All posts filed under “Erosion of liberty

BBC: Surveillance drones in Merseyside

BBC: Surveillance drones in Merseyside

From the BBC: ‘Police play down spy planes idea’: “Merseyside Police’s new anti-social behaviour (ASB) task force is exploring a number of technology-driven ideas. But while the use of surveillance drones is among them, they would be a “long way off”, police said. … “The […]

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Reversing the emphasis of a control environment

Reversing the emphasis of a control environment

Image from Monkeys & Kiwis (Flickr) Chris Weightman let me know about how it felt to watch last Thursday’s iPod Flashmob at London’s Liverpool Street station: the dominant sense was of a mass of people overturning the ‘prescribed’ behaviour designed into an environment, and turning […]

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‘Anti-Homeless’ benches in Tokyo

‘Anti-Homeless’ benches in Tokyo

Images from Yumiko Hayakawa Yumiko Hayakawa has a very thoughtful and well-illustrated article at OhMyNews on the story behind the variety of ‘anti-homeless’ benches and architectural features (including public art) in Tokyo’s parks and public areas – by making it difficult or impossible to lie […]

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‘Secret alarm becomes dance track’

‘Secret alarm becomes dance track’

The Mosquito sound has been mixed (sort of) into a dance track: “…the sound is being used in a dance track, Buzzin’, with secret melodies only young ears can hear. … Simon Morris from Compound Security said: “Following the success of the ringtone, a lot […]

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Countercontrol: blind pilots

Countercontrol: blind pilots

In a recent post, I discussed a Spiked article by Josie Appleton which included the following quote: ‚ÄúPolice in Weston-super-Mare have been shining bright halogen lights from helicopters on to youths gathered in parks and other public places. The light temporarily blinds them, and is […]

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Designed to control rather than enable

Designed to control rather than enable

As Cory Doctorow says, “Your home and life are increasingly full of devices that seek to control, rather than enable you.” That, succinctly, is what this website’s about: design as something to restrict and control the user, rather than empower and enable. Products that enable […]

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Uninnovate – engineering products to do less

Uninnovate – engineering products to do less

Image from uninnovate.com I’ve just come across a very interesting new blog, uninnovate.com, which focuses on the phenomenon of “engineering expensive features into a product for which there is no market demand in order to make the product do less.” The first few posts tackle […]

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Transcranial magnetic stimulation

Transcranial magnetic stimulation

An image from Hendricus Loos’s 2001 US patent, ‘Remote Magnetic Manipulation of Nervous Systems’ In my review of Adam Greenfield‘s Everyware a couple of months ago, I mentioned – briefly – the work of Hendricus Loos, whose series of patents cover subjects including “Manipulation of […]

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The illusion of control

The illusion of control

Scott Adams recounts an anecdote illustrating the ‘illusion of control’ and how important it is to many people – even to the extent that it is the single defining characteristic of mankind which one might use to explain human behaviour to aliens: “The maintenance man […]

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Dilemma of horns

Dilemma of horns

I was woken up (along with, I expect, lots of others) at about 5am today by a driver sounding his/her horn in the road outside – an arrogant two-second burst – then another replying (perhaps) with a slightly feeble one-second tone. I don’t know why; […]

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