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Table of Contents
Annual Editions: Technologies, Social Media, and Society 12/13, Eighteenth Edition
Unit 1: Introduction
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 every technology," he says, "is a powerful idea. . . ."
2. Moore's Law and Technological Determinism: Reflections on the History of Technology, Paul E. 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.
Unit 2: The Economy
4. The Revolution Will Not Be Monetized, Bob Garfield, IEEE Spectrum, June 2011
An irreverent look at an impossible task: predicting winners in the tech marketplace.
5. How Google Dominates Us, James Gleick, The New York Review of Books, August 18, 2011
"In barely a decade Google has made itself a global brand bigger than Coca-Cola or GE: it has created more wealth faster than any company in history." How has its corporate motto, "Don't be evil," fared in a company now awash in money?
6. Click Trajectories: End-to-End Analysis of the Spam Value Chain, Kirill Levchencko, et al., IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, 2011
An international team of computer scientists have discovered that the flood of spam washing through in boxes around the world is surprisingly vulnerable.
Unit 3: Work and the Workplace
7. Automation on the Job, Brian Hayes, American Scientist, January/February 2009
Not all that long ago, "nearly everyone agreed that people would be working less once computers and other kinds of automatic machinery became widespread." Instead those of us who are working are working more. Why?
8. Computer Software Engineers and Computer Programmers, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010–2011
"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. Computer Scientists, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010–2011
Computer scientists do research into all aspects of computing, from chip design to robotics to virtual reality. In the process, they "are the designers, creators, and inventors of new technology." According to the BLS, "job prospects should be excellent."
10. 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.
Unit 4: Computers, People, and Social Participation
11. 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.
12. The End of Solitude, William Deresiewicz, The Chronicle Review, 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.' "
13. Relationships, Community, and Identity in the New Virtual Society, Arnold Brown, The Futurist, March/April 2011
"Facilitating and managing relationships online is projected to become close to a billion-dollar industry in the United States in 2011." Providing services to commercialized communities "will be a great growth industry."
14. Generational Myth: Not All Young People Are Tech-Savvy, Siva Vaidhyanathan, The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 19, 2008
We hear lots about so-called digital natives, those born, roughly, since 1980. The author claims that they don't have much in common. In particular, not all of them are technical wizards.
15. Expressing My Inner Gnome: Appearance and Behavior in Virtual Worlds, Shyong (Tony) K. Lam and John Riedl, IEEE Computer, July 2011
"Griefers," online game characters with a propensity for attacking other players, seem to enjoy causing pain. Avatars in virtual worlds reproduce cultural behaviors found in the real world. As the French say, "plus ca change. . . ."
Unit 5: Societal Institutions: Law, Politics, Education, and the Military
16. The End of Forgetting, Jeffrey Rosen, The New York Times Magazine, July 25, 2010
How do your erase you digital past?
17. Google's Loss: The Public's Gain, Robert Darnton, The New York Review of Books, April 28, 2011
Google's bold plan to make an end-run around copyright law appears to have foundered on the Sherman Antitrust Act.
18. 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."
19. Degrees, Distance, and Dollars, Marina Krakovsky, Communications of the ACM, September 2010
The University of Phoenix, a pioneer in online education, has 445,600 students. The ten campuses of the University of California enroll about 220,000. This article explores the educational and economic dynamics of online education.
20. Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted, Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker, October 4, 2010
"The Facebook page of the Save Darfur Coalition has 1,282,339 members, who have donated an average of nine cents apiece." Real change requires more than social media, argues this well-known New Yorker writer.
21. Don't Fear the Reaper: Four Misconceptions about How We Think about Drones, Charli Carpenter and Lina Shaikhouni, Foreign Policy, June 7, 2011
So-called predator drones are in the news. This piece argues that they are misunderstood.
22. Autonomous Robots in the Fog of War, Lora G. Weiss, IEEE Spectrum, August 2011
It's one thing to hear analysts, politicians, even military commanders talk about the role of battlefield robots in transforming the military. It's quite another to hear from a developer.
Unit 6: Risk and Avoiding Risk
23. 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
24. 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?
25. Untangling Attribution: Moving to 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.
26. Hacking the Lights Out, David M. Nicol, Scientific American, July 2011
The recent Stuxnet virus, perhaps sabotage directed at Iran's machinery to enrich uranium, shows that industrial machines are vulnerable to attack. "Unfortunately," says the author, "the electrical power grid is easier to break into than any nuclear enrichment facility."
27. The Web's New Gold Mine: Your Secrets, Julia Angwin, The Wall Street Journal, July 31–August 1, 2010
Ashley Hayes-Beaty is being monitored by Lotame Solutions who sells Ms. Hayes-Beaty's enthusiasm for 50 First Dates and Sex in the City to advertisers.
28. The BP Oil Spill: Could Software Be a Culprit?, Don Shafer and Phillip A. 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?
29. The Conundrum of Visibility: Youth Safety and the Internet, Danah Boyd and Alice Marwick, Journal of Children & Media, 2009
The authors contend that despite dangers associated with unrestricted access to the Internet, the real problem is that "the Internet uncovers many things that were previously hidden."
Unit 7: International Perspectives and Issues
30. 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?
31. 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.
32. Does Facebook Have a Foreign Policy?, Tim Wu, Foreign Policy, October 20, 2010
The European Union influences world privacy standards. "This year, European privacy regulators . . . have begun investigations of Facebook's photo tagging and the use of privacy data by applications."
33. 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.
Unit 8: The Frontier of Computing
34. In Good Company?: On the Threshold of Robotic Companions, Sherry Turkle, The New York Times, May 24, 2009
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.
35. 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 fifty years ago.
36. Chrome the Conqueror, Sally Adee, IEEE Spectrum, January 2010
"Is Google God?," asks the author, after all it's omnipresent. Its next step is an operating system that could threaten even Microsoft.
37. 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 sees digital books as inevitable.
38. 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. . . ."
39. Weighing Watson's Impact, Kirk L. Kroeker, Communications of the ACM, July 2011
IBM's Watson recently defeated Jeopardy!'s two most successful contestants. Was this just (!) engineering or did Watson's triumph represent a leap forward in language understanding and machine learning?
40. Geek Life: Die Another Day, Susan Karlin, IEEE Spectrum, March 2010
More than one prominent computer scientist has heeded Dylan Thomas' advice: "Do not go gentle into that good night."