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Alan Carroll Media

This is my blog. There are many like it but this one is mine.

Month

September 2015

Secret Exhibition – Scaremail

Artist Benjamin Grosser created this browser extension that fills the user’s email with a story containing known keywords that government agencies, such as the NSA, have been searching for in the public’s personal emails. This ‘story’ acts as a trap for NSA programs like PRISM and XKeyscore, forcing them to look at nonsense.

Scaremail example
An example of a Scaremail e-mail.

I like this idea as it reveals how trivially these government spying techniques can be counteracted. It also serves to remind people that this survillance is still going on and to be aware that their private email may not be private.

Objectified.

As part of my Creative Multimedia course, We watched the documntary Objectified. The film concerns the design process and the habits of designers. Overall, I found the entire documentary very interesting. The three things that interested me most about the documentary were;

  1. The toothpick near the beginning of the film. It had a detatchable piece on the top that, not only signalled to others that the toothpick is used, but also, provided a stand that the toothpick could be rested on that keeps it from touching the table. I liked this design because it’s a very economical design. The piece that breaks off isn’t just discarded, it serves a purpose.
  2. The process of designing the handle of the potato peeler was very interesting. The fact that the inspiration for redesigning it came from a regular conversation and that it wound up being something as simple as putting a rubber bicycle handle on to it and that being the prototype.
  3. I like Marc Newson’s workspace where he just collects various different samples of material that, maybe one day, he’ll use in something. It speaks to always being on the look out for new ideas and new sources of inspiration.

Independence

As part of my Creative Multimedia course, I have to describe what the word ‘independence’ means to me.

To me, the word ‘independence’ means freedom from an overbearing force or influence on your life. This can be something as simple as a student moving away from home for the first time, to something as huge as a country’s populace liberating themselves from an oppressive government.

Independence is important for the individual because it allows the person to grow and develop in their own life. Being independent is both an exciting and scary prospect. It is exciting in that you are finally your own person, able to make decisions for yourself. It is also daunting in that, those decisions you can make have consequences that you are now wholly responsible for.

On a grander scale, a whole population achieving independence can have a great social impact. Even now, with the refugee crisis happening in Europe, thousands of people are fighting to escape the civil war happening in Syria. They are looking for independence from an oppressive regime.

So, independence can mean many different things to many different people but, at the heart of it, independence means the freedom to live your own life.

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