The smart guns are here May 16, 2013Posted by Cameron Shelley in : STV202 , add a comment
Guns have been in the news a lot lately, due to the development of 3D printable ones. However, gun news is not confined to additive manufacturing. From NPR comes an item about a “smart gun”, that is, a rifle that does the aiming and firing for the shooter. The Tracking Point rifle has a computerized scope with laser range-finger and heads-up display that corrects the shooter’s aim for environmental conditions, and can also delay pulling the trigger until it computes that the shot will hit its mark. It also allows the shooter to record videos of each shot for review, or posting to YouTube.
The video promotes the rifle’s use as a means of making hunting more efficient. As noted in the article, this efficiency will not suit purists, who point out that the system has the effect of deskilling the practice of hunting. I am reminded of a quote from an episode of The Simpsons, where Lenny, a gun enthusiast and NRA member, discourses on why hunters need assault rifles:
“Assault weapons have gotten a lot of bad press lately, but they’re manufactured for a reason: to take out today’s modern super animals, such as the flying squirrel, and the electric eel.”
Of course, as is often the case when tools become automated, purists will stick to the old ways, while people who otherwise would not engage in hunting may take it up with the new gear that makes it easier to score. They will be encouraged by the familiar, first-person-shooter look of the Heads-Up Display.
Naturally, the new technology poses security issues. The TrackingPoint rifle seems like a godsend to anyone planning an assassination. Aware of the issue, company President Jason Schauble notes that the scope is password protected:
“It has a password protection on the scope. When a user stores it, he can password protect the scope that takes the advanced functionality out. So the gun will still operate as a firearm itself, but you cannot do the tag/track/exact, the long range, the technology-driven precision guided firearm piece without entering that pass code,” he says.
I wonder how many of the devices will have their passwords stuck on them with Post-it notes? In any event, the password scheme seems unimpressive. Given that the scope requires users to look into it, eye-scanning might be more a propos. Even in that case, it is unclear how robust the password system will be, or whether or not having to think of a password will deter people who want the system for malicious purposes.
Besides assassinations, some users may be inclined to appropriate the system for various stunts. Some will imitate William Tell and shoot objects perched on heads. Others may find excitement out of getting the system to do odd things that the designers have probably not considered. Think of Autotune, a system that was originally designed to correct variations of pitch in singing, but was quickly used to produce odd and inventive, new sound effects instead. TrackingPoint hackers will likely find ways to get the system to produce interesting patterns of shots, playing “X”s and “O”s or spelling names with bullet holes, perhaps.
It will be interesting to see how this gun factors into the ongoing gun control debate in the US. Is access to smart guns an inalienable right? Or, should they be regulated in some way? Perhaps the best move would be not to ban smart guns but to produce a weapon smart enough not the pull the trigger at all.
And now, the fake news April 1, 2013Posted by Cameron Shelley in : STV100 , comments closed
When discussing faked photos, North Korea is reliable source. Recently, for example, it appears that photos of a North Korean military exercise were touched up in order to improve the number of landing craft taking part. Well, you can never have too many hovercraft, even faked ones.
A more challenging use of touch-up photos comes with this display of famous news photos with the people removed. Czech photographer Pavel Smejkal has used Photoshop in this way to revisit canonical images:
The main point of the obvious, digital alterations, Smejkal says, is to make us question the authenticity of the analog originals. The retouched images steer us toward a sticky epistemological question: If a photograph isn’t staged or manipulated or fabricated, does that automatically make it truthful? Or is it possible that these iconic images can have an outsized effect on our understanding of what was going on around them? In other words, can a document be a distortion?
Have a look at a couple of examples:
I am not sure that the photos really speak to the issue of distortion. Of course, photos are selective: They are taken from a given vantage point and of certain subjects and not others. Such choices will favour some interpretations over others. In addition, very famous photos such as these become mythologized to some extent, that is, one or more interpretive contexts are built up around them, colouring how they are later perceived. These observations do not mean that the photos are distortions but that their content does not (fully) determine their meaning.
In any event, I think that, by removing the characteristic items from the photos, the result only serves to point out what made them so salient in the first place.
Finally, there is word that the upcoming Jurassic Park sequel will continue to portray dinosaurs without feathers, even though much recent research suggests that many of the stars actually had them. Mark Wilson believes that this decision was made for venal reasons:
No doubt, the entire Hollywood machine is likely responsible for this decision, from the market testing of which dinosaur IP looks best on Taco Bell cups, to the mildewy collection of 100,000 velociraptor masks rotting away since the threequel in some warehouse deep in China.
