Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Moot Court / Mock Trial Preparation

“I used to say that, as Solicitor General, I made three arguments in every case. First came the one I had planned — as I thought, logical, coherent, complete. Second was the one I actually presented — interrupted, incoherent, disjointed, disappointing. The third was the utterly devastating argument that I thought of after going to bed that night.” - Justice Robert T. Jackson


Here's a link to an interesting article on oral arguments from the Texas Bar.


Enjoy.

Monday, December 28, 2009

TMZ and an old photo create a stir

TMZ ran with this story this morning on a "JFK" photo that could have changed history. It got updated later in the afternoon.


It's an interesting study in how the media deals with "experts" and how the public reacts ... it was disturbing reading the over 20 pages of comments. The funny thing ... with what we know about JFK's lifestyle, it would be easy to assume that the figure in the photo is JFK.


The bottom line, for those that just can't see themselves going to TMZ ... the photo wasn't "Photoshopped." The print is probably a good but old copy from the original. So far so good. But, it's not JFK. Some comments that I have received have accused Prof. Sedlik of confirmation bias. I wouldn't go that far. There's no way of knowing what's lying on the edit room floor. I've had my own problems with being taken out of context and having words twisted and edited to fit a preconceived story-line (not with TMZ but elsewhere).


In the end, Playboy confirmed that the photo is authentic, that it ran in the magazine (in colour) in 1967, and that the people in the scene are models.


Enjoy.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Create PDF files from your clipboard

Here's a cool Acrobat Pro tip ... create PDF files directly from your clipboard.





Simply press the Print Screen button on your PC keyboard. Then, in Acrobat Pro, pull down the Create menu and choose PDF from Clipboard Image. How cool is that?!


Enjoy.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Review: Adroit Photo Forensics

Check out this link to Forensic Focus for the review on Adroit Photo Forensics.


Enjoy.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Just wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.


Enjoy.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

SWGDE weighs in on Research Council Reports

From Forensic Magazine:


"Since the February 18, 2009, release of the National Research Council Report, “Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward,” we’ve published coverage and opinions about the report and its recommendations in the magazine and weekly e-newsletter. The 13 recommendations outlined a path, but it seems the work of clearing the brush has only begun. We will continue to follow this topic and, hopefully, the actions that will take place over the next months and years.


Recently, the Scientific Working Group on Digital Evidence (SWGDE) posted a position paper on the report that states the “report is a call to action for SWGDE to strengthen the digital evidence discipline.”


While SWGDE endorses many of the recommendations, some endorsements are with reservations and qualifications. The SWGDE response to Recommendation 7: Mandatory accreditation and certification supports accreditation for digital evidence laboratories but notes that “mandatory accreditation using the current process is not feasible for all laboratories…” In lieu of a mandatory accreditation, they recommend “that all digital evidence laboratories have a written quality management system in place to provide confidence and assurance in the quality of that laboratory’s work.”


Read the rest by clicking here.


Enjoy.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Memory and Multiprocessing Applications

With the prices of RAM coming down, and 64bit OS systems flooding the market, folks are writing in asking about system configurations and getting the most out of their systems/applications.


Here's a couple of links to help you get the best set-up for your multiprocessing applications:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Crime stats and work loads

Over at Media-Geek, I responded to a post asking about requests for cell-phone forensics. I mentioned that in just a short amount of time, requests went from zero to OMFG. Same thing goes for the retrieval of evidence from DVRs.


Here's a little insight from former mayoral candidate Walter Moore's blog. FBI and LAPD stats show that 22,624 people have been victims of violent crimes in LA so far this year. The number for victims of property crimes is an amazing 87,371 (greater than the population of the town that I grew up in). Add them up (who said that I'd never need math after high-school?) and you have 109,995 crime victims in these two categories through December 12, 2009.


