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Friday, May 28, 2010

Meet the Application Bar

The Application Bar in Photoshop CS5 gives you handy one click access to some really cool stuff. Take the Arrange Documents pull down menu for instance. If you have more than one document open, and you want to arrange them to suit your needs - there's a pull down menu on the Application Bar for that. Simply click and hold, then select your preference. It's smart enough to know how many images are open and to offer you the appropriate choices. Tile images horizontally or vertically ... the power is in your hands.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Forensic Photoshop Configurator Panel

With the release of Configurator 2, I'll be updating the Forensic Photoshop Configurator Panel to be compatible with Photoshop CS5. Stay tuned for more details.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Security update for Photoshop CS4

From Adobe's John Nack:
"The Photoshop CS4 11.0.2 update (download for Mac | Win) addresses a number of critical issues and vulnerabilities discovered after the product shipped. According to the download page, critical vulnerabilities have been identified in Photoshop CS4 11.0.1 and earlier for Windows and Macintosh that could allow an attacker who successfully exploits these vulnerabilities to take control of the affected system. A malicious .ASL (swatch), .ABR (brush), or .GRD (gradient) file must be opened in Photoshop CS4 by the user for an attacker to be able to exploit these vulnerabilities. Adobe recommends Photoshop CS4 customers update to Photoshop CS4 11.0.2, which resolves these issues.

These issues do not affect Photoshop CS5.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

An Interesting Case

From State of Washington v Tony Smith: "A jury found Tony Smith guilty of three counts of burglary in the second degree. At trial, an officer who had viewed surveillance videos of the burglaries and a photo of Smith testified that he believed the burglaries were all committed by the same person. On appeal, Smith asserts that the trial court abused its discretion in admitting the officer's testimony. We conclude that the trial court did abuse its discretion in admitting the officer's testimony because the detective had no other contacts with Smith, and was in no better position to identify Smith than the jury. But because the evidence was overwhelming as to two of the three convictions, we reverse and remand only one conviction. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand."

Click here to read the whole ruling.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Interesting case - 2 party consent in Maryland

From Baltimore's WJZ.com: "Several Marylanders face felony charges for recording their arrests on camera, and others have been intimidated to shut their cameras off. That's touched off a legal controversy.

Mike Hellgren explains the fierce debate and what you should do to protect yourself.

A man whose arrest was caught on video faces felony charges from Maryland State Police for recording it on camera.

"We are enforcing the law, and we don't make any apologies for that," said Greg Shipley, Maryland State Police.

Video of another arrest at the Preakness quickly made its way online, despite an officer issuing this warning to the person who shot it, "Do me a favor and turn that off. It's illegal to videotape anybody's voice or anything else, against the law in the state of Maryland."

But is he right? Can police stop you from recording their actions, like a beating at the University of Maryland College Park?

The American Civil Liberties Union says no.

"For the government to be saying it has the power to prevent citizens from doing that is profoundly shocking, troubling, and particularly in the case of Maryland, simply flat-out wrong," said David Roach, ACLU.

Under Maryland law, conversations in private cannot be recorded without the consent of both people involved.

Click here to read the rest of the story.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Contribute to Adobe Community Help

From Adobe's Samartha Vashishtha:

"In case you didn't already know, you can contribute to the documentation for many Adobe products under the Adobe Community Help model. See this page for FAQ on Adobe Community Help. In short:

Adobe Community Help is a set of web services that provides instruction, inspiration, and support. Community Help combines content from Adobe Help, Support, Design Center, Developer Connection, and Forums - along with great online community content - so that users can easily find the best and most up-to-date resources. Community Help enables users to contribute content and add comments to all learning content on Adobe.com.

Your contributions can be in the form of tips, tricks, sample code, examples, comments, content-improvement suggestions, and more. A free Adobe.com account is all that you need to contribute. What's more, if the moderators find your contribution helpful, they will reward you with Adobe Community Help points. Isn't that cool?"

