Archive for the ‘Internet and Communication’ Category

Arguments In The Snowden vs. NSA Case

Friday, March 21st, 2014

In case you haven’t heard, in the last week or so, TED invited Edward Snowden to give a talk at TED 2014. At the same time, they have given the NSA the opportunity to react to any of the information provided by Snowden. The final results are two talks, showing the two sides of the story:

Which side are you on?

The Curency Of Social Media Is Envy

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

The complexities behind jealousy and envy, and how it really is only a matter of imagination run amok.

7 Years Of Cernea.net

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Seven years have passed since the first time the cernea.net website came online. Sure, I had a small site even before that, but in 2006 I decided that I needed a new look, a blog and my own domain. And frankly, the site went through many changes since back then, growing in complexity as I opened up new chapters in my life.

As a semi-nostalgic commemoration, I wanted to show you how my website looked in 2006:

cernea.net in 2006

Sell Your Online Data

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Given the recent turmoil around online data and various organizations (illegally?) accessing the information of online users, it seems that this company approached the problem in a rather pragmatical way: why give your online data away, when you could sell it? On www.datacoup.com you can now agree to sell your online data from major social networks and websites for a couple of bucks a month. I’m certain this might be a good deal for some. However, you should always exercise caution when making personal information public. I know what I’m talking about…

Control Your Online Presence

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Did you ever think about all the data that you put through the years on the Internet? Personal data, pictures, or even your comments? And if you want to delete these it all becomes problematic. You have maybe heard the new saying: Once it’s on the Internet, it’s there forever.

Well, yes and no. On the one hand, you can’t really control what is being stored (legally or illegally) on the servers of various organizations, so be sure to think before you post or upload anything to a particular website. But on the other hand, you have the possibility of deleting many online accounts and thus at least ensuring that your data is not publicly visible online. However, this deletion process is often made very cumbersome, with delete forms hidden in the furthest corners of the settings menus. To help overcome this, justdelete.me has put together a list with the major online account providers and descriptions on how to delete the corresponding accounts. Pretty cool!

Still, a color-coded bar also highlights that for some online services, the accounts can’t be deleted… Bummer!

Global Usage Of The Internet In 2012

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

Internet usage

It’s really nice to see an animated visualization on Internet usage, especially when it’s linked to day cycles. Besides the distribution and the focalization around the urban areas of the globe, you can notice some many other patterns. In most places, internet usage blooms in the evening. However, this time when the servers run red-hot lasts longer in countries like China, while in Europe the rate quickly reduces with the fall of darkness. Furthermore, the Internet seems to be accessed the most in the afternoon in the US, and dim down by the evening hours. Hmm, would love to find out more about why this is.

Anyway, the complete article on the topic is available here.

Journalism In The Age Of The Internet

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

I particularly like the visualization of the re-tweets.

The Horrors Of Internet Addiction

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

Here’s a short scene from Roseanne highlighting the problem:

The Importance Of Communication And Isolation In A World Of Virtual Connections

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Very interesting talk about virtual spaces and communication, as well as a comparison between conversation, connection and isolation in our Facebook-enhanced days.

One of the main ideas that I like in this talk suggests that posts are ok for transmitting feelings and simple ideas, but not for really understanding each other. Furthermore, posts really don’t enable reflexion about oneself, or discussion about the own persona.

I think all these insight are extremely important for the visualization and social interaction communities, as we can—and need to—improve the breach and depth of experiences that users can explore in the virtual environment. At the same time, these need to be further connected and intertwined with real-life experiences and events.

As the current way of being connected gives us the false impression of being less alone, a couple of steps are suggested that one could take to improve this. As I agree with these completely, I wanted to enumerate them bellow:
– Solitude as a good thing. Teach your children the value of solitude.
– Create sacred spaces at home and reclaim them for conversation.
– We all really need to listen to each other, including to the boring bits. When we stumble or hesitate, we truly reveal ourselves to each other.

To Paginate Or Not To Paginate?

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

This is a very well written article about pagination. More specifically, it highlights the difficulties and problems in working with pagination, as well as captures the features of the best alternative we have to pagination: endless pagination.

What I’ve found particularly useful as a UI designer is the section about the pitfalls of endless paginations. I would like to add just two things that list:

  • Yes, endless pagination should support back and forward operations properly, such that users get thrown back to the exact scroll-position they left from. Sadly, I have not yet found one application or tool that supports this for endless pagination (please suggest some if you know any).
  • I still have to find an instance of an endless pagination that will not crash my browser after a sufficient amount of scrolling (Note: I use Firefox, Safari and Chrome. I manage to crash them all with endless pagination).