Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Which One Is Doctored?

Which One is Doctored?
Which One Is Real

Which of the above two pictures is doctored? If you pointed to the one on the left then you are right on the money.

This doctoring (and one more) got a Reuters photographer in trouble. Adnan Hajj was a freelance photographer for Reuters in Beirut and has submitted over 40 images since July about the ensuing Israeli - Hezbollah conflict. But, he apparently manipulated at least two of them and Reuters ended its relationship with him immediately. It also withdrew over 900+ of photos from its database as an extreme act of caution.

What is even more interesting is how and the speed with which the whole thing unfolded. Reuters first ran this picture on Saturday (Aug 5), a blogger calls fake almost immediately and Reuters fired the photographer on Sunday (Aug 6).

While on the technology subject check this out on Search and privacy. Search providers know lot more about us than we realize and it is scary.

AOL published some 20 million search queries on its website and that led to indentification of Thelma Arnold. People started mining the search queries and mapped AOL searcher # 4417749 to Ms. Arnold along the way revealing everything she searched for 3 months.

AOL did subsequently apologize to Ms. Arnold and took down the search query data but then the damage was already done. This incident highlights how much of our information is actually out there in the form of bits and bytes. In the digital world, whatever we touch it has our finger prints on it.