Monthly Archives: August 2014

Process: Going to the Movies

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Task: Go to the Movies

It seems to always be a simple thing to accomplish – asking people if they would like to go to a movie. Though there is much more going on than just a simple process of asking people and going to watch a movie.

It is believed that human behaviour goes through three constraints in order to achieve a social event. Brought to our attention in 1969 by Torsten Hagerstrand he believed there are three restrictions and capacities that affect human behaviour for which human activity can take place. These three constraints being: (Corbett, J 2001)

Capability – “Can I get there?”
Coupling – “Can I get there at the right time?”
Authority – “Am I allowed to be there?”

Starting out I needed to come up with a quick answer of which movie theatre I would be interested in going to, what movie I would like to watch, what time would I like to watch the movie, what time we would need to meet up and if there is any other activity that would be going on before or after the movie, such as getting some dinner. Knowing these few things I can publish the information to my group of mates and see how the plans end up.

The Original Plans:
Day: Wednesday
Movie: The Inbetweeners 2
Location: Hoytz Warrawong
Time of Movie: 6:30pm
Extra Activities: N/A

The above details have been sent to five people. One reply was instantaneous of “Looks good, but can’t do Wednesday”. With only one reply I was in need to get some other information from the other individuals invited. Some time had past and more information became clear about what was working and what was not. Wednesday didn’t work due to work and poker commitments, weekday daytime didn’t work due to work and University commitments. Weekday nighttime didn’t work because I work nights (Wednesday day-off). So a bunch of suggesting and persuasion needed to be made. Considering it seems everyone was interested in seeing the movie I would take it upon myself to make everything work. These issues about having other commitments of work, University and other activities refers to the constraint of “capability”  since we are unable to be in two place at once.

Through the negotiating and understanding that everyone was happy for a nighttime movie it was suggested that the group might as well make a night out of it and get some dinner and some beers afterwards – always a good suggestion. While brought up about dinner and drinks then we would need to organize how people will be traveling to the destinations. Knowing a mate likes driving and prefers to spend his money on gambling rather than alcohol – he claimed he would be driving and able to pick everyone up if they needed to. Considering everyone lives in the same suburb picking everyone up would take approximately 20mins and traveling to the movie theatre would take around 10-15 minutes. The measuring of time to assure we give ourselves enough time to be picked up, get to the cinemas, buy our tickets and food and then find our seats, refers to the “Coupling” constraint as we need to make sure we have enough time to fulfill our interaction.

Movie trip update:
Day: Saturday
Movie: The Inbetweeners 2
Location: Hoytz Warrawong
Time of Movie: 6:30pm
Extra activities: Dinner and drinks (afterwards)

Considering everyone in my group of friends is an adult and has the authority to go to the movies the “authority” constraint of being able to get to our destination but also the authority of the destination allows for us to be there.

With all of the information about going to the cinemas agreed upon now we just had to live it out. Coming to Saturday everything ran smoothly and we made it to the movies 15 minutes before the movie started. Everyone lined up, got their ticket and some got some popcorn meal deals, we get asked where we would like to sit – we answer upstairs around the middle area. This way we can just look straight ahead at the movie and not strain our necks.

The other people also watching the movie comprised of a similar demographic. Groups of 18-25 year olds and some couple watching the movies, roughly 30 people all up. In the cinemas it seemed most of the groups went upstairs while the couples stayed downstairs, with the exception of a couple right at the back upstairs. With the adds of the movie playing through and the lights dimming the movie starts and everyone goes quiet, with only the movie and movement of food being the only things you hear.

The movie ends, we gathering our things, we walk out tossing our garbage in the bins, and head to dinner while talking about the movie we just watched – the good bits, the bad bits, what we liked, what we didn’t like and of course that one guy comparing it to the first movie.

