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79 comments

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15861270)

Woo hoo! All da way!

Censor (5, Interesting)

ShimmyShimmy (692324) | more than 7 years ago | (#15861274)

What exactly is the problem with Google Earth? I mean, nude sites, as stupid as it is to block them, at least have some moral backing. Are they just trying to convince everyone that the world is flat or something?

Re:Censor (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15861290)

According to this map [google.com] , the world is flat.

Re:Censor (3, Funny)

Pulse_Instance (698417) | more than 7 years ago | (#15861310)

apparently the world is flat and repeating...

Re:Censor (1)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 7 years ago | (#15863187)

No, according to that map, it's more of a cylinder. The east and west edges meet, but I pity the fool who tries to visit either pole.

Re:Censor (1)

Pulse_Instance (698417) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865344)

Either your window opened up pretty small or you have a small monitor and we were recently told we could stop designing sites for 800 x 600. On my screen I get 4 of each continent which is why I said repeating.

Re:Censor (1)

z0idberg (888892) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865202)

Thats just where the Google editors were trying to remove dust marks while working under bad lighting conditions. Its a common mistake.

Re:Censor (4, Informative)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#15861296)

Bahrain is a little island between Saudi Arabia and Iran. It could be a military issue, they don't want their civilians being able to access satallite maps.

Re:Censor (4, Insightful)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 7 years ago | (#15861831)

Because there's an imminent threat of attack from its own citizens?

And blocking Google Earth will thwart them?!?!

Bahrain is pretty liberal as far as theocracies go.. I'm surprised they've chosen censorship at all, but blocking Google Earth is particularly batty.

Re:Censor (1)

rcw-work (30090) | more than 7 years ago | (#15862139)

Maybe there's something on their own land that they don't want their own citizens to know about.

Re:Censor (1)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 7 years ago | (#15862408)

They don't want their citizens to know that they only have three aircraft for their big airstrip [google.com] . They probably spent the rest of the money that was budgeted for aircraft on hookers and booze or something.

Re:Censor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15862677)

Just FYI: I was able to find 11 planes in under a minute, without bothering to zoom in to maximum resolution.

Re:Censor (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864186)

Maybe there's something on their own land that they don't want their own citizens to know about.

Since governments don't appear to believe the "If you aren't doing anything wrong, what do you have to hide" maxim why should anyone else?

Re:Censor (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#15862162)

Blocking google might not be as much to block it's own citizens from attacking them, it might be block it's citizens from attacking other and a becoming labeled a terrorist supporting nation wich would likley be invaded at some point in time.

They might also have some stuff they are wanting to hide from thier citizens or just confused and thinking that if they block it, we won't be able to see them. OTOH, if the country is on the brink of civil war, then controling all the information in the country might be a key principle to stoping it.

?It would be nice to know the exact reasoning behind it though.

Re:Censor (1)

schon (31600) | more than 7 years ago | (#15862834)

it might be block it's citizens from attacking other and a becoming labeled a terrorist supporting nation

Yes, because terrorists could never launch an attack without a four-year out-of-date satellite image.

Re:Censor (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#15863401)

Not dure if the date of the image matters as much as being able to pick targets, find escape routes that can be later verified, find building close to the target that could offer not only viewing areas but maybe even a launch platforms or operations centers. But these maps and imaes are availible in other places then Google earth so i would guess the banning it is so they can track the others.

Yes, It is possible that they monitor library access and maybe internet site access. It might even be possible for them to monitor government services access like engineers maps or different areas. The difference? Google earth, they could see you were using it, the other ways, they could see what your looking for. So yea, a terrorist could launch an attack without a fouryear old out of date image, But if they were worries about a terrorist doing this, they would be monitoring the other avenues of gathering information and possibly doing something about it. Remeber, this is just speculation at best. The only ones who know are the ones who made the rule.

Re:Censor (1)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 7 years ago | (#15862619)


  Just about as batty as many of the things happening in the US.

SB

Bahrain Govt & People Don't Get Along (3, Informative)

cmholm (69081) | more than 7 years ago | (#15863053)

Because there's an imminent threat of attack from its own citizens?

Not right at the moment, but I'd agree that blocking GE isn't going to slow them down. The Sheik and his family are Sunni, while the majority of Bahrainis are Shia. For years, the Shia perceived that they weren't getting a fair shake from the sheik, and the revolution in Iran didn't help. The opposition has been coopted to some degree by the introduction of a two house Parliment and regular elections (The GE closing may be a result of conservative morality agenda w/in the lower house, which also led to blocked porn sites). However, this is offset to some degree by the Sheik's long standing policies to assist the US in the Gulf, which aren't popular with most citizens.

