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  • Gerrit Eicker 12:07 on 3. March 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , Digital Society, , , , , , ,   

    Here to Stay 

    RWW: The #Internet is here to stay; http://j.mp/wiszL6 #Hyperconnectivity http://eicker.at/Hyperconnectivity

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 16:58 on 2. March 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Digital Society, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Hyperconnectivity 

    Pew: What does hyperconnectivity mean today and for the future of individuals and society? http://eicker.at/Hyperconnectivity

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 16:59 on 2. March 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Wikipedia: “Hyperconnectivity is a term invented by Canadian social scientists Anabel Quan-Haase and Barry Wellman, arising from their studies of person-to-person and person-to-machine communication in networked organizations and networked societies. The term refers to the use of multiple means of communication, such as email, instant messaging, telephone, face-to-face contact and Web 2.0 information services. – Hyperconnectivity is also a trend in computer networking in which all things that can or should communicate through the network will communicate through the network. This encompasses person-to-person, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communication. The trend is fueling large increases in bandwidth demand and changes in communications because of the complexity, diversity and integration of new applications and devices using the network.”

      Pew: “Teens and young adults brought up from childhood with a continuous connection to each other and to information will be nimble, quick-acting multitaskers who count on the Internet as their external brain and who approach problems in a different way from their elders, according to a new survey of technology experts. – Many of the experts surveyed by Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center and the Pew Internet Project said the effects of hyperconnectivity and the always-on lifestyles of young people will be mostly positive between now and 2020. But the experts in this survey also predicted this generation will exhibit a thirst for instant gratification and quick fixes, a loss of patience, and a lack of deep-thinking ability due to what one referred to as ‘fast-twitch wiring.'”

      Pew: “These experts predicted that the impact of networked living on today’s young will drive them to thirst for instant gratification, settle for quick choices, and lack patience. A number of the survey respondents argued that it is vital to reform education and emphasize digital literacy. A notable number expressed concerns that trends are leading to a future in which most people are shallow consumers of information, and some mentioned George Orwell’s 1984 or expressed their fears of control by powerful interests in an age of entertaining distractions.

      Pew: “Some 55% agreed with the statement: ‘In 2020 the brains of multitasking teens and young adults are ‘wired’ differently from those over age 35 and overall it yields helpful results. They do not suffer notable cognitive shortcomings as they multitask and cycle quickly through personal- and work-related tasks. Rather, they are learning more and they are more adept at finding answers to deep questions, in part because they can search effectively and access collective intelligence via the internet. In sum, the changes in learning behavior and cognition among the young generally produce positive outcomes.‘”

      Pew: “This is the next positive step in human evolution: We become ‘persistent paleontologists of our external memories’ – Most of the survey respondents with the largest amount of expertise in this subject area said changes in learning behavior and cognition will generally produce positive outcomes. … One of the world’s best-known researchers of teens and young adults-danah boyd of Microsoft Research – said there is no doubt that most people who are using the new communications technologies are experiencing the first scenario as they extend themselves into cyberspace. … Amber Case, cyberanthropologist and CEO of Geoloqi, agreed: ‘The human brain is wired to adapt to what the environment around it requires for survival. Today and in the future it will not be as important to internalize information but to elastically be able to take multiple sources of information in, synthesize them, and make rapid decisions. … Memories are becoming hyperlinks to information triggered by keywords and URLs.‘ … William Schrader, a consultant who founded PSINet in the 1980s, expressed unbridled hope. ‘A new page is being turned in human history, and while we sometimes worry and most of the time stand amazed at how fast (or how slowly) things have changed, the future is bright for our youth worldwide…’ David Weinberger, senior researcher at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet und Society, says values will evolve alongside the evolution in ways of thinking and knowing. ‘Whatever happens,’ he wrote, ‘we won’t be able to come up with an impartial value judgment because the change in intellect will bring about a change in values as well.’ Alex Halavais, an associate professor and internet researcher at Quinnipiac University, agreed. ‘We will think differently, and a large part of that will be as a result of being capable of exploiting a new communicative environment…‘”

      Pew: “Negative effects include a need for instant gratification, loss of patience – A number of the survey respondents who are young people in the under-35 age group – the central focus of this research question – shared concerns about changes in human attention and depth of discourse among those who spend most or all of their waking hours under the influence of hyperconnectivity. – Alvaro Retana, a distinguished technologist with Hewlett-Packard, expressed concerns about humans’ future ability to tackle complex challenges. ‘The short attention spans resulting from the quick interactions will be detrimental to focusing on the harder problems, and we will probably see a stagnation in many areas: technology, even social venues such as literature…‘ Masiclat said social systems will evolve to offer even more support to those who can implement deep-thinking skills. ‘The impact of a future ‘re-wiring’ due to the multitasking and short-term mindset will be mostly negative not because it will reflect changes in the physical nature of thinking, but because the social incentives for deep engagement will erode…‘ However, students who participated in the survey tended to express concerns about their peers’ ability to get beyond short-burst connections to information. … Annette Liska, an emerging-technologies design expert, observed, ‘The idea that rapidity is a panacea for improved cognitive, behavioral, and social function is in direct conflict with topical movements that believe time serves as a critical ingredient in the ability to adapt, collaborate, create, gain perspective, and many other necessary (and desirable) qualities of life…‘ Bruce Nordman, a research scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and active leader in the Internet Engineering Task Force, expressed concerns over people’s information diets, writing: ‘The overall effect will be negative, based on my own experience with technology, attention, and deep thinking (I am 49), and observing my children and others. I see the effect of television as a primary example, in which people voluntarily spend large amounts of time in mentally unhealthy activity…‘”

      Pew: “The result is likely to be a wide-ranging mix of positives and negatives – and not just for young people – Many survey participants said always-on connectivity to global information is a double-edged sword. Dave Rogers, managing editor of Yahoo Kids, observed that there will be winners and losers as this technology evolves. ‘Certainly,’ he noted, ‘there will be some teens and young adults who will suffer cognitive difficulties from unhealthy use of the internet, Web, social media, games, and mobile technology. These problems will arise not because of the technology but because of wholly inadequate adult guidance, training, and discipline over young people’s use of the technology. But most teens and young adults will prosper as described in the first option. … The learning and cognitive development made possible by tablets is much more ‘natural,’ more in keeping with the evolutionary-driven development of young minds because it is so much less dependent upon cognitive skills that the youngest children have not yet developed…’ Computing pioneer and ACM Fellow Bob Frankston predicted that people will generally take all of this in stride. ‘We will renorm to the new tools,’ he said. ‘We have always had mall rats and we’ve had explorers. Ideally, people will improve their critical thinking skills to use the available raw information. More likely, fads will continue.‘ … Martin D. Owens, an attorney and author of Internet Gaming Law, also pointed out the dual effects of humans’ uses of technologies, writing, ‘Good people do good things with their access to the internet and social media – witness the profusion of volunteer and good cause apps and programs which are continually appearing, the investigative journalism, the rallying of pro-democracy forces across the world. Bad people do bad things with their internet access…‘ Jessica Clark, a media strategist and senior fellow for two U.S. communications technology research centers, was among many who observed that there’s nothing new about concerns over teens and evolving ways they create content and share it. ‘History is a progression of older people tut-tutting over the media production and consumption habits of those younger than them and holding tightly to the belief that the technologies of communication they grew up with are intellectually or culturally superior…‘”

