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    ABSTRACT: Interaction Computing (IC) aims to map the properties of integrable low-dimensional non-linear dynamical systems to the discrete domain of finite-state automata in an attempt to reproduce in software the self-organizing and dynamically stable properties of sub-cellular biochemical systems. As the work reported in this paper is still at the early stages of theory development it focuses on the analysis of a particularly simple chemical oscillator, the Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) reaction. After retracing the rationale for IC developed over the past several years from the physical, biological, mathematical, and computer science points of view, the paper presents an elementary discussion of the Krohn-Rhodes decomposition of finite-state automata, including the holonomy decomposition of a simple automaton, and of its interpretation as an abstract positional number system. The method is then applied to the analysis of the algebraic properties of discrete finite-state automata derived from a simplified Petri Net model of the BZ reaction. In the simplest possible and symmetrical case the corresponding automaton is, not surprisingly, found to contain exclusively cyclic groups. In a second, asymmetrical case, the decomposition is much more complex and includes five different simple non-abelian groups whose potential relevance arises from their ability to encode functionally complete algebras. The possible computational relevance of these findings is discussed and possible conclusions are drawn.
    Bio Systems 03/2013; 112(2). DOI:10.1016/j.biosystems.2013.03.003
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract This article investigates patterns of reasons for digital disengagement of British adults. It adds a psychological dimension to research that is mostly sociological in nature in trying to separate out explanations for disengaging from the Internet by choice or by forced exclusion. The analysis of a nationally representative survey shows differences between the number of reasons and the most important reasons among different sociodemographic groups, but also among individuals with different psychological profiles. The findings suggest that ex- and nonusers do not have one simple reason for nonuse, but a multifaceted range of reasons, which often represent disadvantages at several levels. The range of often mentioned reasons, moreover, shows that motivations for disengagement cannot be measured by means of the most important reason, but that all reasons have to be taken into account and looked at concertedly.
    Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking 12/2012; 16(2). DOI:10.1089/cyber.2012.0257
  • The Handbook of Global Media and Communication Policy, 04/2011: pages 319 - 335; , ISBN: 9781444395433
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    ABSTRACT: Inspired by the “Keywords in Communication” theme of the 2009 ICA conference, this paper observes the pivotal role played by “the interview” in the history of audience research. Although interviewing implies bidirectionality, research following Lazarsfeld constructed the powerful interviewer and obedient interviewee, a tradition challenged by the critical turn in reception studies and its emphasis on interviewee expertise. This enabled research to pose crucial challenges to media and communication theory through giving the audience a voice. Yet today, this challenge risks being undermined as textbooks emphasize traditional methods, as the analysis of new media repositions mass audiences as “passive,” and as researchers seem reluctant in practice to go out and talk to the public.Dando Voz a la Gente: El Rol Crítico de la Entrevista en la Historia de la Investigación de la AudienciaSonia LivingstoneDepartment of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UKResumenInspirado en el tema de la conferencia de ICA sobre las “Palabras Claves en la Comunicación, ’’ este artículo observa el rol fundamental jugado por ‘‘la entrevista, ’’ en la historia de la investigación de la audiencia. Aunque hacer entrevistas implica bi-direccionalidad, la investigación siguiendo Lazarsfeld construyó al entrevistador poderoso y al entrevistado obediente, una tradición desafiada por el cambio crítico en los estudios de recepción y su énfasis en el entrevistado experto. Esto permitió que la investigación ponga desafíos a la teoría de los medios y la comunicación dándole voz a la audiencia. Aún hoy, este desafío corre el riesgo de ser devaluada dado que los libros de texto enfatizan los métodos tradicionales, los nuevos medios reposicionan a las audiencias masivas como ‘‘pasivas, ’’ y los investigadores no parecen estar seguros de ir y hablar con el público.Donner une voix aux gens : du rôle critique de l’entretien dans l’histoire de la recherche sur les auditoiresSonia LivingstoneInspiré du thème « Mots clés de la communication » de la conférence 2009 de l’ICA, cet article examine le rôle crucial joué par « l’entretien » dans l’histoire de la recherche sur les auditoires. Bien que l’entretien suggère la bidirectionnalité, la recherche qui a suivi Lazarsfeld a construit l’image du puissant intervieweur et de l’interviewé obéissant. Cette tradition a été contestée par le tournant critique des études de la réception et l’importance qu’il accorde aux compétences des interviewés. Cette mise en question a permis à la recherche de soulever des enjeux cruciaux de la théorie de la communication et des médias en donnant une voix à l’auditoire. Or aujourd’hui, cette mission risque d’être ébranlée par les manuels qui insistent sur les méthodes traditionnelles, par les médias d’information qui repositionnent les auditoires de masse comme étant « passifs » et par les chercheurs qui semblent réticents à sortir parler au public.Den Menschen eine Stimme geben: Zur kritischen Rolle des Interviews in der Geschichte der PublikumsforschungSonia LivingstoneInspiriert durch das Konferenzthema ,,Schlüsselworte der Kommunikation“ der ICA-Jahrestagung 2009, befasst sich dieser Artikel mit der zentralen Rolle des ,,Interviews“ in der Geschichte der Publikumsforschung. Auch wenn Interviewführung grundsätzlich eine Bidirektionalität impliziert, konstruierte die Forschungstradition nach Lazarsfeld den mächtigen Interviewer und den gehorchenden Interviewten - eine Tradition, die im Zuge der kritischen Wende in der Rezeptionsforschung und der Betonung der Expertise des Interviewten in Frage gestellt wurde. Indem dem Publikum eine Stimme gegeben wurde, konnte die Forschung wesentliche Herausforderungen an die Medien- und Kommunikationstheorie herantragen. Allerdings laufen diese Herausforderungen heute Gefahr, unterminiert zu werden, da in den Lehrbüchern traditionelle Methoden betont werden, neue Medien die Massenpublika als ,,passiv“ repositionieren und Forscher zögern, hinauszugehen und mit der Öffentlichkeit zu sprechen.
