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Making a Privacy Monitor From an Old LCD

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the wandering-eyes dept.

Technology 185

ryzvonusef writes "Instructables Member 'Dimovi' utilized a spare LCD monitor and converted it into a 'privacy' monitor. He took apart the monitor's plastic frame, cutting out the polarized film with a utility knife and removed the film adhesive from the glass panel before reassembling the monitor, which now shines a bright white regardless of what is actually being displayed on the screen. He then removed the lenses from a pair of theater 3D glasses, and replaced it with the polarized film he had just removed from the monitor. Now, he is the only one who can see what he is doing on his computer."

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AWESOME (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38190236)

TO THE MAX

Great hack. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38190274)

Very interesting hack. It would be perfect for laptops that are used while travelling (watching pr0n during your flight?).
I wonder how easy or difficult it would be to hack a notebook screen.

lol, captcha: decency

Re:Great hack. (5, Funny)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190554)

A notebook screen should be fundamentally the same.

As for the idea of watching porn during an airplane flight... the image on the screen is only the beginning of why doing that is frowned upon.

Re:Great hack. (3, Funny)

satuon (1822492) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190890)

Earphones have already solved the audio side of the problem.

Re:Great hack. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38190972)

As for the last part, are there really laws against hiring exotic danceres to work on your airline as stewardasses? I don't think so. And for that matter, whose laws do you have to obey in the air?

Re:Great hack. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38191340)

Which laws do apply during flight depends...on many things, but the general rule is that while in flight the laws of the country of registration of the plane apply. For commercial flight not registered in the same country as the commercial operator of the flight, the operator country's laws do apply. This matters for what happens between the passengers inside the plane.

The above statement is, obviously, overly simplified, since many things can complicate matters. For example the flight could be leased in a country to an operator dry renting or wet renting it to people/operators in other countries, the flight could be overflying some country which refuses to sign certain international treaties(or such a country could be the one of the mentioned leasers, owners, operators, renters etc.), also being in sovereign country's air or international waters does make a difference.

It's a whole convoluted matter. most of the time more than one country laws do apply, sometimes for example the operator country laws apply regarding civil matter, but both the operator's and overflown country laws apply regarding penal matte(Except the USA most countries have just these two categories, no "federal" matter). There have been situations where even the country of the single passengers or passenger's corporate countries have been important(it has been tried to avoid country laws by signing contracts on board of planes operated by companies in fiscal heaven countries. Usually this kind of trick will not work)

Re:Great hack. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38191098)

head phones would be required... but why would you want to on a plain in the first place...
No elbow room sandwiched between two other passengers. Save it on your phone and use the bathroom like everyone else.

Re:Great hack. (1)

Dynetrekk (1607735) | more than 2 years ago | (#38191124)

As for the idea of watching porn during an airplane flight... the image on the screen is only the beginning of why doing that is frowned upon.

I like the idea. Personally, I often carry a polarizer in a back pocket. Now, I have yet another reason.

Re:Great hack. (4, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190836)

Very interesting hack. It would be perfect for laptops that are used while travelling (watching pr0n during your flight?).
I wonder how easy or difficult it would be to hack a notebook screen.

But wouldn't anyone with a pair of polarizing sunglasses be able to see your screen?

I don't know enough about such things to know. I lent out my copy of Newton's Optics, and I keep my polarized sunglasses in a secret compartment I cut into the Enumeration of Lines of the Third Order.

Anyway, leave me alone. I'm trying to kill Al Ghul and bang Talia without having to squat in the Lazarus Pit.

Re:Great hack. (1)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | more than 2 years ago | (#38191522)

Yes, although they might have to tilt their head to get the polarization of their sunglasses oriented correctly in relation to the polarization of the screen.

Re:Great hack. (0)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190926)

I wonder how easy or difficult it would be to hack a notebook screen

A little harder than a monitor I would think. Notebooks aren't easy to get apart and back together again.

Re:Great hack. (4, Interesting)

Matheus (586080) | more than 2 years ago | (#38191064)

Not that hard... I've done it several times (the dis-assembly/re-assembly part... not the screen hack)

It helps significantly if you have the assembly manual but not required.

Re:Great hack. (1)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 2 years ago | (#38191242)

It helps significantly if you have the assembly manual but not required.

