Support for this Workshop from the Open University Department of Communication and Systems ( the ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change ( is gratefully acknowledged

The Difference that Makes a Difference: an interdisciplinary workshop on information and technology

Location: The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
Dates: 7-9 September 2011

Few people would argue that the development of information technologies has had a profound impact on modern society. Information is communicated, stored and manipulated using digital computers, the Internet, and fixed and mobile telephony, resulting in a deep and extensive impact upon all aspects of our lives. While talk of information is routine and unproblematic for engineers and technologists, it has been recognised since the early days of digital technologies that there is an uneasy relationship between the engineer’s concept of ‘information’ and wider uses of the word (cf. Roszak, 1986). 

It is nevertheless appreciated that information, whatever is meant by this concept, is important – indeed it is foundational – to a quite remarkably diverse range of disciplines. Information is emerging not only as the new language of science - from quantum information to the genetic code - but as a key commodity of business, a major concern of the state, the front line for crime and crime prevention, the primary arena of technological development, an increasing concern of philosophy, and even a focus for conceptual art. Indeed, it is difficult to identify any field of life in the developed world that can not now be seen to some degree to have a significant information aspect, and to a greater or lesser extent this has all emerged because of developments in information technology.

The idea of information as a distinct concept, applicable across a wide range of disciplines, is growing in prominence. It has been especially emphasised within the natural sciences (von Baeyer, 2003; Vedral, 2010; Davies and Gregersen, 2010) and philosophy (Floridi, 2010). Much of this work takes information theory as developed by technologists, beginning with Shannon (1948), as its starting point, but draws little on contemporary work of technologists. At the same time, a different strand of work has arisen, drawing its inspiration from the growing influence of the Internet, and largely conducted by technologists (e.g. Weinberger, 2007; Brown and Duguid, 2000). This research in turn has little connection with the work in natural sciences and philosophy.

As we move further into the ‘information age’, we need to make the bridge between information of the information technologist and understanding of information in other disciplines. As researchers and practitioners in diverse fields grapple with an understanding of information – what it is, how it can be modelled and tools for coping with it – now more than ever is the time to share insights and bring some clarity and coherence to these differing perspectives.

We have begun some of that work, largely with colleagues around the Open University, resulting in a recent edited book (Ramage and Chapman, 2011). However, these discussions need to go much wider and deeper. We therefore propose to hold an international workshop to bring engineers and technologists together with scientists, philosophers, social scientists and artists – leading thinkers from all and any discipline that uses the language of information – to talk and listen, and to share their insights with us all.

There have been and continue to be many conferences, symposia and workshops addressing the technology, the applications and the consequences of information technology, but it is rare to find opportunities to address the understanding of the nature of information itself.

The need for work addressed more specifically at understanding the nature of information is exemplified by a problem expressed by Terrence Deacon (2010):

For more than half a century we have known how to measure the information-conveying capacity of any given communication medium, yet we cannot give an account of how this relates to the content that this signal may or may not represent. These are serious shortcomings that impede progress in a broad range of endeavors, from the study of basic biological processes to the analysis of global economics.

This workshop seeks to bring together those working with information in a wide range of disciplines - engineers and technologists together with scientists, philosophers, social scientists and artists - to discuss and expand our collective understanding of what we mean by information in our different disciplines. We are not seeking to combine these different understandings, but to share them and to explore commonalities. 

The title of the workshop is based on a celebrated definition of information by Gregory Bateson (1972, pp.457-9), who wrote:

A difference is a very peculiar and obscure concept. It is certainly not a thing or an event. This piece of paper is different from the wood of this lectern. There are many differences between them – of color, texture, shape, etc. But if we start to ask about the localization of those differences, we get into trouble. Obviously the difference between the paper and the wood is not in the paper; it is obviously not in the wood; it is obviously not in the space between them, and it is obviously not in the time between them. (Difference which occurs across time is what we call “change”.) ... 

Kant, in the Critique of Judgment – if I understand him correctly – asserts that the most elementary aesthetic act is the selection of a fact. He argues that in a piece of chalk there are an infinite number of potential facts. ... I suggest that Kant’s statement can be modified to say that there is an infinite number of differences around and within the piece of chalk. There are differences between the chalk and the rest of the universe, between the chalk and the sun or the moon. And within the piece of chalk, there is for every molecule an infinite number of differences between its location and the locations in which it might have been. Of this infinitude, we select a very limited number, which become information. In fact, what we mean by information – the elementary unit of information – is a difference which makes a difference.

The workshop will consist of four main sessions, each with keynote speakers and a number of presentations from others. Our goal is for maximum participation. If you are interested in the role and nature of information, we invite you to join us in Milton Keynes in September.

Magnus Ramage and David Chapman

Latest Blog Posts


They have recently come into our lives and more and more products to choose from. We talk about the wearables, including smart watches and bracelets are included. But do we understand well the difference between them? In this post, let’s clarify. C’mon discover!

