17. K’-side Dissection, Users' Cyberspace

ByJuan Chamero



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The people
    Main actors of this realm are people like individuals: a person separate from other persons and possessing his or her own needs, goals, and desires -from Wikipedia-. However socially we may consider the whole universe of Web users like a “Multitude”, a political term used by Machiavelli and defined by Baruch Spinoza. More recently this term has been redefined and used by political theorists Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri in their best seller Empire
    We agree with Spinoza when in his Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, he acknowledges that the (fear of the) power (potentia) of the multitude is the limit of sovereign power (potestas). Internet and specially the Web is a meaningful and scalable social lab to forge a fair and wise Society of Information. Let’s see how this side evolves making a sample dissection of it as we did it with the K-side.

1. E-mail, Chats and Forums
    If Internet is considered a cultural vector the email culture is perhaps its best sample. These three technologies are converging fast constituting the major cycling current within the K’ Ocean. It enables a full – receiving, sending- three ways –seeing, speaking, hearing- communication system. As we mention above this circulation make possible that K’-side may evolve by itself. You may argue that people in K’ need to use the Web, formally hosted in K-side in order to email, to chat or to intervene in a forum and that implies going first to K. Yes you need to go to K first but just for an ephemeral touch and go-next relay operation. If Bob wants to communicate with Alice by email the only that he needs is her email address and of course an email server. This server is a sort of switching service that enables Bob connecting to Alice’s server.  It’s supposed that none of Bob content is saved or read by his server. Being email servers switching mechanisms we may consider that it is perfectly possible to create a secure email communications network where each user may communicate with any other user. The same considerations may apply to chat and forums. 
    Some actual email services permit users to chat and even to interact with forums within the same session. In 1 above we see a 2006 Yahoo Beta Version enabling email and chats with added features such as news. In the same figure below, is depicted a cybercafé showing young people playing games and/or chatting. Today it is possible to run the following applications within a session
 
E-mail
Chat
Forums participation
Gaming in solitary or in group
Seen each other
Send and receive files to and from users
Maintain a two ways simultaneous voice communication
Interact in online teaching-learning platforms (within K’ realm, among users)
Participate in teleconferences

2. K intrusions in K’
    An intranet is an example of a K-side intrusion/extension in K’-side. An intranet could be understood as a private Internet within an organization domain using Internet Protocols -for instance HTTP and FTP- and network connectivity, and where access is only permitted to their people: employees, members, and partners. Extranets are similar but their access is extended to customers, suppliers, approved parties, and contractors. In both cases these nets are protected from intruders via gateways provided with firewalls, authentication, encrypting and sometimes making use of VPN’s, Virtual Private Networks. Could them be considered K’ intruders?.  Well al depends of what is considered a use and what an ab-use. In fact is an ethic issue. It’s is like if a Public Welfare system were extensively used by rich people and that is the case of some communications companies that have implemented large intranets and extranets.
    In the figure 2 left we depict an extranet scheme with three Websites connected to three different ISP, Internet Service Providers sharing two VPN’s.  At right the extranet Home Page.

3. Hacking
Hackers belong to the K’-side family and as in any big family we may find good guys and bad guys, “black hats” and “white hats” respectively. Hacking could be an art, a mania, a profession, a hobby or a technical-scientific discipline or a combination of all them. In my humble opinion hacking is necessary for the equilibrium of any complex society. As it has many acceptations we opt by the following: modification of a program or device to give the user access to features that were otherwise unavailable to them. As we believe that creation, building, inventing are “divine” initiatives of the human being must recognize that there are many people that are always trying to make a system fails or works different as programmed or going farther studying the best way to destroy them. But we also know people that are technically and scientifically skeptic about anything and many times well founded.


 Source hacking

    In 2 right it is depicted a typical hacking operation. Bad guys usually try to be invisible and deviate the culpability to unaware Good guys as is this the case. However once checked hack has been successful they used to boast about their talent in specialized hacking forums and boards.

Note 1  Cross-site scripting XSS holes are Web security vulnerability that enable Bad guys malicious code injection in web pages inspected by unaware users.

The name of God game by free
    Let’s play a little to Science Fiction at Arthur C. Clarke style, trying to hack something considered complex, for instance to unveil “The Name of God”. In one of his stories published in year 1953 the challenge was to unveil the name of God by computing 9 billions trials. In this story a group of Buddhist monks created a special algorithm that enforces to calculate all possible permutations sequentially that is the name of God will appear in the last trial. Once the name of God be known the Universe loose its meaning and God may unfold it to nothingness again. We may design a virus or a worm to be transmitted by unaware Good guys. What does this infection produce in infected computers?: Only to use a small portion of their computation power to cooperate in the calculation. To manage this type of Grid computation effort we are going to need a central desktop that continuously scan “unaware collaborators” to check computation and assign new ones. As we are now in year 2008 we have to update the number of name permutations to finally unveil the name of God. Let’s check the effort, and time, to compute 9,000,000,000,000,000 instead, a nine followed by fifteen zeroes. We estimate that in the average 100 instructions are to be executed by name so we need to hack 9x1017 instructions. Our hacking gurus have estimated that we may account for a net of 10,000 victims that have in the average 10,000 MIPS of computing power. In order to avoid any suspicion they also advise us to adjust the script to only steal one tenth of that power. The result is that in 90,000 seconds our Grid will unveil the name of God, a little more than a day!.

