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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Context - at the center of the storm

From the Toronto Star: "Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair is lashing out at the Special Investigations Unit for saying excessive force was probably used by officers in two cases during G20 protests.

The two cases are among six investigated by the police watchdog, which then decided not to pursue charges because the officers in question could not be identified.

At the centre of Blair’s grievances, a YouTube video the SIU used as corroborating evidence of excessive force against a civilian.

Blair said the video had been “tampered with.” He said the tape had been “forensically examined” over the weekend and that it was edited in a way that offered no explanation for why force was used ..."

"Blair questioned the validity of the video.

“We have no way of knowing what has been removed,” Blair said in a statement Monday. “It is very likely that what has been removed sheds light on why the man was arrested, and why force was used.”

“We’re asking why the SIU would use a video posted on YouTube without checking it independently?” said police spokesman Mark Pugash.

“I think it’s well known that you have to take everything you see on YouTube not only with a grain of salt, but with a huge amount of salt ...”

Click here to read the whole story.


Monday, November 29, 2010

The evolution of the slide show presentation

From Adobe.com. "And [courtroom presentations] will never be the same. With Acrobat X Suite made available earlier this month, [LE] professionals can now begin to bring their ideas to life and deliver breakthrough communications.

What’s in Acrobat X Suite? Only five of the most powerful communications tools available today: Acrobat X Pro, Photoshop CS5, Captivate 7, Presenter 7 and LiveCycle Designer ES. With these tools you can create rich interactive media, edit and improve digital images, and deliver polished PDF communications.

Here are just a few things you can do with Acrobat X Suite that will amp up your otherwise mundane presentations.

Create presentations that talk. You can transform static PowerPoint slides into compelling, self-running presentations with Adobe Presenter 7. With just a few clicks, you can add narration, videos, and interactivity to make your business presentations look — and sound — better than ever.

" "PDF Portfolio assembly. We all know how effective PDF Portfolios are. Now it’s easier than ever to quickly assemble a wide range of file types — including audio, video, and rich media content — in a polished, organized PDF Portfolio in just three simple steps using the new PDF Portfolio Wizard.

That’s just the beginning. Easy video insertion and screen recording, content aware fill, enhanced HDR imaging, PDF Portfolio customization, security are just a few more of the Suite’s features. So check out the free trial here and see how you can have your [jury] on the edge of their seats at your next [trial]. And you’ll see that life is indeed suite."


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Using CS Review to connect with remote clients

I can see this helping small agencies connect with remote outposts or attorneys in their capital cities. Check out CS Review:

"More and more, editors are working in studios that may be far away from their clients. Be it cross town or half way around the world, we’ve all had a need for remote approval of our finished video sequences.

Remote approval has always been a pretty painful process of uploading and downloading compressed files with a lot of e-mails flying back and forth. Not very efficient, is it? I can tell you from personal experience, it isn’t.

Recently, a killer new feature sneaked into Premiere Pro CS5 (5.0.2) called CS Review. CS Review in Premiere Pro is the perfect solution for the problem I’ve just described, remote approval of your work. CS Review is one of a number “services” in the CS Live feature that are integrated into certain Adobe CS5 applications. This blog post aims to get you up and running with CS Review in Premiere Pro quickly and give you tips and resources on how to use this cool new feature.

How Does it Work?
CS Review has two major components: the online Web Client (located at acrobat.com) and the Review Panel in Premiere Pro. After you’ve finished editing your sequence, you’ll create your Review using the Review Panel. You’ll encode your movie with Adobe Media Encoder and then send a link to the Review for your client.

On the web client will be a web page with a movie file is embedded into it and a side panel for comments. Your client opens the link, views the footage and then makes comments in different places in the movie. After your client completes making comments, they send an approval message back to you.

Back in Premiere Pro, you’ll be able to see the results right in the Review Panel with comments showing each place in the movie that needs a change. Click on a comment and the CTI snaps to the exact location of your comment, ready for you to make that change. Pretty dang nifty.

