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the slippery slope of totalitarian technology

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  • the slippery slope of totalitarian technology

    remember those traffic cameras that we were told would help society combate the scourge of speeding drivers? well, in britain (where else, for god's sake) someone has now been ticketed for making rude gestures at the cameras while he drove by.

    this is the big brother model... the creep of influence and authority. unveil something that is allegedly for one singular purpose, but be certain that it is capable of many other tasks, as well. once in place (at the taxpayers' expense, of course) start using it however you like, secure in the knowledge that the public will never have their shit together enough to express outrage and prevent you from doing whatever the hell you want. with technology, all it takes is the foot in the door. once money is spent and logistical resources are allocated, projects tend to have their own momentum (a concept that i'm not taking credit for... many prominent authors have discussed "technological momentum" see Langdon Winner, Lewis Mumford, etc) and continue operating (and often growing) even after people don't see them as serving anyone's needs.
    "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
    - Trent Reznor

  • #2
    So according to this , palm in is bad and palm out is good? Interesting, I never knew that. When I first read the the original article, I didn't know how peace could be confused for something vulgar, but now I see.

    If he didn't want to be caught, all he needed was to be going 170+ MPH in a TVR and he'd be fine.
    Answering easy questions since 1987
    Si Dieu est pour moi, qui peut être contre moi?

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    • #3
      Top Gear (that TV program is unbelievably amazing).

      Also that article in the orignal post sems a biased view. I remember when i saw that on the news and in the papers, it was clearly said it wasnt the fact that it was rude gestures....just the fact that taking both hands of the wheel and pissing about it dangerous.
      Twigman

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      • #4
        I read an article about the traffic cameras in the UK back in November. Here is a link to the article:
        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/11...ment_database/

        Big Brother is watching.
        I enjoy talking to myself...it's usually the only intelligent conversations I get to have.

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        • #5
          I was watching a TV programme ages ago about these speed cameras, they caught a Peugeot Metro going at 1658 mph! (Not a typo) That's right over 1000 mph. It was later discovered that if a aeroplane is just above the top of your car or can be seen thought the windows (line of sight from the camera) it multiples the speed your doing with the speed of the plane! The police still charged the person £60 and 3 points on there license! Thanks once again to the brilliant police.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ToxicTears
            Peugeot Metro
            Pedanticism in automotive terminology: are you sure you don't mean the Austin Metro?

            God, I hate to admit I actually owned one of those shitheaps once. So horrible I sold it again after only three days.

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            • #7
              Many authorities are rethinking the traffic camera ticket device approach because in most cases, the manufacturer gets a portion of the ticket. Courts have tended to lean in favor of the drivers in these cases.
              "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

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              • #8
                In my area (northern bay area) there was quite a few traffic cameras placed up at stop lights that would, in the event of a person running a red light.. would take a picture of you and your licence plate. It just emerged that for the first two years, none of the cameras even were installed, they just placed the boxes and signs up, making it appear to be legit. (kinda like having one of those ADT gnomes on your lawn, but not really having an ADT system).

                Cool technology...
                http://www.symondsna.com/alpr-case-study.htm

                But then, you could just buy one of these:
                http://jammersstore.com/p_photo_blocker_covers.htm


                You're right though Deviant... we have no names man... no names... we are nameless.
                (hmm where do i know that from )
                The only constant in the universe is change itself

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dYn4mic
                  not to sound too much like some little punk anarchy kid... but i can't imagine an enlightened citizen who appreciates freedom seeing one of those and not being filled with an overwhelming urge to deface, destroy, or at least render inoperable the whole mechanism. i realize that this is a shitty analogy... but one of the most visible and effective objections that the citizens of the USA had against the push to "go metric" in the 70s (not a movement that i'm trying to judge... there were good arguments for and against it) was an act of equal audacity... the shooting of road signs.

                  in many places, the most visible push for metrification was the erection of speed limit and guide signs in metric figures. citizens all over the place were driving past them at night and fucking shooting them down (or, if not down, unloading enough #1 and #0 buck into them that they were rendered unreadable.) the costs of constantly re-erecting them were quickly determined by many communities to be not worth it. i would imagine that the costs associated with speed cameras (and their newer, more evil cousin... these "big brother" cameras which don't even purport to have a real purpose other than spying on citizens) would make such an affair even more unpleasant for city budgets.

                  i'm not advocating violence or law-breaking... just expressing my disbelief that any true american wouldn't harbor such desires in his or her heart.

