Tag Archives | Cameras

Hi Def Cameras Can Now Capture The Reflection Of Your Face In Someone Else’s Eye

“Zoom in. Now enhance.” – Deckard, Bladerunner.

Via BoingBoing:

In Identifiable Images of Bystanders Extracted from Corneal Reflections, British psychology researchers Rob Jenkins and Christie Kerr show that recognizable images of the faces of unpictured bystanders can be captured from modern, high-resolution photography by zooming in on subjects’ eyes to see the reflections in their corneas. The researchers asked experimental subjects to identify faces captured from these zoomed-in images and found that they were able to do so with a high degree of reliability.

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Photographer Detained by LAPD for ‘Interfering with Investigation’

“Interfering with an investigation” is one of those wondrously ambiguous catch-alls that law enforcement uses with impunity to restrict people’s constitutional rights. Award-winning documentary photographer Shawn Nee is only the latest to get shut down by camera-phobic cops.Good thing he has back-up cameras on his person – something I’d recommend for anyone who may have cause to question “authori-tah“.

Bonus: ACLU’s Photographer’s Rights page.

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Vast Majority Of CCTV Cameras Are Privately Owned

cctv cameraBig Brother may be private and unregulated, Russia Today reports, regarding the United Kingdom:

There are 70 times more privately owned surveillance cameras in the UK than government ones, a new study has revealed. The research found that Britain has a total of 5.9 million cameras and called for better regulation of privately owned devices.

Some 70,000 cameras run by the British police and authorities make “perhaps only 1.2 to 1.7 per cent” of the overall number of CCTV cameras in the UK, the study reads. The research was conducted for the British Security Industry Association.

The study’s conclusions challenge the UK’s popular image as a “Big Brother” state, claiming that such notions are “misplaced.” Instead, its authors believe the lack of regulation governing privately run cameras is a bigger concern for Britain, and have called for establishing rules to enforce “better standards.”

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A Smell Camera To Record Aromas For Posterity

scent cameraIn a project titled Scent-ography: a post-visual past time, designer Amy Radcliffe has created the MADELEINE, a device which records an odor’s molecular information. Rendered a formula, the unique smell can be subsequently recreated in a laboratory setting:

Our sense of smell is believed to have a direct link to our emotional memory. It is the sense that we react to most instinctually and also the furthest away from being stored or replicated digitally.

The Madeleine is, to all intents and purposes, an analogue odour camera. Based on current perfumery technology, Headspace Capture, The Madeleine works in much the same way as a 35mm camera. Just as the camera records the light information of a visual in order to create a replica The Madeleine records the molecular information of a smell.

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Game Of Surveillance Camera Destruction Hits The United States

The previously discussed trend of making a game out of breaking as many public surveillance cameras as possible, known as Camover, appears to have crossed the Atlantic, with a team calling themselves the Barefoot Bandit Brigade claiming a score of 17 in Washington state:

17 Security Cameras Disabled and Destroyed in Puget Sound Region — In the opening weeks of February, 2013, we have removed and destroyed 17 security cameras throughout the Puget Sound region. This act is concrete sabotage against the system of surveillance and control. It is also a message of solidarity and a wish of strength to the Seattle Grand Jury Resisters, those currently incarcerated and those not. Finally, this act announces our participation in the game of CAMOVER, called for by comrades in Germany.

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A Case Of Asserting Your Rights To Film

Ok, so we highly recommend that you do not actually do what you've seen in this video. It's best to be calm, cool, collected and talk in a normal tone when addressing police officers. This footage was shot a couple of years ago, when Luke Rudkowski had a very bad day and was still maturing as a journalist. WeAreChange strongly believes in the right to film in public, but many times police officers incorrectly view this as a crime and use intimidation to stop the legal right to film. This time the opposite scenario played out, which we wanted to share with you. Via WeAreChange
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An Urban Surveillance Map Of Vancouver

The Vancouver Public Space Network mapped CCTV locations in the metropolitan core, revealing the geography of surveillance:

The preliminary map that we created indicates the places where surveillance cameras could be found prior to the installation of extra cameras for the Olympics.  We are particularly concerned about the surveillance legacy that the Olympics may leave behind, and will be monitoring the city government to make sure that this network is removed once the party is over. In all, the map represents the locations of 1500 of the 2000 cameras we found.

Public spaces are inherently places in which we can be observed by other people, and where we can observe others. However, the VPSN is concerned about the way that intense video surveillance, particularly networked, centrally monitored systems, might negatively affect the way that people enjoy public spaces. In the United Kingdom, which has intensive public video surveillance, security cameras have been used by security officers to harass people and to profile individuals based on race and socio-economic status.

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On Deploying Cameras To Watch Other Cameras

In what seems as if it could become a neverending paradox, Business Insider on a locality in Maryland in which it has become necessary to outfit the city with a network of surveillance cameras to observe the previous layer of cameras:

Police in Palmer Park, Md., plan to deploy cameras to surveil the other other cameras in their district. Ari Ash of WTOP talked to police in the area, who said that local people had started targeting the speed cameras police put up in intersections, as well as surveillance cameras.

Prince George’s County Police Maj. Robert V. Liberati, who’s the commander of the Automated Enforcement Section, says each camera can cost up to $30,000. They needed to do something to deter the camera saboteurs. Liberati thought cameras to watch the cameras was a good solution. One is in place already, and the department hopes to have a dozen more by the end of the year.

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On How Computers See Race

Does technology covertly holds the biases of its creators? Alexis Stevens in Cluster Magazine writes about an unintended dimension of of facial-recognition-based surveillance software:

“HP Computers are Racist” is a 2009 YouTube video in which two electronics store employees demonstrate how face recognition and video tracking technology on Hewlett-Packard computers works more accurately for people of whiter skin tones. “I think,” one of the employees remarks with biting accuracy, “my blackness is interfering with the computer’s ability to—to follow me.”

The company issued an apology after the clip went viral, suggesting that face-detection algorithms have more difficulty identifying the contrast that helps discern facial structure in low lighting. An ironic outcome of this corporate oversight is that while black people are more likely to be eyed as suspicious and tracked in real life (e.g. stop-and-frisk), the engineering of webcams for a presumptively white target audience renders people of color more invisible to technology.

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NYPD Teams With Microsoft To Launch Panoptic ‘Domestic Awareness System’

Is the NYPD and Microsoft together too much of a good thing? Russia Today on the forthcoming new model of urban centralized surveillance:

The NYPD is teaming up with Microsoft to track action across the city. Later this week, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to come forth with more details about a new surveillance project the head of the NYPD hinted at last week. In conjunction with engineers at Microsoft, the NYPD will unleash an advanced “domestic awareness system” that will combine its already extensive city-wide surveillance system with law enforcement’s established databases in order to track the moves of suspected terrorists.

NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly first commented on the program over the weekend at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado, but those close to the project have failed to extrapolate much further other than on the basics.

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