In the world of today, with the prevalence of the smartphones, laptops, tablets, and the Internet, it is sometimes hard to remember the way things were. This is compounded by the fact that I was born in an age where the Internet was just beginning to truly be commercialized, and as I grew up, so did the web. My memories of ‘how things were’ are of aol mail having it’s own window that took ages to load and say hi to you in a loud voice when it did. They are of dial-up connections, of the birth of Facebook, of playing computer games like Chip’s Challenge and Rodent’s Revenge, of playing games off of CDs with basic graphics and frequent glitching. They are NOT of a lack of human connection, of difficulty finding information, of minimal experiences or of only a few people viewing a website. Yet the reading “The Internet? Bah!” speaks plainly of that time. Honestly, I have no recollection of a world where money cannot be transferred over the net, where salespeople are not rampant on the internet and computers are not used in classrooms and if I search something, it takes 15 minutes to sort through the information. So hearing about this world that is so different from the one I live in is unsettling. The article was written in 1995, only two years after I was born. And by the time I started using the internet when I was about six, only four years after this article was written, things were already changing. Today, the Internet and computers have a place for all of the things that the article specifically discounts. Online shopping? Check. Newspapers and books? Check. School and education? Check. We now have better social media, efficient search engines, hubs for videos of pretty much everything, access to messages and articles from our local, state and national governments… Gone are the days of only 30 people viewing a website. Certain pages may only attain 30 views, but the most popular sites get millions of hits every day, and a low number of hits is considered to be in the hundreds. It amazes me how different everything is in such a short period of time. If the Internet has done an about face in the past 15 years, then what will happen in the next fifteen? The prospect is fraught with excitement.

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For my group’s project, we plan to dance to Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri. We all gathered in a group to discuss what song we would do, what moves we might try out, and how our dance ought to look. We decided to have the chorus entirely choreographed, but have our own random moves for certain parts. We then tried out some moves we might like…


 

 

 

We also tried to work on some group moves…

 

As you can see, we were very productive. Jeff wrote most of the code (since he knew how) and gave us all a template that we could fill in to write our own part of the dance. He then compiled it into a single awkwardly long piece of code, which can be found here:

https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=1FGBtUK9zG0GSqqEkVFxRPRe6WmKNu49S5dJ8QQKnzD-tUd-6jl14HcG3pQis&hl=en

All in all, i think it’s been rather successful so far. Sure, we still have to practice it all together, but we have until Sunday for that! I think the main thing that I’m getting out of this so far is the realization that I know nothing about coding. Hopefully I learn some along the way.

 

Algorithms are bothersome.
Our group switched algorithms and ended up with a lovely algorithm involving squirrels. I video recorded myself trekking along the path laid out for me by the algorithm, and I have a few lovely clips of my 20minute video that are worth sharing.

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67Dy49NVOXM

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwCe3ugkjYE

Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWKezsvG03k

😦

We also tested out our own algorithm. Using a double sided piece of paper with our algorithm on one side and a map of the Stamp Student Union on the other, we ran around Stamp for about an hour performing our algorithm, which was essentially a murder game in which there is a killer and any number of victims. The participants chose room numbers by creating an algorithm, and then used this algorithm to continue generating room numbers that all of the participants could pick from and go to.

We did run into some problems however. First of all, we had a little trouble with the map labeling. We also were confused about our own algorithm, which is problematic. We weren’t sure whether or not to apply the algorithm to the generated room numbers as well. We decided to not do this because people would end up going to totally different rooms and the killer would have no chance, but the algorithm we wrote made it sound as if we should have done it differently. Oh well. Then we had a problem, because the online system we used for contact was Facebook messaging. It worked really well until Facebook took it down in the middle for maintenance. After that, the project sort of dissolved. It was very hard to complete over text, because you need almost instantaneous and available knowledge, and texting is not for group chats. We did manage to complete the algorithm, and the game was fun, but we determined a few things could have been fixed/changed…
1.) The Map
It was a little difficult to interpret the arbitrary numbering job. It would have been better had we been able to find a map with the legitimate room numbers on it.
2.) Over-seer
We decided that the game would be better if there was a referee. Someone to give out the straws, someone to mediate the game, someone to announce beginning and ends of rounds, and someone to ask for help if you get lost.
3.) Communication System
Yeah, Facebook chat just stopped in the middle. Not our best decision.
4.) Number of People
The game would have been more enjoyable with more people. The killer would have an easier time of getting someone, but everyone individually would have a lower chance of being the person killed. and it would have been harder to figure out who the killer was.
All in all, I think we definitely could improve our algorithm now that we know what’s missing. We just needed to run it to determine the errors.

