"Yahoo has filed a patent for a type of smart billboard that would collect people's information and use it to deliver targeted ad content in real-time."

To achieve that functionality, the billboards would use a variety of sensor systems, including cameras and proximity technology, to capture real-time audio, video and even biometric information about potential target audiences.

But the tech company doesn’t just want to know about a passing vehicle. It also wants to know who the occupants are inside of it.

That’s why Yahoo is prepared to cooperate with cell towers and telecommunications companies to learn as much as possible about each vehicle’s occupants.

It goes on to explain in the application:

Various types of data (e.g., cell tower data, mobile app location data, image data, etc.) can be used to identify specific individuals in an audience in position to view advertising content. Similarly, vehicle navigation/tracking data from vehicles equipped with such systems could be used to identify specific vehicles and/or vehicle owners. Demographic data (e.g., as obtained from a marketing or user database) for the audience can thus be determined for the purpose of, for example, determining whether and/or the degree to which the demographic profile of the audience corresponds to a target demographic.
Source: https://www.grahamcluley.com/yahoo-creepy-...

This short video explores how the online world has overwhelmingly become the popular outlet for public rage by briefly illustrating some of the many stories of everyday people which have suddenly become public enemy number one under the most misunderstood of circumstances and trivial narratives. With the web acting like a giant echo-chamber, amplifying false stories and feeding on the pent-up aggression of the audience watching the spectacle, The Outrage Machine shows how these systems froth the mob mentality into a hideous mess, as a good example of where the spectacle goes and how its intensity has to keep ratcheting up in order maintain the audience attention, in a culture of dwindling attention spans, distraction and triviality.

Filmmaker and author Jon Ronson also recently wrote a book about this topic too, which is quite good. So You've Been Publicly Shamed. His TED talk is essentially a 17 min overview:

And a longer presentation with interview and Q&A from earlier this year:

Why beat around the bush?

"UNLEASH THE BEAST" is as explicit as they come as a marketing ploy by the chip manufacturing giant INTEL. This really does bring new meaning to the well known slogan- "LOOK INSIDE". Oh and note the hashtag "#devilscanyon"?

One has to ask themselves why images of 'demons' and 'monsters' and 'beasts' sell! What are we teaching our workforces? Our students? Our children? That poetic license can be abused?

Interestingly, little has changed since 1994 which was the last time I did a comprehensive content image analysis of ICT brands, marketing and meaning in industry and popular magazines. Back then serpents were more prominent... I'll have to dig up some examples to compare and contrast... But one thing for sure- the imagery is more explicitly "evil" and "in your face"... One has to wonder why? Cutesy to some... I think ICT needs to CLEAN UP its act... or run the risk of alienating people who really want to make a difference in the industry at large... 

Thanks for the source KM.


"...CA7CH Lightbox is a fun new way to snap pictures, stream short videos and share your life with friends. Live and hands-free, CA7CH Lightbox brings together a miniature wearable camera, your smart phone, and the internet to create a new way of sharing engaging moments with others."

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For the full article visit here

AuthorKatina Michael

This morning I listened to the Dr Katherine Albrecht Show (see archive of 27 February 2014). Katherine was discussing the impact of video gaming on children. I watched this clip as a result of the program she aired.

Yesterday, Dr Albrecht appeared on George Noury's Coast to Coast program (see technology update here) and discussed the 'I want my iPad' phenomenon in toddlers. Here is another video she pointed to:

And another... She maintained that she would generally NOT wish for listeners to view these kinds of clips online but in this instance, it was the only way to raise awareness to an epidemic occurring in our society.

This phenomenon is a known phenomenon. See more. So what are we doing about it? Gathering the evidence and putting our kids online so that our Youtube hits increase ten-thousand fold?

I feel so sick in linking these videos of these kids up online in the uberveillance.com environment. But I am calling people out there to wake up to the what is occurring in most of our households. 

What is the answer? 

Better parenting?

Better friends and extended support groups?

Zero tolerance on screen time for toddlers?

Better education?

Schools saying 'no' to technology in the classroom?

Are we adding fuel to the fire?


What is blatantly obvious to me is that we need more research into SOLUTIONS. We can't have kids crying like this and profusely suffering anguish, and we cannot have parents surviving this kind of daily misery... and most of all we need to feedback these problems to developers... we cannot point the finger at Apple or Google alone... we need to point the finger at ourselves... society... yes 'we' perpetuate the problem. We can plead ignorance but we all know someone going through this- a child, a grandchild, a niece or nephew, a friend or a neighbour... in fact, we might be even going through it ourselves!


Where have we gone wrong?

Beyond that obvious point?

Why are the parents of these poor children putting their kids up online for everyone to comment on? Are they deep down seeking help? Do they want their prayers answered? Do they want to make their kids well?

We cannot claim ALL of these children appearing in thousands of uploads (just search online) are due to autism or some other mental illness or developmental problems! And if we claim that, are computers somehow contributing to these developmental issues?

The other thing that becomes apparent to me is the use of the mobile phone video camera as a weapon. Have we become so heartless, that we begin now to film these traumatic events and post them online for others to comment on. You were right on the mark Dr Albrecht. This is evil. Instead of going over and gently comforting our kids to return to their senses, we take out the camera to record the reality-tv... and so our children are now a part of a global theatre!

