Internet For Assholes
This week: Digital cameras for assholes

Technology has finally evolved to fulfill one of mankind's long-standing dreams: creating pornography without taking the film to a processing lab. (Legend has it film developers who discovered nudity either called the authorities -- or made "personal copies.") But as Archimedes once remarked: Any new technology brings with it new possibilities for being an asshole...

See also...
... by Lou Cabron
... in the Whoa! section
... from November 17, 1999

Digital cameras allow you to get an image onto the Web immediately, without having to process the film... or even scan it! When your co-worker reaches his cubicle some fateful morning, imagine his surprise when there's already a Web site with the headline, "Employee wears same stupid pants for the second time this week!"

The site will be accompanied, of course, by a picture of him getting off the elevator in your building seconds before -- because you've just uploaded the incriminating photo to the already-waiting Web page. (Warning: Don't get caught taking the photo!)

When it comes to harassing someone, a digital picture is worth a thousand words.

One asshole took it further, wreaking vengeance on a magazine staffer who'd had an unduly sentimental attachment to his coffee mug. The rogue employee not only swiped the mug, but used a digital camera to display photographs of it on the Web! Moments later, suitably taunting emails followed from, of course, an anonymous and untraceable account.

"You cannot catch me!" the messages gloated. "I am the Mug Bandit!!!"

Besides eliminating the $6-an-hour flunky at the photo processing booth, digital cameras also let you delete shots you don't like from the camera's storage disk -- and start over! (Sort of like shaking an Etch A Sketch.) In one bold leap, digital cameras have eliminated the economic disincentive to get stoned and then photograph your face. Think of it as re-usable film. One Webmaster is even offering the Web community regular snapshots of his nipple.

This newfound river of inexhaustible footage filled the Web with answers to burning issues of the day -- like, "How does Spam decompose compared to other organic materials?" Who can resist a page that promises to let them "View the daily decay"?

A link even welcomes suggestions for other Web-based experiments. ("Hey! What would you like to see rot?")

Soon other pages followed their lead, and the Mold Cam folks began offering their own suites of photos that showed refrigerator refuse confronting the tortures of time. Throwing more technology at this glorious waste of time, they then spliced the photos into a stop-motion movie documenting the deterioration. (Mold Cam One is called "Night of the Living Strawberries.")

The creators of the Mold Cam also mastered an important principle: Wasting time is even more fun when you do it at your workplace. Regrettably, this did create unforeseen hazards. One segment of the film appears darker for the simple reason: "Janitor turned off light."

Digital cameras have other applications besides photographing decaying things (and selling crap on eBay.) For advanced assholes, why not impersonate a real newspaper? After you've copied the HTML from the morning's New York Times to a bogus doppelganger, send a bulk email out with the phrase "New York Times story" hyperlinked to your page!

Plant rumors of hostile takeovers, invent presidential candidates, and spread warnings about drug-resistant bacteria and a local outbreak of sexually transmitted diseases.

Think of it as a journalism and creative writing class combined.

What happens if your intended target notices the discrepancy of addresses, or asks obvious questions -- like, why is The New York Times appearing on a GeoCities Web page, or why would The New York Times be interested in my shoes? You can cover your tracks even further by replacing the domain name with its numerical Internet address. Every Web page has one -- and there are Web pages that'll supply the information. For example, type the name of the domain you're using into the form on this page and watch the fun begin!

By the way, the numerical address for is

The digital camera is, of course, a stalker's best friend. ("Here's the photos of you I took when I was in your backyard.") We've barely scratched the surface -- but you'll have to figure the rest out for yourself.

I've got to go get stoned and take photos of my face.

See also:
Copyright Infringement for Assholes
Mocking Rick Wallace for Assholes
Chatting for Assholes
Skepticism for Assholes
Voting Fraud for Assholes
Spamming for Assholes
Disposable Identities for Assholes
Anonymity for Assholes
Stalking for Assholes
Religion for Assholes
Death for Assholes
eBay for Assholes
Portals and Personal Ads for Assholes
Newsgroups for Assholes

Lou Cabron is GettingIt's resident asshole.

Internet for Assholes runs each Wednesday on GettingIt.