Week 13: Charouternet

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Wow. It’s already the end of the semester! This means that it’s time to wrap this blog up too~

Here’s a quick/rather long recap of what we’ve learned in class and my blog posts:

Week 1: Introduction to the Internet
[Class] We were introduced to the Internet and its history (like how it started as a defense project and all). We also learned about the OSI Model, which took me some time to digest. Thankfully we had an acronym for that (Ah Pek Saw The National Day Parade) to help us remember all 7 layers.

[Blog] I went to find out the difference between the Internet and the Web, and realized learned that the Internet is actually a hardware, whereas the Web is a software.

Week 2: Social Media

[Class] I learned that social media has been around with us for a long time. It didn’t have to be what we have now; as long as it could help build social relations, it was a form of social media (i.e. sending letters to one another).

[Blog] I decided to focus on tagging, and how powerful tags can be to connect us to one another, whether we are aware of them or not.

Week 3: Social Networking for Business

[Class] Social networking for businesses is all part of a company’s marketing strategy—how a business can tap onto social media to expand its reach.

[Blog] I went to look up @Wendy’s Twitter account, which is part of their marketing strategy, in terms of how they deal with haters in a humorous way that could have actually helped them to increase sales and boost their popularity.

Week 4: Doing Business on the Internet

[Class] There are 3 dimensions of e-commerce: Product, Process, & Delivery Agent. How virtual these dimensions are determine to what extent a business can be truly an e-commerce.

[Blog] Even though I felt that online businesses may be a threat to traditional businesses, I learned that if traditional businesses were to embrace e-commerce to provide their customers an omnichannel experience, they may actually benefit from it instead.

Week 5: E-learning

[Class] It didn’t occur to me that before we can even talk about e-learning, we need to first look at learning itself. We learned that based on Bloom’s taxonomy, there are 3 domains to learning: Cognitive, Psychomotor, & Affective.

[Blog] I explored the possibility of actually learning something with e-learning tools, and yes, we can learn with e-learning; it’s only a matter of how it’s conducted, according to the student’s needs and learning style preference.

Week 6: Internet Tools

[Class] We played around with the various Internet tools available online, which was pretty fun.

[Blog] We had to make our own video. I had to learn online how to speed up certain parts of my video.

Week 8: Internet Security

[Class] There are various malware, such as viruses, worms, Trojan horses. Some of them can come from suspicious looking e-mail from an unknown sender.

[Blog] I focused on cyberattacks and how we can fight against them.

Week 9: Multimedia and Hypermedia

[Class] We looked at cool stuffs using VR and AR, and how a FPS game was made more realistic with the help of VR.

[Blog] I talked about my cool experience with VR at the amusement park in Seoul!

Week 10: The Future of Internet

[Class] We looked at Web 3.0 more in-depth and its various characteristics.

[Blog] I followed up on Web 3.0 and analyzed how we actually have it right now (in the form of an intelligent personal assistant) based on its several characteristics.

Week 11: Internet of Things

[Class] We learned how IoT can change how the industry works.

[Blog] I considered how it would be like to actually have the Internet of Things.

Week 12: Innovation Initiatives

[Class] We didn’t really go through this in class ._.

[Blog] I looked at how some products are pretty similar to another company’s, yet they are still considered to be an innovation just because they add value, and help us to do certain things better.


If you noticed a pattern between our classes and my blog posts as we go down the weeks, you would realize that the content starts getting more informal. I would say that this is because of the nature of the Internet. The boring stuffs about it are just the hard facts about its past and all. However, whatever can be said about its future, may still be a huge question mark even though we can already make certain predictions.

With that being said, this would mean that we would require a constant state of learning and re-learning when it comes to the Internet. And that would be my take-away from this class:

NEVER STOP LEARNING!

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via GIPHY

Week 12: Is it really innovation?

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What exactly is innovation? If I did not go look up its meaning, my best answer would be “making something new.”

Well let’s see what Merriam-Webster says about it:

1. The introduction of something new

2. A new idea, method, or device

I think I was pretty close! At least I had managed to get the keyword “new”~ 😀

Merriam-Webster continues to elaborate on this definition in its editor’s note: “Innovation … can refer to something new or to a change made to an existing product, idea, or field.” Wait, what? So what exactly does innovation mean in practical terms then?

Based on a careful analysis of 15 experts’ definition of ‘innovation,’ the ultimate definition was then created:

(Source)

It’s a whole lot different from just having something new. Innovation actually involves the entire process—from from having an idea to actually executing it, so that it adds value for both the customer and the company. Because really, if the definition of innovation is to be limited to only being new, the future of innovation is nowhere to be seen in the technological industry where one company’s product is merely a variant of another company’s product.

