Cropping and Resizing to Maintain Aspect Ratio in Thumbnails on Flickr

I was trying to drum out a thumbnail image spec. for Podcastinople this afternoon and of course turned to the Web 2.0 standard for creating them, Flickr. The idea behind a thumbnail is that I want to create a 75×75 version of an image while maintaining the aspect ratio.

Since most photos and images uploaded won’t necessarily be square, (equal in both length and width), some cropping must occur. Since cropping a photo can change what is represented visually even more than say an image resize some attention should be given as to how the crop is performed. Continue reading Cropping and Resizing to Maintain Aspect Ratio in Thumbnails on Flickr

Blu-Ray and HD-DVD Copy Protection Defeated

This is some pretty big news in the realm of consumer media. A hacker going by the name of Arnezami has retrieved keys critical to unlocking HD content. Using a USB sniffer, HD-DVD playback software WinDVD, an XBox 360 HD-DVD drive and a Mac he was able to find the Processing Key for the Advanced Access Content System or AACS.

AACS is the standard system used to protect both HD DVD and Blu-ray Discs. It was developed by a variety of entertainment and technology giants including Intel, Microsoft, Warner Brothers, and Sony.

The most effective attack on the system prior to the retrieval of the AACS Processing Key was performed by a hacker named Muslix64 who created a software utility that allowed anyone to decrypt AACS content and thereby copy select movies where the Title Key was known. A large number of Title Keys are known and are available on the website AACSKeys.com.

This past weekend’s new attack by Arnezami published the Processing Key for AACS on February 11th, 2007. The key can be used to decrypt any HD-DVD or BluRay disc that has been published through today. The hack requires the Volume ID for each release to be known. Interestingly, Volume Keys can be easily guessed at this point. The publishing companies have been using simple information such as the date and time of the release or text from the title of the film. Continue reading Blu-Ray and HD-DVD Copy Protection Defeated