Sunday, December 2, 2007

After reading both articles I think I agree more with Joy, in that we should proceed with great caution towards a near future where humans will co-exist with robots. I am more inclined to be hopeful about such a (near) future where Kurzweil says within roughly 2(!) years computers will cease to exist in lieu of technology integrated onto our very clothing, creating this semi-virtual experiential existence, and in 20 some odd years nanorobots will be in our very own fibers. The latter still escapes me and I didn't quite grasp exactly what that meant and the extreme implication of such a reality. I have to be hopeful because they speak of the technology of the future as inevitable and not as once was merely fiction. What I did read of Kurzweil's Accelerating Intelligence took me quite a back. I guess I just never knew how soon scientists were developing these technologies.
When Joy spoke of confronting societies problems with new, helpful technology, one problem at a time, similarly to the turn of the century inventions of the Industrial Revolution, I understood how this seemed much less daunting than coping with possible inventions that would conflict with human existence. And that which are looming on our very horizon. What is different about the technological revolutions that took place a century plus ago to that which is happening now is that it seemed much more beneficial for the greater good. I don't think the ability to rely completely upon a robotic being is like returning to Eden, without a care in the world. An existence of leisure? I don't think so. Not for me anyway. I think humans should develop a cultivation of art, literature, study, and creation to be happy. Kurzweil seems like an overzealous, yet well-intentioned obsessed person.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Net Neutrality

The fundamental issue underlying the net neutrality debate is rights. Content providers are concerned with their traffic being treated equally and network owners debate the right to choose what traffic can travel over their network - should network owners be allowed to give preferential treatment to certain content providers over others? etc. Lastly, the rights of the user come into question. Privatization of the internet would create monopolies. The user would have little choice in certain decisions, as with small web sites, who would not be able to gain traction without the subsidization of their cause.
What net neutrality does is stops network carriers from choosing favorites, playing sides, etc. and deciding that the service quality a content provider gets depends on the business arrangement it makes with the ISP.
The ACLU and Google are in favor of net neutrality.
A result of a repeal against net neutrality would be fewer and fewer companies having more control over what consumers see and do on the internet. If the consumer does not like the services provided by their ISP, they have little choice but to take it or leave it. The ACLU believes that if ISP's are allowed to control the internet, everyones speech is at risk. That regardless of whether the ISP disagrees with the speech or finds that some speech is not as profitable as others, the end result is that free speech on the internet will be virtually nonexistent.
Google could potentially see loss of revenue because of the potential growth of corporate relaionships between network owners and content providers. For example, AT&T, a network owner, owns Yahoo!, a content provider. AT&T could make Yahoo!'s search engine respond much quicker than Google's, if net neutrality is repealed. Their concern is over the potential of concentration of power in the internet.
Libertarians are against net neutrality because it enforces government legislation. They see such as interference - unnecessary gov't intervention. Even though the internet has always been regulated by net neutrality and only just repealed this past year, the group consider the introduction of legislation to ensure net neutrality as infringement on their rights to freely choose in a competitive market. (Ass backwards.) is an organization that opposes net neutrality as well. One of their reasons is that this would tax the populace. Large companies would most likely not invest in creating new and better internet infrastructure if they did not see the profits of such in return, so in effect, it would be the consumers who would pay. However, this logic is the same that stymies the universal healthcare issue.
In my opinion, to date, the government regulation of the internet has not been overbearing, so I do not think it would become so, but do think that legislation is the right way to ensure net neutrality. Also, I believe that because of net neutrality, and the assurance of competition, that it is impossible to "stifle innovation" with the limitless options. Without real competition there would be no real incentive to innovate.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A simple mashup that plots stories from AP national news on a google map.
Each stories location is converted to a longitude/latitude position.
Currently, only the U.S./National news stories are plotted. Viable news source.
This site combines popular items from Flickr,, Yahoo, and furl, the last of which I am unfamiliar with. Like the AP site, it is informative, as well as diverse in its reported stories, accessing information from various sources from several websites.
I am planning on living in France within the next two years. I am always looking at apartment searches in Paris as well landmarks and google earth'ing cemetaries, like Pere-Lachaise in my down (down) time. I like this site for the reason that it shows me apartment searches near places of interest, i.e. Beaux des-Arts academie. An option allows me to view photographs of said searches. French data is shown on a google map.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

File Sharing

- Downloading a song you don't own from a major label artist.

Downloading and sharing are arguably the same action. If a friend or relative owns an album by a major label artist, and wishes to the share the album with me, I'll most likely borrow the album and burn a copy for myself, as would anyone else. If a friend or relative makes me a mixed-tape or CD, I'll of course accept the music. Downloading a song online via a sharing-site is no different in my eyes. This falls alongside the same philosophy and/or context as giving a book or dvd away for free. Online sharing is a way for others to present music for the public, especially since major label artists don't necessarily need my help.

- Downloading a song you don't own from a struggling independent artist.

I only buy records by lesser known, more independent artists, based strictly on principle. The cash that I use to purchase an independent artist's record, goes directly to them on most occasions. My contribution is counted, and appreciated.

- Downloading another copy of a song you already own.

I'm not sure that I'd need to download a second copy in any case, when if I already own a copy on any format it basically serves the same purpose. Today's technology allows me to digitize vinyl records and cassettes, enabling all of my music to be transfered into mp3s. The concept of downloading a second copy of any track doesn't make much sense for those who know these finer points.

- Shoplifting a CD from a store.

No point. I can just download it.

- Downloading a song to "try it out" - if you like it enough, you'll buy the CD.

