Tor—the anonymity network

Nowadays our online privacy are put on the table.

The most popular browsers we use today probaboly are IE, firefox, chrome which are not privacy-friendly, which means there are some other parties like  advertisers and rivals who can spy on you and track your web behavior, so your browsing history is going to be exposed.

On the contrast, the Tor browser is a free computer application that can be downloaded and used to avoid filtering.

“TOR”的图片搜索结果

picture from (https://www.torproject.org/)

It helps us to better protect our privacy, from their website(https://www.torproject.org/), it offers these: 1. Block Tracker: after browsing, history will be cleared, so trackers and ads cannot follow you. 2. IP will be hidden; no one can spy you. 3. You cannot using fingerprinting, since every users are made to look the same. 4. Information are coded 3 times, which means it would be much safer. 5. sites your network may have blocked which can be accessed by you.

However, Tor isn’t like other browsers. Any data is not going to be saved on Tor, for example: browsing history. It’s hard for police to trace Tor, even NSA cannot spy on the use of Tor, which means police cannot trace bad guys who are using Tor.(https://www.quora.com/Does-the-NSA-target-you-when-they-figure-out-you-use-Tor)

Tor is now supported by many organizations and countries. However, I don’t think China is going to fund on this project. This is because China has severe censorship on the internet. Like everything online should be censored under regulations. Therefore, like hidden IP is not going to pass under censorship.

Second, it’s not a Chinese company running this business. Like Emerging Technology from the arXiv said(Apr 4, 2012,https://www.technologyreview.com/s/427413/how-china-blocks-the-tor-anonymity-network/)”The biggest and most powerful of these is China, and the government there operates a firewall that denies its citizens online access to the outside world. ” This means that most of applications here like TOR are not allowed in China. Plus, for TOR, ISP can still detect you are using Tor though they cannot trace. This, in come aspect, is enough to do some repercussions.  Also, there is a fact provided by Sumit Passary Tech Times that there were someone who use Tor to make child pornography site, and it shut down by FBI. This tells us that FBI, in some content, can still spy on you. Though FBI do this for good, who can say that they are not going to cover other fields?(https://www.techtimes.com/articles/167002/20160626/the-fbi-can-still-spy-on-you-even-if-youre-using-tor-and-dont-ask-why.htm, “The FBI can still spy on you even if you’are using tor and don’t ask why”,)

 

 

 

Reference:

www.torproject.org

https://www.quora.com/Does-the-NSA-target-you-when-they-figure-out-you-use-Tor

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/427413/how-china-blocks-the-tor-anonymity-network/

https://www.techtimes.com/articles/167002/20160626/the-fbi-can-still-spy-on-you-even-if-youre-using-tor-and-dont-ask-why.htm

 

Magic Bands: How Disney Revolutionized Hospitality Through IoT

Households, companies, and cities are embracing physical minimalism through the internet of things. Whether it be using a tablet with a stylus instead of a notebook to avoid paper clutter or a smart speaker to add items to your calendar without even picking up a pen, combining the power of combining multiple devices into one is a positive feature of the internet of things. In 2013 Walt Disney World made a 1 billion dollar gambit on Internet of Things technology with the aforementioned premises in mind. They streamlined all of their processes such as booking, hotels, ticketing, FastPasses, and merchandise into one colorful wristband called a Magic Band and a companion app titled “My Disney Experience.”

Through the “My Disney Experience” app, the user sets up their Disney World vacation entirely from their phone, including guests attending, hotel choice, duration of stay, and FastPass planning. As the trip approaches, Disney takes this data and compiles it into a database with a unique identifier for each guest. This aforementioned unique identifier is placed onto a colorful Magic Band bracelet. The bracelet has an HF radio frequency device built in it that allows it to send and receive radio frequency (RF) signals. Multiple RF points exist throughout the Walt Disney World complex including hotels, FastPass queues for attractions, and shops/restaurants. These points use the unique guest ID stored on the Magic Band to access the database containing relevant park information to verify a requested action. These actions could range from entry to your hotel room, buying Mickey Ears and dinner, or entering the FastPass line at your assigned time slot. Upon this verification, the device allows or denies the requested action depending on the information stored in the database.

