Gb86’s Weblog

A lot of people never use their initiative because no-one told them to.
November 10, 2008, 7:03 pm
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” I’m going to speak my mind, so this won’t take very long.

Despite what they say graffiti is not the lowest form of art. Although you might have to creep about at night and lie to your mum it’s actually one of the more honest art forms available. There is no elitism or hype, it exhibits on the best walls a town has to offer and nobody is put off by the price of admission.

A wall has always been the best place to publish your work.

The people who run our cities don’t understand graffiti because they think nothing has the right to exist unless it makes a profit, which makes their opinion worthless.

They say graffiti frightens people and is symbolic of the decline in society, but graffiti is only dangerous in the mind of three types of people; politicians, advertising executives and graffiti writers.

The people who truly deface our neighbourhoods are the companies that scrawl giant slogans across buildings and buses trying to make us feel inadequate unless we buy their stuff. They expect to be able to shout their message in your face from every available surface but you’re never allowed to answer back. Well, they started the fight and the wall is the weapon of choice to hit them back.

Some people become cops because they want to make the world a better place. Some people become vandals because they want to make the world a better looking place. ”

Source: Banksy, Wall and Piece (2006)


January 15, 2009, 10:12 pm
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The Mobile phone phenomenon
January 15, 2009, 8:15 pm
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The technology of the mobile phone has significantly changed from the early 70’s when the first one was made by Dr Martin Cooper who at the time was working for Motorola.


In 1973 when he created the first mobile phone using just a portable headset, he made his first calls to his rivals Bell Labs and Joel Engel, who all three were racing to get this invention, the first ever mobile phone call was made walking down the streets of New York, and was witnessed in front of a journalist.




The first mobile phones were called 1-G’s, although they were only refereed as radiophones and were based on just analogue signal, unlike the phones we have today which all run now digitally.


After 1-G, 2-G came out which then introduced us to text messaging and voice service.  These 2-G phones were release in the late 90’s, which have text messaging and voice service they also had WAP Internet access.

We then move on to the benefits of the 2-G phone, most of them used lower radio signals which used less battery power, this meant that batteries could be charged, last longer, and also become much lighter as time went on. 

The name 2.5-G is used to refer to the phone technology that is post 2-G, but not quite 3-G.  However, while the terms 2-G and 3-G are officially defined, the term 2.5-G is not.  In fact, this term was invented for marketing purposes only.




The earliest 3-G commercial mobile phone was released in May 2001 in Japan, as the 3-G phone was getting popular; it was commercially released in October 2001.

From the invention of 3-G mobile technology, it has changed our lifestyles in contacting each other now, without sending letters or e-mails, it is now quicker to send a text now, and also a quick telephone call, also you can now go on the Internet with some of the recent phones that have come out, such as the iPhone which was brought out by Apple, this phone had the same technology that you get on a laptop, you can have Internet access easily, you can download music, games, photos onto this phone.




From the first 1-G phone that was invented in 1973, a lot has changed along the years, mobile phones have got faster, smaller and bigger, and more you can do on a phone, and keep in touch with anyone what ever time of day it is, over the next 10 years mobile phone are going to keep changing, and with technology getting better and better as the years go by, no one knows what they are going to be like in 2020, only time can tell.

Blu ray, HD and the PS3
January 12, 2009, 4:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

What exactly is Blu-ray? 

“It is the name of a next-generation optical disc format jointly developed by the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA).  The format was developed to enable recording, rewriting and playback of high-definition video (HD), as well as storing large amounts of data.  The format offers more than five times the storage capacity of traditional DVDs and can hold up to 25GB on a single-layer disc and 50GB on a dual-layer disc.  This extra capacity combined with the use of advanced video and audio codecs will offer consumers an unprecedented HD experience.”  (

The reason why it is called Blu-ray is due to the laser which reads the disk being blue as apposed to the normal DVD laser reader being red.  By using a blue laser it means that the precision of it is higher, thus, enabling the disk to have more data on it but still the disk is just the same size as a regular DVD. 

What is HD?

HD stands for high definition, “HD is the latest in a long line of major improvements in television technology, which has moved from black-and-white analogue to wide-screen colour digital over the last 50 years.

HD gives you exceptionally clear, crisp pictures with vivid colours and up to five times more detail than standard definition.  HD provides a massive improvement in picture resolution, creating more vibrant images and an immersive viewing experience.”



At the least, HDTV has twice the linear resolution of standard-definition television (SDTV), thus showing greater detail than either analog television or regular DVD.  The technical standards for broadcasting HDTV also handle the 16:9 aspect ratio images without using letter-boxing or anamorphic stretching, thus increasing the effective image resolution.

