Technology

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | Barnstorming

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Learn about early airplanes, and how they were a novelty and flying a source of entertainment for bystanders, but quickly became essential in the transportation of passengers and goods.

The Human Face of Big Data | Prison Geography

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They’re called “Million Dollar Blocks,” and they represent some of the priciest locations in cities around the United States—not for their real estate, but for the annual cost of incarcerating their residents. Rather than plotting where crimes were committed, as analysts had done for years, criminal analyst Eric Cadora plots where criminals lived before they were incarcerated. The resulting maps depict neighborhoods, in vivid color, of million dollar blocks. Many of these communities are poor, crowded, and disproportionately filled with people of color.

Do You Choose To Have Your Privacy Invaded By Using Tech? | PBS Idea Channel

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The recent Heartbleed bug was, for many, just another reminder that our information will never be secure on the internet. We feel vulnerable and hopeless in the face of a long string of privacy concerns, and many argue that this is an inevitable result of technology. But since our culture has wholly jumped on the digital bandwagon, do we as individuals truly choose to sacrifice our privacy? Or maybe the better question is, how much do we even choose to use technology? 

Are Bitcoins and Unusual Hats the Future of Currency? | PBS Idea Channel

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If a community agrees on the value of something, then that thing can become a currency to exchange for other goods. Just like American dollar bills (or euros, yen, or any other currency), or... bitcoins. Bitcoins are an online currency worth over $200,000,000, and though they are just 1s and 0s, some think that this is the future of money. Watch the episode and tell us what you think!

Posting Pictures Online

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Posting a picture on the Internet only takes a second, but a photo is forever on the Internet. It is easy for someone to copy and paste a photo from one website to another. Once a picture is posted, it is virtually impossible to get it back.

Generation Like: Promoting Movies

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Discover how marketing firms of movies like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire inspire social media users to promote products for them in this video from FRONTLINE: Generation Like. When promotion agency TVGla markets a movie, it employs social media to help build trust with consumers. In this way, TVGla gets kids to work for free, promoting films to their friends and followers. While marketing used to be a one-way conversation from the marketer to the consumer, today, the consumer does as much as the marketer to broadcast the message. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

E-Business | Web Security

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Learn about the importance of web security which becomes top priority with more information changing hands electronically.

The Human Face of Big Data | Personalized Medicine

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We’re moving into a person-centric world where people and medical providers have access to genetic data. When a person's genome is sequenced, the known differences can help doctors predict their risk for disease, whether or not they are a carrier of a disease, and what their ancestry is. That data can point more directly to which treatments will work based on their genetic profile. Ultimately, this data could help medicine to move away from a treatment-based approach to a preventative model.

Is There an Introvert Craze Because of Technology? | PBS Idea Channel

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Introverts are super popular right now, celebrated to the point of meme-level. Stereotypically quiet, smart, and reserved, they are often conflated with nerds, who are also currently deemed awesome according to pop culture. But why do we suddenly want to self-identify as nerds and introverts? Is this popularity connected to technology? 

Can Bullet Hell Games Be Meditative? | PBS Idea Channel

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Bullet Hell games are crazy. Their onslaught of lasers and bullets (also known as "dakka") seems overwhelming or even impossible to the uninitiated. Is playing these games an elaborate and stressful mastery of patterns and strategy? Or could it instead be a form of meditation? Maybe the way to find your way through the dakka is to fall into a mental autopilot in the face of complexity, finding harmony within the haze. Is this wild overstimulation a form of modern meditation? Watch the episode and tell us what you think!

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