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UK's Public Cameras Listen For Trouble 195

Posted by Zonk
from the can't-get-away-with-anything dept.
You're probably already aware of the United Kingdom's large network of video cameras inspecting public places. News.com now reports that they'll be listening for trouble as well. Based on a model in use in the Netherlands, new cameras will be fitted to 'listen for aggressive tones,' such as those used during an argument. From the article: "The system works by putting microphones in CCTV cameras to continually analyze the sound in the surrounding area. If aggressive tones are picked up, an alarm signal is automatically sent to the police, who can zoom in the camera to the location of the suspect sound and investigate the situation. 'Ninety percent of violent cases start with verbal aggression,' Van der Vorst said. 'With our system, the police can respond a lot quicker to a violent situation.'"
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UK's Public Cameras Listen For Trouble

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  • Privacy? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by megrims (839585) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @02:33AM (#16982250)
    doubleplusungood
  • by Centurix (249778) <centurix AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday November 25, 2006 @02:35AM (#16982254) Homepage
    I let off some aggressive tones, I would classify the smell as Dutch too. Glad I live on the other side of the planet.
  • by heli0 (659560) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @02:39AM (#16982266)
    The cameras now have attached megaphones so they can scold you as well.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/new s/news.html?in_article_id=405477&in_page_id=1770 [dailymail.co.uk]

    The system allows control room operators who spot any anti-social acts - from dropping litter to late-night brawls - to send out a verbal warning: 'We are watching you'.
  • by gamer4Life (803857) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @02:45AM (#16982278)
    Ninety percent of violent cases start with verbal aggression


    And at least 90% of verbal aggression ends up leading to nothing that the police can go after. But who knows, maybe they'll have an adjustable tolerance level, or maybe the police will get their kicks out of watching people argue, like a soap opera or watching COPS.
    • Aggressive non-violent behaviour can be classified as :

      Behaviour likely to occasion a breach of the peace.

      or by the super duper Public Order Act 1986

      5 Harassment, alarm or distress [webtribe.net]

      (1) A person is guilty of an offence if he--

      (a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or

      (b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting,

      within the hearing or s
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25, 2006 @02:47AM (#16982286)
    People are yelling at each other. We better send the police to haul them away!
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by eighty4 (987543)
      IANAL (but I do have a law degree in the UK) and assault is defined as causing the victim to legitimately "fear for their immediate public safety" - no physical contact is necessary.

      Therefore, in the right circumstances agressive tones could constitute assault.
    • by Instine (963303)
      Is waveing a gun around a crime? well in many places yes. Is it doing any physical harm (as long as it isn't discharged) - No.

      I'm very glad for these. Whenever this sort of thing is mantioned on /. there's a huge flood of 1984 comments. The fact is, I've neever had anything but good experiences with common o'garden police in the UK. Riot police on the other hand are less friendly.

      But I had a gun pulled on me in the US, essencially for haveing long hair, as far as I can tell.

      If you empower the poli
      • by cayenne8 (626475)
        "If you empower the police and remove the guns from the populus, strangely enough, you get a safer, calmer 'freer' society."

        I dunno.....in areas in the US where they passed "concealed carry" licensing.....violent crime went down.

        It seems people are a little more 'polite' if they think you might be carrying.

  • Yes (Score:4, Funny)

    by LunarCrisis (966179) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @02:47AM (#16982288)
    'Ninety percent of violent cases start with verbal aggression,' Van der Vorst said. 'With our system, the police can respond a lot quicker to a violent situation.'
    Yes, in fact, they can even arrive at the scene before the violent situation errupts! Oh wait, didn't they already do a movie about that?
  • by arc.light (125142) <dbcurry@@@hotmail...com> on Saturday November 25, 2006 @02:50AM (#16982298)
    Mandate that every UK resident pay to have a tracking device and microphone implanted in their body. Since you couldn't trust UK citizens to police themselves, outsource the monitoring of these surveillance devices to India.
  • Movie Plot (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @02:55AM (#16982308)
    Sounds like a great opportunity for a denial-of-service attack. The terrorists want to blow up ALL OF LONDON!!! so they take 50 or so cell-phones, download custom ringtones made of people yelling at each other and then tape them up near the cameras in various innocuous locations around town.

    Then, when they want to do something nefarious in a place that happens to be in front of some cameras, they just have someone call a bunch of the phones and all the camera monitoring people will focus their attention elsewhere.

