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afwriter
afwriter
8/29/2016 3:57:37 PM
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Platinum
Exciting, but
Overall I like the idea of smart cities and have never even thought of how it could help with things like waste management.  However, I don't like the idea of cameras and sensors everywhere, it feels very 1984.

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Ariella
Ariella
8/29/2016 4:03:06 PM
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Re: Exciting, but
@afwriter I know what you mean about cameras everywhere. But even not quite smart cities use them in the name of security. There are a lot of them in NYC as Bloomberg was very involved in using technology, but that falls short of what one would find in London. See http://www.wired.co.uk/article/one-nation-under-cctv "The UK is one of the most surveilled nations in the world." 

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Adi
Adi
8/30/2016 7:54:41 AM
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Re: Exciting, but
@Ariella - Interesting article, and yes, London especially is very heavily covered by CCTV. I have to say as a resident my preference for safety and also a somewhat old testament fondness for catching and punishing criminals seems to have outweighed my concerns about privacy, at least in this case. 

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Ariella
Ariella
8/30/2016 9:26:30 AM
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Re: Exciting, but
@Adi You touch on the essence of the argument between the people who are for security measures and those who fear infringement on individual privacy. In the US, I think we still tilt a bit more to the latter, though that may well change over time.

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faryl
faryl
8/31/2016 3:30:29 AM
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Platinum
Re: Exciting, but
On one hand, I appreciate the safety CCTV provides - but I also think American deployment of something similar wouldn't necessarily garner the same result of protecting citizens. Unfortunately, our government doesn't give me confidence in the "it's not a problem if you've got nothing to hide" concept. Our legal system (and law enforcement) doesn't do the best job of serving in our citizens' best interest. :-/

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elizabethv
elizabethv
9/9/2016 6:34:02 AM
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Platinum
Re: Exciting, but
@faryl - I have my own doubts about the whole, "If you have nothing to hide it isn't a problem" concepts. My best friend, who I have known for over 15 years, since we were both in high school - found herself on a list of possible terrorists. She barely has enough political opinions to find a voice about them more often than not. Her life is consumed with her husband and kids, basketball, and her job as a nurse. She was born and raised in this country of European decent. None of that is to say she is incapable of being a terrorist, just that it's highly unlikely. But still she did, and it was a big enough deal to keep her from being able to close on the house her and her husband were trying to buy. It held the buy up a complete week, while the realtor and financers worked to get her name off the list. There were eventually successful, but ever since I've been curious - just what does one do to end up on the terrorist list? 

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faryl
faryl
9/10/2016 9:31:38 PM
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Platinum
Re: Exciting, but
@elizabethv That pretty much sums up my issue with it. There's no transparency and little (if any) recourse for situations like your friend's (it's why I'm not a fan of any security measures that involve limiting the rights of people based on the no-fly list).

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
9/11/2016 4:16:27 AM
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Platinum
Re: Exciting, but
@elizabethv > "... just what does one do to end up on the terrorist list?"

Uh, the better question is.. how does one prove that they shouldn't be on a terrorist list once they're on one??? That sounds like a bureaucratic nightmare...

And now I'm thinking we're living in Terry Gilliam's Brazil...

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elizabethv
elizabethv
9/11/2016 5:31:18 AM
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Platinum
Re: Exciting, but
@mhhf1ve - I have no idea what had to be done to get her off the list. It was all taken care of by her realtor and finance company. I know she didn't have to do much. She mostly just complained about it (and rightfully so.) The "funny" part is that she has been employed by the government for the last ten years, and they had completed a background check on her 2 months prior when she had relocated from Los Angeles to Phoenix - and nothing had been talked about or flagged then. And she wasn't on the list prior to starting the purchase of the home, it happened a few days before they went to close on the house. It was a nightmare for her and I can't imagine dealing with it myself. 

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
8/30/2016 7:41:00 AM
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Platinum
Re: Exciting, but
afwriter,

Mommy-the-City can't take care of you properly if she doesn't know everything about you. Now smile for the nice camera.

The science fiction writer David Brin, whose work I admire greatly, has argued that our whole idea of privacy is going to turn out to be a cultural abberation of just a dozen generations or so before we find our way back to the human norm of your whole tribe knowing everything about you. I often think he's probably right, but being in the dozenth of those generations, I still have a hard time feeling it's a good thing.

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Ariella
Ariella
8/30/2016 9:21:36 AM
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Re: Exciting, but
<The science fiction writer David Brin, whose work I admire greatly, has argued that our whole idea of privacy is going to turn out to be a cultural abberation of just a dozen generations or so before we find our way back to the human norm of your whole tribe knowing everything about you. I often think he's probably right, but being in the dozenth of those generations, I still have a hard time feeling it's a good thing.>

@JohnBarnes That's an interesting perspective. Of course, in the past people in your neighborhood knew everything about you because that was the nature of small towns. People gained some anonymity in bigger cities. But Brin suggests that, they too, can return to the norm of no secrets. 

But you're not the only one who wishes to resist. One of the big issues at the first Decentralized Web  conference was privacy -- finding a way of returning the web to a state free of government suveillance and gatekeeper control. They believe the web should offer free access to all without recording their activities. 

