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Subdermal Implant Can Be Tracked via GPS 257

Posted by michael
from the it's-ten-PM-do-you-know-where-your-children-are? dept.
mack knife writes "Applied Digital Solutions, Inc., received a patent for a device which can be implanted under the skin and powered by biomechanical energy. The device, a transceiver, can be tracked through GPS. God help us all. Yahoo story here." Or see the company's page. If your kid gets lost at MouseWorldtm, no need to use the park's PA system and annoy everyone by paging him - just whip out the GPS transceiver and home in on him. Maybe we can start implanting them at birth.
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Subdermal Implant Can Be Tracked via GPS

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  • Any theories on what 666 is supposed to be?


    ---
  • I could swear he wrote a story of such a chip that is **VOLUNTARLY** applied. However, once you have the chip, it is illegal to have it removed.

    So, in the story, a criminal convinces a kid not to have such a chip implanted, for him to use the kid several years later to perpetrate a "perfect crime", thanks to the kid's "unusual" untraceability...
    -- ----------------------------------------------
    Vive le logiciel... Libre!!!

  • The more power wielded (sp?) by those that govern, the more likely it will be that corrupt peolpe will seek to govern.

  • A relevant October 99 article from that bastion of net rapture, Wired. Refreshingly critical from a mag that is usually so swept up in the brave new future.

    Covers a company making GPS tracking claims similar to the ADSX announcement.

    Anatomy of a Spam [wired.com]

    Having read both articles, I need more evidence that this ADSX technology is viable in the near term. otherwise this announcement is just more vaporware.

  • Hmm. I would much rather put up with the evils of our current society, and yes, that includes disease, teen pregnancy, and so on, than give up my right to privacy. Sure we'll live in a nice sterile society, but we'll have a lot less to live for. What if you happen to be gay and in the closet? Those people -need- a fair amount of privacy. But no, of course, they must be doing something wrong if they want privacy. There are so many other examples I could post as well. You may be willing to live in a society where everyone has the same mindset, but I'm not. And our culture is not so accepting of anything out of the norm that a lack of privacy is a safe thing.

    I believe in freedom. I believe that giving up freedom for security would be a huge loss.

  • A decent sized microwave burst would effectively remove ANYONE from society! :) -Mr Spatula
  • certainly have something to hide. Individual people enjoy being "naughty" once in awhile, but society as a whole suffers the consequences of combined individual "naughtiness". The condition that facilitates naughtiness is privacy. Most (sane) people think "if I'm not being watched, I can do whatever I want".

    I see nothing wrong with the government or, better yet, civilians being able to keep track of everybody else. Think of all the maladies that plauge our world. Disease. Teen pregnancy. Physical abuse of children. The list goes on and on and on. These destructive social disasters could very easily vanish if we had a way of patroling our own society.

    Consider being able to fire up your HMD and find out if your teenage child is *really* at the Mall or if it's a smokescreen. Maybe their smoking crack, or perhaps, in very close proximity with a questionable young person of the opposite sex. It's not a matter of trust, it's a matter of protection. People's entire lives can be destroyed by mistakes made under the viel of privacy.

    I'd be more than willing to wear an implant, be under constant video surveillance, etc. because I have nothing to hide. Our govt. writes definitions of "right" and "wrong" but the collective people ultimately control the government.

    Before this turns into a rant....I'll just put on my asbestos underwear and leave it at that.

  • And that is exactly their (those who are actually ruling the world) intention, that people are arguing like you do: It is very useful, so let's accept it. Or they are working with the fear and desperation of parents whose children are missing. The chipped kid can't get lost. Great. So let's accept it. Of course it has advantages!! Of course they are not *forcing* us, but *tempting* us. But please try to see also the *disadvantages* (which is a cute little word for evil consequences that it can have). There is some good literature on this by now. I think we all should really get informed and be very careful.
  • And anyway do you think the governemt has the time to track all 4 billion people on the planet?

    Right on. Tracking all 6 billion people, or even half of us, would be inconceivably difficult, something like real time monitoring of all international electronic and voice communications.

    What's that you say? Echelon? Oh. Well then, maybe not so inconceivable.
  • ...and not jumping to Orwellian conclusions! Personally, I see a great many uses for this technology besides the "Big Brother" type. As mentioned, this would be gret for researchers. For example: to tag a shark, the electronic tag is attached to the dorsal fin, where it transmits for a week to perhaps a month, then falls off. However, with an implanted chip, the tag would not fall off, allowing scientists to track the animal for much longer. Another benefit is that a tiny implanted chip would be much more comfortable for the animal than current tags that either hang from the ear, or look like silver backpacks in the case of penguins. I would imagine that these become snagged or unwieldly. Also, this could be used for pets. Cats, dogs, even birds have a tendancy to escape, and your chances of finding them again are fairly slim. However, an implanted chip would be great. Can I imagine this being used in humans? Well, I have read 1984 and the like. But I have serious doubts that in the real world, this would ever come to pass. We need to stop fearing new technology for it's potential misuses, and embrace it for it's benefits.
  • Hell, I see this happening WAY sooner than 20 years from now. Remember Hillary's National Medical ID car, and the biometrics stuff that the Clintons are always pushing. They have a variety of excuses: the children, social security, health care. You can't say no to that, can you?

  • As a result of this, the inevitable following posts regarding the tag of prisoners, infants at birth and immigrants will be off-base, at least in western democracies.

    Actually, I don't see a problem with tagging people convicted of certain crimes (especially violent crimes). The way I see it, they gave up most of their rights when they did the crime. Barring forced tagging, there could always be the option of early release for those who willingly allow themselves to be tagged.

    This would be a tremendous deterence to repeating an offence if you could prove where the suspect was at the time of the crime.



  • I suspect that, in practice, such an implanted tag would never communicate directly with a satalite.

    The range would probably be 5 to 10 feet, and they would be activated by earthbound "location transceivers". These would talk to the sattilites (or maybe just use phone lines if they had a fixed position).

    They would be located at the entrances to public (and many orivate) buidings, all over at airports, eventually at streetcorners, in your car (the bait would be the convenience of no car keys, but the police would love this as well...), police cars, probably in your house as part of the security system, and so on.

    Whenever you passed near one of these stations, it would activate your implant, read your code, combine it with the ground stations known location, and transmit it back to the central database, maybe using a satalite, maybe not. GPS would likely only be used on those groundstations that are mobil, such as cars.
  • Yes, "Absolute Power corrupts Absolutely", but you're missing the first part of the quote, "Power tend to corrupt, and absolute ..."
  • Letting alone all paranoia and privacy issues, will those little implants work for everyone ? I mean, as soon as one speaks about implanting something in the human body, one quickly realizes that it doesn't work with some people... Will there be rejections ? Could this be dangerous (or even lethal) to some individuals ?

