- Paperback: 528 pages
- Publisher: Pearson; 3 edition (January 6, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0136008488
- ISBN-13: 978-0136008484
- Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1.1 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 40 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #713,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Gift of Fire: Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues for Computing and the Internet (3rd Edition) 3rd Edition
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From the Back Cover
A Gift of Fire: Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues for Computing and the Internet
Third Edition SARA BAASE
A Gift of Fire, Third Edition is the most comprehensive and up-to-date text on the social and ethical issues associated with computing, networking, and the Internet. Thoroughly updated to reflect the latest trends and technologies, this book will help readers understand and evaluate the crucial issues they will face as technology professionals, users, and citizens.
Baase offers thoughtful, in-depth coverage - and diverse viewpoints - on issues ranging from privacy to hacking, censorship to piracy of music and movies, social networking to computer crime. She helps readers consider difficult and provocative questions such as: In what form will copyright survive the revolutionin technologies for sharing? Which technology decisions should be left to the marketplace, and which require government regulation? Who's in charge when digital actions cross borders? What are the ethical responsibilities of a computer professional?
This book's far-reaching coverage includes:
- Impact and quality of user-supplied Web content
- Privacy and computer technology: Records of online activity, video surveillance, GPS location tracking, consumer dossiers, national ID systems, and more
- Internet censorship laws and alternatives, spam, political campaign regulation, anonymity, and Net neutrality
- Intellectual property: Copyright law, fair use, the DMCA, video sharing, software patents, free software, piracy, and new business models
- Computer crime: Identity theft, hacking, credit card fraud, online scams, auction fraud, click fraud, stock fraud, digital forgery, and more
- Computers and work: Job destruction and creation, global outsourcing, telecommuting, and employee monitoring
- Errors, failures, and risk: System failures, safety-critical applications, software design problems, and techniques for improving reliability and safety
- How societies make decisions about new technologies
About the Author
Sara Baase, Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at San Diego State University, has won three Outstanding Faculty awards. Her computer science textbooks have been translated into Sapnish, Japanese, Russian, Chinese, and Korean. Dr. Baase served on the College Board's committee to develop the Advanced Placement program in Computer Science. She holds a doctorate from UC Berkeley.
About the Author
Sara Baase is Professor Emeritus with the Department of Computer Science, San Diego State University, where she won awards for outstanding teaching. Her textbooks in computer science have been translated into several languages. Dr. Baase received her doctoral degree from the University of California, Berkeley.
Top customer reviews
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The exercises are the most valuable part of the book but it will take a good teacher to make the most out of them: I got lucky there.
Baase does a very good job of hitting all the high-notes and gray-area cases that have popped up in the last 20 or so years as a result of new technologies. But at the end of the course I didn't feel I ended up taking anything away that I couldn't have learned by myself.
The book is really very wordy in my opinion--even for an ethics book--and doesn't hit enough ethical theory for my taste. It's great for its target market though, but don't think it'll work magic if you've already had some 'traditional' ethics courses.
The book is very well written, seems well researched with exhaustive notes citing references, additional material and end of chapter questions. And fortunately, you don't need a student solutions manual to find the answer; if you missed it in the reading you simply need to browse back and find it.
Sara Baase covers all the areas of ethics in computing, from the issues since the emergence of computers, social media and the integration of computers into the workplace to the risks and responsibilities of users, programmers and managers in the creation of software, its debugging and its use. These topics also have relevance in studies outside of computer science and computer engineering; MBA students might be required to read chapter 5 (Crime), chapter 8 (Risk) and chapter 9 (Ethics and Responsibilities).
Yes, this book is about ethics, but without the deep philosophy. There's not a lot of Kant in there, you'll see him in an introduction as to the philosophical views and a few areas talking about labor. Otherwise, if you're looking to tussle with your instructor or get into deep philosophical discussion over $1 Pabst Night, you'll need to take the class that deals with such things. Actually, if that's your thing (the philosophy, not the $1 Pabst), you'll enjoy this book more *after* taking that class.
However, I do agree with other reviewers in their assessment that a few areas of the book are needlessly long and perhaps, rambling. It is not a pervasive problem through the entire book, but rather in the author's attempt to give plenty of examples, the reader is left thinking "okay, okay, I get it". Of course, the alternative is worse so I'm happy just trudging through it or skipping ahead.
If you are going to make a book selection for a computer science ethics class you will be teaching, you could make far worse choices.
As I approach the end of my second tour of duty through undergraduate college (career makeover as one of those 'non-traditional students'), I wish to point to this text for any current or future college textbook authors -- this is how you do it.
I have to say, Sarah Baase did an excellent job presenting each subject in a to-the-point manner. She doesn't use 100 pages to get 3 boring points across. This is a fun, easy to understand, yet very educational book.
For Sale: I have this book for sale. Email me at Asteward2010@Live.com if you want to buy this at a ROCK BOTTOM, LOW PRICE.