"A ban on pedestrians looking at mobile phones or texting while crossing the street will take effect in Hawaii's largest city in late October, as Honolulu becomes the first major U.S. city to pass legislation aimed at reducing injuries and deaths from "distracted walking."

The ban comes as cities around the world grapple with how to protect phone-obsessed "smartphone zombies" from injuring themselves by stepping into traffic or running into stationary objects.

Starting Oct. 25, Honolulu pedestrians can be fined between $15 and $99, depending on the number of times police catch them looking at a phone or tablet device as they cross the street, Mayor Kirk Caldwell told reporters gathered near one of the city's busiest downtown intersections on Thursday... People making calls for emergency services are exempt from the ban... Opponents of the Honolulu law argued it infringes on personal freedom and amounts to government overreach."

In a related article:

"The city of London has tried putting pads on their lamp posts "to soften the blow for distracted walkers..."


Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-hawaii-...
AuthorJordan Brown

"An ambitious project to blanket New York and London with ultrafast Wi-Fi via so-called "smart kiosks," which will replace obsolete public telephones, are the work of a Google-backed startup.

Each kiosk is around nine feet high and relatively flat. Each flat side houses a big-screen display that pays for the whole operation with advertising.

Each kiosk provides free, high-speed Wi-Fi for anyone in range. By selecting the Wi-Fi network at one kiosk, and authenticating with an email address, each user will be automatically connected to every other LinkNYC kiosk they get within range of. Eventually, anyone will be able to walk around most of the city without losing the connection to these hotspots.

Wide-angle cameras on each side of the kiosks point up and down the street and sidewalk, approximating a 360-degree view. If a city wants to use those cameras and sensors for surveillance, it can.

Over the next 15 years, the city will go through the other two phases, where sensor data will be processed by artificial intelligence to gain unprecedented insights about traffic, environment and human behavior and eventually use it to intelligently re-direct traffic and shape other city functions."

Source: http://www.computerworld.com/article/32114...
Wearable and ingestible sensors are revolutionising the health monitoring space as the demand for quality healthcare continues to rise. Emphasis on preventive health has led to the development of prognostic sensors for applications in the medical industry. This, in turn, has led to a shift in the healthcare business model from a diagnostic one to more prognostic and preventive health and wellness. 
Sensor adoption is crucial to this evolution, facilitating advanced diagnostics, treatment and patient monitoring. Wearable and implantable biosensors will emerge as the key enablers for device innovation.
“The Internet of Medical Things will lead to sensors playing a greater role in offering connected healthcare infrastructure,” said Measurement and Instrumentation Industry Principal Dr. Rajender Thusu. “However, there are no clear policies or standardisations yet that companies can adhere to while implementing the connected health platform. The greatest challenge, therefore, lies in bringing together different applications under the same working platform, when individual solutions lack interoperability.”
medical body area network (MBAN)
Posted by: Margaret Rouse
An MBAN (pronounced M-ban) is a medical body area network (BAN) composed of low-power wearable or implanted wireless medical devices. 
Wearable devices are typically low-cost, disposable sensors that stick to the body and free the patient from being being physically tethered to monitoring devices. Embedded devices may be sensors that are swallowed for short-term monitoring or placed in the body during surgery to monitor physical parameters during and after the healing process.
The sensors transmit patient data wirelessly to a control device located either on the patient’s body or in close proximity to it. The control device, which functions as a message broker, forwards data from the sensors to a workstation in real time over a wireless local area network (WLAN).  
What kind of devices can you expect to see gaining momentum? Think Fitbits and Apple Watches that can read your heart rate, activity levels, and sleep cycles. Google is even developing contact lenses that can read your glucose levels. mc10 is coming out with a biometric stamp the size of a band-aid that can report a person’s vitals to connected devices and doctors. Developers at the University of Buffalo are creating a pendant that can analyze chewing and swallowing sounds to determine what wearers are eating and alert them when they’ve started to overeat or eat unhealthily.
While these devices may be helpful for those hoping to maintain good health, Ian Shakil notes that it’s important to realize that these devices are only able to provide so much assistance.
“The Internet of Medical Things will continue to evolve and deliver value by getting the complexities of technology out of the way and connecting- or better yet, reconnecting- doctors with patients,” said Shakil, CEO of Audmedix.
“Augmendix’s service is optimally designed to deliver the highest quality patient notes resulting in improved patient care and pay or reimbursement,” he explained.
Shakil’s company estimates that physicians spend at least 70 percent of their time reading documentation before they started sing their service. “This new ly reclaimed time that can be repurposed in-clinic for other administrative tasks or even to see more patients,” he explained.

