9.5: Inventing the Future: The Invisible Information Infrastructure

invisibiliaThis is a big question with a multitude of answers. NPR’s new program/podcast Invisibilia answers with three stories. The first one looks at the big picture with questions about artificial intelligence, wearable computers, and the possibilities for human/computer co-evolution. The other two stories look at specific, personal, right-now examples of human character changes as a result of digital technology.


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r-DIGITAL-EDUCATION-large570Predicting the future isn’t easy—especially when it’s coming so fast. But people still try. Which of these expert predictions about the Internet’s future ring true to you?


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Exclusive: How Google Will Use Balloons to Deliver Internet to the Hinterlands

September 13, 2013

If you live in a city, you probably take the Internet for granted. It’s always on, everywhere you go. But for many people in sparsely populated areas, the Internet is out of reach. In this Wired article, Steven Levy describes how Google is experimenting with a system that delivers the Internet to these people using balloons.

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The Internet Isn’t Just for People Anymore

July 25, 2013

The Internet was conceived as a way of connecting computers, but its inventors quickly realized that the Internet was a way of connecting people. Now one of those founders, Vint Cerf, is working with Peter Gabriel, Diana Reiss, Neil Gershendfeild, and others to bring dolphins, bonobos, elephants, and other species into the Internet community. This TED talk gives us a peek at the early stages of a research project that could profoundly change our relationship with non-human inhabitants of our planet—and possibly other planets.

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A New Age of Collective Intelligence

July 1, 2012
Don Tapscott TED talk

It’s easy to get lost in the details of our increasingly netcentric lives and forget about the big picture. In this inspiring TED talk, Don Tapscott explains with concrete examples and beautiful analogies how the Internet is helping create a new age of openness and collective intelligence.

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Google and Your Privacy: What Do You Need to Know?

March 4, 2012
Google logo

Google has been getting plenty of of publicity lately because of major changes in its privacy policy. These two articles, one from Huffington Post and one from Consumer Reports, explain how these changes affect you and what you can do about them. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/29/google-privacy-policy-changes_n_1310506.html http://news.consumerreports.org/electronics/2012/03/google-launches-its-new-privacy-policy-today.html

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Making the Cloud Clear

December 30, 2011
Dropbox illustration

NPR.org/2011/12/26/143795017/now-hovering-above-us-all-the-cloud If you’re not completely clear about “the cloud,” reading or listening to this short NPR story should help. Even if you understand the basics, you’ll probably be surprised by the many different ways that cloud technology is changing our world.

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