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Computing & Technology

people interact around oversized smartphone, illustration - Credit: aurielaki / Shutterstock Two Paths for Digital Disability Law (1/25/2023) Tagged: Web Accessibility, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, Law & Technology   |   Digital accessibility has its roots in a decades-long legal movement.
CMU Professor Jason Hong - Credit: Carnegie Mellon University Modern Tech Can’t Shield Your Secret Identity (1/24/2023) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Surveillance - Electronic, Surveillance - Mass   |   Superheroes worry about having their identities revealed, while the rest of us in the real world worry about surveillance technologies and how they can be easily abused.
numbered frames around the heads of indefinite figures, illustration - Credit: Varuna The Troubling Future for Facial Recognition Software (1/24/2023) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Ethics of AI, Ethics, Facial Recognition   |   There is promising, if somewhat slow, progress on making facial recognition software less biased.
the words 'Raise Your Voice' in the shape of a bullhorn - Credit: Shutterstock A Call to Action (1/24/2023) Tagged: Ethics   |   We cannot put the genii back in the bottle, but we can ensure human control.
3D sound wave, illustration - Credit: Getty Images Raising Robovoices (1/24/2023) Tagged: Speech Synthesis, Speech Translation, Speech Recognition   |   "If you just chain together automatic transcription, translation, and speech synthesis, you end up accumulating too many errors."
circuit electronics on a human head, illustration - Credit: Getty Images Technology’s Impact on Morality (12/22/2022) Tagged: Ethics of AI, Ethics, Facebook - Social Aspects   |   Technology without morality is barbarous; morality without technology is impotent.—Freeman Dyson
Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Hub logo on blue - Credit: UKRI TAS Hub Trust, Regulation, and Human-in-the-Loop AI: within the European region (12/22/2022) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Government Regulation, Trustworthy Systems, Trust   |   The E.U. is an early mover in the race to regulate AI, and with the draft E.U. AI Act, it has adopted an assurance-based regulatory environment using yet-to-be-defined AI assurance standards.
(iStock) U.S. to triple operational weather and climate supercomputing capacity (12/20/2022) Tagged: High Performance Computing, Weather Forecasting   |   Computing upgrade paves way for planned model improvements.
digital twins concept - Ms Tech | Getty How AI digital twins help weather the world’s supply chain nightmare (12/20/2022) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Supply Chain Risk   |   Just-in-time shipping is dead. Long live supply chains stress-tested with AI digital twins.
Sam Zeloof holding his second generation computer chip up to a magnifying glass in his garage. August 2021. - Photograph: Sam Kang This 22-Year-Old Builds Chips in His Parents’ Garage (12/20/2022) Tagged: IT - Technological Innovation, Innovation, Computer Chip Manufacture   |   Sam Zeloof combines 1970s-era machines with homemade designs. His creations show what’s possible for small-scale silicon tinkerers.
Silhouette of woman typing on laptop - Getty How Facebook and Google fund global misinformation (12/20/2022) Tagged: Google (Firm), Facebook, Online Advertising, Clickbait, Ethics   |   The tech giants are paying millions of dollars to the operators of clickbait pages, bankrolling the deterioration of information ecosystems around the world.
3D drone satellite view of Pentagon building Washington DC USA - Ms Tech | Getty The Department of Defense is issuing AI ethics guidelines for tech contractors (12/19/2022) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Ethics of AI, U.S. Dept. of Defense   |   The controversy over Project Maven shows the department has a serious trust problem. This is an attempt to fix that.
Logo - U.S. Department of Defense DOD Adopts Ethical Principles for Artificial Intelligence (12/19/2022) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Ethics of AI, U.S. Dept. of Defense   |   The U.S. Department of Defense officially adopted a series of ethical principles for the use of Artificial Intelligence today following recommendations provided to Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper by the Defense Innovation Board last October.
Logo - Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) Responsible AI Guidelines (12/19/2022) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Ethics of AI, U.S. Dept. of Defense, Defense Innovation Unit   |   DIU launched a strategic initiative in March 2020 to implement the DoD’s Ethical Principles for Artificial Intelligence (AI) into its commercial prototyping and acquisition programs.
An illustration of robots holding up a sign that reads buy more new stuff - ILLUSTRATION: ABBR. PROJECT How Bots Corrupted Advertising (12/17/2022) Tagged: Online Advertising, Social Bots, Bots   |   Botmasters have created a Kafkaesque system where companies are paying huge sums to show their ads to bots. And everyone is fine with this.
Multiple exposure colorful photograph of woman wearing VR Glasses - Photograph: tolgart/Getty Images What Is the Metaverse, Exactly? (12/17/2022) Tagged: Metaverse   |   Everything you never wanted to know about the future of talking about the future.
Twin supercomputers Dogwood (pictured here) and Cactus are the newest additions to NOAA's weather and climate operational supercomputing system. Located in Manassas, Virginia, and Phoenix, Arizona, respectively, each supercomputer operates at a speed of 12.1 petaflops — three times faster than NOAA's former system. (General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT)) U.S. supercomputers for weather and climate forecasts get major bump (12/17/2022) Tagged: High Performance Computing, Weather Forecasting   |   Twin supercomputers Dogwood (pictured here) and Cactus are the newest additions to NOAA's weather and climate operational supercomputing system. Located in Manassas, Virginia, and Phoenix, Arizona, respectively, each supercomputer operates at a speed of 12.1 petaflops — three times faster than NOAA's former system.
workers laying fiber optic cable - Photograph: ANDER GILLENEA/Getty Images Undersea Cables Are Carrying Scientific Secrets (12/17/2022) Tagged: IT - Technological Innovation, Fiber-optic Cable   |   Rumbles and tides create tiny, detectable disturbances in fiber optics. The world’s cables could form a vast network for detecting earthquakes and tsunamis.
Illustration ebook graveyard Digital Books wear out faster than Physical Books (12/5/2022) Tagged: Technology & Politics, Internet - Government Policy, Digital Library   |   Mega-publishers are saying electronic books do not wear out, but this is not true at all.
illustration of cameras surrounding a group of shadow figures denoted with facial recognition markers on a background of razor wire - Stephanie Arnett/MITTR | Unsplash The world is moving closer to a new cold war fought with authoritarian tech (12/5/2022) Tagged: Technology Policy, Digital Authoritarianism   |   At the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, Iran, Turkey, and Myanmar promised tighter trade relationships with Russia and China.
Illustration by Daniel Jurman How YouTube Created the Attention Economy (12/4/2022) Tagged: History - Internet, History - Computing, YouTube, History - YouTube   |   "Like, Comment, Subscribe," a new history of the platform by Mark Bergen, makes the case that YouTube cracked the code for turning the desire to watch and be watched into money.
Photo of Frances Haugen A Conversation with Facebook Whistleblower Frances Haugen (12/4/2022) Tagged: Facebook, Facebook - Social Aspects   |   We are now in social media's Big Tobacco moment. And that’s largely thanks to the courage of one woman: Frances Haugen.
Photo of Hugh Halpern An Update from Hugh Halpern, Director of the U.S. Government Publishing Office (12/4/2022) Tagged: IT - Technological Innovation   |   What are some of the new initiatives from the U.S. Government Publishing Office? Director Hugh Halpern offers an update, which has been incorporated into our program for tonight’s Building Democracy’s Library event.
Blog Header - PNI holiday@2x Privacy Policies for Season’s Hottest Connected Gifts are More Complicated and Incomprehensible Than Ever (12/4/2022) Tagged: Privacy, Privacy Policies   |   Make smart choices to protect your privacy. Search for products. Read expert reviews. Get tips and tricks.
Illustration of Joel Kaplan whispering in the ears of Mark Zuckerberg Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi - Illustration: Jules Julien The Infinite Reach of Joel Kaplan, Facebook’s Man in Washington (11/17/2022) Tagged: Facebook, Politics & Government, Technology & Politics   |   How one man came to rule political speech on Facebook, command one of the largest lobbies in DC, and guide Zuck through disaster—and straight into it.
the metaverse concept - Amrita Marino The metaverse is a new word for an old idea (10/17/2022) Tagged: History - Computing, Metaverse   |   To understand what we are—and should be—building, we need to look beyond Snow Crash.
A collage with an image of people in PPE and art by Jenny Sharaf - Illustration: Jenny Sharaf; Getty Images Covid Will Become Endemic. The World Must Decide What That Means (10/17/2022) Tagged: Coronavirus-Covid19   |   The task of 2022 will be figuring out how much action we’re willing to take and how much disease and death we’ll tolerate.
Colorful illustration of a person reading a book titled IPCC 4 Dumdums - Illustration: ELENA LACEY The Best Way to Learn Online? Be a Lurker (9/18/2022) Tagged: Social Media, Coding, Climate, Humor   |   The internet has made me immune to a coherent narrative. In order to truly understand anything, I've taught myself to read networks.
strings connect notes pinned to pinboard - Credit: Breakermaximus What Went Wrong? (9/17/2022) Tagged: Government Policy, Information Technology, Cyber Investigation, Cyber Safety   |   For well over a decade, I have been arguing that governments should create IT accident investigation boards for the exact same reasons they have done so for ships, railroads, planes, and in many cases, automobiles.
woman stands under a cloud in an industrial landscape, illustration - Credit: Alberto Andrei Rosu, Shutterstock There Is No AI Without Data (9/17/2022) Tagged: Data Mining, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Management   |   AI has not yet delivered on the promises in industry practice. The core business of industrial enterprises is not yet AI-enhanced. We see a major need for future research regarding functional capabilities and realization technologies for an enterprise data marketplace.
head of statue from three perspectives, illustration - Credit: Ded Pixto We Are Not Users: Gaining Control Over New Technologies (9/16/2022) Tagged: Ethics, IT - Social Aspects, Design   |   Our challenge is to ensure new technologies support us as humans, not ceding our control to them, or letting them make us dumber.
Starship Technologies autonomous food-delivery robot - Credit: Charlie Leight / ASU Now The Future of Supply Chains (9/15/2022) Tagged: Robotics, Automated Vehicles, Autonomous Systems   |   Until regulators stop butting heads, drone delivery rollout likely will continue to lag well behind ground robots in the autonomous delivery stakes.
abstract structure, illustration - Credit: Yurchanka Siarhei Deep Learning for AI (9/15/2022) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Neural Networks   |   We believe that deep networks excel because they exploit a particular form of compositionality in which features in one layer are combined in many different ways to create more abstract features in the next layer. A key question for the future of AI is how do humans learn so much from observation alone?
older hands on a keyboard - Credit: MrMohock / Shutterstock The Harm in Conflating Aging With Accessibility (9/15/2022) Tagged: Web Usability, User eXperience, Web Accessibility, User Interface   |   Diversity nourishes insight and innovation; it helps society to become more empathetic, and design more compassionate technologies.
Zoom meeting on laptop computer screen and social icons, illustration - Credit: Getty Images A Year in Lockdown: How the Waves of COVID-19 Impact Internet Traffic (9/15/2022) Tagged: History - Internet, Internet Access, Social Interest, Computers and the Internet, Coronavirus-Covid19   |   As challenging as the past year (and more) has been, the Internet has made it possible for many important aspects of life, work, and culture to continue.
person holding phone - Photograph: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images Phone Keyboard Tips You Might Not Know About (9/12/2022) Tagged: How To, Quick Reference   |   From editing to dictation, you can do more with your smartphone's keyboard than you might have realized.
aerial of san francisco - Photograph: Michael H./Getty Images California’s Heat Wave Is a Big Moment for Batteries (9/12/2022) Tagged: Record Heat, Battery Technology   |   Scorching temperatures in the Golden State are a test case for a more flexible energy grid.
hands swap cash for goods through tablet computer screens, illustration - Credit: Shutterstock Monetizing Your Personal Data (9/8/2022) Tagged: Government Regulation, Personal Data, Data Brokers   |   Considering issues around data brokers that enable consumers to collect revenue from the use of their personal data.
V-Bucks surround Apple logo and hot-air balloon with Epic Games logo - Credit: Alicia Kubista / Andrij Borys Associates; Epic Games Inc. Epic Versus Apple and the Future of App Stores (9/8/2022) Tagged: Government Regulation, Online Marketplaces   |   What we need to do … is find a more equitable way to govern these marketplaces and share the wealth they are creating.
COVID symbols over commuters on subway platform, looking at their phones - Credit: Andrij Borys Associates, Wm Perugini / Shutterstock How Reliable Is Smartphone-Based Electronic Contact Tracing for COVID-19? (9/8/2022) Tagged: Contact Tracing, Mobile & Tablet, Coronavirus-Covid19   |   Identifying the optimal trade-off between discovery latency, energy consumption, and success probability is crucial for efficient and reliable contact tracing.
direction sign in front of two open doors marked P and NP respectively - Credit: Andrij Borys Associates, Shutterstock Fifty Years of P vs. NP and the Possibility of the Impossible (9/8/2022) Tagged: Theoretical Computer Science, Mathematics, The P vs. NP Problem   |   The P vs. NP problem, and the theory behind it, has not changed dramatically, but the world of computing most certainly has.
Book Cover - A Biography of the Pixel A Biography of the Pixel (8/22/2022) Tagged: Graphics & Images, Computer Generated Imagery, History - Computing, Moore's Law   |   The pixel as the organizing principle of all pictures, from cave paintings to Toy Story.
Alvy Ray Smith - Photograph: Cayce Clifford Meet the Little-Known Genius Who Helped Make Pixar Possible (8/11/2022) Tagged: History - Computing, Animation, Computer Generated Imagery   |   Alvy Ray Smith helped invent computer animation as we know it—then got royally shafted by Steve Jobs. Now he’s got a vision for where the pixel will take us next.
tree of life, illustration - Credit: Anghi / ShutterstockCredit: Anghi / Shutterstock Knowledge Graphs (7/31/2022) Tagged: Data Science, Knowledge Representation, History - Computing, Knowledge Graph   |   Tracking the historical events that lead to the interweaving of data and knowledge. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." —George Santayana
A Reflection of a modern city in the sky - ILLUSTRATION: PAULINA ALMIRA What The Matrix Got Wrong About Cities of the Future (7/25/2022) Tagged: Smart Cities, Popular Culture, Hacker Culture   |   Where the movie foresaw a distinction between digital and physical reality, modern cities are merging them, and not necessarily in a good way.
weather concept - Daniel Zender How two new supercomputers will improve weather forecasts (7/25/2022) Tagged: High Performance Computing, Weather Forecasting   |   Each of the upgrades by the US National Weather Service is the size of 10 refrigerators, has the capacity of 12.1 petaflops, and will help predict storms made worse by climate change.
computation concept - Andrea Daquino How AI is reinventing what computers are (7/25/2022) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning (DL)   |   Three key ways artificial intelligence is changing what it means to compute.
Timnit Gebru - Photograph: Djeneba Aduayom What Really Happened When Google Ousted Timnit Gebru (7/24/2022) Tagged: Ethics of AI, Google (Firm), Artificial Intelligence Research, Natural Language Processing   |   She was a star engineer who warned that messy AI can spread racism. Google brought her in. Then it forced her out. Can Big Tech take criticism from within?
illustration with Matrix inspired objects leather coat wires sunglasses arms and keyboards. - ILLUSTRATION: OLEG BUYEVSKY The Matrix Is the Best Hacker Movie (7/24/2022) Tagged: Popular Culture, Hacker Culture   |   Most people point to Sneakers, Hackers, or WarGames. They’re all wrong. The Wachowskis actually invented the ultimate cyber superhero.
Cover Photo of Steve Jobs - The front cover uses a photo of Steve Jobs commissioned by Fortune magazine in 2006 for a portfolio of powerful people. The photograph was taken by Albert Watson. Steve Jobs (7/19/2022) Tagged: History - Silicon Valley, Apple Inc., History - Computing   |   The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. —Apple's "Think Different" commercial, 1997.
Andrew A. Chien, CACM EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Good, Better, Best: How Sustainable Should Computing Be? (7/10/2022) Tagged: Ethics, Decarbonize, Renewable / Sustainable Energy   |   As financial pressures on climate risk and reputation grow, computing industry executives have made new commitments to reduce carbon emissions and impact.
columns of blocks, illustration - Credit: Omelchenko ‘In Situ’ Data Rights (7/10/2022) Tagged: Privacy & Data Protection, Data Portability   |   By moving our data to portals that would share more value in return, we might capture more of our data value.
patent label and binary code, illustration - Credit: Getty Images, PngFind Patent Absurdity (7/10/2022) Tagged: Accidental Humor   |   If there is one legal issue that ought to be taught to all software engineers, it is, "Don't read patents!"
coronavirus molecules on world map, illustration - Credit: Blue Planet Studio Software Development in Disruptive Times (7/9/2022) Tagged: Coronavirus-Covid19, Agile Software Development, Low Code & No Code Software Development Technoloies   |   From the point of market-opportunity awareness to the availability of a fully functional software product, the project took three weeks to complete and involved several state-of-the-art practices and tools.
