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The Freqonomics podcast explores “the hidden side of everything.” This particular episode does a masterful job of charting the Internet’s trajectory from its inception (and before) to the present. Without being overly technical, it outlines some key trends that may threaten the original vision of the net as an open communication platform for everybody—and may also have profound impact on our greater society.

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The Dark NetThere are huge chunks of the Internet that can’t be found with your standard web browser. Criminals, anarchists, and trolls use encryption-enabled browsers to conduct their business anonymously in these dark corners of the net. In this fascinating Fresh Air interview, author Jamie Bartlett talks about his experiences in the dark net.

npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2015/06/03/411476653/infiltrating-the-dark-net-where-criminals-trolls-and-extremists-reign

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The Job Market Looks Great if You’re a Robot

May 19, 2015

More jobs every day are being automated—done by machines rather than humans. In this thought-provoking Fresh Air interview, Silicon Valley executive Martin Ford says that all kinds of jobs—even many that we assume are machine-proof—are threatened by advances in hardware and software. The implications for our economy and our society are far-reaching.

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Privacy Protection Quick Fixes

May 7, 2015

Many people believe that privacy is a thing of the past. It’s true that our networked world makes it harder to keep secrets. But there are many things you can do to protect your privacy online. This Huffington Post article clearly outlines some quick fixes you can make in a few minutes.

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The Military Internet Complex and the Invisible War

November 20, 2014

War and technology have been intertwined throughout human history. Today’s digital technology is creating a whole new form of war that’s all but invisible to most of us. In his book @War, Shane Harris describes the war that’s waged on the Internet and describes the relationship between government and the tech industry that makes that war possible. In this NPR Fresh Air program he’s interviewed by Terry Gross.

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The 3D Printing Revolution

October 28, 2014

The name “3D printer” doesn’t come close to evoking the transformative potential of this rapidly emerging technology. In this intriguing TED Talk, Avi Reichental describes how 3D printers are revolutionizing medicine, manufacturing, and more.

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30 Years of Living in the Future

October 27, 2014

Nicholas Negroponte has been predicting—and creating—the future for decades. In this TED talk he walks us through those decades, pointing out what the future looked like from many vantage points in the past, and ending with a startling prediction.

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The Unlikely Stories Behind the Internet

October 16, 2014

In Digital Planet we tell the stories of many of the pioneers of the digital age—people who invented or discovered ways of doing things that weren’t previously possible. In his book The Innovators, Walter Isacson weaves many of those stories, and others, together into a larger story—the story of the creation of the Internet. In this Fresh Air interview, he makes it clear that great changes often result from the work of many people over time.

npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2014/10/06/353269811/how-the-cold-war-and-george-orwell-helped-make-the-internet-what-it-is

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Apple and Technology Intimacy

September 10, 2014

As one of the most innovative and profitable companies on the planet, Apple makes headlines when it makes announcements. This week Apple announced several important new products, each of which represents trends in a fast changing industry. Larger iPhones bridge the gap between smart phones and tablets. A mobile payments system designed to bypasses credit […]

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US Internet Service: Why Is It So Bad?

February 10, 2014

The Internet was created in the US, but you’d never know it based on the quality and price of service US Internet users get. In this NPR Fresh Air interview, author and professor Susan Crawford explains why US service is so slow, so expensive, and so inadequate for building future prosperity.

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