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Life Recorder

CmdrTaco posted about 4 years ago | from the just-around-the-bend dept.

Input Devices 347

Bruce Schneier writes "In 2006, writing about future threats on privacy, I described a life recorder: A 'life recorder' you can wear on your lapel that constantly records is still a few generations off: 200 gigabytes/year for audio and 700 gigabytes/year for video. It'll be sold as a security device, so that no one can attack you without being recorded."

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Rogue-like (5, Insightful)

hansamurai (907719) | about 4 years ago | (#31895306)

It'll be sold as a security device, so that no one can attack you without being recorded.

Except when getting stabbed in the back.

Re:Rogue-like (5, Interesting)

InsprdInsnty (1793100) | about 4 years ago | (#31895322)

or wearing a disguise of any sort

Re:Rogue-like (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 4 years ago | (#31895636)

Or with a sniper rifle.

Or poisoned.

Or run over with a stolen car.

Or rolled in your bedsheets and defenestrated.

Or by injecting your significant other with a deadly STD.

Or releasing anthrax on your ventilation system.

Or bombing your car.

hmm What exactly does this protect you against? And, more importantly, does it protect you more than the extra danger of wearing expensive hardware wherever you go and being a potential witness of every crime that ever happens near you?

Re:Rogue-like (4, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | about 4 years ago | (#31895856)

Is it just me, or do you live in a really, really bad neighborhood? Most people in my town just die of heart attacks, cancer, or car wrecks, with the occassional random act of violence. Not that this device is a good idea (unless you are the one selling them) but most people tend to die in ways that are less worthy of a James Bond movie plot.

As for being a witness for "every crime that ever happens near you", how many felonious crimes do you personally witness in the average day? I'm not talking copyright infringement, but about muggings, rapes, murder, burglary, robbery, etc. If your answer is > .009, you need to move. Soon.

Re:Rogue-like (4, Interesting)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 4 years ago | (#31895346)

I'll just steal your "Life Recorder" after I beat you up. Thanks for understanding.

Re:Rogue-like (5, Insightful)

tehniobium (1042240) | about 4 years ago | (#31895450)

Exactly what I thought, but TFA suggests/hints at the possibility of the data not being stored locally.

So not only do you get to have your life recorded, but your life is stored in the cloud! Fantastic isn't it??

Re:Rogue-like (5, Funny)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 4 years ago | (#31895562)

If this is the case then why is storage relevant? It's the bandwidth necessary to get the data out; doing it reliably is necessary too. An attacker could theoretically just jam the frequencies that the recorder/transmitter uses, and then attack you, steal or destroy the device, and no one would be the wiser. As a security measure, this needs to be better thought out.

On top of that, what does Bruce Schneier need with protections from attack? I hear that behind his beard lives an inordinately large prime number of fists.

temp storage and important people (1)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | about 4 years ago | (#31895638)

> If this is the case then why is storage relevant?

Connectivity can never be guaranteed, so you either need storage or you have the thing discarding all data whenever the wifi connection is bad.

> An attacker could theoretically just jam the frequencies that the recorder/transmitter uses

Yes, but no one will ever do that just to attack someone. Unless you're a president of something, in which case you won't be walking around with just a camera around your neck for protection.

Re:temp storage and important people (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 4 years ago | (#31895678)

> If this is the case then why is storage relevant?

Connectivity can never be guaranteed, so you either need storage or you have the thing discarding all data whenever the wifi connection is bad.

And you need a year of storage for that? How long are you planning to stay on that bad wifi tunnel?

Re:Rogue-like (2, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 4 years ago | (#31895694)

If this is the case then why is storage relevant?

Because we need a reasonable technical excuse for these impositions not being deployed upon our beings. Either way I'm not worried because I have AT&T, so my 3G coverage will make my life look like a bad version of the Nixon Whitehouse Tapes.

Re:Rogue-like (2, Funny)

oldspewey (1303305) | about 4 years ago | (#31895728)

An attacker could theoretically just jam the frequencies that the recorder/transmitter uses, and then attack you

Which attacker? You mean the scab-ridden meth addict who's waiting over by that mailbox while I finish my ATM withdrawl? Or the drunken neanderthal at the bar who thinks I'm staring at his girlfriend and decides he needs to prove some kind of point?

