The Creep Factor: Remarketing and the Customized Shopping Experience

  Many of our wallets are significantly lighter after Black Friday. But we’re still receiving emails and seeing ads on every webpage that remind us of the goods we managed to not purchase by exercising some control. I get emails with such personal, albeit amusing, subject titles that I often wonder if there is someone […]

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What Computer Science Tells Us About Technology and the Job Market

  Technology engulfs our lives. Since the birth of the steam engine in the 1830s, we haven’t looked back. However, the excitement that marked the unprecedented profits brought on by the Industrial Revolution slowly transformed into unease about the future of manual labor. Today technology critics, economists, and policy makers alike are concerned with the […]

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Digital Assistants, Privacy, and the Infinite Loop

Digital assistants are idealized as the ultimate technological tool, built to make our lives easier. Apple’s Siri, Google’s Home, and Amazon’s Alexa are the most popular “intelligence” assistants with ever increasing features—managing the lighting and temperature of one’s home, placing online orders, and pretty much offering a plethora of information at one’s disposal. The ad […]

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Amazon.com is Perfecting the Art of Caching (or Cashing-in?)

“Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge, you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.”—Sherlock Holmes Caching (pronounced “cash-ing”) in Computer Science is a method of speeding up performance by providing a temporary […]

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The Heart of Computer Science: Demystifying Sorting

Sorting is the ordering of objects in a list, with emphasis on “ordering.” We often instinctively associate sorting with alphabetizing—and this is only natural because hearing our name read out from an alphabetically-arranged list is one of our first exposures to the concept of sorting. However, one can order items by date, size, location, etc. […]

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