Here is a genuine dilemma: Is it more authentic to portray dinosaurs as scientists believe they appeared, or to portray them as they were shown in the original movie? In this case, it depends on which model the new movie should be “true” to, the original dinosaurs or the original movie. Each one would have a claim on the current movie makers, wouldn’t it?
Skiing on fake snow December 13, 2012Posted by Cameron Shelley in : STV202 , comments closed
Among the many effects of global climate change is the relative lack of snow in Eastern North America. With more and more warm days, the amount of snow remaining on the ground during any given winter is decreasing:
The number of days with snow on the ground in a typical year shrank by more than a month between 1965 and 2005, according to a study by University of New Hampshire researchers that appeared in the Journal of Geophysical Research in 2008.
This news may be good for cities that can reduce spending on snow-removal equipment, but it is bad news for skiers.
The New York Times notes that warmer winter weather will put many alpine ski lodges out of business:
Under certain warming forecasts, more than half of the 103 ski resorts in the Northeast will not be able to maintain a 100-day season by 2039, according to a study to be published next year by Daniel Scott, director of the Interdisciplinary Center on Climate Change at the University of Waterloo in Ontario.
By then, no ski area in Connecticut or Massachusetts is likely to be economically viable, Mr. Scott said. Only 7 of 18 resorts in New Hampshire and 8 of 14 in Maine will be. New York’s 36 ski areas, most of them in the western part of the state, will have shrunk to 9.
The news is not much better for ski facilities in the US Rockies either.
Sugarloaf [Maine] invested $1 million in 300 new low-energy snowmaking guns this year, bringing its total number of low-e guns to 450. The new guns were paid for in part with a $300,000 energy grant from Efficiency Maine after the ski area proved it was making more snow with less power than before.
Increasing efficiency in the snow-making gear allows owners to run the guns more often and in warmer weather, thus extending their season or, at least, maintaining it in the face of increasing warmth.
If anything, the situation is even more challenging for cross-country or nordic skiing. The sport remains more reliant on natural snow, although the use of snow-making machinery is increasing. However, cross-country trails are usually more spread out than are downhill slopes, making it harder to service them with snow guns. In order to make the use of guns economical, skiing tracks have to become more concentrated and compact:
Unlike the extensive snow-making operations at downhill resorts that can blanket much of a mountain, the loop at Craftsbury was just slightly longer than a standard 400-meter running track. The crowded line of skiers marching up the hill resembled a freeway at rush hour. A week later the loop had grown to a little over one kilometer.
This result may not appeal to all cross-country skiers, who enjoy the sport as a spectacle of (groomed) nature rather than a workout at the track. In addition, many cross-country skiers are environmentally conscious and may not enjoy the necessity of snow-making machinery:
Then there’s the environmental cost. Some skiers see artificial snow as a blemish on cross-country’s image as a wholesome, green alternative to the glitz and machinery of downhill skiing. As the industry frets about climate change, it faces the discomfort of turning to an energy-sucking technology.
Another possibility for cross-country skiers might be indoor facilities that are refrigerated and available year-round, as in the Indoor Ski Hall in Oberhof, Germany, where it is winter whenever you want (“Winter wann immer Du willst”).
The facility seems to be popular. However, it would still turn cross-country skiing into less of an informal and outdoor experience.
Authentic olive oil December 7, 2012Posted by Cameron Shelley in : STV202 , comments closed
I discussed earlier an NPR report on controversy over the authenticity of Greek yogurts. Recently, NPR has posted an interesting article discussing similar concerns about extra-virgin olive oil. If you are like me, when you think of olive oil, you think of Italy or Greece. Those countries are where “real” or “authentic” olive oil originates. Of course, many other countries produce olive oil, including the US. However, consumers will pay a hefty premium for olive oils that they consider authentic, especially Italian oil.