Click here to learn more.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Optional plug-ins available for Photoshop CS5

Adobe's posted various optional plug-ins for Photoshop CS5 for Mac and Windows:

• Picture Package (ContactSheetII)
• Extract (Windows only*)
• Pattern Maker
• Photomerge UI (for interactive panorama creation)
• Web Photo Gallery (WebContactSheetII) plus presets
• Script for Layer Comps to Web Photo Gallery
• Texture presets for Texturizer

Additional file formats:

• Alias
• Electric Image
• SoftImage

* Cocoa-related changes mean that Extract doesn't run on OS X in CS5. Refine Edge in CS5 should now be able to address the image extraction needs for the vast majority of people who previously used Extract.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Keying, Time Remapping & Stills in PPRO CS5

From Adobe's Jason Levine:
"For this piece, we'll take a look at using the new Ultra Keyer in Premiere Pro with some Canon 7D footage. What's great about this is the fact that the green screen was unevenly lit, and with minimal effort, I'm able to pull a rather impressive key, literally in seconds.

Following that, I'll show you the easiest way to time-remap footage (both speeding-up and slowing down) directly inside the timeline. One thing that I neglected to mention was that you can (of course) keyframe time changes (but you'll see a little tool-tip pop-up during the video). Once keyframed, you can adjust the ramp of the speed/duration into the time change as well. Powerful stuff, and very easy to apply.

And lastly, I'll showcase the ease of the new 'Export Frame' option, ideal for taking digital stills from your HD-DSLR video, and lightning fast in CS5 (thanks to the fact that we no longer go thru Media Encoder to process stills; just click 'Export', choose the format/location, and you're done).

Click here to watch the video.


Friday, May 14, 2010

CCTV as the eyewitness

From WLKY.com: LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Video evidence was shown Thursday in the trial of a woman accused of setting fire to her St. Matthews business.

Investigators said Susan Lukjan used packaging materials to fuel the 2006 fire at her business, Campbell's Gourmet Cottage.

In surveillance video taken from cameras on Trinity High School, investigators said Lukjan's red Lincoln Navigator can be seen leaving her shop at 5:06 p.m. on August 19, 2006. Then, 13 minutes later, the video showed smoke coming from the store.

Prosecutors said Lukjan had motive to burn down her business because she was seriously in debt and wanted to collect the insurance money.

The defense is reserving their right to address the jury once the Commonwealth has concluded its case."

Just goes to show you how many cameras watch your every step.


DSI-Las Vegas

This just in from the organizers of DSI-Las Vegas:

"The Las Vegas Metro Police Department Forensic Multimedia Lab is the co-sponsor of the Digital Summit International (DSI-Vegas) educational conference to be held this August 17-19. DSI will offer all attendees the opportunity to learn and work with technologies for all types of digital evidence - from video, audio, cell phones, and cameras, to data acquisition, image enhancement, and digital asset management. There will also be educational presentations and hands-on workshops led by working experts in Video and Audio Forensic Analysis, Digital Photography, Multimedia Investigations, and Digital Laboratory Management. We will also be offering tours of casino surveillance operations and hands-on workshops in digital evidence recovery, and the opportunity to preview the newest technology and services from leading providers in the DSI Exhibit Hall.

For any of you involved with the capture, retrieval, enhancement, storage, or dissemination of digital information, and the subsequent investigation from these types of evidence, I want to invite you to this year’s conference being held here in Las Vegas. We believe this is truly the first conference if its kind, designed specifically for individuals that specialize in these disciplines, and have never had the opportunity to be exposed to such a wide variety of information specifically related to our field.

I know that we are all suffering from the horrid economy and budget cuts, so any training offered has to have a huge bang for the buck. This educational conference has an enormous amount of expert speakers and highly respected industry leaders in all facets of digital investigations. The cost of this conference is all inclusive, which means no additional charges for workshops, tours, or any other special sessions. Additionally, for those of you attending outside the local area and in need of accommodations, costs and room charges are a fraction of what they would be anywhere else in the country.

Please take a look at our web site at www.dsi-vegas.com and see everything this conference has to offer.

As a bonus for fellow law enforcement attendees, if you type in the code A1 when registering, you will save $25.00 off the registration fee."

