How Google Searches Could Ruin Lives

Google Chrome
Something worse than making bomb jokes at airports

‘A cautionary tale: Back in 2009, government contractor Jeffrey Kantor was browsing online, seeking to make a radio-controlled airplane for his son. He began to type his search into Google: “How do I build a radio-controlled”—[enter autocomplete]—”bomb.” That’s right, before Kantor knew it, he had accidentally asked Google how to make an explosive device. And his life would never be the same.

‘According to a suit filed in federal court this week by Kantor and as Gawker reported, after his Google autocomplete mishap, the government began harassing Kantor, putting him under constant surveillance and ultimately getting him fired…’

Only your subconscious will tell if your marriage will be a happy one
‘Newlyweds tend to wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to their outlook about marriage. But with up to half of all marriages in the US ending in divorce, most freshly minted couples would probably be interested to know how their partnership will end up. A new study in Science offers some insight: a newlywed’s subconscious feelings can tell a lot about how happy their marriage will be over the long term.

‘Psychologists contend that we have two layers of feelings. The first, called a “conscious attitude,” is what we generally think of when it comes to our innermost thoughts; it’s what you’d tell a close friend or confess in a diary. But we have another, deeper level of feelings as well. Psychologists refer to this as an “automatic attitude,” because it’s generally not something we are aware of. You know those movies in which someone’s deepest, darkest self is finally revealed to them—and it often isn’t pretty? That’s their automatic attitude. These subconscious feelings are too deep seated for a person to access—and therefore are relatively impervious to bias—but they likely play a large role in how we act and how we perceive the world…’

The Unarmed K5 Roboguard

‘…it has a hard enough time figuring out whether a human being has drawn a gun. (Li laments that it’s very easy to get false positives with children’s toy guns.)

‘Here’s what the K5 would do in a shooting situation: Its cameras might make out some humans lying down all of a sudden, while others are running around. Its electronic ears would detect elevated noise levels. Then the software would put two and two together and contact its superiors.

‘Oh, and it can monitor social media feeds nearby for words of distress. The best you could do for a bat signal would be to tweet at it.

‘Aside from all that, the K5 can read license plates in the parking lot, scanning for stolen vehicles or sex offenders…’

Your privacy is worth $350 a year according to AT&T
‘…For $99 a month, customers who sign on with the company’s GigaPower network will get access to a 300 Mbps connection, one that will automatically be upgraded to a full gigabit per second at no extra charge once AT&T is satisfied with its initial rollout. But for just $70 a month, city residents can get the same service if they submit to something called AT&T Internet Preferences, a program the company says “may use your Web browsing information, like the search terms you enter and the Web pages you visit, to provide you relevant offers and ads tailored to your interests.”

‘Based on these numbers, AT&T appears to value Austinites’ privacy at just under $350 a year…’

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About DigitalPlato

Poch is a Bookrix author and a freelance writer. He is a frequent contributor to TED Conversations.
This entry was posted in internet, inventions, Society, TECHNOLOGY and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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