                  Originally posted by dYn4mic
                  many states (including mine) have made these illegal... have one on your car and you get an extra fine tacked on your ticket if you're stopped for a traffic infraction.
                  "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                  - Trent Reznor

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Deviant Ollam
                    many states (including mine) have made these illegal... have one on your car and you get an extra fine tacked on your ticket if you're stopped for a traffic infraction.
                    An extension of the basic cat and mouse game. Technology will find another way to "beat" radar/laser, and then a law will be passed to make them illegal.
                    "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ToxicTears
                      I was watching a TV programme ages ago about these speed cameras, they caught a Peugeot Metro going at 1658 mph! (Not a typo) That's right over 1000 mph. It was later discovered that if a aeroplane is just above the top of your car or can be seen thought the windows (line of sight from the camera) it multiples the speed your doing with the speed of the plane! The police still charged the person £60 and 3 points on there license! Thanks once again to the brilliant police.
                      There was a case recently where someone's not particularly amazing car was recorded doing 180mph or something (I dont remember the figure).
                      He went to court saying his car wouldnt even do that speed.
                      He took his car to a racing track and got some professional drivers to rag it round the track a few times. They couldnt make it go that fast.
                      His case was thrown out from court, but only because he went to all that effort. Otherwise the police just wanted him to pay up.

                      Having said that speed cameras (in the UK at least) really arent that much of a money maker. You would have thought they were but I believe they only made £21million last year, which in the grand scale of things is not really huge.

                      Its the "points make prizes" system that really screws people over. (For non uk residents, driving related incidents can include a punishment of "points" on your liscense. 12 points and you lose it. Also more points = more expensive insurance etc).
                      Twigman

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                      • #12
                        Re: the slippery slope of totalitarian technology

                        When I lived in San Antonio, my High School Computer Maintenance class took a field trip to a company called Transguide (installs and maintains video cameras on highways). We toured the facility and then were taken into an enormous board room where we watched a video on the /how/where/why. Afterwards, I raised my hand (in anger) and asked if the city held a democratic election before they decided to install these cameras. The tour guide (also the co-owner, I believe) told us that they didn't need a democratic process for the cameras. Then I asked if they were cooperating with local authorities such as the police department. He said "yes" and then ended the Q&A.
                        "The world cannot live at the level of its great men." -Mamoru Oshii

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                        • #13
                          Re: the slippery slope of totalitarian technology

                          legal roadwathching, then legal mailreading, legal phonetracing... digital eye is watchig legally to your girlfriend's bedroom if you are busy with making not love and pleasure but landmine explosive assembly ?
                          i want to express that everything in this world needs to be logically limited.

                          PGP Key ID:0x6113CBE6
                          PGP Fingerprint:92AE C7A5 26B6 DD99 5688 84AD 5524 D919 6113 CBE6

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                          • #14
                            Re: the slippery slope of totalitarian technology

                            Facial Recognition scanning/Retinal Scanning/Biometrics Fingerprint Scanning (pay-by-touch)

                            will people be able to track your movements and activities based on where you authenticate your identity? Will you be automatically lumped into the same ID databases law enforcement agencies use to catch criminals? If everything from logging into your PC to accessing your bank funds hinges on your biometric record, could someone copy your fingerprint and steal your life?

                            Corporate entities are garnering too much control over their employees by using these technologies - peoples freedoms are diminishing - a slippery slope indeed.

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                            • #15
                              Re: the slippery slope of totalitarian technology

                              We dont even need to wait for biometric solutions for any of that to happen, it already is. When you use your ATM card or credit card, thats logged. Police frequently set up traps to catch use of cards and accounts when they are trying to find someone. As far as stealing your life goes, happens all too often already, and they don't even need a fingerprint to do it.

                              I think part of the problem is that just like you said about corporate entities, however I think where the real problem lies is not in how much control they exert over their employees as much as it is about how much information they take from their customers. As a security professional, it astounds me how much information corporations are willing to take the liability for. Example, why does the cable company need my social security number? Thats just one more place for it to get stolen from; and sadly once you have someones name and social you pretty much have their identity.

                              From a security perspective I would think that companies would want LESS information about their customers rather than more. If my company came to me and said they wanted to start taking social security numbers from customers when they purchased items I (and our legal department most likely) would say 'hell no', because we dont want to be on the hook if something bad ever happens to that data.

                              Its a slippery slope that we're traveling down, but why? Theres almost no reason for it.

                              I return whatever i wish . Its called FREEDOWM OF RANDOMNESS IN A HECK . CLUSTERED DEFEATED CORn FORUM . Welcome to me

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