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Greenpeace's Custom Underwater Giant-Squid-Cam 188

Posted by Hemos
from the learn-more-about-it dept.
Seagull76 writes "Check out this 1 minute video with Greenpeace's underwater photo/videographer and deep sea toy specialist, Gavin Newman, aboard the Esperanza. After months of confronting whalers and pirates, some might envy the crew aboard the next leg of Defending Our Oceans who are heading to the beautiful Azores in the mid-Atlantic. For this leg of the expedition, the Esperanza has been equipped with state of the art monitoring equipment, including a remote operating vehicle (ROV) which can shoot video down to a depth of 300m, and a drop camera capable of reaching depths of 1,000 metres - giant squid territory! The ship will become part of the ongoing University of the Azores research program intended to establish greater scientific knowledge of the importance of deep-sea habitats and marine life. "
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Greenpeace's Custom Underwater Giant-Squid-Cam

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  • What all slashdotters really want to see is a giant squid - not Gavin's toys.

    And I have one for you. Giant Squid in its Natural Habitat [google.com]

    Seriously, youtube has an interesting video of a largish humbolt squid [youtube.com] and a dissection of a real giant squid at the London Natural History Museum. [youtube.com]

    Oh - and a Coral Cache Mirror [nyud.net] in case Gavin's video dies.
    • I'm actually kinda interested in the camera itself.

      What would be the hardest part about designing a camera to go 1000m deep?

      I would have thought that type of tech/know-how would be off the shelf by now.
      • What would be the hardest part about designing a camera to go 1000m deep?

        The pressure is around 100 times greater then at the surface. Thats around 1500psi.

        It's a considerable engineering challenge - but the video didn't really seem to go into that....
      • What would be the hardest part about designing a camera to go 1000m deep?

        I don't see the challenge myself, aside from in the budget. The hard part is that off the shelf components make it difficult.

        Find a transparent non-conducting liquid which doesn't compress and fill the device with it so there is air left inside the device or the individual components. The expensive part is ensuring the solid state components, lens, etc. has absolutely no air gaps and are filled with some kind of oil at very least.

        Make
        • How transparent is 3M Fluorinert?

          As for the casing, I remember reading some years ago in an issue of Popular Science or some similar magazine that the Russians had developped concrete subs that could widthstand tremendous pressures... so maybe that could be used.

          If you insulate your components properly, you could probably also sink them into the concrete and let it harden, leaving the required wires protruding for those essential external parts.
          • A camera is always going to have void space, but afaik, a 1000 foot camera isn't particularly difficult to do, it's just that the market is very small. Cameras with 200 ft. ratings are going to do much better sales, already being overkill for the millions of recreational divers.

            Heck, if your camera is remote, you could just drop a compressed gas cannister and keep the housing at equilibrium pressure. It might be difficult to test the optics on the surface, but by no means impossible.
    • The first link is a video of President Bush...
    • Definitely!

      With that headline I wanted to see a Remotely Operated or Autonomous Vehicle that looked like a squid, but would record what it saw through it's big creepy eye (cue closeup shot of the eye containing a ghostly aperature stopping down behind the lens with a faint, high-pitched whir) and transmit it back to a fuzzy monitor on a garbage scow, the video surrounded by black clad 20-somethings in knit caps, smoking thin brown cigarettes and led by a tall redhead knockout with a single minded passion to
  • Whoops.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jugalator (259273) on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @09:04AM (#15244511) Journal
    Misread the title as "Greenpeace's Custom Underwater Giant-Squid-Scam".

    Then I saw things about a toy specialist and it really got me wondering.

