Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

Panopticlick Browser Ident-Key You Didn't Know You Had

Panopticlick is a unique website that pulls the information (that you didn't know you had) about your computer that all websites can see, and then display it for you. Panopticlick tells you how unique your computer is, based on its configuration, which provides the equivalent of a device fingerprint.

When you visit a website, you are allowing that site to access a lot of information about your computer's configuration. Combined, this information can create a kind of fingerprint a signature that could be used to identify you and your computer. Some companies are already using technology to try to identify individual computers. But how effective would this kind of online tracking be?

EFF is running an experiment to find out. Panopticlick will anonymously log the configuration and version information from your operating system, your browser, and your plug-ins, and compare it to our database of many other Internet users' configurations. Then, it will give you a uniqueness score letting you see how easily identifiable you might be as you surf the web.

So, I visited the Panopticlick site on my trusty laptop, and here is my result:


(The author's Panopticlick result)

This means that I am very effectively "fingerprinted" when I surf the web. Great.

Philip K. Dick (who else?) wrote about the ident-key in his 1964 book The Penultimate Truth which not only identified the person, but every intellectual source material that person had ever accessed:

"Your ident-key, please," the ruling monad of the archives buzzed. He slid his key into the slot; it registered, and now the ruling monad, after consulting its memory bank, knew and remembered every source item he had ever utilised, and in what sequence; it comprehended the entire pattern of his formal knowledge.

From the archives' standpoint, it now knew him without limit, and so it could declare - or so he hoped - the next point on the graph of his growing, organic, mentation-life. The historic development of him as a knowing entity.
(Read more about the ident-key)

Also, for those who enjoy word origins, "panopticlick" appears to be the mating of Panopticon and "mouse click". A Panopticon is a circular prison designed by English philosopher Jeremy Bentham in 1785; the idea is that all prisoners could be observed at all times in their cells from a central guard office by means of simple optics available at the time.

Visit the Panopticlick website and see how unique your device fingerprint is; thanks to Frolix_8 and Metafilter.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/28/2010)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )

Related News Stories - (" Surveillance ")

Amazon One Is Frank Herbert's Palm Lock
'A palm lock must be keyed to one individual's hand shape and palm lines.' - Frank Herbert, 1965.

Who Needs Dogs? Trained Bees Detect Explosives
'The directing neurological tissue that forms the basis of the swibble is alive...' - Philip K Dick, 1955.

Government In-Home Surveillance - Yes! Say Third Of Under-30 Adults
'The TV screen flicked to show a kitchen.' - Pournelle and Niven, 1981.

New Train Station Offers Minority Report-Style Signs
A whole new world awaits you, John Anderton!

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

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.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Vast Apartment Living Will Get Even More Vast
'What is your population', I asked. 'About eighty millions.'

NASA Wants Self-Driving Or Remote-Controlled Vehicles For Lunar Astronauts
'THE autobus turned silently down the wide street of Hydropole. Robot-guided, insulated from noise and cold...'

Elon Musk Says Robotaxis Will Be Ready This August, 2024
'The car had no steering wheel, and no one drove!'

Moonwalkers AI-Controlled Electric Shoes
Now that's power walking that Hugo Gernsback would have approved.

Steve Jobs: 'Capture The Next Aristotle - With AI'
'It was disturbing to think of the Flatline as a construct...'

No Tips! Robotic Food Delivery In Phoenix
'...he rewired the delivery robot so that it would serve him midnight snacks.'

Electric Catamaran 'Explorer Eco 40m' Has 'Solar Skin'
'On went the electric-yacht faster and still faster.'

Orbital Mechanics, The Liftoff, The Turnover, The Retrograde Burn
'...the huge vessel had spun, with a sickening lurch, through a complete half-circle, the instant the power was reversed.'

Harvest Power From Tears And Blinking With Smart Contact Lens
'...he realized that it was not quite a clear lens. Speckles of colored brightness swirled and gathered in it.'

Europa Clipper Plate Carries A Special Message
'...a universal cryptogram yet it is one which can be interpreted by any intelligent creature on any planet in the Solar System!'

Micro-Robots Are Smallest, Fully Functional
'With a whir, the Scarab shot from the concealing shadows of the corner where it had hidden itself.'

AI Enhances Images Your Brain Sees
'I could have sworn the psychomat showed pictures almost as sharp and detailed as reality itself'

Illustrating Classic Heinlein With AI
'Stasis, cold sleep, hibernation, hypothermia, reduced metabolism, call it what you will - the logistics-medicine research teams had found a way to stack people like cordwood and use them when needed.'

Deflector Plasma Screen For Drones ala Star Wars
'If the enemy persists in attacking or even intensifies their power, the density of the plasma in space will suddenly increase, causing it to reflect most of the incoming energy like a mirror.'

DIY Robotic Hand Made After Loss Of Fingers
'I made them... with the fine work of the watchmaker...'

Cheap Drunk Driver Detection From UofM
"Look, I can drive... Start, darn it!"

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.