photo of Buzz Aldrin on the moon with drone hovering in the background - Credit: Andrij Borys Associates; NASA; Pedro Jordano Human Detection of Machine-Manipulated Media (7/9/2022) Tagged: Deepfakes / Digital Fakes, Deepfake Detecting   |   This new capacity for scalable manipulation raises the question of how prepared people are to detect manipulated media.
Book Cover - In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives (5/23/2022) Tagged: History - Internet, Google (Firm), History - Silicon Valley, History - Computing   |   “The most interesting book ever written about Google” (The Washington Post) delivers the inside story behind the most successful and admired technology company of our time, now updated with a new Afterword.
How Bellingcat is using TikTok to investigate the war in Ukraine (5/15/2022) Tagged: Russia, Bellingcat, Ukraine, Open Source Intelligence (OSINT)   |   The data detectives at Bellingcat showed 60 Minutes how social media is providing evidence of alleged Russian war crimes and other atrocities.
check mark and x symbols Informing California Privacy Regulations with Evidence from Research (5/3/2022) Tagged: Privacy & Personal Information   |   This story provides a case study of how academic researchers can refocus their research to answer policymakers' questions.
two mirrored face images, illustration - Credit: Getty Images What To Do About Deepfakes (5/3/2022) Tagged: Ethics of AI, Deepfakes / Digital Fakes   |   Research and development of synthetic media will be better served if technical experts see themselves as part of the solution, and not the problem.
clean face and bearded face on front and back of a bust - Credit: Svetlana Pasechnaya Science Is Not Another Opinion (5/3/2022) Tagged: Government Policy, Science   |   Different communities can and do evolve different statements of scientific facts based on the same evidence.
Aerial view of civilians walking around destroyed residential neighborhood in Borodianka Ukraine - Photograph: Anastasia Vlasova/Getty Images The Race to Archive Social Posts That May Prove Russian War Crimes (4/18/2022) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Social Media – Novel & Beneficial Uses, Bellingcat, Ukraine, Open Source Intelligence (OSINT)   |   Painstaking new techniques for archiving social media posts could provide crucial evidence in future prosecutions.
Joy Buolamwini of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab. Can the Biases in Facial Recognition Be Fixed; Also, Should They? (4/15/2022) Tagged: Ethics of AI, Bias, Facial Recognition   |   Many facial recognition systems used by law enforcement are shot through with biases. Can anything be done to make them fair and trustworthy?
scissors and paper clips on text of Section 230 - Credit: Andrij Borys Associates, Shutterstock The Push for Stricter Rules for Internet Platforms (4/15/2022) Tagged: Internet - Government Policy, Government Regulation   |   Considering the origins, interpretations, and possible changes to Communications Decency Act § 230 amid an evolving online environment.
Apple M1 chip on a black background - Courtesy of Apple How Apple’s Monster M1 Ultra Chip Keeps Moore’s Law Alive (4/13/2022) Tagged: Computer Chip Manufacture, Moore's Law, IT - Technological Innovation   |   By combining two processors into one, the company has squeezed a surprising amount of performance out of silicon.
Billboard that says Move to Miami with a yellow convertible Lamborghini with Mayor Suarez's head a robot flamingo... - Illustrations by Alvaro Dominguez; Getty Images; Portraits by Flaminia Fanale Welcome to Miami, Where All Your Memes Come True! (4/13/2022) Tagged: Culture   |   The city is trying to lure in Silicon Valley types, hyping the promise of sun, sand, and seed rounds. Does it want Silicon Valley’s problems too?
Report Cover - Bounty Everything: Hackers and the Making of the Global Bug Marketplace Bounty Everything: Hackers and the Making of the Global Bug Marketplace (4/8/2022) Tagged: Ethics, History - Computing, Bug Bounty Programs   |   In Bounty Everything: Hackers and the Making of the Global Bug Marketplace, researchers Ryan Ellis and Yuan Stevens provide a window into the working lives of hackers who participate in “bug bounty” programs—programs that hire hackers to discover and report bugs or other vulnerabilities in their systems.
Rescuers carry a wounded person on the stretcher as they respond to shelling in central Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine, on March 1, 2022. - (Photo by Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy/Ukrinform/NurPhoto) Hospitals Bombed and Apartments Destroyed: Mapping Incidents of Civilian Harm in Ukraine (4/7/2022) Tagged: Bellingcat, Ukraine, Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), Russia, Technology & War   |   With more videos and images coming to light each day, Bellingcat and members of its Global Authentication Project have begun to log and map these incidents on an interactive TimeMap.
Book Cover - The Innovators How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution (4/5/2022) Tagged: History - Internet, Digital Revolution, History - Silicon Valley, History - Computing   |   The computer and the Internet are among the most important inventions of our era, but few people know who created them. There were a lot of fascinating people involved, some ingenious and a few even geniuses. This is the story of these pioneers, hackers, inventors, and entrepreneurs—who they were, how their minds worked, and what made them so creative. It's also a narrative of how they collaborated and why their ability to work as teams made them even more creative.
Ukrainian soldier standing on top of a seized Russian military tank in the woods - Photograph: Metin Aktas/Getty Images As Russia Plots Its Next Move, an AI Listens to the Chatter (4/5/2022) Tagged: Russia, Surveillance - Video & Analytics, Technology & War, Natural Language Processing, Ukraine, Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), Text Analysis, Artificial Intelligence, Surveillance - Electronic   |   With vast amounts of data becoming available to intelligence analysts, new tools will help them sift and interpret it all—but they will introduce new risks, too.
battery stress testing - Winni Wintermeyer Novel lithium-metal batteries will drive the switch to electric cars (4/4/2022) Tagged: Battery Technology, Electric Vehicle Technology   |   A new type of battery could finally make electric cars as convenient and cheap as gas ones.
Silhouette of a person standing in front of the Kremlin's Spasskaya tower and St Basil's cathedral at sunset in Moscow.. - Photograph: Getty Images Russia Is Facing a Tech Worker Exodus (3/31/2022) Tagged: Russia, Business Innovation, Geopolitics, Technology & War, Ukraine   |   With founders and developers scrambling for the exit, the Russian tech scene is taking a major hit.
Photo of Brewster Kahle After 25 years, Brewster Kahle and the Internet Archive are still working to democratize knowledge (3/29/2022) Tagged: Digital Permanence, Internet Archive, Protecting Democracy, Digital Knowledge, IT - Technological Innovation, History - Internet   |   Corporations continue to control access to materials that are in the library, which is controlling preservation, and it’s killing us.
ANIMATION: XEMRIND How Telegram Became the Anti-Facebook (3/13/2022) Tagged: Social Media, Facebook, Activism, Technology & Politics, Telegram, VKontakte   |   Hundreds of millions of users. No algorithm. No ads. Courage in the face of autocracy. Sound like a dream? Careful what you wish for.
people watch Vladimir Putin's address - AP Photo/Denis Kaminev, File Activists are using ads to sneak real news to Russians about Ukraine (3/13/2022) Tagged: Russia, Online Advertising, Internet Censorship Circumvention, Ukraine, Innovation   |   From pop-up notifications to Facebook ads, campaigners in Ukraine and beyond are using any means necessary to beat Russia’s information firewall.
Multicolored ethernet cables tangled into a ball against a black background - Photograph: Nikuwka/Getty Images Why ICANN Won’t Revoke Russian Internet Domains (3/12/2022) Tagged: Internet Access, Russia, Ukraine   |   The organization says cutting the country off would have “devastating” effects on the global internet system.
Cartoon padlock and broken glass superimposed on a Russian flag. - Cartoon padlock and broken glass superimposed on a Russian flag. Enlarge Sean Gladwell / Getty Images Why Russia’s “disconnection” from the Internet isn’t amounting to much (3/12/2022) Tagged: Internet Access, Russia, Internet Backbone   |   So far, moves by two of the Internet's major pipelines are having negligible effects.
Russian serviceman operating a T72B3 tank of the Russian Southern Military District's 150th Rifle Division in a snowy field - Photograph: Erik Romanenko\Getty Images Online Sleuths Are Using Face Recognition to ID Russian Soldiers (3/12/2022) Tagged: Russia, Facial Recognition, Bellingcat, Ukraine, Open Source Intelligence (OSINT)   |   It takes five minutes to put a name to a soldier's face using little more than a screenshot, but there's a catch.
Aerial view of the Pripyat River on the border of Ukraine and Belarus taken by a Capella Space SAR satellite - Courtesy of Capella Space High Above Ukraine, Satellites Get Embroiled in the War (3/7/2022) Tagged: Ethics, Ukraine, Open Source Intelligence (OSINT)   |   While the Russian invasion rages on the ground, companies that operate data-collecting satellites find themselves in an awkward position.
(Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters) A new iron curtain is descending across Russia’s Internet (3/7/2022) Tagged: Ethics, Russia, Internet Censorship, Internet Backbone   |   On Friday, online access was curtailed by both Russian censors and Western businesses as the war in Ukraine became a reason for moves that limited free access to the Internet.
Tower struck image - Sergei Supinsky / AFP via Getty Images How Open-Source Intelligence Is Helping Clear The Fog Of War In Ukraine (3/6/2022) Tagged: Social Media, Ukraine, Open Source Intelligence (OSINT)   |   From high-resolution satellite images to TikTok videos, governments no longer control information from the front lines.
Collage of images of people wearing Ukrainian flags taking pictures rubble in Kyiv and the ICC flag - Photo-Illustration: Sam Whitney; Getty Images What Russia Is Doing to Ukraine Must Be Preserved—Not Just Seen (3/6/2022) Tagged: Geopolitics, Ukraine, Open Source Intelligence (OSINT)   |   Images of crimes against humanity are in danger of being lost. Fortunately, best practices exist, and the international community needs to implement them.
A sign outside Canada's embassy in Beijing supporting Ukraine. It was later defaced, and posts about the incident were scrubbed from Chinese social media. - Photograph: Andrea Verdelli/Getty Images The War in Ukraine Is Keeping Chinese Social Media Censors Busy (3/6/2022) Tagged: Social Media, China, Russia, Internet Censorship, Ukraine   |   Posts that glorify war and those that criticize Russia are getting quietly deleted, as platforms are pressured to walk a thin line.
computer chip - Photograph: Yevgen Romanenko/Getty Images Russia’s War in Ukraine Could Spur Another Global Chip Shortage (3/1/2022) Tagged: Computer Chip Manufacture, Ukraine   |   Ukraine is home to half of the world's neon gas, which is critical for manufacturing semiconductor chips.
Troops and equipment remain deployed along Lake Donuzlav and the Novoozernoye area. Artillery units remain deployed in the fields near the garrison and troop tents also remain nearby. Several large sets of armored equipment were positioned in convoy nearby. Photograph: Maxar Technologies If Russia Invades Ukraine, TikTok Will See It Up Close (2/27/2022) Tagged: Russia, Social Media – Novel & Beneficial Uses, Ukraine, TikTok, Open Source Intelligence (OSINT)   |   As troops amass on Ukraine’s border, civilians capture it all on camera. Online sleuths are now unpacking the details.
Book Cover - A New History of Modern Computing A New History of Modern Computing (2/3/2022) Tagged: History - Internet, History - Silicon Valley, History - Computing   |   How the computer became universal.
"Smoking Gun" by Claudio Rousselon is licensed under CC BY 4.0 Europe is adopting stricter rules on surveillance tech (1/17/2022) Tagged: Government Policy, Surveillance - Online   |   The goal is to make sales of technologies like spyware and facial recognition more transparent in Europe first, and then worldwide.
Computer enhanced 3D diffusion spectral imaging (DSI) scan of the bundles of white matter nerve fibres in the brain. - Science Photo Library This is how your brain makes your mind (12/28/2021) Tagged: Human Mind   |   Your mind is in fact an ongoing construction of your brain, your body, and the surrounding world.
The upper module of ASML’s next generation EUV machine was built from a 17-ton piece of milled aluminum. - Christopher Payne Inside the machine that saved Moore’s Law (12/22/2021) Tagged: Computer Chip Manufacture, Moore's Law, Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography   |   The Dutch firm ASML spent $9 billion and 17 years developing a way to keep making denser computer chips.
This extreme ultraviolet lithography machine allows manufacturers to make leading-edge chips with features a few nanometers in size. - ASML The great chip crisis threatens the promise of Moore’s Law (12/22/2021) Tagged: Computer Chip Manufacture   |   A shortage of microchips threatens to slow the decades of innovation fueled by the promise of ever faster, cheaper computing power.
1961: IBM engineers give visitors from Ames Research Center a look at the future. - NASA AMES/INTERNET ARCHIVE Where computing might go next (12/22/2021) Tagged: History - Internet, Technology & Society, History - Silicon Valley, History - Computing   |   The future of computing depends in part on how we reckon with its past.
Cover - The Artificial Intelligence Database The Artificial Intelligence Database (12/11/2021) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence   |   The Artificial Intelligence Database: Explore the technology like never before with [WIRED's] new database, which collects all of our stories on artificial intelligence and filters them by sector, source data, end user, company, and more.
two robot-like faces, illustration - Credit: vs148 / Shutterstock AI Ethics: A Call to Faculty (12/3/2021) Tagged: Ethics of AI, Government Regulation, Social Interest, Computing Education   |   To say that AI, today, is a technical discipline is entirely naive: it is a social, worldwide experiment. Our tools have teeth that cut into the everyday lives of all, and this leaves a collection of engineers and scientists in the awkward position of having far more impact on the future than is their due. …But AI ethics is not the science of ethics, but rather shorthand for the notion of applying ethical considerations to issues surfaced by AI technologies: surveillance, information ownership, privacy, emotional manipulation, agency, autonomous military operations, and so forth.
female symbol, blurred - Credit: Andrij Borys Associates, Shutterstock Women’s Lives in Code (12/2/2021) Tagged: Women in Computing   |   Like Ullman's memoir, "Halt and Catch Fire" rebuts the technology field's chronic sexism by allowing its female characters to be as interesting, talented, and flawed as any male antihero.
Rocks rich in lithium (left) could be mined to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. But the Tiehm's buckwheat (right) stands in the way. - Photograph: Aubrey Trinnaman The Lithium Mine Versus the Wildflower (11/27/2021) Tagged: Environment & Technology, Battery Technology, Ethics   |   The deposit could power millions of clean-energy car batteries. There’s just one roadblock: a rare, fragile species of buckwheat, for which a mine might mean extinction.
Book Cover - Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (11/22/2021) Tagged: History - Computing, Hacker Ethic, Hacker Culture   |   Levy profiles the imaginative brainiacs who found clever and unorthodox solutions to computer engineering problems. They had a shared sense of values, known as "the hacker ethic," that still thrives today.
gears and Rust icon, illustration - Credit: Jenni Hamilton Safe Systems Programming in Rust (11/6/2021) Tagged: Coding, Coding Security, Programming, Mozilla   |   In this article, we begin by giving the reader a bird's-eye view of the Rust programming language, with an emphasis on some of the essential features of Rust that set it apart from its contemporaries. Second, we describe the initial progress made in the RustBelt project, an ongoing project funded by the European Research Council (ERC), whose goal is to provide the first formal (and machine-checked) foundations for the safety claims of Rust. In so doing, we hope to inspire other members of the computer science research community to start paying closer attention to Rust and to help contribute to the development of this groundbreaking language.
key and map of Saudi Arabia, illustration - Credit: Andrij Borys Associates Biomedical Computing in the Arab World: Unlocking the Potential of a Growing Research Community (10/31/2021) Tagged: Medical Applications of Computing Technology, Biomedical Computing Research   |   This article sheds light on notable research efforts in the Arab world in each of the aforementioned areas of biomedical computing [biomedical imaging, biomedical signal analysis and bioinformatics]. It also demonstrates how this research addresses healthcare issues in the region.
Non-Traditional Data Sources: Providing Insights into Sustainable Development (10/25/2021) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing, Social Media – Novel & Beneficial Uses, Non-Traditional Data Sources, Mobile Phone Metadata   |   Here, we showcase regionally developed projects that explore the use of non-traditional data sources and AI to help measure progress toward the [Sustainable Development Goals].
Collage of images of lungs syringes veins and Covid19 viruses - Illustration: Najeebah Al-Ghadban; Getty Images May I Borrow Your Covid Immunity? (10/24/2021) Tagged: Coronavirus-Covid19, Medical Technology   |   Whenever a new virus emerges—be it HIV or SARS-CoV-2—a few lucky people put up a potent natural defense. Monoclonal antibody drugs let them share the health.
image based on Wikipedia logo- Credit: Andrij Borys Associates Building a Multilingual Wikipedia (10/24/2021) Tagged: Natural Language Generation, Knowledge Representation, Wikipedia, Collaborative Systems   |   In order to close these knowledge gaps we are building a multilingual Wikipedia where content is created only once but made available in all languages.
male at glowing keyboard - Credit: Andrij Borys Associates, Shutterstock When Hackers Were Heroes (10/23/2021) Tagged: Hackers & Hacking, History - Computing, Hacker Ethic, Hacker Culture   |   What was exceptional about MIT was not that it had a computer or that unkempt programmers were devising impressive tricks. It was that MIT had enough computers that a couple of surplus machines could be left out for members of the community to play with.
