Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

Crimes in Cyberspace

May 7, 2009

A news article posted by the Wall Street Journal got me thinking, who woulda thought? The article discusses internet privacy in the workplace, apparently two co-workers at a New Jersey location, and countless other employees around the country have been getting in trouble, suspended from their jobs, or even fired because of something they posted on MySpace of Facebook. 

In one instance, a supervisor somehow hacked into the account of two employees and read a private conversation of the two bashing their workplace. The emplyees were fired and now the supervisor is being charged for invasion of privacy.

“While private conversations might be covered under those laws, none of the statutes specifically addresses social networking or blogging,” (WSJ)

There are privacy laws in our country, I’m sure of it. They are what prohibit some snoop from reading your snailmail. But with the accounts of internet privacy, and the comotion it’s causing, where is the line drawn? If someone can’t read your mail, but they can hack into your Facebook account and read your inbox messages, is that okay? I don’t think so, actually I think most of us have a more personal connection with our inboxes than we do with our mailbox.

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Kaboom

May 7, 2009

I am going on a trip with the Geology department out to the West over the summer to get a “hands on” experience with geological formations. Today, I spent a whopping 7 1/2 hours with the Geology professor getting a crash course in Geology 101. It was intense, and a little excessive, but the information I learned about the cool places I am going to see was worth the time.

The National Geographic has reported that a volcano underwater is spurting out highly toxic levels of molten sulfur. The interesting part is that two species of shrimp thrive on the chemicals being belched out into the water, even as the body count of other marine life climbs.

Here’s the story from the National Geographic.

From the National Geographic

From the National Geographic

I learned today that volcanoes are responsible for massive amounts of land growth, most notably in places like the Hawaiin island chain. As tectonic plates shift, the volcanic “hot spots” stay put underneath the Earth’s crust, creating the chain of islands over time.

-Michael

Playing for Change

May 5, 2009

I heard about this Playing for Change foundation today on NPR. It’s a pretty interesting concept. The founder of the organization, Mark Johnson, recorded street music he heard while walking around the city (with the musician’s permission, of course). He put it on an iPod, brought that iPod to different places around the country, and while other musicians were listening to the original sound, they started to play music too, and Johnson recorded their reactions. He expanded the project from places around the country to places around the world. Now, he’s integrated the sounds of people from all over the world. People are making music together without even meeting eachother. 

New and Improved Vandalism Technology

April 23, 2009

Also! Check this out too. 

With digital age comes digital graffiti, how clever

Digital Literacy

April 23, 2009

This video about digital literacy caught my eye. It says, after explaining Google’s success, that students are relying too much on Google. I think we sometimes forget that Google is just a search engine. The results we read are just words, we have to read them, analyze them, and apply them to whatever it is we are trying to educate ourselves on. It still takes somewhat of a brain to get by in the digital age, computers can’t think for us yet. Can they?

Technological Expectations

April 16, 2009

 

While reading article, “The World Wide Web” by T. Berners-Lee, I honestly only understood about half of what was being discussed, but I was able to grasp that the article was old news. Literally. I think it’s kinda funny—but more ironic, that while I was reading the article I was sitting in one of my classes, pretending to pay attention to the teacher but actually accessing the internet using my iPod.

The internet is at my fingertips. All day I check my email, check my Facebook, check my instant messenger. I bring the internet everywhere I go because it came equipped with my music player. The internet is one of my most helpful, most used tools. Yet, I don’t understand a thing about it.

I don’t know what HTTP or HTML is, I don’t know what it means or stands for even though I’ve read about it, I don’t want to know. All I want is to sit down, log onto my wireless internet, and get to wherever I want to go.

I think that with technological advances, we take more and more things for granted. I expect my electronics to connect me to the web instantly, when they don’t, I get mad. We forget to give credit to the people who make this stuff work. It’s such a complicated process, with actions and language that the average person does not understand. New technology is brought into society, it goes through motions: it’s tried out and either determined to be useless and thrown away, or it’s accepted. We may ask questions in the beginning but ultimately, after it becomes socially acceptable, we become accustomed to it. We don’t necessarily have to understand technology to use it. And we certainly don’t use it to understand it.

Improvements in the technology we already use are great, they make things easier for us. As every new technology emerges, we may not understand it but we must understand how to operate it in order to make it useful to us, so I guess we are learning something new.