ANNUAL EDITIONS : Computers In Society
03/04, Tenth Edition Buy
the book now!
UNIT 1. Introduction
1. From Movable Type to Data Deluge, John Gehl and
Suzanne Douglas, The World & I, January 1999
The authors discuss the societal transformation that began with
the invention of the printing press in the fifteenth century
and speculate on some potential consequences of the digital
2. The Internet & Sexual Personae, Camille Paglia,
Forbes ASAP, December 2, 1996
This article looks at the implications of the computer revolution
as an expression of democracy that verges on anarchy, concluding
that everyone should have equal access to the Internet and the
infinite information available.
3. The Internet Produces a Global Village of Village Idiots,
Richard John Neuhaus, Forbes ASAP, December 2, 1996
This author expresses skepticism about the value of the digital
revolution. He puts the information explosion, fomented by the
computer, into perspective by examining the value of instant
information on society.
UNIT 2. The Economy
4. Beyond the Bar Code, Charlie Schmidt, Technology
Review, March 2001
Charlie Schmidt explains how radio frequency identification tags
may someday be able to track the location of every single
manufactured item in real time. This will allow manufacturers
to stay in sync with consumer demand, collect a wealth of data
about individual consumer habits, and pose new challenges to
5. Driving the Info Highway,
Steven Ashley, Scientific American, October 2001
Cars of the future will be equipped with advanced telematics
systems connected to the Internet and global positioning systems
(GPS). These systems will provide instant access to a vast array
of information and services while on the road. They will also
pose concerns about safety and privacy.
6. To the Rescue!, Daniel Eisenberg, Time, April
No other major business relies so heavilyand so inefficientlyon
old-fashioned pen and paper, Daniel Eisenberg says, referring
to the health-care industry. He explains that the growing uses
of electronic prescription writing, comprehensive digital records,
and other innovations are changing the practice and management
of health care and raising new privacy concerns.
7. E-Commerce and the Information Market, Varun Grover
and James T. C. Teng, Communications of the ACM, April
The need to match buyers and sellers in the virtual marketplace
has given rise to infomediariesa new form of e-commerce
company. The authors describe the various types of infomediaries
and their growing role in orchestrating online transactions.
8. i2i Trust in E-Commerce, Judith S. Olson and Gary
M. Olson, Communications of the ACM, December 2000
Many e-commerce activities depend on perceptions of trust and
trustworthiness between individuals engaged in online interaction.
In this article, Judith and Gary Olson discuss forms of online
i2i relations and social, technological, and personal factors
that build or inhibit trust.
9. Digital Cash Payoff,
Evan I. Schwartz, Technology Review, December 2001
PayPal offers a person-to-person or P2P system for making digital
payments for goods and services purchased online. Promoters claim
that PayPal is convenient for buyers and sellers and drastically
reduces the risk of online fraud. These benefits have caught
the attention of investors and competitors.
UNIT 3. Work and the Workplace
10. The Great Prosperity Divide, Kevin Dobbs, Training,
Two Americas have emerged in the new economy. Investment
in computers drove up the demand for high-tech workers, but the
majority of the workforce was ill-prepared to benefit from new
opportunities. Kevin Dobbs shows how new technologies lead to
wider social inequality and asks whether publicly funded training
can help those who are being left behind in the new economy.
11. Youre Hired, Now Go Home, Jeanne
L. Allert, Training & Development, March 2001
Because virtual companies lack a physical place, they have to
rewrite a lot of rules or make up new ones in hiring employees.
Drawing from experience, Jeanne Allert offers advice on how
to hire virtual workers and keep them connected.
12. Dealing With Tech Rage, Chris Wood, Macleans,
March 19, 2001
If you ever feel like hurling your computer out the window, you
are not alone. Chris Wood explains how quirky software, e-mail
overload, and other technology-related irritations can lead to
rage or techno-stress.
13. Theyre Watching You, Sarah Boehle, Training,
A majority of U.S. firms record and review some form of employee
communications, and the number is expanding rapidly. In this
article, Sarah Boehle asks and answers the question, Whats
behind this rush to Orwellian oversight?
14. Security vs. Privacy,
Jonathan A. Segal, HR Magazine, February 2002
In this first of a two-part series, a lawyer advises employers
about how to violate employee privacy within legal parameters.
Jonathan Segal first offers guidance on how to design policies
that give employers the right to search employees
(including their electronic communications).
15. Searching for Answers,
Jonathan A. Segal, HR Magazine, March 2002
In this second part of a two-part article, Jonathan Segal tells
employers how to be circumspect and to respect employees
privacy rights when implementing the right to search.
UNIT 4. Computers, People, and Social Participation
16. Broken Homepage, Peggy J. Farber, Harpers,
Adoption agencies are using the Web to attract parents for hard-to-place
children. As Peggy Farber points out, however, the cozy images
and pull-down menus of the Web belie the unsettling inexactitudes
of the foster care system. After all, its far easier
(and cheaper) to build a Web site than to rebuild a family.