... or did you mean the computer nerd who's going to come up out of his basement and attack me as a way of testing that his latest jamming device actually works?

Re:Rogue-like (1)

blueskies (525815) | about 4 years ago | (#31895874)

What cloud? You mean like your home computer or a server under your control? If it's on the internet is that considered cloud technology now?

Re:Rogue-like (1)

Plastic Pencil (1258364) | about 4 years ago | (#31895464)

"It'll be sold as a security device, so that no one can attack you without being recorded."

I hear this said in Martin Prince's confident voice.

Seconds later Nelson Mutts defeats this assertion with primal, brute, playground skullduggery and then, he simply "Ha-Ha's..."

Re:Rogue-like (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | about 4 years ago | (#31895570)

Also, aren't those things only once every few seconds for photos? That'd let you capture people as they pass, but it won't stop someone getting right up to you and suddenly lashing out.

You're also a little dependent on it not being stolen/broken in the attack. Either that or you've got one hell of a good data plan on a "works everywhere" mobile connection!

Re:Rogue-like (1)

blueZ3 (744446) | about 4 years ago | (#31895730)

Or shot at any range. Hello, McFly--even a 360 degree view from four 640x480 cameras isn't going to help you identify someone 100 meters off. "Yes, officer. He was shot by this little blob in the lower right corner of the image"--and CSI-like enhancements are right out.

There are various (specious) reasons to purchase something like this, but "avoiding an attack" is just silly. Despite the media's fixation on crime, random attacks are quite rare. Only a really stupid mugger is going to attack some nerd wearing "always on" monitoring gear like this, and anyone with a real wish to do you harm is going to think of a way around it. The possibilities for doing mischief unrecorded are numerous and most of them simple and cheap to implement

And anyway, who wants to have their whole life recorded? Who is going to want to watch 9 hours of video of me sitting at my desk typing? Or an hour of commute time? Or the two hours I spent last night reading a book (Complete Chronicles of Conan--very amusing)? Or the seven hours I was asleep. Aside from some wild narcissists, most of the average person's daily life is utterly without interest.

Yet another WTF "future" product.

Re:Rogue-like (2, Insightful)

geekboy642 (799087) | about 4 years ago | (#31895872)

You and Bruce both are thinking in a very depressingly straight-forward manner. This isn't for watching 9 hours of typing or to protect you against a theoretical pipe-wielding villain who doesn't know about disguises. You would use these to shore up a fallible memory, or for evidence in a lawsuit, or to save more images of your spouse before s/he passed away. The security implications are amusing, but trite. Ultimately, complete life recording is like the NSA's scheme with the Internet: Record enough garbage, and you'll be nearly certain to catch the important bits.

Re:Rogue-like (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 4 years ago | (#31895846)

It's illegal in Illinois to record anyone without their permission, and nothing recorded without someone's permission can be used in court here.

I call it the "liar's law". But this tech won't help any Illinois crime victims.

Quoting himself now? Megalomania (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31895318)

Is there no new story, only Bruce quoting himself from 2006?

Re:Quoting himself now? Megalomania (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31895404)

Looks like you have to click the link to get the news part. Scoring some hits, mebe?

Re:Quoting himself now? Megalomania (1)

eparker05 (1738842) | about 4 years ago | (#31895408)

It seems that a Tech columnist posted a scantily detailed opinion piece on the subject last march. Our submitter linked to his opinion on the opinion piece.

http://www.darkreading.com/blog/archives/2010/03/is_it_time_for.html?cid=nl_DR_DAILY_2010-03-15_h [darkreading.com]

Re:Quoting himself now? Megalomania (1)

Glonoinha (587375) | about 4 years ago | (#31895918)

It's a gargoyle rig as described in Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash, circa 1992.
It was a good idea. Not an original idea, but a good idea nonetheless.

Hmm... (5, Insightful)

ShadowDragoonFTW (1527831) | about 4 years ago | (#31895324)

I don't like the privacy concerns if something like that was ever stolen or linked into...

Re:Hmm... (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 4 years ago | (#31895748)

Um ... what about it being used against someone as evidence that they committed a crime?

