Thursday, February 23, 2012

"Cars that drive themselves"

Always at the cutting edge of risky behavior, Nevada has "released draft rules to govern self-driving cars, which it has approved for testing on its public roads" (Cars that drive themselves, MSN Money, February 22, 2012). The car will have to have a sober, licensed driver behind the wheel. But it'll be legal to text while driving.

Thanks to Donald Searing for bringing this to my attention.

Ken Pimple, PAIT Project Director

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Google to Sell Heads-Up Display Glasses by Year’s End"

The New York Times brings us information of a product whose time has come: Google to Sell Heads-Up Display Glasses by Year’s End by Nick Bilton (February 21, 2012). Augmented reality is on its way.

Read the comments, too.

Ken Pimple, PAIT Project Director

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Privacy in your car, online, in your pocket, in your back yard

A cluster of articles in the New York Times highlight a number of technologies, practices, and laws that threaten our privacy. Taken in chronological order:
  1. Private Snoops Find GPS Trail Legal to Follow by Erik Eckholm (January 28, 2012). The good news is that on January 23, 2012, "the Supreme Court held that under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, placing a GPS tracker on a vehicle is a search," meaning that the police will have to get a warrant to do so. The bad news is that the a mere $300 can let you buy "a device no bigger than a cigarette pack, attach it to a car without the driver’s knowledge and watch the vehicle’s travels — and stops — at home on your laptop." You can easily keep track of your teenager, your spouse, your business rival, a potential victim. In some of these cases it would be legal, in others not; but it would be so easy to do and so hard to get caught. (See also Privacy, Technology and Law by Barry Friedman (January 28, 2012) for more on recent Supreme Court decisions.)

  2. Should Personal Data Be Personal? by Somini Sengupta (February 4, 2012). Whether it should be, it isn't; rather it's a commodity so valuable that "In the United States alone, companies spend up to $2 billion a year to collect" data we routinely share on the Internet. Differing cultural attitudes toward privacy - splitting Europe and the U.S., for example - make it difficult or impossible to regulate the ways that international enterprises can collect and use personal data online.

  3. Mobile Apps Take Data Without Permission by Nicole Perlroth and Nick Bilton (February 15, 2012). "Companies that make many of the most popular smartphone apps for Apple and Android devices — Twitter, Foursquare and Instagram among them - routinely gather the information in personal address books on the phone and in some cases store it on their own computers." That we now know about this is a step forward.

  4. Drones Set Sights on U.S. Skies by Nick Wingfield and Somini Sengupta (February 17, 2012). But in a step backward, a new Federal law requires the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to allow commercial use of drones - small, remote controlled, inexpensive aerial surveillance devices.
    “As privacy law stands today, you don’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy while out in public, nor almost anywhere visible from a public vantage,” said Ryan Calo, director of privacy and robotics at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford University. “I don’t think this doctrine makes sense, and I think the widespread availability of drones will drive home why to lawmakers, courts and the public.”
It's a brave new world out there. Or will be soon.

Ken Pimple, PAIT Project Director

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Call for abstracts: 5th World Congress on Social Media, Mobile Apps, Internet and Web 2.0 in Medicine, Health, Biomedical Research

Call for Abstracts
Medicine 2.0'12 @ Harvard, Boston 
Sept 15-16, 2012 

Medicine 2.0 is the annual academic World Congress on Social Media in Medicine and Health, this year with a new focus on mobile health applications. Last years' 2011 World Congress at Stanford was attended by 450 participants from 26 countries, with over 100 speakers, and sold out.

Medicine 2.0 is about the future of medicine using emerging technologies such as mobile apps, social media and Internet-based approaches for public health and medicine, and looks beyond the hype of other health 2.0 conferences, by focussing on an evidence-based, data driven approach. Medicine 2.0 is the only conference in this area with a research focus (although we also have a practice and a business track).

Full papers of conference presentations can be PubMed-indexed and may be eligible for publication in the leading ehealth/mhealth journal, the Journal of Medical Internet Research (Impact Factor: 4.7).

As a published researcher or potential speaker in this field we hope that you will submit an abstract in the following areas:
  • Blogs and Twitter in Health 
  • Building virtual communities and social networking applications for health professionals
  • Building virtual communities and social networking applications for patients and consumers
  • Business models in a Health 2.0 / Web 2.0 environment
  • Science 2.0, collaborative biomedical research, academic / scholarly communication, publishing and peer review
  • Consumer empowerment, patient-physician relationship, and sociotechnical issues
  • Ethical & legal issues, confidentiality and privacy
  • Health information on the web: Supply and Demand
  • Innovative RSS/XML applications and Mashups
  • Personal health records and Patient portals
  • Public (e-)health, population health technologies, behavior change applications
  • Digital Disease Detection and Biosurveillance using Twitter and other social media/mhealth/Internet sources
  • The Quantified Self: tracking behavior and health
  • Search, Collaborative Filtering and Recommender Technologies
  • Semantic Web ("Web 3.0") applications
  • The nature and dynamics of social networks in health
  • Usability and human factors on the web
  • Virtual (3D) environments, Second Life
  • Web 2.0 approaches for behaviour change and public health
  • Web 2.0 approaches for clinical practice, clinical research, quality monitoring
  • Web2.0-based medical education and learning
  • Wikis
  • Business modelling in eHealth
  • Communities in health care
  • Digital Learning
  • e-Coaching
  • Health disparities
  • Human-Computer Interface (HCI) Design
  • Online decision technology
  • Participatory health care
  • Persuasive communication and technology
  • mHealth Applications
  • Ubiquitous, pervasive ehealth; domotics; Internet of things
  • New and emerging Technologies
For more information: