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Prototype System Blocks Digital Cameras 494

lee1 writes "Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have completed a prototype device that can block digital cameras. The team in the Interactive and Intelligent Computing division of the Georgia Tech College of Computing used off-the-shelf equipment (camera-mounted sensors, lighting equipment, a projector and a computer) to scan for, find and neutralize digital cameras. The system works by looking for the reflectivity and shape of the image sensors and saturating them with a thin beam of visible white light. The principal applications are expected to be protecting areas such as government buildings and trade shows against clandestine photography, stopping unauthorized amateur photography of, for example, shopping-mall Santas (really!) and defeating video copying in theaters. The countermeasure: film." Sounds perfect for copyrighted public spaces.
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Prototype System Blocks Digital Cameras

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  • by Solra Bizna ( 716281 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @01:59PM (#15563332) Homepage Journal

    Does it just "block" the cameras, or does it destroy them?

    Either way, I hope this comes in a personal unit. It'd be a nice way to avoid being photographed at family gatherings.

    -:sigma.SB

    • by Cleon ( 471197 ) <.moc.oohay. .ta. .24noelc.> on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:05PM (#15563379) Homepage
      Seems like it just disrupts the pictures taken at the time, which would be very commercially useful. Honestly, I hope it doesn't become very commonplace; I rather enjoy seeing the random crap people take pictures of with their cell phones.

      Personally, I'd rather see cell phone jammers become more common--in restaurants and theaters, especially.
      • Re:My question is... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:20PM (#15563535) Homepage Journal
        C'mon...the most OBVIOUS use would be in defeating the photo radar boxes (revenue generators) the cops keep putting out. Hell, if they could develop a 'personal use' wearable system like this, you could 'disappear' from all the cctv they're putting out more and more in the US. Hmm...will this system work with CCTV?

        More and more I think the Monty Python "How not to be seen" skit is less of a skit these days, and more of a reality.

        • by IAmTheDave ( 746256 ) <basenamedave-sd@yahoo. c o m> on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:37PM (#15563706) Homepage Journal
          C'mon...the most OBVIOUS use would be in defeating the photo radar boxes (revenue generators) the cops keep putting out. Hell, if they could develop a 'personal use' wearable system like this, you could 'disappear' from all the cctv they're putting out more and more in the US. Hmm...will this system work with CCTV?

          Ah... but it is for this very reason that owning one will be immeidately illegal for common citizens, but perfectly fine for government agencies.

        • Most photoradar boxes are (were at least) easy to defeat.

          I won't spell it out for you, but here is a hint.

          They use polarized film over the lens to cut back on windscreen glare.

          • by drsmithy ( 35869 )
            Most photoradar boxes are (were at least) easy to defeat.

            Wouldn't you need to know the "angle" of the polarisation filter for that to be effective ?

      • Re:My question is... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by dougmc ( 70836 ) <dougmc+slashdot@frenzied.us> on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:21PM (#15563541) Homepage
        Personally, I'd rather see cell phone jammers become more common--in restaurants and theaters, especially.
        Of course, these devices are generally illegal in the US, and probably most other countries.


        You can block the signal, but you can't actively jam it. If you want your movie theater to block cell phone signals, you make it into a faraday cage (which is probably going to be difficult when you need to block microwaves -- just a few inches open is all you need for a signal to get in) and then cell phones won't work.

        If you wanted some extra flexibility in that setup, you could set up some dipole antennas for the various cell phone bands in and out of the shielded movie theater, and set up circuits to connect them inbetween movies and break the connections when the movie starts. That way you could turn it on and off ...

        I'm not saying that this is a good idea, only that it would be legal. (But being able to turn it on and off like that? I'd say it qualifies as clever if nothing else.)

        Personally, I think that technological solutions (jammers, faraday cages) to etiquette problems (talking on your cell phone and disturbing others) are a mistake, and I feel that people who advocate such drastic measures just to prevent themselves from being inconvenienced are more rude than the people they complain about. You don't like the person next to you talking on his cell phone? Don't ask the owners/government to make it so it won't work -- instead, ask the guy to stop, and remind him how rude he's being.