This means war.

1. App: Snapchat VS Facebook

I guess everyone knows what Snapchat is right? Well basically, the people who came up with it were pretty innovative, and they changed how we think of social media and how we can express ourselves.

However, if you’re on other social media platforms, you would know that something else looks way too familiar for it to be just a coincidence. That’s right, Facebook and its various apps are slowly adopting the same features that were once unique to Snapchat. Take a look:

(Source)

But why?

I suppose Facebook saw how Snapchat’s innovation has value-adding potential to its current products which could benefit the company and its customers.

tech snapchat

Note the features similar to Snapchat that Facebook is coming up with! (Source)

For me, I use Instagram more than I do with Snapchat, so when I saw the new ‘Stories’ feature on Instagram, I got pretty confused because it really looked so much like Snapchat! If I were to choose between the two, I would still go with Instagram’s ‘Stories’ even though it’s the copycat version because I’m already so comfortable with Instagram and I don’t want to juggle with so many social media platforms. So you can see how Facebook has decided to add this new feature in order to give value to its customers (i.e. I want to use Snapchat’s features, but I don’t want to use it on Snapchat because it’s gonna be a hassle, so it’s great that something that I’m already using has that same features!).

Personally, I wouldn’t say that Facebook’s new features are a form of innovation, but based on that ultimate definition, it would be since it checks off all the requirements.

2. Productivity Suite: Microsoft VS Google

Now, this is really a war between the 2 big tech giants.

In the past, we only had Microsoft Office (Microsoft Word, Microsoft Powerpoint, and Microsoft Excel) to help us with the work that we need to do. However, one drawback is that it can only be worked on that specific file, which means that collaboration is hard. I remember we used to have to send each other e-mails of our parts or use a thumbdrive to pass it around just so that we can edit the work together.

But now, we don’t have to do that anymore because we have Google Suite (Google Docs, Google Slides, and Google Sheets). Do you notice how sneaky the names that Google uses are? Usually we would say “Word DOCument,” “Powerpoint SLIDES,” and “Excel SHEETS.” It’s like as if Google wants to make it seem that their products are the same as Microsoft’s, but only better!

I would say that Google’s take on its productivity suite is pretty innovative because it has changed the way we collaborate with others, which is a huge need today given, and so, it overcomes the challenge of difficult collaboration work and also provides us with great value because we can be more efficient!

However, despite its benefits, I feel that Google is still not as powerful as Microsoft in terms of its features. Based on the comparisons of both Microsoft and Google suites on an android tablet, you can see how Google pales in comparison to Microsoft (in terms of features).

word vs docs

excel vs sheets
(Source)

You can tell that Google uses a more minimalist approach. However, I feel that Google still shouldn’t compromise on providing us powerful features that could help us to be even more efficient. I find it frustrating at times when I can’t do certain things on Google’s suite when I normally can do them with ease on Microsoft.

But looking at how Google has made collaboration so much easier, I would say that that component is an innovation on Google’s part.

So, as you can see from the above 2 examples, one does not exactly need to come up with something totally brand new to be innovative (that would be more like an invention rather than an innovation instead).

Knowing all this, I think it may actually be possible for all of us to be innovators in the future (as long as we are able to carry out our value-adding ideas)!

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Week 11: Internet of THINGS!

Moving on from my previous post, this week’s topic is one notch above. Now instead of being just limited to how the Web is able to know us better, it’s about the relationship between things (like literally).

You can think of it as a form of machine-to-machine communication that’s built on (1) networks of data-gathering sensors and (2) cloud computing. What this big hoo-hah is all about is that we can now use sensors to attach to objects, gadgets, and just about anything we can imagine to collect data, which is then transmitted to a cloud so that the data can be interpreted and utilized by communicating with other devices like our smartphones.

You can also think of it like monitoring the physical objects around us without us actually physically monitoring them. Based on the data collected, the IoT will automate certain processes for the ease of our convenience. For example, when we get out of bed in the morning, the sensors on our bed would turn on lights to the bathroom. Also, sensors on our toothpaste or toilet paper will notify us when our resources are getting low; they might even automatically make an online purchase for new supply. (This could go on and on and on…)

I would think that the IoT is a real deal because currently, we already posseses its key ingredients: sensors and cloud computing. All we need is to integrate them together and voilà~ MAGIC!!!