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
8/30/2016 2:27:05 PM
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Platinum
Re: Exciting, but
Ariella, The real question is, is privacy actually good for anything? Or is it just the peculiar taste of people who spend too much time by themselves? The costs are actually pretty high of you think about things like domestic abuse, fraud, conspiracy, etc. and mostly borne by the rest of society. Why should the rest of us pay for people to be able to buy illegal drugs, plot crimes, and indulge embarrassing fantasies?

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Ariella
Ariella
8/30/2016 2:36:24 PM
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Re: Exciting, but
@JohnBarnes one can entertain that as a question to be debated in a university class. However, there are strong assumptions about rights to privacy that govern data transfer laws. The EU is a lot more stringent than the USA. It was a suit of a Facebook user in Ireland last year that brought down the whole Safe Harbour framework. That's why now we have the Privacy Shield to govern legal data transfers with more built into redress for European citizens who feel their data somehow got carried across the Atlanatic without their explicit consent. They also are allowed protection from government suveillance, one of the key flaws they found in Safe Harbour after Snowden's revelations. So you may say that it makes sense one way or the other, but companies better pay attention to what the law does stipulate for the countries in which they operate.

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
8/31/2016 7:37:47 AM
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Platinum
Re: Exciting, but
Ariella,

Oh, agreed at once: right now there are a large number of privacy regulations which vary greatly across borders, and to which companies must pay attention. And that's likely to be the case for the next few years.

But every year, more of the people who grew up with the idea that privacy was a basic right and essential to their lives will die, and every year more of the people who are going to find it a quaint nuisance are being born.  And the technological trends are mostly for easier surveillance and much easier tracking.

I don't think our grandchildren will live in 1984. I think it'll be more like Modern Times, or Brave New World.

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Ariella
Ariella
8/31/2016 9:11:55 AM
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Re: Exciting, but
@JohnBarnes Sometimes I think we're already living in Brave New World.

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batye
batye
9/5/2016 7:49:01 PM
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Platinum
Re: Exciting, but
@Ariella I trut we are living in it now :) 

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
9/11/2016 3:58:04 AM
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Platinum
Re: Exciting, but
> "Sometimes I think we're already living in Brave New World."

Brave New World...or 1984?


It's been a while since I've read those books, but.. we're pretty far from "feelies" and cloning people to be genetically engineered for a specific societal class?

I definitely think we're already way beyond the surveillance capabilities of 1984 -- but no one has been able to change the dictionaries because of wikipedia and edit histories.....

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Ariella
Ariella
9/11/2016 11:08:05 AM
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Re: Exciting, but
@mhhf1ve I think we're closer to Brave New World in terms of the diversions that keep the society humming along as planned than the kind of obvious control employed in 1984. We're also probably even worse in some way than the vision of Farhnrenheit 451 because we carry our screens and diversions with us everywhere rather than limiting ourselves to such escapes in our own homes.

 


 

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
9/16/2016 1:19:03 PM
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Platinum
Re: Exciting, but
> "we're closer to Brave New World in terms of the diversions that keep the society humming along as planned than the kind of obvious control employed in 1984.."

Ah. That makes sense. I didn't think we'd gotten to the cloning and feelies technology of BNW just yet. :P

Instead of contolling society by changing the dictionaries and historical records, we're just adding more and more unreliable accounts and making it harder for anyone to view objective results. The anti-vaxxers and anti-science folks don't need to control the media -- they just need to inject enough doubt on society's power structures so that no one knows who to trust.... 

 

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dlr5288
dlr5288
9/30/2016 3:25:05 PM
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Platinum
Re: Exciting, but
Yes, I agree! I think it's important to know that even though we're moving closer and closer to an all technological world that there are downsides to this as well. It's all very exciting, but at the same time, for me at least, it's concerning.

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Ariella
Ariella
9/30/2016 3:29:13 PM
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Re: Exciting, but
@dl4588 It's right for you to feel that way. We should not just get caught up in the advances of technology without questioning possibly negative effects that need to be explored and addressed.

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dlr5288
dlr5288
9/30/2016 3:33:17 PM
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Platinum
Re: Exciting, but
Yes, and that's the scary part. I see the world changing so quickly and as exciting as it can be sometimes, it also worries me how fast everything can change.

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faryl
faryl
9/10/2016 9:46:59 PM
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Platinum
Re: Exciting, but
The issue isn't as much with the people who are perpetrating crimes and injuring others, as the government's ability to determine what constitutes criminal activity and to use information about its citizens to "subjectively connect the dots" in order to paint them a certain way. It's great when it helps foil a terrorist plot to injure people; not so great when the "terrorist" label is used to limit the rights/credibility of people the government perceives as a threat against power. I find it troubling that the government classifies whistleblowers, activists/hacktivists as terrorists and demonizes things like TOR, which has legitimate uses for valid privacy concerns (e.g., domestic violence victims who need to cover their tracks, or journalists protecting sources).

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
9/11/2016 4:21:56 AM
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Platinum
Re: Exciting, but
> "is privacy actually good for anything?"

