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Photographers Face Ejection Over Lenses 743

destinyland writes "Zooomr CEO Thomas Hawk was ejected from a San Francisco art museum because the security guard apparently thought his expensive camera could be used to spy on female employees. Another photographer notes that 'many people consider a professional-looking camera a threat,' and the state of California has even passed a law against telephoto lenses being used to intrude on celebrities' private lives. Hawk is routinely confronting security guards who argue that photographing their buildings represents a 'security threat.' Ironically, four weeks ago while attending Microsoft's Pro Photo Summit, he was told he couldn't even photograph the lobby of a Hyatt Hotel."
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Photographers Face Ejection Over Lenses

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  • by yagu ( 721525 ) * <yayagu.gmail@com> on Friday August 15, 2008 @09:23AM (#24613801) Journal

    I was stopped on Christmas Holiday day in Chicago's downtown Ogilvie Transportation Center, the terminal where half the commuter trains come and go. I was firmly admonished to cease and desist taking pictures of my girlfriend in fromt of a Christmas Display in front of one of the stored at the center. I joked that the camera had no film (get it, digital, ha-ha), but the security officer was not amused and said he would have to take my camera and arrest me if I took any more pictures. WTH?

    I understand security is an issue, and scary stuff has happened, but stopping people from enjoying their holidays this way doesn't improve or increase our security a whit. Nada, Zip! If someone wants the information about what a building looks like, it's certainly easy to do on the covert. But, it's probably not even necessary, as blueprints and photos exist on the internet for any target one might find interesting.

    This, in some oblique way is a victory for terrorists, they've cowed us into being such pussies that we no longer can live day to day and enjoy things freely as we should be able. Annoying. Frustrating. Embarrassing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 15, 2008 @09:25AM (#24613815)
    Have similar things happen to me while trying to get picture even outside of few building in and around NYC.

    Have also seen security guards running after somebody whenever they notice them taking pictures of the buildings.

    I am all the more concerned about this because on top of carrying a dSLR, I am also an immigrant and my skin color differs from the locals. That's one of the mains reasons I never got into public photography.
  • by suso ( 153703 ) * on Friday August 15, 2008 @09:31AM (#24613879) Homepage Journal

    I am all the more concerned about this because on top of carrying a dSLR, I am also an immigrant and my skin color differs from the locals. That's one of the mains reasons I never got into public photography.

    I'm so sorry about that. One shouldn't have to sacrifice their dreams for this shit.

    Maybe there should be flash mobs of people going into public areas and taking a bunch of pictures to raise awareness about the change in policy due to 9/11.

  • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) * <qg@biodome.org> on Friday August 15, 2008 @09:31AM (#24613887) Homepage Journal

    Security guards on private property only have you the power to leave and, if you refuse, escort you from the premises. So, if they fuck with you, that's what you should say... "are you asking me to leave?".. as soon as they say no, you just say oh ok, thanks for the advice on your corporate policy. And hey, getting ejected from some random private property because you refuse to conform with their corporate policy is hardly something to be shameful about.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 15, 2008 @09:34AM (#24613929)
    Just print out a real looking press badge, and put it in a plastic protector on a lanyard an put that around your neck. They'll let you take all the pictures you want. People like that are suckers for anything looks like authority. They'll only harass people that they think have none.
  • You dont need dSLR (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Fri13 ( 963421 ) on Friday August 15, 2008 @09:39AM (#24614017)

    I'm professional photographer and it is more dificult actually take photographs on public places when you are using dSLR camera, because normal humans believe that photos goes right away to news papers etc.

    But these days you can buy compact cameras what are actually better than dSLR on normal use, like camera what shutter speed is 40'000/1 and you can take 60 FPS on 6Mpix. Or you can have camera what has 28-420mm (35mm) objective with 10-12Mpix.

    You dont get dSLR inside to music concert if you dont have press card, because guards takes your camera away because you cant take photos without permission of the show. But they dont stop you taking inside these ultra-compact cameras what has bigger zoom on them, what would mean that you need to carry a huge zoom lens if using dSLR.

