Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you: The Internet!

A lot of things function silently in the background of our daily lives, things we commonly call infrastructure. The internet is one of the most complex and widespread of these. Yet on the 27th of February 2017, Amazon Web Services (AWS) failed, meaning that “software, from web apps to smartphone applications, relying on this cloud-based… Continue reading Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you: The Internet!

The Tools Behind the Game: Making of Second Life  

  Picture 1: Symbol of Second Life. The eye that sees, the hand that makes. Technological advances create new digital forms and things that challenge what we know about our reality. Video games, as they come to realistically simulate our real lives more and more, hold an essential position in this controversy. Here, I would like to look at one of… Continue reading The Tools Behind the Game: Making of Second Life  

Passage Through “Shangri-La”

Desperate and destitute. These are some of the words that come to mind when thinking of the multitude of displaced Syrians. However, this does not seem to be the case for many Syrians residing in Öncüpınar Accommodation Facility in Kilis, Turkey. Many of the people who live there speak of the facilities that enable day-to-day… Continue reading Passage Through “Shangri-La”

The Internet of Things: Smart Art and What It Can Tell Us About Our Environment

SmartArt first emerged as a ‘tool’ in Microsoft’s suite of tools in 2007. It was defined as “a SmartArt graphic which can be created and added to documents…a way to turn ordinary text into something more visually appealing. It can be used to draw attention to important information or to make information easier to interpret… Continue reading The Internet of Things: Smart Art and What It Can Tell Us About Our Environment

Locheilnet – the expectations of a community broadband initiative

Cover photo: https://www.locheilnet.co.uk/ The recent Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband plan aims to supply 95% of the country with fibre broadband by 2020 (https://www.scotlandsuperfast.com/). But what does this mean for the 5% of the population not covered by this scheme? By omitting some citizens who have just as much right to fast broadband, the main infrastructure… Continue reading Locheilnet – the expectations of a community broadband initiative

A Spectre is Haunting My House

On October 4th 2011, Apple introduced “Siri”, a verbally responsive computer program that works as an intelligent personal assistant for iPhones. After a short time, Microsoft and Amazon introduced their own intelligent assistants by the names Cortana and Alexa respectively and this recently emerged phenomenon opened new opportunities for the smart-house market. In 2017, we… Continue reading A Spectre is Haunting My House

Decoding Algorithmic Bias

“Engineering is about universalizable things like effectiveness, rationality, and algorithms, while culture is about subjective and particular things, like taste, creativity, and artistic expression” (Seaver 2014) What happens, however, when culture and engineering are conflated without regard to potential subjective biases? In line with the view that the natural sciences constitute an objective discipline, we… Continue reading Decoding Algorithmic Bias