Re:Censor (1)

El Torico (732160) | more than 7 years ago | (#15863073)

The Bahraini know they share the island with these guys - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_5th_Fle et [wikipedia.org] .

They don't need Google Earth to find the base. This is probably the whim of some Minister of Information / TRA or some such nonsense.

Re:Censor (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15861737)

Bah, who gives a shit about what some back-asswards third-world theocratic shithole country is doing anyway?

Re:Censor (1)

sts (114707) | more than 7 years ago | (#15862033)

It's probably because Bahrain is in the same quadrant as Quatar, which has a lot of military bases.

Re:Censor (1)

Fastolfe (1470) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865852)

Nude beaches. All of those little flesh colored dots.

Re:Censor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15872768)

Believe me, I am wondering about the same question. Good guess about the flat thing I believe :)

And your surprised? (2, Insightful)

elmerf9001 (921143) | more than 7 years ago | (#15861282)

Just replace "internet blocking" with "Islam"

dumb question (1)

blackcoot (124938) | more than 7 years ago | (#15861283)

but why is the bahraini government doing this? are they scared people are going to use google earth to zoom in on paris hilton's naked follies? or are there other reasons, like "national security"?

Security (1)

waxigloo (899755) | more than 7 years ago | (#15861323)

In the past governments have claimed services such as Google Earth compromise national security by making it possible to see aerial details of restricted areas/buildings that people would not have as easy access to without the service. I think that is bollocks since such details are always available from other sources...

Re:dumb question (1)

Lemmeoutada Collecti (588075) | more than 7 years ago | (#15862358)

I keep reading the paranoid resons for them to block Google Earth, but has anyone thought about what size pipe a small island nation has to the rest of the world? Maybe they are having trouble with the amount of bandwidth that this is suddenly taking up, and are pressing to get Google to install a local cache so that they have more direct access to the rest of the information they need to run their enemies into the... um... maybe they just want Google to correct something on the map first. Yeah, that's it!

Re:dumb question (1)

El Torico (732160) | more than 7 years ago | (#15863001)

I know a few things about Bahrain since I lived there for a while. Your question makes sense, but I don't think that it is the reason that Google Earth is being restricted. My best guess is that Bahrain has an OC-12 to Saudi and a few satellite links.

Re:dumb question (1)

rs79 (71822) | more than 7 years ago | (#15863803)

I was under the impression Bahrain was one of the more liberal Arab countries - they have bars.

No?

Re:dumb question (1)

El Torico (732160) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865215)

You are right, it is, and they do. You can even buy pork products in some of the supermarkets (in a secluded part of the store).

Every Thursday night, the Saudis drive to Bahrain for shopping and entertainment. The joke is, "Allah cannot see across the causeway."

The Bahraini, for the most part, are fairly open-minded, friendly, and are more interested in doing business than discussing politics or causing trouble.

Re:dumb question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15863449)

I think they're afraid Mohammed No-six-pack might get upset when they find out the rich guys have swimming pools.

Re:dumb question (1)

johansalk (818687) | more than 7 years ago | (#15868930)

National security in countries like Bahrain means one thing, protecting the king, not the nation.

One must wonder (1)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 7 years ago | (#15861285)

One must wonder what kind of motivation a government would have to shut down something so useful. Is people not being lost all the time somehow beneficial to those in power? This makes no sense at all.

This can mean only one thing... Baharain has a democratic form of government!

Translate to English (2, Funny)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 7 years ago | (#15861286)

Good thing they translated it to english, or else I was screwed!

Re:Translate to English (1)

tedshultz (596089) | more than 7 years ago | (#15861315)

It is pretty funny that Google doesn't translate google corectly!

Re:Translate to English (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15862404)

Arabic doesn't write vowels. So when a computer program tries to translate a name like 'ggl' (which is how google must be written in Arabic), it can't know it's the name 'google' rather than, say, 'Gegil' (or whatever). /Humourless Coward

Re:Translate to English (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#15861692)

Dude I am glad it helped someone.
I didn't understand a word it said but after reading it I now know how to put my stereo instructions.

gov't too (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15861292)

Well DUH (1)

The_REAL_DZA (731082) | more than 7 years ago | (#15861378)

government webpage turned off too
Yeah, like it wouldn't have been down anyway from the wicked Slashdotting it would've gotten thanks to your having linked to it ...

google maps of bahrain: (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15861293)

They can relax; I know what they're worried about: (5, Funny)

The_REAL_DZA (731082) | more than 7 years ago | (#15861314)

They're worried about someone using Google Earth to look right smack down on any nude beach in the world. They can relax; anyone who tried it would get massive headaches from the eyestrain because the resolution just isn't there. Not that I tried to do that or anything...

