What Computer Engineers should know about Socially Responsible Engineering

Note: This opinion piece was written for Engineering 7102: The Engineering Profession. It was proof-read by my other group members: Adam Sheppard, Grant O’Brien and James Power.

Professional-looking hackerSome say that the atomic bomb brought about the idea of socially-responsible science. We believe that the increasing importance of computers requires focusing our attention on socially responsible engineering. Moore’s Law dictates that computing power doubles every 18 months and was accurate for much of the 20th century. Even with Moore’s Law becoming a thing of the past [1], our increasing dependence on digital devices leaves us in a vulnerable state. Current-day engineers (and computer engineers in particular) need to heed the call of ensuring that these magnificent and marvelous machines are not used for evil. There are computers in cars, computers in shoes, computers in our pockets; all of which are owned by many people in modern society. There has never been a time when the work of computer engineers has been more closely engrained into society.

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Batman: Arkham City Reflection

***Spoiler Free***

I’ve had Batman: AC collecting dust on my shelf since Christmas. I’ve had lots of opportunities to start playing the game, but never got around to it. To preface my reflections: I’ve played Arkham Asylum as well as seen Chris Nolan’s recent trilogy of movies, but I have not read any of the comics or really remember the older movies or TV show(s).

As I am currently between school and work, I’ve had a fair bit of time for video games, but in 12 days I managed to spend only ~4 hours playing Batman: AC. I had even moved on to playing Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, before resolving that I really should give Batman a fair shake. Call me a sucker for a good story, but I was completely lost and underwhelmed by the events of this game. Besides the fact that I was often confused by the sequence of events, I don’t think the game did a sufficiently good job of setting up the foundation story. Maybe the fact that I’m not really familiar with the large supporting cast of bad guys didn’t help.

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