Your fridge will be watching you - - -

From: BillK (
Date: Fri Jun 09 2000 - 18:33:57 MDT

A speech from an MIT director predicts that soon all our machines will be
talking to each other via the Internet. (see link and extract below). The
implication is that as soon as we use a device, say, fridge, TV, car, etc.
our choices will be uploaded to the Internet and a record will be made of
every detail of our life. It will be like having an aircraft "black box"
recorder in every device. No hope of any privacy here!

How long until even our beloved g*ns report every time they are drawn,
time and place, what conversation was going on, what they were pointed at,

I read only this week about a young lady who was engaged in some wrestling
activity with a male friend in the back seat of a car and during
their maneuvers she unknowingly pressed an auto-dial button on her mobile
phone and broadcast the next 20 minutes to her ex-boyfriend!

Ric Carter on the ISML mailing list summed it up very neatly -
>The basis of all quasi-sentient communications is gossip -- swapping
>messages about one's immediate environment & neighbors & feelings.
>Our Net-connected appliances will follow the same path, telling each
>other about what they do, how they feel, what they sense - which is,
>US, their human 'owners'. Your fridge, microwave and bathroom will
>be chatting about your unsavory eating habits and your BIG BUTT. Of
>course all the cars will discuss their owners' shitty driving styles
>[tailgating, red-light-running, rubber-burning] and their frequent
>stops at 'adult' bookstores, psychic palm-readers and Burger Kings.
>And they'll all know exactly how much you're spending, and where;
>every 'smart-cart' purchase will be grist for their chats. One big
>wireless network of smart appliances endlessly sharing their trivia
>about US with each other - some of whom will just happen to eavesdrop
>for the benefit of government, advertisers, employers, reporters, nosy
>neighbors and your (soon-to-be-ex-)spouse's attorneys. Fun fun fun.
>McCluhan was right - Earth WILL be a Global Village. In villages,
>everyone gossips, everyone knows everything about everyone, there
>is no privacy. That's why prudent villagers leave for the Big City,
>for anonymity. But in the Global Village, anonymity is impossible,
>probably undesirable. The Totally Wired World will confer numerous
>benefits upon us, but privacy won't be among'em. Get used to it."


>From Reuters, - Wednesday June 7 10:43 AM ET

Washing Machines Will Phone And Surf Net: Expert By Helen Jones

LONDON (Reuters) - Washing machines will soon be surfing the Internet and electronic paper will start making telephone calls, technology guru Nicholas Negroponte told the International Advertising Association (IAA) on Wednesday.

In a future-gazing keynote speech to the IAA's World Congress, Negroponte, who is director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Laboratory, (MIT) said that in the next three years machines, rather than people will be the heaviest users of the Web.

``I'm not talking about WAP phones or PCs but machines that will download their intelligence from the Net,'' he said.

He cited the Italian white goods manufacturer Merloni which has developed a washing machine with an internal cellphone that communicates with the company.

It will scan the washing instructions of clothes and contact the Internet to find out the right soap to use and the correct temperature for the water. It will also be able to download upgraded software from the world wide web.

``Advertisers will have to advertise Tide to the machine, not to the housewife,'' he said.

He said that toys will also increasingly communicate with the Internet.

``I believe that the highest level of semiconductor content in the home will be in toys not PCs or TVs,'' he said.

``In time, kids will learn French from Barbie dolls -- the French program won't be in the Barbie doll but downloaded from the Net.''


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