    Kind of like starting a fire on one side of town right before you go to rob a bank on the other side.
    • by Kierthos (225954)
      Hell, I was thinking pretty much the same thing, only I was going to suggest punk rock and/or death metal.

      OTOH, I could see this leading to an increase in the kind of polite, calm, refined criminals that we all look forward to being mugged by.
    • by sumdumass (711423)
      That or just organize some spur of the moment -every one yell something violently- flashmob. I could see people going arouns yelling "you stupid damned dog" or something simular just to trip the alarm on every camera.
    • by delphi125 (544730)
      The terrorists want to blow up ALL OF LONDON!!! so they take 50 or so cell-phones, download custom ringtones made of people yelling at each other and then tape them up near the cameras in various innocuous locations around town.
      Yes, this new invention will be useless until they develop some means of transmitting moving images from these so-called 'cameras' to Scotland Yard!!!
  • Year after year, technology gets abused more and more, intruding lives of people on greater and greater scale. But since these increments are little, only a handful of people talk or do something about it. The rest of the public just don't care. They keep voting for politicians that pass tigher and more privacy-intrusive laws, and send country's soliders to die for no purpose into God-forgotten countries. Shame! Shame to politicians, shame to irrogant public!
  • "oh the outrage! it's george orwell's 1984! those who seek security over liberty deserve neither! our privacy is totally gone, might as well install cameras in our toilets!"

    hysteria, histrionics, panic, fud... snore...

    in every single aspect of life you can imagination, moderation always wins. balance always wins. complexity always trumps simplicity. life is nuanced. it is made of balancing multiple complicated concerns. you can not bludgeon life with an idealistic platitude and expect to make sense or be wise

    what are losing attitudes in life? idealism. absolutism. fundamentalism

    the absolute adherence to an idea: "privacy above all else" is wrong. as would absolute adherence to ANY ideal be wrong

    every single ideal you can imagine, there are scenarios in society where justice and common sense demand that that ideal be broken

    so when would absolute adherence to privacy be wrong?

    well, how about if you live in a poor crime-ridden neighborhood and you can't even leave your house without being threatend with rape, mugging, and general loutish violent behavior on a daily basis? and guess what? if you lived in such an environment, you would LOVE these cameras

    and in fact, that is the case: ask residents of housing projects what they think of these camera systems: they LOVE them. they get a life again. they can go outside again. the thugs get chased out of the public areas

    and those who complain about these systems are usually your sort of middle class to upper middle class busy body who is disturbed by the idea of cameras... but not so disturbed about the prevalance of crime, because they don't have to deal with it on a daily basis. in other words, their opinion is formed on a half-truth, formed in a vacuum disconnected from reality that doesn't see all of the factors in play. propaganda is based on half-truths. it's an appeal to emotion, rather than an appeal to reason. "cameras bad! end of story!" the oh-so-wise slashdot crowd falls for it, brainwashed on the topic. a kneejerk, thoughtless reaction

    please, slashdotters: try to understand the exact nature of the world you live in. your antithetical, hysterical reaction to these camera systems is an opinion born in a vacuum of any other considerations. sometimes, in life, the choice is between a fuzzy, complex negative, and a slightly worse, also fuzzy and complex negative. not between an obvious negative and an obvious positive. but to register some of your opinions is to see that in your mind, its a no brainer choice between absolute good and absolute evil. uh... no

    some of you have opinions about these camera systems that seems to start with the assumption that the british government just likes to put up cameras and spy on its citizens for no good reason. can you possibly imagine a good reason why the government AND its people would want these cameras? or is life a stupid hollywood b-grade movie, where all government officials are nefarious schizophrenic's fantasy life cardboard cutout villains, cheerfully twittering their hairline moustaches, rubbing their hands together, boldly thinking up new negarious plots to remove all of your freedoms for... no good reason at all. just general cartoonish malice. right?

    can you imagine that there is actual reasonable problems these camera systems solve? can you imagine that the people installing these systems are actually well-meaning people? can you imagine that those who like these system are actually thoughtful concerned citizens happy with the cameras? no? yes? well: can you imagine a better realistic solution to the problem these cameras are solving because the privacy implications bother you? you can? good!

    because now we're constructively engaged in the subject matter, rather than registering your typical lowest common denominator knee-jerk propagandistic hysterical opinion about these camera systems

    it's tired. wake up. you live in a difficult world. to actually help and solve its problems just registering your holier-than-thou righteous indignation and unloading your hysteria doesn't actually help anyone. imagine that. address the real problems, and stopping stamping your feet like kids having a temper tantrum
    • by MBC1977 (978793) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @03:28AM (#16982406) Journal
      So in other words, you would willing give up freedom for security. To be honest as a member of the armed forces it is people like you who honestly scares me. I can deal with bullets flying towards me. I can deal with the possible IEDs on a road. I can even deal with dying if it comes down to it.

