Hillary Clinton and her e-mails

What’s the big deal, one might ask, about Hillary Clinton using a private account for her e-mails when she was Secretary of State?  Maybe it was a technical violation of a very minor law, but lots of us use work e-mail for personal reasons and personal e-mail for work, so what does it matter?

Well, this was not a matter of using a g-mail or Yahoo account.  Mrs. Clinton had her own server with sophisticated secrecy features, protecting her messages from media and legal requests under the transparency laws.  The normally sympathetic Chris Cillizza explains why this is, in fact, a big deal after the jump. [Read more...]

Net neutrality or Obamanet?

The FCC voted to regulate the internet so that service providers cannot charge different kinds of users or content providers (e.g., streaming a Netflix movie) more than any others.  Some are hailing this ruling as “net neutrality,” making it possible for the internet to remain free and open.  Others are condemning these rules as  government regulation of internet that will quench innovation and create a cumbersome, poor-running “Obamanet.”  What do you think? [Read more...]

The digital generation prefers print on paper

I really enjoy my Kindle.  But when it comes to reading scholarly works, I need to flip back and forth, mark pages, study illustrations, and generally read more carefully.  I kind of need hard-copy printed books to do that.

Now it turns out that the Millennial generation, computer-literate and screen-oriented as they are, are the same way, maybe more so!  Their preference for reading old-fashioned books is overwhelming.

See why, with details about the mental difference between reading on paper and reading on a screen after the jump. [Read more...]

What else Turing did

The movie The Imitation Game focused on how mathematician Alan Turing broke the German “Enigma” code, a major contribution to the Allied victory in World War II.   Those interested in artificial intelligence talk about the “Turing test,” the goal of making it impossible to tell whether a machine or a human being is responding to questions.  But  Turing’s most enduring contribution is not known so much.  He wrote a paper about 0′s and 1′s and computable numbers that basically invented the concept of software. [Read more...]

Why artificial intelligence won’t conquer humanity

Some smart people, from Bill Gates to Stephen Hawkings, have been raising the alarm that computers might get so intelligent that they could conquer the human race.  But artificial intelligence specialist David W. Buchanan explains why this isn’t something we need to worry about, saying the alarmists are committing the “consciousness fallacy,” confusing intelligence with consciousness. [Read more...]

The case for a North American century

Many have been saying that  America is in decline, that our political, cultural, and economic contributions are slipping. China, some say, is the up-and-coming nation.  Others say that the age of the dominant world power is over.

But an op-ed piece by former General David Petraeus and Brookings Institute researcher Michael O’Hanlon say that the United States, in partnership with Canada and Mexico, has economic and demographic advantages over all comers that may make for a “North American Century.” [Read more...]


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