San Francisco's Surveillance Cameras Have Horrific Frame Rates

from the just-commit-your-crime-quickly dept

There's plenty of reasonable concern over the increasing use of surveillance cameras -- but if you're going to install them, you'd think that you'd want cameras that were actually useful. Not so in San Francisco. As Engadget points out, the cameras in San Francisco have ridiculously bad frame rates, making them more like still cameras than video cameras. In some cases, there are 10 seconds between frames, meaning that the "footage" is often not particularly useful in solving crimes. San Francisco still insists that the cameras are useful for deterrent purposes. Somehow we doubt that it's a "feature" of these cameras to protect privacy by being horrifically bad. It does make you wonder, though, who makes security cameras that only take a photo every 10 seconds -- and, even more importantly, why would anyone buy such a security camera?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    John S, Jan 29th, 2008 @ 9:22pm

    I know who!

    Zoos who monitor sloths and turtle behavior!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Jan 29th, 2008 @ 9:32pm

    Muni Wi-Fi

    Maybe they were designed to use, but NOT to overload the planned (but problematic) muni SF Muni Wi-Fi network, which only guarantees speeds of 256kbps in the SLA. (sarcasm tag)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Omali, Jan 29th, 2008 @ 10:00pm

    A modest budget

    "Run on a modest budget"

    Translation: Our CEO's took some spare change out of their pockets and voila! Budget.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2008 @ 10:12pm

    Considering the recent tiger attack at the San Francisco zoo, zoos might not be a good place either, John.

     

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  5.  
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    Swiss Cheese Monster, Jan 29th, 2008 @ 10:22pm

    Maybe they are just saving the hard drive space and bandwidth for their gay porn.

    Our cameras let us adjust frame rate, so I don't know that blaming the technology is the way to go, but rather, lets blame the politicians for yet another stupid decision.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2008 @ 11:04pm

    i would think the cameras are capturing plenty of gay porn on their own.

     

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  7.  
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    Trerro, Jan 29th, 2008 @ 11:35pm

    My guess is either:

    A. They went with the lowest bidder, and didn't bother learning just how bad a camera can get.

    or

    B. Whoever was in charge of the purchase knew nothing about cameras, and some salesman managed to unload a massive pile of crappy cameras that no one else would ever buy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Willy, Jan 30th, 2008 @ 6:17am

    Could it be

    A friend or relative of Gavin Newsom?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Rollie Cole (profile), Jan 30th, 2008 @ 7:10am

    Other Uses for Video Surveillance

    "crummy" video cameras, as well as "good" ones do have roles to play other than deterring or detecting crime. Let's think "outside the box" for a minute, add to this list:
    1. They can show traffic - is there none, normal, slow, stopped?
    2. They can show nice views - one could imagine "electronic windows" that would stream feeds from video cameras from chosen spots around the world
    3. They can verify the state of something -- I note that Google maps shows whether the umbrella on my back deck is open or closed -- in addition to traffic, could show firms open or closed, has parade started, is weather clear or cloudy, are lights still on; are kids still playing in the park; is babysitter still with them

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    jakalack, Jan 30th, 2008 @ 7:10am

    Camera Maker

    The cameras are mega-pixel (very high resolution) cameras with a max FPS of 12. The article also states that there is a WiFi issue in this area, and a storage issue system wide.

    Taken from:
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/01/28/MN37TKH6O.DTL

    "The cameras in the Mission, [are] made by IQinVision of San Clemente (Orange County), provide optimal footage at 12 frames per second, said Peter DeAngelis, the company's president."

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Cixelsid, Jan 30th, 2008 @ 7:44am

    Re: A modest budget

    "Run on a modest budget"

    Translation: We got lotsa money but our halfwitted manager paid his brother to do it and kept the rest for himself so he can start his own animal psychology practice.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Gizmo, Jan 30th, 2008 @ 9:47am

    Makes you wonder what they spent all of California's Money on.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Clueby4, Jan 30th, 2008 @ 10:23am

    Because it's theater

    Most security is theater anyway so this does nnt surprise me, what is surprising is that they actually attempt to use that as a rationalization and know one seems to notice.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Clueby4 response, Jan 30th, 2008 @ 1:39pm

    Live in the real world? Philadelphia's citizens wanted the city to install cameras becasue they were dying. If you lived in the real world, you would understand it and know its not just theater.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 4:39pm

    Space some server space?

    "But they acknowledged that most of the city's cameras achieve only 80 percent of the resolution they are capable of, and that they generate, at best, two to four frames per second because the city lacks the data storage space to accommodate more footage."
    You'd think Sun, Google or even Apple would throw them a server or two...

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Overcast, Feb 5th, 2008 @ 5:17am

    Maybe they are just saving the hard drive space and bandwidth for their gay porn.

    Our cameras let us adjust frame rate, so I don't know that blaming the technology is the way to go, but rather, lets blame the politicians for yet another stupid decision.


    Yes..

    But still there are no technological 'wonders' that will stop crime.

    But - along with the FBI's biometric database, and an implanted chip soon to follow, the Government will have some REAL control.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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