A Cultural Database: Country, Community, Connection

A community, a nation of people with knowledge of their own history, with current connection and access to that knowledge in all forms are in control of their own destiny. A cultural database brings information sciences, engineering and a community together by forming a centre for where digital data can be uploaded, described and shared. The consultation process is community led and the initiative is an empowering process for everyone involved, guided by the traditional custodians of that knowledge. A cultural database provides an opportunity for a community to repatriate from individual, private and organisational digital collections world wide. 

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Don Dale: We Are Each Responsible

We collapse as a society when we subsume to a capitalist state of apathetic consumerism. Our collective apathy is a contemporaneous colonialism and when we care only enough to re-share a post in online social media of the atrocities happening in our society, in our prisons, in our communities then we have remained assimilated, mute. As hordes of the population trample gardens in the pursuit of Google controlled Pokemon's, as we push ahead in the queue for sauce smothered hot dogs at the Lego convention, there is a failure, a glitch in the reality fabric of our virtual addicted society if the 2016 Don Dale detention saga that continues to unfurl is seen as an isolated incident.

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Cheating Death: Inflammation, Pain & Living With Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing Spondylitis1 is a medical condition which causes inflammation and pain with a range of symptoms that affect a small percentage of the human population. This short paper provides a personal account of these symptoms and associated musculoskeletal intervention by rheumatologists I have experienced over a thirty year period. The paper seeks to bring awareness as a case example for others to better understand how to recognise, seek medical assistance and manage this debilitating condition which can lead to severe disability. There are no known cures for this condition yet there are many preventative measures which may assist in alleviating often debilitating effects of this condition. Clinical trials (limited AU trials) of the biopharmaceutical Etanercept (also known as Enbrel) are looking promising for Ankylosing Spondylitis. 

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As Life Would Have It

I wont be dying today.

As life would have it, as if by some magical intervention, life has an ongoing plan for me that often does not fit my own idea of a certain reality.

It is cold in this room, this hospital unit. The ringing in my ears is intense as the call for “…Eileen to acute, Luke to acute” arrives muffled, through foam hospital grade earplugs.

My forefinger numb typing letter by letter, my index cradled in a blood oxygen reader connected to its machine parent. The air conditioner plays cold air over my forearms and face. Six dots connected to six cables tell the nurse I am alive over here in this blue curtained cubicle.

Today turning into tonight seeps back out into a winter sky, empty of birds. The TV screen looks at me blankly, silent. The oxygen mask hangs limp waiting its turn to shine.

So it comes to be I explained to the pastoral care worker on his rounds, picking through hopeful lost souls-needing-redemption, that the hospital policy on ‘religion’ needed updating. More room to write ‘Existentialist Humanist’ on their intake triage form.

Last night, clutching my chest and mumbling my birthdate I staggered in through swinging doors to a neon nightmare. Incessant electronic beeps designed to ensure cold comfort matches the many warmed meals on wheels.

Transgender teen, tshirt ripped and slurring “…fuck you all” is manacled to the bed opposite. Proceeds to spit foul fury as her gel haircut falls over blood red eyes.

Baby on the left cackles through croop cough. Mother mania howls at the moon hard right every ten minutes like a rooster lost of a perch in night light.

As the plastic arm cuff swells to within a barely audible gasp on my arm I lay exhausted. Reflecting on two days of torment from a hospital stay prior I gather my wits.

Yes they did pick me up in an ambulance. Yes, I was administered the wrong medication and yes, as if in shock, I mumble to myself that it did almost kill me.

As the memories cascade like a waterfall heavy with volume a stillness descends and clarity shines through. This is just another magic moment.

A mere fragment of a life lived. A crowd of children to hug. A partner stopped with worry, exhausted, whispers “…I love you” through weary lips.

Life has a plan for today as it does for tomorrow and any day thereafter. Despite how we plan it every moment has its own moment of glory and no matter how many ways we seek to frame it, slips.

With the dissapointers starved of oxygen, as my evening meals sits steaming a new night on ward A2, a night filled with new surprises awakes.

Daylight will bring warmth. The night staff will handover and another chunk of life will present itself to be lived.

As life would have it, today is as tomorrow and the next is to the one before.

To be lived.

This is also published over at https://medium.com/@alexanderhayes/as-life-would-have-it-d29b7c72b26e#.68ymhu5cw

On Country: Aboriginal Communities, Mining & Artificial Intelligence

Autonomous vehicles have had a profound impact across the global mining sector, providing efficiency dividends and safety records that were once considered as one further failsafe against a downturn of the Australian economy. Fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) workers though have already witnessed a shift in their employment status as virtual reality, artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles make capable sensing an environment and navigating with little or no human input. As radar, lidar, GPS, odometry and computer vision technologies meld with machinery, a very real threat is now facing Australian Aboriginal communities, that of cyborg CEO consortia from afar operating fleets of autonomous vehicles taking resources off country.

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Real Story

From as early as I can recall, I have struggled to comprehend how one human can treat another without empathy or care, in some cases purposefully compromising another person's well being. I soon discovered that for those who are strong enough, life presents challenges for us to endure, to work through and to grow our character. As luck would have it I was presented with experiences over three decades that have forged who I am, now spoken, no longer solely dictating my thoughts nor eroding my trust in others. In my case, writing this story has enabled me to get back my story - to regain my dignity, draw boundaries with others, to speak out in the hope that I can inspire others to tell their story and to keep on sharing it widely - always. The greatest gift we can give is in listening with empathy to others. To trust is the greatest gift we can give ourselves.

