Posted by: thescoundrel | April 4, 2007

Smile You’re on Candid Camera

I am fairly sure that books like “computers for dummies” was written for individuals like myself. I find computers an interesting hobby but I do not submerge myself into the abyss trying to comprehend the Freudian complexities of the animal. Computers are a lot like my car, when it is working I am happy and praise the marvels of the machine. When it is not working it is a piece of junk metal and plastic that frustrates my mind. Because of that I tend not to purchase or download any software that looks complicated to operate. Still my fascination of the usual sometimes takes me down roads I both appreciate and/or feel uneasiness about. Such is the case with my newest piece of software.
Free is a word that makes software hard to pass up. So while I was traveling around the great expanse of the Internet Universe I landed on a “Free” download that I had passed on before. My computer is five years old and I still run on dial-up services. So a lot of downloads are a long-term commitment of time. But I just could no longer pass up the Google Earth package. And I have had a great deal of fun with it since I downloaded it a few days ago. But as I was zooming around the planet from my spinning office chair (spinning chairs are what makes lengthy downloads and Internet wait time possible) sitting in front of my computer desk, from the comfort and privacy of my home – a comment I made many years ago came back and bit me on the gluteus maximus region: There really is no privacy anymore. I realize that with the ever-emerging presence of cameras on city light posts – hoping to catch a voyeuristic glimpse of you and your honey doing unmentionable things as you drive down the city streets at one hundred mph – that this comes as no great surprise to most of you. That is just the price you pay to keep Internet sites filled with sexual exploitation exhibits of your hot next-door neighbor who won’t give you the time of day. But you always assume that your home is your castle and your fence is a moat. That is until you look at your street address on the Google Earth satellite imagery. Now I know that the images you look at on the site can be as much as three years old. But when you zoom in on your house and when you can pick out your gardenspot, driveway and car it becomes a little unnerving. The pictures are not that clear, but you also realize that the technology is out there and clarity is often just a turn of the focus adjuster away. And no, at this point you are not going to be able to spy on your sweetie making sure that he really is going bowling nor are you are going to be able to checkout to see if all the “wild and crazy” nudists are out getting their tan at the Local Nudist Club (in fact Erie would not even come in clear, oh well so much for that idea). But it does make you think about just how little privacy that there is left in the world. And it lessens everyday. It is a byproduct of living in a large society. And I suppose that the constant eroding of privacy does not bother me as much as the fact that I know there are terrorists and other nefarious individuals out there that can use this in a destructive manner. Who knows they might even use it to plan the theft of my vegetables out of my garden. Bummer.

The Quad Cities as Seen by ET.

Quad Cities

And for a closer look, Rock Island.



  1. Google Moon is great as well.

    I spent time in the Marine Corps a long while back in the intelligence field. You may or may not be suprised at how far ahead of the mainstream the military is. I’m sure the images available from a military satellite would astound us.

    As Confucious might say……Man who live in glass house should undress in basement!

  2. I would expect and hope that the military would be way ahead of the game. It would worry me if I thought they were behind. I actually like to watch that program, weapons of the future. The advancements shown are scary. The ones not allowed to be shown on TV are probably even more devastating. Yup – I have a feeling you are right, if a person is modest they should probably find an old underground nuclear bomb shelter to get dressed in.

    I find the clarity of the imaging from Google Earth a sobering event. But as tech grows – good or bad – so will this type of intrusion into everyday life.

  3. I love Google earth, the picture of my street shows my car and – sad spud that I am – I have marked it.

    Also with you on the military, I live near a big US airbase here in the UK. I heard military satellites could read a newspaper in the mid 80s… from someone who should know and I believe it.

    Loved your comment about glasshouses.



  4. PS. I sometimes flick the v’s at them.

  5. LOL, babychaos, I didn’t mark it but I did save a copy of the image to my saved pics. Think they will takes us away in straight jackets?

  6. […] 9th, 2007 by thescoundrel Back in April I was lamenting about how with voyeur programs like Google Earth, privacy is quickly becoming a thing of the past. I was just reading an article over on MSNBC, by […]

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