We use machines and systems to solve problems and assist us by performing specific tasks. Here we discuss how low- and high-level technology affects our ability to control, communicate within, and adapt to our environment.

A Big Step Forward in Cloud Security and Internet Privacy

A landmark decision in New York is setting a precedent for intellectual property on the internet. Judge Robert Sweet in Manhattan, overseeing the ongoing case of Debra Schatzki v. Weiser Capital Management, found that stealing data stored in the cloud from a business competitor constitutes a crime.

Weiser Capital was found liable for downloading confidential information about over 12,000 of Schatzki’s clients during proceedings in early December.… [Read more]

Bridging the Digital Divide: Google Fiber Is Closer Than You Think

Will the nation see a bridge over its digital divide? When will cities that aren’t part of a metropolitan statistical area with more than several million people have access to the technology they need? We’re moving in that direction; on August 15, 2013, Google confirmed that Provo, Utah will be the second city after Kansas City to get Google Fiber, with Austin, TX not far behind.… [Read more]

Identity Theft and Immigration Reform Intersect

Imagine trying to file your five-year-old daughter as a dependent, only to find that she was “making too much money.” Or your child being denied Medicaid because he had wages reported on his social security number. That’s happened to six-year-old Carter Andrushko. His Social Security number was used at an OB/GYN’s office. An illegal immigrant was using his number for years before he was born, racking up all sorts of medical bills.… [Read more]

Business Trends That Will Affect Your Business Direction

As is the case in the U.S., there are times when businesses must change direction in order to compete effectively in a global marketplace. One of the U.S.’ political allies is also a significant business ally — and the issues and trends that affect many of our business operations are the same as those affecting domestic businesses, including knowledge of the marketplace and how best to manage operations.… [Read more]

The Big Benefits of Social Media For Women

While women have made huge strides in gender equality and perceptions, some stereotypes have  come back to haunt us again in revised forms. According to one especially reductive “Mars and Venus” formula, men use Facebook and LinkedIn to increase serious opportunities, as well as for purely social functions, while for women such media are just a way to share cheesecake recipes and coo over baby pictures.… [Read more]

Snowden, Surveillance and Snooping: How Private is Your Phone?

That mobile phone you love using may be spilling your secrets. Earlier this year, based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden, we learned that the National Security Agency (NSA) is watching our phone use and who we talk to, and listening to our conversations. Is this legal? Does this infringe on our privacy? Are there ways around being watched?… [Read more]

How Your Online Life Can Affect Your Offline Life

It seems like our online and offline lives are getting increasingly difficult to keep separate. Particularly with so many of us owning smartphones, it’s as if we’re never truly disconnected from the lives that we’ve built on the internet. Yet, most would still be willing to make a distinction between the virtual online world and real life, thus the debate continues to be (at least for the time being) how the virtual world affects our reality.… [Read more]

Climate Change Address

Forty three years ago Congress unanimously passed the Clean Air Act which was subsequently signed into law by a Republican president. Six years ago the Supreme Court declared that greenhouse gases are a pollutant. Fast-forward to the present day.

How fitting that on such a hot day, repeatedly wiping his brow in the summer sun, President Obama delivered a speech on climate change policy.… [Read more]

Storm Chasers

We lost three veteran storm chasers — Tim Samaras, his son Paul, and Carl Young — near Reno, Oklahoma last Friday night when an EF3 tornado turned into them. That same storm swept a Weather Channel vehicle 200 yards off the road. Fortunately, none of the occupants was seriously injured.

Chasing tornados is a dangerous business, one I don’t care for.… [Read more]

History 101—One way WWII had a positive impact for women

In my spare time {groan} I’ve been reading Tom Brokaw’s The Greatest Generation. I enjoy reading about and studying history, and WWII is one of my favorite subjects. You remember WWII , you know, that war we fought to clean up the mess from WWI. You remember WWI, the ‘war to end all wars’. As the men went to war, women went to the workplace and, even though they were ‘fired’ at the end of the war, their presence in the workplace created more opportunities for women.… [Read more]

Al Gore….Deus Ex Machina

In the long ago late 1970s, when global warming was a gleam in some radical climatologist / doomsayer’s eye, when a jacked-up, tricked out 1973 Monte Carlo was high automotive art amongst my suburban Ontario pals, I read Bored of the Rings. Hilarious stuff, to a lover of the Tolkien trilogy…Dildo and Frito Bugger, high and mighty satire.… [Read more]

American Drone Addiction

Being against the usage of unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as “drones,” for any situation with no exceptions is, to be frank, idiotic and pointless.

UAVs are more precise than conventional weaponry at reducing civilian casualties. They also intrinsically prevent the loss of American military life in combat.

A MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle prepares to land after a mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.… [Read more]

CISPA Update: Senate v. House

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) passed in the US House of Representatives by a vote of 288 – 127. As a refresher in government 101, the bill would have had to pass the Senate and get President Obama’s signature before it could become a law. To update, in a nutshell the case is closed.… [Read more]

Deadline for commenting on genetically engineered ‘Frankenfish’: April 26

Many scientific advancements benefit society; there’s no doubt about that. Some issues, however, fall into that fuzzy area of ‘is it progress or will it do harm even if the intentions are good?’ One of those issues is modification of the food supply at its very core: on the genetic level.

Very soon the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may approve commercial sales of the first genetically engineered (GE) food animal; GE salmon may soon be sold at a grocery store near you.… [Read more]

The House voted to invade your privacy.

Congress has been busy…not passing gun control legislation, mind you, but busy all the same. While national attention was focused elsewhere during this week, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) passed in the US House of Representatives by a vote of 288 – 127. The bill must pass the Senate, and overcome President Obama’s threat to veto on the Act on civil liberties grounds, before it becomes law.… [Read more]

Virtual Citizenship

So Facebook has come out with a phone…or at least Facebook Home that can be downloaded on select Android phones. Or you can buy the HTC First for AT&T.

Or you can just not get the phone like the rest of us.

This past week I got into a conversation about the phone and Home on Facebook (the irony is not lost on me).… [Read more]

SOPA: It’s baaaack!…and it’s teaming up with your Internet Service Provider

Remember SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act about copyrighted material that, if passed, would have allowed the government and various corporations to censor the internet? And do you remember SOPA’s more stringent cousin, ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which is an agreement to create global intellectual property (IP) enforcement standards that reach far beyond current international laws but would have had the effect of killing innovation and shutting down entire websites?… [Read more]

Yahoo! Examples of Irony and Hypocrisy!

Dear Marissa Mayer,

Ok, I don’t know anything about business. I have never worked from home other than making a little bit of money here and there with my writing, so to be honest, I have found myself agreeing with both sides that write about your managerial decisions you have decided to enforce at Yahoo!.

But really, this letter isn’t about your decisions to tell your employees what they can and can’t do.… [Read more]

Kids and Screens – Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, I wrote about allowing my three-and-a-half-year old have access to many different screens and how we monitor it.[Read more]

Somebody IS Watching Me…and You, Too.

I’m just an average man with an average life I work from 9 to 5, hey, hell I pay the price All I want is to be left alone in my average home But why do I always feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone and

I always feel like somebody’s watchin’ me And I have no privacy Oh, oh, oh, I always feel like somebody’s watchin’ me Tell me is it just a dream

I always feel like somebody’s watchin’ me And I have no privacy Oh, oh, oh, I always feel like somebody’s watchin’ me Tell me is it just a dream*

Those lyrics came to mind when the story of the Raytheon Corporation’s latest development was revealed.… [Read more]