    Bah, as so often with misreads, the real story was boring in comparison. ;-)

    I want Greenpeace squid scam conspiracies with toy specialists! :-p
    • I misread it as "Greenpeace's Custom Underwear Giant-Squid-Cam".
      The real story proved boring to me, too. I was all excited to hear about that toy specialist's fancy underpants.
  • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @09:07AM (#15244518) Homepage Journal
    Just to clarify, the video is just this guy describing and showing the camera itself. There doesn't seem to be actual video from the thing viewable. Shame.
  • ... I think he must've been headbutted by a whale at some point!
  • Me too! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by amightywind (691887) on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @09:10AM (#15244538) Journal

    The ship will become part of the ongoing University of the Azores research program intended to establish greater scientific knowledge of the importance of deep-sea habitats and marine life.

    Giant squid have already been photographed [nationalgeographic.com] in their natural habitat by Japanese scientists. Greenpeace is a radical political organisation with little scientific credibility. Marine science is already in more capable hands. One can only wonder about their real motivations.

    After months of confronting whalers and pirates...

    It takes one to know one.

    • Re:Me too! (Score:3, Funny)

      by ozmanjusri (601766)
      Giant squid have already been photographed in their natural habitat by Japanese scientists.

      This is a better shot by the Japanese team; Squid [pbs.org]

    • "After months of confronting whalers and pirates..."

      What? They're killing pirates now?! But lack of pirates [venganza.org] is causing "Global WarmingTM".

      Damn hippies, you'll kill us all! I'll see you in pasta hell [venganza.org].
    • I can't believe Slashdot has stooped this low. Tentacle porn?!
    • Yes, Greenpeace is, "a radical political organisation with little scientific credibility". However, none of the scientific organisations pointed out what bottom trawling was doing to seamounts of the coast of New Zealand, or stood against the French bombing of Mururoa Atoll, the killing of whales under a "scientific" banner by the Japanese, nuclear waste shipments passing New Zealand, etc... Greenpeace have become a radical organisation to oppose the wholesale destruction of the planet for money. The reas
    • This was modded +5 Insightful !? WTF.

      Giant squid have already been photographed in their natural habitat by Japanese scientists.

      A single set of photos has been taken of this critter in the wild. Nothing more to know, time to close the book and move on!

      The rest of this post is just a rather lame slander which it isn't really worth replying to.

      You may not like Greenpeace, but before you go attacking them, what the hell have you done for your fellow Earthlings? And what's your scientific credibility to judge

      • A single set of photos has been taken of this critter in the wild. Nothing more to know, time to close the book and move on!

        Not at all. I am just pointing out that Greenpeace is not an innovator or indeed have any competence in this area. They are not a scientific organisation at all. They are good at harassing shipping from small inflatable motor boats. The Yemeni Al-Qaida terror cell that hit the USS Cole had similar skills.

        You may not like Greenpeace, but before you go attacking them, what the hel

        • sigh, I should just let this go, but...

          I am just pointing out that Greenpeace is not an innovator or indeed have any competence in this area. They are not a scientific organisation at all.

          And so they can't even try to shed light on something that isn't getting much "mainstream" funding ?! We know much more about the dark side of the Moon and of Mars than we do of the bottom of the ocean. Something like 95% of it is totally unexplored. I'll take all the help we can get.

          They are good at harassing shipping

  • GreenHypocrisy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by onyxruby (118189) <{onyxruby} {at} {comcast.net}> on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @09:12AM (#15244543)
    When will greenpeace end their days of hypocrisy and start sailing the seas in these nifty windpowered devices they call sailing ships? They use renewable energy, don't use polluting engines (much as greenpeaces current fleet does) and are arguably just about histories most proven technology.

    Of course then they would limited to actual research instead of political stunts. Almost all of histories most famous research ships were wooden sailing ships and greenpeace spits on the legacy.

    They need exposed as the frauds they are and for people to stop accepting the lie that they are an environmental group. They are a political group that has done more to harm environmental progress (look at their record on nuclear energy for a prime example) than anybody short of big industry.

    This coming from someone /has/ worked in the recycling industry, doesn't drive a big car gives to environmental causes and so on. Give money to legitimate environmental groups, live responsibly and let this political whore / quasi terrorist organization die.

