Introduction to the Course
Mechanics of the Course
The issues pages contain the
issues for this week and past weeks plus some provided by me for
Table showing who has volunteered for what so far.
Links to relevant material online.
White Boards of Classes.
Some webbed papers from previous years.
My office is Bergin 204; office hours Monday and
Wednesday 4:30-5:30 and by arrangement.
Virtual office hours, via email, 24/7. I can be reached at:
[Send links to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion here]
computer you can build for $50.
to defend earth against attacks from space.
of current law with regard to forcing someone to decrypt a
hard drive. An article
on the same case.
Reputation.com is in
the business of improving your online reputation; it promises
to "replace your inaccurate or misleading search results with
new, truthful, accurate results." Precisely how they determine
what is truthful is not entirely clear. Or how much they care.
Delayed puberty drugs
are apparently here now—and
being used for a somewhat odd purpose.
Mass production blackmail
at £10 a pop.
It is now possible to
genderless—at least in New South Wales
Society may be nearer
than we think: Your laptop is watching you. A legal
analysis of the case.
A recent story on the
the GPL--in the courts. Relevant to some of the Open Source
issues we will be discussing.
route to Avatar: VR and Remote Control
How much does your
browser tell web pages about you? The EFF is onto
"to help find missing children"--threat, menace, or useful
"I wanted to make a
dent in the suffering and death caused by aging..." says one "DIY
biologist". "Of course, there are also DIYers with no
ambitions to save the world, who are content to 'make yogurt
glow' in the basement for their own personal satisfaction!"
According to a recent
from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, for every 119
males born in China, only 110 females are born. The report
blames selective abortion based on technologies for
determining gender before birth but, at least judging by the
news story, fails to mention the role of government
restrictions limiting a couple to one child.
A Stanford professor
argues gaming worlds can keep workers engaged, and advocates
elements of World of Warcraft or Second Life to hone skills
like teamwork, leadership, and data analysis. And one IBM
report also argues games like World of Warcraft teach
leadership and "asserts that there is no reason to think that
the same cannot be done in corporate settings of various
Whether it's the
BigDog military quadruped robot or an anthropomorphic robot
with the ability to sweat, "All of them are disturbing to
watch." This article
documents what Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori calls "the
uncanny valley," or why near-lifelike creatures can seem real
but unhealthy -- genetically unfit.
Are genetically engineered crops killing the
bees? See here
Alcohol, smoking, ecstasy--which is
A story of
large scale online fraud, stamp collecting, open source crime
detection, imperfect private and nonexistent public enforcement.
Quantum computing may be here.
Face to Face anonymity? Information on face animation.
We already have a distributed surveillance
network, and NYC
plans to use it: Cell phones
The Surveillance Camera Players, a performance troupe
For life in the transparent society - Privacy
Audio of lecture on anonymity and privacy
Invisibility Cloak: Identity Mixer promises to keep your
online presence anonymous.
A previous year's student has put up his
own page for additional issues. Among other things.
Coins: The Transparent Society in your pocket. Maybe.
glasses are getting better--and stylish..
Genetic engineering may in time let parents
redesign their children before birth. It is already
possible, but controversial, to do it after birth.
If you would like to browse the web without being watched by either the FBI or the RIAA, you might want to take a look at netshade.The RIAA as a promoter of strong privacy? An interesting essay.
What do Open Source and the Dean campaign have in common? Fortune thinks they are models for the new Bottom-Up economy.
Virtual Reality makes it to Mars--with a little help from Java.You can no longer reach Jesus on your cell phone. At least not in Finland.
A Secret war. Is your computer spying on you--the Spyware arms race.
Attack of the mad worm--ATM's
bite the dust. "I have twenty-two bucks in my pocket and 14
people coming over to eat chili, drink beer and watch the
Superbowl tomorrow," Manhattan resident Gail Pastore fumed,
after finding out she wouldn't be able to make a withdrawal.
"It's not going to be a good weekend."
Lee Silver is already obsolete. It appears that a new technology will make it possible for two women to produce a child entirely from their own genetic material.