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Should Internet communication services be redesigned so that law enforcement can carry out legally authorized intercepts?

This week's Question of the Week focuses on the redesign of some Internet communication services. Law enforcement officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications — including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites, and “peer to peer” messaging software like Skype — to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. Law enforcement officials contend that imposing a mandate is reasonable and necessary to prevent the erosion of their investigative powers. Skeptics, including privacy and technology advocates, say that requiring interception capabilities would create holes that would inevitably be exploited by hackers. What do you think? Should Internet communication services be redesigned so that law enforcement can carry out legally authorized intercepts?

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Should smartphones be used as learning tools in the classroom?

This week's Question of the Week focuses on smartphones in the classroom. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty recently suggested students should be allowed to use smartphones in the classroom, saying that the devices have a variety of helpful educational tools -- calendars, planners, and browsers, for example -- and teachers should have the ability to make the call on evolving technologies. The Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation, however, said the phones are too disruptive and that until they're actually part of lesson plans, they won't help with learning. What do you think? Should smartphones be used as learning tools in the classroom?

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Will 3D catch on in the long run, and will TV fans and movie buffs demand the technology?

This week’s Question of the Week concerns 3D. The technology offers moviegoers and TV fans an enhanced viewing experience, and many recent 3D films, including Avatar and Alice in Wonderland, have had box office success. Several 3D movies, however, have flopped, and according to a new Nielsen Co. consumer study, many respondents who experience the 3D television technology — and especially the glasses needed to see 3D images — have become less interested in buying a 3D set. What do you think? Will 3D catch on in the long run, and will TV fans and movie buffs demand the technology?

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Should airplanes have families-only sections?

This week's Question of the Week concerns a poll from Skyscanner, a travel fare-comparison Web site. To reduce noise and keep children in one place, sixty percent of more than 2,000 surveyed travelers said it would be a good idea for airplanes to have families-only sections on flights. What do you think? Should airplanes have families-only sections?

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Should the FDA approve genetically engineered salmon?

This week's Question of the Week concerns the issue of genetically engineered food. A firm in Waltham, MA, has developed a genetically modified salmon that grows during the winter as well as the summer, so it reaches an 8-pound market weight in 18 months instead of 36. Accomplished by inserting part of a gene from an ocean pout into the growth gene of a Chinook salmon and then injecting the blended genetic material into the fertilized eggs of a North Atlantic salmon, the FDA is in the process of reviewing what would be the nation's first commercial genetically modified food animal. What do you think? Should the FDA approve genetically engineered salmon? Yes or No?

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Should BP be permitted to continue to drill in the Gulf of Mexico?

This week's Question of the Week concerns the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. According to recent news reports, BP said they may drill a new well in the Macondo reservoir -- the source of one of the world's worst oil spills. Proponents believe that BP's earnings from drilling in the Gulf would allow them to pay the massive fines and costs for cleanup of the spill, while opponents believe the oil giant should sell the rights to the reservoir to another oil company and donate the proceeds from the sale. What do you think? Should BP be permitted to continue to drill in the Gulf of Mexico? Yes or No?

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With the prevalence of e-readers, will e-books eventually replace printed books?

This week's Question of the Week concerns the battle between digital volumes and their printed counterparts. From Amazon's Kindle and Apple's iPad to Sony's e-Reader and Barnes & Noble's Nook, digital reading is obviously here to stay. This is especially true when you take into account how Amazon recently reported that for the first time, e-book sales have overtaken hardcover sales. And, because of their own plummeting sales, mega-retailer Barnes & Noble is currently looking for a buyer to purchase the bookstore chain. What do you think? With the prevalence of e-readers, will e-books eventually replace printed books? Yes or no?

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