Upcoming Events: (In)Security in Home Embedded Devices (6/24); MOOCs and the Science of Learning (7/1)

June 18, 2014

berkman luncheon series

(In)Security in Home Embedded Devices

Tuesday, June 24, 12:30pm ET, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, 23 Everett St, 2nd Floor. This event will be webcast live.

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From Jim: We now wander in Best Buy, Lowes and on Amazon and buy all sorts of devices from thermostats, hi-fi gear, tablets, phones, and laptops or desktops as well as home routers to build our home networks. Most of these we plug in and forget about. But should we? "Familiarity Breeds Contempt: The Honeymoon Effect and the Role of Legacy Code in Zero-Day Vulnerabilities", by Clark, Fry, Blaze and Smith makes clear that ignoring these devices is foolhardy; unmaintained systems become more vulnerable, with time. Structural issues in the market make the situation yet worse, as pointed out in Bruce Schneier's Wired editorial in January: "The Internet of Things Is Wildly Insecure — And Often Unpatchable", which I instigated and fed Bruce the ammunition. "Binary blobs" used in these systems have the net effect of "freezing" software versions, often on many year old versions of system software. Even if update streams are available (which they seldom are), blobs may make it impossible to update to versions free of a vulnerability. There are immediate actions you can personally take, e.g. by running open source router firmware in your network, but fixing this problem generically will take many years, as it involves fundamental changes and an attitude change in how we develop and maintain embedded systems, and hardest, changes in business models to enable long term support of popular hardware.

Jim Gettys is an American computer programmer. He coined the term "bufferbloat" and has organized efforts to combat it in the Internet (see gettys.wordpress.com), and has been working on home routers. RSVP Required. more information on our website>

berkman luncheon series

MOOCs and the Science of Learning

Tuesday, July 1, 12:30pm ET, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, 23 Everett St, 2nd Floor. This event will be webcast live.

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Millions of learners on platforms like edX and Coursera are generating terabytes of data tracking their activity in real time. Online learning platforms capture extraordinarily detailed records of student behavior, and now the challenge for researchers is to explore how these new datasets can be used to advance the science of learning. This talk will examine current trends and future directions in research into online learning in large-scale settings.

Justin Reich is an educational researcher interested in the future of learning in a networked world. He is the Richard L. Menschel HarvardX Research Fellow, based in the Office of the President and Provost at Harvard University, exploring the possibilities and limits of online learning through the HarvardX platform. He is also a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and a visiting lecturer in the Scheller Teacher Education Program at MIT. RSVP Required. more information on our website>

berkman luncheon series

w4m: The End of the American Red Light District

Tuesday, July 8, 12:30pm ET, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, 23 Everett St, 2nd Floor. This event will be webcast live.

berkman

The history of the American red light district is quite brief – from railroad signal lights to hotel bathroom selfies – and clouded in myth. Soon it may be lost. In this talk, journalist Melissa Gira Grant (author of Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work) will reconsider how communication technologies shape sex-for-sale, proposing that sex work has merged with the network. We'll surveil the police, missionaries, media, and politicians who created and command this space, and discuss what we can learn from how sex workers have remained a step ahead.

Melissa Gira Grant is a writer and freelance journalist, covering sexuality, politics, and technology. Her book, Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work (Verso, 2014) challenges the myths about selling sex and those who make them. Her reporting and commentary appears in The Nation, Wired, The Atlantic, Glamour, The Guardian, In These Times, The Washington Post, Dissent, Slate, Salon, The American Prospect, Reason, Jezebel, and Valleywag, among other publications, and she is a contributing editor at Jacobin. RSVP Required. more information on our website>

video/audio

Leah Plunkett, Alicia Solow-Niederman, & Urs Gasser on K-12 Cloud-Based Ed Tech & Student Privacy in Early 2014

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Cloud-based ed tech facilitates educational innovation -- such as new connected learning frameworks -- but also poses privacy challenges as more and more potentially sensitive data about students goes into the cloud. In this talk the Student Privacy Initiative team presents recommendations from their recent report, Framing the Law & Policy Picture: A Snapshot of K-12 Cloud-Based Ed Tech & Student Privacy in Early 2014, to guide policy and decision-makers at the school district, local, state, and federal government levels as they consider cloud-based ed tech. video/audio on our website>

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See our events calendar if you're curious about future luncheons, discussions, lectures, and conferences not listed in this email. Our events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted.

Last updated June 19, 2014

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