medical professional examines MRI - Getty Images Deep Learning Speeds MRI Scans (10/22/2021) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning (DL), Deep Learning Neural Network (DNN), Medical Applications of Computing Technology   |   Facebook, the Palo Alto, CA-based online social network, has teamed up with radiologists at New York University's Langone Medical Center in Manhattan to develop an artificial intelligence (AI)-based imaging accelerator for MRI scanners.
lock with initials 'VPN' - Credit: Den Rise Everything VPN Is New Again (10/19/2021) Tagged: History - Internet, Virtual Private Networks (VPN), Network Security   |   The growing number of end-user devices and a new layer of virtualization in datacenters has subtly but profoundly changed how the VPN abstraction fits into networking.
charging port on hood of electric vehicle - Credit: Andrii Malkov Battery Day (10/19/2021) Tagged: Battery Technology   |   Batteries are a part of everyday life; without them, the world would be a much different place. Your cellphone, flashlight, tablet, laptops, drones, cars, and other devices would not be portable and operational without batteries.
virtual conference call, illustration- Credit: Getty Images Five Nonobvious Remote Work Techniques (10/18/2021) Tagged: Audio & Video on the Web, Remote Work on the Web   |   Here are my top five favorite techniques Stack Overflow uses to make remote work successful on a social level.
Conceptual collage illustration of woman, rising temperatures and smoke stack.- Kelsey Niziolek Lessons from a genocide can prepare humanity for climate apocalypse (10/18/2021) Tagged: Historical Analogy, Climate Change, Environment & Technology   |   The bad news is that our slow-motion ecological catastrophe demands new ways of thinking. The good news? We’ve faced the end of the world before.
framed diplomas and certificates, illustration - Credit: Andrij Borys Associates, Shutterstock Software Professionals, Malpractice Law, and Codes of Ethics (10/18/2021) Tagged: Law & Policy, Computing as a Profession   |   Most legal scholars agree the list of professions includes medicine and law. Beyond that there is little consensus as to who else qualifies.
Cover - Law for Computer Scientists and Other Folk Law for Computer Scientists and Other Folk (10/18/2021) Tagged: Law & Policy, Law & Technology, Privacy & Data Protection, Intellectual Property   |   This is the first textbook introducing law to computer scientists.
burst of colored squares, illustration - Credit: Qushe / Shutterstock WebRTC: Real-Time Communication for the Open Web Platform (10/16/2021) Tagged: Real-Time Communication (RTC), Open Architecture, Audio & Video on the Web   |   Most importantly, WebRTC is growing from enabling useful experiences to being essential in allowing billions to continue their work and education, and keep vital human contact during a pandemic. The opportunities and impact that lie ahead for WebRTC are intriguing indeed.
Selman Design The dangerous appeal of technology-driven futures (10/16/2021) Tagged: Technology & Society, Ethics, Technology   |   Technology doesn’t rule us. We direct it, but often by inaction.
Daniel Zender Why prisoners like me need internet access (10/16/2021) Tagged: Ethics, Technology & Society, Social Justice   |   I haven’t been online in almost two decades. Being able to would help me prepare for life after my release.
Getty Images Why Generation Z falls for online misinformation (10/16/2021) Tagged: Influencers in Social Media, Social Media, Technology Policy, Misinformation   |   We can all learn from how today’s young people evaluate truth online.
Allie Sullberg How the next generation is reshaping political discourse (10/16/2021) Tagged: Social Media, Protecting Democracy, Digital Democracy, Slacktivism   |   The rise of social media and being always online is changing the nature of civic engagement.
Pictured in top row from left: Raphael Gontijo Lopes, Deborah Raji, Rediet Abebe. Second row: Joy Buolamwini. Third row from left: William Agnew, Timnit Gebru. - Ricardo Santos Inside the fight to reclaim AI from Big Tech’s control (10/16/2021) Tagged: Ethics of AI, Social Justice, Artificial Intelligence   |   For years, Big Tech has set the global AI research agenda. Now, groups like Black in AI and Queer in AI are upending the field’s power dynamics to build AI that serves people.
figures interacting with technology and one another, illustration - Credit: Elenabsl / Shutterstock Responsible AI: Bridging From Ethics to Practice (10/11/2021) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Ethics of AI   |   These recommendations are meant to increase reliability, safety, and trustworthiness while increasing the benefits of AI technologies.
Google employees at walkout in November 2018 - Credit: Getty Images The Unionization of Technology Companies (10/9/2021) Tagged: Employment, Technology Employee Activism, Technology Unions   |   Tech unions represent a new twist on an existing form of worker organization, and they're looking to disrupt the status quo of major tech companies like Google.
an illustration of a group of people tightly huddled together - Illustration: Janice Chang ‘Real’ Programming Is an Elitist Myth (10/8/2021) Tagged: Coding, Approachable Programming, Programming   |   When people build a database to manage reading lists or feed their neighbors, that’s coding—and culture.
(picture alliance via Getty Images) Americans and Digital Knowledge (10/5/2021) Tagged: Digital Knowledge   |   A majority of U.S. adults can answer fewer than half the questions correctly on a digital knowledge quiz, and many struggle with certain cybersecurity and privacy questions.
VisiCalc screenshot A Spreadsheet Way of Knowledge (10/3/2021) Tagged: Software, History - Computing   |   A generation ago, a tool unleashed the power of business modeling—and created an entrepreneurial boom.
Cover - Electronic Life by Michael Crichton Electronic Life: How to Think About Computers (9/26/2021) Tagged: Computing, History - Computing   |   Electronic Life was created as a layman’s guide to computers. It explained simply, concisely and without jargon what computers really are, how to choose them, how to use them, how to think about them, how to live with them, how to get them to help you, how to keep them in their place, how to enjoy them. It described step-by-step instructions on what to do when you first approach a new computer to sound advice on how to stop your computer from causing trouble in the family. His message: Don’t be afraid of them, they’re only machines, they’re here to make your life easier, and, what’s more, they can be a lot of fun.
Book Covers - The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America (9/17/2021) Tagged: History - Internet, History - Silicon Valley, History - Computing, Women in Computing   |   The true, behind-the-scenes history of the people who built Silicon Valley and shaped Big Tech in America.
Sophie Zhang - Photo by Christie Hemm Klok She risked everything to expose Facebook. Now she’s telling her story. (8/3/2021) Tagged: Disinformation (Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior), Ethics, Government Regulation, Facebook, Technology & Politics   |   Sophie Zhang, a former data scientist at Facebook, revealed that it enables global political manipulation and has done little to stop it.
Photo of Joaquin Quiñonero Candela by Winni Wintermeyer How Facebook got addicted to spreading misinformation (8/2/2021) Tagged: Ethics of AI, Facebook, Facebook - Social Aspects, Artificial Intelligence   |   The company’s AI algorithms gave it an insatiable habit for lies and hate speech. Now the man who built them can't fix the problem. [Not because he doesn't want to, but because he is not allowed to as it would get in the way of profits.]
What happens when you type a URL in the browser and press enter? What happens when you type a URL in the browser and press enter? (7/25/2021) Tagged: How Things Work, Internet Access   |   Although this seems like a very tedious prolonged process, we know that it takes less than seconds for a web page to render after we hit enter on our keyboard. All of these steps happen within milliseconds before we could even notice.
Life Without the Tech Giants Life Without the Tech Giants (7/25/2021) Tagged: Privacy & Personal Information, Blocking Tech Giants   |   Maybe you’re in the camp of people who worry that these companies have too much access to our purchases, our movements, our social networks—and perhaps even our thoughts. Maybe you’re disturbed by the concentration of so much economic power in a handful of companies built on the West Coast’s fault lines. Or maybe you want them to have less insight into your life so they have less sway over our society. But how? How do you reduce their power? Is it even possible? The common retort to these concerns is that you should “just stop using their services.” So I decided to try.
I Cut the 'Big Five' Tech Giants From My Life. It Was Hell I Cut the ‘Big Five’ Tech Giants From My Life. It Was Hell (7/24/2021) Tagged: Microsoft, Apple Inc., Blocking Tech Giants, Amazon Web Services, Google (Firm), Facebook, How To, Privacy & Personal Information   |   Over the course of five weeks, I blocked Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple one at a time, to find out how to live in the modern age without each one. To end my experiment, I’m going to see if I can survive blocking all five at once.
Image for article titled Want to Really Block the Tech Giants? Here's How - Illustration: Jim Cooke Want to Really Block the Tech Giants? Here’s How (7/24/2021) Tagged: Apple Inc., Blocking Tech Giants, Amazon Web Services, Google (Firm), Facebook, How To, Privacy & Personal Information, Microsoft   |   As consumers, we are afforded only a few avenues of acceptable dissent—the most reasonable of which is that, if you don’t like what a company is doing, you can move your money and data elsewhere. But increasingly this option is unavailable to us.
Rachel Orr/The Washington Post China’s scary lesson to the world: Censoring the Internet works (7/22/2021) Tagged: History - Internet, China, Internet Censorship, Internet Governance, Series: WaPo - Behind the Firewall, Surveillance - Online   |   "After two decades of Internet development under the Communist Party’s firm leadership, [China’s Internet czar, Lu Wei] said, his country had struck the correct balance between 'freedom and order' and between 'openness and autonomy.'” – BEHIND THE FIREWALL: How China tamed the Internet | This is part 1 of 6 of a series examining the impact of China’s Great Firewall, a mechanism of Internet censorship and surveillance that affects nearly 700 million users.
(Washington Post illustration; iStock) Internet activists are finding ways around China’s Great Firewall (7/22/2021) Tagged: China, Internet Censorship, Series: WaPo - Behind the Firewall, Internet Censorship Circumvention, Surveillance - Online, Virtual Private Networks (VPN)   |   “I hope one day I’ll live in a country where I have the freedom to write any code I like without fearing.” – BEHIND THE FIREWALL: How China tamed the Internet | This is part 2 of 6 of a series examining the impact of China’s Great Firewall, a mechanism of Internet censorship and surveillance that affects nearly 700 million users.
(Rachel Orr/The Washington Post; iStock) The Internet was supposed to foster democracy. China has different ideas. (7/22/2021) Tagged: China, Internet Censorship, Series: WaPo - Behind the Firewall, Real-name Verification, Propaganda   |   "I just want freedom of speech without fear." – BEHIND THE FIREWALL: How China tamed the Internet | This is part 3 of 6 of a series examining the impact of China’s Great Firewall, a mechanism of Internet censorship and surveillance that affects nearly 700 million users.
China Innovation gif America wants to believe China can’t innovate. Tech tells a different story. (7/22/2021) Tagged: China, Series: WaPo - Behind the Firewall, China - Innovation   |   "The truth is that behind the Great Firewall — the system of censorship designed to block content that could challenge the Chinese Communist Party — China’s tech scene is flourishing in a parallel universe." – BEHIND THE FIREWALL: How China tamed the Internet | This is part 4 of 6 of a series examining the impact of China’s Great Firewall, a mechanism of Internet censorship and surveillance that affects nearly 700 million users.
((Rachel Orr/The Washington Post; iStock)) China’s plan to organize its society relies on ‘big data’ to rate everyone (7/22/2021) Tagged: Social Control, China, Data Mining, Series: WaPo - Behind the Firewall, Surveillance - Online, Social Credit   |   "This is what China calls “Internet Plus,” but critics call a 21st-century police state." – BEHIND THE FIREWALL: How China tamed the Internet | This is part 5 of 6 of a series examining the impact of China’s Great Firewall, a mechanism of Internet censorship and surveillance that affects nearly 700 million users.
Washington Post illustration; iStock U.S. companies want to play China’s game. They just can’t win it. (7/22/2021) Tagged: China, Series: WaPo - Behind the Firewall   |   "For some highflying U.S. Internet businesses, the China dream is fading; for others, it looks radically different from what they had hoped." – BEHIND THE FIREWALL: How China tamed the Internet | This is part 6 of 6 of a series examining the impact of China’s Great Firewall, a mechanism of Internet censorship and surveillance that affects nearly 700 million users.
A live visualization of the online phishing and fraudulent phone calls across China. (Ng Han Guan/Associated Press) China’s vast Internet prison (7/22/2021) Tagged: Social Control, China, Internet Censorship   |   In law and in practice, China is creating the world’s largest online thought prison. It turns the idea of the Internet as a force for freedom on its head, and as China goes, so go other tyrants. From Vietnam to Saudi Arabia, from Russia to Turkey, the age of Internet repression has blossomed.
MIT's Time-Sharing Computer Passwords Evolved: Authentication Guidance for the Modern Era (7/20/2021) Tagged: Password Managers, Passwords, Security Guidance   |   Here's the bigger picture of what all this guidance from governments and tech companies alike is recognising: security is increasingly about a composition of controls which when combined, improve the overall security posture of a service. What you'll see across this post is a collection of recommendations which all help contribute to a more robust solution by virtue of complementing one another.
MIT's Time-Sharing Computer The World’s First Computer Password? It Was Useless Too (7/20/2021) Tagged: Passwords, History - Computing   |   Who invented the computer password?
Ray Holt - Photograph: William Widmer The Secret History of the First Microprocessor, the F-14, and Me (7/19/2021) Tagged: History - Computing   |   This is the story, then, of how another first microprocessor, a secret one, came to be—and of my own entwinement with it. The device was designed by a team at a company called Garrett AiResearch on a subcontract for Grumman, the aircraft manufacturer. It was larger, it was a combination of six chips, and it performed crucial functions for the F-14 Tomcat fighter jet, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of its first flight this week.
Illustration of US Government Seal depicting a bald eagle holding a computer mouse and photoshop icon - Illustration: Sam Whitney; Getty Images The US Government Needs to Invest in Digital Design (7/18/2021) Tagged: Chief eXperince Officer (CXO), Government Services, User eXperience   |   Our nation’s failure to invest in information technology has severely limited our Covid response. A federal chief experience officer could change that.
blocky world map with people - Illustration: Hiroshi Watanabe A New Tool Shows How Google Results Vary Around the World (7/13/2021) Tagged: Web Search Engines   |   Google’s claim to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” has earned it an aura of objectivity. Its dominance in search, and the disappearance of most competitors, make its lists of links appear still more canonical. An experimental new interface for Google Search aims to remove that mantle of neutrality.
The Apple data center in Guiyang as seen in a satellite image. Apple plans to store the personal data of its Chinese customers there on computer servers run by a state-owned Chinese firm. - Credit: CNES/AIRBUS Censorship, Surveillance and Profits: A Hard Bargain for Apple in China (7/13/2021) Tagged: China, Internet Censorship, Geopolitics, Apple Inc., Surveillance - Online   |   “Censorship, Surveillance and Profits: A Hard Bargain for Apple in China” The New York Times, May 17, 2021 (Updated June 17, 2021) Technology By Jack Nicas, Raymond Zhong and Daisuke Wakabayashi “Apple built the world’s most valuable business on top of …
chicken network - Pablo Delcan Technology can help us feed the world, if we look beyond profit (7/11/2021) Tagged: Coronavirus-Covid19, Free-Market Capitalism, Industrial Food, Food Insecurity, Agrotechnology, Genetic Modification, Food Movement, Ethics   |   Technology has completely transformed the global food supply system, yet still hasn't brought an end to hunger. For that to happen, the choices we need to make are political, not technological.
user's hands at mouse and keyboard - Credit: Getty Images Dark Patterns: Past, Present, and Future. The evolution of tricky user interfaces. (7/10/2021) Tagged: Human Psychology, Surveillance Capitalism, Online Advertising, Ethics   |   Dark patterns are user interfaces that benefit an online service by leading users into making decisions they might not otherwise make. Some dark patterns deceive users while others covertly manipulate or coerce them into choices that are not in their best interests.
people walking in Grand Central Terminal - Photograph: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images The Vulnerable Can Wait. Vaccinate the Super-Spreaders First (7/10/2021) Tagged: Coronavirus-Covid19, Network Science   |   Why, Vespignani wondered, were computer networks still susceptible to viruses even though millions of individual users had antivirus software? The answer, he discovered, was that if you didn't inoculate the nodes, malicious code could still zip around the internet with relative ease.
illustration of a city overlaid with wires cash and technology - Illustration: MOJO WANG Huawei, 5G, and the Man Who Conquered Noise (7/10/2021) Tagged: Data Networks, Channel Capacity (Shannon Limit), Channel Polarization (Polar Codes), Huawei, Information Theory   |   A Turkish scientist’s obscure theoretical breakthrough helped the Chinese tech giant gain control of the future. US telecoms never had a chance.
telephone pole with wires - Getty What cities need now (7/10/2021) Tagged: Smart Cities, Urban Technology   |   Smart cities haven’t brought the tangible improvements that many hoped they would. What comes next?
Measuring Internet Speed: Current Challenges and Future Recommendations Measuring Internet Speed: Current Challenges and Future Recommendations (7/9/2021) Tagged: Internet Speed Testing   |   [This article explores] the need to evolve our understanding of the utility of existing Internet speed test tools and consider how these tools may need to be redesigned to present a more representative measure of a user's Internet experience.
