What’s happening now?

April 21, 2009 at 2:00 am 1 comment

I was trying to find some stats around energy use and came across the website, Now Network, from Sprint (America’s 3G network). It actually freaked me out because the first thing it did was speak to me in a female robotic voice saying current time is 6.19pm (correct: and I’m in Australia). Then it said “there are 8399 cases of malaria”.

You can move your cursor around the site and I found out that your body (and mine) just made 50 million new cells and that over 4000 stars are being formed in the Universe right now and…that Ashton Kutcher has beat CNN to have 1 million followers on Twitter (really?? I wish he’d be like Zac Efron, who I read doesn’t do Twitter or Facebook).

Sprint has an accompanying advertisement on YouTube that offers up delightful statistics such as how many people are switching on their mobile phones as their plane lands; that 7% of the 1 million emails currently enroute contain the search term “miracle banana diet”; and 380,000 people just hung up from their mobile phone call. Check it out.

Freaky stuff if you ask me. I wonder how they get their information? And if it’s accurate stats, it just goes to show the extent to which data about our daily lives is out there for companies like Sprint to aggregate.

Oh and I did end up finding out information about energy consumption and along the way I found something else that freaked me out. Local Councils in the UK (THE most watched society on Earth) are using spy planes to snoop on homeowners who are wasting too much energy. Thermal imaging cameras allow council officers to produce colour-coded maps like this (red spots indicate homeowners losing heat):

And in the midst of a global financial crisis, Councils are spending £30,000 hiring a plane with a thermal camera.  500 local authorities are said to be using anti-terrorism powers brought in under the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act to launch a string of bizarre investigations, including whether homeowners put garbage bins out on the wrong day of the week. Sigh.


Entry filed under: Surveillance society. Tags: , , , .

Global pandemic of unrest Let’s shift our focus

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Brad  |  April 21, 2009 at 3:01 am

    Cool, well not the monitoring thing… the now thing…. cool.


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