Fingerprints Can Be Obtained From A High Resolution Photo of Your Finger

Wed December 31, 2014

Biometrics researcher Jan Krisller has claimed that he isolated German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen’s fingerprint from high resolution photos taken during a public appearance. He demonstrated using a photo of himself with palms facing the camera, extracted the fingerprints and verified that he could use them to log onto his computer using TouchID.

In the video below [in german], the part about using fingerprints extracted from a photo starts at the 24:48 mark.

The above video also shows another technique used by the Chaos Computer Club to create a fake latex finger from a fingerprint left on glass or a smartphone screen. The part talking about the process they used starts at the 32:00 mark.

via gigaom

Fun Stuff, Videos

Zoom Into Your Digital Camera’s Microchip

Sat November 22, 2014

A digital camera has many fewer moving parts than a film camera. There’s no need to wind up the film, advance it or rewind it back into the cartridge. So, there’s no film advance lever or rewind knob. What about the dedicated Shutter Speed Dial and Aperture Ring we see on some of the more popular digital cameras? It’s all electronics, controlled by the microchip at the heart of all of our modern electronics. That microchip also converts and processes all the analog data captured onto the image sensor into digital form, performs noise reduction, etc. So, here’s a look at a microchip (although it’s an “old” one), real close.

via Extremetech

Fun Stuff, Videos

How Hard It Used To Be To Take A Simple Picture!

Sat November 15, 2014

You may be an expert in cameras, having used film and all, but to those kids, you (and I) are… ancient! This video is fun to watch but also dates everyone who understands the funny moments.

As technology rolls on, our kids will look back and wonder why cameras ever had mirrors inside, used a memory card and pictures were not instantly accessible everywhere using any device. Why did pictures come out blurred? What is post-processing and why did so-called professionals need to use it to produce images others could not — even when they used the same expensive cameras? And why couldn’t everybody take action-freezing, color perfect, focused anywhere, detail splitting pictures in the blink of an eye?

Those kids in the video who are laughing at us? It’ll be pay-back time soon enough for them when their kids will laugh at them old folks. Just you wait.

via Neatorama

Nikon, Videos

Video: NIKKOR Lens Technology

Tue October 14, 2014

If you have ever been curious how optical image stabilization and the silent wave motor work on a lens, here’s an interesting promo video that gives some insight of the many mechanical technology (Vibration Reduction, Silent Wave Motor, rounded diaphragm, the lens barrel mechanism) and optical technology that go to make a NIKKOR lens.

via diyphotography


Visit the Liwa Desert compliments of Google Street View filmed on the back of a camel

Mon October 13, 2014

The camel apparently even has a name: Raffia. With a 360-degree Trekker camera mounted (and wobbling) precariously on its back, Raffia ambled its merry way hither and thither across the Liwa Oasis, which is a 100 kilometer-wide (62-mile) desert situated southeast of Abu Dhabi (the capital city) and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Liwa is close to the border of Saudi Arabia. As deserts go, the view north, east, south and west are sand dunes (which can reach a height of 25-40 meters)… and of at least one mad Englishman [I presume. North East view.]. And, as oases go, the south west view actually shows palm trees and date farming using drip irrigation and greenhouses.

But, don’t let the Street Views of sand dunes stretching as far as the eyes can see fool you. Liwa consists of about 50 villages (population of around 20,000) and is connected to Abu Dhabi by a modern, multilane highway. When they are not date farming, the men from Liwa (Bani Yas tribe) are [traditionally] pearl divers on the coast during the summer months.

The importance of tourism is on the rise. Liwa Hotel in Muzayri` boasts four stars. Liwa Rest House, in the same village and run by the government of Abu Dhabi, is the second establishment in the oasis. It is primarily aimed at minor officials and businessmen. Construction has begun on a third, 5 star, resourt (named Qasr Al Sarab). The nearby Moreeb dune 22°59′N 53°47′E, 22 km south of Muzayri` on a small road (15 km as the crow flies), with 300 meter height [is] one of the largest dunes in the world, [and] attracts every year during the Liwa festival a large number of international and local visitors coming to see the offroad and camel racing events.

Will Google one day use a drone instead of cars, bicycles and camels, especially to map inacessible places (to mere mortals)?

It’s Thanksgiving today in Canada, so Happy Thanksgiving!

via geekologie

Fun Stuff, Videos

20 years from now, your grandkid will be AMAZED at this “New” device

Sat October 11, 2014

It’s wireless, touch-activated, and amazingly does not require a power source (and hence no need for cables and does not heat up). It’s intuitive (navigation, bookmarking), handheld and features an extra-large expandable hi-definition screen with zero display lag. And you won’t even mind if your kid should accidentally drop it on the floor. The Bookbook… simply amazing!

via ikeahackers


A Life With Leica: Featuring Thorsten von Overgaard

Fri September 26, 2014

Northpass Media filmed this video over 7 days in May 2014, featuring Danish photographer Thorsten von Overgaard as he practices his craft throughout the streets of Rome, Italy. Thorsten Von Overgaard is a Danish writer and photographer, specializing in portrait photography and documentary photography, known for writings about photography and as an educator. Filmed with RED Scarlet and RED Epic cameras.

A Life With Leica from Northpass Media on Vimeo.

The project became larger than just one documentary as Northpass Media now plan to do a series on Leica photographers. So more documentaries will come in the future, and likely one or more longer documentaries that can be downloaded. Follow the project at and A Life With Leica on Facebook.

For me it was nice for a change to just show up when and where they directed. And when I left Rome I also left the rest of the editing to them. So the documentary is as new and fresh to me as it is to you!

