computers

Wikimedia

The tech industry is so dominated by males that some people have taken to calling its workers "brogrammers."  But a closer look reveals women who made key contributions to both computers and the Internet. 

And Claire Evans, herself versed in computers (and singing in a band, but that's another story), writes of these pioneering women in the provocatively named Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet

The stories date back to 1842, surprisingly. 

Almonroth/Wikimedia Commons

We learn more and more over time about the ways in which we group things and people in our minds, often unfairly.  It's hard to know you've got a bias, if everyone around you has a similar mindset. 

Now stop and think about all the computer and phone apps and algorithms, and the ever-larger roles they play in our lives.  They do not make assumptions... but the people who create them DO. 

This is what Sara Wachter-Boettcher explores in her book Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech

Our Machines: "A Dangerous Master"

Jun 26, 2015
Basic Books

Several books and movies exploited our thrills (and fears) about the future and its technology. 

Can we just laugh off dramas like "Rise of the Machines"? 

Maybe not, according to ethicist Wendell Wallach.  In his book A Dangerous Master, looks at technologies that already exist, and explores some of the ethical dilemmas they raise. 

Think drones and computer stock trades, for starters. 

The Quantum Race

Jun 1, 2015
IBM

All the big tech companies (and at least one U.S. government agency with the acronym NSA) are in a race to be the first to capture computing’s Holy Grail—the qubit. A qubit, or quantum bit, is the basic unit of information in a quantum computer. A qubit is different from a classical bit in computing, which can only exist in one state or another.

Hacking For Community Good

May 30, 2014
Almonroth/Wikimedia Commons

The term "hacking" still has some negative connotations, rather like "tagging." 

But plenty of people who are turned onto technology are determined to rehabilitate the term. 

Case in point: the National Day of Civic Hacking, set to take place this weekend (May 31-June 1).

"Maker Culture" At The Rogue Hack Lab

May 9, 2014
Rogue Hack Lab

How many people have a workshop in their homes anymore? 

Broaden the focus to workshops OUTSIDE the home, and the answer might be different. 

A growing interest in tinkering and building leads to talk of a "maker culture" and "maker space." 

Penguin Books

That "club card" at the grocery store let the store know the kinds of things you are likely to buy, so it can offer you a coupon for a future purchase. 

And that's just one example of the ways in which data about us can predict future behavior. 

We put a whole lot of data out there through computer and social networks, and it can be and is used to make predictions. 

Cover Oregon Continues To Have Trouble

Oct 8, 2013
coveroregon.com

Nearly a week after launching, Oregon's health insurance exchange has received more than 230,000 unique website visitors and 7,300 phone calls.

But the website is still not able to finish enrolling applicants in coverage.

Some Unemployed Californians Need To Wait For Their Checks

Sep 18, 2013

About 50,000 unemployed Californians have had their benefit checks delayed as the state struggles to implement a computer system upgrade.
The Sacramento Bee reports that the Employment Development Department processed about 15,000 of the delayed claims by Tuesday morning and hoped to finish the rest by the end of the week.