back to article Skynet emerges in Greenwich, monitoring hearts to light switches

London's Greenwich Peninsula will become the testbed for new software promising to create the smart city of the future. The experiment, backed by science minister David Willetts, teams up tech houses Hitachi Consulting, Philips and McLaren Electronic Systems with Living PlanIT to work on the latter's Urban Operating System. " …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    Sounds perfect for a collaborative free software and open hardware project. It could be used by any city that wanted it and costs would be shared. I'm guessing it would save, oh, around a fucktonne or thereabouts of taxpayers' money. Just a thought.

    1. I'm Brian and so's my wife

      Re: £200bn?

      Given that it's an Olympic year, please convert your "fucktonne" into a more appropriate unit; the equivalent number of Olympic swimming pools or running tracks please.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lovin' the Olympics

    I love that the Olympics has come to one of the most decimated areas of the UK after the unfathomable (no one to blame except Council workers) credit crunch and banking colapses.

    There must be literally tens of unemployed corrupt bankers living on dole, this £200bn is just what they need and reward for their dilligent work over the years.

    Why don't we have the Olympics in London every 4 years as a reward, hell lets make it every year!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Run before they can walk ?

    One of the biggest improvements you could make, by "linking things up" would be to have total control of *all* traffic lights across the city (yes, including the pedestrian ones). So that you can even out flow, and avoid the common waste of time when a set of pedestrian lights goes red, 10m after a green junction light.

    However, in the name of dogma, ISTR councils aren't allowed to do anything to help private cars, but have to repeat the mantra of public transport.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's deliberate

      The point of the exercise is to slow you down.

  4. Blofeld's Cat


    Some quick Googling reveals that the Greenwich scheme is called the RAPTOR project, which is not deeply reassuring.

    "It's very simple Mr Bond, if your government fails to meet my demands, I am going to reduce the Greenwich Peninsular to chaos."

    "You mean you will use Living PlanIT's UOS network to manipulate the utilities, street lights and road signs?"

    "No Mr Bond, I'm going to put three cones on the A102."

    1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

      Re: Hmm...

      Aaaaaggghhhhh... Nooooooo not the cones, please I'll tell you what you want to know, please anything but the cones

  5. WanderingFool

    Considering most of Greenwich can't even get high speed fibre from BT or Virgin, you'll excuse me while I laugh about the smart cities of the future. Oh sure, the exchange is wired they say, now try to find a cabinet.

  6. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge


    Don't you mean Stuxnet aided and abetted by horny memory stick sharing?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Skynet?

      SmugMug already built Skynet... they started calling their Amazon EC2 control software that after it went haywire and spun up something like 2000 server instances in 15 minutes.

      Hopefully this one is good for a laugh and lessons learned too.

      1. Scorchio!!

        Re: Skynet?

        Skynet 1 first became operational in 1969 but failed within one year. 2A was a failure and it was decided to use thrusters to move it from orbit to a destructive earth re-entry. Later in 1974 2B was launched and was successful. Since then the project has gone from strength to strength and I sometimes find myself wondering who stole the name from whom, until I look at the Wikipedia and IMDB entries and see it was an original script. Anyhow, Skynet has always been a useful tool, though the Skynet tower and radome like cover in my time of service reminded me more of War of the Worlds than Arnie.

  7. ranger

    Is it only a matter of time before someone in the MOD decides to hook it up to the real-life Skynet then? I think we should be told... ( for those that aren't aware :-) ).

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "and smart vests that have micro sensors attached to monitor heart rates and other vital signs."

    Then they'll be able to see if you get a slightly hightened heart rate while walking past the local school.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Lets hope they add eye detection to see if its the children or the school mistresses you are oggling!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The UK has the strength to exploit..."

    "The UK has the strength to exploit..." blah blah...

    With help from Japanese Hitachi and Dutch Philips.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: The UK has the strength to be exploited

      Smart buildings are great money makers. Get locked into a long lease. Get to pay endless hordes of service engineers to try and figure out why the smart buildings are playing dumb and everyone is randomly freezing or sweating their nadgers off. Millions of sensors around Greenwich means billions in supply and service contracts. What's not to like?

  10. John A Blackley


    I don't care if Skynet gets control of Greenwich's utilities. What I fear is someone smart enough to take all of our existing surveillance systems and sell the joined up intelligence package to Whitehall.

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