Technological Alienation: Cameras

Another technological “advance,” purportedly to promote privacy – and introducing an opportunity for a new kind of architecture of control: HP focuses on paparazzi-proof cameras

The good news is you can keep the camera in your cell phone. The bad news is anyone who wants to can turn it off.

At least that’s the way it might work if technology described by Hewlett-Packard makes it to market. A recent patent application from the computing giant describes a system in which digital cameras would be equipped with circuits that could be remotely triggered to blur the face in any images captured by the camera.

U.S. patent application 20040202382, filed in April 2003 and published in October 2004, describes a system in which an image captured by a camera could be automatically modified based on commands sent by a remote device.

In short, anyone who doesn’t want their photo taken at a particular time could hit a clicker to ensure that any cameras or camera-equipped gadgets in range got only a fuzzy outline of their face.

Slashdot: No Pictures, Thanks

Mashups Aren’t Just Digital

Making Art From Bits and Pieces

Every day from 1964 through 2000, Mr. Evans collected flotsam and jetsam that caught his eye on the streets of the East Village. He picked up playing cards, business cards, ticket stubs, cigarette packs, fortune cookie fortunes, leaflets advertising rock bands and escort services, and labels for products like Cry Baby Table Grapes and Fitrite (“the Underwear of Modesty”). He also gathered political fliers, scraps of newspapers and magazines, ripped-up snapshots, matchbooks, foreign coins and bills, postcards, an angry note to an incense-burning neighbor, shreds of fabric and wrapping paper.

And every day, Mr. Evans would sit down with an inexpensive notebook, turn to a blank page and paste some of this discarded ephemera against a painted background, creating a collage. Then he rubber-stamped the day’s date on it.

By the end of 2000, Mr. Evans, now 72, had created more than 10,000 daily collages, filling more than 100 notebooks.

See the slideshow

P2P Dreaming

Peer-to-peer nets ‘here to stay’ – just need to toss thebaby out with the bathwater:

he music and film industries have started some big legal cases against owners of legitimate P2P networks – which are not illegal in themselves – and of individuals accused of distributing pirated content over networks.

But they have slowly realised that P2P is a good way to distribute content, said Travis Kalanick, founder and chairman of P2P network Red Swoosh, and soon they are all going to want a slice of it.

They are just waiting to come up with “business models” that work for them, which includes digital rights management and copy-protection standards.

Related: US peer-to-peer pirates convicted

Another DRM Consortium

BBC News reports on the formation of another technology/DRM consortium: Format wars could ‘confuse users’

Technology firms Sony, Philips, Matsushita and Samsung are developing a common way to stop people pirating digital music and video.

The firms want to make a system that ensures files play on the hardware they make but also thwarts illegal copying.

The move could mean more confusion for consumers already faced by many different, and conflicting, content control systems, experts warned.

They say there are no guarantees the system will even prevent piracy.

Others reporting include CNet (Home electronics giants launch antipiracy strategy) and The Register (CE vendors unite to develop DRM). Intertrust’s WWW site includes this press release:

Intertrust Technologies, Matsushita Electric Industrial (Panasonic), Royal Philips Electronics, Samsung Electronics, and Sony Corporation today announced the formation of the Marlin Joint Development Association (the “Marlin JDA”) that will provide standard specifications for content management and protection for the consumer electronics industry. The Marlin JDA specifications will allow CE companies to build DRM clients for consumer devices that support popular content distribution modes in the Internet, broadcast, and mobile vertical market segments. For consumers, Marlin-based devices will mean that they can enjoy appropriately licensed content on any device they deem convenient, independent of how they originally obtained that content.

McAfee Firewall Patent

BetaNews reports that McAfee has been awarded United States Patent: 6,839,852

Firewall system and method with network mapping capabilities


A system, method and computer program product are provided for tracing a traffic event utilizing a firewall. Initially, a firewall is executed on a local computer. Next, traffic events between the local computer and a remote computer over a network are monitored utilizing the firewall. Further, the traffic events are displayed utilizing the firewall. In use, at least one of the traffic events is traced utilizing the firewall. Moreover, a map of the trace is displayed for effectively conveying information about the traffic event.

Slashdot discussion: McAfee Granted Firewall Patent