The specter of a grim future under the control of Robot Overlords is undoubtedly something which haunts us all (ok, well mostly just paranoid SF nuts, and people who actually understand networking intelligence and have time on their hands for contemplating the possible consequences).
Now, I do not want Skynet to wake up any more than the next person. Much as Caprica 6 really sells the idea that sexy, intelligent, independent women can be robots too, the bottom line is that there is no scenario so far in which the genocide of humans is not an outcome. Apart from anything else, on the off-chance I was a survivor, I would make a crappy guerrilla fighter and a very poor motivating leader for the resistance.
However it is hard to remember these disincentives when once again the anticipated serenity of a weekend (or a public holiday in this particular instance) is unattainable due to the suburban love of power tools and mowers. Both yesterday and today there has been a cacophony of tedium. Vacuum cleaners, quad bikes, angle-grinders, whipper-snippers and the ever-ready, every-present, ever-painfully noisy 2-stroke mower. I don't mind loud and late parties, I can deal with (if ungraciously) the thoughtless tumult created by feral children. I can even usually bear to endure the tortured screams and furious rampages of the domestically violent couples in the street. These, after all, are all are among the fundamental of human activities. Power tools are not.
How simple it would be to incorporate a small amount of programmable logic into these and other irritating items. It need not be networked to achieve the goals I have in mind. I just want none of these items to work on state recognised public holidays or on a weekend prior to 9am or after 6pm. Fair enough!
The proles have had long enough to self-regulate in these matters and have proven themselves incapable of doing so. It is time for the elite to assist them in this, as we do in so many other ways with our taxes, entertainments, intellectual specialisations (where do they think those plasma screens come from anyway? Santa's Freakin workshop?) and generally in resisting the spread of informational germs (it's true - stupid people are more likely to believe other stupid people. Sorry "easily influenced people"). Anyway, we could camouflage it as a clock, or a battery readout, or an FM radio and in this way it would become a feature the proles would aspire to owning and the phase-out would be swift. Those with a legitimate reason, and or the ability to read owner's manuals would be able to circumvent the programming and thus earn the ability to use these tools at these times, but I suggest to you that persons of such capacities probably have better things to do with their time during the targeted periods (such as, say, blogging about how the world could be a better, more loving place).
I could stop there. I could, really. There's no real need to tamper in a permanent way with the car of the idiot doing burnouts at 2am mid-week. There's no justifiable reason to apply any liquor rationing to the unemployed or those with criminal/violent records. There's no need to restrict the breeding .... No. Our freedoms as humans are absolute and inalienable. Well they might be if we in Australia had ever enacted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into law. Which we haven't. We aren't the only peoples to look the other way on this one, we're in good company (Malaysia, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Vatican City, China and more have all overlooked signing or ratifying the declaration). In light of what some signatories do feel ok about doing my software control proposition seems pretty innocent.
Yeah, really. It's for their own good.
... hey! What do you mean my access to the internet might be curtailed. That's not fair!
Fine. Frack you. Now where's that manual...