Posts Tagged ‘ethics’

Meet The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (Video)

October 8th, 2012 10:59 admin View Comments

Your Rights Online

Discussions about ethics and technology are perennial Slashdot staples. But if you want to frequent a site that is about ethics and technology and almost nothing else, with a strong science fiction bent to it, you might want to check out the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies ( website. Here to introduce us to IEET and tell us what it’s about, we have IEET Managing Director Hank Pellissier in a remote video interview we made through Skype.

Source: Meet The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (Video)

If Extinct Species Can Be Brought Back… Should We?

August 30th, 2012 08:57 admin View Comments


retroworks writes “Rebecca J. Rosen interviews experts in this edition of The Atlantic, to ask about the ethics and wisdom of using cloning, backbreeding, or genome editing. Over 90% of species ever to exist on earth are no more. The article ponders the moral and environmental challenges of humans reintroducing species which humans made extinct.”

Source: If Extinct Species Can Be Brought Back… Should We?

When Formal Systems Kill: Computer Ethics and Formal Methods

February 24th, 2012 02:58 admin View Comments

While ethics aren’t normal LtU fare, it’s sometimes interesting to see how our technical discussions fit into a larger picture.

In When Formal Systems Kill: Computer Ethics and Formal Methods February, 2012, Darren Abramson and Lee Pike make the case that the ubiquity of computing in safety critical systems and systems that can create real economic harm means that formal methods should not just be technical and economic discussions but ethical ones as well.

Computers are different from all other artifacts in that they are automatic formal systems. Since computers are automatic formal systems,techniques called formal methods can be used to help ensure their safety. First, we call upon practitioners of computer ethics to deliberate over when the application of formal methods to computing systems is a moral obligation. To support this deliberation, we provide a primer of the subfield of computer science called formal methods for non-specialists. Second, we give a few arguments in favor of bringing discussions of formal methods into the fold of computer ethics.

They also spend a good amount of time giving a lay overview of the practical, economic challenges faced by formal methods.

Source: When Formal Systems Kill: Computer Ethics and Formal Methods

Kevin Mitnick Answers

September 12th, 2011 09:08 admin View Comments


Last week, you asked Kevin Mitnick questions about his past, his thoughts on ethics and disclosure, and his computer set-up. He’s graciously responded; read on for his answers. (No dice on the computer set-up, though.) Thanks, Kevin.

Source: Kevin Mitnick Answers

Grigory Perelman Turns Down $1M Millennium Prize

July 2nd, 2010 07:38 admin View Comments

Kleiba writes “After turning down the prestigious Field Medal in 2006 for his contributions to mathematics, the reclusive Russian mathematician Grigory Perelman announced yesterday that he is rejecting a $1 million Millennium Prize from the Clay Mathematics Institute for solving the Poincare conjecture.”

Source: Grigory Perelman Turns Down $1M Millennium Prize

Google Researcher Issues How-To On Attacking XP

June 11th, 2010 06:03 admin View Comments

theodp writes “A Google engineer Thursday published attack code that exploits a zero-day vulnerability in Windows XP, giving hackers a new way to hijack and infect systems with malware. But other security experts objected to the way the Google engineer disclosed the bug — just five days after it was reported to Microsoft — and said the move is more evidence of the ongoing, and increasingly public, war between the two giants.”

Source: Google Researcher Issues How-To On Attacking XP

California Judge Routes Campaign Robocalls Through Colorado

June 6th, 2010 06:58 admin View Comments

Thomas Hawk writes “Victoria Kolakowski, a current sitting law judge at the California PUC, is running for Alameda Superior Court judge in California. As part of her campaign she is robodialing people in California with a pre-recorded message. The only problem is that in Califorina robodials are actually illegal unless first introduced by a non-recorded natural person who gains consent to play the call. Ironically, the very agency set up to protect our privacy and enforce this law, the California PUC, is the very agency where Kolakowski works today. Kolakowski originally apologized for the calls but then later deleted messages on her Facebook account from people objecting to her use of these calls. Now Kolakowski is trying to argue that because ‘techincally’ she is routing her calls through Colorado from outside the state that her robodials are actually legal.”

Source: California Judge Routes Campaign Robocalls Through Colorado

Quantifying, and Dealing With, the Deepwater Spill

June 5th, 2010 06:24 admin View Comments

Gooseygoose writes with a link to this analysis by Boston University professor Cutler Cleveland “Some reports in the media attempt to downplay the significance of the release of oil from the Deepwater Horizon accident by arguing that natural oil seeps release large volumes of oil to the ocean, so why worry? Let’s look at the numbers.” Read on for a few more stories on the topic of the Deepwater Horizon spill.

theodp writes with some information on the remote-controlled efforts to stanch the oil’s flow: “The work Tito Collasius does sounds a little like science fiction: Men on ships flicking joysticks that control robots the size of trucks as they rove miles beneath the sea in near-freezing depths no man could hope to reach. But BP’s spill efforts rest in the hands of underwater remote-operated vehicle (ROV) pilots, who ‘fly’ the ROVs from command centers aboard ships, joy sticks in hand and large banks of screens in front of them offering a view of the challenges they confront in the waters below. ROVs are typically used for commercial (as in the oil industry), oceanographic (science research and exploration), and military (mine reconnaissance and recovery) missions. If you’re interested in joining Tito, training’s available.”

Even if BP were to effect a perfect block for the oil, though, there’s still quite a bit of it swirling in the Gulf — you’ve probably seen some gut-wrenching pictures of the affected wildlife. Reader grrlscientist writes “Some people claim that we should euthanize all oiled birds immediately upon recovering them. But I argue it is our ethical responsibility to protect, clean and save these birds, even after they’ve been oiled, just as we should preserve and clean their habitats”

Source: Quantifying, and Dealing With, the Deepwater Spill

Nine Chip Makers Fined $400M In EU For Price Fixing

May 19th, 2010 05:37 admin View Comments

eldavojohn writes “In a disturbing case for average consumers, nine DRAM chip manufacturers have been fined more than $400 million for price fixing. The named companies are Samsung, Hynix, Infineon, NEC, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Toshiba, Elpida, and Nanya. A tenth company, Micron, avoided fines by reporting the other nine to the authorities. Since all companies cooperated with the probe, they received a 10% reduction in fines, so it could have been worse. The US DoJ has had its own history with chip makers and LCD makers in price fixing scandals.”

Source: Nine Chip Makers Fined $400M In EU For Price Fixing

How To Grow a Head

April 26th, 2010 04:43 admin View Comments

Taco Cowboy writes “British scientists have found a mechanism within our gene sequence that allows the growing of a new head — with brains, etc. The gene is tentatively known as Smed-prep, and the information contained in smed-prep also makes the new cells appear in the right place and organise themselves into working structures.”

Source: How To Grow a Head