    This is now actually gone too far away, it is harder to take even document photos on streets without someone coming to yell to you that they dont like to be in photos. And it was hard enough ten years ago to tell some people that I dont need to remove photos if I take them on public places and they are not in embarrassed situation. Now it is almost impossible to tell someone that I HAVE rights to take photos on public place, and I can remove them if I want to please them, but if they come to yell to me, I'm bretty sure that I do opposite thing and I dont remove them.

    I never shoot people in embarrassed situation, but when people just sees the dSLR, reaction for it is more like someone would say "We must support communistic party" in U.S on the 4th july.
    But I can take photos easily without problems when using pocket or compact camera what has bigger zoom and more megapixels than my dSRL.

  • by Fri13 ( 963421 ) on Friday August 15, 2008 @09:49AM (#24614155)

    This is not victory for "terrorists" what are called as terrorists.

    This is just a victory for real terrorist what is always the people who is leading the country and who are protecting their power by making these anti-terrorist bills. Those just gives them more power to do what ever they want and no one can stop them.

    It is not about bombing, suicide bombigs or car bombs, those are not reasons or as usually, not even true who is doing them. It is always about the power and who is in control of country, it's like london metro bombings, it just "happend" to happend same time when there was going police trainings, on same stations, on same time and with exactly same scenarios.

    Now the normal people is suffering of the terrorism, what the goverment is doing for people. It is the real terrorism and they use that to control us.

    We cant take photos on holidays from our girl/boyfriends because you can be a terrorist, at least you are threat to national security.

    We cant take photos of our childs to our family albums because it is tought you are taking them for childporn.

    We cant speak freely and express our opinions of our goverments because it is same as supporting terrorism.

    Soon you cant do anything in your own country if your leaders dont like it, they can just throw you to jail with anykind anti-terrorism bill.

  • Actually at one mall here in AZ that I have worked for, having a press badge would get you evicted even faster than just taking pictures (Though taking pictures was enough)...

    They had issues with people taking pictures due to a stabbing that had occured some time prior, as well as not wanting to make it easier for insurance or lawyer related photography...

  • by gsslay ( 807818 ) on Friday August 15, 2008 @09:49AM (#24614165)

    If something is publicly visible, and yet sensitive enough to have people worried about it being photographed, I'd suggest that who ever owns it either starts hiding it from sight, changes what makes it so sensitive, or simply gets used to the idea.

    We are not far from the time where it will be technologically possible to take as many photographs you wish, of whatever you can see, at what ever resolution you wish. And Mr Security drone will be none the wiser or be able to stop you.

    Authorities need to face up to the fact that soon it will be a case if you can see it; you can film it. And they'll never know.

  • Nothing to see here (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pridkett ( 2666 ) on Friday August 15, 2008 @09:52AM (#24614199) Homepage Journal

    From my quick analysis beyond the article, it seems like there really isn't much to see here other than Thomas Hawk raising a stink about being kicked out of the museum. This has received fairly good coverage on sfist.com.

    In particular, in the first story [sfist.com] you'll see a comment from another visitor who witnessed the event [sfist.com] which points out that he was acting like a possible perv:

    I was at the museum on Friday and saw this whole thing go down. Thomas Hawk's account of what happened is unabashedly one-sided. What he neglects to mention is that he was standing on a balcony with his camera pointed down, aiming directly into the shirt/cleavage of one of the female employees working at the museum. Simon Blint asked Thomas Hawk to stop taking photos in order to protect his staff from a creepy perv, not because he was using a dSLR or for whatever BS reason Thomas Hawk claims.

    Of course, Mr. Hawk isn't just stopping with raising a minor internet stink, he's trying to get Simon Blint fired [sfist.com].

    I'm sorry folks, but if you think this is censorship, you're 100% wrong. This isn't censorship, this isn't about 9/11, this isn't about terrorism. It's about people doing malsocial actions that make the other visitors and staff of a museum feel uncomfortable. Not uncomfortable because of false terrorism threats, but uncomfortable because he's being kinda creepy.

  • by Midnight Thunder ( 17205 ) on Friday August 15, 2008 @09:58AM (#24614297) Homepage Journal

    So take your pictures and when they ask you to stop, say no.

