Recent Technology Commentaries

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A Moral Imperative
On November 10, His Holiness Pope Francis addressed a Vatican symposium on nuclear disarmament. Francis told his audience that nuclear weapons exist “in the service of a mentality of fear that affects not only the parties in conflict but the entire human race.” Speaking to representatives from Russia, the United States and other countries, Francis made clear that “international relations...
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November 15, 2017
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An Important Step
“I call upon the scientific community in our country, those who gave us nuclear weapons, to turn their great talents now to the cause of mankind and world peace: to give us the means of rendering these nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete.” – Ronald Reagan “For the first time in the seven-decade effort to avert a nuclear war,” The New...
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July 14, 2017
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Privacy v. Security: What’s next?
The battle between Apple and the F.B.I. is beginning to carry some of the same drama as the final season of the PBS series, Downton Abbey. After discussing alternatives with Apple and other Silicon Valley tech companies for the past year, F.B.I. Director James Comey has turned to the federal courts to compel cooperation from Apple CEO Tim Cook in...
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February 24, 2016
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Privacy v. Security: The Debate
Late Friday, CNN Tech reported (Feb. 19) that The House Energy and Commerce Committee has invited Apple CEO Tim Cook and F.B.I. Director James Comey “to explain to Congress and the American people the issues at play and how they plan to move forward.” This came about after Apple refused the F.B.I.’s request to create a program to unlock a...
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February 22, 2016
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Privacy v. Security
When terrorists Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik were killed by police after they attacked and killed 14 co-workers in San Bernardino, California, the FBI immediately began examining their cell phones to determine if the husband and wife had any connections to ISIS or other terrorists. Certainly, not unreasonable. Authorities frequently search personal belongings – computers, laptops, phones, etc. – of...
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February 19, 2016
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Who Really Controls Your Information? – Part 2
When it comes to privacy and your personal information, the NSA is not the organization we need to worry about the most, data brokers are. As I discussed on Monday, data brokers are busy compiling detailed profiles not only of your likes and dislikes, but considerably more personal information than the NSA, including but not limited to, any diseases you...
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March 26, 2014
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Who Really Controls Your Information?
Think the National Security Agency (NSA) is the greatest threat to American’s privacy? Think again. The number of data brokers – companies that collect, categorize and sell information about each of us – is mindboggling. The following story by CBS News 60 Minutes (Mar. 9) got my attention when I noticed that two of the sample sites they were browsing – The...
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March 24, 2014
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Good News out of Washington, for a change
Last year, NBC News reported that America’s teenagers scoredbelow the international average in math, and only average in science based on a report from a 2012 Program for International Student Assessment. Fortunately, 1,700 science students from around the country did not have time to pay much attention to the study. Each year since 1998, Intel, the computer chip corporation sponsors the Intel Science...
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March 14, 2014
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Revisiting Snowden
Both the New York Times and Britain’s Guardian newspapers offered editorials in support of clemency or plea bargain in the case of NSA leaker Edward Snowden. “Considering the enormous value of the information he has revealed,” the Times said (Jan. 1), “and the abuses he has exposed, Mr. Snowden deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and flight. He may...
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January 3, 2014
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2013 Year-End Review, Part I
Remember these guys? Did they rise to the top of the bottom of the barrel? A look at the Good, the Bad and the Ridiculous over the past year. By the numbers – The Center for Public Integrity offers up a few items from the ridiculous: Number of bills passed by Congress this year that have been signed into law: 58 Number of bills passed in 1948,  » Read more...
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December 27, 2013