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Wozniak Unveils WozNet

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the track-your-spare-tags-with-tags dept.

Security 490

dki writes "Steve Wozniak's WozNet is covered in an article at the New York Times today. His company Wheels of Zeus, mentioned previously on Slashdot last year, plans to create wireless networks that use GPS to track clusters of electronic tags within a 1- or 2-mile radius of a base station. The tags "will be able to generate alerts, notifying the owner by phone or e-mail message when a child arrives at school, a dog leaves the yard or a car leaves the parking lot.""

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490 comments

how many FPs for the CLIT will it take? (-1)

Proctal Relapse (467579) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492276)

I've always considered myself totally heterosexual, and never even considered a sexual experience with another guy. That was until I began surfing the net. I began to find sites like this and others which had stories and pictures posted of men enjoying other men sexually. I began to think about it more and more, and for the first time in my life fantasized about other men while masturbating. Since watching women masturbate was always my biggest turn-on, it only seemed natural that the thought of men masturbating might also excite me... I was right.

After almost a year of exploring on the Web and in MforM chatrooms, I knew that I somehow had to experience something in real life. But I certainly didn't want to do it with a stranger.

The person I looked to was my best friend Tim. I would soon discover that Tim fit the description of the type of guy that excited me from my on-line experiences. He was thin, with nice muscle tone, but not considered built, he had dark hair a nice tan and had a completely smooth chest and stomach and hardly any hair on his legs. Even though we had been friends since high school (now in our early 20's) I had never seen him totally nude. I was becoming increasingly curious.

Even though we're very close, I found it very difficult to bring up the subject. I did it as subtlety as possible; one day while surfing the net together I "accidently" stumbled upon the M/M stories posted on your page. I purposely went to the hottest ones and pretended to read them for the first time with him.

I kind of said very casually after reading them that I couldn't believe that they were actually a "bit" of a turn-on.(In reality I was ready to explode just discussing it with him). I asked him if he ever thought about sex with a guy, and after some initial denying it, he did confess to dreaming about it once in a while. I told him I thought it might be interesting under the right circumstances.

Well, the right circumstances came about a month later. We were at his house, it was a very hot day and we were swimming in his pool. I had just finished some laps and I crawled up into the floating pool lounge to catch some sun while Tim continued to swim. As I laid in the very hot sun, I began to watch Tim in the pool. I couldn't believe how much I was getting turned on watching his very smooth body slice through the blue water. It actually scared me a little, because I really didn't want to be bisexual; I love girls.

I couldn't resist the urge though; as he swam by me I extended my leg out, pushing it into his back, pretending to hold him under. I was just dying to feel his skin under my own, even if it was my foot. He swam out from under me and fought back, overturning my lounge bringing me into the water with him. We started underwater wrestling, and I purposely fought hard just to hold on to him. The smell of the chlorine on top of his skin was intoxicating. I was going crazy.

I knew I had to stop or I was going to embarrass myself. I broke free and got out of the pool, grabbing my towel quickly to cover the growing bulge in my bathing suit. I laid down on the lounge for a bit, but I couldn't get my erection to subside.

"Does being out in the sun too long make you horny sometimes?" I asked him.

He laughed, "yeah, of course it does. Hot sun always does ".

I got up from the chair and started toward the house, telling him I needed to get out of the heat. I went upstairs to his room, fortunately his parents were both working. In his room he had a VCR and I knew some x-rated movies. I put one in the machine and began watching it, my cock was so hard I was going crazy. The scene was a girl/girl encounter, but all I could think of was feeling his body in the pool.

"What are you doing?" he asked from the doorway

"I'm really horny, I told you."

"I can see that," he said looking down toward my crotch. "Just go take care of yourself in the bathroom." he said.

"But then I won't be able to see the film," I said, while pushing on my cock through my swim trunks. I could see his eyes were fixed on my hand pushing on my cock. I don't think he knew what to make of it, but I could see that his own bathing suit was rising a bit in the front. This scared me to death, but also excited me so much that I was encouraged to continue.

I slid my hand up my left leg to rub inside my suit, I pretended be interested in the film again, but I couldn't help but turn back and stare at his ever growing bulge. Finally there was no hiding it for him either. I kind of smirked and gestured for him to sit down and watch the film with me.

He did just that, sitting next to me on the floor about six feet away. We were now both rubbing our cocks under our suits and watching these two girls 69 each other on the tv.

The more we got into it though, I noticed that Tim kept looking toward me more than he was watching the screen. This was fine by me; It was all I could do not to stare right at his bulge. I could feel my heart racing and my breathing quicken.

I new somebody had to take the first step, I slid off my trunks, exposing to him my very hard 7 1/2 inch cock. He was totally fixed on me from that ppoint on, and a little shocked that I'd done it.

"Come on," I said, "You mine as well be comfortable,"

Without further suggestion he pulled off his bathing suit, and I got my first look at another guy's erect penis. He was hard, and actually his dick looked similar to mine, I discovered we both keep our pubic hair cut very close and our balls shaved.

I leaned back against his bed and faced him, inspiring him to also turn and lean against the wall to face my way. we were now totally ignoring the movie and concentrating on each other's hands working of our hard cocks.