      What I can not deal with is the loss of freedom. I don't want to be tracked from point A to point B because somebody thinks they need to know about my whereabouts. I don't need my conversations with another individual recorded, no matter how loud or soft my voice gets. Considering I know more than a couple of students, professors, commanders, etc., who's voice gets EXTREMELY LOUD at times when engaged in a conversation.

      I don't need sensationalistic politics or politicians who feel to earn their paychecks they need to introduce some outrageous tracking and monitoring scheme, which essentially now makes the citizens feel like criminals. No society is free of crime, because Man has wants and needs and sometimes in some individuals those wants and needs are larger then others (in a negative way).

      To close, you may like living in a "Demolition Man" society, where everything is tracked and controlled. But eventually, such a society will foster members who are soft and weak, and unfit to take care of themselves. And then they will be overrun by someone who's utterly ruthless and without fear or respect of rules and laws.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by smallfries (601545)
        Privacy != Freedom. Maybe it was 200 years ago, but this is no longer the case. Privacy was an illusion that briefly flourished during the industrial revolution. Prior to that we (mostly) lived in small communities where the modern concept of privacy was unknown. Now we live in a society with the information technology to show that privacy is an illusion in our large-scale communities.

        Once privacy was seen as a support for freedom - if you don't know what somebody is up to then you can't stop them. In more
        • by cayenne8 (626475)
          "Public Privacy is the "right" not to be observed when you are in a public space - say a shopping mall. This doesn't exist. In public spaces we are observed all of the time by the other people in those public spaces. There is nothing to stop people corrolating that information to track us if they wanted."

          A lot of people put forth the argument that you have no 'privacy' while in public. Well, no, you never had privacy from observation....but, you have had the other part of privacy...anonymity. Sure, when y

        • It is not impinging on a right to freedom, it is just following through the obvious implication - if you are in a public space you are being observed.

          This is false on so many levels. First, there is not a person behind each camera watching it. The technology is way beyond the ability of people to harness it. Thus you have new technologies such as face recognition, gait recognition, to recognize specific persons. The implication you state is obvious is not really so. Shoplifters and Vegas Cheaters have found

          • Most of your comments are wrong but not really worth responding to. IE obviousness - yes, I was discussing small communities, not camera surveilance in an urban setting. Private companies are not the government and that is a separate debate etc. By railing against cctv you are buying into the illusion that we ever had any privacy in public spaces. My point was simply that the illusion is false. It is not cctv that is removing privacy - it never existed.

            But your final quote really does need some dissecting.
            • Private companies are not the government

              It doesn't matter who they are. The information can be readily bought. See here [govtech.net]. And it's all legal.

              And your kneejerk comments about Saddam are unwelcome. Saddam was not "above the law." He was the law. If you can't tell the difference then keep your nonsense to yourself. Look at any modern dictatorship and where their money goes and how big an intelligence agency they have. If you doubt the importance of this then consider the "intelligence" that led to his removal--

              • OK, my comments were kneejerk - just before lunch and I did find what you said quite offensive. Hunger and rational thought don't really mix well for me.

                Could you explain what you mean by the difference in being "above the law" and being the law. Specifically in the context of a dictator. Surely they are the same thing?