We recommend to see phishing and social engineering.


4. Games
"Let my playing be my learning and my learning be my playing."
   
People love games. Anthropologists affirm that man is a ludic creature -see homo ludens- and from ancient times we have proved evidence of it. If Internet has 2,000,000,000 references in Google, Games have 1,320,000,000 for the same search engine. All conceivable games of real life are played via Internet being the principals:

Arcade games
Card & board
Casino
Puzzles
Sports
Word

    In the figure 4 we may see some image of classic Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Games, MMORPG games. Internet gaming is so absorbent that in China the Communist Party is seriously worried about it and regulated its use to be lower than three hours daily. See a comment about one of them, EVE:

Depending on the number of players and the system architecture, a MMORPG might actually be run on multiple separate servers, each representing an independent world, where players from one server cannot interact with those from another. In many MMORPGs the number of players in one world is often limited to around a few thousands, but a notable example of the opposite is EVE Online which accommodated around 200,000 players in the same world as of August 2007 and 41,690 users online in December 2007.

    However this massive activity of the Multitude may become a massive pathology. It is not a pure K’-side activity yet because it is still dominated by K-side sense of business and marketing and managed by GM, Game Masters that condition and rule behaviors.
    As interactions between MMORPG players are real but environments are not, psychologists and sociologists see MMORPGs as living labs for academic research. Subjects analyzed among many are:

a) Emotional incursions exploring different personalities including genre identities;
b) The escape nature of games: many players do other things of their choice out of game;
c) The behavior of huge masses of people facing disasters.


5. Blogs and Social Networks


“Social networks”, 7,950,000
Blogs, 625,000,000
Blogosphere, 9,610,000

    Social networks will be the “semantic skeletons” core of K’-side.  There are many tools to build these networks, for instance “Many Eyes”, an IBM sponsored visualization project that has been used to build a social network centered in Jesus Christ, as depicted in figure 5 at left.  You may also visualize a hierarchical tree focused on Jesus lineage and New Testament raw data like Darwin algorithm does. See a map of this type below as described in ESV, English Standard Version Website



     And then you have more sophisticated tools like this one from BlogPulse which track blogs’ posts interrelations building a sort of virtual communication among them. These virtual conversation trackers work as follows:

When a blogger publishes a post and other bloggers link to it, the original post (or "seed") becomes part of a conversation. What happens next is fascinating. From those seeds sprout other links, and so and so forth, until an entire conversation is virtually built. The nodes of the graph are posts and the arcs of the graph are permalink citations from post to post.

Note 2: A blog is a Website where entries are displayed in reverse chronological order. People use to prefix them to indicate their type: artlogs cyberlogs, ailogs, microblogs, vlogs, etc. Not all search engines track them well. No one knows then how many blogs exists now but as Technorati search engine has registered more than 120 millions we may estimate that actually exists about 200 million. Blogs generally correspond with persons either physical or juridical so they emulate the individuals of the growing Multitude.

In figure 5 at right we depict one of Blogs virtual conversation tracking. We recommend to see a Gallery of Visualization of Social Media performed by data mining, and to read Blogosphere: The New Political Arena, by Michael Keren.

Blogs Cons: The upsurge of blogs carried a wide spectrum of legal liabilities for example: a) unauthorized diffusion of proprietary information; b) defamation c) false information seeds etc.

6. New, libertarian, popular and bizarre activities
The Web has permitted the diffusion and open and free participation in these types of activities, such as
Graffiti, 38,900,000
Street Dance, 1,890,000
Street Theatre, 839,000
Massive Collaborative Projects, such as
"gnu gpl", 53,800,000
“GRID computing”, 1,370,000
“Open Source Initiative”, 529,000

7. Dirty activities
    Ethically close but perhaps worst than hacking is the “generation of pseudo human content”, generally used for bastard purposes, for example to deceive users of huge Portals inventing messages, comments and even news, to give them the sensation that they are up to the minute updated. Sellers of this information shit soft may pompously announce something like “Here you have the best engine to automate your own content!” or something like Create High Quality Articles on Virtually any Subject in Just Minutes!.
    Included in this item we may find some SEO, Search Engine Optimization affairs, the process of improving the volume and quality of Web traffic to a web site coming from search engines. I’m not against this new profession, just the contrary but of a growing number of Bad guys are entering into it looking for easy money. Similarly to hacking we may find in this profession Black and White hat SEO’s. Black hat SEO attempts to improve search rankings in unethical ways involves at large deception intents such as using hidden text or providing a different page depending if the request is performed by a human or by a search engine robot. Here take full validity the famous Juan Ines de La Cruz saint saying:

Silly, you men-so very adept
at wrongly faulting womankind,
not seeing you're alone to blame
for faults you plant in woman's mind.

Concerning this saying in February 2006 Google removed BMW from and Ricoh Websites, both from Germany, for use of mentioned deception tricks