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Welcome to the Forensic Multimedia Analysis blog (formerly the Forensic Photoshop blog). With the latest developments in the analysis of m...

Monday, July 11, 2011

What's the Sharpen Tool?

The Sharpen tool increases contrast along edges to increase apparent sharpness. The more you paint over an area with the tool, the more sharpening increases.

Select the Sharpen tool.
Do the following in the options bar:
Choose a brush tip and set options for the blending mode and strength.
Select Sample All Layers to sharpen using data from all visible layers. If this is deselected, the tool uses data from only the active layer.
Select Protect Detail to enhance details and minimize pixelated artifacts. Deselect this option if you want to produce more exaggerated sharpening effects.
Drag over the part of the image you want to sharpen.


Friday, July 8, 2011

What's new and changed in Photoshop CS5.1?

I keep getting e-mails asking about upgrading and what's new in Photoshop CS5. In these budget conscious times, folks are looking to justify their upgrade requests. Here's some of the cool things that you'll find in the latest version:

Create layers by dragging files from Windows or Mac OS.
Straighten images with the Ruler tool.
Protect detail with the Sharpen tool.
Apply a graduated neutral density filter.
Reverse the direction of a clone source.
Customize defaults for layer styles.
Paste in the same relative location, or into or outside selections.
Store image-specific print settings.

Click here to find out more.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

A view of the Anthony verdict

Ex Forensis blogger, Larry E Daniel, was part of the Anthony trial and blogs about his perspective on the case and the verdict. Click here to read his side of the story.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Switch from Avid to Adobe and save 50%

Step up to the toolset the pros use, Adobe® Premiere® Pro, part of Adobe Creative Suite® 5.5 Production Premium software. Get seamless integration with Adobe Photoshop® and After Effects®, and edit almost anything thanks to broad native tapeless and DSLR camera support.

Find out why you should switch by clicking here.

For a limited time, Adobe is offering 50% off Premiere Pro or Production Premium if you switch from Media Composer. Click here to find out how to take advantage of this special offer. (Hint - promo code is SWITCH)


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Error rates?

From the Lansing State Journal: "Michigan’s 79th District Court Judge Peter Wadel refused to admit blood-alcohol results in a drunken-driving case because the state crime lab does not report an error rate, or margin of error, along with blood-alcohol results.

East Lansing attorney Mike Nichols, who is handling the case in Mason County said there are no absolutes in science. Not including a range of possible results, Nichols said, ignores the uncertainties in the collection, handling, analysis, and reporting process.

Currently Washington and Michigan are the only states in which judges have made rulings challenging blood-alcohol tests, but this ruling is sure to have impacts across Michigan and the country..."

All of this begs the question, what's your error rate? How do you go about calculating an error rate for your discipline? Is this necessarily part of the validation process? More in future posts.


Monday, July 4, 2011

The evolution of Photoshop

The graphical look at Photoshop's rise to power. Check it out by clicking here.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Caretaking search ruling

Here's an interesting write up on a recent ruling regarding the warrantless search of cell phones.

Re: People v. Schutter, Supreme Court of Colorado, 2011
From PATCtech.com's Chuck Washburn:

One of the exceptions to the search warrant requirement is commonly called the “community caretaking” search. This search, as the name implies, is not conducted to collect evidence of a crime, but rather to assist members of the community. For example, an officer can search a lost purse to discover the name of the owner so that the purse can be returned. Of course, if evidence of a crime is discovered during a typical “community caretaking” type search, the evidence is normally admissible in court.

On March 28, 2011, the Supreme Court of Colorado decided the People v. Schutter which illustrates the first requirement of a “community caretaking” search of a cellular phone, particularly that the cell phone actually be lost, mislaid or abandoned. In Schutter, the defendant accidentally locked his iPhone in the restroom at a convenience store. Schutter asked the clerk for assistance retrieving his phone, and the clerk told him that he was currently too busy. The clerk told Schutter that he would have to come back later. Schutter then left the convenience store and did not return for over an hour. Meanwhile, the clerk retrieved the cell phone and gave it to a police officer that came into the store. The officer looked at the text messages in order to try and determine the owner. The officer also answered several phone calls made to the phone and also called the dispatch center with the phone in order to obtain the caller ID information on the phone. During this initial “community caretaking” warrantless search of the phone, the officer discovered information that provided probable cause that evidence of illegal drug sales would be contained on the phone. Later that evening, Schutter came to the police station to pick up his phone. The police would not release the phone. Instead, an officer obtained a search warrant for the phone and discovered information that provided probable cause to support a search warrant of Shutter’s residence. A search warrant was obtained for Schutter’s residence and during the search, the evidence to charge Schutter with various felony drug offenses was located. Schutter was arrested.

Schutter then filed a motion to suppress and argued that the initial warrantless search of his iPhone was unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment. The district court granted the motion to suppress and the government appealed.

The government argued that “an otherwise reasonable expectation of privacy in personal property is diminished when that property is lost or mislaid because it is only reasonable to expect that an officer coming into possession of the property will examine it to learn how it can be returned to its owner.” In support of their argument the government cites numerous cases where these “community caretaking” types of searches have been upheld in other jurisdictions. For example, the court noted

A handful of courts from other jurisdictions have apparently assumed, for widely-differing purposes and according to widely-differing theories, that officers would be justified in conducting at least some limited inspection of lost property to discover the owner's identity.

However, the Supreme Court of Colorado stated that they will not be able to decide the parameters of the “community caretaking” search with this case. Instead, they identified the issue as whether Schutter had in fact “abandoned, lost, or mislaid” his cell phone such that the police would have any valid reason to attempt to ascertain the owner.

The court noted that the following facts were relevant to the issue above. First, the officer that took the phone knew (1) that Schutter inadvertently left it in the store's locked restroom and knew precisely where it was; (2) that his immediate demand for its return had been refused by the store clerk, who had been too busy to access the restroom; (3) that he left the area only when he was told by the clerk that he would have to come back later to retrieve his phone; and (4) that it was approximately 4:20a.m., and Schutter had only been gone for about an hour. Based on these facts, the court then held

Under the undisputed facts of this case, the defendant's iPhone was neither abandoned, lost, nor mislaid such that the Aspen police would have had any cause to identify the owner to return it.

Thus, the Supreme Court of Colorado upheld the motion to suppress."

Click here for the printable version of this article.