2 News from the Web
In this section you will be spending time exploring a number of resources on the Web. As someone who is interested in IT, it is important that you feel confident about keeping up to date with technological developments. The Web is one of your best sources of information and news in this subject area, but you will need to develop a critical eye in order to sift through and analyse the material that you find online.
Activity 3 (exploratory)
There are many computer and technology magazines online. In this activity you will gain skills in finding information online and also gain more knowledge on current issues and debates in the technology world.
Start by skimming through the websites linked below. For each site, have a quick look at the headlines and the beginning of each paragraph to get a feel for what each section is about, rather as you would if you were browsing through a magazine.
Then identify one main news story on each of the sites and write a couple of lines summarising what is being said. If you don't understand what the main story is about, move on to another one that makes more sense to you!
Wired [accessed 3 October 2006]
Computer Weekly [accessed 3 October 2006]
The Register [accessed 3 October 2006]
Below are the main stories that I found when I accessed these three websites on 1 June 2005. Of course the stories will be different when you look at the sites but I hope my comments will give you an idea of the sort of issues you might find.
The main story that caught my eye was one about research being done at the University of Essex, the building of the world's smallest flying web server – a fleet of tiny robotic helicopters which communicate together using Bluetooth creating one entity or 'swarm intelligence'.
The main story was about how EU justice ministers had rejected a plan to get Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to keep information on all transactions for up to 12 months. This included mobile phone calls, text messages and emails. The main objection seemed to be the sheer volume of data that would have to be stored, as well as concerns about civil liberties.
The headline story was about a new virus which was circulating – a variant of a Trojan, called Bagle, that spreads via email messages which appear to have no subject heading or text; it 'harvests' email addresses from the user's own computer, forwarding itself to all of these addresses.