panopticon

 
  • Heads Up! This Was Google’s Apple Moment

    Heads Up! This Was Google’s Apple Moment

    It looked like the X Games, but it was the most significant product launch of the decade so far. For the first time, Google did what Apple has done thrice, with the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Granted, Apple announces products that ship immediately, while Google merely allowed a few thousand I/O attendees to pre-order a beta version that wouldn't ship until next year; but don't let the mechanics… Read More

  • Selling Software That Kills

    Selling Software That Kills

    The government of Syria uses made-in-California technology from BlueCoat Systems to censor the Internet and spy on its pro-democracy activists (who are regularly arrested and tortured, not to mention slaughtered wholesale.) McAfee and Nokia Siemens have done the same in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Amesys of France and FinFisher of the UK aided brutal dictators in Egypt and Libya. Sweden's Read More

  • “For Those Who Don’t Want To Believe”

    “For Those Who Don’t Want To Believe”

    I feel uncomfortably like a prophet. In January, and again last week, I wrote about the prospect of UAVs used as weapons by terrorists; yesterday a man was arrested who "planned to attack the Pentagon using 'small drone airplanes' filled with explosives and guided by GPS." In August I wrote about omnipresent mobile phones turning the world into a panopticon; today's NYT has an article about… Read More

  • Welcome To The Panopticon

    Welcome To The Panopticon

    And so it begins. Carnegie Mellon researchers recently combined Facebook profile pictures and PittPatt's facial recognition software to identify supposedly-anonymous pictures from a dating site. Now they're planning to demo a smartphone app that identifies faces by tapping into cloud-based image databases and recognition software. What's next? That's a question I've been thinking about for a… Read More

  • "Grapefruit" 360-degree video camera – wonderful or terrifying?

    "Grapefruit" 360-degree video camera – wonderful or terrifying?

    I can’t tell whether the idea of this 360-degree video camera is a good or a bad thing, but I’m surprised we haven’t seen more stuff like it. Stitching the images together from a live feed can’t be that hard if you control the hardware — this might be really nice for concerts and stuff. Or, alternately, we’re heading towards a situation where everybody will have… Read More