                The (lack of) "intelligence" that led to his downfall was the point that I was making. His grip on power was not created from the intelligence network. It was the brutal and ruthless applicat
                • I was trying to make a point that not even the mighty CIA could infiltrate Iraq. Such was his intelligence network. Also, I am not trying to imply that his sadistic torture and extermination weren't integral in keeping him in power. What made him powerful is jailing, torturing and executing specific political opponents(and their families). How do you know who is an opponent? By spying on them, making everybody fear him and opposing him. Caligula said "Let them hate me as long as they fear me" and this is ex
                  • Thanks for taking the time to write a detailed answer. The distinction that you make between being the law, and rising above it is quite an interesting distinction. It's certainly one that hadn't occured to me before. I'll have a read of the links that you provided, they look quite interesting.
      • On my daily walk to school I am seen by at least 4 cameras, and in school I am constantly monitored when on the corridors. When I go out on an evening I am monitored constantly in Leeds city centre. The restaurant I eat in knows how many times I've visited before because I pay by card.

        I don't feel worried about this. They are all public places. I *have* the freedom to do anything which isn't illegal in any of these places, although the responsible body may decide to throw me out in the school or restaurant
        • by cayenne8 (626475)
          "At home, I am not monitored or tracked in any way. I have not lost or any privacy at home, and I'll be damned if I let people try take it."

          People used to be as adament about privacy EVERYWHERE as you are about it in your home...but, that is rapidly disappearing.

          Guess what the next step is?

          :-)

      • "you would willing give up freedom for security"

        Err, nobody is giving antything up, to stop people setting up cameras would require new laws banning cameras, ( more rules => less freedom. Right? Or did I misread you?).

        I live in Australia and recently visited the UK, I drove 3500 miles around the UK & Ireland and my reaction was "what fucking cameras?". The ones I saw were mainly installed in "trouble spots", railway stations, pubs, busy roads, shops, intersections, ect, similar to what we have
      • by inKubus (199753)
        To close, you may like living in a "Demolition Man" society, where everything is tracked and controlled. But eventually, such a society will foster members who are soft and weak, and unfit to take care of themselves. And then they will be overrun by someone who's utterly ruthless and without fear or respect of rules and laws.

        You're talking about Dystopia [wikipedia.org], a "fictional society that is the antithesis of utopia. It is usually characterized by an oppressive social control, such as an authoritarian or totalitari
    • by houghi (78078)
      They start by taking away upcase. First they will take away uppercase at the beginning of a new line and before you know it, we won't have any privacy anymore at all.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)
      in every single aspect of life you can imagination, moderation always wins. balance always wins.

      Tell that to all the people in North Korea. Or Saudi Arabia.
    • by Anne Thwacks (531696) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @04:54AM (#16982684)
      I have said all this before, so its fairly well rehearsed. Obviously, I am a child of the 1960's :-)

      I live in London. There is clearly a group of people somewhere hell bent on stirring up paranoia to justify this stuff. London is at no more risk of violence than at any other time in the last 60 years, according to any credible statistics. The number if people being killed by terrorists (Islamic or otherwise) is massively down on what it was (and sure as hell not because of cameras)*. The number of innocent people being killed by armed police is perhaps a bit higher, but still lower than any big city in the USA.

      So what has changed apart from the availability of technology that can route backhanders to people with good connections?)

      When my parents were school age, their houses were being bombed and they were regularly machine-gunned by Nazi dive bombers while cycling to school. So when I was young, everyone thought it was perfectly safe to go outside and play on building sites or with farm machinery or wild animals, swim in the river, and in fact: Run along and play, don't hurt anyone, don't break anything, and come back when its meal time. Serious crime was reported in the press, but without salacious details, and sexual crime was reported only using long medical terms that most people could not understand, or be bothered to read.

      So we played with snakes, climbed over the rubble of bombed houses, dived into the river despite the abandonned prams and bicycles, made home-made fireworks, leapt of garage roofs and played ball in the road, and experimented with drugs and wierd music. Only a few of my friends were injured severely, and none died, except from cocaine! We knew damn well not to fall off roofs of two story buildings, cos landing carelessly of a gound flor roof hurt badly. We knew to be careful with home made explosives, because a friend nearly lost his hand, and we knew how to make and do things with any old stuff that came to hand.

      Todays parents are too old to remember this, and have media that tells them about every murder or rape fifty times a day. Children not exposed to minor risk are unable to comprehend that playing chicken with 125MPH trains is a bad idea, that driving a real car is not like "Grand Theft Auto" (especially as automatics are rare here, and there is nothing like a clutch in a computer game) so they steal cars and kill children by accident.