    Just imagine you have your grandmother "implanted" (bah I hate this word) and instead of helping you know where she is it kills her in 3 days ?

    Yeah, this was a bit exagerated... I'm not convinced by this thing, anyway.

    Just my $2E-2
  • I think this type of technology can have some very valuable uses if used properly.

    This is your key statement. Unfortunately, as human history has shown, we never use things properly. Well we start doing so, but then someone takes advantage of it, and everyone else sees that they need to, otherwise they will be left behind in the dust. The same goes with patents themselves. They started as a good thing because they were used properly. But then companies saw that they could use them for a greater advantage, and other companies followed because of the fear of what could happen if they don't.

    Implanting chips should be thought out in every way, and debated thoroughly. I personally don't like this idea, but I do have to say, my stock broker talked me into buying 100 shares of this company last week. So I have mixed emotions about this ;)

    Steven Rostedt
  • Unless someone can give me conclusive proof that this device was constructed under direct instructions from the anti-christ to be implanted in our head or hands to control whether we can buy or sell goods--no way am i getting one.

    Without the satan angle its just some cheezy way for Big Brother to make sure i'm staying where i should, and nobody needs that kind of hassle.
  • I am also a parent of two very young children. And I could not see myself implanting them with chips, even though I would be devastated if they were ever taken. But the morality of implanting something does not seem to be the answer. I rather be extra careful with them. Its a major dilemma that I have yet been asked.

    Look at it this way. Would you have been happy if your parents implanted something in you for this very reason?

    Steven Rostedt
  • let me put in a word that this might not necessarily be a bad thing if used correctly...

    I agree completly. However, looking at the US government's track record, I think it's pretty unlikely this will be used correctly.

    Finkployd
  • "It is for your own good!" Is a statment used by people to get them to trust you. I don't like needles - give me the 'blue pill'!

    Any tool can be used for 'good' or for 'evil' - If you really want to fight it, then you could purchase stock in the company and vote not to, or you could find out how they are going to do the tracking and prove that the technology has problems. Personally - if they used them like the 'Tap-Coms' in Next-Generation I wouldn't mind it. Make it a meta-phone.

    Were is Robin - In the closet at home.

    But once they have it, then companies will track you everyplace you go.

    Where is Robin?

    In the Bathroom.

    How long has Robin been in the Bathroom?

    2 hours 10 minuets.

    As the 'rescue' crew is called by the software to monitor movements [slashdot.org] and I loose my job...

    Ratting 4 - Just blowing off steam. [slashdot.org]

    Now the only thing that is missing is the bionic camera - so we can watch you stuff grits down your pants.



  • Sounds to me like the perfect way for a smart hacker to physically assume someone else's identity. Sounds like the perfect way to commit crimes in the future. Maybe you could be the next victim...
  • So we could have a 'bullet' that is litterly going to track us down.

    What was that movie with Tom Seleck that had the bullets that would lock on, and follow you?

    Maybe we should check the infared tracking systems and check to see 'who does not' have one of the devices. I wonder who they would be?

  • You must not read Sci-Fi. Anyone of the worlds that have been written about.

    The rule of thumb is if you can imagine it then someone can create it.

    Don't you like riding in a hand basket?

  • >>>Why does every technology or legislation having great potential for limiting privacy and personal freedom "protect our children" ?

    Because we live in an age where the security of most (American) people is so complete that we are systematically eliminating every behavior deemed risky or politically incorrect. The media blasts us with it, a do-gooder/"survivor" steps forward to denounce it, and a politician attempts to legislate against it. American voters (and yes, I am American) are dimwitted enough to think that anything done for "the children" must be a GOOD THING no matter what the consequences.

    People really need to realize that this is a fantastic time to be alive, and there's few personal freedoms that need to be governed. Corporate freedoms, on the other hand...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Sounds like we are well on the way to the Biblical Mark of the Beast.
  • Before anyone comes up with conspiracy theories as to how the government just might take these and implant them in everybody at birth so that they can track each and every citizen in real time as he journals over the globe (and into space when the GPS system is extended into space), learning exactly how he spends his time on an average day as a measure to fight against "crime" (which has been at a record low) while paying no regard to privacy, let me put in a word that this might not necessarily be a bad thing if used correctly...
  • Ever since the first politician, the entry scene of 2001 comes to mind, fear has been used to control the masses. The politician knows that if the masses hve no fear, then the system the politician is using to control them is open to control by the people he is controlling.

    In the case of you or me we [maybe not] may fear an auto could or will be stolen; the local US police can use Lojack, a gps system, to get it back. For parents a lost or kidnapped child is the end of the world as they know it. That is why "Lojack for Kids" will become A Good Thing(tm) for politicians. The police will thing its cool too, as they are paid by those same politicians. This model is good in the USofA but may work anywhere. -d

  • Imagine a situation where a large proportion of individuals are actually tagged using this system.

    To the extent that it is taken as proof of identity...

    Masquerading as another person by manipulating the chip would be cool.

    Also a decent sized EMP/microwave burst would effectively remove them from society as well!

  • It can be activated either by the "wearer" or by a remote monitoring facility
    I could think of a few situations where this would have benefits : downed pilots, or rescue workers, law enforcement personnel, elderly people, ... But then again, I don't like the 'remote monitoring facility' idea.

  • by kvajk (18372)

    I think you're right about 666 being a code name for Nero. Only, they didn't call him "Nero" back then, they called him "Neron". And they didn't write vowels in old hebrew, so his name written down was "NRN".

    How NRN becomes 666 is a mystery to me, though.
  • Is this a good thing or a bad thing?
  • Think of that: you carry a GPS along, a road map, and you will never get lost again!
  • It really shouldn't take much to see that there is a great potential for abuse with a system like this.

    Indeed. Might I ask what your feelings on gun control are?

    Any technology can be abused. Anything powerful enough to be useful can also be harmful. The first time it happened was when proto-humans discovered that the thigh bone of an antelope could kill their fellow proto-humans as easily as it could kill their prey.

    The application of a tool does not make the tool bad, and knowledge cannot be unlearned. Trying to stuff this genie back into the bottle -- the technological equivalent of sticking your head in the sand -- is not going to work.

    Do not try to fight then inevitable. Embrace it instead, and make sure it does not get abused. Strive to make the human race better instead of trying to limit the tools we use in our self-abuse.
  • What you talkin' 'bout willis?
  • by jw3 (99683) on Monday December 20, 1999 @12:19AM (#1460029) Homepage
    Probably there will be a lot of comments on how bad is it for privacy, and what bad, bad things will follow - like, goverment control, "Big Brother is watching you" and so on. On the other hand, this had to happen, we all knew it - all the way long. Implants you can track, globally - this is not a new sf idea, and we all knew that the components are already available. Hence my question: is it only my impression, or could we have prepared us better for such a coup? Like, at least, informing the "broad" public that things like that are possible?

