Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Advantage Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing a outsoucing of a task to undefined group of people or community through an open call. Since this is an open call to solve the problem, only those who have some knowledge or expertise in this are attracted to suggest solutions.
The concept of crowdsoucing combined will social media tools is now becoming important medium to develop new knowledge - from detection of violence patterns in elections to recent Japan earthquake Nuclear fallout detection.
I have read an interesting article on crowdsocurcing. I think this concept can be applied in many areas in effective delivery of public services.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Is MySpace closing shop?

The number of MySpace users has come down from 110 million last February to 63 million in February 2011. The rate of desertion is increasing being 10 million in last month alone. Many  great people had honeymooned with this medium. details 

Can Social Media Connect People across the Globe and Reduce Enmity between Nations?


We have seen the eruption of public anger in many countries, especially the Middle East during the last couple of weeks. Part of the "partial successes" of the uprisings has been ascribed to the connectivity provided by the social media. It can be inferred, with some reservations, that the social media have helped democratic values and have given voice to the people.
Can there be enough transparency in the handling of foreign policies so that the common people of the global social media community feel that they have a say in what their elected or otherwise Governments are doing to their brethren in other countries. It has been the case that quite often the wars have been fought on very frivolous grounds or on personal whims of the rulers ignoring the popular opinion. The same trend continues despite the fact that within decades of such wars, when the post mortem of the circumstances leading to war is carried out, more often than not, it is found that the war could be avoided and lives of soldiers and civilians spared.
What was and is needed is that the war policies and circumstances leading to war are discussed before engaging in it, and peoples' voice across the globe be heard and valued. It may not have been possible earlier but now with better communication infrastructure, it may be easy to evaluate peoples' will. If we can predict weather to a great exactitude (leaving apart earthquake generated Tsunamis), it may also be possible with the help of computing skills to simulate the post war scenarios. A peep into the future may avoid sacrifice of many innocent people.
The important thing is the transparency in Government business and foreign policies. Gopal Krishna Gandhi in his comment in the Hindustan Times quotes an incident of early 1950s. it is being reproduced here:
“The time is the early 1950s. The scene, our embassy The time is the early 1950s. The scene, our embassy in Cairo. Our ambassador sends a cable, in cipher, of course, to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru who is then minister for external affairs as well, saying that a staffer in the Pakistani embassy there has `offered' to sell his embassy's cipher code to India with promise of regular supplies of their despatches. This, our ambassador explains, can enable us to access secret despatches from Pakistan's embassy in Cairo to the government of Pakistan. The ambassador seeks Pandit Nehru's instructions in the matter. The reply is as fast as it's terse: “Reject Offer. Tell Person Be Loyal To His Government“.”
Can such ethical times be back?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wiki leaks and Babel like World Events

The world witnessed triple tragedies unfolding in Japan since March 11-once in 300 years 9.2 Richter scale earthquake in eastern coast , resultant devastating Tsunami causing 10000 + deaths and unprecedented miseries of people and destruction as high as of 300 billion $, and worst of all-the huge nuclear crisis due to problems in 6 nuclear reactors of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant-raising major issues of  hazards of nuclear power.
India and specially Indian Parliament was last week rocked by publication of diplomatic cable-part of Wiki-leaks expose-in Hindu newspaper reviving the contentious “cash for vote” controversy of July 2008, when on the issue of Indo-US nuclear cooperation agreement, Left front withdrew support from United Progressive Alliance government led by PM Manmohan Singh questioning the desirability of nuclear power having potential hazards. The bribery allegations of opposition party BJP brought out by sting operation were enquired by a parliamentary committee appointed by Speaker of Loksabha concluded that allegations are not substantiated due to insufficient evidence. According to Wiki-Leaks, the then US charge d'affaires in India, Peter Burleigh, in a cable, conveyed to State department in Washington claimed that payoffs had been made to MPs to ensure a majority for the Congress-led government in the confidence vote and he referring to what is seen in India, the boast of a political nonentity Nachiketa kapur.The aftershock is still being felt, especially after the hour long interview of Julian Assange, the founder-editor of the whistle-blower website by prominent news channel NDTV.
The third relatively unnoticed event is the abrupt resignation of   P.J. Crowley, resigning   as State Department spokesman over his controversial comments he made about the Bradley Manning case. Now, who is Bradley Manning? He is the 23 year US army private, who is being held in solitary confinement in the prison of Quantico, Virginia and facing serious charges of leaking  highly classified state department cables and other data to Julian Assange of Wiki-leaks who then shared it with the world.
These three events apparently look unconnected but they ironically remind me“Babel” like narrative- one of the most intriguing film-Babel (2006) directed by Alejandro Gonz├ílez Inaritu, acclaimed worldwide and won Golden Globe award, had three stories of a Mexican couple, a Moroccan village boy and a teen of Uptown Tokyo apparently had no interconnection but they are shown to be beautifully intertwined with each other with post 9/11 US providing a common thread.
In this case , the thread is wiki-leak and nuclear power , both getting interconnected in the Indian story, provide the intertwining thread. We studied about Wiki in our course before spring break. Wiki is a website that allows the user generated content   creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser using a simplified mark up language. Is wiki leak truly a Wiki? Probably not. Users can not generate content in this websites, which has primarily become a controversial “whistle blowing” sites? The methods in which wiki leaks access classified documents is hotly debated issue. Is it the right use of social media? Is new technology becoming powerful  with stunning expose? What are the consequences on government’s approach to openness and freedom of Information acts? The issues need to be debated.



