Law school grads routinely go to work for crusading nonprofits and even those in private practice do pro bono work, thanks to a widespread understanding that lawyers have a professional duty to work for the public interest -- after all, understanding and navigating the law is a necessary precondition for freedom and fairness.
Technology is another form of law, and a failure to understand tech can get us into real problems, especially at the policy level, where politicians' failures to come to grips with tech (sometimes deliberately, and sometimes due to a lack of good advice) produces all kinds of terrible outcomes.
Bruce Schneier (previously) wants us to think about becoming "public interest technologists," who work for the public good, by advising lawmakers and policymakers, and by pursuing public interest goals in our technical work.
Schneier defines the term and collects resources on the subject on public-interest-tech.com. You can hear him discuss it in depth with Mike Masnick on the Techdirt podcast.
Schneier gave a brief, stirring talk on the subject at the Royal Society last month: it's 15 minutes long and well worth your time.
In an effort to get more people reading, the New York Public Library set out to take advantage of Instagram’s huge user base. Mother New York designed “Insta Novels” as a way to read entire novels in Instagram Stories. The books feature carefully selected fonts, beautiful animations, and some clever hacks to allow such an […]
Most U.S. adults answer fewer than half questions correctly on digital know-how quiz, and many struggle with cybersecurity and privacy
From left: Akira Yoshino, Dr. M. Stanley Whittingham and Dr. John Goodenough (Charles Dharapak / Yoshiaki Sakamoto / Kyodo News / Binghamton University) The 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to three scientists whose work developing lithium-ion batteries made mobile phones, iPads, laptops, and electric cars possible. The three recipients are U.S. engineer […]
Remember when the default state of your online presence was anonymity? That’s not so clear-cut anymore, and the worst part is you may not even know who is using your data or what they’re using it for. Small wonder that so many people are choosing to surf through virtual private networks. VPNs filter web access […]
Get ready for the stream of your dreams, binge-watchers. There’s a contest afoot, and at stake is a lifetime subscription to Netflix. All you have to do is sign up, and you’re entered to win this ultimate Netflix plan. When does it expire? Only when you do. And hey, just in case you need something […]
There’s overwhelming support for clean energy, and the planet is giving us more reasons to invest in renewable power sources with every passing year. Even in the most inhospitable areas, wind and solar can provide a good chunk of our power, if not all of it. So why aren’t we all taking advantage of it? […]