I know people who subscribe to this philosophy in theory, but I think they're basically inconsistent, or lying. If you download the song, you own the song, why stop there? There are other ways to listen to the tracks on an album without downloading the full track, with so many online stores allowing you to sample the product.

- Copying a CD from a friend.

This is the same as sharing, in every aspect. If I download a song online, I'm going through the same process. I often borrow CDs from friends, upload the material as mp3s and voila!

- Making music you own publicly available on the Internet, such as through KazAa or Limewire.

If I'm inclined to share my music, its strictly on the basis of spreading the word on certain artists that I love. In today's market/climate, it's important to make your favorite work as accessible as possible.

Sunday, October 7, 2007


RFID is a Radio Frequency Identification Device.

Two real or potential benefits of RFID are the use of passive RFID's in pets and active RFID's in transit systems. Personally, I have had the former implanted in my cat(s) and felt better knowing that in the event that Negrita went out and lost her way back (impossible..) that she might be returned safely. The latter is a matter of convenience-anything that speeds up already congested Bay Bridge traffic, and the like, is fine by me.

Two privacy concerns related to RFID's are data leakage - aggregated data-knowledge of personal (as a consumer and otherwise) behavior and the possibility of stalking/tracking are both extremely undesirable.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


If our current designated "options" of recycling electronics are as chaotic and ultimately careless as they seem, what valid alternatives does that leave me with? How does the individual decide on where to put, or what do with discontinued or broken electronic materials? The situation is obviously a bit more drastic than I could have imagined, but the concept of creating a make-shift environment-friendly disposal unit, or constructing some sort of storage facility is obviously out of the quesiton, since this dilemma is a bit more complicated than a simple two-bit, instinctive last minute decision. Before reviewing these articles and video examples, I hadn't the slightest impression of the magnitude of the issue; that certain villages were having to live with the polution up-front, and deal with it on their own terms, without any sort of administrative concern for the health or well being of the actual human beings, who are literally sleeping next to the problem.

First off, the local government(s) play a massive hand in the disposal of these materials, maybe even moreso than the companies that produced and disposed of the electronics. An international court might have to step in, after years of lobbying and media-grabbing, to both punish those responsible, and grant financial retribution to those who suffered the most.

Personally, if only I had the power, I would initiate and conduct a massive international fundraising campaign, focused on the concept of returning the biohazardous material back to the plants and factories that originally sent them out to third world areas. Of course this breaks several laws, but this is a personal preference, and a bit dreamlike, admittedly. The materials would be sent to the homes of the company owners, and those who decided so moronically to dispose of these materials in such a fashion. This, understandably, is unrealistic. Another option, and one a bit more reasonable and fathomable, would be to uproot the villagers of these areas, providing better homes, locales and expenses for their troubles. The company owners, and certain responsible local government officials might have to provide these people with a quality lifestyle, as repayment, instead of being officially tried in an international court for crimes against humanity, and should I say, nature.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Internet Archive SF

The creators of the Internet Archive are doing this for the purpose of providing access of what they call 'historical collections' existing in digital format to historians, scholars, and researchers. The importance of such is that it serves as cultural artifact, of which we can refer to later, and to create an identity for the significance of film (especially significant in my opinion), music, and the internet through 'concrete' memory.

The Internet Archive includes text, audio, moving images, software, as well as archived web pages.

I noted that while browsing the site, the CBS News coverage of Sept. 11th was a recently multiply viewed item. It is important for reflection, of our change or stagnancy, to have such documentation readily available to us for personal contemplation or prompts for debate. I mean this specifically to be just one example of the use of this Internet Archive source.
I myself appreciate the digital archival of films.
Under the mystifying heading of software of which I am so inherently ignorant of what this entails is an interesting piece of ..'ware', entailed something to do with painters Joan Miro's evolving works. This site must appeal to everyone.

Monday, September 3, 2007


When I began high school in 1999 the internet had little influence on my life. My day to day routine never incorporated checking email, posting a new blog, or conversing through instant messaging as it did three years later. There was considerable difference of amount of time I spent online between the beginning of high school and end. Now my uses for the internet have changed in the sense that its mainly research-based time spent but this is a broad term that encompasses all my investigating of different interest of mine, including writing. If I hear of a Vincent Price-in-the-autumn-of-his-life picture involving child murder and incestuous relations in a small Tennessee town I look it up on or if I love a song in a film I've seen I'll download it and learn of early 80's New York no wave Tuxedo Moon.

All considering, the internet has affected my life positively in that information is more accessible and I feel like I've been made more aware of what I already inherently appreciate. I still communicate with family and friends through the phone and both parents are not internet savvy so this leaves us with little other alternative. However, I believe the internet has negatively affected interpersonal relationships in that its reduced communication to very little personally. I have myself not experienced this but the social repercussions of such are that people lose the ability to connect with another and do not gain real insight into the other's motivations and perspective. In late high school I experienced instant messaging where it became invasive and I lost sight of personal boundaries at times. Thankfully it played itself out like a phase and nothing negative came of it except feeling foolish and I have to laugh at myself.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


My name is Daniella Fernandez Murphy and I am a 4th year Art History/Arts Management Major. I really enjoy the cafeterias yogurt parfaits, my coffee in the morning, and cooking for my boyfriend in our apt. downtown. Most recently I made a putanesca sauce over penne and a cucumber yogurt dill salad. I paint small things on paper, create mixed media assemblages, and sometimes use video and edit found imagery with Imovie. I am currently reading Nadja by Andre Breton and a New Yorker article about colony collapse disorder/the disappearance of bees.(!) I found out so many things about bees that was both arresting and seductive. Bees convey to one another the location of food by dancing.