In my last post, I showcased my documentation of the processes followed in my research. I conducted search experiments to discover how private my Internet life really is. That’s really something that I’ve always wondered about, but never taken the time to discover. Sure, I’ve googled my name a few times. Who hasn’t? But I’ve never put in the full amount of time and effort needed to really flesh out exactly how much of my life is on the Internet. I know how much time I normally SPEND online; that’s not what I went for here. There are many ways to interpret this project. I’m sure that quite a few people looked at the way their digital life effects their real life, or how much of their life is spent digitally, or something along those lines. But I went for the privacy approach. In one of our readings, ‘Finding Private Space In A Wired World,’ the topic of privacy is dealt with. Alan Lightman, the author of that article, speaks of how we no longer waste time, no longer employ as much self-reflection, and no longer have anywhere near as much privacy. However, he make sit clear that this is not the fault of technology, but of ourselves. I applied that idea to my project. How private is my life online? How private CAN my life be? If my life is online for everyone to see, is it my fault? Or is it something I am able to blame on technology? Maybe the blame would lie with other people, not with the technology itself? In my research, I found that nearly everything I discovered was something I had personally put on the internet at one point or another. Although there were a few articles in small newspapers with my name in them, the majority was stuff I had put up. My fault. I also found that the things I had put up in recent years were better guarded than the sites I had used in middle school. Which leads me to wonder, did privacy settings get better, or did I become more aware of my digital footprint over time? Maybe both. But either way, this project was great for me. Privacy is really important to me, and knowing exactly what’s out there for people to see about me is a great first step towards increasing my level of privacy.

Oh. One more thing. We were instructed to do something creative such as make software, a board game, an audio or video recording, etc. Having just recently bought a Mac, I’ve become infatuated with Photo Booth. Especially because it has user created backgrounds. I thought, ‘Why Not?’ So I present to you twelve different, slightly artistic (not really) photos of me with different logos of websites that I frequently visit. I used GIMP to fix any MAJOR glitches in Photo Booth’s background process, and I also changed the logo of fan fiction because I wanted the lightbulb to move. It was annoying me. That said… DISCLAIMER. Not one of the background images belong to me. They’re all some kind of site’s personal logos. Enjoy!

I’m going to take a look at my digital footprint. In this case, I’m going to focus on what information about me is publicly available on the internet. I’ll look at it through the lens of how much information about me do you need to start with to find information, and how many results will you get with large amounts of knowledge. I’ll do this with simple searches on Google.

GOOGLE SEARCH TERMS AND YIELDS:

Barbara Lillian Hampton

Barbara L Hampton

Barbara Hampton

Barbara Hampton MD

Barbara Hampton UMD

Barbara Hampton Chesapeake

Barbara Hampton Severna Park

Barbara Hampton Chesapeake High School

http://findarticles.com/p/news-articles/maryland-gazette/mi_8145/is_20090325/honor-roll-chesapeake-school/ai_n51402963/

http://findarticles.com/p/news-articles/maryland-gazette/mi_8145/is_20100306/honor-roll-chesapeake-school/ai_n52905226/

http://maryland-gazette.vlex.com/vid/honor-roll-chesapeake-high-school-64700926

http://maryland-gazette.vlex.com/vid/honor-rolls-chesapeake-high-school-64699718

http://www.mdgazette.com/content/honor-roll-chesapeake-high-school-18

http://www.mdgazette.com/content/honor-roll-chesapeake-high-school-0

Barbara Hampton Severna Park Md

Barbara Hampton University Of Maryland

Barbara Hampton DCC

Barbara Hampton Digital Cultures and Creativity

Barbara Hampton Facebook

Barbara Hampton Pasadena

Barbara Hampton Pasadena Voice

http://www.pasadenavoice.com/school-a-youth/654-eleven-pasadena-students-commended-by-the-national-merit-scholarship-corporation

Barbara Hampton The Capitol

Barbara Hampton Baltimore Sun

Barbara Hampton CHS

Barbara Hampton Vocal Ensemble

http://www.calendarlive.com/business/md-glee-in-schools-pg1116,0,1580939.photogallery?index=3

Barbara Hampton CHS Vocal Ensemble

Barbara Hampton Glee

Barbara Hampton Chorus

Barbara Hampton Fanfiction

Barbara Hampton mylife

Barbi Hampton

http://findarticles.com/p/news-articles/maryland-gazette/mi_8145/is_20110302/chesapeake-school-presents-music/ai_n56993317/

Barbara Hampton CBMS

http://findarticles.com/p/news-articles/maryland-gazette/mi_8145/is_20070328/pasadena-pack-414-holds-annual/ai_n51392853/

Barbara Hampton Chesapeake Bay Middle School

9 Articles in the MD Gazette

http://maryland-gazette.vlex.com/vid/pasadena-chesapeake-presents-upon-mattress-64688299

Barbara Hampton Formspring

Now onto images. How easily can someone use all of those articles and all of that information to discover what I look like?