Source: http://moveboulder.org/the-internet-of-things-in-the-world-of-medicine/

"Or even less appealing, the state of this patient could be so severe, that they require full time skilled nursing care in the confines of a nursing home or assisted living facility.
“you could take a device and instead of the patient wearing it on his or her wrist or clothes, a physician implants that device in the chest”
Imagine much like a FitBit, you could take a device and instead of the patient wearing it on his or her wrist or clothes, a physician implants that device in the chest. That device then has wires that run underneath the skin to various nerves in the body and to the deep parts of the brain. That device can then send specific amounts of electricity to the nervous system at various times to disrupt the diseased pathway and restore the patient to normal health. "

Source: https://www.europeanpharmaceuticalreview.com/news/47692/imot-healthcare/

"Google parent company Alphabet just unveiled an enterprise version of Google Glass, licensing the smart glasses technology for business-focused applications. This is the first time in years the company has publicly talked about its plans for Glass."

"In a blog post Tuesday, Glass project leader Jay Kothari said partners such as GE Aviation, AGCO, DHL, Dignity Health, NSF International, Sutter Health, Boeing and Volkswagen have been using Glass over the past several years, and make up just a sampling of 50 companies using the wearable.

Wired said several of these companies found the original Google Glass to be very useful in factories and other enterprise environments. Google discovered this and began work on a product built by a team dedicated to building a new version of Glass for the enterprise."

Source: http://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/18/google-glas...
AuthorJordan Brown

Tony Fadell, former Apple engineer on iPod and iPhone, founder of Nest (acquired by Google), and leader of Google Glass development until 2016, purportedly "mulls" technology's "unintended consequences."

"I wake up in cold sweats every so often thinking, what did we bring to the world?" Fadell said. "Did we really bring a nuclear bomb with information that can -- like we see with fake news -- blow up people's brains and reprogram them? Or did we bring light to people who never had information, who can now be empowered?"

The world Fadell describes is one in which screens are everywhere, distracting us and interrupting what’s important, while promoting a culture of self-aggrandizement. The problem? He says that addiction has been designed into our devices–and it’s harming the newest generation.

“And I know when I take [technology] away from my kids what happens,” Fadell says. “They literally feel like you’re tearing a piece of their person away from them—they get emotional about it, very emotional. They go through withdrawal for two to three days.”

Products like the iPhone, Fadell believes, are more attuned to the needs of the individual rather than what's best for the family and the larger community.

And pointing to YouTube owner Google, Fadell said, "It was like, [let] any kind of content happen on YouTube. Then a lot of the executives started having kids, [and saying], maybe this isn't such a good idea. They have YouTube Kids now."

“This self-absorbing culture is starting to blow,” he says. “Parents didn’t know what to do. They didn’t know this was a thing they needed to teach because we didn’t know for ourselves. We all kind of got absorbed in it.”


