Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Hey there... this is my 9am-9pm class day, so sorry these are posted a little late... here goes:

1. As I sift through the hundred or so emails causes by this latest worm virus, I'm wondering how serious such a virus could be as more devices become wireless and more interconnected. For example, I constantly get instant messages from fake screen names asking me to buy things. And recently, I heard text message spam on cell phones may soon be a problem. As technology allows for communication between more and more devices, (as "Telecommunications and the City" says, technologies converging into telematics) how can they stay secure, especially if the device is vitally important? Could just play tic-tac-toe like in "WarGames"...

2. In the Downey reading, "Boundary Workers" are shown to play an integral role in supporting communication networks. However, I would think there'd be a big difference in the amount of training involved in each era's networking. Being an operator or delivering a message is much different than tending to a server. With computer chips in virtually everything, the number of forms of communication media growing and technology becoming more complex, how can companies afford to pay these increasing numbers of "service workers" that make "new media" work? It was a lot easier to pay someone to ride a horse across country; we'll need people with computer science degrees, and a lot of them. Can the U.S. education system provide enough of these workers -- especially with skyrocketing tuition prices? Will these jobs move elsewhere if companies can't afford to pay the workers what they are able to work for? If these workers and networks are mostly overseas, does this pose security concerns for sensitive U.S. networks?

3. As the New Media Reader described, ARPA Internet was designed to be decentralized in case of a Soviet-style attack. To me, this kind of sounds like Frankenstein -- we created something that we cannot shut off. "Eliza X" fooled people into thinking she was real -- in the 1960s. Forty some years later, A.I. and the spatial power of computers could potentially make them a powerful tool. So, I guess it's the age old question: will our technology surpass our intelligence/morals/social good? It seems we create blindly -- to much hype -- without much discussion of what the technology could mean.

Wow, those were some negative questions! It's been a long day ... so I'm off to bed.


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