Smartwatch vs SmartBand



The  Smartwatches  are very attractive devices, mimic the shape of a traditional clock  and have connection possibilities and compatibility with ourSmartphone , almost always via bluetooth.


They are designed to fit well on our wrist. Some are more classic, (the Moto 360 andSamsung Gear S2 Classic or LG G Watch Urbane ) and  others with a more innovative air ( the Apple Watch ) . In most Smarwatches we can exchange the belt , thus we can customize our watch to our liking.
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For what are these fitness smartwatch is that for fast action without removing the smartphone pocket as receive data or notifications  addition to answering or manage them . In some calls can be made independently of the Smartphone. They also include a large number of sensors such as heart rate monitors or activity sensors. 


Also, most can know what the weather does, listening to music, change songs … They usually use operating systems as Android Wear  or Apple Watch .


Of course, keep in mind that when using applications, depends on the watch model you choose. There are models like the  Samsung Gear S 2 or LG G Watch Urbane  of the most complete (answer and receive calls, answer to WhatsApp via voice, GPS, etc).There are other more basic models , we can see notifications through them, but no answer from the watch.



They are less bright than Smartwatches and less sophisticated, in addition to a smaller size. They are shaped devices pulser to have limited monitoring capabilities; usually incorporated pedometer, calorie meter, achieving objectives , etc, but all incorporate at least one motion sensor that determines your daily activity: steps, sleep, calories burned, etc.

These devices are designed to perform two functions:  As sports managers and / or control of sleep , their results are more optimal.


There are models that, even without touch screen, may have LEDs that keep us informed of the distances we walk, calories … measuring our business at all times.Best of all is that neither we remember that what we wear.


Some models of intelligent bracelets, such as the  Xiaomi Mi Band 1S or Sony SmartBand Talk , or Sony SmartBand 2 , also receive notifications and alert us.


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  • Smartwatch:

Before buying your  Smartwatch verify its c ompatible with your Smartphone. If you have an Android phone , the vast majority will be supported, as S ony , LG ,Motorola , yes, also checking the version of Android you have your terminal. For example, Samsung are watches with a limited compatibility with other brands,many of its models are only c ompatibles with Samsung , like the Apple Watch, which is only compatible with Iphone.

A negative point of Smartwatches is the battery life, it usually does not last more than a couple of days. On the positive side we can say that “most of them” in a couple of hours full charge.

  • SmartBand:

One advantage is that most of Smartbands  need not be connected  with another device. Quantifiers to transfer data collected must be connected via Bluetooth. Of course,if we receive Notifications and s, we do need to have it connected to your phone.

The battery is the strong point of these devices, hard lot more battery, days, weeks …



Now there is only your choice. Do not hesitate to discuss with us what is your favorite model and you use it . Remember you can buy any model in any of our stores P hone house .

5 films about technology and computing

If you consider yourself geek surely some of these titles sound familiar, otherwise you can not help but see them.

The issue of information technology and computers has inspired the production of films, which through different perspectives, fail to capture the attention of viewers, and in some cases may imply a simple manner, which for many means a reserved subject only to those skilled in technology issues.

Here are five (5) films from the xmovies8 that  deal with the issue of content on technology, internet and computers, in addition to entertaining, can teach a little about the digital world according to their respective situations.

1- Network social / the social network: it tells the story of how it was created the famous social network “Facebook”, near to make simple developments of computing never imagining their scope and success, and how afterwards some legal and personal trouble as occurred counterweight to the achievement of its creator. Directed by David Fincher.

2- Pirates of Silicon Valley: TV Movie that revives the creation of Microsoft and Apple companies, with the intervention of their respective pioneers (Bill Gates and Steve Jobs), where you can see how the first ideas on evolution were conceived these large computer competitors, and some details in his way of doing things. It other words, it is a portrait of competition because of advances in computer technology, based on real events.

3-Tron (Legacy): The son of a designer of virtual worlds, looking meet his father and not knowing is immersed in a world created by him, where he has tosurvive long. Involved in this new environment, try to get away with the obstacles that stand as a combat games (video games). The parallel between our real world and the virtual world run by computer software (a metaphor for our world depending on computer programs), and adventure that the characters experience to be immersed inside a computer is recreated.

Antitrust 4- (Anti-trust):   A computer programmer who is happy to work in a company positioned a surprise takes unbecoming ways to meet your boss (character loosely inspired by B. Gates) used to solve certain problems, and where to be blinded by success fails to discover what happens in the background of the company, but even when it becomes involved properly.

5-Jobs: Directed by Joshua Michael Stern and starring Ashton Kutcher, is the latest production that revolves around the life of the late Steve Jobs. The story focuses on the key moments of the life of the creator of one of the most important technology companies (apple), which recreate both professional accomplishments, their ups and downs in his personal life.

We hope this brief exposure filmmaker wake you achieve some kind of interest or concern. If you have not seen any of these films, and as you know if any of these titles, comments are welcome to continue sharing experiences with the Putlocker community.