As you probably suspect by now, the claims that you may see on containers of olive oil may be misleading, according to Tom Mueller, author of Extra virginity: The sublime and scandalous world of olive oil. He claims that many imported products labelled as extra-virgin fail to meet the definition of that quality. In fact, products may not even be actual olive oil:
[Tom Mueller] showed how the world’s most ubiquitous luxury food didn’t only fail to meet the “extra virgin” standard, but in many cases wasn’t made from olives at all. Rogue chemists had learned to disguise tanker ships full of low-grade soybean oil and even lamp fuel so that it could pass for the highest grade of olive oil, Mr. Mueller revealed. Even such multinationals as Unilever, Nestlé and Bertolli sold “extra virgin” olive oil that was anything but.
Mueller adds that olive oils that are labelled as Italian may actually originate from other countries and have merely passed through an Italian port on their way to world markets.
US producers are complaining to the U.S. International Trade Commission about these practices, which put them at an unfair disadvantage in competition against Italian producers. Those producers, represented here by the North American Olive Oil Association argue that evidence supporting these complaints is biased.
Canadians, it turns out, are not in such a vulnerable position. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is fairly serious about enforcing standards for imported oils according to Mueller. Even so, we are not immune to being mislead, he adds:
The good news about Canada is, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is very serious about olive oil. They do an excellent job of policing the market, and they’ve been doing it for over a decade. Despite the fact that everyone in the industry knows that the Canadian market is very well policed, they still turn up substantial percentages of fraudulent oil.
Mueller advises consumers to find stores that specialize in good olive oils, and to check the oils for recent harvest dates. The fresher the oil, the better the quality.
Like sincerity, authenticity is great especially if you can fake it.
What is true Greek yogurt? July 20, 2012Posted by Cameron Shelley in : STV202 , comments closed
From NPR comes an interesting piece about food technology and Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is yogurt with a thick texture, making it almost a solid rather than a liquid. Traditionally, the yogurt is made in the regular way, but is then strained to remove some of the water content, leaving behind a thickened material that retains the slightly sour taste of regular yogurt.
(Rainer Zenz/Wikimedia commons)
Greek yogurt has become very popular in the US. Sales of Greek yogurt have taken off of late:
Last year, Greek yogurt accounted for 20 percent of total yogurt sales, according to market researcher SymphonyIRI, and 15 percent of volume sales. In each of the last three years, sales of Greek yogurt have surged more than 100 percent, while non-Greek yogurt has grown at a single-digit pace, according to consumer data tracker Nielsen.
Industry experts credit Greek yogurt’s tart flavor and creamy texture for wooing consumers from traditional varieties, and in some cases persuading them to start eating yogurt. Greek yogurt also has better nutritional credentials, with more protein and sometimes more calcium and less sugar.
So, it should be no surprise that competition for the American Greek-yogurt marketplace have heated up.
This point is where the controversy comes in. According to Hamdi Ulukaya, founder of the yogurt maker Chobani, Greek yogurt is made through straining. Chobani uses high-tech centrifuges to strain away liquid so that its product achieves the required density. The result is yogurt that matches the taste and texture of the yogurt his mother used to make using cheesecloth in her kitchen back in Turkey.
However, other companies have created Greek yogurt by the addition of thickeners, such as starch, instead of the removal of liquid. Erhan Yildiz, and head of food research company Ingredion, invented a process in which such additives precisely re-create the taste and feel of strained yogurt, but at a lesser cost. Yildiz, who also grew up in Turkey and enjoyed home-made Greek yogurt there, says that the result is a yogurt that is, to all appearances, the same as the strained variety.
Hamdi Ulukaya argues that such products are not truly “Greek yogurt”. Instead, they are some kind of facsimile. So, we have an issue of authenticity: Is the yogurt made with starch truly Greek yogurt or not? It seems to reproduce all the perceptible qualities of true Greek yogurt but with a non-traditional ingredient. Does that matter? If you think so, would you change your mind if it turned out that some Greeks used to make their yogurt using thickening agents?
Of course, you could argue that Chobani’s yogurt is not authentic either, as it is made by using centrifuges rather than by pressing the yogurt through cheesecloth. Although both methods force the yogurt through some kind of sieve, the new method employs a non-traditional, industrial technology. Does that matter? Perhaps the Greeks who made yogurt by pressing it through cheesecloth might have jumped at the chance to use centrifuges, had such things been available.
(And neither is authentic in the sense of genuine, that is, actually originating in Greece the way that authentic champagne actually originates in the Champagne district of France. So, what we are talking about here may not be authentic “Greek yogurt” so much as authentic “Greek-style” yogurt, which might seem like an oxymoron to some people.)