    • When will greenpeace end their days of hypocrisy and start sailing the seas in these nifty windpowered devices they call sailing ships? They use renewable energy, don't use polluting engines (much as greenpeaces current fleet does) and are arguably just about histories most proven technology.

      You know what is even more ironic is that someone is actually developing sailboat freighters. I remember reading in a magazine (I don't remmeber which one) that sailboats might be a good way to move those huge ships ar

      • With the way fuel prices are going, I think shipping companies would love to be able to raise a mast on a clear, windy day and catch a free ride and save $50,000 worth of gas. I don't think there would be a ship like this without an engine at all (too many deadlines to make) but it makes sense if the weather is right.

        It's environmentally friendly *and* it saves money. That's the only thing that is going to make companies "go green" en masse.
    • Re:GreenHypocrisy (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Peyna (14792)
      I love how everyone is willing to cry "hypocrisy" the minute someone doesn't 100% practice what they preach. It's called practicality and the greater good. There are certain evils they are willing to accept in order to achieve their goals. Sure, they could completely abandon anything and everything which harms the environment, but then they'd be sitting in the woods alone all day and could not have any impact on society. Instead, they've decided that having one more diesel powered boat is a lot better t
      • agreed 100%. Still it makes some people feel better to slag off GP, not sure why, must be a testosterone thing
    • Wow, thats a great idea. Then, all the ships they are chasing could just leave them behind.

      Actually, all of the Greenpeace ships I have seen are both wind and diesel powered.
  • by de_smudger (971193) on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @09:12AM (#15244546)
    ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn! (oh come on, somebody had to didn't they ;)
  • Terrorist (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Should we really be glorifying these eco-terrorists?

    Next on Slashdot: The latest Al Qaeda gadgets! -- The IRA has produced a movie; it will blow you away! -- Take a look into the circuitry behind PLO suicide bombs!

    • Propaganda (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hsoft (742011)
      I guess we are all victims of propaganda. Myself, being a victim of Greenpeace propaganda, and american people being victims of Fox News (a.k.a. Bush administration) propaganda, flagging everyone not sharing their views as terrorists, part of the evil axis.

      What makes greenpeace terrorists? Have they killed anybody? Did they kill these whalers? Are they placing bombs on the most polluting factories? Are they invading Irak to force them to be ecologists (Operation "Spreading eco-freedom"!)? THAT would be eco-
    • Re:Terrorist (Score:5, Informative)

      by identity0 (77976) on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @11:36AM (#15245809) Journal
      Interesting that you would consider Greenpeace to be "terrorists". I'm taking a course on terrorism right now from a extremely right-wing professor, and even he nor the book we're using(which has whole sections on ecoterror) would consider Greenpeace to be terrorists.

      Perhaps you're confusing them with Earth Liberation Front [wikipedia.org], who commit arson, or Animal Liberation Front [wikipedia.org], who are the reason many biology labs have tighter security than datacenters these days.

      Greenpeace may be a bunch of annoying holier-than-thou hippies, but they are basically a activist org, not a full terrorist or revolutionary one.
      • "Terrorist" is a bit harsh to be calling Greenpeace folks. That said, they absolutely do vandalize property, regularly trespass, and some of their stunts are down right dangerous for all parties involved. Greenpeace is no Sierra Club.

        Personally, I loath Greenpeace. The little productive work they do in terms of raising awareness is offset by their vandal tactics that make being associated with them undesirable. While they are not "terrorist", the methods that they use have roughly the same affect. They
    • I thought it was the French that were the terrorists when it came to Greenpeace.
    • Do some more homework. That founder is a paid shill for the nuclear industry now. This was covered pretty extensively sometime last week on slashdot, IIRC.

      Anyway, here's a link with some info for you: Waikiki presentation [honoluluadvertiser.com].

