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Wireless Street Lamps for Traffic Monitoring

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the one-big-hotspot dept.

Wireless Networking 563

RMH101 writes "The Register has a story about a UK initiative to create a country-wide wireless data network using street lamps. It's come to pass through a government initiative to monitor all cars' speed and location, all the time, everywhere. The company involved, Last Mile, are proposing an intelligent mesh of smart street lamps embedded with storage and wireless networking to create 200MBit network access across the UK, including remote areas not reachable by conventional broadband. Work is due to start this year."

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shit (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985870)

Posting to slashdot on a laptop over WLAN from the shitter. What's it all about? Is it good, or is it whack?

Re:shit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985904)

It's good, despite your meaningless troll, because eventually WLAN will link the world in one giant wireless internet and we'll all die from cancer as a result of the harmful transmissions permeating the air. The human disease will be cleansed and the Final Solution carried out.

What if... (5, Funny)

zeux (129034) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985877)

... someone hacks in the system and makes the local police think that you are doing 150 mph with your 2 CV [lycos.fr] ?

Re:What if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985997)

You can't hack it, it's running OpenBSD!

Re:What if... (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986154)

I know someone with a 125mph 2CV, will that do?


For those who don't know, the 2CV tops out at around 80mph and its slightly larger cousin, the Dyane, at around 95mph. This sees its little 2-cylinder 600cc engine revving to over 7,000rpm, pretty close to its redline.


Now, when you fit a 1,300cc four-cylinder from a Citroen GSA, then fit a turbocharger from a Mini Metro GT, you have a frankly very, very silly car.

Re:What if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7986183)

Hey and no link? WTF? Oh this is /. no RTFL(Link) no RTFA or RTFP.

Any how alink would be intresting.

??ffff (-1)

Trolling Stones (587878) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985888)

just keeping my account alive, tools.

vandalism just got a lot more fun for criminals... (4, Interesting)

twiggy (104320) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985891)

Just wait until criminals and/or bored kids know where these things are embedded... the metal box they're going to need to protect it from damage is probably going to block any chance of a wireless signal from coming out ;-)

While this sounds like a cool idea, I see too much room for abuse... Besides, they're using it to track all this traffic activity... do you want to use the government's internet connection so they can track that part of your life, too?

Re:vandalism just got a lot more fun for criminals (4, Insightful)

strictnein (318940) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985966)

the metal box they're going to need to protect it from damage is probably going to block any chance of a wireless signal from coming out

That's why you put the antenna on the outside...
Street lights are what, 15-20 feet tall? (5-6 meters for our European friends :) Not the easiest place to gain access too.

Re:vandalism just got a lot more fun for criminals (3, Insightful)

jrexilius (520067) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985979)

The phone boxes and transformers hanging on poles havent become targets yet and they have been readily available for quite a few decades.

Now of course those arent being used to track movements and issue speeding tickets but I wonder how many criminals will even pay attention to them after 5-10 years. How often do you notice the telephone boxes sitting out in plain site that you could hack/crack/vandalize?

Re:vandalism just got a lot more fun for criminals (3, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986003)

True. But they do not harm people. The traffic cameras/CCD cameras that do harm people are attacked/damaged quite often.

Re:vandalism just got a lot more fun for criminals (1)

ThatTallGuy (520811) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986217)

Most people don't have the truck/cones/equipment to do this and remain camouflaged. This isn't a problem with wireless. Sit in the coffee shop with your laptop and hack away in perfect safety.

Re:vandalism just got a lot more fun for criminals (2, Informative)

Malc (1751) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986223)

This is the UK: they don't have transformers hanging on poles outside their homes like in N. America. Most cables are buried. N. American streets seem very cluttered to the eyes of a Briton due to the number of poles and cables everywhere, especially in more urban areas (like the street I live on in Toronto). I do remember seeing British Telecom boxes around, and hearing stories of phreakers taking advantage of them.

The UK seems to be filled with obnoxious youths intent on damaging everything. Get a new car: expect somebody to run their key along it. Put something nice outside your house: expect it to be stolen, vandalised, or pissed on. I remember being an arsehole at the age of 18: running pissed through people's daffodils kicking them everywhere, or running car dealerships over each car to set the alarm off. We used to come out of the pub and have pissing competitions on the windows of the glass office block (Equitable Life headquaters) across the road. And I wasn't a real arsehole compared with a lot of people I knew or saw.

Most of this behaviour just doesn't seem to happen in N. America, or at least here in Canada. Thank goodness.

Re:vandalism just got a lot more fun for criminals (3, Insightful)

craigmarshall (679127) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986208)

People said that about all our speed cameras (they'd get torn down, or vandalised, etc). Most of 'em still stand though, happily snapping at the passing motorists.

Craig

Cognative Dissonance in a nutshell (5, Funny)

shystershep (643874) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985892)

Big Brother-like monitoring/control vs. wireless connectivity everywhere there is a road.

Gods and fishes! Somebody get me some aspirin!

monitoring (5, Insightful)

sinucus (85222) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985893)

Is there anything left in the UK that isn't being monitored? Cameras on all the streets, in the stores and now wireless monitoring your speed. Bye bye 2004, hello 1984.

Re:monitoring (5, Funny)

Trigun (685027) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985944)

College girls dormitories, although I'm petitioning to have that changed.

Think of their safety!

Re:monitoring (5, Funny)

sinucus (85222) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985972)

What are you talking about? I just got an email 10 minutes ago advertising British college girls caught totally unaware!

Re:monitoring (1)

Trigun (685027) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986095)

Yeah, I'm getting ready. I should have held off on the spam until I got the bill into Parliment. You can just delete that one.

I'll keep you updated tho,

Moderators, that's not funny. (3, Informative)

holygoat (564732) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986039)

It's really not - the UK has the highest incidence of CCTV cameras in the world.

Re:monitoring (4, Interesting)

gowen (141411) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986074)

Is there anything left in the UK that isn't being monitored
Err, yes.
Cameras on all the streets
Err, no. Cameras on some streets, but hardly everywhere.
wireless monitoring your speed
And damn right, too. Speaking as a cyclist, given the number of psychopathic, homicidal pillocks who are allowed to throw 2 tons of metal around on Britain's streets, I want even tighter controls on the speeders. The selfish little bastards put their (marginal) time savings over the safety of the rest of us. If I was as reckless with a gun as all-to-many drivers are with cars, they'd lock me in prison, not just suspend me from driving for a few months.

Re:monitoring (1)

sinucus (85222) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986187)

I do have to agree with you on most aspects of that. When I was younger, i.e. 16-17 I was a maniac on the road. After my insurance tripled in price I quickly learned the value of safe driving. I've been ticket free for 4 years now and have no plans again of ever getting another traffic ticket. Reckless driving and rediculous speeding has done nothing for me except make me poorer.

On a side note, the one thing I do like about UK is their gun control laws. I only wish that the US would take some of the UK's laws in consideration. The only drawback is that we'd have to convince congress that you do *NOT* need an AK-47 for duck hunting.

Re:monitoring (5, Insightful)

NickFitz (5849) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986130)

Is there anything left in the UK that isn't being monitored?

The government?

Never in the US (5, Funny)

Yoda2 (522522) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985895)

I'm sure all the cars going the wrong way would easily crash the software.

Re:Never in the US (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986100)

I'm sure all the cars going the wrong way would easily crash the software.

I can only imagine what driving on the right would do.

One problem... (5, Funny)

sasquatch21 (184936) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985901)

As member of a rural area desperatly waiting for broadband, I see one big problem with the plan; most rural areas don't have streetlights!

Re:One problem... (2, Funny)

shystershep (643874) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985942)

I see a potentially bigger problem -- do you live in the UK?

Re:One problem... (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986008)

I lived in a village of 100 houses for the first 18 years of my life. I can picture many streetlamps in my village plus the surrounding villages. Nearest town was 4 miles away. How rural are you talking?

Yep. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985905)

Whatever

I bet BT loves that (1)

cflorio (604840) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985906)

The last mile is really expensive over there for high speed circuits.

The real question is, once installed, will they charge for access?

Wrong topic methinks.. (3, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985914)


This is a privacy issue, not a technology issue. This would allow the police to track your car all over the country.

[OT] (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985977)

I've completly had it with this crappy ECS Super Socket 7 motherboard. The PCI bus is fucked, the cards only work if you wiggle them just right, the K6-2 never boots at the right clock speed, and it won't boot an add-on RAID or SCSI card. So I hit up eBay and find another with nearly identical form-factor (onboard video and sound, baby-ATX Super Socket 7) that is a PC Chips model with a different SiS chipset for $30. Here's hoping this one works.

Re:Wrong topic methinks.. (2, Informative)

Doctor7 (669966) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986017)

That's not what the initiative is about, it's to allow your car to track [i]itself[/i] and other nearby vehicles, as the first step towards self-driving vehicles. Whether that's how it ends up being used, or whether it happens at all, is yet to be seen.

Re:Wrong topic methinks (formatting) (1)

Doctor7 (669966) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986059)

Okay, so every other site I read uses VBCode and I keep forgetting that Slashdot uses proper HTML. What preview button?

Re:Wrong topic methinks.. (1)

TwistedGreen (80055) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986189)

Great for when it gets stolen!

Putting expensive equipment (2, Insightful)

strictnein (318940) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985917)

in streetlights? Does that make any sense to anyone? Considering that most street lights are meant to snap off their bases if enough force is applied to them, it just doesn't seem like the ideal location for that type of hardware.

But man, talk about scary big brother tactics: "a government initiative to monitor all cars' speed and location, all the time, everywhere"

Re:Putting expensive equipment (1)

binarybum (468664) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986052)

huh? Are you suggesting that people are going to start snapping these puppies off to steal the wireless routers? There's enough cameras pointed on you in England to make this a really foolish move.

If you are implying that the network could be compromised by one of these snaping off; I'm sure there would be some redundancy.

why would the equipment be expensive? It certainly wouldn't cost more than a streetlight. Plus only the antenna would need to be on the streetlight itself, the rest could be buried underground.

Re:Putting expensive equipment (1)

reality-bytes (119275) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986133)

I used to work in a distribution yard in the UK.

A 17t unit was manouvering outside the yard and manage to wrench a lamp-post off its base by gently reversing over it (no real damage to the unit.

Now if the number of wrecked speed-cameras in the UK are anything to go by, the truck drivers will start going after these too.

Re:Putting expensive equipment (1)

NickFitz (5849) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986107)

most street lights are meant to snap off their bases if enough force is applied

Not around here they're not. I saw a car go into a lamppost at about 20mph a few years ago; the lamppost is still there.

And some years before I saw the lampposts outside my parents' house being moved back so the pavement (sidewalk) could be widened. Thick metal tubes going at least 6 feet (2m) into the ground aren't about to snap.

YLMV...

Re:Putting expensive equipment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7986139)

"a government initiative to monitor all cars' speed and location, all the time, everywhere"

One problem, on many stretches of rural road there are no lights so this will only work in areas where there are lights.

War driving... (2, Funny)

bc90021 (43730) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985921)

I'm guessing that war driving will get *really* easy after this... It will probably increase the number of "war walkers" as well, and I'd bet we'd even start to see "war sitters" on the curbs! ;)

New activity for amateur astronomers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985922)

War darkening

It's official (5, Funny)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985924)

All brit's posting to slashdot have officially lost the right to make references to the U.S. being an orwellian, facist state in comparison to their own.

You guys seem to have so many cameras and tracking systems going in that country of yours you probably enjoy the privacy offered by Las Vegas casinos.

Re:It's official (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986038)

But the difference is, our government isn't using it to screw us over. The brits are not using it to get raids on dissenters' houses or cars (a la PATRIOT act). It's not being installed to "combat terrorism" or any such bullshit. We're not having our books tracked (why on EARTH would that be necessary - that's something that definitely doesn't need to be shared, and is a million times worse than this scheme - land of the free my ass). The US government is nothing more than a shady corrupt organisation, scared shitless of anyone who doesn't like how it works. That's why they're bringing in all this PATRIOT nonsense - keep everyone in tow, and they can do what they want.

And as for the cameras thing, if you're in public, how exactly is that private?? What right do you have to stop people looking at you in the street? Absolutely none. That's why it's called public. get it? I like the cameras anyway. I know if I'm ever attacked, I can go get tapes of it. Or, I can just call in the data protection act, and get hours of footage of me walking around :)

The US government is miles and miles and MILES ahead of every other nation in the world - when it comes to screwing over their own people. That, my friend, is a fact.

Looks like we get to keep our 1984 card... ;)

Re:It's official (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7986057)

Oh, right... I forgot... The British government is spying on you "for your own good". Losing your privacy is okay as long as it's done by the benevolant mother-land.

Re:It's official (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986118)

It's not spying - it's monitoring the levels of traffic on the road, not mapping out everyone's route.

There's a big difference between knowing a car is next to a lamp post and knowing it's your car, and you just came from McDonalds (after buying 6 mcnuggets and a big mac).

Anyway, being in public means you are not automatically entitled to privacy. That's what public means. sheesh.

Paranoid?

Re:It's official (2, Informative)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986200)

The british goverment is working on plans to charge people for every mile the drive. For such a scheme to work they would have to be able to track each vehicle individualy. You are wrong, the british goverment IS working on such a system. Their have even be a few /. articles on it.

Re:It's official (1)

rpozz (249652) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986162)

This should really be very little to worry about. You all seem to have forgotten that for this to work there needs to be a WLAN client built into each car.. and you can imagine how well that would work.

If it gets too far, then it'll be systematically vandalized like the speed cameras as well.

Re:It's official (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986094)

What colour is the sky in your world, and if you don't mind me asking, does it rain donuts?

I am sorry, but a plan to track every moving vehicle in the entire country is A BAD THING. What will be the penility when the data is misused?

Re:It's official (1)

jarran (91204) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986146)

The brits are not using it to get raids on dissenters' houses or cars

No, instead we have the Terrorism Act 2000 being used to harrass and detain anti-war protestors.

I like the cameras anyway. I know if I'm ever attacked, I can go get tapes of it.

Except most criminals aren't that dumb. The evidence suggests that CCTV cams just drive crime out of areas with CCTV. Think a mugger is gonna attack you in front of a camera? Think a mugger is gonna say "Boy, all these CCTV cameras in the town centre, I'd better give up my life of crime."

I guess the answer is to make sure there are no areas without CCTV...

I know I do (1)

holygoat (564732) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986070)

While it can be nice to feel safe in city centres, it's bloody annoying being watched constantly.

The government had planned to implement toll charges on every road by tracking every car. You'd be charged more on busy roads at peak times.

That's incredible privacy invasion. Bastards.

Re:It's official (2, Insightful)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986079)

We ever had that right? :-) Ya know, until maybe 5 years ago, the US's respect for its citizens privacy and freedom was legendary. It might be hard to remember, but they're the values the USA was founded upon! They lasted quite a long time, and it's very telling that there is constant criticism of the government over there for infinging too many citizen's rights, whilst over here all the media can say is 'how lucky we are that our government cares so much about our security!'

Pot, Kettle, Black (1)

lildogie (54998) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986151)

Just who do you think gave the world the USA?

Re:Pot, Kettle, Black (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7986166)

american revolutionaries

1984 Anyone? (5, Funny)

pragma_x (644215) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986193)

But the constant monitoring by the streetlamps is for our own safety, lest we succumb to breaking the law.

All brit's posting to slashdot have officially lost the right to make references to the U.S. being an orwellian, facist state in comparison to their own.

Surely, brother, we shouldn't make such references to our beloved state. The principles of INGSOC must be upheld in all aspects of life.

To do otherwise is CRIMETHINK. Please report to room 101 for re-education.

