Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Blog 18: The End of the Beginning


In the end of Neff and Nafus’ self-tracking exploration they discuss the future of self-tracking and how it can easily and productively be transferred into the medical field. Our medical data is often taken, analyzed, and used for studies and we have very limited access to it. But, is we were given the opportunity to manage and maintain our data and then do with it as we please we may be able to feel like we have more control. The argument stems from the fact that we do know our bodies better than anyone else. However, there are some issues with putting that much power and responsibilities in our own hands. If this data is life or death information and something goes wrong a normal person who isn't in the medical field may have a hard time figuring out what to do. Or they might not even know something went wrong and scue the data. We need to be able to trust that people will keep up with the tracking and make it  a priority which can be hard to do.
Finally, in chapter six Neff and Nafus go over some of the topics that they covered in their book. They make predictions for the future and how self-tracking will expand into our everyday lives. There are a couple concerns regarding security of personal information and the selling of data that I think need to be worked out before we can go much further with self-tracking. Neff and Nafus make the point of putting the data in our hands and giving us the responsibility, but I think this could get sketchy with the buying and selling of data. People could eventually put the price of their data extremely high which could ultimately limit research and growth in many different fields of research. Another area that will need to be introduced to the ideals of self-tracking is the government, laws, and regulations. We need proper legislation and what is ethically acceptable and where that line is before we can explore too far. Ultimately, I think self-tracking is something that has a lot of room for development and will be interesting to see how it grows in the future by the way it affects our lives.

Some questions I have are:
  1. How do we work with legislators to help them fully understand what these devices are capable of so we get proper laws in place?
  2. What is the next step for self-tracking devices? What do they look like? What do they track? Why do we need this information?

Neff, G. & Nafus, D. (2016). Self-Tracking. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Picture: http://groupvisual.io/tag/healthcare/

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Blog 17: Buckle Up

In Chapters 3 and 4 we dive into a world where we have accepted wearable technologies as the present and the future. We know that wearable technologies are just starting to emerge and we have to prepared for how they will further develop and expand in the future. Neff and Nafus talk about how you can deal with these tools and use them to your advantage. The step is acceptance. Chapter 3 talked a lot about us as consumers and how we can quickly become obsessed with these tools for tracking our progress. We feel the need to justify our habits by making them concrete with tracking. I know that when I first got my fitbit I almost felt like a slave to the device. I didn’t feel accomplished unless I hit my step goal for the day. Even, if the reason I didn’t hit my goal is because I was being productive with my homework. There just wasn’t the rush of satisfaction when I had a documented record of it. With all that being said it is important to look into Chapter 4 where Neff and Nafus discuss the appeal that the industry creates when developing these devices. They look for solutions, social influence, data tracking, and more. It is consumer based, but given to us by the industry that does some of the most self-tracking. They self-track in their sales and through our usage. They look for fads and study how to look past those fads and how they can keep their self-tracking products relevant. All together self-tracking is something that is very current and something that will be around for a long time, so buckle up.

Questions for discussion:
  1. How do we protect ourselves from becoming zombies of our devices?
  2. What are some of the most effective and ineffective ways that we have seen self-tracking used? How did we grow from our failures and succeed from our successes?

Neff, G. & Nafus, D. (2016). Self-Tracking. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. [Chapters 3 & 4]
Picture: http://synapse-circuit.blogspot.com/2013/05/a-follow-up-on-iron-man

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Blog 16: Self-Tracking-The Good and The Bad

In chapters 1 and 2 of  Self-Tracking by Gina Neff and Dawn Nafus. They push us to begin developing an understanding for what positive and negative effects that self-tracking can have on our everyday lives. Self-tracking can help us with our health issues as we track the amount of exercise we get a day and maintain health goals through tracking. Self-tracking can go even deeper into our bodies with pacemakers and heart trackers that are internally placed in our bodies to look at how fast, slow, or how many times our hearts are beating. These self-tracking devices can save our lives. But, there are aspects of self-tracking and reporting this data that can get a little unethical and cross privacy boundaries. By buying and registering our devices to track our steps and data (ex: iPhones, fitbits, smart watches, etc.) are we allowing these companies to use our data? Do we essentially sign a waiver for them to know every move we make.
These two chapters really made me think about a conspiracy theory I have heard after the boom in personal tracking devices like fitbits a couple years ago. The conspiracy theory was that the government started marketing these devices in a fashionable and popular way. People who were extremely fit wanted one and people who were extremely unfit wanted one and everyone in between. Did we really need them? Or was it the government trying to collect data on where we were going, when we were sleeping, and even who we were taking calls from. Now this may be far fetched, but actually something that is very possible. I don’t think that this is the case with fitbit, but it does make you think about the opportunity there is for someone to track your every move.

For discussion:
  1. Is there any benefit into letting someone track your moves? Is it good for safety?
  2. Is it really unethical for these devices to track and use our data if we agree by registering them?

