Smart Surveillance

This week we watched some videos about different projects that are expected to be implemented in some of the top cities around the world. This projects are intended to make these cities smart cities by adding some technology into their neighborhoods that helps with the correlation between citizens and the city itself.

Although this projects are being developed with the best intentions (I want to believe), some tough decisions need to be made. Most of them are focused on the use of the data generated by the population so, yes, the problems are related to PRIVACY (so scary).

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I personally believe that this kind of projects are in benefit of the greater common and I definitely would agree to the government investing on their development. Yeah, I do care about privacy and all that stuff but as a good citizen I need to know that the only fact of being on the internet means you have abandoned your privacy rights in many senses for useless purposes that only benefits one or two (or five👀) big companies. So, I would like to people to be educated enough to know when and how they should share their info, when to trust when to not.

In these projects in particular that may help in many different ways the cities we all live in together, we should be more open mind and work with the community as a team and make them bigger and better.

Social Cohesion

In my last weekly post I talked about the top cities in the world and why are they the top cities in the world. One of the categories that called my attention was the social cohesion so I went into it to know what this is about and why Helsinki is the top city in this category. Btw, I didn’t know where Helsinki was and it turns out it is the capital of Finland (pretends to be shocked).

So, wikiprogress define social cohesion as a cohesive society that.

  • Works toward the well being of all its members
  • Fights exclusion and marginalisation
  • Creates a sense of belonging
  • Promotes trust
  • Offers its members the opportunity of upward mobility (rising from a lower to a higher social class or status)

A cohesive society is characterized by resilient social relationships, a positive emotional connectedness between its members and the community and a pronounced focus on the common good.

According to the same study I mentioned in my previous post (The top 50 smart cities in the world), Helsinki improved its overall ranking by seven places from last year and nine places from 2015, which was used as the reference year for the index. “Helsinki is a fine city. And it wants to be even finer in the future. This index is another expression of how Helsinki has managed to take leaps forward in a short period of time”, says Mayor Jan Vapaavuori.

It shouldn’t be strange to see a Finland’s city in this top due to all we know about Finland. And what we now? well, at contrary of what we are used to, I have never heard or read bad news from this nordic country. Actually I don’t know much about it, but what I’ve always known is that the citizens in there live happy, they have one of the highest educational levels and poverty is like a myth to them (seriously, a friend told me how the Finnish reacted when the saw poor in Colombia and they just said “I can’t believe this is real”).

Talking about Mexico in this, yes, we love each other but at the same time we talk trash about each other, we are constantly fighting against the government and something that is sadly true in Mexico is that is hard for us accept other people success, we don’t accept that people may be rich while others are poor and certainly we expect government solves our problems while we don’t want to study. Is a circle of never ending bad thoughts and goals.

Ok, I started just happy writing this post about how well a country can be, and now I’m sad thinking of when my country could be at that level. Soon I hope. I love my country and the people who are with me and I really hope I can do something for Mexico, I want to see it grow as my grandparents never did.

Mexico City in top smart cities

This week I decided to do some research of which are the top smart cities in the world and in a website I found the name of Mexico City (WOW). Yeah, of course it wasn’t because it was part of the top but because NY was on it and only bigger city in the continent is Mexico City. Sorry to disappoint you, guys.

But, seriously, would you think that site is a reliable source after reading that? All Mexican who has been in Mexico City knows it is impossible this city belongs to the top 5 of smart cities in the world. I recently visited the biggest Metropoli in our country last December, I was a tourist in a big, big city. I must say that after my visit now I see why the chilangos catalog Guadalajara as provincia. The comparison in sizes is huge.

But why Mexico City can’t be part of this top? Well, according to a research made by the IESE Business School, there are many factors to evaluate and say if a city would be considered in the top cities and the top cities in each factor are the following:

  • Human capital: London.
  • Social Cohesion: Helsinki.
  • Economy: New York.
  • Governance: Bern.
  • Environment: Reykjavik.
  • Mobility: Paris.
  • Urban planning: New York.
  • International Outreach: Paris.
  • Technology: Hong Kong.

As you can see Mexico it is not in the top of any of the factors, nor a Latin American city, which can be related to the biggest problem Latin America is facing: bad governance or corruption. I mean, if the study would’ve been made by a association in Mexico, we may be the top of some category (I’m joking).

So, it is sad not seeing your country as top tier in such important things, but at the same time you know the situation we’re living through and we just don’t expect to be part of this.

A week without the Tech giants.

Impossible. That’s the first thing it comes to my mind by reading the title of this blog entry. But, is it really impossible? This week in class we learned it is not, but this will come with a lot of problems (unless you live in a small town with no access to the internet as I used to do before I moved to the city for college).

First: who are these giants? Just read the next post and you will know, probably you don’t even need to leave this page.

“How 5 Tech Giants Make Their Billions…” …

Now you know who the top 5 are, ask yourself if you think you can live at least a week without them (I mean you obviously can live but you know what I mean). Maybe if you’re an apple user like me you could say the easiest ones to leave behind would be Amazon, Microsoft and Google; I gave this answer when I was asked. Next I will talk about what I thought would be my easiest order to leave them.

