Spam: A Shadow History of the Internet
Have you ever gotten an email and wondered why on earth it arrived in your inbox? This hour on Focus, Jack Brighton talks with Finn Brunton about why spam plagues us all.
It all started in 1970’s with noncommercial computer networks that became the internet and then continued to develop during the dot.com boom in the 1990’s. Today, the country’s most brilliant computer programmers are trying to fight it.
This hour on Focus, Jack Brighton talks with author Finn Brunton about the rise of internet spam. Interestingly enough, internet spam is called spam because of a Monty Python skit. And, while the skit is hilarious, the unwanted emails and messages from advertisers, marketers, identity thieves, bots, con artists and hackers are not. Today on Focus, we’ll learn about what spam really is, how it works and what it means. As Brunton argues in his new book “Spam: A Shadow History of the Internet,” spam can show us how online communities can develop governance for themselves and how transforming technology can have unintended consequences.
Nanotechnology works to understand the physics, chemistry and biology of nanoscale objects. Simply put, it’s the study of things that are very, very, very small. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about nanotechnology and developments being made when it comes to nanomanufacturing here at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Irfan Ahmad, Executive Director of Nanoscale Science and Technology at the UIUC and Engineering Professor Placid Ferreira, who studies nanotechnologies and manufacturing, will be here. We’ll talk with them about how certain elements behave quite differently on the nanoscale than they do in larger quantities and how that opens the doors to virtually limitless possibilities. Cell phone in a made to order size? It’s could happen.
There are also health concerns and risks many are worried about when it comes to using nanotechnology. We’ll talk those over too during this hour on Focus.
Cyber-security breaches at Apple, Microsoft, The New York Times, Twitter and Facebook are all just part of the growing concern in the US about computer hacking. Protecting digital information is quickly becoming a top priority for businesses and individuals, especially as computers and digital technologies play an increasingly important role in our lives when it comes to things education and banking.
Who are the hackers? How are they getting into our computers and why? This hour on Focus we talk with to University of Illinois Chief Privacy and Security Officer Michael Corn and Computer Science Professor Roy Campbell about cyber security.