Our eyes drifted back and forth between each others crotches and the expression of pure desire on the other's face. What turns me on so much about watching people get themselves off is that look in their eyes, when they reach the point of no return; where they must cum at any cost. Tim and I both had that look in our eyes.

Tim brought his hand up to his mouth and licked his palm to wet it and returned it to his cock. I followed his lead. The chlorine had made my cock a bit dry and my saliva made stroking easier.

When a drop of pre-cum appeared on my head, I brushed it with my fingertip and brought it to my waiting tongue. Tim watched with delight, "I thought I was the only one who did that," he moaned.

I was getting close and so was he, we were both laying back now, hips rocking in rhythmic motion.

"Fuck, I never thought this could be so hot," he moaned, almost screamed.

I couldn't resist, "Cum with me Tim". I screamed.

I jumped up and moved closer to him; I didn't consider the consequences, I didn't care, I just had to feel him. I moved next to him so our legs were touching, then in a more daring move I rubbed my cock against his leg. "Cum on me Tim," I screamed.

He too was beyond control and he moved forward and knelt in front of me. Our legs were together and our cocks even brushed together. I wanted so bad to kiss him at that moment, but I couldn't, I also wanted to suck on his nipple but I held back. Feeling his cock against mine would suffice. I looked directly into his eyes as my cock exploded, sending blast after blast of semen against his stomach. He burst too flooding my own chest and stomach. We collapsed into back and stared at the others cum soaked body.

After about twenty minutes, we managed to clean up. We didn't really talk about it much after that, trying to make like it was no big deal. We have spoken since about it and both have confessed that we enjoyed it very much and would like to try and explore further. We have done just that...

hi gnaa folks! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6492277)

how's it going?

tracking everything (2, Interesting)

ianmalcm (591345) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492283)

Big Brother at a consumer level.

wonderful.

Re:tracking everything (2)

dema (103780) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492383)

Since when did the terms "convinence" and "Big Brother" get so confusing for people?

Re:tracking everything (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6492397)

what the hell is convinence?

Or another excuse to not pay attention (2, Insightful)

Cappy Red (576737) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492420)

Introducing WozCrutch, a product with some good possible implementations, but that will be used more often for the bad. Let it watch your kids, pets, anyone or anything you care about, so you can forget to. They don't move as fast as you think they do anyway.

*honk*

Re:tracking everything (4, Insightful)

kwerle (39371) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492422)

Big Brother at a consumer level.

wonderful.


To my mind, there were only 1 problem with big brother:
The information was not universal. That is, only the government had access. If the general public had access to the same data, it would have been OK. ie. The problem was not that the govenernment had too much data, it was that it did not share it.

I know that sounds crazy to half the /.ers, but the other half should love it, right? Information wants to be free, right? Your location and activities ARE WHO YOU ARE. I don't believe that the government should have access to that information - I believe everyone should [unless your in a private place, say your own home, then just your location should be available :-]

The moniker(sp, sorry) "Big Brother" implies something: they were like family looking out for you. So, yes, this stuff is "Big Brother"ish - but in the sense that you can look out for your family, not that the government can spy on you. You just have to look for the original meaning of the term.

APRS... (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492579)

While I have an extreme problem with the government tracking my comings and goings, I find your comment interesting considering that I want to install an APRS setup in my car.

http://www.aprs.org/ has more information. The basic premise is that it will broadcast your position peridically encapsulated with AX.25 UI packets over an amateur radio interface. Typically 1200bps AFSK on (I believe) 144.39 MHz. Anyone who wants to can tune in.

I think a major aspect of it in addition to "general availability" is that you can turn off your APRS beacon any time you want...

interesting... (3, Insightful)

Spytap (143526) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492287)

I'm not sure whether my first reaction is one of geek-interoperability heaven, or "1984"-style wariness. I guess my feelings are that for private citizens this could be a very cool idea, but for a general populace control/observance I'm a little worried.

where did I leave my keys? (5, Interesting)

dirvish (574948) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492291)

The tags will only cost about $25 and I am sure that price will go down w/ time. I would really like a nice small tag for my car keys...

Re:where did I leave my keys? (2, Informative)

Joe Decker (3806) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492394)

The takes are expected to cost $25 to produce, that doesn't mean they'll be sold for $25, probably more like $50. However, I agree with you that in time the price will drop, it always does.

Re:where did I leave my keys? (1)

dki (597803) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492395)

To clarify, the tags will cost $25 each to *produce*. I don't think the purchase price has been announced.

Re:where did I leave my keys? (2, Informative)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492424)

my ETrex Vista GPS unit will track things down to 3 ft or so. It typically does not work inside (in my apt. anyway) and even if it does, it's at like 40 to 60 ft.

GPS tracking for your keys wouldn't be terribly useful at that range.

Re:where did I leave my keys? (1)

Machine9 (627913) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492553)

however, it's perfectly functional for tracking you significant other's car keys, letting you know, in detail, where he/she/it goes.

this is a BAD thing for your privacy. even if, at first, only certain people (namely, you) have access to this information, it is only a matter of time before someone cracks the security (probably your CIA, FBI, NSA or other hotbed of conspiracy theories like this one) and starts tracking where YOU go.

where did I leave my base station? (4, Funny)

Cappy Red (576737) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492530)

Keys are a fairly common thing to lose... but I lose everything else too. If I got one of these it would just mean that I'd have to have a tag for the base station.

Maybe I should just forgo material possessions so I can get all my stuff back. It would be easier... and cheaper.

*bork*

Re:where did I leave my keys? (1)

SamSpectre (412989) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492575)

In the morning I need help finding my keys, my shoes, my work ID, etc. but I can't help but think I'll either lose the ID tags (before I apply them) or forget my password to the system when I need it most.

This has nothing to do with Apple. (5, Insightful)

vasqzr (619165) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492302)


If Paul Allen bought a wi-fi company would it be under Microsoft?

Re:This has nothing to do with Apple. (1, Insightful)

alienhazard (660628) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492554)

although that question is off topic, i think it is a valid one. Looks like whoever posted the story could use some help categorizing things :P go ahead, mod me off topic too, i dont care.

Re:This has nothing to do with Apple. (1)

jasonditz (597385) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492589)

I got plenty of Karma to burn to, so I have to say I agree. But OTOH there were plenty of people calling the Corel acquisition by Vector an anti-competitive move by MS just because Paul Allen happens to invest some in Vector.

double standards at slashdot (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6492305)

when someone mentions RFIDs, everyone gets all up in arms about it, but when it's Steve Wozniak behind them (these things are basically an advanced form of RFIDs and can be used in much the same way), it's wahoo! go woz! you rock man!

Re:double standards at slashdot (0)

TwistedGreen (80055) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492378)

Hate to break it to you, but Slashdot is not one homogenous entity.

Re:double standards at slashdot (2, Funny)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492498)

> Hate to break it to you, but Slashdot is not one homogenous entity.

Yes we are!

Oh, wait, I can't disagree with you if we're one homogenous entity.

Now I'm confused. Yes, _now_ I'm one with Slashdot! w00t! :)

Re:double standards at slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6492522)

That's is correct.

Slashdot is a homoSEXUAL entity.

*bows*

Re:double standards at slashdot (4, Insightful)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492389)

RFID tags are applied by a retailer or manufacturer. The consumer has no choice in the matter, and may not be able to remove them. The WOZ tags, on the other hand, will presumably be bought by individuals who will be able to decide for themselves which items to track, and which to simply ignore.

Re:double standards at slashdot (1)

JZ_Tonka (570336) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492488)

"will presumably be bought by individuals who will be able to decide for themselves which items to track, and which to simply ignore."

Presuably, yes, but what about when it's used to track, say, a filandering spouse or a truant son or daughter? I cann't imagine these people would voluntarily consent to be tracked like this.

Re:double standards at slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6492508)

but how long until retailers go to Woz wanting these? Even then, we'll still be "woz rocks!"

Hate to break it to you though, RFID tags are nothing to worry about. People at /. are just concerned about them because somebody was able to come up with an extreme example of poor usage of them, and listened without applying independent thought or reason. WalMart's program is only putting them in the boxes they're shipped in, not on the item that ends up at the shelf.

Even if they were, complaining about how it's no longer possible for a shoplifter to steal makes no sense and alienates the paranoia driven tin-hat wearers from the general public. If people are really concerned about educating the general public, better arguments are needed in terms they understand.

Somehow, we're supposed to be people understanding of technology and it's limits, yet the moment something that tracking millions of people comes up, it's bad, even though we're supposed to be the ones that know that just isn't possible.

Re:double standards at slashdot (2, Insightful)

AntiOrganic (650691) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492396)

You're also ignoring something here: We CONSENT to having these tags placed on something, and only what we want them placed on. No surprises here, and nothing's being tracked that we don't want tracked.

No offense, but... (5, Insightful)

siskbc (598067) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492439)

You're also ignoring something here: We CONSENT to having these tags placed on something, and only what we want them placed on. No surprises here, and nothing's being tracked that we don't want tracked.

...that's obscenely naive. So what's stopping me from putting one on your car and knowing everywhere you go? What if your wife does it? What if your boss does it? See, there's nothing at all that implies consent here.

I'm sure Woz was trying to do something cool, and believe me I would love to know where my fscking keys and remote are like everyone else, but there are some more nefarious uses that will be among the first applications for the device.

Re:No offense, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6492505)

> So what's stopping me from putting one on your car
> and knowing everywhere you go?

And that technology isn't available today? HAVEN'T YOU WATCHED JAMES BOND???

Re:double standards at slashdot (2, Interesting)

plover (150551) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492475)

What if that something is a 17-year-old daughter?

It's different if it's a dog, or your wallet, or your handgun. But what if it's a person who maybe doesn't want Mommy to know she drove to her boyfriend's house and has been parked at the local park for the last three hours instead of at the library with her study-buddies?

The lines get grayer.

Re:double standards at slashdot (5, Interesting)

mark_lybarger (199098) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492592)

i'm not so sure there's a grey line there unless this is of a state where 17 is considered legal age. parents are responsible for their kids up till the age they leave the house. they're responsible to feed them and responsible for when they run a car into someone's mailbox. i believe they have an intrinsic right and responsibility to monitor their kids whereabouts, even if they need to use such discrete methods as this.

Re:double standards at slashdot (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6492398)

If you bothered to read *any* of the posts above yours, you would see that *you* are the first to mention any type of praise for such a system (all the others are critical of this idea).

You have assumed, and assumed falsely.

Re:double standards at slashdot (4, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492459)

when someone mentions RFIDs, everyone gets all up in arms about it, but when it's Steve Wozniak behind them (these things are basically an advanced form of RFIDs and can be used in much the same way), it's wahoo! go woz! you rock man!

RFID's are a tool. As such they can be useful or they can be abused just like any other tool. (cars, pharmaceuticals, guns, databases etc...etc...etc...). What Woz has done is created a paradigm whereby individuals can harness the power of this technology to enable their lives through their own choice as opposed to RFID technology being used without permission or knowledge.

You go Woz!

Re:double standards at slashdot (2, Funny)

flynt (248848) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492556)

What Woz has done is created a paradigm whereby individuals can harness the power of this technology to enable their lives

I'm suggesting you not attend any meetings where MBA's are present for at least 1 month starting immediately. It is your only hope at this point! Please call me if you need any support through your ordeal.

Just peachy (0, Flamebait)

sulli (195030) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492311)

So the guy who helped bring us The Personal Computer is now making spy tools for meddling parents and divorce lawyers? Thanks a lot, bucko!

Some suggestions for the Linux community (-1, Troll)

JismTroll (588456) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492318)

Hi,

I've always used Windowz and I consider myself an exceptional Visual
Basic programmer, so I know computers pretty good. In fact I got an A-
in my programming class last term. But I'm a little wary of how much
power Microsoft has in the computer field. Many of my friends use
RedHat and I've recently installed it on my machine at home. Although
I haven't had as much chance to play with it as I'd like, I've been
greatly impressed.

This weekend I gave some thoughts to the things that are wrong with
Linux. I hope no one minds having some flaws pointed out. I'd like to
help make RedHat stronger so it can conquer MS. Hopefully RedHat will
hear this (crossing fingers) and address these. I think with a little
effort, RedHat's Linux can defeat Microsoft's Windows! :)

To begin with, there are too many different flavors of RedHat.
Browsing a list on Amazon, I saw they made varients under the
codenames of Mandrake, Debian and Slackware, just to name a few. I
know that I'm very new to RedHat so maybe this is obvious but it seems
like RedHat should just sell a few different flavors of its operating
system. Perhaps one for the desktop and one for a server? Could
someone explain why RedHat produces dozens of different versions of
Linux?

Secondly did you know that anyone can view the source code to Linux! I
think that RedHat shouldn't make its code available. After all, what
keeps Microsoft from stealing RedHat's ideas and putting it into
Windows? My friend says that FreeBSD stole the TCP/IP stack from DOS a
long time ago and Microsoft is always looking for revenge for that.
Plus it seems to me like RedHat is just giving away its ideas for
free. And what keeps hackers or terrorists from tampering with the
code and putting a virus in every computer?

On a related note, why doesn't RedHat write Linux in assembly? My
friend says that's what Microsoft does for Windows, and that's why
Windows is faster and more stable than Linux.

Next RedHat definitely should kill -9 (ha, ha!) the command line.
Microsoft finally gave up DOS when Windows 2000 came out. I'm suprised
that RedHat hasn't migrated away from...whatever its version of DOS is
called (Bash, I think?) But maybe this is planned for a future
release?

Finally Linux needs games! RedHat will never be successful in the home
without games. They should also tell M$ to release a version of Office
for Linux too. And Internet Explorer!

Have a nice day! Go Linux!!

Re:Some suggestions for the Linux community (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6492557)

That was amusing. :)

Not a bad thing (4, Interesting)

Raindance (680694) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492323)

So, I was a little distressed that Woz, the archetype of the computer good guy, invented a way to track things- shadows of the 'digital angel' system, et cetera.

But this is local tracking, not global tracking, and that makes all the difference. It doesn't lend itself to big databases, cross-correlation, et cetera, and all the big evil things which are made possible with global tracking; it just helps you keep track of your own stuff.

Very cool Woz.

Re:Not a bad thing (2, Insightful)

Troed (102527) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492472)

This is a very bad thing. Kids _should_ be able to "sneak out" - it's part of growing up.

Overprotective parenting is extremely dangerous for a healthy upbringing.

Re:Not a bad thing (5, Informative)

kasparov (105041) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492523)

Over-protective parents can lead to smarter kids. I should know, I had to learn to be *extra* sneaky with my parents. ;-)

Kids will always find ways to outsmart their parents. It's called progress!

Re:Not a bad thing (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492478)

"But this is local tracking, not global tracking, and that makes all the difference. It doesn't lend itself to big databases, cross-correlation, et cetera, and all the big evil things which are made possible with global tracking; it just helps you keep track of your own stuff."

But if you think about it...(and granted I didn't RTFA) how hard would it really be connect all these 'local' tracking stations to a big database, and cross-correlate all of them?

some of both, actually. (1)

pb (1020) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492482)

On the pages, it says that you can extend its range over the internet--but it also says that there's security built in as well. So you can let people track your stuff globally if you want to, but you don't have to if you don't want to.

yay, tracking! (2, Interesting)

feed_me_cereal (452042) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492327)

notifying the owner by phone or e-mail message when a child arrives at school

Yeah, it's a good thing kids don't have those pesky "rights" granted to other americans. God, I'm glad I didn't grow up in woz's brave new world...

