Monthly Archives: November 2013

Company Leaders Crash Their Computers Because of Watching Porn

One of the largest growing industry in the world is the porn industry. Pornography is easily accessible over the Internet, which means that the young and old can watch it whenever or wherever they so desire. Studies show that boys and men are more likely to watch or look at porn then women are. They also start at a very young age, like ten or eleven.

Is very unprofessional and can be easily detected. History on computers and the viruses that attack computers because of pornographic websites are all indicators. One would think that an employee would have enough common sense to not rick their job because of bad behavior. Believe it or not, some employees do watch porn during the work day, and they happen to be leading men in the companies.

“Research from ThreatTrack Security revealed that 40% of security professionals found that a device used by a member of their company’s senior leadership team had been infected by malware because of a visit to a pornographic website.” The article on Mashable.com, “Execs Watching Porn a Leading Cause of Malware Problems” goes on to say that cleaning up malware on a device is difficult and more and more people are having problems fixing it.

If executives and any other employee would stop looking at porn and do their job, this wouldn’t be nearly as big of a problem!

http://mashable.com/2013/11/13/office-porn-malware/

Spatial Thinking

“A map is a graphic representation or scale model of spatial concepts. It is a means for conveying geographic information.”  Whether a person lives in Peru or in Germany, a map is a universal medium. No matter the language spoken or culture practiced, a map is relatively easy to comprehend. In today’s world, geography is considered a dying major in most colleges. The world’s schools need to educate their students in geography and cartography so that spatial thinking is still ongoing.

Before the printing press even existed, maps were conceived and drawn. Map making, an art called cartography, began when the Babylonians drew them on clay tablets around 2300 B.C. Later, Greek philosophers learned more about the “spherical earth” and perfected the science of creating maps. Maps were used for religious purposes during the medieval era, and later were carved into wood blocks during the Renaissance. In the early 16th century, when Columbus and other explorers sailed to the New World, whole- world maps began to appear. Maps became increasingly more accurate as technology developed, especially during World War I when aerial photography was a possibility. The map is an ancient way to interpret geography and today, they are still an important way to navigate and understand the world.

Every type of information can be graphed in some way. Bar graphs, pie charts and line graphs are just some of the basic few. Graphing and visualizing data is thought to be a new practice but this is not the case. Mapping data was the first type of visualizing. Kirk Goldsberry, who wrote the article, The Importance of Spatial Thinking Now, says, “As I look out on the world of data visualization, I see a lot of reinventing of the wheel precisely because so many young, talented visualizers lack geographical training. Those interested in a 21st century career in visualization can definitely learn a lot from 20th century geographers.” Spatial thinking in this day and age is extremely important seeing that visual learning is on the rise.

Visual learning is defined by the Association of College and Research Libraries as “a set of abilities that enables an individual to effectively find, interpret, evaluate, use, and create images and visual media. Visual literacy skills equip a learner to understand and analyze the contextual, cultural, ethical, aesthetic, intellectual, and technical components involved in the production and use of visual materials. A visually literate individual is both a critical consumer of visual media and a competent contributor to a body of shared knowledge and culture.” The ACRL explains in their article, ACRL Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, that the people in today’s society are predominantly visual learners. The technology available makes creating or finding visuals easy and accessible. Goldsberry states that, “data visualization is an emerging, important discipline, and spatial thinking—geography—is a fundamental skill for good data visualization.”  As stated before, mapping has been around “since dinosaurs roamed the earth.” Yet their importance is underrated.

Google Maps and global positioning systems are just two out of many applications that show maps and navigation. Goldsberry believes that having these applications is taking away from real learning. He says, “There are too few classes that enable learners to improve their spatial reasoning abilities, with maps and visualizations being of course the most central artifacts to such improvements. The problem is simple: not enough people know how to make maps or handle spatial data sets.” Maps will always have use in some way, shape or form which is why it is crucial that they are studied.

The knowledge of our whereabouts and surroundings is imperative when it comes to graphing data. Data shown on maps is an effective way to learn for visual learners. Take for example a map on VisualizingData.com. “The map illustrates all 9,866,539 buildings in the Netherlands and are shaded according to year of construction.” Depending on what one is learning or interested in finding out, this map might prove useful to them. A traveler who appreciates old architecture and history could look at this visual to see where the oldest buildings are located. They would find that Amsterdam and Haarlem have what they are looking for since they are shaded red which represents buildings constructed before and during the 1800s. Also, having an aerial view of the cities and its buildings is what helps city planning. The map may aid architects as they are looking for places to build and expand or to tear things down. Maps show information that would otherwise be confusing and taxing to read in a document.

As shown in another map on NASA’s website, the global earth is sectioned off based on the atmosphere, biosphere, land surface, solid Earth, and ocean. The Earth can be more fully understood when these excavations and experiments are performed and graphed. Knowing our Earth leads to knowledge of how to take care of it. A healthy Earth leads to a healthy and longer lasting population. Communicating this information through visuals and maps helps puzzling and unclear information make sense. NASA is the perfect example for brilliant spatial thinkers, which is just what this world needs.

Because geography is no longer taught in most colleges, the art of cartography and the study of geography is endangered. If one had the skills of spatial thinking and the education for it under their belt, it would benefit the population as a whole. “Quantitative spatial analytics offer vital insights into the world’s most important domains including public health, the environment, the global economy, and warfare.” Goldsberry also states that the focus of spatial thinking is on data, which is a mistake. “The best visualizations never celebrate the data; instead they make us learn about worldly phenomena and forget about the data. After all, who looks at the Mona Lisa to think about the paints?” Data is important, but by itself it is nothing. Data wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for those who research it. The world’s schools need to educate their students in geography and cartography so that spatial thinking is not considered a dying practice. If it weren’t for those who make maps, how would we even begin to understand the place in which we live?

