Interesting times in tech

Hello Computer Scientists,

   It’s been an interesting week in the world of technology. There is a large controversy about whether the Facebook App listens to you (and anyone within earshot) all the time, even when your phone is in your pocket, and uses that information to serve targeted advertising. Of course, if you don’t use Facebook, it still makes one wonder if other apps are doing the same thing.

   So this week in class, we will start talking about the balancing act between privacy, security and convenience. What has gotten us to this point and where are we going as the computers in our pockets become ever-more powerful and integrated into our lives?

  Also, there two big events coming up! CodeDay Minneapolis is an event where student programmers, artists, musicians, actors, and everyone else can get together and build apps & games for 24 hours. Students of all skill levels are welcome — we have workshops and mentors who can help if you’re new! November 11-12. I am *not* arranging transportation for this event. 

  MinneHack is another event where students create a new piece of software in 24 hours. For this one, I will be arranging a bus from CTECH. Transportation and meals will be completely free for all participants. It’s a great opportunity to meet other people interested in technology. No experience required! It takes place at Coffman Union at the University of Minnesota on January 27th. 

If you are a current Rochester Public Schools or college student and interested in attending either of these events, please contact me!

Your links of the week:

Are you interested in video games? Then you might be interested in this detailed history of computing and video games presented in graphic novel form:

Technology might make cooking easier, but is it taking all the fun out of it?

And finally, a topic close to my heart: Why should we teach computer science?

Have a great week,
Mr. B.