Notes from the Electronic Cottage 5/19/22: Making Our Electric Homes Safe 1

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

Our homes are filling up with electronic devices, and that has become even more true for many in this work-from-home Covid time. While those swell “smart devices” can be very handy, they can also do a lot of things that we may not be aware of, and not to our benefit. even the Portland, Oregon office of the FBI thinks so, and they have a point. Here are some things to think about the next time you interact with your smart TV or other gee-whiz device.

About the host:
Jim Campbell has a longstanding interest in the intersection of digital technology, law, and public policy and how they affect our daily lives in our increasingly digital world. He has banged around non-commercial radio for decades and, in the little known facts department (that should probably stay that way), he was one of the readers voicing Richard Nixon’s words when NPR broadcast the entire transcript of the Watergate tapes. Like several other current WERU volunteers, he was at the station’s sign-on party on May 1, 1988 and has been a volunteer ever since doing an early stint as a Morning Maine host, and later producing WERU program series including Northern Lights, Conversations on Science and Society, Sound Portrait of the Artist, Selections from the Camden Conference, others that will probably come to him after this is is posted, and, of course, Notes from the Electronic Cottage.

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 5/12/22: Digital Currency 2

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

More thoughts on digital cash for the US: what might its characteristics be, why is it worth thinking about in the first place, are we likely to see such a thing any time soon, how would it be different from paper money – or would it?

About the host:
Jim Campbell has a longstanding interest in the intersection of digital technology, law, and public policy and how they affect our daily lives in our increasingly digital world. He has banged around non-commercial radio for decades and, in the little known facts department (that should probably stay that way), he was one of the readers voicing Richard Nixon’s words when NPR broadcast the entire transcript of the Watergate tapes. Like several other current WERU volunteers, he was at the station’s sign-on party on May 1, 1988 and has been a volunteer ever since doing an early stint as a Morning Maine host, and later producing WERU program series including Northern Lights, Conversations on Science and Society, Sound Portrait of the Artist, Selections from the Camden Conference, others that will probably come to him after this is is posted, and, of course, Notes from the Electronic Cottage.

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 5/5/22: Digital Currency 1

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

There is a good bit of talk about digital currency these days, even to the point of replacing paper money all together and having a cashless economy. What might such a cashless economy be like, and is it something to welcome or fear? It’s probably a good idea to start thinking about that question because the topic is definitely a live one.

About the host:
Jim Campbell has a longstanding interest in the intersection of digital technology, law, and public policy and how they affect our daily lives in our increasingly digital world. He has banged around non-commercial radio for decades and, in the little known facts department (that should probably stay that way), he was one of the readers voicing Richard Nixon’s words when NPR broadcast the entire transcript of the Watergate tapes. Like several other current WERU volunteers, he was at the station’s sign-on party on May 1, 1988 and has been a volunteer ever since doing an early stint as a Morning Maine host, and later producing WERU program series including Northern Lights, Conversations on Science and Society, Sound Portrait of the Artist, Selections from the Camden Conference, others that will probably come to him after this is is posted, and, of course, Notes from the Electronic Cottage.

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 4/28/22: Banned Books in the Digital Age

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

Over the past year or so, there have been an unprecedented number of book bannings in school and other libraries in the United States. In the digital age, though, there are options for students or anyone else who wants to get access to banned books. PEN America reports over 1500 books have been banned just in schools from July 1, 2021 until March 31, 2022. Some large libraries have responded by opening access to their digital book collections to students from across the country. See what you think.

Here is a link to the full PEN America Report on “Banned in the USA”

About the host:
Jim Campbell has a longstanding interest in the intersection of digital technology, law, and public policy and how they affect our daily lives in our increasingly digital world. He has banged around non-commercial radio for decades and, in the little known facts department (that should probably stay that way), he was one of the readers voicing Richard Nixon’s words when NPR broadcast the entire transcript of the Watergate tapes. Like several other current WERU volunteers, he was at the station’s sign-on party on May 1, 1988 and has been a volunteer ever since doing an early stint as a Morning Maine host, and later producing WERU program series including Northern Lights, Conversations on Science and Society, Sound Portrait of the Artist, Selections from the Camden Conference, others that will probably come to him after this is is posted, and, of course, Notes from the Electronic Cottage.

