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Comment: Re:Reality (Score 3, Informative) 964

by Star_Gazer (#29197663) Attached to: Microsoft Poland Photoshops Black Guy To White One

I'll retract Che, as I couldn't find an example, but for the rest:
http://www.cs.dartmouth.edu/farid/research/digitaltampering/

I don't want to google more, but I remember seeing many more examples over the years.

You don't need to be a head of state to have photos edited, btw. It just need some devoted followers in the press or something like that.

Comment: Re:Reality (Score 3, Insightful) 964

by Star_Gazer (#29196933) Attached to: Microsoft Poland Photoshops Black Guy To White One

That has nothing to do with the digital world, it just got easier. Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Che and Castro all had former "friends" who happened to fall out of grace removed from pictures in their times. But of course this is going back much more, way before the availability of photography. Media was never and will never be reliable in general.

And I would argue that using raw data to is the only reliable way to inform yourself, anything that has been selected, annotated or edited is the problem, bringing over a certain point of view which is not necessarily neutral. Of course, this will seldom be possible because you dont' have access to that raw data.

Music

While My Guitar Gently Beeps 140

Posted by Soulskill
from the happiness-is-a-warm-axe dept.
theodp writes "As the world prepares to meet the Beatles all over again on 9-9-9, the NY Times Magazine takes a look at the making of The Beatles: Rock Band, and asks a Fab Four tribute band to take the game for a test drive. (Not surprisingly, they fare well.) 'As huge as Guitar Hero and Rock Band have been over the past few years,' says Harmonix Music Systems co-founder Alex Rigopulos, 'I still think we're on the shy side of the chasm because the Beatles have a reach and power that transcends any other band.' The Beatles: Rock Band follows the group's career from Liverpool to the concert on the roof of Apple Corps in London in 1969 (trailer). The first half of the game recreates famous live performances; the second half weaves psychedelic dreamscapes around animations of the Beatles recording in Studio Two. 45 songs deemed the most fun to play, rather than the band's most iconic numbers, come with the game."
PC Games (Games)

Battle For Wesnoth Version 1.6 Released 90

Posted by Soulskill
from the new-and-shiny dept.
bomanbot writes "The team for the great turn-based, open-source strategy game Battle for Wesnoth has just released the new stable version 1.6 of their popular title. Some of the new version's highlights include a new campaign, new multiplayer scenarios, improved graphics and user interface, and new background music. The full release notes have been posted, and the source code and binary downloads for many different platforms including Linux, Windows and Mac OS X are available as well."
Power

"Spin Battery" Effect Discovered 234

Posted by kdawson
from the usual-caveats-apply dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers at the University of Miami and at the Universities of Tokyo and Tohoku, in Japan, have discovered a spin battery effect: the ability to store energy into the magnetic spin of a material and to later extract that energy as electricity, without a chemical reaction. The researchers have built an actual device to demonstrate the effect that has a diameter about that of a human hair. This is a potentially game-changing discovery that could affect battery and other technologies. Quoting: Although the actual device... cannot even light up an LED..., the energy that might be stored in this way could potentially run a car for miles. The possibilities are endless, Barnes said.'"

Comment: Re:Old News (Score 1) 693

by Star_Gazer (#26435695) Attached to: iTunes DRM-Free Files Contain Personal Info

But do you honestly think that Apple is encoding that specific information into each track sold through the iTunes store, making essentially every single track sold unique? Do you realize how much more expensive it would be to "imprint" that information into the audio?

Why, it's easy - instead of watermarking a DRM'ed m4p with the account information, which they are doing since the 1st day of iTMS, they add the same information to the unproteced m4a. I am pretty much sure it's just one call to a specific library function in the store code, called just before uploading the file to the user.

And for putting it onto the CD: I guess it might be possible to add coded informations to the CDA that are inaudible as essentially MP3/AAC works by cutting stuff from the audio stream that you won't hear anyway, so why not reverse this. It's only a few bytes of information, easy to hide and would be done by the AAC decoder in an Apple product (iTunes). Also, audio steganography is not a new concept at all.

But in this case, it would be easy to detect: Find a friend who buys the same track, burn both tracks to CD's, rip them back as uncompressed CDA files and run a binary diff on them - any difference is an indication for this theory.

Nevertheless, I still don't care, as I won't do filesharing.