To read the article, press here

To see the map of the Netherlands, press here

To see the map on NASA’s website, press here

 

                                                                 Bibliography

“ACRL Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education.” Association of College &      Research Libraries. American Library Association, 1996. Web. 9 Nov. 2013. http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/visualliteracy

“Best of the Visualisation Web… September 2013.” Visualising Data. Visualising Data, 2009.  Web. 9 Nov. 2013. <http://www.visualisingdata.com/index.php/2013/10/best-of-the-visualisation-web-september-2013&gt;.

“Mapping Our World.” NASA Global Climate Change. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2013. Web. 10 Nov. 2013. <http://nasaesw.strategies.org/&gt;.

Aber, James. “Brief History of Maps and Cartography.”  J.S. Aber, 2008. Web.9 November 2013. http://academic.emporia.edu/aberjame/map/h_map/h_map.htm

Goldsberry, Kirk. “The Importance of Spatial Thinking Now.” Harvard Business Review, 30 September, 2013. Web. 9 November 2013. http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/09/teaching-and-learning-visualiz/

Spaan, Bert. “Buildings in the Netherlands by Year of Construction.” Buildings in the Netherlands by Year of Construction. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Nov. 2013. <http://dev.citysdk.waag.org/buildings/&gt;.

 

 

 

The Digital Divide

With today’s technology, almost anything is possible. All the information we want or need is at our finger tips and different worlds and cultures and peoples are connected. Technological advancements have helped take our nation to new heights. But is all this technology too much?

Every day, I wake up and check my phone for text messages. I check it for the weather so I know what to wear. I check Twitter and Instagram and Facebook to catch up with friends. I FaceTime with my friend in Florida and my friend in Ohio. I look up song lyrics or a recipe or which floor cleaner to use. I use my phone ad computer for literally EVERYTHING I do, and when I am without it, I feel lost. I keep reaching for my pocket to get it just to find that its not there. I consider it my baby, because it is so valuable to me. If I had to live without my phone…..while I just couldn’t. 

Having the ability to be connected almost everywhere I go aids to my phone addiction. I can listen to Pandora at the gym, scroll through Instagram while waiting for my Chinese order to be done, and look up what’s on TV so I know what to watch later. Wireless connection  helps me to be in the loop 24/7.  ” ‘ Americans are more apt to rely on wireless only, for Internet access because it’s affordable and accessible, ‘Jamie Hastings, a vice president at the trade organization Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, said in an interview. Currently there are over 100 million wireless connections in the United States.”

Video Games Don’t Rot Your Brain!

When I was a wee little one, I begged and begged my parents to let me have a play station or an Xbox or any sort of video games. I would play them at my friends houses and found them to be so much fun. Much to my dismay, my parents said no and didn’t get me one. They said that video games would rot my brain and I would be obsessed with them. All they were was a waste of time. A couple years later, I put my name into a drawing and won a Wii!  What could they do about it now? Absolutely nothing!

“Those addictive video games that keep players glued to the screen may actually do the brain some good.” An article on Mashable explains that video games really aren’t all that bad!  ” A new study from the journal Molecular Psychiatry digs into the effect of video game play on the volume of the brain’s gray matter — the tissue responsible for muscle control, memory, language and sensory perception.” The article goes on to explain a lot of things about the brain that I don’t really understand due to big words and biological terms. The point is though, that when parents say video games rot your brains, they are wrong!

Show them this article!

http://mashable.com/2013/11/07/video-games-brain-growth/

Professionalism on Twitter

It is difficult in today’s world to balance online and offline lives. Twitter, for instance, is a portal to connect with friends and family. But there are dangers to this relaxed atmosphere. Twitter is a very public place that can be accessed by the professional world. If there is something bad on your feed, it could hinder you in the future. The article on Mashable warns that you should not be a robot. Yes, being professional is key, but constantly tweeting work related things hides the real you. 

Another thing to be conscious of on twitter is sensitive topics. These are things like politics and sports, or things you have very strong opinions about. You don’t want to come across as rude or crude. Avoid posts that include too much information and know who your audience is. Interact with others and don’t take things too seriously, but make sure you are still being professional…in a fun way! 

Having good behavior online can get a good image across to everyone, which benefits you in the end. 

http://mashable.com/2013/10/30/twitter-branding-personal/

iPad Air

Today, I just received an email from Apple that said the new iPad Air was out. I did not even know they were making a knew iPad! ” Gene Munster, a top Apple analyst with Piper Jaffray, said in an investor note Friday that he expects Apple to sell 2.5 million to 3.5 million iPad Air devices this weekend. If sales came in at the high end, that would be more than the 3 million devices sold during the opening weekend when Apple introduced the iPad Mini and fourth generation iPad.” This release is hoping to help apple raise its share of the global tablet market since it dropped by %30.

Technology is also evolving. I had purchased the iPhone 5, and soon after the C and 5s were available. It is crazy how fast technology adapts and moves. It is also a bit annoying. When I buy something knew, I don’t want to have an upgrade come out a week later because I want that one! Arghhhh technology!

 

http://mashable.com/2013/11/01/ipad-air-sales/