stories and I always felt strongly about how the story should develop, this project would empower the person and allow them to input on how the story will unfold.  With the click of a button, the user is enabled to take charge of how their story will develop.  It is a more developed styled story engine.  This is an early attempt.  Please bear with me while I get to grips with the topic in question.

GIF version

This is the first web page of six using Elucidat. I have attempted to use this application as an authoring tool. As you will see there are two images one of a princess/ and the other a prince which will give the user an option in an interactive storytelling style format. This is repeated later on.

oneone

Again the user is faced with a range of options…

twotwo

The user can then click along to discover what happens in this interactive story…

threethree

Each button contains a sentence..

fourfour

 

And it continues..

fivefive

And again…

sixsix

The story continues on…this time with a splash box…

sevenseven

And it is again repeated…

eighteight

Until it finally reaches the end/stage whereby the user/consumer can partake in the fiction themselves and finish the story inputting their own version of the tale…

This would help children and potentially adults to overcome writers block with the aid of structure and also would enrich and compliment the fan fiction that is already to be found on the internet…

ninenine

Data Visualisation Assignment

The topic chosen by me to visualise was the number of charities relating to Cork city and county. The information was gleamed from the Revenue website some time ago and placed in an Excel spread sheet by me.  It was very time consuming.  It is basic information.  The number of charities were manually drawn down by me for Cork city and county.  However, there were a number of issues.  The data was not very user-friendly on the Revenue website.  It was some time ago, however, the data was either in a PDF or website format and not an excel sheet which made it very difficult to deal with the data and carry out any kind of analysis on the data.  With perseverance the data was placed into an Excel spread sheet and a number of attempts were made to carry out an analysis of the data which was quite limited given the little data available to me.  Datahero could not successfully load the file.  Tableau software managed to make some sense of the data after playing around with it.

Firstly, to be clear in my mind, a simple bar graph analysis was performed to check which had more registered charities, Cork city or Cork county with the following graph:

one

 

This analysis was carried out using a simple Google Fusion table. The city has slightly more registered charities over the county.  However, this data is open to interpretation, some of the data is questionable over whether it lies in the city or county as it may have stated that it lay in the county when in fact it was in the city or vice versa and this may be further added to by the redrawing of constituency lines etc. in various parts including Cork city and county.  Initially a question mark was placed to indicate this, however, for the purposes of this exercise it was eliminated.  The Charity number and addresses served no purpose this time around, however, it would be interesting to label each area and see which area contained according to clusters the most registered number of charities or place it on a Google or Open street Map and carry out an analysis.  However, as clearly noted the addresses may need to be re-formatted or standardised.  This may be resolved by postcodes or Eir Codes.  The CHY number really amounts to nothing in this case, however, t may have significance to the Revenue.

 

Next a tree map was visualised of the named data:

two

 

As you will note it is not very easy on the eye or visually understood in an easy way.

However, finally came the breakthrough with a live visualisation simulation.

three

The blue circles represent the city and the orange the county and the green represents other for example a charity which mentioned Cork but was based elsewhere. The data on the Excel sheet was gleamed using the find function, that is, any mention of Cork was noted by me.  This visualisation was really appreciated after the painstaking effort that was made to represent the data in some way without adding further to it and creating any biases etc.  This is the data visualised without any written indication:

four

 

 

And if you hovered over the circles each one indicated which CHY registered charity was represented. This was fascinating stuff to me.

One from the city:

five

 

One from the county:

six

 

Now obviously the only thing really to be taken from this is that there appears to be more registered charities in the city rather than the county. However, if there were more time allocated and further data provided you could perhaps look at what types of charities under different headings in a standardised format, look at each one by geo-location according to a map and there are potentially more besides these.  The main point here is that with a minimal amount of data a very visually appealing data visualisation was created using Tableau software and one that is easily understood with a legend/headings.  The live version creates another layer to give data meaning and significance.  It is very powerful, however, it is not without dangers of its own which was emphasised in the lectures.  Data can be skewed, can contain errors- some of which have been outlined.  Neverthless, it is a very useful and worthwhile exercise.  Toiling over a dataset can make you really appreciate data visualisation.  After all there is more than one way of looking at anything.

Open Street Map Assignment

I set up an Open Street Map account and had a small opportunity to practice in my lab tutorials.

I chose a humanitarian crisis section that was in another language, French, and that hadn’t really been looked at and this was indicated by a low percentage sign.

I mapped three tiles but not without difficulty, at times I could not map them precisely enough as you will see from the images.

The project in question was CartoAssahoun #1406

I read the instructions which were in French, my limited knowledge of French did not pose an obstacle to carrying any the necessary amendments involved in the three tiles chosen by me. I chose to use the simpler editor, ID editor due to my inexperience.

