Thursday, March 22, 2007

Tutorial 4.. Lecture and tasks

Well, another week is almost over.. can hardly believe it!

Good news.. I no longer have a 4-hr break on Fridays! Paid a visit to Student Admin and have now swapped my tute to 1-3! A 2-hr break i can handle, 4 hours i can not!

This week has proved the most busiest by far.. I'm beginning to realise that starting my assignments earlier would not have been such a bad idea..

But seeing as though i haven't, stress is becoming an increasingly more common word in my vocabulary and means my weekend activities will consist of work and study. Joy.

Anyway, the lecture this week was by far the best yet! I really enjoyed listening to Katie and .... (sorry i forgot her name) give an insight into a career in PR. It was really interesting to listen to an certainly made me consider the pros and cons of the job.

Alphaville confirmed my worst fears from last week... yes, i had no idea what was going on.. while i found it more interesting than the 1st half of the movie, I'm still quite unsure of the actual message behind the film and basically just whats it's really all about.

Anyway, our tutorial tasks for this week are as follows:

Scavenger Hunt:
1. . What is the weight of the world's biggest pumpkin?
The largest pumpkin ever grown is 1,502 pounds. It was grown by Ron Wallace of Greene, Rhode Island. It was weighed in on October 7, 2006 at the Rhode Island Weigh-off. (

2. What is the best way (quickest, most reliable) to contact Grant Hackett?

3. What is the length of a giraffe's tongue?
A giraffe’s tongue can be extended up to 45 centimetres long (

4. How would you define the word 'ontology'? In your own words, what does it really mean?
Ontology is the branch of metaphysics that studies the nature of existence or being as such. ( It is basically a description of a relationship that exists for some reason or another.

5. What was David Cronenberg's first feature film?
Cronenberg's first effort was a 1966 short film called "Transfer," about a psychiatrist being stalked by a patient (

6. When was the original 'Hacker's Manifesto' written?
January 8, 1986 (

Why do all phone numbers in Hollywood films start with '555'?
it was agreed between the TV/Film industry and telcos, to 'reserve' the 555 prefix and NOT assign it to phone numbers, to save people being hassled by kids/cranks/whatever, in case the screen phone number, turned out to be an actual one. (

8. What is the cheapest form of travel from Crete to Rhodes?
By boat, they are both different islands and therefore mean crossing water (

9. What song was top of the Australian Pop Charts this week in 1965?
week ending 27th March, I'll never find another you by The Seekers (

10. Which Brisbane band includes Stephen Stockwell on keyboards and vocals?Punk band, the Black Assassins (

11. What is a search engine?
A program that searches documents for specified keywords and returns a list of the documents where the keywords were found. Although search engine is really a general class of programs, the term is often used to specifically describe systems like Alta Vista and Excite that enable users to search for documents on the World Wide Web and USENET newsgroups.
Typically, a search engine works by sending out a spider to fetch as many documents as possible. Another program, called an indexer, then reads these documents and creates an index based on the words contained in each document. Each search engine uses a proprietary algorithm to create its indices such that, ideally, only meaningful results are returned for each query. (

12. How do search engines rank the stuff they find on the Internet?
Pages listed are ones which contain text matching the search term. These are sorted in some kind of relevance order, usually based on the number of times the search terms appear, and whether they're in a title or header (

13.who, or what, makes one page (that you might get in your search results) more useful than another one, so that it is put at the top of your search results?
To get a top spot on the search engine your site must be "optimised" for the search engine.Optimization used to mean adding "keyword metatags" to your site header. This practice is virtually ignored by most search engines. You now need to use sentences to describe what the page is about. A picture is worth 1000 words, but of the search engine cannot see your picture, then it is not worth a thing.Optimising your website using search engine optimization means that you must make your website easily navigable by humans, so that humans can find what they are looking for quickly. The search engine algorithms, or programs, are built to promote sites that do this, and they do this using search engine rules. (

14.what are some of your favourite search engines? why do you like one more than others?
I only ever use Google.. except for when I'm forced to use another one like today lol
It's just so easy to use and helps me with everything! I love it!

15.Can you find some current news stories about search engines? (for example, Google has been in the technology news a bit lately).

Court to hear Google-newspaper fight

By Aoife White, The Associated Press

BRUSSELS — A Belgian court on Friday will hear Google's defense against local newspaper complaints that it stole content from their websites without paying them or asking their permission.
This will be the first time Google argues its case after the Brussels-based Court of First Instance ordered the California-based company to remove Belgian French-language newspaper content from its news index, threatening daily fines of 1 million euros ($1.28 million).
Google failed to appear at an earlier hearing that led up to that ruling and asked for another opportunity to defend itself against the charges made by Copiepresse, a copyright protection group representing the country's French-language editors.
Copiepresse had claimed that Google ignored its original requests to remove content. It said it had a much happier experience with Microsoft's MSN Belgian site, entering talks to find a solution.
Google's French- and Dutch-language Belgian news pages are now empty of much local content, largely containing reports from news agencies, news websites and foreign newspapers.
Google spokeswoman Jessica Powell said the company had complied with the ruling when it received it in mid-September, stripping out Belgian newspaper content from Google News and publishing the entire text of the judgment on its home page.
"We're glad to have the opportunity to argue the substance," she said. "We think that search engines are real benefit to publishers and drive valuable traffic to their websites."
The popular news site features small photos and excerpts from news reported elsewhere with links to entire articles hosted on news providers' own websites.
Google said its service is lawful and drives traffic to newspaper sites because people need to click through to the original publisher to read the full story. It now displays stories from news agencies, foreign newspapers and Internet sites belonging to local television stations.
Powell said the Internet search company strenuously tries to give newspapers the opportunity to be excluded from the site if they want, by telling the robots.txt information gatherer to avoid certain content and also by alerting Google directly if they want to keep their content off the site.
The company also tried to calm publishers' fears this month by releasing Sitemaps, a tool that aims to give websites more control over what content they do or don't want included in Google News. It is currently only available to English-language publishers.
Newspapers are working in a similar direction with the World Association of Newspapers launching a year-long project to help websites decide what they want listed in search engines.
Google News, which debuted in 2002, scans thousands of news outlets and highlights the top stories under common categories such as world and sports. Many stories carry a small image, or thumbnail, along with the headline and the first sentence or two. Visitors can click on the headline to read the full story at the source website.
The French news agency AFP sued Google for at least $17.5 million (13.8 million euros) in damages in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., arguing that the Google service adds little value because its news site looks much like those of AFP subscribers, albeit one where software and not human editors determine the placement of stories on a page.
Separately, Google has agreed to pay The Associated Press for stories and photographs. Neither Google nor New York-based AP have disclosed financial terms or other details because of a non-disclosure agreement. (

Ideas for Essay:
The evolution of mobile based text communication

Broad overview of mass media. Discusses the ways in which mass media has transformed and the ways in which it can indoctrinate societies' views through things like SMS.

With an estimated 15 billion SMS messages being sent throughout the world every month, SMS, or text messaging, has proved extremely popular within society. Technologies like SMS prove new communication technologies are ever changing and are an important part of the media culture. A NEW STANDARD FOR TOMORROW, READY FOR TODAY!

How Nokia changed the face of the mobile phone and mobile usability.

Such articles will provide background knowledge necessary for preparing my essay.

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