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Mass Media - Mass manipulation

Ever wondered why they call it programming?

settle down and OBEY...
"Reich director of broadcasting Eugen Hadamovsky put the task succinctly in his address for the start of regular television service on 22 March 1935: "Now, in this hour, broadcasting is called upon to fulfill its greatest and most sacred mission: to plant the image of the Fuhrer indelibly in all German hearts." German television was conceived with a highly specific sense of reception in mind. "

Envisioning the Audience: perceptions of early German television's audiences, 1935-1944 William Uricchio

settle down and OBEY...
settle down and OBEY...
The Cathode Ray Tube

Almost all TVs in use today rely on a device known as the cathode ray tube, or CRT, to display their images. LCDs and plasma displays are sometimes seen, but they are still rare when compared to CRTs. It is even possible to make a television screen out of thousands of ordinary 60-watt light bulbs! You may have seen something like this at an outdoor event like a football game. Let's start with the CRT, however, because CRTs are the most common way of displaying images today.

The terms anode and cathode are used in electronics as synonyms for positive and negative terminals. For example, you could refer to the positive terminal of a battery as the anode and the negative terminal as the cathode.

In a cathode ray tube, the "cathode" is a heated filament (not unlike the filament in a normal light bulb). The heated filament is in a vacuum created inside a glass "tube." The "ray" is a stream of electrons that naturally pour off a heated cathode into the vacuum.

Electrons are negative. The anode is positive, so it attracts the electrons pouring off the cathode. In a TV's cathode ray tube, the stream of electrons is focused by a focusing anode into a tight beam and then accelerated by an accelerating anode. This tight, high-speed beam of electrons flies through the vacuum in the tube and hits the flat screen at the other end of the tube. This screen is coated with phosphor, which glows when struck by the beam. - howstuffworks.com


Based upon Goebbels' Principles of Propaganda by Leonard W. Doob, published in Public Opinion and Propaganda; A Book of Readings edited for The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.

1. Propagandist must have access to intelligence concerning events and public opinion.

2. Propaganda must be planned and executed by only one authority.
a. It must issue all the propaganda directives.
b. It must explain propaganda directives to important officials and maintain their morale.
c. It must oversee other agencies' activities which have propaganda consequences

3. The propaganda consequences of an action must be considered in planning that action.

4. Propaganda must affect the enemy's policy and action.
a. By suppressing propagandistically desirable material which can provide the enemy with useful intelligence
b. By openly disseminating propaganda whose content or tone causes the enemy to draw the desired conclusions
c. By goading the enemy into revealing vital information about himself
d. By making no reference to a desired enemy activity when any reference would discredit that activity

5. Declassified, operational information must be available to implement a propaganda campaign

6. To be perceived, propaganda must evoke the interest of an audience and must be transmitted through an attention-getting communications medium.

7. Credibility alone must determine whether propaganda output should be true or false.

8. The purpose, content and effectiveness of enemy propaganda; the strength and effects of an expose; and the nature of current propaganda campaigns determine whether enemy propaganda should be ignored or refuted.

9. Credibility, intelligence, and the possible effects of communicating determine whether propaganda materials should be censored.

10. Material from enemy propaganda may be utilized in operations when it helps diminish that enemy's prestige or lends support to the propagandist's own objective.

11. Black rather than white propaganda may be employed when the latter is less credible or produces undesirable effects.

12. Propaganda may be facilitated by leaders with prestige.

13. Propaganda must be carefully timed.
a. The communication must reach the audience ahead of competing propaganda.
b. A propaganda campaign must begin at the optimum moment
c. A propaganda theme must be repeated, but not beyond some point of diminishing effectiveness

14. Propaganda must label events and people with distinctive phrases or slogans.
a. They must evoke desired responses which the audience previously possesses
b. They must be capable of being easily learned
c. They must be utilized again and again, but only in appropriate situations
d. They must be boomerang-proof

15. Propaganda to the home front must prevent the raising of false hopes which can be blasted by future events.

16. Propaganda to the home front must create an optimum anxiety level.
a. Propaganda must reinforce anxiety concerning the consequences of defeat
b. Propaganda must diminish anxiety (other than concerning the consequences of defeat) which is too high and which cannot be reduced by people themselves

17. Propaganda to the home front must diminish the impact of frustration.
a. Inevitable frustrations must be anticipated
b. Inevitable frustrations must be placed in perspective

18. Propaganda must facilitate the displacement of aggression by specifying the targets for hatred.

19. Propaganda cannot immediately affect strong counter-tendencies; instead it must offer some form of action or diversion, or both.

- www.psywarrior.com


a tool for Brainwashing

Television, with its reach into nearly every American [my note: now almost global] home, creates the basis for the mass brainwashing of citizens, like you. It works on a principle of {tension and release}. Create tension, in a controlled environment, increasing the level of stress. Then provide a series of choices that provide release from the tension. As long as the victim believes that the choices presented are the {only} choices available, even if they are at first glance unacceptable, he will nevertheless, ultimately seek release by choosing one of these unacceptable choices.

Under these circumstances, in a brainwashing, controlled environment, such choice-making is not a ``rational'' experience. It does not involve the use of man's creative mental powers; instead man is conditioned, like an animal, to respond to the tension, by seeking release.

The key to the success of this brainwashing process is the regulation of both the tension and the perceived choices. As long as both are controlled, then the range of outcomes is also controlled. The victim is induced to walk down one of several pathways acceptable for his controllers.

The brainwashers call the tension-filled environment {social turbulence}. The last decades have been full of such {social turbulence}--economic collapse, regional wars, population disasters, ecological and biological catastrophes. {Social turbulence} creates crises in perceptions, causing people to lose their bearings. Adrift and confused, people seek release from the tension, following paths that appear to lead to a simpler, less tension-filled life. There is no time in such a process for rational consideration of complicated problems.

Television is the key vehicle for presenting both the tension and the choices. It brings you the images of the tension, and serves up simple answers. Television, in its world of semi-reality, of illusion, of escape from reality, {is itself the single most important release from our tension-wracked existence.} Eight hours a day, every day, through its programming, you are being programmed.

Turn off your TV - Lonnie Wolf


The corporate carve up of modern media...and media under political control...

'Studies have been made that reflects "the tendency of U.S. government officials to exaggerate the threat of chemical and biological terrorism." These studies show these exaggerations are "reinforced by sensational reporting in the press and an obsessive fascination with catastrophic terrorism in Hollywood films, best-selling books, and other mainstays of pop culture."

Newswatch editorial

Last July (7/14/03), Bush revised the history of the run-up to the Iraq war, claiming that Saddam Hussein refused to allow weapons inspectors into Iraq in late 2002: "Did Saddam Hussein have a weapons program? And the answer is absolutely. And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in." Of course, Iraq did allow U.N. weapons inspectors into the country in November 2002; they were withdrawn when war was imminent in March 2003.

Few reporters ever mentioned this substantive falsehood. NPR reporter Mara Liasson (7/17/03) called it "revisionist history," while the Washington Post (7/15/03) timidly noted: "The president's assertion that the war began because Iraq did not admit inspectors appeared to contradict the events leading up to war this spring." But most major news sources chose not to bring up Bush's false statement-- the New York Times was silent on the issue, as were the nightly newscasts of ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS.

see: well connected - Top media holding companies.

the history of modern media, major technological innovations and corporate developments. global government media sattelite controlled propaganda wars!!!