        I'd be mighty angry if I was at the movies, and the babysitter couldn't call me and let me know that my children had hurt themselves and was in ICU at the hospital. Sure, I set the phone to vibrate, but beyond that, if somebody calls me, I want to know about it.

        • Re:My question is... (Score:3, Interesting)

          by dr_dank ( 472072 )
          Personally, I think that technological solutions (jammers, faraday cages) to etiquette problems (talking on your cell phone and disturbing others) are a mistake, and I feel that people who advocate such drastic measures just to prevent themselves from being inconvenienced are more rude than the people they complain about. You don't like the person next to you talking on his cell phone? Don't ask the owners/government to make it so it won't work -- instead, ask the guy to stop, and remind him how rude he's b
        • by mrbooze ( 49713 )

          You don't like the person next to you talking on his cell phone? Don't ask the owners/government to make it so it won't work -- instead, ask the guy to stop, and remind him how rude he's being.

          Yes, nothing makes a movie-going experience pleasant for everyone more than a fight breaking out.

          Telling people to shut up doesn't work. I've been in plenty of theaters where multiple people are yelling at someone to shut up and just getting ignored or a "fuck off" in response.

          This is all the sort of thing that usher

        • by Gorshkov ( 932507 ) <AdmiralGorshkov AT gmail DOT com> on Monday June 19, 2006 @03:04PM (#15563967)
          I'd be mighty angry if I was at the movies, and the babysitter couldn't call me and let me know that my children had hurt themselves and was in ICU at the hospital. Sure, I set the phone to vibrate, but beyond that, if somebody calls me, I want to know about it.

          People have been dealing with that just fine since pagers first started coming out.
          When you go to the theater, you leave your pager with an attendant, and he records where you're sitting ..... if something happens, they come in to get you, you LEAVE, and use the phone. All without disturbing anybody else.

          And lets' face it - it's s SHITLOAD more likely that you're gonna get called by some wanker who wants to know if you've picked up the cheese dip for friday's big game thatn to get a call that a close relative just died in a car crash.

          And a partially aborted rant ..... what the bloody hell is people's obsession, with being in touch with the entire world 24/7? What the hell is wrong with NOT being wired for an hour or two?
        • by tfoss ( 203340 )
          Personally, I think that technological solutions (jammers, faraday cages) to etiquette problems (talking on your cell phone and disturbing others) are a mistake, and I feel that people who advocate such drastic measures just to prevent themselves from being inconvenienced are more rude than the people they complain about. You don't like the person next to you talking on his cell phone? Don't ask the owners/government to make it so it won't work -- instead, ask the guy to stop, and remind him how rude he's b
        • Obvious solution? A 'quiet area' signal. If a phone recieves such a signal (Which can come from a low-power transmitter in places such as theatres and cinema) then it automatically switches to vibrate.

          Perhaps have different types of signal, so one disables the ringer but leaves vibrate on, one forces the backlight to turn off (So no glare), one disables the camera (good for schools) etc.

          Obviously these would only be 'hints' to the phone and in special cases, such as on-call surgeons, they could be disabled
      • by Karma Farmer ( 595141 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:26PM (#15563596)
        Personally, I'd rather see cell phone jammers become more common--in restaurants and theaters, especially.
        If someone is talking in the theater while you watch a movie, talk to the manager and demand your money back. If enough people did this, the theaters would hire ushers.
      • Personally, I'd rather see cell phone jammers become more common--in restaurants and theaters, especially.
        Unfortunately, cell phones operate in the RF spectrum regulated by the FCC (or other government body in other countries) so jamming is illegal. However, light transmission is not yet regulated by the FCC, so the camera jammer is legal... so far. As long as it doesn't have intensity levels that could cause eye damage (like laser pointers).
    • Since this itself uses a digital camera, won't it just poke its own eye out?