I'll see you there.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Avid Media Composer 5 - coming soon

See what's new in Media Composer 5:

• Work natively with QuickTime video formats, including Apple ProRes and H.264
• Edit video and audio by dragging and dropping elements in the timeline
• Mix and match frame sizes and aspect ratios — in addition to formats, frame rates, and resolutions — in the same timeline
• Take a break during long renders and have your system email you when the job’s done
• Import AVCHD files directly from cameras and other devices

And much more ...


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

When E-Discovery Is Used as a Weapon

From Law.com: "The attorney-client privilege is perhaps the oldest of the privileges for confidential communications known to common law. But the privilege is not available to a client who seeks legal advice to commit an ongoing or future crime or fraud. To prevent those abuses, courts have fashioned a limited exception to the privilege known as the crime-fraud exception.

Most attorneys understand that if they advise a client on how to rob a bank or perpetrate a fraud, their communications will not be shielded by the privilege. Yet, few attorneys realize that there is an increasing risk that their adversaries in litigation may use the crime-fraud exception to strip away the privilege protecting attorney-client communications in civil discovery. Most attorneys would view such an intrusion as an assault on the basic structure of the privilege. Without a strong, clear standard against such efforts in the civil arena, we expect there to be more attempts to expand the application of the crime-fraud exception to collateral litigation-related conduct in civil cases: particularly in the fast-evolving area of e-discovery and the unfamiliar and intimidating realm of information technology.

The strategy works as follows. The attorney planning to strip the privilege serves a typically overbroad set of document requests. She then follows up with a Federal Rules of Civil Procedure §30(b)(6) (or state law equivalent) deposition of the company's representative to determine the failures or weaknesses in the company's preservation, search, and production of electronically stored information. Technological advances have significantly increased the ways in which ESI can be saved, including but not limited to folders on various network drives that reside on different servers, hard drives, laptops, hand-held devices, home computers, and external storage applications. This increasing complexity is compounded by hardware and software that is constantly being updated or replaced. Personnel changes can also result in leaving no one with knowledge of each employee's record-keeping habits. Faced with a broad-ranging document request, an attorney's task of preserving and locating all relevant data becomes extraordinarily challenging. To make matters worse, the opposing counsel may then move to compel the production of documents under the low threshold of what is discoverable, which does not require proof of actual relevancy or admissibility at trial. The purpose is to create the impression that documents are missing or have been withheld.

Attorneys opposing this sort of motion to compel then face the difficult task of proving that all relevant documents were in fact preserved and produced, while at the same time ensuring the judge understands the company's technology infrastructure. Notwithstanding an attorney's reasonable and good faith effort to preserve and produce relevant documents, sources of potentially relevant data will inevitably go undiscovered. Or, the scope of preservation will be inadequate. If the opposing counsel obtains a sanctions order, it will characterize the discovery-related conduct as a "fraud," and seek to pierce the attorney-client privilege by invoking the crime-fraud exception. ..."

Click here to read the rest of the story.


More CSI Effect

From Glossynews.com: " For the third time in as many days, Chicago Police Department forensic analyst Ted Hatcher confessed to being unable to magically extract high definition pictures from damaged, out-of-focus, and low resolution images. Hatcher’s failure was met with disbelief and disappointment by police detectives and crime scene investigators standing around him in his unreasonably dark forensics lab.

“There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not given a grainy surveillance video, or a Google satellite image, or a picture from an old newspaper and asked to produce a clear crisp image to help them solve some crime or something,” said Hatcher, who has been working for the Chicago Police Department for 12 years. ..."

Read the rest of the story by clicking here.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Problems Downloading CS5?

From Adobe's Sarthak Singhal: "Are you facing downloading issues with CS5 from adobe.com?

www.adobe.com uses Akamai Download Manager to download the trial versions of software. There are some reports of users running into issues while downloading from the same website.

A Technote has been released which guides users to overcome the download issues which can be found at kb2.adobe.com/cps/526/cpsid_52698.html. A more detailed FAQ page can be found at kb2.adobe.com/cps/400/kb400531.html."