"The important thing to realize is not just that the elite own virtually all the Western media, but that it is now owned by a very small handful of media moguls. The shocking truth is that the ownership of newspapers and TV stations has already been consolidated to such a staggering degree that unmanipulated news coverage has practically ceased to exist."

Consolidating Ownership of the Media RALPH WALDO EMERSON

TIVO is a digital tv box that can cut all advertising from your viewing... so, what do the corporations do???

ALL television content is gradually becoming an Interactive advert for global corporate control !!!

Interactive TV

People are talking about interactive television for three main reasons:

T-commerce: You will be able to buy a pizza without dialing a phone.

Interactive Goodies: You will be able to pause live TV or record shows. You will be able to click on advertisements to find out more. Click stream Analysis (telegraphics)

What Was That Last One? Viewers will be told a great deal about the first two uses for interactive TV. If you are not seeing them already, prepare for a blizzard of advertisements showing happy families ordering gifts through their TV sets, choosing camera angles while watching their favorite sporting events and sending email to friends. Expect to hear words such as control and empowerment.

A Guide to Interactive TV

Once a live stream is paused it no longer is LIVE...

Selling you a GOD COMPLEX...convincing you that everything you see on that screen is the truth...

TV voting...pushed through every programme...Blanding and cheapening concepts of democracy and gaining HUGE profits through phone votes.

The next time you witness a phone-in on the radio or TV ask yourself how easy it would be to plant someone in the studio pretending to be Joe Public...slipping in Advertising...political steering etc.

Losing Control of Your TV

"The latest anti-piracy move will prevent you from making high-quality copies of broadcast TV programs. And the new "broadcast flag" technology enables all manner of other restrictions."


a world of Pixellation - essentially - an illusion

[This may seem obvious - but it's amazing how many people don't know this]

If you divide a still image into a collection of small colored dots, your brain will reassemble the dots into a meaningful image. This is no small feat, as any researcher who has tried to program a computer to understand images will tell you. The only way we can see that this is actually happening is to blow the dots up so big that our brains can no longer assemble them, like this:

Most people, sitting right up close to their computer screens, cannot tell what this is a picture of -- the dots are too big for your brain to handle. If you stand 10 to 15 feet away from your monitor, however, your brain will be able to assemble the dots in the image and you will clearly see that it is the baby's face. By standing at a distance, the dots become small enough for your brain to integrate them into a recognizable image.

Both televisions and computer screens (as well as newspaper and magazine photos) rely on this fusion-of-small-colored-dots capability in the human brain to chop pictures up into thousands of individual elements. On a TV or computer screen, the dots are called pixels. The resolution of your computer's screen might be 800x600 pixels, or maybe 1024x768 pixels. - howstuffworks.com

all pictures/sound recordings are an illusion a manipulated representaion of reality


'REALITY used to be a friend of mine...'

the Digital re-touch is everywhere...

Notice Computer generated 'realities' permeating media...unattainable truth is the tool of the reality designer.

Used to control your taste, aspirations, your desires, your behavior, your concept of identity

What's wrong with this picture?

March 3 2003 By Kate Betts

Madonna and J.Lo depend on him. Annie Leibovitz and Steven Meisel won't print a picture without him. Anna Wintour and Graydon Carter shell out thousands of dollars a year for his services. He's arguably one of the most powerful men in fashion, but he doesn't sit in the front row or wear designer clothes, and you won't find him on the Style network offering deep thoughts about Gwen Stefani's Super Bowl outfit.

Come to think of it, though, there is probably no one who has such a close knowledge of Gwen Stefani, down to the pores of her powdered cheek.

This behind-the-scenes magician, more intimate with celebrity flesh than a personal trainer or a masseur, is Pascal Dangin, the digital retoucher for fashion's and Hollywood's most famous photographers. Some refuse to work with anyone else. On the glossy side of the newsstand just this month, he tweaked the covers of W, Harper's Bazaar and Allure.

In a field where designers, photographers and stylists want to be celebrated for their every flourish of innovation no matter how dubious - topless models with vacuum cleaners, anyone? - the French-born Dangin, the founder and chief executive of the foremost photo retouching business in the US, Box Studios in New York, cultivates his anonymity.

"I never want to talk about my work, because it's kind of taboo,'' he said. "The people who benefit from my work do not benefit from me talking about it.''

While photo manipulation is more prevalent than ever in this digital age, when many laptops come with software to help get the red out of your mother-in-law's eyes, the extent of retouching practised by glossy magazines is still little understood by readers. At the same time, insiders offer a shrug of indifference: of course the camera can be made to lie. Do you really think that's Kate Winslet's figure on the cover of British GQ this month?

"Hey, everybody wants to look good,'' says Dangin (pronounced dawnh-GANH). "Basically we're selling a product - we're selling an image. To those who say too much retouching, I say you are bogus. This is the world that we're living in. Everything is glorified. I say live in your time.''

Although most newspapers, forbid the distortion of news photographs in a lab or on a computer, at fashion magazines it has long been standard to throw in a little digital pixie dust to make a model's eyes bluer, her teeth whiter, her legs slimmer. Periodically, such highly tweaked images stir controversy, proving that the retoucher's skill is still viewed as something of a dark art. Winslet was at the centre of the latest flare-up when she complained of being overly slenderised for the GQ cover. "The retouching is excessive,'' she was quoted as saying in The Daily Mail. "I do not look like that, and more importantly, I don't desire to look like that.''

Dylan Jones, the editor in chief of British GQ, defended the retouching. "I really don't see anything sinister in this,'' he said. "It's been going on for years. Essentially we all want glamour. We all want showbusiness.''

A second controversy arose around the body-positive Winslet when Women's Wear Daily reported two weeks ago that her head had been digitally placed on the torso of a slimmer stylist on the cover of the January issue of Harper's Bazaar. The report was denied by the magazine and by a spokesman for Winslet.

That episode suggests there are some lines that the image manipulators at glossy magazines will not cross. Dangin has on occasion pieced together a cover photo by putting the model's head on a different picture of her own body, but he rejects the Dr Frankenstein brand of photo splicing.

"I would not put an actress's head on a stylist's body - no!'' he says. He says it would be too hard to make such a composite convincing, and acknowledges that it would also raise an ethical question. "People can get very upset. They put it in the same pool as human cloning.''

Retouching was once an obscure and narrow practice by photographers who would cover skin and body imperfections in their prints using tiny brushes. Now it entails whole new realms, drawing on the power of computer technologies to improve light, colour and contrast in photos, not to mention thighs and heads. Dangin retouches and prints the work of a dozen leading fashion photographers, including Michael Thompson, Meisel, Craig McDean, Steven Klein, Inez van Lamsweerde, Mario Sorrenti and David Sims. He also works with a handful of art photographers such as Philip-Lorca diCorcia. Some photographers refuse to work with anyone else.

"He is much more than just a technician who removes pimples,'' says McDean, who had Dangin flatten the background and simplify the colours in a Madonna portrait to create a '50s look for the cover of Vanity Fair last year. "He's a thinker, too. He's not someone who just pushes a button. There's some kind of soul in it, which is very rare. He can physically express himself through the computer.''

The colour, flesh tones and bodies aren't the only things tweaked in photos. Sometimes the composition isn't real, either. One example is in last northern autumn's ad campaign for The Sopranos. Although it seems that the photographer, Leibovitz, shot the entire cast around a table, she actually took them separately, and Dangin assembled the images in his computers.