      A friend of mine has a camera with a few pixels shot out by a laser. Wasn't particularly powerful, but was a bit more than needed to temporarily blind a camera.

    • Yes, I was thinking more in the line of Earth to Camera missile, tipped with depleted uranium and featuring a nice shaped copper charge for good measure.

      I wonder if in ground testing the missile achieved its target and removed the offensive camera capabilities as well as the camera-man and whether it was extra successfull in clearing out the room.
    • Sounds like a great way to stop the paparazzi... They should make portable systems and sell them to celebrities to mount on their cars...
    • SLRs (Score:2, Interesting)

      by O_at_TT ( 953533 )

      Won't help you if your family picture takers use SLRs. No destruction, and not even blocking!

      FTA:
      "There are some caveats, according to Summet. Current camera-neutralizing technology may never work against single-lens-reflex cameras, which use a folding-mirror viewing system that effectively masks its CCD except when a photo is actually being taken."

      Seems to make the technology a little useless. SLRs are cheap nowadays (um, relatively speaking) and many amateur photographers use them. I guess it only pr

  • Misuse? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by neonprimetime ( 528653 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:01PM (#15563348) Homepage
    Couldn't this have terrible issues of misusage? Government could block off any area they desire ... no pictures allowed (we could never uncover conspiracies then). It sounds like it's a technology for the power hungary.
    • Re:Misuse? (Score:5, Funny)

      by dr_dank ( 472072 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:07PM (#15563400) Homepage Journal
      It sounds like it's a technology for the power hungary.

      And just what does the utility company in Budapest have to do with it?
    • Re:Misuse? (Score:3, Interesting)

      bank robbers will love this as well as meny others how don't what to be seen
    • To Quote Summary (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Omestes ( 471991 )
      The countermeasure: film.
      • Re:To Quote Summary (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )
        Another countermeasure -- slap a filter on your lens. If you had to you could go with one way glass, but I doubt you'd have to go that far. If these things can't recognize your sensor they won't try to block it. If they turn them up to super paranoid they'll start zapping people in the eyes. I'd be happy to sue if the MPAA's camcorder countermeasures shot me in the eye in a dark movie theatre.
    • by hummassa ( 157160 )
      Finally a countermeasure for those pesky speeding-ticket cameras that plague my city!!!! Down with the 60km/h (~37mph) limit!!!
    • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:35PM (#15563686)
      This one ranks pretty high up on the "PhD idiot" scale. What I mean is that it continually amazes me, working in higher education, how people can be so educated yet know so little. The quote "An expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less until he knows everythig about nothing" really rings true. You see plenty of soltuions developed that completely and totally fail to account for the realities of the world.

      In this case, the problem is the way that a CCD is detected. They say they do it by checking it's reflection propreties. According to the article CCDs are retroflective, meaning they send light back to it's source, they don't scatter it. Ok fine but you think that will work reliably? Even if you get it so a system doesn't generate false positives (which will be a big problem, it's not like CCDs are unique in this property) what do you do when someone sticks a filter on their lense that changes the properties? I'm sure teh sense works fine when it's just a glass lense that does nothing but focus the light. I'm sure it doesn't work at all if you put the equivilant of mirror glass on the lense.

      I don't see this going anywhere on a large scale, espically since it would be hell to make it pick up and deal with long range lenses. It's not hard (if a little expensive) to get a lense that gets good shots at 500+ metres. How do you deal with that?
  • by mrbill1234 ( 715607 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:01PM (#15563349)
    In the UK many fixed speed cameras are digital - as are the automatic number plate (license plate for you americans) recognition for the congestion charging zone in London.
  • by grogdamighty ( 884570 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:01PM (#15563350) Homepage
    Nothing to see here, move along...
  • My Eyes My Eyes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stormcrow309 ( 590240 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:01PM (#15563352) Journal

    I can't wait until they blind a few people testing this. I might want to go to concerts without my contacts or glasses.