1984... (2, Funny)

jargoone (166102) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985925)

Only 20 years later.

Do people really put up with this? If this were implemented in the US, it would be 5 seconds flat til that network was cut into 500 million pieces.

Re:1984... (2, Insightful)

dave420 (699308) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986075)

No - the US gov't would say it's a "counterterrorism device", scare everyone into thinking they actually need it, put US flags on it, and every american would end up saluting every street light they passed, thanking god for Rev. Bush in the white house, looking over his little sheep as they sleep.

The days of the american rebel are long gone.

Why do..... (0)

AciDive (543624) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985929)

people in the UK always get the cool stuff. We need projects like this in the US.

The rebirth of hacker. (3, Funny)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985930)

Phonebooths are dying, lamps are wireless. This is a new era for Captain Crunch.

--
Vegan World Order [veganwolrdorder.com] - Shut up and eat.

YOUR SIG IS BROKEN! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7986030)

Learn to spell Captain [trollse.cx] !

Re:The rebirth of hacker. (1)

happyfrogcow (708359) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986173)

insightfull, i think. except it's hard to hide under a streetlight while phreaking. though it wouldn't be phreaking i guess. is there a term for wireless "phreaking". well i guesss if it's wireless you wouldn't need to be next/under it, just near it maybe.

A nice idea but omnious perspectives (0, Redundant)

/Wegge (2960) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985931)

Aren't we coming pretty close to 1984?

At least the surveilliance part of that dystopian society.

Missed by 20 years (0, Redundant)

rcastro0 (241450) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985937)

...monitor all cars' speed and location, all the time, everywhere...
George Orwell, himself a brit, seems to have missed it by 20 years [online-literature.com] ...

Ignore the sweetener, focus on the real use... (2, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985939)

Yes a wi-fi network would be nice, but hardly essential. Lets face it , as they say the real use is for car control, which as we know is a
euphamism for population control. Obviously the powers that be have decided that controlling a car is too dangerous a task for adults to be left with and must be relegated to a computer controlled government
network. Well no thank you! If I wanted to live in this sort of country I'd have gone to live in the old East Germany which modern britain is fast beginning to resemble. how long before we have
government schemes for informants?

Re:Ignore the sweetener, focus on the real use... (1)

jrexilius (520067) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986023)

you already do when dealing with the irish, dont you?

Re:Ignore the sweetener, focus on the real use... (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986101)

That was terrorists. Theres a slight difference between grassing on someone who's blown up a busload of kids and someone who may have
broken the speed limit by 5mph or have a negative view of the current government for example.

Re:Ignore the sweetener, focus on the real use... (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986047)

how long before we have government schemes for informants?

After they get the wireless network built, then they'd just require all new cars to come with wireless cameras and microphones in the steering wheel to catch criminals, potential criminals, or those that just mutter about how controlling the government is.

Re:Ignore the sweetener, focus on the real use... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7986050)

You already did in Northern Ireland -- google for the supergrass showtrials of the 1980s.

Re:Ignore the sweetener, focus on the real use... (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986140)

Or, we could all put our tin hats down for a minute and realise it's to monitor traffic levels to help with congestion (in case you didn't know, england/scotland/wales are all on a tiny little island, crawling with what are affectionately known as "island monkeys").

Why are you jumping to the conclusion they're trying to track individual cars or people?

Great way to detect traffic jams (4, Insightful)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985940)

Tracking vehicles is a great way to detect traffic jams [sciencenews.org] . If the vehicles moving past one sensor do not reach the next sensor in a reasonable amount of time, you know you have a problem. The linked research suggests that tracking vehicles through the network enables a faster detection time for problems (faster than waiting for the traffic to clog and backup to where the sensor is located.)

Re:Great way to detect traffic jams (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986035)

They also wish to use nets like these to charge people for each mile driven. And the price will vary depending on the time of day, if you don't pay up they will just (in the future) send signals to your car that stop it from running till you do.

Ain't it fun?

Re:Great way to detect traffic jams (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986199)

they will just (in the future) send signals to your car that stop it from running till you do.