I won't disassemble or reassemble any laptop that wasn't my own, for love nor money, unless I've got a manual... which pretty much limits that to Dell machines (LOVE their documentation online) or Apple computers (due solely to the existence of iFixit), but that's just IME, of course.

Granted, when I first attempted tearing apart and repairing laptops (It's a computer, how hard could it be!), I either was unable to fix them, or ended up making the problem worse, or ended up with "extra" screws, or whatever. It's been many years, though. Perhaps newer machines are more friendly on the inside... but I somehow doubt it :P

Re:Great hack. (5, Interesting)

ebolaZaireRules (987875) | more than 2 years ago | (#38191378)

Umm... have you actually disassembled an Laptops LCD screen?
after taking the actual display out of the case, don't be fooled by thinking that thin == simple.
There are about 7 separate paged layers sandwiched into metal bezel... not actually hard to deal with, but if you dislodge one, you can destroy your screen (all the electronic connections are from 1 edge of the screen - the top, when I did it).
Putting it back together was a bit difficult... the backlight shines up through the screen, and it took me a dozen tries to get it to the point where the screen was usable.

It was a very fiddly job overall.... especially when in the end it was so easy to resolder the CCL that was attached to the bezel (I didn't need to dissassemble the display at all)...

Mind you, the laptop in question is the better part of 10 years old, so you have an easier time of it.

good luck...

Re:Great hack. (4, Insightful)

pulski (126566) | more than 2 years ago | (#38191070)

I'd be willing to bet that the minute someone on an airplane sees you staring at an all white screen for any period of time there will be an Air Marshal tapping you on the shoulder.

the down side (5, Funny)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190276)

Cool and clever hack. But it assumes that what you're displaying on the screen is more embarrassing than being seen wearing 3D glasses. An easier solution would be to just never let anyone into your lair.

Re:the down side (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190302)

Cool and clever hack. But it assumes that what you're displaying on the screen is more embarrassing than being seen wearing 3D glasses. An easier solution would be to just never let anyone into your lair.But then you'd have to hoover the Cheeto crumbs from under your Command Throne yourself.

Re:the down side (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190622)

Roomba...

Re:the down side (2, Funny)

DC2088 (2343764) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190324)

The Doctor wore 3D glasses and then saved the universe. There's nothing to discuss here.

Re:the down side (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38190436)

At the time it wore those glasses he "merely" save humans from our robotic cousins... and the Daleks for good mesure.
BUT
Those were 'color 3D' glasses, not sunglasses to be worn in a dark room...

Posting anonymous for pedentic tone :P

Re:the down side (2)

JustOK (667959) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190454)

yah, but a what cost? They weren't Rose coloured-glasses

Re:the down side (1)

DC2088 (2343764) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190986)

Ouuucccchhhh.

Re:the down side (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38190342)

Since the film would be basically clear because it's polarization that does the work, he could apply the film to any regular pair of glasses, not something that looked like it came from a 3D movie theatre. If he normally wears glasses, he might have a regular pair and a computer pair. I do. A pair of bifocals for distance and reading, usually used when driving, and a pair for working with the computer and reading.

Anyway, the polarization film applied to a regular pair of glasses wouldn't look any more out of place than any other pair of glasses.

Re:the down side (2)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190674)

Because polarization involves filtering out all of the light except the waves of a certain angle, they will inevitably look darker than Plain Old Glasses.

Re:the down side (1)

Rasperin (1034758) | more than 2 years ago | (#38191304)

And being that my regular glasses are already polarized...

Re:the down side (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190532)

Nope, any proper polarized glasses would work here. For example, polarized sun glasses.

Re:the down side (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38191142)

RTFA. You don't need to use 3D glasses.

Only one who can see the screen? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38190278)

Sure, unless anyone else is wearing polarized sunglasses in the vicinity.

Re:Only one who can see the screen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38190646)

Exactly,

What a dumb idea. All that effort to be clever, and foiled by a pair of Cheap Sunglasses(tm).

Re:Only one who can see the screen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38190710)

Zaphod, is that you?

Re:Only one who can see the screen? (2)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190808)

And to top it all off, don't all federal agents wear inconspicuous polarized sunglasses anyway? It's the MIBs, uh, here come the MIBs.