Privacy

+ - Why isn't privacy invasion considered "theft&#

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "Its become common practice for companies and industries to refer to a wide variety of digital actions as "theft". If you download media content without paying for it, you have stolen it. If you download a pirated copy of software to check out its suitability, you have stolen it. If you use any copyrighted material in a Youtube video without consent — well, you've stolen it. God forbid if get your hands on data a company considers "confidential" — instant arrest and imprisonment. Theft, theft, theft is the mantra and it seems that not a day goes by without some industry association reminding the world that all internet users are thieves at heart.

What about the privacy of ordinary people? Mainstream media like the BBC and CNN always uses soft terms like "privacy concerns" to make it seem like a "well it isn't very nice, but its hardly a hard crime" thing. But is this actually the case? Does having to have your likeness recorded for an unknown period of time by CCTV cameras when you go for a stroll past some shops, or having your IP logged by each website you take a glance at not "take" something from you? What about datamining, where computer algorithms try to "figure out" where you are in the world, what kind of person you are, what your interests, consumption habits and preferences look like, what you might be likely to buy or spend? Again, does this not constitute "taking" something from you that you have not voluntarily provided? Would you shop at a creepy record store or bookstore where some scientist in a labcoat follows you from shelf to shelf with a clipboard and notes down the exact time you looked at items, the sequence you looked at them in, and some information that lets the shop know that you, not some new customer is back and browsing for more? Would you consent to bricks and mortar shops coating sidewalks with a special substance that makes your shoeprints stand out in bright colors and let them figure out where you came from or where you went after you checked out?

Is it not "theft" to take something a person cares about and cannot get back once its taken? Is it not "theft" to force a person to leave an "imprint" of their presence behind with every digital step, no matter how casual or insignificant? To record someone's activities as if its "normal" that every step you take should be recorded in some way and become the property of whoever recorded it? To whisk someone's data into some database at a datacenter where the person who effectively OWNS the data will never see it again?

And would labeling privacy invasion "theft" or "stealing" in daily discourse be an effective way to corner those organizations, digital or not, that trample on people's privacy without appology? Should we remind mainstream media organizations that use fluffy terms like "privacy concerns" to add that "privacy infringement is in fact theft"? Should we treat companies that don't take privacy seriously as "thieves" and openly label them as such?"
Music

+ - Freedb.org -- does anyone know what's going on? 1

Submitted by
tednolan
tednolan writes "The hosts behind the round-robin name freedb.freedb.org provide (provided?) a service to lookup information about music CDs based on a disc ID using a protocol called CDDBP. A number of programs use this information to generate filename and MP3 tag information when ripping CDs. I use cdda2wav (and some custom shell scripts) on FreeBSD.

For the past few days, freedb.freedb.org has stopped resolving disc ID requests. I have verified by searching USENET that this is happening for other people, and is not just an artifact of my configuration or ISP. Noone, however, seems to know what is going on.

The web server at www.freedb.org is still working, but there is no indication of any problem noted on their front page. There is a link for "forums", but if these were ever implemented, they are now gone. Searching slashdot doesn't bring up any recent hits for freedb.

Does anyone know what is going on with this service?"
Spam

Spam Sites Infesting Google Search Results 207

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the hate-when-that-happens dept.
The Google Watchdog blog is reporting that "Spam and virus sites infesting the Google SERPs in several categories" and speculates, ...Google's own index has been hacked. The circumvention of a guideline normally picked up by the Googlebot quickly is worrisome. The fact that none of the sites have real content and don't appear to even be hosted anywhere is even more scary. How did millions of sites get indexed if they don't exist?
Microsoft

+ - Vista User Account Control (UAC): Faith Misplaced

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Matt Hartley of OSWeekly.com writes about Vista's User Account Control and the problems that are associated with it. From the article, "If there was one single feature that has been acclaimed in Vista more than anything, it would have to be the inclusion of the new UAC. Unfortunately, there are some growing concerns that we will begin to see malware creators ignoring the UAC altogether. What do I mean exactly? To be completely clear, I'm referring to malware authors looking into the feasibility of wreaking havoc from within the comfort of individual user accounts."
Software

+ - The Poor State of OpenOffice.org on Mac

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "OSWeekly.com talks about the poor state of OpenOffice.org on the Macintosh platform. "Raise your hand if you know what I'm talking about. Granted, I can't see how many of you are raising your hands, but I'm sure that it's safe to say that a large number of you are waving your hands in the air. The problem with the current version of OpenOffice.org for OS X is that it's not native, but instead, it's a close port of the Unix version, and you're required to install X11 in order to even use it. As you can imagine, this leads to an ugly and clunky experience that just doesn't fit in with OS X as a whole. When you're using it, you can just tell that it doesn't belong on your lean and clean Mac."

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