Reference

Corbett, J. (2001) “Torsten Hagerstrand: Time Geography” Center for spatially integreated social science, Regents University, California, Santa Barbara, accessed online 31 August 2014 http://csiss.org/classics/content/29

NBN and high-control speed

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Julia Gillard becomes Australia’s 27th Prime Minister with a promise to fulfill an idea of a National Broadband Network (NBN) first brought to our attention by ex Prime Minister Kevin Rudd with the intention of every Australian having access to high-speed internet regardless of location within Australia. This undertaking of the NBN would bring Australia to a new era of high-speed internet that has never been seen before and comparable to other developed countries. By stripping out the old copper network and replacing it with fiber cable straight to the premise the connectivity Australia would have to the internet would be comparable to other developed countries with direct links to the internet, the world and the benefits. This plan however with the logistics and undertaking of implementing the NBN is Australia’s largest infrastructure project in history and has gone through some hurdles since it first started.

One of those hurdles was the changing of Australian Government. Changing from Labor to Liberal with Tony Abbott as Australia’s newest Prime Minister, the NBN changed with him. The first proposal of fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) became fiber-to-the-node where fiber was only being introduced to the nodes around Australia with the copper wiring staying from the node to the premise. This presented the idea of information bottlenecks – where the speed was reduced because of mass information being carried and strained at the node, which would slow down the overall speed of the internet based on the amount of users per area which want to connect.

The impact of the NBN on people would depend on the needs of individuals, families and businesses. This impact of the NBN would be seen based on the connectivity that people have now. Families with children are more likely to connect to the NBN based on the demand for information for the children. People who are single look at the cost of internet providers to justify why they should connect and how they should connect. This difference of interest based on who wants to connect impacts on the interest of the NBN. While valuing high-speed internet and what it can do – better connectivity, better information and more of an impact in the digital economy It is the potential possibilities of the NBN that are an interest to those that connect. (Nansen, B)

The capabilities of the NBN are shown to be a positive thing where the NBN is the next step for future Australia and is something that Australia can not go without. Currently with Internet Service Providers (ISP) the power for control over information can be even greater. Not specific to the NBN but those that will control the next stage of internet access there is a need to understand Network Neutrality. Network Neutrality deals with the equal treatment of Data, explained by the following video:

Network Neutrality deals with ISP’s showing equality with every piece of information on the internet. So there is no favorable information that organizations and businesses are pushing for consumption and no information that is restricted. Currently Australia has no Network Neutrality, the idea has never been suggested as it doesn’t cause much of a problem because of healthy competition thanks to Telstra ADSL as it is free to use for other competitors, and thanks to consumer protection laws by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), that is when big providers block or slow down consumer access purposely to take out competitors then the ACCC will get involved. While the ACCC keeps providers relatively inline there are some situations where there is intentional favoritism.

Source

Big Pond showing favoritism to websites with a green dot. Source

The impact of Network Neutrality in Australia has developed in a way where the gradual process of technology becoming more of an important aspect of everyday life has self-monitored its way where the subtle anti-competitive behavior blends in – there may be no slowing down of competition but an interest in providing free downloads for particular websites.

In America, Network Neutrality has come under threat as the big providers AT&T and Verizon have challenged the Network Neutrality rules that are in place and have successfully been allowed to control what information is monitored and restricted. This successful challenge has the potential to restrict popular sharing sites such as Netflix on how they maintain an audience and what they can provide as a service. The control over companies that use ISP’s would come under threat as they would have to follow what the big providers suggest or be at risk of having there service limited. This also impacts on the individual user, the freedom to get information from any company would also be restricted based on the preference for the ISP that they are with. Depending on the ISP affiliations and interests the user would have to deal with it and not have the ability to do anything about it. While there is always the option to change providers, if the big providers secure a monopoly then there will no room for other options.

Comparable, Australia to America are at different stages for what their networks do and how they are maintained. The introduction of the NBN could give way the same possibilities that America currently has and possibly worse scenarios of control information already shown in Australia. The control of data is already present but how will it affect Australia with an increased digital economy when the NBN comes around.

