Category Archives: Technology and Society

Splog Overload

Here’s an interesting article at Wired about spam blogs, a problem that could take down the blogosphere if the search engines can’t get it under control. I’ve had to ban blogspot.com from comments and pings a few months ago because there were so many comments and pings coming from blogspot splogs. One other warning for people like Jeff Foust:

Another giveaway: Both Some Title and the grave-robbing page it links to had Web addresses in the .info domain. Spammers flock to .info, which was created as an alternative to the crowded .com, because its domain names are cheaper

They Don’t Know To Downshift

Every year, with the start of college, out comes the list to help us codgers understand the mindset of college freshman:

1. The Soviet Union has never existed and therefore is about as scary as the student union.
2. They have known only two presidents.
3. For most of their lives, major U.S. airlines have been bankrupt.
4. Manuel Noriega has always been in jail in the U.S.
5. They have grown up getting lost in

They Don’t Know To Downshift

Every year, with the start of college, out comes the list to help us codgers understand the mindset of college freshman:

1. The Soviet Union has never existed and therefore is about as scary as the student union.
2. They have known only two presidents.
3. For most of their lives, major U.S. airlines have been bankrupt.
4. Manuel Noriega has always been in jail in the U.S.
5. They have grown up getting lost in

They Don’t Know To Downshift

Every year, with the start of college, out comes the list to help us codgers understand the mindset of college freshman:

1. The Soviet Union has never existed and therefore is about as scary as the student union.
2. They have known only two presidents.
3. For most of their lives, major U.S. airlines have been bankrupt.
4. Manuel Noriega has always been in jail in the U.S.
5. They have grown up getting lost in

More On Fauxtography

From The Economist:

In an effort to reel in photography, camera-makers are making it more obvious when images have been altered.

One way of doing this is to use image-authentication systems to reveal if someone has tampered with a picture. These use computer programs to generate a code from the very data that comprise the image. As the picture is captured, the code is attached to it. When the image is viewed, software determines the code for the image and compares it with the attached code. If the image has been altered, the codes will not match, revealing the doctoring.

Another way favoured by manufacturers is to take a piece of data from the image and assign it a secret code. Once the image file is transferred to a computer, it is given the same code, which will change if it is edited. The codes will match if the image is authentic but will be inconsistent if tampering occurred.

Digital signatures, just as I suggested. But even that won’t be guaranteed:

…forgers have become adept at printing and rescanning images, thus creating a new original. In such cases, analysing how three-dimensional elements interact is key.

Yup. So we’ll also need the army of photographers, for independent views of the event in question, and an army of ever-more-sophisticated bloggers to keep the forgers honest (or at least catch them when they’re not).