flags flying at Apple headquarters - Credit: Apple Insider Silicon Politics (7/8/2021) Tagged: Technology & Politics, History - Internet, History - Silicon Valley   |   Silicon Valley's mythology of independence to the contrary, politics and government are absolutely central to its story.
binary code on colorful background - Credit: Alesanko Rodriguez The Life of a Data Byte (7/8/2021) Tagged: Historical, Data Storage Technology   |   This article also travels in time through various storage media, diving into how data has been stored throughout history. By no means does this include every single storage medium ever manufactured, sold, or distributed. This article is meant to be fun and informative but not encyclopedic. It wraps up with a look at the current and future technologies for storage.
robot with phone 'like' 'like' 'like', illustration - Credit: Poynter A Decade of Social Bot Detection (7/7/2021) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Social Media, Artificial Intelligence Research, Social Bots   |   In this work, we briefly survey the first decade of research in social bot detection. Via a longitudinal analysis, we discuss the main trends of research in the fight against bots, the major results that were achieved, and the factors that make this never-ending battle so challenging. Capitalizing on lessons learned from our extensive analysis, we suggest possible innovations that could give us the upper hand against deception and manipulation. Studying a decade of endeavors in social bot detection can also inform strategies for detecting and mitigating the effects of other—more recent—forms of online deception, such as strategic information operations and political trolls.
clenched fist, illustration - Credit: Getty Images Power to the People. Reducing datacenter carbon footprints. (7/7/2021) Tagged: Data Centers, Open Compute Project, Power Usage Efficiency   |   The Open Compute Project was started as an effort to allow other companies running datacenters to benefit from the power efficiencies as well. If more organizations run rack-scale architectures in their datacenters, the wasted carbon emissions caused by conventional servers can be lessened.
blind person navigating via smartphone app - Credit: The Associated Press Technologies for the Visually Impaired (7/7/2021) Tagged: Smartphone Apps, Assistive Technology, Artificial Intelligence   |   Artificial intelligence is taking the ability of affordable smartphone apps to empower the blind and visually impaired to the next level.
two metallic gears, illustration - Credit: Starline Operationalizing AI Ethics Principles (7/7/2021) Tagged: Ethics of AI   |   What is the point of company-specific sets of principles if the content is largely the same, as we have seen? If well done, the point is that organizations with their own customized set of AI principles can determine how to weigh competing principles and which intrinsic value to prioritize when core principles (and theories) conflict.
Jim Selman - Credit: YouTube Navigating in Real-Time Environments (7/7/2021) Tagged: Interviews, Technology & Society, Leadership & Professionalism   |   “Navigating in Real-Time Environments” Communications of the ACM, December 2020, Vol. 63 No. 12, Pages 26-28 The profession of IT By Peter J. Denning “Jim Selman has been a professional leadership coach for over 30 years. He frequently encounters executives …
FPGA, illustration - Credit: DesignLinx The History, Status, and Future of FPGAs (7/6/2021) Tagged: Hardware Design, ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit), FPGA (Field-Programmable Gate Array)   |   ASIC teams always fight the FPGA concept. ASIC designers ask, "Which functionality do you want?" and are impatient if the answer is, "I don't know yet."
Meet the Web's Operating System HTTP Meet the Web’s Operating System: HTTP (7/5/2021) Tagged: History - Internet, Just Plain Fun, HTTP Standard   |   The HTTP standard, the language of web servers, was born humbly in 1990 as the hypertext transfer protocol. HTTP was basically just a few verbs—simple commands—that a browser said to a web server. The most essential of these were GET, which asks a server for information, and POST, which sends info back.
Robin K. Hill - Credit: University of Wyoming Protecting Computers and People From Viruses (7/5/2021) Tagged: Computer Viruses   |   The really interesting question is what a strong successful analogy, matching computer viruses to organic viruses, would mean.
Covid-related icons on a smartphone - Credit: Getty Images Who Has Access to Your Smartphone Data? (7/5/2021) Tagged: Ethics, Privacy - Right of, Law Enforcement   |   There are very few legal limits on what governments can do with even the most personal data once they have it.
view from inside a self-driving vehicle, illustration - Credit: Petovarga Self-Driving Vehicle Technology: Progress and Promises (7/5/2021) Tagged: Automated Vehicles, Self-Driving Vehicle Technology   |   If and when this technology will make its way into your average passenger vehicle is uncertain, but there is no doubt that companies have been moving closer toward their goal.
lines suggest a cityscape, illustration - Credit: Getty Images A Holistic View of Future Risks (7/5/2021) Tagged: Ethics, Trustworthy Systems, Risk   |   Human civilization does not tend to agree among issues such as fairness, equality, safety, security, privacy, and self-determination (for example). With COVID-19, economical well-being, health care, climate change, and other issues (some of which are considered here), if we cannot agree on the basic goals, we will never reach whatever they might have been—especially if the goals appear to compete with each other.
dog face - Bobby Doherty The Quest to Make a Bot That Can Smell as Well as a Dog (7/4/2021) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence Research, Artificial Olfaction, Machine Learning   |   Scientists are trying to crack the code of how smell works—and create robots that can sniff out the world's secrets like a dog.
A closeup of a dog's nose - Photograph: Esther Kok/Getty Images Now the Machines Are Learning How to Smell (7/4/2021) Tagged: Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence Research, Olfaction   |   There have been previous attempts to use machine learning to detect patterns that make one molecule smell like garlic and another like jasmine... Several other teams applied AI to that data and made successful predictions. But Wiltschko’s team took a different approach. They used something called a graph neural network, or GNN.
On his final moonwalk in 1972, Jack Schmitt stands beside a split boulder near the Apollo 17 landing site. - NASA Moondust Could Cloud Our Lunar Ambitions (7/4/2021) Tagged: Moon Dust Physics   |   It's superfine. It's sharp. It sticks to everything. Before we return to the moon, we'll have to conquer one of the weirdest substances in the solar system.
sharing misinformation - Najeebah Al-Ghadban How the truth was murdered (7/4/2021) Tagged: Disinformation (Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior), Propaganda, Social Media, Meme Culture, Misinformation, Online Harassment   |   Instead, I’m here to point out, as others have before, that people had a choice to intervene much sooner, but didn’t. Facebook and Twitter didn’t create racist extremists, conspiracy theories, or mob harassment, but they chose to run their platforms in a way that allowed extremists to find an audience, and they ignored voices telling them about the harms their business models were encouraging.
eye in keyhole on e-reader Reading in the Panopticon: Your Kindle May Be Spying on You, But You Can’t Be Sure (7/2/2021) Tagged: Surveillance - Electronic, Ethics, Surveillance Capitalism, Digital Media, Privacy & Personal Information, Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Surveillance - Online   |   eBook surveillance is potentially part of a larger trend in which data collection that would be illegal if performed by a state actor has become a common business practice of a private actor.
connected dots and lines - Credit: Getty Images Technical Perspective: Fake ‘Likes’ and Targeting Collusion Networks (7/2/2021) Tagged: Social Media, Facebook, Reputation Manipulation Services, Collusion Networks, Authentication, OAuth Secure Delegated Access, OAuth Access Tokens   |   [This article is an overview of a] paper [that] presents a rigorous study that explores the reputation manipulation ecosystem, ultimately working with Facebook to examine ways to stop this kind of large-scale online social networking abuse.
connected dots and lines - Credit: Getty Images Measuring and Mitigating OAuth Access Token Abuse by Collusion Networks (7/2/2021) Tagged: Social Media, Facebook, Reputation Manipulation Services, Collusion Networks, Authentication, OAuth Secure Delegated Access, OAuth Access Tokens   |   A comprehensive measurement study of collusion-based reputation manipulation services on Facebook.
mobile phone users and a megaphone with Facebook icon, illustration Does Facebook Use Sensitive Data for Advertising Purposes? (6/30/2021) Tagged: Privacy & Personal Information, Privacy & Data Protection, Facebook - Social Aspects, Online Advertising   |   Citizens worldwide have demonstrated serious concerns regarding the management of personal information by online services. Policymakers have reacted to this situation by passing or proposing new regulations in the area of privacy and/or data protection. In a recent work, we demonstrated that Facebook (FB) labels 73% of users within the EU with potentially sensitive interests (referred to as ad preferences as well), which may contravene the GDPR. First, this article extends the scope of our analysis from the EU to 197 countries worldwide in February 2019. Second, we analyze whether the enactment of the GDPR on May 28, 2018 had some impact on the FB practices regarding the use of sensitive ad preferences. Third, we discuss privacy and ethics risks that may be derived from the exploitation of sensitive FB ad preferences. Finally, we present a technical solution that allows users to remove in a simple way the sensitive interests FB has assigned them.
young male and female looking at smartphones - Credit: Syda Productions Excessive Use of Technology: Can Tech Providers be the Culprits? (6/16/2021) Tagged: Ethics, Technology Addiction / Excessive Use, Attention Economy   |   Almost certainly, tech companies attempt to develop ways in which participants remain engaged, although the degree to which such mechanisms are harmful remain hotly contested.
four individuals and a hand holding a mobile phone, illustration - Credit: DesignPrax Coalition of the Willing Takes Aim at COVID-19 (5/29/2021) Tagged: Data Mining, Privacy, Coronavirus-Covid19   |   Though privacy concerns limit the quantity of information they will be able to use, as the pandemic gradually clears, researchers will have data from the most closely tracked outbreak of its kind to gauge the effectiveness of the many strategies countries have used to tackle Covid-19. But the pandemic has reinforced the notion that there are limits to what data science can achieve, despite the clear cost-savings and efficiency that technology promises.
user and strident speakers, illustration - Credit: GoodStudio Content Moderation Modulation (5/29/2021) Tagged: Online Social Networks, Internet Censorship, Content Moderation, Systems of Technological Governance   |   Near-constant controversies about social media's impact on everything from political ads to violent extremism and from data protection to hate speech have led to various attempts at government regulation—some more successful than others.
neurons and lighted background, illustration - Credit: Andrii Vodolazhskyi Insights for AI from the Human Mind (5/29/2021) Tagged: Human Mind, Artificial Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence Research   |   Much work in evolutionary and developmental psychology points in the same direction; the mind is not one thing, but many. To build AIs able to comprehend open text or power general-purpose domestic robots, we need to go further. A good place to start is by looking at the human mind, which still far outstrips machines in comprehension and flexible thinking.
Digital Humans on the Big Screen - In Ang Lee's 2019 action movie Gemini Man, Will Smith (right) is confronted by a younger clone of himself (left). This filmmakers went through a complicated process to "de-age" Smith for the younger role. Digital Humans on the Big Screen (12/19/2020) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Computer Generated Imagery   |   The power of AI being applied to visual effects is relatively new and there are huge potentials for that.
illustration of symbols on buildings- Illustration: Elena Lacey The New Startup: No Code, No Problem (12/16/2020) Tagged: Coding, Low Code & No Code Software Development Technoloies   |   Now you don't need to know any programming to launch a company. We've been approaching this moment for years.
Yegor Bugayenko Why Great Programmers Pull Back the Curtain While Programming (11/28/2020) Tagged: Coding, Opinion & Perspective   |   I certainly don’t know everything. Yet as often as possible, I try to discover the ghost in the machine, so to speak, and how everything functions.
student ID in jeans back pocket - Credit: Delpixel The Temptation of Data-Enabled Surveillance (11/28/2020) Tagged: Surveillance - Electronic, Ethics, Surveillance Capitalism, Surveillance - Online   |   Current learning analytics practices may be inconsistent with higher education institutions' fiduciary responsibilities. Institutional interests and student interests are not identical, and we should not assume they align.
one arrow pointing up, another pointing down - Credit: Getty Images Above the Line, Below the Line (11/27/2020) Tagged: System Representation, Continuous Delivery   |   All these features [of Internet-facing systems] are simultaneously products of the environment and enablers of it. They have emerged in large part because the technical artifacts are evolving quickly, but moreso because the artifacts cannot be observed or manipulated directly. Computing is detectable only via representations synthesized to show its passing. Similarly, it can be manipulated only via representations.
BBC micro:bit control board - Credit: Happykits The BBC micro:bit – From the U.K. to the World (11/27/2020) Tagged: STEM & STEAM Education, Computing Education   |   The micro:bit is a small programmable and embeddable computer designed, developed, and deployed by the BBC and 29 project partners to approximately 800,000 U.K. Year 7 (11/12-year-old) school children in 2015-2016.
Stopping Tyranny (11/27/2020) Tagged: Puzzles - Logic & Math   |   Is there a natural law that says that if a country consists of mostly non-violent people and a small group willing to use force, then the brutes will win? Is there any way for the decent people to stop the brutes?
autonomous vehicle identifies pedestrians - Credit: Kollected Studio Crowdsourcing Moral Machines (11/22/2020) Tagged: Intelligent Systems, Automated Vehicles, Artificial Intelligence, Ethics of AI   |   “Crowdsourcing Moral Machines” Communications of the ACM, March 2020, Vol. 63 No. 3, Pages 48-55 Contributed Articles By Edmond Awad, Sohan Dsouza, Jean-François Bonnefon, Azim Shariff, Iyad Rahwan We believe that social scientists and computational social scientists have a pivotal …
umbrella surrounded by labels for academic disciplines, illustration - Credit: Shutterstock Why Computing Belongs Within the Social Sciences (11/22/2020) Tagged: Computing Education, Computing Curricula   |   We need to do more to fully educate our computing graduates than simply teach them deontological vs. utilitarian algorithms for ethical trolley problems.
man in driver's seat of autonomous vehicle looks at cellphone - Credit: Shutterstock.com Unsafe At Any Level (11/22/2020) Tagged: System Safety Engineering, Safety Critical Systems, Automated Vehicles, Human-Automation Interaction   |   The scientific evidence is undeniable. There is a systematic relationship between the design of automated vehicles and the types of accidents that are occurring now and will inevitably continue to occur in the future.
measuring device with display, illustration - Credit: Shutterstock / Andrij Borys Associates Proposal: A Market for Truth to Address False Ads on Social Media (11/21/2020) Tagged: Social Media, Political Advertising   |   When it comes to political ads on Facebook, anything goes. On Twitter, nothing does— A market for truth need not be perfect. It just needs to be credible and unbiased.
four differently colored network cables - Credit: Getty Images Four Internets (11/20/2020) Tagged: Open Internet, Net Neutrality, Internet Governance   |   The Four Internets: Open Internet, DC Commercial Internet, Brussels Bourgeois Internet, and Beijing Paternal Internet.
row of street lamps - Credit: Getty Images Street Lamps as a Platform (11/13/2020) Tagged: Smart Cities, SLaaP - Street Lamps as a Platform   |   Street lamps with their unique characteristics can actually enable an economic large-scale deployment of cloudlets, making the breakthrough of practicable edge computing at long last.
Illustration by Craig & Karl Inside Big Tech’s Quest for Human-level A.I. (11/13/2020) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence   |   Giants like Alphabet and Microsoft are investing heavily to develop technology that could radically reshape the business world. When it arrives is anyone's guess.
cloud computing and related hardware, illustration - Credit: Getty Images The ‘Invisible’ Materiality of Information Technology (11/12/2020) Tagged: Environmental Impacts of Computing, eWaste   |   It's difficult to see the ecological impact of IT when its benefits are so blindingly bright.
Figure. Analyst Corey Weiss, who was diagnosed with autism as a young boy, working at Mindspark. - Photo by Frederic J. Brown / AFP via Getty Images Hiring from the Autism Spectrum (11/10/2020) Tagged: Employment, Neurodiversity Programs, Autism at Work   |   There is a "massive talent pool" of [autistic] individuals, many of whom understand patterns and have a proclivity for complex work.
10 Things All Software Engineers Should Know 10 Things All Software Engineers Should Know (11/10/2020) Tagged: Coding, Guidance, Best Practices   |   I am in the interesting position at the moment of managing a team of people writing software who have almost no training or experience in software development. I find two things truly remarkable: first, that any modestly sophisticated working system can be made using code written by people that know almost nothing about software, and second, that smart people, who are motivated, can learn how to do things better pretty quickly.
stopped vehicle and students in crosswalk - Credit: Photographee.eu Kode Vicious Plays in Traffic (11/10/2020) Tagged: Safety Critical Systems   |   There is a wealth of literature on safety-critical systems, much of which points in the same direction: toward simplicity.