      Pew: “This could have a significant impact on politics, power and control … Jesse Drew, an associate professor of technocultural studies at the University of California-Davis, echoed Braman. ‘My fear is that though their cognitive ability will not be impaired, their ability to think critically will be, and they will be far more susceptible to manipulation…‘ John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, observed: ‘The world is becoming more complex, and yet both old media (e.g., cable TV news) and new media (e.g., Twitter) are becoming increasingly simplistic. What passes for politics is increasingly a charade detached from actual governance.‘ – Paul Gardner-Stephen, a telecommunications fellow at Flinders University, said the underlying issue is that people will become dependent upon accessing the internet in order to solve problems and conduct their personal, professional, and civic lives. ‘Thus centralised powers that can control access to the internet will be able to significantly control future generations…’ … Fernando Botelho, an international consultant on technology and development, expressed concerns about humans’ tendencies to sort themselves in ways that may cause friction. ‘Humanity needs no additional help in dividing itself into groups that exclude more than include,’ he wrote. ‘The best way to unite millions and divide billions is nationalism, but the reality is that religion, politics, and so many other mental frameworks can do it just as effectively, and the internet enables much more narrowly targeted divisions so that we are not divided anymore into less than 200 national territories or three or four major religions, but into thousands or even millions of subgroups that challenge us to avoid the tragedy of the commons at a global level.'”

      Pew: “Many argue that reinvention and reform of education is the key to a better future – Respondents often pointed to formal educational systems as the key driver toward a positive and effective transition to taking full advantage of the fast-changing digital-knowledge landscape. … David Saer, a foresight researcher for Fast Future, said he’s a young adult who predicts a positive evolution but, ‘education will need to adapt to the wide availability of information, and concentrate on teaching sifting skills.’ … Larry Lannom, director of information management technology and vice president at the Corporation for National Research Initiatives, said, ‘People must be taught to think critically and how to focus. If they are, then the network is a rich source of information. If they aren’t, then it will be a source of misinformation and mindless distraction…‘ Tin Tan Wee, an internet expert based at the National University of Singapore, estimates a slow movement to try to adapt to deal with the likely divide. ‘After 2020,’ he predicted, ‘more-enlightened educators will start developing curricula designed to tap a post-internet era. After 2030, educational systems, primarily private ones, will demonstrate superior outcomes on a wider scale. After 2040, governments will start realising this problem, and public examination systems will emerge.‘”

      Pew: “Teachers express many concerns; you can feel the tension in their words – A number of people who identified themselves as teachers answered this question as anonymous respondents and most of them expressed frustration and concern for today’s students. Several noted that they have seen things ‘getting worse’ over the past decade. Is this at least partially due to the fact that they are still trying to educate these highly connected young people through antiquated approaches? Perhaps those who have argued for education reform would think so.

      Pew: “Widening divide? There’s a fear the rich will get richer, the poor poorer – Teens expert Danah Boyd raised concerns about a looming divide due to the switch in how young people negotiate the world. ‘Concentrated focus takes discipline, but it’s not something everyone needs to do,’ she wrote, ‘unfortunately, it is what is expected of much of the working-class labor force. I suspect we’re going to see an increased class division around labor and skills and attention.‘ – Barry Parr, owner and analyst for MediaSavvy, echoed boyd’s concern about a widening divide. ‘Knowledge workers and those inclined to be deep thinkers will gain more cognitive speed and leverage,’ he said, ‘but, the easily distracted will not become more adept at anything. History suggests that on balance people will adapt to the new order. The greatest negative outcome will be that the split in adaptation will exacerbate existing trends toward social inequality.‘ … Alan Bachers, director of the Neurofeedback Foundation, said society must prepare now for the consequences of the change we are already beginning to see. ‘The presence of breadth rather than depth of cognitive processing will definitely change everything – education, work, recreation…‘ Tin Tan Wee, an internet expert based at the National University of Singapore, noted: ‘The smart people who can adapt to the internet will become smarter, while the rest, probably the majority, will decline. Why? The reason is simple. Current educational methods evolved to their current state mostly pre-internet. The same goes for a generation of teachers who will continue to train yet another generation of kids the old way. The same goes for examination systems, which carry out assessment based on pre-internet skills. This mismatch will cause declension in a few generations of cohorts. Those who are educated and re-educable in the internet way will reap the benefits of the first option. Most of the world will suffer the consequence of the second. The intellectual divide will increase. This in turn fuels the educational divide because only the richer can afford internet access with mobile devices at effective speeds.'”

      Pew: “Some say the use of tech tools has no influence in the brain’s ‘wiring’ – Well-known blogger, author, and communications professor Jeff Jarvis said we are experiencing a transition from a textual era and this is altering the way we think, not the physiology of our brains. ‘I don’t buy the punchline but I do buy the joke,’ he wrote. ‘I do not believe technology will change our brains and how we are ‘wired.’ But it can change how we cognate and navigate our world. We will adapt and find the benefits in this change.‘ … Jim Jansen, an associate professor of information science and technology at Penn State University and a member of the boards of eight international technology journals, noted, ‘I disagree with the opening phrase: ‘In 2020 the brains of multitasking teens and young adults are ‘wired’ differently from those over age 35.’ I find it hard to believe that hard wiring, evolved over millions of years can be re-wired. We can learn to use tools that impact the way we view things, but to say this is wiring is incorrect.‘ … Some analysts framed their arguments in more general terms and argued that there will not be significant cognitive change.”