Re:Only one who can see the screen? (1)

neonKow (1239288) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190762)

Polarized sunglasses are all horizontally polarized. Maybe you could work around that so that you need vertically polarized glasses.

Re:Only one who can see the screen? (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190792)

Turn them 90 degrees. Bam! Vertically polarized.

Re:Only one who can see the screen? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38191068)

what about circular polarization?

Re:Only one who can see the screen? (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 2 years ago | (#38191658)

what about circular polarization?

Then any joker with a pair of 2D Glasses [2d-glasses.com] (or someone with regular 3D glasses and one eye closed) could read them :-)

Seriously though - the hack relies on the fact that LCD displays use linearly polarized light internally.

Re:Only one who can see the screen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38191172)

I tried that, but, bad news is like one in eighty people look like shit with the glasses on. Especially Paula.

Re:Only one who can see the screen? (1)

adonoman (624929) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190838)

tilts head... Foiled again!

If you're wearing a pair of polarized sunglasses, it's always good for a couple seconds of entertainment to sit there and look like an idiot tilting your head back and forth watching an LCD screen flip back and forth between normal and all black as the polarization lines up / goes perpendicular to the monitor's.

Re:Only one who can see the screen? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38190896)

They would still have to orient them correctly and know whether it was a plane-polarized or circular-polarized [wikipedia.org] filter. It would look a bit funny if someone was fiddling with a knob on their sunglasses, tilting their head at odd angles, or swapping 2 or 3 sets of them (I can't think of an easy way to switch from left to right circular-polarized shades without replacing the filter, but maybe there is a way).

Re:Only one who can see the screen? (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 2 years ago | (#38191728)

Sure, unless anyone else is wearing polarized sunglasses in the vicinity.

Yup. What you need is to hack one of the 3D systems that uses active LCD shutter glasses.

The screen would rapidly alternate between showing the actual image and a screen full of dazzling random hash. The shutter glasses, synced to the monitor would block out the hash and allow the user to see the image. Use a sync cable rather than some optical system, let the frequency wander randomly a bit and include some rogue flickering with the hash to make it hard for a bystander with active glasses to get in sync.

Or, don't watch porn in a shared office.

Sunglasses (1, Informative)

_merlin (160982) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190280)

He's the only person who can view it, apart from any clown with a pair of polarising sunglasses. What a gimp. Better off putting the effort into something worthwhile. It's easier to just use your computer in a room with a closed door.

Re:Sunglasses (4, Interesting)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190348)

Wearing polarised sunglasses indoors is kind of obvious. For someone who works with sensitive information, yet is in a publicly accessible area, this is a genuinely great idea.

Hell, I might even suggest this for my own workstation (back to the door, frequently working on sensitive data). I wear glasses anyway; It wouldn't be difficult to fit the film to the lenses I already require.

Re:Sunglasses (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190546)

Hell, I might even suggest this for my own "work"station (back to the door, and I hate it when the boss sneaks in from behind).

FTFY

Re:Sunglasses (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190586)

"For someone who works with sensitive information, yet is in a publicly accessible area, this is a genuinely great idea"

no it's not. if you are working with sensitive info in a public area then you are being very, very, VERY stupid. at LEAST work against a wall where it is impossible for someone to walk up from behind.

It's why the SQL guy at most corporations get's an office or a corner cube that has a single path in and no way for someone to look over his shoulder.

Re:Sunglasses (2)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190908)

Yes, it is utterly irresponsible to expose unprepared and untrained people to the unspeakable horrors of O***le, M**QL or S** Server...

Speak not their names lightly.

Re:Sunglasses (1)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#38191324)

I think if someone wants your sensitive information, they will bear the social stigma attached to wearing sunglasses indoors.

Re:Sunglasses (5, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190550)

Iirc polarizing sun glasses always have horizontal polarization (or was it vertical, can't remember, it's basically aimed at removing the rays reflected off water surface).

You can require exact opposite polarization here, meaning that sunglasses wouldn't work.

Re:Sunglasses (1)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190582)

Just turn your head sideways.

