Mark Frauenfelder at 3:25 pm Mon, Feb 6, 2012
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[Video Link] "Camden council in north London have recently installed this talking camera that issues threats to residents at Walker House."
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder.
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“You have 20 seconds to comply”
That’s the first thing I thought of as well.
I wouldn’t buy that for a dollar . . .
Oh, please hack it so that it says, “Bugger off, you gormless prat!”
Just smash the fucker.
Exactly what I was thinking. A paper sack, bandanna or ski mask and a cricket bat.
Big baggy knickers. Effective, funny, and not criminal damage. :)
I would hack it to play that horrible song from the Billy Bass animated fish or something equally as strange.
Yakity Sax is always an option.
Then you’ll see lots of clothing being tossed in the air from behind the shrubberies.
Just when you think things could not get more stupid, someone comes along and invents more stupid!
The more I think about it, the more this could be hacked into the art project from hell. Just have it spout out random phrases designed to elicit a response from the nearby person.
“Do you like gladiator movies?”
Twould be a grand farce.
It’s really hard to hear, but I swear that the voice has an American accent. Maybe America is the new cultural shorthand for fascism? Mission Accomplished.
I noticed the American accent as well. Maybe security theater is our primary export?
I’d say that the UK is well ahead of the US in social surveillance.
Yes, but everyone knows that British accents are for movie Nazis.
You only say that because you don’t run into Udo Kier at the grocery store like I do.
Here we call it “Social Media”
Then it seems just plain sickening that we can’t find a British accent to front our world-leading position as social surveyors par excellence.
It could well be, though, that the US is well ahead of basically anywhere in selling the tools and contractors for building social surveillance systems…
We do have some very sharp tech companies and (as long as you aren’t some kind of damn dirty commie, at least not the kind we trade massively with) some very lax standards when it comes to handing out dangerous toys.
This would have been more palatable if they had used Dick Tufeld’s voice.
That would’ve spoiled that square trespass scene in Notting Hill.
Btw, I only sat on that park bench a couple of days ago to have a coffee. For some reason it ended up in Western Australia.
“Processing” is a euphemism for photoshopping your head onto sexy naked bodies.
“Camden council said it recently installed the flash-equipped cameras in the borough to tackle antisocial behaviour but mistakenly activated the robotic voice message for one in the communal gardens of the Walker House estate, near Euston station.”
Thanks, and do you have a link?
I figured it was something along these lines, and I hate how boingboing posts stuff like this without any context, simply because the imagined situation is so much more offensive than what’s probably going on. Common guys, apply some skepticism!
And yes, the article verifies that the voice has an American accent.
Now there’s an idea; change it to lolcat:
“youz in my park, anti-ing my socials, pls leave, kthxbai”
I think the point is less the fact that a talking camera is telling people to bugger off in the middle of a communal gardens (instead of problem spots elsewhere in town) and more the fact that COUNCILS ARE NOW INSTALLING TALKING CCTV CAMERAS. Sorry for the caps, but this is just one more incremental step in the surveillance state, and I believe that’s the point.
I don’t know about you, but it’s offensive to me that there is a talking camera, with an American accent no less, threatening citizens for being in proximity to it without regard to context. If I were in the UK, I’d get a group of people to all stand in front of one of those talking cameras and do nothing threatening or antisocial at all, all the while it’s threatening us for all around to hear. Now, obviously, if the actual camera was indeed in an off-limits area, I wouldn’t trespass to stand in front of it.
Thats why they should use HTML5 instead.
so the voice message is deactivated but not taking your photo anad processing it as some sort of infringement of the restricted area?
where did the comment i just submitted go?
Sent for processing.
There’s nothing in the bin. Were you using your imaginary keyboard?
Until car alarms or talking cameras have enough AI that I can interact with them, I have no respect for the warnings or threats they might recite. And even then it would probably be like…
Rob: Hell no, I’m not listening to any damn robot tell me what to do.
Surveillance AI: What I’m hearing is that you’re “not listening to any damn robot tell me what to do”. How does that make you feel?
I would *love* to have a confrontational discussion with a surveillance bot (a camera or whatever) powered by Eliza. That’d be hilarious.
