Spring 2018

The Rising Threat of the Internet of Things

Javen Zamojcin

Javen ZamojcinIn today’s society, what are we willing to sacrifice in exchange for convenience through technology? As technology evolves, becomes smarter, and invades more aspects of our lives, we gain not only convenience but also risks. This new wave of technology is referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT). The Internet of Things, by definition, is a paradigm envisioning the interconnection and cooperation of smart devices over the internet infrastructure (Ziegeldorf). The Internet of Things includes a large spectrum of devices, ranging from self-driving cars, price-monitoring thermostats, to mile-counting Garmin watches. This rapid expansion of technology has proven to be very beneficial not only  to  consumers, but also to industry. However, in exchange for these advancements in technology, we have sacrificed security and our right to privacy. Due to the lack of regulating government standards, companies and communities have taken the implementation of security into their own hands. However, the security protocol currently implemented relies on whatever a manufacturer deems as “secure enough,” which is often unsatisfactory. Because of this loose security, many issues have developed and will continue to do so, threatening the communities associating with the Internet of Things. There is, nevertheless, a solution. Increasing government regulation of the implementation of security in the Internet of Things will reduce the growing number of threats associated with these devices….

 


Echoes of Misinformation

Colton Stanislawski

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The idea of an “echo chamber” is a rather new development. The term refers to a group of peopleor an organization that controls a groups’ media, potentially leading to the absence of dissenting or external views. Arguably, echo chambers have existed before, but they have most recentlygained attention and notoriety due to their relevance in today’s political climate. The United States’ most recent presidential election revealed that echo chambers changed the way that many people thought about the candidates and dissenting views. The issues brought about by echo chambers are numerous, and they mainly affect the average person. The average person in the US experiences echo chambers for numerous reasons, with the blame falling both on them as well as those controlling the media. One concept is certain though. Echo chambers have become a topic of great concern for the public because of their rise in pertinence, the growth of media control over information, their ubiquity, and their dangerous effects….

 


My Dog Ate My Computer

Anders Erik Palarz

c0098-e886ac_d2f390e62ab24ba58f9f53f071c4a474mv2Every professor has heard it before: “My dog ate my homework,” “I left my book at home,” or even “It blew away in the wind!” It seems, however, that in recent times these excuses are no longer valid. With the new push for technology in the classroom, students are not given the easy opportunities to justify their absence of homework. Instead, the pleas have shifted to “my computer crashed,” or “our wifi went out at home.” It is simply stunning how the fast changes in technology over the years have significantly altered educational environments. One of the many outcomes of this technology shift has been the introduction of online learning, where students can take the same courses from anywhere at anytime and still achieve what is believed to be the same educational value. These courses are flexible and convenient to the student, allowing them to work on their own accord. In theory, this style seems to be an idealistic implementation in the future of tech-based learning, yet researchers are starting to raise questions about its true merit. Without the social interaction acquired in a traditional classroom environment, the questions revolve around social, collaborative, and community values. How has the increase in technology impacted the value of face to face learning? How can we balance the way technology is incorporated in education? With the changing technology culture surrounding education, administrators should implement systems of blended learning environments to balance the needs of growing technological advances and the necessity of face to face interaction….

 


