From the department of irony? China tries to stop fake images from reaching the Web

ministry irony china wants stop fake images making onto web chinese image manipulation research

China is notorious for faking things well, whether it’s a replica of a smartphone, handbag, or entire Austrian Village. But one thing it hasn’t mastered are basic image-editing skills, because lately there have been plenty of embarrassing, poorly Photoshopped images of government officials posted to the Web. So the government is investing in new image-editing research, but instead of teaching people to become better image editors, the government is funding tech projects at major universities that would create new ways of detecting manipulated images, according to the South China Morning Post. You see, China doesn’t care about its people having bad Photoshop skills, it just wants to make sure nobody ever gets to see those images in the first place. 

The initiative stems from the fear that altered photos could be used as blackmail against government officials and employees. Images and videos of officials in compromising situations have been making their way onto the Internet, with the government suggesting that many of them were faked (although some were actually found to be real).

“In China, sending a government official a batch of sexually-scandalous photos for extortion has become a thriving business,” the Post writes. “Sometimes the pictures are real, but in most cases the official’s head has been superimposed on to a body that does not belong to him.”

A second reason for the project is to catch poorly manipulated images posted by lower-level government entities themselves (as many of them lack the proper photo-editing skills), so they can be taken down quickly before becoming the butt of jokes.

But the government may ultimately discover that detecting fake images is easier said than done. There are multiple research projects happening simultaneously, but the scientists “have been slightly overwhelmed by the challenges of the mission, which range from the increasing complexity of the technology to the enormous quantity of questionable photos needing to be processed,” the Post writes.

(Via PetaPixel via Business Insider)

Product Review

It's a camera! It's a printer! And it's more fun than it has any right to be

By going digital and adding a built-in mobile printer, the Instax Mini LiPlay puts more features into a smaller form factor than previous Instax cameras, while still being every bit as fun.
Mobile

Save up to $100 on Samsung MicroSD EVO Select memory cards at Amazon

MicroSD memory cards can transform your mobile devices into massive digital storage units. Whether you create or carry your content, Amazon cut the prices on three Samsung Evo Select MicroSD cards in time for summer fun.
Photography

Sony’s new full-frame 600mm f/4 is a $13,000 monster of a lens

More expensive than a new Apple Mac Pro and Pro Display, Sony's $13,000, 600mm f/4 is a dream telephoto lens for professional sports and wildlife photographers. For the rest of us, Sony also announced a $2,000, 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3.
Photography

Fujifilm black-and-white film returns from the dead — thanks to millennials

After discontinuing black and white film, Fujifilm is bringing back the monochrome thanks to demand from younger photographers. The updated Neopan 100 Across II is designed for sharpness and minimal grain.
Social Media

Will this deepfake of a power-hungry Zuckerberg make Facebook rethink fake news?

Just how committed is Facebook to earlier statements on leaving deepfake videos intact but demoted? A fake video of Mark Zuckerberg proclaiming power over your data has lasted for four days on the platform.
Deals

The GoPro Hero7 action camera gets price cut on Amazon ahead of Father’s Day

Got an adventurous Dad? If so, a GoPro action camera will make a great Father’s Day gifts. Ahead of Father’s Day, capture the GoPro Hero7 Black on Amazon for just $329, down from its normal $400. Don't just settle for socks again this…
Photography

The Loupedeck Plus custom keyboard will make you feel like a pro video editor

With recently added support for Final Cut Pro X, the Loupedeck Plus improves speed and accuracy for video editors. With a collection of customizable buttons and dials, the Loupedeck can almost completely replace a mouse and keyboard setup.
Social Media

These are the best ways to make your own animated GIF to share

Love sharing GIFs with your friends and peers, but wish you could make your own? Here's how to do so in Photoshop, or using a few other methods that don't require you to shell out a premium fee with each calendar year.
Photography

You don't need an epic budget to shoot epic photos with the best cheap cameras

You don't need a huge budget to shoot epic photos with the best cheap cameras. There are great deals to be found on both lower-end cameras and older versions of high-end cameras that you can still find new.
Photography

Can’t afford this $150 tripod head? Just 3D print the Edelkrone Ortak FlexTilt

Edelkrone's FlexTilt tripod head retails for about $150 — or you could 3D print your own with a $30 part kit and the cost of materials. The Edelkrone Ortak FlexTilt Head 3D is a 3D-printed tripod head.
Photography

What’s the difference between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic?

Lightroom CC has evolved into a capable photo editor, but is it enough to supplant Lightroom Classic? We took each program for a test drive to compare the two versions and see which is faster, more powerful, and better organized.
Photography

Tapped out? Edit faster with 5 gesture shortcuts in Lightroom CC on mobile

Missing those keyboard shortcuts when photo editing on a smartphone or iPad? Lightroom has a handful of gesture-based controls that can help fill the gaps, if you know where to find them.
Mobile

Learn how to create a 360-degree panorama with your phone and Google Street View

Google Street View encourages you to explore the great outdoors, including landmarks, natural wonders, and even your own neighborhood. Learn how to create 360-degree imagery using your smartphone camera to add locations to Google Maps.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Plant-based shoes and a ukulele learning aid

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!