Source: https://www.fastcodesign.com/90132364/nest...
AuthorJordan Brown

Professor Katina Michael posted to the Uberveillance website in July 2013 shortly after the ISTAS13 conference - http://sites.ieee.org/istas-2013/ -  a short post about the onset of Opal cards use on the Sydney public transport circuit - http://uberveillance.com/blog/2013/7/8/opal-travel-cards-by-kai-reimer?rq=opal

Literally two years later I found myself teaching ethics and social informatics (ISIT203) in the workplace at the University of Wollongong. At the time I would catch the train down from my parents home in Sutherland New South Wales, Sydney and disembark at the train station in Wollongong, New South Wales opposite the University.

As I lived in Canberra my commute also involved a trip to Sydney by bus, then the train trip to Wollongong via train for three days of the week. For many years I had avoided public transport and driven the whole journey but for some reason this year I decided to buy an Opal train 'ticket' pass. I walked to the train station and was told the Opal card could only be bought at the local news agent store close by the rail station. I thought that rather odd but walked and tried to get the card there only to be told that I needed to put $10 minimum 'credit' on the card.

Perplexed I returned to the train station and inquired at the customer counter as to why I was unable to purchase a paper ticket that would only have cost me $7.00 return. The station master informed me that as of that day, 10th August, 2015 that the whole Sydney commuter service would be switched over to a 'paperless' RFID enabled commuter card system called Opal over a three moth period.

I asked if I could please purchase the very last of the paper tickets which he agreed to.

Paper ticket in hand I got on the train at Kirrawee railway Station and by the time I had reached Waterfall railway station I was confronted by three uniformed Opal security staff on the train who were moving from commuter to commuter and 'checking' their Opal cards by scanning these via a handheld PDA looking device that showed them their credit spend or availbility on their card.

When they got to me they asked me for my Opal card and I stated I didnt have one, presenting them with my paper ticket issued at the Kirrawee Railway Station. They looked at it and stated I needed an Opal card or I would be fined for not having it - $250 on the spot fine. I presented my case and was informed I needed to produce identification with photo to verify my identity. 

I replied that there were under no jurisdiction to ask for photo identification and their reply was to disembark the train at the next available station which was Heathcote railway station. I informed them I was teaching ethics and social informatics in the workplace at the University of Wollongong and that would cause me to be late. They replied that if I did not disembark they would radio in and be accompanied by Police. The train left the railway station and we continued on our trip which meant the only way I could disembark would be at the next station which was over 25 minutes away.

During that time they contacted NSW state police and were granted the right to issue me with a fine if I did not comply and provide photo identification. I gave them my drivers licence and using their radio system and their internet enabled mobile tablet device they crosschecked and confirmed my identification. They took photos of my drivers licence using their handheld device and informed me that this was being sent to their 'operatives' who would confirm it's validity.

I was astounded that this apparent breach of my civil rights by unknown entity could force me to surrender that identity and cross check it against systems I was even aware of existing. I was issued with a warning notice, written on a card that stated my personal records had been recorded in the Opal system as not having a 'valid form of travel'.

I stated that the paper ticket was purchased and issued as a valid form of travel on that day.  Two officers remained with me and began asking me questions about my state of mind and my capacity to understand their role as a judicial officer with the capacity to issue law enforcement statutes as I was travelling now on a state based railway system that is contracted to Opal as the the travel infringement agency. I retorted that I was well in charge of my own faculties and questioned them as to whether they understood that their alteraction with me (which by this time had gathered a crowd on that train) was prime subject matter for my ethics class when I disembarked from the train.

As the train pulled into North Wollongong railway station I was ushered off the train and again I was read the riot act by two NSW state police officers who informed me that whilst I did have a valid train ticket ( they had radioed the station master in Kirrawee) that I was going to still be issued with a 'traffic infringement notice' and that the incident was still going to be entered into the 'system' as they called it. Ten minutes later after again checking my staff card for the University of Wollongong and my drivers licence they stated that I would be required to purchase an Opal card as a PhD student through the UOW student services office. 

