Is Full-Time Telecommuting a Good or Bad Thing?

For the longest time, many workers complained about commuting to work. On top of a long work day at the office, they also had to lose time while being stuck in traffic or commuting by other means. Between work and commuting, there was hardly any time in the day to do anything of personal benefit.

But then this situation started to change. With the growth of the Internet and the ability to communicate electronically from practically any geographic location, no longer was it necessary for workers to be tied down to their desks at their companies’ offices.

To make life easier for their employees, some enlightened companies began to offer some flexibility. Workers periodically, sometimes even a day or two per week, could telecommute from home. Thus, the number days they would need to commute into the office would be cut down to a fair extent.

Now, however, we are entering into a new paradigm. Companies are closing down offices and are requiring some employees to work remotely full-time. This is not necessarily being done simply for the non-commuting advantage of the workers. Instead, given the fact that employees truly can do almost all of their work tasks remotely, employers want to shed the overhead of maintaining offices, for great company cost-savings.

Does this play out well for full-time, remote employees? Continue reading

Drones: The Next Big Thing!

There have been several technological paradigm shifts over the past few decades. First, there was the personal computer. Next came the Internet and worldwide technological/communications access across the globe. And now, we have drones.

So what is a drone? It’s commonly defined as an unmanned aerial aircraft. But drones really are much more.

Of course, drones started with military applications. They have been used for espionage, delivery of materials, and for military attacks.

After that, the use of drones initially bypassed commercial applications and were used for personal endeavors. It has been very common, for example, for people to use drones to film events and places from up above.
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Online Holiday Shopping Is Here to Stay

Once upon a time, holiday shopping meant schlepping from one store to another, braving traffic and crowds, with the hope of finding the perfect gifts for our families and friends. Countless hours and hassles later, we finally collected our stash of presents.

But with the advent of Amazon and other online shopping sites more than 10 years ago came the prospect of buying holiday gifts right from home.

At first, there was trepidation. Was it safe to shop online? Was it OK to share credit card information on the Internet? Would ordered gifts actually arrive? Could they be returned when appropriate? Continue reading

Happy TechGiving!

With modern air travel, it is possible to visit family members and dear friends who live in other parts of the country for Thanksgiving. Indeed, Thanksgiving week is the busiest time of year for airlines and airports.

It is not uncommon for people to think twice about Thanksgiving travel, given the crowds and commotion. And now, much of the country is socked in with blizzards, massive snows, and temperatures well below freezing. These conditions make travel even more daunting, if not impossible in some circumstances. Continue reading

Dangerous Technology Requires Old-Fashioned Diplomatic Solution

In these blogs over the years, we have covered many of the fantastic advantages of high technology. Unfortunately, though, tech also can be used for unsavory purposes, to put it mildly. Indeed, with tech, mankind has developed new and different ways to kill other people. As an example, fairly recently a Malaysia Airlines jetliner carrying civilians was shot out of the sky, apparently by an advanced missile.
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Veterans Day: One WWII Vet Lives Long and Goes Tech

Today is Veterans Day. We have much to be thankful for in terms of the valuable service dedicated to our country by our veterans. I want to take the opportunity in this blog to talk about one amazing veteran in particular.

Phil Economon just celebrated his 97th birthday. He still is going strong, working out in the gym, driving his car, and living independently in the house that he has owned for years. Phil is a dear friend and a mentor to me. On numerous occasions Phil has provided indispensable wisdom, counsel and advice to me, and to other people who know and count on Phil. Indeed, when in doubt, we always go by this mantra: “Do what Phil would do.” Continue reading

The Skies Are Still Friendly, Despite Virgin Galactic Crash

First, we took to the air by hot air balloon. Next, we went even higher via ever-developing aircraft. Astronauts then made their way into outer space and even to the moon.

And now, with the advent of Virgin Galactic, there has been the prospect of non-astronauts going into outer space in a new-age space plane. Indeed, more than 700 celebrity non-astronauts have reserved seats on Virgin Galactic with tickets costing $250,000 a piece.

Unfortunately, as we know, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo recently crashed in the Mojave Desert. It is easy to think that this calamity, along with prior notable aviation accidents, means that it is not safe to fly. Is that true? Read on. Continue reading

Cyberwarfare Is Here; Is the U.S. Prepared?

Practically every aspect of life now takes place in cyberspace in addition to in the traditional world we know. While at first blush that generally may sound like a good thing, warfare now also takes place online as part of real conflicts, and not just in the realm of computer games.

U.S. Strategy; Sectors at Risk

As The Wall Street Journal has reported, U.S. military planning considers cyberattacks to constitute acts of war, just like traditional acts of war. Accordingly, cyberwarfare currently is part of U.S. military strategy, not only as part of cyber defense, but also as a platform for attacks. And prominent American lawmakers have been warning that the threat of a major attack on U.S. telecommunications and computer networks is greatly on the rise.

U.S. intelligence officials even have indicated that cyberwarfare, for the first time, is considered a larger threat than Al Qaeda and standard acts of terrorism. This is not altogether surprising, given that President Barack Obama has declared America’s digital infrastructure to be a strategic national asset.

A number of critical sectors of the U.S. economy are at risk from cyberwarfare. These sectors include banking and finance, transportation, manufacturing, medical, education, and government — all of which are dependent on computers and online communications and information for their daily operations.

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High-Tech Violations of International Human Rights

The United Nations was born in the aftermath of the atrocities committed leading up to World War II. The United Nations Charter is plain in its support for the development of international human rights protection.

The most fundamental human right is the right not to be killed by another human being.

Indeed, Article 6.1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, for example, provides: “Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.”
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The Failure of International Organizations to Prevent War

World War I was supposed to be the “war to end all wars.” And the League of Nations and the subsequent United Nations were designed to keep countries at peace. But unfortunately, wars are still part of the international landscape, including the emerging threat of cyberwarfare.

As the UN prepares to celebrate its 69th anniversary October 24, let’s take a look at how it and the League of Nations have tried — and often failed — to prevent conflict between nations. Continue reading