It's a bit concerning that there's a view that the younger generation(s) don't value privacy, but I don't think that's really true. Snapchat and the rise of encrypted messaging services seems to indicate that younger folks might just approach privacy differently than previous generations? 

But perhaps if we're really headed toward a Brave New World, then there won't be too many weird embarrassing things left to require certain kinds of privacy. Society will have genetically engineered people without weird traits.....

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batye
batye
9/11/2016 12:28:51 PM
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Platinum
Re: Exciting, but
@mhhf1ve for me privacy things of the past.... as nothing private anymore...

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
9/16/2016 1:27:42 PM
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Platinum
Re: Exciting, but
> "nothing private anymore....."

That reminds me that I've often heard there's no word for "privacy" in Russian... I have no idea if that's true, but it seems plausible that certain cultures might not have a direct translation for "privacy" because it's a concept that doesn't necessarily exist everywhere.

And it seems like some folks are predicting that future generations are just going to accept living without privacy.

And it seems like we're not far from abandoning all expectations of privacy:

https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-baltimore-secret-surveillance/

I'm not sure how the Supreme Court would prevent private companies from selling constant drone surveillance services to police depts. 

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batye
batye
9/16/2016 1:36:44 PM
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Platinum
Re: Exciting, but
@mhhf1ve Russia is a very strange place....Towarish... very very strange with privacy laws...

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Ariella
Ariella
9/16/2016 3:15:18 PM
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Re: Exciting, but
<That reminds me that I've often heard there's no word for "privacy" in Russian... > @mhhf1ve I came across an article that said the same for French, so I asked a Frenchwoman. It doesn't exist in noun form, though they do have the adjuctive privee, so they can refer to private data but not data privacy.

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batye
batye
9/18/2016 4:03:04 AM
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Platinum
Re: Exciting, but
@Ariella interesting point... as each nation see it it own way... Privacy... but digital age did change everything....

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faryl
faryl
8/31/2016 3:31:46 AM
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Platinum
Re: Exciting, but
I'm with you on that!

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batye
batye
9/5/2016 7:48:08 PM
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Platinum
Re: Exciting, but
@faryl  same is on my end, I could not agree more :) 

 

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dcawrey
dcawrey
8/29/2016 4:21:35 PM
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Platinum
Data
I truly believe data can make cities smarter. That being said, I do have to be concerned about some of the privacy issues that might exist with something like this. Sure, these things can help citizens. But if they are too intrusive, this is where I would become concerned. 

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
8/30/2016 7:51:29 AM
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Platinum
Reasons why this is happening so early in Israel
There are four reasons I can think of why Israel is likely to be an early adopter of smart cities:

1. It's a small country physically. They don't have to solve how to make Chicago, Seattle, New Orleans, Miami, and Phoenix all smart in their widely varied environments and physical arrangements. What will work physically in one city will usually work in another.

2. It has a very large base of solar power, for historical reasons going back many decades; you don't want a smart city to go down because the central power plant gets into trouble, and that means a widely dispersed source of electricity.  A desert country with immense solar power experience has just that.

3. They're facing a world that may boycott trade with them, which means almost any raw material may be interrupted or cut off altogether. Yet by definition, what you throw away is going to be made out of the raw materials you need. So waste management that eventually gets close to 100% recycling -- which means very high information waste recycling -- is nice for the rest of us but may be life and death for them.

4. Israeli cities are subject to sudden violent attack on all scales, from the lone bomber to an incoming missile barrage. Smart cities can do much better damage control and recovery. Most of the developed world doesn't have to think about that; Israeli architects and engineers do, and thus the perceived value of smartness is much higher.

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Ariella
Ariella
8/30/2016 9:24:48 AM
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Re: Reasons why this is happening so early in Israel
@JohnBarnes I'd add a fifth reason: the culture of technological adoption there. Bezeq identifies it in the mayor of Modi'in, though you need general acceptance from the population at large, as well, to go forward with such a project. 

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
8/31/2016 7:40:43 AM
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Platinum
Re: Reasons why this is happening so early in Israel
Definitely a friendly amendment, Ariella. Yes, Israel is a much more technophilic environment, and that speeds earlyadaptation too.

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clrmoney
clrmoney
8/30/2016 1:12:41 PM
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Platinum
smart cities
Smart smart cities can make it very easy for people going in to future and almost everting is becoming virtual and digital.

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dlr5288
dlr5288
8/30/2016 1:53:19 PM
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Platinum
Re: smart cities
I agree a lot of things are changing and moving to digital. It kind of worries me how fast everything is changing and how much technology really is taking over.

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ms.akkineni
ms.akkineni
8/31/2016 1:09:17 AM
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Platinum
Young City
Modi'in was selected for a number of reasons. It's fairly a young city with good and modern infrastructure.

Very good point explaining why they chose this city for pilot. Any newly built city has modern infrastructure and technology which makes it more feasible to be smart adaptable.

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ms.akkineni
ms.akkineni
8/31/2016 1:12:13 AM
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Platinum
Vision
Gil also highted that mayor of the town has a vision that closely matches with the initiative. Having that visison is extreemely important for someone that is in that position to lend all required support.

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