Notes from the Electronic Cottage 6/17/21: June Odds & Ends 1

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

Today, a follow-up on Britain’s National Health Service’s plan to collect medical records of every patient of every General Practitioner in the country and assemble them into one giant database for research and other purposes. That plan has been delayed – here’s why.

And a look at some of the additional automation of work that has accelerated during, and will continue after, the Covid 19 pandemic.

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 6/10/21: Opt In and Opt Out

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

There is a big difference between “opt-in” and “opt-out” in the digital world. Tens of millions of people in the US and in the UK are finding that out in June of 2021 whether they know it or not. In the US, owners of Amazon Echo or Amazon Ring devices are included in a new Amazon mesh network call Sidewalk, unless they take steps to “opt-out.”

For those folks who do not want to be sharing their wifi and Internet connections with their neighbors, here are instructions of how to “opt-out” by turning Sidewalk off on their devices.

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 6/3/21: Electronic Fingerprinting

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

As folks get more and more savvy about not accepting cookies or deleting them from their browsers, the companies that try to track us for profit keep coming up with new ways to identify what we do on the web and sell that information to advertisers. Take Browser Fingerprinting, for example.

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 5/27/21: Making Our Electronic Homes Safe

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

Cars are the second largest purchase that many Americans make. The first is our homes. We’ve called cars “computers on wheels” because they come pre-assembled with lots of digital technology. Homes usually don’t. We are the ones that bring all sorts of electronic tech into our homes, and we would be wise to make sure that tech is safe for out families to use. Here are some suggestions to make that possible.

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 5/20/21: May 2021 Catch Up

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

Today, let¹s look as some recent developments in topics we¹ve looked at in past programs including Right To Repair laws (or lack of them), Apple’s new requirement that apps give users an opportunity to choose to whether to be tracked across the web – or not, and how Smart TV manufacturers are making almost as much money selling information about users¹s viewing habits as selling users TV sets in the first place.

If you¹d like to look at the Federal Trade Commission report mentioned on today’s program, click here

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 5/13/21: Cars Today and Tomorrow, Part 2

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

We’ve mentioned in the past that cars are more and more becoming computers on wheels. Here’s another way that will be happening in the near future – Driver Monitoring Systems. A proposed bill in Congress would make such systems mandatory on all cars made in the US from 2027 on. What are these systems (already being used by long haul trucking companies and now by Amazon delivery vehicles), how do they work, and what might they mean for our personal privacy when we are driving in our own cars? Good questions.

For an explanation of what these systems are and how they work:
What Is a Driver Monitoring System?
What Are the Levels of Automated Driving?
For a very instructive – and perhaps disquieting – video on how Amazon’s version of this tech works:
Amazon Netradyne Driver Information

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 5/6/21: Cars Today and Tomorrow, Part 1

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

Lately, we’ve been seeing car makers stopping or slowing down production lines because of a lack of critical components – computer chips! As auto technology changes, there are lot of new issues that need to be addressed and sorted out: for example, what happens when gas tax revenue disappears because virtually all cars are electric? This is only one of many big questions facing us as our cars become more and more “computers on wheels.”

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 4/29/21

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

It’s been in the news recently that one of Mr. Trump’s lawyers, Sidney Powell, has been sued by Dominion Voting Machines for defamation based on her claims that Dominion programmed their voting machines to generate more votes for Mr. Biden and less for Mr. Trump. Her defense? “No reasonable person” would believe that her claims were actually facts. Strangely enough, Apple tried to use a similar claim to get a suit thrown out of court when a customer sued because he believed he was buying songs on iTunes and he later found out that Apple had the right to remove those songs he purchased and thought he had bought. The judge wasn’t buying Apple’s argument, and would not grant a dismissal of the suit. Several suits are in court now against Apple and Amazon that center on just what is a person purchasing when they “buy” a song or movie or book in digital format. Good question. The answer at present is not very pretty.

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.