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World's Most Wanted Flash Moment

Roll "Most Wanted" TV shows and Amber Alerts into one using camera cell phones
  (+1, -6)(+1, -6)
(+1, -6)
  [vote for,

Sure cameras are everywhere, but networking them is expensive.

Whenever you are in a crowd of any kind, especially around major transportation hubs, take your camera cell phone out and take a picture, which then sends it to law enforcement face detection processing super computers.

theircompetitor, Jan 31 2004

Someone's thesis summary on the technical aspect http://ginevra.dibe...SIP/Thesis/adb.html
[theircompetitor, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Nasa software used to clean up images of suspects http://www.chron.co...y.mpl/front/2389938
[theircompetitor, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

(?) Amber Alerts Coming To Cellphones http://www.cnn.com/...lerts.ap/index.html
[theircompetitor, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

distributed detectors in cell phones http://www.mobile-w...errorist_weapon.php
[theircompetitor, May 07 2007]

Fighting Crime With Cellphones http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25967040/
[theircompetitor, Aug 01 2008]

crowd sourced security camera monitoring http://www.popsci.c...-know-whos-watching
[theircompetitor, Oct 15 2010]

Would be useful now http://www.cnn.com/...ndex.html?hpt=hp_t1
[theircompetitor, Apr 18 2013]

Shazam for photos http://recode.net/2...aces-for-paparazzi/
[theircompetitor, Dec 25 2015]


       Oh - I thought this was going to be about "I'm a Celebrity - Get Me Out Of Here!"
egbert, Jan 31 2004

       Rods_Tiger: I live in a world where bandwidth and diskspace are free.
theircompetitor, Jan 31 2004

       What?, on your mobile?. Where is this place?   

       Having thought about this, though, are we not doing the police's job for them at our own cost?.
Don't forget the timestamp - I am sure that a reliable one does not exist yet for the time that a piccy was taken on a mobile phone, only the time it was sent.
gnomethang, Jan 31 2004

       Well, if we can entertain the idea seriously, for a moment, it's a lot cheaper to collect images this way then to wire cameras everywhere. So it could even be subsidised by the government.   

       As to the general costs, number of broadband connections is increasing, bandwidth prices are certainly dropping, memory and diskspace prices are dropping, etc. What costs a certain amount today in this industry costs less in a year.
theircompetitor, Jan 31 2004

       tsuka: sorry, not getting the reference -- Flash Gordon or Ben Affleck?
theircompetitor, Jan 31 2004

       OK [tc] (Damn! - I always wanted to say that!).
I assume that you are suggesting that you take the picture on a cellphone and then upload it relatively inexpensively from cellphone to PC to (e.g) NYPD? Because in the UK we pay a lot for transmission of data to/from mobile phones (I get 3Meg free on GPRS to my phone per month).
Taking the idea seriously (as I was!), what about the timestamp?. Without it, what is the piccy going to prove apart from the fact that someone in the crowd was in the same place at the same (unknown) time as you were?
gnomethang, Jan 31 2004

       ..including Brian Blessed (playing himself!) and ex Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan (killed by giant venemous log dwelling spider). Soundtrack provided (in a most excxellent fashion) by Queen. Top Film!
gnomethang, Jan 31 2004

       gnomethang: given that the phone is on the network, the timestamp should be a comparatively small problem. After all, the phone company bills you -- it can't bill without accurate time data -- I know, I run a teleconferencing company.   

       The technologies discussed already exist and are used -- they've been anecdotes of suspects apprehended, etc -- see link.   

       I really wasn't really expecting a technology challenge -- I'm mostly proposing a new "social behaviour" here.
theircompetitor, Jan 31 2004

       Fine [tc], no problem apart from the fact that your mobile phone does not timestamp the taking of the picture, it only stamps the time it was sent - is there a problem here?. If I am wrong please correct me but I just don't think that it is done at the moment   

       I have read the abstract but this is not available for cellphones (mobile phones) yet, No?   

On the second front, I did ask why we are doing the police job for them for free. I worry about the further implications but would have fun watching everybody filming each other should government make it law.
I guess that I am asking too many questions because the application and technology has not been completely explained in your anno. If you want to add to it I will gladly delete this!. Cheers!.
BTW, it would have to be SOME supercomputer to deal with the inherent randomness of these innumerable videos. Good Spam potential, no?.
gnomethang, Jan 31 2004

       Rods Tiger: Definitely a similar idea.   

       As to the cost -- see the various subsidy poitns above -- I really think it would be cheaper then creating an additional surveillance infrastructure.
theircompetitor, Jan 31 2004

       Fuck me! I didn't realise it was that expensive!. 50!?
<note to self>I am unaware of any mathematical operation defined by the factorial (!) directly followed by a question mark(?)</nts>
gnomethang, Jan 31 2004

       guys -- it used to be expensive to send email, no? Before ISPs went to monthly plans and used to charge by the byte?   

