Microsoft helps transform the Internet of Things

The continuous growth within devices and the use to be online all the time has changed personal interact between individuals. Our eyes are stuck to the screen of our smartphones, television screens or even computer screens. The amount of technology in which we use and interact with on a daily basic it will eventually store the information and data in which we are producing. Such information as simple searches, social networking connects to our name or even where we live to filter us through large amounts of advertisements.

(IOT) The Internet of Things is all about connecting us to various devices that have access to the internet allowing access to one another through multiple access points. An example being Microsoft search to define this in their devices. How Microsoft does this is through its two most popular software items, Windows 10 and Cortana.

Cortana is an A.I. for your Windows Phones, Computers and Console to filter out your interests along with help you in your everyday need. This also has shown that Cortana will remember your further searches or demands as she stores the information away to recap on for next time. Here is one of the examples that Cortana can connect with your internet of things.


Cyber crime and Cyber Bullies

The internet is a big and open world to create whatever you like and to do whatever an individual would like however a lot of people do not understand how powerful that can become. With the advancement of technology and continuous use of the internet people become so connected with their devices that it can be their biggest weaknesses when being targeted by cybercrime.

With Cybercrime it depends upon the target in which the individual is attacking them with and being that we are so used to using our devices like our wallets it now may contain all our passwords, card accounts, private information and more. This can go into further attacks on fraud and identity theft online.

People need to understand the use of the internet and how they use it in their everyday lives, even though a lot of negative can come out of a device that we use for so much personal use. It can be changed around. An Individual still has the freedom and accessibility to get the knowledge of the software they use to help themselves protect them or even one another.

Yet Cybercrimes are not always bad because there is always the chance the individual might be looking into further areas to help society or further organisations. E.g. ‘Anonymous’ from my last post.

Anonymous can see you

Hackers are known as people who wondering around the dark side of the internet, lurking around each corner hoping to find your weak point to tear you apart in some way or form through online. Hacktivism is defined as,

“the use of computers and computer networks to promote political ends, chiefly free speech, human rights, and information ethics” (Davis, D 2015).

However individuals rather believe that Hackers are the Killers not the victim yet they fight for the weak people in creating their own revolution. This is not in turn saying that they target grudges on organisations and higher companies. This is both their positive and negative approach they have on society.

An example is ‘Anonymous,’ a network of activists and hacktivists that have made their presence known over the years in various ways of events that are impacted through social networks and hacking into various programs.


Davis,. ‘Hacktivism: Good Or Evil?’. ComputerWeekly. N.p., 2014. Web. 20 Oct. 2015.

Giving the People What They Want

Aggregators are the ones who operate the distribution of information through networks online and specifically filter interests that cater not to the passive audiences of legacy distributors.  Aggregators will take the information in which is flowing enormously through the data in which we create to eliminate the limits of space and scarcity. In order to pin point information in which can be further shared or found to be considered a niche product.

Without this elimination process physicals stores would be able to have that online presence that cannot be shown just through the store alone. This is the distributor’s job to keep the product going and working towards the customers that physically going into the stores rather than the aggregators that supports the other 80% that take on the long tail effect of the markets niche.

A simple example to provide a better understanding to this topic can be Blockbuster, the video store compared to Netflix. A video Store may only hold a certain number of movies rather than Netflix is connected to online aspects that places further areas in reach to have a bigger library than that of a store. This gives you more accessibility, availability and easily viewable within your own home to search for whatever movie you may favour that might not have been at the store.

Reflection for BCM240

I will admit at first that my blogs this semester was not as good as my last one because I took up a new job that consists of me being there around 4 – 5 days a week plus a lot of health issue arose. Not only had this happened but a lot of family things had come up that pushed me over the edge to stand back from the university. My problem became that balancing life was hard, the blogs on top I would forget and have to come back to from time to time doing two or three at the same time to keep up.

However after thinking intensely about my life I really stuck my head down and thought, that we all need to get away and find that motivation to push forward. That is what I was missing. Having two subjects to blog every week brought me more confusion and falling into a never ending hole that I did not know how to get out of. Even though I am making this sound more about my life, no its more about the problems I had to overcome to start getting back on track to blogging and why I love it plus this subject which I really enjoyed.

People forget that you need some sort of motivation to keep you going, without motivation leads to distractions and never getting your work done. If it wasn’t for my boyfriend that started getting me out of the house day by day before work or after I would not have gotten my motivation back. The key is relaxation, balance and a chance to get away from it all.

I found that motivation was what I was missing all along, working too many hours, focusing on other things really threw my head in a different direction. I saw this change with my last blogs, I started putting in extra clips, links and tags for the fun of it that I began to enjoy it as much as I used to.

