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Cheers - AE

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Two fingers, either way.

I'm having trouble working this out. On the one hand there's Australia talking about using fingerprint scanners for adults to use gambling machines...
PLAYING the pokies in the future could look very different, with the federal government considering mandatory digital fingerprint-recognition technology for gamblers.

The government has promised to introduce a ''full pre-commitment scheme'' forcing poker machine players to set binding limits on their losses.


Under a mandatory system, poker machine players would have to obtain a key from a shop or post office, where it would be configured to recognise the owner's fingerprint and pre-determined spending limit, said Phillip Ryan, director of the USB's maker, Responsible Gaming Networks. Gamblers would have to run their index finger over the key's inbuilt scanner to verify their identity before using a poker machine.
... which is bad enough. But on the other hand I hear via jewel thief cum blogger and parent, Dick Puddlecote, that fingerprint scanners are being used in British schools:
In October, we had a tour round the prospective secondary school of one of the little Ps (the girl). Our guide was a very bouncy year 8 kid who was subdued when showing us the science labs, but incredibly enthusiastic when explaining the lunch money machine.

Bouncy boy enthused, "It's really good! You just put your finger here and put your money in. It's well mega! But ...", he tailed off as his enthusiasm waned, "... you can use a card instead 'cos some people don't like using fingerprints", said he with an almost disappointed shrug.

A mum who was on the same tour appeared crestfallen and exasperated, "Why on earth would anyone not like that?", she gasped with a Helen Worth-style astonished look on her face as she glanced down at her kids whilst shaking her head in genuine disbelief.

After all, the recording of personal information is perfectly normal now, isn't it?
Which prompts only one response: holy fuck, what the hell were they thinking of and is that woman for real? I'm sure they think it'll solve bullying people out of lunch money, but it won't. Really, it won't. The bullies will focus their attention and aggression to get other things, or just beat up other kids for shits and giggles, knowing that the teachers will wring their hands and do nothing (paartly because they think the technology is making the problem magically go away).

So here's what I can't quite decide. Are British kids being softened up in a get-'em-while-they're-young type process, or are Australian pokie players in danger of being infantilised to, well, to a similar level to British secondary school children? Either way, I suggest we all hold up two fingers, prints inwards, to the idea.
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