      * Terrorism in England mostly means the IRA - a bunch if Irish criminals funded by misguided Americans, and to some extent, misguided Irish. They killed loads of innocent people, and quite a few innocent animals too! This has declined because coverage of other terrorist groups on TV has shown them that Terrorist incidents are massive own-goals in terms of publicity. If the USA made it possible for all Palestinians and Iraquis to have a TV, then terrorism in the middle East would soon collapse. Why do you think the Taliban imposed a telly-ban? Yes I do have friends from the Middle East (on both sides).

      • by joe 155 (937621)
        "This has declined because coverage of other terrorist groups on TV has shown them that Terrorist incidents are massive own-goals in terms of publicity"

        Interesting, but wrong. They are still blowing up places, a homebase got it just the other day - it just doesn't get reported now. They did mention it in this weeks private eye though. Not a lot has changed in NI, hell, M. Stone tried to blow up their parliament yesterday (which is the strangest thing I've ever seen... why did he do that?)
        • Last time I checked the Oxford English Dictionary, "declined" did not mean "stopped". Sure its still going on, but much less than it was, especially in England, and the "political" justification for it is not as credible as it was. It will probably continue for many generations to come on a small scale, unless something stupid makes it flare up again. Stone was obviously a nutter - did you see what he ahd on him?

          Only God can achieve perfection. We have to tolerate some degree of badness in people. But Blai

      • by Rayonic (462789)

        If the USA made it possible for all Palestinians and Iraquis to have a TV, then terrorism in the middle East would soon collapse.

        Where do you get the idea that televisions are rare in Iraq? As far as I know, they (and satellite dishes) are quite common.

        And on the general subject of terrorism, it is quite clear that most terrorist attacks are done with the media in mind. I mean, why invite along that Reuters cameraman to film it? Why release neck-sawing videos?

    • by bersl2 (689221)

      in every single aspect of life you can imagination, moderation always wins. balance always wins. complexity always trumps simplicity. life is nuanced. it is made of balancing multiple complicated concerns.

      Moderation usually wins. Balance usually wins. But complexity is preferrential to simplicity only when the simplicity cannot suffice. Complexity for complexity's sake is a complete mess. Had problems with any bureaucracies lately?

      you can not bludgeon life with an idealistic platitude and expect to make sen

    • Don't mod this guy's argument up. Not only is it filled with straw men (See:" is life a stupid hollywood b-grade movie, where all government officials are nefarious schizophrenic's fantasy life cardboard cutout villains" for one) and emotional appeals (See: "well, how about if you live in a poor crime-ridden neighborhood and you can't even leave your house without being threatend with rape, mugging, and general loutish violent behavior on a daily basis?" for one), but its the same damn argument we hate whe

      • by JohnFluxx (413620)
        Say what? If you go out into a public place and start yelling aggressively because you're mad, then I hope indeed that the police do pay attention to you! And yes, you should work on that anger of yours.

        What if there was a policeman nearby? If you were yelling in public because you were mad, would you be surprised if that policeman watched you to make sure you didn't cause a further disturbance?

    • by Tim C (15259)
      I have a shift key you can borrow if you like.
    • First of all, thanks for presenting that opinion. It was worth saying, and you should not have been called a troll.

      I accept that most of the politicians involved in installing these new security systems have Good Intentions. Unfortunately, as they become more and more intrusive, they give us good reason to be afraid of the people running them. Rather than being transparent systems (see Brin's "The Transparent Society"), they're one-way windows on us citizens. Imagine that someday soon, some vast technolo
  • by oohshiny (998054) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @03:03AM (#16982340)
    Our lives have become safer than any time in history; what the hell do we need this stuff for? While the occasional murder or terrorist attack is sad and tragic, we could save far more lives by spending this money on public health.

    In addition to not giving us much bang for the buck, there is a grave risk that all this surveillance technology will be used by people to undermine our democracy.
    • by sumdumass (711423)
      While the occasional murder or terrorist attack is sad and tragic, we could save far more lives by spending this money on public health.
      You'll gte your public helth in our prison system. Jus keep staring inot the camera.
    • "we could save far more lives by spending this money on public health."

      Yeah but walking around worrying about being stabbed for the rest of your life kinda sucks too, and would affect me far more psychology speaking, than dying in cancer 40 years from now.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by zCyl (14362)
      Our lives have become safer than any time in history; what the hell do we need this stuff for?

