Saturday, March 20, 2010

Camera phones: Helpful or hurtful?

A decade ago, Philippe Kahn was walking around a hospital with a cell phone and a digital camera. Dadly's mission: to share pictures of his newborn girl. With assistance from Radio Shack, he linked the two devices together and e-mail photos with family and friends around the world. The next day, the twin birth of sorts for a camera cell phone camera and daughter Sophie.

Kahn regards his invention with paternal pride: "We built it to document the birth of my daughter. For us, it was always a good thing. So he was surprised recently when, with the Saddam-hanging video circling the world, compared with an interview with the inventor of the Kalashnikov. First there was Prince Harry's Nazi costume, then shaming of Kate Moss, and Michael Richards racist explosion, but for some, the hanging of Saddam Hussein marks the low point for the creation of Kahn. A camera on a phone only helped perverted, nosy, violent, and bored.

That's not quite right, but not exactly wrong, either. As Kahn told Wired in 2000: "With this type of device, go to see the best and the worst of things." The best would include photo caller ID, stresses amateur sports and fast citizen snaps taken on bombing London. However, despite the fun and dignity of occasional camera mobile phones, has launched a thousand jackasses. A representative example: sports Sean Salisbury was suspended by ESPN last month, reportedly for showing female co-workers cell phone photos of his equipment. "

When video technology was added to the phone (with little fanfare), the madness went to another level. Young English was designed like a game called "happy slapping" assault involving random strangers while recording all your colleagues. Happy slapping Craze spread throughout Europe last year, leading to OP-EDS outraged and calls to ban mobile phones from schools. While the phenomenon is marked by more than a touch of media hysteria, you can find the disturbing videos on YouTube. (French, of course, responded with "Streetkissing.") Were also news reports of graphic videos showing beatings and accidents, such as an unfortunate boy in Birmingham, United Kingdom, which he himself held in spike on his bicycle. Teenagers have employed cell phone cameras to old-fashioned humiliation also: Fight Parking is now captured on video and shared. To be an adult is to be grateful to have escaped digital Hazing school.

In glorious retrospect, it seems like a terrifically bad idea to give the world a spy camera that looks and functions as a cell phone. Peeping Toms quickly realized the potential of upskirt pics and souvenirs round room. Chicago tried to block mobile phones from gyms and a California legislator has proposed a law that requires cell phone to make a shutter snapping sound or flash a light when a picture is taken. We have trained ourselves to be cautious when a cell phone is pointed at us, but still creates problems inconspicuousness relative device. In Saudi Arabia, women have taken pictures of unveiled women at weddings and other e-mailing them matchmakers, a practice that has caused turmoil in a culture where any image can be due to loss of honor.

to be continue..

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