Sunday, April 14, 2002

You've probably seen pop-up ads for the X10 wireless camera. Apparently the company wishes us to think that if we mount these cameras in our home, women will appear in front of them. And, in a sense, that's true, since the manufacturer admits they are mostly used to monitor the baby's crib -- or the baby's nanny.

That's the least surprising revelation in this NY Times story (via Yahoo news).

Let's try a little logic here. (A) Wireless cameras that encode their transmissions cost $350 or more. (B) X10 cameras cost $80. Therefore...

Therefore, you've been broadcasting.

Yikes! What have we been doing in front of that camera?

Wanna know something even scarier? This kind of eavesdropping is legal. Yeah, I know, wiretapping isn't. But wiretapping is, well, wired. If you're going to broadcast a clear (that is, unscrambled) video or audio signal, someone else can legally receive it.

Legislators are beginning to realize that this same danger exists with cordless phones, but so far cordless video remains unregulated.

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