Archive for the 'Lectures' Category

bonus time: the dark net

Related to this, there are whole thriving communities of hackers out there, striking blows against what they see are as injustice. (say, Chinese hackers, who recently sprang to prominence in the Melbourne Film Festival fiasco ). Or Australian ones:

      W O R M S    A G A I N S T    N U C L E A R    K I L L E R S
    \__  ____________  _____    ________    ____  ____   __  _____/
     \ \ \    /\    / /    / /\ \       | \ \  | |    | | / /    /
      \ \ \  /  \  / /    / /__\ \      | |\ \ | |    | |/ /    /
       \ \ \/ /\ \/ /    / ______ \     | | \ \| |    | |\ \   /
        \_\  /__\  /____/ /______\ \____| |__\ | |____| |_\ \_/
          \                                                 /
           \    Your System Has Been Officially WANKed     /

     You talk of times of peace for all, and then prepare for war.

(courtesy Wikipedia)

If you wan to read about the wank worm, check out Suelette Dreyfuss’s intriguing Underground: Tales of Hacking, Madness, and Obsession on the Electronic Frontier.

Take home message: It’s a dark and untrustworthy internet out there. Is your email account for sale? Your credit card? Can you verify that your traffic isn’t being stolen? What about when the hacks move into the real world?

under construction

What else?

things happening right now on the web that you should know about.

Hell, I hate marketing buzz. Let’s check out ReadWriteWeb’s opinion.

  1. Structured Data
  2. The Real-Time Web
  3. Personalization
  4. Mobile Web & Augmented Reality
  5. Internet of Things

I’d add to that list…


Yahoo pipes is the harbinger of a whole ream of useful tools that do clever things by updating live in response to changes in the internet, and could be some of the most important technical plumbing the web sees. Check out codepadUtility Mill, and Scriptlets for a taste of that.

The Semantic Web

See the W3C for some nice background, and some of the design issues opposed to it, such as The Rule of Least Power. Check out spooky services like “open” calais, and zemanta, and also naysayers, who have my sympathies.

Data visualisation

I partially wrote a lecture about that which we didn’t have time for.

the dark net

I partially wrote a lecture about that too which we didn’t have time for either.


Making things over the net is a rapidly expanding project.


Well, this ain’t new. The net’s been running on code for a long time. It could be next for you, however. Now code is more powerful than its ever been before, and there are more great tutorials. If you want to do some real fancy tricks online, why not give some more javascript (and jQuery) a burl? Or one of those modern trendy languages, python and ruby?

bonus time: my god, it’s full of fractals. and portfolios. and piecharts.

Dada Visualization I

Data visualisation and aesthetics are one of the crazes, or movements, sweeping the net right now. The arguments they make are potent.  There’s lots of data out there that visualisation can help us to understand. The net itself, forexample, is hard enough to understand without visualising it, (even our local bit of it).

The web as a contested landscape

The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant
It’s late in the semester, and hopefully everyone’s drunk a fair share of web 2.0 kool-aid. So, let’s supplement the tools and techniques of the course with a bit of context about the problems of using them. This is by no means a complete list. It should be enough to start you thinking.

Where is the public space online?

Public space  is generally considered pretty critical to, among other things, a functional civil society. Consider how many governments fall because of mass street protests. Or the curfews that totalitarian regimes impose upon the use of public space. Continue reading ‘The web as a contested landscape’

Example mashups take manhattan

A terrifying number of people have taken me up on the javascript business, and powered on through with material that we haven’t covered in class. OK, that is awesome, but if that’s the path we’ve gone down, I should almost certainly be taking questions on that theme…

For example, if you followed the link through to the google spreadsheet map maker from the last post in this series, then you might have found that it made you some horrible javascript that it is NOT obvious how to do nice stuff with, and how to attach javascript widgets to. If anyone wants to follow through a step-by-step rebuild of that into some nicer javascript, then we can do that.

We can also look at other things – Google Apps for Your Domain (or What Does Google Apps for Your Domain Actually Do?)… BBpress installation as an example alternate app install. It’s up to you.

example mashups – part II


image by schwarz published under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Now, last time when we left off, the site was in what you’d call a colossal mess. Trashed wordpress install, and still no interesting visualisation. So, how to improve things?
Continue reading ‘example mashups – part II’

hosting, small and large

stair in scaffold

One student has asked:

I’m in the process of looking for a webhost and am seemingly overwhelmed with options…

I’ll be hosting a small … portfolio site and am hoping to create custom email accounts. Pretty standard stuff…

Do you have any suggestions for companies that are reliable yet affordable, preferably local?

Continue reading ‘hosting, small and large’