This technology allows for one device to cover the actions of multiple, and reduces the amount of items needed to be brought into the park during the guest’s stay. The Magic Band effectively acts as a room key, a park ticket, a FastPass, and a debit card all at the same time, and allows these separate items to be securely fastened to a wrist (which is valuable in a crowded theme park). In 2017, I got to utilize this technology on a trip with my high school’s marching band. Through the capabilities of the Magic Band, I could leave my valuables in the hotel safe and didn’t have to worry about my debit card or park ticket being stolen. It also made queuing for attractions and hotel entry more streamlined. This allowed me to immerse myself into the incredible theming of the Disney parks and truly enjoy the happiest place on Earth.

References:

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/faq/my-disney-experience/frequency-technology/

https://www.wired.com/2015/03/disney-magicband/

 

 

 

IoT and Industry

The development of IoT devices and AI capabilities has opened up countless applications across many aspects of life as discussed in class and found in the textbook.  The application of IoT networks in industry are found heavily in the Supply-Chain sector with technology that enables more efficient monitoring of the movement of goods, enabling buyers, suppliers, and logistics service provider to integrate their back-end platforms with each other (PYMNTS, 2019).  Additionally, with increased application of IoT in manufacturing, automated machines that already perform a large part of the labor required in manufacturing will be able to offer data collected through the manufacturing process to other devices in the network, making data collection easier and less necessary to be performed by human labor (Shepard, 2019).  This increased coordination potential allows for increased efficiency across the board in manufacturing, distribution, and resource acquisition, which in turn decreases cost and creates added value for the stake-holding parties of the supply chain.

While this increased efficiency is great for the corporation’s sustainability and economic benefit and the health of the industry, the introduction of technology that can replace human labor means less jobs in unskilled labor.  Simultaneously, the increased integration of IoT and AI into the workplace means skilled labor must acquire a new set of skills and new jobs will crop up to tend to the problems and advantages this technology brings with it.  As stated by Georgios Petropoulos in Shepard’s article, “initial labor displacement effects of jobs with routinized manual or cognitive skills, as in previous industrial revolutions, will be compensated for by the growth in non-routine jobs at the high and low end of the economy” (2019).  So while jobs will be replaced, there will simply be an increased demand for higher-skilled work in the same industry to take full advantage of this new technology, going further to prove that the IoT revolution will bring about increased human potential contrary to the belief that the IoT will enable laziness among the populace.

Sources:

https://www.mhlnews.com/labor-management/impact-ai-and-iot-manufacturing-job-market#close-olyticsmodal

https://www.pymnts.com/internet-of-things/2019/iot-impact-on-supply-chains-and-security/

Analytics and Decisions

This past week in class we have discussed about the difference between analytics and analysis and what each tell us or do. One of the main differences that I can remember about them is that analytics are ongoing and an analysis is more of a one time thing. Since analytics is the discovery and communication of meaningful patterns in data, I wonder if data can get hacked just as easily as self-driving cars. In class we also talked about the risk of self driving cars and drones being hacked, and data can be effected in the same way.

Within business, many companies rely on analytics to determine what products they market or customers to aim for or drop. Fast Company, the newspaper says that although analytics are important that they do not know if they can trust them, “Yet, according to a recent survey of over 2,000 data and analytics (D&A) decision makers in 10 countries by KPMG and Forrester Consulting, only 38% of respondents have a high level of confidence in their customer insights, and only one third trust the analytics they generate from their business operations”(Fast Company). As helpful as analytics can be, they can also be untrustworthy. When you are higher up in a company and look at the different data presented to you, you do not really know where the information may be coming from. So instead they choose to ignore the information presented to them because they are unsure if it is trustworthy or not. Many companies do however take a different path when it comes to data and do not really try to obsess over it. According to Towards Data Science, one of their major cases is that sometimes the average value does not represent your customer. This means that although maybe only half of the population like your product, that statistic does not matter to you unless the whole entire world is your target market. Data can sometimes not represent your target market which can make it invaluable to your company. One major thing to remember when talking about data as well, is to remember that data many times can just be a prediction. Although many people hate to admit it, including myself, but technology and data can be wrong or incorrect sometimes. Government Technology, wrote a article about how big data can be wrong and predict incorrect information for a company.

It is always important to think about the analytics that are being received and pushed out to the world for everyone to see. The predictions, statistics, and data can be wrong or altered by other people and you have to be able to be aware that some information can be wrong.