The optimum format for a broadcast depends upon the type of video-graphic recording medium used and the image’s characteristics.  The field and frame rate should match the source and the resolution.  A very high resolution source may require more bandwidth than available in order to be transmitted without loss of fidelity.  The lossy compression that is used in all digital HDTV storage and transmission systems will distort the received picture, when compared to the uncompressed source.


The Playstation3 (PS3) is the newest console to be brought onto the market.  It competes with the Microsoft XBox 360 and the Nintendo Wii in the seventh generation of video game consoles.

A major feature of the PS3 that distinguishes it apart from the others is that it has an online gaming network known as the Playstation Network.  In this network users are able to make their own character, similar to that in the Sims, and walk around a virtual world chatting to other users all over the world.  Another of its features is that it is the only console which is compatible with the Blu-ray disk.

The iPods are taking over?
December 20, 2008, 7:14 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized


The iPod. 

A revolutionary piece of technology. 

The product was developed in less than one year and unveiled on 23 October 2001.  With the first one having a 5GB hard-drive that put “1,000 songs in your pocket.”  Many people weren’t keen on this new technology as the price tag was high and it was only compatible with the mac system, but as they updated the systems and added new technology to it more and more people became interested and because of this the price came down and they then made the iPod compatible with Windows.

So we had the first generation iPod enabling users to have 1,000 songs in their pocket, the second generation enabling Windows users use of the new technology, now onto the third generation.  Apple added buttons to the iPod, a docking connector and the use of a USB connection.

The iTunes Music Store (iTMS) was announced in the summer of 2003 and opened days later.  Now, the iPod had a fully legal supply of content, and made it easier for Apple to rationalize cutting the price of the iPod now that it had another revenues source.

Next came the iPod mini, the mini was based on a Hitachi drive the same size of the new Toshiba drive, and it had a capacity of 4 GB.  In homage to the iMac, the mini was available in five different colors: blue, green, pink, silver, and gold.  Because of its size, the controls of the iPod had to be rearranged to fit on the mini.  The function buttons were moved to the scroll wheel.  A second generation iPod mini was introduced in February 2005 with a new chipset, much longer battery life (18 hours vs. 8 hours), and a 6 GB version was added.  The unpopular gold finish was discontinued.


In September 2004, two rumors emerged from Cupertino.  The first revolved around Apple stockpiling small, color LCD panels.  The entire industry speculated that Apple would release a PDA or video iPod.  The second was based on quantity flash memory purchases Apple made in large capacities (the hard drive-based iPod used only 32 MB of flash memory).  Both rumors proved somewhat correct – Apple released the color iPod photo in October, and the iPod shuffle followed in January 2005.

The iPod photo was identical to an ordinary iPod, but it had a larger battery and more hard drive capacity in addition to a color display.  The device did not play movies, but users could browse photo albums. It also showed album covers for songs while they played.

Next came the iPod shuffle. 

“Contradicting an earlier statement made by Jobs scoffing at the flash-based MP3 market, Apple released its first flash-based MP3 player on January 11, 2005.  The new player was the size of a pack of gum and cost for $99 (for the 512 MB version).  This made it a great value among MP3 players, with most comparably priced players providing half the capacity.

In order to keep the price of the device down, Apple scrapped the scroll wheel and LCD display.  Without that interface, Apple hyped the device’s shuffle mode.”


The iPod nano, introduced in September 2005, was designed in a little less than a year as the successor to the iPod mini – and it’s tiny!  It was designed to mimic the look of hard drive-based players, but it’s quite different on the inside.  It utilizes high capacity flash memory for its file storage, and it has a brand new scroll wheel manufactured by Apple. 

After the release of the nano, the mini and the shuffle iPod had a bit of an overhaul.  They brought out new colours more memory and revamps of their already thriving stock but then came the big one.

The iPhone. 

Another aspect of the iPod craze are the cool adverts that they bring out with every new model that they launch.  You can always tell an iPod advert apart from the rest because of their sleek designs and bright colours with their catchy music over the top. 

As well as the catchy adverts on the television Apple also have visualy stunning posters and billboards as well. 


Social Networking
November 15, 2008, 4:17 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Social Networking is something that near enough everybody takes a part in these days.  With sites like “Myspace”, “Facebook” and “Bebo” everyone can make a profile and log on to view what their friends are up to.  Making a profile on sites like these is very simple, all you need is a valid email address and your already on your way!


Social Networking sites focus on building online communities of people who share the same interests and activities, or they focus on people who are interested in the activities of others.  Most, if not all Social Networking sites are web based so that they can provide a way of communicating with each other either via email or a built in chat system.