 

References (in order of appearance)

National Archive of Australia, Australian Prime Ministers – Julia Gillard, accessed 25 August 2014 http://primeministers.naa.gov.au/primeministers/gillard/in-office.aspx

Advanced NBN, The National Broadband Network, accessed 25 August 2014 http://www.anbn.com.au/aboutanbn.html

Hackett, S 2011 ‘Peering Policy Gaps with the National Broadband Network’ accessed 24 August 2014 http://blog.internode.on.net/2011/05/16/peering-policy-gaps-nbn/

Nansen, B Arnold, M Wilken, R and Gibbs, M 2012 ‘Broadbanding Brunswick – High-speed Broadband and Household Media Ecologies: A report on Household Take-up and Adoption of the National Broadband Network in a First release Site‘, Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, Sydney

Schaffarczyk, K 2014 ‘Australia’s net neutrality lesson for the US’ accessed 25 August 2014 http://theconversation.com/australias-net-neutrality-lesson-for-the-us-22245

Mick, J 2014 ‘Network CEO Warns of Possible Future, Post-Net Neutrality’, accessed 25 August 2014 http://www.dailytech.com/Netflix+CEO+Warns+of+Possible+Grim+Future+PostNet+Neutrality/article34189.htm

Advertising and Me; it knows me sort-of

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The change of viewer attention from watching television to watching content online has made an impact on how marketing and advertising companies are aiming their products. From the time when it was just television, where information on who is watching is collected via a black box was really the only means for which companies could get ratings for what television shows are popular to what audience and then for marketers/advertisers to aim products for that audience. This method of advertising is quite general as it produces the result of one item targeted for everyone – there is no specific identity to who should be the target audience for the product, just throw the item out to the masses and see who bites.

Incoming the internet and the wonders of data collection from social media sites, has arisen a more specific change both for the advertising and marketing of products. There is the change that people are more internet savvy and using more screens than just the television. People are watching more online content on their computers, tablets and smartphones. Information provided by MarketingCharts.com provides that television consumption with people aged under 35 has dropped, more significant with people aged between 17-24 years old. This drop in television viewing is based on ‘traditional television’, the consumption of television is still there but in the background while another screen is being used.

The use of having a television on in the background is one of the many problems with the old style of gathering information about the audience. There is nothing to measure the little aspects of who was distracted for a bit and why they were distracted, who decided to look elsewhere at what moments throughout the program. Since these minor details are important there is the change for marketing and advertising agencies to look at why people are looking away and what are they looking for. High-lighted by the following video from IBM Big Data & Analytics:

The consumption and participation of being online allows for advertisements to be personally targeted to the individual. By exploring and using data collection websites there is the personal experience and element to what companies know about the user, the individual. For example the following picture displays the advertisements on my Facebook page:

My Facebook Advertisements

My Facebook Advertisements

While I’m not surprised by what is being shown I can see what aspects for what I have put on Facebook would lead to these advertisements. On my Facebook I have put that I am a student who has not graduated so the use of the word “student” with both the Adobe and Bankwest hit directly to that information. The mentioning of bargains and deals allures to my interest in good deals – though I always prefer free stuff. This personal approach of advertising can be used to a bigger agree with larger groups, by extrapolating information and finding common elements between what people do, when they do it, how they do it and the consistency for which they do it – the individual information becomes a much larger, valuable part of a bigger collection of information.

Reference:

Marketingcharts (2014) ‘Are Young People Watching Less TV?’, accessed 17 August 2014 >http://www.marketingcharts.com/television/are-young-people-watching-less-tv-24817/<

Memories of Television

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I was set the task to look at the introduction of television by talking to people older than myself and find out their memories about how television came around and how it impacted there lives. I was unable to contact my grandparents and get there memories, though if I was to guess the initial reaction it would be encapsulated by the following image:

My next best option was to have a chat with my parents about their experiences with television and how it contributed to their daily lives (Parents are 43 and 44 years old, at the time of posting this). I started to talk to my Mum but she didn’t believe in her memory so I got Dad to help bounce off memories with Mum so she would be able to remember.

