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Big Brother is live-tweeting you: artists turn a lightbulb into a surveillance device


When you hear a scandalous conversation, there's always the temptation to live tweet it for the internet's benefit -- but what if your furniture could do that for you? Conversnitch is a project by artists Brian House and Kyle McDonald which reinvents the humble lightbulb as an internet-connected surveillance microphone. Running off a Raspberry Pi, the hardware records conversations in real time and pushes them to Amazon's Mechanical Turk, where the chatter is transcribed for the project's Twitter feed. The idea is to generate some alarm about our surveillance-heavy culture, since the bulbs have already been quietly installed in public spaces across New York -- although we guess the pair still have a long way to go before they can out-do the folks over at Fort Meade.

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