      Pew: “Questioning the idea of multitasking; some define it to be impossible – Multitasking is a common act among today’s teens and 20s set. The semantics of the word have been argued, with many saying it is not possible to perform multiple tasks simultaneously. … ‘Regarding the word ‘multitasking,’ cognitive, behavioral, and neurological sciences are moving toward a consensus that such a state does not actually exist in the human brain,’ observed emerging technology designer Annette Liska. ‘We may make many quick ‘thoughts’ in succession, but human performance in any activity that is done without focus (often termed ‘multitasking’) is of significantly lower quality, including an absence of quality and consciousness. The word unfortunately perpetuates a false ideal of the human capacity to perform and succeed.’ … ‘I agree with all of those who say that multitasking is nothing more than switching endlessly from one thought to another-no one can think two things at once – but I don’t agree that this kind of attention-switching is destructive or unhealthy for young minds,’ added Susan Crawford, professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and formerly on the White House staff. ‘It’s just the way the world works now, and digital agility is a basic skill for everyone…’ Gina Maranto, a co-director in the graduate program at the University of Miami, said information multitasking is not a new phenomenon. ‘My father, a corporate editor, used to watch television, read magazines, and listen to the radio at the same time long before computers, cellphones, or iPads,’ she said. ‘On the whole, I believe access to information and to new techniques for manipulating data (e.g., visualization) enhance learning and understanding rather than negatively impact them…‘”

      Pew: “Contrary to popular belief, young people are not digital wizards – David Ellis, director of communications studies at York University in Toronto, has a front-row seat to observe how hyperconnectivity seems to be influencing young adults. He said it makes them less productive and adds that most of them do not understand the new digital tools or how to use them effectively. ‘The idea that Millennials have a cognitive advantage over their elders is based on myths about multitasking, the skill-sets of digital natives, and 24/7 connectedness,’ he commented. ‘Far from having an edge in learning, I see Millennials as increasingly trapped by the imperatives of online socializing and the opportunities offered by their smartphones to communicate from any place, any time.‘”

      Pew: “Hello! AOADD (Always-On Attention Deficit Disorder) is age-defying – Rich Osborne, senior IT innovator at the University of Exeter in the UK, said his own life and approaches to informing and being informed have changed due to the influence of hyperconnectivity. ‘As I am in possession of just about every technical device you can name and I am using just about every cloud service you can think of, you’d think I’d be all for this,’ he observed. ‘But I’ve started to wonder about how all this use of technology is affecting me. I strongly suspect it’s actually making me less able to construct more complex arguments in written form, for example – or at the very least it is certainly making such construction harder for me. Of course it might be other issues, stress at work, getting older, interests changing, any number of things – but underlying all these possibilities is the conscious knowledge that my information-consumption patterns have become bitty and immediate.’ … Heidi McKee, an associate professor of English at Miami University, said, ‘Nearly 20 years ago everyone was saying how teens were going to be wired differently, but when you look at surveys done by Pew, AARP, and others, older adults possess just as much ability and desire to communicate and connect with all available means.‘”

      Pew: “No matter what the tech, it all comes down to human nature – Human tendencies drive human uses of technology tools. Many of the people participating in this survey emphasized the importance of the impact of basic human instincts and motivations. – Some survey respondents observed that all new tools initially tend to be questioned and feared by some segment of the public. Socrates, for instance, lamented about the scourge of writing implements and their likely threat to the future of intelligent discourse. In his response to this survey question, Christopher J. Ferguson, a professor from Texas AundM whose research specialty is technologies’ effects on human behavior, noted, ‘The tendency to moralize and fret over new media seems to be wired into us.Societal reaction to new media seems to fit into a pattern described by moral panic theory. Just as with older forms of media, from dime novels to comic books to rock and roll, some politicians and scholars can always be found to proclaim the new media to be harmful, often in the most hyperbolic terms. Perhaps we’ll learn from these past mistakes?‘”

      Pew: “The most-desired skills of 2020 will be… Survey respondents say there’s still value to be found in traditional skills but new items are being added to the menu of most-desired capabilities. ‘Internet literacy‘ was mentioned by many people. The concept generally refers to the ability to search effectively for information online and to be able to discern the quality and veracity of the information one finds and then communicate these findings well. … Collective intelligence, crowd-sourcing, smart mobs, and the ‘global brain’ are some of the descriptive phrases tied to humans working together to accomplish things in a collaborative manner online. Internet researcher and software designer Fred Stutzman said the future is bright for people who take advantage of their ability to work cooperatively through networked communication. ‘The sharing, tweeting, and status updating of today are preparing us for a future of ad hoc, always-on collaboration,’ he wrote. ‘The skills being honed on social networks today will be critical tomorrow, as work will be dominated by fast-moving, geographically diverse, free-agent teams of workers connected via socially mediating technologies.‘ … Jeffrey Alexander, senior science and technology policy analyst at SRI International’s Center for Science, Technology und Economic Development, said, ‘As technological and organizational innovation comes to depend on integrating and reconfiguring existing and new knowledge to solve problems, digital and computational thinking will become more and more valuable and useful. While digital thinking may lead to excessive multitasking and a reduction in attention span, the human brain can adapt to this new pattern in stimuli and can compensate for the problems that the pattern may cause in the long run…’ Barry Chudakov, a research fellow in the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto, said the challenge we’re facing is maintaining and deepening ‘integrity, the state of being whole and undivided,’ noting: ‘There will be a premium on the skill of maintaining presence, of mindfulness, of awareness in the face of persistent and pervasive tool extensions and incursions into our lives…‘”

      Pew: “It is difficult to tell what we will see by 2020, as people and tools evolve – Duane Degler, principal consultant at Design for Context, a designer of large-scale search facilities and interactive applications for clients such as the National Archives and Verisign, said we’re already witnessing a difference in cognitive abilities and perceptions dependent upon the information/communication tools people are using, and not just among the under-35 set. ‘One thing these scenarios don’t speak to,’ he noted, ‘is the degree to which the tools themselves are likely to recede further into the background, where they become a part of a fabric for how people carry out tasks and communicate. This is likely to be a result of both technology (pervasive computing, context-aware interactions) and a settling in of personal/social habits. As a result, the dominant social and information behaviors are likely to be influenced by other factors that we can’t yet see, in the same way current social and information behaviors are now being influenced by capabilities that are predominantly five years (or at most ten years) old.’ … New York-based technology and communications consultant Stowe Boyd noted, ‘Our society’s concern with the supposed negative impacts of the internet will seem very old-fashioned in a decade, like Socrates bemoaning the downside of written language, or the 1950’s fears about Elvis Presley’s rock-and-roll gyrations. As the internet becomes a part of everything, like electricity has today, we will hardly notice it: it won’t be ‘technology’ anymore, but just ‘the world.’‘”

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:00 on 16. February 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Digital Society, , , , , , , ,   

    Leisure Activities? Online First! 

    Online is a competitor to all kinds of leisure activities pursued on other kinds of media; http://eicker.at/Entertainment

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 16:03 on 10. February 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Altruism, , , , , Digital Society, Emotional Climate, , , , , , , Nastiness, , , Offensive Images, Offensive Language, , , Personal Outcome, , , , , , , Social Climate, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    The Social in Social Networking 

    How social are social networkers? Pew: The tone of life and social climate on social networking sites; http://eicker.at/Social

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 16:04 on 10. February 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Pew: “The overall social and emotional climate of social networking sites (SNS) is a very positive one where adult users get personal rewards and satisfactions at far higher levels than they encounter anti-social people or have ill consequences from their encounters. A nationally representative phone survey of American adults finds that: 85% of SNS-using adults say that their experience on the sites is that people are mostly kind, compared with 5% who say people they observe on the sites are mostly unkind and another 5% who say their answer depends on the situation. 68% of SNS users said they had an experience that made them feel good about themselves. 61% had experiences that made them feel closer to another person. (Many said they had both experiences.) 39% of SNS-using adults say they frequently see acts of generosity by other SNS users and another 36% say they sometimes see others behaving generously and helpfully. By comparison, 18% of SNS-using adults say they see helpful behavior ‘only once in a while’ and 5% say they never see generosity exhibited by others on social networking sites.”