5G Is Coming, and It’s Fortified With Fiber - Image: Daymon Gardner 5G Is Coming, and It’s Fortified With Fiber (11/3/2020) Tagged: Fiber-optic Cable, 5G - 5th Generation Wireless   |   5G will happen in the airy realm of radio waves. To get there, big telecoms have to harness underused parts of the spectrum. But there's another crucial part underlying this system: lowly cable.
How Google Is Cramming More Data Into Its New Atlantic Cable - Credit: Bill Gallery/SubCom How Google Is Cramming More Data Into Its New Atlantic Cable (11/1/2020) Tagged: Internet Connectivity, Fiber-optic Cable, Technological Achievement   |   Google says the fiber-optic cable it's building across the Atlantic Ocean will be the fastest of its kind. When the cable goes live next year, the company estimates it will transmit around 250 terabits per second, fast enough to zap all the contents of the Library of Congress from Virginia to France three times every second.
How the Internet Travels Across Oceans - Graphics by Karl Russell, Troy Griggs and Blacki Migliozzi. How the Internet Travels Across Oceans (11/1/2020) Tagged: Technological Achievement, Internet Connectivity, Fiber-optic Cable   |   The internet consists of tiny bits of code that move around the world, traveling along wires as thin as a strand of hair strung across the ocean floor. The data zips from New York to Sydney, from Hong Kong to London, in the time it takes you to read this word.
Cover: Facebook: The Inside Story by Steven Levy Facebook: The Inside Story (10/9/2020) Tagged: Zuckerberg (Mark) - Influence, History - Facebook, Facebook - Social Aspects   |   Based on hundreds of interviews inside and outside the company, Levy’s sweeping narrative digs deep into the whole story of the company [Facebook] that has changed the world and reaped the consequences.
Ed Catmull and Pat Hanrahan - Credit: Richard Morgenstein An Animating Spirit (8/12/2020) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Computer Graphics, Three-dimensional (3D) Computer Imagery, Entertainment, Association for Computing Machinery's A.M. Turing Award   |   When Ed Catmull earned his Ph.D. from the University of Utah in 1974, with a thesis on three-dimensional (3D) computer graphics, he applied for jobs in academia. He did not get a single one. His academic interests eventually led him to co-found Pixar Animation Studios, create the breakthrough 1995 animated film Toy Story, and receive the Association for Computing Machinery's 2019 A.M. Turing Award, along with his colleague Pat Hanrahan.
Ed Catmull and Pat Hanrahan - Credit: Richard Morgenstein Attaining The Third Dimension (8/12/2020) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Computer Graphics, Three-dimensional (3D) Computer Imagery, Entertainment   |   We picked a hard goal. In our case, it was the replication of reality. And now things look so realistic that I often can't tell in films, and I have a pretty good eye."
Chris Evans - Photograph: Art Streiber Chris Evans Goes to Washington (7/27/2020) Tagged: Political Interest   |   The actor's new project, A Starting Point, aims to give all Americans the TL;DR on WTF is going on in politics. It's harder than punching Nazis on the big screen.
Cloud in sky with Chinese flag - Illustration: Alvaro Dominguez; Getty Images Inside the Feds’ Battle Against Huawei (7/22/2020) Tagged: 5G - 5th Generation Wireless, Geopolitics   |   How Washington went to war against the Chinese smartphone giant, and how the runaway conflict could spell the end of a single, global internet.
man's blurred face in a machine - Photograph: Dan Winters The Secret History of Facial Recognition (7/22/2020) Tagged: Facial Recognition   |   Sixty years ago, a sharecropper’s son invented a technology to identify faces. Then the record of his role all but vanished. Who was Woody Bledsoe, and who was he working for?
Two opposing crowds - Illustration: Sam Whitney; Getty Images Bad Algorithms Didn’t Break Democracy (7/10/2020) Tagged: Disinformation (Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior), Social Media, Political Interest, Technology & Society   |   And better ones won't save it. To get past misinformation and tribal rancor online, we need to face why people really want misinformation and rancor.
Image with various phrases Should colleges really be putting smart speakers in dorms? (6/16/2020) Tagged: Surveillance, Privacy, Ethics of AI, Surveillance Capitalism, Privacy - Right of   |   Administrators say installing listening devices like Alexa in student bedrooms and hallways could help lower dropout rates. Not everyone agrees.
conceptual illustration of a young man drinking a beer, trapped inside a piece of amber - Peter Crowther Why an internet that never forgets is especially bad for young people (6/16/2020) Tagged: Social Interest, Technology & Society, Youth & Technology   |   As past identities become stickier for those entering adulthood, it’s not just individuals who will suffer. Society will too.
GIF, Radio The WIRED Guide to Memes (6/15/2020) Tagged: Propaganda, Social Media, Popular Culture   |   …memes, bits of cultural DNA that encoded society’s shared experiences while also constantly evolving.
conceptual illustration of a mans face being obscured by his phone. Selman design I asked my students to turn in their cell phones and write about living without them (6/13/2020) Tagged: Technology & Society, Youth & Technology   |   Without their phones, most of my students initially felt lost, but after just two weeks the majority began to think that their cell phones were in fact limiting their relationships with other people.
selfie of the author, Courtesy of the author We asked teenagers what adults are missing about technology. This was the best response. (6/12/2020) Tagged: Social Media, Youth & Technology   |   Social media allows young people to explore how they express themselves, says Taylor Fang of Logan, Utah, the winner of our youth essay contest.
police officers examine wall-sized map display - Credit: Frame Stock Footages Increasing Automation in Policing (6/11/2020) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Privacy, Ethics of AI, Social Interest, Civil Liberties   |   Policing has always relied upon large amounts of information. But the scale and speed of its processing is different.
clear blocks floating in night sky, illustration - Credit: Shutterstock / Andrij Borys Associates Blockchain Technology: What Is It Good For? (6/11/2020) Tagged: Blockchain Technology   |   Trust is complicated. Blockchain technology does eliminate specific, narrow reliances on trust, but it also requires new assumptions that might be better or worse for specific use cases.
undersea cable, illustration How the Internet Spans the Globe (6/10/2020) Tagged: Internet Connectivity, Technological Achievement   |   …tech companies are increasingly dominating both the use and implementation of undersea cables. … Tech giants may battle each other for Internet dominance, all while replacing old guard telecoms, but when it comes to laying undersea cable, playing nice seems to be the order of the day.
Illustration: Elena Lacey; Getty Images Inside the Early Days of China’s Coronavirus Coverup (6/10/2020) Tagged: China, Internet Censorship, Coronavirus-Covid19   |   To be sure, China did eventually take extraordinary and painful steps to quell its domestic outbreak. But it has also taken extreme measures to curate the information that has emerged from ground zero of the pandemic.
Image may contain Electronics Computer Screen Display Monitor Tablet Computer Graphics and Art - Yoshi Sodeoka The Dawn of Twitter and the Age of Awareness (6/5/2020) Tagged: Popular Culture, Social Media   |   Status update: We are all now sci-fi telepaths, deafened by the blaring thoughts of humanity.
Mark Zuckerberg - Photograph: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Getty Images Mark Zuckerberg Believes Only in Mark Zuckerberg (6/3/2020) Tagged: Zuckerberg (Mark) - Influence   |   Why is he abetting Trump while civil rights leaders and his own employees rebuke him? It's about dominance.
Image may contain Mailbox Letterbox Text and Symbol - TIM How to Delete Your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok (6/3/2020) Tagged: Privacy   |   Breaking up is hard to do, especially when it's with one of those oh-so-clingy social networks. Harder yet when there's a deactivation period.
Leonard Kleinrock - Credit: UCLA An Interview with Leonard Kleinrock (5/30/2020) Tagged: History - Internet, Packet Switching, Queueing Theory   |   Being surrounded by computers at MIT and at Lincoln Lab, it seemed inevitable to me they would eventually need to communicate with each other.
Sean McFate - Photo: Stephen Voss Why America isn’t equipped for the new rules of war (5/29/2020) Tagged: Geopolitics, Technology & War   |   …ultimately wars are politics and there is no technological solution to it. There is no missile that will fix the political circumstances on the ground of Syria or Taiwan. But that’s how we think. That’s why we struggle.
Meme showing photo of man How memes got weaponized: A short history (5/15/2020) Tagged: Disinformation (Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior), Social Media   |   Memes come off as a joke, but some people are starting to see them as the serious threat they are.
Book Cover - Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age (5/13/2020) Tagged: Privacy, Social Media, Cloud Computing, CyberSecurity, World Politics, Technology Policy, Social Interest, Surveillance, Protecting Democracy, Artificial Intelligence, Geopolitics, Surveillance - Online   |   When your technology changes the world, you bear a responsibility to help address the world you have helped create.
Jimmy Wales - Photo: Christopher Morris/VII How Jimmy Wales’ Wikipedia Harnessed the Web as a Force for Good (5/10/2020) Tagged: Wikipedia, Software, Historical   |   Encyclopaedia Britannica finally threw in the towel. In March 2012, after 244 years, the staple reference source of libraries and households ceased publishing its 32 dusty volumes. (It survives in digital form.) Who humbled the mighty Britannica? Jimmy Wales and his crowdsourced compendium of all the world’s knowledge.
photo illustration of Mark Zuckerberg sitting in a chair and the words The Notebook - PHOTOGRAPH: DIRK BRUNIECKI/IAIF/REDUX Inside Mark Zuckerberg’s Lost Notebook (5/10/2020) Tagged: Facebook, Zuckerberg (Mark) - Influence   |   In the early days of Facebook, Zuck kept his plans for world domination in handwritten journals. He destroyed them. But a few revealing pages survived.
illustration with different subjects on top of individual puzzle pieces - Illustration: Michael Haddad Wikipedia Is the Last Best Place on the Internet (5/10/2020) Tagged: Crowdsourced Content, Wikipedia   |   People used to think the crowdsourced encyclopedia represented all that was wrong with the web. Now it's a beacon of so much that's right.
A chaotic stack of books - Photograph: Alexander Spatari/Getty Images The Internet Archive Is Making Wikipedia More Reliable (5/10/2020) Tagged: Wikipedia, Internet Archive   |   The operator of the Wayback Machine allows Wikipedia's users to check citations from books as well as the web.
illustration of headphones a CD Player and a game console - Illustration: Vasya Kolotusha How Technology Explodes the Concept of ‘Generations’ (5/8/2020) Tagged: Popular Culture   |   Immense changes show us, year after year, that we are basically the same as ever, just reacting to the curves of life well out of our control.
Graphic - Credit Sophia Foster-Dimino We Shouldn’t be Scared by ‘Superintelligent A.I.’ (5/4/2020) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Computers and the Internet, Tech Industry, Science Fiction   |   “Superintelligence” is a flawed concept and shouldn’t inform our policy decisions.
tech imagery on stone, illustration - Credit: Andrij Borys Associates / Shutterstock Achieving Digital Permanence (5/3/2020) Tagged: Data Integrity, Digital Permanence   |   Digital permanence not only considers data integrity, but also targets guarantees of relevance and accessibility.
WIRED25: Stories of People Who Are Racing to Save Us - Conceptual Photographs: The Voorhes WIRED25: Stories of People Who Are Racing to Save Us (4/29/2020) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Election Security, Economics, Filter Bubbles, Blockchain Technology, Medicine, CyberSecurity, Orbital Traffic Control, National Security (US), Activism, Antitrust, Connectivity, Culture, Deepfake Detecting, Digital Abuse   |   Humanity is facing thorny problems on all fronts. These folks are working to solve them—and trying to avoid the unintended consequences this time.
WIRED25 logo of a W and 25 - Photograph: The Voorhes It’s Time to Push Tech Forward, and Rebuild What It Broke (4/28/2020) Tagged: Organizational Culture, Business Innovation   |   Making progress means making (sometimes devastating) mistakes. And then learning from them.
illustration of people running through abstract space - Illustration: Guangyuan Lim Who Are the Most Successful Entrepreneurs? The Middle-Aged (4/27/2020) Tagged: Business Innovation   |   Sure, youth and innocence are great. But what if experience is even greater? We might get more innovation if we let the elders take the lead.
bands of color in fuzzy photo- Credit: Irina Vinnikova Fuzzing: Hack, Art, and Science (4/25/2020) Tagged: Software Security, Security Testing   |   Fuzzing, or fuzz testing, is the process of finding security vulnerabilities in input-parsing code by repeatedly testing the parser with modified, or fuzzed, inputs. Fuzzing is commonly used as a shorthand for security testing because the vast majority of its applications is for finding security vulnerabilities.
Moore's Law illustration - MS Tech We’re not prepared for the end of Moore’s Law (4/24/2020) Tagged: Quantum Computing, Computing, Integrated Circuits   |   “We’re not prepared for the end of Moore’s Law: It has fueled prosperity of the last 50 years. But the end is now in sight.” MIT Technology Review, February 24, 2020 Computing/Quantum computing By David Rotman “Finding successors to today’s …
shopper with shopping cart standing in a target, illustration - Credit: TC Group Solutions Tracking Shoppers (4/24/2020) Tagged: Bluetooth-based Wireless Beacons, Store-tracking Technology, Privacy, Facial Recognition, Surveillance - Video & Analytics   |   Most people are aware that if they use the Internet, social media sites, or electronic payment systems, their activity is tracked, thereby creating a digital footprint and roadmap that can reveal a significant amount of personal data and activity patterns. Online retailers and marketers are leveraging (some may say exploiting) this treasure trove of data, helping them craft advertisements and marketing messages that specifically target consumers in the hopes of driving sales, or creating a deeper level of engagement with customers.
sinking ship and other disasters, illustration - Credit: Andrij Borys Associates, Shutterstock Are You Sure Your Software Will Not Kill Anyone? (4/24/2020) Tagged: System Safety Engineering, Safety Critical Systems   |   System and software requirements development are necessarily a system engineering problem, not a software engineering problem.
Lego construction - Credit: Marcel Clemens Toward ML-Centric Cloud Platforms (4/23/2020) Tagged: Machine Learning, Cloud Computing   |   Cloud platforms, such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud Platform, are tremendously complex. Cloud platforms are also extremely expensive to build and operate, so providers have a strong incentive to optimize their use. A nascent approach is to leverage machine learning (ML) in the platforms' resource management using supervised learning techniques.
bright LED screen - Credit: Getty Images Automating Visual Privacy Protection Using a Smart LED (4/23/2020) Tagged: Privacy, Visual Privacy   |   Communications of the ACM, February 2020, Vol. 63 No. 2, Pages 81-89 Research Highlights: “Automating Visual Privacy Protection Using a Smart LED” By Shilin Zhu, Chi Zhang, Xinyu Zhang Read the introductory article: “Technical Perspective: Lighting the Way to Visual …
bright LED screen - Credit: Getty Images Technical Perspective: Lighting the Way to Visual Privacy (4/23/2020) Tagged: Privacy, Visual Privacy   |   Communications of the ACM, February 2020, Vol. 63 No. 2, Page 80 Research Highlights: “Technical Perspective: Lighting the Way to Visual Privacy” By Marco Gruteser “Short of hiding from sight or using masks, few systems offer provisions for opting out …
A Josephson junction, core component of one type of qubit. Inside the race to build the best quantum computer on Earth (4/19/2020) Tagged: Quantum Computing, Quantum Technologies   |   Inside the race to build the best quantum computer on Earth: IBM thinks quantum supremacy is not the milestone we should care about. MIT Technology Review, February 26, 2020 Computing/Quantum computing By Gideon Lichfield Google’s most advanced computer isn’t at …
Book Cover: " The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power" The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power (4/18/2020) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Surveillance - Electronic, Surveillance - Mass, Behavioral Futures Markets, Social Control, Behavioral Modification, Behavioral Surplus, Personal Data   |   In this masterwork of original thinking and research, Shoshana Zuboff provides startling insights into the phenomenon that she has named surveillance capitalism. The stakes could not be higher: a global architecture of behavior modification threatens human nature in the twenty-first century just as industrial capitalism disfigured the natural world in the twentieth.
How Americans Can Become Tech Policy Activists | Caroline McCarthy | TEDxBoulder How Americans Can Become Tech Policy Activists (12/23/2019) Tagged: Public-Interest Technologists, Technology Policy   |   In this talk former technology journalist and longtime media executive Caroline McCarthy offers a basic overview of what makes tech policy different from all the other political issues out there, and a framework for learning about it and getting involved with elected officials.
Public-Interest Technology Resources - Bruce Schneier Public-Interest Technology Resources (12/23/2019) Tagged: Technology Policy, Technology Policy Activism, Public-Interest Technologists   |   As technology—especially computer, information, and Internet technology—permeates all aspects of our society, people who understand that technology need to be part of public-policy discussions. We need technologists who work in the public interest. We need public-interest technologists.
Cover Image - In the Age of AI In the Age of AI (11/7/2019) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Documentary   |   FRONTLINE investigates the promise and perils of artificial intelligence, from fears about work and privacy to rivalry between the U.S. and China. The documentary traces a new industrial revolution that will reshape and disrupt our lives, our jobs and our world, and allow the emergence of the surveillance society.
At Least 70 Countries Have Had Disinformation Campaigns, Study Finds (11/7/2019) Tagged: Disinformation (Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior), Propaganda, Social Media   |  