Photographers and art directors swear by Dangin's ability to marry a deep knowledge of photography with technology. "Before I met Pascal, I couldn't do so many different kinds of lighting,'' says Patrick Demarchelier, a prolific shooter of Harper's Bazaar covers and fashion advertising. Because of Dangin's ability to correct the harsher aspects of dramatic lighting, he says, he has been able to go beyond conventional studio lights. "He has introduced a new brand of photography that didn't exist before. Without Pascal, a lot of photographers would not exist today.''

For all his technological expertise, it is Dangin's rapport with photographers and his slow, meticulous pace that seem at the centre of his success. "Some photographers won't work unless he does the retouching and printing,'' says Raul Martinez, a partner in the advertising firm of A/R Media in New York, who often works with Meisel. "He has real personal relationships with them, and they trust him.''

For somebody who devotes his time to glossing up the images of others - at fees of $US500 for an inside magazine page and up to $20,000 for a cover image requiring lots of digital cutting and pasting - Dangin is decidedly unpolished. His tobacco-stained teeth have not been whitened, and despite his stature and success, he wears brown corduroys, a Champion sweatshirt and New Balance sneakers every day. An unruly mass of finger-in-the-socket curls belie his background as a hairdresser.

Watching Dangin at work at his Box Studios on Broadway, which employs 40 people, is like ducking behind the curtain to see the last stage in the manufacture of film and fashion celebrities. In a pitch-dark loft-like room packed with high-definition computer monitors and light boxes, more than a dozen retouchers hunch over keyboards clicking and pointing and drawing. A huge Oz-like computer server buzzes in the background. The wizard sits at a giant triptych of screens. If the one in the middle is the canvas, then the two side screens are like palettes holding the software icons and files of images.

At any given moment, Dangin juggles about 10,000 files. Not long ago he was tending to an ad campaign for Cover Girl cosmetics that uses Angela Lindvall, a model; a Leibovitz image to promote the next Sopranos season; and a Steven Klein portrait of Madonna for a magazine cover.

"This part is too light, so I am going to basically start to burn it in and bring in more density,'' Dangin says, scribbling with a stylus on a computerised drawing pad as he adjusts the colour and contrast in a photo by Adam Bartos, an art photographer. "It's about changing light. Think of this as a virtual darkroom, where you would expose parts of the photo to make it denser. Only in a darkroom that would take five hours, and here we do it in an instant.''

The paradox of appearing natural on film is nothing new. As far back as the mid-19th century the photographer Mathew Brady employed retouchers to improve formal portraits. In the early 20th century Man Ray used innovative techniques like solarisation, and in the 1930s and '40s the Hollywood photographer George Hurrell elevated actresses like Jane Russell and Joan Crawford into icons of glamour by lengthening their eyelashes, smoothing every wrinkle and blemish and highlighting their hair.

Richard Avedon retouched many society portraits by hand, famously extending the neck of Marella Agnelli in one to make her look literally like a society swan. More recently, artists like Cindy Sherman have used retouching and manipulation to transform identity completely - a process that is now common, but has not always been embraced. In 1997, the fashion photographer David LaChapelle squabbled publicly with one of his subjects, the actress Mira Sorvino, when he transformed her image digitally into a facsimile of Joan Crawford for Allure.

These days, anybody can retouch a photo. Websites like Photo-Brush and the Pixel Foundry sell software that teaches photo-manipulation techniques, which are also described in books like Scott Kelby's PhotoShop 7: Down and Dirty Tricks. As a result, almost any photo and image, both personal and public, can be retouched.

Which raises the perennial question about Dangin's work: how much is too much? Is straightening your child's teeth on a Christmas card in the same category as straightening the teeth of a celebrity mother of septuplets, for which Newsweek was criticised in the late 1990s?

The only certain answer is that the line between what is in bounds and what is out is a moving one in the digital age. Grabbing a printout from a recent Yves Saint Laurent ad campaign, Dangin shrugs. "This world is not reality,'' he said, fingering the print. "It's just paper.''

- New York Times via 'the age'

The populace are convinced that this technology represents the truth,

How easy is it to rig an election?

too late: already happening:

The assertion of the printed word as truth, has morphed into the physical pressable button, the virtual interactive Digital icon

allowing the creation and indoctrination of the illusion of individual power over spontaneous choice and it's subsequent control via the employment of technology.

The buttons on your voting machine / cellphone / remote control appear to empower you

It is an an illusion...an enforced decision, a turn in a pre-designed and configured maze...an architecture

The concept of free choice is now a multi billion Public relations exercise built to convince you of a false freedom, built to programme your reality to one of compliance

The digital switchover - some choice Huh?

The Government has made a commitment to introduce Digital Television (DTV) services to more than 99% of homes in the UK, which will bring considerable benefit to both the economy and individuals. This upgrade of the broadcasting system from analogue to digital transmission will allow the UK to develop in technological terms, free up valuable radio spectrum currently consumed by analogue transmissions and will constitute a major upgrade of the UK's communications infrastructure.

Due to radio spectrum considerations it is not possible to fully introduce these services and continue broadcasting the current five analogue channels using the terrestrial system. Accordingly it will be necessary at some point during the rollout of these services to switch off the existing analogue transmissions in the switchover process. This is the process of switching off analogue signals in order to introduce digital services is known as 'digital switchover' and it is currently anticipated that this process will start between 2007 and 2008 and be completed by 2012.

[note: theres that date 2012 again]

DTV provides a greatly increased choice of channels and services. By choosing functions such as action replays whilst a game continues or selecting an answer to a quiz question, the viewer is able to interact with, rather than just watch, a program. DTV also has the potential to bring the internet to households who do not have PCs, allowing the user to surf the web, send emails and use home shopping, banking and interactive local and national government services. DTV programmes are also of a much higher quality in terms of both sound and picture.

Where are we now?

The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Tessa Jowell MP made a statement to Parliament in 2004 to provide an update on the progress made towards digital switchover. In the statement the Minister said that 2012 may be the most appropriate date for the completion of switchover, rather than the original proposition of 2010, and that Ofcom would include the first references to the timetable in draft Digital License agreements for Channels 3,4 and 5, to be published in September 2004.

The Government also announced that switchover should be broadcaster led and tasked the BBC with preparing a detailed plan for switchover, which the Government would later 'endorse'.

Why is switchover important to the Consumer Electronics sector?

The Government's commitment to upgrade the UK broadcasting system from analogue to digital transmissions will dramatically affect the Consumer Electronics market. As public awareness of digital switchover increases, the demand for digital products will increase and the demand for analogue products will decrease. The Consumer Electronics sector is therefore integral to the switchover project; it must be ready to meet these changes in demand.

Intellect members have already committed years of R&D and investment to developing a wide range of digitally compatible products such as iDTVs (Integrated Digital Televisions), Set Top Boxes and Personal Video Recorders. Intellect is now working to ensure that the supply chain is properly represented as the digital switchover project begins to be implemented and Consumer Electronics manufacturers are in the best position to respond to their new digital market place. intellectuk.org

so the terrestrial TV service will be shut down and the people will HAVE to get digital TV???

You'll have no choice but to sign up and PAY for 60 channels of brainwashing masked as 'More choice'

Media programming


The Public relations is so reassuring but It's YOU that they really want to herd like cattle

SMART-TECH will go global: prepare to either fight this fascism or be doomed to be controlled by it...

Satellite radio navigation is an advanced technology. It is based on the emission from satellites of signals indicating the time extremely precisely.