The Story Behind That Picture: “A Life With Leica”

via diyphotography


Mark Gee’s Full Moon Silhouettes

Sun September 7, 2014

Video Credit & Copyright: Mark Gee

Video Credit & Copyright: Mark Gee

This is an amazing video of a full moon rise over Mount Victoria Lookout in Wellington, New Zealand. On January 28, 2013, after many previous failed attempts at videotaping a full moonrise, Mark Gee finally placed his camera about 2.1km away on the other side of the city and waited for the full moon to rise. What he caught using the video capability of his Canon 1D MK4 is a beautifully simple example of silhouette photography with the people on Mount Victoria Lookout in silhouette against the moon.

Full Moon Silhouettes from Mark Gee on Vimeo.

This is not a time lapse and, as the moon makes its rise, you can actually see a couple calmly walking into the scene. Then, as the moon rises higher, it reveals other people who had been there all along waiting for the spectacle to start. Though the accompanying music is beautiful, I actually turned it off and enjoyed the show “au naturel.”

The video is as it came off the memory card and there has been no manipulation whatsoever. Technically it was quite a challenge to get the final result. I shot it on a Canon ID MkIV in video mode with a Canon EF 500mm f/4L and a Canon 2x extender II, giving me the equivalent focal length of 1300mm.

via apod


The Transparent Display Edges Closer to Reality as MIT Student Confines Light in a Thin Slab of Photonic Crystal

Tue August 26, 2014

The transparent display in many SciFi movies and TV shows (including Extant) looks really cool. The problem has always been that light escapes the transparent glass. Recently, MIT graduate student Wade Hsu and colleagues have shown that they are now able to confine light in the surface of a photonic crystal slab and thus design a transparent display using nanoparticles.

We can take a piece of glass which is originally transparent and put in nanoparticles that only scatter a particular, narrow bandwidth of light. Light in the visible spectrum is made of many different wavelengths from 300 nanometers to 750 nanometers. If we have such a structure, then most of the light can pass through, so it is still transparent, but if we project light of that particular narrow bandwidth, light can be scattered strongly as if it were hitting a regular screen. -Wade Hsu

Read the whole article at: MIT

Editor’s note: Pair this transparent display with the transparent solar cell and you could have a truly interesting product.


#TimsDark Experiment: Canadian Tim Hortons Coffee Shop Where Servers Wear Infrared Goggles and Customers Drink In Complete Darkness

Mon August 25, 2014

I hope US fast food firm Burger King (BK) knows what it is getting into with the purchase of Canadian iconic Tim Hortons coffee shops. The young execs at BK better realize that this is not a shop that you buy and then drop when you have no need of it anymore: it could well ignite the simmering resentment Canadians feel toward their neighbor (and best friend) to the south.

In one “experiment,” a Timmys was painted completely black outside and cloistered so it was pitch black inside — as in, you can see zilch.

Customers gingerly felt their way inside as servers wearing infrared goggles directed them to the counter, took their orders and served them their order of Double-Double. Apparently, the extreme darkness heightened their sense of taste and a great-tasting coffee was elevated to even greater heights of flavor.

Of course, if you believe this was an actual store with actual customers, there’s still a bridge for sale somewhere…


Microsoft Turns Your Long Boring Video Into A Smooth Hyperlapse Video

Wed August 13, 2014

© microsoft

© microsoft

We know enough not to subject our family and friends to our long boring videos (perhaps from our GoPro or Google Glass). We could speed them up to shorten them into an acceptably short version. Unfortunately, speeding up a video also amplifies every little camera shake, yielding an erratic, jerky video.

Now, Microsoft may have an answer: it has presented a Proxy Geometry algorithm that can take your long video and convert in into a time-lapse video with a smoothly moving camera. They call the result a hyperlapse video. It is quite impressive. No idea if they will make the algorithm publicly available anytime soon.

Read the paper and view the technical video at: microsoft


Extracting Sound From Visual Cues: You Probably Don’t Want To Share Secrets While Eating From A Bag of Potato Chips

Tue August 5, 2014

If you think that people are hacking your cellphone and listening to your conversations, this news should freak you out even more.

Researchers at MIT, Microsoft, and Adobe have developed an algorithm that can reconstruct an audio signal by analyzing minute vibrations of objects depicted in a video, for example:

  • Intelligible speech from the vibrations of a potato-chip bag photographed from 15 feet away through soundproof glass.
  • Useful audio signals from videos of aluminum foil, the surface of a glass of water, and even the leaves of a potted plant (vibrating at less than a hundredth of a pixel).

In one experiment, they recovered sound from the vibrating earbuds plugged into a laptop playing music. Then, they played the garbled sound bites back to Shazam to automatically recognize and identify the song being played.

“When sound hits an object, it causes the object to vibrate,” says Abe Davis, a graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science at MIT and first author on the new paper. “The motion of this vibration creates a very subtle visual signal that’s usually invisible to the naked eye. People didn’t realize that this information was there.”

Luckily, you cannot recover these sound bites using a regular smart phone video. The researchers explain that reconstructing audio from video “requires that the frequency of the video samples — the number of frames of video captured per second — be higher than the frequency of the audio signal.

So, you need a camera capable of filming at high-speed (2,000 to 6,000 fps) — which is much faster than the 60 fps possible with some smartphones and much faster than the 200fps possible with some digital cameras, but well below the frame rates of the best commercial high-speed cameras, which can top 100,000 frames per second.

The researchers even took advantage of the rolling shutter effect exhibited by some cameras to recover sound from a plastic bag of candy.

Read more about The Visual Microphone: Passive Recovery of Sound from Video.

via MITnews

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