If it takes an average of 2 hours to process a DVR at a crime scene, master the evidence, do the paperwork, and etc. ... how many people do you think it would take to handle 109,995 crimes? Here's a hint, a 40 hour work week adds up to a little over 2000 hours for the year. (understanding that not every crime was captured by a DVR) If it takes the same amount of time, on average, to process a cell-phone ... then things start to get a little crazy.


Just a little something to think about as you start your day.


Enjoy.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Body worn cameras making headlines

From the San Jose Mercury News:


San Jose police, under fire for interactions with the public that have turned violent, on Friday launched a pilot project equipping officers with head-mounted cameras to record contacts with civilians.


Officers will activate the cameras, about the size of a Bluetooth device and attached by a headband above the ear, every time they respond or make contact with a person. At the end of the officer's shift, the recording will be downloaded to a central server.
Chief Rob Davis said the devices, to be tested by 18 patrol officers, are a technological advance comparable to the advent of police cars, two-way radios and the 911 emergency system.


Read more by clicking here.


From the Globe and Mail:


Wearing video cameras will be routine for Vancouver police officers in the next few years, says the police chief in Canada's third-largest city.


Chief Constable Jim Chu says he favours the idea, suggesting it would be the ultimate means of preserving the truth in incidents that draw police attention.


“This is a new world. Ten years ago, you would never see video. Now you're going to see it all the time,” Chief Chu said in an interview.


“I'll give you the future: Officers will be wearing body cameras.”


Read more by clicking here.


Enjoy.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Experimental Validation Tool For Cell Phone Forensics Developed

From Test and Measurement.com


"Viewers of TV dramas don't focus on the technology behind how a forensics crime team tracks a terrorist or drug ring using cell phone data, but scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) do. NIST researchers have developed a new technique aimed at improving the validation of a crime lab's cell phone forensics tools. Early experiments show promise for easier, faster and more rigorous assessments than with existing methods.


Cell phones reveal much about our daily communications—the who, when and what of our calls and texts. A small chip card within most phones, called an identity module, stores this and other data for a subscriber. A subscriber identity module (SIM) accommodates phonebook entries, recently dialed numbers, text messages and cellular carrier information. Forensic examiners use off-the-shelf software tools to extract the data, allowing them to "connect the dots" in a criminal case such as identifying affiliations or detecting mobile phone activity around the time of an event.


But for this information to be used as evidence in court or other formal proceedings, the software tools that forensic teams employ are normally validated to determine suitability for use. Currently, preparing test materials for assessing cell phone tools is labor intensive and may require learning new command languages to perform the process.


NIST scientists detail their proof-of-concept research in a NIST Interagency Report, Mobile Forensic Reference Materials: A Methodology and Reification (available online at http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistir/ir7617/nistir-7617.pdf.) They also developed an experimental application, called SIMfill, and a preliminary test dataset that follows the methodology described in the report. SIMfill can be used to automatically upload cell phone data such as phone numbers and text messages to "populate" test SIMs that can then be recovered by forensic cell phone tools. In this way, examiners can use SIMfill as one method to assess the quality of their off-the-shelf tool."


To read the rest of this article, click here.


Enjoy.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Justices Revisit Rule Requiring Lab Testimony

Justices Revisit Rule Requiring Lab Testimony
From the NY Times


"Virginia Hernandez Lopez admitted to knocking back two shots of tequila with Sprite chasers on an August night in Julian, Calif., a couple of years ago. But she said she was not drunk when her Ford Explorer collided with an oncoming Toyota pickup truck later that night, killing its driver.


In May, a California state appeals court affirmed Ms. Lopez’s conviction for vehicular manslaughter. Her blood-alcohol level two hours after the accident was, according to a report presented to the jury, just over the legal limit of .08 percent.


But the appeals court reconsidered the case after a decision in June from the United States Supreme Court that prohibited prosecutors from introducing crime lab reports without testimony from the analysts who prepared them.