      Pew, The tone of life on social networking sites: “At the same time, notable proportions of SNS users do witness bad behavior on those sites and nearly a third have experienced some negative outcomes from their experiences on social networking sites. Some 49% of SNS-using adults said they have seen mean or cruel behavior displayed by others at least occasionally. And 26% said they had experienced at least one of the bad outcomes that were queried in the survey. Those bad outcomes were: 15% of adult SNS users said they had an experience on the site that ended their friendship with someone. 12% of adult SNS users had an experience that resulted in a face-to-face argument or confrontation with someone. 11% of adult SNS users had an experience on the site that caused a problem with their family. 3% of SNS-using adults said they had gotten into a physical fight with someone based on an experience they had on the site. 3% of adult SNS users said their use of the site had gotten them in trouble at work because of something that happened on the site. In addition, 13% of adult SNS users said that someone had acted in a mean or cruel way towards them on a social networking site in the past 12 months. Adults are generally more positive and less negative than teens about the behavior of others and their own experiences on social networking sites.”

      Pew, The social climate of social networking sites: “White adult SNS users were more likely than blacks to report their overall experience was one of kindness in social networking spaces (88% vs. 77%), and black SNS users were more likely than whites to report that unkindness was the prevalent tone (12% vs. 3%).”

      Pew, Altruism vs. nastiness: “Some 39% of adult SNS users said they frequently saw acts of generosity, 36% said they sometimes saw it, 18% said they saw it ‘only once in a while’ and 5% said they never saw it. … When it came to unpleasant behavior on SNS, adults have seen their share, but it tends to be evident to them far less frequently than it is to teen SNS users. … Some 49% of SNS-using adults said they saw mean or cruel behavior displayed by others at least occasionally, far lower than the 88% of SNS-using teens who said they had seen mean or cruel behavior at some point.”

      Pew, Offensive language and images: “Nearly three-quarters (73%) said they encountered such offensive content or language only once in a while or never. Specifically, the responses were: 11% of adult SNS users said they saw people using such language and images frequently, 15% said they saw others using such language and images sometimes, 38% said they saw others using such language and images only once in a while, 35% said they never saw others using such language and images. – Minorities, women, parents of minor children, and Millennials were the most likely to encounter offensive language, images, or humor.

      Pew, Positive and negative personal outcomes: “Some 76% of the SNS users said they had at least one of the positive outcomes we queried. Specifically: 68% of adult SNS users said they had an experience on the site that made them feel good about themselves, 61% of adult SNS users said they had an experience that made them feel closer to another person. … On the negative side, 26% said they had experienced at least one of the bad outcomes that were queried in the survey. Again, adult experiences on SNS are less likely to be harmful than the teen experience: 41% of SNS-using teens reported they had at least one negative outcome. … Among adults, some of these anti-social experiences are most prevalent among SNS users in the Millennials generation. This cohort of those between the ages of 18 and 34 was twice as likely as its elders to report that a friendship had ended because of an SNS experience – 21% of SNS-using Millennials said that had happened to them, compared with 11% of all other SNS users.”

      Pew, What adults do when they see problems on social networking sites: “It turns out that compared to teen SNS users, adults are somewhat more likely to stand back, not get involved, and ignore the offensive behavior. – For instance, 45% of adult SNS users who have witnessed problems say they frequently ignore offensive behavior on social network sites, compared with 35% of SNS-using teens who say they frequently ignore offensive behavior. Some 34% of adult SNS users say they never confront the person being offensive, compared with 21% of SNS-using teens who never take that step. … Unlike many other aspects of social networking site use, age does not matter when it comes to people’s personal responses when they witness mean or offensive behavior. Young and old have similar patterns of response. However, there is a split when it comes to the behavior of men and women. Men are more likely to ignore a problem they see on a social networking site and women are more likely to respond.”

      Pew, What SNS users see others doing when someone comes under attack on a social networking site: “When it comes to the general tone of conversation and interactions on social networking sites, adults often see others ignoring the problems: 45% of SNS-using adults who have witnessed mean or offensive behavior say it is frequently their observation that others just ignore the offensive behavior and another 28% say that others sometimes ignore the offensive behavior. Teen SNS users were even more likely than that to say they observed that others ignored the harassment: 55% of the teens who had seen mean behavior on SNS said that was frequently the response they witnessed. … The one noteworthy demographic factor here is that younger SNS users who had witnessed anti-social behavior on the sites are much more likely to see others join in harassment of someone on SNS than older site users.”

      Pew, Second thoughts about posting on social networking sites: “We asked all the online adults in our sample if they had ever decided not to post something online because they were concerned that it might reflect badly on them and 45% reported they had made that kind of decision. Interestingly enough, a greater share of online teens – 55% – had made a similar decision. – Among the online adults who were most likely to decide not to post something because of its impact on their reputation: Millennials (59%), those who live in households earning $75,000 or more (54%), and those with college degrees (51%).”

  • Gerrit Eicker 14:39 on 3. February 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Digital Society, , , Facebook Activity, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Self-branding, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Facebook Friendship 

    Pew: Most Facebook users receive more from their Facebook friends than they give; http://eicker.at/FacebookFriendship

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 14:39 on 3. February 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Pew: “New study that for the first time combines server logs of Facebook activity with survey data to explore the structure of Facebook friendship networks and measures of social well-being. – These data were then matched with survey responses. And the new findings show that over a one-month period: 40% of Facebook users in our sample made a friend request, but 63% received at least one request, Users in our sample pressed the like button next to friends’ content an average of 14 times, but had their content ‘liked’ an average of 20 times, Users sent 9 personal messages, but received 12, 12% of users tagged a friend in a photo, but 35% were themselves tagged in a photo … ‘The explanation for this pattern is fascinating for a couple of reasons,’ noted Prof. Keith Hampton, the lead author of the Pew Internet report, Why Most Facebook Users Get More Than They Give. ‘First, it turns out there are segments of Facebook power users who contribute much more content than the typical user. Most Facebook users are moderately active over a one month time period, so highly active power users skew the average. Second, these power users constitute about 20%-30% of Facebook users, but the striking thing is that there are different power users depending on the activity in question. One group of power users dominates friending activity. Another dominates ‘liking’ activity. And yet another dominates photo tagging.'”