This enables any individual to determine his or her position or the location of any moving or stationary object (e.g. a vehicle, a ship, or a herd of cattle, etc.) to within one metre thanks to a small cheap individual receiver.

GALILEO is based on a constellation of 30 satellites and ground stations providing information concerning the positioning of users in many sectors such as transport (vehicle location, route searching, speed control, guidance systems, etc.), social services (e.g. aid for the disabled or elderly), the justice system and customs services (location of suspects, border controls), public works (geographical information systems), search and rescue systems, or leisure (direction-finding at sea or in the mountains, etc.). - see here for more

Wi-Fi population command & control

wireless CCTV in lamposts -

This BBC story reports WiFi internet friendly lamposts to be tested on student campus in Scotland ... BUT... this page reveals - from 'Starlight' - the company involved - says they have a CCTV capability: "It is a system which allows the provision of multiple services including Wireless Internet, Wireless Street Lighting, Wireless Electricty, Wireless Security, Wireless CCTV, and Wireless Surveillance."

Wi-fi CCTV systems being used already:

Example: Bolton UK - The images from each dome camera are transmitted via wireless from the camera to a central aggregation point. The signal is then transmitted via wireless from each site back to the town hall where the control room is located. The control room houses the Titan Vision viewing and recording system where images are viewed at 25 fps (frames per second), MPEG4 quality and controlled from a desktop PC.

The Titan Vision system also has software and hardware security measures to make the network secure and the feature-rich management system means that, should an incident occur, digital video footage can be accessed and retrieved immediately and burned onto CD. It can then be used by the police and is acceptable as evidence in court, according to the House of Lords Fifth Report.

1984? our concept of reality is being manipulated via a multi billion dollar PR campaign

"Deleting people or objects from live video, or inserting prerecorded people or objects into live scenes, is only the beginning of the deceptions becoming possible. Pretty much any piece of video that has ever been recorded is becoming clip art that producers can digitally sculpt into the story they want to tell..." - Ivan Amato

any questions?

Terror attacks make us WANT to feel safer - Tony Blair said after rejecting a full public inquiry into 777:

"I do accept that people want to know exactly what happened. We will make sure they do."

The total digital switchover really gives the controllers of reality the edge - the ability to manipulate mass transmissions of moving images GLOBALLY in REAL TIME via a Satellite...

flashback 1999 - When Seeing and Hearing Isn't Believing

By William M. Arkin Special to washingtonpost.com Monday, Feb. 1, 1999

"Gentlemen! We have called you together to inform you that we are going to overthrow the United States government." So begins a statement being delivered by Gen. Carl W. Steiner, former Commander-in-chief, U.S. Special Operations Command.

At least the voice sounds amazingly like him.

But it is not Steiner. It is the result of voice "morphing" technology developed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

By taking just a 10-minute digital recording of Steiner's voice, scientist George Papcun is able, in near real time, to clone speech patterns and develop an accurate facsimile. Steiner was so impressed, he asked for a copy of the tape.

Steiner was hardly the first or last victim to be spoofed by Papcun's team members. To refine their method, they took various high quality recordings of generals and experimented with creating fake statements. One of the most memorable is Colin Powell stating "I am being treated well by my captors."

"They chose to have him say something he would never otherwise have said," chuckled one of Papcun's colleagues.

A Box of Chocolates is Like War

Most Americans were introduced to the tricks of the digital age in the movie Forrest Gump, when the character played by Tom Hanks appeared to shake hands with President Kennedy.

For Hollywood, it is special effects. For covert operators in the U.S. military and intelligence agencies, it is a weapon of the future.

"Once you can take any kind of information and reduce it into ones and zeros, you can do some pretty interesting things," says Daniel T. Kuehl, chairman of the Information Operations department of the National Defense University in Washington, the military's school for information warfare.

PSYOPS seeks to exploit human vulnerabilities in enemy governments, militaries and populations.

Digital morphing — voice, video, and photo — has come of age, available for use in psychological operations. PSYOPS, as the military calls it, seek to exploit human vulnerabilities in enemy governments, militaries and populations to pursue national and battlefield objectives.

To some, PSYOPS is a backwater military discipline of leaflet dropping and radio propaganda. To a growing group of information war technologists, it is the nexus of fantasy and reality. Being able to manufacture convincing audio or video, they say, might be the difference in a successful military operation or coup.

Allah on the Holodeck

Pentagon planners started to discuss digital morphing after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Covert operators kicked around the idea of creating a computer-faked videotape of Saddam Hussein crying or showing other such manly weaknesses, or in some sexually compromising situation. The nascent plan was for the tapes to be flooded into Iraq and the Arab world.

The tape war never proceeded, killed, participants say, by bureaucratic fights over jurisdiction, skepticism over the technology, and concerns raised by Arab coalition partners.

What if the U.S. projected a holographic image of Allah floating over Baghdad?

But the "strategic" PSYOPS scheming didn't die. What if the U.S. projected a holographic image of Allah floating over Baghdad urging the Iraqi people and Army to rise up against Saddam, a senior Air Force officer asked in 1990?

According to a military physicist given the task of looking into the hologram idea, the feasibility had been established of projecting large, three-dimensional objects that appeared to float in the air.

But doing so over the skies of Iraq? To project such a hologram over Baghdad on the order of several hundred feet, they calculated, would take a mirror more than a mile square in space, as well as huge projectors and power sources.

And besides, investigators came back, what does Allah look like?

The Gulf War hologram story might be dismissed were it not the case that washingtonpost.com has learned that a super secret program was established in 1994 to pursue the very technology for PSYOPS application. The "Holographic Projector" is described in a classified Air Force document as a system to "project information power from space ... for special operations deception missions."

War is Like a Box of Chocolates

Voice-morphing? Fake video? Holographic projection? They sound more like Mission Impossible and Star Trek gimmicks than weapons. Yet for each, there are corresponding and growing research efforts as the technologies improve and offensive information warfare expands.

Whereas early voice morphing required cutting and pasting speech to put letters or words together to make a composite, Papcun's software developed at Los Alamos can far more accurately replicate the way one actually speaks. Eliminated are the robotic intonations.

The irony is that after Papcun finished his speech cloning research, there were no takers in the military. Luckily for him, Hollywood is interested: The promise of creating a virtual Clark Gable is mightier than the sword.

Video and photo manipulation has already raised profound questions of authenticity for the journalistic world. With audio joining the mix, it is not only journalists but also privacy advocates and the conspiracy-minded who will no doubt ponder the worrisome mischief that lurks in the not too distant future.

"We already know that seeing isn't necessarily believing," says Dan Kuehl, "now I guess hearing isn't either."

William M. Arkin, author of "The U.S. Military Online," is a leading expert on national security and the Internet. He lectures and writes on nuclear weapons, military matters and information warfare. An Army intelligence analyst from 1974-1978, Arkin currently consults for Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, MSNBC and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Washington Post

Al Queda tapes artificial?

Could the bin Laden tape have been created using concatenated text-to-speech synthesis (TTS) or voice conversion technology? Voice conversion transforms the voice of one person into someone else's voice. For example, it would make Judith Markowitz' voice sound like the voice of Humphrey Bogart. Today, conversions produced by such systems may be recognizable as the target-speaker's voice but they often sound stilted and unnatural. "They sound artificial" says Dr. Carline Henton, president of Talknowledgy (see 'The State of TTS,' this issue). "The problem is that many so-called voice conversion systems are based on the same limited rules as parametric TTS systems such as DECTalk use."

