I’ve just read about a 1.8-gigapixel surveillance platform developed by DARPA and I am not sure, if I can believe the article. It just sounds too unbelievable and too scary at the same time. 25 square kilometers are covered and processed in a real time? What the heck? Just think about all the bandwidth needed for all the video data. Even considering that this is just 12fps video, it must be still generating insane amounts of traffic. How could someone be able to transfer this huge amount of data wirelessly?
But if the system, which is shown in a video below, really exists, then my paranoia-o-meter is over the top. I could imagine, why the oppressive US government would want to have such a system, but do they really have it already? I hope not.
As my friends know, I am a big fan of cyberpunk genre and although we are living mostly in cyberpunk era already, we are still lacking one more important thing – cyborgs. We, the humans, are only starting to experiment in this field, which is the major point in all cyberpunk fiction. Like, for example, following trailer of an upcoming game from Polish developers:
I don’t know about the game, but the trailer is definitely, undeniably beautiful. It has the most important things for a cyberpunk – the special atmosphere. And cyborgs.
Microsoft together with the New York Police Department created a system which allows the officials to tap into live video feeds, check environmental sensors, get the data from license plate readers and query law enforcement databases at the same time.
Sounds familiar, right? The good, ol’ cyberpunk. Well, at least in the cyberpunk stories there was always a possibility to hack into such systems. I’m wondering, how it was created here. Because of Microsoft – it probably has some decade old security holes. And imagine the possibilities of misuse of this system by the police officers – spying on their wifes, colleagues, neighbors. Of course, everything sounds nice in the article from the NY Mayor – Michael Bloomberg.
Is it possible to put the genie back into a bottle? U.S. senator Al Franken thinks so. He would like to implement regulations of the facial recognition technology. As much as I dislike this scary technology and would like to have my privacy protected as much as it is possible, I do not think that the regulations would change anything. They won’t stop, for sure, government agencies from spying on us. Same goes for the big corporations, like Facebook – they have build profiles on millions of people already. Can we ban software? Maybe in some crazy politician’s wet dream. Soon we will have cameras identifying us in the real time, and as terrifying as it is – it’s unavoidable.
Only thing we can do – implement the better data protection laws. Every company, which is responsible for a leak of our data, should be punished severely. Person(s) responsible for a leak should have long term vacation in a nearest jail. And definitely, all the resale of our private data should be prohibited. Can’t keep our data safe? Find another business model!
Only two weeks have passed since the famous SOPA blackout day. SOPA and PIPA were stopped and rightly so, but another danger looms on the horizon. Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement aka ACTA was developed by the same parties to achieve the same goals. Developed in secret. Developed to stomp our freedoms and to give even more power to the corporations. The world of the cyberpunk novels is coming and governments are eager to turn our society into dystopia. Politicians talk about the human rights and freedoms, but enact fascist policies. We are so used to hypocrisy of lawmakers that we do not notice it.
Do you think that more power to copyright holders is a good thing? Would you enjoy random searches on a border without a warrant? Are you comfortable with the fact that your ISP will be forced to spy on you? Do you think that DRM circumvention for ANY reason should be punishable by law? No? Then let your representatives in the government hear your voice. Read the agreement, sign the petition, support FSF and act while it is still not too late. Act to protect your rights, your privacy, your freedom.
I spent few weekends playing the new Deus Ex game – Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I was reluctant to try it, because I have not so much free time these days and I wasn’t expecting anything great, but my friends urged me to play it. Also, don’t forget that this game had some superb trailers. So, I decided to give it a try. Well, the game wasn’t great. It wasn’t bad either. From time to time I was growing tired of the repetitive gameplay: the same long corridors, the same, pretty easy, hacking puzzles, the same “sneak on unsuspecting victim and bring him down” game. But there were two things, which kept me playing: first, I am a fan of original Deus Ex and second – the story was really good, not amazing, but good enough to compel me to write this post.
By the way, as I will be inditing my thoughts on this subject, be warned about possible spoilers. Continue reading only if you have finished the game or aren’t planning to. Continue reading Thoughts On Deus Ex: HR and the Future of Humanity→
Have you ever wanted to have a cybernetic implant, like in the cyberpunk movies? I’m not sure about the limbs, but a brain implant with an access to Internet would come handy on many occasions. Eidos Montreal commissioned documentary video, where they compare cybernetic augmentations, found in their recently released game “Deus Ex: Human Revolution“, to the existing technologies. Very interesting.