However, understanding the background of the project proved a little more challenging. From what I can gather on the Wikipedia page:

http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/FR:Highway_Tag_Africa

the OSM community seeks to develop a context for the country of Africa through the mapping and classification of its highways and byways. The official language of Togo/Assahoun region is French.

The Wiki page points out that Africa is not always represented accurately for its economic and social role. This mapping project seeks to build an understanding of the bigger picture in essence and this is also important when you consider that the region floods during the flooding season (monsoons perhaps?) It is stressed that it is vital that the maps reflect the reality of the area.

I will now take you through the steps I performed:

I opened the ID editor and clicked on point. Following that I clicked on the building. I repeated this step over eighty times. The point symbol represents a building or location of some description. It was monotonous but it was simple to do for this first tile after following the instructions.

one

 

 

There appeared to be nothing else to be mapped on that particular tile. I found it easier to map it out in map view rather than satellite view as follows:

two

 

I had to ensure to save my changes and mark it as done otherwise it would prove fruitless:

three

 

My account reflected that I had completed my first tile after saving the changes.

four

 

I moved on to the second tile which was comprised (from what I could see) of an area and a line.

I clicked on the area button and mapped my way around the section and I also did this for the line by clicking the line button and carefully mapped it out.

five

 

There were some sections that could not be mapped. The lines failed to show despite a number of attempts.

 

six

 

Here is an image of the second tile, A satellite view and an error:

 

seven

 

 

 

As above an attempt to fix after changes were already saved (and had gone live):

And finally I carried out amendments on the third tile. The locations/points were already completed, so I made area and line changes where applicable within the constraints of the tile selected indicated by the pink/purple line:

 

eight

 

 

I learned quite a lot from carrying out the process. It was a simple process, however, it took time to grasp an understanding of it and some video tutorials helped me along the way in my effort. But with openstreetmap, it is fair to say, you learn by doing. It is better to practice on the demos first because once the changes are saved they go live and everyone can see them with internet around the world.

From what I can see this exercise has certainly been a real eye-opener in terms of its potential, it will prove to be essential in the future in terms of sustainable planning and development and is vital in times of crisis such as flooding or other natural disasters such as earthquakes. I had the choice to choose between mapping my neighbourhood or a humanitarian crisis, I chose the humanitarian crisis for two reasons namely because I thought it would prove to be more useful as it is a priority need and also because at the time I had thought that I would have to go out taking pictures and such and that this would not be appreciated by the neighbours, however, I learned quite quickly that I was wrong and that this was not the reality/case and that the mapping imagery was, in fact, already there and the exercise was to be performed solely online. This has been a valuable and worthwhile exercise and the skills that I am developing will prove essential for the future.

 

 

 

 

:

 

 

 

 

Electioneering Fan Fiction….

It’s GE2046 and you’ve just been transported by Dr. Who from the world of 2016.

You’ve been tasked with following the political coverage of a number of Generation Z candidates but you’re having trouble keeping up!

There’s a range of parties, some of them include:

DigimonDataSquad

DoraTheOpenExplorer

CbeebiesCuration

ArchaicTechnocrats

SustainableSpaceSolutions

OnesAndZeroGeeks

The data scene’s a mess (just like the olden days of economic crashes)!

Too much data is being stored in space, decisions have to be made of what is to be kept and what is to go! Should records pre-dating the millennium be destroyed? Or should a data limit be placed on individuals in relation to leisurely pursuits? The databankcentre’s reaching breaking point in relation to bitcoin processes! The European DBC and the American DBC are in talks to expand storage however they are fearful that black holes may be created in the process and there will be a mass data wipeout. Social Media sites could be shut down pending who gets in next! Such is life in a technocracy…If things don’t become resolved….is World War Web emanating on the horizon?

Storage is the ‘dead art’ of data!

Has technology killed our imaginations or is it in the process of doing so? I believed that technology would trigger our thoughts, make us mentally active and fire up our imagination. But I have come to the idea that maybe it has the opposite effect. Technology can encourage laziness. You need not learn a new skill, there’s an app for that, somewhere! Why draw when you can duplicate?! Time and energy is saved but valuable skills are being lost! Think of the Wii games versus sports training in the flesh. It is great fun and encourages people to get active, however, the skills do not transfer from the Wii console to the field of sport! How much of an active role do you play in the time you spend online? Do you actively engage with the material? Do you create content? It is very easy to be a passive internet citizen, consuming every meme, image and piece of information in plain sight. But how do we enable creativity and fire up our imaginations online? Through storytelling! Creating stories is a craft and must be adapted for new technological mediums. There is plenty of information or data being mined for a variety of purposes, however, we need to make this information useful for the wider public. We need to make the data tell a story. Why should we bother? We need to make sense of the world of information which surrounds us. And by doing so we will make our lives easier and more beneficial. Think of a library. There are large numbers of libraries throughout the world filled with materials and books, each has a story to tell. The information is grouped, managed and organised collectively. Standards are set as to what materials and books are to be taken in, choices are made and first preferences are given. Following such a model will allow us to prevent laziness and intellectual staleness setting in. Making use of open data. The idea of Open Knowledge Ireland holds sway: “open data is the public library of the 21st century”. Will your data come alive and tell a story? Publish or perish was the old adage…the new is create content collaboratively for the world to openly interpret and visualise or become storage, the ‘dead art’ of data!

 

Digital Humanities, the Internet and You…

What is the value of Digital Humanities? The very nature of Digital Humanities is collaborative in its approach. There is not one set definition to explain what it is exactly. There are a number of definitions out there, and each one contributes to the larger picture, or maybe pictures. So why bother with it? If it fails to be boxed, or categorised, what is the use of it? We cannot nail it down to any one thing and that is important, if not vital, in the digital age. It is ever-changing in the dynamic multiverse and digisphere. It is akin to attempting to define the internet itself, what the internet means to everyone is different because our experiences of it are very different. We find common ground sometimes and this manifests itself in for example memes we might share or enjoyment we derive from some video. Presently, the internet is a very individual experience, it is in its infancy, we need to work towards a common goal a community of internet users just the same as any city, town or village. We will do this through shared experiences. One project that I have come across recently is:

www.redmanlaughing.com

The purpose of this project is to explore the idea of reconciliation through the power of storytelling.

Already we have seen pages such as Humans of New York, Humans of Cork etc. These are pages that explore the ordinary yet thought-provoking stories of ordinary people everyday that at times can restore our faith in humanity.

http://www.humansofnewyork.com/

Also check out Facebook.

This concept and approach is quite mesmerizing for me personally, the idea that nothing has to die or become extinct anymore. Languages, for example, can be brought to life. One example of this is the Irish language music videos made by Colaiste Lurgan on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/user/tglurgan

We can attempt to reconcile our differences, and pave the way towards preservation of what we consider to be important to us collectively. One voice need no longer supersede the other, however, one voice may speak stronger than the other to individuals in certain cases and we have to bear this in mind. Building our future together, driven by data, data that tells the bigger picture, that is all-inclusive. One that is modelled on the very essence of Digital Humanities. To reconcile, we must understand what it means to respect one another, we need suitable individuals to lead us there. People who understand the importance of data, its successes and failures, ethics, the power of its core – people themselves. People who understand the past, the present and the future, and the implications of a data-driven future, those who respect others in every way and have an understanding of and appreciate the value of this collaborative effort. Yes the future includes you but who will take you there? Can you?

Digital White Collar Crime!

It’s 2016 and I am back after an extended Christmas break!

What is bugging me today?

This new ruling in favour of employers:

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-35301148

Now I have an issue with this for the following reasons:

You are entitled to have and speak your own mind, your private thoughts are your private thoughts not that of your employer! Where’s freedom of speech gone?

Would your employer follow you into the bathroom or attempt to read your mind if devices would allow?

I think not!

If you are factored to work, how can you possibly prove you were on your break at the time you sent that message when in fact someone else may have sent it? We cannot possibly control what other people may send to us in the round of the day, and sometimes we do have to respond, if phones are not allowed then you may have to access social media messaging sites amongst others on technology provided by the workplace.

I understand that the idea is that you are there to work.  But many people are making use of social media messaging sites due to the extortionate pricing of messaging outside of such sites.  Many people are low-income earners in low paid jobs which exacerbates the problem.  Some might even believe that such low-income earners are slaving for multinationals who have contributed to bringing about this issue to begin with, the creation of a need for all these devices and related sites and now they want to add insult to injury by monitoring ordinary people going about their daily business trying to keep motivated through keeping in contact with people throughout parts of the day via messaging.

Need I remind that this new style model of multinational corporations and such have driven people away from those they genuinely care about, away from the simple life, rural people have been driven into the cities, that causes huge psychological problems and trauma, being removed from their natural setting not to mention people who have emigrated.  All for what?  A better life?  There is no such thing in this corporate driven gluttony and greed, taking people away from what matters to them and acting as a threat to them through monitoring and holding their job, the very thing they need to survive, over their heads.  The job that they have travelled huge distances to come by.

The digital is a new concept which has infiltrated every part of ourselves emotionally, physically, mentally, socially…

It is new. Enough studies have not yet been completed on the impact it can have.

But for many it acts as a comfort and solace.

To attempt to remove people from this digital world by monitoring them is outrageous. It is a form of digital white collar crime. Employees are people not machines! It is a violation of digital human rights if someone dared to concoct such a charter!

Decide for yourself.

That is all. Rant over.