Technology Topics

ICASIT Tech Summaries 2014-2016
Prepared by ICASIT Interns Meizhou Song and Jenna Delgado


These resources are intended to provide a brief introduction to the selected web sites and other online materials available on the subject of electronic commerce and other ICT topics. The areas listed are not a comprehensive list of all ICT subjects, but rather a selected list of topic areas of key interest helpful for learning more about this dynamic body of knowledge, from a public policy perspective. Most of them are vintage 2014 or earlier so the user should be seeking to add 2015-2016 cites.

Note from Professor Steve Ruth, ICASIT Director, about the Tech Summaries 2014-2016 Project

Hello to all who use the ICASIT web site. This segment of the site is intended to provide a brief introduction to the selected web sites and other online materials available on a wide range of ICT topics that can affect public policy. The areas listed are not a comprehensive list of all ICT subjects, but rather a selected list of topic areas of key interest which can be helpful for learning more about this dynamic body of knowledge. There are almost one hundred entries.

Every year I receive very positive comments from all over the world from researchers, teachers, students and many others about the site. It is a quick approach to getting some useful summaries of emerging topics in ICT. SPP grad students Meizhou Song and Jenna Delgado assembled this list during the summers of 2014 and 2015. I appreciate their efficient and diligent work on this. We hope to update it frequently so please send me any ideas on new topics. ( I also am grateful to instructor Marc Ruttman and his Econ IB students at Hanover High School, near Richmond, for taking the time to review the site recently and update many links and comments, plus selecting several new topics which may be added later.

I’m also indebted to SPGIA’s incomparable webmaster, Andrew Schappart, who has gathered all the material into a form that makes easy use of the site possible.

Reminder—during the 2016 spring course PUBP 710 ICT and Public Policy—Technology or Tyranny? we will be updating the site as part of a class exercise

Stephen Ruth
Professor of Public Policy
Director International Center for Applied Studies in Information Technology

January 10, 2016


Topic Areas

3D Printing
3D printing is one of the most innovative manufacturing techniques in recent years. It’s possible to print anything: clothing, body parts, food, cars, even 3D printer itself.

4G Technology
Provides information about current generation of wireless capacity.

5G Technology
5G is the next generation of mobile telecommunication standard beyond the current 4G. 5G technologies may become reality approximately in the early 2020s. Currently, some countries in Europe and Asia are researching and developing 5G technologies.

Ambient Intelligence
The idea that you will be surrounded by intelligent information systems that will improve your quality of life is already in advanced development. These systems are ultimately characterized by the following basic elements: ubiquity, transparency, and intelligence.

Audio Fingerprint
Here is a technology to identify digital music using an ownership database that provides monitoring, filtering, reduced liability, and pirating prevention for copyrighted materials.

Autonomous Vehicles
Will self-driving cars be enough reliable and safe to replace traditional cars?

Big Data
In information technology, big data is a loosely-defined term used to describe data sets so large and complex that they become awkward to work with using on-hand database management tools. Difficulties include capture, storage, search, sharing, analysis, and visualization.

Provides an overview of authentication and types of biometric authentication.

Four years ago, knowledge of bitcoin was confined to a handful of hobbyists on Internet forums. Today, the bitcoin economy is larger than the economies of some of the world’s smaller nations. Though bitcoins are virtual, people can buy real things with them.

Cloud (Digital) Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

Cloud Computing (including SaaS, PaaS, & IaaS)
Provides information about pros and cons and the future of cloud computing.

Context-Aware Computing
The possibilities for controlling systems with interpreted human intention are examined.

Convergence, Interoperability & Quadruple Play IP
The combining of personal computers, telecommunication, and television into a user experience that is accessible to everyone. –

Crowd Funding
Crowd funding describes the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their resources to support efforts initiated by other people. It is used in support of a wide variety of activities.

Crowdsourcing & The Wisdom of Crowds
Crowdsourcing is a process that involves outsourcing tasks to a distributed group of people. This section contains information on the evolution and applications of crowdsourcing.

Introduces and briefly explains some of the terminology used in discussions of cryptography, digital certificates and their relevance.

Cyber Intelligence and Protection Act (CISPA)
The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is a proposed law in the United States that could allow the sharing of certain cyber threat intelligence and cyber threat information between the intelligence community and cybersecurity firms. Proponents of the bill believe it could help the U.S government investigate cyber threats and ensure the security of networks against cyberattack. Critics feel that the proposed law is a threat to civil liberties with too few limits on how and when the government may monitor a private individual’s Internet browsing activities. Read more about the current debate on this topic.

Cyber Threats
New Internet vices and threats seem to appear daily. Why is this the case and what can we do to protect ourselves and our precious data?