Citizen participation

I would like to share this op-ed by Professor Sunhee Kim at Maxwell School regarding citizen participation.
Please also make a short visit to Seoul's citizen participation website called Choenman-sangsang Oasis(translated as "Oasis with 10million's imagination", Seoul's population is roughly 10million) and another local government, my hometown, Daegu's citizen participation website called Sangsang-Jejagso(translated as "an imagination factory"). The mechanism of both site is just like that of city of Manor's innovation lab. Citizen's ideas and suggestions are sought, reviewed and come true into local government's policies.
I am so sorry those two sites do not support English speakers. I can translate them for you if you are interested.

Afghan Taliban threat shuts Helmand mobile network

All mobile telephone networks have been switched off in the Afghan province of Helmand after a Taliban threat. Taliban says if any mobile companies not obey their orders they will blow up their phone masts. Already two phone masts have been burnt down in Helmand belonging to mobile phone companies accused of not implementing the ban, which was announced earlier this week.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-12838231

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Discourse on social media and Jasmine revolution

I found this brilliant article written by Tarak  Barkawi , senior Professor  in War Studies at the Centre of International Studies in the University of Cambridge very thought provoking and intriguing. Pl read it in link provided below:
    
                                                                                       Anoop Kumar

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Disconnected Social Network?

Immidiately after I went back to China, I can clearly feel that the disconnection from the outside world. Facebook is blocked here, Twitter is blocked, and Youtube is also blocked. Gmail is unstable. Wikipedia is available, but with all pictures filtered out. Even this class blog is unaccessible, being a victim of the block of "blogger.com". 

Yes, there are local social media tools, such as Twitter-like Sina Microbloging, Facebook-like RenRen.com, Youtube-like Youku.com, and Wikipeida-like Baidu Baike... A consequence is that we are cut from the outside social network in this globalizatized era by building more and more social media niches. "China local network" is coming true.

Disconnection is "safe"? I don't know. But the inconvenience is real. Everyone who was back to this country from overseas is facing two options: cutting all social ties forever, or becoming a "tech-savvy" to escape. Dear class, now you know my choice.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

New Page on Wikipedia to share knowledge with new students

I have created a page on wikipedia to help GOI sponsored students to streamline the settling process so that the knowledge collected by us can be collected by new students. Please update your experience to make it rich.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

SOME THOUGHTS ON WATCHING THE MOVIE "THE SOCIAL NETWORK"

I recently watched the much talked about movie “The Social network”- a chronicle of founding of Facebook and fictionalized biopic of Mark Zuckerberg, who at the age of 19 launched Facebook from his Harvard University Dorm room in 2004. My curiosity to watch this movie had reached to a crescendo since it had won 3 much anticipated Oscar awards (though “King’s Speech’ clinched the best film award, and even director David Fincher lost the best director award to Mark Hooper of “King’s Speech”). However, one Oscar was one by Aaron Sarokin for best writing & adapted screenplay (Scriptwriter of “Charlie Wilson’s War “and NBC TV series ´The West Wing”). I read that Aaron  is an  alumni of our own Syracuse University and has graduated in Musical Theatre from School of Fine Arts in 1983. His brilliantly written script is based on Ben Mezrich’s fascinating non-fiction book “The Accidental Billionaires”.

