WhyFi?

Singapore 2014 630The latest evocation of the Nikon camera has circuits inside it that instantly connect it to your telephone and pad. This may sound pretty mundane, but in fact it also ties you into your land line – even if you are on a party line and use a dial rotary phone or a tin can and length of wet string and the pad can be 8 x 11 ruled yellow legal papere. We’re talking serious connectivity here.

Apparently once you give it permission to send your pictures to everybody else in the world ( while giving you a notice on the LCD screen: ” No Images On Card ” ), you will never be able to actually turn it off. An internal command in the processing engine keeps it churning things out 24 hours a day. You can lock it into a drawer and it will still transmit pictures of your socks.

The may not be as dire as it seems – exhibitionists, Mr. Johnny Depp, and the NKVD are all in favour of this level of public broadcasting as it makes their own proclivities seem tame. It may mean a little more memory required – the latest SD card for the camera is the size of a loaf of bread and weighs two kilos – but users can be sure that files will never be lost. Whenever you need to see them they can be recovered from internet service providers and public LED billboards in the sleazier parts of town.

The facility to instantly share pictures of us taken in Turkish restaurant washrooms with the rest of humanity is new upon the planet. In ages before, an artist would take weeks or months to make a self-portrait, and probably tried to make it look flattering. Today the artist is content if the selfie does not show them with their feet actually in the toilet bowl.

I do applaud the ingenuity of the Nikon people and their good people sense in that they realise having to do 14 separate steps to push an camera image to Instagram is counter-productive. Full marks for making it all happen with one lot of settings that just work ever after. But please let us have the facility to turn them off occasionally.

Or even better. A remote control that turns other people’s selfies off when they try to post them.

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