Off Book

Bad Behavior Online: Bullying, Trolling & Free Speech | Off Book

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The internet is a powerful tool for communication, but it can sometimes be a double-edged sword. As most of us have seen or experienced, the internet can bring out the worst behavior in people, highlighting some of the cruelest and most hurtful aspects of humanity. Issues such as bullying online and trolling have garnered a lot of attention recently, prompting questions about who does, and should, regulate the internet, and what free speech means online.

The Rise of Videogame Economies | Off Book

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The growth and complexity of online economies surprises many outsiders to the world of gaming. With millions of players around the world, in-game economies generate massive amounts of real dollars. Real-world economic theories can even be applied to these worlds. Many are now so big that game developers have hired real-world economists to help them manage these complex systems. But, with exploitative practices such as gold farming, are these systems in need of more regulation?

Can Hackers Be Heroes? | Off Book

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PBS's Off Book asks if hacking is inherently good or bad, or if is it an ethical area we have yet to define. Looking beyond the media hype and scare tactics, it is clear that "hacking" is a term that should be up for debate, and that some hackers could actually be heroes and not villains.

Is Code the Most Important Language in the World? | Off Book

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The ability to code allows people to mold interactions between humans and computers. Coders have become the gatekeepers of how our culture uses technology. Because of this, many people now preach that everyone should learn how to code, saying that knowledge of programming languages is akin to reading and writing. But is it reasonable to assume that everyone will learn how to code?

Is Photoshop Remixing the World? | Off Book

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Photoshop allows us to alter existing pictures and create unique images. Artists now use Photoshop to create complex imagery that would have been impossible 20 years ago. It has profoundly changed the art of photo retouching, turning a labor-intensive process into a process dominated solely by creativity.

The New Rules of Robot/Human Society | Off Book

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As technology speeds forward, humans are beginning to imagine robots filling the roles promised to us in science fiction. But what should we be considering today as robots like military and delivery drones become a real part of our society? How should robots be programmed to interact with us? How should we treat robots? Who is responsible for a robot's actions? As we look at the unexpected impact of new technologies, we are obligated as a society to consider the moral and ethical implications of robotics.

The Future of Wearable Technology | Off Book

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Off Book looks into the future to see how wearable technology will become increasingly ingrained in our lives and our culture. From the Nike Fuelband to Google Glass, consumers are already seeing hints of the future of wearable devices. Wearable tech has the possibility to make us more knowledgeable about ourselves and our surroundings, and connect us with each other in an uninterrupted, more intimate way. From do-it-yourself wearables to high-tech sensors and smart fabrics, the future will show how technology can impact our lives.

The Rise of Artificial Intelligence | Off Book

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Artificial intelligence is an ever evolving goal for researchers, and the object of endless fascination for writers, filmmakers, and the general public. But despite our best science fiction visions, creating digital intelligence is incredibly difficult. The universe is a very complicated place, and humans have had millions of years to evolve the ability to navigate and make sense of it. Contemporary attempts to create AI have us looking more at how our own brains work to see how a computer could simulate the core activities that create our intelligence. No matter how we get there, it is certain that artificial intelligence will have tremendous impact on our society and economy, and lead us down a path towards evolving our own definitions of humanity.

The Art of Data Visualization | Off Book

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Off Book takes a look at how the practice of data visualization has gained even more importance in this digital age. From scientific visualization to pop infographics, designers are increasingly tasked with incorporating data into the media experience. Data has emerged as such a critical part of modern life that it has entered into the realm of art, where data-driven visual experiences challenge viewers to find personal meaning from a sea of information, a task that is present in every aspect of our lives.

The Impact of Twitter on Journalism | Off Book

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The world of journalism has changed in the internet era. Newsrooms are significantly smaller now than they were 10 years ago, and news is no longer a once-a-day product, but instead a constant flow of information. The rise of Twitter brought concerns within the industry - would this overwhelming source of direct raw information put professional reporters out of business? Journalists are now faced with the challenge of adapting their roles in this digital era, finding new ways to add value to content, and helping to ensure that the internet is changing our worldview for the better.

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