      Don't complain, celebrate. Declare a national "Yell-at-a-Camera Day" and get everyone you know to participate. :)
  • We have setup a system similar to this that monitors gun shots in my city. I think anything further than that is too extreme and will waste police attention.
  • "Despite having three leeches attached for the past two weeks, the patient has shown no signs of improvement and is, in fact, becoming weaker. Increasing to four ..."

    KeS
  • by Reemi (142518) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @03:14AM (#16982370)
    The Dutch system, and I could not determine from the article if this is valid for the UK system as well, is continuesly filming but does not store the data.

    Once a certain sound is detected, the camera starts to record, including a previous time span (30 or 60 seconds) from the past. People are even advised to shout when being attacked or witnessing a crime!!

    This means, normal day privacy is protected and crime can be fought very efficient. The people living in that concerned district love the system.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by wheelgun (178700)
      I'm sure they do love the system. That's the scary part. It's also sad. The countries where these systems are blossoming are the same countries that sacrificed for decades to defeat the exact kind of societies they are turning into. When I was a kid there was a rumor that the KGB had all the parks in Moscow bugged. The idea that 'good guys' like the UK, Holland, and etc. would consider using such systems was simply not contemplated.

      • by Reemi (142518)
        But I guess you're missing the point here.

        The public opposed to installing permanent video surveillance but on the other hand demanded the police to take actions and make their street/neighborhood safer.

        Again, can't talk about the UK situation, but the Dutch case I'm aware of is considering a street that is known as very unsafe. Signs indicate there is camera surveillance and the people living in the street did not oppose installing this solution knowing that it will not be running 99% of the time.

        Note, thi
    • Now I am against the UK model like the next guy. The problem with public surveillance is that humans are operating it. Such a system can be abused in so many ways, from ogling hot chicks, over stalking your neighbour to racial profiling and monitoring dissident activities.

      If however the system is operated by computers who work with publicly known and approved heuristics and human operators are only allowed to watch if specific events occur, I am perfectly fine with that.
      • by mpe (36238)
        Now I am against the UK model like the next guy. The problem with public surveillance is that humans are operating it. Such a system can be abused in so many ways, from ogling hot chicks, over stalking your neighbour to racial profiling and monitoring dissident activities.

        Which dosn't leave much time for any actual law enforcement. It's all too easy to end up with a situation where actual security is reduced.

        If however the system is operated by computers who work with publicly known and approved heurist
  • Not very well, I suspect..
    • As somebody who has visited Napoli, I can assure you that "I'm going to fucking kill you and take all your money!" sounds pretty similar in any language.
  • Once you are in a shouting match, a little speaker 20 feet behind you won't be able to calm you down. Short of having some new content for youtube, this will do little. But as a backtracking system it will be scary...
  • Shweet (Score:3, Funny)

    by The Bungi (221687) <thebungi@gmail.com> on Saturday November 25, 2006 @03:21AM (#16982394) Homepage
    Next time I'm in London and I'm about to pop a cap in some ManU cracker at a pub I'll say "prepare yourself for the afterlife, dear" in a very soft voice. It sure beats "YOU"RE GOING DOWN MOTHAFUCKER!!!"

    $DEITY bless technology.

  • by Tablizer (95088) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @03:27AM (#16982402) Journal
    This will just encourage crooks to become mimes. It is one thing to be mugged, another to be mugged by a mime, for godsakes!
    • At least a mime artist would just pretend to beat seven types of crap out of you. You'll be fine as long as it's not Mimo, the literal mime.
  • As long as there are going to be cops monitoring public places by camera, this sounds like as good a way as any to tell them where to be looking at any given time. I think this has far more to do with narrowing down the information overload than actual additional surveillance. It would be almost physically imposable for any organization to monitor an entire city, regardless of how many cameras are in place. This is nothing more than a way to narrow that down into something manageable.
    • by sumdumass (711423)
      As long as they don't get dependent on it. It would suck for the crooks to imeadietly punch you in the throat before mugging you. Then you probably couln't yell if you wanted to and the cops would still be looking elswhere.

      God, Now we have a potentialy dangerous situation becoming possibly lethal because the cops are lazy, underfunded or streatched to thin. Brilient!
  • great idea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by eagl (86459) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @03:47AM (#16982466) Journal
    That's a great idea!

