Seems we are closer to yet another bit of Vingean tech. In "Marooned in Real Time" some of the High Techs possessed surveillance technology of such high precision that it was referred to as a "no sparrow may fall network." While a human component (a "George", using the terminology of the article) is still required in reality, it's not hard to imagine the human component of the surveillance system being replaced entirely.
There would still need to be humans to take action based on the information provided by the system, call them "enforcers," but those providing the information, call them "informers," would be entirely artificial. I see the first application of completely automated surveillance in private homes, where the cost of a "George" is prohibitive, and the invasion of privacy is intolerable.
It seems I may soon be protected from a knife in the back(1). Now the problem remains to figure out how to stop those pesky nuclear assaults(2) and nanoweapons(3). Unfortunately, even the high techs were only protected from 1 and 2.
"Whatever you say Jack, you're the master race." -- Connor McLeod GE d-(--) s+: a19>? C++++ UL+ P++ L++>+++ E- W+(++) N+ o K? w(+) !O M- VPS +++ PE++ Y+ PGP t+@ 5+@ X R !tv() b++ DI+ D+ G e h--() r-- y?