Archive for July, 2013

Is Edward Snowden a hero or traitor? July 19th, 2013

In my opinion, I think it is not fair for us to simply conclude Edward Snowden is a hero or a traitor. It depends on what position you are holding.

On the one hand, to the U.S. government, Snowden is absolutely a traitor. He not only damaged to the PRISM project, but also made the U.S. government embarrassed. Also, he broke the law and went against his promise to the government. Therefore, he should be a traitor to the U.S. government.

On the other hand, Snowden revealed the truth to public. This makes him a hero, because the public has rights to privacy. And the disclosure of PRISM helped the public know more about how their government violates them. Therefore, he should be a hero to the ordinary citizens.

I do not think the U.S. government should have right to monitor/censor the Internet for any reason, but I think this measure is just a compromise. So it may need citizens to understand and forgive.

In fact, the fundamental of PRISM program depends on the development of Internet or informatization. It is the network that allows the U.S. government having access to people’s privacy. According to what we learned in Chapter 7, all kinds of network severs play an important role in modern society. The popular cloud technology aggravates this effect. People’s desire of connection to each other forces them to afford the risk of information exposure. This is a double-edged sword.

Continue reading...


Google Glass – the next big thing? July 19th, 2013

Google Glass is generally a high-tech glasses issued by Goolge in Apr. 2012. According to the description published online, it has a frame of a normal glasses and some multimedia functions have been integrated, including camera, video calls, navigation, and online surfing. Generally speaking, Google Glass has similar functions as a smart phone does.

It seems that Google Glass is just an upgrading form of small phone, but in fact, this innovation is a sort of wearable technology. The main difference between wearable technology and current portable technology is whether a hand is needed to operate the device. Therefore, although what Google Glass can do is similar to a traditional smart phone, it should be viewed as a revolutionary product. The emergence of Google Glass may indicate the trend of development of portable electronic devices.

In my opinion, if Google Glass is spread in the future, the way of human life will be impacted much. On the one hand, as a form of wearable technology, Google Glass is provided with better mobility, comparing to traditional mobile devices. In addition to mobility, Google’s new gadget may change the interactive way between human beings and electronic devices. Hands are free so that the way people operate Google Glass is more natural, which means people can talk to it like talk to a real person. This is the personification of electronic devices. On the other hand, as an internet-based device, Google Glass makes sheer loads of information connective. With the development of cloud technology, Google Glass can enhance people’s ability of data mining, data processing, and data storing. The result of this trend is that human life will turn to more digital.

However, Google Glass has caused some controversies. Although it has not been for public sale yet, many people get started to worry about the consequence of its improper use. Some people think that Google Glass may cause privacy issue. Some people think Google Glass is bad for communications between real human beings. They call the people wearing Google Glass cyborg and object to their existence.

Kaifeng Xia (Alston)

Continue reading...


Is Cloud Computing killing Microsoft’s Office? July 19th, 2013


As described in the article, the author emphasizes on his point that the main difference between Google Drive, an example of cloud computing, and Microsoft Office is that the former is focused on data and the latter is a software only.

At this point, we cannot deny that the concept of Google Drive is actually more advanced than that of Microsoft Office. Also, I admit that this advantage may pose the biggest threat to Microsoft ’ s dominance. But I do NOT agree to the viewpoint that cloud computing will totally kill Microsoft ’ s Office, because being advanced does not necessarily mean Google Drive does better in every occasion.

First, Google Drive highly depends on internet access. This is mentioned in the textbook that cloud computing requires “ u biquitous network access” (pg. 183). That is, the users cannot even access to it when the internet access is unavailable or poor. Even if Google may provide offline client of Google Drive, I do not think the offline version will perform better than Microsoft Office. Based on my own experience of using Google Drive, I was suffered from the problem of my internet access, because the internet environment in China is not that compatible with Google. Therefore, I had to spend tons of time on refreshing the web page again and again.

Second, I think the main enemy against Google Drive and other cloud computing products is cloud storage products, other than Microsoft Office. Because the cloud storage is only a part of cloud computing and cloud computing provides processed data, while cloud storage is storing data only. Microsoft Office is not a cloud storage product. It is a data processing software. This means Microsoft Office will be more professional on data processing and this feature cannot be totally substituted by cloud computing.

Third, as described in the textbook, “ c loud computing has some drawbacks. ..Some companies worry about the security risks related to entrusting their critical data and systems to an outside vendor that also works with other companies. There are also questions of system reliability. Companies expect their systems to be available 24/7 and do not want to suffer any loss of business capability if their IT infrastructures malfunction ” (pg. 184). At some extent, cloud computing is anti- diversification of computing, just as put all the eggs in one busket. Although this way is better for data sharing and collaboration, the highly integrated system will be suffered from a big loss when a small problem occurs.

Therefore, I conform the power of cloud computing and it will be the trend of IT. Although development of cloud computing may challenge Microsoft ’ s dominance, I sill do not think cloud computing will kill the Microsoft Office.

Continue reading...


Hello Visitors! July 11th, 2013


Welcome to Alston’s ePortfolio!

You can find some basic information about me here, including my education, work experience, and other highlights. Thank you for concerning me and hope the information helps.

Continue reading...