Category: 5. Public Policy
Posted by: mychilocline
Under existing law, ownership of data – the right to access, use, or sell data – is tied to the ownership of the computer used to access, create, or manipulate data. If you access your email at work – even if you are using a personal email account online – your employer has the right to read it. That is, your employer has the right to read your love letters and personal correspondence. If your data is stored even temporarily on someone else’s machine – whether at work, at school, or at a friend’s house – they have a right to read your data; and legal rights to the data may be a subject of some debate. Ownership of data is, as a general rule, linked with the computer used to access or manipulate the data.

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Category: 2. Future Tech
Posted by: mychilocline
In this modern age of wireless communications, fiber optics, and networking, we are told that distance is becoming irrelevant. And in a sense, it is true.

Transportation and communications technologies are changing the world. After all, you can pick up a phone and call anywhere in the world, or you can go on the internet and order a product from a company thousands of miles away. Yet, contrary to popular rhetoric, “Distance still matters.”

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Category: 5. Public Policy
Posted by: mychilocline
We are seeing the emergence of the new middleman – Microsoft, AOL, Google, eBay, PayPal, and MySpace. In order to interact in the Virtual World, we depend upon them. They are our liaisons. Yet, our increasing reliance upon others comes at a price, the loss of a degree of control over our lives.

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Category: 5. Public Policy
Posted by: mychilocline
Hidden cameras will watch how consumers respond to displays and advertising. Police officers will monitor public spaces, as they do in London (1). “Please pick up your trash, sir.” Cell-phone companies will track your movements.


In the future, on every street light, in front of every house, and behind every advertisement, there will be surveillance cameras. Surveillance will be everywhere.

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Category: 5. Public Policy
Posted by: mychilocline
There is a growing need for social and economic regulation in virtual environments. In order to address this need, corporations are defining and enforcing rules of user conduct. In this way, the Rule of Law is being replaced by “Terms of Use” and “User Code of Conduct” in online environments. This is unacceptable. In the future, it will be necessary to extend the Rule of Law to Virtual Space.

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Posted by: mychilocline
Cloud computing was a bad idea a half a century ago and it is still a bad idea today. Cloud computing is the idea that our computer, a dumb terminal in essence, may be used to access data and services out there on the internet, from a “cloud” of networked computers and data centers. This idea is being touted by the Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, and has been around in various guises for some time.

But, the problem with cloud computing, as with all client server models is reliability, functionality, performance, and security (1). In addition, it may be argued that the model is in someway innately undemocratic, that is, that it is, in practice, likely to promote centralized political, social, and economic control.

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Category: 6. Archives
Posted by: mychilocline
People often ask me, “What is your problem with Google? In part, Google is the 800 pound gorilla right now, so when I critique the industry, I am almost invariably critiquing Google. But, it is more than that.

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05/22: Basic Q&A

Category: 1. Welcome
Posted by: mychilocline
What is Virtual Reality?
Virtual reality is a computer generated environment, often portrayed in movies such as the Lawnmower Man and the Matrix.

What is Augmented Reality?
In virtual reality we put you in a virtual environment. In augmented reality, we bring virtual objects into the real world – look there is a virtual object sitting on my desk.

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A.I. will come to have a prominent role in society in the next 10 years, but it is not the A.I. that many of us had envisioned.

AIs will play an important role online, masquerading as humans, helping to provide customer assistance and support. Walk into an online store and you are going to be met by an attractive, well-spoken individual. They are going to be knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful. But, they are not going to be real.

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Category: 5. Public Policy
Posted by: mychilocline
The Case for a National Internet Sales Tax

States are aggressively implementing new tax policies aimed at generating revenue by taxing online commerce. In California, for example, all online purchases are subject to either California Sales Tax (for in State purchases) or a “use” tax (for out of State purchases). If you are from the State of California and you made out of State online purchases, in which you were not charged California State Sales Tax, you are subject to a “use” tax, to “make up” for the revenue the State of California would have received had you made the purchase in State. In fact, there is a line item for it on the California State Tax Return. All across the United States, individual States are levying new taxes and fighting for their piece of the pie.

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People often ask, “If you could be born in any place in history, where would you choose? Ancient Greece? The Italian Renaissance?” If I could choose any period of history to live in, I would choose this one. Right here, right now. Some of the most important changes in the history of civilization are currently underway, but from our perspective, it is hard for us to see it.

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Your cell-phone is part of you.
It is your mouth and ears.

***

And the next generation cell-phone-computer will carry our data,
our music, our ideas. It will help us schedule our lives
and interact in the virtual world. It will be an extension of our eyes and ears, of our hands and feet.
It is an extension of our brain and nervous system.
It is an extension of ourselves.