    Here's an extention of it - modern cable tuner boxes have to send some information back to the cable company, so why not just put a little microphone in the tuner boxes? Then the special police software can be fed the sounds from inside your house, and if there is any sound of violent disturbance, they can respond. It's commonly known that rape and murder often occur in the home, and we're finding out more and more that in this new age of terrorism, violent crimes against society often begin in the home as well.

    Since not everyone has cable tv, the government can put one of these boxes in everyone's house using the same infrastructure that tracks and enforces the TV tax. They have the customer records and housing database, so it's stupid to let such a volume of government collected personal information go unused.

    Think of all the crime we could stop before it's committed! If crime can be stopped at the point when it's still just griping about the government or your boss, then we'll all be safer.

    For those who don't THINK about what you read, reference "sarcasm" and "satire", along with "Orwell: 1984".
    • by pembo13 (770295)
      More importantly, think of all the chilren who may be saved from abusive parents, or spouses from their their significant abusive others. Yours is a great idea...Think of the Children
      • by eagl (86459)
        You're absolutely right, I had forgotten the children.

        With my idea, children won't have to worry about being abused over trivial things like bad grades or busting curfew. As soon as Dad threatens a spanking, the cops can arrest Dad for attempted child abuse. When I was 8, I sure wished the cops would bust in and arrest my parents when I got spanked for mouthing off to my parents when they told me to put away my toys. Why they couldn't have just let me be a smartass brat?

        Yea, think about the children and
  • To those people who think this is a good idea, let me tell you a few things about the British police as someone who lives in Britain.

    Our police only care about meeting targets on senior management graphs, they do not give a damn about solving crimes.

    This is why a motorist can be caught on camera and fined for going 6mph over the speed limit, yet someone in London who has their car set on fire by vandals has to wait *FOUR DAYS* for any sort of police response.

    I'm not saying this is just a police proble

  • They just need to listen out for the sound of happy hardcore eminating from a cheap_but_loud car stereos and then swoop in Minority Report style and arrest everyone under 25 wearing a hoody or baseball cap. ;-)
  • Statistics. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ihlosi (895663) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @05:38AM (#16982848)
    So, how many verbal arguments do not lead to violence ? Did they consider that too ? They better had, or they might be dealing with lots and lots of false alarms.
    • No such thing. Once you make the police show up at a crime, that hasn't happened, they'll haul you off and charge you with filing a bogus report.
  • 'Ninety percent of violent cases start with verbal aggression,' Van der Vorst said.

    But what percent of verbal aggression leads to violence? That would be the important statistic.

    For example, it is wet every time it rains, but that doesn't mean that every time it is wet it has rained. Or, to maintain crime statistics in the analogy, Every time there is a drunk driving accident, someone has gotten in a car. Therefore, should we monitor every home's garage for warning about drunk driving?

    I don't have a specif

  • Guys, the real reason for this is obvious... The guys watching the cameras want audio as well when they are watching people make out/have sex in public. The loudspeakers are just there for them to give instructions as well. "Hey, can you move that leg left, please? I can't see anything from this angle." It'll also sell better on the internet this way.
  • "As the name implies, you must also be watchful. Peace can be made or broken with a gun, a word, an idea, even a thought. Now, those who work against peace sow the seeds of discontent. They plant false stories, they undermine the public good. It's not because they are necessarily evil. It's because they don't know any better. They're rejected, they're unhappy, and they lash out in the only way they can. So, If we could be made aware of these problems as they occur, then we can find these people, we can talk
  • The cops will spend time looking after "regular" people having arguments, and ignore those pros who, silently, will take out the knives.
    Well they could solve that by assigning a police agent to every single webcam out there.
    Well this sounds *so* 1984..
  • You want a way to prevent "aggresive tones"?

    Well that's easy. Allow any law abiding citizen to carry a handgun. Create laws that allow any law abiding citizen to use deadly force in self defense. Prohibit civil law suits by criminals when law abiding citizens defend themselves. Prohibit any civil suit by anyone with criminal convictions.

    Bonus: Allow deadly force to protect property, not just people. Your home invasion rate will fall to near zero. Your Yobs will be reformed or dead (and good riddance too!)

  • How about the UK government invests in cameras that monitor /. for dupes. Whenever an "editor" green lights an "article" that is a duplicate, a voice could come on a loudspeaker that says, "Oy! We already 'eard about that a few weeks ago!"

Just go with the flow control, roll with the crunches, and, when you get a prompt, type like hell.

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