Opinion

The Future of Music Technology

Music has always been intrinsically linked to the proliferation of technology, especially within the past sixty or so years: the amplifier led to rock and roll, the synthesizer led to hip-hop, and mixing software led to the rise of EDM. As the popularity of each of these genres during their respective peak years would indicate, developments in sound, recording, and other relevant technologies have...

Venmo and the Future of Online Payments

Almost a year ago, I downloaded Venmo at the behest of a friend. Though I am by no means a technophobe, I still shy away from tying personal information like my bank account number to a relatively unprotected app. I do not even like providing my address or name to create an online profile. But what makes Venmo different? Now, I am not about to sing Venmo’s praises, but I do believe it is an extrem...

Is It Time to Think Outside The App?

When mobile apps experienced their first few years of explosive popularity in 2010, Apple trademarked the popular slogan: “There’s an app for that”. This phrase has now become one of the underlying philosophies for Silicon Valley, defining much of the way technology is viewed today. As of July 2014, Android’s app store has 1.3 million apps and Apple’s app store has 1.2 million apps; with individua...

Xerox PARC in the 21st Century

Above is a famous photo taken in 1971 in Palo Alto, California. The photo shows a group of people sitting in a circle on beanbag chairs in a carpeted room, legs out-stretched, and relaxed. It is a picture of Internet pioneer Robert Taylor delivering a lecture to computer science graduate students, presumably from Stanford, who were doing work at Xerox PARC. At the time, Xerox’s Palo Alto Research ...

30 Years Past 1984: What Does Privacy Mean to Data?

1984 came and went. Many regarded Orwell’s disturbing predictions to be exaggerated, inaccurate, and largely unrealized, but in at least one respect, Orwell’s vision was startlingly prescient – especially in his concern for the privacy of individuals. 30 years after 1984, targeted advertising and digital surveillance have brought the issue of privacy, specifically online privacy, back into the pub...

Where MOOCs Fall Short

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have exploded in popularity since their introduction in 2011. Now, boasting over 200 universities, 1200 courses, and 1300 instructors, with an overall reach of 10 million students, can MOOCs become the future of education? How will they disrupt our current education system, or even replace traditional higher education institutions? On October 2, 2014, UC Berkele...

Mass Videogame Development: An Unreal Concept?

As popular as video games are today, they, like many other industries, remain dominated by a top-down approach to development. Developers, and studios, program and release games that are bought, played, and reviewed by both the established games journalism industry, as well as the often-raucous online community. However, during the creation of the title, the average gamer has little power in influ...

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 ...

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 ...

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...

Lost Password