Re:Sunglasses (1, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38191274)

You and several others who suggested this probably didn't think of two major problems:

1. You're going to be pretty obvious
2. You head weighs a LOT. Neck muscles are designed to keep your head straight and turn it, and tilt it for a few moments, mostly into front or back (i.e. getting view of your surroundings, what's right in front of you and above you). Prolonged attempt at even a modest 45 deg sideways tilt will have your neck muscles scream for mercy in just a couple of minutes unless you're very fit - we're just not designed for that kind of strain.

Re:Sunglasses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38191332)

Remove glasses, hold in front of you, casually, at an angle to see the screen. Possibly even less obvious than wearing them indoors, depending on where he's sitting and you're standing.

Re:Sunglasses (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38191768)

Good point, but how long will you be able to do that without alerting your victim? They still need to be high enough to be between your eye and the screen, and close enough to your eyes to give you sufficient view of the screen.

As noted, all methods of "privacy screening" are defeated by an offender willing to spend a significant effort to defeat them. That said, this will defeat all CASUAL people taking a peek, including those who are wearing polarized glasses.

Re:Sunglasses (1)

Xua (249955) | more than 2 years ago | (#38191574)

You can use polarized light filter for photo lens. It can be rotated to get rid of the right angle of polarization. Of course holding it before your eyes makes it obvious as well. By the way circular polarization (CPL) photo filters are still linear polarization filters (because they are meant to be rotated) but they convert linear polarization into circular because it is better for digital sensors. So if circular polarization is used on this monitor, this isn't going to help.

Re:Sunglasses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38190594)

You're absolutely right! Nobody will ever thing of tiling their head sideways!

Re:Sunglasses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38190614)

You have no idea how polarization works if you believe that. All you would have to do is rotate the glasses until you reached the desired alignment,

Re:Sunglasses (3, Insightful)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190682)

I did a quick test at my desk with my polarized sunglasses and two different monitors. Both blocked the light when I tilted my head 45 degrees to the right and it was at full brightness 45 degrees to the left. The image only was completely blocked in a very narrow range.

Re:Sunglasses (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38191394)

I know, I actually exclusively use polarized glasses since I'm something of a swimming enthusiast in the summers (and I learned to hate water reflections), but things like my phone clearly not well visible with glasses on due to polarization issues.

But as I mentioned in another post, try sitting for a while with a 45 degree tilt of your head for more then a few minutes, then report back on just how painful it was for your neck. Not to mention your extreme obviousness to the person you're "spying" on.

And of course, it requires you to know what's going on, so you must have spent quite a bit of effort researching what's target doing. Most of the general "privacy screens" aren't designed to protect you against persistent offender who will research your method of protection. Against everyone else, it will work quite well, and this will include the occasional "person wearing polarizing sunglasses" who takes an occasional look at your screen but doesn't know how your protection actually works.

Re:Sunglasses (4, Informative)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38191088)

Sunglasses have horizontal polarization. It's aimed at preserving the light reflected from horizontal surfaces, while filtering half of the light comming directly from the Sun.

Re:Sunglasses (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38191544)

This is false. Sunlight is fully unpolarized, therefore it will not be hindered by polarization until it is polarized by being reflected. To quote wikipedia on the origin of usage of polarization in sunglasses:

Some models have polarized lenses, made of Polaroid polarized plastic sheeting, to reduce glare caused by light reflected from polarizing surfaces such as water (see Brewster's angle for how this works) as well as by polarized diffuse sky radiation (skylight). This can be especially useful when fishing, for which the ability to see beneath the surface of the water is crucial.

You're most likely thinking of polarized glasses reducing skylight.

You may want to read up on how polarization actually works, and how polarizing has no effect on brightness of unpolarized light (beyond the impact of filter's imperfect optical properties of course).

Re:Sunglasses (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#38191648)

Sunglasses have VERTICAL polarization. It's aimed at blocking horizontally polarized light such as glare from the highway or water.

Re:Sunglasses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38191402)

Iirc polarizing sun glasses always have horizontal polarization (or was it vertical, can't remember, it's basically aimed at removing the rays reflected off water surface).

You can require exact opposite polarization here, meaning that sunglasses wouldn't work.

Sunglasses are vertically polarized and absolutely no one can turn their head sideways to change that. Almost forgot... :-).