The New York Times, September 26, 2019
By Davey Alba and Adam Satariano

“Despite increased efforts by internet platforms like Facebook to combat internet disinformation, the use of the techniques by governments around the world is growing, according to a report released Thursday by researchers at Oxford University. Governments are spreading disinformation to discredit political opponents, bury opposing views and interfere in foreign affairs.”

The History of Digital Spam (11/6/2019) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Digital Spam, Internet Policy   |  

Communications of the ACM, August 2019
By Emilio Ferrara

“In this article, I will briefly review the history of digital spam: starting from its quintessential incarnation, spam emails, to modern-days forms of spam affecting the Web and social media, the survey will close by depicting future risks associated with spam and abuse of new technologies, including Artificial Intelligence (e.g., Digital Humans).”

Book Cover: "AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order" AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order (11/5/2019) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Economics   |   In AI Superpowers, Kai-fu Lee argues powerfully that because of these unprecedented developments in AI, dramatic changes will be happening much sooner than many of us expected. Indeed, as the US-Sino AI competition begins to heat up, Lee urges the US and China to both accept and to embrace the great responsibilities that come with significant technological power.
Documentation is Automation Documentation Is Automation (11/4/2019) Tagged: Automation, Documentation, Organizational Culture   |   Automation is putting process into code. A bullet list in a process document is code if it is treated that way.
Owning Computing’s Environmental Impact (10/3/2019) Tagged: Environmental Impacts of Computing   |  

Communications of the ACM, March 2019
By Andrew A. Chien

“It is time for the computing community to face up to computing's growing environmental impact—and take responsibility for it! And further, to undertake research, design, and operations to reduce this growing impact.”

The Seven Tools of Causal Inference, with Reflections on Machine Learning (10/3/2019) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning   |  

Communications of the ACM, March 2019
By Judea Pearl

“Unlike the rules of geometry, mechanics, optics, or probabilities, the rules of cause and effect have been denied the benefits of mathematical analysis.” “…the art of automated reasoning.”

