What Goes Up, Must Go…Sideways?

Horizontal and Vertical Interoperability

This makes no sense – side to side, up and down?

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/346988346264542268/
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/346988346264542268/

No matter what way you say it, horizontal and vertical interoperability rings the same dull bell of emptiness. I had no idea what either of these concepts meant until a few weeks ago when we learned about them in class. But, in the light of a midterm dawning right after reading week it is time that I really get a grasp on this concept. Who knows, this question could be the difference between a pass, a fail, an A or a B. So here is a little review/cheat sheet for all of you EID100 students that are cramming, just like me.

Horizontal Interoperability

This form of interoperability can be done without us even noticing that it’s happening. This is when media is moved from one place to the to the other without changing the end goal of the product. Although the media may have different features, the information from the product has not been manipulated throughout the process. A technological example would be moving from a Google Drive to a Word Document (Bless the GoogleDrive). Although the platform is different, on is cloud computing and the other isn’t, the information contained in the media has not been changed or manipulated. Both are still your lecture notes, the words haven’t changed, they are just in a different platform. A real life example would be when you are making toast. Putting in the raw piece of bread and after you take it out – the information is all still the same. It’s still bread, it is still going to be eaten (by me because bread is the most delicious food), but it’s just slightly different.

Vertical Interoperability

What comes up, must come down. However, when that thing comes down there is no way that it can possibly the same, as it was when it went up. This is exactly how it all works out when it comes to vertical interoperability. This happens when the information transitions from one form to another. A technological example would be the movement between Paypal and eBay. One is a sales platform and the other is a payment platform – one is advertising products for purchasing and the other is taking the credit card and payment information. These two systems have to work together, but they both have different end goals. A more real world example would be mixing all the ingredients together – sugar, butter, eggs, flour and baking powder – to create a cookie. When all the variables work together, they are changing the end product by working seamlessly together.

So Diagonal Interoperability?

Just kidding, that would be something. Glad that it’s not quite true. The most important thing to remember when you are trying to understand these concepts is that in horizontal interoperability the end goal is the same but vertical interoperability the final goal changes.

Good luck on all those midterms – to bad we can’t bring Google into the exam room, that would be a treat.

Digitally yours,
BG
Digital Guru

 

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Is That a Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter or Tracking Cookie?

In the 3 dimensional world, keeping tabs on a person’s friends, interests and common hangout places is the work of either an overprotective parent or a psychotic stalker. However in the digital world we all seem to have very little problem with people following us around…

Am I being Digi-Stalked?

This week, I installed the add-on Lightbeam to my Internet browser. Lightbeam monitors all trackers and third party users that your store personal information while on the Internet.

After I updated my computer, (My professor laughed and how behind my computer was…always update your computer, people. Just do it.) Lightbeam has an extremely accessible interface that presents all collected data in a graph or in a list. I would recommend the graph view because it is easier to navigate and highly interactive. When you click on the circular icon representing the site you were on – it shows all external sites that have seen or are stored your information. This was my graph after surfing the net for 20 minutes:

Lightbeam Graph

Look at that! Look at them all! Who are half these sites? I was shocked. I am shocked. People talk about how your personal information is extremely exposed online, but until you see how far your information can carry in only 20 minutes – you have no idea.

I mean, just look at Google – from opening the search engine, three other third party users accessed my information. And the scariest part, is I don’t even know what information they saw. However, when I used DuckDuckGo, an anonymous search engine, no outside sources connected to my computer. So – if you ever want to peruse some content you don’t want tracked, I’d recommend not typing it right into Google.

The fact is – that we are always being watched. Every search you make, website you click or status you post opens your information up to anybody who wants to see it. That one search that you made out of pure curiosity could have put your digital identity at risk and you have no idea how many people are observing you.

What Can I Do?
There are a few things you can do to try and eliminate the digital crumbs that are you are leaving behind from your Internet cookie jar. First, start by clearing any unneeded cookies stored on your computer. This will make your system run faster and decrease your online vulnerability. Here is a YouTube Video to show you how to do that on Safari:

Second, be aware of other options that allow you to be “anonymous” online. You can use different search engines such as DuckDuckGo or Google’s “Go Incognito” option. These two sites will not track your searches or collect your personal information while you’re surfing.
Third, if you are worried or curious about your information – I recommend installing Lightbeam on your computer. This will give you a better awareness of how far your information goes and which sites are not secure.

Digitally Yours,
BG
Digital Guru