Resources:

https://www.fastcompany.com/3065294/why-executives-dont-trust-their-own-data-and-analytics-insights

https://towardsdatascience.com/why-focusing-on-data-points-can-hurt-your-business-and-what-you-should-do-instead-1583d008b7b9

https://www.govtech.com/data/When-Big-Data-Gets-It-Wrong.html

Mi.Mu Gloves: Controlling Music Through the Internet of Things

Whether it be a crock pot that is can be controlled through WiFi and an app on your phone or a shirt that can keep track of your heart rate and workout stats, the internet of things is creating a reality where the gap between physical and virtual space is closing. Whether this be good or bad to some, it cannot be denied that this movement in technology and networking has created some innovative and incredible devices.

One such device is the Mi.Mu gloves, conceptualized by British musician Imogen Heap. Through linking multiple sensors through a WiFi connection, the gloves can act as a musical instrument through live gesture and tactile input. The sensors measure the bend of the fingers, positioning/angle of the hand and send this the information to a dedicated software titled Glover, which interprets the data in terms of pitch, yaw, and roll. This means that the position of the user’s fingers, hands, and the angle of their wrist can correspond with a certain gesture that influences the sound. Glover can be setup with third-party digital audio workstations and can quite literally place complex composition tools in the palm of your hand. In the video below, Imogen Heap shows some of the gestures, such as gentle sweeps of the hands to control effects and filters or a vertical swipe to delete the composition made. This demonstration leads to a performance of her song “Hide and Seek” where she uses entirely gestures to loop, adjust the pitch, and apply effects and filters to microphone input to create a swirling choir out of one voice (Starting at time 9:19).

Through the technology of internet of things, Heap and Mi.Mu have created a truly unique music creation device that allows for natural input to fuse with the digital world, making digital music production feel more dynamic and grounded in the real world. I feel like innovations like these are positive examples of IoT technology, as they connect the tangible world with the virtual to improve productivity without being a creepy invasion of the user’s privacy. I believe that more inventors and companies should take note of the concept of these gloves and use human physiology and psychology to improve how we interact with technology and how technology interacts with us.

References:

www.mimugloves.com

What’s Tricking Companies into Losing Billions?

Spoofing Emails. In many circumstances an employee may get an email that looks like it’s from a boss requesting that money be sent over to complete a transaction with another business, however, a lot of the time the money will never get to the location it was intended to be and now the company has lost a lot of money (BBC 2019). According to Search Security, the definition of email spoofing is, “the forgery of an email header so that the message appears to have originated from someone or somewhere other than the actual source” (Search Security 2019).

This type of attack usually uses “low-tech” and cyber-criminals can just “simply spoof the email address of a company executive and send a convincing request to an unsuspecting employee,” usually making it seem like there’s a “sense of urgency to the order” (BBC 2019). These types of scams are only on the rise and have resulted in a great loss of money for companies around the world. According to the article I read, since 2016 these hacks have “resulted in worldwide losses of at least $26bn” (BBC 2019). Just earlier this month there was a massive take down operation of “global cyber-crime networks based on scams” in which 281 suspected hackers were arrested from 10 different countries around the globe (BBC 2019). This type of scam is actually the “most expensive problem in all of cyber-security” (BBC 2019).

It also turns out that these criminals don’t always go for the most executive targets. Sometimes they just go for whoever is the most exposed and easiest to trick. For example, sometimes “employees’ emails are spoofed and the attacker asks the human-resources departments to send a victim’s wages to a new bank account” (BBC 2019). These attacks might not always give the hacker the biggest return, but it helps them “fly below the radar” and lessens the chances of them getting caught (BBC 2019).

Finally, I wanted to discuss some ways that companies can avoid this problem from happening. An article I found online shared ways you can avoid becoming the target in these situations. First off, you want to check your SPF (sender policy framework) records and perform any adjustments if needed, and if you had received a spoofed message to “make sure your system is set to perform SPF checks” (Star Chapter 2019). Of course, you will also want to check the sender’s information very carefully as well. There are a list of smaller things to be looking out for. And of course, companies need to be educating there employees on all of this (Star Chapter 2019). If everyone knows how to spot a fake email then the company as a whole will be better protected and less likely to fall victim to these terrible scams.

Sources:

Photo:

 

Do You Want A Drone To Deliver Your Package?

Amazon is not stopping anytime soon. The idea of using drones to deliver packages to get to the consumer quickly and more efficiently has been in the works for quite some time now. But now they are so close to finally putting it in action. They have done multiple test runs and are now saying, “it could start making drone deliveries to consumers’ homes in just months” (Bensinger, 2019). In class, we watched a video of Amazon testing out the drone delivery process and how people felt about getting packages via a drone versus a vehicle. 

