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Annual Editions: Technologies, Social Media, Society 11/12
1. Five Things We Need to Know about Technological Change, Neil Postman, New Tech ’98 Conference, March 27, 1998
Postman suggests that computer technology is too important to be left entirely to the technologists. "Embedded in... MORE
2. Moore’s Law and Technological Determinism: Reflections on the History of Technology, Paul Ceruzzi, Technology and Culture, July 2005
"The steady and unstoppable march of semiconductor density" leads this writer to make the unfashionable claim that "in at least one instance, raw technological determinism is at work."
3. A Passion for Objects, Sherry Turkle, The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 30, 2008
Science, like every human endeavor these days, is suffused with computers. Turns out that computers with their now-an-object, now-not-an object shape shifting might not be what young minds drawn to science need.
4. Online Salvation?, Paul Farhi, American Journalism Review, December 2007/January 2008
In 2003, newspapers earned $1.2 billion through online services. By 2006, the figure had grown to $2.7 billion. Will the internet save the beleaguered newspaper business?
5. Publish or Perish: Can the iPad Topple the Kindle, and Save the Book Business?, The New Yorker, April 26, 2010
On July 19, The New York Times reported what might be the Rubicon of publishing: Amazon announced that sales of books for its Kindle outnumbered the sales of its hardcover inventory. But both Google and Apple are in the game now. Where does that leave traditional publishers?
6. The Great Wall of Facebook, Fred Vogelstein, Wired, July 2009
Facebook, a company that has yet to turn a profit, is challenging Google, the most powerful company on the Web.
7. Personally Controlled Online Health Data, Robert Steinbrook, The New England Journal of Medicine, April 17, 2008
At $2.1 trillion dollars, healthcare is a large piece of the U.S. economy. Electronic healthcare data that is "personally controlled" could "help . . . reduce the cost of care."
8. Computer Software Engineers, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010–2011 Edition
"Computer software engineers are one of the occupations projected to grow the fastest and add the most new jobs over the 2008–18 decade," this despite years of worry that high-tech jobs are being shipped abroad.
9. Women, Mathematics, and Computing, Paul De Palma, Encyclopedia of Gender and Information Technology, 2006
Women remain underrepresented in the computer industry despite countless articles and proposals.
10. Out of Time: Reflections on the Programming Life, Ellen Ullman, Resisting the Virtual Life: the Culture and Politics of Information, 1995
A classic article describing the work life of a software engineer, before the occupational category was invented.
11. Dilberts of the World, Unite!, David Sirota, The Nation, June 23, 2008
Faced with industry giants who outsource work to India on one hand and import lower cost engineers on the other, software developers have begun to organize.
12. How Deep Can You Probe?, Rita Zeidner, HR Magazine, October 2007
Tales of employers searching Facebook pages notwithstanding, "many states limit the extent to which employers can consider off duty conduct in making a hiring decision. . . ."
13. Is Google Making Us Stupid?, Nicholas Carr, The Atlantic, July 2008
Here is one commentator who worries that multitasking is destroying his ability to concentrate.
14. The End of Solitude, William Deresiewicz, The Chronicle Review, The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 30, 2009
What does it mean for the author’s sense of closeness "when my Facebook News Feed tells me that Sally Smith (whom I haven’t seen since high school, and wasn’t all that friendly with even then) ‘is making coffee and staring off into space.’ "
15. It’s Not Easy to Stand up to Cyberbullies, but We Must, Robert M. O’Neil, The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 11, 2008
There is very little that we can do protect ourselves from online bullying.
16. The End of Forgetting, Jeffrey Rosen, The New York Time’s Magazine, July 25, 2010
How do you erase your digital past?
17. Archiving Writers’ Work in the Age of E-Mail, Steve Kolowich, The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 10, 2009
The late John Updike’s "papers" arrived at Harvard’s Houghton Library on floppy disk. The promise and peril of the information age calls for people with the "resourcefulness to retrofit modernity’s round holes to accommodate antiquity’s square pegs."
18. Wikipedia in the Newsroom, Donna Shaw, American Journalism Review, February/March 2008
Whether professionals can cite a source that is collective and anonymous remains problematic.
19. E-Mail in Academia: Expectations, Use, and Instructional Impact, Meredith Weiss and Dana Hanson-Baldauf, Educause Quarterly, Number 1, 2008
Studies have shown that there is a relationship between a student’s success and "the quality of one-on-one communication between teacher and student." What happens when you add e-mail to the mix?