Potential ‘Dark Sides’ of Leisure Technology ­Use in Youth (10/1/2019) Tagged: Ethics, Tech Impact on Youth, Technology Addiction / Excessive Use   |  

Communications of the ACM, March 2019
By Ofir Turel

“For many years we have emphasized the positive aspects of computing technologies because we believed in their contribution to humanity. Nevertheless, there is a growing body of evidence in support of a technology duality view. That is to say, we have started realizing and quantifying the notion that many of the technologies we develop can also be harmful, especially when used excessively.”

The Compositional Architecture of the Internet (9/24/2019) Tagged: Internet Architecture, IT - Technological Innovation   |   In this article, we present a new way of describing the Internet, better attuned to the realities of networking today, and to meeting the challenges of the future. Its central idea is that the architecture of the Internet is a flexible composition of many networks—not just the networks acknowledged in the classic Internet architecture, but many other networks both above and below the public Internet in a hierarchy of abstraction.
The Great Hack - Website The Great Hack (9/21/2019) Tagged: Privacy, Social Media, Surveillance Capitalism   |  

Directed by: Karim Amer & Jehane Noujaim
Writing Credits: Karim Amer, Erin Barnett & Pedro Kos
Worldwide release by Netflix July 24, 2019

“Explore how a data company named Cambridge Analytica came to symbolize the dark side of social media in the wake of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”

Blogging Birds: Telling Informative Stories About the Lives of Birds from Telemetric Data (9/1/2019) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Birding, Natural Language Generation   |  

Communications of the ACM, March 2019
By Advaith Siddharthan, Kapila Ponnamperuma, Chris Mellish, et al.

“The Blogging Birds system shows that raw satellite tag data can be transformed into fluent, engaging, and informative texts directed at members of the public and in support of nature conservation.”

Mark Zuckerberg walks down aisle of theater full of people wearing Oculus augmented reality headsets. (It's a new wilderness) The New Wilderness (8/31/2019) Tagged: Privacy   |  

Idle Words
By Maciej Cegłowski

“For the purposes of this essay, I'll call it "ambient privacy" – the understanding that there is value in having our everyday interactions with one another remain outside the reach of monitoring, and that the small details of our daily lives should pass by unremembered. What we do at home, work, church, school, or in our leisure time does not belong in a permanent record. Not every conversation needs to be a deposition.”

35 Innovators Under 35 – 2019 (8/17/2019) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, IT - Technological Innovation, Data Science, Information Integrity, Quantum Computing, Robotics   |  

MIT Technology Review, July/Aug 2019

“It’s part of our ethos that technology can and should be a force for good. Our annual list of 35 innovators under 35 is a way of putting faces on that idea. ”

Vinton G. Cerf In Debt to the NSF (8/15/2019) Tagged: History - Internet, Public Infrastructure   |  

Communications of the ACM, April 2019
By Vinton G. Cerf

“We collectively owe much to the foresight and nuanced decisions taken by the leadership of [National Science Foundation’s] Computer, Information Systems and Engineering Directorates (CISE) and its Division of Computer and Network Systems.” [Without that, there would be no Internet as we know it today.]

Metrics That Matter Metrics That Matter (8/12/2019) Tagged: Site Reliability Engineering, Time Series Forecasting   |  

Communications of the ACM, April 2019
By Benjamin Treynor Sloss, Shylaja Nukala, Vivek Rau

“One of the most important choices in offering a service is which service metrics to measure, and how to evaluate them. The difference between great, good, and poor metric and metric threshold choices is frequently the difference between a service that will surprise and delight its users with how well it works, one that will be acceptable for most users, and one that will actively drive away users—regardless of what the service actually offers. … What follows are the types of metrics the Google SRE team has adopted for Google services. These metrics are not particularly easy to implement, and they may require changes to a service to instrument properly. It has been our consistent experience at Google, however, that every service team that implements these metrics is happy afterward that it made the effort to do so.”

Identity by Any Other Name Identity by Any Other Name (8/12/2019) Tagged: Database Systems, Identifiers   |  

Communications of the ACM, April 2019
By Pat Helland

“The fascinating thing about identifiers is that while they identify the same "thing" over time, that referenced thing may slide around in its meaning. Product descriptions, reviews, and inventory balance all change, while the product ID does not. Reservations, orders, and bookings all have identifiers that do not change, while the stuff they identify may subtly change over time. Identity and identifiers provide the immutable linkage. Both sides of this linkage may change, but they provide a semantic consistency needed by the business operation. No matter what you call it, identity is the glue that makes things stick and lubricates cooperative work. … The judicious use of ambiguity and interchangeability lubricates distributed, long-running, scalable, and heterogeneous systems.”

Young girl at keyboard. "Informatics" written on chalk board in background. Informatics as a Fundamental Discipline for the 21st Century (8/11/2019) Tagged: Computer Science, Informatics, Computing Education, Computing   |  

Communications of the ACM, April 2019
By Michael E. Caspersen, Judith Gal-Ezer, Andrew McGettrick, Enrico Nardelli

“The emphasis of the report is on informatics education, with informatics seen as the science underpinning the development of the digital world—a distinctive discipline with its own scientific methods, its own ways of thinking, and its own technological development.”

Web Science in Europe: Beyond Boundaries (8/10/2019) Tagged: Web Science   |  

Communications of the ACM, April 2019
By Steffen Staab, Susan Halford, Wendy Hall

“For the past decade, Web Science has been building the interdisciplinary expertise to face the challenges and realize the value of this rapidly growing and diversifying Web. This task transcends the work of any single academic discipline. While our universities continue—overwhelmingly—to be organized in siloes established in the 20th century, or much earlier, the Web demands expertise from computer science, sociology, business, mathematics, law, economics, politics, psychology engineering, geography, and more. Web Science exists to integrate knowledge and expertise from across fields, integrating this into systematic, robust, and reliable research that provides an action base for the future of the Web.”

The Web Is Missing an Essential Part of Infrastructure: An Open Web Index (8/10/2019) Tagged: Public Infrastructure, Open Web Index, Web Search Engines   |  

Communications of the ACM, April 2019
By Dirk Lewandowski

“A proposal for building an index of the Web that separates the infrastructure part of the search engine—the index—from the services part that will form the basis for myriad search engines and other services utilizing Web data on top of a public infrastructure open to everyone.”

Access Controls and Healthcare Records: Who Owns the Data? (8/9/2019) Tagged: Blockchain Technology, Data Management, Digital Identities, Extreme Automation, Government Services, Medical Records   |  

Communications of the ACM, July 2019
By CACM Staff

“RICHARD MCDONALD: Questions come up as to who actually owns those records, who looks after them, and who needs to have access to them.”

Top 10 The Top 10 Things Executives Should Know About Software (8/7/2019) Tagged: Business & Organizational Transformation   |  

Communications of the ACM, July 2019
By Thomas A. Limoncelli

“In 2011, Marc Andreessen wrote an article predicting, ‘Software will eat the world.’ By that he meant two things: First, many traditional businesses are being replaced by software companies. Second, all other companies are finding the value they deliver is increasingly a result of software.

When Andreessen wrote his article none of the 10 biggest companies (by market value) were in software-driven businesses. Today, six of the 10 biggest companies are primarily driven by software. The others are ripe for a transformation.”

A New Labor Market for People with ‘Coolabilities’ (8/5/2019) Tagged: Employment, Future of Work   |  

Communications of the ACM, July 2019
By David Nordfors, Chally Grundwag, V. R. Ferose

“Powerful technologies are today ready to open the door to a new paradigm of work: instead of squeezing people into existing job slots, companies can tailor work that fits individuals' unique skills, talents, and passions, matching them with inspiring teams and offering them a choice of meaningful tasks. This has tremendous benefits for both the employee and employer by creating a "long-tail labor market" in which diversity brings competitive advantage.”

Smart Cities – Who Benefits? (8/4/2019) Tagged: Ethics of AI, Ethics, Smart Cities   |  

Communications of the ACM, July 2019
By Susan J. Winter

“This column uses the case of smart cities to illustrate the ethical dilemmas created by an otherwise innocuous-seeming issue. … Cui bono, which means "who benefits?" … Cui bono? In principle, everyone. But a closer look at the smart cities rhetoric shows the benefits focused on a subset of the total.”

Electric guitar in orbit The Sounds of Silence: In salute to landing on the moon 50 years ago (8/4/2019) Tagged: Space, Space Travel, 50th Anniv. Moon Landing, Music   |  

MIT Technology Review, June 26, 2019
By Chuck Klosterman. Illustration by Keith Rankin.

“The rock era and the space age exist on parallel time lines. The Soviets launched Sputnik in October 1957, the same month Elvis Presley hit #1 with “Jailhouse Rock.” The first Beatles single, “Love Me Do,” was released 23 days after John F. Kennedy declared that America would go to the moon (and not because it was easy, but because it was hard). Apollo 11 landed the same summer as Woodstock. These specific events are (of course) coincidences. Yet the larger arc is not. Mankind’s assault upon the heavens was the most dramatic achievement of the 20th century’s second half, simultaneous with rock’s transformation of youth culture. It does not take a deconstructionist to see the influence of the former on the latter.”

Why I Still Love Tech Why I Still Love Tech (5/20/2019) Tagged: Technology   |  

Wired, May 14, 2019
By Paul Ford

“I was exceptionally lucky to be born into this moment. I got to see what happened, to live as a child of acceleration. The mysteries of software caught my eye when I was a boy, and I still see it with the same wonder, even though I’m now an adult. Proudshamed, yes, but I still love it, the mess of it, the code and toolkits, down to the pixels and the processors, and up to the buses and bridges. I love the whole made world. But I can’t deny that the miracle is over, and that there is an unbelievable amount of work left for us to do.”

Corp to Cloud: Google’s Virtual Desktops (5/16/2019) Tagged: Cloud Computing, Virtual Desktops   |  

Communications of the ACM, November 2018
By Matt Fata, Philippe-Joseph Arida, Patrick Hahn, Betsy Beyer

“Until recently, our virtual desktops were hosted on commercially available hardware on Google's corporate network using a homegrown open source virtual cluster-management system called Ganeti. Today, this substantial and Google-critical workload runs on Google Cloud Platform (GCP). This article discusses the reasons for the move to GCP, and how the migration was accomplished.”

Modern Debugging: The Art of Finding a Needle in a Haystack (5/9/2019) Tagged: Coding, Debugging, Problem Solving   |  

Communications of the ACM, November 2018
By Diomidis Spinellis

“When the going gets tough, the programmer should humbly fall back on the systematic process instead of randomly poking the software trying to pinpoint the fault through sheer luck.”

Will Supercomputers Be Super-Data and Super-AI Machines? (5/1/2019) Tagged: China, High Performance Computing   |  

Communications of the ACM, November 2018
By Yutong Lu, Depei Qian, Haohuan Fu, Wenguang Chen

“High-performance computing (HPC) plays an important role in promoting scientific discovery, addressing grand-challenge problems, and promoting social and economic development. Over the past several decades, China has put significant effort into improving its own HPC through a series of key projects under its national research and development program. Development of supercomputing systems has advanced parallel applications in various fields in China, along with related software and hardware technology, and helped advance China's technological innovation and social development.

To meet the requirements of multidisciplinary and multidomain applications, new challenges in architecture, system software, and application technologies must be addressed to help develop next-generation exascale supercomputing systems.”

China’s Computing Ambitions (5/1/2019) Tagged: China, Internet - Government Policy   |  

Communications of the ACM, November 2018
By Elliott Zaagman

“China plans to become the world's high-tech leader, and quickly. In 2015, the Chinese government's State Council approved "Made in China 2025," an initiative designed to position China as a world leader in fields such as robotics, aviation, advanced information technology, and new-energy vehicles in less than a decade. In support of this governmental initiative, China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) released a three-year action plan to drive growth in areas including smart drones, facial recognition, AI-supported medical diagnosis, speech recognition, and language translation. If successful, the initiative would grow China's AI industry to a size of $150 billion by 2020, approximately 100 times its size in 2016. As China pushes AI forward, here are a few names, trends, and technologies to watch.”

Weighing the Impact of GDPR (5/1/2019) Tagged: Privacy, Internet - Government Policy, Government Regulation   |  

Communications of the ACM, November 2018
By Samuel Greengard

“When the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect on May 25, 2018, it represented the most sweeping effort yet to oversee the way businesses collect and manage consumer data. The law, established to create consistent data standards and protect EU citizens from potential privacy abuses, sent ripples—if not tidal waves—across the world.”

Internet Society logo Internet Society (4/10/2019) Tagged: Internet Policy, Internet Access, Internet Education, Internet Standards   |  

“The Internet Society supports and promotes the development of the Internet as a global technical infrastructure, a resource to enrich people’s lives, and a force for good in society.

Our work aligns with our goals for the Internet to be open, globally-connected, secure, and trustworthy. We seek collaboration with all who share these goals.”

The WIRED Guide to 5G (4/8/2019) Tagged: 5G - 5th Generation Wireless   |  

Wired.com, December 13, 2018
By Klint Finley

“The future depends on connectivity. From artificial intelligence and self-driving cars to telemedicine and mixed reality to as yet undreamt technologies, all the things we hope will make our lives easier, safer, and healthier will require high-speed, always-on internet connections.

To keep up with the explosion of new connected gadgets and vehicles, not to mention the deluge of streaming video, the mobile industry is working on something called 5G—so named because it's the fifth generation of wireless networking technology.”

The WIRED Guide to Artificial Intelligence (4/8/2019) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence   |  

Wired.com, February 1, 2018
By: Tom Simonite

“Artificial intelligence is overhyped—there, we said it. It’s also incredibly important. Superintelligent algorithms aren’t about to take all the jobs or wipe out humanity. But software has gotten significantly smarter of late.”

28c3: The coming war on general computation 28c3: The coming war on general computation (4/5/2019) Tagged: General Purpose Computers, Copyright and Digital Rights Management   |  

28th Chaos Communication Congress: Behind Enemy Lines, December, 2011
By Cory Doctorow

“The last 20 years of Internet policy have been dominated by the copyright war, but the war turns out only to have been a skirmish. The coming century will be dominated by war against the general purpose computer, and the stakes are the freedom, fortune and privacy of the entire human race. The problem is twofold: first, there is no known general-purpose computer that can execute all the programs we can think of except the naughty ones; second, general-purpose computers have replaced every other device in our world.”

