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Technologies gaining popularity on the internet are web 2.0
Web 2.0, “this culture of use involves several features, principally that users create content as well as read it; and that access to and participation in this endeavour is part of a conversational approach to information circulation, involving online sharing within friendship groups”. (Allen, 2013, p. 262). Examples of Web 2.0 include social networking sites, blogs, wikis, video sharing sites, hosted services and Web applications.
WordPress was originally designed for Blogging where users can post comments and interact with the website.
Some of the different kinds of Blogs are personal, technical or business. WordPress has developed into a “fully fledged content management system (CMS)” (McCollin, 2013, p. 7). The WordPress platform has an administrator back-end and users can be given access to certain areas through a permissions system. Additional features called plugins can be added to allow extra functionally of the website such as emailing capabilities.
“The Theme is what your visitors see, it is the skin for your content, the GUI and design of your Web site” (Hedengren, 2011, p. 25). Different themes can be used to make the website appealing and different theme structures can be used for an arrange of styled websites.
Themes can be purchased as different companies or WordPress theme developers create these for your convenience. You can also create these themes yourself. you can create “child themes—a powerful way to customise existing WordPress themes while keeping the original code intact” (Leary, 2013, p. 125).
One of the advantages of using WordPress is it has cross-browser compatibility as the developers of WordPress have already built this in for you. Themes come with plugins that allow compatibility with mobile devices for smart phones and tablets. Development time can be shortened with the use of WordPress and content is stored in a database called MySQL.
Another web 2.0 technology is social media. Social media is a great way of communicating across different age groups and nationalities. Due to the nature of social media it is able to be used in the workplace very efficiently and effectively (American Society for Training & Development, & Books24x7, 2010). Productivity in the workplace is better as the tools provided by social media allows this. Communication is greatly enhanced with social media and “social media is not just a learning tool, but also a productivity tool” (American Society for Training & Development 2010). A business can gain insight into the employees and have a better understanding of them. People can be trained on this technology which allows them to use other similar technologies more effectively. As these employees learn social media their productively will increase. Social media has an unique sharing capability which allows employees to share ideas and information (American Society for Training & Development 2010). From a business perspective this communication is cheaper and can reach people who are on the internet.
Technology is becoming more economical and accessible to many people. Robotics has made breaking ground changes and can help in the nursing home arena. Software technologies have been able to allows users to easily navigate and control their online documents and designs.
Web 2.0 technologies have become more personal where the user can see themselves, it is all about the user. The sweetest thing to the ear is someone’s name and therefore a photo of yourself is gratifying. With social media you can build an avatar of yourself and have a photo of yourself and communicate in the workplace efficiently and effectively. International people can communicate at a more cost effective rate.
Allen, M. (2013). What was web 2.0? versions as the dominant mode of internet history. New Media & Society,15(2), 260-275.
American Society for Training & Development, & Books24x7, I. (2010). Social media: The millennial perspective Association for Talent Development.
Hedengren, T. D., 1980, & ebrary, I. (2011). Smashing WordPress themes: Making WordPress beautiful (1. Aufl.;1; ed.). Chichester: Wiley.
Leary, S., ebrary, I., & Books24x7, I. (2013). WordPress for web developers: An introduction for web professionals(2;2nd; ed.). Berkeley, CA: Apress. doi:10.1007/978-1-4302-5867-4
McCollin, R., ebrary, I., & Books24x7, I. (2013;2012;).WordPress: Pushing the limits (1st ed.). Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley.
Trends in information technology
Jaron Lanier is essentially a philosopher with functional experience in the technological information world. He explores current trends in information technology and uses this to construct how the future will look – how large firms (Siren Servers) exploit current knowledge without realising that jobs will be lost. He questions how we might future-proof jobs. Lanier suggests a two-way linking system “if the system remembers where information originally came from, then the people who are the sources of information can be paid for it” (Lanier, 2014, p. 218).
