When George Orwell wrote his classic novel “1984” in 1948, he was convinced that we would be living in a Big Brother society by 1984. However, he was more than a decade off the mark. It wasn’t until the emergence of Google that we started to see the beginnings of a system which wants to place its tentacles into every aspect of our lives. I should start off by admitting that I am a Google user. I have a Gmail email address, I use Google Maps to find my way about, I use Chrome to browse the Internet, and the search engine to make queries. I have often thought about making a complete break from Google and taking my information elsewhere. But what stops me? Quite simply, it feels too difficult. It isn’t convenient to start moving stuff around. And that is the way Google has designed it. They have given us services for free which are cool, useful and make us productive. We think nothing of signing up, so we can be one of the cool kids. But, eventually, we are so plugged into the Google collective that breaking away is like trying to run away from a cult. You may get away for a few days, but eventually you end up going back to them because the pull is just too much for you to bear. When you start using Google again, you may tell the screen “sorry I left you Google, I don’t know what came over me, it won’t happen again”.
Life is imitating art with the advent of drones. Until recently, drones were only seen as science fiction depicted in the popular syfy show SG-1, where drones are used by advanced alien cultures, the evil Goa’ulds. The general public first learned about drones when the computer operated unmanned planes were used as spy weapons and later to target terrorists in Afghanistan in missile strikes. Drone strikes are now a common occurrence that many people accept as the cost of war. It’s not unusual that military weapons and techniques trickle down to the public and it was only a matter of time before the lure of drones snagged police forces. Financially strapped law enforcement leaders are always looking for more effective ways to fight crime. The drone may be a solution for many police and sheriff departments as the economy continues to tank, budgets are cut deeper and the threat of crime continues to rise.