Wrap-up 2012 December 21, 2012Posted by Cameron Shelley in : Announcements , comments closed
With 2012 coming to a non-apocalyptic end, it is time to review the technology-related events of the year. As many others have already done the footwork, I will satisfy myself with a meta-list.
A similar list, without the musical touches, can be found at Wired.
My favorite list of alternative highlights would have to be Malene Arpe’s anti-hit list of viral videos. Check it out!
On a more serious note, New Scientist has compiled a list of the big IT stories of 2012.
Then, for those of you who live in Southern Ontario, there is Chris Hume’s list of the best architecture of the year. Apparently, the best architecture was all in Toronto in 2012.
Finally, if you have not already, you should watch the 22minutes Christmas special. Here is a clip that will appeal to everyone who remembers the National Film Board short “The wrong sweater“:
And, no Christmas show would be complete without a spoof of A Christmas Carol:
But, you should see the whole show. Happy holidays!
UW Science and Technology in Society Teaching Group November 15, 2012Posted by Scott Campbell in : Announcements, Events , comments closed
A CSTV-related annoucement to all UW faculty. Please spread the word!
Dear UW Teaching Colleagues,
Many of us on campus teach a wide range of undergraduate courses relevant to thinking about science and technology in society. In order to further facilitate both mutual understanding of our interests in this topic and awareness of the many offerings for undergraduates, we think it would be valuable (and fun!) to meet and discuss our various plans for teaching courses concerning science and technology (including math, computer science, engineering, health science, and environmental science) in society.
Please join us on Tuesday December 4 from 1-3 pm in EV2-2069. Refreshments will be served.
Not only will we get to find out about various teaching projects concerning science and technology in society across campus, but we will compile a list of courses to be offered in upcoming terms for students interested in this area.
Please RSVP Heather Douglas at email@example.com on whether you can attend.
Thanks very much and we hope to see you there!
Heather Douglas, Scott Campbell, Carla Fehr, and Katie Plaisance
(The Science and Technology in Society Teaching Group)
University of Waterloo History Department Speaker Series October 25, 2012Posted by Scott Campbell in : Announcements, Events , comments closed
Computing Services and Configured Users: A History of Academic Computing in Canada
On October 26 at 12:30, I’ll be giving a talk for the UW History Department Speaker Series on some of my research relating to the history of computing in Canada. In particular, I will explore the relation between computer technology, computing centers, and computer science in the 1950s and 1960s. Computing centers occupied a mediator role at the unstable boundary between technology and end use, and I argue that a focus on users, rather than disciplinary formation or professionalization reveals new insights. The story will focus on on TRANSCODE and WATFOR, programming languages developed at the University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo that would facilitate and configure users while reconstructing the technology and the computing center itself.
Location: Hagey Hall 138; Time: 12:30 to 1:30
Public Deliberation on Science & Technology: Reconfiguring Expertise September 26, 2012Posted by Scott Campbell in : Announcements , comments closed
The Philosophy Department and the Science and Technology in Society Collaboration will be hosting a talk this Friday that may be of interest to CSTV blog readers:
Public Deliberation on Science & Technology: Reconfiguring Expertise
University of Guelph
Genetically modified bacteria, human genetic biobanks, salmon genomics: these are just three of an untold number of areas of science and technology currently still developing while also emerging into the social sphere. As with other aspects of public policy, there is increasing attention towards engaging publics on (potentially) contentious issues involving science and technology. In this talk I describe the use of minipublics – small forums involving lay individuals – as a mechanism for engaging members of the broader public in dialogue with scientists, policy makers, and other stakeholders. A key insight from these studies is that notions of expertise need to be re-evaluated to take into account the diverse (and divergent) range of domains with which deliberants are required to engage.
Friday, September 28, 2012
Hagey Hall, Room 373
Bill Moggridge September 10, 2012Posted by Cameron Shelley in : Announcements , comments closed
Besides his co-creation of IDEO, Bill is perhaps best known for the design of the GRiD Compass computer, the world’s first laptop, and for his book Designing interactions, where he encapsulates his experience with designing experiences in digital media.
Seasons’s greetings! December 23, 2011Posted by Cameron Shelley in : Announcements , comments closed
Before shutting down for the holidays, I thought it might be fun to direct your attention to a couple of amusing, technology-related Christmas videos.