Re:They can relax; I know what they're worried abo (2, Funny)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 7 years ago | (#15861529)

Unfortunately the only people on a nude beach large enough to see from a satellite are, well, large.

would be nice (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 7 years ago | (#15863600)

I want larger-than-life views on the highest resolution monitor I can buy. About 4x larger than life should do; I don't require a microscope.

We get to control latitude, longitude, and zoom. I also want to control at least two angles (compass direction and the elevation above the horizon) and time. It's important to have the old data too, so I can see who shot JFK.

To make things easier, I need automatic object tracking. I'll choose an object, like your car, and get video that follows it. Time could be normal, slow motion, fast motion, or reverse. I'll need the slow motion to follow bullets as they fly through the air.

I especially need an option to remove layers that get in the way. With one click, the clouds and atmospheric haze go away. With another click, the rooftops go away. With yet another click, clothes come off. Then the skin, fat, muscle, etc. Being able to remove the ocean water layer is definitely a requirement.

The map needs to be well-integrated with search of course. Google is the King of Search, and thus should be able to find the King of Rock 'n' Roll even if he's being held underground by the CIA.

Re:would be nice (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866019)

> To make things easier, I need automatic object tracking

Actually, this is basically there, and with no single camera needed. Great Britain, sorry, the UK, is currently implementing this.

Seems like they've been putting cameras all over the place, especially on streets and intersections. Then someone realized they could do OCR to get license plate numbers. Then, just recently, some braniac realized you could write software to look at license plate readings + their time stamps, and map out a route cars are taking. As each new camera is passed, you can live-track a particular vehicle as it goes over the map. Of course, that leaves ample room for Mission: Impossible!-style antics, but those people aren't much threat to power grabs anyway.

Re:They can relax; I know what they're worried abo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15864836)

They want to stop someone in particular [khaleejtimes.com] from looking at nude beaches. Too much of a temptation, I guess.

Re:They can relax; I know what they're worried abo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15865374)

I tried looking at several beaches in Florida. When you zoom in that close to the beach, the picture becomes washed out at the edge of the beach and water because of the amount of sun reflection.

It would be impossible to see anyone.

Nathan

what's up with Bahrain? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15861320)

They block web porn and Google Earth, but tolerate Michael Jackson? Oh yeah, I fogot he was acquitted...

Re:what's up with Bahrain? (1)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 7 years ago | (#15861474)

Yeah but he still made the song thriller.

Oh and he is a child rapist.

Not to worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15862151)

If he is caught there doing it again, no child will ever have to worry about that again. Now, I just wish that they punished cowards, liars, and traitors in the same fashion. Then we could send bush and his cronies.

Re:Not to worry (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15862841)

Wow, how shockingly unrelated...

Does the democratic party still have that requirement for membership that you need to rip on bush once a day?

Oh, well (1, Insightful)

Infernal Device (865066) | more than 7 years ago | (#15861327)

Meh, their loss.

Seriously, why is this a problem for anyone outside of Bahrain? If they want to remain stupid and ignorant, I say let them.

Re:Oh, well (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 7 years ago | (#15861390)

When someone's rights are violated, we all suffer... or something like that.

Re:Oh, well (1)

Darundal (891860) | more than 7 years ago | (#15861393)

Yeah, well, what about those stuck in Bahrain who don't want to remain, as you put it, "stupid and ignorant"?

Re:Oh, well (1)

Infernal Device (865066) | more than 7 years ago | (#15861912)

Tough titties, I say. They can change their own society (seeing as how we're having all this remarkable success) if they want. However, given recent trends in that part of the world, best of luck and all, but I'm not holding my breath.

Re:Oh, well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15861449)

Seriously, why is this a problem for anyone outside of Bahrain?

No problem. We're just exercising our inalienable right to point and laugh.

Harmonisation (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#15861756)

Seriously, why is this a problem for anyone outside of Bahrain?

Because it encourages other governments to "harmonise" to Bahraini law. Remember that harmonisation is how the US got the Bono Act and how Australia got counterparts to the Bono Act and the DMCA.

Where is bahrain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15861341)

If you're like me and don't know where Bahrain [google.com] is, you will be happy that Google has not returned the favor.

something to hide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15861350)

makes me wonder what the government of bahrain doesn't want the people of bahrain to see?

    hmmmmm

Re:something to hide? (1)

markwalling (863035) | more than 7 years ago | (#15861578)

ask the cia [cia.gov]

Clearly the problem is about the earth being flat. (1)

neo (4625) | more than 7 years ago | (#15861401)

Google has been trying to pull a fast one on us with this google earth thing. You can't side step this, you're either a flat eather or you aren't. It's clear which side this government is on.

Now it's time for you to pick sides.

Re:Clearly the problem is about the earth being fl (1)

ELProphet (909179) | more than 7 years ago | (#15869342)

I was always under the impression that eather was gaseous, and in no way connected with my personal physical form...

