Big Brother is watching you. At work. Earlier this week at NeoCon, the Chicago carnival of commercial furnishings held in the hulking Merchandise Mart, the Astute Architect saw more furnishings geared toward technology than ever before. Clearly, the marketers are banking on a coattail effect. The contract furniture giant Steelcase remains focused on the use of videoconferencing -- or Telepresence, the 21st-century term from Cisco Systems we much prefer -- with their “living on video” collection of seating and integrated monitors and tele-widgets. Many of these conceptual products are geared toward making users feel more comfortable or look prettier while on a monitor or handheld. Hmm. Others actually offer a platform for better working. For example, "media:scape" is a collection of tables and lounge seating with integrated HD videoconferencing. So instead of sitting like masters of the universe at a huge oval conference table, we can recline and relax around a coffee … [Read more...] about At NeoCon, Big Brother and nanotech invade the office
Big brother monitoring
For as long as people have envisioned the inevitable advent of smart home, critics and privacy advocates have warned how it might all go horribly wrong. We're not just talking Orwellian paranoia or a dystopian future where our personal lives are intertwined with corporate identities constantly siphoning data from them. The security and privacy issues at play in haphazardly wiring up our personal spaces are becoming increasingly more substantive and -- with the proliferation of smart devices -- opening up our lives to more points of vulnerability, both from real-world threats and existential ones. "There's been nearly 600 million breaches of records since 2005. Those are the reported ones," said Will Pelgrin, the president and CEO of the Center for Internet Security. "It's almost a rite of passage of going through a data breach. I don't know anyone who hasn't been affected, whether it's email or the Target breach." And those numbers will only escalate as more data sources enter our … [Read more...] about How Big Brother’s going to peek into your connected home
As the tangle of privacy and security issues tightens in the aftermath of Sept. 11, Jack Palmer forges ahead, claiming to put a kinder, gentler face on Big Brother.Palmer is the CEO of ICaughtYou, a private Bonita Springs, Fla.-based company that allows corporations to monitor their employees' Internet usage. His company has been one of the unsuspecting beneficiaries of the terrorist attacks. Even before Sept. 11, the downturn in the economy led to a heightened interest in worker productivity and Internet security. Now, a new emphasis on national security has put corporate security in the spotlight and has led to a quadrupling of hits on the ICaughtYou Web site.The company was born two years ago, when a tech guru for a government agency suspected his wife was cheating on him. He recruited fellow programmers from America Online and Coca-Cola to help him figure out a way to monitor her instant message sessions. The technology fulfilled its mission and became the core product of … [Read more...] about Big Brother’s watching
Big Brother, a push/pull client/server program, queries monitored services on your network and provides at-a-glance status on a central machine. A green light in the program's browser-based BBDisplay utility indicates that servers are operating flawlessly; yellow means something requires attention; red denotes failure. The server portion of Big Brother runs either on Unix/Linux (v1.8b3) or in a scaled-down capacity (v2.2g) on Microsoft Windows NT 4 or 2000. Clients are available for a wide range of systems ranging from Unix to Windows to NetWare. BB monitors DNS, FTP, HTTP, HTTPS, IMAP, NNTP, POP3, SSH, SMTP, and telnet services by default but can be configured for other kinds as well. A powerful combination of packages, BB can be set up to show Multi Router Traffic Grapher (MRTG) statistics on the same page. BB is distributed under a proprietary license that allows free use as long as you do not provide services based on BB's technology. … [Read more...] about Big Brother
"Big Brother" entered into the lexicon and so vividly into the public imagination through George Orwell’s 1984. The main character, Winston, lives under totalitarian rule in a country named Oceania. His every movement and even thought are under surveillance. Any involvement by a government in what its citizens believe to be a private exchange is inevitably viewed in the context of this dystopia. Technology, particularly social media, augments the modes and means of communication—but also the ease with which it can be monitored—causing privacy, the law, and public opinion to clash. This is further complicated by the tools of protest and the ways of quelling it also being one and the same. Among those inserting themselves into the fray is Anonymous. On November 5, in what it's calling "Operation Fox Hunt," Anonymous is seeking retaliation for "Fox News' propaganda" regarding Occupy Wall Street by taking over the cable channel's website. The chosen date is a nod to plots … [Read more...] about Anonymous and Big Brother: Spy vs. Spy?