Links for 28th December 2009

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. Body By Victoria (image manipulation forensics)

    "The images at Victoria's Secret are fairly low quality — JPEGs at 85%. However, just because they are low quality does not mean we cannot see what was modified. For example, the Error Level Analysis (ELA) should have all objects at roughtly the same coloring. If anything stands out as bright white, then it was the last thing modified since it is at a higher potential error level than the rest of the image." Crash course in checking JPGs for P'shop artefacts. Interesting.

    Tagged with: digitalimageanalysismanipulationGIMPphotoshopforensics

  2. It’s not the rats you need to worry about

    "Amazon and the Kindle have killed the bookstore. Why? Because people who buy 100 or 300 books a year are gone forever. The typical American buys just one book a year for pleasure. Those people are meaningless to a bookstore. It's the heavy users that matter, and now officially, as 2009 ends, they have abandoned the bookstore. It's over." A little previous, perhaps, but I think he's right.

    Tagged with: booksbusinesspublishingbookstoresSeth-Godin

  3. Alice’s adventures in algebra: Wonderland solved

    "The madness of Wonderland, I believe, reflects Dodgson's views on the dangers of this new symbolic algebra. Alice has moved from a rational world to a land where even numbers behave erratically. In the hallway, she tried to remember her multiplication tables, but they had slipped out of the base-10 number system we are used to. In the caterpillar scene, Dodgson's qualms are reflected in the way Alice's height fluctuates between 9 feet and 3 inches. Alice, bound by conventional arithmetic where a quantity such as size should be constant, finds this troubling: "Being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing," she complains. "It isn't," replies the Caterpillar, who lives in this absurd world."

    Tagged with: scienceliteraturewritingAlice-in-WonderlandLewis-Carrollmathematicsgeometrysatire

  4. The rise of machine-written journalism

    "Journalists remain artisans in an era of industrialisation. Inside newsrooms, the old craft methods remain dominant. Outside, across the vast expanse of the web, algorithms are automating the information industry.

    None of this would matter if newsrooms were hermetically-sealed enclaves. But they’re not. Increasingly, journalists find themselves on the business end of a high-velocity feedback loop created by digital distribution and reader interaction.

    But if traditional journalism looks increasingly slow, it also looks increasingly costly relative to digital revenues. As publishers now tell us frequently, news-gathering remains expensive."

    Tagged with: journalismfuturismcontentaggregationalgorithmmachines

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