Amazon has taken into account consumers beliefs and values and has listened to what they want. Customers were saying how loud the drones could be and how bothersome they could be to a consumer or even a neighbor. Amazon has worked hard on trying to limit the noise the drones produce when delivering packages. “Just because you want a package delivered quickly doesn’t mean you want you or your neighbors to hear it coming” (Bensinger, 2019).  

A main worry with the hundreds of technological advancements going on in our world today is the decrease in need for jobs.  Self driving cars could take jobs away from Uber drivers or taxi drivers. Now, the thousands of people who work for Amazon and the different delivery companies, their jobs could be taken away due to the drones now being able to deliver your packages instead of human beings. “Companies including Amazon have long been working toward a future in which humans and trucks aren’t needed to deliver the millions of online orders consumers place each day” (Bensinger, 2019). These technological advancements are fascinating and there are so many benefits but are people worried about losing their job in the future because of it?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/06/05/amazons-latest-package-delivery-drone-will-fly-itself/

 

How Do You Feel About Self Driving Cars?

In class we have discussed how technological advancements are changing our future and one specific idea we talked about was self driving cars. As our generation gets older, fewer and fewer people will be taking the wheel in the driver’s seat. Car companies have been working on the idea of self driving cars for years. Tesla for example, has recently launched a new self driving ability that will be able to,  “make it possible for cars to navigate through a parking lot to its owner — without anyone inside — so long as the car is within the owner’s line of sight.” (Duffy, 2019).  This is pretty unique compared to other vehicles that have launched self driving abilities that just help you park in between the lines, this is one of the most advanced skills that a car company has yet to come out with. Tesla released in a blog post, “It’s the perfect feature to use if you have an overflowing shopping cart, are dealing with a fussy child, or simply don’t want to walk to your car through the rain” (Duffy, 2019). This feature on the car will simply bring your car to you so you don’t have to walk and get it. 

Another feature that this new upgrade is bringing to Tesla’s cars is the idea of in car entertainment and this could not be possible if we didn’t have all this amazing technology and the Internet of Things. Tesla owners “will be able to connect their Netflix (NFLX), Hulu and YouTube accounts to the center console to watch — as long as they’re parked” (Duffy, 2019). The idea of in car entertainment has always been seen on the surface with some vehicles having DVD players but the idea of being able to stream TV shows and movies from netflix, youtube, and hulu is a whole new concept. Along with being able to watch tv shows and movies in the new models of the Tesla, with this new update it is also possible to play Caraoke right from the large center consult. (Duffy, 2019). All these advancements in cars are proof of how much technology is affecting our everyday lives. 

It’s crazy to think with this technology in the world how different our lives will be compared to our parents and grandparents. With the Internet of Things making our future so different than the way we have grown up, Tesla is yet another example of how the Internet of Things and technological advancements will change our future. 

 

https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/26/tech/tesla-software-udpate/index.html

 

Language translation would play an important role in IoT era

The idea of the internet of things has stepped into our life for a while, and it will definitely keep progressing. Twenty years ago, we only had our computer connected to the internet, while in the past ten years, we have our smartphones, apple watches, and echo devices all connected to the internet. It is still a limited number but has already completely changed our life. What about in the future? When automobiles, refrigerators, drones, and everything else are all connected to the internet, this may bring us lots of convenience and problems, but the first thing we need to consider about is probably language translation.

Just as a post on YBD website (2019) said, “…an innumerable amount of tasks will be done much faster than before. But for this, the more than 30,000 million new interconnected elements need to speak the same language, but at the same time, that users can understand them in their own language.” That is to say, to make barrier-free access through devices, according to the post on CAPIT website (2014), ” language and translations solutions will need to be incorporated in all IoT devices.”

A new era is about to start. In this increasing global digital market, the internet is not the only factor that connects people, language translation probably should come first in this case. In the future, it would be inevitable that technology companies would work with language translation companies to make global IoT possible and viable. (YBD,2019)

Sources:

Translators in the Internet of Things Era

 

The Internet of Things: Unlocking the language potential

Human Centered Interaction Developments Timeline

There have been several important developments in Human Centered Interaction (HCI) since the invention of Hypertext Transfer Protocol (http). These developments helped shape how we interact with computers and other technology today. Some of these inventions have brought about a new era of HCI and have opened up possibilities for the future. A very important development in HCI was the release of the first iPhone. According to an article written by Matthew Jones (2014), The iPhone was released in 2007. This new smart phone was the first to offer features such as the full touch screen QWERTY keyboard, a glass screen, and the ability to search the web like you could on a desktop.  The reason the creation of the first iPhone was so important is because it helped to shape the modern touch screen as well as the modern smartphone (Jones, 2014). The release of the first iphone changed how cell phones were used and how users interact with their phones today.

