Snapshots to the People

December 7th, 2002

Mie and Dav - click for more photosLovely and talented Mie lives in Tokyo. Dashing, fleet-footed Dav lives in San Francisco — downstairs in my house.

Dav and Mie have a thing goin’ on…

Mie has one of those new cel phones with a digital camera built in. Dav arranged things so that Mie can take a snapshot anywhere, at any time, and that image will immediately appear on Tokyo Tidbits, a special blog site that he created.

Now Dav bought a similar device for himself. When it arrives, distant Mie will tune in to the latest images from Dav’s San Francisco life. Choke on that, Hallmark…

These networked, wireless camera devices are just the thing for long-distance puppy lovin’. But here’s what I love most about them: they comprise a powerful new weapon against censorship and brutality. They allow people to immediately distribute evidence of wrongdoing without fearing that local authorities might examine or confiscate their film. Take a snapshot and the photo disappears from your device; but within minutes that image appears in the e-mail boxes of friends and colleagues around the world, or if you prefer, it’s stored safely on a server on the other side of the planet.

Networked wireless camera devices are becoming cheaper and more popular by the month. (How cheap? Consider Dav’s hiptop phone/camera/Internet device: it costs $99 with a special December Amazon rebate, and the service costs $40 per month, which includes always-on Internet access and a basic cel phone plan). And these prices should fall substantially in the years to come.

Already folks are sharing their photos from the field on sites like Hiptop Nation.

With fascism on the rise and civil liberties under siege all over the planet, innovations like these keep me from losing hope. Injustices will continue. But as more people can afford to arm themselves with wireless networked cameras, fewer injustices will go undocumented and unpunished.

[ More inspiring thoughts about mobile blogging: “From Weblog to Moblog” by Justin Hall. ]

4 Responses to “Snapshots to the People”

  1. comment number 1 by: Mie

    Hi! I had very limited internet access for a frustrating few weeks, and now got it back! So I’m excited to finally put some stuff on my blog without having to painfully type on my tiny phone…but I’m really still trying to figure out what this blog business is all about…I’m no tech person and when Dav first suggested a blog, I had never heard of it and couldn’t sense how to use it. Well, I was curious about the “visitors view log” thing – found some Cheesebikini referrals – and am beginning to get how all the connections can be made. Yikes. I had no idea people were already lookin’ at mine. Gotta go out and get some juicy Tokyo Tidbits for real now. But many thanks for listing my site. Wow.
    See you soon!

  2. comment number 2 by: Ruby

    Hey this is going to sound weird, but did Dav used to live in Chapel Hill, NC? I’m not sure from the picture since I never saw him from that, um, angle. If it is, tell him the whole ch-scene says HEY.

    Rock on, y’all. Nice blogs all around.

  3. comment number 3 by: Dav

    Are you looking at my bum? Dirty bum looker!

  4. comment number 4 by: Pete

    looking at *your* bum Dav?