I've been a subscriber to Geoff Manaugh's BLDGBLOG for about a decade now (since reading this article, in fact) and I've always loved his takes on architecture and the societal applications and implications of space in general.
This time, Geoff looks at an embedded device that could be used to geofence heavy machinery, to limit their use in environmentally at-risk areas, but also to explore potential future dystopian uses of the technology.
You can easily imagine, for example, a dystopian scenario in which geofenced medical prostheses cease to operate when they cross an invisible GPS boundary into an unserviced region—perhaps as a way to protect the host company from the illegal installation of black-market, security-compromised firmware updates, but with immediate and perhaps fatal health effects on the user. Or, say, regions of a metropolis—perhaps near centers of governance or military installations—where civilian vehicles or unregistered photographic equipment of a particular resolution can no longer physically function.
As if Bluetooth low energy beacons weren't already a nefarious enough technology.