Author Archives: karinagraf

Geocaching.com Log-In Information

I have created a class account on the geocaching.com website. Feel free to use the following information:

User Name: spatialtheory

PW: marcelogorman

 

Happy Hunting!

Karina

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Surveilling (Potential) Terrorist Children

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A news article entitled “Police identify 200 children as potential terrorists” illuminates a new state of surveillance in the UK. Police are monitoring children in Muslim communities who have been identified as being “at risk of extremism.” Teachers, parents, and other community leaders are asked to monitor children and adolescents and identify those who have extreme views or are susceptible to the influence of radical Islamic groups. Children identified as being ‘at risk’ are offered guidance in the form of a tailored intervention program.

I can’t decide what I think of this program. Is this program of careful monitoring and intervention a natural extension of the usual surveillance role of parents and teachers?

Is it a necessary precaution or an extreme policing tactic?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/police-identify-200-children-as-potential-terrorists-1656027.html

Karina

 

Internet Surveillance: Targeted Advertising

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A new Google ad service was launched on Wednesday, March 11. Google will track Internet usage and display targeted ads based on each person’s specific site visits. For example, if you visit a website that sells a specific type of golf club, you might later see an ad for the same website when you are browsing an unrelated site that displays Google ads. The full article can be found at…  http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article5887701.ece

 

Just as advertisers can track a person’s Internet usage, they can do the same with a smartphone. As well, advertising systems can use GPS technology to track smartphone location, allowing advertisers to combine location information, personal preferences, and personal identification information to display ads specifically targeted for an individual. As smartphones increase in popularity, this type of data collection is becoming more prevalent. The full article can be found at… http://www.iht.com/articles/2009/03/11/business/11target.php?page=1

Will consumers find this targeted advertising creepy? Or will they find it useful to find a “receive 5 percent off” coupon on their Blackberry for a nearby store?

Karina

N 43° 27.308 W 080° 31.091

Confession: Geocaching was an unfamiliar term to me prior to this course.

Solution: I decided to do a little investigating.

Saturday January 24, 3:30pm: I set out on my very first geocaching adventure.


Here’s what I learned:

1.     Geocaching is surprisingly popular. According to geocaching.com, there are 719 464 active geocaches around the world.

2.     You can search for geocaches by entering postal code, latitude and longitude coordinates, province, country, keywords, username, or waypoint. The website will display coordinates of geocaches within the search area. Geocachers typically use GPS (I used Google maps before I left the house because I don’t have a GPS system) to locate the cache.

3.     A geocache is a small container containing a logbook (usually a sheet of paper) for people to record their name and the date that they found the geocache. I didn’t record my visit but the last person to visit the geocache I located had been there the day before. The cache also might include small items such as keychains or crayons. When you find the geocache, you’re supposed to take an item and replace it with something of equal value. I hadn’t planned to exchange an item – this was strictly an investigative outing – but I lost a quarter from the geocache in the snow. Luckily I had dog biscuits in my pocket so I replaced the quarter with a biscuit.

4.     After finding a geocache, you’re supposed to record your find on the website. You should also record the item you took, and what you replaced it with. I didn’t. You can also share stories and photos online.

5.     Crucial: Don’t let muggles see you. Apparently, geocachers have borrowed J. K. Rowling’s term for non-magical people and applied it to non-geocaching people. The geocache that I found was in a small group of trees off of a walking trail. Luckily I had my dog with me, so I don’t think I arose any suspicion. ;)

My first geocaching adventure was a success. I found the small container hanging from a tree branch near the Iron Horse Trail behind Vincenzos in Belmont Village. Here’s a picture of the geocache I found and some of it’s contents:

 

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Happy Geocaching,

Karina

 

Price’s Picturesque Tree: Roughness, Sudden Variation, and Irregularity

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Of my UW campus pictures, I thought this was the most picturesque, based on Price’s description. The bark on the trunk in the foreground of the photo allows the bumpy, “rough” texture to stand out. In a few areas of the trunk the bark has been peeled off of the tree, leaving lighter areas exposed, perhaps being an example of “sudden variation.” As well, I think the stark contrast between the light sky and dark tree would be another example of “sudden variation.” As for “irregularity” the branches extending in many different directions out from the trunk are probably the best example in this photo.

Of course if Price has his way, I would have taken this picture in “tempestuous winds” for a more picturesque shot. But I’m so glad there wasn’t any wind, because it’s been cold enough lately.

-Karina