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Security Businesses Wireless Networking Apple Hardware

Wozniak Unveils WozNet 490

Posted by simoniker
from the track-your-spare-tags-with-tags dept.
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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Wozniak Unveils WozNet

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  • tracking everything (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ianmalcm (591345)
    Big Brother at a consumer level.

    wonderful.

    • I- (Score:2, Funny)

      by Mu*puppy (464254)
      I love Big Woz!

      "Remember, Big Woz is watching... and wants you to buy a Segway."

    • Since when did the terms "convinence" and "Big Brother" get so confusing for people?
    • 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*
    • by kwerle (39371) <kurt@CircleW.org> on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:30PM (#6492422) Homepage Journal
      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.
      • 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
    • by lazira (651928) on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:44PM (#6492628)
      Since when are we opposed to technology? Like freenet and every other technology, this has the potential for both good and bad use. Woz has proposed a perfectly legitimate use for tracking technology. If the government ever proposes tracking us with it, THEN we can start an uproar.
    • Uh, no. Track what wants to be tracked. Don't wanna be tracked? Fin. Don't carry the Woznet device around with you. Want to have some privacy for a while? Leave it at home.
    • by Hatta (162192)
      Indeed. I think this should be under YRO rather than Apple.
    • So how much is the surgery?

      Can you put it in a kid, or do you need to wait for them to stop growing first?

      ALERT!! ALERT!! Your daughter is back at that lowlife-she-calls-a-boyfriends house again!!

      Computer, locate shotgun...

  • interesting... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Spytap (143526) on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:20PM (#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.
  • by dirvish (574948) <dirvish@foundnews . c om> on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:20PM (#6492291) Homepage Journal
    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...
  • by vasqzr (619165) <vasqzr@netBOYSENscape.net minus berry> on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:21PM (#6492302)

    If Paul Allen bought a wi-fi company would it be under Microsoft?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:21PM (#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!
    • by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:28PM (#6492389) Journal
      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.
      • 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.

        Once the consumer has purchased the product they can do whatever they want with 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.

        I don't see why you presume that.

      • by Lord Ender (156273) on Monday July 21, 2003 @06:57PM (#6494844) Homepage
        Yeah, we have no choice about RFID tags! Next thing you know, those privacy-destroying stores will be printing BARCODES on EVERYTHING! And the government will be assigning each citizen a distinct number so they can use their DATABASES on us!
    • 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... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by siskbc (598067) on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:31PM (#6492439) Homepage
        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.

        • by Pirogoeth (662083) <mailbox AT ikrug DOT com> on Monday July 21, 2003 @03:30PM (#6493120) Homepage Journal

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

          Or even worse, something like this [cbsnews.com] which happened in my hometown.

        • "...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. "

          The technology for this has been available for years, to the general public, just not in quite this nice or unified a form.

          I'm sure the tech isn't far behind to scan for these little bugs, so why worry?

          After all, big brother is watching, so there's no need to panic ;-)
        • by mcc (14761)
          Given this whole wireless thing, how difficult would it be to rig a device that just checks to see how many WozNet devices there are in the immediate area-- say, 10 feet-- and where they are?

          That way paranoids or children could just scan their cars/backpacks/whatever for WozNet trackers, and if they find one present, they can pinpoint its location for removal.

          I wondered the same thing about RFID tags-- i wouldn't care at all about the privacy problems if once i'd bought it i could take it home and use som
      • 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.

        • by mark_lybarger (199098) on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:42PM (#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.
          • I can't imagine much that will make your children hate you more than treating older teenagers like this. Not to mention the amount of teasing and bullying by other kids you will be setting them up for.

            Please, let any kids you ever have live some sort of decent childhood.
            • As a parent of small children, I plan on addressing this by equipping them with cell phones with GPS receivers and requiring that they answer that phone any time it rings, and that I can receive their GPS coords at any time. In return they will be allowed to go where they want, when they want (within alloweable hours regarding curfews and school, etc), and I won't badger them about what they were doing. All the better if the phone supports some kind of clandestined 'are you there' signal that would not b
              • As parents of a fifteen year old son, my wife and I have found the best mechanism for addressing all of this are the same mechanisms our parents used: raise him well enough that we can trust him, and smart enough to avoid problems. Sure, I expect he's going to do something very stupid before he's 18 (or he won't do enough growing up,) but our hope is that the damage won't be permanent. So far, we've been very pleased with the results. He's a great kid, very responsible, very smart, and not a social lepe
        • But geeks who actually go to the library can have a sweet little side business holding tracker buttons for the popular kids.
    • by BWJones (18351) on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:32PM (#6492459) Homepage Journal
      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!