Reminds me of a Town & Country minivan I rented over the summer. It had a great satellite radio built in. Only problem was the display was polarized and I had to turn my head sideways to be able to read it while I was wearing my sunglasses.

Re:Sunglasses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38191190)

My tablet and me: a bathroom story

couldnt this be done in software ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38190288)

surely a graphics programmer could coax an Nvidia/Ati card to give the same effect ?

Re:couldnt this be done in software ? (1)

Rhaban (987410) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190332)

Impossible: the graphic card can not have any control over the polarization of light emitted by the screen.

Re:couldnt this be done in software ? (2)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190540)

With a 3d monitor, it could be interesting to try. For 1 'eye', output the normal image. For the other, output exactly the opposite image. For normal vision, it would look like a solid image, but wearing 1 half of the 3D Glasses should give you the normal image.

I think I'll try this later, with the standard 3D image viewer app.

Re:couldnt this be done in software ? (2)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190394)

surely a graphics programmer could coax an Nvidia/Ati card to give the same effect ?

It's been done. See an example here [teamworkphoto.com]

Yes, it is what you're expecting.

Re:couldnt this be done in software ? (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190636)

Do you understand what "polarization" is? As a phenomenon of physics, it falls pretty firmly in the "hardware" field.

How long... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38190304)

until someone hacks one of these newfangled 3D TVs to display 2 polarized pictures at once? Different polarities could carry different channels, people with the correctly-polarized glasses would see only one or the other...

Hello playing PS3 while the missus watches TV!

Re:How long... (5, Informative)

tangelogee (1486597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190360)

Sony kind of came out with that...the Playstation Display allows for two people to play fullscreen simultaneously.

Re:How long... (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190536)

3D TVs are only 3D because traditional LCDs don't have a high enough frequency for shutter-lense 3D. You could use an old CRT for 3D just as well. Polarised 3D is only used in cinemas.

Re:How long... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190610)

Funny, I have polarized 3d in my basement.

Re:How long... (1)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 2 years ago | (#38191212)

LG disagrees. [lg.com]

Re:How long... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38190584)

How do newer TVs work? Old ones would need 2 tuners to "decode" 2 channels (e.g. for Picture in Picture features). Are newer TVs' processing units powerful enough or come with the right capabilities to decode 2 channels at once?

Obviously (1)

Pond823 (643768) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190314)

"Now, he is the only one who can see what he is doing on his computer." As long as he wears his tin foil hat obviously.

Done Before (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38190336)

Immediately thought of This. [stanford.edu]

Cool (1)

aglider (2435074) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190344)

This is a new product waiting for either a patent or a patent troll.

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38190464)

Mel Brooks may have rights to the Cone of Silence, but I think that has expired.

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38191306)

I hate that I can't find a link to it, but back when breaking a notebook out on an airplane was so rare that everyone would want to watch what you were doing.. there was a company that offered this. They would remove the filter from your notebook (for some reason I remember it requiring them to shave it off), and coat your glasses, or sell you a pair of non prescription glasses with the correct coating.

Prior art...

but but (5, Funny)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190354)

When you don't want anyone seeing what is on the screen aren't you usually naked? Glasses aren't going to hide much, IMHO.

Re:but but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38190856)

Worked for Clark Kent.

Re:but but (2)

NF6X (725054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38191194)

So there I was, sitting at my computer and watching porn. Naked, of course. All of a sudden, my boss walked into my cubicle!

Boss: What are you doing?

Me: Working on a spreadsheet.

Boss: Great! Keep up the good work.

Whew! Saved by the privacy monitor!

One problem... (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190358)

"Ok, time to get some work done on my computer. Where'd I put those glasses?!!!"

Re:One problem... (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190400)

Some people already have to ask that question.

Re:One problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38190426)

steps on glasses

The Outer Limits Twist [tvtropes.org] strikes again!

Re:One problem... (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190514)

Geez, that scenario happens to me many times a day already...

Useful, but not very private (5, Interesting)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190364)

I suggested something similar to improve the contrast in the sonar room on submarines, without tripping up the people who were doing other things. Polarize the displays up and down, and the room lights side to side. People wearing polarized glasses could see the displays well, but the glare from the room lights would be diminished.