      Pew, Power Users: “Women are more intense contributors of content on Facebook than are men. In our sample, the average female user made 21 updates to their Facebook status in the month of observation, while the average male made six. – Facebook users average seven new friends a month: While most users did not initiate a friend request during the month we looked at their activities, and most received only one, an active 19% of users initiated friendship requests at least once per week. Because of the prolific friending activity of this top 19%, the average (mean) number of friend requests accepted was three and the average number accepted from others was four. Overall, some 80% of friend requests that were initiated were reciprocated. … Facebook users have the ability to unsubscribe from seeing the content contributed by some friends on their newsfeed. Less than 5% of users in our sample hid another user’s content from their feed in the month of our observation.

      Pew, Friends of Friends: “Your friends on Facebook have more friends than you do: In this sample of Facebook users, the average person has 245 friends. However, the average friend of a person in this sample has 359 Facebook friends. The finding, that people’s friends have more friends than they do, was nearly universal (as it is for friendship networks off of Facebook). Only those in our sample who had among the 10% largest friends lists (over 780 friends) had friends who on average had smaller networks than their own. – Facebook friends are sparsely interconnected: It is commonly the case in people’s offline social networks that a friend of a friend is your friend, too. But on Facebook this is the exception, not the rule. … As an example, if you were the average Facebook user from our sample with 245 friends, there are 29,890 possible friendship ties among those in your network. For the average user with 245 friends, 12% of the maximum 29,890 friendship linkages exist between friends. … At two degrees of separation (friends-of-friends), Facebook users in our sample can on average reach 156,569 other Facebook users.”

      Pew, Social Well-Being: “Making friends on Facebook is associated with higher levels of social support. Those who made the most frequent status updates also received more emotional support. … One key finding is that Facebook users who received more friend requests and those that accepted more of those friend requests tended to report that they received more social support/assistance from friends (on and offline). … There is a statistically positive correlation between frequency of tagging Facebook friends in photos, as well as being added to a Facebook group, and knowing people with more diverse backgrounds off of Facebook. … Those users from our sample who are intensive Facebook users are more likely to report that they attended a political meeting or rally. … Among these users, participation in Facebook groups, either by being added to a group or adding someone else, is associated with trying to influence someone to vote in a specific way.”

      Pew, Facebook Activity: “A consistent trend in our analysis is the lack of symmetry in Facebook activities. On average, Facebook users in our sample received more than they gave in terms of friendships and feedback on the content that is shared in Facebook. However, these averages need to be interpreted in context. This imbalance is driven by the activity of a subset of Facebook users who tend to be more engaged with the Facebook site than the typical user. – Our findings suggest that while most Facebook users in our sample were moderately active over a one-month time period, there is a subset of Facebook users who are disproportionately more active. They skew the average. … In general, men were more likely to send friend requests, and women were more likely to receive them. However, we did not find a statistical difference in the mean number of friend requests sent, received, or accepted between men and women. … Use of the like button is unequally distributed. Because of the intensive activity of the 30% of power users, the people in our sample pressed the like button next to friends’ content on an average of 14 occasions during the month and received feedback from friends in the form of a ‘like’ 20 times during the month. … Friendship numbers drive Facebook activity: Those who have more Facebook friends tend to send and accept more friend requests, receive more friend requests, and have more friend requests accepted. They ‘like’ their friends’ content more frequently, and are ‘liked’ more in return.”

      Pew, The Structure of Frienship: “As the common saying goes, a friend of a friend is a friend. But on Facebook this is the exception rather than the rule. … A network density of .12 is low in comparison to studies of people’s overall personal networks. A 1992 study found a density of .36 between people’s offline social ties. We suspect that Facebook networks are of lower density because of their ability to allow ties that might otherwise have gone dormant to remain persistent over time. … We expect that new Facebook users typically start with a core group of close, interconnected friends, but over time their friends list becomes larger and less intertwined, particularly as they discover (and are discovered by) more distant friends from different parts and different times in their lives. … How can it be that people’s friends almost always have more friends than they do? This little known phenomenon of friendship networks was first explained by a sociologist Scott Feld. Not just on Facebook, in general and off of Facebook, people are more likely to be friends with someone who has more friends than with someone who has fewer.

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:42 on 30. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , Cybercrime, , Denmark, Digital Society, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Slovenia, , , , , , , , ,   

    Internet Freedom vs. Government 

    TC: Twitter’s new policies demonstrate the complicated relationship between Internet freedom and government; http://eicker.at/2o

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 11:36 on 6. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Digital Society, , , , , , , , , , , , , , Internet Access, , , , , , , , , , , , , , UN, Universal Service, Universal Service Policy,   

    Internet Access: a Human Right? 

    A UN report declared Internet access a human right last summer: Cerf argues why it’s not; http://eicker.at/InternetHumanRight

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 11:36 on 6. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      UN: “Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression – This report explores key trends and challenges to the right of all individuals to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds through the Internet. The Special Rapporteur underscores the unique and transformative nature of the Internet not only to enable individuals to exercise their right to freedom of opinion and expression, but also a range of other human rights, and to promote the progress of society as a whole. Chapter III of the report underlines the applicability of international human rights norms and standards on the right to freedom of opinion and expression to the Internet as a communication medium, and sets out the exceptional circumstances under which the dissemination of certain types of information may be restricted. Chapters IV and V address two dimensions of Internet access respectively: (a) access to content; and (b) access to the physical and technical infrastructure required to access the Internet in the first place. More specifically, chapter IV outlines some of the ways in which States are increasingly censoring information online, namely through: arbitrary blocking or filtering of content; criminalization of legitimate expression; imposition of intermediary liability; disconnecting users from Internet access, including on the basis of intellectual property rights law; cyber-attacks; and inadequate protection of the right to privacy and data protection. Chapter V addresses the issue of universal access to the Internet. The Special Rapporteur intends to explore this topic further in his future report to the General Assembly. Chapter VI contains the Special Rapporteur’s conclusions and recommendations concerning the main subjects of the report.”

      Wired: “U.N. Report Declares Internet Access a Human Right – A United Nations report said Friday that disconnecting people from the internet is a human rights violation and against international law. – The report railed against France and the United Kingdom, which have passed laws to remove accused copyright scofflaws from the internet. It also protested blocking internet access to quell political unrest… The report, by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, comes the same day an internet-monitoring firm detected that two thirds of Syria’s internet access has abruptly gone dark, in what is likely a government response to unrest in that country.”

      Cerf, NYT: “Internet Access Is Not a Human Right – It is no surprise, then, that the protests have raised questions about whether Internet access is or should be a civil or human right. … In June, citing the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, a report by the United Nations’ special rapporteur went so far as to declare that the Internet had ‘become an indispensable tool for realizing a range of human rights.’ … But that argument, however well meaning, misses a larger point: technology is an enabler of rights, not a right itself. There is a high bar for something to be considered a human right. Loosely put, it must be among the things we as humans need in order to lead healthy, meaningful lives, like freedom from torture or freedom of conscience. It is a mistake to place any particular technology in this exalted category, since over time we will end up valuing the wrong things. … Indeed, even the United Nations report, which was widely hailed as declaring Internet access a human right, acknowledged that the Internet was valuable as a means to an end, not as an end in itself. … While the United States has never decreed that everyone has a ‘right’ to a telephone, we have come close to this with the notion of ‘universal service’… Improving the Internet is just one means, albeit an important one, by which to improve the human condition. It must be done with an appreciation for the civil and human rights that deserve protection – without pretending that access itself is such a right.