    Honestly, I know they will try to make sure that they don't accidently get someone's glasses. However, when some boffins tried to create an active cellphone jammer for planes, it coded a guy by stopping his pacemaker during the tests. Doesn't make me feel real snazzy about the idea.

    • And what happens when retinal implant-type bionic eyes [popsci.com], take off?

      I suppose "Mr. Smith, here are your new eyes; just watch out for movie theaters and the government." will be the standard disclaimer, huh?

  • "The system works by looking for the reflectivity and shape of the image-producing sensors used in digital cameras."

    This means that spies could just design and use cameras which look non-suspicious by the sensors. And then again, what will happen when common glasses have integrated cameras in them?

    As usual, this kind of systems can only block the legitimate public (which tries not to break any laws), while the truly dangerous people just use more advanced technology.
    • by Billosaur ( 927319 ) * <{wgrother} {at} {optonline.net}> on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:09PM (#15563420) Journal

      This means that spies could just design and use cameras which look non-suspicious by the sensors. And then again, what will happen when common glasses have integrated cameras in them?

      Even easier: since this system will eventually work off infrared frequecise, you merely cover you lens with a substance the reflects or absorbs infrared light. Shouldn't matter to the camera and then you've neutralized the scanning portion, rendering the rest obsolete.

      • Well, considering that most consumer cameras come with IR filters in front of the CCD already (IR throws off the color balance of cameras, it's lower cost to block the IR rather than compensate for the color shift), it's a system that won't work to begin with.
    • by homer_ca ( 144738 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:18PM (#15563513)
      "This means that spies could just design and use cameras which look non-suspicious by the sensors."

      You mean like a digital SLR with a mechanical mirror shutter? The CCD is completely blocked off until you take the picture.
    • Wouldn't these cameras they "design" to defeat this system be SLR's? [wikipedia.org] When an SLR isn't taking a picture, the mirror's down and the light bounces up through a prism and into the viewfinder for composing the shot. When you take a picture, the mirror momentarily flips up to reveal the sensor, then flips back down again. Unless their system is really fast (detects the sensor and sends out out the beam in the hundredth of a second or so the mirror's up), it's hard to picture it blocking any SLR.
  • Unbelievable (Score:4, Insightful)

    by realmolo ( 574068 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:03PM (#15563364)
    Expect to see this system installed at EVERY amusement park, and every landmark, and every tourist attraction.

    The Powers That Be are determined to make sure that ANY information the masses have access to is paid for.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:03PM (#15563369)
    So... SLR-style cameras and cameras using CMOS sensors are invisible to the detector. Nice.
  • prince concert (Score:3, Informative)

    by Brigadier ( 12956 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:04PM (#15563373)


    After seeing a lady manhandled and her camera destroyed at a prince concert. I can now see something like this being very profitable. Most concerts don't allow cameras. But people sneek them in all the time. especially camera phones.
  • by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:05PM (#15563386) Homepage Journal
    until they send a white laser beam into your eye glasses.

    I imagine that based on the description of the detection system it should be possible to come up with a lens filter for digital cameras, that will let the light onto the CCD, but will scatter the light that is reflected back, thus negating this detector technology.
    • all you would need is a good quality polarizer filter.. they already exist and to be honest .. i never take mine off. although i use a DSLR so this stuff would be useless already.. but that is mute.