  1. Amazon. I said this was the easiest one, but did you know almost all the incomes amazon have is because of their cloud services? AWS hosts a loooot of content we use on internet so if we just “turn off” Amazon a lot of web pages would do the same.
  2. Microsoft. This was my second choice because as an apple user I don’t use much of their products, only Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneDrive but I actually use sometimes the equivalents from Apple. The thing with Microsoft is that their services are more focused on companies, so it’s very probably that you be asked to used some product from Microsoft in your work, in mine we use Azure Web Services.
  3. Facebook. Facebook could have been my first choice to leave but they sadly manage instagram, my favorite social network and app. I truly hate WhatsApp and the Facebook app I think is one of the most ugliest things we can use, I don’t like it. Also they manage and sell your info like hell so there’s not much else to say about it.
  4. Google. I hate google and I don’t know why. I try to avoid them as much as I can but it’s impossible, they’re everywhere and the worst is that they’re very useful haha, I wish they were not that important.
  5. Apple. I just love them, their design, their UX/UI, all of it (except the prices). The thing in here is that it’s easy to leave them because unless the other four Apple is more a hardware seller, so you only need to throw away your Macbook, iPhone, iPad, etc.

It’s not that easy to stop being a client of these companies, but it is also not impossible. I think the only way you couldn’t achieve this is because of someone or something else like your job but if you can get a job where you don’t need to buy something from them, perfect! 😀

I would never be able to do so, and I don’t want to try it either, I am trying to stop using social network apps, I don’t have them installed in my phone and the ones I have (WhatsApp and instagram) is because of the need (WhatsApp) or because I really like it (instagram), although I have my notifications turned off so I am not into them like all day or every 5 minutes.

Last weekend I went with my friends to Nevado de Colima and extinct volcano to make some camping and hiking, it was awesome. I love nature and being with friends so doing both was just like the perfect weekend (except for how uncomfortable was the night). Also, we were unconnected from internet and society for two days and it was awesome. When I turned my phone on back in the city, the usage report given weekly by my iPhone told me that I used the phone an average of two hours per day, that made me happy because last winter break I used to have an average of 9-11 hours per day. So people, you need to give your phone a break and your body a well deserved clean breath. Go outside and have as much fun as you can. Please.

I feel really happy right now 🙂

Also, I REALLY HATE WHATSAPP because of how people makes you be part of it even you want it or not.

How is it goin’, city

I missed the class for week three BUT I am good citizen, I think. Yeah, didn’t do a research about what my classmates studied in the class, but now I am available for everything they want to show me (don’t do an albur joke, please).

What I know we did (because I was there) was to getting together and plan how are we gonna deal with the data we collect from the users of the mobile app, they need to know they will share the info with us and have to agree in doing it, otherwise we would just be a new baby facebook.

So, we went to a meeting with our professor and discussed about that and… we didn’t reach a solution, but we were close. Actually while a was on my way to the meeting in the bus a realized we could do something like I was doing in that moment. Let me explain myself better, I am not a user of busses, I am new at this because of my new job, so I downloaded an app called Moovit which tells you how the public transport works in the city, THANK YOU.

Well, this app asks you if you want to a part of a world movement helping all the community to save the world by sharing your data and giving comments or feedback once in a while. I AM CLEARLY EXAGGERATING but it’s kinda true. They have like a forum where the users share their info and report of a problem with the app or the system or their lives. Anyway, I think that the simple fact of being part of a community that helps the others and the app recognize you for that is something good for you in exchange for giving the info, is like they increase your ego by using public transportation. Maravillosa Jugada.

Yeah, so I thought that the user would agree to share their info just by the simple fact people love to help others IF everybody knows about that, so we share they are good citizens and they tells us where the bikes are.

We haven’t decided how exactly will be, but in my personal blog I speak for myself and I say we do that. Peace.

The smart citizens we are

The title for this entry isn’t correct. I feel like I am not being a smart citizen, well more like a not smart student because I have been having trouble dealing with how I manage my time and tasks/homework/social life/relationship (HA! I don’t have one 😂😔). But here I am, doing my blog entry for the week 2 in our week 4 😀

Well, if I can recall well, in the second week we had our first meeting as a team for the final project. I knew all my team partners since ever (4 years) except for one: David. I liked the guy, he is nice and also is with me in another class, we noticed it after we made the team. I am also working with Gabo, my friend since first semester and one of the people I most trust in the world (for specific things, he is dumb in few aspect of his life) and Constanza, the girl I met in my 3rd semester and who never stops of amazing me, I love to work with her because of how she makes me push harder so she doesn’t go in front of me. I love this guys.

Talking about the class, we decided we would do a mobile app for showing the users where the public bicycles of the city are located and also we take some data from their trips using them. With their permissions obviously.

So, Gabo is the only person with experience in mobile development, we decided to be iOS because Constanza and I hated android studio when we were partners int the mobile development class and had to make an android app. David is not an ISC so he hasn’t experience at all, but he is fine trying new things and we know he will do it just fine.

So, that’s it. We decided how are we gonna work knowing what strengths and weakness of the team are. Yup, that’s it. Peace.

 

Personal experience in Smart Cities

Hello, there. This is my introduction to a new category, also for my Smart Cities class, but in this one I will be talking in singular, just about me and how I feel on it, my experience with the class, pues. (It’s from norteños ending and explanation with “pues”).

Anyways, this course begun 2 classes ago and what can I say about it. First I have to say that in all my career I have never been in a class with the majority of my friends, it is awesome to share the class with them and furthermore be 1 team (that later become 2 bc it was to big 🙄). Second: the professor, well, it’s Ken, everyone loves Ken, he was the first professor I toke a software related class with (fundamentals of programming).

In the first class he asked what we believe the course was about, and not it is not about smart cities, it is about how to build a smart city. That’s all. The second class was about planning our project which is in our team blog post The beginning and Weekly Plan #1 Smart Cities. Go and check them out. Peace.