Re:yay, tracking! (4, Funny)

keesh (202812) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492347)

Those kids know how to use tinfoil, right?

Re:yay, tracking! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6492430)

They know to put it on their heads!

Re:yay, tracking! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6492483)

Yeah, it's a good thing kids don't have those pesky "rights" granted to other americans. God, I'm glad I didn't grow up in woz's brave new world..

Yeah, like the right to bear arms (oops, not old enough), and the right to vote (oops, not old enough)and the pursuit of happiness (oops, not old enough for porno, to drink, to smoke, to drive, etc, etc, etc).

Which America do you live in?

Re:yay, tracking! (5, Insightful)

dcg (82574) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492485)

I would guess that you don't have kids.

Kids right to privacy from their parents ends where the parents responsibilities to ensure their safety and well being begin.

Re:yay, tracking! (3, Insightful)

swillden (191260) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492551)

Kids right to privacy from their parents ends where the parents responsibilities to ensure their safety and well being begin.

And children are not qualified to judge where this line is. Anyone who thinks that children's privacy shouldn't be subject to parental discretion is not a parent.

Re:yay, tracking! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6492496)

Minors indeed don't have the same rights as adults. Kids are not allowed to vote. They cannot enter into legally binding contracts. They cannot buy cigarettes and alcohol. Why should they have complete freedom of movement?

Re:yay, tracking! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6492539)

Dear Principal,

Please stop taking attendance, it violates my right to something according to geeks at slashdot. I think it's anonymity, or privacy, or well something from that constitution thing. I know neither of those are in there, but its something.

Anyways, like, my parents have no right to know where I am during the day. And by taking attendance, you are just being Big Brother and spying on us and its Orwellian. At least thats what they say on slashdot.

Coming soon (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6492338)

The Macinator.

Woznet soon took control of the IBM compatible PCs, and crashed them, burning their owner's houses to the ground. From the ashes was born a new market for Apple PCs. In a matter of weeks, the apple.slashdot.org logo had spread to the rest of the site. Those who still fought the new Mac empire faced the wrath of the Macinator, a killer with a friendly UI and smooth curves.

Would a penguin named Linux, and the IBM mainframe that loved him, be able to stop the Macinator? Coming soon to theaters in Fall 2004!

Succumbed to the Dark Side, Woz has.... (2, Interesting)

kremvax (307366) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492340)

Although the description lists tenuous "Good" uses (tracking Children, the elderly, the insane )

the insidious uses outweigh these 10000 to 1.

Total (location) information awareness.

I feel safer already...

Kremvax

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6492418)

OK, you say the bad outweighs the good 10000 to 1. Prove it. Cite examples. Woz has good examples of harmless and useful ways this technology can be used, so let's see your examples of how it could be abused.

Re:Succumbed to the Dark Side, Woz has.... (1)

keesh (202812) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492461)

Hmm, because of course children and insane people don't have rights...

The anonymous karma whore: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6492342)