    Personally, I think that the coming century will be The Century Of Lost Privacy. Everyone easily accessible, everyone online, everyone with a handy and a PID, you give someone a handshake and he hacks into your PAN... no, not even that: you give your data automatically, because you are expected to, just as you are expected now to have a phone at home, so people from the office can reach you any time (no, I have no phone at home. But I spend most of my time in the lab anyway). Privacy will be a luxury, an expensive treat: like, you have to pay to have your phone removed from the telephone book, only more. What I'm saying here isn't a new prophecy: we are all expecting it, aren't we? So what can we do against it? Staing online when we want on one hand, but disconnecting from the global information system when we want.

    It's clear for me that those implants will become extremly popular: the drawbacks are much weaker then the profits, and, what is probably more important, the *comfort*, the easieness of achieving certain goals. Say, most of the cases a kid is lost it's the parents who didn't pay attention as they should. Now - implanting this tracking device is much easier then being reasonable, isn't it? People are striving towards easy solutions, even if they are bad in the longterm. What is easier *now* is better.

    I think I'm in a pessimistic mood today...

    Regards,

    January

  • Well that chip can't be the one from the bible...having it implanted into you have to be volintary.
  • by connah (125251)
    >Any theories on what 666 is supposed to be? Do you mean Biblically speaking or what it is in reference to Digital Angel? If Digital Angel, maybe nothing...yet. They have already said on their site that they are working on the User ID portion of the chip now. The common belief is that the User ID will either be prefixed with, suffixed with, or otherwise incorporate the number 666. I do agree with a previous comment on slashdot that we are "well on our way to to mark of the beast" however it is important to remember that Digital Angel isn't necessarily it. They could be the ones that introduce the technology, get society use to the idea, then some other company picks it up and runs with it. All IMHO.
    Connah
  • Forget us private citizens, why not give it to soldiers?

    You have every single air force pilot, infantry grunt, what have you...sporting one of these tiny devices under his big ol' "24th MI BATILLON KICKS ASS" skull and eagle tattoo. This way, if he gets captured, Norman Schwartzsneeze can know the exact position of the POW camp or where ever it is "they" take captured US soldiers.

    What if the enemy finds out about our country's little secret? What if Omar Obdell Rockmond reads slashdot? I'd hate to me a captured army man...I'm sure they'd perform a little exploaratory surgery...eeeeccchhh!!!
  • A consumer device to detect subdermal implants.
  • Of course, to every technology, there's both a good and bad side. Yeah, save kids, but think of 3rd world countries. They'd possibly implant "criminals" with these chips, and the 'criminals' would never be able to escape. I'm thinking 1984 here.

    -------
    CAIMLAS

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Obviously there aren't to many parents on Slashdot.

    I am a parent...twice.

    A parent's worse nightmare is the potential snatching of their children.

    This sort of device would be great for young kids. Johnny gets snatched, a quick call to the appropriate folks, the cops get the bad guy and I get my kid back.

    All of the weirdos who swap photos on alt.*.binaries would hate this, and thats a "good thing".

  • If you think Circumcision is bad how would you like to Loose the whole thing [isna.org]?

    Yes they take and do whatever they want to babies - including giving them Social Security numbers. By doing so they are the property of the state. Without one they can not take the child away from you when you ask if it weird to feel arousal when you nurse. Of course the state of Michigan was just protecting the child from sexual abuse when the mother was breast feeding.

    Stupid but true tricks that mindless government does in the name of protecting you. And you wonder why the paranoids of /. are paranoid?

    Ratting 4 - Just blowing off steam. [slashdot.org]

  • I don't know about ACC, but subdermal tracers feature prominently in some of Niven's work.

    In his "Known Space" world, he wrote a seires of futuristic detective stories featuring Gil "The ARM" Hamilton.

    The ARM, or Algamarated Regional Militia, is the Earth's future police/military, after the United Nations becomes the govergning body of the planet.

    Anyway, one of the ARM's tools are subdermal tracer implants put in place by ARM agents without the subject's knowledge. These are used to track criminal suspects, possible kidnap victims, basically anyone the police would like to keep tabs on.

    I think the method of application was an airgun from a distance or something, so having one implanted would feel like nothing more than an any little pin prick or inscet bite.

    The Gil Hamilton stories take place in the relatively near future, 2050 or so. Many of them deal with the consequences of perfected rejection-free organ transplants, but before new organs can be cloned. Consequently, a trade in "organlegging" is established... people are kidnapped and broken up into spare parts for black-market transplant shops. Other social ramificationss are delt with too, as the death penalty is common for infractions we'd consider ridiculously minor. The reason? Demand for transplant organs, as the perferred execution is the organ banks. Also forget about preserving yourself cryonically... you'll wake up one piece at a time.

    They're really fascinating stories that I highly recommend.


    john
  • Sorry for posting this on this thread, (this is something that should be kinda near the top, IMHO) but I wanted to point out that some people (all?) may be having trouble 'clicking on the image to enlarge' [on the company's website]
    It seems it merely links to section #a of the page, which looks like it doesn't exist (nutscrape just points me to the very top of the page)
    But anyway, what I was going to say is:
    http://www.adsx.com/news/img/da2b.gif
    Is the URL for the enlarged image (the /news/img directory allows content listings (lucky for me))
    Hope this helps some of you out there interested in the technical aspects.
    [If this problem is happening to only me and the "click to enlarge" thing works for everyone else, I apologize for posting this message]
  • Daca nu taci ma din gura, sparg nasul. Si STIU nu vrei sa-ti sprag nasul! Sau vrei? Prentruca daca vrei, e nic-o problema... ;)
    Connah
  • Good question... Since 666 in Roman Numerals is:

    DCLXVI

    It just get's more confusing, because even if you convert the hebrew letters to latin alphabet, you still don't get anything useful (at least I don't think you do).
  • Q1, Forgive my lack of knowledge of patent law, but not very much of this is "new", this concept has cropped up in the media many times and is pretty old. Point 15 seems to be the "original" bit.

    Question 2, I'm no physicist, but I would guess that it should be possible to create a wearable device that can create enough interfere with the GPS signal to block the tracking device when you want to. How difficult would this be?

  • The best way to beat the system is to make all the monitoring tools public. Anyone could check their records at anytime, and have a fully disclosed report.
  • You can't see a situation that this could be good? Really?

    Nope, not at all.

    What about wrongful prosecution? "Where were you on the night of the 14th" type thing. People have been arrested and put in prison, but if they could have proven where they were (history logs from the tags) they wouldn't even have been arrested.

    And the government would never fake up any logs to wrongfully prosecute an "enemy of the state", would they??

    So, you don't think stopping a single innocent man from going to prison is worth being tagged do you not? Okay, so the system could be open to abuse, but it does have possibilities. Think about what it could mean for others, not just yourself.

    I thought about the possibilities, and it's scary. As I said before, that's the same argument most of the uninformed folks use when they propose more gun control. "If only one person is saved, it's worth it." Except that argument always falls on it's face when you look at the reverse side of the argument. In order for that to stand up to reality, you also have to include the lives that are taken because of what is proposed. In the histroy of this earth, not just the US, the lives lost due to plans to "help us" have taken more than they have saved.

    Diggs

  • Makes sense. Also, I said in another post that this system would|could be used like Lojack. Well, I also stated that Lojack was "a gps system", I think that statement is not really correct. The correct, and I am not sure I am right, answer is; Lojack is microwave station based. Now this new device could use the existing system the Lojack people designed. If I am correct. -d
  • Oops..I'm going to get moderated down for that subject line, aren't I? ;)


    Well, nevertheless, just wanted to let y'all know that all this crap about "so-and-so is the Antichrist" and "This must be the Mark of the Beast" is just that - CRAP. Because it's pretty clear if you even just skim all the propechies in the Bible that the rise of the Antichrist and the mark of the beast occurs AFTER the rapture. And the last time I checked, millions of people had yet to disappear from the face of the Earth. Heck, even the popular fiction about the end times gets this part right - rapture first, then the beast...


    I would think that Slashdot would have posted a story about that anywayz. ;)


  • Movie was called 'Runaway' and was about rogue robots etc, including a person tracking smart micro-missile.

    --
  • ...just look for the kids that wrap themselves in aluminum foil. :P
  • by jaso (91769)
    Hush now, baby, don't you cry Mama's gonna make all of your nightmares come true Mama's gonna put all of her fears into you Mama's gonna keep you right here under her wing She won't let you fly, but she might let you sing Ooooh babe, oooh babe, oooh babe Of course mam'll help build the wall. Hush now, baby, don't you cry, Mama's gonna check out all your girl friends for you Mama won't let anyone dirty get through Mama's gonna wait up till you come in Mama will always find out where you've been Mama's gonna keep you healthy and clean Ooooh babe, ooooh babe, ooooh babe You'll always be a baby to me. (mother, did it need to be so high?)
  • In order for anything to reliably receive GPS signals, you've got to have a sensitive antenna and essentially be outdoors. The idea that an implant in any fashion could do so is ludicrous with current technology.

    More likely, the implants send out a very weak signal which can be picked up by ground stations (perhaps mobile), which would be able to triangulate the position and compare it against GPS coordinates of the tracking station.

    And with respects congress eliminating funding for GPS, you may have misread that article or something. GPS as it is will be untouched. Only funding for the "modernization" of it (making it much more accurate, and potentially incompatible with existing receivers) was cancelled. GPS isn't going anywhere.
  • >"It is for your own good!" Is a statment used by
    >people to get them to trust you. I don't like
    >needles - give me the 'blue pill'!

    Take the *red* pill!!! You could be the one! All I'm offering is the truth, nothing more.

    Sorry. I couldn't resist.



    john
  • by maelstrom (638) on Monday December 20, 1999 @02:59AM (#1460062) Homepage Journal

    ...but I wouldn't care to have a chip implanted at birth. If for instance something were to happen to you, rescue-teams would find you more easily.

    No offense, but people like you really frighten me. It really shouldn't take much to see that there is a great potential for abuse with a system like this. Imagine a system like this carried out forcefully on an entire population such as Communist China.

    Even if you were a "good citizen", you could suddenly come under suspicion if the computers tracking you determined you came into contact with a dissident. Or perhaps you were loitering too long in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    You can be assured that if the Chinese government had something like this after the Tiananmen Square massacre that every citizen determined to have spent too much time in the area would be suspected of harboring anti-government thought.

    It is not a far stretch to see that this could be misused in other countries as well. In the United States, even with a pretty paranoid Constitution there have been massive abuses by the government. I certainly don't feel the entire government is out to "get" anybody, but it only takes a few corrupt individuals placed in the right position to abuse their power.

    Do you feel it was right for the FBI to investigate and infiltrate the organization of Martin Luther King Jr., the civil rights leader? It happened. Ever read the Puzzle Palace? Check out Project SHAMROCK.

    "In 1945, Project SHAMROCK was initiated to obtain copies of all telegraphic information exiting or entering the United States. With the full cooperation of RCA, ITT and Western Union (representing almost all of the telegraphic traffic in the US at the time), the NSA's predecessor and later the NSA itself were provided with daily microfilm copies of all incoming, outgoing and transiting telegraphs."

    How about OPERATION CHAOS?

    "When Johnson ordered CIA Director John McCone to use the DOD to analyse the growing college student protests against the Administration's policy towards Vietnam, two new units were set up to target anti-war protesters and organisations: Project RESISTANCE, which worked with college administrators, campus security and local police to identify anti-war activists and political dissidents; and Project MERRIMAC, which monitored any demonstrations being conducted in the Washington, DC, area. The CIA then began monitoring student activists and infiltrating anti-war organisations by working with local police departments to pull-off burglaries, illegal entries (black bag jobs), interrogations and electronic surveillance. After President Nixon came to office in 1969, all of these domestic surveillance activities were consolidated into Operation CHAOS."

    http://www.i sleofavalon.co.uk/local/h-pages/pro-freedom/echelo n_2.html [isleofavalon.co.uk]

    These are just a few documented abuses of power that have occured in the recent past. Do you truly believe that abuses won't take place again?

    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."- The Papers of Ben Franklin

  • Yes, you can and it's not very expensive. It works a little differently, though, in that you can't read it from a satellite. Animal Control or the Humane Society or your vet will have a handheld scanner that will pick up the trace from the implant when they pass it over the animal's shoulderblades (where the chip is implanted) and display its information. In that respect, it isn't much different than a dog tag. Dog tags and collars can come off, though.
  • If they get it cheap enough, then ever phone, every car, every TV, Stereo, computer, and pair of sunglasses could have one. Turn on a light - and it is powered.

    Place them in your cat and you can find the cat anytime you want.

    Place them in your child, and know that he was in the car doing the drive by.

    Trust me it is for your own good! They always say that just before they stick you with the needle!

    Ratting 4 - Just blowing off steam. [slashdot.org]

  • This sounds like a great idea! I hope that all American troops get this implant before 2010 when we (the Canadians) launch our invasion. That way, we don't even have to aim - just get one of those receiver doo-hickies, and our ammunition can home right in on the targets. :^)

    This is even funnier than the Brits painting targets on their airplanes [spitfireart.com] in WWI and WWII.

  • Now all they need is a small explosive implanted at the neo-cortex and instead of chasing the criminal.

    Ratting 4 - Just blowing off steam. [slashdot.org]

  • I am a parent and I frequent Slasdot. I think I fear me, my wife or my daughter being tracked by some government agency than my any of us being snatched by some *sicko*.

    A little more erosion of personal privacy and freedom in the name of the greater public good. Sheesh! If they implant them at birth will you get the choice to say no? Could you possbly be black listed as a subversive if you refuse?

    No thanks. I think I'll rely on prayer.
  • Getting phiolosophical here (and a little off topic):

    What happens when these kinds of "privacy killing" devices are ubiquitous? How about when no implant is needed to track you? ("Kirk: He's the only vulcan on the whole ship, can't you get a lock on him?") Perhaps we will stop caring about privacy. We will succumb to the fact that all our knowledge is shareable, and we will not become quiet mice, but louder than ever. We will share our thoughts without fear of judgement or retribution. At that point, humanity will become more productive than ever before. How many geniuses sit silently without sharing their thoughts, for fear of becoming insane?

    Perhaps that world isn't so bad after all. But for it to work, humanity must grow at the same rate as technology.

    (Okay, this won't ACTUALLY happen, but its a nice thought)
  • I must say that scares me a great deal. I can just imagine in five or ten years... A law will probably be passed that requires the use of these devices starting from birth. I think that technologies like this can be abused far too easily. The possibilities boggle the mind.
  • by jaso (91769)
    Hush now, baby, don't you cry
    Mama's gonna make all of your nightmares come true
    Mama's gonna put all of her fears into you
    Mama's gonna keep you right here under her wing
    She won't let you fly, but she might let you sing
    Ooooh babe, oooh babe, oooh babe
    Of course mam'll help build the wall.

    Hush now, baby, don't you cry,
    Mama's gonna check out all your girl friends for you
    Mama won't let anyone dirty get through
    Mama's gonna wait up till you come in
    Mama will always find out where you've been
    Mama's gonna keep you healthy and clean
    Ooooh babe, ooooh babe, ooooh babe
    You'll always be a baby to me.

    (mother, did it need to be so high?)
  • > Breast implants seemed like a good idea to a lot of people at first too.

    Breast implants also turned out to be safe; they were never able to prove any ill effects. Whether they were a good idea or not, who knows?
  • this device must be triggered by the user

    The article explicitely indicates it could be potentially activated by the user or by a monitoring station.

    It wouldn't be very useful for doing things like tracking animals if the animals had to be the ones activating the implant, yes?

    I imagine the market for this type of device in *humans* will not be realistically high compared with other uses.

    How about some more discussion of the technical feasability of this idea?

    So long as the transmissions were done quickly, and the base stations were dense enough in the area to search (they could be mobile), I don't see why this wouldn't necessarily work.

    I don't imagine the type of coverage offered by, say, cell phone towers would be remotely capable of detecting a signal from one of these implants, so any area you want this device to function in would have to be specifically set up to do so, probably at a substantial cost.

    But who knows, maybe they've developed a way of transmitting signals that would work at much greater distances than I'm tempted to believe...
  • there is something very wrong when these greedy companies patent everything possible which sohuld not be allowed to patent many obvious ideas.

    the government doesnt care because the more patents they approve of the more fees they get and the more they make to spend it on who knows what.

    !?!?#5^?57?^73?67^?78*?&*/7(?&*(?&*9/*(?*?

  • There was an article in Wired magazine that I remember being about this sort of thing, and how much of a fraud it was. All the investors have lost every single cent they put into it. I would not be suprised if this was the same company.
  • The Bible might not be the word of God. But, it was written by men who knew what's going on. Leaders have always wanted to do things like this. That's why it's not surprising to see it in the Bible.
  • As far as I know, it is the numerical representation of the name Nero (the Roman Emperor), in Hebrew alphabet. Each letter also had a numerical value, and for Nero this gave 666. The author of the Apocalypse just wanted to bad-mouth the emperor without saying his name directly, but then again, IANAT (I am not a theologist).




  • The bible tells us that the mark of the beast will be on the forehead or the right hand.

    So, we just require everyone to have these things implanted in their LEFT hand!!!

    Or their armpit, or bellybutton, or buttocks, or somewhere.

    Then we'll be *perfectly* safe from the antichrist!


    john
  • by Nipok Nek (87328) on Monday December 20, 1999 @03:32AM (#1460096)
    Here's the scenario that gives *ME* the willies.

    (For purposes of this story, we are assuming that activating/locating this device is a trivial
    issue, and not something the National Guard is called out for.)

    Mother Careful, and Father Careful have Baby Careful. Mother and Father have heard all
    about this new "Angel" thing from the hospital, and they say it's only $20 (They mention
    it right after asking if they want him 'snipped' (Baby Careful is a Boy :) ) They feel that
    this is, of course, a very sensible thing to do, as some mean person may wish to steal their
    wonderful Baby. "Now we will always know where Baby is" crows Father Careful, and
    promptly forgets all about it.

    Mother Careful, however, doesn't forget.

    For the first few years, it's more of a novelty, since Baby Careful is never more than a few
    feet from Mother Careful. On Baby's 5th Birthday, Mother has the newer/later version
    inserted into Baby which can last almost 20 years ("It's just a tiny slit, and it will heal in a
    day or so", says Doctor Helpful) Father knows nothing of this, since he never takes Baby
    to his appointments.

    Baby Careful's Kindergarten class is interrupted one day, when Mother Careful comes
    running in, to discover that the children had been moved to the other side of the building.
    (The heat wasn't working in the classroom that day.) She gathers Baby up, and keeps him
    home the rest of the week.

    Baby Careful (Now Junior Careful) comes home after school, and waits for the questions.
    "Yes" he answers, he didn't come right home, he stooped at Jimmy's House for a few
    minutes, and then was at the Library. "Almost 45 minutes" Mother Careful corrects him.
    "And you didn't go to the Library at all." Junior learns never to try and fool Mother again.

    "Mother, I'm 17. I'm practically an Adult", retorts Junior. "I don't care. You were in her
    Bedroom, and I told you I don't want my baby doing those kinds of things"

    "I was not, I was downstairs in the Living Room, and the Kitchen the whole time. We
    were studying, honest"

    "Junior... you KNOW you can't lie to Mother. You were *upstairs* in her room for over
    an hour. Mother knows everything her little Junior does. You aren't to see that little slut
    again.."

    "But Mother!!!" This time, his protest is weaker.

    "Anyone here named Junior?" asks the bartender to the room, holding a telephone
    receiver in the air. Junior hunches up a little more tightly over his drink, and ignores the
    question.

    Nipok Nek
  • Kinda like those kinetic watches, and probably won't help you if you're dead...
  • Until they cut off your kid's arm to get rid of the transmitter...

    Or implant a bomb in him, and using the same technology, explode the bomb if he is removed from a certain area...

    Or the police track Johnny's movements, wait for him to be alone (all from the comfort of a squad car across town), and then beat the crap out of him for associating with some group of "radicals" (like people who oppose the use of this technology without strong citizen oversight).

    And you know, there are alt.binaries groups that used for things other than warez or pr0n. You sound like a politician.

  • The way I read the patent (as posted above) this device must be triggered by the user. At any rate, it's not always transmitting.

    That would stand to reason, since transmitters require some power. In order to pick up the signal, they'd have to bounce it off a sat or a cell tower or something. There's no way you could generate enough power with body movement to do that continuously! (I'm imagining people walking around and constantly twirling their arms wildly...)

    So this thing must build up energy for a quick transmission, triggered by the user (or maybe a timer).

    Even this seems a bit far fetched from a technical standpoint. I remember an article in Wired a couple months back about a fairly shady company with a product called KidTrak (it was total vaporware because the technology to transmit the signal was far too bulky).

    To quote the company, this product is "... still in the early developmental stage ..."

    I'd love to think these guys have a great product, but I have to assume they've patented technology that doesn't even exist yet in the hopes of capitalizing on it when someone finally figures out how to do it.

    How about some more discussion of the technical feasability of this idea? (And less about Big Brother and the black UN helicopters?)

    - StaticLimit
  • Implant everyone? No. Only those who have been "brought within the system." Probationers, parolees, prisoners and ex-cons. Though of course since these poeple are still a threat to our children, we have to leave the chips in after they have served their time. It's just like tracking sex offenders. A small price to pay for a safer society, right?

    These also would be an excellent replacement for the bracelets or anklets used for home detention. Especially if combined with a small explosive charge that detonates if they leave the prescribed area. That will keep these evil perverts from threatening children. And you don't hate children, do you?

    Of course, now it's easier to bring people "within the system" for minor offenses, to identify and control them before they go from vandals and joyriders to murderers. We can control more criminals with fewer prisons and police (and thus lower taxes), and have safer streets for our children to play in when we start implanting explosive tracers in minor offenders. This ease of control will let us start getting really serious about law enforcement! No more problems with prison overcrowding when every convict can have their own portable prison.

    But what really excites me is the possibility for embracing and extending preventative detention programs. You might know that the courts have found that it's perfectly ok to lock people away before they've actually committed any crime. Really the only barrier to applying this broadly - and thus making our children almost completely safe - is the cost of incarcerating all those thought criminals. No more! Finally, everone who is - or might become - a threat to our children can be tracked and controlled automatically.

    Surely, paradise is at hand.

    Pardon me while I go stock up on home surgery supplies...

  • I know that the abuse will take place.

    I just don't know what to do about it.

    If you protest, you are taged as a Communist which is ironic since the US has already adopted Communism [richmond.edu]. Carl Marx had an idea of what it would take for a country to be Commuist, and we seem to have followed his rules fairly well.

    You don't even have to be protesting and the mentality [hw.ac.uk] of a police state [slashdot.org] will send me to the hospital.

    Ratting 4 - Just blowing off steam. [slashdot.org]

  • Forgive me if I am being slightly brick-wallish (no, that's not a word.. sue me), but it seems like a very prudent call on the surgeon's part to not want to open your friend's heart back up and remove this chip. It *is* in his heart, right.. that's the way that you insinuated it to be. Invasive surgery like that is generally left to life threatening situations - something that i don't believe the chip qualifies as.

    If it is in another part of his body (arm, thigh, hand, yada yada) then I think that it is disrespectful and unprofessional of the doctor to not remove it if the patient finds it disturbing.

    The advantage (to recap another /.er's post), is that if anything happens to your friend, the medics have instant access to his ID and medical records like blood type and allergies. This would count as a good thing in my book.. and something that, given the choice, I would personally want.

    Try and be a little more open minded.

    --
  • I want to complete a transaction - and they ask were my id is, and I present them with my ass!


  • This is wonderful, I can now start a business selling aluminum foil hats to all my fellow Missourians who will shortly be emerging from their y2k survival huts, relieved they survived the apocolyps that didn't happen (again) but are now terrified that the government tracking satellites are *REAL*!
  • by winterstorm (13189) on Monday December 20, 1999 @05:17AM (#1460146)
    Unfortunately prisoners in the custody of the state, children in the custody of guardians (often wards of the state), mental patients, the homeless, refugees, and immigrants have insufficient rights or power to oppose those would implant these devices in them. I suspect the first human victims of tracking implants will be people convicted of "conspiracy" charges in drug related cases.

    "Conspiracy" is a charge used by the authorities when they can't convict you of a crime but feel you must be punish you. It has become a very popular charge since the inception of the so-called "drug war". "conspiracy" for instance could possibly be used to convict protestors at the WTO gathering last month. Convicted of conspiracy, and labeled a threat, protestors would be seen as ideal canditates for implanting by the authorities. Implanting would be a fantastic way to discourage protesting, and also convict protestors (if your convicted of conspiracy you can be ordered not to associate with a group of people, and if your implanted they can prove you did associate with them and put you in jail for a longer period of time).

    Implanting tracking devices in humans is something that should be opposed.

    Oppose innapropriate applications of technology, not technology itself.

  • by lblack (124294) on Monday December 20, 1999 @12:21AM (#1460150)
    I fear the posts that will follow after this. It's always a bit frightening when a technology that we've been familiarised with through distopian science fiction comes to the forefront in the real world.

    These would be quite handy for zoologists, marine biologists and their ilk. It would allow for much more tracking than the current tagging systems do. It has few applications with human beings that do not violate civil liberties, however. As a result of this, the inevitable following posts regarding the tag of prisoners, infants at birth and immigrants will be off-base, at least in western democracies.

    This is nothing more than a gateway technology that will make life easier for researchers. I very sincerely doubt that human implementation will be permitted unless specifically requested by the individual. As far as gateway tech goes, it isn't even very exciting -- what happened to the light-slower-than-light that seemed to open up so many possibilities?

    Ah well.

    -l
  • by Jerom (96338) on Monday December 20, 1999 @12:28AM (#1460156)
    ...but I wouldn't care to have a chip
    implanted at birth. If for instance
    something were to happen to you,
    rescue-teams would find you more
    easily.

    Maybe they even could integrate
    some info on the chip, like your
    ID, some basic medical info (think
    how usefull it would be if people
    wouldn't have to check your bloodtype
    after an accident before they can
    start transfusing you some blood,
    or to know what you are allergic for,
    if you already had a shot against
    tetanus etc...), your drivers-license
    or even your credit-card.