The appeals court reversed Ms. Lopez’s conviction, saying prosecutors had violated her constitutional right to confront witnesses against her by failing to put the analyst who prepared the blood-alcohol report on the stand.


But now, in an unusual move, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on Jan. 11 in a new case that raises questions about how lower courts may carry out its six-month-old precedent. Many state attorneys general and prosecutors are hoping the court will overrule its decision in the earlier case, Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, before it can take root, saying it is a costly, disruptive and dangerous misstep.


“Already data and anecdotal evidence are demonstrating an overwhelming negative impact,” a friend-of-the-court brief submitted by 26 attorneys general last month said. The decision, they said, “is already proving unworkable.”


Rather than overturning the court’s June decision in the new case, which involves two Virginia cocaine trafficking convictions, the justices may simply clarify the ground rules for when and how analysts’ testimony must be presented."


Read the rest of the story by clicking here.


Enjoy.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Microsoft develops image DNA technology for fighting child porn

From ZDNet: "Microsoft, through a combination of efforts from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), their own dedicated Microsoft Research section and Dartmouth College, Hanover, a new next-generation technology is being launched with the aim of tacking online child abuse imagery.


Using PhotoDNA, the system picks out images which are identical, even if they have been edited, resized, cropped and edited in other ways, and logs them. The system matches them through a technique which monochromes the image, breaks the image into smaller chunks and the intensity gradients are converted into a signature.


The signatures, even through editing, will remain the same and allow the system to find copies of the original image. Some similarities could compare QR codes to this, allowing similar cells to match other images, allowing the system to recognise similar gradients and therefore image copies across massive sets of data."


Read the rest of the story by clicking here.


Enjoy.

SMICT standard?

"Hey Jim, I came across this acronym (SMICT) the other day, but I can't find a reference. It deals with video. Can you help?"

Sure. How's this?

From
CCTV Surveillance: Analog and Digital Video Practices and Technology, Second Edition by Herman Kruegle

"7.4.3.6.2 SMICT Standard
The super motion image compression technology (SMICT) standard has almost the same characteristics of H.264. Based on redundancy in motion, it combines digital signal processing (DSP) hardware compression, with CPU software compression. Utilizing an intelligent nonlinear super motion CODEC, SMICT intelligently analyzes the motion changes in the scene that occurred within the frame, eliminates the redundant portion of the image that need not be stored, and compresses the delta (or change) based on motion."

Eliminates ... compresses ... sounds like a winner ...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

UK announces National CCTV Oversight body

Exciting times for CCTV in the UK.

"Attached is a brief update on the announcement that has today been made by the Policing Minister regarding the establishment of a CCTV oversight body, which includes the appointment of Andrew Rennison as the interim CCTV Regulator."

I received the following in a note from the CCTV Users group:

"... Whilst personally supportive of the principal of a government body as all the devil will lie in the detail and as usual little detail is included in the briefing note, and so it will be critical for those representing the owners. managers and operators of the wide variety of CCTV systems to be involved to help frame and support the role of oversight body and interim CCTV regulator."

Click here to read the briefing.

According to the briefing note, "The role of the interim Regulator will be to work with the National CCTV Strategy Board on six key areas. These are to:
  • develop national standards for the installation and use of CCTV in public space;
  • determine training requirements for users and practitioners; • engage with the public and private sector in determining the need and potential content of any regulatory framework;
  • raise public awareness and understanding of how CCTV operates and the benefits to tackling crime and public protection;
  • review the existing recommendations of the National CCTV Strategy and advising the Strategy Board on implementation, timelines and cost and development of an effective evidence base;
  • promote public awareness of the complaints process and criteria for complaints to the relevant agencies (e.g. Information Commissioner, local authority, private organisation etc) and dealing with complaints relating to technical standards."
Let's hope they do the sensible thing .... and get the Doktor involved in a meaningful way.

