• 19 MAR 16

    A Brave New World Part III: Google’s Surveillance Capitalism

    Excerpy
    The Secrets of Surveillance Capitalism

    Governmental control is nothing compared to what Google is up to. The company is creating a wholly new genus of capitalism, a systemic coherent new logic of accumulation we should call surveillance capitalism. Is there nothing we can do?
    Google surpassed Apple as the world’s most highly valued company in January for the first time since 2010. (Back then each company was worth less than 200 billion. Now each is valued at well over 500 billion.) WhileGoogle’s new lead lasted only a few days, the company’s success has implications for everyone who lives within the reach of the Internet. Why? Because Google is ground zero for a wholly new subspecies of capitalism in which profits derive from the unilateral surveillance and modification of human behavior. This is a new surveillance capitalism that is unimaginable outside the inscrutable high velocity circuits of Google’s digital universe, whose signature feature is the Internet and its successors. While the world is riveted by the showdown between Apple and the FBI, the real truth is that the surveillance capabilities being developed by surveillance capitalists are the envy of every state security agency. What are the secrets of this new capitalism, how do they produce such staggering wealth, and how can we protect ourselves from its invasive power?
    SNIP

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    • 14 MAR 16

    A Brave New World: The Internet of Things (IoT)

    In Aldous Huxley’s classic 1931 SciFi novel Brave New World he envisions a dystopian society where human life has been almost entirely industrialized — controlled by a few people at the top of a World State. A future where human beings are socially conditioned (or programmed) according to the society’s strict caste system, an antiseptic and dehumanized society.

    And now consider another brave new world as envisioned by Google’s Eric Schmidt(1) and Jared Cohen (2) in The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business

    (1) executive chairman of Google
    (2) director of Google Ideas
    SNIP

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    • 09 FEB 16

    Stop Untested Microwave Radiation of Children’s Brains and Eyes EHT Scientists Urge Google

    From the Environmental Health Trust:
    Excerpt

    Environmental Health Trust (EHT) scientists are calling on Google to stop the spread into schools of wireless virtual reality system Global Expeditions Pioneer Program where middle-school children hold a cell phone encased in a cardboard box in front of their eyes to take virtual expeditions to Mars, the moon, and other special places.

    “Two-way microwave radiation transceivers, in the form of Smartphones, should not be used directly in front of children’s eyes and brains,” cautions University of Utah Distinguished Prof. Om Gandhi, who is one of the original developers of testing to evaluate wireless radiation from cellphones and is a Senior Advisor to EHT.

    Prof. Gandhi added, “We have never tested microwave radiating devices directly in front of the young developing eye. The absence of proof of harm at this point does not mean that we have evidence of safety.”

    “We want to know why is Google encouraging young children to employ a technology that has never been tested for their use when Samsung has a similar system that explicitly advises that no child under the age of 13 should be using it,” asks Devra Davis, President of EHT, and Visiting Professor of Ondokuz Mayis University Medical School and The Hebrew University Hadassah Medical Center.
    SNIP

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    • 15 JAN 14

    Google wants to be the backbone of your smart home…..

    “What Google wants to do is be the backbone for your home, how you consume energy, how you consume content like music through your entire house,”

    (Reuters) – Google Inc took its biggest step to go deeper into consumers’ homes, announcing a $3.2 billion deal to buy smart thermostat and smoke alarm-maker Nest Labs Inc, scooping up a promising line of products and a prized design team led by the “godfather” of the iPod. Nest will continue to operate as its own distinct brand after the all-cash deal closes, Google said on Monday. The deal is the second largest in Google’s history after the $12.5 billion acquisition of mobile phone maker Motorola in 2012. “Nest Labs appears to be focused on thermostats and smoke alarms, but it’s not far-fetched to see Google expanding this technology into other devices over time,” said Shyam Patil, an analyst at Wedbush. “Home automation is one of the bigger opportunities when you talk about the Internet of everything and connecting everything. This acquisition furthers their strategy around that,” he said. Shares of Google were up 0.5 percent at $1,128.49 in extended trading on Monday.
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    • 15 JAN 14

    Fridge of the future? The CloudFridge – with the help of Google of course

    From MIT Technology review:

    The Tricky Problem Of Making Smart Fridges Smart

    The 1990s dream of an internet-connected fridge has been much derided in the last decade or so. Even the most advanced smart fridges are little more than a conventional fridge with a few added gimmicks such as a barcode scanner or a tablet screen attached to the front. Consequently, smart fridges have been anything but and the public has responded with little, if any, interest.

    But Thomas Sandholm and pals from the Korean Advanced Institute of Technology in Daejeon, South Korea, hope to change that. These guys have developed a system called CloudFridge that hopes to fix everything that’s wrong with smart fridges, thereby returning them to their rightful position in the pantheon of consumer technology breakthroughs.

    SNIP

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