Social Networking has created new ways to communicate and share information, websites like these are being used regularly by millions of people, and it now seems that Social Networking will be an enduring part of everyday life.  The main types of Social Networking services are those which contain directories of some categories (such as former classmates), means to connect with friends and recommended systems linked to trust.  Popular methods now combine many of these, with “MySpace” and “Facebook” being the most widely used.


popular_social_networking_a, November 9, 2007

The image above shows the main uses of Social Networking sites.  As you can see the main uses are downloading and uploading music and videos and messaging services, with quizzes being the least used service on such sites. 

Early social networking websites included “” (1995), focusing on ties with former school mates, and “” (1997), focusing on indirect ties.  User profiles could be created, messages sent to users held on a “friends list” and other members could be sought out who had similar interests to yours in their profiles.  Whilst these features had existed in some form before “” came about, this would be the first time these functions were available in one package.  Despite these new developments (that would later catch on and become immensely popular), the website simply wasn’t profitable and eventually shut down.  It was even described by the website’s owner as “simply ahead of its time.”  Two different models of Social Networking that came about in 1999 were trust-based, developed by “”, and friendship-based, such as those developed by Jonathan Bishop and used on some regional UK sites between 1999 and 2001.  Innovations included not only showing who is “friends” with whom, but giving users more control over content and connectivity.  Between 2002 and 2004, three social networking sites emerged as the most popular form of these sites in the world, causing such sites to become part of mainstream users globally. First there was “Friendster” (which Google tried to acquire in 2003), then “MySpace” and finally “Bebo”.  By 2005 “MySpace” emergent as the biggest of them all, was reportedly getting more page views than “Google”  and in 2004 saw the emergence of “Facebook”, a competitor, also rapidly growing in size.  In 2006, “Facebook” opened up to the non US college community, and together with allowing externally-developed add-on applications, and some applications enabled the graphing of a user’s own social network – thus linking social networks and social networking, became the largest and fastest growing site in the world, not limited by particular geographical followings.

Social Networking began to flourish as a component of business Internet strategy at around March 2005 when “Yahoo” launched “Yahoo! 360°”.  In July 2005 News Corporation bought “MySpace”, followed by “ITV” (UK) buying “Friends Reunited” in December 2005.  Various social networking sites have sprung up catering to different languages and countries.  It is estimated that combined there are now over 200 social networking sites using these existing and emerging social networking models, without counting the niche social networks (also referred to as vertical social networks) made possible by services such as “Ning” and “KickApps”.

Locked Keys

Many people say that Social Networking sites are unsafe and that it is very easy for you to become a victim of identity theft.  This is partly true but only if you give out certain information through the sites, for example, your email address could be used to hack into your account especially if you have other personal information on there as well in order for them to take over your account.  People can use your email address to pretend that they are you and pretend that they have forgotten their password.  All they need is your email address, your location and the answer to your secret question.  But for most people this is normally a very simple question to answer, such as your first school or first pet.    

The good points of using Social Networking sites such as these are that you can keep in contact with all your old friends from school, college, university or even just make friends with people you think sound interesting. 

People use sites like these to contact many people at once, for example a bulletin which gets sent out to everyone in their contact list.  This could be to invite them to a party or to tell them all something important.  Another good use of sites like these is to keep in contact with people who are all over the world, travelling for example, or if you have met people while away on holiday.  Another reason could be a college or university lecturer wanting to get in contact with their students to tell them about an important meeting or maybe to tell them that a lecture has been moved or cancelled.  Another good point about Social Networking sites is that you can build up a network of people who all share an interest in say, Film and TV, you can meet people who are friends with other people in that business and gain more knowledge and build up a vast number of contacts for future referencing. 

But to every upside there has to be a down.  There are also a number of bad points to using Social Networking sites.  People can pretend to be someone that they are not, people can access such sites from schools, colleges and the workplace meaning that they are not focusing on the task in hand.  People can use such sites to bully other people, for example making a profile in their name, pretending to be them and posting lots of bad photos, information and embarrassing stories about them.  People can easily sabotage other peoples homepages by hacking into them, from this they can go on to gain a lot of information about that person or just use it against them. 

Another bad point about Social Networking sites is that people can accept others as a friend even if they don’t actually like them, they may only be doing it so that they can be nosey and keep tabs on what they are doing and who they are talking to.  Many people also only add people as friends just because of the photos that they have up on their page.  They will have many photos of them wearing next to nothing so to attract a certain type of person. 

Banksy in the news
November 10, 2008, 7:22 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized