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Making a Privacy Monitor From an Old LCD 185

Posted by samzenpus
from the wandering-eyes dept.
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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Making a Privacy Monitor From an Old LCD

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  • Great hack. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 28, 2011 @10:35AM (#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

    • by tverbeek (457094) on Monday November 28, 2011 @11:02AM (#38190554) Homepage

      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.

      • by satuon (1822492) on Monday November 28, 2011 @11:35AM (#38190890)

        Earphones have already solved the audio side of the problem.

        • by tverbeek (457094)

          Earphones don't solve the problem either.

          Here's a clue: Why do men like to view porn movies? And what do they usually do while watching them?

        • by Dogtanian (588974)

          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.

          Earphones have already solved the audio side of the problem.

          Joke I know, but does *anyone* seriously watch porn with the sound turned up anyway?

          99% of it is unbearably badly dubbed (and cheesy, and unconvincing) crap that totally ruins the illusion. Urgh.

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday November 28, 2011 @11:32AM (#38190836) Homepage Journal

      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.

      • 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.

      • by wagnerrp (1305589)
        In theory, yes. All he's done is removed the static polarizing filter from the display, and placed it in his glasses. As such, he needs to be precisely aligned to get proper color reproduction, Anyone else similarly aligned can see exactly what he sees. Alternatively, for a good time, take LSD and spin the monitor.
    • Re:Great hack. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by pulski (126566) on Monday November 28, 2011 @11:51AM (#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.

    • by Imagix (695350)
      Except for those other people who have done the same thing to their LCD?
    • by Beorytis (1014777)

      It would be perfect for laptops that are used while travelling (watching pr0n during your flight?).

      Flight attendant to other flight attendant: "The in-flight movie isn't in 3D. I wonder why all these passengers have 3D glasses on..."

    • by durrr (1316311)
      Before you do something stupid, know that there's polarizing filters for DSLR cameras, so not only would you risk being seen by people with polarizing glasses, you'd risk being photographed watching midget porn in public too. And in the picture it would look like you're doing it in a totally shameless manner too, not through invisible glasses.
    • by BitterOak (537666)

      Very interesting hack. It would be perfect for laptops that are used while travelling (watching pr0n during your flight?).

      Funny you should mention that given this story [cnn.com] was published in CNN today! There might be a market for these things.

  • by tverbeek (457094) on Monday November 28, 2011 @10:36AM (#38190276) Homepage

    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.

    • 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: (Score:2, Funny)

      by DC2088 (2343764)
      The Doctor wore 3D glasses and then saved the universe. There's nothing to discuss here.
    • by Luckyo (1726890)

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

    • by nomel (244635)

      You can put the film on any pair of shades. All it requires is a linearly polarized filter. Unfortunately, you'll find a wide selection of sunglasses with linearly polazized lenses (advertised as reducing reflections) at your local gas station. Although, they might be 90 degrees off.

    • i don't get why he used 3d glasses. he could have gotten demo glasses (with the non refracting lenses) and added the film to them instead. then they would have just looked like sunglasses, instead of bluetard 3D glasses.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 28, 2011 @10:36AM (#38190278)

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

    • by itsdapead (734413)

      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

    • Yeah, the minute somebody next to me starts using a device that blasts white light into my face, I'm going to put on my polarized sunglasses, which are always in my right inside jacket pocket.

      I wouldn't even be trying to defeat his privacy hack, I'm just very light sensitive so I always carry shades.

      Oh, look - pr0n!

  • Done Before (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 28, 2011 @10:42AM (#38190336)

    Immediately thought of This. [stanford.edu]

  • but but (Score:5, Funny)

    by sgt scrub (869860) <saintium@yahoEEEo.com minus threevowels> on Monday November 28, 2011 @10:43AM (#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.

    • by NF6X (725054)

      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!

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

  • by Maximum Prophet (716608) on Monday November 28, 2011 @10:44AM (#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.
  • by WillAdams (45638) on Monday November 28, 2011 @10:45AM (#38190384) Homepage

    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

    • 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.
  • 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).
  • ....Or else he might look like an idiot.
  • 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".

  • This guy could have used it: (allegedly) http://tinyurl.com/cd5s57a [tinyurl.com]
  • by ZeroExistenZ (721849) on Monday November 28, 2011 @11:18AM (#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.
  • 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?

  • by argStyopa (232550) on Monday November 28, 2011 @01:17PM (#38192100) Journal

    Didn't we just spend the last 20 years designing laptop/lcd flatscreens so that they didn't have the damn single-point-of-viewing issue? I seem to recall the original, dim LCD screens being an enormous pain in the butt because if you moved your head about 3" to either side, you couldn't see anything.

"The vast majority of successful major crimes against property are perpetrated by individuals abusing positions of trust." -- Lawrence Dalzell

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