Mum grew up as the youngest of four daughters, the difference being eight years from the second youngest daughter. Mum was always being looked after by her sisters and parents but when it came to being around to play mum was all on her own because of this difference. Television came to be a distraction and a companion for her, depending on how you look at it, so she wouldn’t always be alone and have something to do. There were three television sets in her house: one in the lounge-room, one in the parents bedroom and one in her room. While everyone else was at work or at school mum would be sitting in  front of the television and watching Dr. Who. She would always watch it by herself, mainly because no one else liked the show.

Dads memories of television went straight to the type of movies that were on television – a lot of Country, Western, Army and War. Dad described some of his best memories being able to just sit down with his dad and watch the movies hours on end – showing a personal connection to television and providing a more family connection aspect that television provided. Dad was a major sports fan back in those days as there was a lot less restrictions on sports so there was a lot more violence, which was always as expected aspect of watching sports. Horror and Science Fiction movies and shows were a lot more scarier.

My parents described the television as being small, heavy and chunky boxes that would usually always be black and white, with some colour. Once it was colour though there was either too much colour or not enough on the screen – to make out what was actually being watched. There were big dials that needed to be turned and pulled, and not to mention the “dicky” aerial that would be to be constantly moved and rotated to get a picture that you could make out. The television channels wouldn’t run 24/7, they would end for the day and “snow” would be on the channel.

Below is a list of shows my parents were fond of watching:

Dr Who
I dream of Genie
M*A*S*H
Get Smart
Coronation Street
Son’s and Daughters
Country Practice
Original Battle Star Gallatica
Play School
Astro Boy
Looney Toons
Sesame Street
Tom and Jerry
Young Talent Time
Monkey Mangic
Countdown
Hey, Hey It’s Saturday
Dad’s Army.
Some mothers do ‘ave ’em
Fawlty Towers
Are you being Served
Benny Hill show
Star Trek
Lost in Space
The Addams Family
The Wombles

The Wombles Source

The Wombles
Source

And every night at 6 o’clock the news would come on and they would watch it, even to this day.

Do I have room for another device?

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Starting out another University semester of blogging for the reason of current personal development for future business employment. This time, the overall idea is ‘Media, Audience and Place’, how each aspect affects an individual and how it develops that individual into society, whether or not this comes to be answered it will be interesting to see how we go.

To start with, we need to see what our own media space consists of. What technology is around that we use in everyday life, possibly used as an extension of self-identity – the can’t live without it type-of-deal. For myself at this current time I am sitting in my recliner with a smart television on in the background – watching Daria, on quite low-volume to allow for some concentration to get this blog post done, but loud-enough to look and pick up the dialogue as to keep some interest in what is being said. To the left of me is my mobile phone and to the right of me is tablet, both are my main uses of communication with people for which I have some connection to – friends, family, work and those random unexpected one time encounters.

My phone never leaves my side, as it holds a lot of personal information (for security purposes), but also as it is the best way to reach me in an instant. The tablet is a tool that is flexible with its use, dependent on the location of where I am. When at University and just needing to play some games, the tablet is quite reliable is sense of its size and array of games designed for it, currently just playing Plants-vs-Zombies 2 on it. To top off the technology I’m currently using is my Laptop, which would be the piece of technology I use the most, from doing University work to catching up on news, from browsing YouTube to see what it trending on Reddit, from seeing how much money I earned from my bank to seeing how much money I spent on retail websites. My laptop plays a big part in my life.

All these devices around me, create a space for which I use them. When I am home all of the devices get used as when I am home there is no restriction for the purpose of the piece of technology. It is when I’m at work, at University or catching public transport that each piece of technology I own provides a different situation for the validity for which I use it in. It could be that these four devices cover everything aspect of my life in some regards, if there is a time during my day where a device is not present I guess I will need to add another one.