Judge: I'm sorry, Mr Smith, but your "Life Recorder" does not enjoy your 4th or 5th Amendment rights. Take him away boys!

Re:Hmm... (1)

inviolet (797804) | about 4 years ago | (#31895774)

I don't like the privacy concerns if something like that was ever stolen or linked into...

Presumably they have two decryption keys: one that you own for use in retrieving stuff for personal use, and another held only by the state that can be obtained only with a court order.

On balance I'd say this prospect is a Good Thing, because it would make it vastly easier to prove somebody guilty or not-guilty. That, in turn, will pull the rug out from the more offensive aspects of our current justice system -- particularly the ridiculous business of conviction based on the testimony of a single eyewitness.

Hunny! (2, Insightful)

TheKidWho (705796) | about 4 years ago | (#31895326)

"Hunny, I demand you have your life recorder on you at ALL times!"

Please don't try to make this practical.

Re:Hunny! (4, Informative)

maxume (22995) | about 4 years ago | (#31895556)

I'm pretty sure you are well past "She's not worth it" if you are having that discussion.

Can't use it in MD (4, Interesting)

ColdBoot (89397) | about 4 years ago | (#31895342)

MD is a 2 party consent state - can't use it here!

Re:Can't use it in MD (4, Informative)

cenobyte40k (831687) | about 4 years ago | (#31895528)

Sure you can. In MD they use security camera's all the time. In fact I have seen hidden security cameras in MD. The only time consent for taking your picture or recording is necessary is when one or more parties have assumed privacy. IE in there own home, on the phone, etc. Once you are in public is doesn't matter. Consent BTW doesn't have to be in writing either. If the camera is obvious that's good enough.

Re:Can't use it in MD (2, Informative)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | about 4 years ago | (#31895650)

Sure you can.

No, not as far as audio is concerned. You cannot tape conversations in MD - even in public - if you do not have consent of both parties. Police in Baltimore use and abuse this law on a regular basis when they are filmed in public. Fark or Slashdot had a story on this many months ago.

Re:Can't use it in MD (1)

fprintf (82740) | about 4 years ago | (#31895824)

Just last week there was a case of a motorcyclist recording a man waving a gun running up to him. The guy was a state cop and after he had taken a few steps out of his car yelled "state police!". The motorcyclist was being charged with a felony under federal wiretapping laws. MD is indeed a two-party notice state according to the news articles last week.

Attacked from Behind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31895344)

What a stupid idea. If you were attacked from behind, you would get the voice, if there was one. Additionally, you would get a picture of the ground as the attacker beat your arse senseless.

Hominids by Robert J. Sawyer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31895352)

Sounds like the Alibi Archives from Hominids [amazon.com] .

Copyrights? (5, Interesting)

Thiez (1281866) | about 4 years ago | (#31895362)

Good luck getting into a cinema wearing one of those.

Re:Copyrights? (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | about 4 years ago | (#31895560)

I believe that the law states that you have to mention that you're wearing a recorder before starting ANY conversation.

Also, confidential meetings and conversations would become more interesting.

In addition, I would turn the damned thing off a lot - because I like my privacy - and if I'd lose that recorder, it would all be out on the streets.
And I would probably forget to turn it back on if I'd take my little walk on the streets.

Re:Copyrights? (1)

SethJohnson (112166) | about 4 years ago | (#31895634)

State-by-state, friend. No federal law on recording conversations. Since this only records what the wearer may witness, it evades a lot of laws against hidden video cameras.


Re:Copyrights? (1)

fprintf (82740) | about 4 years ago | (#31895752)

And if you are like the motorcyclist in Maryland, recently, you will find yourself brought up on felony wiretapping laws for illegal audio recording of a state police officer without permission. Yikes! Most states are two party consent, which means each party to a recording needs to provide acknowledgment and agreement for the recording to proceed.

The Final Cut (4, Insightful)

omnichad (1198475) | about 4 years ago | (#31895364)

And they can make a great highlight video of your life to show at your funeral. Whether you were a good man or a bad man is all in the hands of the editor.

Life Recorder: a.k.a iSecure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31895370)

Sign me up so ALL my activities can be followed by
Big Brother [whitehouse.org] .