Click here to continue reading.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Adobe Reader protected mode explained

Here is a series of links to an outstanding explanation of how sandboxing works in Adobe Reader.

Inside Adobe Reader Protected Mode – Part 1 – Design
Inside Adobe Reader Protected Mode – Part 2 – The Sandbox Process
Inside Adobe Reader Protected Mode – Part 3 – Broker Process, Policies, and Inter-Process Communication
Inside Adobe Reader Protected Mode – Part 4 – The Challenge of Sandboxing


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sandboxing and Adobe Reader X

From Adobe: "Since we first announced the development of a sandbox for Adobe Reader on July 20, 2010, there has been a tremendous level of interest in the sandboxing topic — and an equal level of anticipation for Adobe Reader X. Over the last few months, the Adobe Reader engineering team together with the Adobe Secure Software Engineering Team, partners in the software development community such as the Microsoft Office security team and the Chrome team at Google, as well as customers, third-party consultancies in the security community, and other external stakeholders were hard at work to help ensure the sandbox implementation was as robust as possible.

Today, all of the hard work has come to fruition, and we are happy to announce that Adobe Reader X (with Protected Mode, aka sandboxing, on Windows) is now available! To download the new version of Adobe Reader, visit www.adobe.com/reader.

Adobe’s product security initiatives are focused on reducing both the frequency and the impact of security vulnerabilities. Adobe Reader Protected Mode represents an exciting new advancement in mitigating the impact of attempted attacks. While sandboxing is not a security silver bullet, it provides a strong additional level of defense against attacks. Even if exploitable security vulnerabilities are found by an attacker, Adobe Reader Protected Mode will help prevent the attacker from writing files or installing malware on potential victims’ computers."


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A cool, free Photoshop book comes to iPad

From Adobe's John Nack: "Photographer Dan Marcolina has used InDesign’s new tablet-publishing tools to create the very cool The World Without Photoshop, “A unique interactive iPad book featuring a dozen Photoshop Masters.”

See for yourself what some of the best digital artists’ work looks like without the software. Then with the touch of your finger The World Without Photoshop is transformed and you can see and hear the imaginations of these artists come to life in their work. Pinch and zoom into over 48 works by artists, illustrators, designers, and photographers and get their insights into how twenty years of Photoshop innovation have changed their world.

Bonus content includes an interactive timeline of 20 years of Photoshop features, Russell Preston Brown’s Photoshop ODDyssey presentation, more."


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

‘Lame Duck’ Session Likely to Include Bills on Video, Recording

From Government Video: "Capitol Hill staffers of Democratic members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are hopeful that Congress will act on two bills affecting government broadcasts and recording in a “lame duck” session after the November elections.

The latest bills were introduced in late September, and were immediately referred to committees, with at least one Senate proposal receiving swift action.

On Sept. 28, 2010, the proposed “Government Performance and Results Modernization Act” (S. 3853) was introduced into the Senate by Sens. Tom Carper, D-Del.; Mark Warner, D-Va.; and Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii. The proposed requires federal agencies to post performance data on a single public website on a quarterly, rather than a yearly, schedule. S. 3853 was referred to the Senate Homeland Security & Government Affairs Committee, and on Sept. 29, the committee approved the proposed legislation and offered it as an amendment to a House version of the bill, HR 2141, which proves Congress can get work accomplished when it wants to. The fast track is not over for this bill, staffers close to Carper are confident Congress will act on it during a lame duck session, and that bill is not alone.

On Sept. 29, 2010, the proposed “Effective Law Enforcement Through Transparent Interrogations Act” (HR 6245) was introduced in the House by Rep. Henry Johnson, D-Ga., and the bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee. That particular bill seeks to require all federal police agencies record every suspect interrogation or forfeit the statements a suspect said during questioning.

Click here to continue reading.


Monday, November 15, 2010

New York City Police Photograph Irises of Suspects

From the NY Times: The New York Police Department has begun photographing the irises of people who are arrested in an effort to prevent escapes as suspects move through the court system, a police official said Monday.