    The problem is most people don't know what their rights are in such a situation and instead cease and desist, just to be safe. If in doubt I suppose you could ask the security guard why you should stop taking photos, but that is probably asking too much. In reality we need to find out what our rights are and use them to educate those who would make out lives difficult.

    Maybe what we need is to organise a spontaneous crowd of photographers going from building to building taking photos. Such an event would certainly get noticed and maybe draw attention to the rights of photographers.

  • by Zakabog ( 603757 ) <john@@@jmaug...com> on Friday August 15, 2008 @10:02AM (#24614361)
    I own a Canon EOS 5D and a few lenses, one of them is a fairly large 70-200mm f2.8L. I usually bring it to outdoor events that my younger family members might be in (sports, graduation, anything where I'll be far from what I'm trying to shoot) and I always feel like people think I'm a creep. They see the huge camera and think "I hope he's not taking pictures of MY kid!"

    I think people have an idea from movies that the bad guys always have some huge fancy cameras and they need to take dozens of photos before they can do their evil deeds. I don't think they realize there already exist hundreds of photos of any potential targets online, and someone would be better off with a small concealable camera, or even a hidden video camera recording the area as you go around.

    There's so much paranoia about cameras, and this isn't just because of 9/11. It's been illegal to photograph the Verrazano bridge from on the bridge or at the toll booths for years before 9/11. I've almost had a camera confiscated taking a photo at the toll booth of a man on a motorcycle waving his ezpass around trying to get it to read.
  • by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Friday August 15, 2008 @10:09AM (#24614467)

    I think there's something that's missed in all these discussions of photographers' rights: Why *do* people feel threatened by photography?

    It seems that just about everyone feels anxious about being photographed by strangers: police, security guards, but even (most?) regular people.

    Why? Is it a fear that somehow the photos can be used to cause actual harm? Is it the fear that a stranger photographing you can only be up to no good, even if you're not sure if/how he'd use the photos to harm you? Is it the fear that with so many laws on the books, just about anything you're doing is illegal, and photos can be used to help convict you?

  • by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Friday August 15, 2008 @10:17AM (#24614661)

    There was a security guard yelling at people at 1 Wall Street when I visited NYC 2 weeks ago. If people took pictures he'd walk across the street "No pictures" and then harass them into leaving.

    If my aunts would have walked slower I would have pushed the "Public place" policy. Hell If you were shooting down the street at the church you'd get a good portion of the building in the shot. Not to mention it's up in google street views [google.com] (What idiot decided shooting street views at night was a good idea).

    If he's only a security guard as soon as he leaves that buildings property he's "out of his jurisdiction"

  • by Zcar ( 756484 ) on Friday August 15, 2008 @10:34AM (#24615037)
    Shortly after 9/11 (Oct. 2001) a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC issued me a pass to carry all of my photography equipment (ok, no tripod or lights, just an SLR body and about 5 lenses in a Lowepro) throughout the museum. And I didn't need to ask for it: he just signed off on it when he saw I had the equipment.
  • by MachineShedFred ( 621896 ) on Friday August 15, 2008 @10:46AM (#24615241) Journal

    This is absolutely awful.

    However, it's not limited to people of darker pigmentation of skin. I had some douche security guard accost me for having a camera at Mt. Tabor Park here in Portland, and I'm as white as they come.

    I can't imagine why anyone would want to take a camera here [google.com]...

    Needless to say, I gave him the standard "am I under arrest? No? Then you don't get to see my camera, and you don't get to stop be from being in this publicly owned park unless you like Title 42 [cornell.edu] lawsuits."

  • by poetmatt ( 793785 ) on Friday August 15, 2008 @10:48AM (#24615291) Journal

    If I could mod you to +1000, I'd do so.

    For folks who don't realize how much so Quantum is dead on:

    If you watch the improv everywhere group when they did the best buy stunt [improveverywhere.com] (linked), they explicitly ask the officers this when they try to threaten people. They say "are you asking me to leave" and "do you have the authority to ask me to leave?" after every time they are threatened with "this is illegal/not allowed".

