Wednesday, December 28, 2005

2005 - new evil technologies

But the scary side of technology was also exposed in 2005, in the form of several new "non-lethal" weapons developed by US military. These included an electromagnetic pulse gun, a microwave weapon, and a rifle capable of firing electric bullets at aggressors. Details of a laser rifle and a helicopter laser weapon, designed to dazzle targets without permanently blinding them, were also uncovered.

The year then came to an end on a sour note, at least for Sony BMG. An anti-piracy technology bundled with Sony BMG music CDs caused a storm of protest, not to mention lawsuits after experts discovered that it could potentially be hijacked by hackers. The controversy escalated to farcical proportions after it was found that a patch released by Sony BMG to fix the problem contained another bug. Then there were claims that the original anti-piracy program itself may contain open source code from elsewhere without due acknowledgement.

And among the wackiest innovations of 2005 were a pair of shoes that limit television time for couch potatoes, a virtual air guitar and a system that delivers smells across the internet, for the more odour-conscious online shopper.

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