This is definitely THE device to blend [youtube.com] .

Yours In Astrakhan,
Kilgore Trout

clear evidence we did not evolve from primates (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31895374)

monkeys use better judgement, are infinitely more independent, & they never rely on us to provide them with anything, unless we capture/cage them. there's more.

a few more years... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31895392)

I have considered buying/building something like this for my bicycle, in case I die in an accident, but the battery/processor are still not there yet.

Since I first looked at what's required one component became cheap enough - the data storage (microSD).

Re:a few more years... (1)

bluesatin (1350681) | about 4 years ago | (#31895614)

I have considered buying/building something like this for my bicycle, in case I die in an accident, but the battery/processor are still not there yet.

Why need an expansive battery when you have a viable source of power between your legs?

Jews for Nerds! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31895394)

Jews, also known as kikes, hebes, hymies, yids, gold niggers, oven magnets, hook noses, sheenies, swindlers, criminals, "firewood", and Arabs in denial are a subhuman species of reptilian extra-terrestrials and adherents to one of the world's oldest major religions, called "Judaism", otherwise known as "The Worship of Money" or "Eating Arab Babies".

Judaism was the world's first master race theory. The Jew religion teaches that Jews are the Chosen People of God and that there is a sacred mystical quality to Jew DNA. In olden times, Jew prophets would, under the command of YHWH, frequently lead the Jews on genocidal rampages against neighboring populations, and even today Jew leaders often cite Jewish religious ideals to justify their ongoing genocide of sandniggers. Judaism ironically found its mirror-image inversion in the anti-Jew Aryan racialism of the Nazis.
Despite only being 0.22% of the world's population, Jews control 99% of the world's money. Not only do the Jews control the world, but also the media, the banks, the space program, and LiveJournal's porn communities and Gay communities. All Jews possess the following features: an extremely large nose, fake boobs, curly hair that reeks of faggotry, one of those gay hats, a love of coke, a law practice, a roll of money, a small cock, or shitty taste in dental hygiene.

Jews invented both Communism and Capitalism. Karl Marx, of course, was a Jew, which was why he understood money so well, and in fact he was converted to Communism by another Jew, Moses Hess, the actual founder of Zionism, who ghost-wrote Marx's The German Ideology. Capitalism was created when Christian Europeans threw away their morals and decided to embrace Jewish practices like usury (see: John Calvin). Jews were the first group to create a sophisticated banking system, which they used to fund the Crusades in order to pit Christians and Muslims (both adhering to religions derived from and controlled by Jews) against each other to kill as many people as possible in a macabre human sacrifice to YHWH.

The Jew banking system was based on fraud and lies, so when it inevitably collapsed, the Jews just pwned as many people as possible by unleashing the Black Plague on them. Later, Jews economically controlled medieval Venice (the first modern maritime trade empire), and then crypto-Jewish merchants economically controlled the Spanish Empire, including the slave trade. Openly Jewish bankers orchestrated the Dutch Empire and founded Jew Amsterdam (later Jew York). Later the Dutch Jews moved to London because they thought it would be a better base for a global empire, and actually brought a Dutch nobleman, William III, with them, who they installed in a coup d'état (more like Jew d'état, amirite?) as new King of the British Empire. For hundreds of years, Jewish bankers controlled global trade through their bases in Jew York City and London. European colonialism was, through its history, essentially a plot whereby Jews could gain control of gold and diamond mines in poor countries and increase their stranglehold over the global economy.

Jews also enjoy slicing up baby penises for fun, some even enjoy sucking them. See below.

Jews also created Jew search engine Google, so now they can find all Jew information on Internets.

Some suggest that we should use Jews instead of dogs to sniff out large amounts of concealed cash or anything else worth smuggling at airports due to their sensitive Jew noses. Obviously, this is a horrible idea, because the pay is bad, and the dirty Kikes would probably form a union and demand moar money, thus increasing the burden on taxpayers everywhere.

Great Sci-fi movie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31895396)

Johnnie J. is just your average, overworked employee at a large, multinational corporation. Like everyone else, he uses a liferecorder to keep track of his most precious memories.

