Category Archives: Government

The Robots Already Won

You can relax! Our robot overlords already took control.

Three examples of their successful infiltration:

1. Ipswich Town’s PR teambots

Ipswich defender Tyrone Mings paid off all his mum’s debts. Wonderful news! A footballer with a conscience!

An Ipswich spokesman said it was:

A private matter between Tyrone and his mum.


2. Verizon CEObot

Verizon spent $4,400,000,000 (that’s $4.4bn) on buying AOL. Blockbuster deal!

Lowell McAdam, Verizon chairman and CEO, said:

Verizon’s vision is to provide customers with a premium digital experience based on a global multiscreen network platform. This acquisition supports our strategy to provide a cross-screen connection for consumers, creators and advertisers to deliver that premium customer experience.


3. Local councilbots

Water fountain dating back to 1853, adorned by Biblical quote. Historically interesting! And possibly significant!


Game over, see you later. MAYBE.


Links: Mings, Verizon, Water.

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Surveillance technology sales is the new arms sales

An interesting article in Fast Company contains a quote from John Villasenor of UCLA on surveillance technology:

For the first time ever, it will become technologically and financially feasible for authoritarian governments to record nearly everything that is said or done within their borders.

The high-tech scandals of the last generation were over arms sales – Iran-Contra, Saudi Arabia-BAE.

This generation’s biggest ‘selling stuff to bad guys’ scandals may well be over surveillance technology.

Companies like McAfee have been accused of selling technology that helps the governments of Iran, Yemen, Bahrain, Egypt, Tunisia, and others to censor their citizens.

In the wake of the Arab Spring, which brought social-network powered action against repressive regimes to the front pages, and the SOPA/PIPA dispute, that has spread ‘Stop censorship’ badges across the internet in protest against the actions of major corporations, surveillance technology sales seems likely to become a much hotter issue in the next few years.