October 31, 2006
Not playing around: Scientists say video games can reshape education
This article is interesting as it draws on the connections that video game designers and marketers have tried to establish between their products and educational value. Typical sentiment towards the video game industry has been negative over the past several years, denouncing its glorification of violence, murder, and abuse. But designers and marketers are trying to turn this image around, focusing on the â€śanalytical thinking, team building, multitasking and problem-solving under duressâ€? skills that avid gamers are developing as a result of their time in front of their consoles and televisions. Whatâ€™s more is that the American Federation of Scientists have refocused their efforts on creating positive gaming experiences that build playerâ€™s skills, enabling them to be successful in the workplace. In fact, the very strategies that todayâ€™s video games require are the same strategies necessary to flourish in todayâ€™s business markets. The inverse cultural perception of the video game industry is a revolutionary and increasingly popular trend, solidly routed in the fundamental skills these games build.
October 18, 2006
"HP's Email Tracer in Widespread Use."
A web bug is a technology tool used in email messages to find information. Web bugs are usually sent through emails with a link to an image on a unique web server. Looking up the image, sends information to that server.
HP uses web bugs to track where the email has been and is also used for some investigations. With the help from ReadNotify, an Austrialian company that HP used to help track email messages, information on certain emails have been found.
Now, people are questioning the legality of this technology. HP seems to think it is a legitimate use of their technology, while others think it violates anti-hacking laws. No one knows for sure, however, if using a web bug is in fact violating laws.
October 16, 2006
"Anti-piracy system could hurt YouTube"
Nowadays, online file-sharing seems to be a constant compromise between giving users optimum content, and meeting the legal standards for publishing copywritten material online. The latest episode of this internet struggle comes about as Google finalizes its plans to acquire online video-sharing site, YouTube. YouTube, widely known as a grassroots net hub for finding virtually any video related content online, has recently begun using " audio-signature technology" to verify the quality of posted video. This measure targets " low-quality copy", material often synonymous with pirated video, or other illegal abuses of copyright. While regulators and organized entertainment producers are applauding this move, some critics are forecasting a decline in YouTube's public appeal as a result of this action.
YouTube has garnered a reputation for delivering perhaps the greatest wealth of user-generated video on the net. Users previously enjoyed largely unrestricted freedom in publishing online video. Now, concern over tighter regulation could send YouTube faithful elsewhere. The likelihood of such an exodus in heightened by the fact that YouTube's filtering systems seemingly air on the side of caution, latching onto even amateur home video with licensed songs as background noise. And while YouTube claims that its filters will allow users to alter the content of objectionable videos before removing them, the monitoring alone may be sufficient to send a good number of users running.
One cannot help but ask where the equilibrium lies in the scrum surrounding online media. While it is obviously illegal for users to misuse copywritten material, how great is the obligation of online loci such as YouTube to monitor this activity? Are they compelled to do so even if it conflicts with their own interests? It seems taht in the not too distant future we may find where the balance between freedom and legality lies once the scales are tipped too far in either direction.
October 08, 2006
This is our first posting for the BIT term project!
We are GROUP 7, and consist of:
- Dane Rook
- Ami Shin
We are all in Section 1, which meets on Wednesdays from 11:30-1:00.
October 04, 2006
Written by Group 1: Ankur Amin, Doug Hurt, and Dane Rook
- Why is the capacity of a computer processor rated in Hz?
This inquiry was inspired by perusing BEST BUY's website. A group member looking to purchase a new computer was browsing the store's online offering of computers and noticed recurrent listings in this metric.
- What is the composition of a laptop battery, and what is the real risk of one exploding?
Recent news stories have covered the potential of laptop batteries to explode under the right conditions. Several group members wanted clarification on whether this was a legitimate concern, and to better understand what makes these power cells so volatile.
One such story
- What is the best, fastest CPU in the world today? How much faster can they conceivably become?
This represents a general curiosity question brought on by browsing technology sites and viewing the capacity of various machines.
- What are the advantages of the new Blu-ray technology over more standard CD&DVD reader systems?
This question is drawn from claims that the highly-touted Sony PS3 will feature Blu-ray technology. For a group member that is an avid videogamer, this was a point of special interest and could mark a " competitive advantage " for Sony over other systems.
- What is a SCSI card and what does it do?
This question arose while tagging Del.icio.us sites. A site mentioned the superiority of this technology, but remarked that is is unnecessary for " ordinary " users. The actual post itself wasn't particluarly helpful to those unfamiliar with SCSI.
- What are the minimal hardware components necessary to run a computer?
This question is drawn from a longstanding curiosity about computer essentials. Specifically, it first came to a group member when watching Pirates of Silicone Valley and noticing the " barebones " machines that existed when computers were in their infancy.
- What distinguishes Bluetooth from other short-range transmission frequencies? What actual hardware in a computer (or other such device) receives/transmits this signal?
This question came from an article on MSNBC's website. The article features a watch that displays callerID on a wearer's wrist (transmitted from a cellular phone). The piece caused some curiostiy about the technology upon which it is based.
Take a peek at: MSNBC
- What are the distinctions, benefits, and downsides of a LCD display relative to a conventional monitor?
This question is a response to all of the clamor about the superiority of LCD displays over their more traditional predecessors. A group member's housemate claimed that the additonal cost on LCD isn't offset by added picture definition, and asserts that LCD technology is prone to malfunction.
- How do the different power sources of laptops affect their performance and overall lifespan (if they in fact do at all)?
This query comes from real-world concern over a purchase decision. It also references an onine article
- Does whether a USB device is linked internally or externally to a computer (e.g. Hard Drives) affect the device's performance?
This is a question inspired by a student's intention to purchase an external hard drive, and curiosity regarding any disadvantages such hardware might hold.