Flat earth (2)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 7 years ago | (#15861577)

Eventually, though, these Flat Earth Society people are going to have to give up and admit that the world is round.

- RG>

Not meant to be a joke... (2, Interesting)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#15861818)

But isn't this the country that Michael Jackson moved to after his trail in California? That would explain a few things.

It's beacuse of pinups in the mohave desert (1)

viking2000 (954894) | more than 7 years ago | (#15862130)

Here:
http://cdn.maximonline.com/maximusa/index.html [maximonline.com]

(google earth:)

        -115.3829811832588
        35.62000012441331
        60.83465853476389
        -3.743328418621198e-009
        -0.0006229266229549453
   

Re:It's beacuse of pinups in the mohave desert (1)

divide overflow (599608) | more than 7 years ago | (#15862493)

> Here:
> http://cdn.maximonline.com/maximusa/index.html

Nice try. But it's bogus...nothing but a couple of image files ( http://www.maximonline.com/maximusa/maxim_logo.jpg [maximonline.com] and http://www.maximonline.com/maximusa/maximcover.png [maximonline.com] ) overlaid over the map coordinates using Google Earth's Image Overlay feature. It's all clearly visible in the .kml placemarks file. If you bring up the placemark and uncheck the two overlays in "Places" you'll see nothing but dirt at those coordinates.

variation on the honeypot (2, Insightful)

zogger (617870) | more than 7 years ago | (#15862259)

that's my guess, a variation of the honeypot. They don't care about the vast bulk of the public seeing the maps, but they need a little winnowing action. They are interested in just a few people who REALLY want/need to see some critical features using the maps. the government there considers those folks "persons of interest". They are trolling for those guys to take the bait and try to circumvent their way to those maps.

Granted, still lame, ways around it, etc, but it is still my guess. Governments/regimes feeling threatened (or even think they are threatened) tend to throw various crap at the walls to see what sticks, even if 99% doesn't. This is a fishing expedition, not a censorship move..

Possible reason why they are doing this... (2, Informative)

Shipwack (684009) | more than 7 years ago | (#15862953)

Speculation at the Bahraini Blog Mahmood's Den (No link provided; google him if you're interested... I like him too much to slashdot) speculate that either the governement there doesn't want the people to see how much prime real-estate has confiscated... It has als obeen claimed that one person put anti-government / misleading labels on all the palaces (there are like five or more, I believe)which pissed off some royal type. Mahmoud included directions on how to get around the blocking, though, being the good guy that he is...

Bahrain is a fairly pleasant place, progressive for the most part. A major base for the US Navy 5th fleet is there. Slashdot admins have the place blacklisted though, for some reason... I could only post as AC when I was there, even after I wrote them about it. Oh well.

Re:Possible reason why they are doing this... (1)

The Wicked Priest (632846) | more than 7 years ago | (#15900900)

BTW, if you post links in the comments (as opposed to the article summary), it does not, in my experience, lead to slashdotting.

Same reason Texas did it. (1)

caller9 (764851) | more than 7 years ago | (#15863656)

In Texas lawmakers outlawed web-based aerial photography and floor plans/appraisal information with senate bill 541. That is aerial photography of a certain resolution (depicts http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlo/79R/billtext/SB 00541F.HTM

This was, I think, in response to a string of burglaries in Houston where it was discovered that criminals picked targets and planned routes / optimized thievery based on aerial photos and floor plans.

I would've just stopped showing the floor plans.

Perhaps Bahrain is similarly misguided.

Re:Same reason Texas did it. (1)

denisbergeron (197036) | more than 7 years ago | (#15866698)

Did they made a law to stop selling Microsoft Streets and Trip ?

Re:Same reason Texas did it. (1)

orgelspieler (865795) | more than 7 years ago | (#15867680)

only applies to photographs of fewer than five homes, from what i understand.

Re:Same reason Texas did it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15873814)

I would expect no less from the state whos anti litering campaign put up signs that said "Don't mess with Texas".
Seriously it's about litering and not law breaking. I did both, screw you Texas!

Surely... (1)

edward.virtually@pob (6854) | more than 7 years ago | (#15864519)

It's possible to tunnel Google Earth's data exchanges around whatever they're blocking?

Mirror it! (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#15865132)

Bahrain is a relatively small country. How difficult might it be to stitch together the whole of the surrounding area from Google Maps or Earth, save it as a massive JPG or PNG, and mirror it around the net a bit? If that'd be too massive, a video clip of someone zooming around the whole area could also work.

control (1)

Bizzeh (851225) | more than 6 years ago | (#15883415)

it could be that they dont want people knowing there is an easy way to escape where they are.
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