      • 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.
    • RFID tags are simply a passive device that anyone can query where and what they are (though of course the devices themselves know nothing about location, that would have to be inferred by the sensors or other processing).

      From the reading, wOz chips are intelligent devices that know where they are (remember they are built with a cheap GPS core) - and will only tell selected base stations. Thus only YOU know where or what something is, and have the option to let others know as well (as when linking base sta
  • Not a bad thing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Raindance (680694) * <<johnsonmx> <at> <gmail.com>> on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:23PM (#6492323) Homepage Journal
    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 (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Troed (102527)
      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 (Score:5, Informative)

        by kasparov (105041) * on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:37PM (#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 (Score:3, Insightful)

          by carambola5 (456983)
          Kids will always find ways to outsmart their parents. It's called progress!

          First of all, we are forgetting the rule that kids are always smarter than their parents when it comes to computers. Always. Next, enter the fact that kids could construct their own nets and attach a tag somewhere underneath their parents' cars.

          Can you say "proximity alert"? Works a helluva lot better with a range of 1 or 2 miles compared to hearing the garage door open.
      • I can see it now: kids will give their ID tags to friends to take to school while they play hooky, dogs will have to gnaw them off before jumping the fence and instead of looking out the window to see if your car is in the driveway you'll look at your computer screen.
    • "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?

    • 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.
    • Re:Not a bad thing (Score:5, Interesting)

      by superdan2k (135614) on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:43PM (#6492601) Homepage Journal
      ...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...

      Sure it does...if you missed it, some of the coverage mentioned that multiple base stations can be linked together to provide a "neighborhood watch" function, which is pretty cool. From the sound of it, there's not much to stop you from linking up base stations on a nationwide network...the trick there, of course, is knowing which items you're looking for. Something like this would be great for tracking stolen bicycles, for example. A WozNet tag in the down tube makes it impossible to fuck with, short of cutting apart the frame, thereby ruining it.

      You could do some other really cool shit, like keeping track of where bike racers are on a course at any given moment -- which would make more sense to Joe Average than telling him that Lance Armstrong (Vive Le Lance!) has a 35 second lead over Jan Ullrich.

      Everyone gets all worried about Big Brother, of course, but Jesus Christ, do you think that the U.S. Government really gives a fuck about where your Trek Madone 5.9 or your limited edition X-Men #500 with the supermegaholographic RealPlatinum(TM) has run off to? Of course not.

      If you want your Libertarian minimal-government-involvment society (as many Slashdot posters/readers seem to), you need to have a system in place to police yourself and your belongings. WozNet is one of those.
    • 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.


      I was distressed that Woz, the archetypical computer good guy, drives a Hummer, the archetypical symbol of everything that is wrong with American consumerism. (I can't wait for the "Hummer SR-71 edition", which will deliberately leak fuel onto the pavement while driving at low speeds, to facilitate faster acceleration)

  • yay, tracking! (Score:2, Interesting)

    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...
    • by keesh (202812) on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:25PM (#6492347) Homepage
      Those kids know how to use tinfoil, right?
    • Re:yay, tracking! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dcg (82574) on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:34PM (#6492485) Homepage
      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! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by swillden (191260) * <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:39PM (#6492551) Homepage Journal

        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! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by feed_me_cereal (452042) * on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:47PM (#6492655)
        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.


        I would guess you don't know many other parents.

        What you mentioned is all fine and good, and perhaps it would be nice to see your kids make it to school all safe and sound from your pc, but don't make the mistake that all parents are as altruistic as you may be. I imagine a great deal of parents will use these as house-arrest devices, tracking every movement of thier kids all the way through 18 years of age. I've met plenty of people who would, so don't tell me that's bullshit. Remember, "Parents responsibilities to ensure safety" are defined by the parents, and there are plenty of morons/assholes out there who will use these devices to some pretty sick ends. I've met some strange people who grew up under very repressive households; I could only imagine how much grief these devices would have added.
    • Re:yay, tracking! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by stienman (51024) <adavis.ubasics@com> on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:42PM (#6492597) Homepage Journal
      Yeah, because if my fictitious nine year old decides to have a nike symbol tattooed on his forehead for cool clothes without my permission, then he should be able to do that.

      I mean, come on. We can certianly trust children to make life altering and sometimes threatening decisions without our involvement.

      Parents have a hard enough time keeping their children alive and well until they are past puberty (the age of bad decisions) and a little into their more stable years without adding jibes about how kids today are not much more than slaves.