The film indeed was quite gripping and a profound watch. However, I was kind of left with the mixed feelings. The “social” part of Social Network appeared ironic and hallow as the film portrays Zuckerberg not as an modern age young  icon who changed the way we communicate today through social media but as a social  dud with little people skills and warmth of friendship. Mark Zuckerberg emerges in the film as quite a self obsessed but sharp nerd who is emotionally clueless and mechanistic. Another fact that struck me that it is not about redefining friendship on the virtual world, it is not really about what inspired  Facebook creator to connect people who are distant, but about the drama behind the venture – how the dynamics of friendship are fractured when big money unfolds its true colour. It was shattering  to see Mark so devoid of basic sentiments of friendship.
The film dramatically depicts  the tumultuous founding of Face book. Mark Zuckerberg is shown here   having  a peculiar kind of attention deficit disorder. It's as though he is constantly sampling the information around him, but not able to focus very long on a human being. He converses in jerks. He is scarily bright, but his emotional focus is his laptop. And when, finally, his girlfriend Erica makes it clear she is leaving him, his laptop is his refuge. Racing back to his dormitory, he uses the Harvard University email system to post a page asking friends to rate college girls by comparing them with barnyard animals. It goes viral, and the system crashes.The film flashes forward, and back again, between Zuckerberg giving pre-trial testimony in lawsuits brought not only by Saverin, but by two patrician Harvard alumni, the Winkelvoss twins, who claim they employed him to develop a comparable site, a kind of Harvard student online networking tool, but he never delivered. The case was later settled, but the courtroom cross-examination provides a handy dramatic tool for Aaron Sorkin, who also makes this film a study of insider/outsider resentment, and class prejudice. As Critic Steve Rhodes calls it “A study of an obsessive genius who is devoid of any loyalty to his friends or co-workers, the movie hits the nail on the head about the dark side of Silicon Valley culture. The movie makes you feel sorry for him more than it motivates you to attempt to achieve his success”.
The fast paced film has a crisp, characteristically superb direction by David Fincher ( of “Seven” and “Curious Case of Benjamin Button” fame) and some real great acting by Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Juckerberg, Justin Timberlake as Napster co-founder Sean Parker and Edward Garfield as a humane and vulnerable facebook  co-founder Eduardo Saverin.
Overall the film cleverly shows how Zuckerberg set the path for a new generation of passive individuals bonding through social networking site and how facebook  has become defining change in human interface  brought by web 2.0.technology. Recommended  for the entire class.








Monday, March 7, 2011

A week of cyber attacks

This week was a week of cyber attacks on important websites.
The French Finance Ministry websites continued to be attacked since December 2010, by highly professional hackers. Although French authorities are not very sure, they suspect the information was directed towards Chinese sites.
At the same time, the well-known blog website WordPress was finally able to survive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. These two-day attacks also originated from China.
Indian Home Secretary has observed that internet is being used to further terrorist objective in India. He also stated that Government was in the process of strengthening cyber security in the face of these threats. 
Cyber security is likely to become a major occupation of the governments and other businesses in times to come.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Internet Car


 A new car has been developed that can read out emails and social media messages. want to buy?  click here.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Don’t allow the Facebook and Twitter users to lead the society

Former President of Afghanistan and current Chairperson of the Peace Council Mr. Burahnudin Rabani warned the religious scholars, if you couldn’t play the leadership role in the society. The young Facebook and Twitter users will control the situation. Mr. Rabani had speech in Kabul and encouraged the religious leaders to take part in peace process with Taliaban and play the leadership role. Mr. Rabani in his speech said, if religious leaders not doing their responsibilities there is no doubt the young Facebook and Twitters users will lead the community and take the responsibility of development. Mr. Rabani point out on the recent changes in Egypt, Libya, Tunis, Iran and some other Medill East countries. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter have millions of users around the world and recently playing the critical role in the social and political development. In many cases the media and public official unable to disseminate the reality of the society, but the Facebook and Twitter as important factors in informing people.
This is surprising news for me as student of Government 2.0 that the Facebook and Twitter revolution is going to be reached to my country’s doors. Currently we are suffering from corruption in the government and useless parliament. The rate of bribery is extremely high in the Judiciary power. The people will stand up against the government, and I hope the Facebook and Twitter will also play a key role in the political and social development of Afghanistan.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Cities of the Sky




Thanks to the jet engine, Dubai has been able to transform itself from a backwater into a perfectly positioned hub for half of the planet's population. The ideal aerotropolis is an amalgam of made-to-order office parks, convention hotels, cargo complexes and even factories, which in some cases line the runways. It is a pure node in a global network whose fast-moving packets are people and goods instead of data. And it is the future of the global city.
This may come as a surprise to Americans, many of whom have had it with both flying and globalization and would prefer a life that's slower and more local.

Cities of the Sky




Thanks to the jet engine, Dubai has been able to transform itself from a backwater into a perfectly positioned hub for half of the planet's population. The ideal aerotropolis is an amalgam of made-to-order office parks, convention hotels, cargo complexes and even factories, which in some cases line the runways. It is a pure node in a global network whose fast-moving packets are people and goods instead of data. And it is the future of the global city.
This may come as a surprise to Americans, many of whom have had it with both flying and globalization and would prefer a life that's slower and more local.
i hope this Alexa.com be helpful to you. It is Web traffic monitoring site with rankings in the micro-blogging sites