Author: tatskay

Final Project- Exploring the Experience of a Feline Café (Café Chat L’Heureux)

Through a short documentary of my visit on the first cat café in North America, Café Chat L’Heureux, I composed a short interview with the owner of the café, and captured imagery of the space and the felines to explore the concept and effects of détournement of the public space of a coffee house or café. I demonstrate how a café for felines is an interesting example of Lefebvre’s notion of differential space; in this case, a public space that was produced by reconstructing the original idea of a modern day café designed only for human bodies, and how the social atmosphere changes when it is also the home for feline bodies.These changes include regulations that people need to be conscious of that differ from cafés without felines. I explore the ways in which felines enhance the environment and experience of a café for human customers, through the construction and aesthetic atmosphere and rules in the café, as well as the roles that both human and feline bodies play in this public environment when interacting with one another.  

Blog Post 3- Who’s Watching?

“In March 2010, a 31 year old man from California was arrested for spying on a young woman through her webcam” “Since then, there have been thousands of documented cases of what is called webcam hacking”.  

This is a short film created entirely through the use of a webcam, to help demonstrate the dangers of a owning one, and how easily anyone can hack into someone’s computer to spy on people virtually, which ultimately affects them in their physical reality by disrupting the privacy of their space, both online and offline. This removes the ideology that personal computers are a safe private space for their users, rather, there is a growing paranoia that one’s own devices are being used to someone else’s advantage without their knowledge. In this case, to be spied or surveilled on by webcam hackers which raises the question of weather someone can know if they are truly safe simply by being connected to the internet and owning a webcam. This article on BBC News from June 2013 also investigates the accessibility of other people’s computers, which is remarkably easy to do with hundreds of tutorials online: Webcams taken over by hackers, charity warns

CNBC explores the tool Blackshades RAT, which allows people to access and control anyone’s computer, with little expertise and on very low costs: Inside Blackshades: Hackers are watching you on infected webcams

blackshades

Most people who own computers, especially from Apple, have a camera already installed into them, or have purchased a webcam to have more visual conversations with people on private networks such as good old MSN messenger, and Skype. Although these social networks claim to give us control over our security through the settings of our personal accounts, it is very possible if someone is not attentive to their computers or who don’t know any better, especially children, that their webcams are being accessed by a hacker. This can lead to more dangerous cases that involve the hacker and the computer’s owner having a physical interaction, outside of this virtual space.

“John, 16, who lives near London, estimates he has hacked 100 computers and viewed webcams on almost half of them” He says: “I know it is illegal. I wasn’t really looking for anything on their webcams, just their reactions. I’d open up random sites – shock sites – they’d see a scary picture or someone screaming, and you’d see they were scared. There are creepy people who post pictures of female slaves. I’m not really into that.”

One way of knowing whether your webcam is being accessed is if its light turns on, although if you have a microphone connected to your computer as well, there is no way of knowing who can tune in and listen on private conversations. BBC recommends people cover their webcams with a piece of black tape when they are not being used, and have a good anti-virus installed keeping their computer updated, making it more difficult for hackers to take control over their devices. The devious ways in which hackers can retrieve information from you through the mask of the internet, may fool many strangers they are speaking to in chat rooms as well; older sexual predators claiming to be kids is a form of virtual embodiment, as is performing as invisible and watching someone sleep while their camera is on.

By participating in today’s modern virtual spaces, such as Skype for instance, a private social network, and having a webcam which most people do, it shouldn’t be as easy as it is for one’s personal computer to be used against them by an outsider. More effective ways of knowing someone’s private space is no longer private should exist, perhaps by making more reliable and effective anti-malware software free. Otherwise anyone could be under unauthorized surveillance when they are most vulnerable and in their supposedly safe environments. Skype’s security page explains how to avoid hackers, by having a difficult password, keeping Skype up-to-date, avoiding phishing (when a third party attempts to trick you into providing information that they shouldn’t have, such as someone claiming to be a Skype employee asking for private information) and more which you can view on their security page: Skype Security

