An Analysis of Dominant Technology Companies

JP Jensen led the Club in case study discussion about the increasing concentration in the technology sector and whether this trend is increasing or diminishing innovation. Our discussion began with a look at a legal case involving Microsoft and their alleged attempts to put their own software ahead of other publishers. JP demonstrated to the group the difficult process of changing the default browser on Windows from Microsoft’s Edge to Google’s Chrome. Facebook’s increased acquisition of innovative tech startups was examined. We discussed several options for increasing technological innovation from the proposed break-up of technology companies to increased governmental oversight.

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The Dark Side of the Processor: An Inquiry into the Effects of Technology

On Wednesday, the IT Club discussed the impact technology has had on our productivity, the way we consume information, and our overall happiness. We explored the current state of technology addiction and zeroed in on the methods sites use to attract and retain users. Concluding the session, we asked about possible remedies to realign incentives for technology companies to produce high quality and valuable content. Here is an outline of our discussion.

Yahoo (Oath) Data Center Field Trip

After presenting to the IT Club last year, Zach Woodruff invited us to the Yahoo Data Center–now a Verizon company formally known as Oath–for a tour. We learned that this Center is one of three Oath facilities in the United States and serves as the global distribution center for IT assets headed to Yahoo’s global data centers. Walking among the stacks of computers, Woodruff explained that the hot, processed air pushed out by the computer is contained and cooled above the stack before being circulated into the facility–a industry leading design. This tour sparked a comparative analysis with the multiple-tenant Scott Data Center on the bus ride back.

Scott Data Center Field Trip

For this week’s meeting Ken Moreano, Executive Director of the Scott Data Center, gave the IT Club a tour of his facility at Aksarben. We learned about the Tier III certification the facility holds with its power and cooling requirements and the startup incubator connected to the data center. This tour is connected to our upcoming tour of the Yahoo Data Center.

Scott Data Center

Artificial Intelligence: An existential threat or groundbreaking technological advancement?

We continued our theme of case study based meetings this week with an inquiry into the current state of affairs for Artificial Intelligence technology. Grounded in three articles from The Economist and The Wall Street Journal, we discussed the implications of developing artificial intelligence technologies from its impact on the labor market to a possible threat to human livelihood. The discussion ended with some ideas about reforming the educational system to better equip workers in responding to the rapid pace of innovation.

See this document for an outline of our discussion.

The articles:

  1. To Keep Up With AI, We’ll Need High-Tech Brains
  2. Automation and anxiety: The impact on jobs
  3. Re-educating Rita: Education and policy

Introduction to Networks 10/25

Senior Jackson Panzer, our Content Curator, delivered an introductory presentation on networking during our October 25th meeting. Dr. Rzemyk was on hand for the approximately the first half hour and provided additional insights from an administrator’s perspective. Jackson covered topics such as the Mount Michael fiber infrastructure and individual networking components. The club discussed types of fiber, switches, hotspots/access points, and other networking devices. His presentation is here.

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