      I'm not saying I'd use Woz's service - I don't know, my children aren't old enough to be on their own. But you shouldn't dismiss it because it does have some potentially bad abuses.

      Of course, you might have a double standard there. Perhaps you think it's ok to have file sharing even though it can be used in the commision of crimes, but not an object tracking service because it could be used in the commision of crimes?

      I could understand your consternation if this tool only had bad uses, or was designed primarily for 'bad' purposes (ie, the handgun is a weapon whose primary design and use is killing or disabling human beings, but it does have other purposes, such as target practise so you can become better at killing humans instead of just disabling them - but it can be used in both offense and defense) but you can't claim that the service is a bad thing and will bring about Aldus Huxley's futurific version of reality.

      We are a tool using species. Don't bemoan the tool, bemoan the uses.

      -Adam
  • 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
  • Woz vs Joy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by swordgeek (112599) on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:28PM (#6492392) Journal
    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.
  • by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:28PM (#6492401) Homepage
    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**
  • by Dutchmaan (442553) on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:29PM (#6492410) Homepage
    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)
  • by stienman (51024) <adavis.ubasics@com> on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:30PM (#6492413) Homepage Journal
    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
  • by American AC in Paris (230456) on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:31PM (#6492429) Homepage
    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.

  • 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*
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:31PM (#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...
    • Just microwave your clothes for about 5 seconds...That should take care of any anoying built in clothing bugs. I guess there will be RFID scanners being sold too. Just periodically sweep your stuff to see what's been bugged. I'm not sure what to do about the ones they're putting in car tires now, though..
    • 6) I'll not have to worry so much about losing my keys.

      7) A group of people in a forest will be able to stay together easier, and thus be able to explore more.

      8) Pets could be less likely to be lost.

      9) Marathon runners could be tracked by audiences.

      10) Parents could keep track of young kids in a store.
  • Overreacting much? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Prince_Ali (614163) on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:31PM (#6492436) Journal
    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.

  • Now all we need is a 6MW laser and a large, spinning mirror, and we can vaporize a human target from space!
  • by xThinkx (680615) on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:32PM (#6492447) Homepage

    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

  • 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 b
  • by thanq (321486) on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:37PM (#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.

    • by stienman (51024) <adavis.ubasics@com> on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:52PM (#6492711) Homepage Journal
      A device I saw which claims to do the same thing (could be the same) was a watch that is locked onto the persons arm - it can be unlocked manually or remotely, but requires a key of some sort or an unlock command for central.

      Just wrap tinfoil around it, or better yet, slam it against every wall you walk past. Eventually it'll get too expensive to replace, and the old fashioned methods of checking up on your own kids yourself and becoming involved in their lives will again become common.

      -Adam
  • How long..? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cspenn (689387) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [tsacdopdialaicnanif]> on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:40PM (#6492565) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • Many uses (Score:4, Funny)

    by Mu*puppy (464254) on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:43PM (#6492600)
    Spot has left the yard.
    Activate shock collar? Yes/No
    You have chosen Yes. Spot has returned to the yard.

    Your son Scott has driven the car to a remote location with Susie L. (Ref. # 1098345723) and has entered the back seat with her, probably to screw her brains out.
    Administer punishment? Yes/"HELL yes!"

  • by jjeffries (17675) on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:43PM (#6492611)
    I mean, tracking is pure evil, but the Woz can do no wrong!

    Immovable object, meet irresistable force.

    my brain hurts! HELP!!! CALL -151!

  • by TwP (149780) on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:46PM (#6492642) Homepage
    Put one of these in your laptop and it will become "location aware". When you are at home and login, your home settings will be automatically loaded by the machine. When you are at work and login, your work settings will be automatically loaded. At the local coffee shop? Same thing.

    It will also function as a lo-jack device for small and expensive personal stuff: laptops, ipods, cell phones, etc.