Top 10 Acrobat Tips

Click here to get the Top 10 Acrobat Tips from Adobe.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The A-Z of Programming Languages: MATLAB

Here's an interesting article (one in a series on the most popular programming languages) featuring MATLAB creator Cleve Moler.

It's interesting to see how far we've come in such a short amount of time.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Adobe Captivate 4 for Mac?

Click here to learn about this exciting development ... Adobe Captivate 4 for Mac.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Florida Judges must "De-Friend" lawyers on Facebook

FLORIDA SUPREME COURT - Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee

Opinion Number: 2009-20
Date of Issue: November 17, 2009

ISSUES
Whether a judge may post comments and other material on the judge's page on a social networking site, if the publication of such material does not otherwise violate the Code of Judicial Conduct.

ANSWER: Yes.

Whether a judge may add lawyers who may appear before the judge as "friends" on a social networking site, and permit such lawyers to add the judge as their "friend."

ANSWER: No.

Whether a committee of responsible persons, which is conducting an election campaign on behalf of a judge's candidacy, may post material on the committee's page on a social networking site, if the publication of the material does not otherwise violate the Code of Judicial Conduct.

ANSWER: Yes.

Whether a committee of responsible persons, which is conducting an election campaign on behalf of a judge's candidacy, may establish a social networking page which has an option for persons, including lawyers who may appear before the judge, to list themselves as "fans" or supporters of the judge's candidacy, so long as the judge or committee does not control who is permitted to list himself or herself as a supporter.

ANSWER: Yes.


Read the rest of this interesting ruling by clicking here.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Premiere Pro CS4 - 4.2.1 update

There's a new update for Premiere Pro CS4. It's a "hot fix" for some memory issues that came up with AVC-intra files.

Get it with automatic updates.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Helping First Responders Investigate Electronic Crime Scenes

"Electronic Crime Scene Investigation: A Guide for First Responders, Second Edition," a publication from the NIJ, is designed to assist state and local law enforcement and others who may be responsible for preserving an electronic crime scene and for recognizing, collecting, and safeguarding digital evidence.

This report outlines types of digital evidence, digital investigative tools, as well as crime scene procedures and evidence analysis. While not meant to be all inclusive, the report provides general guidelines for addressing situations encountered with electronic crime scenes and digital evidence.

Read the full report by
clicking here.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Resources for Premiere Pro users

Here's a end-of-year review of the various documentation, training, and tech support resources Adobe makes available to users of Adobe Premiere Pro.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Targeted Adjustment Tool

"Hey Jim, what's this new little icon on the Camera Raw tool bar?"

The button in question activates the Targeted Adjustment tool. This tool, brought over from Lightroom, makes it easy to adjust images with just a few mouse clicks.

Click and hold the button and you'll find a hidden drop down menu listing a few choices. In my example, I wanted to increase the "drama" of the clouds over this shot of the US Capitol building - taken during my walking tour of D.C. this morning.


I selected Luminance, then used the tool to click on the blue area of the cloudy sky. Holding the mouse button I dragged down (decrease) and up (increase) - using the monitor as my guide to when the image as "just so." You can watch the parameter sliders change as you drag the mouse.

The five selections available give you amazing and quick control over your edits. It's just another reason why I love Adobe Camera Raw.

Try it an see ...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Deleting PS CS4 preference files in XP

I received an e-mail from a frustrated reader who was looking for the Photoshop CS4 preference file in XP - so that he could delete it.

You'll find it at \Documents and Settings\[user name]\Application Data\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS4\Adobe Photoshop CS4 Settings


Once deleted, Photoshop will build another file and your problems will be solved.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

More Lightroom silliness

I still get hate-mail about my stance on Adobe Lightroom. Some folks just don't understand where I am coming from on the issue. So, I'll enlist the help of another author to (again) illustrate my point that Lightroom is a database application at its core, and thus a e-discovery nightmare for forensic image analysts.

