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Mon, Jun 02, 2008 6:53 pm

Photoshopping and Digital Forensics

A lot of photos you see posted on the web or sent around by email may have been "photoshopped", i.e. doctored in an image editing program, such as Adobe's Photoshop graphics program. Such photo manipulation has been going on since before the advent of Photoshop, though.A Scientific American article, Digital Forensics: 5 Ways to Spot a Fake Photo, published on June 2, 2008, details techniques that can be used to determine when photos have been digitally altered.

There is an article The Reuters Photo Scandal that discusses the manipulation of images and the staging of photos for political purposes.

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Mon, Jun 02, 2008 6:26 pm

Best Buy Pilot Recycling Program

According to engadget's article, Best Buy offers up free electronics recycling in 117 stores, Best Buy has started a pilot recycling program in some of its stores in the Baltimore, San Francisco, and Minnesota areas. Stores in those areas will now accept up to two items per day, per household, including televisions and monitors up to 32-inches, computers, cameras and other devices not including microwaves, air conditioners. or appliances.

I've used Office Depot's recycling program. You can buy boxes in several different sizes into which you can place electronic items to be recycled. You bring the boxes back to the store where someone checks that the items they contain are on the list of those that Office Depot states they will recycle when you buy the boxes. The cost of the boxes depends on their size. A small box is $5, a medium one is $10, and a large one is $15. Details on the program are available at Tech Recycling Services.

Staples also has a recycling program. Details on their program can be found at Staples Soul - Recycling. According to the Staple's website, "A recycling fee of $10 per piece of large equipment is charged to cover handling, transport, product disassembly and recycling. Smaller computer peripherals such as keyboards, mice, and speakers are accepted at no charge."

Engadget has information on other recycling services at, including information on a U.S. Postal Service recyling program where the Postal Service allows you to ship items to a recycling company for free.

Another service I found mentioned in comments to a June 2, 2008 engadget article, Staples to stock Flexplay self-destructing DVDs was GreenDisk. GreenDisk recycles the following items:

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Mon, Jun 02, 2008 5:59 pm

Electronic Book Reading with Kindle

There is a May 28, 2008 article with information on Amazon's Kindle electronic book reader on engadget titled Bezos: second Kindle is "not that near," Amazon to launch paid streaming VoD. I've considered buying one of those. I'm running out of space to store all of my books and am storing boxes of books in my attic now. I'd like to be able to have at least a good portion of them available electronically with the capability to mark passages I find particularly interesting (I never markup my physical books, though). But the price has kept me from buying a Kindle.

According to the article, Amazon's founder, Jeff Bezos, has said that there are 125,000 books available for the Kindle. I didn't know it also could allow you to surf the web or listen to music in MP3 form. One of those posting comments to the article stated the following:

Frank - the Kindle can check e-mail, surf the web, & play mp3s. The browser still needs some work but it is usable. Internet service is free and at decent speeds as long as you are in a Sprint service area. The Kindle is definitely a niche device but could become more mainstream with some changes, primarily price & a larger screen. IMO it's not as ugly in real life as the pictures represent on the web but could use a better design. I have a few other quibbles with it but have no regrets in buying one.

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