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Nerding for Nature Around the Bay

A Bay Area collective, Nerds for Nature (N4N), is bridging the gap between techies and nature enthusiasts. While some may claim technology is a force of alienation from nature, N4N believes the two realms can work together for mutual benefit. The group works primarily on designing low-cost equipment – like underwater robots and eco-drones – for use in monitoring the environment. Comprised of amate...

Here’s Why I’m Skeptical of Bitcoin

Recently, Bitcoin has been highly publicized in the media — and most of it has not been positive exposure for the young currency, whether it is the mysterious disappearance of Bitcoin from the equally mysterious Mt. Gox Exchange, or the high-profile arrests related to the shutdown of (sketchy) black market sites. Bitcoin’s been taking a beating, and whether it’s fair or not cannot be determined wi...

Guns, 3D Printing and Internet Anonymity in the 21st Century

On May 5, 2013, a video was posted to Youtube showing an AR-15 rifle pumping hundreds of rounds in quick succession. At first glance, the video may seem like just another of the many homemade productions on the video sharing website, but this rifle was unique. Unlike most AR-15s, which are jet black in color, this rifle’s lower receiver – its legally controlled constituent – was white. This ...

The DIY Is Cast: Intellectual Property and 3D Printing in the Age of Self-Driven Production

The world of hookah manufacturing is the last place you would expect to stay informed on 3D printing litigation, but the outcome of last January’s case forInhale Inc. vs. Starbuzz Tobacco Inc. reminds us that sometimes the boundaries of the law can be as hazy as smoke. In an appeal made in late 2013, Inhale claimed that Starbuzz had sold hookah devices that were identical in shape to the ones Inha...

Biomimicry: Bridging Technology, Nature and Our Need for Control

Chaos – what a discomforting word. Place 50 objects of various shapes and colors in front of a human and with due time a pattern will arise; A story that removes the entropy the system once had and replaces it with a comfortable narrative. There is nothing more fundamental in human nature than the concept of control. To predict the unpredictable has been a tenet of survival, from cloud seeding to ...

Focus on the Whistle, Not the Whistleblower

Given the recent furor concerning technology-enabled surveillance operations, it is important for us to understand the controversy underlying these covert affairs. These operations have questionable constitutionality under the Fourth Amendment clause about warrants, and are problematic due to the use of broad language, thereby fueling the potential for abuse. Being informed of these essentials of ...

Biomimicry: Bridging Technology, Nature and Our Need for Control

Chaos – what a discomforting word. Place 50 objects of various shapes and colors in front of a human and with due time a pattern will arise; A story that removes the entropy the system once had and replaces it with a comfortable narrative. There is nothing more fundamental in human nature than the concept of control. To predict the unpredictable has been a tenet of survival, from cloud seeding to ...

Levin’s Appointment to Coursera: Integrating Online Education With its Traditional Roots

Coursera Inc., a website that offers hundreds of courses to millions of people at no cost, has recently named former Yale University President Richard Levin as its chief executive officer. Coursera, along with competitors such as EdX and Udacity, pioneered the growing massive open online course (MOOC) initiative. Since its founding by Stanford professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, Coursera has m...

Twitter: The New Republic

We often see our present technological age as an entirely new social era. While theology marked the Medieval period, technology defines ours. We have new social codes and modes of communication, enabled through our fancy handheld devices and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Though we can’t deny technology’s role in propagating this culture of constant communication, we can trace some ...

Medical Data Pooling: Between Privacy and the Common Good

“Suppose that we are wise enough to learn and know – and yet not wise enough to control our learning and knowledge, so that we use it to destroy ourselves? Even if that is so, knowledge remains better than ignorance.” ― Isaac Asimov Given our familiarity with today’s medical procedures, we perhaps recognize that the brisk pinch of pain from a needle is a small price to pay for a peek into ou...

Of Intelligence and Chaos

Conventional definitions of the word ‘intelligence’ either bring to mind the cold, steel-tinted specter of sentient machines, or images of bespectacled, bald men hunched over desks and computer screens, holding pages of indecipherable equations that appear more magical than mathematics. However, there are aspects of intelligence that have taken the backseat to more philosophical questions concerni...

What is Berkeley Technology Review?

Berkeley Technology Review (BTR) is a student-run, online publication that explores technology from multi-faceted perspectives. BTR understands that the challenges that confront our technological advancements are intrinsically tied to political, ethical and economic elements, among many other social considerations. Our content will be centered on the technological trends and issues that drive the ...

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