      GigaOM: “Cerf’s position is somewhat surprising because, as even he acknowledges in his piece for the NYT, the events of the ‘Arab Spring’ in 2011… Cerf is also the ‘chief Internet evangelist’ at Google, so it seems a little odd he would be downplaying the need for widespread internet access and the benefits that it brings to society. … In a nutshell, Cerf’s argument seems to be that if we define Internet access itself as a right, we are placing the focus on the wrong thing. The ‘Net, he says, is just a technological tool that enables us to exercise other fundamental rights, such as the right to free speech or access to information – and rights should not be awarded to tools, but to the ends that they enable us to reach. … The Internet is a fundamental method of communication and connection, and is becoming more fundamental all the time, as we’ve seen in the Middle East and elsewhere. Seeing it as a right is an important step towards making it available to as many people as possible.

      TL: “As I noted in my earlier essay, the best universal service policy is marketplace competition. When we get the basic framework right – low taxes, property rights, contractual enforcement, anti-fraud standards, etc. – competition generally takes care of the rest. But competition often doesn’t develop – or is sometimes prohibited outright – in sectors or for networks that are declared ‘essential’ facilities or technological entitlements. … So, while I appreciate and agree with Cerf’s humorous point that ‘Today, if I were granted a right to have a horse, I’m not sure where I would put it,’ the more interesting question is this: If government would have decreed long ago that everyone had a right to a horse, would that have meant everyone actually got one? … These are the sort of questions rarely asked initially in discussions about proposals to convert technologies or networks into birthright entitlements. Eventually, however, they become inescapable problems that every entitlement system must grapple with. When we discuss the wisdom of classifying the Internet or broadband as a birthright entitlement, we should require advocates to provide us with some answers to such questions. Kudos to Vint Cerf for helping us get that conversation going in a serious way.

      TC: “So, is the internet a human right? It is our best and most effective way of achieving a universal freedom of expression, and it should be treated as such. But to enshrine it, as others have said, as a human right when it is in fact merely a powerful enabler thereof, is an unnecessary step. Laws and regulations, and things like UN guidelines, should be aimed at enshrining rights in their pure and timeless forms, not in derivative forms, however widespread and important those derivatives may be.

      TR: “It might be argued that internet access was a civil right, since it is something that people look to governments to provide as a matter of course. But even this argument is shaky, he warns. Instead we should look not to the technology, but to the technology industry, to protect human rights, and it is up to engineers to ensure universal, safe internet access. … Cerf, whose current day job is being an internet evangelist for Google, may well have a point. But based on current evidence, there’s a mixed record from the technology industry thus far, not least from Silicon Valley itself. … From a technical perspective, El Reg suspects that Cerf has it right: the internet is no more a human right than a road or telephone. But looking to a relatively amoral industry like technology to act as a human rights guardian is asking for trouble.

  • Gerrit Eicker 11:02 on 21. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Digital Society, , , , , , , , , , Peer Groups, , , , Shared Tastes, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Peer Influence 

    Study: When it comes to taste, peer influence in social networks is virtually nonexistent; http://eicker.at/PeerInfluence

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 11:02 on 21. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      PNAS, Lewis, Gonzalez, Kaufman: “Social selection and peer influence in an online social network – Disentangling the effects of selection and influence is one of social science’s greatest unsolved puzzles: Do people befriend others who are similar to them, or do they become more similar to their friends over time? Recent advances in stochastic actor-based modeling, combined with self-reported data on a popular online social network site, allow us to address this question with a greater degree of precision than has heretofore been possible. Using data on the Facebook activity of a cohort of college students over 4 years, we find that students who share certain tastes in music and in movies, but not in books, are significantly likely to befriend one another. Meanwhile, we find little evidence for the diffusion of tastes among Facebook friends – except for tastes in classical/jazz music. These findings shed light on the mechanisms responsible for observed network homogeneity; provide a statistically rigorous assessment of the coevolution of cultural tastes and social relationships; and suggest important qualifications to our understanding of both homophily and contagion as generic social processes.”

      Wired: “Are We Immune To Viral Marketing? – When it comes to taste, ‘peer influence is virtually nonexistent,’ said Kevin Lewis, a Harvard sociology graduate student who co-authored the study. Lewis cautioned that the experiences of college students on Facebook may not apply to everyone in all circumstances, but the results offer a sobering counterpoint to the conventional wisdom on the ubiquity of taste diffusion. ‘The extent to which friends’ preferences actually rub off on each other is minimal,’ he said. … If we don’t influence each other, does that means viral marketing is a bogus concept? And what does it say about the business value of social media? … The study’s findings suggest that it would be much more worthwhile to invest in understanding how and when friendships are a conduit for preferences, rather than assuming that they are and planning marketing strategies accordingly. ‘They clearly are under some circumstances, but we still don’t know whether those circumstances are common or important enough to warrant the time and money of business strategies,’ said Lewis. … One of the most valuable aspects of social media is who you know. It’s easy to glean information about members of social networks. This focuses sales, marketing and product development efforts. Knowing something about one person gives you insights into the people that person knows. … The Harvard study affirmed that, as in other aspects of life, people’s social media relationships tend to be with people who are like them. … Who you know is arguably a more valuable aspect of social media than who you might be influenced by.

      AT: “Studying the factors that bring people together creates a serious challenge for researchers. Do friendships form because of shared interests, or do those interests develop due to the friendship? A research team has now tracked a set of college students across all four years, using Facebook to identify social ties. The study reveals that people are fundamentally a bit lazy, as proximity provided the strongest predictor of social ties. Once that was accounted for, however, shared tastes in music and film did promote friendships, while books had a minimal effect. … The authors recognize that a Facebook friend probably doesn’t represent the strong social bond that we typically view as a friendship, but it is probably similar to the sort of fluid links that many of us form at work and elsewhere. There’s also a risk that at least some of the choices revealed on Facebook are the product of social posing, rather than deep-seated preferences. Despite these limitations, the study is a rare look at how social dynamics and personal tastes influence each other over the course of some very formative years. It’ll be pretty difficult to arrange a study that provides a clearer picture.