The program was instituted after two embarrassing episodes early this year in which prisoners arrested on serious charges tricked the authorities into freeing them by posing at arraignment as suspects facing minor cases. The occurrences exposed weaknesses in the city’s handling of suspects as they move from police custody into the maze of court systems in the five boroughs.

With the new system, the authorities are using a hand-held scanning device that can check a prisoner’s identity in seconds when the suspect is presented in court, said Paul J. Browne, the department’s chief spokesman.

Officials began photographing the irises of suspects arrested for any reason on Monday at Manhattan Central Booking and expect to expand the program to all five boroughs by early December, Mr. Browne said.

The department has been working on the program for months, Mr. Browne said. But the effort caught many in the city’s legal circles by surprise as news of it began trickling out late last week. It is raising concerns among civil libertarians and privacy advocates, who say the authorities’ cataloging of the new data could put innocent people under permanent suspicion.

“It’s really distressing that the Police Department is once again undertaking a new regime of personal data collection without any public discourse,” said Donna Lieberman, the executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, “and we don’t know the reason for it, whether this is a necessary program, whether it’s effective to address the concerns that it’s designed to address, and whether in this day and age it’s even cost-effective, not to mention whether there are any protections in place against the misuse of the data that’s collected.”

Steven Banks, attorney in chief of the Legal Aid Society, said his office learned about the program on Friday in a phone call from the mayor’s criminal justice coordinator.

“This is an unnecessary process,” Mr. Banks said. “It’s unauthorized by the statutes and of questionable legality at best. The statutes specifically authorize collecting fingerprints. There has been great legislative debate about the extent to which DNA evidence can be collected, and it is limited to certain types of cases. So the idea that the Police Department can forge ahead and use a totally new technology without any statutory authorization is certainly suspect.”

Mr. Browne said a legal review by the department had concluded that legislative authorization was not necessary.

Click here to continue reading the story.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

LEVA Conference

I know that the posts have been a bit slow in coming. The demands of doubling up on classes in an already accelerated PhD program often keep me from blogging. I'll be putting a bunch of stuff up that I've been saving soon.

In the meantime, for those that are going to the LEVA Conference this week, I'll see you there.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Specialized Studies Program in Forensic Photography - UC Davis Extension Program

Learn the art of producing accurate documentation of a crime scene, accident or other types of investigations with this online program in forensic photography. The field of forensic photography is expanding as the need for professionals with the technical ability to provide precise documentation to courts and other agencies grows.

Forensic photography has become an integral part of not only crime scenes but accidents, disasters, engineering failures, product liability and child protection—virtually all events and situations requiring documentation.

Gain practical knowledge that matters

Learn from a nationally recognized expert in the field of forensic photography. Gain insight into the principles of digital photography.

This online program is designed for law enforcement officers, investigators, medical personnel, government officials involved in disaster investigations and documentation, private detectives, legal and paralegal personnel, engineers and technicians, and anyone interested in gathering and/or documenting data for legal and/or scientific purposes.

Click here for more information.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

BOLO Alert

Riverside, Ca., police have released a photo of the man suspected of fatally shooting an officer.

Officer Ryan Bonaminio, 27, was killed Sunday night by an unidentified man who was driving a stolen big-rig cab who was believed to be involved in an earlier hit-and-run accident.

The gunman, who remains at large, is described as a black male in his mid-30s to 40s, 6-1 or 6-2, with a slender build and possible facial hair, wearing dark clothing and a light-colored baseball cap.

He is armed with a handgun, police said.

“We’re putting out the photo in hopes that somebody would see the suspect and do the right thing,” said Police Chief Sergio Diaz.

The incident began when police received a call about a hit-and-run accident at the 60 Freeway and Market Street about 9:45 p.m., Brennan said.

Bonaminio was on routine patrol when he tried to stop the truck to question the driver about the incident, police said.

The trucker failed to stop despite the patrol car's flashing lights and siren, police said. The trucker eventually pulled over in front of nearby Fairmount Park. He got out of the vehicle and ran, with Bonaminio running after him, police said.