One day, Johnnie goes to review the data. It has footage of him stealing company secrets. The next thing you know, Johnnie's being shot at. He's being chased. The government goes after him for his data. The corporation goes after him for his theft. Hitmen have been contracted for him.

The only problem? Johnnie doesn't remember doing anything that was captured on his liferecorder. Was he brainwashed? Is he being framed? Is he a sleeper agent? Will some hot chick who is part of a third, mysterious organization help him to clear his name?

Coming this year, Tom Cruise in "The Schneier Incident".

That's just generic enough to work!

Law Enforcement Implications (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31895398)

Cops do not like being recorded by civilians.

Expect to be harrassed, criminally charged with trumped-up charges, maybe even have illegal drugs or weapons planted on you, and in extreme cases possibly even get beaten up or even killed (depending on your location) as a result of recording any interaction with police.

Re:Law Enforcement Implications (2, Insightful)

linzeal (197905) | about 4 years ago | (#31895798)

That's why these should be immediately installed in every cop badge in the country.

Bicycling (4, Interesting)

ciaohound (118419) | about 4 years ago | (#31895430)

How about a bicycle-ride recorder, for the next time someone throws trash at you or yells obscenities.

Re:Bicycling (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31895608)

How about a bicycle-ride recorder, so law enforcement can ticket bike riders for not obeying traffic laws like they are supposed to?

Re:Bicycling (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31895806)

How about a bicycle-ride recorder, so law enforcement can ticket bike riders for not obeying traffic laws like they are supposed to?

Or provide evidence when they hit pedestrians in crosswalks (as I've narrowly escaped, twice)?

Re:Bicycling (0, Troll)

dunezone (899268) | about 4 years ago | (#31895814)

I don't condone those actions but its probably a reaction to the following...

You are on a road that is heavily used by traffic and should not have bicyclists on it in the first place.

You are 5 feet away from the curb and slowing up traffic. Your distance from the curb keeps changing making passing extremely dangerous for the driver and puts the you at risk.

You ignore stop signs and street lights.

Re:Bicycling (5, Informative)

maxume (22995) | about 4 years ago | (#31895866)

Bicycles are traffic.

There are restrictions, such as freeways, but this is true for most roads.

Re:Bicycling (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 4 years ago | (#31895890)

I know this is off topic but there are a lot of idiots on bicycles that give bicyclists a bad rep.
I used to ride a lot and have both a street and off road bike so I feel your pain but sometimes there are idiots that out there that cause big problems.
A good example is one day my wife and I where driving to lunch and our bumper was in the cross walk. Not our tires mind you just a bit of the bumper. An idiot on a bicycle yelled at her and told my wife that the crosswalk as for him!
The thing is that idiot was riding on the sidewalk on a rode with a BICYCLE LANE!
I will not get into the group ride that decided that three abreast on a busy two lane road at 8:00 am on a workday was a good plan.
I was terrified because I had a line of cars behind me. on coming traffic to the left and two bicyclists right in front of my car! If one had had a flat I would have had no choice but to hit them! The though of hitting a fellow rider makes me sick to my stomach but they literally hemmed me in.
So yes we have to deal with idiot cage drivers and idiot riders making our life hard.

Stealth as the only option (4, Interesting)

Zero_DgZ (1047348) | about 4 years ago | (#31895436)

I sort of use something like this today, in the gritty old present day.

In my car I've got one of my old PDA's mounted instead of a GPS device. It's rather firmly permanently mounted to the dash until you take all the bezels off and unscrew it from the back, so I consider its risk for theft fairly low. Also, it's not mounted in the usual look-at-me GPS area but down by the driver's side kick plate.

Anyway, I have it there because I use Pocket Excel (don't laugh) to keep track of all my invoices and orders for the day. I also have a mapping program installed, and obviously it uses GPS. I've successfully used it to defuse two frivolous traffic tickets by less-than-scrupulous police officers: Once by making it a policy to keep all of my GPS logs, and once by happening to have a hotkey for the note taker "record" function bound, so I could easily and silently (also legally, in this state!) record everything the lying police officer said.