AIR- Tight! The Photographer's Ephemeris

From Eva LaMar @ Adobe:

"Plan your sunlight and moonlight in your next outdoors photo shoot!!

As a photographer I love to work with natural light, even the moonlight! The Photographer's Ephemeris is a fantastic Adobe AIR tool to help with the planning of exact location, sunlight and moonlight. The Photographer's Ephemeris, TPE, allows me to determine if the sun and/or moon will be visible behind a hill, mountain, or other outdoor feature.

The map-centric sun and moon calculator is easy to read. It clearly shows how the light will fall on the location as well as exact locations of the sun and moon at a specific time and day. Yes, I can plan for a photo shoot months ahead of time.

What I like best about the map-based interface is that I can save a series of exact locations and times; I am not limited to just one or two locations. I can search anywhere on the planet and save it to my personalized list of places. How can I use this in education?

TPE is free, is easy to run because of Adobe AIR, and takes just a few minutes to learn. It has a direct correlation to geography in context of photography and expands the digital tools available to photographers. TPE's power is in the ability to explore multiple locations and time periods at one time. It takes away the guesswork and allows the photographer to focus on what they do best.

It is now not only an AIR application for a computer, but it is also available as an App for my iPhone. While the iPhone App does not have all of the tools as the AIR app, it is quite similar.

Visit Steven Trailor's TPE website to learn more!"


Monday, May 10, 2010

Tennessee Flood - Lend a hand

There hasn't been that much, if any, national coverage of the devastation in Nashville and the surrounding areas in Tennessee. Country singer/song writer has released a new song to help raise funds for the recovery effort - and you can download it for free. It's called Lend a Hand.

I'm always amazed at what gets covered and what doesn't. Since this tragedy has been off the media's radar, I thought that I'd do my part to raise the awareness. John Rich's web site has details on how to contribute to the relief effort, if you feel moved to do so.

I can remember when a large earthquake leveled half of my hometown one morning during my senior year in high school. My family's home was thrown from its foundation ... walls buckled and roof collapsed. That old Quaker town came together and got through the worst of it - neighbour helping neighbour. My Dad lead the effort to re-build our house, with all of our family pitching in to help.

Neighbour helping neighbour - that's how it should be done. I'll do my part. Will you do yours?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Adobe CS5 help Issue?

From Adobe's Sarthak Singhal: "If you are facing any issue with CS5 help system on your machine, this could be due to pre-release build of the help client which has stayed onto your machine.

A technote has been released at kb2.adobe.com/cps/842/cpsid_84215.html which will guide you to solve this issue. There is no need to uninstall the CS5 suite or any individual product to resolve this issue."


Thursday, May 6, 2010

CS5 Production Premium Road Show

Join Creative Suite video experts at the Adobe CS5 Road Show for a free, in-depth seminar that features the new Adobe® Creative Suite® 5 Production Premium. Discover brand new workflow efficiencies and creative enhancements. Meet with partners that provide complementary offerings that deliver breakthrough performance while dramatically increasing your productivity.

The CS5 Road show will be in 7 cities across North America starting May 18th through June 10th.

May 18th - New York City, NY
May 20th - Atlanta, GA
May 25th - Orlando, FL
May 27th - Dallas, TX
June 3rd - Vancouver, BC
June 8th - San Francisco, CA
June 10th - Los Angeles, CA


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Adobe Captivate is now on Mac

As a long time Adobe Captivate user (the book's video tutorials were made with Captivate 3), I'm excited to see that Captivate is now a cross-platform app.

Read all about the new release by clicking here.


Adobe eLearning Suite is now on Mac

I've been waiting for this for a while. As a content creator, this is huge. I can now, finally, kill my PC for content creation. The Adobe eLearning Suite is now in version 2 and available for Mac. Check it out for yourself.