Article: SAN FRANCISCO, July 20 -- The co-founder of Apple Computer, Stephen Wozniak, recalls that it began with a series of lost dogs -- a runaway husky, a roving Shar-Pei, a wayward bichon frisé. The problem led inexorably to a Wozniak solution: wireless location-monitoring technology that would use electronic tags to help people keep track of their animals, children or property. Now Mr. Wozniak, whose new company, Wheels of Zeus, has been operating in Silicon Valley stealth mode for 18 months, is ready to talk about the technology. This week the company -- whose name is derived from the Woz in Wozniak -- plans to announce its formal management structure. Its investors are: Mobius Venture Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Palo Alto Investors. While the company is not ready to identify the manufacturers, Wheels of Zeus says it has initial agreements with two large American makers of consumer electronics to produce the first commercial systems based on its technology, which is called WozNet. The chief operating officer, Rich Rifredi, said the first products were planned for introduction next year . In an interview last week in Wheels of Zeus's offices in Los Gatos, Calif., which are nondescript except for his Hummer parked out front, Mr. Wozniak described WozNet as a simple and inexpensive wireless network that uses radio signals and global positioning satellite data to keep track of a cluster of inexpensive tags within a one- or two-mile radius of each base station. WozNet, he said, will include a home-base station that has the ability to track the location of dozens or even hundreds of small wireless devices that can be attached to people, pets or property. The tags -- expected to cost less than $25 each to produce -- will be able to generate alerts, notifying the owner by phone or e-mail message when a child arrives at school, a dog leaves the yard or a car leaves the parking lot. "We started out with the idea of a product to keep track of stuff," said Mr. Wozniak, the 52-year-old engineer who was the technical brains behind the first Apple computer in 1976. "We ended up inventing a new class of wireless network." There may be other potential applications for the low-speed data system, like text messaging, Mr. Wozniak said, as well as other uses that he declined to describe. In addition to Mr. Wozniak, who is the chairman and chief executive, the company's notables include Frank Canova, who designed hand-held products at both Palm Computing and I.B.M. Wheels of Zeus, which has 17 employees, hopes that its low-power network will fit comfortably among other wireless technologies, including the cheap radio-frequency I.D. tags that are used in stores and factories, and the more expensive and higher speed Wi-Fi and cellular data networks. While other wireless data networks strive for high speed, Mr. Wozniak's network, which has data rates of no more than 20,000 bits a second, has been designed to transmit a very small amount of digital information through even radio-busy environments that are subject to interference. All of the components of WozNet will be capable of receiving location information from global positioning system satellites. Because the tags can report their location whether they are close to their home-base station or a neighbor's, the company is hoping to seed Silicon Valley and other large suburban communities with enough base stations to make it possible to easily track objects, even when they move outside the range of the owner's station. Analysts said that Wheels of Zeus was attempting a more ambitious approach than the G.P.S.-pager watch that is now on the market. "The idea has a lot of merit, particularly from the standpoint of parents and keeping track of children," said Tim Bajarin, a consumer electronics industry analyst who is president of Creative Strategies in Campbell, Calif. "Where this is more tricky is with respect to the privacy issue and personal tracking." The company says that because the network is voluntary, and will employ encryption that keeps unauthorized users from monitoring someone else's WozNet activities, privacy and surveillance concerns are not relevant. (If neighborhoods chose to operate a series of base stations in a "community watch" system, the encryption software could be adjusted to allow that.) WozNet will use the same 900-megahertz unlicensed radio spectrum now used by portable phones. The power of the network comes in the ability of any tag to communicate with any base station that may come within range. Thus the network could grow organically if it became commercially popular. Although the company would not disclose technical details and said that some of its network communications software remained unfinished, a person with detailed knowledge of the development effort said that Mr. Wozniak's role had in some ways paralleled his earlier work at Apple Computer. The original Apple personal computer succeeded because Mr. Wozniak was able to come up with innovative but simple ideas for the display of graphics and for the crucial disk controller for the Apple II. In the new company Mr. Wozniak has helped to adapt an inexpensive commercial G.P.S. chip, using it both for receiving location information and communicating over the wireless network. "He played a huge role in defining the parameters that had to be in the product such as battery life, size, cost and ease of use," said Greg Galanos, a partner at Mobius Venture Capital. Mr. Wozniak, who had little involvement in Apple after being seriously injured in a 1981 plane crash, founded Cloud 9 in 1985. That company developed a powerful consumer-electronics remote control device, but Cloud 9 was not commercially successful. After folding the company in 1988, Mr. Wozniak worked as a schoolteacher -- primarily fifth grade -- and has been involved in community affairs. He said that he would have returned to the Valley's start-up culture sooner, but that he had enjoyed teaching tremendously during the first half of the 1990's. "Then I watched the Internet start-up years, but my interest is more towards hardware," he said. "I was itching a little for another start-up experience. Also, it was easy to laugh and enjoy the ideas that the first few of us were coming up with, this time."

[privacy rant] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6492355)

Yay, more techonolony to track our movements, soon to be compulsary in every country covered by dmca style laws.
[/rant]
On a different subject, is anyone thinking woz is getting a little bigheaded with the whole Wheels Of Zeus and Woznet and those eyes....

Why hasn't someone told me? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6492361)

That that fat faggot is still alive? He got beaten a thousand times by the stupid stick yet he keeps coming back. Just fucking die, you're worse than those GNU/Linux hippies for christ's sake. Now if you'll excuse me I have overpriced, underpowered fancy colored computers to sell while killing off all Macintosh third-party-developers.

-Steve Jobs
President, Apple Computer

Re:Why hasn't someone told me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6492455)

Now if you'll excuse me I have overpriced, underpowered fancy colored computers to sell while killing off all Macintosh third-party-developers.

While you're at it, get a hair piece youself, you fat fuck. Have you looked in the mirror yourself lately??

now that i'm a parent. (0)

Brigadier (12956) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492367)



At first glance I didn't really think much of this .... but ooooo wouldn' I love to put a tag on those little buggers new airwalks so next time they skip school or are late on their kerphew(sp) I can zero in on there ass.

Re:now that i'm a parent. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6492388)

curfew

Who is that? Steve Wozniak? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6492369)

I'm too lazy to yahoo it.

This is cool! (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492380)

Before, ol' Big Brother could watch us with no repurcussions. Now, we can watch almost just as much of what they do. It equals the playing field of spy-security.

In the future, everybody's going to have some sort of recording device somewhere: street corners, CCTV's in buildings, parking cams, possibly car-cams for "anti-theft".... I want some of that power to use against everybody too.

Just like the NSA thought about releasing NSA-Patches for Linux: If we cant get in them, make it so nobody else can either!

It's worse than we thought (0, Flamebait)

Jonsey (593310) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492382)

I have seen Big Brother. And he uses a Mac. :: Shudder ::

Woz vs Joy (4, Insightful)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492392)

Most people here have read Bill Joy's article on "why the future doesn't need us." One thing he mentioned in the article is that he may have a moral directive in the near future to stop developing in the field he helped create, because it was doing more harm than good to society.

