Big Brother Bill: It's 1984 all over Again!

Written by Mike Banks Valentine

Most ofrepparttar commentary overrepparttar 119074 George Orwell's novel, "1984" that occured in that year, was derision, saying that now it was quite clear thatrepparttar 119075 eerie picture painted of "Big Brother" was unlikely, and certainly not possible.

Now Microsoft has proposed a sweeping web initiative which it has dubbed "dot Net" or .Net in which they would berepparttar 119076 "host" forrepparttar 119077 personal information of every single online consumer. The idea has some appeal as a possible way to access information from a central bank of servers using XML code to withdraw selected info fromrepparttar 119078 vast database of personal information about anyone from a central "host".

To have web access to that information might saverepparttar 119079 life of an accident victim allergic to medications or allow you to withdraw cash from any bank via your cell phone.

The privacy implications though, are downright spooky. Now, you combine that information with newly available science-fiction- like "face-mapping" software tested this year atrepparttar 119080 "Snooper- Bowl" where certain law-enforcement agencies would have access to private personal information and high resolution video scans ofrepparttar 119081 crowd and you have -- Big Brother. Combine that with "Telematics" being used by car rental agencies to trackrepparttar 119082 location and evenrepparttar 119083 speed of their fleet of cars and now it gets real ugly.

This isrepparttar 119084 George Orwell novel, "1984" come to life, a little late, but it's definitely here. Carry a cell phone? It will be federally mandated that your phone must use global positioning technology so that when used to dial emergency services via 911, you can be located to within twenty feet or less. It doesn't take a genius to realize that could be used by Big Brother just as easily without your knowledge.

Any idea if your boss is peering over your shoulder? More than three- quarters of corporate employers monitor employees in multiple ways. The following is from web article on workplace monitoring.

"Althoughrepparttar 119085 average percentage of workers with office e-mail and Internet connections remained relatively constant, overall active monitoring grew to 78 percent from 74 percent in 2000. The overall figure includes such measures as storing and reviewing computer files (36 percent), video recording of employees onrepparttar 119086 job (15 percent), recording and reviewing telephone messages (12 percent), and storing and reviewing voice mail (8 percent)

Other forms of surveillance, including telephone numbers called and time spent onrepparttar 119087 phone, logged computer time and video surveillance for security purposes broughtrepparttar 119088 total for all forms of monitoring to 82 percent, up from last year's 78 percent and from 67 percent in 1999."

Wireless Wonders and Waterfall Watches!

Written by Mike Banks Valentine

Let's see, I have my pager, my cell phone, my Blackberry, my Palm Pilot, my laptop, my desktop PC, my e-book reader, my digital camera and what else? Oh! Then there'srepparttar MP3 andrepparttar 119073 DVD and my local phone company has now gone digital?

Nowrepparttar 119074 laptop can talk withrepparttar 119075 desktop, butrepparttar 119076 PDA can not talk torepparttar 119077 laptop. The e-book reader can talk withrepparttar 119078 desktop andrepparttar 119079 MP3 player can talk withrepparttar 119080 laptop but notrepparttar 119081 desktop. The phone company was just purchased byrepparttar 119082 cable company withrepparttar 119083 phone company name and my Black- berry requires service that can't talk to any ofrepparttar 119084 other services, or can it?

Welcome torepparttar 119085 wonderful world of wireless communications! What'srepparttar 119086 hottest prospect for growing businesses in this gloomy economy? Cross-platform communications enablers. I can't believe I even uttered those ridiculously tech-y words! Butrepparttar 119087 near future will be all about getting all of our computing, our communications and entertainment devices to talk with each other seamlessly and wirelessly.

One might think this is a massive task with hopeless barriers to overcome if it weren't forrepparttar 119088 simple fact that it is being done by hundreds of companies. Many of them start-ups and up-starts with an eye on digital convergence until we get torepparttar 119089 magic of that one-single-do-everything-device.

One of my friends once wondered if my digital watch withrepparttar 119090 calculator, barometer, altimeter and chronograph had a water- fall. Clearly, he was poking fun at my love of tech gadgets. But I've adoptedrepparttar 119091 term "Waterfall Watch" to apply to that wild dream ofrepparttar 119092 single do-everything-device.

There has been plenty of discussion about those wonderful Hewlett-Packard television commercials offering us futuristic visions of unheard-of conveniences such as cars that tell us they are in need of a visit torepparttar 119093 mechanic before they break down - then call ahead torepparttar 119094 nearest garage and arrange a cab to deliver us to an important scheduled meeting atrepparttar 119095 office without missing a beat. If you haven't seen it, visit:

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