Cyber security has become both an extremely important part of critical infrastructure protection and an omnipresent concern for businesses and individuals alike. There are many different forms of cyber threats, from various forms of malware such as trojans and keyloggers, to denial-of-service attacks on servers. Some are meant to be disruptive, others are meant to obtain information, but all cyber threats can cause significant damage if left untreated. Many people are even unknowing accomplices, victims in their own right whose computers have become infected as part of a “botnet,” a network of computers remotely controlled by hackers to support other cyber crimes. As the level of sophistication for cyber attacks increases, it has become increasingly necessary to remain educated about exposure to potential threats, as well as safeguards against them.

Data Mining
Data mining technologies and the legal ramifications of corporate espionage and misuse of personal information such as profiling.

Data Theft
From Identity theft to sensitive personal information including medical records and banking transactions: Is your data safe?

Defense Applications & Social Networking
The Internet and social networking have become powerful tools in organizing protesters during the Arab Spring and other government uprisings. Further growing reliance on the Internet for managing national infrastructure has created new types of strategic vulnerabilities. See how the U.S. military and defense groups in other countries are using new applications and social networking to monitor and manage threats and, also, improve communications between themselves and the public.

Digital Books (e-reader)
Are paper books becoming extinct?  Provides information about emergence of e-readers as a major ICT issue.

Digital Divide
America is suffering from a “digital divide.” Tens of millions of people – more than 40 percent of the country – can’t get online because they can’t afford a connection or can’t access high-speed Internet where they live.

Digitization and Copyright Law
Listings which discuss the importance of digitization and the hurdles the U.S. faces based on current laws.

Disaster Preparedness/Recovery
Provides a variety of articles all dealing with disaster preparedness and recovery.

This is a listing of the vast resources and services related to e-Gambling that are available on the World Wide Web today.

How are government agencies (including state, local, federal and beyond) responding to the need to make government services available online?

E-learning (K12, MOOCs & Higher Education)
How are government agencies (including state, local, federal and beyond) responding to the need to make government services available online?

Electric Car/Electro-mobility
Electric vehicles have the potential to benefit environment. What the future of electric cars?

(e-Voting, eVoting, Online Voting, Direct Recording Electronic Systems, DRE Voting Systems)
An election system that uses encryption to allow a voter to transmit his or her secure and secret ballot via the Internet, kiosk, punch card, and optical scan ballot. –Bitpipe

e-Waste/Green IT
Topics of e-waste, e-cycling, and attitudes ranging from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to corporations as well as statistics. Links to many issues on digital dumping and a call to action to help stop this potential, environmental disaster.

Face recognition
Facial recognition technology is increasingly used in a variety of ways – from photo tagging on social network to security and authentication.

Games? – Massive Multi-user Online Worlds
Beyond MUDs (Multi-User Domains), Persistent Gaming Worlds are becoming more and more popular. Is this the new millennium direction of pleasurable social interaction? Some online worlds are no game and the military is checking into the future possibilities!

Glasses-free 3D Technology
The technology of glasses-free 3D is so close but not yet.

Hacktivism: Anonymous, LulzSec and other hacking groups
Hacktivism (a portmanteau of hack and activism) is the use of computers and computer networks as a means of protest to promote political ends. Over the past decade underground groups such as Anonymous and LulzSec have perpetrated high profile hacks highlighting the vulnerability of networks. However, are these hackers heroes who defends the openness and freedom of the Internet or devious saboteurs? Read more about this provocative topic.

Health IT
Definitions, standards and certifications, research and legislation.

High Definition Television (HDTV) & HD Radio
FAQs and technical explanations about all the latest television signal formats and the transition of broadcast stations from analog to digital signals.HD Radio enables AM and FM radio stations to simulcast both digital and analog audio within the same channel (a hybridized digital-analog signal).

Hypertargeting & Personalization
Hypertargeting and personalization are two hot trends in Internet marketing. However, as online media companies strive to tailor their marketing to our specific geography and personal tastes, are there dangers including privacy concerns and possible negative effects of users being trapped in a search “filter bubble”. Learn more about these trends and possible issues.

Information Technology Security
A look at industry-leading computer education and information security training as well as some security tools and discovered improprieties.

Intellectual Property
Provides detailed information about intellectual property issues in ICT.

Here is a listing of resources and services related to Internet2 that are available on the World Wide Web.

Internet Censorship
While legally this topic shares much with other forms of censorship, internet censorship specifically deals with the restriction of online content.

The largest point of interest is the reach of the internet regardless of what policies one country creates concerning allowable content, providers in other countries can post whatever is allowed under their respective legal systems. While countries have made attempts to restrict what is obtainable, such as Google and China striking a deal over filtering its search engine, the ease of accessibility remains the largest obstacle to being able to control what people can find online.

Internet Dating
There is a plethora of resources and services related to Internet Dating that are available on the World Wide Web. The links listed here are news articles on the phenomenon of Internet dating.