Bin Laden would get better results using commercial concatenative TTS. In order to generate flexible, natural-sounding TTS, though, he's have to spend a minimum of ten hours in a professional recording studio providing high-quality samples of his speech. The recorded material would be segmented into labeled units and stored in a large database. It might be possible to use existing tapes of bin Laden's voice for this purpose but they would lack necessary acoustic variants. They also wouldn't have sufficient consistency in quality, volume, and the other factors necessary to produce units that, when concatenated, sound as if they were spoken naturally and at the same time. According to Henton mismatches of this sort could be covered up. "You could hide any acoustic artifacts of the concatenation process by having a sufficiently noisy-enough channel, which is typical of Bin Laden's speeches." - Bin Laden Speaking

FULL ARTICLE: Lying with Pixels by Ivan Amato

[note: my choice of pictures have been placed into this article]

Seeing is no longer believing. The image you see on the evening news could well be a fake-a fabrication of fast new video-manipulation technology.

Last year, Steven Livingston, professor of political communication at George Washington University, astonished attendees at a conference on the geopolitical pros and cons of satellite imagery. He didn't produce evidence of new military mobilizations or global pandemics. Instead, he showed a video of figure skater Katarina Witt during a 1998 skating competition.

In the clip, Witt gracefully plies the ice for about 20 seconds. Then came what is perhaps one of the most unusual sports replays ever seen. The background was the same, the camera movements were the same. In fact, the image was identical to the original in all ways except for a rather important one: Witt had disappeared, along with all signs of her, such as shadows or plumes of ice flying from her skates. In their place was exactly what you would expect if Witt had never been there to begin with-the ice, the walls of the rink and the crowd.

So what's the big deal, you ask. After all, Stalin's staff routinely airbrushed persona non grata out of photos more than a half-century ago. And Woody Allen ushered a variation on reality morphing into the movies 17 years ago with Zelig, in which he inserted himself next to Adolf Hitler and Babe Ruth. In films such as Forrest Gump and Wag the Dog, reality twisting has become commonplace.

What sets the Witt demo apart-way apart-is that the technology used to "virtually delete" the skater can now be applied in real time, live, even as a camera records a scene and instantly broadcasts it to viewers. In the fraction of a second between video frames, any person or object moving in the foreground can be edited out, and objects that aren't there can be edited in and made to look real. "Pixel plasticity," Livingston calls it. The implication for those at the satellite imagery conference was sobering: Pictures from orbit may not necessarily be what the satellite's electronic camera actually recorded.

But the ramifications of this new technology reach beyond satellite imagery. As live electronic manipulation becomes practical, the credibility of all video will become just as suspect as Soviet Cold War photos. The problem stems from the nature of modern video. Live or not, it is made of pixels, and as Livingston says, pixels can be changed.

The best-known examples of real-time video manipulation so far are "virtual insertions" in professional sports broadcasts. Last January 30, for instance, nearly one-sixth of humankind in more than 180 countries repeatedly saw an orange first-down line stretched across the gridiron as they watched the Super Bowl. New York-based Sportvision created that line and inserted it into the live feed of the broadcast. To help determine where to insert the orange pixels, several game cameras were fitted with sensors that tracked the cameras spatial positions and zoom levels. Adding to the illusion of reality was the ability of the Sportvision system to make sure that players and referees occlude the virtual line when their bodies traverse it.

Last spring and summer, as Sportvision and rivals such as Princeton Video Imaging (PVI) in Lawrenceville, N.J,, were airing virtual insertion products, including simulated billboards on walls behind major league batters, a team of engineers from Sarnoff Corp. in Princeton, N.J., flew to the Coalition Allied Operations Center of NATO's Operation Allied Force in Vicenza, Italy. Their mission: transform their experimental video processing technology into an operational tool for rapidly locating and targeting Serbian military vehicles in Kosovo. The project was dubbed TIGER, for "targeting by image georegistration." "Just dial in the coordinates and the thing goes," explains Michael Hansen, a young, caffeinated Sarnoff gadgeteer who can hardly believe he was helping fight a war last year.

Compared to PVI's job, the military's technical task was more difficult-and the stakes were much higher. Instead of altering a football broadcast, the TIGER team manipulated a live video feed from a Predator, an unmanned reconnaissance craft flying some 450 meters above Kosovo battlefields. Rather than superimposing virtual lines or ads into sports settings, the task was to overlay, in real time, "georegistered" images of Kosovo onto the corresponding scenes streaming in live from the Predator's video camera. The terrain images had been previously captured with aerial photography and digitally stored. The TIGER system, which automatically detected moving objects against the background, could almost instantly feed to the targeting officers the coordinates for any piece of Serbian hardware in the Predator's view. This was quite a technical feat, since the Predator was moving and its angle of view was constantly changing, yet those views had to be electronically aligned and registered with the stored imagery in less than one-thirtieth of a second (to match the frame rate of video recording).

In principle, the targeting step could have been hotwired to precision guided weapons. "We weren't actually doing that in Allied Force," Hansen notes. "We were just telling targeting officers exactly where Serbian targets were and then they would vector in planes to go strike the targets." That way the human decision makers could pre-empt flawed machine-made decisions. According to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, TIGER technology was used extensively in the final three weeks of the Kosovo operation, during which "80 to 90 percent of the mobile targets were hit."

So far, real-time video manipulation has been within the grasp only of technologically sophisticated organizations such as TV networks and the military. But developers of the technology say it's becoming simple and cheap enough to spread everywhere. And that has some observers wondering whether real-time video manipulation will erode public confidence in live television images, even when aired by news outlets. "Seeing may no longer be believing," says Norman Winarsky, corporate vice president for information technology at Sarnoff. "You may not know what to trust."

The Sublime to the Ridiculous

A crude form of video manipulation already is happening in the satellite imagery community. The weekly publication Space News reported earlier this year that the Indian government releases imagery from its remote-sensing satellites only after defense facilities have been "processed out." In this case, it's not real-time manipulation and it's up front, like a censor's black marker. But pixels are plastic. It is perfectly possible now to insert sets of pixels into satellite imagery data that interpreters would view as battalions of tanks, or war planes, or burial sites, or lines of refugees, or dead cows that activists claim are victims of a biotech accident.

A demo tape supplied by PVI bolsters the point in the prosaic setting of a suburban parking lot. The scene appears ordinary except for a disturbing feature: Amidst the SUVs and minivans are several parked tanks and one armored behemoth rolling incongruously along. Imagine a tape of virtual Pakistani tanks rolling over the border into India pitched to news outlets as authentic, and you get a feel for the kind of trouble that deceptive imagery could stir up.

Commercial suppliers of virtual insertion services are too focused on new marketing opportunities to worry much about geopolitics. They have their eyes on far more lucrative markets. Suddenly those large stretches of programming between commercials-the actual show, that is-become available for billions of dollars worth of primetime advertising. PVI's demo tape, for instance, includes a scene in which a Microsoft Windows box appears-virtually, of course-on the shelf of Frasier Crane's studio. This kind of product placement could become more and more important as new video recording technologies such as TiVo and RePlayTV give viewers more power to edit out commercials.

