Sunday, August 3, 2008

Journal 12, August 3, 2008

Dennis Whitfield
August 3, 2008
Journal 12

Victim Uses Facebook to finger suspect
By Larry Shaughnessy

A Georgetown student uses the website Facebook to find his attacker. The attacker which is also a Georgetown student appeared in court on Friday and was charged in what the police call a hate-crime attack. Phillip Cooney is charged with a simple assault with a bias/hate crime specification according to police officials and the US attorney’s office. Prosecutors said they added the hate crime specification because the attacker was yelling homophobic epithets during the attack. The victim suffered bruises to his face and a broken thumb in the attack. After the attack the victim started looking at Facebook to see if he could identify the person who attacked him.

When the victim found a profile that resembled the person who attacked him, he notified the authorities. They then created a photo spread of possible attackers and the victim picked out Mr. Cooney as his attacker, and he then was arrested. The police investigators in this case said they never had heard of a victim using Facebook to catch a suspect before. Mr. Cooney if convicted, will face up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000.00 fine if found guilty for simple assault. If he is convicted with the hate crime specification, he chances a 270 day jail stay and a $1,500.00 fine. He also is being investigated by the university to determine if he violated the University Student Code of Conduct.

Well for years now, the social sites like Facebook and MySpace has been seen as a distraction or a waste of time. Also seen as a place where mischief occurs. But here is another example of the good that can come out of having these sites. Without this site, the victim may not have been able to identify his attacker. I can see this being used in other attacks and crimes that happen in the future. Most Americans under the age of 30 has a Facebook or Myspace account, with a picture of themselves on it. As it has been easy to find old classmates and friends, it may be just as easier to find the person that has committed a crime against you. I believe this is a good thing, and something that will revolutionize the future, as we go into a more technological age.

Journal 11, August 3, 2008

Dennis Whitfield
August 3, 2008
Journal Entry 11

In the article, “Anytown, Online.” by Bob Tedeschi, explains how things are changing in the world small town communication. Years ago the news was spread by a guy ringing a bell in town to spread the news. Now they are websites the residents are joining in creating that provides ways to avoid traffic snags, find lost dog or just to vent on a local hot-button issue. He uses as his example the suburban towns across the greater New York area. There is a service that the towns uses to register there website, called American Towns, which is based in Fairfield, Conn. The company president bolsters that the information on the site is almost entirely form users. The users have the opportunity to post scheduled meeting of religious and community organizations, suggestions for family activities and links to news from local and national papers. The site also allows community organizations to create their own website for free.

The advantages that users say by having a town website, is that it tells the residents of the events that happened that day, which is not normally covered by the local newspaper. With features of the best trick-or-treating neighborhoods, news of an accident, power failures, and police reports soon after they happen. Some towns are seeing 5,000 to 7,000 readers daily, and up to 10,000 on peak days. One town owner said that an advantage of this type of site is that people can shed light to uncomfortable subjects. One example he used, was an article posted about how the parents where abusing the soccer referees.

I think that this may be the beginning, but soon every town in America will have its own website. The internet age has revolutionized all aspects of life from our work to our personal life. I am from a small town in North Carolina, called LaGrange, NC. The once little bitty church that I raised in, now has a website, Now, sure the church may have tripled since the days of my youth, but still the idea of them having a website, still surprises me. But the site does offer useful information, it gives a calendar of events, the opportunity to view web cast of services, a definition of the different ministries offered by the church, an opportunity to order different messages taught, directions and you can leave your contact information for prayer. This is an example of the types of websites that are popping up all across America, to relay information.

Soon we will not realize that will start looking at our town websites for all types of information. We will be looking at them to see if our child is getting out of school early. We might even be able to look at our child from work, at their school while in progress. We will know the exact moment that high school won there game. We will know when the local bakery has a sale on those chocolate ├ęclairs that we love so much. In other words, in small town America, we will be able to gain access to every aspect of our lives that is not available to us currently.