I've also seen on DealExtreme and other places some always-on, rolling-record capable video cameras for mounting wherever, and I've been tempted to pick one up and mount it in my car, police car style. Mailing a CD-R every month to the local precinct with video of their police officers flagrantly breaking traffic laws would be optional, but probably a lot of fun the first couple of times.

Remember: Big Brother is only bad for you if you are not personally Big Brother!

Law enforcement implications (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31895446)

Does wearing such a thing break wiretapping laws if you are being questioned by the police? Getting a speeding ticket for going 5 over the limit gets a lot more hairy if the cop finds out he's being recorded.

Down with FPP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31895454)

The movies Strange Days and Brainstorm come to mind... ergo, the most common usage will be FPS... First-Person Porn.

Doesn't have to be that big (3, Insightful)

cenobyte40k (831687) | about 4 years ago | (#31895462)

It doesn't need to have that much space. Anything over a day is more than enough for now, sure as storage and power gets smaller and cheaper having days,weeks,months or years will happen, but I think we will start to see them before they get all the way to a year at a time. Oh and when are we going to make the cops wear them? Can we start doing that now? As we know cops are involved with more violence per capita than any other group of citizens annually, year after year. (With the exception of maybe solders)

Re:Doesn't have to be that big (1)

maxume (22995) | about 4 years ago | (#31895706)

There are pilot programs going on.

I think it is Tazer that is making the hardware/selling the service (the video is uploaded to their system, to reduce tampering).

I saw a blurb on television, so no links.

I want it - For My Car (2, Interesting)

StCredZero (169093) | about 4 years ago | (#31895472)

I want such a device, but not for my person. I'd want it on my car with 360-degree coverage, but no audio. I'd like to have a record of all of my interactions with traffic police. If there's no audio, then it doesn't fall afoul of recorder laws. It would also be dandy for catching people who dent your car in parking lots. Also, I've been in the occasional traffic accident and I know that people lie in that situation.

Of course, have it encrypt its content using RSA and randomly generated session keys, so that only I would be able to decrypt the recordings. (Even if an attacker hacks the hardware! You'd have to be able to read the RAM while the session keys were resident. You could even get around this with some judicious White Box encryption [kuleuven.be] . )

Re:I want it - For My Car (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31895652)

I expect we will see something like that on cars within 20 years.

Although with two caveats:
They will be mandatory on new vehicles
There will be a back door (no pun intended) for Law Enforcement

Experiment now (1)

Exp315 (851386) | about 4 years ago | (#31895484)

If you want to experiment with this on the cheap, you can get a sub-$20 mini-cam from many online sources that records VGA-res video and sound to a microSD card for about an hour on a battery charge (battery being the limiting factor at the moment). I often use mine as a dash-cam in the car (to provide a video record in case of a traffic accident), or as a sports cam. I've thought of using it to secretly record meetings or transactions where a future dispute might arise, but haven't done so because of legal concerns.

200 and 700 GiB? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31895492)

Are you on crack?

Audio: HE-AAC at 16kbps = 63072000 bytes per year. That's 63.072 GB, very far from your 200 GiB estimate.

Video is debatable because of frame rate, resolution, etc. But let's assume you used a shitty CODEC, so switching to H.264 would allow you to cut your 700 GiB down to maybe 250 to 300 GB.

Unless they mug you for your life recorder (2, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | about 4 years ago | (#31895498)

so that no one can attack you without being recorded.

recording a crime is one thing, still having the recording afterwards is another. Having a sufficiently high quality record of the assailant's voice or image is yet another. This thing might, just be usful as a "black box" in a car, but to have it strapped to your person? Nah!

Won't matter in the UK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31895510)

My understanding is the cameras are useless there at catching muggers.

I'm mounting mine on my glasses (2, Interesting)

alispguru (72689) | about 4 years ago | (#31895512)

Stereo mikes on the temples, heads-up display on the lenses, wirelessly connected to the wallet-sized CPU/Internet-connection box. I want it clearly stated that the US 5th Amendment covers this, though.

Some security (1)

Kenoli (934612) | about 4 years ago | (#31895536)

Presumably the device would need to (magically?) upload everything it records to some remote location to protect the data from simple theft/destruction. Naturally it won't prevent you from being brutally assaulted, but at least you might end but with some kind of evidence.