Dennis Wilkinson, a Porsche-driving, sports-loving marketing expert who became CEO of 10-year-old PVI about a year ago, couldn't be happier about that. Wilkinson's eyes gleam when he describes a (near) future in which virtual insertion technology pushes advertisements to the personalized extreme. Combined with data-mining services by which browsers' individual likes, dislikes and purchasing patterns can be relentlessly tracked and analyzed, virtual insertion opens up the ability to shunt personally targeted advertisements over phone lines or cables to Web users and TV viewers. Say you like Pepsi but your neighbor next door likes Coke and your neighbor across the street likes Seven-Up-the kind of data harvestable from supermarket checkout records. It will become possible to tailor the soft-drink image in the broadcast signal to reach each of you with your preferred brand.

Just 15 minutes up the road from PVI, Sarnoff's Winarsky is also glowing-not so much about capturing market share as about the transforming power of the technology. Sarnoff has a distinguished history in that regard; the company is the descendant of RCA Laboratories, which started innovating in television technology in the early 1940s and has given birth to a plethora of media technologies. The color TV picture tube, liquid crystal displays and high-definition TV all came, at least in part, from RCA qua Sarnoff, which has five technical Emmys in its lobby.

The ability to manipulate video data in real time, he says, has just as much potential as some of these forerunners. "Now that you can alter video in real time, you have changed the world," he says. That may sound inflated, but after looking at the Katarina Witt demo, Winarsky's talk of "changing the world" loses some of its air of hyperbole.

Deleting people or objects from live video, or inserting prerecorded people or objects into live scenes, is only the beginning of the deceptions becoming possible. Pretty much any piece of video that has ever been recorded is becoming clip art that producers can digitally sculpt into the story they want to tell, according to Eric Haseltine, senior vice president for R&D at Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale, Calif. With additional video manipulation technologies, previously recorded actors can be made to say and do things they have never actually done or said. "You can have dead actors star again in entirely new movies," says Haseltine.

Contemporary shots featuring footage of dead performers have been around for several years. But the Hollywood illusion-craft that, for example, inserted John Wayne into a TV commercial required painstaking, frame-by-frame post-production work by skilled technicians. There's a big difference now, says Haseltine: "What used to take an hour [per video frame], now can be done in a sixtieth of a second." This dramatic speed-up means that manipulation can be done in real time, on the fly, as a camera records or broadcasts. Not only can John Wayne, Fred Astaire or Saddam Hussein be virtually inserted into pre-produced ads, they could be inserted into, say, a live broadcast of The Drew Carey Show.

The combination of real-time, virtual insertion with existing and emerging post-production techniques opens up a world of manipulative opportunity. Consider Video Rewrite technology, which its developers at the Interval Corp. and the University of California, Berkeley first demonstrated publicly three years ago. With just a few minutes of video of someone talking, their system captures and stores a set of video snapshots of the way that a person's mouth-area looks and moves when saying different sets of sounds. Drawing from the resulting library of "visemes" makes it possible to depict the person seeming to say anything the producers dream up-including utterances that the subject wouldn't be caught dead saying.

In one test application, computer scientist Christoph Bregler, now of Stanford University, and colleagues digitized two minutes of public-domain footage of President John F. Kennedy speaking during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. Using the resulting viseme library, the researchers created "animations" of Kennedy's mouth saying things he never said, among them, "I never met Forrest Gump." With technology like this, near-future political activists conceivably will be able to orchestrate webcasts of their opponents saying things that might make Howard Stern sound like a mensch.

Haseltine believes video manipulation techniques will quickly be carried to their logical extreme: "I can predict with absolute certainty," he says, "that one person sitting at a computer will be able to write a script, design characters, do the lighting and wardrobe, do all of the acting and dialog, and post production, distribute it on a broadband network, do all of this on a laptop-and viewers won't know the difference."

The End of Authenticity

So far, the widely witnessed applications of real-time video manipulation have been in benign arenas like sports and entertainment. Already last year, however, the technology began diffusing beyond these venues into applications that raised eyebrows. Last fall, for instance, CBS hired PVI to virtually insert the network's familiar logo all over New York City-on buildings, billboards, fountains and other places-during broadcasts of the network's The Early Show. The New York Times ran a front-page story in January raising questions about the journalistic ethics of altering the appearance of what is really there.

The combination of real-time virtual insertion, cyber-puppeteering, video rewriting and other video manipulation technologies with a mass-media infrastructure that instantly delivers news video worldwide has some analysts worried. "Imagine you are the government of a hypothetical country that wants more international financial assistance," says George Washington University's Livingston. "You might send video of a remote area with people starving to death and it may never have happened," he says.

Haseltine agrees. "I'm amazed that we have not seen phony video," he says, before backpedaling a bit: "Maybe we have. Who would know?"

It's just the sort of scenario played out in the 1998 movie Wag the Dog, in which top presidential aides conspire with a Hollywood producer to televise a virtually crafted war between the United States and Albania to deflect attention from a budding Presidential scandal. Haseltine and others wonder when reality will imitate art imitating reality.

The importance of the issue will only intensify as the technology becomes more accessible. What now typically requires an $80,000 box of electronics the size of a small refrigerator should soon be doable with a palm-sized card (and ultimately a single chip) that fits inside a commercial video recorder, according to Winarsky. "This will be available to people in Circuit City," he says. Consumer gear for virtual video insertion is likely to require a camcorder with a specialized image-processing card or chip. This hardware will take signals from the camera's electronic image sensors and convert them into a form that can be analyzed and manipulated in a computer using appropriate software-much as photo editors at newspapers use Adobe Photoshop and other programs to "clean up" digital image files. A home user might, for instance, insert absent family members into the latest reunion tape or remove strangers they would prefer not to be in the scene-bringing Soviet-style historical revisions right into the family den.

Combine the potential erosion of faith in video authenticity with the so-called "CNN effect" and the stage is set for deception to move the world in new ways. Livingston describes the CNN effect as the ability of mass media to go beyond merely reporting what is happening to actually influencing decision-makers as they consider military, international assistance and other national and international issues. "The CNN effect is real," says James Currie, professor of political science at the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington. "Every office you go into at the Pentagon has CNN on." And that means, he says, that a government, terrorist or advocacy group could set geopolitical events in motion on the strength of a few hours' worth of credibility achieved by distributing a snippet of well-doctored video.

With experience as an army reservist, as a staffer with a top-secret clearance on the Senate's Intelligence Committee, and as a legislative liaison for the Secretary of the Army, Currie has seen governmental decision-making and politicking up close. He is convinced that real-time video manipulation will be, or already is, in the hands of the military and intelligence communities. And while he has no evidence yet that any government or nongovernment organization has deployed video manipulation techniques, real-time or not, for political or military purposes, he has no problem conjuring up disinformation scenarios. For example, he says, consider the impact of a fabricated video that seemed to show Saddam Hussein "pouring himself a Scotch and taking a big drink of it. You could run it on Middle Eastern television and it would totally undermine his credibility with Islamic audiences."

For all the heavy breathing, however, some experts remain unconvinced that real-time video manipulation poses a real threat, no matter how good the technology gets. John Pike, an analyst of the intelligence community for the Federation of American Scientists in Washington, D.C., says the credibility risks are simply too great for governments or serious organizations to get caught attempting to spoof the public. And for the organizations that would be willing to risk it, says Pike, the news folks-knowing just what the technology can do-will become increasingly vigilant.

"If some human rights organization popped up at CNN with some video, particularly an organization they were not familiar with, I would think that [CNN] would consider that radioactive," says Pike. Same goes for nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). "No responsible director of an established organization would authorize such a thing. And they would fire on the spot anyone caught doing it. The stock-in-trade of NGO policy organizations is that 'we tell the truth.'"