You are behind the times. A modern camera would be based on Cleverbot. It would be spouting non-sequiturs like “I am not a computer.” or “Everything I say is false.” or some lyric from a popular song.
Those “healthy” anglosaxons have gradually slipped into a complete concentration camp science-reality, the road padded all the way with apathy.
And to think at one time we had the reputation for being the most politically riotous people in Europe!
“… sent for processing.”
Psshh. A more credible threat would have been to announce that they will start playing Barry Manilow songs.
“Apologize to the car”
@Ted Bautista be careful what you wish for… Bournemouth County Council had a problem with junkies and beggars hassling people in the stairwells of a big town-center multi-story car park. Their solution was to install a set of speakers playing a loop of bagpipe music 24/7. It worked perfectly.
On the Newcastle Metro in 1998, fretting about congregations of youth at a station (and calling them ‘potential vandals’ if you please), they started playing Delius. I believe it worked.
I’d forgotten about that! They used to play Pachelbel’s Canon in D in Chichester station. It was quite nice, and not having all the dick heads hanging around was nicer.
It was OK up to a point. Shiremoor, the metro station in question, was instead inundated with blind, straw-hatted old men in wheelchairs propelled by amanuenses.
I would hack those to make it sound like a dalek:
A couple of years ago Wigan Council installed a talkback camera system in a main street in town. This system allowed a controller in an office far away from the street to ‘Interact’ with people on the street. What this meant in practice was The Voice Of God TM would boom out at regular intervals (God sounded a bit like George Formbey in this instance) and tell people off for doing anti social things. The list of things that George-Formbey-The-Voice-Of-God TM considered Anti social included, spitting, weeing, being a bit leary, Dropping a bit of litter, being a bit drunk, larking about in a raucus manner… this all on a road that contained 18 nightclubs. George-Formbey-The-Voice-Of-God TM didn’t confine his pronouncements to the night time either… any time of the day or night was good enough for him.
As I lived close to the street and frankly the George-Formbey-The-Voice-Of-God TM was more annoying than the usual drunken denizens of that street had ever been, I complained to the council about it… at first I got very short shrift and was informed that in fact George-Formbey-The-Voice-Of-God TM was doing it for my own good. It was only when I asked them to produce the report that they had no doubt done on the affect George-Formbey-The-Voice-Of-God TM might have had on, say, someone with a mild psychological (sp) problem that George-Formbey-The-Voice-Of-God TM was silenced and never heard from again to this day.
I think about the videos I’ve seen including murders that could have been prevented if the camera simply made itself known. It doesn’t have to be a voice either. Think about a guy stalking a girl in this park and the camera says nothing and he doesn’t know the camera is there. Now think about him stalking the girl and the camera starts talking. You have two totally different endings.
If you’ve ever lived in a layout like that, two people having a conversation, much less a group of kids playing music and shouting echos in this place, it’s a canyon effect, and every tenet is bothered. I used to work on the 40th floor of a condominium in downtown Seattle. When the club across the street let out at 3 a.m., I could hear high-heel shoes walking by, as if the condo was on the first floor.
This reminds me of the alarm my neighbours installed back in the nineties. It would go off randomly and scream so loud that I can remember the words to this very day:
“Warning! Warning! You have violated an area protected by a security system. Please leave immediately! *siren*”
It was the most ridiculous thing, especially since I live in Poland, so a robotic voice hollering in American English at people walking their dogs past the house was utterly surreal. But I guess the neighbours thought it was fancy and futuristic.
There was a car round the corner from me when I was a kid that had an alarm that said “Please step away from the vehicle” if it was as much as touched.
All this led to was that every time me and my friends walked past the car we gave it a slap to hear the voice :D
“Welcome. Welcome to City 17. You have chosen, or been chosen, to relocate to one of our finest remaining urban centers.”
I want one. Right now. Maybe then I can stop the taxi drivers from the taxi firm in the next block throwing their fast-food wrappers in my parking spaces, and pissing and shitting just outside my loading bay.
have you tried mothballs? Works on feral cats.
I’ve very tempted to camp out in the back of my van across the road with a shotgun.
perhaps they will next install cameras and illicit drug metabolite detectors in public urinals.
When remote fired retina damaging lasers are attached to the ‘Security’ camera, the day will grow dark indeed.