Internet Demographics and Major Global Indices
What is the demographic composition of Internet users? The results may surprise you. Reports of countries on issues like population, capital, political rights, civil liberties, status and a ten-year ratings timeline.

Internet Governance
How and by whom is the Internet “Governed”?  Learn more about the organizations and structure that oversees how the Internet operates and grows, as well as the technical and political issues that may impact its future.

Internet of Things
The Internet of Things, a world of networked devices, aims at interconnecting all things electronic to make them more intelligent and programmable.

Internet Service Provider (ISP) Filtering
ISP-level filtering technology is slowly progressing, but the changing politics of Internet usage is undermining public support for censorship.

Internet Regulation
Can the Internet be regulated? Should the Internet be regulated? Examine the issues that are involved from a variety of positions.

Internet Taxation
Learn about the variety of proposals that have been made regarding Internet taxation–and the potential impact these proposals could have on eCommerce.

Knowledge Management
Research and news sources that focus on strategies and applications of Knowledge Management in the corporate world.

Leap Motion
The technology of leap motion controller, analogous to a mouse, has a very short history. This technology was founded and developed since 2010, and leap motion controllers have been used by customers in 2013.

Legislative Initiatives (including PIPA & SOPA)
Covers many different topics from Analog-to-digital TV, voice over IP, and several bills before the Senate and House of Representatives.

Location Based Technologies including Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and GPS
The evolution of SmartPhones and 4G mobile technology has resulted in an explosion of new mobile applications. Many of these mobile apps utilize information on a person’s location to provide geotargeted consumer information. In this section, learn more about location-based technologies, including Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and how they are being used by mobile applications today to provide new and exciting services to consumers and businesses.

M-Banking and Microfinance
The emergence of Mobile commerce, m-banking projects, and claims that mobile banking is taking over Internet banking.

Major Technology Trends
Top predictions and trends for emerging technology.

Malware and Spyware
This is a collection of articles about Spyware, Web bugs, invisible gifs and other unwanted malware. Malware statistics, protection, patches, and how to avoid expose to them.

Mobile Applications
The biggest technology trend over the past few years has been the explosion in the use of smartphones and tablets. This explosion in turn has resulted in the rapid development, deployment and usage of new mobile applications (mobile apps). In this section you will find information on where to find mobile apps and some of the ways that they are being used in healthcare, fitness, and other industries.

Municipal Broadband
Development of community and Government-sponsored broadband.

The means of assembling machinery and electronic devices on the molecular level. Not a technology to be overlooked!

National Broadband Plans & Universal Service
The national broadband plan and ideas on universal service.

Net Neutrality
What is net neutrality? Broadband Internet connectivity in general and network neutrality in particular regarding Internet Freedom.

Niagara Framework
The Niagara Framework is a universal software infrastructure that allows companies to easily build custom, Web-enabled applications for accessing, automating and controlling “smart” devices in real-time over the Internet.

One Laptop per Child (OLPC)
OLPC is a non-profit organization, based in the United States, with the goal of providing affordable laptop computers to the poorest children of the world. Using the laptops to stimulate education, OLPC hopes that this investment in human capital will pay off in the future as today’s children begin working tomorrow. Currently, OLPC provides children with the XO-1 model laptop, using many innovative techniques to streamline its construction and operating processes while keeping costs low. The OLPC laptops are notable for being open source projects.

Other Resources
Other useful websites related to information technology and eCommerce.

Outsourcing/Outsourcing IT Jobs
Seeking resources outside of an organizational structure, usually to save money and/or exploit the skills of another entity. –Webopedia. Is outsourcing bad for the economy?  Provides information about various points of view on this important topic.

Phishing and Spam
Phishing is an illegal attempt to acquire personal information such as usernames and passwords, bank account or credit card numbers, etc. This is a listing of resources related to spam that are available on the World Wide Web. All the links listed here are news articles/resources on spam.

Phishing is an attempt to acquire personal information such as usernames and passwords, bank account or credit card numbers, and so on. The term originated as a comparison between phishing for information by using false information as a motivator for a reply, and a fisherman attempting to lure fish with bait. This is most commonly conducted through e-mail, by attempting to pass off the phishing communication as legitimate. While the original attempts were fairly crude and easily detected, phishing attempts have become much more refined. Elaborate phishing operations now involve creating fake websites to go along with the fake e-mails, in an attempt to lure readers into a false sense of security.

Piracy & Napster Technology
A look at the trend toward illegal downloads.

Should the government step in to protect the privacy of individuals on the Internet? How much privacy can you really expect to have on the Internet?

Radio Satellites (News and Web Resources)
Resources on the subject of radio satellites.

Records Digitization
The process of converting other forms of records and information into digital media.