      TC: “Here’s a bit of science that’s contrary to what a heavy utilizer of social networks might expect. Researchers at Harvard tracked the Facebook activity of hundreds of college students for four years, and came away with the rather unexpected result that the interests of friends don’t, in fact, tend to influence one another. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen at all, of course, but it’s clear that propagation and virality are subtler and more complex than some people (marketers and, I suspect, researchers) tend to think they are. … The central source of data for the study, in fact, doesn’t strike me as solid. Tracking the interests of college kids is a sketchy endeavor in and of itself, but tracking it via their Facebook favorites (i.e. what shows on your profile, not what you post about or share) seems unreliable. – After all, not only does everyone use the network in their own way, but the network itself has changed. … The study does establish something that I think we perhaps understand is true already: you befriend people because of your overlaps in taste, but it’s rare that your existing friends change the tastes you already have. This is as much true out in the ‘real’ world as it is online. … The Harvard study does indicate another thing, which is that social networks are, for now, ‘light’ social interaction. … That’s changing, but Facebook doesn’t appear to be in a hurry to make the change to ‘serious’ social interaction: the kind of trusted exchanges you have with friends in conversation or in repeated encounters over years…”

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:18 on 2. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Digital Society, , , , Google Stories, , , Marketing Tools, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Testimonials, , , Twitter Stories, Twitter Tales, , ,   

    Twitter Stories 

    Twitter launches Twitter Stories: testimonials explaining how tweets impacted users; http://eicker.at/TwitterStories

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 07:19 on 2. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Twitter: “Today we’re launching the first in a series of Twitter stories. Read about a single Tweet that helped save a bookstore from going out of business; an athlete who took a hundred of his followers out to a crab dinner; and, Japanese fishermen who use Twitter to sell their catch before returning to shore. Each story reminds us of the humanity behind Tweets that make the world smaller. – Help us uncover more stories. Tell us how you or someone else have used Twitter in an interesting way. Submit your story by mentioning @twitterstories or by using the hashtag #twitterstories. Include a link to a photo or video that helps illustrate your story to the world. Each month we’ll curate a selection of profiles to share. – Follow @twitterstories to get the latest stories or check the site every month for a new collection.”

      TC: “Last year, Twitter debuted a marketing campaign, called Twitter Tales, that showcased ways in which users interact with the microblogging platform. Today, the company is launching a similar campaign, called Twitter Stories, which seems to show interesting Tweets and ways the site’s users are communicating via the platform. … User stories are always a good marketing tool. Facebook launched a similar marketing campaign around their 500 million users milestone last year, called Facebook Stories. Google also launched Google Stories, which collects stories from users sharing tales about how Google effected their lives.

      TNW: “Twitter is fast becoming an integral part of the way that its users communicate and has proven its ability to act as a fantastic channel to receive information quickly. The US Government has even recommended that citizens use Twitter to contact one another during emergencies instead of traditional cellular or phone lines, which can get congested.”

      HP: “Perhaps in an attempt to woo a more mainstream audience, Twitter has notably chosen to highlight several well-known celebrities and brands in the stories it picked, including Roger Ebert, Ochocinco, Queen Rania Al Abdullah, and Burberry.”

      WP: “In its five-year history, Twitter’s been used for inane updates on what was breakfast, as a vehicle for real-time news and as a way to spread revolutionary social ideas. On Tuesday, the service launched a new site, ‘Twitter Stories,’ to share a handful of stunning ways that the micro-blogging service has made a positive impact on people’s lives.”

      CNET: “Tales at a new site called Twitter Stories range from movie critic Roger Ebert‘s use of the service after he lost his voice, to a man who found a kidney donor after tweeting “Sh*t, I need a kidney,” to a man who saved his mother’s bookstore with a tweet, to pro football player Chad Ochocinco treating 100 followers to dinner with a surprise invitation delivered across the service.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:38 on 9. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , 1987, 1996, 2007, , 2016, A5, , , , Apple Futureshock, Apple Knowledge Navigator, Apple Siri, , , , Artificial Intelligence Applications, , CALO, , , , , Conversational Interaction, , , Digital Society, , , , , , Futureshock, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , iPad 2, , , , Knowledge Navigator, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Natural Language Processing, , , , , , , , Personal Assistant, Personal Assistant Application, Personal Interaction, , , , , , , , , Siri Beta, , , , Spin-off, SRI, , , , , , , , , , , , , Voice Command, , , , , , ,   

    Siri: Let’s Talk! 

    Potentially Apple’s Siri changes how we interact with computers entirely: Siri, let’s talk! http://eicker.at/Siri

    (More …)

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:38 on 9. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Apple: “Siri. Your wish is its command. – Siri on iPhone 4S lets you use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more. Ask Siri to do things just by talking the way you talk. Siri understands what you say, knows what you mean, and even talks back. Siri is so easy to use and does so much, you’ll keep finding more and more ways to use it. … Talk to Siri as you would to a person. Say something like ‘Tell my wife I’m running late.’ ‘Remind me to call the vet.’ ‘Any good burger joints around here?’ And Siri answers you. It does what you say and finds the information you need. And then it hits you. You’re actually having a conversation with your iPhone. … Siri not only understands what you say, it’s smart enough to know what you mean. So when you ask ‘Any good burger joints around here?’ Siri will reply ‘I found a number of burger restaurants near you.’ Then you can say ‘Hmm. How about tacos?’ Siri remembers that you just asked about restaurants, so it will look for Mexican restaurants in the neighborhood. And Siri is proactive, so it will question you until it finds what you’re looking for.”

      Wikipedia: “Siri is a personal assistant application for iOS. The application uses natural language processing to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions by delegating requests to an expanding set of web services. The iOS app is the first public product by its makers, who are focused on artificial intelligence applications. Siri was acquired by Apple Inc. on April 28, 2010. – Siri’s marketing claims include that Siri adapts to the user’s individual preferences over time and personalizes results, as well as accomplishing tasks such as making dinner reservations and reserving a cab. … Siri was founded in December 2007 by Dag Kittlaus (CEO), Adam Cheyer (VP Engineering), and Tom Gruber (CTO/VP Design), together with Norman Winarsky from SRI’s venture group. … It was announced on October 4, 2011 that Siri will be included with the iPhone 4S. The new version of Siri is deeply integrated into iOS, and offers conversational interaction with many applications, including reminders, weather, stocks, messaging, email, calendar, contacts, notes, music, clocks, web browser, Wolfram Alpha, and maps. Currently, Siri only supports English (US, UK, and Australia), German and French. … Siri is a spin-out from SRI International’s Artificial Intelligence Center, and is an offshoot of the DARPA-funded CALO project, described as perhaps the largest artificial-intelligence project ever launched.”

      TC: “The integration with iOS seems to be just as impressive as we’ve been hearing: you can ask it to remind you to call someone before you leave the office, and it’ll automatically create an entry in the Reminders app, complete with a geo-fence just to be sure. You can also ask Siri to read your queued messages to you and make an appointment in the Calendar app. – The worst part so far? Siri indeed seems to require the iPhone 4S’s extra horsepower, because it appears to be a 4S exclusive. The kicker? Siri was originally a run-of-the-mill iPhone app. What a shame. – Siri will be a beta for the time being, as it only supports English, German, and French voice input, but there are more language add-ons and tweaks to come.

