Networked Cows, Herded Cats, Mindless Sheep…

It’s an organizing world, yes it is… Kingsley Dennis, at the Centre for Mobilities Research (CeMoRe) at Lancaster University, highlighted this creepy bit of technology, “directional virtual fencing”, in the CeMoRe blog:


Caption: A grazing cross-bred beef cow wearing a directional virtual fencing (DVF™) battery (1) powered neck saddle deviceDVF%20Cow.gif equipped with spring loaded electrodes (only left side pair shown 2) for providing electrical stimulation and left (3) and right (4) piezo speakers housed inside poly vinyl chloride (PVC) pipe for audio stimulation. A global positioning system (GPS) antenna (5) is located in the centre of a panel of solar cells (6). This prototype platform may appear clumsy but was remarkably robust during numerous field trials conducted between 2001 and 2005.

Alright, working backwards, in the interest of mitigating the web’s endlessly circular self-referentialism (yes, I just made that one up):

1. CeMoRe blog noted the report, as indicated above.

2. CeMoRe sourced the report to Roland Piquepaille’s Technology Trends, a pretty interesting looking tech blog in its own right.

3. The RPTT write-up sourced the original research paper on wired bovines to the Rangeland Journal (no kidding).

I can’t figure whether this should be featured in the Annals of Improbable Research, Wired, Tales From the Crypt, or what…

Here’s a challenge: read the report, then go read Noah Shachtman’s and Sharon Weinberger’s reports on brain-machine interfaces (here, here, here). Then read these related research articles on neutrality in cyberspace and  prosecution of thought crime… anyone feeling queasy yet?

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