The first is a Christmas greeting from our soon-to-be robot overlords:
The second is a ‘trailer’ for a chilling tale of an app gone wrong, very, very wrong:
Enjoy the holidays and see you in 2012?
Reminder: STV404 New course for Fall 2011 September 6, 2011Posted by Scott Campbell in : Announcements, STV404 , comments closed
When you see the phrase “Made in Canada”, what does that tell you about a technology? Are there particular or peculiar characteristics that make a technology somehow “Canadian”? Does it matter who invented it or who uses it? Where it’s made, or where it is used? Does it look, feel, act, or smell “Canadian”? Do the technologies have to be objects or can they be processes or something else? How should we understand technologies that seem indelibly connected to the Canadian national dreams, mythology, identity, culture or sports? In a similar vein, what have Canadians thought about technology? These questions, and more, will be addressed in the new course for Fall 2011, STV 404: Technology in Canadian Society.
Enrolment is open right now for students in any faculty (engineering students should note that STV404 is a List A and List C course for the Complementary Studies Electives). Interested students who don’t meet the immediate prerequisites (any previous STV course), should still contact the instructor, Dr. Scott Campbell, to discuss the course.
A logo, computer haiku, and a contest! April 21, 2010Posted by Scott Campbell in : Announcements , comments closed
At some point in the pre-blog days and perhaps even in the pre-web days, CSTV had a logo that looked like this:
In the last decade or so it has fallen from use, but I still kinda like it. It certainly reinforces the idea that technology is about people, which is one of our foremost lessons, and it hints that technology is inclusive of society and of values. What do you see?
I was going to talk about logos and design (and perhaps the awkward logo rebellion at the University of Waterloo last year), but then remembered something I once heard: that a logo is the haiku of the design world. That is, both a logo and a haiku must be brief, elegant, obey simple rules, convey a timeless message, and the best are often of “jesting character”. Perhaps this is why haiku’s can be appealing to the techno-set, particularly at conveying some of the misapprehension and frustration associated with computers:
Your file was so big.
It might be very useful.
But now it is gone.
Yesterday it worked.
Today it is not working.
Windows is like that.
A crash reduces
Your expensive computer
To a simple stone.
Out of memory.
We wish to hold the whole sky,
But we never will.
Computers and haiku try to get along. About ten years ago a company used a haiku as a trigger for an email spam filtering system. Messages containing a copyrighted haiku were permitted though the filter; if an unauthorized email sender used the haiku they would be sued for copyright infringement and subsequently blacklisted. From what I recall, it didn’t work out all that well in the end. Some people have entertained themelves by making proverbial lemonade from lemons, transforming spam into haiku that does slip through:
Large screen DVD.
Is your husband performing?
Big trading alert.
There are also plenty of haiku generators on the web, none of which work very well either, unless all you want is a random and witless assembly of words. Earlier this year, the former CEO of Sun Microsystems announced his resignation to the world via haiku when the company he led was bought out.
I know of another example (though anecdotal) of a haiku used to prevent unauthorized computer activity, from almost 30 years ago. At least some versions of an early microcomputer designed at the University of Waterloo (known as the MicroWAT) required a secret passphrase to boot properly. Intended to protect the intellectual property within, it is quite difficult to make them run, if at all, without knowing the magic words. I’ve been told that the passphrase was a haiku, but no-one seems to remember what it was, haiku or not.
In light of this, I’m going to launch the first ever CSTV haiku contest, by inviting haiku contributions in the comments below that best describe the lessons or purpose of the Center for Society, Technology and Values, much as the old logo does. The normal haiku rules apply. Anyone is eligible, there is no immediate deadline, and assuming there is more than one or two entries I’m sure we can come up with a suitable prize for the winner. I’m no poet, but I know what I like.
A CSTV blog March 23, 2010Posted by Scott Campbell in : Announcements , comments closed
In the distant past, the Centre for Society, Technology and Values had a newsletter with news, a calendar, notices, research, and comments on recent events or discoveries. It’s time to resurrect that part of CSTV with a blog to supplement the existing information about CSTV people, courses, and the STV Option.
We have a nice backlog of posts from our two instructors, and we hope to involve other members of the CSTV community. Feel free to comment on any posts from this point on, though we’ll be moderating comments for the time being. We also welcome contributions! If you’d like to post news about upcoming events, a book or movie review, or pose a question to the CSTV audience, contact the webmaster.