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Technology, Aboriginal Communities and Oppression

The grasp on Aboriginal sovereignty is no longer just about retaining rights to their own land. The most brutal form of dispossession is the latest forms of data retention, increased lack of privacy and unwarranted use of this personal data as a result of activities being collected, analysed and intelligently manipulated from entities geographically elsewhere all thanks to the Internet.

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In The Night Garden

Biometric recording and analysis as a function and feature of user engagement in children's games are now common and everyday. Corporations now routinely harvest user information to provide services and features that offer users a better experience or upgrades to their existing user experience. These electronic games are often networked and / or internet connected to data analysis services.

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Uberveillance: where wear and educative arrangement

The intensification and diversification of surveillance in recent decades is now being considered within a contemporary theoretical and academic framework. The ambiguity of the term 'surveillance' and the surreptitiousness of its application must now be re-considered amidst the emergent concept of Uberveillance. This chapter presents three cases of organisations that are currently poised or already engaging in projects using location-enabled point-of-view wearable technologies. 

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Scenarios for peer-to-peer learning in construction with emerging forms of collaborative computing

Many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Europe are interested in finding new methods of training and workplace learning. Technology-enhanced practices of peer-to-peer learning may offer various new possibilities for SMEs. In this study we consider emerging technologies for informal learning in construction work. These technologies include wearable computing, invisible and ambient computing, augmented reality and novel interaction technologies. Three preliminary scenarios presented in this paper demonstrate how these technologies may be used. These scenarios have been developed, with a focus on the use of technology within a community supporting peer-to-peer learning, that may negate some of the social concerns of wearable and ubiquitous technologies. The inclusion of the construction workers in the design process, combined with smart design, is expected to find acceptable and fair solutions. It remains to be seen whether construction industry work communities will support this assertion.

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Uberveillance and the Social Implications of Microchip Implants: Emerging Technologies

In addition to common forms of spatial units such as satellite imagery and street views, emerging automatic identification technologies are exploring the use of microchip implants in order to further track an individual’s personal data, identity, location, and condition in real time. Uberveillance and the Social Implications of Microchip Implants: Emerging Technologies presents case studies, literature reviews, ethnographies, and frameworks supporting the emerging technologies of RFID implants while also highlighting the current and predicted social implications of human-centric technologies. This book is essential for professionals and researchers engaged in the development of these technologies as well as providing insight and support to the inquiries with embedded micro technologies.

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Identity Awareness and Re-use of Research Data in Veillance and Social Computing

Identity awareness of research data has been introduced as a requirement for open research, transparency and reusability of research data in the context of eScience. This requirement includes the capability of linking research data to researchers, research projects and publications, and identifying the license for the data. This connectivity between research data and other elements in research ecosystems is required in order to make the data available and reusable beyond the initial research. In this paper, we examine these capabilities in the domains of veillance and social computing. The dataset cases presented in this paper articulate the challenges that researchers face as they seek to expose data created as a result of research activities.

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Living in a Smart World: People As Sensors

Two University of Wollongong academics are playing key roles in a major overseas symposium which features the pioneer of wearable computing, Professor Steve Mann, and a person recognised as the ‘Father of Artificial Intelligence’, Professor Marvin Minsky. Steve Mann will be the general chair of the 2013 IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS13) taking place in Toronto, Canada from 27-29 June. The theme of this conference is SmartWorld. SmartWorld includes smart people -- not just smart grids, smart infrastructure, smart homes, smart cars or smart appliances. Associate Professor Katina Michael from UOW’s School of Information Systems and Technology is the program chair of ISTAS13. “Smart people interacting with smart infrastructure means that intelligence is driving decisions,” Professor Michael said.

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The Art Of Google Glass

The future is uncertain but one thing we can be sure of is that it’s coming at us in an accelerating rush. The geeky Google Glass that not so long ago seemed impractical and improbable is now less than a year away from stores. Hyped or not, people are fast developing opinions about something very few know all that much about. Artists and arts workers are no different. Some see the Glass half full and others see it half empty. Paul Isbel from ArtsHub speaks with Alexander Hayes, PhD. candidate at the University of Wollongong in the likelihood of Google Glass becoming a "normal" technology, in the workplace and even in our classroom settings.

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Are we ready to live in an Uberveillance society ?

When Google Glass hits stores later this year, not only will it transform sunglasses from fashion accessory to wearable technology, it will cause a social revolution, says IEEE Technology & Society Magazine editor in chief, Associate Professor Katina Michael. The Sci-Fi-looking, internet-connected eyewear can do everything a mobile phone can do (and more) with a simple voice command. Beyond the obvious functions – snapping photos, recording video, send text messages and searching the internet – some of the most exciting uses include biofeedback (monitor your heart rate on your morning run), instruction (stream step-by-step video tutorials) and navigation (map out a route to the other side of the city or out of IKEA). But Associate Professor Michael warns we are fast approaching an “Uberveillance” society. The next wave of innovations, she predicts, might even be implantable cameras – that are always on. “Wearable devices like Google Glass allow users to record events and share them with members of their social network in near-real time. Users can also take photos, record audio and video and even store an image for automatic facial detection of their contact list. The possible apps are endless.”

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