Though, recording and broadcasting everything you and everyone around you says and does might be a slight privacy concern.

The Final Cut (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31895564)

There was a Robin Williams movie a while back that took up the implications of such a life recorder. It is called The Final Cut, and was actually a pretty good movie. I would recommend it. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0364343/ [imdb.com]

Lapels? (2, Insightful)

rwade (131726) | about 4 years ago | (#31895580)

A "life recorder" you can wear on your lapel

Who wears jackets with lapels all day anymore? This is not an irrelevant question -- I'm not sure where I'd put this thing if I were wearing just a t-shirt.

In illinois (1)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | about 4 years ago | (#31895604)

In Illinois, it is against the law to record a conversation without consent of the other party.

How will this device work then? Do you have to advertise that you are recording? Is there an easy shut off button? Can this evidence even be used if the opponent/perp/officer starts off the defense with "He did not have permission to record" ?

Re:In illinois (0, Troll)

egcagrac0 (1410377) | about 4 years ago | (#31895762)

It's not my problem that you live in Illinois.

Illegal? (1)

adamdoyle (1665063) | about 4 years ago | (#31895610)

Isn't it illegal to covertly record audio of someone in public?

Re:Illegal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31895718)

IANAL, but I don't think so. In most states you can even record your phone calls without informing the other person.

Islands in the Net (2, Interesting)

mattr (78516) | about 4 years ago | (#31895648)

In Bruce Sterling's Islands in the Net [wikipedia.org] , the protagonist wears video sunglasses (1988). Streaming to the net live is seen as a shield. Even now, clearly it would be safer to stream it than carry the video on you.

No bets about quality of the recording. However a cue might be taken from the "smart bandaid" wireless health sensors that are being developed now, with enough power to reach a wristwatch or pocket device. What market opportunity (and perhaps technological advance) needs to be presented to camera manufacturers in order to get them to package small wireless audio/video sensors for the mass market?

Ever seen a video of a cameraman in a fight? (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 4 years ago | (#31895682)

Ever seen a video of a cameraman in a fight? Camera goes haywire and you can't see anything but a big blur. But, like most security snake oil, I'm sure that won't make any difference to the buyers.

Over/Under (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31895698)

So, when will the first person born with a miniature recorder implanted at/before birth record every second of his/her entire life? My guess is after 2030, anyone think before then?

"200 gigabytes/year for audio" is practical now (1)

asdf7890 (1518587) | about 4 years ago | (#31895700)

"200 gigabytes/year for audio" is not "still a few generations off" unless you particularly need the device to keep data locally for long periods.

200Gbyte/year is just over half a Gig per day. You could store nearly a fortnight on an 8Gb microsd card (which are not expensive and are very small even with the required read/write interface (see http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.25557 [dealextreme.com] for a small one, and this device would not need the physical USB interface so could easily be made smaller)). As long as you switched card or otherwise offloaded the data to other storage in that time your 24/7 recording is good to go - battery life would be much more of a problem than storage.

I can imagine such a device being easy to produced right now. Maybe not as small as a little lapel badge, but certainly "StarTrek TNG broach-like communicator" size or smaller. All you need is a microphone, the card reader, a small processor for compressing the incoming data, and a battery. Battery life would be the big problem, but with advances in processor tech (doing more with less power), battery tech, and the potential in the near future for trickle charging from reclaimed energy (there are a number of research groups showing promising work around gaining power from human movement via devices inlaid in clothes or, for applications such a pace-makers, installed internally) I expect the device you describe is practical in the very near future if it isn't already now.

Heck, I could set my MP3 player to voice record and leave it in my pocket all day. Call that version 1.0, and work on miniaturisation and the interface to non-local storage.

Great for self-incrimination (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about 4 years ago | (#31895722)

When the Gov force you to reveal the recorder's contents...http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10172866-38.html

So they get recorded - so what!!?? (1)

AbbeyRoad (198852) | about 4 years ago | (#31895732)

Ok, Mr Big attacks you and gets recorded.
Explain how that helps you?? So now, at the end
of each year, the police have 10,000 pieces of
video footage of people attacking victims; instead
of 10,000 verbal descriptions. One for each case
file opened.