Using Any Surface to Realize a New Paradigm for Wireless Communications (4/5/2019) Tagged: Wireless Communications   |  

Communications of the ACM, November 2018, Vol. 61 No. 11, Pages 30-33
By C. Liaskos, A. Tsioliaridou, et al.

“This Viewpoint introduces an approach that could tame and control these [multipath and other undesirable] effects, producing a wireless environment with software-defined electromagnetic behavior. We introduce the novel idea of HyperSurfaces, which are software-controlled metamaterials embedded in any surface in the environment.”

Intelligent Systems for Geosciences: An Essential Research Agenda (4/4/2019) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Geosciences, Information Integration, Intelligent Systems, Interactive Analytics, Knowledge Representation   |  

Communications of the ACM, January 2019
By Yolanda Gil, Suzanne A. Pierce, et al.

“Many aspects of geosciences pose novel problems for intelligent systems research... A recently launched Research Coordination Network on Intelligent Systems for Geosciences followed a workshop at the National Science Foundation on this topic. This expanding network builds on the momentum of the NSF EarthCube initiative for geosciences, and is driven by practical problems in Earth, ocean, atmospheric, polar, and geospace sciences. Based on discussions and activities within this network, this article presents a research agenda for intelligent systems inspired by geosciences challenges.”

Speech Emotion Recognition: Two Decades in a Nutshell, Benchmarks, and Ongoing Trends (4/3/2019) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Speech Recognition, Deep Learning (DL), Speech Emotion Recognition   |  

Communications of the ACM, May 2018
By Björn W. Schuller

"Communication with computing machinery has become increasingly 'chatty' these days: Alexa, Cortana, Siri, and many more dialogue systems have hit the consumer market on a broader basis than ever, but do any of them truly notice our emotions and react to them like a human conversational partner would? In fact, the discipline of automatically recognizing human emotion and affective states from speech, usually referred to as Speech Emotion Recognition or SER for short, has by now surpassed the "age of majority," celebrating the 22nd anniversary after the seminal work of Daellert et al. in 1996—arguably the first research paper on the topic. However, the idea has existed even longer, as the first patent dates back to the late 1970s."

Shouldn’t We All Have Seamless Micropayments By Now? (4/3/2019) Tagged: Digital Currency, eCommerce   |  

Wired.com, January 21, 2019
By Zeynep Tufekci

“Here’s one you probably haven’t seen—and its absence from your life speaks to why the promise of the early web seems increasingly out of reach: “402 Payment Required.”

That’s right: The web’s founders fully expected some form of digital payment to be integral to its functioning, just as integral as links, web pages, and passwords. After all, without a way to quickly and smoothly exchange money, how would a new economy be able to flourish online? Of course there ought to be a way to integrate digital cash into browsing and other activities. Of course.”

Bias on the Web (4/1/2019) Tagged: Bias   |  

Communications of the ACM, June 2018
By Ricardo Baeza-Yates

“Bias on the Web reflects both societal and internal biases within ourselves, emerging in subtler ways. This article aims to increase awareness of the potential effects imposed on us all through bias present in Web use and content. We must thus consider and account for it in the design of Web systems that truly address people's needs.”

Getting Hooked on Tech (3/31/2019) Tagged: Social Media, Technology Addiction / Excessive Use, Human Psychology   |  

Communications of the ACM, June 2018, Vol. 61 No. 6, Pages 18-19
By Logan Kugler

“Facebook and Google lead the way in this arena. Facebook allows users to customize their personal profile to their liking and indicate their interests by engaging with content. Every reaction a user has to a post teaches Facebook's algorithms his/her preferences; these algorithms then serve more content that even better matches the user's preferences.

The result? The user visits and revisits the site, staying for longer, making them a richer target for advertising."

Deep Learning Hunts for Signals Among the Noise (3/31/2019) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Deep Learning (DL), Neural Networks   |  

Communications of the ACM, June 2018, Vol. 61 No. 6, Pages 13-14
By Chris Edwards

“The secret to deep learning's success in avoiding the traps of poor local minima may lie in a decision taken primarily to reduce computation time.”

Alexa, I Want Answers Amazon Alexa and the Search for the One Perfect Answer (3/30/2019) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Conversational Search   |  

Wired.com, February 18, 2019
By James Vlahos

“Reaching position zero requires a wholly different strategy than conventional SEO. The importance of putting just the right keywords on a web page, for instance, is declining. Instead, SEO gurus try to think of the natural-language phrases that users might say—like “What are the top-rated hybrid cars?”—and incorporate them, along with concise answers, on sites. The hope is to produce the perfect bit of content that the AI will extract and read aloud.”

A philosopher argues that an AI can’t be an artist (3/24/2019) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Future of Work, Ethics of AI, Ethics, Deep Learning (DL)   |  

MIT Technology Review, February 21, 2019
By Sean Dorrance Kelly

"The capacity for genuine creativity, the kind of creativity that updates our understanding of the nature of being, is at the ground of what it is to be human."

AI is reinventing the way we invent (3/20/2019) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Face Recognition   |  

MIT Technology Review, Feb. 15, 2019
By David Rotman

"In other words, AI’s chief legacy might not be driverless cars or image search or even Alexa’s ability to take orders, but its ability to come up with new ideas to fuel innovation itself."

What Went Wrong? Facebook and ‘Sharing’ Data with Cambridge Analytica (3/7/2019) Tagged: Privacy, Social Media   |  

Communications of the ACM, June 2018
By Susan Landau

"The road to the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal is strewn with failures. There's the failure to protect users' privacy, the failure to protect voters, and the failure to uncover the actions and violations of laws that may well have affected the Brexit referendum and the U.S. presidential election."

WIRED WIRED.com – Top Stories (3/1/2019) Tagged: Computing News, Variety   |  

"WIRED Top Stories – Your essential guide to what’s next, delivering the WIRED take on the intersection of technology, science, business, and culture."

Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery (3/1/2019) Tagged: Blogs, Security, Opinion & Perspective, Information Technology, Computing News, Variety   |  

“Communications of the ACM is the leading print and online publication for the computing and information technology fields. Read by computing's leading professionals worldwide, Communications is recognized as the most trusted and knowledgeable source of industry information for today’s computing professional.”

Association for Computing Machinery Association for Computing Machinery (3/1/2019) Tagged: Variety   |  

“ACM, the world's largest educational and scientific computing society, delivers resources that advance computing as a science and a profession. ACM provides the computing field's premier Digital Library and serves its members and the computing profession with leading-edge publications, conferences, and career resources.”

Googled: The End of the World as We Know It Googled: The End of the World as We Know It (3/1/2019) Tagged: Web Search Engines, Google (Firm), Internet Industry   |   Just eleven years old [in 2009], Google has profoundly transformed the way we live and work-we’ve all been Googled. Esteemed media writer Ken Auletta uses the story of Google’s rise to explore the future of media at large.
Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion (2nd Edition) Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion (2nd Edition) (3/1/2019) Tagged: IT - Technological Innovation, Computers & Civilization, Digital Media   |  

By Hal Abelson, Ken Ledeen, Harry Lewis, & Wendy Seltzer

“Blown to Bits, Second Edition is the brilliant, plain-English guide to digital technology, how it’s changing the world, and what you need to know to survive in tomorrow’s digital world. A best-seller when it was first published in 2010, the issues it addresses are more crucial than ever. ”

Daniel A. Reed The Shifting World of Net Neutrality (2/27/2019) Tagged: Net Neutrality   |  

Communications of the ACM, April 2018
By Daniel A. Reed

“Then there is the woefully obsolete nature of the governing law – the Communications Act of 1934. Yes, you read that right – 1934! There have been updates, most recently the Telecommunications Act of 1996, but twenty years is a geologic eon at Internet speed.”

Dawn of the Code War Dawn of the Code War: America’s Battle Against Russia, China, and the Rising Global Cyber Threat (2/24/2019) Tagged: Computer Security, Cyber Terrorism, Cyber Terrorism - Prevention, Cyberspace Operations, Information Warfare, Russia, Espionage - Cyber, North Korea, Iran, China, Computer Crimes   |  

“The inside story of how America’s enemies launched a cyber war against us-and how we’ve learned to fight back...”

Includes links to:

  • “The Lawfare Podcast: John Carlin on 'Dawn of the Code War'“ by Jen Patja Howell. Saturday, November 24, 2018.

  • A discussion on responses to national security threats in cyberspace from the Department of Justice, featuring John P. Carlin, Former Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division; and John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division, on Tuesday, January 15, 2019 at the Center for Strategic & International Studies.

  • John Carlin on “Stay Tuned with Preet” Dec. 4, 2018.

Silicon Valley: Where the Future was Born Silicon Valley: Where the Future was Born (2/21/2019) Tagged: IT - Technological Innovation, Understanding Your World, Historical, Information Technology   |  

“SILICON VALLEY tells the story of the pioneering scientists who transformed rural Santa Clara County into the hub of technological ingenuity we now know as Silicon Valley. The film spotlights the creativity of the young men who founded Fairchild Semiconductor and in particular the brilliant, charismatic young physicist Robert Noyce.”

Hey Google, What’s a Moonshot?: How Silicon Valley Mocks Apollo (2/20/2019) Tagged: Opinion & Perspective, Technological Achievement, Understanding Your World   |  

Communications of the ACM, January 2019
By Thomas Haigh

“Letting Silicon Valley steal the term "moonshot" for projects with quite different management styles, success criteria, scales, and styles of innovation hurts our collective ability to understand just what NASA achieved 50 years ago and why nothing remotely comparable is actually under way today at Google, or anywhere else."

Google Tech Talks Hiding In Plain Sight – The Secret History of Silicon Valley (2/19/2019) Tagged: Historical, Classics, History - Silicon Valley, History - Internet, Technological Achievement, Understanding Your World   |  

Presentation by Steve Blank, Dec. 2007 & Nov. 2008

Premise of “The Secret History of Silicon Valley” is that WWII was the First Electronic War and it was the wartime urgency combined with required secrecy to create systems to counter the threat of Nazi Germany that primarily lead to the development of what is known today as Silicon Valley. The point being that popular culture and history does not include this aspect in the history of Silicon Valley, but it is nonetheless important to know this history. Further, the projects that Mr. Blank outlines were conducted in plain sight.

The Amazing World of Fiber Optic Communications (2/16/2019) Tagged: Internet Connectivity, Classics, Fiber-optic Cable, IT - Technological Innovation, Technological Achievement, Historical   |  

Explore the many aspects of Fiber Optic Cable & Submarine Cable Systems. Global networks of hair-thin strands of highly refined silicone over which most all our data travels. Go ahead, geek out a bit. You might learn something.

W Mother Earth Mother Board (Further Adventures of the Hacker Tourist) (2/15/2019) Tagged: Classics, Wired, IT - Technological Innovation, Technological Achievement, Understanding Your World, Historical, Internet Connectivity   |  

Wired.com, December 1, 1996
By Neal Stephenson

“The hacker tourist ventures forth across the wide and wondrous meatspace of three continents, chronicling the laying of the longest wire on Earth.”

A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screener uses a biometric facial recognition scanner on a traveler at Washington Dulles International Airport. Being Recognized Everywhere (2/13/2019) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, Privacy, Security, Government Regulation, Biometrics   |  

Communications of the ACM, February 2019
By Logan Kugler

"A core challenge for democratic governments will be continued adherence to the rule of law, where restrictions on individual liberty that flow from use of this technology must be justified by necessity, legitimate purpose, and use of the least restrictive means available."

2018: A Big Year for Privacy (2/13/2019) Tagged: Privacy, Security, IT - Technological Innovation   |  

Communications of the ACM, February 2019
By Carl Landwher

Innovation has its downside and loss of privacy is not easy to remedy.

Tony’s Law (2/13/2019) Tagged: Security   |  

Communications of the ACM, February 2019
By Dror G. Feitelson

“Someone did not tighten the lid, and the ants got into the honey again. This can be prevented by placing the honey jar in a saucer of water, but it is a nuisance, occupies more counter space, and one must remember to replenish the water. So we try at least to remember to tighten the lid.

In the context of security, the software industry does not always tighten the lid. In some cases it fails to put the lid on at all, leaving the honey exposed and inviting.”

A view of the F.B.I. National Crime Information Center in Washington in 1967. In the 1960s, lawmakers began to question the government’s gathering of Americans’ data. Photo: Bettmann, via Getty Images The End of Privacy Began in the 1960s (2/5/2019) Tagged: Government Regulation, Historical, Privacy, Security, IT - Technological Innovation   |  

The New York Times, Dec. 5, 2018
Opinion by Margaret O’Mara

“In the fall of 1965, President Lyndon Johnson’s administration announced a plan to consolidate hundreds of federal databases into one centralized National Data Bank. It was meant as an efficiency move to make the Great Society even greater.”

The DIY Tinkerers Harnessing the Power of Artificial Intelligence (2/4/2019) Tagged: Artificial Intelligence, IT - Technological Innovation, Wired, Hackers & Hacking   |  

Wired.com, Nov 13, 2018.
By Tom Simonite

“The age of homebrew AI may not be all sweetness and light. Nor will it be all darkness and porn. Meet some of the pioneers showing what happens when the masses can teach computers new tricks.”

Magazine Cover: What Is Code? What Is Code? (1/30/2019) Tagged: Technological Achievement, Understanding Your World, Historical, Classics, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Coding, Opinion & Perspective   |  

“Software has been around since the 1940s. Which means that people have been faking their way through meetings about software, and the code that builds it, for generations. Now that software lives in our pockets, runs our cars and homes, and dominates our waking lives, ignorance is no longer acceptable. The world belongs to people who code. Those who don’t understand will be left behind.”

“This issue comprises a single story devoted to ­demystifying code and the culture of the people who make it. There’s some technical language along with a few pretty basic mathematical concepts. There are also lots of solid jokes and lasting insights. It may take a few hours to read, but that’s a small price to pay for adding decades to your career.”

What Children Want to Know About Computers (1/29/2019) Tagged: Computing Education   |  

Communications of the ACM, October 19, 2018
By Judy Robertson

“There’s a mismatch between what we teach children about computing at school and what they want to know. More than a decade ago computer science educators coined the phrase computational thinking to refer to the unique cleverness of the way computer scientists approach problem solving. "Our thinking is based on abstraction, decomposition, generalization, and pattern matching", we said, "and everyone will find it useful to think like this in their everyday lives. So please stop asking us to fix your printer."