GOOGLE IMAGES:

Barbara Lillian Hampton

Barbara L Hampton

Barbara Hampton

Barbie Hampton

Barbi Hampton

Barbara Hampton UMD

Barbara Hampton CHS

Barbara Hampton Vocal Ensemble

ONE RESULT

Barbara Hampton Chesapeake

Barbara Hampton Facebook

Barbara Hampton Chesapeake High

ONE RESULT (SAME)

I feel pretty good that there was only one picture result. I’m really glad that my Facebook pictures don’t just pop up for everyone to see on Google images.

So. I know more about me than the average person would, and I know what websites I’ve frequented over the years. Now I’m wondering… If someone knows my common websites, how easy would it be to find information about me?

WEBSITES I FREQUENT:

www.facebook.com

www.xkcd.com

www.neopets.com

www.gmail.com

www.elms.umd.edu

www.umd.edu

www.testudo.umd.edu

WEBSITES I HAVE ACCOUNTS FOR:

www.umd.edu

www.neopets.com

www.facebook.com

www.gmail.com

www.flickr.com

www.twitter.com

www.wordpress.com

www.tumblr.com

www.fanfiction.net

www.deviantart.com

www.shutterfly.com

www.photobucket.com

PROCESS:

Google…

site:(insert site name) Barbara Hampton

RESULTS:

None.

Not very apparently.

CONCLUSION: With the knowledge of my full name, partial name, nickname, school names, group names, articles, state, town, achievements, Facebook, and sites I frequent or have accounts on, google, the main search engine of the internet, yields a total of twenty relevant results and one photo (in two places), none of which allow the pursuer to acquire any more information than they had while making the search except in the case of the photo, where they may not have known what I look like previously (although there are three girls in the picture). Most of the results have nothing to do with me.

However, I often use the same usernames for different accounts. What if someone knew what my most common usernames are? Let us see what happens when I alter the search to my frequent usernames instead of my full name…

GOOGLE:

goeatapointsetta

http://s268.photobucket.com/albums/jj8/goeatapointsetta/?start=all

http://s268.photobucket.com/home/goeatapointsetta

http://www.gaiaonline.com/profiles/goeatapointsetta/13388191/

http://www.iconator.com/profile.php?UserID=1141535

http://www.neopets.com/~mr_thang_69_

http://avatar.starried.net/elivthade/index.php

http://www.hitupmyspot.com/s/index.php?q=GAlinda

http://www.neopets.com/~toujours_pur_xX

http://www.muzic-world.com/Galinda/Images

http://photobucket.com/images/glinda%20and%20elphaba/?page=10

xxsomeonexx:

http://www.fanfiction.net/u/1147520/xXSoMeOneXx

http://xxsomeonexx.deviantart.com/

hintgiver181:

None

blargingatr:

None

Naillilb:

None

kandykats411:

None

broadywayand5th:

http://www.youtube.com/user/Broadwayand5th

blillian375:

None

blillian:

None

…Well. One of those sites even has a picture of me, circa 9th grade. I’m terrified now. Let us check how I fare if I pair the most prolific usernames with the sites…

Looking for any results that didn’t popup with just a username search.

PROCESS:

Google…

site:(insert site name) (insert username)

RESULTS:

goeatapointsetta:

aim: NONE

neopets: NO NEW RESULTS

deviantart: NONE

iconator: NO NEW RESULTS

gaiaonline:

http://www.gaiaonline.com/profiles/slucric3/13404258/?mode=friends

photobucket: NO NEW RESULTS

facebook: NONE

blargingatr:

aim: NONE

xxsomeonexx:

fanfiction:

http://www.fanfiction.net/r/2222131/

http://www.fanfiction.net/r/3234356/

http://m.fanfiction.net/r/3334939/

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3539303/9/Railaddin

deviantart: NO NEW RESULTS

Okay. Not so bad. But still.

CONCLUSION: Even though that last bit wasn’t utterly horrific, I have way too much stuff about me on the Internet. Especially stuff that I don’t even remember. Time to trim my digital footprint.

This should be very interesting. Right, well, let’s get on with it! Step 1: Create a blog. Step 2: Post something. Step 3: Extract meaning from the phrase ‘Digital Footprint’ and turn in an assignment. Good.