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Category: 5. Public Policy
Posted by: mychilocline
The credit card is the new currency of the online world. It is a great way to buy things online – it is universally accepted, easy to use, and relatively safe. But, it is also relatively expensive. Merchants pay a transaction fee on every credit card transaction or purchase, usually between one and six percent (depending on a number of factors) [1]; and most of us are not even aware of it. But whether we are aware of the hidden charges or not, these costs are passed along to the consumer.

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The introduction of new communications technologies, such as the telephone and the television, have led to important changes in daily life and activity. Not only have they led to changes in business and social interaction, they have facilitated whole-scale social and cultural change. And with the development of new communications technologies, such as virtual reality, we should expect to see more of the same.

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Massive, multi-player, online, role playing games are becoming increasingly popular among women. The most popular of these games include World of WarCraft, Everquest, Ultima Online, and Asherons Call. Choose your character, join a guild, kill, pillage, and loot.

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08/03: The Year 2020

I was recently approached by ABC News Los Angeles and asked for predictions for the year 2020. “What will life be like in the year 2020?” Here are some of my notes, I thought my readers might enjoy.

In the year 2020, we will spend most of our time in partial virtual reality environments.

In 2020 virtual reality will be all around us. It will be everywhere you look. And it will impact every area of our lives – business, education, entertainment, and relationships.

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Category: 2. Future Tech
Posted by: mychilocline
In Celtic mythology,
the in-between places were places of magic and power
- shorelines, doorways, places of transition –
neither one thing, nor the other
the thin places
where the real world and the other-world
blur.


Somewhere between the real world and the virtual world is a special place, neither one thing, nor the other. It is a hybrid reality, both partly virtual and partly real.

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Category: 5. Public Policy
Posted by: mychilocline
There is a relationship between the growth of media technologies and our diminishing right to privacy. Cell-phones, like hidden surveillance cameras, are everywhere, recording, extending the sphere of public awareness. In large, this phenomenon is harmless, people enjoy making videos and people enjoy watching them. Yet, this phenomenon also has a darker side. In the modern world, we no longer have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

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Category: 5. Public Policy
Posted by: mychilocline
News organizations are given considerable latitude with regard to what they put on the news, and not without some justification; we don’t want the government interfering in the process. As a result, it is left to the media to decide what to put on television, provided that it is “newsworthy,” even if it, from time to time, infringes upon the individual right to privacy.

But, if the media, for all practical purposes, has the right to invade my personal privacy, what about the teenager who wants to post a video clip of me online? The problem is that just about anything could be “newsworthy” to someone. Is the fact that Mary Jane didn’t wear a bra, in gym class, news? It is to someone.

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Posted by: mychilocline
In ancient Greece, Plato asked, “What is the good life?” Two and one-half thousand years later, it is time to re-examine this question.(1)


The development of new virtual reality technologies will lead to important changes in daily social and economic life, and will raise a number of important topics in the field of ethics, in moral philosophy, in political philosophy, and in existential philosophy. Virtual reality has the potential to fundamentally change our relationship nature, with each other, and with ourselves. It is an exciting time for philosophy, and an exciting time to be human.

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Posted by: mychilocline
In virtual reality, it may be possible to be “more you than you ever imagined.” But, what does this mean? And is it really true?

There is a difference between the person we want to be and the person that we in fact are. We would like to be x, y, and z, but we find that we are not. And we distinguish between “our true self” (or “our ideal self”) from the person you see in the mirror. And this brings up an interesting question, “Why are you not the person you want to be?”

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“Technology has transformed the world in which we live, changing how we spend our time, how we understand ourselves, and how we interact with others. Emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, genetics, and nanotechnology are likely to bring even greater changes (and, it is claimed by some, will usher in a “new age” of “post-humans”). Virtual reality, in particular, is likely to bring important changes in daily life.” (Cline, 2005)

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Category: 2. Future Tech
Posted by: mychilocline
In the near future, we should expect to see the introduction of a number of augmented reality systems. In fact, many scholars believe that augmented reality, not virtual reality, will be the future. But, what exactly is augmented reality?

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Posted by: mychilocline
Emerging technologies will give us greater power over the physical world and promise to redefine the relationship between man and nature. Not only will emerging technologies, such as nanotechnology, virtual reality, and genetics, give us greater control over the external world, they will give us greater control over ourselves. And this raises a number of important questions in the emerging fields of virtual-genetics and nano-genetics (i.e. nano-pharmacology, nano-cognitive-augmentation, and nano-cognitive-editing; or just nano-genetics, for short): “What does it mean to be human?” “Who do we want to be?” “And what are we willing to do to get there?”

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Category: 2. Future Tech
Posted by: mychilocline
In the 1980’s and the early 1990’s, there was a great deal of excitement about virtual reality. Virtual reality was going to be the next big thing! But, there was too much hype and not enough product. And virtual reality dropped off the radar screen, and to this day, is still nowhere to be seen. So, whatever happened to virtual reality? And where are we today?

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