Posted by & filed under Competitive Advantage, Emerging Economies, Emerging Technologies.

the question is whether enough of the world’s unconnected people want all this internet, from all of these companies, and whether these companies are fully considering the financial and social constraints of the developing world. “It’s still very early to say, from a demand perspective, whether there’s enough market to fulfill all of these mega constellations,” says satellite industry analyst Mansoor Shar.

Source: Wired Magazine

Date: March 15th, 2018

Link: https://www.wired.com/story/maybe-nobody-wants-your-space-internet/

Discussion

1) SpaceX recently launched the first two of its planned 12,000 low-earth orbit internet-from-space satellites.  Who is right here and whether internet-from-space is a good idea?

2) Many rural communities have appalling internet service.  How can this transform business?

Posted by & filed under Reddit.

Steve Huffman

South by Southwest Interactive is a festival that used to have a reputation as the place to create a buzz for a new social network or product.

Yet these days, SXSW’s focus is less about developing apps, and more about developing society. A society that, thanks to technology which some of these attendees created, feels in need of repair.  One of the most interesting products being discussed this year isn’t new at all.  Reddit somehow seems to fly under the radar for the average person, despite being the sixth most popular website in the world.  But while its ugly aesthetic – and often, ugly content – is alienating to many, there is much to admire.  In fact, I’d go as far as to say Reddit provides a model for how to create a more interesting, fairer web. A model that doesn’t drag down other publishers in the process.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: March 15th, 2018

Link: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-43383766

Discussion

1) If you don’t use Reddit, why is this?  Dig a little deeper to understand what is driving your choices around the apps you use as you can use this to inform whether or not you are making reasoned choices or are simply being reactive.

2) What is it that Reddit does that is seen as being really important here?

Posted by & filed under 3D, Consumer Technology, Emerging Technologies, Ethical issues.

In Texas, tucked behind a house for the wealthy, perhaps lies some hope for the significantly less so.

More than a billion people in the world go to sleep each night without reliable shelter.

But a pair of companies working on solving that believes their model of quickly 3D-printing a one-story house could not only provide merely a roof over the head, but a genuinely great place to live.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: March 15th, 2018

Link: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-43411581

Discussion

1) “If it does work it could literally change how shelter is created.”  How could you become involved in something like this?

2) What other materials can be 3D-printed?

Posted by & filed under The Internet.

The Web's first site was created by CERN in 1989. On April 30, 1993, it was made available to the world royalty-free. The design of the site is very different from Web pages today but also showed the roots of what was to come. It can be fun to look through Internet history, so CNN consulted the <a href='http://archive.org/web/web.php' target='_blank'>Internet Archive Wayback Machine</a> to find out what early versions of other websites looked like. Click through the gallery for a trip back in time.

Discussion:
The Web turned 33 years old this week. Can you even remember what it was like back then? Their was no pictures, no music and no color, and it could take a COUPLE OF MINUTES to load a page. If a webpage takes longer than 3 seconds I start getting annoyed.

“It’s like coffee culture versus tea culture,” he said. “With coffee, you’re gulping it down, trying to get your caffeine. Tea culture is more sipping and experiencing the taste.

“We had a sipping culture back then, and now we have a gulping culture. That’s the big change. It was a small number of geeks who were tasting this concept for the first time. We were getting little bits. We were tasting them, and we were saying, ‘How could this change the world?’ ”

Source: CNN Tech

Date: March 15th, 2018

Link: http://us.cnn.com/2014/03/11/tech/web/early-world-wide-web/index.html?hpt=hp_bn5

Questions for discussion:

  • Do you remember the first time you got on the internet? If so, tell us your experience?
  • Can we even imagine what life will be like in 25 years with the advancement of technology? Why or why not?

Posted by & filed under Consumer Technology, Internet of Things.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: March 8th, 2018

Link: http://www.bbc.com/news/av/technology-42456995/sim-card-shoes-send-alert-if-wearer-falls

Discussion

1) Technology that alerts someone when someone falls.  What other applications of this technology can you think of?