    From the link (the important part when people threaten about legality):

    Agent Shafer confidently informed the cops that it was not, in fact, "illegal" to film in Best Buy and that they couldnâ(TM)t accuse him of trespassing until he had been asked to leave the store. He pointed out that he was perfectly willing to leave. A manger told Agent Shafer, "I don't come to your house and film you," to which he replied, "Who lives here?" The cops argued for a bit, but finally realized there was nothing they could do. They let the cameramen go and informed the manager, "The worst you can do is ask them to leave."

    Also, the second rule of anything legal but people bullshit that it's not:never do something alone and never respond to any question an officer asks you at all. All things are "I don't know/I don't have an answer". Providing any answers = incriminating yourself and waiving your 5th amendment rights.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 15, 2008 @10:48AM (#24615295)

    I had a similar problem in one of the top ten universities in U.S. I wanted to take my DSLR camera to a baseball game to take close up pictures. The Police (there is no security guard, but police at the entrance), said I can not take the camera with me. I understand they do not let video cameras. The police also kind of threatened me to not to ask questions. ( I asked the reason for not being able use SLR's, and he replied "because I say so"). I did not want to jeopardize the situation because I am from a "dangerous" country. I am sure an American guy would screw that man in that second. So even the police can do these things.

  • by Rastl ( 955935 ) on Friday August 15, 2008 @11:04AM (#24615587) Journal

    My husband was taking pictures of some industrial building (as reference for use in his model train layout in the future) when a security guard came puffing over the hill and demanded that he hand over the camera. Wisely, my husband said no.

    The security guard was shocked and then demanded that my husband hand over the film. This was a digital camera. So he said no.

    Once the guard realized it was digital he demanded that my husband delete ALL the pictures in the camera.

    At this point my husband just walked away, leaving the guard standing there looking very upset that he couldn't do anything.

    I will elaborate that my husband was on a public road, not on the private property, so trespassing would not apply. He was taking a picture of a building clearly visible to the public.

    Even if the security guard had been a law officer (which they're not, no matter how much they want to be treated as such) there is nothing that will prevent you from taking pictures in public. There is no guarantee of privacy when you're in a public place. If he had planned on publishing the photos then there might be issues with people in the pictures but a picture of a building isn't protected.*

    * I know there were some lawsuits in Chicago about people taking pictures of the sculptures displayed in Millenium Park and the artists were getting up in arms about their 'copyrighted works' being misued. I believe that went nowhere but this being Slashdot someone will come along with more information. If there is more information,

  • by speedtux ( 1307149 ) on Friday August 15, 2008 @11:05AM (#24615623)

    Sorry, but even ignoring the fact that your stats are an order of magnitude off that's pretty inaccurate.

    Actually, the stats are accurate: there's been a lot happening in the compact market place.

    those cameras have sensors a fraction of the size of SLRs, meaning lower sensitivity, less information per pixel, and more noise and distortion.

    That matters to landscape and portrait photographers, it doesn't matter much to news photographers.

    If you want to take any kind of professional or artistic photograph, you will need a more capable tool.

    Funny, that's what photographers used to say about 35mm, which was an absolutely ridiculously low quality format when it came out.

  • I know a photographer that had someone try to collect money over their HORSE being in the picture. wow. just wow.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 15, 2008 @11:12AM (#24615729)

    I was working in Kuwait City for a couple weeks and while staying at the Hilton Hotel Compound took a few pictures of the beach and the Persian Gulf.

    The security guards were under orders to not allow any scenic pictures anywhere in the resort. Nice, kindly 3rd world gentlemen from Nepal who would be deported if they did not follow orders.

    Blaming the guards for the paranoia of the Kuwaiti leadership was silly, and the same may be true for the US.

  • by jjohnson ( 62583 ) on Friday August 15, 2008 @11:56AM (#24616471) Homepage

    What your quick analysis (and the witness's comment) miss is that the lens in question was a 14mm prime, a super-wide-angle lens. It's about two inches long and wide--meaning it looks like the furthest thing from a zoom lens, or a long lens meant for getting close up shots.