    Think about the telecom possibilities.
    You could dial someone personal number,
    and any phone close to him would just
    ring, even if he's sitting in someone
    elses office for the moment...
    (I helped with the implementation of this
    kind of system, but with infrared badges,
    in a hospital)

    BUT, of course, you should be able to
    disable the chip if you wich to...

    Just to much of a dreamer I guess

    J.
  • If I can get one of these implanted in my cat. That way if he ever gets out we can find him. I can think of a lot of uses like that, for example if you implated it in cows it would make life much easer for rachers. Or you could use it to tag animals for wildlife studies. I'm not sure I would want them in people, but I think it would be very usefull for animals.
  • by Captain Zion (33522) on Monday December 20, 1999 @12:33AM (#1460160)
    United States Patent 5,629,678: Personal tracking and recovery system

    Apparatus for tracking and recovering humans utilizes an implantable transceiver incorporating a power supply and actuation system allowing the unit to remain implanted and functional for years without maintenance. The implanted transmitter may be remotely actuated, or actuated by the implantee. Power for the remote-activated receiver is generated electromechanically through the movement of body muscle. The device is small enough to be implanted in a child, facilitating use as a safeguard against kidnapping, and has a transmission range which also makes it suitable for wilderness sporting activities. A novel biological monitoring feature allows the device to be used to facilitate prompt medical dispatch in the event of heart attack or similar medical emergency. A novel sensation-feedback feature allows the implantee to control and actuate the device with certainty.

    Claims:

    1. A transceiver device implantable in a human body comprising:

    • a triggerable radio frequency transmitter,
    • a power source for powering said transmitter,
    • triggering means for activating said transmitter,
    • receiver means allowing the detection of an externally generated information signal,
    • an antenna for effectively radiating RF energy from said transmitter to produce an identifiable RF signal for a period of time following activation by said trigger means,
    • said receiver means comprising an electromechanical device having a binary output, a digital decoder for detecting predetermined time-encoded information in the binary output of said electromechanical device and for providing an electrical trigger signal representative of the presence of such pre-determined information, and said trigger signal causing the activation of said transmitter.
    (...)

    5. The implantable device of claim 1, wherein said receiver means additionally comprises a sustainable power supply comprising means for picking up periodically available external energy without external electrical contact, storing said energy for use over time, such that the resultant stored energy is sufficient to power the receiver means with enough regularity to ensure proper detection of information on said incoming signal.

    (...)

    15. The transceiver of claim 1, further comprising sensory stimulus means for providing a noticeable stimulus to alert the human in whom the device is implanted that all or part of said externally generated information signal has been detected by said digital decoder.


  • small enough to be implanted in a child, facilitating use as a safeguard against kidnapping


    Why does every technology or legislation having great potential for limiting privacy and personal freedom "protect our children" ?



  • by Syberghost (10557) <syberghost@@@syberghost...com> on Monday December 20, 1999 @04:25AM (#1460177) Homepage
    If the US government becomes much more oppressive in the future, that's scary; but this technology doesn't really make it that much scarier.

    There are lots of ways to track people, and this technology isn't revolutionary.

    Don't focus on the tools; focus on the policies and the people. Condemning this technology because it can (and probably will) be misused is EXACTLY the same thing as blaming Columbine on Doom.
  • It isn't the fact that most people do not recognize that all of these ideas came from S.F. that bothers me most, but that many people today believe that what they see on TV is real.

    Not too many years ago in one of the magazines I used to read, there was an article about NASA inviting down a group of people to come up with the ideas that would exist in the next x (I think it was 50) years. It was a group of S.F. writers that were invited into this think tank.

    Turns out that the engineering mind could not create new things, but could design what the creative mind could come up with.

    And if I was paranoid, I would think that all of the creative minds in /. were being monitored, not because of fear that we would take over the world, but for the ideas to impliment once the technology is here.

    There was another think tank that I read about on how to monitor the people, and it turned out that the result of that was to get rid of paper currency. Now why would they want to monitor the people?

    Is it a fact that more people have been killed by there own government, than by any invading fource (waco). ahhh... except for Kan. Those invading hordes were rather abusive, and rude.

  • Considering GPS is a receive-only system, saying something can be "tracked by GPS" doesn't make much sense. The GPS satellites transmit accurate time and orbital status information that receivers use to calculate your position.
    This device is being called a "transceiver," so one could assume that it has a GPS receiver to figure out where it is, and a transmitter to broadcast that position to anyone who cares to listen.
    Of course, to locate the device, a second GPS receiver would be needed to get a bearing from where you are to where the device is.

    Anyway, this is just quibbling over semantics, and this device may be made moot in a few years, what with Congress eliminating funding for a civilian GPS [cnn.com].

    The satellites have a limited lifespan, and the current system is likely to be replaced with newer, better, incompatible systems. "Planned obsolescence" and "implant" a bad combination make.
    --
    Why Ah Must Scribble GNU

  • GPS is a passive system, that is you don't talk to it but only receive the signal. It would take THOUSANDS of time more power just to receive the signal from the microwave sattelite. Even if GPS is just part of the localising part; What range could be expected from the petty microwatt or two available? With virtually no antenna, it would have to operate at higher frequencies, not possible on the tiny power available. There are presently devices (for cattle, pigs, dogs, etc) that operate at a few cm and are powered by induction. At the very best, such devices may have
    a range of a few metres.

    Implants that communicate with low earth orbit sattelites appear to be strictly sci-fi. As for conventional implants, if you don't want it, destroy it with a relatively strong RF field. A GSM mobile phone may do but any university would have the equipment for a sure kill. I would prefer to look at this as a way to defraude suits with impressive language with no true technical content. Investment fraude - What's new?
  • by lblack (124294) on Monday December 20, 1999 @12:51AM (#1460193)
    It does seem that privacy is growing harder and harder to attain. I've had to politely but firmly turn down company cellphones on a few occasions, and there's been a certain amount of incredulity at the other end.

    Of course, that's almost an issue of personal space more than privacy. Privacy encompasses my sole right to myself and my thoughts, or at least it does so to me. That hasn't been affected too much. In fact, legislation is constantly being passed here (Eire) which limits the degree to which a company can pry into your personal life.

    Corporate culture and privacy are two separate things. It's fine that they want me to be on call -- I did not permit this, as was allowed under my contract -- that's a corporate prerogative, and one I would probably attempt to exercise as a CEO. If, however, they had an extensive background check run on me prior to my hiring I would be offended.

    The real privacy issue lies in the assemblage of data regarding your person and activities. GUIDs and what-have-you are the current crop of threats to an anonymous personal profile, not this sub-dermal device.