Stephen Laskevitch writes in his book,
Photoshop CS4 Photographer's Handbook, "Whereas Photoshop is an image editing application, Lightroom should be thought of as a photographer-friendly database application. Instead of opening, editing, saving and then closing your image files as we do in Photoshop, Lightroom essentially uses one file: its catalog database (emphasis mine). As you work in Lightroom, it is continously updating this file. Indeed, if you look under the File menu, you will not see a Save command!"

Instead of opening, correcting, and saving individual files ... all you are modifying in Lightroom is notes in the database. If you work like most photographers, you'll have just a few databases. Some have a single catalog (database file) for their business and one for their personal stuff. Most just put all of their images into a single catalog - leveraging the power of the database functionality to inspire their creativity.

When you have to turn over your notes on the work that you've done for discovery, this catalog should be turned over - after all, it contains valuable metadata. Do you really want to turn over "notes" on all images that you work on? Hardly. What's the work around? A separate catalog for each case? It kind of defeats the purpose (especially given the lack of networking support).

Different states have different rules regarding discovery - then there's the Federal government. In response to the many e-mails that I continue to get on this subject, it's worth considering the legal ramifications of technological decisions before hand ... I would think. Shouldn't the legal aspects of a tool's use be considered during the test/validate stage - before a tool is put into general use in your lab?

And please ... I love Lightroom for personal work. I always have.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

From Camera to Computer

Understanding, of course, that this is a "forensic blog" (and a Photoshop blog), part of doing good work in Photoshop is learning the rest of the trade - lighting, camera / lens selection, framing the shot, and etc. Every once and while, I find a book* by a photographer that's worthy of mention. This month's selection is From Camera to Computer by George Barr.

Here's a Canadian Photographer who started at age 12 with a WWII Zeiss Ikonta and a basement bathroom. How cool is that? The book is an easy read with a lot of depth and detail. His passion for his work is evident on each page.

The publisher lists the target audience as "Photographers." I beg to differ. There's something in the book for forensic folks as well. The first two chapters are a perfect intro into a perfectionists' workflow ... bringing out detail, balancing, and making images look their very best. The images used are a challenging start to the book's lessons.

The publisher says that "you'll see proof sheets and "not quite there" images, and you’ll learn tips on image editing from someone who is focused on creating a fine art image rather than mass producing many similar images—often the goal of commercial photographers." I agree wholeheartedly.

By now, you know my "what-how-why" focus. "With his friendly, easy-to-understand approach George goes beyond how to edit your images by teaching the whys behind the editing process. This book is certain to help you dramatically improve your own images."

In focussing on the "why," George demonstrates his mastery of the subject. With this in mind, I'll certainly recommend this book to my friends. I think, after reading it, you will too.


*FTC compliance notice: the book was provided to me without cost by the publisher, Rocky Nook. It has since been re-gifted to an entirely worthy photographer (name withheld). I have derived no material gain from the book or the publisher whatsoever.

Friday, December 4, 2009

New Photoshop Script

Removing the word "copy" from layer copies seems to be a hot topic. I know that I've fielded a question or two about it over the years. The comments on John Nack's post are quite interesting.

If you are someone who is bugged by this, check out this new script from PS-Scripts.com. It's easy to install and use. Once loaded, through the extension manager, just launch it from the Window>Extensions menu.


It has two simple options.


Just click the button and the "copy" part of the layer's title is gone.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Road trip

I just wrapped up testimony in a local case and am hitting the road. Next stop ... San Diego - followed by Washington DC / Northern Virginia.

There's some exciting things happening right now ... but I'm not quite ready to share.

Until then, enjoy.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

FVA 101 in the LA area

January 26-30, 2010 the Corona Police Department will host the Ocean Systems training course "Forensic Video Analysis - FVA 101, Introduction to Forensic Video Analysis".

The learning environment consists of lectures and hands-on exercises designed to allow the analyst to become familiar with the dTective system while working on real cases.