20. The Trouble with Twittering: Integrating Social Media into Mainstream News, Robert Jewitt, International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics, 2009
Much has been made in recent years about citizen journalists who use Twitter and other new media to go where professional journalists are unable to go. This article gives an account of two of those stories, the 2008 massacre at Mumbai and the violence surrounding the elections in Kenya, also in 2008.
21. The Evolution of Cyber Warfare, Greg Bruno, Backgrounder: Council on Foreign Relations, February 27, 2008
The Department of Homeland Security recorded over 100,000 attacks on military, government, and private computer systems in 2007.
22. War in the Fifth Domain, The Economist, July 1, 2010
In May 2010, the Pentagon announced Cyber Command to be run by the director of the National Security Agency. Britain, Russia, Israel, North Korea, and Iran, who says it has the world’s second largest cyber military, are all organizing for digital war. Will it happen and what will it look like?
23. Geeks and Hackers, Uncle Sam’s Cyber Force Wants You!, William J. Astore, The Nation, June 5, 2008
"Do we really want the military to dominate cyberspace?" asks this retired Air Force lieutenant colonel.
24. Untangling Attribution: Moving Accountability in Cyberspace, Robert K. Knake, Testimony before the House Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation, Committee on Science and Technology, July 15, 2010
We know that cyber attacks on government and private computer systems occur. The attribution problem—how to find out who committed them—is hard.
25. The Web’s Goldmine: Your Secrets, Julia Angwin, The Wall Street Journal, July 31–August 1, 2010
Ashley Hayes-Beaty is being monitored by Lotame Solutions who packages her love for 50 First Dates and Sex and the City for advertisers.
26. The Software Wars: Why You Can’t Understand Your Computer, Paul De Palma, American Scholar, Winter 2005
Excessive complexity and cost overruns make software development like military procurement.
27. The BP Oil Spill: Could Software Be a Culprit?, Don Shafer and Phillip Laplante, ITProfessional of the IEEE Computer Society, August 19, 2010
The complexity of alarm systems on offshore oil rigs is astonishing. Could workers have missed one of them, leading to catastrophic system failure?
28. The Conundrum of Visibility: Youth Safety and the Internet, Danah Boyd and Alice Marwick, Journal of Children & Media, 2009
The authors contend that despite the real dangers associated with unrestricted to access to the Internet, the real problem is that "the Internet uncovers many things that were previously hidden." It’s not that more young people are doing risky things, it’s that technology as made young people have always done more visible.
29. The List: Look Who’s Censoring the Internet Now, Joshua Keating, Foreign Policy, March 2009
We are used to hearing about internet censors in China and Iran. But Australia and France?
30. Google and Saving Face in China, Adam Segal, Council on Foreign Relations, March 23, 2010
Google disappointed some of its users in 2006 when it agreed to censor search results at Google.cn at the behest of the Chinese government. By March 2010, even Google was concerned about China.
31. A Fantasy World Is Creating Problems in South Korea, Choe Sang-Hun, The New York Times, May 26, 2010
Long the capital of online games, South Korea has a growing problem with internet addicts.
32. In Good Company?: On the Threshold of Robotic Companions, Sherry Turkle, in Close Engagements with Artificial Companions, Yorick Wilks, John Benjamins Publishing Co., Amsterdam/Philadelphia, 2010
Twenty years ago objections to machine intelligence tended to flow from a belief that there is "something essential about the human spirit. . . . Today the focus is on behavior." If a robot offers us companionship, then it’s a companion.
33. The Coming Superbrain, John Markoff, The New York Times, May 24, 2009
Artificial Intelligence, often criticized for making failed promises, is back with avengeance. Watch out for the singularity, opening at a theatre near you.
34. Cloud Computing, Brian Hayes, Communications of the ACM, July 2008
" . . .the sudden stylishness of the cloud paradigm" is an odd return to a mode of computing developed 50 years ago. The more things change. . . .
35. Chrome the Conqueror, Sally Adee, IEEE Spectrun, January 2010
"Is Google God?," asks the author, after all, it’s omnipresent. It’s next step is an operating system that could threaten even Microsoft.
36. Publishing: The Revolutionary Future, Jason Epstein, The New York Review of Books, March 11, 2010
We are used to hearing the young and digitally connected sing the praises of the digital future. This piece, written almost entirely in the future tense, is something unexpected. No longer young, Jason Epstein was a founder in the sixties of the best-known general format journal of ideas in the United States and perhaps the world. He now sees digital publishing as inevitable.
37. Computers Learn to Listen, and Some Talk Back, Steve Lohr and John Markoff, The New York Times, June 24, 2010
Computers that recognize speech, translate, and respond intelligently are suddenly no longer the stuff of science fiction. The "outlook is uncertain for the many of the estimated four million workers in American call centers. . . . "
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