      if you have a polarizer then the light they are sending out woln't be able to see the ccd unless you are trying to take a picture OF the light emiter.. and even then the reciver would more than likly not see the reflection let alone be able to tell the shape of the reflection as it would more than likly be dist
  • Okay, so CCD's are retroreflective...do CMOS sensors have the same property?
  • Way too dangerous. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rob T Firefly ( 844560 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:06PM (#15563392) Homepage Journal
    TFA: "Once a scanning laser and photodetector located a video camera, the system would flash a thin beam of visible white light directly at the CCD. This beam - possibly a laser in a commercial version - would overwhelm the target camera with light, rendering recorded video unusable."
    Visible light would screw up the whole "darkened theater" concept, would it not? How irritating would it be to try and watch a movie with Laser Floyd going on all around you?
    "Researchers say that energy levels used to neutralize cameras would be low enough to preclude any health risks to the operator."
    And how safe is it for the person whose contact lenses are mistaken for camera lenses, who gets a pair of beams to the eyeballs? Or the person with a particularly shiny shirt button, which reflects the beam into someone else? Additionally, how complex would the system have to be to cover every geometric point in a room, and also detect lenses behind filters or one-way mirrors?

    This whole thing seems way too dangerous and impractical to even think about commercial use yet.
  • Old School (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The Angry Mick ( 632931 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:06PM (#15563399) Homepage

    So basically, if you still want to be a photographic snoop, use a box camera.

  • by Espressoman ( 8032 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:08PM (#15563410)
    This might be practical for simply preventing happy snappers from taking photos of things you'd rather not, but I fail to see how this will prevent determined people from getting the pictures. For starters, a long tight baffle attached to the lens of a conceiled camera would be very difficult for the system to pick up on, *and* it would be very difficult for the light beam to get to the lense as well.

    The more practical and up-front approach would be to x-ray everybody and take their cameras off them.
  • Then someone will come along with a similar device that targets the blocker. Or a proper mirror setup...
  • If this system is used to disable digital cameras, and this system becomes widespread, then will we see a resurgence and acceleration in the development of film cameras.

    Don't throw away your old Canon/Mamiya/Nikon yet!

    Of course, this will work until owning analog cameras is made illegal.

    • Of course, this will work until owning analog cameras is made illegal.

      And we already have the phrase for this: "plugging the analog hole."

      Please note that the scatalogical jokes have already been made and re-made for this phrase. Don't bother.

  • by Ancient_Hacker ( 751168 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:12PM (#15563456)
    This isnt a real brain-teaser for those that might want to photograph whatever they want:
    • The first person that gets accidentally zapped in their eye will sue for $100,000,000. That will stop this technology right there.
    • Even easier, just mention the above scenario to a corporate lawyer or legislator-- whammo, you don't even need one painful example.
    • Put your camera behind a little piece of burlap, cheesecloth, grille-cloth, or similar material. The camera will be able to see out, with maybe a f-stop or two of degradation. The super-anti-spying sensor will not see a thing.
    • Go to 7-11 and buy a pair of $3.99 cheap mirrored sunglasses. Put the sunglasses over the camera lens. The soooper sensor will see a mirror. Camera will see the world just fine, a f-stop or three dimmer but no sweat.
    • Go buy a square yard of reflective window-tint material. Cut it into 1 inch square pieces. Sell them ion eBay as "Miracle anti-sbnooping technology" for $4.99. $$Profit$$$!!
  • "The prototype device,... uses off-the-shelf equipment - camera-mounted sensors..."

    You just need to buy one of these and use it against itself to neutralize the digital cameras dectector.

  • In the 1960's Supermarionation [wikipedia.org] based TV show Thunderbirds, the aircraft were equipted with camera detectors which would help International Rescue keep their technology secret.

    I always thought that the idea of a camera detector required a little more suspension of disbelief than usual.

    I guess Gerry Anderson is now vindicated.

  • Easily defeated: (Score:2, Interesting)

    by toganet ( 176363 )

    If the light is visible, just take two pictures:

    1. During the first picture, look for the source of the beam of light.
    2. Determine the path of the beam to your camera.
    3. Place hand (or other object) in path of light beam.
    4. Take second picture.

    This method may require multiple pictures in order to facilitate secondary image processing to remove images of your hand.

    Alternate method: Substitute raised middle finger for hand

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm guessing that I could hide a camera from this device the same way I hide it from people. A fine mesh (like nylon stocking) in front of the lens renders it non-shiny enough that someone can stare at quite a large lens without realizing that it is a lens.

