Read David Kalat’s 2018 Nervous System series for Legaltech News.

February 5 – The Story of the First White Hat Hacker
Read about data privacy and cybersecurity from the context of history, beginning with a look at the earliest-ever media report of a computer crime in 1966.

March 1 – Evaluating TCPA Liability in the Actual Wild West
Read about the difference between the PBX (private branch exchange) and autodialer, their roles in litigation through the history of telephony, and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

April 5 – The Boy Who Could Talk to Computers
Read about pioneering telephone and computer hacker Joe Engressia, the phone-phreaking subculture, and the distinction between white hat and black hat hackers.

May 3 – Just the Fax, Ma’am
Read about data privacy and cybersecurity from the context of history, telling the story of how the fax machine pre-dates the US Civil War.

June 4 – The Small Start of Big Data
Read about the value of storing and managing data in computer systems; Edgar Codd, the pioneer behind modern database systems; and the evolution of SQL language.

August 6 – The Glamour Girl’s Secret Privacy Weapon
Read about Austrian actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr, remote-controlled guidance systems during World War II, and the Secret Communications System or “frequency-hopping spread spectrum” (FHSS).

September 4 – The Tech Revolution Is Earlier than Your Think
Read about the use of information scientist Vannevar Bush’s Rapid Selector Machine during World War II and the “imaginary” machine Bush called the Memex.

October 12 – What Hollywood Has Taught the US Government about Cybersecurity
Read about how screenwriters for the films WarGames and Sneakers influenced and guided top policymakers in the development of modern American cybersecurity.

November – Taking Biometrics at Face Value
Read about the history of identifying criminals through photographs, the Bertillon method of pairing photography with specific measurements presumed to be immutable attributes of a person, and how the computer age affected identification.

December 3 – The Computer That Taught HAL to Sing
Read about how Arthur C. Clarke, the author of 2001: A Space Odyssey, witnessed a computer “sing” and was inspired to add a scene to his novel. Douglas Rain, the actor who provided the voice for the advanced computer HAL in the film version, passed away in November.