The Invisible Roommate

Science, technology, and life.
Oct. 5 2010 10:24 PM

The Invisible Roommate

Like countless college freshmen before him, Tyler Clementi needed a place to make out, but he had a roommate. So he asked his roommate to clear out of their Rutgers dorm room for a couple of hours. The roommate, Dharun Ravi, obliged him. But Ravi left something behind: his computer. It had a webcam and an Internet connection. That's how Ravi got back into the room. He never touched the door or window. He just tapped into the webcam from a friend's computer down the hall.

Today's freshmen are grappling with something much stranger than being gay. They're growing up in a world where people are with you even when they aren't.

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Will Saletan writes about politics, science, technology, and other stuff for Slate. He’s the author of Bearing Right.

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