Another development in HCI was the release of the Wii game console in 2007. The reason this was so important to HCI was due to the fact that it changed how people could interact with game consoles. According to encyclopedia Britannica (Wii, 2017), the Wii was the first console to have a remote that got input not only from what buttons were being pressed but by the movement of the controller as well. This allowed users to play video games using natural physical actions instead of just pressing buttons—this was an important development to human centered interaction because it bridged the gap between physical actions and computers, thus allowing for users to interact in a way that allowed them to use more than just their hands. (Wii, 2017).

After the creation of the Wii another revolutionary device called the Microsoft Kinect was released. According to a review by Jeff Bakalar (2010), the Kinect was an accessory for the Xbox 360 console, and was released in 2010. It allowed for gamers to be play games without any controllers, and allowed gamers to use their bodies as the controllers. This was an important development in HCI because this was one of the first technologies commercially produced to offer full gesture-based input (Bakalar,2010). Helping us to take a step forward in gesture-based interaction technology.While these developments helped to shape HCI today we still have a long way to go. There are several advancements in HCI that will occur within the next decade.  These developments will shape how computers are designed, and how we will interact with them in the future.  A development that will occur in the years to come will be advancements in Augmented Reality (AR). According to an article written by Jesse Emspack (2018), AR doesn’t create a new environment like virtual reality but instead overlays the environment users are already in. This is an important future advancement as it will allow for interaction between not only the user but with the user’s surroundings as well. Allowing for users to interact not only with the technology itself but to have a more technological experience with their environment (Emspak, 2018).

Another important future advancement in HCI is the increased development and use of smart fabric. According to an article written by Rebecca Gaddis (2014), Smart fabric can be used within clothes so that it can receive input from the wearer and the wearer’s environment and then react to that input. This can be used for both creating color changing garments and help users with their athletic pursuits. The reason this is will revolutionize development is because it actually doesn’t really require the user to purposefully interact with the technology. Instead, the user’s body and environment interact for the user and provide the input necessary for the desired result—eliminating the need for the user to provide such input (Gaddis, 2014).

Another important advancement in HCI that will appear in the next decade is advancements in assistive technology. According to Encyclopedia Britannica (Cook & Grey, 2017), assistive technology is designed to help those who are disabled. This technology will help those who are disabled to be able to perform everyday task with ease. It will also allow for those who are disabled to participate in activities that they otherwise would not be able to participate in. I think this technology is an import advancement in HCI because it will allow for those who cannot wholly interact with their environment or cannot interact with existing technology to be able to better use technology to assist them with everyday tasks and will help improve their quality of life (Cook & Grey, 2017). The advancements we have seen since the development of Http helped to shape how people interact with technology today. And developments that we will see in the next decade will shape how we used and interact with the technology of the future.

 

References

Bakalar, Jeff. (2010, November 3). Microsoft Kinect Review. Retrieved from Cnet        website: https://www.cnet.com/reviews/microsoft-kinect-series-review/.

Emspak, Jesse (2018, June 1). What is Augmented Reality? Retrieved from Live science website: https://www.livescience.com/34843-augmented-reality.html

Gaddis, Rebecca. (2014, May 7). What is the Future of Fabric? These smart Textiles   Will Blow Your Mind. Retrieved from Forbes  website  :https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesstylefile/2014/05/07/what-is-the-future-of-fabric-these-smart-textiles-will-blow-your-mind/#36f59ec0599b

Gray, D. B., & Cook, A.M. (2017, November 13). Assistive Technology. Retrieved from  Encyclopedia Britannica website: https://www.britannica.com/science/assistive-technology.

Matthew, Jones. (2014, September 14). iPhone History: Every generation in order from 2007-2019. Retrieved from https://historycooperative.org/the-history-of-the-iphone/#The_Birth_of_the_iPhone

Nintendo Wii. (2017, January 23). In Encyclopedia Britannica online. Retrieved from Encyclopedia Britannica website: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Nintendo-Wii.