I was informed that I would be issued with a 'sticker' that is then attached to my student identification card that would 'validate' any purchase I might make against an Opal student card in the near future. Perplexed I asked the Opal officers who were still present why their Opal travel system was only available for purchase via the student services administration office and they informed me that identification systems matched, validated and issued the Opal system card according to the enrolment status of that individual. Not believing what I was hearing I proceeded to the campus and was informed by the UOW student services personnel that the information I was told was correct.

I walked to the coffee shop, bought a double strength cappuccino and sat down in a daze. A few minutes later a UOW security officer and another individual who identified himself as an 'Opal representative' confronted me as I sat on the campus grounds. I asked them both what they were speaking to me for given that my case was dismissed with the two NSW Police officers. They informed me that my  'aggressive questioning manner' with the UOW student administration had been reported. I asked if they would like to access the CCTV footage of my interaction with the staff member as I had recalled that a CCTV camera was installed at the front counter where the student administrator had interacted with me. 

I knew that my questioning was quiet, not confronting and if anything an expression of disdain for their system of corporate inculturation. That perplexed them both and I stated I was late to teach my class and they walked away without any further incident.

I photographed them both as they left.

An hour later I stood at the lectern and using the slideset for my presentation engaged 35 or so of my students in the lecture theatre in a debrief of what I had just experienced. As we picked apart the ramifications of the information systems, networked identification and mobile enabled database crosschecking as well as the systems enforcement the whole experience resonated with students strongly enough for them to start questioning the future trajectory of where Opal might be taking this supposed expedient, efficient and interconnected system in the near future.

I held up my paper ticket and a number of students remarked that they had never actually seen a paper based train ticket as they had transitioned from secondary school into their first years of higher education using an electronic identification and student RFID enabled card for transport. Their recounts of how Opal was implemented in their two years prior astounded me as it was presented them to as a binary and mandatory mandate not an opt in choice.

The lecture and tutorial that followed is one of the most memorable in my teaching career to date.

So during that tutorial I listened to, engage with and recorded a range of possible trajectories that Opal might use to bring about awareness of the surveillance, the networked identification and the trajectory of technologies currently as hand held or wearable RFID enabled cards. The predominant scenario that we identified was that Opal would be likely to partner with digital identification management corporations (DIMC) to enable implanted technologies in humans that do away also with the need for a card. 

The mapping we produced as a series of group based drawings demonstrated that these novice engineers, these students of the looming third millenia, had an understanding of the perceived and the actual trajectory of technology, which in their estimation included human implantable enabled technologies to triangulating a human entity as a corporation lead identity.

Today I awoke to the news that a Sydney based biohacker has leapfrogged and piggybacked that scenario by literally implementing that via a DIY test. His efforts contravene the Opal statutes for where the Opal chip can be located as it has 'escaped' the Opal branded plastic card yet I believe it sets a wilful and devastating precedent - that of implantable, embedded networked identification management of humans, subject to corporation lead control of entity.

"...Bio-hacker Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow, his legal name, had the Opal near-field communication (NFC) chip cut down and encased in bio-compatible plastic, measuring 10 millimetres by 6 millimetres. He then had the device implanted just beneath the skin on the side of his left hand."

The article is available at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-27/sydney-bio-hacker-has-opal-travel-card-implanted-into-hand/8656174

You can also read about this via https://au.news.yahoo.com/nsw/a/36184329/opal-card-chip-inserted-into-hand-of-sydney-train-commuter/#page1

The very same network are 'threatening' to outlaw that implant however, the cat is out of the bag. The precedent has been set and the socio-ethical implications of this handheld to implantable technology is underway.

Here is what they are seeking to do - http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-28/opal-card-meow-meow-implant-could-be-deactivated-by-authorities/8658986?pfmredir=sm

In essence, what I predicted in conjunction with Dr. MG. Michael and Professor Katina Michael's plethora of past publication predictions two years ago has come to fruition literally in the very same locale and within the same network and scenario base which I had been calling on my students to consider from a socio-ethical perspective.

The following gallery of images is from my own personal lifelog and provides evidence of my story.