    If the device has enough power to saturate a ccd, it has enough power to saturate someones eyeball. So, someone is temporarily blinded or startled. They trip ... call the lawyers. Don't try to tell me that the system is designed not to do that. All k
  • by igb ( 28052 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:18PM (#15563515)
    OK, given thirty seconds, let's think.
    • SLR Camera (that's acknowledged in the article) --- the sensor isn't revealed except during the actual taking of the picture, the rest of the time there's a mirror in the way.
    • Ordinary digicam, but use the optical viewfinder and keep your hand over the lens until you take the picture.
    • If they're using wavelength X for the detection process, just use a filter that blocks that wavelength and work in black and white (perfectly acceptable for most trade show spying)
    • Polarising filter will probably screw things up.
    • Lens Hood would mean the detection system would need to be on-axis.
    • Wear old CCDs as jewelery.
    ian
  • Dupe... (Score:3, Informative)

    by GillBates0 ( 664202 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:19PM (#15563528) Homepage Journal
    An old one, but a dupe, nevertheless: New System to Counter Photo and Video Devices [slashdot.org].

    New System to Counter Photo and Video Devices
    Posted by ScuttleMonkey on 19:01 19th September, 2005
    from the movie-studios-rejoice dept.
    Incongruity writes "News.com is reporting that a team from Georgia Tech has developed and demoed a system that actively searches for and effectively blinds cameras and camcorders within a 10 meter radius." From the article: "In this system, a device bathes the region in front of it with infrared light. When an intense retroreflection indicates the presence of a digital camera lens, the device then fires a localized beam of light directly at that point. Thus, the picture gets washed out."

    If it's not a dupe, it's certainly a very close article, which should occur in the "Related Links section". Yay! for my l33t search skillz.

  • If these realy work it will be the end of speed and red light cameras.

    I can see these being mounted on the front and rear dashboards of every car.
  • yes, please (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tom ( 822 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:30PM (#15563628) Homepage Journal
    Might also work as a countermeasure against the increasing permanent surveilance we're coming under.

    If there were a device that disables CCTV, and it's cheap enough to buy and light enough to carry, I know I would have one with me and switched on all the time. I'm sick and tired of being treated like a (potential) criminal "for my own protection".
  • Digital SLRs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kaa ( 21510 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:30PM (#15563630) Homepage
    As described, this system will not work against *serious* digital cameras -- digital SLRs. In these cameras the CCD sensor (or, nowadays, more often the CMOS sensor) is hidden behind a mirror till the moment of the shot when the mirror flips away for a fraction of a second.

    Not to mention that in order to work the system will need to constantly scan everything with, presumably, beams of visible light. I doubt this will work out well at most places...
  • So how fast... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by payndz ( 589033 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:31PM (#15563641)
    ..does the 'blocking' device redirect its beam? If it's over a second, then the means to defeat it is easy enough:

    1: Person 1 aims digital camera at 'forbidden' target.
    2: Blocking device directs beam at camera.
    3: Person 1 sees bright light in viewfinder, gives thumbs-up.
    4: Person 2, standing a few feet away, whips up second camera and takes picture.
    5: Profit!

    And I'm sure somebody smart enough could devise a simple device to cover up a camera's CCD until an instant before the picture was taken. It could be called something like a 'shutter'...

  • Okay.. i just read through all the +4 comments, didnt bother to RTFA

    but.. this says "DIGITAL CAMERAS"

    uhh... FILM!

    they still exist right?!?!

    LONG LIVE THE ANALOG HOLE
  • The article linked in timothy's little sidenote is from January 2005 -- 18 months ago. It's no longer restricted, and hasn't been for a while. Just because you hear it on the Internet doesn't mean it's true.
  • by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:34PM (#15563681)
    Place it at the back of a 6" tube and unless the blocker is in a very narrow apeture, it is not going to see the camera nor is it going to do anything but shine on the outside of the tube if it did.

