Reading Response- Week 1

Wired Magazine
Great Wall of Facebook
I was not aware how much of a rivalry was between google and facebook. Structure, design and utility as Fogelstein writes is at the core of the battle. The competition involves racing each other to who can make more revenue with online brand advertising. I was surprised to read that Facebook had about 40,000 servers. I never really thought about how their data is stored up until now. I use Facebook daily to stay connected to friends and family. Facebook executives are always trying to make the experience online more meaningful and personal. I agree with Fogelstein’s strong comment about Facebook being “right up there with Gutenberg and Marconi”. I do agree it is a revolution. Facebook’s privacy settings are important and I also agree with the comment Zuckerberg made about google at it’s extreme is invading the privacy of society. (Especially with site like

The New York Times
The Web Means the End of Forgetting
“The internet records everything and forgets nothing”,  Rosen makes a key point here that reminded me to be cautious with my postings online. We all have public digital files ad the internet as Rosen mentions never seems to forget anything is quite threatening. Mayer Schonberger wrote, “without some form of forgetting, forgiving becomes a difficult undertaking.” I don’t think we have second chances online. It’s a challenge to preserve our identites in a digital world that never forgets as Rosen points out. “Think B4 U Post!” was an interesting campaign. I found it fascinating that Reputation Defender can monitor your online reputation and contact sites that have offending material posted. Never knew that existed and I’m curious what their client base is like. Spokeo and pipl are creepy. The TigerText erases messages after a set amount of time and I would be curious to see how many people use this application. Mail Goggles is funny and I agree completely with Jeff Rosen’s final point about how our character can’t be judged from Facebook and Google profiles. That evaluation can only be done face-to-face to be fair and forgiving.
Natural User Interfaces Are Not Natural
Article discusses how speech, gestures, touch and vision all relate in designing interfaces. I thought it was interesting how across cultures gestures mean completely different things. It was funny when the author wrote about Nintendo Wii and the releasing of the bowling ball caused users to throw the ball because it felt natural. As a result of this human action Nintendo had to manufacture a controller with a wrist strap to prevent TVs from breaking because a remote was thrown at it. the article also mentions how gestures involve switches, hand-held devices, gloves and keyboards. Gesture based systems as the author notes includes people with learning curves. People with handicaps have to be considered. I’ll keep these tips in mind when designing projects at Parsons.
Things That Make Us Smart
Donald Norman
Norman writes the most important tool is paper and pencil. He notes, “A book is a cognitive tool only for those who know how to read, but even then, what kind of tool it is depends upon how the reader employs it. A book cannot serve reflective thought unless the reader knows how to reason, to reflect upon the material”. He discusses how representations are abstractions and how we value what we can measure or represent. There are complementary qualities between human and computer processing as Norman points out in the Tic-Tac-Toe example. “Representation that match our perceptual capabilities are simpler and easier to use than those that require reflection…with the appropriate choice of representation, hard taks become easy”. I found this quote to wrap up the examples he addressed about the maps, tally marks, and  the importance of hue. These are all elements that I will also consider when designing future projects at Parsons.
You Are Not a Gadget
Jason Lanier
Lanier makes an interesting point about how changing the height on one’s avitar increases self-esteem and social self-perception.  ( I would like that, haha)
“It only takes a tiny group of engineers to create technology that can share the entire future of human experience with incredible speed. Therefore, crucial arguments about the human relationship with technology should take place between developers and users before such direct manipulations are designed” –This is a powerful statement filled with great responsibilities for designers and developers to society. It’s a bit frightening, but at the same time an exciting idea that we have control over our work. We must be very careful with our design choices. We have to struggle through and recognize mistakes. I’m sure I’ll be doing that over the next two years while working on my MFA.

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