Illinois law currently bans employers from asking employees and prospective employees for their social media passwords, but there is a bill in the Illinois House that would change that. This hour on Focus, we'll talk about the bill and larger issues it raises when it comes to digital privacy.
House Bill 1047, currently under consideration in the Illinois House of Representatives, would make it legal for employers to ask employees for their personal social media passwords. Under legislation that took effect July 1, 2012, it’s currently against the law to do so. According to some, it’s a severe violation of privacy for employers to be able to ask for social media account information, but State Representative Jim Durkin defends the bill saying that employers need to have agency to protect themselves against threats and theft. He also says that as the bill is written, employers can’t take action against employees who refuse to share their information.
This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about the intersection of digital privacy and the workplace. Statehouse Reporter Amanda Vinicky will give us an update about the status of the legislation and then Law Professor Lori Andrews joins us. She’s written a social media constitution and is author of the book “I Know Who You Are, I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of Privacy.” Representative Durkin, who is from Western Springs, also joins the conversation.
Would you be concerned if your employer could legally ask for your social media passwords? Are you a manager and think you should be able to ask? We want to hear from you this hour on Focus!
Think about the size of a lady bug. Now, think 1,000 times smaller than that, and we’re talking about the size of a red blood cell. Go another 1,000 times smaller, and that’s how big a nanometer is. What can you do with something that small? We’ll find out this hour on Focus.
Nanotechnology works to understand the physics, chemistry and biology of nanoscale objects. Simply put, it’s the study of things that are very, very, very small. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about nanotechnology and developments being made when it comes to nanomanufacturing here at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Irfan Ahmad, Executive Director of Nanoscale Science and Technology at the UIUC and Engineering Professor Placid Ferreira, who studies nanotechnologies and manufacturing, will be here. We’ll talk with them about how certain elements behave quite differently on the nanoscale than they do in larger quantities and how that opens the doors to virtually limitless possibilities. Cell phone in a made to order size? It’s could happen.
There are also health concerns and risks many are worried about when it comes to using nanotechnology. We’ll talk those over too during this hour on Focus.
Do you bike to work? Do you like listening to music on vinyl? Is the media doing a good job of reporting on the Boston Marathon bombing case? Find out more about what’s coming up next week on Focus and join our conversation.
Coming up next week on Focus, we’ll talk about cycling and how strong biking communities and cultures are fostered, why records are coming back and if they’ll stick around. We’ll also talk about nanotechnology and the exciting possibilities for the future.
If a person, multiplying two numbers together once every second, tried to do as many multiplications as the new UIUC’s super computer Blue Waters can do in a second, it would take them about 300 million years. This hour on Focus we talked about the technology and the problems Blue Waters is trying to solve.
Simply explained, Blue Waters is a very big, very fast computer. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Bill Gropp who is Director of the Parallel Computing Institute and Deputy Director for Research at the Institute for Advanced Computing Applications and Technologies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He’ll tell us what makes Blue Waters so powerful, why the technology is worth the investment and what problems researchers hope to solve with one of the world’s largest super computers.
Do you have fond memories of Roger Ebert? What do you think of when you hear “circus?” Do you have questions about the UIUC’s new super computer Blue Waters? Find out more about what’s coming up next week on Focus and join our conversation.
Coming up next week on Focus, we’re remembering Pulitzer Prize winning film critic, screenwriter and journalist Roger Ebert, talking about super computers and learning about how the circus is very serious business in other parts of the world. Find out more and our conversation!
What color is your thumb…green or black? This hour on Focus, we talked with Eduardo Torrealba who has been working on a project to help you if you answered “black” and Sandy Mason, UI extension horticulture expert.
Over and underwatering plants is one of the key reasons why those of you who answered “black” are having trouble keeping your plants alive. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk with Eduardo Torrealba. He’s the CEO of Oso Technologies, a new company formed in Urbana. He and his colleagues have developed a new product called Plantlink that’s designed to help novice gardeners help their plants thrive and conserve water. Sandy Mason, University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Expert, will also be here to answer questions about your lawn and garden.
Learn more about Plantlink:
Are you a fan of AMC’s “MadMen”? Who do you think is the best James Bond? Is it time for the US to end the war on drugs? Find out more about what’s coming up next week on Focus and join our conversation.
Coming up next week on Focus, we’ve got a little something for everybody – from James Bond to gardening, we welcome you to join our conversation!
Calling them unmanned aerial vehicles sounds just as scary as calling them drones, but what do we really mean when we talk about this technology? This hour on Focus, we talked about drones, how they are being used and how they’re not. We also heard from an Urbana man working to advance the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in journalism and to inspire high school students to study math and science.
The technologies encompassed by the term “unmanned aerial vehicle” are vast and include everything from hobbyist drones that look like toy helicopters to units that are equipped with cameras and are being used to monitor crop damage. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Matthew Schroyer, a graduate of the UIUC who is also the founder of the Professional Society of Drone Journalists. We’ll talk with him about the things drones could help us do, and we’ll ask him about the privacy concerns the technology raises. Chris Anderson, CEO of 3D Robotics, former Wired editor and founder of the website DIY Drones and Nancy Cooke, Professor at Arizona State University and Science Director of the Cognitive Engineering Research Institute in Mesa, Arizona, also join us.
Watch a video of Matt explaining and flying his drone.
Are you excited by the possibilities of this kind of technology? Or does it scare you? Why? Join our conversation. Post in the comments section below or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter @Focus580.
Do you love MLB Opening Day? Who’re you rooting for this season? Does the idea of drone technology scare you or excite you? Find out more about what’s coming up next week on Focus and join our conversation.
Next week on Focus, we'll talk with the official historian for Major League Baseball and an Urbana man working with unmanned aerial technology for both journalistic purposes and to inspire high school students to study math and science. We'll also address the unmet need for homeless services in the area and talk about the growing disconnect between law schools and law firms in Illionis and why it matters.
Cases of computer hacking have been in the spotlight lately, especially since President Obama made cyber security one of his key priorities in this year’s State of the Union Address. But who is doing the hacking and why? Today on Focus we talked about cyber-security and what we’re doing to protect against cyber criminals.
Cyber-security breaches at Apple, Microsoft, The New York Times, Twitter and Facebook are all just part of the growing concern in the US about computer hacking. Protecting digital information is quickly becoming a top priority for businesses and individuals, especially as computers and digital technologies play an increasingly important role in our lives when it comes to things education and banking.
Who are the hackers? How are they getting into our computers and why? This hour on Focus we talk with to University of Illinois Chief Privacy and Security Officer Michael Corn and Computer Science Professor Roy Campbell about cyber security.
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