17. Why Women Avoid Computer
Science, Paul De Palma, Communications of the ACM,
In this essay, Paul De Palma criticizes the view that women avoid
computer science because of math anxiety. He argues,
rather, that women embrace mathematics and that computer
science programs would attract more women if they were more like
18. Mind Over Muscles, Victor D. Chase, Technology
Review, March/April 2000
An estimated 200,000 Americans suffer from paralysis. While there
is still no cure, neuroprosthetics and brain/computer interfaces
could offer a more normal life for some patients. As Victor Chase
explains, some promising technologies may allow paralysis victims
to move their limbs just by thinking about it.
19. Cyber-Stars, Black
Issues in Higher Education, February 28, 2002
This special report profiles 10 African Americans who are making
history in the arena of information technology. These individuals
are making major contributions in a wide range of academic fields
as well as working to help disadvantaged minorities succeed in
the digital revolution.
20. Trust, Authenticity, and
Discursive Power in Cyberspace, Ananda Mitra, Communications
of the ACM, March 2002
Who has the power to speak for whom? Ananda Mitra
notes that cyberspace can allow marginalized groups to speak
for themselves. But in a world of competing voices, Netizens
are constantly forced to make decisions about which voices to
UNIT 5. Societal InstitutionsLaw and Politics
21. Bad Documents Can Kill
You, Valli Baldassano and Roy Speed, Across the Board,
Increasingly, companies that become targets of legal actions
find that Exhibit A against them is their own employees
and in more and more cases, the
starring role is played by e-mail. In this article, a
former prosecutor and an expert on business writing offer advice
on the dos and donts of e-mail and how to legally
prevent bad documents.
22. The Digital Dilemma, Randall Davis, Communications
of the ACM, February 2001
Intellectual property laws, policies, and practices reflect a
careful balancing of public good and private interests that is
threatened by the changing information infrastructure. Focusing
on publication, copyright, and licensing issues, Randall Davis
identifies the origins and possible solutions to this emerging
23. Software Patents Tangle the Web, Seth Shulman,
Technology Review, March/April 2000
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office receives over 2,500 applications
a year for business method software patents. In this
article, Seth Shulman examines some of the premises and implications
of granting patent (versus copyright ) protection for software.
He also raises questions about the PTOs ability to research
prior art due to rapid advancements in the field.
24. Reconciling Research and the Patent System, Q.
Todd Dickinson, Issues in Science and Technology, Summer
The U.S. commissioner of patents and trademarks responds to critics
who oppose patents for software, business methods, and other
innovations. Q. Todd Dickinson also defends the Patent and Trademark
Offices ability to research prior art and explains
that a properly calibrated intellectual property system
can balance two fundamental principles: protection and dissemination
of new knowledge.
25. Democracy in an IT-Framed Society, Åke Grönlund,
Communications of the ACM, January 2001
The January 2001 issue of the CACM featured several articles
on electronic democracy. Here, guest editor Åke Grönlund
gives readers an overview of the subject and highlights various
authors contributions to understanding e-democracy in the
areas of formal politics, administration, and civil society.
26. Should Democracy Online Be Quick, Strong, or
Thin?, Joachim Åström, Communications of the
ACM, January 2001
In this article, Joachim Åström outlines three models
of democracy. Each model embodies different ideals and implies
different interpretations of what an electronic manifestation
of government by the people might look like.
UNIT 6. Societal Values: Crime, Ethics, Privacy, and
27. Toward an Ethics of Persuasive Technology, Daniel
Berdichevsky and Erik Neunschwander, Communications of the
ACM, May 1999
New technologies are emerging for the primary purpose of changing
attitudes and behaviors. In this article, the authors inform
us about persuasive applications of technology and provide a
framework for the ethical scrutiny of the methods employed in
28. Lying With Pixels, Ivan Amato, Technology Review,
Seeing is no longer believing. Ivan Amato explains
how new video-manipulation technology makes it possible to alter
video images in real time. The implications of such pixel
plasticity are very wide-ranging. Some experts see few
threats in the potential for video manipulation, but others have
raised concerns about the end of authenticity.
29. Do You Know Whos Watching You?, Chris Wood,
Macleans, February 19, 2001
Welcome to the age of anywhere, anytime, anybody surveillance.
As Chris Wood warns, spyware is getting more affordable and available.
Your boss, government, spouse, or a sexual predator could be
watching you, and the law cannot keep pace with abuses.
30. Code Red for the Web, Carolyn
Meinel, Scientific American, October 2001
In July 2001, more than 359,000 servers were infected with
the Code Red Worm in less than 14 hours. Carolyn Meinel
explains how the worm was spread and the damage it caused. She
also reports on more virulent plagues in the making and the possibilities
of future cyberwars and their potential consequences.
31. Networking the Infrastructure,
Wade Roush, Technology Review, December 2001
PostSeptember 11, 2001, several federal agencies and private
industry partnerships are working to improve warning systems
and reduce threats posed by terrorism. In this article, Wade
Roush gives us an overview of developing innovations that will
lead to intelligent cities that can better protect critical infrastructures.
