SurveillanceSaver: "A haunting live soap opera."
February 23, 2008 9:49 AM   Subscribe

"SurveillanceSaver is an OS X screensaver that shows live images of over 400 network surveillance cameras worldwide." There is also a Windows version. Or check out the camera feeds without installing a screensaver (here are the feeds from Axis network cameras, for example). [Via.]
posted by milquetoast (29 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Be careful...even your screensaver is watching you. The only way to protect yourself is to wrap yourself and your bedroom in tinfoil.

Pretty cool. It could benefit from an image analyzer to exclude images that are too dark, indicating nighttime. (Examples - Czech Republic and Germany are both in the dead of night right now...nothing interesting to see...totally black screen with faint streetlights discernible.) But as I said - cool anyway.
posted by ThusSpakeZarathustra at 9:58 AM on February 23, 2008

Pretty creepy. So of course I installed it immediately.
posted by grouse at 10:00 AM on February 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Oh, neat. What's in the tank?
posted by swerve at 10:09 AM on February 23, 2008

Oh, neat. What's in the tank?

Manatees... or Germans (depending on which comment I'm responding to).
posted by hal9k at 10:15 AM on February 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Ideally this screensaver would activate your Mac's built-in camera and act as a server as well, so while you're seeing others on your screensaver, others are seeing you. Only fair, really.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:29 AM on February 23, 2008 [2 favorites]

Wow, the Axis camera feeds are fun. I'm only a few in, and I'm spying on some poor schlub livin' it up, workin' on the weekend (bet that salary doesn't look too good when you divide it by the number of hours you work, Mr. Corporate Professional), a Russian LAN gaming cafe, and a European car dealership. Neat.
posted by DecemberBoy at 11:07 AM on February 23, 2008

Terrific find, milquetoast, the first screensaver I've installed in maybe 10 years. Back in the early days of the web I would spend hours pulling pages from remote servers; .au, .cn, .za, just because I could. I'd marvel at how small the world had become and wonder how far this magnificent invention would take us.
I just watched a Russian shop assistant pick his nose live from Moscow. How far we have travelled indeed.
posted by punilux at 11:10 AM on February 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Can someone tell me what this is? It appears to be a bunch of marbles orbiting a glass dildo.
posted by DecemberBoy at 11:10 AM on February 23, 2008

this is as scary as it is cool. my neighbors have all installed shades, but now my voyeurism can start anew. thanks!
posted by Busithoth at 11:18 AM on February 23, 2008

Does this work in any version of OSX? I tried installing/running it a couple of days ago and OSX (10.3.9) never knew it was even there.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:21 AM on February 23, 2008

Here's a good one. It appears to be a bar, mounted to give a full view of the place. Just think, the next time you're at a bar, some weird obsessive Internet person may be watching you.
posted by DecemberBoy at 11:24 AM on February 23, 2008

posted by DecemberBoy at 11:36 AM on February 23, 2008

On my Windows system, the screensaver preview works correctly, but when inactivity triggers the screensaver, it crashes.
posted by grouse at 11:51 AM on February 23, 2008

Oligatory mention
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:55 AM on February 23, 2008

Thorzdad - at the bottom of the screensaver list, expand the "other" category. It should be there.
posted by ThusSpakeZarathustra at 11:59 AM on February 23, 2008

Doesn't seem to work for me in OS X (10.4.11). It appears in the list of screensavers, but when I select it and try to preview it or change the options, it just causes System Preferences to hang.
posted by Venadium at 12:05 PM on February 23, 2008

TSZ...Nope. In 10.3.9, there is no "Other" category. Only a "Choose Folder..." option below all the default choices. Choosing that and navigating to the ScreenSavers folder puts that folder on the list. But clicking on the list gives me a big "The selected folder contains no pictures..." error.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:08 PM on February 23, 2008

Thorzdad...Curses. Foiled again.
posted by ThusSpakeZarathustra at 12:34 PM on February 23, 2008

posted by mrzarquon at 12:35 PM on February 23, 2008

I think just saw Jimmy Hoffa sharing a beer with Elvis.
posted by Dizzy at 1:27 PM on February 23, 2008

Very cool concept! It reminds me of WebCollage, which makes collages based on images from random internet searches. (That link is likely NSFW. Remember that the internet is for porn kids.) It can be used in conjunction with DriftNet to sniff unencrypted local network traffic and snoop on images from other's web browsing. Definitely entertaining to run as a screensaver on the dorm's LAN during college...
posted by Bugg at 1:38 PM on February 23, 2008

Think, though--it's only a matter of time now before some Mefite witnesses a murder or a rape from across the globe. And they'll be nothing to do about it, you won't even have to report it at all.
Sounds fun!
posted by Citizen Premier at 2:48 PM on February 23, 2008

this is great.. i've been looking for something to replace the similar-in-concept RandomWeb after it decided to stop working on my iMac.
posted by ianaces at 4:19 PM on February 23, 2008

This is really cool.

Something similar I made last summer
posted by joelf at 6:44 PM on February 23, 2008

Speaking of, does anyone have any good links that might do creative things with my built-in Macbook Pro webcam? Like, for example, maybe taking a shot each time I open my 'Book, or something of the kind?
posted by newfers at 8:56 PM on February 23, 2008

1. THEY MADE A PC VERSION THANK GOD!! Thanks for letting posting this, I installed it as soon as I saw your post. I love to just sit and watch these feeds.
2. Thanks Joelf! I've been searching for that for a bit after seeing it some time ago.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 11:08 PM on February 23, 2008

Nice! Glad to see there's a Mac version first. ;-)

On Leopard, if you get a black screen, just wait 30 seconds. Eventually something will pop up. It seems to work ok so far.
posted by drstein at 9:02 AM on February 24, 2008

Not that anyone's still looking here, but this app won't scale as it is to a mass market. 400 cameras, each with very restricted bandwidth, divided by many thousands of users would create a lot of contention for any given camera. To do this right you'd have to have your own server or servers caching the image and providing real bandwidth.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:01 AM on February 24, 2008

400 cameras with 200,000 people cycling through them even while not at their PCs? I don't see how that could cause a problem....
posted by samsara at 4:35 PM on February 24, 2008

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