Week Twelve (2)

Digital Marketing

How to use social media and web to market business and the way IT resources enable these.

Marketing seeks to persuade, inform or remind people to engage with business to buy products or services.

Types of digital marketing
– TV
– emedia, digital billboards
– mobile
– online e.g. google ads, online display, qr codes

Social media marketing techniques
– access | engage | customise | connect | collaborate

 

 

 

 

Week Twelve

Treaty of Waitangi Policy and relevance to IT workers

Key principles included in typical policies used by organisations in New Zealand include:

  • Recognising the Treaty as a consititutional document
  • Acknowledging Te Reo as an official langauge in New Zealand
  • Supporting efforts by the crown to redress wrongdoings which came about through breaches of the Treaty
  • Respecting and affirming Maori norms, beliefs and cultural practices

As an IT worker we may be working indirectly or directly with Maori people or artefacts. For example a website designer may use Maori designs taken from sources that may be sacred or special to Maori. In this case their organisation’s policy may indicate that they should seek permission from local iwi before using such designs.

To respect Te Reo, a policy may dictate that database designers design compatibility with Te Reo. In many organisations Maori names are for meeting rooms and it would violate policy to unprofessionally disregard proper use of Te Reo by not pronouncing these names correctly.

When working on offices there may be undesirable activities undertaken that may be inappropriate to Maori. But when these are the kind of actions that are in general disrespectful this is probably a matter of basic human rights in general rather than a matter for policy. For example policy might not explicitly say not to sit on tables; this would be understood to be disresepctful and therefore against general human rights.

I have worked in a number of organisations which have had Treaty of Waitangi policies. Even now as a student of NMIT I am involved with an organisation which has a Treaty Policy. I have learnt that while the principles of the treaty do not always come to the forefront in our daily work they often inform decisions about processes. For example when I worked in a hospital we undertook a programme to insure pillows used by Maori to support their head were only ever used for that purpose and would never be used to work as prop on other parts of the body whicle on the operating table or on the ward. Once this programme was in place we didn’t consciously think day to day “I am using this dark blue pillow to honour the Treaty of Waitangi”. Instead the principles ahd become intertweined with the way we worked.

Week Eleven

The Treaty of Waitangi – Te Tiriti o Waitangi

The treaty has become the key instrument for redressing perceived wrong doings during the development of New Zealand and a vehicle for improving the lot of modern Maori. It achieves this by enshrining the partnership of the Crown and Maori and the rights of both. There have been periods in New Zealand history where the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi were largely ignored but since the 1970’s – the Maori Renaiisance – many core pieces of legislation e.g Resource Management Act, include principles derived from the Treaty.

A treaty, at this point in the history of the British empire, was quite unique and its development was influenced by a collection influences including the reluctance of the English to go to war with the Maori. Many Maori chiefs saw that without a signed treaty they would not be able to protect their land and assets from colonisers or directly benefit from trade. One of the central tenets of the treaty is that only the Crown had the right to buy land from the Maori. This was a key platform for the successful colonisation of New Zealand without the need for military subjugation and confilct between different settler groups.

 

 

Week Ten

Interaction Design

The purpose is to design systems/software so that they are easy and effective to use even though their design is often based on efficacy and cost-effectiveness in the first place. Intolerance for bad design rises over time and avoidance takes place. Errors are also more likely to occur with poor interaction design and can have disastrous outcomes. Given the increasing interaction of computers systems within organisations and systems there is often the likelihood that poor interaction design causes wider problems than simply data error.

Operating system developers like Microsoft and Apple allow for predictable responses to user interface. This allows expected responses and more chance of successful outcomes. Apple even goes as far as publishing a user interface design guide for developers wanting to develop apple platform applications.

One standard for checking effective interface design is ‘program correctness’. The parameters for correctness depend mostly on what conditions of response to valid and faulty input. A fully correct program works correctly with all valid input and for all conditions of faulty input gives a reasonable answer.

Systems should be designed for their target audience. The mindset of many system designers is still to think of what is acceptable form thier level of knowledge concerning the system. Developers of successful systems have thought of what the level of knowledge of their audience is and catered their system and it’s user interface towards it. Ane example of this might be the appropriate use of internationalisation to correctly cater for different languages/cultures.

One of the techniques of successful interface design is to picture a collection of user personas to test against the interface/system. this is more useful than merely asking the question, “Does this interface suit the user”. By specifying many variable personas different inputs and interactions with the system are tested.

After reflection of how I have handled interface design in the past and how I might apply it in the future I recognise that one of the biggest pieves of the puzzle is not letting the ego take control of the process. It is easy to become invested in the design of a system to the point where one finds criticism irritating rather tan constructive. The answer to this lies perhaps in taking on a collaborative apporach with users of the system as early and as often as possible in the process of design. This may help prevent the ‘walls’ one might put up that may interfere with a truly user focussed interface.