Digital records can be considered far more efficient than other forms, being potentially accessible from anywhere in the world, instantly. A problem that emerges, however, is having any consistency in the programs used to organize and store records – two networks may not be compatible, which offers problems for information sharing. An example of this would be medical records digitization, where one hospital or doctor’s office may not store information on systems that can be accessed by a competitor. There are also concerns that this will make data-mining easier, which is a growing concern in the medical field. Records Digitization is also the first step towards other potential endeavors, such as the concept of a digital hospital, a paperless facility using technology to streamline care provision.

Robotics is the branch of technology that deals with the design, construction, operation and application of robots and computer systems for their control, sensory feedback, and information processing. See how this fascinating technology is impacting society today and in the future.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Web Analytics
In this age of Internet marketing, high priority is set on getting visibility for an organization’s website and being able to measure the effectiveness of Internet campaigns. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural,” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”), search results. Web analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of Internet data for purposes of understanding and optimizing web usage. In this section learn some of the tricks of the trade organizations are utilizing to get high search rankings and measure the effectiveness of web marketing campaigns.

Smart Grid
The convergence of the utility industry with networking infrastructure.

Smartphones (iPhone, Android) & Tablets (iPad)
With Steve Jobs announcements of the iPhone in 2007 and the iPAD in 2010 the world has undergone a dramatic shift in the way itcommunicates and shares knowledge. Learn more about these technologies and theimpact they are having on society and people’s lives.

Social Networking
Provides information about this exciting technology that has become extremely popular worldwide.

Spectrum Management
Is the US managing spectrum allocation effectively? Why should we be concerned about how spectrum is being used?

Technology and Religion
The convergence of technology and religion with both positive and negative outcomes.

Technology Failures
As technology becomes an ever increasingly important elementof human lives the negative consequences of technology failure also escalating.This section gives some recent examples of technology failures and the impactthat they have had on people and public policy.

Trends, conventional wisdom, impact on the environment, and strategies to implement and maintian a telecommuting program.

How is information traveling throughout the world? How is this impacting our perceptions of geography?

The Georgia Tech DL Case
The Georgia Tech Masters degree in computer science is probably the only online course which is clearly able to deliver dramatic tuition savings. The typical degree costs over $30,000 and the online program, strongly buttressed by MOOCs, is available to matriculated students for about $8000. At least for now it is a paradigm for the technology tuition paradox – a positive result that deserves to be watched.

The World is Flat
Critical analyses of “The World is Flat” idea and lectures on globalization, TWIF and its critics.

Think Tanks
A listing of the most popular think tank web sites.

USA Patriot Act of 2001 (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001)
It has been over ten years since President George W. Bush signed the USA PATRIOT Act into law. See how this law is being utilized byfederal and state agencies today and the issues surrounding its enforcement.

Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality
Provides a thorough walk through of how virtual and augmented reality will work when they becomes a fully realized technology.

Conceptually, virtual reality describes a computer-created environment that a user can interact with. At the most basic, these environments are purely visual, but there have been attempts made to allow users to interact in other ways, such as adding auditory components or force feedback . While there can be many applications to entertainment, such as allowing moviegoers to immerse themselves in a more realistic environment, there are also many practical applications for virtual reality. In any case where computer simulation of an event would be much more preferable to actual reenactment for safety or monetary reasons, virtual reality can be greatly beneficial. The military, for example, has had a great deal of interest in virtual reality as a means of training and educating servicemen. Virtual reality can be used as a stepping stone towards operating real tools and machinery, or can be used to simulate combat environments too difficult to properly and safely reproduce for training.

Wearable Technology
With advances in wireless and sensors, the age of wearable technology is swiftly approaching. Can wearable technology go mainstream?

Web 3.0 & Beyond
What is the future of the Internet? Will Google and Facebookstill be around 5 years from now? Here are some ideas on where the web may beheaded and the impact this evolution will have on society.

Wikis are collections of user-modifiable web pages intended to showcase the collective knowledge of a community.

Wiki is a Hawaiian term for quick. On the internet, wikis are collections of user-modifiable web pages intended to showcase the collective knowledge of a community. They are designed to be easily edited and revised, with the assumption that the overall efforts of its users will filter out any content deemed inappropriate for the wiki’s purposes. The term originated in 1994, when Ward Cunningham first began work on WikiWikiWeb. They are usable for many purposes, for both small and large audiences. A small business can use a wiki as a means of storing and discussing information, whereas Wikipedia is an example of a global Wiki used as an extremely broad, online encyclopedia. However, because of the capability of any user to edit a wiki, whether or not their views are biased or neutral, wikis are not typically considered valid or authoritative sources of information for research purposes.

Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access.

IEEE 802.16 provides up to 50 km (31 miles) of linear service area range and allows users connectivity without a direct line of sight to a base station, the technology also provides shared data rates up to 70 Mbit/s. –Wikipedia