How do you propose this is going to work? You can't retrofit this to existing cars, and people won't buy new cars with it fitted.

Re:Great way to detect traffic jams (3, Insightful)

binarybum (468664) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986112)

And tracking people is a great way to detect crime.

However, these may not be the BEST solutions considering the sacrafices and even risks they entail.
You'd be a lot safer person if you never left your house but is that how you want to live? If yes, do you think it is right that others should be told or foreced to live that way for their own protection?

Re:Great way to detect traffic jams (2, Insightful)

craigmarshall (679127) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986134)

If the vehicles moving past one sensor do not reach the next sensor in a reasonable amount of time, you know you have a problem.

Or, let me see ... they've parked their frickin' car?

Craig

land of the free. home of the brave. (3, Interesting)

wugmump (6611) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985943)

holy christ i hope this never happens in the united states. RFID tags on license plates, convicted felon tracking, always-on monitoring. feh. oh boy, wireless everywhere. but the price is just too awful to consider.

The UK: WTF? (1, Informative)

molafson (716807) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985949)

The UK has always been the frontrunner for the "First To Develop Oppressive Panopticon" raspberry award. The network of public CC cameras there is mind-boggling.

Re:The UK: WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7986091)

Perhaps, but the UK government does it out of benevolant matriarchal love for their population. The USA does it out of pure evil.

Re:The UK: WTF? (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986126)

WTF?

No, both/all countries do things like this out a lust for power and control.

Re:The UK: WTF? (2, Insightful)

molafson (716807) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986156)

To followup my own posting, here is a newspaper article [independent.co.uk] describing the public surveillance situation in Britain as it stands.

Re:The UK: WTF? (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986210)

Why do you assume it's to control people? Cameras on the streets are used by police and local authorities to track criminals (shoplifters, muggers, car thieves, etc.) when they know they're up to no good. The cameras are there for the people. The cameras watch over you, and if anything untoward happens, it's caught on film.

Cameras also let criminals walk around thinking they're not being watched. This means when they're running away from the scene of a crime they lower their guard. This allows the police to follow them for 30 minutes and swoop, without the criminals even knowing.

If you're scared of the cameras over here, you've obviously done something wrong.

How can you argue they're bad?

What you need... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985957)

...is one of these [kicks-ass.org] .

Hopw long before we see... (5, Funny)

bc90021 (43730) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985958)

..."professional women" with wirless enabled PDAs? Possible slogan: "The newest technology for the world's oldest profession." ;)

I'm thinking about starting a theater company... (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985960)

That specializes in performances in front of traffic cams. On the web site, I'll advertise by saying, "Catch Macbeth by watching the KRTY evening news at 6:52!" I think that these things are just BEGGING for people to use them for all sorts of free expression.

Forget Macbeth... wouldn't you tune in to the news for a rendition of Behind the Green Door on a traffic cam?

Privacy... (1)

DRUNK_BEAR (645868) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986004)

"to monitor all cars' speed and location, all the time, everywhere." Sure, I'd like the government to know where I go all the time... an monitor my speed limit... Although that there are some good points to implementing such a system...

pateNTdead eyecon0meter for 'stuff that matters' (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7986007)

monitoring?

we're fast approaching the 'last mile', despite the terabytes of MiSinformation being spewed forth buy the phonIE georgewellian fuddite corepirate nazi ?pr firm? hypenosys stock markup FraUD fairytail 'economIE' execrable.

as always: consult with/trust in yOUR creators.

I blame this guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7986031)

here [punchmadeley.ath.cx] .

Big Brother (5, Informative)

Ilex (261136) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986036)

monitor all cars' speed and location, all the time, everywhere

The UK gov has an obsession with monitoring it's citizens. London already has more CCTV than any other capital. On average you're court on camera 300 times a day.

I expect their excuse is to improve road safety. The real reason is so they can issue more speeding tickets and increase the number of tolls.

The UK Motorist already pays 3 taxes to use the roads. Duty at the gas pump, Road Tax and tolls to use public roads in the form of the London congestion charge.