The class size is limited.
Click here for more information.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Crime scene measurements from a single image?

"Two researchers from the University of Salamanca have developed a procedure to enable forensic police to extract metric data from crime scenes using just a single photograph. Their proposal, published this month in the Journal of Forensic Sciences, makes it possible to reconstruct a crime scene in 3D.

"We have studied an unprecedented and original line of research in the field of criminology and forensic engineering, which makes it possible to derive metric data from a single image", Diego González-Aguilera, co-author of the study and a researcher in the Department of Cartography and Soil Engineering at the University of Salamanca (in the University's Ávila offices), tells SINC.

González-Aguilera and his colleague Javier Gómez-Lahoz have recently published a study in the Journal of Forensic Sciences, which offers "a novel approach for documenting, analysing and visualizing crime scenes".

Read the rest of the press release by
clicking here.

Enjoy.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Updates

George wrote a bit ago to wake me up ... wondering where I'd been for a few weeks. I had built up a stack of stuff for posting, and some e-mails that needed addressing ... but lacked the time to get on it.

I'm in the home stretch on my Master's degree and the next, and final semester sees me going more than full time to get it all done by spring.

Full time work, more than full time school, part time practice, volunteer work, social life, wife, kids, ... it's a good thing that I don't require much sleep.

That being said, I may need to take a week off here and there ... then dump the stack of stuff. I'm here, just a little busy.

For the future, I'm working on a piece from a recent court case of mine involving authentication/comparison that is a bit eye-opening. I haven't decided if I should post it here, or offer it to the IAI, NATIA, or LEVA for their newsletters.

Thanks again for checking on me. If you are in the DC area, I'll be in town next week. Yes, one more thing to add to the list.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Study to look at HD CCTV

From the Hattiesburg American:

"The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at Southern Miss will conduct real-time testing and evaluation of surveillance technology in conjunction with the Golden Eagles’ home football game against the University of Tulsa today at M.M. Roberts Stadium.

A total of 12 high-definition cameras will be positioned outside and inside the stadium complex to monitor fan activity. Two national surveillance companies – Avigilon and Pixel Velocity – have teamed up with the NCS4 to test the equipment and related procedures.

This exercise serves as the launch of the national lab at NCS4 in which sophisticated testing of this nature will be conducted on a regular basis.

“Video surveillance has surfaced as the top issue facing the security industry right now,” said Lou Marciani, NCS4 director. “The goal with our lab is to vet security solutions for sports at all levels, from college to professional. There is no one else right now doing what we are for collegiate venues through this lab.”

Click here to read the rest of the story.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Video in Photoshop CS4 Extended

"What am I missing?" - writes an reader in a recent e-mail. "I apply an effect to a video in Photoshop, but the effect is only applied to a single frame. What gives?"

When you first open a video file in Photoshop CS4 Extended, you'll see a layer icon that looks like the one below.


You'll want to right click on the layer and select Convert to Smart Object.


Once done, the layer's icon will change to that familiar look ... and your video layer will become a Smart Object.


Once done, you can apply effects to your heart's content - all non-destructively.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

LEVA Highlights

Didn't make the LEVA conference? Here's some of what you missed:

"At the 2009 conference of the Law Enforcement and Emergency Services Video Association this week, Graeme Gerrard, Cheshire’s deputy chief constable and one of Britain’s top CTTV experts, spoke of the kingdom’s experience, and it’s not all as clear-cut as one might think.

While surveillance technology has exploded over a couple of decades, there are still a host of issues with coordination and operation—most notably the lack of standards on digital multipixel cameras.

Gerrard framed the issue as dual policy mission: How does government do its job of keeping people safe without diminishing the individual rights that lie at the heart of the free society? What are the costs of living in a free society? And just because we have the technology to implement, should we do so?

He offered a little history.

