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Snapchat Spectacles and the Privacy Spectacle

You are being watched. Not by the security camera on the ceiling. Not even by the webcam on your laptop (though you should probably cover that). In fact, it is the preppy teenager wearing the oversized sunglasses who is recording you. This begs the question, how much does privacy cost to you? For the teenager, it cost just over a hundred dollars to buy Snapchat’s latest invention, Spectacles. As u...

The Potential Degradation of Local Commerce

Large companies such as Amazon, Ebay, and Newegg are dominating the shopping market with cutting edge prices and quick delivery times. However, these companies are bodiless, appearing to the consumer only in the form of a website. These companies define e-commerce, a recent economic development in which goods and services are sold over the Internet. Though e-commerce seems to be an overarching pos...

The Civilization of Mars

‘History suggests some doomsday prophecy will happen.’ The words, uttered softly, ominously, seemed to hang above the heads of the hushed crowd. Yet the dead silence slowly gave way to gasps of awe as the speaker revealed his grand solution: a simple trip to Mars. On September 27th, Mr. Elon Musk revealed his revolutionary Interplanetary Transport System, the spaceflight system that would reduce t...

Elon Musk’s Mission to Mars: Reflections on SpaceX’s Visit to Berkeley

“Thus far I have gone, tracing a secure way over the pathless seas, the very stars themselves being witnesses and testimonies of my triumph […] What can stop the determined heart and resolved will of man?” – Mary Shelley, Frankenstein When men make bold claims, promising astronomical leaps, they tend to raise eyebrows. Their conviction can be compared to that of Mary Shelley’s proverbial character...

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...

FireChat and Activism

Online activism, defined as the use of Internet infrastructure as a means for activists to communicate electronically with one another to organize movements, has evolved since the 1980s. With movements like the Arab Spring heralded as social media revolutions due to the participants’ widespread use of social media giants such as Twitter and Facebook to mobilize support, we have, no doubt, en...

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...

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...

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