      If you want info on the shill part, check his Wikipedia entry.

      Never mind the fact that he's now working with Christine Todd Whitman, who remains one of the most green-washed industry shills ever to come out of the great state of NJ. It's sad that CTW is considered an environmental
      • Anyway, here's a link with some info for you: Waikiki presentation.

        Which part of that article are you disagreeing with? That the timber industry replants its forests? That trees are renewable? That genetically modified crops are good for feeding the starving masses? Do you dislike the rice that has vitamin A to keep kids from going blind or the rice that can thrive in brackish water to alleviate starvation?

        If you want info on the shill part, check his Wikipedia entry.

        From what I can there see he believe
        • The wikipedia article clearly states that he has a paid psoition from a nuclear-energy consortium.

          I happen to agree with a lot of Moore's viewpoints -- but the fact that he was basically kicked out of Greenpeace and no longer believes they know what they are doing does not invalidate Greenpeace -- it just raises questions.

          And to imply that Greenpeace supports fossil-fuel energy because they are generally against nuclear is totally misleading. That would only be true if those were the only two energy op
          • The wikipedia article clearly states that he has a paid psoition from a nuclear-energy consortium.

            Right, and Greenpeace employees have paid positions from an anti-nuclear consortium.

            And to imply that Greenpeace supports fossil-fuel energy because they are generally against nuclear is totally misleading. That would only be true if those were the only two energy options.

            What other feasible options are there for baseload generation? I don't see Greenpeace advocating for improvement to the grid that could decr
            • My point is that there is a spectrum between "we can and should do whatever we want for our benefit" and "we should leave no footprint." Greenpeace is somewhere closer to "leave no footprint" though of course the members of Greenpeace vary in their opinions widely.

              When the intent is to determine and promote the ideal balance of human needs versus preservation of the environment, it's all based on the values we assign to each. And quite some time ago, Moore decided that he valued human use far more than
              • there is a spectrum between "we can and should do whatever we want for our benefit" and "we should leave no footprint." Greenpeace is somewhere closer to "leave no footprint"... it's all based on the values we assign to each.

                All true. I'm just not comfortable with Greenpeace's members, each with a full belly, deciding we shouldn't feed starving people however we can. I don't see any of them volunteering to switch places. I'm all for "leave as little footprint as possible" but not if human death and suffe
                • "Are you suggesting that Greenpeace leadership is pro-nuclear but continues to obstruct all efforts to reduce greenhouse gases with nuclear just for the purposes of fund raising?"

                  IT's not about just fundraising. It's also about identity. Greenpeace has always been anti-nuke -- it's a core part of the group. Greenpeace would cease to exist if the anti-nuke dogma were even seriously challenged at the higher levels.

                  BTW, most Greenpeace activsts I've known tend not to be the full-belly-appease-my-consci
                  • and that a lot of the GMOs out there exacerbate the problems they are trying solve (be it starvation or other things), even if they go in with the best intentions.

                    I've heard that too, but Norman Borlaug [wikipedia.org] seems to think they're a good idea, and he knows more about this stuff than anybody and truely put his life where his mouth is. As a conservationist I have to appreciate the wisdom of the Borlaug hypothesis.
                    • The Borlaug Hypothesis does, in principle, make sense. But his high-yield production methods cause other problems, like wealth distribution inequities (social), high demand for input (economic), and massive use of fertilizers and pesticides (environmental).

                      Eventually, the Borlaug Hypothesis falls apart anyway -- population growth is limited by, among other things, food supply. The Borlaug Hypothesis just buys us time until the world population level demands that we use the 'saved' land for agriculture a
                    • The only real solution is to stop population growth, or to actually cause a decrease in world population. Everything else is just a stop-gap measure until we reach a population equilibrium, for which famine and starvation is necessary to maintain.

                      It's not though. Education also stops the population growth rate. Western Europe is in decline and the US isn't too far behind. Free Asia is following as well.