I think the first description of such a system was in a golden age science fiction story. Car head lights were polarized diagonally. You'd wear glasses that allowed your light to be bright, but oncoming ca's headlights would be reduced. Of course unsuspecting pedestrians would be blinded.

Re:Useful, but not very private (4, Informative)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190748)

It wasn't a scifi story. Edwin Land, Mr. Polaroid himself, did a lot of research in the area and proposed a combination of headlights and windshields. I remember reading a pretty interesting article in New Scientist about it. Here's the teaser before the "subscribe to read the full article" http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19426061.800-histories-still-dazzled-after-all-these-years.html [newscientist.com]

When I was 10... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38190382)

I used to do the same thing with my calculator.

Why not just buy a 3M privacy filter? (3, Informative)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190384)

Recycling is cool and all, but it's not like this is a new / unique / unanticipated capability:

http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/SDP/Privacy_Filters/ [3m.com]

William

Re:Why not just buy a 3M privacy filter? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190460)

Privacy filters prevent viewing the screen from other than directly in front of it. This solution means nobody can see what's on the screen at all unless they wear the glasses. It just looks like a blank white page with a lightbulb behind it.

This glasses-based solution seems much more effective, especially for those who already wear glasses. Adding a polarised coating would cost pennies.

Re:Why not just buy a 3M privacy filter? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38190494)

Or, if the government were doing this, the coating would cost a few hundred dollars more.

Neat... (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190428)

But hardly a security feature... merely a privacy screen with a small aperture. Wouldn't any pair of polarized glasses reveal the screen? Also, superspies picking up the monitor's leaky signals would be unaffected by it. Also... seems like he has destroyed a perfectly good monitor (but I guess we have enough).

Re:Neat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38190606)

Are you claiming that this is not a security feature because it doesn't stop superspies?
Are you one of those guys that also claims that anything short of throwing your discarded hard drives into a black hole is unsecure since it is theoretically possible to retrieve the information.

He'll need a tin foil hat too.... (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190438)

....Or else he might look like an idiot.

Inefficient. (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190548)

Inefficient. Rather than making it harder to look at the screen, make viewers not want to look at the screen to begin with. Make the background image goatse. Also provides an interesting location to place the stereotypical "GUI trash can".

Just a bit too late (1)

paiute (550198) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190570)

This guy could have used it: (allegedly) http://tinyurl.com/cd5s57a [tinyurl.com]

Better way - and one that foils polaroid glasses (1)

Dr. Crash (237179) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190650)

The folks at Mitsubishi Research actually came up with glasses that work like the ones in "They Live"... without the special glasses, you see one image, with the special glasses, you see another (secret) image.

Their paper is at
http://www.merl.com/publications/TR2002-011/ [merl.com]

and the video is pretty darn amazing.

Not impressed. (3, Funny)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190684)

Pffftrrrt. Wake me up when they come up with a polarized PROJECTED image with seperate frequencies for each viewer. That would be kindof impressive.

Re:Not impressed. (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#38191682)

http://www.geowall.org/ [geowall.org]

Designed for different images for each eye, but you could easily do it your way.

Um, yeah... (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 2 years ago | (#38190788)

Why do I have to see his screen to know what he's doing in his computer? in fact, why do I have to be on the same continent?

Not a bad idea--- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38190924)

It's a bit too obvious to patent but it's the sort of idea a roomfull of Apple fanboys would drool over if the device were an iPad (watch for iSecurePad sometime in 2015). But like most security by obscurity, it really isn't. The images on the screen might not be directly visible but reflections of the screen in any non conducting surface (glass, dry erase board, wood veneer tabletop...) would be clear enough for bystanders to enjoy that goats.cx site.

Privacy is underrated these days (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38191198)

As the internet makes keeping private things private more difficult, the need to implement solutions to protect that right has become more acute. I would like to see this sort of solution as standard for laptops. When I travel or am working on my laptop at the local coffee shop, I don't want others getting into my business. This technology would help tremendously to accomplish that! So, I say that it is a great proof of concept, and that laptop suppliers should provide it as a standard feature, or option on all laptops, netbooks, and tablets. Of course, once it becomes a common feature, others can just don their polarized specs and see what you are up to... Oh well, it was a great idea while it lasted! :-)

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