      WP: “As rumored, Apple’s doing some all-new voice-control AI stuff in iOS 5. It’s called Siri, which is the name of the app Apple bought for $200 million a couple years ago. … You can also ask Siri to look things up on Wikipedia for you, and Siri can use Wolfram Alpha to do more complicated calculations. Siri’s list of capabilities is near endless, including asking it to play genres of music for you, look up something on maps, or what the weather is. Our favorite question? ‘Siri, who are you?’ Siri responds: ‘I am your humble personal assistant.’ … The bad news? All this great stuff is only available for the iPhone 4S – Apple had to do something to force an upgrade! In all seriousness, some of this AI functionality can be incredibly processor intensive, so Siri might be leaning on the A5 chip quite heavily.”

      MLS: “Siri Search, makes use of Yelp’s business ratings, thus this makes instantly makes Yelp a strong local competitor to Google Places. Yelp is now very relevant to your small business rankings. Google Places has been the big dog in local optimization or as I call it, Local Awesomeization… And your places ranking and profile completion has become very important for your local marketing.- Now, Siri, which is a virtual assistant will be able to find you anything you want… and it is using the Yelp Reviews to rank the recommendations. … Nuture your Yelp account now. Claim it, and begin getting good reviews. Local search is a science, and you have to get that information out there.

      GigaOM: “Apple’s intent when it bought Siri was rumored to be building a search engine, though Jobs defused that speculation by saying, ‘We have no plans to go into the search business. We don’t care about it – other people do it well.’ But Jobs also said earlier last year: ‘On a mobile device, search is not where it’s at, not like on the desktop. They’re (consumers are) spending all their time on these apps – they’re using apps to get to data on the internet, not generalized search.‘ – With Siri, Apple doesn’t have to get into the search game if it can use Siri to direct people to the apps, services and information they need. That’s probably not a big money-gainer for Apple, but it could put a hurt on rival Google, which relies on search advertising.

      TUAW: “Curious about the iPhone 4S’s new voice assistant feature? So were we. – [We] tracked down a set of example phrases that the new Siri voice assistant is capable of understanding. It turns out that Siri can handle many categories of voice interaction. – Without further ado, here they are, ordered by interaction category, along with Apple-supplied examples of using each category.”

      FC: “Don’t let her dulcet voice and easygoing, eager-to-please manner fool you. Behind Siri, the voice-controlled personal assistant app destined to power Apple’s iPhone 4S, lies the heart of a hardened combat veteran. That’s because the technology was spun out of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Pentagon’s high-tech research and development arm. … For now it can only respond to simple commands, but the technology underlying it is anything but. The problem with most speech recognition technology has been that it has a hell of a time with all-too human variations in speech – accents, dialects, intonation, enunciation, and slang. Tell it you want to hide under ‘a rock’ and it might tell you about ‘Iraq.’ Like the dream of the paperless office, which the advent of the personal computer was supposed to herald, speech recognition often makes more work than it saves. Siri promises to change all that, and you should thank the wizards at DARPA. While they didn’t create the technology, they incubated it. … I can’t wait to tell that to my Siri-powered iPhone, although I doubt it’ll know how to respond – not yet, anyhow.

      TC: “The most talked about element of … Apple event had to be Siri. The new feature of the iPhone 4S, born out of Apple’s purchase of the company by the same name in 2010, looks amazing. But one thing never mentioned during the keynote was a key piece of technology behind Siri: Nuance. – We first reported that Siri would be a key part of iOS 5 back in March. As we dug deeper, we learned that Apple and Nuance were involved in negotiations to make sure this could be a reality. You see, Siri does not work without Nuance. … So, is Nuance a part of Apple’s implementation of Siri as well? Yes. Though, don’t bother trying to get anyone to admit that. …Nuance is powering Siri. But Apple clearly struck a deal with Nuance which precludes them from talking about it. This is Apple technology, this is not about Nuance, is how I imagine Apple may put it. Apparently, Nuance is happy enough with Apple’s undoubtedly large check for this licensing agreement that they are willing to keep quiet.

      RWW: “Apple finally introduced the availability of the voice-command personal assistant app it paid $200m for today, called Siri. The military spin-off technology was both widely loved and often panned when it was available independently; it was either lovable Skynet or a fish on a bicycle, depending on who you ask. I tended towards thinking it the latter, myself. … But what do I want as a user – on my iPhone? I want Swype! Swype is a keyboard program available on almost every smartphone in the world except the iPhone. … It’s the fastest way to provide input on a mobile device. It’s fabulous and it’s incredible that Swype isn’t on iOS yet. I assume it’s because of Apple’s strict control over interface design and unwillingness to provide options in design. … Time will tell, but I don’t think Siri is going to be a killer app on the iPhone. Will it be used more than the current iPhone voice control? We’ll see.

      TUAW: “Since the iPhone 4S features the same A5 processor as the iPad 2, owners of Apple’s current-gen tablet have wondered if it’s possible that Siri, Apple’s new voice assistant, might be offered on the iPad 2. … Voice Control as it now exists on the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 doesn’t function on the iPad or iPad 2, but there’s a reason for that: the existing commands would be essentially useless on those devices. … On the other hand, Siri’s commands would be immensely useful on the iPad. … In fact, we’ve done some digging into Siri and found that most of the actual work of understanding voice commands gets offloaded to external servers. In essence, the iPhone 4S and its built-in processing functions determine what you said, while Apple’s servers translate that into what you meant and send that information back to your iPhone. … For the time being, Siri remains an iPhone 4S exclusive and one we have yet to test for ourselves. We look forward to putting this innovative feature under our interrogation lights once the iPhone 4S is released on October 14.

      Waxy: “In 1987, Apple released this concept video for Knowledge Navigator [the rest of the video is newer, probably circa 1996 or so, but the Knowledge Navigator part is from 1987], a voice-based assistant combined with a touchscreen tablet computer. … Based on the dates mentioned in the Knowledge Navigator video, it takes place on September 16, 2011. The date on the professor’s calendar is September 16, and he’s looking for a 2006 paper written ‘about five years ago,’ setting the year as 2011. – And … at the iPhone keynote, Apple announced Siri, a natural language-based voice assistant, would be built into iOS 5 and a core part of the new iPhone 4S. – So, 24 years ago, Apple predicted a complex natural-language voice assistant built into a touchscreen Apple device, and was less than a month off.

    • katrce 05:21 on 10. March 2012 Permalink | Reply

      hi siri

    • Baby 00:16 on 27. September 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Hi siri

    • Yo Mama 06:02 on 27. October 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Siri

    • Adrianna 00:56 on 7. March 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Sometimes she has a little attitude

    • Doll 01:09 on 4. February 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hey siri.

      how you doing today.

    • bigL 22:36 on 4. February 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Siri

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