My personal and professional view is that the trajectory of implantable DIMC is in earnest and that it will only be a matter of years before we see it as a real and actual optin then mandatory implementation across many different global communities. This dangerous step towards an Uberveillance is the very basis and constitution of the PhD that I'm enmeshed in at present.

I returned from Wollongong to Canberra a few days later and on my way to buy some groceries at a shop I passed in my car a digital roadside sign that pretty much summed up that weeks experiences. 'INSERT MEMORY CARD' it reads and I chuckled to myself thinking through how many mistakes humanity will be making as it tries to fast track itself to success only at risk of imploding the entire anthropocene due to our avid engagement with individuals who design systems to control humanity and have little regard for others well being let alone their own ability to know what 'well being' means in the first place.


"Facebook researchers used a game to help the bot learn how to haggle over books, hats, and basketballs. Each object had a point value, and they needed to be split between each bot negotiator via text. From the human conversations (gathered via Amazon Mechanical Turk), and testing its skills against itself, the AI system didn't only learn how to state its demands, but negotiation tactics as well -- specifically, lying. Instead of outright saying what it wanted, sometimes the AI would feign interest in a worthless object, only to later concede it for something that it really wanted. Facebook isn't sure whether it learned from the human hagglers or whether it stumbled upon the trick accidentally, but either way when the tactic worked, it was rewarded.

It’s no surprise that Facebook is working on ways to improve how its bot can interact with others—the company is highly invested in building bots that can negotiate on behalf of users and businesses for its Messenger platform, where it envisions the future of customer service."

Source: https://qz.com/1004070/facebook-fb-built-a...

"Mobile devices have rapidly become one of the most common ways for Americans to get news, and the sharpest growth in the past year has been among Americans ages 50 and older, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in March.

More than eight-in-ten U.S. adults now get news on a mobile device (85%), compared with 72% just a year ago and slightly more than half in 2013 (54%). And the recent surge has come from older people: Roughly two-thirds of Americans ages 65 and older now get news on a mobile device (67%), a 24-percentage-point increase over the past year and about three times the share of four years ago, when less than a quarter of those 65 and older got news on mobile (22%).

The strong growth carries through to those in the next-highest age bracket. Among 50- to 64-year-olds, 79% now get news on mobile, nearly double the share in 2013. The growth rate was much less steep – or nonexistent – for those younger than 50."


Source: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/...
AuthorJordan Brown

The Swedish State Railways has decided to accept under-the-skin RFID tag implants for ticket purchases, arguing it enhances ticketless travel better than having your ticket in your mobile. Actually, they didn’t argue that at all. They just said “we’re digital” and “it works” as if that would justify the rest.

Sweden is a European state which, until recently, celebrated the fact that people were able to travel between European and Nordic countries without a passport or other identification papers. Since a few years back, the governmental train company, which operates with all the efficiency of one, changed all that on its own — by requiring photo ID to take the train just to the next city. The official reason for going all papieren, bitte on people just going to the next town was to “prevent the second-hand sale of attractive tickets”.

This company — the Swedish State Railways — has an insanely bad reputation in the country, known for never arriving on time and for mediocre service. To paint a picture of the service level, the company offers some compensation if passengers get more than an hour delayed with a local train (within the European state of Sweden).

This is the company now priding itself on “being digital” and announcing an extremely privacy-invasive method for travel. It may well be that it’s more convenient. That’s obviously not where the cause for concern is.

“We will never force somebody to have a chip implanted”, says Stephan Ray, press spokesperson for the State Railways.

I wish I could believe this — for this has been the standard line every single time a new privacy invasion has been presented. And there’s a catch which sounds all too familiar:

“We don’t rule out giving special advantages to travelers with under-the-skin RFID chips,” Ray adds.

At what point does this translate to putting ridiculous burden on people without under-skin RFID tags, even if it will technically not require them to implant? That’s usually a few years before the option is taken away altogether, judging from history.

