Disclaimer: The opinions of the columnists are their own and not necessarily those of their employer.

Safety and the Airbag Supply Chain

– It came as quite a surprise to read that Toyota, Volkswagen, Fiat Chrysler, Mitsubishi and possibly other automakers “continue to sell new vehicles with defective Takata airbags” … see Hiroko Tabuchi’s article, “Airbags with Flaws Still Used in New Cars,” on the first Business Day page…

Facebook Fallibility—Algorithms vs. Judgment vs. Ourselves

– A front page article in the May 21, 2016 issue of The New York Times, by Mike Isaac has the title “At Facebook, Human Backup for Algorithms Proved Fallible.” The article describes how a team of Facebook leaders discussed how to “use human judgment to make algorithms better at finding news on…

Encryption and the Emperor’s New Clothes

– Everyone appears to be gobsmacked when it comes to encryption … techies, IT folks, infosec professionals, legislators, regulators and the public at large. After all, encryption algorithms have been developed by the brightest of mathematicians and computer scientists. But, apart from a few…

Lip Reading Computers … Here Comes HAL

– When I read about lip-reading computers in an article by Prachi Patel with the intriguing title “Machines Just Got Better at Lip Reading” available at http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/computing/software/machines-just-got-better-at-lip-reading , I was immediately reminded of HAL 9000, the…

Taxing Robots to Train Humans

– In the winter of 1994, I wrote a column with the title “Byte the Bullet: Tax Technology’s Returns” for a limited-distribution magazine called “Short Circuit” produced by Bill Livingston. The premise of the article was that a small tax should be applied to each personal computer sold. The…