The terrorists are coming! The terrorists are coming!

The terrorists are coming! The terrorists are coming!
: Mike Wendland reports today on Priceline founder Jay Walker’s brain dingleberry to put web cams on power plants and other criticial facilities so nosy web watchers can keep an eye out for evil masked men approaching to blow them up. Sign up here.


How can you tell on a crappy web cam that somebody’s suspicious or merely dressed like a union worker?

And by the time you see this suspicious person and notify somebody, isn’t the plant probably already a smoking pile or rubble?

And if the bad guy can find the cam, can’t he put bubblegum in the lense or hack it to show old episodes of Gilligan’s Island?

And won’t authorities be besieged by calls from crackpots like Gladys Kravitz spying on Elizabeth Montgomery? (That’s a Bewitched reference, my children.)

This sounds like a remake of the remake of The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!

  • Let’s not be too critical: A lot of younger users are really excited about htis system. Many are eager to keep watch over national treasures like Brittany Spears and the Olsen Twins.
    If you do it right, you could get people to PAY to keep watch.

  • Balbulican

    Huzzah. This could turn a national obsession into a national psychosis.

  • 1) I believe the point is that these are places no one normally approaches. If three viewers agree someone is there, then someone checks to see whether there’s some sort of authorized repair going on.
    2) The cameras are real-time (or that’s the idea), and unless a Bad Guy ™ has supernormal powers, he’s going to take some time – minutes or hours – to turn the plant into a smoking pile of rubble.
    3) Unless the Bad Guy has supernormal powers (again), he can’t disable the camera before someone sees him. He’s unlikely to be able to disable the camera in such a way that the viewers looking at it at that moment won’t notice it and click the “Eep” button.
    4) If someone hallucinates Bad Guys ™, they’re taken off the list and their votes don’t count toward the threshold needed to conclude something needs to be checked.