Questions Week 3

Explain something interesting from the Colbert Chris Anderson video

As digital technologies advance, digital content and goods are becoming cheaper and cheaper every year.  Digital goods are “deflationary.”  Advances in internet technologies, telecom, and digital distribution are driving down the operational costs of digital goods and digital distribution models.

Describe something interesting from your assigned reading from the crowdsourcing example.  

Although Kickstarter seems like a straightforward, simple, and honest way to help organizations and creators gain funding for ‘noble or worthy’ projects through the support of the online community, it can have some unfortunate consequences.  Because Kickstarter takes a 5% cut, it may unnecessarily be taking money out of the hands of the charities and non-profits themselves and becomes a way for creative people and entertainers to exploit their followers.  These readings bring to light several conflicts in the way we understand art, artists, the creative process, funding, intermediaries, and charity.  In a way, Kickstarter can now be seen to be blurring the line between art/charity and for-profit business.

Describe how a packet moves across the Internet

A packet moves across the internet through a complex system of telecommunications infrastructure including a mixture of underground copper wire, fiber-optic cable, and a series of Internet Hubs.  The packet or virtual envelope requesting information is sent as an electronic signal from a single computer via regional networks of underground copper wire to a centralized Internet Hub(Datacenter/CDN) where the packet or electronic signal is read, converted to a pulse of light, and then redirected to the web server that has the information it needs via high-speed fiber-optic cable.  Essentially, as a packet travels across the internet, it travels long-distances(thousands of miles) through a series of regional telecom networks(copper & fiber-optic runs) and hubs.  When a packet is travelling via underground copper wire it is an electronic signal.  When a packet is travelling via fiber-optic-cable, for example across continents (deep under the ocean) it is converted to a pulse of light traveling through a glass fiber as thick as a silver dollar.  Packets travel across the internet within a second or less.  When the packet or request for information is received by the web server, the information requested is broken up into smaller packets and then sent back through the same channel of underground regional copper wire, hubs, and/or fiber-optic cable back to the individual computer requesting the specific information over the internet.

Describe the difference between Internet Explorer and Firefox

Internet Explorer is an internet browser developed by Microsoft and included as part of the package of every Windows Operating System sold. It is the most widely used browser because it has been around the longest and is already included and doesn’t require the user to go out and find another browser.  Firefox is a free internet browser developed by Mozilla and can be downloaded from the internet.  It is the biggest threat to Internet Explorer and holds the next largest market share after IE.  Firefox is easier to use, faster, and more stable than IE.  Firefox was also the first browser to use multi-tabbed browsing, where previously in order to have multiple web-sites opened, say in IE, would require the user to open an entirely new window for each webpage, thus cluttering up the task bar.  Another advantage of Firefox over IE is that it has a community of users that create add-ons or extensions that add functionality and capabilities to the browser.  This allows users to customize Firefox to fit their unique needs in a way that is not allowed with IE because its closed-source software and controlled by Microsoft.  It may be easier to create and publish a website in IE as opposed to Firefox because Firefox does not translate Content Management System(CMS) code correctly.  Firefox is considered a safer browser because it has a built-in pop-up blocker where you must manually give specific sites permission to allow pop-ups.  Because IE has more users, it is inherently more vulnerable to attack as well. 



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