I know that my engagement with other students could have been better which I hope to improve on in other subjects. I enjoyed reading various blogs and commenting. I am hoping to expand on following more people so that I can begin to read more blogs and start getting chatter going. Though I would admit that the more clips and relevance to say television series brings people in which makes a connection that I found interesting. Another tip with blogs I would say is always the heading, it is my weakness most times to get a good sentence or phrase even questions but you just have to test them out and read them out loud. Lastly, always place in some humour or even a bit of laughter because that’s what people enjoy most is to be happy even if it is a few seconds long.

I believe the way in which the blogs was conducted each week was good because it not only just placed us behind a screen to write what ever came to our head, no. I loved more of the interaction weeks where I would get to interview people, look at my surrounds, go out to view different public spaces and even to value things around my work. People don’t think that research and work can be easy or even simple which is wrong because we gather information everyday however we choose to neglect it or forget it because we do not think it is useful.

Technology is a way in which we gather most of our information. I found this topic to be my light switching on because it is what I am interested in and what I would love to talk about. My life as a Gamer is always to tell people the amazing side towards technology however this subject has pushed me to value my judgements on my own devices. I was so baffled by the research and resources over various weeks of technology and the pains that come with it. Currently for my other subject DIGC202 Global Networks it became very useful for my final report on about, ‘The Empire Microsoft Bringing People Together,’ to make me think twice about what I am going to follow.

To be honest I have found very life changing situations throughout this subject as it has made me think twice about a lot of things. To value, to cherish, to connect and even branch out. I do not know if I can say this for everyone but it really made me think how I take on my life. An example being the family blog about private/public spaces with devices, I thought to myself it could not be that bad but when I found the resources for my blog it was so interesting to see this impact in action.

So I will tell you a story to end this reflection but believe me I’ll get to my point quickly. Today it was like 30 degrees, my boyfriend told me that we should go to the beach. For a little bit of relaxation time I agreed before completing my reflection. We spent 3 hours out in the sun and water and it was really amazing but what hit me was what my boyfriend said at the end of it all.

“It is so good to see all these people out at the beach instead of in front of a screen.”

I literally stopped, stared out at the packed out beach and thought that it was really so fascinating to see people out there. It even brought to my attention various other topics in which we talked about across the semester. A man had a GoPro and was taking pictures while trying to not get people in it even though people actually were avoiding him. A moment where I forgot my phone at home (5 minutes from the beach) that I could not take my mind off. I really enjoyed this subject because now I can think more about this in my life.

I don’t remember what I was doing?

‘Being online is like being a part of the greatest cocktail party ever and it is going on all the time. If you email, text, tweet, Facebook, Instagram or just follow internet links you have access to an ever-changing universe of social touch-points. It’s like you’re circulating within an infinite throng, with instant access to people you’d almost never meet in real life.’ – David Brooks

In a recent study this year Microsoft conducted several experiments that focused on individuals attention spans compared to today’s technology. The study found that back in 2000 the attention span was 12 seconds and that in 2015 had dropped to below 8 seconds, leading the human race to have an attention span lower than that of a goldfish at 9 seconds.


The online world is a fascinating place in which we all get consumed in whether that be social media or just simple searching the web. We are so accustomed to that behaviour that we cannot take our mind off our devices or the screen for a single second because we are afraid to miss something. Yet this activity may be the cause of why our attention spans are decreasing. In the report they judged an office worker on how many times an hour he would go to search their email the result was 30 times.

Authors Martin Thirkettle and Graham Pike recognised this behaviour and explained that, ‘our minds are adaptive systems, constantly reorganising and refocusing our mental faculties to suit the environment.’ This is targeting the online world rather than the real world because we are so distracted by more and more information flowing into the internet every second that we begin to jump from one article to another without remembering the last. In the report they judged the amount between flickering back and forth through pages that being on a page for 10 minutes was at 4% while people favoured viewing a page for 4 seconds at 17%.


However David Brooks believes that this targets the amount of freedom that we have over the internet to become an advantage. He stated, ‘Since they feel more in control of the communication, they are more communicative, vulnerable and carefree. This mode of interaction nurtures mental agility.’

‘But contrary to popular opinion, it shows attention spans have actually improved. For example, habitual video gamers have demonstrated better attentional abilities than non-players – and non-players who started playing video-games began to show the same improvements. Our cognitive abilities are constantly changing and even naturally vary across the day.’ – Authors Martin Thirkettle and Graham Pike

Martin and Graham conducted an experiment to prove their theory. A project in which they conducted at the Open University was by collecting data on a daily cycle. They did this by developing an app when used across the day the individual would participate in research and chart these natural changes in your own performance. Resulting in proving to better plan your day and finally understand if you actually are a morning or evening person.


