Sunday, July 17, 2016

  The Not So Fast Digest

Note: This digest is brand new and a work in progress. I will be refining its format and improving its appearance in coming weeks. The ideas here reflect the perspective of my book, Not So Fast: Thinking Twice About Technology, forthcoming this fall from the University of Georgia Press.*

Week of July 11-17, 2016

Headline of the Week 

             'Pokemon Go' digital popularity is also warping real life (PhysOrg)
New York's subway is warning people not to jump onto the tracks to chase digital "Rattatas." The National Safety Council implored players not to play and drive. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. called playing the game inside its walls "extremely inappropriate" and is trying to remove itself from the game. 

        Other not-very-surprising headlines of the week

Breaking up is hard to do in the digital age (ScienceDaily)
Online abuse between former partners after relationship break ups is common and distressing among UK adults, a new survey suggests.

Why Kickstarter’s Glowing Plant Left Backers in the Dark (MITTechnology Review)
Do-it-yourself biologists who hit the crowdfunding jackpot have learned that genetic engineering isn’t so easy after all.

SwagBot being tested as a possible replacement for the cowboy (TechExplore)
The University of Sydney's Centre for Field Robotics has begun field testing SwagBot, a robot that is meant to serve the traditional role of a cowboy.

City birds again prove to be angrier than rural birds (Science Daily)
Virginia Tech researchers recently found that birds that live in suburban areas exhibit significantly higher levels of territorial aggression than their country counterparts. 

Biodiversity falls below ‘safe levels’ globally (ScienceDaily)
Levels of global biodiversity loss may negatively impact ecosystem function and the sustainability of human societies.

The FBI has collected 430,000 iris scans in a so-called 'pilot program' (TheVerge)
Critics say the agency project includes few privacy protections

The Internet of Things has a dirty little secret: it's not really yours (The Verge) 
"More than once I’ve come home to an icy house because the internet had gone down, then spent hours trying to fix it only to have the thermostat jammed on 86 degrees until tech support reset my account."

Think piece of the week

    What Ethics Should Guide the Use of Robots in Policing? 

The decision by Dallas police to deploy a robot to kill the man who shot and killed five officers last week appears to be unprecedented. Though the police chief said other options would have exposed officers to grave danger, the move fomented debate around the militarization of police and the ethical implications of remote-controlled use of force.

 *Disclaimer: When I say that the The Not So Fast Digest is "a digest of the week's news," I mean news that has come to my attention during the week in question, or that is relevant to issues that arose during the week in question. Most of what is posted here will, in fact, be news of that week, but some items will have appeared earlier; I always have a lot of catching up to do. Posts of news that has not yet occurred will be rare. 

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