Archives for Notes From The Electronic Cottage

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 9/21/17

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

Though health care and the federal budget and so forth are getting the lion’s share of headlines these days, there are several bills working their way through Congress that could have major effects on the Web that many people use every day. One is the “Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act”, a proposed law with a laudable goal – and some potentially very bad unintended consequences for the Internet we all use. Here’s why.

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 9/14/17

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

By now, pretty much everyone in the country has heard about the breach at credit reporting company Equifax of the personal information of 143 million Americans. It’s an unprecedented digital disaster, and a boon to potential identity thieves. So what can we do to help protect ourselves from all manner of financial fraud after this breach? Amidst all of the Equifax babble and recommendations from news sites and a bevy of self-proclaimed experts on the web, there is one thing that all of us can do to help protect ourselves, and living in Maine makes it free for us. Here’s the story.

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 9/7/17

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

Though the bluster that passes for governing these days is dominating our airwaves and news outlets, there is a very important law that no one is talking about that will sunset at the end of 2017 if not specifically renewed. Whether it should be renewed at all, or changed and renewed is an important issue for all Americans, and one that strangely seems to be buried. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is, in the minds of those who care about civil liberties, every bit as important as the budget or health care or a wall on the Mexican border. Yet we hear almost nothing about it. Here’s a start of a discussion. For background information, check
www.theregister.co.uk/2017/02/15/section_702_mass_surveillance
www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/privacy-and-surveillance/government-incidentally-sucking-tens-millions

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 8/31/17

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

Voice controlled tech is becoming more and more a part of many people’s daily lives. Those voice controlled Internet of Things devices are really convenient – whether smart phones or baby monitors or personal assistants like Siri or Google Now or Amazon Echo. But what happens when devices are controlled not by the owner’s voice but by sounds that the owner can’t hear. Some researchers decided to find out – and they did. Here’s the story.

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 8/24/17

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

We may be familiar with the fact that how we use our computers can actually identify us as individuals based on how we type, etc. Now it seems the same thing might be possible based on we drive a car.

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 8/10/17

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

There are differing views of what Artificial Intelligence should be, and what it will mean for us humans. For us and those who come after us, it’s worth thinking about which possible future is best for humanity. Here’s a starter kit for reflection.

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 8/3/17

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

In this summer encore program from 2016, we look at what the World Economic Forum foresees in terms of changes in jobs due to changes in technology from 2015-2020. It is not, alas, a pretty picture.

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 7/20/17

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

The world of autonomous machines is rapidly approaching. From self-driving vehicles to completely automated fast food establishments to robots in the operating room to weapons that decide what is a target and destroy it with no human intervention, machines are going to have an autonomy they have never had before in human history. And that means our ethical and legal systems are going to have to raise and answer questions that we have never had to answer before. Unfortunately, our ethical and legal capacities seem to be way behind our technological ones. We need to think about what that means. Here’s a start.