Net neutrality

After our lecture today, I did some reading about “Net neutrality”.

Before I start talking about recent news and giving more detailed information about “Net neutrality”, I should explain and define what it is and why we all should care and know about it.

What is Net neutrality?

To quote ocf.berkeley.edu, “Net neutrality […] is a network design paradigm that argues for broadband network providers to be completely detached from what information is sent over their networks.  In essence, it argues that no bit of information should be prioritized over another.” So, what does that mean? Basically, that the internet is “most efficient and useful to the public when it is less focused on a particular audience and instead attentive to multiple users.”

For example: “Let’s say you use Hulu and Netflix, and often switch between the two to see what’s on. Supporters of net neutrality say that your broadband Internet service provider (ISP) should not be able to charge either Netflix or Hulu, or any other company that depends on the Internet, for a faster connection to you and other customers. Nor should the ISP be able to charge you more to access certain services.” (Trotter, J., K.) Meaning that network providers could choose to decide how fast data would be transmitted and at what quality. As a result it could come to unfair treatment and even discrimination as well as high prizes and a position of power for the providers. Because in that case some information would be accessed much slower than other, users would desire the information they have a fast access to and in the end, this way network providers could have a hand in creating monopoles or oligopolies.

Some quotes I found doing my research were by Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google and Tim Wu, a Professor at Columbia Law School:

A neutral network might be designed without legal prodding – as in the original internet.   In an ideal world, either competition or enlightened self-interest might drive carriers to design neutral networks.

– Tim Wu (Professor at Columbia Law School)

Creativity, innovation and a free and open marketplace are all at stake in this fight”

– Eric Schmidt (Google CEO)


References:

Lin, R., unknown. Network Neutrality. Available from: https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~raylin/whatisnetneutrality.htm [Accessed on: 25th March 2014].

Trotter, J., K., 2014. What is Net Neutrality and why should I care? The Non-Geek’s Guide. Available from: http://gawker.com/what-is-net-neturality-and-why-should-i-care-the-non-g-1657354551 [Accessed on: 25th March 2014].

The Guardian, 2015. Net neutrality. Available from: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/net-neutrality [Accessed on: 25th March 2014].

Baker, J., 2015. EU annoys industry and activists with net neutrality proposal. Available from: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/03/05/net_neutrality_eu_ministers_proposals_treated_with_suspicion/ [Accessed on: 25th March 2014].

Background Research: Inspiration

This post, I want to devote to explaining where we got our Inspiration from and talking a bit about the two applications.

The very first idea of doing an anonymous Posting-Website for students was inspired by a German App called Yodel. It is not very well known in England, but a lot of my friends from home are using it to keep track of what is happening around them. The app is following a very similar concept to our website. Smartphone users can download it and then anonymously post and others can read those posts and rate them. The user only sees the posts from people close by, for example in their city. It is mostly used by people aged 18-25 to express their thoughts and ideas without sharing their true identity.

After looking into it, me and my teammates found another app that uses the same principle. It is pretty similar to Yodel and called YikYak. So I decided to look a bit into it, hoping to learn something for our project:

YikYak was first launched in 2013 by Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington. Both of them are graduates from a college in the US. The app allows people to create and view so called “Yaks” within a 10 mile radius. Just six months after the App was released, it became the 9th most downloaded app in the US.

Here you can see both, the webpage as well the app interface of YikYak:

80edd2fd-2698-4548-b32d-7a965d0ade59-620x519 Screenshot (260) Screenshot (261)


References:

YikYak, 2013. Available from: http://www.yikyakapp.com/ [Accessed: 11th March 2015]

Itunes Applestore Preview, Yik Yak LLC, Available from: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/yik-yak/id730992767?mt=8 [Accessed: 11th March 2015]

Dredge, S., 2014. The Guardian. Yik Yak is the hottest messaging app in the world. So how are Brits using it? Available from: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/dec/16/yik-yak-messaging-app-brits [Accessed: 11th March 2015]

First steps (basic version)

After I picked the topic as well as the basic design for my poster, I sat down to create the very basic version in After Effects (first picture). I cared less about the colours and the details as the positions and shaping. I liked the idea of using blue and white to create an hourglass like look. After all the water cycle is all about time and I figured that the hourglass would be a nice way to underline that. Another thing that I liked about my design was the part about the water being in a constant flow, like it is in reality (second picture). I visualized that, connecting the water from each and every part of my cycle by a different kind of flow. Looking at it closer, you realize that the rain from the first quarter flows into the lake in the second one, which again, ends up in the ocean. From there, it vaporizes into clouds which float through the fourth quarter back into the first where the water rains back down.

Screenshot (152)Screenshot (155)

Then I took the basic design to my seminar session, to get some advice about further developments and a little bit of feedback about what I had done so far. Together with my seminar teacher, I talked about the use of space and the possibility of removing the blue frame lines to either resolve the problem of it being too crowded or maybe adding a small amount of information in form of text. Also I realized that I had to change the “space holder sun”, I created into something more fitting and that shading and details were needed. I experimented with gradients and I considered using them for the background.