What is the difference between SEO On Page and Off Page SEO

The question that everyone is starting to optimize where to start, on page or off page? The first advice is always given is: Change the way you’ve been working and focus only on the facts.

Why so many companies are obsessed with the search optimization? Well, simply because of the fact that if a well planned SEO strategy is created from the first day, you can effectively get free traffic. We ‘ll show you how to configure an On-page SEO Web site “in the right way, so your strategy” general SEO “is to operate with maximum efficiency.

On Page SEO, what is it?

On page optimization is the part that we give more importance and apparently of many experts is very necessary, but not all.To keep your internal optimization of nines, we need to understand some points, I will address these points here with the best possible clarity and still keep the technical text.


The most important part of the page. Google Webmaster Tools provides a comprehensive analysis of the utmost importance, including duplicate titles and other factors that may hinder, I advise you to take a look. The first step in optimizing your website is to optimize the title and with a different title for each page. Example: Web Marketing – Success | Workshop SEO, Web Marketing and Blogs | SEO office, both titles have the site name, however each strip content of your page, increasing the chances of finding the site in full searches.

Tags Head

This is the famous h1, h2, to h6 , which seems to us that only a visual organization, but for robots is an organization of content and the level of importance of each subtitle. To optimize suggest you visit the source code of each page (right click and “View Source”) and search h1, h2. Many pages even use these tags, which is good news if these pages are your competition, but it shows how much we still have to evolve into SEO.

meta Description

Here it is where you will write about your page, a kind of summary of what you will find on the page. Because labels can not be duplicated, each page with your Meta Description . Another issue of importance in this tag is that it can not exceed 160 characters. You can to reach as close as possible, preferably with an accuracy of 160 characters, but you can not pass. This is the description that appears below the title of the site in the results of organic search Google.

meta Keywords

Is this label we place related to the text, for example, this article uses words optimization, seo, SEO On-Page SEO On page, among others. This repetition of what I did on the page with 2 different spellings are increasingly delayed due to the criteria of punishment and intelligence of robots. Repetition is used for the user to find the item, regardless of how to enter the word on the event page. Getting your page is optimized and not be penalized, we must consider the amount of keywords, since the higher, the lower its importance to Google, and each word or set of words (must be separated by commas) should appear in the text.


Everyone knows he has to be different from each other, but always forget to take the lot of numbers that only the team knows what it means. The URL should contain the fewest possible characters, the number more than letters and still have a lot of information, there is no doubt that it is easier than it seems. The first step is to note that the support platform gives URLs in Magento and WordPress, for example, just set up a dialog that and the problem is solved.

You have to remove the eyelashes, the ideal is to place your website in the root directory. Use only‘’ to the homepage if you really need this ‘/ MyWebSite’, otherwise it will only diminish the importance of other directions of words. Another detail that can not be overlooked is the name of each page of the URL, for example, instead of using ” ‘ Always use the script as a word separator. After following all the steps, we also advise to emphasize keywords in the text bold or italic.

Off Page SEO, what is it?

How have you already received, the pages are linked and complement each other, because little good to have a site with good content if there is a good optimization. That’s where the page optimization comes into play, make ‘Links “from other sites to yours, increase the PageRank (Google view on the importance of the page). There are millions of articles for SEO techniques Of Page that put millions of pages of content for you to put your link, but in this article I intend to leave this rule, for the simple reason that they bring bad links.


The best way to get the return link is with good content, the problem is that you can not reach millions of visitors if you are not positioned. I advise always have an ally to your website or blog and social networking profiles, as these are the places that promote your site and begin to get some sort of showcase of them. It will be difficult at first, but soon you’ll have people waiting to see your content



The Internet is full of blogs, Google itself has developed a search only to find blogs, Google has its own blog. When I started to optimize I read a lot about it and found that almost all blogs have comments link as “no follow” and most people who write about it, indicate that to get links, these blogs are useless. Since I signed Webmaster Google and I’ve been learning and exploring the tools, I realize that these links are blogs appearing in Webmastes Tools and generates rather a kind of authority on the site to which it is linked, not to mention that brings new visitors. To take advantage of the comments from blogs, the first rule to follow is not to use tricks. For example, it is better to read several articles every day and comment always in the best or who understand or know more than you talk, so you can leave a comment quality and often a response to the author. Not make much sense out of a classic “Loved the article” and then say visit my blog.

SEO Off Page and On Page SEO

Imagine that you are submitting a resume to a company, which must contain your specialties (on-page) and your experiences (off-page). If you have only specialties and have no experience, or vice versa, it is not likely to get the job. So the web is to get a good result and fight for the first position (which is more difficult every day) if you achieve maximum optimization of pages, then your “curriculum” will be richer and earn your competitors. There are other things that can be done for optimization On Page and Off Page, but what I want here is a quality optimization so you can give good results in the medium term.Remember: It’s better optimization well done that one that makes you to be penalized. Visit seo bangkok for more details.

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