Category Archives: Technology and Society

Personal Vidcams

Glenn points to this article about battlefield use of high-storage-capacity videocameras.

I suspect that it won’t be long before people start having these installed in their cars to quickly resolve disputes in accidents. It would be particularly helpful against people who deliberately cause fender benders for insurance fraud. I’d think that the insurance industry would start offering discounts for people who have them, and that eventually they’d become factory equipment.

Predictions Of The Future

From the past.

Some of them held up pretty well, and some of them didn’t really happen until the twenty-first century, and some haven’t panned out at all (like using electric currents to encourage plant growth, and the quiet cities). Slightly subsonic electric ships don’t seem likely to happen any time soon, and pneumatics came and went, being used only for niche applications. Still an interesting set of prognostications for the time.

[Update a few minutes later]


As Paul Dietz points out in comments, they’re only calling for ships that go a mile a minute. I was somehow thinking ten miles a minute (close to sonic velocity). Don’t ask why I was thinking that–I don’t know. Yes, sixty miles an hour is theoretically possible, but it’s high power consumption.

An End To Privacy?

It’s not here yet, but it’s definitely on the way:

Police found a so-called “skirt cam” under a subway grate at 88th Street and Lexington Avenue Tuesday afternoon after a woman called police saying she had noticed suspicious wires protruding from the grate as she passed by.

Emphasis yours truly.

Once Wifi is ubiquitous, there will be no “suspicious wires” to betray the location of a camera, and cameras will continue to get smaller and more power efficient (though there is a physical limit on how small the lense can get). Consider this a glimpse not just of womens’ undergarments (assuming they’re wearing same), but of the future.