Well, this is disturbing. But I suppose that's the point.
As reported in Wired, two mischievous-yet-dead-serious activists have developed an eavesdropping lamp device that records nearby conversations, then automatically posts transcribed audio snippets to Twitter.
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The Conversnitch - created by Brian House and Kyle McDonald - is a DIY device that can be assembled for less than $100. The components? A credit-card sized Raspberry Pi computer, a microphone, an LED light and a plastic flower pot. When put together, the device can be screwed into any standard light bulb socket - that's how it's powered - and it will record and upload audio via Wi-Fi.
Those audio files, in turn, are transcribed via Amazon's Mechanical Turk service - an online marketplace that includes on-demand transcription services. Once audio becomes text, snippets of the captured conversations are posted directly to the Conversnitch Twitter account.
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The creators have already deployed Conversnitch in several locations. On the project's Vimeo page, you can see operatives installing the surveillance device in a number of public and private spaces - a restaurant, a library, a bedroom. Check it out below.