Author Archives: brazier.6

Put A Camera On Your Eyeball

Google has filed a patent for a camera-containing lens.  There’s not too much information on product that may come, but Google says a possibility could be to give sight to the blind. Certainly, this development will visually be less noticeable than Google Glass, but it seems the consequences of having hidden cameras in the literal eyes of all the world is an obvious pandoras box.

I could list a hundred and one potential scenarios that might arise in support or defense of this technology, but to put it simply: I don’t believe our lives were meant to be recorded by little more than the memories an individual might carry.  Surely there are reasons for documentary, but I don’t want to live where our lives are documented persistently like how the NSA seems to monitor our internet actions.  You can’t stop the world from advancing forward, you can only delay it, but I’d like to stay in what would become “the past,” honestly.

At least everyone would learn binary, though: “Sensors on the contact lens would detect blinks and respond to commands based on those blinks.”

What do you think?

US created ‘Cuban Twitter’ to stir unrest

BBC reports that the US government created a phone based, Twitter-like company to be implemented in Cuba.  This application, originally presented to the Cuban people through a guise as “sports news updates,” was based out of Spain and the Cayman Islands to reroute information flow, hiding America’s development and involvement with the project.

After hooking users, the US planned to “introduce political messages in the hope of spurring the network’s users, especially younger Cubans, into dissent from their communist-run government.”

USAID spokesman Matt Herrick said – “That’s how you protect the practitioners and the public.”

It is interesting to note that the government believes it was protecting the rights of Cubans.  Is it freedom of speech if you’ve politically inspired the citizens in a certain direction?  It seems to me like this is a Cuban petrie dish, and American scientists, wanting to instigate freedom of speech, tampered the results by accidentally slipping a strain of American Interests into the experiment.

Herrick also said, “In hostile environments, we often take steps to protect the partners we’re working with on the ground. This is not unique to Cuba.”

Cubans certainly don’t have equal rights to the United States citizens. “Cubans were only permitted to own mobile phones in 2008.”  Just only, “last year, 137 public internet access points have been opened – for the whole island. But one hour online costs $4.50 (£2.70) – or almost a quarter of an average monthly state salary.” These infringements speech rights is troubling.  But, is a country truly liberated if political reform doesn’t come directly from its citizens?

Governments instigating sparks that could lead to coup d’etats sounds very dangerous to me. Think of how Russia invaded Crimea during political unrest, how they sponsored a succession referendum.  What if China saw signs to erode North Korea’s regime, and ‘freed’ its citizens by absorbing the country?

Is it ethical for us to allow our government to do these type of activities?

Food for thought.

Price of Online Anonymity

NPR interview with Julia Angwin, Dragnet Nation author. 


Personal information is our ticket to ride in the “digital” era. Governments  survey for protection, companies survey for profit.  The public demands free apps on smart phones, free accounts on websites, location services for travel, etc.   All of these should operate cohesively, while not invading privacy.

Julia Angwin discusses information collection in her new book Dragnet Nation.  In her study, she concludes “there’s a price you pay for living in the modern world. And some of that has to do with — you have to share your data.”

Is this a fair trade?  What expressions of personal information are exhibited in our daily lives?  If you wear a Beatles t-shirt to a record shop and browse the hip-hop section, is it infringing on your privacy if the owner suggests you purchase Danger Mouse’s Grey Album, a Jay-Z Black Album/Beatles White Album mashup? How are YouTube’s ad suggestions different?

How conscious are you of current data collection?

“Retailers such as Whole Foods have used digital signs that are actually facial recognition scanners. Some car dealerships are using a service from Dataium that lets them know which cars you have browsed online, if you have given them your e-mail address, before you arrive on the dealership lot.”

“Your name, address, and other identifying details—even the location of your cell phone at any given time—are all stored in various databases that you cannot view or control.”

Data services perpetually track you, and presently, if you want to participate in the modern world, that’s the price you pay.

How do you feel about your present life and its relationship with technology?  Do you feel uneasy about using online resources?  I don’t regularly feel like my privacy is being invaded, but perhaps that’s because I don’t know the extent of my information’s collection.  If cooperation and happiness are optimal, can they both be attained while favoring corporate/governmental interests?  To some extent, it can be argued that is our established reality.

Read her findings and check out the comments section too where I found interesting thoughts and useful links: 

Blender – Anonymizes your Firefox browser

TrackMeNot – searches random phrases in Google for you, adding noise to your history


Mike Brazier