Blog entries written for CS 404, Winter 2006

Posts in the CS404 category

ethics - 18 Apr 2006

In the past, a person’s word was sufficient to form a binding contract. Nowadays one’s word is meaningless and even if you get something in writing, people can claim they didn’t understand what they were agreeing to or that they were temporarily insane when they signed it. Litigation pervades business transactions and people constantly search […]

brain waves - 11 Apr 2006

Researchers at the Wadsworth center have created technology that allows you to think an e-mail instead of having to type it. The current technology can only produce two to four words per minute, but it could be much faster in the future. It sounds futuristic and progressive, but is this really a step forward for […]

a new frontier - 06 Apr 2006

Space. The final, frontier. That was said at the beginning of every episode of Star Trek: Next Generation, where the holodeck could create virtually anything they could imagine and they traveled through space as if it was a trip around the block. Where is the technology to make whatever meal you want, clean your house […]

patents - 28 Mar 2006

An adage from the business world states, “Great ideas are a dime a dozen but people who follow through on those ideas and actually make them work are priceless.” A patent is defined as “a grant made by a government that confers upon the creator of an invention the sole right to make, use, and […]

copyrights - 23 Mar 2006

The music industry has been so intent on keeping people from copying music that they have alienated their customers even though there is no definitive data tying the drop in CD sales to copying CDs or downloading MP3s illegally. CDs are bulky and inconvenient in comparison to an MP3 player, so it seems perfectly natural […]

what you say online could haunt you - 14 Mar 2006

Few people plan to have their personal compositions accessible to millions of people, but it happens all the time on the internet. People later wish they could take back what they wrote, but that’s not an option. What you once wrote may no longer express your current views on the subject, but it’s very difficult […]

family history work - 09 Mar 2006

Learning about your ancestors can be a rewarding and intriguing experience, but there are negatives as well. The methods used to research one’s family history can be time consuming and tedious. Multiple people often end up working on the same ancestral line, unaware of others doing the same work. A single page in the census […]

spoofing caller id - 07 Mar 2006

The phone rings. You check caller ID before answering, but the voice on the other line is not who you expected. Caller IDs can be faked or spoofed, just like e-mails, so the number you read on the screen may not be that of the actual caller. Thieves can use caller ID spoofing to activate […]

women in computing - 02 Mar 2006

The reasons behind the dearth of women in computing and engineering require more research to understand fully, but if a large portion of women aren’t interested in studying those subjects, it would be unwise to force them. Requiring people to study a subject in order to meet a contrived balance is just as bad as […]

terrorism and security - 14 Feb 2006

Creating a secure system can be a difficult and elusive objective. The moment you think you’re finished, you’ve opened yourself up to an attack. People who are aware that they can never be completely secure are more likely to be vigilant, thus increasing their awareness and attention to security issues. For instance, a flight crew […]

botnets - 02 Feb 2006

You may have heard about bots before, perhaps in the context of BattleBots or the friendly neighborhood Googlebot, but there’s a new bot in town. Some have dubbed it the number one emerging threat on the Internet today. What are these bots and where do they come from? You may be using one of them […]

technology and the lds church - 31 Jan 2006

Back in 1984, five years before Tim Berners-Lee had invented the Internet World Wide Web, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was already busy putting computers to work to help further the mission of the Church. As technology has continued to progress, the church has adopted different technologies to reduce repetitive, administrative tasks […]

internet safety - 26 Jan 2006

The internet is an incredibly useful resource. You can answer a question in seconds, book a flight to anywhere in the world or play chess with someone from the other side of the globe, all from the comfort of your living room. However, the internet also presents very real dangers. Online dating sites and chat […]

the digital age - 17 Jan 2006

In the book, “My Side of the Mountain,” Sam Gribley runs away from home and lives in a tree in the Catskill Mountain range. A vicious winter storm rips through his forest home, tearing down branches and trees. At first he thinks the forest has been destroyed and wonders how he can repair it. Then […]

return to blogging - 14 Jan 2006

As you may have noticed, I didn’t end up posting much last semester, and while I missed it, I wasn’t sure I would have much time to do much (if any) blogging this semester either. Then I attended the first day of my Ethics and Computers In Society class, and things changed. You see, one […]