    An intelligent guard would have 1) known this, or 2) looked at the photographs on the camera, and seen that these were wide-angle crowd shots, not cleavage-stalking nn pr0n. Had an intelligent guard handled the situation, a publicity seeking ZOMGOppression! dick like Thomas Hart wouldn't have had an excuse for another round of "the man is keeping me down!"

  • by fishbowl ( 7759 ) on Friday August 15, 2008 @11:56AM (#24616477)

    >Security guards on private property only have you the power to leave and, if you refuse, escort you from the premises.

    They have all the rights of any other citizen, which does in some instances, include the right to use force (e.g., self-defense,
    stopping a violent crime). Depends on the locale. I wouldn't push my luck in Arizona. Regardless of them being mere "security guards",
    simply as citizens they are allowed to carry firearms. And if they want to make a case that something like shoplifting includes "aggravated
    trespass" they can actually shoot and would probably get away with it.

  • by internetcommie ( 945194 ) on Friday August 15, 2008 @12:15PM (#24616781)

    There is no evidence that photography has EVER been used by terrorists in planning an attack. Not even once in the history of terrorism.

    And believe it or not, of all the ridiculous laws passed using 9/11 as an excuse, not even one mentions photography. So the security guards/incompetent cops who use 9/11 as an excuse for telling people they aren't allowed to take photos are out to lunch. And they ought not come back on duty till they have learned the law.

  • by Duradin ( 1261418 ) on Friday August 15, 2008 @12:23PM (#24616895)

    Yes, we must use "think of the children (and women)!" as the primary rational for our laws.

    Wait, emotional response as a foundation for a rational law, does not compute.

    Personally, I'd find it normal for someone to be taking a picture of a woman. Cultural definition of beauty and all that. Children are sorta in the same boat. Society has been deluded into think those vile disease spreading proto-humans are "cute".

    Now someone taking a picture of me, an ugly lug of a male? That's not normal. That'd mean there was a black helicopter or obsequious white van coming to take me away to a vacation in some unidentifiable basement.

    And really, when your argument relies on "but think of the [children|women]!" your argument is nothing but pandering to emotion.

  • by TheMCP ( 121589 ) on Friday August 15, 2008 @12:34PM (#24617079) Homepage

    I was at that same museum in San Francisco in May, and I was walking around with an SLR with a huge lens on it, and worse, I'd lost the lens cap on that trip so my SLR had no lens cap on, so while I was not in fact taking pictures, it probably looked like I was ready to do so any moment. I didn't get thrown out.

    Upon my arrival in the museum, the first thing I did was ask about their photography policy, which I was told was that I could take pictures in the lobby only. I then obeyed it, because while I didn't like the policy, I didn't care enough to want to protest. I did take one or two pictures in the lobby.

    If I remember correctly, once during my visit to the museum a guard approached me unnecessarily to tell me I could not take pictures. I replied "yes I know thank you", and that was the end of it.

    I'm curious whether the museum has changed its policy since May, or if I was erroneously not thrown out, or if Mr. Hawk did something else he's not mentioning that got him thrown out.

  • by AncientPC ( 951874 ) on Friday August 15, 2008 @01:50PM (#24618387)

    There may be some exceptions to this rule. For example, a Houston tourist was arrested in Austin for photographing two topless women in public. [statesman.com] However that arrest is being fought using the logic that "being in a public place implicitly gives consent to being photographed."

    Under state law, "improper photography" is defined as taking a photograph of someone or visually recording them without the person's consent and with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person. If convicted, Nguyen could face up to two years in a state jail.

    The state's indecent exposure law does not bar women from being topless in public.

    James Hemphill, a First Amendment lawyer in Austin whose clients include the American-Statesman, said that under a broad interpretation of privacy laws, a person implicitly gives consent to be photographed by being in a public place.

    "As a matter of constitutional law, given that a person is in public and given that a photographer is in a public place and given no extraordinary technology is used, the Constitution must require that photography be allowed and not punished," Hemphill said.

    "The lines start to blur when a person is in a private place but is visible from a public place, or with the using of technology to capture an image not visible with the unaided eye," he said.