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via GIPHYTo give you an idea of how this could all work out, take a look at the lovely infographic done by the telecommunications company, Libelium, which designs and manufactures wireless sensor network devices.

SHO COOL! I wonder how it would be like to live in such a smart city. (Source)

It’s pretty neat huh? So, what are my thoughts on this? Hmm… Although I think it’s pretty neat and all, it can be a little scary to think of the extent that we are going to be relying on technology. Yeah, I know that we are already relying on technology, but still, technology is just there as an aid to help us; we still have to manually do certain processes ourselves. What if one day technology fails? Would we all be so helpless then? Would we forget how to do certain things for ourselves? Okay, we might not, but how about our children and grandchildren who never have to learn how to do certain things while growing up in a smart world?

Actually, when I was thinking about how lazy we could be with the IoT, a scene from WALL-E popped into my head.

LOL.

Well, that could be us. Oh wait, maybe not us-us, but our grandchildren’s grandchildren, maybe (hehe).

And, if you’re really bored, maybe you can check this link out to see 15 IoT products that are a bit useless (But who knows? Maybe stuffs like these are are future.)

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Week 10: Web 3.0

Before taking this class, the web has always just been the ‘Web.’ Nothing fancy schmancy about that name until we learn that it’s now known as ‘Web 3.0.’ If you’re smart enough, you would know that if it’s a ‘3.0,’ it would mean that it has developed from a ‘1.0’ and a ‘2.0’ (and possibly a 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, etc. somewhere, but we know that those didn’t happen).

(Source)

If you noticed from the image above, what is new about Web 3.0 is that devices such as computers, tablets, and smartphones have joined us in this whole mish-mash of things. It has truly changed from an Informative Web (1.0), to an Interactive Web (2.0), to an Intelligent Web (3.0) that is highly personalized because “Web 3.0 learns and understands who you are and gives you something back.”

Sounds far-fetched? I feel that because of how seamlessly (well to me, anyway) we have moved from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0, we don’t actually realize its presence in our lives.

Well, to start off, we need to properly define Web 3.0. Even though we agar agar know what it means, it may be best defined by its features.

5 Main Features of Web 3.0
  1. Semantic Web
  2. Artificial Intelligence
  3. 3D Graphics
  4. Connectivity
  5. Ubiquity

I managed to think of a good example of Web 3.0 that fulfills Features #1, #2, #4, & #5 (#3 maybe?).

Intelligent personal assistant.

If that term sounds too high-tech, it’s basically Siri (for iOS), Cortana (for Windows 10), and the latest addition, Google Assistant. (And if you know how long Siri has been around for, that’s exactly how long Web 3.0 has been with us—this is what I mean by how sneaky this Web 3.0 is to creep up in our lives when we least expect it.)

Note at 1:18 where the video says, “And soon, you’ll be able to access it from all sorts of places, so it will be everywhere you are.” That would refer to how it would be ubiquitous in the future.

But perhaps, not many of us use such intelligent personal assistants. Is Web 3.0 still part of our lives? I would say yes. Just think about your Google searches. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find it scary at times how Google is able to predict what I’m going to type. I mean, I understand if it’s something that I search for often or it’s related to what I’ve been searching recently, but there were a few instances whereby I’m thinking about a random question in my head (that may not be related to my search history), and Google just predicts the rest of my question when I had only typed in the first letter.

It’s like how does Google even know? Has my online searching behavior been so well understood that Google actually knows me? It’s kinda freaky to be honest.

And not only that, the online ads that you see are also related to the pages you’re on, or the things that you’ve been searching for. My bro just told me that because he has been looking up for a new gaming mouse to buy, he has been seeing ads from Lazada showing the various gaming mouse that they are selling on its site. This is one way how Web 3.0 is also a Semantic Web which is able to understand the meaning of the words you type.

All these being said, are we actually helping Web 3.0 to become smarter? After all, if it’s artificial intelligence that it is running on, it still needs to be taught. I had this thought based on this game that is built-in with machine learning to guess our doodles.

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Click to play!

The only reason why this program is able to correctly guess our doodles is because we fed it with information based on our own doodles. Similarly, based on our online behavior, we are continuously feeding information to help Web 3.0 grow to become smarter than before.

I really can’t imagine how far this whole intelligent web thing would go in the future… What if one day it knows me better than I know myself? 😱😱😱

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Week 9: Is it really not real?

This week we learned about multimedia in class, and the 2 main terms that we may be more familiar with were Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). Personally, I might have accidentally used the 2 terms interchangeably, but now I’ve learned that they are actually 2 super different things.