    And then there are....
    multiple cameras- which one is real.
    telescopes

    this idea is a waste of money and time.
  • "Movie piracy is a $3 billion-a-year problem," Clawson maintains -- a problem said to be especially acute in Asia. "If someone videotapes a movie in a theater and then puts it up on the web that night or burns half a million copies to sell on the street - then the movie industry has lost a lot of in-theater revenue.

    Will someone please explain the Accounting here? This kind of statement really bothers me because it assumes a few things. 1. That consumers of pirated content have the dispossable income t

  • this threw me off at first...

    Now I get it, it's $10 to get a photo of your kid frightened by Santa
    (http://www.southflorida.com/events/sfl-scaredsant a,0,2245506.photogallery?index=7 [southflorida.com]),
    but only if you're not taking the picture yourself...
  • by MajorDick ( 735308 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:44PM (#15563780)
    A Minox B will only set you back about a C Note , look on Ebay for Minox , and film is fairly cheap.

    For those NON--Film guys a Minox is a very high quality german SPY camera , the ones used in all those old movies.

    Small , clandestine, and very good optics, far better than any small Digitals sport,
     
    Makes this technology and all its research useless and a waste of money in my opinion.
  • by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:45PM (#15563793)

    False positives.

    It's looking for "the reflectivity and shape of the image sensors", right? Well, just put a couple dozen of them on your hat. The system won't know what to target.

    And that's that. Simple.

  • What if.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ScottLindner ( 954299 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:46PM (#15563806)
    What if the system is turned on and it starts hitting the security cameras? Seems like this could backfire.

    I mean... seems like you have a great test case to know if you can rob a place. Try you cell phone camera, if it doesn't work you know the "Smile, you're on camera" sign is bogus. :-)
  • by technoextreme ( 885694 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @02:51PM (#15563850)
    It's against the law to do limit pictures of public places. It took me about five minutes to find the law. You really can't get more explicit than:
    (a) Pictorial Representations Permitted. -- The copyright in an architectural work that has been constructed does not include the right to prevent the making, distributing, or public display of pictures, paintings, photographs, or other pictorial representations of the work, if the building in which the work is embodied is located in or ordinarily visible from a public place.
  • by Quebec ( 35169 ) * on Monday June 19, 2006 @03:09PM (#15564006) Homepage
    One of these days blind people will see through the use of some implants connected to a digital camera, early prototypes are on the work (just search for it in /.)... will it means that blind people will have to suffer this stupid invention?
  • by Ancient_Hacker ( 751168 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @03:52PM (#15564340)
    Here's a rather large quibble-- since when are CCD's "retroreflective"?

    Retroreflective means the surface reflects light back to the source. Stop Signs, taillights, and some fire hydrants are retroreflective. So are to a lesser extent, disco-balls, diamonds, and ball-bearings. But CCD sensors? Why? And since when? I've never seen one behave that way. And in a photosensor you want one that COLLECTS and absorbs light, not reflects it or even worse, retroreflects it.

    Now at some angles, CCD sensors are going to show a diffraction pattern, due to the spacing of the sensor elements, but only if they're out in the open, without a lens. Are these "Reasearchers" seeing this effect?

    This article sure sounds like high-grade snake-oil!

  • by Fubar411 ( 562908 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @04:00PM (#15564402)
    A couple years ago, movie theaters started offering a bounty for alerting them to bootleggers in the act. For the first time, I saw two security agents standing on either side of the movie screen - not so discreetly looking at the audience with their night vision/IR goggles.

    So I decided I'd give them a show and told my Nokia to send all contacts via IR. I did it about every ten minutes and I knew it was getting security's attention. But I just didn't appreciate them watching me watch a movie. Kinda creepy, you know?

    If it matters, the movie was Spiderman 1, and I haven't been watched since, but I just wanted to relay my little civil disobedience story.

UNIX was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from doing clever things. -- Doug Gwyn

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