This was my idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7986037)

Hummm, I believe I made this prediction WAY back when... So if this network were public and open, why pay for cellular service? Is it going to be 802.11G? What if we put these monitering devices in pets, on childrens wrists... I'm full of ideas today. Blanket High-speed Wireless = Killer ap.

Timeline: (2, Funny)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986044)

1: Goverment masturbate over new interconnected data paradigm that can enable key economic resource in an efficient manner.
2: Project is funded.
3: Press release about how the government is promoting small business.
4: Funding is approved.
5: Press release about how great the goverment is.
6: Work starts.
7: Press release about how the government gets things done!
8: BT and NTL realise how much money this will lose them, hands cash in brown envelopes to MPs.
9: Press release about our existing world-class interenet infrastructure that was pushed through by government.
10: Project cancelled.
11: Profit! (For existing telcos, the bastards.)

For pessamists, no ??? is required. We know that step, and it's bloody awful.

Ricochet (1)

Elvisisdead (450946) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986046)

It's not too far from what Ricochet had in place. Just add a few sensors to Ricochet boxes and it would almost be the same thing.

not so orwellian (0)

orangeinvasion (741166) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986066)

The summary of this article is a bit loaded...the tracking all cars all the time thing is one possible use of the technology, but many others are detailed in the article. I really like the idea that the streetlamps will eventually drive your cars for you. Like what Homer Simpson wants from cruise control.

Has anyone started working on consumer shielding? (2, Insightful)

jrexilius (520067) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986096)

In a previous life tempest emmisions were old news and shielding buildings and equipment was commonplace.

So I start a website selling nice decorative or transparent license plate borders that could shield or obfuscate and RFID signal and make $ of poor brits yearning to be free?.. I love being american ;-)

But seriously, I see a need for people to start developing counter-measures for consumers. Anyone have ideas?

Sort out the humans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7986102)

Knowing where specific cars are going, and
careful control of traffic signals (causing
jams and easy ways out, etc), Big Brother can
guide the double plus ungood thinking people
to his feeding ducts.

No wonder the staff of the Death Star all have
British accents!

What about just maintaining the roads... (4, Insightful)

browman (191604) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986103)

There was a report recently that stated that something like 1 in 5 miles of road in the UK was in such a poor state that it was unfit to drive on. How about they drop this idea for the moment and fill some potholes instead?

Some councils actually spend more money setting compensation claims from car owners who have had accidents due to poor roads than they do actually maintaining them.

Anyway, with a decent network in place, perhaps we'd need to use them less anyway!

Nothing else to do? (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986132)


It seems to me that the British Government has way too much time on it's hands and is in need of downsizing and budget cuts.

Really? (1)

Anonym1ty (534715) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986147)

It sounds like someone went for those X10 cameras from the pop-under ads.

This just sounds like such a bad idea. Why would you want this? It spies on citizens as well as will probably put law enforcement officers out of work.

Sure it wasn't Pompei? (1)

Stonent1 (594886) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986169)

It's come to pass

Lurchio? Lurchio!

what about the (financial) cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7986181)

How much is it going to cost to put a wireless network box in every street lamp?

Plus what about actually solving the issues in routing data from a lampost in scotland to one in london?

Hmm (1)

octal666 (668007) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986192)

I think it would be tempting to hack off a few street lamps and go wireless at home. Isn't it a bit expensive to put it in the streets? At least here in Spain I'm worry to think they wouldn't see the month finish before someone stole them and sold them.

Don't like it? - Jam it! (2, Interesting)

reality-bytes (119275) | more than 10 years ago | (#7986206)

Initially, this could be implemented as a stipulation for your car to pass its MOT (MOT is the UK roadworthiness annual).

Then the police could check for the presence and operation of the device during road-side checks.

*So* Here's the trick - find its frequency and build yourself a nice little signal generator/transmitter to put out static at a higher power than the government device. (Duh, that was easy).

The thing that really upsets me about this is that you can almost guarantee the government will require car-owners to buy these units out of their own pockets.
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