In addition, you can find eSeminars that outline the new features, getting started, and etc. on the Captivate Blog.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Times Square bombing attempt reveals limits of video surveillance

From the Washington Post:

"With 82 city-owned surveillance cameras and scores of private ones, New York's Times Square may well be among the most scrutinized patches of real estate on Earth. So when a bomb-laden Nissan Pathfinder rolled into the famed plaza Saturday evening, it was inevitable that multiple cameras would pick up the sport-utility vehicle as well as the fidgety middle-aged man who was seen standing near the car, stuffing a shirt into a satchel.

Within 24 hours of the incident, the replaying of video footage of the car and the man, later deemed a "person of interest," would testify to the spread of surveillance networks established throughout the city in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Elected officials seized on the foiled attack to press their case Monday for hundreds of additional cameras for New York, one of several U.S. cities to champion video monitoring as a means of thwarting terrorists and reducing crime.

Yet, the attempted bombing also revealed the limits of the technology. Critics of the surveillance networks, including many civil liberties groups, noted that the cameras had neither prevented a potentially deadly terrorist attack nor led investigators immediately to a perpetrator. And city officials acknowledged that the "person of interest" -- a balding man whose video image was seen by millions over the weekend -- may not have had anything to do with the attempted bombing. Late Monday night, a suspect was arrested in the case, though it was not clear whether he was the man in the video.

That man "could be totally innocent -- it's one of the first videos that we obtained," New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said in a CNN interview. "He was taking his shirt off, but it was a warm day."

Police were expected to unveil what they described as a more illuminating video that appeared to show the Pathfinder's driver running away from the vehicle. "We obtained that from a tourist," Kelly said.

Continue reading the story by clicking here.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Nik plans free plug-in updates for CS5

Via John Nack at Adobe: "The folks at Nik Software report that they're planning to issue free CS5 compatibility updates to their plug-ins:

'We are actively working to add 64-bit compatibility to the Macintosh version of our Viveza 2 product and expect to be finished mid-year. Once the update for Viveza 2 is released, we will deliver cross-platform 64-bit versions of our remaining products as they become available. Please see the Nik site for additional details.'"


Imagenomic plans free compatibility upgrades

Via Adobe's John Nack: "Imagenomic will be providing FREE compatibility updates of its Plug-in Products (Portraiture, Noiseware and RealGrain) for Adobe Photoshop CS5. Furthermore, we will be providing a FREE update for registered users of the Portraiture Plug-in for Lightroom to ensure compatibility with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3... For Mac OS X: We will be releasing compatibility updates to make sure our Plug-in products are fully compatible with Photoshop CS5 in both 64 and 32 bit mode."


Sunday, May 2, 2010

What's new in Encore CS5

There are a lot of folks using Encore to make their DVDs (myself included). For a look at what's new in Encore CS5, check out this link.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Forensics’ evidence could be bruised

From Queen Mary University, London: "Criminal cases where forensic experts determine the age of bruises on victims from photographs could be flawed, according to scientific research.

Researchers from Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary, University of London found forensic experts made significant errors when they used photographs to determine the time bruises were inflicted on people.

One of the study’s authors, Professor of Forensic Medical Sciences, Peter Vanezis, at the William Harvey Research Institute, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, said: “Forensics are often asked to give their expert opinion as to when bruising had occurred on a victim based on photographic images, yet we now realise they can’t accurately determine when the bruise occurred.”

Forensic experts are frequently asked to comment on the age of bruises, in cases concerning child abuse, assault and sexual assault.

In this study, forensic experts looked at 132 photographic images of bruises, ranging from 0 to 209 hours in age.

Bruises were produced on the upper arms of 11 Caucasian subjects by a suction pump. Daily sequential photographs were taken until they were no longer visible to the naked eye. Fifteen forensic experts were asked to estimate the age of the bruises and also place them in chronological order.

Lead author, Margaret Pilling, an Honours Medical Student at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, said: “The greatest accuracy, from forensic experts, occurred in very fresh bruises (between 0 and 12 hours) however there were still a number of significant misjudgements in this age range.

“The median difference between the estimated age and the real age was 26 hours – a considerable disparity. We conclude that forensic experts’ estimates of bruise age from photographs are, at best, unreliable.”

Read the rest of the article by clicking here.