An interesting project, based on webcams found on Opentopia: A Real Time Story by Julián Pérez.
“A real time story” is a web project that speaks about the privacy of the images obtained from different webcams and how they are displayed to the extensive network that is the internet. This panoptic piece will make the viewer question where lies his gaze (demiurga, voyeur, watcher, etc.) and reflect on the concept of public space at the expense of free space. Also the anonymous viewer is invaded by a watchful eye, turning the space into a control.
November 21, 2014 at 1:37 pm | Culture | No comment
In case anybody is in doubt, it is probably worth mentioning that the webcams you find here on Opentopia are not in any way hacked. We don’t have any sinister hacking department that tries to get around people’s password protections in order to get access to cams that they wanted to be private. Everything you see here is in fact publicly available. That doesn’t exclude that somebody might have made a mistake and forgotten to password protect their webcam. It is hard to know. Or the cam owner might have meant the webcam to be seen just by friends or family or customers who came to their website. But, well, nowadays, search engines succeed in finding pretty much all websites that are publicly available, and they’re available for search, no matter what originally was intended.
In brief, don’t publish anything on the Internet that you actually don’t want people to come and look at.
Recently some of our less principled “competitors” have chosen to go a good deal further than we would, into what we easily could call criminal territory. See, in addition to the many publicly available webcams, there’s a much greater number that are password protected, but the passwords are not too hard to guess. Many webcams come with some default usernames and passwords, like “admin” and “password”, and the user might not think of changing them to something more secure. Or, as is the case with many passwords, the user will chose something very easy to guess for their password, like “12345”.
So, an unscrupulous cam aggregator with a bit of technical knowhow could very well set up an automated program that locates webcams on the Internet, cracks their passwords, and then presents them for the public to see.
That’s not much different from cracking the Instagram account of some female celebrities and publishing their private nude photos in a forum for all to see. It is easier, though.
But, again, just to let you know, we don’t do that here. And we don’t think that you should either, even if potentially you have the know-how for doing so.
November 10, 2014 at 11:44 pm | Culture | No comment
That is indeed a little ironic
October 20, 2014 at 1:10 am | Culture | No comment
The owners of a restaurant in New York City were puzzled that even as they hired more and more staff, service seemed to be getting slower and slower, and customers were starting to complain about it. They hired a company to investigate what was going wrong. Eventually they came up with the idea to compare 10 year old recordings from their surveillance cams with recent recordings. The results were pretty startling. It wasn’t at all that the staff had gotten lazy. Rather, the customers behave quite differently now. Specifically, they spend a lot more time on their phones, trying to get the wifi to work, taking pictures of each other and the food, posting on Facebook, etc. And they actually waste a lot more of the servers’ time in these activities, and they end up staying a lot longer. So, even though the servers show up just as fast as they always did, and deliver the food just as fast as they always did, they end up being required to spend a lot more time helping the customers take pictures, waiting for the customers to be ready to order, etc. Quite intriguing study of how our habits have changed and how that messes with traditional business practices. And it wouldn’t have been possible without their cameras.
Full story on Distractify.
July 13, 2014 at 4:47 pm | Culture | No comment