In case you haven't been reminded yet today of the nascent idiocy always a-bubble just below the surface of Congress, consider that Rep. Peter King (M-NY*) has recently introduced a bill to mandate that silent cameraphones emit a "tone or other sound audible within a reasonable radius of the phone." His objection seems to be that otherwise, people with cameraphones might make pictures without their subjects being aware of it.
That's right. He's proposing that the government decide how all cameraphones must sound when taking a picture.
Oh, good idea. I can hear heavy construction equipment backing up from a mile away, ostensibly so it won't run me over by mistake. That's just the sort of thinking we need applied to cameraphones. Let's have a nice annoying shriek every time someone snaps a picture—cellphones just aren't annoying enough yet. Where's the counterbalancing noise pollution legislation? Who's going to introduce that?
King's so-called "Camera Phone Predator Alert Act" (H.R. 414) takes at least two recent subjects of public hysteria to reductio ad absurdii—the demonization of any adult showing even benign interest in kids, and the general persecution of photographers that began after the death of Britain's Princess Diana and has gotten worse as a result of alleged but unproven links between camera usage and terrorism. Bah and humbug. Note to Rep. King: These are actually perilous times, with real problems to deal with. You actually have important work to do—so quit dicking around and get to it!!
What an idiot.
I'm sorry. You perceive that my journalistic objectivity has crumpled. But some things just rise above the normal run of stupid—and this is one more.
I found out about this on Ars Technica.
(Thanks to Dave Kee)
*That stands for "Moron of New York."
Featured Comment by Cyril: "In the same spirit, let's re-introduce several-second-delays between when the shutter is pressed and when the picture is taken, so that people can be alerted by the mandatory shutter noise and move away before the picture is taken. This of course is only valid for P&S. DSLRs are more conspicuous and their owner will have been arrested long before any picture is taken."