Neff, G. & Nafus, D. (2016). Self-Tracking. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Blog 15: Our First Taste of Technology

In the final chapter Greengard takes us into the future and creates what he thinks the future will look like in the year 2025. I found this very interesting because although it seems impossible now, a lot of what Greengard talked about could really happen. These device would literally be constantly around us we would rely on them so heavly that it could become dangerous. Our lives today are already so controlled by technology it is hard to imagine a world with even more. Specifically wearable technicolgoies. This last chapter really made me think about wearable technologies and will they develop with us. My research project for what’s next is about the Apple Watch and the development towards its existence. These wearable technologies were first depicted in cartoons as unique gadgets that were often invented by super genius scientists who developed gadgets far beyond their time. Fast forward to 2017 and many of these gadgets are in our everyday lives. As I work with the Apple Watch I plan on investigating into the modeling and development from some of these shows that showed us the first products that continue to develop in our lives.

A couple questions I have after this reading is:
  1. If our technology learns to develop as we develop and age are we giving it too much power?
  2. Is there a real need for wearable technology? Does it go too far and become too invasive?

Greengard, Samuel. The internet of things. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. [Introduction, Chapter 7]

Monday, April 10, 2017

Blog 14: Cyber Terrorism

Both chapter 5 and 6 went further in depth in describing our connection and develop to the internet. Out of the two chapter I found chapter 6 to be the most interesting because of the emphasis on the connection the internet provides for us. However, we must be cautious as we develope. I think one of the most important aspect to consider is the possibility for terrorism. We are so connected with the internet that it has become a part of our everyday lives. Our banking, personal information, and contacts are all stored within our phones and computers. A terrorist attack in the future could involve shutting off our grids so that we lose all access of contact. Shutting of the grids could also affect our cars, lights, and travel accessibility. We would be trapped. It is important that we learn to protect ourselves on all levels of technology. We must make sure that our personal sights are locked down from cyber attacks, but also trust that our government knows how to handle a situation if the day ever came where we did have a cyber attack on the national level. Safety is major key to the success of the internet and as we develop the internet our safety skills and security must also develop with it.
After reading these chapters my questions are:
1. What are the best ways to prepare ourselves incase of this type of terrorism?
2. Yes, we are connected, but do we take advantage of that? Do we lose interpersonal skills that we need for strong connections? Have we taken this technology for granted and ruined an aspect of our lives in the process?

Greengard, Samuel. The internet of things. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. [Chapter 5 & Chapter 6]

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Blog 13: My Everyday Life


Chapter three talks about the fluidity of human and machine life. The main goal when developing the technology is to make it blend into our everyday life by developing the Internet into something that requires little thought from the human thought process. We have become very accustomed to our lives including technology. I am typing this blog post on my laptop in the comfort of my bed on my laptop. I have Netflix playing in the background and I am listening to one of my favorite shows. My cell phone is sitting next to me and I am waiting on a text from my boyfriend, so I know he is done with Hockey practice. After I am done with my homework I will get up and brush my teeth with my electric toothbrush and set the alarm on my phone to wake up and do it all again tomorrow. These things I take for granted. The ability to do my homework and communicate with people wherever I want is amazing,but something I grew up expecting and almost demanding. Thinking back to back when my parents were in college and using typewriters was not that long ago, but the amount of information at my fingertips, compared to them in huge. We have so many benefits that come with technology, but I think there needs to be more awareness for the amount of time we spend using technology and how important it is to not let it control our lives.

After reading these chapters my thoughts and questions are:
  1. How much time does the average human spend with technology a day? Are there any studies that show this?
  2. What is in the future for us? Where do we expand to next? Technology already seems so invasive, where does it go to next?

Greengard, Samuel. The internet of things. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. [Chapter 3 & Chapter 4]

Monday, April 3, 2017

Blog 12: The Internet and our Personal Connections


In the first couple chapters of The Internet of Things by Samuel Greengard. The two chapters touched on some topics that had been previously mentioned in some of our other books we have read and talked about in class. One of the topics I found most interesting was the information about IP Addresses an IP Address is a combination of numbers that when placed in a specific order help to identify each computer and communicate over networks. A big topic that was also touched on by Greengard is how important computers are in connecting us with each other and allowing us access to those networks. Computers have quickly became a huge aspect in our lives and impact them from the time we wake up by using our iphone alarms to the time we text our family and friends about what happened during our day. They will soon be something we wear and even have implanted in our bodies. This discussion reminded me of a family friend who has a trackers implanted close to his heart to monitor his beats per minute to show the doctors where there may be gaps. This is a life saving technology that is literally inside of him. It is incredible that this technology can be inside of him at all times and track our movements. I am really excited to see what will come next to technologies that are implanted inside of us that are outside of the medical field. Greenard also touches on a little bit of the history of the internet and the importance between physical and digital first objects.

After reading these chapters may question are:
  1. What are some technologies that could be implanted in us that are outside of the medical field?
  2. Where is the line of too much technology? When does it take over our lives and become overbearing?
Greengard, Samuel. The internet of things. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. [Introduction, Chapter 1 & Chapter 2]

Picture: http://siliconangle.com/blog/2011/09/06/remaking-the-internet/