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Are you alarmed by the information collected by Verizon and other wireless carriers?

This week's Question: Verizon, the U.S. largest wireless carrier, recently announced that it will "create business and marketing reports" and "make the mobile ads you see more relevant," based on the information the company collects pertaining to a user's Web surfing destinations, applications, and location information. Verizon stated that none of the information used or shared will be personally identifiable, and those customers who don't want their information shared can choose to opt-out of the feature. Although Verizon is not the only wireless carrier to adopt this type of data-AT&T and Sprint have similar processes, for example-many skeptics cite the privacy implications of mobile advertising. What do you think? Are you alarmed by the information collected by Verizon and other wireless carriers?

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Will Apple continue to innovate and thrive as a market leader?

This week's Question: Steven Jobs, the visionary co-founder of Apple, died last week at the age of 56. While the company has offered updates to its innovative technologies like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod, some have questioned whether new executive leadership will be able to innovate, execute, and connect as Jobs so famously did. What do you think? With the loss of Steve Jobs, will Apple continue to innovate and thrive as a market leader?

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Will consumers accept the growing mobile payment options?

This week's Question: Google Wallet, an Android mobile app launched earlier this month, is slowly being rolled out to the public. The application allows users to make purchases with their phones. The technology uses near field communication (NFC) chips to store and remit credit card data, discount card information, and coupons. Users must enter a four-digit security PIN on their phones before making a purchase; they then tap their phone on a store's terminal, transferring the payment from shopper to retailer. Supporters appreciate the ease of use, while skeptics still have mobile device security concerns. What do you think? Will consumers accept the growing mobile payment options?

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Do you think light speed can be exceeded?

This week's Question: The European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, reported that a neutrino beam fired from a particle accelerator near Geneva to a lab 454 miles away in Italy traveled 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light — a claim that potentially questions Einstein's 1905 special theory of relativity. Some physicists say neutrinos theoretically can travel at different speeds depending on how much energy they have, and mysterious particles, whose existence is still only theorized, can move with similar speeds. Other physicists, however, say that the CERN findings are the result of measurement errors since tracking neutrinos is very difficult. What do you think? Do you think light speed can be exceeded?

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Will we set foot on Mars?

  This week's Question: NASA recently unveiled its new "Space Launch System," which will be designed to carry the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, as well as important cargo, equipment, and science experiments to Earth's orbit and destinations beyond. "Tomorrow's explorers will now dream of one day walking on Mars," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. NASA's rovers, too, continue to learn more about the makeup of the planet. What do you think? Will we set foot on Mars?  

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Will robot writers play a valuable role in newsrooms?

Code created by a start-up company called Narrative Science takes data, including sports statistics, company financial reports, and housing sales, and turns it into readable news articles. Supporters of this type of software note an increasing sophistication in the technology's ability to make inferences, understand language, and generate proper sentences. It could be used, they say, as a low-cost tool for publications to expand coverage when editorial budgets are tight. The combination of advances in its writing engine and data mining can also take computer journalism to another level by finding unexpected correlations. What do you think? Will robot writers play a valuable role in newsrooms? Yes or no?

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Do the benefits of a "cloud-first" strategy outweigh the risks and drawbacks?

This week's Question: While companies debate the merits of cloud computing, the U.S. government has been weighing its own options. By gradually shifting to maintenance-free services that are based on the Internet and run by private companies, Vivek Kundra, the White House's former chief information officer, said that this kind of "Cloud First" strategy would consolidate data centers and save the government more than $3 billion a year. Others, however, note that the cloud has its own expenses, data protection concerns, and speed considerations. What do you think? Do the benefits of a "cloud-first" strategy outweigh the risks and drawbacks?  

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