Culture and Society


Episode 108 Improving Humanity with Pamela Pavliscak

October 27, 2015

We often focus on improving user experience — making it easier for people to use the sites and products we create. But when do we get to focus on a bigger picture? Are we making true improvements to people's lives? Are they happier because they use our work? Pamela Pavliscak has been deeply researching this question. What does it take to improve humanity? How are different generations being affected differently? What will life look like for our children?

Episode 107 Being Tracked with Brett Gaylor

October 19, 2015

We've all known for many years that the websites we use keep track of who we are and what we are doing. Lately though, it seems like things have gotten out of control. Surveillance has gotten quite sophisticated and intrusive, and we've become more aware of what exactly we are giving up in exchange for being online. Is this a problem? How bad is it? What can we do?

In This Episode

  • What is tracking? What is being tracked? How is the data used?
  • Who cares if ads are personalized? What’s the problem?
  • Why should we care about privacy if we have nothing to hide?
  • How are these business models changing the web itself?
  • What is the role of VC funding in promoting corporate surveillance?
  • How does a data-driven system impact human creativity?
  • What are ethical concerns in collecting data?
  • Is tracking racist?
  • What about government surveillance?
  • What kind of tools exist to help us?
  • What does the future hold?

Episode 97 Archiving The Internet with Jason Scott

February 27, 2015

The Internet Archive is a treasure trove of digitized culture — films, software, audio, websites and more. How it it being collected, and how might the Internet Archive be our best hope for preserving the history of this era, as we invent the web? Jason Scott joins Jen Simmons to talk about the challenges of archiving in the digital age.

In This Episode

  • The strange collection of digital things that is the Internet Archive
  • What will it take to save website from disappearing long-term?
  • How do certain sites get saved?
  • How can companies or people better preserve our web heritage?
  • How digital files degrade faster and have a shorter shelf life than older forms of media.
  • How that affects archiving, and increases the need to preserve as much as possible, so that later, when humanity is able to determine what is important to still have, the files do exist and are accessible.

Episode 73 DRM with Jeremy Keith and Doug Schepers

June 13, 2014

DRM has been long touted as the solution to piracy. Recently, a few browser makers and big media companies have pushed DRM technology into the web browser — while open web advocates have fought to prevent DRM on the web. What is DRM? Why and how are companies putting it into web browsers? And what solutions would be better? Jeremy Keith and Doug Schepers join Jen Simmons to debate DRM on the web.

Episode 4 Fair Use & Copyright with Pat Aufderheide

October 7, 2011

Fair Use expert Pat Aufderheide joins Jen Simmons to explain when you can use other people's copyrighted material in your work.

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