       The bandwidth will expend to accomodate services. I wouldn't be surprised if we have video mobile phones in less then 5 years.
theircompetitor, Jan 31 2004

       Nothing New Here!. Move along!
1) Please explain the timestamp.
2)Why am I doing this again? . Sod the cost , this has not been adequately defined.
gnomethang, Feb 01 2004

       gnomethang: I'm sorry, I don't get the timestamp problem you're describing. Most devices on the network can (and do) get accurate time info. As I explained above, this is necessary for accurate billing. If time was ever a suspect, they couldn't bill you.   

       However that functionality might work on a device you currently have or have seen, it's possible to report both the accurate, properly "time-zoned" etc time AND the closest cell or GPS info back to the authorities. E911 and all that. Again, even if current devices don't work like that they certainly can.   

       As to why we're doing this -- for the same reason someone maybe watching "America's Most Wanted", or paying attention to an Amber alert, which in the US announces to people to be on the lookup for a particular person/car. It's to catch criminal by putting the considerable power of a distributed network at the police's disposal.   

       And finally as to cost. The cost you experience now is what the companies charge you for making a profit. But you don't get charged for a 911 emergency call. So you wouldn't be charged for this.   

       Why would the government want this -- because it would make it unnecessary to install millions of WIRED cameras everywhere.
theircompetitor, Feb 01 2004

       [tc] I live in England. I take a picture of someone in a crowd on the 1st Feb using my mobile phone. I send the picture on the 3rd Feb (which happens to be my Birthday!). I am suggesting that the timestamp refers to the date of transmission of the image but definitely NOT of the time that it was taken. The use of the image would be negated by this fact. Is there a Cellphone/Mobile manufacturer that can guarantee a timestamp on the image/video taken?. I don't know of one.
I beg you to tell me I am wrong [tc] because I think we may be missing each other's points.

       To clarify my use of the term 'timestamp' I must state that I work for companies that are validated by the FDA. In this regard, the timestamp is a requirement of the software that is providing the status, not some second party interface time profile, unless the link can be proven to be immediate.
gnomethang, Feb 01 2004

       gnomethang: I think we are. I'm taking about a "dedicated" function on a camera phone, similar (or in addition to) an E911 type function. It's sole purpose would be to snap the picture and send it to the right place -- having nothing to do with the recreational picture taking you may enjoy.   

       I probably didn't explain that well -- and this entry is in any case somewhat tongue in cheek -- I'm not expecting mobs of Invasion Of The Body Snatcher types to flash their cameras.
theircompetitor, Feb 01 2004

       [tc] If you say 'dedicated' then all techno sins are forgiven. You *do* appreciate my concerns though, no?.
I still wouldn't subscrivbe to the idea myself though. ;-)
gnomethang, Feb 01 2004

       One potential restriction to this being used in the UK is that everyone who uses the scheme and take photographs may have to be on the data protection register and comply with all the requirements about notification that that requires.
oneoffdave, Feb 02 2004

       buddha_pest -- yes, it would be possible to prevent it from being hacked, in the same way that it's possible to prevent 911 from being hacked -- other then by denial of service, of course.
theircompetitor, Feb 02 2004

       Have you seen the typical picture quality from a camera phone? You're lucky if you can tell whether it's a picture of a human being, let alone who that person is. This would only work if you went up to somebody and shoved the camera right in their face. And in that case if they were a felon on the run, you'd be unlikely to see the phone again. Or possibly see anything else ever again.   

       But if you're suggesting the government should give us all phones with 4 megapixel CCD cameras and free wireless connections, I say, sure.
kropotkin, Feb 02 2004

       kropotkin: Being a half-baked idea, the release date is not tomorrow -- surely you'll acknowledge the quality of the camera will improve
theircompetitor, Feb 02 2004

       by the way, it occurs to me, and probably to at least some of you, that my "World's Most Wanted Flash Moment" has been completely superceded by a different moment widely available on the Drudge report.
theircompetitor, Feb 02 2004

       Excellent. I can now send my evil henchmen out to lay a false trail by using old pictures with faked timestamps.
st3f, Feb 02 2004

       Ah yes...Flash Gordon...quite possibly simultaneously the best and worst movie ever made.   

       Can a factorial [!] even be performed on a fraction?
Freefall, Feb 06 2004

       Fahrenheit 451.
Mungo, Feb 06 2004

       Freefal -- according to my calculator yes
theircompetitor, Feb 06 2004

       This could instead be crowdsourced as a "Where's Wally" competition. Crowd photos are available online, along with a library of "most wanted" photos. Players then have to spot the faces. All entries are then checked first by computer (to weed out obvious non-starters) and then by a human.   

       Winners get a cash prize.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 21 2013

       I always thought Amazon Mechanical Turk was used for that purpose. Is it not?
nineteenthly, Apr 23 2013

       even more surveillance [-]
Voice, Dec 26 2015


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