  • Re:Trivial (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 15, 2008 @02:22PM (#24618951)

    I seem to recall it being rather dubious who actually did it, why and what their intentions were.

    Less than ten minutes after watching the second tower get hit, I proposed that the suicide bombers were attempting to bring attention to the West's role in funding persecution of the Palestinians and propping up dictatorships in the Middle East.

    Over one million children were killed in Iraq. The killing is continuing. As for what is taking place in Palestine these days, I can only say we have no one but God to complain to.

    What is taking place cannot be tolerated by any nation. I do not say from the nations of the human race, but from other creatures, from the animals. They would not tolerate what is taking place.

    A confidant of mine told me that he saw a butcher slaughtering a camel in front of another camel. The other camels got agitated while seeing the blood coming out of the other camel. Thus, it burst out with rage and bit the hand of the man and broke it.

    How can the weak mothers in Palestine endure the killing of their children in front of their eyes by the unjust Jewish executioners with US support and with US aircraft and tanks? -- Usama bin Ladden, "Hypocrites who Decieve God" [totse.com]

    If I sold my neighbor a car and he used it to run over children's pets, and then a bunch of children TP'd my house, I'd guess these things were related.

    Furthermore, who cares what they want to do! Do they (whoever they may be) have the power to do anything? They cannot do that by knocking down buildings.

    Testify, brother! Only cowards and fools are afraid of terrorism, glad to see you're neither. Fuck bin Ladden, fuck Ronald Reagan's al Quaeda thugs, and fuck our home-grown torturers too. They're all a bunch of whiny, sadistic losers who oughta be run out of town on a rail.

  • by Fri13 ( 963421 ) on Friday August 15, 2008 @03:31PM (#24620055)

    Did I say that compact and pocket cameras image quality is same or better than dSLR? No, I did not say. But on most situations, it does not matter is your photo taken with 12Mpix dSRL + 5000$ objective or is it just snapped with 300$ 12Mpix compact camera when it is printed to news paper. You can fix all lens distortions with one button, fix colors and all kind stuff, but it still looks same if printer to news paper or normal paper (If takes with small ISO) without cropping too much etc. The difference comes when we start taking photos in extreme situations or we want to control the whole workflow and in the end, print 3x2 meter prints or release photos on magazine paper, with bigger cropping etc.

    The photographing is bretty much "device sport", people thinks that what more expensive devices you buy, the better quality you always get. Photographing is art, skill and what most, it is science about light. You need to know how to "control" light and how to express yourself in photo. If you shoot people, you need to have good skills to control people, to get them express them self as you want them to look on photos.

    Pro photographer can do all kind stuff with even cheap camera, it does not mean that he could do better job than with expensive gear, but it does not mean either that you would get better photographs than with cheap gear automatically. It's just all about skills and gear comes as second.

    So when someone ask from me about what camera to buy, I never suggest them "Buy the most expensive what you can" or "Check this new model, it has 300Mpix"... It is always about the user where and how it is going to use that gear.

    And when you know the limits of gear what you use, you get much more out of it, than user who does not know what the gear actually can handle.
    This is now very typical thing when people is now bying camera, they look automatically those 1000$ dSLR cameras and they just keep them on Auto or P mode and then they think they get -far- superior photos with them than small pocket camera.
    It is just like giving a ferrari or Humvee for 80 year old grandmom who would drive with it 20mph 1mile to church and back, with just made asfalt road.

  • Re:stop it! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by oneTheory ( 1194569 ) on Friday August 15, 2008 @03:47PM (#24620293)
    This is interesting to me because on my drive to work today I saw 2 guys sitting on a sidewalk downtown with a video camera set up on a tripod next to them which I guessed was for a film project or something, but the thought crossed my mind "I wonder if they're planning something Evil(tm)?"

    Now as a semi-thinking human being I immediately sent that stupid thought packing, but the fact that it crossed my mind is indicative of the level of bombardment we have been dished with by our media and government about how we should live in fear (and I barely watch TV news or read mainstream papers).

