Archive for February, 2006

Data Mining and Intrusion Detection

February 24, 2006

Topic: Data Mining and Intrusion Detection
Author: Matthew Sparkes
Date: April, 2005

I propose to conduct research into the topic of data mining and it’s specific use in the field of detecting network intrusions. I will then create a literature survey of approximately 3,500 words surveying the different approaches to this concept, and the current state of the art.

To come as soon as I format it into HTML from LaTeX!


Humument – Book Within Books

February 22, 2006

Copyright is a major part of creation now, whether you write software, poetry, websites, novels, or create music you have to worry about copyright. A fine example of what can be produced if these constraints are lifted is Tom Phillip’s creation, Humument. Basically, by obscuring pages, but leaving some words exposed, he has created a story within a story. The original text is a Victorian novel; W.H. Mallock’s, A Human Document, written in 1892 and bought by Phillips in Peckham Rye for 3 pence. It has been turned into hundreds of pieces of visual art, with every page being a delight to the eye, but has also been turned into a new text. It’s a beatiful example of a combination of works, as with mashups, but with the bizarre twist that the new text is entirely dependant upon the original, yet entirely seperate too.

Most Sampled Beat Ever – The Amen Break

February 22, 2006

One day, a drummer sat down and played the Amen Break; a simple and short loop. It was part of The Winstons B Side track, Amen My Brother. This song, more specifically that short loop, was to go on to become the most popular sample ever. This video shows how ubiquitous the break has become, and tells it’s fascinating story.

It describes it’s use in early Hip Hop such as NWA’s Straight Outta Compton, and the part it played in various different genres, sometimes even creating them. I love the way that the video describes it use by people such as Aphex Twin, as:

“tweaking the arrangements beyond the point of dancability and syncopation, and into a realm of pure fetishisation and self-indulgence”

It’s amazing how this one recording has gone on to be used in so many thousands of songs, and indeed spawn whole genres, and whole musical movements.

Did anyone ever pay for it’s use though? Richard Spencer from The Winstons, who owned the copyright to the break, didn’t seem to care. The video suggests he didn’t see potential in these heavily sampled tracks, but maybe he was just cool with it in a creative commons kind of way.

Finally, the break has been sullied by commercialism, with heavy use in advertising, and with some companies actually selling it in compilations of beats, under copyright.

The Impact of Technology on Journalism

February 17, 2006

Considering That Printing and Steam Technologies Enabled Traditional Journalism to Flourish, How Will Advances in Modern Technology Affect Citizen Journalism, and How Will This Impact on Traditional Journalism?

1.0 Introduction

Technological advances have been inextricably linked to the ability to disseminate information since the invention of the written word. From monks copying bibles by hand, we progress towards the invention of the printing press which was a massive paradigm shift, and had cascading repercussions on many aspects of everyday life.

Later we have the emergence of broadcast mediums such as radio and television, and finally the Internet which have each changed the way we consume information.

This essay will briefly explore the emergence of traditional journalism in media such as newspapers, and examine how they only became possible once the right technology was available to facilitate it. It will also examine the phenomenon that is citizen journalism.

This term is meant to include those individuals who take it upon themselves to write and spread information without support or motivation from an organised media group, whatever their chosen medium. This has it’s roots in photocopied newsletters, which were traditionally niche publications with a limited distribution and a solitary reporter.

What citizen journalism needed to flourish was a medium where the overhead costs were not linked to distribution numbers in a linear way; this came in the form of the Internet. Once it had attracted widespread adoption it took off as a means of cheap publishing that could reach an international audience. Therefore, in this essay when we use the term citizen journalist, we primarily mean online citizen journalist.

The term ‘citizen journalist’ and the term ‘blogger’ (an abbreviation of web-logger) can be considered interchangeable, and taken to mean someone who uses the Internet to disseminate articles written and researched by one person.

This sort of online citizen journalism also has been altered by new technology, despite it’s relatively short life-span. After examining the effect of previous innovations on the field, the essay will finish by looking to the future to assess the possible implications of emerging technologies on journalism, and what this will do to the current model of media.

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