Information Infrastructure Design in IT

As life progresses, new information emerges, in turn leading to further progress of mankind. Information remains to be like a limitless ocean. It is infinite and extends till eternity. Information technology (IT) involves the management of information on computer-based information systems. IT deals with the use of computers to store, process, and retrieve information. The construction and design of a safe, reliable, and an always-available information infrastructure is an important constituent of information systems.

Information Infrastructure
It is the collection of communication networks and the software associated with it. It refers to networks and software, which support interaction among people and organizations or the currently available networks and the prospective facilities that they will make available. It includes the Internet, the telecommunication networks, and the embedded systems as also computers.

Internet that is regarded as the network of networks is the information infrastructure of today. It is a collection of interconnected computer networks that transmit data in the form of packets using the Internet Protocol. Each of the networks carries information and services like mail and file transfer. World wide web, a collection of documents and other resources, is a service offered by the Internet.

Information infrastructure design is concerned with issues like privacy, security, translation, right to information, and most importantly, software and hardware compatibilities. Let us look at each of them.
Privacy: Privacy of information is related to the collection of personal information. Many a time, we are asked to furnish our personal details on the web. It might be in case of an online transaction or in the process of a registration. Such information collected over the web has to be kept private and confidential. People should feel safe while letting out such information. For this purpose, it is important to include information privacy in the design of information infrastructure.
Information Security: Securing information is about protecting it from unauthorized access, disclosure, or modification. An unauthorized access to information should not result in the destruction of that information. Information security deals with confidentiality, availability, and integrity.
Confidentiality: It is preventing the information from being disclosed through unauthorized access.
Availability: Computing systems that store information and the communication channels that enable access to it, must function properly. The information in an information system should be available for the users at any time.
Integrity: In information security, integrity means that the information cannot be modified without authorization.
Rights surrounding Information: Citizens have a right to obtain information. They are allowed to access copies of certain official documents. Law allows us as citizens of a country to access information. Information rights pertain to possession of the rights to copy or modify the acquired information. People who create content are logically, its owners. So anyone other than the author cannot modify it. One is not permitted to steal content of another author. Rights to translation of content are as prescribed by law. To organize information in an information infrastructure, it is necessary to manage the rights to information.
Compatibility issues: While accessing information over the web, different users access it in different ways. The software and hardware they use is different. The type of communication network over which they access information may be different. Here arise the compatibility issues. Looking at the pace with which new types of software and hardware are being built, backward compatibility of newer versions with the older ones is a serious concern.
National Information Infrastructure refers to the integrated communication system of the US. It takes into account the high-speed public and private broadband and narrowband networks. It also includes satellite, wireless, and terrestrial communications. It is inclusive of all the information that flows in the infrastructure.

Free Information Infrastructure
It is a term used in Europe and it resembles the National Information Infrastructure. The use of the word ‘free’ is intended to focus on freedom and on the internet which is freely accessible. It comprises no software patents. It sometimes refers to open source software. It is about free access, open standards, network neutrality, and less control by state.

Global Information Infrastructure
It is an upcoming communication framework that is meant to connect the computer and telecommunication networks all over the world. Currently, the Internet is considered as the Global Information Infrastructure.

Information infrastructure in IT is actually a vast subject. It deals with the creation, design, and organization of information. It focuses on an infrastructure that caters to the security and access needs of information. In the words of William Pollard, “Information is a source of learning. But unless it is organized, processed, and available to the right people in a format for decision-making, it is a burden, not a benefit.” This briefly describes the goal of an information infrastructure design.

Sourcing Pop Culture In an Internet Culture

Pop culture has been around for a few decades. It couldn’t truly exist until the technology was developed, that would make possible the dissemination of so many different forms of media in such a short period of time to so many people. Radio and film kicked the whole thing off, and now here we are, a hundred years later, watching as the industry grows ever larger and beyond the scope of sympathetic definition.

It’s a beast, a monstrous, mechanical beast. But, like any beast that humanity doesn’t understand, it will probably soon be taken down. This isn’t so much idle prognostication though. It’s already happening. Pop culture is evolving quickly, and it’s because, once again, of technology.

Over the years, things change in the world. Pop culture adapts to the mindset of the culture it targets, and while it may seem like the industries are setting the agenda, more often than not, major companies scramble to and fro, trying to put together the next big craze based on what the people want.

What happens is, one company will take a calculated risk, releasing something that no one thought would be successful; something like comic books in the ’30s or video games in the ’90s. Today, it’s hard to think of comic books, as not having been a major force, in pop media. But, in the 1930s, when the kids behind Superman were first publishing their bravado and explosions of pop story telling, a lot of people were skeptical. It didn’t matter though. The kids loved comic books, and soon the industry was booming, and dozens of books were released every week.

You can look at reality television in today’s market. The first network reality TV show was Survivor. With monumental ratings, every other station followed suit. It’s how the industry works. One company takes a gamble and the rest wait to see what happens. When that gamble pays off, they all jump in head first. If it fails, they point and laugh as though they wouldn’t have followed suit.

Which makes today’s developments in pop culture all the more intriguing. Not only is it much more rare for the industry to properly read the consumers these days, anomalies of popularity arise all the time. And it’s because companies can no longer market their goods to the entire population and hope for good numbers. Today’s pop culture is no longer truly “pop culture” in the sense that everything is broken down.

Beyond the presence of a dozen different demographics that no one truly understands, there is the internet, and this is the crux of my point. The internet has redefined how pop culture exists and what is defined as truly popular and important in today’s media. There are no companies online telling people what to like and what not to like. Instead, it is the people online, sorting through millions of videos, songs, books, and movie trailers to decide what they want to watch or listen to.

Websites like YouTube have become so prevalent in the spread of the next big thing and the 15 seconds of fame (or less, these days) that certain video creators have actually found honest celebrity offline as well. The Internet is no longer a giant encyclopedia to which school age children turn for homework advice and middle age men turn to for pornography. It’s the world’s largest forum for the free spread of ideas and new media and that power has started to make the internet a bigger force than television or radio. Already, you see more ‘next big thing’ bands come from the bowls of Myspace and Facebook buzz, instead of MTV. MTV rarely bothers to play music anymore, let alone participate in the dialog over what is good and what is bad.

So, the people are in control of their media then, yes? If only that were the case, the power these companies wield over us could finally start to diminish. Rather, the companies are finding themselves forced to rethink their entire approach to marketing. Because of the sheer volume of new ideas presented on YouTube and the like, the ones that sink in, have to be truly original and exciting. No one wants to see the same old schlock online that they see on TV. They don’t have to. There are thousands of genius videos that go beyond the schlock.

So, it is that everyone from car companies to political figures are taking their messages to the Internet, and trying new and exciting things to stimulate the quarter second attention spans of so many of today’s youth. The end result is a society that relies on brilliant new ideas that can be produced en masse, hundreds at a time, to keep everyone happy. The move to force creativity and intelligent thought out of today’s artists and media executives is amazing, but the problem with that creativity is that, it quickly turns to gimmickry. Everything is now a gimmick instead of a progression, and gimmicks are easily mimed, which only leads us down the same path we’ve been down a thousand times before―that of waiting to see what the next big thing will be.