    I wouldn't say the terr'wrists have won, but once enough of society gets to the point where we won't fight the powers that be as they slowly whittle away at our freedoms, it's pretty fair to say that they are winning thus far. There's always hope though.
  • by bigpat ( 158134 ) on Friday August 15, 2008 @03:57PM (#24620427)

    careful observation and critiques of human nature always seem somewhat prophetic. Turns out that being human is pretty predictable.

  • Re:Trivial (Score:4, Interesting)

    by WNight ( 23683 ) on Friday August 15, 2008 @04:01PM (#24620481) Homepage

    No they don't (just), stop perpetuating THAT lie.

    Their religious people are as crazy as ours. Our crazies (Cat-licks, etc) want everyone in the world to join their religion. That's why our (Western) past has so many religious wars - as everyone fought for and achieved some piece (even if only an armed stand-off) between the sky-fairy factions. When one of these groups arms itself, it has generally gone to war in the name of establishing its religious dominion. Ditto Mohamadanians.

    Militant muslims *are* trying to convert everyone in the world - or kill them trying. Like many other religions have been trying since their inception.

    Once you believe in a magical man in space who brings us all back to life (the good ones anyways) it's not a big stretch to believe he needs the souls of the unbelievers. And that it's not a (real) crime to do it.

    If nobody was religious and I produced a Koran, or Bible, and professed to believe in it more than life itself, I would be called crazy. But with this nonsense floating around everywhere nobody sees it for what it is: A batshit insane persons manifesto for controlling the world through violence and brainwashing.

    Osama BL's a self-declared devout follower of this "cleanse the unbeliever nonsense". His stated goal might be the USA out of SA, and that may even honestly be the biggest thing on his radar, but that doesn't mean that his religion hasn't taught him (and 50% of the co-religious populations who support him) to use violence to keep going that extra step and just deal with us unbelievers once and for all.

    Admit it, if OBL won a military victory over anyone, they'd be under space-ghost law the next day, having heads lopped off for talking to women. Taliban style. (Which is Chinese style, with more sex-crime craziness and no organ harvesting.)

    The fact that a religious murderer desires a certain political outcome does not imply that his violence will stop if he gets it. In fact, winning has a way of encouraging people. Today it's the USA out of SA, tomorrow what, Jews out of the world?

  • by MacDork ( 560499 ) on Friday August 15, 2008 @04:51PM (#24621135) Journal

    Funny, I don't remember taking any of my rights away.

    But do you remember giving any of your rights away?

    Rights can't be given away. They are rights and infringement is never justified because the violated are unwilling/unable to resist. Take slavery for example... Forcing people into slavery is always wrong. Period. If you're enslaving them, the moral responsibility is on you, the slaver. To say that people brought it on themselves because they didn't resist enough is blaming the victim. Doing that is as morally reprehensible as the actual act of taking the rights, because it indicates you are accepting those morally reprehensible actions as justice.

    There are times when civil disobedience ought to be an obligation, not just a right.

    The right to civil disobedience? A right is an established claim on something. Your right to speak, live free, or defend yourself is not granted, given, or bestowed upon you. You simply have them. The Bill of Rights does not grant these things. It simply enumerates and acknowledges them by explicitly forbidding government infringement of them. Should the government void that social contract and infringe on your rights, it's still your right to decide what to do about it. You've totally misunderstood the whole point of rights. Obligating someone to resist and be punished under unjust law would itself be an infringement of your rights, and that isn't just my opinion. I know of at least one other guy who would disagree with your assertion:

    "If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen." —Samuel Adams

  • by DesScorp ( 410532 ) <DesScorpNO@SPAMGmail.com> on Friday August 15, 2008 @08:47PM (#24623243) Homepage Journal

    "Pearl Harbor was an act of war by an actual official country. It was part of continued efforts by Japan to wage war on our country. Real war. Not this diluted down "war on [drugs|terror|crime]"."

    If you don't think what Al Qaeda is doing is "real war", then you're a fool, simply stated. If you want to really hurt the United States, this is how you conduct war against us.