Even cool heads like Pike, however, concede that the media's fortress of skepticism has an Achilles heel: the Internet. "The issue is not so much your ability to get fake video on CNN, but to get it online," he says. That's because so much Internet content is unfiltered. "This could play into the phenomenon in the news production process where you would not replicate the original report, but you might report that it was reported," says Pike. And that could cascade into a CNN effect. "These are undoubtedly experiments that will be done," Pike says.

The trouble is, says Livingston, it may only take a few such experiments to forever make people question the authenticity of video. That could have enormous repercussions for military, intelligence and news operations. An ironic sociological consequence might emerge: a return to heavier reliance on unmediated face-to-face communication. In the meantime, though, there will undoubtedly be some interesting twists and turns as pixels become ever more plastic. source

Ivan Amato is a correspondent for National Public Radio and the author of Stuff: The Materials the World Is Made Of a chronicle of cutting-edge research in materials science.


BBC delay on sensitive live news

Live coverage of the Beslan siege featured some graphic images Live coverage of sensitive news events such as the Beslan school siege or the September 11 attacks will be broadcast on the BBC in future with a time delay.

The policy is set out in Editorial Guidelines coming into effect in July.

Caution over showing sensitive footage is not new at the corporation but it is the first time a delay has explicitly been written into guidelines. There is also a written commitment that "accuracy is more important than speed" in breaking news. The Editorial Guidelines will replace the BBC Producers' Guidelines which have been revised to reflect Ofcom's new broadcasting code and the "changing media environment".

"The guidelines are part of our contract with our audiences," said Stephen Whittle, BBC Controller of Editorial Policy.

"These are our editorial ethics and values and the standards we set for ourselves. We intend to live and be judged by them."

'Upsetting' images

Last September, the BBC and most other TV news networks reported live from the scene of the Beslan siege in Russia, in which more than 330 people lost their lives. The coverage fuelled a debate over whether some of the images were too graphic for audiences. One of the new BBC directives states a delay "must be installed when broadcasting live coverage of sensitive and challenging events".

The new set of guidelines has 197 pages

The delay - the length of which will be left to the discretion of the editor in charge - would allow time to exclude any potential material.

"The purpose is to avoid really distressing, upsetting images that our viewers might not want to see going straight out," a BBC spokeswoman said.

"It will only be used in very exceptional circumstances," she added.

The BBC's television and radio content now needs to comply with the Ofcom Broadcasting Code in six key areas: Protecting the Under Eighteens; Harm and Offence; Crime; Religion; Fairness and Privacy. Revisions were made to the BBC's Producers' Guidelines following recommendations made in the Neil report into editorial issues raised by the Hutton Inquiry. But the last formal update was in 2000. The BBC said the new guidelines being launched on Thursday aim to be clearer and easier to use. They will be published in both a print and searchable format on the internet.

Mr Whittle must now also personally approve of any proposal to employ someone known to have a criminal record or background of illegal activity.

Other key changes include:

A requirement that the use of secret recording in a BBC investigation must be kept under constant review.

New advice on BBC investigations into crime and serious anti-social behaviour, which must be clearly editorially justified.

A suggestion the BBC should normally consider asking contributors to sign contracts - including a declaration of personal information such as criminal convictions or that which may involve personal conflicts of interest. BBC


Rights group criticises 'Asbo TV'

Viewers will have access to footage from 400 CCTV cameras

Civil rights campaigners have voiced concern about a new channel allowing households in east London to monitor local CCTV cameras, dubbed "Asbo TV". The project will enable Shoreditch residents to compare suspicious characters with an on-screen "rogue's gallery" from their living-room. Viewers can then alert police to anyone in breach of an anti-social behaviour order (Asbo) or committing a crime.

Asbo Concern said the scheme was a "gimmick" and would be open to abuse.

Fear of crime

The CCTV channel is part of a £12m online community network project being set up in the area under a 10-year government-funded regeneration programme in one of the country's most deprived areas.

About 1,000 residents in the Haberdasher and Charles Square estates will pilot the scheme from March before it is rolled out to more than 20,000 households across Shoreditch, giving viewers access to some 400 cameras.

They will be asked to pay about £3.50 a week for the full service, which includes cheap local calls, a free set-top box providing digital TV, public service channels and high-speed internet access.

Atul Hatwal, strategy director of the Shoreditch Digital Bridge, said while crime in the area has fallen, the community safety channel will address the fear of crime. "The scheme aims to empower members of the local community to support police in tackling crime and supporting each other in making Shoreditch a safer place," he said.

But Matt Foot, co-ordinator for Asbo Concern, which campaigns against the misuse of the Asbo, said the channel was "a complete waste of money". "While the rest of the project sounds quite positive, the community safety channel is a gimmick," he said. "There are professionals trained to monitor CCTV and it should be left to them. "Here, you will have a situation of people spying on each other, which raises concerns about vigilantism and vulnerable people such as children being bullied on CCTV." - BBC



Computer generated reality

Nothing is REAL

In new 'X-Men' film, S.F.'s a digital mirage
Studios finding it's cheaper to use special effects

Peter Hartlaub, Chronicle Pop Culture Critic Sunday, May 21, 2006 - sfgate.com

With the exception of a ride on a cable car, the mutant heroes and villains in the big action movie "X-Men: The Last Stand," which opens Friday, pretty much complete the San Francisco tourist checklist.

Magneto, Wolverine, Angel and the rest walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, visit Alcatraz and camp out in Muir Woods; they wander to the Marin Headlands and Golden Gate Park, and even take time for a quick flyby over North Beach.

But although the movie takes place in the Bay Area -- and San Francisco landmarks figure significantly in the plot -- no actor set foot in the city and almost no live action film was shot here.

Unknown to most moviegoers, special-effects innovations have reached the point where a filmmaker can set a $100 million summer blockbuster in an exotic locale without sending the usual fleet of actors, makeup artists, cinematographers and key grips there.

It's a growing strategy by movie studios grappling with the nearly 8 percent drop in box-office receipts from 2004 and 2005. As the visual effects get better and costs for filming in beloved locations like Paris, New York and San Francisco remain high, studios are finding it significantly cheaper and faster to build sets on back lots and use models and computers to fill in scenic backgrounds.

While the third "X-Men" movie is an extreme example because so few crew members actually touched ground in San Francisco, every big action movie released this season has filmed at least one scene using similar techniques.

"The technology is evolving so much faster than any of us as observers are aware," said 20th Century Fox President Hutch Parker, who helped supervise the "X-Men" film and is executive producer of this summer's remake of "The Omen." "It has in some ways made the prohibitively expensive affordable. I'm not going to say we couldn't have done this five years ago, but it wouldn't have been as convincing."

Fooling moviegoers into thinking they're seeing another place goes back more than 50 years, when a matte painting that served as a background shot could be used to depict a foreign locale. "Casablanca," for example, was not filmed in Morocco, but on a Los Angeles set -- with the exception of the airport scene, which was shot at Van Nuys Airport. "The Maltese Falcon" did some location work in the Bay Area, but it, too, was mostly shot in Los Angeles.

For years studios used paintings and rear-projection techniques to fake locations, before computerized special effects started to take over the process in the 1990s. The 1994 Arnold Schwarzenegger summer blockbuster "True Lies" filmed much of the Harrier jet action sequence on a Los Angeles rooftop while using computers to fill in the Miami backdrop.