This is exactly how I see Woz's latest project. It sounds like something that has FAR more potential to be invasive and violating than it does to be useful. I'm a bit surprised, actually--Woz has always struck me as doing weird but cool stuff, not nasty stuff.

Anyways, it seems a sad day when one of the proto-geeks is forgetting to look at what he's actually doing from a larger perspective.

Contest! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6492400)

Here is a good exercise:

How many ways can you come up with on how this information could be used and abused through obtaining it by subpeonas under the authority of by the DMCA, Patriot Act, IRS, etc.?

Re:Contest! (1)

Supero100 (664946) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492593)

Actually, we don't need to wait for new technology. I can't remember exactly where I gained the information to follow, but I can leave this to a karma-hungry slashdotter. Anyway, an otherwise cold-case about a child's abduction/murder was recently solved by the police covertly attaching a gps transmitter to a suspect's car, and tracking his movements. Granted, he eventually led the police to her shallow grave as they retraced his steps - so in a way justice was served, but scarier is the fact that police can do this without a warrant! It did, in fact, hold up in court that this was legal, or at least admissible, under the defense that the GPS served the same purpose as human surveillence. I don't know about the legal precedents here but can only imagine that $25-devices will only make these kinds of issues all the more prominent. Anyway, my $.02 on a potentially important law-enforcement abuse of this technology...

Slashdotter Internal Conflict (5, Funny)

mcc (14761) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492401)

1) this is really, really evil and scary. i'm terrified by the idea of parents implanting these in their kids feet or something when they're tiny and knowing everything they do from that point forward. i'm even more terrified by the idea of corporations requiring the same of their employees, since that's something that could concievably, in an imperfect world, happen to me. i'm scared of vigilantes and criminals and government agencies secretly doing this to people they are targetting, leading to scenes like the one in the elevator in Enemy of the State.

2) But Steve Wozniak did this! Steve Wozniak is really cool and non-evil!

**head explodes**

Crapper Tracker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6492403)

Cool. Now I'll be able to know how long my dad's been in the bathroom, and when it's safe to go in. Especially after chili night.

Think of the possibilities... (4, Funny)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492410)

You can know when your respective spouse leaves the house (for the paranoid) ...or you can know when your respective spouse approaches the house (for the paranoid)

whoa (0, Offtopic)

thung226 (648591) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492411)

Photographer: "Steve, give me cruel!" *snap* "give me happy!" *snap* "give me insane giant about to smash me with oversized computer chip! Perfect!" *snap* *snap* --

Sounds Good (1)

PakProtector (115173) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492412)

This sounds good. I'd love to be able to know when one of my three dogs gets out of the house without having to search every room while shouting their names.

Always knowing where that ever vital 'so small it should be reclassified as a nano-tool' screwdriver is would also be great.

For those who don't like to register: (4, Informative)

stienman (51024) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492413)

Macworld UK says "WozNet is a lost cause [macworld.co.uk] "

Macworld has a pretty decent article [macworld.com]

Cryptonomican bemoans the lack of information about security [cryptonomicon.net]

Google has the goods [google.com]

And there's even an article on Slashdot [slashdot.org] about it...

Last time I looked at it it was essentially a watch with both GPS and GSM (phone) built in so one could get the location of the watch at any time through their service. Sounds like a potentail DOS atack, though, if you obtain phone numbers or cell phone connection information (jamming signals, jamming GPS, etc)

Plus, since all the power is being used by the phone and GPS (chances are good the actual GPS processing is done elsewhere, like in the current E991 GPS services offered by phones) then it's unlikely that much encryption is being done at all.

-Adam

Best of luck, be careful (3, Insightful)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492429)

Arrgh, it's the same old love/hate game again. Woz rocks, and I want him to succeed, but this little thing is exactly the kind of device that any number of unscrupulous/patriarchal legislators drool over.

The arguments for and against such tracking devices have been hashed out several gazillion times here on /., so I'll spare the replay, but there's one important difference here: this is Woz. He's no starry-eyed upstart CEO or engineering student; he's one of geekhood's geekiest, and he knows what he's doing (certainly as far as the tech end of things are concerned.) I think that he stands a good chance of making this thing work. It's exciting and frightening to think about.

Best of luck, Woz. Please be careful.

sweet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6492431)

I've been looking for just this thing to stick on my friend's psycho boyfriend's car so when he drives by my house to stalk me I will have advanced warning.

WOZ, dont do it! (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492432)

So disappointed in him. He's a brilliant person, doesn't he realize what he is doing, supporting such draconian monitoring?

If anyone should see the handwriting on the wall is him..

*shakes head in disgust*

The possibilities for abuse are endless... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6492433)

mwah ha ha ha

1) Police put tracking devices on you... If anyone can get them, who's to say it was the police...

2) A stalker plants one in the victim's purse...

3) An election campaign plants them on the opposition's sign crew...

4) Agents provocateurs carry them in protests, making it so much easier to co-ordinate them...

5) You neighbour plants one on you, and calls the tipline whenever you happen to go through a bad neighbourhood, or near a mosque, hoping to get a reward...

And many more...