    No, Al Qaeda isn't a country with a flag and a uniformed army. But that's the whole point. After WW II and Korea, it became bleedingly obvious to even the most obtuse minds that you couldn't beat the United States in a traditional army-on-army nation/state fight. America's will, riches, and industrial base were just too hard to overcome. That's why our hardest openents haven't been countries since then, but guerilla organizations. And not just against the US, but the West in general. If Libya declares a line of death and sends fighters against the 6th fleet, we shoot them down and bomb their air force bases. But Hamas/Islamic Jihad/Al Qaeda... they blow up bus stations, hijack airplanes, mow down pedestrians... and then flee behind some other country's borders. Hamas has taken this to a high art (or low, if you will), by perfecting the technique of hitting Israelis and then running and hiding in family homes, schools, hospitals, etc... and then daring Israel to strike them.

    Not a uniformed army? Damn right. The bad guys got smart, and realized uniformed armies don't stand a chance against us. But that doesn't make bringing the towers down, or blowing up Khobar Towers, or making a great big hole in the USS Cole any less an act of war, because I promise you that Al Qaeda certainly believes they're at war against us. They've simply minimized their vulnerabilities. They sure act like they're at war.

    "9/11 happened once. *poof* done. There's no sustained offensive. We aren't fighting to take back Manhattan."

    Again, they've learned not to do things like "sustained offensives"... they've learned that it is much more effective for them overall to hit big targets, terrify the population, and then move on to planning the next big act of terror. People like you seem to think that because the Towers operation wasn't done by a uniformed force, and wasn't designed to take out a military objective that it wasn't war, that it wasn't strategic thinking. But Bin Laden wanted to bring down our most important symbols... the Pentagon, probably the White House, and the two buildings that most represented American financial power. Symbols matter, sir. Reference Jimmy Doolittle's tactically useless but strategically brilliant B-25 raid from carriers against Japan. It caused a few fires, destroyed a few buildings, but raised American spirits immensely. After months of taking a licking in the Pacific, we were ready to carry on after Jimmy's flight.

    Every time a World Trade Center or a Khobar Towers happnes, our enemies re-dedicate themselves to their fight. They're inspired.

    By bringing down the Towers, Bin Laden was in essence telling us that "I can't take out an aircraft carrier or smash an armored division, but I can shake your (and the world's) confidence in your true weapons... your financial dominance">.

    The Towers operations were, frankly, as brilliant a strategic operation as any conventional military battle. We couldn't immediately fight back on this front at all. And how did we lose Vietnam? Simply put, we lost the will to fight. We won military. The Tet Offensive was an absolute disaster. We crippled the NVA and Viet Cong so badly they couldn't mount a major offensive for another 12 months. But Walter Cronkite goes on TV and says we can't win, and LBJ realizes its over, our will to win is gone. Will to win is essential. And Al Qaeda targeting two things they could wound... our financial sector and our will to win.

    "Really, and this is what "they" don't want you to realize, is that OBL and crew just aren't relevant here."

  • by Fri13 ( 963421 ) on Saturday August 16, 2008 @06:17AM (#24625211)

    Check out Casio Exilim pro EX-F1. It's shutter speed is 1/40 000 and it takes 60 frames per second (FPS). Bad thing is, the sensor is only a 6Mpix but good news is, all photos are 6Mpix, even that you shoot with full speed. Other problem is, it transfer 180Mbytes per second when taking 60FPS. You can set camera to start storing photos before you have actually pressed button, so you dont miss a situation. Other bad things are it does not have good wide lens, only a 36-435mm lens (12x).

    The normal point-and-shoot pocket cameras has great lag, some even when half-pressed. But many compact cameras are fine for street shooting and dSLR is not always needed. I would not shoot sports or other situations with 2.5FPS, even the 5FPS can be a slow today for such thing if I would only use continues shooting, usually I just relay by own timing and I'm fine with one shot. I had a Nikon D2X few months and I really liked it 8FPS but because it was cropped, it was very annoing, on film time I had motorback on every camera and it was nice on that time. Usually shooting can happend on low light conditions, that continues shooting is impossible.

    The lens and sensor quality is never on same level than on dSLR but the quality on pocket/compact cameras can be enough to get great prints even for big sizes like 75x50cm.

The relative importance of files depends on their cost in terms of the human effort needed to regenerate them. -- T.A. Dolotta