But most productions still combine the special effects touch-ups with on-location shooting that includes cast members. It's possible that no movie has done so much to fabricate a real-life location as the latest "X-Men" film, which features mutant metal sculptor Magneto -- played by Ian McKellen -- ripping the northern end of the Golden Gate Bridge off its foundation and relocating it to Alcatraz.

Not that everything in that scene was done with computers. A portion of the bridge actually existed -- in a parking lot in Vancouver.

John Bruno, visual effects supervisor of "X-Men," said the art department built a full-scale piece of the bridge in Canada, which was about the size of a basketball court, and used computers to fill in the rest of the bridge and background. With the exception of a few FasTrak diamonds, the finished product is hard to tell from the original. "We had the right reflectors on the road and the right stains on the road," Bruno said. "We had the right amount of dirt and dust on the raised walkway of the bridge."

The decision to build replicas of San Francisco landmarks in another country may be alarming for professionals in the local film industry, who along with Mayor Gavin Newsom have been aggressively trying to lure studios to San Francisco -- which passed the state's first film and television incentives program in April, giving filmmakers who shoot in the city a break on city fees.

But such efforts may fail to lure producers on tight budgets and schedules. The crew of "Mission: Impossible III," for example, was sent to Shanghai for a few weeks, but spent months building and filming a fake Shanghai in Los Angeles.

"The producers were thinking this could get very expensive with a lot of crews waiting around for something to happen," said "Mission: Impossible III" visual effects supervisor Roger Guyett, who worked for Industrial Light & Magic, based in the Bay Area. "The reality of making big movies is, your daily nut is huge. The cost of location shooting is astronomical, because of the support crew that's required to travel. And the last thing you want to do is go somewhere and not be able to achieve what you want."

Guyett said among the problems with filming in Shanghai is that the city encourages its citizens to turn off their lights at 10 p.m. This would have given director J.J. Abrams a narrow window to shoot the vibrant backdrops he wanted. Fog, haze, safety issues and other considerations led the team to build a pseudo-Shanghai in Los Angeles -- using computers to fill in whatever they couldn't construct.

Bruno, a Bay Area native from Pittsburg who worked for ILM in the 1980s and used to live in San Francisco, said the "X-Men: The Last Stand" team couldn't have filmed on the Golden Gate Bridge even if they wanted to.

"We couldn't film on the bridge. We couldn't get within a quarter-mile," said Bruno, who spent a week in the Bay Area in October getting the background photos they needed to make the special effects. "We basically walked on it and took still pictures. The other photographs we took of the bridge were done from a helicopter -- right to the point where they waved us off."

Guyett suggests there's a real market for building fake bridges. "We actually built our version of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge just outside of L.A., in Calabasas," Guyett said. "We just built it on a piece of waste ground with a clear horizon on the top of a plateau out there. When you see the water, it's all just made up."

Some of the same tricks used in "X-Men: The Last Stand" and "Mission: Impossible III" are being worked into relatively low-tech films. Location scout Scott Trimble remembers photographic plate shots being taken for "Dr. Doolittle II," a movie that filmed in the Bay Area but used special effects to enhance backgrounds such as Lucas Valley and Mount Tamalpais.

Trimble said the practice is even more widespread on television, where shows such as "Charmed" and the "The Chris Isaak Show" and the recent "The Evidence" are based in San Francisco and film mostly or entirely in Vancouver or Toronto.

"There's definitely been more of it," Trimble said. "On TV, a great example of this is 'Alias.' The show is set in just about every country all over the world, but it's shot entirely in Los Angeles. ... They can add the Eiffel Tower over some building rooftop."

They can even substitute an entire forest, although Muir Woods in the new "X-Men" movie wasn't done with special effects. Producers borrowed a forest near Vancouver, and also subbed in a park setting at Pinewood Studios in England to replace Golden Gate Park.

Sunday roller-bladers and regulars at the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum may be able to tell the difference, but it's likely few outside of San Francisco will. And even if they can, the studios will probably just find another way to simulate the park -- short of actually going there.


Mind manipulation via media technology

imagine this shit via Global satellite - too late already happening

Silent Sound manipulation

"Noiseless cassettes. Chernishev claims that the Japanese have developed the ability to place infra-low frequency voice patterns over music, patterns that are detected by the subconscious. Russians claim to be using similar "bombardments" with computer programming to treat alcoholism or smoking.

25th shot system

The 25th-frame effect, alluded to above, a technique wherein each 25th frame of a movie reel or film footage contains a message that is picked up by the subconscious. This technique, if it works, could possibly be used to curb smoking and alcoholism, but it has wider, more sinister applications if used on a TV audience or a computer operator."

In November 1945, the Allied Control Council ordered the dismantling of I.G. Farben based on Control Council Law No. 9. After the July 1948 judgment in the I.G. Farben trial, which the United States had started in May 1947, the Western Allies remained committed to the break-up policy. The Allied High Commission, which had taken over sovereignty rights from the Allied military government following the founding of the Federal Republic, officially announced Law No. 35 in August 1950. This law implemented the Control Council?s Law No. 9 and covered the dismantling of I.G. Farben based on the argument that I.G. Farben constituted "an excessive concentration of economic power."

Following complicated negotiations, the dismantling was completed between 1952 and 1955. Among other entities, BASF, Bayer, Hoechst and Cassella were created. A large portion of I.G. Farben's assets within the Federal Republic of Germany were transferred to these companies. - a link from this page - BASF in Dialogue - Forced Labor at I.G. Farben's Ludwigshafen and Oppau Sites

The tape recorder is theorized in 1888 by Oberlin Smith as a piece of string dipped in glue and coated with iron filings. In 1893, Valdemar Poulsen, a Danish engineer, used wire to store magnetic impulses that could reproduce sound. In 1921, magnetic tape was first proposed. But it required further electronic development such as the 1924 Western Electric Corporation patent permitting electrical sound recording. In the same year, the loudspeaker supplanted the use of headphones....

In 1930, Germany's I.G. Farben industrial company created the first magnetic tape. When I.G. Farben was broken up after WW II for producing the gas used in the concentration camps, BASF - one of its pieces - continued to manufacture magnetic tape. - alex constantine

BASF Audi cassette


"Psychologists in the Russia's southern city of Krasnodar have called on the Russian government to ban televising of the Pokemon Japanese cartoon. The cartoon has already been televised on Russia's state-controlled ORT nationwide television network, as many countries, including Japan itself, have tabooed it. Krasodar psychologists assert that a 25th shot system is applied in the cartoon which negatively affects children's sub-consciousness. As a result of this shot's impact, a ''neuro-linguistic programming'' occurs, or, to put it in other words, zombying. The psychologists characterize this phenomena as the ''intellectual genocide.'' In their view, the cartoon calls for cruelty and aggression, while numerous signs on the heroes' costumes symbolize death. "


"Only informational war is capable of defeating terrorism completely. And we possess this weapon. Peoples" actions can in fact be controlled by unnoticed acoustic influence. Look-it"s easy. All I have to do is record my voice, apply special coding, which converts my voice to mere noise and afterwards, all we have to do is record some music on top of that. The words are indistinguishable to your conscious; however, your unconscious can hear them clearly. If we were to play this music over and over again on the radio for instance, people will soon start developing paranoia. This is the simplest weapon.

An image can also be coded. After 12-14 minutes the information begins to get into one"s conscious. Our department is the only one in the world that possesses such instrument of informational war. However, no one seems to be interested in it." Mind Control exists! - Russian methods of controlling the mind






Captain Wardrobes

Down with Murder inc.