There is also an issue of fairness here. Both yogurts compete in the marketplace as Greek yogurts but the recipe using starch is cheaper, thus giving that product a price advantage. Is that fair? If both should be considered Greek yogurt, then consumers can have their Greek yogurt at a lower cost. Yet, Ulukaya argues, identifying both as Greek yogurt would confuse the public regarding the strained product:
“That ruins the expectation in the consumer’s mind of how pure and simple this product is.”
Ulukaya argues that there should be legal definition of Greek yogurt, one that differentiates his product from the cheaper variety. This measure would work to his advantage in the marketplace but would also tend to dampen efforts to innovate improved methods of producing Greek yogurt.
My own feeling is that Chobani should look first to their own resources. An advertising campaign might well persuade consumers that Greek yogurt made without starch is a superior product, worthy of a little extra expenditure. This style of advertising and branding seems to work for organic products, so it might also work for authentic ones. Getting the government to enforce the establishment of such a distinction implies that there is a public interest in it, which does not clearly exist.
In any event, this story ties together some important themes of this blog and shows how technological progress can create novel challenges for society.
The photo authenticity problem – solved! April 24, 2012Posted by Cameron Shelley in : STV302 , comments closed
From IEEE Spectrum comes news that a company called Verifeyed (get it?) has solved the problem of inauthentic photos. In short, they claim to have a way to tell the difference between images that have been Photoshopped (or otherwise digitally altered) and those that have not.
Their approach is innovative. Other companies have software that attempt to detect vagaries that are introduced into an image as a result of digital manipulation. Verifeyed, however, uses a different tactic:
[T]he company has analyzed 8000 cameras and scanners so far, with more in the pipeline, to determine each type of camera’s “footprint.” By comparing the image against the camera’s footprint, the company says it can quickly and easily spot alterations. The technology can also potentially spot the “fingerprint” of an individual camera, making it useful for enforcing laws against, for example, child pornography.
If I understand this description correctly, the Verifeyed system identifies patterns in the way that different cameras record images, and then compares a given image against those patterns. If a given image does not conform to any known pattern, then the implication is that it has been altered.
It is an interesting strategy and perhaps useful for many uploaded photos. However, it does sound as though it might be vulnerable to a man-in-the-middle style attack. That is, someone can manipulate an image (in some way) and then photograph it, thus producing a result containing a bona fide “footprint”.
The clock at the Pantheon March 14, 2012Posted by Cameron Shelley in : STV202 , comments closed
There was an interesting discussion on CBC Radio’s “Q” yesterday, March 13, as Jim Brown spoke with Jon Lackman, the author of a recent piece in Wired on UX (or “Urban eXperiment”), a group that occupies and repairs abandoned parts of the tunnel system under Paris. The group has mapped out and even rehabilitated sections of the underground in order to preserve them. They have even staged clandestine film festivals and art shows there!
Perhaps the most interesting part was the discussion of how the group repaired the clock in the Pantheon, now a kind of reliquary for the great and good of French history. The clock was admired as “an engineering marvel from the 19th century”, and a group of UX members decided to rescue it from its increasingly corroded state. Lackman describes their motivation in this way:
Oxidation had so crippled the works that they would soon become impossible to fix without re-creating, rather than restoring, almost every part. “That wouldn’t be a restored clock, but a facsimile,” Kunstmann says. As the project began, it took on an almost mystical significance for the team. Paris, as they saw it, was the center of France and was once the center of Western civilization; the Latin Quarter was Paris’ historic intellectual center; the Pantheon stands in the Latin Quarter and is dedicated to the great men of French history, many of whose remains are housed within; and in its interior lay a clock, beating like a heart, until it suddenly was silenced.
So, the team was motivated by admiration for the authentic clock itself and national pride (and, perhaps, contempt for the complacency of the government regarding the matter).
The group set up a workshop within the Pantheon itself, on a floor where “no one ever went anymore”. They examined the works and discovered that the stoppage of the clock was no accident:
What they discovered looked like sabotage. It appeared that someone, presumably a Pantheon employee tired of winding the clock once a week, had bludgeoned the escape wheel with an iron bar.
