History Lessons: 250 Years of the IT Industry in Britain

Question Time Panel at 'Learning from History', BCS, 17 February 2022 The Archives of IT (AIT) held a two-hour seminar on 17 February 2022 in collaboration with the British Computer Society (BCS) and the Computer Conservation Society (CCS). It was entitled ‘Learning from History: Reflections on the past and future of the British IT Industry’. … Continue reading History Lessons: 250 Years of the IT Industry in Britain

Douglas Engelbart in a Flow of Inspirations

Douglas Carl Engelbart (1925-2013) is cited most prominently for his 1968 “Mother of All Demos”. He introduced his team’s research program by using of an early time-sharing computer system, what he called an “oN-Line System” (NLS), that used a “mouse” to support human interaction with the computer. For example, as you can see from his … Continue reading Douglas Engelbart in a Flow of Inspirations

Could History be the New, New Thing? Archiving

Could History be the New, New Thing: Archiving Could it be that the digerati are beginning to wonder about the origins of such ‘innovations’ as video communication, AI, remote work, and more? Are they discovering that all these innovations have a long history in the development of information and communication technologies (ICTs)?  These questions arose … Continue reading Could History be the New, New Thing? Archiving

Robots: Commentary by A. Michael Noll

REIN IN THE CLOUD REJOICE IN THE ROBOTS [The following commentary is authored by A. Michael Noll, and posted with the permission of the author. It illustrates the disagreement among experts on the social implications of new technologies, such as robotics, AI, cloud computing, and the Internet, demonstrating the value of continued research on the … Continue reading Robots: Commentary by A. Michael Noll

Get Back to the Classroom

Get Back to the Classroom Given continuing uncertainties about the COVID pandemic and its variants, it is understandable that many universities are not in a position as yet to commit to in-person, face-to-face, teaching and a return to normality on college and university campuses. This is particularly the case for those individuals – teachers and … Continue reading Get Back to the Classroom

Value Tradeoffs for a Cashless Society

A recent news story (Sunday Times 6 June 2021) highlighted the potential for Sweden to lead the way to a ‘cashless’ future.[1] Not surprising in the context of so many observable trends moving in this direction. However, it reminded me of the early forecasts of a cashless society that were debated in the 1970s, and sense, … Continue reading Value Tradeoffs for a Cashless Society

Communicate! Reach Out, Inform, and Entertain

Communicate! Reach Out, Inform, and Entertain Way too much talk, research, and handwringing are all about how to stop people from seeing or believing disinformation, such as the latest conspiracy theories. But pushing governments and platforms or anyone to censor information is not only ineffective in the digital age, but also likely to be dysfunctional … Continue reading Communicate! Reach Out, Inform, and Entertain

COVID-19 and the Future of Higher Education

Time to Develop an Ambitious Research Agenda Universities are in the process of telling faculty, students, parents, and the larger public about how they intend to respond to the pandemic of COVID-19.[1] Many decisions have been taken about how classes will be held in the coming academic year. In this context, educators are discussing how they … Continue reading COVID-19 and the Future of Higher Education

Society and the Internet

The COVID-19 pandemic has driven the Internet and related social media and digital technologies to the forefront of societies across the globe. Whether in supporting social distancing, working at home, or online courses, people are increasingly dependent on online media for everyday life and work. If you are teaching courses on the social aspects of … Continue reading Society and the Internet

To Be Virtual or Not to Be: That is Not the Question

Today’s newspapers have wonderfully conflicting stories. One story is about Ministers of Parliament (MPs) in the UK being angry over their ‘virtual parliament’ coming to an end.* The other story is the opposite, about the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, facing criticism from his Cabinet because they are continuing to meet via online video conferencing rather … Continue reading To Be Virtual or Not to Be: That is Not the Question