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It's the end of an era. Polaroid is ceasing production of instant film. I hadn't noticed, but they stopped manufacturing the cameras a couple years ago.

I remember back in the sixties when we got one. It seemed pretty cool at the time, but it's not a technology that could survive the digital era. I'm actually a little surprised that it lasted as long as it did.


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Chris Hall wrote:

One small part of keeping those cameras and film on the market was the running of motorcycle rallies such as the Iron Butt Rally. Polaroid cameras are used to document that a rider actually did show up at the Southernmost Point in the U.S., the top of Mount Evans, or the bottom of Death Valley. I don't know how the IBR organizers are going to run the show in '09, but I guess this development (pun intended) will change the rules.

Anonymous wrote:

Good point. A digital photo is too easy to fake if you have even rudimentary photoshop skills. Say what you will about the formats faults, it's damned hard to fake a polaroid.

Fuloydo wrote:

Anonymous was me.

Steve wrote:

While I agree that it would be easy to fake those photos, it wouldn't be quick. And what about context?

Getting an accurate background, with all the appropriate personnel and equipment would require more than just a quick snap shot. It's easy to put Hitlary's face on a picture of Hitler. Mostly because the original context of the picture is there. Faking those race pictures, then getting them uploaded onto the race committees network or server would be a job for an experienced hacker.

It all sounds like a lot of trouble to go through to lie to the race organizers, just to prove that you were there, when you really weren't. Putting your head on Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s body to impress friends would be MUCH easier.

Andrea Harris wrote:

We used them at the insurance agency I used to work for, to take pictures of cars for their comp/collision coverage. It was nearly instant, impossible to fake or alter, and there was that little thrill of watching the photo appear that was a holdover from my childhood (and that of not a few other people if the reaction of some of our clients was any indication).

Like the almost dead typewriter-manufacturing industry, this may turn out to be one of those technologies people may start to regret dumping. You never know.

David Ross wrote:

I remember when I was five or six or so, and we got a Polaroid camera. I used to love to watch the picture take form on that squishy white photograph card.

I don't miss typewriters myself, but I bet Dan Rather does.

Fuloydo wrote:

Well, I was talking about photos in general rather than the specific case mentioned in the first comment. Andrea Harris was a little clearer about it than I was.

Sam wrote:

Polaroid has some really specialized cameras out there, I wonder what's going to happen to those? There's a "life-sized" camera for example:

Leland wrote:

People will quit celebrating birthdays at Mexican restaurants.

Jim P wrote:

For the motor cycle riders, why not just place disposable cameras at the sites? Now everyone uses the same cheap camera and it can't be tampered with.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on February 9, 2008 10:50 AM.

Fascists To The Left Of Me was the previous entry in this blog.

Men Are Different Than Women is the next entry in this blog.

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