FEATURE Blog from CK

GOSSIP GIRL

Most of us are familiar with Gossip Girl, a TV series about the fabulous and scandalous lives of New York’s Upper East Side. We love the show because it’s sexy, dramatic, fashionable and something we can relate to when it gets down to relationships, friendship and family drama. So what does Gossip Girl have to do with GENinc? Directly-nothing. But regarding women and technology-everything. The entire show and books, for that matter, revolve around a website – Gossip Girl. Basically, whether you read the book or watch the show, something will happen or is suspected of happening between people, friends, couples, families and jobs of New York’s elite, and it will be posted on the website for everyone to see. This is where events are posted and where private events become public. Gossip girl is accessible by website, obviously, or every time a juicy new post is up, it alerts everyone on their cell phone where they can directly read it.

The importance of one of the thousands aspects of technology is evident here – a website. Through Gossip Girl we see how influential posts and blogs are. Getting back to the show, regular people will buy what the rich kids on the site are buying, will act how they’re acting on the site and will look up to the same few always mentioned on the site. Whether good or bad, Gossip Girl is a role model where the viewers go to find out what’s in, what’s out, what’s new and so on. And of course if something’s in they’ll buy or do it, just like if something’s out it’s garbage. It’s where characters like Jenny Humphrey, a lower class freshman, will start stealing and developing an attitude just to be like those girls always mentioned on Gossip Girl and get with the boys mentioned on the site.

We at home watch this for similar reasons the characters obsess with the site. It’s influential. The actors are always wearing the latest fashion-showing us what’s in. And the relationships guide us with our real life ones. If Dan and Serena broke up and Serena accepts it but still finds herself hurting, and in real life a similar situation occurs we find ourselves relating and feeling normal. Or how bitchy and jealous the girls are at school, we watch the show and always relate to one of the characters and see how the character develops. And we may or may not realise it but in some way or another we act in our real lives somewhat based on the lives of the TV characters we relate to.

All this just to say, here is one way how something as simple as an internet site can have the influence it does, on the girls and boys shown in Gossip Girl as well as the viewers and readers.

XOXO

CK

Note from GEN: CK is our new feature writer and a long-time friend. She’s passionate about fashion and has recently discovered a passion for technology. Let’s face it. Anyone can shop online.

😉

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September 30, 2010 at 12:48 pm Leave a comment

TKP in Washington 07-11-10

Check the footage intro!!

July 13, 2010 at 12:41 pm Leave a comment

TK(girls)P is a success!

TKP or Teaching Kids Programming or TK(girls)P just held an/the event today at Microsoft’s Chevy Chase offices in Washington D.C.!

It was an absolute success!

19 girls in the morning session and 36 in the afternoon session – outstanding numbers for a class that usually is limited to 20 girls.

The girls (and a couple boys) were outstanding. Not only did they follow the Small Basic recipes but they would go ahead and test them in ways that I hadn’t even tried! Some girls went into decimals, for example 0.002, and came up with completely different images.

It was really exciting to see girls who were definetly encouraged by their parents to come, connect with new girls and bond over programming. Nevermind shopping and movies – altering code and seeing the results excited them so much they couldn’t stop chatting!!

My two favorite questions from the event are:

1) Can we do this over a week? (3 hour session turned into 5 days!)

2) How can I be an instructor? I’ll do anything. My mom will drive me anywhere!

My two next goals:

1) Broadcast this event as far as possible and show everyone what can happen between 56 girls, a 17-year-old, and Microsoft’s Small Basic.

2) Hold events in Montreal, NYC, Pensylvania, and L.A.

If you have a school or location that you would like an event to be held at  – message me at gen@geninc.tv

The photos from the event are available on GenINC’s facebook page!

And the footage will be pieced together soon!

Gen

Logging Out.

July 12, 2010 at 4:27 am Leave a comment

Highlights from the US Imagine Cup!

July 4, 2010 at 7:56 pm Leave a comment

Justin Timberlake is Sean Parker, this is the Facebook Effect

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1285016/

The Social Network, also known as the Facebook Movie, is to be released later this year with Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg and Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker.

The movie is set to be released for October 1, 2010.

The slogan is “You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies”

Video blog coming soon.

July 2, 2010 at 3:33 pm Leave a comment

Google “600GB of personal data”

Once upon a time, there was this little search engine. It’s most recent project was to use “Street View” vehicles to snap pictures to add more precisecontent to their Maps utility.

Except those same vehicles were using Wi-Fi discovery software called Kismet, to allow the search engine to automatically collect information about wireless networks, like the ones behind looked doors (inside people’s homes).

They collected about 600 gigabytes of data, about the same as 600 movies downloaded from the iTunes store. Some of this information includes whether the routes are encrypted or not. It also could include things like credit card numbers, bank account data, texts from personal chat sessions, email or personal photos.

Supposedly though, mapping people’s private wireless networks was the only goal.

If they managed to walk away with 600GB of personal data because of a bug in their system that they company was unaware of (other than the programmer of the rogue software and/or hacker) it begs the question of what else this search engine has missed or is unaware of?

The software to capture Wi-Fi data in neighbourhoods across Canada is called Kismet and the search engine that was infected with a rogue software running in tandem with Kismet, is Google.

Another piece of the story which (up till now) I had forgotten is that Kismet, while used primarily by network administrators, is also used by hackers who participate in “War Driving”.

War driving: People ride through neighbourhoods looking for networks that are free so they can hop on and access the internet. Sort of like leaving the sprinkler on and having random people come by with buckets to fill up. That’s water that you’ve paid for, like the Wi-Fi and router is your privately owned equipment.

This is a major problem since many people do not have encryptions on their wireless home networks.

Apparently the whole point of mapping people’s home networks was to improve Google’s geolocation services as an alternative to GPS. Therefore the unique ID of a wireless router will help locate a person’s home on a map – making it public infrastructure.

Something definitely upsetting Canada’s privacy commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart.

In essence, Vito Pilieci (the writer) argues that the issue boils down Goggle’s initiative to create an alternative to GPS by piggybacking on private Wi-Fi networks.

The government will be dealing more closely with newly risen questions such as

  • Should any tech company be able to derive a benefit and turn a profit by piggybacking on a service on privately owned equipment?

(Information thanks to the Vito Pilieci of Gazette)

June 29, 2010 at 6:59 pm Leave a comment

Bazinga!

The Gazette recently published an article about one of my favourite TV shows.. If the title didn’t give it away, I’m sorry to say you have been deprived of the best nerd humour offered on television – ever.

Additionally, it’s not only priceless but the scripts are sent to David Saltzberg, a professor of astrophysics at the University of California for scientific approval. On one occasion, the script was even sent to him in Antarctica where he was conducting experiments in particle research.

The Big Bang Theory is riding a “wave of popularity and adulation”.

  • It consistently place in the Top 10 in the weekly ratings, in both the U.S. and Canada.
  • It is one of the very few programs that performs almost as well in reruns as it does in first-run episodes.
  • It is respected, as well as loved, and has the Emmy, Golden Globe, and TV Critics Association nominations and wards to prove it.

When Jim Parsons (Sheldon Cooper) arrives at Comic-Con, he starts riots.

Forget Justin Bieber – Cooper is adorable, funny, and wickedly intelligent.

I’d like to congratulate them on taking something only seen as properties belonging to extra-terrestrial creatures, bringing it to everyday life, and having universal appeal.

Gen

“With the friendship clause of our roommate agreement nullified, you are no longer entitled to accompany me to go swimming at Bill Gates house should I be invited.”

Sheldon Cooper ❤

June 29, 2010 at 5:37 pm Leave a comment

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