32. Will Spyware Work?,
Kevin Hogan, Technology Review, December 2001
The United States has the worlds most sophisticated intelligence-gathering
technologies, yet failed to discover a band of terrorists
that plotted within its borders. Kevin Hogan explains the
limits of electronic surveillance. State-of-the-art spyware can
be stymied by embarassingly primitive countermeasures,
and technologies such as FBI Carnivore programs may not solve
these problems. Moreover, these programs pose risks to civil
33. The Shock of the Old,
Edward Tenner, Technology Review, December 2001
Edward Tenner discusses the September 11, 2001, attacks in the
context of other historical events. He argues that the focus
on new technology as both a source of vulnerability and an answer
to problems can go too far. Rather, we should concentrate on
improving tacit knowledge and developing a better understanding
of terrorists and their neighbors.
UNIT 7. International Perspectives and Issues
34. Immigration and the Global
IT Work Force, Lawrence A. West and Walter A. Bogumil, Communications
of the ACM, July 2001
There is a worldwide shortage of information technology (IT)
workers. Wealthy nations offer attractive incentives to lure
IT specialists from other countries, but this strategy can exacerbate
IT labor shortages in disadvantaged parts of the world. Therefore,
IT may contribute to a pervasive gap in the wealth-creation
potential between nations.
35. A Privacy Divide?, Rohan Samarajiva, The UNESCO
Courier, March 2001
about privacy in digitally deprived nations. He reports
that there is little public concern over privacy in poor nations
and cites a need to translate abstract privacy concerns
into stories that relate to everyday lives.
36. Wiring the Wilderness
in Alaska and the Yukon, Seymour E. Goodman, James B. Gottstein,
and Diane S. Goodman, Communications of the ACM, June
In theory, wireless technologies have advanced to the point where
Internet access could become available to the most isolated parts
of the world. The authors consider the examples of communities
in Alaska and the Yukon and discuss technical, political, social,
and cost factors in providing Internet access to poor, small,
37. Boot Camp for Engineers, Chandrani Ghosh, Forbes,
April 16, 2001
The elite Indian Institute of Technology admits only the best
of the best of 150,000 applicants each year. As Chandrani Ghosh
explains, graduates of the Institute have come to play a prominent
role in American business.
38. The Quiet Revolution,
Suelette Dreyfus, The UNESCO Courier, March 2001
In many nations, human rights groups are learning the art of
encryption. Other, more familiar computer applications are allowing
organizations to track abuses with scientific rigor. As Suelette
Dreyfus reports, such developments are subtly changing the balance
of power between repressive governments and the human rights
groups that watch them.
39. ACMs Computing Professionals
Face New Challenges, Ben Shneiderman, Communications of
the ACM, February 2002
In light of September 11, 2001, a computer scientist challenges
technologists to help find terrorism solutions that avoid sacrificing
valued liberties. Ben Shneiderman encourages colleagues to work
toward terror prevention, strengthening communities, broadening
participation, and reducing global inequities that foster terrorism
UNIT 8. Philosophical Frontiers
40. Humanoid Robots, Rodney
Brooks, Communications of the ACM, March 2002
The future promises lots of robots in our everyday lives.
Many of them may look and behave like people. Rodney Brooks gives
us a brief overview of robot history as well as current and future
developments in humanoid robotics.
41. Toy Stories, Mark Pesce, The Sciences, September/October
New interactive toys like Furby offer an illusion of consciousness
and represent a launchpad into a new chapter
human relations with the artificial world. They also serve
as a reference point for Mark Pesce to sketch a brief conceptual
history of artificial intelligence and to give his prediction
for what the future holds.
42. Living Off the Land,
Fred Hapgood, Smithsonian, July 2001
A new breed of robots may someday feed themselves.
While they could be very useful inventions, some people worry
that they might become autonomous or develop a taste for
meat. Even without that concern, the possibility of such
creatures illustrates the deep trend toward blurring the
ancient distinction between biology and engineering.
43. Kurzweil vs. Dertouzos,
Ray Kurzweil and Michael Dertouzos, Technology Review,
Two renowned commentators on the social implications of technology
contribute to the debate about whether some kinds of knowledge
are too dangerous to pursue. Both agree that we cannot judge
where new technologies are headed. However, Ray Kurzweil insists
that we must go forward to advance our human values.
Michael Dertouzos argues that we will have to exercise spiritual
and emotional power as well as reason in trying to cope with
the always near potential dangers of new technology.
44. HypercultureStress: How Fast Times Are Transforming
America, Stephen Bertman, Vital Speeches of the Day,
January 15, 1999
Modern technologies accelerate the pace of life, inducing speed-driven
stress and altering the fundamental nature of existence. Stephen
Bertman argues that both reality and our understanding of reality
are being reshaped in harmful ways, but we may yet be able to
reclaim our lives.
Like what you see? Buy
the book now!