The Gift of Fire

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A Gift of Fire:
Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues for Computing and the Internet (Third edition)
by Sara Baase

Presentation Assignments and Class Discussion Topics for Chap. 1: Unwrapping the Gift

General instructions given to students
The presentations should analyze the situation, use analogies and similar cases where possible, mention various possible risks or consequences, etc. Include some discussion of how the new technology changes the situation. What advantages or problems result from using it, compared to the old way of doing things? Present the group's proposals and/or conclusions, supported by arguments.

Asmt. 1: A Code of Ethics and Etiquette for Cell Phone Use (Exercise 1.23) Groups 1 and 2: Do the same assignment independently.
Asmt. 2: Text-messaging in 6000 languages?
Text-messaging is slow and tedious, hence not used much, without predictive software that reduces the number of key taps needed to enter a word. Predictive software is currently available for about 80 of the world's more than 6000 languages. In some countries where texting the country's language is cumbersome, people text in English. Group 3: Will most of the world's languages disappear in the near future if they cannot be used for texting? Give your reasons. Group 4: Your company makes predictive software for about 200 languages. Give a presentation to convince a cell phone company to buy your software and install it on all their phones. Group 5: Your cell phone company currently provides predictive software for 20 widely-spoken languages and has declined to buy the 200-language predictive software. Give your reasons. Asmt. 3: Book readers for blind people

Organizations for blind people argue that all book and document readers (such as the Kindle, Nook, etc.) should have features that read material aloud, and, they argue, such features should be made easy for blind people to use. Several major brands do not meet these requirements. Suppose the administration of a...
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