Week Nine

History of Computing – Where have we been and where are we going?

– Operating Systems

Began as one system does all where one program at a time is executed. This had a narrow range of many repeated functions and was difficult to make changes. Adapted to one program doing the main functions with main function code PLUS IOCS – input/output system. Work wasn’t repeated so much and was easy to make changes and allowed for portability. Then came mainframe operating system which ran many programs at a time and had OS ( operating system). In current opeerating systems there are many allocating tasks handled by operating system e.g disk space, memory, processor time. Graphical User interface also now dominant. Variations between operating systems can be confronting to users but there is some convergence nowadays as different systems cope with dealing with different devices and the mobile platforms that are now so ubiquitous. Operating systems can have surprising interactions too and together with operating system development can create ‘change fatigue’. As well as coping with this as an individual, an IT professiona needs to be aware that their cutomers who they support will expereince this too and need to be accounted for.

– Internet

One of the limiting factors of the internet today is that the way it was designed didn’t neccesarily account for change. For example the SMTP protocal for email didn’t account for spoofing and has resulted in the ability for spamming. Another example is web design which still today uses habits picked up form prior technologies. Therefore removing obsolescence is difficult. As web hosting and web services become increasingly common the internet becomes increasingly complex. For web developers the complexities of different browsers have implcations for design and need to be accounted for. The demand to make things work increases in difficulty as complexity increases.

– Hardware

There has been a substantial an ongoing improvement in hardware performance over the last four or five decades.  It would be tempting to say that this rate of progress is to continue indefinitely. However, as the consumer elctronics market shrinks because of likely economic collapse there may be a brake on hardware development.

Week Eight

Security

InfoSec = Information Security

There are two broad aspects of security that need to be focused on by those responsible for Information Security to achieve a holistic approach. Firstly the people in an organisation need to be educated how to behave in ways that minimise threats. Secondly the information infrastructure needs to be set up in ways that mimimise threats.. it hsould be rememebered that there needs to be a balance between usability, cost and security. there is no point spending more on security than the cost of the loss of functionality or information. In essence there is no such thing as a fully ‘secure system’. Overall it is more that threats can be minimised.

People can be trained to follow procdures that adhere to security policies. Examples of could be: shutting down terminals when away from the desk, using strong passwords, being aware of phishing techniques,reporting viruses and not surfing the net irresponsibly. Most of these tactics involve increasing awareness. Once again thes techniques do not guarantee a secure system but only minimise the likelihood of a loss of information or  a breach.

When it comes to infrastructure we can separate it into layers. the first layer would be physical This would inclucde the transfer of information and things such as confirmation of identity to get onto a network. The next layer would be the IP layer. This might need encryption to ensure the data traffic cannot be read. Authentication can alos be done here. Following that layer is the TCP layer. Firewalling works here. At the top level, the application layer, it pays to keep all appications up-to-date and to control internet use.

Week Seven

Copyright & Copyleft

Copyright protects the property rights of creative works. It applies to literary, , software, audio and video works. Copyright is applied by default as soon as a work is created.

Copyright  breach – using someone else’s work without their permission- is definitely theft. However, it does allow ‘fair use’ of works but these are limited. Typical fair use rights apply to educational use , journalism, research and parody. These rights usually come with conditions such as attribution or permission.

Although many copyright breaches occur every day, it tends to be those who own the copyright and stand to make significant money that protect copyright. This might be a movie studio or a record label.

According to the Copyright Amendment Act 2011 allows copytright holders to make allegation of copyright breach and these allegations are presumed to be correct by the court unless evidence is presented to prove copyright has not been breached. In other words, guilty until proven innocent.

Recently the proposed U.S. SOPA and PIPA legislation threatened to stifle the internet by allowing the government to shut down sites whihc they believed were infringing on copyright. This legislation would not only have affected U.S. sites but also foreign sites internationally.

One of the reasons why copyright is so often breached and many people take part in pirate behaviour is because many things that are avialable on line by pirate methods are not available in any other practical way e,g movies not available for rent locally.

Perhaps one way of protecting copyright but allowing access and inhibiting the damage of piracy would be to attach a cost to data download which allows for people to access material that wasn’t otherwise available and still protects copyright.

Copyleft advocates believe that some of the applications fo copyright laws are in error and are a corrosive influence on society.  They believe, for one, that the concept of sharing should be taken into account. They also believe that when attribution is given perhaps copyright infringement should not apply. Essentially they believe that if an artist allows for their work to be copied i.e. copyleft, then copyright infringment should not apply.

In recent years, Creative Commons licensing has become available. This follows the precepts of the copyright laws but enables creators of work to make their work available to others without having to give each use individual permission. Other stipulations can apply e.g use for non-commercial work, attribution and dreivatives etc.