First of all, he said, Britain has no privacy laws along the lines of those in the United States and Canada—not even a consitution. In the United Kingdom, he said, the police can do pretty much anything they want, in terms of surveillance, unless there’s a specific law saying they can’t. They can wiretap communications without warrants, for example.

Combine that absence of American-style individual rights with an exponential growth in crime from the 1970s to the 1990s, along with high-profile bomb attacks from the Irish Republican Army, and the public largely cheered the security improvements."

Read the rest of this interesting article by
clicking here.

Enjoy.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Adobe is looking for feedback on the future of Photoshop

From John Nack at Adobe:

... Below you'll find some of the ideas that have bubbled up in discussions on this blog and elsewhere. The list isn't exhaustive (I tried to keep the length reasonable), and it's not a promise or a hint about what might be in development. Think of it as just a quick straw poll to gauge temperature. ...

Drawing
Richer Smart Objects
File Organisation / Mgmt.
Output / Integration.

Click here to read more and respond.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Telnet into DVRs?

A reader writes in asking about various ways to connect to network enabled DVRs. Often times, the manufacturer provides software to connect a Windows PC to the DVR through TCP/IP, but the files that come out are transcoded ... leaving no way to get to the proprietary data.

One of the more popular low-end DVRs is Q-See. They are available all over the place on-line from $200.

I friend of mine has found a way into some Q-See models using Telnet (root/123456) go get to the DVR (on a port other than 80). The files that were transfered were encoded using Q-See's proprietary h.264 codec. He couldn't get them to play on anything - but he had them secured none-the-less.

(If you are reading this and you have a networked Q-See DVR on your network, you should think about changing that password)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Exporting stills from Premiere Pro 4.2

I've covered this before, but folks are still searching Adobe's site for help with exporting stills from video. This from Adobe's Steven Muratore:

"A recent search terms report shows that a number of users searched for "capture frame," or "frame capture," when they wanted to find the topic about grabbing a still from video. Reasonably, these users thought of frame capturing as a kind of capture or import. However, the Help topic for it lives at the other end of the Help system, not under "capturing," but under "
exporting."



File>Export>Media


Choose TIFF


Make sure that the settings match ...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Check out Adobe Story

This one is for the production folks:

Test Drive New Adobe Story!

I'm excited to let you all know that Adobe Story, the new collaborative script development tool designed for creative professionals, producers, and writers working on or with scripts and screenplays is now available (and currently free) on Adobe Labs!

The current lab preview version of Story will let you try out many of the tools that will be part of the overall features in the final version of Adobe Story.

Adobe Story in the future will go beyond just script writing, it will tightly integrate with future versions of Adobe Creative Suite Production Premium tools too.

Click here for more info on Adobe Story on Adobe Labs

Click here to see the Adobe Story Overview on Adobe TV

Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Camera Raw 5.6 now available

From John Nack at Adobe:

Adobe
Camera Raw 5.6 and Lightroom 2.6 are now available for download from Adobe Labs. These releases add new camera support for the following models:


Canon EOS 7D
Canon PowerShot G11
Canon PowerShot S90
Leaf Aptus II 5
Mamiya DM22, DM28, DM33, DM56, M18, M22, M31
Nikon D3s
Olympus E-P2
Pentax K-x
Panasonic FZ38
Sigma DP1s
Sony A500
Sony A550
Sony A850

According to Camera Raw/Lightroom PM
Tom Hogarty, "The Lightroom 3 beta has not been updated with this new camera support. If you're working with one of these newer cameras and the Lightroom 3 beta, please use the DNG Converter 5.6 Release Candidate to convert proprietary formats to DNG files that can be used in the Lightroom 3 beta."

Because this is a release candidate, we'd be glad to get your feedback via the Camera Raw
User to User forum.

ed. note: Canon PowerShot G11? I was just breaking in my G10.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thirty top tricks for Acrobat 9

Check out Rick Borstein’s 30 Top Tricks for Acrobat 9 (helpful download link) from the Acrobat for Legal Professionals blog.