surveillance-cameras-400 Video stuff is always interesting to me. My wife runs an in home daycare and we decided to put a wireless web camera in the playroom so the parents could check in on their kiddos and watch them play. It’s actually been kind of a draw and the parents think it’s so cool and technological.

I’ve never told them how simple it was to set up. Basically, all you need to know is how to put a camera on the wall and how to operate the tiny web server built into the camera.

It’s not great video, but it’s good enough for what we need. It’s online, parents can check it, and they can easily distinguish their kids from other kids. If I wanted to, I could buy a nice, HD camera set up and do the same thing. I won’t do that because a) I don’t really have the money to drop on something like that and b) it’s not like I’m protecting an Apple Store or anything.

Oh yes, speaking of which, have you seen this? It’s a video of theives smashing through the front door of an Apple Store and cleaning the place out in 31 seconds. In that time they scored 23 MacBook Pros (~$1,700 a piece), 14 iPhones (~$200), and 9 iPods (~$200). That’s over $43,000 in merch stolen in a very short amount of time. It’s okay though, the Apple Store had video surveillance cameras.

Using those video cameras we can clearly see, well, nothing.

100-HD-Hero-02 Seriously, you can see five humanoids break through a window (HA! They had to break Windows to get into an Apple Store!) and then these five bipedal creatures wearing clothes (some of them have hair) can be seen cleaning house like a coked up Martha Stewart. You can’t see faces, you can’t see if any of them have identifying tattoos or markings. They wore masks, but you couldn’t see their faces even if they didn’t. Look at the security guard when he (Or is it a she? Can you really be 100% sure?) does his rounds and then conveniently runs in after the coast is clear. Can you see his face?

You can’t see shit. And that’s what gets me. There are HD security systems that are able to pick up details and allow for some enhancement to those details. But no one has them. A while back a woman was kidnapped from a local WalMart parking lot. The WalMart security cameras were able to catch the kidnapper on their video and they also got video of the back end of the car. So you’d think we could see a face and a license plate, right?

Wrong. You could see a larger humanoid blob get accosted by a smaller humanoid and then they drove off in a dark coloured shape with a small white thing in the middle of it that, I’m told, was the license plate. Seriously, if I showed you the video without context, you wouldn’t even know it was a kidnapping. How many bank robbery surveillance picutres have you seen where the robber isn’t even recognizeable. “HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MAN?” the news pleads. Sure I’ve seen that man, and about sixteen other guys who look kind of like that.

In a day and age where more and more people have HDTVs, PlayStation 3s, Xbox 360s, HD cameras, and you can upload and watch HD video on the net, you’d think these stores would spring the money for video technology that would actually stand some chance of catching someone. As we can see, video surveillance is no longer a deterrent because the criminals know that the images are so lousy that no one can tell who’s in them.