Lanier gives an example where Japan is facing a severe shortage of working-age people and a huge population of elderly people. The Japanese propose to create robots to take care of the elderly, robots are already able to handle delicate tasks. Lanier suggests that robots will be in use in Japanese nursing homes by 2020. He says that the programming of these robots depends on information gained from observing a nurse and that the nurse should be compensated for that input. Lanier advises that the middle-class is increasingly disenfranchised from online economics. By convincing users to give away valuable information about themselves in exchange for free services, firms can acquire large amounts of data at virtually no cost. “Information is people in disguise, and people ought to be paid for value they contribute that can be sent or stored on a digital network” (Lanier, 2014, p. 235).
Last month Google’s AlphaGo computer defeated Lee Sedol in a board game of “Go”. The game is a game of intuition rather than quick thinking (Bingemann, 2016). This victory has huge implications for the future of computing according to Beijia Ma, a robotics and AI expert. She says that the information age is on the verge of another huge step which will provide more computational power. Ma states that “computing power is not just about hardware anymore” (Bingemann, 2016).
Ma discusses how AI emulates the behaviour of the human brain. Machine learning “which is essentially about simple pattern recognition. But deep learning is the next generation of that and works architecturally through artificial neural networking” (Bingemann, 2016).
Reilly says “there is no doubt we are nearing the limit for Moore’s Law on silicon-based chips” (Bingemann, 2016). He suggests chips will have to be made from other materials. Reilly also discusses economic consequences and suggests that we should look at how to maximise the use of chips in specific applications. How to optimise chip design without using more transistors (Bingemann, 2016).
He says that custom-built chips are already in use in other parts of the computer industry. He talks about Microsoft’s search engine “Bing” using a specialised chip called FPGA – field programmable gate array, which can reprogram hardware circuits (Bingemann, 2016). The main area of Reilly’s research is quantum computing. He says that quantum computing harnesses the laws of quantum mechanics to process information. This technology would use quantum bits or qubits, which can hold much more information and can process a vast number of calculations simultaneously (Bingemann, 2016).
Bingemann, M. (2016, April 9). A super power on the rise in the cloud. The Weekend Australian.
Lanier, J. (2014). Who owns the future?. London: Penguin Books.
Technologies are tools and part of human evolution
An essential part of human evolution has been our ability to adapt and invent, and to solve problems. “So the major trends in technology evolution actually are the same as in biological evolution” (Kelly, 2005). Inventing a solution to a problem can be termed technology. Technology is defined as “the science of craft” and comes from the Greek words meaning “art, skill, cunning of hand”.
Therefore technology is the tools and skills acquired from solving a problem and the transfer of those skills and knowledge into practical use. How we acquire and utilise technology and measure its impact is important economically. “Making complexity easier is the great craft of our era” (Lanier, 2014, p. 345). Advancements in computer technology are accelerating.
The information age is entering another stage of technological progress due to changes in computational power. “The performance and power of just about all forms of technology double every two years or so, yet prices stay the same or decline” (Nowak, 2015, p. 3). Many experts talk about Moore’s Law. This term is named after Gordon Moore, an American electrical engineer. The Law describes how the number of transistors on a micro processor chip will double every two years thus increasing a computers performance. As computers increase in power and decrease in size, a new class of machines has emerged roughly every ten years (Waldrop, 2016).
However the diminishing size of transistors is limited because the chips that house these components are increasingly getting hotter (Waldrop, 2016).
Kelly, K. (2005, February). Transcript of “How technology evolves” Retrieved April 16, 2016, from https://www.ted.com/talks/kevin_kelly_on_how_technology_evolves/transcript?language=en
Lanier, J. (2014). Who owns the future?. London: Penguin Books.
Nowak, P. (2015). Humans 3.0: The upgrading of the species. Guilford, Connecticut: Lyons Press.
Waldrop, M., M. (2016, February 9). The chips are down for Moore’s law. Retrieved April 14, 2016, from https://www.nature.com/news/the-chips-are-down-for-moore-s-law-1.19338
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