Journal 10, August 3, 2008

Dennis Whitfield
August 3, 2008
Journal 10

Agency Rejects .xxx Suffixes for Sex Related Sites on Internet
By. Thomas Crampton

The agency that governs the Internet address system rejected a proposal to create a specialized suffix for sex related web sites. This proposal was introduced seven years ago by the ICM Registry, and was turned down by a vote of 9 to 5 by the ICANN, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. The board members stated that if they passed the proposal that it would be regulating the content of the sites. But the ICM said that the .xxx Web sites would only be issued to entertainment providers identifying themselves as complying with a set of business practices that included a ban on child pornography and warnings about content. ICM also has argued that the creation of the domain would enhance safety for young users by clearly defining .xxx sites as a no-go zone. Some of the major proponents of the .xxx suffix were some sex-related entertainment companies as well as religious groups. The religious groups stated that the .xxx suffix would only encourage the creation of more sex-related content.

To me, I think the proposal should have been passed. There needs to be a way to filter the content on the internet, and by using domain names like .xxx would be helpful. We all have typed in a web address made a mistake in the spelling or made a type and there was and adult site looking at you. That is especially harmful when you are in a public computer lab or at work when this happens. By having the .xxx domain with all the adult sites would prevent that from happening. Then it would also be easier to prevent children from gaining access to those sites.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Journal 9, July 27, 2008

Dennis Whitfield
July 27, 2008
LBST 2213

If the Mirror Could Talk (It Can)
by Natasha Singer

Last week at Bloomingdale’s in Manhattan shoppers came across something quite different. A prototype for an interactive mirror stationed among the embroidered cotton dresses and duster pants in the Nanette Lepore department. Nothing fancy, just a regular full length mirror trimmed in a vintage white wooden frame but doubled as a three part high resolution digital screen. As customers tried on their clothing, and checked themselves out in the mirror, people online are able to send instant messages to the mirror commenting on the particular outfit. The online watchers are also able to suggest other outfits for the customer to try on. IconNicholson an interactive design firm in Manhattan, introduced the mirror to Nanette Lepore. At the moment, the mirror is just a prototype, but has used similar mirrors at other boutiques like Prada in Soho. But their plan is to sell this mirror to stores across the world.

Most people shop with a friend, sibling or parent that gives advice on particular clothing options. This mirror provides another way for people to get advice on clothing options when their friends are not available to be with them directly. They can make a phone call and tell whoever to log on to the site, and check them out. Some say that this will not take off because who is home during the day stuck to a computer during prime shopping hours. But, with technology constantly advancing, someone could access the site by using there cell phone browser. This will especially be the case for the younger people who already have access the sites of myspace and friendster.

Journal 8, July 27, 2008

Dennis Whitfield
July 27, 2008
LBST 2213

WiFi Turns Internet Into Hideout for Criminals
Authorities Struggling With Anonymity Provided By Unsecured Networks
By. Jamie Stockwell

Last summer in Arlington County in Virginia, police arrived at a high rise apartment building with a warrant to arrest a suspected pedophile who had traded child pornography online. But when the reached the apartment door, they found and elderly woman who the found had nothing to do with the crime except she had a wireless router on her computer. The elderly woman lived in a 10-story building in which any of her neighbors could of used her connection to trade the child pornography. This is a problem across the country with nearly 46,000 public access points across the country. Many of these access points are free with users logging on everyday from locations such as cafes, hotels, airports and even sitting on park benches. Most people do use this technology to check email or check up on work related business, but some are using this to commit crimes against children. Several agencies are looking at this problem, but they do not know how to combat this problem yet. They are concerned that by talking about this people will learn to say, ‘I can go to a parking lot, and no one will catch me.’

The way this works is that anyone who has a wireless card installed in their computer can access the Internet from any of the public wireless connection. This is especially a problem in dense areas such as Washington region, where some neighborhoods might have dozens of wireless connections to choose from. It is especially frustrating to officers, because suspects can go from coffee shop to coffee shop, or bounce from one connection to another committing crimes. One case was of a truck driver using free wireless signals across the country to post and view pornographic images of children at a Web site. By luck the man was caught, but only because the driver got online from his home computer. Across the country, a 46 multi-jurisdictional Internet Crimes Against Children task force has been created to carry out online sting operations.