    Sure, it may permit complex E-transactions at the shake of a hand. Sure, this poses a security risk. This, in turn, poses a privacy risk. But then, so does keeping a diary.

    There are two contributors to privacy violation: personal information stores and access thereto. If the former is the simplest of census identities, the latter is meaningless. Unauthorised access to an information store can never be completely defeated, and so the only real option is to prevent profiling.

    I'm getting too off-topic here, though. What I'm trying to say is that, yes, in this age of micro-devices we have more and more trouble finding space for ourselves, as our employers feel a need to call on us (I have no phone or internet at my home, and have actually had a taxi sent for me) when we are not in, engage us professionally in social situations and so forth. These are not invasions of privacy, though, and the issues should not be confused. We are growing more and more wired, and therefor more and more engrossed in a corporate culture -- generally the first point of introduction for these snazzy new devices. This is another step down that road, yes, and I don't like it.

    But then, I don't carry a cell phone or a palm computer, nor do I maintain a telephone or internet access beyond my workplace. If personal space is an issue, you can make it. Don't accept the things foisted upon you.

    The taxi sent returned to the office with a politely worded letter.

    -l
  • This is just a minor extension of technology which has been in use for years. No big deal. Plugging it under the skin is novel, but was bound to happen sooner or later.

    Now, before you start jumping, it isn't likely that the government will ever implant everyone with this. To start off with, most people don't do very interesting stuff and your physical location isn't really all that important in the Infotmation Age (tm). Ok, so it is to me, but that's another thing.

    Also, it has many legitimate applications. Keeping track of your kids when going to large attractions, supermarkets, etc. You don't have to implant them, you can just hang one around their neck.

    Or keeping track of elderly people with heart conditions and alzheimer. A combination monitor/tracer would be ideal for doctors and family members.

    And, of course, all the usual about keeping track of your art work (like any competent thief wouldn't EMP it to hell...)

    Whatever, I'm blathering again.
  • by Bruce Perens (3872) <bruce@perens.com> on Monday December 20, 1999 @12:56AM (#1460196) Homepage Journal
    Although GPS might be part of the system, you would not track one of these with a GPS receiver, nor can a GPS receiver be adapted to track other objects than itself on the ground. Their literature shows it being tracked by a network of base stations, and possibly repeating the satellite GPS signal on its own frequency.

    Also, congress did not cut GPS funding, it cut funding for a modernization of the civilian GPS system in an incompatible way, adding new features. It's possible that DOD could decide to upgrade the defense GPS, the one we are now using, in an incompatible way, but unlikely (think of all the GPS owners in the U.S. calling their congress people).

    Bruce

  • Smart-ass.

    (Sorry, I just couldn't resist that one...)
  • You're mostly correct, GPS requires a mostly unobstructed line of sight to at least 3 satelites (4 if you want altitude, I believe). Some receivers can still provide a signal if there is moderate tree cover.

    For the most part, though, this patent is absolutely worthless and pure marketing hype. GPS signals are easily blocked; in an urban canyon such as downtown SF, it's likely your receiver may not see ANY satelites. Also, a user could easily block the antenna they're wearing with any metallic object.

    A more feasible system would use a ground based triangulation system, similar to that proposed for use with cell phones.
  • ...since the US has already adopted Communism.
    Damn, the proletarian revolution happened and no one told me??? Cool, when do we workers form our new government and take back the wealth that the bourgeois state has been stealing from us?
    "The immediate aim of the Communists is the same as that of all other proletarian parties: Formation of the proletariat into a class, overthrow of the bourgeois supremacy, conquest of political power by the proletariat."
    This hardly seems to have happened. Whether is could, or whether it should, it a different issue. But it ought to be clear that it hasn't.

    Or are you just another one who doesn't know the difference between communism, socialism, command economies, and totalitarianism?

    • Socialism - an economic system based on labor, wherein the "means of production" are controled by the workers. Some forms of socialism call for a strong central government to implement this control, other forms are based on decentralized "bottom-up" structure. Contrast with "capitalism", wherein the "means of production" are primarily controled by a small population of private owners.
    • Communism - a form of socialism invented by Karl (with a "K") Marx. The main idea [anu.edu.au] is that humanity is divided into two classes, and that the working class should revolt and form a powerful government to estabish a new order. The state then fades away. As you may have noticed, this is the part that fails severely. "When, in the course of development, class distinctions have disappeared, and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation, the public power will lose its political character." Problem is, (almost) no government gives up political power.
    • Command economy - an ecomony where the government decides what is to be produced. Seen in communist nations (though not a part of Marxist doctrine) and occasionally in capitalist ones in times of war or emergency, and in a lesser form of public goods. Contrast with a market economy where producers and consumers trade freely.
    • Totalitarianism - a form of government where the state can control any aspect of life that it pleases. Meant to be a temporary feature of communism (but it's not), also found in capitalist states such as Singapore.
    The U.S. shows distressing signs of moving towards a totalitarian government, but make no mistake that is a capitalist one.
  • by bons (119581) on Monday December 20, 1999 @01:41AM (#1460220) Homepage Journal
    Well, no. Actually I like the money I'm making now as a programmer but that's besides the point.

    What strikes me as enjoyable if the thought that I could plant this new device in my cat along with a number of those rice-sized bionic implants [slashdot.org] . All I would need then is a good remote control.

    "The stupid cat's run off again kids. Bring him back."

    Of course the story would have someone remote controlling an unwilling assassian, but people pay for things that make them fear.

    PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS: WARNING:Do not write the above story or they WILL assume that you are going to take a gun and kill all the teachers. I am a professional. Do not attempt to do this at home without an adult's supervision.(Yeah, like there's any adults at home paying attention...)

  • Funny you should mention it -- a large telecom company in Japan decided a while ago to take advantage of their cellular layout for tracking purposes, with an unpleasant backlash. (Since I got most of these details through the AT&T grapevine, the following information is worth what you paid for it.)

    There are about 20 radios in the typical cellular location (cell). With digital technologies one can take those 20 analog channels and push 3-5 calls per, raising the call capacity. However it's often not enough. In dense areas, the cells are made smaller and smaller, by installing more antenna arrays (cells) with lower power. New York and Tokyo were the first locations to begin installing microcells on individual buildings, and then on floor ranges for those buildings.

    Then some bright Japanese fellow (or woman) decided that it would be nifty if one could go to a website and type in a cellular number, and be told what Tokyo microcell the phone was in. The purpose was ostensibly for safety and business convenience. The effect, predictably imho, was that the site was frequented by not-so-pleased wives looking for their husbands who were "working late at the office" but were oddly reported as being on the XXth floor of a downtown hotel. Needless to say, this was pulled very quickly.

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