As a final note, the article from the Stockholm local paper also notes that the local buses, trams, and subways are also seeking to start using passenger under-skin-RFID-tags for travel. Yes, you read that right: people in Sweden are seriously considering under-skin RFID tags to be a nice, cozy form of bus and subway ticket.

Fortunately, this is not something that would go over well in other European states. If I were to describe the Swedish attitude to this in a few words, I would choose “trusting and naïve”. This is in stark contrast to other states — say, Germany — which take privacy extremely seriously: Berlin’s ticket vending machines to the local public transport sell paper tickets for cash, and it would be inconceivable to remove that option, as was done a long time ago in Sweden (where you can instead buy identified tickets to your identified phone using an identified credit card).

As a final note, the image to this article shows animal tags. That’s because it’s the technology used. “Tagged like an animal” is quite literal. There’s also the concern of malware infecting such chips, which has been proven possible – and with RFID technology, the malware could spread quickly.

Privacy remains your own responsibility.

Source: https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/blog/2017/05/train-tickets-rfid-tags-europe/

Sweden's state-owned rail operator SJ is allowing passengers to use microchip implants rather than conventional tickets. 
The idea is currently being trialed just among some SJ members. It means all they need to travel is their left hand and the small microchip implanted in it. Authorities believe implanting the microchip will make the train journey more convenient.

SJ claims to be the first travel company in the world to enable passengers to use microchip implants to validate their tickets. The small implants use Near Field Communication technology, the same tech used in contactless credit cards or mobile payments. 

Implanting microchips under the skin is becoming increasingly popular in Sweden. But experts warn there are security and privacy issues to consider.

Source: http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2017/06/12/525048/microchip-implants-Swedish-railway

A few months ago, a Swedish company gained international headlines after launching an internal program under which staff were encouraged to have themselves implanted with security micro-chips.

Now, in a sign the technology is catching on, Sweden's state-run public transport provider "SJ" has got in on the action.

It's now allowing commuters to travel on its trains with just a wave of their hand.


Stephen Ray, spokesman for Sweden's Rail Provider SJ
Lina Edstrom, spokeswoman for Sweden's Rail Provider SJ
Ben Libberton, microbiologist, Karolinska Institute

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-12/swedens-state-rail-provider-waves-through/8611244

"A shadowy international mercenary and security firm known as TigerSwan targeted the movement opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline with military-style counterterrorism measures, collaborating closely with police in at least five states, according to internal documents obtained by The Intercept. The documents provide the first detailed picture of how TigerSwan, which originated as a U.S. military and State Department contractor helping to execute the global war on terror, worked at the behest of its client Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the Dakota Access Pipeline, to respond to the indigenous-led movement that sought to stop the project.

TigerSwan spearheaded a multifaceted private security operation characterized by sweeping and invasive surveillance of protesters.

Activists on the ground were tracked by a Dakota Access helicopter that provided live video coverage to their observers in police agencies, according to an October 12 email thread that included officers from the FBI, DHS, BIA, state, and local police. In one email, National Security Intelligence Specialist Terry Van Horn of the U.S. attorney’s office acknowledged his direct access to the helicopter video feed, which was tracking protesters’ movements during a demonstration. “Watching a live feed from DAPL Helicopter, pending arrival at site(s),” he wrote. Cecily Fong, a spokesperson for law enforcement throughout the protests, acknowledged that an operations center in Bismarck had access to the feed, stating in an email to The Intercept that “the video was provided as a courtesy so we had eyes on the situation.”

Source: https://theintercept.com/2017/05/27/leaked...

"Dubai Police have revealed their first robot officer, giving it the task of patrolling the city's malls and tourist attractions.

People will be able to use it to report crimes, pay fines and get information by tapping a touchscreen on its chest.

Data collected by the robot will also be shared with the transport and traffic authorities."

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-4002694...
AuthorJordan Brown