    Did they figure out weak signal GPS though? If not, then the device will not work indoors and will severely limit its applications.
  • Sweet. (Score:4, Funny)

    by NeoPotato (444954) on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:49PM (#6492678)
    I'm gonna tag all my socks before I dry them. Now I can finally find out where they go when the dryer eats them!
  • Is this so bad? (Score:4, Informative)

    by El (94934) on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:57PM (#6492753)
    As the proud parent of a 2.5 year old who has just learned how to steal her mom's keys and unlock the deadbolt on the front door so she can wonder off through the neighborhood without permission, I'd have to say that tracking devices are not such a bad idea. Especially since that deadbolt was installed after her slipping out twice, once to be found several blocks away, and once after playing in the neighbor's water feature in 45 degree weather. There are times when you REALLY want to know exactly where your kid is!
    • Clarification (Score:3, Informative)

      by El (94934)
      1) The double locking deadbolt was installed immediately after the first incident. The second occured when my wife failed to lock it ("You mean, it doesn't lock itself when you close the door?")
      2) Both incidents occured while I was at work. (And I assure you, you don't know what helpless frustration is until you get a call from your wife telling you in panic mode that the baby is missing -- and you're an hour away from home!)
      3) All those people saying "bad parenting" have obviously never been responsible fo
    • by BreadMan (178060) on Monday July 21, 2003 @04:56PM (#6493969)
      Get one of of those cheap latches, mount it 12 inches from the TOP of the door. The kids can't figure out how to make stable tower high enough to reach the latch. Problem solved for about $1.50.

      I have three small children^W escape artists and this stops them cold.

      And no posts about how terrible a parent this person is, kids wait until you're in the bathroom to pull these stunts off.
  • by Stonent1 (594886) <stonent@NOsPAm.stonent.pointclark.net> on Monday July 21, 2003 @03:26PM (#6493079) Journal
    I'll prove it!
    W = 23
    O = 15
    Z = 26
    Total = 64
    The original Apples used 6502 processors.
    Number of years past since his last professional beard trim : 5
    We remove the 5 from 6502 and that leaves us with 602.

    602 + 64 = 666 !
  • by anthony_dipierro (543308) on Monday July 21, 2003 @03:30PM (#6493127) Journal
    I wonder if this could be included on firefighter equipment to track firefighters inside a burning building. How expensive are the receivers? Surely $25/tag isn't too much for a department to spend. But maybe the receiver would cost too much. How well do they work indoors? I'd imagine the GPS part is useless indoors.
  • So.. I'm a bad boy.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bigattichouse (527527) on Monday July 21, 2003 @05:42PM (#6494362) Homepage
    I get "tagged" by my parents... its not making sure *I* get to school.. just that my tag does.. so I pay (or bully) someone to take the thing to school for me.
  • Wozniak and Gibson (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TygerFish (176957) on Monday July 21, 2003 @08:03PM (#6495258)
    The debate that arises from Steven Wozniak's company and its innovation is nothing new and neither are the debates surrounding it. The potential convenience applications that the device offers are swallowed up and ignored in the face of the device's obvious potential for applications in security and surveillance.

    The most intriguing aspect of all the back-and-forth in the debate is that it is not demonstrable that either side is wrong. What the article in the Times shows is only the prototype of a short-range locator device with the potential for information transfer.

    As an examination of William Gibson's work reveals, the problem is one of increasing efficiency and efficacy in that as the technologies behind the technology become more sophisticated--as the devices become smaller and achieve greater range, information-transfer potential and ubiquity--their potential usefulness and their potential for danger can only increase.

    William Gibson's main perception in one of his least-enjoyable stories, 'The Gernsbach Continuum,' contains the central idea of his one of his most important themes: 'the street finds it's own uses for things.'

    Gibson's greatest perceptions is that technical innovations in the use and shaping of society in unpredictable ways that the creators of the technology can't foresee and can't consider as the humble telephone pager illustrates.

    Originally, the pager allowed busy people to whom other people needed access to get out of their offices and hospitals. It freed doctors and lawyers to either live more life or get more done. The unpredictable, socially transformative downside of the technology entered into the equation the moment it became available to the masses.

    Among the many changes that the spread of pager technology made was that it made drug-dealers a lot safer and set the police new problems: instead of having to stay in one place where they and their contacts could be subject to observation or chained to specific telephone landlines that could be tapped by law-enforcement agencies, the pager cut the link between the drug-dealer and his territory and allowed street-level dealers to arrange meetings with their clients in locations of their own choosing.

    This phenomenon was the source of a small but very real transformation in society as the rise of cheap pagers changed things. A block of Motorola circuitry in a casing, changed society; it changed the notion of presence and absence and leisure time and physical distance. It changed the law and investigative procedure, the notion of privacy and tens of other things that no one had any tiniest inkling might spring up from using radio receivers attached to a POTs telephone system to transmit phone numbers.

    As it concerns the debate here, it is easy to see that the notes talking about pedophiles are actually a valid cause of concern as are a thousand other things that are just as wonderful as the police's finding a lost child and just as dangerous as a pedophile's doing the same that we'll just have to wait for.

"But this one goes to eleven." -- Nigel Tufnel

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