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Sci Tech    H4'ed 8/6/10

Scientists envision implanting tracking phones in your head

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iPhone, iPod, iPad and now ... iBrain?

While there are organizations out there that want to get under your skin--by implanting RFID devices the size of a grain of rice in the back of your hand--others plan on getting into your head. Literally.

Brave new world of the iBrain

If computer chip giant Intel has its way, in the future most people who hear voices chattering away in their heads won't need to seek a psychiatrist, they'll just need to talk back. That's because the corporation envisions a brave new world where everyone on the planet has a phone chip implanted in their brains. The chip will also replace all hand held devices and even allow users to directly interact with whatever the Internet might morph into by 2020.

Yes, that's right. In less than 10 years you might be expected to join millions of other "augmented humans" with a shiny new iBrain.

A bio-electric witches' brew

As privacy experts cringe, advocates virtually wax poetic, ecstatically ticking off on their fingertips an array of benefits. And while it's true benefits exist, the downside of phones implanted in peoples' brains could thrust hapless humanity into a proverbial witches' brew torn from the pages of Macbeth.

Hold that thought please, Tokyo calling

Some Japanese technocrats enthusiastically support the idea of every person on Earth becoming a human extension of Nippon Electric.

Toyota executives point proudly to a wheelchair 100 percent controlled by pulsing brainwaves. Others in Utah rub their hands with glee over the success of cyborg monkeys performing amazing feats with mechanized precision and clacking, rattling robots respond directly to human thought in laboratories on step away from Dr. Frankenstein's study.

The Japanese are unperturbed and the Chinese and South Koreans are already to consider the billions to be made manufacturing iBrain devices.

Back in America, land of the free, federal security experts employed by the DIA, NSA and DHS envision a world where every citizen will be tracked via the telecommunication chips embedded deep into living brain tissue. Automatic transponders will send out a GPS signal to any government spy with a need to know where you are, why you might be there and what you're doing there.

Adolf Hitler could only dream of such power.

Could computer viruses infect the brain?

Some IT experts wonder aloud about the possibility of a computer virus transmitted into the iBrain affecting the software and jumping into the neural network, infecting the brain. Then again, what about "brain cookies?" Could programs be written that leave impressions in the brain, perhaps at the subconscious level?

Some privacy experts think so, but no one is absolutely sure one way or the other. If a trail of cookies can be electronically injected into unsuspecting brains, though, that would be far beyond the dream of some 1950s advertisers with their schemes of "programming" unsuspecting consumers with subliminal messages hidden in innocent-looking advertisements broadcast in movie theaters and into the homes of TV viewers.

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TAKING AYM Once during a radio interview, Terrence Aym was asked what motivated him to write. He responded that he writes for two primary reasons: the first is to entertain and inform his readers; the second, writing gives him personal (more...)
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