Kindle Orwellian Nightmare
The apparent success of Amazon's wonderful Kindle has everyone's head full of blissful visions of instantly updated newspapers, books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound tracks, cartoons, photographs - every last error corrected and every last and most recent version included.
Well, maybe not everyone's head.
At UrbZen, the following scenario is presented:
Consider what might happen if a scholar releases a book on radical Islam exclusively in a digital format. The US government, after reviewing the work, determines that certain passages amount to national security threat, and sends Amazon and the publisher national security letters demanding the offending passages be removed. Now not only will anyone who purchases the book get the new, censored copy, but anyone who had bought the book previously and then syncs their Kindle with Amazon—to buy another book, pay a bill, whatever—will, probably unknowingly, have the old version replaced by the new, “cleaned up” version on their device. The original version was never printed, and now it’s like it didn’t even exist. What’s more, the government now has a list of everyone who downloaded both the old and new versions of the book.
I'd hate for a device as friendly and cheerful as the Kindle to be used in this way by the State, but it would be a lot less work than George Orwell wrote about in 1984:
And when all of the changes that happened to be necessary in any particular number of the Times had been assembled and collated, that number would be reprinted, the original copy destroyed, and the corrected copy placed on the files in its stead. This process of continuous alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound tracks, cartoons, photographs - to every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance. Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date...
All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as necessary. In no case would it have been possible, once the deed was done, to prove that any falsification had taken place...
For fun, take a look at this article on Electronic Erasable Paper - Xerox Seeks E-Palimpsest. If this article results in wrong thoughts about the Kindle, please be sure to practice crimestop.
From Amazon Kindle = Privacy FAIL via Rough Type.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/16/2009)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 6 )
Related News Stories -
Dell's Venue 8 7000 Tablet With RealSense Depth-Mapping
Focus on any part of a picture later.
Smartphone Holographic Displays In 2015
If Sith Lords can have one... So can you!
Navdy HeadUp Display (HUD) For Your Car
'All displays are thrown on a mirror in front of you...'- Robert Heinlein, 1959.
LG Display's 18 Inch Flexible OLED Panel Is Awesomely Cool
'...a wide sheet of clear material suddenly flared with light and swirling color.'- EC Tubb, 1958.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Nexus 6 Phone Vs. Nexus-6 Android Comparison
It has 'ten million possible combinations of cerebral activity'. Now, that would be a smart phone.
Robot Handwriting Via App Better Than Yours
Don't get caught with fake handwriting.
MIT's Latest Biosuit For Fashionable Astronauts
'You'd need a space suit to make any kind of a successful trip outdoors.'
Diamond Nanothreads For Space Elevators?
'Continuous pseudo-one dimensional diamond crystal.'
3D Printing With Moon Regolith Simulant (Moon Dust)
Don't forget, it costs about 5k dollars to lift one pound up from Earth.
Liquid Metal Technology Now Exists
'A mimetic poly-alloy.'
Sense.ly Virtual Nurse Will See You Soon
The virtual nurse is IN.
China's Crab Walker Robot Tank In Firing Mode
'The mechanism was to consist of eighteen segments, each equiped with a pair of legs...'
'Hello, Computer!' Intel's Core M Catches Up To Scotty
'Well, isn't that quaint!'
Visual Speech Recognition - When Will HAL Read Lips For Real?
Automating lip reading.
MIT's Robotic Cheetah Runs Free - And Frolics In The Grass
'THEY sent A SLAMHOUND on Turner's trail...'
Flying Robot Has An Arm
Drones with arms.
Strati 3D Printed Car
'You rode in it - you know how good it is.'
Tracking Spinning Space Junk
'Loose nuts and bolts... had been accumulating in Earth orbit'
Baidu Kuaisou Dune Poison Snooper Chopsticks
'Unobtrusive inspections with... snoopers... Will it be chaumas - poison in the food?'
Crystalized Light Created At Princeton
'It will be matter, matter made of light...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories