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How Grand Theft Auto changed video games (and the world). For Ben.


How Grand Theft Auto changed video games (and the world) – http://m.cnet.com/news/57414909?part=pulse&subj=latest-news&tag=related&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=pulsenews

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The Antitechnology Movement


In my first blog post in this class, I had to screen Ray Kurzweil to see if he would be a viable candidate to speak about technology at Bucknell.  Ray Kurzweil is a technology futurist, which means he predicts where technology will be at certain point of time.  While reading his predictions, I became fascinated with the speeding up of our technological advancement.  This explosion of technology is a wonderful thing in many ways.  Our life expectancy and standard of living has gone up as a result, but where is technology going to take us in 20 or 50 or 500 years?  Currently, our world revolves around the advancement of technology.  Therefore, I believe that The Antitechnology Movement will soon be the idea that changes the world the most.

Before really think about this dilemma, I would have said there is no way that we should stop advancing technologically.  Here are a couple of predictions that Kurzweil has made that made me second guess myself…

1. 2030: Mind uploading becomes possible

2.  2045: The “technological singularity” occurs, which means that artificial intelligence surpasses humans as the smartest life forms on earth.  This means that artificial intelligence will take over the advancement of technology from humans, and start self improving at an increasing rate.

3. Post-2045:  Artificial intelligence will convert most of Earth’s matter into computer like material, with very few natural resources remaining for the humans that choose to not mechanically engineer their bodies.

4. 2099:  A.I. will have the ability to make planet sized computers.

Sounds a little crazy and conspiracy theory-esque huh?  I agree.  I really don’t think that these will happen in the time frames or to the extent that Kurzweil suggests, partly due to The Antitechnology Movement.  One does have to think about the implications of technological advancement because it is a fact that we are advancing at an increasing rate.  Modern homo sapiens have been on this planet for over 200,000 years.  We happen to have been born in a critical part of our history where things are changing at an almost incomprehensible rate.  I think that as we move forward technologically, we need to temper our actions with reflection about what is best for man-kind.  Despite some adverse effects such as pollution, In my opinion, rapid technological advancement has been good so far.  I just don’t know if this same mentality is best going forward.

Samasource: Ending Poverty By Global Outsourcing Differently


This week’s prompt allowed me to discover an intriguing business concept as well as its leader – Samasource, founded and led by Leila Janah. Samasource works as a go-between for a company that needs some sort of technological work and a woman, youth, or refugee living in poverty. Essentially, Samasource intends to end poverty by providing the underprivileged with jobs, and therefore, an income. Well, duh, you might think – not exactly a novel concept when you get right down to it. Yet Samasource has found a clever and productive way to go about its mission. Continue reading

To Code or Not to Code


Right before his senior year of college, my high school friend Zach Sims, decided to jump on the entrepreneurial bandwagon, drop out of Columbia University and co-found a company called Codecademy. The mission of the company is to teach just about anyone how to code through their simple and user-friendly interface. And it’s free. Codecademy launched a program in 2012 called “Code Year” to encourage people to make learning how to code a New Years Resolution. The popularity of the company has grown dramatically over the past few months, and is evidenced by Mayor Bloomberg’s tweet in which he said, “My New Year’s resolution is to learn to code with Codecademy in 2012!” During their first round of funding in October 2011, Codecademy received $2.5 million from investors, including investment from the renowned venture capital firm Union Square Ventures. The founders of Codecademy believe that in the 21st century, coding is going to become almost as essential as reading and writing and will transform to be one of just a few marketable skills.

I personally have pledged to be a part of Code Year, have participated in a few lessons, but am definitely far away from creating the next Facebook. I have found it hard as a busy college student to dedicate time to learning this skill. When I’m 65 years old, is coding literacy going to be equivalent to pressing the power button on a computer today (a skill my grandparents never quite got a grasp of)? I want to remain technologically competent, but is Codecademy the answer?

Continue reading

Where Siri Comes From


The popularity of off-shoring and outsourcing labor is incredibly relevant to corporate America today, particularly in the aftermath of an economic meltdown when unemployment in our own country has skyrocketed. From the Baseline Scenario blog, I read an eye-opening article by James Kwak entitled “The Price of Apple.” The blog post discusses the Chinese factories and the workers within these factories who produce Apple products. This post triggered my research into the subject, where I found an article in The Huffington Post about employees at the Apple Manufacturer called Foxconn, who were forced to sign a ‘No Suicide’ Agreement. So many suicides occurred at Foxconn that they felt it necessary to hang large nets in an attempt to catch workers who try to kill themselves.

In Kwak’s post, he claims that while he thinks the Apple operating system is far superior to Windows, he “would gladly switch back if I had confidence that my computer’s manufacturer was an appreciably, demonstrably better employer than Foxconn.” While this is an honorable statement, I’m not sure we could find a large percentage of people who would say the same. This is problematic. Continue reading

You want me to do what??


From an early age, I can remember my English courses preaching on the importance of sticking to MLA format, having a few drafts before turing in a final one, and spending countless hours preparing such a report. But now I keep hearing this blogging word floating around. Do you mean to tell me I can speak my mind without having to follow a set of guidelines? Interesting.

Blogging has become one of the most dominant forces on the Internet since its inception in the late 1990’s. The sky is the limit for self-proclaimed bloggers and blogging as a whole, as this whole new aspect to idea sharing and social-media is still very early in development.

When first hearing about blogging, it never really interested me as I figured it was more geared toward those Geek Squad guys over at Best Buy. Little did I know, blogging is one of the most used tools by intellectuals and students of my age. Now that I am a member of this class, I have to admit, this is my first time as a “blogger”. Now that you know about the relationship between myself and blogging, let’s take a closer look into the role that blogging plays in education.

As I pointed to earlier, blogging is an excellent writing tool that can be utilized essentially at any location with WIFI and a compatible device. This is obviously a major advantage over standard writing methods that require MLA format, as is commonplace. Moreover, blogging creates a port for writers to express their thoughts on a much more frequent and informal basis. In a way, it makes writing not so much a task but rather an engaging experience that taps into a wide variety of audiences rather than just a professor. Finally, blogging can be an excellent tool for tweaking and strengthening one’s writing abilities. Students required to blog every week in addition to formal writing requirements are bound to be ahead of those students who just engage in formal writing requirements.

On the other hand, blogging can inspire one to abandon all those years of English courses and MLA format. It could also be seen as a source of unwanted rebellion and anarchy. Another downside of blogging is the fact that bloggers can potentially defame anyone or anything. Furthermore, because of the massive size of blogging it would seemingly go unnoticed. To be concise, blogging can spread the wrong kind of message about expressing one’s self. But then again that can also be an upside to blogging. All in all, I believe that blogging is a positive writing utensil when utilized correctly and in the right context. Some people are greatly opposed to it. But how could they be when we pride ourselves on being American and “free”.

 

BLOG INSTRUCTIONS

Blog 5 before session 6 What (interest) or Who (person) Inspires You? For this week’s prompt, the Blog Council wants you to examine how this class relates to your own interests. So, please write about how this class relates to some of your own intellectual or other learning interests. We are NOT interested in how it relates to a specific career goal. Plan B: same idea, but based on a person. See whole post for details.

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