In the last twenty years, “sugar and spice and everything nice” has become an outdated term. There used to be a time when the school principal’s office was frequented by bloodied boys who’d let their “male instincts” get the most of them on the playground. Even the more violent crimes; acts of pure aggression and gang-related violence, were associated with boys. Girls played house and jumprope, talked quietly in groups, and were generally better students and polite young women. Now, with great strides in gender equality, influential fighting female sex symbols in the media, and the influence of boys and even well meaning family members, girls are becoming increasingly more aggressive. Receiving so many mixed messages about empowerment and sexuality, many girls are becoming physically violent at alarming rates, confusing school officials, parents and the media.
Over the last year, we’ve discussed pivotal court cases (Net Neutrality, Julie Amero) the volatility of the Internet (the Google empire, online tiplines, wikipedia), the threat of Big Brother (Radio Frequency tracking, Digital Rights Management, thumbprinting for payment, MySpace and self-incrimination) and positive advances in technology (the One Laptop Per Child initiative, advances in auto tech). I hope these topics have provided you with a new insight to why technology is important beyond MySpace and e-mail.
Last week, I presented you with several reasons why it is crucial for every person to understand the basics of technology. No sooner had the issue gone to print than another (and perhaps most important) example surfaced. Incriminating e-mails that mysteriously disappeared (because they were deleted) between the President, Vice President Advisor Karl Rove, and other members of the Republican National Committee regarding the controversial firings of eight US attorneys.
Technology is intimidating. I’ll admit it. RAM, Ethernet, Terabytes, Bluetooth, GSM, MP4s, 802.11g wifi…buying a computer or cellphone (or even a refrigerator) these days seems to require learning another language. Instead of embracing a chance to become proficient in something new, many people just cling to the closest geek (or 10-year-old) they know and put their electronic fate into his or her hands.
But as I’ve hoped to get across in the past year’s worth of TechTalk articles, technology isn’t just necessary for using your iPod or programming the DVD player. Our constantly increasing reliance on computers and gadgets for transportation, communication, health and security is causing some huge issues many people are unaware of. Legal storms are brewing, and it doesn’t look like they’re going to blow over. Although we can’t really see it now, the consequences of technological decisions being made today in our courtrooms are going to have massive repercussions for our future.
If you’ve ever been in someone’s “Top 8,” or written on someone’s “wall,” keep reading. Online social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook can be found on more than half of the screens in the NEIU computer labs at any given time. You aren’t fooling anyone hiding the window behind Microsoft Word, guys.
As the 2006 model year came to a close, thousands of consumers flocked to the Chicago Auto Show in early February to kick the tires on 2007’s new cars. More than 40 manufacturers were at McCormick Place, displaying their new lines of cars, SUVs, trucks, vans, and motorcycles. No matter what the make, model and price, one trend was hard to miss on the showroom floor: the integration of new technology in automobiles.
This country needs to lighten up. It’s understandable that Americans are on high-alert after 9/11, but let’s ignore airport liquid bans, avian flu and global warming for a moment and examine an event of the past few weeks.
In mid-January, Peter Berdovsky and Sean Stevens, employees of a marketing company called Interference, helped place ads around Boston in a viral marketing campaign. Also called “astroturfing” because it is essentially a fake grassroots campaign, viral ads look like they were made by fans instead of a corporation to create more hype.
India, Brazil, Nigeria, Thailand. These are just a few of the countries that may have a technological revolution on the horizon. In areas where there is no indoor plumbing or electricity, school children may soon be receiving their own personal notebook computers.
The One Laptop Per Child initiative, brainchild of MIT faculty member Nicholas Negroponte, aims to supply millions of laptops to children in developing countries for a mere $100 each by early 2007.
It started as a simple search tool, indexing the World Wide Web. No fancy web design, no flash animation or complex site to navigate.
Now 10 years later, it can still answer almost any question as well as find the best deals, get directions, manage your e-mail, and bring video to your desktop. Style-wise, little has changed since its debut.