    Communication Culture & Critique 11/2010; 3(4):566 - 571. DOI:10.1111/j.1753-9137.2010.01086.x
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    ABSTRACT: Cloud Computing is rising fast, with its data centres growing at an unprecedented rate. However, this has come with concerns of privacy, efficiency at the expense of resilience, and environmental sustainability, because of the dependence on Cloud vendors such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. Community Cloud Computing makes use of the principles of Digital Ecosystems to provide a paradigm for Clouds in the community, offering an alternative architecture for the use cases of Cloud Computing. It is more technically challenging to deal with issues of distributed computing, such as latency, differential resource management, and additional security requirements. However, these are not insurmountable challenges, and with the need to retain control over our digital lives and the potential environmental consequences, it is a challenge we must pursue.
    Digital Ecosystems and Technologies, 2009. DEST '09. 3rd IEEE International Conference on; 07/2009
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper the often celebratory accounts of the civic, participatory and democratic potentials of the blogosphere are being critically assessed. While these potentials are not denied or minimised, it is argued that some trends and phenomena detrimental to these potentials need to be acknowledged as well. With regard to the latter, 5 distinct threats are identified. At a structural/organisational level of analysis, the colonisation of the blogosphere by the market, the appropriation of the blogosphere by cultural and political elites and strategies of control by states and employers will be addressed. At an individual level of analysis, examples of online intimidation by fellow bloggers and so-called anti-publics using blogs and online forums to disseminate discourses of hate are considered. Many of the examples provided expose the blogosphere as situated in between the public and the private sphere, which can be problematic from a participatory perspective. Above all, it is concluded that the internet is a medium rife with contradictions and cannot be separated from the tensions and conflicts present in the offline world; it is part of it.
    Technology and Society, 2008. ISTAS 2008. IEEE International Symposium on; 07/2008
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    ABSTRACT: A national UK survey (N = 1017) examined the association between media consumption and three indicators of civic participation - likelihood of voting, interest in politics, and actions taken in response to a public issue of concern to the respondent. Multiple regression analysis was used to test the variance explained by media use variables after first controlling for demographic, social and political predictors of each indicator of participation. Media use significantly added to explaining variance in civic participation as follows. In accounting for voting, demographic and political/social factors mattered, but so too did some media habits (listening to the radio and engagement with the news). Interest in politics was accounted for by political/social factors and by media use, especially higher news engagement and lower media trust. However, taking action on an issue of concern was accounted for only by political/social factors, with the exception that slightly fewer actions were taken by those who watched more television. These findings provided little support for the media malaise thesis, and instead were interpreted as providing qualified support for the cognitive/motivational theory of news as a means of engaging the public.
    British Journal of Sociology 07/2008; 59(2):351-71. DOI:10.1111/j.1468-4446.2008.00197.x
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    ABSTRACT: This paper begins to chart and critically analyse the formal connections between algebra, logic, and cell biology on the one hand, and algebra, logic, and software security on the other. Much of the discussion is necessarily conceptual. Where the discussion is more formal the current distance between these disciplines appears evident. The paper focuses on the algebra of network coding, reviews the main types of algebraic and temporal logics that underpin security, and briefly discusses recent work in the application of algebra and logic to the DNA code.
    Digital Ecosystems and Technologies, 2008. DEST 2008. 2nd IEEE International Conference on; 03/2008
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    ABSTRACT: In this talk I will attempt to give an overview of the emerging field of Digital Ecosystems research. I will outline some of the significant events and conceptual turning points of the past few years, the current activities, and the future challenges. In all cases my comments will be divided into two parts: the first part focuses on digital ecosystems as an Open Source technology inspired by biological ecosystems; the second part extends the meaning of the term to encompass the people and the companies that populate DEs, and the collaborative/ communicative processes by which new business and economic models are being forged. Keeping these two perspectives distinct and faithful to their respective philosophical traditions has enabled us to begin to understand how the process of formalisation of knowledge can couple constructively the behaviour of the very different kinds of actors inhabiting these two interacting epistemological spaces. Meanwhile, Digital Ecosystems are emerging in different parts of the world, in different socio-economic and cultural contexts, and can already provide a broad range of case studies for sustainable development. The talk will conclude with an overview of the interesting initiatives taking shape within and across the growing world-wide network of digital ecosystems.
    Digital EcoSystems and Technologies Conference, 2007. DEST '07. Inaugural IEEE-IES; 03/2007
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    ABSTRACT: This paper investigates practices of domestic regulation of media within the family, focusing on parental attempts to manage children’s access to and use of new media. Theoretically, the paper seeks to integrate the specific literature on domestic rules and regulation of media use with the broader literature on the rules and roles in social situations, arguing that parental strategies in relation to domestic media reveal both the enactment of and the negotiations over the typically informal and implicit rules and roles in family life. These issues are explored using data from two surveys: (1) the ‘Young People, New Media’ project surveyed 1300 children and their parents, examining the social, relational and contextual factors that shape the ways in which families develop rules for managing the introduction of the personal computer and the multiplication of television sets, among other new media changes, in the home; (2) the ‘UK Children Go Online’ project surveyed 1500 children and their parents, updating the picture by examining the introduction of the Internet into the family home. On the basis of these data, it is argued that despite the ‘newness’ of media as they successively arrive in the home, there are considerable consistencies over time in the responses of families, it being the slow-to-change relations between parents and children that shape patterns of domestic regulation and use.
    Computers in Human Behavior 03/2007; DOI:10.1016/j.chb.2005.08.002
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