Overreacting much? (3, Insightful)

Prince_Ali (614163) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492436)

I don't understand the need to go off on how a technology is "Orwellian." (First off actually learn what the book is about before stating everything is out of 1984) This technology is not bad. It has potentially bad uses, but that doesn't matter. Complain when those bad uses actually occur (they probably won't). The government is not going to say, "Look the guy from Apple computers made this thing... time to put it on everyone in the country without them knowing about it."

I am aware that /. does not speak with one voice, but the general values expressed by its members are odd. If it is something that can be used for violating privacy (but hasn't) it is feared, but if something is used for piracy ALOT, it should be considered good regardless of the illegal nature of its use because it has non-infringing uses.

By the way, children have no right to privacy from their parents.

that's one out of three... (2, Funny)

pb (1020) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492446)

Now all we need is a 6MW laser and a large, spinning mirror, and we can vaporize a human target from space!

The good, the bad, and the Woz (3, Insightful)

xThinkx (680615) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492447)

Just like everything Woz comes up with, I don't think it's fair to call this a "good" or a "bad" thing yet.

Right away I'm sure the privacy guys are jumping up and down, and I can't say I blame them. This chip would make it a complete bitch to hook class and/or work.

BUT at the same time, it'd be real nice to hide one of these suckers in my car (I know lowjack exists, but from the article it appears this tech will deliver much better performance) in case it would get stolen. Throwing these things in handhelds and laptops could also be a godsend. Hey, those things are about the size of a keychain, no more looking for your keys ever again.

Again, it's not possible now, or maybe ever to render judgment on this technology. However, Woz better be damn sure to regulate who can and can't locate said devices (how many men want their wives/girlfriends to know their every moves?). 100 years from now we'll look back at Woz as one of the great innovators of our time

or a car leaves the parking lot????? (0)

jinglecat (673072) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492463)

This component of the sentence sounds wierd.

I am going to ignore that sentence. Cars don't move by themselves.

If it can be used to "protect the children".... (1)

kaltkalt (620110) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492502)

Then it is instantly accepted, and anyone who disagrees with it is a pedophile child-hater-beater. "Saving Our Children" is the ultimate form of marketing in the 21st century. Nearly every bill proposed in Congress begins with the "statement of finding" that "In order to protect our children...." That way nobody can dissent, or else... well ya know. Instant per se pedophile.

It really sickens me that human larvae cause us to lose all our rights. If they're so precious, stick them in a safety deposit box until they're 18. Or learn to be a responsible parent... oh wait, that's not practicable, I forgot.

Re:If it can be used to "protect the children".... (1)

Quill_28 (553921) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492586)

Yes, you are right. Because every child that has died in an accident, was molested, kidnapped was because of a irresponsible parent.

You are quite clueless.

Logistics (1)

SeattleGameboy (641456) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492515)

This seems to me is a whole lotta work for nothing. Just to cover San Francisco and its immediate suburbs (about 75 miles by 45 miles = 3375 square miles), you need over 800 nodes installed every 4 square miles (range of 1 miles each way). To me this is a lot of work just to keep track of your pets (unlikely) or kids (more interesting, but still not a killer app). I wonder if Woz has some other application for this network than just tracking someone that he rather not share...

Can you say CIRCUMVENTION? (4, Insightful)

thanq (321486) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492520)

The tags "will be able to generate alerts, notifying the owner by phone or e-mail message when a child arrives at school(...)

I can BET that once those tags are out kids will figure out how to fool them. The simplest thing comes to mind right away.... Because the system tracks TAGS and not KIDS, young ones figure out a good scheme: give the tag to a "keeper" for few classes and then skip school. Once you come back, pick up the tag from the keeper and go home without attending school, all while the parents think their loved one is learning.

Same thing with the dog... Bet someone soon would yell out:

"Honey come quick, I think sparky died under this tree, he has not been moving for 4 hours already.." Just moments before learning that the tag lies in a pile of poo after Sparky ate it and then... well.. put it out throug the other end.

The first kid . . . (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6492538)

The first kid to wrap a piece of foil around his new 'watch' will bankrupt this company.

But how sensitive and accurate is it? (1)

precogpunk (448371) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492549)

I'm trying to figure out how useful this would be given the range and the sensitivity. I'd love to see an affordable version of the BATs used at AT&T labs [att.com] to track movement within my house and personalize the environment. I don't see GPS being as responsive and there are so many other ways to tell if "Johnny made it to school". A 1-2 mile range seems limiting but it could serve as an early wife-on-her-way-home warning system.

T4 - Resistance is Futile (-1)

SantaDaddy (250328) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492563)

The next episode sees the T1000 protecting John Connor and wife from SkyNet. Using flying micromachine bugs, WozNet tags are used to hunt the couple down. Meanwhile Geordi LaForge and the away team are also trying to save the Connor's. The Enterprise is streaking past the sun to disrupt the space time continuum and return through time to save the 'goatse' information network site whose dispursed information leads to the Connor's survivalistic ways and the evolution of the force.

BaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

How long..? (3, Insightful)

cspenn (689387) | more than 10 years ago | (#6492565)

And how long until WozNet becomes subpoena'd for records by the Department of Homeland Security?

Yes, each cluster is locally administered, not by a large agency, but there's nothing saying that implementations of the pager/SMS/email must require cc:jashcroft@doj.gov...

Food for thought.
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