                      Given the choice between famine and education, I'll take the latter every time. Either that or I'd lik
                    • The link between education and low population growth has not even come close to being demonstrated as a causative relationship.

                      Socioeconomic status is what connects these two data, not causation. If you normalize education across all borders, you'll still find disparate reproductive rates based upon economic status. And there is no way we can bring the entire world up to the economic status of the US, Western Europe, or even Free Asia at the current rates of consumption -- there is simply not enough ava
  • I don't know about squids, but going "deep sea diving" with a hippie pretty much guarantees you will see at least crabs.
  • Did anyone else expect (hope?) that this was an underwater camera disguised as a giant squid? It would be great for capturing those evil giant-squid hunters in the act. Maybe Greenpeace could use it to attack evildoers such as pirates, whalers, and Exxon tankers.
    • Did anyone else expect (hope?) that this was an underwater camera disguised as a giant squid? It would be great for capturing those evil giant-squid hunters in the act.

      You know, that's not a bad idea. So far we've got footage of the one living, active giant squid ever, and it was caught on a (suitably huge) bait line. We also have never seen Sperm whales actually hunting on their long dives; a National Geographic "Search for the Giant Squid" special a few years ago attached some cameras to the whales and

      • I'm in. But I'm a developer - the physical world is not my domain. I bet we could secure some funding for this if we had some experienced people. Who do you know who can build a submarine?

        Heck, I bet there is research money to be found in trying to build an underwater squid-like robot too. Anyone ever experiment with that type of locomotion before?
  • Hahahah IT BROKE! (Score:5, Informative)

    by jgaynor (205453) <<gro.ronyag> <ta> <noj>> on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @10:33AM (#15245107) Homepage
    Ironically, they broke it yesterday [greenpeace.org] by unexpectedly banging it against some coral.

    Around lunchtime, just as I was on a Defending Our Oceans project leaders conference call, and being cautiously optimistic about how well things are going out here so far - disaster struck the underwater video and stills research camera, affectionately known as the 'Drop-Cam'. While surveying a coral ridge it had crashed into a rocky outcrop and been broken into pieces.
    • by j-turkey (187775)
      Ironically, they broke it yesterday by unexpectedly banging it against some coral.

      ...and damaging or destroying the coral. Nice going, guys.

      • Oh yeah, because dropping the odd camera on some coral is really the same as killing off entire reefs.
        • Oh yeah, because dropping the odd camera on some coral is really the same as killing off entire reefs.

          Actually, they're pretty similar. Tourism has taken its toll on certain coral reefs, and just touching a coral head can kill the protective membrane and cause that region of the head to bleach (belaching is when the organism releases the xoozanthellae, or the algae that it survives on, which effectively kills the pollup). This is the same kind of activity that is killing entire reefs. So yeah, if eve

          • Yeah, but my entire point IS that not everyone is dropping cameras in reefs while doing research to protect the oceans (and reefs, themselves). I'm not talking about the many other people causing damage to reefs for whatever other reasons.
  • Oceans are pretty large and cameras don't look all that far (especially when it gets very dark, like in deep sea). How many giant squid do you think are there? Are they all hungry to become celebrities?

    I bet they won't see jack.
  • ...to keep an eye on the giant squid, you know. And the merpeople.
  • They were going to use giant-squid-cam.com for their videos, but they found out the domain was already taken by a porn site...
  • (Paraphrased from memory)

    Attendant: "So what killed you?"
    Kryten: "Some kind of giant squid."
    Attendant: "Oh, the Despair Squid? That shouldn't have killed you, you just blast it with the laser cannons."
    Kryten: "But Starbug didn't have any laser cannon capability."
    Attendant: "You're supposed to use the laser cannons on the Esperanto. It's an obvious clue! Esperanto means hope, hope defeats despair! No wonder you only scored 3%."

    (Ok, this ship is the Esperanzo... but still damned close.)

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