When other officers arrived at the scene, they found Bonaminio on the ground with a gunshot injury, police said. He was taken to Riverside Hospital, where he died of his injuries.

The photo of the man was taken by a video camera inside the officer’s car, said Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz. The picture was taken after the man shot the officer and as he was getting back into the cab to return the vehicle to the rental yard where it was stolen, Diaz said.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Adobe Audition for Mac - Public Beta!

Adobe announced that Adobe Audition for the Mac is now available for public beta (you can see the press release here). "We encourage you to give it a try and provide us with feedback.

Audition will be shipped on both Windows and Mac OS when the time comes, but given that Mac OS is a new platform for Audition it is important we gather as much feedback and testing as possible in order to make this is a great product for all users. Visit the Adobe Audition Labs page for download information and more details: http://www.adobe.com/go/audition_labs."


Adobe Audition for Mac - Public Beta!

Adobe announced that Adobe Audition for the Mac is now available for public beta (you can see the press release here). We encourage you to give it a try and provide us with feedback. Audition will be shipped on both Windows and Mac OS when the time comes, but given that Mac OS is a new platform for Audition it is important we gather as much feedback and testing as possible in order to make this is a great product for all users. Visit the Adobe Audition Labs page for download information and more details: http://www.adobe.com/go/audition_labs.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

“On CCTV 300 times a day.” Rubbish. And here’s why.

From Lambert & Associates: "I was prompted to write this today owing to a TV news report that stated each of us is likely “caught” on camera “330 times a day”. What?!

First, a subsidiary point in this outrage is that when we’re viewed by a CCTV camera we shouldn’t feel “caught”. Why the negative wording, eh, Mr. TV Reporter? Are you “caught” when a bobby-on-the-beat sees you walking along in accordance with the law of the land? No. So why say that about CCTV? Sensationalist agenda from the mass media? Hmm. Anyway, on to the main point of this blog post.

I couldn’t help but notice the ubiquitous urban myth that each of us is view by 300 CCTV cameras per day in the UK has been inflated in this tv report to 330. Where did the additional 30 times a day spring from? I imagine someone decided that the figure must have gone up since it was originally ‘calculated’ and that 10% seems like a reasonable wild stab in the dark to a journalist looking to advance their career with breaking news, eh what? Tosh.

So where did the 300 figure come from in the first place? Can it be relied upon as the truth of the matter? The media certainly trot it out as ‘fact’ at every opportunity, and we know how trustworthy they are This was addressed recently in respected magazine Wired in ‘A Sharp Focus on CCTV’ by Heather Brooke. She wrote that Simon Davies of Privacy International walked London from Blackfriars to Bond Street in the earlier 1990′s and counted cameras before multiplying this up. How on earth can that represent the whole of the UK? It’s laughable, so let’s dismiss that ..."

Click here to read the rest of the story.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Annoying Aspects of CCTV

From Lambert & Associates: "A photograph in a recent issue of that fine CCTV Image magazine, the organ of the CCTV User Group, showed a spanking new CCTV control room. The proud owners had invested in a bank of monitors often known as a video wall. Nothing unusual there, you might say to yourself. Indeed. (My thoughts on how to save money, power consumption and cooling costs in your control room by avoiding the need for a video wall will wait for another day.)

In CCTV where, disappointingly, end-users’ technical advice can come from an ex-policemen who doesn’t really know a pixel from a pixie or from a salesman who thinks “codecs” is spelled “codex” (because he once read The Da Vinci Code), we often see regular CCTV images being inappropriately stretched across widescreen monitors. Please, no.

Look at it, then think about it. Take the normal 4:3 CCTV picture and stretch it over a typical 16:9 LCD and you end up with a sideways distortion of 33%. That’s a whole 1/3!"

Click here to finish reading part 1. Click here for part 2. Click here for part 3.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Forensic Photoshop hands-on

We've just announced another date for the Basic Forensic Photoshop class in the LA area. December 10, 2010 will be the next classroom session at LA CLEAR. Click here for more details.