Blog 4: Archive

An archive is a collection of historical records, as well as the place they are located.

How many archive do you have?

Physical: book shelves, photo album, storage boxes…

Digital: computer hard drive, USB Flash drive, email, iPod, phone, digital camera, tape recorder, iTune Library…

Archive is changing forms. Books in libraries are scanned and published online. Hence public and access some limited or original copy which was stored in State Archive. The physical boundary seems vanished.

One advantage of digitize data: easy to transfer from one archive to another. For example, to convert a DVD movie into your iPod. So you could enjoy the movie when commute to work. Another benefit is easy to copy and maintain the same quality. For example, photographs. In analog film photos, the way to copy the negative film is to take a photo of that film. Or to enlarge the negative. However, the chemical, paper and time may not identical. Hence the final print may have some different. In contrast, digital photos can save at the same time in two different cards. More the photos send worldwide through WiFi or 3G network for instant publishing.

Sometimes we look back to the same date years ago.  Like the Guardian, on 30th March, 2011, a news article originally published in 30th March 1979, is also post on web. It is about the three-mile-Island nuclear accident in USA. The accident echoed the Japanese Nuclear accident.


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Blog 3: Actor-Network Theory

What is Actor-Network Theory?

Actor Network Theory is an approach to social theory originating from science studies. It explores how relations between objects, people and how concepts are formed, in instead of why they are formed.

Actor is only an object. Under human influence, actors are coordinated to form a network.

There are three principals: agnosticism, generalised symmetry, free association.

Agnosticism advocates avoid any pre-assume of existing networks.

Generalised symmetry employs a single frame to investigate the actors, both human and non human.

Free association advocates abandoning any relations between social and natural phenomenon. Since these relations are based on the effort of networked activities.

There is a three-minute YouTube clip to explain what Actor-Network Theory is about.

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Second Blog: Paywall

This is the second blog of ARTS2090 public and publishing.

I would like to talk about ‘Paywall’. A paywall, refers to Wikipedia, block access to a webpage with a screen requiring payment. Newspaper and magazine website usually install ‘paywall’ to shield their content over the ‘free’ internet content.

The Guardian oppose the idea of paywall, critize this would isolate from public free information flow.

At 28th March, New York Times erected their paywall. People start to discuss how to jump over the wall.

In interent, there is not a definite boundary. Is reading the articles withiout paying illegal? In real life, you can reading the paper at news agency for free, but you must pay for it in order to bring the paper out the store.

In music industry, Steve Jobs created iTunes for the reason that ‘consumers don’t want to be treated like criminals and artists don’t want their valuable work stolen.The iTunes Music Store offers a groundbreaking solution for both.’

New York Times is not the first news agency to set up paywall. However it created such a storm about it. What it really want to do is not increase revenue. Instead is to set up the new order of internet: content should be paid as in the real world.



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First Blog: Publishing

Push the button to publish. Easy. Then  push the same button to ‘update’.

This is what digital publishing look like. Instantaneously.

Take the hottest gadget iPad as an example. The screen is about A4 size. While reading a ‘iBook’, like David Eagleman’s Why the Net Matters (Canongate), you could flip over the page, play with the 3D simulation. The most interesting part of the ‘iBook’ is it make a book without border. The continue flow of the chart clearly shown the argument. The argument-tree enables readers to navigate key argument freely.

However it seems the 3D simulation is more a gimmick than help readers to understand the content.

Magazines are more suitable to view on iPad. The adventiment, graphic and photos can show in detail, thanks to the superb displace. More, video can be accompany with text to make the reportage more impressive. The size screen is similar to that of the print version of The Economist or Times. It feels like reading on paper.

There are dark side of electric reader. As Naughton (2009) mentions, the whole book 1984 could be remotely deleted without authorize by the user. It could be used to control the freedom of speech by manipulating the content.



Naughton, John (2009), ‘The original Big Brother is watching you on Amazon Kindle’, The Guardian,,26 July, 2009, accessed 6 March, 2011

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