Big Brother Would Like A Word With You
Its not enough that Big Brother is watching you - and in Britain, with its thousands of closed circuit television cameras, that's saying something. The innovative watchers in Middlesbrough have fitted loudspeakers to seven of its 158 cameras so you can hear Big Brother, too.
(Big Brother Talks and Watches)
Control room operators who see any sort of anti-social behaviour - from littering to late-night brawls near pubs - can now sound a verbal warning.
The new measure was introduced under the leadership of one Ray Mallon, a former police superintendent who was dubbed Robocop for pioneering the zero-tolerance approach to crime.
As always, if this limited pilot is successful, it will be extended from city to suburban streets.
Control room operators are being counseled to provide polite suggestions to evil-doers. For example, the practice of simply shouting "Oi you! Stop that!" is not permitted.
Not everyone is happy with the new system. Some people point out that cameras are really no substitute for having serviceful police officers on the beat.
Other unhappy souls include those who have read Orwell's 1984, and are familiar with the slippery slope that any technological implementation of Big Brother provides. Incessant monitoring of ordinary citizens should be repugnant to everyone.
Update 05-Apr-2007: I found the right Orwell quote to go with this story, finally:
'Smith!' screamed the shrewish voice from the telescreen. '6079 Smith W.! Yes, you! Bend lower, please! You can do better than that. You're not trying. Lower, please! That's better, comrade. Now stand at ease, the whole squad, and watch me.'
A sudden hot sweat had broken out all over Winston's body. His face remained completely inscrutable. Never show dismay! Never show resentment! A single flicker of the eyes could give you away. He stood watching while the instructress raised her arms above her head and -- one could not say gracefully, but with remarkable neatness and efficiency -- bent over and tucked the first joint of her fingers under her toes.
Update 10-Apr-2007:Take a look at this article for further disturbing developments - UK's Orwelling 'Baby' Brother Cams. (End update.)
For other all-to-real implementations of the ideas of George Orwell, read
Read more here.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/27/2006)
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 ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
First Artificial Memory Formed In Animals
'Is an extra-factual memory that convincing?' Quail asked. - Philip K. Dick, 1966.
China's Artificial Intelligence-Enhanced Education
'The grey gas not only cut off his vision, but also his other senses...' - James Blish, 1951.
France's 'Red Team' Of Science Fiction Authors
'They're the only experts we have.' - Niven and Pournelle, 1985.
BrainNet Triple Telepathic Gaming Threat
'In the gloomy half-darkness the three idiots sat babbling.' Philip K Dick, 1956.
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.
Zephyr Solar-Electric Stratospheric Drone
'The planes flew continuously, twenty-four hours a day...'
Robot Hummingbird Hovers Biomimetically
'With a buzz... it started out on its journey.'
Harvest Water From Air With Sunlight
'The atmosphere yielded its moisture with reluctance.'
Capitalist Big Brother Co-Opts Regular Big Brother
'It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time.'
A Floating Cosmodrome
'...a single perfectly level platform, which rose so high above the water that it was not splashed by the waves.'
First Artificial Memory Formed In Animals
'Is an extra-factual memory that convincing?' Quail asked.
Maintain Your Megastructure
Megastructures have repair robots, which have repair robots, ad infinitum.
Venezuelans Teaching Your Self-Driving Car
‘She wouldn't stop until Antar had told her everything he knew...’
Robothread Robotic Worms Crawling Through Your Brain
Perfect for clot-busting in the human brain. No Raquel Welch and no lasers, though.
Vantablack BMW X6 Is Douglas Adams Approved
'It's so... black!' said Ford Prefect.
Humanoid Robot's Muscles Biomimic Ours
'It is remarkable that the long leverages of their machines are in most cases actuated by a sort of sham musculature...'
Animatronic Robotic Baby Exposed
'The birth of Machine, my robot child...'
Beijing HaiDiLao Robotic Hotpot Restaurant Now Flavored By Artificial Intelligence
'Kantos Kan led me to one of these gorgeous eating places where we were served entirely by mechanical apparatus.'
Plants of the Future - What Should They Be Like
'He almost choked in his astonishment. Mashed potatoes and brown gravy!'
China Deploys Robot Traffic Police
'The robot came up smooth and fast as a rocket...'
Better Than Dune Chromoplastic? This Guy Might Have Done It
'But when Old Father Sun departs, the chromoplastic reverts to transparency in the dark.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories