All posts filed under “Orwellian

The Convention on Modern Liberty

The Convention on Modern Liberty

Britain’s supposedly on the verge of a summer of rage, and while like Mary Riddell I am of course reminded of Ballard, it’s not quite the same. I don’t think this represents the ‘middle class’ ennui of Chelsea Marina. Instead I think we may have […]

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Mosquito controversy goes high-profile

Mosquito controversy goes high-profile

The Mosquito anti-teenager sound device, which we’ve covered on this site a few times, was yesterday heavily criticised by the Children’s Commissioner for England, Sir Albert Aynsley-Green, launching the BUZZ OFF campaign in conjunction with Liberty and the National Youth Agency: Makers and users of […]

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Smile, you’re on Countermanded Camera

Smile, you’re on Countermanded Camera

Image from Miquel Mora’s website We’ve looked before at a number of technologies and products aimed at ‘preventing’ photography and image recording in some way, from censoring photographs of ‘copyrighted content’ and banknotes, to Georgia Tech’s CCD-flooding system. Usually these systems are about locking out […]

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Deliberately creating worry

Deliberately creating worry

Swedish creativity lecturer Fredrik Härén mentions an interesting architecture of control anecdote in his The Idea Book: One of the cafés in an international European airport was often full. The problem was that people sat nursing their coffees for a long time as they waited […]

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West Coast code meets Far East code

West Coast code meets Far East code

Thanks to Mr Person at Text Savvy, I’ve just learned that this blog is blocked in China: Images from the Great Firewall of China test. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. From a censorship point of view, it’s bad, but it’s certainly interesting […]

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Friday quote: Fashion & convention

Friday quote: Fashion & convention

L.J.K. Setright, the late motoring writer and commentator, self-taught mechanical engineer and all-round Renaissance Man, once wrote: Fashion is a terrible fetter; convention, since it lasts longer, is even worse. This was in an issue of Car, when it was still any good. Setright wrote […]

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Some links

Some links

First, an apology for anyone who’s had problems with the RSS/Atom feeds over the last month or so. I think they’re fixed now (certainly Bloglines has started picking them up again) but please let me know if you don’t read this. Oops, that won’t work… […]

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Digital control round-up

Digital control round-up

Some developments in – and commentary on – digital architectures of control to end 2006: Peter Gutmann’s ‘A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection’ (via Bruce Schneier) looks very lucidly at the effects that Vista’s DRM and measures to ‘protect’ content will have – […]

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Sniffing out censorship

Sniffing out censorship

Image from News Sniffer News Sniffer‘s Revisionista monitors alterations to published news stories from a variety of sources by comparing RSS feeds, sometimes revealing subsequently redacted information or changes of opinion (e.g. note the removed phrase in the first paragraph of this story about Cuba). […]

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A vein attempt?

A vein attempt?

Blue lighting is sometimes used in public toilets (restrooms) to make it more difficult for drug users to inject themselves (veins are harder to see). The above implementation is in Edinburgh, next to the Tron Kirk. It was more difficult to see my veins through […]

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Bruce Schneier : Architecture & Security

Bruce Schneier : Architecture & Security

Bruce Schneier talks about ‘Architecture and Security’: architectural decisions based on the immediate fear of certain threats (e.g. car bombs, rioters) continuing to affect users of the buildings long afterwards. And he makes the connexion to architectures of control outside of the built environment, too: […]

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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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Review: Made to Break by Giles Slade

Review: Made to Break by Giles Slade

Last month I mentioned some fascinating details on planned obsolescence gleaned from a review of Giles Slade‘s Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America. Having now read the book for myself, here’s my review, including noteworthy ‘architectures of control’ examples and pertinent commentary. Slade […]

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