Question: Would these tools used for surveilling people through their webcams be useful for parental monitoring of children, in order for parents to have better control over their children avoiding the dangers of public chat rooms and viruses at such a young age? Due to existing social networks for children such as Club Penguin, a website my younger brother used to be very active on and made friends with people now outside of the penguin network, is meant for kids and supposedly created through their parent’s email addresses. Typically anyone can partake in this experience and would only appear as a friendly penguin to a young kid, therefore should parents have better surveillance over their children going on social websites like these? Here is a glimpse of what Club Penguin is: 

Sources:

Farman, Jason. (2012). Mobile Interface Theory Ch. 1 “Embodiment and the Mobile Interface” (16-34) London: Routledge.

“Hackers Are Watching You on Infected Webcams.” CNBC. 24 May 2014. Web. 31 Mar. 2015.

“Webcams Taken over by Hackers, Charity Warns.” BBC News. Web. 31 Mar. 2015.

“Protecting Your Online Safety, Security and Privacy.” Skype Security. Web. 31 Mar. 2015.

First Post: Who Am I?!

Hey! Wassup everybody? Hope you don’t mind my cheesy post.

:o)

So yeah, my name is Tatiana Kalantzis… some people call me Tats. I was born and raised in Montreal and have lived here my whole life. Right now I’m spending as much time as I possibly can doing the things that I love, and having fun which to me is the purpose of living. Some of those things are writing songs, freestyle rap-battling, photographing nature, cats, people and shows, keeping a dream journal, kick-boxing, doing yoga and recently started meditating. Oh, and I’m also studying communications for my second year in the field of video production.

Here’s a picture of me with someone else’s cat. My family doesn’t let me have one, it’s a cruel world.

(They’re allergic, they’re nice people).
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My goal for this class is to creatively explore and better understand the connection between our mind/body and how we affect and are affected by the different environments that we are daily situated in or excluded from. I will focus on better understanding the influences of bodies and the creation of spaces by taking different perspectives to consideration and using my own experiences as inspiration. Since I am a very visual person, I am constantly noticing details around me, which is why I am excited to be analysing spaces in order to learn how bodies react in pre-constructed environments.

One of my favourite spaces is the park near my house. It is the place I usually go to if I want to be alone, and if I’m lucky no one is there when I feel that way. I also love going there with friends to have fun, or during serious times, because I just feel so comfortable and at home. Ever since I was a kid I was brought to this park, and I’ve felt connected to it because I’ve had so many memories linked to it growing up. Even though this park is a free and open space, it was still constructed for different purposes and to look the way that it does, which can make it feel less personal, although that is why I found ways to physically make this space my own as well as mentally. The picture below shows a tree that I engraved my initials into 3 years ago, and they are still there. Whenever I walk past this park, I notice the tree and it makes me happy that no one else knows about it (until now).
park

I love the fact that this is a free and open space, because I am instantly accepted into it.  As a kid I would only visit it during the day mostly in the summer. Over the years, I’ve appreciated how beautiful it is at night, because it is lit by pretty street lights and there is a nice view of the sky. The only thing I really dislike is that it is surrounded by houses, therefore making it harder to escape and be alone. I recently went to this park for the first time during the winter, because I knew it would be empty. Since it is such a comfortable space for me, I began to meditate there, and this only helps bring me to a closer relationship with the park in my mind.

5 things faculty do that make learning hard:

  1. When lecturing is the only method of teaching, without incorporating other media.
  2. Being assigned a creative project, yet having to follow specific rules.
  3. Early classes.
  4. When participation is considered discussing things in class. Some people don’t want to share what they think with everyone.
  5.  Florescent lights. No natural light makes the classroom feel depressing.

5 things faculty do that make learning easy:

  1. Using different methods of teaching, and incorporating several forms of media.
  2. Taking time to make sure the material is understood before continuing.
  3. Giving different options for the presentation of a project.
  4. Being in a room that has a lot of windows and possibly plants.
  5. Giving breaks between lectures to stretch and let the information sink in.