Saturday, March 11, 2006

Teens distributing home made sex videos? Let's hand out webcams to their parents!

Hardly has Singapore recovered from the shock of the 'Tammy' sex video, or mobile phone company M1 offers the next instalment in the increasingly fashionable Demolish-Your-Own-Privacy soap series.

The Tammy Nyp affair tells us two things, loud and clear:
  1. Tech-savvy teens badly need to learn how to match technology skills with data protection;
  2. Their poor tech-unsavvy parents don't have the faintest clue what's going on behind the wallpapers on their kids' screens, or what to do about it.

So what's M1's answer? More webcams! Let's give them away with mobile phone subscriptions, so they can broadcast their videos right away! And guess what? Let's hand them out to people who are least capable to use them and are likely to wreak most havoc on both their own and their kids' privacy!

Actually, M1 says it so much better in the ad found in today's Straits Times: 'Want to see what your angel's been up to when you're not there? Now you'll never miss a moment's action with M1 WebCam Value Plus. No kidding...

I have no idea what M1 has in mind with this large-scale distribution of accidents-waiting-to-happen but boy would I like a quick word with the Einstein who thought this one up.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jos.

In some ways, I guess I must take the "credit" for being the "Einstein" that thought up M1 WebCam - I work for M1's R&D subsidiary... ;-)

Fortunately, in the time the service has been around, we haven't had a disastrous situation such as the one you described (thank God!) - your point is valid nonetheless and well taken.

I wanted to take this opportunity to invite you to try a new service we've put together, that draws on the learnings from M1 WebCam and makes it a whole lot easier to use. It's called HomeCamera (see, is completely free at this time (and will remain free for all our early customers who help us with our beta), is targeted at users worldwide (that's right, even subscribers of our red and green rivals ;-) ), and, really, is something I'm very very proud of having helped put together.

I'd sincerely appreciate any thoughts and comments you may have on the service. I'm worried about putting my email address on a public site (email harvesters being what they are) but I invite you to write to me through the contact us page on the HomeCamera site.

Looking forward to your thoughts.


- Varun.

Jos. said...

Hi Varun,

Thanks for your comment, it's much appreciated. I had a look at your new service and it looks very cool indeed! Especially the fact that it looks easy and intuitive to set up, and adds quite a lot of benefits to your any webcams you set up.

I think this is a considerable improvement over the service in the post above, in that this one targets people who already have webcams and presumably have some experience with their use (and abuse). Offering the service plus a free cam to newbies was a bit like throwing non-swimmers into the deep end of the pool.

Having said that, my comment would still be to spend a bit more time and space to educating prospective users on the do's and don'ts in having operational webcams. Also from the tour on your website I can't see what kind of security measures you offer.

Finally: I'd love to sign up but I don't own any webcams, unfortunately! But this new service is tempting so I might pop out later and buy one, just to find out!


PS you can reach me on JBirken at MarketingScience dot com (replace at and dot with corresponding signs).

joseph2008 said...

Parents who think they have instilled some kind of wisdom, or at least caution, into their teenagers should keep that in mind Teens distributing home made sex videos.
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