David Brooks added another improvement to people’s attention spans through Susan Greenfield (Neuroscientist) that stated in her book about ‘Mind Change’ stated that experts in online gaming have a greater capacity for short-term memory. Due to the ability to process multiple objects simultaneously, to switch flexibly between tasks and quickly process a large amount of information.

‘By observing what happens, by following the linear path of a story, we can convert information into knowledge in a way that emphasising fast response and constant stimulation cannot. As I see it, the key issue is narrative.’ – Susan Greenfield (About Playing Games/Attention Span)

However as Martin and Graham pointed it out, everyone has forgotten the main reason of the Microsoft Study. The Study was targeted on advertisers and not the general public as it calls upon the companies to use, “more creative, and increasingly immersive ways to market themselves”.

‘Similarly, public spaces are increasingly full of adverts that can play sound and video to further capture our attention.’ – Martin and Graham

I tried to implement all these key focuses on the individual I choose which is my Boyfriend Cory Lagan. The experiment I choose to place him in front of the television screen for 5 minutes. Due to my boyfriend being also a gamer himself I wanted to put his abilities to the test by playing on his phone at the same time.

The result was that we dropped the gaming idea because as my boyfriend said, ‘It would be best to play a game and multitask with devices rather than use it with the television because they outdo one another so I can only focus on one.’ Once the show finished I counted the ads while texting him to make a distraction, he remembered 8 ads out of 10 but when I asked him what some of them were about he could not remember many but two.


What happened to the family?

Technology has expanded the divide between the family relationships, many conclude that this divide is growing and that relationships with people’s families will diminish slowly. However I valued the opinion from three different articles that all explained that these causes are from maybe the parents, the children or even the era.


Jim Taylor explains what people are lacking in this area by targeting the children as the victims. He believes by children being more focused on their devices whether it is games or the television has found that it limits the children capacity to talk with the parents. A further study improving that working parents arrived home after work but their children were so immersed in the technology that the parent was greeted only 30 percent of the time while 50 percent ignored.

‘Parents are the ones who ultimately make the decisions concerning the use of technology at home, and these crucial rules have important implications for the family dynamic.’ – Joanne Orlando

Joanne Orlando from the Sydney Morning Herald targeted parents for this reason even though she admitted that once the television did bring everyone together but now due to so many devices every one spreads out. It is the parents final say on things and how to discipline their children and if that meant how much devices that bought around the house that all connect to the internet creating this isolation.

‘The increasing ways we are using technology in isolation from one another is reflected by the latest figures from Britain’s communications regulator, Ofcom. A recent study found that for the first time children aged between 12 and 15 are spending as much time online as they are watching television, about 17 hours a week for each.’ – Joanne Orlando

A further story to back this up is an article by Kate Goodin on the parenting website that talked about a family that was so addicted to the devices that it took so long for the parents to realize what had happened. It was the parents fault for being so consumed in the devices that they even forgot to make food for their children and this article that focused on the family by Matt Richtel article which Kate Goodin took from back in 2010. The time of 2010 did not have as many devices as now but showed the future to come.

‘The crux of the article is about how the use of technology actually makes us worse at multitasking, not better. If you’ve got your Facebook, email, Twitter, web surfing and Skype windows open all at once, well, only one of those things can actually hold your full attention. While the human brain is wired to adapt to the new way we receive information — in short bursts — only about 3 percent of the population — called “supertaskers” — can handle multiple streams of information.’ – Kate Goodin

It seems that technology in a way has become the major baby sitter for children to be so occupied with. ‘We must understand that the child will interpret this as meaning they should use technology to be quiet and disconnected from family activities happening around them.’ (Joanne Orlando)

However this seems to be a case of ‘Monkey See Monkey Do’ as at times the parents are the ones who show the behaviour which the children pick up on and follow. This can also back lash at parents as children’s sense of superiority and no respect for their own parent’s authority can lead them to not understand the reality behind the internet.

Source (Good little change up to show a family that drives off the internet/Vine)

Jim Taylor goes on to make a point about parents being at risk of anxiety or apprehension towards the technology because, ‘they may be unwilling to assert themselves in their children’s technological lives.’ Technology seems to place the parents and children at more of a risk mentally rather than physically.

There are always rules and regulations within these areas however if the parents are the ones that give the children those devices that must educate them on what is and what to do. Even though parents might be as consumed as the children something must break in order to fix the family bonds. Though children themselves can be liable due to respect and authority to listen to their parents rather than isolate themselves towards everything. In the end it is the family that must all choose for themselves how to work around the internet and their relationships because other things can also tie in to this behaviour.

‘Because everyone is so busy with work, school, and extracurricular activities, there’s less time for families to spend together. At technology to the mix and it only gets worse. It’s gotten to the point where it seems like parents and children are emailing and texting each other more than they’re talking—even when they’re at home together!’ – Jim Taylor