-Updates 1.3 Computers Today: A Brief Taxonomy 3.1 Input: From Person to Processor 4.4 The User Interface: The Human-Machine Connection

The Changing World of Windows

Microsoft will soon offer two new versions of its ubiquitous Windows operating system. Windows 8 is designed to replace Windows 7 as the flagship PC OS. Windows RT will run mostly on Microsoft’s new Surface and other tablet devices. This CNET article gives an overview of the two OSs and how they fit into a world where the line between tablets and laptops is blurred by all kinds of hybrid devices.

-Cross Currents 10.3 Security, Privacy, Freedom, and Ethics 10.5 Human Questions for a Computer Age 11.1 Where Computers Work 7.2 Beyond the Basics: Database-Management Systems 7.4 No Secrets: Computers and Privacy

Uncovering Secrets in Government and Medicine

The information explosion raises important questions about the free flow of information versus the threat to personal privacy. These two TED Talks present cases for more open information in government and medicine. Heather Brooke uses technology and old-fashioned hard work to expose government corruption; John Wilbanks argues that more medical information sharing is good for all of us. Whether you agree or not, you’ll likely find their stories interesting and thought provoking.

-Context 5.5 The Spreadsheet: Software for SImulation

Correlation vs. causation

With the vast amount of information available on the internet, it’s possible to create data mashups to support any trend, real or imagined. These tongue-in-cheek examples use real data to “prove” bogus relationships.

-Context 10.5 Human Questions for a Computer Age 8.7 Social Networks

The Lonely Connected World

MIT Professor Sherry Turkle has been studying the human impact of digital technology for decades. In her book Alone Together and in this Fresh Air interview, she talks about how texting and social networking are profoundly changing the way children, teens, and adults live, think, and feel. There’s plenty to think about here.