Before reading this article, I did not know this was a problem. I myself have used the wireless connections from airports, coffee shops and hotels. I have also used someone else connection when visiting family and friends in cities from Chicago, NY, and Washington, DC area. I must say, that I am slow, because I never thought about the possibility of committing a crime while online, and having the ability to get away with it. I always assumed that regardless where you are, they could track your internet actions back to you. So by this article coming out, it helps educate America on how wireless really works. Hopefully most Americans will react like myself, and secure our wireless routers.
This article focuses on pedophiles, but this technology could be used for other malicious behaviors. Such as, posting threats to harm our nations security, or hacking into secure networks, gathering personal information, and causing harm to individuals. These are two instances I can think of, but I’m sure they are tons of others ways to to use this for harm.

Journal 7, July 27, 2008

Dennis Whitfield
July 27, 2008
LBST 2213

Elder Care, Signing on Becomes a Way to Stop by
By Christina Larson

With the need of adult children to keep and eye on their aging parents and have their career’s too. Companies like ADT are assisting the adult children by providing a home health alarm system that allows them to check in from remote locations. The motion sensors allows the subscriber to check to see how many times the refrigerator opens, how long they stay in the bathroom, and when they get out of the bed. If there is a change in normal behavioral pattern, they company alerts the subscriber. The Quiet Care system costs $199 to install, and the monitoring starts at $79.95 per month. In addition to the motion sensor, the company can install video cameras showing the floors and the foot of the bed. Quiet Care also provides a 24 hour call center to assist in emergencies.

There are several other systems coming into the market. One is SeniorSafe@Home that comes out this fall, which will provide a similar service as Quiet Care. It will staff its call center with nurses who will monitor data from a combination of motion sensors, electronic medication dispensers and fall detectors. Another system called iCare Health Monitoring uses a different model that is not meant to be uses as an emergency alarm system. It allows providers, family members and the older person to keep track of health data, like blood pressure, weight or medications. This system uses a small electronic device with a text screen and four input buttons. It asks a series of daily multiple-choice questions about their health. This is available through CVS pharmacies with a cost of $99 to install and $49.95 a month for monitoring.

As an only child, this article had special interest to me. With the current technology and medical advances life expectancy rises every year. The technology mentioned here, would allow me to check in on my parents where ever I might be, if the need arises. There is a good chance that I might never go back to live in my home town. Plus my parents would never leave that town or move to my location. They also would not go to an assisted living facility, unless something was serious wrong. So to have this technology available is a comfort to me.
Twenty years ago this technology might of saved a an elderly person in my neighborhood. Growing up in a rural community, it was possible to go days without being noticed. In this case the gentleman’s daughters lived 200 miles away and that was his only family. One night he went to bed and during that night he went into a diabetic coma. When he was found, it was determined that he had been deceased for over a week. This is something that every adult child fears and this technology would have alerted them that no one has been moving about the house.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Journal 6, July 20, 2008

Dennis Whitfield
LBST 2213
Journal 6

Amazon Plans an Online Store for Movies and TV Shows
By. Brad Stone

Last Thursday Amazon announced a product that will allow users to order TV shows and movies, called Amazon Video on Demand. Customers that subscribe to Amazon will be able to order over 40,000 movies and television shows because the stream, similar to how the cable companies video on demand works. This is different than similar online stores, such as Apples iTunes, which requires the user to download to their hard drive. Amazon is now pursing new technology that would provide an Internet pipeline to the TV. They have settled on a deal that would places its internet store on the Sony Bravia line of televisions.

Amazon’s video on demand opened up for a limited number of customers on Thursday, but will open later this summer for all customers. At this moment almost all of the publisher’s have signed on, but Disney and ABC are the lone hold outs. But they both are in sync with the Apple version. One of the main advantages to the system is that they videos do not download to the hard drive. Also, the videos that are purchased will be saved in a Video Library.

Amazon’s video on demand, sounds like a promising new invention. From what I read, this will become competition to not only video stores, but also cable companies. Someone without cable, could just sign online, and watch the latest shows, movies, and sporting events that they choose, without having to have an cable source. Also if you are fortunate enough to have a Sony, then you would have the service already on your television allowing you more freedom to watch and pay for exactly what you want to see and when. I personally cannot wait to check it out for myself to see exactly how this works.