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 4/21/22: Deep Fakes 2022

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

Machines can generate images, text, audio, and video, supposedly of or by real people, that can fool almost any of us, which means we have to be very careful about what we think we see online. Don’t believe it? Try going to whichfaceisreal.com and see how you do at choosing between images of real people and computer generated “people” who don’t exist. We bet you’ll be right about half the time. Think about what that means to us, our society, and our democracy.

Other references mentioned today include:

1,000-plus AI-generated LinkedIn faces uncovered
Random Face Generator (This Person Does Not Exist)
AI-synthesized faces are indistinguishable from real faces and more trustworthy
Jordan Peele Impersonates Obama for PSA on Fake News

About the host:
Jim Campbell has a longstanding interest in the intersection of digital technology, law, and public policy and how they affect our daily lives in our increasingly digital world. He has banged around non-commercial radio for decades and, in the little known facts department (that should probably stay that way), he was one of the readers voicing Richard Nixon’s words when NPR broadcast the entire transcript of the Watergate tapes. Like several other current WERU volunteers, he was at the station’s sign-on party on May 1, 1988 and has been a volunteer ever since doing an early stint as a Morning Maine host, and later producing WERU program series including Northern Lights, Conversations on Science and Society, Sound Portrait of the Artist, Selections from the Camden Conference, others that will probably come to him after this is is posted, and, of course, Notes from the Electronic Cottage.

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 4/14/22: Cars Today & Tomorrow

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

Cars have been pretty much what they have been for the last 50 or even 100 years. That is changing. Cars are such a big part of our lives that the way we interact with them will have some pretty big implications for our daily lives. Here are a few.

About the host:
Jim Campbell has a longstanding interest in the intersection of digital technology, law, and public policy and how they affect our daily lives in our increasingly digital world. He has banged around non-commercial radio for decades and, in the little known facts department (that should probably stay that way), he was one of the readers voicing Richard Nixon’s words when NPR broadcast the entire transcript of the Watergate tapes. Like several other current WERU volunteers, he was at the station’s sign-on party on May 1, 1988 and has been a volunteer ever since doing an early stint as a Morning Maine host, and later producing WERU program series including Northern Lights, Conversations on Science and Society, Sound Portrait of the Artist, Selections from the Camden Conference, others that will probably come to him after this is is posted, and, of course, Notes from the Electronic Cottage.

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 4/7/22: Password Hygiene

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

Passwords on the web are a big problem both for users who have to remember them, and for web sites that have to believe them. Efforts have been underway for some time to develop a secure way to replace passwords as authenticating who someone is to web sites. How will that happen? Here are some proposals for the future but we aren’t there yet so we’d best keep taking the time to develop strong passwords to keep ourselves – and the web – safe.

About the host:
Jim Campbell has a longstanding interest in the intersection of digital technology, law, and public policy and how they affect our daily lives in our increasingly digital world. He has banged around non-commercial radio for decades and, in the little known facts department (that should probably stay that way), he was one of the readers voicing Richard Nixon’s words when NPR broadcast the entire transcript of the Watergate tapes. Like several other current WERU volunteers, he was at the station’s sign-on party on May 1, 1988 and has been a volunteer ever since doing an early stint as a Morning Maine host, and later producing WERU program series including Northern Lights, Conversations on Science and Society, Sound Portrait of the Artist, Selections from the Camden Conference, others that will probably come to him after this is is posted, and, of course, Notes from the Electronic Cottage.

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 3/31/22: Two Tech Tales for Today

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

Digital technology, as we all know, can be a wonderful gift – or a big problem. Here are current examples of each.

Here is the link to the research paper mentioned on today’s program:

About the host:
Jim Campbell has a longstanding interest in the intersection of digital technology, law, and public policy and how they affect our daily lives in our increasingly digital world. He has banged around non-commercial radio for decades and, in the little known facts department (that should probably stay that way), he was one of the readers voicing Richard Nixon’s words when NPR broadcast the entire transcript of the Watergate tapes. Like several other current WERU volunteers, he was at the station’s sign-on party on May 1, 1988 and has been a volunteer ever since doing an early stint as a Morning Maine host, and later producing WERU program series including Northern Lights, Conversations on Science and Society, Sound Portrait of the Artist, Selections from the Camden Conference, others that will probably come to him after this is is posted, and, of course, Notes from the Electronic Cottage.