After several months on their own time and money, the clock was fixed. The group decided to inform the authorities, thinking they would be happy to have the clock working again. In the end, though, the authorities were not pleased. They sued members of UX, unsuccessfully:
Meanwhile, the government lost its lawsuit. It filed another, which it also lost. There is no law in France, it turns out, against the improvement of clocks. In court, one prosecutor characterized her own government’s charges against Untergunther as “stupid.” But the clock is still immobile today, its hands frozen at 10:51.
The authorities hired a clockmaker to “resabotage” the clock. The clockmaker refused, Lackman notes in the CBC interview, saying something to the effect that, as a professional, his job is to repair clocks, not to wreck them. However, he did remove the escape wheel, causing the clock to stop running.
It is a fascinating story. Whatever your view of UX and their activities, you have to admire their passion for their home and their dedication to the preservation of its technological heritage.
Technology in the Hunger Games March 6, 2012Posted by Cameron Shelley in : STV100, STV202 , comments closed
The Hunger Games is a novel by Suzanne Collins, also adapted for the big screen in a forthcoming movie. (Careful: There are spoilers ahead!) The story is set in a future North America that has experienced a violent political upheaval, resulting in the formation of “Panem”, a country in which the capital city, The Capitol, holds tyrannical power over the other regions of the continent, divided into numbered districts. As a kind of punishment for a past insurrection in the Districts, the Capitol has imposed severe austerities on its hinterlands, amounting essentially to economic sanctions. In addition, the Capitol has imposed the “Hunger Games”, in which one boy and one girl from each District is deposited in an arena to fight to the death for the amusement of the Capitol dwellers. The heroine of the story is Katniss Everdeen, a girl from District 12, who finds herself selected as an unwilling participant in the Games.
Events in the book clearly have some precedents in reality. We have recently gone through an economic upheaval to which various governments have responded with cutbacks and other austerity measures. Also, we have had a season of political upheavals in Europe and the Middle East. So, the novel reflects something of the climate of the times.
The novel also utilizes some motifs from classical antiquity. The Capitol itself is reminiscent of Rome in its late republican and Imperial periods. Its residents even have the names of Roman politicians such as Cinna and Ceasar. The arena recalls the Roman Colosseum, where fights to the death were elaborately staged for the amusement of the citizenry. The story of children sacrificed to a colonial power is reminiscent of the story of Theseus and the Minotaur: The Cretans were supposed to have taken boys and girls from Athens and thrown them into the Labyrinth, where the Minotaur would kill them. The use of classical motifs helps to relate the story to our own culture while still displacing it from the present day somewhat.
The story includes some technology-related issues as well. The first concerns technology and progress. The Capitol exists at a technological level that is recognizable but somewhat more advanced that that which exists in the Western world today. For example, they have a high-speed rail network and hovercraft that seem to combine the functions of airplanes and helicopters. Also, the Capitol appears to have some approximation of the food replicators that were found on the USS Enterprise in Star Trek. In addition, they have advanced capabilities in genetic engineering. However, this technological progress has not been accompanied by moral progress. If anything, the advanced technology of the Capitol has turned its citizens into vicious snobs absorbed with only their own pleasure and their vendetta against the people of the Districts. On the contrary, the primitive technological condition of Katniss and the people of District 12 mark them out as noble and authentic. I can imagine Rousseau nodding with approval.
Besides being bad for the character of the Capitol dwellers, their use of advanced technology to oppress also points to a lack of social progress. Citizens of the Capitol use their technological advantage to exploit and oppress the residents of the Districts, whom they keep in backward and impoverished conditions. Whereas citizens of the Capitol can push buttons to obtain a meal, Katniss Everdeen hunts much of her food with a bow and arrows. We might like to think that technological advancement will bring about fairer social conditions, as has occurred recently in the Middle East, for example. However, the opposite has occurred in the world of The Hunger Games.
Although The Hunger Games is primarily a story of romance and peril among young adults, it is set against a background in which some interesting philosophical questions about technology are raised. Does technological progress tend to ennoble or to degrade people? Does it tend to make society more or less fair to them? Or does it have no real tendencies in either case?
Fauxtography as a practice February 14, 2012Posted by Cameron Shelley in : STV302 , comments closed
Erik Johansson gives an interesting TED talk about his work on impossible photographs. His project is to find ways to knit photos together with Photoshop so that they display scenes that are impossible but nevertheless look plausible. Watch the talk to see what that means.
The topic of faked photographs, or fauxtography, has been discussed in this blog before. In those cases, the point of photographic trickery was to put something over on the viewer. It seems incorrect to say the same of Johansson’s efforts, though. He seeks not to deceive but to entertain.