In previous posts, I have discussed the importance of NOT capturing these moments so we can allow our children to grow and develop, and not be held accountable for things they did as children. MG Michael and I have discussed the limits of watching. With Christine Perakslis we have also written an extensive book chapter on veillance (in press)! 

Can you imagine being one of the kids in this video? How would that make you feel 5 years on, 10 years on, 20 years on, or when you first discovered it was online for all to see on Youtube? Would you be typecast for life?


Everyone, we have to wake up! I am not being alarmist... if your heart doesn't feel sad over these videos then I personally don't know what to say...

And then we are contemplating taking Glass into the classroom? Right-o! Don't you think these tantrums don't happen at school? Will our children become "objects" not just "subjects" in the classroom? Let us tread VERY carefully. We can't use our kids as experiments. We need to think ethics.

And it is not just children that react this way... no... no... adults too, have this reaction but just convey it in a different way. See my article on high-tech lust!

We need to take the negative social implications of computers more seriously. Yes, some guys out there claim that computers can help kids... all my fellow collaborators and I are claiming is that the opposite is also true. Let's not be so narrowsighted. This is our future we are talking about!

Indie-rock band Yeah Yeah Yeahs started a strike against the usage of smartphones/cameras at their concerts. 

"Many tweeted that they wished all concert venues would post rules against smartphone use at shows." 

"And there's the truth: camera-phone footage ruins not just the moment, but the memory of the moment – for you have no memory of it, only that bad quality footage."

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"...We’ve created a beautiful smartphone app and desktop software to make storing, sharing, and curating Autography fast and simple wherever you are. Check out our ecographic to learn how the complete experience works together"

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identities and uberveillance.jpg

Ultimately, do we talk or not talk to journalists?

Many of us have been burnt by them, but it is the only way to get out of the ivory tower and to reach the broader public with our research. Some interviews are successful, where the interviewee engages in some serious dialogue with the interviewer, but even these may be considered mere profiles after an article goes to print having gone through the editing process multiple times.

We all know how modern journalism can work with the “grab” or the “hook line”. But the grab (similarly to the antecedents of surveillance) is at least as old as the “Let there be light”! But it is still worth the risk however it might make us look, if at least the grab causes some useful and widespread discussion.

I have often donated hours of my time to answering queries a journalist might have about a topic I have expertise in when asked. I cannot determine what parts of my contribution are cited or how they are cited. Thank goodness there have been more positive than negative experiences.

What matters beyond any aggrandizing of the self in the press, is that the journalist presents a balanced perspective in an article with the grabs from the different interviewees. We will not always be quoted in context nor will reference always be made to our “resume” or to the larger corpus of our work.

"According to University of Wollongong associate professor Katina Michael, it will allow wearers to ''share visual surveillance in real-time with people in underground networks of all sorts - for the distribution of child pornography, for grooming, cyberstalking, voyeurism and even for corporate fraud''.

As for my recent quote (above) in the Sydney Morning Herald in the article written by Asher Moses published on 23 March, I stand by it completely and absolutely with the only qualification that digital glass is certainly far more than those negatives of my quote and it will (in its positive applications) provide for extraordinary times in all spheres of our lives. To Asher Moses on 18 March I began with the following statement in response to an email inquiry:

"There are a number of societal implications of wearable computing technologies: some positive, some negative. When used for emergency response or ehealth applications, the advantages of Digital Glass are significant, remote step-by-step instructions through a digital eyeglass leaving both hands free and remote diagnosis of patients increasing doctor to patient ratios. 
But one has to ponder on whether the projected harms will outweigh these selective benefits. For example, one can quickly imagine this new technology being misused by cybercriminals- namely for crimes against the person. In effect, we are providing a potential capability to share visual surveillance in real-time with people in underground networks of all sorts- for the distribution of child pornography, for grooming, cyberstalking, voyeurism and even for corporate fraud where "the computer" is the ultimate target."

And yet, if anybody in our ICT community genuinely holds that my “grab” will not be part of the Glass legacy, they are seriously mistaken. Those corporations and vendors marketing and “selling the glass” without the caveat emptor, will have you believe academics such as myself are dangerous, backwards, and a threat to our bright future. Let me say to them, there will come a time when Dylan Thomas’ famous “rage, rage against the dying of the light” will come back to haunt you with the equally evocative and soul stirring, “rage, rage against the double-dealing of the glass.” I for one, along with those whose research findings point them to similarly cautious responses, will not “go gentle into that good night.”

We are headed for wonderful times with digital glass and we are headed for horrible times with digital glass. There is no utopia and there is no dystopia. I've always believed in the "via media" (centrality/middle ground). Importantly, philosophers who have contemplated on the question of technology and its impact on society, have argued that technology must be vigorously critiqued for the worst of all possible outcomes would be the dehumanization of the individual and the loss of dignity. One of the fundamentals of this literature is the profound comprehension that technology has not only to do with building but that it is also a social process.

But one thing I do know from almost two decades of active involvement in ICT- whether it be industry or academia and through my numerous research collaborations (especially with MG Michael)- is that where a technology can be misused, it will be. Then again, history itself is proof enough.