2) The integration of sensors with telecoms is a booming field, often called Internet of Things.  What issues can you think of for these sim-card enabled shoes?

Posted by & filed under Blockchain.

Verifying authenticity or provenance is one of the art industry’s biggest challenges. Blockchain can help.

Blockchain is a potentially revolutionary technology for all sorts of industries, from finance to food safety, social media and retail. A startup plans to use it in the notoriously opaque world of fine art to verify authenticity.  Codex has developed a decentralized database for the market for art and collectibles like antique cars and jewelry. This protocol would help bring transparency to one of the most valuable aspects of any item in that category: its provenance. Provenance is the history of ownership of a work. Proving that pedigree is currently a painstaking and long process often done by hand, sifting through paper documents and receipts, and is often inconclusive.

Source: Bloomberg

Date: March 8th, 2018

Link: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-02-28/startup-codex-brings-blockchain-to-art-with-backing-from-pantera

Discussion

1) Providing a decentralized repository of information that you can trust is accurate could be very useful indeed.  What other things can you think of that would benefit from this technology?

2) Not addressed here is how you can trust what is put on the blockchain is authentic.  This is called “validation”.  How might this work?

Posted by & filed under Ethical issues, Privacy.

Geek Squad cars

Best Buy’s computer repair workers have been aiding the FBI for at least 10 years, new documents suggest.

They indicate that several of the US company’s Geek Squad staff were paid for reporting child abuse imagery.

The rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation said that the relationship “circumvents computer owners’ Fourth Amendment rights” to privacy.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: March 8th, 2018

Link: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-43315176

Discussion

1) Do you have the right to privacy if you drop your computer off for repairs?

2) What steps could you take to make sure your private stuff on your technology remains private?

Posted by & filed under Civil Liberties, Facebook, IT and Politics.

A Facebook executive disclosed that the company wasn’t yet sure how to enact CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s latest major directive: shifting the company’s metrics so that so-called meaningful interactions are valued over cheap likes and clicks.

A Facebook executive disclosed that the company wasn’t yet sure how to put in place Zuckerberg’s latest major directive: shifting the company’s metrics so that “meaningful interactions” are valued over likes and clicks, a response to the misinformation and reports about the harms of social media that drew attention last year.

Source: Washington Post

Date: March 1st, 2018

Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2018/02/21/mark-zuckerberg-says-he-wants-to-fix-facebook-his-employees-keep-getting-in-the-way/?utm_term=.c9441ce850fe

Discussion

1) “Facebook vice president, Rob Goldman, who runs the company’s massively lucrative ad business, seemed more defensive about Facebook’s role. “I have seen all of the Russian ads and I can say very definitively that swaying the election was *NOT* the main goal,” he tweeted, adding that the majority of Russian ads ran after the election. “We shared that fact,” he wrote, “but very few outlets have covered it because it doesn’t align with the main media narrative of Trump and the election.””  How do you actually get to the truth in situations like these?

2) Why do you think Russia used Facebook to place ads?

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence, Amazon, Augmented Reality.

Amazon has challenged 15 teams of some of the world’s best computer science graduate students to build “a socialbot that can converse coherently and engagingly with humans on popular topics for 20 minutes.” If any team succeeds, its members will snare academic glory and the promise of brilliant future careers. (Consider that some of the most impressive alums of the Darpa Grand Challenges, an early set of autonomous vehicle competitions, went on to run the self-driving car divisions of Google, Ford, Uber, and General Motors.) They will also walk away with a $1 million purse—which Amazon has called the Alexa Prize.

Source: Wired Magazine

Date: March 1st, 2018

Link: https://www.wired.com/story/inside-amazon-alexa-prize/

Discussion

1) Do humans really want to “socialize” with bots?

2) What are some of the main issues facing these socialbot designers?