Johansson puts forward three principles that underly his work. Photos to be combined should…
- Share similar perspectives;
- Share similar lighting conditions;
- Be combined in a way that is seamless.
On the surface, these rules seem to be technical requirements that simply make it easier to combine photograph segments together. Mismatches between photographic regions in a single picture would require more effort for the manipulator to reconcile with one another.
Although this observation is correct, it does not capture the final role of these rules, I think. Although Johansson clearly uses photo-manipulating software, he describes himself primarily as a photographer. That is, his business remains rooted in the traditional conception of the photographer as someone who records scenes as they actually appear visually. Relying heavily on digital manipulation would tend to uproot that conception. So, to preserve his (im)posture as a photographer, Johansson tries to maintain a light touch with the computer alterations.
In addition, the rules help to define the nature of the practice that Johansson is engaged in. Johansson is an entertainer: He presents his audience with images that contain a kind of puzzle which the viewer has to figure out. He says that he wants his viewers to “get the trick”. More particularly, Johansson is a humorist in the sense that his puzzles all seem to contain incongruities that are pleasurable to decode, e.g., a roadway that is apparently laid down like a sheet. Of course, such incongruities could be realized through a number of means. Johansson could simply describe them verbally, for example, or make paintings of the scenes. His choice of quasi-photography is quite deliberate: We have expectations about what photographic images look like, and that they record visual scenes accurately. Images that satisfy these expectations, as captured by Johansson’s rules, and yet present subtly impossible scenes are particularly engaging for the viewer. So, Johansson hews as closely as possible to the methods of standard photography in order to maximize the impact of the result. He seems to be quite painstaking about his craft; as he says, some images take months to plan and execute.
Clearly, Johansson is a talented humorist. He is also a photographer. But are his works really photography?
Faked photo from North Korea January 4, 2012Posted by Cameron Shelley in : STV302 , comments closed
With the recent passing of North Korea’s Dear Leader, Kim Jong-Il, a big state funeral was inevitable. As photos of the scene were transmitted, it seemed that one, produced by the North Korean Central News Agency, was retouched. It appears to have been taken from nearly the same vantage point as another photo distributed by Japan’s Kyodo News Agency, and perhaps only a second afterwards. Yet, a group of onlookers to the left of the frame has disappeared in the later photo. The group was replaced with an image of some snow cloned from another part of the image.
Why would the North Koreans bother with the manipulation? The article speculates that the North Korean editors want to keep up appearances:
North Korea, too, has a facade to maintain: that of a nationalistic people who are happier than their neighbors in the South.
Perhaps, although it is hard to see how the altered image increases the appearance of happiness. Besides, shouldn’t people look sad at the passing of their beloved tyrant? Another possibility is that doctoring photos is very easy with modern software and the North Korean press is quite used to touching up photos and other records and may simply have thought that the doctored image looked less cluttered.
Why should we care? It is not inherently immoral to alter an image. However, as the article explains, images made for journalistic purposes, and thus intended as historical documents, have a special purpose that calls for special care. Notes Bob Steele, a journalism ethics professor at DePauw University:
“We must recognize how easy it is to alter reality; when it comes to journalism and documentary photography, there must be an assumption that authenticity and truth are guiding principles. If we don’t have that, then we don’t have trust. And if we don’t have trust, we have a breakdown in communication within society.”
See also Scott’s discussion of “fauxtography”.
In this case, we seem to have a straightforward problem with authenticity, in the sense that the doctored photo is not genuine. That is, a segment of the image originated not at the funeral but subsequently in a computer application.
Yet, looking at the image raises other, more problematic issues of authenticity. On my monitor, at least, the North Korean Central Press Agency image appears brighter than the Kyodo image. That is, the snow seems whiter. Is that also a result of Photoshopping? Or could it be due to the use of different lenses or cameras?
Suppose that the North Koreans had not done any Photoshopping but had used a lens filter with the intention of making the snow more white and thus nicer looking. Their intention would thus be, perhaps, similar to the intention behind removing the untidy crowd on the left. Would the filtered but not-Photoshopped image be authentic? It would certainly be genuine, as every pixel would have originated at the original scene. Yet, its truthfulness could be questioned. Would it be appropriate to retract such a photo, as occurred with the Photoshopped version?