Thursday, February 24, 2005

There's a camera everywhere, for good or for ill

A year or so back I read an article in which Digital Camera Shopper decided to compare the various flash memory card formats for durability. I think the attempt was to determine which of the various formats were most robust, but had difficulty differentiating between them, as all cards easily survived being dipped into cola, put through a washing machine, dunked in coffee, trampled by a skateboard, run over by a child's toy car and given to a six-year-old boy to destroy. It was only when the testers started doing things like smashing the memory cards with a sledgehammer and nailing them to a tree that some of the cards stopped working.

This received a certain amount of coverage in the blogosphere at the time, and one blogger (who I thought was Instapundit, but I cannot now find the reference) to observe that it was clear that the only way to destroy memory cards was to drop them into the same fires of Mount Doom in which they were forged.

Sadly, we now have another demonstration of the durability of memory cards. They can apparently survive when the camera (and the people carrying it) are smashed to death by a tsunami. We therefore have a sequence of pictures of the tsunami approaching.

News footage has long been about showing the consequences of distasters rather than the disasters themselves, as generally there haven't been cameras there when the disasters have actually happened. In recent years this has been changing, as so many people are carrying (still and motion) cameras with them to so many places that there now often are photographs of news events actually happening.

And sometimes, like this, this trend takes some strange and possibly disturbing twists.

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