Who’s responsible when a driverless car has an accident?

Who’s responsible for an accident needs to be considered now rather than when we’re scrambling to implement laws

Who’s responsible when a driverless car has an accident?We haven’t reached the point where driverless vehicles ply our roadways. However, as a recent incident on an Alberta highway demonstrates, we might be edging closer. How close are automakers to producing such a vehicle and, more importantly, how close are lawmakers to allowing an artificial-intelligence-driven vehicle on city streets? The industry has a six-tier…

Gagging social media won’t halt criticism

Donald Trump recently lashed out at Twitter, claiming the company was interfering with his freedom of speech

Gagging social media won’t halt criticismThe First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Section 2…

Manage provincial debt by controlling Crown projects

In Newfoundland and several other provinces, major power projects have created huge public debt

Manage provincial debt by controlling Crown projectsThe province of Newfoundland and Labrador is staring bankruptcy in the eye, according to recent news reports. There are a variety of reasons, which are typical for provincial politics. Politicians hate to cut services, love to cut taxes and hate to increase taxes because voters react to all of those things. Politicians aren’t leaders, they’re…

Stop fretting about social media giants and build a competitor

If enough people band together, they can finance a new platform. This is a free and open market

Stop fretting about social media giants and build a competitorAgainst the frenzy of inaccurate and manipulative information consistently roaring through social media sites, the companies that manage these sites – like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter – have been trying to combat misinformation. However, they always seem to be two steps behind. Initially, in an effort to keep up with the sheer volume of material,…

We must manage the Internet of things with care

Who will ensure devices have been tested thoroughly and are secure? Who will ensure our privacy is protected?

We must manage the Internet of things with careBack in the early 1990s, I came across a story about a Coke machine that you could query from anywhere on the Internet and it would tell you the temperature of the drinks, the last time it was stocked and how full it was. The machine was in the computer science department of Carnegie Mellon…

We need to manage the Uber revolution more carefully

The opportunity to augment your income is appealing in an economy that has left so many people far behind

We need to manage the Uber revolution more carefullyTaxis have been commonplace in our cities for decades and – in some cases – centuries. We need to apply the lessons we’ve learned to the ride-sharing revolution. The first documented coach for hire was in 1621, in London, England. It only took 33 years for there to be enough issues that parliament passed a…

Taking offence for all the wrong reasons

Why can't we just say what we mean and leave off the attention-seeking hyperbole?

Taking offence for all the wrong reasonsThe pressing need to create an existential crisis on every topic has gripped both our media outlets and social media sites. Serious words have been stripped of all meaning. It’s impossible to have a practical discussion on any topic on social media. Some outlets, in an effort to be heard and seen above the cacophony,…

Protect yourself against the rising tide of tech-based scams

Just like we change the batteries in our smoke detectors annually, so should we change all our passwords

Protect yourself against the rising tide of tech-based scams“There’s a sucker born every minute,” 19th-century showman P.T. Barnum reportedly said. In fact, the notion predates Barnum – and is just as applicable in the modern era. Con artists take advantage of our default desire to trust. They know how to manipulate people into doing something that under normal circumstances they should be wary…

Senior citizens become drug mules as the result of a growing scam

Who is a customs agent more likely to search: a 70-year-old granny carrying a bag of sweets or a scruffy 25-year-old guy?

Senior citizens become drug mules as the result of a growing scamThere are three main methods con men use to trick their mark. They try to gain their sympathy, take advantage of greed, or threaten or extort. If you’re in the wrong frame of mind, your critical thinking skills might shut down. You see and hear what the con man wants you to. But if a…

Should the social media companies be considered monopolies?

How do we regulate the marketplace of ideas without compromising free speech?

Should the social media companies be considered monopolies?Are big social media tech companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter monopolies? It’s a reasonable question since more and more they’ve come to control the public discussion of ideas. But the answer is not nearly simple. Based on active user counts, Facebook only has 36 per cent of the social network market share. But…

As cyber wars erupt, Canada must protect itself

If Canada is serious about standing as a sovereign entity, it would make sense to support our tech companies to ensure our security

As cyber wars erupt, Canada must protect itselfThe United States is pressuring Canada to block telecommunications companies from using equipment provided by Chinese company Huawei when building our 5G cellular network for smartphones. The U.S. logic is along the lines of “We don’t have actual evidence that China is using Huawei’s products to spy on us, but we suspect that they have…

Broadcasting our private lives, one hack at a time

Through a combination of cyber laziness, poor practices by vendors and manufacturers and lax security, we're all exposed

Broadcasting our private lives, one hack at a timeWithin the traditionally sacred walls of our homes, we felt safe from prying eyes. Once the curtains were drawn and the doors shut, we felt we could say and do things we might not in public. But are we really alone? The revelation that a Russian-based website is streaming live video from thousands of security…

Building Internet walls to protect data could penalize users

There are billions of Internet users and every corporation has a virtual finger in the pie. But privacy laws differ widely

Building Internet walls to protect data could penalize usersGeneral data protection regulations (GDPR) sound like something that the average person needs to know nothing about. On the contrary, these rules affect us on a day-to-day basis. For the last 20 years, most jurisdictions have had similar requirements regarding corporations maintaining the privacy of their consumers’ data. The differences were more to do with…

Get smart: we need a 21st-century electrical grid system

Smart grids liberate customers from an outdated business model and allow free enterprise to provide options and services

Get smart: we need a 21st-century electrical grid systemIt’s time for our electrical grid system to get smart. More precisely, it’s time for a smart grid. Our electrical system consists of power-producing plants (coal, natural gas, oil, solar, wind, nuclear and hydro) and consumers of electricity (houses, schools, commercial buildings and industrial plants). The producing plants generate electricity based upon anticipated demand, always…

Switchin’ to glide: manual control a must in self-driving cars

The cars of the future will remove the human component, driving more safely and efficiently – until something goes wrong

Switchin’ to glide: manual control a must in self-driving carsAuto technology has steadily taken more control from drivers and the cars of the future are almost here. So it's time to talk about how that future should be shaped and managed. And how humans must maintain ultimate control. One hundred years ago, we started cars with a hand crank. Fifty years ago, we manually…