Considering the miriad of types of information
that are used to track crimes like this, video
footage will add very little really.

The biggest problem with police detective work
is NOT a lack of information. It's pooling and
cross-referencing the existing information
together in a meaningful way.

For instance an attack that happens within
100 feet walking distance from another attack
at the same time in the afternoon on a different

Now THAT tells more than any video footage.

I've always wondered... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31895758)

I've read the various posts remarking how it would be against the law to use in states where two-party consent is required for recording and whatnot, but I've always wondered about something.

Technically, the human brain is _already_ a recording device, is it not? While it doesn't create a perfect digital copy, of course, it seems to me that by simply trying to remember an experience, you are, in essence, recording it.

The only real difference between this and an external recording device is that somebody else can potentially access the information on it via technological means... but the brain is not really less of a recording device than any other.

OMG!!! (3, Interesting)

owlnation (858981) | about 4 years ago | (#31895858)

It's like twitter with moving pictures.

Here's some footage of me taking a dump...

And it will only make it so much easier for every cheap whore celebutard to release a sex tape, or some other low-life publicity stunt.

Do NOT want.

I don't even know where to begin. (4, Insightful)

dotfile (536191) | about 4 years ago | (#31895860)

How many things are wrong with this kooky idea? Completely ineffective if you're attacked from behind, if your assailant wears a mask, if the attack happens at night, etc. Of course the very FIRST thing that's going to get stolen is your "life recorder", so now your mugger knows your ATM PIN code, all your passwords, your address, your home, your family, your friends, EVERYTHING. Your "life recorder" will of course provide evidence against you in any trial. Your employer will use it to prove you've been slacking off or sneaking off to your car for a company policy prohibited smoke. Use your imagination, there's almost NO upside to this.

If you live in constant fear of being attacked, you either need counseling or you REALLY need to move somewhere else. This country is full of small towns, medium sized cities, and even larger cities where you will be quite safe.

umm (1)

nomadic (141991) | about 4 years ago | (#31895864)

"In 2006, writing about future threats on privacy, I described a life recorder: A "life recorder" you can wear on your lapel that constantly records is still a few generations off: 200 gigabytes/year for audio and 700 gigabytes/year for video. It'll be sold as a security device, so that no one can attack you without being recorded."

Ok, so you foretold a life recorder in 2006 on your blog. Some other guy has now suggested the same thing on his blog. The technology still isn't around. Is any part of this story news at all?

BS on 200GB/year for audio (4, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 4 years ago | (#31895882)

The assumption the author is making is that there is always something to record. I'm pretty sure that the 1/3rd of the year that a person sleeps will contain highly compressible audio, not to mention the fact that he seems to think that a 64kbps bitrate is a requirement.

Regular telephone quality audio (from the "you can hear a pin drop" era) was considered to be about 8,000 samples per/second, which is in fact 64kbps for an 8-bit sample depth. This is uncompressed recording here. TFA can't beat uncompressed telephone quality audio? Really?

A shame.. (2, Interesting)

greyworld (802114) | about 4 years ago | (#31895904)

When I read the article, I thought - thats a great device, something to record my life, like a diary.
Then I realised it was conceived as anti violent crime device. Thats so depressing, Its not magic diary, its a bulletproof vest for daily life!
Why are Americans so afraid of violence?
How many good ideas get subverted in the name of personal protection?
I found that really sad.. Andrew

A Better Security Device (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31895912)

You've got to be kidding right? Talk about identity theft and the ability for the government to get in your shorts. The only way this could be made more effective for those uses is if it was surgically implanted in our cerebral cortex prior to birth so it could record our thoughts for posterity (especially our Big Brother) as well.

For security devices, I much prefer my Smith & Wesson, Glock, or Heckler & Koch. That will keep both bad guys and the government out of my shorts, especially since its getting harder to tell them apart.

"Snow" by John Crowley (1)

Tom Boz (1570397) | about 4 years ago | (#31895942)

And in 1985, John Crowley wrote a short story titled "Snow" with the same idea. A miniature recorder captures all the video (no audio, if I recall) but due to the recording method used to save space in the recorder, moments can only be accessed randomly. It's part of the collection "Masterpieces," edited by Orson Scott Card.
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