The main difference lies in the environment. For VR, the environment is computer-generated, so it creates an immersive feel for the user in a non-physical world that looks like it actually exists. On the other hand, AR works with the current physical environment of the user and superimposes virtual images so that they add on to the experience. So the names given are pretty much accurate (“virtual” = non-physical; “augmented” = add on — in case you didn’t catch my point).

Between the two, I think that AR would be something that most of us would have already experienced with our smartphones (assuming that it is something that most of us would have). Think SNAPCHAT, or even the selfie camera app SNOW. These apps use various stickers, filters, and other forms of editing to change how we look.

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Awww… You can now be a cute puppy with SNOW! (Android | Apple)

But what about VR? Unless you own an Oculus Rift or a Google Glass VR, VR may not be something that everyone get to experience. It was something that I didn’t get to try until I went to South Korea. Of course, there are various ways that we can use VR for, for example, for entertainment (games, movies), healthcare (therapy, assistance in diagnosis and treatment), and even education! Well, instead of those, I’m going to share my experience with VR at the amusement park! (Bet you didn’t see that coming!)

In my recent trip to South Korea, I got the chance to go to Lotte World again. However, this time, they offered a VR experience for 2 of their rides. So, since they were something new, and I had ridden those rides before, I thought I should give it a go. The 2 rides were Gyro Drop and French Revolution.

NOTE: Spoilers ahead! (Based on my short-term memory)

Gyro Drop

CONTEXT:
We are supposedly some construction worker in a super high-tech world (we would see stuffs flying around and the buildings all look super futuristic). So, we have to take our elevator-like ride to bring us to the top so that we can work. But somehow, when we reached the top, the machine broke down, and our ride started falling (in time with our big drop irl). Then when it seemed that all hopes were lost for our dear lives, a friendly robot (reminded me of Transformers) managed to catch us in time, so we’re all saved. YAYS!

I honestly enjoyed this ride a lot with the VR! I can’t say that I enjoyed it any better or less, but I felt that with the VR, you don’t actually feel the big drop as bad. In fact, you might not even realize that you’re actually falling because the scene in the VR makes it feel like it’s not even real at all (like as if you’re sitting on a stationary ride and experiencing the VR). I feel that this is a super good way to help people overcome their fears of getting on the Gyro Drop, because 1) you can’t see that you’re actually high up in the air, 2) you’re constantly being distracted by what you see in the VR, and 3) the smooth integration/transition of the ride and VR makes you forget that you’re on a scary ride.

Rating: 4.5/5 (-0.5 because some part of the thrill factor was lost in the process)

 

French Revolution

CONTEXT:
We are set in the medieval times. We are in a cart and and a dragon is pulling us around in the sky, but we are under attack by some weird monsters in the sky! :O One thing cool about this VR experience is that we could interact with it! So we could actually shoot the monsters by aiming with our head and then touching the sides of the glasses to shoot them.

To be honest, I felt that the VR ruined the entire roller coaster ride — that’s not what you want when you needa queue for almost 2 hours. I mean, the whole VR experience was really cool, but it took the fun out of the ride because 1) you get super distracted trying to shoot the monsters so you kinda forget that you’re on a roller coaster, 2) you can’t see where you’re going (and that’s SUPER important for a roller coaster ride), and 3) because you can’t see where you’re going, you lose track of your sense of direction (the ride had 360° spins vertically AND horizontally) which defeated the purpose of the attraction itself. What a bummer! I was seriously super disappointed after the ride.

Rating: 1/5 (I’m only giving 1 because I’m sucha mountain tortoise so I didn’t know that I could aim and shoot stuffs with the VR glasses)

MY ADVICE: Please ride the ride as it is. Trust me, it’s totally worth your 2-hour plus wait in exchange for 2 minutes.

Well, the above 2 rides were using VR as part of the attraction experience. At another amusement park, Everland, they had offered VR for one of their famous roller coaster ride as well.

I didn’t try it because I rode the actual ride itself. This VR was for people who want to have a feel of what it would be like to ride it without actually having to ride it. My mom went for it instead because she was too scared to ride the real deal, and she told us that the VR experience was super scary because it felt super realistic.

So yeah, these are the 2 ways currently to incorporate VR at the amusement park! I hope that you guys would get to experience something like that for yourselves~ If you’re riding the rides for the first time, my advice would be to ride it as it is the first time if you’re not scared of roller coasters/thrilling rides; if not, just go ahead with the VR.

That’s it for now~ I hope this post was enlightening (somewhat).

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