-Updates

Net neutrality has been a core principle of the Internet since the beginning, but it’s been making lots of headlines lately. The FCC has ruled that net neutrality is the law of the land—at least for now. But what does that mean for you? This Huffington Post article focuses on that question and gives clear answers.

www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/26/fcc-net-neutrality-ruling_n_6761174.html

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Project Syria

Most of us think about video games as escapist fare. But a new genre of games, called news games, can take players deeper into real-world situations, helping them to develop an understanding of news that goes far beyond headlines. This NPR story talks about the potential impact of these games, including a USC student project called Project Syria.
This short video goes deeper into the Project and the process of creating this compelling virtual reality experience.

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Holding Your Files Hostage

December 22, 2014

Malware makers are always coming up with new ways to exploit innocent computer users. One relatively new breed of malware, ransomware, encrypts files, making them effectively unusable, unless their owners pay ransom to the perpetrators. This short NPR story focuses on this very real threat.

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Smart Phone, Dumb Posture

November 21, 2014

It’s fairly well known that sitting at a desk staring at a computer all day can be hazardous to your spine (see page 86 of Digital Planet), but new research suggests that standing with your smart phone can also cause problems. This short Huffington Post piece explains why.

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Drone’s Eye Views

August 22, 2014

Drones are, in essence, flying robots, capable of carrying out all kinds of tasks, from acts of war to acts of art. This Huffington Post article focuses on the use of drones to capture video footage that would be difficult or impossible to get by conventional means.

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Blackmail in the Digital Age

April 3, 2014

Blackmail isn’t just for low-life con artists anymore. Digital extortion—demanding ransom in return for not doing damage to critical computer systems—has become increasingly common in recent years. This Huffington Post has details.

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Interactive Animation Meets Virtual Reality in a Smart Phone

November 1, 2013

Don’t look now, but your phone might be a looking glass that enables you to peer into a unique, irresistible fantasy world. Technologists and artists at Google and Motorola just introduced Windy Day, a free virtual reality interactive story that may represent a whole new form of narrative storytelling.

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Watson goes from TV Gaming to Lifesaving

October 23, 2013

IBM’s Watson hasn’t been sitting on its circuits since it won the special Jeopardy! championship game in 2011. This Wired article describes how doctors are putting Watson to work as an expert advisor to help them diagnose cancer and save lives.

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Doug Engelbart (1925–2013): The Man Who Saw the Future

July 8, 2013

If you’re reading this, take a moment to thank Doug Engelbart. At a time when computers were big, expensive, isolated, finicky, and terribly difficult to program and use, this unassuming genius had a vision of a digital future that was so far ahead of its time that few of his peers took it seriously. He is widely credited with inventing the mouse, but that’s just a tiny part of his grand vision. Graphical user interfaces, interactive computing, the Internet, and more, owe their existence at least in part to Engelbart’s visionary work. Thank you, Doug.

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The Activist in Your Pocket

May 16, 2013

Did you ever wonder who gets your money when you go shopping? You may, without knowing it, be donating your hard-earned cash to people and corporations who use it to fund campaigns that go against your beliefs and values.

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