Sunday, April 23, 2006

Sony files application on adjustable bathtub

engadget: Sony seems to have decided that the traditional one-size-fits-all bathtub is ripe for a rethink, so the company has filed a patent application for a tub that can be reshaped based on an owner's needs. Basically, it works like the detention-level trash compactor; press a button and the walls of the tub close in or slide out, resulting in a wide and shallow tub, or a narrow and deep one.

Also from engadget:

Researchers at Binghamton University in New York have filed an application for a patent on a method of extracting unique identifying information from digital photos, based on pixel noise. According to the researchers, each camera generates its own digital "fingerprint" based on random variables that occur in the manufacturing process. By comparing multiple images from a single camera, the researchers say they can trace the images back to the specific camera that took the photos. The developers see potential for the method in law enforcement activities, such as tracking down child pornographers and forgers. We hope they're right; certainly, any tools they can use are worth exploring. However, we can't help but wonder whether clever criminals will just be able to run a few Photoshop filters and be able to wipe out any trace of their cam's fingerprint before uploading their pics.

One comment:

jpeg has become the standard image compression method used on the net, and by definition, it's a lossy compression method. Forget about resizing. Just compress the image to "normal" jpeg settings, and that noise info will be lost rendering the image virtually untracable. In fact, that info is already lost when you download those images from your camera, as it would have already compressed the images before saving them on the flash memory loosing all that noise information.

This method may work on raw/uncompressed images, but how many people will post huge, multi megabyte raw images online???


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