Isle Royale Wolves: A Brief Discussion of Their Current Dilemma

John Baker

John BakerIsle Royale has arguably captured the imagination of just about everyone that has visited, myself included. It is a rugged, isolated paradise surrounded by the largest body of freshwater in the world. It was once a refuge for a unique predator-prey relationship that has defined certain areas of ecological sciences for half a century. The wolf-moose dynamic on Isle Royale has been the basis of a decades long study that has led to information regarding how an ecosystem declines without an apex predator or with an overabundance of large prey. Unfortunately, the wolves have all disappeared from the island, leaving the moose to grow unchecked. At this point, saving the wolf population is no longer an option. However, a reintroduction has been recommended by many expert researchers such as Rolf Peterson, a veteran wolf researcher on Isle Royale. This proposition has sparked a debate about the ethics and logistics involved in the suggested reintroduction, creating a halt on any plans to restore wolves. Because of the inaction of the past several years caused by this argument, conditions on Isle Royale have grown much worse than they were in the past. Wolves are no longer at a point of genetic rescue and the moose are becoming unhealthy themselves. The moose are also decimating the vegetation on the island due to overfeeding, as well as destroying habitat for aquatic species such as turtles. All of this was evident when I visited the island in July of 2017. Isle Royale will continue to struggle and decline as an ecosystem due to a lack of population control on the moose and ecological imbalance unless wolves are reintroduced….


Social Media: The World’s Newest Source of Profit

Breeanne Heusdens

cfd02-e886ac_4a0267927ed44825be8e02666f46b6c7mv2_d_1535_2048_s_2In the modern era, the influence of social media is nearly inescapable. It seems that no one is immune to the internet, with everyone from kids to cats having an account on a social media site. There has always been argument on how social media should be used, and the use of social media by businesses is no exception. Social media is beneficial to businesses overall. Due to the widespread use of social media, small businesses could be able to achieve visibility, sustainability, improved business practice, low cost advertising, and communication with customers….


Introducing Recycled Plastics into Big Industry

Nick Maitrejean

f0830-e886ac_bbd91fa820ba4af08d40b1ba8bb59fc9mv2_d_2320_3088_s_2Up until now, the automotive industry has relied mainly on first generation parts; that is, parts originally designed for that purpose and not from recycled materials. As we move into a world that is pushing recycled materials to save the planet, the automotive industry could provide a huge source for using recycled materials. Other industries are already using recycled plastic to recreate objects, such as water bottles or trash cans, and are making small decreases on the amount of waste in the world. Other people have taken advantage of the opportunity to use current technology to develop recycled plastic objects such as the man who made a skateboard out of plastic bags (Stock, 2017). If there was a way to initiate plastic recycling into automotive companies, it would be a huge advancement in the abilities of recycling. This paper will discuss the general process of recycling plastic, the durability of these plastics, and compare the durability to existing materials used in the automotive industry. As these topics primarily discuss the positive outcomes of this idea, discussion concludes with the complications of implementing recycled plastic into vehicles. Current technology has increased the ease of recycling plastic than in previous decades, which could cause the automotive industry to consider adopting the idea of recycled plastic in vehicles if they were able to harness the technology. Transitioning these materials into current industries positively influences our world as it reduces environmental harm….


Implications of Extracorporeal Support

Katelyn Ramthun

2114b-e886ac_f0ea1e31a80440e7be44d227e30b21d2mv2_d_1677_1678_s_2The goal of the medical profession is to save as many lives as possible.  As technology and research advance, doctors are becoming more capable of saving lives that they would earlier have not been able to save.  More specifically, in regard to prenatal care, developers hope to create a technology that will allow premature babies to be placed in a womb-like device sometime in the next five to ten years (Cookson, 2017).  Extracorporeal support, otherwise known as an artificial womb, is relatively new to medical development. Extracorporeal support would offer health benefits for both the mother and baby. Coupled with the benefits there are, of course, ethical and legal concerns that arise. The benefits and drawbacks will need to be extensively evaluated to find the proper balance between right and wrong. To use the technology effectively, guidelines need to be put in place so that extracorporeal support is only used when necessary….

 


The Ethics of Biochemistry

Ethan Burghardt

dac22-e886ac_7fa40de458b540a2ba8c8e8951c98380mv2With recent advances in biochemistry, it is becoming increasingly difficult to determine what is considered ethical and what should remain morally impermissible. It is clear that scientific advances are permissible as long as they are always beneficial and do not have the potential to be harmful. This conclusion can be drawn from past benefits of biochemistry, ethical codes of current institutions, and the consensus of experts in biochemistry….