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“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” – Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

Fresh Reads from the Science 'o sphere!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Sex Videos And Hidden Cameras

The latest scandal to hit the region is the resignation of Malaysian Health Minister Chua Soi Lek, who quit after admitting that he was the man in a sex video that became widely circulated in public.

Fresh Brainz is not so interested in the private activities of powerful people, or the fairy-tale expectations of their conduct by the public.

However, we are fascinated by one detail of this debacle: hidden cameras in hotel rooms.

The reason why we think that hidden cameras are involved is because there are actually two DVDs in this scandal. According to the news report, the first one is 56 minutes long, showing the viewpoint of 4 cameras in the hotel room, followed by the sex video itself, which is 44 minutes long.

This clearly suggests that the Mr. Chua had been set-up.

Of course, most of us will never become a victim of such an elaborate plot, by simple virtue of our rankless, powerless anonymity.

If a sex video involving me and a "personal friend" were to be released in public tomorrow, everyone will be asking: "Leeeng-who?"

Besides, what's so interesting about 44 minutes of vigorous feet-tickling?


Still, we realize that many Fresh Brainz readers are on the fast track to success, and some of you may face an evil conspiracy like this one in the near future.

Thus, as a form of public service, we are happy to present some tips on how to defend yourself against hidden cameras:

1. Know Your Enemy

Modern hidden cameras are so tiny that they can be concealed in just about anything.

Just check out the mind-boggling variety of disguises...

Very black-hearted.

They come in two main types: hardwired and wireless. Hardwired cameras are directly cabled to a video recorder outside the room. If you find a regular household object sprouting suspicious-looking wires, it may be rigged with a hidden camera.

Wireless cameras depend on a transmitter to send the video over radiowave to a recorder outside the room, so they won't have wires sticking out. However, they contain a battery-powered transmitter (usually operated by 9V batteries), which will add a little more weight to the object. If you find something that feels suspiciously heavier than it normally is, or a soft object that seems to include something hard inside, it could be a wireless camera.

2. Know Your Friends

It's difficult to detect all hidden cameras with the unaided eye. Luckily for you, there are 21st century tools to help hunt them down.

Wireless camera detectors search for the radio frequencies used by camera transmitters to reveal their presence. Some models have a vibration function, so that you can discreetly scan the room without taking it out of your purse or pocket. One model is powerful enough to detect hardwired cameras and camcorders as well.

Reflection detectors use powerful LED lights to capture the glint from a camera lens and can be used to find all types of cameras. However, you'll need to physically check the room by shining the device all over the place, which may make you appear really paranoid to the other guests.

3. Trust No One

Is the hotel room full of conveniently placed accessories? Does it have heavy cabinets, mirrors or other furnishings that are permanently fixed onto the wall?

To avoid getting pwned by hidden cameras, microphone bugs or other forms of survelliance, always keep your guard up.

Don't frequent a particular room, which will give the bad guys a chance to rig up the room. Pick your own room and exercise a touch of randomness.

If the room contains movable furniture, turn them 180 degrees around.

If there are many glassy surfaces, cover them up or tape them down.

It may look paranoid, but if you do it well it can actually make the evening more exciting.

One more word of advice?

Don't make any "personal friends".

Would you like to know more?
Safety Guide: Hidden Cameras And How To Find Them (a free PDF guide by Main Street Safety)