Notes from the Electronic Cottage 10/10/19: Voting Security- Again

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

How are you feeling about the upcoming 2020 election? No matter what your favorite party or favorite candidate – or level of disgust – one thing none of us should feel real good about is the state of our election technology as we approach this very important election. Here’s why.

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 10/3/19: AI-Good & Bad

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

Technology can make our lives much easier and convenient in many ways. And, sometimes, the opposite can be true. Today, let’s think about a few current and developing technologies that can offer some terrific advances and/or some terrific problems.

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 9/26/19: Private Company Tracking

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

The University of Alabama has created an app that tracks student attendance at football games to help prevent students from leaving the game early when Alabama is pummeling their opponents. And there is a vigorous private marketplace for companies collecting license plates scans from cars as they drive around on their driver’s daily business. What to these two things have in common? Location, location, location.

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 9/19/19: Deepfakes

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

Have you heard of Deepfakes? If not, you will, and probably fairly soon. Here’s why.

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 9/12/19: HARPA

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

Many folks have heard of DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, but how about HARPA? The “H” in HARPA stands for “Health” and proponents of this proposed new agency think they have come up with a way to reduce or eliminate mass shootings in the US. We’re not so sure. See what you think.

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 9/5/19: School Data Update & Dark Patterns

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

On the Electronic Cottage, we have recently noted the upsurge in student surveillance and data collection going on in many schools. These huge troves of data offer very attractive attacks for hackers of all types, including, as it turns out, a 16 year old curious about the software his school and thousands of others use. What he found and the ease with which he found it is very disturbing.

Also very disturbing is the prevalence of Dark Patterns on shopping and other web sites. A group of Princeton researchers recently analyzed the 11,000 biggest shopping sites on the web looking for Dark Patterns that are meant to cajole or deceive us into making purchases we might otherwise not make, or offering personal information we might not otherwise share online. They found thousands of these Dark Patterns, and the odds are pretty good we have all come across them without knowing it.

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 8/29/19: School Surveillance Reactions

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

We’re mentioned on past programs that many schools, and the commercial companies that they work with, are collecting and, in some cases, selling unprecedented amounts of personal information about students which students and parents often know nothing about. Now there are beginning to be reactions to this collection and distribution of data. Here are a couple of important ones.

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 8/22/19: Tech in Schools 1

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

Well, school is starting again in a week of so which means it might not be a bad idea to think about some of the tech that is being used in many schools across the country. The aims of these school technologies are lofty: their applications maybe not so lofty. In any event, parents should know what tech is being used by and on their children. Here are some of them.